Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Oh, yeah...

Today is my birthday. The big 30.

Seems kind of appropriate to turn 30 on a Wednesday. A blah day for a blah birthday. It was a good birthday, but 30...not bad, but not really an exciting, great kind of birthday. 16, you looked forward to. 18 was cool. 19, 21, 25 was good--cheaper insurance is nice. 30? Nothing to really get excited about.

Eh, at least there was no zombie apocalypse today.

Finally an update

Well, it's been a while. Finally got settled in, we bought a home, and we have internet access again.

I need to get a newer picture, but here we are. :)

Sunday, July 5, 2009

We had a fun July 4th, with one exception.

Currently, my wife and I are staying with her parents as we are getting ready to buy our first home. We had some family over (2 of her older sisters, their husbands and kids), and Saturday morning, we were going to head over to take a tour of some of the local caves when my sister-in-law had a close encounter with this guy on her way to the car:

He was within 10 feet of the house, about 5-6 feet from one of the cars, and fortunately, the kids were all playing on the other side of the house. I don't even want to think about what could've happened if they had decided to run around the house.

At this point, my father in law started looking for some snake shot he has for his single-shot .22 rifle. I went to grab my 22 (Remington 597), because I was concerned that 7.62x39 or .45acp would run a greater risk of ricochet, and causing more harm to people or property than good. My mother-in-law made sure that the kids stayed far, far away, and everyone else was basically keeping a respectful distance from the snake (which made no attempt to head for the hills).

I could not find the .22 ammo I usually keep with the rifle, and my magazines were empty. I thought the ammo might be out in the trunk (and it was, but I could not find it), so I ran out to look for it, unsuccessfully, and my father-in-law could not find his snakeshot.Fortunately, about this time, my brother-in-law demonstrated that he could pitch large rocks with sufficient force and accuracy to kill the snake.

The snake, by the way, was approximately 4 feet, 9 inches long, and had 11 fully formed rattles, and was starting on #12.

Here's what I learned:

1. A rifle without ammunition on hand is virtually useless.

2. "Plinking" rifles are not exempt from the above.

3. A good rifle, while versatile, may not be the best tool for every situation.

4. While I kept my cool, and did not panic, or act like a complete idiot, I was not using all available resources--large rocks, in this case.

5. Until yesterday, I had never really been able to justify the extra expense of owning a shotgun, which probably would have been the best weapon to quickly dispatch the snake. My wife doesn't have a problem with my guns, she just doesn't necessarily think that I need as many as I think I do , but she agreed that it might be time to go ahead and get a shotgun. So here's my new Maverick 88.

Nothing fancy, 12 gauge, 3" chamber, 28" barrel, 6 shot magazine.

Oh, and Paul: seriously, nice job with the rocks!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Finally, an update...

Well, where should I start--

1. I left active duty in April, and Emily and I moved out to Arizona.

2. I got a job working for L3 communications (and I'm liking it)!

3. I am in the AZ National Guard, with an Aviation Battalion. I'm liking that, too. Entirely different mindset than a Mechanized Infantry Brigade.

4. Emily and I are looking for a new house.

5. We got a new (used) car. A 95 Corolla. It had about 3/8 of a tank of gas, and it took about 5 1/2 gallons (about $13) to fill it up. It's not as cool as the Charger, but it should make getting back and forth to work a little more economical.

6. I am going to flip out if another idiot tries to run into me or run me off the road. Some of the drivers out here need coloring books, not drivers licenses.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Shameless advertising

TWO CASES of MRE's for a total of 24 meals, for $89.98 (about $30 for shipping).

Unless you're doing some really strenuous physical activity, you DON'T need to eat 3 of these a day. (Each meal contains around 1200 calories.) So this would last longer than you might think.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


One of the reasons I started this blog in the first place (aside from a convenient excuse to ramble on about whatever I feel like at the moment) was to post information about emergency preparedness, and that sort of thing.

I don't want to come across as some sort of panic-mongering Chicken Little prophet of doom and gloom or anything, but I've been reading about this new Swine Flu and possible linkages to avian and other influenza viruses (virii?), and it's...a little disconcerting, at least. Probably didn't help that I was up until about 2am last night reading this stuff...

Here's the tip of the iceberg:

WHO's Chan says swine flu has pandemic potential
25 Apr 2009 13:46:19 GMT
Source: Reuters

GENEVA, April 25 (Reuters) - Outbreaks of swine flu in Mexico and the United States have the potential to cause a worldwide pandemic but it is too early to say whether they will, the head of the World Health Organisation said on Saturday.
"It has pandemic potential because it is infecting people," WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said.
The new flu strain -- a mixture of swine, human and avian flu viruses which has killed up to 68 people among 1,004 suspected cases in Mexico and infected eight in the United States -- is still poorly understood and the situation is evolving quickly, Chan said on a teleconference. (Reporting by Jonathan Lynn and Stephanie Nebehay; Editing by Jon Boyle)

Possible Swine Flu Outbreak At NYC Prep School
Department Of Health Officials Testing 75 Students At St. Francis Preparatory School In Queens

Again, I don't want to sound like Chicken Little, but this has potential to be ugly. The cases identified so far in the US have not been fatal, but that is a mixed blessing. A rapidly fatal virus has less risk of spreading, if it kills the host too quickly. If a virus evolves/mutates/adapts to become a little less lethal, it has a better chance of infecting more people, some of whom may likely die from the infection. But possibly not before spreading it.

Anyone who doesn't understand why a flu pandemic is a big deal should read about the Spanish Influenza of 1918

If this thing does get out of hand, a good supply of clean water is essential! We need to keep clean, and hydrated!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Well, Emily and I made it to Arizona

It's good to be here. I don't have much to say right now, but if anybody in the area wants to hire me ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009


You are what you eat at the Oakdale Testicle Festival!

A joint fund-raiser for the Oakdale Rotary Club and Cowboy Museum, the event is now in its 28 years, and raised $28,000 last year, charging $50 a ticket ($65 if you pay at the door).

The organizers promise that you'll "Have a ball!"

I'm sorry, but that violates man law. I wouldn't want anybody chowing down on my...ahem...yeah, so I don't chow down on anybody or anything else's.

Monday, March 16, 2009

What's Really Going On

Link to the Intellectual Conservative website for a great (and depressing) article by Phillip Jackson. It's a must-read.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

How did I ever live without this?


I don't know who invented this, but I know it was a guy. Bacon. In a can. For long term storage. Society may crumble, but there will be bacon.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009


This is an e-mail I received from my mother-in-law, quoted in its entirety. The links do have some very useful information as well, I would definitely recommend following them.

D&C 45: 31 31 And there shall be men standing in that ageneration, that shall not pass until they shall see an overflowing bscourge; for a desolating csickness shall cover the land.

For those of you who are not members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the verse is quoted from one of our cannons of scripture. If you like Biblical references I picture the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

I found this to be quite interesting. Do with it as you will.

"About a month ago a seminar was put on by Dr. Susan Puls, who is a cardiologist appointed by the First Presidency of the Church as the head of the church's pandemic committee. She said she was not an expert on pandemics as this was not her speciality, but in the two years she's been in her position, is fast becoming one. She now works for the church on a full-time basis working on planning for the pandemic and trying to get the word out to as many people as possible. There were about 1400 people at the Saturday all-day seminar.

In her capacity, she works with the governor's pandemic committee and the federal pandemic planning agency. She also said a pandemic is coming - not 'maybe' but is DEFINITELY coming. She says _the pandemic is expected within the next two years but she personally believes it will be 'sooner rather than later..' The various groups (CDC, WHO, etc..) do not know what the pandemic will be but 'first among their list of suspects is the avian bird flu. It's only one mutation away from being easily transmitted from birds to humans and from human to human.'

She said the World Health Organization expects 40% of the world population to become sick. Of those who become sick, they expect 50% will die. If you do the math - there are over 6 billion people on the earth today - that puts the death rate at over 1.4 billion people - and she says these deaths will happen over only a 3 to 4 month period of time.

Dr. Puls related that when the pandemic hits the US, mandatory quarantine's of all infected and NON-INFECTED peoples will occur within the first 48 hours. Only emergency personnel (Dr's, nurses, firemen, police, national guardsmen, etc..) will be allowed to leave their homes - not even to go to the store, etc.. This quarantine will last during the duration of the 'pandemic cycle' which will last approximately three months.

Her main point was that everyone will need a *MINIMUM of 3 months supply of food at home* as the governments of the world will be overwhelmed within the first week and cannot be counted on to provide food, medical help, etc..

She only briefly spoke on the 'social disruption' that will occur and did not go into any detail about what plans may, or may not exist, to deal with this. However - think about this - if your neighbors (both those you know and strangers) run out of food and are starving how might they react? Then think of all the individuals who already live outside of the law and are only 'controlled' by our current legal system. How might they react when law enforcement becomes innefectual due to illness among the ranks and those who abandon their jobs to stay home and protect their own families. Ditto for the national guard and our own military.

This isn't to scare anyone - just to provide a 'heads up' as 'to be forewarned is to be forearmed.'
That's the end of the e mail. I try and check the authenticity of e mails such as this so I Googled Dr. Puls and was eventually linked to the Church's Provident Living Website and was surprised to find that they have a section on Pandemic Planning under Home and Family Preparedness.,11666,8041-1-4414-1,00.html

The government also had a website:http://www.pandemicflugov/plan/tab3.html

I'm also including this link to a wikipedia article on the 1918 Pandemic Flu,, which killed over 20 million worldwide, more than were killed in World War 1.

Whether or not this is something that is coming down the road, it can't hurt to take some simple precautionary measures.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Sunday, March 1, 2009


This is what Fort Benning woke up to today.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Easy Artisan Bread

Big hat tip to the folks over at Zombie Squad for finding's a really quick and simple bread recipe, and it sounds great...I'm going to have to try this.
(I can't link directly to the video, just follow the link)
Here is the link to the topic over at Zombie Squad. If you go to the second page, bae has a couple of variations on how to cook this that sound a little bit easier (especially if you don't have a pizza stone). One has directions for dutch oven cooking, so this could be a great recipe for scouting trips or camping out.


EDIT (March 8, 2009)

Emily and I have made this recipe since I posted this, and I used wheat flour instead of white flour (it looked kinda white...ish to me); it worked well, and tastes fine. I think that the next batch we will reduce the salt in the recipe, and maybe add a little bit of sugar to change the taste a little. Either way, this bread did not last long. Yum yum!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009


Burris confirms request for Blagojevich donation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – Raising fresh questions about his appointment to Congress, Sen. Roland Burris admitted in a document released Saturday that former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's brother asked him for campaign fundraising help before the governor named Burris as Illinois' junior senator.

The disclosure reflects a major omission from Burris' testimony in January when an Illinois House impeachment committee specifically asked if he had ever spoken to Robert Blagojevich or other aides to the now-deposed governor about the Senate seat vacated by Barack Obama.

State Rep. Jim Durkin, the impeachment committee's ranking Republican, told The Associated Press that he and House Republican Leader Tom Cross will ask Sunday for an outside investigation into whether Burris perjured himself.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada also said he was reviewing the disclosure, the latest twist for Senate Democrats in Washington who only consented to seat Burris on the condition that there were no "pay to play" promises exchanged in the appointment.


I don't know how things work in Illinois, but I call that lying. I shouldn't be surprised, but I'll admit that I was.

What other surprises are going to come out of this debacle?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Check this out if you're in the DC area

"Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. . . Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." -- Thomas Paine, Thoughts On Defensive War, 1775

Saturday, February 7, 2009

John Kerry: You Know What's the Problem With Stimulus Tax Cuts? All That Freedom.

Sen. John Kerry took to the Senate floor today to pace, rant, and raise his voice in a monotone simulation of human passion as he spoke up for the massive spending bill the Democrats want to pass today under the guise of "stimulus."

During his speech, he addressed the argument made by fellow senators and many economists that tax cuts might be more helpful to stimulating the economy than long-term government spending. The American people are also coming around to that view, according to a recent CBS poll, which found only 22 percent of them favor more government spending over tax cuts as stimulus.

His argument against tax cuts for Americans during these hard economic times was illuminating:
I've supported many tax cuts over the years, and there are tax cuts in this proposal. But a tax cut is non-targeted. If you put a tax cut into the hands of a business or family, there's no guarantee that they're going to invest that or invest it in America. They're free to go invest anywhere that they want if they choose to invest.

Indeed, people with their own hard-earned money in their own pockets are free to spend, save, invest, or not wherever they please. Kerry betrays the fear that haunts every good liberal— that the American people won't spend their money on exactly what good liberals would spend it on. Good liberals must, therefore, advocate for forcibly relieving the American people of the better part of a trillion dollars of their own money to fund things like STD education, welfare programs, and water parks.

Senator Kerry pulls off the classic "Let us spend your money for you, you can't be trusted to make good decisions with it" line. Gosh, I love liberals.

I will concede one point--if the people that continue to vote for people like Kerry spend their money as intelligently as they vote, they really are idiots.

Oh boy...

Today's Financial News

Thanks to the great folks at for a good laugh.

Friday, February 6, 2009

How often do we think about...

This:,11664,7446-1,00.html ???

Drinking Water

Store drinking water for circumstances in which the water supply may be polluted or disrupted.
If water comes directly from a good, pretreated source, then no additional purification is needed; otherwise, pretreat water before use. Store water in sturdy, leak-proof, breakage-resistant containers. Consider using plastic bottles commonly used for juices and soft drinks.
Keep water containers away from heat sources and direct sunlight.

I plan on blogging more about food storage and related subjects in the future, particularly as this is something that I am working on, myself. As much as we think about food storage, most of us probably don't think much about water.

We need to.

We can live a lot longer with no food than we can with no water.

A good long-term supply of water is going to be VERY HEAVY (at 8 pounds/gallon, plus the weight of storage containers), in addition to taking up A LOT of space...we may not be able to store months and months of drinking water (not to mention enough water to use for hygiene and washing clothes, dishes, and the like--the gray water left over from washing dishes and clothes can be "recycled" and used to flush the toilet in a situation where we need to conserve water to that extent).

We may not be able to do anything like this:, but what can we do?

A few things that are worth consideration:

  1. Water filtration. If we can't store 700 gallons of water (FEMA recommends one gallon of water per person, per day for drinking, cooking, and hygiene, on average), and let's face it, that's a LOT--over 2 1/2 TONS of water--then we need to find a way to come up with more water. A good filtration system may be the way to go.,11666,8207-1-4531-1,00.html

  2. We may need to look for other sources of water. While it would be great to have a reliable source of well water, that may not be available. Rain barrel? You'll definitely need to purify that--how often do you clean your gutters? How often does it rain in your area, and how much? I'm not trying to say I have all the answers, but maybe someone will think of something that I missed.

  3. Foods with a lot of water may help reduce our daily water use in an emergency situation. Canned fruits can help. The water in canned vegetables can replace some of the water required in recipes. If you need water, don't dump the water from the can down the sink! Use it!

For most of us, at least in the short-term, smaller water storage containers may be our best bet. Stay away from milk jugs and other similar containers, as the thin plastic is not terribly durable, the cap can pop off fairly easily, and the plastic is not going to last long-term. Something like this: might be a good way to go. The jugs hold a good amount of water, and are easier to acquire, move, and utilize than 55 gallon drums. This might work, too.

In addition to the grade of plastic used, keep in mind the amount of space this will take up. Are we using containers that can be stacked, or otherwise minimizing wasted space?

Be sure to keep in mind things such as storage temperature--you don't want your jugs freezing and bursting.

Prolonged exposure to the UV rays in sunlight can weaken plastic and make your storage worthless.

If anybody has any other ideas, please comment.

If you can find room for some larger containers, this site may be of some use to you:

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Clear and Present Danger

At any rate, in May 15, 2007, then Congressman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL), now Chief of Staff for Obama Administration, spoke at DC's annual Stand Up For a Safe America event sponsored by the Brady Center *gag*, and said that if your name is on the terrorist no fly list you should not be allowed to own a gun.

On its face, that doesn't sound like a horrible idea, right? We don't want bad guys to be able to buy guns. Fair enough. But think about this:
  • How many violent crimes are committed with legally purchased guns?

  • Does anybody honestly believe that criminals are able to acquire guns illegally, through illegal purchase, like on the black market, or by stealing them? I don't generally tend to hang out with the violent criminal type, it's just not my scene, but I look at it like this:
  • Drugs are illegal. Nobody can go out and buy illegal
    drugs, right?
  • Surely nobody was able to buy alcoholic beverages during
    Prohibition, right?
  • A person planning to murder (a criminal act), or martyr
    himself by carrying out an act of terror (again, against the law), will
    obey the law not to purchase a firearm?

I shudder to admit it, but I actually agree with the ACLU on this issue:

Why are there so many names on the U.S. government's terrorist list? In September 2007, the Inspector General of the Justice Department reported that the Terrorist Screening Center (the FBI-administered organization that consolidates terrorist watch list information in the United States) had over 700,000 names in its database as of April 2007 - and that the list was growing by an average of over 20,000 records per month.1 (See also this new March 2008 report.2 )
By those numbers, the list now has over one million names on it. Terrorist watch lists must be tightly focused on true terrorists who pose a genuine threat. Bloated lists are bad because they ensnare many innocent travelers as suspected terrorists, and
because they waste screeners' time and divert their energies from looking for true terrorists. Small, focused watch lists are better for civil liberties and for security. The uncontroversial contention that Osama Bin Laden and a handful of other known terrorists should not be allowed on an aircraft is being used to create a monster that goes far beyond what ordinary Americans think of when they think about a "terrorist watch list."
This is not just a problem of numbers. The numbers are merely a symptom. What's needed is fairness. If the government is going to rely on these kinds of lists, they need checks and balances to ensure that innocent people are protected. (See ACLU
Backgrounder on Watch Lists
for more)

There have been significant issues with the watch list. People with similar names to suspicious individuals have found themselves on the list. Ted Kennedy, for example...wait, maybe not the best example... Again, from the ACLU website:

Marine Staff Sgt. Daniel Brown was blocked from flying while on his way home from an 8-month deployment in Iraq. He was listed as a suspected terrorist due to a previous incident in which gunpowder was detected on his boots, most likely a residue of a previous tour in Iraq.

There's no denying that this is a shining example of blatant stupidity.The point is, there are no clear standards published that indicate why you or I could end up on "the list," and it's even less clear how we would clear our names. Using that standard to deny American Citizens of their Right to Keep and Bear Arms is a mockery of justice.

Credit given where credit is due...

It simply amazes me that Nancy Pelosi, Barney Frank, and their fellow Democrats in Congress can sit back and say that Republicans are to blame for the financial crisis.

Yeah, those same Republicans that were trying to fix the problem FOUR YEARS AGO, while the Democrats said that there was no problem.

And the voting public rewarded the Democrats for their hand in all of this. Hooray.

Edited to add: In response to the question WHY, read for more information at

Top Recipients of Fannie Mae and Freddie MacCampaign Contributions, 1989-2008
Name Office Party/State Total
1. Dodd, Christopher J S D-CT $133,900
2. Kerry, John S D-MA $111,000
3. Obama, Barack S D-IL $105,849
4. Clinton, Hillary S D-NY $75,550
5. Kanjorski, Paul E H D-PA $65,500
6. Bennett, Robert F S R-UT $61,499
7. Johnson, Tim S D-SD $61,000
8. Conrad, Kent S D-ND $58,991
9. Davis, Tom H R-VA $55,499
10. Bond, Christopher S 'Kit' S R-MO $55,400
11. Bachus, Spencer H R-AL $55,300
12. Shelby, Richard C S R-AL $55,000
13. Emanuel, Rahm H D-IL $51,750
14. Reed, Jack S D-RI $50,750
15. Carper, Tom S D-DE $44,389
16. Frank, Barney H D-MA $40,100
17. Maloney, Carolyn B H D-NY $38,750
18. Bean, Melissa H D-IL $37,249
19. Blunt, Roy H R-MO $36,500
20. Pryce, Deborah H R-OH $34,750
21. Miller, Gary H R-CA $33,000
22. Pelosi, Nancy H D-CA $32,750
23. Reynolds, Tom H R-NY $32,700
24. Hoyer, Steny H H D-MD $30,500
25. Hooley, Darlene H D-OR $28,750

Includes contributions from PACs and individuals. 2008 cycle totals based on data downloaded from theFederal Election Commission on June 30, 2008.

You may recognize some of those names from the video. Hmm...

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Iraqi, U.S. Soldiers Detain Suspects, Find Weapons

American Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Jan. 30, 2009 – Iraqi security forces, aided by their U.S. partners, detained suspected criminals, seized illegal weapons and found and destroyed a “sticky bomb” in Jan. 28 operations, military officials reported.

Iraqi National Police officers on a combined operation with Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers detained a suspected criminal in the Jihad community of Baghdad’s Rashid district. The combined patrol transported the detainee, who was wanted for alleged car-bomb activity, to a joint security station for processing.

Meanwhile, another combined patrol captured a bomb-building suspect in the Zubaida community.

In another operation, Iraqi security forces acted on information provided by a detainee who had knowledge of recent attacks to arrest two suspects believed to have conducted hand-grenade attacks on civilians resettling in northern Baghdad’s Ghazaliyah neighborhood.

In Baghdad’s Rashid district, Iraqi security forces and Multinational Division Baghdad soldiers seized weapons and found a bomb and unexploded ordnance in various operations:

-- Police and U.S. soldiers found a magnetic “sticky bomb” in the district’s Jazeera community and called in an Iraqi explosive ordnance disposal team to dispose
of it.

-- Forces confiscated 15 AK-47 assault rifles in the Saydiyah community.

-- Iraqi police and U.S. soldiers found a bomb made of a 2.75 inch rocket and a 60 mm mortar round in the Masafee community.

-- In the Abu Tshir community, a combined patrol found a rocket-propelled grenade round that had been fired but hadn’t exploded.

-- Iraqi and U.S. soldiers found an 81 mm white-phosphorus mortar in the Arab Jabour community. A coalition EOD team secured it.

(Compiled from Multinational Corps Iraq news releases.)

Good news out of Iraq is more and more common these days. In accordance with the recent security agreements between the Iraqi and US governments, Iraqi troops are increasingly taking the lead in security operations, and they're really doing pretty well. Expect to see more and more stories like this, particularly as the media seem to be more willing to release good nes these days.

And in case the Iraqi Army is looking for a good home for those AKs, I might be able to make some room in the closet for them.

Infinite monkey theorem

The theory states that given time, a monkey hitting keys on a typewriter will eventually type the works of William Shakespeare. That being the case, surely I can give blogging a try.