Sunday, December 27, 2015

Post Christmas Blah..... I got the best Christmas gift ever, so please pass my plug onward down the I.P pipe for two organizations

     As Christmas has wound down and things here are getting back to normal, I hope and wish everyone who stops by had a great Christmas. It was also nice to get 4 days off so I could recharge a bit. The kids had a great time. We started them off with a trip to the movies to see the Star Wars, The Force Awakened. They had no clue, we told them we were going to see the Peanuts movie, but thanks to the ticket guy, he blew it and both got real excited. It felt good to take them to the movies to see this, as I was just a bit younger when I saw the original one. If you must ask, yes JUGM and I were both carrying in the theater. There was no sign saying I couldn't and if there was, oh well, I didn't see it and if you want me to leave, I think loosing $30 in tickets is better than loosing any of my family members lives, wouldn't you think? If it is some place like Buffalo Wild Wings, they post a sign at their restaurants, but I don't have to worry because I think their food sucks anyway, so there is no need for me to go there.
      Christmas day arrives and the kids of course woke up before me. We had a great home cooked breakfast and then let the "paper flyth". ND was so excited in the moment with handing out gifts, he opened one of NW's gifts. Almost like hearing the needle on a record player getting ripped off. It was all good though, except NW rubbing it in on his little brother. They each got tablets to play on as their Kindle's are 3 years old now and barely hold a charge. I got a nice craftsman cordless combo pack with a drill and impact tool. There was one gift that hit me in the moment pretty hard and this issue is very dear to me. If you have been following me since the beginning when I started this thing called a blog, you may remember this post:

 We had seen a story for the following organization:    
      I lost a dear friend and young shipmate due to suicide. As veterans know, we are a tight group of people. When we loose one, well that is too many. It effect everyone in their lives. Go check them out, if you want to buy a T-Shirt or something else, either for yourself or a loved one, please do. I plan on getting a couple of their veteran-made Tomahawk's to put on display in the new home. As you can tell from a few of my recent posts, I like Tomahawks.

    When I opened the package my shirt was in, there was a hand-written yellow sticky saying "Thank You" and a business card for another organization.

     Go check these sites out and do what you can, whether it's a cash donation, purchase a gift, plug it on your blog or website, or pass it along to a Veteran, Police, First Responder, and Civilian Warriors.

   Hope everyone has a great week.


Sunday, December 13, 2015

CRKT WOODS CHOGAN Tomahawk update

I know it has been some time since I had my initial review of the CRKT WOODS CHOGAN Tomahawk, well since October 18th of this year. I thought I would let everyone know where I am with it. I am very pleased with the modifications I did to it. Yes, like I said, CRKT should be ashamed with the sharpness of this product, please revert back to my post on 10/18/15. I have been using it around the property quite a bit. I mostly use it for splitting 10 + yr old stove wood for the fireplace and it has no problem splitting it. After my mod's, this is what she looks like now:

     After drilling a hole in the handle for a lanyard, purchasing some good ole 3M grip tape, sorry reverting back to my youth as a skate boarder, and fishing some 550 para-cord through the hole, it has been transformed to my liken. As I said, it have been using it on some really dry pine stove wood that I start my fire's in the fireplace, so before the house was started, I had a large Red Oak tree cut down and another one trimmed up. This tree was cut down in September of this year, so of course the wood is still a bit wet. Here is the result of the tomahawk on a 5 inch diameter branch section.


   So if you are searching for a tomahawk that can be a great asset in a SHTF situation as a great tool, well with a bit of customization to your taste I would recommend this Tomahawk. I have been pleased with it since I did my mod's. Next piece of equipment I have to review is a German made stainless steel stove I have been toying around with. More to follow.

    You know, I know there are websites out there that claim they are experts on everything on survival, and beg's it's followers to vote for them on some lame ass Top 10, but when you can't even tie a ridge-line over a hammock for a rain fly and rely on others to do it for you and then when you sleep in that said hammock, you are in the 'U" shape, you lost all credibility with me. So here is my challenge to anyone that has the "entrepreneurial spirit" in the American Dream. If you have a product that you would like for me to review, please contact me. My business degree is in supply chain and operations management. All my research for my under-graduate degree was on Toyota manufacturing because they have led on quality for quite a long time, why do you think all the American auto manufacturers are finally catching on? If it wasn't for our efforts to rebuild Japan after WWII and the work of an American named, Dr. William E. Deming, we wouldn't be at Six-Sigma and ISO 9000 as we see today. What do you think is the award for highest global quality, the Deming Prize....

     If you want to send me stuff to review, I would be more than happy to do it. Please explain in detail what your expectations from the testing will be, what do you want to test as far as materials used, functionality, durability, etc. etc. Do you want me to take specific measurements?  After I am done with it, I will let the company who sent it have the choice. I can send it back or what ever is left of it in pre-paid return shipping or I can have a contest and give it away. If I like it, I will pay "Cost" for the product" Pretty simple right? No FREE-BEE's here, I know what it's like as a small business owner,  I had a successful commercial landscaping that I started from the ground up in Florida for 5 yrs. It was my short-term goal and really helped through college after retiring from a stellar 20 yr military career. I have the property to do pretty much any test, even using firearms. See, I am rural, I don't live in suburbia nor have a home owners association to deal with. Drop me a post on the blog with your email and I will get back in touch with you. Hey, if I don't hear from anyone, that's fine too. It just means I have more time for myself and my family.

    Hope everyone has a good week, stay safe, enjoy the time with family and friends and watch your 6.


Monday, December 7, 2015

Busy, busy, busy. Just a few things

Sorry for my absence as I have been busy around here. We have been in the midst of "Leaf-a-geddon" here with all the trees on the property dropping their leaves, between the Red Oaks, Hickory, and other varieties I have here, now I see why my dad cursed every fall about them. It also doesn't help that when I go to work, it's dark, and when I get home, guess what, it's dark also. Of course we have had some rain, so I have to get them piled up when I can. I also have to do this without my Wright Stander Commercial mower as I have had to replace the second spindle for the blades. I ordered a refurbished off eBay for over half the price off, and it arrives 4 days later than expected, thanks USPS.  Here is a sample of the leaves. So far to date, we have dumped 7 trailer loads in the woods, with more to follow piled up around the property.

     Thanksgiving went well as we had no family members here, which it was nice and quiet. I broke from normal, everyday thanksgiving dinner and cooked a Boston Butt on the smoker. I have slowly grown away from turkey on thanksgiving and like changing things up from the norm. Our local meat shop had a deal on Boston butt that I couldn't turn down, .89 cents a pound, so we bought 4 of them.

Going on the smoker

coming off the smoker
Light smoke ring on meat, garden grown collards and Mac and Cheese

       During my busy schedule, I have done some research on the two schools that I have been eyeing to pursue my M.B.A. The two schools I am looking at are the University of South Carolina and Winthrop College. I haven't had a chance to actually go and see the schools yet but one of my co-workers who is retired Army said that USC has a great M.B.A program for working professionals and could finish the program in about 18 months. So the jury is still out on where I will go. Theoretically, I could quit my current position, go back to school with my Post 9/11 GI Bill and focus full time as a college student and not have to deal with all the stress of a job and school and finish faster by doubling up on classes. This can easily be accomplished by using the equity in my property  The appraisal I had to do for the new house showed that after we are in, we will have $60K of equity when the new house is here, so I plan to go debt-free except for the house payment. I do plan to pay it off early too once I re-enter the workforce while making more money with a M.B.A. So here is my advise to everyone, "Don't be a fool, Stay in School". I quoted that from the movie, National Lampoons Van Wilder

      The new house is still underway, many, many inspections from the county, but you are starting to piss me off. I want to get my house finished before I turn 65. Enough said.

     We also had one loud-mouthed Jersey Giant rooster that JUGM and myself had had enough. Well here is his last picture before he was put in the freezer. He was enjoyed on our table on the 29th of November. I am sold on Jersey Giants, he was a very good meal.

     This past weekend, JUGM and her keen ability to find stuff locally found a great deal on some 55 gallon steel drums. Paid $15.00 each for them. They had a dry compound in them that a national pharmaceutical manufacture uses in their product, so I snatched up 3 of them. One for Gas, One for Diesel, and one will be a Faraday cage for electronics, just have to modify the lids for liquids. Also picked up some Barred-Rock hens as well from the son of the seller who is in 4-H. Good addition to the flock and JUGM will post something on them.

clean as a whistle

      To finish up this past weekend, I was up early Sunday morning and climbed up in the tree stand as I have started to pick up on the activity around the property. Had a Doe show up on the edge of the garden on 11/26/15 @ 0023. Then this past Friday night while walking the property, I spooked a Buck and heard him run across the garden into the woods. Then he commenced to grunting and snorting at me.

     So with my view up in the stand, I heard a total of two shots on both sides of me a mile or two away. One just after 0620 and other around 0700. I know that, yeah, you go hunting with a rifle for deer, yes you see it and shoot it, but how will that look in a survival situation? How much noise will you generate by pulling that trigger to a bunch of hungry or hostile people? I mean really, when you read postings on sites that say a hunting buddy found "5 Doe's and a Buck gathered and took a shot at the buck at a distance of 325 yards", of course you are going to miss. What was the winds and the terrain like? Obvious someone needs to do a better job of adjusting for windage and elevation, don't you think or is it a fabricated post? So as I sat there for 3 hours, here was my view. I would rather hunt in a more primitive way that is more secure and quiet than blasting away and telling the world, "Hey, here I am, come take my food from me". Better yet, I can reuse my ammo. I did get a good chance to see some birds land on the branches around me, and playing in the bushes to the right. Red-tailed Hawk flew right past me heading to the the lower woods.

The edge of the plowed garden is 50 yards, I have sights set-up for 60 yards with 70 lbs of pull. BTW, that's a 1948 IH Cub Farm-all that was my Dad's, yes it still run too.

      With this upcoming weekend,  I may take in a gun-show and do some shopping for the family. Haven't been there in awhile so I figure maybe I will treat myself to a gift fir myself and find the right upper to finish the AR build that I haven't finished. Wish me luck.


Sunday, November 1, 2015

Odd and Ends, The cultural decline in Europe leading to Islamic Transformation, and I would be in jail, Why not Hillary.

    Been a bit since I have posted something. Work has been busy and time with the kids are pretty much reserved for the weekend. Last weekend, me and the boys made more Char-Cloth tins. In my days in the military, I had numerous polish tins in my box along with rags and brushes. I found a few tins for us to use. I had a larger WET-PRUF tin from KIWI that had dried up and took is all out and made mine, I still had one that was good to go.

     Dad had a large roll of cotton cloth under the car port and he used it for rags around the house. It was of the same texture and quality you find in most T-Shirts today. I proceeded to cut a large piece off and use that for my char-cloth.

    With the cloth all cut and ready to go, it was packed into the tin and placed in the fire.

And when it was all done

I used the regular tins for the boys, a white and brown shoe polish tin for each of them. We had to do ND's tin twice as he stuffed the cloth in and didn't get is closed enough and the top blew off in the fire.

     To change subjects now, I remember viewing this video a few years ago and with all the migration of Islamic people into Europe today, I can relate to this video that was posted over 4 years. Now, sit back and realize how liberal polices in Europe have caused their own demise. This is coming to our shores, so get ready.

    As my Military career involved me being exposed to material at different classification levels up to and beyond TS/SCI, with NOFORN, 4EYES and Etc including COMSEC, so if I was to compromise classified material like Walker did many years ago with communicating with the Russians or me coping classified material from the SIPRNET and send over NIPRNET, , I would have my own cell at Fort Leavenworth, KS. So how the hell does Hillary Clinton figure not to go to jail. That bitch needs to be under the jail. All you people who love Hillary need to wake up and see the GRAVE danger she has done to our national security. I will leave all the comments up to you all.


Sunday, October 18, 2015

The past week, had a few things to do like preps, tomahawk review, day trip to the mountains, and setting up tree stand.

    The past week has been busy with work and other stuff. Since last Monday, when I had a day off with Columbus Day, JUGM and I did a few things that day to add to our preps. JUGM found a person locally that was selling some 55 gallon plastic drums and 15 gallon buckets. Drums were $12 a piece and 15 gallon buckets were $5 each so I managed to get 2 drums and 4 buckets, y'all do the math. I really like the lids and handles on these buckets. The drums had soybean oil in them and with 3 squirts of Dawn Commercial concentrated and filling them 1/4 full, I had the kids roll them around the yard and flipping them end over end to get all the oil out of them. I opened up both bung holes and flushed all the suds out and they are clean as a whistle. I will be purchasing more in the near future as after asking some question from the seller, his wife works at a local business that makes pharmaceutical products. Yes, we also canned 10 quarts of potatoes which she had showed us running two canner's at the same time on the new two burner propane set-up on her blog.

   BTW, he also has pre-plumbed 100 gallon starter tanks for starting my catfish aquapontics in the spring. The local feed store starts taking orders for fingerling's in march from the local fish hatchery. Yes, I will be diving in during the spring along with raising goats for food and selling.

      Since my last post, I have received my new CRKT WOODS CHOGAN Tomahawk and have had a chance to compare it to my SOG Fusion Tomahawk. Yes, if you saw the pictures from my last post, there are differences in them.

     I really like it, but there are some issues I have with it, so let me start. First and foremost, CRKT, you should be ashamed of yourselves for producing a DULL-ASS Tomahawk. I mean, this thing couldn't even cut a piece of my kids notebook paper when I received it. Every CRKT knife I have bought out-of-the-box was able to shave the hair of my arm, so what happened with introducing this product? Secondly, I really think you put too much clear lacquer finish on the handle. There is a good size blob of it under the wooden handle which to me makes the handle very slippery in a dry condition, would hate to see how it is wet. Third, where is a lanyard hole to add a para-cord lanyard?
    So what have I done with it so far. I have since sharpened it with a metal file and sharpening stone. I have drilled a hole in the handle to attach a lanyard. I will be sanding the handle down to remove the lacquer and added some kind of abrasive, maybe some grip tape found on a skate boards so I can grip the thing. Using the Tomahawk for tasks associated with a survival situation, it does the job. It will chop through stuff with ease, after you sharpen it up. It is heavier than the SOG Fusion Tomahawk so it does add more force. Do I feel it would be a good weapon for a hand-to-hand combat situation, YES, but as far as throwing it, I would be afraid the handle would break. If you need a tool/weapon that is good for setting up camp or driving in tent stakes for your Hennessey Hammock or tent, it will do the job, the SOG Fusion will not be the best option for you.


    Here I did some stump chopping on a tree I had recently cut down that was unsafe and the stump is still real wet. I would have cut it down but, this tree was one that should have been left to someone with insurance. Yeah, it had to be laid down precisely. It was a tall Red Oak that was rotten up to 5 foot in the trunk and leaning toward a power line, so you do the math.....

    This is why I like my SOG Tomahawk. When I carry it around the property, I do this all over the place for practice. When thrown just right, it will make a nice whistling sound going through the air. My youngest ND was behind the camera. Listen to his reaction. GOD, I love being a Dad to kids who love nature and the wild.

    As I had mentioned in the title, we all got up early this morning and headed to Boone, NC. JUGM wanted to see the leaves turning and I wanted to make a visit to my stepfathers' grave as he was a very important part of my life and taught me a lot of life-lessons on being a man. My half brother and I also placed my mom's ashes on his grave as he was the true-love of her life and she always missed him. He also served in the Army during the Korean War, so yes, I had to pay my respect to him.

    After we go back, I took the time to set-up my tree stand above the garden in my eager anticipation of bagging some deer in my garden with the bow. I have spotted some rather large tracks through the garden, specifically around the green beans which we have pulled up on this Saturday as they had nipped the tops off them. As you see, there are a few okra plants left which the leaves have been picked on by the deer and also they have really slowed down on their production as the weather is changing and some collards. Cant do this in a home owners association community.......

  Since I have had a long day, I will sign off for the night. Take care everyone, and keep on preparing for the worst.


Sunday, October 4, 2015

Well the sun still hasn't come back, What is the Captain thinking and some prepping.

    Most of you have seen on the news of the large amounts of rain the state of South Carolina has received. We have been fortunate that the only rain we received has been on Friday afternoon through Saturday mid afternoon. We have had a good bit of wind here with only some small branches and a bunch of green leaves on the yard. Forecast is for the rain to return tonight as it pivots up from Charleston and Columbia and heads on out of here. Columbia and Charleston has sustained some damage. JUGM called her aunt in Folly Beach this morning and the bottom level of her place took on water and she lost some stuff that meant a lot to her. Columbia had roads washing out, several of the Interstates are closed at certain mile markers. Fort Jackson had a dam break for one of it's lakes. It should be an interesting day tomorrow at work when I see who all shows up or not. They say we are going to have nothing but sunshine all next week. I really hope so, this state needs it.

     Hurricane Joaquin has done some serious damage in and around the Bahama's and Turks and Caicos. You cannot, and I repeat cannot under-estimate these storms, especially as a Mariner. If you have been following this story, I know people in Jacksonville are, there is a search on right now for the M/V El Faro. It set sail I believe on Tuesday from Blount Island which is the large marine terminal in Jacksonville en route to Puerto Rico. Here is a picture of it.

     It was on route that I have taken many times en route to the eastern Caribbean. There are a lot of questions being asked right now of why they went into the storm, specifically the northeast side which is the worst side to be on? Why didn't they alter their course and go farther out to sea? Why didn't they delay their voyage until the storm had past. Why hasn't an EPIRB signal been picked up? Yes, this ship is almost 800 ft long, but it will still get tossed around. I have been in some really high seas before on much smaller ships and know what that's like, and we had fin stabilizers and still told to stay in our racks unless you had to go on watch.
     Ever since Hugo hit Charleston, the Navy will sortie all ships from either Mayport or NOB and send us to sea to avoid damage pier side if there is a projection of possible land fall near a naval base. Most of the time we sortied it was not warranted, but you never know what these things will do. All I or we all can do is say a prayer for these sailors and their families and hope they all are found safe.

    Saturday we didn't do much. We all enjoyed a much needed sleep in then we ventured out in the rain. Went to Cabelas, again and walked around. This day, there was no .22LR worth buying. Not buying that high priced Match stuff. After we left we went and had a early dinner at one of the best seafood places around this area, Steve's Seafood. I stress early, because you can experience a very long wait to get in there to eat.
     Today, we ventured out again. I had to fill my tank up before heading to work tomorrow. We decided to stop by ALDI and do a bit of shopping. If you have an ALDI near you, then you know they have some good prices on some things. We picked up a case of Lima Beans, Black Eyed peas, and some whole potatoes.

    Picked up some more pasta. 2 lbs was $1.45

    I couldn't resist on picking up a few more Hams too.

      Well hopefully this next week, I will be able to get some real canning done with some potatoes on the new dual burner stove I bought. Also, I have always had a interest in the classic primitive weapons, such as the Tomahawk. I already have a SOG Tomahawk and have it for quite a few years and I really like it. It's very easy to throw and stick it into trees.

    I got and email last week from a crusty old fart/friend who gave me a head's up on a new Tomahawk from CRKT. I checked it out and it caught my eye. Yes, my SOG is good, but I feel this one from CRKT would be more practical as a survival tool versus more as weapon. Here is a file photo of it, since its on its way to me.

    Well I hope everyone has a better week. Stay safe out there.


Monday, September 28, 2015

When will we ever see the Sun again?

    Just wanted to throw some updates out there, since I have gotten busy again. Went to that Amateur Radio club I mentioned in a previous post and sat in on their meeting, of course most of the people are of the older than me crowd but that's fine. They gave out some good information specifically what I need to concentrate on since I so have experience in radio, and of course it was all the schematics of the equipment and policy. I even got a really good study guide they hand out. I have been studying so when I feel I am ready, I will go take the exam.

     This past weekend was OK, wasn't perfect. I know here in SC, we need the rain, but damn can we get at least one day of the weekend to get out and do some stuff around the house. Well that didn't happen. Saturday, we set out to our local Cabelas. I have been eyeing a new two burner propane camp stove. They had the one I wanted for a cool $99.99 and it has a stand too. My old single burner finally died at the old age of 16 yrs old.
    I have been wanting a multiple burner mostly for canning. Before all the rain set in, we had been getting 3/4 of a 5 gallon bucket of green beans every 2-3 days. Here is JUGM sitting on her wheeled bench picking. I would much rather can outside than inside. At least this way, if something goes wrong, well let it blow. I also couldn't pass up another chance to get another brick of Federal Champion .22LR ammo. I also bought the boys their own Daisy Slingshots, and no they haven't shot themselves or busted any windows, yet.....

    Sunday, the weather didn't help me any better with getting over this sinus infection I have been dealing with. Leave it to me to get out yesterday in the rain and drizzle and cook some swine on the smoker. I also got plenty of time to watch football pretty much all day Sunday too. That is also fresh Okra from the garden too.

     Well other than that, not much else going on. House is underway and we just added a couple more days to the already delayed construction. Have a good week everyone.