Monday, January 31, 2011

Michigan braces for one of its worst storms ever

Have you noticed a pattern this winter?  Massive storms one after the other.  I've seen differing explanations for why ranging from a disrupted Gulf Stream to Climate Change to who knows what?  Regardless, if you live in either far northern or far southern latitudes I'd be planning for how to deal with storms of this nature over the next few winters.  You can listen to my previous podcasts on prepping for winter conditions as well as do some internet searches on tips for dealing with prolonged cold weather events. 

Oil exceeds $100 per barrel

As I spoke about on today's episode the surge in oil prices could have a HUGE impact on the world economy, individual nations and their transportation costs, as well as the costs of shipping important materials(like food and fuel) that keep our societies going.  And this still seems to be in the early stages...  Get ready for $4 or $5 gas here in the U.S.  And who knows what other ramifications could unfold as this develops. 

Food running out in Egypt

I haven't posted much on the topic of what's happening in Egypt, as I'm waiting to see what settles out once all is said and done.  I will be doing a podcast on the topic, however, so keep an eye on the podcast feed. 
Regardless, as you can see from this story from CNN there are food shortages starting to become obvious in Egypt, which is a lesson for all of us to remember.  Get. Food. Now. While. You. Can.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Chip at SHOT Show 2011

Here it is!  Finally.  The account of my trip to SHOT Show 2011 has arrived.  In this post I will share a few of my experiences, as well as some pictures to better illustrate what took place.  (Sorry for the quality of many of these pictures.  Apparently my new little camera has two settings: Web Quality and High Quality.  Somehow it kept ending up on Web Quality despite my best efforts). 

We headed out on the open road about 10 O'Clock on Monday morning, due to a delay in picking up our rental car.

Our journey began by passing through flooding and quite a bit of snow.
I arrived at the convention center on Wednesday morning early...  But clearly not early enough.  This was the press room, already buzzing by the time I arrived.

Yup.  I was a genuine member of the media elite. ;)
There were displays everywhere for just about everything you could think of.  I can't even tell what is in this picture I took.
Every display just about had crowds of people gathered around. 
This was part of a FAL rifle, as I recall. 

Most of the displays were geared towards drawing you in for a closer look.  These bolt action rifles were rather interesting, as I recall.
This display described in detail the important survival weapon niche we call "Zombie Guns".

And yet more people....
This was a cool setup with a tricked out AR platform that included everything but a can opener.
There were a few non-firearm items here and there, including this little off-road warrior.
I saw and handled more ARs than I ever thought possible.  There was an AR for every possible use from defense, varmint-hunting, launching bottle rockets, and cooking hamburgers.
These AK-types were very ergonomic and comfortable.
More ARs...
Did I mention people everywhere?  (50,000+ attendees is the figure I heard).
Even the US Census Bureau was there.  Hmmm....
Some crazy cool crossbows were in the building....
Hunting supplies of various classifications...
Gazillions of sporting rifles of every conceivable configuration.
This guy didn't move the whole time I was watching him...
I really enjoyed handling some of these older designs, as even the nifty modern black rifles can get a bit boring after the first couple hundred.
I really liked the shotgun on the upper left.  Should do quite well in a wet, humid climate like my region, don't ya think?
I'm planning an upcoming podcast about the various calibers available out there and this would be the perfect visual.
This was from the Century Internation Arms booth.  Needless to say, I had a lot of fun handling all the different types of AK knockoffs. 
The wooden stocked ARs were one of my very favorite firearms I saw.  They felt very comfortable and looked great.
I think this UZI was the first and only real one I'd ever handled.  After doing so, I can't quite figure out why they were so popular when I was growing up in the 1980s.  
I checked out a number of revolvers from different companies, but found that I pretty much like what I like.... Which basically runs along the lines of old Rugers and the concealable 5-shot snubbies.
And more people....
The Hungarian AK with the folding stock in the lower right corner was pretty cool, but after a while all the black rifles start to look and feel the same.
Quite a number of autos found there way to my hands as well, but nothing really blew my skirt up... Until I got to the Kel Tec booth that is (see below).
The new 14-shot Kel Tec Shotgun (KSG) was very cool.  I spent some time handling it and listening to demonstrations/product overviews.  It'll probably be a while until they're commonly available but what an innovative idea.
The display for the new Kel Tec Shotgun.
Another KSG demo.
One of the Kel Tec .223 pistols.
And as I said above, the new PMR-30 really blew my skirt up.  So light, yet carries 30 .22 magnum rounds.  Problem is, you can't find them anywhere yet.
Cool car....  I wonder what caliber it's in?
Tomorrow's episode is about this company.  I really like their carbines, but there pistols take some getting used to.
More stuff...  And people.....
The Hi Points are ugly, but seem to have a good reputation for accuracy and dependability.
There were a lot of fine rifles I could never dream of affording too.  But it's fun to imagine....
The return of the Winchester 94 was nice to see.  I love this design in any caliber.  Guess it was those John Wayne movies growing up....
The other gun that blew my skirt up was the Rossi Wizard, available in 20+ calibers, shot gauges, and rimfire variations.  I've always liked the NEF Handi-Rifles but I think this offering from Rossi is going to cut WAY into their market.  (See Thursday's podcast).
Chip and the kiddos after walking the Strip the last night. 
And back to the hotel for one final night before our 4am departure (to beat the traffic). 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Global food supply strained to its limits

Three quotes that stood out to me: "

The U.N.'s fear is that the latest run-up in food prices could spark a repeat of the deadly food riots that broke out in 2008 in Haiti, Kenya and Somalia. That price spike was relatively short-lived. But Abbassian said the latest surge in food stuffs may be more sustained."

"Situations have changed. The supply/demand structures have changed,” Abbassian told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. last week. "Certainly the kind of weather developments we have seen makes us worry a little bit more that it may last much, much longer. Are we prepared for it? Really this is the question."

""I haven't seen numbers this low that I can remember in the last 20 or 30 years," said Dennis Conley, an agricultural economist at the University of Nebraska. "We are at record low stocks. So if there any kind of glitch at all in the U.S. weather, supplies are going to remain tighter and we might see even higher prices."

Even if you're not a believer in the story of Joseph in the Bible (the seven years of plenty followed by seven years of famine) I hope you'll take a look-see at what's happening around you and plan accordingly.  Food is cheap insurance, as some people like to say. :)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Plans for building an expedient nuclear shelter

Here is a good visual for how to build the expedient shelter I discuss on the podcast today.  Listen to the podcast, read the additional material I linked to in the show notes and take a gander at this:

Housing Lending Cheerleader Says Housing Market to Hit Bottom this Spring

Okay, so maybe "cheerleader" is too strong of a term, but haven't we heard this time and time again before?

How about April 2007? (see quote in paragraph #2):
How about October 8, 2008?:
How about November 15, 2008?
How about February 9, 2009?:
July 2009?:

I could go on for quite a while but I think you get my point.  The people who didn't see this coming are the ones trying to convince people when it is going to end.  Seems fairly simple to me.  People will start buying houses again when they have jobs.  And only then.

Housing market drop *surpasses* that of the Great Depression

This coupled with the news that the unemployment rate is back up after the laying off of the temp Christmas retail workers should raise the "Spidey-sense" of anyone paying attention.  Should we just call this a Depression already so we can try to figure out a way to solve it?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look, we're normal now (at least according to Popular Mechanics....)

Popular Mechanics?  Wow, Survival/Preparedness really is going mainstream.  Yes, I know that the article does go out of its way in a couple of places to conjure up "boogieman" images of survivalists from the past but it definitely gives a net positive review of the Modern Survivalist/Preparedness movement.  Whether it wanted to our not...  Certainly worth reading regardless.

And while they were at it, this story just so happened to have linked to some other recent Popular Mechanics' stories relating to Survival and Preparedness issues:

Hey look, If we ban private ownership of firearms like Mexico has we can have 15,273 murders in one year too!

15,273 Drug War Deaths in Mexico During 2010

Does this even require a comment?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Dead birds in California now?

Yeah, I know the "experts" say it's nothing as I've pointed out before.  "Natural cycles."  "Happens all the time."  But what do you expect them to say?  Wouldn't you agree they'd probably say that no matter what in order to prevent a panic. 
Something to keep watching at the very least....  And this one is in California so it hits closer to home. 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Some links about Scout Rifles

Tomorrow's episode is going to be about the idea of the Scout Rifle for survival, and a budget way of making your own version.  I thought I'd share a few links about the topic so you'll be informed about what a Scout Rifle is, some available commercial versions, and some ideas that gel well with the episode.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

From the "Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste Department" we have...


Clearly what occurred yesterday was a horrific tragedy.   We are praying for the complete recovery of the congresswoman from southern Arizona. However, those who gleefully rub their hands together hoping to take advantage of what has occurred are also tragic in their exploitation of evil.

People who seek to profit from the tragedy of others are reprehensible.

And so has been also the media coverage of this terrible ordeal.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

British Preppers? Yup...

It's kind of encouraging to see people around the world taking steps to provide for themselves in disaster situations especially the way things seem to be trending these days.  If you are a prepper in another country, let me know as I'd like to do a podcast about Survivalism/Prepping in other nations coming up soon and might have a few questions for you. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

More animal deaths around the world...

I've been getting emails about this from listeners wanting to know what I think.  To be honest, I'm not certain what to make of it all yet.  Some of the "scientific" explanations provided by the "experts" to me are almost laughable (Fireworks?  Come on, then we'd have massive bird die-offs every July 4th in this country).  But then there are scientists saying this happens all the time and that we just notice it more these days because of our interconnected, global society. 
Could be, could be... 
But it's still strange what's happening.  And the biggest thing I've taken away from the coverage of these major animal die-offs is how completely intellectually non-curious most of the media seems to be, parotting the official line(s) without question.  Kind of like their global warming/climate change reporting...

Here's a picture that illustrates the die-off problem around the world:

Feel free to email me with your thoughts at:

But I thought fluoride in the drinking water was safe... and necessary?

I've never been 100% on board with the fluoride in the drinking water push by most major cities.  If something is a toxic biological poison for some carbon-based life it stands to reason it's probably not good for other life with the same basic make up.  I find it interesting that this push is coming right now.  I wonder what some internal government studies have shown?  There must be something driving this...  As you often hear me say, "hmmmm"...

Thursday, January 6, 2011

How about renting solar panels?

Well now you can, at least in my state of Oregon.  And that actually sounds like a very interesting idea.  Lessen your reliance on the power grid while avoiding the up-front cost of purchasing all the equipment outright.  I could go for that!  And at least you'd have them already if a long-term disaster ever came along.  It's probably worth checking into seeing if this is available in your area yet too.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

2011: The year of the bank runs?

Flashbacks of 1929?  I know the article focuses on Ireland, but read some of the comments and try to think outside the box a bit.....  Yet another article that's worth reading just to posit possibilities. 

Now birds dropping from the sky over Louisiana?

Now this is getting very interesting.  Could just be one of those natural random events, but it is interesting that both of these bird/fish die-off spots are along the same longitude.  Hmmm...

Monday, January 3, 2011

Youtube videos about Intensive Gardening

I'm going to guess that many of my listeners are unfamiliar with the idea of Intensive Gardening so I'm going to try to provide some info here on the blog that will inform folks of the basic tenants of this idea.

Here is a YouTube video to start with:

Second animal die-off in Arkansas has officials worried?

Umm...  Seriously, what is going on in Arkansas?  The article starts out by saying:

"Maybe the Mayans were on to something?

That's surely what students of the famed Mayan 2012 prophecy for the end of the world had to be thinking with the news of recent eerie wildlife die-offs in Arkansas. Just as the calendar nudged a year closer to that fateful date, birds began falling from the sky in Arkansas and a massive fish kill occurred some 125 miles to the west."

Now they've raised the count to at least 4,000 or 5,000 dead birds and up to 100,000 dead fish.  And the best current theories are blunt trauma from mid-air collisions and fear of fireworks.  To quite Elmer Fudd, "There's somethen scwewy gowen on awound here..."

Did anyone else watch Flash Forward last year?  ;)


Keep an eye on the "Solar Maximum"

You've heard me discuss EMP (electromagnetic pulse) and CME (Coronal Mass Ejections) occasionally on the Chip Monk Family Survival Podcast, as either one of these occurring would drastically change life as we know it.  So I am following what the space science dudes and dudettes are saying about the potential space weather over the next couple of years.  Read the following and you'll see why this topic has my attention:

Imagine what would happen if that sort of event struck our planet today.  In fact, something similar hit about 22 years ago and did have a substantial impact:

So, just as with anything else, learn about the potential risks and figure out ways that you and your family can try to minimize those risks.