Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life



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Nordic Components Pistol Caliber Carbine
NEW: Gemtech Trek II Rifle Silencer
Para Ordnance is BORN Again!… With a Remington Roll Mark on the Slide…
POTD: Kampfschwimmer
Berger Bullets Gets the Gold Medal Treatment from Federal Premium

Thanksgiving and Black Friday

Its difficult to believe the end of November is almost here, and the end of 2012 is drawing near. Where did 2012 go? It seems that the older I get, the faster time flies by.

For Thanksgiving dinner, my wife, my daughter and I are going to my mom and dads house in Bridge City. My uncle might be there, my brother has to work, but he might drop by.

We will probably have the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with turkey, dressing, ham, pie,,,, along with all of the fixings.

The end of November is a great time for Thanksgiving. The year is drawing to an end, its time to look bad, reflect, and give thanks for what we have. In todays economy, a lot of people are lucky to have a roof over their head and food on the table. Some people are not so lucky or blessed.

After eating with mom and dad, my wife, daughter and I will probably head back to Jasper to get ready for Black Friday.

The Walmart in Jasper Texas has certain items that will go on sale at certain times, and at certain locations in the store. There is a map on the walmart website that can be printed out to show where the items will be at.

Instead of there being a mad rush for the items, its first come first serve. If you want the item, get the map, go to the marked location in the store. There will usually be some tape on the floor designating where the line for the item starts.

This will be the third black Friday my wife and I have done at the Walmart in Jasper Texas. Its not the crazy experience you see on TV with the doors flying open and hundreds of people bum-rushing for the items they want.

If you want the item, get in line early. Last year my wife and I were inline for around 8 hours.

When we arrive at Walmart, the first thing we do is go to sporting goods to get a couple of lawn chairs. Then we find the item is marked in the store, then we setup camp.

To break the boredom I will make a trip to the magazine section, get a magazine, go back to my chair, read it, go back to the magazine section and swap out for another one.

A lot of people get lawn chairs, use them all night, then leave them in the store for the Walmart employee to put up. My wife and I buy the lawn chairs. Since we used the chairs, why not go ahead and buy them.

In the past two previous years there has been a fight over towels. Why would anyone fight over a stupid towel?

I like to use Black Friday to shop for SHTF survival gear.  Lowes in Jasper Texas usually has Maglight LED DD and DDD flashlights on sale.  I like to pick up a couple of those lights to give out at Christmas and to have a couple in inventory.  The Lowes usually has tool kits on sale, so I might pick up a tool kit to bring to the Bug Out Location.

The Walmart in Jasper Texas is advertising a SIG Sauer M400 enhanced version they are supposed to have on Black Friday. But as of yesterday, sporting goods had not got any of the rifles in stock. nor were the rifles marked on the Black Friday store map.

I thought about buying the SIG Sauer M400 enhanced version, then putting a Bravo Company midlength upper receiver on the Sig lower.

My Drinking Problem

Middle age sucks. I can look back over my teenage years, my 20, 30s and now I am halfway through my 40s. In January of 2013 I will turn 45 years old.

Besides going into welding, my other major regret is when I started drinking.

Unlike a lot of people I did not drink in my teenage years. I tried a beer when I was around 15 or 16 years old, and the taste was disagreeable.

When I was around 23 years old I went by a corner store in Bridge City Texas, picked up a couple of bottles of Boone’s Farm wine, then went home to have a drink.

Why did I buy a bottle of Boone’s Farm wine? I do not know. Maybe I was bored and looking for something to do?

What I do know, drinking is one of the worst mistakes I have ever made. Drinking has had a negative affect on my health, its not cheap, and its addictive.

At this point in my life I am probably somewhere about 30 – 40 pounds overweight. Lets say I drink 3 or 4 beers, at 100 – 150 calories each, you are talking an easy 300 – 500 extra calories a day. Then when you start adding mixed drinks, the calories really pile on.

When I started drinking around the time I was 23 years old, that is the same time I started having issues with my weight. I put on weight easier then I did before I started drinking.

I wonder how much money I have spent on beer, wine and whiskey over the past 22 – 23 years. I wish I would have never spent a single penny on booze. That money would have been better spent on my kids, or a vacation for the family.

There are so much better things to spend money on besides alcohol. For the price of a 12 pack, I could buy 2 boxes of American Eagle 223 Remington, or 2 boxes of Tula 7.62×39, and have some change left over.

Every time I buy something to drink, I am taking money away from my family and from my prepping resources. And I am ashamed because of that.

Why don’t I just stop drinking? Because I like it too much.

Lets be honest, I have a problem with drinking. I can go a month without having a drink, but when I do drink, I drink until the last drop is gone.

Admitting that there is the problem is the first step to recovery.

This post is my first step to being alcohol free.

My mom and dad read my blog from time to time. I hope this confession does not make them think they failed as a parent, or think less of me.

Life is full of ups and downs, good and bad. Just as we have good things in life, so we must deal with the bad things.

Its not the alcohol that is bad, it is my weakness that is bad.

I wish I could have led a perfect life. Maybe I should have joined the military, went to college, went into something like engineering, waited to have kids,,,,.

Does having an easy life make you strong, or does the struggle make you stronger?

Did mankind conquer the world through living an easy lifestyle? Or did we conquer the world through hard-work?

As long as I beat this drinking problem, I will be a better person in the long run. Its the struggle that makes us stronger. Taking the easy route makes us weaker.

Israel bombed RT office in Gaza

Russia Today is probably one of the truly unbiased news sources in the world, and the Israel military bombed the RT office in Gaza.

There is only one reason to bomb a news office, and that is to keep the truth from getting out.

This is not a war, this is genocide. Israel is trying to drive Muslims out of the Gaza strip.

Keeping a wild boar hog in a pen

Wild boar hog in penIts post SHTF, you and your family need something to eat, so the yall head out to a local river.  The dogs are let loose, a few minutes later the dogs corner up a 200 pound boar hog.

The boar hog is loaded in the boat and brought back home.

A pen is hastily assembled out of whatever materials you can find.

The boar hog is put in the hen, and the leg ties taken off.  Since the pen is made out of fence, the boar hog rams the fence, breaks the wire loose, then the hog runs off.

Sounds unlikely?  Well, that is what happened when my son-in-law bought a boar hog home.

In this case the dogs were waiting outside the pen in case the hog got out.

Keep in mind this is not a friendly domesticated hog, this is a wild boar hog that will use its tusk to tear flesh off the bone.

The dogs caught the hog, and the hog was put into a stronger pen.

Lessons learned, wild hogs are less likely to run into the side of the pen if there is something blocking the hogs view. In other words, if the hog can not see what is on the other side, chances are the hog will not ram the side of the pen.

Hogs are stronger then they look. All it took was one hit to the fence for the wire to tear loose.

So what happens next

The wild boar hog will have its nuts removed. This will improve the taste of the meat. Commercial pork processors remove the nuts from male piglets. Most people who eat pork do not know it.

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Random Thoughts November 16 2012

Time for another random thoughts post.

The Amazing Spider-man

Bought The Amazing Spider-man for the grandkids to watch. The grandkids are between the ages of 3 and 5 and were not interested in Spider-man. But they can watch The Avengers all day long.

Why did Sony have to go back to Spider-man having an artificial web?

I thought The Amazing Spider-man was a rather bland.  I like how they got away from the Green Goblin and introduced The Lizard.  The original Spider-man movies seem to stuck on the Green Goblin.

Wages Today

A few days ago I was thinking about how much money I was making in the welding shops. In 1987 the top pay of the welding shop I was working at was $11.13 an hour. Minimum wage was $3.35 an hour.

11.13 divided by 3.35 = 3.3223.

In other words, top pay in the welding shop was 3.3223 times minimum wage in 1987.

In 2004 I checked back at that same welding shop, top pay was only around $14 an hour, which was less then 3X minimum wage at the time of $5.15. In other words, wages have not kept up with inflation or minimum wage.

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Victorinox Swiss Army Climber II Pocket Knife

I have been carrying a Victorinox Swiss Army knife on and off for close to 20 years. What can you say about a quality product that preforms just as it should? Besides my Gerber multi-tool, my Swiss Army knife is my go-to knife for hiking, camping or backpacking.

A couple of years ago I bought two Swiss Army Climber II knives – 1 for my 14 year old daughter and 1 for my 16 year old son. We go camping, hiking, fishing, backpacking and hunting, and I wanted my kids to have a reliable pocket knife to take with them.

During the spring and summer we go out on the river fishing and camping, during the winter we are hunting. Regardless of what we were doing, or where we were at, I wanted my kids to have a reliable knife that they could use.

The knife had to be compact, good quality and from a reputable brand name. The Climber II fits that bill perfectly. Its small enough to fit in a pants pocket, and the blades are long enough for everyday use.

The Climber II is just what you might expect from Victorinox, you get a quality product and at a price that will not break the bank.

Do you own a Victorinox Swiss Army knife? If so, what do you think about it?

Would you recommend a Victorinox to your friends and family?

We Are a Nation Divided

The shooting in Aurora Colorado and the following anti-gun feeding frenzy, has made it clear we are a divided nation. We are not only divided on gun ownership, we are also divided racially, demographically, financially, and through ideology.

When the blacks were freed, instead of treating them as people with rights, the whites continued to look for ways to oppress blacks. Even though slavery was abolished in the 1860s, their rights were not affirmed until the 1960s with the civil rights movement.

“Why” were we, and still are, divided on race? Why cant we as humans and as Americans put racial tensions aside and just get along?

Then we have the illegal immigrant population.

Then we have groups who refuse to incorporate into society.

Then we have the inner city gangs, poverty and drug users.

What would someone from inner city New York know about a coyote raiding a farmers chicken coop in a rural area?

We are divided demographically, financially, racially, and through ideology.

What Is The Best Livestock For SHTF

Prepping for SHTF is a never ending process. Unless money is not an issue, chances are people have to divide their efforts between various projects.

Over the past few weeks I have been posting about what my project for 2013 should be. Should it be rabbits, honey bees, both, or maybe even something else?

The question from there needs to be, what project is going to provide my family with the greatest return on our investment?

Which farm animals are the best able to live off the land, have the best food to output ratio, produce the most food for the amount of room they take up.

Cattle: Lets start with the one farm animal that everyone knows in one way or another. Most people eat cheese, butter, steaks, brisket, hamburger,,,, and so on.
The cow is a universally recognized farm animal, but what is it really good for during a long term SHTF situation?

If you butcher a 1,000 pound cow, then you have to have a way to preserve the meat. Do you have a smoker, and a pressure cooker large enough to process a whole cow?

During the middle ages, cows were not a preferred livestock. Which was mainly because they are so large it takes great effort to preserve the meat.

Cows can produce a lot of milk, which in turn is used to make butter and cheese.

Then there is the amount of grazing field a cow requires. If you want a herd of cattle, do you have the room to take care of them? Do you have a fenced in field large enough to left the cattle graze? Do you have a barn large enough so the cattle can be protected from bad weather?

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What Are We Leaving To Future Generations

As survivalist, what lessons should we be teaching our children? Should we conserve resources, or do we live in a disposable society?

While my wife (Kristy) and I were doing some shopping a couple of weeks ago, Kristy picked me up a breakfast bowl of eggs, turkey sausage and potatoes. The bowl had something like 240 calories, and was microwave ready.

Instructions said to take the bowl out of the package, poke a couple of holes in the plastic wrap, then microwave for 2 minutes.

For something that had been kept in the freezer, the potatoes, eggs and cheese tasted ok. Fresh eggs taste a whole lot better.

As I was getting ready to throw the bowl away, I asked myself if I should wash the bowl out and keep it? The bowl was something like 3 – 4 inches across and maybe 2 inches deep. This would have made a perfect breakfast bowl for the grandkids.

I ended up throwing the bowl away. Now that plastic bowl will probably sit in a landfill for 10,000 years,,, depending on what kind of plastic it was made out of.

I imagine someone 60 years ago would have loved to have that bowl. A family during the great depression could have sold the bowl to make some money.

Our comfortable, domesticated lifestyle has allowed humanity to raise the bar for what we regard as trash. Since the bar is higher, we are throwing away more now then ever before.

In the 1970s and the early 1980s softdrinks were sold in glass bottles. The bottles could be returned to the store for a nickle. This return policy promoted recycling.

In the late 1980s and into the 1990s those same bottles turned to plastic. As a result our landfills are filling up with more and more trash.

There was a comment in the Book of Eli that should sound a warning for future generations, “people kill for what we threw away.” Meaning people in the future might kill for what throw away today.

What kind of world are we leaving our kids, grandkids, great grandkids,,,,? What will those mountainous landfills of today be like in 1,000 years?

For the several thousand years mankind has marveled at the monuments past generations have built – Rome, Pyramids of Egypt, Machu Picchu, Great Wall of China,,, and so on.

What are we leaving future generations to marvel at? Nuclear waste dumps, mountains of landfill trash, polluted rivers, Chernobyl and Fujiyama are a few examples.

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Rabbits or Bee Hive

A couple of weeks ago I posted an article – Long Term Survival Project for 2013. I that article we talked about some of my previous projects, and that I was thinking about rabbits as my 2013 project.

After putting a lot of thought in rabbits, I think building some bee hives would be a better idea.

Why would honey bees be a better project then rabbits?  Both have their good and bad qualities, so lets talk about them.

Rabbits produce manure that can be used as fertilizer.  But on the flip side, you have to feed rabbits.

Bees produce honey.  You do not have to feed bees.  You have to supply the colony with sugar water until the hive gets established. Once the hive is established, it is self-supportive.

Honey can be stored forever.

Rabbits die.

You have to have a cage for rabbits.

You have to have a bee hive for honey bees.

Rabbit makes a better meal then honey.

Honey can be used as an antibiotic.

Honey is an excellent barter item.

Rabbits are a good barter item.

Honey and rabbits are both universally recognized as food.

The bee hive can be raided by predators.

The rabbit coop can be raided by predators.

Rabbits are substitutable to mosquito-borne infections.

Long Term Goal

My long term goal is to have both rabbits and honey bees. So I might work on both projects during 2013. Neither project is going to take a “lot” of time or resources. So why not try to do both next year?

Readers of this blog, what do yall think?

If I work on the bee hive I am going to build a top bar bee hive.

I Wants Me Some Welfare

I am sick and tired of supporting people who are too lazy, or too stupid to get a job.  Why should I work a 40 hour a week job, pay child support, pay for health care, barely scrap by,,, when people on welfare get all kinds of free stuff.

I want me some free food.

I want me some free housing.

I want someone to help me pay my electric bill.

I want the state to pay for my kids health care.

Right now I pay close a little over $600 a month for health care and temporary disability insurance.

I have been working since 1984, and what do I have to show for it?  Not too much.  I may not make a lot of money, but shouldn’t I be able to keep a good percentage of what I earn?

Health insurance alone takes a HUGE bite out of my pay check.  Instead of helping the working class out, taxes and health care cost continue to skyrocket.  I have not received a cost of living raise in something like 5 years.  During that 5 years prices continue to spiral out of control.

You want to know what the problem is?  I was raised with this little thing called a work ethic.  A work ethic is this concept that I believe I should support myself and my family.

Up until around the 1990s there was a stigma that went along with being on welfare.

Today, it seems that people are proud to be on welfare.  I gots me some welfare and food stamps,,,, and people see no issue with that.

Welfare is a form of stealing.  The government takes from those that do, and gives to those that do not.  Too lazy to work?  No problem, here is your housing voucher, cell phone, and food stamps.

I am pissed off that this welfare nation reelected obama.  It seems that very few people care about the greater good.  Who in their right mind would vote for welfare reform if they are on welfare.  The more people on welfare, the better chance the democrats have of being reelected.

Democrats – welfare for everyone

Republicans – how are we going to pay for this

Democrats – we will just tax the rich,,, I mean the middle class

Republicans and Democrats – maybe the federal reserve can print more money?  Yay, more money to spend,,,,,,.

Sooner or later that “printing more money” has to be paid back.  Why is going to be paying the bill?  Not the people on welfare because they aint got no job.

By reelecting obama, special interest groups screwed the working middle class up the ass.  One day this house of cards is going to come crashing down.

When the house of cards does come crashing down, there is going to be hell to pay.

Changing Demographics of the United States

On election day, November 6, 2012 it became clear the voting demographics of the United States has changed. White working class, heterosexual, conservative, are no longer the majority. We are still out here, but we no longer hold the majority of the vote.

Instead of white conservatives holding the majority, a collection of special interest groups and liberals hold the majority.

How did obama win the election? Because he won the votes of liberals, blacks, hispanics, and gays. People are no longer unified behind a common idea. Instead, we are divided along racial, religious, ideology and economic lines.

People no longer vote for what is best for the nation, they vote for their special interest groups.

Hispanics

Why did obama win the hispanic vote? Because he talked about giving millions of illegal immigrants amnesty. A family member of an illegal immigrant voted for his cousin to stay in the nation, and that is why obama won the hispanic vote. Lets not worry about the fact that illegals are breaking the law.

If someone wants to become a US citizen, let them start by following our laws.

We can not blame someone for wishing to better their lives, and the lives of their children.

But if someone breaks our laws, then we can blame them for their willful neglect.  Illegal immigrants willfully break our laws.

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The Goebbels Experiment

The Goebbels Experiment is a reading of the diaries kept by Joseph Goebbels from 1924 to 1945.

Release date: 2005
Run Time: 108 minutes
Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
On Netflix: Yes
Director: Lutz Hachmeister

Its one thing to read history that has been written by the victors, its another thing to read it from the people that were there.

The Goebbels Experiment is an amazing film that provides insight to the workings of German life and the Nazi party.

I had hoped Joseph Goebbels would explain why the Jews were exterminated during world War II. There were a couple of comments that stated “the jews do not respond to kindness”, and the “jews are parasites.” Besides that there was no in-depth explanation as to why the jews were hated by the German people.

There was no explanation as to why Germany invaded France.

There was no explanation as to why Germany attacked England.

There was no explanation as to why Germany attacked Russia.

In the mid-1930s Joseph Goebbels says that peace must be maintained. If war broke out, that it would affect the entire world.

By the early 1940s Joseph Goebbels was promoting total war on Russia.

What happened between the mid-1030s to the early 1940s that caused a change of heart?

How could a man that says he loves his children call for a total war against his enemies? For someone that was supposed to love his children, why did Goebbels have his children murdered?

It ok to declare total war on Russia and call for its total destruction, but Goebbels was not ready to accept the fate Hitler had condemned upon others?

A couple of issues came out during the movie, Joseph Goebbels battled depression and questioned his self-worth, which most of us also deal with.

Goebbels has some harsh words for jews, but then again he seemed to have harsh words for a lot of people. He mentions deporting jews from Berlin, but there is no mention of the concentration camps or exterminating the jews.

At around 53:00 into the movie, there is mention of a jewish book called “murder in devose” (not sure of the spelling). Joseph Goebbels says the following about the book – “a nasty jewish effort that could turn you into an anti-semite if you were not not already one. This jewish plague needs to be eradicated.”

As of yet I have not been able to find the book Goebbels was referring to. What “exactly” about the book was so offensive?

If one can get past the hatred for nazis that has been instilled upon us, The Goebbels Experiment is insightful, to say the least.

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