“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sun just coming up now.


Next week, after November 2, this will be 0700 instead of 0800.   I like that better, since I get up about four a.m. and when it's dark til eight that means I spend four hours inside before I can really get out. Not that it's a problem, because I have plenty to do inside.  It will just be nice to have the option of going out earlier.

I'm having my coffee, and my wife, who doesn't like coffee, is having mulled cider. I am good at making that. I even have little sticks of cinnamon to add to the cider once it's mulled. That's definitely a cold weather drink.  We don't have a fire in the fireplace this morning, because it's 42 degrees outside, but I'm running the propane heat so the house is nice and warm.



Yesterday, I got my first "subscription" copy of American Survival Guide. I can't complain about the contents, as always there were interesting articles and useful information. What I couldn't believe, though, was that they just stuck a mailing label on the magazine and sent it through the mail with no envelope or plastic cover.  All of my other magazines come in one or the other, and it's a good thing. This magazine, just thrown in the U.S. Mail, apparently sat in water somewhere, the pages were all dog eared, and in general it arrived in terrible shape. I tried to call the customer service number several times during the day.  It rang unanswered and then switched over to another number, also unanswered.

I won't be renewing the subscription. I keep my magazines for reference, and I keep them in good shape. To say I found such nonchalance about protecting the magazine on the part of the publishers infuriating would be a gross understatement. I'll just go back to buying the magazines at the newsstand in town.




Still, despite the poor performance of the publisher and the bad headwork that went into their decision making process, I'm not one for cutting off my nose to spite my face.  I saw the American Survival Guide Buyer's Guide on the newsstand at Walmart. Basically, it appears to be a compendium of the reviews they did in the magazine over the last year.

That's ok, because I have a hard time remembering what add I saw in which magazine. Commander Zero asked me a question about some security devices the magazine reviewed, and I never did find the right magazine to answer.  So perhaps this will be of use that way.  I confess, I have never seen anything in the product reviews that I rushed out to order. Principally, this is because all their gear is "wealthy yuppy" stuff. What I have done, though, is see something that conceptually I liked, and then gone to Major Surplus and Survival, or Sportsman's Guide, and bought surplus gear that fulfilled the same function. It's the ideas in the magazine, more than the specific items themselves, I pay for.

We have great plans for today.  Over across the state line, there's a little town that used to be the cigarette smuggling capitol of the United States in the 1980's. The feds closed that down, but there's still a post office, a gas station, and a general store. The general store has some good things in the way of guns, clothing, and equipment. It's a beautiful drive through the mountains to get there, and our plan is to ride over that way, then go to the discount grocery store in a town further on. Should be a nice break from routine. I'll try to remember to take my ancient camera, despite the extra weight.

The camera doesn't weigh all that much, but it adds up. When I go out, I carry my pistol and two extra magazines in a shoulder holster, a box of 50 rounds of 9mm or 45 acp, depending on what I'm carrying. I also have a cell phone, hand held GPS, wallet, check book, compass, matches, large folding knife, pocket flash light, and a few other odds and ends. Sometimes I feel like a medieval knight. I need a crane to host myself into the truck.


13 comments:

  1. I hate when magazines arrive in the mail in poor conditions. Some of mine have a plastic or at least a more durable outside cover. I was missing two magazines that I subscribe to and found out last night that they are out of business. At least I am ahead of what I had been paying at the news stand since the subscription was drastically less than the retail price. We get several magazines and to reduce bulk I made three ringed binders, cut out the articles I want to keep and place them in protective sleeves so I don't have to punch holes in anything. Then I can have separate binders or dividers to separate subjects.

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    1. It's particularly annoying when everybody else uses plastic envelopes or at least paper to keep your magazines in decent shape. I keep a list of all my magazines by issue and date on spreadsheets. That way, as soon as I know I am missing one, I can start working on getting it. Shotgun News is really bad about missing issues on your subscription, but I take it digitally now, and even though I still wind up with missing issues, the Amazon customer service people are good about getting those to me.

      I have stacks of 1960's and 1970's aviation magazines in my barn, but I have found someone who is still flying, who wants them, so I am sending those to him using the USPS flat rate shipping boxes you can get. I'm glad to see them being used and appreciated again, I lost my medical certificate in the mid 1990's because of my blood pressure, eyes, and depth perception so flying is past tense for me.

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  2. A reason to not buy subscriptions, but I know newsstands of yesteryear are almost gone. We had a place here in the Metro where you could get magazines and news papers from around the world. I believe they shut down while we lived in Florida.

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    1. Well, subscription magazines are significantly cheaper than the same issue on the newsstand, but it doesn't do me any good if they get here all beat up.

      Then too, some of the newer survival magazines are not carried by the grocery store in town, so if I don't subscribe I don't get them. But you have a good point, because if they get here all torn up it just aggravates me.

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  3. I didn't know that you also had daylight saving in the US.

    Sounds like you need a man bag to carry all that with you. Maybe a new camera would lighten the load - there are some good ones available that aren't expensive. I'm loving my new Canon - and it weighs 340gms.

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    1. Dani, the Blue Ridge Mountains are not a place where a guy could carry a "bag" I can get away with hauling my shopping bag down to the mailbox because nobody sees me. If I went into town with a thing that looked like a woman's purse, unkind things would be said, and there would be an "incident." I'm too old for that . ;-)

      I have a little bitty cheap digital camera, but I carry it in a protective case so it takes up a whole pocket on my vest. I knew you had to have a pretty up to date camera because the pictures on your blog are excellent.

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  4. I would have to agree on the buyers guides in this and other magazines, they tend to cater to the "yuppies" and they are costly, and like yourself, I would rather find Mil-surplus over that stuff. I wonder how many in the postal network read your magazine before you got it?

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    1. It wouldn't surprise me if it got a good going over in the break room. The thing was really beaten up.

      Military surplus is good enough for me. The only thing I have seen where people spend vasts amount of money to get name brand gear is knives. I have some Buck knives, including a great sheath knife I carried in the service. For the rest, I just have working knives I got from BudK. They are not the best, but they are good enough and very affordable.

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  5. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)

    I'm not into the magazine thing myself. I do read lots of books on the subject, like I am looking for used copies of Max Velocities two books on amazon at a good price.

    I don't hold onto books unless I need them for reference materiel. If I needed a professional library that would be another story. I remember the first books on survival stuff I read back in the 1980's as well as most of the science fiction books I read.
    On carrying gear. I carry a 1911, extra mags. I don't own a cell phone. I stick my head out the window to see where I am (Redneck GPS) I don't carry a wallet, but I do carry cash and a drivers license. I only use checks to pay bills with through the mail. I don't trust online banking.
    For a compass I know the Gulf of Mexico is to the east and Kymber in Frozen Canada is too the north.
    I got one of them new fangled knives that can cut through seatbelts and break car windows in one truck in case I come up on a car wreck. I also carry a cheap chinease survival knife, a Rothco Paracord five inch survival knife with firestarter made out 440C steal that I paid a whopping $13.00 for that I keep in the glove box. That knife is a great little beater knife. It works really well for basic stuff. I cant recommend it highly enough.
    I also carry an old school giant six cell maglight in the truck. Its more of a weapon than a flashlight. That's another inexpensive duel use item.

    I got a cheap backpack to carry that stuff in if I need to pull it out and go on foot. Most of the time, I am 'beached out' and its too hot and humid to carry anything except a six pack of Mexican beer that I test for urine content before I drink it:)

    I gotta say one more thing on the cheap survival stuff. Old school maglights, cheap Rothco chinease knives and other inexpensive stuff like duct tape can save your life just as easily as some of the expensive yuppie gear. I recommend one does there homework on what the uses of the items they are carrying. I would not use a cheap knife for bush crafting or hunting, but for cutting open MRE pouches or basic uses, they are great.
    I do need to carry some matches and a few other items in both vehicles. I learned one trick this summer. Standard road flares will burn damp wood in a fire. I used one road flare on damp wood on the beach this summer and that flare, like to cook the crap out the wood. Hottest damn fire with the very, very damp wood. I swear up and down on road flares as emergency fire starters.

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    1. CC: I tend to agree with you, that if something is good enough, it's good enough. I haven't seen an old style road flare in a long time. They don't carry them here in either the auto parts store or at Walmart. They may be illegal here now as far as I know.

      What make of 1911 do you use? I have always been a big fan of the M1911 and own several. The Kimber Custom II is the only one I use , really. The others are just in the safe against the day when you can't buy them anymore.

      In the mountains, especially on the old roads and trails in the woods, it's not that hard to get turned around. Especially when you are out just seeing what's in a part of the woods you haven't been into in awhile. A compass, good topo map, and a GPS are handy items to have. I once slid off the road and into a bog in one of the Wildlife Management Areas. I thought I was going to have to walk out until some teenagers came along in a fancy 4 wheel drive vehicle with a winch (and two wenches), and it's for times like that some navigation gear does not come amiss.

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  6. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    heres the link for the Rothco Paracord knife. The picture on the website doe not do it any justice. I think this a great buy and a neat little beater knife to throw in a glovebox, backpack or onto a fishing boat or someplace where you would not want to store a real nice serious knife.

    http://www.amazon.com/Rothco-Paracord-Knife-Fire-Starter/dp/B00E9WHEKE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1414280678&sr=8-1&keywords=rothco+paracord+knife

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  7. Harry,

    I enjoy this magazine myself. I pick it up at the bookstore in town.
    Why not get yourself one of those single shoulder slings for men designed to help carry everything you bring with you.

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    1. Sandy, you and Dani are trying to get me beaten up, aren't you! ;-)

      North Georgia is not very tolerant of deviations from standard fashions. I can wear a back pack but carrying anything even vaguely suggestive of a purse could be the catalyst for another one of those awkward lectures from the Sheriff.

      The nearest bookstore is in Chattanooga, TN a long way off. Luckily, our grocery store carries most survival magazines. Not surprising when you look at the number of people who build retreats here in case Atlanta gets too hot somebody.

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