Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Been a Very Busy Guy

It's been over a year since my last post, due to a huge technical loss (my personal laptop) I just didn't take the time to write down my thoughts. Add in losing my DOD contract last fall, and here we are. I had surgery and some recuperation in the time off, but I took a new contract the day prior to being released to work by my surgeon.

I'm now working at a small pharma facility upgrading the life safety equipment. If you take pills of any type, they more than likely use a product made at this facility. They corner the market on pill parts, supplying 90% of the world. They pay extremely well, though. In a few weeks I'll be transferring to a FAA/customs facility for infrastructure and technology upgrades. Busy guy, for sure.

With the changes in my life, I've had to drop a few things. Namely, this blog and a few others. I no longer teach any shooting classes, either. All my time is sucked up with my boys, work, and house upkeep. Both my 2 week vacations were spent volunteering with a large youth organization, as well as a minimum of one weeknight a week and 1 weekend a month. The one caveat to this is that I have been doing a lot of backpacking and camping. Even backpacked through a tornado that caused a lot of damage less than a mile from us. Fun times.

My eldest is a senior in high school. He's considering ROTC at Purdue or Rose-Holman and an engineering degree. That opens a whole can of worms, with all that entails. He's also finishing his eagle scout project, a section leader in the marching band, as well as taking 2 nights of BJJ training. He's only home long enough to shower and sleep.

I have been keeping up on my personal shooting goals. Even advancing my skills with some classes in a few weeks. Been shooting distance quite a bit, I have some new toys for it. My pistol skills had to be totally rebuilt after hand surgery, and I hate to say it, but I may never be as good as I once was. I've hit a plateau that I can't seem to get past. Still more than competent for defensive use, but I just don't have the same confidence in shot placement as I once did. Groups have opened up a little under stress or rapid fire.

Glad I could have a few minutes to give you all an update. Stay safe and expect more from me.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Abject Horror: A Tale of My Life

Not so long ago, in a house not far away. Actually, it was Friday, and my house. I had an opportunity to clean my cans, and I had (mis)used my 9mm can for shooting 22lr when I did a shooting lesson with my Nephew. 2 teenagers with scoped bolt action rifles can still shoot through a ton of ammo very quickly. Having 2 cans allowed me to talk with them in a normal voice and they could understand directions better than with auto-cut out muffs.

This was our first Foray with the new Ruger Precision Rimfire rifle. 1500 rounds of 22lr, 9mm and .223 rem later we headed home. I cleared and cleaned the rifles and reloaded the glock with carry ammo, because really, it's a glock. Who cares if it's clean, it still works. I put the cans in the safe and didn't worry about it for a few weeks. Along comes Friday and I decide to clean the cans. I can't for the life of me find the 9mm can. The 223 and 22lr can are right where I left them. I started tearing the bags we used apart, the gun cases and bags, the safe, the benches. I'm pooping razor blades thinking I'm going to have to make a very bad call to a very bad agency.

On my third trip to the safe I pull all the guns out, check the door sill and pull out my body armor, and there it is. It somehow rolled under my plate carrier and to the far corner of the safe.

I still haven't cleaned up the bags and such, I have magazines strewn everywhere, but I have ALL my cans.

Horrific phone call averted.

More on the Ruger rifle in the future. I have 3 other builds that are almost complete, then I can start spending more time on the range. One is a 224 Valkyrie that's built to toss 95g matchkings.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

SWOT Analysis Per Total Survivalist Blog.

It's nice to see a quantifiable chart that really simplifies a rather complex subject. The SWOT chart that Ryan over at http://www.totalsurvivalist.com/2018/05/evaluating-and-managing-risk-2-swot-and.html has offered up us very easy to use for simple tasks and complex lifestyles.

I'm going to go ahead and insert my 50k foot view of my personal risk assessment into it. I'm not going to do it in the practical chart version due to my normally long winded answers.

1. Well placed, sought after career that is recession proof in the near term.
2. Stable 17year relationship with a sugar momma.
3. One lightly trained fighting age son in the house.
4. Well stocked and diversified physical holdings.
5. Well balanced and diversified skill set for backup income.
6. Tribe that can be relied upon.
7. Legitimately needed by my tribe.
8. Zero debt.

1. WAY too close to a population center
2. Indefensible garden home on a freaking golf course.
3. Dealing with a foot and an arm injury.
4. Cardio training is non existent.
5. Carrying way too much weight.
6. Sugar momma has zero interest in defensive training.
7. Youngest son can't keep his mouth shut.

-Booming Economy plays into strengths 1,2,5,8. Weaknesses 3,4,5 will hamper my ability to capitalize on more income. I'm just too beat up at the end of the day to deal with more work. Motrin is my friend.
-Low priced Precious Metals gives me buying power with 1,2 and 8. Weakness 7 and maybe 2 are at issue with large physical holdings.
- Low priced training benefit/cost ratio. Strengths 1,2,3,4,8 play into this, Weaknesses 3,4,5 make things very difficult.

-Economic downturn is mitigated with 1,2,4,5,6,8 and only weakness 3 hurts me here.
-Loss of income has same weakness/strength issues
-Health issue Same as the two above
-Pandemic has Strengths 4,5,6,7,8 for helpers and weakness 1 as a detractor
-Social unrest really depends on how intense it becomes. I work near the town, but geographically separated by a large river and many sprawling industrial campus sites. Only middle class homes between my house and work. Wife works from home with limited travel. There will be inpact, just not sure how severe. DOD will ensure site safety, but getting there could get dicey if we start seeing roving road blocks and highway sit ins. Weakness 1,3,4,5 come into play if I'm forced to walk home, strength 5 is my helper. I'm well trained in navigation and E&E concepts. My get home kit would be considered as strength 4. I've also switched to a grey man vehicle. The big diesel sits now most of the time and I have a very capable small 4x4 utility vehicle for daily travel. It's about as grey as you can get. No chrome, gray in color, tinted windows, quiet V6, matte black wheels....

A little more on my injuries. I was hiking with the scouts on an urban hike in February and my foot fell through some ice and bruised the bottom of my heel. It's never healed right and hurts pretty much all the time. Need to get it looked at because favoring it has caused other issues with the foot. As far as the arm, well, I broke it. We rehabbed our in ground pool and I had to re-bond and rewire the entire thing. I was pulling wire for the automatic cover when one of the wire spools jammed and pulled the ladder over onto me. It was going to hit my kneecap so I blocked it with my ulna. It got a pretty good fracture, but no real movement of the bone structure. I decided to finish the job and see how it felt. The wife was away the next 2 days and I didn't feel like dealing with a cast so I just took it easy. The fracture was small enough that it solidified the next day and I had no bone movement so I just went about my business with a rather large, odd looking knot on my right arm about 5 inches from the wrist. It's almost healed. The main issue I have with that arm is carpal tunnel. I have a lot of very technical large and ultra small work to do on aerospace parts machining equipment. My productivity is hampered at times. Luckily I'm in a supervisory role and only perform on hot projects and troubleshooting. That will change when or if this project completes in 2020. My left arm was already fixed a few years ago. It needed far more work done so I did it first.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

High Level Risk Management

Remember the old saying "You can't see the forest because of the trees" or some such iteration? Well, it's a genuine thing in preparedness circles. Regardless of your intentions, bad choices in the beginning of your planning pretty much set you up for failure. You can shoot yourself in the foot by not assessing your choices without the emotional baggage of assuaging your ego. We all make bad choices, and until you can admit you made a mistake, you will continue making the same mistake.

Taking into account your plans for weathering whatever storm you are planning for, you must re-assess every once in a while to make sure you aren't digging yourself a bigger hole. If you move away from the big city to get away from the Golden Hoard, you need to make sure the place you are moving to is sustainable. If your previous location was more sustainable for mid to low level events, such as flooding or loss of employment, you might remain there until a more suitable location is in your budget. Planning for a high level event like a large scale civil disturbance, apocalyptic inflation or alien invasion is prepared for prior to lesser events, you are less likely to comfortably overcome your issues. Let's face it, it's more common to have a flood or tornado than it is for a high level event.

One could argue that in all likelihood, you would be better served to plan for things that you have dealt with before, rather than world ending scenarios. Can you fix your own flat tire with a plug kit and a pump? Do you carry them in your vehicle? Hopefully you are picking up what I'm putting down. Here's a list of things every American should be prepared to deal with any day of the week. Until you can positively answer that you can counter these rather benign problems, you don't need to spend a bunch of cash on exotic preps.

-Flat Tire
-Lost job
-First Aid
-Traumatic injury
-Winter storm
-Loss of water pressure
-Loss of wallet/purse
-Power Outage
-Broken windows
-Defensive use of force scenario
-Loss of access to bank accounts
-House fire
-Chemical leak
-Police action
If you have children
-Rally point to meet up in an emergency
-Plan for an abduction
-Code words for duress
-Counter surveillance techniques
-Established safe places and people

There's not much logic in preparing for an EMP when you can't even get home with a flat tire unless AAA shows up. If you can't deal with the little things, you need to start there! Don't get emotionally invested in a dystopian future you read about if you're not squared away in your self defense techniques. All that freeze dried food will be enjoyed by someone that's not you if you can't defend it or prepare it.

Friday, May 4, 2018

Risk Management Concepts

Preparedness: Noun

1-The state of being Prepared; readiness.
2-Possession of adequate armed forces, industrial resources and potential, etc., especially as a deterrent to enemy attack.
In my professional life, Risk assessment and mitigation is a daily goal. My team discusses and outlines the present risks and objectives to the goals of the day. We each sign our safety plan and have dedicated risk awareness and reporting documentation throughout the day. It's what it takes to work in a DOD secured facility at a global defense supplier. It's impossible to remove risk, but you can take steps to mitigate that risk. The first and most important step is knowing what risks you are taking and learning the steps and equipment required to mitigate that risk. 
Ryan over at http://www.totalsurvivalist.com/  is doing a 4 part series on this idea and his take on risk management. Having a large amount of training on the subject, my thoughts were to kick start some discussion and hypothetical situations. Not sure if I'll get it all done in this post, but I'd like to get it started. 
We take risks, it's unavoidable. What we want to do is mitigate them as best possible. What types of risks are we speaking about? Oh shall we count the ways! Risks come in both easily identifiable and innocuous wrappers. Even the smallest risks can become catastrophic is we fail to heed the warnings and pay attention to them. 
The first and foremost that come to mind in the preparedness lifestyle would be risk to your body. Injuries, sickness, hunger, and thirst. Be sure to include mental acuity in your bodily risks. Next would be financial risk, followed closely by Legal, which is tied directly to financial risk. Lastly, I would include your reputation as a risk to be mitigated. We operate based on our perception by others. If I started to slip and didn't do my job correctly, but went through the motions, my job, financial means and reputation would be at risk. These are all tied in together and we have to look into our lives with a cold, calculating heart to truly assess our risks without the emotional baggage and ties. 
When calculating risks, you need to decide what losses you are willing to incur in exchange for the prize you are striving for. If you are like most, you are trading your time and energy for a paycheck or earnings. Your risks associated with that process are far more encompassing than you may think. It's not just trading time for money, it's trading time, safety, overhead, reputation, skill and energy for financial gain. Your work day starts at let's say 7am, but your risk starts long before then. There is a literal train of risk associated with even getting to work. The act of taking a shower kills thousands of people a year! Add the risks of driving, especially in the dark, and you're starting to see what I'm talking about. 
Mitigating those risks is where we need to focus, because most aren't in a position to just stop going to work. If you're like most (me included), you take a cup of coffee or water with you to re-hydrate or re-energize yourself. Drinking or eating can distract you from the road, leading to a higher incidence of accidents. Avoiding rush hour is another way to mitigate your risk. Driving to the job an hour early and grabbing breakfast at a shop near work can mitigate the beverage and rush hour risks. Choosing a path to work with the least amount of stoplights and interchanges can also mitigate risks due to the fact that these are the places with the higher accident rates. Even driving a car with a bright color instead of gray can help mitigate your risk.
My entire family was or is in the insurance business. They are experts in knowing risks. One of my parents was an underwriter for many different companies over their career. I was always told to never buy a gray or earth toned car because they can disappear in the rear view mirror of your fellow drivers. They have a higher risk of accidents due to being the same color as the road. Day time headlamps help with this. 
Stress is a killer, both literally and figuratively. Trading your limited time for a job that makes that time you have on this earth shorter is a poor choice. A bad trade, as it were, so consider this when you are deciding your compensation package. Those with heart disease genetic risks should be especially cognizant of these risks.
Parking close to the doors of the business has a risk. Higher traffic levels open your risk corridor to vehicular damage to your car, which devalues your vehicle. Additional risk!
Is the area where you work high risk for theft, violent crime or identity theft? Can you walk home or get help to you if there is a need? Does your company have a safety plan in place with proper access controls? Is your job inherently dangerous? Are you at risk from upset employees, customers, suppliers, the general public, disease, etc? Do you eat healthy at work? 
This list goes on forever. How can you mitigate the risks you have no control over? Carry first aid. Wash your hands. Be aware of your surroundings. Learn to defend yourself without a weapon if you cannot carry one at work. Improvise a weapon or decorate your office with a piece of art that can be a weapon. Lock your office door to control access. If you don't have a lock, use a door stopper. 
You will double your traffic exposure on your drive home, so act accordingly.
Evaluate the most mundane tasks, such as going to work, in order to understand your exposure to risks. It's important for you to weigh the compensation you are getting for the exposure. It's all about your personal worth.
Personally, I very elegantly talked my wife into telecommuting for her job. She is pretty high up in the food chain at her  NASDAQ top 100 global company, but she still gets to work from home in yoga pants and a t shirt. I have to admit, she's a horrible driver. Great wife and mother, excellent employment opportunities and growth potential. Yet not a soul in my family will drive with her. We mitigated her risk. It's entirely possible for you to do the same. 
Next up, your homestead.  

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Why Is America Broken?

It's a simple question with a simple answer, but a very complicated problem to fix. Here's why our government no longer works, in a nutshell.

“Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” -John Adams

Our society has become so mired in self absorbed mental masturbation that it cannot attain the purity of conscience that was once a staple of our people. We cannot look past the short term wants to the long term needs and survival of freedom in this country. When a people and their elected advocates choose to spend away their great grandchildren's future, there is no turning back without serious repercussions to every day life and our standard of living. Failure has become comfortable, weakness has become normal and selfish indignation rampant.  

Our country has advanced technologically, but regressed in terms of fostering productive citizens and moral society. In my 40 some years, I have seen school age children go from attentive hard workers to sullen techno weenies. I watched a 14 year old boy cry because his hands hurt after sweeping a floor for 10 minutes. He literally couldn't continue because his muscles were atrophied to the point that any work over 3 minutes was excruciating. His attention span required constant action on a screen to keep him from freaking out any moment. This child will never fit into society as a productive member. His family, that created this monster, will have to deal with him until it's time for the tax payer to pick up the tab. We will pick up that tab without question as to the value of the investment or the negative return society receives. 

Americans can no longer trust each other. Somehow in the past 50 years, we have decided that in order to disagree with someone, you must hate them. Either it be jealousy, greed, or good old fashioned mental illness, we have divided society into silly little acronyms or hyphenations. It's both illogical and immoral to participate in the practice.

Morality is non existent. Less and less Americans are living lives that protect our future generations by investing in our youth and making sure they understand the shortcomings of society and their peers. If we teach them to not get caught up in the trappings of  society, they are less likely to become jealous of things they don't need or caught in the spiral of consumerism. Debt has become an anchor everyone is willing to drag behind them the rest of their lives. It's common place for desires to overcome logic and responsibility. Massive personal debt is celebrated everywhere. From educational debt to revolving credit, Americans cannot save for their possessions, they must have instant gratification and a hefty interest payment to match. 

This is not the society that was envisioned when our founding fathers created the republic. That's why we are sinking into an abyss of shame. We have allowed morality to be strangled from society, becoming so scarce that the smallest display of morality has become newsworthy. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Quote of The Day.

I do not coexist with cancer; I do not find common ground with gangrene.  The Left must be fought and destroyed... or America dies.


More and More, I'm taking this stance. Trying to balance my values with the logic that cancer must be cut out of the body for it to survive is difficult. There are too many cancers in this body for them to be cured without major, invasive surgery. The vitriol endured by a tolerant, freedom loving public is indicative of the players in this match. Yes, I believe in the first amendment protected speech, therefore I must tolerate the abuse. When the speech becomes a propaganda machine that is luring our youth into the religion of failure (collectivism), what point does it have to get to before we must stop it? How far do we have to fall before action is taken and the adults in the room must take control of the narrative? 

I've read classic literature on the subject, but I'm still torn. When is the situation so dire as to prompt action? Do we let the former republic limp along and die in a whimper, or do we attempt to resurrect it in violence? I'm afraid we lose our moral imperative if we do so. So we wait until it's too much to endure, further astounding the founding fathers. Which brings me to my next point.

You cannot have a god given right taken away. You can choose to give it away, but it cannot be forced from you. You must fight for it if given no other option. To not fight for it is as good as giving it away. If someone chooses to vote away your god given right, they are your enemy. A cancer. Cancer must be defeated at all costs before it spreads.