Year end website stats and other admin stuff that you might find amusing

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

I only started keeping stats in July, so this info is really for only half the year…from July to now.

The ten most popular posts, in terms of pageviews:

  1. Guns As Investments – This post is usually in the top rankings every month. I have no idea why. I think it got backlinked at way too many sites. I don’t agree 100% with it any more, and I have some slightly altered views on the subject, but this post got the most attention this year.
  2. Gear – Estwing Tomahawk – Another post that I ididnt think was anything special but it must have hit a nerve somewhere. It gets a lot of hits.
  3. Link – DIY Face Armour – This one is very recent, yet is third for the year. It got linked from prepperwebsite.com and that made a huge difference.
  4. A Month Of Living On A Zero Based Budget – One of my best posts this year, I think. If I had to point to a post that I thought was thought-provoking and accessible enough for just about anyone to experience on their own, this is it.
  5. Gerber Downrange Tomahawk – The internet loves the ‘hawk.
  6. Jerry Cans From Lexington Container – Another recent post that got plenty of traction. I shoulda got a commission from those guys…or at least a couple free cans.
  7. Spot the OPSEC fail – This is one of those short posts I just whip out without any real thought and somehow it winds up getting a lot of hits. Go figure. I guess pictures of money are always good for webstats.
  8. HK Flare Guns and Ammo – This is another post that is in the top ten every month, month after month. Probably because the title is almost the exact phrase youd type into a search engine…all the referrals are from search engines, so thats probably it.
  9. Link – Lvl. Iv plate for $155 – Another short post that struck a nerve.
  10. Craigslist Find – Everyone loves a Hardigg case. Everyone loves a deal. Everyone loves pic-heavy posts.

Hits from the US = 93.49% of traffic, Canada = 1.51% of traffic, the remaining 5% are from everywhere else.

Upper Mexico Texas accounts for 9.34% of all traffic and makes them top of the list, followed by California, Florida, Washington and Virginia..

The most referrals or links to this site come from:

  1. Prepperwebsite.com
  2. Survivalblog.com
  3. Offgridsurvival.com
  4. tslrfblogspot.com
  5. suburbansurvivalist.wordpress.com

Donations received through the PayPal button at the top right of the page for 2012? Fifty bucks.

95,057 people visited this site
Visits: 240,883
Unique Visitors: 95,057
Pageviews:360,283
Pages / Visit: 1.55
Avg. Visit Duration: 00:01:47
Bounce Rate: 72.27%
% New Visits: 39.22%
It’ll be interesting to check these stats next year and see how they’ve changed.

2012 into 2013

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

My ability to forecast the future is pretty much nil…Oh, I can tell you that the odds are pretty good the sun is gonna rise, taxes are going up, Lindsay Lohan is going to court, and thats pretty much about it for absolute certainty.

Still, it seems like every year about this time I try to forecast whats coming down the pike. Here’s last year’s version. 2012 was very much like 2011 in that we didnt have any major disasters (by we, I mean me and the missus….those folks in hurricane country were screwed), the bills got paid, and more goodies got socked away.

I lamented that I really needed to get myself a 9mm carbine and has fate would have it, a wrong number led to my getting one a few months later.

I didn’t forecast the current ‘ban hysteria’ but then again these types of events are tough to rpedict. Althoguh Im sure that at some point I’ve mentioned that we are but one mass shooting away from another ban of some kind. There were some times, however, I was right on the freakin’ money

Forecast for 2013? I’m not making ANY predictions about the upcoming gun ban/buyback/confiscation/revolution. I will predict that from an economic standpoint, 2013 will be worse that 2012 as Obamacare does amazing things to the underemployment and unemployment figures. I suspect gold/silver will be a good bit higher at the end of 2013 as folks see the economy continue to stagger and weave.

Stay tuned for tomorrows post – blog stats for 2012.

Link – DIY face armour

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

Unfortunately, body armour is not cheap. Then again, no matter how expensive it is, it is almost certainly a bargain compared to the medical costs of not wearing it when you wind up needing it. I have no idea what a sucking chest wound costs, dollarwise, these days but I bet it’s more than $800.

Some folks, from time to time, try to figure out ways to DIY it and save a few bucks. While I admire this sort of thrift and ingenuity, I’m not sure that wearable armour is something you want to MacGyver any more than youd be willing to trust your life to a homemade parachute. Armouring non-wearable items is a different story..you wanna bulletproof your front door, thats a lot easier.

Here’s a fella that decided to retrofit a hockey mask with some eBay kevlar and scrap metal. And…he tests it out at the range.

 

TL;DR = 9mm FMJ penetrated, but lesser stuff didnt. Also, big-n-slow .45 ACP also failed. Of course, anyone who wore something like this and had it stop a bullet would still be looking at having their jaw wired together, an amazing odyssey of dental surgery, and perhaps the installation of a bionic nose.

Still, I think there’s room for this sort of experimentation. I mean, I’ve seen worse ideas floating around…like the guy that figured if the military uses aluminum armour in vehicles, maybe if he stuffed his door panels with crushed beer cans theyd stop bullets. :::facepalm:::

As I recall, Mythbusters coated a car in phonebooks to make impromptu bulletproofing and it actually worked until they brought out the heavy hitters. Of course, handling and suspension took a bit of a beating. Butm if you can buy rolls of kevlar cheap enough off the internet to laminate yourself some bolt-on panels…hey, maybe it’ll work.

I’m just really, really glad I managed to get my lvl IV plates before the collateral damage from any new gun laws flows into the realm of body armour.

Mayan Friday, Festivus gifting

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

If you didn’t get the memo, Friday is the end of the world. At least, this is according to the fractured records of a dead civilization that was so technically advanced that they could predict the distant future but couldn’t keep their civilization going. (Although Im sure some will say that they were so advanced, the reason we see no record of them is because they dimensionally-shifted or otherwise beamed away to a better plane of existence.)

Folks, I’ve said it before – unless you have your hand on The Big Red Button ™, no one knows when it’s gonna happen. Unless you’re the guy causing it to happen, no one knows.

But..here’s where the problem comes in. Less balanced individuals will jump to the fore because of their superstitious/religious beliefs and figure that since the world is ending Friday why not go out with some style? Next thing you know there’s cars whipping through shopping malls a’la Blues Brothers, folks settling old scores, and just the garden variety whackjobs who figure now is great time to see how much gasoline you can fit into a day care center. So, while it may not be the end of the world in the classic sense, there might be a certain level of self-fulfilling prophecy going on. Moral of the story: stay away from large crowds and places where nutjobs are known to hang out. So..no WalMart this week.

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Some Festivus gifting has occurred. I received a book on aquaponics off of my Amazon Wish List with a note urging me to review it so the sender can know if the book is worth adding to their library, and a thoughtful reader in a very cold climate sent me a nice picture of their Christmas and a few bucks to boot.  Thanks, guys..I hope you have an enjoyable holiday as well.

If you’re of the mind to spread a little holiday cheer, or just want to feed my unquenchable thirst for gear, my contact info is on the ‘About‘ page along with a link to the WIsh List. Additionally, there’s a little clickable button at the top right of the screen for those little things Amazon doesn’t sell…like 00 Buck and Pmags.

Article – Greek Hospitals Suffer In Ailing Economy

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

http://www.commanderzero.com/The economic crisis in Greece is strangling the country’s hospitals, where budgets have been slashed by more than half. As a result, nearly all doctors in both public and private hospitals have seen their pay cut, delayed or even frozen.

“On top of that, we lack basic supplies to do our jobs,” says Vangelis Papamichalis, a neurologist at the Regional Hospital of Serres in northern Greece and a member of the doctors union here. “We run out of surgical gloves, syringes, vials for blood samples and needles to sew stitches, among other things.”

Last week, the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said these shortages will contribute to hospital-acquired infection rates in Greece, which are already among the worst in Europe.

Savvy world-travellers will often, when visiting Third World countries, bring along their own syringes and similar materials in case they need medical attention. http://www.commanderzero.com/The idea being that in most Third World countries customary medical practices we are used to, such as sterilization and not re-using needles, may be absent. So…you bring your own.

This is another reason why it might be smart to stock up on more advanced medical items for your future needs. While you may not have any idea how to use a hemostat, suture, scissors and blade, there will be someone around who does…and who will need clean, sterile, professional instruments. In a First World country like ours, we take it for granted that we can walk into virtually any hospital and find clean, sterile materials. Globally, this is the exception, not the norm. All it takes is a hospital’s vendors refusing to take credit, and a hospital not getting the cash it needs from patients, to exhaust the hospitals supply closets.

Greece was, arguably, somewhere in the range of being a First World country…certainly not a country you think of where hospitals run short of medical equipment. But, that equipment and supplies has to get paid for somehow. And without money, either from funding or patient billing, no one is just going to fork over expensive gear without expecting payment.

Next year we are supposed to have millions more people suddenly ‘have access’ to medical care. Suddenly and drastically increase the demand on a system without a corresponding increase in that systems capacity and you get….an overloaded and failing system. If you thought it sucked to stand around in a hospital waiting for something you’re really gonna hate whats coming.

I’m not saying you need to build a surgical theater in your basement, but I have, in the past, gotten medical treatment in non-medical environments. You know how it is..you need some stitches, a vaccination, something examined, and you happen to have a neighbor or acquaintance who is a doctor or nurse. Sit down on their couch, they swab your arm, jab a few needles, and youre on your way. Those folks, Crom love ‘em, are gonna be worth their weight in gold over the next few years. It’ll be nice to have the gear available to let them do what needs doing.

 

Snow, Joke, ILBE pack

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

Well, we finally got some real snow last night. The roads are akin to a skating rink in many spots and there were some very localized power outages from the heavy, wet snow dragging down power lines. I suspect that virtually all of it will melt off over the weekend. Still, it’s noce to know that we don’t have to get in the truck and take our chances on the icy roads for…well…anything. Plenty of food and drink, we have backup heating and lighting, and as long as the internet holds out we have all the entertainment we’d need. Why skid around the streets taking chances if you don’t have to, y’know?

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Now that it’s after Pearl harbor, I can throw this out there:

Q: What do you get when you cross a black guy with a Japanese guy?

A: A guy who, every December 7, invades Pearl Bailey.

Yes, it’s a very old joke.

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If youre a major gear whore like myself, and a collector of Too Many Backpacks, you might like this awesome deal from the straight-shooters at Old Grouch: a lovely USMC MARPAT ILBE Rucksack By Arc’Teryx for a c-note. Man, I remember when my CFP-90 was the height of surplus pack technology.

If you dont have ‘em on your Facebook, they get some awesome specials and other goodies that sell out fast. You’ll wanna ‘Like’ these guys and get the latest before it sells out.

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The wife and I watched the last two episodes of The Walking Dead last night. I don’t wanna even begin to go into the dreams I had. This is not made any easier by this little tidbit: Can Humans Be Controlled By Tiny Parasites? And by ‘controlled by tiny parasites’ they don’t mean itty-bitty liberals.

Festivus gift ideas – the

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

So theres about three weeks left to get a gift for that LMI buddy of yours. If you’re the generous type, and the recipient is someone like (or tolerate) very much, maybe they’re worth fifty bucks. If you think they are, you can be an awesome Santa to them..you could stuff their stocking with five $10 gifts, a couple $20 or one $50 gift. Not all the items I’m listing are $50…most are between $50 and $20. Cool stuff abounds. Feel free to send me some.Amazon Wish List

Duracell Powerhouse USB Charger – I’ve mentioned these before. This is the beefier, more powerful version of the smaller units. Good for at least a charge or two more than the others, and with a micro USB port for those devices that use such interface. I’ll be getting one of these in the future to supplement the smaller ones. Like the smaller ones, excellent for use with the hand-crank chargers to even out voltage irregularities from inconsistent RPM’s.

Books! – No library is complete without ‘em! While you’re at it, virtually any book from the suggested reading lists is less than $50 so theyre excellent gift ideas as well:

Vltor Scout Mount E-series Surefire – Know what I love about this? It takes a SureFire light that most of us already have and allows it to be weapon mounted for a lot less than the price of buying a dedicated weapon light. Basically, it turns your SureFire handheld into a Surefire Scout light.

CELOX Gauze Roll, 5-Foot by 3-Inch – More leakstopper for when things didn’t go the way you planned. Sad but true, when you need this stuff you will be amazingly glad you have it..

Blackhawk Universal Spec Ops Pistol – It’s hard finding a decent tanker/chest style holster for a realtively fair price. For mountain biking and other occasions where a hip-mounted gun is too inconvenient, these sorts of holsters are way handy. Blackhawk also makes a similar arrangement that is simply the panel with MOLLE so you can add whatever compatible holster you like.

Smith’s TRI-6 Arkansas TRI-HONE Sharpening Stones System – I hate sharpening knives, but I hate trying to cut with dull knives even more. Three different grades of stone mean you can go from dull to ‘ow!’ in one sitting. Knife sharpening isn’t difficult or tricky, in my experience, it’s just tedious. But…if you’re going to be a well-rounded survivalist you gotta know how to sharpen the pointy stuff.

PRI Fuel Stabilizer- For Gasoline 32oz – I love this stuff and you will too. I routinely use 1-2 year old gas in the truck that has been treated with this stuff and haven’t had a problem. When you’re storing fuel for that Rainy Day, this is the good stuff to use.

Mag-Lite ST3D016 3-D Cell LED Flashlight, Black – I am phasing out all of my older MagLites to this style. LED bulb for long life, shockproof, and greatly increased battery life. Purpose-designed reflector for results you cant get with just an LED ‘conversion’. For a full-size flashlight that may need to double as am impact weapon, take tremendous abuse, and have excellent logistics support in terms of accessories this is the way to go. Especially if you gussy it up with this ( X Cape Cap Maglite C or D Bezel Upgrade) and this ( Maglite D Cell Flashlight glass breaking Tail Cap X Cape Cap ).

There you have it. Plenty of gift ideas for the LMI in your life. Feel free to pick up an extra or two for yours truly. If you do wind up using any of these gift ideas I would be interested in knowing how they went over with the intended recipient.

Festivus gift ideas – the

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

Well, the day after Thanksgiving usually marks the beginning of the Chrismahanakwanzakah season. For me, it means that Festivus is right around the corner.

So, what’s the thoughtful shopper to get for the LMI in their lives as gifties for this coming gift-giving season? Well, obviously ammo and freeze-drieds are always nice gifts but sometimes you gotta watch your pennies. So, I’ve undertaken it upon myself to present some ideas for those who want to let the bunker-dweller on their list know that they were being thought of, but still don’t want to spend a lot of money. Because, let’s face it, some folks are $10 friends, some are $20 friends, and some are $50 friends. That’s just how it is.

So, with a little under four weeks to go, here’s the first part of a suggested gift list. We’ll start off with nothing more than ten bucks.

Swisskey – Kinda useful, but always cool for the ‘neat!’ factor. I use it mostly for opening mail at the post office although it has served well in it’s capacity as a screwdriver for small detail work.

Gerber Artifact – I find this one a bit more useful than the previous item. The replaceable xacto blade is handy and the ability to be used as a handy little prybar is very appealing. A little bulkier, but the apocalypse won’t be won with carbon-fiber and ultra-light materials.

Silva Carabiner 28 – No reason not to have a last-ditch compass hanging off your zipper pull or your hunting bag. Not for precision mapwork, but when you need to know which way is N-NW so you can “Get to da choppah!” you don’t need much more than this. Plus, Silva is usually good stuff.

Improved Military UTM/MGRS Reader & Protractor – Speaking of knowing where youre going, these thigns are awesome when used properly in conjunction with a map. They let you get down to some very, very fine coordinates and make maps much more useful. They make a circular version of this template as well, but I like the straight edges for measuring distances and drawing lines. Use this with your UTM-marked map and you’ll wonder how you ever navigated without.

Tuff Quickstrip Black 6 Round – Pack of 2 (.44/.45/.460 Caliber) – I’m a .357 kinda guy, but I know lotsa folks still packing wheelguns like the .41, .44 and .45 calibers. Bianchi still makes their SpeedStrips in .38 so I’m cool on those, but they never made them for other calibers. This company makes them for the bigger calibers that Bianchi ignored. Flatter than a speedloader and ‘universal’ to pretty much any swingout-cylinder revolver these things are a great way to carry spare ammo for faster (but not fastest) reloading. Drawback: Made in China. Can’t have everything, it seems.

Mainstay Emergency Food Rations – 3600 Calorie Bars (Single) – Nice for adding bulk to a Christmas stocking. I see these as a very limited use item, since freeze drieds are lighter and taste a lot better. But, for leaving in a vehicle these are almost the perfect food…impervious to temperature shifts, non thirst-provoking, long shelf life, high calorie content. Just the thing for when you let James Kim plan your roadtrip. Beat’s spending weeks stuck in your car eating M&M’s and lint.

Israeli Battle Dressing and Blood Stopper Compress – Some day there might come the time when the rest of your life is measured in that thick red stuff pouring out a new orifice that you didn’t have five minutes ago. You can’t scoop the goop back into your body but you can keep what you’ve got left from leaving with one of these. The Israeli version gets high praise in the survivalist forums…I’ll take their word for it because this is not the sort of product I can ‘real world’ test without causing more damage to myself than I’m willing to inflict. (Although someday there might be someone willing to inflict it for me, which is why we have these.) As a side note, anyone ever actually see any footage anywhere of the IDF using these things?

I should also point out that these items make excellent gifts for yours truly. (Shameless plug.)

Sandy musings

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

What’s done is done, so, for me, no more reason to be hungover about the election. Accept the situation for what it is, and plan accordingly to mitigate it’s effects.

The NY region continues to try to get past hurricane Sandy. You have to understand that the parts of NY that youre reading about are actually a very small part of NY. Some parts of NYC never lost power or suffered much damage at all….it’s a rather large area, after all. It’s like thinking because of an earthquake in San Francisco all of California must be smoldering rubble. (Albeit, that’s a pleasant thought.)

The lessons and ‘teachable moments’ coming out of there don’t really seem to be things that we haven’t heard before, although once in a while a new twist comes in that I hadn’t thought of (like the rental car thing). It sounds like people were in three groups: those with no generators, those with generators, and those with generators and the logistics to support those generators. Looks like too many people bought generators and patted themselves on the back for a job well done and then gave no thought to where the fuel was coming from once the tank got empty.  If there’s any lesson there it’s that you need to have all the logistics support (gas, oil, filters, fuses, cables, cords, documentation, experience, chain-and-padlock, etc.) or your generator is just a disposable eight hour UPS.

Speaking of generators, it’s always a good idea to run them once a month or so to make sure everything is doing what it’s supposed to. My brother very cleverly cut a length of PVC pipe, capped one end, put a screw cap on the other, hose-clamped it to the frame of his generator and it holds all the documentation, instructions and small parts for his genny. That way it’s always there and protected from pretty much everything.

The tales of looting and that sort of thing are no surprise and the solutions are rather simple for those who aren’t prohibited by local government from having the necessary gear.

One thing that’s interesting is that many people were completely unprepared to cook or heat their houses. Many homes still had natural gas pressure but did not have electricity to run blowers and ovens (assuming their stoves were gas, which many are not.) And while gas pressure may have been unaffected in some places, water was unavailable in many. I had a buddy whose gas hot water heater was doing great except with no water flow it was fairly useless…no hot showers.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that next time an event like this (or any other disaster) takes place that things will go the same way and there’ll be natural gas available. Personally, I’d love to have a natural gas generator for my house but I can’t rely on a fuel supply that can be interrupted. Propane would be my next choice but as someone pointed out to me, when comparing the merits of a liquid fuel generator versus a propane generator, when youre out of fuel you cant just go a few doors down to your neighbor with a five gallon bucket and borrow a bucket full of propane. On the other hand, a 500 gallon tank of propane would probably last a looooong time on a generator thats only run for a few hours a day.

A multi-fuel generator sounds nice but it also sounds like a lot more to go wrong. And my experience has been ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions never wind up solving anything 100% of the way. What’ll probably happen is that we’ll wind up getting one of the Honda EU-series of portable generators at some point in the coming year. A buddy of mine got a nice feal on one offa Craigslist so perhaps I’ll troll around there for a while.

If you live in the east coast region, expect to see the local Craigslist flodded (get it? ‘flooded’?) with used generators as short-sighted people think “Wow, glad thats over!” and sell of their new gennys.