Gear – ‘Seek’ thermal camera attachment.

Ok, this is, like, ten shades of cool. Here’s a few articles for background:

Heat seeker: Meet the thermal-imaging camera you can afford

The Seek Thermal Infrared Camera for iPhone and Android

Seek Thermal, a $199 Thermal Imaging Camera for Your Phone

Short version: for $200 you can see in the dark if there’s bad guys, warm car engines, animals, or other heat sources lurjing around your AO. This really is one of those products that is ‘limited only by your imagination’. Pour hot water down a clogged pipe to find the clog, see how much propane is in a tank, see if the dog was sleeping on your couch, see if the cars in the driveway/parking lot have been used recently, where is the deer you shot just before sundown, is that a SWAT team hiding in the bushes, which beer in the fridge is the coldest, and, possibly, is that gal across the room really into you or not.

For the survivalist I can see this thing having all sorts of uses…seeing if something is out there in the dark, checking the ground for heat sources from recently extinguished fires, seeing what guns in the rack may have been handled/fired recently, etc, etc.

I’m tellin’ ya, man….we’re living in a Star Trek world more and more everyday. And while the technology is interesting enough on its own, it isnt that new since its been around a while. Whats new is dropping it down to the price of HiPoint pistol and a box of ammo.

I think I may have to get one of these.

End of the world practical joke

Rather clever. Succinctly, they take a superduper HD 82″ television and set it up in an office environment to replace a window. As people sit for the interview, they see the ‘window’ behind the interviewer showing a calm city scene…until the giant flaming meteor starts streaking across the sky….and they…respond.

Once in a blue moon, my end-of-the-world dreams look a lot like that….sudden brightness in the sky and then that agonizingly slow-looking descent of a fireball. The Russians got the real thing a few years back:

Scary stuff, right? I see something like that as I’m driving to work, guess what? I’m turning the car around and getting back the house…pronto!

One of the best pieces of survivalist fiction out there, Lucifer’s Hammer, revolves around comet fragments hitting the earth and doing terrific destruction. Movies like “Deep Impact” also cover the subject.

This is definitely one of those scenarios that you really just can’t prepare for. If it hits on the other side of the planet you’d be okay, although your life will definitely never be the same. And if it’s an ocean strike and you live anywhere near a coastline you might have a bad day. But if you lived in, say, Colorado, and it struck in Spain you’d probably be fine.

Likelihood? Not even something on my personal List of Things To Worry About. It’s right there with Xenu returning, the Rapture, Vogon constructor fleets and Mayan calendar failures.

But…I’ve been wrong before. Which is why we keep a basement full of freeze drieds.

I like to think that in that interview video if it had been me, I’d have quickly tood up, moved away from the window into an inner hallway and waited for the impact and shock wave. But, you never know.

As an aside, I bet that TV looks great.

“Collapse” – The post-apocalyptic card game

While I’ll be the first to agree that the end of the world will not be all sunshine-n-stun-grenades, the fantasy apocalyptic worlds can be entertaining.

Collapse is a deck building card game for 2-4 players set in the final months before the end of the world. Players can choose to play one of four world-ending Collapse scenarios, including: financial, biological, natural, or nuclear; or they can play at random where any combination of events may occur.

When playing Collapse, you will need to stock up on supplies such as food and weapons, as well as build fortifications on your home to earn months of survival time. Just remember, time is running out, and you and your neighbors are competing for the same resources. If you are going to survive, you will need a healthy mix of strategy and flexibility as available supplies change and events unfold.

Kind of amusing.

I’m still working on a bunch of back-end stuff here at the blog so more ‘substantive’ posting is slowed down. I do appreciate everyone hanging around while I get this sussed out, though.

Link – The Post-Apocalyptic World Sucks Balls

It is an interesting thing to contemplate a post-apocalyptic existence but , as this link tells us, if you really wanna try and live in a Mad Max world you can do it easily today with just a plane ticket to pretty much anywhere else on the planet…and you may discover that it isn’t the fun-in-the-sun-with-a-gun festival that you might have thought it was.

Question: If you really want to live in the post-apocalyptic world then why don’t you just move to Pakistan?

Answer: Cuz It sucks balls there.

With 5000 “friends” on Facebook I see all sorts of “tough guy” nonsense flash across my news feed every day. Lately I’ve been seeing this “would you survive the post-apocalyptic world?” Q&A tests where you answer some mind-numbing multiple choice questions and, BAM, you can proclaim that you and Robert Neville will rule the wastelands.

This is of course followed by “Fuck Yeah bro, I’ll be shooting and looting in the post-apocalyptic world. It’s gonna’ be awesome” by whoever took this test. Next comes a legion of other people also saying something to the effect of “I can’t wait for this to happen” to “it is only a matter of time before it collapses and it can’t come sooner” in the comments below.

I have no desire to live in a Third World country. Heck, even a Second World country. I rather like flushing my toilet with water that is cleaner than what 90% of the people on this planet drink, I like having electricity available 24/7, and I love being able to walk into a supermarket  and buy Hostess cupcakes and a copy of Hustler at 2am. I am in no hurry to lose that cushy lifestyle. But, it can happen at any time and thats why we prepare.

Interesting article and I suggest you read it if you think living in the apocalypse will be a fun and liberating experience.

Article – Mussolini air raid shelter opens to tourists

Seventy years old and it appears in better shape than many more recently made bomb shelters I’ve seen.

ROME (AP) — A Roman villa’s wine cellar, which was converted into an air raid shelter for Benito Mussolini and the Italian dictator’s family, is opening its anti-gas, double steel doors to tourists.

The shelter was quickly constructed in 1940, after the outbreak of World War II, in what had once been the wine cellar of a noble family who lived there before Mussolini took up residence during his Fascist rule.

Visitors at a preview Saturday saw the iron-rung ladder used for emergency exits and a rusting contraption to purify air in case of a gas attack. A label on the apparatus was dated November 1940 in Roman numerals, in keeping with Mussolini’s style of evoking the ancient Roman empire’s glory days as inspiration for his own rule.

I enjoy seeing these older shelters when they turn up. Part of the attraction is that many of them were quite effective but were built, necessarily, using materials and techniques of the time. With modern techniques, materials, and equipment you could build something better, faster, and probably cheaper. But if all you have is 1930’s technology you can still build something like that. I find that a bit reassuring.

Admin – some recovery

Well, the database backup was a complete waste of time. But….what many of you don’t know is that I originally started blogging on LiveJournal (by the  by, thats how I met my wife.) Well, for quite a while I had a plugin for WordPress that would take whatever I posted here and copy it to LiveJournal. As it turns out, it’s a two-way street – I can import those posts back from LiveJournal. In effect, LJ was a backup.

Not perfect though. I lost April 2013 through now. But, that beats the crap outta losing everything. Formatting and images are going to be screwed but I can tinker with that since I managed to save most of the images elsewhere.

But…what really, really, really takes the black cloud from over my head is this: I can still point to these posts as my bona fides to being one of the oldest, if not the oldest, preparedness blogs on the internet. Eleven years.

Now, if you’ll excuse me. I have to go back the hell up outta this thing……

Article – Fake Silver Coins: 12 Ways to Spot Counterfeits

A friend of mine once told me that among the sage advice her mother gave her was this gem: “Always know your dealer”.

Our benevolent trading partners, the Chinese, have quite the industry selling fake silver and gold bullion. If you’re not careful you’ll wind up getting took. (Taken?) So, without further ado:

It is unfortunate that articles like this have to be written, but where there is money trading hands, there will always be fakes, frauds, and counterfeits.

If you have purchased some silver and can’t get rid of that little voice in your head that keeps saying what if they are fake silver coins …

Below are 12 ways on how to spot fake silver eagles, bars, and bullion. We’ve ranked them from the least to the most effective methods in detecting counterfeits. (Most of these tests can also be applied to gold as well).

Remember back when silver hit $~50/oz. a few years back? Thats when a lot of the fakes came into being….because it was worth the effort then. Being a somewhat durable good, those fakes are still out there. But its fake gold that will really land your wallet in the hospital. You just can’t take anything at face value anymore.

I buy my metals only form people I can trust. Usually, thats the Metals Pimp, or if I’m feeling obnoxious and like playing them against each other, the coin shop across the street from me. The Metals Pimp I trust in these matters unreservedly. The coin shop guys…well, if they sell me fakes I know where to find ‘em.

But…as I started this post with, Know. Your. Dealer.

One product that I’m going to have to invest in at some point is the Fisch. Fits in my pocket and should take the risk out of buying gold out of the back of someones car in the Safeway parking lot at 11pm. Interestingly, some folks are offering anti-counterfeit measures. The newer Silver Maples have some tiny detailed maple leaves on them  to make detecting fakes much easier…this is one reason I’ve shifted my silver purchasing to Maples. Sunshine has also added a security feature as well. The Sunshines require a ‘decoder’ to read the security feature, but you can usually find the decoder for about $15~ at most coin dealers. (Ok, yes, the Metals Pimp will sell you one of those as well.)

I’ve only seen one or two fakes, and I had to ask the guys in the coin shop to show them to me. Apparently they dont turn up all that often, but they do turn up. Where you really gotta watch yourself in regards to fake silver is when you get into 100 oz bars and that sort of thing. While there are bargains to be had on the internet, theres a lot of ways to get scammed too. eBay is notoriously full of fake silver auctions that use careful phrasing to sucker folks into thinking something is real silver and still not violate eBays seller rules.

Since I don’t have a heck of a lot of money to spend on gold, I buy mostly silver. At least if I get screwed on an ounce of metal it won’t hurt me as badly as if it were supposed to be an ounce of gold.

So…moral of the story: know your dealer!

 

Still working on it

Still working on it , guys. Be patient. One way or another, this is gonna be wrapped up over the next few days. The losses, though…..still working on that.

Not sure what exactly happened. As you guys know there was a problem with posting comments last week. In trying to get that straightened out I think I would up just making things worse and worse until finally there was nothing else to do but burn things to the ground and start over. I did make a database backup so there is the possibility that I didn’t lose 11 years worth of posts but I haven’t tried restoring it yet. Thats on tap for later tonight.

Expect things to still be flaky for the next couple days.

Now, in the spirit of “never let a crisis go to waste’. let me impart some advice to my fellow bloggers:

Do regular backups of content, images, styles, themes, and databases!

Kids, I can’t stress that enough. I didn’t do it and its gonna cost me big. Also, I’d like to mention that the open-source community at WordPress.org were totally unhelpful and of absolutely no use whatsoever. The Indian (thats Indian with a 7-11, not Indian with a feather) gal who was on Yahoo’s support line, however, was worth her weight in rupees. BUT…I blame Yahoo for this mess to start with so..zero-sum there.

As I said, still working on things, and that’ll be most of my weekend, but you may find things to be intermittent around here as I get things setup and try to recover from some salvaged files.