Monday, February 27, 2012

Act of Valor, shooting and kickass cake.

I would have to rank it as an awesome movie. The acting wasn't what many are used to, but they weren't actors and that made the movie better (well one or 2 actors but it wasn't Clooney trying to be a hero). The gun play and just overall bad-ass-ness means I will see this move probably 2 more times in the next couple of weeks.
Speaking of gun play, 12 of us went shooting yesterday. I love my Arab friends, they never cease to amaze me. After 2 hours of shooting, the wives were antsy so one of them decided to shoot the 12 guage, perhaps in an effort to speed us along so they could get back home. After the first shot, she (and no, I'm not kidding) hoisted the gun in the air and started dancing around screaming lalalalalala like it was a video on Fox news. I screamed at her to point it downrange and stop dancing around, but she said it was safe and asked if I was afraid.
THEN... yes, it gets worse THEN... we are loading up and her husband hands her his AR pistol to put away (I didn't like shooting this thing, yuck) after making sure it was clear and no magazine inserted and SPECIFICALLY tells her NOT to point it at anyone. Guess what she did... you got it, she pointed it right at someone's face 5 feet away. That sort of ruined the rest of her day as 11 of us screamed at her for 10 minutes. Little did she know but by instinct I had already drawn my pistol, I can't help myself training is everything, she could have easily been killed for that stupid move and didn't understand why there was such a fuss.
She will never, ever shoot with us again. Her husband is awesome, a Vietnam Vet who understands the reality of life, he can shoot with us anytime.
My new Colt M4 Carbine was awesome, close range rocked and all my distance shots at 200+ feet were on target each time. I used all my conceal carry guns including my favorite 9mm, 3 rounds per target on 5 targets spaced 3 feet apart and 30 feet away. The first round missed but the next 14 hit and would have taken out all 5 targets in under 4 seconds from draw to rounds complete. Somehow I have the gift of accuracy still, many years after all those expert weapon badges have tarnished.

I broke open some freeze dried strawberries and peaches for my protein shakes, massive yum. It's cheaper than getting them at the store and they don't go bad in 4 days. I'm really cranking up my workouts, I gave myself 30 days to get in great shape in hopes it will have a really beneficial effect on my running. Running itself is the ultimate muscle killer so it's going to be rough but it's about time I focused a little more on the core. It's also nice to have the physique to run shirtless and not get more than a few idiots saying things at you. I'm starting week 3 of working out (and day 1 of 30 days) and I can tell a huge difference in how I feel and look. The challenge continues to be making sure I'm getting enough of the right calories and protein to fuel my runs. I want to run 180 miles in March, so that's going to average me 3000 calories per run PLUS all the calories I need normally and to work out. I just need to suck up the eating guilt.

I made a killer chocolate cake last night entirely from food storage. Powdered eggs, powdered milk, etc. This stuff helps me rotate a lot of the baking products. I keep trying to pick up cocoa whenever I am getting groceries, I would like to have a lot more stored up but for some reason I never remember to grab it.
Picking up a food saver with the jar attachment on it, probably this weekend, so I can keep some of the stuff longer than the real shelf life. It's going to be hard using a #10 can of baking powder in the recommended time, so sealing it up in a couple of jars will help. I have some sears gift cards that will bring the cost to zero and I might be able to get a few more large snapware containers as well. I'm cheap.

That's one hell of a weekend.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The changing weather

My run rocked last night and reminded me once again that I should eat more. Fine line for me mentally, just can't get it right some days. It was 67 degrees with massive wind gusts but the tree's did a great job of shielding me from most of the dust and debris.
The dogs wanted out several times last night, so that meant I had to go walk around the yard to make sure the fence wasn't blown down (metal fence posts are awesome but I still have to check). At 12:30, 2:30 and 3:50 all was well. I commented to myself how it was almost 50 degrees out and being outside in my underwear wasn't too cold (I know, but it was dark). 5:45 and I get a phone call that the system at work is down. This is a must come in call, since it's a new system and opening the front door I was greeting with about 8 inches of snow.

Holy crap, that's why I love Colorado. You simply never know what you will get for weather every couple of hours. It will be gone by Saturday night for sure, but not on my running trails so I have to be a little careful once again watching for ice.

The power went out for a while, that's what caused the server crash, but I didn't think about it at home. I was reading a book when it happened and lit some candles, power came back on about 30 minutes later. Anything longer I would have just gone to bed, if I was staying up I would have lit an oil lamp, it's more efficient. When I got back home this morning so I could shower and change once work was operational, I noticed the wine fridge finally decided to die after 8 or so years. No big loss, saves money on the power bill and there isn't much drinking going on. I will put the bottles in the basement, should help them stay alive for a few months until they vanish into the neighbors glasses.

Not bad for a Thursday morning before 8am.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Coyote den, Costco, biscuits oh my

I took a new route on Sunday for my run. I was exhausted and sore, my Saturday run was an hour of basically straight up the hill running, then a longer route back. Sunday I decided to combine some trails I had newly discovered (minus the scrub oak and cactus battles) and I had a super run, finally discovering where the coyote dens are. I almost stepped in the side of one, I guess the trail I was on was more of a well worn deer and coyote path instead of a people trail.
Didn't see the coyotes, they were probably down by my house chasing the neighbors cats and getting into trouble. I hear them most every night howling and while I know they are troublemakers, the call of the wild is still nice. When I got home my dogs went crazy sniffing my shoes, this is not a route I will ever take them on. They are also as big as my dogs.

Last night was a Costco visit for my neighbor, she finally decided to do it. I was excited to help her out and we had a good time. I had to educate her daughter on how to make flavored oatmeal instead of buying the packets with flavor already in them. I explained how the pricing works, per pound, item, box, etc. I gave good lessons on why bulk purchases are worth it as long as you know the price in the regular supermarkets for items. I made sure everything they picked up was stuff they would actually eat. This trip filled up the cupboards, next month we will see how much was used and replace it, as well as work on a few bags of rice, beans, etc. for longer term. $350 was a good start, way over her budget, so I suggested she bring a calculator next time.
My other neighbors also pulled into Costco the same time as we did, so we got to all shop together and I sprang for ice cream for everyone at the end. His Dad is getting a dry pack canner, so I will go in on some cans with them and get some dry canning done. They have a well prepared family, as many would expect for a large Mormon family, and with 4 kids at home I can learn a lot about stretching the dollar for meals. They are more loaded with firearms then food, but the rest of the family has a ranch they can head to where the food storage is located. Seems they are set for a long time. It's been a long time since I was able to talk freely about things with any other prepper type families besides blogs. He also works out like a fiend so I get great advice on weights and I give his son advice on the cross country team running.

I've been working on cooking with my food storage, tweaking stuff. Buttermilk biscuits from buttermilk powder, butter powder, shortening powder, etc. They came out awesome, a little too thick but I didn't pat the dough out thin enough so that was my fault. I'm working on putting together some mason jars with dry goods for meals. The jar will have everything measured and just need to have water added and cooked (soups, stews, etc.). This will be great when it's hot in the kitchen and I just want to make a quick meal from food storage, and I decided I will take some camping for the same reasons. I do 90% of the cooking and cleaning at home so anything to make my life easier, I'm all for it. I could do nothing but food storage meals starting today but I'm not sure that would go over too well, someone grew up with steaks all the time from the family ranch and those are hard to give up.

Friday, February 17, 2012

How was your vacation?

When someone I give a remote crap about at work comes back after being gone, I like to ask about the time off. People love to talk about themselves (hey, this is a blog you know) and they love to talk about cool things they just got done doing. I asked someone today how their vacation went and the reply I received was, "I haven't slept for 3 day thinking about all of this stuff at work."
I think I'll just stop asking. When I'm on vacation I enjoy myself, even if work has issues and I have to deal with them. It's my choice at that point but I'm damn sure not thinking about work when I'm 140 feet underwater or 250 feet above the deck on a 3 pitch rock climbing route. Some people can't enjoy themselves, that's too damn bad for them.

I'm back on track for running, holy crap the first 3 days really sucked. Not just the getting your body used to the running again, but I never take it easy and decided to do some new routes that were super difficult. One route ended up going nowhere up the side of a mountain and it was so steep I made my own route back down. My legs are covered in scratches and cactus poke holes, but I was happy I didn't kick one of those small Colorado ground cactus, that would have put an end my fun. Being in the scrub actually wishing you had a machete and still managing to run.
Yes, that is my kind of fun on a Wednesday night.

I'm going to do some running this weekend and Sunday will bring some mountain snow driving and shooting. I am going to try out the new Colt and see if I like it better with 5.56 or .223. I'm gong to run some rounds down range with my carry guns, I try to get out and shoot every 60 days to stay comfortable with my conceal carries. Shooting means restocking the ammo stores and that's expensive, I'll hold off for a couple of weeks.
I put away some buckets this week, sometimes you have to make yourself take the time. Flour x 2, sugar, kidney beans, oats x 2, rice x 2, lentils and something else I can't thin of. I did one with brown sugar but it's in smaller bags since it's a little more finicky with opening and closing over the course of 2 years when it's finally opened. It's not a lot of work, but it's time consuming and with all the frantic work stuff the last month, I didn't make the time. It's a nice feeling when you get it done.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Resolution check

This blog isn't really done to educate anyone. It's main goal is to keep myself in check and hold myself accountable for the things I want to do. It's nice to have a few people follow me so I can check out what blogs they do and perhaps share some information. It's nice to look back and see how far along I am on projects (or what progress I haven't made as well).

I'm still doing well on trying to swear less. I'm a great communicator, but swear words can give a whole sentence in 1 word. I bet I swear 80% less than before, so that resolution is going well.

Starbucks: I managed to only spend $1.80 in January, February I'm at about $35.00. I used to spend up to $300 a month there so this is awesome... not exactly the cold turkey, sometimes it's just worth it for the convenience. I wasn't an addict or anything, sometimes I forget how much that sort of thing costs, just like not planning your meals can cost a lot.

Moab and Mexico trips are on schedule, just some shuffling of dates. Added a NAPA valley trip and Orlando trip in April as well. I like to play hard and both of the add trips are somewhat work related. I'm also planning a 2013 trip to Alaska, something I promised myself I would do when my dad passed away. He never made it to Alaska, so the least I can do is complete that driving adventure for him. He would have done it on the motorcycle, I will do it in a convoy of off road vehicles and friends.

Supplies continue to grow, I did add a small solar charger setup but nothing new in the propane department. I have a Lowes gift card for that, I just need to take the time and get it done. I've added about $700 or more in canned goods, long term storage goods and various other items. The new rifle is a good supply add too! Still working on the neighbors and family, baby steps and low expectations are the way.

Running sucks, this crud is finally going away so I can get back on track. I'm not overly concerned, I just mentally feel like dirt when I don't get my time away from reality on the trails. I started to do some basic body weight stuff like situps and pushups, etc. to help build my upper body and core. I will add swimming 5 nights a week next month when it's warm enough that my swim trucks dont freeze to my ass when I leave the gym and walk to the car. I think I will be able to hit 1800 miles this year, although I keep swearing to not make a mileage goal (but not saying the real swears!).

There are times at work I don't feel like I am earning my paycheck. Times when I just don't have much of anything to do. I think those times are in the past, I've worked harder in the last 90 days than I have in the last year. I also added a bunch of stuff at work so I will not have weekends off starting the end of May to about the end of September. 4 months of no full day off does suck, but if work isn't successful I can find myself with a lot of free time (and eating dehydrated food).

Monday, February 13, 2012

Colt Magpul M4 Carbine

I left the house 3 times to buy a rifle this weekend, something I had been putting off for a year or more. 3 trips and I finally picked up a nice piece of hardware for the gun safe. The magpul system M4 system is really nice, and I didn't like the rail system most of the rifles had. The rails seemed edgy and clunky in my hands so I opted for the magpul. I got a super deal on it, almost $200 less than the best price I could find online, the wait paid off. It's also nice to have a weapon that is similar to the military version I used for 9 years. I can still field strip and reassemble it with a blindfold (yes I tried), some skills you don't lose.
I have plenty of weapons but I wanted a rifle that was easier to travel with in the vehicles, besides my shotgun. The fact it can shoot both calibers means I don't have to pick up any more/different ammo. I've been a little worried about the political climate and being able to purchase weapons, I figured it was a perfect time to add one more.

I took the in-laws to Costco yesterday so they could get some food and start the food storage they have been talking about. Everything I asked them if they needed (and I already looked in the cupboards and pantry) they said they had more than enough, just got some the other day, etc. I left super frustrated and split some ketchup and mustard bottle packs with them. They think have 3 cans of X item is a lot since they don't use it too often and don't really eat a lot. They don't see if they have 20 cans of the same item they wont need to buy it for 2 years or more. They have a $800 a month food budget, so they can easily load up on food storage and eat like royalty. Breaking the normal habit is going to be hard.

I get to run tonight finally, after over a week, my sinuses are clear enough and my throat doesn't feel like crap. Time to get back on track with my fitness, can't be an ultra runner laying in bed with a runny nose.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

I'm alive and watched some tv

Yes, I know that normal is a little skewed, but heck it's nice to feel better. I boozed the cough syrup last night about 10 times and had some horrific PTSD dreams. It had been a while since I had any of those so it was a night of restless sleep followed by a long shower this morning. I don't know why I keep escorting Cheney around Iraq with truckload of cash on pallets but it's always a wicked gunfight.

In my misery sickness I watch both episodes of this seasons doomsday preppers. I learned a few things, was horrified by a few things, and laughed until my cough drop flew across the room. I'm not sure how much of the show is staged, I imagine a lot, and things are out of sequence to me. I was amazed (yes, still it shocks me) that people don't take trying to be in shape more serious. I'm not even talking extreme, I'm talking about being able to run 1/4 mile without flopping over dead.
One of the couples in the show owns a prepping company and that wasn't disclosed. Easy to have 30 years of freeze dried food when you own  company that sells the stuff. That annoyed me, but they had good information in that segment so I went to google some of the info and found out that same couple apparently scammed people out of millions of dollars and helped lead to the downfall of the financial system in 2008/2009. The same thing they are prepping for. Homework counts Nat Geo TV!

Reality TV sure does leave a bad taste in my mouth (well besides the taste of the "cherry" flavored cough drops). I watched some American Idol, just the auditions, it's amazing that people can't be honest and just tell a loved one they can't sing for shit. I don't watch the actual show, just the auditions, it's my little bit of rubbernecking and I don't even look at accidents on the highway if emergency services are on scene. I tried to watch some cooking shows but mostly it was a bunch of angry white people competing instead of actual food programs. TV just sucks in general.

I've not run for a week, I feel like a sloth and my ultra running is a failure. I'm hard on myself but it's the only way to stay motivated, everyone else will let me slack. Next time I'm sick I want the real flu so I can throw up and crap myself so I can at least lose a few pounds. If I'm going to be miserable let's just get the full, real deal. Not pleasing but I might as well have the works if I'm going to be sick.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

On the mend

Finally got some sleep last night so I don't look so much like a zombie with raccoon eyes.
Does that mean I don't have to prep for myself invading myself...?

I spent about 2 hours in the food storage area today, nothing else to do since I was going to give it one more day before I went into work. I can't stand when people go to work sick, so I certainly wasn't going to be that guy.
I added about $300 worth of canned goods and pasta to the food storage in the last 2 weeks and this was a good time to label and organize it all. I checked all the expiration dates on everything in storage and even added a shelf to one rack to hold all of the baking goods (soda, powder, bread crumbs, evap. milk, etc.). I have some pop tarts and brown sugar expiring soon so those got moved upstairs into eating rotation. I don't worry about the dates so much, but I while I have access and the ability to replace items, I will do so. I have 12 #10 cans coming in this week that will fill up all the remaining rack space, and I have several 5 gallon buckets to finish putting together. I'm running out of room, fast.

My neighbor who has yet to begin prepping but want's to do it asked if I could store everything here, since she rents. Her plan has always been to show up, I've known it even if she never mentioned it, and I've stocked up for that already. Depending on how serious she gets, I'll get rid of some cases of bottles water and free up a shelf to see how she starts out. The water will go into the vehicles for the next mountain adventure trip, so it's not going to waste. I prefer the larger gallon or greater jugs, but when the case was 24 bottles for $1.99 it was the better deal.

I'm also going to run tomorrow, this cold be damned. I feel like such a slug when I don't run for 5 days, I think it will prove to be an adventure.
Thanks for the well wishes, it's just my yearly cold and for the first time in memory it has kept me from work... normally sick days are always on the weekends.

Monday, February 6, 2012


I'm so f'n sick I cant stand it. First sick day in years, think tomorrow will be another. TV sucks, sleeping sucks when you cant breathe and cough all the time.
Seriously TV sucks, who comes up with this crap? Judge whomever, stupid teenager angst dramas, celebrity bullshit... At least the superbowl had some cute commercials. I watched Atlas Shrugged part 1, it was pretty good, about what I expected and entertained me for 90 minutes while I was in misery on the couch.

Ya, seriously. I'm sick.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Frozen head!

Whenever I don't feel like running, I have a great run. Last night was no exception, 28 degrees and blowing snow. I was getting ready and had my ride all set to drop me off so I wouldn't have to do an out and back... everything was on the table and ready, I was prepped!
Then the text came over that they were there and waiting so I grabbed my stuff and ran outside and jumped in. 15 minutes later I got out of the truck and realized I didn't have my jacket or my hat. So much for being organized and planning ahead. My gps didn't want to sync so I took off so I wouldn't freeze while waiting. The high school cross country team ran past me and one of them called me crazy frozen head. They were all bundled up in sweat pants, hoodies, hats, gloves, ear warmers, etc. I had shorts and a t-shirt and my hair had an inch of ice/snow on it. I knew as long as I kept moving I would stay warm and be fine, so I just chugged along down the trail into the snow, ice and mud. What a great run, I'm sure it was a record but since my GPS didn't sync for about 1/2 mile I really can't be sure.

My neighbor came over and said she is going to give me $200 a month to help her get supplies and food, just in case. I laughed and asked her if she watched contagion and she admitted it did finally put her over the edge to start putting thing aside for emergencies. She wanted to get buckets of this and that, but I smartly suggested she just fill her cupboards with food and then start working on longer term items. I told her if you don't have your kitchen cabinets full of stuff, adding things under the stairs doesn't really help. I then gave her a 30 minute tour of all of my supplies and explained the reasons for some of them. I had some empty gallon water jugs that I gave her and  few other little things to help get started. She asked a lot of good questions so I think she will be fine... as long as she starts. She was really hung up on buckets of rice and beans and asked why I don't have all of my rice and beans in buckets, but then realized there isn't a need to make everything 10 year+ storage, especially if you rotate correctly. 25 lbs of rice is what I use in about 4 months so I don't want all of it sealed up.

Here is a pic from a few weeks ago with Rock trying to escape a vehicle while Luke shows him how to ride in style! Rock is getting better around people, not as many barks and growls once you show up a few times to the house. He still scares the hell out of strangers, so the socialization is working perfect.

The in-laws are not going to Mexico, we all decided to head to Moab in May and do some off roading and sight seeing. This will be a lot easier on them, it's honestly hard to travel for them in airports. We will still go in October and do some diving, but Moab is awesome so I'm not upset at all about adding another trip. We also added a trip to Napa Valley in April.
All part of my prepare, plan and have fun kind of life.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It will be a smoth transition

Those words make me cringe, they always have. Especially when it's from a vendor who is changing something or we are switching to. Tuesday morning we changed the operating software here at work, and it's been a long couple of days/nights. It's going much better than I expected, I am a pessimist after all, but there were some serious issues right away. I know it's worth it down the road, it's saving the company 15k or so a month, bu of course training 140 employees on a new program bites. Hard.

My sleep schedule is ruined, so is my running. I've cancelled my training and am just doing maintenance miles, not what I wanted but it's what I have to do. We have a HUGE OMG type of storm coming in.. yawn... but once it melts the ice will be in the way. I decided just to chill for a few weeks while we get everything at work straightened out and the sun stays out a little longer. I pushed my first ultra of the year to June instead of the end of April, I think it will work out much better this way.

Some positive news last night about a company wanting to lease some land that we have in Texas. It comes with a nice signing bonus and the hope of a revenue stream eventually. We recently decided to finally get a better gun safe, something for the guns of course, but also for the documents in the safe deposit box. We will keep copies of the documents at the bank just in case, $50 a year is worth it with land lease document copies, title copies, passports copies, birth cert's, etc. I don't know what kind of safe yet, but I have a size and fire rating in mind, hopefully Costco will have something that will work.

This has taken me 6 hours so I will just publish before I get pulled away again.