Monday, April 29, 2013

almost normal

After a self imposed several week break, I was back at it again this weekend. I suppose it never was really a break since we didn't really do anything different, we just avoided the news, blogs, and conversations that weren't upbeat.

Reality is a lot different when you are clueless, and to be fairly uninformed for a couple of weeks was hard for me mentally, more than anything else. We put off redoing our get home bags and it was painful to see the new bags sitting there empty but a break was needed.

 To end our break we had a UFC fight night on Saturday. This is Pina Colada cheesecake cooling down before it goes into the fridge. I made some fresh blueberry topping for it, but nothing beats:
Pina Colada whipped cream. Cream of coconut, sugar and whipping cream. I had my workout friend and his buddy over for the fight and they said the whole concoction was possibly the best thing they had ever tasted. The spaghetti wasn't too bad either. The whipping cream was the only thing I didn't have in food storage, otherwise it was all food from preps.

The tomatoes were in need of a transplant, it's about 4 weekends until they go in the dirt. I had to gather some support sticks up from the yard, 1 for me and 1 for Rock to chase.
My available counter space is smaller now. The ones on the left were given to the mormon neighbors, the poor wife isn't able to get anything going this year. I think she over watered the seeds (we both used the same ones) and they mildewed. One of the smaller trays in the picture has bell peppers in it that I'm trying to rescue but will just start over tonight. I didn't pod those and they ended up being too deep and too wet, but an A for effort. We have around a 5 month growing cycle if you keep up with covering the plants for the early cold snaps, we will have a mammoth crop this year of all sorts of things.

Heading out for a couple of weeks soon, Orlando and then Las Vegas. It's going to mess up my workout schedule more than anything but I'll adapt. I had an awesome run yesterday, all the soreness from leg days is paying off. I suppose if squats were easy they would be called leg presses instead.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A flashback

Not all of my flashbacks are good ones, but in the spirit of trying to only write about positive things and avoid all the news:

I drove by a store this past weekend, a gaming store. Dungeons and Dragons type of gaming, with dice and people, not just a computer screen.
It made me remember being in 4th grade and going on a field trip to a large town in New Hampshire that I had never been to. The name eludes me but we ended up going to a bookstore, a large one. As poor as we were I somehow had $20 and my friend convinced me to buy a boxed Dungeons and Dragons gaming set.

If he didn't convince me to buy it, and if I hadn't had so much fun playing it (mostly by myself, but when you live in the middle of the woods you make do), I wouldn't have eventually started messing around with computers. This led me to being the only person at work who knew anything about computers some 16 years ago, and that eventually let me to sort of being the general manager over the last few of those years.

I just sent that old friend a message on facebook thanking him. Maybe he will read it.

Life continues at a hectic pace and I think Spring is finally here. 6 inches of snow fell on Tuesday morning and it's going to be 70 degrees today and into the weekend. My plants are just about ready for larger containers and then into the ground in 4 weeks. I'm excited about the garden this year, it's going to be large.

This weekend we are visiting some friends who moved about 30 minutes away and picked up a large piece of property with a large stream on it. We are bringing lunch, good times ahead.

In case you are wondering, I still have that Dungeons and Dragons stuff and I'm not a pack rat, I just like to stay grounded.

Friday, April 19, 2013

At any time, in any place

There is always the "can't believe it could happen here" reaction when things go bad, or bad things happen. In the new American culture and a society filled with instant information, how could someone still think that X couldn't happen.

I suppose I take the opposite view most of the time, being a pessimist, being surprised something didn't happen sooner. I'm also very desensitized, I haven't seen anything in the news in years that has made me cringe, unless it's more Government control. I'm almost to the point of not being bothered by this as well.

Giving myself a fairly good break from blogging, reading the news, and a lot of other things... it was nice, I guess that's what it's like to be a regular person. Sure I still practiced what I preach, but instead of filling myself with whatever information, I read some good books and played some computer games.

A nice break indeed. Now it's time to grocery shop, buy some more dog food (I'm down to an 8 months supply), make some bread, load up some more pmags, order some more freeze dried stuff, etc.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Be vigilant

If you have never been to a large organized run or other type of event, you might not know how much security is involved. The Shamrock run in Oregon, the Chicago Marathon, etc. are a lot larger than Boston, but the security is still seemingly over the top.

It's a reminder that if someone wants to be a criminal, they can plan and plot and basically do whatever they want regardless of how many police officers or security guards are around. It means we need to be vigilant and observant, and while we don't need to be living in a bunker, we should be aware at all times.

I've been working my butt off and had to take a break from blogging and even reading other blogs. I'm still living a prepared life, I just had to focus a little more on work and leave the rest of the world to itself. I was feeling a little prickly over all the legislation, political rhetoric and world news. The breaking point was a local politician coming into my office at work and handing me a donation envelope. I've supported him in the past as he is a great voice for equal rights, so I asked him if he was a supporter of the 2nd amendment.
"I'm a supporter of the 2nd amendment but I'm also a supporter of sensible gun control"
I told him that I'm held accountable each day at work and politicians needs to be held accountable as well. Passing legislation based on emotion, special interest groups and out of state pressure when the majority of your constituents oppose it, means you get a recall effort against you. Especially when the legislation only means law abiding citizens do/pay more and it doesn't stop anyone else from doing anything.
He said, "I disagree that it wont do anything, especially when it's paired with the mentally ill list, something that doesn't exist just yet. I think these issues will be number one in the next election."

He's damn right they will, walk into my office and give me a line of political bullshit and tell me he wants a mentally ill list. Make one list, make more, no stopping that juggernaut once it gets going. I'm keeping his donation envelope so I can put some money in it and hand it to his opponent. The legislation, today, is talking about mental health issues and how they can detain mentally ill.
So it begins.

My plants are doing great and almost ready for a transplant, I've got bread starter that will be cooked tonight, half the things I've used in the kitchen over the last few weeks were expired and I've only gone to the grocery store once in about 3 weeks.
It's going to be a big trip when I finally take the time to go, maybe this weekend. It's not an experiment, it's just how it worked out. We are house and dog sitting currently, talk about not having much of a time block for ourselves.

The working out is going great, I've slimmed down some via diet and feel a lot better about myself. I hit a few goals in the gym that I was struggling with and I'm managing to get some running and hiking in still. I'm hopeful this week is the last of the cold weather, I'm about done with it.

I switched over my get home bag to the new eberlestock pack I ordered in a few weeks ago. It's a nice pack and holds everything and then some. It's also not too bulky and changing from black to multicam means it blends in in this high desert foliage.

Monday, April 8, 2013

A growing group

Our monthly BBQ meeting was last night and we got to meet everyone that couldn't make last months meeting. The numbers for the group are hovering close to 35 adults, an impressive number and a lot of skill from all areas. 2 doctors, 1 surgeon, an engineer, 2 special forces operators, 2 carpenters, 4 previous rancher/farmers, etc. Since most of the group are LDS, the total number including children is about 60. Cheers for child labor.

Yup, that's a lot. We broke down the group by geographical sections, I'm in "charge" of my area. I'm the one who makes sure everyone knows whats going on, passes along info, etc. If someone is going shooting and wants company we let everyone know, same for hiking or anything that people might be interested in doing. Getting to know everyone while working on preparedness is a good thing.

We talked about water storage and availability last night, it's going to be another dry year. 2 different people gave presentations and hopefully everyone learned something. We are hosting the BBQ in June, and it will be an actual BBQ as well as a meeting. We will give a class on using a solar cooker, everyone seems really interested in the details and workings.

Work continues to keep me busy, the construction on my new office begins today. I'll move in next week and use a table until the desks come in. It will be nice having room for more things on a desk besides my laptop. A new office will help keep me organized, and sane.
The only thing holding me together lately is the gym and running. I've made some gains on weights and I self motivated to get some more running done. It's been many years since I weighed this much and was running.... good lord I'm slow but it's helping me trim up. I just want to drop 10 pounds over the next month, big changes in the eating and fitness routine will make it possible.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Special Forces briefing

Our little prepper group has a couple of special forces soldiers in it. Great guys, nice families, full of awesome knowledge. They had a brief today that talked about how patriot and constitution group are growing in numbers and that it was forbidden to be associated with any such group(s). This included a specific mention of Oath keepers.
The penalty ranged from loss of security clearance to prison time.

While I'm basically overwhelmed at work I just had to pause and mention this. The guys in our group are worried, they aren't doing anything wrong and yet can be punished for it. Sounds like S.O.P. for the military chain of command. God forbid some people want to get together and help each other out in case someone loses a job, had a forest fire, a family emergency, etc.

So instead we are having a BBQ on Sunday, not a preparedness meeting.