Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Flying with Guns

Weapons Man  did a post on this. As always it is good. I have some thoughts.
- Obviousky make sure whatever you are flying with is legal on both ends of the trip.
- In case of the off chance they cut your locks have spares. A 4 pack of normal master IDK pas locks is like $20.
- Like weapons man said plan in time. An extra half hour,  which probably puts you there 2 hours early is wise.
- Know the airlines policies. They vary. If in doubt call the airline and ask.
- Unless there is some compelling reason I wouldn't fly with real expensive or heirloom type guns. Guns do occasionally go missing. Take a $500 Glock and a $600 rifle not your nighthawk custom 1911 and full auto FAL.
-Depending on the airline you can have different amounts of ammo. All I've used let you take some and have it in the case with the guns. I'll bring at least enough to load the gun 1-2 times. If I wanted more ammo for whatever reason at the end point I would get it shipped there. Most classes will let you send ammo to them.
-If possible, an from my experience it always is I like to have at least some ammo. Example this winter I flew home with guns. A friend picked me up at the air port. We hung out for a few hours in sort of an iffy neighborhood and then I had a couple hours there  alone. After that I got on a train. I was definitely glad to have a loaded gun with me.
- Weapons Man mentioned loaner guns. That is definitely an option if the people you are visiting have appropriate guns to spare.
-If your host does not have spare guns to loan and you go there often consider staging a cache there. The cost and moderate annoyance of checking a gun a few times justifies leaving an old revolver an a long gunnifnyiu want one along with some speed strips and a knife. This also helps with your risk management. If your house burns down an whatever is in it is gone the gun at Grannies may be handy.

Edited to include: Buy a decent hard sided locking case. This is an area that is somewhat vague. Pelican makes good stuff and there are solid companies out there for the more value conscious customer as well.

You need to know what the rules are and follow them.  That said Flying with a gunnrrally isn't complicated or that big of a hassle. I've done it a few times and have yet to have any problems. Please don't let it intimidate you. 

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Life and Times, Operational Cache, Et All

Hey Folks, I sort of took a break over the holidays. I went home and saw my kiddo's, family and friends. The way things worked out I got to see a relative at the opposite end of the PNW so that was cool. Also my first time traveling long distance in the US by train. The trip there was pretty awesome. Very old school with some nice touches of class. The one back sucked as there were delays and all sorts of drama. Now I am back to work and normal life.

Over this trip I accessed my operational cache. Everything was fine. I sort of took a cue from Meister and added some good stuff to it. I tossed in my normal EDC knife and flash light as well as a more duty oriented pistol. Also a good set of long johns, a pair of multicam pants and some other odds n ends. I was going to put in a better backpack but the one I planned to use had a buckle break on the trip so I need to get it fixed.

Sort of along Meisters theme I literally cached stuff I regularly use. Motivation to spend hundreds of dollars on stuff to cache can be hard to find. So as a forcing function I put my normal stuff in there. Finding motivation to replace the thing I carry every day that is gone should be much easier to find. Of course if you genuinely can't afford it this is a bad plan but for those who can it is a good way to get priority #10 which never gets done up to priority #2 or 3.

I wanted to go through all of the contents and toss some less than entirely needed stuff. As I put in better items the newly redundant and inferior stuff can get tossed. Space is a consideration.

 I am looking hard at setting up another cache soon. Hopefully this spring. It will be another operational cache. Good to have goals anyway.

My stupid computer has really been giving me problems. Honestly it is hindering blogging as a 10 minute post takes more like a half hour between it freezing and re starting. I am going to either fix or replace it in the immediate future. My goal is to get to blogging 2-3x  a week.

Anyway that's what has been going on with me. Hope you all are well. Talk to you soon.


Thursday, May 5, 2016

Thoughts on Commercial Air Travel and Preparedness

Wear decent shoes and serviceable clothes.  There really isn't an excuse not to do this.

Within the limits of dress for your trip pack the most practical clothes possible including synthetic outer wear, fleece vs a sweatshirt, etc.

You are a lot more likely to need a credit card and a wad of cash than fishing gear and a signal mirror.

If going to some third world place OTC meds particularly those to control diarrhea are a good thing to have.

If you are checking a bag and flying to/ from free areas you can bring a normal EDC set up or even a rifle. Heck bring a whole extra get home bag if you are willing to pay to check it.

If you fly to/ from the same place often a cache is worth considering.

What are your thoughts on preparedness and air travel?


Monday, August 4, 2014

RE: The Property Line Murderers by Max Velocity

Max Velocity talks The Property Line Murderers AKA 'retreat snipers' . Very interesting stuff. The discussion about property rights, self defense and common sense are excellent. They remind me a lot of a discussion on Applied Ethics and Ballistics with our bestie Blogger gal from OK pt 1, pt 2, that we had here way back in 2009.

To rehash:
Any way you cut it legally shooting someone for trespassing on a piece of land, especially from distance is a non starter. In most situations you are going to be held accountable for your actions at some point. Also even if you are remote enough, or the situation is bad enough that nobody asks questions you still have to live with your actions. I am not what you would call a touchy feely person but shooting some dude because he stepped off the county road (or whatever) is not acceptable.

Invariably the people who take this stance work under the assumption they, and all their loved ones, will be home at their magical retreat. That is, especially considering the distances one needs to travel to earn a living in the hinterboonies or reach basic goods and services, not especially likely. The we/ they paradigm is really strong here. Folks seem to believe it is acceptable to cordon off the county road and shoot anyone who happens to wander into their hay field but start talking about situations where they might be traveling and face similar problems it is "I'm an American and have rights! Nobody can tell me where I can travel and if they try I'll shoot em!"

Anyway read Max's post and do some thinking about realistic defensive plans that are legal, logical and ethical.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Flying Armed: 2013 Edition

This holiday season the operational cache is getting set up I needed to transport the weapons involved. So I found myself getting ready to fly from a small regional airport, through Houston to the PNW.

The guns went into a Pelican Case. I was shopping the longer rifle cases but found a short squat Pelican 1600 case just sitting in the garage. With the buttstock folded and the slant muzzle device off the AK fit, just barely diagonally in the case. I got some foam from the Wally World to fill the gap in the case then cut it to fit the rifle. The little revolver went in next followed by 3 (empty) mags for the rifle, a box of .38 ammo for the revolver then 3 little boxes of 7.62x39 Wolf HP to load up 2 of the mags if need be. Last went in a pair of holsters, one pocket and a basic IWB holster for the revolver, all the speedloaders I could find (can order more for home later) and my Kershaw Blur. I locked it up with a pair of keyed alike padlocks.

It was a quiet regional airport. I got up to the counter and told the gal I needed to declare firearms. She got another employee who knew the procedure. I opened the case so he could look inside. He said "Is that an AK" to which I replied "Yes". He asked me to show that the revolver was empty so I took it out of the foam insert, flipped the chamber open then tapped the ejector rod. When I went to do the same with the rifle he said it was fine. He then asked if the mags were loaded and I said they were not. The guy handed me the standard declaration form which I signed then tossed into the box. I closed the box then put the locks back on. From "I have a firearm to declare" to done it was maybe 2 minutes.

Travel with kids was well, travel with kids. They were really good but it's still a hassle. Anyway on the other end we got the rest of our baggage then walked to the oversized luggage area and got the pelican case. We went on our way. Everything was fine. As a family we have flown with firearms three times. All went fine without any issues.

Broadly speaking issues I have heard of can be broken down into getting messed with checking in/ collecting the guns and them being lost/ stolen.

As to getting messed with checking them in. We have only flown from free state to free state with our guns that were legal on both ends and packed properly in legitimate hard locking cases. I have heard all sorts of horror stories from NYC, Mass and the like. If you are there I would be extra sure to cross your t's and dot your I's. Just read the TSA/ airline policies and comply with them and you should be just fine. I think having a legit case vs some jerry rigged lunch box is advisable and prevents a lot of hassle. Pelican cases are expensive but awesome.

Loss/ theft is an interesting topic. The airlines have a complicated job getting a lot of bags to different places in a timely manner and inevitably a certain percentage of bags are misrouted, misplaced or even lost. However some folks have noted bags with firearms or other good stuff tend to get stolen lost more often.

It is my personal opinion that small locking cases inside normal luggage probably lead themselves more to theft than a big, hard to open case. A small lock box could get stashed and slipped into a lunch box to be opened by the thief at home. On the other hand it is harder to discretely carry a fairly secure box the size of a microwave out discretely after work. I've heard of people locking their small case with a wire to the suitcase. If limited to a single bag I'd probably go with a big locked pelican type case to hold my spare clothes and such that also would protect my gun.

It is true there is risk in flying with guns. Heck there is risk to everything. I'd be awful careful and get special insurance to fly with an expensive class III weapon or something but for a couple normal guns it's probably not worth the hassle. 

In conclusion with a bit of preparation I do not think flying with firearms is a big deal. Pay a bit of attention, follow the rules and you will probably be fine. If you want to bring a gun on a trip or whatever I would be comfortable doing so.

What have your experiences flying with firearms been?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Traveling Guns n Gear

Did some thinking. It's going to be a folding stock AK and a pair of semi automatic pistols for me. Both pistols are Glock 9mm's; one large and one small. Wifey's .38 will be handy also.

The AK was chosen because it's folding stock makes the rifle as short as it can be without morphing into an SBR or a bullpup. Since I bought years ago when basic AK's were reasonably priced I'm far more comfortable with the risk of it getting stolen than Project AR.

[This brings us to a teachable moment. The particular AK in question has a pretty spotty reputation and at least in terms of fit and finish is very close to the bottom of the AK barrel. This brings us to an interesting point. Some guns have spotty reputations and generally they are well earned. That being said the rate of systemic issues/ lemons doesn't matter if your gun has been tested and works. Careful inspection and if possible test firing are probably smart in this scenario. ]

For gear it will be the Miami Classic for the big Glock, a pocket holster for the smaller one and a Costa Leg Rig for a load out. Also tossed in a leather OWB holster for the small one just to have another option. To fill them and the guns it will be about 6 pistol mags and 3 rifle mags. I wouldn't have that many pistol mags but the shoulder holster holds 2 and the leg rig holds 3 (or 2 and a knife/ light/etc).

For knives I'll be carrying my benchmade and a spyderco folder in my off hand back pocket. Have been toying with replacing the folder with a small fixed blade of some sort. Realistically getting a folding knife, even a spyderco with that big hole, open in fight with my off hand is an iffy proposition. I have a push knife but it is a bit too big and they run afoul of knife laws in many areas. Lots of folks seem to like the Ka Bar TDI, I find them awkward. The CRKT Bear Claw has always seemed like it would fit that role well. Then again Cold Steel makes a shorter push knife with only 1 edge which generally makes the legal issue easier.

Aside from lots of organizing and packing life's normal stuff that is what I'm looking at taking for the trip. Hope it interests somebody. If anyone has questions, input or suggestions they are welcome. 


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Notes From The Road- Day 2

Today I drove from Twin Falls, ID to Las Vegas, Nevada. Lot's of empty country in the Great Basin. Multiple (2 or 3 I think) times gas stations were over 100 miles apart. Northern Nevada is a nice place if you like Butte's and sage brush. Also I think Nevada is where mobile homes and travel trailers come to die. Seriously it is like folks here are all trying to start their own junk yard or something. The economy here must be bad because tons of businesses are closed (in populated town, not just the old Ghost type towns and the desert) and everything is for sale. I had lunch in some town in central Nevada and I think somebody with a few bucks could buy the whole place!

Las Vegas is pretty crazy. I don't think it is a place for me. Wifey got me a real nice room at a casino for a great price which is cool though.

Today I did take some pictures but am too tired to upload them. On the bright side I ate better and consumed less caffeine today. The old body thanks me.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to get to my destination. Well I am off to bed.










Monday, October 1, 2012

Be Advised

I am  going to be on the road for the next few days traveling from the wonderful PNW to Arizona. Depending on if the flee bag reasonably prices motels I stay in has the web I might not be on few days. Posts are scheduled for this period. Once down there until I get established convenience and my schedule will dictate internet usage. So if it is a hassle or I am busy then I won't be on much. 

Don't worry that I got murdered by creepy mutants in the desert if I don't reply to an email for a week or maybe two. If you don't get a response in a week or two resend because it might have slipped through the proverbial cracks. Then if you don't hear anything maybe I did actually get murdered.

Anyway I wanted to let you all know.


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Blah- Travel Nightmare

An already long travel day got even longer with a 4 hour delay and a 2 hour detour. Instead of having a relaxing afternoon and getting a good nights sleep we had a terrible trip and may not sleep tonight. Tomorrow is another travel day to boot. FML

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Countries I Have Been In: Brigid is to Blame


visited 17 states (7.55%)

Brigid definitely has me beat though but I am doing OK in the grand scheme of things. Still a lot of traveling to do. We are probably going to take another trip while over here and will go to Mexico when we are down that way soon enough. However broadly speaking once we are back in the states travel will stop for awhile. One toddler is hard to travel with and adding a baby would be a bridge too far. For awhile we will go camping, to the beach and home to visit.

I will bet $50 that inside of 7 years I will go to Africa for work.  The aftermath of Arab spring has yet to sort itself out and there is a wicked mess brewing in Syria. Odds are there are some more paid travel opportunities to dirty places with terrible weather where people try to kill me coming in the future.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Back From London

Spent a long weekend in London. It was pretty awesome. Might write something more on topic later if the motivation strikes me.

I hope you all had a good weekend.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Life is What Happens When You Turn The News Off

I seem to go into a sort of cycle with the news. Right now I am about sick of it. I still check out the drudge daily and if things get boring cruise the BBC. Instead of listening to the news at work I have been using a comedy show as background. I keep up enough to have a clue what is going on but really am having a hard time pretending to care.

The issues of police abuses has been weighing pretty heavily on my mind lately. Over a short time (since my being able to pay attention to these things at a relatively adult level) the changes which have occured are widespread and universally negative. Right now I do not have any additional thoughts on this topic which I am willing to share in a public venue.

Gang/ Mob attacks seem to be on the rise. The perpetrators, victims and area demographics seem to be quite consistent. The only thing that concerns me more than this is the total ambivalence of law enforcement about these crimes. The widespread efforts of government and media to conceal these events does not weigh positively into the mix either. I am not personally concerned about this. I do not frequent the kind of areas where this sort of thing has been happening. Also my life patterns, like being home at 7 to put the kid to bed, drops the odds even further. In any case it is still troubling.

Greece getting out of the Euro may almost be a foregone conclusion at this point. The idea of Euro bonds is laughable. Like cosigning for a loan your deadbeat brother in law/ whatever to get a loan it would require Germany be on the hook for things in the end. Like cosigning in general it is just a terrible idea. Banks or private markets are far better judges of who is a worthwhile risk than friends and family. I get what is in it for everybody but Germany, who actually has their financial house in order.

Also to complicate things there is significant risk to the Euro itself. As Tam put it "So Greece's profligate habits are threatening to drag the Euro under. Germany, the only wino at the bar keeping a squinty eye on the tab, is urging some restraint on Greece's part, which makes the Jerries the no-fun bad guy of the story."

The biggest way this inconveniences me is that it means I am not going to Greece which sucks. It was definitely on our short list before the mess of the last few months. Now the risk of getting stuck somewhere with a toddler in tow makes it a no travel zone for us. I guess it is a significant global risk, blah blah blah but I don't care about that.

So what did I do today?

After getting off work I came home for some quiet family time. For no clear reason I decided to make home made pizza. I had never done this but with some help from Wifey utter disaster was averted. I learned to do something new and we had a pretty good dinner. It was a nice quiet evening and I got something out of it.

It is worth noting that Dave Duffy wrote an article that inspired this one but was much better.

Anyway I hope you all have a nice quiet evening.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Commonalities in Survivalist Finances and Lifestyles

The topic of budgeting for and otherwise managing to find money to prepare came up recently. In the past other folks and I have talked about some little things that we do to make it work but the desired understanding often does not seem to translate. Today I want to try it from another angle. I know some very prepared survivalists pretty well. Some are invisible friends and with others I have more personal connections. I have noticed some commonalities in their finances which are worth noting.
-They tend to have average incomes. There are a few outlyers who are pretty well off but not what I would call rich and a few who have modest, almost poverty level incomes. That pretty much blows the "you have to be rich to be prepared" idea out of the water.
-They have a significantly below average debt load. Typically they may owe on a home/ homestead (that is fairly modest for their situation) plus MAYBE a vehicle or something else small. Certainly not a second mortgage, 2 car loans, a line of credit and 4 credit cards.

- They live pretty modestly. Vehicles are more likely to be a decade old with dings and a bit of rust then brand new and shiny. They don't have 60" flat screens in general, let alone in every room. Clothes and stuff is generally used until it is no longer servicable, well beyond the peak of technology or fashion. Many items are purchased used or at significant discounts.
- They rarely have expensive hobbies except survivalism. You don't see golfers, experimental balloonists, collectors of rare art or whatever. Though I think there are a couple pilots floating around.
- They travel rarely. You don't see many Mediteranean cruises or trips to hang out on the beach in Thailand. I am an exception to this as we travel a decent amount. Travel is important to us and we are also currently in Europe. When we go back to the states our travel budget will plummet.

- They continue preparing for a long period of time. They may have a bad season when laid off or whatever but over the long run they continue making progress.

As with a lot of things if you are having issues it is usually worthwhile to look at folks who have done what you want to do. My goal here was to try to focus on positive characteristics of people who are at least fairly successful in preparednes. I did this intentionally instead of being negative or accusatory of those who are less successful. It may be better to focus on positives and maybe it is a message folks can be more receptive of.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Should I Stay or Should I Go Now

Awhile back (I am using some stuff I wrote awhile back to cover vacation time;) I saw a post by Claire Wolfe over at her excellent blog about leaving the United States and going expat. It was well worth reading and as usual, interesting and entertaining. Anyway it is as good of a topic as any for me to write about.

Some folks are ridiculously tied to a certain area for whatever reason. I find this at best foolish and at worst utterly stupid. If something bad is happening often the smartest thing to do is to just go somewhere else, if only till things blow over.

As Commander Zero says “the first rule of disaster survival is to be somewhere else”. It could be storms, ecological disasters, war, terrorism or totalitarian governments or whatever but if something really bad is coming then you best get the heck out of the way. Some reasons are regional like hurricanes. If you live near the coast and a hurricane is coming then you had better leave. Other times it is more about individual situation. If you are part of a cultural group that it looks like is about to get the bad end of it where you are then the smart thing to do is to leave. If you are part of some sort of a group that maybe functions in a questionable legal area and it looks like the hammer is about to come down then you had better leave.

Just like any other bug out there is the question of where to go. In extreme cases it doesn’t matter and you just leave. If you were a Jew in the early 30’s in Europe going anywhere west or off the continent was a good decision as staying probably meant death. If a monster hurricane is coming then you drive inland and worry about where to lay your head after a few hundred miles. However most situations where one would seek to better their circumstances are based on economics or freedom and are less dire.

This is the case for most folks who are thinking of going Ex Pat. They aren’t happy with the direction our country is headed in and think they would be better off elsewhere. I would do a lot of research into the countries laws, its economy and history, particularly it’s political and economic stability or lack their in recent times. Out of ignorance or idealism folks could end up in corrupt, dangerous, unstable countries where it is very difficult to make a living. Somebody in the comments section of Claire Wolfe’s post said “when America gets the flu everyone else gets cancer” which is worth considering. More to the point many of the criticisms that could be applied to the contemporary USA could definitely be applied to numerous South and Central American countries. I fear a lot of folks would really just be jumping out of the kettle and into a smaller hotter pot.

I am really hesitant to give specific advice on this one because its viability is so dependent on the country you plan to go to and your personal situation. The two most basic factors are probably economics and language. Do your business or job skills readily translate to the place you plan to go? Can you speak the language enough to really get along? Being able to order drinks and dinner and ask where the bathroom is works for a week on the beach but not for conducting business or earning a living.

I would say that these two questions go a long way towards answering the question of whether a potential move is a good choice for you. If the answer to both is yes then it may well be a viable option. You speak the language and can earn a living and thus can probably make it. If the answer to either one is no that is a problem. If the answer to both is no, unless you are facing likely death or detention, you would be well advised to find another destination or stay at home.

Other questions like immigration status are important. However if you can make money and speak the language it will, especially in a country that has fairly lax enforcement policies figure itself out eventually. Culture is important also and to be happy you need to not hate where you are. Do you share some traditions and religion with the locals? What is their view of random Americans? What is the security situation like? The last thing you want in a dangerous place is to be the supposedly rich white person everybody hates and targets that can’t afford good private security in a country where it is hard to get a gun.

Personally I would not hesitate to move to another region or country if it would drastically improve my family’s situation. However I would have to be pretty sure it would actually be an improvement. I can’t think of another country that, on the overall balance would be an improvement over the good ole USA and we are not particularly good candidates for that sort of transition anyway. There is a lot to be said for the devil you know.

Edited to include:
I stumbled onto FerFal being interviewed on Jack Spiro's Survival Podcast. I listened to most of it while making brunch yesterday morning. It is worthwhile to hit on some background. FerFal is a native of Argentina. He has been trying to get the heck out of South America for awhile and recently moved to Northern Ireland. Let's think about that. He speaks the language and is part of the culture and also has family and business connections. So his situation for moving to one of the various Central/ South American countries that folks speak about is vastly better than pretty much anybody living in the US who is considering moving to someplace in Central/ South America. He did not go to any of the places folks talk about online. Furthermore he mentions that many, if not all, of the people suggesting movining down there either have some sort of interest in the whole thing or are living stateside and while well intentioned, are totally clueless.

It is also worth noting that his goal was to move to America but he couldn't pull it off legally, despite trying for years. Yes a guy who has experienced an economic collapse and is a native of South America really tried to move to the US. Read that again and let it sink in for awhile.

He suggested that folks in the US first consider moving to another state that is more in line with their beliefs on gun rights, taxes, economic freedom, etc all.  While circumstances vary widely that is probably really good advice. States in the US vary widely in a lot of ways. For all practical purposes California and Wyoming (just to name a totalitarian dump and a pretty free place) could be different countries entirely.

Sort of on this topic Claire Wolfe linked to a site where you can supposedly (no reason to say it isn't on the up and up but I cannot verify it) get citizenship and a passport from the Dominican Republic for about 13 G's. That is nothing to sneeze at but it is an amount that a fairly average person could pull offwith some prioritization and planning.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Plans

Deployments are sort of like prison. You spend your time doing whatever job you are assigned and trying not to get hurt or killed but in all the other hours of the day there isn't much to do but work out and think about what you are going to do when you get out. I definitely did my share of lifting. I am breaking or approaching all time records in many lifts. Not sure why it took a deployment for me to remember that I love lifting weights but I am glad I got back to it. Definitely going to keep it up back in the rear.

I am going to take a cue from John Mosby and beef up my EDC "survival kit". Incidentally if you are living under an internet rock and haven't checked out his excellent blog I strongly recommend doing so. John's background as a soldier and NCO in Ranger Regiment and the Special Forces give him tons of expertise on all sorts of things. I would say his primary concerns and mine differ but that is superficial and I get a ton out of his blog. A solid foundation of good preparation, strong individual skills and tactics are useful in a wide variety of schenarios.Plus also he carries a Glock 19 AIWB (like I do) which means he must be a man of taste and distinction.


I have saved a wad of cash over the last year and am seriously thinking about using most it to purchase a NOD (aka night vision monacle). I have no interest in doing this halfway. To me it is definitely a buy once, cry once kind of thing. It is something I had planned to do a lot later but I am kinda thinking it makes more sense to do earlier as I have a wad of cash. Shuffling other stuff back a bit is easier as those are all smaller purchases I can make more easily. Also the idea of having one big item to show for this year of my life is appealing. It is a big purchase but since I can't do it oversees (where I will be for the next several months) there is some time to think about it. Input is welcome on this one.

Beyond that my big goal for the next several months is to reestablish useful  modular systems to meet a variety of needs. We have the vast majority of the stuff but moving, life and to be honest some neglect have left our systems in serious disrepair. This will be addressed.

Also I plan to spend a ton of time with Wifey and Walker doing all sorts of cool family stuff and some traveling. Got to make the most of our remaining time in Europe. Better start saving Orbitz coupon so we can return often.

Life Update Redeployment

Wifey and Walker are back in Germany after spending the deployment home with her folks. Walker misses Amma (maternal Grandmother; no it isn't one of those weird family names it is how he pronounces Grandma) a lot and keeps asking for her. As he lived with her for a year and she was a big part of his life that makes sense. Wifey is getting settled back into our place. Apparantly I left us with no toiletpaper and forgot to take a block of cheese out of the fridge. Woopsy.

Well I am on my way out of Afghanistan. I have been done working for a couple days and have been finishing up little things, packing and getting some time to relax. Yesterday I got to sleep past 0620 for the first time since leave so that was pretty nice. Depending on weather and transportation I should be back in Germany between the next few days and a week and a half. I am looking forward to getting back to Wifey and Walker a lot. We will be taking leave shortly after I get back. Got some traveling planned but since dates are up in the air nothing is locked in yet.

I am going to resume administrative blog functions shortly. Please give Wifey some thanks because without her hard work and dedication this place would have shut down over the last year. She did a great job taking care of things even though she isn't the blogs biggest fan. I think she may have called it my mistress at least once. In any case she kept things going because it is important to me which really shows how awesome she is.

Along those lines I am pleased to say the blog faired pretty well over the last year. Aside from missing my family and the possibility of death or serious injury this place collapsing was one of my biggest worries. Things probably slipped a little in terms of readership and such but things are still going pretty well so I can't complain. I have some plans for the blog over the next couple months but will talk more about that later.

Anyway I just wanted to let you all know what is going on.

Take care of each other
Ryan

Saturday, October 8, 2011

At Home

I am safely back in the wonderful PNW. The trip was a few days long and while uneventful left me totally confused in terms of time, sleep, etc. Slept like a rock last night exept one wakeup where I spent 30 seconds sitting up in bed figuring out where the heck I was.

Got to see Walker this morning (got home late last night and he as already asleep) which was pretty darn cool. He is huge and very active. Quite a change between a 4 month old and a 1 year old. Being able to drink good coffee and watch Fox News this morning was really nice. Spent a lazy morning playing with Walker and then ran around doing some errands.

I don't have many big plans for leave. Going to spend a lot of time with Wifey and Walker and try to see friends and family as much as I can. As for preparedness type goals I am going to do some gun cleaning, give the blog a facelift and that is about it.

I hope everyone has a good weekend. I know I am going to.
-Ryan

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Long Day

We traveled back home today. It was a long flight and Walker was suprisingly and remarkably chill, he just slept a lot. Got a bottle of Glennfiddich 15 at the duty free for 30% off which is cool. I am eager to sample it at some point. Other than that it was nice to see some of our old stomping grounds on the ride from the airport. I had some Arby's which I was really looking forward to.

Anyway I just wanted to let you guys know we arrived safely and didn't get stuck in Philidelphia again.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Live A Little

When you read this I will be off traveling. I will be enjoying time with family and checking out a cool new city in Europe. I plan to sleep a lot (at least 9 hours a night), see all kinds of cool stuff, eat some crazy great food and enjoy the local beverages.

Things are still sort of uncertain in terms of the American economy. For a long time it was stuff every dollar under the mattress time. I am not sure that is over entirely but even if things are still the same in a long enough situation you have to get out and live every once in awhile. I don't think this is a time to do anything crazy. I wouldn't be inclined to mess with a secure job/ income stream even if it doesn't give you that great emotional satisfaction. It is probably not time to do the huge home remodel you have been planning or go out and get a new shiny car. Unless your finances are really in order I wouldn't go for the epic 6 week European trip you have been planning forever. We are traveling but we are boring people and we save a certain amount of money every month in order to fund said travel.

If you want a nice TV or to go on a trip or something then by all means save up for it. However before you spend that cash I do encourage you to make sure your overall house is in order first. If that $500 or $1500 or whatever would be aweful useful for an emergency fund or some basic preps then maybe you should rethink the purchase.

Anyway I am off traveling Europe. Have a great day.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

As is appropriate I have spent some time today thinking about what I am thankful for. I have a lot to be thankful about for sure. I am very thankful that Walker is well and we are all able to spend this holiday together as a happy little family. While it has medically been a crazy couple months for us we all appear to be in good health. I am thankful that we aren't struggling to keep a roof over our heads and food in our stomachs. I am thankful that between preps and saving we can feel pretty secure about our overall situation. I am thankful that my sister is here and we are going to do some traveling this weekend.

It occurs to me that most of the things I am thankful for are directly or indirectly the result of my own choices. I/ we could make choices that created animousity and unhappiness in our home. We could choose to be idle or underemployed and struggle for basics like shelter and food. We could spend beyond our means and have constant worries about money. Of course luck is a factor. Right now lots of decent hard working folks are either unemployed or seriously underemployed and really struggling. If they live well within their means and have some savings they are better off but in a long enough under/ unemployment most everybody will start to have serious problems. Folks can make the right choices and have continual health issues.

It has been a pretty good Thanksgiving so far. Went to bed pretty early yesterday and slept till almost 10. Had a pretty relaxing morning just chilling out then Little Sis, Walker and I went to do some local sight seeing. It is pretty good holiday weather. Right around freezing with a bit of snow on the ground. Just enough to cover rooftops, trees and lawns giving the nice scenic winter look but not enough to muck up the roads and make it hard to get around. The food is cooking and we are all sitting around and talking. Shortly it will be coctail and appetizer time which is always fun.

We are having a sort of 'Orphans Thanksgiving' as always. Wifey cooks a bunch of food and we invite everybody who can use a place to go and feed whoever comes. Relatives, neighbors, co workers or whatever. It makes for interesting groups of people but is good times.

Well I am going to go and enjoy a lot of food, some great scotch and family.

Happy Thanksgiving
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