Cold, curry, hygiene quandry

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

Man, its a skating rink out there today. It’s bad enough that the roads are glazed over like Clinton intern, but its a bright sunny day so the glare off the road surface is blinding. In short, unless its Der Tag I’m gonna stay off the roads for a couple days. However, as the temperature hangs around on either side of the zero mark, Im going to have to make a note to run the vehicles for a few minutes each day. Went out this morning to a dead battery. I shouldnt have been surprised, I havent driven the truck in three days and it was under a crust of ice. I jumped it offa the missus’ Fubaru and all was well. I’ve been meaning to head up to CostCo and pick up one of those 12v batteryjump/power supplies. It would be handier for this sort of thing and it would also run some of the more useful devices around here in case of a power failure. (Which reminds me, I need to pick up a 12v LED handheld spotlight.)

I see the folks back east got dumped on the other day. In typical fashion the city labor unions decided to use it as an opportunity to make a statement about personnel and budget cuts. In the interim, of course, at least one person died from the inability of emergency vehicles to navigate the obstructed streets. The cost of donig business I suppose. The lesson here, obviously, is that living in a modern large city, like NY, is no guarantee that sometimes things arent going to turn into Lord Of The Flies (or The Donner Party) and you might wanna be ready for it.
On a side note, a buddy of mine shared his recipe for chicken curry and I found that me and the missus actually like it. I’m kind of a fussy eater so I tend to do most of the cooking. Im not a huge fan of vegetables and really only will tolerate a few…thus my meals tend to be focused mostly on meat (protein) and carbohydrates (rice, pasta, bread). Its probably an unhealthy lifestyle but it’s worked for me so far. Anyway, I think since its so damn cold out today would be a good day to make an especially big batch o’ curry and whip out the All American 921 and make some homemade ‘convenience food’. ‘Cause, Im tellin’ ya, nothing is more satisfying and warming than a nice bowl of steaming hot rice topped with curry, Mexican spiced chicken, or some other yummy topping. Be nice to just come back to house, cook up some rice, crack open a jar of curry and have a satisfying meal.

Plus, I’ve got about 150# of rice to use up and rotate through.
And in other notes, I noticed today that the toothbrush I use to brush the dogs teeth and my own toothbrush look a little too similar for comfort. There was a moment of intense examination trying to discern whose was whose (or who’s was whose, or whose was who’s, or who’s was who’s).

And then I thought, “Screw it, he’s my dog and I love him”, and brushed my teeth anyway.

Ruger Scout rifle, food storage

As further evidence that apparently the only thing holding Ruger back from actual R&D was the still-breathing Bill Ruger, they have now got this as an offering. Jeff Cooper, whom I think lost his relevancy several decades ago, was fond of talking about guns he disliked as being an ‘answer in search of a problem’. The Scout rifle concept that he pioneered was one of those things, in my opinion.

THeres no denying the rifle is handy, it’s the precise function of the gun I question. As originally described, the Scout rifle was designed to fit within a certain weight, length, range and power criteria. It was for the individual, the scout, who wasnt expected to get into a shootout but might need to provide harassing fire, shoot at targets of opportunity, etc, etc. From a hunting standpoint, its a nice lightweight carbine but there are better choices.

Still, I’ve always kind of liked the concept even if it made no sense. I had a Ruger 77 in .308 that someone converted into a Scout-type rifle and it was quite handy even if it never filled any role perfectly, but filled several roles adequately. A friend of mine has one built on a 98 Mauser and while I enjoy Rugers products I think the Mauser build was the way to go. (The old FR-8 Mausers were excellent candidates for this sorta thing). It has a short barrel, the forward mounted scope, backup sights, and is fed easily from cheap an plentiful stripper clips. And it costs significantly less than what the Ruger is MSRP’ing at. Savage made a Scout rifle for a while as well and although many people thought it was a good gun (as most Savages are) Savage limited production and finally reduced it to being a special offering outta their custom shop. (What…Savage has a custom shop? Yes, they do.) Some sneak into the mainstream vendors but theyre still pretty hard to find. The only real drawback Ive heard about the Savage is that the magazines need to be handfitted for reliability.

Anyway, it appears this new offering from Ruger is to take up the slack from their discontinued Frontier rifle. Its a good looking gun, no two ways about it. Im just not sure what niche it would fill for me.
Finally used up all the ground beef that was in the deep freeze so Ive been replenishing the supply. My local supermarket sometimes has ‘remaindered’ ground beef for around $2/# if you catch ‘em late at night when theyre closing up the meat counter. I buy four or five pounds at a time and repackage it. Lately what Ive taken to doing is using an old square Tupperware container as a mould and using it to make ‘bricks’ of about 1.5# of ground beef. These get frozen for a couple hours to firm them up and then they get vacuum sealed. The result is a very orderly stack in the freezer that takes up less space than when I did it in a more cavalier style.

If Santa didnt bring you a nice FoodSaver and you don’t have one yet, get one. You can search my previous posts for my experiences with the one I have. It is probably the one piece of gear that every preparedness minded person should have. It makes buying in bulk much more sensible since too often people buy bulk because its a good deal and then wind up throwing out the spoiled food they couldt consume quickly enough. (Im looking at you, CostCo shoppers). The vacuum sealer lets me buy twenty pork chops at a time and repackage them individually, that sorta thing. I’ve had my vacuum sealer for, oh geez, at least seven or eight years and its the best $150 I ever spent on a ‘kitchen gadget’. Which is not to say that its uses are limited to the kitchen. It excels at compacting and protecting spare changes of clothes for outdoor adventures, making waterproof packages of firestarting equipment, etc, etc.

Seriously, man….go get one.

Holiday after action report

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

Ah, Xmyth has come and gone. What sort of loot? Well, lets see….I got a copy of “World Made By Hand” which I am about halfway through. I also got “The Walking Dead” graphic novel. A cast-iron cookbook (no, the cookbook isnt made of cast iron, its a cookbook for cooking with cast iron). A couple small keychain pocket-tools. Thats about it from a preparedness standpoint. From a non-preparedness standpoint I got an answering machine for the shop, some toys, some candy, a gift card to Home depot and a pickup truck. Oh, yeah…the truck. The missus got herself a Subaru a few weeks ago so she is gifting me her truck. Talk about being caught off guard.

We spent the evening at a friends house with their relatives and had a prime rib dinner with all the fixin’s. A good time. Even the bioweapon managed to score a few gifties. Pretty good trick since, last I checked, he was fairly indifferent about the commercialization of the holiday.

So, back to work. Time to get ready for the new year and whatever sobering facets it brings. Im making no real resolutions for 2011 save one – Im getting a 9mm compact carbine of some type. Uzi, HKSP89, a 9mm AR variant…something.

Seasons Greetings

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

Seasons greetings as they apply.
Best wishes for 2011, ’cause, buddy, we’re gonna need ‘em.

I’ve been fighting a dead computer for three days, so I ve been busy re-installing, rebuilding from backups, and a host of other major pain-in-the-ass computer issues. But, I’ve got all of tomorrow to finish it up so that’s cool.

If anyone gets some really cool gear for the holidays I wouldnt mind hearing about it.

Article – Chris Christie Commutes Brian Aitken’s Sentence

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

Speaking of Gov. Christie………

Gov. Chris Christie commutes sentence of man convicted of having guns in N.J. illegally.

TRENTON — Brian Aitken, who was convicted of illegally possessing two handguns that he had legally purchased in Colorado, will be spending Christmas out of prison.

Gov. Chris Christie commuted Aitken’s sentence, from seven years to time served, according to an order the governor signed today.

Aitken had appealed to Christie for commutation after being sentenced in August. According to the commutation order, Aitken will be released as “soon administratively possible.”

Not a pardon but still a lot more than what you’d normally expect coming outta NJ. I’m likin’ this Christie guy.

Article – Army seeks 3 variants of camo to replace UCP

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

In fact, UCP will not be among the baseline patterns used in the forthcoming tests. Instead, the Army will use the Operation Enduring Freedom Camouflage Pattern, or OCP, Woodland and Desert MARPAT (Marine Pattern), and AOR 1 and 2, which resemble the Marine desert and woodland digital patterns but are specially treated to reduce the wearer’s infrared signature.

The final nail in UCP’s coffin likely came by way of a Sept. 21 report that details how and why the Army selected the OEF Camouflage Pattern, commonly called MultiCam. That process started when senior enlisted personnel deployed to Afghanistan expressed “serious concerns … regarding UCP’s camouflage effectiveness during combat operations,” according to the eight-page report, which was compiled by the Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center in Massachusetts.

Apparently, no one else likes that digital camo either. If you like it, though, it looks like youre going to have a great opportunity to stock up on it soon.

Personally, I like Multicam. I also like the german flectar varaiants (which are uncomfortably close to the patterns the Nazis used). However, Ive never had to hide from people shooting at me (not yet, anyway) so my opinion counts for very little.

Be interesting to see how this turns out.

Link – Gov. Christie: “The Day Of Reckoning Has Arrived”

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

Fascinating piece about the various states and municipalities spiraling into a financial abyss. What is amazing is the incredible candor of Gov. Christie of NJ. I dont cut NJ any respect but, geez louise, this guy says it like it is and so far hasnt been afraid to swing the axe. He says that the service cuts, funding cuts, state payroll cuts and similar ‘de-funding’ isn’t going to be anything unique to NJ…its gonna hit everywhere, some places even worse, and that his actions are simply the vanguard of what every state is going to have to do. Very much worth watching, I think.

Wool shirts, best businesses to be in, inventories

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

I’m looking for some wool shirts. If anyone has a link, preferably to some affordable milsurp ones, I wouldnt mind hearing about it. I was pricing new commercial wool shirts (not Merino, or any other wool variant but regular wool) and the prices were, to put it mildly, a bit off-putting. I mean, I like Pendleton as much as the next guy but if Im paying more than $100 for a shirt it better be delivered by hookers and have the pockets stuffed with blow.
I have a buddy in the precious metals business. Obviously, in a crunch, his inventory can become his own personal stash. He may be the most uniquely prepared individual I know of in this economy, except possibly for some Class III dealers. I’ve read a lot about the years before and after World War II and how economies fared and how the people survived (or didnt) as their economies underwent massive changes and scarcity of resources became the norm. Plenty of stories about people picking up cigarette butts from the gutter to get a few puffs out of them, living on potatoes for months at a time, burning furniture for warmth, that sort of thing. One thing that is consistent throughout is that there are a handful of businesses/industries/skills that, regardless of country, put the practitioner in a position of tremendous advantage over most other folks. Those were: food, medicine, sex, entertainment and weapons. I suppose ‘energy’ would be a category as well in contemporary times, but in what I read, which covers mostly the 1930’s to the 1950’s, those were the five catgeories that seemed to serve everyone quite well.

Nowadays Id say that list is still pretty close to accurate…entertainment may not be so important when the average person can entertain themselves indefinitely with a supply of DVD and .mpgs in their laptop. However the guy who can provide medical treatment, food (and booze), armaments or strippers is probably not going to suffer in the economy, no matter how bad it gets, as much as the next guy who isnt in that line of work.
As the year comes to a close I usually take stock of what did and did not get used up from our stockpiles. I think this year we were exceptionally easy on the ammo supply. If I had to guess, I’d say that, at most, we burned up maybe four bricks of .22, a couple hundred 9mm, less than a hundred .38/.357, no .45, no 7.62×39, about 300 rounds of .308, and amaybe a hundred rounds of .223. :::shrug::: just didnt get out much this year. Managed to swap out about half the stored gasoline, didnt use any of the stored kerosene or propane, and added a gas grill to the alternative cooking checklist…so theres now a 20# barbecue bomb sitting outside.

I normally only keep a running inventory of food but I think thats gonna change this year. I think I’ll expand it to include toiletries, batteries, cleaning supplies and a couple other things. Normalyy I dont inventory them because they are used at a slower rate than food and tend to last longer. Howver, this months episode of getting caught woefully short on dish detergent has me thinking it might be time to change the policies on what gets inventoried and what doesnt.

Article – ATF to Require Multiple Sales Reports for Long Guns

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

The professional goons at ATFE appear to be at it again….

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) is moving to require federally licensed firearms retailers to report multiple sales of modern sporting rifles beginning January 5, 2011. Specifically, the ATF requirement calls for firearms retailers to report multiple sales, or other dispositions, of two or more .22 caliber or larger semi-automatic rifles that are capable of accepting a detachable magazine and are purchased by the same individual within five consecutive business days.

Most folks are unaware of it, but if you buy more than one pistol from a dealer within the span of five business days, the dealer is supposed to send in a special form with all your data about the sale to the thugs at ATFE. It appears that those same thugs are now looking at making a similar mandate about long guns, or at least a particular class of long guns. But, really, you think theyre only gonna limit it to AR’s?

The Carter II Obama administration has been avoiding the whole ‘gun thing’ pretty intently for the last couple years. It looks like that may be coming to an end.