Showing posts with label fatty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fatty. Show all posts

Monday, August 25, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

We picked up a large Coleman family sized car camping type tent

I am actively shopping for a single stack 9mm pistol

Over the last week or two I have been refocusing on physical fitness and
diet. Let a few pounds slip on and now it is time to eat less and move more
to lose them.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, December 6, 2013

Devils Advocate No Armor; My Thoughts

 Devils Advocate: a devil's advocate is someone who, given a certain argument, takes a position he or she does not necessarily agree with, for the sake of debate. In taking this position, the individual taking on the devil's advocate role seeks to engage others in an argumentative discussion process. The purpose of such process is typically to test the quality of the original argument and identify weaknesses in its structure, and to use such information to either improve or abandon the original, opposing position.

Too often we get into an echo chamber type group think so it can be good to take a step back to examine the underlying ideas of a given technique or strategy. I worry any time a group considers debate on a specific subject to be entirely closed to the point they refuse to consider alternative perspectives, especially ones based on new information or technology.

I linked to this excellent series a couple days ago. In that post I asked for your thoughts which were interesting as always. Now it is time for me to share my thoughts. For rules of engagement I am going to call it as I see it with an emphasis on adding value to the conversation and keeping argument to an acceptable level.

No Armor: Let's look at the up and down points for armor.
Up:
-It can literally save your life. The drastic decrease in lethal wounds over post 9/11 conflicts could be largely attributed (along with modern trauma training/ equipment) to the proliferation of hard body armor.
Down:
-Weight. Body armor weight's something. As a generic figure a plate carrier weights about 15 pounds and a full on tactical setup closer to 22. This means an individual fighter is carrying a heavier load which makes them (marginally) slower and is weight that counts against the total a fighter can carry.

-Cost. Body armor costs something. As of the last couple years a lot of new players have gotten into the game producing body armor for the civilian market at much lower prices than it used to be available. A solid setup of a plate carrier and rifle plates can be had from the under $500 range all the way up to 3-4 times that for state of the art ultra thin/ light stuff.

Max Velocity wrote about this awhile back. Our thoughts generally mesh.

My Thoughts: Throughout history we have seen weapons and various forms of armor designed to protect against them. The sword and the shield, lances and suits of armor, etc. With the advent of firearms it took awhile for armor to catch up. However now that there is viable armor to protect against small arms it is foolish not to utilize said armor.

As a general rule if I am carrying a rifle for social purposes I will be carrying spare ammo in a war belt, chest rig or whatever and wearing body armor. The only exceptions that come to mind are 1) In and around water when I assess the risk of drowning if I fall into the water with the extra weight is higher than the risk of being shot. In this case I would ideally bring body armor with me then put it on when I get onto land. 2) For longer duration missions where the weight of body armor needs to be replaced with food and water in order to not die. Maybe surface water is not available, such as in the desert, or we will be lying up in one place on a recon mission for awhile. If my basic fighting load and sustainment load weight 85 pounds total I'm not going to add armor on top of it. Those two scenarios or ones very similar to them are the only reasons I can see not wearing body armor along with carrying a rifle.

As to the cost of body armor. These days body armor is just not THAT expensive. An entry level setup in the four hundred and change range is doable for most folks with a bit of planning. I do not look down on somebody who hasn't got to purchasing body armor yet due to the prep money going for food, water, basic weapons, etc or those just plain can't afford it. That being said if you have a $1,500 Kimber 1911 and a $2,500 .308 (or a safe full of guns) but whine that armor is expensive I would submit your priorities are about collecting not being ready to fight. We discussed this awhile back.

As to the weight of body armor.
 
Some folks mentioned a lack of physical fitness, particularly cardiovascular conditioning as a reason not to wear body armor. By that thinking why don't you switch out that big heavy rifle which makes your arms sore for something smaller, maybe a nice little pink Cricket .22?

Don't carry the right gear because you're too fat and out of shape? You have got to be kidding me.  What the hell kind of feel good everybody gets a trophy and you all all special crap is that anyway? I am calling bull spit on this one. How about we use that as a motivator to get to eat better and exercise more to fix the actual problem.

Body armor slows you down but not that much. Awhile back I did a 2 mile run on a rolling course in boots n utes plus body armor. IIRC my time was 15:45. At that time my 2 mile run in shorts and running shoes was in the 14:45 range. The time difference is pretty negligible for the protection armor gives.

Consumer Reports says the average 6th grade student carrier a backpack that weights 18.4 pounds. If a little kid can carry that amount of weight while flirting and dodging bullies in the halls at break I would submit a healthy adult should have no problem carrying it.  If you are in such poor physical condition that the equivalent of a little kid's school napsack kicks your butt then it may be worth revisiting your potential as a fighter. Not everybody in the tribe fights enemies and hunt the meat, some folks cook the meat, some clean up the camp, some watch the children, etc.

As a final thought reasonable people may look at this issue differently. Overall we are probably too psychologically reliant on body armor anyway. People can look at body armor from different perspectives but the primary drivers should not be that you would rather buy something fun than spend money on armor and are in terrible shape.

This got a lot longer than I thought so we will talk "Rifle Only" another time.

Thoughts?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Fair Day

Went to the county fair today with the family. Looked at animals and projects, ate too much wonderfully unhealthy food and had a great time. Walker got to pet a bunch of animals, ride a car ride and then had a snow cone so he was a very happy little camper. Since we got back at his bed time and now that I've caught up on some reading it is my bed time there will not be a post today.

I gave the doomsday worries a rest and had some fun with the family today. With all the stuff going on a nice little break was excellent. You should go out and do the same.

Now I'm off to bed. Good night

Friday, September 6, 2013

Low Carb Week 1

It was a bit of a short week but I like doing Friday weigh in's so there we are. Lost 5.2 pounds this week. My diet was basically eggs, meat, fruit, veggies and some dairy. Strictly speaking fruit and some veggies have carbs so maybe low starch is a better way to put it but lets keep things simple. The dairy was generally minimal, a bit of cheese on some dishes and a glass of milk before bed. Had some various sauces with meat, largely as part of coming up with meals that worked for me and the family.

Going to have a fatty meal tomorrow for dinner (realized that eating well Sunday-Friday at noon then junk for 30 some odd hours doesn't work) then do the same thing again next week. After this I don't know. Probably a fairly similar diet for awhile but may work in some oatmeal or decent cereal in the morning.

Aside from being happy about ditching a few pounds this is my way of reminding you that it's simply not practical to outrun the fork. The math doesn't work. A hard workout can easily be outdone with a couple of cookies. Baring insane volume (like ultra marathon type stuff) you simply have to address diet to get weight loss results.

 I did get back to some decent exercise this week but nothing crazy. More of a transitional week back into it than anything. Just might have a rough idea of a decent routine for my needs as well as wants. Next week I'll hit it a bit harder to see.


Thursday, September 5, 2013

Just Do It!!!

This week we decided to get back to eating right as well as generally being healthy. We were moving out, then on the road then in a hotel at this end for awhile. That turned into a long weekend that was yummy but not especially healthy. I took Walker swimming the other day. Definitely crammed 20 pounds of Ryan into 15 pounds of suit. It was certainly a wake up call. So anyway now we are doing better.

I've gotten back into the gym as well as other exercise. Might just strap on the old ruck tomorrow. Again right now I'm probably figuring out a time schedule that is realistic plus a routine that fits my needs. There is a gym close to where I will be working so that is good. Also post has lots of pull up bars, ropes, dip bars and such for body weight stuff which is cool.

Also I started daily dry fire training. Nothing crazy really just establishing a habit, can fiddle with the programing later. Once spare mags and snap caps come out of storage that will help considerably. Do need to purchase a timer though.

The point of this is to stop being complacent and get yourself in gear. Start working to be the person you want to be. Just do it!!!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Getting Serious

Until I lose 10 pounds.....no more booze for this guy. I am eating well during the week and blowing it on the weekends cough and an occasional Wednesday cough.

Until I purchase a quality kydex holster for the G19/TLR1 combo with a good mag pouch, 250 rounds of #4 shot, 250 rounds of buckshot, 500 rounds of 9mm, 500 rounds of 5.56, 1k in 7.62x39 and finish Project 870 I will not purchase or start saving for another firearm. (The exception to this would be if I find a good deal on a single shot 12 gauge. They don't cost much and I have been looking for one for awhile.)

Time to get serious.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

5 Systemic Mistakes in Survivalism

These mistakes are not universal but I think are widespread and should be addressed.

1) Lack of Physical Fitness. This should not come as a surprise. Some seriously prepared individuals with awesome skills and massive logistics are in pathetic shape. Some famous folks in survivalism would almost surely die if anything actually happened because they cannot do anything physical. I can't say what will take them out but something sure will. It might be walking to the neighbors and coming home with a bag of potatoes, or trying to do farm chores without a truck, tractor, chainsaw, wood splitter, power tools, etc all or maybe not being able to move their body and equipment during a fight or for some other reason. However to think they can fight or live an independent 19th century lifestyle is laughable.

For the sake of this article I don't care what type of exercise plan you have. Be able to move your body and some stuff quickly or for a long time and be able to lift stuff. Get to a reasonably healthy body weight. Enough beating that dead horse.

2) Overindulging in hobbies. Some folks like to sew, others like to garden, many like to shoot guns. The problem comes when we put too much of our preparedness money into our (even useful) hobbies. The woman with 12 sewing machines and a room full of stuff that doesn't have enough food or a gun is one example. On the other end is Mr Joe Survivalist with thousands of dollars in guns,  2 cases of MRE's and a little hotel sewing kit. I recall a guy who had multiple "shtf" motorcycles. You do not need a $600 fly fishing rod to be prepared, a decent alternative could be had at 1/10th of the price. I'm not saying you should not have hobbies or spend money on them. Just don't confuse a hobby (even a useful one) with preparations. Spend hobby money on hobbies and preparedness money on preparedness.

3) Worrying too much about narrow unlikely scenarios. Lots of things MAY happen but putting some energy and resources into ones that are a lot more likely to happen. Cough savings cough medical insurance cough.

4) Overconfidence and lack of training. Few people happen to come into survivalism with every useful skill yet for some reason people think they can fill those gaps  with Bubba at the range, youtube or blogs. That we are willing to spend lots of money on stuff but as a group have little interest in spending money to learn to use that stuff puzzles me.

Maybe it's that cool gadgets are tangible as well as cool. It could be admitting they need to improve or learn a skill does not sit well with many self styled rugged individualists. Everyone has unique skill sets and thus different gaps in the proverbial wire. Someone might need to improve a tactical skill set or learn wilderness survival or medical training or whatever. Over time and in proportion to other efforts ones skill set should be improved.

5) Not using the stuff they have. Gear should be trained with to get used to it and figure out how to make it work. Equipment should be tested. Little accessories and such will be identified during the course of this. Stuff needs to be tested as even good companies make a lemon now and then. Better to figure out your knife/ gun/ radio/ generator/ water filter/ whatever doesn't work on a lazy Sunday when you are testing it than when you need it to save your life.

Well there it is. If these apply to you do something about it. Otherwise feel free to disregard. Thoughts?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Quote of the Day and Fitness Reminder

"The most important thing you can do as a patriot in this country is get your butt in shape"
-David AKA SouthernPrepper1

People grossly underestimate the physical demands of combat and true 18th- 19th century living. No going to a cool guy class on a flat 25 meter range or having a few chickens and a small garden are not just about the same thing. Cutting your own wood with a chainsaw, hauling it in a truck then splitting it with a hydraulic splitter is not the same thing.

This serious mistake is compounded by the fact that fitness is a genuine slow cooker concept. Think of it like cooking with a crock pot. If dinner isn't in by 10 you aren't eating it at 6. It takes hours and there is no crank the oven up to 500 and cut off the burned parts option. Should you mess up and stick it into the oven at 2 dinner will be at 10pm. There is just no way around it.

Key to crock pots and physical fitness are patience. That chicken is going to take hours to go from frozen to wonderfully cooked. You didn't get into whatever condition you are currently in overnight and you won't get out of it overnight either. It's going to take between a couple months and a year or two depending on where you are and where you want to go with the variable of how much you are willing/ able to work in the middle. Obviously going from a morbidly obese couch potato to the fitness level of a collegiate athlete or JSOC Jedi will take a really like time. For a reasonably healthy person ditching a 20 pound spare tire, building up to running a decent 5k/ road marching a decent 10k and putting on some muscle might be more of a 4 month thing. 

The point is to get started now.


Sunday, November 11, 2012

Doomsday Preppers and Solar Charger Test

Today we caught a couple episodes of Doomsday Preppers on the tv. We hadn't seen that show before as it was not available in Germany so it was pretty interesting. Some things definitely jumped out at me.

First the amount of people who were very prepared but seriously overweight amazed me. I'm not talking could stand to lose a few pounds or a bit of a belly but strait up obese. I just don't get it. The odds they will have to walk more than a couple miles, maybe carrying a moderate load like a get home bag, face a physical confrontation or pull their body over an obstacle are far higher than that they will need a year's worth of food, a Faraday cage or whatever. Also even if they have the discrete skills to survive a gunfight their fat body might not be able to move fast enough and their already taxed heart might give out due to the stress. I talk physical fitness a lot here. Running, lifting heavy things, ruck marching and generally how to be a modern day guerrilla or whatever else you wanna call it. You do not have to do what I do exactly but for goodness sake do something.

Other than that rather obvious note the biggest thing that jumped out at me were gaping holes in peoples preps. Mostly it was people with otherwise great setups that had no serious security plans. Some were seemingly intimidated by the subject and others were back to nature gardening types that are rather naive to the ways of the world.

I decided to do some testing with our little Bruton solar charger. It did a great job charging 2 AA batteries (holds 4 but I only had 2 dead ones) in about 2 hours. I tried charging a device via the USB port some time ago and it failed for undiagnosed reasons. However it did just fine with the batteries and they are what is really important so that is good. Looking at getting a bigger setup. Something large enough to charge a few devices and run some lights. Goal 0 makes some pretty nice stuff.

Anyway I hope you all have a great Sunday


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Quote of the Day

"People change when they become uncomfortable"

"If nothing changes, nothing changes"

-The lady giving a leaders class on substance abuse.

Lets talk about the first part. People change when they have an incentive to do so. Uncomfortable can mean a lot of things. Lets look at weight for a minute. A 19 year old girl in Florida might become uncomfortable when she had a little bit of "muffin top"that would make her look less good at the beach but a 50 year old man might have a 48 inch waist and a heart attack scare before he becomes uncomfortable. In the context of the class it might be getting in trouble for drinking or realizing that one is no longer able to control theirself.

As to the second point. This is one a lot of folks need to really think about. If you don't change anything then things will stay the same. If you were broke last year, unless you change something you will be broke this year. If you are fat and don't tighten up your diet and or increase energy output you will continue to be fat. Whatever is wrong or less than ideal in your life, if you don't change the things that shape or cause it the issue will linger.

Friday, February 10, 2012

But I Dowanna

Today I am going to talk about two very foolish things that a lot of otherwise well prepared people do. The first is not implementing a vigorous exercise program that involves some form of heavy resistance/ weight training as well as jogging/ running/ ruck marching. The second is failing to carry a decent fighting handgun with a reload.

There are a lot of reasons people fail to implement a quality exercise program. Laziness is the first reason that comes to mind. Either they don’t do anything or they do 20 minutes at a lethargic pace on a cardio machine. In both cases the results are pretty bad. Due to having an exercise program that pretty average elderly people can follow these folks are either fat bodies or they are “skinny fat” which is a curious blend most often found in women and metro sexual men where they are of a reasonable body weight but lack any semblance of strength, speed or endurance.

There are a lot of ways to skin the exercise cat so to speak and I am trying to be more tolerant of different methods and techniques. However if your goal is functional fitness you need to include jogging/ running/ ruck marching and lifting heavy things.

Why do you need to include these components? If you can’t figure out how running or walking fast carrying a load could be useful I don’t know how much more I can help you. As for strength it is a more complex but equally fundamental answer. All things being equal a stronger person will fair better in everything. I sort of hate that saying because all things being equal the prettier person will fair better but it is really the only way to isolate individual traits or characteristics. Strength helps in a lot of ways. It builds and hardens your bones and ligaments. Also muscles truly make the best pads. Furthermore it helps in so called endurance activities of a muscular nature. Let us say we have two weight lifters. Both can bench (or squat or whatever) 135 pounds. Jimmy Powerlifter progressively builds up so he can lift 200 pounds. Bobby keeps lifting 135 and trying to do more reps. Jimmy will be able to lift 135 as many or likely many more times than Bobby because it is a far lower percentage of his total capability. Also Jimmy can lift 185 pounds or 200 pounds and Bobby can’t.

Now don’t get me wrong I love body weight exercises but they do not replace weights any more than weights can replace them. (Yes I have heard of and read convict conditioning. I have a post on it in the que) This is particularly true for the lower body. All the air squats in the world won’t build the muscles in your legs like getting under the bar and squatting.

The second reason is that folks mistakenly think that because they do something or another slightly physical they don’t need to actually exercise. I walk around at work or I do work on the “farm”. There is a big difference between moving around a few hay bales a day and doing the kind of brutal work that occurred in an 19th century working farm. With the exception of people like park rangers who walk 10+ miles a day carrying a load or carpenters, blacksmiths, masons, etc who do heavy physical labor on a regular basis (multiple times a week) you won’t get the kind of exercise you need incidentally. Even then the ranger needs to hit the weights and the carpenter needs to do some cardio.

Look at it this way. If you had a to choose a partner for a physical challenge would you want one that ran and lifted weights or one who walked or used an elliptical and the ab roller? What about if you had to fight a random person? I would fight the weakling who malingers on cardio machines or whatever other pseudo workout junk because there is a decent chance I could break him in half because I regularly lift heavy things.

Now we will transition to the topic of carrying a handgun. (Yes there are places where you can not legally carry a handgun. Most of the regions of the US where you can’t carry a gun suck and I would not recommend living there. However if you work or frequent places where a handgun is not legal then there are some decisions to make. In particular if we are talking about a place with actively enforced (searches, metal detectors) laws like government buildings versus a place with passive laws or regulations, like a parking lot, there are not great options. Other times it is just not practical to carry a gun like for example if you are swimming. However it is prudent to carry whenever it is legal and practical.) I wonder a lot about people who are really into preparedness and tactical stuff but don’t carry. Odds are high that violence will come when you least expect it and are not at home. All the sweet rifles and custom 1911’s in the world won’t help you if they are locked in a gun safe at home. However I guess they just aren’t worried. Folks living quiet lives in sleepy little towns might just not feel the need. I have heard “I carry when I go into the city” before. I won’t say I agree with that idea but I can kind of see where they are coming from.

An animal that interests me more is the person who carries but chooses a totally impractical weapon. These folks carry guns that are very difficult to shoot well and hold a small number of weak bullets. Yes technically a 5 shot .22 caliber revolver the size of a zippo lighter is a gun. However if you can shoot a gun with a ¼ inch barrel and no sights well you are a better person than I am. If you are confident that a .22 round out of a ¼ inch barrel will stop an attacker from harming you then I would call you an optimist.

To complicate matters these folks often carry their undersized, difficult to shoot pistol in places that are not easy to get at in a hurry. Pistols are on ankles, in pockets and purses or otherwise buried under clothing that can’t readily be moved. One system for women basically requires ripping ones shirt off to access their handgun. It is important to consider that you will need to access your concealed weapon in a hurry, quite possibly while fending off an attacker.

I once heard “every time somebody says they carry a full sized 1911 I ask them to show it to me, right now and inevitably get some excuse that boils down to the gun being in their truck or nightstand or safe” and that saying bears a lot of truth. I am a practical person and have observed that most people will not carry a full sized handgun. However fortunately these days we have a lot of good options.

There have been huge strides in the last few years in compact pistols that not much bigger in size than snubby .38’s or Walther PPK’s. Pretty much every full sized modern handgun has a compact sized equivalent. These guns hold 10+ rounds and shoot like their full sized big brothers. You can get a compact Glock, a Sig, HK, XD or Beretta and more 1911’s that you can shake a stick at. Pick one and carry it with you.

Since you asked personally I carry a compact Glock 19 because I can conceal it with minimal changes to my wardrobe.

Also bring a reload. You might run out of bullets or the stupid thing might jam. A spare mag or speed loader (though you would need 5 of them to equal the round count of 2 mags for most double stack pistols) isn’t that inconvenient.

So in conclusion do the right thing. Run and lift weights. Carry a decent fighting handgun and a reload. In short be awesome and hard to kill.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Quote of the Day and Discussion- Diverging Fitness Goals

"Serving two masters isn’t going to get you where you need to be. Now this doesn’t mean you can’t be in shape and be strong. But the trouble with wanting both is this:

What is strong? What is “in shape”?

I have very clear notions of what both of these mean to me. I know exactly what I think it means to be strong. I know exactly what it means to me to be in shape. But that’s just me. What is strong to you? What is in shape to you? And more important, what does being “strong AND in shape” mean to you?

Define each of these with CLEAR numbers and performances. The more specific, the better, none of this “I wanna be strong and look jacked” crap. I know I’ve started to go off on a bit of a tangent here, but you always have to know what you want and dedicate yourself to the task. Otherwise, you’re wasting your most valuable commodity: your time.

And last but not least, you better be willing to give blood to get what you want."

-Jim Wendler

Also here is another jem from him "I no longer believe in training to lose weight, gain weight or whatever. I only believe in Training to be Awesome. This means you get strong and in shape and the chips will ALWAYS fall in your favor."


I have been meaning to do a big post on fitness and seem to be nipping around the edges of the topic. Today when I was catching up on Jim Wendler's interesting and hilarious blog I saw this quote and just had to use it. Since I used it I had to do some talking.

I think it is essential to come up with tangible and quantifiable goals for fitness. These goals will do a few things for you. First the process of making them lets you think about what is really important to you. I hesitate to say exactly what should be important for you. Personally I want to be able to lift heavy, control my body weight, be fast at short to mid distance runs and have the underlying cardio to do long runs and rucks. While we might differ in some minor points I would submit to you that these goals, tapered to age and individual sitation are a darn good starting point.

The broad themes I have laid out will feed specific and quantifiable goals.
Some example goals would be:

Strength:
Bench/Squat/ Press/ Deadlift (or clean or whatever) specific amounts

Body Control:
X amount of pullups
X amount of muscle ups
X amount of handstand pushups
X amount of pistons

Running/ Endurance: Specific times
1/4 mi
1 mi
3 mi
12 mile ruck with 40lbs pack and kit.

I've got to think it over but I suspect these will be my goals (yeah I still have a bit of thinking on the pounds/reps/times). There are a few more than I would like in terms of numbers but since so many of them are single lift/ exercise benchmarks it is not such a big deal. Also the running goals overlap pretty heavily too.

As noted above you need to decide what is important to you and the goals which stem from it. Once you set goals go forth and pursue them. This means picking and choosing and not doing some thing. Picking and choosing is part of fitness for a few reasons. First you have limited time. It could be 5 hours a week or 30 but an hour spent at the weightpile is not an hour spent at the track. Next is something it has taken me years to really figure out. We don't get into better shape because we work out like a beast, we get into better shape because we work out like a beast, REST AND RECOVER. (we will revisit this topic again shortly) If you are lifting 5x a week, crossfitting 4 times, running every day and doing some other junk you are notgoing to recover enough.  Also many goals are somewhat divergent. Going in 2-3 directions is not a bad thing and will lead to a well rounded physically fit you. Going in 6-7 directions is bad. This is a big killer. We either split our limited time in so many directions that we really don't get anywhere (example, what if I took the goals above, added all sort of crossfit wod goals and physical appearance goals and sport specific goals I would either be working out 5 hours a day (and not progressing and probably end up hurting myself) or not doing anything enough to make progress.)

Figure out your goals and find/ come up with (not a good plan if you are a beginner) a plan to get there. Ignore other stupid stuff. Exercise.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Thoughts on Insurgencies- What Made the Mujahedeen Successful

Thoughts on Insurgencies- What Made The Mujahedeen Successful?
I am going to try to discuss some of the reasons the Mujahedeen were so successful in Afghanistan against the Soviet’s. Some might draw parallels to the US experience here and I would say they have a case in some areas, though not in others. In no particular order here we go.
•    Rural Afghan’s are, particularly in the South and East of the country, strongly tribal in nature and very militaristic. When not fighting outsiders the tribes seem to, almost without exception, fight each other. It is about the closest thing to a cultural pastime as this country has.
•    They started out reasonably trained in small unit and individual tactics. Why, well I think consistent tribal warfare is the answer. This was probably the most helpful in the beginning because if you take anybody and toss them into a guerilla war after a year, should they be alive, they have some skills and knowledge.
•    They fought to their strengths and as such avoided their enemy’s strengths. Knowledge of local terrain coupled with hitting weak targets and vanishing worked pretty well. It helps when you can use the same hill Grandpa used to fight the British coming along the same road. This leads back to my last comment about training and knowledge.
•    Physical fitness. Between their rough lifestyle, reliance on foot transportation, moderate calorie intake and lack of medical care (that meant the sick and crippled were either useless in the village or dead) Afghan’s of military age were physically fit. They could haul butt up the side of a mountain carrying a medium machine gun after an ambush and leave the soviet’s panting at the bottom.

 [In my opinion physical fitness is the most lacking trait of American militia/ guerilla wanna be’s (I don’t mean “wanna be” in a derogatory way, just that since we don’t have a guerilla war going on it is kind of just a self imposed label instead of a title). Seriously if these guys spent half as much time exercising as they do arguing about what pouches to have on load out gear or which rifle to use in internet forum’s they would be much better off. I get particular amusement when somebody who is a disgusting fat body and probably hasn’t ran a whole mine this year talks about being a “light fighter” and using “hit and run tactics”. Many of these individuals are good, well meaning people and I probably poke too much fun. I hope that if any of them read this instead of taking it personal they look inward. If this side rant is hitting too close to home I recommend that you get onto a reasonable but ambitious physical fitness program and exercise some self control at meal time to get into fighting shape. ]

•    A proliferation of small arms, particularly rifles. Every military aged male did not have a rifle but a heck of a lot of them did. Eventually they started capturing weapons and getting them shipped in by foreign backers but for awhile it was just rural Afghan’s and their rifles.
•    A cohesive and resolute group vision. Rural Afghan life is very traditional and tribal, especially in the Pastun areas to the South and East, and its values stood in stark contrast to what the Afghan communists and their Soviet backers sought to impose. They were, and the Soviets never quite got this, absolutely unwilling to compromise and would rather just fight.
•    There are probably more but a couple of these are already more generic of all guerillas than is my intent. Now let us not forget the two factors which had a massive impact on events and were largely outside of the Muj’s control.
•    Safe haven’s. In particular the ability to seek medical treatment, shelter their families, train, plan and recover in Pakistan had a direct and immeasurable effect on the war. The Soviet’s launched a few rockets and probably a few raids but in the big picture the Muj were safe to recover and plan in Pakistan and parts of Iran.
•    Outside Aid. Despite some fantasy ideas to the contrary it is difficult to keep a force fielded without feeding and equipping them. While guerilla logistics are pretty simple and light they still need weapons, bullets to shoot, explosives and food to eat. Being able to keep at least part (this improved as the war progressed) of their force through the whole fighting season was essential to building up cohesive organizations and conducting significant operations. Even if you want them really bad guns, food and bullets don’t just appear. Also as these wars go on for years stocking enough of anything except maybe shoe laces to get you through one is wishful thinking.
•    A long term vision. In a sound bite and paragraph quote world they thought in terms of seasons and years. The Muj were never going to win in a sense where they militarily forced the Russians out. They could however continually make it uncomfortable for the Russians to be here (I am in Afghanistan as I write this, oh irony) until their government decided it was time to throw in the towel.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Functional Fitness

What is functional fitness? First to me it has an emphasis on completing
some sort of task or increasing a capability over aesthetics. That task
should be something you do and wish to do better, increasing general
health and wellness
or acquiring a capability you desire. For example
you enjoy cross country skiing and want to be able to ski further,
faster and be less tired or you want to do better when you go rock
climbing with your friends. Maybe you realized that you aren't 18
anymore and to stay healthy and fit you need to keep in shape. Lastly
maybe you want to do something like be able to run (maybe a marathon or
maybe a couple miles in kit) that you have not been able to do for a
long time.

I have a couple of phrases I live by when it comes to fitness:
1) There is no such thing as too strong, only too slow.
2) I don't want to be the biggest guy, or the strongest guy or the
fastest guy but I want to be big, strong and fast.
3) Muscles make the best pads.

Right or wrong (we can discuss but I don't feel like debating) I have
some core beliefs when it comes to exercise:
1) I believe in balance. No point in being able to life like Hercules if
you get tired walking from your car to the gym. Ditto for being able to
run a marathon but not help a friend move their couch. You've got to be
able to run, do body control (pushups, pull-ups, etc) stuff AND lift.
2) When it comes to lifting I am a firm believer in big compound lifts.
Power cleans, dead lift, bench press, jerks, squats, military press,
etc. These lifts build real functional strength. I don't care much about
aesthetics so working my inner lower bicep with 12 sets of special curls
has no appeal. I work out almost exclusively with barbells using
dumbbells only to change up the same exercises I could do with a barbell
(dumbbell press or press versus barbell). I do see a role for dumbbells
in specialty exercises needed to help with a personal weak point or past
injury.
3) People make a lot of excuses. Most of us, myself included are never
going to be competitive Collegiate athletes. We just don't have the
genetics. However that does not mean you can't be in darn good shape.
Almost everyone is capable (with reasonable progression and scaling) of
running and lifting weights. If you say "I have a bad knee so I walk
instead..." I would submit to you that if you are under 50 (ish) and or
are not at an honestly healthy weight the answer lies in having some
discipline and getting to a healthy weight. It is amazing how your knees
and back feel better after losing 20 (let alone 50) pounds of bad
weight.
4) You should practice with tasks that are harder than you see yourself
actually doing. Life has a way of making things harder when you need to
do them and your nerves pumping makes it harder to do things you
otherwise could do.
5) If you work out like you should and don't sabotage yourself at the
dinner table looks will come. Show me a guy who can do Diane (225lbs
deadlifts and pull-ups: sets of 21,15,9) to standard without a time
limit and I will show you a guy who probably looks like he is in shape.
Show me a guy who can do it in 5 minutes and I will show you a guy who
probably looks like the beast he is.

Using this type of program I can say I am getting close to the best
shape of my life. I am definitely not as strong as I have been nor can I
run as fast/ far. However I able to do a lot of things reasonably well
which is far more useful than either extreme. I am excited about where
this fitness is going.

I am not saying that my way is the only way. I think exercise is a lot
like everyday carry. There is what is ideal (for carry a full sized
handgun with a couple reloads) and for exercise an aggressive program
that blends running, weights and varied cardio/ circuit type stuff and
then there is what you will actually do. I can chart out a plan to make
you (or myself) a total beast but it does no good if you won't follow
it. Pick the most aggressive program you can live with. Remember that
while your brain is your primary weapon your body is how that weapon
acts.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Fitness Update

Crossfit and I are officially exclusive. We have always had a thing for eachother and were off and on for a long time. Now we are making some changes and giving it a solid go. Nothing is for certain yet but it is going well. The 3 on 1 off is the best schedule I have found yet. Also it is fast so it fits into my busy schedule.
One of the biggest things I have realized is that as with any exercise program you have to have some ownership. Sure well rounded fitness is a great goal but you know your situation, strengths and weaknesses best. If you need to work on strength do a bit more lifting and less running. If you are a bit too heavy do more running and callestenics/ gymnastics stuff. I also came to a realization that deals with one of my biggest reservations about crossfit. Simply if mismannaged it can be too random to the point where you fail to gain in measurable areas. For example if you only run or squat (or any other discrete exercise group) once a month you simply are not going to gain. It doesn't matter how hard the workout is the frequency is just not sufficient. I have taken to tracking when I do certain things in order to ensure things stay on track.
Anyway so far so good.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Quote of the Day

"Number one, what other people think is never a good motivator for money. Whatever broke people think, you need to run the other way. It's like taking diet advice from fat people. What they all think doesn't really matter."
-Dave Ramsey

Monday, October 4, 2010

Rule #1 Cardio



Just a reminder. Also if you A) have to take the straps off your plate carrier and B) breathe heavily and show visible strain from putting the thing on or taking it off and tossing it back on the couch it should be a wake up call. Fatties die first.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Big Announcement

Hey Folks, Walker Texas Ranger has been born. He weighted in at 8 pounds and change. He has 10 fingers and 10 toes, chubby arms and some definite back far. Don't worry his total gym is on the way. He also has a minor penchant for staying up all night screaming and a real difficulty sleeping unless someone is holding him. Wifey is tired and sore but otherwise well.

I hate hospitals. Particularly I hate how the night shift people figure since they are awake it makes sense to make you up to take your stupid blood pressure. Add that to Walker being on graveyard shift and it has been an interesting few days.

Things are good, well aside from our sleep schedule. I will be around home for about a week though probably not any more active here than normal.

Have a good weekend.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Random Thoughts On Fitness, Finances and Life

I wish people would realize that if your body doesn't work you don't have jack squat. My current sickness has been a big reminder of this. No matter what preparations I had made when I was down for the count it didn't matter at all. People who try to do all sorts of great stuff but have significantly limiting medical issues that are at least slightly lifestyle based are missing the point. They can have all the pre positioned supplies and skills but without the functional use of their body it is all for not. Instead of working to shoot a squirrel in the butt at 800 meters work on being able to maneuver wearing full kit. Instead of focusing on (while wonderful) redundant food storage and production capabilities think about being able to carry a pair of 5 gallon buckets full of food up the stairs from the basement.

Common sense says most people aren't 25-30 with perfectly healthy bodies. Of course if you are older or have some injuries or whatnot it isn't easy. However you must be brutally honest to figure out what sort of conditions and past injuries you can improve upon. Many "pre existing conditions" and "life long injuries" are miraculously cured by moderating your caloric intake (particularly fat and booze), exercising regularly and getting to a reasonable body weight.

Without the capability to use your body you are screwed plain and simple. Do whatever you can to improve or keep that capacity.

As for money today. It seems that things are just sorta slogging along. The boat has a slow leek that the bilge pumps can keep up with and the engines are making nasty sounds but still working. No clear and definite stuff seems to be happening, certainly not positive stuff. Some ominous things that could be bad but like anything else if you look hard enough for it you will find something. I think a lot of us look that hard and claim it as clear indicators that doom is days away.

Unemployment is high and shows no signs of getting better. Business owners and corporations are scared that some crazy regulation is coming down the pike (it may well be) so they are staying lean and holding cash instead of putting it back into operations. As this is not likely to change soon I don't expect the unemployment situation to improve dramatically for some time.

However despite all the gloom and doom we read and often pass on most folks are still working and all that jazz. As for what to do I think a lot of common sense personally conservative stuff still applies. Your mortgage/ property taxes or rent payment aren't going away. Sorry but lets be real. It makes sense to try and get out of debt because even if inflation may be looming increased costs of everything, inflation (arguably the same thing but you know what I mean) and potential future job losses may make those somewhat cheaper dollars harder to get.

Even if you are fortunate (don't believe the hype 9.5% unemployment [we could discuss the validity and significance of reported unemployment numbers but lets just rock with it for this discussion] means 91.5% of people are employed) enough to keep your current income there is a real likelihood that not so long from now it will buy significantly less. Maybe you will keep the exact same income and it will buy less or maybe your income will drop a bit, who knows. Think about what you would do if you lost 10, 20 or even 30 percent purchasing power.

Maybe you want to live cheaper now to get ready for what may come but darn sure you want to have the capacity to live cheaper pretty darn quick. It is easy to buy steak and shrimp this week then beans n rice next week, particularly if you are used to producing and consuming decent tasting food from cheap staples. Same thing with going out to a fancy night on the town this week and having a DVD at home next week. However it is a lot harder to ditch the payment on the new fancy car you need to get to work, the Visa bill or heaven forbid a home you can't really afford. If by good choices and some luck you are still in a comfortable position by all means enjoy the benefits of it. I am not classist and don't begrudge you anything. Just saying that it is good to be in a position where you can drastically (I think a 30% change in purchasing power would be pretty darn drastic) change your normal operating expenses.

Personally we can eat pretty decently with good healthy food we are used to eating for very little money. Also I am working on home brewing which helps.  I love Chimay but it is expensive even in the best of times. I can have good quality beer for less than the cheapest commercially produced stuff which is pretty cool.

We have a house guest right now. Wifey's Vice Sister who will hereby be referred to as  Miley came to help out for awhile when Walker comes. Interestingly enough her father has been our only other house guest in Germany to date. Other then the realization that I can't walk to or from the shower naked (well I could but it would be sorta awkward) it is cool. Wifey has really enjoyed her presence while I was gone and is just ecstatic that she is here.  She has said before that she needs a wife and proclaimed earlier today that Miley is filling that role nicely. Though I have spent a good amount of time around Miley it is always at those busy family things where there are a ton of people and lots of stuff going on. I am enjoying being able to hang out with her in a less hectic situation.

Anyway back to the point somehow we got to talking about gold yesterday. It occurred to me that we have at least theoretically (since it doesn't pay dividends or benefit from compound inflation and we aren't going to sell it) we have made good money on the gold we purchased a couple years ago. Not a couple points or an above average 10 percent but about 70 percent. We could sell and have done far better than we would have anywhere else over the same period of time. Heck I ordered some silver about a month ago and the price has gone up a couple bucks an ounce since then. I think there is money to be made right now if you have the cash and some tolerance for risk. Personally I have a bit of cash and a decent tolerance for risk, if just because my investment time line is so long.

I think in a way this whole economic crisis is good for us. It is kind of good for America at large because hopefully it will remind people to live in a reasonable fashion somewhere below their means and save a bit for the future instead of being in some sort of home equity/ credit based drunken orgy of consumer spending. Furthermore I think it is good for survivalist/ preppers to learn or be reminded that we need to be realistic and prepare for numerous likely scenarios as well as stockpiling bulk grains and semi automatic rifles. The sort of cold war era/ Y2K preparations that skip all kinds of likely issues and goes strait to Mad Max modern world is gone and we're all killing each other over Krispix thinking is seriously and fatally flawed. A reminder to also cover the more realistic bases is a good thing.

I am bored of writing for tonight. Going to drink a glass of water and have some home made pizza then go to bed.
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