March 25, 2014 at 8:43 pm #3051
As I mention in my profile, I started out as a kid in the US Navy, nuclear power program, submarine service (EM3/SS). After getting out at the ripe age of 24, life promptly kicked me in the @$$… and by the 26 I was one of the homeless guys living on the street. I’m proud to say that, while it was a miserable existence, I never took a dime of government money or public charity, and I refused to be one of those guys (who became so popular later) with a sign saying “please help me, lost my job” or whatever… It was what an old friend later described as “tough times.” Yeah… Over a two-year period, where I was slowly starving and barely surviving, I made myself a promise that if I ever got out of that mess, I’d go back to school and take it as far as I could, so I would never be back on the streets again. Here we are, 20 years later… and I recently completed my D.Sc. in Information Systems (data analysis for command-and-control decisions).
But while my undergrad and MBA pedigrees looked good (from a purely academic perspective), I realized that what I had been taught- about economics, the law, government, etc.- didn’t explain what I was seeing in real life. That is, the theory was taught (and somehow connected to reality by intellectual gyrations of the teaching professors), but real life did NOT correlate to the theories I had learned. This became abundantly clear around 1999-2000, and from then on I continued my studies, while quietly acknowledging that they didn’t reflect reality. By 2006, when the housing boom was beginning to dissipate, I had begun “prepping,” though not in the same manner as most others…
I realized that while the 3Bs (bullets, bandages and beans) were valuable, they serve little purpose if I was unable to effectively utilize them. That is, I understood I needed to be far more skilled with deploying weapons, applying first-aid and making the most of whatever food was available. In other words… to be more effective at utlizing whatever was at hand, rather than trying to put at-hand everything I thought I would ever need!
Talking with Selco, I stated that I believe a lot of prepper (as well as militia) forums get hung up on what is the “best” gear to have… the sexiest knife, the “baddest” gun, whatever. It is my personal opinion that any knife or gun you have at hand which you can effectively use, is the main issue. Comparing and showing off is great in a normally functioning society. By virtue of the fact that you’re HERE, on this forum, you already recognize that society is NOT functioning normally, and we are in for a world of hurt… so the prestige thing… having the biggest baddest rifle or Rambo knife doesn’t matter. It wastes money that you can use on other resources. Training with what you have and NEED, versus blowing your money on what you WANT… that’s where it’s really at, in my (admittedly uneducated opinion).
To everyone here, I wish you all good luck, and Godspeed… in the trials that are coming.March 25, 2014 at 9:01 pm #3072
Gypsy Wanderer HuskySurvivalist
Welcome Breathial! I do believe in what you have said about items and their tags. Training to use what you have is better then the badsest rifle going!!
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonMarch 25, 2014 at 9:09 pm #3079
I am glad to have you here Breathial. People do make mistakes thinking that cool things will solve the problems, they can help, but skills and knowledge are first.March 25, 2014 at 9:22 pm #3101
My Bubblehead brother
I am with you. I was a Nuke MM1/SS did 8 and got out.March 25, 2014 at 9:40 pm #3136
Welcome Breathial and thank you for your service.
I’m in agreement with you re: the gear collectors. It’s almost like a morbid competition to see who can obtain the latest, greatest, sexiest tacti-cool stuff, but they don’t have the faintest clue how to use them effectively…
While I am not saying that I don’t have modern rifles of military usefulness (cause I do), or that upgrading them (better sights, etc) isn’t a good idea (and it is, and I have), getting into a competition with others over that makes you lose sight of why you invested in that rifle in the first place. A lot of what I have is, for lack of a better word, dingy… I put my gear on and I end up looking like a hobo. An armed hobo, but still a hobo…. I think “new” and “shiny” would get you killed, simply because the stuff you have is new and shiny… one rifle I have, it looks like it was a tomato stake before it became a rifle. Worn, beat up.. but inside, it’s as clean and shiny as a new clock, which is where new and shiny matters…
Wants vs Needs? That is the eternal battle… and it’s nice when they click together and your needs and wants end up being the same thing (which is rare, but it does happen sometimes). Practice your fundamentals, literally “run what you brung” and when you get really good, then you can justify blowing money on some tacti-cool gear…
Just my 2 cents.
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 25, 2014 at 10:02 pm #3146
I like you already, Breathial, having seen some of your posts now.
I too spent some time as a youngster without a place to call home. Definitely not fun.
As you say, education is more than what you learn in a class. It is more than the toolbox. It is knowing how to apply it that matters.March 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm #3164
@ Malgus, we definitely think alike. For a while, I got into the “shiny and new” thing… now I’m getting out of it. My wife- a city-girl- wants me to keep the Mercedes that’s parked in the garage… while I want to get rid of it, put the money towards something more useful. I bought a ’98 Camaro- looks beat to Hell, dingy and plain-looking (even when it was new), but it has a new drivetrain in it, and can really scoot when I need it to. My weapons collection- while in like-new condition- looks plain and definitely NOT sexy… but everything does what it’s supposed to, when I need it to. Even got my wife into the shooting, and she’s become quite handy with the more-easily-controlled 9mm varieties, so that’s what I’ve focused our inventory on… While the MSM media would call my collection an “arsenal,” the gun-collectors out there would laugh at me. Don’t really care.
Now building a SHTF vehicle, if such a thing exists… big, heavy 4×4, that will (again) look rather mundane, but have it where it counts. Don’t know if such a thing is useful, but I could document my build on this forum… I decided it was better to build a rig for $6-8K that is a brute and functional, rather than spend $40K on a new yuppie-mobile that had plastic bumpers and enough electronics to fly a jet.
My current area of work requires me to build and maintain high-dollar data centers for large companies, so the name of the game is “nondescript.” If I hide a data center worth $200M in a building that looks like a chicken-coop,and nobody knows it’s there, than security becomes much easier, and far more effective. The “hobo” look, as it were…March 25, 2014 at 10:51 pm #3165
Welcome, Breathial – great to have you here!March 25, 2014 at 10:53 pm #3168
Gypsy Wanderer HuskySurvivalist
(OK WE NEED A LIKE BUTTON!!)
Prepare for the unknown by studying how others in the past have coped with the unforeseeable and the unpredictable.
George S. PattonMarch 25, 2014 at 11:23 pm #3177
Okay, here’s where I can help a brother out…
You want a brute of a 4×4? I can hook you up. There’s a guy in Indianapolis. He has buyers on the Left Coast, always looking for prehistoric iron. They buy up 4×4’s and good trucks and then ship them via car carrier to Indianapolis, where Our Hero resells them to Southern nutcases like me… Our truck, I am happy to say, has NO emissions junk on it anywhere. It’s a 1973 Ford F250 4×4 Factory Highboy. Paid 6K for it. Put another 5K into it. Right now, it is a BEAST of a truck – factory 390 V-8 with a Holley 600 cfm carb. It even has triple factory coolers- two radiators for the engine, one for the transmission fluid. My son calls it “The Zombie Apocalypse Truck” and says the only things missing are a cow-catcher on the front (which will happen this year) and a pintle-mounted .50 caliber M2 in the bed… place is called http://www.rustfreeclassics.com You can haggle with the guy, too. He won’t be offended.
Other thing is your missus – if you’ve been tempted to buy her one of those black plastic combat tupperware 9mm carbine things for big money, well DON’T. Check out a carbine called the K-31. It’s from Finland. For a couple hundred bucks, it’s basically an upgraded version of the Russian PPSH burp gun, but only in semi-auto. Comes with 36 and 71 round mags. The 36 is a stick, the 71 is a drum. Yeah, it’s sort of heavy, but recoil is zero. AND (wink, wink, nudge, nudge, Bob’s yer uncle) there are torch-cut parts kits of the full-auto version on the market for about 130 bucks… just sayin’… magazines can be found at Numrich (type in Suomi) or Cheaper Than Dirt (again, type in “Suomi”). I pronounce it “good stuff” (or “Hobo-approved”) and if you run out of ammo, you can always whack someone in the coconut with it… it’s old school wood and steel.
Come to think of it, HEY SELCO!! You got any experience with the Finn K31 or the Russian PPSH? Inquiring minds want to know…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2014 at 12:35 am #3206
No, I don’t need any help building my rig… already doing it. ’85 Suburban 3/4 ton (smog exempt), new big-block drivetrain, will have heavy bumpers front and rear. With a good cargo trailer, should be able to use it as a BOV if needs be, but should be strong enough to contend with anything else the typical civilian would have access to.
As for weapons, we’re pretty well stocked. Anything extra, will be “supplied” by those who won’t be needing said gear any more… can only buy so much, prep so much, before you have so much gear that you can’t carry- or haul- it. We’re right at that point. LOL. I would like to buy some body armor (and may do so before long), but my kids are too young to wear it, and my wife is too damned stubborn to see the value of it (oooh, it’s so HEAVY!!! ***sniff***).
My wife went through the USSR collapse, and she thinks it won’t be any worse than that. Of course, 50% of the population wasn’t relying on SNAP/welfare/WIC/handouts to survive… so when that goes bust, 1/2 the country will be hungry and desperate, with NO qualms about stealing from the “haves” like they’ve been doing for years/decades/their entire lives.
Which reminds me that we had an interesting conversation about two years ago…. deciding whether to ride out SHTF here in America, or in Russia (where I have the option of “escaping” to). Bottom line is that the governments of both countries are so utterly corrupt (regardless of whether it’s a “D” or “R” in the White House), that the only real difference is that we still have access to guns, here. LOTS of guns… so here we stay, for better or worse.
To all, thanks for the feedback. I apologize for being long-winded (have my D.Sc., it’s now sort of burned into my being, to be long-winded and talk about damn-near anything under the sun).March 26, 2014 at 12:51 am #3244
Ain’t nothing wrong with being windy, Breathial…
My wife (German) and I had the same talk… we decided that when TSHTF, if it is possible, her and our son are to flee to Europe with as much PM’s as they can carry. While Germany is nice, I would rather have them farther “out of the way”, so they have orders to try to make it as far as Finland. The “diversity” rot hasn’t set in so badly there. Strong economy, homogenous people, low crime, good schools…
Me? I’m too stubborn. Here I was born and here I will stay, for good or ill…
Hey, your ‘Burban a diesel?
And what is it with vets and Euro wives?
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2014 at 2:38 am #3280
Let’s just say, my ‘burb is “officially” a diesel… Though the engine will bear a striking resemblance to a 454 big-block.
As to Euro wives, I have an American ex-wife, and vowed never to put up with the “what have you done for me lately” attitude again (remember the Eddie Murphy routine?). I wanted a woman who knew what she wanted, was smart and tough… and appreciated the differences between men and women. I succeeded… She’s TOUGH, and stubborn, and difficult…. She certainly keeps me from getting bored, LOL.
@ Anika and Gypsy: Thanks!March 26, 2014 at 3:02 am #3323
Tough, stubborn and difficult… bro, you’re preaching to the choir! My old daddy told me that if I wanted the best apple, don’t go to the barrel. Go to the tree. I ended up in Europe for almost 5 years and got hitched.
A product of the quasi-leftist German school system, it took a bit of work to undo the programming. Now, she’s almost as big a patriot and libertarian as I am. Smart as a whip, but like yours – tough, stubborn and difficult. Just digs her heels in. And my warped sense of humor doesn’t exactly help, either.. (for instance, sometimes she’s under the impression that she runs the household and acts accordingly. Me, in response, well I goose-step around the house singing “Deutschland Uber Alles” at the top of my lungs. She didn’t find it funny. I thought it was hilarious.)
Still, we’re happy together 99% of the time even though we butt heads… she has no problem doing whatever it is that needs to be done, whether that’s digging weeds from the garden or what have you. And, since I taught her to shoot, she keeps me honest…
Hey, about your ‘burb… I know that anything pre-1980 is pretty much EMP-proof. Yours is an 85. How’s that gonna pan out if we get hit with an EMP (man made or CME)? You know we just ducked a bullet, right? Read something yesterday about how there was a CME and we missed getting bullseyed by it by 8 days… which in solar terms, is just a few microseconds…
The wicked flee when none pursueth..." - Proverbs 28:1March 26, 2014 at 5:21 am #3434
Regarding the ‘burb, it was originally an all-mechanical diesel. I’m retrofitting with a HEI-fired, carburetor engine, and mechanical transmission. I’ll store a spare HEI distributor in a metal trashcan (good Farraday cage), “just in case.” While my instrumentation may get fried, with a fresh distributor stabbed in (takes about 30 minutes to swap), I should be good to go. The cool thing is that HEI is completely self-contained. All you need is a hot lead to the battery, and you’re good to go. In that aspect, it’s eminently more practical than electronics or the old points-and-condensor ignition setup. Less stuff to go wrong, and any decent HEI setup will run 100K miles without a burp.
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