Summer complacency

Mags, mags, mags.
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Man, it is so bloody easy to get complacent when the electricity is on, the gas is flowing from the pumps, the internet is up, and WalMart is open for business. That sort of day-to-day normalcy makes it easy to forget that for the large part of recorded human history, this sort of relative comfort and ease is atypical.

You don’t think about going hungry when you have a fridge full of food and a McDonalds on every corner. Same for gasoline when every gas station in town is open 24-hours. Ditto for flowing, potable water, relative public calm, mostly unhindered communications, and all those other things we take for granted.

I’m so bloody busy these days it’s hard to remember that there are still gaps and holes in my preparations that I need to fill.

Tuesday is Independence Day which I usually use as an excuse to go to the range, but I suspect this year I’ll only put in a token appearance there and use the ‘day off’ to try and get caught up on prep-related things I’ve let slide as of late.

Anyone else having trouble staying on point with regards to preparedness these days? It must be the ‘easy living’ of summer or something.

Generator Day

Still have mags: Pmags/$10 , 10/22 Steel Lip mags/$11
Buy some mags…those dang anesthesiologists don’t work cheap.

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Today was generator day. Pull the EU2000 out of its protective Hardigg case, start it up, hook up a few goodies to it to give it some actual work to do, and then after about a half hour turn it off and pack it up.

I’ve had the EU2000 now for a few years and have only had one occasion to need it – big windstorm back in 2015 that knocked out power for around ten hours. But that doesn’t mean something longer and worse isn’t coming down the pike. Gotta be prepared.

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Speaking of prepared, my mailman told me about an experience he had last weekend. He and his wife were out on one of the logging roads way in the middle of nowhere when he came across a couple who, somehow, both rolled their fourwheelers off the road and down a ravine. The guy was pinned under his vehicle with a compound fracture to his leg, his wife was further downhill with a punctured lung, broken bones, and was basically an hour or two away from needing a priest more than a doctor. Mailman was driving along the road and saw the something in the heavy brush…the man had fastened a piece of clothing to a long stick and was waving it for help. They’d been out there, in the sun, bleeding and dying, for about an hour and a half.

Short version: mailman was able to climb up a hill and get a bar or two on his phone and dial in the local SAR. Not one but two helicopters managed to get there and find a landing spot, but it was tough describing exactly where they were in all that mess.

This is why whenever I go off the pavement I keep smoke and flares in the vehicle. Big ‘ol cloud of orange smoke, or a red cluster flare will do a good job of showing the guy in the door where to point the nose of the helicopter. Of course, knowing the UTM coords for where you are andbeing able to give that information to someone on the other end of your phone is pretty helpful, too.

Article – The Deadly Choices at Memorial

Buy some 10/22 or Pmag mags, kids. I got surgeons bills to pay.
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The smell of death was overpowering the moment a relief worker cracked open one of the hospital chapel’s wooden doors. Inside, more than a dozen bodies lay motionless on low cots and on the ground, shrouded in white sheets. Here, a wisp of gray hair peeked out. There, a knee was flung akimbo. A pallid hand reached across a blue gown.

Wikipedia entry.

An old article I found buried in a blog post. Having spent a night or two in the hospital as of late, I am kind of interested in the sorts of disaster planning that goes on. Hospitals, as opposed to, say, long term care facilities, clearly have different budgets and requirements. I do recall that some states mandate a certain amount of emergency food (Mountain House, in case you didnt know, actually sells a special line of regulation-compliant meals just for this sort of thing), generators, or that sort of thing, there’s always that big question of what to do when the power goes out, the looting starts, and grandma is trapped in Shady Acres on the other side of town.

On the one hand, it’s hard to argue that in an environment like that there weren’t going to be cases where there was nothing else to do but watch someone die. On the other hand, while I have no trouble with someone wanting to die of their own volition, I have a problem with a medical professional making that decision for someone else.

The article, though eight years old, is a real edge-of-your-seat read and definitely worth reading if you’re in the health field.

 

By request

20170618_141335Later under medication/dose/due I put ” Pizza 1/4 pie 5pm”, “Ice cream as indicated 5:07 pm”. Under “Family Contact” I’d written “Frankly, theyre pretty much done putting up with him too.” I left “Oral Care” alone because, frankly, it was too easy. No honor in it.

Aftermath

Alright, I’m trying to put out fires as best I can..what with my guts feeling as they do….and trying to get caught up on things.

First and foremost: I still have a little less than a case of Pmags, and a case and a half of Steel Lip 10/22 mags. Get ’em while they’re hot, kids. Everyone seems to be pleased  with their purchases and more than one person has come back for seconds (or thirds). It only gets more expensive as time goes by, so get ’em now and get your Alpha Strategy on. Email me. (And at least two of you made out pretty well on the deal because in my narc’d state I used the wrong pricing schedule and you got them at $1/@ off.)

Summer is officially here in western Montana, which means at any moment things will burst into flames and we’ll be breathing extra chunky style air until October.

I have a bunch of catching up to do on preparedness related materials and whatnot, but I also have to reconcile that with a metric buttload of school, work, business, personal, and other obligations that I need to get caught up on…so, as busy as I can be at a moment when Im least able to do it. Yay, status quo!

Bonus: I have a nice 15 second video of the nurse pulling three feet of plastic tubing out of a hole in my belly. This video is not for people with slow connections or who are squeamish. It’s like some dirty magic trick! (Best to let it load and then play..otherwise its just annoying.)

Politically motivated shooting

I guess now we’ll see what happens vis-a-vis the new administration and the gun elimination lobby.

Non-event or event in terms of legislative results? I’m going with non-event, but nothing is guaranteed and this administration can’t be pigeonholed.

I suspect there’sll be the usual wailing from the left (esp. the newly important Chuckie Schumer), but nothing will come of it. We shall see.

(Makes me glad I got all those Pmags…)

[oh..and these]

Fear The Walking Dead new season

The new season of Placeholder Of  Fear The Walking Dead started the other evening. Although I very much despised the the show at the begining, it has started to grow on me as the situations become more dire and the characters more jaded. (What can I say…Im a sucker for cynicism.)

While they did kill off a major character (well, sort of a major character) they killed the wrong one. Why, oh why, are they keeping these two useless women? This mother/daughter combo is making me root hard for the zombies. And, they introduced a cute blonde gun bunny and killed her off in the same episode. Figures.

Bu, my favorite gun bunny is still (barely) around, so that’s some comfort.

I sorta predicted that last seasons closing episode shootout was with some sort of Texas militia and I may not have been too far off. This episode introduced something I’ve been anticipating and dreading – survivalists. Anticipating because I think it’s an unexplored avenue. Dreading because I have no doubt whatsoever it’ll portray them as lunatics.

My interpretation of the episode was that the military base was not occupied by military, but rather by an expeditionary force from the the survivalist compound (“the ranch”).

Anything worth noting in the episode? Just the usual: two-man rule (as seen by the sad and early demise of the new gun bunny), pack a good first aid kit (as evidenced by Mexican gun bunny needing aid), have your stuff packed and ready to run on a moments notice (the base being overrun), try to avoid integrating into large groups of heavily armed strangers, and be careful your lies don’t catch up to you (“Dr.” Strand).

The plotlines have reduced from the three of the previous season to two – Strand off in his sports car, and the shrinking family of idiots. I’ll be curious to see where it goes from here.

Actually, it just occurred to me, what happened to Blades’ daughter Ofelia? Last I saw she got pinched at the border.

Unsexy and I know it

You guys know that saying about how when it comes to war, the amateurs talk strategy/tactics but the pros talk logistics? I think when it comes to preparedness the amateurs talk guns, the pros talk logistics. And, yes, this is new nothing new….I’ve said it before. But, the fact I’ve said it before doesn’t detract from it being true (IMHO).

In the last 365 days I can count the number of times I needed a gun, body armour, and night vision on one hand. However, on virtually every one of those 365 days I had needed food, water, clothes, shoes, toilet paper, etc. So, when apportioning money for resources, where does the lion’s share go? Yup, to the unsexy things like paper towels, socks, canned goods, toothpaste, and that sort of thing.

There is no doubt in my mind at all that there is definitely going to be a time when an M4, ceramic plates, hands-free commo, and a buncha webgear is going to be exactly what the moment calls for. But, that’s one time out 100…the other 99 times out of 100 I’ll be needing/using all the unsexy preparedness stuff.

I was reminded of it yesterday as I was going over my budget for the month. I got hungry and it was time to make dinner. Felt like some chicken and rice would be just the ticket. Reach deep into the freezer and find this:

20170610_163217Yup…five year old chicken. Been sitting in the freezer quietly for the last five years. Is it good? Yup…cooked up and went down just fine. But because of foresight five years ago, it was there for me last night when I was hungry. And there’s also a couple cases of 7.62×39 sitting next to the freezer, because that same foresight says that someday I’ll need that too. But which one usually winds up getting used soonest? The unsexy stuff.

Being something of a Ballistic-American (aka “gun nut”) I loves me some thundertoys. And preparedness is definitely one of those interests where you get to justify to yourself (if you are the type that needs to do that sort of thing) your purchases of guns and ammo. But its ‘preparedness’, not ‘warfighting’….and preparedness encompasses a lot more than guns. Thats why we have “guns and…” Guns and…toilet paper. Guns and …canned food. Guns and…extra clothing. Guns and…Ham radios. you get the idea.

But, what’s the first thing people jump at doing when they decide it’s time to ‘get serious’ about preparedness? In my experience, nine times outta ten it means the go buy some guns and ammo. Which is fine, but the apocalypse (no matter what flavor of it you expect) is going to be so much more than guns and ammo. The AR and M855 are just one instrument in the orchestra that plays the preparedness symphony.

Unfortunately, the sexy stuff like guns, ammo, armour, smoke grenades, night vision, etc, etc, are subject to more scrutiny than, say, a case of Spam and a bucket of rice. There is always the real possibility that you could wake up tomorrow and find that, on a local/state/national level your access to ownership of those things is cutoff or severely curtailed (looking at you California!)…the same risk to, say, freeze dried food, buckets of rice, AA-batteries, quality boots, and neosporin is virtually nil.

This is why, for me, I’m “heavy” on guns and ammo. I want a lifetime supply but I don’t have the luxury of a lifetime to collect it. Since tomorrow could possibly the last day I have to acquire a ‘black rifle’ and ‘hi cap’ magazine’, I would like to have as many as I can in place just in case some sort of regulatory shenanigans takes place. Succinctly, I’m virtually 100% positive I won’t be prohibited from buying canned tomatoes and paper towels a year from now, I cannot be so certain on the gun stuff.

And, yes, tomorrow could also be the last day I have to acquire canned bacon and frozen pizza as well. But, historically, the threat/risk to one has been greater than the other.

My personal flavor of apocalypse is economic. It could be a worldwide depression that throws us into a Third World life of living like Venezuelans, or it could be me breaking a leg and not being able to work for two months…but, in my world, thats the most likely apocalypse I see coming. And in that case, I’ll probably get far more mileage out of my blue barrels of rice and my #10 cans of freeze dried pork chops than I will out my HK91 and Lake City ball.

So, I would never discourage anyone from buying guns and ammo, but I do suggest tempering the buying spree with a little prudence and logic about how much of a percentage of your budget should be spent on things you shoot versus things you eat or use every day. It’s the unsexy and unfun part of preparedness but it is probably the most important part.

(Which reminds me, finish off your ‘hicap’ AR mag needs in one fell swoop.)

Knife to a gunfight

Pmags – $10 ea. – Have about 80 left.
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I see that another episode of ‘Sudden Jihad Syndrome’ spontaneously occurred in the decidedly diverse city of London over the weekend. Weapons of choice? Vehicles and edged pointy things. The police, when they finally got a handle on it, did the logical thing and killed the “knifemen”. (That’s the Brit term for a knife-wielding maniac….”knifeman”. I suppose if he’d beaten them to death with his bare hands he’d be a “Fistman”…which very much sounds like something you really don’t want to do a Google search for when “Safe Search” is turned off.)

Knives are interesting business…it is, generally, thought of as a close contact weapon (as opposed to a ranged weapon like, say, a crossbow or a Glock 40) but even a gun-toter can be bested by a guy with a knife at a distance IF the gunman is even slightly off guard. Mythbusters did a fascinating experiment where they gave one guy an airsoft, one guy a knife, stood them apart at various distances, and on the buzzer the knife guy charges the gun guy while gun guy tries to draw and shoot before he gets stabbed. Result? If someone has a knife and is within several yards of you, you’re in big trouble unless you already have gun in hand and are aware of the situation. See for yourself.

Now, a huge caveat here is that, for whatever reason, Adam is doing the so-called “Israeli carry” * of carrying his pistol in Condition Three… and empty chamber, hammer down. These guys aren’t gun guys, and they’re in California, so they probably aren’t used to the notion of carrying a gun for self-protection. But..the data is still extremely useful.

Here’s one very determined guy with a knife putting the hurt on several armed police officers who, I’m guessing, didn’t immediately shoot him because “he only had a knife”.

And, that “he only had a knife” statement comes up from time to time in this country when a cop shoots some guy with knife. Disparity of force? Absolutely. But, as we’ve seen, a man six yards away with a knife is virtually as dangerous as a man with a gun. Shooting him when he starts advancing on you from that distance may look bad or excessive to the uneducated, but in reality it’s the only thing keeping the gun user from becoming something that looks like an elephant’s tampon.

Living here in the somewhat quiet environment of Montana, I don’t worry too much about Sudden Jihad  Syndrome. But if it does happen, the odds are much higher that the aggressor will encounter much stiffer (and possibly louder) resistance than a bunch of unarmed Britons who have been culturally beaten into believing that physical resistance trying to kill you who look different from you is ‘intolerant’.

:::Shrug::: It’s a dangerous world out there. That’s why we have hollowpoints.

* = I take issue with the article about Condition Three carry. In particular:

Let us assume that racking the slide adds a half second to your total presentation time (which is pretty slow, by the way). And let us assume that you can draw and fire at the 2 second mark. If the attack comes before you can draw and fire (2 seconds) having the chamber loaded or not doesn’t matter, as you don’t have time to draw and fire at all. If the attack comes after a 2.5 second time frame having the chamber loaded or not doesn’t matter, as you have time to chamber a round. Only if the attack happens in that critical time frame after 2 seconds but before 2.5 seconds does the chamber condition matter.

But at that point you are now in a bear hug with a guy trying to kill you with a knife. You’ve, presumably got one hand trying to keep him from shanking you, and your other hand is holding an unchambered pistol. You’ll rack the pistol with your..what?..third hand? If the round was already chambered you’d connect the muzzle to the medulla and let terminal ballistics handle the rest. So, yes, chamber condition matters.