The EU tries to outspend China?

(Express edit)
The EU’s President VDL is trying to stop China’s  global geopolitical and economic power. How?

The EU has made a £255 billion plan to derail China’s “You want something built? No problem.

Only don’t think the EU will be seeing a lot (if any) of that money as it’s earmarked for Sub-Saharan Africa and North Africa to support renewable energy.
Around 2027 (if I read the article right).

Kinda comforting to know that all the money the EU states are paying in ‘membership fees’ is NOT going to be used for the members benefit.

Still, with the current internal unpleasantness going on as member states are trying to stem the influx of immigrants and being moaned at and threatened with fines by the EU.
Hopefully Russia would have made it’s move before 2027 or the EU would have collapsed.

As a footnote on this Hate China Rhetoric:-
One of our Tory MP’s has called on Britons to stop buying Chinese goods in order to punish China for its treatment of Uyghur Muslims.

I would have once, except the UK can’t make the same quality, quantity, and scope of goods that China makes. Even when it tries, prices for goods made in the UK are WAY MORE EXPENSIVE than foreign goods.

Besides that.
Taking the moral high ground is OK Mr. MP, but NOT after your political party has spent the last ten years screwing up the finances and lives of the poor, sick, disabled, and elderly to such an extent that the new buying norm HAS TO BE “Cheap, Cheerful, and foreign”.

Preferably without this label.

One word, Owwwww!

We arrived for our COVID booster to a meat wagon (whoops) Ambulance outside the building. Which rather spoiled the moment for a lot of people.

Booking in wasn’t much cop and very drawn out with some 30 in the queue.
So much for appointment times.
The whole game was described by the checking in girls as organized CHAOS.
They certainly got that right!

The jabbers were in and out of their rooms like rabbits as they were only allowed to have FOUR jabs at any one time so every five minutes or so would disappear into a room and come back out with a little tray with 4 syringes in them.

Upshot was the Pfizer juice is now in our arms.
My wife feels fine, but as for me?
I feel really YEUK, and that’s only after 3 hours.
Tired, headache, and everything hurts including my eyes!
Thus I’m wondering what sort of a week I’m going to be facing.

I’ve got to say, the only other vaccine I EVER had that made me feel this crook was Yellow Fever when I was 18 when, as a ‘second day in uniform’ recruit, we were all jabbed with a mess of different vaccines.

The forces cure for that?
4 mile run and weight training for a couple of hours afterwards. Nice eh?

To be continued.

It’s Booster Day! Among other (not) happy things

And we’re looking forward to our first experience of the Pfizer Jab (NOT).
My concern is for my wife who has compromised Lymph Glands following surgery two years ago. The Pfizer jab has a record of causing problems in those glands!

So far we’ve spoken to our doctor.
My wife has contacted the cancer department in her hospital,
I asked questions online with the UK’s leading cancer charity,
And they all say the same things that there is Nothing to worry about.
It’s also like they are reading from a government approved script.

WHICH WOULDN’T SURPRISE ME ONE LITTLE BIT.

The plus on everything is the weather.
It stinks and we’ve had 60+ MPH winds and driving rain for the last 30 hours.
Yeeha! It’s started snowing as I’m typing!

Which will make me even more relaxed about going shopping BECAUSE the Nottingham lot won’t turn up for a seaside day out!

Why does that please me?
Multicultural Nottingham is a bug breeder city and it seems to me that it is constantly in the news for outbreaks of this and that.
When the lock downs happened last year?
Our little town was inundated by the Nottingham’s great unwashed who hired trailer homes for most of the year.

As a result, the town picked up a few cases of COVID.
To be fair, most of the East Midlands lot ‘up sticks’ and migrated here to avoid the restrictions, only to find MOST of the town SHUT!

Then today, take a wild guess who has made the COVID (Omicron) shit list?
That would be Nottingham. Plus it’s been found in the SE of England.

Typically the UK Gov are moving like drunk slugs in containing this new variant.
No total shutdown of international air travel so we will be infected nationwide before Christmas.

As for Christmas? IT’S ON. Until its NOT.
Drunk snails remember!!

Little snippet from the media.
The word ‘Christmas’ is being dropped by minsters as it ‘offends’ some.
The cancel and politically correct agenda strikes again.
So, in my most politest way, I would say this to those who are offended by references to our Christian festivals.Masks are back in shops and on public transport (although we never took ours off).
So the need for the jab might be prudent even though it’s not been proven against this new strain.

OK the US manufacturer says “It should work”!?!
But I’d rather hear “IT DOES WORK”.

Meanwhile Astrozenica are tweaking their juice like mad to MAKE IT WORK!
Except they seem to have fallen out of favor by our government who now favor the US Pfizer brew. (Special relationship anyone!)

Our POS government is still hiding behind their lies and incompetence while juicing us with 2nd class shit because “the science says so”.

Angry, me! Not yet.
More worried for my other half.
My angry bit is saved for railing against our POS government, especially if anything happens to hurt her.

Meanwhile, Russia is still making the news.
While I think it would be a great idea for Russia to sort out the Ukraine.
Coming into winter, that makes little sense. Few wars start in the late fall or early winter as if anything stalls, your troops may be fighting the weather as well as the enemy.

Still, if it does happen, I’ve little doubt it will succeed.
The only question after that is will the critical gas pipelines get damaged as part of a ‘scorched earth’ policy.

Which is why I think everyone (take note UK) who is rattling their war drums should butt out and keep the conflict contained to two adversaries. That way it will be short, sharp, and completed before decorating the Christmas tree time.

After all, if Russia do win and then shut the pipelines down, it won’t be too late to nuke the shit out of them in retaliation! Or send the population of Nottingham in among them to floor their troops with COVID and other buggy mixes.

End of post, and there are only 26 days to Christmas!
Not forgetting the night of the long moon, December 19. (21days)
The last full moon of the year.

Black is often the wrong color at night, let alone the day.

We often walk when it’s dark.
Truly anti-social is us during this time although we do like to be seen by wearing fluorescent work jackets (and bottoms) if the weather is truly dire.

The why is two fold.

  • Where we walk is pretty dim and it is not unknown for vehicles to be moving around so, rather than eat hospital food, we like to stick out like a sore thumb!
  • The second one is we could be taken as ‘security’ or someone at work.
    Either way, people leave us alone.

However, I also like to walk at night ‘incognito’.
After all it’s not much good foraging when you look like a banana on legs.
So I wear drab greys, dull ‘muted’ greens and blues.
Plus my beanie (usually black) or preferably my old tattered, dull, soft shades DPM (and decidingly greasy ‘jungle’ hat. Plus darkened gloves.

So do I blend in the whole time? I wish.
Even though the eye is less able to discern form in dull light, it is damn quick to alarm up on erratic or fast movement of a shape moving in and out of shadow / lit areas.
Which doesn’t mean I’m walking at a snail pace the whole time, just evenly and smoothly using what cover there is, being careful of backdrop and when moving in and out of shadow. That takes practice. Including the careful control of looking around and behind you.

There is an urban ‘thing’ going on where youth into young adults either wear black ‘security styled’ work wear, or black jeans and black hoodies or tops. Usually with a black ‘duck billed’ crap hat. Why? Go figure. The one thing it does is makes them stand out in an urban setting, day or night, especially as they have no concept of convert movement or sound discipline.

So what’s best?
Um, for what scenario / setting / time of day / weather?
In a city the grey man dressing down goes unnoticed EXCEPT if his garb is out of place with what everyone is wearing. Sort of obvious really.
If you look at the homeless, their camo is usually ‘functional clothing but drab’. Thus they are seen and dismissed. If it’s hot and you are wearing bulky and baggy, the street smart (let alone the trained eye) will be thinking ‘what’s wrong with this picture’. Add hand luggage and especially back packs and they might as well put up a lighted sign saying ‘Lookie here!’.

While any animated, loud or fast moving group of youth / military age can be dressed anyway they like and will always stand out.

I was always taught that getting your camouflage PERFECT still isn’t worth a spit if you start moving faster than a snail. Fun bit about that is I can still ambush game by just standing off and sitting quietly. That’s because wildlife have a ‘trigger distance’ where they generally won’t alarm up if nothing is moving (but they do up their game if you are  up wind of them). Simply because people STINK!

As for the general public at night?
For me the game is to move but not be noticed or at worse, draw a ‘long look’.
That and I love it when people walk past without noticing me.

However the complication of low light / no light CCTV, PIR, and the plain old ‘curtain twitchers’ will always catch you out in the end.

That alone is one reason for going into a ‘set’ well before a booking, and relying on your static camo, hide and sound discipline.

Your thoughts on what you do to move covertly in an urban setting are welcome.
After all, when things turn bad, if you aren’t confident and practiced about movement?
Best you stay at home as the light dims.

When you want to fix things.

Apart from shooting holes in furries, I fix just about anything electrical and electronic with a mains plug attached to it. Well sort of. I should say I CAN just about fix, etc, etc, as above.

The sort of comes about because some electronic spares (especially for radio sets) are becoming scarcer than hens teeth (Clue, they haven’t got any) or soooo very expensive that my workbench rule of “If it costs more than 2/3 the price of a new unit, I won’t repair it” is usually exceeded some five minutes after finding the fault.

The reason for this ridiculous state of affairs?

  1. I live in the RIP OFF UK (Untied Kingdom).
    And no, that’s not a typo.
  2. Under a dysfunctional system of government!
    Yes I truly from the heart mean that!
  3. Internationally, the recent nastiness started by Trump and carried on by Biden, has hiked prices for even the smallest of components by sanctions and other B.S. raising prices way more than last year.
    So a bag of 10 tiny filters was 60p ($0.80). Delivery £2 ($2.66) next day .
    However add sanctions, delivery costs, and import duty?
    The same bag (a quote today from Taiwan) £36.78 ($49)
  4. Thank you Trump and other AH’s for slapping punitive sanctions on everyone that even sounds Chinese, Russian, or Iranian.
  5. Yep, I also have to mention COVID. (Sigh)
    I’ll give you an example.
    Want a bag of crisps (chips). The eatable sort not electronic!
    Delivery problems i.e. no drivers, Supply problems for potatoes, salt, plastics, and food flavorings. Low staffing due to sickness, and there is a “Y” in the day.
    You name it, that’s the excuses.
  6. BREXIT. No HGV drivers (truckers).
    Which is kinda embarrassing as the courier firms are coining it in by subcontracting mom’s and OAP’s using their own cars to deliver stuff!
  7. PLUS, our nations postal delivery service can’t recruit enough Christmas temporary staff because they are paying peanuts!

Did I mention ‘Long live the private courier services!’

Now ordinarily I’d send the customer / friend / the guy who was told about me by that friend / to the nearest small workshop (with a description of what is needed). EXCEPT, quite a few are in the same boat as me i.e. Can do but won’t take the job as the cost of repair makes it BER (beyond economical repair) as the cost of spares or non availability of parts is KILLING US little guys, and that includes the manufacturers, parts suppliers, or wholesalers who have delivery/back ordering dates of up to 6 months!

SNAFU or even we’re FUBAR seems the appropriate thing to say at this time.
That and it serves me right for living here!

Having bitched about all of that, I know some more enlightened countries don’t have a problem i.e they aren’t anything to do with the EU, UK, or any other Western country. Although I have been hearing the same problems are cropping up in America and Canada (thanks to that government sanctions stupidity).

There is also an interesting tilt.
Things are beginning to go wrong, BIG TIME WRONG, in the public utilities / Big business / I.T. / Internet / IOT / and the digital world as repair is now more replace with new with all the problems of incompatible old school software interfacing with modern Operating systems. (Thanks Microsoft’s Windows 11) and long live Windows 7!

Can things get worse?
Personally I would love a HEMP or Geomagnetic Event to hit us.
Then old timers like me get to dust off the valve sets and keyboards will stop clicking for a hell of a long time. Just imagine, people will have to talk to one another as opposed to texting. Kids will run rabid in the streets as their game stations won’t run.

And as for our government?
Will anyone notice NOTHING good is coming out of them (including their spoken words)? Na, probably not. SNAFU definitely applies there!

The Rangers (army not football)

The new UK Ranger Regiment (1,200-strong) will be formed of four “all-arms” battalions, each of about 250 personnel.

The new elite force is/will be capable of fighting on four separate fronts, so is a potential warning to China and Russia.

What, both of them? At the same time??
All alone facing off these two enemies???
Wow! Talk about punching over your weight.
That’s you in a scenario that needs power and skills one does not possess.

If I was China and Russia (individually or together), let alone Iran,
I’d be reaching for a new pair of pants from peeing my pants.

From laughing too hard.

Especially as their operations will be subject to the UK’s Parliamentary oversight.

UK’s Politicians running military op’s. Bring on the train wreak!
(From lessons they NEVER learned)

Okay, I give in.

With plenty of chuckling, my better half (SWMBO) is taking great pleasure in telling everyone that I’m now an official KOF, (Knackered Old Fart ) having reached retirement age.

Like I care, because currently I get to sleep with a younger woman.
That is until next spring when SWMBO will join me in the ranks of the KOF.

And oh boy, her next SWMBO cartoon will be a doozy!

Won’t it! My little Smurf-ette.

After the flood alert it’s time for a rethink.

What did we learn from our flood alert readiness, viability of our gear, and our overall plan?

One of the most notable observation for us was our flood bag and basic GHB (Get Home Bag) were never going to work in a severe flood scenario outside of its usefulness as a basic survival tool.

Our possessions and home is our wealth so, come a flood that wipes out our home, even with a good fast (LOL) insurance payout. We will probably end up wrecked financially and practically. That and more than a little heartbroken as some of our stuff is irreplaceable.

So, our VERY down to earth assessment of the outcome of a flood is we would take what we need to survive, our valuables and papers, and unfortunately we would probably end up losing some irreplaceable things.

Note:
Even if we could get the irreplaceable things into the attic / loft. When a house gets well dunked in flood water, unless everything is hermetically sealed, it’s going to be ruined over time. Only sometimes even doing that isn’t bullet proof as we found out to our cost when a storage container we used had a small leak and the end result was just about everything clothing and fabric we owned had to be junked as our main method of sealing just couldn’t hack the humidity and 60 degree temperature swings in the store.

Thus whatever we put together won’t be a GHB or BUG Out Bag and will be more in line with an INCH (I’m never coming home) bag. Very comprehensive so considerably larger than we would normally entertain and bordering on the limits of being man portable.

Thinking about constructing our flood INCH BAG.
Our bag? One bag for each makes sense, but EQUIPMENT wise, there will be duplication. A wise thing anyway? If you ended up separated yes. If you aren’t, maybe not so. A bag also needs to be transportable.

However, there are weight limits for even the fittest.
Typically (ignoring military doctrine) a loaded backpack shouldn’t weigh over 20% of your body mass (various sources).

In real life, I’m 78 kg, 20%? 15.6 kg. (34 lbs). ROTFL.
The only way I’d be able to carry that weight for any distance is:-

So I would have to use a vehicle to bug out.
The argument now is why bother with weight limits as a vehicle can carry more.
Correct, as far as it goes. That’s the vehicle I’m talking about.
Fuel, breakdowns, some officious Gov jerk, or some other idiot (be they para-official or criminals) trying to stop us.

Much as I would stuff the car with everything, there will be an INCH bag within that is ‘body’ transportable.

Another consideration is what time of year is it?
Winter, winter to spring, spring into summer, summer to the fall.
They all present different requirements in clothing and what you need to survive.
Thus one build standard won’t fit all seasons.

Kinda obvious really but something you need to think about when building your bag.

To that I add the latest ‘things screwing up plans’. Climate Change.
The climate in the UK is changing, and FAST.
Wet is the new norm as is a longer, damper, windier winter.
Air temperatures last year only fell to minus 8°C (17°F) BUT, with windchill from a couple of 60 mph on shore storms last winter. That made for an unpleasant -22°C (-8°F). aka it was BLOODY FREEZING! So if we had to bug out, beach wear and flip flops for night use wouldn’t be a top priority.

Chapter Two.
First thoughts of the dangers of flooding would be:-
Fast moving material (be that debris, water, or mud slip) with the possibility of drowning and / or injury. Then there are the real dangers of electrocution, gas explosion, and structural collapse.

If you survive the first surge, hypothermia is the next danger, then poisoning and ingestion of toxins and pathogens from injury or ingestion.

After that it gets bad because all water and wet items must be considered toxic, not only to drink but to touch, and that includes clothing.

Keeping clean could be a major difficulty as to fall ill with a wrecked infrastructure and unknown medical support, may turn terminal.

The survival rules of three will assist you in prioritizing your efforts.

  • 3 seconds without cover from attack or Injury from that flood surge.
  • 3 minutes without a heart beat or breathing.
  • 3 hours without adequate cover.
  • 3 days without clean water, and the possibility of poisoning from a toxin or illness from a biological pathogen. To this you can include loss of your scripted medicines, and a safe way to keep clean and toilet.
  • 3 weeks without safe food.

If we were in an isolated or remote location, and had not received aid within a week, you will need to move to a safer uncontaminated area to seek aid. As for foraging? THAT NEEDS TO START IMMEDIATELY, but everything you do must be moderated by dangers of injury, toxins, and poisons you may be exposed too.

Chapter 3.
So what’s important?
I’m not going to be boring and make lists.
There are plenty of them on the Internet so pick one.
It’ll probably work but everyone’s priorities will be different so you’ll need to tinker about with the contents.

As an example, for us, whatever happens,

  • All paperwork is going to be important.
    Insurances, proof of address and identity, bank and savings books.
  • Plus anything of significant value. (LOL, as we haven’t got a lot!)
  • Rightly (but wrong in the UK), self defense tools will be a priority.
  • Foraging will be a must and those tools will be added.
  • The need for clean water will come first but med’s come a VERY STRONG SECOND as we are both medicine dependent.
  • Because floods cause a lot of pollution, PPE is going to be important as it the means to thoroughly cleanse ourselves.
  • Short range two way communications will be important for foraging.
  • Torches, plus spare batteries, and (if safe to use) a few candles.
  • Not forgetting a wide range of ignition devices like matches, lighters, fine steel wool, and the preppers all time friend, a ferrocerium rod aka a steel match.
  • One of the most left out things in a bag contents list, is something to sleep in.
    Two hammocks are needed plus over sheets or capes. (But why?)

In a HAZMAT/HAZCHEM scenario, getting off the ground is VITAL.
As is choosing your resting place with care.
It needs to be secure, uncontaminated, but easily ventilated as fumes and other airborne toxins will build up in confined places.
So, if you choose a house, open the BOTTOM and TOP windows. Best you vent fumes and other smells anyway you can than take a chance of a build up of some sort of toxin.

Thinking about sterilization of water, keeping you clean, and cooking. You’re probably going to have to start a fire. Only choose that spot carefully due to the dangers of flammable fumes like gas leaks, or fuels.

Finally as word about self defense.
In survival you may have to do things you would normally never entertain.
Defending your life and your equipment for survival are two of them.
Most aggressors (criminals) are after what you have.
Most desperate people will be the same.
There must be no different rules for one or the other.

To survive means you need ‘stuff’.
To give anything to another will lessen your odds of survival as resupply may be impossible. So the rule is simple. DON’T GIVE ANYTHING TO ANOTHER!

Survival is a selfish game.
Look after ‘you and your own’ AND NORMALLY THAT’S it.
Unless teaming up with someone is to your advantage.
Yet there are dangers doing that.
After all you have to sleep at some time.

Drinking Beer is safer than tap water in the UK!

One of our friends was doing a post on his Berkley water filter.
So I thought I’d share how ‘pure, clean, and hygienic’ our mains water supply is and you’ll soon see why we use the Berkley the whole time.
We have been using a Berkley since we were liveaboards on a narrow (aka canal) boat for 3 years as ANY water you put into a holding tank runs the risk of contamination from the source and the sometimes dubious quality of the hoses left at refilling points. We also added tank steryliser (Aquasol) to our holding tank as the last thing you need when boating is diarrhea.

Meanwhile, now, living in civilization and not quite our Nirvana. (And yes we do miss boat living). Outwardly, our tap water looks sort of fine (occasionally it has particles of sand in it) before filtration EXCEPT it DID HAVE a chlorine tang to it.

I write DID HAVE because our caring UK government allowed water companies to ‘not use so much purification’ as there were supply difficulties this year with the chemicals used to make drinking water safe. And that rang alarm bells, especially when others were complaining of ‘upset tummies’.

However, In summer? Let’s just say it usually has a ‘colorful’ tang about it. So when others are offering us a cold drink, we always opt for tea i.e. made with boiled water.

It also doesn’t ‘keep’ so chilling water in the fridge for a hot day in summer isn’t exactly wise. Boiling the water first gets rid of the tang but that’s not really the point. Leave a jug in the fridge and it spoils quickly (and no it’s not the fridge!).

Enter Berkely and we haven’t had a problem, EVER, with the water we use for cooking, and drinking.

Maintenance of the ‘no moving part’s except for the tap and top lid ‘ Berkey consists of a 3 monthly clean out and scrub down of the ceramic ‘candles’. Then a general clean of the water hopper, plus every six months the bottom ‘cleansed’ water hopper gets a wipe out.

The reasons will be better explained by three pictures.

Get the idea why we pay attention to our water supply?

So, I know my friend will read this post and now understand why we change our filters every year and scrub them every three months.

About ceramic filters.
WE LOVE THEM! Except some have the idea that they can stop bacteria, viruses, and chemicals (including heavy metals). In short everything that can harm you. We have even read in some misinformed prepper journals how some think they will stop dissolved radio iodides and cesium.

It’s been our experience that ceramic filters CAN stop a lot, but there isn’t one that can stop EVERYTHING (including lime scale). To that end you have to be careful about what you order AND read the small print before you do. As for dissolved chemicals and heavy metals. The same applies. As for radio active gunk in the water? Same thing.

The armed forces use a combination of filtration which can include:-

  1. Mechanical Filters (think fuel filters BUT BETTER)
  2. Absorption Filters (Activated Charcoal)
  3. Sequestration Filters (Chemical isolation of scale)
  4. Ion Exchange Filters (Beads remove scale)
  5. Reverse Osmosis Filters (Forces water though a filter)
  6. Ceramic filters (And back to Berkley!)

Only they have unlimited resources.
Little people like us preppers?
We use workarounds.

A note of caution.
I have read in some preppers advice that distillation is the ONLY safe way to purify water. Just bear this in mind. Some really nasty chemicals and radio-iodides have a slighter lower boiling point than water thus campfire distillation is not 100% proof. As is using tablet form purification.

Boiling, Distillation and Tablets may kill most bugs but when in HAZCHEM / HAZMAT environments? (Especially when fracking has ruined your groundwater).

That would include the other myth that rainwater collection is always safe to drink! Think twice about where you get your water from and always go high tech when purifying it.

As for beer being safer? Cockroaches die when they fall in so it must be pretty safe to drink!!