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Sunday, February 19, 2017

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #131 - Loaded Conversations with Sanford Man

For once, Florida Man had the day off.
  • Beth is on assignment -- at Gunsite Academy! But she stops shooting long enough to send us a report.
  • Happily for Florida, the Sanford Man who shot someone to death is from Sanford, NC and not Sanford, FL. Sean tells us more about him.
  • Barron is on assignment and will return soon.
  • In the Main Topic, Sean and Erin discuss why Conservatives are from Mars and Liberals are from Venus. Or why their love languages are different. Or something like that.
  • Minorities with guns!!!eleventy!.. but Tiffany says to calm down. Actually, she says a lot of things, but mainly she says that this is a good thing.
  • Do you have to carry a gun out of state? Erin tells you what you need to know
  • Weer'd takes some audio clips from the first three "Loaded Live" podcasts to show you how much these anti-gunners hate you.
  • And our plugs of the week are for our state level gun rights organizations.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and now on Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:

Preparing to Carry Out of State
As I mentioned in the introduction, next month I am visiting Maryland, which doesn’t recognize my concealed carry permit. Because of that, I’m not going to be carrying a firearm during my visit, and it’s a testament to my commitment to the cause that I’m willing to break my rule of never visiting a state that doesn't respect my right to armed self-defense.

But this got me to thinking about all the rules needed to transport carry pistols between states, and because each state’s laws are slightly different, preppers with guns need to be ready for them.

The easiest, most convenient method I’ve found to keep on top of each state’s legal hurdles are through smartphone apps. Legal Heat, available from both iTunes and the Google Play store, is my favorite because it has a very clean, very quick interface that shows me at a glance what the gun laws are in each state -- be they concealed carry, open carry, restricted areas, if signs have legal weight, that kind of thing.

If you’re an Android user, I absolutely recommend it; but if you’re an Apple user, I can’t; what used to be a 99 cent app (and still is on Google Play) is now a yearly subscription for 2 dollars.

If you want a more robust app -- or if you have an iPhone but don’t want to pay a subscription -- I recommend “CCW Concealed Carry 50 State”. It too is $1.99, but it’s a one-time payment instead of a subcription, It has a lot more information, such as a map of which states recognize your permit, if a state has a Duty to Inform law, and a location button which uses your phone’s GPS to find shooting ranges, gun stores, and so forth.

Both apps have information on how to transport firearms across a restricted state in a vehicle, which can be reduced to 6 key points:
  1. You must be travelling FROM a place where you can lawfully possess the firearm TO a place where you can lawfully possess it. 
  2. It must be unloaded. 
  3. Ammunition must be stored separate container from the firearm -- in other words, don’t just drop the magazine and put it next to the firearm. You might be okay with keeping the ammunition in the box you bought it in, but I wouldn’t risk that; I would actually keep the ammunition in an entirely separate and secured container. More on that later. 
  4. Both the ammunition and the firearm cannot be readily accessible from the passenger compartment -- so if you can, keep them in the trunk. If not…
  5. … LOCK the firearm in a hard-sided case and place it as far from you as possible. Please note that the glove compartment or center console does not count as a hard-sided case in this regard. For pistols, I recommend the NV200 Nanovault, a lockable metal box that will hold a full-sized 1911 and only costs $35 on Amazon. For long guns, get a hard case and lock them with a padlock.
  6. Your transport through the state must be continuous and uninterrupted. In other words, “Don’t be a tourist”. It’s unclear to me if stopping to eat is all right, but I sure wouldn’t risk it.*
Post-podcast addendum from my friend Benjamin M. Blatt, Attorney at Law:
Okay, so a few things here.

First the law, the 1986 FOPA, is mostly relevant when used as an affirmative defense. In other words, in states like NJ, NY. or IL, you ARE likely to be arrested, regardless of compliance.

One way to avoid that is to have, in addition to compliant storage, a copy of the 922 sections enacted by the 1986 FOPA, your valid issued carry license/ permit, and where and when applicable, a copy of any registration paperwork.

In general, the federal case law has held that stops incidental to the trip ARE covered by FOPA. - Gas, picking up or dropping off passengers, stopping to eat (briefly - I'd advise against stopping for a 4-course meal just because you're near a 5-star restaurant on your journey), are all considered incidental and are generally protected, though the question may not be answered until you've already been charged.That said, stops NOT incidental ARE not covered. - Swinging by an old friend's house or visiting a girlfriend for a few days, or even getting off the interstate to check out a local brewery, are all outside the FOPA protection.

Now, on to the really sticky one - overnights - The issue of overnights has never firmly been decided upon to a sufficient extent at any higher court level. As such, it is usually a question determined by a state trial or appellate court interpreting federal law as applied to their state's own laws, or by a federal district judge, based on the nature of the criminal charges against you.

If you MUST stay overnight as part of a journey, be prepared to strongly demonstrate that the reason for the stay was to rest in order to be sufficiently alert to travel the next day. Included in that argument for better or worse, is probably going to be some explanation for why you could not power through to cross the border in a non-ban state, because FOPA aside, in many states, so long as the firearm remains secured mere possession by an out of state resident who is not sufficiently permitted is still going to be acceptable. It's states and areas like IL, NJ, NY, and D.C. where non-stop becomes the serious concern.

Staying with family or friends simply because they're in the area is probably not going to be a strong enough argument before a judge on such a contentiously determined issue.

And in any case, make your overnight stay as brief as possible - don't extend it to a morning tourist excursion. - sleep, shower, use the head, grab a light breakfast and vamoose.

Finally, I didn't really mention CA because it would be next to impossible to have a FOPA transit reason through that state, and it's also worth noting that many of the hard ban states, such as MA, NJ, and NY also have strict local municipality statutes to worry about as well as state and local ammunition type and magazine restrictions, the latter two of which are generally applied regardless of FOPA compliance. In other words, even if otherwise travelling under FOPA to the letter. Check the state and local laws on your trip map, and leave the standard capacity and extended magazines, and maybe even hollow point rounds, behind.
If you’re curious about transporting a firearm on an airline flight, I refer you to a post I wrote back in 2014 titled “Travelling With a Gun”, linked in the show notes. There are lots of good pictures in that post.

Also, remember that even if you can’t carry a concealed pistol you may be able to carry a knife. has a list of knife laws by state, and there’s even a knife law app you can get -- $1.99 for Android or Apple -- which breaks down knife laws by state and sometimes even by city.

Finally, remember that apps are not considered legal advice, so consult a lawyer if you have any doubts or encounters with the police.

Legal Heat:
CCW - Concealed Carry 50 State ($1.99):
Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms -

GunVault NV200 NanoVault -

Flying With a Gun -

Knife Laws by State -

Knife Rights LegalBlade ($1.99):

Friday, February 17, 2017

Cheap Char Rope

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
I received February's Apocabox yesterday, and while I don't have time for a full review or an unboxing video (that will come later), I wanted to point out something from the box that most preppers would find interesting.

We've talked about char cloth before, but who's heard of char rope? (If you've been watching my unboxing videos, you should have raised your hand; a year ago, there was an Apocabox that featured a length of jute rope that had been charred).

But this month's Apocabox featured a very interesting piece of char rope, not only for its size (1" thick) but also for where it was found (Hobby Lobby, $1.29/yard). 

Here's a video of it in action (jump to the 28 second mark if you're feeling impatient). used with flint and steel. 

This is the kind of thing I like from an Apocabox: that moment of "Oh, cool! I never even thought about that!"

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Egg Storage

The other day, one of my friends asked me if eggs needed to be refrigerated or not.

One of the many odd or weird jobs that I have done over the years was working on a small poultry farm -- and by "small" I mean "We only had 5,000 hens laying eggs." My main job was the mixing and moving of the feed for that many chickens, but I got to help load the truck that came to pick up eggs once a week. 5,000 hens put out about 30,000 eggs a week -- that’s 2,500 dozen, or about 80 cases of 30 dozen (one standard case of eggs).

My friend asked about keeping eggs in the refrigerator because he had seen an article which stated that fresh eggs didn’t need to be refrigerated until they had been chilled for shipping. According to the article, commercial eggs needed to be refrigerated to keep them fresh but farm-fresh eggs didn’t. Like most things on the internet, the article was right about some things and wrong about others.

If You Raise Chickens
Chickens are like most birds in that they only have one opening for wastes and eggs, so there is a strong possibility of eggs coming into contact with fecal matter. Keeping the nesting boxes clean and wiping the eggs with a dry cloth is usually enough to clean them for storage. Always let your eggs cool to room temperature before trying to prepare them for storage, but do not wash them!

Do Not Wash Them
Washed eggs won’t store long without refrigeration. The FDA requires all poultry farms with over 3000 laying hens to wash and refrigerate the eggs they produce, but the European Union forbids the washing of eggs before sale. The FDA claims it is preventing about 30 deaths a year from Salmonella by requiring the washing, but washing the eggs strips off a protective layer of the shell and exposes the (now-open) pores of the shell to bacteria. It’s the washing that is the problem, and is why eggs in the US are sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

Storage Methods
Eggs store well if you use the right methods. Here is an older but scientific test of some of them.

Water Glass
Sodium Silicate is sold as a sealant for concrete and an adhesive for firebrick, but it has also been used for years as a way to store eggs. I dug out my copy of Traditional American Farming Techniques, originally published in 1916, and it gives the same recipe as the Lehman’s link:
  1. Wash out a stoneware jar (often known as a crock)
  2. Place the eggs in the jar
  3. Cover them with a solution of water glass. 
Eggs put away in May will be available for cooking the next winter (7 to 9 month shelf-life).

Oil or Vaseline
Dipping eggs in oil or rubbing them with a coating of Vaseline seals the pores of the shell and prevents oxidation as well as bacterial contamination. Kept in a cool, dry place, oiled eggs will keep for 6 to 8 months. Wax, varnish, or any other sealant will work as well.

Packing your eggs in salt, making sure the eggs don’t touch each other or the sides of the jar, then putting in a cool, dry place will allow you to store them for up to a year. Wood ashes will also work, but tend to impart their smoky smell to the eggs.

Whether you’re trying to stockpile eggs purchased at a good price, trying to set some aside for the time your hens stop laying, or just want to play with your food, these methods should give you a starting point. I hate to see food go to waste, so knowing how to store any surplus is a good thing in my book.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Prudent Prepping: Blue Skies and Emergencies

The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

Everyone has heard about the overfull reservoir here in California by now, right? Did the people interviewed sound like anyone you know?

Emergencies Are Not Required to Have Clouds
As a Californian, I expect to be hit with earthquakes or wildfires. Floods are not on that list, given that we have had five years of severe drought. People living near rivers in other parts of the US have floods, levee breaks and the like; California never has too much water.

Here is a news clip from a local television station explaining what happened to the dam. Looking back through the station's page will show many, many people lining up to buy gas, clogging the roads trying to get out of the towns in the evacuation zone, and talking about how they left with just a pillow, blanket and their pets. The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported people at temporary shelters being without prescriptions, and how there are no early warning systems in place to alert many communities of expected disasters like tsunami on the coast or fires in inland forested areas.

I am not an engineer or a politician, so I will leave any discussion of reconstruction, blame and funding any fixes to others. What I do want to mention are fixes to the obvious, personal failings of many of the almost 200,000 people forced to leave their homes.

What Went Wrong
The people controlling the dam unwisely chose to limit outflow. Again, this is out of our control as citizens. But here is what Californians could have controlled, but didn't:
  • No (or very little) gas in their cars. Evacuation centers were set up in two areas, one as little as 50 miles away, but lines to enter gas stations were blocks long and contributed to the horrible traffic leaving the town of Oroville. 
  • No plan for leaving their homes on short notice. 
  • No system for meeting separated family members after evacuating.

What Went Right
  • The Dept. of Water Resources increased the outflow on the damaged main spillway, reducing the threat of a collapsing emergency spillway. Again, out of our hands. 
  • The various communities enforced mandatory evacuations, with almost 100% compliance.
  • No one died during the evacuations. 
  • The reported arrests for looting are less than five. 
  • The Red Cross, FEMA, and local groups all came together to provide food, blankets, cots and assistance to those needing help filling prescriptions. 
  • Even with the mandatory evacuation being lifted, many people are afraid to move back into their homes, in fear of leaving again if the rains return. 

What Can Be Done To Improve
For most of us here on Blue Collar Prepping, there probably isn't much to do. For friends, family and co-workers, though, there's possibly a lot that could be done.
  1. Ask if they have seen the Oroville reporting
  2. Ask if they have a plan to leave their homes quickly. 
  3. Ask them what is the meet-up point where everyone will be expected to go after leaving.
  4. Talk to them about your plans.
The last point is a bit of a sticky one for me. I don't share much personal information with my friends and even less about my preps, including my involvement with Blue Collar Prepping. I have had the conversation that many of you have related -- "Oh wow! Do you have an underground bunker, armored car and machine guns like that TV show??"  -- followed by laughter and not much listening when the discussion gets to buying extra rice and beans stored in a metal trash can or food-grade 5 gallon pails. I get tired of this reaction, so I am picky about with whom I talk  about prepping. Too picky, I'm sure, for their own good.

The Recap
  • Use your local or national news as an icebreaker to start the prepping conversation. Even if you aren't comfortable with starting it like I am, do it anyway. 
  • Bunkers or not, what we don't do now can come back to hurt those around us.
  • Good luck, and be safe.

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If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Multimeter 101

I promised a crash course in multimeters last week. I hope you find this video instructive.

Editor's Note: The loop at the top is an amp clamp, and it opens like a claw by pressing the protrusion on the right side of the device. This allows the user to test the strength of current running through a wire without having to unplug things and stick probes in the ends.


Monday, February 13, 2017

My Candle Burns At Both Ends, It Will Not Last the Night

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
For those of you who pay attention to such things, Blue Collar Prepping has been around for over three years now, having written about 915 posts and many, many words about being prepared on a budget.

This is, as you can imagine, a lot of work. I don't know how many hours my co-bloggers spend on writing their articles, but I know I spend several hours on mine. What many people may not realize is that I basically write two prepping articles a week: a written post here and a Blue Collar Prepping segment for the GunBlogVarietyCast. All told, between writing, proofreading, formatting, and fixing links for other articles, I spend between 10 to 12 hours a week working on this blog.

Please note that this is not a complaint, nor a "poor pitiful me" ploy. I'm going somewhere with this, and I feel that I need to show my math here.

In addition to Blue Collar Prepping, I have a personal blog and a freelance writing job, both of which I cannot neglect because they help pay my bills. Furthermore, now that Operation Blazing Sword is a 501c3 charity and gaining in popularity, I am being asked to do interviews and make speaking appearances, which also reduce the amount of time I have to write. In short, something has to give because I can't be everywhere at once.

At this time, I feel I cannot manage writing two prepping articles a week along with all of my other duties and responsibilities. I've felt this was coming for a while now, which explains why I've been trying to get another full-time contributor, but I haven't had any success with that. I tried filling the missing contributor spot with guest posts, but that didn't work well because 1) I wasn't getting enough of them to fill my schedule and 2) it actually takes longer to edit guests than it does regular contributors (because I can teach them my preferred format).

Ultimately, this means that my podcast will have to become my weekly contributor spot, because at this time I feel like I'm burning my candle at both ends. Should we be so fortunate as to acquire another full-time contributor, I will gladly let them have my slot and move the podcast back to Sundays, but until then I'm afraid that this is the only way I can give our readers Monday to Friday content.

To summarize:
  • I am not leaving this blog. 
  • I will continue my duties as Editrix-in-Chief.
  • I will continue to write the Blue Collar Prepping podcast segment. 
  • The podcast will serve as my weekly article instead of a Monday post. 
  • If I have time to write other articles, I will of course share them here. 
  • If we gain another contributor, I will let them have my slot. 
Hopefully that explains what is going on. If you have questions or concerns, please let me know. 

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Gun Blog Variety Podcast #130 - Tribalism and Happy Endings

Our #1 advice for a happy ending: Don't get a barbed wire tattoo. Those never end well.
  • Beth shares some advice for avoiding tragedy when you have children and guns in the same house
  • Everyone likes a happy ending. Sean tells us about our favorite happy ending, where a home invader is encouraged to lie down and stop moving... permanently.
  • Barron is on assignment and will return soon.
  • In the Main Topic, Sean and Erin tell you why Trump is not your hope and change.
  • Tiffany talks about last week's main topic from the other side: How she and her friends see it when conservatives lump them in with violent protesters.
  • Do you like seemingly contradictory advice? Erin tells you to form a tribe, but don't fall prey to tribalism.
  • This week Weer'd dips into his secret stash of anti-gun nuttery to bring us two golden nuggets of hoplophobia.
  • And our plug of the week is The American Warrior Podcast.
Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and now on Google Play Music!
Listen to the podcast here.
Read the show notes here.
Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:
Tribe vs. Tribalism
I’ve talked about what the concept of “Tribe” means in previous prepping segments, but I haven’t yet touched on “tribalism”.

Now anyone who’s been paying attention to current events has noticed that Americans are a fractious bunch, ready to divide themselves into an “us” and a “them” and go at each other’s throats. The good news here is that it isn’t just Americans who do this; we just happen to have a country that’s larger than all of Europe and a media that is keen to highlight our differences and our squabbles in pursuit of ratings, so we seem more divided than other countries and cultures. 

But the fact of the matter is that humans are inherently tribal, so we divide ourselves into groups so easily that it’s just accepted as part of our culture. As an example, consider sports teams: when we play a game of baseball, we divide ourselves into two groups, “us” and “them”, despite the fact that prior to this we were one group. Then, based on this arbitrary grouping, we try to defeat people who up until this point were our friends, by engaging in ritual warfare. And other groups of people pick a side to support while cheering for the defeat of the other. 

Humans are just inherently tribal, which means they are inherently prejudicial. Now before you leap to conclusions, let me explain what I mean! I am not saying that humans are inherently racist, sexist, or anything like that; those are learned behaviors. What I am saying is that humans like to pre-judge things -- that’s what prejudice means, judging things without analysis, based only on first impressions -- and all the learned behaviors make for easy lines of prejudice. 

But why are humans prejudicial? Believe it or not, it’s a survival tool from prehistory. If a plant looked funny, a caveman wouldn’t eat it, and over time that would reduce the amount of fatalities from eating poisonous plants and fruit. Similarly, if a stranger looked funny, it likely meant that he wasn’t from your tribe but from the next tribe over, which meant that you were in direct competition with him for food, shelter, and other resources. 

This ties in nicely with the concept of the Monkeysphere that I talked about in Episode 84: human brains can only support a certain number of relationships, and everyone else gets put into the “other” category. Unfortunately, we are wired to see “the other” as competition for resources and we react aggressively. 

So what we are seeing today, with the Berkeley riots and the increasing political schism within our country, is that our culture has reached a point where we now view political viewpoints not as people who disagree with us but as actual threats to our tribe.

How does one prepare for this? Two ways.
  1. First, don’t have an echo chamber. Make a point to surround yourself with viewpoints that challenge you. Not only will he prevent the self-reinforcing “Everyone I know agrees with me, therefore I must be right” attitude which is also self-defeating, but it will help humanize “the others” who disagree with you. It’s very, VERY easy to to devolve to “All liberals hate us, so we must destroy them before they destroy us” if that’s all you hear. Conversely, if you are actual friends with a liberal -- Hi, Tiffany! -- you won’t want to lump your friend into that “other” category and you begin to see those who disagree with you not as threats to your existence, but as people. 
  2. Secondly, form a tribe of your own. While that may seem counter to all my previous advice, what I mean by this is “forge friendships with people who aren’t specifically family.” If you’ve taken my advice about becoming friends with people who challenge your beliefs, invite those people into your tribe. The more diverse your tribe is, the less susceptible you are to the prejudicial “othering” mentality.
So in effect, my advice is “Have a tribe, but don’t be tribal.” I know this is asking a lot, as we’re fighting millions of years of psychology, but the first step to making a change is being aware of what you’re doing wrong.

Don’t push away potential allies because you perceive them as “other”. Don’t turn disagreements into wars. This is something every one of us, including me, needs to work on.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Number One with a Bullet: Keeping It All Straight with Bullet Journals

There's been a bit of discussion among members of our Facebook group about keeping things organized and in rotation with preps. There are countless apps to help you "organize your life and up your productivity."

Well that's great, but when was the last time you used whichever ones you have? And no, using them right now just because I reminded you that you have them most certainly doesn't count.

I hate to tell you this, but if you aren't using these apps to keep your non-prep stuff straight as well, then they aren't going to work for your preps.

I've been experimenting with a system called bullet journaling for use with keeping track of my preps. It's an old-fashioned, hand-written, pen/pencil and paper analog system. There are a couple of reasons for this.

Hand-Written Notes are Better
Don't believe me? Check out these links:
  1. A Learning Secret: Don't Take Notes with a Laptop
  2. Take Notes By Hand for Better Long Term Comprehension
"But Evie, those are for college kids. We're adults." Yes, adults that are getting older. And what happens with our memories as we get older, ladies and gents?

I do horribly with trying to keep track of things on anything electronic. I forget what I named my notes, where I put them, and even which electronic devices they're on. Some of our preppers in the Facebook group use Excel; more power to you, guys. This is for those of us trying to reduce our headaches.

They're SHTF-Proof
How many of you have complained about yourself, your loved ones, or your kids being too attached to technology? Hmm? Ah ah, no fibbing!

They're Easy
Once you get the hang of the system, you literally spend ten minutes while drinking your preferred hot beverage of civilized behavior inducement.

I've been doing this since December, and have decided that I will be bullet journaling for a long time.
However, the spreads for keeping track of preps are still an ongoing process of experimentation -- I still haven't found a method that I like best. I'll keep plugging away on it, though, as I do think it's worth the time and effort.

For those of you curious about the bullet journal and would like to learn more:

Thursday, February 9, 2017


I don’t like crowds. They make me anxious, cause headaches, and tend to make me more than a bit “on edge”. My wife has to drag me out of the house to go Christmas shopping, because I can’t stand being in crowded stores, but I usually get to quit shopping about the time I start making inappropriate remarks about mass casualty events and “thinning the herd”. Ol’ Remus has stated for years that the best advice is to “stay away from crowds”, since nothing good comes from them.

Crowds can be dangerous just because they exist and without any ulterior motive or bad intentions. Just by having large numbers of people in a small area, hazards are created. Here are a few of those hazards, along with advice on how to recognize them and how to minimize them if you’re in charge.

If people are packed into an area, you need to look at how tightly packed they are. A normal human body has a “footprint” of about 2 square feet (roughly a foot deep and two feet wide), so if you have more than four people per square yard or square meter, they're going to be touching each other. That’s when the dangers start to appear, because people can’t turn or move without involving another person. This is often a precursor level to more serious densities once the doors open or someone shouts “Fire”. 

At six people per square yard, the individual can no longer move freely and the crowd will take on more fluid motions, where force at one point in such a crowd can travel like a ripple through a pond. If a person were to fall down at this density level, they’d knock down several others which would cause a domino effect (“crowd collapse” is the technical term). This is the point where managers need to start thinking about waist-high barriers to act as tidal breaks; such barriers won’t stop a crowd, but can stop the worst of the transmission of forces through it. 

At between seven and eight per square yard, you don’t have to worry about falling and being crushed because you can’t fall over. The bad news is that overheating from the bodies packed around you will cause some to faint, but the only way to get them to help is to lift them overhead and “crowd-surf” them to the edges. 

At nine people per square yard it becomes hard to breathe, since bodies are pressed tight together and the effect is like being buried in sand or grain: exhalation is easy, but once chest volume reduces it becomes a serious struggle to inhale and push against the material/bodies that have moved to fill in the space. At this point, it’s too late to do anything but get out anyway you can. Crowds at this level have lifted and crushed horses sent in to help disperse the crowd, in addition to causing thousands of deaths and injuries in a single incident. This PDF, from a company that specializes in crowd control, has an impressive list of crowd incidents.

Look at the space you’re in and where the flow of people leads. Wide pathways that lead to limited entrances or exits is a bad sign.

Doorways have to open out, away from the building, according to most fire codes. This is to prevent a crowd from slamming into closed doors and being unable to open them. This works when the crowd is inside looking to get out, but if traffic is flowing the other way it could create a dam for the flood of bodies to jam up against. Doors that swing both directions and are sized for the expected crowds are becoming more common, but older buildings may not have been updated. 

Does the flow of bodies change directions? Corners and stairs are dangerous because people will find that the outside of a corner is larger than the inside, causing pressure when they hit the straight portion and have to sort out who goes where. Stairways have the potential for people falling over hand rails, since that is the only free space that they can fall into.
    Is the crowd moving or static? 
    • Static crowds are uncomfortable, and don’t normally become dangerous until they start to move.
    • Moving crowds are okay if they have a short path to room to spread out.
    Look at the layout of movie theaters and how they disperse people exiting a show: they tend to dump them into open areas (or outside) after a short walk. Compare that to a sports dome that has tens of thousands of people, all trying to get out at the same time through tunnels and ramps that lead to the exits. They’ve gotten better over the years, but I doubt I’ll ever step foot in a major arena during an event. There are too many bodies and too few doors for my comfort. 

    Is the crowd worked up or angry? If either, get away as fast as possible. It doesn’t take a riot to get people crushed in a crowd; the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (not a poor area) has caused some of the worst crowd incidents and killing thousands. Fervor -- whether religious, political, or tribal -- can turn a peaceful assembly into a mess in a heartbeat, and once the “leaders” show up and start working the crowd, it’s time to be elsewhere. If the “vibe” is positive and folks are in a good mood it may be safe to stick to the edges, within sight of the exits. 

    Once the crowd density reaches a certain point (exactly which point is in dispute), it stops being a collection of individuals and starts to behave like a simple organism. Communications between parts is vital to the organism moving well and reacting properly to forces acting on it; otherwise, it becomes a collection of smaller organisms that are working against each other.

    All in all, I prefer to avoid gatherings of people if it is going to involve more than a few dozen bodies. Gun shows, small-venue concerts, and such are about my limit. Major industry conventions in the past were uncomfortable, and as much as I enjoyed Las Vegas I doubt I’d ever go back at my own expense. I live in an area renowned for its politeness and hospitality, but I’ve seen too many groups turn ugly in a short period of time for me to be totally relaxed around people I don’t know.

    Wednesday, February 8, 2017

    Prudent Prepping: Final Trunk III

    The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

    The large and expensive part of the Trunk fix is here. What's left to do? You'll be amazed at what how simple it is!

    At the start of my search for a way to keep things neat in my car, our esteemed and resourceful Editrix sent me a link to a Honda-designed storage system. It was originally for the Honda Pilot, but it will fit into the trunk of many different Honda cars -- and from looking at the measurements, just about any mid-size foreign or domestic car too!

    Honda 08U20-S9V-101 
    Cargo Organizer

    Notice the short sides and how they will fold in
    If you look at the lower corner, there is a barely visible strap and buckle. This is to attach to hold- downs already in Honda's SUV models. Since I do not have an SUV, there will have to be brackets of some kind mounted in my car to keep things from moving around.

    What's really cool about the bin are the snaps holding the dividers in place. If the time comes that all my trunk space is needed, I can undo four snaps and the dividers move up and over. The short sides fold in accordion-style and the whole thing collapses to a one inch-thick package. Since it takes up almost no room collapsed, there will be no reason to ever remove it from the trunk!

    The plastic bin originally mounted in the right corner is still there. My GHB is also where I'm planning to keep it, without any of the proposed mounts mentioned last week.

    In the rightmost pocket is an overstuffed regular grocery bag; the middle pocket has a medium bag; and the left pocket contains my Goretex jacket. 

    Three full-size bags will easily fit into the three spaces, which is all that I normally bring home from the store anyway. My lunchbox fits nicely into the biggest pocket, leaving plenty of room to carry other stuff, like a larger first aid kit and a fire extinguisher that won't be in the organizer (since the size I'm looking at is too long to fit into the pockets, even if placed diagonally). 

    The overall size is big enough to carry what I take with me every day without presenting me with so much room that I'm tempted to overload things. I am very pleased with how everything is falling in place!

    The Takeaway
    • Once again, friends come through with useful information and resources 

    The Recap 

    If you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!
    If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

    NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

    Tuesday, February 7, 2017

    Battery Failure Assessment

    Last week, I had a very inconvenient failure of the battery in my truck.  I don't often expect things to fail -- my maintenance routine isn't perfect, but it's fairly solid -- so when they do, it's an unpleasant surprise.

    At about 5:40 in the morning, I went out to start my truck and go to work like I do any other weekday. When I turned the key, I was rewarded with the rapid click of a low battery that couldn't spin my starter. I roused my wife and got a ride to work, but I was left scrambling to arrange transportation home and deal with a truck that needed attention.

    The immediate fix for a dead battery is either a jump start or time on a battery charger. The way we park our trucks isn't exactly conducive to a jump start, and I didn't have the time for it that morning, so I plugged in the charger and hooked it up when I got home. An hour or so later the truck would start, but I still had a root problem to track down.

    A dead battery is usually the result of some kind of a drain. The most common cause is a light or a stereo left on at a drive-in double feature. When I started the truck, nothing appeared to have been left on, so that got ruled out.

    Old batteries can develop problems with holding a charge. Lead-acid car batteries average 3-5 years, depending on environmental and usage conditions. I replaced my battery sometime around Labor Day, so I could rule that out as well.

    Diagnosing the Problem
    That left just a few possible causes. Sorting those out is pretty straightforward, but requires a couple tools:
    1. Start with a check of the battery itself (I explained how to do this in an earlier post). As I said before, my battery is new. The posts are clean, the water is full, and the clamps are tight.
    2. After making sure everything is physically good, check to make sure that your battery is holding a charge and that your alternator is actually charging the battery. You'll need a multimeter for this; I use this one at work, and an older variant of this one at home. 
      • While the Milwaukee is simple and quick, the Amprobe is half the price and will do anything you could want a meter to do. 
      • A multimeter is a wonderful tool investment on the whole, as it will help with any number of projects around the house.
      • For those of you who are a bit scared or confused using a multimeter, next week I'll go through the basic functions of a meter and how they work. Stick with me on this, you'll do just fine.
    3. Following the instructions for your meter, set it to test 12 volt DC power. 
      • With the car off, check the voltage stored in your battery by touching one test lead to each post. 
      • If your battery is holding a good charge, you should see 12-12.5 volts. 
      • Anything below 11 volts indicates a serious problem.
    4. Now, start the car, and repeat the voltage test with the engine running. 
      • If your alternator is charging properly, you should get a reading of about 14.5 volts. 
      • Any reading more than a volt off of that indicates a problem you'll need to have addressed. 
      • My battery gave readings of 12.4 and 14.5 volts, so the system is working properly.
    If I'd gotten low readings on the battery, I'd have taken it to an auto parts store and had them charge it and test it. If the alternator had given odd readings, I'd have pulled it and had it tested at the parts store, and replaced anything that testing showed as defective.

    Why did my truck not start?
    With all of my tests coming up negative, the question remains, what happened? The answer is twofold, and one of those folds is entirely my fault.
    1. The weather had been brutally cold for several days leading up to this failure. Cold does bad things to battery output, and I hadn't started my truck for a few days to keep it charged. 
    2. When I bought that new battery a few months ago, I gambled and bought one that was a bit lighter duty than I normally get, and this is the failure that I have to own. Car batteries are rated by Cold Cranking Amps, with more amps indicating a stronger battery. I normally buy 700-800 CCA batteries for my big trucks, but this time bought one in the mid-500s. 95% of the time I don't even notice, but when combined with the single-digit and sub-zero temperatures, the lighter battery just didn't have the gusto it needed. I learned a valuable lesson in false economy, and may look at buying a larger battery in the not-too distant future and swapping this one into my wife's smaller truck.


    Monday, February 6, 2017

    Palette's Product Review: PMC .223 Battle Pack

    Not actually Erin.
    & is used with permission.
    FTC Disclaimer: This product was provided to me for review purposes by Widener's Reloading & Shooting Supply. I was not paid for a good review.

    I'm never entirely certain what to say when I am asked to review ammunition. One the one hand, free ammo is always welcome; on the other hand, what can I say other than "It did or didn't go bang"?

    If I were a more skilled shooter with a dialed-in rifle, I could review match-grade ammunition by giving you ballistic data regarding how the ammo performed in comparison to what I usually shoot. If I were reviewing defensive rounds and I had access to ballistic gel and a high-speed camera, I could show you video of the gel bouncing and a post-mortem of the wound cavity.

    Range rounds, though, either work or they don't. If they don't, then there's a fair amount to be said regarding why they didn't work: maybe the rounds didn't load properly, or didn't eject, or didn't fire at all even though the pin hit the primer. But if they do, there's not much to said other than "The rounds went bang and the bullet hit the target."

    So with that in mind, here is my review of PMC Bronze 55 Grain FMJ-BT .223 Rem ammo: It went bang, and all the bullets hit the target within the limits of my marksmanship. This lack of commentary is likely disappointing for a lot of people, but I think of it as praising via lack of damnation -- everything worked the way it was supposed to, no more and no less.

    I've had good experience with PMC ammo in the past. I've shot PMC Bronze 9mm out of my Glock 26 and Sub-2000, I've shot PMC Bronze 7.62x39 out of my SKS, and I've even used PMC Sidewinder out of a particularly finicky .22LR boltie that refused to eat anything else. I cannot think of a time when any of those rounds failed to feed or fire (although I did have an issue with the JHP 9mm experiencing setback from being kept in a drum magazine). Overall, I think the range rounds offer great value for their price ($8.85 + shipping for a box of 20 at Wideners, which is roughly in line with what they cost at my local gun store, $9.99 + tax).

    Being unable to say much more about the ammunition itself, I have three points I'd like to make:

    1) There's a zeroing chart on the box itself. 
    While this may be old news or useless information to shooters more practiced than myself, I found this to be a very nice bit of reference material on what would otherwise be wasted space on the packaging.
    2) I received this ammo in a 200-count Battle Pack.
    This means there were 10 boxes sealed in a plastic bag similar to what MREs come in. I found this very handy for transport -- when I evacuated Florida ahead of Hurricane Matthew last October, all I had to do was grab the bag by the carry holes and throw in my car -- and the sealed sleeve protects the ammunition from water (and presumably moisture in the air), which is good for the long-term storage that we preppers enjoy. 

    3) The ammunition is manufactured in South Korea. 
    In fact, while PMC might now stand for "Precision Made Cartridges", when the company was formed it was originally "Poongsan Metal Corporation" and that's still the name of the company which makes the ammo.

    Now let me be very clear here: I have absolutely zero problem with buying South Korean ammunition. The Republic of Korea has been a longtime ally of the United States, and given that they're still technically at war with North Korea I trust that their ammunition will be top-notch (again, see how I haven't had a problem with any of their range ammo). I bring this up only because many preppers want to buy American products whenever possible, and individual boxes you buy in stores say "Houston, TX" as if the ammunition was manufactured there, when in reality that is only the American branch of the business.

    With all that said, I feel comfortable recommending Battle Packs of PMC Bronze ammunition ($94) to preppers. The price is good (47 cents a round), although you will pay a touch more for the convenience of having the rounds sealed in plastic than you will if you buy the boxes separately (47 cents per round vs. 44 cents per round) Alternately, you can get better value (36.5 cents/round) by purchasing a 1000-round Battle Pack for $365.

    Sunday, February 5, 2017

    Gun Blog Variety Podcast #129 - Berzerkeley

    Rioters and California get along like a house on fire.
    • Anyone can carry a gun... but what if you want to protect yourself AND look good in your clothes? Beth tells us about the upcoming Realize Concealed Carry Fashion Show in Cleveland, Ohio. 
    • Two suspects are on the run in Charlotte after stabbing a third person. Sean introduces us to the cast of characters.
    • Barron is on assignment and will return soon.
    • In the Main Topic, Sean and Erin think it's a "Time for Choosing." How will you help people choose sides?
    • Tiffany uses Colonel Cooper's "Principles of Personal Defense" to evaluate a defensive gun use... using the robber's own gun.
    • This week, Erin isn't talking to you. Instead, she has some advice for what the rioters should be prepared for.
    • Last week's episode of the anti-gun "Loaded Conversations" podcast was so insane that Weer'd is still talking about it. Stand by as David Hemenway gets re-Loaded.
    • And our plug of the week is St. Augustine Distillery Pot Distilled Rum. 
    Thank you for downloading, listening, and subscribing. You are subscribed, right? We are available on iTunes, Stitcher Radio, and now on Google Play Music!
    Listen to the podcast here.
    Read the show notes here.
    Thanks to LuckyGunner and Remington for their sponsorship, and a special thanks to Firearms Policy Coalition for their support.

    Blue Collar Prepping Transcript:
    Be Prepared for the 
    Consequences of Your Actions

    I’m going to be honest with everyone: what I planned to talk about today has been totally short-circuited by what happened in Berkeley last night.

    I was up too late last night following the breaking news, and I’ve spent too much of my day today either aghast at what happened or irritated at the hypocrisy in display.

    So I’m going to break with format here and actually deliver a prepping segment that isn’t aimed at you. It’s aimed at the people who were rioting last night. I hope the rest of you will bear with me.

    Dear Berkeley rioters: last night you fired the first shots in a war. You really, really don’t want a war. I am begging you, with tears in my eyes, to please back off and think about what you’re doing. It’s not too late to stop this.

    But if you and other radicals persist in doing what happened last night -- well, you’re going to need to be prepared for a few things.

    Be prepared to have your tactics used against you. Last night, you demonstrated that felony violence was an acceptable method to prevent someone from speaking. You need to realize that once this genie is let from the bottle,it won’t be long until others decide that it’s equally acceptable to use force to silence you.

    Be prepared for jail, injury, or death. You have raised the stakes significantly. I don’t have a problem with free speech opposing free speech, so protests are fine, but assault and arson are felonies. Committing felonies in the name of protest is a very good way to get hurt or killed,either by police or by people acting in self-defense.

    Be prepared to lose. Let me tell you a story, taken from the blog “Status 451” in the post “Days of Rage”:
    In 209 BC, two Qin Dynasty army officers, Chen Sheng and Wu Guang, were ordered to lead their troops on a march to provide reinforcements. Massive flooding delayed them. They couldn’t make their rendezvous time. In the Qin Dynasty, this carried the death penalty. No excuses.

    “What’s the penalty for being late?” one asked.

    “Death.” replied the other.

    “What’s the penalty for rebellion?” asked the first.

    “Death.” answered the second.

    “Well — we’re late.” said the first.

    And that’s the story of how the Dazexiang Uprising began.
    If you are not stopped by the police or the military, eventually the civilian population which you are targeting will have enough and decide that if you’re going to riot and burn and attack regardless of whether or not they’re innocent, some are going to decide that “Hey, if I’m going to be thought of as guilty, I might as well go out and really be guilty.” And that’s when the rule of law disappears from America.

    You think things are oppressive and unjust now? Wait until thing become full-on
    “Might makes right” anarchy. Survival of the fittest will not be kind to you, because you are not prepared for it.

    So again, I beg you: don’t continue down this road. The moment you make it acceptable to respond to words with violence, the moment it is okay to deny someone their rights because you don’t like them, you will start this country down a path that will not benefit you, and you are not equipped to live in that world.

    Please: let’s all take a deep breath, back away from this precipice, and talk about this.

    Thank you.

    Friday, February 3, 2017

    Guest Post: Ham Radio

    by Tim Kies

    I have been a ham (amateur) radio operator since I was just 12 years old. Back then, the only way that I could use my license was by using Morse code, with a very simple transmitter that ensured I didn’t accidentally interfere with any other frequencies by broadcasting my messages into my neighbors' television programs or the airport control tower's flight instructions.

    Morse Code
    Things have come a long way since 1972, both technologically and in the way that the FCC licenses ham radio operators. My first transmitter was one that I built myself, using hand wound coils and crystals to control the exact frequency that I could transmit on. This precision was required by the FCC for my license class (Novice), which no longer exists under the present licensing system. Novice class also only permitted continuous wave (CW), or Morse code, transmitting.

    Nowadays, Morse code isn't even a requirement for amateur radio operators, although many of us do use it as a practical and sometimes desirable method of communications because it requires less power and a less stable signal to make contact. Imagine that you  can hear someone speaking, but you can’t quite make out the words that they are saying; with Morse code, you can still communicate with that person. In this manner I have contacted someone in Lima, Peru all the way from Michigan using only 3 watts of power, which is about what it takes to light a tiny light bulb. Of course, for this to happen you need a proper receiver and conditions must be very good. 

    Why Preppers Need Ham Radios
    First, they are so incredibly inexpensive that they could be considered a legitimate substitute for phones for those on extremely tight budgets. The Baofeng UV-5R only costs $27 dollars from Amazon; for that money, you can buy two and give one to your significant other, communicating for no monthly charges and needing only to pass a simple test.

    The best part about the Baofengs is that not only can they access listen to FM and weather bands, but there are also local repeaters nearly everywhere. You can set your radio up to link into these repeaters, and the repeaters then send your signal out at a significantly stronger and more efficient range. This means that your inexpensive handheld 2-5 watts radio can communicate up to several hundred miles if you get into a linked repeater system. I live in the middle of the Lower Peninsula on Lake Michigan, and I have spoken with someone driving on the Mackinac Bridge using one of these little radios and the linked repeater system. 

    Ham radio is often used when all other means of communication fail. A few years ago, the FCC auctioned off some frequencies that were to be used by the cell phone industry, which brought in billions of dollars. Clearly, the air waves needed for radio signals are worth their weight in gold, so if the FCC has allowed ham radio to keep their frequencies -- there is no sense of nostalgia in Washington D.C. -- they obviously have a healthy respect for the service that hams provide. When power goes out, cell phones tend not to work, so in times of disaster, ham radio operators are often the first to set up communication into and out of an area. 

    The computer age has actually improved ham radio. Hams have always been on the cutting edge of technology, and now there are radios with no dials at all, just computers to control them. Some hams are bouncing radio waves off the moon to contact other hams, and some bounce signals off meteors or comets. Anything that can be sent over the internet can also be sent over the radio, so there exists something known as slow-scan television, where hams send pictures over the radio. Ham operation a hobby that is limited only by imagination and, of course, the wallet.

    A license is required, and the FCC has decided that the best way to handle the process is to let the hams take care of the whole thing themselves. The hams that do the testing are called the Amateur Radio Relay League, also known as the ARRL. They have been in existence since the early days of radio, and are a great resource for anything you could want to know about ham radio. They have lists of ham radio clubs, ham fests where they sell used equipment, and so much more than I could begin to tell you in this short article. 

    Additionally, hams can obtain higher classes of licenses which grant more operation privileges, which enable you to talk to people pretty much worldwide. I have my General Class license, and so I have the ability to use more frequencies and methods of communications than Technician license class operators. In the same way, the class of license called the Amateur Extra has the all the options available to ham operators.

    One thing that you of course must remember is that radio waves are not secure from anyone listening in, and it is illegal to use codes and ciphers to talk over ham radio. I doubt that it matters to most of us, but it is a consideration for some.

    Hams are an important part of national emergency planning, so preppers ought to give it a look. Visit the ARRL webpage for more information, and directions on how to get started on your own ham radio adventure

    Thursday, February 2, 2017


    One of the side-effects of burning wood for heat is the production of lots of ashes -- about 20 pounds of ash per cord of wood burned. Wood ash is treated as a waste product by a lot of people, but it has a few uses around a homestead.

    • Please use common sense and only work with cold ashes. 
    • When cleaning out the wood stove, place the hot ashes in a metal container. The metal container should then be taken outside and placed on a surface that will not burn. 
    • Keep children and pets away from the ash bucket, since there is likely a hot ember or two in it that will stay hot for many hours.

    Food Storage
    If you don't have a local source of salt to preserve meat (such as salt pork and corned beef), you can use clean ashes instead.
    1. Lay down a thick bed of ashes in a container, then place a single layer of meat on top.
    2. Cover the meat with more ash at least an inch deep, then place another layer of meat. 
    3. Repeat until you run out of container, meat, or ashes. 
    4. You'll need to rinse the meat before preparing a meal with it, just as you would if you were using salt. 
    The ashes or salt preserve the meat by absorbing moisture, dropping the water content of the meat below what is needed for bacteria and fungi to grow. Common recipes from a century or two ago included boiled salt pork and "Bully beef".

    Melting Ice
    While not as good as salt, ashes tend to be dark in color and will absorb sunlight (and thus get warm) better than salt will. Ashes also tend to have insoluble parts that provide a bit of traction on ice. Being basic on the pH scale, ashes and the lye they create are also easier on concrete (which is basic as well) than salt is.

    One of the main ingredients needed to make soap is lye (potassium hydroxide), which is easily made by running water through wood ashes. I'll leave the art of soap-making to one of the experts, but knowing that you don't have to buy lye is a good thing.

    Cleaning Agent
    Lye is a strong base and will react with anything acidic, so it makes a good cleaning aid for oils (slightly acidic by nature). Diluted mixtures of lye were once used for washing floors, linens, and clothes. Dry ashes applied to oil spills on concrete will break down the oil and absorb it, making it easy to sweep up.

    Wood ashes mixed with a bit of water to form a paste combine the action of the lye with the mild abrasive nature of the ashes, and make a good metal and glass polish.

    Since ashes are what is left over after all of the carbon has been burned out of the fuel, wood ashes are rich in minerals and trace elements that plants need. Be careful that you don't add so much that the ash raises the pH of the soil, though.

    Ashes also repel slugs and snails by irritating their skin. A light dusting of fine ash on and around your plants will last until it gets washed off by rain or watering.

    Recycling is not a new concept; our ancestors used everything they had until it wasn't useful any more. Re-purposing the cleanings from a wood stove just makes sense.

    Wednesday, February 1, 2017

    Prudent Prepping: Trunk Junk and the Box of Holding

    The dust has settled and the First 72 Hours have passed. Follow along as I build a long term plan via Prudent Prepping.

    Many thanks to loyal reader Matt Rodgers for the suggestion to put Velcro on the bottom of the storage box I have in my trunk! This is a temporary fix until I can afford a more permanent solution.

    The Box
    First, I needed to figure out what size and shape box was necessary to fit into the corner of the trunk. This Sterilite box , designed for storing 8.5" x 11" paper with an overall size of 14"x 11"x 6 1/4", is almost perfectly suited to my task -- it even has clip latches on the lid, which will keep things in the box as secure as possible.

    The box is just a little too long to fit flat into the available space, so I used a pack of heavy duty Velcro in the area with the best chance of sitting flat on the carpet. This Velcro has a pretty strong rating, so if the box has to be removed I'm afraid it will pull off the carpet and not 'unhook' from the loop side.

    With the box tucked into the corner, I can put my larger pieces of gear in the trunk while still being able to reach everything I have in this box. Right now that's window cleaner, microfiber towels, air freshener spray and my faux-Batman utility pouch.

    There will be an upgrade to my trunk storage very soon, when finances settle down and I can see exactly how much extra money there is for prepping purchases. There could potentially be several boxes of the same brand and type, but in different sizes, in my trunk. Depending on how soon improvements are made, a fire extinguisher and a larger first aid kit will go back here. I do have to resist the temptation to fill this larger amount of available space with gear, though

    My next project is figuring out how to secure my GHB and lunch box while keeping as much floor space as clear as possible. I think my bag will fit well into the side opposite of the Box of Holding, but it will need a way to hold it up to the side of the trunk. The floor panel might be able to support a small screw-in hook, and the upper lip of the trunk may have enough of an edge to take a bungee strap of some kind as a way to keep everything from sliding.

    More experimentation looks to be necessary.

    The Takeaway
    • Don't reinvent the wheel! Other folks have faced your current problem; look for advice and take suggestions.
    • Keep It Simple and Cheap. My trunk boxes are to hold important gear; they aren't the important gear.

    The Recap

    If you plan on buying anything through Amazon, please consider using our referral link. When you do, a portion of the sale comes back here to help keep this site running!

    If you have comments, suggestions or corrections, please post them so we all can learn. And remember, Some Is Always Better Than None!

    NOTE: All items tested were purchased by me. No products have been loaned in exchange for a favorable review. Any items sent to me for T&E will be listed as such. Suck it Feds.

    The Fine Print

    This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

    Creative Commons License

    Erin Palette is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to