Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Month: April 2011

Open letter to Valve software

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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)
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 title, was with the original Left 4 Dead. If Doom II Hell on Earth was remade, it hope it would be something very close to L4D.

Valve is a great company, and they come up with some great ideas. But over the past few years I think they have taken a turn towards “fun” games instead of “serious” games. Compare tf2 to L4D. Both games attract a totally different type of player. Valve seems to cater more towards the “fun” player, and less towards the “serious” player.

Why is No Mercy the most played map in L4D2? Because l4d2 players yearn for the return of a dark, serious game with an overbearing atmosphere – like what L4D has.

Now lets go back to the 1990s. Why was Doom so great? Because it created a great atmosphere and attracted a certain type of player. Valve has done a poor job of creating dark games – with the exception of L4D.

When L4D was released, it looked like Valve was going to develop a series of dark games, which would help them become a well rounded company. But instead, they made L4D2, and tried to make it less dark then L4D.

For Valve to take the title of “worlds best developer”, I think they need to offer a wider range of games. The games need to target players looking for “fun” games like tf2, and players that want a serious game with a dark atmosphere like what Left 4 Dead was.

Thunderstorms last night

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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.

The power never went off at my house, but power went off down town. As my wife and I were driving to work, a red light on HWY 190 that runs through Jasper was flashing red. When I got to work this morning 1 of the servers did not start back up when the power came back on. There was some standing rain on the streets, but no flooding. The rain gauge said we got 2 inches of rain last night.

Hopefully the 2 inches of rain helped the garden.

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.

Time just slips by

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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.

Easter Weekend Plans

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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.

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

My wife rented “The King’s Speech” from Red Box, I might just watch it this evening.

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.

For those of you that missed my forum post about the topic, back in February of 2010 my dad gave me his hand-me-down boat.  Dad bought himself a new boat, and I got his old one.  I thought it worked out pretty good.

Related forum thread – Took my boat out for the first time

A few months ago the light on the back of the boat broke. I bought a replacement, but have yet to put it on. Maybe this weekend I will get out there, get the new light installed, and crank the motor up for a little while.

The switch that turns the light on and off also needs to be replaced.  I will try to get that done at the same time as the light.

One of the common problems with boat motors, is when people let them sit for months, fuel dries up in the carb, and gunk builds up. A guy I know told me to unplug the fuel line when I am putting the boat on the trailer. This will make the motor suck the fuel out of the carb, leaving little to no fuel to dry up. So what I have been doing, get the boat on the trailer, unplug the fuel line, and let the motor run while the winch strap is being connected. When the truck pulls the boat and trailer out of the water, I will turn off the motor.

In short, the boat needs:
Rear light replaced
Motor cranked for a few minutes
Light switch replaced
Battery ground wires checked
Battery post cleaned and checked for corrosion
Fire extinguisher secured – right now its just laying in the bottom of the boat.

Saturday we are planning to have another crawfish boil, and have some friends over. My wife reserved 2 bags last week. This should give us about 70 pounds of crawfish, plus corn, plus potatoes and other food.

2 weeks ago we had another crawfish boil, here is the video from that event.

Related forum thread about our last crawfish boil – What did you do last weekend.

While the crawfish boil is going on, we are going to have the typical Easter egg hunt with the kids.  I never did understand “why” we do eggs for Easter, but oh well, that is just the way things go.

Sunday, sleep late

Post your comments in this forum thread about your Plans for Easter.

Well rounded survival plans

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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.

Even though the words “self-sufficient” sound nice, its impossible to be totally self-sufficient. Even people in ancient times had trade routes, with some of the routes spanning thousands of miles. Even though someone might have everything they need right now, sooner or later its going to run out.

True long term survival plans not only include being as self-sufficient as possible, but your neighbor being self-sufficient, and the two of you trading supplies. Where one person grows squash, and other person grows okra, another might grow spinach,,,,, and everyone trade for the items that they need.

As wonderful as “bugging out to the wilderness” sounds, its going to be a short lived dream. To test the bug out theory, just got camping for 3 or 4 days, try to find your food, find safe drinking water, preserve your food,,,,,,, your probably going to catch Shigella or E.Coli and die. Either that or your family is going to starve.

Last December a buddy of mine and I went camping for 3 days on the Angelina River, which is close to my house. We were there for 3 days, and I did not see a single hog or deer. There were plenty of tree rats and catfish, but your not going to live off of that very long.

Video from that 3 day camping trip:

Forum thread about the 3 day camping trip. Post comments about the video in that thread please.

The goal of a serious survivalist should be to develop well rounded plans:

Stockpiling survival gear is not a well rounded plan.
Buying #10 cans is not a well rounded survival plan
Buying superpails is not a well rounded plan
Stockpiling ammo is not a well rounded plan
Having a bug out bag is not a well rounded plan
Having a generator is not a well rounded plan
Having a garden is not a well rounded plan
Stockpiling seeds is not a well rounded plan
Having a bug out location is not a well rounded plan.
Having barter items is not a well rounded plan.
Having cache tubes is not a well rounded plan.
Knowing your evacuation route is not a well rounded plan.

Its when the pieces come together that a plan becomes well rounded. A well rounded plan is like a circle, with each part of your survival preps being a small part of the circle. The larger your circle, the more rounded your circle is, the better.

Lets talk about the sharp edges of a survival plan. This is when you have plenty of canned goods for 3 or 4 people, SHTF, and you have 10 friends and family members on your door step. Then whatcha gonna do? Another sharp edge might be when you have canned goods, and tons of garden seed, but nowhere to plant a garden. Plenty of food, but no source of safe drinking water. Plenty of dried beans and rice, but no stove to cook it and no water to boil it.

Post your comments in this forum thread about stockpiling survival gear.

Another weekend has passed away

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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 Friday night, which was donated that night.

There did not seem to be as many people at this years relay as last year. The weather was great, so I dont know what the issue was.

Even though we were supposed to stay all night for the relay, I had made prior commitments for Saturday.   Somewhere around 2:15am we loaded up our stuff and headed home.  We had a good time at the relay, but I had promised to help a buddy Saturday.

Saturday morning rolled around, my buddy called and did not need my help after all.

Sunday evening we went to a birthday party at a bowling alley in Beaumont.  My wife and I rented a lane for my kids and a friend of theirs, and got them a pizza for lunch.  Everyone seemed to have a good time, at least I hope they had a good time.

We dropped the kids off with my ex-wife around 3:30.  From there my wife and I went to Kroger in Beaumont to look for long term food storage items.

Unfortunately we did not find what we were looking for (powdered eggs), so we went to HEB in Beaumont.  I could not find powered eggs their either, but we did find pinto beans in 20 pound bags for making up some 5 gallon bucket superpails. The 5 gallon mylar bags and oxygen absorbers were ordered last week and will hopefully be in Monday or Tuesday. When the mylar bags come in next week my wife and I are going to make up 5 – 5 gallon buckets; 1 – rice, 1 – pinto beans, 1 – bisquick, and that is all my wife and I have talked about. The last 2 buckets I am not real sure about yet.

I am pretty happy with my canned food stockpile, so now its time to move forward to stockpiling food in mylar bags.  The goal is to have a stockpile at my home, and at the camp.  Since breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that is where I am starting with my mylar bag project.  We need powered milk, powered eggs, powered milk, instant pancake mix,,,,, and a few other odds and ends.

I will post more about the mylar bag project later.

Fitness update Arpil 13 2011

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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.

The main reason why I did not hit the 1.5 mile goal in 30 minutes, was due to my sides hurting. After a couple of 3 minute routines at 4 mph my sides started to hurt, its either slow it down just a little bit, or get ready for some pain.

Workout went like this:
10 curls with 50 pounds
20 military presses with 8 pound ball
3 minutes on treadmill at 3 mph
10 curls
20 military presses
3 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 mph
10 curls
20 military presses
3 minutes at 4.0 mph
10 curls
20 military presses
3 minutes at 4mph – this is when my sides started to hurt.
10 curls
20 military presses
3 minutes on treadmill at 3.5 mph
Next to the last treadmill session was at 4.0 mph
Last treadmill session was at 3.5 mph

If the pain would not have started, and I was able to keep up the 4.0mph sessions then the 1.5 miles in 30 minutes goal would have been met.

Tomorrow I might do pushups, don’t know yet, not there yet.

My wife just got home from Curves, gonna go see how she is doing.

Fitness update April 11 2011

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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 on 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.

Tonights totals:

88 curls with 50 pounds
220 military presses with 8 pound weight
3019 steps
1.504 miles
23:57 minutes on the treadmill
Total workout time about 33 minutes

That means I did 88 curls and 220 military presses in 10 minutes – with a break of a few seconds between sessions.

Next session I think I will shoot for 1.5 miles, 100 curls and 300 military presses within the 30 minute time period.

After 30 minutes, I feel like I had a good workout. Lets stay at this pace for the next month or so, then kick it up to 45 minutes and 2 miles – but that is a month from now, lets take one day at a time.


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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.

Part of my teenage years went something like this –  “there is that strange kid that listens to metal, lets torment him until he conforms to what we think he should listen to.”  Well, it did not work.  I still listened to my metal.

Lets fast forward from the early – mid 1980s to current day.  Now that those kids from the 1980s have grown up and had kids of their own.  I just have to wonder, do the kids from the 80s teach their kids tolerance 0r do they teach their kids in-tolerance?  Do they kids from the 1980s teach their kids to get along with others, or do they teach their kids to bully other people?  Are the parents (kids from the 80s) teaching their kids to be 2nd or 3rd generation bullies?

Then were was this brown shirt my mom bought me.  The only problem was the ends of the sleeves had a trim that was slightly pink in color.  Back in the 80s, men nor boys wore pink.  I made the mistake of wearing the shirt to school one day.  Because I wore a shirt that had a shade of pink on it, then I was gay.  Because only women and gays wear pink.

So now, not only was I a metal listening drug user, but I was also gay.  All of those opinions were based on false preconceptions – expect for the metal, I did in fact listen to heavy metal, but I did not use drugs, nor was I gay.

I thought about adding those assholes to my facebook friends list – just to post on their wall that they were an asshole, and that I hope their kids turned out better then they did.  But who knows, maybe their kids turned out worse.

But to add those assholes to my friends list, just to post some minor insult would mean that I stooped to their level.  If anything, the torment that I received has taught me to be more tolerant of others.  If you want to dress a certain way, then please do so; if you want to listen to certain music, then please do so; if you want to vote a certain way; then do not blame me when a puppet gets elected.

The one thing that I wished for, was that those bullies never had kids.  That way their defective genes could not get passed down.

If you graduated from Bridge City class of 1986, then you may have an idea of “who” this article is talking about. Or it may not even be about 1 person, but a group of people. Assholes tend to run in packs.

Here we are in 2011, I am 42 years old, I am still listening to metal and loving it.

Anyway, my name is Kevin Felts and there is a link to my facebook page.  If we went to school together, and you try to add me as a friend on facebook and I turn down your request, its 1 of 2 things – either I do not remember you, or you were an asshole.


Culture of entitlement

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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.

This culture of entitlement is nothing more then a plague on tax payers. Its people who refuse to work, but expect a high standard of living paid for by someone else. Its as if we have a sub-culture of people who think they are entitled to part of my pay check.

Not everyone who receives welfare are part of the Culture of entitlement. There are lots of hard working people who get down on their luck and just need a little help getting up. But on the other hand, there are people out there that refuse to go to school, refuse to look for a good paying job, because if they did, they would lose their government benefits.

My personal opinion, the government needs to do some serious welfare reform. And its 20, 30, 40 years overdue.

If someone has enough time to go to a grocery store and buy food, they have enough time to attend a college class.

If someone is not willing to improve their standard of living, they need to be kicked off the system.

What really pisses me off, is that the states are cutting funds to schools, but not making people who can work get a job. In other words, states cut the throats of schools, and preserve the culture of entitlement.

Throwing away computer parts

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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

We reused our video cards, hard drives, cd roms, cases,,,, and everything else we could reuse.

Today, I came across the boxes the CPUs came in, and the boxes the motherboards came it. Having to throw the boxes away from 1 step away from heartbreaking. Because I know those days will never come back, December 2009 will never come back, those days are lost in time and exist only in my memories, and pictures.

If I remember right, Christmas 2009 was the year Steam had some great sales between Christmas and New Years. I grabbed the ID package for my son and I, and a package for my daughter.

The end of 2009 closed out a good year, but little did I know that 2010 was going to be better.

The old computers parts are going to the local Goodwill, and the empty boxes are going in the trash. But regardless of where the parts go, life goes marching on.

Springfield Armory Employee Recognized with National Honor

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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.”

Springfield Armory

(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 feel very lucky to have a supervisor like Larry Collinson backing me up 100% with my military duties. He has never penalized me, even when some orders had come with such short notice. Upon my return from an extended annual training exercise, he made me feel as if I had never left.”

While receiving the award, Mr. Collinson said, “I don’t feel like I did anything special; people like Anthony are the ones that deserve recognition. He’s out there protecting our freedoms, and we should do whatever we can to help people like him return to their daily lives as easily as possible.”

Mr. Schwieder also presented Cindy Griffin, Head of Operations for Springfield Armory, with a certificate recognizing Springfield Armory’s commitment to the protection of the employment of the Guard, and the Reserve.


Peanut butter sandwiches

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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.

My wife and I only buy the creamy natural peanut butter with no partially hydrogenated oils; the only ingredients are peanuts and salt.

I like to put or blueberry jelly or honey on my sandwiches. Blueberries are supposed to be good for you, and I like the trace minerals in honey.

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

3 by 30 survivalist workout

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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.

The workout is going like this, lets take day 1 for example – treadmill is 10 minutes at 3.0 mph for a warm up, 15 pushups, 20 overhead lifts, 5 minutes on the treadmill for 5 minutes at 3.5 mph, 15 pushups, 20 overhead lifts, 5 minutes on the treadmill at 3.5 mph,,,, repeat until you hit 30 minutes.

Instead of 5 minutes on the treadmill, I might shoot for 3 minute intervals.

Even though I am working out 3 and sometimes 4 days a week, I am seeing almost no results in muscle tone. My endurance is improving, but I also need to tone up. Instead of working out for an hour at a time at a good steady pace, lets change it up and push for an intense workout for 30 minutes.

I might even rotate out my workouts:
week 1 – 30 minute intense workout
week 2 – 1 hour moderate workout
week 3 – 30 minute intense workout
week 4 – 1 hour moderate workout
week 5 – 30 minute intense workout
week 6 – 1 hour moderate workout

Crawfish boil for my wifes birthday party

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survivalistMy wifes birthday is next week, and my step daughters birthday was a week ago, so we held a happy birthday party 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.

At 11:00 I fired up the crawfish burner, put the water on, and 1.5 bags of crawfish boil spice in the pot. About 20 minutes later the water was boiling, and the first batch of crawfish was put in.

For the second and third batches of crawfish the remaining 1/2 a bag of spice was added.

For the fourth and fifth batches, a whole bag of spice was added.  After eating some mudbugs later, I think the fourth and fifth batches turned out the best.  They were not hot enough to leave a burning sensation on your lips, but hot enough so you could deferential taste it.

I usually let the water get back to a rolling boil and leave the crawfish in the water for another 10 minutes. Crawfish, like a lot of shell fish call all kinds of bacteria and parasites. I figure 10 minutes in a rolling boil should be good to kill anything the crawfish are carrying.

crawfish boil

At around 12 our guest started showing up. The first batch of crawfish had been pulled out and the second batch was in the pot by noon.

My wife wanted some boiled shrimp. After the first batch of crawfish, I dumped a couple of pound of pre-cooked shrimp into the pot and boiled them for 10 minutes.

By the time all of the crawfish had been boiled, 2 hours had passed, and I had cooked 5 basket loads.  Now it was time to eat.

While everyone else had been eating, I had been cooking.  So it my time to chow down.  Instead of paper plates, we had plastic platters that are about 18 inches across and 1 /2 inches deep. Eating crawfish off paper plates is a futile effort. With crawfish you need a real plate so those mudbugs can be stacked deep.

eating crawfish sausage and boudain

Besides the crawfish, we also cooked sausage links, hot dogs (for the kids), and boudain on the grill.  For side dishes, we had chip, dip, pickles,,,, just all kinds of good stuff.

For her birthday, I got my wife a new lens for her canon camera – a Canon EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III to be exact.

Somewhere around 1:30 or so my dad, mom, nephew, uncle, and my uncles soon to be wife showed up.  My daughter was with my nephew – they had gone 4-wheeler riding Friday night and had spent the night at the camp with my mom and dad.

For the little kids to have something to do, we setup a 10 foot by 20 foot tarp, got out the water sprinkler, got some tear-free shampoo and made a homemade slippy-slide. The tear free shampoo makes the tarp slippery, but does not burn the kids eyes. Some of the kids even washed their hair while the sprinkler was going.

My dad had gone Turkey hunting Saturday morning and did not get back to the camp until about noon, so they were running a little late getting to the party.  After the rest of my family arrived, my dad must have finished off 2 platters of crawfish, my nephew got a yard hammock out of truck, set it up and took a nap.

Somewhere around 6pm or 6:30pm we decided to shut everything down. The plates were rounded up, the last of the food was put up, ice chest was brought inside and the chairs were put up. Everyone seemed to have a good time. One thing is for sure, nobody left hungry.

Post your comments in this forum thread about what did you do last weekend.

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