Monday, July 28, 2014

Economic geekery

John Mauldin makes a point that Gross Output may be a better indicator of economic growth than Gross Domestic Product.  And no, we really aren't discussing how many angels can dance on the head of a pin here.  While a bit dense for those without an interest in economics, this is Pretty Important Stuff, because these are the things by which economic policies are set.  Seeing as how governments aren't too good at that sort of thing  these sorts of discussions are important.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Book Review: Prepare For Anything Survival Manual

If you're looking for that one book that will tell you everything you need to know in order to "survive", then this book will be a disappointment to you.  Then again, so will every other book ever written on the subject, because there is no such thing.  There can't be; the breadth of knowledge required is too broad.  I have roughly enough books to fill a bookshelf 3 feet wide and 7 feet tall on various survival subjects, and that honestly is probably inadequate to cover everything one could possibly need in a worst case scenario.

However, this book does one thing quite well.  It catalogs all of the major subject areas that you would need to know about in order to survive most survival scenarios, including long-term grid down scenarios.  In its 338 short articles (nothing is longer than a page, making this a perfect bathroom book), author Tim MacWelch covers all the areas you would need to know about--food, shelter, medical needs, defense and so on.  As a sort of bonus, a number of those 338 articles are indeed stand-alone nuggets of knowledge, with the ones on using a pressure canner to distill water and the recipe for hard tack standing out in my memory.

I would think of this book as a sort of "executive summary" on survival topics.    The tone definitely doesn't wear camouflage, eat MREs and live in a bunker while waiting for The End Of The World As We Know It.  It would make an excellent gift for friends or family who are curious and receptive to information on what can be an off-putting subject.  You could loan this book to coworkers who have questions, curious neighbors or skeptical family.  Anyone in those audiences could take this book and begin their own journey to a prepared, resilient lifestyle.

(Prepare For Anything Survival Manual, Tim MacWelch and the editors of Outdoor Life Magazine, ISBN 13: 978-1-61628-839-6  Hardback, $31.95)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Time to piss some people off

(Found on Facebook.  Damn but that place is turning out to be useful after all.)

I've never made much of a deal of it here on the blog, but I'm pretty heavily pro-Israel.  And that's why I find this video both funny as hell and something that all the pro-Palestinians here in the US ought to be forced to watch.  Because this is what a suicide bombing looks like.  I find it funny because this time it was Palestinians bombing themselves (through their own stupidity).  Anyone who watches this and then looks up how many of these the Israelis have endured over the years will never--ever--doubt their right to defend themselves against such as these.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Adios, Maryland

(Via Facebook)

Beretta has announced that, in the wake of Maryland's latest excursion into anti-gun territory, their manufacturing arm is bailing.  Management is staying, but I suspect they will follow at some point.

I'm shaking my head at the stupidity of it all.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fallacy? I'm not so sure...

(This has been in an open tab waiting on me to turn it into a post of my own I've forgotten where it came from.  Whoever you are that pointed it out to me, you have my thanks, anonymous though they are.)

Since long before I got my concealed carry permit, I've been a prepper.  Before that, I was one of those evil survivalists.  (Yeah, I've been walking this path in one direction or another for a while.)  As I became more and more ready for "come what may", I noticed an interesting thing happening.

Nothing much was happening.

Now, it's not that nothing bad ever happened in my life.  Stuff happens to me like it happens to most people.  But when it happens to someone who is prepared for it, it isn't a big deal.  You handle it and move on.  A good example is my family's run in with Old Man Winter earlier this year.  Sure, it wasn't fun (Mrs. Freeholder was quite put out), but at the end of the thing, it really wasn't a huge disaster.  But imagine if there had been no wood stove, no generator, no insurance--oh yes, it would have been a disaster indeed.

I've distilled the whole thing down into a saying:  "Trouble seeks the unprepared."

I'm not the only one to have made the observation.  John Johnston at Ballistic Radio has noticed the same thing when it comes to self defense training.  While he notes that you don't need training to defend yourself, the training not only enhances the likelihood that you can do so successfully, but that it also reduces the chances that you will have to.

Yep.  As one trainer told me, "This stuff changes the way you live."  He was right, it does.  You look at people and situation differently, and you look at yourself and the decisions you make differently.  You keep you temper.  You don't return the favor to the driver to flips you off in traffic.  You don't take the shortcut through the sketchy neighborhood.  You go to this store rather than that store.  Dozens of things subtly change when you carry a gun and when you've trained in self defense.

In essence, you become a part of Heinlein's polite society.  Not a bad thing at all if you ask  me.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

How about that gun show?

Yes, your intrepid reporter has once again ventured into the very jaws of evil and wickedness, the gun show.  This one was the Concord, NC, Gun Show featuring the NC Gun Collectors Association.  I always try to get to shows where the NCGCA is going to put in an appearance, because they have such cool stuff to look at.  I'd never seen harpoon guns before.  Amazing things, harpoon guns.

And I made it out alive, and with encouraging words of ammo availability and lower prices (on some items, you mileage may vary, void where prohibited by statist bastards).  Oh, and I did buy a gun, as if that is a surprise.

The good news is that AR prices, along with the prices for the parts to roll  your own.  Ammo, in what I think of as "the standard calibers" of 9 mm, .40, .45 ACP, 5.56/.223 and 7.62 x 51/.308 were in very good supply from various manufacturers at prices approaching pre-panic levels.  That's not bad when you consider how much the dollar has inflated since then.  Even .22 LR was available, although not in great quantity and at pain-inducing prices.

Components were also present, although powder was still somewhat hit or miss.  It was there, but not in large quantity.  Prices were reasonable for the most part, with bullets being the most expensive items I bought.

The bad news is that in the less popular calibers, such as .380, .38 Special, .357 and .44 magnum, 8mm and so on are still hovering around nose bleed territory for reasons indeterminate.  .44 magnum, which I was especially interested in, was difficult to find and when found was $35-40/box.  I took a pass and bought components instead.  I've got powder and primers, it was brass and bullets I was lacking.  And time, always time.

Oh, and the gun (and the reason for the .44 magnum search in the first place).  For some reason I've been on a bit of a magnum kick for some while.  You may remember that back in February I bought a S & W Model 69 Combat in .44 Mag.  I have a habit of wanting some sort of long gun in each pistol caliber I'm serious about, and I've been looking for one for a while.  I finally found one of the ones I considered acceptable, a Henry Big Boy chambered in .44 magnum.  Nice gun and the price only hurt when I counted out the money.  If we get a non-rainy evening, I want to get it to the range and see if it performs as nicely as it's built.  It hasn't rained in nearly a month and what happens when I get a new gun?  It monsoons!

The story of my life.  lol