Tuesday, October 30, 2012

15kb per second

That's the amazing speed of the internet here in Cozumel, Mexico. I have to download 2500 emails so I figured I would make a blog post while I spend 45 minutes getting them into the laptop.

The weather is great, a little on the cooler side than normal but perfect for us. The sea is choppy making it a challenge for many in the dive group to get on and off the boat. Perhaps if they had both hands free instead of trying to carry everything at once... then again I have been called critical.

Diving is one activity that your weight doesn't matter, nor really physical conditioning. You just add more weight to your ear to get down to the bottom and you come up sooner by sucking down all the air in your scuba tank. I seem to get the tanks on the boat with the least amount of air in them, 5-600 psi less than they normally should be at, and we are still usually the last people on the boat. Diving should be relaxing, so we relax a lot underwater.

Deep cavern diving, wreck diving, 60 foot fast current drift dive... all the usual Cozumel underwater attractions. I'm getting lots of sleep, pumping your system full of nitrogen tends to have that delayed sleepy reaction for us. The hotel is nice, a new choice for us, but it's better than the usual. I would rate it 3 stars, the beds are as hard as the floor but the pool is large enough for me to do laps in for a workout. The food is pretty horrible, I read a lot of reviews that had raves about how awesome the food is, but it's mainly carbohydrate selections, and even those aren't good. I'm trying hard to stick to a 70/30 protein/carb ratio but it's not working out well. I'll be back on it next week.

I finished one book, Half Past Midnight, it was actually a pretty good book about life after a nuclear attack. It wasn't all gun and religion porn.
I started Founders and so far wish I didn't spend the money on it. I figured I would have learned, but I always hope I can learn something or get a great idea from Rawles. What I learned in this book is once again that I am doomed for not being a Christian. I also learned how to skip a large section on some couple and being Jewish... honestly I'm annoyed that the 3rd book isn't better than expected, lot's of things were rushed and I can't wait to finish the last 30 pages so I can just check it off my list.
"A young girl opened the door holding a ruger .22 magnum rifle from 1985 with a removable magazine and a 7x30 power scope"
"We are not Christians but we are catholics"..... "oh, come on in you are welcome in our house"

It seems there was something on each page that made me skip large potions of content. Holding Their Own III is also in my bag, the first two were good enough to make me order the third. I love to read next to the ocean on vacation.
The full moon is really nice, reflecting and dancing on the waves. I would post pictures but that's a lesson in patience I'm not willing to do right now.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Vegas pictures and time for home

Home will feel nice, for one day, then it's off to sunny Cozumel. The forecast has snow and highs in the low 40's for tomorrow when I land back in Denver. As long as we land safe I don't care if it's -30. Everyone will ask me if I'm crazy for wearing shorts, aren't I cold, where is my jacket, etc.

One thing about being in Vegas for my 15th  or so time, I know where everything is at in the area. I know where the least expensive food (non fast food) is located, what times to avoid what congested pedestrian areas and where to find some good deals on trinkets for people back home if I decided to get them something.

I'm on the 27th floor and know my nearest 3 exits. I've done the stairs on the closest so I could find out if there were any obstacles, key card activated doors, stairwell area shifts, etc. Those who travel my plane know it's hard to carry a lot of items to help ensure preparedness, but I do make a  habit of checking out the exits, keeping a bottle of water on hand in case there is a fire an no water pressure to wet a towel for my face, some extra protein bars, etc. I would love to bring my entire get home bag but I would have to remove a lot of stuff before I could check it. I hope to never regret making that decision.

Here are some random pictures from the trip:
 This showed up right when I was leaving the house, so I opened it up for a fast photo. $38 on Amazon, good reviews, I'll give it a go on my carbine.
 Part of the view from my room. I wish I had time to swim that very long pool, but it's a work trip and the pool isn't open at night.
 Good morning Vegas, complete with a bakery on fire. Always interesting what I can see when I'm  up so early.
 Close up, and as always fire is such a devastating yet beautiful thing.
 $16.95 plus tax at the morning buffet, but I did get my load up on protein.... I did treat myself and my coworker and his wife to some ice cream tonight. 4 total scoops, $22.00 and change.
Why won't windows keep the photo orientation I want.... 3 days worth of protein shakes, green veggie shakes and afternoon protein snack bars. Some energy blocks in case I went running, but that just didn't work out with my body.

The city is peaceful tonight, it's about 55 degrees out so most people are staying indoors. The city lights look awesome, the neon looks neat. All I can think about is what would happen in SHTF in a city, especially a city like this.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

5am in Las Vegas

There isn't any better place to be when you wake up. Who doesn't love loud nose,neon lights, smoke filled casinos and $8 bottles water.
I've been awake for a while, but I did get some good sleep once it finally hit me. I closed the blinds as tight as possible, covered the night light, unplugged everything with a light or led. I don't know how people can sleep in daylight brightness in the room
I have most of my morning workout done, had to skip the running today as I somehow managed to hurt my right leg last week at the gym. It's worse in the morning so I'll try and run/weave down the strip later today. Waiting on my buddy to let me know he is on the way to the gym so I can go finish up with the weights. There isn't any reason I can't get my workouts done on a work trip, even if I have to do everything via body weight on the hotel room floor.

Airports in general and just walking around a vacation spot like Las Vegas can make anyone feel in shape and skinny. I always forget how bad society has gotten, in regards to health, until I hit a major airport. If someone wants to be big and beautiful, more power to them, but it doesn't mean I deserve to be uncomfortable in my tiny airline seat. If the seat is just barely big enough for my frame, how did that 300 pound woman feel sitting next to me against the window? Not good I would imagine.... well either did I with her body mass spilling over the armrest onto me and her upper body taking up about 1/4 of my seat.

I would not want to live here, or even close to here. Not just imagining a shtf situation, but everyday life in a super hot climate with so many of me (tourists) invading constantly. It's nice to come here once a year on business, perhaps see a show and win some money. That's enough for me, I prefer the peace and solitude of Colorado Springs... at least at our place.

I dropped $20 into a .50 cent slot machine and my first spin ($2.50 per spin) won me $167.00! My bud and his wife were playing penny slots so I dropped $10 into one of them and my 4th spin ($2.00 per spin) won me $184.89.
That's how it goes for me whenever I am here. I never think I can do it the whole time or can win big. I just randomly hit a few slot machines and usually head home with an extra $800 or so. Perfect for a generator and freezer on the end of year wish list.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Fun things behind your computer chair!

I decided it would be fun to get a post up on Saturday in between finishing up yard projects and going to a friends wedding reception.

In my office I have 6 computers and they all work. I was a computer game junkie for many years and I don't like to rely on other people so I would play 6 characters at once, my own party. I no longer play that game and only have one computer active... but that's what I look at in front of me.

Don't keep all of your stuff in one room or spot... something that's nice to remember. If you can't reach a weapon where you are sitting, there isn't any point to have one around.

Here is what's behind me:

 I didn't bother to correct some of these picture, including my .223 spray and pray battle rifle.
 I'm a good shot with a lot of things, including this bow. Notice the awesome broad head arrows. Under the bow, under the foam, I have 8 standard target tipped arrows.
 Chest rig and climbing gear. The chest rig has six 30 round AR-15 magazines (3 on front, 3 on back for the cover person to either  use or hand me), and room for 4 pistol magazines and a pistol. I don't keep those in the rig, they move from downstairs to the get home bag and back again.
 1992 U.S. Armed Forces Champions.. what a great time in my life! It was nice to be the best of the best at something after I stopped drinking my life away. I was going to take this and another patch off this top but just enjoy the memory each time I see it hanging up when I walk in the office door.
 Get home bag, trauma bag, secondary trauma bag, overflow ammo, overflow medical supplies (IV kits, snake bite kit, lidocaine, dust masks, eye wash solution, etc.), 200 feet of climbing rope, a pair of black combat pants. I'm often in shorts at home so I keep a pair of pants upstairs with me for whatever. With all of my climbing gear I can easily rappel out of my window in case of fire or other emergency. I also have several bins of odds-n-ends holsters, hunting stuff, a CB radio new in box still, instruction manuals and stacks of blank paper for the printer.
Top shelf (I love the gorilla racks) holds misc. items. Pictured here would be my boonie hat, shotgun (loaded with alternating slug and 3 ball and 12 more rounds on the case pouch), flexible fragmentation protection vest, a random bright red beanie cap, more target arrows and some books:
Fundamentals of Bowhunting
The Coldest Winter (Korean War)
The Last Stand of Fox Company (Korean War) .... everyone should read this book
Special Men (Vietnam War)
Seal Team Six

I'm now off to a wedding reception (I'm so thrilled, honest) and then I have to pack for Vegas and Mexico (the more I do now, the less I have to do on Friday night). I also have to hit the gym later on tonight. Sometimes I wish I was a slacker so I could have more do nothing time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Car full of junk food isn't good for working out

I wheeled on over to the in-laws last night after work. I had to pick up all the leftovers from the party, and make sure everything looked good in the backyard.
I now have about 4 cases of soda, 2 massive bag of candy, 6 costco size bags of chips and 50 hamburger buns. I had forgotten than many of the people coming to the party are carb light and picked up enough buns for all the hamburger patties. Silly me, a literal car full of junk/crap food.

I'm going to drop by a rescue mission and see if they will take it all. I don't need this stuff in the house tempting me to eat and drink it all. I like a soda, once a month, and I really don't have room in the food storage for more. If I need to make room for something, I would rather it be something other than mountain dew and potato chips. We put off getting a freezer until next month or I would save all of the buns, they last almost forever and thaw in just a few minutes.

My time at the gym has been very productive. Making an investment in myself with a trainer has worked great. Last night was an hour (yes, 1 entire hour) of 3 minutes jumping rope and then standing lunges for 7 minutes. I had a little trouble walking up the stairs this morning at work but overall the gains I am making are awesome.
I'm a little sad that I'm not running like a fiend, but I have to remind myself all the things I'm doing this winter will benefit the big springtime running push. I'm strong, I can run, and now I'm working on strength training for my core and upper body. Tonight I will run to the gym and workout, so at least I'm keeping my cardio work in maintenance mode. Once the snow falls I'll be up in the hills busting trails in the powder and enjoying my alone time.

I ordered a magpul magazine coupler, red/green dot sight for my carbine and a magpul speed loader. A friend gave me a gift card to Amazon.com for my birthday, it's now depleted, I don't procrastinate on everything.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Party weekend and other random things

The birthday and anniversary party was this weekend. It was more of a BBQ for friends, no gifts allowed type of thing. I spent most of the day on the grill making sure everyone got hot fresh burgers and the like, but I did blow out the candles on one of the 2 cakes we had.

We had over 50 people show up, I am still amazed I know so many people who appreciate/like me, I'm honestly not the most politically correct and I don't have a filter on my mouth. Apparently I'm not as bad as I imagine. One of the best moments was my friends 4 year old standing at the end of a table with his fork, shoveling cake into his mouth right from the cake itself! I laughed and said have fun once you get home and that sugar kicks in.

My drivers license debacle has been solved. While my license says it expires in 2013, the computer system said it expired a week ago. This was why I couldn't pass the background check and my license was 'invalid'. The lady at DMV was AMAZINGLY helpful... do they all attend crappy attitude seminars? There were 20 people ahead of me and 1 clerk working the counter, and as my luck would have it, most of the 20 people ahead of me didn't speak English very well). I left, found a different branch and was out in 90 seconds. I can't get my new pistol until my picture ID shows up next week (hopefully) but everything is all cleared up.

I finished reading Holding Their Own number 1 and 2 this weekend and started Half Past Midnight. I have Ashen Winter and The Founders on deck. I also noticed Atlas Shrugged part 2 is at the Theater, I'll see that this weekend sometime.

Crazy week ahead. I have a business meeting, wedding, promotion party for a friend in the Sheriffs office, pre dive trip party... I also have to pack for a week in Vegas AND pack for Mexico so I don't have to scramble the 1 night I'm in town before we fly out.

I also should get some work done.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Handgun purchase denied

The thing about government is the rules and regulations in place to 'protect us' usually screw us over the most.

First, the purchase application has 2 sections devoted to ethnic background. The first is hispanic and non hispanic. If you chose non hispanic, then you get to select what you are. I'll keep my trap shut on what I think of that.

I knew, absolutely knew that my application would get turned down. I had that kind of day, 2 dentist office visits for a total of $500 and the inability to eat anything for our 17th anniversary dinner. It seems that my drivers license is invalid....


How does my perfectly good drivers license that's still good for years suddenly become invalid. Not revoked, suspended, stolen..... just invalid.

Heading to DMV once I post this, I'm sure it will be a disaster. They will tell me nothing is wrong and I'll be in limbo buying my firearms from some homeless guy under a bridge.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Medical preps check

Ibuprofen, aspirin, bandages...

How about IV fluid? Can you give an IV, could you give one if you had written instructions... do you even watch when they draw blood and know the bevel goes up?

Antibiotics, splints, ace wraps, ice packs, liquid bandage, blood clot agent/pads, etc.

I was going over my medical preps and realize I have a ton of stuff but am short on bandages... the small ones that seem to get sucked into the void of used and never mentioned.  I know I have some but don't want to break into the improved first aid kit or trauma bag for them. It's funny the things we have and use and just plain forget to restock mostly out of laziness for not writing it on the dry erase board.

My IV fluids are set to expire next month so I'm in the hunt for some more. I know they are good for about 2 years after expiration, I have plenty of time but I would rather have more none. My lidocaine is going to expire as well, same deal on the 2-3 years good after expiration. I actually opened one up for my neighbor after she stabbed herself with some scissors close to a finger joint. It helped lower the pain around the wound and she was really grateful. This I wrote on the dry erase board, a topical local anesthetic is invaluable in my opinion.

I did offer to operate and stitch her up but I can't ever get a willing 'patient'.

I took inventory of my antibiotics; amox, cipro, peni, ampi. I also have some metronidazole, good for killing off tetanus bacteria (even a highlight on doomandbloom.net recently).

I made sure my combat lifesaver IV fluid instructions were in good order. It might take someone a few tries but they are really self explanatory. The entire combat lifesaver PDF guide is 27 files, 11.5 megs, but well worth the time to have on hand and printed out. I really don't remember where I picked it up but it's made it from computer to computer for a while.
I like to keep instructions on whatever medications I have around, including side effects and interactions. I also have a few books on natural healing, herbs and their medicinal uses, etc. I don't use oils and the like but if you have those make sure people can figure out what they do (too much clove oil can burn the inside of your mouth, something many people learn the hard way when they have a toothache).

I'm probably going to pick up some other fun stuff for medical preps at the end of the month in Mexico. I can get 100 quantity 800mg ibuprofen for about $6, plus all kinds of over the counter stuff.

If you decide to get fish/pet antibiotics, make sure the ingredient list is pure and it's from a major retailer or someplace online with a good reputation that isn't based off shore (and doesn't sell vicodin and the like). A good supply for medical preps isn't cheap, I bet mine totals up around $500 but it's super comforting to have around.

Monday, October 8, 2012

40, 17 and the cold hand of winter

Winter roared in like a freight train, everything in the garden is dead. It was pretty amazing to see how fast it went from lush to dead. I had everything pulled, picked, and harvested so I wasn't upset but I did get annoyed that I couldn't save the tomatoes... I lost about 150 of them. I could have covered them but since they are in pots that wouldn't have helped the roots and it was 27 degrees 2 mornings in a row with ice all over the ground.
Next year I will put them in the ground for sure, mainly for water consumption control, but it could have saved.
I turned the heat on, froze my butt off at a work event on Saturday. I finally finished making all of the Amish bread. We are getting a freezer next month, it's time, our fridge/freezer is busting open with frozen goodness. Once we have that up and running I can make as much bread and food as I like!
If anyone wants some, I'll mail it to you.

I turned 40 this morning and I feel wonderful.
We are having our 17th anniversary on Thursday.

Both are being celebrated on Sunday with a BBQ for family and friends, I'm up to 50 RSVP's... I never realized I knew so many people, let alone so many people who wanted to share these special occasions with us. After I left the Army I really didn't have any direction but knew I had made a commitment for life. There wasn't a job back in the day that I had skills for, there wasn't a need for Blackwater/KBR types. I had a job offer in Saudi Arabia for a lot of money but I knew it would destroy the relationship we had just started. I never imagined I would be settled down in one spot for so long and be so happy.

I'm not religious, but I've been blessed. When I lost my father I thought my life was over, I really was lost. We stuck together, I pulled myself up out of the bottom of a deep pit of despair. I'm doing better than ever now, it's amazing how fate works. Tragedy can destroy or it can bring you closer and more determined. I was/am determined to move forward and look in the mirror knowing I'm a good man and still making my Dad proud.

I'm healthy, happy and feeling like the top of the world. We are well prepared for whatever comes our way, or at least as best as we can be without going off the deep end. We continue to work on self reliance without giving up a lot of the things we enjoy. Our annual trip to Mexico for scuba diving is in a few weeks.

Top of the world.
It's cold this morning at the top too. Brr.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Charging bear?

Mother in law called asking if we wanted to come down and see the bear and cub in her backyard. No thanks, we were knocking all kinds of projects out at home and didn't want/need a break. We told her to stay inside, let them eat the large container of sunflower seeds they got into (things you don't store outside the garage).
The sitting area at the end of the dining room has one glass door next to an equal size glass window. MIL decided to sneak into this area and sit on the small couch located there, and bear watch. The mother bear charged the glass a little annoyed, close enough to spit on it.

This is one more reason why they need a gun. Not a shotgun they can rack a round in to 'scare people off', but a gun they can defend themselves with. If the bear had busted the glass, it would have been bad, and not for the bear. Stop feeding the damn birds and squirrels, including the seed and food scraps. I don't understand how people do this, I don't want a bunch of birds hanging around pooping on everything and I for sure don't want more squirrels and racoons and/or bears in the yard.

and they want a garden next year....
wherever they decide to move to around the neighborhood. STAY PUT DAMNIT!

Grocery shopping on Saturday was boring, it's not very exciting with my new diet... lots of protein and salad. I did find 6 pounds of 93% lean ground beef for $6 since it 'expired' the same day. It looked fine so I boiled it up and will vac seal it tonight for the freezer, cooked ground beef thaws in a short time. I would have picked up 30 pounds of it if they had that much on sale.

I'm getting a list together for a food storage order. I don't have many holes in my storage, this order will be a few replacements for what I've opened, and some new things.

I did run out of baking powder this weekend. Yes, I opened a #10 can of baking powder to save a trip to the store. It's good for 2+ years opened, but I don't think I'll go through that much. I laughed at having to crank open  #10 for 2 teaspoons.

But at least it was there, silly or not.