Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Powerball, doomsday and Wednesday randomness

Everyone is pooling money and buying Powerball tickets, it's all about the dream and hope. I'll admit we are going to drop $20 on tickets, we can't win if we don't play, but unlike many people we don't sit around talking about the what if. Chances of winning are silly remote so why sit around and pretend what you will do, it always seems to make a lot of people depressed about the current situation they are in.

I've watched a little more TV this week than normal, but I see the choices are still horrible. It does make us thankful for the lifestyle we have, the jobs, the family and friends, etc. How about some home improvement shows (not loaded with drama, fights, flamboyance). I guess I'm so fringe that I don't like 99% of the shows on TV. The few I record and watch are usually in hopes I can learn something. One small idea or sliver of knowledge makes it worthwhile, but it's often painful in the meantime.

Doomsday preppers last night was one long episode about the same group. They certainly had money to burn, good for them, should have used some of those millions for a garden. I would give them the most prepared out of all the episodes I've seen so far (2 years I think). The concussive blast in the 'hunting blind' made me laugh a little, way to get jacked up while you are trying to set off IED's... everything about that segment was way too unsafe. They should have built something on the building tops so they could keep an over-watch/lookout without having to leave the safety of buildings. There were a lot of things they could have improved on, like we all could do, but some of it seemed so basic it was a little silly.
One of the brain dead moments occurred when one half of the group got dinged hard for not bringing/having food stores. That family took the criticism to heart and started to take fencing lessons.... what!?

We found out there are negotiations underway for drilling on some of the properties we leased out a few months ago. Hopefully they get going fairly soon, it will take around a year from start to finish before we see any results, we want to bathe in black gold and pay off the mortgage.

My gym workouts are going great, I've got some amazing progress under my belt and I'm feeling better. I know I'm stronger, but for me it's about getting stable. I won't see the real long distance endurance running progress until spring, but I'm hopeful my back wont hurt after a few hours of slogging up and down the mountains. I don't think I'll try for 30+ miles anymore, it becomes too much of a job and sucks up all of my free time. I think a nice mix of trail endurance runs and power lifting will work great.

I've been generator and freezer shopping online. Freezers seem easy, no frost free and we want a standup. Generators are another story, so many choices. I would like a nice Honda generator but those are super expensive, I'm still bouncing around all the choices. Diesel, propane, gas... pull start or pull start backup, 3000 - 3500 watts but portability is important. I'll get it figured out soon, right after we decide what to do in the kitchen and get a new stove.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Cyber Monday goes by with a thud.

Buying a robot on cyber Monday isn't popular anymore, people spend on Black Friday (or a few hours earlier). I only received about half the junk mail cyber Monday offers as last year, hurt my self esteem.
I took a trip to Walmart today for work and was told I have an invalid credit card number card. I said no problem, let me call up Amex and I'll find out what's going on. The head cashier storms over and tells me the transaction has to be completed or else they have to get a manager over. I replied 'I can't pee money' and walked away to make a phone call.
Amex told me everything was fine, have them type in the card manually.... that required a manager too.
Typing the card number in manually is safer than using a card reader, managers needing to do this help prevent fraud. A card reader doesn't require ID for under X $ in purchases and most of the time they never ask for ID. How often are you really asked for an ID, especially if using a debit card and it's all self swipe.
I let them know the card reader was bad, the manager wasn't pleased she had to do her job and made sure to belittle the cashier to the head cashier. The holiday spirit is alive early this year in one of my least favorite stores of all time.

I ordered something from Tactical Assault Gear, something I've had my eye on for over 6 months. I checked to see if it was on sale (no luck) and noticed they had the color I've been wanting in stock. I've never seen multicam in stock before so I figured it was fate and stepped up.

Banshee carrier with optional attachments.

Soft Armor IIIa: front, back, and love handles!
The question at home was 'why did you buy it?'. It was a great question, and it wasn't about the expense.

I could have picked up another weapon, more ammo, food, etc. There are a ton of things I could have picked up that might seem better suited (generator and/or freezer come to mind). Having supplies is great, being able to defend your supplies and family is even better. I'm not sure that most people think they will ever get shot at. Countless sites, blogs and forums all seem to be big on weapons and having 50,000 rounds of ammo to fend off the countless 'zombies' (hungry neighbors) who will come and try to take your 'brains' (food). I assume if I have to shoot, I will get shot at.

If I'm prepared to defend my 'brains' and non infected family, why wouldn't I want a combat multiplier, an edge. This purchase might save my life, everything else I could get can only extend it. This isn't a movie, you don't get shot and rub the crushed bullet off your vest and bounce up, but you can get back up and you can survive. We have some a nice concealable armor vest in the closet but it's too small (better than nothing), from back when someone was 20 years younger. 20 years ago for me and I was still wearing flak vests, body armor for the military was never thought of.

We will check it out when it shows up and probably order another, why have just one person with an edge when you can have 2. Once we fit and play around with it, I'll think about getting rifle plates, depending on how the month ends up at work. There is always the factor of never knowing when you won't be able to purchase this stuff, some websites still ask for proof of 1st responder employment. I'm thinking not to far in the future the average citizen (or people like me) won't be able to buy armor anymore.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Red Dawn, or how I wasted my day

When half the people I know don't want to see a movie, maybe it should ring a little bell in my head. Instead I wasted $7 on a movie that only had a few good moments. Sure, I knew the Titanic would sink but it was still a great movie.

Some people were kind and I have a few more followers. I'll try not to annoy everyone.

A great day to water the yard and watch some college football. Since I really did waste the day away, here are some fun pictures of my lazy Saturday.

 Luke doesn't care about being outside, the couch is more comfortable.
 Rock trying out his raccoon mask in hope he can sneak up on a squirrel.
 This no knead bread goes great with:
Irish stew (and a large bowl of it at that!).
More bread was made, good bread never lasts long.
Apple crumb, the in-laws placed an order and I'm sure there isn't any left.

I was successful in wasting the day away and yet getting so much done. There is football on right now that needs me and I have a workout at the gym in a few hours. I should take a nap, I'm 40 after all and it's hard being this old....

Friday, November 23, 2012

Irish stew on Black Friday!

After staying up a little late cleaning some guns, I wanted to sleep in. 5 minutes after my alarm would normally go off the calls and text's came in from work. SoandSo doesn't have a key to X, the receptionist didn't show up, no one can open up X, my password doesn't work, are you working today, where are you. How do they manage when I'm normally not there I'll never know.

Since I was up and about I hit the gym early but my workout sucked, I'll go back tonight and do 25 laps in the pool.

A friend called me up and off we went to get a scope for her husbands birthday present. I was wary about going out today but I wasn't driving and the traffic was all normal. The scope she wanted was still in stock, but at Sportsmans warehouse there is always so much stuff, we checked out the sale stuff and this is what I picked up:

2 Panther .308 magazines
Electronic hearing protection
500+ yard rangefinder
4-Sided small archery target

What I really wanted to buy this weekend: new shoes. I figured since the traffic and people were behaving I would venture out on my own once we got done shopping together. Sports Authority had buy one, 50% off second shoes but of course didn't have the size I wear. Just my luck and I was so adventurous to brave the traffic a second time. I should have gone where I always buy shoes but I got sucked into the sale flyer. Tomorrow I'll go buy my 6th or 7th pair of running shoes this year, I'm an addict.

Time to cook for the weekend:

Irish stew

2 lbs. stew meat
2 lbs. ground beef
30 oz. stewed tomatoes (I use fire roasted)
15 oz tomato sauce
2 C. chopped celery
4 large potatoes, 1" squares
15 oz corn
2 white onions
2 C diced carrots
3 C elbow noodles

Sear meat in yuo stock pot. Add tomatoes, tomato sauce, 30 oz water, and the following spices:
1 TBS: Chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic powder
1 tsp: oregano, cumin, coriander, paprika
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Cover and cook an hour until stew meat is tender, add carrots and cook for 10 minutes, add 'taters and cook until they are almost done, add onion and cook until they are almost done, add elbow noodles and corn. When noodles are to your desired tenderness get a bowl and eat.
You can add 1/4 head of cabbage at the same time as the elbow noodles if it's not Irish enough for you this way. I suppose you could drink a 5th of whiskey too.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Barkday?

Today is a special day for us, it's both of our boys barkdays!

Sure, they could be birthdays but we don't know when they were born. Instead we celebrate when they came into our lives and graced us with barks.

We found Luke 8 years ago on the way to Thanksgiving dinner. We tried to get him in the car and he wouldn't come so I said let's go, can't rescue them all. The game being over he hauled ass and leaped into the backseat. We took him to the Humane Society but they were closed and the after hours rescue drop off was locked. He decided to let me know that I was his owner... he pee's on my foot.
His original owners were visiting the area when he dug out and escaped. He must have heard them talking about returning him to the shelter since he was getting too big for them and they were afraid their landlord would complain.

Rock (as some of you know) was a rescue last year after our beloved Tobie passed on after a long battle with leukemia. Rock was more than a handful at first, and honestly still is a little big for his britches at times but he has become a wonderful addition to our family. He spent around 9 months in a rescue shelter apparently just waiting for us, he didn't like anyone else at all.

Apple crumb pie, oatmeal white bread x 2 and no knead pan bread has been done this morning. The turkey goes into the over in a few minutes. I also made some barkday treats for the boys!

That's right, I have dog bone, dog house, dog paw print and sitting dog cookie cutters. Don't you?

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Out of eggs and a special treat

When you need to bake 10 loaves of bread you should make sure you have all the ingredients before you start. This goes for anything I suppose.
I set all the boxes, tubs, containers, etc. on the counter, wet on the right and dry on the left. I had 3 eggs and needed 15. I could have stopped what I was doing and hit the store but what kind of preparedness level would that be if each time I needed something I went to the store.
Those are eggs in the sifter. 1 T whole egg powder and 2 T water equals 1 egg. I actually added a little more water than it calls for, each type of egg powder will be different so you need to find out what works. They don't make the best scrambled eggs but it's good enough to eat. I use the whole egg powder from Shelf Reliance, I just happen to like their products. The added bonus of egg powder is you don't have to worry about uncooked eggs. I opened a #10 can a couple of months ago and am slowly making a dent in it. The #10 can of baking powder sitting next to it will eventually get dumped out, that's a lot of powder.

Amish friendship bread made with real eggs, minus a sample slice.
Amish friendship bread made with egg powder. They were a little lighter in color and a little 'fluffier' but otherwise tasted the same. My neighbor friend stopped by unannounced (they are used to me opening the door with a gun in my hand when they do that.... maybe I shouldn't have given them a gate key) so they were my test subjects. No one complained and one entire loaf vanished when they left. I had the sample slices only since I had to visit the gym when done cooking.

If you make quick bread, especially a sweeter type (banana, zucchini, etc.) you can give it a special twist. Grease the loaf pan and coat it with a mixture of sugar and cinnamon. I use 1/4 C sugar and 2T cinnamon (saigon cinnamon is my favorite but you can use regular store brands just fine), mix in a small bowl and then coat one loaf pan. Pour the extra into the next pan, repeat until it's gone or you run out of pans to coat.
It should look like this when you are done. I went high with the grease and sugar but it's a good habit in case you have breads that rise a lot. Amish friendship bread is similar to a sourdough starter:
1 packet (or 2t) active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (to dissolve the yeast)
1 C. Sugar, Flour, Milk
This is day one. Day 2-5 let it sit (I use a zipock, make sure you check the air level so it doesn't explode).
Day 6 add 1 C. Flour, Milk, Sugar.
Day 7-9 let it sit
Day 10 cook it up with this stuff (makes 2 loaves):
1 C Oil, Milk, Sugar and starter batter
3 eggs
1 T vanilla
2 T cinnamon
1/2 t soda
1.5 t powder
2 C flour
1 package pudding powder (I use vanilla non instant)
dash of salt

Bake in greased and floured (or sugared) loaf pans @ 350 degrees for 43 minutes (my oven, yours may need an hour).
The standard recipe says to add to the starter before you cook with it but I'm special and throw caution to the wind. You can give people a cup of starter and instructions, etc. but they really just want the bread to eat. I make new starter each time, but I know how to keep it going if I decided to not start from scratch each time. I start from scratch for more of a virgin batter, that's just me. I also use metal bowls and most recipes say not to.
My way will result in 4 (ie. 8 loaves) batches. Sometimes I can get 10 depending on how active the yeast was (or if I left the bag in the sun, added a little more than 1 C. of sugar, etc.).
If you forget the pudding it's a plain tasting sweet bread.

Tonight I need to make the rest of the bread. Tomorrow I'm making a ham, turkey, pumpkin pie and apple crumb pie. Perhaps a chocolate sheet cake as well, depending on how much help I get in the kitchen. Once all that is done it's off to the in-laws.

Happy Thanksgiving. People are always thankful for stuff on this day. I'm thankful all year for everything in my life, it's been amazing and many times frightening, I'm thankful I wake up each morning.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Clutter from my mind to the keys

We are stove shopping, at least we might get a good deal with the holiday season here. Our 1970ish stove is on the fritz and it's time to upgrade. We are thinking about doing the counter tops at the same time, it's just hard to part with money. We have $800 in gift cards saved up from Home Depot and Visa, that will cover half of the stove. We want a 6 burner smooth surface electric. We put some thought into a gas stove, but you have to have a large over the stove hood vent in order to have it installed. Our kitchen won't allow for that, so we will stick to electric. You can see in the below picture it's a 2 burner on the right, but either side is a large insert (we have a grill for the left side as well), but the contacts are all wearing out. If you have the 2 burners on the right cooking, the left burners barely work. Not acceptable as much as we cook.
I'm amazed, and totally not surprised by the number of people who can't make bread.... or anything. Someone at work assumed my bread was from a bread machine and told me how they can't figure out how to use the one they got as a gift. I know it's hard to measure and dump....
Fresh bread not only has an amazing taste, it's only about .50 cents per loaf worth of ingredients if you don't buy in bulk. It's so much work... oh my poor hands, all that kneading. A solar over isn't really inexpensive

Organizing: Making room for a second gun safe and a possible freezer had me in the basement for 4 hours. I moved a rack, added a rack, organized a rack and checked the expiration dates on the canned goods. I noticed my 7 day go buckets have expired pop tarts in them, this weekend I will swap some mountain house packets in their place. I had about $50 in goods to stock in from the staging area, it's only a pain when you have to move all the cans to put the new stuff in the back/underneath.

Surfing: I read an article over here, about a LEO during Sandy. A few of the comments talked about a sense of community and how they hope people will pull together and learn from lessons in the past. Good luck.
We are guilty of not wanting to socialize with the people who live around us, for the most part. It's ok to be friendly, but when people go out of their way to cross the street so they avoid you... well that's all I need to know. Who's fault is it that people aren't prepared, it's not ours. If there is a crisis, people do band together some, it's natural. After the crisis, it's back to the Xbox and ignoring each other.
We have enough to do right now with friends and family, I'm not going to waste crisis energy or supplies for people who never wanted anything to do with us. I'm sorry if I walk out of my gate and someone notices a pistol on my belt, tough cookies, see you on the other side of the street.

Everyone has the same opportunity to be prepared for whatever. Income and expenses will vary but the opportunity and choices are/have been there. I grew up on food stamps, government cheese, low income firewood delivery programs, etc. Once a month we would get some ice cream or a bag of cheetos, otherwise everything we had went into just getting by. Thankfully there was a free school lunch program to help, I'm not sure we could have done one more meal 5 days a week for my Brother and I. We made the right choices the whole time and even when were off food stamps we didn't change much, (we did get electricity and a 19" color tv) our shopping habits stayed the same.

Lesson learned: Some blogs and websites I have read/read talk about using a .308 as a main battle rifle... After shooting the carbine and .308 this weekend, I don't think that's feasible. With the recoil on the .308, you are way off target after a couple of rapid shots. The carbine I can get a 30 round magazine on and around the target with no issues. It makes me wonder if I'm reading things from 'armchair preppers', or am I just a weak sissy boy.

Finally: I was in Safeway yesterday grabbing some fruit for the week (work nibbles) when I saw they were doing some type of fundraiser. $10 donation and they will fill a grocery bag and give it to X charity. Hey, good idea to help those less fortunate. THEN I saw the sign said you could use your EBT card for the donation. HOLD UP, WHAT? Your EBT card is to help you purchase groceries, it's not so you can give to charity. If you can give $10 to charity then you shouldn't be using an EBT card. People should be allowed to donate the money they were donated.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Boom boom day

After a 45 minute drive, we arrived at a nice shooting spot. There are shooting spots closer but they either cost money to use or are completely trashed out by all the irresponsible shooters who use them. The bonus is the longer the drive, the less people you will encounter. We shared the spot with one other group of shooters, for a total of 9 people.

This is my neighbors daughter shooting the other halfs carbine. I left mine at home and spent most of the time sighting in my .308 (the one on the ground) and still didn't get it dialed in perfectly. I really need a bench and a better spotter, but for what I had to work with I was drilling center mass at about 300 feet.
I love to shoot, I hate to clean up. Not only do we pick up all of our trash, we also pick up a ton of other garbage that people leave. It's not hard, just frustrating that even the people we range shared with left trash. We got lots of brass, I might look into reloading if I get a year end bonus, shooting $100 of .308 and about $250 of other calibers adds up fast, luckily we don't shoot so often and one of our group does reload. I'm honestly not sure I have enough time, or want to dedicate the time.

Made a few loaves of bread, finished a book, worked out at the gym, cleaned the house, went to the movies and saw Skyfall. Great movie with a small audience right next to huge wrap around lines to see Twilight. Yuck.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

6 weeks at the gym

It seems like forever ago that I stopped trying to run hundreds of miles a month and began dedicating that time to the gym. My core strength was lacking a lot, it made my running form go from laughable at the start to horrible a few hours later.
I miss running for hours on end, I miss the alone and quiet time to think and scheme and plan. The gym is filled with a majority of people who bullshit too much, do a lot of things the wrong way, and/or strut around wanting everyone to see how (insert descriptive word here) they are.
How do these people not break a sweat?

I'm there for 50 minutes or so and my shirt is completely soaked. I may look silly doing some low weight and a lot of body weight stuff, but I'm working my ass off. When I am doing handstand pushups, there is a pool of sweat on the floor from where it's dripping off my face. If I talk it's usually 4 letter words directed at myself. I often channel the anger at not being able to do something and it helps me continue.
Inner voice: "Really, it's just 10 more dead lifts, if you can't do these how can you expect to run away from the zombies when you really need to do it?"

I've had a good transformation in these few weeks, I'm expecting big things by the end of the year. My running has really taken a back seat, I'm only hitting 5 miles a week... maybe less. I'm feeling better and even sleeping a little better as well... and best of all I don't feel like it's a second job. Being prepared means a lot of different things to each person, but if you are not physically prepared then perhaps a lot of other things don't really matter in the end.

Having a route from your work to your house that can leave you virtually undetected (google earth help with this kind of plan) is great, but if you can't physically walk the route right now then how can you walk it with gear in a time of crisis?

This weekend is firearms practice, canned good expiration date check and some grocery store stock up. Lot's of great sales starting for the holidays, it's pretty amazing how much food you can get right now. I shop at Albertsons and they have a lot of $1 items right now. Canned goods, starches, bag of X... I'm probably going to scrounge up $100 and see how well we can do.

I also have to vacuum and mop. Why won't the house self clean.

Monday, November 12, 2012

and you voted for....?

My friend and neighbor popped into work today stating that she needed to buy a gun....

"I need to get a gun"
Me: "Oh. Something going on?"
"No, I just heard something about not being able to buy a gun soon."
Me: "I see... and whom did you vote for?"
"I voted to protect my lady parts."
Me: "You are a typical American voter, persuaded by some shocking commercial without educating yourself on the possible facts."
Me: "You disgust me."

Me: "See you at 4."

That's what friends do, but I hope I made her think a little bit. I don't hold back, I've always told people how I feel and a friend gets it the same. I don't care how anyone voted if it's what they really believe in and they know the facts. There are a lot of people who are reading the headlines since the election that wish they could change their vote (including many people I know and/or work with). Fail.

When I drive over to the gun store, I will ask her what type of gun she wants and what she wants to do with it. She will reply, "9mm, something to keep in the nightstand in case I'm home and something happens."

I love when people say that. Especially when it's someone who doesn't lock the doors at all. Numerous phone calls about letting her dog out and of course the house is always unlocked. I have a key but I've never had to use it. Then of course the whole gun in the nightstand drives me nuts, it's not like you are always next to the nightstand. How about strapping that thing on all the time? I mow, make bread, vacuum, play computer games, etc. and I'm packing.

I know, small steps...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Get that oven cranking!

It was a brisk 28 degrees this morning and I let myself sleep in a little. I am sore from the gym so it was nice to stretch out with the doggies for a few extra minutes. Sleeping in for me means 8am if I am lucky, sleep doesn't come easy and when it becomes light outside my body says it's time to get up.

Alabama lost yesterday, they really beat themselves in the end. it wasn't a very good game to watch, the ending was even worse. I thought Oregon was going to have a tough game, guess they finally got the lead out and it was nothing but ducks zipping around on the field. I like football, it's something to do when I haven't figured out what book to read  next. I have 2 at home I need to read and another 6 that should be delivered on Monday.

Today I got some baking done (it's not even noon yet), adding the oven heat to the house on a cold day doesn't hurt one bit.
 I love bread, fresh from the oven. The way it makes the house smell can't be beat. We have a lot of windows in the kitchen so I put the dough in a cabinet so it will rise. The hot water baseboard heat is really nice, but the water piping in the lower cabinets makes for warm dishes and great bread.
 Nothing in the world makes better toast than bread you made yourself. My bread machine doesn't even come close to the taste, but it's much more convenient when you don't want to fuss over the entire process. This is a basic white oatmeal bread so I won't post a recipe, easy to find. We don't eat much processed food, I'm amazed the things you read on an ingredient label.
 Apple crumb pie! I wanted pumpkin but the other side of the family doesn't like it a lot, so this is my contribution to the birthday dinner. I prefer a crumb style pie vs. a traditional top crust. It's about 1/3 less flour but it doesn't always keep the juices contained on the edges. This is a recipe from my 1953 cookbook, the bottom crust is from scratch with only the best ingredients (1.5 C flour, 1/4 tsp. salt, .5 C shortening, 5 Tbs. cold water).
Finally some Amish bread starter was made. I'll have 8-10 loafs in 10 days and then I can send some out to a blogger in CA, I just haven't had time to get it started but enough with the delays!

It's Veterans day. I'm glad I'm in doing ok, not everyone can say the same who served. There have been a lot of sacrifices over hundreds of years, I'm thankful to those who came before me and those who are serving or will eventually serve. Regardless of political or personal opinions that people have, These United States of America are worth it. Father in law served 2 tours in Korea, he was one of the lucky ones to come home, so even if I don't like hanging with the entire family.... he has damn well earned it.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Family prepardness weekend

It's father in laws birthday, everyone will be there and the subject will no doubt turn to politics and then to things in the preparedness area. We have been down this road about 6 months ago, and 6 months before that.

One brother in law said he was going in on some bug out land with a guy who is a real survivalist and even owns an AK-47

One brother in law said he wanted to get some food storage and weapons, but the only thing he has done in 6 months was snag an AR.

Sister in law thinks that father in law will shoot mother in law if we give him my 20 gauge, or one of the grand kids... to the point she will have a heart attack if we actually do it when she is there.

I'm always torn how much to say, or how much to help. It's obvious to me that they, like many, are more about talk than about action. I'm an action guy, the only talk is about how to be better prepared and what things we need to add to the stockpiles. I don't want to sit around talking about all kinds of stuff, and giving everyone great ideas that I know won't get acted on. I did a ton of stuff this week and added a lot of supplies, I bet all they did was watch whatever crap was on TV abut dancing, moms, stars, etc. Chances are none of them watched doomsday preppers in hopes of getting 1 single idea.

I also really have an issue with brother in law #1 that I haven't been able to overcome, so I don't really care if he/his family are prepared or not.

I already made it very clear that we don't have much ourselves and I will turn away anyone who shows up thinking otherwise. We have the smallest house and when relatives are over there isn't anything to see. Sure, we are always armed, but it's Colorado and it's America! Father and mother in law are welcome, we have planned for them but still can't get them to work on food storage past having enough food for about 3 weeks.

I'm really not looking forward to this weekend, I don't want to seem rude but I'm going to just tell people to get off the couch and get stuff done. I know they can all afford to do it, even if it's all at once, they just don't really want to do more than talk. Maybe I can distract myself with football.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Giving up my favorite shotgun and new additions

It's Father in laws 83rd (maybe 84th actually) birthday this weekend. The whole family will be there and he asked for suspenders. He also asked for a shotgun, just so he could pump it and scare people away. I told him nothing scares someone like a large hole in the door.
We didn't want to spend a ton of money on something that wouldn't get used (hopefully), so we decided my office buddy would do the trick. I love my 20 gauge, it's so tiny and lightweight and the sheath straps to the side of my get home bag just right. I will miss my shotgun, and I will miss seeing it behind my chair. For now my Taurus subcompact will sit behind my chair.

It was a MAD MAD WORLD at the gun store today. I honestly went to check some bulk ammo prices to see if buying local would be about the same as shipping it in. People were tossing credit cards around, one guy said "max it out, I don't care!"
I watched half a pallet of 5.56 vanish in the hour I was there, I can only imagine what it will be like this weekend with payday and people being able to actually get to the store.

The owner of the store saw me and came over to say hello. I've been doing business with him for 17 years and he knows I don't browse. I told him I wanted to check out ammo prices and to see if our names had been moved up the list for the M&P Shield 9mm. He did have 2 Shields that just showed up and weren't tagged for anyone and he would give them to us. I don't always buy my stuff from him, sometimes it's cheaper down the road, but I always give him a shot and at least buy all my ammo there at a minimum.
This is my M&P Shield 9mm and I just happen to pick up a Mossberg Plinker (.22) while I was waiting the 45 minutes for a background check. The wait later in the day was hitting 3 hours I was told. I didn't take a picture of the 2nd Shield, it looks the same.
Bulk ammo was a little cheaper than shipping it in, so we picked up 2000 rounds of 5.56 and 500 rounds of .308
To replace my .20 gauge we decided to step up and get another 12 gauge. This is the Mossberg 590 with heat shield and Insight slide light. Our current 12 gauge will become my new office and sheath shotgun once we get a synthetic slide, this new model will soon have a collapsible stock installed.
I also got a package today with these fun toys. 70,000 cubic feet of white smoke per, pull ring igniter. Now I'm hunting for need to find some Molle pouches for them to hook onto my vest. I've seen some videos on the volume of smoke they produce, and I'll test it myself next time I'm out in the boonies so no one thinks the house is on fire.

We feel comfortable with the preps we have for firearms and ammo, but have been wanting to add to the supplies a little. It wasn't panic buying, just things that we had planned that happened sooner than we thought they might. This will put off a generator purchase for a couple of months, unless I can't find any long term food storage black Friday deals.

The election happened, there are a lot of people freaked out and very angry. No need to get worked up, if you think you need preps then get them. I'm just going about business as normal until the situation demands otherwise.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Please vote for this important political issue!

Please vote for wider doors, getting sticks into the house is too hard.

Happy Voting!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Post number 2, welcome home

For the first time since my military days, I drew my pistol with the intention of having to use it.

I wasn't even home 12 hours, but there is no rest of situational awareness or preparedness. We had just left a store where I picked up a new toy:
I know the picture is hard to see, but it's a .308 DPMS rifle. I've been saving up for a longer distance rifle that wasn't bolt action. This was on sale and had everything I was looking for, and they just happened to be out of the M&P shield in 9mm that we went to hopefully purchase. I will order a few things for it this week.

We left the store and I was in the right lane with a few cars on my left and behind, 35mph area. I see someone in the middle of my lane as we round a corner (in a not so awesome part of town), so I let off the gas thinking he was crossing the street and would be on the curb in no time. I'm now going slow and can see he isn't walking across the road, just sort of standing there so I am almost at a complete stop when he starts waving his arms around and stumbling towards the drivers side of the car.
I already know I'm blocked in with other traffic, I already know the doors are locked, and I am in a spot where I can't curb hop to get away. As soon as he took 1 step towards us, the brakes were applied and instantly I had drawn and racked a round in the chamber, with the gun just below the top of the dashboard. Someone else in the car had a holster unsnapped and ready to draw as well. The man stopped suddenly and walked off the street, out of the way, and I nailed the gas.

While I'm sure there wasn't any real threat, that's hindsight. Perhaps mentally disabled, perhaps drunk, perhaps thinking someone would stop so he could ask for money, perhaps it was going to be an ambush. I don't know and everything worked out ok... it was just a HUGE reminder to always be ready. I was really surprised how smooth and fast it happened, it's not something I practice while driving or in the driveway.

With the particular setup and holster I had on today, I don't keep one chambered, I don't like the idea of having a loaded gun aimed at my nether regions when I move it out of the preferred car driving position on my belt. There is no snap or strap, it's a perfect smooth pull holster that I love for driving around (or being a passenger).

What else... I have leaves all over the yard, the 2 people I was going to overpay (by a lot) failed to do more than 20% of the yard, so they will not get paid unless they finish this week. I can do it myself but am trying to help out a couple of kids who can use the money.
.308 is $1 per bullet, I purchased 5 boxes of 20 and that shelf was bare. They didn't have any 5.56 unless I wanted the Tulammo, but that doesn't shoot well in my carbine.

Be prepared, be ready and listen to your instincts. While this particular situation turned out to be nothing more than a conversation piece, there are plenty of stories all over the country that don't turn out so well.

Mexico picture post

This is the picture post. I didn't take a ton, once you've seen it a dozen times you sort of stop with the camera clicking way. I also opted not to purchase a new underwater camera or housing, I have so many awesome diving pictures I figured they were good enough and just enjoyed the dives without worry about a camera.
I saw all the usual creatures from turtles to sharks to eels. The first few days were rough waters, with the last few calming down to what we are always accustomed to.
While the trip was relaxing and great, we won't go back for several  years. After skipping a year and having a crappy time in Honduras, we figured it would somehow be awesome back in Cozumel. It wasn't, so we are going to take a year off from diving and then hit somewhere new.. if the world stay afloat.

 I have no idea. I'm not usually at a loss for words, and I'm sure there is some meaning to this display but... well loss for words.
 Sunset one night from downtown.
 Brazilian Navy strolled into town looking very prestigious in formation on deck.
 If you are going to eat ice cream, you better not let the cone man get you.
 From our favorite breakfast place, right next to the Cozumel Naval building. The dock farther South usually had 2-3 additional cruise ships there every day.
 View from our room.
 From the back of the dive boat, heading out for a few hours of nitrogen narcosis.
 Out to sea looking West.
 I am smiling.
 The pool in the center of the hotel area. This was fun to do laps around the entire thing instead of my usual 75 feet and back again.
 The last night was the best sunset of the entire week.
 Even the clouds looked amazing.
One more shot, same night.
Finally, the last shot.

Friday, November 2, 2012

The American Way?

It's the American way, just make enough demands or scream really loud and you can get everything you want.... (rant ahead). I don't know anyone in the impacted areas, and I maybe I just don't care anymore but:

What kind of crap is this. Fights breaking out over long lines for gasoline, a bus ride, groceries. Upset commuters having to walk 30 minutes to work. News people getting angry towards officials who are trying to get the basics restored. Sorry CNN, you could have given people 6 months advance warning of a storm and still have it bite you in the ass and destroy a lot of things. Those are power lines, and power lines are damaged when debris falls.

Being in Mexico I only have CNN to watch, and internet new stories to read. Sensationalism sells and gets clicks on websites, I don't expect anything less.

It's a personal responsibility to care for your family. If you need government assistance, I understand that, but it's not the governments job (local, state, or federal) to support an entire population of any area. How could you live on the coast without flood insurance? How could you have storm warnings for a week (or more) and not have enough food, water, gas, etc. to make it at least 1 week. I'm only talking about $40-$100, not some spectacular amount of money.

Lines of people waiting to charge a cell phone. My iPhone battery lasts 2 days with only making a few phone calls. How about a little forward thinking... turn the phone off until it's needed to check in with family once the storm has passed. Posting on your social media sites that you are scared and the water is rising is STUPID and doesn't do you any good unless you somehow got a magic life saving boost from people making comments like 'oh you poor thing', 'hang in there', my prayers to you' while you were typing out your final text: 'gurgle gurgle'.

 I know a lot of people got some new TV's from the looting, way to go, it's the American way to steal from your very own community. Communities should pull together in a crisis, not make sure you have a lookout while you bust into Best Buy.

Speaking of the American way:

We had some breakfast at a local cafe, great food and good prices, a place we have been going to for all of our Cozumel trips. The cafe was packed, the owners consolidated 2 people on laptops to one table so we could have a place to eat. The people there were all from one of the 4 cruise ships in town, a younger crowd of mostly under 25 year old people. I would say 45 people there, including us, and our group of 4 were the only table not holding a laptop or cell phone. I know the cruise ships have internet, so why would anyone want to walk 1/4 mile just to plug in again. Look around at the amazing water, scenery, beaches, culture.

The locals aren't any better. They have the (us) tourists fooled into thinking they don't make any money and rely on tips alone. Funny, I see these same people with top of the line gear and electronics. I watched a local who was fishing by hand while I was eating a nice dinner.... I was feeling guilty about my lifestyle when a rogue wave crashed up on the rocks and soaked this poor man completely. He pulled out his iPhone to make sure it still worked....

Apparently it's not just the American Way.