Note from JWR:

Today we present another entry for Round 49 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $8,500+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) B.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), F.) A $300 Gift Certificate from Freeze Dry Guy. G.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. H.) A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com. The current value of this roll is at least $225, and I.) VPN tunnel, DigitalSafe and private e-mail annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad. They have a combined value of $265. Second Prize: A.) A gift certificate worth $1,000, courtesy of Spec … Continue reading

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Return to the Salsa Garden by S.M. in Arizona

When I wrote my first article for SurvivalBlog back in July, I thought I covered about everything I knew or wanted to say about gardening.  As I have worked in my garden over the past few months, I’ve realized how much more there is to gardening and how a garden changes with the seasons.  Perhaps with the exception of August, something is happening every month in a Desert Southwest garden.  The salsa garden goes through many changes as it morphs from summer salsa garden to winter salad garden.  Each year there are new surprises in October and November as some vegetables are harvested and others are pulled and new plants put in their place.  Autumn temperatures have been especially warm here this year, but the evenings have finally been cooling down so the plants can rest and respirate at night.  Last year at this time I had many ripe tomatoes, but because it stayed hot longer this year the tomatoes took longer to come back so all of the tomatoes are small and green right now.  Some of the Romas are getting big.  I hope the weather will hold long enough to let them ripen.  One surprise this fall was … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Alternative Power Systems

Dear Mr Rawles, Mr J’s submission makes interesting and useful reading, however I would like to add a few observations on the subject to possibly aid the decision making/wallets of people who are building/upgrading photovoltaics systems. – Batteries: if at all possible get used golf cart batteries that have been properly maintained. Around here they get recycled for a $25 core charge which is easy to beat. My deep cell batteries are now 4-5 years old (2 seasons in various golf carts and 2.5 years in my battery bank. They are in like new condition as they take really well to charging with photovoltaic panels. The biggest enemy of deep cell batteries is repeated fast discharge / too deep discharge cycles. The smaller your bank the more likely it is that your batteries will be subject to these. 3 batteries delivering 300Ah may sound like a lot of power but isn’t. If you are pulling a 500W load @ 85% efficiency, the batteries must deliver (500/.85)/12.5 = 47A. That is 16A each, while their safe discharge rate (C20) is about 6A (114/20). If the wiring in the bank is not ideal, 1 battery may even have to provide half the … Continue reading

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Economics and Investing:

2014 – Internationalization Of The Yuan, The Opening Of Saudi Arabia, The Implosion Of The EU, And Three Of The Last Pillars Of The Dollar Crumble R.I.P. USA November 21, 2013 Items from The Economatrix: Stamp Prices To Go Up 1 Cent In January Applications For Jobless Benefits Fall Again Nasdaq Closes Above 4,000 For First Time In 13 Years

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Anyone looking for tree felling rigging and climbing gear for arborists should check out Sherrill Tree.    o o o Reader B.M. mentioned a web page of interest to anyone living in cold country and of great interest to anyone who lives on Alaska’s Tanana River: Dangerous Ice. JWR Adds: BTW, I learned riverine operations in power boats on the Tanana, when I attended Northern Warfare School, back in 1980. That was great fun.    o o o Outrage of the Week: Do as I Say, Not as I Do–New York Elitists Ray Kelly and Mayor Bloomberg Think Their Safety is More Important than Yours. OBTW, some pundits have suggested that one reason that Bloomberg wants to keep his entire armed guard entourage intact and well-paid is to keep them quiet. (That is, quiet about what they might have seen or overheard while guarding His Honor.)    o o o More Nanny State tentacles: US seeks to fine websites if disabled are unable to use

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Jim’s Quote of the Day:

“Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision. Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: the LORD hath said unto me, Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession. Thou shalt break them with a rod of iron; thou shalt dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel. Be wise now therefore, O ye kings: be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all they … Continue reading

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Notes from JWR:

Today is the birthday of Clive Staples (“C.S.”) Lewis (born 1898, died 1963.) — Today we present another entry for Round 49 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $8,500+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A.) Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three course. (A $1,195 value.) B.) A course certificate from onPoint Tactical. This certificate will be for the prize winner’s choice of three-day civilian courses. (Excluding those restricted for military or government teams.) Three day onPoint courses normally cost $795, and C.) Two cases of Mountain House freeze dried assorted entrees in #10 cans, courtesy of Ready Made Resources. (A $350 value.) D.) a $300 gift certificate from CJL Enterprize, for any of their military surplus gear, E.) A 9-Tray Excalibur Food Dehydrator from Safecastle.com (a $300 value), F.) A $300 Gift Certificate from Freeze Dry Guy. G.) A $250 gift certificate from Sunflower Ammo. H.) A roll of $10 face value in pre-1965 U.S. 90% silver quarters, courtesy of GoldAndSilverOnline.com. The current value of this roll is at least $225, and I.) VPN tunnel, DigitalSafe and private e-mail annual subscriptions from Privacy Abroad. They have a combined … Continue reading

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Leadcentric Survival, by John in California

What follows is what I’ve done and why I did what I did. As they say, “At least have the sense of an old cow; eat the hay, and leave the sticks.” I hope there is some hay herein. I have links to vendors/manufacturers/forums/whatever, which I have found to be useful/interesting. Precious Metals: Sb – Sn – Pb aka 51, 52, and 82. These are the atomic “names” and numbers on the Periodic Table for Antimony, Tin, and Lead, respectively. Most people think of AG and AU, 47 and 79 on the Periodic Table, Gold and Silver respectively, as precious metals. If you are into “cast boolits,” as cast bullets are affectionately known, then “Red-Neck Gold” is lead, aka Galena. The silver stream which makes bullets. I’m not going to get into the details of lead and lead alloys other than to make a few observations. For some reason when I think of lead bullets, I think of Mel Gibson’s character in the great movie, The Patriot, crouched over a fire, melting down lead toy soldiers and casting musket balls with a simple hand mold, in his furious effort to exterminate as many Red Coats as possible. Lead casting can … Continue reading

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Letter Re: The Poor Man’s UAV: First Person Video-Controlled RC Planes

Hello James, While researching availability of a First Person Video controlled RC plane I have come across two viable contenders.  One is incredibly affordable (less than $400) and the other I’m awaiting pricing on.  These are ridiculously valuable tools to scout remote areas, perform surveillance/security, and get a lay of the land. The first is the Spyhawk.  It is for sale at their web site or at Amazon.   On the controller is a small display and you can pilot the craft from that controller.  You can watch a good video here. The second is the Zephyr II. There are some people who have expanded it’s range up to 27 miles.  For some exhilarating video of it flying through the mountains, urban areas, and downtown New York City, check out this Youtube channel.  The mini-UAVs are massive force levelers, IMHO.  Imagine knowing the ground around you in a 27 mile radius as if you had walked every canyon, climbed every ridge, and mapped out every drainage.  Limitless possibilities!  Imagine scouting out your local town to see what is around you or what the easiest way out of town is.  Keep track of local herds of wildlife and predators.  In a grid … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Light Blocking Suggestions for Windows

Hi, Here in Alaska, people often block incoming light with a single layer of aluminum foil.. the kind from the supermarket.  It is difficult to sleep here in summer when the sun never sleeps.  This same method would work to keep light in.  Advantages: Inexpensive light weight easy to store non-permanent non-toxic Regards, – Carol S.

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Economics and Investing:

In case you missed seeing it, there was a good summary documentary released in 2012: Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis Items from The Economatrix: Prepare For What’s Coming: “The Largest Financial Collapse This Planet Has Ever Seen” Is The Federal Reserve Looking At Monetizing Student Loan Debt? Paul Craig Roberts:  Federal Reserve And Wall Street Assassinate US Dollar

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Reader Gregg P. suggested this piece: Blackwater founder Erik Prince on why private militaries are the future. Gregg asks: “How will mercenary armies behave, after the Schumer Hits the Fan?”    o o o JRH Enterprises is continuing their Black Friday sale on New Gen 3+ Pinnacle Autogated PVS-14s, all ITT made tubes, with 5 year warranty. Comes with all the accessories plus a free weapons mount and shuttered eye guard. JRH is also throwing in an Infrared Beacon as well, all for $2,595. They also have other Black Friday sales in progress on FLIR Scout Thermal Imagers and Dakota Alert (MURS band) perimeter security alarms.    o o o T.C. in Minnesota mentioned a video from American Family Now about adding a wood stove to an RV camper for $200.  T.C. notes: “Their blog is also full of good information.  They are a family of six living in an RV.”    o o o Montie Gear (one of our newest advertisers) has announced some Black Friday/Cyber Monday specials.    o o o Camping Survival has announced three upcoming specials: Mountain House Sale – Black Friday – Cyber Monday    o o o Ready Made Resources is running a pre-Christmas … Continue reading

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