How to prosper during the coming depression, security

 

Instead of buying another AR-15 we should talk about what real security is. Sure, having that over-priced, easily malfunctioning, scary paper weight might make you feel secure, but you could use that money on something that will actually work. There are several things you should be thinking about long before you buy a firearm.

First look at where you live. Is it an apartment or a place in the country? Do you have a yard or neighbors close by? Is your neighborhood relatively safe or is it a high crime area? These are the things you need to first consider. After that, how secure is your place? Do you lock your windows and doors during the day? Is your car always locked? Are motion lights installed around your place? Are there any places around your property where people could hide? The questions of security could fill a book and there are several out there to check out.

Some people prefer to have an alarm service, and while I have experience in using these systems I don’t know if I trust someone else having access to my home life. Doesn’t the NSA do a good job of spying on everyone already? Why can’t Alexa tell me when someone is in my house? No, I prefer to go old school and make sure my doors and windows are secure. Do things around the house throughout the year to scare the hell out of your neighbors. Butcher a deer in your backyard by hanging it from a tree where people can watch for the hours it takes to disappear. Bury weird random things in your backyard in the middle of the night. I guarantee people are watching. Before you know it, they start to whisper “stay away from that crazy white man’s house.”

Own a big dog. If its big and black that’s even better. Nobody is scared of a golden retriever. Those little ankle biters, that’s asking to come home and finding your dog dead. Get something that people would think twice about messing with. Personally, I prefer German Shepherds, they are easy to train and people recognize them as military and police dogs as well.

Now you own a dog and I still haven’t talked about guns. Fine, lets get to it.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to personal defense and guns. Everyday carry, something you leave the house with and keep on you at all times. Then there is home defense. With home defense you have to consider where you live. Do you have neighbors and could you kill them with the gun you have? If the gun you buy could shoot through several walls before stopping that isn’t the gun you should own. The basic home defense weapon is a shotgun. Loaded with 00 buckshot and you don’t have to aim well when shooting a target to bring something down. Consider that adrenaline is pumping and you will be shaking when the shit goes down. Do you want to use a pistol that is already more complicated to use compared to a shotgun?

I know that some people will argue that thirty rounds in an AR-15 is more than enough to take down a burglar but congratulations you just killed the neighbor next door when you unloaded on a 90-pound crack head and now you are being sued for negligence. Let’s use the old Chinese proverb here, don’t kill a mosquito on your friend’s forehead with a hammer. The same could be said about home defense. Don’t go crazy with it, guns are tools like everything else in the house. What is the job and what will fit it best?

Shotguns are a good start, and considering the depression it serves a dual role. You can defend your home and use it for hunting. There are multiple styles of rounds for it and it is easy to use. There are also smaller pistol versions like the Judge and the Governor that use .410 rounds. If you don’t have time to train on how to use a firearm this is the weapon for you. In countries or states where you might fear there being a limit to firearms sales the shotgun is usually the last to be banned because of the short range and lack of accuracy with this tool.

Next on the list if the pistol. This is more complicated to use and takes training to be effective with. Each design is different and can make it easier or more complicated to use. A revolver has more of a squeeze on the trigger and it is coming for people to shoot high with it, raising the barrel as they pull the trigger back waiting for it to fire. While pistols won’t jam, they have a slower rate of fire and less rounds than the average semiautomatic. Semiautomatics are easier to shoot but if fired too fast they become less accurate if you are in a panic and empty the magazine without realigning the sight. Semiautomatic pistols can jam, needing some training to quickly fix the issue. There is also slide bite, when your hand it pinched by the slide due to improper handling of the firearm. Needless to say, if a person buys a pistol for personal self-defense, they need to have training and regular range practice to stay proficient in using one.

Rifles are our last firearm to discuss and while they are popular with some people for self-defense, they really are the least effective. Keep in mind we are talking about defense inside of the home. A long weapon isn’t the best option for moving around in a small space. A rifle round will travel easily through several layers of drywall and wood making any missed shot able to hit someone other than the intruder. Plus, if you empty 30 rounds into a burglar it is difficult to defend yourself in court with self-defense. Believe it or not there are rules when it comes to self defense and people who think otherwise find out the hard way through years of legal battles and thousands of dollars in legal cost what is acceptable and what is not. The castle doctrine does not protect you from overkill. In my home state of Michigan there is little point in owning a centerfire rifle south of Grand Rapids. Not only is it illegal to use a center fire rifle during hunting season but it is also illegal to use one at a gun range. Only in the northern half of the state is the use of one legal. The only reason I own this style of firearm is to hunt large game in the northern region of the state and would never grab one for home defense when better options are available.

Bows and crossbows are alternatives to those who prefer not to use a gun or it is illegal for them to have. If you did something stupid as a kid and have a felony on your record then it is illegal for you to own or handle a firearm. However, you can own a bow or crossbow since these weapons are not registered. This rule also applies to muzzleloaders but do you really want to load a muzzleloader while someone is kicking in your bedroom door trying to kill you? A crossbow might be the best alternative considering the power and ease of loading. The ability to aim and fire a crossbow is no different from a firearm and is just as accurate as a rifle.

It is a good idea to carry some kind of self defense system on you at all times. This can include a pocket knife or a small can of pepper spray. The rules on knives and pepper spray can vary from state to state and even collage campuses as well. The local campus where I live have made it illegal to carry pepper spray while on their property. When it comes to knives in my state it is illegal to carry and concealed fixed blade knife but you can carry a folding knife as long as the blade isn’t longer than 3.5 inches. Each state is different and you should do some research on a reputable site before deciding what to carry.

When all else fails it is never a bad idea to know how to protect yourself if you are unarmed. There are several schools and styles that are available and while people will argue on the internet as to which is the best one knowing a little bit of something is better than knowing nothing if something happens. Even if you take a class where they teach the time-tested ball kick and eye gouge it is better than doing nothing.

Some styles I would recommend looking into include; Krav Maga, Brazilian Jujitsu, Judo, and Japanese Jujitsu. These are more combat oriented styles that won’t teach you how to fight with rules, except for Judo. If these are not the styles for you there are dozens of other martial arts to look into.

 

 

 

 

 

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Adventures in Cooking: Part 10

It’s not everyday that a person is a victim of a terrorist attack. No, I’m not talking about 9-11 I’m referring to the Crossroads Mall Pepper spray gas attack of 2000. There are things that do not mix in nature. Oil and water, chocolate and vanilla, white trash and money, but sometimes they come together, and the outcome is never good. Look at the Kardashians for the last example.
It was spring and while the birds were chasing one another and the bees remained hard at work helping flowers have sex, the hormones of the mall were also in full swing. There weren’t too many feuds that happened in the mall. We never competed against the McDonald’s crew to find out who was better. There wasn’t a Greek food vs Asian food fight happening to figure out dominance, and by the way Asian food would have won hands down. The orange chicken at Oriental Express is worth swinging by the mall for. The one group of douchebags that we could not stand was the security guards.
For me this was an odd gang that roamed around in their uniforms for the soul purpose of hitting on girls while trying to look good catching shop lifters. Like any wannabe cops they collected any weapon they could carry except for a pistol. Their belts were customized towards each guard showing their different personalities. The one common element was the radio, everything besides that was a combination of handcuffs, which they couldn’t legally use, zip ties, baton, tear gas, pepper spray, flash light, and any doohickey that can attach to a keychain. There were moments when we would catch the guards hitting on the waitresses, fucking up our times and pissing off everyone in the restaurant.
“Lindsey, order up for 12,” Nate hollers out of the kitchen towards the doors.
Heads turn and the guard waves his hand telling her to ignore Nate. I caught this and popped out to see if she had heard. Their eyes were locked, and the guard was instantly pissed I was interrupting.
“So, you can arrest people? That’s so cool,” Lindsey says looking at his zip ties.
“Hey Lindsey, your order is up.” I look at the guard’s belt with a smirk.
“Hey buddy, I think she can take care of it.”
If there is one thing I hate about douchebags, its when they call you buddy. I’m not your bud or buddy. I’m certainly not your bro. unless there is some DNA test I don’t know about, I’m not your brother. Those guys can fuck off and this meant war.
“So, you know that you don’t have the power to arrest anyone, right. Plus, you can only restrain someone if they are a threat to themselves or others.” I said, knowing the laws.
He rolled his eyes and spit out a “pts” before saying, “you don’t know what you’re talking about.”
He didn’t argue just tried to discredit. It was game on.
“Are you really going to strip every time you try to arrest someone?” I asked.
“What are you talking about?”
“The zip ties on your belt. They are looped around but you connected the ends so the only way you can get them off is by taking your belt off and since it is going through the loop of your pants that mean the pants must come off as well. So, are you going to strip them into submission?” I waited for a response.
“Fuck you,” the guard said.
“Oh my god, he’s right. How would you get those off there?” Lindsey said.
“Lindsey, get this fucking order.” Nate yelled from the kitchen.
Lindsey went to the kitchen leaving me and security douche by ourselves.
“You’re a fucking dead man.” The guard said. “fucking cock blocker.”
“what are you going to do arrest me. Keep your clothes on, I’m not into that.”
“Don’t get mad at me because she wants some of this.” Then he took a low blow. “At least I’m not working some shit job in a kitchen.”
“Hey asshole I worked security for two years and we had to deal with protestors. You chase shoplifting teens out of hot topic. Have a nice day dick bag.”
“Fuck you.”
“Not if you took me to dinner and a movie first.”
The fight to have the last word went on until a call came through the radio. Elderly man stuck on the escalator. Real action-packed stuff.
The guards continued to come around, and in the end, things did not go well for them. The police were called. EMS showed up. The fire department came to the rescue. You know, the real men in uniforms.
Lindsey and the guard were in their usual mating ritual. Lindsey decided to be the aggressive one and pull the pepper spray from the guard’s belt.
“Hey, give that back.” Yes, it really sounded that pathetic.
Of course, Lindsey didn’t and played a short game of tag until her thumb hit the button and a mist went into the air. The guard jumped back, and Lindsey dropped the canister on the floor. The area was instantly cleared as people coughed and rubbed their eyes.
In the kitchen, I had an itch in my throat. Nate Dawg started to cough. The servers rubbed their eyes as they grabbed their orders. Customers coughed as they ate. I started to cough.
“Mother fucker, are you burning something?” Nate said rubbing his eyes.
The doors opened to the kitchen. “The police are clearing the mall,” the manager said. We learned the whole story outside.
In the food court a customer had a severe asthma attack. People in the Sears store had itchy eyes and horrible coughs. The people in Hot Topic discovered a new way to torture themselves without cutting. Some people feared it was a sarin gas attack like what happened in Tokyo with the subway terminals.
The police came out, long with every other first responder in the city of Portage. This wasn’t the act of Islamic terrorism, religious nutjobs, or societal anarchist. No, this was the result of hormones.
The pepper spray entered the ventilation system and was pumped through the entire building. Two levels of stores plus the anchor stores on the ends are all tied into the same system. One spray of the guards $5 toy cleared out an entire shopping mall. The police kept the building cleared for five hours to air everything out. While people like to say that pepper spray is harmless the category is technically ‘less lethal’ rather than ‘non-lethal’ force. This was the great Crossroads Mall pepper spray gas attack of 2000; Al Qaeda would have been proud.
After this event security was not allowed to carry pepper spray anymore. Management contacted the head of security and demanded that the guards no longer come around the restaurant unless they were called, which we ever did. It’s difficult to shop lift a sandwich from a place that you dine in. The mall eventually went back to normal and the event was forgotten. To this day when people say they carry pepper spray for personal protection, and when they work indoors I shake my head and tell them to find something else. There has never been a substitute to a good knife and there never will be.

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Adventures in Cooking: Part 8

So, let’s step back for a moment and rewind to how I ended up working in a kitchen to begin with. My first two and a half years in college was helped with a job working security, also known as paid to do homework. It paid better than the $5.15 an hour I was making at the local Meijer to retrieve carts and I could do homework on the job while I sat in a guard shack on 2nd and 3rd shift. My last semester at KVCC left me with a question of whether to pay for tuition for the coming semester or pay my rent. Because living out of a car didn’t appeal to me, I chose to pay rent and didn’t go back to school for a while. Classes were becoming more expensive, and while I had been making extra money working for the school paper it was enough to pay tuition but not for the books, supplies, and lab cost that were hidden fees beyond the tuition itself.
Once that choice had been made I started asking myself what kind of job I could do and make a decent living? The options were few and one of the places I guarded had gotten to know me over the past two years. When a job was posted, I applied for it and had an interview a week or two later. I put in my noticed with guardian guard service and started in the closed in smelly hell hole that was Charles River.
The company raised and bred lab rats for various companies and zoos around the country. When you have a snake or bird that is depending on clean food you buy a sterile rat to feed them and make sure they don’t die in front of a group of kids from a local school on a field trip. Local pharmaceutical companies also bought these animals for testing. I didn’t lean either way on the subject. What where people supposed to do? Test on humans and end up killing people? I had been guarding the building from animal rights activist and rabid raccoons for two years. If I had a problem with what they were doing I would have left already.
Charles River was a long building surrounded by barb wire fencing and contained ten rooms where the rats were bred and raised. In each of those ten rooms were 40,000 rats in various states of development. That is the rat shit of 40,000 rats in one room. The majority of the shift was cleaning up shit and feeding the little biters. There was this myth that they had bred the biting instinct out of the rats but that turned out to be pure bullshit. I must have been bitten 10-12 times during my 90 days and I can remember every single one. It was always the new mom rats, pissed off that you were checking to make sure they weren’t eating their babies. The ones who did I was happy to toss their ass into the loading room where they were gassed before disposal. It’s a bit harsh I know but what did you want for Casey Anthony or that bitch that drowned her kids in the bathtub?
From the first day to the last I was miserable. The room smelled like shit. You smelled like shit. When you woke up in the morning your breath still smelled like shit. You think the world is bad because Obama or Trump is president, spend the majority of your waking hours with a room filled with rats and then come to me for complaints. I never went anywhere worried that, you guessed it, I smelled like shit. The paychecks kept coming and I deposited those things at the drive through where the teller could see me sitting in the car far far away. I shopped for my groceries on the weekend in the middle of the night. I didn’t hang out with friends and let the money continue to roll in. I had a feeling that after my 90 days were up, I was going to be gone.
And I was right. I was called to the head manager’s office on day 90 and sat down from her across the desk. The HR lady came in with her and I waited. I had talked to these ladies for more than two years as they arrived in the morning and when they left at night. They appeared confused and hesitant then they dropped the news. “we are laying you off.” The manager said. “we’re not firing you, we just don’t need you right now.”
“So, when do I come back.” I crossed my fingers and waited for those fateful words.
“We’ll let you know.”
A grin grew on my face and I stood up, shook their hands which left them with a confused look on their faces and went to my car happy that I would never have to come back ever again. It was literally the shittiest job I ever had.
I went home and slept, man did it feel good. I cleaned my clothes, bed sheets, and showered a few times a day. This went on for a week. After that I had no plans. I didn’t know what I wanted to do. My dream was to go into the comic book industry but the market had taken a dump and 70% of the comic shops across the country had closed. The comic book companies had stopped hiring new talent keep the old guys who had been doing it for 20-30 years. I had not talents that I could think of, no special skills, and the lack of self esteem didn’t help one bit. I was one sad SOB with no clue what to do.
I paid my rent for the next month early and gave myself time to figure things out. That turned into selling my comics and action figures on Ebay.com. Don’t give me any shit they are a collector item. I didn’t go out much and only checked my mail once a week. I was in a state the Japanese refer to as Hikikomori. It is most common with young men that have lost their way and no longer want to be a part of society. My bank account dwindled over time and eventually I would have to find a job.
I ran into Rob at the local comic shop and he stopped by with his friend Nate to hang out. We drank beer shared stories about when we worked at Meijer together.
“What are you doing now?” rob asked.
“You’re looking at it,” I said sitting in my living room hanging out with them.
“You need a job?” Nate asked.
“Ya.”
“Olga’s is hiring. You’ll be a dishwasher but it pays and it’s easy as hell.”
“Where do I apply?” I asked thinking I needed to go online.
“You just walk in, they ask you for a few things and then you start working.”
The next day I drove to the mall. It was the first time I had driven in a few days and after five minutes I was in the dish room cleaning plates off and figuring out how to fill the trays to load into the high-pressure washer. Literally, anybody could get this job. After being bit, smelling like shit, and closing myself off form society this was a dream come true. I felt like Bill Murray in What About Bob? Making baby steps out of the hole I had found myself in.
When I hear people complain about their jobs and whine about how tough or boring it is, I think of those rats and try not to slap the shit out of them. People love to bitch and when its about stupid shit stay back because stupid is contagious.
Charles River no longer exist, or at least the building I was in doesn’t exist. Most of the jobs from my youth no longer exist. Baggers are a thing of the past. The rat factory is closed down. I haven’t seen a truck or security guard from Guardian guard service in a decade, they likely are not around anymore. Comics are no longer drawn by hand, instead done on a computer. Layouts are done on a computer instead of gluing stories onto master sheets. My daughter will not know what I am talking about when I tell her about these things. These jobs are gone, a footnote in history to be forgotten like the cobbler and blacksmith. I have seen stories where robots are cooking meals and matching the quality of a chef. I call BS but who am I to argue. When you take the human element away from certain jobs than what is the point? You can say that you are saving cost but have you accounted for the cost of interaction? How do people meet, fall in love, argue, share ideas, or flirt if you take away the means for those things to take place? At what point are we so isolated that the majority of people end up like me 2 years ago going through their own Hikikomori with no job to draw them out. At what point do we start investing in ourselves instead of the bottom line? When the line hits bottom where do we go from there?
To be continued…

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