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Showing posts from September, 2010

Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down

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So what do you get when you let an MMA fighter write a book about how to survive the apocalypse? When said fighter is Forrest Griffin you get "Be Ready When the Sh*t Goes Down: A Survival Guide to the Apocalypse". What can I say? The guy is a character. If you know anything about him then you probably have a pretty good idea of what to expect from this book. He's got his own brand of self deprecating humor. He's also extremely offensive and it's pretty obvious that he doesn't care who he pisses off. The fact that I found this book in the comedy section of Barnes & Noble should give you a good idea of what to expect.

Before you pick up this book you've got to understand what I mean by "offensive". The book is loaded with sexual innuendo and toilet humor. He swears a lot (he even makes a point to use a different swear word for every letter of the alphabet). He pulls no punches against organized religion. In fact, he devotes an ent…

Garden Update

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The gardening season is getting close to the end around here. I've been pretty busy with it all year. As I do every year I tried new things, learned a lot, had some surprises and know what not to try again next year. The harvest has been pretty good but I certainly wouldn't be able to come close to living on it yet. Here's a pretty good snapshot of what I tried.



Not everything is there. My sunchokes are doing phenomenally but they're not yet ready to harvest. I should have a decent potato crop out of the tire stack that I tried as well. I still have a head of cabbage that I'm going to let grow for a few more weeks. Then there are all of the radishes, turnips and lettuces that I finished harvesting a month or two ago. I didn't bother to do much replanting this year because I just didn't have time. Heck, I didn't even have time to get out and water every day which probably hurt my overall yield. If I could just get the wife to pick up a hose an…

Smartphones

I finally took a flying leap into the 21st century and picked up a smartphone. This thing does everything. It's a cell phone! No it's a GPS! No it's a kindle! No it's a mini laptop! If it's electronic this thing can do it or keep tabs on it. I'm liking it a lot. So what does it have to do with survival?

Smart phones have a generous amount of storage space and they come with a slot for mini sd cards. Get one of those SD card adapters and you can plug them into just about any modern computer or laptop. I can also just plug mine directly into my computer and use it as a flash drive. Load your phone up with all of the survival .pdfs and maps that you've got on hand and you don't even need cell phone reception to have useful information handy. Having hard copies of important manuals, maps and papers is a great idea but that can get prohibitively expensive, they take up a lot of space and they're extremely bulky and heavy to take with you.

The…

Cooking with cast iron

Cast iron can cover just about everything that you need it to in the kitchen. There are a few things that are better suited for other utensils but that's why you have a few big, stainless steel pots under your counter as well as a bunch of cast iron.

So what do you want to avoid cooking with your cast iron? If it needs to be boiled then grab a stainless or aluminum stock pot. You can probably get away with boiling in a well seasoned cast iron pot but boiling is a good way to get the seasoning to break up and get nasty. You have better options when you want to boil something.

If it calls for vinegar or wine then you should use something else. Vinegar breaks up that cast iron seasoning very efficiently. Especially when you cook with it. So does wine. You might be able to get away with it every once in a while but with regular use you'll start to see chunks of black in your food and bare metal in the bottom of your cast iron pan.

So what can you use it for? Everything …

Seasoning Cast Iron

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Cast iron cookware is pretty easy to find. Most stores that have an outdoors department sell it. Some stores also sell it in their cookware department. It's usually preseasoned. Factory finishes aren't bad but they wear off. Also, if you're buying it used or you don't use it that often and it's sat for any length of time it could rust. In that case you'll have to strip it down and reseason it. Learn to properly season cast iron and it will last several lifetimes. Harbor Freight sells some really cheap unseasoned cast iron cookware so I figured I'd pick up a set and make a post about seasoning it. The set that I bought cost me $15 for 3 pans. That's about as cheap as you're going to find it outside of a thrift store or a garage sale. This pic is on top of a Lodge Logic griddle with a factory finish.



A properly seasoned cast iron pan will be fairly non stick, easy to clean and can be stored for a long time without rusting. The process of s…

Cast Iron

I'm a bit of a cast iron freak. I've always loved cooking on it. It's big, heavy, substantial and it works. It's also energy efficient if you learn how to cook on it properly. The biggest problems with cast iron are that it's fairly expensive and there's some maintenance involved in taking care of it. These days it's really hard to find unseasoned cast iron at all. Most of it is factory seasoned and it's ridiculously expensive. I've done my share of cooking on factory cast iron finishes. They work well enough but in my experience they tend to wear or cook away pretty quickly. I'm not sure if it's from cleaning or what but if you treat your cast iron like a regular pan it will rust eventually. Whether you buy your cast iron pre seasoned or not you need to know how to take care of it if you want it to last. Luckily, cast iron is ridiculously easy to take care of. In fact, it takes care of itself if you use it regularly and cook wit…

New Zeal

A couple of months ago I added New Zeal to my blog roll. The guy is doing a great job of exposing people in power who have glaringly obvious communist/socialist backgrounds if you just do a little research on them. His sister site Keywiki is where he catalogs all of his data. You can also check out the Obama files which is a comprehensive list of communist ties that our dear president has. Whether you're "right" or "left" I encourage you to spend a bit of time at least skimming through this guy's website. He always presents a ton of evidence to back up his claims. I'm sure that if you tried hard enough you could discredit a post or two but most of what he says is hard or impossible to refute. Part of preparing is trying to figure out what the future brings. Knowing what's going on in politics has a lot to do with predicting the future of our country. It's very important that we all get engaged and start paying attention. There are a lo…