Friday, December 29, 2017

Surviving Mobs, Protests, and Riots.

     Living in Charlotte N.C., this is especially relevant to me. Unfortunately, Charlotte doesn't have the market cornered on unruly protests, mob mentality, and riots. Small towns like Ferguson MO, medium sized cities like Harrisburg VA, or large urban metropolises like New York, Los Angeles, and Milwaukee, have all experienced protests that spun up into riots that lasted several days.

     Regardless of the incident that sparked these protests, or the motivations that spun them out of control, you and your family could be caught up in them inadvertently. No one who isn't rioting plans to get caught in a riot. You, however, need to plan and be prepared to get OUT of one.

     There's generally two types of people who have a legitimate reason to be in an area when civil unrest happens. People who live there, and people who don't. I know that sounds kind of silly and very obvious, but think about it anyways.  How you would avoid, or escape civil unrest depends on which one of those two types of people you are at that given moment. Someone who lives in NY would have completely different indicators that shit was about to go down, than someone who was a tourist and visiting Time Square. It gets even more complicated if you're in another country and trouble starts.

     In Charlotte during the riots last year, groups of protesters would block traffic on major thoroughfares and at one point they blocked traffic on an interstate. If motorists tried to proceed through the blockade, the protesters would throw things at their windows, hit and kick the cars, and several times tried to pull drivers from their cars. One at least three occasions, protesters were on overpasses throwing rocks at cars driving under them.

If you're a local:
     Avoid the trouble spots at all costs. Avoid choke points into and out of the area. do not go 'check it out for yourself'. Do not let curiosity kill the cat. Try to establish a communication link to first responders. I have a police scanner and also used an app on my phone called Scanner Radio. Its a free app and you can listen to many metropolitan area first responders, It will also alert me if there is an unusual amount of listeners for a particular feed. So if suddenly three times the normal number of  listeners begin to listen to police calls in Dallas for example...I can do a quick google search for Dallas news and see whats going on.
     You should already be prepared to bug in at this point. Get water, lock your doors, lock your car doors and stay out of sight. Keep everyone in the house. Don't open your doors for anyone. Partially open a window that is not obvious from the front of your house and routinely listen for changes in the environment around you. Smell the air around you. Sirens, gun shots, and smoke are bad signs. If this happens begin to harden your home by blocking doors and windows with heavy furniture. This is your home, be prepared to fight for it if you have to. However, always leave yourself an escape route.

If you're visiting:
     If you're visiting the area and can safely leave, then leave. If for whatever reasons you can't leave, then bug in to wherever you are. Back your car into its parking space, and lock the doors when you get out. Gather as many supplies as you can into a back pack and keep the back pack with you. Water will be very important, keep some on you.
     Harden your improvised bug in area as much as possible. Lock all the doors and windows. Barricade the and windows as much as possible. Clear a path to an exit point so you can leave in a hurry without causing yourself any injury. Turn off any lights that are not absolutely essential.
     Get prepared to move locations if you have to. Keep your car keys and back pack (if you have one) on you at all times. If you're moving in unfamiliar territory you have as good a chance of running into trouble as you have of trouble finding you. If the cell network is still up and functional, use your mapping apps to plot a course away from where you are. Look and listen before you move.
     If you have to move, move quickly and quietly. Stay out of site, stay out of lit areas if possible. Look and listen before you move.

     Social unrest is a scary thing. All of the rules you follow and rely on others following have just gone out the window. Keep your wits about you. Trust your instincts, develop a plan and stick to it.

     Remember I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. My opinions are exactly opinions. Thank you all for reading.  As always, comments, suggestions, topics are always welcome....criticism not so much  :)

Saturday, December 9, 2017

Cell Phones in a Suburban Disaster

     I think that in the event of a large scale incident everyone's initial reaction will be to use their smart phone for emergency communication and as a source for news. The smart phone has become an integral part of our daily existence. In one small device we have the ability to communicate both verbally and in writing. We can send and receive texts, emails, and social media posts. We can search for answers on the internet to most of lifes problems. We can get directions,  take pictures and record videos. You get the picture.  That's a good thing....sort of.

     Smart phones are very convenient, there's no doubt about that. However, convenience comes at a price. Sometimes that price is marked in big read letters on the front of the package, and sometimes its hidden and you don't realize it until its too late. For all the convenience they provide smart phones can be a pain in the ass also. They're fragile, sensitive to adverse conditions, require a constant power source and a cellular or wifi signal to provide all of those wonderful conveniences we have become accustomed to having on demand at our finger tips.

     With all that being said, they're still the best thing going. They bundle so many features and capabilities into one small, portable, relatively inexpensive package. Here are some of the most common problems,  and solutions to those problems that will help you retain your ability to communicate in the event of a disaster.

  • Cellular network is not available - there is nothing you can do to fix this issue. You can try to work around this issue by finding an available WiFi signal that you can use, but you will not be able to restore the cellular network. 
  • Saving Battery Power - There is a setting on your phone for Power Saving. Turn it on immediately. Turn off WiFi, and Blue Tooth....both of those are power hogs. Turn the ringer down and the vibration off. Turn off notifications for anything that is not critical. You dont want bullshit apps vibrating your phone and depleting your battery. Stop checking your phone every 20 seconds. Conserving the power you DO have reduces your need to recharge your battery. Rest assured, your device will run out of power at the worst possible time.
  • Recharging Your Battery - Have a secondary power source. Have a charging cord. I keep a small battery source like this, short charging cord, micro-usb to usb-c adapter,  and micro-usb to iPhone adapter in a small waterproof container like this in my truck at all times. Keep your battery source charged. Keep an AC wall adapter in your vehicle. You can use other battery sources to charge your smart phone like a laptop, PC, car battery, solar charger, automotive battery jump-starter. Think outside the box.
  • Critical Contact Information - Keep your top 10 critical contacts information somewhere else in addition to your phone. I keep my top 10 in a piece of laminated card stock the size of a business card. Business cards fit everywhere. I would hate to find a working telephone and not be able to contact someone critical because I cant remember their number....which is stored in my broken or powerless phone.
  • Critical Documents - I keep images of my passport, drivers license, social security card, birth certificate....and all of those documents for each member of my family in a hidden, password encrypted folder on the sim card of my phone. If you need them, you have them, and you can open them on your phone and email them an Embassy.
  • Texting - This is the preferred way to communicate in a disaster. Texts queue up on the network in a different way than cellular calls. Texts will stay in the queue and be delivered even if the network is going up and down. Texts will also deliver in areas of very poor signal reception. I would build a group text list that you can blast a single text to multiple people versus sending multiple texts. Texting also leaves a permanent message on your phone unless you delete it. You can refer back to that text instead of trying to remember what was said during a stressful and overwhelming moment. 
  • Location Services - GPS may or may not function properly if the cellular network is not available. Cached data is still view-able in Google Earth even if you're not connected to the network. If you have time, and most often you will, cache the area you're in and you can use Google Earth as a basic navigation tool in that cached area. If you're leaving, cache the route to the area and the area you're moving to.
  • Learn The Skills - Learn the skills you're replacing with your cell phone. The phone is great, but when the phone is no longer usable, you will be under alot less stress if you know how to actually perform some of the skills your phone is doing for navigation. Learn how to read a map. Learn how to determine roughly where you are. Implement some alternate methods of communication, like 2-way radios.
  • Have A Plan - Don't just try to wing it as things happen. this is a recipe for disaster. Plenty of stuff will happen that you aren't able to plan for, give yourself every opportunity to be successful by having some sort of plan in place. Develop a plan, and then practice it.
     The key to surviving any type of disaster is keeping your wits about you. Having a minimal amount of gear in your vehicle, or on your person, that will help you execute a contingency plan can be a life saver. At a minimum it will give you options and reduce mental stress, which will allow you to more clearly process and act on the environment you are in.

Here are some examples of  types of gear mentioned in the post:
     Remember I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. My opinions are exactly opinions. Thank you all for reading and being patient with my lack of posts while I sorted a few things out.  As always, comments, suggestions, topics are always welcome....criticism not so much  :)

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Everyday Uses For A Vacuum Sealer In The Suburbs.

Anyone who is self reliant or who buys in bulk has considered a vacuum sealer. We've all seen them at savings club stores like Sams, BJ's,  or Costco and other retail outlets like Walmart. Most of us have seen them on infomercials where a thrifty, creative home maker is vacuum sealing bulk purchased meats, or prepackaging every meal, marinating chicken in a hurry, or sealing up left overs so they last longer, etc.

They seem like a great idea and hit us in the budgetary sweet spot of not wasting money by not wasting food. I mean, who hasn't thrown out food that spoiled before it got cooked, or food that got freezer burned? Vacuum sealers seem easy to use....just place whatever you want to seal in a pre-sized plastic bag, place the open end of the bag on the bottom shelf of the sealer, close the lid, and press a button. What could be easier, right? Easy peezy lemon squeezy.

It really is that simple, at least at that stage of the process. But you should know, there's A LOT of things that have to happen before you place the bag in the sealer and press the go button. The first of those things have to own a vacuum sealer. I own a Foodsaver brand. It's by far the most popular, to the extent that people refer to vacuum sealers as "food savers", much like people ask for a Kleenex.

Foodsaver isn't the only brand of vacuum sealer by any means, and this is in no way an advertisement for or an endorsement of their products. It just so happens to be the brand I bought 20+ years ago, which i still have and use. They have many models, with many features,  and you can find some comparisons here.

This post isn't about which vacuum saver you should get, or which attachments they offer for which models, or even how awesome your vacuum sealing experience will be. This post is about what I have used my vacuum sealer to seal, the tips and tricks I learned along the way, and the results I experienced.

So, lets get right to it. As I mentioned earlier, there are quite a few things that need to happen before you press the Seal Me button, or whatever its called. We will assume at this stage of the process, you already have a sealer. So the next two decisions you need to make are what am I going to seal, and what am I going to seal it in? Simple right? Not really.

In my experience there are two types of things you would seal for storage; food, and not food.
So lets take a look at food first. There are three scenarios for sealing food:

     1. Frozen, long term storage - meats, vegetables and fruits that you want to store in your freezer and use longer than 10 days from the day you sealed them. I've frozen meats that have kept for close to a year with my vacuum sealer. They might have lasted longer, but we ate them. It wasn't a science experiment, its just meat for dinner. What you store these items in is an important determining factor on how long they will store with little or no degradation. I used the vacuum bags and bag rolls made by Foodsaver. the bags are easy to use if what you want to store fits in them, but they cost more. they're already sealed on one end. So you fill and seal. the bag rolls on the other hand are just that.....a roll of bag material that you cut to size and seal on both ends. The rolls are less expensive, but you have to cut it to the length you think you'll need, seal one end, then fill it and finally seal the other end. More work, and 2 times the chance of a seal failure. There are things you can do to minimize the chance of seal failure:
    • Portion out the food you want to go into the bag ahead of time, don't try to do it as you fill the bags. If you'll 2x a portion for a recipe I would use two bags, dont try to fit a double portion in one bag.
    • Wash your hands after you portion the food. Meat will leave fat and grease on your hands and the bags as you fill them. This can affect the quality of the seal. I rolled ground beef into a big ball and dropped it into the open bag so it didn't brush the sides going in and contaminate the seal.
    • For ground meats I flattened them out before sealing and tried to get them all roughly the same dimensions. This lets it rest flat on the counter, keeps the bag in a relatively cohesive shape for sealing that doesn't have peaks and valleys in it. Those peaks will cause wrinkles the length of the bag and when the wrinkle reaches the sealing pad of the vacuum sealer it will fold over and create an air leak. Flat meat is also easier to store as it can be stacked.
    • Vegetables i just tossed in the bag, gave it a good shake to settle them into the bag, laid them on their sides flat,  and sealed them.
    • I put a second seal on each end of the bag about 1/2 inch from first seal on the outside of the first seal. Make sure the seals don't cross each other, and make sure the first seal is good before you set the second seal. 
    • If you mess up a seal, don't cut the bag shorter and try again, get a new bag. If it wrinkled with a longer bag the first time it will definitely wrinkle on a shorter bag the second time.
    • Let your food sit out for 15 minutes before you put it in the freezer. Most seal failures happen pretty quickly. If your bag doesn't look exactly like it did when you first sealed it, cut it open and use a new bag.
     2. Frozen or refrigerated, short term storage - meats, vegetables and fruits that you want to use within 10 days of sealing them. This could be for marinades, left overs, stuff you want to cook in 5 days, etc. Newer machines will allow you to seal zippered bags, or any other food grade plastic bag. Those might be a better option for this than the rolls and heavier bags mentioned above. They wont have to hold a seal for months and I wouldn't bother with a second seal. Follow all of the steps for handling the food before you seal it, follow all of the steps should you notice a seal failure, and you should be good to go. I don't have a lot of experience with sealing short cycle foods because we either used it within a few days or kept it as part of a longer cycle rotation because we bought in bulk or on sale. I have however resealed jars once they've been opened, so they make that cool *thock* sound when you reopen them.

    3. Dry long term storage - Dry goods that you plan on storing for an extended period of time. This is one of the ways I heavily used my sealer. I have stored many different dry goods, but they basically fall into grains, beans, and granules.They're sealed in slightly different ways and stored in differently ways as well.
    • Grains and granules - Flour (wheat and corn) and salt (not iodized) mainly. I used bag rolls cut to size. I simply placed the grains or granules in their original packaging inside the bag and double sealed them. This will protect them against airborne and insect contaminates. This will not protect your stored goods from rodent contamination.
    • Beans - All types of dry beans. I remove them from their packaging and put them into the bag rolls i have cut to length. I double seal them and place them into 3 gallon food grade buckets with lids. I get my buckets from Walmart. I ask the bakery for their empty icing buckets. They are always happy to get rid of the buckets, which I wash then dry and store my beans in.

The second type of items you would use the vacuum sealer to store is non-food items. these could include things like firearms parts, documents, matches, batteries, primers, medicines, the list is almost endless. these types of things would be stored in much the same way as beans and grains/granules. I stored small, sharp parts inside a small metal tin, and larger parts inside plastic potato chip tubes (think Pringles can) and double sealed them into cut to length roll bags. One complete parts kit per weapon into individual sealed packages. I tossed a parts list in each package, and wrote the weapon name on the outside with a sharpie.

Things like prescription medications, primers, and things that come prepackaged into small to medium sized packages, I simply dropped into the cut to length bag rolls and double sealed them. This will be a judgment call for you, things the seem easier to store, identify, and use/administer by their original packaging would probably be better served to bag and seal in their original packaging. This way you know exactly which medicines you have in the bag and the correct dosages.

Important documents and photographs would of course be sealed flat in cut to length bag rolls. As an additional step for documents I put them into envelopes and marked the envelops so I could tell the general contents of each one. I grouped the documents by each person in my family, I had a birth certificate, social security card, immunization record, and ID card among other documents for each person. I marked the outside with a sharpie by name. I had all the documents imaged to disk prior to vacuum sealing them. you could also group the documents by type instead. So you would have all birth certificates in one package, social security cards in another, etc.

In conclusion, a vacuum sealer is a great tool from a financial perspective in that it allows you to safely seal and store your food purchases for the log or short term. It's also a great tool from a practical perspective in that it can be used to protect non-food items from the environment and extend their life by a very long time.

I encourage you to do your own research on brands, models and features. I'm not an expert and I don't play one on the Internet. The opinions in all my blog posts are just that, my opinions. They're worth exactly what you paid for them. Feel free to comment, make suggestions for new topics, or just suggestions in general. You can submit them in at the blog site, anonymously if you want. Or you can e-mail me directly:  As always, thank you for reading.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

What a year it's been.

     I've not posted on this blog for almost an entire year. A lot has happened, both personally, and in general, during that time. Lets see....where to begin:

     I survived the DNC coming to Charlotte - what a blustery, blowhard mess that was. Hope & Change.... my ass. The city spent lots of money to make the city not look like the city. They hid problems like high crime hot spots and masses of homeless by moving them out of the main traffic routes of the DNC, only to move them right back once "the eyes of the country" were looking elsewhere.

     Obama got re-elected. We did it to ourselves. Enough said.

     The school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown Connecticut. What a horrible tragedy. For the anti-gun crowd...what an opportunity to take center stage and present a knee jerk reaction to an emotionally raw country. Ammunition and firearms prices skyrocketed, people panic bought even more than they planned originally, and Obama's "gun control" sold more guns than any other event in American history.

     The fiscal cliff resulted in my paying an increase in taxes, so more people could produce nothing for longer on my dime. There was no economic crash and burn as predicted, more like a hot flash for the working man.....who continues to carry the burden of the not really looking for work, and therefore not-working man.

     The Boston Marathon Bombing. Another horrible tragedy and a senseless loss of life. My prayers go out to the victims. How did this happen. Isn't the Patriot Act supposed to prevent this very thing, wasn't the Department of Homeland Security created to prevent this very thing? I gave up many of my rights and privacy "for the greater good", and this is what happens? Who dropped the ball on this? Why are we, as American citizens, not raising tee-total hell about this?

     Benghazi - Our government ignores please for help and leaves it's citizens to be murdered and defiled in an U.S. Embassy which is being over run. Then claims "we didn't know". There is an entire SITUATION ROOM where these things are immediately brought to light, and decisions about course of action are made. What happens....the idiot who's job it is "to know" resigns, and is now running for President. Great. Just Great.

     The NSA leaks, and electronic spying scandal by .gov broke big time. People who normally wouldn't give electronic communication a second thought were suddenly paranoid conspiracy theorists. Shade tree cryptologists abound, everyone is encrypting everything. Meh.

     The Trayvon Martin trial - George Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges and walked away a free man. This to the dismay of CNN news anchor Jane Valez-Mitchell who was shocked and obviously disappointed that not only were there no riots over the verdict, but there were more people in line at Taco Bell than on the courthouse grounds when the verdict was read. Creepy Ass Cracker leads Valez-Mitchell 1-0.

     I went to Greece for 3 weeks. I saw how well socialism doesn't work, first hand. Most of the "trouble" in Greece is in the large cities, not the rural areas where we stayed. People there are resilient, hard working, and self reliant. No matter what happens, they just keep on - keeping on. They grow their own food, repair their own stuff, mind their own business, and handle their own problems.

I promise I won't wait so long to post in the future. I plan on posting every 10 days to 2 weeks. That's the plan, and you know how plans go. Topics or gear reviews you like to see are always welcome. Help me out a little  :)

     I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. The point is to survive to fight another day.
Suggestions are welcome, topic suggestions are welcome, comments are welcome. You can post them on the blog, anonymously if you prefer. The point is to post them. If you would like you can e-mail me directly:

     As always, thanks for reading

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Multi-tools. What I carry and why.

     I'm a pretty loyal customer. If I'm happy with something, a particular brand for example, I'll stick with it until I'm no longer happy with it or no longer happy with the company that makes it. I'm like that about food, clothes, tools, etc. For example I've bought Heinz ketchup, Levis jeans, and Nike shoes for as long as I can remember. My multi-tool of choice is the Leatherman Wave. When I bought my first Wave about 15 years ago, they came in real leather cases, which were dyed brown, and had a brass snap on it. Now they come in a black (sort of) leather case, with elastic on the sides and close with velcro.....ain't progress grand?

     Back then there weren't nearly as many models of Leatherman multi-tools to choose from, nor nearly as many makers of multi-tools in general. Nowdays anyone tooled up to make knives is making multi-tools. That can be good and bad at the same time. The good of it is that someone will invent something innovative and change the landscape of multi-tools. The bad of it is that most of the second tier and lower manufacturers will turn out worthless crap.

     I own two Waves, a surge, and a M.U.T.(Military Utility Tool). Those four tools fit all of my multi-tool needs. I keep one Wave in my tackle box, one Wave in my GHB (Get Home Bag), the surge in my truck console, and the MUT in my carbine deployment bag. I've never owned a Gerber multi-tool, but have heard good things about them. I've owned a few of their knives and the quality is sufficient for the price, I can't imagine the multi-tools would be any different.

     The Wave is a very capable tool for urban, suburban, rural, and wilderness survival. However it looses some of it's functionality in the wilderness as a majority of the tools are for tightening/loosening, stripping, or opening things that aren't normally found in the wilderness. or The MUT is an awesome tool for armorers or people who maintain their weapons in the field vs. on a cleaning bench. I can completely field strip any weapon I carry using only the M.U.T.  The Surge is handy because it's smaller and lighter than the Wave, so it's likely to get dropped into my cargo shorts pocket.

     I don't intend to do a review of the Wave, everyone on the planet it seems has written a review on either the Wave or it's equivalent by Gerber. I did however write a review about the M.U.T. and you can read it here. It fits my needs very well, and as you'll see in he review it's quite capable.

     I realize I haven't posted in awhile, and for that I apologize. Life happens, and with small kids, it happens fast and without warning. However, we survived the summer, the vacations, the out of school kids, the back to school rush, and the death of another immediate family member (my mother in law). It's been a crazy ride. I'll write about surviving the summer in an upcoming post, I learned a lot.

     Remember I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. My opinions are exactly opinions. Thank you all for reading and being patient with my lack of posts while I struggled through a difficult summer. As always, comments, suggestions, topics are always welcome....criticism not so much  :)

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Review of the Eagle Nest Outfitters (ENO) Double Nest Hammok and One Link

     I have been wanting to try hammock camping for awhile now. My son has an Eagles Nest Outfitters (ENO) Single Nest which he carries on all camping/backpacking trips. He uses it to lounge around at the campsite, but sleeps in his tent. I wanted to camp in a hammock shelter system versus a tent. After some research on the Internet, and checking out a few different options at my local outfitter I decided to buy the ENO One Link system.

     The One Link shelter system comes with everything you need to camp in a hammock. It includes:
  • Hammock - Mine is the DoubleNest which is roomy enough, in theory, for two adults.
  • Bug Net - comes with a suspension line.
  • Rain Fly - with tie down cords and stakes.
  • Slap Straps Pro - The suspension straps for the hammock system, also includes caribiners.
  • Carry sacks for each component, and one larger sack that carries it all.

     I set up my hammock after packing it in about 5 miles on the AT (Appalachian Trail). The set up was easy and took about 10 minutes to set up all of the components. I had set up a single nest before, but never the whole One Fly system.  I didn't use all of the rain fly stakes, but tied the rain fly anchor cordage directly to trees near me. I think I used one stake so i could control which direction the run off went, should it actually rain. The rain fly provided shade more than anything else. The set up went exactly as described in the documentation that came with the One Fly, with the exception of the bug net.

     The suspension cordage on the bug net was too short, it was only about 5 feet long and couldn't be used. I called Eagle Nest Outfitters when I got back and explained the situation. They sent me a new piece of cord, no questions asked. I can't speak highly enough for their customer service. I spoke with s guy named Adam, who really knew hammock camping. We talked about new products and swapped camping stories. It was refreshing to speak with someone who actually USED the product they were selling.

     The high quality of materials used in immediately evident when you get in the hammock. Everything I needed was included in the set up, and I used everything that was included. It turned out to be about 25% cheaper to buy the One Link system vs. buying everything separately. I think I'll add some different caribiners, and the possum pouch so everything is within reach, but that's about it.

     The Double Nest is comfortable and roomy. Getting in and out of the hammock with the Bug Net in place was a little tricky, but was getting easier every time I did it. I'm not a small framed guy, I'm 6 feet tall and weigh about 250 pounds. I'm sure it was amusing to see me try to get back in my sleeping bag which was on my ground pad which was in my hammock which was inside a bug the dark. Keep a headlamp handy, if for no other reason than to see me try to get back in my hammock.

 Observations and suggestions:
  • Stretch the hammock very tightly the first time you use it. Let your weight settle it in for a couple of hours then re-set it. I work up and had settled about two feet below where I had originally set my hammock. This only happened the first time I used my hammock. The second time it only settled about 8 inches.
  • Use a ground pad in the hammock if it's going to be chilly or windy. Once you compress the insulation in your sleeping bag, you'll feel the cold air on your back every tine the wind blows.
  • Keep a headlight handy so you're hands are free to use when you're trying to get in and out of the hammock, zip up the bug net, rearrange your ground pad, etc.
  • Keep the attachment cords for the rain fly attached to the stakes and just roll them up in the fly. It will save you about 5 minutes next time you set it up. It probably won't fit back in the stuff sack for the rain fly, but it will all fit in the bigger sack anyways. I couldn't get the fly back in its stuff sack WITHOUT the stakes I left them on the second time I set it up and just never took them off again.
  •  Using a shorter ground pad might help with staying on top of it. I woke up with mine wrapped around my legs, and never could get it set right again. It was dark, in a sleeping bag, in a hammock, in a bug net. Not a lot of wiggle room, and not a lot of options short of re-setting everything back in place. No fun at 3AM.
     I like my hammock system and would recommend hammock camping. Getting the right gear makes all of the difference on the world.  I'm not an expert and I don't play one on the Internet. Comments, questions,  and suggestions are always welcome.

     As always, thank you for reading. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Surviving the Idiots in The Suburbs

     This is a topic near and dear to my heart. I am absolutely surrounded by idiots. I'm in an Idiot Rich Environment (IRE if you will). Why is this a problem you ask? Idiots are generally harmless. know how beer makes anything better; if the foods good, beer makes it great. If you're pissed off, a beer will make you mellow. If you're hot and tired, beer makes you feel better. Conversely, no matter how bad things are....idiots make them worse. No matter where you are, what time of day or night it is, or what the weather is, there will be an idiot around you. Surviving the idiots on a daily basis is an ordeal.     

     Idiots put in stressful situations become Super Idiots. For example, on the Appalachian Trail I saw an idiot pour all of his water out.
The conversation went like this - me: "Why are you pouring water out in the middle of the trail for everyone else to step on?"
Idiot: "It's heavy, I'm tired of carrying it."
Me: "Where are you going to get more water?"
Idiot: "I have more in the car, I'm only about 5 miles from the parking lot."
Me: "There's water closer if you can treat it"
Idiot: "I'm ok, the water in the car is bottled so I don't have to carry anything else."

  These are the kinds of idiots who leave their cars in the road obstructing traffic while they call AAA to fix a flat tire, or stand three deep in a doorway and have a conversation while others try to move around them. They're worse than Sheeple (Sheep people for the newbs). Generally sheeple have two modes; Graze and Stampede.....but idiots have a third mode: Obstruct. They have an uncanny ability to get in the way of anything productive and stand there. Just stand there....doing something completely unrelated.
     The question do we avoid and thereby survive idiots in our midst? We learn to identify traits of idiocy from a distance, and simply go another direction.  Easily identifiable traits of idiocy include, but are not limited to:
     People who are so self absorbed they fail to realize there is a line behind them, and they are the reason there is a line.
     People who are so unaware of their surroundings that they sit in plain view and pick their noses.
     People who will wait until a hurricane is within 2 hours of making landfall to go out and get supplies.
     People who think they can protect their family from a threat by "calling 9-1-1".
     The list goes on and on....please feel free to submit Traits of Idiocy to me either in the comments section or by e-mail. I'll post them as they come in.

    I think you'll find that idiots tend to congregate in certain areas. Avoiding these idiot rich areas is a good start to avoiding idiots in general, especially in a crisis. This post was written sort of tongue in cheek....sort of.

     I'm not an expert, and I don't play one on the Internet. Please feel free to comment and make suggestions. As always, thank you for reading.