Showing posts with label new years resolutions. Show all posts
Showing posts with label new years resolutions. Show all posts

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.
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 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?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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: 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. Scheduled in one for early 2014. 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. Due to scheduling and other life stuff this is a long shot. Going to try this summer. 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.

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. Funded as of now; just trying to figure out prioritization of this vs other goals before throwing down the cash. 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 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 it's been a wacky last few months trying though..
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff. Was going good then got broken up due to work stuff. Getting back to it.
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
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. Aren't done but it is getting closer for sure.
Get chickens. Ordered a coop today, should have chickens by the end of next week.
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too. Haven't done herbs but there are some taters in a pot and a bunch of seedlings getting ready to go into pots.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation. Set up the Operational Cache. Looking at some other ideas.
Work to develop primitive skills
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. This should be complete by the end of the month.

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. Plan to get some cans in conjunction with the generator.


Discussion:





All in all I am OK with where things are. Pissed the pistol course didn't work but it was out of my control. Some stuff is done, more is in the works, some vaguely pending and the balance is up in the air. At the same time aside from what was planned I've done a few other good things.

How are your years goals coming along?

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Project 870 Almost Complete!!!

This is where it all started. A Remington 870 Police Magnum wearing express furniture. Best I can tell this gun pulled Cruiser duty for the Kentucky state Police, was sold probably through Bud K then ended up in the Desert. That is where it ended up being saved from a life of neglect and generally not being owned by yours truly.

I was pretty annoyed with the guy that day. Drive for a ways to meet him and it turns out he was not entirely honest about the guns condition. Ended up leaving with the gun and a couple more 20's than I planned. A combination of cruiser duty and lack of maintenance in that guys care left the finish in terrible shape. It looks just fine at 15 feet but up close you can see significant discoloration and oxidization. The gun will almost surely rust if not slathered in oil. So after test firing it I kept the gun slathered in oil for awhile.

I thought about getting it professionally Keracoted or something. However the cost of that PLUS what I wanted to do to the gun was slightly prohibitive. Just more than I wanted to spend.

Once I got down here I wanted to get this project done so it could be our home defense long gun. The reason for that is largely legal in nature. Guns are common all over the South and non hippie parts of the West. However in particular shotguns are very common in Louisiana. The combination of duck hunting as well as short engagement ranges due to line of site for all game make them particularly handy guns down here. If I have to shoot somebody I would prefer to do it with a gun that is the same or very similar to ones in the prosecutor, judge and juries safe/ cabinet/ closet.

While I prefer an AR of the M4 flavor for close up work this advantage to the shotgun is considerable. Also while I like the M4 better a short barreled pump shotgun is amply capable of any home defense long gun task. There is the added benefit that if something happens I am, at least temporarily, losing a shotgun package worth $500 not an AR that all said and done I probably have 2k into.

Another consideration is that I am far more willing to carry said $500 shotgun as a "truck gun" than a semi automatic rifle. Even if it's an AR/ AK/ FAL you got a great deal on back when those were available it is still important to consider replacement cost. The pump gun is about the bar of value I am willing to risk potential theft of on a trip during normal times.

So my philosophy of use for this project is a home defense shotgun that can also serve as a 'truck gun'. I want to use quality components and do it right but budget is a consideration. First as Alexander Wolfe noted if you get much above the $600 range you are pushing hard on decent entry level AR-15's. Of course those would need ancillary gear like a sling, mags and lights too so upping it to $800 is probably more realistic.

Depending on your budget it is entirely possible to make a $2,500+ fighting shotgun. We are a consumerist society and there is nothing wrong with that. However as American Mercenary noted you can pay Ferrari money for a Fiat in projects or gun builds.

In my mind one of the biggest benefits of the pump shotgun is that they are realistically affordable for anybody but homeless drug addicts. I'm not saying everybody can afford to spend $300ish on a used Remington 870/ Mossberg 500 today but with a little planning and some saving they can afford one in a reasonable amount of time.

We could have a hearty discussion about the benefits of both Rem and Moss platforms. Both are very rugged. The plane Jane Mossberg 500's and their off brand Maverick 88's are cheaper than Remingtons so they offer more value. Then again you have a lot more parts and accessory support with the Remington. I'll close this phase of the discussion by saying they are both fine. Pick one type and buy 10 of them.

As I got to dreaming/ window shopping for this project TEOTWAWKI Blog's excellent Project 590A1. Alexander Wolfe does a great job on research and testing to find the best gear and setup for a particular gun. I like to take all that information and shamelessly steal it; just like for the S&W 642.

So anyway I wanted to get this done in 2014. Running the math if I did the finish myself it wouldn't really cost that much money. Thankfully 'H' recommended Alumahyde II vs plain old spray paint. So I figured out my plan. Some money came in and I ordered the stuff. It showed up in a few days.
The biggest piece of this project was the refinishing for sure. Thankfully Brownells has a series of videos 1, 2, 3, etc. After some reading it seems that preparation is at least as important as the spraying.

First I disassembled the gun. Since I was putting on a sling mount I had to take the stock off anyway so I just did it then instead of covering up the stock with tape and a plastic bag or something.
I cleaned the gun and degreased it. Since I'd been using the 'wetter the better' theory of gun maintenance that took some doing.


Next I used masking tape to cover up the parts I didn't want to paint. No pics of this but I covered the trigger guard and the front sight as well as both ends of the barrel. Filled the receiver with used paper towels from the cleaning then taped them into place.
It was too cold to paint in the garage but since I had the place to myself there were options. It was also a happy accident that I had a bunch of scrap carpet lying around. Laid 2 big pieces down on the kitchen floor (the easiest to clean worst case) as a ground cloth. Brought in a lawn/ patio chair that already had a bit of paint on it from another project to lean the pieces on.

I did the sling mount so it would match.

Then I painted. Overall it went pretty well. The only real sad face was a run on the barrel I foolishly tried to wipe off with a paper towel. It smeared and was really unattractive.
I tried painting over it but that didn't work. Ended up just sanding that part down and repainting. That time went better. At least enough so that I decided not to try my luck messing with it anymore.

This brings us to a point of discussion. I simply was not in a hurry to put the amount of cash into this gun to get it professionally refinished. That meant doing it myself. Do it yourself projects well, have do it yourself results. I'd say the shotgun looks fine but you will not mistake it for being professionally finished. Honestly I am OK with this. After some deliberation on the matter I figured worst case if I hate the paint job I can get it redone professionally later or try again myself. The advantage of destroying a gun's original finish (or getting one that is rough anyway) is that you can't do it twice. Sort of like murder after the first one the rest are free. 

I let the parts dry overnight then put it back together. In doing so I installed the GG&G sling mount and Elzetta light mount with a streamlight light I was using as my handheld tactical type light. Got to replace that now I guess.

After some consideration I decided to replace the old generic 5 shot neoprene shotshell holder with an Essetac card. Just pulled it off, slapped some velcro tape on and then a card on top. Not 100% how durable the velcro I got from the hardware store will be. Worst case I'll order a bigger heavier duty piece later if needed.
When I went to put a card on the side of the receiver I noticed the standard 870 Express forend goes too far back onto the receiver for a card to fit. That led to a Bleg on where to find another oneCommander Zero, the great American survivalist he is had a spare black plastic one lying around. He sent it my way along with a few other goodies gratis. So sometime in the near future I'll be swapping that out and hopefully getting the sidesaddle card put on. I really want both because there is a decent chance if I grab this gun it'll be 3am and I'll be wearing running shorts so all the rounds I'll have will be on the gun. Sure it sits by my cobbled together shotgun fighting load, which I will discuss in a future post but I might not have time for that so more rounds on the gun the better.

I took it out for a quick test fire to make sure it still goes bang. It still does. So now it is loaded up and in the Sentry Safe Home Defender with the Glock.

Pleased to say that Project 870 is finally done or at least within spitting distance of done after the forend swap and sidesaddle card installation. Total expenditure was roughly $500. Would like to get an SOE shotgun micro rig to go with it but am not in any particular hurry to do so. As I get a bit more experience with the different new pieces I may write about them individually.

Thoughts?

Edited to include: I went to swap out the forend this afternoon. Before taking off the Essetac light mount, the extension and barrel I decided on a lark to lay the new plastic forend Zero sent me on top of the old one. They look identical in size. So now I'm looking at just taking a finish saw to the wood forend to cut it down. Worst case on that the 870 Express wood furniture is dirt cheap so if I ruin it that is fine. Thanks to Zero I'd have a functional forend for the duration. It's either that or just buy a shorty plastic forend like the Magpul, Hogue or whatever. Do have a couple ebay auctions pending for dirty cheap 870P furniture but I'm not too optimistic about any of them. Going to sleep on it before doing anything I cannot take back. So finishing this project is slightly stalled. Story of my life.

Friday, December 27, 2013

2014 New Years Resolutions- Soliciting Input

I am going to try a different way of breaking these up this year. More by function than anything else.

Edited to include: 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. Scheduled in one for early 2014.
Try to attend an Appleseed if I can. Due to scheduling and other life stuff this is a long shot.
Following said defensive pistol course begin a dry fire regimen.
Shoot more often. Ideally at least monthly but certainly not more than bi monthly.

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 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.
Keep up a decent weight lifting regimen with hard circuit based body weight type stuff.
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
Purchase a small enclosed trailer. 

Communicate:
Skills: Get a ham radio license
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
Get chickens
Start growing some herbs n stuff. Maybe sprouts too.

Survive:
Continue to improve our cache situation
Work to develop primitive skills
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
Get 3-4 more wool blankets

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.

That's what I have planned for this coming year. If there are any major changes as things calm down I'll publish a final draft, otherwise I'll run with this one.

What do you plan to do?

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

2013 New Years Resolutions Recap

 So I realized it is about end of the year time. Figured I'd see how this years New Years Resolutions turned out. Obviously completed ones will be lined through. Comments will be in italics

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program. It wasn't 100% perfect but I have been lifting much more than I have for years. Overall I'll call it a W.

Run over 1,000 miles. Didn't track this honestly. Rough mental math says it was closer to 600.

Ruck at least 1x a week . Didn't do this but have been rucking more consistently than in years so I'll call it a partial W.

Eat reasonably with decent consistency so I don't gain and lose the same weight 2-3 times over the year. Eh did better than the year before so it's something.

Skills/ Training:

Attend a defensive handgun course. Did not happen, tried but things kept falling through. This will roll over to next year with a high probability it will happen.

Attend a trauma based first aid class (I am due for retraining). Negatron.

Work on developing a variety of other skills as they come up by doing as much myself as possible. Did some DIY home stuff which was good. I'll call it a W

Guns and Gun Junk:

Pick up a couple holsters, pouches and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have.  I went a long way on this one. It is always a work in progress but a Raven Concealment Vanguard 2 and Safariland 6285 plus the War Belt it lives on were enough to make this a solid W.

Buy 2 cases of .223 ammo. Did not happen, prices are getting better but slower than I figured they would. Ended up buying 7.62x39 instead as it's prices went back to relatively normal faster.

Free float the barrel on project AR. Pending I ordered the rail in July but it hasn't showed up yet. Honestly I'm so angry about the whole thing I don't want to talk about it.

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff for other guns. I got a fair bit of AR parts including a full BCG and a spare buttstock. Will call this a W though the non AR side of the house can still use some love.

Finally get my (already sporterized) 1903 30'06 tapped and mount a scope on it.  Sold the '03 so this one is moot.

If this gun ban madness calms down start building an AR pistol. Parts prices are getting better but I haven't gotten to this one yet. May roll over to next year.

Food:

Build up to a 1 year supply of food for 4 people. We made progress on this one. Not a win but at least a partial one.

Can something. Tried and failed (underestimated the cooking piece, no point canning junk).

Edited to include: Will upgrade this to a partial. Forgot to add that I canned some strawberry jam with an acquaintance. Could definitely repeat the process.

Pursue gardening/ fishing/ hunting as it fits with our environment and life.  Did a fair amount of fishing this late summer/ early fall.

 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.
Purchased the Goal 0 setup.

Get licensed to drive a motorcycle. Purchase a used enduro/ adventure touring motorcycle. Nada. Just maybe next year.

Continue putting together and refining our systems. Firm up the bug out bags and the heavy (vehicle) bug out setup. I hesitate to call this one complete as these systems are always evolving but substantial progress was made.

Re look and improve our cache situation. Substantial progress was made here.

Financial:

Continue being debt free and saving. Along these lines continue not doing stupid things. 
We did some saving. Didn't do anything stupid.

Once we are done with the food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold. Worked food pretty hard. Did make a small gold and silver purchase when prices went down so technically it was a W.

Long Shots:

Get a DBAL for my AR. Done.

Buy some land (this mostly depends on some other things). Ended up going with the other thing. Will kick this one down the road.


Overall Assessment: Some goals were met, some others were partially met and some fell through the cracks. Overall not too bad.

Due to firearmagedon last year got pretty gun centric. Also if I am being intellectually honest it gave me an excuse to go on a bit of a gun buying spree. Last year I purchased mumble mumble number of guns including the 642, the 870 P and mumble, mumble, mumble.


I also ended up putting away 2 cases of 7.62x39 as I needed it and it was affordable, a fair bit of 12 gauge shotgun shells, several hundred rounds of .22lr and some various other ammo when it was available at sane prices and I had the cash to buy it. Ended up with a few more AR mags and a couple Glock mags also.


We moved into a better place when we got to Louisiana which is really nice. Also put some cash into getting furniture and generally upgrading our household. This isn't prep stuff but the Mrs wanted and deserved some decent stuff. The Broke College Kid home decorating plan stops being cute at some point. Of course we saved up and did it reasonably.

Along these lines we also purchased a large gun safe. An important purchase we've probably been putting off too long. 

A lot of little stuff was purchased towards getting my EDC and fighting loads right.

We got Dog. He's not actually that useful but is large and imposing looking. Odds he'll wake up, let alone eat a burglar are low but we don't actually need that, just need the burglar to go rob somebody else.

That is really all I can think of that happened in terms of preparedness.

On the down side (or not depending on how you look at it) we spent a lot of money. Of course we saved and planned for it but we ended up writing some huge checks. It goes without saying we didn't touch the emergency fund. That being said stuff isn't getting cheaper or better made so getting things we want, within reason, might not be such a bad plan anyway. Honestly limiting the percentage of our resources that is in digital accounts within the interwebz is something I wanted to do anyway.

What did you do to prepare this year?


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. 

Monday, December 31, 2012

Draft New Years Resolutions

So a few days ago Alexander Wolfe of TEOTWAWKI Blog reminded me that I usually do New Years Resolutions. Last years deployment threw off the cycle. Anyway I got moving on this a lot later than usual; so these are not as thought through as they could be. I am posting some ideas. In a week or a month these will be solidified into the New Years Resolutions I am going to run with.

Physical:

Maintain a consistent weight lifting program.

Run over 1,000 miles

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.

Attend a trauma based first aid class (I am due for retraining).

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, pouches and assorted other stuff to get squared away for what we have. 

Buy 2 cases of .223 ammo.

Free float the barrel on project AR

Get more spare parts. Beef up on core stuff (AR's and Glocks) and get some basic stuff for other guns.

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

If this gun ban madness calms down start building an AR pistol.

Food:

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

Can something

Pursue gardening/ 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. 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. 

Once we are done with the food storage goal get back to putting away some silver and gold.

Long Shots:

Get a DBAL for my AR.

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. 

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

New Years Resolutions: January Update

I've decided that instead of just randomly reviewing my progress and changes in goals I will do it monthly. Accomplished goals will be lined through and changes/ additions and commentary will be in italics.

People:


1. Maximize family time. I think spending at least a hour of good undivided family time a day is doable on all but the longest work days. More on weekends. This one is coming along pretty well.

2. Take better care of myself. I need to work on getting at least 6 hours of sleep even when I get off work late. Also I need to eat more regularly (I have started to get busy and just not eat) and like most people could also consume more green stuff. Find a suplimentary (to regular PT) exercise program that I can really stick with. I got busy and this goal sort of ebbed/ flowed and then just slipped away over the past year. I'm not in bad shape but could definitely be in better shape.

3. Better prioritize tasks and be more efficient.

Money:

4. Become debt free- Should be done in by the end of March

5. Fully fund ROTH IRA's for Wifey and I.

5.1 Learn about how to analyze and value individual stocks.

6. Add at least $500 (ideally $1,000) to our emergency fund.

7. Buy some silver. It is somewhat flexible but am leaning toward 90% coinage. I hesitate to say an exact amount because as I noted last year price swings change those goals from being realistic to unattainable.

8. Start funding Walkers college education.

Of course we will also continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills and Education

9. Study insurgent/ guerilla/ partisan tactics. This has the added benefit of being 'red hat' stuff for work.

10. Get better at first aid/ trauma stuff. May get moving on this next week.

11. Shave with a straight razor. Sharpen it also. (implied task, get a straight razor)

12. Work on making antennas for world band radio’s and tuning into a variety of stations around the world.

13. Get better at using Excell. Particularly writing formulas to get the most out of what the program is capable of. This will help me with work, blog stuff, preps and life.

14. Learn more about IED construction, emplacement and use.

15. Read a couple of significant books. I wouldn't say classic but but old, noteable type stuff. In particular Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is on my list. Also read the entire Bible.

Alternates- Skills are an area where things seem more prone to changing due to factors beyond my control. I decided to come up with a few alternatives against that scenario.

Get better at making flat bread

Learn some HTLM

Get better with Powerpoint

Things:

Family/ Life:

16. Probably going to purchase another vehicle. A fairly low mile mid sized SUV with a decent sized 6 cylinder engine (3.5Lish or above) and 4WD. It goes without saying that we will pay cash.

Prep Stuff:

I did a couple of things differently here. I broke stuff down by category. Also if you notice there are numbers after the goals. Those numbers are a tenative plan on what order I will acquire this stuff.

Force Protection Stuff-

17. 1x bullet proof vest. Probably class II or IIIA concealable type-2

18. 3x gas masks-9

Firearm Stuff-

19. Folding stock for my AK and a US palm grip-1

20. 500 rounds of .38 special-5.1

21. 500 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot-5.3

22. 1 case 7.62x39 hollow points-5.2

23. AK spare parts-11

24. Buy more mags. In particular a few more Glock happy sticks and a half dozen each for the AR and AK. I am not in a bad place but if I happen to have a couple extra C notes lying around in the late fall this is where they will go- 12 This one might just have to get bumped up in priority with all the shenannigans that have been going on recently.

Food and Water-

25. 4x Berkley black filters-3

26. 1x Katadyn replacement filter-7

27. Nice solar oven-4

Energy and communication-

28. Bigger and better solar trickle charger (folding mat type)-10

29. Compact world band radio-6

Random

30. Get 2 spare Cold Steel folding knives (my EDC) and a leatherman for a rainy day-8. I actually got a Gerber at no cost from work which lets me make a leatherman I already have my primary backup multi tool.

I would have accomplished a couple other goals by now but with me deploying and Wifey going home we have so much happening that I am holding off on doing much of anything. For the immediate future I am just going to keep my life simple and hold cash. At some point when we both get settled that may change. Due to this not much will happen in terms of stuff for awhile.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Got AK Stock?

I am looking for a Romanian side folding stock for my AK. The wire looking one that you can just screw on. Ideally with a lever instead of a button. One Source Tactical used to carry them but don't have them in stock. I tried to get one through Gun Broker but their site hates me. Guns of America doesn't seem to have any either.

If anyone has one they would like to sell or knows a current source for them please help me out.

Thanks,

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

New Years Resolutions 2011

I am doing things a bit differently this year. Breaking goals down Suze Orman style by people, money then things seems to be a good way of categorization. Some goals are going to be conducted consecutively. For things I took a stab at prioritization.

People:
1. Maximize family time. I think spending at least a hour of good undivided family time a day is doable on all but the longest work days. More on weekends.

2. Take better care of myself. I need to work on getting at least 6 hours of sleep even when I get off work late. Also I need to eat more regularly (I have started to get busy and just not eat) and like most people could also consume more green stuff. Find a suplimentary (to regular PT) exercise program that I can really stick with. I got busy and this goal sort of ebbed/ flowed and then just slipped away over the past year. I'm not in bad shape but could definitely be in better shape.

3. Better prioritize tasks and be more efficient.

Money:
4. Become debt free- Should be done in by the end of March

5. Fully fund ROTH IRA's for Wifey and I.

6. Add at least $500 (ideally $1,000) to our emergency fund.

7. Buy some silver. It is somewhat flexible but am leaning toward 90% coinage. I hesitate to say an exact amount because as I noted last year price swings change those goals from being realistic to unattainable.

8. Start funding Walkers college education.

Of course we will also continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills and Education

9. Study insurgent/ guerilla/ partisan tactics. This has the added benefit of being 'red hat' stuff for work.

10. Get better at first aid/ trauma stuff.

11. Shave with a straight razor. Sharpen it also. (implied task, get a straight razor)

12. Work on making antennas for world band radio’s and tuning into a variety of stations around the world.

13. Get better at using Excell. Particularly writing formulas to get the most out of what the program is capable of. This will help me with work, blog stuff, preps and life.

14. Learn more about IED construction, emplacement and use.

15. Read a couple of significant books. I wouldn't say classic but but old, noteable type stuff. In particular Edward Gibbon's The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire is on my list.

Alternates- Skills are an area where things seem more prone to changing due to factors beyond my control. I decided to come up with a few alternatives against that scenario.

Get better at making flat bread

Learn some HTLM

Get better with Powerpoint

Things:

Family/ Life:
16. Probably going to purchase another vehicle. A fairly low mile mid sized SUV with a decent sized 6 cylinder engine (3.5Lish or above) and 4WD. It goes without saying that we  will pay cash.

Prep Stuff:

I did a couple of things differently here. I broke stuff down by category. Also if you notice there are numbers after the goals. Those numbers are a tenative plan on what order I will acquire this stuff.

Force Protection Stuff-

17. 1x bullet proof vest. Probably class II or IIIA concealable type-2

18. 3x gas masks-9

Firearm Stuff-

19. Folding stock for my AK and a US palm grip-1

20. 500 rounds of .38 special-5.1

21. 500 rounds of 12 gauge buckshot-5.3

22. 1 case 7.62x39 hollow points-5.2

23. AK spare parts-11

24. Buy more mags. In particular a few more Glock happy sticks and a half dozen each for the AR and AK. I am not in a bad place but if I happen to have a couple extra C notes lying around in the late fall this is where they will go- 12

Food and Water-

25. 4x Berkley black filters-3

26. 1x Katadyn replacement filter-7

27. Nice solar oven-4

Energy and communication-

28. Bigger and better solar trickle charger (folding mat type)-10

29. Compact world band radio-6

Random

30. Get 2 spare Cold Steel folding knives (my EDC) and a leatherman for a rainy day-8

What are your thoughts about my goals? Do you have goals? If so would you like to share them in a comment or a guest post?

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve

I had wanted to put out the my New Years Resolutions for 2011 today. However it doesn't look like that is going to happen. I dodn't work on them much prior to now and would rather think about it a little more and have good ones in a week then mediocre ones now.

In the comments on a previous post a fellow mentioned the idea of  selling the 1903 Springfield. While the specific issue of its peculiarity that was in qustion is figured out, the topic stuck in my head. A bolt action rifle with iron sights isn't so useful. Its capacity and rate of fire are low for a defensive weapon and lacking a scope and the easy ability to mount one means it can't be a sharpshooter type rifle. I could sell/ trade it for another more useful weapon like an AK or part of something else. Scoping it could also give it a new purpose for hunting or as a sharpshooter. I will mull the idea for awhile. Most likely at some point I plan to sell a couple guns anyway.

Not a whole lot going on here for New Years. Went out for drinks and appetizers earlier which was nice. Just kinda hanging out for the rest of the evening.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Years.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New Years Resolutions Concluded

Well the year isn't quite over yet but it seemed like a good time to see how I have done on my goals. Lined through are completed.


My goals for this year.

Personal:

1. Pay more attention to my wife. This one is continual but I think it went OK.
2. Travel a lot. We did pretty good at this one. Went to Croatia, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic and Paris.
Personal Stuff:

3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for.
Financial:

4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so. Didn't quite get to 400 but I am calling it close enough.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.

6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold and 40 ounces of silver. Didn't get too far on
the silver. Sorta misestimated what we were capable of. Also prices going up did not help.

7. Continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills:

8. Take an automotive class. They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair.

This one got replaced by brewing some beer which I did.

9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup. Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :

10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.

11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.

12. A basic solar setup.

Gun Stuff:

12. Buy a full case of .223

13. Buy a full case of 9mm.
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.

15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.

16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Also picked up a full case of 7.62x39 and another 10 mags for that gun.

Food Rotation:

17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something.

This one just didn'thappen. We can't get any of the stuff locally and paying shipping negates any financial benefits. I am willing to do it just for the sake of the skill but not with that hassle.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Did this.
And Just To Get To An Even 20......

19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.

20. Join a gun rights organization.

Time for discussion. Things went pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met. A couple goals just didn't pan out. I never got around to more spare parts because I ended up getting other stuff. On the whole I am happy with this years accomplishments.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and buy lots of their stuff.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

New Years Resolutions IPR #3

 Lined through are completed.

My goals for this year.

Personal:
1. Pay more attention to my wife. This one is continual but I can reasonably say it is going well.
2. Travel a lot.  We went to Croatia, Italy, Spain, Luxembourg and the Czech Republic. May make it to Paris just before years end.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

Financial:
4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so. A good chunk into this one. Will probably just finish it off in one shot at some point.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver. Just started on the silver. Don't think we will make 40 ounces but oh well.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.

Skills:
8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair. 
This one got replaced by brewing some beer which I did.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.    Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Buy a full case of 9mm. (I am going to call this complete because it is funded)
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Food Rotation:
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something.

This one just isn't going to happen. We can't get any of the stuff locally and paying shipping negates any financial benefits. I am willing to do it just for the sake of the skill but not with that hassle.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

Time for discussion. Things are going pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and  buy lots of their stuff.


Thoughts?

Monday, September 27, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

 On the bright side I am finally starting to feel normal again. However between work and life nothing amazing happened this week. I did some cooking which was good. Wifey has been taking it easy so Miley and I have been cooking. Nothing too crazy but if you don't use those skills you start to lose them. I have also been reading a lot which is cool. Got all caught up on blogs plus also some select chapters of various field manuals. Learned some interesting stuff and was pretty entertained in the process.

Moved some money around and I should be getting a plate carrier and rifle plates this week. Also I have been looking at optics. Awhile back I was thinking EoTech but after a recent trip to the range I really like and shoot better using an optic that has some magnification. I LOVE the ACOG but alas, hangs head in shame, it is too expensive. I am looking at the IOR M2 scopes. Got to do some more research and run the numbers. Still might be awhile.

I also tore up our place and finally found my P Mags. Unfortunately I have a few less than I thought I did. Oh well that can be rectified later. Think I'm going to start using some at work to evaluate them.

I started working on next years Wish List which makes up at least part of the New Years Resolutions. Nothing new or huge there. Working on protective gear as well as some outdoor type stuff. Just kinda coming up with ideas now. Then I will weigh different categories and think about what I can realistically do in a year. More to follow in a month and a half or so. Come to think of it I need to look at where I am on this years New Years Resolutions. Don't have much time to finish things off.

My home brewed beer is better after waiting another week. They said it needed 3 weeks but 4 turns out to be more accurate. It is less cloudy and the carbonation seems to be more uniform. Also the bitter after taste has gone away. It is a relatively light, slightly sweet and refreshing ale.

For a slow week I guess it wasn't too bad. Next week is going to be pretty packed. Posting may be abnormal this coming week.

What did you do to prepare this week?

Monday, June 28, 2010

New Years Resolutions IPR #2

 Lined through are completed.

My goals for this year.

Personal:
1. Pay more attention to my wife.
2. Travel a lot.

Personal Stuff:
3. We can use a few smaller things like a new TV and another laptop. The main push however is to get a reliable second car which we pay cash for. The first car is still plugging along but I think when we get a better second one and it is relegated exclusively taking me to work and back its life would be greatly extended.

Financial:
4. Stash some more Euro's. Say E400 or so.
5. Contribute 10% of our total take home to retirement.
6. Stash at least a half an ounce of gold  and 40 ounces of silver.
7. Continue to not make stupid choices.
+I do not have any direct goals when it comes to saving money aside from those above. Depending on how Wifey's job goes (how many hours she gets) saving for the much needed reliable car might take 2-3 months or as much as 8 months. If the car gets purchased earlier we will be able to save more, in part because it means we would be making more.

Skills:
8. Take an automotive class.  They offer them on base and I need to know more about car repair. 
This one got replaced by brewing some beer.
9. Be able to setup and trouble shoot a small solar setup.    Sorta mute since I went with a solar charger and a bunch of eneloop batteries.

Preparedness Stuff :
10. A good radio that can pick up everything. Probably a Grundig.
11. Maybe a Berkey water filter and maybe some spare elements for it and the portable filter.
12. A basic solar setup. 

Gun Stuff:
12. Buy a full case of .223
13. Buy a full case of 9mm. (I am going to call this complete because it is funded)
14. Glock 9mm mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
15. Some M1a mags. At least 10 and ideally closer to 20.
16. A few more spare parts and at least one AR15 full bolt carrier group.

Food Rotation:
17. Get a pressure canning setup and can something. In reality we will almost certainly can more than one thing but it is a very clear is you is or is you ain't goal all the same.

18. Get a dehydrator and dehydrate something. Jerky is good and so are banana slices.

And Just To Get To An Even 20......
19. Get a subscription to Backwoods Home Magazine and otherwise work on my self sufficiency/ preparedness library.
20. Join a gun rights organization.

I would say my goals start at the top in terms of priority and work more or less downward from there. I put more small stuff on here than last time. I tried to outline everything I would like to purchase which costs over a couple hundred bucks. That is mostly because I am trying to purchase stuff in a more dispassionate manner and plan ahead.




Time for discussion. Things are going pretty well. All the more expensive goals have been met. I don't think the canning is going to happen. We would have to order everything including jars and have it shipped here. That really takes any cost benefit out of the thing and would in fact make it cost us money. Not something I am willing to do in that situation.

 The brewing kit is here I am just at an awkward busy time so won't be able to brew for about a month. Really wish I could do it this weekend but putting it into a secondary ferment and then bottling has a pretty specific time line. Some spare parts and the silver should be easy enough. Given that gold might have officially gone insane I'm just going to buy silver anyway.

Our big push right now is paying off my student loan. I don't think it is quite going to happen this year but it will be close. Also I have some other ideas and am working some stuff. A IIIA bullet proof vest and maybe some sort of an optic might be my future.

Oh yeah and click on my advertisers links and  buy lots of their stuff.


Thoughts?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

It was a good week for us. We got a great deal on a bunch of knives and machetes. Also we went and finished the New Years Resolutions in terms of Glock and M1A mags. Finally feeling pretty good about the overall magazine situation. Also reading books on Afghanistan which is a prep of sorts. Doing some workouts in my spare time which if not a perfect program is better than nothing.

What did you do to prepare this week?

What Are YOUR Goals

I talk about my goals a lot. I talk about how I decide what they are, working through them as well as when they change or I strait up fail to meet them. It is sort of a way for me to organize my thoughts and goals as well as just chronicling my life.



What are your goals?

I am talking bigger and longer term stuff than the normal weekly life. Maybe you want to get a new significant piece of kit, a gun, pay off debt, get training, really get cranking into food storage or who whose what else.

I am interested in getting to know a little bit more about you and where you want to go. Also this might help spur some new posts on those subjects.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

New Vehicle, Goals and Compound Awesomeness or Failure

We can cross another one off the list. We got a few year old midsized Japanese SUV. It is several years old but with just over 60K on the odometer it should serve us well for years to come. We now have a big, heavy vehicle with a lot of cargo room which is pretty awesome. It is real strait except a bit of crunch on the front bumper. Best of all we paid CASH. Well actually we paid with a check but you get the idea.

That was our big push for the year so now we can get going on moving from an OK money place to a good money place. Now we are going to push hard at paying off my student loan (the interest rate is low enough that it hasn't been a huge concern) and be entirely debt free. After that we can start saving for a down payment on a house.

I realized something over the last few days. When it comes to money decisions tend to compound upon themselves. I am not talking in a formal sense of either earning or paying compound interest though that happens also. For some reason or another it just seems to work out that good brings better and bad brings worse.

For example lets look at a good money situation. Jim lives below his means. Since he lives below his means it is easy to slowly accumulate various preps and still save money. Jim eventually puts away a nice emergency fund. Since Jim has money he can plan in advance to shop good deals in the off season and buy in bulk. Now those things like sudden car repairs aren't an issue. He can usually just do it out of the normal surplus but if need be takes the money from the emergency fund then puts it back promptly. Since Jim is getting good deals on stuff and buying in bulk he is saving even more money. When his job slows down he is able to have the emergency fund supplement unemployment and thus be OK. Jim is able to buy a nice little piece of land with some of this money he is saving. Things just keep getting better.

Bob lives right up to the very limit of his means. Since he spends almost every dime that comes in it is very difficult to do more than pick up a couple cans of food or a box of shells for his deer rifle now and then. Bob is so worried about how to pay for a gallon of milk on the 29th of the month that buying things in advance of genuine need is almost a laughable concept. When Bob sees a good deal he is rarely able to take advantage of it due to lack of funds anyway. The closest thing to a savings plan Bob has is the change jar on the dresser. When the car breaks he has to make payments to the shop or put it on a credit card which makes his tight paycheck to paycheck lifestyle even tighter. When work slows down things become downright ugly. Unemployment doesn't come close to paying the bills and the change jar was good for about a tank of gas. Bob sells a couple things he really likes as well as getting behind on some bills and running up debt till normal checks start coming again. Things just kept getting worse for Bob. Every little thing that happens puts him another step backwards. In the best of times he is just treading water. Bob gets stuff on credit because there is no way he could pay cash. Those purchases are a mortgage on his future work so now he is left with even less money and the same needs.

You might be thinking that Bob's story hits a bit close to home. I urge you to not despair or give up or fall into the "everyone lives like this" trap. Personally I drank the Dave Ramsey cool aid . It may not work for everyone but it seems to be working well for us. Feel free to get a big plastic cup of the stuff or not.

Are you compounding awesomeness or failure?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The Good Part of Saving

Living below your means is not fun. It means that you have less money to spend on general lifestyle and discretionary expenses. It does however occasionally have good parts.

Last year into the very beginning of this one our big push was setting up the emergency fund. While it didn't give us anything quantifiable, peace of mind is darn hard to beat. We have been planning to get a TV for awhile. Actually ordered one online and after we paid for it they decided not to ship it. Eventually we will get that cash back but the whole thing turned into a real big pain. In any case today we went out and got a new 40" Sony Bravia TV. We took it home at a steep discount for a bit over $800 which considering the lack of options here is great. It is really darn nice. Also it has a remote control that works which gives me more joy than you could imagine.

This year we have been primarily pushing to get a decent second vehicle.This mission is now funded. We have a line on a low mile SUV which, assuming it passes muster with our stern and reliable German mechanic could work out well. Regardless sooner or later something will come along that fits our fairly loose criteria.

When you live below your means you can save money and use it to accomplish goals. Living below your means sucks but accomplishing goals is pretty awesome so it equals out. Maybe you want to set some money aside or buy a neato rifle or a piece of junk land or a camper or whatever. This is how you get there in a realistic and affordable way. Seriously today I got a nice TV with cash and we are about to buy a car. There is nothing magical about it. We have a pretty average income and choose to live well below it. Like many things in life it is simple but not easy.

On the bright side we are going through our New Years Resolutions like a bag of cocaine at an early 90's SNL party. Going to try and finish up our current goals and then do some more financial stuff. 

Please excuse me while I watch my sweet huge TV.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tires, Junkyards, Beer Brewing and Mags

Today I went to get a leaky tire fixed. I went to the automotive place and; skipping the details lets just say it significant will power to not go Patrick Bateman on them. Anyway it all turned out OK when I went to the junk yard. For a couple minutes of looking and a few more wrenching some lug nuts I got a new tire with a rim for $17. Really psyched about that.

I have been saving up my pennies and ad money so it was time to buy some stuff. Decided to just go ahead and get mags. I am not exactly sure what type of 9mm ammo I want to get and well who knows what could happen with mags. Anyway I ordered 10 Glock 9mm mags from CDNN investments. Depending on how I want to look at it they are either going to be mags for my next Glock,  to stash somewhere or just put away for a rainy day. Lately I have been feeling like my happy number of 10 pistol mags is a bit low. The idea of having a few more to stash here or there has been appealing to me.

I went ahead and got 10 US GI M1A mags also. While certainly not the cheapest .308 semi auto I do really covet the M1A and intend to get one. Ever since I saw a blurb about these mags at a sane price on Survival Blog I have been wanting to pick some up. I was going to get more like 8 but there was free shipping on purchases over $200 so it was an easy decision to get 10.  In any situation (massive gun control/ AWB) where I would be unable to eventually get a rifle to go with them the mags would increase significantly in value so I don't see a downside.

Maybe if  the rest of the year goes rather well I will make those same orders again. 

Also ordered World Made By Hand and FerFal's book. I wanted to get his book when it came out but if I recall the cost was like $35 or even $40. Too much for me to justify anyway. However at $25 it is something I can justify. Really looking forward to reading it.

Was all set to order a beer brewing kit but they wanted almost double the price to ship the darn thing. That was pretty disappointing. When companies ship to an APO they only pay shipping costs to New York State but it is used as an excuse to really stick it to us. I will do some more looking and if need be pursue buying one locally. Worst case there is a store like an hour away and that city has some nice restaurants to boot.

I am going to cruise the blogosphere a bit then pick Wifey up from work. 

Later

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