Tuesday, 8 September 2015

09:22 – The bread turned out fine. It was a bit denser and moister than store-bought, but that was expected. I didn’t add any preservatives to it, so we’ll have the other half of the loaf with dinner tonight.

This Obamacare thing is turning out to be a real pain in the ass, as expected given whose name is on it. There are 36 plans available to us in Forsyth County, all either BC/BS or United Healthcare. We’re both inclined to go for a lower monthly payment in exchange for higher deductibles and total out-of-pocket. I never go to the doctor, and Barbara goes only for her annual girl-stuff visit, which is probably covered anyway without deductible because it’s one of the things Obamacare policies are required to cover. That minimalist plan will cost us $1,199/month before any subsidies, which I doubt we’ll qualify for.

On our way to Costco Saturday, we drove past Gander Mountain. I see on their web site that they carry the Ruger AR-556 tactical rifles for $700 each. I think I’ll see if Barbara wants to take a run by there sometime soon and pick up an M4gery for each of us, slings, and a dozen or so spare magazines. If things ever do go pear-shaped around here, they’d be handy to have on hand. They’re also a good investment, particularly if we keep them NIB.

I’m building and shipping kits today.


31 thoughts on “Tuesday, 8 September 2015”

  1. So here’s another example of well thought out, well meaning, well written, and, well, wrong advice on prepping.

    It showed up in my inbox today. From Instructibles.com which is a valuable resource, but being user submitted content, of varying quality.

    http://www.instructables.com/id/Disaster-pack-Urban-edition-50-shades-of-grey/

    Another in a long list of bug out bag articles.

    I don’t have a problem with much of his advice, but there are clear indicators that this is a game for him, and that he hasn’t embraced the reality of a situation that would require a BOB.

    Starting with his decision to carry less stuff, so “there was enough empty space to be able scavenge if necessary.” — no need to stop and scavenge if you are carrying what you need. Better to carry more water. You can always drink it or pour it out if you need the space, and the empty container doesn’t weigh anything significant.

    He doesn’t carry a knife, because they’re scary, and you can’t take them on planes. —But he recommends a big ass scary pair of scissors that can be used as a knife! Or you could just carry a knife. Plenty of legal folders that work well. A good pair of scissors is a great addition to a bag, but NOT a substitute for a knife.

    A roll of string instead of paracord. And it’s magic string from a tactical supplier!– hey, string is a great idea, and good string is better than bad, but 10ft of that and a couple 10ft hanks of paracord are more than most people could even conceive of using. WHY are you carrying string? Or any cordage? If you don’t know, or can’t think of a reason, you don’t need it.

    — he thinks a rain poncho is a single use item.

    — he carries a colored bandana, but thinks only a shemagh or keffiyeh “might send the wrong message to the ignorant or uninformed ” because ” the colors and patterns are a little too out of place in the US ” — has he never heard of street gangs? Bandanas are the flags and in-group identifiers of street gangs. Wear the wrong one in the wrong place and YOU WILL get attention.

    candle in a can– eh, wonder if he’s ever tried to boil water long enough to sterilize it with the candle, and I wonder how it (and the electrical tape) hold up in a hot car.

    water, need to get some — carries a sillcock, which is a tool for turning on a hose faucet, or hose bib. Great idea, small and relatively light weight, and assumes that the water will be ON and that people won’t mind you stealing from them, so FAIL.

    compass — I don’t need no stinking compass, I’ve got a magical ARMY app on my phone. Besides, if I need a compass I “can always fashion one in the field as there are no end to ferrous objects littering the streets” and oh my god we’re going to DIE!!!

    map — I don’t need no stinking map, and besides, I can always wander randomly until I get to a train station where I can use their map and oh my god they’re going to EAT ME!!!

    defense –this is where he REALLY falls down. Pepper spray. And something from West Side Story. That’s it. If you want to improvise a “flail” from a padlock, you’re better off using some of that paracord you’re not carrying. And why carry the padlock? What the hell does he think he’ll be locking up that he needs a cut resistant padlock? Oh, right, he’s gonna ‘salvage’ some chain, and lock himself into somewhere safe. OOOhhh, he’s got a whistle. To “signal for help.” FROM WHO? More on this later.

    Comms– no mention of who he’s gonna call on that baofang, or understanding that if the repeaters are down, it’s little better than a paperweight. Better to have a scanner and earphone for the same weight. I love his ‘license optional’ approach too.

    MONEY! — hey a recommendation I can get behind, and is often overlooked. ‘Course, here’s some more mindset revealed “If someone asks for your pack and you’re not in a position to flee or defend yourself, give it to them.” ASKS!! Or the desperate people comment before that, ignores all those people who LIKE stealing and do it for a living. Or the assumption that they will have to be desperate.

    Food — carry some. More foraging comments. And wrong at that. The city is FULL of food, at least at the start of the disaster. It’s just that most of it belongs to someone else. And the food that is around is in dumpsters. But again, why are you foraging and sticking around when you need to be bugging out?

    And finally, his “Thanks but no thanks.”

    tools– tools are bad umkay? You’ll just get yourself into trouble, so don’t bother.

    guns– oh no way! guns are bad umkay? Unless you’re one of the super trained, snake eaters, you’ll probably just hurt yourself, so don’t bother.

    big knives– knives are bad umkay? And more mindset “Besides, I doubt things will ever go to pot to the extent that it’ll be permissible to carry a foot long hunk of baddass into the local High school shelter.” SHELTER! Things will never get BAD! –then why in the hell are you making a bug out bag?

    — big water filters (smaller than a coke can) are too hard to hide?

    — zip ties make you suspect? while “traipsing around the mall”???

    — hasn’t bothered to get a multitool? This makes him a tool in my book all by itself.

    — a med kit “wouldn’t be a bad idea”? And “The nice thing about a city is that there’s usually help within ear shot.” !!! –except when there ISN’T, like when you’re bugging out after SHTF.

    Oh jeez.

    So this guy has this movie in his head. It looks a lot like Escape from New York. He’s scuttling around in his urban wasteland, still dependent on the grid for water, stealing from people as he goes, stuffing their property into his backpack, ready to defend himself from girl scouts with a hanky and a padlock, still believing that he can get help by calling on the radio or by blowing a whistle, with no food, no medical supplies, no map, no compass, no knife, no gun, no CLUE and NO CHANCE.

    He thinks he’ll improvise
    his escape route
    his water purification (no tablets, enough candle for one cup of water)
    his comms
    his defense
    his food
    his survival

    And 12 THOUSAND people read his instructable. How many of them think it’s good advice?

    I weep.

    nick

  2. I’d be interested in a comparison between the Ruger AR-556 and the similarly priced S&W M&P AR15 Sporter.

    And isn’t it swell that our medical insurance premiums will now cost more than our monthly mortgages or rent. For crappier service and longer wait times. With more paperwork to navigate. While we pay for better service and wait times for illegal crimmigrants who hate our guts and spit on us.

    The hadji swarms invading Europe are now throwing away the food and meds that well-meaning libturd saps have been giving them, shouting their cult’s main slogan, and throwing feces at their benefactors and the police. Frankly, at this point, I’d round them all up and put them on barges headed back to North Afrika, and any future “boat-lifts” I’d strafe and sink from the air.

  3. He doesn’t carry a knife [in his bug-out bag], because they’re scary, and you can’t take them on planes.

    In what world does that make sense? If you need a BOB, you aren’t likely to be taking a plane. A knife is an incredibly useful tool. If, by some weird series of events, you do? Run your bag innocently through the checkpoint, and let them confiscate the knife if they happen to find it.

    The smartphone is really bizarre. Is he going to remember to regularly charge it? How long will it run on a charge anyway? He has one of those rechargeable backup batteries as well – same questions. If I think I’m going to need a compass in a BOB, a smartphone is a joke.

    Of course, I don’t have any sort of BOB. I’m almost always underway without the car, so whatever is in my normal backpack will just have to do. Since the pack is used mainly for my computer, business papers, and such, that doesn’t leave a lot I’m willing to carry around: first aid kit, multi tool, knife, a mylar emergency blanket. Frankly, all stuff useful in normal situations.

  4. I think the thing that frustrates me most about articles like this one is the lack of internal consistency.

    He’s putting together a BOB, but thinks there will always be help nearby (whistle) or medical care (no need for first aid beyond boo boo kit.)

    He’d rather try to improvise water treatment from iodine wipes than carry aqua pur tabs, and improvise a defense from a weight and a hanky than carry something made for the use that is easily purchased while the grid is up.

    He thinks he’ll be able to steal chain to lock his stuff up, without considering that 9 million other people will want to do the same to him.

    He’s bugging out, but scavenging? locking things up? foraging for food and water?

    He likes ‘magical gear’ ‘specially recommended by the pros (and upon further exploration, pros with links to one school and store.) and yet it’s pros in RURAL survival while he is in an urban environment.

    If you’re building a BOB, or GHB, you should first ask yourself what is my goal? Where am I starting and where will I end up? Is it to get out of the city on foot because anywhere is better than here? Get home from the office across 20 miles of suburban neighborhoods? Then pack the things that will help you accomplish the goal. What do you need to wear? (better shoes for example if you wear dress shoes in an office) What obstacles will you face? (dust masks to get out of Manhattan?)(people who want you or your stuff) How will you sustain yourself during the movement? (food water medical shelter)

    If you’re at the office, your best BOB might be a gym bag with good shoes, water bottles, a hoodie, sweats and windbreaker, some cash, powerbars, dust mask, hat, flashlight, and some personal defense tools. This bag would have seen most of the people safely home in NYC on 9/11.

    Are you at home, and forced out by circumstance? (chemical spill, approaching fire) Your bag is going to be different from your office bag, or your truck bag. The grid as a whole is likely to still be up.

    Anyway, your assumptions for planning should be internally consistent. Either the grid is up, or it’s down (at least locally.) You have backup, or you don’t. You are moving toward resources, or you are on your own just struggling to live another hour.

    And take it seriously. Anything bad enough to pit you against the world with just the stuff in your pack is bad enough that half measures won’t do. Commit.

    nick

  5. “If you’re at the office, your best BOB might be a gym bag with good shoes, water bottles, a hoodie, sweats and windbreaker, some cash, powerbars, dust mask, hat, flashlight, and some personal defense tools.”

    There is is, the key phrase here being “gym bag.” Not a black ops tacticool bag with mag pouches on the outside. Or cammie. I’d throw in a decent knife and/or Leatherman tool, firestarter, Lifestraw, small first aid kit, and maybe a rain poncho that can double as a tarp. Winter conditions here would mean some modifications on it. Just on the off chance that the hike from the office to home could involve an overnight in the woods during inclement weather. And assuming vehicle travel is out for some reason, otherwise a bigger bag of stuff, or assuming maybe having to bail from said vehicle, keep the small bag.

    “…your assumptions for planning should be internally consistent. Either the grid is up, or it’s down (at least locally.) You have backup, or you don’t. You are moving toward resources, or you are on your own just struggling to live another hour.”

    Exactly. What are you prepping FOR? Get home from the prolecube farm? Leave the house for a few days or a week due to some kind of local disaster? Expecting looters to stop by for a little visit?

  6. Not a Lifestraw, please. It’s as expensive as, and grossly inferior to, the Sawyer Mini.

  7. Hmm, didn’t look at the Sawyer mini. Have lifestraws for all the vehicles.

    nick

    Looks good….

  8. Exactly. What are you prepping FOR? Get home from the prolecube farm? Leave the house for a few days or a week due to some kind of local disaster? Expecting looters to stop by for a little visit?

    I’m becoming worried that FEMA might stop by for a visit with a bus.

  9. In the never ending saga of the ever growing more costly addition to the house, we had a pinhole leak in our rigid copper piping that I discovered this morning. By stepping into the puddle in the master bath from the ceiling. The pinhole was two foot away from where they connected the new piping (flexpipe) to the old piping (rigid copper). I had the plumber remove that four inch section of pipe rather than fill the pinhole. Turns out that there was another pinhole, filled in, an inch away from the leaking pinhole.

    Lynn is now worried about the rigid copper pipe in his 12 year old house. Is the 1,000+ ft of rigid copper pipe full of filled in pinholes?

  10. I have a couple of Lifestraws that I bought before the Sawyer Mini was available. They have an unlimited shelf life (although older production models have an expiration date on the sleeve, Lifestraw confirms that all of them including the oldest ones have unlimited shelf life.)

    Given their very limited capacity (something like 260 gallons) and the largish .2 micron pore size, I’d use them only if I didn’t have something better. I figure IPCTS, I’ll give these away as a decent alternative to drinking untreated water.

  11. I thought that you were a lifestraw fan?
    https://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2014/06/03/tuesday-3-june-2014/
    http://www.amazon.com/LifeStraw-LSPHF017-Personal-Water-Filter/dp/B006QF3TW4/

    I was, before the Sawyer Mini was available.

    So, the Sawyer is better because it is more versatile or better filtration?
    http://www.amazon.com/Sawyer-Products-SP102-Filtration-System/dp/B00MPH1LU4/

    All of the above. Also, its capacity is huge, whereas the Lifestraw is good for only about 260 gallons.

  12. This Obamacare thing is turning out to be a real pain in the ass, as expected given whose name is on it. There are 36 plans available to us in Forsyth County, all either BC/BS or United Healthcare. We’re both inclined to go for a lower monthly payment in exchange for higher deductibles and total out-of-pocket. I never go to the doctor, and Barbara goes only for her annual girl-stuff visit, which is probably covered anyway without deductible because it’s one of the things Obamacare policies are required to cover. That minimalist plan will cost us $1,199/month before any subsidies, which I doubt we’ll qualify for.

    This is why I advocate moving all USA citizens onto Medicare. First start with all 60+. Then 55+ in the next year. Etc, etc, etc until the entire population is on Medicare. The semi-mandatory insurance way will not work. 30+ percent of the people will not get insurance under any case (at least here in Texas, bunch of hard heads) and still show up to the ER expecting free heart stents and such.

    Then the real battles start. How much are we going to pay for everything? And Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy will come into play.
    http://www.jerrypournelle.com/reports/jerryp/iron.html

  13. This is why I prep, “Looking back at the hurricane that wiped out the city of Galveston 115 years ago”:
    http://www.chron.com/neighborhood/bayarea/news/article/Photos-show-when-a-hurricane-wiped-out-the-city-6490606.php

    I read “Isaac’s Storm” about 15 years ago when it came out in 2000 and got majorly freaked out.
    http://www.amazon.com/Isaacs-Storm-Deadliest-Hurricane-History/dp/0375708278/

    There is a time to hunker down and there is a time to bug out. There is a line dividing those two. Cat 1, I would ride it out in Galveston. Cat 2 hurricane, I would get out of Galveston and any area within twenty miles of the coast. Cat 3+ hurricane, forty miles.

  14. “And the Sawyer is available in pink for that special woman in your life.”

    Whatever the color, these are appropriate for your bag, your car, or whenever size is a major consideration. I would not depend on the Sawyer Mini as my primary water filter. For that, you want the Sawyer Sawyer Products SP191 Point Zero Two:

    http://smile.amazon.com/Sawyer-Products-SP191-Purifier-Assembly/dp/B0051HHNJ8

    It’s good for a million gallons, filters with an absolute pore size of 0.02 microns (which is good enough to catch viruses), and runs about $120.

    Whatever you do, avoid the Berkey filters, which are unsafe by design.

  15. “There is a time to hunker down and there is a time to bug out. There is a line dividing those two.”

    Cat 3 that my grandparents, parents, aunts and uncles lived through, turning my maternal grandparents’ neighborhood into an island, from which they had to be evacuated by rowboats:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1938_New_England_hurricane

    My mom, one aunt, and one uncle are the remaining family survivors of that storm. Downtown Providence, RI was flooded and people were cruising it in boats. Large boats were floated two miles inland by the storm surge. And you can still find bridges and dams many miles away up in central MA with the cornerstones dated 1938, when they were built to replace the ones flooded away by the hurricane. One of the really sad and poignant stories was of a church group on the Rhode Island coast that and gone to their beach property for a picnic; one family left early and went home because one of the kids got sick; they were the only survivors; everyone else disappeared completely.

    “In Montpelier, 120 miles from the nearest coast, salt spray was seen on windows.” (Wikipedia article)

  16. @RBT

    I think you mentioned before that the Sawyer .02 filter will be damaged if it freezes after it has been used. Does the Sawyer Mini have the same issue?

  17. And 12 THOUSAND people read his instructable. How many of them think it’s good advice?

    I weep.

    I cheer. With any luck, lazy people who want others to do their research and thinking for them will follow bad guidelines, and die as a result. The species improves.

  18. I had it turned off, but the reset turned it back on. It’s fixed.

  19. Damn, it’s so hot in Vegas, a British Airways plane burst into flames on the runway.

    In other nooz, Kankles is sorry about the email server. Her interview sounded more like “Too fucking bad peons.” As soon as her poll numbers drop, out come the lies and pandering.

    Trump 2016! ” An Email Server in Every Closet ™”

  20. Her poll numbers are dropping while Bipolar Biden is moving ahead of Sanders and closing in, and he hasn’t even announced yet. What a laff riot! On the other side, Trumpster should be due for another outrageous comment any day now, keep those numbers up and way ahead of the second-place guy, Dr. Carson!!! The rest of the clowns are falling by the wayside, more boffo laffs!

    Cankles is one sorry p.o.s. and headed for a bad end at some point; I’m guessing her husband Larry will outlive her; he’s lost weight and evidently is on some kind of genuine diet now. He rakes in beaucoups piastres from the speeches and his foundation that takes in millions from foreign gummints, including ones his wife, when SecState, approved for weapons deals. And he plays golf and goes to resorts with his millionaire pals and underage girls. The Life of Reilly!

  21. MrAtoz, why did you do that job on the BA plane? What did they ever do to you? 🙂

  22. Mr. Miles, I heard there were *trained* sheep on board the BA plane after a quick stop in NZ. Can’t have those pervs taking away from Dirty Harry Reid’s next job: sheep sex ranch in Pahrump.

  23. Has there ever been a sheep which was in Australia for as little as 15 minutes which didn’t get syphilis?

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