> TEOTWAWKI Blog

7/4/15

Surviving a Government Debt Crisis



Introduction / The Greeks - Summer of 2015
The Greek government has been teetering on the brink for a while now, and we'll find out within the next few days what direction the country is going to head -- slash spending and take more bailout money or drive themselves further down the path of economic ruin.

First up, Greece is only a very small part of the world's economy (44th highest GDP), and investors have had a long period of advanced warning to pull money out or otherwise game plan for a government collapse. At this point, the risk of a Greek government default and subsequent troubles has been largely priced into the market. Thus, there is little risk of a Greek default triggering economic meltdowns across the world. Some bad days on the market, yes, but nothing apocalyptic.

It is, though, instructive to watch how events have led up to the current situation and watch how they will unfold in the next few weeks. Government defaults follow similar progression and if you know the signs and eventual progression, you can prepare for them that much better.

6/27/15

Zyon Systems - Escaping the Urban Jungle

Cool opportunity from Zyon Systems for those in a major metropolitan areas. They're looking at doing a training run of bugging out from a city, and are looking for a volunteer to host.

Here's the details from Zyon:

I am interested in conducting some real world urban escape scenarios from a major metropolitan area. Our base camp, Boise, Idaho, does not fit the bill. If you ever wondered what it would be like to make it home on foot from your office during a major disaster or emergency, here is your chance to test your route and emergency gear. I'm looking for a host city and someone on the ground who is willing to help with logistics.

Here are the criteria I am looking for:

Population of 1,000,000 or greater
Major public transportation infrastructure
At least 15 miles to reach our designated safe zone
At least 1 overnight bivouac site en-route to our designated safe zone
Great food and attractions to enjoy after the scenario is complete!!

If you think your city will provide a good training opportunity and your up to the challenge, let me know. I would be stoked to start planning with you. As a perk, if I choose your city for the scenario, I'll give you one of our Professional Lite Kits for hosting the training.

If you're up for the job, head on over to the Zyon Systems blog to give 'em a heads up.

Not quite dead yet...

Damn...it's been 20 days since my last post. That's the longest I've gone in...well, years and years.

I am, happy to say, alive and well. Did some travelling and been busy keeping up with real life. Blog took a bit of a back seat for a while -- thanks to the faithful for hanging in there, and for the handful of folks who reached out to make sure I was still alive and kickin'.

I am alive, and I'm back at the keyboard...kids have torn several of the keys off said keyboard, but hey.

I am, though, assessing the go-forward plan for T-Blog and my writings and ramblings. Feel the need to re-adjust.

Various possible avenues to pursue...I may take a hiatus from survival blogging to re-visit my fiction that you guys keep poking me for; might focus on quality versus quantity -- 1 or 2 longer form posts / week; may change up platform/format -- switch over Tumblr, for example. Or might go back to same post frequency / length as before.

Welcome demands / inputs from the Tribe on what you'd like to see.

Wolf out.

6/7/15

PT, Part 3

Been hitting PT/weights regularly over the past several months - 3x a week, rain or shine. Pretty dedicated at this point; my mindset is that this is something I will continue for the rest of my life.

Definitely noticing the body adjusting/strengthening. Arms/shoulders/chest getting more solid. Plenty of work ahead of me, but progress is being made. Not where I want to be, but better than a few months ago. Given this is a long term, life long deal, patience is important I think. That's a big problem for many - everybody wants to lose 20 pounds in 8 weeks, get a six pack in a month or otherwise become a shredded Adonis in as little time as possible they forget that they are often battling against years of work to the opposite. 

Performance wise, I am honestly stronger now than I have probably ever been in my life. Example - I'm up from 20 push ups to an all time PR a couple days ago (50).

Have been slowly accumulating equipment, too. Haven't dropped the coin on the rack, Olympic bar and weight set yet - garage space is commandeered for a home project for at least another month. My workout space at present is half of a spare bedroom, so the equipment has been focused to that end.

Based on commentary from the tribe, I picked up a sandbag, which I use for squats, power cleans and deadlifts for reps. Used it as a makeshift flat bench, too, 'till I spent the coin on a a nice flat bench (Rogue utility bench).

The Rogue bench was pricier than most other options, but it's super-solid and should last for the next 30 or 40 years. Don't mind spending a bit extra for stuff that is built to last, and is made in the USA to boot.

After some back and forth and running the numbers, I went with a pair of Powerblock adjustable dumbbells. Fixed dumbbells are actually pretty expensive (around $1 a pound), and they take up a crap load of space. So, while the Powerblocks have a steep initial cost, they actually end up saving money and space in the long run. They're very nice, comfortable to use, and the adjustable feature is great - adjusting up or down takes only a few seconds. I'll be picking up the 70 pound expansion set soon. Again, a piece of equipment that will last a long time and through a lot of use.

Anyways, if you aren't happy with the shape you're in, get up and do something about it. Block out some time in your life to train, move around and lift some heavy metal - and be consistent!

Daily blade - Spyderco P'kal


This knife - a Spyderco P'kal - has been riding in my right front pocket since I got it...4 or 5 years ago at this point. Pretty much perfect design for a reverse grip / edge in folding knife.

5/30/15

Liberty Revolution 12 Gun Safe - Review

With gun safes, bigger is often assumed to be better. Buy bigger than you think you'll need they say...you'll outgrow it within a weekend.

That's all well and good, unless size, weight and logistical considerations make a giant, 700 pound gun safe impractical.

Many of us have limited space for a gun safe...and if you're married, the "allowable" spots you can put a safe dwindle dramatically. Or, maybe you've got a tight doorway or stairs to get up. Maybe, for privacy reasons, you want to move the safe into place by yourself. Or maybe you move frequently.

Yep, there are lots of circumstances that might put you out of the market for a big ol' Liberty Fatboy or similar, big 600 pound, refrigerator-sized traditional gun safe. If none of the above circumstances apply to you and you've got a big ol' gun safe sitting in the corner, hats off to you.

The Liberty Revolution 12 is compact and well made.
Personally, most of the above considerations applied to me. Limited allowable space--a corner in a small walk-in closet. Stairs, move frequently, wanted to be able to move it into place myself, too.

I'm also more of a utilitarian gun owner versus a collector, so I don't have mass quantities of guns to store. I don't need a giant gun safe at this point, so that's good.

So I went in search of a smallish, closet-friendly safe. Each major safe company has one or two of these in their line-up--usually rated for 10-14 guns and sometimes marketed as "entry-level" gun safes.

Unfortunately, these safes are also usually designed like entry-level gun safes - cheap construction, minimal fire protection, no-name locks, lousy interiors and bottom of the barrel in terms of actual security.

Of course, even "Residential Security Container"-rated safes are only rated to withstand 5 minutes of prying with hand tools, but most of the closet-friendly safes are probably closer to 30 seconds of prying.

After lots of comparison shopping and looking at the offerings from every single major safe maker, I decided on the Liberty Revolution 12.

A few things pushed me over to the Liberty. One of them was this video, which shows the strength of the Revolution's locking bar design versus more traditional safes locking mechanism:



While it's not impervious, the Revolution is tougher than competing safes in the same size class.

It also met the other requirements I'd set out for myself: made in the USA, available locally, at least 30 minute fire rating, S&G mechanical lock.

The Liberty brand name and the lifetime warranty they offer for every safe was icing on the cake.

The Liberty Revolution safes were on sale during Black Friday of '14 at Gander Mountain, so I woke up early and braved the crowds to save a little cash. Cost was just over $400 out the door. Regular pricing is closer to $500, which is still fair in my opinion.

With the help of one of the employees, I was able to load it into the family tactical minivan. With the help of my wife and a dolly, we got the safe up our garage stairs and into position without too much trouble or injury. Two average strength men with a dolly could move it up a flight of stairs without problem or breaking much of a sweat.

I've now owned the safe for 7 months and access it several times a week. Luckily, have not had to put its burglary or fire protection to the test (nor do I plan to). I've had absolutely zero problems with the safe and am thus far very happy.

It's not particularly spacious, but it does what I needed it to in the space allowed. I think around an 8-long gun capacity would be a decent assessment for what could fit into the safe without too much trouble. Lock has functioned well, finish has held up flawlessly. No problemos at all.

My one knock against the safe--which is almost universal for gun safes -- is the one-height-fills all barrel rests. They're designed for a height that would be appropriate for a hunting shotgun or rifle, not an AR or a home defense length shotgun. Not a deal breaker, but wish safe manufacturers would figure this one out.

If you're in the market for a quality closet-sized safe, the Liberty Revolution 12 is tough to contender to beat.