Entries for November, 2010

Conclusions from Black Friday

knivesI like to take situations where people interact, watch how the people interact and then I make notes. As the level of stress goes up, the worse people seem to interact. A good example is Black Friday. For those of you who do not know what Black Friday is – its the day after Thanksgiving when retailers offer some great specials. The companies offer specials to get people into the store. Hopefully the people will buy more then just whats on sale. These specials offer people a chance to snatch up some great deals. Considering the current economic times, there are a lot of people looking for whatever deals they can find.

Here at the local wal-mart, a couple of people got in a fight over some towels – 1 person was arrested and 1 person went to the hospital.

What can you “really” say about a society where people fight over towels that cost $1.33.

For the most part things went well at the local stores – some people got upset that there were not enough items for everyone. The local wal-mart had some Emachine laptops for $198. My daughter and I got in line around 11:15pm – the sale started at 5am.

People were showing up anywhere from 3am – 5am wanting to get in line for the laptops. One guy and his wife got there around 4am, saw the line was established and all of the vouchers for the laptops had been handed out.  From there the husband got rather upset, got a manager over to the line and got a little loud.  The manager said there was nothing he could do, that the people in line were there before he was.

There seemed to be 4 types of people:

Group 1 – Willing to fight over the smallest items.  This is the group that bothers me the most.  These are the people that are willing to infect physical violence to get what they want.  We are not talking about fighting over food during some kind of long term disaster, we are talking about people fighting over towels that cost $1.33.

If the people of group 1 are willing to inflict physical violence over small value items, what are the people of this group capable of during a disaster?  If their willing to fight over an item that cost $1.33, are they willing to kill over an item that cost $5?

Group 2 – Get there early, establish your place in line and wait.  I would consider this an orderly group and abides by the rules and laws of the land.

Group 3 – Get there late, and complain that people are ahead of them.  I would consider this a group of trouble makers.  The problem comes in when people from the violent group 1 and group 3 are 1 in the same.  Where the people of group 1 can show up at anytime – early or late, people of group 3 show up late.  These are the people that fail to size up the situation, fail to plan, and then get mad at others for their own failures.

Group 4 – the people that shop online and stay away from stressful situations with the public.  After some kind of disaster, these are the people who pull from their own resources and will not have to stand in line for food handouts.

To me, this provides examples of types of people that we might see in some kind of disaster. The 2 groups that I worry about are the ones that are willing to inflict physical harm for access to the smallest items. And the group of people that get there late, and are angry that they missed they failed to plan ahead.

Post your comments in this forum thread about Black Friday rushes.

How close do you live to an airport

Food for thought – What shipping ports were to cities in the middle ages, airports are to the new age.  This means that airports are the point of delivery for new infections.

During the middle ages, fear of the plague was so great that shipping inspectors had to inspect a ship before it could make port.

Today, people come and go freely with no disease inspection, or fear of spreading disease.

When a new disease breaks out, the first places to receive the infection will be the airports – the people that travel with the infected host and the people that work at the airports.  The next layer are the people that service airport travelers – motel / hotel workers, taxi drivers, car rental employees, parking lot attendees, restaurant workers,,,,, anyone that has face to face contact with people that fly.

Ask yourself, how many layers back from the airport are you?  Do you work at the airport, do you know someone that works at the airport, do you know someone that works in a service style business that deals with travelers?  Do you live in a major city with an international airport?

Its just food for thought.

Bugging out to the wilderness plans

wilderness bug outIt was probably around 1997 or 1998, some of my buddies were over at my house and we were talking about possible situations that would cause a wilderness bug out.  We were talking about an outbreak of the plague, nuclear strikes, nuclear targets, radiation fallout, wind currents,,,,,,; it was one of those brain storming sessions we used to have.

Eventually the topic of firearms came up, choice of calibers, being able to carry plenty of ammo,,, and so on.

It was at this time I pulled out a large ALICE pack, a Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and an H&K SP-89 pistol.  As I look back on the situation, and what we were discussing, neither of those weapons would be good for survival.

The Mossberg 500 with 18.5 inch barrel and pistol grip would be a terrible choice for hunting.  The pistol grip makes the weapon difficult to aim, and the short barrel means a poor pattern.  If this shotgun would have had a stock on it and a longer barrel, then it would be a different story.

The H&K SP-89 is a great pistol for close quarters combat, but it would be a poor choice for hunting deer or wild hogs.  The lack of a shoulder stock makes the pistol undesirable for certain situations.

After my buddies and I completed our brain storming session, I decided it was time to review some of my survival weapon choices.  I had other weapons, so “why” did I pick those 2 for discussion?  Why not talk about the SKS as a survival rifle, or maybe the AK-47, or what about the Remington model 700?

After talking about the advantages and disadvantages of a short shotgun and pistol combo, I decided to remove those 2 weapons from my choices.

If your going to pick a weapon (pistol, rifle or shotgun) for survival, why not pick on that you can aim, and effectively take wild game with?

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Being able to think for yourself

What is it with people not being able to think for their self?  Its as if some people just accept what their told as fact and never ask any questions.  They just form a line to the stupid door and file in order.

Children – One example, my wife and I have a friend of the family that lets her children cry themselves to sleep.  The oldest child, being 5 years old has some serious issues – such as yelling at the parents, hitting, fit throwing, and will not cooperate with anyone.  When you ask the oldest child to do something, it usually results in a screaming fit.

What do I blame the childs problems on – lack of affection on the parents part.  Someone told the mother that if the child is held too much, it will get spoiled.  But what was not told – not holding your child can result in the child developing social problems.  So instead of holding the child while its upset, the mother lays the child in the bed and lets it cry itself to sleep.

Lets put some thought into this issue – the oldest child displays social anxiety problems, and the parents keep doing to the same thing,,, but expect a different outcome?  I see a life of medicated existence in the near future for those children.

Jobs – go to work for a company, spend your life working for a slave wage, and when your body is broken you retire and die in a pile of your own feces.  Not exactly the way I want to live.

When your in school your told to get an education and go to work for someone else – that is NOT how you make money.  You make money by providing a service, or manufacturing a product.

Someone explain why I should spend my life making someone else rich?  I don’t think so.

Taxes – go to work, pay your taxes, only for the money to be sent over seas to take care of people who are not US citizens.  Would you pay your neighbors bills?  If so, I have an electric bill that needs paying.

Voting – why do people insist on voting for the 2 major parties?  If you vote for the democraps and the republicants, and neither of them represent the will of the people, why continue to vote for them?  Vote for the Libertarian Party – if you want real change, vote like it.

November 20th 2010 hunting trip

east texas whitetail 8 point buckFriday evening my kids and I talked about if we wanted to go hunting Saturday morning and Saturday evening, or just Saturday evening. The agreement was made to go just Saturday evening – in part because we had a birthday party to go to at noon.

Saturday morning rolls around, we sleep a little late, get up, get our morning shower and breakfast. From there we started getting ready for my grandsons 2nd birthday party.

Behind the library in Jasper, Texas there is a fenced in park with 2 covered areas, bathroom and a play ground. Its a nice place for the family to have a birthday party, or just take the small kids to go play. The whole are is fenced in, so you don’t have to worry about the smaller kids leaving the park.

Everything went well at the party, I brought along a small grill to cook hot dogs – so we had cookie cake, cake and hot dogs to eat.

Around 1 pm or so we loaded up and headed back home. Between 1pm and 2:30 I played some Left 4 Dead 2.

At around 2:30pm told my daughter and my son it was about time to load up. I make it a point to ask my son if he is bringing a flashlight. I usually have to bring 2 lights and loan him 1. But this time he brought a cheap headlight he got last Christmas. We loaded up the gear, 2 Marlin 336 30-30, my Maxpedition Noatak backpack, a Gerber Big Rock from Rocky National, and a couple of flashlights – a 2 AA LED flashlight and a 2 cell D Maglight.

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Stop and give thanks

thanksgiving turkeyNext week is Thanksgiving. But like a lot of people, my family and I are having a get together this weekend and next week. This week we are having my wifes kids (my step kids) and their families over for a celebration. Next week on Thanksgiving, my wife and I are going to the house of my brother and my parents.

While talking to my daughter this morning, I stopped to think about how often people give thanks.

My family has been very blessed this past year:

Everyone in my family has a job
Everyone is well, and nobody is in the hospital
Everyone got to keep their home
Everyone has food to eat
Everyone has a little expendable income

Saturday evening my son got an 8 point whitetail deer that weighed in at 156 pounds. That deer will provide my family with enough sausage for about 4 – 6 months. If we can get a doe, we will have enough hamburger and sausage to last almost a year. I consider my family blessed that we have food in the pantry and a freezer full of meat.

On Thanksgiving, my wife and I are going to my mom and dads house and to my brothers house. Both of which had to rebuild after Hurricane Ike. My brothers house got something like 4 – 5 feet of water in it and my parents house got 9 feet of water. My parents house was considered a total lose, and it was demolished.

This is the first Thanksgiving my brother or my mom and dad have had in their house since the rebuild after Hurricane Ike.

I consider my brother and my mom and dad blessed that they were able to rebuild and move forward with their lives. A lot of people have not been so lucky. I know some people that have not been able to rebuild over 2 years later. Either they lacked insurance, or the resources to rebuild, or they were cheated out of their money by con-men.

So while we grumble about all the bad stuff, lets stop just for a minute and give thanks for all of the good stuff we have in our lives.

Shopping for survival supplies

maxpedition vulture-iiWhen your walking around a store – any store – and your doing your shopping, how often do you think about your survival supplies? Is it something you make a list of and make a special trip to town? Or do you incorporate your survival supplies shopping into your everyday life?

Lets take last night as an example, my wife and I went shopping at the local super wal-mart. While we were walking through the store, I picked up a 2 pack of strike on box matches. At 250 matches per box, that is 500 matches.

The last time I was at the camp I took inventory of my matches, and it came to like 6 or 7 boxes of 250 matches per box. So that equals out to around 1,500 – 1,700 matches. But I needed some for my house, so I picked up another 500. I also got a box of Remington 30-30 ammo, 12 gauge #4 shot, and a box of 12 gauge rifled slugs.

When we got to the food section, we picked up our grocery list for this weekend and 2 jars of olives – 1 jar for this weekend and 1 jar to put up.

My wife picked up some corn bread mix for this weekend. While we were standing there in the isle, I was wondering “how well corn bread mix would store in mylar bags with oxygen absorbers? The mix has an expiration date of 2013. So what would the date be if the corn bread mix was re-packaged for long term storage?” That is the kind of stuff I think about when shopping.

In 1 trip to wal-mart I picked up:
20 rounds of Remington 30-30 150 grain ammo
25 rounds 12 gauge #4 shot – #4 is great for squirrel hunting
15 rounds 12 gauge slug – good for deer or wild hogs
1 extra jar of olives – I really like olives
500 strike on box matches

The ammo is going to be put in their boxes and stored, olives will be put up, and 500 matches will be stored.

I see survivalist that put a lot of time an effort into their preps. If I put a “lot” of time and effort into it, I would probably get burned out. So I try to take the slow and steady approach.

While we are on the topic, take a look at this forum thread about survivalist burn out.  I made 2 post on that page – scroll down to post #24 and #31.

One of the problems that I see, is that people put “too” much time and effort into survivalism.  Its like they jump in with both feet, take off running, get tired and drop out of the race.  Think like a turtle (slow and steady), or like a squirrel.  A squirrel buries 1 nut at a time.

Post Apocalyptic Survival Gear

List of survival gear that I think would be useful in a post apocalyptic world.

1. Knowledge – This starts with having an understanding of how the human species acts during a long term survival situation. Find some history books on amazon about the black death of 1348 – 1350. Read those books and get a grasp on how people acted and what they resorted to. Some of the stories look like they came straight out of a Hollywood movie – like starving people digging up dead bodies to cannibalize the remains.

Part of your survival library should include resource material on gardening, raising livestock and farming.

First aid manuals with information on diseases and wound treatment.

2. Water filter – Without safe drinking water, life as we know it can not exist. Diseases like Cholera, Typhoid, E. Coli, Cryptosporidiosis, Giardiasis, Shigella and Salmonella can wipe out entire communities in a matter of days.

There are water filters, and then there are “water filters.”  If you have a family with 4, 5 6,,, 12 people, then adjust your water filter size to fits your needs.

Then there is the problem of drinking water in an urban survival situation. Most people that live in cities do not have access to a water well or a creek or stream. Once the water gets cut off, thats it.

Related Article:  Survivalist Water Filter Options

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Happy Birthday Half-Life

Happy Birthday Half Life, your 12 years old today, November 19th 1998 – November 19th 2010. I still remember the first time I saw you, it was at a LAN party in Little Cypress with my buddy Revy.

It was a cold, wet, typical winter day in southeast Texas. I had been invited to a LAN party to play some Quake Deathmatch. While we were taking a short break from the intense action, Revy called me over to his computer and asked if I wanted to see this new game called Half-Life. Revy fired up a new game and showed me the intro scene where Gordon Freeman is taking the tram ride into Black Mesa.

When I got home I told my wife about Half-Life and she bought me the game a few days later. It was a sad time in my life. My sister-in-law at the time was going through a divorce with her husband. On the day she left, my wife took her to the bus station while I stayed at home and play Half-Life.

Half-Life was a turning point in my gaming, as I played Quakeworld and Diablo less and less. When Team Fortress Classic (TFC) was released, it seemed brighter and more fresh then the dark maps of Quakeworld Team Fortress. There was Quake II, but HL seemed to handle better then QII, and the maps of HL were easier to follow then the maps of QII.

When Half-Life was released, a whole new phase in PC gaming started – we just did not realize it at the time. Shortly after the release of HL came TFC and Counter-Strike. From the release of TFC and CS, the Quakeworld servers dried up, and things would never be the same.

I still have that original Half-Life cd on my computer desk. But instead of playing with the CD version, I got Half-Life on Steam as well.

Happy birthday Half-Life, its been a fun 12 years.

Pistol rifle and shotgun combo

There is a thread in the forum asking what rifle, shotgun and pistol combination you would pick for a survival situation. The shotgun has to be multi-purpose for urban defense and harvesting wild game. The rifle caliber has to be big enough to harvest deer, wild hogs, elk and maybe even moose. The pistol has to be for hunting and or personal defense.

Here are my picks:

Shotgun – Remington 870 or Mossberg 500, I personally prefer the Mossberg 500 because I like the safety location of the Mossberg 500 better then I do the Remington 870 safety.  I also do not like the flap over the Remington 870 magazine well – I get my fingers pinched there when trying to load a round into the magazine.  Between the 870 and the 500, I find the 500 much easier to load and shoot.

Rifle – FAL in 308, or Remington model 700 in 270, 280, 308 or 30-06.

The FAL – also known as the right arm of the free world has proven its reliability all over the world. The 308 Winchester should be able to take just about any wild animal in North America – except maybe that largest of bears.

The 270, 280 and 30-06 in a Remington model 700 prove their effectiveness on wild game every hunting season.

Pistol – Springfield XD in 45acp or Beretta 9mm.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the best survival rifle, pistol and shotgun.

Stockpiling ammo for shtf

survivalist riflesHow much ammo should I stockpile for SHTF? If teotwawki happened tomorrow, how much ammo should I have? What types of ammo should I have for SHTF? How much ammo should I have for teotwawki?

Those are all questions that I see repeated on the forum over and over, time and time again. So lets talk about them just for a minute.

Lets break down ammo into 2 groups – personal defense and hunting.

Pistol ammo: How much pistol ammo do you “really” need? What will your pistol be used for? Will it be for personal defense or hunting? Are we talking 22 long rifle, 9mm, 45acp, 40S&W, 357 magnum, 41 magnum, 44 magnum,,, or something else?

From the price stand point, its going to be a lot cheaper to stockpile 5,000 rounds of 22 long rifle, then it is to stockpile 5,000 rounds of 357 magnum. Its going to be cheaper to stockpile 5,000 rounds of round nose, then 5,000 rounds of hollow points. Do you “really” need to stock up on hollow points, or is it something that you just want to have?

Pistol ammo used for hunting: Except for 22 long rifle, this is going to be your magnum calibers – 357 magnum, 41 magnum and 44 magnum. In this group I would put a number of at least 500 rounds. That 500 could be divided in half – 1/2 stored at your home, and 1/2 stored at your bug out location / remote camp. If you have to leave your home, and only have time to grab your pistol – this leaves you with 250 rounds once you reach your bug out location.  Keep that 250 rounds in mind for later.

Pistol ammo for personal defense:  This can be just about anything, (except the 22 long rifle, and 25acp) – 9mm, 40S&W, 45acp, 357sig, 357 magnum, 41 magnum, 44 magnum,,,,,,.  For this group, I put a number closer to 1,000 rounds per caliber.

Dividing ammo between people in the group:  Some kind of situation has developed – a new disease has broke out, china launched a nuclear strike against the major cities,,,,,, whatever has happened, you have enough time to grab some gear and get out of town.  You and your family safely arrive at your bug out location, and a few days later your buddies show up.  These are people that you made plans ahead of time.  To streamline ammo purchases, everyone has bought a weapon that shoots the same caliber.  For the sake of discussion, lets use 357 magnum.

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North Korea may run out food in 2011

The United Nations has reported that North Korea may not have enough food for its people in 2011. While food production has remained about the same, or shown slight improvement, the population has continued to grow.

So this brings up the question, what happens when a nation with history of trouble making runs out of food?

Normally, I would say that North Koreas communist buddies would help it out. But with the recent Russian crop failures, who knows whats going to happen.

Representatives from the United Nations have recently traveled to North Korea to discuss the problem.

Making bug out plans

Flooded roads from Hurricane IkeSome type of disaster has either arrived or is heading your way – whether its an earthquake, hurricane, food shortages due to a new disease outbreak,,,,, you and your family need to get out of the city. You have made plans to stay at a bug out location with some friends, but the problem is getting out of the city.

Fuel – the very first problem your going to run into is having enough fuel to get out. Once the panic buying starts, fuel is going to be one of the first things people buy up. Everyone will be filling up their gas cans, cars, trucks, generators, 55 gallon drums,,,, and as a result, the gas stations will be cleaned out. The first people to leave the cities will help finish off the fuel supplies in rural areas. So don’t think that your going to find a gas station in a small town to get fuel, its not going to happen, everyone else will beat you to it.

Maps – as the major roadways become clogged with cars and trucks, your going to need to find an alternate route. When parts of southeast Texas evacuated for Hurricane Ike and Hurricane Rita, people from Houston, Port Arthur, Bridge City, Lumberton, Orange,,,, sat in line for hours. On high 69/96/287 leaving Port Arthur, Texas – people were running out of gas sitting on the highway. The highway department had to send tanker trucks out to fill peoples cars and trucks up with fuel to keep the lines moving. What normally took a 1 hour drive, took more like 10 hours.  If you know a route around the major highways – take it.

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Best rifle and shotgun for survival

If you were going to pick two firearms – 1 small caliber rifle, 1 medium or large caliber rifle, or a shotgun, which firearms would it be?  These do not “have” to be considered survival rifles or a survival shotgun, but firearms that you may shoot with all year long.  The two firearm combination should be diverse enough to take everything from small game to the largest game in your area.  Someone that lives in Alaska and who might run into a grizzly bear will have different rifles needs then someone that lives in Texas or Florida – because there aint no grizzly bears in Texas or Florida.

The purpose of a “survival firearm” is a little different then a Main Battle Rifle (MBR).  While an MBR is designed for the military and combat, survivalist need something that is not expensive, very reliable, and effective for harvesting wild game.  Which would be the better invest, a single M1a or 3 Marlin 336s in 30-30?  Price is a factor here.  For certain people money may not be an issue.  But for most people, dropping $1,000 into a single rifle is just not feasible.

Marlin model 336 and Marlin model 60:

white tail deer and atv

Whitetail deer taken with a Marlin 336 in 30-30

Marlin model 336 – chambered in 30-30 is more then adequate for just about anything in the southern United States.  The recoil of the 30-30 is not excessive, the ammunition is popular so it can be found just about anywhere, the ammunition is not expensive – so its not going to cost a fortune to stockpile 30-30 ammo, the rifle itself is not expensive – so buying more then 1 is not going to break the bank.

Lets just say that I like the Marlin 336 so much, that all three of my sons have 1.  In all, my family has at least 4 Marlin 336 rifles.

When a new rifle cartridge is developed is does not take long for the public to form an opinion.  From there the cartridge will take off and get popular, or its going to be forgotten about and will fade away to history.  The popularity of the 30-30 is a testament to its reliability and stopping power for deer sized game.  If the 30-30 was not an effective round, it would not be as popular as it is today.

Marlin model 60 – probably one of the best 22 rifles on the market.  The model 60 is a tube fed, semi-auto rifle chambered in 22 long rifle – and its reliable and accurate.

The light weight of the Marlin model 60, combined with the 22 long rifle, makes this a great rifle for hunting squirrels and rabbits.  This rifle is capable of taking  anything smaller then a coyote, and without destroying a lot of the meat.

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Why do we miss the good ole days

maxpedition vulture-iiAs I’am sitting here thinking about old friends, people that I knew from years ago, and some of the games that I used to play on the PC – I wonder why people look back and think about the “good ole days?”  These times are pretty good, there is nothing wrong with right here and now.  So why does 10 years ago seem like it is better then today?  Maybe we forget about the worries back then?  Maybe the memory seems like things were less stressful back then?  I dont know, but there are a lot of things I miss about the late 1990s.

One thing that I miss was my job at Allied Fabrication in Rose City, Texas. Those people were some good people to work for. But when the work got low, they let me go. When I was working at Allied, I would come home, eat dinner, then make my bike ride, and do my workout. Then there were the camping trips with my buddies into the bayous around Orangefield and Bridge City, Texas. And then there was taking my family to the camp for the weekend.

Then there is the regret, like the time one of my sons ran over some brush that had been cut down and jammed a stick into the gear shift linkage. I got onto him a little hard about that. But he should not have been riding through where the timber company had cut the trees. There was a trail and he should have stayed on it.

Something else I regret, I feel that I did not spend enough time with my family. Sometimes we get consumed with what “we” want, instead of what the family wants.

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