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

I gotta say, hauling a nine pound rifle and a pack up and down hills all morning and afternoon makes me respect those guys in Afghanistan even more. I get to stop and take a break whenever I want, they don’t. And the deer aren’t laying toepoppers in the ground.
Election day approaches and I am fascinated and eager to see how it goes. I’m not one of those morons who chants “if voting changed anything they’d make it illegal”. I vote. I figure if you don’t vote then you dont really have as much skin in the game as someone who does. I am especially annoyed at people that bitch about the government and then when given the opportunity to do something about it, don’t. I mean, lemme see if I have this straight…you claim that , by god, you’ll pick up a rifle and a Gadsen flag and start shooting to ‘return this country’ to whatever you think it used to be…but getting out once every few years to vote is too inconvenient??? What the heck, man? I’ve heard all the “[elitists/banksters/powers that be/jooze/illuminati/red lectroids] control things, our votes dont mean anything” spiels and I’m kinda annoyed by them.

I’m one of those weird folks that takes voting pretty seriously. I’m of the mind that voting fraud, voter intimidation, etc, etc, should be one of the most serious crimes and treated as such. I’d prefer if folks voted for the same guy Im voting for, but I’d rather they vote for someone else than they not vote at all.

While Im on the subject, one of my favorite jokes on the subject: Did you hear about the Illinois democrat who said that when he died he wanted to be buried in a Chicago cemetery so he could remain active in the party?

Sleeping bags

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

There have been a couple of back-patting articles in the news lately about the feds preventing some sort of terror attack by a lone individual. In every article it says the same thing – the guy was being led on by federal agents, they convinced him to do whatever it was that they arrested him for, gave him instructions and dummy materials to build his bomb or device, and then arrested him. The article usually says something like “at no point was he in a position to actually use the device nor was the device functional”. And I think “Yeah…not like that time you guys tried it with that McVeigh fella and he pulled a fast one on you.” (And what I mean by that is that I wouldnt be surprised if the Oklahoma City bombing was one of these things where the feds led someone on, gave them bomb making materials, support and ideas and then planned on swooping in at the last moment like in these recent episodes….except someone screwed up and McVeigh wound up carrying out the plan.)
So when it was all said and done, I did wind up getting two of the military sleep systems that were being handed out at the event a couple weeks ago. Plan A didnt work so Plan B was the way to go. Plan B? Buy ‘em offa someone who got one. So, it wound up costing me more than Id planned but it still beat the surplus vendors and eBay prices by a hefty margin. Need to wait a few more days until the temperature drops even lower and try them out.

Quote from TSLRF

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

Here’s a quote from our compatriot at TSLRF:

Maybe the way we live is strange to people but I don’t need to check which day of the month it is to go buy milk, cereal and eggs.

This is part of the statement that preceded it:

They have a young kid and passed some baby clothes onto us. Actually a lot of baby clothes that Wifey offered to pay for but she just wanted to get rid of them. Wifey asked if she could do anything at all like a ride to the store. The gal said maybe next week after they get paid a ride to the grocery store would be nice.

I remember a time when life was very much like that. I also remember I started thinking ahead more and started doing the things to put me in a position where I (and now we) won’t ever have to defer something like buying food. We’ll either have the cash to buy it, the gold/silver to barter for it, or the guns to kill it (and keep it).

But the notion that someday we’re going to be looking into an empty fridge? Not gonna happen.

As an aside, dissect that statement: Maybe the way we live is strange to people but I don’t need to check which day of the month it is to go buy milk, cereal and eggs.
The notion that living in such a manner as to not be so constrained as to have to defer the purchase of essentials like food …is a strange concept to people. I was talking to the missus the other day and she commented that our household income is a hair under the national median….and we live “like kings”. What does that mean? We always have food. We always have heat. We can afford modest entertainment (like Netflix, Internet and WoW), and we can put away ‘just in case’. And we’re happy with it. We don’t have credit card debt, student loans, car payments or anything except a small (<$50k) mortgage. That means that pretty much any money that comes in can go wherever we want. I agreed with her and told her that when this Recession/Depression/Stagflation/Whatever is finally over we'll probably be in the small group of people who didnt really have to change much of their lifestyle or have their lifestyle impacted too badly. Why? We've always lived within our means. And thats what Ryan at TSLRF is saying...that living within your means seems weird to some but the alternative is pretty ugly.

Im not normally someone who drinks self-help KoolAid but…..we read this guy’s book, listen to his radio show and it makes a difference. So much so that the missus has, when his book is on sale, bought extra copies and given them to her coworkers. Its a very simple message – live within your means, get out of debt, stay out of it, invest and save. Some of those coworkers she gave books to took the advice to heart, some didnt. Go listen to the guy’s shows (or podcasts) and if you can pickup a used copy of his book, read it. might not work for everyone but it works for us.

Article – Why rebels and insurgent groups the world over love the Toyota Hilux pickup

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

This link was brought to my attention.
I think I may have to get one of these.

It’s not just rebels in Afghanistan that love the Hilux. “The Toyota Hilux is everywhere,” says Andrew Exum, a former Army Ranger and now a fellow of the Center for a New American Security. “It’s the vehicular equivalent of the AK-47. It’s ubiquitous to insurgent warfare. And actually, recently, also counterinsurgent warfare. It kicks the hell out of the Humvee.”

And, of course, a link to Top Gear where they left it in the ocean for five hours, set it on fire, drove it through buildings, into trees, down stairs, and basically couldnt destroy it. This may be the idea candidate for an End O’ The World rig.

Last call on the Glock knives

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

Good news is I have a few (five, actually) of the Glock knives left.
Bad olive drab, instead we have the tactical black ones.
They’re $1 more than the olive drab ones. No idea why, they just are…my vendor couldnt explain it either.
I also have about two dozen of the #1010 Pelican cases left and if you havent gotten any I recommend them highly. Heck, play it smart and get both the Pelican cases and the Glock knives.

Hunting season

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

Egads! I just discovered that big game gun season opens this Saturday. The first week of hunting season is like Beirut during the busy times…….lotsa guys prowling around with guns and the genuine chance for some friendly-fire (or not-so-friendly fire) incidents. However, the nice things about opening week is that it is usually either-sex, either-species of deer. So…your odds are better. “If it’s brown, knock it down”. So I have until the end of the week to get my gear set out. Not a problem, I’d been screwing around with the new Kifaru bag getting it ready and loading it up. I usually only stay out for the day but I like to be prepared in case I get off course and wind up having to spend the night. Whats the gear look like? Here’s a list off the top of my head:

MiniMag LED flashlight
German surp poncho
Kifaru woobie poncho liner
Heatsheets bivvy sack [1]
Heatsheets blanket [1]
Esbit stove and tablets [2]
Vacuum-sealed package of matches, firestarter and firesteel. Usually a spare pack of waterproofed matches are I’m my pockets or elsewhere. Always prepare as if you’ll be separated from your gear and all you’ll have is what’s in your pockets.
Two hand flares
Glock knife
First aid kit with Israeli compress/trauma bandage and QuickClot
Platypus hydration bladder – Im really liking the versatility of this. Replace the tube assembly with a cap and it becomes a soft water bottle.
Canteen cup
Waterproof paper and pen – (Because if I have to leave a note sayig where I am and where Im heading it would be nice if it was still legible after the morning frost.)
Cyalume light stick

And a few other odds and ends that escape me (like about 15′ of rope and a game hoist).

[1] = I am impressed with both of these products. They are light, compact and inexpensive. They take up virtually no space in my bag but are a ‘force multiplier’ when used in conjunction with the Woobie. The Heatsheets products block wind (rather important) and reflect heat but the layered with the Woobie underneath, the Woobie will provide a nice layer of insulation as well.

[2] = I need to work up a post about an amazing water bottle, cup, carrier, stove, fuel tab combo that I use that is the absolute shiznits for functionality. Later.

Basically, enough for me to construct a shelter, park a fire in front of it, climb into something warm and wait for search-n-rescue guys to find me. Or, alternatively, let me sleep through the night so I can ’self rescue’ the next day.

It may sounds like a lot of stuff but its all quite compact and, other than the Woobie and poncho, the whole thing takes up about as much space as a football. But its those little things that keep small incidents from becoming Big Hairy Deals. Most of it fits into a claymore-sized MOLLE pouch that goes in my pack.

So, once the pack is..uhm..packed, its time to move onto other things. The PTR is still sighted in from last years Bambifest, although Ill take it to the range anyway because, well, why not? Then I’ll dig out the wool pants (and lemme tell ya, wool pants are marvelous outdoor clothing. Not lightweight but if you like to walk slowly and sit for long spells they are the way to keep warm), the layers, the orange hat and vest and get my gear laid out. Oh, need to get the license too. And I’ll be dragging my never-shot-a-deer-before buddy along with is DSA FAL. We’re going to make an interesting pair out in the woods with our evil ‘assault rifles’.

Bioweapon update

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

Someone criticized me for posting about the dog saying something along the lines of “Great, now its a dog blog”. There’s a bit of validity in that…it isnt always easy to stay on topic. However, someone also asked me for an update on the dog. So, I’ll keep it brief and if you’ve no interest you can go ahead and skipp this post.

Last time we heard from Nuke he was around 14#. Right now he’s clocking in at a little over twice that. We’ve pretty much got a handle on Sit and Down. Come is needing some work. Housebreaking is going fair. As long as we remember to take him out when he wakes up, after he eats, and after he plays we seem to do okay.

Why, yes, we do have a hoverdog.

His anticipated weight will be around 80# if he grows up. I say ‘if’ because its a damn good thing he’s cute…sometimes I wanna just kill the little bastard. I understand babies are the same way.

Stand Down, Glock knives, M&H repros

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

There is what is called a “Veterans Stand Down” this weekend here at the local Guard armory. The premise is that veterans, and their families, especially homeless vets, can come down to the armory for medical and dental screenings, counseling and outreach services, and free surplus gear. (Presumably gear that is conducive to being homeless…sleeping bags, packs, boots, parkas, etc.)

It is the last of those services that interests me. They had one of these over in the town forty miles down the road last month and I was told that a person could get a free 4-piece military sleep system. Well, Im not homeless and Im not a veteran but Im going to go down there anyway. I was told that as far as the surplus stuff goes theyre pretty relaxed about it going to veterans only and pretty much will give it to anyone who needs it. It starts at 8am tomorrow. I cannot imagine that any of the homeless people I normally see around this town will be awake or conscious at 8 in the morning. Heck, I’ll barely be awake. But a buddy of mine who is a veteran will be going with me and if theyre going to be a stickler about things then I’ll ask him to grab me one of the sleep systems..assuming they even have any. Be nice to get a few pairs of boots too, come to think of it.

On the other hand, if it turns out to be a crowd of homeless wretches and theres a limited supply of things then obviously I’ll defer getting anything at the expense of someone else who may have a more…pressing…need than I.
Apparently when I purchased those Pelican cases from my vendor she must have realized Im a soft touch for a bargain. I’ve got a box fulla olive drab Glock knives, the non-sawteeth version, absolutely new, sitting here. Hmmm. One knife with scabbard will fit in a $5 Flat Rate Envelope. $30 + 5$ to ship if anyone is interested. Theyre fantastic knives for the money and darn near impossible to destroy. I’ve had mine for a buncha years now and its got nicks and scratches all over it but its still a solid performer that’ll open bottles, bust steel bands, gut deer, dig holes, pry boards apart and even cut stuff. Great value. I think Ive bragged on ‘em before.

Which reminds me…I’ve some of the Pelican #1010 cases left as well. These are the last of them. Those of you who ordered them earlier should have them by now and the rest of you should have them within a day or two.

I’m putting the Glock knives link at the tail end of the Pelican case post for convenience.
It isn’t related to preparedness, but I just think its darn cool. Theres an outfit that is finally making modern copies of one of my favorite ancient revolvers – the Merwin & Hulbert. These things were way ahead of their time. Interchangeable barrels, auto-eject of empties, punch engraving, folding hammers, etc. Great old guns. Not sure their $1250 of greatness but they are an amazingly funky bit of Old West history.

Glock first aid kit

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

Someone asked whats in the Glock first aid kit that I mentioned in the previous post.

The Glocks around here are the 9mm flavored ones. Most of the parts are interchangeable with the .40 caliber ones, although not all.

If you’ve spent any time fumbling around with the Glock you can see that there really isnt such a thing as ‘gunsmithing’ with a Glock, but rather Glock gunsmithing is mostly parts replacement. There isnt much of anything that needs to be fitted, polished, staked, punched, or swaged. Pop out the offending part, put in the new one, start shooting. Try that sometime with a 1911.

Anyway, heres a crappy cellphone pic of the kit in question:

Contents? Glock disassembly tool for starters..although really, all it is is a plastic handled steel punch that you could improvise with a nail, ballpoint pen or any other handy object. But, its got the Glock logo on it so……
Test plate (the orange thingy), G17 & G19 recoil spring, trigger spring, trigger and trigger bar assembly, slide lock with spring, connector, firing pin channel liner, firing pin spring, and a few other small parts that, while they may not break very often, are prone to getting lost if you detail strip the gun over a shag carpet. Total outlay of parts? I’d guess less than $40. I usually buy them from Lone Wolf although everyone seems to have them at a fairly good price…theyre not exactly expensive to manufacture.

As you can see, those little Pelican cases are pretty much ideal for storing these sorts of things. I slap a Glock sticker on the case so I know whats in it and it goes in the box with all my other gun support gear. Still have a few of those cases left if anyone is interested, by the way.

Pelican Micro Cases redux

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

Deja vu all over again. About two years ago one of my vendors had a deal on these and I wound up with a bunch. They are extremely handy. I use one as a Glock first aid kit, containing punch, test plate cover, extra springs and pins, and whatever else I might need to get an errant Glock back to full speed. I also use them to protect my BlackBerry when Im fishing or in unfriendly-to-electronics environments. And, of course, they are excellent for making bombproof pocket first aid kits. They are ideal for spare parts kits for firearms.

Well, a bunch have showed up and, interestingly, I can let them go at the same price as last time if anyone is interested. They are solid black, with lanyard, and brand new. If you want one, they’re $12.49 shipped. ($9.99 and $2.50 to ship) And by shipped, I mean I’m gonna slap a label and postage on the side of it and drop it in a mailbox…finding a box to put it in just adds weight and cost.

If you want one (or more), here’s the button.