Saturday, June 28, 2008

Week One-Thinking


Today, I am starting a weekly blog on getting started in emergency preparedness. I will not be taking any questions before, during, or after. The main reason for this policy is I will not be there when you are trying to survive, so you will need to figure it out on your own or work with someone who is there...

These words started a three year writing project to inform friends and family on getting prepared for the troubling times ahead.

Someone You Know
3 November 2011

Friday, June 6, 2008

Fridays: A Collection of Previous Posts - 2016, Part Two

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

8 July, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Nothing Here)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Nothing Here
I am working on redesigning the blog. Nothing radical, just time consuming, so ...

Come back on Monday.

15 July, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Food Storage)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Ground Crews Load Supplies
on to a Avro Lancaster Bomber
to air drop supplies during
Operation Manna (ca 1945)
photograph by
Royal Air Force Official Photographer, Penfold

Current Crisis
Venezuela is currently going through a crisis. Some people will point out that it was caused by Socialist policies implemented by the former and current government. Some people, on the other hand, will try to blame these United States for the crisis

Either way, it doesn't matter because people are starving. Yes, men, women, and children.

However, ... you can prevent this from happening to you and your family. 

Store Bought Food
The easiest method of storing 'extra' food is to purchase more of the food you and your family normally eat.

However, ... There are limitations to this method.

First, cans and bottles (wet-packed food) are bulky and has a limited shelf life. (O.K. Three years isn't that short of a shelf life)

Second, metal cans have this problem of rusting, in a humid or wet place. Bagged and bottled food, such as snack crackers, chips, and pasta sauce, aren't in very stout containers. The bags are very easy to puncture, and bottles are easy to break.

Third, frozen food may require your family to have an alternative power system for the freezer to work, during an event.

Lastly, the bagged, bottled, boxed, canned, refrigerated, and frozen food, your family normally eats,  might be too expensive for your family to store, for a year supply or longer.

Bulk Foods
Bulk foods are probably the most popular foods to store for a long-term event. Think hard red winter wheat, long grain white rice, dried beans, and many others.

But, .. There are limitations to these foods.

First, these foods may be unfamiliar to you and your family. You might have difficulty processing and cooking bulk foods. Much less eating them.

Second, your family will require special tools to process (convert) these foods to a form that can be eaten. Think grain grinders, rice cookers, pasta cutter, and rolling pin, and many others.

Third, some of these bulk foods come in metal cans or plastic buckets. Just like canned food, rust is a concern. Plastic buckets are susceptible to rodents.

Lastly, cases of bulk food sitting on your door step are noticeable by your neighbors.

Dehydrated Food and Freeze-Dried Food
These foods have had the water removed from them. Dehydrated food has 75% of the water removed, while freeze-dried has 98% of the water removed. By now, you know ...

The first problem with these foods; they both require water to rehydrate.

Second, dehydrated food only has a shelf-life of 1 to 8 years, some, shorter than canned food.

Third, these foods are expensive.

Lastly, most importantly, your family may not like the freeze-dried meal.

Oh, I forgot one. Some folks are promoting this type of food and pocketing a substantial advertising fee.

Update: 15 Jul 16
Some folks are thinking about gardening and farming. These have there drawbacks, too.

First, most people supplement their regular food purchases with food from their garden, not the other way around. In other words, your garden probably doesn't provide enough calories (really kilocalories) for your family to survive off your garden.

Second, farming is labor intensive without the proper equipment. Add the need for seed, fuel, and good weather, it's a crapshoot.

Third, livestock including small animals, such as chickens, rabbits, and goats require proper shelter, water, and food to survive, just like your family. Oh, you'll need to provide security for these animals, during a food emergency.

Lastly, having enough food is about calories and proper nutrition.

My Suggestions
I have several for you, tomorrow.

CATO Institute: Library - Hunger in Venezuela

International Journal of Socialist Renewal - Hunger in Venezuela? A look beyond the spin

I enjoyed reading this article. I had visions of rich Americans visiting Moscow during the Stalin years then returning, to these United States, with glowing reports while the ordinary soviet citizens starved in the countryside, cities, and ... everywhere else.

BlackListed News - Infographic: Repression in Venezuela

16 July, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Food Storage)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

As I promised, yesterday, here are several suggestions for you and your family.

But, ... Before I begin.

Please understand, my brother Spartan joined a multilevel marketing company called Thrive Life, so I will be linking to items from his 'company.' If you purchase food from him, he will receive a part of the profits, from your order.

Here's his store "Clifford Kummer"

The easiest and cheapest year supply of food storage is 390 pounds of wheat. (Link)

To use this method, you and your family purchase 390 pounds of wheat, in metal #10 cans, for everyone in your family then store it in a cool, dark place, away from moisture.

If you don't have a basement, your family may be able to store the canned wheat, by stacking it under your family's beds, replacing the bed frame.

This method is excellent for families on a strict budget, but there are problems with this method.

First, you and your partner need to make sure no one in the family is allergic to wheat or gluten. Most people aren't, but better safe then sorry.

Second, wheat is boring. You will need to learn how to use, just, wheat for your disaster diet. Plus, you will need to eat these items in your diet.

So, ... You will need to learn to cook and eat such foods as Bulgur, bake 100% whole wheat bread, make hardtack, and Kutya

Third, sooner or later, you're going to need to buy a grain grinder. You can go inexpensive, Corona Mill, midrange, Little -Ark, WonderMill Jr., and ... the most expensive Country Living Grain Mill.

O.K. It's not the most expensive. There is the Diamant D.525 for ..., ouch ; - )

Lastly, wheat, wheat, and more wheat for 365 days is going to get boring.

Beans and Rice
Another problem with just eating only wheat is protein.

It seems plants don't have all of the amino acids your body needs, so you have to mix plant based foods to have a healthy diet. In other words, beans and rice.

Just like wheat, long grain white rice can be bought in #10 cans (link). The same for beans (link, link, link). To use this method, your family will need to purchase 390 pounds of rice and 210 pounds of dried beans.

Like the 'only wheat' method, your family will need to find a cool, dark place for storing all this food.

Trust me on this, a family of five will require storage space for 3000 pounds of food or 100 cases of food, for a year supply of food.

This method has some downside. It's more expensive then 'only wheat.' You will require a larger storage area because 'only wheat' for a family of five is 65 cases while the beans and rice method is 100 cases.

But, ... Most of the world subsists on beans and rice, and you won't need a grain grinder for this method.

There is a reason, your family (if you choose the 'beans and rice' method) will store only long grain white rice; it is edible for 25 years or longer while wild rice, brown rice, jasmine rice, and ... all the others only last a few months before going bad rancid, unless they are refrigerated.

My family started prepping many years ago. We were on a strict budget, so we bought only wheat when we had the extra money. As my partner and I were promoted, received bonuses, or moved to a higher paying job, we started buying 'beans and rice' to expand our food supply and increase the variety of food.

We also started using a technique called program purchasing (link)

Program Purchasing
This is a fancy term for buying the same amount of food or the same dollar amount of food, on a reoccurring basis, every month. This allows your family to budget, every month, for long-term food storage.

Dehydrated Veggies
As you can see, the inexpensive methods of purchasing long-term food for your family can be ... dull, monotonous, boring, and repetitive.

But, ... There is a solution. You can buy dehydrated vegetables; such as carrots, green peas, onions, and a few more; to add to your family's beans and rice. These dehydrate vegetables can also be used alone, as a side dish like regular vegetables.

But, ... There is a problem with dehydrated items, they have a limited shelf-life.

But, ... There is a solution. You family can ...

Probably the most important concept, that I want you to take away from this article, is to rotate your food storage and other supplies. Yes, whole grain hard red winter wheat will store for 30 years, but your family must eat this food to get use to it and allow your family to always have the freshest food possible.

Dehydrated foods, kind'a, force you to use these products in your normal diet.

So, ... If you family likes green peas, store green peas. If you family doesn't like broccoli, don't store broccoli.

Freeze-Dried Fruit
Another method of storing food for your family is freeze-dried food. Freeze-dried food gives your family the ability to store fruit, for your family's food storage. This will allow a pleasant snack or treat for your family for dessert and removing some monotony from your emergency diet.

Depending on your financial resources and your family's tastes, you and your partner can purchase pears, peaches, strawberries, and many other freeze-dried fruits for your family.

Saving Money
Ignoring the fact that my brother Spartan will be having sales, at his 'store,' you can also save money on your food storage. Let me explain.

Instead of buying fresh vegetables for dinner, you dip into your food storage to make, say, green beans with onions. Doing this will allow you to move money from the regular grocery budget and move it to your food storage budget. Using this method will also allow your family to become familiar with  using and eating your long-term food storage. By using your food storage, you are also able to ...

Ooops, I already mentioned the importance of rotating your family's food storage.

As I mentioned earlier, freeze-dried food will last up to 25 years, making it a great compliment to your family's wheat, rice and beans, or other food storage method.

Another benefit of, possibly, buying freeze-dried food is the ability to purchase, express meals.

For folks on a budget, you, your partner, and your family can make their own meals using a glass mason jar and freeze-dried ingredients. (link, link, link, and link)

However, ... Like any other product in a bag, the shelf-life will be reduced by 2/3 to 3/4, ouch. Repacking freeze-dried food into a glass mason jar won't help either.

My Family's Food Storage
Before I begin, if you are planing to purchase food storage or you're adding to it, I request that you give my brother and his wife's store (Nancy and Cliff) a look. Thanks in advance.

With that said, ...

At first, I built shelves in our basement. Using these shelves, I bought bagged, bottled, box, and canned food my family normally eats, three months worth. Katniss and I also added a chest freezer to the garage; where we store frozen food, such as pork steaks, hot dogs, and many other items, including a 50 pound sack of flour for ... cookies

Next (really during) I added 390 pounds of hard red winter wheat for everyone in the family. This gave us over 3000 pounds of food. The #10 cans, in cardboard cases, were stacked on pallets that I built.

At that time, I also added a year supply of multivitamins to our food storage, adult and children. Adding the vitamins insured proper nutrients until we could add variety to the long-term food storage.

The next step was to purchase beans and rice.

Now, some of you (who are still reading) will question this strategy.

Let me explain, with one question. What do extended family and close family friends eat during a food crisis? Plus, storing a year supply of wheat and a year supply of beans and rice gives my family two years of food, if no one unexpected shows up ; - )

But, ... That's all history. Let me tell you about ...


When I first began our food storage program, my partner was apprehensive; however, as the years progressed and these United States problems starting haunting our neighborhood, Katniss became a willing prepper.

Since these problems aren't going away, just getting bigger, we are purchasing freeze-dried vegetables to add to the whole food (wheat and beans and rice) to insure a variety of meals like dirty rice, black beans and rice, and others.

We are also rotating the daily multivitamins, by buying a large package, putting them on a shelf then taking an older package off the shelf and using them.

Rotating your family's food storage is very important.

By the way, ...

Katniss and the children are vegetarians, so we don't store meat. O.K. The children looove hot dogs, so we store a limited supply in the freezer.

Me, ... I compromise and eat what they eat. It's easier on the daily family dinner preparations.

Now, what is really cool about my brother's store; they sell TVP (textured vegetable protein) in bacon flavor, beef flavor, taco flavor, and others. Plus, the company also has milk and cheese. An easy way of getting protein for vegetarians.

I Apologize
I have to go. The library has just made their last call for books and computer time.

So, ... I won't have time to tell you about the importance of storing seasonings, yeast (making sour dough starter), or the other grains that your family can use to supplement your food storage.

Grain Mill Comparison - Home

Gizmodo: Sploid - Here's how gross apocalypse emergency food rations are

Some folks have probably seen this video.

To me, it's kind'a hit piece against freeze-dried meals and the guy selling them.

With that said, ... The video shows the importance of using your family's food storage because it would suck to find out, your family hates broccoli ; - )

It also shows the importance of comparison shopping.

22 July, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Free Food)

Dear Preppers and Survivalsits,

photograph by

Last week, I told y'all about my brother Spartan's new 'company' with Thrive Life. He is selling dehydrated, freeze-dried, and bulk food that your family may be interested in purchasing.

Well, ... Before I even considered suggesting this, we had a conversation about cost.

At first, Spartan didn't get it. He didn't understand that I worry about suggesting stuff that would cost a lot of money, especially to you and your family.

Let me explain.

First, I don't make a lot of money, so I have to watch my cost. Just like you and your family.

So, ... Buying 6 pounds of beef dices for $395 is out of the question, Period!, especially since I can purchase 400 pounds of wheat ( a year supply) for the same amount of money.

Second, the prices have to be better then other sources.

Lastly, my family and I have to like the product and service to repeatedly buy from the company.

With that said, let me tell you about ...

According to Spartan, there are several ways to order.

The first is right off the internet site. You pay the price listed and receive your food, at full retail.

The second way is to order in bulk, two cases of six cans. To use this method, you have to become a consultant.

According to Spartan, you can purchase 12 cans of product for half-price.

Third, you can purchase food during one of Spartan's internet party. Supposedly, the food will be cheaper than from the website.

Lastly, you and your family can host a party, in your home.

Yeah, yeah, yeah. You're asking 'Where's the free food.?'

Free Food
First, paying full price. Sorry, there is no free food.

Second, becoming a consultant and ordering in bulk gives you twice the food for the same price.

So, ... Half of your food is free.

Third, depending on Spartan's internet party prices, you get some of your food for free. Needless to say, it depends on what you buy and how much you buy.

Fourth, like any other multi-level marketing business (Mary Kay, Avon, Pampered Chef, Amway, Tupperware, and many otehrs) hosting a party gets the host or hostess free things. Since Thrive Life is a food company, you get ... food.

Lastly, as a consultant, you can get people to sign-up under you then you get money from these people selling food. Then, you spend that money on ... food.

A Request
If you decide to become a consultant, please, give my brother a chance and sign-up under him.

Just to Make Sure
I'm from Missouri (The Show Me State), so I want to see the proof that Thrive Life has the cheapest prices. Not really; it just sounds good ; - )

So, ... Spartan is going to e-mail me a spreadsheet comparing prices from different vendors.

We will see.

Next, Spartan is going to provide me a consultant price list, so I can see the difference between the retail price and the wholesale price.

We will see, again.

You know me. If it sucks, I'm going to tell you about it.

In Conclusion
So far, the Thrive Life website search bar ... sucks.

I typed in 'wheat' and received one item. It was 'Honey Whole Wheat Dough Mix'

Then, ...

I typed in 'Hard Red Wheat' and received two items. The two items? One was 'Red Seedless Grapes, and the other was 'Honey Whole Wheat Dough Mix'

Just to make sure, I checked. Thrive Life has Hard Red Wheat in the cereals and grains section.

29 July, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Five Fallacies of Prepping)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

reads a hand-written note from
Culinary Specialist 2nd Class Travis Rhinehart (ca 2010)
photograph by
Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class
Heather Seelbach

What's Up!
You wouldn't believe it. I actually handed someone (that I would never meet again) a note with the blog's address on it!

What a violation of OPSEC!

Plus, I was embarrassed. The blog looked like sh*t : - (

So, ... I have been working on rearranging and organizing, the mess.

The Future
Needless to say, I have also been working on a few long-term articles about prepping.

What else, eh?

Five Fallacies of Prepping

arrive in Haifa (ca 1945)
To the Promised Land 
by Uri Dan

#1 - Your Family Must Prepare

Other folks will tell you that you and your family are going to die; you're a bunch of sheepeople for believing the government will help, after an event; and other (not so thoughtful) comments.

Don't believe them because there have been many disasters where people have survived the event. Take hurricane Katrina, almost everyone survived.

The war in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Ukraine, and many others? Where do you think Iraqi, Afghan, Syrian, Ukrainian, and other refugees come from?

Lastly, the most devastating and wide scale event, The Holocaust? People still survived.

from Ching Pung Men (ca 1950)

#2  - Food and Water are the Most Important Prep

Food and water are important for you family's survival but not the most important. The most important prep is to have a plan and an emergency evacuation kit.

Yes, a plan that covers such things as ...

* Who picks up the children from school and how to correctly do that

* How to shut off water, electricity, and gas to the house

* What to do, in case of ..., until a responsible person gets home

* What happens if someone gets sick

and, ... Much, much more.

Lastly, the easiest way of dealing with an event is to evacuate, so have a prepacked emergency evacuation kit, ready to go.

The Novels of Captain Marryat

 #3  - A Gun will Protect You During an Event

A firearm, by itself, will not protect your family during an event. It is only one, of many tools, to be used for your family's protection.

You also need lookouts to warn you of potential dangers. You need training to effective use your firearm. You also need ammunition and many other things.

Lastly, you need the 'Will' to properly use your firearm, to protect yourself and your family, during an event.

(Cloth Hall or Drapers' Hall)
in Kraków, Poland, (ca 2012)
Photograph by
Jorge Láscar

#4  - Your Family will be Able to Barter for Needed Items

Most preppers, incorrectly think, they need to store items for barter, such as cigarettes, silk stockings, and candy bars ; - )

As we have seen, in various recent events, barter doesn't work because everyone is looking for the same things, food and security. Only once a reliable food supply and security has been established, will people be willing to trade for other items.

The same is true for storing silver and gold.

races toward the finish line with
British Armed Forces Lance Cpl. Francis Okumu, (ca 2012)
photograph by
SGT Chris Hargreaves, B.A.F.

# 5 - You will Arise to the Challenge

Lastly, many preppers believe they will be able to build a fire (without burning down their shelter) to provide warmth for the family, reload a handgun (under stress), treat a large cut (in their partner's abdomen), and many other tasks because they read about it in Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead or other 'survival' manual.

That couldn't be further from the truth.

You and your family must practise the skills you will use during an event, such as navigation, purifying water, taking a poop, and many others skills.

Lastly, A Warning
In this article, I tell you that you and your family don't need to prepare. That is true.

But, ... Do you really want to look into your children's eyes, as they cry from hunger, and tell them; there is no food to feed them during an economic event.

How about, looking into your partner's eyes as you both slowly die from dehydration because you didn't store two-weeks of water for a major regional earthquake.

Or, ... Live under a tyrannical dictator because you didn't support your nation's ideals, by purchasing a firearm, learning the safety rules and how to shoot, and voting during elections.

The Survival Mom - The Living Off the Land Fallacy

Freedom and Liberty Forum - The fallacy of suburban preppers and bug-out plans.

Gray Wolf Survival - The ‘Two is one and one is none’ fallacy

The Prepper Journal - Teamwork In Prepping

12 August, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Organization and Information)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Last week, I started a series of articles about organization, using file folders. This week ...

Like before, I am using stuff that I have received from family, friends, or work.


It's inexpensive. Of course, if you want to spend money, it's your choice.

Common Binders

First, you're going to have some choices on the binder color. If you're doing an emergency plan, for guests or the baby sitter, you might pick red. If you're doing one for you and your partner, you might use a binder with a white cover and a clear 'pocket' to add a decorative or informative insert.

Second, you need to determine how wide of a binder; you're going to need.

For a caregiver or guest, a one inch wide binder will probably do. For family, two inches. For the end of the world source of information, several four inch wide binders might not be enough ; - )

There are several ways of dividing the contents of a binder. You can make your own using improvised materials or buy pre-made dividers.

There are two types, that I know, of pre-made dividers.

Pre-Marked Binder Divider

Blank Binder Divider

Homemade or improvised dividers can be any material. In the past, I have used 'plastic' file folders, cardboard file dividers, and ... anything that works.

File Folder and File Dividers

Plus, you can have a choice of colors ; - )

My Choice
I like making my own dividers because I can design a larger tab, so I have more room to write.

I failed to mention; you can also purchase smaller binders, for a compact version.

Now, what to use this binder for.

My first thought, an emergency information binder for care givers, like baby sitters.

You and your partner would make a table of contents, emergency numbers (Call 911 in big red type then your contact information, doctor's information, and other numbers), how to shut off gas, electricity, water, and other utilities, and other information

Second thought, an "If I Die" book. It lists all the stuff you do, location of food, guns, ammo, medical supplies, how to use the stuff, and other information.

Third, a personal survival manual with unique information about your plans, such as emergency evacuation routes, what to take, and ... other information.

Fourth, ... The possibility are endless, like a specific subject binder (how to fish farm, make cheese, patrolling/combat operations, recipe book, and ...) in subjects that interest you, your partner, or family.

A Start
Here is a picture of one binder that I have started

Tentative Table of Contents

I'll See 'If'
Picture of ...

* Smaller Binder

* Improvised Binder Divider

19 August, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Chris Nystrom

Warning: Graphic Content Ahead

Yeah, You might not want to read this!

Several Days Ago
Katniss and I are moving, so we were at the old home mowing the grass, tearing up carpeting, and loading supplies onto the family's truck.

When, a mother and her young child rode by on a lawnmower.

Several Minutes Later
The mower went out of sight and there was a thud and a woman started screaming. Needless to say, you know what happened, or you think you do.

So, ... I started to run and dial 911 as the woman continued to scream.

For some reason, 911 didn't pick up. You know how many times; I have pocket dialed 911.

Well, I look down, and I had only dialed 91, missing the other 1.

Clear the phone, and dialed again as I rounded the corner.

Seeing a small crowd, gathered around a mother holding the leg of her young child, trying to stop the bleeding. As another person attempted to apply a tourniquet. As another person was dialing 911. As the young child's father came running.

911 picked up and transferred me to the medical 911. Told them what was going on. I didn't know the neighbor's address, so gave them mine. They told me they were on the way.

A blur of activity as people tried to calm the child, reassure the father, help the mother, and ...

Wait for the emergency services when they called back.

They asked again for the address, what was going on (how's the child, what's the extent of injuries, and other questions), and gave advice.

* No Tourniquet, Only Pressure (don't worry about blood leaking through the compress)
* Pick Up any Severed Parts and put them in a clean plastic bag. No Ice, No Water on the parts.
* No giving the child anything by mouth

As more people came to the aid of the family.

The child's mother was awesome. As she held on to her child's leg, applying pressure, she had the presence of mind to have one of the other people to call a babysitter for her baby.

What's Taking Sooo Long
As the father tried to calm the young child, one person applying pressure to the wound, the mother applying pressure to the leg, another person helping the mother, another person and I want looking for severed parts.

Yeah, ... a young child's little toes in a plastic ziplock bag.

It must have taken 5 minutes for the various emergency services to arrive as another neighbor ran to meet them and direct them to the accident site.

Needless to say, the mother and father carried the young child to the ambulance, as they pulled into the driveway.

What Happened Next?
The professionals had arrived, so I Got the Fuck Out of the Way.

I went home, finished loading the truck, and left for dinner, pizza.

After Action Review
First, some lessons are easy and some lessons are hard, so ...

Don't let any children ride on lawnmowers, tractors, or other equipment because they might fall off, getting hurt.

Second, You will not arise to the occasion, but fall to the depths of your training. So, ...

My family and I need to attend current emergency medical training, I didn't know about No Ice and No Water on severed parts.

Third, Time Flies and Drags On, at the same time. So, ...

In other words, during an emergency, you're really on your own. It might be 5 minutes, but it's a long 5 minutes.

Lastly, an incident like this will haunt a family for years, maybe forever, so a family will need to seek professional counseling, so the incident doesn't destroy the family.

A Request
The family asks for your prayers, for their family during these tough times.

An Update
According to Katniss, after talking with the mom. The young child survived, losing enough blood to require two transfusions. The first surgery took place, yesterday and another one will happen today or Saturday. Of course, the child will be fitted with a prosthesis, in the near future.

So, ... Keep those prayers coming.

26 August, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Bedroom Closets)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Bruce Fingerhood

Old News
So, ... my wife inherited the farmstead when Mom-in-Law passed, last year. We have been rehabilitating the house, into our home.

Right Side of 'Old' Closet

Left Side and Center of 'Old' Closet

Of course, the farm house needed some work for us to move in. Nice closets wasn't one of them.

So, ... They waited and waited some more, as we did other work, like getting our former home ready to sale. (Almost there)

In the Mean Time
We hired a guy to frame out the walls and hang drywall, as a side job, for the closets. Since we live way out in the country, he worked once or twice, and moved on without getting finished.

I was upset, to say the least.

Husband to the Rescue
The farm house wall studs are kind'a rough and ...

Bye, Bye, Old Closets

It's been a challenge, but between the two of us, we got the walls framed out and drywall up.

The Plan
In our former home, we have 'split' closets. One side her's; one side his'. Since we have older children (with spouses or partners) and married family and friends, we thought it would be nice to do the same thing in each bedroom, except the 'master' bedroom (no closets!!!)

'Split' Closets

Of course, most of my friends and family are preppers, so I thought it would be good to add something 'special' to the project.

A quick internet search for "In-Wall Gun Cabinet" got me one from Stack-On.

It's a rugger, metal cabinet with a lock, nice, simple, and inexpensive, compared to a fireproof firearm safe. In other words, it won't stop a truly determined person, but it will stop a curious child, teen, or adult.

How To
Normally, most people would add this gun cabinet, after their home was finished being built. Not for this project.

So, ...

We first framed out the wall between the closets.

Framing for the Gun Cabinet
seen from the bedroom door

At first, I wanted the gun cabinet centered in the wall, but my handyman didn't do that. He framed it close to the front of the closet. Which worked out.


It makes it harder to pry the door open, from the lock side ; - )

Mission Creep
Like all good projects, I added to the project. We placed 2X4's six feet up inside the wall to add strength for any clothes' rods.

Hey, that body armour is heavy ; - )

There are a few ways to thwart villains. Two are strength and concealment (or a combination of the two)

Since I bought the thin metal gun cabinet with a key lock, I decided to 'hide' it from easy view, on the side, away from the door.

I also wanted to easily grab a ready rifle, so the door swings towards the back of the closet. This makes it easy to brush clothes away with the door and reach in, all with the same hand. Plus, ...

Did I say, it only takes one hand to unlock, open, and grab a rifle?

How To, Continued
Next, I poked a hole in each corner, walked to the other side, and started cutting with a box cutter. After drawing lines, connecting the holes.

I also cut the drywall from the other side, using the wall studs, as my guide.

For folks, with a larger budget, you could use a drywall saw, to cut the hole.

Opening in Drywall
P.S. Notice the Bedroom Doorway, on the right

Opening for the Gun Cabinet
seen from the bedroom door

Lastly, I (almost) finished hanging dry wall in the rest of the closet.

Drywall Covering Framing for the Gun Cabinet
seen from the bedroom door

Then, I temporarily placed the gun cabinet in the wall, to get it out of the middle of the room.

Temporarily Mounted Gun Cabinet
with door, partially open

The Future
Once the walls are taped, plastered, sanded, plastered again, sanded again, and painted, I will permanently mount the gun cabinet in the wall.

And, ... Show you the finished project ; - )

More Thoughts
Like most things, there are less expensive and more expensive options. Since I wanted a concealable gun cabinet for two rifles, I didn't get the less expensive one for handguns.

There are also more expensive ones, but I couldn't see spending two, three and possibly four times the amount I paid for an in-the-wall gun cabinet with the same vulnerabilities, ...

Dismantling the wall and carrying away the gun cabinet, to open at the villains' leisure.

I also didn't want a gun cabinet with two locks. I wanted to be able to quickly open and grab a loaded ready rifle. Two locks would have added time and stress to that task.

The same goes for a combination lock. Plus, I don't think; I could have bought one, in my price range.

I also didn't want a piece of 'art' on the wall. Plus, the farm house has small bedrooms. There wasn't room once we added a queen size bed, a chair, and ...

That's it for now 'cause I have to go to bed.

Stack-On - Secure Storage

Stack-On: Secure Storage - Security Cabinets

Stack-On - Instruction Sheets for IWC-55

Ready Gun Box in Wall Concealment - Home

Covert Cabinets - Home

Tactical Walls - Home

1 September, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Asahel Curtis

My family and I received the vinyl siding we ordered four weeks ago.

Of course, with all the rain, we weren't able to strip off the old siding, to start applying the new siding.

I Apologize
With traveling for work, writing another book, seeing the family, and all the other stuff (mainly goofing off), I don't have anything for you, today ; - (

9 September, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (HK - Tactical Sleep System)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Bernard DuPont

My brothers are high-speed guys. All of them are paratroops. Jumper, my brother, is even a Jumpmaster, hooah!

Well, being related to them, every once in a while, they will send me some cool stuff, like the military's newest tactical sleep system.

Needless to say, sleep is very important to the military. They understand the need to get 6 to 8 hours of sleep, everyday, to maintain maximum effort by the soldiers.

So, ... Over the years, these United States military has updated and modified their sleep systems.

Just before WW II, these United States military still issued soldiers blankets to keep warm during sleeping. Through experience and testing, the military started issuing sleeping bags to mountain troops, such as the 10th Mountain division and arctic troops during WWII.

These sleeping bags were cotton bags filled with down.

Fast forwarding a few decades, the military still issued these types of sleeping bags. Needless to say, they were better than blankets, but not as good as today's polyester and gortex sleeping bags that you and your family can purchase for about $100.

Currently, these United States military has gone through two camoflauge changes, in their sleeping bags. First, it was woodland camoflauge pattern.

This system has four bags, a black sleeping bag, a green sleeping bag, a gortex bivy bag, and a black stuff sack. The black sleeping bag is ...

Tactical - Military Sleep System Review

The best place to buy these bags is on e-bay, just search for"U.S. Military Sleep System," Woodland Military Sleep System," or "ACU Military Sleep System"

They are running about $75 for a used sleeping system to $200 for a new one.

The next two places are or Major Surplus and Survival. They have used, very good sleep systems for $100.

The last place, I suggest to look, is the local military surplus store, but plan to spend some money.

The ACU camoflauge sleep system is very similar to the 'old' system. It has an inner sleeping bag, and outer sleeping bag, a gortex bivy bag, and a stuff sack. The difference is the color and an additional stuff sack.

Of course, these United States' Army has changed its camoflauge pattern from ACU to multicam which might cause prices to drop, drastically, for items in ACU pattern camoflauge.

HK - Tactical Sleep System
Needless to say, the military sleep system has problems. It really doesn't keep a soldier warm at -50 degrees Fahrenheit, so the soldier has to also wear special polypro booties, long johns, gloves and a hat to stay warm in very cold temperatures.

But, ... You already know that.

To address that problem the military, according to one brother, has come up with the ...

Hello Kitty  - Tactical Sleep System

It is a thick polyester fleece with a proprietary camoflauge pattern. Wearing the button-up shirt, drawstring pants, and matching socks will provide a Soldier, Marine, Airman, Sailor, or Guardian enough warmth to withstand an indoor temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit while sleeping or lounging anywhere in the world.

Needless to say, you and your family can't find 'offical' HK - TSS in any store because it is restricted to military personal ; - )

16 September, 2016

Friday's thoughts and Other Stuff (Shelves)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Christopher Wray

We (you and your family) know that you're going to need emergency evacuation kits, appropriate shelter, a fire starter, water, food, medical supplies, firearms, an emergency fund (possibly copper, silver, and gold), a AM/FM/weather alert radio, reliable transportation like bicycles, a solar power generator, and many other things.

You also know that your family is going to need to know how to build a primitive shelter, start a fire, find and treat water in your home and the wilderness, bake bread, cook rice and beans, pinch a dime, rapid reload a handgun, get home safely after dark, make connections, broker a deal, and many other skills.

But, ...

What about the skills you don't know about or the unknowns that might face your family?

Katniss needed a set of shelves for her office, so we started shopping around.

Needless to say, Katniss had requirements. The shelves needed to be at least 6 inches apart but no more than 9 inches apart. The shelves couldn't be more than 9 inches deep while 6 inches deep would be ideal. The shelves couldn't be more than 5 feet high and no more than 4 feet wide.

Both Katniss and I looked and looked and looked. We couldn't find anything to remotely meet those requirement. Oooh, by the way, the shelves had to look good and be inexpensive.


one box * Nails, 6d

one * Wood Glue, small squeeze bottle

one * 1 x 8 board, pine

five * 1 x 6 boards, pine

one sheet * Plywood, Luan

Tools, Supplies, and Safety Equipment


Circular Saw

Extension Cord, 25 feet long

two * Saw Horses


Tape Measure


Pencil, very thin lead

Safety Equipment


Safety Glasses


Just like firearms, you never put your finger on the trigger until you're ready to shoot (saw)

Next, you never make adjustments to the circular saw until it is unplugged

Three, when you get tired, you take a break.

Next, always engage your brain because 'If' it looks/sounds/feels/seems stupid, it probably is stupid.

Last, keep both hands on the saw, when making precise cuts

The Plan
Since Katniss needed a set of shelves for her office, with certain requirements, I sat down and made a plan for a shelf unit 5 feet tall, three feet wide, about 6 inches deep (more about that later) with the shelves no more than 9 inches apart.

Part of the Plan, Spacing for Shelves

It's Later
1X6s aren't really 1 inch thick by 6 inches wide. They are really 3/4 inch thick by 5 and a half inch wide. Plus, they are 5 1/2 wide (yeah, I repeated myself) almost the ideal width of 6 inches.

So, we decided to use 1X6s for the project.

Remember, the set of shelves had to be ... inexpensive

In the Beginning
It was nice out. Plus, I don't have a shop, so I set up the saw horses under a big shade tree in the side yard. I placed the saw horses about three feet apart, place two of the 1X6s on them, and started marking them for my cuts.

You have probably heard "Measure twice. Cut Once" that's what I did.

First, I measured and marked each cut on my side boards. Next, I checked each measurement because I didn't want to go buy a replacement.

Second, I made sure the circular saw was unplugged and set the saw blade.

Now, I'm not an expert, so I did this by look, not measurement. In other words, I guesstimated the depth of the saw blade.

As you can see, in the above picture, I set the circular saw on the board and adjusted the blade to about half the depth of the board.

Then, I plugged the saw into the extension cord and started cutting.

Being very careful, I cut the lines. Since I was notching the side boards, I cut the inside of the line for each notch. Lucky for me, with careful planning thrown in, each notch was almost perfect.

Lastly, being very, very careful. I used the circular saw to remove the wood between each line to make the notch.

A Blurry Picture
a Finished Notch (right)
and a Notch in Progress (left)

Making the Notch
All I had was a circular saw, no table saw, no router, no wood chisel, nothing but a circular saw.

So, ...

I very carefully, not to mess up my work and have to purchase a replacement board, cut more lines, trying to get as close as possible, making a smooth notch.

I also very carefully, wiggled the saw side to side to smooth out the notch.

Doing this creates lots of dust and flying debris, so make sure you're wearing safety glasses!

Cutting Shelves
Next, I unplugged the circular saw and reset the blade to cut through the 1X6s.

Be advised, I didn't get all freaky about calculating how long the shelves would have to be to have a perfect 3 feet wide set of shelves. I just cut them all to the same length, 3 feet.

To do this, I measured and marked each board, 3 feet from both ends. Since I was using 8 feet long boards, I had a waste piece 2 feet long. Oh well, I'll use it for kindling ; - )

Just like the side boards, "Measure twice. Cut once"

This gave me 6 boards, 3 feet long for the shelves. Add the two side boards with notches and I'm ready for some assembly.

Six Shelves with Two Side Boards

Gluing and Nailing
The next step, I placed one of the side boards on a flat surface, the concrete sidewalk, and squirted glue in the top and bottom notch of the side board. I then took two of the shelves and placed them in the notch, turned everything over and hammered two nails into and through the side boards, into the shelves.

Next, I placed that assembly back on the sidewalk, glued the edges of the two shelves, and placed the other side board onto the shelves. Nailing them to the sideboard.

Once that was done, I spread glue in the bottom notches and on to the top edge of the shelves. I then carefully inserted the shelves between the side boards.

I had to carefully spread the side boards apart to easily slip the shelves into place. Once that was done, I hammered two nails through the side board into the shelf.

I flipped the whole assembly over and nailed the the other side into place.

While I was doing this, I lined up the boards flush to the 'front' of the shelf, to get the best looking 'front' possible.

The Top
Because I didn't know the exact measurements of the finished set of shelves, I waited to do the top.

To get the exact measurements, I stood the set of shelves up, measured the depth and width, and added 1 inch.

Next, I carefully marked the 1X8 with those measurements then cut the board.

Next, I carefully spread glue on the top of the side boards and put the top in place. Next, I nailed the top to the set of shelves.

A Blurry Picture
the Finished Top
projecting out 1/2 inch on both sides
and 1 inch from the front

The 'back' of the top is even with the back of the set of shelves. This causes the top to project 1 inch out from the front.

The sides are evenly spaced, so they project out about 1/2 inch from the sides.

The Bottom
Since I was getting 'fancy' with this project, I decided to add a touch from a set of shelves we had seen somewhere else.

To do this, I measured the space and marked a piece of scrap from when I cut the top. Next, I carefully cut the board.

And, ...

Messed it up ; - (

I was lucky; I was able to reuse another scrap piece to make another bottom board.

My mistake? I cut the wrong side of one line, making the board too short.

Once the second bottom board was cut, I marked the shelf and sides, it would attach to, 1/2 inch in.

Next, I did a test fit (it was 'good enough') then glued and nailed the board into place.

A Blurry Picture
the recessed bottom

The Back
I have built pre-made, but unassembled furniture in the past. You know the ones with the cardboard back with the nail holes already marked.

At first, I was going to use a sheet of cardboard then thought better of it.

I bought a sheet of very thin plywood, called luan.

Needless to say, it is very thin, so I had to unplug the saw and reset the blade depth.

Next, I measured the set of shelves to get the right measurements for the back. I was pretty good. It measured 5 feet tall by 3 feet and 1/4 inch wide.

Next, I marked the luan. It was a pain. I had to hold the very thin plywood because it wanted to droop.

Cutting it was also a pain. I didn't have any supports, so the luan plywood drooped as I started to cut it.

Lucky me, I was able to warp the luan, just enough, to make it flat as I cut the back for the shelves.

The first cut was the shortest and easiest. I took 3 feet off the 8 feet tall sheet of luan. Next, I cut the 1 foot strip off the side, ending with one piece 5 feet tall by 3 feet wide.

Squaring the Shelves
Almost finished, I placed the shelves, face down and measured diagonally from corner to corner. I was lucky again, and they were almost the same, by 1/16 of an inch.

Next, I put glue on the sides, placed the back on and nailed the back to the shelves.

Almost Finished
all it needs
is a few coats of stain

Why? Oh, Why?
Do I tell you about this project?

First, I used skills that had never been used to make a set of shelf, like this design.

Second, it turned out good enough to sell. I might have orders for two or three ; - )

Third, I was doing, not reading.

Fourth, ...

I was saving money on my taxes because the set of shelves was for Katniss' practice and I wrote about it. I love these United States Tax Code and the Internal Revenue Service ; - )

23 September, 2016

Fridays Thoughts and Other Stuff (Junk)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Photograph by

Your family's threat analysis will determine how much supplies you will need to purchase and store. Planning to survive a three day event? A pantry full of canned food, a few cases of bottled water and you're family is ready. A two week event will require a little more food and a few more cases of bottled water. Plus, your family probably already has all the equipment to survive these short-term events, like warm clothing, blankets, and ... Toilet Paper.

Now, planning to survive a multiyear event is going to require a bigger commitment in time, money, and practice that you will want to skimp on.


You're going to want to buy ... Junk.

Now, don't get me wrong. Junk has its place in your preps, take ferro rods.

Photograph by
Francois Boulogne

Ferro Rods
These things are awesome, for around $17 (L.A. Police Gear), your family can have about 12,000 fires, if you and your family have been practicing.

Or, ...

You can purchase a ferro rod blank (one source is Fire for $5 or $6 and make your own, like this one from 'The Binks' at Instructables.

Or, ...

Another option is to purchase a bunch of strike anywhere matches (250 for $1.00) at your local Farm and Home Store and store them in a fire and waterproof container (an ammo can)

Or, ...

Purchase a few butane lighters from the local China-Mart and call it good.

Where's the Junk?

The cheap, as you checkout display of, butane lighters. They will work until they don't then you will have to improvise a spark from the striker wheel and flint when the butane fuel leaks from the lighter.

You can also find junk in other areas, such as ....

My Junk
A few years ago (O.K. a few decades ago) my brother Scout gave me a pair of gloves with a hole in one glove. The plan was to repair the hole and call it good.

Well, ... I'm sorting through my 'stuff' and I found those gloves. I donated them to the local charity store because I hadn't fixed them, in over twenty-five years.

I also recently received a piece of junk from my employer, one of those combination knife, light, pen, and other thingies.

The Thingy
This 'thing' was given to me by my supervisor, as an incentive award. It has our company logo stenciled to one side (the side you will never see, here ; - )

It has a lanyard ring with an attached inexpensive snap link.

The snap link would secure the 'thingy' to your belt loop, a loop inside your emergency evacuation kit bag, or other location to prevent it from getting lost.

Flipping open one side, there is a pen that could be used to leave a note, if you left your vehicle after a crash, marked the time a tourniquet was applied, or provide potential rescuers with important information.

Flipping open another side, a bottle opener and can opener are revealed.

On the other side is a small knife blade that could be used to cut twine for a shelter, sever a seat belt to rescue a car crash victim, or other 'light-duty' cutting tasks.

On the same side as the small knife and bottle/can opener is a white switch for the enclosed flashlight

Pushing the switch forward, reveals a tiny L.E.D. flashlight that could be used to illuminate your path in the wilderness, locate your dropped keys, or ...

As you can see in the above picture, the little flashlight could also be used to signal a potential rescuer from a distance, in the dark.

Lastly, the batteries, light bulb and reflector could be removed to improvise a brighter light (using a larger reflector), power a device using a similar battery, or ...

I don't know 'cause we're improvising ; - )

It's Junk
No matter how well  I explained it, the thingy is junk. The blades are cheap metal, the can opener and knife attachment points would never hold up to medium stress (much less open a food can or bottle of beer), and the flashlight batteries would easily discharge stored in a hot or cold outdoor environment.

Oooh, the lanyard loop is 'pressed' into two holes. It wouldn't hold up to a lot of pulling stress either.

I Kept It
That's right, as cheap as it is, I tossed it into my vehicle emergency evacuation kit, as a back-up, to the back-up, for the back-up.

But, ... Notice.

I would never, ever purchase something like this because it is junk

This is going to get all metaphysical, philosophical, and comical

So, ... work with me.

First, 'free' junk can be 'good' depending on what it is.

Is it broken? It's junk.

Is it immediately useful? It's not junk.

Is it big, bulky, cheap, and might be useful? It's junk

It it 'trash'? You know, like metal food cans, aluminum foil, broken glass, and ... It's junk or recycle, so get rid of it.

Second, don't buy or store junk.

That's right.

Don't buy cotton long johns. They are junk.

Don't store 'extra' clothes for when you lose weight. They are junk because that is one thing in abundance after a disaster.

Third, don't buy cheaply made durable products.

It's O.K. to purchase 'cheap' paper towels, toilet paper, and other similar product but don't buy new items like automobiles, washers/dryers, and other long-lived product that are junk, including stocks, mutual funds, and houses.

Lastly, you really don't 'need' a back-up, to a back-up back-up, for a back-up back-up back-up for your preps.

Got To Go
Jumper phoned me, so ...

Swedish Fire Steel - Instructions

Instrucables: The Binks - Fire Steel

The Binks has another neat-o Instructable for ...

Instructables: The Binks - Handmade Knife and Sheath

Survivalist Boards - Strike Anywhere Matches

Kissurvival - Strike Anywhere Matches

30 September, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Project-Siding)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Library of Congress

As you have probably noticed, I haven't been posting anything on Wednesdays.

Well, I have been working on a long-term project, ... siding the house.

This side of the house still has its original siding.  It is cedar lap that was installed around the 1890s.

Of course, some contractors, folks at work, and many others would have left the old siding on and just installed fan-fold insulation.

That didn't happen.

After ripping off the old siding, we installed self-stick rubber flashing around the door, window, and on the corners then we placed house wrap on both walls.

We also taped the house wrap around the door, window, and the inside corner.

Lastly, ...

We installed the siding.

Since we are going for a certain 'look,' we are installing lineals around the windows and doors. They are a contrasting color, a darker gray.

Well, the lineals are supposed to be installed before the siding, not after.

Of course, my work schedule will be changing, so I will have less time writing.

So, Wednesdays will be hit or miss.

Plus, we will have to strip off the new siding, install the lineals, and reinstall the siding after cutting to it to fit around the lineals.

I had one or two pictures showing the house wrap that I was going to share.

But, in big bold letters and numbers, the local lumber yard's name and telephone number was easily seen, by you and your family.

7 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Civil War)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Luca Polpettini

Civil War
As some of you know, there is a possibility these United States will descend into a civil war in the next few years.

Not really, but it's pretty good justification for buying ...

That's what British soldiers call 'Tactical Gear.'

The Reality
Before I begin, like any other event, it sounds cool to be getting ready for a civil war, when in reality, a civil war sucks, lots of civilians (what you and your family are), terrorists (what you and your family are), refugees (what you and your family will be) and many others getting killed, maimed, raped, sold into slavery, and many other bad, bad, bad things.

So, ...

Run Away
Your families first reaction is to get out of town, the state, or the country.

You can do this a few different ways.

First, make arrangements with friends and family in a safe area. Don't think the so-called 'Redoubt'  or 'Eastern Redoubt' will be a safe place for your family. Look at Syria, anywhere and everywhere is being bombed or attacked by one side or another.

The Same City
As we have seen in the past, when folks start to riot with homes and businesses burning then it's all downhill for that side of town.

So, ... Have a packed emergency evacuation kit that you and your family can grab and go, across town, when it happens.

Depending on the situation, you and your family (Don't forget the pets) may be gone for a few days. Needless to say, you will still need to go to work, and the children will need to go to school. Unless, it's cancelled for the duration.

These requirements, work and school, may require your family to have a cache of clothing, copies of important documents, and other items stashed in your friend or relative's basement, garage, or shed.

Now, some of y'all are thinking 'Hey, I have a credit card with a few thousand dollar limit; we'll wing it!'

That's possible, but ... You and several hundred thousands of other families are going to try it, so save your family the hassle.

Important Points
I'm going to sound like the racist, bigot that I am, so ...

Make sure you and your family are evacuating to a place across town that is the same or close to the same ethnic, religious, sexual orientation, cultural and other important issues as you and your family.

Remember, you don't want to be the only white/black/brown/red/yellow family in the predominantly white/black/brown/red/yellow neighborhood or the only Jew/Catholic/Protestant/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist in the predominantly Jew/Catholic/Protestant/Muslim/Hindu/Buddhist neighborhood or the only Democrat/Republican/Libertarian/Socialist during a civil war along religious/ethnic/political lines; - )

Next, please, be grateful to the neighbors. They are going to have to put up with the additional traffic from your vehicle, new suspicious people in the community (with the other side of town burning), your children playing in the street, and many other real or imagined problems your family will create for them.

But, ... Don't be a pushover, either.

Lastly, like I have told you, practice your plan, so you can solve the problems, now!

Another State
Folks, if you and your partner are planning to move your family across the country, in a improvised or deliberately manner, during an event, like a civil war, you need to work the heck out of your plan, now!

That's right, practice your plan and the backup plan, to the backup plan.

Another Country
Leaving your home country is going to be difficult for several reasons.

First, you and your family have been beaten to the punch because millions of refugees are already in the 'good' countries.

Now, don't get me wrong, Japan is a nice country, if you like being considered an outsider that will never be trusted by your neighbors. Plus, it's expensive, even today.

The same goes for Sweden, Finland, and the other Nordic countries.

Second, this option is going to take planning. You will need a passport, visa, and meet other requirements, like a job for some countries.

Third, depending on your color skin tone will determine which country you will blend in.

Take Panama. I work with a 'white' guy, and his wife is Panamanian. She says Panama has very good healthcare, it's inexpensive for retirees, and there are really nice gated communities for U.S citizens and other 'whites.'

The same goes for black, brown, red, and yellow skinned people. All you need is the monthly income, about $1.000 to $1.500

Outside those gated communities, not so nice, so you have to do that research too.

FerFAL, at The Modern Survivalist and Surviving in Argentina, is kind'a dark-skinned. He, his wife, and child immigrated to Ireland a few years ago. Because his parents were Spaniards, they had European passports.

These passports allowed him to easily settle there.

Another option is Great Britain, blacks and yellow skinned people have been accepted there for decades. Not so much for brown skinned people.

I think, they're still pissed at India for gaining independence.

Now, some folks are thinking, 'I'm 'black.' I will go to Africa.!'

Have you been there? I haven't, but ...

The whole continent is having problems. Just look at all the refugees fleeing their home countries. The same goes for the economic conditions.

Libya - Civil War; Egypt - Religious Violence; Algeria - Terrorism; Ethiopia, Sudan, Chad, Niger - Fighting each other or someone else; Mali - Religious Violence; Senegal, Ivory Coast, and many others - Economic Crisis, and ...

There is a reason these United States is sending troops to many African countries.

'What about India?' you ask.

Nice place, and I have family that want to go there.

But, ... Don't be a Muslim in a Hindu neighborhood or a Hindu in a Muslim neighborhood. The same goes to those pesky 'castes.'

Yeah, I know India outlawed them many decades ago, but they are still around.

Oooh, don't be poor in India.

Korea - Can you say homicidal maniac, to the north? China - Can you say totalitarian, communist country or the other China (Taiwan) - In the cross hairs of that totalitarian, communist country that I just mentioned.

Australia, New Zealand, and Micronesia - Gun banning, earthquake prone, global warming poster children for places to avoid.

Canada - You need a job.

Russia - Really?

Of course, the list goes on and on.

Wrong Impression
Now, don't get me wrong. There are many nice areas of the world to travel, visit, and even emigrate to, but you to do the research to make sure the area is right for your situation.

Now, ... If you have the cash, you can disregard all of my concerns.

For an example, here in these United States, a family can 'buy' a visa for a $500,000 investment in these United States, just see an immigration lawyer. They'll help you, for a fee.

The same goes for other countries.


U.S. State Department - U.S. Passports and International Travel

U.S. State Department -  Country Information

U.S. State Department - Americans Traveling Abroad

The Modern Survivalist - Relocating: The Great life experience of living Abroad

Borrow the book from your local library ; - )

The Modern Survivalist - Real-World Bugging Out and Bug Out Locations

The Modern Survivalist - Hurricane Matthew: Ready to Bug Out?

Global Security - American Military Bases in Africa

Mother Jones - The Startling Size of US Military Operations in Africa

8 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Civil War)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Rafael Robles

I forgot a few things, such as ...

Do you and your family speak the local language.

Headed to Spain? Do you speak 'real' Spanish? Not, Mexican Spanish

How about Icelandic? Danish? Flemish? Portuguese? Dutch? Japanese? Korean? Mandarin? Standard Chinese? Polish? Turkish? or ...

I can't remember, if I have mentioned this before. But, ...

Way back in the '80s, a survivalist newsletter writer recommended starting a banking account in the Royal Bank of Scotland. His thought was to establish a financial reserve that could be used 'If' you and your family evacuated to a foreign country.

Well, ... The bank was taken over by the United Kingdom, in the 2008 financial difficulties.

Of course, another thing to think about, as you contemplate moving to a foreign country.

Here in these United States, we have some very liberal firearm laws. In most other countries, you are going to need permits with examinations, show a need to the local security forces, and have expensive secure storage for the firearm.

In other words, no guns for the foreigner.


Lastly, you and your partner have bonds with people, in your home country. Bonds that may be hard to break, such as taking care of older parents, caring for the family business, and others.

Wikipedia - List of languages by number of native speakers

9 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Sunday (Civil War)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

graphic by
based on original .gif by
Robert Simmon

Hurricane Matthew
Jumper lives on the east coast, around Florida, so we have been attentive about Hurricane Matthew.

The Kit
Jumper is an essential government worker. He has to go in no matter what, so he grabs some things to put in his truck, just in case.

You know, the usual ... water, food, sleeping bag, and other stuff. Fuel up the truck then he drove into work.

Now, they aren't possibly getting hit for another 36 hours, so he's in meeting all day, talking about the on-coming storm.

Well, ... He forgot his lunch.

Since the storm is such a big deal, no one is going out to eat. Plus, all the local food joints are closed. Needless to say, he walks out to his truck and grabs one of his meals. Not a big deal because he has enough for a week or two.

Really, ... he is that prepared

The meals are shelf-stable, all-in-one meals. I forgot which ones, but he has eaten them before, a few years ago.

Guess what?

They suck; he hates them; and on and on

We're Evacuating
My brother's family has already left. His wife and in-laws are headed to a wedding in Ohio, a pre-planned event. The sons are going to various friends that live a few hundred miles inland, and his daughter is working. She is a nurse, and she is considered 'essential' personnel, too.

Oooh, now it's 24 hours before the hurricane is expected to make landfall, so Scout and his employers are watching the weather when Hurricane Matthew is predicted to strengthen.

The decision is made to evacuate, so off go the firefighter with their trucks and rescue equipment; medics with the ambulances and emergency supplies; public works with trucks towing trailers full of emergency repair supplies, boats with every fuel can the city owns, full of fuel; city staff with back-up servers full of court documents, utility records, city personnel records, and other information; police officers in police cars with 'extra' firearms and ammunition and personal trucks towing trailers full of emergency supplies; and my brother (in his truck because he doesn't rate a city vehicle) as he turns out the lights, literally.

Where are we Going?

You got it right, a pre-planned site, hosted by a community that has a written agreement with the city.

Everybody drives into the parking lot, walks in, and waits because an advance crew and the host city had already set everything up for the city staff. Cool.

By now, some of y'all' think I'm lying. I'm not. It's the truth.

Think about it.

Hurricanes are a predictable disaster, so thoughtful, responsible people get prepared, like the City of ... Thought I would tell you ; - )

However, there were some hiccups.

First, Jumper was implementing his rehearsed plan when he realized the new software wouldn't load the 'old' emergency information.

It seems all the city's information had been upgraded to the new standard, except for the emergency information.

So, ... Sweat, cursing, and a little computer magic and everything is a o.k., so the back-up servers are loaded with all the city's current data.

Next, the back-up servers are loaded on the bread truck.

photograph by
Dwight Burdette

Really, it's a bread truck that was used to carry the police department's S.W.A.T. team's gear to emergencies. My brother and his staff modified the truck with desks, chairs, computers, generators, external electrical hook-ups and other cool stuff.

Next, he didn't bring a tent in his personal emergency supplies. Not a big deal because Jumper has a poncho with bungee cords, in his truck. He can improvise a shelter, just in case.

Lastly, that wedding I mentioned earlier. The plan was to go on a six day vacation with his wife. By the time the hurricane has arrived, left, and any recovery started, she will be back and he'll want a shower ; - )

First, have a plan

Second, believe the local weather forecasters and evacuate and evacuate early.

Third, no plan works all the time. Be prepared for problems.

Fourth, have a place to go, during a disaster.

Fifth, buy your supplies before the disaster

Six, practice your plan in advance.

Seventh, ... I don't know. What do you think?

14 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Kit)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

An Antiaircraft Artillery Unit,
in Belgium (ca 1944)
United States Library of Congress

Last week, I wrote a three part series where I talked about the realities of a civil war and evacuating during an event. I did this, so you might understand that becoming a combatant in a civil war has many, many downsides.

With that said, ...

Cheap vs. Inexpensive
There are various manufactures of kit (military gear), some good and some excellent.

There are several premier manufacturer, such as Tactical Tailor, Blackhawk, and many others. They have some good stuff, but they are expensive. For a family on a budget, too expensive.

According to some folks Condor Tactical, Vodoo Tactical, Tru-spec and others (especially 'Airsoft' equipment) just might not be good enough.

A 'good' source is used military equipment. It's rugged and inexpensive.

Yeah, yeah, I know it's made by the lowest bidder, but it's still good stuff.

You and your partner need a handgun, one that is 'concealable.' A .357 magnum revolver with a two to four inch barrel fits this criteria, such as the Ruger SP101, S&W Model 686, and many others

Or, ...

A semiautomatic pistol, in 9 mm, .40 caliber, or .45 ACP, like the Glock 19, M&P .40, a Colt-style Commander, or many other pistols with a three to four inch barrel from Springfield Armory, Glock, Smith & Wesson, and many others

You and your partner will also need a comfortable holster, additional magazines (for a pistol) or several speed loaders/speed strips (for a revolver), ammunition, and cleaning supplies for your handguns.

Notice, it's plural because each of you carry a defensive handgun.

Once these self defense weapons are acquired, you may decide to purchase a rifle, to protect the nation.

Like a handgun, a rifle will require several items to be effective, ammunition, a sling, cleaning supplies, and ...Kit.

The Belt
First, you need a belt or a vest to carry your kit. The belt can be an ordinary heavy duty leather belt, a thick cotton web belt, or a nylon web belt.

U.S. Navy

Ammunition Pouches
Next, pouches designed to hold ammunition are attached to the belt.

German Federal Archives

These ammunition pouches can be form fitting for a specific magazine, such as the Nazis Soldier on the right; a leather 'box' to hold loaded stripper clips or individual cartridges, like the Soldier in the center; or a pouch large enough to hold a variety of ammunition.

Canteen Pouches
The next pouch to be attached to the belt is a pouch to hold a water supply (canteens full of water). These pouches are usually carried on the rear of the belt.

photograph by
Spc. Glenn W. Suggs

These pouches can be form fitting for a specific canteen or a large pouch to hold various water 'bottles.' The pouches can also carry a nested canteen cup and a canteen cup stove.

Once, all of these items are attached to the belt, the assembled equipment can become heavily loaded with ammunition and water, so various nations have developed ...

Just like pant's suspenders, they attach to the heavy leather belt, thick cotton belt, or nylon wed belt to keep the belt from falling down.

United States Information Agency

Just so you know, the British call it a yoke.

Basic Equipment
Just to restate, all you really need for your defensive rifle, to protect the nation, is a ...

photograph by

Other Pouches
There are general pouches to carry extra socks, a poncho with poncho liner, extra food and ammunition. It is usually called a butt pack. It is attached between the two canteens, by the ... butt ; - )

photograph by
PFC John F. Freund

The belt can also carry specialized pouches for equipment such as a protective mask, night-vision monocular, or a medical kit. These pouches are usually attached between the ammunition pouches and the canteens.

World War II Signal Corps Collection

Other Stuff
Lastly, there are additional items that can be carried on the belt or suspenders. Some of them are equipment, like a bayonet (large knife) that attach to the belt. Some of them are ... Hand Grenades that are carried in specialized pockets on the ammunition pouches or carried on the suspenders.

United States Army Heritage and Education Center

Wikipedia - All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment

15 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Kit)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

United States Army

Yesterday, I mainly focused on the older style of equipment; a heavy belt, ammunition pouches, and canteens that you might need for your defensive rifle. This equipment from various countries are inexpensive and rugged. Something you and your family could afford, especially when you will need four or five sets of former military equipment for the family.

You and your family don't 'need' this equipment. You're not going to be running around in the woods, city streets, or anywhere else defeating the communist/zombie hordes. Plus, you can always ...

I can't find it, but I had a picture of a guy using a lumber company nail apron (you know the ones for $2 or $3) as a magazine pouch. He had placed AR-15 magazines in each of the small pouches then tied it around his waist.

But, ... I do have a picture of a carrying bag with a shoulder strap holding five AK-47 series rifle magazines.

This set up would allow you or a family member to carry five pre-loaded magazines, for a rifle when you leave the protection of your home and family.

Geneva Goheen

Someone could also wear the bag when they go on a patrol, too.

You could purchase a yard or two of heavy canvas and create a chest rig similar to this reproduction Rhodesian model.

photograph by

Sunshine Exports

photograph by

Sunshine Exports

photograph by

Sunshine Exports

photograph by
Sunshine Exports

Here is another Rhodesian-type chest rig created by 101ABN327 from

Just in case, you are wondering, the Rhodesian military wore them, like this ...

Rhodesian Army Reenactor
wearing typical gear for the Rhodesian Bush War

SKS Rifle
Needless to say, since you followed my suggestions by buying an inexpensive semiautomatic rifle that doesn't need lots of expensive magazines and plan to evacuate during a civil war. All you need is an inexpensive system to hold a few loaded stripper clips.

Just like the Communist Chinese and North Vietnamese.

Internet Movie Firearms Database

Another method, that you could use, is to modify an existing 'chest rig' from a foreign country, like this captured Chinese rig, during the Vietnam War.

Ooops, I can't download the picture, so here is a link for an article, from Spike, at Alpha Rubicon, about his efforts.

Alpha Rubicon - *Updated ChiCom AK Chest Pouch with Mods *

Of course, there are many people that are willing to share videos about their efforts to outfit their families, with kit.

YouTube: LefteyeRighthand - Chicom Chest Rig Modification

YouTube: TheBrackishCoast

YouTube: MisterSoul99 - Tactical Chest Rig for $12

Combat Vests
As you can tell, from the pictures, I have been writing about the older equipment (belt, ammo pouches, and canteens) that you and your partner can use to economically outfit your family with kit.

But, ... There is newer equipment that you can use.

photograph by
Daniel Maleck Lewy

21 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Fighting Load Vest)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Staff Sgt. Russell Klika

Before I begin, there are many companies manufacturing and selling chest rigs for you and your family. Some of this kit costs over $300, almost as expensive as an inexpensive handgun. There are other companies selling inexpensive kit that is only good for non-tactical use, such as Airsoft or reenactors.

So, ... Make sure you do an internet search for reviews, if you decide to purchase new private label or non-surplus tactical gear.

Load Bearing Vest, Type III
Many years ago, these United States' military started looking at a different system, instead of A.L.I.C.E. equipment. The military, first, tried a modified ALICE called something like Load Bearing Vest Type III. It was supposed to be an improvement over the 1960s - 1990s ALICE equipment.

Load Bearing Vest, Type III
photograph by

It sucked.

There were too many straps, the magazine pouches couldn't be moved, the shoulder straps (yoke) was too wide, and it required a belt to carry canteens. Plus, it was difficult to put on and remove, compared to the ALICE gear.

Oooh, they are really, really inexpensive because nobody wants them.

Fighting Load Vest
Within the last 10 to 20 years, these United States' military developed, tested, and issued a tactical vest. The vest is designed to carry the various pouches that a Soldier, Marine, Airmen, Guardian, or Sailor would need for combat.

This vest got rid of the heavy web belt and suspenders, from the old gear. You will see them in three or four different color schemes, Woodland (light and dark green, brown, and black camouflage), Desert (light and dark brown camouflage), Coyote (medium brown), and ACU (three shades of gray, in a digital pattern)

Oooh, ... There might be a fifth, ABU and a sixth, known as Multicam.

But, ... I haven't seen any of the last two, in person or in the news.

Fighting Load Vest
photograph by

As you can see, the vest has rows of webbing to hold the various pouches (ammunition, canteens, grenade, dump, IFAK (individual first-aid kit), compass, night vision devices, and many others). When properly used, this webbing reduces the amount of bouncing caused by running around when compared to the older belt with suspenders kit.

Needless to say, the British have a vest system, too

The British Army/Ministry of Defense

Steve Dock/MOD

As you can see, the British system is very similar to these United States' military system.

Believe it or not, the last few days articles started when I talked to a guy, about dyeing some kit (tactical gear) for my family and friends.

But, ... You'll have to wait until tomorrow to hear the rest of the story.

YouTube: Strike Hard Gear - Tactical Gear Tutorial Alice, Molle, Pals, Wire Hanger

Recoil: Offgrid - MOLLE and PALS: What’s the Difference?

YouTube: The HossUSMC - PALS vs. MOLLE, What's the Difference?

YouTube: OVERCLOCK3D, CPO - Proper MOLLE (PALS) Gear Attachment

YouTube: Alberta Bushcrafter - 4 Ways to Weave MOLLE Gear

22 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Fighting Load Vest)

Welcome Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Ed Edahl

Philosophy and Needs
Remember, as non-combatants, you and your family are going to evacuate, not get into a gunfight!

Next, the most important items and supplies, you and your family need to purchase are ...

* Appropriate Alternative Shelter (waterproof tarps, cordage, family-sized tent, blankets, sleeping bags)

* Fire Making Material, Fire Starter

* Water, Water Storage Containers, Water Treatment Supplies, Water Treatment Equipment

* The Bagged, Bottled, Boxed, Canned, and Frozen Food your family normally eats, Long-Term Food Storage, Supplies to Preserve more food

* Required Medications, First-Aid Kit, First-Aid Manual

* And, Much More!

... before purchasing any tactical gear.

Fairy Tales and Military Stories
You know the difference between a fairy tale and a military story. A military story starts with, ...

There I was
I was visiting the military surplus store, ArmyGear.Net while I was traveling for work. I had bought stuff from them on-line and wanted to see what they had in their Columbia, Missouri store

While I was there, I was talking to 'Joe' about dyeing the newer ACU (three shades of gray) pattern gear to a better color, such as green or brown.

Well, ... He mentioned  that he had done an internet search, talked with friends, and ...

Picked a color.

Trigger Warning
If you are former military, especially a First Sergeant or Sergeant Major, do not read anymore. It will drive you crazy because ... Nothing Matches

The First Recipe

2 * Apple Green (the whole bottle)
1 * Golden Yellow (two to three ounce)
1 * Dark Brown (one to two ounces)

First, soak the pouches in three gallons of water with one cup of vinegar, for about 30 minutes

Second, bring three gallons of water to 175 °F (80 °C) then add two bottles of Apple Green, two to three ounces of Golden Yellow, and 1 ounce of Dark Brown, to the water and stir to mix.

Next, place the soaked pouches in the dye mix for at least 30 minutes. Keep the water hot

Magazine Pouches in ABU and ACU

Magazine Pouches in ABU and ACU

Magazine Pouches with Buckles
dyed with first recipe

Magazine Pouches with Velcro
dyed with first recipe

The Second Recipe

Add 3 ounces of Dark Brown

I didn't like the look of the first recipe, so I added another three ounces of Dark Brown to the already used dye mix, soaked the next batch in vinegar water, and dyed them for over 30 minutes.

Magazine Pouches in ACU
(back and front)

Magazine Pouches
(dyed with second recipe)

Another Source for Kit
'Joe' and I also talked about the possibility that surplus tactical gear in ACU (Army Combat Uniform) would become very cheap, since these United States' Army is switching to a new pattern of camouflage.

So, ... I hunted around for better deals on-line.

I found several, but the best one was Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet. This on-line store is an offshoot of Government Liquidation. Both sell government surplus items. Uncle Sam's ... is a retail store while Government ... is an auction.

A Pile of Kit

When you look at Uncle Sam's ..., you will notice that some items have free shipping, especially smaller items, such as canteen/general purpose pouches, double magazine pouches, three magazine side by side pouches, IFAK pouches.

Needless to say, their inventory constantly changes in amount and items.

The Third Recipe

2 * Kelly Green
1 * Coca Brown (two to three ounces)

Just like last time, I soaked the items in a water/vinegar solution (one cup vinegar to three gallons of water) for at least 30 minutes, heated a pot of water to around 175 °F (80 °C) then added the dye (two bottles of Kelly Green and two to three ounces of Light Brown) to the hot water. Lastly, I added the kit items to the dye bath and let sit for at least 30 minutes.

Canteen/General Purpose Pouches in ACU
(front and back)

Now, I'm cheap frugal, so I try to save a buck when I can, so I reused the dye bath and processed a second set of kit.

Three Magazine Side by Side Pouches in ACU
(back and front)

They didn't turn out like I wanted.

The canteen pouches were too green while the magazine pouches were not green enough.

Canteen and Magazine Pouches in ACU
with undyed ABU pouches for comparison

Canteen Pouches
(close up)

Magazine Pouches
(close up)

By now, some of y'all's eyes have glazed over with all the different dyeing recipes.

Well, ... It is important to remember that camouflage is dependent on the colors in your area of the world. Some folks are going to want the browns while others are going to want the greens while others are going to want a mix of browns and greens.

The Fourth Recipe (Wash)

1 * Coca Brown

Like all the others, before I began, I soaked the kit in a vinegar/water solution for at least thirty minutes.


I don't know but 'Joe' had suggested it. Plus, the dye's directions said to add vinegar for nylon and salt for cotton to make the dyeing go better.

Next, I filled a large pot with water and heated it to about 175 °F (80 °C).


'Joe' and the directions, again.

Next, I added the remaining Coca Brown to the water, to make the dye mix.


I'm trying to darken the too green canteen pouches and the not green enough magazine pouches. 

Too Green Canteen Pouches

Not Green Enough Magazine Pouches

I also dyed four Airman Battle Uniform S.A.W. ammunition pouches, from this ...

Squad Automatic Weapon Ammunition Pouches

To this ...

Canteen and Ammunition Pouches

As you can see, the Coca Brown 'wash' darkened all of the pouches, so they will blend in with my local environment.

The Future
Now, all I need to do is find a Woodland, Desert, or Coyote fighting load vest or purchase a 'Battle/War' belt rig for a place to attach all the pouches ; - )

US Grunt Gear - Infidel Padded War Belt

Tactical Gun Review - 5 Unique Battle Belts for Your Consideration

ITS forum/ - Battle Belts - War Belt/1st Line Picture Thread (Page 1 of 145)

YouTube: Danny Ducet - Battle Belt - War Belt Set-up. HSGI, ESSTAC, EMDOM, Safariland. 

28 October, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Standing in Line (ca 1944)

Survival Blog
Have you seen this article? If you haven't, I want you to go read it then come back.

Wow, double or triple your investment. Isn't that cool?

But, ... Wait a minute.

First, do you really think Ms. Hillary Rodham-Clinton will 'allow' you and your family to keep those purchases that you made with a traceable credit card?

Second, do you have your other preps, squared away? Such as water containers, medium-term food, and other more important stuff?

Third, like any other event, do you really think 'surging' (quickly getting supplies, before the event) works? What happens when you're not the first in line?

Just so you know, that article has been around for four days! It has shown up on sites that never link to Survival Blog

Next, ... What keeps the retailers from jacking up their prices, like Cheaper Than Dirt, one minute/hour/day before the election?

Just so you know, some 5.56mm has increased from $375 to $419 for a thousand rounds, already.

Lastly, ... Do you and your family really have the 'extra' money to invest because this is what this article is about, investing.

The Survivalist Blog
Have you seen these two articles? (One and Two) If you haven't, go read them and come back.

First, these are outdated plans. Both shelters don't have a high enough protection factor. In a large scale nuclear war (Heck, even a small one) you and your family will need from three to ten feet of dirt covering the shelter for y'all to survive.

Second, these designs are expensive. Not as expensive as a Radius Defense shelter  (E-10)

Oops, it looks like they went out of business

Third, have you and your partner read Nuclear War Survival Skills

Preparedness Advice Blog - Protection Factors in Nuclear Emergency’s

Preparedness Advice Blog - Nuclear Terrorism and a New Study on How to Protect Yourself

The link is bad in the article, so here it is.

National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center  - Key Response Planning Factors for the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism

Preparedness Advice Blog - Nuclear Fallout and (EMP) Electromagnetic Pulse

Preparedness Advice Blog - 7 Things You Need to Know to Survive a Nuclear Incident

Preparedness Advice Blog - Old Civil Defense Radiation Detectors

Here is a link to the book, mentioned at the end of the article

U.S. Crow - Radiation Safety in Shelters

Preparedness Advice Blog - 10 Preps For Your Nuclear-Event Go Bag

4 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Weather)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

In the Beginning
A few years ago, I was over at io9, my favorite science fiction/science website, and I happened on an article about clouds. Of course, that got me to thinking about weather and climate (No, this isn't about global climatic change) and how do my family and I predict the weather without the local radio, television, or internet weatherperson, helping us.

io9 - Why Are There Clouds And How Do They Form?

West to East, Kind'a
First, generally, the weather in the states to our west will be the weather we get in a few days.

So, without being able to call someone, to the west, we have to look at the clouds.

Before Rain or Snow

Cirrostratus - 12 to 24 hours before rain or snow ...

photograph by

O.K. I was going to repeat everything that was written in these three four links. Instead, you get to go read them, yourself.

You might want to take notes for your prepper bible journal.

Weather Wiz Kids - Clouds

Section Hiker - How to Predict the Weather using Clouds

WNCT: Weather - How To Tell The Weather By Looking At The Clouds

Live Science - Gallery: Reading the Clouds

Now, I know, you and your family don't have the money or the personnel to monitor or maintain a weather satellite, but you may have the money and material to improvise several weather instruments.

Once you have these items, you're going to need to learn how to use them.

The first item you need is a barometer. This instrument is used to measure air pressure. If you know the air pressure and whether it is rising or falling, you can predict the weather.

See, there are phenomena called High Pressure Systems. A high pressure system rotates in a clockwise direction, in the Northern Hemisphere, and counter clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. It is characterized by clear skies and calm weather. A high pressure system will also have higher temperatures during the day and lower temperatures at night because there is no cloud cover to keep the sun from warming the ground and keep the warmth in at night.

The other weather phenomena is called a Low Pressure System. A low pressure system rotates counter clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. It is characterized by clouds, precipitation, and storms. As you can see, the low pressure system is opposite, so the temperature differences won't be as extreme, during the day, because of the clouds.

Needless to say, these two pressure systems don't mix to cause a Medium Pressure System. They stay separated and form fronts.

There are three types of fronts, Warm, Cold, and Occluded

Cold Fronts are characterized by some hard showers and thunderstorms with cooler, drier air in its wake.

Warm fronts will have thin, wispy cirrus clouds (36 to 48 hours before the warm front arrives) with a halo around the sun or moon. As the warm front advances, it will get wetter with a steady light rain, turning to steady rain as the front moves through the area.

Occluded Fronts? You need to read the links ; - )

Now, the other weather instruments can be used to determine which front is coming through because the wind direction (wind vane) will change, the temperature will increase/decrease (thermometer), and the rain gauge will fill up faster or slower.

That's about it.

Oooh, You're also going to need a ...

Weather Wiz Kids - Weather Instruments

Royal Meterorlogical Society - Simple Weather Measurements at School and Home

NOAA - Build Your Own Weather Station

Scholastic: Teacher - Gather Data: Experiment with Weather Geography - Low and High Pressure

MET Office - High and Low Pressure

MET Office - Weather Fronts

Live Science - Weather Fronts: Definition & Facts

Of course, there is a difference between weather and climate. Climate is what you expect while weather is what you get.

So, ... You need to keep a notebook to organize your data (meteorologists collect data about the weather), so you can use it to help your family to predict the weather next year, next decade, and next century.

Link: Education - What Is a Meteorologist?

What Others Said
O.K. I remembered an article, over at Survival Blog, about weather prediction, from a few years ago.

So, ... There they are.

Survival Blog: The Old Farmer - Forecasting the Weather in a Grid-Down Situation

Survival Blog - Letter Re: Forecasting the Weather in a Grid-Down Situation

11 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Veterans' Day)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Sgt. Randall A. Clinton

Veterans' Day
Today, in these United States, we honor the men and women that are serving and have served in our country's armed forces.

So, ... Thank you for your service to our country!

Link: - Veterans Day

Armistice Day
We are not the only country that remembers the slaughter that was called World War One. The United Kingdom, France, Belgium, and many others remember the sacrifice their citizens made during the Great War.

International Business Times - What Is Armistice Day? ...

Wikipedia - Armistice Day

12 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday (Firearms)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Handguns and Rifles
Last Saturday, Jumper (my brother) called me from a gun show. Ya, the man that would rather jump out of an aeroplane then go to work.

He was looking to buy a handgun. It seems, they will be moving to a bigger city, so they can be closer to his partner's family. The bigger city, docile now, has been violent in the past, so he was being proactive about their protection.

First, his limit was $400, and he was dead set on buying a 9mm pistol. No, .357 magnum revolver for him.

Second, he didn't know what he wanted. He just walked in and started looking.

Third, he ended up buying an AR-15 lower receiver for about $90.

The Conversation
Me, "What do you want?"

Him, "I don't know"

Me, "How big is your budget?"

Him, "$400 and I want something that can use other magazines"

Me, "So, you want a pistol?"


Me, "How about a Ruger? The SR-9 runs about $400 with magazines going for $30"

Him, "How about something cheaper? Oh, it has to be highpower"

"Browning Hi Powers are expensive. They run over $900, but you can get something cheaper by buying a clone, usually a FEG, Argentinian FM Hi Power, or .."

Him, "No, I mean, the pistol can shoot high powered rounds"

Me, shaking my head, "You mean +P rounds."

"Yeah, that's what I meant"

Me, "You know you could save your money and buy a Glock for just under $600? The Glock 19 can take Glock 17 magazines"

Him, "But, my hands are small"

Me, "Well, you need to look around some more before buying a pistol. Plus, you're not moving, yet. So, I'll send you some websites to look at"

Him, "Thanks."

Me, "So, why did you buy the lower receiver?"

Him, "I wanted to get one before they went up in price, like last time"

The conversation lasted another 30 minutes, as he drove home. We talked about a lot of different things. One of them was me dying and him inheriting my guns. Of course, I told him I don't own any guns.

He laughed, Jumper was in the Army, so he understood.

Get the handgun, first. You need personal protection all the time.

Second, really first, is to test out different firearms. Try Springfield's XDs, Smith & Wesson's M&P-9, Glock's 19, 26, and other offerings (Polish Makarov (P-64), Česká zbrojovka Uherský Brod (CZ-75), Hi Point (C9), Canik 55, and many others before buying.

Third, ask around. Folks know of places to get a handgun cheaper, like CDNN, Southern Ohio Guns, Classic Firearms, AIM Surplus, J&G Sales, and ... the local firearms dealers.

Oooh, don't forget to ask your extended family. They may be willing to give you a 'deal' because you're family ; - )

Fourth, don't wait to buy your firearms. Get them as soon as possible, once you see the need.

Of course, just don't go out and buy any old handgun. Take the time to find the 'just right' handgun for you and your family.

U.S. Concealed Carry - Break the Bank? Inexpensive Handguns

As we are seeing, the so-called 'Special Snowflakes' (WeaponsMan), 'Hippies' (Say Uncle), and plain ol' rioters, criminals, and thugs are at it again, breaking windows, burning cars, and attacking other people. So, ... Remember

1. Don't Be There

2. Be Armed with a concealable pistol and spare magazines

3. Have Many, Many Friends and Family (with firearms) Hunkered Down, Avoiding Trouble

4. Don't Get Complacent. You still need to be acquiring defensive weapons, ammunition, and other supplies and equipment because things can go south, very quickly.

Talk to you on Monday. ; - )

18 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

The Luck of Lingborough and Other Tales

Not Over
I am breathing a sigh of relief that Mr. Trump was elected president of these United States.

But, ... I am also continuing to prepare for the tough times ahead, so should you and your family.

Christ's Mass
The so-called gift giving season is fast approaching with (That's Racist!) 'Black Friday' next week.

Here are some gift ideas for the preppers in your family.


Under $10

* 550-style cord (Braided Nylon Rope)

Add a paracord side release buckle, and the person can make their very own 'survival' bracelet.

* 8X10 Plastic Tarp

Add some nylon twine, and the person can create an improvised shelter for camping, this winter

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Under $20

* Ferro Rod (Fire Steel)

For a few bucks more, you can purchase a Spark Force Firestarter or a Swedish Firesteeel - Army Model (Military = 12,000 strikes and Scout = 3,000 strikes)

* Mora of Sweden Companion Knife

This knife comes in a variety of colors, so you can get a 'special' color for that special person that likes O.D. Green, Magenta, Limeish Green, Blue, and others (depending on availability

* Lifestraw

A personal water filter, designed for the developing world. Need I say more?

Red Devil

Under $50

* MOLLE Riflemans Vest Set

Make sure to purchase surplus military equipment, not knock-offs.

* Two Ounce of Silver (U.S. Silver Eagles or Canadian Silver Maple Leaves)

Or, .. buy two and give one as a present ; - )



* a homemade 'coupon' booklet for ... washing dishes, taking out the trash, vacuuming the car, racking the leaves, and many other tasks

* a homemade 'get of of jail' booklet for ... a "C" grade in one academic subject, stay up 30 minutes past bedtime, one missed chore, and many others

* a library card for you, your partner, and your children with a family visit to the library, every week

* a family game night, once a week

* turning off the television, electronic games, and other distractions, all the time

Remember, the reason for the season is to celebrate the birth of the Savior, Jesus.

Not to spend money on unneeded and unwanted gifts for family and friends.

If you happen to have a prepping kind'a gift, that you would like to suggest, please leave a comment, ... in the comments ; - )

19 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff, on a Saturday

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

Mr. Donald Trump
For some folks, the President-Elect is (how can I politely say it) evil incarnate, and they are having a hard time with the recent election.

Well, ... It's been 10 days.

I have enjoyed this website for many years, but I'm tried of this ...

io9 - Arrival Is the Science Fiction Film I Desperately Needed to See

No longer will you see links from io9 and their companion websites (unless it's a really, really, really great article) because I'm tired of writers ...blah, blah, blah

In other words, they are worse than Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and many others when President Obama was elected.

Christ Mass
With that said, I would like to suggest several 'gifts' for you.

photograph by
Cpl. Johnathan D. Herring

Seriously, are you still smoking cigarettes, failing to buckle up, over consuming alcohol, and doing many other unhealthy habits?

You need to stop

Stop, Again
Next, are you borrowing money from 'payday' lenders, carrying a balance on the credit cards, over extended on loans, living paycheck to paycheck, and making many other poor financial choices?

You need to stop, again

Stop, a Third Time
How about ...

Ignoring your partner, children, and parents?

Staying up late, not getting enough sleep?

Ignoring your health, mental and physical?

Watching television?

All these and more, you need to stop

25 November, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Uncle Sam’s Thanksgiving Dinner (ca 1869)
illustration by
Thomas Nest

Throw Away
Just so you know, this blurb might be a 'throw away,' something of little substance, but ... we'll see.

Family and the Holidays
We currently have a home full of family and friends which is a joy for Katniss, even though; she is doing three and four times the cooking (and she and the children have been cleaning like mad for the last week ; - )

But, ... It has given us, the extended family, a chance to practice some of our plans for bugging out (emergency evacuation). Some of the things, we have learned (so far):

* Not enough towels - Yeah, we only have four towels, so I have been having to wash towels, a lot more often

* Easy access - We store blankets in the hall closet. Well, two midnight knocks on our bedroom door has us thinking where to store other similar items, in the future.

* Cages - One family has two Boxers. They lost one cage, so we had to improvise a crate until they can purchase another one, after Thanksgiving.

* Parking - With all the other families having guests, the street leading into the cul-de-sac and the cul-de-sac itself have become inundated with SUVs, mini-Vans, and other large family vehicles.

* Sleeping arrangements - Mass all of the children into one room, the greatroom, the adult couples share our children's queen-sized beds, and Katniss and I stay in the master bedroom ; - )

Now, what to do when the children become adults with their own families?

* Bathrooms - I'll say it now. If you are planning to be the host family, for whatever reason, you need more toilets and more toilet paper then showers or bathtubs.

* Chores - A five to six day visit isn't a hassle when it comes to chores because my family 'sucks it up' to take care of our 'guests,' but a longer visit would require the families to redistribute the various chores like washing towels and dishes, trash patrol, cooking (It's not just for the gals ; - ), shopping, walking the dogs, and many other tasks. (locking up, after everyone is in bed)

* Routes - For family that have come a long way, their travel (emergency evacuation) routes have changed from two lane roads with a few small businesses to four lane divided roads with traffic lights and big box stores with the resulting traffic.

Something to Think About
Needless to say, we got to talking about prepping, so ...

Loaners - How do family members defend themselves, if they show up with nothing but the clothes on their backs?

Food - How long does a year supply of food, for a family of four last when you're trying to feed three more families (a total of 16 people)?

Housing - Who lives in tents and who lives in the house?

Financing - How do we pay for the upkeep?

Sanitation - What happens if/when the toilets don't flush?

2 December, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Tim Green

This is the first Friday, in the last month of the year. In other words, we have four weeks until New Year's resolutions have to be made. Ha, ha, ha.

Of course, most resolutions will be unmet by the second week of January, for several reasons.

First, most people make too many resolutions, trying to completely change their life in one year. To prevent this, I suggest, making just one resolution and only one.

Work on this single resolution, really hard, for at least two months.

Second, most people don't stick with it. They let a little set back snowball then admit defeat. In other words, you're going to sick with it, and never admit defeat.

Third, people make too big of a resolution.

So, ... They need to make smaller, intermediate steps to get to the big one.

Fourth, many people word the resolution the wrong way. They word it as a negative or a negative idea, like "I'll eat less to lose weight" instead of a positive like "I'll eat better, to lose weight."

Lastly, just don't make any resolutions. Ha, ha, ha.

Instead, focus on priorities

Emergency Evacuation Kit/Bag
I'll tell you again, the easiest method of dealing with a disaster is to leave the area.

Pretty easy, until you start thinking of what to carry ; - )

Shelter depends on the event. A hurricane requires a study shelter, above the storm surge. A tornado requires a shelter below grade or very sturdy. A chemical weapons attack, you'll need a flimsy, air tight shelter.

Of course, an economic crisis will require a paid for home.

Repeat after me, 'One gallon of water, per person, per day.' For some folks, that's three gallons, for three days, for one person. For other folks, that's fourteen gallons, for two weeks, for one person. While others will want to build a rain catchment system, after digging a well with a solar-powered backup system.

Whether you buy a few extra days of the regular food your family normally eats, purchase several cases of dried beans and white rice, or buy a small five to ten acre 'farm' to have a truck farm, you will soon realize that food can be the biggest priority or the least important.

For most people, preventative medicine (daily exercise, maintaining a sensible weight, and monitoring salt and sugar consumption) will be all they need to do. For others, it will be a little more complicated, like acquiring extra medications.

Of course, building a first-aid kit would make a good New Year resolution.

Yes, you and your partner need to buy a handgun. Doesn't matter which one, just make sure you get safety training, ... at least.

For less than $100, you can purchase an emergency alert radio with battery backup and an AM/FM battery-powered radio. Don't forget the spare batteries.

Keep your gas tank half full, all the time then buy a good pair of walking shoes, for whey your vehicle breaks down.

Oh, ... Think about getting the emergency road service option from your insurance company.

Can you say 'Emergency Fund?'

Doesn't make a difference of how much, $10, $100, or $100,000. Just have one.

I left out a lot of stuff, but get the big stuff then worry about the little things.

And, ... Come back to read more.

9 December, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Group of Phạm Quế Thắng's Mường partisans at Yên Thế

The first few shooting took place at unprotected building usually by 'radicalized' individuals or two-person teams. Lone Wolves, you could say.

It first, it was random; a synagogue, here; a church, there. Then, the Faithful wised up and their congregations hired security, sometimes arming themselves.

Next, since the courts and representative's offices were protected with armed security, shootings started happening at unprotected government building, like the DMV, welfare offices, and government outreach centers.

As always, after each shooting, government officials, anti-gun organizations, and the usual race baiters, would call for more 'gun control.' Some states even enacted these proposals, seizing firearms whenever they could. Either way, state and local governments started providing armed security to these soft targets.

After about the twentieth such shooting, it seemed the problem grew. Shopping malls started getting attacked by bigger teams, of three or four gunmen.

In states with strict concealed-carry laws, many people were killed. In states with liberal concealed-carry laws, the gunmen were stopped after five or six people had been wounded or killed.

In these liberal states, the 'terrorists' changed their tactics. They started using fire and firearms.

In most cases, a house fire was set, and the emergency services were immediately notified. After the firefighters would arrive, the gunmen would open fire. It was a massacre.

They changed their tactics when the police started arriving first, to set up security. The change? The gunmen became arsonists, setting fire to whole neighborhoods.

Then the real Change began.

At first, one or two men would drive across state lines and buy a handgun and ammunition then return home to protect they families. Then women started arriving in the gunstores.

At first, the State Police didn't notice because it isn't against the law for a Californian to buy a handgun in Nevada or a New Yorker to do the same in Pennsylvania. It's just against state law for these men and women to take their new possession back home.

Next, the same men returned with their friends to buy more guns. The same happened with the ladies, too.

The ATFE noticing a trend, as firearms flew off the shelves and out of display cases in Arizona, Idaho, Montana, and any other states surrounding a Brady Campaign A+ rated state, notified state and local officials, doing their federally mandated task.

The state police started stopping returning residents at the state line, always checking for illegal guns. The jails quickly filled with this new brand of criminal.

As the carnage escalated, people from gun-friendly states started driving across state lines, to visit friends in other gun-friendly states, with trunks full of guns, ammunition, and magazines, but they always arrived with empty trunks and full wallets.

The money, from the full wallets, would be used to buy more guns for the trip back home, but these new guns would never arrive, either.

In every case, people bragging about making a hefty profit on these trips quickly found themselves denied service at local gunstores. Several even had their merchandise 'stolen' then transported across state lines to needy families. A few received warnings about their profits and their health.

The Change quickened when a state police officer, staffing a remote checkpoint, ignored a sloppily hidden handgun and ammunition in a young couple's car, as a local police officer passed a confiscated gun to his father, a sheriff's detective drove her undercover car to an out of state gunstore and returned home, without being searched, with several firearms for her sorority sisters from college, a firefighter excepting a 'loaner' gun from a police officer friend, ...

16 December, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Kit)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Sarah and Iain

A few weeks ago, I was writing about dyeing ACU (Army Combat Uniform), ABU (Airman Battle Uniform), and UCP (Universal Camouflage Pattern) pattern items using Rit dye, both powder and liquid.

Well, ... I was a little flippant about mixing dyes to achieve certain colors, like O.D. Green, Dark Sand, or other 'tactical' colors, so I want looking for some formulas.

I found some, but these formula are in tablespoon, so you will need to scale-up to handle larger objects.

Lastly, there is a basic technique, using your stove top, for successful dyeing.

Rit Studio - ColoRit Color Formula Guide

Rit Studio - How to Mix Colors

Rit Studio - How to Dye Using the Stovetop Technique

Here are two or three formulas from around the interwed. Forums - Olive Drab Rit Dye Formula

Yahoo: Answers - What colors can I combine with rit dye to make olive drab?

3D-R/C - Welcome to my Rit Dye Color Chart Page

photograph by
Visual Information Specialist Markus Rauchenberger

There are a wide range of prices on kit, so here are some sources.

Old Grouch's Military Surplus

          MOLLE Rifleman's Vest Set

Charley's Surplus


Coleman's Military Surplus

          British Military Load Bearing Vest

Major Surplus and Supply

Sportsman's Guide

Uncle Sam's Retail Outlet

          MOLLE II Fighting Load Vest

          Individual First-Aid Kit Pouch

          Canteen Pouch

They have 'free' shipping on orders over $100

photograph by
U.S. Army

'New' and Improved
Needless to say, these United States Army learned the 'old' pattern sucked, except on faded asphalt roads ; - )

Wikipedia - Scorpion W2

Folks, it seems some folks, leftist liberals, are talking about starting a civil war or armed revolution.

So, ... You might want to buy some more water storage containers, medium-term food storage, ammunition, and other 'We're going to have a civil war with the unarmed, anti-gun, leftist, liberals.' supplies, just in case.

'Cause, it's going to suck being them ; - )

23 December, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Stonehenge (ca 2005)
photograph by

Winter Solstice
The Long Night is over, as the Light pushes back the Dark, enlightening the World.

Sounds racist, doesn't it?

Wikipedia - Winter Solstice

Fill in the blanks, please

There are ____ seconds in a minute,  ____ minutes in an hour, and ____ hours in a day.

Lastly, there are ____ days in a week.

Simple, isn't it?

But, there are ___, ___, and ___ days in a month, with one month having ____ days, every four years which makes one year have ____ days, instead of ____ days.

Pretty neat, if you and your family follow the Gregorian calendar. A calendar that has been in existence since 1582.

Telling Time
What happens when the clock stops, the watch battery dies, the cell tower's back up generator's fuel tank runs empty, the calendar changes, the television and radio stations go off the air, the electronic church bells stops chiming, the factory whistle is silent, the trains don't run, and the people that know about time keeping instruments die?

In other words, how do you tell when to relieve the person on guard duty, pick up the children from school, stay awake to start the day, plant winter and summer crops, go to bed at night, celebrate a birthday, time contractions for a woman in labor, and all the other tasks that we track time?

I don't know, but I'm interested ; - )

The decision has been made, but we won't know, officially, for another three weeks whether we have jobs or when the jobs will end.

So far, one colleague has taken another position as others still look for meaningful (and highly paid) work. Another colleague is retiring earlier than expected.

Which means more overtime, as work continues to the end, of time.

Either way, ...

30 December, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Neujahrswunsche des XV. Jahrhunderts

That Time of the Year, Again
Of course, it is almost the end of the year, so some things are going to disappear like the Volume Two articles. They will be deleted tomorrow to free up space, since Google limits the number of posts, to 1.000 per blog.

I will also start consolidating the Wednesday blurbs to one or two pages in the archives. The consolidation will also happen to the Friday articles with the more informative articles saved at their original link.

Like every other New Year, I will be changing the blog format, just a little.

The Wednesday blurbs will be added to the Monday (Volume Three) with its own headings. The heading will be the familiar "Evacuation Kit," Water," "Food," and ...

The Friday articles, hopefully, will be more informative with better links.

Lastly, I am thinking about suspending the blog (with minor maintenance) this time next year, Dec '17, maybe ; - )

I have several reasons for suspending the blog.

First, getting started is very simple. Once you have the basics (evacuation kit, appropriate shelter, water, food, medical supplies, and ...), you and your family are finished. Buying all the other junk stuff is a waste of money.

Second, my family has moved to a centuries old farm, overgrown and neglected. I will not have enough time with working at a job, doing improvement project, and enjoying my family to properly support the efforts here, at Getting Started in Emergency Preparedness.

Third, the industry is shrinking, for now, so there are no more 'new' preppers.

Lastly, the biggest reason, my writing is getting in the way of my prepping.

New Year's Projects
Health - I have been neglecting my health these last few years because of sloth. I am taking steps to correct that flaw by walking one mile, three times a week (for now) and doing push-ups and sit-ups. I also want to reduce my weight by 25 pounds by the end of the year 2017.

Food - I want another year supply of food, in our home, so I will be ordering some long-term food storage this year. More about how I plan to do that, later.

Power and Power Production - I have been concentrating on the basics, like candles and AA batteries. I want to plan a small photovoltaic system, this year. Needless to say, more about that later.

Lastly, I want to write and publish two more books, and that takes time.

That's it, for now.

Update: 29 December, 2016
Well, ... That didn't last long.

I tried the 'new' format, and it didn't work. Mixing the Monday and Wednesday articles together didn't work, at least for me.

So, ... Back to the original format.

I left next Monday's blurbs, so you will see what I mean.