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.