Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ebola Virus... Coming to a Town Near You!

Symptoms of Ebola
Where do I start?

FEMA camps cropping up all over the country? Nah. They don't exist. Seriously! According to Congressman Steve Cohen (D) from Tennessee, only tin-foil-hat-wearing nut jobs believe in FEMA camps on American soil.

Pay no attention to the fact that he co-sponsored HR Bill 645 which CLEARLY mandates the creation of FEMA camps.  But he works for the government so...we can trust him.

President Obama signs an Executive Order in July, 2014 allowing for the “apprehension, detention, or conditional release of individuals to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of suspected communicable diseases.”Then, a former FDA official Scott Gottlieb, M.D. wrote in Forbes that the CDC will invoke powers to “hold a healthy person against his will” in the event of an Ebola outbreak, warning that the feds may assume “too much jurisdiction to detain people involuntarily,” leading to “spooky scenarios where people could be detained for long periods, merely on a suspicion they might have been exposed to some pathogen. And forced to submit to certain medical interventions to gain their freedom.”

But don't worry...the President and the CDC are part of the government...so we can trust them.

Symptoms of Ebola
Now, September 30th 2014, Ebola is officially in our backyard. A Liberian was allowed to take a plane from the most infected region of the Ebola outbreak to Dallas Texas. Guess what? He has been confirmed to have active Ebola AFTER being on a plane, in the Dallas airport, home with family and visiting the Dallas hospital twice. Gee, do you think anyone has it now?

We, as a prepared family, are taking inventory of our preps. We'll be checking our food and medical supplies, communication devices, adding to our water supplies and discussing different scenarios. I don't think it coincidence that an impromptu "educational meeting" was announced yesterday at my level one trauma hospital to discuss Ebola. The power point presentation discussed Ebola and other viruses as narrated by our resident Virologist and HIV specialist.

It will be interesting to see if the government announces this thing is "airborne" right before elections. Voting booths = closed!

Are you prepared?


BTW, Dr. Rima Laibow says 10ppm nano silver kills ebola...and the FDA is trying to shut her down.

Survival Blog is Down Again SurvivalBlog.com

Update: 9/30/14 0800MST

The US IP address is up:


I can always tell when SB is down. Mostly because I visit it nightly and see it first hand. But then there's the email inquiries that I get when it happens and my blog statistics show that I'm getting some traffic from search words like "Survival Blog" and "why is survival blog down."

I've emailed Captain Rawles to ask how everything is going. Knowing that he gets hundreds of emails every day, he may or may not see my email. I can just about bet the farm he's had another DoS Attack like this one and this one.

Hang in there SB fans. He hasn't ever been down for more than a few days. Usually he gets hit on a holiday weekend and has to wait until his support staff return on Monday to fix everything. I'm sure he'll be back up soon.

My prior blog posts give helpful hints on how to access SB when it appears down.

I'll post any updates that I receive.


Monday, September 29, 2014

Teaching Gun Safety

Macky loves her .22
I found myself with a few hours of idle time and nothing planned. Wifey was gone with several girls and I had Macky and Sis all to myself. So I figured, that's plenty of time to go shooting!

We went out to a remote area where I like to shoot and set up a metal target. We went over gun safety, stance and loading technique. It was only about an hour but sure was enjoyable.

Sis and her .380
I didn't share these pictures with Wifey...mostly because she didn't get invited and I know where that was going to lead.

Time well spent.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Chicken Question - If You Have Time

Will they ever figure out to go INSIDE the box?
I recently posted about my new Bantam chickens. I've build a covered coop for them separate from my other chickens until I see how they mingle. Covered, because the first one I placed in the UNcovered coop flew right out and almost became lunch for Lucky.

Since the day I put the Bantys outside, all chickens have stopped laying. As of this morning, it has been four days since any eggs were laid. My Wyandottes (2) and Barred Rock (2) have stopped production in the presence of their Roo. I was told the three Banty hens were laying age as well when I was graciously given two free dozen eggs along with their purchase but they have yet to lay anything either.

Perhaps everyone has a little anxiety about the new neighbors/settings? Or does this just happen once a year (we started with the Wyandottes and Barreds not quite one year ago so this is the first laying cycle we've experienced this time of year.

What say you experienced chicken folk?

Oh, and I added a new style of laying box to the Banty's coop. It is a plastic tub with a door cut into it. I placed straw inside for the hens to lay comfortably. It's been two days now since the introduction of the box and the Bantys still haven't figured out how to get inside of it? I even added a board for an ascending ladder/walkway. They fly up on top of the box all day but not inside.

Thoughts on that?


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Homemade Squash Hashbrowns - YUM!

Squash grated with our Bosch
A friend at work gifted us some rather large squash. We've made noodles with them in the past and had them kind of like spaghetti noodles. This time we thought we try them out as pseudo-hashbrowns.

Here's the recipe from AllRecipes.com:
  • PREP
    5 mins
  • COOK
    50 mins
    1 hr 10 mins


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
  2. Place spaghetti squash onto prepared baking sheet with cut sides down.
  3. Bake until squash is tender, about 45 minutes.
  4. Scrape strands of flesh from the squash with a fork and place in a large bowl. Mix flour and Parmesan cheese into squash strands.
  5. Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon 1/4 cup of the spaghetti squash mixture into the skillet and pat and press to form squash into a patty about 1 inch thick. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes per side. Season with salt and black pepper to taste. Serve patties topped with a dollop of sour cream. 

We cheated a little and threw our into the Bosch and grated it like cheese. Then threw that into the skillet. We opted out of the patty shaping and just cooked them loose.



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

10 Mini Bantams for One Silver Coin!

Three Banty sisters all crammed in the corner atop 7 chicks
Another terrific CraigsList find (in my opinion.) The ad said:

"Baby Bantam Chickens

I have seven one day old chicks but the rest of my flock is attacking the hens. Looking for good home for three hens and seven chicks. Barter or trade."

I emailed the poster and offered a pure silver coin in trade and he agreed. He also sent me home with two dozen of the eggs. Not a bad deal for one silver coin with a spot price around $19.

They are a beautiful solid black and BOY are they broody. I brought them home in a cardboard box and you can't even see the chicks. The hens won't get off of them!

I put two chicks back after my girls held them.
I read online that Bantys are terrifically broody and I'm looking to experiment with putting my Barred Rock and Wyandotte eggs in the Bantys cage.

The guy I got them from says Banty Roosters are really fiesty. He also said that the hens can be too. I have no experience with this breed.

What do you guys out there know about mini Bantys?

Of course, the girls LOVE them!


Monday, September 15, 2014

What year is this truck?

Stumbled upon a REALLY COOL truck this morning as I drove into town. It was sitting outside of the local mechanic shop. I thought it looked like some kind of old Willys pickup truck but the hood is stamped DODGE.

This is the kind of truck I could drive for the rest of my days. Anybody have more details on it?

I should have gotten more pictures of it but I was running late on an errand. I think it is still sitting out there.  Looks like it might have been a forest service vehicle or something? See the winch on the front?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Guys Day Out - Guns Galore

Me using the "lead sled" completed w/ sandbags for elevation.
It is my one year anniversary at my job this month and I felt it high time us fellas got together and did some shootin'.  A quick Google search for some "Turkey Shoot" images and I had a flyer ready to hang at work.

"1st Annual Turkey Shoot" and "Guys Day Out" were the title and subtitle. It garnered much attention upon hanging and I knew it was going to be a fun event. A day of men sharing weaponry knowledge and blasting things to smitherines.  I remembered an old wall sign: The worse day fishing is still better than the best day working. I think the same applies to shooting.

Nothing says "freedom" like proudly flying the Gadsen flag.
There were handguns and battle rifles, plinkers and war cannons. We even had a few black powder guns and a compound bow. I brought along three metal plate targets and a case of clay pigeons. A homemade "lead sled" was set up to hold rifles on a table for steady long range shooting. Now THAT is some homesteading ingenuity right thar! I thoroughly enjoyed shooting on that.

A good friend of mine shared an old Sheriff's Office shooting range that was officially abandoned but still used somewhat regularly by those "in the know." There were signs of recent activity with all the brass scattered about. Most likely, I'll end up back out there with the little ones to scavenge. They love picking up brass and I love letting them! I'm getting a hankerin' for smelting metal at home. Any excuse to build a homemade foundry and I'm in.

The Goodfellas
As with any endeavor, we made sure to leave the place in better shape than what we found it. Responsible stewardship is paramount to enjoying the outdoors and I have yet to meet a shooter (that I hang out with anyway) who doesn't agree. It's usually not even something that has to be spoken. Everyone just starts cleaning up when the ammo is gone.

 All-in-all, we had a terrific time and shot a lot of different weapons. The waffle donuts that were brought took me to a new level of sugary heaven. They will be on my next grocery run for sure.


This will probably land us on "the list..."

Already ate the chocolate covered...

Friday, September 12, 2014

No 9/11 Activity a Pleasant Surprise to Me

I have to admit I was a little leery yesterday. With the dozen or so airplanes that went missing recently I thought there might be a terrorist threat on our nation to mark the anniversary of 9/11. I kept a watchful eye on the DrudgeReport throughout the day.

Wifey and I watched a documentary last night called "102 Minutes That Changed America" which detailed minute by minute what happened on 9/11/2001 with actual footage. There were several times that my arm hair stood up as I remembered that fateful day.

Here we are the next morning and I breathe a sigh of relief that nothing too eventful happened. Despite what the terrorists' motives are, I'll continue on with my routine and keep a watchful eye.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Going Back to School in my Middle Age

It isn't getting any easier...this GOING TO SCHOOL stuff. For some ill-concieved reason I've wanted a doctorate degree every since I was a little kid. Maybe it was because my mom used to drag me around to her college classes when I was little. I remember sticking my finger into a rat cage of some lab class and getting bit by the stupid thing. It's a wonder I didn't get some weird disease from a lab experiment gone wrong.

Maybe it was from my adoration of Indiana Jones. We shared the same last name after all. He was often called Dr Jones and I thought it was cool. He was cool. I wanted to be like him. I'd even wear the hat and rope if asked. I joked as an adult that if I ever had a boy, I'd name him Indiana. I'm guessing that's why the good Lord gave me all girls. He must have thought it just a tad too selfish.

Fast forward 30+ years later and I take an inventory of that long lost goal. I had been graduated from my Bachelors degree over ten years. Time was flying by! A few technical school degrees get earned and I'm making a living. A few unusual turn of events and I find myself staring at a Masters degree program that only costs $12,000. At the same time I am (finally!) working for a company that offers tuition reimbursement. The way it plays out, I can get all but $2,000 covered by my employer. A Masters degree for $2,000!

A silver lining to the dark cloud that was my lost job one year ago.  The first domino in a series of crappy events that shook my whole family. But we've come out the other side and we're still together and doing just fine...and I'm back on the road to my life long goal of getting a doctorate degree.

When I graduate in two years (May 2016), I'll be searching for that final step: the affordable doctorate. For now, it remains my Pegasus. Something I've heard about but never seen. I'm not sure it really even exists. But it remains in my top tier goals and to this point, I haven't missed a goal yet.


Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Day at the County Fair

Macky & The Queen in The Fun House
Now that things have seemingly calmed down around here, I decided it was time to take the kids out for an adventure. The annual county fair was in town and, regrettably, our children have never been to a fair. But we are still very tight on money from the fire. Living paycheck to paycheck continues to be status quo for now. Nevertheless, I took this opportunity to teach the kids yet another lesson: how to come up with money when you really want to do something.

We sat down and wrote ideas on how to raise the $60 we would need to get into the fair. Sell homemade soap, garage sales and mowing lawns were offered up...among other things. Since time was of the essence, I chose to sell some of our meager silver savings. Around 11pm on Friday night, I posted an advertisement on CraigsList offering my silver Walking Liberties at spot prices. I stated in the ad that I was looking to raise funds to take my kids to the fair. I had a response by 7am the next morning.

Walking Liberties and Buffaloes we sold.
I met a nice seasoned couple around 10am in the Sizzler parking lot and sold them $200 worth of coins. Good thing I brought some extras. They were as gracious as I was and we both went on our way. This was enough for admission to the fair and a few things that I felt every child (and teenager!) should experience at a fair...all six girls had a terrific time enjoying the following hallmarks of a good fair while Wifey and I sat back and watched:


  • got lost in the House of Mirrors

  • laughed their way through a Fun House

  • screamed their way through the House of Horrors

  • slobbered over deep fried Oreos and butter cups

  • learned that money can be earned by raising 4H animals
  • practice the art of making a fly fishing lure

Yes honey, it IS harder than it looks.
We were guided through several buildings of 4H animals by a young man we knew from church. He had a large hog that sold for $1400. He was able to share with the girls a lot of the details of what goes into purchasing and raising each type of animal.  You could see their amazement when he shared that he spent a total of around $600 for his hog which led to an equal $800 profit. He explained to the girls how he was going to divide up his profit:

  • some goes to buy the next animal for the next 4H competition
  • some goes to his college fund (he's in 8th grade now)
  • and some goes to his church mission fund

He was allowing himself just a little for splurge spending. What a terrific lesson for my girls!

Flower learns Fly Tying!
They saw a good 30+ breeds of chickens, llamas, turkeys, bulls, pigs, goats and sheep. I'm sure I'm forgetting some animals. We missed the day of the actual auctions but I explained to my girls how it all worked. I recanted how my mom and I used to make desserts and enter them in the State Fair of Oklahoma when I was a child. I think we won one time with our coconut log rolls.

It was a beautiful, sunny day and I can guarantee they'll never forget their first trip to the fair. I used to get the silver coins out on occasion and let them play with the shiny trinkets as they clanked around on the floor. I was attempting to teach them about savings. The coins taught me a much bigger lesson this time...it's wise to save for the future but it is equally wise to enjoy the limited time you have with your children in a way you won't soon forget.


Monday, September 8, 2014

Replacing a Passenger Side Door Handle 2000 GMC Express Van

The original (broken) handle
With six girls constantly climbing in and out of the family van you can imagine how much use the door handles get on a regular basis. After several months of use, our 2000 GMC Sierra van's passenger door would no longer open. This left one side of a double door the only exit point for several cranky kids to exit...at the same time usually.

I called the local parts store and asked for a price. Not in stock of course but it could be ordered to the tune of $85. Thanks NAPA. A quick Google search and I found the same part online for $16.73 and with minimal shipping. SCORE!

Highly recommend PartsGeek for parts now. They shipped fast and we're ridiculously affordable. 

Upon arrival, I removed it from the box to compare it to the one I removed from the van. It was clear that there was a piece missing that included a retainer ring. Installation took all of ten minutes and she was ready go.

Turns out there are two rods inside the door. One rods controls the opening mechanism at the TOP of the door. The other rod controls the opening mechanism at the BOTTOM of the door. A quick pull of an unbroken handle and both rods are pulled in opposite directions opening both mechanisms thanks to two easy-to-open clips that lock around the rods (seen below in green and red colors).

The door panel removed
The real hard part was getting the stupid door panel back on. It clipped on in a way that male ends had to be slid through female slots and then push the door panel in a downward motion. At the same time, the top is held on by metal clips snapping onto the plastic door panel only possible with a thump from my fist.

This took several attempts before it finally worked. Broken door handle...fixed...for under $20. Take that NAPA.

Next comes the driver's window regulator. A driver's window that won't roll down makes for an unhappy driver when attempting to navigate anything that has a drive through window (bank, restaurant, etc). Wifey made it clear that the window is next on the to-do list.

If this one is too complicated, I might leave it up to the local mechanic. We've found a good one in town that will let us pay when we can afford, even if it means a few week after we get the repaired vehicle back home. Gotta love small towns for that kind of stuff.

New hardware view from outside the door

Inside the door view

Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Guts of a CT Scanner (Computed Tonography Scanner) GE 64 VCT

Standard 64 slice GE VCT CT Scanner
I thought I'd share a rare glimpse into something the average person doesn't see every day. As I walked into our CT Scanning suite at work I was greeted by an exposed CT Scanner with it's faceplate removed.

Most people know that CT Scanners are the big machine that takes fancy xrays at hospitals and outpatient clinics. Usually you lie on your back on a long, skinny table while it moves back and forth through the hole of what looks like a giant donut.

CT Scanners have come a LONG way in the past decade and we are actually looking to upgrade to one that can scan a person's heart in between heartbeats! Man, that is fast! Nevertheless, right now we can still scan a person from "crown to crotch" or the tip of the head to the bottom of the groin in under three minutes. That can be maniuplated by the CT Tech into even smaller increments.

Faceplate pulled off and facing the wall.
So this post is simply to show you what the outside gantry "faceplate" looks like when it is pull off and set aside. The other picture is all the wires and gizmos on the inside. The technology is WAY beyond me to explain. All I know is that we "blow a tube" (an important part of the machine stops working) about once a year. Last year our tube made it through 20,000 patients. This year it only made it through 13,000 before breaking.

I'm told by the repairman that 20,000 is exceptional but 13,000 is below average. Why would it break sooner rather than later? Since it is the tube that heats up during a scan and gets hotter the more work it has to do to penetrate a human body, I can't help but wonder if the ever-expanding American body habitus (read: beer belly) is putting more and more strain on the machine in order to penetrate all that fat...

Guts that look like something out of The Terminator...
Nevertheless, the tube costs $125,000 to replace and I am glad to have a contract in place that replaces burned out tubes.


Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sis Received a Proposal!

Engraved with True Love Waits
Sis turned 17 last month and has become such a beautiful young woman. I have had plans for several years to propose to her with a Promise Ring and ask her to save herself for the night of her wedding.  I found a lovely Purity Ring on Amazon and picked it up at a great price.

It has heart shaped solitaire and is engraved with the Bible verse from Timothy 4:12 "True Love Waits."

Timothy 4:12 "True Love Waits"

For birthdays, we generally go out to eat as a family. For her birthday, I chose a local steakhouse. I kept the ring in my jeans pocket and waited until that lull time after you order, get your drinks and hungrily await for your food to arrive.

A little oversized but I can fix that
I asked her siblings if they thought it would be too much embarrassment if I dropped to a knee and presented her with the ring in the middle of the restaurant. They nodded in unison and said "Absolutely!" After a little more contemplation, I made my move to her side.

I pulled my chair up next to her and looked her in the eyes. I took a few moments to just appreciate what she has become and it warmed my heart that she has remained pure in a time when society so quickly adores teenage moms, celebrity hussies and an eroding moral fabric of young women.

As she looked my way and caught me staring she said "Uh oh. What? What are you doing?" Clearly she caught on that I was about to do something out of the ordinary. I pulled the cloth felt bag from my pocket that contained the ring.

I pulled the ring out and held it up to the light so that it sparkled just like her beautiful eyes. I then said:

Sis, you've come a long way and I'm so proud of you. You have done such a wonderful job in becoming a beautiful young woman. I bought you this promise ring and I invite you to wear it on your wedding finger.

As I slid it onto her visibly shaking hand, I continued:

I want you to promise me before God and your family that you will continue to save yourself for your wedding night. I promise to do my best to help you find your perfect soul mate and just ask that you trust me and remain patient.

She nodded in silence and stared intently at the ring on her finger as she slowly tilted it back and forth in the light as to make it glisten. We hugged and I never felt so proud.

She continues to wear it every day and cherishes it. It not only shows her how much her father loves her and believes in her but also gives her a physical excuse to show boys who get a little too...froggy.

Happy Birthday Sister...says photobombing Flower.
Whew. One down, five to go...


Friday, September 5, 2014

A New Slant on an Old Blog

Couldn't resist a pic with Adam 12 at the fair last weekend.
An anonymous commenter got me to thinking today as sometimes happens. The commenter posted on my last blog post "Too bad this blog has become so infrequent. OrangeJeepDad must have lost interest." This couldn't be farther from the truth.

I think of blogging on a daily basis. So much so, that I've encouraged Macky to blog as well. Her blog is titled Blog of a Homeschooled Teen and she's writing it to hone her own writing skills (she wants to be an author, like Patrice Lewis) as well as to benefit others who may be stuck on the homeschooling fence like we were for several years. She's enjoying contrasting her experience of homeschooling versus her big sister's experience in a crappy local public school. It certainly gives her lots to write about.

Please visit her blog and leave her encouraging comments if you have the time. 

But back to my original thought. I've had several posts stirring in my brain and have also taped a good amount of video for my YouTube channel. I feel the need for a new "intro" for my vids so my footage is sitting on my hard drive until I come up with an intro that I enjoy. But I have made a leap forward in my decision on blogging: I will stop holding back my posts due to insufficient long length and start posting smaller, more bite sized posts on a regular basis. I tend to write pretty lengthy posts which require a good amount of editing and proofing. That's just how I write. I've been called a grammar nazi but it stems from having a mother who corrected everything I wrote in grade school and I thank her for it...now.

So here we go, on our new journey of writing smaller posts on a more frequent basis. Your comments here will let me know what you think and I always appreciate my readers...all four of you. :-)