First Look: Ruger 22/45 Threaded Barrel

First Impressions

I'm planning to go through the process this year of buying a suppressor.  I had pretty much planned on getting a Walther P22, based on a friend's positive experience with one, and shooting his with his can a few times.  When we were at the range shooting the Thompson over Christmas, I showed the Walther to my wife, and we also looked at the Ruger 22/45.  The Ruger felt better to both of us.

I'm a long time aficionado of the 1911, having owned at least five or six of them over the years, and I had a MKII 22/45 back when they first came out and were a one piece frame.  The new ones have removable grips that are slightly different than a standard 1911, but look like any of your custom grips could modified to fit if you were so inclined.  It is available with no sights, and a rail on top and bottom.  I got the version (Model 10150) with fixed sights, and is drilled and tapped for a rail on top.

Having decided on the one I wanted, I had my friend, Tim at Battleware Technology, order it for me.  It arrived right before he left for SHOT Show, but I could not get by there to do the paperwork.  I went last Monday afternoon and filled out my 4473 and the state InstaCheck form.  Nothing Monday.  Nothing Tuesday.  Nothing as of Wednesday mid-day.  My delays have been taking longer and longer over the years  I emailed the state police (Virginia does not use the FBI Brady check, they do it internally) to inquire.  I quickly received a reply saying that I had been approved, and that my delay was because of a false positive from some database, and "if they just had more funding from the legislature, they could hire more people to follow up on such events and get people cleared quicker."  Nice sob story from the civil servant, but enough about that, back to the gun itself.

I was finally able to get by there yesterday evening and picked it up.  It was Cub Scouts night, so by the time I got home, it was too late to mess around with it.

This evening, there was still a touch of light out when I got home, so with a quick safety check of the pistol, I loaded up CCI Stingers into the two 10-round magazines that it came with, and went out back to function test it.  I put five slow fire rounds through, then finished off that mag with fairly quick fire.  My second mag went with all 10 rounds as fast as I could pull the trigger.  Not a problem with any of it.  It functioned flawlessly.  I have no idea about the accuracy, as by then it was dark, and I just shot at a large tree a few feet away.

So, here are the Pros:
  • it truly does have the grip feel of a 1911
  • even with the alloy frame, it has a very nice heft and balance - the bull barrel really feels right
  • the fit and finish are very nice, with just a couple marks from the molding of the Zytel-Polymer frame
  • the rear sight appears very sturdy, and is drift adjustable
  • the front sight is screwed on and also seems sturdy - both look like they'll be high enough to use with a suppressor
  • came with two magazines
  • a tremendous reputation for reliability in a proven platform
Things I don't particularly care for, but are just a part of the gun"
  • the loaded chamber indicator - a silly feature designed by lawyers
  • magazine disconnect safety - another silly feature designed by lawyers, and a big difference from the 1911
  • the magazine does not drop free when released - not a huge deal since it is not a combat weapon, but can be annoying
The Con ---- the only disappointment with this gun was that one of the magazines has some rust on it... not a lot, but a little surface "rust dust" and a spec of hard rust about the size of the tip of a ball point pin. It's as if the guy who test fired it (just this past November) had sweaty hands when he put the mag back in the box.  It's not a big deal, and the mag functioned fine, just disappointing that they would let it slip through quality control .  I'm going to let Ruger know about it so they can watch for it in the future.

Soon I'll be doing a comparison test matching my Ruger up to my friend's Walther, both with a suppressor.  I'll do a video review for the If It Hits The Fan YouTube channel, and I'm writing an article on the test for a survival magazine.

 (not mine - from APD Firearms)


Project EMP BOV

My New Ride

One of the principles of modern survivalism is that everything we do to prepare for disaster should make our lives better, even if disaster never comes.  I made a good step in that direction today.

First, a little background...  I grew up in an antique car family.  When I was very young, we had a 1913 Model T and a '36 Packard.  In my teens, my folks had a '55 Chevy Bel Air, a '55 Chevy pick up, a 50-something Goggomobile (makes a Smart car look like a limo) and a '63 Mercury Comet convertible that I got to drive some.  When visiting my grandparents in Idaho, I drove around in their '49 GMC pickup.  My senior year in HS, I drove a '75 Jeep CJ5... it was only 10 years old, not an antique.  In college, I bought a Jeep CJ7 and drove it for several years before I lost it in a wreck.  I went through several more cars of various ages, but no antiques.  In '02 I bought a Jeep Wrangler... again lost to a wreck... that and the CJ7 were both black... won't try that again...  My folks had drifted away from antique cars through most of the '90s, but then got a '75 Eldorado convertible - he recently swapped that for a '69 Corvette.  Through all of this time, by older brother has made his living restoring antique cars for people.  He even had one that he did that ended up in the national museum in Hershey, PA.  On my wife's side, all of her family is in to hot rods.  They build them, drive them and show them.  My FIL even built the frame for the rod that is the National Street Rod Association's annual raffle car this year.  But I never got around to getting one.  It was always something in the back of my mind, but other things took priority.

Of course, there is also the threat of Electro Magnetic Pulse shutting down electronics from a terrorist air burst of an atomic weapon, or from a gigantic solar storm.  There are many who think that modern, computer operated cars will cease to run.  The characters in "Patriots," by Jim Rawles, all buy early model Ford Broncos or Mustangs for just such a reason.  Of course, older cars are a lot easier to work on and maintain.

Well, today I achieved both... I've got an antique car that well let us go to the local "cruise ins" with the family, and a rig that is a great first step toward an EMP BOV.

Here I am in my "new" rig.  It's a 1972 Jeep Commando.  On the BOV side, it's got four wheel drive, decent cargo space, and not a lick of electronics in the thing.  Not even a cigarette lighter or a radio.  It's got a 232ci inline 6-cylinder and a 3-speed transmission.

As an antique car, it qualifies.  Plus, I'm back into a Jeep.  I've got 1972 Virginia license plates for it, so it gets a one time registration fee from DMV, and no annual costs there, plus low cost insurance.  It's only got 36,000 miles on it and spent most of it's life on a farm without a top.  The last owner bought it a couple years ago and put some time, money and effort into cleaning it up and getting it running great.  It didn't have a top (it looks like it was a hard top originally) so I ordered a new Best Top for it and installed it today.  Next weekend, I'll put on new shocks and a steering stabilizer.  It will be an ongoing restoration project.  I never expect to do a frame-off, contest winning restoration, but it will be a good hobby, fixing it up a little bit at a time and keeping it in top notch running shape.

Over time, I'll add some emergency gear to it and make it a true BOV.  Until then, I'll sleep a little better knowing that if we do get struck by an EMP or solar storm, I'll still be able to travel and get around for a while.

Have you thought of an alternative form of transportation?


Civilian Use of Cop Gear

Why Should They Have All The Fun?

One of the topics that often comes up prepper conversation is self-defense.  What pistol is best?  What carbine can I use for home defense?  Will this knife be good for stabbing or slashing?  How can I best carry my gear?

When I was a cop, I carried on my belt: two pistol magazines, my pistol, two handcuff cases, a pouch with a CPR mask and gloves, an ASP baton, a flashlight, OC spray, and keys.  I also had a couple flex cuffs slid inside my belt.  Some carry all that plus a Taser.  Now I'm not suggesting you strap on Sam Browne belt and tote 15-20 pounds of gear everywhere, but let's look at some of the items that could be of an aid in a self-defense situation.


Back when I started as a cop, I carried a hickory wood 24 inch straight baton.  About all it was good for was hitting a person, and some very limited blocking and jabbing.  It banged on my knee and generally got in the way.  A lot of the time, it got left in the car.  I can't really recommend one to you.

Later, we transitioned to the PR-24.  That is the side handled baton made infamous in the Rodney King beating.  I became an instructor in the PR-24 and really loved it.  It was big and bulky, but amazingly versatile and effective... if you practiced on a regular basis and were skilled.  It was great for hitting, jabbing, blocking, come-a-long holds, takedowns and cuffing techniques.  If you're into martial arts and training with weapons, it might be worth having one in your BOB, but for most folks, I'd advise against it.

For the last part of my career, I carried a 21 inch ASP collapsible baton.  I became an instructor in the ASP and taught not only my department, but with my partner, we were the instructors for two different regional academies and a neighboring agency's in-service for several years.  I really liked the ASP.  On the belt, it was compact, about 8 inches long, and about the diameter of a roll of quarters.  Open, it is good for hitting, and limited blocking.  Closed, it can be used for jabbing, or to enhance a punch.  The training for it is pretty basic, and can be picked up from videos and books.  If you have a police officer friend, he could probably show you the basics.  Security training schools usually offer the training if you want to get the full deal.  They may or may not be willing to train someone who is not a licensed guard, but that might depend on local laws.  For practice on your own, rather than just swinging at air, I'd suggest finding a used boxing heavy bag and hanging it from a tree.  Another idea, but not quite as good, is get a strip of carpet scraps a few feet wide and about 10-15 feet long.  Roll it up, wrap it in tape, and suspend it from a rope as a target.  If you want to go harder, get a training strike pad and a willing partner.  In training, I used to put on a padded Red Man suit and go in the pit with students wielding training batons.  With some basic training and practice, an ASP can be an effective tool in the BOB or car.  A tool to defend against an attacking dog, a way to break glass to get in a wrecked car, a weapon to fend off an unarmed attacker... all of these could be legitimate uses for an ASP.

OC Spray

I was also an OC spray instructor.  It is not a sure thing fight stopper, but it is pretty darned effective on MOST people.  When I was in instructor school, one guy took a shot of fog, a shot of stream, and a shot of foam before he finally went down.  Most people only take one shot and lose their will to fight.  As a civilian, with pepper spray, you don't try to contain the bad guy.  Spray, and use it to flee the area.  Here's some things to be cautious of.  Watch the wind, you don't want to spray into the wind if you can help it.  If you get some overspray on you, don't panic.  It won't kill you.  You've got to fight through the pain to either defend yourself or get away.  After you use it, when you are in a safe location, wash your hands before rubbing your eyes or using the bathroom.

There are tons of different brands and types of spray.  I suggest one with a stream or a foam.  Avoid the small key chain ones.  The $4.99 types at the checkout counter are pretty much worthless, and the decent brand name ones are too small.  When you first get a can, test it with a short spray, to make sure it works.  Rotate to a fresh can every 6 months or so, then use the old one to practice.  Draw a face on a paper plate and stick it on the fence in the back yard.  Aim right above the eyes in a quick pass over both.

As for what brand to get, get a brand name.  I've heard OK things about Sabre and Fox Labs.  Kimber makes a little derringer-sized unit that is highly regarded as it is very easy to aim and an effective recipe.  Another good quality one is Cold Steel Inferno.


I can't think of any reason to carry handcuffs in your BOB or on a daily basis.  But they could have a use in home defense.  Maybe keep a pair with your flashlight and bedside gun.  If you take on an intruder, I'd never say move in to cuff him your self, but if he is surrendered, or laying in the kitchen floor bleeding, you could toss the cuffs to him and tell him to cuff himself.  With cuffs, get a name brand... either Smith & Wesson, Peerless, or ASP.  Stay away from the store brands or no name ones.  You need to have a key, just in case, but in the above scenario, only the police will be uncuffing the guy, and with the name brand ones, the keys are universal.


Please be sure you are in compliance with your local laws before buying or using any of these items.  Also, get some training, and practice.


Product Review - Taurus PT-25

Guest Post by Otis Wooten

At The Range

Review of the Taurus PT-25

It all started a couple of Months before Christmas. I was looking for a new Concealed Carry gun my 9mm was just a little bulky for my liking so the search was on for a new pistol. Over the next several weeks I went to several gun shops looking for the right pistol for my liking there were a couple of features that I wanted the gun to have. I looked at several guns then I saw the Taurus PT-25. It had a nickel finish with Rosewood color grips and it was very comfortable in my hand. It was a small frame pistol with a 2.75 inch barrel and it weighed about 12 ounces it came with a 9 round magazine also. So I decided to get it the only problem was my wife told me I had to wrap it and put it under the tree for my Christmas present. So I unwrapped it on Christmas day and couldn’t wait to get to the range except that would be another 3 weeks before I could make it there.

Finally the day had come that I could go to the range. January 15th the temp outside was in the upper 50’s and I had gotten everything ready to head out got out to the range. When I got to the range there were a lot of people waiting on a spot so I decided that I would wait to because I couldn’t wait to shoot my new pistol. So I waited for a hour and a half for a spot to come open. Once I got my spot I started out shooting my Taurus 24/7 9mm, because I only had one box of 50 for my .25. Because the range I was at didn’t have anything closer than 25 yards I had to start out shooting at 25 yards and fired the first shot I struck the target low and to the left of the center. I took aim again and hit the target low again. I fired 9 times and all 9 of them hit the target some were low and to the left and some were just low. One of the things I like about this gun is there is very little recoil and a very smooth shooting gun. My overall opinion of the gun is that from about 15 yards it would be very accurate and a good conceal carry gun with the right holster. I give is 3.2 stars out of 4.

Thanks to Otis for giving us this review!  I'm not at the point where I can do contests and giveaways yet, but I really appreciate any posts that readers want to share about their prepping experiences, product reviews or anything else related to what we discuss on here.  Send me an email if you want to contribute something.


Prepper Ponderings


I'm trying to talk my wife into going to SHOT next year.  If you are not familiar with it, SHOT is the Shooting Hunting and Outdoors Trade show in Las Vegas each year.  It's open only to those in the industry, but I can get in as media.  It's over 600,000 square feet of show and all the manufacturers introduce the new models.  I've got her almost convinced with the Monday media day at the range, but when she saw that Colby Donaldson from Survivor and Top Shot was there... I think that got her in for sure ;-)

Spyderco Helping the Whales

I got the Spyderco OpFocus 2012 Product Guide in the mail at work today.  I've carried a Spyderco Delica and an Endura for years, and have always been impressed by their products.  Looking in the catalog, I found an interesting item near the back.  About 5 or 6 years ago, they were approached by wildlife officer in Australia who asked them to design a blade to use on a 10 foot pole to cut nets away from caught whales while not putting the raft at risk.  They came up with a super long hawksbill style serrated blade with a blunt tip that attaches to a pole.  In the first tests, it sliced through 40 and 50mm ropes with no trouble.  Two days later, it was used to rescue a 10-meter humpback that was entangled.  They now have 48 of these blades in use around the world saving marine wildlife.  It is also used by the military units that work with NASA to sever parachute cords on spacecraft.  We can't buy a Spyderco Whale Blade; they provide them to actual conservation groups.  Pretty cool way they are helping wildlife.

Thoughts on Death

When we are 0-15, we lose great-grand parents
15-25, we lose friends
25-40, we lose grand parents
40-60, we lose parents
60+, we lose friends

It never gets easier, and every case is different.  However long you have friends and loved ones in your life, treasure them.

Book Review: Folks, This Ain't Normal - Joel Salatin

Recently, when Joel Salatin was a guest on The Survival Podcast, he suggested this book as the "one" to read of all of his.  I would have to concur.  If you are interested in learning about factory food, the perverted relationship between big-Ag and the government, overbearing regulations, and what we can do to combat it, then Folks, This Ain't Normal is the book for you.

This book has been really inspirational to me in my realization of just how awful so much of what I eat is.  We recently bought our first grass fed, locally grown beef.  It was unbelievably tasty and tender.  Did you know that all cows have e. coli bacteria in their stomachs?  The ones that are fed grain (along with chicken manure and ground up dead chickens - that's another story altogether, but keep in mind that cows are herbivores) have an acid in their stomachs that causes the e. coli to adapt to that environment.  When we eat them, the e. coli are perfectly at home in our stomach acids and they thrive.  When cows are pastured (which is the natural way that cows are intended to be fed) their stomachs are less acidic and keep the e. coli in a benign state.

As Joel says throughout the book, "Folks, this ain't normal."  His writing style and narratives are very easy to read, and he truly gets some very wise advice through to the reader.  If you are concerned about what goes in to your body, and what goes on in our communities, then you should read this book.  Mine is going on to our neighbors for them to take a look at.  They dropped off a dozen eggs today from their chickens that roam the woods freely during the day.  Folks, having backyard chickens and sharing with your neighbors, IS normal.



County Preparedness Training

Good Basic Information and Gear

As I mentioned last week, yesterday I went to the local middle school for a "Survivor Day" citizen preparedness class.  I was amazed by the turnout.  I estimate that at least 350 were there.  From what the fire chief said at the beginning, this was the largest of the seven sessions put on around the area Saturday.  When they asked how many were from our county, only about a third of the hands went up. 

Topics covered included: water and food storage and preparation from the health department; home security from the sheriff's office; basic first aid from the fire department; basic fire and generator safety from the fire department; and basic "get a kit - make a plan - stay informed" from a neighboring county's emergency manager.  People asked good questions and really were hungry for information.  It was good, basic information, perfect for an introduction to prepping for the masses.  One helpful tip I learned dealt with how to determine if your freezer was without power for two long.  My idea has always been to freeze a half-filled water bottle and turn it upside down... if the ice ends up on the bottom, you know it melted and your meat might be bad.  The simpler idea heard at the class was to fill a bottle and freeze it, then put a penny on top of the ice.  If it ends up at the bottom, you know everything thawed.

Each attendee got two items at the end.  The first was folder with lots of great information in it:
  • A DVD from the Red Cross and FEMA, "Getting Ready For Disaster, One Family's Experience"
  • Emergency Contact Card
  • Ready Virginia brochure
  • "Food & Water in an Emergency" booklet
  • Salvation Army magnetized planning checklist and flip chart
  • Nuclear Emergency Planning Information Calendar from the nearest nuclear power plant
  • A handy list of different foods and whether or not they can be kept or discarded if they thaw or get warm
  • A state hurricane evacuation guide
  • Some Red Cross checklists
  • A list of suggested non-perishable foods for storage
  • Basic first aid tips
  • Personal information update list
  • Consumer Product Safety Commission Safety Alert on Portable Generator Hazards
  • A 40-page Citizens' Emergency Preparedness Guide full of county-specific information
The other thing was a pretty nice beginner's emergency kit. It came in a decent quality red backpack with a reflective stripe on in.  Inside was:
  • 2 pair of work gloves
  • 3 light sticks
  • 2 space blankets
  • 2 N95 masks
  • whistle
  • small roll of duct tape
  • 9x12 plastic drop cloth
  • 2 ponchos
  • collapsible plastic water jug
  • flashlight w/ batteries
  • pocket radio w/ batteries
  • first aid kit
It's all cheap gear, but it's a good start for someone who has no preps at all.  I spent three hours at the class and think it was time well spent, seeing what the general public is being told.  I really expected a scripted, FEMA-centric, "we're from the government and here to help" presentation.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was locally oriented and based on the abilities and expectations of a rural population.

As it started, we were all reminded of how many disasters have hit our small, rural county over the past year: winter storms, brush fires, tornadoes, hurricane, earthquake, flooding and even a plane crash.  It's been a crazy year.


More Library Additions

Good Stuff for Your Prepper Library

I've added some more documents to the Library Resources page that you can download absolutely free.

First up is a Congressional report on the threat to America from the Boko Haram terrorist group that has ties to al-Qaeda.  Download it here.

Next is a warning poster from the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism.  A unique thing about this poster is that in addition to the usual warning signs, it also details how frequently those warning signs are actually involved in terrorist attacks.  Download it here.

I've added a new category to the Library Resources page: Improvised and Non-Traditional Weapons. 

The first is an FBI booklet of concealable weapons such as disguised pocket knives, non-metallic knives, and concealment devices.  One interesting thing is that they show x-ray machine photos of many of the items.  Download it here.

I've also added a booklet from the Brunswick, ME police department showing a number of similar weapons.  The vast majority of the items in these two booklets are perfectly legal in most states and might give you some ideas of things to add to your arsenal or tool box.  Download it here.

If It Hits The Fan Facebook Page

We're only 8 fans away from hitting the 500 milestone on our Facebook page.  I'd love to see it hit 500 by the end of the week.  If you haven't become a fan there yet, please consider it, and suggest it to your friends.  I try to get a few brief items up there each week, beyond what we do here on the blog site, and it's a great way to interact.


Free Training Opportunity


We were having dinner with our neighbors this evening when they asked if I had heard radio ads for some kind of survival training next weekend.  I had not heard the ads, so they were going to listen for the details and give me a call.  By the time we got home he had seen it on a billboard and called us with the website, http://www.survivorday.com/

It seems that the region had received funding through a UASI grant from the feds to pay for the training and a "survivor starter kit" for each family that attends the training.  So, back to the header for the post, what is UASI?  That stands for Urban Area Security Initiative.  Homeland Security identified a number of these regions around the country that are considered at high risk for terrorist attack due to their population density, critical infrastructure, or other reasons.  I've used the fact that I was in a UASI region to get extra points on a federal emergency management grant at work before.

Anyway, this looks to be a very popular seminar.  They are putting it on in 8 locations in the greater Richmond area next Saturday.  Turns out that 6 of them are already booked solid and they are taking no more registrations.  Lucky for me, one of the remaining two is in my county, just down the road at the New Kent Middle School.  I've registered for it and will give a full report of the class, plus the contents of the survivor starter kit.  If you have some folks in your family or circle of friends that you want to get on board for prepping, this would be a great way to introduce them to the ideas and processes.

If you are not in the Richmond area, which the vast majority of you are not, I'd suggest giving your local office of emergency management a call and asking if they plan to offer any emergency preparedness seminars.  They may try to steer you toward a CERT class, but that is more geared toward building a cadre of community volunteers to assist during a disaster rather than how to prepare your own home and family.

Your tax dollars are paying for training sessions like this, you may as well take full advantage of it.


Book Review: Holding Your Ground

Holding Your Ground - Preparing For Defense If It All Falls Apart, by Joe Nobody

Disclaimer:  This book was sent to me by the publisher at no cost for the purposes of review.

This book 169 pages, 8 1/2x11" paperback, and comes from the Prepper Press.

Short review is that I really liked this book!  It reminds me of the "for dummies" and "complete idiot's guide" books in that the chapters are short and easily referenced, there are lots of good quality photos and charts, and there is a check mark symbol on some topics that indicate you need to go to the website and enter information on a free downloadable worksheet... neat idea.

The book focuses on defending your home or retreat in a true SHTF scenario.  Topics range from the mundane, such as waste disposal, to the dynamic, such as fighting positions and multiple fields of fire.  Some things are downright creative, such as using paint and rubbish to make your home look burned out and abandoned to deter intruders.

In my regular life, I've been a certified Crime Prevention Specialist for a number of years.  One thing I noticed is that the author seems to be familiar with the principles of Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED).  Although he doesn't use the term, he has adapted a number of the principles to retreat protection after it hits the fan.

If you are interested or concerned about defending your home or retreat from violent assault during a SHTF scenario, without having it look like a fort before SHTF, then I highly recommend this book to you.  It's an easy read with lots of great information.

What's On My Current Reading List?

Right now I've got two books going.  I'm about halfway through "Folks, This Ain't Normal," by Joel Salatin, and just started "1491," by Charles C. Mann.  Both are riveting and I'll get you reviews when I finish.

Local Meet-Up

If you are in the Richmond/Fredericksburg area, this Saturday (Jan. 7th) I'll be at the Renegade Farmer's Market in Ashland.  This is a few farmers who gather every other week in the market behind the Ashland Town Hall during the off-season.  I'm going to meet the folks from Dragonfly Farms and pick up some grass fed beef.  There should be at least four other farms selling fresh and local foods.  They are scheduled to be there from 9 to 11, I plan to get there right about 9.  I'll wear my If It Hits The Fan T-shirt so you can recognize me.


New Year - New Direction

Happy New Year!

In May of 2010 I started this blog with a couple posts a week.  In October of that year, I broke 500 page visitors and was amazed.  On January 1st of 2011, I dedicated myself to trying to do a post every day (or at least most days).  I hit about 2,500 readers that first January.  March and April brought me some amazing numbers, approaching 15,000 each month thanks to some links from SurvivalBlog.  Since then, I've settled down to a pretty respectable 6,500-7,000 visits a month.  This is my 366th post.  I'm within about 500 visitors of breaking 100,000.  I've had the opportunity through this blog to be interviewed on local radio news shows quite a few times and on a couple of BlogTalkRadio shows.

I've been truly honored that so many people think that what I have to say is of enough importance or interest that they take time from their days to read it.  I've met some great folks through this site: Steelheart, RoBo, Nicole, Jerry, Shana... and I know I'm missing a bunch of you that have been commenters and have sent me emails.  I've also met some leaders and up-and-comers in the survival field... Dave Canterbury, Chance, and Mitch come to immediate mind.  I've actually had folks at a gun show recognize our logo on my t-shirt and struck up a conversation because they read the blog.

I also can't forget to comment on my sponsors... The Berkey Guy was my first paid sponsor, when I was just starting to break through with daily posts.  The good folks at Shelf Reliance and Essential Packs also liked what I was doing and came to me as paid sponsors.  The first guy to approach me was Kelly at Survival Gear Bags, and I've been an affiliate of his since the early days.  I've also built an affiliate relationship with Emergency Essentials, and of course, I'm thankful to everyone who has bought Amazon items by going through my links and letting me get small commissions from that.

So what does all that mean... no, I'm not shutting down the blog... but I do need to change some things around.  I work long days and have a one hour commute each way.  Coming home every evening to work on the blog has really cut in to my time with my wife, and really, there is nothing more important in my life than her.  She's been amazingly supportive and encouraging about the blog, and I want to spend more time with her.  Also, I'm starting graduate school in March (Masters of Disaster & Emergency Management at American Military University).  Yep, 43 is a little long in the tooth to go back to school, but it's the right thing in my life right now.  That is also going to take considerable time.  I've become involved as a contributing author to a survivalism and preparedness book.  I'm hopeful that it might lead to my own book with the publisher.  That has long been a dream of mine and it looks as if it has a real good chance of coming to fruition... I'll keep you updated.  I really want to make more videos for the If It Hits The Fan YouTube channel, and work with my wife to actually get our paracord wristbands and other items up in the If It Hits The Fan Gear Shop.  I want to get some magazine articles published as well.  I've been photographer for an article in the old American Survival Guide, and I had an article published in Guns & Weapons for Law Enforcement magazine a few years back.  Some articles are planned for survival magazines, but others will be for professional journals dealing with emergency management and school safety.  I plan to teach more as well...  I've presented sessions at a number of state-level school safety conferences, and I want to do that more, plus some preparedness topics for community groups and churches.  Finally, I'm building my on-line media empire.  In the near future, you'll be able to tune in to YouTube for Imperial Goat's Cigar and Beer Reviews a couple times a month (some of you may remember me as the Imperial Goat on a few survival forums.  I just did my introduction and am working on getting it up on YouTube.  Finally, I'm also starting a blog of libertarian themed essays that will come out every few weeks.  I'm not sure if I'm a libertarian with a conservative bent or a conservative with a libertarian bent, so this will more a journey of self-exploration, and might offer some good ideas to others.

So back to the question... what does all that mean for If It Hits The Fan?  I'm going to keep doing this, just not as much.  I'll get quality posts out two or three times a week, more if something big or important is going on.  I'll still through some things out on the Facebook fan page as well.  Please keep reading, commenting, and sending me emails.  I'll still be here and will always appreciate you.

Greenhouse Update

My Dad and I almost have the greenhouse done.  We ran out of plastic sheeting, so we'll wrap it up (no pun intended) next weekend.  There will still be plenty of time to get my seeds started and going in it.  When we finish, I'll share some photos and the plans.  Seed  orders will hopefully go out this week, and I'm looking to expand my garden again this, my third year of gardening.