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Saturday, January 8, 2011

Need More Digital Storage?

So many of our devices that we use every day have storage space on them for important documents we might need on a daily basis or even an emergency.  At my job I keep the extra import/export and customs documents both in Hard copy and on a USB flash drive just in case something happens to my documents.  For example if my vehicle gets broken into while I'm in a store and my customs papers get stolen I'll be able to go to any computer with a printer and print out new ones.  Since i keep the tiny USB Flash Drive on my key chain it's rarely out of my view.  I use a Verbatim Tuff n' Tiny USB Drive which is small enough that I don't really notice I have a card on my keys.

I also keep critical documents like a copy of my passport on this USB flash drive for if I loose my passport that I need to cross the boarder.  Any documents that contain personal data that could be used to harm me I use truecrypt to encrypt them on any storage media I hold those documents on.  Truecrypt is free and open source so any security risks can be found easily by a community of people around the world and fixed day or night.

So if you think about it if you use truecrypt to store important information on various storage devices that you carry on a daily basis you will probably never be without important documents when you need them and if your home burns down when you are away and you lose all your data on computers, hard drives and all your backups you'll at least have the important stuff on you!  Everything from basic cellular phones to your iPod have storage space that you can put a truecrypt drive on and keep information.

I've got a 120gb iPod but I have nowhere near 120gb of music.  I took Truecrypt and encrypted 50gb of my iPod's storage and keep things like family pictures, a couple home videos and scanned copies of my Birth Certificate and other important documents.  I also set up Truecrypt to fry the data so to speak if someone uses the wrong password 5 times.  Basically if you try to guess my password you better crack it in less than 5 tries because Truecrypt will destroy the data on the fifth try if you don't get it. 

I've also got a very basic feature cell phone.  It doesn't have a data plan, email or web browsing features. I just don't need them.  It does use a Micro SD flash card so I got a 32gb micro SD Card and keep some stuff there too!

With this set up if all my computers, hard drives and back-ups where to be destroyed I'd at least have my pictures and some of my important documents!

The Hunting and Cooking of Squirrel

By Joseph Parish


A few weeks ago my family and I attended a friend’s birthday party and the main course for the meal was squirrel. While my wife had never previously eaten this meat she was willing to give it a try. Myself, I was already acquainted with the taste and found it not to be offensive in the least. My friend’s freezer was loaded with their usual meats such as chicken, pork chops, deer meat and turkey however they deliberately choose the squirrel in order to familiarize my wife with the texture and taste of it. 

The sharing of this wild game with their domestic meats actually resulted in a very substantial savings in their food budget. The price of ammo is much cheaper then purchasing frozen meat in the local grocery store while the cost of a hunting and fishing license is extremely reasonable and if you are into trapping those licenses are a merely $3.50 here in Delaware. You simply can not beat that price. I actually enjoy an occasional meal of rabbit or squirrel over the usual ham or pork chop. 

This past year my grandson has become interested in hunting. The two of us have attended many hunting classes specifically tailored to the state of Delaware and he is looking forward to going out squirrel hunting soon. In January, I plan to purchase him a shotgun for this deer hunting and perhaps a 22 to take care of his desire for small game such as squirrel or rabbit. 

When my friend Janice and Joe prepare their squirrel they do so in much the same manner as they would a rabbit or a chicken. She will generally drop the pieces of squirrel into some seasoned flour and than fry it in oil as she would a Sunday chicken. The squirrel was tasty and even my wife found it compatible to her taste. Never discount the idea of developing a taste for wild game as it happens all the time.  Of interest is the fact that many people will openly brag as to how they will literally starve before they eat wild foods which they are not accustomed to. My point here is why not become accustomed to these foods before you need them to survive. My friends and I are getting my spouse and grandson used to eating things such as squirrel or other wild game just in case that’s all we will have available.

With the high costs that we are now seeing in our daily lives I envision a return to the hunting of wildlife in the near future. Small game in particular will likely be appearing on the family dinner table since it is simple to process and readily available. You don’t need a truck to haul the carcass to a butcher as rabbit or squirrel can simply be placed into a box in your trunk or even field dressed on location. 

I firmly recommend that everyone learn the arts associated with the outdoors such as hunting and trapping. Even if you do not plan to use these skills at this time it never hurts to take a class and learn the fundamentals. It may come in handy someday. In conclusion a good way to start your hunting skills would be by going for the small game. Get someone to show you the ropes and simply go for it. I think in time you will be glad you did.

Copyright @2010 Joseph Parish

Ear Muffs and Headsets

EN said...
Just my take from examining gunshot wounds, but there's no such thing as a magic pistol bullet. Gaining compliance with pistol bullets isn't easy and against multiple assailants the highest capacity mag may not be close to enough and you're likely going to need a second mag.

The twelve gauge is magic at pistol ranges, even with skeet loads, and five or six rds is good against multiple assailants, assuming you get hits. And any rifle is more likely to get hits over any pistol. Pistols are notoriously inaccurate when someone's shooting back at you.

Everyone needs to make their own choices on this, and God bless you all whatever you choose. For me it's the shotgun with #7 Shot, and a pistol in .45 (make and model depends on how I'm feeling). I live in a wood frame house with neighbors at 180 degrees. At 12 ft no one shot with a 12 gauge will notice the difference between 00 Buck and #7 shot.

As for guns going off in houses, I sleep with my weapons and Impact amplified hearing protection beside my bed... which has led to some interesting conversations with "guests". If I need to use any weapon I'll try and put them on, along with eye protection. I've seen the results of wood splinters in eyes from shootings. I have no date but I would bet that we're far more likely to get hit with splinters than bullets in a pistol fight.
December 16, 2010 9:59 PM

Thanks EN for your comment, good stuff.
The way I see it the key to not overestimating the stopping power of your handgun is knowing that a) the bad guy wont go down as if hit by some death ray b) You’re not supposed to shoot once and take a look at the results, but keep on shooting fast and accurately until the attacker goes down and is no longer a threat. Fully expect nothing at all to happen when you shoot the bad guy with your handgun, at least not anything obvious and visible. Even when down, if the bad guy is still in the fight, holding his weapon and conscious, keep shooting, since nothing is stopping him from shooting back at you from the floor. If your lucky and the bad guy goes down like a sack of potatoes after the first shot or two then that’s great, just don’t count on that happening.

Even with a close range 12 ga shotgun blast, don’t expect anyone flying through the air. Our instructor told us that in his experience it generally does knock them off their feet at close range, out of brute force, but that’s as far as it gets. It wont send anyone flying through windows and that kind of movie stuff.
For those of us that shoot often its important to take care of our hearing.
Good electronic ear muffs that amplify the ambient noises around you but block the +80db shots do seem to give you an edge in the fight. My only concern is how accurate it is when determining the location of the noise, where the bad guy is located and that split second decision that may save your life or not.

When hunting and such, no doubt, these headsets protect your hearing yet amplifies the noises around you. Also in classes, you can hear instructions and directives well. In some cases, being able to hear may avoid serious injury or death when people are shooting at your side. This is specially true in more advanced shooting training where there’s movement and shooting while working as a team.
Lets say your in combat or even guarding during extraordinary civil unrest situations, headsets such as these Peltor  Com-Tac II are a serious advantage. They even allow you to combine it with your radio equipment and helmet.
Right now I’m remembering that man during the aftermath of the earthquake in Chile, he was guarding his property and shot over 2000 shots with his 12ga shotgun. I’d at least want something like these Howard Leight R-01526 Impact Sport Electronic Earmuff for such a situation. 

For around 10 bucks, Peltor makes these Combat Arms Earplugs that supposedly allow you to talk and hear ambient sounds yet reduce shots enough to protect your hearing.  I'm a bit suspicious though as of how these plugs would achieve such a thing but Peltor is a good brand. Stll, mkaes more sense to spend the extra 30 bucks and get the electronic ones that seem to have good reviews. I'll see if I can find these locally or order them on line and write a review.
Peltor 97079 Combat Arms Earplugs 

Anyone that hangs around shooting clubs and talks to the old guys every now and then knows what happens when you combine guns and poor ear protection. Back in the day it was seen as unmanly to use ear protection, because of that most of these old folks are almost deaf.  Don’t make that same mistake.
Take care,