Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Month: April 2011

Open letter to Valve software

I had originally posted this the Steam forums, but I wanted to post it here as well. There was a question about Valve being the greatest developer in the world. Here is my answer: At this time – maybe so. In the 1990s – No. Before November 1998, the best software developer was ID software. For those of you that do not know, Half-Life was released in November 1998. My top 4 FPS games of all time are: Ultimate Doom Final Doom (this is really 2 games – The Plutonia Experiment and TNT: Evilution) Half-Life Left 4 Dead Even though the Half-Life series has been great, it’s lacked the dark overbearing atmosphere that Doom had. The one time that Valve came close to capturing the Continue Reading….

Thunderstorms last night

Last night around midnight we had some pretty bad thunderstorms roll through the area. These were the types of storms that when the rolling thunder hits, your house shakes. Just as luck would have it, when the internet went off, I was 11 minutes from being finished uploading a youtube video. But oh well, I will upload the video again tonight.

Around midnight my step-daughter calls my wife worried about the weather. I don’t know which one kept me up more, the thunder and lightening, or my wife and step-daughter talking on the phone. At least the cell phone towers were working during the bad weather.

After the storms rolled through the Beaumont, Port Arthur and Houston areas, reports started coming in of chemical refineries losing power. Emergency calls started being made to people who live close by telling them to stay in their homes. Maybe a dozen or more people showed up at the local emergency rooms with breathing problems.

The problems with the refineries makes me wonder if the units can be shutdown quickly in an emergency. Take a look at what happened with the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan. Could the same thing happen here in the USA, and not just with a nuclear power plant? With all of the chemical and oil refineries along the gulf coast, are they a disaster waiting to happen?

How about a random video just for the fun of it. This video is about a personal survival kit. I had an empty fist aid kit, so why not make a PSK (personal survival kit) out of it. A few months after the video was made, the box was returned to a first aid kit for my backpack.

Continue Reading….

Time just slips by

Time never ceases to amaze me, and how fast it can slip by. Unlike a car that goes flying down the road that gets the attention of those that see it, time is rarely noticed. Its something that we look back on an say “it seems like only yesterday that such and such happened.”

For some reason, this morning I was thinking of going hunting with my kids. Since its April, deer season is closed. Its not that I wanted to take my kids hunting “right now”, but rather the memories we built while hunting. Like the time that my oldest son shot at a deer, my daughter and I heard the shot on the stand that we were on. It was a cool night, my daughter was wearing a jacket with a hood. When the hood was pulled over her head, the curls of her hair rolled out past the edges of the hood.

Like the time my second son got a bobcat while sitting in the stand with his uncle, my brother.

Like the time my second son and I got a doe. He found the blood trail and did most of the work finding the deer.

Like last year when my youngest son got his 8 point, that was a good night.

But its amazing how fast time slips through our fingers, like sand. Before you know it, the sand is gone. How precious is life that we should waste a second of it, lest we look back in regret. I have lots of regrets in life, and the main one is wasting time. Time that will never be replaced, or returned. Time is not like a tool, that when borrowed can be returned, or rebought.

There was so much that I wanted to do last weekend, and the time just slipped by.

How about a video from the 2010 – 2011 hunting season.

And how about another video from May 2008 with my kids and I went on a camping trip.

Continue Reading….

Easter Weekend Plans

Good Friday is here, finally. This means that we get a three day weekend – well, most of us anyway. My wife and I are both off for Good Friday, by my step-daughter has to work.

Last weekend my 2 youngest kids and I were talking them coming back to my house for Easter, but it looks like that is not going to happen. My daughter has plans, and my son wants to go visit his brother, my other son.

So what is on the schedule for Good Friday? Not much of anything.

My package of mylar bags and oxygen absorbers are supposed to be here today. The UPS tracking page says the package is out for delivery. Hopefully I will be able to start on some homemade superpails this evening.

My wife is going to wal-mart to pick up some stuff. I asked her to pick up a motor flusher for my boat. The motor has not been cranked in a few weeks and it needs to be ran. Some people might use a trash can, but I do not want to deal with the can, so a set of flushers it is.

Continue Reading….

Well rounded survival plans

survivalistI think there is a tendency to focus more on preps, and less on being self-sufficient. Who “really” wants to check on the rabbits, goats, chickens and pigs after working 8 – 10 hours? In todays urban sprawl, finding land to have a small farm is rather difficult as well. For a survivalist to be self-sufficient, their not only going to need fruits and vegetables, their also going to need meats, protein, eggs and fat. The problem is, for most people living in the city, having farm animals is not an option. So its a win-lose situation – people move to the city to get a job, but have to leave their farm life behind.

Here in Texas, its estimated that the average people has been removed from farm life for at least 2 – 3 generations. If some kind of long term SHTF situation happens, people will have a lot of learning to do. Those already living on a farm might adjust well, but those used to urban life and instant satisfaction might be a little disappointed.

In the rural areas where I live, its not uncommon to see rows of pecan trees from the first settlers. But now, we are more worried about planting pine trees to sell for timber, then planting fruit trees.

Its not enough to just buy preps, without developing a well rounded long term survival plan. Stockpiling rice, beans, pasta, powered milk and pancake mix in mylar bags is not a long term survival plan, its a temporary survival plan. Buying superpails, making homemade superpails, stockpiling MREs, storing food in mylar bags just prolongs the inevitable, and that is running out of food.

Continue Reading….

Another weekend has passed away

jasper texasHave you ever had a weekend that you never wanted to end? Well, that is the weekend that I had this weekend. Things kicked off Friday with getting ready for Relay for Life here in Jasper County. TJ went to Beaumont to pick up my kids from my ex-wife for the weekend, so that saved me a LOT of time. After lunch I washed my truck, hooked up the pit, loaded up some stuff, left home about 5pm, drove to the Jasper County court house square, and setup for the relay.

The thing that I spent a lot of time thinking about Friday was washing my truck. Because it was more then just washing off dirt, it was washing off memories. The majority of the dirt on my truck was from driving to the lease during hunting season. So the dirt had built up like memories, good memories. Like when my son got his deer for the 2010 – 2011 deer season. For the deer hunting story, visit this article – our first deer of the 2010- 2011 season. As I was washing the layers of dirt off, I was also thinking about the memories built around the truck over the past few months.

Around 4pm my wife and my step-daughter show up and start loading stuff into the truck. We loaded up the canopy, ice chest, tables,,,,, and other stuff. they left a little before 5pm to go get ice. I left for the court house around 5.

Got to the court house square, backed the pit into place, and started setting everything up. The event started at 7pm, and within minutes we had a line at our table. We were selling hotlinks – on a bun, stick, or flatbread.

In all, we raised a little over $600, which was donated that night.

I dont think there were as many people at this years relay as last year. The weather was great, so I dont know what the issue was. Continue Reading….

Fitness update Arpil 13 2011

survivalistDid not do my workout last night (April 12, 2011), was in a 3 hour meeting from 6pm until 9pm. Not only that, but I was sore from the previous workout.

This 30 minute workout seems to make me feel better then the 60 – 90 minute workout. I am spending less time on the treadmill, but the time is more intense, and more time on the weights.

Tonights totals:
Total workout time – about 31 minutes. I was shooting for 30 minutes, but oh well.
1.401 miles on the treadmill
2,901 steps
23:18 minutes on the treadmill
110 curls with 50 pounds
220 military presses with 8 pound weight

I am a little disappointed that I did not hit my 1.5 miles + 100 curls within 30 minutes. But what can I say? I will try harder next time. Continue Reading….

Fitness update April 11 2011

survivalistTonight was my first workout in 3 minute intervals in a long time. For the past couple of months I had been doing 5 minutes on the treadmill, something, something, back on the treadmill for 5 minutes, something, something, back on the treadmill for 5 minutes,,,,.

Tonight I did this routine – 8 curls with 50 pounds, 3 minutes on the treadmill at 3.5 degree incline at 3.5 mph, 8 curls with 50 pounds, 20 military presses with 8 pound weight, 3 minutes on the threadmill 3.5 degree incline for 3 minutes, 8 curls with 50 pounds, 20 military presses.

The problem is, to reach my 1.5 miles in 30 minutes the treadmill had to be sped up to 4.0 – 4.6 mph a few times.

2 times in a row the treadmill was at 4.0 mph, but my sides started to hurt a little bit, so during the next treadmill it was slowed down to 3.5 and caught my breath.

Even though the target as 1.5 mile sin 30 minutes, I had to fudge it just a little bit and went around 33 minutes for my 1.5 mile goal.

Continue Reading….


survivalistFacebook has this feature where the site will suggest people that you may know, and you will have the option to add the suggested people to your friends list.

While I was scrolling through the list of suggested friends, I came across a name I wish to have never seen or heard spoken again for the rest of my natural life. While we were in school (junior high and high school) the guy and some other people like him were complete assholes. One person in particular taller then most of the other kids, so I guess he thought his height gave him permission to be mean to the other kids. His height just meant that he was a tall asshole instead of an average height or short asshole.

I don’t know if the guy was abused, maybe raped as a child, saw his dad push his mom around, saw his mom push his dad around,,,,,,, who knows. But one thing was for sure, he seemed to have a lot of built up anger. That anger manifested itself in the form of harassment towards other kids.

One of the reasons why I was picked on at school was because of the music I listed to, which happened to be metal. While most of my high school class was listening to 80 pop rock garbage and loving it, I was listening to metal and loving it. To the other kids, since I listened to metal, then I “must” be dong drugs, because you can not listen to metal without doing drugs – or at least that was their mindset anyway.

When other kids do not understand someone, they usually pick on the strange kid. And that is what happened to me. I listened to metal, which meant I was “magically” a drug head (which I was not), so the other kids made it a point to torment me about my alleged drug use and my taste of heavy metal. Continue Reading….

Culture of entitlement

survivalistAfter Hurricane Katrina made landfall in 2005, I helped out at a refugee center in East Texas for people from New Orleans. We were preforming services for evacuees, such as trying to find them temporary housing, if they needed to see a doctor,,, general stuff like that.

One lady really stands out in my memory. She steps off the transport bus, walks into the reception facility, is handed an application to fill out – ask for her name, address, race,,,, other information so family members can find her – she hands the application back to the person behind the desk (she did not even look at the papers) and ask where she can sign up for welfare and public housing. The lady was not interested in filling out any “extra” paperwork, she just wanted her benefits.

What really got to me was the I am entitled to receive free stuff attitude the lady had. She did not fill out the application until it was handed to her a second time. The lady behind the desk said that she would have to go to the welfare office, and the center did not so that kind of stuff. We were there just to find her temporary housing, and any immediate needs, like if she needs heart medicine and did not have any. Continue Reading….

Throwing away computer parts

survivalistIts time to do some spring cleaning. As I was going through some of the stuff in my sons room, I found the boxes from the last time my sons computer and my computer was upgraded. It was one of those good points in points in time that just you wish you could back to and visit.

In December 2009 my mom asked me what I want for Christmas. I told her what I “really” was to upgrade my computer and my sons computer. My mom asked me how much I needed, I told her around $400. This is what I got for $400.

I must have read reviews for a whole week trying to figure out what the best CPU and motherboard for a given price range was. For my son, I decided to go with a dual core MD 245 that runs at 2.9ghz. For myself, I decided to go with a quad core 620 that runs at 2.6ghz. I do video blogging on youtube and wanted the extra horsepower of a quad core cpu.

The parts were ordered December 12, 2009 – according to my Tigerdirect account.

2 – 2 gig sticks of Corsair XMS2 PC6400 DDR2 800MHz, total price $99.98
ASUS M2N68-AM SE2 GeForce 7025 Socket – $56.70
AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9Ghz AM3 CPU – $68.29
ASUS M4A785-M AMD 785G Socket AM2+ – $80
AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6Ghz AM3 CPU – $99.99 Continue Reading….

Springfield Armory Employee Recognized with National Honor

Press Release from Springfield Armory Geneseo, Il— At 9:00am April 8th, 2011, Robert Schwieder, a volunteer for the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR), presented Larry Collinson, Springfield Armory Production/ QA Manager, with a certificate of appreciation for his role as a “Patriotic Employer.” (ESGR) is a Department of Defense agency that seeks to develop and promote a culture in which all American employers support and value the military service of their employees with ESGR as the principal advocate within DoD. It does so by advocating relevant initiatives, recognizing outstanding support, increasing awareness of applicable laws, and resolving conflict between employers and service members. Mr. Collinson was nominated for the award by Spc. Mike Anthony on January 14th, 2011. Spc. Anthony wrote, “I Continue Reading….

Peanut butter sandwiches

survivalistPersonally, I think peanut butter sandwiches can say a lot about someone. More exact, the way someone fixes their peanut butter sandwich, what ingredients that someone puts on their peanut butter sandwich, what they drink with it, whether or not they read the labels,,,, it all adds up to say a lot about someone.

Just for the fun of it, lets talk about peanut butter sandwiches.

How do you make yours?

Peanut butter on both pieces of bread?
Whole wheat bread?
Jelly, jam, honey, or something else?
Milk with that sandwich?
Natural peanut butter, or with partially hydrogenated oils?
Crunchy or creamy?
1, 2 or 3 pieces of bread?
Banana or extra stuff?
Fold over?
Do you buy peanut butter mixed with the jelly?
Spread with butter knife or spoon?

Personally, this is the way I see some of this:
People that add extra stuff like bananas may like spice in their life.
Buy peanut butter premixed with jelly, might be a little on the lazy side, or like things easy.
Straight peanut butter and jelly may like tradition.
Read the labels may be health conscious

I like mine with creamy natural peanut butter (no partially hydrogenated oils), on both pieces of whole wheat bread, honey instead of jelly, and a tall glass of milk.

Post your comments in this forum thread about peanut butter sandwiches. Continue Reading….

3 by 30 survivalist workout

survivalistI think I am going to change my workout regiment up a little bit. Instead of trying to do 1 hour long workouts, I think its time for a change. Lets call it the 3 by 3000 workout.

Do as many 3 sets of anything in 30:00 minutes as you can. The combination does not matter, just change it up and work 3 major or minor muscle groups per session.


Day 1 – 1.5 miles on the treadmill, 75 pushups and 100 overhead lifts with 25 pound weight in 30 minutes.
Day 2 – 1.5 miles on the treadmill, 75 pushups and 150 crunches with 8 pound ball in 30 minutes.
Day 3 – don’t know yet, that is going to be tomorrow.

Right off the bat I see that the number of pushups need to be increased for a 30 minute time period. Continue Reading….

Crawfish boil for my wifes birthday party

survivalistMy wifes birthday is next week, and my step daughters birthday was a week ago, so we held a happy birthday get-together for both of them this weekend.

The plans started Tuesday of last week when my wife and I reserved 70 pounds of crawfish at the local meat market.

Thursday my wife and I went to the local grocery store to pick up some supplies for the weekend, and for a mylar bag project I am working on. We bought of crawfish boil spice, AAA energizer lithium batteries, powered pancake mix, sausage links, potato salad (red skin), boudain,,,, and a few other supplies

Friday night we had a friend of the family and her 2 kids spend the night with us. Her husband is serving in Afghanistan. It was nice to visit with her and just talk about life, kids, and just life in general. Our friend was passing through, and does not get to eat crawfish very often. So my wife and I invited her to spend the night and to join the celebrations Saturday.

Bright and early saturday morning my wife and I went to meat market, got the crawfish, got some ice, another propane cylinder, went back home and started setting everything up.

Continue Reading….

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