Monday, June 26, 2017

Silent Alarm & Area Denial

So, some degenerate has been trying to pry open some of our bicycle locks a few nights ago. Needless to say that our precious Kildemoes bikes are secured by the best of the best U-locks you can get for money + a heavy chain securing them to the metal rafters of our carport.

Well, I could bring our bikes to the basement: But that would mean that other peoples actions would change my own behaviour....and that`s how terrorists win folks.

Can`t have that!

So, I set up the same assemble as in 2014 when I taught a "taking one piece of firewood a day is not stealing" guy to reevaluate his mindset.

I did so by glueing a glow stick and a stink bomb to a rat trap. 

Stink bomb? Glow stick?

Yes.

See: The stink bomb I ordered from Germany....the stink is so putrid and so vile that it puts every olfactory higher developed being, within a 200m radius,  into a coma or a frenzy.

I put the trap right over the fire wood to make sure that the stinky stuff rains down on the perp while stealing my wood or trying to steal my bikes.

This will result in a radically reduced social life since the stink is near impossible to wash off.

(MAHAHAHAHAHA!)




My trap readied.


The active ingredients: A  small glow stick and a stink bomb of German
manufacture.

A thin, near invisible fishing line goes from the rat trap...


...and is stretched out in front of our car port.
Trap sprung: The glow stick gives visual indication that someone has been there.
But to be honest: We use it as indicator to know when it is safe to go near that
trap without losing sense of smelling: The smell disappeared when the glow stick dims.





Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Bowline - Danish Style, part 1

According to my standards 99% of the knot tying population is doing something very weird when tying a bowline: They try to fold a bight into the rope and then do a "fish out of the water, around the tree and back into the water" routine.


A pitiful sight....especially you can not tie a bowline like this when the line is under tension....and pretty hard to do in dark or when/if you are wearing gloves.


No, no, no my friends...Danish sailors do it right...and better!


To the bowline: The bowline is the best knot if you wish to tie a fixed eye in a line. It is fairly reliable and easy to open even after the knot has been under tension.


Check out this video:






Friday, June 23, 2017

The Hunt For Legal Improvised Weapons: The Search

Yes, I know my way around guns, yes I like guns: I grew up with them.

Being a country boy hunting was something you just did: Not really in terms of shooting your dinner but to keep the population of (sick) rabbits down, or to decimate magpies before they could build a colony in your chimney.

Most of us would get a hunters license when we turned 16, so we could use our parents shotgun.

Because of this, guns really never had that power-fetish-like fascination for me.

Many years later the guys from Domowy-Survival.Pl (IMHO one of the most significant contributors regarding emergency preparation in Poland) mobbed me into coming to the shooting range with them, to qualify for a Polish Fire Arms License.

And we had a lot of fun and got a lot of brass in the air....


I just love revolvers...

Hunting moose with anti aircraft guns.

I like hunting, especially for Moose: Just one animal can feed my family with healthy, low fat meat for nearly a year. And I go for the old/sick ones when in Sweden.


I do not need much ammunition for that: I never carry more than 5 bullets for my .475: That IS MORE THAN ENOUGH.

But as I got more and more involved in emergency preparation I wondered how I could catch my 2-4 legged protein without the help of a rifle or ammo. Funny fact, it never occurred to me to mega stockpile ammo for SHTF....the persons I know doing just that also reported that they do not feel necessarily safer because of their stocks. To the contrary....

So, I did some research what I could use/improvise instead of rifles.

Bows are for sadists.
The internets hive-mind decided, that big, bad ass looking carbon fiber bows with as much pulleys as possible is the way to go....or slingshots...or bolas....or....or.

The frustrating thing was that only a fraction of those who said "BOW" (!) actually have released an arrow. Or used a slingshot for that matter.


For that matter: For me bow hunters are sadists. Case closed.

Slingshots are "Bleh"

The Domowy-Survival.pl guys and I decided that we could use the shooting range to run a few tests on the topic. So I went out to buy a small variety of slingshots; from the cheapest ones to the top-shelf ones.

I also made one myself out of Thera-Band and a twig  (it looked very "Dennis-The-Menace-like" and I was very proud of it).

The result was pretty much "bleh".

I almost lobotmized Mr Lis from DS with a steel ball flying PERPENDICULAR to the intended direction and in one case one of us got his thumb smashed.

So no luck with slingshots.

I went back to the huge line of non-license weapons and I actually started to look a bit closer on one of the Compound bows when it struck me:

If I bought such a thing, I would need to practice regularly...and with me travelling all the time that might be a problem. 

Not only would I need a special designated area to train with the bow, in some of the countries I visited regularly the bow was even banned, or you have to have a license!




Seen at Aberdeen Airport.





Especially Denmark, the Country of Post-order shotguns, is weirdly restrictive regarding the bow.

(If you ever visit Denmark: Leave your knife at home.... if its over 12 cm you need a license: One for owning and one for carrying. If your knife is foldable but not LOCKABLE and under 7 cm you should be ok. And they mean the WHOLE blade, not only the sharp part)

So I made a list over restrictions from the countries I would visit regularly (UK is a total no-fun-zone....not even pepper spray is allowed there!) and adapt accordingly.

So after some thought I came up with this list.

The primitive hunting weapon of my choice should be:
- legal in most countries

- easy to replace/easy to make an improvised version

- cheap

- fun (yeah, not very "Survivalist like", but if I had to practice regularly I might as well add the fun-factor)

- can also be practiced with in confined spaces: My moms garden, a hotels rooftop, a beach    etc etc without endangering bystanders..

So the list got pretty short in the process, what did I end up with?

A stick, a stone, some string and a tube....




Monday, June 5, 2017

Beachcomber

The Sea Giveth And The Sea Taketh Away.

Survivalists or "preppers" are often called "civilisation cripples" by bushcrafters and (mostly so) by bushcraft fanboys.

Anyhow, humans are a crafty bunch of monkeys....and so they managed to build tools or items out of materials resistant to erosion, rust, weather and flora/fauna.

We cluttered the whole planet with our discarded tools, in general terms this is called "pollution" ( But not if you are a Cargo Cultist...then it`s "manna".) and a bronze age person would have a ball picking up our unbreakable junk.

(I suggest you read the novel "Roadside Picnic")

Not making use of this resource would be stupid: I`d rather carry my water in a PET bottle than in a leaky birch bark contraption.

One of the best places to pick up  junk ...(pardon: "Survival items") is the beach.

Why?

Because plastic bottles, for instance,  scoured in sandy saltwater are pretty clean....and what the seawater couldn't do the UV light would.

Also: You can find plenty of discarded tools from cargo ships and fishing boats.

Here is what I was able to find on a 5 km walk at the Beach north of Aberdeen.

Well, can`t complain about the view.

Perfectly good bucket: Ideal for a small Solar Still or to collect rain water.

For those cold, post apocalyptic nights...or as water bottle.

Aberdeen does not look to bad..from this angle anyhow.

https://2.bp.blogspot.com/-9LSuW_pbfK8/WCeU5VXcBbI/AAAAAAAAE-Q/M4VpzDjguEY0QSo6x_y4l-ndKUt5qbaHwCLcB/s1600/DSC04008.JPG
PVC pipe, you can use this to make an Improvised Water Filter

 

Literally thousands of PET bottles: You can use those to SODIS water.

Old mooring ropes: If you split them apart, you can make kilometers of fishing line out of the filament.

Nets: Fishing, transportation or... a insulating net shirt under your shirt.

Some healthy stuff.

 

I found a lot of these from shotgun shells.

Offshore vessels at anchor.

Guess what: More PET bottles.

Bicycle basket.

More nets.

And tons of dry driftwood, it took me only 30 minutes to build this cozy fire nook.

If you need dancing shoes...

More rope.

Another shotgun shell, these are great for the storage of small items.

Why do I only find left shoes??

Milk box.

Rope, so much rope!!

 

Ehr..."clean" is relative I guess..


Helmet anyone?

HA! I used to work for that company! :-)



A lobster trap :-)

Bait or bath tub toy....you be the judge.

Rope.

All the rope you ever will need!

Oilskin pants anyone?




Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Culture Series by Iain M. Banks

"You don`t fuck with The Culture"

For me personally the Culture series was a gateway drug to high-concept Science Fiction, the 8 books in the series are always a good read and one of them made into the pantheon of my favorite books.

The Culture is an anarchist utopian, post scarcity society in which several interbred humanoid species live and indulge in hedonism of any kind. 

The population lives on artificial worlds, mostly giant ring shapes or "Orbitals", and has pretty much left administration to a large number of co-existing AI`s. These AI`s run the artificial worlds but also the giant, world sized space ships, they could basically do without the "smushy little monkeys" but are lovingly taking care of their populations/crews.




Yeah, you either hate or love the Culture novels, especially the fact that seemingly everybody in the books are changing genders and are experiencing to be father/mother several time over in a 3-4 century long lifespan, is a big pill to swallow for most conservative readers.

The Culture sounds like a decadent, amoral society but the books in fact describe the ethic struggle an utopian society has when it is confronted with war or other contact with other species. The weak and decadent (according to other, jealous (?) species) are interrupting the long party which is their lives to step up and live up to the Cultures credo: "You don`t fuck with The Culture"

My favorite book in the series is the second: "The Player Of Games"

In this book a professional..well...player of games, is willing to give up his life as feted celebrity and embarks to a year long journey across the universe, to another society, to learn and play a game so complex that it has become a mirror of the society itself.



Soon after arrival to the center of that foreign empire, he finds out that there is more behind the Cultures request to participate in that game and that his mere participation has a destabilizing effect on the whole power structure of that sadistic, feudal society.

Great story about a lonely, unlikely anti hero: Far away from home and out of balance!

Actually, I think I will buy the Audibook version.....soon!




Thursday, June 1, 2017

Roper 21 - Meet The Mandrake IV

This had to be the most social awkward lunch in my life.

The Mandrake stood at open kitchen window and told L. where to find everything as he made vinaigrette for the salad.

I still could not figure out weather she was taking the piss or not, but she followed L. around constantly and laughed at his every comment.

I mean: Chicks like this just KNOW that they are so far out of his league, that them dating would practically be cross species breeding. And goths just a notch more terrible than normal chicks.

Probably just taking the piss.

I leaned back and listened to the Goldfrapp CD playing in the background which, weirdly enough, mixed perfectly with the view and the general fucked up scenario.

"....that`s so NICE of you! THANKS"

I looked up and watched as L. came bumbling holding a kiddy pool sized salad bowl with Mandrakes, in comparison, tiny figure as a crass contrast.

She held one of the biker vests of that L. took in Copenhagen: It had a very large  "WAR MINISTER" badge sewn over the Brotherhoods logo.

Suddenly my teeth swam in acid. It is so easy to forget that I actually was a walking corpse.

"Hey E.! Look what he gave me!"

She sat down and held the badge heavy leather vest over her chest.

I`m sure her goth-self will be angry with herself over the happy/cheery/girly look she gave the world.

L. sat down the salad bowl and sat beside on her on the comfortable deck chairs.

" (mumble mumble) that`s nothing really....ehm..."

She leaned over and put a hand close to his elbow.

"Ah don`t say that. It is really cute!"

I took some salad and bread.

"So, what exactly were you thinking taking trophies from these pychopaths????"

At this point it was hard to see weather the severe blushing came from the Mandrakes flirting or my scolding.

"....jus` an idea!...."

"And such a cool one! Such a GREAT souvenir! I will show that to my grandchildren one day and tell them the story behind this!"

I burried my face in my hands.

It was over, normality did not exist anymore and would never reappear in my life.

"Well, actually...the vest is cool, but THIS is way cooler!"

I don`t know guns, I just know enough to know that they do not make these over exaggerated noises like in the moves.

This little, discreet well oiled click was so much scarier.

I slowly lifted my head up and starred into the little evil eye of a small pistol. She held the pistol with both hands. She did not look like if she had much more experience with guns than we had. But I doubt that if would make a difference at this short distance.

"Looks like the war minister lived up to his name."

"...."

I don`t know what was scarier, the gun or the look in her face. She looked like someone who just found out that she could be much harder and determined than thought. And liked it. A lot.

She put a her left hand back on L. elbow. And it did not look like she willingly would remove it..for now.

The gun returned to the table.

"I will keep this, for your own good. But guys, you REALLY need to be more careful. That thing was in the inner pocket...tsk tsk. You are bad boys..." a sinister smile "..and you KNOW what happens to bad boys?"

"Ehr..."

A quick, reassuring smile to a bewildered L. who looked like as if his simultaneous capacity was pretty overstretched. 

"Never mind, pass me the balsamico will you?"