C, eh, N, eh, D, eh

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

Im currently in Vancouver, Canaduh.
This is the departure point for the honeymoon cruise Im taking up to Alaska. Thus far I’ve been rather unimpressed with Vancouver. Its crowded, noisy and looks like what Id imagine Hong Kong looks like – tall, outdated glass buildings amongst crowded rundown streets. Perhaps Im just in the wrong part of town.

Thus far I’ve not seen a single Canuckistan authority figure (cop, airport security, etc) who a) had anything more potent than an ASP baton on them and b) didnt look like they’d be an easy mark anywhere else. This is my first trip to a Second World country. The homeless people here look exactly like the homeless people in the US…right down to the cardboard signs with their hard-luck stories. I wanted to ask why they were homeless and sick since this country is supposed to be so morally and socially superior to the US with its socialized medicine and whatnot but I didnt ask…mostly because I dont care. If I were going to care about the homeless, I’d start with the American homeless since that is, after all, where Im from. Other nationalities of homeless people are way down the ladder for me.

On topic, I took my Kifaru Marauder bag and used the detachable E&E bag for my carry on. Worked exceptionally well.

As I mentioned, this is a honeymoon trip so unless something really noteworthy happens in the world I probably wont be posting much until I get back around the 7th.

Email from Mountain House

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

Dear Valued Customers:

We regret to inform you Oregon Freeze Dry cannot satisfy all Mountain House #10 can orders and we have removed #10 cans from our website temporarily. The reason for this is sales of #10 cans have continued to increase. OFD is allocating as much production capacity as possible to this market segment, but we must maintain capacity for our other market segments as well.

Currently we are able to meet demand for Mountain House pouches and most of these products are still available for purchase on our website. Some of our dealers still have Mountain House #10 Cans available and you will need to locate them and contact them directly….Search Online Dealers

We want to clarify inaccurate information we’ve seen on the Internet. This situation is not due to sales to the government domestically or in Iraq. We do sell products to this market, but we also sell other market segments, including Ingredients and Private Label markets. The reason for this decision is solely due to an unprecedented sales spike in #10 cans sales.

We expect this situation to be necessary for several months although this isn’t a guarantee. We will update this information as soon as we know more. We apologize for this inconvenience and appreciate your patience. We sincerely hope you will continue to be Mountain House customers in the future.



I just received this a few minutes ago.
For everyone who took advantage of the two group buys I hosted for #10 cans, pat yourselves on the back for being far ahead of the curve. I still have two or three cases of various #10 cans left over from the last group buy that I was holding onto as inventory but I think Im gonna move them into the bunker and ‘buy them’ from inventory. Mmmmm…pork chops.
by the way, the way youre kicking yourself right now for not getting in on the #10 cans when you had the chance? You’ll be kicking just as hard when you realize you shoulda bought those pistol and rifle magazines you kept putting off.


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

After the wedding on Saturday, the whole gang went shooting Sunday. Oleg, the official wedding photographer, got this one of me and the former girlfriend at the range…note she is still wearing the veil and tiara:

If you wanna see what a wedding full of armed participants looks like:

Try here

The cannon going off

The 1917 Enfield Cake Cutter Mk I

Manly party favors

And the Fifty Fund is still up and running if you want to help the happy couple get their anti-materiel needs met.


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

A few posts back I asked for suggestions on a book for learning the ins and outs of montain bike repair/maintenance/modification. There was a good bit of support for Zinn and The Art Of Mountain Bike Maintenence. I’ve flipped through the book briefly (have alot of stuff going on right now so time isnt terribly abundant) and like what I see so far. While I do believe that there are books that are so good they can be summed up with “If you can only have one book about [subject] it should be this one” I most certainly do not believe that one book does it all. One source of anything is usually not a smart idea. In this case there are two other books that look promising and I’ll be getting those as well.

Im not mechanically inclined by any stretch of the imagination, but necessity and an empty wallet will do alot for your motivation to learn a skillset. I like my mountain bike…it gets me from point A to point B quickly, quietly and affords me the use of non-roadway surfaces like sidewalks, alleys, meticulously groomed lawns and the like. It also is, usually, cheap to use. However, and theres always a ‘however’, like any mechanical device that is literally rode hard and put away wet there is a certain amount of care and repair needed to keep the thing running. I used to think that good maintenence was simply a) keep tires inflated b) spray the chain with whatever gun lube is handy and c)  replace the chain every once in a while…if you remember.

Not so.

With gas being close to four bucks a gallon and the vast majority of my little world existing only a dozen blocks from home, theres no real pressing reason for me to drive the truck when I can ride the bike. And if Im going to wind up using this thing for daily commuting, as I usually do in the armer months, then its simply a logical extension of my own preparedness interests to be able to repair it (or, if Im so inclined, modify it.)

Of course, Im starting from square one since wrench turning has never been a strong suit of mine, but Im willing to learn.

Anti-survivalist article

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

,Rawles was getting some good press a few weeks ago when the rice-rationing episodes at CostCo were in the news. That sort of exposure leads to all sorts related articles. In this case, heres someone (presumably lefty) taking issue with a bunch of his stuff: Why Survivalists Make Me Want To Die.

This comes from the same school of “if you prepare to survive a nuclear war, youre inviting one to happen”. These people….argh…I simply cannot express my disgust.

I used to care about what would happen to the well-meaning-but-unprepared….not anymore. By and large Ive resigned myself to the policy that they had every chance to do that which was necessary to take care of themselves and if they choose not to then thats a choice Im going to respect – have a nice day.

However, to actively try to dissuade someone from doing things to protect themselves…well, thats a different matter. I suppose if someone is gullible enough to buy into that and sell the AR, sell the Mountain House stash and sell thegold then they get what they deserve.

Still and all, the article makes me wanna go over there and kick the guy in the ‘nads.

“New Survivalists Prepare”

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

Link about the Peak-Oil influenced ‘new survivalists’:


Some are doing it quietly, giving few details of their preparations – afraid that revealing such information as the location of their supplies will endanger themselves and their loved ones. They envision a future in which the nation’s cities will be filled with hungry, desperate refugees forced to go looking for food, shelter and water.


Lynn-Marie asked to be identified by her first name to protect her homestead in rural western Idaho. Many of these survivalists declined to speak to The Associated Press for similar reasons.

Nice to see that the newcomers are finally realizing that keeping a fairly low profile is a good idea since the world isnt without people who’ll want to take what you have.

Where ya been?

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

Lack of posting? Sure. Im getting married today in about three hours. I’ve been running around all week with family, friends and hirelings trying to make sure everything goes according to plan. Which has inspired me about doing a post about how living a life of preparedness and then having to prepare for a wedding have a few things in common and alot that arent. And alot about the value of Plan B, C and D.

Not too late to wish the couple all the best with a fine firearm.

Wedding, LDS cannery, Glock mag prices, PTR-91

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

Two more weeks until the wedding. It should prove to be an interesting experience. First off, we’re encouraging our guests to be armed. Because of this we’re also keeping it a booze-free wedding. A friend of mine with a nice 1/3 scale Revolutionary War cannon will be bringing it along for a salute. Theres a scheduled ‘range day’ the day after the wedding and that should be quite interesting as well. Finally, there’ll be the final round of gift-giving and the determination of whether the gifting was enough to cover the cost of the .50 BMG rifle we’ve got listed on our registry. I do believe this will be an event that will be unmatched in the gun community for a while and may very well become the stuff of legends on the various gun boards. Obviously, much photography will be taking place. There’ll be at least one well known photographing gunny in attendance – Oleg Volk. And Im sure there will be no shortage of people with digital cameras floating around.


Remember a few weeks ago I had my first trip to the LDS cannery? I received an email from the fella I went with telling me that, for the first time, they are closing their doors for a short while due to a lack of food products. When I was there the shelves were, in some spots, pretty bare. Now they’re taking a break while they try to get their stockpiles back up. The natives, it seems, are restless. When the Mormons go to ground, take note.


Received a new catalog from CDNN. Right on the cover they say Glock mag prices will be going up 40%. This will put Glock mags in the $22~ price range. Theres no such thing as too many magazines, guys. Mags are a consumable. They will get broken, they will get lost, they will get damaged, they will get stolen, they will get left behind, they will get confiscated, they will be restricted, they may become illegal. Your gun came with one mag in the gun and two spares in the box? You seriously think those will last you for the rest. Of. Your. Life?

Pull $100 out of your wallet, skip eating out this month, and buy some spares, will ya please?


Speaking of CDNN, I called and they do indeed have PTR-91 rifles in stock. $900-1000~ depending on model. An outstanding gun that has cheap magazine availability. (See above paragraph.) Heres putting it in perspective…

$1500 will get you, as far as a 308 battle rifle goes:

  • Armalite AR-10 and 4 extra mags
  • SA M1A Standard and 8 extra mags
  • DSA FAL and 20 extra mags
  • JLD PTR-91 and 250 extra mags (or 50 mags, a tactical sling, cleaning kit, spare parts, claw mount and some ammo)

Excellent ‘bang for your buck’ right there folks. Personally, I prefer the ergonomics of the FAL but I realize that I need to spend what little money I have on something that will provide the greatest return. In this case, it’s the PTR-91…I get .308 performance, accuracy, HK reliability, dirt cheap spare parts, $2 magazines, and all of it at a realistic price.

Oh, sure, I could buy about 6 SKS rifles for the cost of the PTR-91. And I do have several SKS rifles. But they’re not my first or second choice for running out the door. They’re nice ‘last ditch’ guns, good for handing off to guests, and are ‘disposable’ in the sense that if they get stolen out of a vehicle or building I wont really care. But they are not my first choice for defending life and property.

Have your dealer call CDNN and score you a PTR-91. Then have your dealer call Lew Horton Distributing and order up some $2 mags. You’ll never regret it. Esp. after November.


I am still looking for recommendations for bicycle repair/maintenance/modding books. Leave in comments or email to zero@commanderzero.com .

Personal definition, S&W 422, more China, bicycle reference

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

Everyone has their own particular idea of what the justification for their preparedness looks like. For some its ‘Peak Oil’, for others it’s a civil war, some folks believe in ‘The Rapture’, and others are waiting for that big 9.0 earthquake…theres also hurricanes, race war, invasion, nuclear terrorism, rogue asteroids/comets, economic collapse, global pandemics, food shortages, global droughts, etc, etc. and, if youre a Scientologist, a return of Xenu. No matter the cause, you can be pretty sure theres someone somewhere stocking up against it. And theres nothing wrong with that. The guys stocking up for Hurrican Katrina II will do just fine when things come to a halt because of a freak ice storm. The guys digging in for Bird Flu will come through with flying colors when an earthquake rattles their area. Generally speaking, being very prepared for one type of disaster will put you in good shape for surviving most of the other kinds. So, really, theres no bad reason to prepare, although some reasons will raise more eyebrows than others.

My own personal scenario, and I guess some would call it my ‘personal fear’, is a period of economic instability and decline. Massive unemployment, high prices, limited product availability, decreased .gov spending (in the sense of reduced social programs that, naturally, lead to civil disorder when folks suddenly stop getting ‘their’ checks), slumps in manufacturing and production, etc, etc. Or, to put it in more simple layman’s terms: my fear is being unable to afford or acquire food and fuel, pay the mortgage, have a reliable connection to utilities, and be able to afford to live a life similar to the one I’m living now.

Already, for whatever reasons, we’re starting to see some of that. Fuel prices are affecting the price of other goods. Food is up, fuel is up, people are getting laid off from jobs, credit is tightening up, the dollar is losing value, etc, etc. Its enough to make me want to stockpile food, fuel and money…which, unsurprisingly, is pretty much what Im trying to do. On the bright said, preparing for such a situation also puts me in a position of being prepared for pretty much anything else life wants to throw at us.


Apparently, I have an impulse control problem. I was helping a buddy move and in the process of cleaning out his ‘man room’ I wound up with a Barnett crossbow and a handful of bolts gratis…sort of a thank you for hauling a dozen heavy milk crates of bullets up the stairs from his old locale to his new one and down the stairs there. (Sweaty, annoying, tedious work…) Not sure what Im going to do with a crossbow but a powerful silent weapon that’ll puncture most soft body armour could be handy sometime. Certainly it’ll be just the ticket for annoying stray dogs or cats. Where it would really shine is for a little urban poaching. Theres no shortage of deer wandering around town here, Impulsively, I also picked up a S&W 422 that my buddy was wanting to sell. (He’s moving to Hawaii and is getting rid of anything not suitable for pig hunting or saltwater environs.)

The little flat S&W semiauto .22’s were only made for about ten years but I was always kinda impressed with them. They were lightweight, compact, flat, reliable and decent shooters. And the price was right. Unfortunately they fit almost nowhere inside my preconceived logistical parameters. For my needs, and the sake of my planning, there is but one .22 auto pistol – the Ruger MkII. Ubiquitous, plenty of aftermarket support, solid gun…whereas the S&W , while a fine pistol, is going to require me to stock more magazines, different holsters, etc, etc. So why’d I get it? Well, the price was good for one thing. Also, when given the chance to buy a quality, inexpensive, paperless handgun I think it’s a smart idea to jump on it. I’ll probably just pick up a couple spare mags, pack this thing up and tuck it away as a tertiary backup or possibly make it a dedicated kit gun for my hunting bag. We shall see. Maybe use it as trading stock against any MkII I come across. I took it too the range this weekend and it expressed a definite preference for Federal over Remington. Fortunately, Federal is the brand that most of our bulk .22 is in.


I was thinking about China and its move towards ‘food security’. Im sure that anyone who has ever talked about TEOTWAWKI with their buddies has joked that when the apocalypse comes, we’re all gonna meet at CostCo and take it over as our own personal stockpile.

Well, if you think about it, that’s exactly where this is going to go. The Chinese are going to build their own food production/distribution empire and then when things get ugly their going to go secure that facility and its inventory… never mind that it may be on foreign territory.

China certainly isn’t going to be the only nation doing such things… they’re simply the biggest and most visible at the moment. But I’ll bet you there’s huge ranches and ag operations in those warm, temperate southern climates that are being contracted/leased/bought by various state-owned (or fronts for state owned) companies. The natural question to ask is “Hey, Zero, that’s great and everything but how does that affect me and my plans for preparedness?” Directly, it probably doesn’t and wont. Indirectly, it might. Ten years from now Chinese influence could be as pervasive as Communist influence was back in the 70’s. The Chinese could walk into the various countries they have holdings in and ‘ask’ for ‘favored’ status in trade. Maybe exclusive contracts for oil sales, freezing out other purchasers like the US. Same for strategic minerals. In short, someone who doesn’t like us may be in a position to make tings difficult for us in terms of foreign resources. Something to think about.


The weather is warming up, gas is still $3.50 a gallon. (By the by, I find it amazing that people who bitch about gas being $3.50 a gallon have no problem buying coffee drinks that work out to $25 a gallon.) Im riding my bike more, and I recommend you do the same if for no other reason than to stay in shape and to develop a feel for the neighborhood you live in, and need to pick up some info on bicycle maintenance, repair and modification. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject? I want something that’ll show me how to repair/replace every part, how those parts work, why they’re important, and how to make modifications. A good, solid mountain bike is a very nice thing to have, folks. When the freeways are jammed, the gas pumps are shut down and you need to be mobile they are unmatched for their utility. (Although, to be fair, an enduro-style motorbike would be my first choice if I had the fuel.)

‘Food security’ as national policy

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

Whats the Chinese word for Lebensraum, anyway? Here’s a new buzzword I think we’re going to be seeing more of  –  ‘food security’. Here’s an article saying how the Chinese are going to lease/rent land in foreign countries (notably Africa) to set up agricultural enterprises to ensure a supply of food for their country. So…the Chinese set up a huge agricultural presence in some African region…now, who do you think theyre going to put there to run things? More Chinese. And, of course, they’ll need to protect their interests so there’ll be need for a small garrison or twelve. Maybe a nice gift of arms to the host government. Is there anyone who can see how this is not a good thing? (Im not saying its unreasonable, though…the US has alot of military equipment mysteriously being unloaded and taken who-knows-where near the Canal Zone. Protecting their own interests…reasonable, but still…)
And lets talk about ‘food security’. This is going to be like ‘the war on terrorism’…a catch-all phrase to justify whatever otherwise questionable action is being undertaken. After all, who would possibly be against ‘food security’? I mean, you like to eat, right? I like to eat. Don’t you like to eat? So how can we not support whats being done in the name of ‘food security’?
China is already spreading out across Africa in the name of other securities….oil security, metals security, etc. I dont want to use the term ‘imperialism’, but if the jackboots fit……….. China is re-making itself and finally stepping up from its Third World backwardness and that takes metal, oil, fuel, food, labor and other resources. Heck, why do you think your bullets have gone up so much lately? Copper is up because the Chinese are snapping it all up for the most massive rural electrification project the world has ever seen. And if they can’t buy those resources..well, theres other ways to get them. And Africa is a continent ripe for puppet governments.
This’ll be interesting to see how it plays out…will other countries become concerned over an increase in Chinese influence in the previously ignored continent? A new ‘game’ afoot with various countries trying to exert their own influences while diminishing others? Thats how cold wars start.

Whats this got to do with being prepared? Keep an eye on the new concept of ‘food security’ or ‘resource security’ and how it relates to actions being undertaken by the .gov. Just as some of our everyday liberties are whittled at in the name of ‘global war on terror’, expect the odd infringement under the new ‘food security’ banner. Like what? I have no idea but I have faith in .gov’s ability to inject itself where it isnt wanted or needed in the name of the public good.
And, of course, keep an eye on China. China may have been Bill Clinton’s friend, but it definitely isnt America’s friend.