Friday, July 18, 2014

Should You Carry A Round In The Chamber?

On a more serious gun topic. Should you carry your concealed carry handgun with a round in the chamber? This following video should help you make that decision.

For myself I do, because I may not have the other hand free to chamber a round, such as a first defensive move of pushing off an attacker or dog etc with my free non-gun hand. I believe that most attacks happen to quickly to give you any time at all to think what to do next. Having a round chambered may be the difference between a good or bad outcome.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Portion Sizes, Critically Important

How do you 'know' and 'control' the number of meals you have available in your long term food storage? Here's how I calculate the number of meals available in dry bulk storage before I have to hunt, trap, fish or scavenge (beg) for other foods.

Your Long Term Stored Food is typically stored based upon weight or by gallons in buckets. Mine is based on Gallons. I bag all my bulk dry foods in one gallon quantities in Mylar bags with absorbers and store 4 gallon bags per 5 gallon bucket. 4 bags is all I can fit into a single 5 gallon bucket. The exception is my Hard White Wheat, All Purpose White Flour, Sugar and Salt, these are stored bulk in 5 gallon buckets. The reason is once I open the wheat or flour I use it up quickly like in 2-6 months. Salt and Sugar last forever if just kept dry.

What I do is prepare every food item I store so I know exactly how much dry food it will take to make 2 cups when prepared. For planning purposes I use the amount of 2 cups of prepared food for each meal for each person. This may seem like a lot to eat but I'm betting I will only have time to eat 2 meals a day and because of the stress I will be hungrier than I'd normally be. If it's too much to eat I can always cut back and prepare less. That will increase the amount of stored meals available.

Here's how I went about measuring stored Spaghetti.

A Spaghetti Measure:
You can buy these in most supermarkets for a couple dollars. They have holes to measure the number of servings of spaghetti. This one has holes to measure for 1, 2, 3 or 4 servings. Using one of these will prevent preparing to much pasta for each person.

Shown here with a single serving measured.

The same single portion weighs 3.5 oz. or 4.5 servings per pound of spaghetti.

Here is the same portion cooked. Prepared it makes almost 2 cups. Good enough for storage calculations.

Same portion in a 6 inch diameter by 1.25 deep paper bowl

Food storage is to save your life when a disaster event happens and when everyone around you is in chaos. You are truly on your own! It is important that you test prepare every item you store so you can know how many meals you really have in stock. From the above test I also now know how much tomato powder is needed to make spaghetti sauce to match the 108 meals available from the stored spaghetti.

Warehouse stores sell spaghetti in 6lb bulk packs. Four packages (24lbs total) fits nicely in a 5 gallon bucket. I Mylar bag each 6lbs with an absorber. This 24 lbs makes 108 servings per bucket.

You need to test cook all your stored foods so you truly know how many real meals you have in stock. Trusting the labels or the internet as to how many meals are in a #10 can, pouch, package, box or bucket is not smart. Test everything for yourself. Trusting labels is like trusting a politician. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

It's The 2014 Hurricane Season!

Prepping for the storms:
Generally the end of June or beginning of July I review all my hurricane supplies and equipment such as gas for the generator, chainsaw, propane, lantern oil, food and water in stock.

The generator is started and run under a heavy load for a test. I connect my garage A/C to it for the test load to be sure it will operate under a near full amps for 1/2 an hour. My generator is an ONAN/CUMMINS brand (gas, 4000 watt) and it has never failed or been difficult to start. Yesterday was the first time it has been started since last July. All I did was turn on the gas valve, wait a minute for the gas to refill the carburetor float bowl, then with just one pull it fired up. I guess there is a hidden benefit to buying quality equipment!

The next piece of equipment is the all important 'chainsaw'. Even 75 mph winds bring down a lot of tree limbs and topple many trees. Without a way to remove branches from your home or roads you could be stuck home for a week or more until the city or others clear the way.

This time of year when a storm has already formed in the Atlantic Ocean I keep the vehicles fuel tanks at least 3/4 full just in case I need the extra fuel for the generator.

Weather Reporting Source I use:
For hurricane updates and a lot other information I use NOAA.

  1. Go to the link above and A MAP WILL OPEN.
  2. Place your cursor on the storm icon. A pop up window will open showing the detailed storm information.
  3. Click on that icon and another map will open showing the storms location and forecasted track for the duration of the storm.

This site has a lot of weather info after all it is where your weather/news station gets its' weather information! Worth keeping a 'favorite link' to it on your computer.

First map shown when the link is opened.

After clicking on the storm icon this second map opens showing the storm track. Click on this map again and it will double in size.

Friday, June 27, 2014

The High Cost of Healthcare

A couple weeks ago I woke up about 4:00am with crushing chest pains and both forearms were cramping. This was something new for me and needless to say I debated about going to the ER but the pains went away shortly after they began so I rested until the Doc's office opened and went in right away. He did a EKG which was normal but insisted I go to the hospital ER and have them do a blood test to see if I did have a heart attack.

OK, so off to MAYO Clinic ER which is only a couple blocks from my house and walked in. The atmosphere was very calm and organized. They took a few bits of information and then escorted me to a room. There were no nurses and doctors running about, it was simply calm.

The nurse hooked up another EKG and drew some blood and I waited. About 30 minutes later the nurse came back in and said they ruined the blood sample by the lab waiting to long before running the tests and needed to draw more blood. That was no big deal since they already had me pre-plumbed for an IV if necessary. Another 20 minutes went by and finally I seen a Doc. The MAYO doc said the tests came back negative for heart damage so it looked like it wasn't a heart attack. The doc wanted me to stay overnight and take a stress test in the morning. I felt fine and refused to stay overnight as the cost would be insane. The doc wasn't happy with me but to bad. He did have me sign several documents saying I refused recommended treatment.

Today I feel fine.

I attribute the chest and forearm pain to the fact that I had been pressure washing the drive, sidewalks and my screen room inside and out for the previous 3 days and the muscles weren't use to that much activity especially the overhead work.

So anyway, the total time spent in the ER was 2 hours. I was wired up for the EKG and monitoring my vitals, two x-rays and had blood drawn. That's it!!!

Below is the bill for seeing one nurse who did all the work, the lab test that took 20 minutes and a Doc visit who only talked to me for less than 5 minutes. The cost was $2,641.00 (that's $1,320.00 per hour!). For no more expertise used than a doctor office visit, ridiculous... Changes need to be made, just don't know what to change first.

I have been in the medical device industry most of my life and understand their costs but there is no reason to have costs this high. We will never get healthcare affordable when hospitals and doctors charge life crushing amounts.