Not Today NSA

Free communication is something that we would not expect to be “good” or up to today’s standards. But is our standard too high? Do we expect to pay to communicate with each other? Well I did too, until now.

Anonymous, claims to have a way to do just that. According to a May article on the Register the group has started a project to marry ham radio with computers in effort to allow people to communicate wirelessly, using radio waves over long distances. OK, we’ve done that before. But not in an encrypted fashion and at a low cost.

The method of encryption is called the Lulzpacket. This could be a game changer and begs the question; why do we just accept the communication methods we are sold?

So let this be the first of many attempts for us to freely speak and not conform to the methods prescribed by our governments.

The Gun You Know is the Way to Go

I train with a 22LR firearm, because that is the firearm I intend to go for when I need to survive. When size and weight constraints will most likely apply, the 22LR is slightly lighter in weight and less than half the size of the .223. A federal bulk-pack .22LR HP round is 1/8oz, and 20mm long. A .223 round is 3/8oz and 53mm long. Not a huge difference in weight. But a significant difference in length. I am a 22LR enthusiast. I believe the cartridge is a great one. And in certain firearms, it can be almost flawless. The 22LR is a short range round. It is not going to reach out and touch someone at 200yds, typically. However under the right conditions it can still be amazing.

The truth is that whatever you are training with, is the way that you will go when the going gets rough. For some that wilk be a shotgun or an AR or an AK. Never think for a second that you are going to spend all you time on your 9 or 45 and then grab the shotgun and do just fine. You’ve got to be realistic about your trigger time.

Bottom line, know what you are going to survive with and know it well and when possible, keep it simple. A simple firearm is easy to maintain when times are tough and parts are scarce.

Stuff, Food, Space

Episode 1 shows us how we use our spaces. Toys have taken over many homes. We just keep buying stuff. Things that we intend to use, hope to use, but never use. Further more the stuff, the clutter causes us to feel stressed.
Episode 2 speaks to our compulsion to buy tons of prepackaged “food”. Over-purchasing items just to have them.
Episode 3 illustrates largely the use of the American kitchen, the bathroom and the “master” bedroom. Why do we have a master bedroom or suite as some may call it?

 

De-clutter your life and your mind

I have noticed that when I start thinking of something that gets me excited, I really think about it a lot. A lot of time can go into a topic. I start to think about how I can buy it, modify it and do a lot with it. This used to happen with electronics. I would read and research and then I would get the item and then I would read about how I could expand it or hack it. The same has happened with guitars, mobile phones, anything. I have allowed myself to become consumed. So I have decided that when I start giving a lot of mind-time to anyone thing, topic, or concept, it may be time to get rid of it. I own two electric guitars that I’ve had for about 20 years. I’ve not played them in about 7 years. But I still think about them and how awesome it will be when I get them fixed and start playing them again. The truth is that even if I was to spend the money to get them fixed, I’ll not have any more time to play them than I do the acoustic guitar I have and currently play. One guitar is enough. That’s all there is to it. One is enough. So later this week, those guitars are going to the consignment shop. I have not used them for a long time and instead of being held captive to the “what if” or “someday” thoughts, I am choosing to let them go. Not only will I have less stuff and less clutter, but I will no longer have two clutter magnets. The longer I keep them the more likely they are to attract stuff to go long with them. This is a freeing moment, a deliberate action. This is a part of learning to live with enough.

Taking Back My Simple Life

For years I’ve been chasing a tiny house dream. My wife has endured my many phases and stages of pseudo experiments and excitement as I learn more and more about living in a smaller space. I read a lot of blogs and watch a lot of videos about living smaller, living with less stuff and less money. Today as I sit cuddled up on the couch in the living room, in the New England summer heat with only a fan, some open windows and God’s wind to keep me cool. I feel peaceful. This is simple. This allows me to think about what I really want in this life. On this journey of five years so far we have made a lot of changes. We’ve had two children, put them in daycare as we both worked full time. We have taken them out of daycare and my wife now stays at home and educates our children. I still continue to work full time. And in the last year God has blessed us with a promotion at work that has brought in almost as much money as we lost when my wife quit her job in September of 2013. It has not been easy. But we are still in our home, and I am still looking for a more enjoyable living. I keep feeling as if the answer is within my grasp, but I just cannot see it. Continue reading

The Face of New Education

If you do not know what Common Core is, you are not alone. The reality is that many people do not know. Perhaps we were not meant to know, until it was too late. Common Core is a United States Federal initiative designed to set a national educational curriculum standard. On the surface that sounds like a noble and respectable effort. The problem is that the standard is in actuality, very low. It does not challenge the minds of the students to think. Rather, Common Core teaches our students what to think. Critical thinking is no longer required. Instead there are more steps required to achieve what Generation X learned to do in a few steps. And it is destroying our country. Common Core Math, as seen here, is an example of what is being taught to our children today. We are now asking less of our children. This hinders wonder and excitement to learn. We are creating a society of drones, worker bees. Think Metropolis/1984ish.
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Living With Less

Have you ever thought about what your life would be like if you could give up most of what you have and what you own and what you felt you needed to live each and every day? We all have a fear of losing security. For some of us that looks like only a few dollars in the bank, or perhaps living with only one car or perhaps not being able to dine out. What ever it looks like for you, consider that you are trapped by those “things” that provide you with security. Enjoy the playlist below of videos that showcase the stories of people who have made a change in their lives to live life on their terms.

The Joy of Less

Install youtube-dl and download these videos to your Linux computer with the following code:

 

Tiny Shower

When you camp, do you shower? Do you look for camp grounds with shower facilities? Check out this solar shower that is composed of two 5 gal (20L) buckets. With a proper curtain set-up, you could shower on-site with some biodegradable or pure castle soap. In a warm climate, this could be an off-grid tiny house shower as well.

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Alone, Together

How many likes did you get today on that post that you were excited about a minute ago? Do you think they really liked your eyes in that selfie? Did your BFF text you back yet? What is taking her so friggin’ long?

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Imagine if instead of a website, you had just watched this on a couch, in a living room, with real people. You could have real conversation about it… not just sharing a page, counting your “likes” and hoping people value you by the content of your posts.

22 or not 22

I have been shooting the 22LR cartridge for about 6 years. I have watched the cost of a 500 count bulk pack go from $13 up to $30. Which I think is outrageous. But it is still the lowest priced cartridge on the market. At present the range I currently belong to is an indoor range and until recently, the only rifle cartridge that a member could shoot there, was the 22LR. Two years ago I finally bought an AR-15. And in that time I’ve only had an opportunity to shoot it once, 40 rounds. I really love the feel of my AR-15. It is just down right cozy in my hands. Before I bought the AR, I bought the Smith & Wesson M&P 15-22. Before I bought the 15-22, my Ruger 10/22 was my go to gun. I loved that gun. Still do actually. It shoots like butter. But in all honesty after I bought the 15-22, the Ruger 10/22 never saw the range again. I just didn’t watch to touch it. The 15-22 is awesome. Just down right, ridiculously awesome. I love the way it feels, how light it is and the fact that it is an AR platform weapon is so much fun. The 15-22 eats federal like a champ, CCI tactical too. This lead me to another argument, debate, question. Continue reading