Did Santa Help Your Preps?

He Got Me Some Good Gear

I got some good non-prepping gifts, Get Smart - The Complete Series Gift Set, a Bali-Song-style Silver Flash Butterfly Can Bottle Opener, and some nice cigars.

Otterbox Defender

I've been using a Griffin case for my iPhone 4 for about a year and a half.  It's a great case, but really more than I need.  It is thick rubber and very water resistant.  I am very happy with the Otterbox.  It is almost as protective as the Griffin, but a little thinner, and not as "sticky."  It also makes it easier to use the camera because the Griffin has a rubber flap that must be moved and held out the way.  The Otterbox doesn't.

Col. Littleton cell phone pouch
Col. Littleton makes some fantastic leather gear, much of it available through Orvis.  I carry my iPhone and a Blackberry for work, and I've been toting them in a Lowe Alpine belt pouch.  It was functional, but ugly.  My new Col. Littleton pouch is very well made leather, and it holds both phones easily and securely.  I love the look of it which is very reminiscent of a WWII-era GI flap holster for the 1911.

Desantis Ankle Holster

I got this rig for my new Kahr CM9.  It is very comfortable, and I've been wearing it almost constantly since Christmas Eve.  It is easy to conceal, and fairly quick to draw from.  This is going to become a part of my EDC gear.

Pocket Chainsaw

I've long had the pocket chainsaws made from braided wire with split ring loops on the end.  They work pretty well, but have limited durability.  I've been wanting to try this type, and have heard good things about them.  After I give it a good workout, I'll do a video product review soon.

War Hammer

I never thought that I would need a hammer like this, but I'm really looking forward to using it.  It is really designed as a wrecking bar tool with prying spots, nail pullers, a chisel, and even a bottle opener... but seems like a great improvised impact weapon as well.  Makes me feel a little like Thor.  I'll shoot a product review video of this as well.

I also got a Maxpedition S-Type Jumbo Versipack (Od Green), but it is worthy of a whole post on its own.

I gave some prepping items to a few friends and family, but some haven't been delivered yet, so those are still secret.

How was your Christmas?


Defending Against The Attacks on Guns

Fighting For Our Rights

The NRA is going to have a news conference this morning that was announced earlier in the week with this tidbit: "The NRA is prepared to offer meaningful contributions to help make sure this never happens again."

What does that mean?  Will they announce a free training program for school staff?  Will they announce a partnership with Ruger to provide free pistols to principals?  Or will they say that the conversation must start toward some rational gun control laws to keep assault weapons out of the wrong hands?  I am a life member of the NRA... have been for quite a few years.  But the NRA has a terrible history of truly caving and dropping the ball when the chips are down.

They supported the Gun Control Act of '68.  That made dealing and buying firearms inconvenient at best and did nothing to prevent crime.  They did not fight the illegally passed Hughes amendment to the Firearm Owners Protection Act in 1986 which effectively ended civilian ownership of full automatic weapons except those already in the registry.  Overnight, the price of a Tommy Gun went from a couple thousand to $20,000.  In 1989, they did nothing when Bush 41 used executive order to ban the importation of many of the finest foreign weapons available.  They caved and allowed the Clinton so-called Assault Weapons Ban to happen in 1994.  The NRA talks gun rights, but they haven't done a great job of living it.

There are a couple things we can do...
  • Look at joining and supporting the no-compromise gun rights organizations: Gun Owners of America and Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership are two that I know of.
  • Deluge your elected servants in the local city hall, the state house, and that den of vipers, Washington, with polite, yet firm letters, emails and phone calls letting them know how you feel about infringements upon our rights
  • Educate your friends.  There are a lot of solid, pro 2A folks out there.  There are also some rabid, irrational antis.  The rest fall in the middle.  Maybe they hunt once or twice a year.  They might own an old .357 for home defense.  They might shoot skeet.  But they don't have much exposure or understanding of weapons that look like military or are scary and black.  When they say that maybe an assault weapon ban is good because nobody needs that type of gun, rather than getting mad and calling them a commie rat bastard, reach out.  Explain the fact that the AR15 and AK47 were designed 50-60 years ago and that their technology dates to the 1890s.  Talk about the sporting uses such as 3-gun matches and the Camp Perry National Matches.  Show them that other than cosmetics, these guns are no different than many hunting weapons.  Bring up something they like but that no one needs...  nobody needs a Corvette that can go 100 mph over the speed limit.  Nobody needs a riding mower for a residential yard that could run over and kill a small child.  Nobody needs a dangerous nail gun - haven't they seen Lethal Weapon II?
  • Invite a non-shooter to the range.  I just had an encounter on FB with a guy I went to high school with.  He was speaking from fear and misunderstanding, lashing out at "high capacity clips," "military style weapons," and nobody needs something that can "spray all those bullets."  I invited him to go to the range with me to shoot such guns and learn what they truly are and can do.  He works weekends, but we are heading out during my spring break to do it.  I think that just the invitation has eased his fears of the unknown a little.
I'm going to be real interested to see what the NRA says at 10:45.  Will I jump for joy and increase my support of their battle for our rights, or will I get mad, cut up my life membership and tell them to stick it up their irrelevant butts?  We'll see.

Edited while I'm watching the NRA press conference...

Thank you, NRA!  The National School Shield Safety Program is an amazing step in the right direction!  I am PROUD to be a life member of the NRA and a school safety professional!


It's Time To Get Rid Of "Lockdown"

Hide In The Corner And Wait To Be Killed

When I was in school in the 70s and 80s, there was no such thing as a lockdown.  I really don't know when the lockdown came to widespread use in schools, but I imagine it was after Columbine.  The general idea is that if there is a threat inside the school, then someone gets on the PA and announces a lockdown (I really hope no schools are still using "Code Purple" or "Mr. Hoover Please Report to Room 911" or any other codes).  Teachers lock their doors, cover the windows and gather the students in the corner out of the line of sight of the door. 

This is easy to drill and practice, and makes people think they are doing something, but in reality, it simply provides a large mass of easy targets for a killer.

I have some suggestions that we, as a society, need to move toward as a response to school mass killings.

1.  All teachers and staff must be empowered to secure their rooms, call 911, and sound the alarm to the rest of the school.  There is a school safety training video called "The First Twenty Minutes" that for ten years has been considered the way to handle a school killer.  I don't use it anymore and think that it needs to go away.  In it, a teacher looks out her window and sees a boy with a rifle walking across the parking lot toward the school.  If I remember the details right, she draws the blinds, locks her door, then calls the office.  The person in the office hears what she has to say, then gives the phone to the principal.  After listening to the teacher, he tells one secretary to get the SRO, then he calls 911, tells them what is going on, then hands the phone to the SRO BEFORE putting the school on lockdown.  During that time, the killer gets in the school and starts shooting.  Had the teacher done an all call from the getgo, he may have been locked out.

Unfortunately, that is still the way in many schools.  When I spoke at the Self Reliance Expo in NC a few months back, I met a teacher from down there.  She said that teachers in her school would be fired if they called 911 - that was for the principal.  She was also told that she would be fired if she said anything to her elementary students about fleeing out of a side door during a lockdown.  Which gets to...

2.  The standard must be that staff are trusted to use good judgment and trained that breaking a window and sending children out or running out of a nearby door are acceptable and demanded if there is a threat of death by staying in the building.  Yes, it is harder to drill and practice, but it can certainly be talked through with students.  In the video, students and a teacher huddle in fear on the classroom floor as they hear gunshots in the hall and the killer jiggles the door handle.  I want to yell at the screen, "Get out of the window!"

3.  Don't make the school a fortress, but make the classrooms securable.  People who don't know any better want metal detectors and cameras everywhere.  While they can have a role in school safety, they are worthless in defense against a determined killer.  Make classroom doors of heavy, solid wood construction.  Make the window small, at eye level, bulletproof, and on the edge of the door away from the door knob.  Use locks that stay locked... you can use a key to open the door, but not to keep it unlocked.  Don't have windows in the interior walls.  Teachers should have their big, heavy desks at the door end of the room.  In an intruder situation, flip it on its end and push it against the door.  Pile student desks against and in the way of the door. If the intruder breaches the door, he'll at least get caught up in the mess of desks and slowed.  Rooms on the ground floor should have at least one "emergency escape" window that can be unlatched and used for egress... like on a bus or an airplane.  Second story or higher classrooms should be even more secure.  Spectra or Kevlar linings for the door and hallway walls... high security deadbolts... things that will deny entry to the killer and stop bullets.

These are all doable, and the first two won't cost anything.  But there will be resistance.  School staff don't like to think about these things, and lockdown is what they are used to.


We Can't Prevent

We Can Minimize The Loss

In the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school killings, it is natural that some people blame the gun.  Others call for metal detectors, visitor screening, and more lockdown drills.  Some lash out looking for any excuse or reason on which to blame these deaths.  The unfortunate reality is that we cannot prevent a lone, determined gunman from killing children.

We could install metal detectors at schools.  For them to truly be effective, they would need to be located at every school building door, and staffed from 5 a.m. to midnight (at least that is how long many high schools have "something" going on in the buildings.  There would need to be skeleton security crews on duty 24/7.  Of course, metal detectors are not foolproof, so we would need x-ray machines at those locations as well, and the associated staff to operate them.  Then we would need to seal all of the windows in the buildings so that something could not be passed through.  Yep, that would keep guns out of the schools.  But what happened at the Red Lake, Minnesota school killing?  The 16-year-old killer immediately shot the school security officer operating the metal detector.

But let's say we can completely secure the building... that moves the threat to the parking lots, playgrounds and bus loading areas.  Maybe we need to have tall walls completely surrounding school property with a vehicle sally port.  We already have facilities like this... they are called, prisons.

Do we want our children to be "safe" if the result is that they spend their days in the physical equivalent of a prison?  Even if the American people want to make that sacrifice, it just drives the threat elsewhere... the bus stop in the neighborhood, the field trip to museum, the prom at the hotel ballroom/lounge...

In Israel, school teachers, staff and parents carry guns.  In Utah, the law allows school personnel with concealed carry permits to carry at school.  In some West Texas counties, they have established a program where school staff apply for the armed staff program that is similar to the armed flight deck officer program for commercial pilots.  Those who are selected for the program go through extensive range time with the sheriff's office each summer and carry at work.  Nobody knows who these staff members are except the district superintendent, the principal, and the sheriff's office.

What do Israel, Utah and West Texas  have in common?  THEY DON'T HAVE SCHOOL KILLINGS!

Random locker searches, counselors, anonymous tip lines, school threat assessment teams, anti-bullying programs, open lines of communications, involved parents, school security... all of these are important.  They contribute to an overall safe environment.  Nearly every week, we hear of a school killing that was thwarted by another student speaking up and letting someone know what was being planned.  In my school district, a couple of times a year a student is found with a gun.  It is always found because another student knew and told.  None of these will have any effect on the lone, deranged killer that has no obvious connection to the school.

In the 1997 Pearl, Mississippi school killing, the assistant principal retrieved his .45 pistol from his car and stopped the killer.  In 1998 Parker Middle School had their 8th grade dance at a local Edinboro, PA restaurant.  A student pulled out a pistol, killed a teacher, wounded another teacher and two students, and the got held at bay for 11 minutes until police arrived by the restaurant owner who used his own shotgun.  At the 2002 Appalachian School of Law shooting here in Virginia, two legally armed students stopped the killer before more were killed.  In Wyoming, the law allows concealed carry on college campuses, but the community college system requires permission of the campus police chief.  None of those chiefs will grant permission.  Recently a professor was killed by his son with a crossbow in front of his class.  At the University of Wyoming, concealed carry is allowed anywhere on campus except the dorms.  Students living in the dorms can secure their weapons in the campus police station and be escorted to their dorms if they wish.  They haven't had any killings at UW.

The answer is easy, but the fortitude to implement it is missing from our elected servants.


Connecticut School Killings

I Have A Heavy Heart

Most of you know that my profession is in school safety.  Today's attack in Connecticut has hit me harder than other school shootings.  I imagine it is because of the age of the victims.

Many parents, grandparents, and even teachers will feel impotent and powerless.  They won't know how to talk to their kids or if their schools' plans are any good.  Preppers especially may have problems as all the preps in the basement and your 72 hour kit in the car won't do any good to protect your small child at school.

I encourage you to listen to my interview on The Survival Podcast from back in September: Episode 983 - Preparing Your Children for School Emergencies.  Pass the link on to friends and family who may be having the same feelings of helplessness about today's attack.

Please pray for the victims, their families, the witnesses and first responders if you are so inclined.  If not, please send warm and safe thoughts their ways.  If you have kids, hold them a little tighter and a little longer tonight.


Prepper Ponderings

Interesting Blog

I recently came across an interesting blog by Eric Smith, entitled Business Karate.  Eric and I share the CPP certification and in addition to books for the security management professional, he writes this blog that has some great information on crime prevention and personal safety.  He doesn't post very often, but he's got some good stuff there.  It is worth adding to your bookmarks.

Big Bunny

On a couple of the past evenings, I've seen a giant cottontail in the back yard.  Louis the wonder dog is just starting to heal from his torn ACL, so he is not going out unattended yet.  I don't want him tearing off after the rabbit, and that thing is so big, (and Louis is only about 18 lbs) I don't want them fighting and it tearing him up with its claws.  I swear I have never seen a wild rabbit this big in these parts.  I need to hurry up and get the .22 Savage finished and the scope zeroed.

Totally Off Topic

I am becoming more and more a fan of Steampunk.  Not everything can be about prepping, and stupid, pointless hobbies are good for giving the brain a rest.  I dig the styles and the stories, as well as the variety.  I think a Steampunk Darth Vader outfit might be just the ticket for a side project.  Yes, I do have a bit of the nerd in me.

13 Skills

A couple of weeks ago I made a post with an old article about the importance of having a variety of skills and mentioned that Jack at The Survival Podcast was starting a program called 13 in 13 to encourage people to learn 13 new skills in 2013.  He has that website up and running now and it is a really cool execution of the idea.  I'll be signing up soon and listing the 13 skills I want to learn next year.  Consider joining me on the ride.


We Lost A Good One

RIP Bob Munden

I heard that Bob Munden passed away yesterday, peacefully and with his bride, Becky, by his side.  Bob was truly the fastest gun in the world.  He could do things with a six gun, a 1911, or even a .38 snubbie that no human should be able to.  From the early days of practical pistol shooting, to the heyday of fast draw competitions (did you know that Sammy Davis, Jr. was one of the fastest draws in Hollywood and newsman Hugh Downs was a competitor?) and the premier exhibition shooter from the 70s until now.

Bob was also an amazing gunsmith.  He performed "six gun magic" on Rugers, Colts and clones.  A number of years ago, when I was early in my SASS Cowboy Action Shooting career, a friend from work, Bobby, loaned me his Mundenized Great Western IIs and his custom rig for them for a match, just so I would know what great guns they were.  Bob had the trigger pulls smooth, crisp and light.  The cylinders spun easy and locked up tight.  They were fantastic.  Bob also fixed up quickdraw only pistols and offered quick draw classes.  Bobby had one of those pistols as well, but I only got to fondle it, not shoot it.

Bob was a frequent guest on such shows as That's Incredible, Real People, and Ripley's Believe It Or Not, as well as all of the shooting shows on cable.  His fast drawing and shooting had to be seen to be believed.  I got to see it in person at the SASS convention in Las Vegas in 2005.  It was truly incredible.  But in addition to being an amazing pistolero, a talented gunsmith, and quite the showman... he was also a heck of a nice guy.  At the convention, he took time to hang out and talk to folks, show them tips, and take photos.  He would also take emails and calls from folks wanting to ask about guns or get suggestions on equipment.

Some complained he was a bragger and had a huge ego.  No doubt about it, but I think there is nothing wrong with that IF you can back it up, and Bob Munden certainly could.

It's That Time of Year

The seed catalogs are starting to come in the mail!  Yippee!!!!


Sad State of Periodicals

Magazines, Not Clips

For about 25 years, I bought most every gun and survival magazine I could find.  For the last 10 years or so, I haven't bought very many gun magazines, but I've tried all the survival magazines I could find.  I'll start off by saying that Self Reliance Illustrated and Survival Quarterly are both great, but they are big, glossy, high end mags, not the news stand monthlies that we used to have in SURVIVE and American Survival Guide. 

Several gun magazine publishers have put out "annuals" which are big, $9.99 or more magazines, chock full of intro type information.  Survivalist Magazine is not terrible, but they seem to have some trouble coming out on time, and I know several of their writers and staff have left recently. 

I just picked up a new one, Living Ready, put out by the same folks who bring Blade magazine and Gun Digest.  It looks like it is going to be a quarterly, but has potential to go where I think a survival magazine should be.  In this first issue, there are some good really good articles, but they also seem to have padded the pages by including book excerpts from established authors, including the late Jerry Ahern.  They also fall into the trap that nearly all of the gun magazines have done lately.  They look like they get their layout and design ideas from Maxim and Men's Health.  Giant photographs with a tenuous link to the article, and short, bullet point articles with lots of even shorter insert articles.  It's as if the publishers think that we have too short of an attention span to read a whole article and flip over to page 58 for the conclusion.

I'm going to give Living Ready a shot, and hope they live up to the legacy left by ASG and SURVIVE.  In the meantime, I'll be content with Backwoods Home Magazine, which is more in line with homesteading, but also has a survival and gun element, and Mother Earth News, which is mostly homesteading, if you can get past their radical left bent.

What magazines do you like and can recommend?


I Apologize

It seems that this blog has come on to the radar of spammers linking to porno sites.  I've had at least 20-25 comments left in the last week from these jerks. 

Looks like I'm going to have to go to screening comments before they are published.  That is a real shame, and it takes away from the lines of communication and interactions that we have on here.  It is also inconvenient for readers and for me.  But it is necessary unfortunately.

Back to a regular post this evening.


Product Review: Card Sharp Knife

Video Review

I'm trying to get back to more video production.  Here's a quick review of the Card Sharp credit card knife from Survival Gear Bags (to order it, please use the SGB link on the right side of the page here).

13 Rules of Gunfighting

Anything you can think to add?

I don't know the source of this, who the guy in the photo is, or if the quote from TJ at the bottom is real or not.

.22 Rifle Build - First Fail

The new Savage is coming along nicely.  I'm ordering an aftermarket stock tomorrow.  I got this sling from Amazon.

Don't waste your money.  It's junk.  The cotton webbing might be good for a beach tote bag.  The slide clamp won't get tight enough to hold it in place.  It's too short.  This sling cannot be used effectively as a USMC-training hasty or deliberate sling.  Might work ok for a kid's BB gun, or for a wall hanger, but if you want to use a sling for its intended purpose, stay away from this one.


Prepper Ponderings

Another Free Kindle Download

Duncan Long is a preparedness writer that I am connected to on LinkedIn.  Today he let folks know that one of his books YOU CAN SURVIVE the Very Worst Manmade and Natural Disasters: A Handbook for Self-Reliance is available through tomorrow on Kindle as a free download.

From Amazon's book description:
Now America's foremost survival author gives you and your loved ones the tips and secrets you’ll need to prevail in a dangerous world.

Whether you’re concerned about localized disasters, government meltdown, or an end-of-civilization catastrophe, this manual tells you how to survive the worst, and how to survive it in style. Easy-to-read chapters offer information you’ll find nowhere else, revealing practical instructions covering everything from dealing with the next super storm, to living through to a government collapse, to surviving terrorist attacks and war.

Chapter after chapter offers detailed, lifesaving plans: How to feed your family (for just pennies a day) if the stores are closed, how to heat your home if the gas and electricity are out, and how to protect your loved ones from rioters and looters when the police are nowhere to be found.

You’ll also discover ways to minimize damage to your home and belongings before an earthquake, storm, or other natural disaster as well as what you must do after such events to quickly recover and remain safe.

The result of decades of hands-on experience, this manual was written by an author who’s no stranger to preparing for the worst. Duncan Long has been writing survival books and articles since the late 1970s; buyers of his manuals include the FBI, CIA, and US Marines. His articles have appeared in American Survival Guide, the Journal of American Civil Defense, and Modern Survival Magazine.

Now Long has boiled down his survival know-how into one thorough manual covering subjects not generally found in other similar books, and often overlooked by preppers and survivalists (but which could spell the difference between life and death). He also gives you a realistic assessment of the best defensive firearms (and which are less effective), ways to find food and water during an emergency (in both urban and rural settings), and how to improvise (as well as where to purchase) decontamination kits for countering chemical and biological agents. Also there are tips for dealing with the highly contagious plagues that often appear in the aftermath of disasters, including ways for treating the victims of such diseases.

YOU CAN SURVIVE also contains tips on barter (and why precious metals might be a poor investment for emergencies), shows how to travel during emergencies (including ways to defeat roadblocks and avoid being forced off the road), and discloses when “bugging out” might be a good strategy – and when it would likely be a fatal mistake.

You’ll even find ways to protect yourself from the “unthinkable,” whether a “dirty bomb” created by terrorists or a nuclear exchange between nations.

Always with an eye toward saving you money, YOU CAN SURVIVE offers a comprehensive assessment of the equipment you need to prepare for the worst – and also exposes the truth about some often-recommended gear you don’t need. You’ll learn how to handle medical emergencies (even when there’s no doctor available), how to avoid being targeted by criminals (whether kidnappers, burglars, or muggers), and tips for crime-proofing your home and business.

YOU CAN SURVIVE the Very Worst Manmade and Natural Disasters will enable you to deal with the unexpected and protect your loved ones. Currently selling at a low price (due to an agreement with the author so that as many readers as possible can access this lifesaving information), there will never be a better time to buy this manual. Purchase it now so you can prepare for tomorrow’s disasters – which may be arriving sooner than you think.

Duncan has several other books out, so like all free downloads, if you like this one, consider picking up his others.

Some Have "A-Ha" Moments, I Had A "Duh-Huh" One

As I type this, I am out in my shop, enjoying a cigar and I just finished shooting a product review video for a knife (should be uploaded tomorrow).  As I started the video, I inadvertently cut my finger, thus demonstrating the amazing sharpness of the knife.  I finished the video and stood there dripping blood, thinking that I would have to go inside and get a bandaid... Remember, I was in my shop.  I have an entire wall of supplies, including a jim-dandy collection of first aid supplies...  that was about 2 feet away from me.  Duh-huh!

Great Rifle - New Price

I mentioned this about a month ago, but I now realize I was asking way too much money.  Here's the scoop with the new price:

Rifle For Sale
I need to make some adjustments in the gun safe. I've got a PTR91, which is the American made clone of the venerable HK91/G3 main battle rifle in .308/7.62x51. It is made with many HK parts, and a chrome lined match grade barrel. This one has the 18" barrel and the aluminum foreend capable of taking rails and other attachments. It is like new, less than 100 rounds through it, and for $2150 $1,750 I'm including over 1,000 rounds of ammo and 26 very nice surplus magazines for it. I'll make that deal face to face with a Virginia resident and will meet you anywhere in the area bordered by Charlottesville, Fredericksburg and Hampton. If you are not a Va. resident, I'll send you the magazines and send the rifle to your local FFL dealer, for $1,200 (includes the shipping costs). Shoot me an email here if you are interested and want pics or anything.


Free Kindle Prepper Downloads

Get 'em While You Can

Survival fiction author Archer Garrett sent me a message offering two of his books free on Kindle for a couple of days.  I downloaded them today and really look forward to reading them.

The Western Front (Part 1 of 3) is what it sounds like, the first part of a three part series.

From the Amazon book description:
Darkness has descended upon the world; the fabric of society has been torn asunder, sovereign nations collapse under their own burdens, once stable governments are ushered into revolution and allies of old are thrust into war. The tentacles of darkness have inevitably traveled across the Atlantic and are now tightening their grip on the American republic.

Now, faced with a collapsing economy, a failing currency and a society that is swiftly casting its humanity aside, the United States stands at the precipice of a bedlam and malevolence not witnessed since the fall of Rome.

Part 1 follows several characters who strive to navigate the chaos, including:

Jake, his wife and brother are forced to flee the maelstorm of violence as it spills from the cities and into their small town enclave.

A Texas State Guardsmen deep behind enemy lines on South Padre Island, stands with his compatriots against a wave of unspeakable atrocities committed by a ruthless cartel alliance committed to seizing the spoils of the American southwest.

An outlaw and his Catahoula cur companion, learn to survive and even thrive in their river swamp domain as they seek a redoubt from the troubles that plague the world beyond.

A radical revolutionary intent on plunging the wounded nation into revolution as he stokes the flames of hatred and destruction.

Part 1 is a novella length (approximately 20,000 words) and encompasses the first eight chapters of the series.

This series is written in a manner that is accessible by even those who are not fans of collapse or survival literature. So if you're not a fan of the genre, give it a shot, I think you'll enjoy it.
Flashback is a short, 10,000 word novella.

From the Amazon book description:
"A dystopian Sunset Limited in the spirit of 1984"

A story of oppression, resistance and consequences.

Set in a world some time after the glorious people's revolution, the Party has near unchallenged control, except in the freehold. The freehold is a mocking reminder of the Party's failure to quench the memory of the old republic.

Tonight, they aim to erase the freehold and the resistance that dwells there, but something goes terribly wrong.

Now, covered in blood and struggling to hang on to the swiftly unraveling threads of his life, one man slips in and out consciousness as he wrestles with memories of his past and the mysterious Gabe.

Act quick to get these free Kindle books, and if you like them, consider buying Archer's other books.


Prepper Ponderings

We Just Passed The First Of The Month...

Did you...

Test run your generator?
Rotated you gasoline stores?
Tested your smoke and/or carbon monoxide detectors?
Checked your household and vehicle fire extinguishers?
Given your dog his heart worm pill and flea/tick treatment?
Changed your HVAC filters?
Test run all your small engine equipment?
Checked the tires, belts, hoses and filters on your vehicles?

Winter Preparedness Week

His Excellency, the Governor of Virginia, has declared this week to be Winter Preparedness Week

~Virginians Should Prepare for Winter Weather Now~
RICHMOND–While Hurricane Sandy brought a surprise, early significant accumulating snowfall to portions of Virginia, meteorological winter doesn’t officially begin in the Commonwealth until Saturday. With the upcoming winter season in mind, Governor Bob McDonnell has proclaimed December 2-8 as Winter Preparedness Week in the Commonwealth and is encouraging all Virginians to take this time to prepare to protect themselves and their families in the event of any major winter storms in the months ahead.
“Over the past 14 months, the Commonwealth has suffered through extended power outages resulting from warm weather systems like hurricanes and derechos. We hope all Virginians have taken note of these storms and will now take steps to be ready for the storms that winter could bring,” said Gov. Bob McDonnell. “As a Commonwealth, we are taking every prudent precaution to prepare and I hope that Virginians will do the same. To highlight the importance of being winter-ready, I am asking our citizens to observe December 2-8 as Winter Preparedness Week.”
Although last winter was less snowy than the previous two winters in Virginia, the National Weather Service notes that anything could happen this year. “It looks as though there will be a greater number of opportunities for low pressure systems to track nearby compared to last winter,” said Bill Sammler, NWS warning coordination meteorologist. “Temperatures are the wildcard in the pattern that is setting up. If we have cold temperatures with these southern low pressure systems, then we could have more snow or messy mixed precipitation events.”
What should Virginians do to prepare for winter weather? Here are several important safety tips:
  • Get fireplaces and wood stove chimneys inspected and cleaned. These often build up creosote, which is the residue left behind by burning wood. Creosote is flammable and must be professionally removed.
  • Install smoke detectors in every bedroom and one on every level of your home. Check the batteries every month. If you already have smoke detectors and did not replace the batteries when the time changed recently, replace them now.
  • If you use space heaters, plug them directly into wall sockets; don’t use extension cords. Keep space heaters at least three feet from other objects such as furniture, bedding and draperies. Do not leave space heaters unattended. Turn them off when you go to bed or leave the house.
  • Gather emergency supplies. Start with these items: at least three days of food that does not need refrigeration or electricity to prepare, in case the power is out; at least three days of water, which is one gallon of water per day per family member; a battery-powered and/or hand-crank radio and extra batteries; flashlights and extra batteries; a first aid kit and an extra supply of medications in case you can’t get out to get prescriptions refilled. Get more details and a checklist atwww.ReadyVirginia.gov.
  • Make an emergency plan. Decide on a meeting place to reunite if your family cannot return home. Choose an out-of-town friend or relative as a point-of-contact and be sure all family members have that person’s phone number – it is often easier to call long distance than to call locally during an emergency. Remember family members with special needs and your pets when making your emergency plan. Get a free worksheet athttp://www.vaemergency.gov/sites/default/files/Plan_0.pdf
  • Get where you need to go before the weather gets bad. Road condition information is available 24/7 by calling 511 or visitingwww.511Virginia.org. Even when roads have been treated with salt and/or sand, drivers should reduce speed and leave a safe driving distance from other vehicles on the road. Driving is most dangerous when the temperature is at or under 32° F. If the road is wet, ice is likely, especially on bridges, ramps and overpasses.
Rifle's Coming Together
I got my sling in from Amazon today for that Savage .22 I picked up the other day.  It's a military style shooting sling, khaki, and looks well made and durable.  The only problem is that I can't find my Uncle Mike's QD sling swivels that I bought for my failed .22 mini revolver neck suspension project from a few months ago.  The scope and rings should be in tomorrow.  Once I get it all done, I'll give you the full breakdown of how I set it up and how it ended up.


One Man's Trash...

Might Still Be Junk, But It's Worth A Look

When I went to the dump the other day, someone had left a milkhouse heater Comfort Zone CZ798 5120 BTU Multi-Purpose Utility Heater Fan off to the side that looked almost brand spanking new.  I keep one like this in the crawl space under the house in the winter when it gets down in the teens or colder to prevent the pipes and well pump from freezing.  I'll use this one I just got at the dump to warm the garage tent for the EMP-BOV if it snows.

I'm also in the market for a backpack leaf blower, but I'm in no hurry.  I just want one before next fall.  I decided to look for a good deal on a used one.

To that end, today I picked up a Trading Post.  In other parts of the country, you might call it a Penny Saver, or a Swap Sheet, or something like that.  Folks advertise their stuff for sale in a huge variety of categories, and other folks buy it.  I'm really kind of puzzled by how they can make any money doing this paper since Craig's List and eBay and such have come along, but it comes out every week and they have over 6,000 ads in this issue.

Anyway, I didn't see anything I couldn't live without, but there were quite a few things that would be great for homesteaders or preppers... treadle sewing machines (interestingly, when I just Googled it to make sure I spelled "treadle" right, I found that these are still made and pretty reasonable in price), butter churns, garden implements, camping gear, construction equipment, and all kinds of guns.  Many things were advertised at what seem to be VERY good prices, some things must be carved of solid gold and kissed by angels for the prices they are asking.  Some particularly good deals were for ammo.  I guess some people sell a gun, then find a few boxes of ammo left over.  Some real good deals could be had for medical equipment like wheel chairs, crutches and the like.  If I were outfitting a retreat, I'd look here first for gear like that.  It's super expensive to buy new, but insurance covers it for many people.  After they heal, they no longer need it, so into the Trading Post it goes.

If you've got some cash to devote to prepping supplies, check out your local version of this paper and see what you can find.  If you know what you are looking for, willing to wait for the best deal, and have cash to negotiate with, you can really save some money.