Word For The Day:
Guantanadome – n. The domed sports arena where refugees are searched and then 'detained' for their own protection by armed guards and denied the freedom to leave.
Word For The Day:
Guantanadome – n. The domed sports arena where refugees are searched and then 'detained' for their own protection by armed guards and denied the freedom to leave.
Its gotten to the point where I simply cannot read any more about the refugees in the Superdome. Between .gov saying that citizens will not be released (like prisoners, I guess) and the citizens whining about the conditions, I want to get up and scream at them long and hard about being sheeple.
Seriously, everything goes red around the edges andm y shest hurts when I read this stuff.
For a refreshingly different take, is riding it out in a generator equipped data center. And he has net acces so he's probably the closest thing to 'our man in New Orleans'. And, he's the LJ-er formally known as so he's the last one to be caught standing in a .gov/FEMA food line. Good reading.
The National Guard commander is taking his orders from the county managers and civil affairs folks. People won't be released from here until power and flooding issues are resolved in their neighborhoods. Everyone who came here as a last resort signed an invisible contract, signing their safety over to the city.
Theres two thoughts about 'survival' that used to be dominant, although one has mostly fallen from favor.
One idea was that it was best to be highly mobile, not being tied down to any one location. Without a static supply depot you'd be less likely to die defending it. You could evade the hordes. Think 'Mad Max'.
The contrary idea was hunker in your bunker. Heavily fortified and ready to repel looters at a moments notice. Think 'Dawn of the Dead'.
The first lifestyle has generally given way to the idea of low-profile, well-stocked, heavily-fortified, savagely-defended homes/retreats. Im in that particular camp. 'Never, ever become a refugee' is the cry of several authoers in the field (Benson, Long, etc, etc.) To this, I agree… once you become a refugee you have dropped to the bottom of the totem pole. You are vulnerable, lost and at the mercy of all, good (the people giving you handouts) and the bad (those wanting to take them away). To wit:
These are not 'victims', these are not 'innocents', these are not 'unfortunates' – these are refugees. At the Superdome, if you want to enter the facility and try to weather the weather you are searched for weapons, drugs, etc. and you are told to bring your own food/water/bedding. Lets think about this….
Theres a hurricane bearing down on your position. For some unfathomable reason you ignored the three days or so of notice to get the hell out of dodge and then, at the 11th hour, decide 'eh, I'll go to the Dome'. Unless you feel youre capable of carry a 5-gallon jug of water, a sleeping bag, clothes, toiletries, food and entertainment for each person in your party on your back, youre probably going to show up with nothing….and then the National Guardsmen are going to toss all your gear looking for drugs. Good luck convincing them that prescription heart medicine isnt ecstasy. Once inside the facility youre now at the mercy of any group larger than yours…much like prison. The toilets? They'll be out of commission in a few days…toilet paper will be gone in a few hours. Potable water? Maybe…get in line at the drinking fountains intil the water pressure dies due to pump failures. Food? Im sure the Red Cross will be handing out cookies, juice boxes and the like. Sleep? If you can sleep in a chair with all your belongings that you brought safeguarded from your strange neighbors. Im curious to know if theyre letting people OUT of the Superdome. “Uhm, I'll just be heading home thanks…make myself some dinner and chang clothes. Thanks for everything.” “Sir, we cant let you leave. For your own safety, we are not allowing anyone to leave the Superdome until [insert local government authority here] says we can. Please return to your seat.”
Ever been stuck on a runway in a plane that couldnt take off and had to sit on the tarmac for a few hours? Well, thats what this is going to be like.
These people had a choice….they had days of warning. They ignored it. Dont say 'they couldnt leave because theyre poor/black/didnt have cars/were misinformed/etc'. Any person with a television, radio or a freakin' newspaper could have learned that it was going to be a killer hurricane three days ago and either called Cousin Billy to come get them, paid $40 for a bus ticket, gotten on a freakin' bicycle and gotten out of the impact areas.
My sympathies, such as they are, are going to be with those who stayed with their homes or left town and came back later… at least by doing one of those things they made a decision and did something.
Well, if you live in New Orleans its time to get your Zero on. The TV has been flooded(!) with dire predictions about New Orleans washing out to sea. I'm going to ignore the horror of a culture without America's national capital of boobflashing-for-palstic-beads…..for now. Should be interesting and quite the learning experience when this all blows over and we start getting reports from survivors of how things went. Im sure the various preparedness boards will be eating it up.
The girlfriend pointed out that while US oil supplies on hand were good for a few weeks, our refining capacity has been curtailed and on this news oil prices, and gas prices, went up again. Its supposed to be worse in the next few days so we headed to WallyWorld and picked up 3 5-gallon gas cans and filled 'em at CostCo for $2.48 a gallon. And filled the truck. We have a long trip to Billings in about two weeks and this might save us a few bucks in the long run. And given the uncertainty in the energy world right now I am waaaaaaay cool with having a few 5 gallon cans of gas laid back.
Picked up forty NIB military contract AR mags with green followers. Score. That and the .30 can of SS109 greentip in the bunker give a happy warm fuzzy feeling.
Longer (much longer) post later.. Im tired from travelling.
The breaded chicken with pasta shells in tomato sauce is Pretty Damn Good. Im going to have to order a case of those entrees separately.
Showed the girlfriend (hence the Showing The Girlfriend icon) what a dissected MRE looks like. Explained how the heater works, the accessory pack, alternate heat sources, how to open the entree pouches lengthwise instead of crosswise for easier access, etc, etc. Hopefully our lesson in using the MRE heater took because I really dont want to have to crack open another one for a refresher course. Fortunately, the instructions are supposedly 'soldierproof' and are stamped clearly on the heater packaging.
The MRE's arent the end-all for food storage. i certainly wouldnt want to live on them…what they are for is situations where you have to grab something and go, go , go…throw a couple cases in the truck and run like hell…that sort of thing. Or if youre going to be afield for a couple days. They most certainly are not for staying-at-home-during-a-blackout use. Thats what the regular food and freeze-drieds are for.
I still have some cases of MRE's that are over ten years old…and you really can see the evolution of the MRE in there. If you havent been there http://www.mreinfo.com probably has the most detailed and illustrated guide to MRE's out there. Menu plans, shelf life, experiments conducted on MRE's, MRE's from around the workd, etc, etc. Definitely worth looking at.
So I've got enough cases of MRE's now to give me a fairly secure feeling. In fact, I've enough to split my supply in half and keep half at a secondary location, which is always a good idea.
Well, the WYNGman showed up today. Another 10 cases of late-production MRE's get put away in the bunker. Actually, 9.916 cases since I need to pull one out to introduce the girlfriend to the culinary experiment that is long-term in-the-pouch military food.
From what Ive been told, US MRE's, while having improved considerably over the years, are still light years behind other countries. As youd expect, British MRE's are alot like British food….thus they are worse that US MRE's. I've heard that the French MRE's are quite good and that the Italian ones are also good. The French ones, I am told, no longer include a little plastic bottle of wine. Que ser sera.
Newer US MRE's come with the flamerless ration heater included with each meal so that'll be fun to play with. I figure Im going to be gentle and pull out one of the more appetizing ones…tortellini, I think. And, yes, Im pretty sure she's aware of the awesome colon-kinking properties of the MRE. Yes, I've read the post about the guy who made his girlfriend dinner using nothing but MRE's..hilarious.
It does seem that more 'civillian' food (i.e. stuff on the shelf at the supermarket) is utilizing the packaging techniques that were formerly seen only in the military meals. The new tuna, chicken, and ground beef packaged in the heavyduty vinyl/foil pouches springs to mind. Extremely convenient stuff.
By the by, the MRE's arent the only military food that the US issues. Theres also T-rations which are large trays of MRE food. Each try is for six or so guys. The T-rations show up alot at disaster kitchens and that sort of thing. You can find them once in a while but the MRE's are far more common. Then theres also the Humanitarian Daily Ration (HDR) which is, basically, the stuff you throw out the back of the truck to squalling third worlders…they tend to be meatless and 'inoffensive' (meaning no pork, no meat, etc, etc). Theres also special MRE's for cold/hot climates, training, etc, etc.
And, yes, theres a kosher MRE too.
Oh, from what Ive heard and seen, the new toilet paper in the MRE's is definitely a step down. Bring your own.
I was thinking about the missle silo home I mentioned in the last post and it occurred to me: how do they deal with sewage two stories underground? They must have to pump it *up* to the sewer line or septic tank. And that just sounds like trouble. Apparently, I'll have to build my bunker on a hill so I can have all the drainage utilizing gravity…..(“Bunker Hill”?)
Shot the AK's the other day. Picked a rock at 300 yards and was able to hit it with decent regularity. When I did miss, it wasnt by much so the AK, if you hold steady and are deliberate *can* hit a man-sized target with open sights at 300 yards using Wolf ammo. We also papered them at 100 and the groups were about what you'd expect…about the size of your hand. I think that with decent handloads the results could be improved upon. One of the LMI was breaking in his new postpostban Arsenal AK. It differed slightly from our postban AK's in that it had a screw on flash supressor (a rather large one, I must say), bayo lug and cleaning rod. The finish seemed a bit different from ours…like it was 'stoving' or paint…not as matte as ours, but Im sure its just as durable. A quick magazine inventory last night showed we only have about 6 mags per gun. Need at least twice that. Fortunately, AK mags are still pretty cheap. I've a few of the 40-rd mags and I like them. Not as awkward as youd think and they work just fine. Probably stock up on 30's though. Maybe get a few more 40's just for keeping around the house or something.
Remember the LMI that was going off to the mideast for the trucking job? He didnt go! During the physical screening his cholestoral level (450!) was judged a bit high. If he can get it down in a few weeks they'll take him. SO….he's gotta do about a month of clean livin' and then he can try again. 'Cause, you know, heart disease is such a big killer on those truck convoys. If Kit's parents wouldn't freak out about it, me and her would go and sign up for some sort of security detail or somesuch. Hundred grand a piece for a years work sounds like a good deal to me. And all the ammo you can shoot.
I got an email from someone the other day asking my opinion about an eBay auction. A fella was auctioning off a 5-pack of WaterGel. What is water gel? Its a dressing designed for burns. Its ninety-some-odd percent water and provides thermal relief, acts as a heat sink, is sterile, etc, etc. Anyway, I told the guy that they were definitely nice to have and he went ahead and bid (and won) the auction. I mention this because I checked out the sellers other auctions and figured I would share this with you, my viewing public. Apparently this seller deals in lotsa medical gear…much of it a bit too specialized for my needs, but there are some nice deals (100 4×4 J&J sponges for $15, etc, etc.) So, heres the link to the sellers auctions and he has an eBay store as well.
While Im on the subject of eBay, I really should point out that if youre looking for some of the harder-to-find preparedness items eBay is an outstanding place to search. Surplus military radios, police radios, old scanners that still receive 'blocked' frequencies, air filters, combat boots, seismic intrusion detectors, body armour, radiological instruments (which still needs to be calibrated, usually), solar panels, charge controllers, etc, etc, etc. Its all there. Sometimes, depending on the level of obscurity (such as the item mentioned in the first paragraph of this post) you can a very good deal on something that not only is hard to find but would be pretty expensive if you did find it. I search militaria:surplus alot looking for things like TM/FM's, ALICE gear, etc, etc and have been pretty pleased so far. Heck, a few months back there was a house in the middle of small-town middle-of-nowhere Montana for $13,000. Instant retreat. Come to think of it, eBay is also where the girlfriend and I found the radio relay bunker that was ALMOST perfect for us. (You can read about that elsewhere.)
At about this point someone is going to chime in about how eBay is full of scammers, ripoff artists and I-sent-money-and-never-got-anything. *shrug* First off, I wouldnt buy anything off eBay that was 'big ticket' ($500+) without some assurances or other way of making sure I didnt get screwed. Secondly, Ive gotten stiffed once on eBay in the last seven years and fortunately that was for a lousy $13. Like alot of things in this world, dont risk more than youre willing to lose. Obviously, you want to go with a seller who has some seriously high positive feedback.
eBay isnt without risk. Nor is it without headache. eBay and PayPal are hideously, rabidly, fanatically anti-gun…but theres more to preparedness than guns and gunstuff and eBay seems to have a good selection of those things. Before anyone says 'But I found ______ cheaper at….', I am not saying eBay is the cheapest source of anything..its an auction site so prices are, to say the least, variable. Im simply saying that for hard-to-find stuff and the occasional incredible bargain eBay is a pretty good place to go.
The Wisdom gun show produced a couple interesting items a few weeks ago. Most notable was the spools of two-strand commo wire. This stuff is handy in several levels. It comes packaged in a donut-shaped spool that is carried in a canvas carrier with sling attachments. This means you basically tie one end to whatever object is at your starting point and as you walk/run the wire plays out behind you…thus you can lay down wire pretty much as fast as you can run. Whats the wire for? Well, its nominal use is for field phones. However, any task/device that calls for two strand wire would be served by this stuff. A few that spring to mind – my seismic intrusion detectors, remote detonated devices, field expedient antanae, etc, etc. The rolls come in various lengths. I've seen them in 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and 1 mile. I picked up a couple new spools of this stuff and will be trying to get some more. I paid about $10 for each spool and I'd say its worth it…never know when youre going to need to run a half-mile of wire for an observation post or an early warning system.
As was pointed out by someone on my friends list, a Washington DC cop died during a training exercise from, of all things, drinking too much water. The short version is that if you drink too much water in too short a time it alters your body chemistry in a way that can prove fatal. The solution, it seems, is to obviously not drink gallons of water at once and to, if possible, drink something other than plain water…something with the salts, sugars, electrolytes, etc that make up your body's fluids. So, to me, the answer is Gatorade mix. Lotsa Gatorade mix. When I go out in the sticks I usually have a CamelBak that holds at least 100 oz. of water. I also carry a small bottle of Gatorade mix. Why not mix them together in the Camelbak? Well, I could but I really prefer to only use water in the CamelBak in order to keep cleaning and residual tastes/odors to a minimum. Also, it would leave me no source of regular water for other uses (cooking, etc). If I want to drink something other than water, I squeeze some water out of the Camelbak into a collapsible one-liter bottle, add some Gatorade, and mix well. If youre going to go this route, carry more Gatorade than you think you'll need…esp. since you may be topping off your tank with water you purify from streams and creeks. Its also worth pointing out that if you go for a more chemical-based approach to water purification, Gatorade and other drink mixes do a decent job of making the water taste less 'chemical'-y.
I dont eat too much of it since I seldom eat breakfast, but I do like bacon. I prefer mine chewy, which is not to say undercooked. I dont like crispy, crunchy bacon at all. No, I prefer it to be chewey..like apiece of roast beef or somesuch. Your buddy, the Zero, scored today at the local Albertsons. Every day I pass by the bargain/remindered meat bin. Perfectly good meat but its on its last day to be sold. They either have to mark it down and hope it sells, or it goes in the landfill and no one makes money. The meat is perfectly fine as long as you either a) use it immediately or b) immediately put it into cryostasis in a nice, big, white, upright freezer that keeps everything at a very lovely below zero…(Its in the basement so it really is below Zero, I guess.)
Todays score? Oscar Meyer Thick Cut bacon for $0.99 per one pound package. I can make enough BLT's for a whole parking lot full of tailgate parties.
Im the first one to say that when the wheels fly off of western civilization electricity is going to be, at best, unreliable. So why a freezer full of meat? The freezer isnt for TEOTWAWKI.. the freezer is for the more sedate disasters and calmities. The 'I lost my job', the 'I cant work until my back heals', the 'No cash until Thursday' sort of incidents. In short, its for taking the weight off the wallet during a personal time of financial trouble. When you dont know where the next twenty bucks is coming from it'll be nice to know that meat will not be a problem.
The freezer, by the by, has not always been hassle-free. I once accidentally unplugged it and didnt know it for about five days. You can imagine the carnage. A $12 freezer alarm would have saved me a couple hundred dollars in meat. Hence, we now have the freezer alarm.
If youre going to do the buy-in-bulk-and-refreeze-at-home deal, which really does save money and is extremely convenient, you need to keep in mind a few things..