Sunday, December 21, 2014

Book Review: The Prepper's Blueprint by Tess Pennington

I've been around the survivialism/prepping thing long enough that every time I see a book that purports to be, as the cover of this one puts it, "step-by-step guide to help you prepare for any disaster", my bullshit meter pretty much pegs.

The reason is simple.  Unless you are only preparing for that "3 days until FEMA arrives to put everything back together for you" scenario, prepping is simply too broad a subject to cover in a single book.  Even something as relatively simple as drinking water can easily run a few hundred pages if you go all out with covering well digging/drilling, filtering systems, the various sorts of pumps, power systems and what have you.  It ain't all 8 drops of bleach per gallon of water (I don't give a damn what the EPA thinks).

So when I saw Tess Pennington's "The Prepper's Blueprint" favorably mentioned somewhere (and I honestly don't remember where) on the Intertubz, I figured that it would be yet more of the same.  However, since Amazon allows you to have a look inside the book (got to compete with the brick and mortar book stores), I was able to get a look at the table of contents and the introduction and was intrigued enough to drop $20 to have a copy shipped in.

It's an interesting take on the subject.  Pennington follows more or less the typical organization of most manuals--food, water, tools, medicals supplies and so on, but she has something that is in my experience unique.  She adds the concept of "layers".  So when she discusses food the first time in Layer 1, it's in a very basic way.  Two weeks of food and water, simple meals that don't require a lot of effort (including cooking) to prepare and so on.

Layer 2 broadens the topic by going into water filtration and food preservation, as well as expanding the food supply to a full month.  Layer 3 modifies the one month pantry into a pattern that can be used for storing multiple months of food.  In the course of doing so the discussion expands to cover essential fats, legumes, carbs and so on so that you have a basic understanding of what you need for a healthy diet over the long term.

This same model is used for medical needs, communications, tools, shelter and so on.  As I said earlier, it's a model that I haven't encountered before in the prepping world, and I think that, for someone who is just coming around to the necessity to be prepared, it should work well.  It allows the beginner to get some quick "wins" (face it, if they just do Layer 1 they're more prepared than 99% of Americans) and then continue on as they are mentally able and willing. It's a big scary step to go from "don't get it" to "eyes wide open", and all to easy to slip into "it can't be done".  Pennington's layered approach may be just the thing to get people past that hump.

Based on her own citations, Pennington appears to rely on others for much of her information in many areas.  In most areas, that serves her well, but in a couple, communications and defense, she could have picked better sources.  It isn't so much that the information is wrong as it is woefully inadequate.  She could have used some better advice in these two areas.  Fortunately, by the time the beginning prepper gets to the serious parts of these in Layer 3, it will be easy enough for them to do their own research and find their own trustworthy sources.

Overall, I'm going to say that this book is a keeper.  The inexperienced will find it a good initial guide to beginning preparedness--just remember that it is a beginner's manual and that you will need more in depth texts in each subject area (and to her credit, Pennington usually notes this).  Those who have made being prepared a part of their life will find a very different use for this book--it's great for loaning out to family, friends and acquaintances who, having finally realized that milk doesn't come from a grocery store, decide to take some responsibility for their own lives and want to begin prepping.  Rather than having to sit down and spend hours going over this and that, you can simply hand them this book.

Just be sure you get it back so you can loan it to the next person.

("The Prepper's Blueprint by Tess Pennington, 458 pages, ISBN-13 978-1496092588  For the information of whatever Federal nitwits might happen by, I bought this book with my own freaking money, OK?)

Doin' it old school

I'm not a big AK fan, but I do appreciate craftsmanship whereever it's found.  In this case it's Bosnia.

Monday, December 15, 2014

What might have been

(Via the Drudge Report)

I would ask if it would not have been better if the hostages had been armed and allowed to defend themselves when a terrorist came calling, but being that this was Australia, such things are not allowed.

Try that shit here, Achmed.

Friday, December 12, 2014

So sue me

I've been trying for weeks to come up with some novel peice of news that I could rif off of to use this link I found.  But I simply can't find one.

So if you find freeze-dried foods too expensive for your prepping budget, you might want to talk to a few friends and go in together on a personal freeze drying machine.  Yep, it's pricey, but split 4 ways it will set you back the price of a nice AR.  And able to dry 2 #10 cans per 24 hour batch, this thing would allow 4 families to put back some serious food in a hurry.

Something to consider once you're squared away in most of the basic areas.

When the hunter becomes the hunted

(Via the Mississippi Rebel)

I'm not a hunter.  I haven't been hunting in 40 years.  I have nothing against the sport, I just have nothing for it in particular.  I can tell you this--I would likely not have fared as well as this 12 year old girl fared while on an elk hunt.  Because as the hunter, I would not have expected to have become the hunted.

This has applications in self defense.  If you have been through any sort of self defense training, you should have been taught that you must scan your surroundings after you have engaged an attacker.  Yes, you have stopped the threat--and the adrenaline is pumping, you're shaking, your vision has narrowed and you can't hear shit.  You still have to scan around you.  The miscreant you just ventilated may have friends handy.

Don't become the hunted twice in one encounter.  You may not fare so well the second time.

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Once again, the date that lives in infamy arrives

This time, it really is Sunday, December 7, though it is some 73 years after the fact.  The men who lived through that terrible day are fewer this year than they were last as time takes its toll.  But we must still remember that day, that "date that shall live in infamy".

It is said that our military has a slogan--"No more Pearl Harbors."  Perhaps they do, perhaps not.  We have certainly had events in recent times that have had similar impact upon us, 9/11 in particular.  However, we have reacted to that event so differently than we reacted to Pearl Harbor.  Instead of working together to defeat our enemy, we have become our own enemy, passing laws such as the mis-named "Patriot Act", surrendering bits and pieces of our freedom for a bit of temporary safety--or at least, that's what we think we are doing,

I have to wonder what the 2,403 men who died in the Pearl Harbor attack would think of that?

Monday, December 01, 2014

Monday, November 24, 2014

Review: Tagua Gunleather Holster for the Ruger LC9 with Crimson Trace Laser

The Tagua Gunleather Holster for the Ruger LC9 with Crimson Trace Laser is a well made paddle-style holster.  The materials are top-notch.  The fit and finish are excellent.  Out of the box, the fit to the pistol is quite good, and the quality leather tends to lead me to believe that it would only improve with time.

Unfortunately, the holster is useless.  See the picture below.

I trust you can read that red text.  No, you can't get a finger into that tiny gap between the pistol grip and the leather.  If they had angled the leather down a bit, or swapped the stitched area to the front (visually odd looking, but it could be done), it would be a different holster.  As is, in order to retrieve the gun from the holster, you have to get it in a pinch between the thumb and index finger, up at the web, and then wiggle it up.  Once up far enough, but not so far as to fall out of the holster, then you can shift to a proper grip and complete your draw stroke.

I found that awkward as hell standing in my house on a Sunday afternoon.  I can't begin to imagine how it would feel in the middle of a critical incident.  Somehow, I don't think it would engender a lot of confidence in any concealed carrier..

I'm going to rate this model and only this model as a Do Not Buy.  However, as soon as I figure out which pistols I have that need a holster (hm-m-m, I think that Luger may need one) I'll try another one and see how it works with a larger pistol.  I'm betting that with a larger gun the problem will disappear.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Statists gonna state

In local (North Carolina) news, "State legislators expect to consider new regulations in 2015 for fast-growing “sharing economy” companies like Uber and Airbnb."

So much for all those "R"s getting voted in and all their "small government" rhetoric--at least around here.