Ah Craigslist…how I hate thee. Full of severely weird people selling $20 yard sale items for $100 because they aren’t classy enough to have an eBay account.

But…once in a while…..

Picked up a few of these that were only a couple years old for $50/ea. Got ’em on the charger now.  (By the by, I’ve been very pleased with the Schumacher brand of chargers.)

This is part of a small project I’ve been wanting to do. I want to have a small battery bank that I can use for running emergency lighting and communications equipment. Doesn’t have to be terribly fancy, but it does need to be fairly simple and reliable. We’ll see how it goes.

“Lost” fallout shelters

Short version: guys discovers a fallout shelter buried in his yard.

I am fascinated that this thing was not full of water. I’ve seen quite a few stories like this one and invariably the shelter has filled with water over the forty-plus years of being ‘lost’.

I used to know a guy who had a shelter similar to this kind buried in his yard under his patio. He wasn’t really expecting a nuclear exchange (or maybe he was and just didnt tell me) but he did say that it was where he would keep all his valuable guns and stuff in case a forest fire came roaring through his little patch of nowhere.

I’ve no doubt there are plenty of these forgotten shelters out there. One of special interest is a  ‘demo model’ of an underground house built for the worlds fair back in the 60’s. Some folks think it’s still there and want to go digging for it.

And although techincally they arent as dramatic, every so often impromptu public fallout shelters are discovered stacked with mountains of ancient Civil Defense gear.

Like those pesky WW2 leftovers that keep getting dug up everytime someone digs a new subway tunnel in Berlin, these sorts of things will keep cropping up from time to time. I , for one, find them utterly fascinating.


So this happened…..

20170726_104914A used but not terribly abused .45 ACP GC NM Series 80. 1911’s are fun guns to play with, but the notion that they are somehow the pinnacle of combat handgun design would seem to ignore the last hundred years of gun development.

I picked it up as a range toy, and because the price was right, but I’ll happily swap it for a pair of Glock 9mms or a HiPower.

Nice El Paso Saddlery scabbard, though. But…..left handed.

Missoula Cash and Carry opens

I was knda excited yesterday. A new Costco-ish restaurant supply place opened up in town yesterday. Obviously, I don’t have a restaurant but what I do have is an interest in bulk food at low prices. So…off I went.

The biggest problem was that many things are in Costc-size packaging. Sure, it’s a great deal on ketchup but it’s in a 5-gallon bucket that, once opened, won’t stay good until I’m done with it. Lotsa that. But there were a few things that were of interest to the survivalist type. In a display that would make any homeless hardcore-alcoholic salivate, there was a bulk amount of Sterno products:

20170721_094010 20170721_094034There was also a huge amount of paper/plastic tableware…whcih is handy to have when you dont want to waste time and hot water in a crisis.

If you’re a beans-n-rice kinda guy, there was plenty of that as well:

20170721_094556The meat department had the huge cuts of meat all wrapped up in heavy plastic nad ready for cutting. That was a pretty sweet deal. They also had bulk italian sausage, which is always a staple in this household. (especially after this and this ).

All in all, the prices were okay. Some stuff was stupidly not-a-bargain (Coke for example), but other stuff was. There was also a great selection of frozen entrees and appetizers. For my needs, there were a few things in there that were worth making the trip. For a non-survivalist, convenience standpoint there was definitely some good stuff….for example, a few bags of frozen dumplings are nice to have for a quick meal.

If you’re in Missoula, check em out but keep in mind it’s geared more towards commercial kitchens, so you may have trouble with the product sizing.



Earthquake stuff

You kow, it’s a little weird but I am still a tad ‘shook up’ (get it?) over our earthquake a couple weeks ago. The effect at ground level here in town was, as my friends tell me, negligible but the effect I experienced was a tad more disconcerting. The Lincoln area, where the quake clocked in at a 5.8, is about 65 miles from here. I’m no geologist, but it seems that if there could be such a strong earthquake 65 miles from here, could it not also have happened here as well? (The answer, of course, is “it depends”. Are we in Missoula on the same plate as Lincoln? Are we in similar proximity to a fault? etc, etc.)

Regardless, earthquakes had never been one of the things on my radar for preparedness. Oh, they were there in the sense of “When California slips into the ocean, how will that affect me other than having to buy food and drink for the party?” but the notion of a destructive (keyword there) earthquake happening ‘neath my feet? Hadn’t really entered into my realm of possibility.

My homeowners insurance needs to be renewed next month. I think I’m going to have a very focused talk with the insurance guy about if I’m covered for earthquakes and earthquake related damages.

Speaking of Mom Nature getting PMS’y, we had a pretty intense blow come through here the other day. Folks across the street from me had half a tree come down on top of their nice, new Subaru and turn it into a Fubar-u. I heard the weather alert emergency tones on the radio and decided to err on the side of caution….took down the big 11’ umbrella in the yard, placed some weight on all the patio chairs, and closed the windows….glad I did. Winds were quite intense and there was a good bit of wind damage in the area. I had the EU2000 ready just in case but, surprisingly, power stayed on just fine. It did remind me, though, that I need to drop a few bucks and pick up a dedicated emergency weather radio with one of those alert warnings.

Icom R6 programming

A year or so back I decided that I wanted a small scanner that I could keep in my Bag O’ Tricks ™. The notion was that in a crisis I wanted a way to monitor what was going on around me. The criteria was that it had to be of good quality, run on AA batts, have as broad a range as possible, and be extremely compact. I eventually settled on the  ICOM R6. 

It is indeed small and handy. But thats part of the problem. To pack in all those features into a tiny little envelope, there’s a good deal of button pressing and less-than-intuitive key-combinations. I’d been meaning to take advantage of the radios ability to interface with my computer and use the computer to program the bloody thing. To that end, I wound up with this.

Basically, what I wanted was something that was menu- or spreadsheet-driven where I could just enter a list of frequencies, delegate them into selectable banks, and label them as necessary. This software does a pretty good job of that.

I’d been meaning to get around to getting the software but I had blown it off as other things in life took precedent. However, after being flat on my back last week during the earthquake and having no idea what was going on, a little pack-of-cigarettes size receiver would have been exactly what I needed to find out how the situation was forming up.

Ticom, of Sparks 31 fame, is my usual resource for info on all things radio but he can be a little tough to find sometimes. If you can find him, or find his blog (which seems to move around from time to time), he’s a wonderful like-minded individual with an expansive encyclopedic knowledge.

So…I reprogrammed the R6 with all the info I had on local fire, cop, EMS, sheriff, and other freqs…threw in the FRS range of freqs as well…and feel a tad more confident to be informed should we have another event where I am caught absolutely flat footed.

Preparing against the last disaster

Annoyingly, I have a tube and plastic bag hanging out of me to allow my ..whatever it is…wound, injury….to drain. It’s a very inconvenient thing.


Check it out…I make my own gravy!

It collects whatever it is that’s sloshing around in my abdomen. To me, it looks like I’m thawing a steak. I’m hopeful it’s outta me by the end of the week.
So, last week’s earthquake has me thinking. I succumbed to normalcy bias and dismissed the idea of earthquakes being any real threat around here. I distinctly recall rolling my eyes when I had my hot water heater replaced a few years ago and all this stupid mandated earthquake-proofing stuff had to be done. Now I’m think about having the other water heater earthquake-proofed.

Also, a lot of my day-to-day stored food needs to be secured better on the shelves. Especially the glass jars of stuff.

And I suppose I need to do some research on other specific-to-earthquake issues that I should probably address. There’s a saying in the military that you’re always planning to fight the last war, I suppose it could be accurate to say that in preparedness we are oftentimes preparing against the last disaster.
And we are also often preparing against the last gun ban. I’ve 30 of the 10/22 mags left, and 35 of the Pmags left. Email me if you’re wanting to get on board.



Cute blonde installing a port in my arm

So I’m laying in the hospital bed, tubes in each arm and one coming outta my belly, and I’m talking to the  specialist (who, apparently, is the guy who handles things like I was going thorugh) and he says “…and we’ll also get you started on IV Flagyl..”

“Metronidazole?”, I ask.
“I was under the impression that metronidazole was for treating things like giardia and similar bacterial infections.”
“Well, yes, but…how do you know that?”
“Same way I know that I’m supposed to avoid alcohol while on it because it can give similar effects as the old antabuse.”
“Ok, really, how do you know that?”
“I’m one of those paranoid survivalist types. I memorized most of the drug section of a book called “Where there is no doctor”.”
“Never heard of it.”
“Its free online, but I can send you a copy. I keep it around in case I ever need to go through the shattered remains of pharmacy or something after the end of the world and I know what drugs I’ll need. Same reason I hoard my leftover antibiotics and pain pills.”
“Yeah, I do that after oral surgery. I save my lortabs and stuff in case I need them later. I have a cousin who told me I could go online….”, he says.
“And buy antibiotics and similar stuff used for fish, right? Fishmox, etc, etc.”
“Thats why I save all my extra meds.”
And we chatted for a few minutes where he told me he saves his leftover meds as well for those times he’s off hunting or he otherwise might be away from a pharmacy. Basically, I let him talk himself into things.
“You know, if you could prescribe a little extra on those prescriptions youre writing I would sure appreciate it….”

And that is how you find sympathetic doctors and wind up with ‘a little extra’  in your  prescription.

I have a few extra copies of WTIND and will drop one off at my next ABX infusion appointment. You never know……..


As you may have read, Montana had one of the bigger earthquakes its had in a while last night.

Where was I? Funny you should ask. I’m actually back in the hospital with an abdominal infection from having my appendix kaBoom two weeks ago.

Yes, thats right. The biggest earthquake to hit Montana in a long time and I was flat on my back in a hospital bed watching and hearing all the equipment swaying and wondering if anyone else appreciated the irony. You spend a lifetime preparing for a disaster and when it happens….you’re too sick to even sit up in bed and look out the window to see if the power is still on.

My room was on the fifth floor, and that made the effects of the earthquake seem more pronounced. So…there I am…self-described survivalist with a home full of everything I’d need to get me through a crisis like this and………..I’m trapped in a hospital bed. I very much had visions of Rick Grimes from the first episode of The Walking Dead.

I’ll be getting out tomorrow, ideally. I have a catheter in my arm and have to self-administer some IV antibiotics for the next week. Annoying.