Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Taxes soon

I just got word from the IRS, my e-file was accepted, they figure February 6th for the bank to get me my cash!

I've been doing some shopping, I want to get some spare parts for the M1A like an OP rod, ejector clip and spring, OP spring, etc... Seems they are kinda hard to find for short cash. Some places have op rods for $150!!! I'm good at finding a bargain so it's just a matter of time before I get the spare parts.

I need to draw up a list of additional items I want to buy with the tax money and stick to it. I need to save what I can for a down payment on land if I can find it in Maine.

I got to keep prepping, the big question is generator or solar panels with deep cycle batteries... This year I will get the power situation squared away.

Check this out!

It's an add for a website, but it's really eye-opening!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Family Talk

My Mum and my brother came by yesterday so I could work on my brother's ex-wife's computer. (don't ask - it's a mess) So while I was trying to recover the spyware, virus infested craptastic HP computer we had a long talk.

My brother and I are trying to find some land in Maine, but it's hard for both of us financially. Then we have divergent opinions on how to utilize the land before and post catastrophe. We have to find land first though. Find land that is affordable and will sustain life if we have to.

One of the items discussed is what to do with all the friends and freeloaders who show up. After hashing it out, it seems like the ticket system the guys over at alpha rubicon came up with is the best system. We didn't discuss what a "ticket" would be exactly, but it would be enough stabilized fuel, food, water, supplies so the ticket holder would add to the survivability of the group, rather than being a drain on resources.

I showed my family my stash, and they were impressed. Mum was bitching about how she couldn't afford it, and I reminded her all I did was add a few cans of supplies to each shopping trip over the last 7 months.

Two more preppers on board, now I just need to keep convincing friends to start.

I think I found a source of M1 A mags legal in mass for short money. I should know by late next week if I'm all set. The hard question is how many to buy? 20? I also need to see how long the 30 round mags are and if they interfere with a prone firing position.

I'll be seeing my brother again tonight, he wants to pick up the computer. How I was supposed to work on it while at work is beyond me.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Garden Planning

Time to roll up the sleeves and get to work gardening! Yeah I havn't completely lost it, well not yet anyway. I realize it's the middle of January, and I got 18"of snow in my yard, but I've never done it before. Now is the time for reading and planning for the garden. The above picture is from Google Earth, and has helped me figure out where the best places to put my garden. My house is the one without the cars. The front of the house is to the right, and I got a ton of trees.
That might clear things up a bit. The oak tree in my backyard is HUGE. About 5' in diameter at the trunk, it's canopy is 100' across. Real nice for keeping the AC bill low, but hell on gardening. The pink open box in the upper left is where my neighbor has a 50'x40' conventional garden. I'm not sure how he does it because of all the shade, he has my oak tree, and another maple right in the way for most of the day's sunshine! He pulls it off every year though. He doesn't compost much at all so his crop has gotten a little worse every year. He doesn't like me, probably because I'm not Portuguese, and pretends not to speak English. His loss.

The bigger filled in pink box is where I'll have my square foot garden. It should get about 8 hours of sun a day there. It's not the best place for me, because I don't have much yard on that side of the garage and shed, but oh well. The smaller filled in pink box will be a 4' box for herbs. I will have another small box for the shade loving herbs, but not sure where to put that just yet.

The main garden will be 4' x 8' for 32 square feet. I've been working on planning what to grow and where for the last 4 hours. Like I said I'm new to the whole gardening thing so things most gardeners know already I need to read in a book. So I figure the tomatoes are too big for a SFG so I'll get a couple of big containers for them, they will do fine in there.

I plan on growing the following:
Navy Beans(9)
Cayenne Peppers(2)
Cucumbers (2)
Carrots (16)
Garlic (9)
Salad Greens (12)

I just had to change something. I had two squares of cucumbers, which would keep me knee deep in pickles for years. Not enough greens so that was a quick fix. I probably can get a second crop out of most squares, but for now I am focusing on the initial crop.

Now my last frost is about April 25th, so that means I got to start my cabbage seed the second week of February! Good thing I started planning now and not March, eh?

I have not decided to grow corn or not yet. Either way, it will be in a separate 4' x 4' SFG. Corn needs to pollinate each other by the wind, so it's best to have a clump rather than a single row. My back neighbor grows corn so I am afraid of his yucky genegineered corn from pollinating my
heirloom corn and ruining the seed for next year. Either way, the corn and beans are for seed stock, unless I get the hankering to make my own Boston Baked Beans. Yummy!

Well, If a techno-geek like me can plan a garden then you can too. This first year is more of a pilot than any serious attempt. A proof-in-concept. I will not be relying on it for my main source of food (I hope not!) but a confidence builder. The only way to learn something is to do it, so you better learn how to grow a garden NOW before the poop hits the fan and you and your families survival depends on it!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

I've been thinking while prepping some today and I'm getting a bit concerned. I expected more of a roar from the first week of Obammy, so far all we got is a whimper. So far he's done more political posturing and saber-rattling at the banks than anything of real substance. In my pessimistic view that means he's going to do something rash. I hope not, but we will see soon enough. If he sits on his hands too long then he will need a bigger push to get the ball rolling the way he wants it to. That means bigger bailouts. Yuck!

Even the Russians think the US and UK economy is screwed. Although theirs is not doing to well if their finance minister is telling his citizens to avoid Rubles and the Yaun for short term investing.
Western politicians who want bankers to apologise for their role in the financial crisis are Wall Street's equivalent of Lenin's "useful idiots".
Best. Quote. Ever. I'm going to have to make Russia-Today a regular stop in my news reading.

I put down a deposit on an M1A today. I e-filed my taxes on Friday, so I should have the $ (or an IOU) in my bank account in 2-3 weeks. Then I get to try to find mags for it. I can find them online, I just need to be sure they are pre-ban before I get them here in Mass or I am screwed. The PRM has decided that magazines have to be pre-ban if they are to be over 10 rounds. What a pain in the butt! Thankfully, the godfather has up on somewhere a full flowchart on how to figure out when an M14 mag was made so I can get them back into Mass.

The gun shop has 20 round mags for $50 a pop. I see Israeli surplus 30 rounders for $20 online. Odds are they are from the 50's so I should be ok. I might have a buddy who lives in NH buy some for me and I can check them for the proper age. If they are not allowed in Mass I'll let him keep them. He's been thinking of buying an M1A himself. There is a giant loophole here. Some people think that the mag has to be in Mass and registered for it to be legal. But magazines are not registered in any way, shape or form. Some people think that so long as you can prove when they were made then you are all set.

It's really up to the DA and how much of a prick they want to be. These laws have not been challenged because no DA has had the confidence to try to push the issue. Let's face it if I, or any other gun owner, stays out of trouble and goes to the range once in a while, even if the mag might look a little too new, then no one will give a rat's ass. But, If I go out and start waving around a M1A in public, then odds are they will go for every little charge they can find.

I'm going to re-read all the relevant laws before I do anything. Half of the gun dealers have said it is 100% legal, and the other half said I'm not sure... bleh. Most cops I talked to have no clue on this issue either. It doesn't stop them from getting a mailing address in NH and buying anything and everything they want online regardless of the letter of the law. But then again 95% of all cops think that all the laws don't apply to them. Only the big ones (rape, murder, bribery, embezzlement, etc.). Ever see a cop ever follow the speed limit? Even in their civilian car? I didn't think so.

Well all that anti-gun crap is giving me a headache. One of these days I'm leaving the PRM and all this stupidity behind. Granted, I'll have to deal with all kinds of different stupidity wherever I move too, but at least it will be new and exciting.

Prep on everyone!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Excellent article

This article has a wealth of good discussion on why the economy is so screwed up. Go read it!

We are faced with not just one, but several Ponzi schemes hitting us broadside.
1) Social Security

For instance, there is no money in the Social Security trust fund.

Yes, you and I might have paid into Social Security, but we will never see any of those dollars ever again. All the money currently sent in is used to pay current retirees. And the excess is not saved for future generations. Instead, the government takes it out for general-purpose spending
2) Medicare & Medicaid
Medicaid and Medicare are two other Ponzi/Madoff schemes that are expected to provide services for an ever-growing proportion of the population and be paid for by an ever-decreasing tax base of workers. The funding deficit now exceeds $40 trillion. Where is the money going to come from?
3) Homebuilding & real estate market
The housing bubble of course was made possible by certain members of Congress who felt it was their duty to coerce Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two giant government-sponsored lenders, to give loans—also known as subprime loans—to minorities and other “disadvantaged” groups who could not really afford to buy homes in the first place. In other words, Congress created a house Ponzi-scheme by artificially inflating the home buyers pool. Now that these subprime borrowers are defaulting on their mortgages, and banks no longer want to lend to subprime borrowers, there is no new money to enter the housing market—thus a classic Ponzi bust.


A few years ago it was reported that 40 percent of all job creation in the U.S. was related to the housing industry. Now, as jobs are being lost, the reverse is the case. America will see years’ worth of job creation erased. Just like Madoff’s money, it will be like the jobs never existed.
4) The dollar itself.
“The United States government runs its own balance sheet based on the Ponzi principal as well,” says economic analyst and president of Euro Pacific Capital Peter Schiff. “Our national debt always grows and never shrinks. As existing debt matures, proceeds are repaid by issuing new debt.”


As with Charles Ponzi and Bernard Madoff, once the legitimate-businessman sham is exposed, the whole scheme quickly collapses. In America’s case, all it would take is for foreigners to stop lending new money to the U.S.—they wouldn’t even have to pull their previous loans. The whole borrow-and-spend model of the U.S. economy would be exposed as an unsustainable fraud. And the dollar—which the government stopped backing with gold during the 1970s—could see its value evaporate overnight.

Well interesting times are ahead of us for sure. Granted this article was written for a apocalyptic newspaper, but that doesn't change the facts. We are starting to see this coverage in foreign news, it's only a matter of time before the bulk of foreign investors start to pull out.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Flu:2 - Natog:0

Well some nasty bug is whipping around New England. My Mum got it and beat it but she's semi-retired so she could get the rest she needed to fight it. Me, I'm still working for a living and had to blow two precious vacation days on trying to beat the flu back. Where I work all personal, sick, and vacation days are in one pool, so the less time you are sick, the more vacation you get.

Well a few people at work have it to, and they got flu shots, where I didn't. Guess those flu shots aren't worth it. One said he was taking tamiflu, but it didn't help. I'm just taking my normal vitamins, Nyquil at night and tea with honey and lemon during the day. Should be back to (mostly) normal by Sunday at the worst. Guess Mayberry got it too, so I hope he's getting back on his feet.

I managed to stock up some extra supplies earlier in the week. Bought me 10 pounds of brown rice. Not the enriched, or the instant. Just plain old brown rice. It's very good for you, or I should say it's a Carbohydrate so it's not good all the time, but this is the best of the worst... If that makes a lick of sense. I split it into two 5# bags and used my FoodSaver to vacuum them up. That should be good for about 7 years. I fear I'll be using it sooner than that, though. I normally don't eat rice, except with Chinese or Thai food, but it is there for a change of pace if I need it. Or I can trade it for something else I need, or even give it away for charity.

Got me some more canned foods too. I've been a busy little beaver and got my larder nice and full. I took some gallon mason jars and filled them with pasta, then vacuumed it shut so it should last many years. Expiration date says 2011, but I'm confident with no O2 getting to it it will remain wholesome until 2013.

I finally got my W2, so tomorrow I'll be filing electronically. I'm single so I get fucked by uncle sugar good and proper. One of these days I got to find a woman and marry her just for the tax break (just kidding). Hmmmm - tax break for two years then alimony for the rest of her life... not worth it!

Well the two shots of Nyquil I took had me go on a four page tangent about how crappy my social life is. I'll just snip that part out so I don't bore everyone to tears.

Tomorrow I got to start planning my garden. I think I'll use Google Earth to figure out where the best place in my yahd is for it. I guess I should have paid more attention to where the sun is in the summertime. Then I need to figure out the average final frost time. Then I need to start some shopping! I have my seeds, just got to figure out what to grow and when to start! Cannot wait.

I wonder how many people can tell where the sun is strongest on their property for each season? We are so far removed from our agricultural roots in the country it's a shame. Agriculture and manufacturing is what made this country great. Now the lawyers, politicians and the damn bankers had to ruin it.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Book Review - "Patriots! Surviving the Coming Collapse"

I recently finished Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse by Rawles, James Wesley. Now Rawles is pretty much the godfather of the online survival community. Although I agree with him on many, many points, on some we just don't see eye to eye.

I'm going to try not to go into the philosophical differences I have with him. This is, after all, a review of his book. There are two ways to look at this book. This first of which is as a work of fiction that has handy survival tips throughout. The second is to look at this book as a survival manual with a little fictional flavor tossed in. I feel he has failed on both accounts.

Rawles is one of the leading presences online for survival information. He has untold gigabytes worth of data at his fingertips that he could have provided in this novel. He is also an ex-Military Intelligence officer. Some of that experience and information could have been helpful to pass along to his readers. I would say I learned less than ten things that I hadn't either figured out on my own, or read somewhere else. I don't recall him going into what foodstuffs they had saved. I don't remember him going over what amounts per person to make a year's worth of food. These are the important bits of information that are missing from this book. I am assuming this is all included in his "Rawles gets you ready" course for $150.

Rawles will go on with very detailed descriptions of equipment, with model numbers, feature comparisons, etc. He is a gear nut. That's OK because once you have a retreat, with all the food, and stuff you can buy the toys. But what about the rest of us that are just starting? Taking a gear-centric approach is intimidating for those who are about to start and wind up maxing out credit cards trying to get everything they think they will need.

If the purpose of this book is to lend it to friends to convince them to prepare, then he should have used a different cast of characters than an elite team of survivalists. How about a group of friends who band together and start a few months before the crash? Maybe one of them is an economics PhD who sees the crash before it happens and no one believes him, but he gets his college buddies and families together to prep?

As for the writing style, it's clipped and rather abrupt. Chapters have inserts of past information that explain when they made or bought something. These inserts totally kill the continuity of what is supposed to be a story. Perhaps a footnote with a detailed description in the back of the book would have been better. And for the love of Pete! Put in some bloody DRAWINGS. Save five pages of boring text and toss me a freaking picture please.

A case in point is two chapters about two brothers getting into trouble with the law, then going on the run. Boring. Pointless. I was hoping they get killed. I feel these two chapter's sole purpose was to sound off on Mr. Rawles personal views. That's fine, I bought his book, just fit it in with the story in a more cohesive format, please.

Character development is minimal at best, and any tension that could have been used within the group for drama was brushed aside. Any outside sources of tension were hyped up as much as possible to reinforce the group versus the world mentality. Sadly, the only character I liked got whacked.

I feel some of the preps this semi-fictional group has made would be detrimental to an actual group of survivalists. I will use the spider holes pre-dug before the catastrophic event as an example. Now in the book this group digs a number of spider-holes around their retreat well before the event that sends the world into collapse. They then camouflage these spider holes with junk.

What town would let a family scatter junk all over the side of a public road, regardless of how remote the road is? Who in their right mind would want to drive past a pile of crap in their front yard every day, just waiting for the apocalypse! All it would take is for a area kid to fall in one or a car to get stuck for a whole world of shit to happen to the homeowner. If you want spider holes, knock yourself out, just dig them after the collapse of our society please. If I break an ankle falling in someone's spider hole then I'm suing!

Overall, I feel this book is lacking in so many ways it lost it's value as either an enjoyable read or a fact-filled manual. Would I buy the book again? Hell no. Would I lend it to a friend? Only if I could explain a few things to them ahead of time. There are many, many places out there on the web that are better suited to getting you started out. Most of them are linked to the right up top, and right here on this blog. If you feel your ready, save the money from this and put it towards his "Rawles gets you ready course" I can only imagine what he has you buying in there... Surplus APC's and hospital beds, perhaps?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Chaos Theory & You

OK, this post is going to be a bit... strange. I'm a big fan of Chaos Theory, long before Jurassic Park made it famous and fashionable. I stumbled upon this article from a while ago, and It's taken me several re-readings to make sense of it all. Well, more like it took me that long to properly digest it. I'm going to do my best to simplify it for you all, because it's such a complex topic, but it is such an important topic!. I'll begin with the groundwork.

Chaos Theory deals with vastly complex situations, and tries to make some sense of them. Not by reducing the entropy (another name for chaos) into simple rules and algorithms, but to embrace the entropy in the situation or system. Chaos Theory is like being a surfer, while a traditional mathematical view of the ocean would be done by floundering in the surf.

Chaos theory is used for such things as studying the solar wind, comets and asteroid projections, weather, and global economics. Our economy is what we call an open system. It's a chaotic system that effects the larger system around it. In this case the American economy affects the global economy.

And that is why I'm writing this post. Our economy can be seen as a living being. It consumes raw materials like energy, matter, and information, and expels it's waste to other economies, countries, etc. The American economy is an open system to use the chaos theory's terms. In the life cycle of this entity, as it ages it retains more and more of it's own entropy, until it reaches critical mass. This critical mass is when the entity cannot expel it's waste (entropy) into the larger environment. The reason our chaotic system has been stable for so long is because have been expeling our wastes into the greater economy. Now the global economy is a system as well, and at some point it's going to choke on it's own waste. The global economy is a closed system, ehtropy cannot escape it, it just moves around inside it.

Now, two things can happen when this entropic system reaches it's critical mass. Either it evolves to handle the new stresses and entropy, or it collapses... Scientists call this a Bifurcation Point. I'll use the same example that they used in the original article, a beach ball and a mountain. Imagine standing on a mountaintop with a beach ball. If you drop it so it is precisely on the tippity top then there is an equal chance of the ball rolling down either side. Chaos Theory states that there are a near infinite amount of forces acting on the beach ball which may push it to one side or another.

In our economy it might boil down to just one business closing (or remaining open), or one family losing (or keeping) their home from foreclosure. These seemingly insignificant events are what may be the final force to tip the economy one way or another. The bifurcation point is so precipitous that the day or even the hour when an event happens can be the final push to send the beach ball rolling down one side or the other.

Now you can think of our economy being that beach ball perched on the mountaintop. There are many forces acting on this economy but we have a stalemate for the time being. This is why so little has actually happened. Every action that the government has taken has been met with an equal, but opposite, reaction from somewhere else. This state doesn't have a time limit, but you can imagine that as time progresses more and more factors will affect it. Eventually our economy will evolve or crash.

Here is an excerpt from the article:
The U.S. is also emitting entropy to the rest of the world in the form of excessive amounts of dollars accumulated as foreign reserves in central banks around the globe. The world is rapidly approaching the point of unwillingness to accumulate more dollars with the realization that Obama is intent on creating trillion-dollar stimuli to keep the current financial disorder going, force-feeding the bulk of those dollars onto the world. This is inherently unsustainable. As long as the world is willing to absorb U.S. entropy, the system holds together; as son as the world balks at absorbing those dollars, its value would collapse and the global monetary system would reach a bifurcation point as dollar reserves depreciate rapidly and inflict losses on foreign dollar holders.

Currently billions of dollars are injected daily into the financial system. As a result, the dollar continuously loses value. Now it has become increasingly clear to everyone that this process cannot be sustained; but it cannot be stopped or reversed either. The dollar must inevitably collapse and cause total chaos throughout the global financial system. This will destroy the value of dollar savings and dollar-denominated assets and will most likely destroy the bulk of global financial system. In the best case, a new and improved monetary order will emerge from the chaos.
With my awareness heightened with the knowledge of Chaos Theory I can see how we have managed to survive as a country and as an economy. To put it simply we dump our waste into the global economy, where Russia, China and the Oil barons have willingly soaked it up. Now they have their own problems with their own economies, and these systems are not able or willing to soak up our waste.

Now we have reached several bifurcation points with our economy over the years. The most notable being the great depression. But the economic woes of the 1970's, the recession of 1982, the savings and loan crash, and even the .com crash were all bifurcation points from recent history. I'm thinking the crash of Russia's economy after Glasnost, took a bunch of global entropy with it, but it's just a guess.

So where does that leave us? This doesn't touch the inflation vs. deflation argument. All this means is we are either going to crash or we will pass a new series of laws and guidelines and so on and so forth so our economy manages to pull through. Doesn't mean the dollar will make it though this, we very well might switch to the Euro, or make a new currency, or even revert back to the gold standard (I hope). Even if the economy survives this bifurcation point, it just means there will be another down the road. An even bigger one.

As things are now, the slope of the mountain on either side is very steep. If we manage to press on, then the slopes become steeper and steeper with each bifurcation point. I personally don't see us surviving this one, I'm betting the whole economy goes down the tubes. The bigger question is how? That has the most impact to us in our daily lives and how to prep for the upcoming crisis.

Well that's enough to chew on for now. Take care everyone and keep prepping!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Bad Moon Rising

Well I'm back in the Deflationary camp again. Take a look at this graph from this article.
This isn't good for anyone with debt. A deflationary crash would be much more of a sudden event than a slow slide. When the bank's JBT show up to repossess your house, because you make 1/2 of what you did a year ago, but the mortgage is the same, bad things happen. The thought of a deflation scares the shit out of me.

On a different note, I spent some time tonight reloading some shotgun shells for shooting skeet this weekend. I also deprimed and sized all my pistol brass, and I've got it in the tumbler right now getting all cleaned up. After reading really doom and gloom news it's nice to reload some ammo. Really soothing for the raw nerves, ya know.

I need to do something about the ammo supply for my main weapons. I'm going to buy some .45acp brass from because it's so cheap. The biggest trouble for me is getting .308 brass. It's getting freaking impossible to find. Just bums me out. Going to be a major problem for me soon. I mentioned in my earlier post I'm buying a MBR soon. Like ASAP.

I need to buy more powder for the .45 ACP. I'm currently using Alliant Unique powder for my .45... It's as dirty as a whores ass, but it's economical and performs reliably enough. I should buy a 8# container. Same for the .308 powder, H4895. Should get 8# of that as well.

On the cover of shotgun news there is an ad with a scope kit for the Mosin Nagant for $45. This bears further investigation. If it doesn't require permanent modification I'm buying one. Then I'll get the dies for $20 and buy my next batch of ammo with brass cases. They use the same bullets as my .308 so that's a handy commonality.

Well that's enough rambling for tonight. Gettign cold out there so everyone be safe!


Damn it is cold. On the way to work this morning it was a balmy -4°F. New England has not seen temperatures like this since I was a little kid. Global warming my ass.

Now if you are lucky enough to live in Fargo, ND you are used to these temperatures, and scoff at the poor fools in the rest of the country trying to deal with it. It's no joke though. The cold compounds all problems with the car or the lack of proper clothing exponentially. Add a few items to your car if they are not already there. Things like a blanket, 120 hour candle, extra flashlight batteries, and some high calorie food that won't freeze. An extra hat and gloves would be a good idea in case you misplace them.

I've been looking at my ammunition problem, and trying to figure out the best way to stock up on 00 buckshot for my shotgun. To make your own is easy enough, except the wads are no longer made by winchester for the hulls I would like to use. ClayBuster has a replacement wad but they are out of stock everywhere.

Another thorn in my side is .308 brass. Most places are out of stock of used brass, and new brass is really expensive. I'll keep looking though. Just a matter of time before I find it.

Tax season is upon us, I cannot wait for my W2 to come in the mail. As soon as it does you can bet your ass I'll file electronically so I can get that money before Uncle Sugar runs out of cash. I will be investing in a MBR, probably a M1A. I can get mags easily enough from a online supplier, just need to ship them to a friend in RI. I'm working on switching a small credit card I have to that address. Should be fun.

The other option would be to buy all the parts for a FN-FAL and asssemble it myself. Mags are much more expensive, and harder to find. Worth looking into.

Well i got a lot more to chat about, but I got meetings to go to. Take care everyone and keep prepping!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Preparedness Alert Levels

Now I had an idea that might prove to be of some worth to groups of preppers and their families. See, the problem was how to develop patterns of behavior to suit the different levels of threats we prep for. For example you would have one pattern of behavior during a snowstorm, and a completely different pattern of behavior if you were in the midst of a mutant ninja zombie attack.

Now the government has a few, namely the DEFCON (DEFensive readiness CONdition) from the cold war. And we cannot pass up the much maligned HSAS (Homeland Security Advisory System). US military units use the REDCON (REaDiness CONition) to set up unit security details and such.

Although the NSAS is pretty much pointless because of the politics involved with the raising and lowering of the levels, I find a color system is much better to use than a numerical one. It's much easier to slip into messages to your group or your family than a number. If your part of a group the answering machine message could be changed to "You have reached blah blah blah leave a message after the tone." In the background play he appropriate music for that level. Black is Metallica or AC/DC, green and/or blue for Weezer, red for the Cure, purple for Prince, white for The Beatles. Etc. Good security and very subtle.

The colors can be used out in the open with little possibility of alerting the sheople. simply putting a red ribbon on the mailbox would be enough to let your kid know to come home right off the bus because bad things are happening. Or a text message of "red front of bldg 5 min" is very evident to the recipient of the message.

An issue I have with all the systems mentioned above is there are only five steps in all of them. I think having a slightly wider range of levels gives your group and family the ability to tailor their preps to different situations. One thing I figured out when cooking up this idea is that the levels should be linear. So each level adds more and more protection and awareness to the levels below it.

These levels are not intended to replace Cooper's States of Awareness. You could still be murdered in level Violet, for example. These levels are for group and family level security, not individual per se.

Here is an example of some of these ideas assembled into a crude plan. Feel free to use this as the foundation of your own thinking. The levels are arranged from lowest threat to highest amount of danger. All the previous security measures are in effect when moving to a higher security level.

White - no threats - All asteroids and comets have been removed from local space. Politicians, priests, and lawyers have all taken up gardening, leaving their former jobs to men of spotless virtue. Don't hold your breath, it's never going to happen.
Violet - minimal threats - Solid economy, record lows of unemployment, no nukes missing from Russia. Food is in abundant supply, and social-politically things are fairly stable. The years of 1990 - 1995 would probably fit this criteria.
Purple (indigo) - Peacetime - Keep prepping, things are bound to get worse.
Blue - Cautious - Avoid "bad areas of town." Never let your fuel tank drop below 1/2 full. Concealed carry is optional, determined by circumstances. Keep additional supplies in your car in case of emergency.
Green - alert - Keep in close contact with the group for escalated levels and keep everyone updated with your location at all times. Be ready to render assistance if needed. Verify power generation systems are fully functional & tested. Also check chainsaws and/or plows or snowblowers, etc. The good news is you can still go on vacation. This would be an appropriate level for a snowstorm, or during tornado season.
Yellow - imminent danger - Everyone allowed to legally carry a concealed sidearm will do so. If concealable body armor is available, it is always worn outside the home. All stocks of food, water, fuel, and medical supplies will be double-checked and re-inventoried ASAP. Every day a complete security walk though of the home will be done. High-use consumables like fuel will be checked daily. BOB's are re-checked and placed at the home's main entrance for easy access. Don't go to work unless you will lose your job if you bang in sick. Bathtubs are filled in case power is lost. Vacation plans are most likely canceled. This would be an appropriate level for a Cat 3 hurricane or a blizzard.
Orange - danger - Bathtubs and every pot, bucket, etc. are filled with water in anticipation of water/power going out for a long time. People are not lawless, but it can be touch and go if you have something they want (i.e. fuel, food). No one leaves the house alone, a buddy system is used to keep track of everyone. The home's security will be beefed up as best as possible. One area of the home would be designated a trauma center, with pre-staged medical supplies. Fuck work, your life is worth more than your job. This would be an appropriate level during hurricane Katrina.
Red - imminent disaster - Everyone is armed with a pistol on their body unless they are washing up or fucking. Long arms are always within arms reach. All magazines are loaded, and combat webbing is loaded and ready. Body armor, if available, is worn. Full security measures about the home, such as boarding up windows, 24x7 security patrols/fire watch are set up.
Black - TEOTWAWKI - Weapons free, i.e. longarms are carried openly in public. When moving as a group, full military spacing with pointman. Only leave your retreat only if absolutely necessary. You are your own law - deal with thieves as you see fit. Assume everyone outside your group wants to kill/rape you. Anyone who approaches your home is searched thoroughly at gunpoint.

I hope this gets you thinking, and acts as a catalyst to archive another level of preparedness and security for your family and group. If you develop a full plan for your group, please e-mail it to me for posting for everyones benefit!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Like the sun coming up every morning, or the US mail being delivered, there is something else that will never fail. What is it you ask? Well it's a politician fucking you in the stink eye the first chance he gets.

Obammy is backpedaling on campaign promises as fast as he can. I just hang my head and laugh. I laughed so hard after listening to the news this morning I had tears streaming down my face. I just see the whole thing as further proof that Americans are stupid.

We, as a nation, latched on a cleverly researched catchphrase and thought he meant it. Well I got one thing for that. I leave you with The Henry Rollins Band:

I'll hide behind a smile
and understanding eyes
and I'll tell you things that you already know
so you can say
I really identify with you, so much
and all the time that you're needing me
is just the time that I'm bleeding you
don't you get it yet?
I'll come to you like an affliction
and I'll leave you like an addiction
you'll never forget me
you wanna know why?
cause I'm a liar

Monday, January 12, 2009


I've been thinking a bit about government lately. Namely the best way to run a group of people. The trouble is when a group reaches a certain size, it gains critical mass and then a man can solely make a living from being in the government, and not from any sort of fruitful labor. This is why I am so adamant that we should have term limits for local, state and federal positions. Three terms and your done!

Totalitarianism: One guy gets to say how things are done and well that's it. The trouble isn't when you're the one wearing the jack boots, it's when your successor gets to wear them is the problem. I know I would make a wise and benevolent dictator, but at some point I'll lose power to death, or a coup or whatever, then the population is screwed. No sustainability for the interests of the citizens. So we can toss that one out.

Democracies: Everyone gets their say, no matter how stupid, or ignorant. If we had a true democracy in America there would be a pile of nitwits wanting to re-institute slavery. There would be an equal, if not larger group of nitwits wanting to pay restitution to the descendants of slaves. Meanwhile the million of those who are adamant abortion should be illegal duke it out in the voting system with the million or so who think abortion should be allowed to the last second of pregnancy. So with so many voices nothing gets done. Ever.

Republics: So we come to what we have here in America, a Representative Republic. The trouble here lies with political parties, especially if there are two big ones. The winning party in a district does whatever the party wants, regardless of the percentage in a win for their election. So Let's take that nitwit in Minnesota. He won by about 200 votes (last time I even bothered to look) but because of the way we accept the two party system the 49.999% of his districts have no voice for 6 years. Six freaking years!

That's a problem here in America, we only pick vanilla or chocolate. Democrat or Republican. We are used to it. It's comfortable. But in the long run it's ruined our country. Blind adherence to the party mantra, the constituents have no say. We don't count anymore. The country is run with polls and statistics, which can be bent any way they want. It sickens me. Makes me want to take a big poop on the white house lawn, and piss on the steps of the capital building.

The sheeple need to be woken up. But the bombardment of party advertising and the endless drone of the propaganda machines of both parties never sleeps. Like two brothers in a fight, if a third party interferes, the two brothers beat the snot out of the new guy, then go back to beating each other's brains in.

Time for a real change. Time for Americans to tell both the Republicans and Democrats to take a long walk off of a short pier. I doubt it will happen, but every chance I get I try to inform the public about what's going on, and to plead with them that it's time for real change. I talk to strangers about the federal reserve. I mock Obammy and McCain. I get into in-depth political discussions at bars with my buddies while we drink beer and encourage others to participate in the discussion.

In other words I encourage people to think. If we want real change and not more vanilla or chocolate then we got to wake up the sheeple. I don't know about you, but it's high time we get some strawberry, or better yet, cookie dough ice cream.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Radio is hard work. Especially when you are like me and talk 90 miles an hour. I did try to slow down a lot more on the second half of the show, but I fear I will still be a bit too fast oh well. Maybe Big John will have me back again sometime.

I was scheduled to be on the 10pm show, but he had to reschedule me due to an announcement.

Was a blast and I hope I didn't ramble too much :)

Have a safe weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Three Layers of Safety

And no, I'm not talking about using the rhythm method while wearing a rubber when your girlfriend is on the Pill.

What I mean is using three levels to prepare yourself in every category. These would be a short-term, long-term and (for lack of a better term) a middle level of preps. Dividing up your thinking allows you to split a problem into something more manageable. It also allows you to tackle many categories for the short term without getting yourself lost trying to go whole hog at once.

Let's face it, it can be so easy to go nuts and max out the credit cards buying the latest Gen III nightvision scope for the customized battle rife with the 300 magazines and 4 billion rounds of ammo you bought. The four pallets of MRE's are on the way with the five water purification systems and gas masks, etc. were bought with the home equity loan you were going to use to fix the roof... I can't do that, I haven't won the lottery yet. Prepping can be done on the cheap. It's remarkable how little cash it can take, if you spend your prepping dollar wisely and you follow a plan.

Take food for example. My short term solution is what I have in my freezer, and in the cupboards of my house. The moderate level would be all my canned goods and grain I have stored. The long term solution to food would be learning hunting and animal husbandry skills and growing vegetables from open pollinated seed.

For water, I have bottles in my fridge, freezer, and pantry with a few drops of bleach in them to keep them good. That takes care of the short term. For moderate term I need to start catching rainwater and use my Katadyn filter. Longest term is to filter it through coffee filters and boil it. It's not the best solution for now, but it should be quite serviceable. This allows me to focus on the other areas that need prepping. The amount of time, effort, or resources to improve the water situation, would have a lot more effect if applied to another area.

Every segment of prepping can be broken down this way. Medicine, firearms, security - the list goes on. Also by thinking in these phases, you consume your preps along those lines. Your short term supply is generally has the shortest expiration of all your preps, so it is what is rotated out the fastest, and is most likely stuff you use on a (somewhat) daily basis. So that bag of chips on the counter wasn't purchased as part of my preps, but when a snowstorm buries the house, it just got drafted into the preps.

Another way of looking at preps is from most likely to least likely to be used. Medical and security preps seem to "fit" better to this path of thinking. Band-Aids are the most used with disinfectants while child birthing kits are a lower probability of use. Or, I should say, less frequency of use. Unless your Irish Catholic, then you better have plenty (just kiddin')!

To my mind you would more likely need a kevlar vest, than a pile of biohazard suits and dosimeters. But then again I'm not trying to prep for WWIII, I see the biggest threat from social unrest and economic collapse. If Iran ever gets a nuke and ICBMs I would need to re-evaluate.

If you have not started to prep it is not too late. Please go out and try to get others to start to do something, anything to get ready for hard economic times. Even if you have only a weeks worth of food and water saved when the poop his the fan, the you are a week ahead of everyone else. You have a week's worth of buffer between food in you families belly and starvation.


Well that pretty much sums up how I feel after reading all the support from the Short story. It takes me a while to write, a lot of sweat goes into it. I promise to have the next installment as fast as I can.

If you got a kick out of that I got a bigger one for you, I'll be on Big John Lipscom's show tomorrow, both of them in fact. So you should be tuning in anyways, but tomorrow you get the chance to hear a rare creature, a prepper from the PRM! I wonder if "pissah" is a swear, I need to get that clarified before we go live. Hate to have to get that beeped out! Although it's going to be hard not to drop F-Bombs if we get to talking about the Government.

Hope everyone can tune in and laugh at my accent!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Fiction - Part 1 - The Event

This is entirely a work of fiction, although what I have with me, and what I have in my cube is accurate. Names have been changed to protect the sheeple. If you like it I'll continue the story as best I can.

Wednesday, January 14th was pretty much like any other wintry day in New England. Natog trudged through the freezing rain five blocks from Back Bay Station to work. His destination was Newbury street, a chic shopping destination that also had a few buildings with office space above the retail shops.

Natog was still mostly damp from the commute as he filed into the building's 5th floor conference room for the weekly team meeting at 10am. The company recently sprung for a teleconferencing setup, so at least the Boston, Dublin, and New York offices could see each other. LA and San Francisco were supposed to have their gear set up this week, but slacked off. Natog took his usual seat with the others while Charlie started fiddling with the AV equipment and Cheryl dialed into the bridge line.

After everyone was online with the conference call, with SF and LA connected just through the telephone bridge, Fred, the CIO in NY, started running down the list of stuff that had to get done. Ten minutes later, Fred was about to lay into the LA and SF staff for dragging ass on the teleconferencing setup when the power flickered and died. Nothing but empty swiveling seats were left in the conference room, as the five person staff dove across the hall to get into the server room. Frank was the first in line, looking perplexed as he waved his badge in front of the reader on the server room door and nothing happened.

"Guys, I don't hear anything from in there, no fans or chillers!" Frank shouted over the general din of sales weasels and data entry temps bitching about the power outage.

"How are we getting in there, Bob has the key and that SOB is in Miami!" moaned Cheryl. Then as an afterthought, "I got to call my kids!"

Natog and Al spoke in unison, "Bob's desk!" an teared off towards his office.

Dodging temps playing with Nerf guns, and Sales weasels trying to get into temp's pants, Natog and Al jimmied open Bob's office door.

Al looked over with am impish grin, " I'll get the closet, you get the desk"

Bob's office was infamous for it's mess. Bob's a great guy, but forgot to ditch the geeky man-cave aspect when he became a manager. Al and Natog tore through the office, heedlessly knocking over stacks of files, books, and leftover sandwiches. Several minutes later, like a archaeologist in a dead kings tomb, Al jumped up brandishing a key, "Got It!" and hauled ass out the door, Natog hot on his heels.

Al bowled a perplexed Frank out of the way, stabbing the key into the lock and opening the door. Server rooms are supposed to be noisy places, full of spinning hard drives and room chillers to deal with the heat. This one was silent. The windowless room was black as pitch, not even a single LED from anything was lit.

Frank summed it up succinctly, "Aw, FUCK!"

Cheryl came up looking intently into her Blackberry, "It's not working!"

The rest of the IT team broke into the Geek Macarena as they pawed pockets and belt clips for their cellphones and pagers. None of them worked. One glance at the dark office phone PBX system ruled out that way of calling home.

"Ok, what the hell is going on?" Cheryl asked, her face a mask of concern.

Natog looked around, "I dunno, but we best find out. Al, jam the door open and everyone go to each side of the building and look outside and meet back here in five minutes."

The group divvied up the sides, with Natog heading to the south side of the building. He was only on the 5th floor, but it was enough to see over the buildings to the south and into Copley Square, the crappy weather wouldn't let him see much farther anyways. Scanning the buildings, he noted none of them had power, not even the aircraft warning lights. Below, cars were all over the place, having a free-for all without the traffic lights. He could see a few accidents, thankfully only fender-benders, as two cars tried to go through the intersection at the same time. Scattered about were a few cars immobile in the middle of the street, some with the hoods up with people looking under them. Well we at least are not going through the Change Natog mused to himself, having recently finished the novels by S.M. Stirling.

A few minutes later they were all back in the conference room, the dead monitor standing mutely over the proceedings. Pretty much everyone saw the same, no power, massive traffic.

"Looks as though only a quarter of the cars are working." Cheryl was still looking out the window.

Natog looked down to the streets below, "Any pattern, new cars, old cars?"

The rest of the team stared out the conference windows, but failed to see a pattern in the chaos. Frank got up and looked around, "Well, I'm going home. See you guys later."

Murmured goodbyes followed Frank out the door.

Al murmured, "He's lucky he's only twenty blocks from home."

Natog glanced over as his friend, "Depends how long the power is out."

"What do you mean?" Cheryl asked while still futilely trying to get her Blackberry working again.

"Well if you lived in Dorchester with 70,000 neighbors with no power, how fun would that be after a week? I mean, at least you can put your food on a fire escape to freeze and stay good, but how many have camping gear to cook with? How will you refill propane tanks without electricity?" Natog heading off the obvious question.

Cheryl reluctantly put down her crackberry, "How did this happen?"

Charlie looked up from working on a dead UPS, "EMP, or a Sunspot maybe. Could be terrorists. Maybe it's the Change!" Charlie having borrowed Dies the Fire from Natog last week. "Nah, some cars are working..."

Bill, the office manager stuck his head in the conference room, interrupting Charlie. "Hey everyone, security wants the building evacuated because it has no heat."

Groans followed Bill out the door as he went down the hall telling the rest of the office.

Cheryl, and Charlie said their goodbyes, and went to the stairwell to climb down a floor where their cubes were so they could suit up and head home. The dead UPS just left on the table.

Al looked over, "Want a ride?"

Natog thought about it for a minute, "Sure, if the trains are not running. If the trains are running, you'd be better off on one of them. The SE Expressway would be a parking lot in this weather anyway, never mind with stalled cars added to the mix."

Al laughed, "You make it sound like we would be better off walking!"

Natog looked at his buddy, serious as a heart attack. "We might be. I'll meet you in your cube in a few minutes, I need to gather my stuff."

Natog's cube, affectionately known as "the Bat Cave" because of the dark curtains fashioned to keep light to a minimum. His cube was in the back corner by Bob's office. Natog grabbed his messenger bag and proceeded to dump it's entire contents on his desk, and started going through everything. The first item to go back in was his mini-BOB. He quickly added his small spare umbrella from his locker, a few granola bars from his desk, along with some napkins and last weeks The Phoenix newspaper. He carefully folded up a spare T-shirt and put that in the bag as well with the book he was currently (re)reading, The Hobbit. He checked the secret pocket he sewed in, and verified that the $200 in small bills were still there.

Knowing he had the basics covered in the mini-BOB, he rummaged through his desk for anything else. The silver change from the top draw went onto a pocket, the Tylenol and Tums went into the bag. He shook the bag, and the Tylenol made too much noise, so he crumpled up a few napkins and stuffed them in the bottle so the pills wouldn't rattle around. Grabbing an empty 1L soda bottle, his spare long underwear from his locker, and his extra flashlight from his tool bag, he went to pitch black mens room. After hitting the head and putting on his Underarmor Cold Gear, he filled the soda bottle from the water cooler, and went back to his cube.

With the improvised water bottle, his messenger bag was getting heavy. He swept the rest of the office detritus from when he emptied the bag onto his desk back in. Some paper clips, a half a pack of bubblegum, and his assorted collection of thumb drives. He checked his iPod, but tossed it into his desk when it wouldn't power on, along with his portable hard drive. Before he locked his tool bag back up, he took the spare flashlight, some zip-ties, a small adjustable wrench, half a roll of electrical tape, and his electricians scissors and dropped them in his messenger bag.

After adjusting the long underwear a few times, he kicked off his dress shoes and pulled on his wool socks over his dress socks, then laced on his hiking boots. Taking off his dress shirt, he hung it on the back of his chair, and pulled on his sweatshirt. He grabbed his Gerber Multi-tool and slid it's holster on his belt along with the one for his mini-Maglight.

Looking out the window, he figured two layers with the long underwear would be good enough for now, and quickly re-arranged the contents of the messenger bag to fit his fleece pullover. Grabbing his bag along with his jacket, hat, gloves and big umbrella he walked towards Al's cube.

Al started a week after Natog with the company, and they quickly became fast friends. Pretty much exact opposites it was amazing they got along so well. Al was the Felix to Natog's Oscar. Al was a metrosexual who went clubbing chasing the ladies every weekend, while Natog went camping, hunting, shooting, drank beer, worked around his house and helped out his mom.

Al's cube was immaculately clean, from the precise angle his hand lotion was from his monitor to the extra-large bottle of hand sanitizer. The desk calender wasn't filled with scrawled notes, nor was there a pile of post-it's stuck to his monitor.

Al got up and grabbed his coat, umbrella, and bag as Natog approached, "Geeze, what took so freaking long!"

"I had to suit up, wanted to put on my long undies in case we needed to walk anywhere." Natog paused to look over his friend, "You are NOT going out there looking like that."

Al was in thin dress pants with a dress shirt and a jacket more suitable for summer yachting off Martha's Vineyard. Slip-on designer dress shoes, a silk scarf and thin leather gloves completed his ensemble. He didn't even own a hat, just some designer ear warmers that wouldn't muss his hair.

Al looked indignant, "What? at least I look good, you look like your about to go hunt a bear or something."

With a cocked eyebrow Natog replied, "A bear, really?" Then he got serious, "No, you are going to freeze to death in that if we have to walk anywhere, it's at least six blocks to where you park your car."

"I guess I could put on my gym sweats under my slacks. I'll be right back"

Natog tossed his friend a flashlight as he walked towards the mens room.

Once Al was gone, he opened his friends bag, and dumped it's contents of lotions, hair gels etc into a desk drawer and filled the small bag with the hand sanitizer, two 25' cat 5e network cables, and his selection of post-workout bottled drinks and workout bars before Al came back.

As Al walked up he gave Natog a suspicious look, "What you do!"

Failing miserably to look innocent, Natog replied "Huh?"

As Al looked around his cube, "Nothing, you look guilty."

Natog tossed his buddy's gym socks and sneakers at him, put these on, they are better than the dress shoes. "No, over your dress socks!"

Al's new outfit was completed by his gym T-shirt, designer sweatshirt and his windproof yachting jacket.

Al moaned "I look like a fucking hobo!"

"At least you'll be a warmer homo, er hobo" Natog joked. "I wish you had some real winter shoes though..."

Al collected up his belongings they trudged down the five flights of stairs with a few other businesspeople evacuating the building. In the lobby they paused to put on their coats, strap on their bags, and don their headgear and gloves.

Al paused before pushing open the door, "You ready for this?"

Natog looked through the windows into the chaos of Newbury street, "Yep."

With that they stepped out into the wind and rain, heading south towards Back Bay Station.

Phone systems and TEOTWAWKI

Quick post for the moment. I got to thinking that I should get a land line for a backup to my cellphone, but then I realized that odds are that won't work either.

The original POTS (Plain Old Telephone System) was what we call "click and bang" where relays used to make connections. Nowadays all of this is handled by computer systems. These computer systems are just as fragile as any other computer, so if you are counting on a phone for communications in a EMP or solar storm scenario I have one suggestion: Don't.

If your phone system can handle DSL connections it certianly has been upgraded to computers. If you cannot handle DSL at all, then you might still have the click n bang.

I got some contacts with Verizon, I'll have to see what they have for backups and such. If I get any info I'll be more than happy to pass it along.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Blogger ate this title

I got to thinking on the dreary commute in, which is always dangerous, and one of those smack-yourself-in-the-head insights occurred. Bush knew this was coming much earlier than the rest of us. Now the "economic stimulus check" program from Feb '08 was before I fully "woke up" so details from my memory are a bit hazy.

The recession started Dec '07, but the public wasn't told this until Nov '08. I'm willing to bet Bush was told in late January what the numbers were like, and where we were heading. He dropped the bread & circus check on us to try to delay the problem. But when Bob six-pack (Joe's second cousin) gets a check for $600 bucks he buys himself a $2000 big screen, the rest, if not all of it on credit. The $600 check being used for bills, or more likely beer. Such is how we average Americans think.

So the stimulus check did stimulate the economy, but the oil bubble wiped that out. Many, many people around the office here changed plans from Aruba to the cape. Or from Europe to Aruba. Everyone's vacation plans got cut down quite a bit. So all summer we watched the economy tank. At least we got a good laugh (or cry) from the incompetent elected officials try their best to slap another band-aid on an economy already held together with spit and bubblegum.

You must have seen ads by companies selling gold. Other survivalists are screaming for you to invest in gold. I don't have the money to do that so I haven't bothered really looking into it. My father tried to get a scam going where he was a dealer in gold, so I basically look at alot of the articles and such telling us to buy gold as hucksters. I rather invest in canned food and shotguns these days, anyway.

But one of the warning signs of a economic collapse is the price of gold skyrocketing. Here is a quote from a very informative article on how the governments have dicked with the price of gold after WWII. That's another reason I never bothered investing in gold. I want a fair market, not something so easily manipulated.
The global paper currency system is very young. It depends for its continued functioning on the belief that the debt upon which it is based will, someday, be repaid. The one thing, above all others, that could shake that faith, and therefore the foundations of the modern financial system itself, is a rise (especially a sharp rise) in the U.S. Dollar price of Gold.
In the article it goes a long way in explaining how the central banks use paper gold to manipulate the price of gold. Mines "forward sell" the gold to brokers who sell to the public leased gold from central banks. Then there are a bazillion derivatives based on the price of gold going up or down. Forward selling is selling gold still in the ground. Central banks lease the gold, but the possession of it never changes hands. If I buy something I want it in my hands. All the "paper" gold is worthless, just like all the treasuries being bought with a 0.01% rate of return. Mining company forward sells gold to a broker, for $500 an oz., delivered in 2010. Broker sells gold "for immediate delivery" and then leases the gold from the central bank, handing the customer a worthless chunk of paper.

I just checked and the US dollar index is at 83. How can this be? How can the dollar be strong against the myriad of issues devaluing the dollar right now. Nothing is making sense to me, so I'm assuming someone's got their finger on the scale, tipping the balance.

We are printing money faster than a roomful of drunk monkeys can throw shit. The damn Chinese want to make the Yaun the global reserve currency, and since they are one of the only countries to export more than import, they might pull it off. We have half our state governments in line for phase III, or is it phase XVIII of the bailout because they are all going bankrupt. We got Russia dropping 20% of it's US dollar based assets in the last year, with more to come.

Every stinking indication is the dollar should be weaker than it is, but somehow it's at 83 where in the summer it dropped as low as 70. Someone's cooking the books. By the way, if it stays below 70 for long, it's one of Rawles' warning signs of a economic crash. I wonder if this is part of the collective holding of breath as Obammy is about to be sworn in. Once the honeymoon is over I expect to see a huge swing in numbers in a very short amount of time.

I wholeheartedly recommend that as soon as you get your W2 you do your taxes and file electronically. You cannot let uncle sugar screw you over with an IOU like they might do in California. That's it for now, I need a few beers to try to figure all this out. Keep your eyes open, watch this: US Dollar index Maybe set up an alert or something if it drops below 70. Do the same for the price of gold to break $1100. I got to look into how to do that. If I can I'll add it as a widget-thingy to the right!

Monday, January 5, 2009

burned bread

I am happy we are getting a good discussion going on my last post. Discussion is good, we get to swap info and learn from each others experience.

In my efforts of being a good prepper, tonight I attempted to bake bread again. Too bad I'm so smart I can be dumb. I figured that the higher in the oven the better the bread will cook (That's smart). Too bad I had a classic boneheaded maneuver and forgot bread rises as it cooks and it got stuck on the top element. (That's dumb)
I preped up some spices tonight. I got some fresh bulk containers at BJ's over the weekend, and put them in pint jars and sealed them up with my foodsaver. I love that thing. I got me some basil and oregano this trip. Next will be cumin, cilantro and black pepper. Salt doesn't need any preservation, but the rest needs vacuum to keep all the goodness inside. The white things on top of the spices are little circles of paper towels, this is to prevent the spices from being sucked up into the vacuum pump.

Although considered a "comfort" item by many, I feel that a wide variety of spices are an absolute necessity if you are living off your preps. Otherwise, you will get tired of eating the same boring stuff day in and day out. It's one of the reasons I refuse to buy MRE's, - a 5 gallon bucket of spackle tastes better. (Except for the peanut butter, which is quite good, so long as your forget it's supposed to be peanut butter!)

Well time to thump the bottom of my bread again to see if it's done. Good luck out there, and let me know your thoughts on the ammo post. There will be a time, I fear, where such discussions will be yelled from burning wreck to another on why Bob forgot to bring a few extra mags when MS13 is trying to take out your little neighborhood.

So how much ammo?

I started researching today's post on how much ammunition you need for your weapons. I'm trying to figure out what's best for me, and figure out what's best for the prepper. But I quickly got embroiled in what the "combat load" would be for what the situation would be. There are theories all over the map on how much ammo to carry. And how much you carry determines how much you have stored. You see how much you carry is what you expect to almost use in a firefight, plus a bit more for extended engagements before resupplied.

Now for a bit of a tangent. I'm reading Rawles "Patriots! Surviving the coming collapse" and I have to say he is through and through Army. His group trained like one, has procedures like one. I know he did multiple stints, and if I was to bet, his father was career military and/or he went to a military academy. He has you carrying more shit than you need, and has you planning for a fight you cannot win. I have tremendous respect for what he's done, but I am of the mindset that a guerrilla fight is a better option for a prepper than a toe to toe slug match like US vs. CCCP Rawles has us planning for. Part of Rawles' opinions are based on his training for the mobile operations the Army has been using since WWII. Two-thirds the force pins down the enemy, with the other third swinging to flank. If you have a Company of troops it works really well. If it's you and one of your buddies then you need different tactics.

Ok, so as a prepper we are not planning on getting into a toe to toe fight. Hit and run. Overwhelming firepower for a brief time. I feel in order to win a fight as a prepper you need to fight like a Navy SEAL, A Green Beret, or the British SAS. If they come at you with a lot of guys, you HAUL ASS. Use terrain to act as a force multiplier. Bounding overwatch to retreat, etc. etc. More in another post.

Ok so back to the original topic. We are looking at a slow slide now, so as crime increases I would suggest carrying your pistol plus two other mags. You also should have a flashlight and a decent folding knife on you at all times. Also, plan to carry on you a couple of bandannas to use as emergency bandages/tourniquets. That should suffice for your day to day carry. Adding a handcuff key is a good idea. Adding a fighting knife isn't a bad idea either. Depends on what you can conceal about your person. Have a extra mag or two in your car in case you get into a running gunfight.

So you are off to walk around town after the total collapse of society, and you can carry long arms in the open. This is where the term "combat load" comes in to play. Now you are carrying three sets of gear on your walkabout. (I refuse to use the word patrol.) You have your combat gear, your assault pack, and then finally whatever your carrying, whether its your BOB, or the water your hauling back to the house.

So your combat gear is your weapon(s) plus ammunition, map and compass, trauma first aid kit, knife, body armor, canteen, a days worth of food, and a small survival kit. If you have a radio, that's part of this as well. You need to keep this as light as possible. There are a few hard and fast rules I found when reading up on Army researchers and what they found:
The distance marched in six hours decreases by one mile for every 10 pounds a soldier carries over 40 pounds.
The time of an assault course increases by 15 percent for every 10 pounds over 40 pounds.
The distances traveled are reduced by half when moving over average gradients of ten percent.
So your combat gear plus your assault pack needs to be lass than 40 pounds, if you are a male weighing about 200 pounds. So if you weigh 100 pounds soaking wet, then all these numbers get correspondingly smaller.

So in your assault pack is more gear, some extra ammo, a entrenching tool, towel, first aid kit, toiletry kit, poncho, poncho liner, a second canteen, and 2 more days of food. You drop your assault pack when you get in combat. It's just going to weigh you down.

I did some more digging, and the average infantryman is carrying 300 rounds of ammo on patrol in Iraq. That's 9 pounds just in ammo. But again, this is for extended firefights in an urban area. As a prepper I say fuck that! I'm not going to haul all that crap around. So if it's Mad Maxx vs. the mutant ninja zombies out there I would carry 5 or 6 extra mags for your battle rifle, and one for your sidearm. If you have a shotgun or bolt action rifle, I'd carry 100 rounds of rifle, or 50ish shotgun rounds. With the shotty I'd carry both slug and buckshot, you might need to punch through car doors and shoot quite a distance.

So now back from the tangent to the tangent. These numbers are for a economic collapse, so if your planning for nukes and such, go see what Rawles has to say. Looks to me like you want about 1000 rounds of .22 LR to collect for the stewpot and for some practice ammo. For your shotgun, I going to say 100 slugs, 200 rounds of 00 buckshot. For your pistol, I'd say 1000 rounds of JHP - Jacketed Hollow Points. For my rifle, I plan on having enough for 1000 rounds of ammo. If you have no battle rifle, then at least double the rife or shotgun numbers.

If you have been prepping properly, then you will be a better marksman than the bulk of possible opponents you will have to face. Therefore you need less ammo. Carrying less ammo makes you quicker on your feet, and able to get behind cover so you are better protected in a fight. Then your better marksmanship makes lots of dead mutant ninja zombies.

Now because I reload I just need the supplies for reloading, not the completed rounds. Makes it more compact for storage. These numbers are for combat, not for hunting. For hunting add #2 and maybe #6 shot shotgun shells for ducks and pheasant/grouse respectively. I apologize for the post being so screwy, I got interrupted a million times at work, so it was hard to get the train of thought going again.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Saturday Musings

I just cannot get over how quiet it's been. There has been a nearly palatable buildup of expectation in the media. Nothing overt, mind you, but subtly it seems like America is holding it's collective breath waiting for Obammy to come save us.

I find this funny. I find it funny because all those who bought into his ill defined "change" except that on January 21st all will be right in the world. Like some fairy godmother waves her magic wand and POOF! it's all back to normal. No matter what he does it's been built up so much that it's got to be a let down. I cannot wait for my liberal friends to come up with some sort of excuse for why the economy is still in the shitter.

Looks like he's making $775 billion more in economic stimulus. Roads to nowhere and I have heard in at least two reports a "you got a job, here's money" check to middle class families that have a job. I wonder what he considers middle class. I consider myself middle class, and I make 100k a year. Now if I could find a girlfriend who wasn't a golddigger, mentally a basketcase, or didn't want to stay at home and eat bon bons all day, I might be able to break into the upper class for a year or two before we have kids and I go into the poor house.

But I digress. So Obammy is on the high horse we just need to see if he's tilting at windmills or not. I think he is. But you never know. Never underestimate the stupidity of people in large groups. If enough people think the economy is fixed, then well, it's fixed. As individuals, most non-(sub)urban Americans are smart, hardworking, and generally don't put up with any bullshit. In large groups we Americans are lemmings who will gladly run off a cliff for an empty promise.

I for one do not trust Obammy for a second. He will take a Taco Bell inspired dump on America and wipe his hoop with the Constitution. He's a Politician, that's what they do. Never forget this whether or not you voted for the nitwit. I'm still waiting for any word of how he's going to fund his version of the Sturmabteilung. I'd shit myself laughing if they wore brown shirts. Narcissists are notoriously bad at paying attention to the details, they let that one slip and all he's going to break loose.

He's just handed off this $775 Billion dollar plan to congress, they only have a week or two to go over it before they got to start voting on it if they want Frau Pelosi to have it on his desk for Jan 20th. I bet it's in there we just have to root it out and expose it to scrutiny.

I wonder what that SOB has planned for this American Sturmabteilung. I'm going to look into joining it when and if it comes around. Like Winston in "1984" volunteering a night a week for the Ammo factory, it would be good camouflage for me. Who knows, it might get me enough pull to cross roadblocks when the poop does hit the fan. The SA in Nazi Germany was mainly drawn from the poor and the jobless, where the SS was recruited from the middle and upper classes. I wonder how they will handle it in this repeat of history.

Stay Alert!
Trust No One!
Keep Your Laser Handy!

Another f'd up dream

I woke up this morning after having a seriously messed up dream. I was in the arctic on an ice shelf
by the sea. Tons and tons of people were in bathing suits like it was a hot august day. what really makes it fucked up is polar bears were all over the place laughing and dancing with the beach goers. Now one thing that caught my attention was one bear was carrying someone like they were a cardboard cutout. Was a typical California looking dude in swim trunks. With one hand in the air like he was waving.

I heard a voice screaming "Help me! Help me!" over and over but I didn't see who was yelling, and it didn't look like the bears were eating anyone.

I have no clue what it means, but it can't be good.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Economics of Reloading

Western mass. man asked what are the economics of reloading ammunition. So I went down to NSB's (Natog's Sekret Bunker) ballistics lab and sat down with excel and figured it out.

You need four components to make a bullet. You need the brass cartridge, an appropriate primer, powder and a bullet. I just took the prices I paid for the small amounts I purchased, things get much cheaper in bulk. So everyone grab a drink,and let's talk math!

First on the list is brass. If you have to buy it new, it's $40 for 100 of the average quality. Remington or Winchester are good examples. If you go all out for the real premium stuff, it's a $1 a round, $.80 each in quantity. The good brass will be more accurate and is better for target shooting. One fellow who uses it says it will last forever, the rounds he was using were 8 years old, and he shoots once a week!

Now I will get more than 10 reloads per brass, but it's a nice round number to work with. So $40 per 100 brass, that you can use 10 times is 4¢ per reloaded round.

Now I don't have the numbers for FMJ rounds. I never signed the Geneva Conventions so I'll be firing soft point bullets at any bad guys. 165grain hunting hollow points are $30 per 100, so 30¢ a piece. The premium ballistic tips are $23 per 50 rounds, or 46¢ each. I haven't tried them yet, but they look promising. Let's use the regular hunting rounds.

Primers cost me $30 per 2000, or 2¢ each. This is for the CCI Large Rifle primers. The Federal #210's are a little more pricey.

There are 7000 grains per pound, and I'm using 40.2 grains per round. I paid $23 for a pound, and after doing all the math it's 13¢ worth of powder in each round.

So the grand total is 49¢ a round. If I walk into a gun shop and buy hunting bullets, they are $18 for 20 rounds, or 90¢ each.

So for about half the cost I reload my own. There is more to it than that, though. I can develop and test rounds that deliver the best possible performance for my rifle. From what I have seen, handloading doubles the accuracy of the rifle. So my 1 MOA Remington 700 is a 1/2 MOA with handloads.

Remember these are for small quantities. Buying in bulk once you figure out what works best for you and your weapon will increase the savings substantially.

For my .45 ACP pistol here are the numbers:
Brass: $24 per 100 times 10 reloads = 2¢
Bullets: $60 per 500 for lead round nose = 12¢
Primers: $30 per 3000 = 1¢
Powder: $17 per pound, 5.3 grains per round = >1¢
Total: 17¢ per round. Reloads at the gun store are $13 per 50 rounds or 26¢ each. turns out .45 ACP is easy on the brass to relaod, so you can get many more reloads then the 10 I have used in these numbers.
Now there is a big outlay of cash up front for all the supplies. I got lucky twice with a free press and all the dies, loading blocks, etc. from when I bought my rifle. Up at Kittery Trading Post I saw many presses for sale used, from $40 on up. They had used dies as well. Here is a list off all the stuff, and how much it goes for retail.

$50 Press (used)
$80 Rifle dies
$25 Carbide pistol dies
$20 Rifle trim die (better than that crappy thing with teeth)
$20 Pistol trim die
$160 Good electronic scale
$10 Powder trickler
$2 Lee primer pocket cleaner
$7 Case neck brush
$9 Flash hole uniformer - optional
$30 Calipers
$5 Lee case chamfer tool
$15 Two reloading trays
$30 Good reloading book
$8 Shell holder (.45 ACP and .308 use same one)

That's $471 bucks worth of gear, and you can easily spend more. But if you spend your money wisely these items will never wear out, providing you with a lifetime of ammunition.

The one thing that is missing from this equation is time. It can take a while to hand craft twenty rifle rounds. I just kick back with a cold soda and knock it out. It's just part of my preps to me.

Also I would like to point out you do not need to store 1,000 rounds for each rifle, just the components to reload them, with extra brass for ones you loose. For my .308 I'll put up 100 rounds and keep supplies for a few hundred more. Once I get a battle rifle it will be different, for now that's enough for me. I'm ordering some JHP's for my .45 and I'll work up a load for those and then I'll be all set there too.

I hope you all found this as helpful as I did. Once I start buying in bulk I'll re-do the numbers and give you an update. If your going to get started go used! Dies and presses do not wear out, so used is as good as new! Also brass is available used for sale, or for scrounging. Stick with common calibers, so you minimize the expense of dies and components. I was going to reload tonight but since I have a few beers wile doing math, I think I'll watch the latest Sarah Conner Chronicles tonight. Good luck out there and be safe!

Happy New Year!!!

Well the Mighty Mighty Bosstones concert was fun, even with all the damn chuckleheads out there. I usually avoid going out New Years Eve, St. Patricks Day, and now Halloween because it's rookie night. Tons of meatballs out there who don't know how to drink, and do not know how to have a good time without pissing off the big guy trying to have fun (i.e. Natog) and isn't bothering anyone.

I just got back from the range, and I am pleased as punch. I am very happy with the .45 ACP rounds for target practice I loaded the other day. I'll whip up 50 or a 100 tonight. I'm using the minimum load, but that's fine for target practice. Once I get some JHP I'll have to work up to a heavier load, need as much pop behind that bullet as possible, so long as it stays accurate.

I also tested the difference between the Federal #210 and CCI Large Rifle primers for my .308, and the CCI primers gave me more consistency in this cold weather. It was 9 degrees at the range, and the wind was whipping something fierce. Didn't stop me from shooting. You need to be able to put food on the table regardless of the weather if the poop hits the fan. The Federal Primers might be better in the summer heat, I'll re-evaluate then. Might have to have summer and winter loads.

I've got some math to do this afternoon, Western Mass. Man, asked me for the economics of reloading, so I'll do the math and let you guys know. I've been curious myself, but this is just the incentive to make me do it. TTFN