A few random thoughts……..

A few things that have been on my mind…….
    • Thank you to TL, MJ and AH for your recent donations – it is greatly appreciated. As always – please do not donate unless you can truly afford it. If you can afford it and would like to support MSOnline
    • I am hoping to get my HAM radio by the middle of October. From talking to some of my local “prepper” contacts – the question of whether or not to get a licence has come up. Myself  -I am not really concerned about getting one and plan to.
    • I caught myself recently saying to my wife – “Hey, I filled up the car today and ONLY paid $3.19 per gallon.” You see? It is working. People are getting used to gas over $3.00 per gallon. It’s a shame and pathetic. I am all for capitalism and companies that take on risk to be in business making a profit. BUT…..come on. It is kinda funny that in the aftermath of Katrina the price of gasoline rose tremendously – and so did the profits of the oil companies. Even recently the cost of gasoline is much higher than it has been in the past – yet the cost of oil is not. There is no absolute correlation between the two. Very frustrating. There is a lot of evidence that the oil companies control oil refinery output AND then artificially raise fuel prices to make record profits.
    • I recently signed up my 8 year old – Christopher – in the Cub Scouts. I never participated in Scouting when I was a kid – I wish I had. I have heard so many good things about the Scouts – and with the negative influences surrounding kids now-a-days the Scouts have never been needed more. I am looking forward to the camping trips and other activities coming up. He is very excited.
    • I have been using my Buck Hoodlum quite a bit recently and so far it has held up nicely. Clearing some brush – some of it pretty thick – required little effort. A good swipe through the vegetation and there it fell. Edge is holding up very well.
    • There has been a great response so far to my Special Announcement a couple weeks ago.  The comments have been great.
    • I have been reading and researching quite a bit lately on….well…..how this country has gotten to where it is today. Needless to say – I think we are in a very tough situation. I have not been ignorant of many of the things I am finding – however I am very disappointed with much of what I am learning. I do not often talk about politics – but that is going to have to change. As the title of this blog states – “Thoughts on Survival and the World Today” – I feel the need to voice my opinion. I am Conservative on my beliefs. I also firmly believe that our political system is broke and full of corruption and maneuvering that is not for the good of the people. Politics are like many other topics that when discussing- you cannot please everyone. Regardless – I will voice my opinion and may possibly cause others to be more aware – and I may learn something from others at the same time.
    •  I have gotten some good deals using Groupon lately. I bought a $25 dollar Gift Card to a local English-style pub for $12.00. Great deal. Also got a $20 Gift Card to another local restaurant I frequent for lunch for $10.00.
    • I just received a box of 50 rounds of .30 Carbine ammo from BulkAmmo.com . Next opportunity I will empty the box thru my M1 Carbine and report back how the stuff shoots.
and finally…….
    • If you have not read this article – you should. Many preppers prep for a variety of reasons in mind. It may be because they live in a hurricane prone area of they fear an all out economic collapse. This article discusses potential effects of an EMP attack on the United States from Iran. Interesting is the article is written by a former Revolutionary Guard so he provides some profound insight.
Take care all –

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  1. Roarke,

    I recently purchased a portable iCom ham radio, and I am not, nor plan to get licensed. I wanted it for monitoring purposes; however, even though I have several friends that are ham operators, I’ve found it hard to understand the manual, find local channels, find important channels that are not local and basically use the radio. They’ve all offered to help, but in today’s busy society, we’ll get ‘around to it’ someday but never do.

    I would greatly appreciate if you could solicit a ham operator (maybe the one that schools you) in giving practical tips for all ham owners, such as where to find local freqs, what freqs to use to monitor areas around the world, and probably give compelling reasons to get a license.

    I’m not real excited about becoming a club member even though that’s most likely the best way to learn, but your articles are a great source of prepping, so I figure this will be a great subject someone will post per your request.

    JD in Texas

    • Dell –

      I will do what I can as I work to learn more regarding HAM communication. I would respectfully point you in the direction of AdvancedSurvivalGuide.com . Justus over the has a lot of information and I am sure is willing to assist.

      Thanks – Rourke

  2. I agree, voice your opinion. I know… politics is a dirty word to most…..It is the second oldest profession…. and has much in common with the oldest…..Right now it seems there is little positive to report but that will change in time. Many of the state governments are working to get back the authority they had seeded to Fedgov and that is a very good step. More and more of us are realizing that we are approaching an inversion of power, Fedgov will lose some and we will gain some (we being those prepared to survive independent of Fedgov). Naturally the closer we get to that inversion…. the more will realize and join us. The more we research, the more attention we pay, the better we understand what is happening in our world and the better prepared we will be for it. There is no rule that I’m aware of that says we can’t try an effect today while preparing for tomorrow. If nothing else we may effect in a positive way how bad tomorrow may get. By all means Rourke… voice your opinion. A little more logic mixed in with all this madness can’t possibly hurt.

  3. Rourke,

    As an Eagle Scout, I’m glad to hear you signed you son up for Cub Scouts! Don’t forget that Scouting isn’t just about camping trips! The Scouting program can be very rewarding, and will help build skills that will help you an entire lifetime.

    Just a few things I learned from Scouting:

    How to properly use, care for, and sharpen a knife
    How to build a fire no matter what the conditions are
    How to follow proper range safety for use of rifles
    How to perform emergency first aid
    …and that’s just a small sample of what I learned.


  4. Solid little radio, but you’re limiting yourself to the two meter band. Save your money for a rig that’ll let you work all bands, all modes. And get that license or nobody’ll talk to you.

  5. To Dell Stine,

    For all of the UHF/VHF ham repeater frequencies you want to get a copy of The ARRL Pocket Repeater
    Directory 2011-2012 for under $10. It is available at http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/books/5669.html among a bunch of other places. This is a shirt pocket size directory. I don’t leave town without it (and a wallet sized programming guide). For my local frequencies and my radio, I have them programmed into named memory channels so my brain doesn’t explode trying to remember how to use it:-)


    If you haven’t already gotten your radio, you might want to consider putting your money into a dual-band handie talkie (2meter and 450mhz) before you get a “base station”. In my opinion, if you can only afford one radio, it’s a much a more efficient use of money. Since most of them are not much bigger than a cell phone you can just grab and go and not confine yourself to a fixed location or car and you’re more likely to have it when you need it. Most will put out up to 5-watts which is more than sufficient for about 95% of repeater work, and of course for monitoring power “don’t matter”. I’ve been a ham since the 60’s and for VHF/UHF I still just use a talkie (since they became practical to carry around). When I’m mobile out of town I connect mine to a $20 car-top dual-band mag mount antenna, connect it to cigarette lighter power, and plug in a speaker mic. At home I just set it in the charge cradle and use the speaker mic. On a motorcycle I can clip it to my belt and use a helmet mic and headset.


  6. Rourke,

    Good idea on the HAM radio license. Another one of those things that requires a getting ’round tuit’ for me 🙂

    Depending on just where you are located, try doing some searches for local Hamfests in your general area. Generally, large flea-market type events where dealers and local operators unload ‘last year’s gear’ and assorted electronics items at bargain-basement prices. Also, a great place to meet other interested folks in your area. I recently picked up a 15watt solar panel, a marine deep-cycle gel-cell battery and assorted electronics parts for less than $60US. Definitely worth looking into.

  7. that is fantastic to hear your son is now a cub, just remember there is always a place for parents and in most packs and troops they are needed, i am an asm for my sons troop for over 5 years and my wife has participated since he was a tiger, as a leader and then as a committee member it will give you and your son enjoyment

  8. Getting into HAM is not complicated at all. The advice of starting out with the dual band handie, is sound advice. I started that way, and primarily use them more than the others, (the mobiles in the vans and truck). @-meter band is popular, and lot going on here in SC on the 2 meter. Lot of nightly nets to listen in on, lot of emergency preparedness training on some of the nightly nets as well. Once you get into it you will be hooked.

  9. curious about starting up a ham club w/o the whole ‘tell us who you are and where you live’ thing going on 😉 I have one (hand me down radio) but am concerned about learning how to use it b/c of just such reason.

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