JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. This week the focus is on Mystic Monk Coffee. (See the Gear & Grub section.)


The Sovereign Individual by James Davidson and Lord Rees-Mogg

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Dark Agenda: The War to Destroy Christian America. Not surprisingly, David Horowitz has been banned by Twitter. You can hear Horowitz describe some of the main themes of his book, here.

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Unfreedom of the Press, by Mark Levin. This book won’t be released until May 21st, but with pre-orders it is already ranked #7, overall on Amazon.com!

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DIY Projects for the Self-Sufficient Homeowner: 25 Ways to Build a Self-Reliant Lifestyle


Mary Poppins. (This is not the recent re-make!)

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The Russians out-Hollywood all Hollywood Action/Disaster Films, in: The Crew. Note that total suspension of disbelief is required. Just go with it, and make a big batch of popcorn. Also note that the translated subtitles are often heavily paraphrased or downright changed to omit some idiomatic expressions, so that will be distracting for anyone who speaks any Russian. And some of the dialogue is so rapid-fire that you’ll also need the ability to ready subtitles very quickly–or hit “Pause”. Available for free streaming for those with Amazon Prime.

Instructional Videos:

Mastering Krav Maga Home Study (Vol. IV) 8 DVDs: Defending the 12 Most Common Unarmed Attacks (Beginner to Advanced)

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Removing a stuck case with a grease gun.

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How to Rebuild a Leaking Hydraulic Ram from Start to Finish.


Stuff You Should Know. (I recommend skipping most of their political topic episodes. But their practical topic episodes are quite good.)

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Fix It 101 (produced by NPR, but this show is refreshingly apolitical, aside for a few environmental references.)

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The Sharp End. “Each month, The Sharp End brings to life stories from the pages of Accidents in North American Climbing, the annual publication of the American Alpine Club (AAC). Host Ashley Saupe interviews the climbers, skiers, and rescuers involved in life-threatening incidents and shares their lessons,…”

Gear & Grub (Mystic Monk Coffee)

I just heard that Mod Armory in Colorado–best known for their night vision gear–is now selling some New Old Stock (NOS) razor-type concertina wire.

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The ever-popular Lodge brand cast iron skillet and griddle.

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Have you ever heard of Mystic Monk coffee?  This variety is a friend’s favorite: Mystic Monk Coffee: Midnight Vigils Blend Whole Bean (Dark Roast 100% Arabica) – 32 ounce bag. But blog reader “PJGT” wrote to mention that he likes their Cowboy Coffee blend (a mix of dark and lighter beans.)  The beans are all roasted in Wyoming. Yes, they really are Carmelite monks.)

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If you want genuine Solingen knives for your kitchen, there is always:  Wusthof Knife Block Set – 12-piece – Forged Legende Series.

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This stores remarkably well: Armour Banner Sausages, Easy Open, 10.5 Ounce (Pack of 12)

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One of our favorites, not available in some grocery stores: Sweet Baby Ray’s Barbecue Sauce, 18 Ounce (Pack of 2)

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact form.) Thanks!


  1. Or better yet, seriously search and find the excellent Griswold and Wagner cast iron. I started collecting it years ago and there is still a bunch out there. Hit those yard sales hard and you’ll bring home some treasures. New Gen folks don’t want Grampa and Grandma’s ‘old junk’.

    Still, you can do some hard work and grind out/polish the Lodge iron if you want to.

    1. Out of curiosity, I checked with the company. The 25 feet refers to the deployed distance once the wire is unrolled. It is not the mere length of the wire in the coil.

      I was told that there is little of the wire left, so those who want it should move fast.

      I have seen surplus concertina wire show up on eBay from time to time. It is far superior to simple barbed wire for defensive purposes. It is so dangerous that its deployment requires the use of very thick gloves in order to prevent injury.

  2. re:
    Lodge™ cast-iron pots and pans

    [I owned a restaurant for ten years; I have some experience in the kitchen.]

    Anytime I snag a fingernail, I go into any store carrying Lodge™ products. With a few quick swipes across the cooking surface of any Lodge™ product, I remove enough objectionable material to smooth my nails back into service.

    Another way of saying this == Lodge™ products are unusable rough, the bare minimum structure to hold heat while foods are contained by the walls of the pot or pan.

    For any sincere explorer of the culinary arts, many dozens of better alternatives are available. Check the offerings at a local-owned cooking store in your local community.

    If you want to insult a professional cook, offer them Lodge™.
    If you are out of ammo during a siege, Lodge™ probably makes an adequate bludgeon.

    As an experiment, I acquired a Lodge™ skillet at a yard-sale for us$.25 [twenty-five cents], then used an orbital sander in an attempt to remove enough of the high-points on the cooking surface so it would approximate my heritage cookware inherited from the elders in my family. Hours later, the Lodge™ skillet was ‘mostly’ smooth… but still too heavy to use by anybody except dedicated bodybuilders and hefty farmgirls.

    For a delicate blossom with refined sensitivities == such as your modestly-blushing correspondent == Lodge™ remains the ‘bad example’ lesson.

    1. My husband and I have only been using cast iron for about 20 years, and it took us about 10 years to discover that using a stainless steel pancake turner makes the surface smooth, even on a Lodge. We don’t mind Lodge for that purpose. Probably about 85% of our cast iron ware is Lodge. The main problem with Lodge is that it doesn’t come “seasoned, ready to go” as has been stated on the packaging.

    2. Okay, educate me. I have 4 Lodge skillets and have never had any problems with the food cooked in them. I own one Le Creuset stock cooker that is beloved. At $400 I don’t know if I could afford another. Finex is now produced in Oregon and seems very nice. I don’t own any, so I have no personal knowledge. What is the ultimate cast iron?

  3. The price for a 25 foot section of concertina in San Antonio is $37. MOD is “liquidating” their stock? At that price, they’ll have plenty forever.

  4. Armour meats, are owned by Smithfield Foods, owned by WH Group, which is a Chinese-owned company.
    They also own Berlinki, Carando, Cook’s, Curly’s, Eckrich, Farmland, Gwaltney, Healthy Ones, John Morrell, Krakus, Kretschmar, Margherita, Morliny, Nathan’s Famous, and Smithfield. Just so you know.

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