The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods:

SurvivalBlog presents another edition of The Survivalist’s Odds ‘n Sods— a collection of news bits and pieces that are relevant to the modern survivalist and prepper from “HJL”.

Impressive Homemade Machine Tool

Reader W.T. sent in this impressive article and video on a home built machine tool that is accurate and capable of most small to medium machining tasks with this comment:

“As you know, I love machining, so I’m always interested simple ways to do precision work. Here’s a simple machining center that can be made in the home shop. The basic “frame” for this machine is a 4 cylinder engine block. The inventor certainly has a creative eye to see the resources that surround him. Even in a post-SHTF world, we will have the building blocks for some impressive machinery.”

Weaponizing Hardware Store Goods

One of our favorite YouTube channels is JoergSprave’s Slingshot channel. Back in 2015, Paramount Pictures released the zombie apocalypse movie “Scouts Guide to the Zombie Apocalypse” and Joerg was asked to do some promotion for it. The premise is that several young scouts get trapped in a hardware store and use everyday items to create weapons. Kind of like McGuyver used too. In any case, Joerg again shows that some pretty devastating weaponry can be made from things people don’t usually see as weapons. Thanks to M.S. for the link.

Illiteracy Leads to Censorship

Reader H.L. sent in this article on how illiteracy in a population leads to censorship and eventually some form of dictatorial government. She also notes:

“When I read speeches of our Founding Fathers, early Presidents, the classics from the 1700’s/1800’s and then modern novels and even non-fiction, I see the lack of words of more than two syllables. What used to be called “flowery speech” often conveys a richness of understanding a subject, and is a pleasure to read. I realize the “Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” are enjoyed by many young people, but to me it always seemed like “senseless drivel”.

The Nursery Rhymes of the 1800’s are more illustrative and clever. Beautiful, and meaningful words are now called “archaic”. As Ayn Rand stated, “words have meanings”, and the fewer words we read and understand, the more narrow our ideas and knowledge becomes. It is possible to own a dictionary from the 1800’s by going to eBay and purchasing one to help should you decide to read an “old” book. Sadly, studies show that the average American’s vocabulary is under 2000 words!”

This discourse reminds me of one of my children’s favorite stories – The Three Little Pigs; A Triune Tale of Diminutive Swine which is a retelling of the traditional story in Shakespearean language by John Branyan. You can also hear this retelling on YouTube. While humorous, it underscores the problem of limited language very well.

Cold Steel Rawles Limited Edition Voyager XL

We are now witnessing the inevitable price jump in Rawles XL Voyager knives. That was a limited edition, with all proceeds sent to charity. Opening bids on auctions of these knives now seem to be around $140, if they are still new-in-box. And I’ve seen them sell for as much as $190. Just beware that there are some “Rawles” Chinese counterfeits on the market. Those come in a variety of blade styles and colors. The originals came only with a black blade with a tanto point, and half-serrated. If you see anything else for sale, then it is a fake!

Keanu Shredding with Taran Butler

In training for the action flick “John Wick 2”, Keanu Reeves spent many hours on the range with Taran Butler training. Occasionally some of that footage was released and it makes for some exciting times. This is the “directors cut” of his training. Some of this video we’ve seen before, but this is cool.

JWR’s Comment: Unlike most other Hollywood actors who only train with blanks, Keanu Reeves walks the walk. Or should I say “runs and guns.”

Survival Realty has a reasonable property listed in Jasper, Arkansas. At 42.5 surveyed acres of forested mountain land the property is a secure retreat. There are multiple streams and waterfalls on the property and some natural springs. The property is powered by a large 2.2kw off-grid solar array with an automatic propane generator on stand-by.

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Please send your news tips to HJL. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) These are often especially relevant, because they come from folks who watch news that is important to them. Due to their diligence and focus, we benefit from fresh “on target” news. We often “get the scoop” on news that is most likely ignored (or reported late) by mainstream American news outlets. Thanks!


  1. “Illiteracy Leads to Censorship”: Early political campaign speeches used a loftier language of much greater intellect of that today because the vote was restricted to free men that were landowners and were by distinction well-educated. Today that sounds wrong, but the consequences were for the good of wealth and industry. The results of the dumbing down evolution are Robin Hood policies and promises that divide and promote poverty.

  2. 2,000-word vocabulary? Yoicks! Weaponsman’s blog once linked to a test to determine the size of a person’s vocabulary. Many of us were around 30,000 words.

    1. I think the 2000 number is low, but as a high school teacher I could believe a working vocabulary of about 3000. The working vocabulary is the words that you use in normal conversation. This number is always a fraction of your total vocabulary which are words that you understand. A person with a 3000 word working vocabulary probably has a total vocabulary north of 15000. I think I read somewhere that Shakespear’s working vocabulary was around 30000 and his total vocabulary was about 80000.

  3. I disagree that the lack of words with more than two syllables is indicative of illiteracy. Use the word that best fits the intent of the sentence. In many cases, one- or two-syllable words work well. Reading some of the nineteenth century politicians’ speeches leads me to believe they were speaking to impress rather than express. Nuances are important, and sometimes the three, four, or five syllable words express the intent best. But just as often, short words do the job well. Strunk and White would agree.

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