Monthly Archives: August 2015

What Will It Take To Set Off Your Alarm Bells?

emergency alert

From Project Chesapeake.  Emphasis added.

Some key grafs:

“The problems we face continue to pile up and doing nothing is not an option if you expect to survive the next few years in tact. Prior planning and execution of a plan is now required to stay out of the flood zone when the dam breaks and everyone starts to drown. It does not matter what kind of person you are. You have to be able to save yourself before you have the ability to help others including your own family.

You cannot protect your family if you cannot protect yourself from dangerous situations or people. You cannot protect your family if you are too weak from lack of water or food to get others to safety. You cannot protect your family from the elements if you have no cover for them due to sudden loss of your shelter.

You have car insurance just in case you have an automobile accident. You have health insurance just in case you get sick. You have life insurance to help your family just in case you die. You have homeowners insurance just in case your home is destroyed. There is unemployment insurance just in case you lose your job.

So where is your food insurance just in case you cannot find any food in the store? Where is your personal protection insurance just in case you are threatened and cannot depend on the police? Where is your water insurance just in case your water supply is shut off or becomes contaminated? Where is your communication insurance just in case the power is out and normal systems do not work? Where is your energy insurance just in case energy supplies are cut off and you need to drive to safety, cook your food or stay warm?”


“The events of the past few weeks should have been a warning shot across the bow for many. Our financial and distribution systems are in a delicate balancing act right now and any sudden shifts could send them tumbling off the cliff rendering the services they perform extinct in a matter of hours. When that happens it will be too late to think about what you should have done when you still had the opportunity. “


“If your alarm bells have not gone off already what will it take for you to realize you are in serious trouble? When that finally happens what do you plan to do to protect and care for your family? Having no plan [or training] means having a plan to suffer and persist through unpleasant situations for no good reason. Not knowing something is excusable but you have been warned many times in the past few years and to have to suffer in the future because you did not know what was coming is no longer an excuse. Failure to prepare at this time will not only cost you but it will likely put an unnecessary burden on those that will have to help you in the future.”

Secretary of State John Kerry Signs United Nations Gun Ban Treaty Against Wishes of U.S. Senate


This is one of those rare times that we venture into the political arena.  Treaties ratified and signed by the US government become part of the Constitution.  This particular treaty will modify and nullify certain protections of the citizen from government interference with the exercise of a natural right specified in the Second Amendment.

The Secretary of State signed it but it’s not properly ratified.  The Senate is a strange creature in the best of times.  In this case, it could be argued that a treaty that nullifies any part of the Constitution cannot be ratified, and if it is, the treaty is null and void in its repugnance to the Constitution itself, but we’re not lawyers here, only ordinary Americans who know how to read.

This is one of the times to pay attention to what’s being said as well as what’s being done by our elected and appointed representation.

For those who are thinking of burying your personal firearms, it won’t help, nor will it allow you anymore than a smug, ‘so there’ that will last for only a short time.  Let’s brainstorm this for a moment, shall we?

In the event that you are able to place your cache in the most unobtrusive spot, getting there unnoticed, preparing the location unnoticed, concealing it unnoticed, successful in expertly camouflaging the location unnoticed, and getting away unnoticed, (anyone who notices you must be presumed to be storing the information to tell someone to help themselves out in one way or another) several things may occur between the time you leave your treasure trove and the time you think is right to go dig it up because things have gotten really, really, really bad:

  • Until you have your firearms, ammo, and mags back, you’re defenseless in terms of firearms from any threat.  You buried them all against confiscation, remember? (Any that you kept will most likely be confiscated ‘for your protection’ if you frequent any conservative political, preparedness, or other site frowned upon, and you, having the knowledge that your really good ‘stuff’ is cached, will meekly turn over what you have at home to throw off the UN inspectors.)
  • All your 4473’s are on file – all the NICS background checks that are destroyed after 24 hours will be found on Lois Lerner’s and Hillary Clinton’s email server and cross referenced against existing 4473’s.
  • You might not have any proof of sale when you tell UN Inspectors that you sold them all years ago to help your aging grandmother by paying her assisted living bill.
  • Travel restrictions for some ‘public safety’ purpose are instituted.
  • Hours of Darkness curfews for some ‘national crisis’ are instituted.
  • You’re followed to your cache location and just after you dig them out, but before you assemble them for protective use, a bull horn sounds and you’re told not to move and put your hands up.

Or other Orwellian things – reason it out for yourself, but the point remains, burying your guns won’t help you or mitigate the situation.  If we get to the point that the UN is calling the shots in the US, well, we’ve reached the point that preparedness and training is moot.

Originally posted at Socialism is not the Answer.

Source: Secretary of State John Kerry Signs United Nations Gun Ban Treaty Against Wishes of U.S. Senate

“The treaty Kerry signed without authorization from the Senate would create an un-Constitutional registry of all US gun buyers and would lead to the UN controlling American’s gun rights.”

[Kerry said, in part] ““This treaty will not diminish anyone’s freedom. In fact, the treaty recognizes the freedom of both individuals and states to obtain, possess, and use arms for legitimate purposes.”  [And who, precisely, decides what is ‘legitimate’?]

Emphasis added – DTG.



The Cornerstone of NPT Building: Legitimacy

First Step Toward Legitimacy: Meet Your Neighbors

First Step Toward Legitimacy: Meet Your Neighbors

Not all things NPT and preparedness needs be learned from former military folks, to be sure, as preparedness is a lot more than shooting, moving, and communicating.

Some things, though, that are essential to NPT development can be taken from the example of the US Army Special Forces, commonly known as, ‘The Green Berets.’ I have found one thing (besides their expertise in conducting unconventional warfare) to be common with the Special Forces folks who are kind enough to teach American civilians, either through books or face to face lessons, is how they place themselves in a position to succeed on their mission. The cornerstone of everything they do when deployed is the building of legitimacy with the local people they’ll be living with and possibly leading later on in the conduct of their mission. Legitimacy is so important, they’ll tell you, that without it, the mission won’t even get started, let alone succeed. The people the team is working with have to be shown that the SF team they’ve met actually believes the locals are as important to the SF team as any member on that team. A good example of this can be found in the book, “The Guerilla Factory: The Making of Special Forces Officers, The Green Berets”,” by Tony Schwalm, where the term, ‘legitimacy’ is a recurring concept underscoring the success of their mission requirements, because from that comes rapport and intimacy with the locals.

Relating that to the development of the Neighborhood Protection Plan and Team(s), the book we constantly reference, “A Failure of Civility,” by Mike Garand and Jack Lawson, is written by a former SF troop along with a former Air Force Special Operations (and honorary member of the SF Association).   They start out discussing the need to become known to your neighbors in order to get a Neighborhood Protection Plan started. They’re basically talking about developing legitimacy, which, in other words, when applied to our neighborhood locations, is not to be known as, ‘the survivalist-gun-nut-wierdos’ down the street or around the block.

Taking the example of the SF and ‘AFOC’ mentioned above is a smart thing to do, so long as you don’t start thinking you’re the same thing.  All a NPT strives to do is to help and secure the neighborhood in situations where normal emergency response is no longer possible.  That’s it.

Yesterday I read a comment over at Vanderboegh’s place that plainly demonstrated the frustration of the commenter about the neighbors he had and his perceptions of them and explaining why he was basically ‘going solo’. From his description, he’s in an area that would be a tough nut to crack in developing a NPP. What might help crack that nut more quickly is if the commenter understood what it takes to build legitimacy in that bad neighborhood.

So, what’s it take to start building legitimacy? (And we build it well before we start handing out flyers and talking about putting up vehicular check points and OP’s.)

helping the elderly

First, legitimacy in this sense is defined as “being genuine,” or “demonstrating real concern,” or “the real deal.”  If follows then, that building it simply calls for being a ‘good neighbor’ and helping people when you see they have a need as a start. It calls for reaching out and talking with people, even the unfriendly ones. When walking to your car and you pass a neighbor, instead of looking away or at the ground, get eye contact and say, “Morning!” or “Hey!” or “How are you today?” Whatever works. Having a pleasant look on your face helps crack the ice, too. You can also see someone needing physical help, like the elderly, or a mother with several children attempting something that’s simple for you, but difficult for them, like, say, seeing the old man trying to bend down and pick up a package or newspaper and saying, “Let me get that for you!” and then going on about your business with a, “Hope you have a god day!” or some other parting that will show them that you’re a nice man or woman. If there’s a neighborhood association, join it and be seen at meetings and events. Become a known, helpful quantity that your neighbors learn they can count on when they need some help.

neighborhood association

This will take some time. Especially if you, the person wanting to develop a NPP/NPT have been a loner, or morose, or otherwise signaling, “leave me alone; don’t talk to me” in your lack of communication or body language.

Why you? Because YOU are the one who sees danger coming. YOU are the one who wants to develop a protection plan for your neighborhood because YOU live there with your family.

You’ll know if you’re doing it right, too, because as time goes on, and things happen that upset or worry people, you’ll start to get questions like, “Hey, what do you think about this rolling black out thing? Should we be worried? “ or “Hey, I got this thing in the mail the other day telling me I should have 3 days of food and water….what do you think?” or “Hey, I was reading this website about the ‘preppers’ and how they believe they need to be able to handle six months without going to the grocery store…do you think that’s a smart thing?”

The questions really don’t matter; what matters is the two-way communication that begins to happen with your neighbors asking you things, no matter how gently they couch the subject. Same thing goes with your fitness level. Just being fit is a good example. Conversations about, “I can’t do what I used to…” can be enjoined with, “Yeah, I know what you mean. I was having a hard time, so I went to the doc and he said to cut back on fast food and get more exercise, so I did, and I feel better.”

Planting seeds, cultivating the newly sprouted relationships in the neighborhood is what is going to get people to come to the meeting you schedule down the road and volunteer to help on a Neighborhood Watch, as well as take direction when things get dicey because the grid is down, even temporarily.

Legitimacy is your first requirement. Even if you’re developing a family team that’s geographically separated. Legitimacy is everything.  They have to know you are going to walk your talk and help when the call is put out.

DTG and other schools can help you with individual and team training; only you can build the legitimacy you need to develop your local NPP/NPT. For further discussion, send us a note at

Advice From Former Adviser to Gordon Brown, Damian McBride: Prep NOW!

“Over the top”?  Your call.  Need help getting set? Give us a shout.  And we take barter items, too.  Just sayin’.


Original, here.

Stock up on canned food for stock market crash, warns former Gordon Brown adviser

A former adviser to Gordon Brown has urged people to stock up on canned goods and bottled water as stock markets around the world slide.

Damian McBride appeared to suggest that the stock market dip could lead to civil disorder or other situations where it would be unreasonable for someone to leave the house.

“Advice on the looming crash, No.1: get hard cash in a safe place now; don’t assume banks & cashpoints will be open, or bank cards will work,” he tweeted.

“Crash advice No.2: do you have enough bottled water, tinned goods & other essentials at home to live a month indoors? If not, get shopping.

“Crash advice No.3: agree a rally point with your loved ones in case transport and communication gets cut off; somewhere you can all head to.”

Read more:
China stock market crisis: FTSE 100 sheds billions in single day
Bloodbath for global markets as US markets nosedive
Chinese investors are so angry they have started kidnapping people

Mr McBride credited his former boss Gordon Brown with preventing a cataclysm by nationalising the banking system during the 2008 crash.

“We were close enough in 2008 (if the bank bailout hadn’t worked),” he said. “and what’s coming is on 20 times that scale”.

Financial markets are unstable and periodically suffer crises which can have devastating consequences for the wider economy.

China’s “Black Monday” has plunged the global financial markets into chaos. The Shanghai Composite Index, China’s most important stock market index, was down 8.45 per cent, erasing a year’s gains in a day’s trading.

The FTSE100 fell 4.5 per cent, hoping £60bn off the price of UK shares, and the Dow Jones in the US fell by over a thousand points in its first minute of trading.

Some analysts have suggested that the stock market slide could be the start of a new global financial crisis.

Mr McBride’s suggestions about stocking up on canned goods, setting rally points and stocking up on bottled water were ridiculed by some users on Twitter as over the top, however.Mr McBride was special adviser to Gordon Brown and head of communications at the Treasury for a period during the last Labour government.

The Patrol – Chapter 7



As we continue our movement to the west, a thought nags at me; we’re just getting bits and pieces of the situation in this valley. There’s no way those four knuckleheads in the UTV could have caused all this destruction. It’s imperative that we get to our destination, a hide site on the mountainside overlooking the valley, in order to get a better look at the overall situation.”

During mission planning, we decided that it would be best to take the more populated route, the forest/clearing interface that follows the roads around the valley, rather than taking a direct route going against the grain across the unpopulated mountain spines. Although we would have to be extra cautious to avoid contact with any inhabitants, resulting in slower movement, we would have access to much more information regarding the situation on the ground.

My thoughts are interrupted as we approach a typical…

View original post 4,478 more words

Great Job, Troop!

Nice to wake up and read in the morning news that a USAF airman, unarmed, was part of an ad hoc team that took down a jihadist armed with an AK, a knife, and a pistol.  Beat the idiot senseless!  Makes my day!

Spencer Stone

Complete article, here.

Oughta get the Airman’s Medal, at least!

Airman's Medal

Criteria for award:  One of several Air Force awards established by Congress on July 6, 1960, takes the place of the Soldier’s Medal for Air Force personnel. It is awarded to any member of the Armed Forces of the United States or of a friendly nation who, while serving in any capacity with the United States Air Force after the date of the award’s authorization, shall have distinguished himself or herself by a heroic act, usually at the voluntary risk of his or her life but not involving actual combat.

I’d say he pretty much fits the criteria.

You make us proud, kid!


The Chief Instructor, MSgt, USAF (Ret)

Essential Skills: Land Navigation Tools & Training

topographic map


UDPATE 2: We’re considering scheduling an open enrollment land nav class, interest dependent, for September.  So, if you want to learn land navigation, using either compass listed below, shoot a note over to us.  We have a 12 slot minimum; cost:  $100 per registrant.

Subjects/skills covered:

      • Navigation tools nomenclature and correct use (USGI Lensatic & Suunto MC2 type compass, protractor, UTM scale, and map).
      • Azimuth and back azimuth determination.
      • USGI Lensatic Compass Bezel Ring use.
      • Natural or manmade occurrences that degrade compass accuracy.
      • Topographical map marginal information identification and use.
      • Correct identification of grid squares by four digit coordinates.
      • Grid Plotting:  Four, six, and eight digit grids.
      • Grid and Magnetic Azimuths.
      • Declination impact on grid azimuths; conversion of grid and magnetic azimuths using provided map declination.
      • Intersection
      • Modified Resection
      • Plot and execute a predetermined route finding each point provided within the given time limit without becoming lost.

Confirmed registrants will be provided a link to purchase their training maps ($9.,95 plus shipping) in 1:10,000 and protractor/UTM scale ($8 each plus shipping).  Release date for information is end of March.

UPDATE:  Originally posted on 4 Nov 13.  Reposting to give prospective students time to acquire necessary tools for the class (if you don’t have them already, which you should).   With the recent uptick in interest in Land Nav at various sites, to include Dan Morgan76, who has an excellent post on why learn, here,  we decided to jump on the band wagon in anticipation of the Spring class we’ll offer in Southeast Michigan.  Details to follow, but right now we’re looking at mid to late April.

Here’s our picks for basic tools necessary for battery-free*  land navigation.  The tried and true ‘manual’ method, a compass:  Don’t get a cheap imitation; get a USGI Tritium Lensatic Compass.  The Cammenga brand is very good and takes rough field use well.  Typical cost for the basic model is around $75.  If you absolutely can’t afford the tritium model, there are phosphorus models, and you can get them in various colors or even camouflaged, depending on your tase.  Bottom line?  Like anything else, get the absolute best you can afford.  You can check them out here:

Lensatic Compass

Alternative:  Suunto, K&R or Silva ‘Baseplate’ type compass.  Any of the three will work; we’ve seen reports that the Suunto and K&R are more accurate than the Silva, but your mileage may vary.  These can come very cheap for the base models; the better ones run between $40 and $75 a pop.  I got mine, a K&R, on amazon.  Delivered in 2 days.

KR compass

Protractor:  Ok, it’s technical name is, “Coordinate Scale and Protractor”, but for us dinosaurs, it’s a protractor.  The new and improved model is very nicely priced at $8 with options for bulk pricing if you are going to buy for a lot of friends.  This particular tool will make your map work seem to go a lot faster.  This model also provides quite a bit more flexibility in use on different map scales.  The nicest touch they’ve added, in our opinion, is the addition of bands of white ink underneath the degree and mil roses, making reading the compass rose easier and also keeps the tool from “disappearing” when you place it on the map.   You can get yours at  Get two.


While you’re at it over at, consider a UTM slot tool that has 14 scales which will cover just about any map scale you may find yourself using.  We’ve found them to be super accurate and for $8 (just about everything is $8….) you can’t go wrong.  Check it out here.

Map:  A good map is everything in navigation.  We recommend the Military Grid Reference System (MGRS) maps in 1 to 25,000 scale as the most readable and versatile for grid plotting followed up with higher scale maps for general AO familiarization (but more on that in class).  DTG teaches and recommends the use of 8 digit grid coordinates, which brings the navigator within 10 meters (33 feet) of his/her target.  Sure, you can use other methods and a 1:50,000 scale map, plot a 6 digit, and add a zero at the end of each element, but you’ll find that method is not as effective as an actual 8 digit grid coordinate.  Just sayin’.   We get our maps at, ‘’.  Best place we’ve found to get a good map customized to your personal needs.   We also recommend having MGRS grid lines on your maps.  Makes plotting a lot easier and more precise.  (Speaking of plotting, make sure you have either a couple good mechanical pencils in #2 lead, or some basic #2’s with a pencil sharpener.   The finer the point, the better the plot.)  The folks at mytopo make any map in any scale you wish, so you’re really getting a custom map that will take care of your needs.  For example, when we teach our Land Nav course, we use a 1:10,000 scale map for ease of learning and seeing routes plotted.  You’ll also have the option to get an aerial photograph version of your map.  We’ve found these to be useful when studying a particular area if (and we’ve found they usually are) the photo is more recent than the provided ‘Map Information Date’  (located under the ‘LEGEND’) that indicates the age (read accuracy) of the information used in making the map.  Especially when it comes to changes in urban development, etc.  So, check them out. topoTraining:  The internet is a great source of information, and a lot of good posts are out there for the academic work.  But you can’t get dirt time on the web.  That’s where we come in:  DTG provides more than just a ‘good idea’ of how to perform this essential skill, and you’ll be taught by people who know the subject inside and out and have done land nav in many and various regions throughout the US and Europe.

Stay tuned for more class details in the coming weeks.  See you in class!

Coronal Mass Ejection: What Might Happen

H/T to Sipsey Street Irregulars.

Got preps?  Got training?  Got NPT Concepts & Principles?  We can help; drop us a line on what you need.


Complete article, here .

Human society is far more reliant on electricity today than it was 156 years ago. Berger pointed out that today we have pipelines, electrical transmission grids, and a lot more ground-based electrical conduction technology. So, what would happen if a Carrington-sized event struck us now? Pretty much ever aspect of the modern world would take a hit, according to a report by the National Academies of Sciences.

The ground currents induced by large geomagnetic storms can melt the copper windings of transformers that lie at the heart of power distribution systems. If this happens, it can ;ead tp massive power outages. And because our power grid has grown much more interconnected over time, the effects of such an outage today could be spread far and wide.

What Would Happen if a Massive Solar Storm Hit the Earth?

A map showing the at-risk transformer capacity by state for a 4800 nT/min geomagnetic field disturbance. Regions with high percentages of at-risk capacity could experience long-duration outages extending for several years. Image Credit: J. Keppenman, Metatech Corp

It’s hard to overstate just how much this would uproot our lives. The lights would of course go out, as would the internet, and any device that draws current from the wall. In places with electronically-controlled municipal water supplies — like most modern cities — toilets and sewage treatment systems would stop working. Heating and air conditioning would fail. Perishable food and medication would be lost. ATMs would be useless. Gas pumps would go offline. And so forth.

GPS technology would also be knocked out. Said Grunman, “The GPS system depends on the very precise timing of a course of signals between two points, like a spacecraft and your phone. If you dump a bunch of energetic particles into the atmosphere, that effects your GPS. Which is sobering when you consider the replacement of old aircraft landing technology with GPS.”

Some of these effects could last years, and they’d be felt globally. “The entire magnetic field of the Earth is changing, so the entire Earth feels it,” said Berger.


Home Prep Resource: The Foxfire Book Series

Foxfire 1

Posting an entry on the “Foxfire” series of books isn’t news in the prepper world, by any means.  I’ve had volumes 1 through 6 for a good 10 years. For anyone not familiar, however, these are well worth mentioning because of the information preserved given directly by folks  who not only survived, but thrived without any of the things we take for granted in our technologically advanced world, and what these books contain in knowledge is better than gold in a grid down scenario.  Especially interesting are the ‘old school’ snippets from folks who provide the information on the chapters.  The directions provided are ample instruction in how to perform the task being read about; when performing any series of tasks, it’s easy for the reader to understand why folks off the grid are up before dawn and don’t stop until after dark:  It’s an all day job every day.

This is a summary from the site, “” that does an excellent job providing an outline of the first book (emphasis added):

The Foxfire Book is a compilation of articles written by high school students for a magazine called Foxfire. Originally started in 1968 by high school teacher Eliot Wigginton, Foxfire was created as an attempt to entice young high school students to learn the history of their society, as well as to preserve the knowledge and traditions of the people residing in the Appalachian Mountains of Rabun Gap, North Carolina. The characters described within these stories live virtually unaided by modern society and often grow their own food, raise their own sources of meat, and use their skills, passed generation to generation, to make furniture, cure disease, hunt for provisions, and even build houses. Presented in the dialect of the people as told by the individuals themselves, this collection is not only a wealth of information about building cabins and furniture, creating home remedies, cooking, hunting, and farming, but is also a valuable record of a nearly extinct way of life for the Appalachian mountain people.

This non-fiction book is a collection of articles and essays about traditional life in the Appalachian Mountains. The novel opens with “this is the way I was raised up,” written by Mrs. Marvin Watts, which chronicles the childhood of one woman living in the Appalachians in the early part of the [20th] century. Following this essay, an interview with a kindly elderly woman, “Aunt Arie,” is presented, in which Arie describes her traditional cooking methods, her upbringing in the Appalachian Mountains, and her triumphs and trials as an older woman alone in a log cabin in the mountains. “Wood,” “Tools and Skills,” “Building a Log Cabin” and “Chimney Building” are presented next as a set of articles designed to educate readers on the materials, skills, tools, and processes involved in building a log cabin. The next set of articles discusses the white oak split and its various uses. “White Oak Split” describes the creation of splits. These splits are thin pieces of prepared white oak wood, commonly used in homemade baskets, bedding, chairs, and hampers. The following articles, “Making a Hamper out of White Oak Splits” and “Making a Basket out of White Oak Splits” describe the use of the white oak split to create various household items.

The next four articles pertain to the creation of household items and necessities. In “An Old Chair Maker Shows How,” Lon Reid explains how to build a chair completely from scratch, using only homemade tools. “Rope, Straw, and Feathers are to Sleep on” presents stories, written directly in the dialect of the speaker, of four woman’s memories surrounding the types of beds they have used throughout their lives. In “A Quilt is Something Human,” the woman of the community discuss the art of quilt making, including the traditions and customs associated with the practice. “Soapmaking,” based on an article written by a student about her grandmother, interviews four women who give tips and tricks on how they make their own soap.

Five articles are presented next that discuss cooking and preserving foods. In “Cooking on a Fireplace, Dutch Oven, and Wood Stove,” these three cooking devices, still in use in many Appalachian cabins, are explained and photographed. In “Mountain Recipes,” twenty-nine recipes, often detailed in the dialect of the speaker, are given, including recipes for stews, vegetables, breads, cakes, pies, and beverages. “Preserving Vegetables,” also written in dialect, explains how to preserve vegetables using drying, burying, and pickling methods. “Preserving Fruit,” continues the discussion, explaining how to bleach and dry fruits, as well as how to make syrups, jams, jellies, and preserves. “Churning Your Own Butter” describes the churning process in full, and includes photographs of homemade churns and individuals practicing the act of churning.

The following three articles describe the slaughter, curing, and cooking of hogs, a traditional form of meat used in the Appalachian Mountains. “Slaughtering Hogs” describes the early methods of slaughtering a hog, many of which are still used in this area. In “Curing and Smoking Hog,” the various ways to perform each task are outlined. “Recipes for Hog” explains recipes for eighteen parts of the hog, including the tongue, brain, heart, and head, as well as more common areas. The next two articles, ‘Weather Signs” and “Planting by the Signs” discuss the folklore and traditions surrounding weather prediction and farming by the signs of the Zodiac. “Weather Signs” informs readers of weather prediction techniques using animal, plant, and insect behaviors, as well as by weather patterns, fire behaviors, and moon cycles. “Planting by the Signs” first explains the traditional planting method using the signs of the Zodiac, and explains how each sign is related to the planting, reaping, and harvesting of crops. “Home Remedies” records homemade cures and folklore procedures for curing forty-seven different ailments, ranging in alphabetical order from arthritis to yellow jaundice. These recipes include common-sense formulas such as a cast made from red clay for a broken bone, modern folklore concepts such as using magnets for arthritis pains, and potentially lethal advice such as holding a baby with croup over a burning saucer of turpentine.

Three articles are presented involving the art of hunting in the Appalachian Mountains. “Hunting” presents stories, written in the dialect of the speakers, told by the older generation of citizens in the community relating to hunting various games, such as bear, raccoon, and deer. “Dressing and Cooking Wild Animal Foods” explains how to cure, dress, and cook eleven different game species, including turkey, frog, turtle, possum, and others. “Hunting Tales” presents ten stories of hunting humor and tales of nearly missed large game.

In “Snake Lore,” local residents tell twenty-one tales of snakebites, near bites, and legendary snakes. “Moonshining as a Fine Art” recounts the history of moonshine, a common practice in the Appalachian Mountains, and discusses each step in the creation of the illegal drink. In “Faith Healing,” interviews with those who practice the questionable art of healing through faith are presented. These interviews and stories of healing are presented in an unbiased way, allowing the reader to draw conclusions on their validity.

Three other articles are presented within this book, those of “Daniel Manous,” “The Buzzard and the Dog” and “Hillard Green.” In “Daniel Manous,” Mr. Manous describes an encounter with a snake handler preacher who learns the difference between listening to the will of God and listening to humankind. In “The Buzzard and the Dog,” resident Bill Lamb tells an amusing tale of a buzzard tricked into thinking a dog was deceased by the smell of rotten fertilizer. The final article, “Hillard Green,” is perhaps the most telling article of the book. Hillard Green is a local resident situated far into the Appalachian Mountains. Hillard tells of his opinions on government, monetary gain, parenting, women, space flight, and the eventual destruction of the modern world. While dark in content, the article is presented with a feeling of righteousness and dignity that perhaps only those of the naturalistic, money-free mountain life can truly understand.

You can get these just about anywhere, including eBay and Amazon.  Enjoy.

foxfire 1-7

Time for a Little Motivation….

Or not…depending on where you’re at.  Wirecutter got me to thinking about the Gurkhas the other day with a comment of his.

Meet the prospective Gurkhas….you know, the guys with the knives?    Yeah…those guys.  Like the one in the pic below.



Not all Nepalese youths who volunteer actually make it into the unit.  Check out their PT selecttion…complete with their home made, ‘ruck’ full of rocks.  Oh yeah….they run with these things….a lot.  And that’s just during their selection.  Note all the spiffy uniforms and equipment:  A basket, rocks, their own clothes and shoes.  Nice.

These guys earn their knives…and respect.  Look at this one:

gurkha 2

Now THAT is a guy who is ‘all in.’ Here’s the story.

Makes me look at my own PT program and try to figure out how I can get a bit better.  Yes, I know they’re in their early 20’s.  I also know that whoever comes at my ‘precious cargo’ might be training harder than I am.

Now, to be sure, I’m not knocking the training of our own hard core types in all our branches, civilian schools, and local NPT’s; I am simply in open admiration of their ethos and morale expressed in their motto:

‘Better to die than to live and be a coward!’

Gotta get more of that ethos into the ‘hearts and minds’ of our communities.