Article – Panic, Anxiety Spark Rush to Build Luxury Bunkers for L.A.’s Superrich

Given the increased frequency of terrorist bombings and mass shootings and an under-lying sense of havoc fed by divisive election politics, it’s no surprise that home security is going over the top and hitting luxurious new heights. Or, rather, new lows, as the average depth of a new breed of safe haven that occupies thousands of square feet is 10 feet under or more. Those who can afford to pull out all the stops for so-called self-preservation are doing so — in a fashion that goes way beyond the submerged corrugated metal units adopted by reality show “preppers” — to prepare for anything from nuclear bombings to drastic climate-change events.

My first thought is that if the L.A. ‘Superrich’ are really concerned about surviving the apocalypse, they’d get more bang for their buck by buying a helicopter and having it on standby to leave LA.

I still love the idea of a nice, hardened, ‘second home’ somewhere. But the more I think about it, the more I start to think that if that second home is so nice and desirable, why not just make that your primary home?

Of course, real-world factors come into play…your job may be in San Francisco and your ‘second home’ in, say, Kingman AZ. You aren’t going to live in Kingman and have a job that pays what you were getting in SF. (The exception to this are those lucky sould who can telecommute and have the freedom to live anywhere.)

If I had the money, I wouldn’t bother with a super-secret underground bunker….I’d just buy the land outright and build my subtle-but-secure dream house. I mean, if you’re making $20m per movie, why wouldn’t you just do a couple movies, call it a day, and go retire to your nice, quiet estate in the mountains?

Scenes from a gas station

Harry, our Friend Of The Blog ™ over at Self Sufficient Mountain Living is still noting the effects of the regional gas shortage. The stations have gas, but only Premium. Fancy that…the only gas they have available is the most expensive. Whoda thunk it?

Speaking of gas, I’m rotating some fuel and saw this at the local gas station:

20160925_112219There is probably a lot of truth to this. When I go grocery shopping, I often look in other peoples carts and try to imagine what their lives are like based on the things they are buying. I think you might be able to do the same thing with the things people keep in their vehicle. I knew one person who had a really nice truck, big, spacious, hardcover on the bed….lotsa room. And you could not fit more than one person in that truck because it was full of gear. It was like a rolling showroom for US Cavalry or Brigade Quartermaster. I’m only a tad less subtle than that, but you could look at all the things in my vehicle and make some pretty solid guesses about where my interests lay.

Gas rotation continues….cycling through the 2-3 year old gas and making sure there are no empty cans. As we’ve discovered, there is no guarantee that the pumps will be running tomorrow, and fuel is right up there in terms of ‘things that are a good idea to stock up on’.

Officially fall, Ruger Mk….IV?

Well, its officially that time of year. Time to move the winter durvival gear to the vehicle, drag the hunting clothes out, top off the kerosene heaters, switch to the winter camo, and just generally get ready for fimbelwinter.

It also means the election is just around the corner. I genuinely don’t know what to think at this point but you really cannot go wrong with precious metals, food, fuel, guns, and ammo. I mean, all of those are things that are going to go up in price anyway, right? So regardless of who wins the election, or what new policies do or do not occur, you’re still ahead of the game.

Fall in Montana means hunting season is just around the corner. I havent decided what to hunt with but I’m really tempted to take out my 29″ barrel, open-sighted .275 Rigby. It has a classic look to it, and I’m a big fan of the cartridge.

And, speaking of thundertoys, did you guys see Ruger has dropped a new version of their .22 pistol on the market? It’s the Ruger Mk IV….and it has at least one awesomely cool feature that puts it way ahead of the previous models. A feature greatly appreciated by those of us who have had to disassemble one of those things. Read about it at Tam’s blog.

Article – The Americans Who Stockpile Guns

There are hundreds of millions of guns in the United States—enough, according to several estimates, for every American civilian adult to own more than one.

But actual gun ownership is far more lopsided than that.

A sweeping new survey by researchers at Harvard University and Northeastern University finds that roughly half of the nearly 300 million firearms in the United States are concentrated in the hands of a tiny sliver of the U.S. population: Just 3 percent of American adults own some 130 million guns, according to The Trace and Guardian US, two news organizations that first reported on the survey. (The full survey has not yet been released; Guardian US and The Trace reported plans to publish a series of stories about the findings throughout the week.)

This portrait of gun ownership represents the equivalent of about 17 guns per person among a group of “super-owners,” the 7.7 million Americans who own between eight and 140 guns each.

If there is anyone reading this who is not a ‘super-owner’ I would be a tad surprised. How many guns do I have? More than Sarah Brady and less than Ted Nugent. I leave it at that.

Gary Marbut, Montana’s gun zealot extraordinaire, famously asserted that the average Montanan owned something around 26 guns. I think that estimation is a bit high, but I have met some folks who were very much picking up slack for those Montanans who were a little light in the hardware department.

Regardless, it doesn’t matter how many guns you own…what matters is that you be free to own as many (or as few) as you want.

Gas pains

Friend Of The Blog ™, Harry Flashman, over at Self-Sufficient Mountain Living woke up to find the gas pumps dry and no one knowing when the fuel will be back.

Listening to the CB radio on SSB , I heard two fellows talking about gasoline shortages up here in North Georgia. One of them had gone to Cornelia , and on trying to get back, he found there was no gas to be had at the Ingles in Cornelia, nor in Cleveland. I assumed Ingles, which is a big grocery chain here, had simply messed up their order or had some kind of dispute with their supplier

When we went into town today, our own Ingles had no gas. I didn’t think much of it, until the next station down the road had no gasoline either. It turned out there was not a drop of gasoline to be had at any stations in our county.

Since my kids were here, I haven’t followed the news with anything like the attention to detail that has been my habit. That’s why I didn’t know that the pipeline that brings gasoline to Georgia, Tennessee, and Alabama had “gone down.”  In town people were saying the pipeline was out of service and might not be up until next week.

What is the natural consequence of a good’s level of scarcity increasing as demand stay constant? Shortages and price increases.

Gasoline is something that you really do need. You can talk about how you’re going to be grid-free, ride your solar-powered golf cart around, run your life on propane, etc, etc, but in the real world gasoline is right up there with money, ammo, and food.

148848_slideI try to keep enough gas on hand for a) generator usage, b) barter/aid, and c) GTFO. All told, about 60 gallons. It’s all in 5-gal. NATO cans and treated with PRI-G.. I routinely use, in my vehicle, gas that is two years old and I’ve never had a hiccup. If you treat your gas, seal it up in a good metal can, and tuck it somewhere shady, it’ll last a good long time. There is a school of thought that says that you don’t even really need to use the additives..the gas will keep just fine. Maybe. But I’m willing to pay a couple extra bucks for snake oil to make damn sure that when I need to throw my gear in the vehicle and go, go, go, the engine goes ‘vroooom’ instead of ‘whirwhirwhirwhir…’.

Don’t cheap out and get plastic gas cans. Don’t cheap out and get bargain “NATO-style’ cans made in China. Don’t cheap out and get metal Blitz cans. Spend $50-75 per can and get the real deal. Here’s why:

When you show me any other can that can handle that sort of action, then I’ll consider it. until then..I’ll pay the money for the peace of mind.

When i bought my first motorcycle helmet, I complained to my buddy how expensive they were. he said, “What’s your life worth?”. Same thing for the gas can. What’s it worth to have 5-gallons of perfect gasoline on hand when the lights are out, the storms are raging, the hordes are coming, the waters are rising, the kids are crying, and the city is dying?


Fear The Walking Dead – S2

I was pretty much ready to write off “Fear The Walking Dead” as just too stupidly annoying for me to watch. There were virtually no characters I liked, the characters were beyond clueless, and there just wasn’t any sense of caring what happened to these people.

Season Two, it appears, must have been made by people who spent the off-season reading the internet and learning what people disliked about the show. First, things are a tad grittier. I like that. It’s the end of the world, not Comic-con. The main characters have broken off into three distinctly separate storylines, so I can have episodes with minimal annoyance from some of those amazingly weak female characters.

And, speaking of female characters, we get introduced to new ones. Specifically, this one:

lucianaNormally, I’m not into ethnic chicks, and I’m not a fan of brunettes. What I am a fan of, though, are strong chicks with guns. (What can I say? I like what I like. Too many chicks are victims [or like to see themselves as victims], so ones that aren’t are pretty attractive.) So, yes, eye candy…but my kinda eye candy.

Another thing I’ve noticed is that this season the principal characters are much more realistic or fatalistic in their dealings with other people. Gone is Season One’s we-must-help-them mindset that drove me nuts. Now it seems the reality has hit home – other survivors are most likely bad news.

And to wrap it up, here’s an interesting article noticing the more realistic/fatalistic trend in FTWD.

When the apocalypse begins, the smartest thing you can do (besides raid Modell’s for combat boots) is monopolize essentials. Food, water, and shelter are in short supply. If you want easy living in the end of days, providing what people need is a golden ticket. Unfortunately, you’re going to compete with drug lords who already have the muscle and arsenal to take them first.

Fear the Walking Dead continues to one-up its older sibling series The Walking Dead by detailing a world where logic and plausibility are the most dominant forces in the zombie apocalypse. In “Sacrifice,” Nick (Frank Dillane) is assigned to accompany Luciana (Danay Garcia) on a dangerous task: Grocery shopping.

So there are stil characters on this show that I’m really eager to see leave, but overall I like the direction this particular part of the storyline is headed. I am, however, still extremely disappointed that they apparently(!) killed of my favorite character, Reuben Blades’ “Daniel”.

Grocery bargains

Some things just bring me joy….free ammo (it happens), porn sites with easily hacked passwords, puppies, watching liberals discover the world isn’t what they thought it was, etc, etc. But two things that always soothe my soul are a) bargains and b) food. And sometimes, if the gods are smiling, a & b combine in one glorious moment.

Today? Apparently breakfast cereal was on sale. The real stuff, not the store-brand ‘almost as goods’. (Generic frosted flakes? “They’rrrrrrrrrrrrre…okay!”) So, with regular price being knocked down about 50% who wouldn’t stock up?

20160915_191416I know from experience that they’ll stay fresh in their sealed bags well into next year. And I’m the kind guy who, when he feels lazy and hungry, will just have a giant bowl of breakfast cereal  for dinner.

More importantly, its part of the Alpha strategy – buy it cheap and stock it deep when prices are low. Way I reckon it, I’m good on breakfast cereal for the rest of the year.

Need more milk though……..

Paratus this Friday

As i just said in the subject line, Paratus is this Friday. This is a great opportunity to take the moral high ground and buy yourself that little geegaw that you’ve been wanting…a new LED flashlight, a spare magazine, your own nuclear power plant, whatever.

It’s also a great opportunity to pick up an item or two as a gift for those who aren’t quite on the wavelength as the rest of us. The post about multitools got some comments about how people are always coming to us to borrow our flashlights or multitools because we’re known as the McGyvers of the office/production floor. Well, Paratus is your opportunity to get them a $10 LED pocket flashlight and maybe make converts.

What does the ol’ Zero want for Paratus? Hmm…well, the things I want most are the things I apparently can’t have, so I  need to stick to what seems more attainable… I’d like a lovingly restored FJ40, a chunk of land with a nice house on it, Jennifer Lawrence with a brain disease that makes her an incurable, but monogamous,  nymphomaniac…t’know, the usual stuff.

Paratus is as good a reason to prepare for the election as anything else. For a reminder of what life can look like for us Ballistic-Americans when a Clinton is in the White House you can view this post.

Regardless, Paratus is your holiday. live it up!

The morons that blogging attracts

I just had to delete several comments that someone shotgunned to several different posts. All the comments were the same and ended with a link to this retard’s webpage where he is trying top promote his Ultimate Survival Book That Will Save Your Family In Times Of Crisis! ..or some similar horsecrap. Here’s the thing, on a whim I went to his website and, I am not making this up, these are the ‘words’ (well, they’re kinda like words) that he has describing his SuperMegaAwesome book:

  • “survival phisical / e-book”
  • “and any other desaster”
  • “survive any coming catastrofe…”

Oh, there’s a “catastrofe” alright….I think I’m reading it.

I’ve actually met a couple of survival book authors. They can spell. I would guess that reading this guy’s book (or as he might call it, ‘buuk’) would be about as painful as watching a chimpanzee try to operate a chainsaw.

Here’s the thing…if this illiterate* goober wanted to hype his self-promotion website, he could have left a comment that at least had some relation to the post…and his link would have been there. But, no, he had to be tacky and classless (and illiterate)…thus, the public mockery.

Blogging….it ain’t what it used to be.

* = Given this special snowflake’s grasp of language and spelling, I fully expect him to send me an email loudly declaring that he is not illiterate because his parents were married a full seven months before he was born.