A look at Survival and Preparedness, Firearms, Ham Radio, German Shepherds, Photography and other related stuff! 73 Later, ZombieAxe :-)


Sunday, January 3, 2010

Ramblings on Y2K , a retrospective...

Well folks it is a few days past the 10 year anniversary of the much hyped Y2K bug.

I thought it would be a fun thing to look back on this event and share some of the things going through my head at the time.

I have always been into prepping and wilderness survival techniques since the mid 80's. I always thought that S&P (survival & prepardeness) meant having guns... lots of guns. Sure it was a hook for a lot of us gun owners and an excuse to our wives to buy firearms.

About 1998 the Y2K bug was everywhere in the news, with books, videos and websites dedicated to the topic (I still have several of these just to show my kids when they get older). In fact that is where I cut my teeth on various survival forums (the original Squirrels, Plainsman's Cabin, and Assault Web as a few) being heavily involved in the Communication forums.

I learned a lot of things to help prep me for Y2K there but if Y2k had actually happened, I would have been up the creek with a water soluble paddle!

I got a generator, a long term storage fuel supply, a swimming pool to store water, some ammo, a little food and a small battery pack.

On 1-1-2000 nothing happened that didn't usually happen. Most folks sold off their Y2k preps and I got a some freebies from a fellow prepper who said the heck with it and gave me a good start on my preps!

I was not sure that Y2k was going to be a big deal or not, but I wanted to do SOMETHING and I thought what I was doing was good enough. I think it is basic human nature to want to do anything even if it turns out wrong.

It was definitely an interesting time to experience!

Around 2003 I started getting my preps in order. Food is more important that weapons and ammo. Knowledge to know how to grow and preserve more food is even more important. Skills began to overtake preps although BOTH are important!!!

Still there is always more things to learn and more things to store no matter how long you have been into prepping!

So even though Y2K was a flop, it was the catalyst that helped me get into the correct mindset that I have today!

I also think that Y2K is where a bunch of folks learned that they were not crazy because they wanted to prepare. The sad part is that many sold off their preps and said, "Never Again" . They were once AWARE, but decided the light was too bright and it was easier to live life by sticking their heads back into the sand.

Thanks for reading and 73!


Ramblings on Dumbass Drunk Drivers!!!

Howdy Folks,

Hope you all are doing well... I am PISSED right now at Dumb Ass Drunk Drivers... I mean who the heck is drunk on a Sunday afternoon at 5 pm??? Get in rehab you idiot!!!

Well before I get ahead of myself, maybe a little explaining is needed...

I was enjoying Sunday afternoon with my family and my wife wanted to visit her Grandpa who is in hospice. Keep him in your prayers if that is your thing, they would be appreciated. Anyway, after that we decided to get a bite to eat. We were waiting at a stoplight for the light to turn green when a white car rammed into the red car that was behind us which the red car then ran into us.

As I was getting out of the car to check on everyone the white car took off. They were gone before I could get the tag # but luckily some folks at the fast food parking lot got the # as I was talking to 911. Thanks goodness for that as we all took quite a whack and I was a little dazed! I hope the kid in the car with the drunkards is OK... poor rascal :-(

When the white car took off it almost hit another car which really pissed off the woman driver because she also took down the tag # and gave it to the city police as they pulled in behind us.

Here is the kicker, the police were already looking for this car as they were drunk when they left Applebees with a female driver, male passenger as well as an unsecured kid whom the driver of the red car said flew up in the front seat when they hit him. They were already on the look out for them and before I could give the 911 dispatcher the tag number they asked me if it was XXX-XXXX to which I said, "Yes!"

So in a matter of 5 minutes after the wreck happened the police were on the scene and within 10 minutes they had the hit & run drunk driver in custody! Hurray for the CITY I was in police department. The officer that responded to the call was very professional and I was very impressed with him. I will be writing a letter to the police department commending him for his professionalism, promptness and concern for all those involved!

The family is OK just a little shook up and our car had surprising little damage but I will get it checked out once we get the lowdown from the insurance company. The red car and its driver suffered the brunt of the impact and he seemed OK but as we wrapped up he was getting checked out in an ambulance.

The way the officer was talking was that they were gonna charge the woman driver with DUI, felony hit & run, leaving the scene of an accident, child endangerment, and speeding to elude arrest! They will be having a worse day when all is said and done than we had, but after all they deserve it don't they???

Sometimes when TSHTF you are the fan and the drunk driver is the shit!

Take care, and if you see someone that is drinking and driving report them, maybe next time they can get the assholes off of the road before they do ANY harm!

Don't worry folks, I will be going back to G-rated posts in the future, so I apologize for the language this time.

Take it easy and 73!


Ramblings on Storm Recovery Duty...

Grandfather Mountain
After a week off during Christmas I returned to work last Monday. We had a pretty hard rain on Christmas Day, but up in the mountains in about a 20 mile diameter area all that rain was an inch of ice. So I found out I was assigned to storm recovery duty in one of the hardest hit areas.

Icey trees

As I headed up the long and winding road up to the mountains I was sure I could find some lessons about how folks were making do, how people reacted and how bad things could really get. I wanted to bring along my Digital SLR but since my iPhone is almost always with me, I decided to use it for convenience. My el cheapo Sony Point and Shoot was with me, but other than megapixals (Sony is 7.1 and the iPhone is 3.something) the iPhone takes better pictures. This is not a slam against Sony's, it is just my $100 version does not take as good as a picture as my wife's $300 Sony.

Lots of broken trees

running beside the BRP

More broken trees

As we got up to where the ice had hit, I noticed there was a bunch of tree tops missing, power/phone/CATV lines down EVERYWHERE. Since up in the mountains utilities cannot simply follow the road as it would cost too much money for all the curves, most utilities go in a straight line and are MOSTLY aerial.

Home no longer GRID tied

Fixing cable
So basically ANYWHERE there was enough ice to cause a tree to fall it landed on a utility line, it went out!

Most people were very thankful to the utility workers that were out and about, but there were a few instances of confrontations. As much as I like warm meals, I usually avoid eating in public on storm recovery duty as the sheeple do not understand that you have been working out in the cold for the past 12 hours and just want a bite to eat so they can continue on fixing what is broke!

Tree vs. gas station sign
I had an incident where I was working on a gas stations phone line for their debit/credit card machine. When a large tree fell on the power it sent a surge and fried the modem in the device. As this person came in and was informed that it was "CASH ONLY" because the phone lines were down (NO, WRONG the line was working it was their equipment that was not working) he said, "WTF are you doing standing there MFer, you need to fix it now so I can get some gas!" Which I replied, " the phone is working, it is the gas stations equipment that is deffective, but you could have saved yourself a bunch of trouble had you simply taken the time to get a little cash BEFORE the storm so you would not be in this situation!" He mumbled something as he left but had a look of disbelief and shock as he walked back to his car. SCARED SHEEPLE can be DANGEROUS, so watch your back... I did!

I mentioned YakTraks as a great way to walk around on the ice and they do work... however wearing them for a week and walking up and down hills they kept breaking. I fixed them by using zip ties, but I am sure that that will eventually fail as well! Great for city slickers, not so good for storm recovery duty in hilly terrain. BTW I just want to say to Ajax on another forum, you were right dude!

I was VERY surprised at how many folks that were out of power DID NOT have a generator. I mean where I live at in the Piedmont area of NC, everybody has a generator. When the power goes out you can hear them running from miles away. You would think that folks who live in such an environment they would spend just maybe a little less on the mountaintop Chateau and budget in a generator or other alt power source. This to me, was something I expected to people to have!

Generator Power

It was also surprising to me how many folks reported phone problems when their power was out, but their phone service was actually working, it was just the only phones they had were of the cordless variety and required AC power. Get a cheap and basic plug in the wall phone for when the power goes out. Will not always work as sometimes Remote Terminals require generator power to keep them running, but straight out from the Central Office these lines always have power as long as the copper lines are not damaged!

Ice ruts

28F was the high on day

Snowy Swing

A week before the ice storm, this area experienced 12-18 inches of snow and it hardly melted. When the ice storm came, it coated the snow with a crust of ice. It was very hard to walk on as it would not break easily in places, but at the wrong time it would break and throw you off balance. The best thing was to STOMP to break the ice to get down to the packable snow layer underneath. The one thing that I found out was that this can wreck havoc on leather climbing boots. My boots at the heels, toes and side were very abraded by the sharp edges of the ice. This is something one may need to consider for extended operations in this type of environment. I am required to wear a certain type of boot so it is hard for me to get by wearing pac boots.

Again as the weather stayed at freezing with one day it got up to 45F, the snow/ice did not go anywhere. When it did melt it was actually worse as the water froze into glass like sheets that made getting traction up steep inclines impossible. Also when it was melting some of those same hills became muddy quagmires and were also very difficult to drive on as the ground was SUPER SATURATED! Be aware that driving conditions can change with the temps. That muddy driveway may turn to a slick sheet of ice that will give you a very scary ride. The major roads were clear and heavily salted. Most of the ones I am talking about were private or secondary roads.

Cable Down

Blue Ridge Parkway is CLOSED

Waterfall Park

A bunch of the lines feeding the few cellular phone sites were out and thus your cell phone would not work. If you know where your free wifi hotspots are, you can use Skype to make a call if those places were not damaged by the storm. The places in town had both power as well as internet. Know how to communicate by alternate methods when your primary form becomes non functional. Think of Voip (Skype), Ham radio, Calling cards to use in an area that is not affected, etc.

Zippo handwarmers are the best! They run from 12-24 hours on a few ounces of lighter fluid. In the long run, they are cheaper than those disposable types. If you work outdoors in cold weather you should get one or two to keep your pinkies warm!

After working up there a week I am sure enjoying my time inside this weekend. Looks like I will be heading back up there tomorrow and probably for awhile to come.

Be prepared because you never know when TS is gonna HTF in your neighborhood!!!

Thanks for reading!


Disclaimer and Copyright Notice

The information presented in this blog are things I know how to do and have training for. To duplicate any information or techniques within is solely at the readers risk and ZombieAxe, ZombieAxe's Ramblings or Google shall not be liable for any advice and information posted within that results in damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death. By reading this blog you, your family, your heirs and even folks that have not been born yet, have entered into an electronic binding contract to not hold any entity liable (especially ME!) but YOURSELF for any damage/loss of property, injury, loss of limb, or death from reading this blog.

FTC Discalimer,

To the Federal Trade Commison:Zombie Axe/Zombie Axe's Ramblings is not being paid by anyone, bribed with free gear to test, or offered free trips to exotic locals to 'give good press' for a product. All products were personally purchased by myself with the intention of using them for myself and any thing I plug on this blog is an item I recommend because I HAVE TESTED IT and found it worthy of mention. Go after those travel agents who get the free cruises and leave us legit non commercial bloggers alone.

All material is copyright 2009 Zombie Axe and no material may be used without credit to the author in part or whole.

Zombie Axe