Verifying images

Fact is, you can’t really believe everything you see. Right? You don’t have to be a chemtrail-sniffing Alex Jones fan to have a distrust of everything you read on the internet. A little Photoshop here, some constructive captioning there, and next thing you know there’s a re-animated Hitler shaking hands with Obama. Staying informed is a necessary part of preparedness, but how do you make sure that what you’re seeing is legit? I was stumbling around the internet and found this interesting article about how to verify that the video/images being presented to you on the internet are actually what they are presented as. Is that really a picture of a dead Osama Bin Laden? Is that really a picture of Syrian refugees rioting with police? There’s an old saying in journalism – “If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”

How to verify photos and video on social media networks.

Article – Where rich people learn how to survive the apocalypse

I am both amused and entertained by this article.

According to a 2015 simulation at Cornell University, the safest place to be during the apocalypse is the Northern Rockies. That’s exactly where one finds the 37,000-acre Resort at Paws Up. Its nearest metropolis, and airport, is the college town of Missoula, pop. 69,000. Researchers agree zombies will first attack the most densely-populated urban areas. For that reason, Big Sky Country is one of the best places to retreat to. Paws Up allows the well-to-do among us to familiarize themselves with things in nature—like stars, trees, and silence—they may encounter when they flee their penthouse apartments and suburban mansions.

Paws Up is out past Potomac, and is, literally, across the highway from where I hunt. I have heard stories about overzealous Paws Up employees chasing hunters away even though the hunters weren’t trespassing on PU land. I’ve never had that happen, but then again most folks don’t want to annoy someone strolling through the woods with an HK-91 (clone, actually) hanging off them.

Paws Up has a bit of mixed feelings about it amongst the locals. They had a major screaming match with the state over some water quality issues back when they got started, and I was rooting for them in a David v. Goliath kind of way. Then I heard about their folks getting all goon-like and shooing hunters away from the place. Hey, it’s one thing if someone is trespassing but intimidating them and driving them away when they aren’t trespassing? Bad juju.



Article – Inside A Secret Government Warehouse Prepped For Health Catastrophes

Interesting article on the Strategic National Stockpile. I wonder if they have one of these somewhere for ammo. (“Yes! And its called ‘my basement’!”)


When Greg Burel tells people he’s in charge of some secret government warehouses, he often gets asked if they’re like the one at the end of Raiders of the Lost Ark, where the Ark of the Covenant gets packed away in a crate and hidden forever.

“Well, no, not really,” says Burel, director of a program called the Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thousands of lives might someday depend on this stockpile, which holds all kinds of medical supplies that the officials would need in the wake of a terrorist attack with a chemical, biological or nuclear weapon.

The location of these warehouses is secret. How many there are is secret. (Although a former government official recently said at a public meeting that there are six.) And exactly what’s in them is secret.

“If everybody knows exactly what we have, then you know exactly what you can do to us that we can’t fix,” says Burel. “And we just don’t want that to happen.”

What he will reveal is how much the stockpile is worth: “We currently value the inventory at a little over $7 billion.”

Generator day

It’s not exactly a holiday, but every so often you need to crank up the Honda EU2000. There are probably a few things that need to be drilled into everyone’s head at an early age…and one of those things should be ‘take care of your gear’. I’d bet money that almost no one here checks the air pressure in their spare tire on a regular basis.

20160624_084338The EU2000 has been, for my needs, an awesome product. Relatively quiet, it sips gas, is man-portable, and at around $1k isn’t going to break the bank too badly. Last summer when we had our hellaciously bad windstorm I was able to sit here with computer, internet, cable TV, cold beverages, and operational security cameras….all thanks to the little Honda and some foresight.

Speaking of foresight. The generator by itself isn’t enough. Accessories include, but are not limited to:

  • Lock and cable
  • Heavy-duty, contractor grade extension cords.
  • Fuel funnel
  • Extra filters
  • Fire extinguisher for refueling process
  • Dedicated supply of stored gas
  • Printed copy of startup/shutdown instructions fixed to generator
  • Hardigg case to hold everything
  • Flashlight/area light for initial setup
  • And a few other minor things

Everything fits in a happy little Hardigg case to keep stuff clean, dry, and protected. I use Evernote to keep track of preparedness-related stuff, so I’ll make an entry tagged ‘generator’ and set an alarm to remind me to do this again in another month.

Wisdom from Nick Fury

Check out 0:23 to 1:20.

“Granddad loved people…but he didn’t trust them very much.”

Funny thing is, people say “Oh, it’s the world we live in today. It wasn’t like this when I was a kid.” or “It wasn’t like this when my grandparents were alive”. You’re right, it wasn’t. It was actually worse. The world has never been a pleasant or safe place. What’s changed is that we’ve gotten so good atinsulating ourselves from it, and keeping it’s ugliness at a distance, that when we really do get a glimpse of what the real world is like, we can’t believe that it’s really been that way all along. It must be a recent thing. Nope, it’s not. It’s the real world…it’s here every day.

There have always been people willing to crack your head open for whats in your pockets, there have always been people starving, there has always been someone who wants to control you, and there have always been people who want what you have and are willing to take it when the opportunity arises. Just because you don’t see it, or even recognize it, doesn’t diminish that this is an objective truth.

So, yes, love your neighbors, be nice to people, help when you can, and try not to be a dick, But…don’t forget that you can only trust your fellow man so far. Trust, but verify.


“The people have spoken…and they must be punished.” – Ed Koch, famous mayor of NYC.

The UK leaving the EU isn’t the end of the world. All it really means, in practice, is that the top guys in Brussels have to order new stationary.

The world got along without the EU twenty years ago, they’ll get along without it now. Not a big deal.

What does surprise me is that the UK voted for the secession. How often do you hear of anyone seceding from anything without a war or revolution?

If I had to bet, I’d say markets are back to normal by next Wednesday as people have an entire weekend to realize that it’s not a big deal. What is a big deal, though, is that the UK might just have been the first rat off the ship and the EU might start getting a  little sticky about who else leaves. Stay tuned.

By the case? Buy the case.

I’m still slightly amused when I walk into a supermarket, find a good deal on something, and the checker’s response is one of confusion when I tell them I’ll take several cases of whatever it is.

Today’s example…….

Me, I love pasta. It’s bad for me in the sense that it’s pretty much just straight up carbs, but I’ve been moderating my intake for the last couple months and am being sparing about the use of rice and pasta. ‘magic number’ is $1/# on pasta. I have magic numbers for lots of things. The Magic Number is the price at which I will go deep on purchasing something. For example, a can of Coke is about $0.29-31 each when I go to CostCo and get a case. But, if they have a sale or someplace is selling it for, say, $.20/can, I’ll buy several cases. Glocks? At $300  for a used Glock, I’ll take all you have. (Some things, however, you do not buy at a discount. For example, I will not buy ‘bargain’ condoms.)

Anyway, less than a buck a pound for pasta is my magic number. Turns out my local grocery was selling it for $0.50/#. Turn around, walk back to the front of the store, put back the basket and get a cart instead. “I’ll take two cases of the rigatoni, please.” The confused look starts to creep across their face. Look, I know what a case is, I know how many are in a case, I know how much they cost…now go get me two cases. Yes, I know what I’m talking about.


Do the math. That wound up being 80% off the normal price. But..a normal price of $2/# seems a bit excessive. But still….score!

Once in a blue moon, when I’m sales-raping their inventory, they’ll ask why I’m buying so much stuff. I’m not going to say “I’m one of those paranoid survivalists”, so instead I tell them I either cook for a day care or nursing home, or, more often, I tell them I’m buying for a food bank. (This last one is a very good cover since the items are on sale at blowout prices….seems reasonable a food bank would jump at it.)

So, off to the basement to stock the wire shelves with food. As an aside, pasta and rice are my favorite staples. They keep well, are amazingly versatile, and can be used to stretch other foods or are just good by themselves. Some butter, olive oil, garlic, crushed red peppers, and salt, sauteed for a few minutes and then stirred into hot pasta makes a fast, hearty, and amazingly cheap meal. Drop in some canned chicken or tuna and you’re set.

Sale runs for another couple days, so I’ll be getting another couple cases. So, today’s bright spot in a world of suckage: food security.


Article – Venezuelans Ransack Stores as Hunger Grips the Nation

CUMANÁ, Venezuela — With delivery trucks under constant attack, the nation’s food is now transported under armed guard. Soldiers stand watch over bakeries. The police fire rubber bullets at desperate mobs storming grocery stores, pharmacies and butcher shops. A 4-year-old girl was shot to death as street gangs fought over food.

Venezuela is convulsing from hunger.

Hundreds of people here in the city of Cumaná, home to one of the region’s independence heroes, marched on a supermarket in recent days, screaming for food. They forced open a large metal gate and poured inside. They snatched water, flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, potatoes, anything they could find, leaving behind only broken freezers and overturned shelves.

And they showed that even in a country with the largest oil reserves in the world, it is possible for people to riot because there is not enough food.

In the last two weeks alone, more than 50 food riots, protests and mass looting have erupted around the country. Scores of businesses have been stripped bare or destroyed. At least five people have been killed.

This is precisely the Venezuela its leaders vowed to prevent.

Yay, socialism. I think you’d have to wait a long time to see such a level of dystopia hit this country. And while I don’t think it will ever be like that, on a national level, here in the US, it is still a fascinating example of what happens when food becomes scarce. That ‘thin venwer of civilization’ that we always hear about gets scratched away and the next thing you know there’s an angry mob prying the bars off the window to your house.

So many tangents to go off of in that story…personal security, hard currency, foraging skills, food storage, armed revolution, etc, etc. Make no doubt about it, folks that don’t care who gets voted into office will suddenly care about politics when their kitchen cabinets are bare. I haven’t found much in the way of news about it, but I’d imagine the rural dwellers in Venezuela are probably faring a little better than their city brethren.

There’s a lot to take away from the article. And the related articles about the crumbling medical infrastructure are illuminating as well. And while I don’t foresee it happening on a national scale here, I can see it happening on a local scale to various degrees as things like weather and natural disasters come and go.

Go read. Then go sit in your pantry an imagine what it would be like.

It’s only a matter of time before the government collapses or is forced out by a crowd with pitchforks and torches. What comes in after that will be anybody’s guess.

Military phone wire on sale

Sportsman;s guide has a pretty good deal going on. Twenty bucks for a 400-yard spool of military two-strand commo wire.

This is the stuff you want for things like field phones or any other..ahem..’device’…that you need to run some current to. This stuff usually goes for a lot more per spool, so …get while the getting is good.

ETA: They changed the price on that one SKU. This one appears to still be cheap…