Sunday, November 16, 2014

Project SSF (Senior Survival Food)

    I mentioned something about this a few weeks ago in a blog post as I have been thinking about doing this for some time, but with everything that has gone on the past few months, I just really haven't had time, as I had other things I wanted to take care before it turned cold. This is not a new idea, if you browse the net, there are many other people around that have done something similar to this, whether they use mason jars or other packaging.

     I originally got this idea from DUKE. We had done a MLK weekend camping trip several years ago and the rest of us had Mountain House packaged food or expired MRE's, as one person found out the hard way. He showed up to cook with I believe Lipton cup-o-soup packs, vienna sausages, and some other things. We all sat around heating our water to go into the pouches, while DUKE stirred all his stuff in a mess kit and cooked right in front of us. There was a discussion going around at the time and he remarked about his cost for his food compared to what we paid for the freeze dried pouches. ok, fast forward to today.....

     I have used mylar bags that are similar to the ones Mountain House uses for their packaging in my own food stores. Instead of using the larger bags, I started breaking the stores into smaller, more easier to manage sizes. Here is a link to the site I purchased them from, USA Emergency Supply. 

    I, like many of you have eaten a Mountain House freeze dried meal before. I like them better than the other brands by far, but there are a few issues I have with them. First issue is the lack of variety they have and some of their product line I really don't care for. Second issue is the amount of freeze dried meat that they put in the meals, which to me is hardly any for the price I pay for them. Final issue, of course is the price. 

     I have the bag, now the next step for me was to decide what meal so I want to make.
Knorr pack run around $1.00 each.

    I decided I will use the Chili Mac mix as my test meal as I like chili mac, I sure as hell ate a lot while in the Navy. Since it is hard to find freeze dried meat in local stores, for this project and I am not using TVP or HVP that's in Mountain House, I placed an order with Honeyville and purchased a small can of beef and turkey.

   Next, I open both packages. The recommended serving size for the beef was 1/2 cup. Well I want to make this can stretch so I reduced down to a 1/4 cup.

     I place all the items into the zip-loc mylar bag and place a 500cc oxygen absorber in with the food and remove as much of the air from the bag and zip it shut. I also used an iron to heat seal the top strip of the bag to ensure that if the zip-loc seal does leak, I have a secondary seal.

    Now to break down the costs and weights for each bag:

Mylar bag with shipping: $0.43

Box of hamburger helper chili mac with tax: $1.60

O2 absorber with shipping: $0.22

Freeze dried beef with shipping: $2.18

Grand total for a pouch of Senior Survival Food (SSF): $4.43

Grand total for MH Chili mac from Academy sports with tax: $8.54

Total savings of: $4.11

Total weight of the MH Chili mac: 4.80 ounces

Total weight of homemade: 6.20 ounces.

   By no means am I knocking Mountain house and their products down, as I stated earlier, they are the best tasting ones on the market compared to the other brands but I have a few issues with them. I am looking for a low-cost alternative that I can have more options with. I wanted to also put a picture of the packaging when the 500cc O2 absorber was finished but I will post a picture when I open it and try the meal out. I will do a part two to this post.

   That's all for today, if you have comments or suggestions, please post them and lets get the discussion going.

Till next time, stay safe, carry often, and get ready, it's coming soon.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A shout out to all my shipmates, How about a HELL YEAH!!!

    To all my shipmates. Yeah, I have posted this before, but hey, I like it.


Veterans Day

      As we pause to remember our Veterans today, please reflect on what they have done for this great country. As we wait so anxiously for our President to give this years Veterans Day address, uhhh, well he is not around. Is it shocking, no but typical. So searching this morning, I have found a past video of an former President that did not read off a tele-prompter, nor did he have a uh or um in every 5th word.


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Happy 20th to my beautiful wife

   I want to announce to the world that I am the luckiest man to have the greatest wife. I have been fortunate and blessed to have you by my side for 20 years supporting me through the ups and downs in both our lives. It has been hard and tough at times, but there is not a perfect marriage, but we made it work and every time i looked over my shoulder, you were there. I love you with all my heart and look forward to the rest of our lives together.

Since we met in Jacksonville, FL, why not have Jacksonville's own Shinedown and one of my favorite band to sing a song.


Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Hallows Eve

I know, its sick, but how many of you have thought of doing this. Thanks to a friend for sending this to me. I might put something like this at the end of my driveway next year.


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Nice and relaxing weekend so far, airing some gear out, cooking some wings, and conferencing on a project.

    Today was a beautiful day here in the upstate of South Carolina. The sun was out in all its brightness, and the temps warmed up to a real nice 75 degrees here at the house. I have been wanting to do this for the past couple of weeks so today was the perfect day. I broke out the Cabelas 6-man geodesic tent and a smaller 2-man that I let the boys play in from time to time, to let them air out. After we were done setting them both up, I think they are getting in the mood for a camp out one night, so I think I will plan something out for them. So the boys and I locate the tents in the storage building and commence to setting it up.

From bag to this in 15 min (1 adult, 2 Kids)

35 min's total time (1 adult, kids quit)
    Once this one was setup, I let the boys put the smaller one together, with some guidance from me of course.

   So after they were done, they got in the tent and became camping kids. This is one of the best things to occupy their time. You should have heard some of the ideas they were generating. I, on the other hand decided to relax a bit in a hammock.

     I was just about out, when JUGM was calling for me, as she was about to head to town for some shopping, which meant fresh chicken wings from our local meat shop. After she left, I got out of the hammock and grabbed a chair and slid up next to the boys in the tent and had a good time chatting with them. Of course, later this afternoon, I like cooking, and I like chicken wings.

Yes, I know, I should be cooking them on the ground.
     This afternoon, I had a discussion via text with John over at MSO about a project I was working on. I am always looking for cost savings, as he is as well. Looks like we both will be doing our own versions of this product and trying them out with panel of judges. Stay tuned, hopefully I will receive all my materials this week and have them ready for next weekend. Not like this project is new, but I will publish my results in a future post.

     Well gonna sign off, SEC football is on and my team is playing. Stay safe, carry often, and don't ride public transportation with a bunch of sneezing riders.



Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Few notes to pass on, new resident here, views of recent news events and some group stuff.

    Hello everyone, things are moving right along here in rural South Carolina. As you may have seen at my better half's blog, JUGM has been busy being a mom again with 18 chickens, and she is doing a great job at it. Soon, the oldest pullets will be providing me with fresh eggs, god I love cheddar cheese omelets, yum!!!!

    Went to the county complex to find out why I haven't received my property tax bill and they stated they were a couple of weeks behind in closing the books. Go figure right? Well I am pleased to announce my property taxes for the year is $222.37. Gas here as of today was $2.70 a gallon.

     Been doing some work each evening on the tractor. I want to get my gun range up before the ground freezes. I haven't had a chance to go to SCDOT and put my name on the list to receive free fill dirt from their jobs. I probably wouldn't get any right now, they have had several roads around here that washed out within the last month from 8" of rain in a 3 hour period, so fill dirt is at a premium.

    We have a new resident that is starting to pass through the garden. I have had a few of his friends running around properties adjacent to us and along the state road we live off of,  I will look for him this weekend as I am in the stand.

     Well seems the latest crisis that we are seeing is EBOLA. Well, like we didn't see this coming. I mean, really, we have bumbling IDIOT as President, the head of the CDC and Prevention is a MORON, "We will make things worse if we restrict travel from West Africa"? AYFKM!!!!! Lets put is a clear as possible, if your body has this virus and you step foot on my property,

     This is what will happen.


   Can I be any clearer than this? I will not risk infection of my family, PERIOD!

    All eyes are the upcoming mid-term elections, and I have been asked, do you think the Republicans will take the Senate? Yes, it is possible, I am optimistic, but my main concern is, will they wont do anything to fix what is "F"d up with the country. Probably not, face it, all these politicians are all about power, plain an simple.

     Saw the First lady, Michelle Obama was dancing with a turnip? Uh, Really.
     Are you that desperate for attention? Pretty pathetic for a first lady, but typical for someone who have never been proud of her country.

    Debates in Florida are underway, here is the next Florida Governor.....

    Sorry, but when you cry like a baby about a fan during a debate, then you are labeled a cry-baby. Whats next, glass of water? Paper to take notes?

     I copied this from a website, and I quote "Southern Oregon University students claim university officials threatened to call the police and take disciplinary action against them last week after they passed out free copies of the U.S. Constitution and asked other students to sign a petition to end limitations on areas where students can demonstrate."

solution: exercise your second amendment rights, that will take the heat off. 

     This weekend will be a busy weekend, we have a large gun show in Charlotte to attend on Saturday, and I mean large, helluva lot larger than anything in Jacksonville and Sunday, we have another group meeting at one of the members houses. He has chickens too, so it will be good to see his set-up. I guess I can say I some seniority now, we now have a new member. I have brought along from the group in Florida that you need to have members that have a specific skill set. I agree with this whole-hardheartedly. The new member is a certified EMT in several states, pediatric care, and may not make it back for the meeting as he is on a wilderness EMT certification course for trauma care and extractions from the wilderness.
     I really like how this group is well structured with a combination of military veterans and regular everyday people. Yes, we have military specialties and have a good combination with USAF, USA, and USN, but I really like the ideas of the members who haven't served. Hey, everyone chooses their path in life, that's what makes us the United States of America, we have the freedom to choose. With myself and many career veterans, we sometimes think we have all the answers, yes we do, in a military environment, but as retired members, we have to adapt to our new commands in the real world and who else to look to than everyday professionals. Looking forward to hosting here at the house in the coming weeks for a cookout, maybe I will have the range somewhat done by then.

     Well its getting close to bed-time. I will try to do another post in the coming days. Stay safe out there and look out for the Ebola Zombies. Carry Often!!!!