Saturday, September 25, 2010

Teach Your Children Well

You who are on the road
Must have a code that you can live by
And so become yourself
Because the past is just a good bye.

Teach your children well,
Their father's hell did slowly go by,
And feed them on your dreams
The one they picked, the one you'll know by.

Don't you ever ask them why, if they told you, you would cry,
So just look at them and sigh and know they love you.
- Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young

Today, Viking Services LLC conducted a basic pistol course for children. Originally four girls were signed up by their parents who said they were coming but at the last minute two didn’t show. This is why for most courses we charge in advance. We made an exception in this case but I reckon we learned something today too.

The two young ladies who did show up were a delight. It can sometimes be difficult to train children and as an instructor you never really know “what you are going to get” as far as attitude, behavior and so on. Both girls today were bright, well behaved, polite, and eager to learn. Both also just so happened to be homeschooled - I don't think that is a coincidence. They were a joy to teach and are a strong testament to their parents.

The course began in a classroom where safety, handgun characteristics, and so on were discussed and then moved to the range where the young students shot a variety of targets from a couple different positions – mostly sitting supported. Both girls were zapping their targets with regularity and both not only improved during the course but had fun as well.

The weather was looking very iffy when we began with temps dropping and dark clouds gathering but the rain held off until range time was completed. In fact it was perfect weather – not too hot, not too cold and no sun blazing down into eyes.

Firearms instruction is very important. Being able to safely and accurately shoot guns is something every American should know how to do. Sometimes as parents we are not the best teachers for our own children. In this instance, both girls had parents in attendance but the instructor was Morri who specializes in teaching women and children. She has a knack for being able to connect with these students and does a great job.

The time to learn is now.
The time to train is now.
This goes for your kids as much as it does for you.

I’ll see ya out there.

Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Yesterday, good friends of ours had their home broken into. They were shocked, saddened, and angry. I was called to the scene and while there spoke with the responding law enforcement officer at some length. It seems that burglaries are on the rise in these parts and the techniques are pretty much the same. As our economy continues to deteriorate, we can expect to see more of these crimes. So, I figured I’d share what I learned with y’all in the hopes that you can take some steps to harden your defensive posture.

Most break ins occur in the mid-afternoon – around 2:30. The targeted home has been cased for at least a week. Out in the country, one cannot just “hang around” – surveillance must be mobile. Criminals drive by and note numbers and types of vehicles, where they are parked and so on. They note activity patterns, kids, dogs, neighbors and so on. Many times they will reverse look up the phone number from the address (something that used to be available only to law enforcement) and they will call the home repeatedly at different times to determine when someone is home.

When they show up to break in, they don’t want to be caught – these are intended to be property crimes – they don’t want to be confronted. They will typically pick a time when they think you are not home but to make sure, they will have a ruse and drive boldly into the driveway, get out, and knock on the door. One crew was surreptitiously filmed and they knocked on the door loudly for 5 minutes. Then, because the home was obviously alarmed, they threw a patio brick through the rear window and took off. They did this first to make sure no one was napping, then to test the alarm system and any response. They returned 15 minutes later and knocked on the door several times again. Then they broke in.

These guys (and gals) operate in crews of two to four. After they determine no one is home they kick the front door in. The vast majority of dead bolts go into a crappy piece of pine. Long screws and metal strike plates don’t matter. My friends’ door took two kicks (footprints) but the frame shattered and the door was split. It was a metal clad door. If there is an attached garage they check it immediately – if there is space, they may pull their car into it. Most of the time though, after they gain entry and don’t have any initial problem, the driver takes the vehicle and moves away from the home to a place (or route) where they can keep an eye out. They communicate via cell phone.

The burglars move immediately to the master bedroom and toss it – drawers are pulled out and dumped on the floor, closets are gone through, beds are looked under. Goodies are thrown on the bed and when the pile gets big enough, the sheet/blanket is gathered at the corners and hauled to the pickup point – either the garage or near the front door.

Desks are tossed – they are looking for papers, records and keys. Computers are taken. My friends had all their spare keys nicely labeled – one set was for their brand new car in the garage. The thieves loaded their stuff into their car’s trunk, in the garage out of site. Speaking of keys – do not keep the keys to your gun cabinet on top of said cabinet… yeah…

These break ins typically last less than 15 minutes. When they are ready to go, they call the pickup car and it drives into the garage (preferably) or as close to the front door as possible. It gets loaded and they take off. This is a very dangerous time to confront them. If you show up while they are tossing your place, the inside people typically run and get picked up by the car a ways away. If you confront them while they are loading the car it could get violent.

Many times, the burglars will strike again within 48 hours. They saw things they want to get “next time” and most people don’t feel safe at home and so they stay away until the doors get fixed, alarms get installed and so on. They took all my friends’ spare house keys, keys to the rental they own and keys to their other vehicles…

Take aways:

Neighborhood watch. Get to know your neighbors. Watch each other’s homes and drives. Report suspicious activity, people, and vehicles. Let passersby see that you see them.

Don’t be obviously home or gone. Install a gate and keep it locked all the time – not just when you are gone. Do not tie a yellow ribbon on your tree if your spouse is away serving the nation. If you have more than one vehicle – drive and park them randomly. If you can always keep them out of site that is best.

Alarm system. If you have one - make sure it works and is turned on.

Dogs. Two big, barky outside dogs are a powerful deterrent. A little yappy inside dog may deter burglars in the city but not so out in the sticks – no one will hear it and the burglar is not afraid of Fi-fi.

Doorframes. Reinforce them with oak and steel.

Telephone. Don’t answer it if you don’t know who is calling. Either get caller ID or let your recorder pick it up – every time. Don’t let people know if you are home or not through your telephone.

If a stranger knocks on your door in the middle of day be extremely wary. Get an excellent description of the people, vehicle, and license number. Keep a pad and paper or camera at your front door. Remember – they will have an “excuse” to be there and don’t want a problem. When confronted they will leave – get the info and report it.

Keys. Keep your spare keys hidden and secured.

Computer. Keep records somewhere other than in your computer – at least a spare set.
Have a plan to lock down your accounts in the absence of your computer.
Have a plan to contact your insurance agent – in the absence of your computer.

Make a video of all your stuff. Walk through each room with the drawers open and slowly film everything. Keep a copy of this video somewhere other than your home.

After a burglary, keep someone on the premises 24/7 or consider removing remaining valuables to an alternate location for awhile. My friends disabled the vehicles they don’t normally use.

When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils. – Luke 11:21 – 22

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vikings in the Rain

Last night, a couple Vikings and I were at a dinner party with several other folks (a real dinner party - lasagna, wine, desert - not a campfire with venison on skewers although that would have been good too...) when a pretty good thunderstorm blew in. We had finished eating and were gathered here and there "having adult conversation" which was nice, when the house started booming and the lights began flickering.

And then my wife remembered she had her goats tied out. You see, everyday, she removes them from their pens and ties them in the woods and woodline so they can browse on shrubbery ("Bring us, a SHRUBBERY!" - sorry, stream of consciousness there...) during the day. Goats don't like being wet. Goats can get respiratory infections and DIE - fairly easily. So the goats had to be brought in. In the pouring rain.

Our daughter had called from a friend’s house and said the rain was coming in sideways. So we quickly started our goodbyes and a woman (fellow Viking) said, "I'll come help". Wow, in the pouring rain, in the dark, goats on rope (a "goat rope").......she's cool that way.

Truth be told, I actually wanted to leave anyway - I had gone to bed late the night before and then gotten up at O-dark-thirty and done Crossfit (a particularly brutal one)then had come home and continued working on my super wood shed - hauling pieces of OSB and 2x8 lumber (overkill, I know but it was free), cutting, carrying, lifting, screwing, hammering) and now with a belly full of lasagna ....I was starting to get sleepy.

So we left.
In the sideways pouring rain. Reminded me of Southeast Asia and the monsoons.
We got home and what greeted us at our door?

A baby copperhead slithering along the wall.
I didn't want to shoot into the concrete so I ran inside and secured a fireplace shovel - you know those cute little brass ones - and came back out to dispatch the critter while my wife changed into her goat-ropin' clothes (which are quite different from dinner party clothes). Yeah....think that snake was still there? Nope.

So I go hunting - in the rain. I look behind the box we built for mail packages to be delivered to (so our dog would not eat them) - not there. I looked behind the mini dog house (why do we even HAVE this?) – not there. I look behind the large Vari-kennel with plastic draped over it that serves as our newest puppy’s home - not there. Did I mention it was raining on me? No longer sideways rain but rain nonetheless. Then I look in the puppy house – we have a t-shirt and some blankets in there for him – but he really rather enjoys living in the barn with the cats which is where he was. No snake.

“Okay, forget it – it’s gone”. Yeah, right - about a week ago, my wife blew the head off a 38” long copperhead about 20 feet from this area – how many babies can one have at one time?
But I’m done. Our friend showed up and the ladies headed off into the slackened rain to round up goats. Then they milked some of them. I, on the other hand, changed into lounging attire (shorts and t-shirt) poured myself a glass of Pinot-Noir and settled down to watch a Chris Janowsky video another Viking had given me the day before.

I could feel the tension slipping away (see, despite my chosen lines of work, I’m actually an introvert and after a lot of public “face time” I really crave some quiet alone time) and the sleepiness creeping up on me. I may not finish this video…

And then my wife burst in the back door. “JOE!” Uh, oh – that tone.
“Joe – Bobcat!”
I love my wife – she knows how to communicate very well with very few words when she needs to.

We have had a juvenile bobcat stalking our critters for the past two weeks. It is particularly fond of ducks. My wife got a shot off at it a week ago but it was 8-shot from a 20 gauge at about 30 yards so it really didn’t do anything but scare it away.

As I slip on shoes she explains that she found a big pile of duck feathers out by the bee hive and then as they were looking around they could see the bobcat’s eyes in some bushes. He really is a dumb bobcat – the night my wife shot at it she saw it chasing a duck, it saw her, she went inside and grabbed her shotgun, came back out and it was still there.

I grabbed a Maglite and my deer rifle and off we jogged – in the rain. Our friend was down in the bottoms by the bees and was shining her headlamp at the bushes. "It’s right in there!"

We shined lights around and THERE – I saw the glowing eyes – rifle up, and…..they weren’t there. I also did not like the angle as my neighbor’s house is in the direction I was aiming and even though he is about a quarter mile away – a .308 round would get there very fast. So I maneuver a bit to the flank and we continue to shine our lights – this time I’m holding the Maglite under the rifle and looking through the scope. Big lesson here – I’m going to get a light mounted on that puppy (I’ll take it off for deer season so I don’t get in trouble). One of the women saw the eyes and called me over – this cat was only about 20 yards into this very thick brush – and hanging around – we figured he had the carcass in there with him.

Anyway, I sent my wife back to the house to get her shotgun which has a light on it and told her to make sure it was loaded with buckshot. She came back and decided she was “going in there after it”. Well, she just took a Gabe Suarez shotgun class so she was feeling pretty confident. Through the barbed wire onto my neighbor’s land (we have a free ranging agreement) and into the bushes – thick bushes.

I’ll shorten a long story – she missed. She saw the eyes in her gun light and fired but her shotgun is shooting left (so they told her at the course last week – I need to check it out). Our friend and I clambered through the fence and we searched the brush for awhile – in the rain, in the cow pies, in the urine from some critter (cows?, deer?, the cat?) that was all over the bushes, in the poison ivy…… shorts). My wife was angry – angry woman with a gun – look out! But we decided to call it a night. Our friend went home, my wife and I took a shower and went to bed.

I am happy to report I don’t have poison ivy (symptoms) this morning.

Son of man, thou dwellest in the midst of a rebellious house, which have eyes to see, and see not; they have ears to hear, and hear not: for they are a rebellious house. – Ezekiel 12:2

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Hunker Down

Comet strike, nuclear war, Yellowstone caldera, pandemic flu – pick your poison: life as we know it could change so much and so fast that people would not be able to comprehend reality for some time. Shock and awe. Real shock and awe – not what George II and his administration (and the oh, so compliant media) called the opening volleys of the second US-Iraq war…

People think (actually, no, they don’t. People HOPE) they will have enough “warning” to “bug out”. Well, there will be very little to no warning and the vast majority of people have absolutely no plan (I did not say "no dream”) to bug out to a viable location or in a viable manner. “I’ll just run to the Chinamart and pick up those supplies I have been putting off purchasing.“

I know, poor dears…there are only so many hours in a day and there is only so much disposable income. Priorities, don’tcha know? I mean we have to go out to eat lunch with our girlfriends, or to the ball game with our buds; we have to get a new car – the old one is almost 7 years old! And we need a new flat screen, and we need to take a vacation – we deserve a break from all the stress….

Yeah, yeah –whatever.

TEOTWAWKI will come in a blink. It will be a no-notice examination. Pop Quiz. 3-2-1, GO!

People are going to go crazy. Nuts. Gonzo. But not at first. At first they will stand still, mouths agape and WONDER. Wonder what just happened. Denial – “this cannot be happening!”. They will seek consensus (because sheep are herd animals, after all…) and then it will start setting in…slowly at first like the cold trickles dripping from snow melting off a warming roof…and then it will turn into a raging torrent – PANIC!

Run around! Yell, shout and scream! Pick this up, no! Grab THAT! “Get outta my way!”. Car crashes, fights and yes, shootings…

Very quickly a certain type of human will see the possibilities and start enacting their will... On the confused and bleating sheep. I speak of Predators. Criminals, sociopaths. They will quickly realize that the rules have changed. They adapt faster than do sheep. They already disregard most rules – but they do fear capture and prosecution. Those fears will be gone – and they will start hunting. Ruthlessly. Predators realize action beats reaction. They will not hesitate to strike.

Many of them will understand strength in numbers. They will band together before the sheep stop panicking and figure out the same thing. They will be several steps ahead when the sheep do start flocking up. For a while there is going to be a feeding frenzy out there. A blood bath.

And you do NOT want to be out there.
No, you don’t.
You need to be prepared to hunker down. Stay home (.gov is on track here). Go to ThreatCon Red or whatever you call it. Lock the gates, board up the windows, and prepare to repel boarders.

Do not go out there. Let the people panic. Let them shout and push and fight. Stay out of the chaos. Stay home.

I’m betting that after about 60 days things will have calmed way down. The weak will no longer be panicking and endangering all those around them. A lot of the predators will have been picked off. Good people will have figured out how to defend themselves and some kind of “New Normalcy” will ensue. Of course, the Predators still roaming around will be a lot tougher and smarter – but there won’t be near as many of them.

Are you prepared – RIGHT NOW – to hunker down for 60 days?
Thirty? Two weeks won’t be nearly enough – most people who survive the initial whatever will start getting very hungry about two weeks into it. Previously nice, normal people will become vicious rats with beady black eyes and razor sharp teeth. Oh yes they will. They will have to feed off of each other for a bit before they get sorted out. You don’t want to be playing in those sewers.

Yes, some ammo also

Tic, Toc….Tic, Toc….Tic, Toc….

I’ll see ya out there (after a while).

Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. – Revelation 18:9 - 11


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America

Thursday, September 02, 2010

Tiny Houses

I have a friend who lives in a small house.
It's not "tiny" but it is very, very small - especially when considering the three kiddos.
She lives there very comfortably and has got me considering a few things - which I'll share with you.

Tiny houses have a lot to offer:
They are inexpensive to build
They are quick to build
They are simple – and we need more simplicity in our lives...
They are easier to clean and maintain
A tiny house beats a large tent - hands down.

But I have WAY too much stuff to even consider living in one ......for now.

I have a lot of stuff because I live PACE - I have for example 4 shovels, 4 rakes, 2 chain saws and multiples of most things: cars, clothes, water filters, cooking implements and so on.

I have a lot of stuff because I have been economically blessed.
I have a lot of stuff because I have been at this a very long time.
And I don't want to give it up just to live in a tiny house or even a small house.
I LIKE my current house.

But we have been considering (to various degrees) .......moving.
So that's ONE

I think tiny houses are a great idea for those who bug out.

Why? Because bugger-outers won't have a lot of stuff (typically). The concept of bugging out (according to Joe) is to MOVE!
Right now! Quickly! When it's time to go - GO!

Flee or die.

So, you won't be able to carry a lot of stuff.
So your destination dwelling, unless you have pre-stocked it (and most cannot afford to), need not be large.

Therefore, I think if one is expecting company during some Bad Time in the future - building some tiny houses now would be a good idea.
Some people call these tiny houses sheds. I have several on High Prairie Acres.
I have a horse tack shed, a POL shed, a wood shed, a goat shed, and well, you get the idea.

But if we are going to move our friends and their families into our sheds we have to consider some needed modifications– if not now, at least easily and quickly accomplished when the company shows up. One big one is ventilation. No one would want to live in my tack shed right now – it is stiflingly hot. And when you shut the door – it’s dark. Another consideration is heat – it gets cold here on the prairie. Insulation and a wood burner would be very nice. One may want to consider “kitchens", toilets, showers, and what not also.

Lest this seem overly harsh to my potential future guests – I can switch perspectives. I would be much happier living in a tiny house on the property of one of my friends than I would be crashing on his living room floor... with my family.... for possibly a very long and indefinite period of time. I would be very happy to have in or adjacent to that tiny house the ability to prepare my own meals, have some quiet time, and take care of personal hygiene.

I think if one has a bug out location selected, building a tiny house there now would be a good thing – it would sure beat living in a tent. It would be better than waiting until one had enough money to build the vacation home or super cabin because we may not have much time.

Anyway, that’s what I have been thinking about for the past 24 hours. I just started a discussion you are welcome to join if you desire.

I'll see ya out there!

And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. – Joshua 24:15


If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America