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Showing posts from January, 2009

I semll a coverup...

Suuuure blame it on the hackers. Let's just hope that this thing doesn't spread!

A book review

I just finished reading the book Plague Year. It's about a nonotech virus that is accidentally released. In a very short time it spreads all over the world and completely decimates life everywhere. Luckily, the original creator built a fail safe into it that causes it to become disabled at altitude. Basically, it can't survive above ~10,000 feet above sea level. The American government ends up centralized in a small town in Colorado where they manage to save some of the greatest minds in the nanotech field to work on a cure. Other major governments manage to survive in other parts of the world and they're all racing to do the same thing. At the same time they're implementing plans to make sure that if humanity manages to get through this then they'll be in control. Meanwhile, small holdouts manage to continue to survive in small pockets all over the globe. Most of the people are desperate and are doing whatever they can do to get by. Cannibalism is widesp…

Swedish Mora Sheath

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I'm a big fan of Swedish Mora knives. There aren't too many better knife options out there for less than $100. It beats everything hands down for less than $50. At ~$10 a pop they're a steal. I do have my gripes about them, though. First of all I hate the hard plastic handle. Some of the versions out there have a rubberized grip. The one that I have doesn't. I solved the problem by wrapping the handle with 550 cord. That ensured that I have an extra 10 foot length of 550 cord with me when I'm carrying the knife. It also provided a loop to make it easier to hold onto. Obviously, it also made a better grip and it made the handle bigger and wider which makes it a little easier to hold onto (for me).

The other gripe that I have is the sheath. I'm just not a fan of that hard plastic sheath. It's functional but it'll scratch up your belt when you put it on. Also, after I wrapped up the handle I couldn't get the knife to seat properly becaus…

WTF?

I just saw this on Google and thought I'd throw it out there. This mentality is one of the major problems with this country. Training our kids to think this way is going to screw us completely in the future. School seeks to forfeit 100-0 win.

Finally bottled my merlot

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This was an easy one. There was very little work involved. The most labor intensive part was the bottling (unless you count the writing of this post which took MUCH longer than everything else put together). I started with a 6 gallon bucket of wine juice. These are probably only available seasonally and you'll have to do some research to find out where you can get your hands on them. You can always just get a wine kit from your local homebrew store but it'll end up being more expensive. It will still be a lot cheaper than buying the wine in a liquor store, though. Anyway, I dumped my juice into an 8 gallon bucket that I use as a primary fermenter. If you don't have an 8 gallon primary you can just take the lid off of the bucket that the juice comes in, drill a hole in the lid, pop in a grommet and attach an airlock. Just pitch your yeast and stir it until it's dissolved. Then attach the lid to your fermenter and put your airlock into place. Leave it for a fe…

Some zombie action

I'm a bit of a zombie nut. I've probably mentioned it before. Zombie films and stories probably have more to do with my interest in preparedness than I'd want to admit. Hell, I even started writing a zombie story a while back and never got around to finishing it. You can check it out here if you're interested at all. I keep thinking about finishing it but every time I reread it to try to get caught up again I quickly realize how poorly written it is and decide that it's not even worthwhile to finish. It seems like zombie movies are getting popular again. Up until a few years ago if it didn't say Romero on it then you couldn't even find zombie movies except at the bottom of the bargain bin. With movies like I Am Legend, the Resident Evil series, 28 Days/Weeks later and the Dawn of the Dead remake it seems like some people are finally deciding to spend some real money on these movies to make them worth watching in a theatre. While money and special e…

Playing with fire....steel

I've been messing around with alternative methods of firestarting a lot lately. I've been watching videos, reading blogs and researching articles trying to figure out some "easy" ways to light fires without using stuff like alcohol, drier lint, petroleum covered cotton balls or other cheats. I've come to a few conclusions. First and foremost...if you have anything on hand to cheat with then USE IT! It will save you much frustration. A bit of rubbing alcohol works wonders and it's cheap to stock up on. I just can't believe that some of these guys making these videos didn't pour a bit of alcohol or some gas on their kindling before lighting it with one or two strikes of their firesteel. I can shoot sparks over a pile of bone dry grass with absolutely no wind all day long and never achieve more than a few wisps of smoke. I pour a few drops of alcohol or a dab of petroleum jelly on it and it goes up in no time.

Even magnesium firestarters are gar…

Still Smoking!

The last time I posted about this it was August. A couple of weeks ago I finished off the pound of tobacco that I bought. I dunno how many cigarettes that is per day but I've gone through about 300 filtered tubes so I guess that I'm doing pretty good. All in all that set me back about $25. Since I finished off that pound of tobacco I've started to buy little 8 oz packages. These are just about perfect for me. They're only $1.69 per package and with the $.20 off coupon on every box they come out to less than that with tax. It got me to thinking that this would make an excellent trade item during hard times. One cool thing about these packages is that they come with a small pack of rolling papers. I don't use them but I save them anyway. Even if you're not a smoker you can put back a few of these, toss them in the freezer and forget about them. They won't go bad if you keep them frozen. Even if you don't put them in the freezer then they'll…

LED Lighting

Flashlights have come a long way in recent years. Up until just a few years ago maglights were about your only choice for a dependable, reasonably bright, durable flashlight. Now, with the invention of LED technology we've got lights that are bright enough to see by, ridiculously cheap, small enough to fit in your pocket and durable enough that they don't feel like they could break if you squeeze them too hard. Oh and you never have to worry about the bulbs going out and the battery life is exceptional. There are also some high powered lights out there that use xenon bulbs but as far as I'm concerned LEDs have overtaken even that technology in just a few short years.

Because of all of this I've found myself becoming a flashlight whore. After picking up my first Surefire G2 a couple of years ago I was hooked. Since then the technology has come so far that the options appear to be endless. I've found myself collecting flashlights just so that I can make sure …

Saving Change

I was going through my change jar today and started to think. I have a LOT of pennies and nickels. About once a month or so I separate my pennies and nickles from my dimes and quarters. I cash in my dimes and quarters and put my pennies and nickles in a coffee can. They just keep adding up. For a long time I was taking Rawles advice and getting a few rolls of nickels every time that I cashed in my paycheck. Those rolls added up fast to the point where I probably have more than I'd be willing to take with me if I had to bug out. Sure the metal content is worth more than the monetary value of the coins but I have to wonder if it's worthwhile to sit on them. They're heavy. I have a lot of them. It's still money that can be spent. If I were cashing them in for beer money it would be one thing but when I cash in my spare change I buy silver, ammo, food stocks, etc with the money. Basically, I use that money for preps. Those preps could easily pay huge dividends…

Easy alcohol stove

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Do you need a lightweight, cheap, easy to make, portable stove solution? I was messing around on arfcom today and came across a post on how to build an alcohol backpacking stove out of a couple of beer cans. I've made a few of these but I tend to give them away. Since they're so easy to make I don't think anything of it and then my BOB sits for weeks without an alcohol stove in it. The only reason that this is even remotely justifiable is because I also keep a Primus multifuel stove in it with a full bottle of Coleman camp fuel. The Primus is certainly a higher quality stove but it's also heavier, much more expensive (about $100) and it's got a lot of small parts that can fail (although mine has always worked for me without having to rebuild it).

So, anyway, I saw this post over at arfcom and it inspired me to go make another alcohol stove for my BOB. All that you need is a sharp knife, a 2x4 block and a couple of beer cans (the 2x4 block is really just a co…

My kind of recipe

I love to cook. I cook most of my own meals. I like to cook extravagant, wholesome, delicious meals. I experiment a lot and am always trying new things in the kitchen. I focus more on stocking staples, spices, dried goods and things that I can use to make things my way instead of things like premade soups, MREs, freeze dried cans, etc. I've got a lot of cookbooks and I save good recipes that I find on the internet. Every once in a while I find a really good one. Not because the finished product is so good but because, instead of giving you a list of ingredients and telling you how to prepare it, it gives you ideas on how to do a popular dish several different ways by giving you the fundamentals on how to make it along with a set of rules that you should follow to make sure that it turns out well.

Here's a good example of what I'm talking about. Pasta salad is one of those things that I like to keep in the fridge. Rather than keeping a book full of recipes I keep …

Got a new flashlight

I've tried to keep a flashlight close at hand for the last few years. I have a cheap led light in every room of my house. I keep a surefire g2 on my nightstand. I keep a 115 lumen led in my bob. I keep an led light in my glove box and a cheapo xenon in my GHB in my trunk. I also put an led light in my wife's glove box. Needless to say I am an advocate of having a source of light handy no matter where you are.

I've also been experimenting with everyday carry lights that I can easily carry in my pocket. After breaking at least 3 of the little keychain LEDs within a few months each I finally gave up on them and got a $3 Rayovac pen light at Wal-Mart. That one actually served me pretty well. If you're on a budget but you need a flashlight that you can easily carry in a pocket I'd recommend that one. I carried it for several months and finally lost it a few months ago. Ever since then I keep finding myself in situations where I reach for my flashlight just to …

What I'm looking for

Getting some land and putting some type of cabin on it has been something that I've been thinking a lot about for a while now. I've been pricing out land. I've been looking at potential areas where I'd want to buy. I've been researching a lot of different types of cabins and homes. I've been watching craigslist just in case a really tempting deal on a travel trailer or something like that pops up. This has been going on for the last couple of years but I've always had more important things to spend my money on. I'm getting to the point now where I'm comfortable with the preps that I have at home so it's time to take it to the next level.

I'm not looking for a piece of junk land but it does need to be affordable. I'm only looking for 5-10 acres. If the world never ends I still want to be able to enjoy it. I don't want to have to haul water so it needs to have a viable water source nearby or I need to be able to dig a well fa…