Friday, December 18, 2009

Survival on the Road

I am heading out on the road to visit family tomorrow morning.  I'm sure many of you will also be out on the roads.  Everyone knows to drive safely and to watch for storms and ice- but, it bears repeating.  What else can you do to survive on the road this winter.  Well, here's what I did to prepare:

  • Arrange for the neighbor (a hwy patrolman) to watch my house and also to collect the mail.  He also agreed to turn up our heat the day before we come home.  I have his phone number and he has mine in case of emergency.
  • Prepare the truck.  I checked the tire pressure, filled the gas tank and checked the fluids (slightly low on antifreeze) and I also put in a piece of cardboard in front of half of the radiator to help the truck to stay warm.  
  • Check the route (I know where I'm going, but I like to have alternates) and pack a road map and GPS.
  • Pack preparedness items (this is my bugout tote)- complete with several firearms
  • Pack tool set- I have several tool kits depending on the situation- this is an extended trip so I packed my big tool box including my 1/2"cordless impact wrench and volt-ohm meter.
  • Check standard items (jumper cables, flashlights, flares, fire extinguisher, tire jack)
  • Pack tire chains (for snow and ice) 
  • Pack tow ropes/chains
  • Pack extra food and water
  • Remember to bring some cash in addition to credit cards
  • Finally, with all that I loaded up our suit cases which have plenty of clothing
I'm sure I'm forgetting some stuff (I always do) but that's it for the next two weeks.

Have a Merry Christmas.  Remember to include Christ in your holiday celebrations (it's His birthday).

Thursday, December 17, 2009

More White House Spending!!!


First Lady Michelle Obama's Servant List & Pay Scale


 First Lady Requires More Than Twenty Attendants

1. $172,2000 - Sher, Susan    (Chief Of Staff) 
2.. $140,000 - Frye, Jocelyn C ..    (Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Policy And Projects For The First Lady)
3. $113,000 - Rogers, Desiree G    (Special Assistant to the President and White House Social Secretary) 
4. $102,000 - Johnston, Camille Y. (Special Assistant to the President and Director of Communications for the First Lady) 
5. $100,000 - Winter, Melissa E. (Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady) 
6. $90,000 -  Medina , David S. (Deputy Chief Of Staff to the First Lady) 
7. $84,000 - Lelyveld, Catherine M. (Director and Press Secretary to the First Lady) 
8. $75,000 - Starkey, Frances M. (Director of Scheduling and Advance for the First Lady) 
9. $70,000 - Sanders, Trooper (Deputy Director of Policy and Projects for the First Lady) 
10. $65,000 - Burnough, Erinn J. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary) 
11. $64,000 - Reinstein, Joseph B. (Deputy Director and Deputy Social Secretary) 
12. $62,000 - Goodman, Jennifer R. (Deputy Director of Scheduling and Events Coordinator For The First Lady) 
13. $60,000 - Fitts, Alan O. (Deputy Dir ector of Advance and Trip Director for the First Lady) 
14. $57,500 - Lewis, Dana M. (Special Assistant and Personal Aide to the First Lady) 
15. $52,500 - Mustaphi, Semonti M. (Associate Director and Deputy Press Secretary To The First Lady) 
16. $50,000 - Jarvis, Kristen E. (Special=2 0Assistant for Scheduling and Traveling Aide To The First Lady) 
17. $45,000 - Lechtenberg, Tyler A. (Associate Director of Correspondence For The First Lady) 
18. $43,000 - Tubman, Samantha (Deputy Associate Director, Social Office) 
19. $40,000 - Boswell, Joseph J. (Executive Assistant to the Chief Of Staff to the First Lady) 
20. $36,000 - Armbruster, Sally M. (Staff Assistant to the Social Secretary) 
21. $35,000 - Bookey, Natalie (Staff Assistant) 
22. $35,000 - Jackson, Deilia A. (Deputy Associate Director of Correspondence for the First Lady)


Note: This does not include makeup artist Ingrid Grimes-Miles, 49, and
 "First Hairstylist" Johnny Wright, 31, both of whom traveled aboard Air
Force One to  Europe .

Copyright 2009 Canada Free Press.Com
  canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/12652

Yes, I know, The Canadian Free Press has to publish this because the  USA media is too scared they might be considered racist.   Sorry  America !

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Survival Seeds Review

I got my seeds in the mail today from http://hometownseeds.com

I haven't planted them yet- so I can't honestly comment on whether they will germinate and grow...but if the service and high quality packaging are any indication, they will be just fine.

The seeds came speedy fast via priority mail and came packaged in a vacuum sealed durable metallic bag.  There was also a thank you note as well as a good-sized information pamphlet that had details on each seed type included and information on soil preparation.  There were 16 different types of seeds included- they claim that there is enough to plant 3/4 of an acre.  That's a lot of seeds- the bag was quite hefty for the size.

I will likely plant some of these seeds this spring and will give you an update as that progresses.  They are all non hybrid seeds.  So, if you're looking for some survival seeds, but the $100 can is just too much, try out this company- with a survival package at $34.99 you really can't go wrong.  I always thought that growing from seeds was going to be tough- I found out that really isn't the case.  Also- it's WAY cheaper to do it from seeds than from buying the potted plant at Wally World.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Airline Travel with defensive weapons...

I travel quite a bit and this can be a little tricky when traveling with guns and knives.  However, it is very possible to travel with a pistol and knife (except for when you are actually in the airport).  Just lock your pistol in a hard case and pack the ammo in the original box and put your sheathed knife in your checked luggage. BE SURE to DECLARE it at the baggage check.  After you get to your destination, pull it out and stick it in your pocket.

There are some stipulations though- click here to read the special instructions from the government about bringing a firearm onboard. 

TWA says: Knives including sabers, swords, hunting knives, souvenir knives, martial arts devices with blades are accepted in checked baggage. NOTE: Any sharp objects in checked baggage should be sheathed or securely wrapped to prevent injury to baggage handlers and inspectors.

Just keep in mind that if you travel overseas, guns and some knives may be considered illegal- so, check first to avoid problems.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

My ideal survial group

No, I hadn't forgotten about my promise to post this.  I've been traveling for business and then have company over and last night I went hunting.  It gets busy around the holidays.


  • First off, I would like for everyone to be of the same faith and be strong in the faith.
  • Second, I would like for everyone to be motivated to prepare for the same or similar reasons.
  • Next, I prefer that everyone prepare in all categories of preparedness and be generally self-reliant.
  • Fourth, everyone in my group should be married with children.
  • Finally, everyone should be roughly at the same level of preparedness- that is I wouldn't exclude any new comer or long-time prepper- but everyone should be budgeting roughly the same amount of money towards preparedness.
  • My ideal group would meet once or twice a month or as needed.
More on this later- gotta run.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

eXRS? Anyone try it?


So, I was looking in the store today and ran across this walkie talkie that caught my attention.  It's by a company called Tri Square but that's not what caught my eye.  It is like FRS, but it's digital and uses frequency hopping technology to help make it secure.  This is pretty exciting technology and its been around for years.  The radios have to be sync'd together beforehand and decide on a number.  Then, when you want to talk, you put in that number and it calls the other radio.  Once you start talking, the radios start changing frequencies based on a common algorithm- so, even if someone else does find out a frequency your on, it changes in a less than a second, so they don't get the whole conversation.  We used similar radios when I was in the police department to stop citizens from using scanners to listen in on us. Also, with this higher end model it will record the last transmission from the other person so if you miss their radio call- they can leave a message!  I'm not trying to advertise for them- I don't care if you buy one or not, but from a COMSEC point of view, this could be a very valuable tool for communicating with those in your group.  This was advertized for $100 and includes 2 units, batteries, wireless headsets and a base charging unit.  They also make it in real-tree.

This is from their site:

eXRS (eXtreme Radio Service) is the new digital two-way radio service operating in the 900 MHz band [Jimmy: this means it can travel through building better than the HF waves but requires more line of sight]. eXRS goes beyond FRS and GMRS. eXRS uses frequency hopping to make it possible to have private and secure communications. eXRS puts an end to annoying interference from other users on the same channel. Because eXRS radios constantly hop from one frequency to another, your conversation cannot be overheard on a scanner or another radio. In addition, eXRS radios, unlike FRS/GMRS radios are license free and are legal for all users of all ages and for personal and business purposes.


eXRS TWO-WAY RADIO RANGE


EXCEEDS 100 MILES!

________________________________________

That’s a bold statement and true, but of little practical value to the user.

The truth about Radio Range on the planet Earth

The actual range of eXRS and all other UHF two-way radios including FRS and GMRS (walkie-talkies) is effectively the same, regardless of transmit power. The total range is greatly diminished by the effects of the atmosphere, trees, buildings, hills and all other environmental conditions in the area of use.

Portable UHF radios are effectively straight-line communications devices. It is the path that establishes usable range, not the transmit power.

The Earth is not flat.

Even the curvature of the Earth limits the straight-line path. The average curvature of the Earth dictates an average maximum range of 6 miles.


There are certain conditions that will extend the straight-line path to more than one hundred miles (mountain top to valley, for example) and there are many conditions that will obstruct the straight-line path to less than one mile.

Shorter Range Conditions

Longer Range Conditions


Beware of advertised range claims. Advertised range has grown over the last few years from a couple of miles to 30 miles and more in an effort to distinguish product pricing. All good quality portable UHF radios, regardless of range claims, will perform essentially the same under the same conditions. It is unlikely a user will normally experience a set of conditions conducive to long range operation, but under those conditions, radios with advertised range of 2 miles will perform equally as well as those advertising greater than 30 miles.

Realistically, under most conditions, typical range for all eXRS, FRS and GMRS radios will be a few thousand feet to several miles.

eXRS radios have been independently tested head to head with the top of the line GMRS/FRS radios and up to five Watt commercial radios and the results demonstrate that they are all range equivalent.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Forming a Prepper Group

So, you've ID'd some folks who have similar goals as you and you all would like to form a benificial group to prepare against whatever it is you feel the need to prepare for.  I suggest starting with only one or two other initial members.  That way, after you've hammered out what the group will be, you can each then recruit more members with a goal in mind.  (easier to get group concensus with fewer members)

Step 1- Research and plan your group type.  Figure out what you want to get out of your group.  This can change over time and may have phases built in.  Do you just want a group to bounce ideas off of?  Do you want a group that all chips in money to buy a retreat in Idaho?  Do you want your group to pool resources in times of emergency (one person buys the nice reloader another buys the big flour mill, another buys the diesel generator)?  Try to define what it is you want to join.  Everyone's idea may be different- and you will have to compromise.  As cheezey as it sounds, a mission statement may help give direction- a one sentence statement that defines the purpose of your group.  Everyone needs to know what the group is for.  Otherwise your just hanging out.  After you agree on what it is you are going to do, it's time to plan.

Step 2- Get organized. Give the group a name.  Try to keep notes on what was discussed.  Decide where and how often the group will meet.  What will happen at these meetings will largely depend on the group's mission statement.  If you are primarily a weapons and tactics group- you may meet at the range on a regular basis.  Others may meet in the home of a member- or a public location.  Decide on membership requirements or limits.  Be curtious of others and don't exclude potential members simply because they have a busy work load and can't meet every other Tuesday.  Decide who the leader is.  Every group needs a leader- though it may not be you.  Be prepared to be a follower if a better leader is present. Decide early on if decisions are going to be democratic in nature or not.  You can create an agenda of activities or goals.  For instance, one month may be get CPR certified month (you could host a CPR instructor for the group or maybe a member is already qualified to instruct).  Another month you could talk about food storage- or cooking techniques, or knife sharpening or gun cleaning, or gardening... Be sure to decide about new members- what it takes to let a new member into the group. Respect the privacy of other members.

Step 3- Stay Active.  Whether you are the group leader or not, if you want the group to continue you have to be supportive of everyone.  Be encouraging to others.  If you value their membership, make them feel wanted and important.  Do fun things- not just discussion meetings.  Go for hikes, to HAM radio club events, to the gun range, to gun shows, help other members dig in their gardens...

Question- is it alright to join multiple groups?  I think so.  Each group may have different goals and offer different benifits of membership.  I also think in terms of circles.  I have a circle of friends that believes strongly in food storage, yet abhors guns.  Another circle that loves guns, yet places little emphasis on anything else.  Eventually, I hope to get enough people who have similar goals, circumstances and perspectives as me and we can form a real tight-nit group.

Next post I will define I want out of my ideal survival group.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Poll results- Visiters want to form groups to prepare against the government overstepping it's bounds

These polls are still running, but it's clear that most of the people who responded would like to join a prepper group to aid in the defense against the government overstepping it's constitutional bounds and bandits (they might be the same group). Also, there are a good number of lone-wolf types that responded. That's something you will have to do on your own. For the rest of us, I want to try to help everyone form a prepper group.

I'm betting that my newest poll reflects a diverse group of people- although the majority will be conservative leaning.  (meaning that your group doesn't nesessarily have to be of the same political leaning as you- though it may help)

So, what can we do to identify individuals that would be interested in joining a survival group? What traits should they possess? How do you organize? How do you organize your preparations?

I'd like to address each of these questions in separate posts- starting with

How to identify individuals to be in your group.

First, make a list. List your talents and skills- and your weaknesses. Do some soul searching and be honest. Focus on the weaknesses and skills that you lack. You can either go and try to acquire the skills, or you can recruit someone who already possess them. I suggest both. Consider tactical experience, intelligence, leadership, wealth, medical knowledge, cooking skills, wood working skills, hunting skills, mechanical skills, welding, religious, humor...

Once you know the skill type you are looking for, where do you find these people? Well, the easiest place to start is with the people you already associate with. Ok, you are into OPSEC and nobody knows you are a prepper and you want to keep it that way- well, you can always fish. What's fishing? That's what you do when you lure a person into a conversation to see how they respond.

You could say something as innocent like, "What do you think about the economy?" If they respond that they aren't concerned or are oblivious, they might not be interested in joining your group... or if you ask, "last week was veterans day, you served in the military right? What did you do when you were in?" That can open the door to conversations about military tactics and their opinion on current military activities, guns....

You don't have to volunteer anything- just ask the right questions. Here are some other openers: "What do you think about the price of Gold? I saw it reached over a $1000/ounce last week." or "What do you think about the bailouts- do you think it will work?" or "I heard the new health care bill would put people in jail if they don't have health insurance, what do you think of that?"

These open-ended questions will reveal what kind of person you are dealing with. Don't preach, don't try to convert- just ask and listen.

Once you ID a potential group member- you might try something like, "I picked up a few extra groceries this week- I'm concerned about the economy." And see how they respond. Or, "I've heard that the price of guns has gone way up since Obama came into office- Do you think I should buy one" And listen to the response. You need to be a friend to this person before you ask them to join a group. Besides- they may be wacko. Interview them without them knowing it.

You might find the person you're looking for right away- or you might not. The thing is, get to know the people you hang out with- they may have the skills you need- they could join your group- or you could just learn from them.

So, you've exhausted everyone you know? Now go to farmers markets, coin shops, church, the shooting range, or other social events where you can meet new people and fish them/befriend them. Don't neglect to fish out family members and distant relatives. Remember Uncle Roy? He's an avid hunter with a hunting lease in every other state...

Next post I will discuss how to actually form the group. Comments welcome.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Dynapoint GT ammo



It's kind of funny that the #1 search that brings up my blog is my review of my Savage Arms Mark II .22

I went shooting again yesterday at the range with some new ammo I bought at Dicks made by Winchester.  Dyna point GT.  It's copper plated 40 grain and claims to be a "target" round.  I was interested b/c it was cheap and also b/c it was copper plated.  I had had problems with other ammo not feeding correctly due to the hollow point catching.  Not so with this ammo.

I don't have any pics of my target, but I was hammering nails with this stuff.  At 50 yards I was hitting everything within 1/2-3/4ths of an inch consistently. Switched back to the regular Super X and I knew I had found the good stuff for my gun. I was also able to shoot at the 100 yard targets.  I discovered about a 6" drop that is typical for a .22.  I would really recommend the accutrigger- this trigger is ok, but has a very hard pull.  I would prefer something lighter.

Every gun is different and, especially with .22s, you need to experiment with different ammo to find what works for your gun.  I'll continue to experiment, but I'm very satisfied with my discovery.  I think Dick's is the only place that sells this stuff.  Says Winchester Target on the top and I think a box of 500 loose cost me $12.



I also put my Glock 19 (9mm compact) through the loops.  Performed as expected.  This is a very dependable and fun to shoot pistol.  I could consistently hit head shots at 25 yards (no feat by any means) but for some reason (my errors) I would throw a round to the left when rapid firing.  I can understand shooting low (due to anticipation) but to the left?  I have formal police training (it's been a long time) but I don't remember ever doing that during my training with my service weapon (Glock 22).  Any suggestions?  I know it's my error b/c when I take my time, it's a bullseye every time.  Just looking for a pointer if anyone has seen this in the past.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Atlas Shrugged


I have been absent from writing anything of substance for the past few weeks.  This is, in part, due to my having to work some night-shifts at work and due to the sad fact that I feel I haven't done anything significant to prepare recently.  Oh, I'm still making bread and all that.  I went and looked at travel trailers this past week as well.  I also started reading Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. It's really a good book, long and tiresomely detailed.  So much has been already written on this book that I feel any half-hearted attempt on my part in a blog would be an insult to the literary icon.  So, I'll simply repost a short post from Gatsby's Monologue regarding the book (disclaimer- I don't agree with many of the perspectives from the blog author- but this was a good summary of the book).

Since the government sponsored bail-out of a few public companies, most notably in the banking and automotive industries,  a lot of people have been comparing our modern situation with Ayn Rand's classic novel Atlas Shrugged.  If you aren't familiar with the book, it is centered around a core group of characters who are all brilliant industrialists – Dagny Taggert runs a transcontinental railroad, Hank Rearden owns a steel company, Francisco d'Anconia presides over many copper and other metal mines and finally John Galt, well, who is John Galt.  Anyways, the whole premise of the book involves the depth of Capitalism in America, or lack thereof.  Rand, in contention to the term "free market", makes convincing arguments that although business is essentially free to make fluid decisions within some markets, the greedy and parasitic politicians within the government bleed the genius mind to death through taxes and policies.  For example, when Rearden invents a new form of lighter, stronger steel that revolutionizes the world, politicians tax and blackmail him into releasing the patent so that their inept friends who themselves own steel forges will not be driven from the market.  The obvious message in this book is that capitalism must be pure, not adultered with politics or taxation.  Also Rand seems to really slam on communism, although she rarely says so explicitly.  As the novel progresses, the (always, unfailingly) despicable and unqualified politicians manipulate, cheat, steal and basically bastardize their government posts in order to screw over the smart industrialists, basically because the politicians know they are not creative or hard-working enough to succeed through pure capitalism, so they instead use government power to leach from those who are actually successful.



Finally, a quote from the book:  Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong. 
Ayn Rand 




Thursday, November 12, 2009

NBA or NFL?

YOU HAVE GOT TO LOVE THIS!!!
                
36  have been accused of spousal abuse

7  have been arrested for fraud

19  have been accused of writing bad checks

117  have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses

3  have done time for assault

71 repeat, 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit

14  have been arrested on drug-related charges

8  have been arrested for shoplifting

21   currently are defendants in lawsuits, and

84   have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year


Can
you guess which organization this is?

NBA   Or   NFL

?


Give up yet? .

Scroll down,






Neither,
it's the 435 members of the
United States Congress

The same group of Idiots that crank out
hundreds of new laws each year

designed to keep the rest of us in line.

Monday, November 2, 2009

You have to watch this



I really like Glen Beck.  I think he has hit a home run on this.  I can't believe that I didn't see all this before.  He lays it out so clearly.  Watch the whole thing.

Based on what he's saying we should get fixed loans now- auto, home, rv.... and if we can, we should pay off our home and land loans ASAP.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Acorn Muffins


Took the kids on a hike this morning and collected a bunch of acorns.  Couldn't find a white oak- so I had to leach out the tannin in three boils.  It is a lot of work to shell these.  To me, it hardly seemed worth the effort- other than to learn that can be done.  There are lots of recipes for acorns online if you're interested.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Paranoia

Funny photo I thought I would share.
 
Funnier letter:
 
Dear American liberals, leftists, social progressives, socialists, Marxists and Obama supporters, et al:
 
We have stuck together since the late 1950's, but the whole of this latest election process has made me realize that I want a divorce. I know we tolerated each other for many years for the sake of future generations, but sadly, this relationship has run its course. Our two ideological sides of  America cannot and will not ever agree on what is right so let's just end it on friendly terms. We can smile and chalk it up to irreconcilable differences and go our own way.
 
Here is a model separation agreement:
 
Our two groups can equitably divide up this country by landmass each taking a portion. That will be the difficult part, but I am sure our two sides can come to a friendly agreement. After that, it should be relatively easy! Our respective representatives can effortlessly divide other assets since both sides have such distinct and disparate tastes.
 
We don't like redistributive taxes so you can keep them. You are welcome to the liberal judges and the ACLU. Since you hate guns and war, we'll take our firearms, the cops, the NRA and the military. You can keep Oprah, Michael Moore and Rosie O'Donnell (You are, however, responsible for finding a bio-diesel vehicle big enough to move all three of them).
 
We'll keep the capitalism, greedy corporations, pharmaceutical companies, Wal-Mart and Wall Street.. You can have your beloved  homeboys, hippies and illegal aliens. We'll keep the hot Alaskan hockey moms, greedy CEO's and rednecks. We'll keep the Bibles and give you NBC and  Hollywood .
 
You can make nice with  Iran and  Palestine and we'll retain the right to invade and hammer places that threaten us. You can have the peaceniks and war protesters.
 
When our allies or our way of life are under assault, we'll help provide them security.
 
We'll keep our Judeo-Christian values.. You are welcome to Islam, Scientology, Humanism and Shirley McClain. You can also have the U.N.. but we will no longer be paying the bill.
 
We'll keep the SUV s, pickup trucks and oversized luxury cars. You can take every  Volkswagen you can find. 
 
We'll keep The Battle Hymn of the Republic and the National Anthem. I'm sure you'll be happy to substitute Imagine, I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing, Kum Ba Ya or We Are the World.
 
We'll practice trickle down economics and you can give trickle up poverty your best shot. Since it often so offends you, we'll keep our history, our name and our flag. 
 
Sincerely,
 
John J. Wall
Law Student and an American
 
P.S. Also, please take Barbara Streisand & Jane Fonda with you
 
 

Ways to vote


You can vote by registering and going down to the polls every election day and cast your vote.  Some argue that your vote actually doesn't count and it doesn't make much of a difference even if if it does.  If you are one of those, there's hope!  Read on...

1.5 million New Yorkers have decided to vote with their feet.  That's right: More than 1.5 million state residents left for other parts of the United States from 2000 to 2008, according to the report from the Empire Center for New York State Policy. It was the biggest out-of-state migration in the country.


Start looking at other states like California, New Jersey and other high-tax liberal states and you'll find similar trends.  If you read the story above, you see that the problem the states face is that the people moving into the state actually earn less- that's less money they can tax.

Primary reasons for moving include high cost of living and high taxes.  Money is a powerful motivator.  I personally know several families who have recently moved from New York and California- with no plans to go back.  A dude I met on an airplane a few weeks ago was telling me that since he moved to Dallas (from Maryland) his wife was able to quit her job, he lives in a house twice as big at 1/3 the cost, and that's with a pay cut!

Seems to me that if the politicians won't take notice of our petitions, maybe they will take notice of their empty tax coffers.  Wait- they're already empty and they haven't noticed anything. 

But wait! Maybe this is the goal of the socialist liberals.  They breed them (liberal thinkers) in New York and California and then ship them to the rest of the US to skew our voting...  more liberal votes in Texas mean Democrats have a better chance of staying in power...  It's a conspiracy! :) 

So, vote with you feet and move to a better state if you don't like the one your in- that is, unless your a liberal.  In that case, stay.  You wouldn't like it anyways. :)
 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Got my truck- BOV


As promised, here is a photo of my "new" truck.  2004 Dodge 2500 4X4 with a I6 Cummins 24 valve diesel. Planning new bumpers and a toolbox/fuel tank combo.


I believe I got a great bargain for it- there are a few minor things that need attention, but it appears to be a very solid truck.  The part that surprised me the most was my fuel economy.  On the hwy I got 26mpg on average.  Total combined mileage after 150 miles of on-off hwy driving is 21mpg.  That's with a clogged air filter and tires that need balancing.  


Since I have no idea as to the maintenance done on the truck (can anyone run my vin in carfax for free?) I'm planning to change out all the fluids/filters and have the transmission bands adjusted (it shifts fine though).  I can do everything myself except for the transmission and the wheel balancing.  


The next step in my GOOD plan is to get a travel trailer.  I'm looking for a 5th wheel variety (goose neck).


I just ground up some corn and now I'm baking up some sweet cornbread for a chili cook-off at church tomorrow.    


My perspectives on the state of the world- 


I heard that Barak Husein Obama condemns the recent attacks on the troops in Afghanistan. How about he actually do something about it?!


There was a special on PBS today about Herbert Hoover- it consisted of historians who raved about how great a president he was.  Never did they mention that he pretty much invented welfare, high taxes, government interference in business, and increase government spending on a level never before seen.
     I did learn however, that he sent half a million illegal Mexicans back to Mexico.  But that hardly makes up for his allowing police to fire on WWI veterans and ordering General MacArthur to remove thousands of veterans and their families from demonstrating in Washington for payment they never received ~   MacArthur was told they were communists!
     Perhaps  John Nance Garner (Roosevelt's running mate) had it right when he accused the Republican (Hoover) of "leading the country down the path of socialism".  It's both parties folks.


I've also been reminded that many Americans just don't care about politics or the state of the economy.  We are living up to our fat and lazy image.  Learning and doing something about anything is just too hard.


I feel I am a patriot.  I love my country; yet, more and more I despise those that claim to speak on our behalf.  I will not be voting for ANY incumbent this next election.  I want a turn over and a chance for some real change this time- the only way for that to happen is to get the old dudes out and put some fresh blood in- preferably non-party blood.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Coleman Stove

 
Picked up a Coleman 413H Powerhouse camp stove this weekend at a flea market for $15.  Looks like it had never been used for anything other than collecting dust.  I fired it up last night (still had some fuel in it) and it burned like a champ (Coleman Fuel stores for years).
 
Question to those with more experience: Regular unleaded is ok to use with these right?  (It's not designated as a "dual fuel" stove)  I believe that it will be safe, but that the generator may gum up and go bad sooner due to the additives in gasoline compared to Coleman fuel.  **Need to buy and store extra generators either way** I'm sure you can repair the generator by soaking it in gumout/carb cleaner and/or using sewing needles to clean out the vapor holes.
 
Here's how the refining tower does different fuels (highest refinement to lowest): LPG, white gasoline, Racing gas, Avgas, Gasoline, K1 kerosene, kerosene fuel oil, #1 fuel oil, #2 fuel oil, #3 fuel oil, # 4 motor oils. (from Survival blog)
 
I read that in England they use some kind of wipe liquid designed to prep cars for a paint job.  In the US you can use white gas as a direct substitute for Coleman Fuel. 
 
Of course Coleman says to only use their fuel- but that's just so they can make more money.   I've heard of folks using gasoline for years without an issue.  Wondering if premium or regular is the better product for this stove.  My guess is premium due to it having a higher octane than regular (white gas has even more octane than racing fuel)- but the extra additives in premium may be worse.
 
I'll have to give it a try this weekend- burning unleaded in my Coleman stove.
 
BTW- I got a truck this past weekend.  I'll post pictures tomorrow.  2004, 2500, 4dr, 4x4, diesel- and my average fuel mileage so far is 24mpg. 26-27 on the hwy!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Camping with the kids

Everything went just fine with the kids camping.  All three enjoyed themselves and I couldn't have asked for better weather.  It didn't even hint of being cold until just before sunrise.  Pancakes and sausage for breakfast washed down with hot chocolate.  mmm good

Tried fishing, but didn't get anything.  Messed around for a while and the kids went on a geo-cache adventure.  They traded for an American flag-

Getting a little frustrated in my search for a vehicle.  Still set on a 03-05 Dodge 2500 4x4 Diesel.  If I find one that I want- it's already sold.  Craig's list has been my friend.  Seems to have all the dealers and private parties listings.  A guy's going to call me in the morning and tell me if someone else has already bought this one.  It has a brand 1yr old tranny and a new TC (torque converter).




There's a gun show coming up this weekend.  I'm in the market for a riot shotgun.  Might be a good time. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

From Wall Street Journal: Putting Up Produce: Yes, You Can

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703787204574449160079437536.html?mod=article-outset-box


Imagine how surprized I was when I was reading the Wall Street Journal this morning and I opened to the Life and Style section and found a big article on canning food?!

The article goes on about how more and more people are turning to gardening and canning their food in response to the economic down turn.  According to the article: At Jarden Corp.'s Jarden Home Brands—the maker of Kerr and Ball brand jars—sales of canning equipment are up 30% this year through mid-September, over the same period in 2008.

While the author is "not motivated enough to tackle a canning session on my own, but [she's] definitely interested in team canning, which was as much fun as a dinner party and more productive."

I believe that preparation and general self-sufficient living is becoming more main stream-  wow, just think, soon we won't be considered crazy wacko survival people!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RE: Bugging out dilema

Michael responded to my post about my bugging out dilema.  (I'll repost his reply here)

If you are not going anywhere why invest in a truck and trailer? You have to make up your mind what you are going to do and then get busy trying to make it a reality. You have three young girls and that may be a heavy burden on you in the future. Either start getting ready to bug out or get busy bugging in.  ~Michael

First, thanks for the comment.  This is a good question, one I asked myself in the original post.  Why should I buy a trailer if I don't have a place to go?  Well, at this point in my prepping, it seems like the next logical step in getting prepared.  I have prepared to "bug in" about as much as I can (food, clothing, fuel, water, medical/dental, entertainment...) though we're never done preparing- now I am preparing for another contigency- the one where I cannot stay "bugged in."  My girls are part of the equation, I don't consider them a burden, they are the reason I am doing this.

As much as I want to stay in my home with all the luxuries and ammenities of suburbia, there may come a time when I need to bug out, despite all my preparations to bug in.  The time may come when I am forced to abandon my property in order to preserve my life and the lives of my family.  That may be due to riots, gangs, fires, floods, marshall law, looters, etc....

I am well into my preparation for bugging in.  So, now that I've crossed off much of those items off my list, I'm working toward preparing to bug out.  How do you bug out?

I believe Michael said it best: You have to make up your mind what you are going to do and then get busy trying to make it a reality. The only thing is, I have to make up my mind what I'm going to do in each circumstance and then make it a reality.

That means having multiple contingency plans for multiple scenarios.  Plan A, B, C...

I believe that an economic diaster that devolves into complete chaos is the most likely scenario (Patriots-type scenario).  That will be the first scenario I plan for.  Other scenarios may include pandemics, nuclear attack, terrorism, political changes...

Plan A for economic disaster for me is bugging in. 
  • Stay in my home as long as possible.  Group together with my friends and church members and try to weather the storm.  I have food, water and fuel for heat and cooking for a good while- with adequte defense agaist small armed non-military groups.
Plan B for economic disaster is bugging out- in the event that plan A does not appear possible on the outset or not viable due to deteriorating situations after some period of bugging in.
  • If there is time, try to get to a rural community where I have friends or family (I have a few prospects here). 
  • If there is not time, try to get to a forested area (one that I've pre-scouted and left caches)
Plan C for econmic disaster- if I've delayed bugging out to the point where it is not possible and bugging in is not possible.
  • Bury all my guns and ammo, stand in the FEMA lines and beg for mercy.
___________________
For my bug out trailer set up, I'm considering using a double trailer, one to haul the supplies and the other to live in.


Picture something like this (from http://www.expeditionrangecamps.com/ )

I will use a travel trailer instead of the range camp (there's is very well built with thick insulation and a wood burning stove inside)- very nice, but not exactly what I'm looking for.  The trailer behind it will be inclosed and hold my food supply, tools...

Or like the second photo- minus the boat :)


This way I can put a lot more stuff in my second trailer.  If need be I can disconnect or reload as necessary.  I think a setup like either of these will work fine for me- though there are definate draw backs.  Manueverablity being one of the greatest.

Before someone tells me this is illegal:
Check out this map.  The maximum length of a captive convoy ranges from 65 feet in Arizona and California to 99 feet in Mississippi.  My bug out plan does not include going into any of the states colored in red.

BTW, I'm in the middle of Glen Beck's Common Sense.  So far so good.  More of the same from him, but its good to get it all in writing.  The message is "Don't trust the government, vote for the right person vs the right party- and reading between the lines-  its too late, we're already screwed, its time for a revolution.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Camping


As some of you know, I've got three girls (all under the age of 8).  I'm taking them camping this weekend.  Its a church outing and it won't be primative at all.  We are planning smores and campfire sing-a-longs and all thats good.  I want them to have a good time and become less intimidated with the outdoors.

The last time I took them camping, we really roughed it- at least I did.  My girls were 6, 2 and 2 (twins) at the time.  I decided we were going to do some wilderness camping.  That we did.  I loaded the majority of the supplies in my backpack and we hiked (as much as 2 yr olds can) about 2 miles into the woods (we started pretty far in already).  Along the way, I identified leaves and rocks and trees- we had a generally good time.  I did end up carrying all the backpacks myself. 
    When the sun began to set, I found a nice patch of clearing and set up the tent.  I instructed the girls to find some firewood- they did, but they also found several spiders and bugs, accompanied by screams each time.
The tent was pitched, the hot dogs were cooking and we all enjoyed ourselves around the fire.  I didn't get much sleep that night as each of them at some point during the night needed to either use the bathroom or needed me to hold them and rock them to sleep. It was hot to begin with and pretty rough for me.
    I did see a wild boar the next day- which the girls did not see.  It was a pretty good time, but very difficult for me to do all by myself.

This time around, I believe will be a little different.  We are not hiking to the campsite and we will have other kids around for them to play with.  Hopefully, it will be a good daddy-daugher campout for all of us.  Hopefully, they will become more familiar with nature (they are city girls) and learn some skills.  After I purchase my travel trailer, I hope to make many more excursions into the woods (we won't be roughing it, but the opportunities for experience will still be there).

Saturday, October 10, 2009

New Poll: What do you fear in a collapse?


I've been thinking about possible scenarios- and there are lots of them.

Do you picture a collapse where the government is going door to door trying to confiscate guns and knives?  A world where you are being herded into a FEMA camp?  Do you see the national guard or the military roaming the streets looking for curfew violators- who will take your rights away in the name of marshal law?  Do you foresee zealous police officers that shoot first and don't ask questions?  What about the government taking over farms and food supplies?  What about them setting up check points to limit travel?

Or do you picture a collapse where riots have broken out in major cities and the fires burn uncontrolled?  Where looters are taking everything they can get their hands on.  Gangs are the only organized and armed organizations left in the cities- as police have either already been killed or have abandoned their posts to protect their own families.  Do you see gangs raping and pillaging along the suburbs after the resources of the cities are exhausted?

What about a collapse where most everyone "bugs in" -including your ill-prepared neighbors who soon turn to looting themselves?  Suburban neighbors may turn to cannibalism in order to feed their own families.  Do you foresee the herd of city-folks rushing to the suburbs and raiding homes in search of food from more prepared suburbanites?

What about escaped convicts who over-run the prisons?  Do they roam the countryside shooting and looting and killing everything in sight?

I think all of these are scenarios that may happen- or any combination there of.  Just wondering what you all think are the most likely.  I know I'm leaving some variation out- these are the top things I'd consider in the event of a total collapse.

Likely, in major cities that haven't burnt to the ground (perhaps b/c the National Guard got there first) Marshal Law would be enacted and the military would rule there.  In other parts of the US, the gangs would rule.  If prisoners escape- they could wreak havoc pretty much anywhere.  My neighbors, some good and some bad, make me the most nervous.  How soon could we organize a REAL neighborhood watch?  Would there been moochers from within who wouldn't or couldn't pull their own weight?

Assuming a slow decline into a collapse (I think this is the most likely), at what point do you get out of Dodge?  When the looting starts?  When the Humvees role into your neighborhood (too late then).  When you hear word of a prison break?  I think those are good answers.

One of my friends believes that the government will slowly take our weapons and other things away.   And make a law that says, "by this date, if you still have a weapon, you are a felon."  People still have jobs at this point- chaos has not broken out.  But do you call it then and Bug Out?  What if you are caught?  How do you provide for your family when you are in jail on a weapons charge?  Do you just go along with the system and hope for the best?  Tough questions.

I know this is a lot of rambling, but these are the thoughts in my mind over the past few days.  I've been looking to buy a truck and a travel trailer- but when I get those things- or even now, when will I know its time?  When do I quit my job and say, "hon, we're going to leave the house- pack the 72 hr kits and whatever you can and let's go."?

Finally, I don't have family or friends with any land within 1000 miles.  Assuming I don't have enough time or gas to get to them, where do I go?  I'm thinking the woods.  National and state forests.  But isn't that where everyone else will be going too?  How long could I survive out there?  I have my water filter and 1 year food supply, but farming would be ridiculous.  What are my other options?  I don't have land.  I don't have a cabin in the woods.  I don't have anywhere else really to go.  Am I better sticking it out and "bugging in" and toughing it out with the prepper friends I have here in the burbs?  Is getting a bug out vehicle a waste if I don't have any place to bug out to?  Lots of questions and hopefully I'll get some sleep tonight now that I've written them down.

Replies welcome.  Thanks.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Thinking of a Bug out Vehicle


I'm just going to ramble here for a few.  I've been spending more than a few hours looking at different trucks and trying to decide what vehicle to get.

First, I want a diesel.  They run forever- to the tune of 250-500k miles when maintained.  The fuel is more stable and stores longer (up to 10 years with treatment).  The fuel is less likely to run out compared to gas.  I can also burn vegetable oil and heating oil for fuel.  They are generally strong enough to pull a good sized trailer (more on that later).

Second, it has to be reliable.  After reading all about how crappy Ford's diesels are, I've nearly decided against them (I did find a nice 2005 F350 that otherwise meets my criteria).  Most websites put the Dodge Cummins at the top of the list, with GM's Duramax in second.  As far as reliably, that includes fixability.  From what I've read, that also puts Ford out of the running.  Fixability also includes finding parts.  My understanding is that there are way more Dodge diesels out there on the road and junkyards hands down.

That puts the Dodge Diesels out in the lead.

For me, if I'm going to have a truck, it has got to be a 4x4.  In a SHTF situation, I want it.
I also have a largish family with three kids (is that large?)  That means I need room in the back for them.  That means I want a 4 door.
Next, I want big bumpers for safely bashing other cars out of the way in a SHTF situation.  I also need a place to mount my Warn winch (it's on my Heep right now).
I also want a tool box and a bedliner.
Finally, it's got to be in my price range.  I don't want to spend any more that $14,000.


Here's a likely candidate: 2004 Dodge Ram 2500.  137k miles.  4x4, 6.0 Cummins $13,500

I'd prefer a different color, but my criteria is very specific.  This might get the job done.  (I would add off-road lights and a CB/HAM radio).

Thoughts?

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Book Review: EMERGENCY This Book Will Save Your Life by Neil Strauss

Two weeks ago when I was in the Dallas airport, I stopped at Hudson Books and picked out a survival-type book whose cover caught my interest.  Entitled "EMERGENCY THIS BOOK WILL SAVE YOUR LIFE" by Neil Strauss, the book looks like a fire alarm pull. 
The book is a biography, or rather, the story of how the author became interested in preparing for survival and his journey along the way.  Neil chronicles all the survival courses he took and his activities that bring him closer to his ideal of preparedness.

Initially, the author believes that getting a second citizenship is necessary to prepare.  He attends a seminar in Mexico that purported to help him achieve just that.  Later, he signs up for knife fighting classes as well as tracking, shooting, EMT and other classes he believes will prepare him for disaster.  The book is quick to read, but really has little in the way of practical information for the prepper.  He seems more interested in proving his story is true by including photocopies of his CPR certificate and lawyer bills.

He did take an interesting course- many of his courses I had no idea existed- called urban evasion.  The culmination of the course required him to go around the city on a scavenger hunt without getting caught by the instructor team.  I don't think any of those skills would truly help in the event of a social collapse- but it was interesting to read about his cross-dressing costume none-the-less.

To bring his book to a close, he comes full circle in philosophy.  Instead of running away from danger, he believes that he should be running straight into it- to help others.  He now works as an EMT and on the local (California) search and rescue team where he feels he is making a difference.

I don't recommend this book to any preppers looking for a book to teach you anything; it won't save your life.  There is no good how to instruction in it at all.  The only good aspect about it is that it opened my eyes to the market for survival classes- also, that everyone has a different idea of what preparedness means.


Saturday, October 3, 2009

Sick

I haven't written anything this past week because I've been sick.  On the third day of a low-grade fever I went to a walk-in clinic.  The Dr. diagnosed me with pneumonia and said that I probably had the flu earlier in the week.

I was given a steroid breathing treatment, a penicillin shot and prescribed a cough syrup and antibiotics to take for a week.  I'm feeling better, but still not 100%.

I need to find some doctor to prescribe some medicines for storage.  Sickness is an area that seems hard to prepare for.

I did stop at a garage sale yesterday and bought a pocket knife for $1.00

Ground wheat this morning.  Went for a short bike ride around the neighborhood.

Lettuce is sprouting.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Home Made Sterno Burner


I remember when I was little, my mom made 72-hr kits for us.  Part of that kit was a homemade can of sterno.  This is super easy to make- stores forever, virtually indestructible, self contained, safe and it's waterproof!  All you need is:

  1. Tuna can
  2. Cardboard box
  3. paraffin wax or old candles


Makin' it.  Clean out the tuna can and take the label off.  Cut your corrugated cardboard to about 1" or the depth of the tuna can.  Wind up the cardboard as tight as you can and put it into the tuna can.  While you are doing this, get a pot of water boiling and put your wax into a mason jar or old tin can (I used an old jelly jar).  The jar goes into the boiling water (double boiler style) and after a few min, you have melted wax.  After the wax is all melted, carefully pour it into the tuna can with the cardboard in place.  It takes a while for it to dry (faster in a frig).


Startin' it.  It doesn't start as well as I thought it would.  It took some time with the lighter (the wind didn't help any either).  Once it lights good, it will stay lit.  After you get it going, you're going to need something to balance the pot or pan on.  Bricks are just the right height, but you could use rocks or specially designed metal to do the job.

Cookin' with it.  It took exactly 9 min 30 seconds for it to boil two cups of water.  It's not a fast cooker, but it will do the job.  *also, very important* DO NOT use your wife's best cooking pan to experiment with this!  It leaves black marks all over the bottom.  The fire is a little smoky and doesn't smell that great (I guess if you used incensed candle wax it might smell better)- but it does the job and may help you eat.  I cooked on it for 10 min and there looked to be PLENTY of cooking time left on it.

Puttin' it out.  Don't pour water on it!  It flares up something fierce!  (pretty cool though).  I recommend smothering the flame with the bottom of the pot (not the good one though).  Don't let it burn out cause you can use it again for next time.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fall Garden


It's well into September and, since I live in Texas where we have an extended growing season- I'm pulling out the summer plants
(except for my herbs and my peppers, which are finally producing) and laying in some lettuce, carrots and onions.  I believe if I plant them now, I'll be able to harvest this November.  We don't really get snow here and all of those plants are very cold hardy.  We've had so much rain the past two weeks I haven't been able to do any gardening.

Just a reminder to those in the temperate climates- now is the time to plant out your fall garden seeds.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Survival Groups

Survival groups form as preppers realize that chances of survival increase if you have a network to help in the event of a crisis or sociatal breakdown.  James Rawles book "Patriots" portrays a good example of how a group could function.  Each member brings different talents to the group and division of labor and effective defense are benifits of such a survial group.

I have heard stories of failed attempts at creating survival groups.  Reasons include lack of commitment from each member.  Varrying expectations of group members, and fiscal differences can easily create riffs that could break up the group.

Imagine the rich doctor that wants to join a group that is willing to commit financial resources, yet does not have the time to commit to survial practice and help with the building of the physical retreat.  He may expect that his financial contribution compensates for his lack of time-  this situation may work out just fine- or it could create friction with other members of the group that are putting in the sweat and hard labor.

Consider the part time prepper that figures that a cabin in the woods is more like a timeshare vacation.  When he goes there, he doesn't help with the garden or building or chopping wood.  He's on vacation- if others members of the group percieve that he is not pulling his own- disputes can break up the group.  Or another who tells everyone and his dog about the "secret" retreat- violating the privacy expectations of others.

On the other hand, chances of survival and the group staying together increase if everyone of the group understands and agrees (in writting) to the expectations.  I think that a constitition of sorts could be drawn up and every member who joins must abide by the rules- or face expulsion.

In Patriots, there was one overall leader with other members in charge of various jobs (medical, logistics, cooking...).  If a disagreement ever arose, the leader had final say- like it or not.  A crisis is not the time to vote and debate- right or wrong a swift decsion can save lives and give purpose. 

If you belong to a group, lets hear what's worked for you and what hasn't.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

September Preparedness


For those of you who are just getting started in prepping, or those who have been prepping for a while and just need a few tips,  I've decided to post my prep goals for each month.  You can follow along, and, I'll bet, before long you will have a complete year supply and some.  Those who already have all your prep stuff, I'll lay money that there will be a few things that you'll discover you don't have or that you need to check on.

Here goes:

1. Buy 100 lbs of grain.  (rice, wheat, oats, etc...) (I need a little more oats)
2. Buy at least 1 case of water
3. Add at least $20 cash every payday set aside in house (not in the bank)
4. Don't let gas tank go below 1/2 full
5. Buy (another) 5 gallon gas can, fill it and add Stabil (prolongs shelf life)
6. Big item of the month: Fall/Winter garden prep.  Prepare the soil now- ground, pots, or boxes.  Get tools if necessary, till up yard- turn over this years garden, add supplements if necessary (it is).
7. Check 72-hr kit.  Comfort items?  (hard candy, gum, toys/crayons, cards, novels...)
8. Have scripture study and pray everyday.
9. Bake whole wheat bread every week (4 loaves/week)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Scouting

     I am a scouter.  I have been my whole life- well, at least since I was 7 and my mom was my den leader.  Since then, I've progressed through the ranks, been a camp councilor and an adult leader for several years.  I don't have any boys myself, but I volunteer with the scouts every Wednesday.
     Today, we took the boys fishing at a nearby pond.  There are 6 boys in our patrol and everyone of them caught at least four fish.  That's pretty good for fishing only an hour or so.  Each of the boys learned or applied the knots learned while they tied their own knots.  Each was able to correctly identify the fish they caught and remove the hook.  They demonstrated proper casting technique (we practiced the week before).   They all exercised safety. Each boy gained confidence in his abilities to fish and become self reliant.
     I bring this up to point out that the self reliant and preparedness attitude can start early.  Each boy now knows that, if needed, he can bring home a string of fish for his family.  The skills learned may not even be recognized for what they actually are at the time.  To the scouts, they were just having a good time- but they were really learning survival skills that may help them and their families in the not too distant future.
   I also bring this story up to encourage my readers to become involved in their communities.  Become friends with your neighbors; contribute to worthy causes.  Help others when you can.

I think we can all learn from the Boy Scouts- and if we are all scouters at heart, the world would be a better place- See if you don't agree with the Scout Promise, Law and of course the Motto: Be Prepared!

Boy Scout Oath or Promise

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

Note that the Boy Scout Oath has traditionally been considered to have three promises. Those three promises are delineated by the semicolons in the Oath, which divide it into three clauses. The three promises of the Scout Oath are, therefore:
  • Duty to God and country,
  • Duty to other people, and
  • Duty to self
DUTY TO GOD AND COUNTRY: Your family and religious leaders teach you to know and serve God. By following these teachings, you do your duty to God.
Men and women of the past worked to make America great, and many gave their lives for their country. By being a good family member and a good citizen, by working for your country's good and obeying its laws, you do your duty to your country. Obeying the Scout Law means living by its 12 points.

  • Trustworthy,
  • Loyal,
  • Helpful,
  • Friendly,
  • Courteous,
  • Kind,
  • Obedient,
  • Cheerful,
  • Thrifty,
  • Brave,
  • Clean,
  • and Reverent.

DUTY TO OTHER PEOPLE: Many people need help. A cheery smile and a helping hand make life easier for others. By doing a Good Turn daily and helping when you're needed, you prove yourself a Scout and do your part to make this a better world.

DUTY TO SELF: Keeping yourself physically strong means taking care of your body. Eat the right foods and build your strength. Staying mentally awake means learn all you can, be curious, and ask questions. Being morally straight means to live your life with honesty, to be clean in your speech and actions, and to be a person of strong character.
(taken from http://www.macscouter.com/advance/boyscout/bsoathlaw.asp)

Monday, September 7, 2009

Secret Bread Recipe

I'm about to share a family bread recipe.  Write this one down, it's a keeper.  I usually use all wheat flour except for about a cup or two of white while I'm kneading it. These are the worst looking loaves though- the kids ate up the better ones this time before I could snap pics.  I recommend large dark non-stick metal bread pans (like the ones shown) .  The ones in the photo above were done with old glass pans that just don't give it the shape it should have (still tastes the same).  I grind my own wheat and don't use a bread machine or food processor and I get that much more enjoyment out of it knowing that my sweat is in the food I'm eating.

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp Yeast
1/2 Cup Warm Water
5 Cups Hot Water
2 Tbsp Salt
2/3 Cup Oil
2/3 Cup Honey
2 Tbsp Vital Wheat Gluten
2 Tbsp Dough Enhancer
12 Cups Flour
1 Tbsp Sugar (or honey)

Directions:
Mix yeast + 1 Tbsp Sugar into warm water - set aside
Mix 7 Cups flour with Hot Water- mix well
add salt, oil, honey, gluten, enhancer- mix well
add 1 cup flour- mix well
add yeast mixture and 3-4 cups flour- mix well
knead for 10 min adding flour if needed- let rise in bowl for 30 min in warm area with moist hand towel over the top.
Punch down- let rise again for 30min.
Divide into 4 loaves and put in greased bread pans and let rise 30 min.

Bake at 350' for about 30 min.  Brush with butter when it comes out.
Sit back and enjoy.

I've done this recipe substituting with variations: 2 cups rice flour, 2 cups oatmeal, white flour... I think the gluten and dough enhancer really help the bread though.  I bought 2 cases for my food storage from Honeyville Farms.  Good stuff.  The more you let it rise and punch down, the better consistency and texture of the bread (I don't punch more than 3 times though).  This recipe works well with dinner rolls too.  Kids love it.

Friday, September 4, 2009

No luck in the woods today

Today yielded no meat for the freezer.  I got out in the woods around 6am and couldn't get too far in the woods cause it was too dark.  I stayed along the fire road and watched the field until it got lighter.  I got bored and started walking real quietly through the grass and I saw movement to my left.  I froze and watched the movement come towards me.  I wasn't sure what it was at first- something small for sure- a possum I thought.  Then an armadillo came out of the high grass and walked right up to me, stood on it's hind legs and sniffed the air for a few seconds.  I suppose they are blind, because after sniffing the air, it just kept on through the grass in front of me in no big hurry.  Later, I was walking a different field and sprang 3 white tale deer.  One was a buck with just 2 small horns.  I came across a box turtle as well.  Unfortunately, I didn't spy any wild pigs.  I do think I found an area they traverse though.  I staked it out for an hour, but to no avail. Real muddy area that is heavily traffic'd by animals headed toward the lake.


What kid of animal do you think this came from (my photo above)?  Looks like pig to me base off of these tracking photos.