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Saturday, December 21, 2013

Nobody gets out alive.

As far back as I can remember, at least for my entire adulthood, I have been very "matter of fact" about death. It happens to every one of us. Face it, we have 100% mortality rate. A friend of mine that I respect greatly likes to remind people that your birth certificate came with an expiration date, you just don't know what it is. A long time ago, I decided it was nothing to concern myself with since I couldn't change it. Many of my friends thought I was "a bit off" but seeing people be so afraid of death was appalling to me. I didn't want to be them, so I simply chose not to be. I read a quote a long time ago attributed to Genghis Khan: "I had no place to hide from thunder, so, I am not afraid of it anymore."  I liked that and it continues to influence me to this day.

A bit later in life I decided I wanted a good death. That could mean something different to different people. For a Spartan it might have meant being defeated on the field of battle by an overwhelming opponent, while making him suffer as well. And I have to admit, the romantic in me says that would be a pretty cool fucking way to go. Hoards of barbarians storming the walls, making your final stand. At least it would make a good book. Now in essence, what I mean by a good death, is one I experience. I do not want to go in my sleep. Dying is something we are likely to only do once. I don't want to sleep through it. I don't want to miss it for any reason. If I only get one chance to experience it, I want to actually experience it.

Now to the interesting part.... Recently, I have seen an article or three about what our mind does when we die. It didnt sound like mad science. When we experience something new, our brain instantly searches its memory banks for a similar experience so it can apply a reaction that will likely lead to self preservation. We see that happen very frequently as a normal part of life. When the brain cant find something similar it expands its search in our memory banks to find anything that might be useful. People who say they saw their entire life play out before their eyes in a near death encounter recollect this often. Science has shown that everything we have ever done is stored in there. Now the newer things I read just happened to be news feeds that popped up on bookface or the random stories that show up on my news app on my phone, but they all seemed to drop in the last few weeks. What they showed was that when the brain activity flatlined, showing that the cortex ceased functioning, that the hippocampus activity went off the charts. The hippocampus controls memories. This led scientists to believe that when the brain was experiencing death (certainly a new activity) memories came flooding into the mind to find a way to stop it. One of the reports mentioned that the activity in the hippocampus was 30 TIMES greater than ever recorded during consciousness. This lasted for up to a minute after death. Nothing sounds ridiculous to my ears with this theory.

So now I'm looking at, sure we all have to die. I hope it's doing something cool, but I really want to know when it's happening. And when it does, I may spend a moment with a vivid, filmed in technicolor, replay of all of my memories laid out in front of me like a giant panoramic view of my life. Doesn't really sound like a reason to be afraid at all. Being that I'm nearly 40 (pay attention to that number, it'll be important in a minute) there are a LOT of memories that are now hazy and faded. Ones that I try daily to recall in greater detail. Mostly of my grandparents when I was a child. For my last act on earth to be recalling those in rich detail seems like a swell way to go. Almost like a gift from the Force, or God or whomever one happens to believe in.

Now, this kinda shit runs through my head at random times throughout my entire life. Sometimes I feel like my mind works like a woman with the remote to the TV, constantly flipping from one thing to the next. So this channel gets tuned in randomly just like everything else. But why did I choose to jot it down? Well ever since I was in grade school I had this eerie premonition that I would die when I'm 40. Not "before I turn forty" not "In my forties" but during the time that I was 40 years old. Now, if it turns out to be true, whatever, it's not like I can or will be doing anything about it. But in 2 months if this blog suddenly stops cause I bite the dust, at least you'll know where my head was on the subject. Is there an afterlife? Hell I don't know, and I'm not going to worry about that either. But if so, hey, I'll get to be with loved ones that I miss. But if there isn't, it still seems like I'm going to get to spend a little more quality time with my Pap before I become maggot food. So all in all, I still cant find a reason to fear the inevitable, there might even be an upside to it.

BTW, If I make it to 41, I'll be sure to make an "I made it!" blog.

And as usual, come on over to facebook if you want to chat. Or swing by my youtube channel, as there is a few new ones in the works. Dont forget podcasts with That Libertarian Guy. And there is still a chance to vote on Decide the Fate of the Beard contest.

Next time, I'll fill you all in on my really cool Yule celebration.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Time well spent.


I was in the woods for a few days. Went out on opening day with the eldest Daughter. Saw one buck but had a really good day. We put about 8-9 miles in some really cool historic spots. A little chilly, but overall a great time.

Spent yesterday in a new spot with the younger daughter. Fresh snow on the ground was great for tracking. We put in about 15 miles. 6 of which weren't really planned on. She was awesome and never complained once, even after her feet got wet (and cold). We literally stepped out of the woods, 4 miles from our rendezvous, at the very last sliver of light.

Now, the guys we went hunting with were a bit concerned, but the two of us and our hunting buddy, Nate, weren't concerned at all. I don't take a full blown bugout bag when I go hunting, but a small assault pack from Grey Ghost Gear always goes along. Not only was I confident that we'd be back in civilization promptly, I wasn't really concerned if some weird shit went down and we'd need to hangout in the woods for a night. I've spent a night or two in the woods with much less gear. But having a bag full of essentials was beyond comforting. I know that Mindset is drastically more important than Skills, Tactics, and Gear. But, what I've noticed, is that when a person has confidence in their gear, when they have practiced their skills, and when they have tried their tactics, you just cant help from having a great mindset. I always thought of those 4 things in a linear fashion, but they really do affect each other, they are quite intertwined.

Speaking of gear and mindset, I was inspired by some of my gear. Ok, maybe not inspired but "impressed" just doesn't have the same level of importance. I want to rave about a bit of gear. I am convinced that the now discontinued OTB Bootisatn is the worlds best cold weather/ hunting/ mountaineering style boot. New Balance really fucked that up. They bought a great company and then promptly stopped making those products. They didn't even do it to kill the competition since NB doesn't even make military boots. At any rate, I ditched the ortholite footbeds and dropped in some Powerstep Protech Orthotics in there as I have been battling plantar fasciitis for a decade and these work as well as my $600 prescription orthotics. Inside that I wore issue Navy Ski Socks. They are plain heavy wool socks. I could walk till I drop in this combination and never have a foot issue. I just cant stress highly enough how important quality footwear is.

At any rate, the bugout video is a work in progress, the Every Day Carry video has been live for awhile. The first podcast with That Libertarian Guy is up and were recording #2 later today. Feel free to vote in the fate of the beard contest. And check in on facebook if you want to sound off about something.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Training


Everybody I know comes to me to talk guns and tactics. In my social circles, I'm that guy. However, they will heed my advice when it comes to what gear works, ways to utilize that gear, measures to help with their home defenses, and prep activities. The two areas that they don’t seem interested in are bugging out and training. The odd part to me is, I think these are two enthralling subjects and I stress them more than anything else yet it's the most ignored advice in those circles.

Obviously, I touched on bugging out last week. I'm going into more detail with that in the upcoming weeks. I started filming a bugout video for youtube. A buddy and I will be doing a bugout exercise in a couple of weeks that I'm going to include so that project has to wait until whitetail season is over.

That leaves training on the table. Guys will buy gun after gun, assuming that makes them more dangerous. Maybe to themselves and their comrades, but not to their enemy. It may have been Elmer Keith that said “ Do not fear the man with many guns, fear the man with one gun for he likely knows how to use it.” I know folks who count themselves among patriots who are not to be trifled with, and yet they own guns that have never been fired. I cant take that seriously. They give me the wink as they say “When the shit hits the fan, you and I will kick ass and take names” I try to be polite, but in short, if we haven't trained together I'm not real sure I want you around. If you haven't trained at all, I prefer you stay far, far away from me.

With all the quality trainers in the US right now, it's hard for me to imagine not going to some classes. On top of that, too many guys don’t practice anything. I can find a thousand videos from quality instructors with great advice on how to practice . Hell, I invite dozens of folks to come practice. Usually met by excuse after excuse. Back when I competed, I always had multiple shooters available to practice with. When it comes to defending ones self, there is LESS interest in practicing? I don’t get it.

I know that ammo is scarce at the moment, but the practice I see needed most doesn’t even require ammo. We could all be more accurate and fast shooters, but the area that is most neglected is weapon manipulation. Watch somebody, or even yourself handle your pistol. Does the draw look smooth? How about the reload? I see guys with 10 handguns and 15 rifles and when they load up a semi-auto pistol it looks like they have never racked the slide previously.

I ran a dry practice idea past a pal of mine that paid huge dividends. He followed all the standard dry practice rules and he did one drill, for 15 minutes a day and in under two weeks he handled his Glock like a pro. He had two magazines so we worked with that. 5 dollars later, he had 10 dummy rounds. Deal was load each mag with 5 dummies. The drill was to draw, aim in, and press the trigger. Giving him repetitions on his draw. Obviously there was no shot, so he could go right into a failure drill. Tap the mag, rotate it outboard an rack the slide. Immediately followed by getting the sights back on target. Trigger press at that point didn’t matter. Reholster and repeat. When the mag locked back on the last failure drill, it was time to reload the fresh mag. There were times that he reloaded to the fresh mag at random times as well. Now when he goes to the range to use up some precious ammo, he doesn’t fumble fuck his weapon handling and focuses on putting holes in the paper where he wants them to go. He got much better in a short amount of time with little to no cost. Why aren’t we all doing this? It's rhetorical , no need to answer.


FYI, for those of you who think that I must be the guy with dozens of guns in my closet, you would be wrong. I own 1 carbine, 1 full size handgun, one compact handgun, one pocket pistol. And 2 .22s (one rifle, one revolver) that have been passed down from family members. I don’t own a deer rifle, I don’t own a shotgun. No AK, FAL, no 30 caliber guns at all. The 22 will serve for small critter gathering, and I'm sure the carbine can handle larger critters. I spend the rest of my gun budget on ammo and training. A few years ago all that training and practice paid some dividends. I made IDPA master class in 2 divisions and won a state championship. I don't think that would have happened if I just would have plugged my budget into more 1911s and multiple AR15s.

Get in touch with me over on facebook if you want to practice. I haven't taught a class in awhile, but I think I'm going to put some more focus on that in the upcoming months. I certainly can point you towards some quality training if you are interested.

Podcasts are coming soon, I'll post them here when they are good to go. Be on the lookout for a youtube video on my everyday carry gear. If there is anything you'd like to know about, leave a comment or post it on facebook and I'll do my best.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Bug the Fuck Out!

It's not all political around here.

I'm not always on a soapbox about politics, but since I decided to start using this blog, it's been election time. Now that it's over I can ramble some other shit. But I did win the election that I ran for. Another Libertarian in the system. I view Libertarians as an antibiotic to very sick organization.

So, on to some other shit.

I am planning my next youtube video. A good friend of mine did a pretty cool video series. He filmed some preparedness videos and recently ran a bugout exercise and filmed the preparation and the bugout itself. I thought it was really cool and he urged me to do the same. (By urge, I mean ordered) So that’s what it's going to be. I'll do a video of whats in my bugout bag and follow up with a second video of the bugout. Since the weather is getting colder I'm at the point where I'll be swapping some things out of my bag. I'll get the swap done and as soon as deer season is over I'll do a bugout with a couple of friends.

So, since I'm talking about bugging out, how many of you have a plan for hauling ass? I don’t care if it's hauling ass to get home from work or school in case of an emergency, or hauling ass away from home in case there’s a disaster that will take your home from you. There are times when hunkering down is the best plan, but there are times when it's something else entirely. I think a person should have their vehicle prepped for a number of contingencies, including always having enough gas in the tank to get home or to your chosen escape location.

In my house, we have a 3 minute/30 minute plan. Every member of the house has a “go bag” that we could be dressed, have bag and EDC in hand and out the door. If were taking them to the truck, great, the truck is set up to supplement the bags. But it's designed to work on foot primarily. That's our 3 minute plan.

The 30 minute plan, is to execute the 3 minute plan, and spend the next 27 minutes to gather our second level of gear. I keep our normal camping gear packed and ready to go for the next camping trip. We camp frequently and as I use consumables from those bags, I replenish them as soon as we return, before I pack it all away. So we would pack the truck with our bagged up camping gear and gather all the dry food in the pantry. Also, this would provide the chance for a larger loadout of ammunition. We also have a dufflebag with about a weeks worth of clothes for all 5 of us in an old seabag siting in my bedroom.

If it were a slow coming issue, such as flood, I would use something like a 3 hour time frame to fill every single air pocket in my truck with the shit I wouldn't want to lose. Of course, where I live now, if I'm going to get flooded, we all have a much larger problem than me losing my stuff.

I get accused of being paranoid for having these contingencies. I don't mind. As a father, my primary duty is the safety of my children. My secondary duty is to prepare them for their lives without me there to provide for their safety. Obviously, by preparing I am increasing their safety levels. But I do my best to keep them involved in these preparations so I am also teaching them skills that may save them when I am no longer there to do it for them. I feel that my 16 year old is more prepared than most adults to not only survive a disaster scenario but thrive. She has the right mindset to not be a victim nor a refugee. So, I must be doing something right.

I implore you to do the same. I have a lot of friends out there reading this. I really care about my friends, but face it, you guys are a second level priority. Family first. I wont be the guy to take from my family to help a friend, and a friend would never ask me to. So the more prepared you are, the better off we'll both be. If your plan is to rely on me, you are sadly mistaken. At best I don’t look forward to disappointing you in your hour of need, at worst I'd hate to have to shoot you to keep my family safe. Nobody wants to shoot their buddies.

Get a plan, and work on preparing for it. If you need some pointers, hit me up over at facebook and I'll do my best to get you pointed in the right direction.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Happy Veterans Day

How refreshing this weekend is.

After a few weeks of pre-election ugliness, I experienced something really cool in my community. On Friday the JROTC at my daughters high school was having an event to honor veterans. The unit commander talked to me on Thursday to invite me to it. I went to work on Friday morning and my boss essentially kicked me out so that I could attend it. (Thanks Joe) I showed up a little after 8 and had coffee and donuts with some fellow vets. We chit chatted and told some war stories. A few fellow Sailors, an Airmman, and a Leatherneck joined a decent contingent from the Army, who was represented by Vets from WW2 up through recent kids who were in the JROTC program at the school before boot.

After a little while, they marched us to the auditorium. There was going to be a Q&A with the students. We walked in to the room and promptly received a standing ovation from hundreds of young men and women. I have to admit, I got goosebumps. The kids asked some thoughtful and sometimes funny questions. Afterwards we all hung around and got some photos with our kids. I have to admit, I enjoyed giving a glimpse of my brotherhood to my daughter.

I read a quote once that said " A Veteran Is Someone Who, at one point, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The United States of America’ for an amount of ‘up to and including their life.’ That is Honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer understand it."

These kids certainly understand. And on this Veterans Day, I'd like to thank the young men and women who showed a handful of grizzled old vets that they really were appreciated.


As a side note, it appears like the gear has been assembled to start doing some libertarian podcasts with That Libertarian Guy. I'll post them here once we get rolling. In addition, I've been refining some gear to  do some better Youtube videos. I'll post those here as well. And don't worry, next week, I'll be back to my customary, angry cursing self.



Sunday, November 3, 2013

Vote for fucks sake.

I had an entire different subject to discuss, but it can wait for a few days.

We're a couple days away from voting day 2013.
I hear folks all day/every day bitching about every level of their government. And I hear them in the same breath say, "I don't vote, my vote doesn't matter" I roll my fucking eyes. Yes, it is your right to complain (First Amendment and all) and no, there is no legal requirement to vote. However, it makes you a fucking crying bitch. Exactly like the welfare queen who wants to know who is going to pay to feed her kids. Well, I expect her to. Just like an asshat saying "my governments broke, who's going to fix it?" Well, YOU are. And when you make zero attempt at fixing it you become equally to blame as the politicians in charge. Full culpability.

As to the argument about ones vote not counting, I'm going to have to wave my bullshit flag high. The level of government that most affects ones daily life is their local government. Here we are in an odd year when we see nothing but local government on the ballot. Just in my town, we have a fucking shitbird for a mayor. He's got his lips squarely attached to mayor bloomburgs cock, sucking all corrupt manjuice he can get. That same mayor has a number of cronies on the city council giving him rimjobs at every council meeting. You know how many votes will win those open spots on Tuesday? About 600. There are 9,905 bodies in this town and 600 of them can sway the entire direction of their own government. Yeah, you mathematicians tell me again how your vote doesn't count.

These are the same commandos that will whisper in hushed tones "When the revolution comes, I'll be the one leading the charge" Ok, fuckface, you wont even get off your couch once a year to try to change things, but I'm to expect that when it all breaks down, you'll be full Rambo massacring the mobs of looters and defending liberty? I'll probably have to shoot you to get you off my porch when you come begging for me to protect you.

At any rate, my point is this....Go fucking vote for someone. They don't have to be perfect they just have to be better. Vote for a Libertarian every chance you get. If there isn't one, vote for some other third party candidate. If there isn't one of them, write in the name of the person you think would be the best for the job. If you don't know who that is, just vote against the incumbent. That doesn't always make the best choice, but when in doubt that will serve you well 80% of the time. If you cant find the effort to give now, there is no way you will risk your life later, you'll just be a pussy getting in the way of patriots.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Ignorance is Bliss?



As I make my journey through life, I am awestruck with the level of ignorance displayed by the average American. On all fronts, in all categories. I assume American Civics has not been taught in schools for decades. Literally, I have not seen a person who graduated high school in the last 15 years that understands how our government works. Hell, I'm impressed when someone thinks they understand it and they are completely wrong. At least they cared enough to learn even if it was wrong. Economics, even worse. I admit my understanding of macro-economics is terrible. I do pay attention when I stumble into someone who understands economics on a global level. I'm trying. If the average idiot on the street were trying to comprehend the things he doesn't understand, I could at least respect him.

Personal Liberty.....I'm not sure if people don't understand the idea, don't like the idea, or are afraid of the idea. I talk to a lot of people every day, new groups of them rotating through my sphere of influence. I don't understand them. They want to be told what to do. What they can have, how much of something they can enjoy. They yearn for a ruler. I espouse the virtues of liberty and either look at me with bewilderment or contempt. How dare I tell them that I don't need their ruler? The same leader they yearn to please. Somehow it's an affront to their very existence that I don't need an adult to hold my hand crossing the street like they do. I struggle every day with how I should interact with them. My heart tells me "Fuck em, scumbags" but that doesn't seem like it will help in the long term. Educating them should be the answer, however education isn't something the average person seems interested in. They love their blanket of ignorance.

Oh hey, you're wondering what the point of this is?
In an effort to remove some ignorance locally, I'm involved with this cool seminar in Sunbury. Dispelling the Myths About Guns and Gun Laws in Pennsylvania. We're trying to open some eyes to a persons rights under the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution and Sec 21 Article 1 of the PA Constitution. If we all do our small part, maybe we can make a difference. If it doesn't work, at least when we say "Fuck em, scumbags" we can sleep soundly at night, knowing we tried. Regardless, if you are in the area for the event, come check it out.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

A primer in Tremis perspective.

I wanted to make a statement before I get too involved in this blogging thing. I wanted to make sure the readers here (when I get some) understand my perspective on these posts.

The federal government is royally fucked. I said royally on purpose. The prevailing attitude from our overlords in DC is that they are the ruling class and we are the peasants. It might be a fair assessment since so many of my fellow countrymen view themselves as peasants too. However, the problem lies with those of us who don’t consider ourselves peasants. These are the same ilk that founded this country. How most generations just continued to give it away to a new ruling class is something I don’t completely understand. Admittedly, resistance was tried in earnest in the 1860s. But when that failed, it seems like the entire nation just started giving in. The union showed that it would rather kill you than give you back any of the power that is rightly yours. Are the men of this land so meek that they fear death above all else? It was rhetorical , no need to get all butthurt because your the guy saying “not me!”

Regardless of what comes next, I have no red in my ledger with the federal government. I served them while I believed I was serving my country. They certainly got more from me than I ever got from them. By default, I am a US citizen by reason of being a Pennsylvanian citizen. But I can tell you now, I view my state as superior to the union. With an ideal planted by Robert E Lee, the people of Pennsylvania are my countrymen. As long as my state government is headed in a direction that my ideals can accept, it will stay that way. If not, I have no problem becoming a Texan or
Tennessean. I have no desire to see the union fail, I expect the directors of that union to step in line and recognize their limited authority. If they choose not to, then the union failing is of no concern to me.

Please keep this in mind as I go off the deep end in later posts.