Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Large Bug Out Back/ Ruck Conversation

I am looking at purchasing a large backpack/ ruck for my level 2 (sustainment) load. I have a ton of packs but they are split between various modern commercial ones that for one reason or another (size, color, configuration, etc) do not really work to optimally suit my needs and a stack of ALICE's I picked up on a deal. Honestly while the ALICE has a lot of value and is hell for stout (though like anything they do break) they are quite unpleasant to carry and offer limited options for side pockets and such. The ones I have will probably all end up in caches eventually.

Note I know what ALICE packs are and probably have more miles under them than most folks so please don't bother suggesting to carry one. Aside from not being comfortable they do not offer the pocket setup I desire. Yes you can modify them but that turns into spending Ferrari money on a Fiat in a hurry.

Additionally I am disinclined to go with a MILSURP MOLLE ruck due to A) being in blatantly military colors and B) while better than the ALICE not being on par with quality civilian models for comfort and ability to easily carry weight.

Concept of use is a big heavy duty pack with a decent amount of pockets as well as some comparability (MOLLE/ PALS webbing would be a plus) with a modern suspension system IE decent hip belt, shoulder straps, overall fairly comfortable and in an earth tone but not blatantly military (ie ACU/ Multicam/ etc) pattern.

Cost is not a driving factor but the budget  of roughly $330 does not currently allow for uuber high end brands like Eberlestock, Mystery Ranch, Kirafu, etc. Also the idea of dropping $400+ on a pack then payout out the behind a la carte to get some basic side pouches bothers me a lot. I COULD save for another month or two and be in that price range but it would take a compelling argument to justify the additional cost.

The pack I am looking hard at is the Kelty 7850 formerly known as the 128. It is a big, actually huge, pack from a quality modern company that is not completely overtly militaristic. There is a legitimate argument that people should get their stuff together and then get a bag that fits it to avoid the inevitable good idea fairy bag filling. That being said I have been carrying and living out of rucks for a long time so I understand the weight math. Additionally my life situation (specifically kids) is such that I want the ability to flex to add some stuff above my baseline setup.

The new Marine FILBE pack in FDE AKA brown seems to be nice but I haven't  seen them available for sale complete with frame yet without the assault pack and hydration system (both of which are fine kit, that I do not need). Also if prices are close I would take Kelty over .Mil any day.

Am interested if any of you have experiences with these packs or similar alternatives.


Monday, September 29, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We got a new dog.

Picked up some extra food for said new dog

Purchased a Stihl MS250 chainsaw and cut up a bunch of firewood

Restocked some consumables

I purchased two boxes of .308 ammo

Also since the last time we had this discussion I've picked up a couple extra mags for the Kahr and got corrective eye surgery.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, September 27, 2014

From Around The Web

Often I see stuff in blogs, on youtube or whatever that I want to highlight and potentially discuss. These can almost take over the blog as there is so much good content out there. I have decided to roll this stuff up into a 'From Around The Web' series'. This will be a semi regular series 

 Formerly Bayou Rennaisance Man on: Protecting your economic future in a time of chaos. I very much enjoyed this two (at least so far) part series on Protecting your economic future in a time of chaos (see pt 2 here). I noticed this awhile back and meant to talk about it but things got away from me.

My thoughts:
- I am uncomfortable playing fortune teller about the future. However I currently see bad things happening. Inflation is eating at my income, especially in the areas of food and fuel. Our costs are soaring AND things are supposedly just fine. Heck if you watch the news we are in a great recovery.

- I certainly do not disagree with anything Peter said about building skills and food stuff. Generally speaking I think for this scenario (and a lot of others) there are some commonalities. You need some stored food to get through an initial shock period. You also need to be gathering or producing some food. One of these does not replace the other. Obviously urban folks will have a hard time with the food production and suburban folks have challenges compared to rural folks (with some acreage) but we all need to find answers that fit our own situations.

- In terms of work and income I think trying to consciously put yourself in a position where A) your job cannot readily be absorbed by a couple co workers and/ or B) a machine or C) a person in India.

-Furthermore I think building up some sort of income separate from your 'job' is pretty important. This way you will have a little money coming in that will not vanish if your job/ business falls apart. If this side effort is in the type of area that is recession proof. In a recession people may not remodel bathrooms in fancy Italian marble but they will get the broken toilet fixed. People may not pay for a fancy home theater system but will still want a home alarm, especially if crime goes up. You get the point.

-In the second part of the series Paul looks at taking advantage of employment opportunities in boom areas. If you cannot find a job to support yourself at home it is prudent to look at moving instead of sitting and whining. If it's going to be short term maybe a parent moves and the family stays put.

A relative of mine lives in a small town in western Montana. The economy there is in the tubes. The young motivated blue collar men work in the oil fields. A bus runs from North Dakota to town Friday night and goes back Sunday afternoon.

I can certainly understand people choosing to stay in the area of their choice, especially if family is there, and accepting it may limit them economically. If that is the difference between making 60k a year and 40 it is one thing. If it's the difference between long term unemployment and surviving off charity or being able to support your family then be an adult and make the hard choice to move.

NutnFancy did an excellent review on the Yugo M70 N-PAP AK-47 rifle.
This rifle is a darn good AK and an amazing value.The lack of a chrome lined barrel is not ideal but I do not think it is a deal maker either, especially since this is a proven design. They have been letting Slav's kill other Slavs for years and to my best recollection not a single rifle that fought WWI or WWII had a chrome lined barrel.

The AK vs AR discussion is a valid one and as AR prices drop and AK prices slip upwards becomes more relevant. Additionally if your particular flavor of Apocalypse allows for small amounts of ammo/ mags/ parts to trickle out of .mil and .leo hands the AR offers a considerable advantage. That being said I would absolutely take a Yugo M70 over a bottom end no name AR (Franken parts gun or factory). If the goal was an AK pattern rifle and cost was a consideration (eliminating Rifle Dynamics, Krebs and other high end custom jobs as well as the production but uuber pricey Arsenal) I would without a doubt suggest the Zastava M70 PAP.

Would I choose one over Project AR, definitely not, but price wise that is talking apples and way, way more expensive apples.

On a tangent I was drinking beers and BSing with bro in law and building an AR came up in the discussion. I took a minute to roughly tabulate the total cost of project AR and almost shite myself. It was about $2,400 though that includes a Burris MTAC, a LA Rue mount, a Surefire light and a free floating rail. Honestly I built that rifle in a situation where I did not need a rifle but wanted to build a really good one, not totally disregarding cost but going for quality with the goal of doing it right the first time so as to not want to go back in 3-4 years and do it better. While I might drop a better trigger like a Giselle in there I am fundamentally totally thrilled with the rifle.


If I were living on a boat or in a travel trailer so was thus limited on # or weapons and wanted a quality genuine go to war rifle that I wouldn't cry if it got lost the M-70 would be the ticket. A Yugo AK with a dozen mags and a case or two of 7.62x39 ammo is enough defensive rifle for anything I'll face. Honestly if I can't fight my way out of a situation with that rifle it likely will not happen with another rifle.

FerFAL did a video worth watching not so long ago.
There are things in this video I disagree with and others I agree with. Like anyone who has been involved in an event that was very powerful our friend FerFAL may be a bit focused on the specific scenario that he lived through in Argentina in 2001. No doubt his experiences were significant and powerful that being said it is easy for a person to to stovepipe on a scenario they were involved in.

 I am not exactly focused that everyone carries a full sized Glock (or M&P/ whatever) all the time. If we focused entirely on an economic collapse scenario where things were going bad that idea has some merit. The problem is our friend, who is genuinely a good person doing good things, speaks only from the view of his experiences.

I am not against packing  full sized pistola at all. However A) Baring genuinely crazy situations most folks will not carry them and B) Depending on your scenario a lot less gun could work just fine. Down here in CENLA I am comfortable with a single stack 9 or a 5 shot j frame. Granted if I was in Houston or NOLA  all the time I would carry Glock 19 or larger with 2 spare mage and probably have a folding stock AKor AR 'pistol' in my vehicle just in case.

Where I agree strongly with FerFAL is about stuff I have talked before.  Southnarc a said the same things  which mesh heavily with Street Robberies and You. Take away's actively engage people with eye contact. Should that not be sufficient get a good firing grip on your handgun. IMO this matters a lot. First because it shows the crooks you are packing which convinces them to go elsewhere, second it drops your time to draw radically, third because if you should get into a close up fight having a good firing grip on your pistola almost guarantees nobody will shoot you with it.


Anyway that is what I saw around the web recently. Hope you found it as interesting as I did.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Stay At Home Mom Discussion

I talked about this not so long ago but this topic has come up in our social circles a couple times lately so Wifey and I have been talking about it.

[Note I am going to speak of dad (or to account for different paternal situations the man in the relationship) as the one who is going to keep working and mom as the one who is going to stay at home. I do this not because I am sort of old fashioned, though I am, but because it is by far the most common situation. So if Momma is going to work and Dad is going to be Mr Mom swap the titles in your head. Additionally if you have some sort of other non traditional situation where Tim and Sue are going to work and Bob, Jill and Ally are staying at home with the kids then adjust in your head as appropriate. I am not judging any of these scenarios it is just that I am writing to the situation I have experience with that is also the most common.]

I have said simply "For momma to stay home you need to live on at least a dollar less than what dad makes" before and while that is accurate it is a bit simplistic.

We will touch on what I believe are the most important parts of deciding whether momma staying at home is feasible and if it is something YOU AND THE SPOUSE want to do.

Agreement that momma staying home is a common goal: Unless you are rich to the point where mom's income does not factor into the lifestyle it is absolutely 100% essential that BOTH PARENTS AGREE MOMMA STAYING AT HOME IS IMPORTANT AND THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO MAKE SACRIFICES TO ALLOW THAT TO HAPPEN. This is not biting the bullet and going to the restaurant or movie the spouse wants, this is a major decision that will have a massive impact on your economic, social and family lives for at least several years. I would say this is probably something that if a partner feels strongly about they would be well advised to discuss it prior to making a (at least theoretical) life commitment to another person.

Obviously you have to be able to live on dads income for this to work. The three biggest points here are debt, income and lifestyle.

The thing about debt here is that, especially if the prospective momma has been working in a good job for awhile it is easy to accumulate stuff, or more accurately in the current American fashion stuff 'bought' with debt based on that situation.

I have long been on the record about hating debt. Personally I think debt should be used to fund education and purchase reasonably priced homes. The only exception I can think of is if you need to borrow to get a vehicle decent enough to get out of the clunker car $500ing you to death trap. Even then it is more like a 10k commuter car not a 50k extended cab 4wd diesel truck. The biggest reason I hate debt is that by promising your future earnings you are limiting your options. Want to quit your job because the boss sucks? Too bad you have a jumbo mortgage, a line of credit, 2 vehicle loans, a motorcycle loan, 4 credit cards, 3 store cards, 2 student loans and a vacation loan from last year's trip.

[The second biggest reason is that you pay extra to get a hamburger today and pay for it tomorrow. Fundamentally personal debt is currently and has historically been a vehicle of the poor. There is a reason for this. The third reason was good too but it just slipped my mind.]

Obviously for momma to stay at home the family will have to be able to service all their debt as well as live on Dads salary. This is where planning comes into play. A couple, unless they were anti debt for other reasons, often cannot decide a few months before the kid is born for momma to stay at home because of decisions they made months and years before. This is really the hardest problem to unravel and the only one where there is not a very good way forward for families. I know multiple families who are stuck in this debt trap of their own making.

Income is something we Americans have a hard time talking about. There is a reason folks working low/ no skill jobs for 25k a year living in old  single wide trailers and professionals with advanced degrees earning 250k living in McMansions both self identify as middle class. This topic is taboo to us for some reason; I think it is our egalitarian national identity or something. The hard truth is the family has a lot more options if dad makes a decent living and a lot if he makes a good one.

Families certainly can live 25-35k or whatever a year if they are in a place with a very low cost of living and have no debt combined with significant discipline. However transport them to a medium cost place and live them a pretty typical student loan, a vehicle loan and a bit of consumer debt and less than perfect discipline and dad's 40k is not going to make it work.

In the overall income to expenses discussion the income side far too often gets ignored. Sometimes if the family runs the numbers and falls short the answer is for dad to figure out how to earn more money to close the gap. Maybe he is in a job where extra shifts and or side work are an option or maybe he is not maximally employed and needs to seek out a better job. Along these lines momma doing a bit of something is an option. It is important to be reasonable here if dad can work harder. more at work going from 42k to 46k is realistic but 40 to 60 is probably a hard sell without some significant game changers

Lifestyle is a big one. I would argue aside from already existing debt (which is arguably the non smart way to finance a lifestyle;) lifestyle is the biggest single barrier to momma staying at home. As the saying goes you can have anything you want but not EVERYTHING you want. Many if not most Americans live a pretty materialistic lifestyle. We like cool shiny new things.We like traveling. We like eating out. We like tv with 7,000 channels in super 30,270HD.

Having momma stay at home means less money and that your things will be older, duller, smaller and fewer than they would otherwise be. Relative to your situation you are going to have less cool stuff than neighbors, friends and co workers.

Personally I would like to say I/we are not materialistic at all but that is simply not true. I would love to drive an awesome new shiny 4 door Toyota truck with all kinds of cool tactical/ SHTF mods but we do not want (and can't afford) the inevitable payment that would go with it. Ditto a motorcycle, a riding lawn mower, a sweet cabin/ bug out location, an awesome vacation every year and a Steyr SSG.

I/ We have chosen to have Wifey stay at home instead of having somewhat cooler stuff. There are times when that sucks and you get a bit jealous of the Jones's. That is called life.

Will not go as far as to say a couple are bad parents if they both choose to work in order to have bigger shinier stuff, travel more, etc. We all make choices for our lives that others could criticize but at the end of the day folks are doing what they think is right. There are lots of factors involved and it is hard to judge a persons choice. I will however say that if momma claims to want to stay at home she should be brutally honest with herself and admit to choosing a newer car and a bigger house or whatever over doing so.

So those are my thoughts on that. To recap for momma to stay at home the couple needs to agree it is a common goal, avoid debt that can't be serviced on one income and adjust their lifestyle to what the remaining income allows.

I do not want to be a kill joy. In most cases I have seen it is possible for momma to stay at home if they are willing to take the lifestyle hit. Maybe they need to ditch a vehicle with a big note and/ or a fancy toy in the process and generally living more modestly. YOU CAN DO THIS. Now whether mom and dad are both willing to take that hit is the question that matters.

Thoughts?


Thursday, September 25, 2014

Animal Update

A week or so back we lost a chicken. I was in feeding and checking for eggs and only saw 3 hens which was a problem since we have 4. Looked around their small enclosure and in the house. Definitely just 3 of them. Looked around the area . Some wire that was covering the gap between the door and the enclosure was pushed back. Also I found a few feathers and a wing on the grass nearby.


Had meant to better reenforce that roughly 3" cap but it never happened. That night I blocked it with a big chunk of wood. The next day I covered the gap with a board and shored up the surrounding area. So we were down a chicken.

Well this week we went to the local feed store/ farm supply for some chicken food and ended up coming home with not one but 3 young chickens. They are not chicks but aren't laying yet. So now we have 3 layers and 3 layers in waiting. The girls have been doing an egg or two a day. We switched back to the first food they were on so hopefully that helps a little bit.

My sister and her family were over that weekend and brought their dog. He got on with ours just fine which got us thinking about a second dog. Also Dog is really showing his age lately so we are not sure how much longer he will be around. We want a dog that will play more with the kids than current Dog is capable/ willing to.

Wifey started looking. We ended up getting a 3 year old female Mastiff/ Boxer mix. She is a large dog (probably 80lbs but a bit on the lean/ skinny side) but her head and neck are HUGE. Like ridiculously comically so. Also she has a freakishly giant tongue. She is super easy going and loves the kids. She is interested in being around them but not TOO high energy. So Dog #2 is looking to be a great new pet for the family.

She does however have a few quirks. She farts pretty often and they smell a lot. Also she is really drooly (which was a given). She eats food off the counter if it is left unattended. Also she carries stuff around in her mouth. Doesn't hurt it but just carries it around. So if something was left on or near the floor you might have to look around for awhile to find it.

So we currently have about 170 pounds of dog and 6 chickens. 


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chainsaw Update- Stihl MS 250

After the bleg I definitely decided on a Stihl. Looking at models the MS 250 stood out as a good option. Sure as a red blooded guy I am tempted to buy the biggest pro series saw they have with a 4' bar specifically designed for cutting down old growth timber but I try to make reasonable choices for my actual needs. I do not need to cut down acres of timber a year. Heck I do not need to cut 6 cords of wood a year, maybe 2 is plenty if we have a lot of fires. This is CENLA not the PNW or Michigan.

So I am looking at purchasing a Stihl MS 250. Even went as far as to check out our local dealer. Interestingly the sales person asked about my needs and suggested the same saw that jumped out in my research.The only reason I didn't buy then is they were out. Some should be in this week.

It comes standard with an 18" bar.

Thoughts?

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Gun Safe Discssion: Options I Have Used

TEOTWAWKI Blog asked about gun safes in a recent bleg. I thought it would be a good bridge to discussing different options for securing firearms (or I suppose other valuables). To keep the discussion more bout my personal experiences than something conceptual we will discuss mostly options I have used.

Before we start it is important to have a common foundation. In no particular order here we go:

-There are many reasons for wanting to lock up/ secure guns. The most common are to prevent them from being accessed by unauthorized users such as young children, preventing theft and protection from fire and or water damage.

-The reason you are looking to secure guns matters considerably in the methods and type of containers that make sense.

Case in point; when Walker was a tiny baby we went on a family vacation. Naturally a pistol, in this case my trusty Glock 19 came along. I needed a way to keep him from potentially getting his hands on my pistol while I was not wearing it when in the place we were staying. I purchased a small plastic case that closed tightly with two zippers you could slip a small lock through. Simply placed my (unloaded) pistol in this case, locked it and put it on top of a tall piece of furniture. A fine and very affordable solution for that specific situation. Honestly just putting my pistol 4 feet off the ground would very arguably be sufficient but I wanted an additional barrier in case say I took my pistol off and set it on a bed while changing and forgot to move it.

[Furthermore fundamentally in houses with small kids my fundamental belief is that guns need to be under the control of an adult or secured to prevent children from inadvertently accessing them. I know there are a multitude of viewpoints on this topic and what exactly constitutes 'small kids'. There are certainly a range of reasonable viewpoints. This is really all I plan to say specifically on this topic.]

However a couple years later with kids who can walk and get into all manner of stuff that option would obviously not work.

The solution for preventing unauthorized access may be entirely insufficient for preventing theft.  A solution that prevents theft might not work for fire.

You get the idea.

-In securing anything there is a give and take relationship between accessibility and security. More accessibility means less security and visa versa. This has to be balanced depending on your needs. In my mind this relationship leads itself to a split between primary defensive and very regularly used sporting firearms and whatever else may be in your collection.

-The hard truth is in the vast majority of violent crimes around the home you are not going to have time to go to the big ole gun safe, open the combination lock you probably mess up about half the time (when not under pressure), get a gun and load that gun. This already unlikely scenario is even less likely if your safe is in a less trafficked part of the home like a basement or garage and even worse if all ammo is stored separately. More on this later.

-When it comes to criminals of the burglar type or whatever. Typically they are not in a house for very long. If they can't carry it off strait away the odds they will bother are minimal. Of course sometimes they know you are gone for a week and the house is secluded or they know something particularly valuable is present at which point they will break into safe's, tear up walls and floors, etc all. Along these lines it is important to remember that people can break into anything if given sufficient motivation. Crooks regularly break into jewelry stores and bank vaults which have far better security than any normal person can afford.

- A sense of proportion both to what you want to secure in a safe and your overall financial situation is important. An average guy getting a several hundred dollar gun safe to secure several thousand dollars combined value in guns, jewelry, precious metals and cash makes sense. A well off enthusiast twenty thousand dollar safe to secure a high 5 to low 6 figure Class III collection makes sense. A twenty thousand dollar gun safe to secure Joe Everyday's 7-10k in stuff fails the common sense test.

- As a general rule it is smart to buy a bigger gun safe than you currently need or anticipate needing in the immediate future. The reason for this is many, if not all, gun collections grow over time and you cannot really add more capacity to a safe once it is full. Many people end up selling a smaller safe to fund a larger one or picking up an additional safe to close the gap.

I use the 'buying beer to take to a party' rule. If you(r group) want a 6 pack bring a 12, if you want a 12 bring an 18 or a case, you get the idea.

-Generally speaking I dislike electronic locks. The exception is if the speed of access they offer is needed for defensive weapons. Don't buy electronic locks from cheap manufacturers. Make sure there is a back up combo or key.

-The biometric (finger print) safe's are a nice idea but I dislike depending on a fairly cheap electronic device to read a finger print AND myself to present my finger print onto the scanner the same way as I entered it at 3am when men are talking in the living room. I'd rather have a combo type electronic lock. 

Now that we have that stuff out of the way lets get to some specific products.

For readily accessible defensive use:
-The GunVault NV200 NanoVault with Key Lock, Fits Full Size 1911 Style Pistols as well as many similar products is a little locking metal box that holds a handgun and some stuff like a light and a mag or two smaller handguns.

My GunVault NV300 NanoVault with Combination Lock (several manufacturers make very similar products) opens with a 3 number dial combination lock akin to a bike lock. This is handy to me because it avoids the 'where is that #*$*#*' key' problem which could be devastating in a crisis.  Access is fairly quick. Security is good for small children and keeping from getting shot with your own gun though a crook would likely take the whole thing and sort it out later. I find these quite handy for traveling. Their affordable cost and compact nature makes these ideal to securely stash in a hall closet, behind some books on a shelf or in a drawer. A couple of these paired with your back up .45 and the J frame you got for a great deal are an excellent way to have some defensive options around the home.

In our bedroom we keep a Sentry Safe HDC11E Home Defense Center 2.1 Cubic Feet with my 870P and Glock 19 with a light as well as Wifey's revolver. This is an excellent product that lets you have a long gun and a pistol (or two) very quickly accessible. The downside is it's expensive. If a long gun  being secure AND very accessible is not a deal maker for you the expense would be hard to justify.


There are lots of small quick access type pistol sized gun safe's like the Sentry Safe Biometric Quick Access Pistol Safe that can be mounted by the bed or whatever. These can often be mounted to a floor or piece of furniture. These can be easily concealed or obscured due to their small size. If money was less of an object I would have one in every room of our house.

There are other products available but these  are generally representative of  the general types of containers I like for securing primary (grab at 3AM, etc) type weapons.

For a more bulk storage of guns you do not need to access immediately a larger container is the answer.

For smaller collections and budgets a 'gun cabinet' is a good option. These are basically steel cabinets (think industrial filing cabinets) with a lock that can be screwed/ bolted in place.

In college I purchased a Stack-On GCG-910 Steel 10-Gun Security Cabinet, Green when I lived with a couple guys and there were often people over. These are a good option to keep several guns locked up away from unauthorized users and have some theft deterrent, A normal sized guy can carry one, even full of guns, but especially if secured to the wall/ floor, it is a lot harder than shoving a handgun in your pants or a few handguns in a pillow case and wrapping a couple long guns in a blanket. Still I would say the primary benefit of these is security from unauthorized users with theft a distant second.

The biggest benefit of these is cost. As a broke college kid when the local 'Mart had em on sale for $88 I crapped up the cash. Today at $130ish to secure a few long guns and as many pistols as you can shove in these are a smoking deal. With a little bit of prioritization anybody can afford one of these. cabinets and prevent small kids from accessing their guns while also deterring theft.Also being (relatively) small and light these can fit discretely in a normal sized closet and are easy to move which is handy for young people as well as folks who are semi nomadic or in transition.

For a bigger and more expensive collection a real safe makes sense.

It is worth mentioning a gem I found on ARF.

Safe threads are always fun, I'll give you the cliffs notes for the next twelve pages:

1> Someone will post that you need to spend $25k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
2> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
3> Then someone will post a video of that $25k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
4> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
5> Someone will post that you need to spend $50k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
6> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
7> Then someone will post a video of that $50k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
8> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
9> Someone will post that you need to spend $75k on a real safe, everything else is just a big coffee can
10> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
11> Then someone will post a video of that $75k safe being broken into by a toddler with a toothbrush in 13 milliseconds
12> He'll be plus one'd for a few posts
13> ...

End quote

I ended up with a few hundred dollar  Field and Stream 24 gun safe. It has a manual lock and a 30 minute fire rating. This safe is big enough to hold a pretty decent stash of guns, especially if you really organize it well. I will get a few G.P.S. Pistol Soft Foam Cradle Holder to help with that as the safe fills up. Beyond that when the safe gets full I will likely set up another cache someplace.

You can certainly spend more money on larger and fancier safes. Personally the 500 pound range is about the top limit I am going to be able to move with a good dolly and a buddy so I do not want a larger one. At that point I would likely just get another safe.

The last option if you are pretty permanently settled is to build a gun room. If you are going to have 2-3 big heavy duty gun safe's the cost is not really that different. 

So those are my thoughts on that. What do you think?

Monday, September 22, 2014

Steelbringer Indie Go Go

Steelbringer is a pretty cool Indie Go Go Campaign. I think it has a lot of promise. Also the idea of aesthetically pleasing yet durable and functional knives really appeals to me. I think that is something our contemporary machine made kydex handled nylon sheath knife market has lost. Hope this campaign goes well and am looking forward to seeing more from these folks in the future.

This Scandinavian/ Bushcraft type knife is probably my favorite. The metal butt cap is a nice touch both for aesthetics and durability. The gimping is a nice touch also. I would love to get one like it with a full tang and a 5 in blade.


 A good all purpose/ fighting type design with a beautiful Damask blade.

This hunting/ skinning knife seems like a really good design and is very pretty to boot.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Front Loading Medical Stuff

Food for thought. One of the less 'sexy' parts of preparedness is medical and dental stuff. Right now you can wait until a potential problem turns into a real problem and get it fixed in short order. So on one hand the incentive to get that tooth fixed or have the surgery done before absolutely necessary is minimal. However, especially for a survivalist or person who could get caught up in some sort of war or conflict that option will almost certainly go away.

The idea of a friend pulling a rotten or broken tooth out with pliers is far less than appealing. Ditto for having an existing but not urgent knee/ shoulder/ back problem flair up when I cannot get it fixed and really need to be able to perform.

The same could be said about 'family planning'. If you and the spouse positively do not want more children consider a permanent procedure to help avoid unplanned surprises at a time when picking up a 12 pack of Trojans is not an option.

Anyway this is your periodic reminder to get yourself physically squared away.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Music-Meanwhile Back at Moma's




I am not especially a Tim McGraw fan but this is a pretty good song.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Huge News: PRK Eye Surgery Complete!

I have been wanting this for awhile and things finally came together. Didn't want to say anything beforehand because I could have been disqualified for one reason or the other up until the day of the surgery. Anyway my eyes are pretty sore and vision is a bit blurry. They say pain should subside over the next couple days and vision should continually improve over 3-4 months.

Anyway right now my  vision is infinitely better than my previous uncorrected (no glasses) vision so it is definitely a huge improvement.

The next couple of days posts are scheduled. I won't be around much because 'screen tie' honestly hurts my eyes.


Last Dictator Standing: Hillarious Chicken Commercial


I do not know what made a chicken restaurant come up with this but it was hilarious.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Note: Correspondences and Due Out's

Over the next few days I may be slow about responding to emails and completing various due out's. Please bear with me.

Tacticool Magazine

Max Velocity brought to my awareness 'Tacticool Magazine'. I am not quite sure what to think of that. However Matt of MBest11X who is simultaneously a real deal Ranger Regiment vet and a hilarious youtuber is on the front page.
 
Matt's video on pre workout is awesome though rated R for language

Their hilarious video on "How to be a Man" is arguably offensive to women, gays, people who do not like profanity or sexual references and probably some other groups. It is however really funny. You have been warned. Link here.

If I see a copy of this magazine at a store I'll buy this edition though I'm not willing to seek it out. 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Things On My Mind

1) Adjusting my systems to factor in both rural and urban type considerations. Having system(s) that will work if I get stuck in the woods or have to crash land in a city. Obviously regional considerations apply. Zero in Montana does not need subway tokens in his bag and a guy in Arizona probably does not need snow shoes. However to say that everything is situational and individually dependent is a cop out. That is the 'everyone is great' of preparedness.

There are certainly right as well as wrong answers. The real question is how to balance competing demands to fit the various scenarios you may face.

2) Toying with getting some sort of a .40 S&W probably a Glock to beef up the Operational Cache. While the .38/.357 DA revolver is the standard for one group of people I am in at home my friends there seem to have unintentionally standardized to .40 S&W, specifically Glocks. Not high on the list bit it is something on my radar if a deal pops up.

3) Got my hands on some Brad Thor adventure/ spy type books at a garage sale for .50c a piece and am working through them. Enjoyable stuff for sure. Some reviews and thoughts will follow in due time.

4) Think we are taking the first real (not just Walker and I in the back yard) family camping trip next month. Should be an excellent forcing function to get some of our stuff relooked and then test it out.

5) The AR Folding Stock Adapter has intriguing possibilities, especially for a shorter AR. You do have to open it to fire more than 1 shot but still being able to get an AR into a (fairly) normal sized backpack opens up a range of possibilities.

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