Saturday, May 21, 2016

The Adventures of Stedman and Oprah, Part Three

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
Unknown Photographer,
Universal Studios

Late into the Evening
"The first item we need is OPSEC" replied Oprah.

"What is opsec? Stedman asked as he took a sip of beer.

"According to the team, it  is something the military uses to keep our enemies from learning about military plans." as she looked over Stedman's shoulder then correcting him "each letter of OPSEC is capitalized, darling."

"So, what does it mean?" Stedman asked as he erased then rewrote OPSEC in capital letter then underlined the letters.

"OPSEC is an acronym for operational security. It is the measures, such as disinformation, cover stories, withholding information, and other methods for keeping information secret." Oprah quoting the research team

"In other words, it's telling lies and lying."

Knowing that Stedman valued his honesty and kept his word, Oprah continued to explain "Yes and no. OPSEC is also about not talking about family problems with blabber mouths at work, keeping important information safe such as social security numbers and bank accounts, and like the others things we do to keep our life together private."

Nodding his head in understanding, Stedman said "O.K, OPSEC" then asked "What's the next priority?"

"That depends on what our plans are."

"Why do you say that O" Stedman asked.

"If we're headed to one of those secure underground compounds, we only need reliable transportation. However, if we are planning to upgrade each of our homes, we are going to need different things, so we'll need a plan." Oprah replied then continued "Take our house in the Bahamas. We would need to improve the rain catchment system, install a generator, store enough fuel for the generator, obtain food, and many other supplies."

"I'm starting to think it would be easier to purchase a condo in a secure facility" Stedman said.

"We wouldn't do all the things ourselves. We would hire a contractor for the upgrades, and I'll ask the research team to investigate our options for some of the others." She answered with hesitation.

"O, you sound hesitant."

"I am because Tom has already warned me about some of the options."

"What do you mean, O?" Stedman asked

"Tom warned about the possibility of scam artists. It seems, Tom and Nicole were purchasing food storage ..." Oprah started to explain

When Steman interrupted asking "Food storage?"

"An EMP event could disrupt the country's food supply system for years, so people that are getting prepared purchase and store food to eat. Food storage get it?" Oprah asked as she smiled.

"Got it" answered Stedman, as he smiled back.

Beginning again "Tom and Nicole were purchasing food storage from a company that was charging $1,000 for a month's worth of food. They would send food in the big metal cans, you know the ones that look like the old coffee cans?"

"Yes, I do."

"Well, come to find out, the company was buying from one company, removing the labels, then sending Tom and Nicole the food storage." Oprah explained.

"That's not illegal, so what's the catch?" Stedman asked

"They could have bought the same food for $250." Oprah said


"Ouch, in deed. Plus, all the nutritional information was just so much hype, and they overstated the amount of food" Oprah explained

"Ouch, again" Stedman said, as he frowned then asked "What did they do about it?"

"Nothing. They didn't want to look like fools."

"So how do we prevent that?" Stedman asked.

"It seems there are consultants for everything, including getting prepared for an EMP or CME event"

"Really?" Stedman asked

"Really!" Oprah smiled, as she continued, "The research team has identified three or four companies that are discretely providing services for political, entertainment, and sports figures. Plus, there are some informative books."

Stedman asked "Such as?" because he had become interested in this matter, just not to support of his lover's desire to know more about the subject.

"One e-book is Prepper: Surviving the Tough Times Ahead; another is Nuclear War Survival Skill" Oprah replied.

Stedman looked perplexed as he asked "Now we're getting ready for nuclear war?"

"No silly." Oprah giggled then said, "Nuclear War Survival Skills is a good book for getting prepared for a EMP or CME, too just not a nuclear war"

Finishing her list, Oprah added "Another good book is Are You Ready? This book is distributed by these United States government. Plus, there are many books that cover such subjects as raising sheep and goats, planting a garden, digging a latrine, and ..."

"Please stop O. You're starting to overwhelm me about this prepping stuff" Stedman complained.

"O.K. darling, I understand" Oprah said then continued sympathetically, "I've had a chance to think about this stuff while you have been working so hard at the foundation."

Kissing her, Stedman said "How about you get together some proposals for retrofitting our homes in California, Hawaii, Antiqua, and here in Chicago?"

"Sure, darling" she replied, kissing him back.

Friday, May 20, 2016

Friday's Thoughts and Other Stuff

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

.22LR Rifle (ca 2015)
photograph by
Faceless Enemy

.22LR Rifles
Here in these United States, there are basically two semiautomatic .22 rifles for preppers, the Ruger 10/22 and the Marlin Model 60.

Both have been manufactured in the millions (or close enough) that they can be found in almost any gun store, new or used. Spare parts are easy to find from the manufacturer and many others, such as Brownell's, Midway, Sarco, and Numrich.

Needless to say, there are many recently manufacturer bolt-action rifles; made by Ruger, Savage, Marlin, CZ, Keystone, Mossberg, Browning, Henry, and many others; that you can purchase from the 'big bog' retailers such as Gander Mountain and Cabela's. You can also find used .22LR bolt-action rifles in the local gun stores or pawn shop.

To find spare parts for the new rifles, you can contact the rifle's manufacturer or Brownell's and Midway. The used rifles (depending on how old they are) will require you and your family to contact Sarco and Numrich for spare parts.

Spare Parts
For most events (hurricane, earthquake, car crash, and many others), you're not going to need spare parts for your rifle. These event will be local and short-term, so you will be able to order spare parts and quickly receive the replacement parts from an internet or local retailer.

However, ... Some, very rare, events will require you to have a minimum of spare parts, such as a replacement firing pin, front and rear sight, any action springs, extractor, ejector, and many spare magazines.

In the case of the Marlin Model 60 or other tubular magazine fed rifles, you will need a few springs and followers instead of box magazines.

If your firearms use magazines, you need a minimum of five (5) magazines for each rifle and pistol, at least. More would be better!


If you don't have a magazine for a semiautomatic rifle or pistol, you have a very difficult to load single shot firearm. Negating the reason for using a magazine fed semiautomatic rifle or pistol in the first place

Remember, ... Magazines are a critical item for semiautomatic rifles and pistols.

Of course, .22LR ammunition has seen a dramatic price increase in the last few years (decade?), so you won't be able to stock as much ammo as before the current reality.

To purchase, you can buy .22LR ammunition from the only China-Mart that still sells firearms, the local gun store, farm and home stores (such as Rural King), and the internet retailers, like, Lucky Gunner, and others.

Be warned, I almost passed out from sticker shock.

For preppers, the .22LR rifle is the third or fourth firearm purchased by your family. (The first should be a defensive revolver, in .357 magnum, and the second should be a defensive rifle, like the SKS) because the highest priority is protecting yourself and your family from villains.

Yes, ... I know, you can use the .22LR as a defensive cartridge, but . 38 Special, .357 magnum, 9mm, .40 caliber, or .45 ACP for handguns and .223 caliber/5.56 mm, .308 caliber/7.62 NATO, or 7.62X39 for rifles are sooo much better for defensive purposes.

I also know, you and your family are stocking food such as white rice and dried beans, or wheat and dried beans (Right?), so you won't need to hunt during an event. Plus, telling your partner that your family is going to be foraging for wild edibles and shooting rabbits, squirrel, and other small game for food during an event isn't going to be pretty ; - )

Lastly, with the 'recent' price increase of .22LR, it makes a certain economic sense to purchase, learn, and use a pellet rifle for hunting or to purchase, learn, and use traps for trapping small game to provide protein during an event.

Ruger: Products - 10/22 Rifle

Marlin: Firearms - Model 60

Brownell's - Home

Midway, USA - Home

Sarco, Inc - Home

Numrich Gun Parts, Corp - Home

Gander Mountain: New Guns - New Rimfire Rifles: Bolt Action

Cabela's: Bolt Action - Rimfire Rifles - .22LR

Lucky Gunner: Rimfire - .22LR

Saturday, May 7, 2016

The Adventures of Stedman and Oprah, Part Twoish

Dear Preppers and Survivalists,

photograph by
MTV Live

"In other words, there's no upside to this. Is there, O?" Stedman asked

"No, darling. Plus, the general consensus is these United States is one of the prime targets for an array of attacks on the power grid." Oprah replied

"An array of attacks?"

"According to the research team, other countries are developing EMP weapons or are working on the techniques to use nuclear weapons to disrupt the country's power grid." holding up her hand, Oprah continued "And, ... before you ask EMP is an acronym for Electromagnetic Pulse. It is a short pulse of electromagnetic energy that can cause disruption or damage to electronic equipment."

"That doesn't sound so bad" Stedman commented

"There's more. These electromagnetic pulses are also naturally occurring. It seems our sun periodically has Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) but the planet is protected by the earth's magnetic field and the atmosphere"

As Oprah paused, Stedman said "O.K"

"Not O.K. There is more. The nations' three electrical grids are connected to the internet, so there is the possibility that a lone individual or a small group could cause damage to power generation plants by 'commanding' the generators to quickly shift on and off.

"There is also the possibility of a small group targeting transformer farms using explosives or firearms to destroy equipment." Oprah finished

"Transformer farms? Sounds like Optimus Prime and the Autobots retired and moved to ..." Stedman quiped

Smiling Oprah and cut him off, "No silly, a transformer farm is a collection of power transformers.

These transformers change the high voltage, from the power plants, to a lower voltage for our homes and businesses. They are usually grouped together in one location."

"What makes this special?"

"Some of these transformers are huge. The larger transformer were originally transported on trains while the smaller ones have special tractor trailers for dilivery. Plus, the larger transformers can take years to order, manufacture, and deliver to a 'farm.' Oprah answered

Finishing his wine, Stedman asked "I'm getting a beer. Do you want more wine, O?"

Living full-time with Stedman, for the last few years, had taught her that 'Getting a Beer' was Stedman's way of pausing to think about the subject being discussed, so Oprah said "Sure, but take your plate into the kitchen, and I'll get the rest of the dishes.

And, ... Put your plate in the dishwasher." As she heard Stedman open the refrigerator door.

After gathering the dishes, Oprah walked into the kitchen with the remaining dishes. She neatly placed the remaining dishes in the dishwasher as Stedman watched her.

"So, what happens if the electrical grid stops working?" Stedman asked, as he handed Oprah a half-full wine glass.

 "With the nation's electrical grid down, our country would lose its ability to communicate after a few days, heat our homes, process food, move freight across the country, plant crops, and many other tasks.

Chicago's water would quit working, toilets would stop flushing, the 'L' would quit running, and ..." Oprah stopped, taking a sip.


"According to the research team, we have several things to discuss.

First, do we even want to do anything about it. If we don't, we live our lives, just like we are now. If we do, ..." she trailed off.

Walking towards her, Stedman said "Darling, I think it's clear; we have to get ready for this" as he hugged her.

"Then, we have more to talk about" Oprah said, hugging him back.

Releasing each other, they walked into the great room with its gas fireplace giving the room a warm glow.

Sitting down, next to each other, Stedman reached for the notepad on the antique side table as Oprah started talking.

"First, we need shelter. We can do this a few different ways.

We can purchase a spot in these purpose built shelters, just like a condo. It will stand ready for us if we ever need it.

Another option is to build a purpose built shelter, just like .." Oprah said, as Stedman cut her off

"Tom Cruise" laughed.

"Yes, just like Tom and Nicole at their homes in Colorado and Melbourne." glaring at him, Oprah continued "We can also buy land and have a place built for us, like G.W."

"G.W. as in G.W. Bush?" Stedman ask.

"Yes, just like Laura and George Bush, down in Texas" Oprah continued after drawling the state's name "They have a nice home with solar power, wood stoves, water wells, and a host of other things."

"I don't mean to sound pessimistic, but what's the down side to each option?"

"According to Tom and the research team, a lot.

The purpose built shelters could be a scam, just fleecing people of their money. Plus, there is no guarantee the security staff won't kill everyone and move their families into the shelter. If, there is even a security staff.

Building a shelter would be difficult, here in Chicago and in Santa Barbara. There isn't enough space, and the building and zoning process would advertise to the world about the shelter.

Hawaii combines the two. The process of building a shelter would alert everyone, so we would be overran by unprepared neighbors. Plus, being trapped on an island that imports almost everything is a poor idea, so our home in the Bahamas is out, too." Oprah replied.

"That leaves buying and building a place. What is the downside to that option?" Stedman asked as he doodled on the notepad.

"Several. The home would have to be remote but not too remote. We would have to be discrete about building the property and, .." pausing "We would have to be accepted for our skin color." Oprah said, looking at Stedman

Putting down his notepad, Stedman said "I'm getting a beer. Do you want more wine?" as he scooped up her glass and walked to the kitchen.

As Stedman walked into the kitchen, Oprah quickly got up and padded to the bathroom for a quick pee. Returning, she found her lover sitting on the couch, sipping his beer.

Looking at her, Stedman said "There is a fifth option. We could upgrade each of the homes and stock them with the needed supplies."

"That is an option." she replied.

"So, what do we need to survive one of these EMP attacks or coronal mass ejections?"