Link – Airbnb: Underground missile bunker

ESKRIDGE, Kan. (AP) — A Cold War-era missile silo in rural northeast Kansas that housed a nuclear warhead 65 years ago and was later converted into an underground mansion is now finding a new lease on life as an Airbnb location.

Thats a brilliant way to pay for the place, although you completely lose the privacy…but, then again, how private can a missile silo be when everyone knows it was there?

Curious? I was too. Here’s the link to Airbnb.

I have no reason to ever go to Kansas but if I did I would definitely spend the money for a night in this thing so i could wander around and examine it.

Reminiscing

I remember when I was a kid, the book that turned me onto survivalism was, I believe, ‘Alas Babylon’, although I think that at about the same time I managed to fall into Ahern’s ‘Survivalist’ series. I genuinely can’t recall which one was first, but I did a book report on ‘Alas Babylon’ so I think that was the one that started the ball rolling. Time frame? Mmmm…1980.

I was a fascinating time to be alive. Some of you might remember it. Jimmy Carter, a prototype Obama, was president. In normal circumstances he probably would never have made it into national politics but the previous administration had the taint of Nixon about it and at that point it wouldn’t have been terribly difficult to beat a Republican candidate. (Trivia: Gerald Ford, the incumbent, was the only person to be President who was not elected to the Presidency or to the Vice-President position.) As it turned out, the malaise of the Carter administration, with it’s foreign policy debacles and economic issues, laid the groundwork for Reagan to sweep into office on the platform of “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”

But…prior to Ronnie, it was stagflation, mortgage interest rates were around 11%(!!!!), and the Soviets were still a real threat. Against that backdrop there was a rebirth of the preparedness ‘movement’ that hadn’t really been seen since the Cuban Missile Crisis days. The big apocalypse du jour was World War Three. I was only peripherally aware of it as a 13-year old kid. But looking back, wow, was it a bizarre time. Everyone who was anyone had an AR-15 and a 1911 of some flavor. The SKS and AK rifles were virtually unheard of unless your dad brought one back from his trip to Vietnam. Your only source of 7.62×39 was Normal or Lapua. ALICE gear and woodland camo ruled the world. MRE’s were still nascent. For the dedicated survivalist, Mountain House was your food, Buck or Gerber was your knife, Radio Shack was your comms, and your AR and 1911were made by Colt. Period. Social media? The classifieds in Soldier of Fortune and, later,  American Survival Guide were about it.

Nowadays it is so amazingly different.  A lot of guys still choose the AR but but there’s at least a dozen makers. Same for the 1911. And, ironically, Colt is usually not the preferred source for either. Mountain House remains the industry leader but there are a few other players in that very narrow market. Communications options nowadays go past the ubiquitous CB radios of the 70’s. And the internet….well….the internet lets anyone get all the cool, esoteric, hard-to-find gear that, when I was a kid, to weeks or months to get.

Is there anything cool from the 70’s/80’s era of survivalism that was better then than now? Well, machine guns, for sure. The 1986 ban really screwed that up. Other than that, I don’t think there’s much in the survivalist arena from that era that isn’t better now. Of course, at this point, you’d have bloody near 40 years of being a survivalist under your belt.

And how did those threat analyses turn out anyway? Well, the Soviet Union imploded in a fit of self-actualization, nuclear winter became even less likely, and World War Three, as we had understood what it would be, pretty much vanished. The new threats were an overreaching government and a New World Order.

Then, of course, Y2K popped up on the horizon and those of use with basements full of MRE’s had something new to get worked up about. News media showed people who went all-in and sold their condos in Los Angeles to buy chunks of desert in Nevada that they could fence off and get ready to bunker down in. Annnnnnnnnnnnnnnd…..Y2K came and went with nary a blip.

A year goes by and we get the main act in the upcoming Global War On Everything as the World Trade Centers become landfill filler. For the next few years the big threat is terrorism and, for the more astute, a global economic slump that seems to be lurking in the background.

A few more years go by and 2008 becomes the year that the financial world bursts into flames. The housing bubble bursts, everyone’s retirement savings get a massive haircut, and people start getting nervous. Homes get foreclosed on and, within a few years, automakers demand government bailouts to prevent us all from living under bridges and eating our babies. (Because, somehow, if Chevrolet goes bust it means the end of the world.)

A few Infowars types get loud about the defunct Mayan calendar and 2012 is predicted as being the year we all finally get to use our freeze drieds and homemade toilet paper. 2012 passes with no major humanity-threatening disasters.

Bird flu, SARS, and one or two other variants rear their head and for a while the trendy apocalypse-du-jour is bird flu. Later it would be Peak Oil. After that, its the white horseman’s second bite at the apple and the new panic is ebola. The world trembles and….we’re still here.

But…in the interim of all those years, there were plenty of disasters and small-scale apocalypses. Hurricanes, earth quakes, forest fires, economic downturns, and that sort of thing came along and while they didn’t threaten humanity as a whole, for some people it was the end of the world.

The moral, if there is one, I suppose, is that the end of our world has been predicted and missed for as long as we’ve been around. The end of your world, however, is far, far, far more likely and possible.

I’ve yet to have to eat freeze drieds, channel my inner roof Korean, or man roadblocks and hang looters. However, I’ve had way too many occasions to need my emergency fund, stored fuel, extra clothes, or first aid kits. So…yeah..no end of THE world events, but there have been a few end of MY world events. Fortunately, being prepared for the former usually covers the latter.

Despite the world not devolving into Mad Max territory, I see no reason not to keep keeping on…it makes me sleep better, feel more secure, and when hiccups in my life do happen it keeps me from having to make hard choices.

 

 

Article – A Brief History Of American Survival Guide Magazine

Ah, I remember the heyday of ASG. Sadly, I also remember the neutered “No guns on the cover” version that was it’s final incarnation. But, for those of us who remember ASG fondly, here’s an interesting link:

When American Survival Guide magazine was resurrected from its ashes four years ago, the publishers could have only hoped it would become as popular and widely read as it is today.

One of their objectives was to produce a “new” magazine that feeds the core interests of its readers, whatever their personal goals of survival preparedness happened to be. However, it may be surprising to some that its roots were firmly planted 37 years ago by an eccentric motorsports enthusiast who wore cowboy boots and white suits and kept a pet cougar in his office.

A real live cougar. In his office. To promote his motorcycle parts supply house, AEE Choppers, Tom McMullen started a magazine for motorcycles in 1969 called Street Chopper, which found a successful niche with enough of a toehold start a publishing empire with his wife. In 1974 they were divorced, and in the settlement she got the parts company and he got the publishing company.

 

Upcoming Friday Of Color

Black Fridays Matter!

This time next week we’ll all  be hungover from the Friday Of Color sales. Most advertisers will start pimping the sales early, but I fully expect my inbox to be jammed with spam from Stag, Rock River, Kifaru, Augason Farms, Cheaper Than Dirt, CDNN, and all the other usual suspects.

But this time…I’m gonna be ready. I’ve tucked away a a small bit of coin in case something really awesome turns up. (A big ol’ Glock 10mm would be nice.)

I trust that all of you are doing the same…keeping an eye open for a stupidly good sale on that piece of gear you’ve been having your eye on.

Avenues I use to keep on top of the sales include:

  • http://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/
  • http://jerkingthetrigger.com/
  • http://www.guns.com/

The left-leaning, class-warfare types will no doubt get their panties in a twist about ‘consumerism’ and that sort of nonsense. But thats usually the outrage of people who are simply jealous because they can’t partake. Me, I’ve got nothing to be ashamed of…I like cool gear and if I can afford cool gear then, by Crom, I’m gonna buy cool gear. Getting it on sale is just a bonus.

Oh..and there’ some holiday next week too. But, yeah, I’m all about the gear.

Those little things that mean so much

I haven’t commented on it in a while, but there are a few people who have been tossing a few bucks in the tip jar and I wanted to say thanks. There’s one fella who actually does a recurring transaction every month and donates, which is damn nice if you ask me.

Anyway, just paid Bluehost for another year of hosting and figured I’d say thanks to those of you who kicked in some spare coin to make sure I can have a venue to butcher the English language and display terrible judgement.

(Its the thing in the upper right sidebar that says “Bunker Equippage Fund” with the DONATE button.)

 

 

 

Adding value to yourself

There’s a rallying cry that the left like to use about how WalMart doesn’t pay it’s employees enough to live on , and thus the welfare expenses created by these employees are directly attributable to WalMart. Evil corportaion, 1%, blah, blah, blah.

Never mind that, because of minimum wage laws, the same could be said of EVERY business that pays a similar rate as WallyWorld. So, I said to the person who was carrying on about this, that those welfare costs would be even higher if WalMart didn’t give them a job at all, and that if you don’t like what Walmart pays you perhaps you should make yourself into the kind of employee who is worth more than what WalMart pays.

You can imagine the response to that.

But, it’s true. Case in point – I’m doing an internship program at a corporate HQ here in town.One of my duties is to reconcile a list of customer deposits against payments received that month. Normally, this process takes about 12 hours of cutting/pasting/comparing against two separate spreadsheets. After doing this a few times, I said to the boss “Would you mind if I tinkered with these spreadsheets? I think I can come up with a way to make this work faster.” *** They said go ahead, just experiment on copies of the files rather than the originals. As they were saying that I was bouncing the idea around in my head coming up with a solution and by the time they said “And we’ll pay you for your time” I’d already finished the formulas in my head.

After a half hour of tinkering, I had a workable solution. After a couple hours at my computer that night before bed, I had a more refined and elegant solution. I turned a 12 hour job into one hour. When I demonstrated it the next day to the guy above me, you’d have thought I’d discovered plutonium. But, it makes sense…I just gave them 11 man-hours to put towards other projects and duties.  Thats an example of how you create a value that other people are willing to pay for. If they have to cut the payroll down, who is more likely to get the pink slip…the guy who comes in, does his work, and leaves at 5:00:01, or the guy who comes in ten minutes early, stays until the job is done, and actively contributes to improve the processes and efficiency of the business?

There are far too many people out there who don’t realize that every human being is not worth the same as another. Sure, it’s a lovely egalitarian thought but the guy who sweeps the floors in the warehouse is not as equally valuable as the person running the product management system in the office. Sad, but true. Some fellow traveler comment about how the CEO makes 75 times what the lowest paid employee makes. There is nothing wrong with that….that’s how it should be. You know why the CEO gets paid 75 times more? Because I can walk out the door and find someone qualified to sweep the floors and scrub the toilets in about four minutes, but I can’t walk out and find someone qualified to manage and run a billion-dollar-a-year company in four minutes. Ben and Jerrys, the ice cream socialists from Vermont, made a big fuss years back about how the highest paid person in their company would not earn more than five times what the lowest paid person made. Try to imagine the results of trying to find someone who has the talent to run a multi-million dollar company for less than $150,000 per year. B&J quietly abandoned the policy when no one would come work for their corporate positions.

Sure, the economy may be doing somewhat better these days but being prepared for economic uncertainty includes making myself into the sort of person who, when the ax starts falling, is put at the back of the line.

 

*** For those who are curious, I simply cut/paste all the payment, invoice, balance, date data (four columns) into a table, and then VLOOKUPped against the data in my other spreadsheet and wherever a payment was found, I had the invoice, date, payment, and amount values moved into their respective places through a series of IF and VLOOKUP formulas. Yeah, it was formula soup but it works. (And, yeah, macros would have helped bu we’re not allowed to use macros on the corporate machines.)

Food observations

 I was tooling around YouTube this afternoon and came across a few videos on food storage. One of them showed a guy who was unboxing some rice he put away six years ago. It was in a mylar bag, vacuum sealed, and tucked into a five-gallon bucket. I admire that approach, but I gotta say….my experience has been that rice is pretty much the only food that you can store “poorly” and still have something edible. I have, literally, a 15 gallon blue barrel of rice from Y2k that has had nothing done to it except being poured into a clean barrel and had the lid screwed on. Thats it…no oxy absorbers, no nitrogen flush, no nothing…and it stored just fine and seemed to cook up and taste fine ten years later.

Does that mean that was a good way to store it? Of course not. But it does show that some foods can have a more…casual…approach and be just fine. I would imagine that because of my climate (arid mountain region with very low moisture) I can get away with that sort of thing. I wouldnt want to try it in Louisiana or similar environs.

I mention it because I’ve been going through some of my stored stuff and taking stock of how it has fared. I’ve not run across anything I’d discard except for some MRE cookies that tasted quite rancid. Other than that, most everything seems to store just fine, although I store it in the classic “cool dark place” that is the classically optimum environment for food storage.

I’ve come across a couple canned goods, over the years, that didn’t last the way they were supposed to but they are pretty infrequent. Food poisoning (the real kind…not the I-let-the-ppizza-sit-out-overnight kind, I’m talking about the botulism kind) is not something to mess with and even if that bulging can isn’t loaded down with botulism you’ll still probably get so sick you’ll wish it had killed you after all. So…screw it…it’s a $2 can of tomato sauce..chuck it. I guarantee you, when you’re driving the porcelain bus at 2:30am you’d happily pay $2 to not have spent the last 40 minutes doing intestinal somersaults.

The changing of the season from fall into winter always puts me in the mind to go play amongst the stored food and supplies. Dunno why, it just does.

Wire shelving and S-hooks

Someone pointed out the shelving in a previous post.

For storage of food and household goods, I use the wire shelving units found at CostCo. They’re about $90 and you get four uprights, six shelves, and four wheels. What a lot of people don’t know is that you can buy a cheap little force multiplier that really opens up a world for your shelving plans. These little jewels are called “S-hooks”.

Imagine that you buy a shelving unit and set it up. You have one rack of six shelves, yes? Now, lets say you bought a second unit. You set that one up. You now have two columns of shelves next to each other. Ah, but if you had the s-hooks you could have three clumns of shelves, using those same two units. The s-hooks allow you to hang a shelf off the edge of another shelf. And since you can put the s-hook anywhere along the edge of the shelf, you can make L-shaped shelving arrangements to co around corners, or even T-shaped arrangements.

Here’s an example:

thumbnailNotice that the run of shelving on the right butts up against the row running along the back wall. Where they meet, thats where the s-hooks are…thats why theres no upright at that inside corner.

958e05b7b00fc0c6e6f8fdbf6cacc9da-mediumI get my s-hooks from these guys.

Also, note that when you buy wire shelving make sure the shelving has a reinforcing rib running down the middle of each shelf. In the first image you can see a rib that is just like the one running around the edges of he shelf. You don’t want just a piece of wire running the length of the shelf, you want an actual rib. Anything else and the thing will sag and not hold weight well. I’ve been using the wire shelving I got at Costco for over fifteen years and never had a problem with it. Yeah, it’s made in China but there’s not a lot out there in American-made wire shelving that meets my needs.

Anyway, I highly recommend the wire shelving for your food/gear storage and if you do decide to go that way, definitely get the s-hooks.…they will make the shelving so much more versatile.