Saturday, August 30, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 6 - The Zombie Edition

Well another week comes to a close and that means another edition of the weekend roundup! More tips and links to some of my favorite blog posts zombie websites from around the blogosphere web...

I am going camping this weekend...hurray for me! We are busting out the pop-up and heading to the state park. The fish are trembling with fear as I write this!

Somone actually found my site by typing this phrase in google:
"can you spray your potbelly pig with tap water to cool them off"
Sure as shit type that in google and my site is FIRST in the results!

My offer to allow folks to guest post here still stands if anyone is interested email me at and we'll talk about it.

If you want to survive a zombie attack, you must read The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead by Max Brooks...masterful...just masterful.

Bonus tip: Under no circumstance should you proceed to Wal-Mart, Costco or the mall during a zombie will be eaten in short order.

Email me a tip and I will post it here and make you famous (we'll not really...but you will get credit!)

Zombie Squad - forums and survival info.

De-animator - flash based zombie game - addicting

The Last Stand 2 - another flash based game that is really good.

The Ultimate Zombie Survival Film

A pretty comprehensive list of Zombie Films.

Homepage of the Dead - Romero tribute site.

1.) Purchase a firearm and practice head shots until you make Vasily Zaytsev look like and amateur.
2.) Trim your hair short and wear tight fitting clothes
3.) Purchase a suit of chainmail or a shark suit.
4.) Check any survivors for bite marks (be insistant, don't take anything for granted and don't take no for an answer)
5.) Crowbars and aluminum baseball bats don't need to be reloaded and should be considered a must as a backup to any firearm.

Bonus: If your neighbor approaches is an uncoordinated and shambling manner, appears pale and is moaning as if his balls were caught in a mousetrap; proceed with caution - he is most likely not coming over to borrow your hedge trimmers.

...that is all.

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Friday, August 29, 2008

Be Prepared: Tornados

Tornados just may be one of the most destructive forces on Earth. They strike with little warning and can cause catastrophic damage due to high winds and more importantly the debris contained within the storm.

A tornado is a rotating column of air that extends down from a storm system and touches the ground. They are a beautiful thing to see, which is ironic due to the devastation and fear they create. They form during violent thunderstorms which occur when warm and cool air cause instability within the atmosphere.

A wedge tornado is a one in which the width of the column of rotating air in larger than the distance from the top of the storm to the ground. They are quite a sight to behold and very dangerous.

When a tornado forms over water and basically becomes a rotating column of water instead of air the tornado is called a water spout.

Tornado intensity and strength is measured using the Fujita Scale and it is as follows:
Courtesy of the Tornado Project

F0 Gale tornado 40-72 mph
Some damage to chimneys; breaks branches off trees; pushes over shallow-rooted trees; damages sign boards.

F1 Moderate tornado 73-112 mph
The lower limit is the beginning of hurricane wind speed; peels surface off roofs; mobile homes pushed off foundations or overturned; moving autos pushed off the roads; attached garages may be destroyed.

F2 Significant tornado 113-157 mph
Considerable damage. Roofs torn off frame houses; mobile homes demolished; boxcars pushed over; large trees snapped or uprooted; light object missiles generated.

F3 Severe tornado 158-206 mph
Roof and some walls torn off well constructed houses; trains overturned; most trees in forest uprooted

F4 Devastating tornado 207-260 mph
Well-constructed houses leveled; structures with weak foundations blown off some distance; cars thrown and large missiles generated.

F5 Incredible tornado 261-318 mph
Strong frame houses lifted off foundations and carried considerable distances to disintegrate; automobile sized missiles fly through the air in excess of 100 meters; trees debarked; steel reinforced concrete structures badly damaged.

F6 Inconceivable tornado 319-379 mph
These winds are very unlikely. The small area of damage they might produce would probably not be recognizable along with the mess produced by F4 and F5 wind that would surround the F6 winds. Missiles, such as cars and refrigerators would do serious secondary damage that could not be directly identified as F6 damage. If this level is ever achieved, evidence for it might only be found in some manner of ground swirl pattern, for it may never be identifiable through engineering studies

There are usually tornado warnings posted when an area prone to them experiences heavy thunderstorms. The problem is we can't tell when or if they will develop. If you live in a tornado prone area make sure to listen to your weather radio or watch TV. If you hear the tell tale tornado warning siren in your area, get to safety immediately, there is no time to "grab things"...get your ass into your storm cellar if you have one. If you don't have a storm cellar or a safe room, go to the lowest floor of a well built structure and to an interior room. If you have a cast iron tub you can get inside that.

If you are in a mobile home or trailer...GET matter how well tied down they are they stand no chance in the event of a tornado.

If you are in a vehicle and are trapped (downed power lines in one direction and tornado in the other for example) do not stay in the vehicle and DO NOT hide under an overpass, that is a total myth due to a video circulating of people surviving doing that. That is bad information that has inadvertently been assumed by folks after seeing the video (those people were just lucky). If you are trapped in the open find a ditch or depression in the ground and lay face down, at that point make peace with you maker and hope for the best. You cannot outrun a tornado.

Flying debris is the biggest killer in tornados. Tests have shown a 2x4 can be driven through a steel plate with the wind intensity a tornado produces. All hope is not lost there are many stories of folks who were sucked into a tornado and miraculously deposited safely up to 1/2 mile away (albeit banged up pretty good).

Tornados are a thing of beauty but also something that should be respected due to the damage and destruction that can cause. If you live in an area prone to them, consider building a storm cellar or safe room and then hope you never need to use it!

Storm Safe Rooms
The Tornado Project
FEMA Tornado Information

...that is all.

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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Be Prepared: Be Anonymous

Is the FedGov trying to track you down? Are you hiding from assassins? Or do you just want to surf porn sites undetected? Regardless a true survivor knows how to lay low and cover their tracks, so here are a few tips to help you along the way.

Anonymous Proxy Service: A proxy is basically a go between. You send the request for a website to a proxy and it requests the page on your behalf and returns it to you. For example say you wanted to visit my site and felt like covering your tracks or make it harder to see that it is actually you would type my URL in the proxy service, they visit my site get my page and then pass it from them to you. Proxies can be several layers deep really confusing anyone who is interested in seeing what you are doing. I think you can just imagine how something like that would be useful ;) One service is Proxify.

Bogus Email Address: Don't you hate when you want to sign up for a forum or website and they require an email address? Well you could sign up for a throw away gmail or hotmail account...but why? There are services out there that take seconds to use that basically give you a bogus email address to use temporarily for this password to remember and just use it when you need to. They are great...I used to use but they seem to have ceased to exist. One service that seems super easy to use is Mailinator.

Browser Faker: Maybe you want to trick a site into thinking you are using Firefox or Mozilla or one of a hundred other browsers (including different versions of each) then Wannabrowser is for you. Hey there are numerous reasons you may want to do this, one legitimate reason would be to test how a website reacts to different browser variants without actually having to use them. I remember a while back I took part in an amateur hacking contest and this site came in very useful.

The above are just a few tools I have used in the past and thought would be nice to share with you folks. Remember that the tools listed work BUT a determined person who has the skills may not be fooled, so don't bet your life on any of them.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Book Review: The Modern Survival Retreat

The Modern Survival Retreat by Ragnar Benson is next up for review. Yeah I know I just seem to love old Ragnar. I can't help it, most people just don't write as honestly as Ragnar Benson. He tells it the way he believes it to be and in many ways he is the quintessential survival writer.

This book is just what the title gives it away to be Ragnar's tips and tricks on establishing a full-fledged survival retreat...the subtitle of the book is "A New and Vital Approach to Retreat Theory and Practice"...ummm yeah are we going to learn Calculus or something. I don't know maybe this was the thesis for his doctorate or something.

The book is a short one, only 106 pages of honest to goodness survival info. I read the whole thing in about two and half hours on the weekend. The book in interesting but like most Ragnar Benson books you may need to decide what would work for you and what is realistically not in the realm of possibility. For those of you who don't like the government...old Ragnar has a few chapters dedicated to the arsenal you will most likely face as well as the governments strategies for dealing with people deemed a threat. He also describes some of the common blunders people make after they try and disappear and are subsequently found.

The book breaks down as follows:

Chapter 1 Identifying the Enemy - who is the prototypical person trying to disappear and the reason they may need to establish a retreat location. In this chapter he provides the stories of individuals and their particular issue which caused them to need to retreat.

Chapter 2 What is a Retreat - This chapter is 2 pages long and can be summed up with the phrase..."don't ever become a refugee."

Chapter 3 Picking a Physical Retreat Location - In this chapter Ragnar gives the reader an idea of what a retreat is and how to decide where to establish a retreat. There is a little something for everyone in this chapter including urban dwellers. He is a proponent of "hiding in plain sight" if you will and indicates that retreat should be defendable in some fashion.

Chapter 4 What to Stock and Other Considerations - This chapter is what you might say is a crash course in survivalism. He gives brief overviews of all the important things such as food, water, energy, sanitation and defense. It is a sort summary of the detailed information contained in some his other books.

Chapter 5 Transportation and Trip Wires - Here we cover all the modes of transport including the motorcycle. This chapter once again covers the obvious stuff about keeping a low profile and that having 20 cars parked at a remote location could give your position away. He also covers when it may be time to bug out from your retreat location should it be compromised.

Chapter 6 Finding Like-Minded Retreaters - The main concept here is networking. I mean geez if you like to knit how do you find other people who like to knit as well. The key word here is careful with who you bring into your inner circle.

Chapter 7 How They Find You - OK folks, if your hiding from the law...calling mommy is probably not a good idea, mkay? Ragnar actually gets into a bit of the social engineering aspect of finding people and flushing them out of their hiding places...bottom line if you are a fugitive or are hiding...keep a low profile and don't do anything stupid.

Chapter 8 What to Expect From Your Government When It Goes Hardcore Against You - Oh boy, the anti FedGov people will love this chapter. I really don't want to spoil the fun but let's just say they will demonize you and basically tell people that you kill bunny rabbits in front of little children. How to negotiate and whether to hold out or surrender are also touched upon in this chapter.

Chapter 9 Government Weapons of Mass Destruction - and finally Uncle Ragnar goes over some of the high tech tools and weapon systems you will be facing should the government turn it's wrath on you. How does armored personnel carriers, helicopters and even tanks grab you? Don't believe it...ask the folks who survived Waco.

Overall the book was an entertaining read. I did not learn anything earth shattering within it's pages but if you enjoy Ragnar Benson you almost certainly enjoy this book. It is a good crash course for anyone interested in this type a stuff and I would view it as a launch pad for further research on the subject if you are serious about it.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Be A Survivor: The 100th Post Edition

Well it is hard to believe but this is my 100th post, I started this blog a few short months ago and never thought anyone would give a hoot what I had to think.

I honor of this 100th post I thought I would share a little bit about myself and how I got wrapped up in the whole survival business.

Blogging is a bit of a cleansing experience for me. I have always enjoyed writing but could never get myself focused. I always had aspirations of writing a book of some kind whether it was fiction or non-fiction never did really seem to matter to me. I never could get myself to sit down and be disciplined enough to get started. Blogging has sort of filled that gap for me.

I grew up in a normal middle class household in New Jersey. My dad was a cop and my mom was a stay at home mom with the occasional part time job to make ends meet. We were never rich but they always had enough to make us feel like we weren't poor. Ironically I grew up in the city and lived in an apartment until I was in high school. We moved to the suburbs during my freshman year in high school...boy those were some weird time.

I got into the boy scouts and that is when my love affair with the outdoors started. I loved camping and fishing. I was always a good student, loved to read and watch the educational type TV programs. I kinda floundered in college and dropped out when my dad passed away and joined the working ranks. I did it all until I got into a company that needed and IT person and I was the only one who could fix the computers. My career in IT started then and has continued strong for the last 10 years. I was always a bit of a preparedness nut...don't know where that came from to be honest. My wife used to think I was a lunatic but has since come around and sees the need to be prepared for what we affectionaly call "the coming zombie apocolypse".

I grew up around guns and my dad taught me how to shoot but I never bothered getting one when I lived in Nazi...errr I mean New Jersey. I moved to South Carolina when my job asked if I was interested in a position down there. Needless to say I didn't let the door hit me in the ass leaving NJ. I picked up a few weapons here and there and think I have basically what I a shotgun.

Me and my wife try to be fairly frugal, we pay cash for stuff and really our only debt is our mortgage and my truck. Our mission is to get the truck paid off as soon as possible.

We want to be debt free save the mortgage so we can save faster for a piece of land. We aren't planning on moving into the woods just yet...but would like to have the option should something happen that is conducive to that. My dream is a nice BIG piece of property with a pond. I want to be COMPLETELY off the and wind power, septic system and well. Maybe one day...

So anyway enough about me, I wanted to dedicate some time to thank everyone who stops by and reads what I have to say on a daily basis (I do try and make sure I post EVERYDAY - except Sunday, even the Lord rested on that day). It is tough sometimes but I believe that is how you keep readers interested. There are some great blogs out there with fantasic writers that I would love to read but they just don't post enough to keep me interested...that tip is free for all you new bloggers out there ;)

I will do my best to keep up providing you with some useful information, humor, reviews and whatever else my sick little brain can come up with. I hope you enjoy what I give you and maybe find some of it worth storing in the old memory banks. Thanks for stopping by...

...that is all.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 5

Well another week comes to a close and that means another edition of the weekend roundup! More tips and links to some of my favorite blog posts from around the blogosphere...

Rough week. Work is definitely trying to give me a heart attack or stroke for sure.

On another note I seemed to have injured my right knee and I can't seem to recall how. It just hurts when I bend it back. No forward or side to side pains so I think that is a good thing. If it doesn't start to feel better I may have a doctor visit in my future.

There have been a plethora of new blogs out there so next week I may have a post pointing out some them. One piece of advice to all the new bloggers out there is post consistently otherwise no body will visit or you may have a person visit and never return because you don't post enough. No one is saying you should post everyday...but once a week or posting on an irregular schedule just ain't gonna cut it. That is unless you really don't care if anyone reads and your doing it because you want to and more importantly like to.

No news is good news...nothing to report.

My offer to allow folks to guest post here still stands if anyone is interested email me at and we'll talk about it.

Fire starting tips sent in by Blkcwbyhat
Just a few things I've discovered. Paraffin wax, sawdust, and muffin paper cups. Melt the wax, mix in as much sawdust as possible, then pour into muffin paper's in muffin pan..when they harden they make great fireplace starters, like a big candle! -Blkcwbyhat

Bonus tip: Second, get some super fine steel wool..a strip of steel wool over the pole's of a D cell battery will glow red hot and burn and it's cool looking! Try it at home! -Blkcwbyhat

Email me a tip and I will post it here and make you famous (we'll not really...but you will get credit!)

Check out Scoutinlife's nice collection of knives.

The Urban Survivalist ponders SHTF recreation.

M.D. Creekmore's post on Morons and Degenerates is a good read.

Chad from the TSLRF blog covers Pistol Training.

Rangerman discusses his weapon of choice for bow hunting.

Trent from The Simple Dollar discusses "Cheap Dinner Night".

1.) Lower the temperature on your water heater. Most people keep this way to high.
2.) Get a programmable thermostat (then see the next tip)
3.) Lower your thermostat a few degrees in the winter and raise it a few in the summer. I went 2 degrees both ways in my house an barely notice the difference. Program your thermostat to lower and raise even further during periods when you are not home.
4.) Plug your electronics into a surge protector. Then turn off the surge protector when they are not is use. Most TV's and Stereo's still draw power even when off.
5.) No brainer - TURN OFF lights in rooms when no one is in them.

Bonus: Replace ALL of your incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescents (CFL's). They provide clean, crip light, last MUCH longer and use 1/3 of the power.

...that is all.

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Friday, August 22, 2008

How To Survive A Bear Attack UPDATE

Thanks to Paul for sending me this photo. This is some funny stuff...I almost choked on my lunch...

...that is all.

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How To Survive A Bear Attack

One of the most important factors in the event of a bear encounter is to try and quickly determine the type of bear it is...brown or black. The reason this is so important is because it will determine your next course of action.

Let me start this by saying that if you are in bear country you should at least carry bear spray. If I was in Grizzly country I would not go into the bush with anything less than a 44 magnum strapped to the hip.

So back to our bear encounter...

Forget runnning, even the largest, fattest and laziest bear will run you down in a matter of seconds. They will out run you and Carl Lewis in his prime for that matter.

If you startled the bear or worse yet came across a momma bear with young ones...move slowly and in a non-threatening manner away from the bear keeping yourself facing the bear.


If there is a tree nearby you can quickly climb and get high enough off the ground...that COULD be an option. (Grizzlies are not as inclined to climb a tree although it can happen...never underestimate them)

If you are backpacking and have the pack on keep it on. It makes you appear larger and less easy to tangle with and will protect you while the bear is mauling you.

Realistically Grizzlies usually do not try an eat people (Apparently Timothy Treadwell didn't get the memo). If a Grizzly charges you drop to the ground on your stomach with your knees tucked under you but spread out to stablize you. Place your hands with your fingers interlocked on the back of your neck to protect it. Play dead...DO NOT MOVE or make a sound even if the bear is hurting you (this will be hard but you MUST do it). Hopefully you have a backpack on and that is taking the brunt of the bears rage. Most times the bear will move on once you are not deemed a threat. This really does work and as crazy as it sounds may be your only chance at surviving.


Unlike the Grizzly...a lot of black bear attacks are predatory.

Once again DO NOT run.

Do NOT climb a tree - Black bears are EXCELLENT climbers.

Do NOT play dead...the black bear will proceed to eat you.

You can try an make yourself appear threatening...if you in a group stay close together to appear larger. Make loud noises and don't back down from the bear. Try and scare him or at least lead him to believe there are other easier targets somewhere else.

If you have no choice because the bear charges you, the only thing you can do is fight at that point. I sure hope you brought the pepper spray.


If your are camping keep a clean camp and don't store food or toiletries near your tent.

If you are walking in the woods...make noise...let the bears know you are in the area...most times they want to avoid human contact and will move along and you will never know they were around.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on bears...I did stay at a Hoilday Inn Express once. This information is just for entertainment purposes and if you get eaten, it certainly ain't my fault.

...that is all.

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tap Water Vs. Bottled Water

I am not exactly sure when it happened. I can't actually remember myself when the brain washing and conditioning began...but it did. Somewhere along the line the entire population of the United States was convinced that tap water was somehow less safe and we should all immediately start paying for something that we had available to us (and are already paying for). Not only that, to rub some salt in the wound they determined that this item which we already had available to us should be packaged in some really uneco-friendly packaging and join the ranks of tires and disposable diapers in landfills to sit there for time in memoriam.

Ironically the reverse is most likely true...

You see tap water falls under the jurisdiction of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and they have some pretty strict laws in place with regard to what tests must be done on tap water and the processes that the water must go through to be considered safe. You can visit their water regulations website here.  Bottled water is regulated by the generally speaking when the EPA adopts a new standard for tap water the FDA usually adopts it for bottled water BUT THAT IS MY POINT...why buy the bottled water that is basically being governed as safe with the same or LESSOR rules that tap water is.

Many times bottled water is simply municipal tap water that the manufacturer runs through a filtration process so they can say it is "filtered" or "purified"...what a crock...why don't we call a spade a spade. People are drinking more water and it's cutting into your soft drink profits so let's dupe people into paying for something that they are already paying for. I don't know about you but I have a water bill...some of you may not or it may be included in your utilities bill. I have stopped buying bottled water at this point. I have to recycle the bottles and the water honestly doesn't taste any better than the water from my refrigerator dispenser (which is filtered by the way - maybe I should bottle it and sell it to people).

I laugh when I go to a deli or something and I see a bottle of water for two dollars...I just want to violently shake the person buying it and say "Are you nuts?"

Here is an interesting article I found on the FDA's site. I will let you decide for yourself whether I am a crack pot or not but I think we are all being duped. Here is a great article 20/20 did which included a blind taste test. In that article you can see the brainwashing in action with some of the initial comments people made regarding tap water.

Here is another interesting article that illustrates two of my main points...that companies are getting into this to prop up sagging soft drink sales and most of this crap is "filtered" municipal water.

I'll be honest folks...when I was a kid there was no bottled water and I am still alive. I mean you do what you want but in a time of ecomnomic uncertainty and tightening family budgets...this is the first thing I would cut. I know my parents would never dream of paying for water that was readily available by turning on the faucet.

I was duped for a time...fool me once, shame on you...fool me twice, shame on me.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008


Knowing the right knot for the right situation is an art and a science. Knots make our lives easier and can save your life.

I want to share a really neat site with you that I think is great...


There are instructions for a multitude of knots categorized very nicely under:
1.) Fishing knots
2.) Outdoor knots
3.) Boating knots
4.) Paddling knots

There are even replayable animations of the knots being tied. The folks at this site are doing quite a nice job.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How To Survive The Switch From Analog To Digital Broadcasting

Ok here is the propaganda:

"The Digital Television Transition and Public Safety Act of 2005 requires TV stations to stop broadcasting in analog and to broadcast only in digital after February 17, 2009. The digital transition will provide a better viewing experience for consumers and help emergency responders protect your community."
The deadline is fast approaching...February 17th 2009 at midnight broadcasts will no longer be analog and your TV will no longer work...well maybe.

You basically have four options:

1.) Do nothing...forget about TV and spend your time doing something productive.

2.) Purchase a converter box for your analog TV so you can pick up the digital signal.

3.) Purchase a cable or satellite package. If you have either of these you have nothing to worry about.

4.) Buy a new TV that picks up the digital signal (digital tuner)

As I said those of you who have cable or satellite have noting to worry about your TV will work just fine on doomsday.

For those of you who enjoy staticy 2,4,5,7,9,11 and 13 with a set of rabbit ears there is also hope. The government wants to help! Hey stop laughing...I am serious.

Go to and they will provide you with a rocking coupon to aid in your purchase of the needed converter box to make your TV more than a large paper weight.

---From the DTV website---
How do I request a coupon?

Between January 1, 2008 and March 31, 2009, you can request a coupon while supplies last in one of four ways:
Apply online
Call the Coupon Program 24-hour hotline 1-888-DTV-2009 (1-888-388-2009).
Mail a coupon application to: PO BOX 2000, Portland, OR 97208-2000. Download a Coupon Application here.
Fax a coupon application to 1-877-DTV-4ME2 (1-877-388-4632)
Deaf or hard of hearing callers may dial 1-877-530-2634 (English/TTY) or 1-866-495-1161 (Spanish/TTY). TTY Service is available from 9 AM - 9 PM Eastern Time Monday through Friday.

Will the transition affect me?

You will need to take action before February 17, 2009 if you currently watch TV on an analog TV set that is not connected to cable, satellite or other pay TV service. If you own a television with a digital tuner or subscribe to a pay TV service, you will likely continue to receive TV programming as usual after the transition.

Like you didn't have enough crap to worry about...

...that is all.

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Monday, August 18, 2008

30 MORE Tips That Will Save Your Life...Maybe

You may remember my orginal 30 Tip That Will Save You Life...Maybe, well I am at again, so here they are without further delay:

1.) Keep calibers common across your aresenal, it make storing ammo much more simple.

2.) Cotton balls (real cotton) smeared with petroleum jelly make excellent fire starter.

3.) Make sure to rotate your food stores every time you add to them to prevent spoilage.

4.) Install a carbon monoxide detector in your home or trailer if you have a furnace or any other appliance that burns fuel.

5.) Change the batteries on a regular schedule once a year (whether they need it or not) on all smoke detectors in your house or trailer.

6.) Make sure you have a working fire extinguisher in your house or trailer and make sure it is the correct type.

7.) When it come to the Borg...resistance is futile.

8.) In the snow ESPECIALLY on a sunny day make sure to wear sunglasses to prevent your corneas from being burned from the reflection off the snow.

9.) If you fall into cold water through a hole in the ice - Control your breathing (or you will hyperventilate), go back the way you fell in because that is the only ice you know was strong enough to hold you before your fall. Make yourself horizontal in the water and carefully climb out. Now get out of your wet clothes as fast as you can. Get somewhere warm!

10.) You can make primitive soap from animal fat and ash.

11.) Use a bore sighter to get your rifle on the paper when sighting in a scope. Then start the sight in process once you are at least on the paper.

12.) If you get frostbite...DO NOT thaw it out until you are positive you are safe from the area refreezing. The thawing and refreezing process will only accelerate tissue damage.

13.) If you face a cat like a mountain lion...make yourself appear as big as possible and scream loudly in a threatening an menacing fashion. If the cat attacks, fight back with all you have because these attacks are almost always predatory and the cat is trying to eat you.

14.) Keep a stash of cash on hand in a safe place in your house for emergency situations.

15.) One thing about living in Santa Carla I never could stomach, all the damn vampires.

16.) Termites are great survival food and I have been told they are actually sweet. Never had the ocassion to test this myself.

17.) Baking soda and water make a great toothpaste. Yet another reason to store this versatile item.

18.) It has been said that you can keep critters away from your camp by "marking" your territory (a.k.a. peeing all around your camp).

19.) Never keep food or toiletries in your tent with you. These items should be stored in a vehicle or be hung in tree.

20.) Dry pine needles make great tinder.

21.) If traveling in the wilderness make sure to have a compass and a topo map available of the area.

22.) I usually carry backup items such as: a folder to go with my fixed blade, matches or a lighter to go with my firesteel and a flashlight to go with my headlamp. Redundancy is good!

23.) One of the most dangerous animals you could ever face is a bull moose, especially during the rut. Stay clear of these animals they are EXTREMELY dangerous.

24.) Squirrel and oppossum are good to eat so get over yourself and give them a try.

25.) Install a CB or Ham radio in your's great to be in communication and you may get a heads up on a smokey or traffic (especially with the CB).

26.) Don't listen to Bear Grylls.

27.) Pay attention to Les Stroud.

28.) Do not hide under an overpass during a will probably die. Find a depression in the ground lay face down and pray.

29.) Make sure you have some silver bullets handy if you expect to survive a werewolf attack.

30.) Rabbits are great survival food BUT you must consume the entire rabbit including organs to prevent rabbit starvation if that is all you have available to eat. Eat the heart, liver, kidneys and use the bones to make soup.

...that is all.

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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 4

Well another week comes to a close and that means another edition of the weekend roundup! More tips and links to some of my favorite blog posts from around the blogosphere...

Well this was a good week. I plan on doing some work around the house this weekend and I am ahead on my posts for a change. I have several lined up for next week, which is always a big help with work and school. I am looking to read some more good books so if people have some recommendations I am all ears.
Someone on my plane ride home last week recommended "Imperial Life in the Emeral City", so I may pick that up.

Things have been going well for the blog...traffic is up and folks seem to like what I am doing here. As I have stated in the past I avoid most of the doom and gloom and try and pass along some useful tidbits to folks. If anyone has any ideas on post they would like to me at the link in this post.

No news is good news...nothing to report.

My offer to allow folks to guest post here still stands if anyone is interested email me at and we'll talk about it.

In a crisis situation, if you needed water immediately and didn't store any; there is a decent supply contained in your water heater as well as the toilet tanks (not the toilet of course). If there is any risk of contamination boil the water first before drinking it.

Bonus tip:  If you have a water bed...drain and boil as needed for more available water.
Email me a tip and I will post it here and make you famous (we'll not really...but you will get credit!)

If you haven't seen it already visit Scoutinlife's You Might Be A Survivalist...funny stuff...its good to get some humor injected in all this "serious survival" business.

The Suburban Prepper is back in action after suffering through the California Bar...

theotherryan picked up "The Pink Lady"...nuff said.

Dragon is offering up his pretty impressive list of skills for hire.

Michael goes an a pretty good rant against us surburban types...seems all is lost for us. (very entertaining)

Riverwalker has a nice post on Long Term Food Storage.

The UrbanSurvivalist ponders the BOL...

1.) RELAX - control your breathing.
2.) Work to eliminate the jerking caused by anticipating the recoil.
3.) Pull the trigger in a smooth controlled fashion - don't jerk it back.
4.) Go to the range as often as you can.
5.) Make sure your weapon is CLEAN and well maintained.

Bonus: GO TO THE EYE DOCTOR. If you wear glasses your prescription may have changed. If you never wore glasses you might just need them. I went myself earlier in the year after never wearing glasses and found out I needed them to read (and shoot). My shooting improved almost immediately!

...that is all.

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Friday, August 15, 2008

How To Survive Being Pulled Over By The Police

My father who has since passed was a police officer for 25 years. Needless to say I grew up around the police as all of my fathers friends were police officers as well. Now I have only been pulled over twice in my entire life but I have seen some people do some kooky things when being pulled over.

When you see the lights flashing behind you:

1.) Put your blinker on and immediately pull off to the shoulder as soon as it is safe to do so. Pull as far over as you can, the police officer will appreciate the room (and not being hit by a careless motorist while talking to you). Most police will actually pull their car over not as far as you did so their car acts as a barrier while they are talking to you. They may even come up on your passenger side if traffic is really thick.

2.) Put on your hazard lights.

3.) If it is night time turn on your interior light so the officer can see inside your vehicle while he is still inside his. He will appreciate that as well.

4.) Keep your hands on the steering wheel until the officer comes up to your window and starts to speak with you.

5.) I keep my registration and insurance card in the glove compartment. If you do as well explain that to the officer and ASK if it ok for you to retrieve them.

6.) BE POLITE...if you are a dick you will most certainly be getting a ticket.

7.) Be honest, don't try and bullshit them as they have heard it all.

I have found that if you follow these tips most officers may give you a break or warning. If you did something really stupid or they see you have a bad driving record most times you will be getting a ticket no matter how nice you were.

In SC it is legal to have a loaded weapon in the center console, trunk or glove compartment. If you do TELL the officer.

If you are a Concealed Weapon Permit holder and are packing, I would hand my permit over with my license. The police officer may or may not say a word. He may ask you if you are currently carrying. Just be sure to follow his instructions explicitly to avoid having him feel uncomfortable with the situation...because nothing good will come of that.

Let's face it, many people don't like or distrust the police...whatever your feelings, these guys have a tough job and have to worry about making it home to their families in one piece every give them a break and they may just do the same for you.

...that is all.

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Thursday, August 14, 2008

How To Use A Map And Compass Part II

Ok folks time for part two of the map and compass post.

I like to find north using my compass and face in that direction.

1.) Lay the compass on the map and line up the north-south lines on the map with those on the compass. (like below)

When you have done this you should have your map oriented to north and the needle on the compass should be pointing directly in front of you. You are now north on the map and in reality as well :)

2.) Pick out where you are on the map and then find out where you want to go. I usually pick something not that far away but in the direction I want to go; I would then repeat all this at a later time as I got closer to my goal.

Use the straight edge of the compass to connect the two points - where you are and where you want to go. (like below)

3.) You will then need to adjust the dial to line up with your north facing needle once again. (like below)

You can then read your bearing and your direction of travel is set. (like below)

Here is a shot of the map from further away.

4.) You can now remove the compass from the map and hold it in your hand. Line up the north needle with the north marking on the baseplate by moving your body (DO NOT AT ANYTIME ROTATE THE DIAL ON THE COMPASS). Pick out an object in the distance that is lined up with the direction of travel arrow and proceed to travel to it. You can put the compass away while you travel to the object you selected but be careful not to accidentally move the compass housing. When you reach that object take out your compass and repeat the process picking out a new landmark to travel to that is lined up with your direction of travel arrow. Keep doing this until you reach your destination...yes it is that easy.

Like I said this is the basics. This does not take into account magnetic declination or anything like that (declination is the difference between true north and magnetic north and the further north you are the bigger the difference between the two is).

As many people commented on my last post you can rely on your GPS until the batteries run out and then you are screwed. My compass doesn't use batteries ;)

BTW the map you see in this post is one I had made up by of Little Pee Dee State Park here in SC. The paper is water resistant and the map is high quality so I do recommend them as a source for topo maps.

Get out there and practice with your map and compass and you will have a leg up when the SHTF or if you ever find yourself in a pickle.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

How To Use A Map And Compass Part I

I am going to break this into two days so people can digest it. This is usually a source of a lot of confusion. In this first part I will describe a compass and it's parts with some basic information on how to use it. Tomorrow I will show you how to take a bearing and plot a course between two points. This is easier than folks think and may save your life one day...BUT keep in mind this is strictly the basics and you should read a good book on the subject. I recommend Be Expert with Map and Compass: The Complete Orienteering Handbook hands down as the best book I have read on the subject.

First a picture of my compass that I marked up:

The compass is a Silva and it is an orienteering compass. This is a base plate or protractor compass and in my humble opinion is the best compass for use with a map. It makes it very easy to take a bearing and plot a course between two points.

You have the compass base plate which contains a straight edge and possibly one of the most important parts of the compass other than the needle...the direction of travel arrow. Once you take a bearing and plot a course that is the arrow you will follow. The key to the direction of travel is to keep north oriented in the dial exactly as you had it when you plotted the course on the map. In the picture above my direction of travel would be east. As long as I kept north oriented in the dial the same way my direction of travel will remain east.

You read your bearing from the dial around the compass which spins so you can always orient the compass North. In the picture above if you look at where the direction of travel arrow is right around 90 degrees.

This is obviously a fairly easy scenario with me traveling due east and the compass pointed due north...but the scenario is no different should you be traveling in any other direction...the process is the same.

It is fairly hard to describe this process in wrting and I think it will all come together for you with tomorrows post which will include a map. Visual instructions are always better than written ones anyway.

To really use a compass effectively with a map you really do need some kind of idea where you are on the map...otherwise the compass is really only useful for keeping you going in one direction and avoiding circles (which can kill you by the way). The way to use a compass without a map would be to have an idea that say something like a river or road was west of you. Utilizing the compass you can ensure you travel west and that you will hopefully run right into the river or road at some point.

Topographic maps can help you find where you are on a map even if you don't have the slightest clue. They show landmarks (rivers, swamps, mountains,etc) as well as the gradation of the area. Using this you can surmise where you are by looking at the landscape around you and reading its features. The best source of topo maps I have come across including custom ones is Offroute.

Reading a map and compass really is a worthwhile skill to learn. Stay tuned and the second part of this topic will make it very clear for you I hope.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Equipment Review: SOG Seal Pup Elite

Well my next review is my SOG Specialty Knives E37 SEAL Pup Elite, Straight Edge, Satin that I purchased a while back. I have the knife along with the nylon sheath it came with. I also purchased the kydex sheath that was designed for use by the Special Forces. The story goes...a Navy Seal accidentally punctured his teams inflatable raft while trying to cut some rope and came up with the idea for this sheath. The sheath has a notch built in that allows for items like rope to be cut without having to unsheath the knife...clever idea. How true that story is...I have no idea...I'll report and you decide.


SEAL Pup Elite (Straight Edge)

The SEAL Pup Elite is our high performance edition to the SEAL family of products. Sometimes... we just "have to have" more horsepower, the racing suspension, and every available option including sunroof. All kidding aside- the SEAL Pup Elite is serious business and carries on the tradition of supplying the worlds elite military forces.

Features include:
Thicker steel stock (.185)
Satin Finish blade
Newly designed longer ergonomic handle with deeper finger grooves
Racy new blade shape with longer cutting edge
Added blade spine rasp for notching, filing, and thumb placement
Injection molded glass reinforced handle scored with grip line

SEAL Pup Elite (Straight Edge)

Blade Length 4.85"
Overall Length 9.5"
Weight 5.4 oz.
Edge Straight
Steel AUS 8
Handle Zytel
Finish Satin
Sheath Nylon
Price $105.00

Ok, so now that that is all out of the way let's get to what I think of the knife. I LIKE this knife...I do not LOVE this knife. The knife is very light which some people may love but I do not. I have a Gerber I will be reviewing shortly and I LOVE it. I love that knife because it has some girth to it and it weighted extremely nice in the hand. This knife is comfortable but when I am holding a survival knife I really want to feel like I am holding something built like a tank. The handle on the SOG is zytel which is strong and non-slip but I am not sure how it would hold up if you beat on it. Please don't get me wrong the things I dislike may be major draws for some folks.

The blade I definitely like...I am a plain (non-serrated) type guy. I also like blades that are satin and the normal steel color (minus any coatings). I know, I know reflections can get your into trouble but I am not looking to break in enemy HQ like some kind of Rambo. I just need a good knife to cut, slice, whittle, skin and whatever else. It holds a nice edge...a better edge in fact than my beloved Gerber. I have sharpened her a few times and bringing the edge back with my stone is no issue at all.

The top of the blade has this gimmicky rasp on it. I could see it being useful for notching or something but I have yet to use it.

I must admit the knife is "sexy" has good lines and looks like a real mans knife.

SOG makes several versions of this knife as well as their Seal Team and Seal Team Elie knives which are larger than the Seal Pup. They have models that have black blades and tiger-striped (which looks pretty cool) blades in serrated and non-serrated models. I personally like the plain vanilla knife I have over all that other stuff.

As far as the sheaths go...honestly I like the nylon sheath over the kydex sheath. The nylon sheath has a bit more protection for the knife and the handle. It also has a nice front pocket which is the perfect size to hold a small sharpening stone. The nylon sheath was really well thought out and is extremely functional and I wouldn't waste the money on the kydex sheath personally. Just becareful when you buy the knife you are clear which sheath you are getting because I have seen it sold with both of them depending on where you buy it.

Before I got my Gerber this was my main, go to fixed blade. The Gerber has since replaced it in that role. This is a good knife. It is well built, functions well, stays sharp and very reasonably priced. I would say it is worth a look for anyone who is looking for a reasonably good knife at a great price.

Many folks swear by SOG. They have a good reputation as far as making good knives at good prices. They also make a full line of multi-tools as well. Make your way of to SOG's site and see what they have to offer for yourself.

...that is all.

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Monday, August 11, 2008

Ham Radio, Get Your License - Communicate With The World

Ok let's not get carried away, how about communicating with neighboring states. The first step in the world of ham radio is the technician's license. The license is easy to get and with it you can communicate on all bands above 50 MHz using voice (you can communicate on additional frequencies using morse and digital). The most common you will probably use initially are 6 meter, 2 meter and 440 centimeter.

From the ARRL's website:
"Amateur Radio is regulated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Communications Act of 1934. It is also subject to numerous international agreements. All Amateur Radio operators must be licensed. In the U.S. there are three license classes. Each successive level of license comes with an expansion of privileges. Your entry into Amateur Radio begins with a Technician Class License.

Earning each license requires passing an examination. Although regulated by the FCC, license exams are given by volunteer groups of Amateur Radio operators. Operating under organizations called Volunteer Examiner Coordinators, volunteers administer and grade tests and report results to the FCC, which then issues the license. U.S. licenses are good for 10 years before renewal, and anyone may hold one except a representative of a foreign government."

I am going to be a bit frank here and some hams may not like it. The test is 35 questions ALL of which are available with the answers in a study guide. I would be lying if I said I understood all of them when I took the test. I basically memorized the questions pool and got a 100% on the test. I believe that once you have the license, start using the radio and get experience it will make up for your little deception.

When I first got into Ham radio I was just looking to chat with folks on 2m/440 on the commute home. A magical thing started to happen once I started using the radio...I became interested in it more and started to actually want to learn and understand all those things I memorized on the test.

Preparing for the test
There are many sources that can be utilized to prepare for the technician's exam:

On-line practice exams:

Online class offered by the ARRL can be taken.

Self-Study (The route I took) using the book.
Arrl Ham Radio License Manual: All You Need to Become an Amateur Radio Operator (Arrl Ham Radio License Manual)

I read the book and understood what I could...the question pool and answers are in the book as well. I then used the free exams at QRZ until I was getting 100% every time.

Once you are ready:
The thing you will have to do next once you are ready to take the exam is find some place that is offering it. Remember this is run by volunteers so you may have to travel a bit.

You can visit the ARRL again and search for an exam using their search query. If there is a contact number make sure you call to verify the exam will actually be happening and the information is not outdated.

What do I need to bring to the exam:
Once again the ARRL says it best so here is what they have on their website:
"Exam sessions are conducted by volunteers working under the direction of the FCC. There will likely be a charge for taking the exam. There is no FCC fee for an initial license, or standard changes to a license. However, there are fees for other FCC services. The exam fee is set by the local exam administrator, the Volunteer Exam Coordinator (VEC), and is usually $14 or less. Contact the exam session administrator to determine the fee that applies to the exam session you plan to attend.

Bring a picture ID (drivers license, passport) OR, when no photo ID is available, two forms of identification must be presented (birth certificate, report card, library card, Social Security card, utility bill, bank statement, etc.). Students may bring a school ID, and/or a written note from a legal guardian. To be prepared you should also bring two number two pencils with erasers and a pen. A calculator with the memory erased is allowed. You may not bring any written notes or calculations into the exam session."

The equipment used by the technician class is more reasonably priced than those $500-10,000 racks of equipment you see some folks on HF using. You can pick up a handheld which was my first radio for about $100 bucks. I got a nice Kenwood 2m/440 mobile rig for less than $300. If you plan on using a mobile rig in the house you will need a power supply which can be had very cheaply as well. The only other thing you will need is an antenna (the handheld will come with one), for the mobile rig, get a decent one and mount it as high as you can at your location to get the best range and reception.

You will definitely get a crash course in programming your radio because most communications occur on linked repeater networks. The networks take a signal and "repeat" it effectively making the signal travel farther than it would normally. These repeaters require codes to be programmed into your radio to use them. Pick up a copy of the Repeater Directory Pocket 2008/2009 (Arrl Repeater Directory) and it will list 99% of the repeaters in your area with all the needed programming information.

Ham radio really is a fun hobby but it is also serious business. Many times when all communications are knocked out a ham with and HF rig, battery and antenna can communicate half way around the world. Hams have always been there to lend a hand to Emergency Management Service if needed. Ham radio is a community of folks who enjoy the hobby but also enjoy serving others. Will you encounter the occasional jerk off?...of course, by and large though many Hams will help you any way they can with regard to the hobby, radios and theory. They are a fine bunch of folks.

...that is all.

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Saturday, August 9, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 3

Well another week comes to a close and that means another edition of the weekend roundup! More tips and links to some of my favorite blog posts from around the blogosphere...

Sorry I missed a post here and there this week. Business travel bites the big one...not to mention school.

My thanks go out to Mr. Rawles from Survival Blog for placing a link to my site in his blogroll and mentioning me in his "Odds n' Sods". Needless to say my traffic went up, oh I don't know a 1000% or more.

My offer to allow folks to guest post here still stands if anyone is interested email me at and we'll talk about it.

Cotton is great in hot weather but avoid it like the plague in cold and damp enviornments as it loses all insulating ability. For those types of environments WOOL is a much better choice.

Bonus tip: Make sure your tires are properly inflated to get the best gas mileage possible. Follow the manufactures recommendations on the door jamb on the drivers side (should be a sticker there with all the info you need) of your vehicle, ignore the ones on the tires themselves.

Email me a tip and I will post it here and make you famous (we'll not really...but you will get credit!)

Mayberry is keeping a journal...look out ;)

The Urban Survivalist has a nice article on his first attempt at roasting coffee beans.

Degringolade has an interesting article on trust.

theotherryan reviews "Vision of the Anointed".

Riverwalker still is looking for fellow Texas survivalists.

1.) Cancel your cable package and ditch your TV
2.) Call your credit card company and ASK for a lower interest rate. (Then cut those cards up...they are evil)
3.) Move your money from a low interest earning savings account to an ING high interest savings account.
4.) Increase the amount you contribute to your 401k or IRA.
5.) Shop around for car and home owners insurance...don't just renew you policy every year without question.

Bonus: Keep a price book. What I mean by that is when you buy an item at the grocery store such as chicken breast write down the type, weight and price per pound. Everytime you find it for a lower amount, update the book. Never pay more than the amount in your book for the item. This way you will have something to use as an aid to ensure you are getting a good deal. You will also know when your getting ripped off.

...that is all.

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Friday, August 8, 2008

Book Review: Live Off The Land In The City And The Country

Sorry for a late post just flew in tonight from Cleveland and it is great to be home. Live Off The Land In The City And Country is the next review here at Be A Survivor. Anyone who reads my blog knows I am very fond of our old buddy Ragnar Benson. For those of you who have never heard of him before Ragnar Benson is actually a pseudonym for one of the "prolific" survival writers out there. I have already reviewed some of his books and I had the opportunity to pick this one here we go.

Mr. Benson covers all the basic survival stuff in this book. He starts by telling a few stories of some folks who managed to make it in the wilderness with little more than the clothes on their backs. Readers will enjoy his tale of Wild Bill Moreland...who lived for 11 years undetected in Clearwater National Forest will just a few pieces of equipment and the occasional pilfering of a cabin or two. He advises readers to take a lesson or two away from Mr. Moreland as well as the Indians who roamed the land before us.

There is a lot on food and the procurement of it. Several chapters cover traps of various kinds...including primitive traps, steel traps and how to locate game to trap in the first place. Ragnar likes trapping because it is zero effort as opposed to hunting which can require significant effort and yield little results. Set and forget is the mantra...well forget it for 24 hours or so...traps must be checked frequently to prevent you catch from becoming a meal for a scavenger.

Mr. Benson covers weaponry he seems to be a fan of FN Assault Rifles and AR-15' least in this book. I have seen him make other recommendations in some of his other works. What would a Ragnar Benson book be without a chapter on caching...heck he has written entire books on the subject. For those of you not in the know... a cache is a strategically placed stash of weapons, equipment and food, usually buried for use at a later date in time.

The book breaks down as such:
Chapter 1 - Wildman of the Clearwater
Chapter 2 - Learning from Indians: The Nez Perce Story
Chapter 3 - Equipment and Caching
Chapter 4 - Locating Wild Game
Chapter 5 - Snares and Deadfalls
Chapter 6 - Small Permanent Traps
Chapter 7 - Using Steel Traps
Chapter 8 - Emergency Fish and Fowl
Chapter 9 - Survival Guns and Shooting
Chapter 10 - Big Game, Big Harvest
Chapter 11 - City Survival
Chapter 12 - Edible Plants and Survival Gardening
Chapter 13 - Tanning Skins and the Indian Way
Chapter 14 - Preserving Food
Chapter 15 - Old-Time Potpourri
Chapter 16 - Bees and Honey
Chapter 17 - Practical Domestic Animals
Chapter 18 - A Survival Generator
Chapter 19 - A Simple A-Frame Cabin
Chapter 20 - Real Survivors

Ragnar covers providing your own food in the chapters that cover gardening, raising animals, foraging for edibles and preserving your bounty. He goes over the easiest things to grow that will provide the most bang for the buck...even including recommendations for storing seeds. He does the same for raising animals including duck (yes I said duck), carp, pigeons and goats. He has a chapter devoted to bees and honey as well. Honey is a great survival food and if stored correctly should never spoil.

Let's face it this book is classic Ragnar Benson in his prime. The book is dated but contains valid and useful information. If you are a fan of other Ragnar Benson books you will no doubt enjoy this one as well. So the verdict is in I enjoyed this book and I will recommend it a one my readers should pick up and absorb. Ragnar has to be in his late 60's now...I really hope we get a few more books out of the old coot!

...that is all.

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