Tuesday, October 30, 2012

poem from Tecumseh

This is the poem from Tecumseh that is at the end of Act of Valor. There are some sources that attribute this to others. Regardless, it is mighty powerful.

So live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.
Trouble no one about their religion; respect others in their view, and demand that they respect yours.
Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.

Seek to make your life long and its purpose in the service of your people.
Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.
Always give a word or a sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, even a stranger, when in a lonely place.
Show respect to all people and grovel to none.

When you arise in the morning give thanks for the food and for the joy of living.
If you see no reason for giving thanks, the fault lies only in yourself.

Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.

When it comes your time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.
Sing your death song and die like a hero going home.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sandy - you bad, bad little lady

Keep those in the path of Hurricane Sandy in your thoughts and prayers.

As a category 1, it may not be as bad as those that hit the lower Atlantic and Gulf coasts, but it's still supposed to bring a lot of rain and a significant storm surge.

Let's hope that those sticking out have enough preps on hand to see them through the worst of it.

Keep your powder (and everything else) dry.

Friday, October 26, 2012

disposition matrix

Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

Plan for hunting terrorists signals U.S. intends to keep adding names to kill lists - The Washington Post

“The problem with the drone is it’s like your lawn mower,” said Bruce Riedel, a former CIA analyst and Obama counterterrorism adviser. “You’ve got to mow the lawn all the time. The minute you stop mowing, the grass is going to grow back.”

The ACLU's take:
ACLU Comment on Targeted Killing “Disposition Matrix” | American Civil Liberties Union

Some interesting commentary:

The Never Ending War On Terror

Business Insider

Democracy Now! | Democracy Now! Headlines for October 25, 2012 (there's) and interesting story right under this one about the same topic)

Obama moves to make the War on Terror permanent | Glenn Greenwald | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk

Seems like the War on Terror is going about as well as the War on Poverty SNAP/Food Stamp Participation « Food Research & Action Center
and the War on Drugs Numbers Tell of Failure in the War on Drugs - NYTimes.com .

Keep your powder dry and an eye to the sky.

a story of what could happen

Thursday, October 25, 2012


By example
From the front
From below

Monday, October 22, 2012

do your job, men

I was reading an article on zerohedge by Jim Quinn about the state of our nation's educational system (among other things), and this little nugget caught my eye. (from the Pew Research Center)

63% of youth suicides are from fatherless homes
90% of all homeless and runaway children are from fatherless homes
85% of all children who show behavior disorders come from fatherless homes
80% of rapists with anger problems come from fatherless homes
71% of all high school dropouts come from fatherless homes
75% of all adolescent patients in chemical abuse centers come from fatherless homes
85% of all youths in prison come from fatherless homes.

So all I've got to say is: "Men, do your job."

It always seemed to me that one of the biggest contributors to where we are as a country right now is the rise of deadbeat dads.

This site is all about personal responsibility and one of (if not THE) biggest responsibilities is fatherhood. Shirking this responsibility is inexcusable. The effects reach much farther than the immediate family - it affects all of us via higher govt costs and the degradation of our society.

Once again from the article:
"In 1960, only 8% of families with a child under 18 were single parent households. Today, that number is 30%. The percentage of children born out of wedlock in this country is 41%..."

Don't get me wrong, I have the greatest respect for single mothers - every single one of them. Heck, I was raised by one. I'm just lamenting the demise of the traditional, Christ-ordained family. It just really chaps my hide when men don't step up and take care of what they helped create.

Here's the link to article if you're interesting in another thought-provoking read.
Guest Post: Dysfunctional, Dishonest, Insane, And Intolerable | ZeroHedge

Sunday, October 21, 2012

a skill overlooked?

I really enjoy the articles over at Alt-Market.com. Every article by Brandon Smith is well written, insightful, and leaves you with much to consider. This one is a very good example.

Martial Arts For The Survivalist

I have just about zero experience in any kind of martial arts, but I have always wanted to learn.
This article has me doing some serious research on the opportunities in my area.

keep your powder dry and your chi focused.

Thought of the day - we've got it pretty good

I know there's a lot of doom and gloom nowadays. Everywhere you look it's bad news. I'm probably as bad as anyone at this...

But we do have it pretty good. I heard on the radio the other day that even those considered poor in the US are still better off than 85% of the rest of the world. That's the rest of the world, folks - something like 5 billion people!

We still live in the greatest country in the world even though we do have our share of problems.

As I'm writing this, I am sitting on my front porch on a beautiful autumn day in Texas. Bluebird skies, deer moving through the brush, kids playing in the yard.... It's almost perfect.

I suggest we all take a moment to reflect on how good we have it and be thankful.

Keep your powder dry.

start the week off right...

...with a smile

who has OUR back?

Interesting quote from an article about 'Obamneycare' from paulcraigroberts.org

"Americans are governed for the benefit of corporate profits. Americans’ lives, health, incomes, careers, prospects, none of this matters. Only corporate profits."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

meat is expensive

The other day I went to the store solo to pick up groceries. I hadn't been by out shopping by myself in a while and hadn't really paid much attention to the price of meat. I'm sure this isn't news to a lot of you, but it sure shocked me to pay over $4/lb for ground beef. This wasn't the fancy stuff either, just regular ol' beef in a tube.

I'm sad to say that there's a good chance that the price will rise in the future with the drought in the Midwest and the continuing devaluation of the dollar.

So what's the solution?
Grow your own?
Go vegetarian/vegan?

Unfortunately, many of us are unable to take such extreme measures. I think there are some thing we could do lower the cost of meat.

1.) Buy meat on sale or in quantities that reduce the price per pound. Stock up when it's cheap and store/preserve it for future use. Either freezing or canning meat is a great way to store meat.

2.) Go in with a group and buy a steer/hog and have it processed to your specs and then divide the meat between the members of the group. This step cuts out the middle man. It does take quite a bit of planning and coordination to ensure costs are kept low and everyone gets the cuts they want. Costs associated with this solution would definitely be higher in urban areas where access to livestock and a means of transport are limited.

3.) Process and package on your own. While costs would be low, this is a rather daunting solution. It would also be difficult logistically - and probably not feasible for those living in a suburban or urban setting (although picturing such an operation in an apartment does make me chuckle). If you're up to it, there are many resources available to help.

4.) Consider alternative sources of protein. Can you substitute venison for beef? Feral hog for regular pork? Taking game you have harvested to a commercial processor might be cost-prohibitive, so home processing is a good option. With a little more work in the field, it is possible to cut and wrap a deer or similar sized game in a small apartment - trust me, I've done it before. Quatering the animal in the field and transporting the meat back to an apartment in ice chests is relatively easy and fairly inconspicuous.

Be sure and do your research beforehand to ensure that the option you have chosen is less expensive than the grocery store alternative. Even if it does cost a little more, the quality of the end product may offset tha added cost.

I'm sure there are other options out there. Once again, I'm in no way professing to be the end all, be all expert on the subject. I just want to show that there are things you can do to alleviate the high costs of meat. There is also a high degree of satisfaction obtained from being a little more self-reliant and gaining another skill set.

Keep your powder dry and your knives sharp.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


A more unlikely
Could not be found.

Or so I thought...

Yet here I am writing.
Weaving together words
Into something.

Something resembling


Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Deep breath.
No quick moves.
Brown forms alert.
Crosshairs rhythmically bounce on shoulder crease.
One smooth pull shatters silence, blurs vision.
Noble prey down.
Tribe well fed.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Thought of the day - pride

A few days ago I experienced a first for me - I laid my motorcycle over. I was leaving work and only going about 1 mph and hit a weird rut in the gravel.
Don't worry, both of us are fine and the only thing scraped, dinted or damaged was my pride.

It wouldn't have been half as bad if no one was around, but I had an audience....

The funny thing is that just a few days before I was feeling much machismo as I was riding around the small town we call home. I felt like one tough hombre like Swarzenegger in Terminator 2 or something.

Nothing like a lay over to dispel those kinds of feelings......
It was very literally "pride goeth before a fall".

As I drove home that day after the initial embarrassment faded, I could.only come.up with one thought to summarize the whole experience:
"Thank you, Lord."

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

first monsoon

Dry mountains hold their breath
As blue-gray clouds slowly
March south.
Distant flashes and rumbles
Herald the approaching storm.
The desert is still, waiting
In quiet anticipation.
Those first, fat drops bring
A sigh from the land;
Followed by joyous celebration.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

get motivated

I wrote this while sitting through a mandatory, day-long motivational seminar.

Snake oil here!
Blah, blah, blah
Motivational speeches
Bread and circuses.
Appeal to our fears,
Patriotism, spirituality,
Sick kids...
Wait for it,
Here it comes -
The hard sell.
Rolling eyes...

water - do you have enough?

I wrote the other day extolling the virtues of being prepared for a disaster (natural, economic, societal, personal, etc). Well, one of the most important needs you will have is water.

Let's look real quick at survival's "rules of 3":
Serious injury or death can occur if you go
3 seconds without blood (to the brain)
3 minutes without air
3 hours without shelter (in extreme environmental conditions
3 days without water
3 weeks without food

So you can see that water is very important to our survival.

Based on the research I have done, a person needs at least 3 gallons of water a day. This goes beyond just water for drinking, but also for food preparation/cooking and cleaning/hygiene. This amount could vary based on the weather conditions, the level of exertion/work being done as well as other preparations made beforehand.

So first things first, you need to determine just how much water you and those in your care are going to need per day.
Here at the HH homestead we have prepared based on a usage level of somewhere between 10 gallons of clean, potable water a day between a family of 4 (two small children). There are also a couple of dogs, some chickens and a garden at the homestead and while they all need water too, it doesn't necessarily have to be potable so we'll not take into consideration this additional water need just yet.

Now we know how much water we need per day, so intuitively the next step is figuring out just how long we would be without water. FEMA recommends keeping at least a 3-day supply of water on hand at all times (30 gallons for my family). That's a good starting point, but I would recommend a more thorough consideration of your situation before running down to Walmart and buying several cases of bottled water and calling it good.

My advice is to carefully consider your surroundings to:
1. Determine what kinds of disasters/emergency situations are most likely to occcur where you live.
2. Determine how these situations will affect your water supply.

Using the HH homestead as example again, living in central Texas puts us susceptible to most any common natural disaster except earthquakes. Based on the local geography and environment, the two most likely natural disaster to affect the HH homestead are wildfires and ice storms. Both, if large and sever enough, could render us without power for up to a couple of weeks. At the moment our normal water supply is dependent on the electric grid so to be prepared for our most likely natural disaster we would need 150 gallons of clean water for a worst-case scenario.
That's a lot of water bottles.

We also need to think about our water supply's vulnerabilities and how to overcome them by finding other water source options.
What would happen if you had to leave your home quickly? Would you be able to bring your water supply with you? Do you have a way to treat non-potable water while you are traveling?
If your water supply is municipal, do you have a back-up source in a (short- and long-term) grid-down situation?
You have your own well - what happens when the power goes off? Can you power the well with a generator (please have this wiring done by a trained electrician or make sure you know what you're doing beforehand)? Have you considered having another well dug with a mechanical (hand or wind powered) pump?
If there is a lake or pond nearby, do you have the means to purify the water to get all of the bad creepy-crawlies and chemicals out? How far away is it and do you have the means to safely transport the water back to your home? What if your area is in an extreme drought, will there be any water at all?
Can you collect rain water from your roof? If so, can you purify it if need be (water from composite roofs can have harmful chemicals in it)? Will the weather cooperate and replenish your supply?
These are just a few of the things you need to think about with regards to having enough water. Granted, some of the questions/situations above are posed assuming a more long-term disaster situation, but it never hurts to have a plan "just in case".

The next question would be just where are we going to store all of this water? There are many options depending on the amount of water you think you might need.
For a single person that is just going to need a week's worth of water or less, cases of plastic, half-liter bottles might be sufficient. A better option may be gallon jugs. Don't want to buy jugs of water? Then use recycled juice bottles or even 2 liter soda bottles. Just be sure that they are well cleaned out.
Due to space constraints (as well as the amount of trash generated) it wouldn't be practical for the HH homestead to store 150 1-gallon water jugs. So food-grade barrels would be a better option. Better still would be a poly tank specifically designed for water collection and storage.
There are other, more unconventional methods of water storage. One that we utilize is the Water Bob (www.waterbob.com). It's basically a large bag that sits in a bathtub and hold 100 gallons of water, just fill it up using water from the bathtub spout. They do have a couple of disadvantages such as they can only be used once and you must fill then up before a situation occurs.
Another source for clean water in your home would be the water heater tank and any toilet tanks. These would be more of a "last resort"  source in a grid-down scenario.

There are also many likely sources of water outside the home. Like I touched on earlier though, these sources won't be potable and you will need some way to purify the water to make it safe to drink. I'll save this discussion for another time.

I hope this post has at least got you thinking about this very important aspect of disaster preparedness. Thanks for reading.

God bless and keep your powder dry.

progression of civilizations

I'm not sure where I found this (I'll try to find and provide a reference), but I thought it was very interesting.

The progression of civilizations:
-bondage to spiritual faith
-spiritual faith to great courage
-courage to liberty
-liberty to abundance
-abundance to complacency
-complacency to apathy
-apathy to dependence
-dependence to bondage

If I remember correctly, the folks who came up with this claimed that most (if not all) major civilizations in world history went through all steps in the progression, althoughhough the time spent in each "stage" varied.

Here's the big question:

Where are we now and how long do we have until we reach the next stage?

Plan accordingly.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

over there

Distant ridges beckon,
Shrouded valleys call.
Restless as always I remain
Hemmed in by unseen walls.
What causes a man to wander,
Gives him that urge to roam?
Is this a force universal
That pulls one from their ideal home?
The perfect family that loves us,
Friends, a home - we have it all.
Still the longing within endures;
Shadows of thoughts, feelings recalled.
How does one battle this inner-nomad,
Change what was born so long ago?
Do we even bother fighting,
Surrender and leave what we know?
Distant ridges beckon,
Shrouded valleys call.
Restless as always I remain
Hemmed in by unseen walls.