Tuesday, September 30, 2008

How To Survive Marriage

It is funny and every married man can tell you this; once we announce to folks our intention to get married...the inevitable response from most married males is "don't do it", "run while you still can!" etc. I, like most "about to" get married males, laughed it off as a joke. Unfortunately the joke is on you, because they ARE NOT joking.

Listen I LOVE my wife and would not change anything at this point but I would be one of those married males telling the guy with the deer in the headlights look, "Don't do it!" I have a good life, I really do...but can I honestly say it was better than being able to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, however I wanted when I was single? It would be a stretch for me to say that. I really did enjoy those times.

I now have my wife who yells at me because of things I do, how I do them (God forbid I put the parking brake on before I put the car in park), what I should and should not eat, tells me when and where we are going, etc. Now before I start hearing the "Oh your just whipped." comments answer me this (all you married men): Even if you are happy, if your wife is not happy, are you really happy? The answer if you are truthful is you CAN NEVER be happy unless your wife is happy because she will drag you down to the bottom faster than if you had a boat anchor tied to your leg.

A wise man once told me to practice this phrase until you see it in your dreams: "Yes Dear..."

Guys are complete creatures of habit and once we have those habits they are tough to break BUT women are patient creatures...they WILL break you down, so the sooner you get with the program the easier your life will be.

Some tips:
1.) Be honest and open with your wife or husband - don't hide things, especially financial matters. Make sure everyone knows where the money is going every month.

2.) Be flexible...your idea of a good time may be sitting on the couch drinking beer and watching TV, your wife may want to do something else. Be flexible enough to do things her way once in awhile and she will be more tolerant of you sitting around when you really want to veg out.

3.) Go food shopping together and make a game of it. My wife and I do ALL of the shopping together as well as meal planning. It makes it more fun and interesting. You can also try and find the best deals at the store which makes it more entertaining than "just" the mundane task of food shopping.

4.) Make sure you each have some "alone time" and when I say that I mean it two different ways. First make sure you have some time away from each other with friends and outside interests. Secondly make sure your have some "ALONE TIME" if you catch my drift...no kids, dogs, friends, parents, TV or anything else, just you and your husband or wife.

5.) Do your very best to get along with your in-laws. I know sometimes it is tough. Bite your tongue once in awhile and try to be as accommodating as possible; after all they are part of your life now as well. I am not saying let them walk all over you...but don't actively try and pick fights.

These are just a few tidbits to help you survive being married which is a very hard thing by the way. Many marriages end in divorce and it seems that marriage has become disposable. Try not to be a statistic, do your best to be a good partner and contribute to your marriage in a productive way.

...that is all.

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Monday, September 29, 2008

15 More Simple Ways To Save Money

In my continuing quest to provide you with info on saving money I am constantly trying to come up with simple ways to save cold hard cash. I figured I would examine my own life and household to see what my wife and I have done to cut down on some of the expenses.

1.) You can laugh but we reuse Ziploc bags. The ONLY time we throw them away is if we store RAW meat in them. It is probably not a good idea to reuse them once you have done that. My wife washes them out with soap and water and lets them dry on the counter, open and upside down.

2.) We reuse aluminum foil until it basically falls apart. Once again observe the raw meat rule...if it touches it throw it out.

3.) My wife and I make our own laundry detergent and have done so for two years quite successfully. The clothes smell fresh and are perfectly clean.

4.) EVERY light bulb in my house is a compact florescent (CFL), no exceptions...we replaced them all and we sold our entire box of incandescent bulbs at a garage sale to boot!

5.) I have the water heater at the lowest setting we are comfortable with. Most people keep this way too high and you can save a ton of cash on your utilities bill every month if you lower the setting.

6.) We keep the thermostat in the house set to 80 degrees. The A/C won't kick on until it hits 81 degrees. We have fans we move to the area of the house we are in and it is quite breezy in SC in the afternoons so we have the windows open a lot. My neighbors constantly bitch about $300-400 utility bills. The MOST mine has ever been is $198 and that is for a 2900- sq ft house! My bill averages between $140-$198 and has done so for the last 2 years.

7.) This may seem stupid but I see my neighbors around me with their houses lit up like Christmas trees at night. Every light, in every room including outside lights are all on. Like I said this may seem stupid but we turn lights off when we aren't in a room, I have been known to sit on the computer or watch TV in the dark with no light on. I mean why waste energy especially if you have not converted to CFL bulbs yet which use on average a third less watts than you regular bulbs.

8.) Never go food shopping when you are hungry. You will inevitably buy more crap than you intended because you will be thinking with your stomach.

9.) If you want to take your family to the movies, go to a matinee and smuggle in drinks and snacks. The matinee here costs $2.75 per person. My wife and I go for a grand total of $5.50!

10.) Use your local library. They are more than just books; they have computers available, magazines and even rent movies!

11.) When items you use constantly go on sale stock up! My wife and I are coffee drinkers. We bought 15 cans of coffee when it was on sale for $4.99 for the big can. It is regularly between 5-7 dollars. We can now NOT buy coffee until it goes on sale again.

12.) Fill a 1 liter bottle with sand, seal and throw into your toilet tank. Your toilet will use less water when you flush.

13.) If you have dogs, instead of taking them to the groomer, give them a bath yourself and learn how to properly trim their nails while you're at it.

14.) Especially if you are a male, keep your hair short. Get yourself a pair of clippers and either have your significant other cut your hair or even do it yourself.

15.) Please don't buy plus or premium grade gas, regular is JUST fine for your car. Some people will try and tell you otherwise but resist....stick with regular.

...that is all.

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Saturday, September 27, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 10

Weekend Roundup:
Changing up the format of the weekend roundup folks...this will be the 10th edition and I need to inject some new blood into the mix. Writing this blog is a hell of a lot of work, I never imagined the time it would consume to post everyday. I have a fulltime job and am also going to college in my "spare time". I have been hanging in there but I won't lie it has been tough. Thank the Lord I love to read so it always gives me fresh ideas to write about. Sometimes I post amusing stuff to try to get a laugh out of you and possibly brighten your day. Rest assured I am working hard to keep pumping out the posts for the folks who have been kind enough to contact me and tell me how much they enjoy the blog.

On My Mind:
I had my little rant this week griping about the current state of the survival blogosphere so I felt I needed to change how the roundup works...information...strictly information from here forward. No rants or any of that stuff anymore. Hell I know there are people that never tire of that stuff but I am plum wasted on it at this point...can't read another word.

On The Blogs:
ScoutinLife's Homestead and Preparedness Blog:
My Criteria for a Woodcraft/Bushcraft Knife
Woodcraft Quotes

Stealth Survival (Riverwalker's Blog):
Health Tips
Safe Traveling - Trusting Your Maps

The Simple Dollar:
Surviving A Natural Disaster

SHTFBlog (Rangerman)
Vaccinate Your Kid or Not

The Tip:
Chicken livers are cheap and they are FANTASTIC catfish bait. Those little buggers can't get enough of them. I have caught dozens of catfish bottom fishing with a hunk of chicken liver on the hook.

...that is all.

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Friday, September 26, 2008

Movie Review: Right At Your Door

Next up in the movie review department at Be A Survivor is Right at Your Door. The wife and I watched this one over the weekend, I believe Netflix recommended this one to me based on previous movies I have rated. We settled down put the disc in and were pleasantly surprised by a movie that I had never even heard of before.

The movie takes take place in Los Angeles, CA. The premise of the movie is basically there is this guy who is an unemployed musician and is married to a woman that works in downtown LA. One day she gets up and goes to work, the husband is home listening to the radio and all of the sudden there are all kinds of news bulletins and alerts that multiple dirty bombs have gone off in downtown LA.

During the course of the movie we learn that the dirty bombs actually contain viral agents so the entire city is quarantined with police shooting people trying to leave. Those at home need to seal their houses before the fallout gets to them. This is really where the movie starts, the husband at first tries to find his wife which is futile so he begins to "seal" the house and wait. I really can't tell you more without ruining the plot but this movie shows the need to be prepared. After the bombs go off people are at the store trying to buy water and food as well as plastic and duct tape to seal their houses. This shows that stores will be looted and or wiped clean within minutes of any disaster.

Even are government which can't seem to figure out how to pay less than $350 bucks for a toilet seat recommends you have enough plastic sheeting and duct tape to completely seal one room in your house in the event of a chemical attack. This would be in addition to all the normal preps we recommend here of course.

The movie is filled with twists and turns and even some "evil government scientists" make a cameo or two as the story progresses. I was really surprised, the writing for the movie was pretty good and there really aren't any "major" stars in it all. Like I said I had never heard of it until Netflix passed me the recommendation.

Is this one of the greatest movies ever written? Hardly...it is good entertainment you can sit back and enjoy and not have to think to much about and like I said there are some valuable survival lessons if you pay attention.

This movie gets "three snaps in a semi-circular motion" out of 5!

...that is all.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

The Humble Hammock

One thing I have always wanted to get my hands on is a hammock/shelter. The hammock has many advantages. It is way more comfortable than sleeping on the ground. The hammock is super light which is very important when hiking and carrying everything you need in your pack.

The Hammock eliminates the need to carry:
1.) Tent
2.) Sleeping pad
3.) In warm weather you could conceivably ditch the sleeping bag as well.

The tent is the big weight saver and the sleeping pad although light and compact (depending on the model) can still be awkward to carry or position on or in your pack.

The hiking hammocks usually have built in mosquito netting and a rainfly to keep you dry. I would just put my pack under the hammock when sleeping to keep it from getting rained on.

Hammocks are better on your back and they are low impact on the environment. Contrary to what some folks say they do not damage trees if they are setup properly. I have seen them in use and they are extremely easy to setup and extremely comfortable.

Some vendors who make nice hammocks:
Clark Jungle Hammocks - I want one of these bad boys.
Hennessey Hammocks
Speer hammocks
Eagle's Nest Outfitters
Trek Light Gear

...that is all.

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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Be Prepared: Potassium Iodide (KI)

I am not a chemist or a physician so this will be strictly the basics...

One of the nasty things about radiation is the effects it has on the thyroid system. If you are exposed to large doses of radiation it saturates your thyroid glands with radioactive iodine (radioiodine) and will most certainly cause cancer.

The idea is to saturate your thyroid glands with Potassium Iodine (which is inert); this prevents your thyroid system from being able to absorb the irradiated iodine. The dosage varies depeding on how the KI is packaged but the FDA recommends 130 mg daily for an adult. The protection the pills offer lasts for a twenty-four hour period.

These pills will not prevent the adverse affects of radiation! They will protect you from this very specific threat to your thyroid system. The pills should be taken for as long as there is radioactive iodine in the atmosphere...ideally you would move into a safe zone and not stay in the area of exposure long enough to have too many of these pills.

Here is a link to a company that manufactures KI under the brand name iOSAT.

I personally have a 2 week supply for myself and the wife on hand. The shelf life of the product is between 5-7 years depending on storage conditions but studies have been done on KI much older than that and it still effectively prevented radiation absorption as effectively as the day is was manufactured. I would replace every 10 years or so just to be on the safe side.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Book Review: How To Survive Anything, Anywhere

I think I have found the perfect "catch all" type survival book for beginners. The book is called How to Survive Anything, Anywhere. I especially like the text in the yellow balloon on the cover...snicker. The book was written by Dr. Chris McNab who is the author of "Endurance Techniques (SAS Training Manual)", "Elite Forces Survival Guide", "Living Off the Land", "Martial Arts for Special Forces" and "Urban Survival.

The book is organized in the manner a reference book would be. Each chapter explains concepts and gives examples, along with copious amount of illustrations. The nook reminds me a bit of the way a military manual would be done or the "SAS Survival Guide" by John Wiseman. The information is broken down into an easily digestible form which is why I think this would be a great beginner's book.

I was perusing around in Barnes and Noble one day and I can across this gem in the outdoor section. I took it over to the cafe and gave it the once through. I decided after skimming the book while sipping on some coffee that I would purchase the book and do a review for the blog on it. Well the book me quite awhile to read just because of the nature of this beast. There are a lot of illustrations and diagrams but the text is rather small and the book has 315 pages!

Chapter 1 Survival Psychology - Chapter cover the basics of survival psychology and why some survive and some don't. Relaxation, stress control, motivation, controlling fear are all covered among other things

Chapter 2 Survival Clothing - Discusses how to dress properly based on your environment. Layering, improvising, footwear and fabrics are all covered in some detail. Remember dressing wrong is akin to bringing a knife to a gunfight...you won't have a chance.

Chapter 3 Survival Kit - Building a survival kit is a skill that can save your life. The different types and components of survival kits are discussed. There is very good information in this chapter. The information in this chapter is broken down well and the author makes sure you have the basics covered in all areas.

Chapter 4 Planning and Preparation - This chapter covers what you would expect. Most likely you will end up in a survival situation away from your comfort zone. The author suggests always doing research on the area you will be traveling to and understanding the resources and environment you will be in. Research, planning and even possible acclimatization are covered in this chapter. There is even information on using an embassy if you are abroad and find yourself in a difficult situation.

Chapter 5 Fit to Survive - Many survival books overlook this area. The author lays out how physical fitness is paramount when it comes to survival. The author emphasizes stretching prior to any physical activity and gives great examples of cardiovascular and weight training exercises and routines that the reader can try.

Chapter 6 Finding Water - This is a very important chapter as you can live much more than three days without water. All of the basics are covered here including water purification. The techniques for reading landscapes to find subterrainian water as well as methods to create water using distillation and transpiration. There are instructions on how to purify water using a filter made exclusively from natural materials; using layers of sand and stones in addition to charcoal from your fire. Very nicely done.

Chapter 7 Plant Food and Survival Nutrition - Covers foraging for food including some basic natural edibles. This is cursory information and can depend on your geographic location. This is a good starting point for some additional research on the reader's part if they are interested in the topic.

Chapter 8 Hunting, Trapping and Fishing - This chapter is a good one, it describes basic tools that can be used to hunt with. It covers basic trapping including deadfalls, fish traps, figure fours and much more. The author goes into basic game dressing as well in this section.

Chapter 9 Survival Cooking and Preserving Foods - There really is no way to do this topic justice in just one chapter. The basics are covered and you will need to do some additional research on the topics that are covered in this chapter. You just can't do drying and smoking in a chapter, when entire books have been written on the subject. There are some great tips on making earth ovens and trench fires which are both great for cooking in a pinch.

Chapter 10 Making Shelters - Nothing can save your ass faster than having shelter when the weather turns bad. Wind, cold and rain can kill you faster than you would think. This chapter left me wanting more...only the very basic are covered like A-frames and snow shelters. I would have liked to seen a few more thrown in. Shelter is one of the basics of survival and I felt gyped with this chapter.

Chapter 11 Making Fire - I think you can imagine what is covered here. All methods of making fire are covered utilizing tools both manufactured and natural. How to build a proper fire, what type of fire to build and how to keep it burning are described in great detail. This would be one of the chapters that I would suggest folks pay attention to.

Chapter 12 Tools, Rope and Knots - This chapter covers knots and lashings. Lashing is somewhat of a lost art...being able to securely fasten a knife to the end of a spear or lash supports together to build a shelter can really be a life saver. Personally I always carry two knives and would never lash my main blade to anything so I don't lose it in some act of stupidity. Once again this chapter does a nice job on the basics. I am actually in process of reading a book that is all about knots and lashings - look for a review in a week or so.

Chapter 13 First Aid - What can I say; some basic first aid procedures are covered here as well as the importance of a good, well stocked first aid kit.

Chapter 14 Surviving Natural Disasters - I cannot stress enough how good this chapter is...floods, tornados and earthquakes are covered among other things. The advice given here is all sound and I actually felt fantastic when I saw many of the things I continually recommend to do in these disasters are in this book.

Chapter 15 Rescue Procedures This chapter could have easily been called communications because that is what it covers. Morse code, ground-to-air signals, smoke signals, radio communications, signaling and flare usage are all presented in this chapter.

Chapter 16 Survival Navigation - Map and compass are invaluable tools to learn how to use. This chapter also covers navigating and telling the time using what nature provides. A very good primer on survival navigation, again entire books have been written on the subject.

Chapter 17 Predicting the Weather - Red sky at night, sailors delight...Red sky at morning, sailors take warning....sound familiar? This chapter places emphasis on things like reading the clouds to help give you an idea of what weather is approaching.

Chapter 18 Polar Climates - This chapter covers surviving is cold environments. Building shelter specific to snowy environments, foraging for food, descriptions of typical flora and fauna and finding water are all covered. The importance of layering clothing cannot be understated when trying to survive in colder climates.

Chapter 19 Mountain Survival - A very brief introduction to mountaineering skills. Things like equipment, avalanches, using your ice axe as a brake if you fall, "the herringbone step" and much more are covered.

Chapter 20 Tropical Survival - Covers clothing, shelters, flora and fauna and specific skills related to survival in a tropical environment.

Chapter 21 Survival in the Desert - Covers clothing, shelters, flora and fauna and specific skills related to survival in a desert environment.

Chapter 22 Survival at Sea - A nice discussion of things like rafts, survival kits, abandoning ship, swimming techniques and the flora and fauna you will encounter out on open waters are all presented in this chapter.

Chapter 23 Defending Yourself - A little disappointed in this chapter. No weaponry of any kind is discussed other then the fist and kick. There are some really good hand-to-hand techniques described with plenty of illustration but this chapter is incomplete as far as I am concerned without a mention of firearms or knives.

Chapter 24 Safety on the Roads - This covers the basics of road safety. Vehicle maintenance, anti-theft devices, accidents and avoiding confrontations with aggressive drivers are all covered in this chapter.

Chapter 25 Safety on Public Transportation - Well if you are ever in an emergency situation on a plane, bus or train this chapter is for you.

Chapter 26 Surviving in the Home Environment - This chapter is pretty much common sense for most of us. Fire prevention, security and preparation are all covered. Lock up guns if you have kids, put quality locks on your doors, have smoke detectors and fire extinguishers in your home (tested and ready), like I said mostly common sense.

Chapter 27 Surviving Terrorism - This chapter is a little light on useful information for the average folks. It covers how terrorist operate and the techniques they use. I would guess the author is trying to educate the reader so they are more aware in the day and age where anything can happen.

All in all I found this a worthy read. The information is broken down and organized quite well. It covers A LOT of information as I have stated and can be used as a reference once you have gone through it from cover to cover. I have no problems recommending this book to my readers, it certainly isn't a Saturday afternoon read as it will require some processing on your part; it is a very good book nonetheless.

...that is all.

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Monday, September 22, 2008


Honestly folks I really don't want to offend anyone but I have basically stopped reading most of the survival blogs at this point. Listen nothing against political, anti-government rants but sheesh call a spade a spade...you are not really a survival blog if you don't provide any useful survival information other than:

"We're screwed"
"Fuck the government"
"The world is ending"
"The SHTF!"
"Stuff your money in a mattress!"

To the others who continue to provide solid information and entertainment (you know who you are), keep up the good work!

...that is all.

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Monday Morning Deal!

Centerfire Systems:
Wolf 7.62x39 FMJ 20 round box $3.99!
Part Number: AM762102
•Non-Corrosive •Full Metal Jacket •122 Grain •Berdan Primed •20rds per box •Mfg by Wolf®

Some good deals on bulk Wolf 7.62x39

...that is all.

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Sunday, September 21, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 9

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 I have another semester coming to an end at school and that means final projects due this weekend. Work is killing me as well, I have a project going to functional testing this week and we have had some issues with the software so I have my fingers crossed.

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 beasurvivor.blogspot@gmail.com and we'll talk about it.

Don't panic with all this financial crap going on. Don't panic sell or pull your money out of investments that are sound but are just taking a beating because of market jitters. The market will recover...it always does and history will back me up on that.

Bonus tip:
If you are worried about your money and can't sleep at night then do what you have too just try to take a deep breath and think before doing anything crazy. Now is actually a good time to buy good companies that have sound fundamentals and have just been murdered by panicking Hedge Funds. If you the nervous type just put your money in accounts that are FDIC insured.

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

Big Bear enlightens us on State Slavery.

Project Mayberry continues.

Scoutinlife talks about CB Radios.

Riverwalker talks about his Mossberg 500.

theOtherRyan is F'in pissed!

Trent from the Simple Dollar answers the question, "Will My Money Be Safe?"

1.) Show up to work - everyday, even when you have a "cold". (Suck it up)
2.) Show up on time or even better, early to work everyday.
3.) Always be honest with your boss or manager.
4.) Tell you boss or manager what your goals are: promotion, more responsibility, etc.
5.) Do the absolute best you can at whatever task your are assigned and raise warning flags if something is not going right...sooner rather tha later.

Bonus: It does not hurt to show up to work with a smile on your face and a friendly disposition. Grumpy people are often tolerated but they will never go far because they are not viewed as "people persons".

...that is all.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

Movie Review: Doomsday

In a new segment here at Be A Survivor I will be reviewing some of the movies I enjoy that I think are relavent to survival, including everyones favorite apocalypse, zombie and action movies. The fist movie to go under the microscope is Doomsday (Unrated Widescreen Edition).What do you get when you cross The Road Warrior,Resident Evil,28 Days Laterand a healthy pinch of imagination? You get this movie, Doomsday.

If anyone has seen the excellent movie from across the pond calledDog Soldiersyou will recognize most of the cast. It seems they all enjoyed each others company and came back from round two of working together. The only really big name actors in this movie is Bob Hoskins, Malcolm McDowell and maybe Sean Pertwee who you may remember as "father" from the Christian Bale movie Equilibrium.

This movie has it all: Road Warrior type chases, seemingly super human female hero, knights in shining armor (literally, I am not kidding), deadly viruses and much, much more.

Here is the synopsis from Yahoo Movies:
"The year is 2008, and a pandemic threatens to wipe out the whole of the human race. For many in the United Kingdom--the epicenter of the outbreak--the end is nigh, so why bother to keep count? Within days of detection of the Reaper virus millions are infected in Scotland, the killer disease's home turf. Government has no choice but to declare the country a 'hot zone' and quarantine the populace in hopes of containing the Reaper's spread. What was once Scotland is now a forgotten No Man's Land, with the Reaper given free reign to annihilate the population sealed inside. A quarter of a century later, with a new outbreak of the Reaper resurfacing in London, it becomes apparent that the government's best laid plans have gone completely, bloody awry. Department of Domestic Security (DDS) Chief Bill Nelson is summoned to meet with the prime minister and the true power behind his office, Michael Canaris, who reveal satellite photos of Reaper survivors in the hot zone. And survivors must mean there's a cure. Nelson quickly assembles a crack team of specialists to venture into the forsaken land and retrieve the counteragent to the virus. For the tough and efficient commanding officer, Major Eden Sinclair, the assignment represents a disquieting homecoming. Twenty-five years earlier, she had been shoved into one of the last evacuating military choppers and flown to safety--forced to leave her mother behind. Once on the other side of the immediately re-secured border, the squadron is on its own, venturing into a ghoulish terrain of corpse-strewn, forlorn cities. All too soon, however, the crew meets up with a pack of feral survivors, and finds itself unwittingly standing in for the callous government that turned its back years before."

The movie is pretty enjoyable but stretches believablity to the limit. There is your typical organization with ulterior motives and a healthy dose of action to keep you interested. The movie almost seems to be making fun of the films that is lifting from in some ways. There is some humor and A LOT of violence and gore. My wife and I both enjoyed the film as it did provide a great story and lots of eye candy.

I would recommend this movie as a great Saturday night flick to enjoy with some friends and popcorn.

Be A Survivor Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars!

...that is all.

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Thursday, September 18, 2008

Keep On Preppin

Lately, I have been a bit lazy with the preps but I have started getting my butt in gear. Some of the things I have done in recent weeks:

Picked up a Yugo M70 under folder (AK-47) from the Charleston Gun Show.

Brought 3 additional 30 round mags for the AK from Southern Ohio Guns.

Sighted in my 10/22 and Barska scope at the range.

Rotated out all my water that I have stored in 7 gallon Jerry Cans.

Stocked up on items from Walmart like tuna fish, sardines, SPAM, Raman soups, Mac & Cheese, honey, coffee and canned vegetables.

I ordered 200 rounds of 7.62x39 Wolf FMJ from Cheaper Than Dirt.

Cleaned and lubed all the guns.

Stopped spending money an anything not deemed a necessity (no eating out or anything like that for sure).

Checked all my first-aid supplies and filled in any gaps.

I went through the motions when we got grazed by Hannah, tested generator, increased cash stash on hand, etc.

I hate when I get lazy with this stuff. I forced myself to get back in gear because crap always happens when you are least prepared or expect it.

Unlike most folks I am not panicking about the financial mess the country is facing, to be honest doesn't seem to be much different from 1987 and 1990 when the financial SHTF but hey you never know I could be wrong. I don't have any money tied up in risky investments like the morons that bought securitized sub-prime crap and stock in companies with nothing more than a sharply dressed CEO and a good line of bullshit. I am also not panic selling what I do have like most of the herd out there who will lose their shirts in short order.

One thing I really need to point out that really pisses me off is the entertainment industry. When did these butt nuggets who make millions of dollars a year decide they speak for America? I really don't give a rat's ass what Whoppie Goldberg or Matt Damon has to say about Obama or McCain, here is an idea stick to acting and shut your piehole.

Anyhow I am more angry than usual so I do apologize for that!

...that is all.

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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

How To Survive NJ Driving

Being a former NJ resident when my brother-in-law sent me this I felt I had to share. Most of it is so true it is scary :)

1. Turn signals are just clues as to your next move in road battle so never use them.

2. Under no circumstances should you leave a safe distance between you and the car in front of you no matter how fast you're going. If you do, the space will be filled in by somebody else putting you in an even more dangerous situation.

3. The faster you drive through a red light, the smaller the chance you have of getting hit.

4. Never get in the way of a car that needs extensive body work. (Remember no-fault insurance, he might not have much to lose, you do.)

5. Braking is to be done as hard and late as possible to insure that your anti-lock braking system kicks in to give you a nice relaxing foot massage as the brake pedal pulsates.

6. The electronic traffic warning system signs are not there to provide useful information; they're just to make the Turnpike look progressive.

7. Never pass on the left when you can pass on the right. It's a good way to scare people entering the highway.

8. Speed limits are arbitrary figures to make NJ look as if it conforms with other state policies; these are given only as suggestions and are readily unenforceable.

9. Just because you're in the left lane and have no room to speed up or move over doesn't mean that the driver flashing his high beams behind you doesn't think he can go faster in your spot.

10. Please remember that there is no such thing as a shortcut during rush-hour traffic on the Garden State Parkway.

11. Always slow down and rubberneck when you see an accident or even a person changing a tire. If you're lucky, you may see the unwitting breakdown victim get mugged, the proceeds of which are vested directly into the Democratic frontrunner's campaign for governor.

12. Learn to swerve abruptly. NJ is the home of the high-speed slalom driving thanks to NJDOT, who put potholes in key locations to test drivers' reflexes and keep them on their toes.

13. It is traditional in NJ to honk your horn at cars that don't move the instant the light changes. The state is founded upon such traditions.

14. Seeking eye contact with another driver revokes your right of way.

15. All unmarked exits on the Parkway lead to downtown Newark.

...that is all.

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Monday, September 15, 2008

UK: What Is Going On?

I will be the first to say I love the UK, they are the only ones besides the US that does the "heavy lifting" when it comes to conflicts. They always stand with us and we have always stood with them when the SHTF and it was time to separate the boys from the men.

I read this Fox News article and I am becoming increasingly disturbed by what is going on there.

1.) They have cameras ALL OVER the place there, talk about big brother.
2.) They have super strict gun laws.
3.) They are trying to implement super strict knife laws.

The poor folks over there will have to throw rocks in the event the SHTF.

Now they are giving Islamic courts power to rule on Muslim civil cases? Holy Fish and Chips!

...that is all.

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Be Prepared: Your Pets

I have two dogs that a part of my family. I mean just what I said...they are family. When we rescued them from the shelter we made a commitment to those animals that we would be their caregivers and protectors. Too many people these days don't take pet ownership seriously, when the novelty wears off the dogs, cats or whatever become a chore...those folks should SERIOUSLY think before doing something drastic like adopting an animal.

I will speak as a dog owner and outline some things you should do so you and your dogs live a long happy life together and are able to weather any hiccups (read disaster) which may occur.

You store food for yourself, right? Make sure you store adequate food for your dogs. Canned and dry kibble both store very well. If the kibble gets really hard you can always soak it in water to soften it up.

Make sure you account for your dogs when storing water. They drink a lot of water, not as much as a human but it adds up. Depending on how many animals we are talking I would store one gallon extra per day for my two dogs for example. You can adjust according to your dogs drinking habits.

Many people don't take their animals to the vet on a regular basis which is a shame. There are two things you should ALWAYS do for your dogs:

1.) Annual rabies shot - this is a horrible way to die and rabies is on the rise in the US.

2.) Heartworms - Make sure you get and have an adequate supply of heartworm medication on hand for your dogs. This is really important in the southern US where mosquitoes are especially bad. Heartworms are transmitted to your dogs via a mosquito bite.

Just as hygiene is important for good health in humans so is the same for animals. Keep your dogs well groomed and clean...this will help prevent mange and keep the fleas and ticks down as well. During times of crisis when a bath is not an option just wiping them down with a wet towel will help. Keep your dogs nails trimmed for your comfort (ouch) and theirs.

If your dogs go outside a lot or spend any time outside on a regular basis make sure you get some kind of flea and tick treatment for them. Collars don't work well go with a topical like Frontline or something like that, they work extremely well.

Exercise is extremely important for dogs. Take them for walks and play with them often. During time of crisis when you may be confined to a small area...roughhouse with them, get their heart rate up and blood pumping anyway you can. Exercise is not only important to a dogs physical well being but also their mental well being...any dog trainer will tell you that.

These concepts translate to any pets not just dogs...whatever animal you have whether it is a ferret, lizard, bird, cat, pot belly pig or whatever. You have an obligation to do your best to do right by them. If you view them as a chore maybe you should consider finding them a new home with someone who will appreciate them for the value and hapiness they bring to people's lives.

Make sure if you do get a dog or cat and you do not plan on breeding them you get them spayed or neutered. You will not only help control an exploding population of these animals they will be healther and less high strung in the long run.

BTW here are my babies...

...that is all.

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Saturday, September 13, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 8

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...

Another week gone...where does time go? Anyhow I am probably at the range right now with my new Yugo M70 Under Folder. I picked up three more 30 round mags like the one it came with; Yugo, steel and holds the bolt open after last round. Picked them up at Southern Ohio Guns...nothing but good to say about them, ordered them on Monday and they were in my hands on Thursday.

A few folks have expressed interest in guest posting. We are trying to work out the details so stay tuned.

Do me a favor folks and spread the word about the blog...traffic is steadily increasing and thanks to all of you who are loyal readers! Much appreciated!!!

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

Stock up on "evil looking" weapons before the election, anything with a folding or collaspable stock, bayonet lug, flash surpressor or anything that in the minds of law makers make that bullet so much more deadly.

Bonus tip: Don't forget hi-cap mags, anything over 10 rounds will be a no-no, so stock up! God forbid you have that eleventh round ;)

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

Deringolade discusses kids these days...

Rangerman discusses garden and theives.

Trent from The Simple Dollar discusses entertaining kids with paper.

Michale from Staying Alive talks about the "early years".

Big Bear talks wood stoves and some cautions and experiences.

"The Goods" by theOtherRyan at TSLR blog.

1.) Take a nice long walk everyday.
2.) Stop drinking beer. (I know, I laughed to when my Dr. gave me this line)
3.) Lay off the bread and pasta.
4.) Eat oatmeal.
5.) Take Omega 3 Fish Oil daily

Bonus: Lay off the fast food and eating out and cook at home using good oils like olive oil, peanut oil and canola oil rather than vegetable oil (BAD).

...that is all.

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Friday, September 12, 2008

Equipment Review: S&W 22A

One of the first guns I purchased was the Smith & Wesson 22A. The gun is a .22lr pistol with an integrated rail built into the slide making it a perfect target pistol. In fact that is what this pistol is really designed for is target plinking.

This gun is extremely accurate. I was thoroughly impressed at how accurate it is. My plan is to throw a pistol scope on it an use it for target shooting or for taking in the field to take out some crtitters. This would be a perfect rabbit or squirrel gun to take in the field if you wanted something smaller than a rifle that can easily fit in a rucksack.

I have always been a fan of S&W, they make very good, high quality pistols (revolvers and autos) as well as the very well recieved M&P-15, their AR-15 offering. I have a S&W M&P 9mm Compact which I just love. It seems every weapon I shoot that they make is unbelieveably accurate and my 22A and M&P are no exception.

This is a fun gun to shoot and one of the few I have that my wife enjoys to shoot as well (She also likes my Walther P22). There is little recoil as with most .22 caliber weapons, the design of the gun is simple and it is relatively easy to disassemble to clean and service. Ease of dissasembly is extremely important with .22 caliber weapons because the ammo is so dirty, getting them completly clean and lubed is very important.

My main gripe with this gun as with many other pistols is the cost of the magazines, they range anywhere from $20-$30 which is ridiculous when you consider I can get AK-47 30 round mags for $15, even the mags for my M&P are cheaper. The only gun with more expensive mags that I own is my Walther (Most of which is manufactured by S&W by the way).

Here are some stats on the 22A from Smith & Wesson's website: (For the variation I have)
Model: 22A
Caliber: .22LR
Capacity: 10+1 Rounds
Barrel Length: 5 1/2"
Front Sight: Patridge Front
Rear Sight: Adjustable Target
Grip: Rubber Grip
External Safety: Manual Thumb
Frame: Large
Finish: Two-Tone
Overall Length: 9 1/2"
Material: Alloy
Weight Empty: 32 oz.

Smith offers the gun in 7" barrel as well which must be an absolute tack driver. The have variations with bull barrels, hi-viz sights, wood grips, etc.; the possiblities are almost endless. The gun has proven to be relatively popular and folks seem to like mine when I pull her out at the range.

Overall this is a great gun especially to those who are new to firearms, go to your local range and see if you can rent one and let me know what you think!

...that is all.

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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Be Prepared: Well Maintained Equipment

A word about maintenance; don’t do it and you will be sorry. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of performing routine maintenance on all your equipment, firearms, vehicles and tools. The better to take care of something the longer it will last…makes sense don’t it.

Some things you should do to keep your “stuff” in tip top shape:
1.) Keep it clean – yes this is half the battle and it really does extend the life of stuff if you keep it clean.

2.) Don’t abuse it – don’t gun your vehicles engine for no reason, don’t use your knife as a pry bar and use your equipment for its intended purpose.

3.) Maintain it – lube it, sharpen it, charge it or whatever else needs to be done to it.

Some things you should do religiously:
1.) On any equipment with an engine – check and change the oil as needed, check plugs and wires, change filters. People often forget to do these things on their lawn mower for example or their chainsaw or whatever.

2.) On your vehicle change the air filter when it’s dirty and rotate your tires to keep the wear even and consistent.

3.) Keep your knives clean, sharp and coat them with a light coating of lubricant to protect the metal if you are not using them often.

4.) Keep your firearms cleaned and properly lubed.

5.) Your house – keep the gutters clean and change the furnace filters regularly, also make sure to clean out your dryer vent to prevent house fires.

You spent a lot of money on your stuff and keeping it in tip top shape should be at the top of your list. Many things have a usable life that can be greatly extended by following some simple steps and keeping up with routine maintenance.

Some more tips to keep equipment in good shape:
1.) Wash sleeping bags after a few uses and don't store them in their compressions sacks...you will notice most good outdoors stores have them hanging.

2.) Use seam sealer on you tents to keep them from developing leaks. Use a tarp or tent "foot print" under you tent to protect the floor from damage.

3.) Don't stow away wet gear. If you have to when you get home take it out and let it sit in the sun and properly dry before stowing it again. This will prevent mold and mildew from growing.

4.) If you have an RV or Pop Up make sure if you are using AC to vent the camper by cracking open a roof vent or window to prevent condensation. Condensation is BAD...you will have mold issues before you know it. If you see moisture on the walls or windows your are NOT venting enough.

5.) Go for quality. How many times have you done this...gone the cheap route buying something and then found it didn't meet your needs and you had to go back and buy the more expoensive one..sound familiar? I am not saying you need to buy the best of everything but shoot for the best quality you can afford if at all possible, it will probably save you money in the long run.

...that is all.

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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Book Review: Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook

Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook: Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Family Safe in a Crisis by Peggy Layton is next on the review list here at Be A Survivor. This book is all about food and nothing but the food. I read this as one of my first food storage and prep research pieces a few years back and just re-read it for the purpose of this review. The book spends an overwhelming amount of pages on food but there is some basic survival type and disaster prep info in the beginning of the book, strictly the basics. There are some really good checklists for survival kits and equipment and they make a good reference for your preparations.

Chapter 1 Preparing for Short-Term Emergencies - This chapter provides a brief overview of disaster preparation and some of those handy aforementioned checklists. Ms. Layton goes over all of the basics including evacuation plans, bug out bags, emergency car kits, sanitation, hygiene, first-aid and cooking. She covers a lot of information in one chapter so as I stated this is strictly the basics. Her checklists are thorough and good references for building your equipment lists.

Chapter 2 Storing Water For Emergency Use - One again a very good overview of the basics is presented here. The importance of water in your plan is discussed as well as how much to store, how to store, what to store it in and how to make it safe to drink. It stands to reason that water would receive its own chapter, without it; storing all the food in the world won't help you because you will be dead in approximately three days.

Chapter 3 The Economics Of Long-term Emergency Storage - Here Ms. Layton goes over the economics of storage and how implementing a good plan you can ultimately save yourself some money and provide healthy and nutritious food to your family. She also covers the economic advantages of being prepared for disaster and the always prudent advice to sock away some cash for a "rainy day" (or the apocalypse) is presented.

Chapter 4 The Logistics of Long-Term Emergency Storage - This is an especially good chapter as it covers some topics which are mostly overlooked by many other books. This chapter spends a lot of time on "I have all this crap...now what do I do with it?" There are clever suggestions on where to actually store all your provisions including some photos of solutions that people implemented in there plans. Closets, under the bed or wherever you have available space in your dwelling are all fair game. They are also a very good discussion on rotation and other methods of reducing or eliminating spoilage with your preparations.

Chapter 5 Building Your Stockpile Of Food And Other Necessities - This chapter breaks down food storage into categories like breads, protein, vegetables and fruit, etc. This chapter is basically a description of the major food groups and how to plan to cover all the bases in your storage plan. Also discussed in this chapter are some non-food items like paper plates, towels and other kitchen accessories...this seems a bit out of place in this chapter if you ask me.

Chapter 6 Obtaining Food For Storage - Ms. Layton discusses gardening, sprouting, drying, canning as well as several other methods of obtaining food for your storage plan. These topics are all covered in a cursory manner and will require further research elsewhere if the reader desires to learn more about each of the processes.

Chapter 7 Implementing Your Food Storage Program - This is the nitty gritty of the book. There are discussions on planning and implementing your food storage plan. There are an extensive amount of charts in the book to help you organize, I think they are a bit overkill myself. There is good advice in here though that will save you money and heartache if your heed it. Planning, inventory and replenishment of your supply are all discussed in this chapter as well.

Chapter 8 Recipes Using Stored Food - There are roughly eighty pages of some pretty good recipes that Ms. Layton has compiled. Some examples are Western Style Beans & Rice, Sourdough Whole Wheat Pancakes, Chicken & Dumplings and Macaroni & Cheese Cassarole to name a few. She incorporates many survival foods into the recipes such as wheat, dried beans and rice. I think this section is nice but personally I could probably have done without it. For the Emeril Laggase's out there this will be right up your alley and you will be whipping up gourmet survival fare in no time.

Overall this was a very informative read and for someone just setting out on a food storage plan I would highly recommend reading this book or another like it to avoid some of the common mistakes beginners make when starting. I would have no problem recommending this book to my readers with one caveat; if you are an experienced prepper there may be other resources available that suit you needs just a little better...that being said this one is worth a gander at.

...that is all.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

How To: FREE Or Almost FREE Entertainment

These days money can be tight or maybe you are just trying to cut down to save for a rainy day (or the apocalypse). My wife and I are slowly trying to pay off what little debt we have and have found many ways to entertain ourselves for free or almost free. Below is a list broken down by what the activity is and if there is any expense involved or not (read FREE).

Trip to Barnes and Noble (Books A Million, etc) FREE - My wife and I have been doing this since we were dating. We go to the bookstore and peruse. I usually pick up a few books and magazines and curl up on one their couches or chairs and spend the day reading...for free! No one has ever said a word to me and I have actually read entire books doing this. Mostly I skim through a bunch of books looking for ones I may actually purchase in the future. Once in a while I buy an overpriced coffee...but for the most part I don't spend a dime.

Fishing LOW COST - I pay for the most basic license in South Carolina which I think costs a whopping $12. I fish as much as I can...I have had the same fishing gear for years, some of it passed down from my dad so I have very little invested in it. The enjoyment and relaxation I get out of fishing is immense and it is a great activity for the whole family as well. In most states there is no cost for a child under 12 or 13 years old to fish as no license is required. If you don't fish, you should...you don't have to keep the fish you catch, you can "catch and release" if you are that type of person.

Picnicking FREE - This is fun and relaxing as well. You have to eat, right? Why not grab your family and a cooler and do it in the park? While you're there toss a frisbee or play catch or even fly a kite! This is a great bonding experience and a cheap way to get out of the house.

Go to the movies LOW COST - Now before you start freaking out...my wife and I go to the movies during matinee hours on the weekend. We have a theater near us that charges $2.75 for the matinee so it is a grand total of $5.50 for me and the wife to see a movie. We smuggle in soda and candy so it is a great afternoon out of the house and we get to see a great flick in the process.

Go RV window shopping FREE (Geared toward us survivalist types) - Me and the wife do this every once in awhile. We go to the Camping World near us and walk around and check out all the RV's, travel trailers and 5th wheels. It is fun to dream and it is really great to check out stuff if you are interested in purchasing something in the future.

Camping LOW COST - It is no secret I am a big fan of camping it is a cheap way to get the family outdoors for some great fun. It is a way to get closer to nature and even brush up on some of those survival skills that are so important. Camping is relaxing and nothing is better than sitting around the camp fire at night sipping on your beverage of choice laughing and having a good time.

Library FREE - This is a no brainer, if you are not taking advantage of what your local library has to offer than you are wasting a great resource. Libraries aren't just about books, they have videos, magazines, computers and some even offer classes and workshops to their patrons. Go and get yourself a library card and take advantage of this valuable free resource (as long as you return your books on time!)

Volunteer FREE - Volunteer for your favorite charity or cause and not only make a difference but gain valuable experience and personal fulfillment!

...that is all.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

AK-47 - Yugo M70AB2T...SWEEET!

Well since Hannah was a bust in my area the gun show was still a go. I would like to present to you the newest member of the Be A Survivor family...a Yugoslavian M70 under folder....SWEEEET! It came with one 30 round mag and a sling.

These things are hard to find at this point because people are snapping them up...just over the last few months they have gone up almost $70 bucks. If Obama gets elected this thing could see some real appreciation in value.

I accomplished my main task, get an assault rifle, not spend a ridiculous amount of money and have ammo commonality with my SKS. Overall very satisfied. I probably won't be able to really work her out until next weekend but maybe I will sneak out one night to the range if I can. I will be sure to do a proper equipment review on it.

My next mission is to get at least 4 more mags for it...even more before the election for sure.

...that is all.

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Weekend Roundup Vol. 7

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...

Spent most of the week worrying about tropical storms and hurricanes...what a drag.

One good thing to report is my knee is feeling much better and it did not require a visit to the old doctor.

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 beasurvivor.blogspot@gmail.com and we'll talk about it.

RV tips sent in by Blkcwbyhat
WATERPROOF!!!..I cannot make this any clearer! Water is the enemy of an RV. Whether it's a canvas pop up or a motorhome, it is not waterproofed well from the factory. If you have a canvas popup, buy lotsa scotchgard! Hose it down as often as you use it! You can never put enough on!! I got an older unit that sat for 3 yrs before I got it, couldn't even put it up as it was so rotted, and new canvas for a small unit was 900 dollar's. Preserve it from the start. -Blkcwbyhat

Bonus tip: Keep it covered..if you get a fold down, keep it covered with plastic, or at least a tarp, to keep any driving rain out of the top seal's. If possible, replace the cheap plastic roof vent's with metal one's, the sun rot's the plastic in less than a year..another water leak. Even a motorhome will last longer in the shade.

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

Down In The Hills talks about Dems and guns.

Mayberry shows you how to do a drum brake job...Mayberry you are a dirty, dirty boy ;)

Scoutinlife ponders afforable wood guns.

Rangerman discusses global warming...or is it cooling?

Riverwalker on floods.

Trent from the Simple Dollar discusses lowering your heating bill.

1.) Install some kind of virus protection, there are even free scanners available on the Internet
2.) If you use a wireless router; change the admin password, disable SSID broadcasting and use security encryption. I see so many unsecured linksys networks I want to puke sometimes. Use Netstumbler and you can see all of the ones in your area.
3.) Install a software firewall on your PC there are good free ones available like ZoneAlarm.
4.) Avoid using peer-to-peer software and if you do don't leave it running all the time.
5.) Use a spyware scanner like Ad-Aware or Spybot Search and Destroy to scan your PC for malware.

Bonus: Stop surfing the porn sites for cryin out loud!

...that is all.

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