Friday, November 27, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Preventing Cold Weather Injuries)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,


A few weeks ago, I wrote about cold weather injuries.

Needless to say, these injuries are easily preventable by you and your family.
 by following some simple steps

Damn, ...!

Princeton University: Outdoor Action  - Outdoor Action Guide to Hypothermia And Cold Weather Injuries


U.S. Army - Cold Weather Injury Prevention.ppt


U.S. Army - Cold Weather Injury Prevention.ppt


Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention - Cold Stress

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (Improvised Weapons)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

cartoon by
Barry Hunau

Of course, initial reports were incorrect (So, ... I was wrong) about the sequence of the attacks.

According to latter reports, the terrorist scumbags spread out and attacked different areas at approximately the same time. This techniques keeps the security services on the defensive, having to react to each attack, separately.

With that said, ...

Paris, France Attack
Late last week, I wrote a quick article about the attacks in Paris.

But, ... I forgot one section.

In all of these situations; Mumbai, India (2008), Nairobi, Kenya (2013), and Paris, France (2015); the attackers were able to move from place to place shooting unarmed people.

So, ... "If" you and your family have to be there, can't get out quickly, or are trapped, you may have to defend yourself or even attack the scumbags. Hopefully with help from other so-called victims.

The 'Best'
The best individual or family counter measure, if everything else fails, is the concealable handgun with two or three speed strips, speed loaders, moon clips (for a revolver) or magazines to reload the handgun carried by each adult.

With that said, ..

You may not have purchased your family's handguns or you're visiting a place that prohibits your freedoms, so you will have to improvise a weapon.

I don't go to our local shopping mall any more.


It's a victim disarmament zone gun-free zone

Handy Objects
Remember 'Sixth Sense' where the young boy, Cole Sear (played by Haley Joel Osment), says "I see dead people."

Well, ... I see weapons, everyday.

The pen or pencil, you use for jotting down notes, is a potential weapon.

The newspaper, magazine, or 20 sheets of computer paper, rolled up, can be a weapon.

The cup of expensive, hot coffee from Starbucks, or the just as good, cup of joe from McDonald's, a local dinner, or the breakroom, you're drinking right now; it's a potential weapon. This includes you tea drinkers, too!

The metal or glass paperweight, three-hole punch, or other heavy object from your desk can be weapon. Oh, so is the glass coffee pot containing hot coffee ; - )

Yeap, ... How about those flammable liquids you use at work such as your co-worker's nail polish remover, gasoline, acetone, liquid reproduction toner, or other flammable liquids.

Or, ... Acids and bases used in your company's laboratories, janitor's closets (toilet bowl cleaner), or other dangerous chemicals.

That fire extinguisher, coat stand, or umbrella, across the room, it's a potential weapon.

A table or chair with stout, heavy legs that could be easily removed?

All of them, potential weapons.

Now, some of y'all are probably going, 'But, but, but, ... You forgot the scissors in my desk draw, the big knife in the break room, that humugous paper cutter in the workroom, or the hammer in the building's repairman's closet.'

Or, ...

'The knife or multi-tool, I carry in my pocket or purse, into work, everyday'

Before I start the next section, I need for you to understand.

Your task, mission, or ..., whatever you went to call it, is to safely escape with your family.

Our Colonial History

from the Discovery of America

to the close of the revolution

You don't need to rescue any strangers, stop the attackers, or any other heroics. You get yourself and your family out of the area, as safely and as soon as possible.

Yes, ... Some people will second guess you after the attack, but you and your family are alive.

Engaging an armed terrorist from the front is foolhardy and a recipe for quickly dying, so you want to attack them from the side or back.

Yeap, that's right. You and your family must fight unfairly. You shoot the attacking scumbags in the back or stab them in the neck, douse them with flammable cleaning fluid then set them afire, or ...

In other words, you surprise the attacking scumbag, and you don't let them surrender. You kill the attacking scumbag. You're not the cops or the military. There is no 'Rules of Engagement' for you to follow except to kill the attackers.

So, how do you tell an attacker from an armed 'victim.' The scumbag attacker will be shooting unarmed people, hiding behind hostages, have a detonator in their hand, or preforming some other despicable behavior.

What happens 'If' you don't have a weapon, but you have to resist?

A group of people can overwhelm an attacker. Using three to five people, you and your allies punch, kick, and pull at the attacker trying to unbalance them and take their weapon. Of course, once you have their weapon, you turn it on them killing the attacking scumbags.

This tactic is dangerous because the scumbag may have an explosive vest which could be detonated during your attack on the scumbag. Plus, the attacking scumbag will probably shoot a few of your allies, including you before y'all can attack.

Just to recap, ...

* Always Go Armed, preferably with a concealed firearm and several reloads

* Don't Be There

* Escape or Get Out Quickly

Everything else is a distance second best, including trying to talk the attacking scumbag out of their actions.

And, ...

You know what the award is for 'second best' in a gun fight? Death or Injury, just in case you're unsure ; - )

This attack and others were not very sophisticated because folks with rudimentary military training would be able to conduct a similar attack with the aid of radios and wristwatches or just plain old cellphones with several telephone numbers on speed dial.

So, ... You will probably not be facing somebody like a S.E.A.L., Spetsnaz, or other highly trained group during a terrorist attack.

Another reality, because I know, some of y'all are going to be 'heros.' you might get shoot by the security services, especially "if" you're armed with a former terrorist's weapon.

Hey, ... They can't tell if you're a good guy because you're wearing a white hat that only happens in he movies.

Another possibility is you will be unsuccessful in trying to disarm the attacking scumbag, so you will be wounded or killed.

However, ... 'If' you wound an attacking scumbag, you may slow them down from killing others, including your family.

I have to go, but here are some websites and videos for you to gather more information.

YouTube: Love It Loud and Sharp - Revolver Reloading Options: Speed Loaders vs Moon Clips vs Speed Strips

YouTube: Gail Pepin - 037 Massad Ayoob Demonstrates how to Reload the Revolver with the Bianchi "Speed Strip"

YouTube: Sig Sauer Academy - Tactical Reload 

The following website and videos, illustrate the victim resisting as they face their attackers. This is foolhardy. You must attack from the rear or side, so you have the advantage against the armed terrorist scumbags, 'If' possible.

Personal Defense World - Improvised Weapons: Using Everyday Objects as Counterstrike Tools

Public Intelligence - L.A. County Sheriff Improvised/Disguised Weapons Guide

Independence Training: Equipment Reviews - Improvised Weapons: hit 'em with everything you've got

Blade Apprentice - Filipino Martial Arts: Use of Improvised Weapons

Bayani Warriors Blog - The Myth of the “Improvised Weapon” in Filipino Martial Arts

Stay Safe Media - FOREVER ARMED: A Combative Guide To The Use Of Improvised Weapons

Nick Drossos - How to Use a Belt as an Improvised Weapon - How to Use a Pen as an Improvised Weapon

MrMuscleBilly - Improvised Weapons in (No-Weapon Zones)

PaladinPress - How to Use Everyday Items as Weapons | MINIMUM DAMAGE, MAXIMUM EFFECT - Improvised Weapons: How to Use Them

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris, France Attacks

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by

As you know, information about the recent attacks in Paris are unfolding.

So far, over 125 people have been killed with about 180 injured. The coordinated attack was staged by eight scumbags at six sites, a soccer stadium, a rock concert, and a string of cafes.

According to several timelines, the string of cafes were attacked with 'drive-by' like tactics before the scumbags hit the concert and stadium.

This attack, like the ones in Mumbai, India (2008) and Nairobi, Kenya (2013), show that the group had; at least, rudimentary; military training with a level of coordination that is possible for such a small group. Needless to say, the weapons and explosives show that the group had outside support from someone with access to explosives and weapons.

As we can see, the scumbags probably planned to draw emergency services' (Police and Medical) attention towards the cafe attacks, so they could more easily attack the larger venues.

Don't Be There
The first lesson, we can take from this recent attack, is like the others, don't be there and avoid large crowds. These groups are looking to inflict panic and as many casualties as possible, so they are going to attack the 'big' soft targets like shopping malls, schools, busy government buildings, supermarkets, and many others.

Get Out, Quickly
The second lesson, you and your family can use from this event, is to know where the emergency exits are, so you can quickly escape.

That means, instead of sitting in the center seats during a concert or movie, you and your family sit near the aisle close to an emergency exit. (No bullsh*t, when my family and I go to the movies, we play a game of 'Locate the Emergency Exits')

Another similar technique that you can use is to stay on the perimeter of groups. This technique would allow you to quickly move away from the action because the scumbags are going to try to get to the center of a group, inflicting maximum casualties.

So, ... If you are taken hostage, you want to stay as far as way as possible from the scumbags, just in case they are wearing explosive vests. This will also allow you to more easily make an escape.

Be Armed and Military First-Aid
Needless to say, engaging the scumbags is a distance third option for you and your family. Remember, you responsibility is to your family, so you get your family to safety, first!

With that said, being armed gives you options in case the scumbags block your escape routes, a possibility.

You and your family also need to know, what I call, military first-aid. These skills allow you and your family to provide life saving care to family members and other targets. In the event, someone in your family is injured.

First, as always, the security services are minutes away. Minutes that allow armed scumbags to continue to inflict injury and death on their targets.

The same goes for the emergency services.

Someone has to call before the emergency dispatcher alerts the emergency services. Next, the ambulance and fire rescue crews have to get in their vehicles, leave their stations before getting to the attack or accident site taking many minutes while family, friends, and others bleed out.

Second, the police are not trained to handle these events. Hostage situations and military assaults are handled by special police units, like S.W.A.T.

Yes, the individual police officers are now trained to 'move towards the sound of the guns,' but they may be outgunned.

Next, these attacks aren't personal. The scumbags are looking to kill as many people as possible. They aren't going to personally attack your family unless you have become a well known target, such as the President of these United States, Senator, Representative, or media personality.

That means that you and your family don't need to panic. You just need to be attentive to your surroundings. Pay attention to the people around you and be prepared to get out of the area, as quickly as possible. The stuff that you already should be doing.

Fourth, sad to say, some folks are going to call for confiscating your protective firearms. They are going to talk about the ease of the scumbags in getting their weapons, ignoring the fact that Europe is one big victim disarmament zone gun-free zone.

Lastly, it's a matter of time before a similar type of attack takes place in our country.

Update: (15 Nov 2015)

I apologize, I forgot one section "Resist!" (The link will be active on Friday, the 19th)

Wikipedia: Wiki - Soft Target

Fox News - Terrorists' 'soft-target' strategy puts anyone, and everyone, in danger

U.S. Army Publications - FM 4-25.11

Friday, November 13, 2015

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff (What's Up?)

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

Photograph by
Senior Airman Amber Williams
I apologize for not writing sooner, but a lot has been going on. Well, really one thing, fixing the homestead.

As I have probably told you, Katniss' mom passed away in April of this year. It was sudden and slightly unexpected. We figured she had at least another decade before dying.

We were wrong.

She was complaining of being tired, so we had her go to the emergency room. A common event because Katniss' mom would get dehydrated. A few bags of I.V. fluid, and she would be fine.

Not this time.

She had a small bleeder in her intestines that couldn't be stopped. Katniss' mom decided not to go through with an operation (5% success rate). She died with family around her.

Katniss' mom  was cremated. According to her wishes, we had a small ceremony, no obituary, where Katniss and I with a few extended family interned her ashes at a family burial plot, in a local cemetery.

Needless to say, Katniss inherited everything.

 For a few weeks, Katniss and I went 'round and 'round about what we were going to do. One plan was to rent the farm house and build our home about 100 feet away. Another was to rent the farm house and stay where we're already at, and ... so on.

I finally told told Katniss that we had only one choice, move to the farm and sell everything else.

And, ... That's what we have been doing.

Katniss has been selling off stuff on Craig's List and on a local for sale website. We have also been donating stuff like crazy to the charity stores. Trashing stuff has been an option, a few times.

If you are a follower of Katniss on the facebook, you probably saw these pictures

The 'Great Room' with some of the stuff already sold, given away, or trashed

Then, .. We went to work.

We had a 20 cubic yard dumpster delivered to Lavender Hill which we began to fill with ...

At first, we were going to just rip down the acoustic tile ceiling and do some 'updating' in the Great Room and that's it.
The project grew, and grew, and grew. Talk about mission creep.

We ripped out the old, faded paneling, so we could insulate and hang drywall. The walls had R-5 insulation.
And, ... The electric was 100 amp service with pull and screw-type fuses  ...
And two wire with no ground wire. Definitely not to current building codes.

Since we had the walls open, we figured that we could do some 'minor' improvements.

One of these was to enlarge the existing doorway from the kitchen to the Great Room

Before and ...


The doorway went from being about 30 inches wide to over 5 feet wide. Now, two people can easily walk through without bumping into each other.

While I was tearing out the wall covering, enlarging the doorway, ripping down the outside deck (hey, the dumpster wasn't full, yet) Katniss was hard at work tearing out the two upstairs bedrooms' closets.

It went from this ...

to this.

I have to be truthful about the above picture. It's what's left of the closet on the other side of the wall.

Katniss' dad, had put some nice built-in cabinets with .. lots of nails.
We almost had to use an 8-pound sludge hammer to get the cabinet frame out, but Katniss and I prevail using a carpenter's hammer and ... beating the sh*t out of the boards.

If you ever want to know what it's like to use a hammer to defend yourself, swing a hammer  ... like you mean it, about fifty times.

A little after all this, we hired a private building inspector to come look at the place. He was helpful. He suggested, since we had the walls and ceiling open to strengthen the ceiling's joists. As he walked across the Great Room's floor, it bounced, too.
So, ... We decided to also tear out the floor.

Like the ceiling joists, the carpenters 'sistered' new 2X10s to the existing floor joists by gluing and screwing lag screws into the existing joists, ceiling and floor.

Turning them into 4X9s.

It seems the original lumber was 'true' dimensions, the 2X4s actually measure 2 inches by 4 inches, same for the 2X8 ceiling and floor joist.

We're glad we opened the floor, too.

The ventilation ducts were loose, and the crawl space had a dirt floor. We decided to spend the extra money to seal and insulate the duct work and lay down 10mil plastic sheeting to help control moisture in the crawl space and basement.

The owner of the electrical company joked that we would recoup the cost of the duct work insulation in about ... 10 years.

But, he was like us. He said 'Since you have the floor open, you might as well do it.' Ha, ha, ha damn mission creep.

Needless to say, the Electrician (the owner's son) was happy to walk between the joists instead of crawling around the dirt floor.

Here's some pictures of his work.
New wire but still the old electrical fuse box

Conduit for future upgrades, so no one has to crawl around under the floor, once the floor is installed.

Once the Electrician was finished, we laid down the plastic vapor barrier.

I can't find my pictures, but it looks nice.

The vapor barrier is 10mill thick and  translucent white with black strips from the sealing tape. I had to section it out, one half at a time. Katniss' Great-Grandfather had stacked huge rocks as support for the house's center post and her dad had poured two concrete columns to provide further support when he remolded the house, around 1962.
A picture of the stacked rocks and one of the concrete columns (upper left corner)

With all this work needing to be done, Katniss and I went to the American Southwest to visit her stepmom for five days.

We had a nice visit, mainly sat around, played cards, and talked.

Her driveway ...
Just kidding, ha, ha, ha.

Katniss' stepmom lives in a nice subdivision blocks away from Walmart, several grocery stores, and ... anything else you would need in a medium sized town.

While we were gone, the carpenters laid down the plywood sub-floor. It was nice not having to carefully walk on the floor joists. Plus, moving from place to place was a lot quicker.

With that done, I started putting up the insulation. I was going to use R-15 for the walls, but I would have had to order the insulation and the cost would have been almost double over just using R-13.

From this ...

to ...

to ...

to ...

 to ...

to this!

Since we had the extra plastic, from the crawl space vapor barrier project, I decided to add a plastic vapor barrier to the whole room.

I also added R-30 insulation to the ceiling as a sound barrier and to thermally insulate the room from the rest of the house, just in case, we have to heat only one room, during an emergency.

So, ... That's what we have been doing.
Laying down the plastic in the crawl space was a great idea. A few days ago, I was under the floor, insulating around the sub-floor with spray foam. Except for a few spills on my clothes, from the spray foam, I was clean. It wasn't like that when I insulated the heating ducts.

I apologize, for some reason, I can't get the article to keep its format. The text and pictures keep bunching up : - (