SurvivalBlog Readers’ & Editors’ Snippets

This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.

Reader J.M.D. wrote to mention:

“Baofeng has come out with the GT-5R, a US-legal version of the venerable UV-5R. Transmission is limited to 144-148MHz & 420-450MHz (Ham 2m & 70cm bands), so no more FRS/GMRS/MURS/Marine transmissions like the original UV-5R and its variants. They claim all of the original UV-5R accessories will work with it

Of course, the original UV-5R and its variants are still available on many direct-from-China web sites like eBay, AliExpress and Banggood.”

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Avalanche Lily told me about this surprising television news clip: ‘Oh my God, I just pushed a bear:’ Viral video shows teenage girl protecting dogs from bear attack.

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In a recent video, Jon Patton (of TGC News) breaks down how… NEW ATF PISTOL BRACE RULE WOULD TURN MILLIONS TO FELONS.

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In response to the recent piece by St. Funogas on can jar lid science, Jeffrey wrote to mention a no-longer-produced, but still widely available device:

“We found a great kitchen tool made by Pry-A-Lid, online. It removes canning car lids without denting or damaging the lids.”

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Ray sent this amazing video: Man Digs a Hole in a Mountain and Turns it Into an Amazing Apartment.

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Professor Wagstaff wrote:

“A quick comment regarding “An Electric Car for TEOTWAWKI? by S.B.”
First, I think this real world, hands on report is worth a thousand theoretical articles. Thanks for that.
However, it confirms my belief that I wouldn’t want to be dependent on an electric vehicle, especially in a SHTF scenario.
The biggest problem I see is the time it takes to recharge. Also, a temporary pipe line shut down is one thing,
but what do you do if the electric grid goes down long term? Or we end up in a third world situation where
electric power is only on a few hours a day (like Cuba)?
One of these days when I have the time, I plan on building a wood fuel “gasifier” powered vehicle.
They have their own problems and limitations, but fuel is potentially everywhere.
No need to distill your corn crop into alcohol, No need to collect cooking grease and render it down into bio-diesel.
(will restaurants still be cooking up french fries when big rigs stop making food deliveries?)

For those not familiar with internal combustion engines that run on wood smoke, there is an Oak Ridge National Laboratory report, showing how to make a wood gas generator to run your tractor or whatever… (It is a simplified WW-II era “Imbert” wood gas generator). Apparently back in 1989 someone in the Gov. thought it was a good idea to get this info. out …just in case… things that make you go, hmmm…”

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The author of that same article, S.B., sent this follow-up:

“I’m not trying to be self-serving related to my recent guest article submittal on electric vehicles…or trying to be an electric vehicle booster. By pure coincidence this article on electric vehicle charge times showed up on one of the news aggregation sites I follow: Automakers face a threat to EV sales: Slow charging times | News |

Kyle Bass: Communist China Controls 200 Sq Miles in Texas Next to Major Air Force Base.

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Massive Protests Erupt in Mainland China.

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Our Editor-At-Large Michael Z. Williamson contributed this, on the AR arm brace issue, encouraging SurvivalBlog readers to post comments at the ATF website:

“I am a Type 03 FFL and have been collecting, building, repairing, and shooting firearms for 36 years. I’m also a 25 year veteran and qualified armorer and primary marksmanship instructor. Professionally, I do tests and evaluations of firearms and accessories for manufacturers, private clients, and several firearm-related publications.

I commented on the previous proposal and my criticism is the same, only more so. This bizarre combination of factors, “Worksheet,” and criteria is an unnavigable mess that will ensnare many citizens who have no criminal intent. Also, the stated criteria as they stand appear to actually define several regular pistols as SBRs in their factory, non-braced format.
While I understand the intent is to prevent illegal SBRs, it’s important to consider that a braced pistol is less concealable than a stock handgun, and is less effective than a rifle. It is in fact its own category.
It’s certainly valid, as the law exists, to consider case by case if a filled brace constitutes a stock, or if particular modifications have deliberately created an SBR, but these can be handled in a trial setting, since there would obviously be an extant arrest for cause when this question arises.
Given the vanishingly small number of braced pistols used in violent crime, and that said crimes already have a punitive process, the end result of this mess can only serve to create administrative criminals of ordinary citizens who are no threat to society or others. This does not serve the public, nor law enforcement and corrections.
Lastly, the ever-changing “interpretations” from your agency, where an item is legal one day, illegal the next, legal again, then retroactively contraband, only increase a level of contempt for the agency and the law, which ultimately could lead to increased danger for your agents from disgruntled citizens, and intentional noncompliance with all department regulations and laws, under the assumption that compliance is a waste of time and irrelevant.”

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A Coion Noir interview: Inventor of Pistol Stabilizing Braces Designed to Help Injured Veterans Slams ATF For New Ruling

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What I did in May, by 3AD Scout:

“Finished digging the holes for the last fence corner brace.  Pounded in the last 15 T post.  Realized I should probably have a gate large enough to get hay implements through the fence just in case we ever do need to hay it for some reason.  Had to wrap up 3 apple trees to protect them from frost in early May.  Doesn’t look like I’ll get any apples this year.

Pizza oven update- put the 4×4 post in the ground and cemented those in.  Constructed the platform for the cement base that sits on the 4×4 post and mixed 8 bags of Quick Crete and put on top of the form.  This is the base the oven will sit on.  Having a hard time finding solid clay bricks.

Purchases in May included: 25 packs of Heirloom seeds, packs of both dent and non-dent heirloom corn, sugar pea seeds, a dozen used pint canning jars, a baby pig, a disk hiller for the tractor, a used hay baler, a mount for my tractor to carry my farm jack, box of 300 strike anywhere matches, 20 lbs of dry navy beans, a battery organizer, 3 hand cranked food grinders, a dough maker (circa 1950’s brand new in box), several sizes of lag screws, additional soaker hoses for the garden, a lithium Iron Phosphate battery charger,  a spare 20 amp solar charge controller, and a cordless reciprocating saw.

Attended an auction at an Amish farm.  I was bound and determined to go home with the anvil they had and I did.  That was the last main piece I needed for the blacksmith’s shop.  Picked up a few other things including a very nice pair of older Bushnell Binoculars made in Hong Kong and with a rubberized camo coating.  A very nice draw shave, 3 small metal cabinets with one drawer, each with miscellaneous hardware in them; a F&W water pump that is set up to run off a “V” belt; a box with miscellaneous pieces of nylon canvas and several auger Bits. A PTO belt pulley; a handful of Belts for pulleys, a cement mixing hoe; a pulley and line shaft, and a set of pillow block bearings.

Cleaned the rust off of several auger bits, put in a crushed limestone walkway from the driveway to the porch, Cleaned the grill, and ruined most of my seedlings when I put them out to harden and a rouge gust of wind knocked the down.  Going to try and salvage some of them.  Used the new disk hiller and laid down the soaker hoses.  Was cutting holes in the black plastic and about 13’ into the roll the plastic was cut.  Opened the second roll and it was the same. Spent a day looking for black plastic that I could use, and finally found some.  Interestingly enough when I took the two defective rolls back the price had jumped $1.50 in one week’s time per roll.  Yeah, no inflation.”

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Tim J. sent this news from Florida: FWC encouraging wild hog hunting as summer approaches.

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From Tunnel Rabbit: An Expedient Pressure Canner Gasket Repair:

“This repair tip works as a temporary fix:  It is best to have several replacement rubber gaskets on hand as well as an extra pressure gauge.  However,  being the Hick in the Sticks that I am, I’m always performing field-expedient repairs.  It is my SOP (Standard Operating Procedure).  It is a mindset and a way of life, or lifelong practice of repairing stuff that breaks before I simply replace it.  That said, this tip is not intended to be a permanent fix, but only a field expedient measure that can be used if a replacement gasket is not available, or you just can’t find it, and you are all set to jar something up.
This method will reduce or eliminate a leak well enough to use the canner temporarily.  As a lifelong shade tree mechanic, I am well acquainted with making gaskets seal properly, and have used all the usual methods and gasket materials available.  The high-temperature silicone gasket sealant that is gray in color and made by Permetex is ideal. I’m too cheap to buy new exhaust gaskets.  I’ve sealed exhaust gaskets with it, so I know that the temperatures and pressures it can withstand are far in excess of that of a pressure canner produces. Apply the silicone in a smooth, even or uniform thickness around the rim of the canner lid where the gasket sets.  Immediately after application, install the rubber gasket and gently press it into the silicone so that it is held in place by the sticky silicone.  Then put the lid on the canner to set the correct thickness needed between the lid and the canner.  Then remove the canner lid and allow 24 hours for the silicone to cure completely.  It would then be ready to use.  The layer of silicone we have applied has increased the thickness of the gasket, and likely has restored its ability to seal.”

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D.M. sent the link to this freedom of thought video by Sarah Corriher: NAZI Versus Bad Guys.

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Reader J.L. sent this suggestion on identifying stroke symptoms, and first aid:

I just found these.  They seem apropos for our aging SurvivalBlog community:

1.) If Someone is Having a Stroke: 3 Things To Do and 3 Things Not To Do

2.) Recognizing a Second Stroke and Making an Emergency Action Plan

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This letter is from SaraSue:

“My home in Idaho sold quickly for $100,000 over a high asking price. It was an all-cash offer.  I was stunned.  I had worked very hard, replacing flooring, painting, and making sure everything was picture perfect, but I still didn’t expect the kind of offers I received.  People are crazy right now, but I understand people wanting to get out of the cities and into the safe, rural, countryside, even if it means battling deep snow half of the year.  I buttoned up my home and left the day it hit the market to spare myself the onslaught of showings and strangers indiscriminately traipsing over my property.

I said goodbye to endless fresh air and gorgeous sky scapes, the quiet and glorious mountains, streams, and lakes, with nothing but the sounds of wildlife.  I said goodbye to my Cabin in the Woods.  I prayed that it’s serenity and warmth would bless another family.  Sigh.  I wondered if I would ever be able to go back to Idaho.  I’m sitting in limbo, staying with family, waiting for escrow to close so I can come in to an almost as hot market in Tennessee with lots of cash.  Apparently, conventional loans are still happening in Tennessee, but many, many all-cash offers too.  I don’t see how this real estate market is sustainable, but Rural properties remain in high demand.  Something that I’ve never seen before, is Sellers are asking for *free*, *several month*, “rent-backs” after sale, because once they sell their home, finding something to buy is very difficult!I’ve never seen such a strong Sellers market in my lifetime.  I have a Tennessee realtor/broker working with me, and apparently so many of their clients are from out of state, that they regularly do live Zoom calls as they walk through the home a client is interested in.  It actually works well!  Homes are selling there for 10-15% over asking, bidding wars are common, and homes sell fast.  That makes being in limbo a bit tough.  Hoping and praying for that little sustainable farmstead.  Thank you to all who prayed for me!!  I covet your continued prayers.”

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From commentator Mr. Reagan: Suspended For Reading a Headline. By the way, he also recently launched a comedic satire site: “Mr. Peagan”. This skit really got me laughing: My Hyundai Identifies as a Ferrari.

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And lastly, reader Bryan E. wrote us to mention:

“I just had conversation with Midway about M1 Carbines they had for sale. I was told that they received approximately 20,000 [military surplus] carbines from Europe. They were in various condition, and were offered at prices from $600-to-$2,400.  The entire group sold out in one day.  So much for a disarmed public.”

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