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#40637 I Made Recoil Issue #19

Posted by DirtyTrigger on 02 June 2015 - 10:47 AM

Good day all.


 I am excited to annouce that RECOIL Magazine, featured my vehicle and I in the latest issue, #19.   Without a doubt, its the coolest f'n thing to happen to me.  My day jop, I do fabrication work.  But, I also work as a non-sworn reserve for a Sheriffs Office here in Arizona.   This article and the buggy, explain the keystone of how my two worlds come together.  Also, helps to explain my tag of "dirty trigger'. 


I am pretty stoked and excited.  And, being I am more on the self employed side of things and I need to chase down my own opportunities.  I'm really hoping this will kick loose good stuff.  If ya get bored at work and want a fun little read, take a read.  


Most importantly, I would  like to give a very heart felt thank you to your very own "Davis".  He has been helping with this project, to help get the ole wagon and its travels some attention for a long, long time.  His amazing photo skills were what got this thing out of the corner.  The attached image was shot be him and then edited by Straight 8 Customs.    But, it was Davis's camera and skills that give this thing life.



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#39209 Law Enforcement

Posted by emBARK on 15 April 2015 - 06:48 PM

There is a lot of bad press being spun out there, and in some cases by an overly aggressive and unchecked media.

To all the LEO's around here, thanks for what you do, keep your head's held high, and know there are alot of us out there that still respect and support you all.
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#26700 Save w/ a DARK kit

Posted by Jersey0311 on 29 May 2014 - 10:46 PM

Hey all,


Below is part of an AAR I sent to Kerry Davis to post on his FB page about the recent save I had w/ his DARK kit. This is the second time I've used it. The rest of it should be up on his FB page within the next few days.




I get dispatched to the bleeding in the supermarket. As an EMS provider in a relatively busy system, I shrug it off. I've been running nonstop all day, and I'm seriously expecting this to be some bullshit patch job.

Oh, how wrong I was. Complacency kills. See a trend here?

I pulled up and saw the panicked look on the store employees faces as they met me outside. I chalked this up to the usual jitters I see everyday. They were making comments which made it sound like it was the end of the world in there, and that it vaguely resembled a crime scene. Again, I shrugged it off.

I rounded the corner to the aisle and see my patient laying on the floor. He's white as a ghost, and I'm looking at what appeared to be anywhere from 350-500cc's of blood on the floor. This is a retarded amount of blood, and on the floor it looks like someone just dumped a bucket of it everywhere. Thank God it wasn't shark week. One of my cop friends is on scene holding pressure on his ankle, unsure of where the actual wound is, because there's that much blood.

Long story short, he was walking in the aisle when he noticed his foot was bleeding. Next thing he knows, he's laying on the floor covered in blood.

Because I had absolutely no idea where the hell this guy was bleeding from, and looking at the sheer amount of blood on the floor, and that I couldn't palpate a radial pulse (very, very bad), he bought the tourniquet. I applied the CAT in his groin, as high up as possible.

Some might ask, why the TQ? It wasn't an arterial bleed!

It's important to note that the blood was dark red in color. Venous bleeding is still deadly. Just because it isn't bright red, and squirting everywhere doesn't mean it's any less dangerous. Oozing venous blood will still kill you, just a bit slower. Any bleeding is bad. Therefore, stopping the bleeding is paramount, especially if you don't know where the hell it's all coming from.

After the TQ was applied (don't forget to annotate time and check the distal pulse!), I used my handy dandy Rip Shears (old version) to cut off the rest of his pants leg, his shoes, and his socks in an attempt to find where he was bleeding from.

After searching for a bit, I found that he was bleeding from an old scab from varicose veins. The izzy bandage from the DARK kit was immediately applied with extreme prejudice.

Vitals were as follows. BP 80/40, Pulse 50 and weak, Resps 12

Unfortunately in the process of getting the TQ and the Izzy out from the kit, the rest of the contents spilled everywhere and fell in the pool of blood. Thus the rest of the kit was lost, because fuck that. Bloodborne pathogens are no joke. Even the pouch was a lost cause. (same thing happened in save #14, sorry Doc!).

However, Kerry and I both agreed that it was a small price to pay for the outcome. The guy made it, in no small part due to the DARK kit (that I had with me, hint hint)

I'm a shit magnet. I'm almost reluctant to get a new kit from Kerry because if the past is any indicator, it's just going to get used within the next few months or so again, LOL
Anyway, I've run my suck for long enough. Get trained. Get equipped. And get pockets to carry your shit. Seriously. It ain't doing any good just sitting at home collecting dust.
You're more likely to use medical skills than gunfighting skills. There were days in Afghanistan where I went through more tourniquets than I did magazines.

I'll let you in on a little secret. Everyone is so hell bent on being some tacticool gucciflaged mall ninja beating their dick to the latest Kryptek covered BFG-9000 freedom dispenser, yet they can't handle a medical emergency, which is way more likely to happen than running into some ghetto gunfighter sent by the current administration to cap your ass.
My point? Get medical training. Seriously. That shit should be a required life skill. I'm not saying everyone needs to be an EMT, or Paramedic, Nurse, whatever. Put yourself through Kerry's class. Trauma management is generally easy to learn and retain for the layperson. I'm not asking people to learn how to differentiate lung sounds or read 12 leads, but if you can stop life threatening bleeding or open up someones airway before I get there, then you've made my job easier, and potentially saved a life. You don't have to be a surgeon in order to control bleeding.
Hope this convinces more people to EDC some sort of medical gear!

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#41842 Since patches are the hot topic in the forum this week...

Posted by SwatDawg335 on 16 July 2015 - 02:00 PM

Here's what my ITS patch game is looking like. 



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#42399 My new bag, and way of thinking about carry.

Posted by Corbs on 07 August 2015 - 07:07 PM

For the most part, this will be pretty familiar fodder for you guys, but I thought there's something wrong with the way these posts usually go. Ordinarily, we post up a load of pics and lists and thoughts about a bag or rig, and pretty much admire each other's cool stuff. But that's pretty pointless to me without context. What are you carrying on person? How far away is medical help? How long are you away from home, and how far? What are your colleagues and family equipped to deal with? What's legal where you are? Are you in a city, airport, federal building or a farm far away from the urban sprawl? How do people dress where you are?
When I started out on all this tacticool stuff, I pretty much bought stuff that looked cool, did a job and I could afford (barely). I think that's changed. Now, when I buy something, there's one question I ask; What capabiity does this add? Because of this, I've cut out most of the doohickeys I used to like to carry and pared down my carry to stuff that I need. There's a bias to things that do many jobs well for little real estate, those that get you out of a bind, and those that do one job very well.
With this in mind, here's what's on my person every day. Only thing that ever changes is what watch I wear.

SAK - Victorinox Minichamp - Crazy utility to it's size

Pen - Caran D'Ache 849 with a fisher refill. Clicky for ease of use but still solid metal

Light - FourSevens Noisy Cricket Quark - 800 lumens on every click, small, rechargable, low mode accessible on twist of bezel. Glow tape to find at night.

Knife - Spyderco UKPK Lightweight - Great simple UK legal slipjoint, clip broke ages ago and keep meaning to replace it, expensive here though.

Phone - Nexus 5 in Magpul case with Cyflect marker

Keys - On leather and HK snap hook, + bottle opener/pry bar and CPR mask.

Watch - Seiko SKX007 on Phoenix NATO strap. Also pictured Traser (Duty watch) and Mondaine (tritium equipped but smart)

And these three bags are what I carry daily.
Colour is off in this pic.
(Left to right: Custom handmade leather satchel, CDHTac Finland custom pack, Arc'teryx LEAF Khard 30)
Which one is used depends on what needs carrying, occassion and sesason.
Anyway, the bag is custom. It was made by CDH-Tac Finland, who's an awesome bag maker. I looked for months, and he's far and away the best guy I could find for the job. The things that closed it were his shoulder straps (most important bit), and creativity and attention to detail.
FB Here: https://www.facebook...141110645925106
You can see the build in progress, as well as examples of his other works here: http://itstactical.c...bag/#entry41561
There were a few specifications, it had to be thin enough to the body to sit in a chairlift or vehicle without being pushed off a seat, slim enough to go through doorways easily, be lined with light material, and be able to be mounted to larger packs or load bearing vests.
Externally, the bag is pretty straight forward. Molle is no longer a 'target indicator'. Every man and their dog have tactical styled bags now. They do not however have any idea what to hang off them, or much taste. Soft parts are all ranger green, hardware is tan. There's only room for a single column of PALS down each side, still useful. That grimlock on the right carries my crew cover. On the front there's a big field of loop for patches, though I'm usually quite subdued on that front. The zip is for entry to a compartment the size of the panel for documents and miscellany. This compartment carries:
 Moleskine Diary
 Jetstream Four + 1 Pen and pencil
 Arc'teryx Rho LTW beanie
 Headphones, tidied with a bulldog clip
 Work ID Lanyard
Now to what is usally the most important part of a pack, and also usually not much considered - the shoulder straps. These are why I chose CDH, low profile and comfortable. In this picture I've only got half of the removable sternum strap on, decided to post this while adding it back on. With a pack of this size and use, the importance is lower than on a pack for multi day trips, but it's still going to be on my back almost every day, and I can attest to the comfort. One feature of these straps is that they're removable, allowing you to run the bag slick as a vehicle med pack for example, or to use the 1" ITW buckles to mount direct to armour or a larger pack.
It's loop lined for velcro pouches, with a few rows of pals along the top for hanging pouches. I made the switch to a hook and loop system for a few reasons. I don't want to buy three of everything for different bags for starters. I like to drop in what works to whatever pack I'm using any day. I was already way into it after using my Khard for a few months, but the utility was proven when ripping out a med pouch to rifle through it in a high stress situation. I prefer it to MOLLE / PALS as it's fast to switch, and I'm not a fan of having a load of stuff hanging off the outside of my pack. Fine for a bugout bag if that's your thing, but it draws the wrong kind of attention around here, and overbuilt for internal pouches.
The two pouches at the top are MOLLE, basically because that's the only option, and I like to ocassionally go very low profile and stick them in the front pockets of my jacket. Pretty much unnoticable, but between them will cover most eventualities. On the left is a Maxpedition mini pocket organizer, set up as a pocket trauma kit, on the right is a Blue Force Gear Small Admin Pouch, setup with the kit to sort most situations. Between them is a bottle of hand sanitizer on a carabiner, and below are my admin and medical cubes, with a Hydro Flask on the left and a folded up bag underneath it.
The lid of the bag is also lined with loop, and folds completely open. The zip pocket is sized about perfect for a tablet or e-reader, and holds my Nexus 7 tablet. The zip pockets are lined with multicam litelok, which are the kind of awesome touches that CDHTac excels at.
This side has some patches and a maxpedition admin panel, with a wallet for loyalty and travel cards, as well as black and silver sharpies, pens, pencils, a ruler and a titanium spork.
Pocket Trauma Pack
This pouch has the basics in it, covering most medical emergencies until more help arrives.

Quick-Clot Sport

Gauze Pads


FoxSeal Chest Seals

SWATT Tourniquet

Small Sharpie

Nitrile Gloves
2 Pairs

Photon light


Steropore adhesive dressings

Pocket CPR Mask

Small Admin Pouch
This pouch is pretty much a 'save the day' pouch, as the contents have on many occassions. The multitool+bit kit especially. The Black Diamond Ember is a rechargable flashlight that also can be used to charge mobile devices.

SOG Bladeless Multitool

SOG Hex Bit Kit

BD Ember Power Light

Paracord deployment Lanyard

Semi-permanent Marker

Cable, micro USB

Stiff plastic sheet

Bic Lighter

Large Admin Cube
The bulkier but useful items live here. The FourSevens 123 Mini is here for strobe and beacon functions (signalling/visibility) and longevity of lithium batts.

Powermonkey Solartraveller Integrated water-resistant solar panel and battery

MU Folding USB charger British three pin plugs are bulky

USB Cable

Micro Cordage


Medium Dry Bag

12V USB Charger

Marker Panel LW w/SOLAS tape


BooBoo kit

Contains various meds, plasters (bandaids), safety pins, tape, tweezers, gloves

Large Med Cube
I immediately regretted taking everthing out to take this picture. I'm not a paramedic, so this wasn't packed for ease of access and replenishment, it was packed to fit the most lifesaving gear into the smallest space. So packing everthing back in took about ten minutes.

Bolin Chest Seal

Asherman Chest Seal

Trauma Bandage

H+H Rolled Gauze

SOFTT-W Tourniquet


Trauma Shears, orange

Micropore Tape

Vent Aid

Saline Pods

Nitrile Gloves
4 Pairs

Alcohol Wipes


Triangular Bandage



A note on buying custom. Do your research, find someone you trust, have a conversation, and give them some latitude for their creativity. Get it right the first time.

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#40862 So I'm officially "that guy" on the squad

Posted by Jersey0311 on 10 June 2015 - 08:41 PM

For those of you who don't know, I'm a rookie cop in NJ.


I actually carry off duty, give a shit about my job, and am serious about having the proper tools and gear available to me in the event of some dumb shit happening.


So recently the department issued all the officers a CAT TQ. 99% of the guys just threw it in their bag citing the fact that most of us carry too much on the belt as is. 1% carry it on our person. One guy I know rigged it to the epaulet on his shirt, and I carry mine in a 1110 CAT TQ holder on the belt behind my gun.


The other day at muster, it was brought up that the supervisors had a meeting with admin about the dept purchasing holders like the one I had, and were wondering if guys thought it'd be a good idea to keep them on their person. Naturally all of my coworkers were against the idea, and the Sgt said well it's just the new guy then. I brought up the point of what's the use of having one issued if you can't get to it in time?


I was allowed to keep it on my person and everyone is just going to be big boys and girls and do what they want.


Also, apparently nobody has ever brought a light on their off duty gun to qualification, which blew the rangemaster away. Initially I wasn't going to be allowed to carry the light on the gun, as I wasn't on the special ops team, and there was no policy on lights. I argued that we're getting lights on duty guns in a few months anyway, and I need to be able to positively ID the threat. They like us carrying a flashlight off duty for that reason, and I argued that having a weapon light would supplement, not replace the handheld.


I'm one of two guys in patrol that aren't on the special ops team that are authorized lights on the off duty guns. Other guy is another Marine who I gave a TLR-1 to that I got hired with. I'm also apparently a lunatic because I carry a spare mag off duty. About half the department has off duty guns they're qualified on. The other half don't bother. Of the half that does have off duty guns, a smaller amount carry spare ammo.


I'm also the only guy on the squad who volunteers to pull out a shotgun everyday. Nobody wants the thing. I also keep an OSOE 12ga Micro Rig loaded with an IFAK and 30 extra slugs in my bag along with 7 other mags for my duty gun with duty ammo. All ammo and mags were purchased by yours truly, something that's apparently unheard of. I'm not allowed to qualify with a rifle, dept issued or personally owned, until I'm off of probation, so I'm pulling the shotgun out every day until then.


For shits and giggles, there's an extra identical IFAK in my bag, and an extra CAT TQ in the bag as well. I'm currently on FTO still, so I don't carry as much as I'd like since the Chargers we use are tiny as shit and the trunk is non existent. Once I'm cut loose though I'll definitely have a few more items in the car with me, like a dedicated medical bag. I worked EMS in town prior to being hired, so I get sent to all the EMS calls since none of the senior guys like first aid stuff.


Just wanted to vent. It's frustrating sometimes but it's nice knowing that when shit goes south, I'll be ready.

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Posted by Jersey0311 on 30 August 2014 - 06:07 AM

Hey guys,


Just wanted to post an AAR of a week long TCCC/CLS course we just wrapped up for deploying USAF Air Advisors and ARNG personnel.


Long story short, clusterfuck and a half.


A few points I wanted to make


  • The only thing we do on the X is stop life threatening bleeding.
  • Get the fuck off the X. Like seriously. Right now. GTFO.
  • You cannot shoot unarmed civilians or curious bystanders if they aren't presenting a threat.
  • IED strike sites are bullet magnets. This brings me to our first point. Get off the X.
  • Secondary IEDs exist to target first responders. Get off the fucking X.
  • Do not take off the casualty's PPE while you are anywhere near the X.
  • If you cut the casualty's clothing to expose them while doing blood sweeps, put something back on them. You don't need to add environmental injuries to the list of shit wrong with them.
  • After every casualty movement, reassess your interventions. This means check placement and tightness of tourniquets, bandages, etc.
  • If the tourniquet has loosened, do not undo it to tighten it down. Put a new TQ on below it (because you already should've gone as high as possible for the first TQ you applied)
  • Account for the casualty's weapons/gear. Do not leave their weapons on scene for obvious reasons. In Afghanistan, another unit north of mine had a medevac, left the Marine's suppressed M4/M203 on scene. We later found out the Taliban took control of the weapon after the Marines left.
  • Don't forget to pass up your MIST report with your 9 line.
  • Have clearly defined roles. The person in charge should not be rendering care to a casualty. You can't call the shots if you're busy doing something.
  • Battlefield medicine is very manpower intensive. Don't forget about security. Everyone wants to put hands on the casualty, but if nobody is on security, there's going to be more casualties in short order.
  • Keep your treatment area secure. Don't let curious bystanders get too close, but don't fucking shoot them if they aren't a threat or unarmed.
  • When applying a tourniquet to the legs, for males make sure you don't TQ their dick or their balls. When applying knee pressure to the femoral artery to occlude it while sliding your TQ up the leg, don't put your knee on the guy's dick.
  • Don't get sucked into one casualty. Make sure you look all around the scene and account for all casualties. We had one group who completely forgot about a casualty after dragging him off the X. Once they got him outside, they finally put a TQ on, but by that point he had bled out and died.
  • Take the training seriously. It's fine to joke around and have fun, but when it's game time, put your game face on. This is shit that could save you, or more importantly, your buddy's life one day.
  • When carrying a casualty on a litter, don't drop the fucking thing. Also when it's time to lower the litter, ease it down to the ground.
  • Even if your casualty is unconscious, keep talking to them. Reassure them. They might be able to hear you and just be unable to speak. This is a big deal.
  • Keep talking to your casualty throughout the ordeal. This does several things. It assesses their mental state, and you can keep appraised of any new or ongoing complaints they have.
  • Disarm casualties with altered mental status. The reasons for this should be obvious.
  • If a casualty is walking wounded, let them help with security. That's one more gun in the fight.
  • If casualties can get themselves off the X and make their way to you, have them do so.
  • Direct the casualties to apply their own TQs if possible.
  • When approaching casualties on the X, be sure to ID yourself. You don't want to inadvertently get shot.
  • If you suddenly start getting shot at, while on the X, this does not mean blindly shoot in all directions. Figure out where the fire is coming from, suppress that location, and get the casualties off the X while that location is being suppressed. Fire superiority is the first rule of battlefield medicine.
  • Be cognizant of where your weapons are in relation to the casualty. Don't flag them, and also, if you're wearing a drop leg holster, be careful around casualties with altered mental status. They may get scared and disarm you because they don't know what's going on. I was able to pull a handgun out of a triple retention Safariland 6004 with ease on more than one occasion while laying down on a litter.
  • Everyone should have an IFAK. Use their IFAK before you dig into the med bag. That's why the IFAK is there. Use it.
  • Organize your med bag before you step off on a mission. Having to dump your med bag to find something because your shit was fucked up doesn't help anybody.
  • Be sure you conduct PCCs/PCIs before you step off. When shit hits the fan, now is not the time to realize that your RTO was the only one who knew how to call in a 9 line, and now he has both legs missing. Or when your Medic or Corpsman gets hit, now is not the time to realize that he's the only one who knew how to work on others.

It's just a short list, I'm sure I'll come up with others as times goes on.


A YouTube personality puts it best: The lessons we learn are written on the tombstones of others. The above points are things I've noticed in my personal experience and are points I pass on to every class that rolls through. I have 7, soon to be 8 names on my arm that illustrate the above points, and then some. One of them is personally known to spenceman and myself.


We train to keep names off the wall. We train so that good men and women don't die for nothing. We train so that we can keep one more person from having to pay the ultimate price.


I train because I struggle with survivor's guilt. I train others so that they don't have to suffer with me.


Stay safe everyone.

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#29137 My Journey

Posted by DeathwatchDoc on 15 August 2014 - 05:22 PM

A while ago, I started a journey... It was the journey that caused me to find ITS, it was the journey that caused me to change my diet, it was the journey that caused me to take control, and it was the journey that caused me to lose over 80 pounds. I have been working on and around computers from my youngest days, and I had the body of the standard computer user. Flabby and fat. I let it consume me, told myself it was fine because I was a computer person and didn't need to be fast or strong... But I was wrong.


Back then I would have thought nothing of ordering 2 large pizzas to feed 2 people without leftovers, now I won't even eat pizza to begin with. Back then I was winded going up stairs, now I run several times a week and do strength training on my non-run days. Back then I wore XXL shirts and 44 pants, now I wear mediums or larges depending on the cut and 34 pants. Back then I could barely move myself, let alone fight... sure I had the knowledge and tactics... but my body could execute none of them. Now I am a lean and lethal machine, able to faithfully defend myself, my wife, and anyone else. 


So what started this dramatic change? I decided to chase a dream I gave up in my teens. I decided I wanted to be a cop. Not because the pay is awesome, but because I (as cliche as it may be) genuinely want to defend and serve the public. I want to make the streets of my city safe at any hour. I want to make a difference. But to make a difference, I had to be different. In two months I lost over 35 pounds towards my goal of being healthy, I started running and working out regularly. It wasn't enough and my body wasn't ready, a week before the once a year tryout for the local police and I was injured while training. Instead of giving up I spent the next year of my life pushing harder than I ever thought I could. I went from 266 to 175, I went from barely walking for an hour to running 20-30 minutes. I went from being unable to climb a 6 foot wall to being able to fly over the wall.


I decided to eat along the Paleo diet (which has helped me reach and maintain a healthy diet) because I needed a starting place for a healthy body. It was  sacrifice giving up my favorite foods, but it was worth it to be in control of my diet again. It caused me to be a tougher person, it caused me to sacrifice whatever it took to get where I wanted to be. Years ago, I would never have dreamed that I would give up time gaming to work out... but this is the new me, the real me, the me I always wished I could become.


A year and change later, I am lighter, faster, and stronger. I am running well under the time required by my state for police officer candidates. And it happens again. I was doing one final practice run at the police academy and after never having been injured running, I went down hard (with a bounce). I shredded my skin, sprained my ankle, and shook my confidence in all I have done. I recovered quickly, healing faster than I should be able to, I have clearance to go tomorrow morning and give it a shot. 


When I go tomorrow morning, I am at peace. Whatever happens, happens. I am apprehensive about my chances. I would have loved to spend the last weeks training, but instead I have been resting my ankle. I have done all that I can to ensure I am worthy to join whom I wish to soon refer to as MY brothers in blue. 


This journey was not a journey to be healthy, this was my journey to fulfill my duty. My duty to my family as their protector and provider, my duty to my God to maintain this temple suitably, and my duty to the department I want so badly to join. I truly think I was ready before the most recent injury and now I must see if I am ready anyway. 


I write this from my heart for those of you who may be letting yourself go physically, mentally, and emotionally. Whatever your goal, wherever your life takes you, be prepared so that you can prevail in any situation. It is easier to lose 5 pounds now than 80 pounds down the road. Do not procrastinate your life away as I did for far too long. Remember your duty.


I want to take the time to thank a couple people on this forum... when I first was injured this past time, my morale crumbled. I was all geared to go and do this thing, but now here I am flat on my back. I quickly recovered the correct attitude of recover and dominate, but there was a bit of a hesitation to get back on it. DStevenson and Mangeface both took the time to listen to me and encourage me to get back on it and push through it. They both took the time to listen to where I felt stuck and provide whatever advice or feedback they could on how to break through... more than anything, they kept me moving and they kept my spirits up. Thanks brothers, drinks are on me if you ever get to my area! 


I will post the results of my tryout tomorrow, I know this is only the first step in a long process, but this has been the hurdle that has held me back the longest. 

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#6683 5 Ways to Start "Manning Up" After Sedentary Life.

Posted by Firewalker on 13 December 2011 - 03:45 PM

I've had a pretty easy life for the past little while. I went to work, came home, watched TV, played video games, went to bed, got fat, got lazy, got useless. I would generally only get off my ass at work. Now, I did this for quite a few years and got used to the easy life. It's hard not to. However, in the past year or so, I've gone through a bit of a change and decided my shit job in Security wasn't going to pay bills for my family (well, soon to be, it's just me, the wife and a cat for now). I decided I needed something new, so I went into welding.

Changing from the easy life of doing nothing all day, to one where I'm working hard for the day, meant that I had to get back into shape. I had developed a nice beer gut and some formerly tougher parts had grown weak. This had to change so I figured out 5 simple ways of making my life easier by living harder.

1. Just because you can do it easily, doesn't mean you should.

I always found the easiest way of doing things because I was lazy and had no motivation. However, in my new trade, I had to do a lot of lifting and carrying and what not that used muscles that hadn't seen movement in years. Now the simplest of tasks for others were a bit of a struggle. I decided that if they were a struggle, that eventually they would become easy if I just kept at it. So I did.

Eventually, the difficult things became easy. Now I wasn't improving, I had simply plateaued. So I figured, instead of making it easy on myself, why not add a bit of challenge into it?If I have the time, Instead of one load of plates, I'll take one and a half, or two. This can apply to any job or task. Raking leaves or shovelling snow? Don't just rake or shovel your yard, ask your neighbour if they need help. Walking to and from work? Get up early and find a longer route.

If it gets easy, take on more. Take on as much as reasonable, then add a bit more to that. You'll find that the challenge becomes something you actively seek out, rather than avoid.

2. Stop consuming shitty stuff.

This is the easiest concept, but hardest challenge. It used to be that I'd have to have two donuts and an extra large 2 cream, 2 sugar coffee in the morning (I still have the coffee, but I've cut it down to 1 x 1 and I also use milk instead of cream, some things, you just need to prevent murder ;) ). On top of that, dinner often consisted of fast food as it was just easier and faster than cooking at home.

Since I needed to pay for college (welding course at a trade college), I lost the luxury of spending money on fast food. This meant I had to plan for meals in advance in order to budget out our grocery costs. So, my wife and I sit down and figure out our meal plan for the month. We keep the meals balanced and the portions reasonable. However, not only has our food costs dropped from $500/ month to $100-150/month, so has my weight, sort of, but I'll get to that later.

Not only is shitty food expensive in the long run (for example, on the cheap side: 4 x $2 burgers + $2 drink = $10 / night x 7 = $70/ week x 4 = $280 / month on DINNER alone), but it's more detrimental to your health. I am 29 years old, had the blood pressure and cholesterol level of a 45 year old smoker and would get winded going up stairs. All of this was because of shitty diet. I know this seems simple, but the math alone was enough to break out of the fast food prison for us.

The other thing is alcohol. I was an alcoholic when I met my wife. I didn't need AA or anything, I just needed a reason to stop drinking. She gave me that reason. When I met her, I weighed 250 lbs (at 5'11" that was mostly gut). I recommend cutting alcohol consumption down to an "occasional" type of thing. I really only drink on special occasions now, in a social setting, rather than just getting blitzed for the sake of it. I feel better, and my wallet is fatter for it.

If you're an alcoholic and can't stop drinking on your own, you don't need to go to AA, but it can help to get some sort of outside assistance. Talk to your doctor for recommendations.

3. Be a man, not a boy.

This is difficult to grasp for some of us, I know it took me a while, but I got it. Being a man isn't about eating meat, drinking beer and fighting bears (although those tasks do make your balls huge, just saying). Being a man is about responsibility for yourself and your family. It sounds simple, but it isn't.

Taking into account your actions and how they affect others is not something we, as humans, are built for. It takes conditioning, something I lacked growing up.I grew up in a great home; no divorce and had a happy childhood filled with great times. However, I was pretty much given everything I could ask for. I rarely had chores beyond raking leaves or shovelling snow (which would be done half-assedly so I could get back to my video games). My parent's were great parents, but had trouble disciplining me or teaching me important things like responsibility.

This ended up faulting me as a man, as it took me longer to realize what I was supposed to do. They did their best, and I love them for it, but they could have been harder on me to prepare me for the real world.

I learned that being a man is all about providing for yourself and your family. You need to contribute to the house beyond financial means. Help out with the dishes, do some yard work, etc. Do those chores you were supposed to do as a kid. Beyond that, you do need to put food on the table. If that means taking on two jobs, then do it. I'm working on weekends and going to school on week days. If I could fit work in the evenings, I'd be doing that too (I do need to sleep though).Responsibility is a hell of a motivator.

If you know another person is relying on you, it makes you get your shit together pretty quickly. If you're married, and you're concerned you're not doing enough, then do more. Don't ask what needs to be done, just find what needs to be done and do it.

It's that simple. If it means bringing more money in, then try your best (these times are tough, so it's easier said than done). If it means working at McDonalds even though you have a Masters degree, then so be it. It's not demeaning, it's providing for a family, and that is NEVER demeaning, no matter how it is done.

A true man will do anything to make sure the family is taken care of.

4. Live Like You're in the 30's

This one is probably the easiest to accomplish. You've had a long day, on your feet for 8 hours, and the last thing you want to do is go to the gym. That's fine, I feel that way too.

With my workload, I am exhausted when I get home from a long day. I really don't want to lift weights after doing so much work in the shop (although, to be fair, see #1 for how I get my extra exercise in).

The easiest way to relax while still taking a load off is by not using any TV, computers, iPods, iPhones, whatever. Want to take a load off? Go for a walk to a park with your friends or significant other. Get out, go somewhere, but do it by foot. Go to a library, read a book, walk back home. It's simple.

Live like you're in the 30's and avoid all of our modern conveniences. If you want to just relax, do it away from home and get there by foot. When you start to realize how much more enjoyable life can be without technology, you'll also learn to appreciate the technology we have more without abusing it. You don't need a car to go to the store 5 minute away, get off your ass and walk there.

People swoon after the simple life of the 30's for a reason. It's because there was no bullshit to keep us distracted back then. We had to strive to survive and if we didn't we died. A mentality like that goes a long way in days like these.

5. Learn to love living.

Sappy time.

I was a pretty miserable bastard for the longest time. Truth be told, I still have my moments (clinical depression is pretty hard to deal with, but that's for another story). However, when I decided that my life was shit because of the choices I made and made a change to better myself, I learned one thing that will make you the strongest.

Living life is great.

Motivation to make yourself better is the best conditioning tool that no one talks about. Being fat and sad is one thing, but being able to break yourself out of that is tantamount to moving the Pillars of the Earth. It's the hardest thing a person can do. If they're battling clinical depression, that adds another layer of difficulty. A motivation element needs to be present in order to be a better person. This is the part that needs a person to take a huge look inside themselves to see what is needed to change their life.

For me, it was realizing that I needed to provide for a family that I wanted to start. My wife saved me from drinking myself into an early grave, but it was the personal choice of wanting to give her a better life that made me snap out of "Child mode".

If you're finding it hard to do anything in life because you just feel it has no point, you need to realize that it has a point. Living isn't easy, and it does suck at times, but you have to take time to step back from the shit and smell the roses that are planted in it. For guys in the forces, you know what I'm talking about. "Good Livin'".

As a welder, I have a better analogy: Life is tempered by the heat of our tribulations and the cooling of our triumphs.

You need to push through the shit and learn to enjoy your accomplishments. Failure does happen, and it can be tough, but the key is to remember that no matter how many times you fail, you can always try again with knowledge gained from your failures. If you found a marriage that didn't work, you'll know what not to do next time. If you had to quit a job or got fired, you'll know what not to look for next time. It's all about learning from failing.

Failure is the biggest key to success. If we never fell as babies, we would never have learned how to get back up.

In Closing

I hope this ramble has provided something for those who are in a slump like I was. I've not been posting on here for a long time because I've been busy bettering myself. Thanks to this site, I've found some tools to make accomplishing the above 5 steps easier, and now I hope the anecdotes above will make it easier for you to get back on your feet.

I know writing this crap has been a bit challenging (not as challenging as reading it, HAH! *rimshot*), but it'll prepare me for my next goal. I hope to complete a GORUCK Challenge around my 30th Birthday in September (depending on if I can get to one around then, might be a bit later or a bit earlier depending on how things go). If I can accomplish that, then I'll know that I've made some serious strides in my life from someone with no point in life, to a man who can take care of anything that may face him.

Thanks again for reading.
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#39416 Mustaches and Coffee

Posted by pira114 on 22 April 2015 - 12:37 AM

So, I'm partial to my mustache. Just part of who I am. Or at least was.

It all started with ITS actually. Their Instagram feed to be exact. There was one not too long ago that showed the Lock and Load Java. I had tried this coffee before, but had never bought any. So I went to their website and started perusing. Came across their Coffee for the Troops donation page. If you haven't heard of it, basically, you give them money and they give some unit down range coffee. Simple enough.

But it got me thinking (not always a good thing, but it worked out this time).

With the length of time we've been at war in the Middle East, people seem to have started to wane in their efforts to support the service men and women over there. Not entirely of course. And most decidedly not among like minded people you find here. But in general, the media doesn't make as big a deal of it anymore, and large publicized campaigns to raise money to support them have dwindled. My cold dark heart was warmed a tad to see that a company such as this was still in the fight. Makes perfect sense for them since they are Vet owned and operated.

So, I figured I'd do some donating. Talked it over with my partner (more on her later) and she was on board. Went to work and put out the word to my captive audience. Told about 8 guys that I wanted $5-$10 each for this worthy cause. Also told them to put out the word and set a deadline.

So the deadline was fast approaching and we had about $40. Well, that wasn't gonna work for me. My partner either. So she put out a team wide email basically stating what we were trying to do and reminding everyone that while we enjoy all the creature comforts of life, some youngster deployed is allowing us that luxury. While she has never served in the Armed Forces, she is extremely patriotic and passionate about supporting our troops.

She's also fucking evil.

She's a cute little thing. Sweet smile. Looks all innocent and everything. And as with many women, it's a trap.

So this email she sends out worked. We started getting responses in support of our cause. But that wasn't enough for her. Without my knowledge, she upped the ante. Specifically, she offered up my facial hair. That's right. She put out team wide that if we hit a certain goal, I'd shave it off.

This peaked the interest of our Lt., who has been trying (unsuccessfully I might add) to get me to come within a couple miles of regulation length. For a while. Like a hammerhead shark, my partner smelled blood. Or, rather, money. She begins haggling with our Lt. to get him to offer up more donation money in exchange for my mustache. This is when I find out about it. I try to back out. But it ain't happening. He's starting to rally the team into some serious cash. So we again raise the stakes.

We negotiate a deal that if our entire team can get up to $750 in less than 24 hours, my Sgt and I would both shave them off. I can't say no to that. After all, it really is for a good cause, and we're starting to talk some real money now. I had originally hoped for the top donation package of $250. We've now tripled the goal. I'm all in now. The Sgt is none too happy about this, but he's just a Sgt. We're not worried about him.

Less than 24 hours goes by. I'm starting to have a hard time keeping track of the money. In the end, my cute little Anti-Christ of a partner and I have gathered $1388. So out come the razors. On duty. In front of a crowd all gathered around a breakfast buffet they set up for the event. Yeah, that's really how it went down. I shaved, dried my tears, and had breakfast with some great people. All while counting their money that will soon hopefully give some meat eater some pleasure in knowing we are thinking of him back home.

But there's a problem. English was never my strong subject in high school, and $1388 doesn't fit neatly into the $250 package that Lock and Load Java offers. So I email them and quickly get a response. Enter Lori from Lock and Load. Very nice and genuine person. I can sense that from our short phone conversation. We make plans to send the money. She also is planning to put up the story on the interweb. And wants pics. Hmmmm. Enter my agency PIO. Gotta have permission for this stuff since the pics are of us in uniform and our agency name might get out there. The PIO loves it. We, apparently, have a Facebook page and she wants to do a joint story.

Well, it all sounds cool. It's not like it's a million bucks or something. It's just $1388. A great amount for about 25 people to come up with in under 24 hours, but it's not going to caffeinate the whole Army. Plus, now I'm getting nervous about the message. It's not a story about me and my mustache. It's not even a story about my patriotic, cute, evil partner. It's about the troops. It's about me having coffee whenever I damn well please under the protection of the men and women of our Armed Forces. It's about me being warm in the winter and cool in the summer, while warriors make do with whatever they can that day. And, more importantly, it's about reminding more people about those facts. They're still over there. Still in harms way. Remember them.

So, if this story isn't about me, why am I telling you? Simple. This is a direct challenge bitches. I'm assuming most of you are gainfully employed. Some of you may even have amicable relationships with coworkers. Remember all those deployed and start a small fund raiser type thing. Find a charity. They're out there. Doesn't have to be coffee, that's just how mine started. There are several foundations for the troops, law enforcement, fire fighters, and the families of all those who need our support. Pick one. Make it an annual event (we're planning on that). And even though I never wanted the focus to be on me, or any one person, it did make me feel really good. Some say my heart grew three sizes that day.

So do what ya can and report back. I'd love to hear people's stories of how their fund raising went. Might help each other with ideas to keep interest up.

P.S. No where in my patriotic, cute, evil partner's email did it say I had to KEEP it off. I've been in recovery for about 7 days now and I'm doing well.

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#33705 Paracord?

Posted by LongHaul on 12 November 2014 - 12:21 AM

Here's my review of the Ultimate Survival Technologies Paracord. I'll be comparing it to the paracord that I normally use. I buy my paracord in 1000 foot spools from US manufacturers that make the "mil spec" cordage, but I don't pay the premium for it being specifically labeled "mil spec." I'll include a picture of some mil spec stuff at the end of my review and explain why I don't pay twice as much for the "good stuff."


Also, for anyone that doesn't like reading. Here's the bottom line up front:

The Ultimate Survival Technologies paracord is fine. I don't like it as much as the stuff I usually use, but it's alright. It's rated to 550 pounds just like my regular stuff and should be fine for any application you'd normally use any brand of paracord for. Oh, and mil spec paracord isn't worth the price in my opinion.



I'll start out by comparing prices:


1000 foot spool: $47 or about $0.05 per foot

UST 30 foot bundle: $4.95 or about $0.17 per foot


The winner here is the spool. To be fair, the UST bundle comes with a carabiner for attaching it to your gear. But it isn't a very good carabiner and I don't think it justifies the price difference.



1000' Spool next to 30 foot bundle




Closeup on the bundle with carabiner






Here are two closeup shots of the seven inner strands from both brands. The UST cordage is on the top in the first picture and on the left in the second. Both brands have the standard 7 strands and both are rated to 550 pounds. I noticed when I cut these sections that the sheath on the UST cord frayed quite a bit more when cut than the sheath on my other paracord did. Hopefully you can see that in the pictures here. It's not a huge deal, but considering that the UST cord feels "squishy" it starts to make me question the durability of the sheath.








Next I tied bowlines into both cords. The dark green paracord that I normally use feels better to tie knots with. It's more supple than the UST cord and doesn't have the stiffness that I noted with the UST cordage. Also, you can see in this picture some pretty significant flattening of the UST cord around the knot. The flattening resulted from the loose/squishy sheath and there are two problems that I see with this. The first problem is that knots will be more difficult to untie after tightening due to the flattening and deforming of the cord as it passes through the knot. The second, and probably more significant, problem is that the UST paracord will probably be weaker than other paracord at the knot as a result of the flattening. All cordage is weakened by knots and the sharper the angle or the more deformation caused by a knot the more the cord is weakened.






Next I did a durability check by using the paracord to cut through zip ties. I used 175 pound breaking strength zip ties, the strongest you typically find at home improvement stores. Sawing through the zip ties with cordage is a common technique for breaking out of this form of illegal restraint. Kevlar cord works a lot better for this, but paracord works fine too, as you'll see.






Ultimate Survival Technologies paracord set up to cut the zip tie




My usual stuff set up to cut the zip tie





Here is the aftermath of cutting through the zip ties. You can see the sheath damage very clearly. From top to bottom this picture shows:


1. Undamaged paracord from my 1000' spool

2. The damaged section from my usual stuff

3. The damaged UST sheath

4. The undamaged UST paracord.


My methods were definitely unscientific, but I tried to keep the pressure the same throughout the test. I noticed more heat and a bit more melting plastic smell when I used the UST cord. It took me 6 sawing motions with the UST cord and 5 sawing movements with my paracord. That's not a significant difference and they both got the job done. You'll notice in the picture that you can still see the weave pretty well on the green paracord, but the UST cord is very flattened and the sheath shows a bit more damage.





Overall I'd say the UST paracord is fine and would work well for most uses. That said, I like my paracord a lot better for the following reasons:


1. It costs less.

2. It's easier to tie knots in.

3. I think that it will retain it's strength better at the knot.










And now, my thoughts on mil spec paracord.


In my opinion mil spec paracord is too expensive for any benefit it provides. It costs nearly twice as much as the commercial paracord. The primary difference between mil spec and commercial paracord is the identifier on one of the inner strands (the light green marker in the 5th strand from the top in the picture below). They also may or may not use a different dye in the sheath and there are some tests required on the mil spec stuff. Due to the increased cost associated with the mil spec requirements the commercial cord that doesn't have the identifier on the inner strand costs less. Both commercial and mil spec cord are rated to 550 pounds and should perform equally well for what most people use paracord for.


Mil spec paracord with the colored identifier visible on the 5th strand from the top.





I hope everyone got something out of that long and rambling paracord discussion. I'll finish up with an incomplete list of the things I use paracord for.


Tent guy lines

Rigging tarps

Loosening stuck bolts (yep!)

Securing stuff in the bed of my truck

Building shelters



Hanging food in bear country

Bow drill for starting fire

Use it to make a "buzz saw" with a glow stick for signaling

Making ranger pace count beads

Making sweet bracelets to show how prepared I am

Repairing gear (using the inner strands)

Burning my fingers by accident

Escaping illegal restraint (practice only, so far...)

Hanging game meat in the field

Dummy cording my gear

Other random things

Posting long-ass replies to the ITS Tactical forum...  :cool:




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#29913 Teaser Cover.... What do you think?

Posted by SteveSOS on 01 September 2014 - 11:01 PM

So all of the main photography has been done... and my article has turned into a 170 page book... 


What do you guys think of the photography and all that?


And as promised an extensive (yet condensed) version with pictures will be posted shortly. 

Attached Thumbnails

  • Book-Cover.jpg

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#25184 Accepted a Job Promotion today...

Posted by SwatDawg335 on 17 April 2014 - 04:01 PM

I was offered a promotion from Deputy to Investigator today.  Pretty excited.  I think I'll have celebrate and buy myself a Battle Mug for the new desk.

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Posted by CENTCOMSurvivor on 30 September 2013 - 07:24 PM

I thought this was a great study guide for those with limited medical training. It really breaks down your typical TCCC guidelines. It also covers patient assessments which is something I was recently exposed to in depth by PJ (bigpac931) and Doc from RSKTKR.



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#42634 VJ Day

Posted by jopasmith on 15 August 2015 - 08:43 AM

Until the millennium arrives and countries cease trying to enslave others, it will be necessary to accept one’s responsibilities and to be willing to make sacrifices for one’s country — as my comrades did. As the troops used to say, ‘If the country is good enough to live in, it’s good enough to fight for.’ With privilege goes responsibility.” –Eugene B. Sledge, With the Old Breed

Today is the anniversary of Victory in Japan day. I hope we can all take a minute to remember what these first marines did to preserve and protect our freedoms. I know modern conflicts have their own horrors and heroes, Operation Redwing especially comes to mind, but few mortal experiences compare to the challenges these marines faced on the coral of Peleliu or the coasts of Okinawa. These marines set the standard for the high calling of the Marine today. A big thank you to the marines, both past and present, on this VJ Day.
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#42072 Voluntarily disarming tonight

Posted by PSDRyan on 26 July 2015 - 07:58 AM

I can carry anywhere and made the life choice that I just don't consume any alcohol outside my own home. I've learned to live with it.

Some days I wish i could make myself leave it at home, go condition white, and relax completely.
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Posted by mangeface on 16 July 2015 - 04:00 PM

In light of today's attack, I feel this is an appropriate topic to start.

If you're military, carry your fucking gun. Even on base. Our lackadaisical government has and will continue to do nothing. It's up to you to protect yourself, and it's past the point to start breaking some laws to do it.
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#40801 TSA-friendly

Posted by B3dlam on 08 June 2015 - 01:16 PM

I'm headed OCONUS for a bit to a friendly but still developing country. Do any of you have a TSA-friendly EDC/SERE kit that you'd be willing to share the contents of? Something that i can put in my carry-on then reinforce with items from my checked bag in country. Thanks!


Well according to current reports you can basically take whatever the fuck you want and have only a 5% chance of getting caught..

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#37572 Rifle project is finally getting off the ground

Posted by mikejulietpapa on 31 January 2015 - 03:53 PM

It's been a long time but the ball is finally rolling and it can't be stopped. I'm super excited and can't wait to get this beast up and running.



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#34593 Oathkeepers, Join or no?

Posted by Jersey0311 on 01 December 2014 - 10:42 PM

Fuck to the no. Be an Oathkeeper in principle, not on paper. Nothing is worth the risk to your clearance.

  • spenceman, SKD_Tactical, SacRyan and 6 others like this