Year end website stats and other admin stuff that you might find amusing

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

I only started keeping stats in July, so this info is really for only half the year…from July to now.

The ten most popular posts, in terms of pageviews:

  1. Guns As Investments – This post is usually in the top rankings every month. I have no idea why. I think it got backlinked at way too many sites. I don’t agree 100% with it any more, and I have some slightly altered views on the subject, but this post got the most attention this year.
  2. Gear – Estwing Tomahawk – Another post that I ididnt think was anything special but it must have hit a nerve somewhere. It gets a lot of hits.
  3. Link – DIY Face Armour – This one is very recent, yet is third for the year. It got linked from and that made a huge difference.
  4. A Month Of Living On A Zero Based Budget – One of my best posts this year, I think. If I had to point to a post that I thought was thought-provoking and accessible enough for just about anyone to experience on their own, this is it.
  5. Gerber Downrange Tomahawk – The internet loves the ‘hawk.
  6. Jerry Cans From Lexington Container – Another recent post that got plenty of traction. I shoulda got a commission from those guys…or at least a couple free cans.
  7. Spot the OPSEC fail – This is one of those short posts I just whip out without any real thought and somehow it winds up getting a lot of hits. Go figure. I guess pictures of money are always good for webstats.
  8. HK Flare Guns and Ammo – This is another post that is in the top ten every month, month after month. Probably because the title is almost the exact phrase youd type into a search engine…all the referrals are from search engines, so thats probably it.
  9. Link – Lvl. Iv plate for $155 – Another short post that struck a nerve.
  10. Craigslist Find – Everyone loves a Hardigg case. Everyone loves a deal. Everyone loves pic-heavy posts.

Hits from the US = 93.49% of traffic, Canada = 1.51% of traffic, the remaining 5% are from everywhere else.

Upper Mexico Texas accounts for 9.34% of all traffic and makes them top of the list, followed by California, Florida, Washington and Virginia..

The most referrals or links to this site come from:


Donations received through the PayPal button at the top right of the page for 2012? Fifty bucks.

95,057 people visited this site
Visits: 240,883
Unique Visitors: 95,057
Pages / Visit: 1.55
Avg. Visit Duration: 00:01:47
Bounce Rate: 72.27%
% New Visits: 39.22%
It’ll be interesting to check these stats next year and see how they’ve changed.

2012 into 2013

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

My ability to forecast the future is pretty much nil…Oh, I can tell you that the odds are pretty good the sun is gonna rise, taxes are going up, Lindsay Lohan is going to court, and thats pretty much about it for absolute certainty.

Still, it seems like every year about this time I try to forecast whats coming down the pike. Here’s last year’s version. 2012 was very much like 2011 in that we didnt have any major disasters (by we, I mean me and the missus….those folks in hurricane country were screwed), the bills got paid, and more goodies got socked away.

I lamented that I really needed to get myself a 9mm carbine and has fate would have it, a wrong number led to my getting one a few months later.

I didn’t forecast the current ‘ban hysteria’ but then again these types of events are tough to rpedict. Althoguh Im sure that at some point I’ve mentioned that we are but one mass shooting away from another ban of some kind. There were some times, however, I was right on the freakin’ money

Forecast for 2013? I’m not making ANY predictions about the upcoming gun ban/buyback/confiscation/revolution. I will predict that from an economic standpoint, 2013 will be worse that 2012 as Obamacare does amazing things to the underemployment and unemployment figures. I suspect gold/silver will be a good bit higher at the end of 2013 as folks see the economy continue to stagger and weave.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post – blog stats for 2012.

Observations on the panic

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Local gunshop had one of those big cylindrical drink coolers on their know the kind, you see ‘em at 7-11 filled with ice and a few bottles of pop in ‘em…anyway, they had one that looked like a ginat shotgun shell and it was filled with AR mags. Guy walks in, bought the whole darn thing. Everyy one of ‘em. Go figure.

Other weirdness…one of my vendors emailed me today that they somehow have come up with 1000 Steyr AUG magazines. WTF???? How do you just magically discover a buncha AUG magazines in your warehouse? I suspect that almost anyone buying those will be buying them on speculation since the number of guns taking AUG mags is pretty low.

I’m getting tired of answering the phone here with people asking if I have any 5.56 ammo or ARs. Part of me wants to scream at them “You had eight years to buy them, dumbass!” The trickle down theory is in effect too….No guns? Get mags! No mags? Get ammo! No ammo? Get components! No components? Get primers! Expect primer availability to plunge as well.

I’ve seen this movie before, back in ’94, so I know what to expect. This is why when the ban sunsetted in ’04 I tried to get everything I could. On some things, I did really well (like the 500+ G3 mags I have for our PTR rifles) and some things I wish I had more of (never enough Glock 9mm’s.) But at least I’m not among the idiots who suddenly realized that there might really be an end to their availability of decent rifles.

Experiments in storage food

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

A few weeks back I was straightening things up, bunker-wise, and was moving stuff around. One of the things I came across were a dozen #2.5-size cans of old AlpineAire food that I purchased back pre-Y2K. When I bought them they were already a couple years old…but they were being closed out by a local surplus store so I figured for one or two dollars a can…what the heck.

A few months back I opened one that consisted of crackers, peanut butter, and some hard candies. The candies were stale, the crackers decidedly so, and the peanut butter looked like something from the south end of a very sick northbound dog. Well, since I bought that stuff, back around ’99, I have significantly upgraded my long term food supplies. Seemed like it might be worth cracking open a couple of these and seeing how they fared.

I pulled two cans out of the bin. Both are #2.5 sized and have scored pull-top lids. ALthough I’m sure that they aren’t a risk factor, I prefer cans that do not have pre-scored lids. I have had occasions where one can has fallen and hit another right on the scoring and wound up compromising the integrity of the can. Anyway, here’s what I pulled out for this experiment:


I’d heard of apple flakes but had no idea what they were. If this package is anything to go by, it appears to be granulated apples. Silly me..I was thinking of, you know, flakes. Both products smelled okay and there were no signs of spoilage. On the other hand, I had no idea what this stuff looked like back when it was new so I may be just guessing at this point. Both packages had an oxygen absorber in them. The flakes made for a much denser amount of apples than the little dehydrated cubes. Both tasted ok, although a little bland. The little bits of apple were actually rather nice to just pop in the mouth and crunch on.



I took two teaspoonfuls of each of these and put them in a bowl with 1/3 cup of boiling water and let them sit for ten minutes. The results:



The apple flakes reconstituted into a paste that was pretty similar to applesauce but wasn’t terribly flavorful. It definitely would have benefited from a dose of sugar. The apple bits reconstituted nicely but were also a little bland. I think both of these, esp. the flakes, would have been excellent for use in something like some cream of wheat cereal or oatmeal…or perhaps in some sort of baking application.

Did the product last these last fifteen years well? Seems to. I have #10 cans of dehydrated apples from the LDS cannery (at a much better price, I might add) so I don’t mind sacrificing $5 worth of Clinton-era storage food for some empirical testing. AlpineAire, to the best of my knowledge, doesn’t offer these little cans any more but the same packaging is available in the Augason Farms products which I’ll be posting a review on in a few weeks.

So, succinctly, although the “Lunch” tin of crackers, spread and candy did not last well over time, it appears that these two varieties of long-term fruit did pretty well. Although you could eat these on their own, it seems their best and most palatable application would have been as a complement to some cereal or porridge. I hvae a few other similar cans of product from this company laying around that I’ll wind up testing over the next few weeks as well. Fifteen years isnt much on storage life, but since most cans are rated for around 25-30 years it’s interesting to note which ones at least make it to the halfway mark.


Observations on infrastructure failure in fiction

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Get ten survivalists in a room and you’ll get ten (at least) different reasons why they’re survivalists. The Peak Oil nut will shout down the hyperinflation cheerleader who is sneering at the Bird Flu advocate and they all get together to snicker at the zombie apocalypse fanboy.

But, ignore the disease and look at the symptoms…zombies don’t eat food, so why are you storing those freeze drieds? “Because the grocery supply chain will be disrupted”, replies the machete equipped lad. And what about Bird Flu lady? Cans of Spam don’t catch bird flu and die, so why the cases of food in her basement? “Because the grocery stores won’t be getting any more inventory as things are quarantined”, she’ll say between spritzes of Clorox. And the Peak Oil wonk, asked why he’s stocking up on canned tuna when tuna don’t drive or require petrochemical lubrication, says “because the grocery stores won’t be getting trucks of food in if those trucks can’t run.” Each one of these folks sees a different disease, but the symptoms, by and large, will all be the same – the grocery store will be useless. Infrastructure will be affected and distribution networks/chains will be destroyed or disabled.

So, really, 90% of what we’re preparing for is infrastructure failure – the inability (or total collapse) of a distribution system (distribution of food, distribution of power, distribution of supplies, distribution of security, etc.) While it does matter how that failure occurs (an interruption in electrical service from a fallen power line will probably be remedied faster than one from a comet strike that wipes out the eastern seaboard), the preparations against that failure differ only in scale (a weeks worth of generator fuel will probably get you past the fallen power line, it might take significantly more to get past the comet strike.) But, fundamentally, no matter what we think the main event will be, we all agree that infrastructure will be affected.

Looking at the crop of post-apocalyptic films and television shows, the one thing they all have in common is that infrastructure failure is central to their premise. “Jericho”, “The Walking Dead”, “I Am Legend”, etc, etc. are far less compelling without the element of scarcity-of-supplies. Surviving a nuclear war is a snap if the power stays on, the water keeps flowing, the grocery trucks keep driving and the cops still make their rounds. Zombies aren’t any more dangerous than rabid dogs when society is still functioning like it does normally. Take away the electricity, water, power, heat, food and ‘civilization’, though, and all those things become something else.

I mention this because I was watching the latest episode of “The Walking Dead” (a guilty pleasure) and if you ignore the there-might-be-a-zombie-behind-this-door moments, and watch it with a critical eye towards how infrastructure fails, the results of that failure, and the methods of coping with that failure…then the show becomes a bit more entertaining (although it will probably result in more yelling at the screen.) Electricity is virtually unavailable, food is scrounged, medical supplies are exhausted, fuel is scavenged, communications are nil, etc, etc. On a larger scale, transportation is greatly limited due to obstructed highways and fuel shortages, long-distance communications are gone as the telecommunications networks fail due to fuel and maintenance issues, lawlessness (in the sense of people killing you for your stuff) is the norm….and all of these things occur (or have occurred) in pretty much any disaster. Remove the flesh-eating undead and the infrastructure failure (and it’s consequences) are pretty much exactly what you had after Hurricane Katrina.

I have absolutely no idea what the future looks like. I’m pretty sure zombies, the rapture, and global thermonuclear war aren’t on the menu. But, no matter what sort of unpleasantness does kick off the freefall into chaos you can be certain that it’s most manifest component will be infrastructure failure. And thats why I like watching these end-of-the-world shows and reading the books – I like seeing situations and how some people think folks should react to them. (And, so far, no one has really impressed me with the depths of their preparedness…with one exception.)

While I’m sure you and I have a good enough imagination that we can ‘wargame’ potential problems arising from various system failures, I find that watching fictional interpretations of the apocalypse help me to think through scenarios I may not have previously considered. Sure the premises of some of these shows may be far-fetched or extremely unlikely, but the results are a different story..alien invasion or hurricane, the power is going down. So, I guess if someone were to ask me what it is I’m preparing against (or preparing for, I suppose) I’d have to say ‘infrastructure failure’…unlike many other apocalyptic scenarios I can at least point to dozens of occurrences of that, wheres I’m hard pressed to point to some of the other scenarios.



Cheaper Than Dirt G3 mag price increase

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Cheaper Than Dirt used to sell the surplus g3 mags for $0.97, then the bumped it up to $1.97. I just checked and although they are out of stock they somehow jumped to $4.97. Now, that’s still a deal for a 20-round .308 mag, bit it’s also a 250% price increase. Of course, as we’ve all heard by now, these guys also ran the Magpul PMAGs up to $59.95 each for a while.

Now, to be fair, I hadn’t checked the G3 prices at CTD in a few weeks. For all I know this price increase happened before last weeks drama. But……CTD does have a bit of a history about doing this sort of thing…….

I, of course, had been advocating that if you had a PTR or HK, and you hadn’t picked up at least a hundred of these magazines you were being extraordinarily foolish and short-sighted. As usual in these matters, I was right.

Article – Washington County identifies woman who died in the snow

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office has identified a woman who died in the snow Wednesday after her car got stuck in the snow near Enterprise Reservoir.

Darlene Dietrich, 66, and her passenger, Michael Meunier, were driving north to the reservoir on Shoal Creek Road when they became stranded Tuesday night. They got out and hiked north to find help, but at one point Dietrich could go no farther, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Sad and avoidable. Sleeping bag, candles, food, water, flashlight, batteries, signaling, and a few other geegaws that would fit into a small gym bag and you could wait it out in relative comfort…certainly more comfort than freezing to death in a treewell somewhere.

The Emergency Bra

Originally published at Notes From The Bunker. You can comment here or there.

Sometimes, I cannot tell what’s real and what’s satire. I’m guessing this is…real?

The Emergency Bra’s primary function is that of a conventional bra. In case of emergency, it can be quickly and easily converted into two face masks without removing any clothes. In case of emergency, where no specialized respiratory devices are available, it can decrease the inhalation of harmful airborne particles. Because the Emergency Bra masks can be securely fixed to the head, it frees a survivor’s hands to keep balance while running and removing objects on the way out of danger. In certain situations, by providing the wearer with a sense of security and protection, the Emergency Bra can reduce the chance of panic attack.


I love that last sentence that all-but-implies that this thing is just a placebo for the easily freaked.

I’m guessing us Penile-Americans are left to fend for ourselves unless someone somewhere is working on The Emergency Jock. I’ll take my chances with fallout and WTC-dust rather than get caught in public somewhere huffing into my underwear.

ETA: It just occurred to me what the best part of this is – in a disaster, all the survivor chicks will be running around bra-less because they’ve got these things covering their face. Win!