Showing posts with label Maggy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Maggy. Show all posts

Friday, September 1, 2017

Real World Bug Outs Continued

Yesterdays Real World Bug Outs post got a lengthy comment from Aesop that I wanted to discuss. I will post it and my comments will be in italics.

My bug-out prep would be for 5 minutes and 30 minutes, but with kids, I could see a 15 minute instead of 5 becoming necessary.

It always takes more time to parade the troops.

Anything not important enough to grab and load in 30 minutes isn't vital anyways.
BTW, That's 10 3-minute round trips.


I think we could talk in circles about what the right time amounts are. As I look at my list the initial 15 minute time hack is way longer than I would need to do what is on the list. 5 might be a bit optimistic (where are my darn keys right now, etc all) but I could certainly call it 10. It would be 15 at least with kids. 

For the long time I need to think about it a bit more.
So besides figuring what you're carrying, break down those ten (or whatever, your house may be shorter trips than mine) trips into what you grab with each one, based again on triaging priorities. That way, if things get worse, you still got the most important stuff first.



I like the list broken down by trip idea. That is neat. 
 
i.e. Notional trip List

1) Important stuff - briefcase and B.O.B.
2) comms, backups, maps, compass, GPS, etc.
3) Weapons & ammo
4) Water and filters
5) shelter - tent, sleeping bags, etc.
6) medical
7) tools, traps, & gear
8) food
9) more clothes, boots, etc.
10) more food, water, addl. supplies

(And don't forget the carrier(s) for Fido and Fluffy, their food, bowls, leashes, waste management supplies, etc.!)


This is where the real world part comes in. We aren't fleeing the zombie apocalypse to go camp in the woods or something. Thus a need for a tent and traps and a bunch of bulk food isn't present. I'll be living on a couch or in a cheap motel eating pizza or microwave food from the grocery store. So I do not need to waste time and space on that stuff. Having some capability, like a BOB makes sense but that time and vehicle space would be much more useful for Great Grandmas rocking chair or something. I suppose the specific event and your plan will ultimately dictate. I can see myself ending up with 2 lists, one for an event during normal times and another or the dreaded zombie apocalypse.

More trips?
Make a longer list, as appropriate.

Then print it out.
Then put a house plan map, with trip number items color-coded, circled, and pre-packed into appropriate bags/bundles, on the back side.
Then make several two-sided color copies.
Then laminate them, and put them in appropriate places.


You kind of lost me with the talk of color coding and circling. Pre packing stuff makes sense though. I am pretty much there. Concur about the list. My plan is to firm it up an then do just that.

Anything not hot/cold/time sensitive, as much as possible, should be pre-staged in the vehicle(s), which saves you needless trips.

Pre staging stuff in a risky situation (there is a fire nearby, not quite close enough to evacuate yet, etc) certainly makes sense. Having your normal vehicle loaded to bug out at all times sounds kind of problematic. A full set up ready to go in a dedicated vehicle would be cool if you have one and a relatively secure place to store it.


(cont.)
Aesop said...
(cont.)
(Oh, and it should go without saying, your vehicle(s) should already have a list of items always in them 24/7/365 - tools, spares, flares, fluids, fire ext., first aid kit, etc., and a schematic of where they're stored, and what needs to be checked/replaced, at least twice a year. Just like the .Mil has done with jeeps, trucks, HMMWVs, MRAPs, APCs, and tanks since we stopped using horses. Doing this on the changes back/forth from Daylight Savings Time, which is always a Sunday, gives you winter/summer changeovers, along with swapping out stored batteries, rotating stored food, and changing active batteries in your smoke and CO2 detectors, and checking your household fire extinguisher(s). All of which people have, right? RIGHT?)


I concur with this and have more or less the same set up in my vehicle.

Kids bags being "too hard" is a cop out.

I am inclined to agree with you. The difference is you and I are fairly committed to all of this stuff. Normal folks aren't. So what is an acceptable level of hassle to you is not to them.

If they grow that fast, just put one full set of clothes into the bag once a week with laundry, and swap 'em out. You're gonna wash them and fold 'em anyways, so it ain't that tough. Or even once a month.

So obviously what's really kickin' somebody's butt there is self-discipline.

Excuses are just wallpaper for a pile of crap.

The briefcase idea is always right, going back to the second Bond movie.

Having your passport/IDs, important stuff, emergency cash, and some handy weapons and gadgets in a Get Out Of Dodge case or carryall is Survival 101, going as far back as the WWI precursors to the OSS 100 years ago.


I use a small backpack so I can stuff it into my BOB if needed.

Go over each item on a monthly basis, i.e. one item per month.

E.g., on that list, in February, you'd put fresh road maps, topos, state gazeteers, etc. in your map case, put in fresh stored (NOT kept inside the devices) spare batts for your GPS and handhelds, make sure your personal CEOI (local freqs, buddies' freqs, cellphone, e-mail, and snail mail addys for family, friends, neighbors, important contacts - banks, utilities, credit card companies, insurance agents and companies, emergency resources - Poison control, doctors, hospitals, red cross, state and federal FEMA, and anything else you want/need/think is cool etc. is all up to date and current, laminated, duplicated, etc.

And everything should be in both paper copies, AND a bombproof/waterproof/disasterproof encrypted thumb drive or three. You should have some of those stored/buried/cached offsite in redundantly redundant places, with all your important records archived.

This is on my to do list.

You can also fit more photos than anyone should own on the newer high-cap drives, and save yourself toting cartons of albums of otherwise irreplaceable family pics.


Scanning photos is a great idea. I will add it to my to do list.

For one example, you can put one or more such drives in one of the cute anodized, o-ring sealed aluminum "pill carrier" tubes, go to a close relative's house outside your region, unscrew the center latch of an interior door like a closet, get a paddle bit, and put a suitable hole into the jamb. Deposit the tube, put the latch back in place, screw it down on most of the screws, and epoxy in a broken-off dummy screw head for the remaining hole(s), and unless their house burns down or washes away too, it'll be there until you need it, or get old enough to go senile and forget you put it there.



I would probably just ask them to hold onto said thumb drive for me.

If you have masonry bits and some camo skillz plus a glue gun, you can do this with a brick in a pile, a rock, a tree trunk or stump, a plug/switch box in conduit, or about 1000 other places. The places where you can stash stuff you might want, but don't want to carry are mainly only limited by your imagination.




This kind of thing definitely has some cool possibilities. I am certainly a fan of caches.

And the fatter aluminum tubes about 3" long hold 30+ quarter-sized coins. Imagine pre-65 silver, or 1/4 oz. gold Canadian Maple leaf coins, and each one is a stash of $90-9000 US dollars of actual money. Just saying.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Real World Bug Outs

My friends house almost burned down. There was a fire in the immediate area. It happened during the day when B was at work. Maggy was home with the kids. She realized it was time to get out of there. She had the kids (they are young) pack bags while she put some other stuff together. Thankfully the issue was localized so a friend was able to come over and help with the kids which gave her a lot more freedom of movement.


She mentioned that it was a good thing that it wasn't a real emergency because between their kids bags was "3 pair of underwear, 4 shorts, 8 shirts, and 28 pair of socks."



This got us talking about preparing. I mentioned maybe having some bags ready to go. She, somewhat correctly, said for little kids whose sizes change constantly that would be sort of a constant mess. After some consideration I got back to her and told her what I actually do.



For my kids I keep a kid sized backpack in the car with a full set of clothes, 2x underwear, shoes, a coat and a few small books/ toys. This is basically their bug out stuff. It sits in the vehicle because kids are messy and crazy. Also it keeps this stuff relevant because it fits a normal life role and is getting used somewhat often. 


Other things that came up from this conversation are lists and drills.


Having a list of what you should take helps in stressful situations. Do the thinking when your mind is clear. Also this may well lead you to having things more organized. For example having your important papers in a folder or briefcase with your passports, documents, cash, spare keys, etc together in the safe makes it much easier than doing a scavenger hunt.


I broke my list into 15 minutes and 1 hour. To me much less than 15 is grab your wallet, BOB and run so no point in that. The other time of 1 hour seemed realistic for needing to leave soon but having more time.


Maybe you could do 4 hours and 24 but for me they seem to be getting less likely. Unless you have a bunch of guys to help and several large trailers you will see that the 1 hour plan has your vehicles pretty much packed up.


I am going to firm up my list a little and will publish it, or maybe a sanitized version of it, later.


Drills are important. Even relatively small kids can do stuff. Also if the kids are busy it lets parents be much more productive. Even something as simple as "Get dressed, pack a bag of toys, go to the bathroom and get into the car." would be a huge help. The kid drills are something I am kind of light on. I will have to take a look at Joe Foxs Book.


Anyway what are your thoughts on real world bug out's?



Sunday, March 4, 2012

You're on my Team

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Building Food Storage in Small Spaces

My long time friend Maggy dropped me a line the other day. She has been on hiatus from our sister blog for awhile as she has been busy having a kid. Anyway she has relocated to a very small apartment (she said the size of a postage stamp) and is looking to rebuild some food storage that got eaten up. She asked my advice on small spaces noting that under the bed was full of baby stuff and thoughts on stocking up beyond ‘if you need one buy two’ plan. Here is my sanitized and slightly edited reply to her:
First of all it has been awhile so I want to congratulate you on the kid and all that stuff. I am happy for you guys. Next there are two separate issues: space and stocking up.

For space: I am really not a huge fan of under the bed. Been there and done that, it just didn't work great. The issue with it is that stuff under there tends to stay under there and not get used, because it is a pain to get to under the bed. Not an issue for a water filter, a case of rifle ammo and some MRE's but for food you want to rotate regularly it is problematic. In my experience if accessing and thus rotating stored food is hard folks won’t do it. If you don’t somewhat regularly rotate food the whole storage thing doesn’t work so well.

I would say first to be more organized in the kitchen (example instead of having 3 drawers of tupperware and other crap have 1 or 2 organized ones) to get the most of the space you do have. Throw away any junk and organize the rest. This should free up some space. Next I would say to look at other shelving/ storage areas in your place. Wifey and I did this with success in the RV. Having a cupboard full of food in a different place isn't ideal but we have to work with what we have available.

Another idea to free up some space is to use small quart or whatever sized containers for staples, rice, beans, flour, etc and keep those in the kitchen. The big bags could then live in a closet or someplace a bit less accessible as you don't need to access them daily, just to refill the jars/ tupperware things.
Really it comes down to prioritization. Thinks we decide are important tend to happen and those we prioritize lower often stall out when they meet any resistance. If you start from the perspective of “I am going to fit X amount of food in my residence, where is it going to go” instead of “How much food can I conveniently fit in the kitchen as it is organized now, without adjusting anything?” there answer is going to be very different.

So in review; first organize the kitchen and then consider using other available cupboards and such outside the kitchen. If it is important, and food is important, then you can find a way.

Restocking on food: The buy 2 cans/ boxes/ packages when you really only need one plan is good. It lets you stock things you are actually eating in better varieties than say buying a case of chili and a case of stew.

The thing is that nobody, except maybe Redacted (her significant other and my longtime friend who doesn’t have a name on here, or I can’t remember it) and he probably did it because he is lazy, wants to eat chili for a month in a row. Far better to have 6 cans of chili, 3 cans of stew, 3 cans of clam chowder and 6 meals worth of pasta with both red and white sauce, etc.

One good way to give your food storage a sort of jump start without getting sucked into too much of any one thing is to get a good baseline of staples. A 20 pound bag of flour, 20 pounds of rice, 10 pounds of corn meal, 10 pounds of beans, a big bag of pancake mix with a large jug of syrup, some peanut butter, jelly, oil and spices and you can eat for a pretty long time, especially since you can cook. That stuff just about doesn't go bad (you can't store a ton of it just in bags but if you cook at all a big bag will get used up well before it would go bad). It doesn't cost a lot and in a pinch you could eat off it for awhile. Maybe do that to get the ball rolling and keep up with the need one buy two and pretty quickly you will accumulate a lot of food you will actually eat.

FWIW the one shelf stable food we probably can't stock enough of in my house is pasta. It is cheap and easy and can be used a lot of ways. Cook a package of pasta, maybe do up some meat and veggies (or not) and toss it in some sauce and you have an easy dinner. In my observation one of the biggest ways for a plan of staple cooking to break down is getting busy. If you get busy and don’t have some reasonable options to get dinner on the table in 15-20 minutes with minimal hassle it is going to be convenience foods or pizza. Pasta is great for this.
Also we eat a lot of rice and I have cereal for breakfast most mornings so we usually have a dozen or so boxes of whatever has been on sale recently.
I hope this gives you some ideas. Feel free to hit me up with any questions it may bring.
-Ryan
If you have anything to add please do so in the comments section.

Monday, November 1, 2010

quote of the day

"If you're old enough to dress like a hooker, you're too old to trick or treat." 
-Maggy

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Lent

Lent is coming up pretty darn quickly. Though not particularly religious (3.5 out of a possible 10) I do practice Lent. Interestingly I started it in college after being inspired by a friend who is a total atheist. It is kind of a good way to practice some self sacrifice and control. Also helps put things in perspective.

This year I have decided to give up coffee. It is not going to be fun.

Ryan and Maggy have a 'Lent Off' every year. I believe it is % based weight loss with cash for the winner. Not sure where the big guy is on turning Lent into a form of gambling by making wagers but in any case.

So yeah I am going to give up coffee.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Caught Up With Maggy

I had a long instant message conversation with Maggy last night. It was good to catch up on life, friends and such. She was pretty proud that she has 3 months stored food for her and boy. Also stashed some cash into an emergency fund which is good. People have came home for Christmas and are getting together to eat, drink and be merry.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cupnds

Maggy sent me this. Save 15% on your next purchase of a Shelf Reliance purchase. These are the folks who make the Cansolidator and all sorts of other awesome stuff.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Home Made Belt Fed Shotgun


EMBED-Home-Made Belt-Fed Shotgun - Watch more free videos

One of these would be pretty useful for protecting a choke point or a final protective line. Hat tip to Maggy for sending it to me.

Friday, November 6, 2009

quote of the day

Text of the day: "there comes a time in your life where have to ask yourself "am I prepared for the zombie apocalypse?". and the answer is no, no I am not." - D

 Saw this on Maggy's Facebook page and stole it. 

Sunday, October 11, 2009

I Made Bread

So today I made bread. Wifey was around but I did it all. We don't have a bread machine or any of that junk, just some measuring cups, a big mixing bowl, a baking pan and an oven. It really wasn't that hard. It takes hours but in a do this, wait awhile and come back sort of way.

Wifey has used this recipe for awhile. Maggy wrote about it and took a nice picture awhile back so instead of writing the recipe and such I will just link to her piece on it. On an unrelated note I am a special sort of lazy where instead of taking a picture, uploading it and writing the recipe I spent a solid 20 minutes digging into the archives of her blog to find a piece on it.

Next weekend I am going to try and do biscuits. The good yummy, fluffy ones.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Start Cooking Now

Folks often talk about eat what you store and store what you eat or first in first out. These both have their merits and worth but that is not my point for today.

In the not that distant past both Wifey and my friend Maggy have gotten into staple cooking and doing stuff from scratch big time. Both have had tons of success but also plenty of failures. And that is plenty of failures with the option to go get that ingredient they didn't know they needed till 5 minutes into cooking (or have their husband go to the store;) and google and Momma on the phone. Simply the learning curve for staple cooking is fairly steep. All sorts of different recipes have their weird little unspoken or written down eccentricities. The learning curve for anything that involves yeast is ridiculous.

Some of this you can learn directly from watching someone do it or from a book but just like the directions to Uncle Jim's old hunting cabin one can often completely mess it up the first time they try going there alone, because the act of doing it completely by yourself is very different from doing it with someone or helping someone do it.

It is a lot better to have that loaf of bread or whatever that gets messed up (again and maybe again) just mean that dinner is going to be late (been there) or even that you are ordering pizza or going out for burgers (been there too) that going to bed hungry.

Start cooking with staple ingredients now.

Oh yeah and big happy fun times because Wifey is on an awesome cooking week long marathon. Yesterday was these Philly Cheese steak cal zone things and today is my most favorite soup ever.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

To My Sister

We were all sitting around doing the family gaggle around the kitchen before dinner thing and I was fiddling on the blog. Checked the adsense and realized that it had made a couple bucks so far that day. Somebody asked about that and I said it made about $80 last month. Somebody else got excited about the idea of making money from blogs and I sort of tempered their expectations by mentioning that I would do a lot better $/hour wise working at Donalds. Did mention that if he had an area he liked writing about then to go for it.

Anyway my little sister wanted a link to the place so I figured it deserved a post. Also trying to build up enough so there is something daily when I am offline (I believe) next week sets the bar for turning an idea to a post fairly low.

Anyway I thought it would be good to bring a few things from the archives for sis.

So if you end up visiting the blog I suggest reading these links.
Letter to a friend, Letter to a friend two and The Emergency Fund

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Maggie's Economic Plan

I have been chatting with Maggie for a while about this. What should Congress do about the current economic issues? California is a good example.. For years California has attempted to live the Hollywood dream. Social programs for everyone, ignoring where the money has to come from. Now, they are having to cut a bunch of their social programs. Weird.

Maggie's life is a good example of how Congress should balance the budget. Maggie wants to spend three weeks in Mexico. She does not have the money. Should she a) not go to Mexico, or b) go to Mexico, and not think about the cost? Maggie didn't go to Mexico. Congress would have. Right now, we are in a trillion dollar deficit, and the solution is.... Oh, wait. No one is even pretending to talk about what to do about it. We are just ignoring the reality, and adding on new social programs, without even questioning how we will pay for it.

Maggie wants lots of things. Maggie does not have the money for them. Maggie doesn't buy them. Congress could learn a lot from her.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Maggy on Minimum Wage

"I doubt many people would be super pleased to lose their vacation, sick days and go back to working 12 hours a day, 7 days a week for pennies on the dollar in a shitty factory."
-Maggy on the minimum wage discussion.

TOR says: I think people too often forget that so much of what shapes our current work environment is in some way government mandated. In addition to what Maggy said you could add 401K's and just about every other retirement plan or retirement tax benefit (roth IRA, etc all) to the list.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Health Care- We Are All Screwed No Matter What Happens

I have been putting this off for awhile. The article has re written itself in my head multiple times and while I am not completely satisfied with its content today is as good of a day as any. This is going to be sort of a hodge podge of theories, potential solutions, the problem with them and different examples.

A good friend who is otherwise pro limited government is for a single payer Canadian style plan. Insurance has been recockulous for his family and the Canadian style plan might have some benefits for him. All principle aside I thought a lot about this and he has something of a point. For a person with some relatively main stream but consistent medical problems which require regular hospital visits this could be a good thing.

The main problem with that sort of an idea as I see it is that unless you are constantly having needs that can get addressed by an ER doc or a GP you will need to see an expert, possibly more than one expert. In a government run single payer system the chances of seeing an expert in a timely manner is about as likely as the sloppy drunk random who comes home with you from the bar being truthful when she says 'I've never done anything like this before'.

My friend Maggy and I have talked about this pretty directly. She is for a single payer plan because she has seen them work first hand in other countries and also for the practical reason that right now there is no way she can afford health insurance (though thankfully boy has it through Ex-hole). Since she has a lower income and no current coverage she would fare reasonably well under this sort of plan EXCEPT that it will hurt our economy. The people who would take the real financial hit for this sort of thing are the ones who would likely employ her (as an individual or in a small business) or be regular patrons of the sort of service/ disposable income kind of places she would likely work. So odds are that even though this would not cost her money directly it would likely take money out of her pocket one way or another.

Wifey and I had an interesting discussion about this. Her Dad has a real good job and makes what I would consider a lot of money. Not top 1% or anything but a hell of a lot more than average. He is high up in the company he works for and if laid off it is unlikely he could find another job at that same income. Little Sister in Law has a complex medical condition. She probably goes to 6 or 7 different experts and has a multiple doctors appointments every month. She is also on Human Growth Hormone (her and Mark McGuire:). There is no way in hell they could get private insurance with her complex pre existing condition. At face value a single payer plan might be a good thing for them. No worries about job loss or pre existing conditions excluding you from being able to buy coverage. Except the problem with this is that she currently has Cadillac health care. In a single payer system (true in the best ones and very true in the less good ones) care in managed to keep costs in line. Her far cheaper care would be much more Chevy or Daewoo style and would not be effective for filling her medical needs and having high quuality of life.

My best theory of how to make our system better has been as follows. Simply put insurance needs to go back to what it is meant for, occasional unlikely extreme circumstances. We all have car insurance but of we get a blown tire or need an oil change that is out of pocket. Insurance is or at least should be for when you wrap your car around a tree or get into a collision with someone else. Health insurance should work the same way. Pay for regular visits and occasional trips to the doc with a bad cold or even a broken arm with cash and have catastrophic healthcare insurance for genuine emergencies. Have a catastrophic insurance plan (between $1,000 and $10,000 depending on your income and needs) coupled with a solid emergency fund and a lot of people are good to go.

There are two real problems with this plan. First it will only work for basically healthy people who really don't use their insurance much and only have it in case something suprising happens so they aren't financially ruined. Those who need regular care (not yearly checkups and such) and or have multiple perscriptions would often not be well suited by a plan like this.

The second problem is that insurance works reasonably (yeah that can be debated but we'll get there later) because most people who have it are basically healthy. For every 70 year old with 6 perscriptions and all sorts of doctor visits and medical costs there need to be several 20 somethings who have insurance and don't cost the company a dime. Lets say everyone pays $250 a month (yeah people pay more than that and not everyone pays the same, I got it) and Mrs Johnson costs the company $1,000 a month. That means that without even factoring in administrative costs and profit (we will revisit this one) there need to be 3 people who don't so much as go to the doctor once to even out the costs of her being insured. So if every healthy person got catastrophic insurance and paid a far lower premium insurance companies would have some real problems.

I do however have a real problem with many conservatives who think our medical system is working just great. To be blunt I don't think our current system is working well at all for anyone except the very rich and a few who currently have really awesome insurance plans. Even for those who have 'good' insurance premiums are getting higher and they are buying less and less as services get worse while deductibles go up. I have seen this through my Mom's insurance over the last decade or so. Loose a job and you are screwed by 'pre existing conditions'. The current system we have jacks up the prices of everything so much that you basically need insurance.

We the functional people pay insane amounts for services (and by default insurance) because illegal immigrants and assorted poor people go to the ER because it is cheaper than buying some bandaids or cold medicine at Rite Aid. I am not advocating that people aren't treated for genuine life threatening emergencies. Don't think any sane person would do that. Imagine Joe Middle Class looses his job and thus his families insurance. Since they're broke the family is cooking hot dogs around a small bonfire, little Timmy slips and falls face first into the blaze. Joe pulls him out getting some pretty good burns on his hands. The Mrs gets you both into the SUV and drives to the hospital like it is the Indy 500. You get there and they immediately ask for pre payment, cash or major credit card only and it is going to cost $10,000. You don't have that in the checking account and the limit on your AMEX is 5k. They say fuck you and to get out of line till you can provide payment. That is more or less how it is right now in China and I don't think even the most heartless liberterian wants that here.

As for the talk about how we will save $1,200 because Homeless Joe or Illegal Jose will have insurance instead of just getting care and us eating the cost I am not so sure. Sort of seems like us the tax payers giving these people free or very cheap insurance 'saving' us money may be Enron style accounting but me is not an expert on that.

A single payer system will be good for the currently uninsured particularly those with low incomes at least if taken at face value. Everyone having the same access to medical care certainly fits some egalitarian points of view. One real benefit it would have is that it would effectively de couple having decent insurance that doesn't exclude anyone who has ever had anything wrong with them from getting reasonably priced insurance. For those who want to work for themselves, do some consulting or maybe underground work this might not be a horrible thing.

When it comes to insurance people far too often forget (mainly because insurance is so intertwined in our lives) that insurance companies exist to make a profit from providing a service. They want to get as much money from people as possible and manage to exclude as many expensive treatments and conditions as possible. Their desire to make a profit might just be better than a single payer system which just doesn't give a fuck. They light cigars with $100's and when those run out they just get more from the government which means us. So we loose either way.

So a single payer system sucks because at the end of the day they ration care and their is absolutely no incentive for the monolithic state health aparatus to be efficient, timely or generally do anything well. Our current system is rapidly going from bad to worse.

While I do have a few ideas on how to make things better (streamline real tort reform, refuse to pay more for meds than other countries, crack down on various fraud/ waste/ abuse, and a couple others) these are sort of like the lady argueing over getting 12 cents off peas and 87 cents off tortillas when she has $200 in groceries in the cart. They will not really change the overall financial situation of the thing.

For every possible plan there are strengths and weaknesses. I suppose finding a plan that is most tolerable to as many people as possible and completely intolerable to as few as possible is the best we can possibly hope for.

Lets look at this like an 'Adult Novelty' store. There are many different products some of which are fairly mild (r rated birthday cards, playboy, etc) and others are very extreme with everything in between. The common denominator of every product in the store is that in some way or another (if only symbolically) someone definitely gets fucked.

So basically we are all screwed.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Batons, Glocks, Maggy and Womens Self Defense

Today I am going to be writing about a conversation with Maggy about batons, Glocks and self defense. She wrote on this earlier today.

[You guessed it this is DISCLAIMER time. I am not a martial arts or self defense or firearms instructor. I am also not a cop, a lawyer, a prossecutor, a defense attorney, a doctor or a carnie (sorta wish I was a carnie though:). What I say is for informational purposes only and I strongly suggest you consult the appropriate professionals before making any major decisions. In closing you are a grown assed man or woman and solely responsible for your choices.]

Anyway I got a phone call from her yesterday. Picked it up and after the usual pleasantries she asked what I thought of ASPs. I said they are not as good as a gun but a heck of a lot better than waving your arms around while saying harsh words. The first real plus of an batons for Maggy's individual situation is their low price. I own a generic version (not cheap crap though) and it seems that around $20 is the price. Genuine ASPs are $70 on the website (may be cheaper elsewhere) if you want to be spiffy. I have been quite happy with mine and see no reason for the additional expense. As with most of us desires are infinite and resources are finite but as a single mom Maggy definitely needs to watch her dollars. She can go get a baton this weekend but saving up for a Glock 9mm is going to take awhile. If nothing else a baton is a great weapon for her to carry now until a pistol can be purchased. Believe I said that for her situation "if she needs to fight it will be far more useful then an envelope in a drawer which has "Glock 9mm" written on it and $30 inside". The second advantage is that boy is not going to be able to hurt himself with a baton; well not more than he could with a rock or a piece of firewood. She will need to address firearms safety with children at some point (a small floor mounted safe) but that isn't a concern for today.

As for batons in general they are probably my prefered non firearm weapon for self defense, certainly my favorite that is readily concealable. Can't conceal a ninja sword or an ax handle. I like batons for several reasons.

1. Taking out and extending a baton really says "I am not fucking around and will hurt you badly". Of course intimidation is often not enough to win a fight but sometimes it is, in any case never a bad thing to have a bit of it on your side.

2. They give you reach. Reach means you can strike someone before they can strike you which is a very good thing. It could be quite possible to incapacitate someone before they could be in range to harm you. Reach is also very important against a knife.

3. Batons can incapacitate someone without killing them. Not to say they can't maim, cripple or kill people but it could be entirely realistic to incapacitate an attacker in a manner that let you have safe egress and them have nothing worse than a very sore wrist and a few lumps elsewhere. (If this is the intended strategy it would probably be prudent to avoid the head, neck and spine) Granted I can't see myself hitting someone with a baton unless doing serious harm wasn't my intention but it is good to have options.

For Maggy's long term plan a Glock 9mm (not yet purchased) will be the answer for carry and a 12 gauge pump will keep the house safe.

As for womens self defense I think they have some advantages and some disadvantages.

Advantages:

1. Women are generally far smarter about not going to stupid places or being out at stupid times than men are.

2. A women (especially one of small stature) can probably justify a far quicker progression through the use of force continuum then a man would be able to. I have a very hard time seeing a woman (with a clean record) who shot a man (probably a felon) who tried to strong arm rob/ rape/ whatever her having real legal fallout. Do apply common sense (if someone isn't threatening your life you don't need to take theirs) and of course reread the disclaimer.

3. In general the average woman is more aware of their immediate surroundings then the average man is.

4. A woman will be more likely to have the element of suprise because effective resistance is less likely.

5. Because of a lack of testosterone fueled ego women tend to learn skills with a more open mind thus learning them faster and better than men.

Disadvantages:

1. Women on average are smaller and have much less upper body strength then men. If a woman (who is not a professional fighter or ninja) gets into a hand to hand fight with an average man she is going to loose. A 115lbs woman with a black belt in some sort of asian art will probably not last long in a fight with an average sized (5'9" 170 ish) somewhat hardened criminal.

2. Guys are not common targets of stranger rape (the grab by the hair and drag into the alley kind) while women are. More potential reasons to be targeted equals more potential for an encounter with a violent criminal.

3. Womens fashion tends to make the carry of a firearm on your person somewhat difficult, especially in warmer weather. A guy wearing a loose fitting t shirt and shorts is quite common but not so for women.

4. Guns and holsters are generally designed by men for other men to use. Women are shaped different. Finding a good comfortable holster will be more difficult. This does however seem to be getting a bit better recently.

Maggy also mentioned that she had been toying with the idea of taking boxing classes. I suggested first that she take a womens self defense class. Not that one of these will turn her into a trained killer or anything but it will get her a lot for $50 and an afternoon or two. Boxing classes conversely will take a long time (probably months) for her to see any real improvement. I mentioned that if she stands there and trades punches with some guy it is not going to go well. A few nasty shots ending the matter is probably a womans (and to a lesser degree a mans) most realistic way to win a hand to hand fight. Taking boxing classes would not be a bad thing at all just that it might be wise to pursue an avenue with a quicker payoff first.

For womens self defense in general I suggest the same thing as I do for men. Purchase, train with and carry firearms. (Bridgid wrote a good post on this topic recently) If you are not at all 'into guns' a compact pistol (carryable) and a pump shotgun are probably enough guns. If you get more into it a .22 for training and a rifle just in case things go completely to hell would be wise.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Life, Times, Conversation

Had an interesting talk with Maggy this evening. The content of it plus expanded thoughts on the topic will probably be written tomorrow. Would do it tonight but I find posts often get better and never get worse from a bit of reflection. Sort of like mental marinading.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

This was too funny not to post

"My dad said he doesn't like Guns & Roses, and Boy told him he's a hater and hair metal is awesome."

-Maggy's kid apparently loves Guns & Roses. IMHO Appetite For Destruction was quite possibly the best album of the last 20 years. I threw in Welcome To The Jungle because it was on topic and it is a great video.

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