Friday, November 29, 2013

Daily Briefing For Friday, November 29, 2013

Black And Blue Friday

In our consumer oriented economy (which makes up 70 percent of national spending), Black Friday is a critical day for us, like it or not.  It comes with a price, however, in many ways.  Consider the Drudge headlines from today:

Mall mayhem...
Suspected shoplifter shot after dragging cop through KOHL's parking lot...
Woman uses stun gun in shopping fight...
Man stabbed over parking spot...
Shopper Kicked Out Of WALMART For Filming Fight...
Man shot walking home with big screen...
Shoppers Trampled In Race For $49 Tablet...
SALVATION ARMY kettles stolen...

And tonight, Sandi tagged me in a Facebook post with this highlight reel of past Black Fridays:


No doubt many will blame capitalism for things like this (since nothing bad ever happens in economic systems which embrace socialism or communism).  Capitalism has nothing to do with it.  A lack of respect for others combined with an unhealthy fixation with material possessions has everything to do with it.

As I told Sandi, part of being prepared for contingencies is avoiding risky environments in the first instance.  Black Friday events where the crowds seem a bit too willing to risk injury for a freaking video game or flat screen television are the kind of retail opportunities we can all afford to skip. 

Practice risk avoidance as part of your daily preparedness activities.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Daily Briefing For Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Chickens as Patriotism

Jerid posted this to my Facebook page this evening:

I should probably be blogging about being thankful for the many blessings we have.  And we in America certainly have plenty for which to be thankful.  But this seemed more appropriate.  Part of being thankful means we are good stewards of our blessings.  And being self-sufficient is an exercise in stewardship.

It's interesting to think that in 1918 - almost 100 years ago - our government encouraged people to contribute to the economy and to be more self sufficient.  Now dependency on the government is growing at astonishing rates.  Some would argue the government actually encourages dependency on it - an about face of its efforts just 100 years ago. 

Can we change the trend?  Or are we stuck in an inescapable vortex, in which we can only slow down the rate at which we lose our economic and personal freedoms? 

Who knows.  Regardless, we are called to be thankful and to be good stewards of what we have.  The change we seek will not come from the government.  It will come only when we take the lead, set the example, and encourage others to do the same.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Conference Update: Speaking Roster Finalized; Five Days of Early Bird Pricing Left

FINAL Speaking Roster For 2014 SDS Preparedness Conference

Great news!  We have finalized the speaker's list for the upcoming conference.  I'm very pleased with the caliber of speakers we've been able to secure, as well as the diversity of topics to be covered.

The conference will be on Saturday, January 4, 2014 at the Cabela's located at 15570 IH-35 in Buda, Texas.  We'll start with registration beginning at 9:30 AM and begin with speakers at 10 AM.  We'll conclude at 5 PM.

For those of you who wish to have dinner with some of the other attendees, we'll be meeting at the Logan's Steakhouse in front of Cabela's at 6 PM on Friday, January 3.  Let me know if you'd like to attend so I can make reservations for us.

Here's this year's speakers list:

Rosina Newton of the Natural Gardener fame and a horticultural expert in her own right kicks off the 2014 conference.  You can see her in action in this KLRU clip.  She'll be speaking on the basics of backyard gardening - growing herbs and vegetables in a suburban setting.

Karl Rehn will share some ideas on developing a personal training curriculum to be your own first responder.  Karl's work at TEEX and at his own company, KR Training, has been instrumental in training countless shooters and first responders.

Brian Brown just returned from the Philippines serving a stint with Team Rubicon and their disaster recovery efforts.  A leader with Travis County Search and Rescue, Brian will be talking about bug out bags and strategies.

John Daub will expand on his writings in the area of establishing minimum standards.  While his writings have been primarily in the areas of firearms training, the concepts here can be applied to a wide variety of disciplines.

Leslie Buck is the founder and chief instructor of Tactical Arts Academy.  If you've ever wondered how you can defend yourself using ordinary items, he will provide you with some guidance on improvised weapons and tactics.

Linda Wall is The Redneck Hippie and an avid garden consultant as well.  She'll be speaking on "The Basics of Canning" to fill us in on how to get started in our food preservation efforts. 

In addition, staff from Cabela's will be doing a presentation on the latest survival gear on the market.  And we'll conclude with a panel discussion featuring the speakers from the conference discussing current issues important to the prepper community.

Please note early bird pricing ends this Saturday, November 30!  It's $40 per person or $70 for two (and yes, you can partner up with a friend to take advantage of the better don't have to be on a date).  On December 1, pricing goes up to $60 per person.

You can register three ways:

  1. PayPal me at
  2. Sign up at KR Training.  After you've signed up, you'll still need to pay via the KR Training payment pagePlease note that your sign up is incomplete without payment and will not entitle you to early bird pricing beyond November 30.
  3. Mail me a check at 8905 Marybank Drive, Austin, TX 78750. 

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Daily Briefing For Tuesday, November 19, 2013

300 Americans

I was reading through a paper written by the folks at Emergency Essentials this evening, entitled "Confronting Common Food Storage Myths."  The first myth touched on the belief that Americans don't need to have a food storage plan.  To rebut this, the company quotes Richard Gist, a psychologist for the Kansas City Fire Department as saying:

"Do not put off the improbable for the unthinkable....If there is a one in a million chance of something happening to you, then it's happening to 300 people in this country right now."

There are two goals we can infer from this quote.  The first goal is to not be one of the 300.  Prevention - from theft, assault, job loss, fire, storm damage, you name it - is often cheaper and easier than dealing with the aftermath.  The second goal is to be ready to mitigate the situation if we are one of the 300.  If you have a food plan, a cash reserve, fire extinguishers, a weather radio, a first aid kit, and other necessities, you greatly reduce your chances that you'll be dependent on relief efforts in the time of emergency. 

....And The Head of Interpol Says One Way to Be Prepared Is To Be Armed!

Somebody needs to tell Ronald Noble - the secretary general of Interpol - that he needs to get back on the official message that an armed citizenry is bad and that only the government should have guns.  Because he clearly deviated from that, as you can read for yourself in this report from ABC News.  Here's what he had to say, in part:

"Ask yourself: If [the Nairobi shopping mall terrorist attack in September] was Denver, Col., if that was Texas, would those guys have been able to spend hours, days, shooting people randomly?" Noble said, referring to states with pro-gun traditions. "What I'm saying is it makes police around the world question their views on gun control. It makes citizens question their views on gun control. You have to ask yourself, 'Is an armed citizenry more necessary now than it was in the past with an evolving threat of terrorism?' This is something that has to be discussed."

 Good question, Mr. Secretary.  It's good to see leaders in law enforcement asking this question and challenging the thinking of those who believe citizens cannot be a part of the solution.

Meanwhile, Patriots In Mexico Are Doing What Patriots Do

The unspeakable violence in Mexico has pushed some of its citizens to do what those who love their country and their family do: pick up a rifle and defend themselves and their communities from the forces of evil.  And that's precisely what's happening, according to CBS news.

No doubt many here in the U.S. will criticize this effort as lawless and vigilante.  I suppose it's easy to criticize others when it's not your kids and neighbors being brutally attacked and murdered.  When you see it every day, it's hard to not take action. 

This is why so many of us are passionate about defending our Second Amendment rights.  Giving citizens the ability to defend themselves from enemies foreign and domestic isn't just about preventing invasions from foreign armies or even tyrannical government.  It's about giving people the right to protect themselves from lawlessness from those who refuse to adhere to the social contract.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Daily Briefing For Friday, November 15, 2013

Getting Hurt Getting First Aid ASAP

You know how in the movies where there's a gun fight or other violent encounter, and right after the good guy has won and freed the hottie chick from whatever goat rodeo she's found herself, the ambulance immediately arrives to tape him and other casualties up?  Reality check:  that doesn't happen in the real world.  Because a) there aren't that many hotties getting into gun fights and b) your EMS heroes aren't going to go in until the cops have completely secured the scene.

Caleb Causey of Lone Star Medics today shared this article on the recent shooting at LAX via the miracle that is Facebook.  From the article:

"When somebody is shot and they're bleeding to death, lifesaving skills need to be implemented immediately, in a couple minutes, and they're very simple, pressure dressings, tourniquets, adequate bandages to stop the bleeding," said Dr. Lawrence E. Heiskell, an emergency physician for 27 years and a reserve police officer for 24 years who founded the state and federally approved International School of Tactical Medicine.

Let that sink in.  You're at the mall this holiday season picking up fine quality products made in China to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior, and some nut job starts shooting the place up, hitting you or your child.  If you can't deal with the problem on your own, the wait for help is going to take a long, long time.  How long, you ask?  The headline in that article to which I link above will give you some idea: "LAX security officer bled for 33 minutes as help stood by."  Thirty three minutes.  For a security officer.  (I can assure you, the first responder community takes care of their own, first and foremost.  And I don't blame them.)

Forget about shootings for a moment.  You're far more likely to be in a car wreck or have some other accident which could cause serious bleeding.  Say it only takes half that time for help to arrive.  Now we're down to 16 minutes while you bleed out.  Still think that's acceptable?

I can hear you now: "Paul, you're being alarmist and a Debbie Downer.  Shut up already and talk about more uplifting stuff like MREs and the economy."  I will keep saying this until I am blue in the face or until the NSA pulls the plug on my blog: Be ready to execute the basics really well.  If you can do that, you are prepared for a wide spectrum of perils.  Get some basic gear and training and know what to do.  Help may not be around the corner.

Speaking of Being Prepared...

My two high school alma maters had a rough day to day.  The Webb School lost in the NACA national football championship this afternoon (proud of our kids and coaches...three years ago, the school didn't even have a football program).  And Shelbyville Central High School dealt with a prank caller claiming a student entered the school with a gun.

Fortunately it was a prank and no one was hurt.  A dear friend of mine who teaches at that school remarked:

Events from last spring's implementation of a "code white" label made me think "what would I do with my kids if that happened?" I had to execute that plan this morning. I have changed my opinion about always keeping my phone and keys on me after today. I am thankful for this event today as I hope it helps us be a safer place and serves as a reminder to be alert to all situations....Even though it was scary and tense until we had information - I felt safe and that they had it under control...I hope our administration takes this "exercise" and improves our emergency plan.

If you're an educator, you have a tough job in this situation - taking care not only of yourself but the kids placed in your care.  I know many schools are proactively discussing how to handle these situations.  Let me encourage those of you who do work in school environments to regularly play the "What If" game in your head.  "What if" today is the you have your cell phone on you?  Keys?  How quickly can you get your classroom locked down or secured as best you can?  Think through now what you will to then.

Indie Go Go Goes Prepper

As a world renown blogger on the issue of preparedness, I get emails regularly asking me to pitch products and services to you folks.  Namely it's Viagra, debt consolidation, and Nigerian stock market investments.  (This is how I know I am "world renown."  Because if I weren't, I'm sure these folks would not be emailing me.) 

I received one today that seemed more normal, and I thought I'd share it with you.  These survival kits look interesting.  I will curious to see how this takes off.  Check it out.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Daily Briefing For Thursday, November 14, 2013

Eleven Hours Later...

I sat through the CHL instructor renewal class yesterday.  It was a long day to say the least.

A few observations from the class:

  • DPS continues to raise the qualifications of instructors.  This has received mix reviews among CHL instructors.  Having heard some of the horror stories, and having seen some of the instructors in class and on the range, there needs to be more scrutiny in certifying instructors.
  • Instructors will continue to struggle to get the necessary material covered in the new 4 to 6 hour format. 
  • NO VIDEOS MAY BE SHOWN IN CLASS, unless they are on the DPS-approved YouTube channel.  This is a big disappointment, as there is a lot of great material out there on DVD and YouTube from which students could learn.
  • The paperwork requirements for instructors has been reduced slightly.  We'll take it anyway we can get it.
  • DPS emphasized that the CHL class is not a basic handgun class.  I get that.  But here's the reality that any CHL instructor who teaches courses on even a semi-regular basis will tell you: you will have a lot of inexperienced shooters - some of whom have never fired a handgun - in your classes.  I've had brand new shooters take my Glock 34 and shoot well above the instructor certification level during the proficiency test.  I've had experienced shooters struggle to keep their guns working or to break above 200. 

    The reality is that CHL classes will often continue to be an introductory level class for new shooters.  While some will object to that, I'm of the mindset that my novice shooters in my CHL class are leaving with more knowledge about handgun safety and use, the law of self defense, and situational awareness than before the class.  I have to think that's a good thing.

First Steps In Building a Bug Out Bag

Here's an excellent video for you to review. 

Summer Workshop Ideas

I mentioned in my last blog that I working to develop a day long workshop on preparedness.  Unlike the upcoming conference, this would be a more hands-on event whereby attendees could build simple projects and play with the gear to give them some ideas of what aspect of their plan they might want to work on next.

Some subjects I'm considering include:

  • Ham radio demonstration
  • Solar power demonstration
  • Solar cooking demonstration
  • Spreadsheet for creating a food storage plan
  • Building a Berkey water filtration clone
  • Basics of reloading ammo
If you have suggestions, I'd like to hear them

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Daily Briefing For Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Latest 2014 SDS Preparedness Conference News:


·         Conference speaker currently serving in Philippines on disaster recovery mission

·         Well-known horticulturalist leads off this year’s conference

·         Planning underway for disaster preparedness workshop in Summer 2014

·         Many taking advantage of this year’s early bird pricing for registration



Conference speaker currently serving in Philippines on disaster recovery mission

Brian Brown, who will be speaking on bug out gear and strategies, is getting some intensive experience in this subject matter.  He’ll spend two weeks living out of a backpack in the Philippines while serving with Team Rubicon, helping that nation recover from one of the worst typhoons to ever hit the island nation. 

Prior to leaving the U.S., Brian messaged me to say “Living out of a bag for the next two weeks should give me some good material for the conference.”  We wish Brian and his team well, and we look forward to hearing the lessons he’s learned from his extensive disaster recovery experiences.

Well-known horticulturalist leads off this year’s conference

I’m pleased to let you know that Rosina Newton, a fixture in the Austin gardening community, will be our first speaker at this year’s conference.  She’ll be presenting on the basics of backyard gardening.  Last year’s attendees scored this subject matter as the most desired presentation for this year’s conference. 

An Aggie (Class of 1984), Rosina serves as Horticulturalist and Education Coordinator at the award-winning Natural Gardener in Austin.  In addition to her work at the Natural Gardener, she started bioMUNDO ( to further serve the gardening community. 

You may have seen Rosina on KLRU’s
Central Texas Gardener.  I’m pleased she’s able to join us.

Planning underway for disaster preparedness workshop in Summer 2014

I’m working with Karl Rehn of KR Training to develop a hands-on workshop in disaster preparedness next summer.  We’ll be polling the January attendees about what they’d like to learn in a summertime workshop.  We expect to put on demonstrations of utilizing solar cooking, communicating with ham radio, building rainwater collection and filtration systems, and designing food storage plans to be among some of the topics covered. 

Many taking advantage of this year’s early bird pricing for registration

We’ve had a very good early response for registrations.  Early bird pricing - $40 per person or $70 for two – runs through November 30.  After that, registration goes up to $60. 

You can sign up by PayPal using as the PayPal address or by going to KR Training’s class sign up page.  NOTE WELL – FOR THOSE OF YOU REGISTERING FOR THE CONFERENCE AT THE KR TRAINING PAGE, YOUR REGISTRATION IS NOT CONFIRMED UNTIL YOU HAVE PAID THE REGISTRATION FEES.  If you register but don’t pay your fees by November 30, the fee will go up to $60 per person. 

Save money by registering early! 

And if you’re interested in a Friday night dinner at Logan’s with me and other attendees, please email me so I can get your name on the list.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Daily Briefing For Friday, November 8, 2013

And Then There Are Days That Make Me Think We Are Winning

It seems more people are realizing the perils that face us.  Perhaps more importantly, people are showing courage in dealing with them.

The creator of the Rich Dad, Poor Dad franchise, Robert Kiyosaki, weighed in recently on the need to prepare for the possibility of economic uncertainty:


And now that we are four months post-verdict from the George Zimmerman trial, we see key legislators in Florida not only refusing to repeal or water down the Stand Your Ground law, they are looking to expand the rights of citizens to defend themselves

Even when there are horror stories like these - where a man was forced to undergo multiple rectal exams and colonoscopy to look for drugs (there were none) when pulled over for a minor traffic violation and another man was assaulted during an alleged DUI stop (watch the cop kick the citizen in the face while the citizen is lying on the ground) - the outcry becomes deafening.  If only we were as hell bent on financing efforts to train law enforcement on the limitations of their authority as we are on militarizing their departments.

And then there's the mother of wake up calls that's currently being heard across the country.  Turns out you can't mandate increased health insurance coverage without cancelling or non-renewing tens of millions of otherwise good policies and raising the premiums and deductibles on the policies left.  That's not a political statement, friends.  That's Actuary 101.  ACA supporters seem surprised by this.  I'm hoping they will start to reconsider not only their support of the legislation, but their broader support of government intervention (and spending) which has done nothing to promote freedom, liberty and financial stability of the typical American family over the last 50 years.  Don't chastise these people.  Many of them may become our partners in righting the ship.

I sense the tide is turning.  Time for all of us to do our part to keep the momentum going.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Second Annual Suburban Dad Survivalist Preparedness Conference Information

Second Annual Suburban Dad Survivalist Preparedness Conference

We are looking forward to having you to the conference!  This year’s speakers list reflects much of the feedback from last year’s attendees.  Please take a few moments to review the particulars of this year’s event.


Date, Time and Location

This year’s event will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2014 from 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM.  We’ll be meeting in the conference rooms at Cabela’s, located at 15570 Interstate 35, Buda, Texas.

Take Exit 220 on Interstate 35.  Cabela’s is located on the west side of the interstate.

Hotel Information

For those coming in from out of town, there are two hotels within a very short distance of Cabela’s:

·        Hampton Inn:

·        Microtel Inn: 512-295-5444

Friday Night Dinner

There will be an informal dinner Friday night, January 3, at the Logan’s Roadhouse located in the northeast parking lot of Cabela’s.  We’ll plan to be seated at 6 PM.  Please contact Paul if you would like to join the group.  You will be responsible for your paying for your own meal.

Saturday’s Schedule

We have a diverse list of speakers for this year’s event:

9:30 AM - !0:00 AM          Registration

10:00 AM – 10:10 AM      Welcome and Introductions

10:10 AM – 11:00 AM      “Raising Food In Your Backyard.” - Speaker TBA

11:00 AM – 11:30 AM      “Developing a Preparedness Training Plan” by KR Training owner Karl Rehn.

11:30 AM – 12:15 PM      Lunch (own your own; Cabela’s has on site dining)

12:15 PM – 1:05 PM         “Bug Out Bags, Vehicles and Strategies” by Brian Brown

1:05 PM – 1:15 PM           Break

1:15 PM – 2:05 PM           “Minimum Standards in Training” by John Daub

2:05 PM – 2:55 PM           “Improvised Weapons and Tactics” by Leslie Buck

2:55 PM – 3:05 PM           Break

3:05 PM – 3:35 PM           “New Gear For 2014” by Cabela’s staff

3:35 PM – 4:25 PM           Speaker TBA

4:25 PM – 5:00 PM           Panel Discussion

Lunch on Saturday

Cabela’s has a cafeteria on site.  You may bring in your own lunch if you wish.


Handouts will be distributed via email.  No handouts will be available on site; feel free to print and bring them to the conference. 

Classroom setting

This year, attendees will be seated at tables.  Feel free to bring a laptop or tablet.  Please note there is no wifi at Cabela’s.  Access to AC outlets will be very limited.


Registration is done on a first come, first serve basis.  You do not have a reservation until you have received a confirmation email. 

Pricing for the event is as follows:

Early Bird Pricing (valid through Nov. 30):       $40/person; $70/two people

            Regular Pricing (effective Dec. 1):                     $60/person

There are several ways to register:

·        PayPal your registration funds.  Please use as the email address for payment via PayPal.  Per PayPal: “There's no fee to send money when you link a bank account or use your PayPal balance. When you use a debit or credit card, there is a flat fee of 2.9% + $0.30 per transaction.”

·        You can mail me a check to Paul Martin, 8905 Marybank Drive, Austin, TX 78750. 

·        You may register for the conference at 

Regardless of the method of payment, it is very important to provide the full name or names of the individuals for whom you are paying, as well as your email address for confirmation and handouts.

Also, please note we will not be taking reservations or accepting payments at the door. 

For Further Information

Updates will be posted at the KR Training site and at the Suburban Dad Survivalist site.  You may also reach Paul at 512-267-4817.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Daily Briefing For Saturday, November 2, 2013


Weekend Reading Assignments

This weekend's required reading is light, giving all of you ample time to cheer on America's Team as they take on Florida State tonight at 7:00 PM Central.

  1. I'm learning Morse Code, and you should too.  Here's a great piece on the subject as to why.  I've already learned nine letters.  - - .  .  .  -.-  I'm using the "Your Introduction to Morse Code" from the Amateur Radio Relay League narrated by none other than my college classmate and fellow intramural referee Brennan Price.  He works for the ARRL in fact.  His bio is most impressive.
  2. For those of you looking to blend your Christian beliefs with prepping, here's a website with a lot of good, down to earth information.  Even if you aren't a Christian, you will find this site a nice reference source.
  3. And thanks to new reader Josh who shared this website with me today on apartment prepping.  There's a lot of good information here on prepping in small living spaces and on a budget.