Wednesday, October 28, 2009


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. 
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

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 )

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


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).


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


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.