Friday, April 23, 2010

Carriers Movie Review

***Spoiler Alert***I rented the movie “Carriers” from RedBox yesterday.  It’s very similar to the Discovery special “Armageddon” –except the language is quite bad for a PG-13 movie.  A group of four young adults attempt to travel to a remote beach to escape a deadly and highly infectious virus plaguing the world.  Along the way they encounter a road block by a desperate man trying to get gasoline- later, they employ the same technique to get gasoline themselves.  They come across a doctor who advocates euthanasia to ease the suffering, a prepper group who try to abduct the girls, and a man-eating dog.  Eventually, one of girls and her boyfriend catch the virus. The female is abandoned at a truck stop and latter, the infected male is killed by his brother when he refuses to hand over the car keys.  Interesting plot and points for discussion.

At the point where the movie starts, the plague is full blown and most of the population has already died off- those still alive have learned the tricks of survival and have developed the callousness to pull it off.  During the movie, the group mentions “rules” for survival.  They wear masks when they are around infected people; they bleach anything an infected person has touched.  The never travel on interstates.  Harshest of all, they state, “the sick are dead.”  Anyone who is sick is already considered dead- they cannot be helped or saved. The children suffering in the movie was the hardest to watch- handling that in real life would be beyond difficult. 

While I do not advocate the actions taken by the group; the situation they are in makes one ponder.  What would you do in the event of a major plague?  How would you care for the sick in your family?  Would you risk infection yourself to care for them in their last days, or abandon them to save yourself? Do you have the equipment (MOP gear, plastic sheeting, bleach, duct tape) to help increase your chances of not catching it? Could you walk away from your group if you became infected, to prevent exposure to them? What is your moral obligation to others?  Where do you draw the line? 

In the end, two of the four survive and make it to the isolated beach.  Where they go from there is left to the imagination of the audience.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Army to court-martial 'birther'

Army to court-martial 'birther' officer; Refuses to deploy, considers orders from Obama void...

The significance is this: A court martial will open the trial to discovery of evidence.  The judge will have to order the actual birth certificate (the issue at question) to be entered into evidence. Obama has spent lots of money preventing the documents from being discovered up to this point; I don't know what strings he may pull to stop them now.

Allowing the Birth Certificate into evidence hopefully will finally resolve the question of O's birthplace.

This is why the Lt. Col's case is so important.  All the other military folks have simply had their orders redacted- thus prohibiting the discovery of the birth certificate.

For all the "birthers" out there, this is a good thing.  It will end the debate.  For the non-birthers, this is a good thing; it will end the debate.


My opinion is that it will NOT go to trial; the big O (no not Oprah) will simply demand that the Pentagon change his orders and not hold a court martial.

Monday, April 12, 2010

American Values defined

Pull out a US coin.  Penny, dime nickel, quarter, whatever.  Look at it.


You will see the three American values printed right on it.


In God We Trust: The One who defines our values and gives us our rights as his children.  No one but God can justly take these rights away because God is the one who gave them.

Liberty: Possessing inalienable rights from God to act according to one’s will without coercion.

E Pluribis Unum: From many, one.  We all (regardless of your backgroud) can come together a form something greater than the sum of the parts. 


Notice you don’t see “equality” or “fairness” or “niceness” or “political correctness” printed on our coins.  Look at a French coin and you will see “Equality, Liberty, Fraternity.”  That’s not us.  They can’t have the same liberty we have b/c you have to take away liberty to make equality (I.e, the amount of money you can make, the car you drive, the house you live in, your education).


American values is about creating the circumstances where you have the ablility to achive greatness or suckiness, depending on your choices made through your God-given rights to liberty.  We trust that God has given you some talents where you can use your liberty to improve your circumstances in life and join the rest of society and make it a better place.


Try to teach your children these values.  They don’t teach them in public schools anymore.  They teach that everything should be fair and that the government will make it fair if you can’t improve your life on you own- all you have to do is give up your liberty, God, and your individualism…oh, and they want that dime with the words on it too.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Coon hunt report

Went coon huntin' last night and bagged two- a male and a female. (also killed a skunk) Both were tree'd and I killed em' with a 9mm Glock.  One was stuck in a tree and had to be shot again with bird shot to push it off the tree limb.  Surprisingly,  very few shots penetrated into the muscle- most was lodged just under the skin.  The holes are minor and can be repaired if need be.

This was my first time hunting coons and I was really surprised by their weight.  Each weighed at least 20lbs.  I put them on ice in a cooler and cleaned them this morning.  That was another first.  Much more difficult than the videos on youtube.  Coons have thick hide and lots of fat.  I am attempting to tan the hides.  I scraped them pretty clean and have them soaking in salt water at the moment.  I've collected a bunch of acorns which I will boil and use the tannic acid in the water to soak (tan)  the hides in for a week. (I think the word "tan" comes from the tannic acid in the acorns) After that,  I will stretch them and dry them, sandpapering and scrapping as needed and finally "paint" on some scrambled eggs and let that dry (several layers with time to dry between).  Finally, I will rinse the hide, dry it, and work it until supple.  I'm thinking of making mittens out of the fur.

The meat looked good when I was cutting it up. but after cooking them (bone-in) in the crockpot all day today our house smells terrible.  I will not be eating this meat-  it is very dark very oily and STINKY.  I did not cut out the glands immediately as apparently I should have.  I hate to waste meat  but this is beyond editable.  Even my dog turned her nose up at the meat.

Lessons learned- coons are not generally good eating- unless you know a recipe I don't.  Tanning a coon hide is not easy and takes a long time.  My kids on the other hand really enjoyed watching and, surprisingly, they were not grossed out as I expected.  All the girls wanted to touch the tail and see the skin.  They even looked in the gut bucket and laughed when they saw the tongue sticking out.  I reminded them to be respectful and explained that this was one of God's creatures that we were using and that we should remember that and be thankful.

Oh, and I used my new shotgun to kill a skunk.  It was a clean shot and the gun performed well.  Much less recoil than my grandaddy's Winchester.  The modified choke and longer barrel help me to concentrate the 00 buck on target from about 20 yards.  Kick was minimized by the nice rubber pad on the stock.  I only took one shot with it all night, but from what I could tell, it performed as designed.  I also really enjoyed the pistol grip as I was able to easily one hand the gun while driving the ATV a short distance through the cattle gates.  (I ride on the back while my friend drives, works the spotlight and does the gates).

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Maverick 88 shotgun

I picked up a Maverick 88 yesterday at WallyWorld for $157 and added a new stock and barrel.  So I have both the 27" and the 18.5" barrel.  I've got a mini-reflex red dot sight on order.  (This is primarily for night hunting with the long barrel- as the shorter one shouldn't require too much aiming precision)

I disassembled the gun and wasn't overly happy to find that the trigger group is nearly all plastic (but it should be fine for my purposes).  The fore-grip is not interchangable with Mossberg 500series grips.  The stock is compatible though.  I want to add a sling and then I'll call it good.  I like the adjustable stock (from blackhawk) and the pistol grip.  The pistol grip enables me to hold it with one hand if need be when opening a door or something.  The slide action feels good.  I like the safety on the trigger guard.  I'm very pleased with my purchase overall.  I'll be trying it out tomorrow night on a skunk hunt.  Report to follow.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

3 principles that you should keep in mind to prevent or mitigate the damages in an attack or catastrophe

I have to start out by saying that economic collapse will start a food shortage and/or civil and may eventually lead to societal and governmental collapse.  Kind of like a spider web with everything related to another- it may be hard to separate one catastrophe from another once it starts snowballing. 
I will identify three principles that you should keep in mind to prevent or mitigate the damages in an attack or catastrophe. First, you must prioritize the threats. Second, you must determine if your spending is proportional to the threats and finally, you must develop strategies to minimize the loss of life in the event of a catastrophe.
These are the major threats that that I believe could threaten my family, ranked in order from most likely to least likely to occur:
  • Economic collapse
    • hyperinflation
    • collapse of the dollar
    • hyper interest rate escalation
    • hyper taxation
    • hyper regulation
  • Natural disaster (if it hit a major economic or production center it could cripple the entire country)
    • Major earthquakes
    • Hurricanes/tornados
  • Food shortages
    • oil prices skyrocket = increased food prices/unavailability
    • wheat blight
  • Civil war
    • revolts against government (peaceful or not)
    • Consider the threat of NATO or the UN sending in troops to "stabilize" our country
  • Biological attack
    • terrorist or from a foreign country
  • Chemical attack
    • terrorist or from a foreign country
  • Nuclear attack
    • terrorist or from a foreign country
Keeping these threats in mind, I asked myself what what I preparing for and where I have invested my money.  I am preparing (in order of the events above, and I have spent my money and time accordingly.
#1  physical security (guns & locomotion/location), #2 food, #3 gardening (including seeds), #4 medicine /first aid, #5 economic security, #6 WMD attacks.
My strategy may be different from yours, depending on your ranking of the threats, but others seem to prepare hap-hazardly.
To explain their reaction, consider prospect theory and decision theory, which asserts that the public generally puts weight on certain issues that are statistically unlikely versus making rational decisions based on logic. For example, most people are more worried about the risks of nuclear power plants than the risks of driving to work, and more alarmed by the prospect of terrorists with chemical weapons than by swimming in a pool.
Logical preppers should focus on probabilities and outcomes, and prepare chronologically and financially in that order- not spur of the moment decisions and emotional purchases.  i.e, don't prep on precious metals before you prep on guns and food.  Beans, Bullets and bandaids first, everything else after that.

Declare your independence from Obamacare


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Compost bin

I built a compost bin the other day out of pallets.  I stained them to match my raised beds (I also stained the dehydrator the same color).  This is on the side of my house so it isn't such an eye-sore, but it gets easily 6+ hrs a day of sunshine.  I think it will be just fine.  If needed I will add boards on the front as the heap gets bigger.  I have a smaller plastic bin by the back yard that we throw vegetable and fruit scraps in until I get around to dumping them into the compost pile.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Photos of the backyard

This is the onion patch. 

Not sure what kind of tree this is with the pinkish blossoms. They look nice though. You can see my solar dehydrator in the background.