Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Man-Hug

Just had to share this with you guys.
Recently had coffee with an American buddy and came up wit the eternal debate:
Say high like us South Americans do ( hugh and cheeck contact, kissing the air). Or go the American and European way and do a nice firm hand shake.
Around here anyone you show any appreciation for (friends and family) is greeted with a hug-kiss to the air cheek thing. It is kind of complicated, but avoiding to do that in this part of the world will get you accused of:
1. Being distrustful.
2. Not being secure of your manhood.
Given that the American had been living here for awhile now, I guessed he’d already be used to it so it went well.
None the less, guys hugging is a bit of an art apparently, so to help you out, I found this video while looking around:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUdWApwbudQ


FerFAL

Precious Metals, junk PM and change.

Anonymous said...

Hey FerFal, I wanted to ask you about silver. I have bought some silver as an investment / inflation hedge. Now I remember reading you said gold was much more valuable in Argentina post collapse. But I was wondering about the actual differences in price per ounce.

For instance here in the US as I write this, gold is hovering around $900 per ounce and silver is around $12 per ounce. What is the price per ounce in Argentina? Thanks in advance.


We have those same prices. maybe a few dollars more expensive depending where you buy.




It’s no saying one is more valuable than the other.
It’s just that gold is much more likely to be accepted at a street level.
I’m speaking entirely of a local situation here, this may or may not apply to your country.
Here for example, you are much more likely to find a street dealer that is interested in your “junk” 18k gold than in mint silver coins. Maybe he’ll buy the silver coins, maybe not, but gold is what they are most interested in.
On the other hand, the sales of silver Eagles in Argentina went up 200% compared to the same period last year.
It’s easy to see why: Gold coins are too expensive for us, and if you want a “mint” precious metal that isn’t “junk”, something you can put large amounts of money in, silver starts looking very good.
Here in Argentina we use your same Troy oz. prices, PM are pretty much priced the same way all around the world.
It’s also important to mention that buying precious metals now is a bit expensive because of the crisis. A few years from now when things calm down it’s likely to go down. But you shouldn’t buy gold speculating on the price going up, selling and making a profit. If you want to do that, now is not the time. Precious metals are a way of securing you savings, its not an investment.
If you are worried about gold going down in the future, my humble advice is reflects the “El cronista” local financial news paper: Silver shines a bit more than gold, at least in that regard, since gold is a bit “overpriced” these days because of the demand.

"Scrap" gold, sold on Ebay

I’d still buy mostly small gold coins, a bit of silver, some pre 95 junk silver and a bit of junk gold 18K jewelry. Even broken jewelry can be found, sometimes for less than its gold content value. These last two “junk” metals, I would consider a form of small pocket change.
You don’t keep 10.000 USD in quarters… but 100 bucks is a damn good idea. In Argentina people are currently paying 10% + its value for coins, so there’s a value in change.
Bus companies do this and sell the coins back to shop owners. Of course its illegal to do this but they do it anyway, and people end up paying 10%, even 15% for the change. So there’s absolutely a value in having change.


FerFAL

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

keychain LED light

Hi FerFal,
Your blog is awesome, a great resource and I have just started to read your book!!
I thought I would pass this along, it's a link to a site where I ordered about 25 of these
hand cranked keychain led flashlights. They are bright and need no batteries!!
Keep up the great work !
Cheers,
Ryan

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.12932


Thanks for the heads up.
It would be nice to have a review.
I’d rather go with one of the cheaper Led keychain lights instead. They last a long time, and there’s no complex mechanism to depend on.http://countycomm.com/ARES%20SOLED.htm

County Comn has good deals and products as far as I know ( I have no association with them whatsoever, just the word I’ve been hearing for years in various forums) and many of the guys in the forums have bought their cheap LEDs as giveraway and spares. It’s supposedly pretty good too.
http://countycomm.com/index1.htm
Careful with County Comn, they have some of the neatest gadgets, to bad they dont ship outside USA, remember to save your money and just buy what you need. You dont need a ninja wall climbing hook, for example :^)

FerFAL

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Barbarita

FerFAL,

In your book and elsewhere you write about Barbarita, a young starving Argentinian girl who was interviewed and didn't want to be anything when she grew up, and about what this interview meant for people in Argentina. Do you have any links to this video? I'd like to have a copy or at least to see it.

Many thanks!


I transcript what the little girl tells in my book and try to describe it in detail but the images are much more powerful. She’s a girl that in 2002 was starving in Tucuman, and cries because she’s hungry.
It’s hard to explain, but we see footage of people that are starving frequently. It’s just that it get’s more personal when it happens in your own country, and the children crying speak your language.

Reporter: What did you eat this morning, right now, that we saw you were eating something?
Barbarita smiles.
Barbarita: Tortilla
Reporter: And yesterday for supper?
(Barbarita’s smile starts to disappear as she starts to cry)
Barbarita: Nothing
Reporter: Now that you’re going to school, do they give you food?
Barbarita : No
Barbairta starts wiping the tears off her eyes
The shocked reporter asks a stupid question.
Reporter: Are you sad?
Barbarita: Yes
She cries for a couple seconds.
Reporter: What are you thinking? Tell me.
Barbarita: We haven’t eaten anything, we don’t have money.
The scene is cut and then continues.
The camera is close and you see that Barbarita is not only thin: She’s skin and bones and the skin has a grayish color. The big eyes are deep into her skull and you can see wrinkles around her eyes.
Reporter: How old are you?
Barbrita: Eight.
The reporter asks her last stupid question, and Barbarita’s reply puts a significant nail in the coffin where the future of this country was buried.
Reporter: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Barbarita: Nothing.



FerFAL

Ammo availability

I’d like to mention this because people are talking about it a lot and maybe this can help.
The standard approach is to buy guns in common calibers because the ammunition is more plentiful and easy to find.
These last few months people got very interested in the kind of ammo available, thinking about ammo availability in the future.
What happened in USA was that because of these events, people started stockpiling guns and ammunition.
Of course, they cleaned out most common calibers and the ones that aren’t that common like 10mm or 41 magnum where still available.
“Oh, the theories are wrong! Odd calibers are clearly the way to go!”. Well, no.
Because of the situation, it would seem that common calibers don’t make as much sense, but you can’t base you decision on a momentarily situation.
Common calibers will be restocked. Odd calibers will still be expensive and hard to get in smaller shops.
What happened here was that the Military Factory ( Fabricaciones Militares) cut down the production of ammo because of the crisis.
Guess which calibers were dropped and which ones continued to be manufactured?
You go that right, common calibers, 22LR, 9mm, 45, 308W, calibers they new would sell and not sit around waiting for someone with that uncommon firearm caliber.
So people, in spite of recent events stick to common calibers, and if guns are your “thing” then yes have other guns so you can take advantage of any kind of ammo you may find, but common is always better if you are just going to have a few guns.
Same for other smaller local caliber manufacturers: 22LR, 12 ga, 9mm, 40 and 45 , 38 and 357 magnum, those are the ones that get made.
Stick to common calibers and have a nice amount stocked. When you need it it’s no time to go buying.

FerFAL

Swine Flu

Hi Ferfal

I've been reading your blog for quite a while now and its been incredibly helpful, so thanks very much for that. I have a question about the swine flu outbreak in Mexico and USA - are you prepared for such a situation? If so, how? I understand that there is a vaccine available - Tamiflu - that can in some circumstances be bought over the counter. Would you consider this or rely on the government to provide a vaccination through the WHO (World Health Organisation)?

Many Thanks and keep up the good work.

Jay


Oh, I’ve learned long ago not to rely on the government, specially the Argentine one.
I think there’s not a single Argentine left that trusts our “leaders” any more.
If some international organizations truly gives away medicine for free, our government and some down their chain will simply steal it and sell it to the people.
If things get bad, I think I’d just leave the country fast and move to Spain where I can go immediately and would have a place to crash.
I bought Tamilfu a couple years ago. I suppose it already expired. Maybe I’ll buy a couple more boxes just in case.
It’s cheap insurance when you consider the alternative.
Regarding locations, take for example what’s happening here with the Dengue.
The disease has spread a lot, thankfully autumn is coming and the mosquito slowing down it’s activity.
But what did the government do after people protested for the lack of official action?
They started fumigating, but where? In the city, where there’s the greatest amount of population, and, maybe more important, where people notice the government action the most.
So, in the city they get rid of the bug, while in the outskirts and other smaller provinces they are still getting people infected for lack of government action.
Of course this is one particular case, other diseases work differently and in other cases you want to be as far away from populated places as you can. But with a mosquito spreading a disease, or rats, pests that can be controlled if the authorities do a bit of effort, being in the capital city helps a lot, since it’s the last place they allow to go down.
About flu, sorry don’t have much advice there. Get Tamiflu ( I think it’s expensive in USA) .
If the disease spreads in your area, you might want to start wearing one of those 3M cloth masks rated N95.
I carry one in my bag all day, mostly for smoke and debris, but it would help avoid (read help, not avoid completely) flu as well.
Maybe people are afraid of looking like dorks. If the disease is spreading in your area, forget shyness and dorkiness, those have no place in a survival minded person.
People with immune system diseases use those masks all day, so they are not that uncommon.
Avoid crowded and dirty places like public transportation, go shopping to the supermarket when there’s the lesser amount of people, preferably early during week days.
If things get really bad, you just better move somewhere else. Here’s where the Plan B and C we’ve talked about before comes into play, just one more example of when it can come in handy.
Take care.

FerFAL

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Close combat class report.

Today from 9 AM to 6PM.
Every muscle in my body hurts and after taking a bath I realized I’m full or bruises all over, legs, arms, torso, and face. I have a particular nasty one in the hip, a big red mark, caused by some little vain that broke inside.
Other people got hurt worse and one will have an ugly scar in the face to remind him of the occasion for a long time.
One guy said he couldn’t move his leg anymore to what Baigorria (the head instructor) simply replied don’t be a chicken shit and keep fighting.
It was 5 of us, and the 3 instructors also participated.
We rotated to fight different skills and weights.
I got my butt kicked and was forced to tap out a couple times, but I’m proud of a rear naked choke and beautiful arm bar I did on one of the instructors.
It was all young and rather fit people.
Continuing fighting and taking things to the next level with violence was not only ok, it was actually encouraged, forming a circle around the fighters and cheering them. I must say, those were the times when you learn the most.
We broke batons, and a couple of plastic practice knives so yes the class was pretty intense.
We started with hand to hand combat. Different strikes, elbow, chin grab, slap to the ear. Low kicks, spike kicks (ball kicking) kicks to the shin, stomping and kicks to the side of the knee. Everything was followed up with various attacks. All of this was put into use when fighting, including eye, nose and lip hooks. It’s a miracle no one got seriously hurt, but you have to respect a defensive class where people kick each other in the nuts and then actually put it to use in sparring.
We practiced different holds, fighting against walls, then we did floor fighting an grappling. Rear naked chokes and various attacks to the neck and spine.
Most of the class was hand to hand. For knife and stick we did mostly Kali moves, and particularly for knife we did a lot of sparring with rubber knives, combining with H2H.
I landed a very good hook kick combined with a low trust, and definitely nailed a guy that was a much better fighter than I am. If someone lost the knife , it turned into a H2H versus knife, if they grappled and ended in the floor, in was a floor fight.
Having a fighting strategy and some basic combos definitely worked for me. That and being left handed, since most people are used to fighting right handed people.
The class was very complete regarding H2H thought still you have to take what you find useful and adapt to your situation and experience.
We tried and proved yet again that in a very close combat situation, the best H2H fighter wins, and the knife is definitely a better weapon. So carry those folders every single day and learn how to use them!

What I liked:
The reality level, at some points it was just “guys, jut put your opponent down in any way you can”.
The knife sparring was pretty good.
Using something as common as walls in your advantage was nice.
The level of the other students was way above average, so you learned a lot.
The class went on non stop, stopping every couple hours for 2 or 3 minutes to drink a bit of water and then kept fighting.

What I didn’t like so much:
While such level of reality is great and what everyone should strive for in their self defense training, sometimes it was a bit too much.
I mean, a guy dropped like a corpse when kicked in the nuts during a fight, and the eye and nose gouge was very common.
Some of the baton techniques to hurt the spine during ground fighting where too dangerous. It’s a matter of time before they leave someone in a wheel chair in my opinion. You can’t use a baton to put leverage in a guy’s spine until he screams in pain and expect nothing to happen.
The class would have still been great without practicing those things that, in my opinion, carry no benefit in performing them in a class. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to put your fingers in a guy’s nose during a floor fight and rip it.
Tips and advice:
Find people that train on reality based fighting, lots of sparring and continuing the fights until they are clearly ended. Choreographs are what Madonna’s dancers do. And no, it’s not reality based self defense.
This class was a bit too messy in terms of neck and eye injuries, still ok but a bit on the unnecessary dangerous side. Find responsible instructors like Jorge Baigorria, not some nutcases that get together and beat the crap out of each other for no good reason.
Retractable batons: I don’t like them, not one bit, even the quality ones. I think a big folder is a much better and more intimidating weapon. Even the ASPs ended up bending and I think one was beyond repair.
My El Hombre Cold Steel got a lot of attention, everyone agreed that the “S” shaped serrated blade was just perfect for slashing and stabbing, greatly increasing the potential of the relatively small blade. I’m very happy with it and would like to get another one, a serrated Vaquero soon.
Classes like these, they aren’t for novices. You need good neck and upper body strength. Work on your arms and legs as well, but you need a god neck and shoulders to grapple and avoid neck injuries.
Overall and in spite of those safety issues, the class was everything I hoped for, and I doubt there are many superior classes. We saw almost everything we needed to know and focused on sparring.
Thanks for reading guys, I’ll go get some much needed sleep right now.
I’ll try answering to the emails and comments tomorrow.

FerFAL

Friday, April 24, 2009

Awareness, gear and expiration dates



Anonymous said...
I have an off topic comment here...

Hi Ferfal,

I'm have a small dilemma and I'd like to get your view on this.

Background first. I live in the suburbs and work in San Francisco. I take public transit (BART) to work.

As you might already know, SF is full of homeless people and general weirdos.

To help block out the train noise and other people talking on their mobile phone etc, I put on my ipod pretty much 100% of the time.

I keep the volume pretty low so that I can still maintain situation awareness.

So here is my delimma -- the pros of having my head phones on is that I can pretend to not hear the homeless and the weirdos on the street asking for
hand outs or asking me to buy their stuff -- they tend to keep their distance if you don't react to them. The cons is, of course, this makes me appear to have low/no situation awareness, which could make me a more attractive target to the bad guys.

We're not at a point that I'd want to react violently to every street person I encounter (quite a few daily)

Thanks!



I think I told this before once.
One day I was going to work in the train that goes to Constitucion.
I wont waste much time describing it, anyone the ever set foot on the “Roca” railroad knows it’s the stuff nightmares are made of, crowded, dangerous, infested with thieves, smell like piss, it’s a total disaster, but since it’s the cheapest form of transportation, it’s crowded far beyond it’s capacity.
Traveling in that train was one of the main reasons why I started using steel toed shoes, you just can’t avoid having people step on you all the time during rush hour, it’s worse than a can of sardines.
Anyway, I was like you, trying to avoid the smelly reality with some Mp3 music when suddenly I see everyone around me flinch, look in one direction simultaneously, and duck. Everyone except the idiot with the headset (me).
I knew better but like you, I wanted some distraction. By the time I realize what’s going on I turn around and see a “gendarme” ( military police) running in one direction.
I never knew what happened, didn’t care much. All I know is that if that had been shots, I would have been the only idiot left standing while everyone else ducks and hits the floor. It’s a mistake I wont be making any more.
Nomad over at Minion’s forum told me he uses just one ear bud, so as to be able to hear what’s going on around you. It sure is a good idea. You don’t get that stereo sound, but at least you aren’t so vulnerable.
I just resist the temptation and just dont use anything that can impair my hearing any more, in any way. So the mp3 player stays at home form now on. Besides, it attracts the attention of thieves.


Hi Ferfal:

I have come up with some questions if that is okay. Here it goes:

1. Can you provide a link for the solar powered hand crank battery charger (for regular batteries, not cell phone batteries);
2. You have recommended LED flashlights, do you have a link for your favorite one? I only saw the headlamps on your sight;
3. I have some storage questions:
· Can medicines such as: Alleve, Ibufrofen; aspirin and multi-vitamins be stored in the refrigerator for long term storage?
· I am also storing toiletries such as bar soap, shampoo, toothpaste, how can these be stored to maximize storage life?

Thanks for all your help.
J

1- Using that same charger ( the one that has the wire to charge the cell phone), you can hook it to a regular RW or other regular battery charger unit and charge batteries. You only need a wire adaptor that fits, or a spare set of wires cut and fit with alligator clips.
Still, I ‘ve done it with the hand crank and believe me, it’s a waste of time. It’s much better to leave it under the sun and let the solar panel recharge it.
Either that or simply get a dedicated solar charger,

http://www.amazon.com/SunJia-Solar-Battery-Charger-4/dp/B000H36S0G/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1240632939&sr=1-2

2. The LED headlamp by energizer is one of my favorites. For most uses, I’ve always favored head lamps because they are so practical and allow you to use both hands.
My wife made fun of me and yes, the word “dork” was mentioned.
It only took one try during a blackout for her to ask me to get her one for herself. :)
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00081GATG?tag=surviinargen-20&camp=14573&creative=327641&linkCode=as1&creativeASIN=B00081GATG&adid=1WVS21HKZPF5S61EZCFZ&

For normal flashlights, pick one of the excellent Fenix lights
https://www.fenix-store.com/index.php?cPath=22
Try sticking to AA or AAA lights, and the ones that use LED.
Some have variable lumens and can double as “tactical” lights without needing the more expensive 123 batteries.
These are the kind f items that are well worth the bit of extra money.
Alleve, Ibufrofen and aspirin, I’ve used some that were a year past the expiration date and worked ok.
Aspirin I’ve had some that was even older, + 2 years, and it still stopped my headache.
As long as you keep them in a dark, cool, dry place, the expiration date in these is a bit more forgiving.
Vitamins, no, you have to keep track and rotate because they loose efficiency quick.
Id’ avoid storing in the refrigerator because of the humidity and extreme temp. Rather keep in a dry dark place and try to rotate as required.
Soap pretty much lasts forever, and I’ve used toothpaste that was many years old with no problem other than the paste drying up and needing to pop some of it out with a nail.
Toiletries store well. Again, a year or two give or take, but still try to rotate.
I’ve used shampoo that was almost a year beyond it’s expiration date and it was perfect.
Keep in mind that aromas ( shampoo, perfume ) degrades in time, say 5 years or more. I’ve had some perfume smell rather bad after 10 years, some last better than others but expect the smell to change for the worse, even if the shampoo clean just as well.
For the year or two you plan to keep in hand and rotate, it wont be a problem.

FerFAL

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Don’t buy crap

You’d think it’s simple and obvious advice, but sometimes you can’t help yourself.
Using names isn’t very elegant, lets just say a certain guy nicknamed “FerF**” was planning on taking a knife, baton, and H2H self defense class this Saturday and needed an expandable baton.
His instructor told him “Don’t buy crap”
His buddy Nomad over at Minion’s told him “Don’t buy crap”
What does the guy do? Being as stubborn as a mule, he buys crap.
Come on, it was only 5 bucks.
I knew it was crap, but 5 bucks was so cheap, vs. the 80 USD the ASP baton costs.

Looks like the ASP, but its a chinese copy
To be honest, I told myself “You still have one day left”, so I was planning on getting the quality thing but I first wanted to try out the cheapo baton. Good thing I did that.
“Trying out” consisted on giving it to my son.
I could hand over a M1 Abraham Battle Tank to Tommy, my 6 year old boy, and I know for certain five minutes later he will come back to me and say “Dad, I broke it… can you fix it?”.
He played a bit with it but soon it was supper time.
When we finished supper he left the baton on the table and rushed into his room, came back with a 4 foot steel pipe and attached me.
The pipe once had a short life as a stick horse toy.
My wife thought it was cute.
It took my son about 30 seconds to discover it was much more fun to remove the horse head and hit daddy with the cloth wrapped tube instead.
So here comes my insane kid, wildly bashing with this tube completely unaware he can probably brake my fingers with it.
I expanded the baton and blocked a couple blows, and after stopping 4 or 5 it broke, the smallest segment just detached and flew away.
“My sword it stronger than you baton daddy”
And he was right, how pathetic is that?
Imagine using that thing on a real fight.
You’d think it would take a serious idiot to trust in a 5 dollar weapon, but someone is obviously buying them, and it sure looked sturdy at first.
I’m 5 bucks poorer but I learned that lesson yet again.
Do not buy crap, specially when it comes to important gear and supplies.
At least tomorrow I’ll get a serious tool for the class.
Who wants to bet that this Saturday there’s going to be more than a few guys showing up to class with a similar cheapo baton?
Your knife, your gun, the ammo you load it with, you food and other essential supplies, don’t go chap on all that.
Do lots of research, but most of the time, you have to pay a reasonable price for good stuff. There are some bargains out there, but most of the time you get what you pay for.
There’s other ways to cut expenses, don’t go cheap on tools that you plan on using to protect your life. It’s just stupid.

FerFAL

Blood of tyrants and Patriots

Russel said...
Yo FerFal,

I like your blog, but you need to chill with that fiery stuff. People should definitely always use their talents to secure and advance liberty, but when you get all start using that "blood of tyrants and patriots" language, its just an invitation for dim people to relieve their anxieties by making weak politicians into "tyrants," and therefore themselves "patriots" -- and how, by exercising the only power other can muster (in the absence of talent), and that's violence.

Just saying, I know how good it feels to get a little poetic and shake your fist, but when its on TV or the Internet (where you don't know who is listening), that little feeling isn't worth the dumb ideas it can put out there. I'm not saying tyrants don't deserve punishment, just that people can find themselves supporting or echoing things that they don't come form their heart, and they have too much pride or insecurity, to get honest with themselves. This is how dumb kids get sucked into the military, and praising Bush -- because they're already publicly committed to some position they heard poetically delivered by someone who was wise enough not to take themselves too seriously, or commit the same ego-fueled mistake.
April 23, 2009 1:22 AM



Russel, the poetic license is credited to Thomas Jefferson, not me.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. ... God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion; what country can preserve its liberties if their rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms." -- Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith, 1787


I’m so sorry to see that you didn’t recognize it.
It should be taught in schools all over the world because it’s some of Jefferson’s most wisest and profound words. It’s certainly not “dumb ideas”. It’s how true freedom and democracy is preserved, when leaders truly fear and respect “the people”.
Unfortunately we’ve reached the point here where civil war is hanging over our heads like a Damocles sword these days.
It’s no supposition of mine. There are report by the CIA and other American agencies that see this possibility very clearly, and our own press and even our vice president know this as well, and have sometimes admitted it openly.
People are fed up. We are all getting poorer, more abused, stolen of our rights and property and it’s really getting to that point (again) when the society is about to explode in violence.


FerFAL

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Political Situation in America (continent)



vdavisson said...
Ferfal, how did the Summit of the Americas play on Argentine TV? I am completely ashamed of our president palling around with Hugo Chavez and Daniel Ortega. It's disgusting.

vdavisson said...
Oh and he kissed up to Kirchner, Evo and Lula (or whatever the Brazil guy is called). Ugh. And he was cool to Stephen Harper and the president of Colombia.

I am so sorry!


I’ve said it since the first day. It’s shameful to have that bag of botox as our president.
Preaching communism and socialism while she parades around with her clothes and purses worth thousands of dollars, hundreds of thousands worth in jewelry. She’s so ridiculous, so corny it makes me sick.
Of course she’s as dumb as a door know, but the worst part is the marriage in power ( the Ks) are evil sinister people.
We’ve had thieves as presidents, but they are beyond that, they are evil plotters methodically destroying the middle class they consider a threat, and they are outspoken about their intentions and manipulation.
They want an ignorant, poor population. They intentionally infiltrate in our education system this poor=good rich=bad mentality.
So the poor guy working all day long and getting paid pennies by a conglomerate, he should be proud of his poverty and take pride in the way others exploit him.
Of course this same mechanism is popular in many south American countries, with people like Chaves, Castro and Evo Morales, all of them corrupt criminals that abuse their people.
What is sad is that O is taking USA in that same direction.
It’s unfortunate but today, the modern survivalist can’t avoid to acknowledge this as yet another ( and very serious!) threat. Not only to the rights that give a degree of freedom to people, but a threat to their way of life itself.
Our botox queen here in Argentina decided that to finance her luxuries she could just destroy our middle class a bit more. Not only the middle class which is almost gone, but to submerge the poor into greater poverty.
In the last couple months, she has raised power and natural gas bills 600% .
All of this goes straight to the K presidential marriage. Supposedly to finance more power research ( oh, the BS smell is almost unbearable )
There’s people that got a 2000 peso bill for two months worth of electricity because they had ( embrace yourself ) and evil power consuming Air Conditioning unit!!. Almost 300 USD a month worth of power bill simply because, according to their excuse, they punish you for using AC… in summer!!... in South America!!
It’s insanity!
If you think this only happens in horror movies you are wrong, these things happen for real.
Do you people have any idea what this means?
It means that a person earning almost twice the minimum wage will see nearly 20% of it gone just to stay warm in the coming winter.
It’s insane, its diabolic.
I think the time of watering the tree of Liberty with the blood of tyrants and patriots is coming close.

FerFAL

Monday, April 20, 2009

Acting

AnonymousGrayson said...

I got mine on Saturday, though I guess living only a few hours from Lulu's HQ sped up the shipping a bit! Anyhow, I'm going to get windy here, so here's the condensed version: New prepper or seasoned, or in-between, you WILL find something informative, or at the very least thought provoking. Heck, there's even a part on how to make your kid eat his dinner...!

I'm not a newbie to prepping...but, financial limitations aside, I guess I really could be trying harder. The book really opened my eyes to some flaws, or just things I could be doing better. Like, I wear shades almost all the time. Proper shatter-resistant shooting glasses don't cost much more than the cheap sunglasses I favor (LESS than them in some cases)...so why NOT have a little extra eye protection?

Body armor is something I overlook too, to my detriment given the increasingly-dangerous job of working in a pharmacy. Even if I COULD carry a gun with their blessing, it's very hard to stay in 'condition yellow' in an insanely busy pharmacy.

Also, some GREAT tips on Precious Metals for guy like me that's "late to the party" in that department. Hmm, I do have a question regarding that though...what if you really suck as an actor, like I do? Do you really get that much of a better deal if they think you're selling YOUR wedding ring or your "Grandma's" bracelet, as opposed to just one you had on hand from a pawn shop?

April 20, 2009 7:52 PM


Grayson, thanks for buying my book.

What if you suck as an actor? Try harder!! :^)

Practice makes perfect. I’m not that good at it myself.

I never acted in school plays, but today I admit I got much better at these things by trying and practicing all the time.

I’m not talking about stealing Tom Hank’s next leading role, but you want to be able to control what comes out of your lips and the kind of answers you give. Sometimes you’ll have to lie.

It’s important to learning how to control the image you project.

For haggling certainly, it will help.

A thief selling a snatched chain gets paid only 10 pesos, for example. That’s all he needs for a “paco” (drug) fix and that’s all he’ll get. If I go with the same piece of jewelry I know I’ll get a better price, simply because I’m not some desperate junky.

In general, if you pretend to have a bit of an internal struggle because of sentimental value for example, you’ll get a few more extra bucks if the person is interested.

Not only that, but it ends up looking as if you don’t have a drawer full of stuff, and therefore you don’t attract attention to people that may have robbery in mind.

Look desperate ( even if you really are desperate) and you’ll sure get a worse price.

It’s not that different from real estate business. The guy with the rope around the neck will be offered less money, and he’ll usually accept.

In general terms, it’s good to be able to somewhat control the image you project.

Dealing with people in my neighborhood, I simply don’t care to look particularly wealthy or sophisticated. In my book, the poorer I sound the better, so talking like the poor locals helps. Skipping a final “s” when talking is typical of the local lower class, so I can slip some of it in a conversation.

Remis and taxi drivers will usually ask personal stuff here, like where are you going and what do you do for a living, and its not wise to sound as if you are doing better than the general average.

“I’ve been out of work for the last couple of months” is a good reply here, or at least complaining about hardly being able to pay the bills.

You’d be amazed by the amount of robberies and kidnaps caused by loose lips. People that can’t help themselves and start bragging or showing off.

Then again, when I’m doing business with other kind of people and want to project a better cultural level, I can do that as well, even drop a bit of snob in there if I think the person will relate better to that.

When there’s lots of poverty and you live dealing with these two different worlds you want to be able to speak in both “languages”.

When you visit markets and fairs like “La Salada” where you usually haggle for a better price, again, you don’t want to look or “sound” wealthy. These street merchants aren’t stupid, you have to dress accordingly and talk like someone that is rather poor, even if you had a good education.

FerFAL

Friday, April 17, 2009

Book review

Guys, I’m glad to see several of you already have the book, feel free to send reviews.
Positive ones only…
Negative ones can be sent to The Obama forum

Just kidding :^)

Hope you guys like it, and again thank you all for the support.

FerFAL

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Trying to prepare

Hello Ferfal:

A friend suggested I read your blog and it has really opened my eyes. I am sorry about all the suffering you and your family are going through.
I wanted to ask you a question. I live in the United States, more specifically, California.
Do you see the signs of an impending economic collapse like yours?
I am trying to prepare, but have limited funds and can only do so much each month. I have tried to locate a product you recommended, a solar charged hand crank battery charger and I cannot find one.

Thanks for the input.

Jacqueline


Hi Jacqueline,

My family and I aren’t doing that bad. We mostly worry a lot about the crime problem, just like every other living soul in this country these days. Dengue is also a problem ( it triplicated in the last 15 days) and the unstable economy doesn’t help, but other than that we have each other and are truly blessed. I have a gorgeous wife that loves me and I love her back, and two wonderful boys. What more can a man ask for?
I don’t dare say there will be an economic collapse in USA or not. One thing I know for sure, you’ll experience at least a bit of what we saw here in Argentina.
I know because in spite of not knowing what will happen in the future, I know the consequences of what has already happened, simply because we saw them here too and those things are following a surprisingly similar path.
You have to understand this: What already happened and probably will continue happening with the American economy will have certain consequences.
Crime will go up, people will have harder financial times, and life in general will be a bit more complicated.
Finances are a real concern. A lot of people are loosing their jobs and its important to be able to get new ones or make money on your own, reduce expenses as much as possible and sometimes that isn’t enough, you have to make more money.
Eventually the purchasing power will be affected by inflation (even if they hide inflation, it’s still there). In a nut shell, some people that are middle class today will become poor, and its not the end of the world, but it’s still hard.
Upgrade yourself as a person as much as you can. You’ll be better prepared for life in general, including an economic collapse, and if nothing happens or if it’s just a small slap on the wrist instead of a collapse, you’ll be a happier person anyway so it’s a win-win situation.
This blog has a lot of information, and of course I recommend you my book too. It has some hard earned experience that will no doubt prove useful to anyone getting started. It’s specially written to help you gain the required mindset, and includes a lot of tips and advice.
About the gadget you ask, I have a couple of those solar charged hand crank battery charger things listed on the right column (scroll down) sold by Amazon.
Don’t worry about spending tons of money, worry more about saving as much as you can.
Having said that there are certain things you should buy as soon as finances allow, check this miniguide.
As imperative as mindset and awareness are, they wont materialize food and gear when you need them. You need to get those in advance.

FerFAL

Police Checkpoints.


Anonymous said …
Yeah, but what to do at a DUI checkpoint? Here's how it goes in my state:

Cop: How are you doing, sir?
Me: Fine.
Cop: You been drinking tonight?
Me: No.

OK so far, but then:

Cop: Where are you coming from?

What then? "Home" seems so much better a reply than "I'd rather not answer that."
April 14, 2009 1:59 PM

"Why are you interrogating me?" and "Do I need to call my lawyer?" "Can I leave now?" would stop the cop from further trying to pry information away from you. If you are innocent and have nothing to hide the nice officer is just wasting your time. You could be home with your family, and the cop could be stopping people that actually commit crimes, so both of you have better things to do.
You can be polite but still make it abundantly clear that you do not appreaicte being bothered.

About checkpoints.

I speak only for myself here, and no offense intended to the good American cops, but I avoid cop checkpoints as much as I avoid thieves.
I get close to the car in front of me, go to its left as we get near the check point, and use the other car as "concealment" to avoid visual contact with the cops.
This has worked well for me so far. This way, usually the car in front of me gets, stopped, not me.

If there's no other car I stop, put reverse, and just find another way. Of course you need to be alert so as to do that before you are too close, but I've done this before several times. I really avoid them as much as I can.
You should be specially alert when going under bridges or getting near signs where cops sometimes hide in the shadows.

I avoid these stops like the plague, not only because cops in Argentina are mostly trouble. I said “mostly”, I just got off the phone with a cop that trains the Federal police and the presidential security ( H2H, knife and baton class in a couple of weeks!! : ^) ), he’s a cop and he’s a great guy.

There’s also the problem of “fake” police stops. These usually have uniforms and sometimes even a patrol car.
You stop and you get robbed, so no I avoid these things as much as possible. So should you if things get worse as time goes by. It's not that hard to get uniforms, and even old patrol cars.

FerFAL

Dont talk to Cops II



FerFAL

Monday, April 13, 2009

Don't talk to cops

Do yourself a favor and watch this.


FerFAL

Book disclaimer

Book disclaimer

Thought I do it before the book arrives.
The book, mostly the self defense chapters, are for entertainment or educational use only and training should be done with an instructor.
Knives are lethal weapons as most of your already know so be ready to see trial if used under the wrong circumstances.
If you open a person’s belly with one of those very nice, razor sharp folders most of us carry around, as described on the book, of course the guts will pour out. Very effective but very brutal.
The pics WONT be nice. If you do it just imagine facing trial with that kind of evidence against you.
If you do it you better have a damn good justification. The person you put down should have a thick police report, or else you’ll be the one that looks like a total maniac in court.
Be careful when training and practicing blood chokes and Dear God DON’T be stupid and do what I mention as a “suggestion” regarding using the arms as leverage during the rear naked choke to separate the vertebras in a real life or death fight. If you do this you brake the person’s spine, period.
Id’ hate to think that kids may try this out and seriously and permanently hurt one another.
About briberies, again don’t be stupid and try to get out of a ticket with a 100 buck bill, “ Ferfal told me so”.
If I do it in Argentina it’s because the nice person in the police uniform can get very pissed if you don’t pay him off. It’s more of a robbery than a bribe.
The good law enforcement and military personnel in USA are not the same thing. You’ll terribly offend them and they’ll lock you up (rightfully so)
So, bribing in a South America and other 3rd world countries: You probably don’t have an alternative.
Bribing in a 1st world country: You get yourself in a lot of trouble.

Please, I know a lot of books have similar disclaimers, but it’s important in this one.
Try to learn from the general philosophy I want to download into people’s brain, learn from the parallelisms, but also think for yourselves and know to tell the differences.

FerFAL

Dengue, censorship and lies.

First I want to say THANK YOU to everyone buying the book.

This is the situation.

Argentina Dengue Outbreak Now 'Epidemic'

We simply do not know how bad things are regarding Dengue.
Today a representative of Doctors of the World said that the government is covering up the real numbers and pretty much not doing a thing about it.
A few days ago I was 7000 cases, today at least 40.000 people are infected and there’s heat wave hitting Bs As now that only makes the mosquito spread more.
How many died is one of those mysteries.
According to the guy from Doctors of the world. Official numbers should be multiplied by 5 and he doesn’t understand why the national emergency hasn’t been declared yet.
I already have lots of repellant, we use it and use tablets inside the house.
Remember what I said about censorship and lies making it impossible to fix the economy because you don’t have real data to work with?

Same thing is happening with Dengue.

They try to cover it up, lie about it and it makes matters worse.
More people are getting infected, and people don’t have enough information.
Dengue becomes lethal once you get infected a number of times. If you survive the first time, your chances of survival drop the second time, and the third time.
We decided that if once of us gets infected, specially our children, I’m sending my wife and kids to Spain with my parents.
ON the news they are telling what everyone with an oz. Of brain knows, what I talk about here and wrote about in the book: The generalized poverty, primitive homes, poor water storage conditions, trash and abandoned land turned into illegal junkyards, it all makes matters worse and greatly boost the spreading of Dengue and other diseases.

FerFAL

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Dual Citizenship

Wathching the Coming Storm said...
Other posters are correct - this is exactly what is happening in the US, but at a much slower pace.

FerFal, I have some questions for you, and perhaps you would be willing to answer in a post so that others could benefit.

First, if one could get dual citizenship in another country, would you advise it? For example, I am of Italian descent, and I am thinking of getting dual Italian-US citizenship. Do you see any advantages and disadvantages to this?

Second, if my father was Argentine and my mother was American, would that qualify me for Argentine citizenship?


People, I’m sorry for not answering some of the emails and questions. I’ve been really busy with the book.
About downloadable versions, I know it’s a problem for some of you to get the book but please understand the amount of work I’ve put into it ( and of course the blog that is free and anyone can ask anything and I’ll do my best to answer).
Sending it for free or selling a downloadable version would be assuming a huge risk. All you need is one person uploading it to share and your hard work goes to waste.
Not to mention that people can simply change the name, edit it and put it online as their own material, which s something that has happened to me before. (As you can see now, my name is not Esteban Morales :) )
About the comment, with an Argentine mother you can become an Argentine resident, but better look into that a bit more. I don’t think you can have dual citizen with Arg. and USA. But you can apparently be USA-EU just like I am Arg.-EU.
I have both Argentine (place of birth) and European citizenship (Jus sanguinis "right of blood"). My father was born in Spain and So were my mother’s parents.
Having the EU citizenship gives you a lot of benefits. You may or may not like the socialist twist Europe has. I certainly do not like that much socialism, none the less the advantages of dual citizenship are still there.
In my book there’s a chapter precisely about relocation, and I suggest having 3 countries, plan A, B and C as last resort plans.
Relocating…………………………………………………………..246
3 Countries: Plan A, B, and C……………………………….247

If there’s anarchy in a country bugging in and shooting bad guys all day isn’t much of a plan. In my opinion you should leave such country before that.
When the civil war hit Spain my grandparents moved to Argentina. When there was the Dirty War in Argentina, those that had strong political backgrounds exiled to other countries, during the 2001 crisis a lot of people left, they left by the thousands and many paid dearly to have lawyers and researchers gather enough proof of a Italian or Spaniard relative so as to get the much sought after EU citizenship.
So yes, it is a good idea if you can get it.
I didn’t know if you can get the Italian citizenship and keep the American one as well, but then I found this article.
I’m not the most sensitive guy on the planet, but the title shocked me because it’s EXACTLY what happened in Argentina.
Replace “U.S.” and “Americans” with “Argentina” and “Argentines” and this could have been a 2002 title of a Buenos Aires paper.

With U.S. in slump, dual citizenship in EU countries attracts Americans


My idea is to have at least three alternatives, plan A Band c, A being your current home country and B being your other 1st world alternative. If something happens in US, you move to another country of somewhat equal standard of living. Plan C is your serious, more unlikely and far fetched SHTF plan, mostly a far away country (3rd world) where your little investments or retirement multiply in buying capacity. Example, Argentina or other south American countries, maybe Philippines if you have friends or family there.
This isn’t any novel idea. It’s been decades since Ted Turner and Arnold Schwarzenegger own lots of land and nice retreats in Patagonia here in Argentina. Lots of land, food and mostly a lot of potable water thanks to the glaciers and mountain lakes.
These guys, you may not like them, but stupid they are not.
About being patriotic or not, I don’t think its got anything to do with taking advantage of the possibilities you have. It’s not as if you’d go fight for the Germans if they ever start war with the US.

FerFAL

Saturday, April 11, 2009

The Book is finally finished and available. =^ )

My dear friends,

It’s 4AM here and I’m dog tired.

I just finished uploading the book to lulu and it’s now available for purchase.

Visit there and you can take a look at the back cover and index.

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/surviving-the-economic-collapse-a-modern-survival-manual/6745965

For those that don’t know about it, Lulu.com is the world’s largest print-on-demand company so it’s pretty safe.

In the end it turned out to be a 250 page book, 98.000 words long.

At first I wanted to do a 50.000 word manual just with the basics and relating some personal experience but well, sometimes your creations take control of things and you just try to hang on.

These last few (months?) I’ve been just a holographic image in my house. Writing this book absorbed all of my time.

I remember when I said I’d try to finish the book by Christmas 2008 :)…

I’m sorry for all these delays. I never wrote a book before so I had no idea.

But well, thank God now it’s done.

Thanks for all the support and suggestions. I had lots of ideas thanks to you guys for a better cover but I just wanted to finish once and for all so I used what I had.

Read it several times but I’m sure there’s enough typo errors.

Given that English is my second language I did my best to make it as clear and error free as possible. Sill, when you have nearly 100.000 words it’s easy to make mistakes.

Other than that… the book rocks!:)

I know “parents” can’t be very objective but it’s the kind of book I wish I had found myself a long time ago, but never did.

I’ll nervously wait for the reviews but I think there’s a bit for everyone. Hard core survivalist, guy just getting started, or just for handing over to the girlfriend or wife.

Yes, I’m definitely not objective :) I’ll wait and see what you guys think about it.

I’ll leave the index here so you can have a better idea of what the book is about.

There are some things I use in the book that can be found in the blog as well. The Emergency bag, edc , and altoids kit I just copied the lists.

I also used the article on SHTF gun cleaning since I think is good to have in the manual.

Other than that and maybe a couple more pages where I found myself writing the same thing twice, its all original content that I’ve been writing for a long time.

The price is 29,95 . I know there are cheaper books but I’m doing the print on demand thing here. Less than that an honestly, I couldn’t have written the book. I took a huge risk just by dedicating so much time to it with the hope that people would like it and it would sell well.

Again, I’m sorry for the delays, as well as the unanswered emails and messages.

I’ll go get some much deserved sleep now.

Again, thanks everyone for the support. Hope you all have a nice Holy Saturday. God bless you all.

Index

Introduction

A little about the author………………………………….11

What happened in Argentina ……………………………12

Why did I write this book………………………………..15

What to expect from this book ………………………….19

How to use this book……………………………………22

Why prepare……………………………………………..25

Types of survivalists……………………………………..28

The Little House on the Prairie Syndrome………………30

Risk Assessment…………………………………………31

Getting your mind and body ready………………………32

Your Home

City or Country: Where to live?………………………….37

Home security…………………………………………...42

Your Security

At the house……………………………………………..44

Dogs…………………………………………………….45

On foot………………………………………………….49

Identifying threats……………………………………….51

Most common type crimes………………………………52

Your vehicle

Motorcycles, Quads and Bicycles………………………...55

Cars……………………………………………………...56

Defensive Driving: How to drive during tough times……60

Evasive Driving Techniques……………………………..64

Your Gear

Your gear………………………………………………..66

Home Gear……………………………………………...67

If you could go back in time... ………………………….72

Bug out Bag (BOB)…………………………………...………...73

Every day carry (EDC)………………………………………….78

The survival emergency kit (SEK)………………………………81

Your Food……………………………………………………... 84

What to store……………………………………………………87

How to cook it………………………………………………….90

Game to be found in the city……………………………………91

Your Water……………………………………………………...94

Storing water……………………………………………………94

How much water do you need…………………………………..96

Potable water……………………………………………………98

Treating water………………………………………………….100

Your Self Defense Skills

Hand to Hand Fighting………………………………………...103

The right instincts……………………………………………...103

Your Training………………………………………………….105

Some basic points on hand to hand fighting…………………....108

Self Defense for Women………………………………………112

The fighting Knife……………………………………..……..116

Choosing a knife for self defense………………………………117

Knife Fighting…………………………………………………122

Knife attacks…………………………………………………..126

Where to strike………………………………………………...129

Gaucho Knife Fighting Tricks…………………………………132

Spears………………………………………………………….135

Unconventional Weapons ……………………………………..136

Firearms……………………………………………………….139

Quick Firearms introduction…………………………………...143

The killer inside you…………………………………………....148

What should I get?……………………………………………..151

Self Defense Shooting………………………………………….154

Calibers and Stopping Power…………………………………..162

About Pistols and Revolvers………………………………………...164

Other Firearms………………………………………………...……166

Your firearms Battery……………………………………………….172

Tips and mistakes I made regarding firearms………………………...178

SHTF Gun Cleaning………………………………………………...180

After the fight……………………………………………………….182

You Finances, your money

Cash is King…………………………………………………………187

The importance of Precious Metals………………………………….190

Recession proof jobs………………………………………………....196

Making money……………………………………………………….199

Real Estate…………………………………………………………...204

Bartering: First steps into rebuilding commerce……………………...209

The Art of Bargaining and Haggling………………………………...213

Using gold or other forms of foreign currency after the crisis………..219

Networking and making new friends………………...…………...223

People to be Friends with…………………………………………....227

Your Government…………………………………………………..232

What to expect during and after the Economic Collapse……………234

A New Mentality……………………………..……………………240

Bribing……………………………………………………………...241

Riots and Looting…………………………………………………..243

Relocating…………………………………………………………..246

3 Countries: Plan A, B, and C……………………………….247

My Wife’s Advice……………………………………………251

Epilogue……………………………..…………………….253

FerFAL