Our Christmas got off to a great start with Walker sleeping in until 8 o'clock in the morning. Kiddo was mad that Santa was in our house (he does not like the man after a bad mall experience) and after finding a couple matchbox cars in his stocking decided he was done opening gifts. We helped him with the rest and then had some breakfast.
Kiddo got a cowboy outfit for Christmas and somehow it ended up on the dog. Dog is not amused by this. Anyway the picture came out well and we had to share it. Don't worry Dog is being well rewarded with all manner of (dog safe) people food so his Christmas is still going well.
Wifey got a nice designer wallet, a wool coat and some end tables. I got a CMMG Conversion kit for the AR and an IPOD Nano.
After breakfast we have just been hanging out. Kiddo played with toys and generally was himself and is down for a nap. Dog is sleeping. We are relaxing before dinner and doing some light snacking.
I pulled out my rifle (calling it Project AR Upgrade is getting old) and fiddled with the conversion kit a bit. It is a nicely manufactured little piece of kit. "Installation" is stupidly easy. Just take out the bolt and put in the kit bolt then insert a .22 magazine. I'm looking forward to testing it out at the range later this week. Will check the darn schedule this time though.
To me there are two real roles for this kit. As a survival toon and for affordable short range training with the AR. For me being able to carry a little bolt with a mag or two and shoot .22 ammo through my rifle would be really nice. A great option if I have to travel light for whatever reason. Secondly I can't afford to shoot anywhere near as much .223 as would be ideal but a trip to the range with this sucker won't break the bank.
For me two criteria will determine if this bolt is a useful tool or a little gimmick decent accuracy and OK reliability. What I want to be able to do is shoot .22lr accurately at 25, or ideally 50 meters, sufficiently to do SRM, plink and if need put some meat into the pot. Don't need or expect it to win small bore competitions, just to be accurate enough to fill a legitimate role. As to reliability I am a bit less concerned. So long as it doesn't jam every third round or in complicated unpleasant ways that make the whole thing a hassle I am prepared for a few eccentricities. Absolute best case some duds are inevitable with rim fire ammo anyway. I'll share some more thoughts after it gets some range time.
Well kiddo is up and it is almost time to start moving towards dinner so it is time to wrap this up.
This week we were kind of busy with a sick kid and Christmas as well as the usual mundane life stuff.
We picked up a battery charger for Wifey's cell phone, a big bag of food for Dog and some odds and ends of pantry stuff. Also Wifey found us a BBQ for $20 from some folks who were moving. The propane tank that came with it alone is worth twice that and the BBQ while simple is pretty new and in good condition. The BBQ is a win in terms of life but the propane tank is probably the bigger preparedness win.
I have been doing some wheeling and dealing in terms of guns. Definitely a lot of contacts lead to a few discussions which now and then brings about an actual transaction. Oh well that is the nature of the thing.
Of course plenty of running and some lifting happened. This coming week my schedule is a bit more open so I am going to work in more body weight stuff which has been a weak spot as of late and at least one road march. I have been eating pretty decently (well minus Friday night and Saturday) and that has been having some good effects on my body and performance.
Next week I am going to put some lead downrange. Also want to go over the kit for car 1 and put something together for car 2. In any other motivated time I will start reassembling the old BOB. Testing of the Pathfinder Trade Knife is close to done so a review will come out once my thoughts solidify.
Dog is fitting into the family well. He got checked out by the vet, shot, exam, etc. Dog is totally healthy and should have at least a couple years left (he is 8) which is good. Turns out that he has gained 7 pounds in the last month or so. That puts his weight at 79 pounds. He may be getting a few leftovers and all sorts of stuff from the kid. We wondered about his hearing but it turns out to be fine. There was just some wax buildup.
So that means he really doesn't care about much of anything. That is a good thing for our family dynamic and lifestyle. Still he is a large dog that barks so we are up a few points on the all important 'leave us alone and rob the neighbors instead' index.
We are still working on getting Walker to treat the dog well. That is not actually true because working on implies some sort of plan or progress. Not exactly sure what to do with that one.
In any case the dog is pretty awesome. He does not ride in the back of the SUV when we go someplace but prefers to sit in the back seat next to the kid. He likes it because kiddo is restrained. Dog would probably sleep about 18 hours a day if he had his own way. Also Dog prefers his hamburgers without sauce or veggies.
I spent a lot of time writing a post and shortly after publishing decided it had to go back to the drawing board. Not that my mind has changed on the issues but it didn't seem likely to go anywhere particularly productive.
So here we are. In a lot of ways this week was pretty good. The running went well. Lifting and rucking not so much. On the plus side I'm down a couple pounds. I think the illusive reasonable and fits into my life diet code may have been cracked. Will talk about it awhile down the road when things are a bit more conclusive.
My EDC/ GHB is pretty much set as is the car kit. Right now I am running some stuff in the normal bag I haul around every day and just making sure to bring it when I leave the house. This helps keep the amount of 'my crazy junk' in the car to a minimum and is more useful when I have to ride with someone else or whatever. I have a bit of tweaking to do and will write about this stuff sooner or later.
Still trying to weigh different options and make some choices. I'll probably do a post and ask your thoughts shortly.
Coming down the pipe: This week I will lift 3 times (1 down), do 3 PT oriented workouts (1 down), run 3 times (1 down) and ruck twice. Looking to do some trial stuff on our various alternative cooking methods and fiddle around with the little solar charger we have. In the next week or two I will announce a contest. Still lining up prizes and figuring out some details but it should be pretty solid.
Dog is working out really well. He is very easy going and low maintenance. Nudges one of us when he needs to go to the bathroom and generally fit right into the family. Kiddo is still learning how to be nice to the dog but that is a work in progress.
Dog is not exactly a fierce warrior beast but he definitely pays attention to where we are and shows decent guard dog potential. He rarely barks (3x in a week I think) but seems to do it at the right times. That being said most of the home security benefits of a relatively large dog are as a deterrent. The goal is not necessarily to make an impenetrable fortress (thought that is a fine idea) but for your place to be a higher risk for the crooks) than the one across the street so they rob them instead.
Anyway that is what has been going on this week and a view of what's coming up.
Today we got a dog. We have been wanting one for awhile but in our old place it really was not practical. Now we have a yard and it will be a requirement in future residences so it was a good time.
Dog is an 8 year old Newfoundland Shepperd (which I think they use as a large long haired catch all) mutt. The bathroom scale says he weights in a bit over 70 pounds. We just got him home this afternoon. He is very laid back, good with Walker and seems like a solid addition to the family. Time will of course tell about that one.
Anyway that's what is going on here today. I'm off to join them outside. Hope you had a good weekend.
Today was pretty busy. We had to do all manner of running around errand type stuff. It isn't a done deal yet but looks like we are getting a dog in the next few days. More to follow on this. Also we were able to pick up a washer and dryer. Bought them used at a pretty good price. Finding the place was an adventure. I spent an hour or so puttering around dirt roads out in the desert trying to find some little lane. Got them here and hooked up so we can wash clothes which will be really nice. Also it means we can get back to cloth diapering which will be good.
Pulled the trigger on Project Upgrade AR. BCM 14.5" Mid Length with a pinned Battle Comp 1.5. Not 100% it was worth paying the extra for the comp but I haven't heard anything bad about them so it seemed like a good idea. Also got a BCM bolt carrier group, Gunfighter charging handle (the medium one) and Flat Earth Magpul hand guard with a BUIS to match. The Magpul hand guard and potentially the BUIS are relatively temporary until Phase II which will be a Rail and DBAL.
Today was a pretty good day in terms of life and preparedness. These days do not happen often. It is worth noting that it would not have been possible without a lot of saving and selling off a couple of guns. Selling things I do not use or need to fund the purchase of more useful stuff is something I am getting to like.
Speaking of which the M1 Garand seems to have a buyer. Nothing is 100% until it's over but this looks promising. I am pretty psyched about it. Think those funds will start filling in some holes like night sights and a surefire weapons light.
Anyway I am going to relax for a bit and enjoy Sons of Anarchy which is cool. Maybe it is just a nuance of programing here but the CBS show Vegas seems to have prudently moved to 9 o'clock.
I stumbled into this video. There really isn't anything (big picture) in it that I disagree with. I like the emphasis on preventing people from breaking into your place to begin with. An alarm (or at least the placards), a big barking dog and some motion lights will go a long way to making the neighbors house seem inviting. As the old cliche says "you don't have to outrun the bear, just the slowest member of your party."
The only real point that I would add that is within the video's scope is about OPSEC. Often, and probably more often than not, burglaries are not random. Crooks don't just decide to rob your house at 1832 Woodland Street out of the blue. They decide to rob you because you sold a car for 10 grand a few days ago and they think the cash is in the house. They decide to rob you because you showed a dozen people a safe full of sweet guns at a party a year ago and one of them (probably just making conversation) told somebody who is a crook. Limiting public displays of stuff worth stealing by using common sense measures goes a long way.
Also having a gun on your person, a plan and a long gun handy for if goblins decide to actually come into your house is very sound advice.
John Mosby recently wrote an interesting article about defensive considerations aimed more at the survivalist/ wanna be G angle. Like everything he writes it is worth checking out. There were a couple points that made worthwhile additions to this piece. What will deter the appearance of a tweeker or keep them from being successful will not necessarily deter a dozen motivated and well equiped goblins of any variety. If an organized and motivated group decide that a hard nut is worth cracking they will probably crack it, especially if that nut is composed of just you and the missus. However unless you really piss somebody off or have something very valuable this shouldn't be an issue. In that unlikely situation your options are to fight valiantly and die in place (IMO that is what you do when your plan and contingency plans fail, not the primary plan) or get out of there. Depending on your lifestyle this may or may not be a concern for you. Personally I don't lose any sleep over this sort of thing. All you can do is prepare then give it your best there is always a situation that you can't handle.
Anyway JM talks about some steps to harden your doors against breaching. Given that every yahoo has seen enough cops to know about battering rams and hooligan tools, both of which are readily available on the internet, don't be suprised if these tactics are used. [Up to now we have pretty much talked about free or fairly inexpensive simple things you can do to become a harder target. Hardening entrances may be worth considering depending on your situation. There are probably a lot of ways to harden a door. Something like this seems like a good option on the cheap/ low impact end. Making sure you have a door that doesn't suck and sticking a couple extra hinges into it and replacing all the little screws with 4 or 6 inchers isn't that complicated. These are probably things anybody can do. Going a bit further reenforcing the frame and putting a serious door on is a good way to go, especially if you are going to be there for the long term. Along these lines I am a fan of steel "screen doors" with deadbolts. It is another layer somebody needs to go through. They are also useful in the summer if you don't have AC. ] JM's recommendation to put a good door into a reenforced frame with lots of hinges and multiple deadbolts is hard to argue with. It will stop, or at least seriously screw up the tactical momentum of a crew trying to breach with a shotgun or tools. If folks coming after you are serious enough to competently breach with explosives I suggest escaping, evading, relocating and seriously thinking about who you piss off in the future.
I have some more thoughts about realistic and affordable harder homes and gardens.
Additionally I would say that using the new DIY type window glass laminates has some fascinating possibilities for delaying forced entry. I estimate that you could harden doors as described above and windows in this fashion for the cost of a nice rifle or a long weekend at the beach. Not exactly cheap but also not an unrealistic amount of money for most people.
Also if you have a suitable choke point I like interior security gates. Also it is yet another layer that folks would have to go through to get to you and yours. Remember that layers equal time. Also if a concealed guy at the top of the stairs behind a gate says "if you come up here I will shoot you" goblins would have to REALLY WANT IT to try and breach the thing. Assuming your family is safely upstairs this should make securing the choke point to wait for the cops/ cavalry a pretty doable task.
Of course you can go further and build some sort of a bunker house if you have the coin and desire.
Anyway I hope this gives you something to think about in terms of home defense.
Well it is Friday. Not a whole lot going on here. Wifey has been away (at home) for almost 2 weeks. This is probably the longest I have ever lived alone. I lived with my folks, sporadically with Army people, in the dorm,with room mates and got hitched to Wifey then lived with her. At various points I have been in an empty house for awhile or whatever but not for this long. away
I don't think I like it much. Of course room mates suck but but I prefer living with people I enjoy being around (Wifey or family). Hopefully the time will never come when I have to live alone for good. With my job Wifey and I might make a strategic decision for me to go to a course alone or otherwise be a geographic bachelor for a for months.
I decided that if I ever have to live alone I am definitely getting a dog. In addition to being bad people cats are not particularly good companions. Cat #1 is pretty ambivalent about me or anybody else. Cat #2 is sort of needy but (interestingly enough like many needy people) is difficult to hang out with because he keeps scratching me with his claws.
In a lot of ways living alone is the ultimate accountability to self. If I do the dishes or not it is nobody's problem. If the trash is empty or overflowing it just bothers me and the cats but nobody cares what they think. Not sure if this is bad or good but it is kind of interesting.
I find that my off work time is busier than it used to be. As of late Wifey was working so we pretty evenly spit the household load. However even though I am alone a lot of the load has stayed the same. Instead of cooking every other night I cook whenever I want food. Obviously clean up is me too.
Also I am a lot more social with other people since she isn't around. Not that I am unfriendly with the folks at work or whatever. I have all the normal everyday conversations but outside of work my primary socialization is generally Wifey. As she is at home I am more inclined to sit around for awhile after work and BS or go do something with the guys. Maybe that isn't a bad thing.
Tomorrow I have either a busy day or a semi busy day depending on my motivational level. All good stuff, it is just a question of how much I want to do.
The weather here is completely fucking insane. Today we had massive thunder storms, hurricanes and flash floods. Tomorrow there is going to be snow. Friday it is supposed to be 75. Seriously, what the fuck?
I was sitting here this morning and the crazy storm was blowing. All of a sudden I heard a siren of some sort. It was coming from outside, an area with more stuff a couple hundred yards away. I realized it must be a tornado siren. I got onto the google and did some looking. There was a tornado warning in our area. Fucking A. I elected to let Wifey sleep because I couldn't think of anything great to do. Without a basement the best I can think of is to go to an interior room if a tornado strikes.
So yeah the weather here is totally nuts.
Also every dog I see seems to be a pit bull. Not sure what to make of that.
Today I swung by the gun shop and they had a nice AK with a folding stock. They wanted $675 for it. Fricking aye. I got my AK (WASR-10, whatever) for a bit under $400 last summer. Not sure if I will ever got another one but definitely won't at these prices.