Notes for Tuesday – June 30, 2015

June 30th is the second anniversary of the tragic death of 19 hotshots in the Yarnell Hill Fire (in 2013). o o o SurvivalBlog advertiser KI4U, Inc has just nailed down the master distributorship for Intershelter domes, and through the end of July they will be offering an Introductory Special that will save thousands of dollars off of normally $7,500 or $12,500 retail cost domes. Make sure you contact them directly, as they are not allowed to print the specials they are offering. o o o Repackbox is having a blowout sale: Genuine U.S. Military Issue AN/UDR-13 Radiac Units…NEW for $225 Brand New USA Made USGI M2A1 50 cal Ammo Cans…for $10 each o o o Today, we present another entry for Round 59 of the SurvivalBlog non-fiction writing contest. The $12,000+ worth of prizes for this round include: First Prize: A Gunsite Academy Three Day Course Certificate, good for any one, two, or three day course (a $1,195 value), 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, DRD Tactical is providing a 5.56 … Continue reading

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Amazing Affordable Force Multipliers – Part 2, by Tupreco

EMP-Proof Your Radio Comms With a USGI Ammo Can Inexpensively How can you EMP-proof select comm gear for under $100? You can do this more easily than you might think. Radio comms are radio-based systems that can communicate across distances from a few miles up to thousands of miles, under the right atmospheric conditions. In order of range (and cost) these radio comms include walkie talkies using the Family Radio Service (FRS) and the General Mobile Radio Service (GMRS). Next, at higher cost and more range, is citizens band radio or CB. At the top end in price and range is Amateur Radio, fondly known as Ham radio. Be aware that all cell-based devices, like cell phones and tablets, are also radio comm systems, but they all rely completely on third parties that are under government regulation to keep the system operational. For that reason we will limit ourselves to direct two-way radio issues only. The rugged storage capabilities provided by USGI metal ammo cans are obvious. But an amazing non-obvious feature is their ability to act as a shielding enclosure to protect your sensitive comm and other sensitive electronics from an EMP event. Large-scale high energy atmospheric transients can … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Amazing Affordable Force Multipliers

HJL, I enjoyed reading this article about inexpensive thermal/IR force multipliers, but there are a few things I’d like to mention about these. Turning on any smart phone in a combat situation would look like someone holding up a 60” flat screen to anyone with real night vision and would probably draw the attention of the naked eye too. PVS 4s can spot a man puffing on a cigarette from over a mile away, so imagine what the light emitted from a smart phone looks like whether it’s facing you or not. To use a thermal smart phone effectively, you’d need a shroud around it to prevent all the light from escaping and being picked up by other night vision devices. I suppose a baseball cap, some bailing wire, and some duct tape strategerie might make a decent smartphone/thermal/harness/shroud for hands-free and inconspicuous use. Smart phones also get hot while in use, so they’d be visible on thermal too. Also, another cheap but extremely effective night vision device is the one that came with the Call of Duty 2 video game. They are cheap, made in China, available on eBay, but are very effective in the dark. They’re fully shrouded … Continue reading

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News From The American Redoubt:

Navy SEAL Team veteran William Rapier will be the instructor for a SRC Rural Property Defensive Tactics Course, September 4th-6th, 2015, in Bonners Ferry, Idaho. o o o Mayor of Boise to pull down Mississippi state flag – T.H. o o o Washington: Hundreds of homes evacuated in central Washington fire’s path o o o Wyoming: Cheyenne sees boom in rabbit population o o o Montana: Texas Family of 10 Rescued in West Pioneers

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Economics and Investing:

Puerto Rico’s Governor Says Island’s Debts Are ‘Not Payable’ – JBG o o o When you have to trot out analysts to characterize something as a “calculated retreat” and “not a panic”, it’s a pretty good guess that the panic is on… Greek Debt Crisis – J.H. o o o Items from Mr. Econocobas: Greece Will Default To IMF Tomorrow, Government Official Says – There is still decisions to be played out here but if there is a “default” (extremely likely) and a no vote on Sunday, how this plays out could very well be very ugly… Greece Closing Banks as Expiring Bailout Spurs Withdrawals Credit Risk Gauges in Europe Rise by Most Since Lehman on Greece Greek Supermarkets Begin To Resemble Those Of Venezuela

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Odds ‘n Sods:

Federal Judge Orders Brady Center to Pay Ammo Dealer’s Legal Fees After Dismissing Lawsuit – D.S. o o o New Jacksonville, FL Bill would make it Illegal to Back into Your Own Driveway – T.P. HJL adds: The author of this bill is obviously not a fireman and has never spent time around a firehouse. For those who don’t know, pulling in front-wise to parking spots and then having to back out in a hurry or in an emergency is a sure-fire way of getting people hurt or killed. Emergency personnel know to take the extra time and back into their parking spot so when they leave in a hurry, they are pulling forward. o o o Newsday Editor: Carve Hate Speech Out Of First Amendment, Hold Websites Responsible If Users Post Hate Speech – B.B. o o o States Seeking Voter Citizenship Proof Denied by U.S. Supreme Court. – B.B. o o o The well-regarded “Selco” is now transitioning from purely online courses to also deliver physical courses as well. Interestingly, this is largely due to his assessment that the skills covered are going to be necessary for folks to use in the very near future and he feels … Continue reading

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Notes for Monday – June 29, 2015

June 29th, 1868 is the birthday of astronomer Dr. George E. Hale. Dr. Hale was credited with founding the Yerkes Observatory in Chicago and the Mount Wilson and Palomar Mountain Observatories in Southern California. He also invented the spectroheliograph and first learned that the sun’s outer shell is made of gas. He photographed colossal hurricanes of incandescent vapor and discovered that the flaming whirlpools of hydrogen leaped 300,000 miles from the surface of the sun and were large enough to engulf the earth like a cinder in a furnace.

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Scot’s Product Review: Blue Force Gear Vickers Combat Application Sling and More

I’m not sure who first coined the phrase, but whoever it was suggested that we think of a sling as a holster for a long gun, and I’ve always rather liked that analogy. Some slings also help the shooter be more accurate by providing support in shooting positions. By and large, however, the main use of the sling is to carry a long arm while keeping one or both hands free for other purposes. There are a number of types of slings and ways to attach them to a rifle or shotgun. The most common is a simple carry strap that attaches at the butt of the weapon and near the tip of the forend. To use it, we simply hang the rifle over our shoulder with the muzzle up or down. Muzzle up with the rifle over the dominant shoulder is called American carry, while muzzle down over the support shoulder is called African carry. Both styles have their proponents, and both have their uses. Knowing how to use the long arm from both positions is a good idea, if for no other reason than varying the shoulder that the rifle is carried on lessens fatigue. One generally should … Continue reading

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Pat Cascio’s Product Review: Kershaw’s Emerson CQC-4KXL

I still remember the first time I toured the Kershaw Knives plant, some 20+ years ago. It was for an article in Knives Illustrated. I wrote for Knives Illustrated for many years, probably longer than any other writer at that time, and I was promoted to their West Coast Field Editor position, where I mostly covered knives made in the Pacific Northwest area. To be sure, Oregon alone houses numerous knife companies itself. It might just be the cutlery capitol of the USA. Back during my first Kershaw tour, if I recall, they only had, at best, a couple dozen employees, who actually made and assembled the knives. During my last tour of Kershaw, they had just moved into a new building, and they were already making plans on expanding the building, because they were growing so fast. I didn’t count all the heads, but I’m guesstimating, Kershaw had a couple hundred employees producing the knives, not to mention all the administrative personnel in the front offices. I was given free-reign to walk around any place in the plant, talk to any employees I wanted to talk to, and take pictures of anything, with a few exceptions of some of … Continue reading

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Recipe of the Week: Baked Pineapple, by BanjoNinja

At our house, people would fight over the pineapple on an Easter or Christmas ham, until a friend suggested this recipe. It’s a favorite recipe, for the holidays or anytime, that is good tasting and relatively inexpensive to make: Ingredients: one can of crushed pineapple one can of chunked pineapple one can of pineapple rings 1 cup flour 3/4 cup brown sugar (packed), plus about 4 tablespoons for later 1/2 stick butter, chilled 1 tsp. cinnamon, plus more to taste Directions: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 x 13 baking dish with non-stick spray. Drain and reserve the juice from the crushed and chunk pineapple. Mix the crushed and chunk pineapple with the flour and brown sugar in large bowl. This mixture will be somewhat dry, so add the reserved juice a little at a time until it resembles a thick, lumpy milkshake. Add the cinnamon and mix thoroughly. Pour into the sprayed baking dish. Layer the pineapple rings on top of the mixture. Sprinkle the remaining brown sugar on top of the rings. Slice the chilled butter into slices, and arrange them on the pineapple rings. Season with cinnamon on top. Add more of the reserved pineapple … Continue reading

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Letter Re: Illusive Self-Sufficiency

HJL, I have a question for you and the SB readers. This is our third year living on our rural retreat and fifth year prepping in earnest. We have animals, a large garden, stored food, and other essentials. We’ve come a long way, but I can’t help but think when I survey everything how far we still have to go to become truly self-sufficient. Our garden wouldn’t come close to feeding our family year-round, but I’m already stretched to capacity with the current size, not to mention the animals and general farm chores (like cutting and splitting wood for the winter). Of course, I still have a day job, but it is flexible as I am self-employed. In a TEOTWAWKI scenario, all my time would be freed up for manual labor, but still, true self-sufficiency seems like an illusive dream. I’m curious how others are doing on their quest towards self-sufficiency and if they have any sage advice to share. Thanks – RG HJL Replies: True, complete self-sufficiency is tough to achieve and generally results in compromises and lifestyle choices that we wouldn’t normally choose. When you have no one else to depend on, you have to produce everything yourself. … Continue reading

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