Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts
Showing posts with label gardening. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ham Radio, Gardening Plans and my Updated Get Home bag

I'm starting to learn about Ham Radio. On the plus side the test seems to actually have some useful stuff in it instead of just lines of federal code so that is good. It helps that some of it is interesting and I think a decent bit is educational.  Don't have a ton of time to study but I do have a few brief moments during the day and some time at night. Hopefully I'll be ready in a month or so to take the test.

We are starting to talk about gardening plans for the spring. Looking at bringing in some dirt and doing a slightly raised bed in one place and some pots. This year it will be a lot better planned than last (as I didn't think a garden would be possible till well past the ideal start time) and try to do 3 or so iterations of the same stuff to have a better staggered garden. Well that is the plan anyway.

I have also been working on making my new Tactical Tailor Removable Operator Bag into a leaner, meaner version of my level 2.5/ get home bag. Almost got it set up how I want. Right now the bag is about 17 pounds (dry) with a 1 qt water bottle and a hydration bladder. It is just a little bit too much bulk for the bag to comfortably handle. Generally it is slightly above my overall goal to move fast and have enough stuff to not die. I either need to ditch the Hill People Gear Serape, trim a fair bit of weight elsewhere or figure out a better way to load it all up. The hard part is that I've really made all the easy cuts. Part of the issue could be that a sub 20 pound day pack setup with a couple days worth of food and a solid setup of survival stuff is a pretty tall order. Add in the capacity to survive a 25 degree night, without significant shelter making and or a roaring fire andI'm not honestly certain it is possible. Might need to stick with the bigger day pack or even a small framed one during the winter and use the smaller one in the summer. Will play with it some more then let you know what cracks out.

Anyway those are some of the things I have been up to. What have you been up to?

Monday, December 22, 2014

2014 New Years Resolutions Review

This will likely be the last review of my 2014 New Years Resolutions. Completed resolutions will be lined through and notes will be in italics. Note I am piggy backing off the last review done in May and July.

Note: The stuff in light grey are long shots. By long shots I mean they are not realistically funded based on projected levels of spending. Admittedly this is pretty unscientific since I do not have an exact projected preps budget that is divided amongst different areas. It's probably more of a gut feeling based on the last few years of what I will realistically be able to do than anything else.

Shoot

Skills:
Attend a quality defensive pistol course. Work messed up a scheduled CSAT course. Going to try to get this knocked out next year
Try to attend an Appleseed if I can.
Following said defensive pistol course begin a dry fire regimen.
Shoot more often. Ideally at least monthly but certainly not more than bi monthly. Doing better.

Stuff:
Finish the 870 P project. Refinish, light, sling, ammo cards, ammo holding system to match.
 Get a .30 cal precision rifle almost surely a .308. 
 I have been semi casually looking for a single shot 12 gauge shotgun to go all Dave Canterbury. If I find one I will buy it.

 Maybe start on an AR pistol

Consumables and minor stuff:
250 rounds buckshot
250 rounds #4 shot
250 slugs
Get a quality kydex outside waistband Glock holster with mag pouches to match
4 Ruger 10/22 BXP mags actually ended up with 10 Butler Creek mags from Lucky Gunner
A case of 5.56 ammo
A stripped AR-15 lower receiver
Long shot a case of 9mm FMJ  purchased the 9mm ammo for a class and am keeping it set aside for such unless things get all wonky then it would of course be useful and a second case of 5.56 ammo
10 each PMAGs
 6x Glock 17 mags
I can always use another 10/22 or a Glock 19 but those are big time long shots.

Move
Fitness:
Run more, keeping better track of it. Maybe do a marathon or something. Been running and rucking more since the weather is cooling down.
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff. I'm back at this with a vengeance. Setting a lot of near term (vs back in the day) maxes and some all time ones. Getting my swole on.
Generally keep on doing good things

Stuff:
Break in all extra boots that are currently accessible.
Not sure exactly where this fits but I want to firm up our heavy (vehicle) bug out packing list then have that stuff ready to go. Also continue developing all of our systems. This has been working. I won't say it is 100% but things are definitely better organized and more together than before.
Purchase a small enclosed trailer.  This isn't going anywhere and is likely being pushed a couple years down the road.

Communicate:
Skills: Get a ham radio license. Kinda bumping this to the winter when other stuff is not happening.
Get better with HTLM and web coding stuff (any advice would be great)

Stuff:
Get a ham radio, probably one of the little Baeofeng (spelling) setups to start.
 Get a set of 2 (4 would be better) good FRS radios with head sets. I have a pair in storage that might work but I've got to test them.
Get a scanner 

Sustain:
Keep building our food supply to the interim goal of having a year's worth for 4 people. We've put back a lot of food this year.
Get chickens. 
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too. Gardening has not been successful but I tried and learned some stuff.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation. Set up the Operational Cache. Did some other things. This is ongoing but we are better off now then at the beginning of the year.
Work to develop primitive skills. Nothing has really happened on this.
Pick up another full tang medium sized survival/ general purpose knife or maybe two plus stuff to round out some of the redundant parts of my various kits. Picked up a Benchmade Bushcrafter. Looking to add a slightly larger knife to the inventory this summer. Ordered a British MOD survival  knife.  
Get 3-4 more wool blankets. Just ordered another which I think puts the tally up 3 this year.

Alternative Energy:
Skills: Use the stuff we have more to figure out how to make it work for our needs. This includes a good plan for charging Wifey's smart phone on the go.

Stuff : Wifey mentioned wanting to get a generator before hurricane season. We are far enough North in Louisiana so as to avoid utter destruction but can definitely lose power. A buddy up here lost power for a week during Rita. This worried Wifey. So we might just get a generator. Probably an EU 2000 like Zero has.

Stashing a half dozen or so military gas cans would be nice. Enough gas to completely fill up both our vehicles twice and run a genny enough to keep the freezer cold, charge batteries and watch a bit of news for at least 2 weeks (a month would be better) would be great. Got to do some math on that one.

Discussion:
The year was weird in terms of scheduling and plans due to some work stuff. That really threw a wrench in a lot of different plans. Anyway the year is not done but with just over a month left, spanning the busy Christmas/ holiday season, a whole lot more is not likely to get done.

An AR pistol didn't happen because I prioritized other guns that had more valid uses in a  CCW handgun and a 'precision rifle'. I really want an S&W Shield. Note I purchased a Kahr CW9 which fills this niche. 

Food is a continual process for all but the most well established survivalists.

I put some money into commo with the Baofengs. This is honestly long overdue. 

Looked at getting a scanner but the Police/ etc freq's in Louisiana are on LWIN which is a digital trunking system. I do not understand thee technical side but it means normal $80-150ish models would not pick up what I want to listen to. A digital trunking scanner is required. The most affordable and simplest one (also recommended by Spark 31) is the Uniden Public Safety Receiver (HOMEPATROL) but they cost just under $400. That will roll to next years goals.

Need to work on a more cohesive overall fitness plan. I know what to do (and if I didn't John Mosby wrote a good article on it at FO) and just have to do it. Most of the right things (running, body weight, lifting, some rucking) are happening now but not necessarily in a thought out way.
Recently got the Ruger mags, another wool blankr and the small game shotgun ammo, #4 shot

Realistically since it is mid December I am probably about as far towards this years goals as I am going to get. Overall it was a good year for preparedness.

How are you doing on your years goals?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

New Years Resolution 2014 Review

Figured it is as good of a time as any to review my 2014 New Years Resolutions which I really use yearly more as annual goals than anything else. Completed resolutions will be lined through and notes will be in italics. Note I am piggy backing off the last review done in May and July.

Note: The stuff in light grey are long shots. By long shots I mean they are not realistically funded based on projected levels of spending. Admittedly this is pretty unscientific since I do not have an exact projected preps budget that is divided amongst different areas. It's probably more of a gut feeling based on the last few years of what I will realistically be able to do than anything else.

Shoot

Skills:
Attend a quality defensive pistol course. Work messed up a scheduled CSAT course. Undetermined on when/ where I plan to reengage this goal.
Try to attend an Appleseed if I can.
Following said defensive pistol course begin a dry fire regimen.
Shoot more often. Ideally at least monthly but certainly not more than bi monthly. Doing better.

Stuff:
Finish the 870 P project. Refinish, light, sling, ammo cards, ammo holding system to match.
 Get a .30 cal precision rifle almost surely a .308. 
 I have been semi casually looking for a single shot 12 gauge shotgun to go all Dave Canterbury. If I find one I will buy it.
Set up the big wheel gun the way I want it. Grips, holster, belt, speed loaders, etc all
Put nice grips on the 642 like Alexander Wolfe's.
 Maybe start on an AR pistol

Consumables and minor stuff:
250 rounds buckshot
250 rounds #4 shot
250 slugs
Get a quality kydex outside waistband Glock holster with mag pouches to match
4 Ruger 10/22 BXP mags
A case of 5.56 ammo
A stripped AR-15 lower receiver
Long shot a case of 9mm FMJ  purchased the 9mm ammo for a class and am keeping it set aside for such unless things get all wonky then it would of course be useful and a second case of 5.56 ammo
10 each PMAGs
 6x Glock 17 mags
I can always use another 10/22 or a Glock 19 but those are big time long shots.

Move
Fitness:
Run more, keeping better track of it. Maybe do a marathon or something. Been running and rucking more since the weather is cooling down.
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff. I'm back at this with a vengeance. Setting a lot of near term (vs back in the day) maxes and some all time ones. Getting my swole on.
 Generally keep on doing good things

Stuff:
Break in all extra boots that are currently accessible.
Not sure exactly where this fits but I want to firm up our heavy (vehicle) bug out packing list then have that stuff ready to go. Also continue developing all of our systems. This has been working. I won't say it is 100% but things are definitely better organized and more together than before.
Purchase a small enclosed trailer.  This isn't going anywhere and is likely being pushed a couple years down the road.

Communicate:
Skills: Get a ham radio license. Kinda bumping this to the winter when other stuff is not happening.
Get better with HTLM and web coding stuff (any advice would be great)

Stuff:
Get a ham radio, probably one of the little Baeofeng (spelling) setups to start.
 Get a set of 2 (4 would be better) good FRS radios with head sets. I have a pair in storage that might work but I've got to test them.
Get a scanner 

Sustain:
Keep building our food supply to the interim goal of having a year's worth for 4 people. We've put back a lot of food this year.
Get chickens. The golden girls are giving us 3-4 eggs a day. Enough to totally meet our egg needs. Right now I'm alone so I am swamped in eggs.
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too. Gardening has not been successful but I tried and learned some stuff.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation. Set up the Operational Cache. Did some other things. This is ongoing but we are better off now then at the beginning of the year.
Work to develop primitive skills. Nothing has really happened on this.
Pick up another full tang medium sized survival/ general purpose knife or maybe two plus stuff to round out some of the redundant parts of my various kits. Picked up a Benchmade Bushcrafter. Looking to add a slightly larger knife to the inventory this summer. Ordered a British MOD survival  knife.  
Get 3-4 more wool blankets. It is hard to recall exactly when I bought minor item like blankets. I am up one or two since them.

Alternative Energy:
Skills: Use the stuff we have more to figure out how to make it work for our needs. This includes a good plan for charging Wifey's smart phone on the go.

Stuff : Wifey mentioned wanting to get a generator before hurricane season. We are far enough North in Louisiana so as to avoid utter destruction but can definitely lose power. A buddy up here lost power for a week during Rita. This worried Wifey. So we might just get a generator. Probably an EU 2000 like Zero has.

Stashing a half dozen or so military gas cans would be nice. Enough gas to completely fill up both our vehicles twice and run a genny enough to keep the freezer cold, charge batteries and watch a bit of news for at least 2 weeks (a month would be better) would be great. Got to do some math on that one.

Discussion:
The year was weird in terms of scheduling and plans due to some work stuff. That really threw a wrench in a lot of different plans. Anyway the year is not done but with just over a month left, spanning the busy Christmas/ holiday season, a whole lot more is not likely to get done.

An AR pistol didn't happen because I prioritized other guns that had more valid uses in a  CCW handgun and a 'precision rifle'. I really want an S&W Shield. Note I purchased a Kahr CW9 which fills this niche. 

Food is a continual process for all but the most well established survivalists.

I put some money into commo with the Baofengs. This is honestly long overdue. 

Looked at getting a scanner but the Police/ etc freq's in Louisiana are on LWIN which is a digital trunking system. I do not understand thee technical side but it means normal $80-150ish models would not pick up what I want to listen to. A digital trunking scanner is required. The most affordable and simplest one (also recommended by Spark 31) is the Uniden Public Safety Receiver (HOMEPATROL) but they cost just under $400. That will roll to next years goals.

Need to work on a more cohesive overall fitness plan. I know what to do (and if I didn't John Mosby wrote a good article on it at FO) and just have to do it. Most of the right things (running, body weight, lifting, some rucking) are happening now but not necessarily in a thought out way.

Need to make a final push to get some small game shotgun ammo like #4 shot and just maybe some buckshot. Overall we have a decent amount of shotgun ammo but am way below my desired ratios. One of the things I am working on this year is to get some of the goals that have been rotating from one years list to the next.

How are you doing on your years goals?

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Survivalist Frusteration

I was fortunate to come into survivalism with a decent background that gave me a lot of useful skills. I spent my growing up years tramping around the woods and mountains doing all manner of outdoor activity then the latter part of my teens doing sucky jobs, some of which taught me stuff, while spending my evenings learning to break people in a formal setting then occasionally applying that on the weekends. My young adulthood was spent running around in the woods and desert with guns doing all sorts of things.

By the time I got into college and then survivalism I had a lot of skills folks pay big money to get. Since then my military skills as an individual combatant, leader and planner have increased exponentially. After that I went for a tour in the high mountainous desert.

Yet there are skills I do not have. Honestly aside from the mythical uuber survivalist who grew up on an off grid organic farm then left the farm to become a genuine JSOC Jedi and after the service became a medical doctor we all have holes in our skill sets.

I have been trying to work on those holes. The little stuff was easy like figuring out  world band radio. I built an AR which wasn't too much of  a reach. Now I'm going even further.

The garden has been a struggle. Last year it was OK despite losing a few tomatoes to the birds. This year has been a big giant ball of fail. Due to no fault of my own (didn't think a garden was going to work) I got a late start. Walker killed my seedlings. The potatoes rotted. Got some plants to give it another go. Now my veggies seem to be rotting before they are ripe.

It has been a very frustrating and not at all cost effective year of gardening so far.

Recently purchased a rifle that should be very accurate and fill a much needed niche in my collection. This rifle that should be a sub moa gun has shot like a 30-30 or an AK. Admittedly precision marksmanship hasn't really been my discipline of choice but something is wrong here.

This shit is turning activities that should be making me calmer and happier into very frustrating ventures to say the least.Trying to step past some annoying moments and a long work day I can look or the silver lining in the shit cloud.

The silver lining is that

 1) these failures show I am pushing my boundaries and working on new skills. It is easy to stash cans of food and cases of 62 grain 5.56 (PMX XTAC available for $369 at Lucky Gunner! Smokin deal!) and that is useful as you do need it but you also need other skills. We all have to get away from our comfort zones to round out our weak skills. Some super gardener and canner extraordinaire whose defense plan is a hand me down .38 snubby with the save 5 bullets it's had for 40 years has the opposite problem I do. Also

2) I am having these failures now while they are annoying but honestly do not matter. They are frustrating and humbling but aside from a shot to the ego there is no penalty.

What have you failed at lately?


Thursday, July 3, 2014

New Years Resolution Review

Figured it is as good of a time as any to review my 2014 New Years Resolutions which I really use yearly more as annual goals than anything else. Completed resolutions will be lined through and notes will be in italics. Note I am piggy backing off the last review done in May.

Note: The stuff in light grey are long shots. By long shots I mean they are not realistically funded based on projected levels of spending. Admittedly this is pretty unscientific since I do not have an exact projected preps budget that is divided amongst different areas. It's probably more of a gut feeling based on the last few years of what I will realistically be able to do than anything else.

Shoot

Skills:
Attend a quality defensive pistol course. Work messed up a scheduled CSAT course. Undetermined on when/ where I plan to reengage this goal.
Try to attend an Appleseed if I can. Scheduled. Decent odds it will happen.
Following said defensive pistol course begin a dry fire regimen.
Shoot more often. Ideally at least monthly but certainly not more than bi monthly. Doing better.

Stuff:
Finish the 870 P project. Refinish, light, sling, ammo cards, ammo holding system to match. Get a .30 cal precision rifle almost surely a .308. 
 I have been semi casually looking for a single shot 12 gauge shotgun to go all Dave Canterbury. If I find one I will buy it.
 Maybe start on an AR pistol

Consumables and minor stuff:
250 rounds buckshot
250 rounds #4 shot
250 slugs
Get a quality kydex outside waistband Glock holster with mag pouches to match
4 Ruger 10/22 BXP mags
A case of 5.56 ammo
A stripped AR-15 lower receiver
Long shot a case of 9mm FMJ  purchased the 9mm ammo for a class and am keeping it set aside for such unless things get all wonky then it would of course be usefull and a second case of 5.56 ammo
10 each PMAGs
 6x Glock 17 mags
I can always use another 10/22 or a Glock 19 but those are big time long shots.

Move
Fitness:
Run more, keeping better track of it. Maybe do a marathon or something. Eh not much has happened on this one.
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff. I'm back at this with a vengeance. Setting a lot of near term (vs back in the day) maxes and some all time ones. Getting my swole on.
 Generally keep on doing good things

Stuff:
Break in all extra boots that are currently accessible. Working on it. Going to need to start wearing a pair of old school black leather boots in my off work time.
Not sure exactly where this fits but I want to firm up our heavy (vehicle) bug out packing list then have that stuff ready to go. Also continue developing all of our systems.
Purchase a small enclosed trailer. 

Communicate:
Skills: Get a ham radio license. Kinda bumping this to the winter when other stuff is not happening.
Get better with HTLM and web coding stuff (any advice would be great)

Stuff:
Get a ham radio, probably one of the little Baeofong (spelling) setups to start.
Get a set of 2 (4 would be better) good FRS radios with head sets. I have a pair in storage that might work but I've got to test them.
Get a scanner 

Sustain:
Keep building our food supply to the interim goal of having a year's worth for 4 people. Put back a lot of food since we have been here.
Get chickens. The golden girls are giving us 3-4 eggs a day. Enough to totally meet our egg needs. Right now I'm alone so I am swamped in eggs.
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too. Got a decent little garden going.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation. Set up the Operational Cache. Looking at some other ideas.
Work to develop primitive skills. Nothing has really happened on this.
Pick up another full tang medium sized survival/ general purpose knife or maybe two plus stuff to round out some of the redundant parts of my various kits. Picked up a Benchmade Bushcrafter. Looking to add a slightly larger knife to the inventory this summer.
Get 3-4 more wool blankets. It is hard to recall exactly when I bought minor item like blankets. I am up one or two since them.

Alternative Energy:
Skills: Use the stuff we have more to figure out how to make it work for our needs. Working this one. This includes a good plan for charging Wifey's smart phone on the go.

Stuff : Wifey mentioned wanting to get a generator before hurricane season. We are far enough North in Louisiana so as to avoid utter destruction but can definitely lose power. A buddy up here lost power for a week during Rita. This worried Wifey. So we might just get a generator. Probably an EU 2000 like Zero has.

Stashing a half dozen or so military gas cans would be nice. Enough gas to completely fill up both our vehicles twice and run a genny enough to keep the freezer cold, charge batteries and watch a bit of news for at least 2 weeks (a month would be better) would be great. Got to do some math on that one.


Discussion:
Many of my major goals have been met. I don't see an AR pistol happening though I will pick up a lower or two. Mostly this is  because I really want an S&W Shield. Also I  need a few hundred rounds of JIC .308 ammo as well as some match grade stuff and a reloading setup to turn used brass into my own home brewed precision .308 ammo.

Of course I'll keep stashing food away. 

Also I need to put about $300 into communications gear. This is honestly long overdue. I'll likely get a scanner first then a couple affordable radios after doing some studying and getting the license. 

Need to work on running more. 

Overall we are slightly over halfway through the year and I am doing good at knocking stuff off the list. 

How are you doing on your years goals?

Monday, June 16, 2014

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I bought ten gallons of gas to fill up my last two empty fuel cans. Received a tactical tailor Glock 9mm/ .40 drop holster. It will give me the option of an overtly tactical holster for a Glock 9mm without a light which is something I was missing.

Also it will give me the option of switching to a lighter setup based on a duty belt that is compatible with a modern backpack which is a nice option to have. Granted it means I totally need a chest rig as part of the setup but it gives some good options. My gut says that if occasionally carrying a ruck combined with a lot of local patrolling was the order of the day I would use the battle belt and an ALICE pack. On the other hand if I needed something vehicle friendly or knew I would be rucking a whole lot it would be a lighter rig and a modern, much more comfortable ruck.

On my current lifting program it was max week. Here is where I ended up:
Military Press (standing, strict)- 135x1
Dead Lift- Did not beat my 2 month ago max of 360x1 though I am stronger now. It was a long day.
Bench Press- 265x1 honestly a whole lot better than I expected.
Squat-225x4. This is pretty wimpy though in my defense I have been focusing more on a strict 'ass to the grass' squat than weight. Still the squat has not been getting the attention it deserves and I need to do better.

(Edited to include: I did squats today (6-17) and went 245x3 to a good depth with solid form. That is probably a more realistic assessment of my current max.) 

Am at a steady state with the garden and chickens. The plants are growing like crazy and the (4) hens are averaging 3.5-4 eggs a day so that is good.

Probably did something else but I cannot remember what it was.

Next week I plan to purchase some spare parts for a rifle, hopefully get some mags, sign up for a class, plant some seedlings and PWN the gym.

What Do You Do To Prepare This Week?

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Seedlings KIA so Fall Garden?

This year for reasons not worth getting into it did not look like I was going to have a garden. The reason it was not going to happen went away about 3 weeks later than would have been ideal but in any case I planted some seedlings. Was almost ready to put them into pots when Walker, bless his little heart, decided to water them with a hose and killed them. The hose was there and he was in the back yard and we both looked away for a minute. Of course it's not his fault, the little guy really thought he was helping but (#*$.

So I was already running late and am now really late. Still don't want to give up on the effort.

The good part is I am in Louisiana where we have a pretty long growing season due to a warm early fall. So I did some research.

Best I can tell folks will do gardens planted in June/ July consisting of stuff like cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, kale and garlic. This seems like as good of a route to go as any. I don't know how many more years there will be where the product of our garden honestly doesn't matter.

Thoughts?

Monday, November 25, 2013

My Quick/Easy Sprouting Technique for Desperate Times

Experience has led me to a quick, easy, and cheap way to do
sprouting. Remember that when the next prolonged electrical
power outage occurs, everyone will soon be desperate for food.
Forget your outdoor garden, unless you plan on guarding it day
and night.

All you do is stock up on dried lentils from any supermarket,
buckwheat groats from some supermarkets (e.g. Whole Foods)
or from Chinese and Korean grocery stores, and maybe sunflower
seeds, available at health stores and on the Internet. Of course,
you can sprout mung beans, alfalfa seeds, etc. also. But be sure
to really stock up, because sprouts may be a major source of food
for the family and for starving neighbors who won't shoot you if
you give them some food.

Here's the quick/easy sprouting process -- no messy cheese cloth.
At your local Chinese or Korean grocery store, buy this brand of
kim chee, a fermented vegetable mix which is quite beneficial to
proper digestion and general health, but buy it in the large stout jar
that you see on the left of the three jars pictured in the advertisement
on this web page:
http://www.kimcheepride.com/about.cfm
This jar is sized and shaped ideally for sprouting. Moreover, it has a
plastic (non-corrosive) lid with a smooth top surface. Put your
sprouting seeds into the clean empty jar and fill it with tap water to
soak for half a day. Then hold the flat smooth top of the lid over the
mouth of the jar and slowly turn the jar upside down. Very slowly
slide the top of the lid off center very slightly from the mouth of the
upside down jar until air is just barely able to get sucked into the jar
as the water trickles out. It only takes about 20 seconds to pour off
the water in this manner, and none of the seeds have ever escaped
when I do it this way. Then turn the jar right side up, wiping the lid
top across the mouth of the jar to deposit the remaining seeds back
into the jar. Place the jar of wet seeds on your counter, and use a
fork to wipe the seeds from the wall of the jar into the bottom of
the jar. Take a small brown paper bag and shorten the length of the
bag by cutting several inches crosswise off the top of the bag.
Now cut several very small holes in the bottom of the bag. Place the
bag upside down over the jar, so that the seeds can sprout on your
sunny counter top in relative darkness, but with necessary air
circulation. Furthermore, the heat from the sun shining on the heat
absorbent brown paper will help to elevate the temperature of the
seeds to, say, 70 degrees or more, which is conducive to sprouting.
I found that I never forget to rinse the seeds about four times a day
because my eye always catches that upside down paper bag on
the kitchen counter. When the seeds have sprouted sufficiently, you
can take the bag off and let them get some sunshine to green them
up a bit. Then, when they have sprouted enough, partially fill the jar
of sprouts with water and shake in some baking soda, which will
prevent mold from growing. In fact, I use baking soda to kill the
mildew in the shower stall and also, I soak my cut up fresh coconut
in baking soda and water for a couple of hours before storing it in
the fridge, otherwise the coconut gets that red mildew spotting.
After a couple of hours, rinse out the baking soda water several
times with fresh water, drain the sprouts, put the jar in the fridge
with the cap on. Each time I harvest some sprouts from the fridge,
I give the jar of sprouts a cold water rinse/drain, and put the jar
back in the fridge, otherwise they tend to dry out after a few days.

                John

Friday, August 23, 2013

Louisiana Life Update

We are learning our way around to the places we regularly go. Such that the GPS isn't getting used too often anymore. That is good. Today I had a frogs leg and some alligator which was pretty cool. I enjoyed them both and trying new things is fun. Of course it's more fun when they turn out to taste good.

There are still some hoops to jump through but it looks like we found housing. If all goes well we can move in about the middle of next month. Fingers crossed. It will be great to actually settle into a place we like (vs 'it's good enough for now I guess') for a change.

Got to start doing some research on gardening here. My initial thought is you can probably grow stuff like crazy 7-8 months of the year but we will see. Space, flexibility and geography should make it a better growing enviornment than Arizona. Then again I think every place except hell has a better gardening environment than Arizona.

We will have the capability to get chickens for the first time. That is something I am really excited about. Got to do some looking into that and start thinking about what sort of structure I want to buy/ make so we can get going shortly after moving in. This should be a fun new adventure and good for our health.

Looking into hunting and fishing down here. I haven't really done either in the past. Wanted to but never really did anything about it years back but there is no time like the present. My son did a bit of fishing at home while I was deployed and liked it so maybe that will be a thing we can do together. Hobbies that largely use stuff I have, are good for our diet/ food production and help me build useful skills are the order of the day.

I really want to shoot an alligator but heard it is pretty expensive. Seems deer, hogs and birds are easy as well as fairly abundant so that is good. Not sure I'll make the season this year with moving in, getting started in a new position, etc but I sure want to try.

So that's what is going on here. Any advice, especially current and applicable to western central Louisiana would be appreciated.




Sunday, June 9, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

Been eating my way through the garden which is good. Also got some nets put over the tomatoes so hopefully we can eat the second batch. Seam sealed the Swack Shack. Rotated half the gas cans and filled them back up. Will do the others next week.

My DBAL showed up which is cool. Will talk more about that later.

Meant to swap out some stuff in our bags for lighter items that are more suitable for summer down here. Didn't get to it so it'll happen next week.

Anyway that was my week. What did you do to prepare this week?


Thursday, June 6, 2013

Long Day, Garden and Rucking

Today really feels like it should be Friday, not Thursday which sucks. The news that our government was pretty much spying on every Verizon Wireless customer certainly did not help matters. It's not much of a leap to guess the same has been going on at AT&T, Sprint, etc all. Cannot say I am exactly surprised but it certainly is not good news. May talk more about that later.

Produce is coming out of the garden which is nice. The birds pretty much got the tomatoes but the cherry tomatoes are getting ripe and I'm working through the lettuce and spinach. It is nice to be able to make a salad out of stuff from the garden. Next year hopefully the garden will be significantly larger and staggered so we have produce for a good part of the summer.

This afternoon once I got home from work I was going to either write something very angry, get drunk or exercise. I try not to write while angry anymore plus getting hammered is not the best idea (especially during the week) so that left exercise. Had to wait till the heat broke a bit so at 6 I went for a ruck. Did a nice 20 minute up, 20ish back walk. The timing worked out great, it was cooling down but I got back well before dark. Carried my get home bag. It is a good idea to try carrying any system you plan to potentially use. While this bag is fairly light (maybe 20 pounds) it's good to make sure it carries right. All was well.

That being said I do need to work out my hot weather gear a bit. A long sleeved cotton t shirt would be the way to go I think. Either a light tan or white. Also I did not have a boonie hat in the bag but there was one in the Rubbermaid that lives in the back of our vehicle. It is a cheapo one that worked but is less than ideal. Have one in my closet full of Army junk that is better. Need to find it and swap them.

Those minor issues aside I am pretty happy with my setup. It has what I want and is not too bulky or heavy. Will give it a look over then probably talk about it in coming days. 

On the plus side Person of Interest is on which is always fun. Even better tomorrow is Friday. Hope you all have a good night.



Monday, April 15, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I'm still working on cleaning up a gun. Slowly but surely just soaking with WD-40, wiping and repeating every day or so is getting the last couple rough spots cleaned up. Ordered a more robust solar setup which is something that has been on the list for awhile now. Will write more about it down the road sometime. Put some seedlings into containers in the garden. The beans seem to be thriving, unsure about the lettuce and spinach as of now.

Other than that not a ton going on here. What did you do to prepare this week?

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Odds N' Ends

The lettuce, spinach and green beans went into pots today. That was big fun. This whole growing my own vegetables thing is pretty cool. Also I'm excited to say it looks like I'll be involved with an intro to canning thing in the near future.

Had dinner and a couple beers at a local bar. Since neither driving slightly inebriated or taking a cab appealed to me I decided to hang out drinking water and reading till the booze wore off. I am currently reading Ghost Wars:The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001. I got halfway into this book way back in IBOLC but it lost my interest. These days I am a lot better informed on Afghanistan and the players involved, through research and personal experience, and am probably more patient so it's a bit easier to get through.

On the plus side guns are becoming more available. The local shop has a variety of evil black rifles and semi automatic pistols. They are also doing pretty well on mags. A variety of AR mags including PMAGs at $22ish were present. They had limited pistol mags, I think mostly various Ruger and XD mags plus a few Glock 19 mags at $32ish.

Ammo is trickling into the shops and flying out. A lot of guys are showing up at Wally World early in the morning. Some to meet their own needs and some to resell at stupid prices. The local shop sold 7k in .223 in 2 days with a 3 box per customer limit. Personally I'm semi actively looking and buying when prices are right.

As summer hits here we are seeing consistent temps in the 80's. My little .38 J frame is definitely earning its keep. The G19 is really only viable for open carry these days. However given that it I'm in Arizona that option is legally on the table and socially acceptable to boot. Sort of depends on my mood and the risk of a given venture. Since I'm much more of a grocery store at 4pm than an ATM at 3AM kind of guy the risk is usually pretty low.

In writing this rambling, I'm too lazy to do something serious post I realized that a month ago I wrote basically the same thing. Big fun.








Sunday, March 31, 2013

PSA Easter Sale, Free Joshua Ebook and Gardening Fun

PSA is having a pretty awesome Easter Sale. They have a variety of mags in 10 packs for $11-14 a piece and some other stuff on sale too. Probably worth checking out if you are in the market for gun accessories. John Wilson wanted me to mention that his Ebook Joshua will be available free until the 3rd.

Unfortunately it seems some folks are counterfeiting 90% silver.  This is why I buy our silver and gold from trusted dealers like JM Bullion. Learning more about testing silver might not be a bad idea either.

Today I got a cherry tomato plant and put it into the upside down planter thing Wifey got for $1.50 on clearance. Didn't take a great look at the Strawberry one and it takes multiple seedlings so I'll have to pick up a few more. Think I'll try to do them in phases so we can stagger the harvest a bit.

The strawberry plants we have so far looked pretty dead at one point. However now that they are in some dirt and have gotten some water they are turning around. One is good to go and the other is probably going to make it.

Also started some seeds to sprout. Lettuce, spinach, green beans and carrots. Did the egg carton thing. I am cautiously optimistic that enough will go to be able to plant when the time is right. Since the house is empty I'm just keeping them in the sink. 

I am definitely enjoying this whole gardening thing. It is really calming for me. Hopefully next year we will be in a place where I can do something bigger and a bit more organized than my current gaggle of containers. Either in the ground or if the soil sucks a raised bed. That sort of effort would definitely make canning worthwhile. This year I will probably do it but mostly for it's own sake.

Hope you all had a good Easter. 


Monday, March 18, 2013

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I swapped some .357 magnum ammo we no longer need for 125 rounds of 9mm. We restocked a bunch of household stuff that had been used. Also picked up some more laundry soap, sponges and a few other things to build up some extra. Sold some stuff I had purchased semi speculatively to free up cash. Put some time into the garden and did some sun oven cooking also.

That's about all I can think of.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Friday, March 15, 2013

New Years Resolutions- Finalized a bit late



I dropped some draft goals awhile back and was recently reminded of them. It is high time I solidify them.

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run a half marathon (I changed to this because it's March and I haven't tracked mileage which was a big fat fail)



Continue working on barefoot running towards the goal of running on a  variety of terrain up to 5k barefoot

Transition to running fully in minimalist shoes

Ruck at least 1x a week

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course.

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible.

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. (Specifically a nice Bravo or Raven concealment kydex holster for the Glock with TLR-1, a good OWB holster for the J frame, and an ankle holster.)

Purchase a DBAL and free float the barrel on project AR.  (The DBAL is almost funded I just need to do a bit more research then pull the trigger.)


Finally complete Project 870. At least the tube extension and sling. The light angle I've got to do some thinking on.

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff (firing pin, extractor, ejector, springs, pins, etc) for other guns.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it.

If things work out and decent deals come along I would like to get a single shot 12 gauge and another .22 rifle. 

Subcategory Ammo: I am only doing this if prices get back to normalish. Would take my best whack at it and if I get half done be happy.
5k .22lr
1k 9mm
1k 12 gauge (mixed about 400 buck, 100 slug and 500 mixed small game loads)
2k .223


Food:

Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people.

Can something

Continue with my garden this year.

Pursue fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life. 

 Energy/ Other:

Get a better solar setup. A bigger panel with a power supply and a few small lights is the answer. Goal 0 makes what I am looking for. It will cost about $400. Probably 500 once I get the lights. This would have gotten purchased late in 2012 but the whole ban madness shifted my priorities elsewhere.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Maybe purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup.

Re look and improve our cache situation.

Financial:

Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 

If we reach our food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:


Start on the AR Pistol.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things).

As always input is welcome. It would be fairly useful now before these resolutions are solidified. 

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Gardening Fun

Well I haven't killed our plants yet. They are now inside/ outside plants only coming in when it is going to get cold. This wouldn't work with 40 plants but for the few we have it's easy enough. Probably care too much about them and have taken to calling them my dirt babies. I find the whole thing pretty calming.

Also I am trying to get some taters going. We had a few that MIL must have got while she was here that were forgotten and started sprouting. I figured why not and tossed them into some containers with dirt. Hopefully they get going.

Today I stuck some green onions into a glass of water to hopefully sprout. The reason for this is that we never need a whole package of green onions, just a little bit. This way I can cut off just what we need for a meal. Plan to do the same thing with some cilantro.

Might just get some sprouts going also. I like them in sandwiches and salads. 

I think this is about as far as the garden is going this year. Next year hopefully we are in a place where I can go a bit further.

Are you getting into gardening this season? Maybe expanding your existing garden.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Getting Started, "I Can't Afford To Prepare", Gardens and Inflation

TEOTWAWKI Blog had an interesting discussion. "One to-do that I walked away with was the need to put together a real budget sensitive kit, and from off-the-shelf stuff. I did the $40 a week series, but even that's out of reach for a lot of people. A $150 or so total investment is probably a good starting point." Continue reading here

I commented there but felt like elaborating on the topic. It doesn't matter what you WANT to do it matters what you put meaningful effort towards doing. I would not mind being able to speak Chinese or squat 500 pounds but am not really doing anything to make that happen. Anybody can say they want to be prepared but if they aren't willing to do something about it that is all talk which counts for jack and shit. The point is that wanting to be prepared (or anything else) simply doesn't matter, what we DO matters. I'm not saying somebody not actively pursuing preparedness is bad or whatever, there are lots of good folks who it's just not their thing.

We make choices in life. Having expensive hobbies is a choice, eating out regularly is a choice, going out on the town all the time is a choice. Like I talked about previously well prepared individuals tend to have some things in common.

For what it is worth I find deciding on a goal and then figuring out how to make it work is the way to go. It's like the pay yourself first financial concept. The other option is to wait till the end of the month and inevitably there will be nothing left.

It's the same with space (historically another hot topic). If you look for easy to use storage space that is not currently filled with anything or be obtrusive on living spaces there isn't any in most homes, especially the small ones where space is already an issue. On the other hand if you come at it that your home is going to fit 30 buckets of stored food, 2 contico bins of gear, a backpack and a small gun cabinet then somehow you will figure out a way to make that work.

Of course people should be realistic. A one income family of 6 pulling down 20k a year can't financially do what a high powered couple bringing in big money can. 5 years of food for 6 people and 100k in ammo is not going to fit into a 30 foot RV. Everyone's situation, finances, schedule and goals are different. If $40 (or less) a pay period is what you can put into preps then do it. Have a plan, shop sales and make that money go as far as it can. If you are really short on space then do the best you can and once that is done try to work alternate locations or caches.

One mistake I think many people starting out in survivalism make is getting frustrated at what they perceive to be a lack of timely progress. This is short sighted at best. Focusing on progress is far more meaningful. Like Jim Wendler said "If you bench press 225 and want to do 275 first you need to do 230". Slow progress adds up over time if you are consistent.

At the risk of slipping into tomorrows post I put some more energy into the garden today. Right now we have a few plants. I am toying with ordering some nonhybrid heirloom type seeds and trying to sprout then grow them. There is still time to do so, though not enough to dilly dally for very long before doing so. It would be nice to grow some strawberries and a few other things. Our situation lends itself to container gardening for a variety of reasons. Any advice (where you buy small quantities of seeds from, sprouting, container gardening, harvesting seeds, etc all) would be greatly appreciated.

Has anybody else noticed that prices of stuff just keep climbing? I swear gas is up 10 or 20 cents this week. We aren't eating better but the cost keeps rising. Am I alone on this?






Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Inflation Coming and What Are You Doing About It

It has been more and more clear to me that we are in an inflationary situation. If you have been to the grocery store, gone clothes shopping or filled up the family auto you have probably seen it also. Maybe I am just really noticing it but it is here. Lots of hidden inflation in food products, smaller servings, etc but it is still apparent.

The scary thing is that our current slowly robbing you of purchasing power inflation can suddenly begin quickly robbing you of purchasing power. When the banking conglomerate market focuses on a country things can spiral out of control in a hurry. Not months but weeks if not days.

This week for whatever reason I am getting out of the problem admiration phase. Put up a close line earlier this week. Dug out the spare parts to fix Wifey's bike and will get it up and running probably tomorrow. Trying to find a deal on a bike for me.

Today I picked up some plants; herbs, yellow peppers and tomatoes. My brilliant plan is to grow them. I think the plants are going to be coming inside at night for a bit until the risk of frost is over, probably in 2-3 weeks but I have to do some more reading about it. Am going to get my stuff together, do some research, and try to grow a half dozen buckets (or pots as Wifey doesn't want our yard to look white trash fabulous) of different stuff. If I can make it work without a hassle it would be nice to do the heirloom thing and keep the seeds for next time.

With the exception of  getting the bike up and running and hopefully finding another one for cheap these are tiny steps. Growing some food would be nice, both to teach kiddo about taking care of things and have a fun activity to do with him and to save a few bucks. In fact I expect failure. I don't expect a whole ton to happen from these efforts. The reason I am doing it is to get the inevitable growing pains out of the way now when it doesn't matter. However the real point is to start building some skills. Skills we may need later. Skills that may be the difference between barely getting by on stored food and having some variety to go with it.

I also dug out FerFAL's book Surviving the Economic Collapse  and started going back through it. I briefly talked about his book years back but it turns out I never did a full review. Might have to fix that. In any case despite the relatively high cost of $25 I suggest buying and reading this book. If you are really cheap, read all his old forum posts, guest posts at Survival Blog and his blog it's probably OK to skip the book. That being said I did all that stuff, bought the book and was happy I did.

We are also putting money into food. Stuff like freeze dried emergency food and plain old canned staples like rice and beans. Depending on where your preps and finances are you might want to think about precious metals. If your financial situation is in decent shape (no credit card debt, some savings, etc), you have some gear and a few guns with ammo PM's are a good place to park a few bucks. In particular I think silver is a good buy right now with at $30ish.

I am not saying that you need to do what we are doing. Everybody has different strengths and weaknesses and working from them instead of blindly following me or anybody else makes sense. The point is that you should be doing something.

What have you been doing?


Friday, October 26, 2012

Random Questions: Rails, Lower Receivers and Winter Gardening in the SW

1) Does anybody have experience with drop in free floating rails? I am looking forward at Project AR Upgrade Phase 2 and this Troy rail looks like a good option. If anybody has experience with Troy rails or another drop in free floating rail please chime in.

2) Does the brand of a stripped lower receiver actually matter? I'm talking just the big piece of metal all the stuff goes in and on. I saw a big post on ARF that basically said they are actually made by 3 manufacturers.

3) Does anybody have experience with fall/ winter gardening in the Southwest? If so please either leave your contact info or PM me at theotherryan@yahoo.com.

Thanks in advance
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