Friday, October 7, 2016

Old Times There are not Forgotten.

Friday morning here.  The hurricane hasn't reached Jacksonville, Florida yet so we don't know what will happen in Georgia.

In town yesterday, there was no sign of any concern. No above average grocery buying or lines at the gas stations. We are supposed to get some wind and rain, but I think considering the drought everyone will be happy to see the rain.

We had lunch in a restaurant and the couple behind us was from Florida. The husband wanted to go back to Florida right away to check on their house. The wife was trying to point out that they should wait until the storm was over and the roads were clear. I felt for the guy, I would have wanted to go roaring back down there right away too, but it wouldn't have made much sense. More practical to wait until they could get to their destination. They were still "discussing" it as they went out the door, so I don't know what they decided.

I am not sure many will remember it, but in the 1980's and 1990's, American Survival Guide was one of the very few survivalist magazines on the market. The editor was a fellow named Jim Benson.

I had most of the magazines, but during my three year teaching stint, I very uncharacteristically expended them by giving them to my reading classes. As the only male teacher in the 5th grade, I got the "problem readers".  At 0900 each morning, every classroom broke up and the kids went to a teacher who planned the curriculum based on the reading level of the children.  For some reason, most of the underachievers were boys, so my class was primarily males. This school was out in the part of the county known as "bare knuckle alley" and there were some very rough young fellows in the 5th grade out there. Almost every rural Southern county has a "bare knuckle alley" type of area. It's where the really poor, "rough" people live.  The section may be known by some other name but you'll know it when you see it.

The texts were politically correct, even then. The stories were all along the lines of Panjet Patel, little Maria Gonzolez, and Quonkoo Mafumi go to the farm to protest low farm worker wages.  Trying to get my kids to read this stuff was impossible. (Just for info, most text books are written for the California and New York State markets. You have to buy from that pool)

So I got my principals permission to bring in magazines. I brought my old Guns and Ammo and American Survival Guide magazines in. The whole object was to motivate the boys to read , and it worked. I had no trouble with the parents because these were primarily rural people with no problems about the subject matter.  Alas, the magazines got worn out. So most of my copies of American Survival Guide were lost to me.

Years later, I started trying to reconstruct my collection.  American Survival Guide had been published by Jim Benson, but the money came from an eccentric old man, rumored on the internet to be Chinese. When he died, his daughter, a lefty princess raised in New England, shut the magazine down as the subject matter offended her. She also tied it up so it could not be published commercially. That is to say, she made sure no one could make up CD's containing the old magazine and sell them.

Jim Benson got fired, but he started his own webzine called Modern Survival Guide. He was a great publisher, and I wrote several articles for his magazine. Not for the money, which was modest, but because he would work with Joe S the Ragman authors. You didn't have to be well known to get published with him.

I think the webzine changed hands some years back and then went under.  I haven't heard anything of Jim Benson in a long  time, and I hope he's still alive and doing well.

You can still get about 40 of the old magazines in pdf form at this web page:

Old American Survival Guide

There was also a fellow who was on the Northeast Shooters BB system, now long defunct. He was collecting old American Survival Guides and putting them in PDF format. This was perfectly legal as long as he didn't sell the files, which he did not.  I sent him some of the magazines I had that he needed, and he sent me what he had. Alas, I didn't back them up and when my computer failed, I lost all those pdfs.  I have never been able to locate him again.

If anybody knows of any copies of American Survival Guide (the old one) that can be downloaded in pdf form from the net, I'd sure like to hear about it.

Jericho: The TV Series

Another resource from the past that you can track down is the television series "Jericho."

Jericho ran from September, 2007 through March of 2008 on CBS.  After the first season,  it was cancelled but there was a huge outcry from fans, and the network commissioned a 7 segment second season to close the story line.

Jericho followed events in a small Kansas town after a synchronized terrorist attack destroyed most major American cities with nuclear weapons. There were a lot of twists and turns in the plot, so I won't say more than  that in case you want to get it on DVD.  I am pretty sure your library can order it for you.

Season One

Season Two

One reason the show was so popular was that it was realistic.  It was a well written, well researched series that made sense.   I learned some things from watching it, and I enjoyed it at the same time.

Moving right along:

We went to see the "Deep Water  Horizon" movie at the theater yesterday.  I had a basic understanding of what happened because I was still working for the oil and gas company when all that transpired in the Gulf. The movie is a fairly accurate depiction of the chain of events that led to the disaster. I can say this about it, for certain. The attitude depicted on the part of "management", as opposed to that of the people who are working on the rigs, was accurate.  Oil and Gas companies are about profit. There is no sense of morality or concern for anything other than profits at Corporate.  These are the same people who are destroying water tables through fracking, and I guarantee you they don't care a damn about anything but profits. All those BP advertisements about how they love the environment so much are utter nonsense. They love money. Point, period, exclamation mark. 

Ask anybody who ever worked in that business.

It's a very intense movie. I told my wife when we left, that it was a good movie but I didn't enjoy it. I want to be relaxed when I come out of a movie, not wound up like a three dollar pocket watch.

Thought for the Day:


  1. Harry, if memory serves, you did a post a good while back on the magazine issue. I can't be certain but I think I posted a solution or at least a start to a solution then, but I don't remember what it was.

    I caught the Jericho series on sale at Amazon and bought the series. Previously I had gone to CBS and binge watched the series over a period of 4 or 5 days.

    Back on the say that Deep Water Horizons exploded, I had been watching on cable an episode of Walker Texas Ranger..... it was an episode of someone trying to blow up an oil rig just like this. When the show ended, I turned it to Fox News only to be shown the coverage of Deep Water Horizons burning. I'm sure that was by pure coincidence that particular episode aired that morning, but it was so weird that I never forgot it. Freaky.

    1. I did a post on this a year or so ago, but haven't dredged up any new sources of pdf files yet. I remain hopeful. ;-)

      I wasn't aware you could pull it up on the CBS web page, but that's good news. I am sure a lot of people would enjoy it but don't have it in the budget to buy the DVD's.

  2. Did you try this link for PDFs of older ASG ?

    You don't have to publish this comment if you don't want to. Just trying to help.

    1. I publish all the comments unless they are 99.9% obscene one's from my resident troll. ;-)

      I haven't looked there but I sure will. First I have to check and see if I already have March 1987. I have some of the original issues in paper, and then some from Stephen's page. I appreciate the heads up.

  3. Hey Harry,


    I have been busy the past few days so I not leave a post on the previous post.

    I am watching the old Russian Bear reawaken from its slumber. The Russians are not 'Bullcrapping around' They really believe that hillary is the anti-Christ and will start a nuke attack or something over Aleppo or some other third rate dump just to make a point.

    Personally I am so disgusted with the entire Middle East/ Persian Gulf countries that I would find mass chemical, biological and nuclear attacks almost laughable. Give a barbarian a brick and instead of building a school, he would smash his neighbors head in instead.

    allaha snackbar!

    duck and cover...remember that turtle cartoon from the late 50's and 60's?

    Its a matter of time before some idiot lights off the first nuke since Nagasaki. One morning I will fire up the computer one morning and find massive headlines on drudgereport on someplace that, done gone up in a mushroom cloud.

    I hate being the predictor of bad news but its a mathematical certainty based on the proliferation of nukes. One plus one equals Ka-Boom on the kiloton level.

    Me' I don't like one of my neighbors but I would not nuke them. I may make dirty looks and 'flip them the bird' every now and then but nuken's off the table.

    (by the way, I live next door to a rent house with a bunch of liberal, libtard professional victims that all have hair colored blue and other colors. Their ain't a normal head of hair in that house. The owner of that rent house herself is a bi-polar, credit criminal, deadbeat that does not maintain that house (so its gradually turning into a slum house)

    The lady that rented that house is another bi-polar credit criminal herself. That and she's a very promiscuis 40 year old woman that wears reveling mini-skirt's, fish net panty house and 'jacked up high heeled shoes' Her tail end is kinda big in that mini-skirt and she looks like she's toting around 'two pigs in a gunny sack' (No, am not making this up)

    White trash with no sense and no class.

    Now, I did find out that the woman renting the house (besides being a fake redhead and the only one without blue hair) is from the same hometown as the owner of the rent house. I found out too that there were extensive 'Uranium mines' in that area and the water is contaminated.

    'Uranium on the Cranium'

    that explains the mental problems and multi-colored hair of all mentioned above.

    General Jack T. Ripper was right. Its the purity of waters that's being poisoned by the communist. Just look at my neighbors. 'Old Stanley Kubrick could make a hell of a movie out of this mess.

    I piss off my neighbors by flying some of the same flags you do 'Harry:)

    1. Time to move out to that place in the desert, CC. Or maybe some deserted beach down toward Mexico where you would have to live a beach comber life, but that will be ok.

      Nobody knows what's coming down the pike. We live in interesting times, to say the least.

  4. Wouldn't make sense to go south when folks are going north and the roads are one way. Oh wait I'm sorry common sense is not aloud here in America anymore. BO EO

    1. There's always the guy who marches to the beat of a different drummer.

  5. It's a tough go for those Floridians right now. What a tough decision many are having to make. And it's exacerbated by the fact that the BLM slugs are posting commentary that they are headed out looting in the white neighborhoods.

    Is there any way we could read some of the stuff you had published in those old magazines? Not sure how that works with copyright law, but since it's a defunct magazine perhaps it's possible. --Troy

    1. Well, you'd have to find copies of the magazine. Jim Benson used to send you CD's that had the annual magazines on them if you subscribed. Somewhere around here, I have a box with my copies, and my articles are on those. I'll see if I can find them. I am not aware of any "download back issues" place for the magazines but I have never really looked, to be honest. I don't mind lending you my disks if I can come up with them.

  6. When the well blew I happened to be way the heck out in Ozarks and met a guy who's brother was working on that rig. At the time he was "missing" but was confirmed dead later. Hard working guys just trying to get ahead.

    My lovely wife had an uncle who made a lot of money in the oil industry working the exploration side of things. It was definitely all about the money for him. He died when his truck hit a deer and left behind a string of rich widows.

    1. My brother in law worked on a rig in Nigeria during the 1960's. He made a lot of money but it was dirty, dangerous work and he went back to college and became a chemist.

      I was still working as an accountant for an oil and gas company when the rig blew out. The only thing my boss was concerned about was whether or not we had any working interests that were effected, and if so how much it would cost us. He cared not a fig for the people, or the damage to the gulf, and I'm sure he still doesn't.

  7. We caught the whole series of Jericho on Netflix before we went over to Amazon Prime videos. Interesting and a little scary. Was reading today about the stuff H. Beast says in public and then in private to her banking buddies. Now, that's scary! I wouldn't put anything past the lame duck traitor before January.

    1. The thing that rattled me, although I had always known it in the back of my mind, was here telling the Banksters that she favored "open borders." Even after the horrors in Europe, she still does. People that vote for her are going to reap the full whirlwind for having done so. But they will take the rest of us down the drain with them.

      Jericho was a good series. It got good ratings. Why it was pulled is beyond me, but I would be willing to bet that the CBS executives were pressured by somebody to quietly suppress it. The scripts were not particularly laudatory about the Federal Government.

  8. I keep seeing Jericho on Netflix, I'll have to give it a watch when I next get a bit of time in front of the box, thanks for the heads up

    1. TW, I think you will enjoy it if you get a chance to see it. There was an excellent BBC show along the same lines called "Survivors" but it only went one season

      Hope things are going well in Spain. I think you made an excellent decision. I visited Spain from time to time during my military service. Except for a little weirdness over their Civil War that was still floating around 50 years after the fact, I really liked the place and the people.

  9. I saw that students can't go back to Savannah College of Art and Design until Oct. 17. I remember having to evacuate from Hurricane Floyd in 1999. It freaked me out. It took 4 + hours to get from Savannah to Macon. I had no clue what to expect since I'm from Nebraska. There was no internet in our apartment to research what to expect. I really wish my roommate was there. She was from Ocean City Maryland. She knew what to expect. She was at her brother's wedding. Instead I was stuck with a friend from Ohio. Not much help.

    1. Savannah, as you know from living there, floods the streets every time there is a good rain. It's too low and too close to the coast line and the river is right there too.

      You did right to flee in '99. In 1985 there was a big hurricane came up the coast while we lived on Emerald Isle in the outer banks of North Carolina. My wife and our 6 month old daughter, I moved up to Raleigh, but I went back to the house on the beach. I had been through Typhoons on Okinawa and didn't worry about it a lot. But when the hurricane started hitting the coast I saw there was a big difference between sitting one out in a big bachelor officers quarters up on the mountain side in Okinawa, and sitting it out right on the beach in a little wooden house. I changed my mind and took off just before they closed the bridge to the island. I would think that it was a frightening experience for you, with no prior experience!

  10. Jericho was a great series. I never understood why it went off the air. It had a huge following.

    -Blind Ambition

    1. It did. Enough of a following to inundate CBS headquarters with jars of peanuts (remember "Nuts"!" The second season did even better than the first. But for reasons no one ever understood, the network wanted the show gone.

  11. I think it's great that you were able to find something the kids you taught could relate to. That makes all the difference.
    I have both of the seasons of Jericho. Bought them a couple of years ago - they aren't that expensive since it's an older show.

  12. That school was a tough environment. One of my boys threw a rock at the neighbor lady and knocked her out. One of them was psychotic, and he was one of the most dangerous individuals I ever dealt with. He wound up stabbing a student after he left my classroom. Another one put bleach in my coffee (I was warned by another student before I drank it) and one of them liked to sneak away from the playground and defecate in the sink back in the classroom. I got all the bad boys because the principal said they needed a positive male role model. Given that I had up to 44 kids in a classroom, while the legal limit was 28, those were three tough years. But I had some very good kids, too, and I remember them more often than the bad ones.

    I bought both seasons a few years back, but I loaned them to my middle brother, along with my copy of "The Pacific" and I haven't gotten them back yet! ;-)

  13. Well, now that the "STORM OF THE CENTURY" is over, once again it was mostly sound and fury, signifying nothing. All of the evacuations and preparations thankfully gone to waste in Florida. Which, of course, will make evacuating that much harder next time an evac may be needed.

    Did you catch that some people out there are questioning the coverage of the storm? Like they were trying to take the attention off of something elsewhere?

    And how about Hillary's campaign wanting Florida to extend voter sign-up by 1 week, and Gov. Scott telling her to kiss off after saying the potential voters have had enough time already? Great stuff. So, of course, some stupid lib-tard fed judge made them extend 48 hours.

    Gah, the stupid out there, it hurts.

    Stay sane, can't wait for your next post, I'm sure it will be a doozie.

    1. Well, better safe than sorry on hurricanes. I'm reading a book about Katrina at the moment, and that's a good example of what happens when you try to blow one of these things off. North Carolina really got socked and there's still a lot of misery all along the coast of the U.S. from Florida to North Carolina.Not least because a lot of these people didn't have flood insurance, as the feds have started phasing out the policies they used to offer. I'm in favor of that. If people want to live on the beach, I don't blame them, but I don't want to subsidize them, either.

      Things have gotten so bad on the political front that I am reading it but not saying much about it. I did note that the new leaks have Hillary telling the fat cats she's all for open borders. All I can say, is that if people vote for her they deserve everything they are going to get. And I'm not talking about increased government handouts.

    2. Yeah, once again everyone said Florida was gonna die, and it instead hit elsewhere. Not complaining, have sat through 6 hurricanes now since moving near Gainesville, FL. My mom's house on the beach has only been hit by 3 tropical storms since 1973. Go figure. Sometimes I think the best thing for Florida was Hurricane Andrew, back in the '90s. They completely rewrote all building codes, both for new construction and for commercial buildings (including schools).

      Then in 2005 after the summer of hurricanes, Publix Supermarkets, a regional chain that is probably the best supermarket ever, put generators in every store. They lost $60 million in one summer from spoilage, cost $100 million to put in generators. That's forward thinking. If more chains acted this responsibly, well, yeah.

      As to the political front, the double-standard is killing me. What people justify is allowable in one party now is not allowable to someone 20 years ago. It's meshugana! Oy, vey. And now that certain party is attacking Catholics. Geez, thought we got over that stuff in the 1900's. Next they'll want to eat all the Irish babies.

      One thing about this political season is good. After all the banging of my head against the wall, I now don't need a rubber forehead to play a Klingon.

  14. Reading has to be something you want to do. Catching young readers interest just makes it easier to get them going.
    Have you watched the nuclear war movie "Threads"? I just found it in Vimeo. It was made in the late 80's in England. Not fancy but about as real as it gets. No Hollywood happy ending.
    I have to admit I thought the threat of atomic war was less after The USSR collapsed but with the condition of the world now it looms again.
    Take care on your wonderful mountain!

    1. Fiona, given the fact that Pakistan owns nuclear weapons, and North Korea owns nuclear weapons, I haven't figured out why one hasn't gone off in London, or Paris, or Washington D.C. yet. The Pakistani government is riddled with supporters of radical Islam, and North Korea sells anything to the highest bidder. Then there are the Russian nucs that are unaccounted for from the breakup of the Soviet Union.

      I have heard a lot about "Threads" but have never seen it. I read a comprehensive review of the show and it seems like it was pretty good. I don't have Vimeo, I assume it is something like netflicks?

  15. I came to check if you are ok, i see that you are:)(i was in Washington in 1999 when Floyd came to visit, it was scarry...).

    1. Yael, great to hear from you. Yes, we are doing ok. We are far enough inland that hurricanes going up the east coast don't usually get to us. But the ones going NE out of the Gulf have caused some serious problems here.

      I'll come by and see how you are doing.