Guy Stuff, Women Welcome

I'm trying to find ways to co-create our new paradigms here. I'm trying to take what I have learned, and put it into practice. Yes, I am a human BEING...but see, I'm still practicing.

We've talked, and we'll surely talk more, on Sacred Sexuality. It is such an important subject. Sex is eternal duality forever achieving Unity. We here now preserve our duality on many levels even as we seek Oneness, and so we should, so we must. We have seen that it is the presence of both the Sacred Feminine and the Sacred Male that provides our totality - and we have all, I believe, glimpsed the many ways in which they both exist within ourselves.

What I now propose is a celebration and exploration of our Sacred Duality. And I propose that we do this by opening a forum for "male" issues, ideas, thoughts etc., and obviously a "female" counterpart. Ladies, please feel free. Say whatever you like. Leave anytime you wish. Just understand, this is the man's side of the house.

Guys, I propose that on the distaff side we wear clean shirts, not spit on the floor, and not stroke our package. They're going to have it fixed up nice, and there's doilies on the chairs, and everyone in all the pictures will be wearing clothes. They deserve this.

Also, there are plainly common areas where we are still attempting to iron out the ground rules. But this here is for the men. Ladies, you are welcome anytime. Just remember where the door is if you decide to leave, and don't blame me because you came in here. You'll probably get brownie points if you smoke cigars.

I like a big, stinky ashtray right at my elbow, and I like a huge dirty mug of cold coffee. Here, I am not going to bother to shave. I don't care if my socks match and I will swear if I feel like it. If I fart, too bad. If I scratch my balls, deal with it. Who knows....stick around, I might actually start to clean up my act. Anyway, that is my proposal.

So what are "men's" topics? I knew someone would ask. Women. Sports. Whiskey. Cars. Horses. Dogs. Fishing. Survival. Guns. Assertive, bold, no-bullshit things. Hell, I tell me. It's not my clubhouse.  But I will put the first pinup on the wall.

I can think of some, but I talk all the time. I'd really like for some of the men to step forward and say what's on their minds.


UrsulaD's picture

Looks like I am the first one who is prepared to post a comment! I see there have been seven reads, but nobody has bothered to say anything. I think your suggestion has great merit and I agree with you that it would be of great value for men and women to learn more about what motivates us. There is quite a block to understanding the other sex and where they come from, so this kind of forum should be stimulating and informative.

Go for it!

I will gladly put in my ha'penny's worth!

Love U

davelambert's picture

Thank you, Ursula.

Either what I have to say lacks merit and thus will wither on the vine, or perhaps people are saying:  Don't encourage him.  He never shuts up.  Or they just haven't decided what their thoughts are.  Maybe it's the pin-up.  I kinda like it, myself.  A friend of mine's wife has a poster of Fabio in her private bathroom.  Fabio??  I gave him a Farrah Faucett for Hanukkah.  Never did see if he put it up.  But really guys, I'll take it down.


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davelambert's picture

My Friends, I've been trying to imagine how new paradigms will come into their own where the rubber meets the road. EACH OF US IS PART OF THIS AND HAS BEEN, SINCE BEFORE THIS PORTAL EXISTED. I'm trying to work out new exemplars and prototypes for business, relationships, religion, conflict resolution, atonement, agriculture, the arts, and a few other things before the tides wash over us. Because the tide is coming and it is a tide of fire. Some of us will make it and some of us will not. I wish to proceed as if my loved ones and I will. The day will come when the power will go out, there will be no running water, the shelves will be bare and if we have a roof to shelter under we will be fortunate. We - that is you and I - will have been taken from each other, or so it will seem although what we have created and what we ARE cannot pass from reality.

What we must do then is create community in a new way, and we have a window in which to prepare ourselves. What we have learned here, what we ARE here, is what must be, from Day One, in the forefront when that day comes. Our success depends on what we DO together, and when. This is the framework in which I envision these bold, no-bullshit discussions.

I've been contemplating that day when They really ARE hunting for us and ready to kill us on sight. They don't know it but we are already a virtual nation. New World Order? You betcha. We have beat them to it. They have been sneaking up to grab humanity by the balls. We already cradle their hearts.

But there will be battles, and they will be uneven ones. They have stuff you and I can't even dream of, very little of it dreamed up in pursuit of the Greater Good. The weapons we have - Love, Peace, Intelligence - have powers as well, of which they know little. Lines are being drawn, events loom, and so I propose we think for a bit about hardware.

I'm talking about everything from computers to can openers. I mean crossbows, carbines and lightweight shovels and axes, ways to purify water, and many more things.

First of all, as both true military and paramilitary gangs including our mercenary and police forces (is there a difference any more?) are tooling up with more and better technology, there are tons of bargains on the surplus market. The biggest drawback to surplus military and police gear is that it is comparatively big and heavy. Otherwise, it gives you what they have in some very important areas. And the durability and low-tech of the old stuff gives tactical superiority in some situations.

Weaponry: Can't say enough. Very important. Most important of all: No Violence Unless Forced. There are several reasons why I mention black-powder arms. First, they sail past most firearms laws. If you own a registered gun, then your are in a database and they know where to come and get it if they want to. Go ahead and try to hold them off. They will have it in the end.

Second, for organized personal defense - which is exactly what they were developed and refined for  - they work splendly. By the time smokeless gunpowder and the self-contained brass cartridge were invented, the self-made black powder charge and minié ball had evolved into a splendid and refined piece of technology. As projectile weapons, their reliability, accuracy, ease of repair, and versatility had made them the arm of choice, from Daniel Boone's Brown Bess to the Wyatt Earp specials that won the West.  And the reason all the other stuff has been invented is not that men need a better way to kill other men or meat for the table, but because the generals want to do it with a bigger boom and from farther away.

Fast-forward a century. Throw in modern metallurgy, machining and composites. Keep the same, centuries-proven system of black powder, ramming the bullet and using a separate firing cap...see where I'm going? Outside the law, deadly and reliable (remember how fast and often the M-16 broke down?)...and in a pinch you can even make your own bullets and gunpowder with the right equipment and materials, all very low-tech.  In the hands of an expert of which I am not one, a black powder will givel you three deadly-accurate shots per minute.  Your location will be known and their weapons are as follows:  unlimited rounds per minute, and one is all it takes.

Their disadvantage is another reason I favor black-powder guns. They are slow to load and shoot, and they puff huge clouds of white smoke that can actually obscure your vision. This makes them far less likely to be used for criminal purposes in the light of alternatives. Keep your powder dry, boys!  And while I bring this to your attention, I never said to throw away your Smith&Wesson.  In fact, I suggest stocking up on ammo while you can.  Just remember:  in the end it will be beaten into a plowshare, and sooner is better.

Bows and arrows. Can't shoot one. Great idea if you can.  Love crossbows.

Two weapons I favor are the blowgun and the wrist-braced slingshot. The blowgun is easy to improvise: four feet of three-quarter inch CPVC hot-water pipe, with a ten-gauge wire nut in it. One good blow can take a man out, kill him if you hit him in the right place, and make nary a sound. I can also put a rabbit in the pot, which is what I would rather do with it.  Instead of a wire nut, use a small cone made of a piece of plastic, tipped with an Xacto blade.  This will sail thirty yards accurately and stick in drywall, which means it will penetrate light clothing.

A good slingshot and a ball bearing is likewise silent and deadly, and can provide dinner. A little harder to improvise, a serious hunting slingshot is not an expensive item. Knowing how to use it: priceless.

Bladed weapons and tools: As far as weapons...nasty. I own a short sword, a couple of pocket knives, a Leatherman tool, two large knives suited for everything from skinning to cleaving, a small dagger, and an assortment of kitchen cutlery. I prefer cutlery as tools and not weapons. Nevertheless the carefully - exotic display sword on my wall is actually a small broadsword capable of dicing as well as plunging. It has the weight, the balance, and the carbon-steel blade to be exactly what it looks like - and probably is not.

I also own a sap and one or two items I have not mentioned.

Why all this emphasis on hand-to-hand combat? Because guys, we are not going to blow them out of the water. It isn't just night vision that these guys have. We can get that at the surplus outlet. It isn't just eavesdropping and snooping, we can buy electronics, too. We can even mount some aircraft and kype some grenades, but whoa! This is not our war! Never again must we mount battle as we have in the past. Meanwhile, when it comes to bigger bullets, they have it all. Nuff said. What matters to me is what happens when the lights go off, the cupboard is bare, the windows are either boarded up or broken out, there are shots in the not-so-far distance, and the kids are hungry and scared. That's what I'm talking about.

Why are we nonviolent? Because we men are sudden wusses? Girly-men, metrosexuals? No, Rush you fat hog, you have missed the whole point which is why we don't waste time talking to you. We are nonviolent because that paradigm of dealing with conflict ends with us. You want to shoot me? Go ahead, my brother, you will release me to be what I most truly am. And, I'll be back, with friends. When violence comes we deal with it swiftly, and mercifully. That is the meaning of the Sacred Male, or part of it at least. After, we can talk philosophy.

I'm inviting us all to talk about it now, before.

Because instead of huddling in burned-out buildings, we have to come out. We need food. We need water. We need...each other. And so, communities - of scared, traumatized, and ultimately resourceful people - WILL emerge and be rebuilt. There WILL be gardens to be grown, wounds to tend, and trash to cherry-pick. There will be children to nurture and to bring to new life. There will be many dead to bury.

THEY have thought of this. THEY are prepared, or so they believe. But they won't get us all. We will survive. This I do not doubt. How well, how numerously, and how effectively depends primarily on us.


davelambert's picture

And to you ALL!

My personal energy level just lately has been phenomenal, and no I am not like this all the time. Much of what I say here - and only my own words for now - will wind up overat indigodave dot com. Some has already provided good ground on other lists, too.

My schedule and my energy level these last several days have allowed me to do this which is fortunate for my sanity, because the ideas that are coming forth are bombarding me. Soon I too must sleep...tomorrow I work until late and you will not see me...Sweet dreams...

And many thanks for the heads-up...I will rummage around in my animation drawer...I know I have some good polyamorous ones in there I've been saving.


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Hey Dave,

I'll are builders! how creative are we?   what do the men here build?.....have built.........anything interesting! anyone got any "free" energy" stuff, I have plans for a machine  .....Lol, haven't got around to building it.....

I work in the commercial furniture indusrty, Office screens, partitions. I do a bit of design work on cad....draw extrusions, bracketry, etc

But in my the moment I am building a 1:250 scale american aircraft carrier from scratch, no plans as such, I'm just building. Have absolutely no idea what I will do with it when I'm finished, it isn't little, but yeah I'll deal with what I am going to do with it later. I just like the building.....I also made a few swords years ago, I wanted to get a feel for working with steel...........

Dave, you spoke once of trouble with meditation, you find it hard to quiet your mind. I find that if I start building something and I am really getting into it I eventually stop thinking. My mind does go "blank" yet I keep building times what I build is wrong, I'm not paying attention. For me building can be a door.....other times my mind will just start wandering etc, I find building very peaceful......relaxing and I often have my most profound thoughts while building.



nada's picture

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okay now...the language that you use is a bit polarizing. i understand that our culture is now saturated with ''woman's superiority''  and that's gotta suck for the guys. you're all dogs, right?? wrong. but two wrongs don't make a right.   i like the idea of talking about 'guy' stuff...for a minute you were describing me....right down to the cigar i just smoked and the cold cup of coffee i keep by me in the morning. but i've been told that i'm not a ''typical'' girl. anyway...the idea is great...but don't beat up on the women too much...not all of us play with dollys....and what's the harm if we do. and from the other side...i see where you're coming from and perhaps your'e suggestion could spark up some good conversation.

in the spirit of unity.


i had an idea for a light weight lawn mower that works much in the same way as a weed-eater.......a few months after i thought about it, i saw something similar on a passing tv commecial..... the design that was used was the same idea....but what i was thinking of was larger and lighter.

i've been rolling the idea of perpetual motion using magnets.... and how it could tie into creating a car that runs on it's own energy........i dunno...... never learned much about physics and energy.....but i think about these kinds of things.......

and about the meditation....i find that if i take a looong walk....i can usually hit a nice, clear, meditative state.....whatever works.


Hey Misty,

Have played with magnets myself, seems so easy but I didn't get far with them.

The idea I have is based on water and gravity. Australia has been in drought for years and what they have been doing at one of the dams is pumping water up to the top and running it thru the system. It produces more power than it took to pump it up there but they don't like doing it because it is less profitable. Well what I would do is get a cylinder  put a hole in the bottom and get a whirl pool going, mythbuster's made one once. If you then stuck a set of propellers/turbines inside the funnel, you would have gravity + the forces of the spinning water turning the turbine.......the only power you would be using is to pump the water from the bottom to the top......could work? what do you think?

And where are the men?......Lol


davelambert's picture

Geez, what an inventive bunch we are! I have a few of those ideas myself like...edible picnic utensils. A door alarm. A better bicycle part. You never know...and yes, I've also sketched out a good idea, only to see it show up on the market not long after.

I like to see this thinking for another reason. The flow of goods from overseas to us is going to be drying up, more and more. Forget about buying American, we don't have any factories anymore to speak of. Things break, and more and more, the person who can fix things is a person people want to keep around. Ingenuity, that makes us sharper. I hope you Aussies have been wiser in husbanding your resources than we have. We buy everything from overseas, how dumb is that?

Jez, I have no idea if your water turbine would work. Build one and see! Sounds like it just might. A fellow I worked with a few years ago built a small wind-turbine with his dad. It was about the size of a picnic cooler, lightweight, nearly silent, and generated enough electricity to power their barn and outbuildings. And, it didn't slice and dice the birds. Now they sell them for $800 apiece.
Another friend of mine bought an old Ford diesel ambulance. It's not pretty, but he can stand up in it, and it has all kinds of cool cabinets and shelves in the back. For $700 he converted it to run on old vegetable oil that he gets for free. When I saw how low-tech his whole set-up was, I just about fell over. Get gets used oil from restaurants, filters it twice, and pours it in his tank. There's a little bit of modification to the vehicle necessary, but no changes to the engine. It gets better mileage, accelerates better, and smells like peanuts.

Ever hear of the Minto Wheel? Google it. I've always wanted to build one! I figure a fifteen-foot wheel could be cobbled together for about $250 which would power a home.

Misty, bring your ideas, fire up a stogie and join us! This isn't gender-specific. I used to run a website for men - it's long gone now - but I had pages of things that were specific for men: prostate health. Sexual issues including integrity, not just libido. Fathering. Additionally, I had pages teaching men to cook so they could provide for themselves a decent healthy diet; I made up graphics showing how to iron a shirt, how to sew on a button, how to do your laundry so your underwear doesn't come out pink or gray. You'd be amazed - no, you ladies wouldn't, but I was - how many men are totally helpless in these areas. Men and women alike buy products like idiots - not knowing what's in them or what they really do. Remember when "secret ingredient" was a selling point? These days, you NEED to know. Dads, you need to lead in this. I don't mean the woman should not be proactive.

OK, wait. Even though this is the men's lounge, I'm gonna get in trouble with someone somewhere if I don't clarify how I see the male role -female role issue. I dunno if I can do any better than all the other poor slobs who've shot themselves in the foot trying, but here's my best shot....hopefully not at my toe. I used to have a Mexican neighbor. I am not saying bad things about Mexicans, but his actions reflected his culture. He and I didn't get along real well, and he'd sneer at me and make remarks if he saw me hanging laundry or washing dishes. One time he leaned over the fence and said, "MY woman does all that for me. She knows who the boss is" - words to that effect. I put down the shirt I was hanging and walked over. I was smiling. I told him: "That's nice. But if she left you, you would be helpless. You can do nothing. You have your woman because you need her. I have my woman because I want her." It did nothing to smooth over our dislike for each other - but it's my best shot at explaining how I feel about men's and women's roles. I don't mind doing dishes. I also don't mind her changing the oil. We're equals, not identicals. My income was seldom more than half of my ex's. So what? We both had productive work we enjoyed. Am I getting anywhere? Can I get back to talking about dad?

Dads, you need to lead. That doesn't mean no one else can walk in front. In every group there is one individual whom everyone looks to for leadership (not dictatorship). In many families, that person is mom. Which is okay if everyone is happy. But too often they really aren't...don't believe me, then how come less than half of all marriages make it to the ten-year mark? Dads, you need to lead, and if mom wants to lead too, then the two of you better sit down and figure out how you're going to manage that kind of teamwork without conflict. It can be done. I'm starting to preach, and that wasn't my intent.

I was talking about the range of issues that come up as "men's" issues. Here we have a great rush of ingenious gadgets, one of which might save the world - and be invented by a woman. The work with magnets sounds interesting...I've had similar daydreams. I know there's a way to turn my intimate knowledge of bicycle mechanisms into something kinetically useful.

Hey Jez...let's go out back to the shop and see what we can tinker up. If your water-turbine works, then it seems to me the quickest way to harness the energy is through a flywheel. That's where the chain and gears of a bicycle can help you, by adjusting the load and the output. That's keep your output steady enough to feed a bank of motorcycle batteries, which will run an apartment if you can replace 115v AC with 12v DC. Using bicycle gears to convert the huge torque of a Minto Wheel, you could easily run a small sawmill with no electricity at all.

This is the kind of grassroots ingenuity that tells me we'll come back from anything the PTB throw at us. And as for men's issues, I do have some good suggestions for prostate health, libido, hair, even skin care. Guys, the fact is that there is virtually nothing - I can only think of one thing - we can do, that some woman cannot do just as well or better. My attitude is, if a gal wants to be a firefighter she can. But if she think's we're going to build her a special shower, she better get used to being one of the guys. We all need to find a good nude beach and just get over the whole damn body thing. I guess you could say, that's my rant for this evening.


davelambert's picture

We all need one. Mine's called Illuria - and tropical, it ain't.


Hey Dave,

I guess I do see a time when we may have to fight! I think we are all hoping it can be avoided but I would like to be prepared just in case.....Lol...I did kendo, japanese sword fighting, for a year and half when I was making my swords,,,,,never been in any physical fight in my life.....Lol...but be prepared I say! Grrrrr

I can remember two of my mates having a heated argument years ago over who would win in a fight, I think it got to  being a hypothetical fight from about 10 or 20 feet apart. One had a gun the other a shovel, long handle. was a long argument but I think we all would have backed the guy with the shovel!......Lol

Seriously though, in Australia a few years ago they cracked down on gun laws. What they did was at first not change who could own them, they just got everyone to register them. They only had a cheap license fee. Not to long after that, they put the fees up dramatically, changed the rules for qualifying to own them and because they knew where they all were...the "honest" people all had to hand them only a few farmers, sports people etc and the criminals have guns in Australia. It does leave us open in some way.....swords are also illegal.... shhhhhh!



Hey Dave,

first let me say, no one rips there resourses off like us Aussie's, italian marble, yeah ours, steel, where do you think the world gets that?, uranium, we got plenty......we sell raw, dig and ship!... and then let everyone else take it to the next step...

In Oz we buy "everything" from overseas...Lol

I like your idea's.....yes fly wheels are good, have you ever seen a press machine? used for punching through steel. The motors on them are small, takes a sec to get the flywheel going but then 20, ton, 40's incredible. Outdated now but they still get used.

I am a big a kid I raced remote control cars.....I know lots about little mechanisms, gears, belts, clutches,batteries, motors etc you should see my little shed......all sorts of that stuff, and I do know where everything is and what is there,  Lol it can just take a half hour to dig that deap sometimes......

Did you ever look into Tessla? made Einstein look like a moron in my opinion!      died alone, shunned.....he was able to build the most amazing things......he understood electricty!


davelambert's picture

Dave, you spoke once of trouble with meditation, you find it hard to quiet your mind. I find that if I start building something...

I did have that trouble for a long time, and the only way I could shut off my mind was by doing as you do, becoming lost in activity. I also learned to revel in the mental life and not seek to quiet my inner voices as much. Nothing they were saying was weird or insane. I would be writing music in one part of my mind while thinking about southwestern ecosystems with another; working out an ifrared car alarm with yet another, and pining over some girl in still another. All while doing my homework and listening to the radio. Sounds crazy, I know.

But the one thing I could never do was simply be quiet and sit still. I tried for years, and I worked way too hard at it.

Like when I read Catcher In The Rye over and over, trying to figure out what everyone thought was so great about it. I still think it's a piece of shit. I thought it was unnecessarily vulgar and utterly banal when I was thirteen, and I still do. So after a while, I quit trying to still my mind.

I was a Quaker for about twenty years. You'd think after what I just said, sitting for an hour or 90 minutes in silence like that would be impossible for me. The sitting still part was mighty hard - I'm a fidgety guy. But silent worship - that is incredibly hard work. It took constant concentration and mental effort for me not to feel I was foolishly wasting my time. It is NOT meditation.  I wasn't a real good Quaker, I have to admit. I did serve in the military (ever see a whole room of people look at their feet at the same time?), and I favor action over silent assent. Also, I paid too much attention to people like George Fox and Thomas R. Kelly.  I finally learned I am too honest for religion, and again that's new.  But it's over.

But the last two years or so have been a period of continuous and startling changes for me and in me. I absolutely understand why people use the word ascension even though I don't like it. Like transformation, it sounds more like an event than a process. Anyway, one of the things I picked up through the Transformation Course is the technique of filling your mind with your breathing. The only reason it didn't work for me immediately is that I didn't think it would. That simple application has solved every difficulty I had with meditation. I couldn't do it before if you paid me; now I can - and I can even teach others. It's so simple. I haven't had deep revelations or OBEs. I have learned to quickly and easily go within, deeply relaxed even though fully alert, and check with wherever I need to be. I can consult my guides that way, if they're talking to me that day. (They love me dearly, but they think I'm a cocky asshole. One of them prefers not to deal directly with me at all). I can simply relax, and dip down to that level where you're just riding the wave. I don't do it every day, not the half-hour on the zabuton thing. I do use my own two-minute vacation technique daily...morning and night at the very least. Tomorrow I've planned a hike at my favorite spot, where I have discovered a dozen standing stones in alignments and locations that make them obvious - only to me, it seems, and those I show them to. Anyway, there is a hilltop I strongly feel as a very sacred place, not just because it is on an arrow-straight alignment with a huge standing stone and a mysterious mound a mile away. I don't always go up there, but when it feels right, it is one of my favorite meditation spots - in fact, finding this spot - no indeed, for I was led to it - also had a lot to do with me suddenly learning to meditate.

I'm looking forward to a meditation tomorrow...among ancient rocks that are so full of mysteries...perhaps there on the Citadel (my name), perhaps not. There are times when I do not feel worthy of being there. Also, it's prime mountain-lion habitat, and that hilltop is one of several I am positive they actively use. I've almost run into one up there, twice. Fortunately, wild animals and I have a fairly good understanding. I didn't even have to see the big guy to know he was up there, I just knew. I had enough respect to leave quietly, and he was kind enough to let me. Neither one of us wanted the hassle. I practically walked into his wife a couple hours later - again, I never actually saw her, but she was right there in the bushes, and she let me know it. So for a couple reasons, I don't just clamber up there anytime I feel like it. Then there's the Chair of Dreams, and the other end of the line. It's in a grove of ancient oaks on a mound in the middle of a prehistoric lake bed, surrounded by visible earth fault lines. Another power spot. There is a granite boulder shaped like a huge Barcalounger. Lying there, it's easy to drift away. These are some of my magic spots. Both are well off the established hiking trails, and neither is spoiled. Up on top of some ridges I will find cig butts or beer cans...I carry a trash bag. But in these places, they show no signs that anyone has been there - just the lions up on the rock, and the deer in the grove, a mile away.

I thought things were changing fast before. Since the first of the year I feel as if I have been shot from a cannon! I wish I could say it's all Fred's fault. Fortunately I cannot - it started some time back, and through Fred's works I've learned to focus and open up in ways that absolutely seemed impossible before.

I really need to slow down, thought the human cannonball....what color is my parachute, anyway?

Jez, I would love to see some pics of your ship model! That's amazing, just scratchbuilding like that. My thing is model trains. I can't afford them, and I could care less about running the trains around anyway. That gets so boring, so fast. What I love is building the miniature landscapes. Sometimes I will glue together several small sheets of styrofoam into a laminated shape, then use simple tools like my pocket knife to carve the thing into a tiny diorama. I leave a flat stripe through it for a single length of flex-track. Once I have the basic landscape shaped, I paint the thing with several layers of gesso or plaster. Then I can carve out details with dentist's picks, and also add details like rocks and streams. I paint the landscape and then add tiny trees made from the dead tips of fall weeds; little bushes and even grass. I pour resin for water. Maybe I'll put in cliffs and a beach, or a trestle spanning a tiny gorge. Maybe I'll have the train winding round a pasture with itty bitty cows and an tiny tractor. I don't build 'em very often....very labor-intensive. But that's the kind of thing I used to do to keep my mind still. When I'm done, it's a great little diorama, the size of a floor tile. They have a couple at a hobby store nearby...I can sell them easily but not at a price that makes it worthwhile.

When I was a painter I would build models of various objects, painted flat white, so I could study and photograph them at various angles with various light sources. Do you know how hard it is to find plastic models of civilian aircraft?


davelambert's picture

Dave, if it comes down to this kind of struggle for survival,
personally, I hope I will have checked out or been beamed up, or

Aquene, I bet every one of us has felt that way. I have, and part of me does. But then I ask: What else am I here for? What was all this odd mentoring, the arcane knowledge, then the sudden thrust thirty, forty years later...what's up with that? I look around and see people who need to know what I know. I'm not the only one who knows it, and there are better teachers. But I see a job that I, little I can do...something that makes sense for me to sink my teeth into. It isn't a passing fancy. I was born for this time. And so were you, dear Aquene. We all were. I think I've had a painful, dysfunctional life...then I read stories of others. I'm so ordinary, outside my training. Of course I'm socially retarded, but that's just because I'm a nerd. This is what each of us has come here for. This - not only the Transformation Team Portal but there are other nexusses...nexi....other clusters of aware people all over the globe, thanks to the internet and thanks to people like Fred who lay out the tools and write the manuals on how to use them, so folks aren't just running around hitting their neighbors with 'em...this is the conclave of spirits that prepares us....the world and the universe have been preparing us, to pass the most important torch in all history. Can I have some music please? No, I'm serious. Many of us will fall in the coming years. I believe it will begin this year, has begun already but not manifested in the public eye. This is the year people start seeing the first big cracks running up the walls...the year chunks start falling down on people from above. It is not going to be pretty. Many of us, maybe even most of us, will be protected. We will still know the anguish of watching many die. That's what I see coming, and there's no need to paint it daisies. We're better off if we look soberly at our options. Each one of us is sorely needed.

...there was a book that came out called "The Naked Ape" by Desmond Morris

Yes, I remember it well! Everything you said about it was "right on." It was basically an attempt to float a pretty basic anthropoligical idea on the wave of "sexual revolution," which mostly meant a bunch of horny guys getting pissed off that girls weren't as liberated as they thought they were, or exploiting the fact that they were. Now they had a book by a guy with a degree to back them up. It was a period piece.

Ya know....this whole sex thing is a big power game. Everybody loves to screw. Some like it rough, and some like a slow hand. Some like a different partner every night, some yearn for the same partner forever. Some want a partner who is the same sex as themselves. If I see no damage being done, or even if I do, it's rarely, almost never, any of my business. But the power trips, and the games, the politics and the battles, those do concern me. And it all revolves around the same dance, in all places, in all times, in every era.  It's a dance we look pretty dumb doing too, when you really think about it.  It's preposterous, is what it is. Do cattle have these problems? Do dogs? Do gorillas? Hell, no! They do their business and get on with living. But us....we can't figure out what to do about our plumbing. Who's better? Who's more powerful? Who wins? Please. We do this together. We can't do it without each other. I give, you give. Forget take. I give, you give. Breathe love. This process works when we step outside our own legends.

One question is: will younger souls and older souls do better to form
separate communities, or is it better that they co-mingle, as each has
something to offer the other, though lifestyles and philosophies are
different? Can each enrich and respect the other, just as they are?

You raise an interesting question vote is for co-mingling, but just like this place for men to talk about whatever we want, I think everyone is entitled to their own milieu. My private world is a place where I'm essentially alone...books, art, writing, and also hiking and biking. These are mostly, not always, things I do alone, and this is where I can get tuned up. For most of the younger folks I know, it's a life of concerts, dates, trips, and constant companionship and noise. I understand. I remember. I don't trespass. I'll come along if invited, and if my old bones can take the stress. During my working hours, I'm constantly surrounded and bombarded by people, and I love every moment...but I have to get away.

Old souls, young souls...there should be a place for old souls to gather. How do we know. Is there an ID card? Does your spiritual hair turn gray? One of the commonest comments heard in southern California is how so-and-so is an "ancient soul." You'd think this was heaven or something. Well, it used to be. Maybe the old souls are moving on nowadays. Who could blame 'em. What's an old soul, anyway? A million years? A billion? Or is it how many lifetimes? No, I'm not making fun. I'm just poking at your idea, which I think is a pretty good one, to see if any stink comes out. I guess where I'm going is, I'm not sure there is any such thing as a soul that isn't ancient. You said yourself, they/we're timeless.What you said about manifesting different levels of awareness in relative time is on the money. Look at Fred. Some people have criticized his behavior or his choices as manifested in one area in particular. maybe the guy has some work to do there. Not for me to say. But I will say that he walks with the titans as far as I am concerned. Do I think he walks on water? Hell, no. I said so. I still think he's more ascended or enlightened or evolved or whatever than I am even if I do talk more. He's a man, a better one than most. That's good enough for me, here and now.

The whole feminism discussion is one I'd rather not have. I know we'll agree on a few big ideas and pick each other to pieces over the little things. I love, respect and adore women - enough to try to learn to do it better. In every way. I'm still a guy, always will be, and trying to change some things is like trying to tell a gay man he wasn't born that way. It doesn't work cuz it ain't true. We are equals, not identicals. What good is a bird with two right wings? Duh. I can't believe we're still fighting this battle. Please, please don't get me started.

I'm not talking to you here, Aquene. I'm talking to that nameless angry woman who's been in my face so many times, and I just wanna say, I see your point already! Wouldja just shut up? I'm trying to watch the game.

You're always a pleasure to talk with, Aquene.


davelambert's picture

Did you ever look into Tessla? made Einstein look like a moron in my opinion!

Yeah, Tesla fascinates!  Me, I don't understand electricity and magnetism, only the simplest kinds of DC handling and storage.  Which is enough to come up with some good stuff. What I love about Tesla is that teasing certainty that he'd found something so simple, it's right there in front of us.  The relationship between him and Edison is quite fascinating.  Tesla had all the brains, but none of Edison's hard-edged pragmatism.  He was an artist, Edison was a son-of-a-bitch.

What specifically gets me going is 19th-century engineering translated into modern forms with state-of-the-art machining and metallurgy.  Mainly bicycles and guns.  Guns fascinate me as machines even though they horrify me as weapons.  The simplicity of their construction and the precision of their individual parts is wondrous.  Today, the projectile weapon has been taken about as far as it can go.  The new generation of man-killers is made of plastic and won't work without batteries.  Ages ago, a friend of mine and I built racing and touring bicycles.  I drew the plans and Fred (different Fred) built 'em.  I painted them.  I built some frames too.  This was back in the days of chrome-moly, double-butted tubing and hand-shaped, cast steel lugs - before all this titanium and aluminum stuff.  I loved filing and carving the lugs into artistic shapes...seeing how much filagree you could turn the thing into and still keep enough strength for the joint.  And then the delicate touch of brazing or soldering the whole thing together with those thin tubes...I burned up so many, learning how to use the torch!  I have not made knives, though I love cutlery.  I have blacksmithed up quite a few of my own tools, however.

I have a sister, by the way, who was a helluva blacksmith, back in the day.  No, she is not a big ape-woman, but a former ballet dancer who looks Damn Good at 50-something.  She was a ferrier, for years, expert in making corrective shoes for rich peoples' gait-challenged steeds.  Drove her route through the avocado groves in an old Ford flatbed with a small forge and anvil on the back.  Quite a gal.  Now she does sports massage for the San Diego Chargers.


I do know how hard it is to find civilian aircraft models......on and off for a little over 10 years I worked in a hobby/model shop! I understood everything you were saying! I never had a train set but I did like the "z"?.. gauge that could fit in a brief case. For my neices and nephew I built a  setup on a 5 foot by 3 foot board with Thomas the Tank engine wooden tracks , screwed them down and did all the mini modelling, grass was for little kids so I didn't go to fine in detail but I did make a couple of buildings and put the fake bricks on, scale coregated alum roof, bushes, car park.... etc looks cool, needs repairing but the kids love it!, we used to just push it under a couch and it was easy for them to get to but it has disappeared of late?

Through work and my dad I have been around, interiors, usually commercially but my dad just loves furniture and interior decorating. His favorite and mine is minimalism. The flat white photo's your talking about remind me of that. I make brochure's and I always like that "white" look, really clean and I will always push to have the covers semi gloss or flat. Full gloss is "tacky"!. I also,  as I have shown you don't use  photo's. In the programs I use I build a little "physical" world with lights and everything else..each thing is doing it's best to copy how things work in "the real world"....I will often find myself somewhere just staring at shadows on a wall, or in a near trance at the way a color on something reacts to the light, reflections and the way they react are particularly awesome..... I try to create the best illusion I can but the bummer is when I can make it look better but it will take the computer too long to render it and I have to compomise...I could always use a faster computer........

Thanks Dave,



Hey Dave...there is my ship and my neat! work area Lol, I'm comfy as.....

you so make me laugh......

I like this thread. I like reading about you guys'  ideas on energy. i'll sit back and enjoy the conversation and chime in when i feel like it......

I like the 'men thread so far' and thanks for the invite. It's not GO LF. *wink*. 

davelambert's picture

...furnish the tea room?


nada's picture

--- Post removed at author's request ---

now i'm laughing too....thanks

davelambert's picture

This seems like a good place to say a few words about beauty. I live in southern California, where physical perfection is an obsession. So is being at ease spiritually. I'm constantly amazed by the dichotomy. We have magazines with names like Enlightenment and Light Source, filled mainly with ads for talks by self-proclaimed masters whose smiling faces positively glow in their little photos. Then there are the everywhere-ads for liposuction, breast enhancement, microdermabrasion, botox, hair replacement, hair removal, tattoos, piercing, and on and on and on. It's sooooo important to be "ascending" and to look good doing it.


A little serious thought about our Beauty Paradigm. Imagine the most beautiful person in the world, someone you would absolutely sacrifice anything for a roll in the hay with. Imagine that person lying in your bed, completely nude and fully compliant. Kind of a titillating thought, isn't it? Now imagine that person just as before, only dead. Freshly dead - not a mark on the body, still warm and pink. Now it's disturbing, right? You don't want to have sex anymore, you are horrified. What was beautiful a moment ago is now something sick and disgusting. Why? Because there is no such thing as physical beauty.

Beauty is within. I learned something years ago when I was travelling down to Tijuana on the weekends. I met a woman there who runs a shelter for abandonded boys. She was raising 18 street children, ranging in age from 3 or 4 up to 15, existing solely on her wits and donations. I used to bring clothes, toys, books and small appliances and such for her. Mona and I became good friends - more than friends. She asked me to marry her twice, and I realized I deeply cared for this woman and seriously considered it. She was and is an angel. The thing is, Mona was butt-ugly by normal standards. She'd had a hard life, in and out of addictions and the gang life. She had been beaten and left for dead for trying to leave the gang. She was skinny and drug-ravaged, and covered with gang tattoos. But these marks of her past became simply invisible to me. All I saw was the loving angel of the street kids.

The beauty paradigm is one of the chief things holding us back in our search for unconditional love. I invite all of us to consider how we hold physical beauty as a standard, and how artificial and thoroughly disempowering it truly is.


davelambert's picture

don't beat up on the women too much...not all of us play with dollys....and what's the harm if we do

If I can across like I was beating up on women I deeply apologize. I never have that intent.  I severely criticize our gender-paradigms at times.  I'm as hard on the guys as I am on the women.  Whatever we can do to achieve greater understanding and unity, that's what I'm after.


Hey Dave,

you metrosexual you......they do have skin products for men!....stop pinchin it from your mrs! kiddin..

I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder.......

For the record, I had cosmetic surgery last year. lol......not a boob job tho.....wouldn't have suited had two "growths" above my eyes....a choleterol build up. They didn't present any "medical" problem, my cholesterol is is a bit of a genetic thing and my sister and auntie get them as well. They were slightly "puffed" and very pale. I am very dark around the eyes. At some point as they grew they started to annoy me?...just did.....when they got to the size of my finger nails I found them affecting me...I was conscious of them at times. So I had them was no big deal, did cost me about $800 but ....whatever, I had the money at the time, ......does it make me "vain", I don't think so....I have another one now below my eye, hasn't bothered me to date and I'm not really expecting it to.

I have "ripped" out warts, roots and all, back when I was a kid, I do pluck the hairs from my nose and't really brush my hair, when it was long it was always a mess from my motor bike, now, as soon as it is long enough to need a brush I shave it all off, raw clippers......?....try to only shave my face once a week, shaving sux.....I should be shaved for work but...I can get away with it..just!......I'm going to get a tattoo, will be a very "spiritual" thing for me, not for my "beauty" at all...

I think it is all about what makes "you" feel comfortable.....I think "comfortable" people "shine".

Thanks Dave although I didn't really need the image of you climbing out of the'm sure it's all beautiful


davelambert's picture

I think it is all about what makes "you" feel comfortable.....I think "comfortable" people "shine".

I agree, Jez! And while I am not comfortable with the level of narcissism in our society, I don't think there's anything wrong with wanting to maintain an attractive appearance. And yes, these days there are more and more products for men on the shelves. I've tried a few. Tried the "Just For Men" dye on my gray hair and beard once - they looked painted. Once I learned how easy it is to make superior products at home though, I pretty much quite buying from that section of the store. I agree that folks who are comfortable in their skins do shine. One of the biggest things I've learned regarding health is that the largest part of it is not physical. It's hard to impart that truth to someone looking for calcium supplements or a good natural laxative, though...or even a good shampoo.

Thanks Dave although I didn't really need the image of you climbing out of the'm sure it's all beautiful

Whaddaya, squeamish? Don't worry, you'll be a baggy old man with wrinkled legs one day, too. ;-)


you guys are so funny.

now your'e talking about beauty creams. I must say that I never ''use anything'' on my skin because each time i try....i get the same reaction that you had dave. it makes my skin too tight or too oily.... people are alway asking me what I use because my skin is so soft and ''radiant'''s just the glow of gladness.

in the words of tom petty..''I don't know, but I've been told, you never slow down, you never grow old.''


davelambert's picture

Misty, I'm with you. It's the inner that makes the outer glow. But man, the market for this stuff is phenomenal. I mean, these are tough times, right? Folks could go to the dollar store and buy made-in-China shampoo for 89¢, with its sodium laureth sulfate and god-knows-what, antifreeze probably....I make my own out of coconut oil, palm oil, some exotic oils, and herbs. I noticed when I stopped using commercial toothpaste, my dental problems disappeared. When I stopped using commercial "cleansing bars" my skin improved. When I stopped going to doctors my health improved. When I stopped going to church my spiritual pains eased, and my questions got answered.

I could be wrong, but I think I see a trend.


lol....that's hilarious. love it! thanks.

davelambert's picture

For you info-weenies out there, I did learn what beta-liposomes are, and I don't want them on my skin. They are nanoparticles, artificially created "fat bodies" that are small enough to pass through cell walls. They are supposed to plump up the skin. Not only do I not want fat skin, I don't want nano-anything circulating through my body. I will remember this information when discussing moisturizers with my customers. Hyaluronic acid, Good. Beta-liposomes, Bad.


onesong's picture

ok so i've been found out- reading in the men's room! just a quickie comment on the skincare regime-

i'm 50, have nary a wrinkle and no one ever believes my age (until they notice the silver streaking thru my honey colored hair) and i chalk it up to this-

tons of good , pure water, loads of fresh unprocessed real fruit and veggies, only glycerin based soaps and the only moisturizer/serums i use are by Reviva (hyaluronic acid which Dave mentioned) a drop around the eyes,

and another couple all over, slick a couple drops of pure extra virgin olive oil if i need moisture.

for years i spent tons on moisturizers/etc full of chemicals and never had perfect skin. i have never worn makeup.

i make my own scrubs when i need them. for shampoos, the only thing i use anymore is by Jason-Biotin Shampoo and conditioner means i need nothing else on my hair at all. goodbye goop. i save a ton of money and my medicine cabinet isnt full up.

it's lovely to be a silver-haired fox when your sexy old dinosaur is whispering it in your ear! *smiles*

oops sorry i forgot i was in the men's room there for a minute!

davelambert's picture

Hey guys, guess what. Turns out, I have Nice Skin. Aren't you glad I shared that? You can only imagine how thrilled I am to be the owner of Nice Skin. It makes me feel fresh and confident.

Of course like most men, I have never given my skin much thought at all, other than squeezing a zit. And in all my life, which threatens to become a long one, no one has ever said a word about my skin that I can recall - at least, not since my acne cleared up about 1964. But now, in my hoary agedness, I find myself working in the vitamin and nutrition section of a large natural grocery, and I've been assigned, as my special kingdom, The Wall. The Wall is one long aisle that begins with creams, lotions, serums, cleansers, toners etc. etc. at one end, and ends with women's herbal products (candida, hot flashes, bladder infections, prenatal vitamins, etc.) and finally baby products. In between are hair dye, shampoos and conditioners, suntan lotions, toothpaste, soaps, and plenty of other stuff. They did this to me because I make my own soap and toothpaste, and because I know what most of the ingredients to these products are. This is what I get for working in a department that is nearly all men. No one else would take on The Wall. I was not given a choice.

So I've been spending a fair amount of time talking with women, which is cool. Sometimes a little awkward, but hey, I'm just a leprechaun ;-) And for the first time in my whole life, women have been asking me what I use on my skin and hair - a total jaw-dropper the first time I was asked! The answer of course is nothing at all, except the soaps and balms I make at home - I'm just very healthy. Still, I'm supposed to know something about all these products. And I have a bunch of freebies at home that I took to my wife when I worked at the old place. So I thought, what the hell. We carry some of these same products. There is no way I am going to smear green stuff on my face and put cucumber slices on my eyes. Sorry, boss, I have to keep a little dignity here. But what's the harm in a natural toner, a little moisturizer, maybe even some eye rejuvenating serum? Who has to know?

I don't have to share this stuff. I'm just doing it in the interest of transparency. No, really, it could be useful info. You never know. So, here is my experience with ladies' face stuff.

I get out of the shower - where I shave and use my neti pot faithfully - and having toweled off, pick up a bottle of Aubrey Organics Sea Buckthorn Facial Toner, with cucumber and ester-C. Nafetah says it's too rough on her skin, but I'm a man, I can take it. I read the label; it contains a long list of natural ingredients. I like that about Aubrey, their products really are all-natural. Whose face couldn't use a little toning? I grab a couple of Nafetah's cotton squares and wipe it on. Sure enough, my skin feels tight as a drum. So that's what facial toners do. I think my face felt better before, but in the interest of science, I soldier on.

After a few days of toning, it's clear that I need a moisturizer. I've been out in the sun and there's a tender pink blush on the Nice Skin of my forehead and cheeks. My skin feels too tight and dry. I grab one of Nafetah's favorites: Almond-Aloe Moisturizer from Earth Science. It's unscented, which I definitely like. The label says it offers light and silky facial care with beta-liposomes. I'm not even sure what beta-liposomes are, or what they are supposed to do for my Nice Skin. I'm an optimist, so I assume they're somehow related to alpha-lipoic acid, an antioxidant. I do note some natural but still fairly nasty ingredients like sodium cocoyl isothionate, but hey. It's for the skin. I slather some on. Way too much...about the size of a pea of the white goo is plenty.

Doesn't take me long to figure out that this product is not made for me. Within three days I have zits, a sure sign of toxins. Plus a couple of small spots on my scalp that I've been watching seem to have grown a little, so I back off the moisturizer. And the toner. Now I'm just back to my own natural soaps, which contain plenty of natural oils and glycerin for anybody's skin.

Except for one thing. There's also this little bottle of Avalon Organics Revitalizing Eye Gel. Its label promises firmer, revitalized and radiant eyes. The idea is you pat a couple drops (it's not really a bottle, more of a vial) around your eyes and the dark circles and little lines are supposed to become less evident, resulting in your natural inner radiance shining forth unencumbered by signs of (gasp!) age. Long story short, this stuff actually works. It contains a peptide complex and hyaluronic acid, plus organic licorice and lavender. Hyaluronic acid is a sort of a wonder-ingredient in many skin-care products. It's a natural component of healthy, hydrated, supple skin which decreases with age. Yes, I do read about this stuff.

You'd have to judge for yourself whether my eyes are truly radiant, but the dark circles and bags are definitely improved. This stuff is as good as Preparation H, at only about five times the price. It's a lot nicer to put around your eyes, too.

So there you have it. What folks go through to have Nice Skin. I guess I should say a few words about rough hands, since I've spent a lifetime dunking mine in all kinds of solvents and working with wood. A little emu oil goes a long way. It's about all I've ever used to heal and soften dry, cracked hands. Now because I'm not longer restoring furniture but selling, I actually pay attention to my hands. They have Okay Skin. Maybe one of these days I will try Reviva's Age Spot Serum.

I am so grateful we don't sell makeup. I was a clown for ten years - I won't go there again.


rajawalizion's picture

I can't comment much, Dave... but in my opinion whatever MAN loves, always can be related to ADVENTURE, adventure of taste, adventure of sex, adventure of fear...^^V We are just ADVENTURE BEING because we love to EXPLORE and EXPLORE and NO LIMIT for this....^^ But, our ADVENTURE is really incomplete without woman... They are great ICON of PLEASURE... pleasure partner in every of our adventure... The problem is, most of them but not all of them usually get stag/stop to enjoy adventure when they start to have baby or children... that is really GREAT PROBLEM to solve for MAN, you know...^^V

With Love and Empowerment,
Michael Neo

davelambert's picture

If you've ever contemplated what might really happen in a serious breakdown of the underpinnings of our civilization, it may have occurred to you that at some point your physical survival, along with others dependent on you, could depend on you having had some forethought in the matter. Here's an article that's sure to get your survivalist instincts on edge...I should warn you that some parts of this are difficult to read. For instance, there are several paragraphs about torture. I'm not trying to scare anyone or gross anyone out. If you don't wish to read on, then don't. If you want an honest military man's assessment of some brutal possible scenarios and how to survive them, here's food for thought.


Piling On: You're On Your Own (YOYO), Part 3

By R. L. Seigneur, Major (Ret.)

Piling On

As a career military officer, I know enough about US military capabilities that I never worried much about our ability to defeat any one country if we were attacked. However, I remain very concerned that several enemies could coordinate their efforts and together attack the US mainland and/or US interests with overwhelming force.

Current US military capabilities are heavily dependent on satellites and the internet. Current US military thinking on the future force is to use all available technology to create a highly efficient, light and lean force that is networked together to see the battle space clearly and act/react so quickly that the opposition cannot keep pace.

If and when our adversaries decide to attack us one of their first actions will be to take out our satellites, and take down the internet and/or computer systems. As of January 19, 2007, we now know the Chinese have the capability to shot down satellites, and we have know for years that a nuclear weapon fired off the US coast by submarine and programmed to air-burst over the US mainland can take down the internet and computers with an electromagnetic pulse (EMP). The Department of Defense (DoD) defines electromagnetic pulse as “The electromagnetic radiation from a strong electronic pulse, most commonly caused by a nuclear explosion that may couple with electrical or electronic systems to produce damaging current and voltage surges.”

Should China, Russia, Iran, Syria, North Korea, etc. collaborate and simultaneously attack US interests using a full spectrum approach (nuclear, conventional, and asymmetric), you can see this scenario would not be good to say the least.

Negative Synergy

“Synergy” can be defined as “An advantageous integration where the whole is greater than the sum of the parts.” Imagine that future (and current) US forces, constructed to optimize technology, lose their technology edge. How long are these light and lean forces going to survive on the battle field if they can't see clearly and can't act/react quickly? Now their lightness and leanness conspire to work against them. I would suggest that once these technology-dependent, net-centric forces lose their satellites and/or networks they will experience negative synergy: A disadvantageous integration where the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

If you don't care for the term negative synergy perhaps you'll accept the term and concept of cascading failure (from Wiekpedia), “The failure in a system of interconnected parts, where the service provided depends on the operation of a preceding part, and the failure of a preceding part can trigger the failure of successive parts.”

Security, Security, Security!

If the US Army taught me anything it taught me to put out security in a tactical environment-360 degrees of security (in one form or another) at all times.
One well known incident of poor security happened to a well trained recon team in Vietnam. This particular recon (reconnaissance) team concluded that in a team of approximately six team members, someone would always be awake at night for one reason or another; therefore, there was no need to mandate that everyone would pull a rotating, one hour watch throughout the night. One night they set up in a good night defense position and when to sleep. When the team became over due, a helicopter (as I remember) flew over the area they were patrolling to look for them. The entire team was found lying in the open, stripped of all equipment and uniforms, with their throats cut.

Run Silent, Run Deep

In my opinion, one key to staying alive during a total breakdown in law and order will be to become as elusive as a whitetail deer by reverting back to the skills and attitudes of our hunter-gather ancestors. To get the point across, imagine in your mind which will survive better and longer in a Mad Max scenario, a domesticated dog or a wolf/coyote? The more you become a swamp fox, the better your chances to survive another day. The domesticated-dog-types who walk around in the open looking for a handout or to be taken in by a kindly stranger will not last long.

A recent story of a wolf attack in Eagle River, Alaska highlights some key points. From that article, a description of the attacking wolves and wolves in general is instructive:

* “It was quick, so quick the three friends didn't know what was happening until it was too late.”
* “They were so quiet…”
* “The dogs had no clue. They didn't smell them or hear them--nothing,"
* "They were not afraid of us.”
* “…wolves are smart animals…”
* “…they learn quickly.”

Think or Die

Regardless of what comes at you, you'll have to effectively deal with it. Use you instincts and every brain cell you have to survive. Whatever the challenge or obstacle, you have to deal with it or be defeated by it. Adapt to the weather. Adapt to the terrain. Adapt to the tactics of your opposition. And remember that what works today will not work forever because your opposition will be adapting to you. I've observed that many people feel confident because the have things, maybe a nice weapon, that they think will somehow magically fix all their problems. They won't. The number one survival tool you have is the computer between your ears and the instincts that go with it. You'll have to decide--and decide correctly--when it's time to stay, and when it's time to go. You'll have to decide when it time to be on defense, and when it's time to go on offense. If thinking in terms of the principles of warfare has value, you'll have to decide which principle to apply at the appropriate time:

* Objective: Direct every military operation toward a clearly defined, decisive and attainable objective. "The ultimate military purpose of war is the destruction of the enemy's armed forces and will to fight."
* Offensive: Seize, retain, and exploit the initiative. Even in defense, a military organization is expected to maintain a level of aggressiveness by patrolling and launching limited counter-offensives.
* Mass: Mass the effects of overwhelming combat power at the decisive place and time.
* Economy of Force: Employ all combat power available in the most effective way possible; allocate minimum essential combat power to secondary efforts.
* Maneuver: Place the enemy in a position of disadvantage through the flexible application of combat power.
* Unity of Command: For every objective, seek unity of command and unity of effort.
* Security: Never permit the enemy to acquire unexpected advantage.
* Surprise: Strike the enemy at a time or place or in a manner for which he is unprepared.
* Simplicity: Prepare clear, uncomplicated plans and concise orders to ensure thorough understanding.

The Kindness of Strangers

While the average American assumes wars will be fought according to the Geneva Conventions, experience shows this is often wishful thinking. I've lost count of number of US military troops that have been captured in Iraq and later executed. Most likely they were tortured and molested, then executed, although the news media isn't going to tell you this.

You may assume that as recently as the Cold War Soviet forces were well versed in the Geneva Conventions, but Viktor Suvorov's book, Spetsnaz, provides us with surprising evidence they were not:

One of the Spetsnaz soldier's main tasks is to seek out important enemy targets, for which purpose he has to capture people and extract the necessary information by force. …

It may be claimed that not every prisoner will agree to answer the questions put to him, or give wrong answers and lead their interrogators astray. To which my reply is categorical. Everybody answers questions from Spetsnaz. There are no exceptions. I have been asked how long a very strong person can hold out against questioning by Spetsnaz. The answer is: one second. If you don't believe this, just try this experiment. Get one of your friends who considers himself a strong character to write on a piece of paper a number known only to himself and seal the paper in an envelope. Then tie your friend to a post or a tree and ask him what number he wrote on the paper. If he refuses to answer, file his teeth down with a big file and count the time. Having received the answer, open the envelope and check that he has given you the number written on the paper. I guarantee the answer will be correct.

If you perform such an experiment, you will have an idea of one of Spetsnaz's milder ways of questioning people. But there are more effective and reliable ways of making a person talk. Everyone who falls into the hands of Spetsnaz knows he is going to be killed. But people exert themselves to give correct and precise answers. They are not fighting for there lives but for an easy death. Prisoners are generally interrogated in twos or larger groups. If one seems to know less than the others, he can be used for demonstration purposes to encourage them to talk. If the questioning is being done in a town the prisoner may have a heater iron placed on his body, or have his ears pierced with an electric drill, or be cut to pieces with an electric saw. A man's fingers are particularly sensitive. If a finger of a man being questioned is simply bent back and the end of the finger squashed as it is bent, the pain is unendurable. One method considered very effective is a form of torture known as 'the bicycle'. A man is bound and laid on his back. Pieces of paper (or cotton or rags) soaked in spirit, eau-de-cologne, etc., are stuck between his fingers and set alight.

Spetsnaz has a special passion for sexual organs. If the conditions permit, a very old and simple method is used to demonstrate the power of spetsnaz. The captors drive a big wedge into the trunk of a tree, then force the victim's sexual organs into the opening and knock out the wedge. They then proceed to question the other prisoners. At the same time, in order to make them more talkative, the principal spetsnaz weapon - the little infantryman's spade - is used. As spetsnaz asks its questions the blade of the spade is used to cut off ears and fingers, to hit the victims in the liver and perform a whole catalogue of unpleasant operations on the person under interrogation. …

Once it has obtained the information it needs about the targets of interest to it, the spetsnaz group checks the facts and then kills the prisoners. It should be particularly noted that those who have told the truth do have an easy death. They may be shot, hanged, have their throats cut or drowned.

Spetsnaz does not torture anybody for the sake of torture. You come across particularly no sadists in spetsnaz. If they find one they quickly get rid of him. Both the easier and the tougher forms of questioning in spetsnaz are an unavoidable evil that fighting men have to accept. They use these methods, not out of a love of torturing people, but as the simplest and most reliable way of obtaining information essential to their purpose.

Given a total breakdown in law and order for any reason (“YOYO” scenario), expecting humane treatment from your captors is most likely extremely naïve. That being said, your clan's/band's/tribe's mindset, training, and practices should be based on never voluntarily being taken alive.

Train by Hollywood (TBH)

Regardless of whether we admit it or not, we've all been trained to some degree by Hollywood by watching their movies. And that training, generally speaking, can get you killed in a hurry. For example:

* No infantry rifle, shotgun, or pistol blows people off their feet as if they were tackled by an NFL linebacker
* 12 gage buckshot can be very effective, but it's not magic and won't make up for poor shooting skills
* One highly skilled practitioner of any martial art (I consider shooting a martial art) almost never takes on 15 bad guys and lives to tell about it.
* Don't expect that one or two hits from a pistol will put a “bad guy” down as quickly as you want him or her to go down. It's much more realistic to expect that you may have to empty a 15 round magazine into an attacker to conclusively resolve the issue in your favor. One of your shooting drills at the range should be to practice emptying a full magazine into a man sized target at 5 to 15 feet as quickly and accurately as you can and then quickly reloading (as if you life depended on it) and firing three more shots just to make sure. Better yet, set up multiple targets at different ranges and resolve the situation as if you life depended on it. Put one or two quick shoots on every target and then go back and finish the job aggressively. Learn to reload quickly and effectively. If you can carry one extra magazine you can carry two just as easily. And if you can carry two, you can actually carry four without much difficulty.

I could go on, but the point is to challenge what you think you know and try to identify where it came from-garbage in, garbage out.

Get Small

One day during an exercise in which the USMC was opposing the 82nd Airborne, I saw the prettiest skirmish line one could ever hope to see. Unfortunately, I would have been one of its victims. While patrolling down a road in our gun jeeps (M151 jeeps with pedestal mounted M-60, 7.62mm machine guns), we (one of the Recon platoons assigned to each infantry battalion of the 82nd Airborne) bumped smack into a Marine platoon lying in the prone and spaced out into a perfect skirmish line in a farmer's recently plowed field. We did our best to cover our hasty retreat with machine gun fire, but we knew who would have taken the most casualties that day, and it wasn't the Marines.

Terrain permitting, many if not most infantry-type shooting scenarios that take place outside “the city” call for you to get into a prone position (lying on your belly) and putting out rounds as quickly and accurately as you can. If you think you can fire as effectively from a standing position or knelling position as you can from a prone position, say, at 150 yards, you have not been to the range in a long, long time. The prone position has the double advantage of making the shooter a small target as well as providing a stable shooting position. WWII-, Korean-, Vietnam-, and Cold War-era infantry vets know exactly what I'm talking about here. If you doubt me, go ask one of them. When appropriate, my most fundamental advice to you is to “get small”-get into a good prone firing position. Generally speaking, those that stand tall when they could “get small” are bound to take a nasty fall.

Good Wolves and Bad Wolves

I'm guessing you have heard the analogy of there being three kinds of people in the world: Sheep, sheep dogs, and wolves. Generally speaking, people fall into one category or the other. The “wolves” are the criminal types that prey on the sheep. “Sheep” are the people that need someone to protect them from the wolves. And the “sheep dogs” are the armed citizen-, veteran-, police-, and military-types that tend to be naturally deposed to protect the sheep from the wolves. That being said, there's more to the story. In my opinion, and I'm just speculating here, because the sheep significantly out number the sheep dogs, the sheep dogs will, at some point, start acting somewhat like wolves because as much as they might want to help the sheep, the numbers of sheep will simply overwhelm them.

The numbers just don't add up. Assuming that the wolves constitute between 4-10 percent of the population during a total break down in law and order, and during that same time period, the sheep dogs constitute between 4-10 percent of the population, under a best case scenario (10 percent sheep dogs), the sheep still out number the sheep dogs 8 to 1. Do you really think one (1) sheep dog can truly care for 8 sheep when the sheep have failed to secure not only weapons and ammo, but have failed to secure a three month food supply, proper clothing, relevant training, etc.? Well, I don't see how the sheep dogs are going to be able to do it. That being said, I think the sheep dogs well save the select few sheep they can, and push the rest of the sheep out to fend for themselves. If you're one of the sheep being pushed out, that sheep dog doing the pushing is going to start looking like a wolf to you. You can quibble over the number if you like, but, in my opinion, the reality holds true. “YOYO” may take on a deeper meaning than any of us ever suspected it would.

The Optimum “YOYO” Rifle

My personal view of the optimum “YOYO” rifle would address the need to deal with vehicles, roadblocks, barricades, and semi-hardened targets as well those humanoids that have gone over to the dark side. Even if you have decided to depart the area and relocate to a safer location, if and when you encounter a roadblock manned by bandits of the lowest order, you won't have artillery or air power to help get you out of a bad spot. Your best bet is to have selected a rifle capable of both dropping land-pirates in their tracks, and penetrating vehicles and semi-hardened targets without breaking a sweat.

One contender for the mission is the civilian version of the new DPMS .308 rifle. This rifle fires what most agree is a “high powered” cartridge, the 7.62 x 51mm, or .308 Winchester. The semiautomatic LR-308 has a 19-round, detachable magazine, long sight radius, and fires a 30-caliber bullet weighing approximately 150 grains (or more if desired) very accurately. It is a very effective man stopper, and will penetrate most hasty barriers like a hot knife going through butter.

Any quality 7.62 x 51mm/.308 Winchester, semi-auto, infantry-type rifle (DS Arms' FAL). Do your research and make sure you understand where you can obtain the correct ammo for your particular rifle, in the needed quantities, and at the right price. Rifles of this type can be damaged by shooting some military surplus ammo as well as commercial, off-the-shelf, hunting ammo that was load too “hot” for these semi-autos. Before you buy anything, do your research on the correct, safe ammo.

What's Wrong with the M-16/AR-15?

There nothing really wrong with the M-16/AR-15 rifle as long as you understand the following:

* It was issued to a military force that could get on the radio and call for artillery, air strikes, helicopter gun-ships, (maybe tanks), etc. when needed to supplement the firepower of the infantry.
* It excels at reducing the amount of weight each soldier has to carry: 100 rounds of M14/M1A ammo (.308 Winchester, loaded with a 168 grain bullet) weigh approximately 6.2 pounds. For the same 6.2 pounds of weight you can carry approximately 200 rounds of .223/5.56mm loaded with a 69 grain bullet.
* It excels at reducing ammo costs. Taking brass cost as an example, 100 pieces of .308 Winchester brass currently (Dec 2007) costs $30.00 while 100 pieces of .223 Remington brass only costs $17.00.
* It is a marginal man-stopper
* There are other military rifle designs that are more reliable

A One-gun Solution?

For those of us on a tight budget, if given the option of buying only one gun, I'd seriously consider a shotgun and plenty of reduced-recoil/managed recoil slugs supplemented with reduced-recoil buckshot, and birdshot. More specifically, I recommend a Remington Model 870 Express Turkey Camo, Remington order # 25152.

Advantages of this particular firearm follow:

* 21 inch barrel: short enough for tactical shooting but long enough to help reduce muzzle flash and provide a good sight radius
* Vent rib with intermediate bead sight: The 21 inch vent rib with a small bead sight positioned approximately half way between the receiver and muzzle end of the barrel makes for a great snap shoot sighting solution
* Screw-in interchangeable chokes: This feature allows you to changes choke tubes to accommodate changes in ammo or shooting ranges with birdshot. I've used the “Turkey Extra Full Choke” this model comes with (out of the box) to shoot trap successfully. A “Rem Choke” “Improved Cylinder” (IC) choke works safely and effectively with slugs and buckshot. Note: Put a little lock-tight/thread fastener on the choke tube's threads to keep the choke tubes from unscrewing themselves during repeated firing.
* 3 inch chamber: The feature allows you to shot 2 3/4 inch shells or the teeth rattling, brain hammering, shoulder bruising, flinch inducing, 3 inch magnums
* Non-reflective black matt finish: Reduces unwanted reflection. Note: This is not a tough “parkerized” military-type finish; therefore, keep it well oiled (even greased) or you'll have rust before you know it.
* Mossy Oak Break-up camo: A good camouflage compromise
Durable synthetic stock and fore-end: Reduces weight and will take a lot of abuse
* Price: Sells for around $400.00 vice $900.00 for an AR-15 or $2K for one of the best .308 military-type rifles.

Using this gun with Remington's 12 gage, 2 3/4 inch “Slugger Managed-Recoil Rifled Slugs” (Item #: RL12RS) is a true winner in my opinion for many a tactical situation.

Advantages of these managed recoil slugs follow:

* These slugs were designed to be used in a true, smooth-bore shotgun barrel and are as accurate out to 80 yards as you'll need them to be for most tactical scenarios
* The reduced recoil of these slugs allow women and youths to shot them without much difficulty
* Remington's estimation of this slug's effect range is 80 yards. Remington's estimated effective range of their reduced recoil buckshot is 40 yards. My experience and research tells me the same thing. Why would you ever get into a gun fight with a 40 yard weapon when you could have taken an 80 yard weapon?
* Remington's reduced recoil/managed recoil slugs and buckshot are priced to sell. As of December 2007 you can buy these slugs at Cabela's, online for $3.99 a box (5 rounds per box).
* These slugs weigh 1 ounce, are made out of lead, and are designed with a hollow base like a US civil war “Minie Ball.” The slug weighs 1 ounce (437.49 grains), and its diameter is approximately 0.70 of an inch, or a .70 caliber. Its nominal/advertised muzzle velocity is 1200 feet per second (fps). I can assure that a one ounce (437 grain), .70 caliber projectile moving at, say, 950 fps at 60 yards is going to drop the average humanoid effectively.
* These slugs can be loaded under the pressure of the magazine spring almost indefinitely without any deformation. I've noticed that buckshot rounds loaded long-term in a shotgun magazine often start to deform in that the round starts to be compressed and the side walls of the round begin to bulge outward thereby causing a potential problem when the round is cycled into the smaller dimensions of the chamber. This bulging can cause a “jam” malfunction at the worst possible time. When I recommend slugs, I trying to tell you, “I REALLY RECOMMEND SLUGS!”

Advantages and disadvantages of a smooth bore, pump shot gun:

* A pump shotgun can be short-stoked (causing a “jam” type malfunction) when the shooter is trying to cycle the pump action under a high level of physiological pressure normally encountered in a gun fight. This can be overcome with plenty practice under realist shooting conditions/combat-style shooting drills that create high stress on the shooter. Practice, practice, practice, or buy a semi-auto shogun, but even with a semi-auto, you still need to practice shooting, reloading and clearing malfunction under pressure. The semi-auto comes with issues of its own. Any gun can and will malfunction for various reason. Learning to correct malfunctions quickly is the name of the game.
* Shotguns in general can shoot a wide variety ammo to include, slugs, buckshot (multiple .24 - .36 caliber projectiles, #4 buckshot to 000 buckshot), birdshot, “rubber bullets”, bean-bags, flares, pepper gas, tracers, flechettes (nails with fins), etc., etc. If there is a more flexible, do-it-all weapon, I don't know what it is.
* Limited range: Obviously, the effective range of a shotgun is limited. There are plenty of budget-oriented rifles with an effective range (300 yards?) that far exceeds that of a shotgun (80 yards?). Selecting the best, “one-gun solution” is certainly a worthwhile mental exercise, and can make for hours of lively discussion.

Reconnaissance by Fire

Assuming a total break down in law and order, here's a trick you need to know because it can be used by you or against you. “Reconnaissance by fire” is a technique to draw the enemy's fire (weapons fire) thereby confirming their presence and location. Assuming the enemy is present but unconfirmed, you can often draw enemy fire by initiating the fire yourself.

To illustrate, picture you are out on reconnaissance patrol, patrolling what you consider to be your turf. You can get help fairly soon if you needed it because your base camp is not that far way. You stop the patrol because you think there may be bad guys in a grove of trees. You have no evidence they are there, but your instincts/experience tells you: 1) you need to confirm there is or is not bad guys in the grove of trees, and 2) you need to do this without getting somebody killed foolishly. So, instead of sending in a scout to kick the bushes and shake the trees, you tell the patrol it will do a reconnaissance by fire. When directed, the entire patrol fires their weapons into the grove of trees as if they know the enemy if there. If the enemy takes the bait, they shoot back confirming the presence and location. Now the fight is on, but you did your reconnaissance job well-you confirmed the area (your area of responsibility) did contain enemy troops, and did not get anyone killed needlessly by sending a scout in to kick the bushes. Obviously, if you're on enemy turf, still undetected, and outnumbered, using this technique would be counter productive.

Now that you understand the technique, imagine you are now the ones lying in the grove of trees on their turf, when the bad guys try to use reconnaissance by fire to get you to confirm your presence and location, you know to hug the ground, don't return fire, and laugh as quietly as you can.

During the Viet Nam War, some units made it a division-wide practice to use a variation of reconnaissance by fire. They called it the “Mad Minute.”
It would commonly be used when a large infantry unit was sweeping through “Indian County” (contested area) on a multi-day, search and destroy-type mission, and set up a battalion size night defensive position. Knowing that most attacks on a night defensive position of this type would occur at first light or at dusk, the commander would have everyone “stand-to” on the perimeter and fire their weapons at likely targets outside the perimeter for approximately one minute.

The effect of this firing had a twofold purpose: 1) it encouraged the enemy to confirm their presence and give away their position(s), and 2) it tended to break up the attack that was to occur very shortly. Of course, once the enemy understood the goals of the mad minute, they tended to hug the ground, not return fire, and laugh as quietly as possible, then attack when ordered. American forces felt good about using this technique even in a contested area because with artillery, air power, and reinforcements a radio call away they normally surmised that they could dominate the battlefield. And since their mission was to search out and destroy the enemy, going into a night defensive, using themselves as bait, and using artillery and/or air power to rack up a good body count was one way to accomplish the mission.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, understanding reconnaissance by fire is a nice piece of knowledge to put in your trick bag.

Defense is Superior to Offense

“Fixed fortifications are monuments to man's stupidity.”

“In war the only sure defense is offense, and the efficiency of the offense depends on the warlike souls of those conducting it.”--General George S. Patton, Jr.

Yep, the accomplishments of General Patton in WWII along with the assistance of the actor George C. Scott undoubtedly convinced a generation of movie goers that the offense is somehow always superior to the defense.

Taken from the eye-opening book Spetsnaz, The inside Story of the Soviet Special Forces by Viktor Suvorov, I give you his description of the Soviet Infantry's use of their standard infantry spade:

Every infantryman in the Soviet Army carries with him a small spade. When he is given the order to halt, he immediately lies flat and starts to dig a hole in the ground beside him. In three minutes he will have dug a little trench 15 centimeters deep, in which he can lie stretched out flat, so that bullets can whistle harmlessly over his head. The earth he has dug out forms a breastwork in front and at the side to act as an additional cover. If a tank drives over such a trench the soldier has a 50% chance that it will do him no harm. At any moment the soldier may be ordered to advance again and, shouting at the top of his voice, will rush ahead. If not ordered to advance, he digs in deeper and deeper. At first his trench can be used for firing in the lying position. Later it becomes a trench from which to fire in the kneeling position, and later still, when it is 110 centimeters deep, it can be used for firing in the standing position. The earth that has been dug out protects the soldier from bullets and fragments. He makes an embrasure in his breastwork into which he positions the barrel of his gun. In the absence of any further commands he continues to work on his trench. He camouflages it. He starts to dig a trench to connect with his comrades to the left of him. He always digs from right to left, and in a few hours the unit has a trench linking all the riflemen's trenches together. The unit's trenches are linked with trenches of other units. Dug-outs are built and communication trenches are added at the rear. The trenches are made deeper, covered over, camouflaged and reinforced. Then, suddenly, the order to advance comes again. The soldier emerges, shouting and swearing as loudly as he can. ... And when he gets the order to halt, he again builds his impregnable fortress around him. He knows how to dig the earth efficiently. He builds his fortress exactly as it should be. … If the infantry have a few hours to dig themselves in, it could take years to get them out of their holes and trenches, whatever modern weapons are used against them.

Defense in Depth

Defense in depth can be explained as a defense with several layers. Should the probing/attacking force penetrate one layer, they will have to penetrate another and another while shedding their blood all along the way. These layers can be made up of many different things. For example the outermost, first layer could be sensors and tank traps, the second layer could be trip flares, the third layer razor wire, the fourth layer a mine field, the fifth more razor wire with cleared fields of fire, the sixth layer infantry in prepared fighting positions, the seventh layer fallback positions for the infantry. At the center of your defense would be indirect fire weapons such as mortars along with a rapid response force, and the command and control element. Mix in antitank weapons, snipers, and listening posts (night)/observations posts (day) at the locations of you think best.

It's not uncommon to create a defense in depth with soft spots to channel the attacker where you want him to go. The farther he follows the soft channel the closer he moves to your prepared kill zone.

Who uses defense in depth today (in one form or another)? Answer: Every military/security professional I know of including the US Secret Service.
Should you need to create a low-tech defense in depth (YOYO), your primary limitation is your imagination. In the dark, a tin can filled with rocks hanging from a wire stretched above the ground can be an early warning device. Improvised mines and booby traps are only limited to your imagination. Mix in barbed wire, vehicle barriers, snipers, listening posts/observation posts (LP/OP), channels with kill zones, man traps, prepared fighting positions, etc. and you may very well convince the feral humanoids that your band/clan/tribe is not worth the blood they will have to shed to breach you defenses.

Bed-down the Second Shift

Like it or not, everyone has to sleep. A common mistake when things really start to get interesting is to keep everyone on duty just in case you need them. Problem: If everyone is on duty, everyone is going to start suffering the effects of sleep deprivation at about the same time. Experience teaches, personnel permitting, a second shift-built to mirror the first shift in leadership, trigger pullers, support troops, etc.-should be put into a non-duty status to rest, get as much sleep as they can, and be ready to relieve the fist shift in approximately 12 hours. If additional personnel are needed during the first shift, wake whoever is needed and get them back into the rest mode as soon as practical. As you would guess, the first shift needs to give the second shift a good shift-change briefing before they go off duty. An events log will help. A “To-Do” list for the next shift is also a good idea. It's a good idea to begin operating in a two-shift mode long before anything happens to work out the bugs and mold each shift into a cohesive team.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, obviously the people you allowed into the clan need to be trustworthy, disciplined, team-players. If found to be unreliable and/or disruptive, get rid of them. You're not running a halfway house.

Field Expedient Hardening

Field expedient hardening is important if you intent to use a house/building in some manner, but don't want the opposition's bullets to penetrate the building with ease. Most any rifle will penetrate into and/or through the average house like a fork through a well cooked pot roast. Many home owners don't realize that the modern house with aluminum siding can be quickly breached with nothing more than a carpenter's razor knife. Simply start cutting a hole near the center of any side of the house and in short order you will be inside. Once you cut through the aluminum siding, then the layer of fiberboard, then through the 4 inch rolled insulation, then through the interior sheetrock, and slipping between the 2X4 studs spaced 16 inches apart; you're in. If a handheld razor knife with a one inch, disposable blade can open up your house like a can of soup, imagine what a chainsaw can do up close or a medium to high power rifle from a distance.

Filled sandbags are a common type of field expedient hardening, but anything that will stop a rifle bullet will work. Fifty-five gallon drums filled with dirt, gravel or concrete, a dirt berm, any type of container filled with dirt, gravel, sand, or concrete can be used to stop a bullet; just use your imagination. One of my favorites are bags of premixed concrete that can be stored inside until needed, then quickly put in place like sandbags. Once they're position outside, wet them down with a garden hose; now you have a concrete wall. Another good option would be building elevated-type flower beds made out of heavy duty treated lumber and filled with quality top soil for growing garden plants. If you build these “flowerbeds” ahead of time and they just happen to be in the right places to stop a bullet, good for you.

Plan B

I've heard it said that military people always seem to have a “Plan B”, and you know, they're right. It gets to be a habit after awhile. First, the military is a business where mistakes can cost lives, not just dollars. Second, we know that a thinking enemy, bad weather, mechanical problems, human mistakes, and unforeseen circumstances are a fact of life.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, you should have a Plan-B for almost everything, and everybody should know what they are at all times. One of your Plan-B's should also include a clear line of succession: If #1 leader dies or becomes incapacitated, #2 takes over #1's duties, if #2 dies or becomes incapacitated, #3 … Generally speaking, everybody needs to know everything. Anybody in your group caught playing “I've got a Secret” gets a stern counseling session behind closed doors.

Tactical Awareness

Do you know what General George Armstrong Custer and the victims of Ted Bundy and Jeffery Dahmer had in common? Answer: They lacked tactical awareness. Given a total break down in law and order, I don't care how innocent they look or how good their sob story is, you don't let strangers just walk up on you and staring chit chatting. If something feels wrong it probably is and should be treated as such.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, the old drill of:

1. Weapon at the ready (maximize use of cover)
2. “Halt!”
3. “Advance to be recognized”
4. “What's the password?”
5. “Wrong answer, depart the area NOW!”
6. Stranger begins sob story and advances on your position-bang!

Should a stranger approach under white flag, identifies himself as belonging to an adjacent clan, and wants to deliver a message from his clan leader, have him drop the written message at his feed and instruct him to depart the area (or back up, lie face down, and wait for return message).

Whatever comes at you or whatever you bump into, use tactical awareness and error on the side of safety for you and yours, not the stranger(s). Being rude is much better than being dead.

Another aspect of tactical awareness is using all your senses, including you sixth sense, to detect danger. If you smell tobacco smoke and your people aren't smoking …. If you see movement where there should not be any…. If you see fresh human tracks where they should not be …. If you hear anything unexpected … If you feel that you're being watched … If you suddenly realize the terrain you're moving through could easily be used against you ….

Successful hunters and soldiers focus on their environment, not on their sore feet or empty stomachs.

Offensive Operations

Now that you have a better understanding of what constitutes “defense”, a natural question is: OK, then what constitutes offense? Offensive operations for a modern military ground force can be any number of things. In general though, it can be boiled down to the five F's”:

* Find'em,
* Follow'em,
* Fix'em (get them to stop moving)
* Fight'em, and
* Finish'em.

Within the five “F's” are more specific offensive operations/goals which can include reconnaissance, reconnaissance in force, raids, ambushes, sweeps, meeting engagements, probing attacks, preemptive attacks, counterattacks, preparing the battlefield, move to contact, breakthrough, envelopment/ encirclement, etc.

Given, a “YOYO” scenario, your earliest need for offensive type operations/patrols will most likely be limited to what is called an “active defense.” Active defense is defined as “The employment of limited offensive action and counterattacks to deny a contested area or position to the enemy.” Generally speaking, these “offensive actions” should include reconnaissance patrols, ambush patrols, and maybe even a raid.

Artillery and Air Power

Pure infantry-on-infantry battles usually end in a bloody stalemate. In Vietnam this often true. I've heard several Infantry Officers of that war recount how they were fought to a standstill by the North Vietnamese Army (NVA) until they (US forces) used artillery and/or air power to break the backs of the NVA. As you reflect on the successes of US forces in the last 30 years, you must give due credit to our use of artillery and/or air power to produce a decisive edge, and break the backs of the opposing force.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, even if you have the best collection of ex-infantry buddies one could hope for, it's important to understand that should you find yourselves fought to a stalemate, you won't be able to just get on the radio and call in an air strike.

Center(s) of Gravity

“Center of gravity” is defined as: The source of power that provides moral or physical strength, freedom of action, or will to act. In developing the Air Campaign Battle Plan for Operation Desert Storm you can bet the planners thought long and hard about Saddam's centers of gravity (COG). Then the planners set about targeting those centers of gravity for destruction. It was concluded the Saddam himself was a COG.

Given a “YOYO” scenario where law and order have totally broken down, it's important to realize that even a roving pack of two legged hyenas has a center of gravity--the leader. All of your snipers should be trained to watch for the body language that identifies leader(s). Watch to see who gets respect and who gives it. Watch to see who gives direction and who receives it. Who is in the best position (center) to control the pack? Once the sniper(s) identify the leader(s), that's where the first shot(s) go.

Your Number One Challenge

“Forget Queen and Country. Forget Maggie. Forget all that. You fight for yourself and your mates. Without your mates you're nothing.” —Falklands War veteran (former British Paratrooper), 1990

Organizations with a high-stress mission like the military are bound together by individual relationships. While the organization may start things off based on a sense of duty, service, or a higher calling, in the end the team, squad, platoon, etc. will work together, fight together, and die together because they have become a family (e.g., a band of brothers). Getting to the family stage of unit cohesion is what it's all about.

Given a long term “YOYO” scenario, your greatest challenge will be forming a cohesive, mature, dependable, self-supporting family or band of brothers capable of operating in a high stress environment. The problem is: Building a band of brothers to perform in a high stress environment takes time, and the process requires the patience of Job. In the beginning you'll hope for a platoon of Marines, but you'll get a gaggle of kids running around poking at each other with sharp sticks. You'll hope for blind obedience and stoicism, but you'll get backtalk, second guessing, cat fights, flaming egos, and passive resistance.

Your Achilles Heel: Discipline

The US Armed Forces' support system to deal disciplinary problems and crimes is extensive. Not only do they have their own body of law, The Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), to deal with problems both small and large, they have lawyers to represent both the defense and prosecution (civil terminology), judges and juries (civilian terminology), stockades and prisons, and investigators (criminal and non-criminal). Depending on the offense, the accused could receive a Letter of Reprimand (LOR), fine, demotion, or even a death sentence. Although commanders and supervisors rely primarily on leadership, esprit décor and professionalism to get things done, it's comforting to know that you have a support system to deal with serious crimes or just obstinate, unprofessional behavior.

Given a long term “YOYO” situation, understand from day one you have no such support system. You really are on your own. When leadership, esprit décor, and common interest, aren't enough, then what? Whatever solution you devise, it's important to have it in place as soon as possible.

One possible solution: Interview everyone who wants membership in the clan/tribe. Find out who has military, police, medical, organizational and/or supervisory experience. Find out what skills they have. Ask them what they want to do and what they don't want to do. Make no promises you don't intent to keep. Before anyone is allowed to join the band/clan/tribe, have them read, sign, and in public swear/affirm an oath to the clan's “Code of Allegiance and Conduct” which clearly identifies required behavior as well as punishments for breaches of the code. This will help you weed out the uncommitted, unfocused, confused, light-weights before they can endanger the clan or instigate a mutiny. You should also have identified a core of trusted brothers that understands the need for all this, and will support you and the system when things begin to devolve internally. When problems arise, deal with the swiftly and decisively. Reward good behavior with at least three times as much energy and passion as you use to punish bad behavior.

Revolutionary Technology: The WWI Truck

WWI was the first war that saw widespread use of the internal combustion engine to power some of the revolutionary weapons of that war--aircraft, tanks, and trucks. Most people wouldn't consider a truck as a revolutionary weapon, but prior to introduction of the truck on the battlefield, it was not uncommon for infantry to march all night in the rain to reach the battle site. For the infantry, the truck was a revolutionary weapon of war, allowing them to go into battle rested and ready.

The average American does not appreciate that their family car/truck can be used to carry basic survival supplies (food, water, warm clothes, medications, etc.) with little or no inconvenience.

WWII Horsepower

The bulk of the German army started WWII with horses and ended WWII with horses. Only the units designed to be part of the armed spearhead (Blitzkrieg) were mechanized.

Photo: The bulk of the German Army-the dough feet of the normal infantry divisions-moved on shank's mare. The rifle companies' transport consisted of three-horse wagons, on which the troops loaded their packs, as did this outfit on campaign in Russia in the summer of 1941.

The picture right and an excellent article on the German Army's use of the horse during WWII can be found here:

Just a few years ago (2001) our US Army Special Forces soldiers used horse transportation in the first days and months of the war in Afghanistan (Operation EDURING FREEDOM).

Given a YOYO scenario, should you find supplies of gasoline and diesel unavailable, horse transportation is a good workaround. Note: Just think how surprised your wife will be when you give her a gift certificate for those horseback riding lessons she's always wanted to take.

Travel Light and Freeze at Night

“Travel light and freeze at night” highlights the fact that life is a series of tradeoffs and the infantry is no exception. If you want to sleep warm and cozy all night, you have to carry a heavy, bulky sleeping bag with you all day. If you're willing to be somewhat uncomfortable at night, you only need to carry a light weight poncho, poncho liner, and a sleeping shirt with you all day-travel light and freeze at night.

Given the family car/truck, it's important to appreciate how much you can carry on four rubber wheels as opposed to two leather heels.

Specialization vs. “Fairness”

I had the opportunity to interview a combat infantry Marine from the Korean War. His unit saw some of the heaviest fighting of that war. The colonel commanding his unit used the combat wisdom he learned during WWII to be successful in Korea.

One carryover of combat wisdom from WWII was to use the same company of Marine infantry to spearhead almost every attack. The idea being that the more you doing something the better you become at it. I was a first shocked to hear this and asked about how everyone felt about not rotating the task of being the lead company in the attack. The answer went something like this: “We were good at what we did and everybody knew, why change something that worked?”

This old Marine was one of only three men out of his company of over one hundred that was not killed or wounded during the war. Many of the wounded were wound on multiple occasions.

Shoot, Move, Communicate

The US military does not see itself as a defensive organization. Accordingly, a three word mission statement for the combat arms units of the Army and Marine Corps could be: “Shoot, Move, Communicate.”

“Shoot” could be explained as putting steel on target. “Move” could be explained as maneuvering in order to carry out the commander's intent. “Communicate” could be explained as communicating up, down, and laterally with friendly forces to keep the commander informed, receive updated information and direction from competent authority, coordinate with adjacent units, request artillery/air support, request re-supply, request medical evacuation, reporting the units' current situation, reporting enemy activity, and the list goes on.

Given a long term “YOYO” scenario, you ability to communicate effectively with each other will be as important as it is for a modern military force. Using inexpensive walkie-talkies is one option. Secure communications is an important consideration. Using predetermined codes can help make your communications more secure than messages passed in the clear. Radios that scramble/encrypt messages are great if you can afford them. Ham radio transceivers may be able to help to supplement and extent the range of your communications. Again, predetermined codes can be used to communicate in a semi-secure mode for awhile. Codes must be changed periodically. Any misuse of a code will render it useless very quickly. Use a “runner” to carry messages if that all you have, but find a way to communicate as quickly and securely as possible.

Preemptive Strikes

I am often both amused and angered by the implication from the talking-heads on TV that a preemptive strike is, in and of itself, somehow immoral; far from it. Preemptive strikes have been used for centuries as a normal part of warfare. Suppose for example that in November of 1941 the US Pacific Fleet had solid intelligence that the Japanese Fleet was coming to attack Pearl Harbor. Would it have been immoral to launch a preemptive attack against the Japanese Fleet steaming towards Hawaii?

Organizational Inertia

“Continuous improvement” was one of the ideas/concepts that came out of what the business schools called “Japanese Management.” It's a great concept in that it permits, encourages, and sometimes compels all involved to identify and implement improvements on a continual basis, and necessitates an environment of participative management, creativity, innovation, and respect for ideas coming from the up from the bottom of the organization.

Given a long term “YOYO” scenario, your clan's “corporate culture” will be a major factor in your overall success or failure. Evidence of a healthy culture will include:

1. Decisive leadership when needed.
2. Sincerely listening and responding (when appropriate) to ideas and suggestions from even the youngest trooper.
3. Training subordinates to assume their leaders' duties and responsibilities.
4. Mentoring at all levels.
5. A culture where everyone looks to improve everything: fighting positions, tactics, training, etc.
6. Training and exercises to push the band/clan/tribe to higher and higher levels of operational excellence.
7. Fixing problems, not blaming people.
8. A lack of egos and turf battles.
9. Fostering, recognizing, and rewarding teamwork.
10. Healthy competition
11. Meeting the needs of the individual (i.e., Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs)

Source: Wikipedia. For more information on “Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs” go here.

Ground Combat is Labor Intensive

As I can best remember, thirty (30) years ago the American military wanted a minimum 3-to-1 numerical advantage when attacking prepared defenders. The Soviets wanted a 5-to-1 advantage, and the Chinese (low-tech army 30 years ago with plenty of male soldiers to spare) wanted a 10-to-1 numerical advantage.

These numbers are admittedly dated, but the concept holds true. John Giduck, author of Terror at Beslan, states in his book: “From a military perspective, it takes minimum numerical superiority of four to one for an attacking force to rout out well-entrenched infantry. When the defenders are elite commandos, defending a heavily fortified position that ratio rises to at least 9 to 1.”

Defenders also crave numbers. Not every soldier is a trigger puller. While militaries constantly strive to increase their tooth to tail ratio (numbers of combat troops compared to numbers of support troops), support troops are a reality of life.

Assuming a satisfactory tooth to tail ration, it's still better to have three trigger pullers in each fighting position than just two.

Given a “YOYO” scenario, assuming you can feed and water everyone, big numbers are better than small numbers. Combining/merging with potentially friendly clans is a very important consideration. In a conflict with no artillery or air support, clans with large numbers will tend to dominate the battle space-strength in numbers. In fact, your best overarching, macro-level strategy may be to (carefully and smartly) merge early and often.

Span of Control

At some point all leaders and supervisors realized they have a limited span of control. Span of control can be defined as the number of immediate subordinates the leader/supervisor can effectively control. The US Army has concluded that the optimum span of control for high stress organizations is three (3). Generally speaking, there are three line companies in a battalion, three line battalions in a brigade, three line brigades in a division, three divisions in a corps, and three corps in a numbered army.

Given a long term “YOYO” scenario, and understanding that you are building a high stress organization, use a span of control of three to build fire-teams (3 troops), squads (10 troops), platoons (approximately 30 troops), and companies (approximately 90 troops). As closely as you can in terms of weaponry, follow the example of the Marine Infantry during the Korean War and design your fire teams to include: 1 fire-team leader armed with a semiautomatic rifle (M1 Garand), 1 machine gunner armed with a machine gun (i.e. “BAR”: magazine feed, .3006 caliber, air cooled), and 1 assistant machine gunner armed with a semiautomatic rifle (M1 Garand) and carrying extra ammo for the machine gunner.

Assuming your clan has no machine guns, replace the machine gun with the best sustain fire weapon the fire-team has (LR-308/AR-15?). The fire-team leader could be armed with a scoped, bolt action rifle, and the assistant gunner armed with the next best sustain fire weapon (and carrying extra ammo/loaded magazines for the “machine gunner”).

Then put three fire-teams under the supervision/command of a “squad leader” to form a squad. Put three squads under the supervision/command of a “platoon leader” to form a platoon. Put three platoons under the supervision/command of a “company commander”. Give the company commander all the authority and support troops he/she needs to be effective.

Should you find yourself running a small, town-like organization, keep your span of control as close to three as possible by appointing a Combat Operations Group Commander, Combat Support Group Commander, and a Service Support Group Commander. Give you group commanders all the authority and support you can to help them be effective. Note: The exact numbers of troops in a platoon or the exact history of the USMC is not important here. What is important is that you understand span of control.

davelambert's picture

Hey Jez...was reading some of the posts where you mentioned some of the things you have made...wish I had your mechanical skill. Swords? You've made swords? That's something I'd like to know more about...I've done some basic blacksmithing, made some of my own simple tools. Done a little locksmithing and gunsmithing, too. You mentioned model trains...I freakin' LOVE model trains!

Back in Texas I had a pretty-good size layout in N scale. Z scale is such an attractive concept for the miniaturist... but the cars are so small it's impossible for them to be realistic, and those tiny locomotives are sooooo expensive! Even a decent N-scale loco costs at least $200 and of course some are many times that.

My problem with trains is that for me, just driving 'em around is the most boring thing in the world. I like building the little worlds they live in...if you get into buying everything like little people and light posts and lights for your little buildings and cars, you can spend thousands of dollars. Not to mention the cost of tracks, and of course the trains themselves. So I've generally contented myself with going to exhibits and enjoying the big layouts in hobby stores.

On the other hand, I can pick up damaged cars and locos that don't run for free for almost. Swap meets are full of them, too. So from time to time I've enjoyed building a little diorama with a piece of flex-track running through it. Wish I had one to show you. If I have time I'd like to build another one. Right now I'm working on my second oil painting in about twenty-five years. Still working on the first one, too.

I really like the stuff you put together. Both you and Bodhi do awesome graphics. That ship is awesome...I haven't built anything like that in 30 years. I did build a large balsa-ribbed glider back in the day, and once I built a kite that was almost a man-lifter. It was a four-foot tetrahedron with four smaller cells...I flew it off the cliffs over the Pacific and it nearly pulled me over!

In my 20s I really got into model rockets for a while, and then revived the hobby when I lived in Texas (where they allow BIGGER engines). In CA, I was limited in what I could biggest was about four feet hight, and most were less than half that. In Texas, I'll never forget one meet I went to. It was off in a huge muddy field, miles from anywhere. People arrived with their rockets in sections on trailers. There were plenty of smaller rockets - say, 6-to-8 feet, and even these need FAA clearance - but some of those big boys were incredible. Interestingly, most of them malfunctioned once they reached a certain altitude.


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