Showing posts with label life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label life. Show all posts

Thursday, July 9, 2015

7.62x51 FMJ Ammo, Greece and the Chinese Stock Market

My primary bank does not have any branches around here. We have been with them for a long time and are happy with it. Still occasionally there are hassles. Needing to get cash into the digital world is one of those hassles. I usually have a relationship with a local bank. That situation was in flux. Tried to establish a relationship with a new local bank but in short order that complete disaster managed to put a mark in favor of every negative stereotype about the speed, motivation, intelligence and competence of rural Southerners. Seriously it was a complete cluster.

[Note to my Southern brethren. I do not mean to disparage you all. I understand this was probably an anomaly. I have lived in some part of the South for long enough to know that while things move at their own pace this sort of total disaster is not a normal occurrence. Still if something ridiculously stereotypical happens it is worth mentioning. If a Canadian logger wearing denim on denim and a fur hat offered me a Molson and french fries with gravy I would mention it.]

Anyway I wanted to get myself a bunch of Federal XM80 149gr FMJ sooner instead of later. Things have been getting weirder and weirder lately and I would like to have at least a start on fodder for the FN-FAL on hand. The boxer primed stuff is a bit more expensive than the surpus Hirtenberger 7.62x51 battle packs which are Berdan primed. The ability to reload the ammo (probably turning it into some sort of precision load) appeals to me. Also since there isn't any cheap .308 ammo out there anyway might as well pay a little bit more for stuff I can recycle.

The situation in Greece is continuing to unfold. American Mercenary brings up good points that 1) massive debt that cannot be paid is more of an issue for the lender than the debtor and 2) bail in's are inevitable and 3) Americans should consider how a potential future bail in one time tax could affect them.

Still it is small time compared to China.  FerFAL talked about it yesterday and so did Bayou Renaissance Man. China's stock market is swirling down the crapper big time. It is down about a third in a short period of time. According to NPR and the BBC, my main sources, most of China's investors are individuals who purchased single stocks. So this means instead of a bunch of hedge funds and index funds taking a 30% haircut a subset of normal people in the market probably lost everything.

The China situation is scary because their economy is so much bigger than Greece. When small countries have their economies go to hell they might cause some economic problems. When big countries have their economies go to hell they have a nasty tendency of getting into wars. Either they go for the little distraction war to inspire nationalism and distract the people, or they say pull a Hitler and try to TAKE OVER ZEE WORLD.

That Chinese curse 'May you live in interesting times' comes to mind. Good thing the plan is  to cut another 40,000 soldiers out of our Army.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Monday Madness

Yesterday I took the family to the airport. They are going home for awhile to hang out with our extended family for awhile. So I spent yesterday driving to Houston and back, about 8 hours of drive time which makes for a pretty long day. Today I slept in a bit then got going and did some deep cleaning. Also organized a bunch of stuff and ran some errands.

Had my birthday a bit ago. For my birthday 'We' bought me an Embel parts kit for the FAL which I am psyched about, a sweet new straw cowboy hat, and nice cup with a straw to drink water from. Other folks got me an amazon gift card and some cash. Also a couple friends (none of us are good at communicating) called and I talked to both of them for awhile to catch up and what not which was awesome. Catching up with those guys was great.

Between the 30-30 sale and my birthday I have some money in the prep fund right now. [I should note that preparedness money is separate from our normal household budget. They do overlap like the $150 we put into precious metals every month, and my $200 a month 'personal money' which goes almost exclusively to preparedness but the point is this stuff is separate from the general household budget of rent/ mortgage, savings, normal bills like water/ electric/etc, food, insurance, fuel, etc all. The blog efforts and such feed into the preparedness funding pool.]

In general I am about to buy a 'Just in case of SHTF case of .308',   another 100 rounds of 150gs SP ammo, probably 10 more FAL mags, a pair of stripped AR-15 lower receivers and a few more Glock mags. My rough math says the available budget will pay for most, if not all of what I want to purchase. That will pretty much put me where I want to be before the fall/ winter mess I see coming.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Still Alive- Just Busy

Hey Folks, I am not dead. The weekend was split between wheeling n dealing and doing family things. Today got stolen by stupid work shit, such that I walked in the door at 10:40 PM, a shade under 7 hours from when I have to leave to go back. There is a good post in the cue for tomorrow though. Also in the medium run all the wheeling n dealing is going to bring up some fund some exciting gun and gear discussions.

Talk to you later.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Life's Annoyances and Semi Auto .3088's

Things just have not gone my way this week. Work has been totally ridiculous, not actual real life problems but stupid organizationally imposed stuff. Have been wheeling and dealing to get a mag fed semi auto .308.

 I had a deal set up for a S&W M&P 10, hence the bleg,  but that fell apart. The guy pulled the rifle out of his safe then checked it out and it failed to (manually) cycle rounds. It had problems so he held onto it and said the trade was a no go since he wouldn't pass on a gun with issues. Dude was a complete class act as many people would have done the trade knowing someone would not find that issue on a  quick inspection. I am very happy this guy did not dump a problem on me but still it was a big let down and a pretty sucky situation. I was really excited about this and it fell through.

I am not sure exactly how things are going to crack out but am pretty sure I will have some sort of a mag fed semi auto .308 in the next month or two. Really want to be able to rain down some hate that goes through cars and most other light cover at 400m or so. I am going to sell some stuff to facilitate this general effort.

Sometimes you are the windshield and sometimes you are the bug. Hopefully tomorrow or the next day I can be the windshield.

I think stuff is going to click and I will end up buying a DSA Voyager and some mags. The AR-10 market is a mess and I am thinking it is best to wait out the Betamax/ VSA fight. I like their controls and ergonomics being the same as the AR-15 I am used to but the darn market is a mess.

So that is what's annoying me today.

Friday, June 5, 2015

New Ventures Discussion: Soliciting Input

Right now I am a little blah with how the blog is going, it is sort of in a rut. Nobody likes to say things like that but it is true. Part of that is my survivalist/ preparation efforts are sort of in a rut. Maybe a rut isn't the best way to put it but I can't think of a better one. To some degree this is a product of my hard work. I have knocked out all of the 'low hanging fruit' of stashing a decent amount of food, water purification, buying some guns n ammo, etc. I've even hit some of the middle branches with a NOD and the Honda EU2000. However the higher rungs, specifically a paid off piece of land (even a small one) with a little cabin, which are really what will take our preparedness to the next level are still elusive. I work hard and make decent money but with a 1 income household the basics, a few modest luxuries and saving about 10% for the future account for every dollar that comes in. It is honestly really frustrating for me at this point.

The situation right now is that while my efforts to better prepare in our scenario will make us more comfortable they are reaching the point of diminishing returns due to the inherent risk of A) living around people and B) the lack of redundancy which comes with a bug out location. In a true worst case scenario well before we ran out of food or fuel we would likely have serious problems in the form of hungry neighbors.

There are some possibilities floating around and maybe one will work out in the next year or so. Hopefully one of the various possible options works, we get shit on by life enough so it would be great to have the dice roll in our favor for once. I am trying hard to be optimistic without getting too excited like I did awhile back which really sucked hard when that potential option fell apart.  OK, That is enough "poor, poor pitiful me." Onto the blog.

I have been thinking about doing a few things. These are ideas I am fairly certain would work in principle though I won't get into the details unless folks are interested. 

Things I am thinking about doing in no particular order:
-Politely asking for some sort of voluntary donations. This is like the radio in that folks can listen for free but it is a lot more like NPR (aside from the blatantly hypsterish and arguably communist overtones) in that the due to my (work IE the job that takes care of my family) constraints I am limited in who the blog can associate with or advertise for. However I might or might not sympathize with them I simply can not openly associate with or advertise for people who like numbers between 2.9  and 3.1% or  names similar to "Matriots", which greatly limits my readership and advertising opportunities and budget is pretty tight.

 I do not want to get into a bleging cycle at all; first because our household finances are, if not exciting, certainly stable and secondly because the idea of guilting a reader who may have a family and makes 25k a year to send me $20 every month for my internet bill, broken down car, mortgage or the excuse of the week is morally repugnant. We are not hurting for necessities in terms of money so really I could not complain very much.

-Will continue to think about it but I may ask readers who can afford it and enjoy the blog to donate some modest amount (Say between $12 and 24) of cash a year to offset costs and generally help my preparedness efforts.

-Setting up some sort of premium content type thing. This would be heavy on me sharing things that are within my personal and professional areas of expertise. It would be more A members only part of a/ the site or something. Maybe a newsletter that is published monthly for folks that subscribe. It might be a situation where folks can joint the site on a longer term deal for say 6 months or buy this months content stand alone in the form of a newsletter. I would have to figure out what sort of software/ programs are available to support either of these. It is important to note this would note take away from the content on the blog, it would just offer some high quality content to folks who want it. My rough idea of monthly price point would not exceed a fancy coffee drink or a tall draft beer at a neighborhood bar.

I would have to figure out the details but there would be some sort of a measurable (say 6 posts a month for 5 pages of content) deliverable to you but the bottom line is you would get a good bit of new quality content. I might post premium content on the blog down the road, especially if I am busy deployed or training, but it would be the exception to the rule and at least 60 days later. 

-Some sort of anthology or selected readings  from the blog. This might include old posts that are no longer available. Best of the blog type things along specific guide lines like 'survival guns', "self defense', rants, etc at a nominal price of a couple bucks are what I have in mind here.

-Consulting. If you have a question(s) that goes beyond a quick email or such. Specif topics could be home defense, personal security, self defense and general contingency type planning. If you wanted me to say, do an area defense assessment/ training session, I could do that if it was within reasonable driving distance from (whatever is) my current location. If you are further away we would have to deal with maps/ google maps images and talk over the phone. Not sure how to price this but it would factor in my time and (if applicable) costs of travel. Would do my absolute best to make this very reasonable for the customer as I want you to have the advantage of my experiences. If you came to me with a general goal and budget I would do my absolute best to make it work.

- Offering the blog as a venue for sales/ barter. Say you want to sell an AK and we have a bunch of readers who might want an AK. For a nominal fee (I dunno $5 or 10) I post your ad on the main page and it gets to a couple thousand readers. Could work out good for everybody.

Those are the ideas I am mulling around right now. Please let me know what you think of them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Do Something Every Day

This Post at Defensive Training Group Do Something Productive really called out to me.

It reminded me of a story (or maybe a fable) I heard once at work that went something like this..."A young 2LT was new to the job as a Rifle Platoon Leader. His Platoon Sergeant was awesome. He was a '7 in 7' guy meaning he made the rank of E7 in 7 years, which meant he was kind of lucky and completely the shit. The Platoon Sergeant told the young Lieutenant "Every day at work I do something I do not want to do or have to do."

I have taken this to heart and am going to give it a try. I want to do this in 3 areas of my life: work, home and preparedness. Figure I will give it a week or so and see how it goes.

Did you do something useful today?

Friday, May 29, 2015

Flip Side on Police Use of Force: New Cop Got Ass Beat By Guy He Should Have Shot

We have a real good friend who is married to a guy that wanted to be a cop. He has had a rough go of it with getting hired. He finally got a job awhile ago and things were falling into place. They recently had a kid and she quit her job to be a SAHM. Also they got a new place in the area where he was working.

Today he and his partner served a warrant on a gang member. Turned out the guy did not want to go in. I'm not 100% on all the details but it looks like he tried to deploy a taser and it didn't work. They got in a scuffle. The gang member, who I would bet a hundred bucks has been in a whole lot more fights than either of the nice white bread class cops working in a relatively sleepy town, got the better end of it then got out of there. 

He got hurt pretty badly.

Aside from a second cop (who proved real fucking useful) being there it was a pretty cliche Michael Brown/ Darren Wilson scenario. A hostile and combative person bent on physical violence without a weapon other than their body. The only difference was the lack of a half dozen gun shots and the final result that the good guy didn't walk away and the bad guy did.

He should have either beaten this guys ass with a stick or shot him. Instead he tried less lethal and it was, for whatever reason, ineffective. We could go into a discussion about how capable he is at the violent/ survival piece of his job but that is neither here or now. The point is that everything I have heard says our cop had the capability to stop the fight with lethal force but didn't. He thought about shooting the guy but was worried about getting (figuratively) hung for it.

Our friends husband was injured pretty badly. He is alive but the damage is such that he may well be never be a cop again. (I'm not sure how his partner was involved but apparently he was not very useful.) Best case he probably has a year of recovery, surgery and rehab before maybe he will be able to go back to work. Since he was in the beginning of a career vs the middle or end this is a significant problem.

This is what he has trained for so there is not a clear fall back plan, our friend (his wife) recently quit her job to be a stay at home mom and take care of their baby and they just got a new place. The picture is not pretty.

Now don't get me wrong. I am a critic of many current police procedures (no knock raids for less than genuine lethal threats, shooting dogs all the time, asset seizures as fund raising, tasering everyone who looks at them crossly or forgets to say Sir, etc). Also the way some cops have behaved in  use of force scenarios is deplorable. A cop who lies, falsifies evidence against innocent people (if they fudge things to get a meth dealer or a pederass I am OK with that), or uses force when it is not necessary or excessively is worse than a criminal in my book. At least a criminal is fairly honest about what they are and not being a psychopath or gangster acting under the guise of protecting people. Some cops do really bad things and they should (and occasionally do) go to jail for it.

However the current climate of police officers (usually white males) getting their lives and careers ruined for defending their selves has put enough doubt in their minds on whether or not they should escalate force that some of them are failing to act.

The point I am getting at is that while I do genuinely deplore cops who act like ass hats and hurt decent people for no reason I generally respect their role in society and want them to feel OK to protect their selves. Getting cops scared about protests and DOJ 'constitutional rights' investigations is counter productive and downright dangerous to the guy walking the beat who does his best to keep us all safe.

Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day: The Light and the Heavy

Today is Memorial Day. This morning we went for a walk then the kids played in a park for awhile. After lunch and the kids having their nap I ran some errands. Came back to BBQ some dinner and have a few beers. That was the light part of the day.

The heavy part is that Memorial Day is about remembering the sacrifices of people who died fighting for their country while serving in the armed forces in the service of our nation. Thinking about the people I have known and loved who died in war depresses the fucking hell out of me.

One might say soldiers have died in stupid places for stupid reasons (sometimes true) or due to imperfect decisions by their leaders (sometimes true) or because they messed up and died for it (not acceptable to say but also sometimes true). That being said most soldiers die because war is a complicated and messed up situation and if the dice get rolled enough sometimes the snake eyes come up.


As Reid Hendricks of Valor Ridge noted sometimes soldiers (marines, etc all) do things in war they know are dangerous. A medic running through gunfire to treat a casualty or a soldier who runs out and drags a casualty across an open area through a hail of gunfire when self interest would say to stay behind cover.  The guy who organize a company sized defense then run to a damaged vehicle to man a .50 MG and hold off a Company sized enemy element through a hail of gunfire like SFC Paul Ray Smith. Beyond doing dangerous things sometimes soldiers (and marines, etc) do things they know are almost surely going to end in their deaths. The guys who pretty much fight the entire damn NVA despite being shot and blown to hell like MSG Ray Benevidez who voluntarily got into then jumped out of a flying helicopter headed into hell carrying only a bowie knife! The guys like MSG Shuggard and SFC Gordon who voluntarily go into total chaos knowing there is a high probability they are going to die. Lastly there are the numerous soldiers, marines and sailors who have literally jumped on grenades, knowing full well they would die, to save their friends.

The point I am working towards, albeit maybe not that efficiently, is  that while we could argue about whether this conflict is really in the national interest or necessary, the soldier on the ground has about as much input on that decision as a corporate restaurant worker has on the price of french fries or a mid level regional manager at a large company has on their new multi national ad campaign. These soldiers (marines, etc) do brave, often knowingly dangerous things, for the sake of whatever mission they are given at the behest of our nation and to take care of the people around them and not necessarily in that order.

I wouldn't say memorial day is a happy day, maybe it is a day for some deep reflection. 


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Trailer Discussion Continued

We talked about trailers awhile back. It is the plan for a good chunk of our tax return. I had thought about doing a sort of cargo trailer conversion type thing. This idea was pretty heavily inspired by James Yeager's sweet bug out trailer. Honestly after a lot of consideration this idea is just not practical for our situation. When Wifey and my goals were both factored in the end result was not viable within our budget and weight (towing) constraints. Our budget is realistic for a cargo trailer and some stuff but not for the high end ultra light travel trailers that would have everything we would like.

The end result is we went back to the original plan of just getting a cargo trailer. We fiddled with the used market but haven't really seen anything. Digging around in the general area we can get a 6x10 with a side door and the V front which helps a lot with drag brand new in the $2,300-2,600 range. Of course there will be taxes, registration, etc so the end result should be a shade under 3k which is well within the budget.

Basically I am looking at a 6x10 enclosed cargo trailer with a side door. I would prefer a V front and not black paint (due to heat) and if it has a light that would be great. Something like this.

Taking a step back I should better define my goals for a trailer. First and foremost we have two huge dogs so the cargo space in our (practical with one kid and no dogs, probably not so practical with two kids and two dogs) family hauler to do things like camping trips. Secondly I want to be able to move various large things on the occasions (say 5-6x a year) where I need to do that. Moving a big table or some firewood or a couch, the bi annual PCS or whatever. Third (intentionally) is some sort of a bug out scenario. Honestly my concern here is about some sort of a local/ regional event. Not the much talked about zombie apocalypse/ TEOTWAWKI but the sort of thing where it is prudent to pack up the things you really like and to see a sister in Houston or stay at a Holiday Inn in Arkansas. In case A) life support was not available where we ended up or B) A local/ regional event grew wider it would be nice to have say a nice car camping setup with a good tent, pots n pans, sleeping bags and clothes,  a stove with plenty of fuel, etc all, enough food to see ourselves and maybe some friends through a realistic worst case scenario of 4-6 weeks, guns sufficient for protecting ourselves and maybe gathering game with plenty of ammo,  some capacity for charging batteries n such via the Honda EU2000,  the chainsaw n such would be awful nice to have. The end result of the third goal is with a trailer we would have a whole lot of capabilities.

With  preparedness in mind my plan is to have the trailer packed and ready to go for a good camping trip. This means clothes, sleeping bags, diapers for princess, etc all. I plan to store fuel in it sufficient to give us plenty of range with some cans left over to fuel the genny.

So anyway I have a couple questions to pose. 1) Do trailer manufacturers matter? Presuming fairly common names (probably going to buy from Big  Tex) are most trailers basically the same for a normal end user who is not hauling vehicles or whatever very heavy stuff 100k miles  a year? 2) For a basic trailer beside a spare tire (ready to go on a rim) or two and a good jack with a stand (or a 1ftx1ft piece of 1/4 in steel) what would you add on to a trailer? If it doesn't come with internal lights I will get some of the battery powered stick on ones (the $25 ones that actually work not the $5 crap ones) would fill that role.

Input is appreciated.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Todays Events

1) The 30 pound ish female dog we are fostering is humping our 100 pound lab/ dane mix like crazy. Obviously he is at least neutral about it since he's 3x her size. Both are altered so breeding is not an option. I think they have a fundamental confusion about how this works.

To make this even more awkward she has a cone around her head.

2) While going into a store
Walker - "Without my (sun) glasses I can't even read"
Me- "You can't read anyway"

3) Apparently our 105lb female bull mastiff (mutt) has taken to laying on the outside table. The outside table is made of glass and I wouldn't say it is fit to be load bearing. I'm probably going.  to start keeping the table on it's side since this is going to end badly.

4) I was going to BBQ and asked Walker if he wanted to come outside with me. He said "I can see you through the window."


Sunday, May 10, 2015

Pic Post

Had plans to do a real post today. There are some good ideas floating around in my head. The CSAT Tac Pistol post is in progress. It is about half done and sitting at 2 pages. I was pretty busy with Mothers Day today. Let Wifey sleep in real late (till she woke up) then did some stuff around here. Called the Mom's to say hi and thanks then cooked us some dinner.

Since I'm too tired and lazy to write a real post today you are going to get some pictures.
Kenny did well on this one. Honestly we could do well with these two rules.

The S&W Model 19. It was the most common man affordable service revolver for years. As TBF mentioned it was the preeminent policeman's revolver for a couple decades. Also as Bill Jordan mentioned you could do a lotworse than a Model 19 if SHTF. For whatever it is worth I trust an S&W .357 a lot and would have no isssue with it as a house gun or whatever.

The point I am getting at is that the .357mag is good to go and you could do a ton wors.



Sometimes you have got to bug out by water with your go geear whhick includes a rife. I would sling it around my neck and roll whih that.

h




My dogs. 200 pounds of hassle nobody wants. Priincess (tan dog) bit a hog leg bone n half in 1 bite.








Saturday, May 9, 2015

AR-15 Pistol Build Discussion

This evening I build an AR-15 for a buddy. He got an 11.5in BCM lightweight upper and the makings for the rest. (note on the 11.5 vs 10.5 from BCM here) The LPK was CMMG and he got a receiver extension and buffer tube cover from Thordsen Customs. I sort of consulted on the whole thing from the beginning.

So I told Buddy I would put it together for him. He's a good dude but a bit intimidated by the process. I've done this before and have the right tools, punches and all that. He brought over a 6 pack of Summer Shandy which was nice after spending the evening mowing the lawn.

Anyway I pulled a complete lower out of the safe for a reference and looked up the step by step instructions on AR15.COM. Last time I used a video also but this time with some more experience the instructions proved sufficient.

Things that worked out well.

-Putting together a lower while drinking beers #1 and 2 for the evening went a fair bit better than doing so while having #5 and 6. Go figure.

-Of course experience helps. I've done this in the past so the process is smoother than the first time.

-Having a compete assembled lower there to look at is handy.

-I used a tiny screwdriver to hold the spring and detent pin in for the front take down pin (or whatever it is officially called) so I could slip the pin over it.
 .
-I did the build on an empty table with nothing nearby. This was handy when I needed to find the launched detent pin.

-The CMMG LPK thoughtfully grouped small parts into color coded little plastic bags. This eliminated the awkward trying to figure out which spring was which phase. Also they were nice enough to toss in an extra roll pin just in case.

Things that could have gone better. .

- The Troy Industries fixed rear sight had the coating worn/ missing on the near edges and they were rusty. This was ridiculous. I have nothing positive to say about that company.

-Fucking Thordsen Custom didn't bother to include a receiver plate, even though buddy bought a buffer tune and buffer tube cover plate. I'm not saying they said it was included but they should have clearly said 'if you have a lower and an LPK plus our kit you have to buy this extra part to put together the gun. We were not going to be able to complete the project. Awkwardness ensued. How they cheaped out on including a needed part I can not say. Regardless awkwardness ensued. Buddy's project was not getting done. I dug through my spare parts stuff and found a reciever plate. A good reminder that we need to be prepared.

-In the end Buddy's little AR pistol CQB machine got built. Next weekend he and I are planning to go shoot it. 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

From Around The Web

Lucky Gunner's Guide to the S&W .38/.357 Mag revolver. A pretty cool resource to wade through their myriad of different frames, configurations and model numbers. 

Two Commandments by Kenny of Knuckle Draggin My Life Away. Beware. Clicking through the link is fine for anybody. Wading into the general blog will expose you to foul language and pictures of beautiful women in bikini's, thong underwear, etc. Depending on your perspective that might be awesome or offensive.

Captains Journal talks M4 reliability. Looks like we are going back to industry, which makes some great rifles, for suggestions on improving the standard service rifle.

Mike Pattone and Defense Review talk The Big M4 Fouling Myth. They make a compelling case to swap out a few simple, user level, parts to improve the rifles ability to feed and cycle. Specifically a heavier buffer/ buffer spring and an upgraded extractor spring with crane 0 ring. Good to think about and not too expensive to impliment. Keep existing parts as spares.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Long Day and Ghetto Rigging a Thigh Strap for my Safariland 6285

Today was a long day. Went to work earlier than normal. Did some good PT then got cleaned up and did the usual work stuff. Went to the gym at lunch and crushed standing press as well as dead lift and some accessory stuff. Did more work.

Today coming home I saw a bunch of neighbors had lost trees in the real nasty weather. They cut them up and put them out for the trash people to pick up. Down here, as in many places, if it's out on the curb it is free to grab. Well Walker and I got to grabbing. We loaded up the family hauler 4 times. Probably a third of a cord or a shade more. Could have gotten more but I only got decent sized (wrist and larger) stuff that was cut short enough to fit in the soccer mom mobile.

I'll cut it up into stove sized lengths at my earliest convenience. This is probably enough wood for a summer worth of occasional weekend evening fires with the kids. I got it for free with minimal labor. Didn't really want to spend an hour and a half this evening after work doing manual labor but you have to make hay when the sun shines.


I'm getting ready for a class and working on my pistol belt setup. This setup serves as my HD rig and the base for a pistol belt/ chest rig type load out. I have a TT duty belt with a Safariland 6285 on it and a Costa Leg Rig on the other side. I ended up moving the 6285 off the heavy battle belt to make room for more mag. It worked OK on a pistol belt but the bottom of the holster seemed to flex out slightly which kind of jammed up a fairly strait 0 ish degree left to right draw. I pondered selling it and buying a Safariland 6004 drop holster.

3 issues with this problem
1- I didn't get any takers on buying the 6285 which would have displaced some of the cost.
2- Safariland 6004's are ridiculously expensive. Like $200+. Yeah they are cool or whatever but that is a lot of money.
3- I do not love the big old plastic plate they have.

My 6125 which is a 1.5in drop holster puts the gun at a similar level as smart people have their drop holsters set up at. Also the firm way the 6285is on top is pretty nice. I got to wondering if I could put a thigh strap on it, more similar to a conventional (albeit high) drop holster. I had a spare strap from a TT holster as they come with 2 and if worn high the top one is not needed so I figured I'd give it a shot. There was a nice convenient gap in the bolts that mount the holster to the piece that holds onto the belt. 5 minutes later it was done. Initial thoughts are this is going to work real well. It is not uncomfortable and the draw is great. The movement/ snagging issue is totally gone. I might have just made a system that better suits my purposes and saved a bunch of money. Time will tell I guess. Worst case I think this will work till a time when a 6004 is a bit more palatable economically.

So I am sore and tired. Time for bed.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Real Life: Wifey Screamed Out In Panic

Yesterday afternoon was going along normally. My mom is in town. She was outside with Wifey and the kids. I was inside working on the 'honey do list'. I heard Wifey scream 'RYAN!'.

I looked out the window to see if I needed to grab the 870. It turns out Dog #2 was in the chicken coup. She had one of the golden girls in her mouth. By the time I got there the kids were screaming. I got Dog #2 out of there but the damage was done. Got the kids inside, gave them a snack and turned on the tv. I went outside, hit the injured chicken in the head with the back of an ax and got rid of the carcuss. Would have cleaned and eaten it but there was not time to do so as we had plans.

It happened to Wifey but just as easily could have happened to me. We haven't really had an issue with the dogs actively trying to get to the chickens so maybe we've been a bit lax. Lesson learned.


I'm also not mad at Dog #2 as they like have instincts and stuff.

So now we are down to 5 chickens.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Not Jurassic Park Just Two Big Dogs

Commander Zero threw it out there but no, in fact we are not running Jurassic Park here. It came up in a recent post how much dog food we are going through. My initial estimate was a bit off (we had a 3rd dog for awhile and he skewed things) but we are going through around 2/3rds of a 50 pound bag of dog food a week. That actually works well as it means we have around a 90 day supply on hand which is a pretty reasonable place to be at for the beasts.

So these are our dogs. Regrettably Dog #1 is no longer with us. He was a good old boy and I'm sure he is lazily sitting in heaven being petted by a bunch of kids. Seriously that dog was awesome. He was truly kid proof, I do not believe a kid could have done anything to make Dog #1 hurt them. In Arizona we had a walkable convenience store. When I went there I took Dog #1 and tied him up to a rail outside while I shopped inside. Every time I came back to some kids petting him and Dog smiling. He was a good boy. He was my friend and I miss him.

Dog #2 is the big ole tan gal. She is short with her shoulders coming about to my knees but she is thick! That dogs chest, neck and head are just huge! She is built like a linebacker. Walker tried to tackle her once, like a full on running attack. He hit her neck, rolled over the top of it and fell down, she didn't move. Dog #2 is pretty darn strong. I found this out when we were camping last fall. Someone took a cat camping and let it walk around the place. Turns out she hates cats, like a lot. It is a good thing I was holding the leash not Wifey. I am not a weak guy and it took most of what I had to keep my hand on the leash. She really hates cats. Also Dog #2's jaw strength is ridiculous. I don't recall why but we had a big old bone floating around the house. It was at least as big as my fore arm, probably a hog thigh bone. For some reason the other dogs were fighting over it and she got annoyed. Dog #2 picked up that big ole bone in her mouth and bit it in half! Another fun moment with Dog #2 was when my daughter opened up the fridge looking for a cup of milk. There was a half eaten rotisserie chicken in the fridge. Dog #2 got that thing in one bite and ran off.

She is a good girl. Really patient with the kids and stuff. Maybe it's the fact that she's had pups but she seems to get the whole concept of little ones being ridiculous. Occasionally she nips at Walker but only when he really, really deserves it. She gives a ton of warnings beforehand so really it is our fault for not getting Walker to knock it off.

Dog #2 absolutely looks scary and as a matter of fact is scary. She is my dog and I trust her to be around my small children (which is the highest level of trust I could give a dog but) I really, really wouldn't want to make her angry.

Dog #3 is ridiculous. He is just a pup still. That boy is probably going to be 110ish when he is fully grown. He has a little (lab) head but is a big lanky boy. As best we can tell he is part great dane and probably part lab. His head is lab sized which is weird for his big old body. He was pretty skinny at about 65 pounds when we got him (and the pic was shot), probably after starving for awhile.  Also Dog #3 is still a pup at well under a year old. Pretty quickly he gained a bunch of weight and is up to about 90 pounds.

Dog #3 is smart. Also he has all the right instincts. He is super high energy but in no way aggressive to the kids. Oddly he is so hyper Walker doesn't try the stuff he does on Dog #2 with him. Dog #3 is very aware and does not like anything getting into our area or near the kids. He is viciously protective of them and his default reaction is to fight any decently sized dog that tries to get close to them. Dog #2 is genuinely scary, maybe more so than #3. However I am very confident if Dog #3 is around nothing short of a black bear is going to hurt my kids! If a good old doggie deterrent is needed Dog #3 is the answer. He is very protective of his people, especially the kids, and generally cautious to aggressive towards everyone else. That dog would definitely eat someone if he needed thought it was necessary. Woe betide anyone who messes with the kids or wife! Also maybe best of all Dog #3 gets Dog #2, who is a big ole beast, going. She might be too stupid to get the need to fight unless someone smacks her on the nose but she will follow dog #3 when he gets going.

Wifey had Dog #3 at a dog adoption thing, before (she) we decided to keep him. Whenever a decent sized dog got near the kids Dog #3 said hell no and flipped his shit. He will not let an other than midget sized dog near my kids. Dog #3 says screw it he will fight them all. Also he seems to hate German Sheppard's for some weird reason  I guess he is a doggie racist or something.

Those are our two dogs. Dog #2 weights about 104 and Dog #3 weights about 92 pounds. He is still growing and I'd guess he grows up to 110-115ish. He's going to be a big old boy.

They are a handful but we love them. I generally prefer big fairly non aggressive dogs to smaller more aggressive ones. Also they make a very good case as to why someone should pick another place to rob.

Got Dogs?

Friday, March 27, 2015

Priorities, Opportunities, Knives and Whatever

Today I was in an auto accident. I was stopped in a turn lane with my blinker on waiting to turn thinking about getting lunch and the rest of my days plans. Out of nowhere some guy nailed me from behind. He couldn't have been going over 15mph but the jolt was pretty good.

My first thought was a 4 letter word. My second was that I seemed to be OK. My third thought was "Could this be my fault?" After realizing I was in a turn lane and stopped there was no way being read ended could possibly be seen as my fault. I got out of the road into a parking lot and the other vehicle followed. I was pretty hot when I got out of my vehicle probably due to adrenalin. The guy was immediately apologetic about the whole thing which calmed it down fast, since he wasn't being a jerk I chilled out also. He said he swerved to avoid something or another and boom we had a crash.

After getting out to look at it my vehicle was OK. The bumper was a bit out of whack but I figured I'd be able to put it back in place. Their vehicle was OK also. I felt fine. Copied down all their information and whatever. Aside from the bumper being slightly off whack there was a small mark from paint transfer on my bumper.

I told the guy that it didn't seem like a big deal. So long as I could put the bumper back in place and didn't wake up with a wrecked back or something we could call it even; I didn't see a reason to deal with insurance and  cost some decent guy a bunch of money just for a mark and a little scratch or two. If it  was a Lamborghini or  a Chevelle SS maybe I might look at the matter differently but for a normal commuter vehicle I don't see  the reason to bother.

This week I found an excellent opportunity then capitalized on it. There are  some items  I keep an eye  out for and will always purchase at the right price. The keys to doing good at this sort  of thing are regularly checking on available items, having the cash to buy  a good  deal on no notice when it pops up and patience.  Every once in awhile if you do all that  stuff  a  smoking deal will fall into your lap.

I have taken to carrying  my Benchmade Griptillian on the  left hand  side. This puts it in the ideal place if I get in the  dreaded fighting  while trying to retain my handgun situation. Having it there all the time gets me used to grabbing it and opening it with my left hand. Not perfect  but in terms of a real world knife  fight  it is big muscle movements that manifest their selves in a lot of close short stabs and it leaves  my strong hand to retain my weapon.

I have also taken to sharpening  my knife  weekly. Better to keep up on it then let it get dull. My current drill is that on Friday when I'm having a  drink and watching whatever show I am watching the knife  gets a quick touch up. My Benchmade Griptillian is pretty darn sharp  these  days.


Monday, March 23, 2015

Taxes and Trailer?

Got the taxes taken care of for the year. Since it isn't April we are doing better than usual. I am pleased to say we did better than expected which was nice. Things worked out just right to drop us into a lower tax bracket. Will have to look at if we can strategically make that happen for 2015 also.

With these unexpected gains we are looking at purchasing a trailer. Something enclosed either a cargo trailer or just maybe a small camper if we can find one light enough that is still in the budget. This would greatly aid in traveling and camping with 2 kids and 2 big dogs. It would also really be handy in a variety of preparedness type situations. More research will be done and we will talk more later. Exciting times.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Quote of the Day and Small Town Life

"Do you wanna hold the shotgun or get the shovel?" Me to Wifey.

"I'll hold the shotgun."- Wifey

Background. At approximately 2200 the dogs started freaking out. Dogs went outside and kept freaking out so I went and got the shotgun. Shined a light outside and the big dogs were fighting over something. Was it a stuffed animal? They drag them into the yard sometimes. I go to take a closer look. It was a dead possum. Wifey asks "What do we do with it?"

That brought up the quote.

1 possum dead and all my chickens alive, will call that a good day. New dog might be staying around after all.

Also I feel pretty good about our home security status if the dogs lose their shit that much about an overgrown rat I don't like a persons odds of sneaking up undetected at all.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Quote(s) of the Day

Walker looks accusingly across the table at Wifey "Mom, This is a terrible dinner."

A couple minutes later after the kids went to play in the other room out of earshot for normal conversations. She leans over and says quietly to me.

"4 year old's are assholes."

For the record she made us philly cheese steaks with fries and salad. It was really good. The kids had cheese sandwiches and fries, usually one of their favorite meals but apparently not today. It as classic kid, say something very matter of fact that is totally outside of social norms.
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