Sunday, March 31, 2013

New legislation and prepping work.

New legislation at the bottom of this post:
We've spent about 27 total man-hours working on preps outside, and the weekend has flown by. It's not all just preps, but having your yard, garden, bushes, shrubs, etc. all ready for another year sure can take it's toll on your time. I suppose some of the work is spring cleaning for the yard, but since everything we did had a purpose it's prepping.
If the bushes aren't thinned from underneath, the dogs will run through them and get scratched on the dead broken branches. Thinning them out is a prep to us, it's something we can do now while we are able and serves a greater purpose.

First thing this morning we made some bread. We are cutting down on carbs so this banana bread will end up at work tomorrow:
The oven reached 300 degrees today, I forgot to turn the pan so one side ended up prefect, the other side a little softer (but preferred by me).

Yesterday we made 2 loaves of Amish bread, learning another valuable lesson: unless it's mid summer you can't make 2 loaves at once. After 5 hours they turned into something of a science experiment and made it to the trash. The max temp yesterday was 250, and 3 minutes of cloud cover was dropping it down to 200. Practice makes perfect... or edible.

At work I made some changes in departments, expense cuts and seemed to be busy every minute. I'm going in an hour earlier each day to have some peace and quiet while I develop a daily battle plan. I'm doing most of the duties of a general manager and I'm thinking about asking for a pay increase. Business is great, so I might as well ask now instead of wishing I did later on.

I also met with a couple people from our little group (we call it the BBQ group) and talked about future training plans, command structure, phone tree, etc. Everyone will have a duty and if people feel hurt that they aren't in any kind of a command position then those people will be placed in one and see how it goes. I really don't care who does what as long as everyone does something and it's equal work.
The new bill regarding the Secret Service, SB-13-013, passed on a nearly party line vote in the Democrat-controlled House and is now awaiting the governor’s signature. The bill grants members of the Secret Service arrest powers by considering them to be a peace officer, putting them on a par with state law-enforcement officials with respect to arrest authority.

The legislation does not only apply to agents guarding the president or other government officials but also to special agents, uniformed division officers, physical security technicians, physical security specialists and special officers of the United States Secret Service.

I encourage everyone who reads this blog to read that linked bill. It's really short and yet can be worked like this: Physical security specialist goes to a shooting range for practice and notices a lady with high capacity magazines. Realizing this is a nonfederal misdemeanor, the security specialist, now acting as a peace office for the state of Colorado, arrests the lady in order to prevent her from "escaping".
It doesn't say anything about on or off duty, what those definitions are of the various secret service positions, etc. They are trying to make it out that it's just to make it easier to place people in a mental health hold... who the hell really believes that. Not only is it going to be signed, it was sponsored by a democrat AND republican. It doesn't matter who you vote for anymore, the system is beyond broken and continues to be proven so each and every week.

This is an amendment to legislation passed last year that gives almost ALL other federal agencies and agents the exact same powers. Some say it's so they can use Colorado laws to help any investigations they are doing, but that's not what it reads.... don't understand it... oh wait, this little gem at the bottom of the bill makes me feel good suddenly:

Safety clause.
The general assembly hereby finds, determines, and declares that this act is necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health, and safety.

Well thank God for that, they are just here to help! Nothing to see here folks.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Solar cooking in the snow

Living at the base of the mountains is great for just about everything I can think of. It's not the best for solar cooking in the winter, the clouds come in fast.

9:45 AM, temperature is good, the sun is shining and it's 18 degrees outside and my shadow looks odd.

 High noon, the oven has reached a good temperature and we are back from coffee with some friends.
The pan of water came out, the bread went in.
To be honest, I had to use the real oven for 10 minutes, the sun went behind the clouds and the sun oven started to get coated with snow. If we started the bread earlier in the day it would have been fine, we ended up with 4 inches of snow yesterday and a total of 8 inches for the weekend.

The weather will be in the 50's and 60's most of this week, so the ground will enjoy the moisture. The melting snow should fill my water barrels at least half way. The ground should still be soft enough to turn the garden soil, a good project for Saturday. Need to get ready for some tomatoes!
I've got enough pots for transplanting in case they get out of control. I like the Jiffy pods and greenhouses, I've got enough replacement pucks for a few years, it's just super convenient with my small space for indoor growing via. the kitchen. If SHTF I wouldn't care about less counter space and would put some shelving under the dining room windows.

We are starting some pepper plants this week. The chamomile and lavender is growing rapidly, as expected.
Chamomile has some nice medicinal properties so I'm happy to have it grow. It's great for calming an upset stomach but if you drink too much it can cause an upset stomach leading into it being a mild laxative. It's an mild anti-inflammatory and can help with sore throats along with mild arthritic type inflammation.
When I was a teenager, all of my friends were older (my Fathers friends) so I learned a lot about herbs and herbal medicine from one nice lady. Every once in a while I would help her with the herbal books she was writing, I could type fast. It was great to learn and gather some wisdom from her, as well as the other homesteader types.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

What's driving the desperation?

I was driving across town this morning to get some socks. The weather was March nice:
I watered the yard several times in the past week, today I shoveled. It was around 15 degrees out, before wind chill and it was obviously blowing. No solar oven today, didn't want to have to sweep the snow off of it while it didn't cook anything.

The parking lot was full as I assumed it would be, shipments now come in on Saturday, early morning:

That's all the rifle ammo, mainly odd/uncommon calibers.
That's all the pistol ammo... oh wait there really isn't any but a few boxes of 10mm. The ammo containers are empty.
Reloading... no, nothing to see, please move on.

What I did see were about 60 people in line, inside the store, awaiting the weekly shipment to show up. Many had decided to bring some camp chairs so they didn't have to stand. The line was for bulk ammo, otherwise it's a 3 box limit. I purchased some socks and asked the cashier about the line, just for fun.
Apparently the people had been waiting outside before the store opened and they had all been told the truck wasn't in yet. They had been told the truck was stuck on the highway and the highway was closed.... nobody moved out of line.
In good weather it would have taken 2.5 hours for the truck to show up, then it still had to be unloaded and inventoried, stocked in, etc.

If only they had been prepared they wouldn't have needed to be in any kind of line.


They could have drove 10 minutes to another gun store who happened to have .223, 5.56 and 9mm in stock. Yes, it's a little more money, but time has to be worth something and if you are willing to wait outside in this crap weather and then camp inside, you must be in dire need (or bored). The store didn't have a lot, but you could have walked out with 160 .223 rounds, 240 5.56 rounds and 100 9mm rounds if you so desired. Maybe it's just me, I don't wait in lines.

An ex deputy we know asked if we had any extra .223 ammo. The reply was that we sold everything off to cash in on the high prices. We directed her to where she could go buy it this morning but she wasn't willing to pay .70 cents per. What does she think I would sell mine for... cost? (if I had any of course).

We did come home with an XDM Compact 9mm. While there was very little selection in pistols, we just asked to owner to set aside one last week and he called saying one had arrived. We had to pay $10 for the background check... yes, not only did that legislation get signed (for those who didn't know) but it was also required to be instituted immediately. Unlike the magazine capacity legislation that goes into effect July 1st.
The compact isn't mine but it's nice to have matching weapons that take the same magazines, just like our AR's do. My hands are a little bigger so the compact was never on my list. I said now you can grab magazines off my dead body and they will work for you.

I also asked to get a phone call when an AR pistol shows up.....

I can only assume people are really thinking there will be a fight, this is well beyond stocking up or prepping. That is, unless, everyone decided to be a prepper.

Friday, March 22, 2013

A few minutes to spare

Here is an obligatory picture of something made from food storage:

I suppose there isn't much we make that isn't made from food storage, or using some aspect of it. We baked up 4 loaves of Amish bread and continued the starter. We are trying not to eat so many baked goods but it's important to work on skills... my office mates eat well.
Tomorrow it's supposed to be cold and crappy, so I'm going to break out the solar oven and see how well it works on some sliced baked potatoes in the winter weather. I need to spend several hours in the food storage shelves, I've been neglecting it for a couple of weeks.

I just ordered one of these:
Eberlestock Gunslinger 2. I've been hunting for a new get home bag and all around backpack and I finally pulled the trigger. I have a coupon for a local retailer who can get them, but hasn't had any arrive. This leads me to this picture:
Luke and I have been walking more, and there he is waiting for one, but mainly after dark. I don't want to have people freak out and call the cops when I'm walking around with my leg drop and tactical gear on. I don't feel like having to answer questions about why I'm doing something that's perfectly legal, so after dark suits me just fine.
I also want to train with my body armor and new backpack, so that will be done at night as well. I probably won't have a rifle in the pack, but I'll have the same amount of weight added. If I don't train with the gear, I won't be used to how it feels, rides, the weight, etc. Getting Luke out for a walk never hurts, he gets better each time and he's cute too boot!

All my garden plants are popping up, the yard has been hit with a lot of sprinkler water and the water collection system is waiting for some snow/rain this weekend. I don't have much time to spare for anything non prepping, spring is a really busy time at home. Yesterday we got all of the scrap wood stacked in a new spot and skunk proofed the shed bottoms. There are a few spots in the fence line that need attention for the same thing, soon.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Down or down-range

I've never been to this new range, so we headed over early to be the church shooting crowd. It's controlled, something that's hard to find in the woods, and they gave us a safety briefing. Your weapon must be pointed down or down range at all times, no rapid fire... Those were the 2 big ones.
I'm rolling the targets with some quick draw extended arm and some hip shots. That was frowned upon, they told me I can't guarantee the weapon will be pointed down or down range. Where the hell else will it be pointed?
The good: my xdm is awesome, the best out of the box pistol I've ever had the pleasure of shooting.
I like the angled fore grip better than the vertical one the 5.56 AR, I pull the weapon into me instead of down, allowing for better control. The mechanics of it make sense too.

The bad: I took off my red/green dot on the 5.56 AR, it's open sights or an eotech if I decide to get one again. The less expensive one kept loosening up.
My scope on the .308 AR is max adjustments and its still off a few inches at 100 yards, obviously more at greater distances. I'll just open sight it as well.

The great: I'm fast and accurate still and we spent 2 hours reacquainting ourselves with our standard load weapons.

The front gutter is cleaned out, the rain barrel system is hooked up in the front of the house. Water restrictions this year, having 220 gallons in reserve will save money each month if it rains for even just a few minutes for refills. I ran the sprinklers today, the ground is thawed out about 8 inches down and the grass was thirsty. The trees and bushes are budding, hoping our blueberry bushes will have made it another year.

36 tomato plants are in the little green house. I'm also trying to grow some lavender and chamomile indoors but I'm not getting my hopes. Chamomile tends to like sandy ground.

Banana bread and wheat bread are made for the week. Sliced baked potatoes and some brown sugar honey chicken are almost out of the oven. Time for the walking dead, justified and southland and some sleep.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Pic of the week

No, not a normal feature, just a nice picture I took on my dining room table.

Fedex failed to deliver an entire box, even though it was marked as delivered. They are holding it for me, figured it was an honest mistake..... My Colorado special Magpul order showed up.. well 20% of it did, the rest are on bakorder.

The .22 and American Eagle we picked up last night, locally. It was a nice perk for being loyal to the same business for 17 years. The .22 was .04 cents per round, the 9mm was .28 cents per.

As always, it's going to be a great weekend!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Magazine ban waiting signature

Here is the exact wording:

The bill prohibits the sale, transfer, or posession of an ammunition feeding device that is capable of accepting, or than can be readily converted to accept, more than 15 rounds of ammunition or more than 5 shotgun shells (large-capacity magazine). A person may posess a large-capacity magazine if he or she owns the large-capacity magazine on the effective date of the bill and maintains continuous possession of the large-capacity magazine.

.22 tube magazines are exempt.
The governor said he will sign it once it's on his desk.

This means if you have a glock and want another magazine... tough shit. You can put an extender on a 15 round magazine, so now you wont be able to buy or transfer it. Class 2 misdemeanor is the penalty. I read the entire legislation body over and over and the burden of proof is obviously on the person with the magazine.
If the magazine is produced in Colorado, it must be serial number stamped.

Yup, if your magazine can be converted to a higher capacity you can NEVER sell or transfer it.

I'll rant another time.

It's raining 9mm in here

I've had a bunch of heavy boxes show up, it's very exciting. I did another ammo count and found my 9mm count was way off. I wasn't pleased, it was much cheaper last time I ordered. I also wanted to replace what I plan on shooting this coming Sunday.
If you are fast enough you can find it for around .30 cents per round, but if you are slow and/or working like me, you get it for the mid .40 cents. Better to pay a little more instead of wishing you did at some future time. A majority of our pistols are 9mm so I'm always heavy in that.

I'm shooting with a few people from the group and a couple of normal shooting friends. If we can get a pistol/rifle range that will work out the best. I want to see if my rifle to pistol transition is going to work out for accuracy. It's fine to practice it at home and think you would be accurate but it's always better to know. I'm going to work on some off hand shooting, that should be somewhat of a disaster for the first few shots.

The weather has turned to spring and with the time change it's staying light for some running action. The gym is still getting to see a lot of us and the gains are slowly arriving like a lost holiday card. I went up 20 in bench, 40 in curls, 20 in leg extensions, etc. Calf raises are maxed on the machine, 300 plus my body weight puts me over 500 pounds. I've always had strong legs, changing up some of the workouts has really helped nail down a couple weak spots elsewhere.

No pictures today, between work and working on my health I'm spent. I have some friendship bread starter in the kitchen and tonight we need to make some honey wheat bread. Depending on how long rock climbing lasts, we might get the garden layout finalized.

Spring is an exciting time, it's always a fresh new start, more so than New Years.

Monday, March 11, 2013

waiting on a signature

I warned everyone I knew that the legislation would pass, minus a few things to appease to populace. It's heading to the governors desk and I don't see it stopping. 3 cheers for the populace getting what they want, we are all safer for it, I'll leave the door open and alarm off.

Honey wheat bread:

Yum. Had to use the lower oven for the first time, it's a large load of awesome bread.

I'm taking over the lunchroom at work... 1 of them anyhow. Construction starts this week if all goes well, I'll have a new office in a couple more. It will be nice to have more than 3 feet of desk space. In the meantime I have to share my desk with my new assistant and the damn internet was down today prompting me to get nothing down but get it fixed. The speed's super slow, I have to figure out what's going on, I'm going to bypass some equipment in the morning and see if that helps. I don't want to call in a real expert but it might come to that, I'm a hack.

Had a group meeting this weeken but I'm still deciding how I feel about it. I sort of feel only a few people will really be involved, and that's typical for most groups for anything. It almost seemed too "survivalist" all of a sudden with people worried about text and emails and a couple people not knowing what a food sealer is. I think it will be interesting to see who shows up next month, I know the core group will be in, the rest I'm not sure on. It would be great if all the new people worked out, 3 doctors and 2 special forces operators.
It gave me some things to toss around in my skull while I was swimming afterward. 1 mile total, 1/2 was back stroke and my shoulders are a little tender today. I'm working up to some heavy weights and doing a good job at stamina, cardio and endurance.

I'm cranky for really no reason. Society has always, and will always, carry on without regard for principal and/or common sense. It's driving me to train harder and do more but I feel it's about all I can do to keep my head down and my mouth shut most of the time. My Dad was right, the average person is a complete idiot.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Left wing or right wing

it's still wings of a predator.

We spent a few hours last night in a cozy little building listening to Don Edwards, a cowboy balladeer (link is here). I've always been a fan of this type of music, from bar-d chuck wagon entertainment to the old westerns. We were invited by some friends to a place we didn't know existed for a small venue concert. There were maybe 100 people there and after a rough week of little sleep and big decisions at work it was nice to just get away for a few hours.

They had a lot of antiques in the place and a lot of old quilts. In the old west the armoire's would have a lot of quilts stacked up inside, it got cold at night. My grandmother made nice quilts, it was really melancholy thinking that I was born many years too late to experience what I think was an amazing time in life. We make do with the time we are given, I sat back and enjoyed the great show. If you like this kind of music, check the link out.

Today I picked up some new boots (lightweight combat boots for the warming weather) and headed to the gun store. Specialty had 60 people in line but my timing was good and the line rushed in as I got out of the car. Inventory is down 70%, anything remotely tactical in the long/shotgun was either very expensive or didn't exist. The pistol cabinets were 70% empty. They did have a good supply of AR magazines, but not pmags.
I saw he owner and told him I hope the legislation doesn't pass, I would miss seeing him around. Doing business with the same company for 16+ years means something to me, I wanted to let him know I appreciated everything.
Sportsmans was no better, the line was at the gun counter instead and was 50 or 60 deep. They had some .308 in American Eagle, Winchester and Tulamo. I got 3 boxes of Winchester, found 2 boxes of 50 count .38 special hollow points and headed home. They had some 10mm, .50 cal and some other odd calibers. Limit 3 of the same SKU # per customer, otherwise it would be barren. People looked more panicked than before, I hope they made calls/emails and/or sent letters. Then they can at least say they tried (and then regret voting for the democrats who are pushing all the legislation... it was a landslide around here in the voting.

My last post mentioned grab and go buckets/bag. Since we live in the trees at the base of the forest, it's our #1 concern for a natural disaster. We made up some buckets that we can toss in a vehicle and get out of dodge. Not a bug out scenario, more of a sudden evacuation and 100% vehicle based.

One of us gets the buckets and water, one grab the family photo's and the dogs. Once those are in the vehicle we will grab the battle load out gear and weapons. We will  have handguns at a minimum, it's not like they come off the body unless we are sleeping. Once we get into the vehicles we head out, swinging by the in-laws since they are on the way out anyhow, and then on to the rally point.

3 Home Depot buckets. 1 contains cans of dog food, toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, soap, etc. The other two buckets contain enough food for 7 days, including a can opener (little things make all the difference). There are other things in there like gas masks, paper and pens, flashlights, water purification tablets, etc.

We wanted a weeks worth of basics for us and the dogs, stuff we didn't have to worry about going to a store to purchase in case we had to live out of the vehicle. Each bucket has a ziplock on the lid with an inventory list that included expiration dates. The tape holding the inventory list tells how much water to get for each bucket. On top of the first bucket is a bucket wrench, they are stacked on each other to save space. After much thought we opted for buckets for the versatility in a vehicle evacuation scenario.

Friday, March 8, 2013


The stars and planets must have been aligned just right. I now am training someone on several aspects of my job so I can move on to other things, and other areas of the company. I'm busier now than I ever have been, but I know it will let up some the more he learns. He's a smart kid who just got his paycheck doubled. He is also my current gym workout buddy, it just worked out perfectly for him.
I'm moving across the building with the 2 people that work for me now, we have decided to take over a small lunch room. It's better for the company and I just can't work out of a 4 foot wide cubicle any longer. It's a better view and we won't be bothered by so much activity from the other people in our current office. Some people complained but we don't have to provide a lunch room at all and we have one in the back of the building, it's just not as nice.
I made some decisions this week that were needed, and were finally made before everything reached a critical stage. It felt good to be in control a little and help guide the business direction.

Home related,  I'll be getting some tomato seeds going in week as the weather is finally sunny enough. 60's for the last few days, 30's the next few and then warming back up. I have my garden planned out on paper, I have my seeds all ready to go. Anxious is the word that describes me right now.
Our group is going to get together for a meeting. There are a few new people that we get to meet; an oral surgeon and an ear/nose/throat doctor. Some people don't have anything, some people have it all, some people have skills only. We want to get an idea on how prepared everyone is so we can help those who are lacking. If the weather is nice next weekend, several people need some basic handgun instruction and I'm willing to sacrifice a few hundred 9mm rounds for the good of the group. I think a lot of people will need help in the following areas:
Shooting (basic to combat)
Grab and Go bags (it's almost wildfire season)
Setting rally points with fallback points
Communications when the phones don't work

Between work, running and working out I'm running on reserves. Tonight is the first time I've had free in a few days and I'm headed out for a small concert in a few minutes. I would rather stay home and sleep but I'm a trooper and will manage.
Someone has to clean the house and cook bread tomorrow... and I'm the one not working on the weekends.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

and after much debate on "gun control"

"That bill, sponsored by Senate President John Morse (D-Colorado Springs), would allow makers and sellers of semi-automatic rifles to be sued for acts of violence committed with their guns if they "negligently entrusted" weapons to someone who they "reasonably should have known might use the weapon" to commit a crime.
Other bills approved would require universal background checks, limit ammunition magazines to 15 rounds, require gun buyers to pay for background checks (about a $10 fee), put new gun restrictions on people with restraining orders or domestic violence convictions, ban concealed weapons on college campuses and ban online training for concealed handgun permits."

Everything will pass and will be signed into law. It's not as bad as Oregon HB3200 (google it), but it's still stupid. Oh... they passed in-state tuition rates for illegal immigrants (or is it guest citizens now?) too.

The states largest inventory gun store is going to close and move out of state. Magpul is going to do the same. Several other companies as well.

Should hit the governors desk by the end of the month. There isn't stopping this train. Even the 20+ sherrif's who showed up in opposition didn't make a dent... nor the hundreds of people who were outside listening to the loudspeaker since there were no empty seats. Made room for the Giffords though...

I love Colorado, I love Colorado Springs. I don't love the stupidity on passing useless legislation that makes me a criminal, doesn't make rational sense and doesn't stop anyone from doing anything.


Too much oil?

You wouldn't think there was an oil surplus anywhere, with the prices for gasoline, petroleum products, plastics, etc. all being pretty high. The price for oil hovering in the low $90 range doesn't mean anything when there is a surplus....
Here is how it works.
X area of the country has a lot of oil production.
A-W companies pay the standard rates for the oil.
Y company (the one who pays the mineral owners the money) charges around a $10 per barrel surcharge since there is so much oil coming out of the area. Don't agree, then you shouldn't have signed the leases with that clause.

Interesting how supply and demand really works, isn't it. $90 a barrel isn't really $90, for the begining mineral owner anyhow.

In the meantime all this extra oil isn't really a surplus, it's not being stockpiled anywhere. Produce too much and you get penalized, but we don't slow down on the importing... of course.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Here is a cool post

that turned into an early lunch. Enjoy 2 pictures instead:
 Luke and I about a mile from  home. His confidence level is really high, I just make sure to scuff my feet some when he looks like he is veering off the trail/road. The phrase step up or down is starting to sink in and we are having a lot of fun. I'm hoping in another month he will be tearing it up like the old days, for long hikes. His speed is also picking up, fast walking for the win.

What to wear while doing house work... The vacuum cord got tangled up a couple of times but everything is adjusted properly finally. It's funny how much fine adjusting is needed each time I wear gear. Being comfortable is important, being accustomed to whatever your gear is.... well that's really critical.

Saturday I did a 90 minute leg workout. Sunday I was very sore but went for the dog walk and then an hour trail run. The trail was super wet and in the tree portion is was 4-5 inches of slush. After 2 miles I knew it would be a battle of willpower and endurance. I  hit a steep downhill and applied the brakes and my quads started screaming and didn't stop. After a while I gave up caring about being wet and muddy and just enjoyed it while forcing my body to overcome the stress and discomfort. Each time I passed by a shortcut home I considered it a win and celebrated a little when I got to the very end of the planned route. It felt awesome to run the trails, splash in the slush and push past the mental wall.