Here's a very thought-provoking essay about the big lie in the wildland fire service. Very good stuff here, so I thought I'd share.
Monday, May 2, 2016
Monday, April 18, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Friday, April 8, 2016
Tuesday, April 5, 2016
A simple question for those of you out there who want to be "prepared": Do you carry a tourniquet?
If you answer "no". Have you ever though about it? Could you see the need for having one in your first aid kit in your vehicle or at work?
(You do carry a first aid kit in your vehicle, don't you? No? I'll leave the discussion of first aid kits to those more highly qualified than myself, but you really should have one. Really. Seriously. I'm not kidding...)
Back to tourniquets...
Why would a person need to carry a tourniquet in their gear?
I'm not a medical professional or EMT, nor have I had any formal medical training. I have had many years of both first aid and wilderness first aid training as a wildland firefighter. What's the first thing we are taught when a person has a bleeding wound? Apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. There are many instances where applying direct pressure to a may not be enough to stop bleeding. Maybe the wound is too large or irregularly shaped so that there is no way to apply enough pressure. Maybe an major artery is cut and you just can't get the blood to stop. Maybe (God forbid) there is an amputation. This is where a tourniquet can come into play to stop the bleeding. The tourniquet works by compressing the blood vessels against a major bone, thus shutting off blood flow to the appendage.
As a wildland firefighter, I could see something like this happening in my workplace. We use many sharp things all of the time that can seriously wound us if not used properly (chainsaws, axes, pulaskis, etc.). Add this to the fact that we are often far from care and a tourniquet would be a viable option for care.
Some freak accident occurring with the circular saw as I was building my chicken coop last week would have the potential to cause a severe injury. Vehicle accidents may also cause injuries requiring the use of a tourniquet.
I read somewhere that if you plan on carrying the means (and train) to take a life, you should should also carry the means to save a life. I feel that is pretty good advice. If you are going to carry concealed, then you should have the means at hand to treat a gunshot wound.
Any of these scenarios are ones where I could see the need for a tourniquet. Better to have and not need than need and not have it, right?
My first aid kit has quickclot and several large bandages to apply direct pressure to a wound, but I always feel like there can be more in the kit to help out. So I started researching tourniquets. And let me tell you, there are a lot of different kinds out there. There's the SOF-T tourniquet, the SWAT-t, the TK-4, the RAT, and others. Do your own research and find one that fits your needs. Then train/practice with it. A LOT.
Here are a few reviews of the different kinds out there:
As with anything, there is a lot of information on the web regarding tourniquets. Research as much as you can then make the best decision for you based on that research.
Here is the kind I carry, the C-A-T Tourniquet
|photo from Amazon.com|
While it might not pack as small as some of the other types/brands, it has a proven track record with the military. I carry one in my EDC bag (or man-purse as the wife calls it) as well as in my firefighting pack. I have several others that I use for training/practice. (One note I'd like to make here is to make sure that you don't mix up the two. Keep training CATs and the ones in your first aid kits separate. Just like we don't practice with our real fire shelters...) I'll probably buy a few more to keep in my vehicle and various other places.
Here are a few of the better videos I have found on YouTube regarding C-A-T tourniquet use/application.
Remember, if you decide to carry a tourniquet - practice with it. A lot. In as many different situations as you can think of where you might need it. Practice/train. Often.
Monday, March 21, 2016
Monday, March 14, 2016
Here's a nice little guide for anyone interested in buying chicks from your local Tractor Supply or feed store.
The only thing I would add to the guide is that if you see "straight run", that means the chicks could be hens OR roosters.
Wednesday, March 9, 2016
When we moved into our new house last June, we inherited a couple of chickens. I'm not sure why the previous owners left them and took the rest. I assumed it was because they were old or didn't lay well anymore. Less than a week after we moved in, one of the hens died. Not sure why - I just found her in the run dead. I was pretty sure the second one will die soon as well.
That was 9 months ago and we still have the other hen. And I'll admit that I've become pretty attached to her. She is an Australorp and beautiful in her shiny black plumage. Sugar (my wife named her) is inconsistent as a layer, but has a sweet disposition and is now a member of the family.
We have been wanting to get a few more chickens, so last weekend I built a brooder based on a few designs I saw on backyardchickens.com. Basically, I took a clear plastic tote, cut a section out of the lid, and replaced it with hardware cloth. Some shelf liner down on the bottom and you have simple brooder.
Now it was just wait and see what kind of chicks show up at the local Tractor Supply.
Our local store gets its chicks on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I've been calling the past couple of weeks when I'm not too busy with work to ask if they have chicks. Most of the time I've been too late as the chick's are scooped up pretty fast.
Today I called and was informed that they had Buff Orpingtons and Bantams in, straight run and no pullets. Doing a little research on my lunch break showed that the Orpingtons would be a good breed for we wanted, but I didn't want to deal with the possibility of getting a bunch of roosters.
A quick note on Tractor Supply (or at least our's): There is a minimum purchase of 6 chicks, but you can mix and match. I was also told that they don't know what kind of chicks they are getting in until they show up and I even varies store to store. The next closest store to us received Wyandottes last week, but our store did not. It seems like you basically have a chance of getting sex-link pullets, meat chickens, a specialty breed (like the Wyandottes or Buff Orpingtons), and Bantams.
So I was a little bummed that there weren't any pullets, but I had pretty much talked myself into the Buffs and thought that I'd either give away or barcher any roosters in the 6 I'd buy. Knowing my luck, they would all be roosters...
I stopped in on my way home, and to my surprise they had at least 50 pullets! I was told that the truck showed up late today. I was stoked. Now I wouldn't have to worry about 6 roosters.
So what did I do? I bought 4 golden sex-link pullets, 2 Buff Orpingtons, and 2 Bantams. I'm pretty sure we only have 1 rooster Buff, but I don't know about the Banties.
Supposedly with the Orpingtons you can tell the sex in young chicks by the length of the primary wing feathers. Do an Internet search for "feather sexing chicks". Trust me, you shouldn't get any weird results - at least I hope not since I was using my work computer...
I'm not sure why I got the Banties besides the fact that they were so small and cute. One chick is black and the other gray, so I'm really interested in what they look like when they grow up.
The kids are enamored with the chicks and spent the better part of the evening just lying in front of the brooder watching them. I got a few out so they could hold them and the really thought it was funny when a chick would poop on dad's hand. I plan on letting them handle (gently, of course) and spend enough time with them so the chicks become accustomed to people and aren't too skittish or mean.
So this is day one of the next chapter in our chicken saga. Stay tuned for updates.
Tuesday, March 8, 2016
I know at my house we have cartoon and superhero bandages, but I like some of these. Especially the bacon and Bigfoot ones...
This morning I got about halfway to work and realized I had left my lunchbox at home. I was bummed at the time, but it turned out to be fortuitous.
Driving back from town with a footlong sub, I spotted something in the road. Something that looked like a tool. Naturally, I stopped to check it out. Turns out it was a very nice pair of adjustable pliers. They were lying in a particularly rough patch of dirt road, so I imagine they just bounced out of a truck bed due to the ridiculous washboards.
Today's find got me to thinking about my habit of stopping and picking up stuff along the road, it's origin, and if anyone else does it.
I don't think I was born with this trait, but if I was it was definitely honed during two summers while I was in college. I worked as a summer intern for the Highway Department and those guys were pros at finding all kinds of good stuff along roads and in ditches. Some were better than others, but all of them would take any opportunity to grab a 5 gallon bucket seen lying in a road ditch. I witnessed a few unbelievable feats of dump truck driving as they would jockey for position to pick up a prized bucket.
I don't think I ever found much other than a few wrenches during that time, but the competition for "road treasure" definitely honed my skills to well above average.
That was about 20 years ago, and I still find treasure every now and then. I think it helps that I do quite a bit of driving for work and travel many miles of highway every year. It's probably not the best driving practice, but I do find myself checking out the shoulders and ditches for goodies a lot.
As I was contemplating these things over my sub, I tried to come up with my best find along the road. There was that time I found $20 on a pile of plowed snow, several quality buckets, and a 16" Cresent wrench.
But I think my best score was when I found a pristine milk crate along a rural highway. A milk crate? That's not that special. However, when I stopped to get the crate I discovered two chains not 20 feet away. Both of them were practically new, 3/8" chains about 12 feet long. I keep one in my work and personal trucks as tow chains and they have both been used several times.
About the time I finished the sandwich, the morality of picking up "stuff" (the wife might call it junk) along the road came into question.
Is it considered stealing? What if the person comes back looking for whatever they have lost? Should there be a time frame for a "grace period" after something comes to end up along a road before it's to pick it up?
I'm not sure if I have the answers. I think once it hits the road or ditch, then it's fair game. Then again, I might not feel the same if those were originally my pliers that I had paid good money for and then lost...
Does anyone else "treasure hunt" along the road? I know I can't be the only one. Last week I spied a receiver hitch insert along a lonely stretch of road and made a mental note to stop and pick it up on the way back by. Well, when I came back through a few hours later it was gone. So I know there's at least one more person out there that does it.
Keep your loads secured and tailgates up.
I came across this today. A scientific explanation of why it hurts so bad to step on a LEGO. Enjoy (and be careful).
Monday, March 7, 2016
One of the more recent posts is the second in the series on grumbling. And let me tell you, it really hit home for me. This combined with Sunday's sermon dealing with (among other things) pride and self-righteousness - and I'm all sorts of humbled...
But enough about my shortcomings. Here is a link to the article and I encourage you to check out the rest of the site.
Sunday, February 28, 2016
Wednesday, February 24, 2016
Monday, February 22, 2016
16There are six things which the Lord hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him:
17Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood,
18A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil,
19A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19 NASB
I want to apologize for not posting in the past couple of weeks. Work has been hectic and the nights have been late.
Wednesday, February 3, 2016
I'm sharing a great blog post from the Following Jesus Christ's blog. It covers a topic that I feel strongly about: right judgement. I encourage you to go over to the blog and read more of the excellent stuff over there.
9 And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10 That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ. Philippians 1:9-10 kjv
24 Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment. John 7:24 kjv
21 Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. 1 Thessalonians 5:21 kjv
8 Reprove not a scorner, lest he hate thee: rebuke a wise man, and he will love thee. Proverbs 9:8 kjv
16 Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth? Galatians 4:16 kjv
One of the most profound and destructive lies spouted by both Christians and non-Christians alike, is that believers in Jesus Christ are not to ever judge anyone or anything. We are simply told to live and let live, as our culture and even our Christian friends disintegrate before our eyes…falling into apostasy, and away from all that is true and right before our great God.
In Matthew 7:1-5, the passage most often quoted when the issue of judgment arises, Jesus Christ makes it clear that “judging” others is wrong…if the person doing the judging is guilty of the very same thing they are pointing out to the recipient of the judgment:
1 Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold a beam is in thine own eye5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.
Based on the above passage (and John 7:24, quoted at the top of the article), it is clear that Jesus is not rejecting all judgment, but is only condemning hypocritical judgment. He even instructs his audience at the end of this passage, that once they have removed the plank from their own eyes, they are free to help their brothers deal with their own sin as well. A few verses later, Jesus goes even further, warning the people to be on guard for false prophets, whom they will recognize by their fruit, thus, making it clear that we must not only evaluate (aka judge) the fruit of others, but we must also have a clear standard by which to test that fruit. That standard is truth. What is truth? According to Jesus, Christ while he is praying to his Father, “Thy word is truth,” (John 17:17b), and the Bereans knew that well….
In Acts 17, the Bereans were noted to be more noble than other believers because they tested every single thing they heard from their teachers, with scripture. They used the word of the Lord as it should be used – as a sharp two-edged sword, separating truth from error, judging the thoughts and attitudes of the heart and laying bear everything before the one to whom we must all give an account (Hebrews 4:12-13). The Bereans, even with their lack of resources compared to today, relentlessly used the word to ensure that they weren’t ingesting false teaching shrouded in charisma, the wisdom of the world or sweet-tasting lies.
Jesus made several other statements about his own judgments, which explain why they were truly righteous, rather than being sanctimonious or hypocritical. In John 5:30, Jesus stated that his judgments were “just” because he sought not his own will, but instead sought only the will of his Father. In John 7:18, Jesus reminded the Jews gathered outside the temple that he was not on earth to seek his own glory but instead was seeking only the glory of his Father who sent him. The eternal truths of God are the only things that matter when exercising biblically sound judgment.
As Philippians 2:5-11 states so eloquently (see the entire passage at the end of this article), the humble and obedient attitude Jesus had toward his Father during his earthly life, must be our attitude when making scripturally mandated judgments. Humility, biblical truth and obedience to the unambiguous teachings of Jesus Christ are the measuring stick we must use when testing our hearts for jealousy, pride or anger, as we both give and receive reproof, encouragement and exhortation to and from those we love and respect in the body of Christ. The only way we can be certain that our judgments are “right” is if they line up perfectly with the word of God, and if they are spoken in gentleness and love.
An excellent example of a “right” judgment is found in Galatians 2:9-21, when Paul, very publicly and without equivocation, rebuked Peter for his hypocrisy and fear of man, which was leading others astray. After an unidentified friend of James started influencing the brethren for the worse by encouraging them to turn back to elements of the Jewish law, Peter began to withdraw from his Gentile brothers during meals. It became such a problem that even Barnabas was deceived (vs. 13) into believing that the grace of God was not enough, and that believers must still honor certain Jewish customs and traditions in order to maintain their salvation.
When Paul saw that Peter and the others, “walked not uprightly according to the truth of the gospel,”(vs. 14) he called Peter out and reminded all of the gathered brothers that they were saved by grace alone and not by works of the law. While the passage does not explain how the situation was resolved, I am certain that Peter humbled himself and repented, gladly turning away from his metastasizing sin, so that no one else would be led astray. The truth of Jesus Christ was Paul’s only goal in bringing this issue up publicly. He was not concerned with the short-term embarrassment this confrontation caused, even to a much-beloved personal friend of Jesus, such as Peter.
Paul clearly loved Peter, but he was no respecter of persons when it came to contending for the truth of the gospel. We too shouldn’t place men above the clear truth of the word (1 Cor. 4:6), meaning that we must never be afraid to challenge our brothers in Christ who are teaching (or practicing) that which is manifestly false according to the scriptures. Paul revered the saving gospel message and knew that Jesus Christ alone bore his sins in his body on a cold, hard cross, broken and bleeding in the presence of his enemies. Therefore, he did not shrink back from a brief, but necessary moment of disunity among the brethren. Instead, he fixed his eyes firmly on the truth of Jesus, pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him (Philippians 3:7-16).
Paul also made the point in 2 Corinthians 10:12,18, that we are not to measure ourselves by our brothers or sisters in the Lord. Other fallible men are never our standard. As Paul said, those who measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves to themselves are not wise. It is not those who commend themselves who are approved by God, but it is those whom God commends. We must never test ourselves or others by what men think or say…even men we love and respect. Instead, we must judge rightly by using the penetrating blade of the word of God as we test everything…prove everything. Men can and often do become idols, and can subtly replace the truth of God in our lives. Let us do as the Bereans and test, first ourselves, and then our brothers, with the eternal scriptures, not to criticize or wound, but to prepare each other to meet the Lord face to face. As Paul said in 2 Corinthians 5:11, “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.”
As Jesus noted in John 3:19, men love darkness rather than light because their deeds are evil. Most of us don’t want the truth, so when our entrenched ways are tested by those who dare to love us enough to challenge us with the word of God, we fling it back in their face imploring them not to judge. Paul pointed out this problem when he rhetorically asked the Galatians if he had now become their enemy by telling them the truth (Galatians 4:16). Don’t we, as servants of the living God want truth, even the sharp, soul-piercing truth of the word of God? I pray that myself first, and then everyone else who longs for the glorious appearing of our Lord and Savior, will speak and receive life altering biblical truths in gentleness, meekness and love.
God’s judgments are always right, and he has given us a sharp two-edged sword with which to rightly cut away the clever and wicked deceptions of this age from his pure and everlasting message. We MUST wield this sword in power and grace, not only to protect ourselves, but also to protect his precious little flock from the sweet sounding lies of western “Christianity” which lead down the broad and primrose path of eternal destruction. Jude tells us, in no uncertain terms, to earnestly contend for this great faith, given to us by Jesus Christ and his Father. We honor that command by growing in love, knowledge and judgment, so that we are able to approve that which is excellent and praiseworthy (Phil. 1:9-10kjv). The only way we are able to mature in Christ is to eat, drink and breathe the everlasting word of God…not as taught by fallible men, but as taught by the Holy Spirit (1 John 2:27). May we all invest our hearts in the things of eternity as the clock of time…winds down.
***BONUS KJV SCRIPTURE***
17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark themwhich cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
18 For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.
…Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith….
These things speak, and exhort, and rebukewith all authority. Let no man despise thee.
A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject….
2 Timothy 4:2
Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.
1 Timothy 4:16
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
1 Timothy 5:20
Them that sin, rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
5 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man,he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Tuesday, February 2, 2016
I'm pretty sure the question came up after I pulled more than one knife out of my pockets when someone asked to borrow a knife. As I started emptying my pockets, it started to dawn on me that I might be a 'knife guy' or possibly a 'wingnut'. I'm almost positive that the person asking me the question believes me to be a wingnut. Oh well, what's a guy to do...
So how many knives do I carry on any given day? It depends. On what day it is, on what I'm doing, on where I am, etc.
|Image from swissarmy.com|
For my EDC requirements, this SAK is just about perfect. It has everything I might need and nothing I don't. Sometimes I carry the Fieldmaster instead (it has the same tools with the addition of a saw), but it is just a little too wide for comfortable front pocket carry everyday (for me).
If I'm going to church or somewhere where I'd like to be a little more discreet, then it's trapper time. Either a Case Trapper in red bone or a Boker Urban Trapper. There's just something about a clip point blade that I find gorgeous. Here's a picture of these two beauties.
And just so no one thinks I'm all about traditional knives - I also usually have either a Kershaw Knockout or a Benchmade 943 riding in a back pocket as well. These two knives are not very similar (the Knockout is a sub-frame lock w/ assisted opening and a flipper, while the 943 is an Axis lock w/ thumb studs). But both fill the role of more of a quick deploying, emergency situation knife where I may not have the time (or ability) to use both hands to open one of my more traditional folders. Both of these knives have been modified with a bit of stippling to aid in purchase as they both have rather slick aluminum scales. (Again, I hope to get some pictures up soon.)
Sometimes I get a little wild and carry a fixed blade knife. It may be a Bark River Gunny, a Esee Izula II, or one of several other CRKT or Boker models. These will usually be work on the belt or in a pocket sheath. I have tried carrying neck knives in the past, but I guess my neck isn't strong enough - I've never found one I particularly enjoy carrying around all day.
So there it is. Maybe. A little.
How many knives do I carry? On most days three - sometimes more, sometimes less. There's also usually another folder on my person, but I don't want to give all my info away...
Does carrying three knives make me a wingnut? To some I suppose it does. To the practical knife aficionado, I bet not. Spend enough time on YouTube or internet forums and I'm sure you'll find those who wouldn't be caught with ONLY three knives. But I don't even find those seven-knife guys (I don't want to exclude the ladies, but most folks carrying around 5-7 knives at a time tend to be male) to be wingnuts. If I had more pockets, I might carry more too...
What do y'all think? Is three too many? Just right? Not enough?
Thanks for reading and God bless.
I hadn't spent too much time thinking about what it means to be "salt", but I will now. What are your thoughts about it? What does salt meant to you?
Monday, February 1, 2016
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Here is the most recent in the series of articles about Christian cliches. This one discusses backsliding.
As one who 'backslid' for many years, this one hit close to home.
On a slightly different note, reading this series and recent conversation with my pastor has made me think that maybe I should relate my own personal story of how the Lord God has worked in my life. Perhaps those of you reading this will see my experiences and find how God can work in all of us. Or maybe I just need to write it so that I can share my testimony with the lost. More to come.
This is the first in a series of articles on the Grace To You blog dealing with Christian cliches. This one c9nfronts the cliche of 'asking Jesus into your heart'. As usual, this is well-written and I don't have much to add.
The last paragraph really gets to the heart of the matter regarding this first cliche:
"Rather than asking sinners to accept Christ we should call them to plead for His acceptance. Rather than telling sinners to “make Jesus Lord” we should call them to submit to His lordship. And instead of calling sinners to a saving altar, we should entrust them to a sovereign Savior."
There are several more articles and I'll post links to those as well.
Thanks and God bless.