Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: January 2011

Another weekend has passed

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East Texas Deer StandThese are the kinds of weekends I hate. “Hate” is a strong word and I don’t like to use it very often, but I think its a good term for weekends like this. So the question is, why did I “hate” this weekend? Because my kids had to go back to their moms house.  Their bedrooms are dark, the computers and TVs are off, waiting on my son and daughter to return.  When I look into their rooms, the silence is almost deafening – I miss and love them more then words can describe.

My son and his girlfriend are going to some kind of pageant in a couple of weeks. This is not your usual beauty pageant, as my son has to escort his girlfriend. So my son and his girlfriend had to go pick out a tux for the pageant on Saturday.

Saturday was also baby-sitting day. My step-daughter and her friends wanted to go ride their 4-wheelers, so we watched her kids for the evening. My daughter and I were also supposed to watch the remake of “Nightmare on Elm street” Saturday night, but we were baby sitting instead. My step-daughter showed up around 10:45pm or so to get her kids, and by that time it was too late for my daughter and I to watch our movies.

Sunday rolls around, its drizzling rain outside, but not too cold. I get up before the kids, get my breakfast of sausage, egg and cheese croissant and a banana. My daughter got up, and I helped fix her a breakfast of croissant and a sliced golden apple. A couple of hours after eating breakfast, checking emails, playing left 4 dead, and my daughter having time to check on all of her stuff, we finally got to sit down and watch the remake of Nightmare on Elm Street. As an encore, we watched RED staring Bruce Willis, Mary-Louise Parker, Morgan Freeman, John Malkovich, Helen Mirren and Karl Urban.

Between Nightmare on Elm Street and RED, I think RED was the better of the 2 movies.

While my daughter and I were watching Nightmare on Elm Street, my wife put some hot dogs on the stove for lunch. I fixed a couple of chili dogs with jalapeno peppers, cheese and mustard. My daughter fixed a couple of plain hot dogs with just mustard.

During the course of Nightmare on elm Street my son came in, got a couple of hot dogs, watched some of the movie, but did not seem too interested; so he went back into his room and played Black Ops.

Even though my kids and I did did not do a whole lot this weekend, we have some big plans in the coming weeks. A few weeks from now we have plans on going to the camp, aka “Bug Out Location” and do some stuff up there.

List of stuff to do a the bug out location in a few weeks:

Organize ammo stockpile – we have ammo spread out over 3 different rooms
Start on the gun range
Plant an oak tree
Prune the pear, apple and peach trees
Work on my brothers bar-b-q pit
Get some target practice with a couple of rifles

The socialist want your guns yet again

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It seems that the Socialist movement in Washington DC will stop at nothing to strip our rights away – starting with the most basic human right, the right to own a firearm.

Newsweek has reported that White House to Push Gun Control – which is nothing new.  It seems that every time the Democraps get into office, there is talk about gun control.

Don’t punish the law abiding gun owners, punish the criminals.

Found memory card at las vegas sands convention center

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lost memory card las vegasDid you lose a memory card at the at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas?

While I was at the Sands Convention Center in Las Vegas on January 20, 2010 for the SHOT show, I found a memory card laying on the ground.  On the memory card are some pictures of people having dinner, pictures of dogs and pictures of a few other things.

The memory card is a Kingston 256 SD card.

I’am including a picture off the card for people to know whether its theirs or not.

If you think this is your card –  send an email to – be sure to include a description of the pictures. If the description matches the content of the card, it will be mailed back to you.

Five easy survival food preps

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Stockpiling food for SHTFDon’t want to stockpile 1,000 pounds of dried rice and beans? Want something that taste a little better then MREs? Want something that you don’t have to worry about rotating out?

One of the main problems with stockpiling survival food preps, is that people sometimes stockpile what they do not normally eat. So the food stocks sit in a closet, expire, and have to be thrown out. In the long run its easier to stockpile what your family normally eats so rotation is handled in a natural manner.

What are the requirements for a survival food prep?

Nutrition content
Calorie content
At least 1 year shelf life
No special storage after opening / or, serving size so that the whole thing can be eaten after opening
No special cooking requirements – open and eat, or heat and eat
Something your family normally eats
Considerations for special diets

1. Honey – Stores for long time without refrigeration, can be used as a topical anti-biotic ointment, can be added to other foods, does not have to be cooked or re-hydrated, contains trace minerals.

Honey should not be given to children under 2 years of age.  People with certain allergies should not eat honey due to allergic reactions.

2.  Peanut butter – only stockpile what might be considered “organic” or “natural” peanut butter. Some types of peanut butter on the market contain partially hydrogenated oils, which has been linked to coronary heart disease. In 2006 the New England Journal of Medicine published a report linking trans fat consumption and coronary heart disease. So be sure to read the labels of your Peanut Butter – if it has partially hydrogenated oil listed as an ingredient, do not buy it.


New calls for gun control

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With the recent shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, calls for gun control once more rise from the dead. Economists Philip Cook and Jens Ludwig had something to say about gun control and high capacity magazines on CNN.

There is a question in the article I would like to address

Was it a mistake in 2004 for Congress to sunset the assault weapons ban

No, letting the assault weapons ban expire was not a mistake – congress bailing out the banks was a mistake, not abolishing the IRS was a mistake, establishing and income tax almost 100 years ago was a mistake, the public re-electing the same people into congress over and over is a mistake, calling for strict gun laws after a single event is a mistake, calling for strict gun laws at all is a mistake.  There are already enough gun laws on the books, we do not need anymore, just enforce the ones we have.

If we are also going to talk about gun control, then we also need to talk about banning cars, trucks, tobacco, earthquakes, and even water.

I’am pretty sure that thousands of lives could be saved every year by banning water and thus prevent someone from drowning. Before you get a glass of water, you should have to go through an FBI background check, get some kind of training, and wait 5 days after the glass of water permit has been filed to get your water.

Do you know how many children drown every year in swimming pools alone, not counting rivers, lakes, bathtubs, ponds, streams,,,,,,.

Then there are the cases where parents drown their children in the bathtub. To make sure nobody has access to a bathtub or water, both most be outlawed or at least restricted. This would also prevent accidental drowning in bathtubs.

Sonny Bono was killed during a skiing trip when he struck a tree. We either need to outlaw skiing, snow, or trees. If we outlawed skiing, how many injuries could be prevented and how many lives could be saved, and maybe Sonny Bono would still be with us.

If a child drowns in a swimming pool, its not even on the world news.

If an elected official hits a tree and dies, ok, it was an accident and its no big deal.

If an elected official gets shot, all of a sudden people panic and call for more gun control.

What this country needs is more common sense, and less spur of the moment panic decisions.

By calling for more gun control, the government is just going to isolate moderates, and insult law abiding gun owners.

A message to Senator Patrick Leahy

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Dear Senator Patrick Leahy, during a speech you made at the Newseum in Washington, your quoted as saying “The seething rhetoric has gone too far. The demonizing of opponents, of government, of public service has gone too far.”

Sir, with all due respect, what has gone to far is government corruption.

When the American people are financially enslaved to institutions like the Federal Reserve – something is wrong.

When the Federal Reserve can print money out of thin air, with nothing to back it up – something is wrong.

When tens of thousands of jobs are going to communist China – something is wrong.

When banks can lose billions of dollars, and the tax paying people have to bail them out – something is wrong

When government agencies like the IRS can imprison people – something is wrong.

When we can not even produce a microchip in the USA – something is wrong.

When our steel mills close and move overseas – something is wrong.

When laws are passed that force working people to buy insurance, while those do that no not work get it for free – something is wrong.

When millions of illegal immigrants can enter this country and get social benefits, while the working people can not – something is wrong.

This whole nation is screwed up, and its directly related to the “gifts” and perks that big business give our elected officials. Elected officials are not in office to get rich, their in office to serve the people. But it seems that some people can not understand that being a public servant is not the same thing as a free ticket to riches.

Honorable Senator Patrick Leahy, until free trade with communist china is stopped, and we return to being the world leader, you can kiss my ass.

On the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords

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At what point would you take up arms to defend the USA? Would it be an invasion by a foreign power? Overthrow of our government by another country,,,,,,,? To be perfectly honest, with all of the bank bail out stuff, massive foreign aid while we have hungry and homeless people on the streets of the USA, massive unemployment, free trade with communist china,,, I am surprised that we are not seeing more of these shootings.

We all have different tolerances on stuff. Whether its a leaking faucet, or a corrupt government. Sooner or later we all reach a point that we feel action must be taken. Maybe Jared Loughner reached a point that you have not?

The founding fathers ensured the second amendment protected our right to keep and bear arms; its there for a reason. But if you use that right, your going to have to pay the price. Elected officials should always keep in mind that the second amendment / right to keep and bear arms was intended as a last resort to replace a corrupt government.

If we brand people like Jared Loughner a terrorist, or a nutcase, should we re-write our history books and brand George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison,,,,, as traitors to the crown and nutcases as well?

Keep in mind, one mans traitor is another mans hero.

Do I agree with what Jared Loughner did – no.
Should the Jared be punished – yes.
Should the people and government of the USA overreact and talk about more gun laws – no.

I much prefer a ballot over a bullet, but that is just my opinion.

Jared voted with a bullet instead of a ballot, its been the American way since 1776.

Those late season bucks

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East Texas Whitetail DoesSeason drawing to an end? Have not taken a deer yet? If you play your cards right, there is no reason not to get a deer towards the end of deer season.

Here in Texas regular rifle season has passed and we are now in muzzleloader and youth season. Youth season is for anyone age 16 and under to be able to hunt deer. Adults have to use a muzzleloader, anyone 16 and under can use any legal means – bow, rifle, shotgun or muzzleloader.

Up until this year, muzzleloader season and youth season lasted for 1 week. In 2011 Texas Parks and Wildlife extended the season to 2 weeks.  Next year be sure to check the hunting regulations, because they seem to change every year.

One thing that is really nice about late season hunting, the bucks tend to flock together. The rut is over and the does have been bred. While humans might have a bar-b-que to socialize, bucks look to find food.  During the rut the bucks have expended a lot of energy and lot a lot of weight.  Now its time to eat and put some weight back on before the heart of winter arrives.

While the does were in estrus, the bucks were chasing them hot and heavy. This means that the doe did not have a lot of time to eat, because they were too busy either trying to get bred, or trying not to get bred.


Organizing Your Bug Out Location

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cooking post shtfThe other day my wife and I were up at the camp / bug out location checking on things. We go up there, check the doors, check the windows, look for any physical damage that might have resulted from a break in. We also take inventory – bottled water, soft drinks, plates, plastic spoons and forks, canned goods, MREs, ammo,,,, stuff like that.

While I was checking the front bed room and closet, I noticed that the closet has a lot of wasted room. In the right hand corner of the closet sites 2 or 3 ammo cans loaded with 223, 7.62×39, 9mm, 357 magnum, and 45 acp. Besides the ammo cans, there is a lot of wasted space that could be used for shelving.

Awhile back I posted a thread in the forum about organizing my MRE stockpile.  But that thread only talked about organizing your MREs, but what about everything else?

Currently a lot of the hunting ammunition is in a closet with thin shelves. I’am concerned that if too much more ammo is stacked up, that the shelves will collapse.

The 223, 7.62×39, and a lot of pistol ammo is in a different closet on the floor.

The hunting ammunition is in one room, everything else is in a different room.

Why isn’t all of the ammo in the same room where its easy to see, organize and keep inventory? The plan is to get some of those plastic shelves like what was used to stack the MREs on, and put it in the closet. The heavy plastic shelves will be stronger then the plywood in the closet, and with different shelves we can stack the heavy stuff on bottom – like the shotgun shells and bulk 223 and 7.62×39 – and the lighter stuff on top – like the 30-30, 270, 308, 280 and 30-06.


Weird zombie dream last night

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I dont know if its from playing too much Left 4 Dead 2 before I went to sleep, but I had one of my usual “weird” zombie dreams last night.

There was no story plot, just a bunch of people that I did not know and myself were held up in a nice neighborhood.  By “nice” I mean that the houses were nice.  They all had fenced in backyards that had wooden privacy fences.  The house we were in, was in a culdesac.  A group of people and myself went house to house securing the area.  I had my DS Arms SA58 FAL instead of my AR15.

At one point we (the group and I) are out on the street when a guy and a couple of his buddies drive by with a boat in tow.  They stop and we talk for a few minutes.  It seems that they are heading out to the river to live there.  Food has run out in the city, so it was time to find the food.  Since the river can be a good supply of fish, that is where they were going.  When asked about the zombies, the guys going to the river said they were just going to have to deal with it.

It seems that the zombies were attracted to lights at night and sounds.  So we had to take towels and secure them around the windows to make sure that no light got out at night.

Like a lot of my dreams, there was no ending and I did not die somewhere in the dream.

Dreams usually have some kind of meaning.  When I have a lot of worries in my life, those worries usually come out in my dreams.

The other day I had a dream that I was almost crushed to death when an 18-wheeler hit my truck.  The “crushing” is symbolic of the stress and worries that I have in my life.  I feel that I have taken on too much in live and I’am being crushed by that load.

When I was married to my ex-wife, I used to have nightmares all the time that dealt with death.  The death in my dreams was symbolic that the relationship between my wife and I was dying.

So what are the zombie dreams symbolic of?

Post your comments in this forum thread about having zombie dreams.

Video games and being able to think for yourself

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The other day I posted a comment to a thread on the steam forums asking “what was the best gaming mouse.” Oh man, you should have seen the backlash when I commented that some mice have poor designs. People started calling my fingers too short,,,,,,. There have been other backlashes to my comments on games like doom 3 and quake 4 – specifically about their level design.

When half-life was released, I see that as the death to “find the key” game design like doom and quake. The straight through design was a lot easier to play then having to wonder around looking for some stupid pda’s or keys to open the next level. But I post that kind of stuff, I get a lot of rude comments.

Games should be like cars or trucks – I can tell you “why” I do not like ford or chevy and “why” I prefer toyota.

I like the way toyota puts the controls on the steering column.
I like the reliability of toyota products
I like the drivers arm rest of my T-100
I like the left foot rest on the floorboard.

But when people apply that same logic to games – I can tell you “exactly why” I do not like doom 3 and quake 4, and “exactly why” I like half-life and left 4 dead, people seem to backlash against my opinions.

I do not like the level design of Doom 3 and Quake 4
I do not like having to backtrack to find a key or pda in any game
I do not like having to find a key or pda to open a door like in Doom 3
I do not like weak weapons like in Doom 3
No duct tape in a military base to attach a light to a weapon?  Like in Doom 3

Why is it not ok to state your own personal opinion about a product?

I think a lot of it goes back to herd mentality – follow the herd, or else. This puts people who can think for themselves between a rock and a hard place. Post your honest opinion and deal with the backlash. Or follow the herd and leave the statuesque where it is.

Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy

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maxpedition falcon-ii pygmy backpackMom and I were talking the other day, when she said that her and dad needed a small backpack to take on their rock hunting trips.  The first pack to come to mind was a Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy.

During the spring and early summer time mom and dad will do some rock / arrow head hunting here in East Texas.  They will load up the 4-wheeler, get some bottled water, snacks, rock hammer, field manual and head out.

The requirements for the backpack include:

Not too big
Something large enough to carry water, snacks and maybe a rain poncho
Large enough to hold a couple of rock hammers and a field guide manual
Easy to carry
Easy to use

A couple of things that stands out – the Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy has 2 built in pouches that will hold a 32 ounce water bottle in each pouch. Instead of having to pack several 12 or 16 ounce water bottles that are going to be thrown away, why not get a couple of reusable 32 ounce water bottles? 1 bottle for mom and 1 bottle for dad. Having the water bottles on the outside of pack saves room on the inside.


The fridge went out

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The fridge my wife and I use to keep our food cold stopped working last night.  Yesterday my wife noticed that the freezer did not seem as cold as usual, and was taking a long time to freeze the ice in the ice maker.  And last night, the food in the freezer side started thawing out.

The fridge / freezer combo unit it an upright – side by side unit with ice and water in the door.  A lot of people dont care about the ice or water in the door, but I like it due to sanitary reasons.  When we have a get-together, without the ice dispenser in the door, everyone would be digging their hands in the ice bucket of the freezer.  How do I know they washed their hands after going poopy?  Plus, we have small kids in the family and how do I know that the mom and dad washed their hands good after changing a diaper?  So to help prevent the spread of disease through common contact with the ice cubes, I like the ice dispenser in the door.

One problem we are having is finding a unit that will hit in the hole.  One guy suggested that we take the cabinets down on 1 side – but I do not see that as s feasible solution.

The nearest upright fridge / freezer side-by-side that will work is in Beaumont, Texas – which is about a hours drive from Jasper.  So this evening my wife and I will probably have to go to Beaumont, get a new unit and drive it back.

Building a debris shelter

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Our buddy Sticks65 from Planet Bushcraft has posted another excellent video.  This time he builds a shelter out of stuff that he finds in the wilderness.

All the kit I took in my 25lt rucksack is what I would normally take on a day hike.

The kit I had with me was.

*Leuku knife.

*Folding saw.

*Ferro rod.

*Two 1lt bottles of water.

*Swiss ranger stove which has a bottle & metal cup.

*Plastic survival bivvy bag.

*lunch box which contained sandwiches,biscuits and a chocolate bar.

*A cup a soup & instant pasta.

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