Showing posts with label family. Show all posts
Showing posts with label family. Show all posts

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Check Ya Later

Over the next few days posting may be light. Depending on events and spotty internet I may be late responding to emails or comments. Got a post in the cue for tomorrow but don't expect a lot till after the New Year.


Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day 2013

Merry Christmas. Today will be filled to the brim with family fun, presents and more food n drink than are probably reasonable. Don't have anything big to say. Baring something unforeseen and amazing this will be the official 2013 Christmas post.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas or whatever else it is you choose to celebrate. Regardless of the religious and or cultural celebration you choose I hope you spend some time with friends and family doing good wholesome stuff; or maybe not so wholesome stuff, just try not to get on Cops with a knock down drag out family brawl. Talk to you all later.

If you have spare time get your fighting load contest entry put together.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Road Trip Day 5- Louisiana!!!

Today was the last day on the road. We left Houston (well actually a suburb) about 9:30 then got on the road. Aside from everybody being tired of driving and Walker being rather confused plus wanting to stay playing with cousins it was a decent drive. Once we got off I-10 shortly after entering LA things got rural in a hurry. Windy roads through small towns which is the sort of thing we're used to from home. Also we enjoy the trees and general greenery. A big change from Arizona.

There isn't a whole lot of anything out here but town seems big enough to met our basic needs which is good. Honestly we tend to prefer a rather rural area anyway so that is good. 

In general the heat has been getting to Wifey and the kids. I spent the summer in Arizona so am used to 90-100+ degree temps. The addition of humidity is something I knew was coming (we did live in Alabama for awhile) but being away from it for awhile expecting it isn't the same as being in it.

Well we arrived safely which was a bit surprising. Between two very young children, the dog, about 1,400 miles and a trailer that was far heavier than our vehicle is meant to tow I figured something would happen. No breakdowns or wrecks, our stuff didn't get messed with, no food poisoning from random places, etc all. Aside from the usual shenanigans like Walker loudly celebrating that he tagged the dog with a toy truck, throwing food, screaming and lots of diaper changes, it was pleasantly uneventful.

We got the trailer unloaded and returned which was good. Took Walker swimming, fed him the requested pizza, picked up a few things then headed back to the hotel. Kids passed out on the drive back. Looking for a short term place to live tomorrow. Got to figure that out, learn our way around then start house hunting. If anyone with current resident type knowledge (not a tour here 20 years ago) of the greater Fort Polk area is willing to help out with advice please drop a line to theotherryan@yahoo.com.

Tomorrow will be a make up for Gun Stuff Saturday.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

How Out Are You As A Survivalist?

First off I have to credit Commander Zero for inspiring this post.  When it comes to preparedness and survivalism there is a consideration of how much to expose to others. Zero has previously compared this with being gay or some other not widely accepted and arguably deviant behavior.

Giving our more conservative readers a second to adjust to the comparison it is very valid. Compare the normal "prepper" to someone who is totally in the closet and the dude who wears BDU's all the time, has a custom camo painted surplus truck full of political/ gun bumper stickers, etc to the assless chaps (though really by definition chaps are assless, that's what makes em chaps instead of pants) shirtless with leather vest dude at the gay pride parade.

[Look if there is any confusion I genuinely do not care who anyone has sex with so long as they are consenting adults. Be gay, strait, or change it up on Tuesdays, whatever. That's not what this blog is about.]

Part of the issue with being in the closet is that it is difficult to meet like minded people for friendship, to work together and of course for mutual support. You'll miss out on a lot by not getting involved with like minded people. That sucks.

Of course the other side has it's issues also. Part of your life can make the rest difficult. Just like the guys from golf might not approve of Man Disco Friday they might not be a huge fan of Crazy Bunker everyday. You get the point.

Most people tend to choose something between the two extremes.

First of all it is my general belief that people can, for lack of a better way of saying it, smell their own. Be it sexual lifestyle choices, drugs, survivalism or whatever folks can usually pick others with similar choices out from the pack. This is darn near unavoidable if you spend more than a little bit of time around eachother.

It is worth considering that a persons environment largely guides what is 'normal' and thus what is abnormal. For example in many parts of the western US it is common for people to carry handguns for a variety of reasons and a rifle in a rack is not uncommon. Folks who are in certain trades may tend to carry different tools or fixed blade knives. Conversely some professional jobs in big cities dictate suits and terribly impractical shoes. Personally being in the Army and thus living around bases I can carry a fairly aggressive tactical type knife like a Benchmade auto and wear a rigger belt without undue attention.

In preparedness we gain or sacrifice capabilities depending on how out we choose to be. A tiny swiss army knife with a 1/2 inch blade beats no knife but a 4" folder would be a lot better. Boots or comfortable shoes sure beat dress shoes in a disaster. You get the point.

I think we all have to consider how much is gained or sacrificed by our level of overt survivalism.

Personally I carry a fairly large tactical type knife and wear a gun manufacturer hat albeit a discrete one. In Arizona I open carried about half the time. How out that is I'm not sure. For my area I'm fairly out in terms of dress but for others it would be pretty shocking.

Also how much we do or do not talk about survivalism with others is a consideration. Talking can help you convert people or gain like minded allies but it can also alientate you from others who find the whole thing shocking and put you at risk. A neighbor who thinks preparedness is whacky might come knocking when a disaster strikes. 

In this area I play it pretty safe. Very good friends and close family are tracking the broad strokes of what I do but strangers, neighbors, folks at work, etc do not need to know. The rewards do not even out the various risks. Every once in awhile you stumble into somebody who just seems to think the same way so maybe you talk more with them when others are not around.

Both being out and being discrete have pluses and minuses. It is worth noting that it's easy to go from being discrete to a bit more overt and short of moving a long distance and dealing with totally new people almost impossible to do the opposite. Once the genie is out of the bottle it's out. It is really about what is right for your goals and lifestyle.

So how out are you?






Friday, August 2, 2013

Making Survivalism Fit 2

Today I went through a bunch of stuff. Tossed out some random junk which helped. Also I combined a bunch of partial boxes and such into full ones. That did a lot. Decreased space consumption is a big part of my goal so that was good.

Grouping like items let me make some choices which was excellent. Several items that were in pretty rough shape were tossed. Stuff that would be better than nothing but is not really fit for service. Seeing I had X pair of boots meant I could ditch the other two that were close to falling apart.

Some stuff I went through (to discard junk and unneeded items) still has to be organized. I'll get to that ASAP. My next big goal, which will happen once we get settled in, is to organize a couple larger systems. A heavy vehicle based bug out kit and sort of solidify our 'bug in' gear setup. Getting those two things figured out will go a long way towards showing what we need, what gaps exist that must be filled, and potentially what stuff is excess.

Organization is slowly making things better.




RE: Making Survivalism Fit

An email reply to my recent post Making Survivalism Fit
 
Ryan,
 
This is Mike who responded to you in the blog. I’m one of the editors of the Plan B Writer’s Alliance. We put together a book you might find helpful because it addresses some of the issues you mentioned. It’s called ‘Locusts on the Horizon’. It’s 236,000 words (it’s an eBook that would be about 1,100 pages if printed out) and only $2.99, but that isn’t a sales pitch, just thought you might find it helpful. http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00CFP2PCE
 
 
The staff of Plan B is scattered all over the country, and I’m the only one that lives within walking distance of the beach in hurricane country on the Gulf Coast. When you live part of the year (hurricane season), every year, in a state of mentally contemplating a ‘what if’ of a total bug out, it refocuses you on what is important and what is not. Anything you leave behind when a hurricane hits simply might not be there when you get back. You keep your stuff pared down, your gear lean and mean, and you itemize just what is really important that you will need, and what is utterly irreplaceable. Everything we want to keep we have ready to load up on short notice into a bug out trailer.
 
For example, we keep our ammo supply down to just a very few calibers and stored in a few GI ammo cans. The reloading gear is compact and stores away readily also. We also don’t keep on hand a massive collection of guns, just what is useful. All photos are scanned and stored on DVD’s and stored with important documents in a portable, fireproof safe with backup copies, including scans archived on DVD’s. Everyone keeps their clothing inventory down to one GI duffle bag each. We have an emergency food supply, but nothing so huge it can’t come with us.
 
One of the yard sticks we use is, “Have we used this item in the last year?” and “Is this item useless and/or redundant?” If it doesn’t pass the test, it then goes into one of three piles, donate, sell, and trash. It’s stunning how much ‘survival’ gear, including many guns, we found fell into the ‘useless and/or redundant’ category.
 
Two of the things we have noticed is what preppers/survivalists tend to horde way too many of are excess guns and paper printed books. This stuff can weigh a ton, literally. One of the reasons I have tried to focus the bulk of my book acquisition for some time now into eBooks is that they are zero mass. Only a select few titles, one Rubbermaid container full, do we keep as printed paper books. A few key medical books, a couple of plant reference books, and a couple of the most important reloading manuals are amongst those included. All of our eBooks are kept backed up on DVD’s in a waterproof GI ammo can.
 
The side effect of all of this is that when you get rid of extra baggage and clutter, it really takes a lot of stress off. Things like moving are also much easier.
 
I hope some of this helps out a bit.
 
Mike
 

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Making Survivalism Fit

One thing about moving regularly is that it leads us to looking at how we are doing things, what we can do better, etc. Here things got messy. Survivalist stuff seemed to get stuffed into every closet, corner and space. It's overflowing and creating friction within our household.

A large part of the issue is going to be addressed by getting a bigger place with some storage that will better address our needs. That will go a long way towards the issue. After that we need to be better about having honest discussions about what is family space, what is storage and what is my crazy space. Having enough space will help there. When you have 20 pounds of stuff to fit into a 15 pound sack things go wherever there is a hole.

Keeping things in the right place has been an issue here. To support things staying where they should I need to improve the organization of our stuff. This will also help as organized stuff always takes less space than disorganized stuff.

How have you managed fitting various survivalist stuff into the living space you have? How have you balanced having a decent non cluttered home into the mix?

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Fam is Back

They arrived safely today. Walker is huge and talks constantly. #2 is much more active now. Spent the day hanging out with them.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Life Update

Baring any sort of cataclysmic issues in the next few days Wifey and the kids are headed home this weekend which is excellent. Our time in Arizona is winding down. In a couple weeks or so we will be out of here. I have mixed feelings about that. We like it down here a lot but getting to a place where we will be stable for awhile will be nice.

There are a lot of things you don't do in a temporary (say under a year though this was really close to that) place. Painting or any sort of home modifications are pretty much out. Also you just don't put in that much effort to really get settled in, make friends, etc all. This is also sort of self defeating. You do/ don't do things because it is a short term place; so it feels even more short term.

Socially we got some good family time which was nice. That was sadly disrupted by the trip home that never ended. We got a dog which was probably a mistake but at least it was a fun one. Being back in America is pretty awesome so that has been good.

In terms of preparations some good things happened. I built a nice rifle. We stashed some food. Got a lot of work done towards our systems. Overall some solid prep work was done so that was cool.

Anyway in conjunction with the move not a ton is going to happen with preps for a bit. I'll still be writing but doing less stuff generally means a bit less fuel to make for interesting writing. I suppose in all long ventures (somewhere around 6 years I think) there are ebbs and flows.

So that is what's going on. Please excuse me, it is time to make a monster taco salad, except without all the really unhealthy stuff.


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Life Update

Somebody asked so it seemed worthwhile to address it here. Wifey and I are still married with plans to stay that way. Haven't been talking about her or the the kids because they are not here. They went home to see family then Kiddo #2 got sick which extended the visit considerably. Kiddo #2 is better (at least for now and well enough to travel anyway) so they are coming back here in a couple weeks. Wish it would get here faster as I miss them a lot.


Monday, February 11, 2013

Door Knockers and Strap Hangers

Teotwawki Blog brought up The Doorstep Problem and it is worth discussing. In fact it is probably on the quarterly fundamentals rehashing list. So here we go.

There are a few fundamental questions to consider:

1) Do I/ we want to help this person? If you have been wanting to yell at somebody and maybe point a gun at them for years then the decision is simple.

2) Can I/ we afford to help this person? This is a question of how much food (or whatever stuff) you have, how many people it needs to feed and the suspected length of the situation at hand. I could feed the whole neighborhood for a 3 day power outage and a bunch of folks for a month to ride out a natural disaster. On the other hand if we are talking about 6 months or a year or maybe more the division gets bad in a hurry.

3) Under what conditions am I/ we willing to help this person?

Now to some discussion.

I think it is reasonable to keep your preparations from acquaintances and casual office buddies. It's easy enough to avoid those discussions with these folks. Worst case for casual acquaintances who say "I'm coming to your house" the response of "No you are not, I have a gun and know how to use it" is probably sufficient.

However close friends and family will know to some degree that you are prepared and we tend to like them a lot more. Maybe it will be because keeping things from these folks is harder as we are closer to them or that they are around more and will eventually see a stash of canned essentials or a few boxes of freeze dried food. So we are going to focus primarily on more than casual acquaintances.

The old adage that you can get murdered alone or starve to death together bears some consideration. There is a balancing act here. On one hand any decent security setup is probably going to involve several or ideally more like a dozen plus healthy military age (broadly 16-60ish) adults which probably means at least 2 or more likely 3 times that number of people with kids, elders and the infirm. However at some point the math just doesn't work. Most folks have a hard enough time trying to make bills, save and get prepared for their immediate family, let alone a 40 person extended clan. If you do not have enough food in the short term and the space and stuff to produce food in the long term it's just not going to work.

I think conditions under which you might be willing to help a particular person are worth giving serious consideration. Are you willing to let them camp in the back 40, use whatever shelter they bring and eat their own food? Will you provide them with some food, tell them you cannot spare more later and send them home? Are they going to sleep in the den and basically be treated as family? Can they bring 4 poorly behaved pit bulls? What about granny?

[People often lack any sort of realistic shelter plan for those who are coming over to ride things out. Travel trailers are a fine idea. Slapping up a couple basic rooms with bunk beds in the basement is a fine idea. Turning an old shed into a bunk house is a fine idea. The point is to have a realistic plan of some sort.]

There are not really clean cut answers here but it is worth figuring out the answers for your situation. I think it's worth mentioning that the time to talk about this stuff is BEFORE something happens. That gives folks a legitimate opportunity to meet your conditions or find an alternative plan. Also it puts you on as solid ground as you can be when your cousin who was told he can camp in the back 40 and eat his own food shows up empty handed.

I think strap hanging family are probably the most underestimated problem for your Rawlesian type pre planned survivalist group. When the chips are down many folks realize that blood actually matters a lot. Most people simply will not turn away their parents or siblings. At least with a more natural group of some family and close friends there is a bit of overlap and you know each other. On the other hand if your 'group' is 6 random families all with their own relatives and close friends the numbers get out of control in a hurry. Depending on peoples family situation and proximity the issue may be pressing. Again the answer is thinking about these problems and coming up with a realistic plan before you need it.

I do not have all the answers. Close family and friends we would help as much as possible, more distant relatives and  casual buddies would probably get some help and other folks would get told to kick rocks. My answers might not be right for you but it's where I stand on the thing.

Thoughts?




Friday, February 1, 2013

Meeting Like Minded People

Commander Zero once compared being a survivalist to 'alternative lifestyles'. For the more prudish folks they have to get past their prejudices (just for a second) and actually thing about this. It is something you do not really want out there for most folks but to meet people with similar interests occasionally you have to put yourself out here. There is a 'survivalist radar' that is sort of like a 'gaydar' that you can sometimes peg folks who are like you. However at some point you or the other person have to go out on a limb and talk about it for things to progress. In any case moving on.

I put myself out there recently. This was a big thing for me. To say that I am paranoid and have significant trust issues is probably an understatement. However to improve my situation this has to happen. My current 'tribe' has some pluses and some minuses. One of the biggest minuses is that until I change jobs (no plan to do that anytime soon) they are very far away.

Sometimes the answer to improving your situation is that you need to get out and make some new friends with similar interests. Where it will go I am not sure. Honestly don't know what my goals from the whole thing anyway. I would like to learn useful things I do not know and help others learn what I know. Also maybe leverage numbers to make some group purchases at 'bulk' prices. Could even progress into some sort of mutual assistance type thing.

Anyway the point I am trying to get to is that many of us (myself included) would benefit from developing relationships and training with like minded individuals. Obviously we need to pay some attention to OPSEC and limit the amount of info we let folks know about us but otherwise the benefits outweigh the negatives. However if the only reason you aren't willing to meet new people is that it means leaving your comfort zone then put on your big boy(or girl) pants and do the smart thing.

We will probably talk more about this.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Family Fire Team Complete

Kiddo #2 was born this morning. 7 pounds 13 ounces, 19.5 inches long all the right numbers of fingers and toes. It looks like this kid has some will to live because she is taking to nursing just fine which is great. Walker seems to like her which is good. She also seems to be a solid sleeper which is good. Time will tell on both of those things of course.

Anyway figured I would let you all know so please forgive me if correspondences are delayed or whatnot. Posts are scheduled for awhile which should help things. There are a few more entries to our EDC contest that helped a lot here.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Tonights Conversation

Wifey- I'm mad at you. I only have the energy to be nice to one person today, all things considered it should be Walker. Beside he didn't do anything to me.

Me-What did I do to you?

Wifey- Impregnated me!


Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas Eve

It was a pretty good day here. Did some running around and taking care of stuff early. The afternoon was spent cooking. Wifey was working on tomorrows feast. Today was my job. The menu was prime rib, potatoes au gratin, macaroni and veggies. My first time with the meat and taters but the consensus was that it all turned out well. Dog sure liked the ribs and trimmings too.

Tried to get a $25 blu ray player from Goodwill bought to replace our KIA DVD player up and running without luck. It will probably work eventually but didn't tonight. On the plus side that trip included a great deal on a $25 brand new (still had tags on it) DCU Gore Tex parka that I'm really psyched about. In any case after putting kiddo to bed we did a little Elf work and got everything ready for tomorrow.

Looking forward to tomorrow with Walker. Except he hates Santa. Had a bad experience with a mall impostor and now every time the S man is mentioned he freaks out. In any case it should be an eventful and fun day. No big plans. The usual presents in the morning, some snacking through out the day, dinner and then call it a rap. We aren't near family so it is just us and good ole Dog. Sure there will be plenty of catching up with folks via phone though.

In any case I hope you all had a great day today and are ready for tomorrow.

Merry Christmas




Friday, December 21, 2012

Official Announcement V2 Second Kid On The Way

Hey All, Saw in the comments section that my previous announcement of the newest member of the family fire team was missed by one which probably means a few other folks missed it too. Anyway not only is kiddo #2 on the way the timeline is getting very short.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Dog Update

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.

So that is what's going on with Dog.




Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

We did some trick or treating which was big fun. Kiddo doesn't quite get that he is supposed to say anything but going on a walk with the dog where everybody gives him candy worked for him. I hope you all are spending time with friends and family plus maybe getting to know the neighbors a bit better. Seriously spend some time in meatspace with actual people today.

Also since the kid's didn't seem to make it out here we will have some candy to put away in the stash which is good.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Project AR Upgrade, Class IV Body Armor, Washers N' Dryers and Dogs

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.

I ordered a set of ceramic level IV rifle plates to fill out my TAG Banshee plate carrier. Some thoughts on body armor are floating in my head but that can wait for another day.

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.





Thursday, October 4, 2012

Unpacking Fun and More Work To Do

Got the new place and started unpacking. Ammo is HEAVY! It really got annoying to unload it all. Not a terrible problem to have I guess. Need to start some more caches just to avoid hauling around so much stuff.

Aside from getting the internet up I don't have a lot going on until our household goods get delivered midway through next week.

One of the projects I plan to do in this gap of time is to inventory and organize stuff, specifically ammo. I was basically ordering blind in Germany so am less than sure exactly what we have. Also cans will be packed away logically instead of as a total mess. Everything was in a can with dessicant packs but other there was no organization present. I will generally put together like items with a couple 'go cans' put together. The 'go cans' will have some ammo for the guns we would really depend on in a disaster. A couple spare mags might get tossed in too just in case something is forgotten in a stressful moment.

Aside from the go cans the rest will be packed in like groups. Everything will be labeled. Desiccant packs will be replaced. In addition to organization this will also let me really know where any deficiencies are at. I know we are real short on .357 magnum ammo but am unsure exactly where we sit on everything else. Some stuff might be waiting to suprise me.

Should be big fun and I would be smart to get that mess out of the living room before Wifey comes which means it will get done sooner instead of later. Wifey and kiddo will be flying down here shortly after that. Having kiddo in the car for the cross country trip sounded terrible and them coming later just made sense. I miss them a lot.






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