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

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Name Change

Wifey is hereby known as Baby Moma.

Note- Before anyone gives me crap about this being demeaning or something she chose it and brought the matter up.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I'm Back

Hey Folks, I am back. Kind of had some field time for work and didn't really plan so well with putting up posts. There has been a lot going on and whatever. So at the last minute I slapped up 3 weeks of posts the best I could.

I appreciate your concern. On another note Wifeywas nice enough to drop by and keep thngs even keeled. At some point if she is still getting mentioned here she will need a new name. That is a problem for another day. 

Anyway I am back and  generally well. There is a lot up in the air but I am OK. I am looking forward to getting things settled and moving forward. Nothing is certain but there are some exciting possibilities in the future.

Normal posting will come back tomorrow or so.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Rain and Gumbo

The aftermath of that hurricane in the gulf is a lot of rain here. It has been raining all day and we are currently under a flash flood alert.

Being rainy, overcast and not above 80 degrees it actually feels like fall now. Fall is soup weather.

 Paw Paw decided to make Gumbo today and that got me craving it. So I decided to make some. Since this was the first time I have attempted gumbo I did not make the roux myself. The roux is really the soul of gumbo.

Gumbo is for all intensive purposes Cajun stew served over rice. Like stew the exact ingredients are somewhat flexible. Folks tend to either go smoked sausage and chicken or seafood but those are not hard and fast. It can vary by what you have on hand or your groups taste buds.

I went smoked sausage, chicken and shrimp. Of course there were bell peppers, onion and celery. The peppers were from my garden. The soon to be ex would point out they were like $50 peppers but still kind of cool.

Got it cooking and when it was about 20 minutes from being done did up a pot of rice.

The roux was weak but overall the result was pretty good. It made about a 2 gallons. I will freeze half of it. Next time I am going to try making my own roux.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Life Update

Kids are good. Honestly they are not really old enough to get it. In that regard it is better now than if we had somehow kicked the can down the road a few (more) years. They are with (soon to be ex) MIL and surrounded by family.

I video with them a couple times a week or so.

I am doing OK, settling into a new normal I guess. The bad 'OMG my life is over' days are getting much more rare.

I am keeping up on PT and doing OK on dry fire. On the plus side I have started cracking the code on the eating side so I am seeing real results there. 10 down and 13 to go. More on this in due time.

On the big D side we are figuring it out. Trying to balance protecting both our interests while not spending 2/3rds of our money on lawyers to fight over the remaining 1/3rd is the goal anyway.

So that is what's going on here.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Prepping Through Dry Stretches

There are certainly different levels of preparedness. Some folks are happy with a case of buckshot for the family shotgun, a good water filter,  a stash of emergency food sufficient for a regional disaster (say 30-60 days) and a shoe box full of batteries for flashlights and radios. Aside from rotating canned food if you go that way (which is a good idea it has a lot of pro's and limited downsides specifically weight and occasional need to rotate them) and batteries, which with some organization can be done through normal use this guy is done.

Other folks want higher levels of preparedness, some much higher. For folks on the longer end of the spectrum of preparedness goals it is a long journey. It is years or most of a lifetime of work. A marathon not a sprint if you will. In any multi year effort there are going to inevitably be times where you loose focus or life's demands creep up. Medical issues can come up and money gets tight. Sometimes we just plain get bored or lose interest. Now it is easy to do nothing about preparedness for a week or a month but when a month turns to 2 or 3 it can be an issue.

So what can we do to minimize the down sides of these inevitable events?

-Hold what you have got! This means keeping up on needed maintenance for small engines (or going all the way and draining fluids, etc), rotating fuel and mid term type food, occasionally cleaning some guns, etc. If we can do this at least we should be able to maintain the levels of preparedness we worked so hard to get to.

-Automate whenever possible. Metals Pimp does a regular monthly plan for silver and gold. Set it up on a CC or transfer from your bank and forget it. [As soon as I get a better picture of what my post divorce money situation will be I will set one of these up.] I think there are similar plans for food storage out there.

-If the reason you are slowing down/ distracted only affects one area (space, time, money, physical stuff, etc) then focus on the other areas. If you are broke you can still do PT and dry fire. If you are short of space you can still train. If you are short on time you can still accumulate supplies. Work on what you can work on. You get the idea.

So those are my general ideas about how to manage the inevitable dry stretches. Now here are a couple thoughts on how to get out of them.

-Shift focus. Start a new preparedness related hobby. If you are a big radio guy get into shooting. If you are a big shooter get into canning. If you are a big time gardener work on pt.

-Do something useful but a touch indulgent. Splurge on a cool new radio then play with it. Build that precision rifle or get licensed and pick up that Enduro bike you have wanted. Dig deep to find the money for that class. You get the idea. [Incidentally I am going to try hard to make ECQC happen in 2016 as a present to me. Also an Appleseed.]

-Reevaluate and set new goals. Look at where you are and where you want to go. Find some goals to be excited about and get back to work.


Friday, October 2, 2015

Vehicle Discussion

Tpals brought it up and well I can not think of another thing to write so here we go. Vehicles.

The vehicle I have and am going to get in the split is a Korean soccer mom SUV. It is a fine enough vehicle for what it is. However the soccer mom SUV has a shade under 140k on the odometer. Korean vehicles aren't the junk they used to be (nor are they the amazing value they were after they fixed the issues but before people realized it) but 140k is getting close to the danger zone. It is showing its age these days.

The goal would be to sell it before it starts to have the kind of issues that cost me money or really falls off the cliff in terms of value. On one hand I could sell it ASAP but an already paid off vehicle is a darn nice thing. If I could drive the soccer mom SUV for a year to let me save up for a newer vehicle that would be great. However that could backfire and instead of being able to sell it for a few grand I end up with NADA out of it. On the other hand buying a vehicle now is a less than optimal option. I am not really at a good place for big purchases.

For the next vehicle I want more towing capacity. Like enough to move a decent sized travel trailer if I choose to go that way for housing down the road. That means a V8. 4wd is a must. Also darn it I have wanted a real no BS truck or awesome SUV for a couple decades and darn it I am getting one for my next vehicle.
If/ when I decide to buy a new vehicle I have a decision to make. Part of me wants to buy an old school, EMP resistant, vehicle like an 80's Blazer or Suburban. The up side is I could buy one comfortably with cash and they are awesome. Anything with a Chevy 350 and associated drive train is about as common as it gets in the US. The downside is those things are about 30 years old, often have some miles on them and there is a real potential to have it $500 the crap out of me.

 On the other end I could get a newish (say 07 or better) SUV or quad cab truck like an F150. The up side is everything except cost. Realistically for something with sane mileage (say under 60k) I am looking at about 20k. This means either hitting my cash reserves pretty hard or taking a loan, neither of which exactly appeal to me.

Then again if I have a long commute for the cost of a newer truck I could have a sweet old school SUV as well as potential, at some point, a little daily driver car to putter around in. Have a sweet older vehicle for that role and if I have a long drive just buy a little car. If cost was spread out by awhile I could probably wrangle paying for both in cash. Best of all that is just if I work far from home. I could realistically drive an 85 Suburban 5 miles to work and 5 back for a long time without any real issues. 

Your input is appreciated.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Heavy Unfortunate News: Separation

Wifey and I are separated and moving towards divorce. I am down here and she is at home with the kids and dogs. Of course nothing is over till its over but it sure looks unlikely the current course will change. I didn't see it coming though I should have. The unfortunate truth is that we have probably been throwing good money after bad for awhile now. I wish her the best going forward. Hopefully we can settle things as painlessly and quickly as possible.

So that is what's going on with me.

So what am I going to do moving forward. I am going to keep writing (need this little invisible community more than ever) while I try to figure things out. Heck I've started writing fiction again. No promises on when anything might come out but it is still progress.

How am I doing? Emotionally I am all over the place. Mostly moving between a sort of one foot in front of the other OK and sadness. On a positive note I am at least somewhat trending in a good direction and getting used to things. Figuring out what my new normal looks like. Working hard to forge stronger connections with friends and fill my time with positive, or at least neutral things. Have some self improvement to do also.

I am scheduled to leave here in the winter and go to a new duty station. Going to go home to see the kids as much as I can. Also I am looking hard at a new plan where I end there for good (and could be a meaningful part of their lives) a lot sooner than planned.

I don't write this to solicit advice or pity and for goodness sake I do not want to talk about my feelings. My intent is to let you know what is going on with me and get it off my chest. Please bear with me, the usual regular quality posting will continue in due course. In fact from a preparedness angle some pretty interesting things are probably going to happen.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Thoughts on Self Improvement

There seems to be some discussion about whether Einstein actually said that but in any case it is a good quote. The point is if you are unhappy with the results in some part of your life then change the stuff that feeds into that specific thing.

 Some people say the first step in fixing a problem is admitting you have a problem. I do not think this is true. The reason I do not think this is true is that baring mental retardation or some sort of mental disorder people know what their major life problems are. They may play it off to other people or whatever but they know what their major issues are.

The 300 pound former Infantry/ SOF guy Bob who used to weigh 225 but  hasn't watched his diet/ PT and subsequently is now shopping for an extra extra large gun belt knows he is fat, the people with debt up to their eyeballs paying the Visa with the MasterCard know they have money issues, Sally whose last 3 boyfriends were druggies she met around closing time at a dive bar then immediately fell into bed with and later found out they were jerks/ thieves or general dirt bags knows that her dating MO sucks.

 Other people say the first step is making a plan. Though I reject it less fully than the first idea I am still not a fan of it. The reason is that if we asked all the people mentioned above know what their issue is and have at least a general idea how to fix it. Also if you got them talking each of these people already has a pretty decent plan for how to address their problem. They might not have a plan that will get them 100% of the way but they certainly have a good enough one to get started.

The real issue these people are having is not about a perfect plan it is about ACTION! The slim positive about being way off track is that it is pretty easy to get headed back towards the right direction!

Bob the 300 pound guy could make almost any change(es) in his life and show improvement. He could switch to light beer, hit McDonalds for lunch twice a week instead of 3 times and take the dog for a slightly longer walk every day and will likely see progress. Sally could do literally anything different; heck even if she just admits to herself a one night stand with a loser was just that and cuts her loses Sally would get better results.

 The plan that never comes to fruition is a big issue in self improvement. Why is this? With very few instances self improvement is not pleasurable. By the simple nature that we are failing in an area it pretty clearly shows we dislike doing the right thing in that area; heck maybe we even like doing the wrong thing. Ice cream is good, shopping for new shiny toys is fun, etc all.

You can figure out the right way to finish self improvement but for goodness sake get started.

Friday, August 21, 2015

State of the AR-15 Union Summer 2015

The other day one of my soldiers brought up buying an AR-15. He knows I have one and so does another soldier who works with us. He asked my thoughts on buying one.

I asked what his budget was and he said about a grand though he would like to have some room in that for accessories, maybe swapping furniture, etc. I got onto the computer and did some digging.

There are so many AR's out there at really competitive prices. We saw a Bushmaster Patrol for $650. Not a brand that you can brag about (like LaRue, Noveski, DD, etc) but a good Chevy/ Ford tier  work horse gun. Rugers new DI gun comes in around $700. Heck we saw a Colt 6920 for $850. To be fair I am talking internet dealer prices so add $60-80 once you pay shipping and a local dealer to do the paperwork.

He talked about potentially building one. I said I'd help if he wants. However with the price of these new, solidly decent guns it would be hard to justify.

Mags can be readily had for $13 and under.  PMC M193 is 37 cents a round at Lucky Gunner.

Anyway there are a lot of good guns out there at awesome prices. Ammo and mags are readily affordable and affordable. Heck 10 years or so ago I paid $850 for a no name budget tier rifle and money was worth a lot more then. If I had left that money in a mayo jar today I could buy a Colt 6920LE which is a whole lot more gun.

I expect the non politically correct gun situation to get bad this winter, heck maybe this fall, as the election madness gets going full force. Inevitably prices will go up and availability will go down. This means almost inevitable panic buying followed by shortages and scalping. What I a getting at is that there is going to be a period, say several months on the short end and a year on the top end, where the market for AR's and such is going to be bad. Best front load purchases planned for the next year or so to the coming 3 months give or take.

Better get while the getting is good.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fun With Children

Recently Walker decided to name our chickens. Now he can't really tell them apart or count but that doesn't matter. One is named Nemo like from the movie, another is named cammo and one is named construction worker. Yes we have a laying hen named Construction Worker.

Also on a fun note Princess recently started wanting ice in her water for bed time. A reasonable enough request. The issue is she hates the water being cold but can't seem to connect the two things. MOre fun with her. Princess was standing in the room in front of me asking if it was a good hiding place. I do not see hide and seek success in her near future.

May write an actual post later today but then again I might not.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Quote of the Day

"I'll take the simple life. Give me an AK-47, a good guard dog and a nymphomaniac who owns a liquor store."
-Bob Brown on "The Unit"

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.
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