Admin – Status report and AAR

Its a middlin’-length sordid story, but for those who are interested, and for any bloggers who want to learn at my expense, here it is.

I originally started blogging on LiveJournal back around 2003. After a short time I decided to just get a website. My initial thought was to go with Yahoo since I figured they were huge enough that they’d be reliable and fast on their feet if there were problems. As it turns out, the opposite was true….big enough to not know what the other hand was doing, and big enough that there were layers and layers of “press 1 now” and “you are caller number…”.

For about ten years things were cool. The service was okay and the price was reasonable. Then there were a couple episodes this year that were just horrific. Most notably an unexplained and ill-defined problem that they took almost a month to track down. In that time the blog was virtually inaccessible. I don’t really make any money off the blog…I get a few bucks here and there from advertising, but it isn’t like having downtime puts a dent in my wallet. As a result, I was fairly willing to ride things out and wait for Yahoo to get their act together. But…while I don’t really make any coin off the blog I rather do like the interactions with people and being able to say the blog is one of the oldest preparedness blogs out there…so I did want to see things get straightened out quickly.

Pretty soon the choices were clear – migrate or perish. A blog migration can be either a piece of cake or it can be the internet equivalent of the Alamo. Whats involved? Well, three big things have to line up correctly: backup files from old website, establish new location and install those files there, repoint the domain name so that it goes from old.nameserver to new.nameserver.

Sounds easy, right? Well, I suppose it can be if you are disciplined enough to keep regular backups, remember registrar passwords, and generally keep a clean house. Sadly…that is not me.

For you bloggers, here’s how it went:

Install in my WordPress blog the Updraft plugin as my automatic backup system. Use it to create a backup of everything. Then, head over to Bluehost, sign up, install WP, and install Updraft plugin. Go into Updraft and upload the backup files to the new WP install. Run restore option. Discover that Updraft realizes that this is, in fact, not a restore at all but rather a migration. Demand $30 for migration software add on. Fork over $30. Run add on and start migration. Chew nails and watch status bar as you pray to science that this thing works and doesn’t start spewing error messages. “Migration Succesful!” Really? I dont believe it. ..:::look:::..hmmm….:::look:::…okay, that was worth $30. Then head over to the folks who handled my domain name and change nameservers. Wait for that to propagate. Get busy making finishing touches.

Soup to nuts, the migration, including software and contract with new host, came to about a hundred bucks. Honestly, I’d have paid more to not lose any more than has already been lost.

A new broom sweeps clean, but I will say that thus far I have been pleased with Bluehost. All the options and extra features are overwhelming (in a good way), but the customer support was good (and not based outta Calcutta…unless theres a Calcutta, Utah), and the rates, eventually, will be cheaper than what I was paying at Yahoo. Knock on wood but so far its looking promising.

If you run a WordPress blog I cannot emphasize to you enough how good Updraft is. I have it set to automatically backup everything once a week and dump the files to Dropbox. And I tested it thoroughly to make sure it does exactly that. And if you do wind up having to migrate your WP blog somewhere the migration addon really is worth the thirty bucks to get. this. crap. over. with.

Finally, I also have a plugin that crossposts to LiveJournal which is sort of a backup-of-last-resort and poor-mans-mirror. So if you ever come to and the place looks like a train wreck, go hit and see if I posted about whats going on.

Barring any surprises, the website should be sitting here for the forseeable future. I still have to go figure out the emails, but it looks like for now you can go ahead and bookmark me and expect me to be there when you click it.

Oh…and skip Yahoo hosting if you can avoid it.

Admin – Is this thing done spinning yet?

Crom as my witness, when the revolution gets here the asshats at Yahoo! web services/hosting/customer service are going to be the second group of mofos up against the wall.


Dumped Yahoo! web hosting like a clingy girlfriend. Moved over to Bluehost. The migration was not as seamless as I would have hoped but I figured if I did it over the holidays maybe folks wouldnt notice.

I’ll have a much more detailed post about this nonsense later. Right now I have my fingers crossed that things are somewhat normalized around here. Loading issues should be greatly reduced or eliminated, and hopefully most folks won’t have any problems. I’m probably going to be quiet for a day or two as I climb around in here checking for leaks and whatnot.

FYI – this blog is kinda-sorta mirrored at …. If you come here and its a train wreck, check over there for a post regarding whats going on.


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

Those of you who comment know that WordPress usually prompts you for a name and, if applicable, website. Additionally, if you are so inclined, you can post comments anonymously. Lotsa folks disable anonymous commenting because it can get pretty ugly at times but so far it hasn’t been too bad, so I leave it turned on. Don’t abuse it, kids.

I do read every comment that comes through here. (I have to, since a comment only gets posted once I approve it.) Spam comments bypass me and go straight into a spam folder. Usually the spam detector is pretty good and legitimate comments very rarely wind up in there. If I do find a legitimate comment in the spam folder I always redirect it to the appropriate post.

Although I do read, and enjoy (usually), most comments I am always interested in comments from people who have their own blogs as well. I’ve found some very interesting blogs that way. If you havent noticed, when scrolling through comments to a post, the persons name will be linked to their website (if they entered one)…you may want to follow a few of them and see where they go. Some are preparedness related, some aren’t, some are general interest, and some are just uninteresting (to me), but it’s a nice way to get some new exposure. So if you have a blog or website you want to share, make sure to add it when you add your name to the comments. BUT..add it only if it really is your website/blog…not some website/blog you think I should go to.

Also, generally speaking, I don’t edit comments. If you’re trying to make an intelligent argument to someone, check your spelling because I won’t clean it up for you. Also, use profanity if you want, I don’t care. I’m not one of these hypocrites who thinks posting about slitting the throats of bad guys in the post-apocalyptic world is okay but using the word ‘dick’ will somehow horrify readers. (Although I prefer folks not use racial slurs…somehow it seems to dumb things down more than profanity does.) If youre going to use profanity, use it sparingly as an enhancer to your point…don’t just use it gratuitously.  The only thing I do ask people to refrain from doing is dropping religious/superstitious comments…there’s already way too much of that in other blogs and I really try to keep it out of here. I think of posting about religion like a penis – its great that youve got one, I’m glad youre proud of it and that it brings you joy, but don’t wave it around in here and dont try to force it down my throat. There’s plenty of preparedness blogs out there where you can tell people how awesome your beliefs are and how evil and wrong theirs are..go do it there. (Note – Im not saying your religious beliefs are wrong or silly..I’m simply saying I just dont want ‘em posted here.)

I usually let comment flamewars burn themselves out but sometimes it just gets way outta control and I have to close comments. A little online brawling is good..gets the blood and ideas flowing, but sometimes it goes too far. Try to wrap up your  vendettas in two or three cascading comments.

Finally, if you have some detailed comment or something that you want kept private, you can always email it to me. My email address is in the ‘About’ section of the website.

And I think thats pretty much all the admin stuff for the moment. Thank you, and have a nice day.

Reviewing your book

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

With the advent of self-publishing through Kindle/Amazon more and more people are taking a stab at writing their own fiction. I think this is awesome and it’s great that folks are exercising their minds, getting out their opinions and ideas, and that they can reap benefits from it. However, having said that, it’s kinda my policy not to review books (or stories) that are sent to me, or that I am directed to, by the author/distributor/publisher.

The reason is really pretty simple. I don’t want the drama. If someone emails me and says “Hey, I read your blog and thought you might like this book I wrote. Here’s a coupon code for a free copy from Amazon! It’d be great if you’d post about it!” and I take them up on it, read their stuff, and don’t like it….what happens? I post that I didn’t like it and then I get into an unwanted email exchange with the person demanding to know why I didnt like it, why am I sabotaging their writing career, I’m obviously of no talent and simply jealous, etc, etc, etc.  Like I said, drama. Don’t need it, don’t want it.

So..I highly encourage you to explore your talents as a writer of ..well..whatever you want. And if you want to send me a free copy of your work to read, that’s great. But if you want me to review it, I’m afraid I’ll have to take a pass.

Is this something that happens frequently enough that I felt I needed to post about it? Well, it didn’t used to be but then again it didn’t used to be that people could do the self-publishing thing either. I probably get four or five of these sorts of requests a year and I usually just ignore them hoping the person will take the hint and there won’t be any hard feelings..but I may as well put it out in the open just in case someone was thinking about asking me to review their work for them.

It’s nothing personal guys, but asking me to review your literary masterpieces is like a fat chick asking you “Do you think I look fat?”. There’s no way you can give an honest opinion without someone getting hurt.

SO, please..go create! Give voice to your preparedness muse! Write the next Great American (Preparedness) Novel…and feel free to send me a copy, but please don’t ask me to review it.

Search engine results and other stats

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

For the last couple months, I’ve been tracking a bunch of stats on the website. When I upgraded to the new version of WordPress I went and added Google Analytics as well, which gives me tons of information. One interesting thing I’ve noticed is that there are two search queries that are consistently in the top ten for search results that bring people here. The first is “are guns good investments’ , or some similar phrasing, and the other is “HK flare pistol”.

Both of these posts are from several years back, yet they are always in the top ten of searches that brought people here. (Other search terms on that list are “commander zero”, “notes from the bunker”, and other obvious hits.)

Some other interesting stats – hits from the US account for 94.23% of traffic. Of that, Texas is the largest percentage of hits (10.76%), followed by California, Florida, Washington and Virginia.

Biggest referrers? with 17.23% of referral traffic coming from them. Followed by,, and suburbansurvivalist.

After the main page, the post that gets more traffic than any other is this one, making up 2.6% of all posts read by people. (That doesnt sound like a high percentage, but with over 1300 posts on the website the fact remains that this particular post is seen by more people than anything other than the most recent post at the top of the blog. The next most popular draws less than half that amount of attention.)

And the thing I get asked about most in email? Where I got the new header graphics for the website. We’re steadily decliing into a Third World economy and this is what people ask about..’whered you get those cool pictures?’ (They were turned up in some late night random Google surfing.)

Page hits is about 1000 a day, which is kinda sad considering how long this blog has been running…but thats cool since I really post for myself and not for the fame and notoriety. (Although, to be honest, from time to time I’ve gotten some cool stuff out of it.)

Anyway, I thought I’d share a few of those stats since I find them interesting.



This much closer to adult diapers and long-term care……..

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

Ah, ’tis my birthday. And, as a wise man once opined, you’re only as young as the woman youre feeling. If you’re in a quandary because you didn’t shop early and are now left wondering what you could possibly get me on such short notice, fear not! Simply find a suitable .jpg of an amazingly hot chick holding a gun and email it to me. Clothed, lingerie, naked, whatever….hot chicks with guns.

Blegging done, ALICE packs, Gun Show

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

Well, I’m officially done blegging. That doesn’t mean you can’t donate if you want to, it just means I’m done mentioning it. About two dozen folks were kind enough to fling some greenbacks at me for operating expenses, including one fella who went old-school and simply stuffed cash into an envelope and sent it in. All told, it’s enough to things humming for about the next three years…assuming prices on hosting don’t suddenly skyrocket. My most sincere thanks to those that donated and I hope to make you glad you did.


Picked up a couple ALICE packs w/ frames the other day. The ALICE packs are pretty dinosaur-y, but they’re usually cheap and make a good secondary or tertiary level of backup. What I really like most about them is their ability to be used with a cargo shelf for hauling things like fuel cans and ammo boxes…anything large and fairly bulky can get strapped to the frame and carried. Someday when a person needs to manhandle five-gallons of water down a trail to a remote rally point, these babies will be just the ticket. Old Grouch has a decent deal on a frame/straps/shelf combo as well as a frame/straps/large bag combo. And if you’re a surplus junkie like me, you’ll really love the ‘used-n-musty’ ten-dollar medium packs…looks like they come with straps, so thats worth ten bucks on its own.

The ALICE packs arent my first choice for running out the door (first choice is my Kifaru bags), but for stashing a loaded pack somewhere ‘just in case’, having packs to hand out to unequipped guests, or hauling jerry cans ….a good choice.


Gun show at the UM Field House tomorrow. I will be there all three days looking for bargains, catching up with acquaintances, doing a lot of ‘damn I wish I had the money for that’, and possibly..if Crom smiles upon me…buying some small odds-n-ends. Militia of Montana honcho Johnny Trochmann will be there and he always has useful stuff. Since it’s the largest show (and one of the oldest) in Montana it draws in vendors that normally don’t do other Montana shows. I need to keep an eye open for more Uzi mags and parts. Should be interesting to see how the markets are since the Colorado shootings…even without that event in the background, the fact that its an election year is enough to put the buying/selling markets into a state of heightened activity. Nonetheless, it shall be fun and I am greatly looking forward to attending. If youre in the region it’s Friday-Sunday at the University of Montana in Missoula.

Admin – Blegging

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

Well, it’s been about 2 1/2 years since I last made a post about operating expenses. At that time folks were generous and ponied up enough to keep the lights on for a couple years.

Well, it’s that time again…time to pass the helmet around and give the speech about how it’s all voluntary, give what you can, every little bit helps, yadda, yadda, yadda.

If you can’t or don’t wanna throw in a buck or two, I’m not going to give you the slightest bit of grief about it. It’s a tough economy, and I’m not exactly Woodward and Bernstein over here. But, if you’ve got a few bucks laying around and you get a good chuckle from time to time, or even some useful information (hey, it happens!), I’d be grateful for whatever you can do. It all really does go to paying for hosting and domain registration and that sort of thing. There’s a ‘Donate’ button at the top of the right sidebar or you can use this one:


From an admin standpoint, here’s some points of interest:

This blog has been running for over nine years, which puts it a little over two years older than ,Rawles’ Survivlablog, and makes it one of the oldest preparedness blogs still active. There’s about 1360 posts which averages out to about one post every 2.5 days. There are almost 5900 comments which comes out to an average of each post generating about 4.3 comments. Approximately 50% (+/- 5%) of all visits are return visits…meaning half of you reading this have been here before. Metrics are a bit fuzzy, but on average it’s about a thousand hits a day…unless ,Rawles or Tam links to me, in which case those numbers usually double or triple.

On a personal note, as long as I’m standing here with my hat in my hand, my birthday is coming up August 7th and my wish list can be found here.