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JWR’s Recommendations of the Week:

Here are JWR’s Recommendations of the Week for various media and tools of interest to SurvivalBlog readers. The focus is usually on emergency communications gear, bug out bag gear, books and movies–often with a tie-in to disaster preparedness, and links to “how to” self-sufficiency videos. There are also links to sources for both storage food and storage containers. You will also note an emphasis on history books and historical movies. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. This week the focus is on guitar music. (See the Music section.)


I haven’t yet read this new book, but the 200+ positive reviews make it look promising: Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science [1].

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The Micro-Hydro Pelton Turbine Manual: Design, Manufacture and Installation for Small-Scale Hydro-Power [2]

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Just recently released non-fiction: Tombstone: The Earp Brothers, Doc Holliday, and the Vendetta Ride from Hell [3]

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Guerrilla Wife [4]

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Half Baked Harvest Super Simple: More Than 125 Recipes for Instant, Overnight, Meal-Prepped, and Easy Comfort Foods: A Cookbook [5]

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The Complete Book of Combat Handgunning.  [6](The author, Chuck Taylor, passed away last week. RIP.)


Zulu [7](50th Anniversary Edition) [Blu-ray]

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The Ten Commandments [8] (1956)

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The Hobbit: The Motion Picture Trilogy [9] (Extended Edition, on Blu-ray)

Instructional Videos & Vlogs:

How To Build Your Own Hot Wire Foam Cutter [10]

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Shelter Wrestling! [11]

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The Army’s new Sniper Rifle (MK22 ASR) with Retired Special Forces Sniper Kevin Owens [12]

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And more just for fun: PASS THE MAG! with Military Arms, IV8888, Brandon Herrera and MORE! [13]


Chet Atkins: Certified Guitar Player [14]

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Guitarist Billy Strings sings one of my all-time favorite ballads: Tennessee Stud [15]. And if you’d like to binge on Billy’s music:  Billy Strings – Train, Train [16]. JWR’s Comment:  Billy is approaching the Chet Atkins level of guitar virtuosity. And I’ve never heard a scratch-picking solo quite like his! (Starting at the 4:55 mark.) I must mention that the other members of his band are also all great musicians! And here is this, much more recently, showing his versatility, across genres: Billy Strings Solo Livestream Pt. 1: 1-6-20 [17]. Oh, and here is some chord and technique analysis by a guitar teacher, who is also a fan of Billy Strings [18].

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And speaking of guitar: Rodrigo y Gabriela – Take Five – kitchen rehearsal (Lumbini Sessions) [19]

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A truly  unique singing voice… Iris Dement: Easy’s Gettin’ Harder Every Day [20]

Gear & Grub:

As noted several times in SurvivalBlog, a deer cart [21] can also be used for cross-country bugout gear hauling.

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High Security New 290 Degree Peephole Wide Angle in Black Door viewer [22]

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Hunters Specialties 006458 Game Hoist Lift System [23] (600 Pound Capacity)

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Even if you don’t presently bake any bread, you should tuck one of these in the back of your freezer, just in case: Red Star Active Dry Yeast, 2 Pound Pouch [24]

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Nutiva Organic Cold-Pressed Virgin Coconut Oil, 54 Ounce [25]

Featured Antique Gun of the Week

Our featured antique gun of the week is a Winchester Model 1890 Takedown in .22 W.R.F. that was made in 1898 [26].  Like most other pre-1899s, it can be mailed or shipped directly to your doorstep without any paperwork or FFL dealer involvement. (Be sure to check your state and local laws before ordering.) Take a look at the many recently-added guns at the Elk Creek Company [27]store. Note that I’ll be shutting down for some travel for the entire month of June, 2020, so get your order in soon!

Make a Suggestion

Want to suggest Recommendations of your own? Then please send them to JWR [28]. (Either via e-mail of via our Contact [29] form.) Thanks!

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#1 Comment By Ani On May 20, 2020 @ 9:04 am

Yeast! Yay! Ordered it, although cheaper through another Amazon seller. And just got the word yesterday that my long-awaited freezer will be available later this week so perfect timing!

#2 Comment By RKRGRL68 On May 20, 2020 @ 2:13 pm


Wahoo! So glad you’re getting that freezer! I just got a call yesterday that the extra freezer I ordered won’t be in for a couple more weeks but because I have a large one already and this one is just an extra, I’m not upset about it taking longer. In fact, the lady that called was so happy that I didn’t scream and yell at her, she is crediting my account 10% for being so understanding!
Wahoo, it pays to be nice!!

Have a Rockin great day!!

#3 Comment By tz On May 20, 2020 @ 11:49 am

I suspect it is 190 degree, not 290 for the peep hole viewer.

190 is standard for a fisheye – I have two USB webcams on my truck and replaced the stock lenses with fisheyes as parking and driving aids. And they do go 190 as I can see the sun or the moon in both if they are directly to the right or left.
The only problem is for actual driving and viewing the angle is so wide that even cars that are near are only a small part of the screen.

#4 Comment By Idahoser On May 20, 2020 @ 2:18 pm

I’ve been meaning for weeks to join the free lessons for 3 months offered by Fender. I expect it’ll disappear before I get around to it.
this should get you there, I cut a large amount of gobbledygook from the end.

#5 Comment By TeresaSue On May 20, 2020 @ 3:22 pm

I used to buy that yeast pre-Coronavirus at Costco for around $5. I am not paying $20 for that yeast now. Instead I have been working on my sourdough bread making skills, made with my own starter not from starter offered from some “artisanal” flour company.
My feeling is this; if life after Coronavirus is not sustainable in the mode before Coronavirus then change to what is sustainable. Adapt and survive.

#6 Comment By SaraSue On May 20, 2020 @ 9:16 pm

I hear you. Sourdough baker here, but… I make all kinds of things and yeast is important. I’m frustrated with the prices, but decided to go ahead and purchase. 2lbs for $14.49 and I think there was a shipping fee, but I couldn’t find it anywhere else for a reasonable price. It can be frozen, so I plan on freezing it. I will see how some of my pastries might be modified without it, but it’s going to be tough.

#7 Comment By teresa house On May 20, 2020 @ 10:30 pm

I know. I do too. I get what you’re saying, I really do. I’m 65 and I’ve been baking and cooking my whole life and I have favorite recipes I go to time and again because they are familiar and comforting. For me and my family.
I guess what it comes down to is, yes, I prep. I was doing it before it was ever a thing because my husband worked construction and the paychecks are either feast or famine in that profession. But at heart I lean toward survival. Survival means adapting. Preps will eventually run out, but knowledge you can use until you leave the planet. :). I’m even thinking of organizing my recipes with the recipes that do not need any exotic (exotic to North Idaho) ingredients like coconut, bananas, chocolate, etc. so I have them handy if such a time that those aren’t available to me here.
Peace and Blessings

#8 Comment By SaraSue On May 20, 2020 @ 11:41 pm

I hear you. I’m middle of Idaho and I’ve been thinking the same way – plan for eliminating everything that cannot be locally sourced for sustainability. But, what about the chocolate and coffee???? LOL. If you come up with some really good light pastry type recipes (like a brioche) without using yeast, I’d love to hear about it. I don’t even know how dry yeast or baking soda is made or how it actually works as opposed to capturing wild yeast and making a sourdough, which I am experienced in. I guess I should do my research and figure that out, and start experimenting. Thank you for sharing!

#9 Comment By TeresaSue On May 21, 2020 @ 1:25 am

I’ve heard roasted dandelion root is a good substitute for coffee but I’m a tea drinker so your mileage may vary on that one. It’ll be sad panda time as far as tea and chocolate go though, lolz. I’d probably go herbal for my tea.‍♀️ I have very nice specimen of true peppermint growing in my garden. In the old times chocolate cake was for a REALLY special occasion and wasn’t seen often and they used as little chocolate as they could. Like red velvet cake really has a small amount of chocolate in the recipe. I cheat, I add more. 🙂
I’ve enjoyed visiting with you.

#10 Comment By BinWY On May 21, 2020 @ 12:35 am

Well, I’m 56, male and new to baking so my coronavirus activity has been learning to bake bread. My question is two-fold. First, I have an old (5+ years I estimate) hiding in the back of my fridge. Can it be revived? And second, if not, what is the process for creating a wild sourdough yeast culture to start over?

#11 Comment By TeresaSue On May 21, 2020 @ 1:32 am

I’m assuming you have a sourdough starter in your fridge….for five years….well if you haven’t fed it, it is probably dead. Here is a great starter recipe:


I’ve tried the bread recipe, it was too eggy for our taste and too dark on top. I’m trying the English muffins next week. I used the starter with my regular bread recipe today and with some adjustments it was quite acceptable.

Get the starter going then we can help you to get to the bread. God bless.

#12 Comment By VT On May 21, 2020 @ 3:19 pm

Test for viability by adding a small amount to warm(105F) water(distilled/spring if tap water chlorinated/fluorinated) with a small amount of sugar dissolved. If it becomes foamy the yeast is still good. Yeast can be dormant for a long time. Sourdough yeast is just wild yeast captured and found t produce a different taste. You can capture wild yeast by putting a bowl of sugar/flour/water out in the open it will be colonized in short order but it may or may not be to your liking.

#13 Comment By VT On May 21, 2020 @ 3:26 pm

If the yeast is active it may be perpetuated by making a batch then using a part as a starter and “feeding” the rest regularly(add flour/water/sugar). I have kept a batch alive and useful for over a year this way(only stopped because I stopped eating bread)

#14 Comment By CharlieFoxtrot On May 20, 2020 @ 4:25 pm

I had the chance to see Billy Strings in concert in 2019. He is amazing in person. Thanks for all the great recommendations.

#15 Comment By J&M On May 20, 2020 @ 4:52 pm

On Netflix, “What Happened To Monday?” dystopian flick about identical septuplets (7) trying to survive in a one child govt. mandated world. The movie has a subtle pro life message, and I was struck by the similarities between the mandated I.D. bracelets and govt. checkpoints in the movie, and the current temperature screening, required mask wearing, contact tracing, and proposed vaccine bio chips. Stars William Dafoe as the grandfather raising and teaching his granddaughters to survive. Warning; there is a sex scene about 3/4 into the movie.

#16 Comment By Nathan Hail (not to be confused with generic Nathan) On May 20, 2020 @ 7:54 pm

I cancelled Netflix when they signed a $60 million dollar contract with the Obamas for them to provide “content” for their network. Netflix=evil.

#17 Comment By Vickie On May 21, 2020 @ 1:02 am

What does content mean?

#18 Comment By VT On May 21, 2020 @ 3:29 pm

Payoff-postdated bribe

#19 Comment By J&M On May 21, 2020 @ 8:37 pm

Then don’t watch it then, that is why it’s called a “suggestion.” Netflix does have some good content, like “Fauda” which I will support by watching, and some that are SJW propaganda, which I do not support. Netflix shows run the gamut. Netflix is a business, and only content that is popular is renewed. We cannot hope to win the war of ideas by ceding the entertainment battle space (and that is what it has become) to the enemy. I frequently hear people complain that Hollywood doesn’t produce anything good anymore, yet they will not support, by watching, the few good movies and shows that are made. (Last Man Standing, 1917, Unbroken, Hacksaw Ridge, Extraction, The Revenant, etc.)

#20 Comment By just fish On May 20, 2020 @ 6:48 pm

Billy Strings! If that was the name he was born with that is awesome.
I had not seen or heard of him before this recommendation.
I will listen a lot more.

Thank You

#21 Comment By James Wesley Rawles On May 20, 2020 @ 10:13 pm

I believe that “Strings” is a stage name. His father’s name is Barber.

#22 Comment By teresa house On May 20, 2020 @ 8:42 pm

Side note. After trying unfamiliar bread recipes with the sourdough starter I made my regular bread recipe today with the starter. I’m very happy with the outcome. If commercial yeast becomes available once again at a reasonable price I will probably buy it because of the convenience, but now I KNOW i can turn out a really good loaf of bread without commercial yeast. Praise the Lord!

#23 Comment By just fish On May 20, 2020 @ 10:31 pm

Thanks Mr. Rawles,
I believe you are correct. Strings is a stage name. I have been on a search since you provided his video links. Now if I could just move these arthritic fingers like him.

My brother sent me a video where Billy talks about how his father had sold his Martin to pay bills some time ago. When he turned 17, Billy found his fathers old guitar on line and bought it back for him.
Good son, great player. Thanks again.

#24 Comment By Kelley On May 21, 2020 @ 1:09 am

I have flour but no yeast so will try hardtack. On another note checkout COVID 19 and Doxycycline. Doxycycline is another antimalarial drug and seems to have positive results in treating the virus in an invitro study. It behaves somewhat on the lines of hydroxychloroquine but is an antibiotic. Who says you cannot treat a viral infection with an antibiotic. Check it out on google. talk to your doctor about it and see what they say about the drug. I think zinc also may be involved with this drug per the research article. Yippee am able to go back to the gym.

#25 Comment By BWL On May 21, 2020 @ 1:22 am

For fans of The Hobbit – look for the audiobook on YouTube by a group called bluefax. My wife and I just finished it last week. Complete story and fantastic dramatization. Even the songs were well done.

#26 Comment By Richard On May 21, 2020 @ 3:50 am

Link to Earp/doc don’t connect

#27 Comment By Paul On May 21, 2020 @ 4:58 am

Watch your expiration date on the doxycycline. Two years after expiration, it is probably not useable. Becomes toxic. Other antibiotics are pretty safe, you just have to use more to compensate for loss of potency. Tetracycline is also dangerous after expiration. Mayo clinic did an aging study on a wide range of meds for DoD.
I am not a doctor, pharmacist, just do a lot of research on meds and shelf life.