Month: March 2023

Boland v. Bonta – Update

The Ninth Circus Court three judge panel has again displayed its dislike for the rights of The People by staying the district courts preliminary injunction against the state.

The District Court found that the plaintiffs(good guys) were likely to succeed on the merits and had all the other requirements to be granted a preliminary injunction. In order to keep things from yo-yoing the court put a 14 day stay in order for the state to appeal to the Ninth Circus Court.

The preliminary injunction is stayed as to the chamber load indicator and magazine disconnect mechanism requirements of California’s Unsafe Handgun Act.Order of the Ninth Circuit Court

The Ninth Circus Court is ordering opening brief by April 28, 2023 (bad guys). Answering brief by May 26, 2023 from the good guys. And the reply from the bad guys within 21 days of the answering brief being filed.

This means that the Ninth Circus will not hear the case until at least June, likely longer. In the meantime only the microstamp requirement is enjoined.

Hagar says I shouldn’t call people names, it makes me smaller. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has earned the title “Ninth Circus Court”. At one point I read that by percentages or absolutes, I don’t remember which, more of the Ninth’s cases have been overturned at the Supreme Court than any other Appellate Court.

Normally I just let one “circus” slip through, the these three dunces have earned not only dunce caps, but clown noses as well.

Fire, the making of it.


Fire is one of those things that it’s important to know about in emergency situations. You want to know how to get it started, how to keep it going, how to bank it overnight, and how to use it to do various things. You also need to know more than one way to do each of those things.

Making fire is probably the one that stumps most people. There’s this tendency to fall back on “oh, I’ll use a lighter”. I’m guilty of it myself, to a certain extent, and I almost always have a lighter on me somewhere. But lighters run out of fuel, and they get wet, and they can get lost. So what happens then?

Knowing how to make and use char cloth is one path to fire. Having or knowing how to find dry tinder, even in went conditions is another. There’s also flint and steel. But what do you do once you have those ingredients?

This is a picture of the cheap striker I got through an online cheap-ass place called Temu. I think I paid $1.98 for it. It has a ferro rod, a striker, and a blow tube, all in a neat little kit with a neck strap.

Did you know that when most ferro rods arrive, they have a coating on them that you need to work through before you can get a decent spark? Something to know. Something I did NOT know until this afternoon. I learned.

Do you know how to get a spark from flint and steel, or ferro rod and striker? Do you know how to get the spark to be where you want it? It’s not nearly so easy as one might think, and it requires a bit of practice in optimal circumstances before you get into an emergency.

Luckily, it’s not expensive to practice. You can make char cloth out of any old cotton (denim jeans, old tee shirts, kids’ spit up cloths, you name it) or linen. Here’s a good video on making it, with some wonderful side info. And another website with good pics.

Okay, so now you have char cloth. What about tinder? Technically you don’t need both (char cloth IS tinder after all), but knowing how to find or make tinder is as important as knowing how to make char cloth. After all, if you have the means to make char cloth, but no fire, then what do you do? 🙂

Tinder can be anything that’s very small and very flammable. Tinder is smaller than the tiny sticks you use to get a fire built up. It’s fine and light and fluffy. As an example, even in wet climates, if you can find a cedar tree, you can scrape the underside of the bark for a feathery soft stuff that makes great tinder.

Tinder’s job is to catch your spark. That’s it. Now you have a spark, and it’s glowing, and you need to add more fuel to it. Larger pieces of tinder, such as very fine branches from pine trees, can be added. You can make feather sticks (thin, dry sticks that you ‘feather out’ with a sharp knife or axe) to help you make the spark into more. You blow on the ember in the fluff of tinder, and hopefully, the ember becomes smoke, and the smoke becomes fire. Take your tiny fire and add it to the previously laid base of your fire.

There are many ways to build that base, such as log cabin and tipi style. Practice, so you know what works best for you, in which conditions. I tend to use a log cabin style when building fires in dry weather, but I find tipi works better when it’s wet. Awa taught me how to use a military poncho as a cover while building a fire in the rain.

Being able to get your spark to the right spot differs depending on what method you’re using to make a spark. If you’re using a ferro rod, most people’s instinct is to hold the rod over the tinder, then push the scraper down it. Unfortunately, this can cause your spark to go wild. A better way is to hold the scraper in place, and pull the rod up along it. Give both a try, and see what happens. Practice!

When you’re using flint and steel, you want your tinder in your hand, and you spark toward that. And that takes a LOT of practice, and you’ll probably skin your knuckles a number of times in the process of learning. I’ve been doing flint and steel work for about five years, and I’m still terrible at it. I’m passably good with a ferro rod, but I can’t possibly know that I’ll have one on hand, so… I practice with flint and steel.

So, what if you don’t have a ferro rod, or flint and steel, or a lighter? It’s time to use friction. But friction is the least easy method for making fire, even though it can be effective. This is another one that really requires you to go and do it, practice it, and use it on a regular basis in order to perfect it. And all that practice must be done before the emergency, because when you’re in the midst of it, you won’t have time to be putzing around with learning new things.

This site discusses several methods of making fire using friction: bow drill, pump drill, hand drill, and fire plough. And then there’s this great article on Instructables, which adds more to the list: the two man friction drill, and a fire piston, in addition to instructions on the ones at the first site.

So… go add to your skill set! 🙂 Have fun in the process, and impress your friends. Stay warm, stay dry, and learn.

So I am back to my old “vices”

After an 8- or 9-year absence, I am back shooting stages/competition/gun and run at the Outpost Armory.

How did I do? As expected: At least one Mike and two No-Shoots sporting holes; time probably measured with an hourglass. But it felt good to shed a bit of the rust and do something else besides statically dropping ammo through paper into a backstop.

And it was good to see more younger faces than old farts shooting as it means the sport and the culture is alive and well.

Nice bunch of folks, well run and no complains safety-wise.

On the good news’s side, I can still paste holes like a pro. Unlike shooting, it seems it is not a perishable skill.

PS: The Outpost Armory is going to be the cause of either my divorce or burial.

No, I did not ask how much for the rental or the ammo costs. And you can’t make me!

Something to Consider – Active Response Training.

We need to chew and digest this one in order to adapt our survival protocols.

That reaction actually left me speechless.  The cop had never considered that a “good guy” might have smuggled a gun past their minimal security screenings.  He didn’t think about the fact that not everyone with a gun in his/her hand is a criminal.  He wasn’t thinking about off duty or plain clothes cops.  He wasn’t thinking about people like me.  In his mind, anyone with a gun who wasn’t wearing a police uniform in that concert venue was an automatic “shoot” target.

Something to Consider | Active Response Training

Go read the whole thing.

One thing I always do now as part of my planning is to figure out the ways an armed predator can access wherever I am and where can I go to escape, especially in legally (not morally) abiding gun free zones which simply you cannot avoid.

It is tempting to be the hero, but the reality dividend may not be so great.