I Stopped Feeding One of My Sons Today

Many moons ago when I was in college I took a class called Marriage and Family Relations. I don’t remember much from that class really except the list of sexual sins in the bible we had to memorize – the professors loved lists.

There was one other thing I remembered. They said when your kids got to be seniors in High School, going off to college the next year, you should take away all the rules you have on them. Actually they said you should gradually be taking the rules away and by the time they are a senior they should be on their own.

Why?

Because next year they are going to be on their own, and you won’t be there to see how they handle it and to help them if they make mistakes. Letting them do it while at home means you can help them.

My eldest is going off to the University of Texas in Austin next year. I sent off money to reserve his dorm room last week. The dorm we decided on doesn’t have a cafeteria. Plus my son is a picky eater and doesn’t really eat much of a variety. Matter of fact to him, eating at Taco Bell every day would be heaven.

We decided to just give him a budget for living expenses, including food, and let him decide how to spend it.

As a result, yesterday we gave him a week’s allotment and told him to go shopping, he’s on his own. We have a little mini-fridge that we put in his room, and he is to store his food there. That’s pretty much like his future dorm room. He’s not to eat our food and if we go out, he’s to pay his part of the bill.

Just like it will be next year.

It should be interesting.

His first purchases were, peanut butter, bread, and a 12 pack of Sunkist soda. 🙂

Emergency By Neil Strauss Review

Last night I finished Neil Strauss’ new book Emergency so I thought I’d write a review.

The book was not what I expected.

Let me back up a second. As you know I greatly like Neil’s book The Game about the secret underground of Pick Up Artists. Most people say it is about how to pick up women. Really it isn’t. It’s about his experience living in the world of pickup artists and becoming one. But along the way you learn some of the basic structure and technique.

Emergency is to survivalism, what The Game is to pick up.

Despite the subtitle, “This book may save your life”, it is unlikely to…unless it inspires you to go on the same journey Neil did. There isn’t a lot of technique in it, probably less than in The Game. Most of the actual technique is in the comics between chapters. I do want to try using a soda can to unlock a Masterlock.

So if you don’t go into the book expecting a survival manual, is it a fun read?

Mmmm….that’s a tough one, but I think it would be a good read for a lot of people. But some won’t make it through the first section. Let me explain.

Turns out left wing wackos can become just as attracted to survivalism as right wing wackos. Basically the book starts with Neil becoming paranoid as a result of the Bush administration, and ends with a party in a foreign country because Obama was elected.

If America is becoming a totalitarian/oppressive/fascist/socialist country, – both sides of the political fence believe this is happening, just in different ways – then the obvious solution is to move to another country. But when I ask myself where to go I can’t find a good answer.

Neil searches for one and finds it. By applying for citizenship on the island of St Kitts, ultimately becoming a duel citizen.

You can see how many survivalism orient people would find this disturbing, myself included. Abandoning America for another country?

I’m not going to go more down this path because I don’t want you to think I’m negative just because of the Neil’s politics.

So after searching for another country to run to, Neil starts wanting to learn skills to survive here, and to me that was where the book started getting good. He ends up getting lots training in various places in everything from guns, to tracking, wilderness survival, urban evasion, to becoming an EMT.

This is where a survivalist can learn from this book.

Sometimes I think most survivalist start with guns, stockpiles, bugging out and end there. If you got 10,000 rounds of ammo for all 10 of your guns you’re ready to survive the apocalypse. Since Neil doesn’t come from gun culture, he takes a more practical approach we could all learn from.

One thing I want to do is go through the book and make a list of all the skills and training he ended up getting.

In The Game you learn that to some extent pickup is about personal development. A guy has to change and grow in order to become the kind of person who is interesting to women. Neil carries that into survivalism.

He becomes the kind of person who will survive.

That to me is the theme of the book. How he must change in order to become a survivor. And he ultimately learns that you aren’t going to survive on your own. More than that, once you become a survivor, you will become drawn to being a servant. Or to use survivalists favorite metaphor, you become a sheep dog.

If you can get past the politics, and there is a lot to learn about just how controlling our government has become in that section, Emergency is a good book about an interesting journey. Its not a survival manual by any stretch of the imagination, so do go in looking for that.

Business Interview With Me

An associate of mine from the Internet Business Mastery Academy recently did an interview with me about my businesses (Glamour Apprentice, and Distinctions For Life).

Personally I think he gushes a little about me, but you might find it interesting. Sadly, I wrote my responses in a hurry and included a number of typos, please forgive me.

MasterMind Ron Davis – The Adagio Blog

One thing I might have mentioned is how hard it is to deal with distractions like starting new businesses. I’ve got a new one in my head and can’t think about the one I have now. Arrgh. I’m not sure if working on the new one would clear my head, or just take me further away from the one I have.

Emergency

I mentioned Neil Strauss’ new book Emergency in my last post, but I wanted to talk about why I was gung-ho about it and why I pre-ordered it. (In paper no less, not Kindle)

If you’ve read this blog for long you know I’ve got a lot of interests. Photography, guns, pretty girls, computers, filmmaking, writing, personal development, etc.

My wife says I have a tendency to cycle through them. I’ll get gung ho on guns for a few months, and then get into photography again. I think I’ve settled to doing a number of them at the same time now and just cycle through focus. And I’ve figured out how to combine them. Now business, photography, and pretty girls are combined in Glamour Apprentice for example.

But since I was a wee lad, I’ve been into what was called survivalism when I got into it in the late 70s and early 80s. I wasn’t dedicated enough to move out to the country and live off the land, but I had plans for when the Shit Hit The Fan (SHTF).

I blame Robert Heinlein, and I do for a lot of my philosophical early development. As a teen I read Solider of Fortune and Survive magazines. Books like Lucifer’s Hammer, Farnham’s Freehold, and The Out Of The Ashes‘ series were fodder for my imagination.

So naturally when I read the prologue to Neil’s book I was hooked. This paragraph in particular hooked me.

But that wouldn’t happen anymore. Today I can draw a holstered pistol in 1.5 seconds, aim at a target seven yards away, and shoot it twice in the heart. I can start a fire by rubbing two pieces of wood together. I can identify seven hundred types of footprints when tracking animals and humans. I can survive in the wild with nothing but a knife and the clothes on my back. I can find water in the desert, extract drinkable fluids from the ocean, deliver a baby, fly a plane, pick locks, hotwire cars, build homes, set traps, evade bounty hunters, suture a bullet wound, kill a man with my bare hands, and escape across the border with documents identifying me as the citizen of a small island republic.

I thought. “That’s cool I want to be able to do all that.”

I’ve bolded the ones I can already do competently. Those I’ve at least done and/or trained for.

It reminded me a Heinlein quote, which I had to search for.

A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.

Again I’ve bolded the ones I can already do competently. Those I’ve at least done and/or trained for.

Now Heinlein’s quote is by a fictitious science fiction character, but I still find it somewhat unrealistic. Or at least fuzzy and I’m not sure why I need to know how to write a sonnet. And do I have to be able to do it well? We learned sonnets in High School, but I’m not poet. I’ve never pitched manure, but really is it a “skill” I need to learn? Or is he talking about the mindset that will do what needs to be done.

Now I’m curious, and we’ll start a little meme here. Write a blog post with these two lists of survival traits with those you can do bolded. Then trackback ping this post, or comment with a link to your post below.

AR Ammo Discussion

I’ve got a long time friend John who’s gotten major into all kinds of manly stuff including guns. He’s also started a blog Stuff From Hsoi and probably has as many posts in a couple of months as I have in 5 years. OK, that’s an exaggeration, but he’s very prolific. Go check it out.

I sent him an email yesterday about Neil Strauss’ new book Emergency, which is about becoming self-sufficient. I can’t wait for the book.

We got to trading emails and he’s been sending me links to “cheap” ammo for my AR-15, the discussion naturally we got to talking about ammo. As part of the email he said this:

The thing is, all .223/5.56 ammo is NOT built the same. Ignoring the .223
vs. 5.56 issues themselves, the big thing is terminal effectiveness with
this ammo. You need at least about 2500-2700 fps (depending who you ask)
for best terminal effectiveness, so that means 5.56 rounds, which are loaded
hotter, are going to do better there. Then the bullet itself needs to be
“thin walled” and with a canelure (sp?) to help um… “minimize structural
integrity” of the bullet itself (so to speak) so that upon impact it
fragments… which leads to greater tissue damage but also can improve
issues of overpenetration. You gotta look at the bullet you’re using to
determine this, and XM193’s are known to do this. Others such as Hornady TAP
are designed for this too.

reprinted with permission

Frankly a lot of that went over my head. I’m a geek, but I haven’t put that much geek into my gun knowledge in awhile. But I replied with this.

When I read something like this my first question is “What is the percentage difference?” How much better a round is the XM193 and even say the Wolf target ammo you use? By better I mean stopping power on a human target given the same round placement. 1%? 10% 50%

To me that makes a big difference in whether you should invest in the more expensive round. I’d pretty much link effectiveness to price. If the price increases 30% to get a 2% increase in effectiveness its not really worth it.

Of course there are a lot of other factors, but for ammo of the same caliber that’s what I think.

There are always trade offs, including price and some of the stuff you mentioned like over penetration.

For instance when people bitch about the army using a varmit round in the M16 they miss the point. They didn’t pick that round because of its stopping power – or IMHO because of politics as is often pointed out – but because a solider could carry more rounds while rucking through the battlefield. Weight makes a big difference. That’s probably why they carry 9MM instead of 45. (Or it could be because of gun capacity, especially vs the 1911).

I think part of my thoughts here are that we all only have so much time for study on this and we only have so many resources for purchases. So is the trade off of “expensive” ammo worth it? You tell me.

But John and I both agree that training trumps gear all the time.