Apocalypse briefs

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Middle of the night, you wake up to the sound of police sirens, the occasional gun shot and the sound of flesh being gnawed upon. You get out bed, buck naked, and peer out the window. A quick look out the window shows that, indeed, the zombie apocalypse has begun. No problem, you think to yourself. You’ve read all the books, you’ve beaten the topic to death on all the forums, you’ve read all the blogs…you’re as prepared as they come. Your Glock is sitting on the nightstand, your AK is in the safe, theres mountains of food in the pantry, you’ve got the latest and greatest web gear…this’ll be a breeze. Speaking of breeze, better get dressed…you reach into you’re dresser and…

Well, dammit, what is the best underwear for TEOTWAWKI?

Men’s underwear comes in three different flavors: briefs, boxers, and the hybrid boxer brief.

Briefs are the y-front underwear that you usually start wearing when youre four years old and if no one ever sets you straight you continue to wear that same style into adulthood. Its functional and hysterically dumb looking on an adult. It looks like a diaper.

Boxers are loose fitting shorts. They’re comfortable, can double as outerwear in some situations and chicks dig them. They tend to bunch up and sometimes pull/twist at unfortunate angles.

Boxer briefs are a hybrid. They look like biker shorts. They don’t bunch up, they keep your junk from swinging around, and they can be pretty flattering.

Which one should you wear when the zombie hordes are on the move?

This is all personal pref, but Im leaning towards boxer briefs. Heres why… First, they are usually comfortable, they don’t bunch up when you pull your pants up like boxers do, they’re tight enough to keep things in place, and they offer a bit more leg protection. They’re a bit more streamlined than boxers, making getting dressed a bit easier.

Boxers are a close second…their big draw is that they’re comfortable and can double as outerwear if you have to.

For wet environs, the boxerbriefs have an advantage, IMHO. They don’t bind up like the loose materials of boxers, thus allowing a bit of room for your stuff to breathe. Naturally, some folks will chime in that in the wet environs you’re better off with no underwear. Perhaps, but I think the boxer briefs are a good choice nonetheless.

There’s also a fringe element that says to eliminate the underwear issue altogether and wear a kilt. Now, Im first to admit that there are times a kilt has some advantages…plenty of room in the crotch, keeps things cool in the summer, etc. The drawback is absolutely zero protection for the family jewels. Ticks, black flies, mosquitoes, bees, whatever get fast access to sensitive parts of the anatomy. On a day hike or somesuch, maybe the kilt is a good choice. Outrunning hordes of mutant cannibals? Comfortable pants with lotsa crotch room and a good pair of underwear please.

It goes without saying, cotton is the number one choice of material. It breathes, its absorbent, you can hand wash it and its comfy. I usually go with neutral or dark colors. No point waving around a white flag everytime you open your pants to take a whiz. Also, cotton has the advantage of being microwavable (assuming you have electricity) to kill germs and bacteria. Synthetic fabrics simply melt. Good to know if you wind up getting caught in a fire…melted synthetics on Mr Happy will definitely ruin your day. Hanging your cotton underwear on a line in the sunlight will also kill nasties through ultraviolet action.

Im not even going to begin to pretend to have some sort of informed opinion on what underwear chicks should wear when the revolution starts. In my perfect world, it would all be tiny g-strings with enormously tall high heels and barely-there tank tops. In reality, theyd probably be better off with boxerbrief type undergarments as well. Unfortunately.



Ballarat Bandit

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

A ways back I posted about the “Four Corners Survivalists” and their ill-fated three-man revolution that they started. The story fascinated me because of how the guys disappeared into the desert and stymied the authorities attempts to find them. When it all shook loose, it turned out they all died in the desert and all that was found were their bones.

Someone emailed me a link to this story about the Ballarat Bandit. A guy who broke into remote wilderness cabins to supply himself as he hid out in the wilderness. He escaped from the authorities on several occasions including running five miles non-stop and in one case hiking 60 miles over snowy terrain. Eventually feds , SWAT teams, and a buncha various law enforcement was brought in to find him…a curious amount of overkill for what was essentially a burglar. I suspect the authorities felt their manhood had been challenged by a guy who could out hike, out run and out hide them in their own backyard. And, when all else fails, imply links to terrorism to justify the huge call out for whats amounted to a property crime.
After cat and mouse games they finally corner the guy who shoots himself in the head. Then the mystery starts. no ID, no nothing.

The story interests me because Ive always been oddly interested in those one-man-against-the-odds stories. So was this guy a super soldier? A Rambo? A survivalist expert? A major wanted criminal? Nope. As it turns out, he was something far less exciting.  A Canadian pot farmer.

I find these stories fascinating and would love to read more about them than what I find in the news articles. For some reason they captivate me. From a practical standpoint, theres always a bit of useful knowledge to be gleaned from these things. Seems like the failure point for this guy was his lousy luck with vehicles.

Cold, food prices

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I believe I picked up a cold at the gun show last week. I try to be careful at these things…I never touch my hands to my mouth or eyes until after I’ve had a chance to wipe ‘em down with some hand sanitizer, etc, etc. But somehow I managed to pick up a bug nonetheless. Since my sense of smell and taste are pretty much shot, Im going to have to put the Canadian MRE taste test on the back burner for about a week until I can start tasting things again. Fear not, I wont forget about them.


So the ‘rice rationing’ has, sorta, kinda, begun. CostCo and Sams Club are limiting purchases. Naturally what does this make people want to do? It makes them want to go out and stock up..which leads to..shortages, of course. Self-fulfilling prophecy. This bothers me not in the least. For one reason, because I’ve got a couple hundred pounds of the stuff squirrelled away..enough to take care of me and the girlfriends needs for a good long while. Secondly, rice just isnt that big a deal in this country. In Third World countries governments will be toppled over high rice prices, in this country no one really cares. I think your average American reads the news and figures food shortages and rationing are things that happen in other countries, surely they dont happen here. And, to a degree, theyre right. The US does extremely well in food production, however we are seeing that while food production doesnt change that much, food prices do. Theres food to be had, no doubt. Its just that the prices are going to keep climbing.

A quick search on Yahoo turns up article after article using the keywords ‘food prices’. It shuld be interesting to see what happens when people on fixed incomes, and especially welfare recipients, find that ‘their’ food dollar is going to be bringin in less food than it was before.  Hungry people are dangerous people.

I expect any day now the media will ‘discover’ this previously unknown facet of the current ‘crisis’…that those on public assistance cant feed their kids as well as they used to. Naturally, politicians will jump in and start going on about how the benefits these people receive must be increased to allow them to feed their families. At this point, the whole arguement will devolve into the usual class warfare battles with politicians talking about ‘fair share’ and ‘economic justice’ and all the other buzzwords that raise your taxes.

Theres no denying that food prices are going up. If youre smart, you’ll start buying in bulk, buying on sale, clipping coupons, and making space in your house to store large quantities of food. Learning to cook would also go a long way towards helping on the food budget.

MRE, eh?

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I received a package in todays mail. (And, hey, if you ever wanna send me goodies, gold, spare mags or ammo: PO Box 1893 Missoula MT 59806) In todays package were a couple Canadian MRE’s. Normally, I dislike Canadians but after checking out their MRE’s I gotta say Im impressed. Of course, it makes sense the Canadian military could spend money on cool MRE’s since theyre military budget only has to cover a few diesel submarines and some cats and dogs.

I’ll have pictures in a day or two but two things jump out me:

1) the entrees are from our good friends Wornick in TX who make the US MRE’s

2) Theres a good bit of ‘off the shelf’ stuff in there. Stuff you could go to WallyWorld or a restaurant supply store and get to put your own MRE together. (More on that at a later post.)

Anyhoo, I’d like to thank the person generous to send me these fine example of Canadian combat cuisine. I’ll have pictures and a review as well as my usual snark in a day or two.

Speaking of snark, everything on the MRE’s is in English and French. Why do the Canadians put up with this Quebec crap?

Those damn yuppie survivalists

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

I don’t envy the rich, and I don’t pity the poor. I do what I do with what I have. If I cant afford something I either do without it or I find a way to afford it. Its that simple. Trust me, theres a lot of stuff Id like to have right now that I do not because I just don’t have the money….but someday…

I see the term ‘yuppie survivalist’ floating around and I don’t understand the class-warfare mentality of it. If you could afford to have the best gear possible, wouldn’t you? And if someone could afford the best gear possible but decided to muddle along the best they could with cheap ‘make do’ gear wouldn’t you think they were making a mistake?

It seems like ‘yuppie survivalist’ is code for ‘people who make more money than me’. It’s the guys with drums full of ramen and rice carping about the guys with cases of Mountain House and MRE’s. Its guys with SKS’ and HiPoints pointing fingers at guys with DSA FAL’s and Sigs. Its guys with travel trailers on leased land denigrating guys with concrete buildings on 500 acres. The guy with a HiPoint carbine thinks the guy with the Century AK is a yuppie survivalist and the guy with the Century AK thinks the fella with the DSA FAL is a yuppie survivalist…heck the guy with the FAL probably thinks the guy with the pre-ban HK91 is a yuppie survivalist.

Im all for being cheap. But if I can afford a good, solid, purpose-built 5-gallon water container why would I try to make do with washed out 2-liter pop bottles? Heck, carry it a step further – theres probably someone somewhere ranting that those ‘damn yuppie survivalists’ are using 2-liter pop bottles ‘cause they’re too good to drink water like us ‘working class’ folk and waste their money on that fancy yuppie fizzwater.

Mae West said “I’ve been rich, I’ve been poor, and its much better to be rich.” Theres nothing wrong with being poor, and theres nothing wrong with being rich. Me, my goals are simple – I want to have whatever it takes to have the level of security in my life that makes me comfortable. If it takes $20k a year or $200k a year, I don’t care. To me it isn’t about how much money as it is about how you live on that money. Im not ashamed to say I wish I had a lot more money than I do now. That’s why I get up in the morning – to try and get those things I don’t have now.

I am, by anyone’s definition, not rich. Probably not too terribly close to middle class either once you crunch the numbers. But I decide what I want and then I figure out how to get it. I have friends who make a lot more money than me and have a lot nicer things than me. Do I resent them? Of course not. Do I hate them? Nope. It just means they worked harder, were more successful or more disciplined. And Im happy they’re doing well….they are, after all, my friends and who doesn’t take pleasure in the success of people they care about?

Tagging someone as a ‘yuppie survivalist’ seems no different than someone calling people who make less than them ‘travel trailer survivalists’.  Its stupid, counterproductive and serves no purpose. If you hate poor people, then don’t become poor. If you hate rich people, don’t become rich. Giving someone a ration of crap because they bought something they can afford that you couldn’t is just small minded. If it really sticks in your craw that much, go get a better job. (And if you really believe that being a ‘wage slave’ to ‘the man’ who ‘exploits’ you is a ‘bad scene’ then go into business for yourself.)

A caveat: keep in mind Im talking about stuff you can afford. If you spend $5k on an original FN FAL and a case of magazines but then have no money for ammo then you, in fact, couldn’t afford the gun. But if you buy something expensive and can afford it, then more power to you. I’m glad for you.

Cannery trip

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Made the trip to the local LDS cannery the other evening. It was interesting. Im not a social critter, I really dont like having to participate in group activities that require me to interact with new people. It just feels awkward and Im very used to doing my paranoid apocalyptic preparations by myself. On the other hand, the Mormons appear very big on group activity and ‘many hands making light work’. So, I smile and behave and do my best to get along. I think I made an okay impression, although next time I should try to appear a bit more clean-cut.
A customer of mine let me tag along with him, so thats how I got in on this. We arrived early and I got the tour of the facility..a nondescript building near the airport. There was a large warehouse-size room with racks of tall steel shelving and pallets of various bulk and canned foods, in another room was the dry-pack facility which was a standard commercial kitchen type affair – tile floors, steel tables, hair nets, etc, etc. The two things that interested me most were the electgric canning machine and the mylar bag sealer. Both would be extremely handy for my own needs, but theyre priced for larger outfits than my small circle of like-minded individuals. I can seal mylar bags just fine with an iron and a flat surface, but the foot-pedal operated rig they had was, admittedly, really sweet. The machine for sealing up #10 cans was nice and you can find hand-operated ones on eBay but the electric ones are the way to go. Spendy though.

When everyone who was going to arrived had finally showed up it was time to start the show. It was a little disorganized at first but that improved as people started finding things to do. There were about ten people in attendance plus the volunteer who was in charge of the facility that day. The guy in charge gave a little pep talk about how everyone who was there was doing a great thing by being responsible and taking precautions to protect themselves and their families and that they should be proud of themselves for taking these steps, etc. Really nice…the sort of reinforcement most of us don’t get in this field. There was an opening prayer too and I just kinda looked at my shoes and analyzed the floor tile while that was going on. I think it wasnt a secret that I wasnt in their church, but Im pretty sure no one knew just how far out of their church I was. Everyone made a list of what they wanted, those lists were added up and then an appropriate amount of food was moved to the canning area. For example, if three people wanted four #10 cans of wheat, then an amount necessary to make 12 cans was removed from the bulk area. It was all wheeled into the kitchen area and the work begun. Hairnets, beard nets (as necessary), aprons and gloves for all. Empty #10 cans were filled with product and passed to another person, that person weighed the cans and adjusted the amount as necessary, the can was then passed to the next person who added an oxygen absorber to the can, passed to the next person who put the can in the sealer and closed it up, passed to the next person who labelled and date stamped the can, passed to the person who arranged the cans in the boxes. A very simple setup once everyone finds their particular role. Efficient too. I dont want to be critical but it seemed like there was a need for people to specifically be instructed at the begining who will do what rather than just sorta falling into whatever role was open or appealing. But..I was a stranger there and perhaps its usually more organized. Im sure not going to complain…the folks took things seriously enough to be there and to have a dedicated facility for this sort of thing. I respect that.
In addition to the canning, I got to play with the mylar bag sealer and I liked it alot. Sure an iron and a 2×4 work, but this thing was nice.

In addition to food being available, what really made my day was the packaging supplies that were available. One-gallon mylar bags, in bulk. Oxygen absorbers! And cardboard boxes that’ll fit six #10 cans per box (which I need very much for my loose cans of Mountain House floating around.)

Also interesting, the desk in the office had a rechargeable 12-volt battery sitting on it, hooked up to a trickle charge, some radio gear, and a statewide map showing various call signs across the state. So, in addition to the cannery they also have quite the radio network.

Get on these peoples good side now, I suggest.

All in all, I had a good time and Id very much like to go again. It was nice being around people who dont look at you funny if you talk about storing drums of corn and wheat, MRE’s, freeze drieds and whatnot. Matter of fact, a couple of people expressed some interest about getting in on the next Mountain House group buy.

If it wasn’t for that whole religious angle I’d sign up just for the networking and access to resources. Sadly, there are no affiliate memberships for non-believers.

Gun show acquisitions

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Not a cheap day, but a satisfying one.

First, I read a heads-up on on of the forums that Best Buy was marking down CR123 batts (”Surefire batteries”). Headed up to BB and, sure enough, Duracell CR123 were $3 per 2-pack. Seemed like a decent deal so we grabbed a dozen packs. Check your local BestBuy.
Next stop was the Missoula gun show. A few items I very much would like to have but nothing that I had to have. We did take the opportunity to stock up on primers, though. Grabbed a sleeve of large pistol, small pistol, small pistol mag, and large rifle. Total: 20,000 primers. They’ll get squirreled away ‘just in case’. A few other goodies jumped out at me but Im getting much, much better at exercising restraint. I am picking up a few surplus goodies…most notable a flectar rain poncho to go with my current flectar gear.

As I expected, prices on ammo and components are high. Being a graduate of The Great Primer Scare from the early nineties (remember that one?) I am painfully aware that just a rumour of scarcity can actually cause scarcity. So…20,000 primers. This is on top of the supply I already have on hand. Lest you think 5,000 primers in any one flavor is alot think about how it would be used. 1k .45 ACP, .1k .44 Spl., 1k .45 Colt, etc, etc. and you can see that 5k ain’t that much.

Ubercool item of the show: Navy flare/smoke signal devices still packed in their steel storage cases. $70 a dozen with the locking steel container. DOnt need ‘em, but theyre definitely cool.


Tomorrow is Patriots Day. Get out and shoot!

LDS cannery trip?, 9mm ammo, RSVP regrets, pouch food again

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Well cool…it looks like I may have someone to sponsor me for a trip to the local Mormon cannery this weekend. I like to imagine it will be staffed by wholesome, hot Mormon chicks but in reality its probably geriatric members of the ladies auxilliary or somesuch. Unimportant. Whats important is that its an opportunity to hedge my bets against an uncertain future and provide an extra layer of security for me and the girlfriend. Oh..and networking. Mustnt forget the networking.


Still working on loading 9mm ammo. Know what the interesting thing about having the big Dillon 1050 is? You wind up loading ammo for your like-minded friends too! And Im perfectly cool with that, otherwise i wouuldnt have offered. So I just handed off 1000 rds. to a friend and will do another 1000 rds. for me, then another 1000 rds for them, then another 1000 rds. for me, etc, etc. Not because I feel there’ll be an event that requires me to use 5000 rounds of 9mm, but because theres always the possibility that whatever ammo I have now may be all the ammo I have for the rest of my life…therefore ‘too much’ is never really possible. (unless the wheels flew off of civilization in a major and violent way I could not foresee needing more than a couple magazines worth of ammo in a given event. However, I could see needing a bit to hand out to my friends who may have been caught short. As I said, never enough…actually, I stated it better here.)


Sadly, I received an RSVP from ,Rawles with his regrets that he would be unable to attend the wedding. Thats too bad because I was looking forward to chatting with him.


The girlfriend consumes a fairly large quantity of tuna fish. Usually the small 3 oz. cans are what we purchase since they are just about the right size portion for her. As of late, however, we’ve been liking the ‘MRE pouch’ style packaging that StarKist has been using (her preferred brand). According to the company FAQ the cans are rated for four years and the pouches for three. Both of those, IMHO, are conservative. The canned stuff is, most definitely, cheaper but requires draining and is a soggy mess. The stuff in the pouch does not require draining and seems firmer and more appealing. Both forms of packagin have their pros and cons…the pouches are lighter but the cans are more compact. The solid cans are, in my opinion, more durable than the pulltop cans … I’ve had products where the cans have failed at the pulltop seams from some object being pushed hard against it. No such problem with the solid cans but, naturally, you’ll need a can opener. The main attraction for the pouch stuff seems to be the quality of the product within. What I’ll probably do is stockpile both.

Victims and volunteers

Originally published at Notes from the bunker…. You can comment here or there.

Two articles of interest:

First one: ‘World peace’ hitcher is murdered

Why is anyone surprised by this? The world is not a Frank Capra movie. Its a place full of human beings who are quite capable, and sometimes eager, to hurt you very badly for no good reason whatsoever.

And another one from Scrotum Free America NPR: A Victim Treats His Mugger Right

I posted about this elsewhere and was met with this:

I would say that the guy in the story evened the odds a lot. Certainly, as a 56-year-old woman with no weapons skills, I have a better shot at his style than an aggressive one.

My reply:
Let me gently suggest that if, given a similar situation, your only recourse is docile compliance with a desperate hope that you wont be hurt (or worse), perhaps taking the opportunity to learn a simple and fundamental weapon skill (such as purchasing a small handgun, learning how to use it, and obtaining a license to carry it) might be worth exploring. Physical limitations imposed by age and gender in a possibly violent confrontation are greatly mitigated by proper basic gunhandling.

And, yes, there are people who feel that when their lives are directly threatened – as in right here, right now, dark-alley-with-a-knifewielding-mugger – their best recourse is to somehow ‘defuse’, ‘de-escalate’, ‘ramp down’ or otherwise becalm the situation with soothing words and rational discourse. Morgues have seen more of these optimists than not. Certainly it may work in some situations, but playing the lottery with your life at stake seems like a bad practice.

Rational discourse usually achieves its best results with rational people. A person willing to possibly kill you over a matter of money (or, if youre an attractive woman, something a little more personal) is probably not terribly rational. Even if they are, is your life worth so little to you that you feel your best course of action is to gamble on your assailant’s better nature?

“Never appeal to a man’s better nature, he may not have one. Appeal to his self interest instead.” Survival is everyone’s top self-interest. A mugger may not have a ‘better nature’ that will compel him to desist out of some on-the-spot moral epiphany. However, he almost certainly will ‘come to jesus’ when he realizes he brought a knife to a gunfight. I will wager a large amount of money that more violent confrontations have been ‘nipped in the bud’ with “Get out of here before I shoot you” than with “Put the knife down and let’s talk about this”.

I think there is nothing wrong with believing that there can be rational, well-reasoned alternatives to violent confrontation. However, the moment to try to learn to fly a plane is not when the pilot has a heart attack and keels over. Similarly, the time to try peaceful, nonviolent resolutions is not when you’ve got a knife pointed at your belt buckle.

“There are no victims, only volunteers” is a quote I remember from somewhere. There is absolutely nothing, not one thing, noble about submitting to a violent criminal if you have the ability not to with reasonable expectation of success. No great cosmic, karmic destiny is fulfilled by allowing yourself to victimized. Even famous ‘peaceful’ icons such as Ghandi and King were open to the idea of violent defense of self when necessary.

I say this not as some sort of ‘gun nut’, ‘right wing nutjob’ or ‘racist hater’ (although all these descriptions are probably applicable in some regard or another), but as a person who has the highest respect of an individuals personal rights. A person threatening me with harm in an attempt to take away my property (or my life) is an attack on several fundamental rights that, to me, are more important than that attackers well-being. If he’s just a ‘misunderstood youth’ then theres absolutely no point in him becoming a ‘misunderstood adult’. He needs a fast lesson that when you violate another persons most basic rights its going to cost him a nap on the concrete sidewalk, a trip to the hospital and a few years in a cell.

Nonviolent responses do have a place in the scheme of things but the time for that option is not when your being mugged.