Thursday, March 31, 2011

are you ready part 3

in part 2 i talked about the food and water you would need to survive 3 days after a disaster occurs. now it is time to discuss shelter and heat.

imagination is a helpful ally in this endeavor. if you are staying home, and the home is not damaged, you are in good shape. but what if you are on the road or forced to take to the hills when calamity strikes? do you have ponchos or 2 shelter halves to make a tent with? do you have a bivvy sack, sleeping mats and bags? do you have a hatchet to help you build a lean to or debris shelter? remember, if things really go to shit, others will have taken to the hills also, and will be looking for obvious shelter too, such as YOUR home. how will you defend it and your food and water stores?

do you own a firearm? now, do you actually know how to use it? how much ammunition do you have? there is no such thing as too much ammo, you can always use it in trade for something you need, like eggs or vegetables. more on the proper selection, care and feeding of your firearms later.

what sort of furnace do you have? natural gas, electric, propane or home heating oil? most have electric ignition, so what to do when the power goes out? some folks have natural gas powered generators. these are attached directly to your home natural gas line, and kick in when the power goes out automatically i understand. perhaps you own a gas powered generator. do you know how many gallons it burns over a 24 hour period? are you smart enough to keep it outside your home while it runs? how often do you have to change the oil? how much gas do you have on hand? do you have a back up plan such as a catalytic heater for heat and maybe a coleman stove for food preparation?

if you must go live of the land, can you make fire? don't laugh, when the zippo shits the bed, a flint and steel will work, but do YOU have one? how many of you could make fire given a 9 volt battery and steel wool? how many of you know you can do that? do you have a single burner propane stove and propane to go with it? they are very handy but bulky, 3 bottles would take up a significant amount of space in your pack. i just found a wood-gas camp stove that costs less than a hundred bucks (tax not included). they use sticks, leaves and pine needles, which unless i'm atop everest or in the gobi are not in short supply. next we need something to heat our water or cook our vittles in, as plastic and fire don't mix. go light, buy a g.i. canteen with it's aluminum cup and holder. better yet buy 3, as the canteens only hold a quart of water each, which is less than the gallon of water you need a day.

i'll get around to guns and other gear in part 4.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

are you ready part 2

so what are we preparing for? most likely some type of poor weather event. our friends in the northeast know all about that these last 2 winters. perhaps you live on the gulf or southeast coast, and hurricanes cause heartburn where you live. maybe you live in tornado alley, where whole towns can be removed from the map in minutes. so what would you need to survive, and the local state and federal governments couldn't or maybe wouldn't help you.

the experts debate what comes first, but the basics are shelter, water and food, then depending on the environment, heat. no matter what sooner or later you WILL need a fire. the ready. gov site i mentioned says, and i agree, every person in your care will need at least a gallon of clean water per day, more in hot and humid climates. so do you have a water purifier or do you know how and have the gear necessary to distill water? staying at home? distillation is the way to go, as the fire you will use to heat the water can dry wet clothing and warm you while you cook.

food-3 days of preserved food, per person, per day, minimum. for most of us that means canned goods, but how do you intend to open them with no electricity to run the can opener? do you have a hand crank can opener? ever heard of a p51 can opener? we used to wear them on our dog tags, even though we never had c ration cans. by the time i joined the army, we were eating MRE's , AKA, shit in a bag. the beef and pork patties really did look like turds.
if you are walking to salvation after civilization goes to shit, you will find it much easier to carry the new improved MRE's or the equivalent in the civilian sector of dehydrated/ freeze dried food offered by companies like MOUNTAIN HOUSE and BACKPACKER'S PANTRY. there's a reason the military went to MRE's and one of them was the weight of the food the troops had to carry. i suggest a mixture of both types of food in your kit, and something to heat it with.

think about your level of readiness and stay tuned for part 3.

are you ready?

i originally intended to post this in september, but life got in the way. with the natural disaster and nuclear catastrophe in japan, and tornado time upon us, seems like a good time, to put it out for general consumption.

show of hands, who knew september was NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS MONTH? i didn't until i heard a radio interview with some government wonk LIVE from our state fair. a bit of research turned up this site, more on that a bit later.

i'm not certain whether it is coincidence or planned that National Preparedness Month falls in september because of 9/11, but that, coupled with a statement made by my friend THE CAMBRIDGE LADY over at JUST WAFFLING, as well as a book and movie got me to thinking.
the book was recommended to me by best bud SKI over at GLOBAL DOMINATION. the book is THE LAST CENTURION, and is about an army officer who single handed fights his abandoned company back to the states from the middle east, after the world population is decimated by bird flu and another ice age. once home, our hero helps reorganize survivors, gets farms working again, and destroys some city/state caliphates. yeah, i know it's a reach to think 1 guy could do all of that, but the author mixes a couple of dooms day scenarios together pretty well in showing how our society could unravel, and what the government may do in extreme circumstances.

the movie, ( i read the book after watching, i was so intrigued) was THE ROAD. for those who have not watched or read it, it is about a father and son trying to survive after we apparently nuke ourselves into nuclear winter. the wife said it was depressing but i think that was due to dad constantly putting a gun to the kids head if danger approached to keep the child from being captured, raped, killed and eaten by the lawless cannibals roaming the desolate land. the mother, weak of spirit, had already abandoned them by committing suicide. the story is really about perseverance in the face of incredible adversity, hope and love. the man loves his son so much he shields him from the mothers desire to kill the boy and herself. so much that he will kill the boy rather than let the monsters that humans have become defile him. his hope is to find somewhere warm for them to live, so that the boy may survive, and the father ends up dying in the process.

i wasn't so caught up in the story line, good as it was, but found myself asking if the man was doing the right thing in the situations presented to him. how would i handle something similar? AM I READY?

check part 2 to see if you are.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

more double talk from the vacationer in chief

I don't think it does anybody any good when public employees are denigrated or vilified or their rights are infringed." barrack obama, on 2/28/11, in reference to the ongoing walk out by wisconson teachers.

"Cambridge police acted stupidly in arresting somebody when there was already proof he was in his own home," reference skip gates arrest.

"What I think we know separate and apart from this incident is that there's a long history in this country of African-Americans and Latinos being stopped by law enforcement disproportionately. That's just a fact." barrack obama, 7/22/09.

where i come from, this is called talking out of both side of your ass. i guess that "public employees" does not include POLICE OFFICERS, and rights infringed does not include character assassination or stereo typing.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

turning AMERICA into a paper tiger part 1

it's in the news almost daily. someone attacks AMERICAN interests either here or abroad and the administration does nothing about it. 2 airmen were killed and 2 wounded at frankfort airport last week by what the shooter's family describes as a "devout" muslim and the president's spokesman can't bring himself to call it terrorism.

a jet skier gunned down by mexican "pirates" on a texas lake, not terrorism. 1 ICE agent killed, his partner wounded in san luis potosi, mexico, no terrorist at work there. a border patrol agent killed in arizona by a mexican gang suspected of robbing mexican drug smugglers, of course these two groups have nothing to do with terrorism.

the word terrorism has french origins derived from latin-terroisme -great fear or dread. it showed up in the english language in 1798 and is defined as the systematic use of terror as a policy.

anyone who doesn't think that the mexican drug cartels operating along and inside of our borders are a terrorist organization, should be working for the obama white house. david hartley was killed on falcon lake, texas on september 30 2010. the lead mexican investigator on the case was beheaded. other incidents of piracy on the same lake were reportedly carried out by ZETA members, a drug cartel made up of former mexican special forces troops, identified by victims because of their distinctive tattoos.

i first wrote about the ZETAS back in march of 2009 over on good buddy SKI's GLOBAL DOMINATION site. we, the UNITED STATES, or rather our government, initially trained and equipped these guys. they were supposed to fight the narco-terrorist, but instead joined up, or more correctly eliminated much of their competition and started cashing in. most of the homicides in the border towns of tijuana, nuevo laredo and juarez can be attributed to the work of the ZETAS and the cartels they work for/against. the mexican government estimated that the death toll nation wide between 2006 and now is estimated at 35,000.

so what does that mean to us? how does it affect those of us who don't live along the border? how can i say that it is turning us into a paper tiger? read part 2 to find out.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

the return of the WWI fighter ace

so i got a new game i've been playing. those of you who are gamers know it's an old title, but it is new to me, and i really enjoy it. BLAZING ANGELS-SQUADRONS OF WWII is a first person shooter game which allows you to" fly" lots of different aircraft from the war, in air to air combat, and ground attack/bombing missions.

i grew up reading as much as i could about the aces like GABBY GABRESKI, CHUCK YEAGER, BUD ANDERSON, RICHARD BONG, PAPPY BOYINGTON and JOE FOSS. i also read about the german aces, like RUDI GALLAND and GUNTHER RAHL. the stories they tell are fascinating, funny and frightening. if you get a chance pick up one of these guys books and prepare to be wowed.

i got to meet an ace who lives here locally, HORST PETZSCHLER. the old gent came into where i work one day, and we struck up a conversation over his accent. he was somewhat reluctant to talk about his past until i told him about my german jump wings. i found out that he was a german ace with 26 victories to his credit, who had to survive 4 years of soviet captivity, before he was able to emigrate to canada and then the STATES. he's a really neat guy and he even gave me an autographed photo.

HORST used to be a fixture at the local gun shows with lots of folks gathered around asking questions and having autographs signed. i understand he is in very poor health now so he can't come out any longer. it's very sad when you think about all the veterans on both sides we are losing daily. so much history.

i really like the old warbirds and attend airshows as time allows. of course the kids like to go which right now makes for long hot days. can't wait 'til they're a little older. the last time we went the youngest fell asleep as the thunderbirds were preforming.

in another life, i thought about staying in the army when the military was kicking around the idea of transferring the A-10 from the air force to the army. probably a good thing for me that idea fell through.

for now i'll have to content myself turnin' and burnin' in the recliner as the kids cheer me on.
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