GB#6.0

All the mags are sold. I’ll be checking Monday to see if more are available at the same price. If so, you’ll hear about it; if not, well hopefully you took advantage of thigns while you could.

MH GB#5

Freezedrieds from MH just arrived a few minutes ago. I’ll be boxing ’em up over the next day or two so expect an email with your shipping charges and info.
If youre local, you can come by today but since its my day off I may not be there (but theres an even chance I will be) but I’ll definitely be in tomorrow.

Also, I’ll have a list of ‘extra’ items if anyone is interested in adding to their order or getting something they may have missed the first time around.

MH, AlertUSA, Apocalypse vehicles

The first part of the Mountain House group buy order showed up today.I’m figuring the rest of it should be here over the next few days. There will be a few cans left over so if anyone wants to add or if you missed out and want to get something, there’ll be that opportunity.
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Someone on my friends list had a post about this service. In a nutshell, when Something Happens you get a message texted to your phone or pager. This is actually something I was curious about a couple years ago. I was flying to the east coast and when my flight approached the airport the pilot came on and said that we were going to be circling for a little while and he wasn’t sure why, simply that he’d been told to circle. My thought was that something 9/11-ey must have happened. (Never did find out what the story was, btw.) But if I had this service I could have surreptitiously turned on my cell phone and checked the text messages and see if thered been some sort of notification. This is admittedly much easier with a Blackberry-type device – just browse your way to a newswire and check the latest headlines. But, some of us are Luddites and only have cell phones.

By the by, I read somewhere that in times of emergency the odds are good that cell phones systems will be so overwhelmed that getting calls in/out may be tough but text messages may get through since they use, presumably, much less bandwidth. Maybe theyre routed differently as well, who knows? Worth investigating though.
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Whats the best rig for getting to Point A from Point Z when Points B-Y are smoking rubble? Find out here with “Ten Vehicles For The Apocalypse”. I think most of their choices are absurd but this one resonates with me:

Its a diesel motorcycle that’ll run on diesel, biodiesel or vegetable oil. Now thats handy.
My dream vehicle for the apocalypse. No secret. .

Entertainment, GB, Zero moments

One EOTWAWKI series down (“Jericho”), one to go. The latest offering being readied for the masses is ‘K-Ville’. A series about police during/after Hurricane Katrina. Now, lets think about that for a minute. I have read almost nothing positive about the police, native or imported, during the aftermath of Katrina. We’ve all seen the footage of them dogpiling some little old lady to take her pistol away from her….we want a series about these people? Im betting Nagin and the othe New Orleans politicos are pushing hard for this one to a) take some heat off them and b) rewrite history. Still…I’ll probably watch it until the pro-cop message gets to be too much.
Speaking of fiction, I would be terribly neglectful if I did not mention that ‘I Am Legend’ is coming up later this year. You saw it when it was called “The Omega Man” and maybe even before that when it was called “The Last Man On Earth” (starring the terribly underappreciated and very interesting Vincent price). The premise is like many zombie flicks – everyone else is infected with a disease that makes them dangerous except for a few solitary surviviors fighting off the hordes. In this case the danger isn’t flesheating undead but rather a form of vampirism (largely ignored in TLMOE but played at a slightly different angle in TOM). Its worth noting that TLMOE was more faithful to the book (titled “I Am Legend”) with its less-than-happy ending. TOM was slightly more upbeat but was full of insanely pointless Christ imagery. (You can find FAQ’s about all that somewhere, Im sure.)

Ive seen some production stills from the new IAL movie and it looks interesting…Will Smith wandering deserted streets with an M4 hanging off his shoulder, that sort of thing.

In a (very) slightly related vein, the new Resident Evil movie is also forthcoming with a slight Mad Max flavor to it. I need no excuse to watch Milla Jovovich running around killing things. If the apocalyptic wastelands are going to have babes like her running around I will personally push the button that starts World War III.

As I think about it, there hasn’t been a lot of apocalyptic themed entertainment since the end of the Cold War. In fact, I will suggest that the recent resurgence of zombie movies is a direct result. Without the Cold War we cant have an apocalypse from Russian nukes so we replace bayonet-thrusting Russian troops with flesh-eating undead.

Lets see, I think the last really good movie along these lines was probably Red Dawn (anyone here not have a copy of this???) and that was 20 years ago.

There have been a few movies that were probably more ‘realistic’ and were, in my opinion, designed as a scare tactic for nuclear disarmament. The foremost would be the hyper-depressing ‘Threads’…a movie so depressing and fatalistic that, as I understand it, it was shelved for a number of years in the UK. (Its premise was based on war games projecting the outcome and aftermath of a large nuclear exchange). ‘The Day After’ was a fatalistic US movie on the aftermath of a nukefest. One scene that stands out in my memory is the kid breaking into someones house to steal an empty jar of peanut butter so he could try to scrape the remaining bits of PB out of it…I cant recall but I believe the homeowner killed him over it. Heady stuff.

The premise of life after an apocalyptic event is full of potential for storylines and arcs that should keep a series from getting stale. I thought ‘Jericho’ was doing fairly well in that regard. I’d read people saying that there was too much drama and interpersonal storylines. But, that’s life….it isn’t going to be running gun battles against looters all the time youre still going to have to deal with people and how they react to things.

One more mention of a book – “Among Madmen” was a pulp novel that I found in a used bookstore. The premise is very similar to ’28 Days’. People spontaneously become rage-fuelled killing machines with no warning. Society grinds to a halt and everyone hunkers down as people guard against their neighbors or outsiders suddenly going berserk and killing everyone they can. The story is told from the perspective of a police chief in a small upstate NY town who has to try and keep his town safe from the berserkers and from the usual post-apocalyptic cast of bad guys.

Onto other matters……..

Group Buy on the #10 cans of Mountain House ends in a week. This’ll be the only order with MH for 2007 so if youre in hurricane country or otherwise living in an area with an elevated risk you may wanna hop on the train before it leaves the station. Also, if you don’t want the #10’s, I also have the ProPack pouches on hand for immediate delivery…theyre very nice for tucking into backpacks, buckets and truckboxes.

Minor the other day. Was at the shop minding my own business when I heard a loud noise from outside coupled with a bright flash of light. Transformer in the alley blew up. Power was knocked out to most of the block except my shop (long story but my shop is wired to a different power pole than everyone else on the block). Makes no difference to me, but it made a difference to my neighbors who have a cabinet manufacturing facility in what used to be an underground garage. A garage with one stairwell in, no windows and no emergency lighting. I always have a big MagLite here at the shop so I grabbed that and my Bag O’ Tricks and headed next door to see if they needed help. Went downstairs and there were only a few people there but they needed to turn off the saws and planers for when the power came on and the only flashlight available was a remarkably cheesey 12v worklight with a 90% dead battery. Passed out a few lightsticks from my bag, retrieved my Streamlight LED from the main pocket of my bag and handed it to the gal in charge, and went with them to provide illumination so they could turn off the machines. Since these people are also my landlord my being prepared pays off in lots of goodwill dividends. Power company had the transformer fixed an hour later. I returned to the bunker to replenish my supply of lightsticks and pat myself on the back. Moral of the story? Be prepared.

Were it something larger however…say, a citywide powerfailure after dark, I probably would have been a bit less charitable. I’d have grabbed my gear, locked things up, grabbed my Glock and head home.

Food prices, group buy #4 closing, headsup on GB#5

Yeah, it wasn’t my imagination…food prices have gone up and not by the usual small amounts. My local Albertsons is selling 85/15 ground beef at $3.69/#. $3.69! Madness!

So, whats a person to do? Well, as any devotee of Alton Brown knows, ground beef that’s sold in the supermarket is usually pieces of other cuts that have been ground up. In short, it’s the scraps from cutting up roasts and steaks. A quick trip over to the bargain meat bin shows a few remaindered steaks at about $2.33/#. So…its actually cheaper to buy the steaks and have them ground.

The stories Im reading are saying that the recent increase in food prices is mostly (but not entirely) due to the sudden renaissance of ethanol and other fuel substitutes/additives that can be developed from corn. Corn, of course, is whats used to feed a lot of the livestock in this country. Demand for corn goes up, price of corn goes up, price of animal feed goes up, cost of meat goes up…its really that simple and classic an example of supply and demand.

I can’t believe that people didn’t see the resultant food price increases coming. I saw it a mile away. Of course, if I had any money I’d’ve sunk it into corn futures.

So, I’ll head over to SuperWallyWorld and Costco and check out their prices on bulk ground beef. See, this is where having a freezer and a vacuum sealer really come in handy. I can buy the big Brick O’ Beef™, break it down into easier-to-manage 1# packages, vacuum seal them so they’ll last pretty much indefinitely and send ‘em to the basement for the cryo-nap. Hopefully this will result in some significant savings.

Now, even if the savings amount to only, say, $0.25 per #, you might say whats the big deal? Well, if I buy, say, 15# that’s a savings of $3.75. That’s $3.75 to sink into more food. When money is tight (and, really, when isn’t it?) every bit helps. Plus, every $1 I save off of ‘normal’ purchases can be $1 devoted to more ‘specialized’ purposes like freezedrieds, batteries, ammo, guns, radios, etc, etc.

I suppose the argument could be made that if I became a vegetarian I could save even more. But, alas, it is a quality of life issue. Spaghetti and tomato sauce just doesn’t have the same overwhelming satisfaction of spaghetti with tomatoe sauce, meatballs, and melted cheese.

EDIT: Costco had 88/12 ground beef at $2.50/# so theres some sanity there. Cheaper than WallyWorld too.
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The Chip McCormick 1911 mag deal ends tomorrow. There are 41 magazines left. Whatever is unsold after Monday goes into the bunker for me and the girlfriends use, so if you want some now is the time, my friends. These mags were a closeout from one of my vendors so this is a deal that will not be repeated.
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The next group buy will start next month and run into June. It’s the one some of you have been waiting for – the Mountain House #10 can buy. This time cans will be available as singles or by the case. Buy will run until June 1st at which time the order is ‘frozen’ and sent in to Mountain House. Takes about a week-to-ten days for them to get a truck here.

Calculating shipping costs on the #10 cans is a monstrous headache. Rather than try and do a one-size-fits-all deal (which isn’t really fair to most folks) I’ll provide an Excel spreadsheet with pricing and weights so you can calculate shipping charges on your own. Orders will be paid upfront but shipping charges will be paid at the time your stuff is boxed up and ready to go. In other words, you’ll check off a shopping cart with what you want, pay for it and when the stuff arrives around June 10th you’ll get an email saying what your actual shipping costs will be. To avoid surprises you can calculate your final shipping weights on the spreadsheet and then check out UPS’ website to guesstimate shipping.

There’ll be no minimums, but for best results you’ll want to order in quantities of six if possible. This is because each box holds six cans. That makes for the smallest, neatest package with no surplus packaging weight. Obviously if you only want one or two cans of something then you’ll just order that, but if you have the flexibility, ordering in quantites divisible by six will make everyones day easier and cheaper.

Prices have gone up a bit for 2007. That’s just the way the world works, Im afraid. Single cans vs. cases are the same price. That is to say one case is the same price as six single cans. I’ve got these things as cheap as I can get so theres not really room for a ‘case discount’.

Any items not in stock at time of ordering will not be backordered, you’ll simply get a refund. This is because the whole order has to be done at once and has to weigh a certain amount to get free shipping…and that free shipping is a very large part of what makes this affordable.

Its going to take a few days to get the ordering page up but when its up, you’ll know.

Like all group buys, this is open to anyone reading this. Don’t email me and ask if you can get in on it…you can. You should!

No ‘broken orders’ this time! Since we were doing whole cases last time some folks agreed to split cases and I would send half of one and half of another to two people. This time there shouldn’t be any need for that since you can order singles. As much as I like you folks, the whole splitting of cases is a bit of a pain so this time it ain’t happenin’.

Will ship to all 50 states but if youre in HI or AK, well, you know what to expect. Might ship to Canada if theres no restrictions on foodstuffs…be prepared to pay a bit more for shipping. Watch this space.
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I’m TiVo’ing a program on the History Channel about Berlin’s underground bunkers. You can have all the Nazi rocket scientists, just gimme their building engineers.

Group buy done

Ok, group buy for stripped Stag lowers is done. Over. Finito. Kaput. Back the car around we’re outta here.

For those interested, orders totalled 27 lowers altogether. Order goes in this afternoon. Updates as warranted. Some folks still need FFL’s. I’ll be emailing everyone to confirm their FFLs.

Group Buy – Stag Lowers

Week to two weeks lag time on the Stag lowers is what I was just told. Fortunately, the Zero plans ahead – the five I ordered last week already shipped. They should be here tomorrow.Played it safe and ordered another 10. That will cover all current orders on the group buy and leave a few extras for anyone who wants in and hasnt yet ponied up. The folks at Stag also said that they are stepping up production, theyre selling a buttload of lowers at the moment and that things have been hectic.

This has been another episode of ‘Read the writing on the wall’.

group buy stuff, bunker linkage, FAL stuff

Been hectic the last week. Mostly because we had a bunch of LJ people in town visiting. Always nice to meet folks whom I’ve dialogued with over the years. Tough making the time when youre holding down two jobs though….but its worth it. Its nice to be able to talk with people who don’t look at you like you have two heads as you discuss the merits of propane vs. diesel generators and the ability to scrounge/store fuel for them.
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HR1022 is, naturally, affecting the market for everything that’s gun related. Which means…*sigh*…another 100 HK91 mags are getting ordered Monday.

Time to get what you need while you can, guys. Credit cards exist for a reason and this is it.
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Also putting in another pre-emptive order with Stag for more lowers. The group buy on them ends this coming Friday and, honestly, Im not really motivated to have another one. Its one thing to pimp Mountain House or the like but once you start having to get everyone on the same page regarding FFL’s and that sort of thing it becomes a bit more work than I really wanted for the rewards I get out it. On the other hand, perhaps I need to simply set it up a bit ‘neater’ next time.

Next group buy? Well, I’ll be 110% honest with you – the group buys revolve around things I’m buying for myself. By getting everyone to come in on a large purchase it knocks the prices down and that way I can gear up at a lower price than if I did it on my own. And, obviously, you guys also do better. Win-win. The drawback, thus far, is that this means the group buys are based on what Im needing to buy and not what other folks are looking for. I am, though, open to ideas. There are a few things I’ve been needing that I’m contemplating as future group buys including knives, first aid/medical stuff, magazines of various flavors, Blackhawk gear, LED lights and some other stuff. Throw out any ideas you have, maybe we can put something together and everyone can get a decent deal.
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Some of these photos have been posted here before but there are a few more. The camouflaging on some of these is brilliantly done. The Swiss have their crap together….

Or, they did until the last paragraph of this article. Ooops.

Speaking of bunkers…lets throw in some links:
http://www.leofabrizio.com/bunker/bunker_main.html – In French but easy enough to figure out
If anyone wants to buy me this book, feel free…….
A few bunker appreciation societies..brush up on your Berlitz for these….
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Had the opportunity last week to fire a few other FAL’s. I bought a pile of DSA’s $5 used metric mags and sometimes I had problems with them. The question is: was it the gun or the mag? You can see the confidence-sapping possibilities, yes? Well, I tried one of the mags that was giving me problems in my FAL in someone elses FAL. Exact same problem. So…the problem is indeed that particular magazine. Accordingly, I need to head-to-head my mags in more than one FAL to vet them. And I need to spend the extra $ and get the better condition $12 used mags. Grrrr.
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I got a call from someone I know who was attending a gun show in Mass. They came across a new in box Becker TacTool and wanted to know if I wanted them to pick it up for me. :::facepalm::: Oh where does the money go……
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In case you haven’t noticed, the price of ammo and components has, in the last several months, skyrocketed. I’m sorta in the business and stuff that is on ‘special’ or ‘sale’ right now is more expensive than the same item’s non-price sale in January. The ‘why’ isn’t terribly important. What is important is that your ammo:dollar ratio is now shifting to less ammo for your buck. So, if youre lacking in some particular caliber or component, I’d say get ‘em while you can because its only gonna cost more later. I’ve still got cases of $85/1000 Wolf 7.62×39 sitting in the bunker that I’m patting myself on the back over.
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Dunno if anyone noticed but theres a permanent link for ordering the MH ProPack if anyone wants more. Theyre on-hand for immediate shipping.

Permanent(?) MH link

www.zeroincorporated.com/mh

Thats the link to the permanent-for-now ordering page for the Montain House freeze-drieds. For now, its the ProPack pouches in ten different flavors (their entire line). Unlike last time, there is an option for ordering single (or, really, up to five) pouches but you get a better value ordering by the full case.

No time limit on this particular deal. Order whenever you want. All of it is on hand for immediate shipping.
#10 cans will be on there but not for a few months until the next group buy.

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EDIT: Oh..and I received another 100 mags for my HKlone today. So a big, heartfelt ‘fuck off and die’ to the fine folks working to make HR1022 a reality.