Wednesday, October 28, 2009
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.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Friday, June 12, 2009
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
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
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
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
Saturday, March 28, 2009
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
Link to the Intellectual Conservative website for a great (and depressing) article by Phillip Jackson. It's a must-read.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
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.
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, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_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.
Saturday, February 28, 2009
(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.
Sunday, February 15, 2009
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
"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
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.
Friday, February 6, 2009
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: http://www.zombiehunters.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=24111, but what can we do?
A few things that are worth consideration:
- 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. http://www.providentliving.org/content/display/0,11666,8207-1-4531-1,00.html http://www.aquasana.com/?&discountcode=asUS
- 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.
- 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:
http://www.target.com/Haier-Water-Dispenser-WDNSC145/dp/B000BQWAAG/sr=1-15/qid=1233981354/ref=sr_1_15/191-3233813-4535222?ie=UTF8&pricerange=&rank=price&rh=k%3Ahome%20water%20coolers&page=4 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.
http://www.usplastic.com/catalog/product.asp?catalog%5Fname=USPlastic&category%5Fname=11943&product%5Fid=11950 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: http://www.arizonabarrels.com/index.html
Wednesday, February 4, 2009
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
- Surely nobody was able to buy alcoholic beverages during
- 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: http://www.aclu.org/privacy/spying/watchlistcounter.html
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:
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.
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.
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 http://www.opensecrets.org/news/2008/07/top-senate-recipients-of-fanni.html
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
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
-- 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.