Went to a summer festival this weekend with my friend G. There were were, among the strolling, carefree crowd, lugging these big saddlebags of gear.
G. and I are very different people. She’s a short, beautiful, church-going, civic-minded, family-oriented workaholic professional. I’m a tall, plain*, skeptical, Outlaw layabout who gave up family as a bad job 20-some years ago. She’s a staunch Republican conservative who worries about deteriorating morality and sports a “Hillary for Jail” bumper sticker on her vehicle. I’m an anarchist libertine** who’s v*ting for Sweet Meteor O’ Death.
But we are alike in that both of us, everywhere we go, haul these hefty bags of gear. In a pinch, if we needed to, between the two of us we could feed the multitudes keep ourselves fed and watered for a day, perform minor first aid, cut off a seatbelt, find magnetic north, call for help with a spare device, see in the dark, and have a good chance of preventing a bad situation from turning worse. Thanks to my new compact binoculars, I could even spot a rose-breasted grosbeak if some grosbeak-related emergency arose.
Wow. Beer can, mama bear, and don’t-forget-the-dog save a woman during a long ordeal. But note what she really wishes she hadn’t left at home.
Have you ever sensed that Snopes.com, the great All-Powerful Fact-Checker of the Intertubz, sometimes needs fact-checking itself — particularly on political issues? Turns our you’re quite right. Look who’s providing those political “facts”. Makes me sad. Snopes has been a valuable resource and this is slowly destroying their credibility. (H/T OdS)
Oh, the poo, poo widdle antigun politician. And of course he merely joins the ranks of fellow hypocrites. (That second article is actually about the Monica Lewinsky scandal and the Clintons turning the White House into “a brothel.” Quite gross, really. It mentions Hillary’s fondness for firearms only in passing.)
Registering women for the draft? Sigh. I suppose it was only a matter of time. But if we must have the sort of bogus “equality” that puts women into combat, could we at least do away with the kind of bogus inequality that makes any young people, let alone all of them, slaves eligible for government disposal?
I know these rainbow #shootback posters (Gadsden style!) are old news now in Internet time since Shel put them into comments last week. But they are sooooo beautiful. And so much wiser and more honest than the O-admin’s craven claim that censoring 911 transcripts from the latest murder-for-Mohammed was done “for the victims”.
Be patient, citizens! That is an order! Your government is hard at work protecting you. (I do rather wonder what those TSA lines snaking up and down escalators look like. Or worse, feel like to stand in, especially if you’re stuck at the top or bottom where the stairs disappear. But not enough to want to go to an airport to see for myself.)
Speaking of gummint “protection,” be glad you didn’t run into this employee of the Federal Protective Service.
Militias going mainstream? So sez The Guardian with a surprising minimum of tsking about it.
But not to worry. Plenty of tsking is still to be had in government schools. This time over a rather creative paper gun.
We are shocked. Simply shocked. Facing minimum-wage hikes, Wendys is adding self-serve kiosks, with McDonalds not far behind. Yeah, kids; that minimum-wage that nobody thinks you’re worth is a real benefit, isn’t it?
It is surely a mixed blessing to have time to design your own headstone. That’s a wonderful monument, though, and the Vanderboeghs could use some help getting it made. Kudos to Kurt Hofmann for a quote deserving of such immortality.
Sometimes even writers at the New Yorker think about the real world and ask good questions: What would happen if GPS failed? (A bunch of over-dependent individuals should also be asking what they’d do if their personal GPS devices failed. Or why they’re so dependent on technology that so often misleads them.)
Get businesses freaked out enough about “discriminating against the disabled” and they’ll fall for anything.
12 lessons to learn and hang onto forever. (Especially for business, but plenty have applications in the rest of the world, too.)
Just to cheer you up, here’s the latest report on global-catastrophic risks. I confess not to have read it yet. I don’t need that kind of “cheering up” right now. But just in case you’re interested. (H/T MJR)
Assume your state government is in big trouble if one, single taxpayer saying goodbye could have this much impact.
The feds have broken the Oregon standoff with arrests and one killing. A remnant remains. Leaders were apparently lured out on the pretext of attending a community meeting and trapped at a roadblock. Why? Why not wait them out? (H/T db)
I’ve never understood the mentality that official (or family) wrongdoing is fine as long as no one exposes it and that any person exposing the wrongdoing is somehow the problem. I’ve experienced that mentality, God knows (haven’t we all?), but I’ll never understand it as long as I live. Anyhow … sometimes justice eventually prevails. (H/T jed in comments)
Kinda funny. Not surprising, though. The most overconfident students (in one study, at least) are in political science. (Even more interesting where the least confident are — the fields that require hard evidence.)
… I was still living in the flatlands. The contents and setup of the bag were premised on the scenario that a flood, earthquake, or tsunami would drive me and the dogs into the nearby hills. We wouldn’t have to go far, but we might have to stay out there quite a while.
The only nearby buildings big enough to serve as shelters were all either in or across the zone of most likely damage. The neighbors, mostly poor and unprepared, might be liabilities. Camping solo was in the cards.
That was then.
Two and a half years ago I started the long, slow move into this place. In the hills. Quite sheltered. Good neighbors. Smart people. The neighbors here have pantries, guns, and in several cases, generators and garages full of useful tools. These are neighbors who make a point of getting to know each other, of gathering for parties where the conversation sometimes edges toward politics and preparedness — not deeply, but enough to indicate that a number of us are on the same track.
The much more likely scenario here: bug in.
Of course you know the old saw about the best-laid plans. A fire or a landslide could still put any of us on the run (and it creeps me out a bit that the houses on both sides have had fires in the last four years and one of those was also hit twice by landslides in the last decade).
Still. Bugging in seems likely. And no reasonable scenario would put me in the cold, wet hills for days. Time to revisit the bag. Of course I’ve tended it a bit since moving here. Changing the water container and replacing the food. Little duties like that. I haven’t re-evaluated it, though. Been too busy. So it’s time.
But … ulp.
That’s a lotta stuff! And what you’re seeing in the photo doesn’t even include the big white tarp I already pulled out to carry in Old Blue, the sleeping bag (also Old Blue), and the gallon-sized water container currently bleaching in the sink.
Old Blue has its own bug-out kit, very recently tended. But this one’s more comprehensive. I’m looking at the bags and bags of medicines, water filtration equipment, fire starters, toiletries, maps, winter clothes, pet food, cooking and eating gear, emergency lighting, signaling equipment, and … OMG, just a LOTTA STUFF.
I think I’ll go eat lunch and deal with this later.
Funny how it works with these holiday Amazon listies. I might do five or six of them in a season and only one person will buy a single listed item.
But orders do increase and quite often the purchases are similar to the listings … but a different model. Or brand. Or color. Sometimes a mention of one type of gear will spark a little flurry of orders for related items. A link to a rifle scope will bring bipods, holsters, and books on reloading.
This post may do the same. I’m going to link to specific products, but it’s not the specific product that matters; this is a list of things everybody swears by. Some I’d regard as absolute necessities for every prepared person. Others are just those things that make you go, “Oh, I wish I’d had one of those five years earlier!”
And they may get the same reaction from people on your gift list.
What The Hunger Games movies say about feminism and war. I read this week that Jennifer Lawrence was initially frustrated with her character Katniss’ reluctance to fight and to lead, but eventually came to understand that it’s one of the character’s great strengths.
Newly discovered spider named after a Lord of the Rings character. No, not Shelob.
Well, I’m sure that’s one good reason to fire the head of the DEA. But somehow it hardly seems the biggest reason (to fire the head of the DEA, send all its agents off to work at McDonalds, burn the agency to the ground, and salt the land on which it stood).
Yesterday was the first moment after … ohhhh, 40 days and 40 nights … that it wasn’t either raining or threatening to rain. Between that and the end of the year’s big hunting seasons, the dogs and I were finally able to return to long, leash-free walks in the woods instead of annoying, leashed walks around town (annoying because Ava likes to gallop and Robbie barely moseys these days; I end up walking sideways with my arms extended in two directions).
It was glorious. Chilly, but blue and still.
On our afternoon walk, though, we came across a lone crow feasting on an elk ribcage. Ava — she of the killer prey drive — alerted and paused. Figuring the crow would fly off, I gave her permission to run at it.
It didn’t fly off. It hobbled into the weeds, limping and vainly flapping its wings.