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Sunday, October 09, 2016

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

We have all probably heard this at one time or another. When planning for emergencies this is a good saying to remember. Planning will not be done in a day. I was just personally reminded of this earlier in the week.

Out here in California we had a recent warning put out about an increased risk of a major earthquake. Of course earthquakes are kind of normal out here but to have authorities put out a warning is very far from normal. In response to the warning the ‘Boss’ asked me about her Get Home Back while telling me the warning concerned her. With the mission given I went and started to go through her bag. Here is where the saying comes into play.  

Several months or more have gone by since I looked at her bag or mine for that matter. Looking through the bag along with talking to her, I realized the bag was no longer filling the need the bag was originally put together for.  Our situation has changed, such is life, and I have fallen behind on our preparedness! Quickly I found myself reminded there are no one time, fix all answers to emergency preparedness.

Which brings me back to the point of this post.

Little things matter, little things put together make for big things and build a solid plan for responding to emergencies. The extra cup-of-soup you pick up adds to the other items you have bought and increases your food preparedness. Checking the batteries in the flashlight in the drawer means the light will work when you need it. Reviewing, altering and adjusting what you think is already taken care of might allow you to change things as your situation changes. All of these building blocks lead to the building of Rome!

Do not get overwhelmed by your effort to be prepared. Build your plan one brick at a time. Take time to review what you have done to ensure each brick still fits. Adjust as needed. Before you know it you will be living in a fine Roman city!!!

As Always,

Stay Safe!!   

Wednesday, July 06, 2016

Urban Garden - Update #2

In the category of trying to learn something new, here is the latest installment of garden update. With drought and having to water the garden by hand since I can not run the sprinklers the harvest is not what it might be. I've still had fun trying to figure out how to grow stuff and it is weirdly satisfying to eat stuff I grew myself!!

We started this round off looking something like this in my little Urban Garden.

Then we ended up with some stuff growing!!! The broccoli never really did anything. The Hippie came by the house and said the broccoli 'went to seed'? Guess that means we ain't getting none right now. Hahahahaha. The soccer ball was not harmed during the growing of the crops!

The harvest has been going on for a few weeks now. Surprisingly all the food does not get done at the same time!! You know like the grocery store!! hehehe Have had a few issues with one of our little friends around here eating the tomatoes before I can pick them. Not a big deal, ok it was a big deal but I got over it!

Ended up with enough potatoes I did not need to buy any for a few weeks now. Also found out the red ones grow more than the white ones. Had planted less red ones but got just as much as the others.

The celery grew! Had no idea what I was doing with it!

And the most exciting thing for me was I grew some decent onions!!! I know it sounds silly but I have not been able to get the onions to grow to any size worth talking about!!

Next step is to get the dirt ready to try and plant some more stuff. It has really been fun trying to figure out how to grow food. Makes me realize how hard it is to fill those shelves at the grocery store. Also makes me realize how delicate the food supply is.

Waiting for the grapes to ripen. Not sure my second vine is going to grow that much this year, Kids decided to pull the leaves off of it. When they are ready I am going to practice making jam this year. Another skill set I am trying to gain knowledge in. Of course that means I will also get some practice in on treating burns!

Remember learn something new this month! There is always something out there to learn!

As Always,

Stay Safe!  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Planning #7.3 - Guns, hand guns, what to consider

Again we go down the hole to see what there is to see. This time we are going to get a little more detailed on what you should consider when looking to add firearms to your planning. 

As with our other planning we have to tailor the plan to our situation. The amount of money you have to put toward this, your particular situation and the amount of training you have are all factors which need to be considered. 

If you want to have something which is not very complicated, can be stored ready to use for long periods of time and will not break the bank, a revolver might fit the bill. Stored in a good pistol box, you can bolt down to somewhere, you do not have to really think about it. 

Maybe you want something small enough you can carry it on your person and have the ability to reload quickly if needed. A semi-automatic pistol might fit. Some of these can be picked up for only a few hundred dollars. These can also be stored inside of a secure box yet still accessed in a hurry if needed. 

Some pistols are not really good choices if you want to keep them loaded. The magazines have springs inside of them and if they are under pressure (loaded) for extended periods of time the springs go soft and the magazine might not work properly when you want it to. This is why a revolver is a better idea for long term storage. 

Revolvers and pistols are considered close range, 15 feet or less, tools. Some folks consider them only as backup tools. Yet in a confined space, such as your home, they might work better than some of the larger options. These tools are easier to manipulate when there is not much room. They are also easier to carry and of course they are easier to conceal if need be. 

As far as brands to buy and caliber to buy. This all depends on your experience and abilities. If you have little training or no experience a .38 revolver might be your best choice. Something to only be used during an emergency. The tool is easily concealed, range is not very good but if you are only using the tool as a last resort........ you just touch the bad guy with the barrel while you pull the trigger. Down side of this tool the round is not very large and unless you place the barrel in the right places the bad guy can keep fighting. 

For most people 9mm is the caliber you want to consider looking for. There are revolvers and pistols in this caliber. Of course revolvers and pistols both come in larger calibers. You can purchase what could be considered a 'hand cannon'. 

For most of us this is far more than we need or could handle. Believe it or not some people even hunt with pistols and revolvers! For most of us this is not a consideration when talking about firearms but nice to know you can utilize this tool for more than one use. Hunting bear with a .38 or anything smaller than a .357 is not such a bright idea!!!!

So let's take hunting with a pistol or revolver off the table for now. Let's focus on what most of us are considering these tools for, self defense and the defense of others. 

There are hundreds of companies which make these tools and I will not get into a 'discussion' about which one is the 'bestest'! Your personal price point will dictate what you purchase. Why wont you discuss the different brands? Because to some folks brands are like religion and no matter what they have a favorite. Remember we are looking for a tool which fits your needs. Let's focus on tools for self defense.

The Beretta M9 or 92f is a fine pistol. Thousands have been made and are in use. For the novice I think this is a good platform to start with. Most fellas out there can easily grip this tool, one drawback for the ladies is some might have trouble wrapping their hands around a full size version. They make smaller versions so this can be worked around. The pistol is reliable, easy to clean and I personally like the safety feature for those with limited experience. You literally can throw this pistol loaded, with the safety on and it will not discharge. (do not ever try this! do not ever ask me how I know this!)

You can purchase other brands and again it is a matter of what you can afford or have experience with. Look for something simple to use. Some pistols come with all sorts of extras, fancy triggers, fancy sights and all types of attachments. If you understand all of these good utilize them but keep in mind battery powered items might not work when you need them. A suggestion would be to keep your tools simple to cut down on the learning curve and chances of something not working. 

Again a revolver might be the best choice for some of us out there. You load the cylinder, close the cylinder and it is ready to go.  

TRAINING, TRAINING, TRAINING!  No matter what tool you add to your planning you absolutely need to be trained to use the tool! You can add a rocket to your tool box but if you do not know how to use it is useless. What kind of training?  

Here is another question were people like to get their feathers ruffled..... Whoever you go to for training their first priority needs to be safety! If they do not spend time ensuring you understand and manifest safety you need to walk away. If they tell you they can turn you into a Navy SEAL, skilled gunfighter in three easy lessons, walk away! Marksmanship should be the the focus after safety. 

You have to handle the tools safely and be able to hit what you are aiming at before you can do all the other 'high speed, low drag' stuff people want to learn how to do. What people forget is in order to do all the 'fun' stuff you have to have a solid foundation to work from.

If the person you go to does not offer some type of classes which increase your skill set over time just walk away. There really is not rules people have to follow when they decide to call themselves firearms instructors and as with other things some people might be able to do but have no idea how to teach.  

You have to have a solid foundation before you should even be shown a position like this one.

Most folks should never, never be put in this situation!!!!!!

 Most of us will never reach a level of training where this is appropriate!!! This level of confidence takes years to reach. If you find someone offering to show you how to do these types of things in a "Easy to learn, complete gunfighter system, you can master in just one weekend!" walk away!!! 

Ok, this one is getting long! Let's come back up for some air! Remember you need to tailor your planning to your situation. This carries over to what type of tools you add to your abilities. Take the time to research what fits your needs. Take the time to find a good instructor. Take the time to train! The time you spend now will be the difference if you ever need this skill set. 

As Always,

Stay Safe! 

Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Planning #7.2 Gun Knowledge

Down, down, down the rabbit hole we go....................
How much time do we spend in here? As much time as it takes. How much time is that? Until we are done........................

In the first installment concerning guns we talked a little bit about why you need to take firearms into account when planning. Second installment we talked about firearms being another tool you need to become familiar with. 

Hopefully by now people who might not want to discuss firearms have realized these posts are not about which gun is the 'bestest'. But let us cover that question for a moment......... 
Which firearm is best to own? 
What do you need it for?
To protect my family!
The tool in your hand at that moment is the 'bestest'.
 BUT only if you know how to use the tool.
Firearms are just an improved method for throwing rocks at someone. You have to learn to throw a rock before you can hit anything.
Than someone made a more complicated way to throw things at someone else. At the end of the day this is still just a rock thrower...... See the rock at the end of the spear? 
These are just more complicated ways to throw rocks. 
All rocks come in different sizes, bullets or rounds are no different. All the complicated sounds which come out of a gun nut's mouth come down to two things. How big is the rock and how fast is the rock going? 
Bigger the rock and the faster you throw the harder it is to control where the rock goes. A .38 caliber pistol is easier to control than a .45. A .45 round has move power behind it than a .38 round. Theoretically you should be able to stop a threat sooner with a .45 than a .38 based just on the physics. 
Unless of course you are one of these guys....... Or maybe you were taught by one of these guys? Because these guys have proven even if everyone had ray guns but no training the tool is wasted. 
What is the difference between a pistol, rifle and shotgun? Size of the rock and how far you can throw it. The barrel of the tool decides how far you can accurately throw the round. The "thrower" has to be the proper type to throw the proper rock. If you want to throw a little .22 caliber size rock you need a barrel which the rock fits in. 
If you take the same .22 caliber bullet and put it in a .22 caliber pistol you can not throw the rock as far.
Why? The length of a barrel determines how far you can throw the rock. The barrel is the part sticking out the bullet passes through. Longer barrel = throw farther. Yes there is a more complicated answer but let's stick with this one. 

Shotguns are diffrent because they do not fire just one rock, they throw several rocks at one time. Yet the same basic idea works, the longer the barrel the further you can accurately throw the rocks. 
As in the above photo shotguns throw a bunch of rocks. You can buy different numbers of rocks to throw with the lowest numbers being in the '00' range. 
See how the number of rocks has been decreased? 
If you aim at the center of the target odds are the rocks will come out and make a pattern similar to this one, shotguns are not precision tools. The further away the target the greater the spread of the pattern. 

Alright one last bit of foundational knowledge..... nomenclature. All firearms have the same basic parts. Some might add or take away parts but all of them have to have these basic parts. 
Barrel, every firearm has one! It is where the rocks come out of and is the dangerous end of the tool.
Doesn't matter if the firearm is a pistol, double barrel shotgun or a cannon they all have a barrel and the open end where the rocks come out is the place you do not want to be at. Trigger is the next thing they all have in common

Be it a modern pistol or rifle
Or maybe an antique pistol
Knowing these two parts of any firearm is really important. Because if we know these two parts of the gun we can follow the next and most important part about understanding firearms. SAFETY!!! 
If you remember nothing else remember these four things when dealing with firearms. Because if you do not you can look like these guys................
But you might as well be this guy....................
Remember treat every firearm as if it is loaded
Never point a firearm at anything or anyone you are not willing to destroy
Keep your finger of the trigger and out of the trigger guard until ready to fire.
Know your target and what is behind it.

Following these rules are the most important thing you can learn about firearms! Yes these rules are more important than anything else you can learn!!! You might be able to reach out a thousand yards and hit a target........... but if you forget to clear the weapon, assume it is unloaded and put a round through the wall when you are cleaning your rifle......... a round which goes through the wall and hits the neighbor's kid........ you hopefully get the point. Alright this is getting long so let's cut it here for now.

As Always,

Stay Safe!