My Blog List

Monday, April 30, 2012

Holster Review

A few months ago, I had a private email conversation with a fellow blogger about holsters.  She is a CCW holder and I wanted a woman's perspective on holsters, as a greater number of women are taking my gun safety and skills classes.  She turned me on to The Smart Carry Holster [link].

I've got to admit, my initial impression was not favorable.  The holster is a, "lower abdomen concealed carry" variety.  Essentially, you've got this pouch that hangs below your belt (inside your pants) that holds a gun.  I wasn't crazy about the idea of having a loaded gun pointed at my "junk"!

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a conversation with one of my employees in the PM store, and his "reenactment" of his story had him doing a mock pistol draw.  Instead of going towards his strong-side belt holster, he went to the front of his body.  He was wearing one of these things (or something similar)!

This employee is a former big-city police officer, so I figured that if he felt comfortable wearing one, the holster at least deserved another look.

So I bought one.  They make a bunch of different models.  I got the Security "V" style for a Glock 26.  The "V" style has a little bit less fabric used in the holster than the regular Security model.  The valuables pocket is at the rear of the holster instead of up front.  Just seems like you'd have less chance of "patterning" with this style.

So, I gave it a run this weekend.  Two thumbs up!  I wore it all day Saturday while teaching one of my sons and his buddy how to do All-Grain brewing (they've "graduated" from using liquid malt extract.... I'm getting all dewy eyed....).  It was very comfortable and totally concealed.  We even talked about guns and holsters during the brew - in an attempt to garner a comment such as, "Hey dad, you packin'?" - but not a peep was made.

Yesterday, we did a family gig at my mom's house, and the same thing - nuthin'.  I was wearing a dress shirt with the shirt untucked, so seeing the holster would have been a bit more difficult.  Comfort-wise, it rocked.  Went the entire day without really knowing it was there.

One suggestion for the guys.  If at all possible, instead of having the barrel directly centered on your body, slide the holster to the right.  No pinching or uncomfortable pressure when you're sitting down or standing up.

'Nuff said.....

 While the holster is designed to be worn low on the hips, the female blogger I chatted with actually wears it up high ABOVE her waist.

A snip from her email to me (while still protecting her privacy)
This may not be a perfect fit for all women, but I've been using my husband's Smart Carry holster, I just don't wear it according to instructions. The thing with inside-the-waistband/belt holsters is that the waist on most women's jeans are way lower than least a good 4-6 inches beneath the navel/natural waistline. So without being too graphic...slide your belt 6 inches below your waist, strap on a .45 and then try to bend over to pick something up. If you're short (like me) you almost have to do a pregnancy-type squat. So I cinched the Smart Carry around the smallest part of my waist, then tucked only the bottom 2 inches of the holster into my waistband to keep it stable. It doesn't shift around at all and it's quite comfortable. I've been wearing it around the house to kind of get a feel for it and so far, it hasn't gotten in the way or affected the way I function.
There ya go, ladies!


  • You can tuck your shirt in and still carry and access a gun at your waist.  No need to wear a coat or vest in the middle of summer any more!
  • Virtually no patterning of the gun.
  • It could be worn at any occasion other than an event requiring you wear a bathing suit (how DO you "pack" to a pool party?!), or something requiring the proverbial Little Black Dress.


  • Forget wearing tight jeans.
  • Drawing the gun is a bit different than it is from a traditional holster.  Four or five practice runs (with an empty gun) got the technique down.

Finally, I LOVE the little business card-sized pro-2A card that was included in the package.  To be left at Gun Free Zone  Free-Fire, No Resistance Allowed Businesses:

Side 1:

I am FBI Certified

My concealed carry permit proves I've had:
  • A full background check
  • No mental impairments
  • No domestic violence, Felony or Drug Convictions
Do you know this much about your other patrons or employees?


Side 2:

Criminals prefer defensless victims!

False Sense of Security Zone

Prohibiting self-defense without "securing" your zone is neglegence

You may be CRIMINALLY LIABLE for the safety of patrons and employees

Criminals won't obey your "no guns" sign


Your Competitiors Thank You!

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

That's Just Crazy Talk

Just saw this new video. Crazy talk. Conspiracy theories. You'd have to be nuts to take this nonsense seriously.

Of course, all of this is new to America. No one could have ever seen any of this coming...

Nah, nuthin' goin' on here. Move along, move along. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain...

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Monday, April 16, 2012

It's As Simple As Trust

 I get this monthly security newsletter - Crypto-gram [link].  It's written by this uber-geek named Bruce Schneier and is primarily focused on computer security.  Increasingly, though, it has ventured into government security measures against terrorism.  If I could do a quikee summary of his views on these measures, it would be that governments around the world are a bunch of bumbling boobs.

All sizzle, no steak.

He was recently having an online debate with a former TSA administrator on the British Economist website.  As Schneier has done many times in the past, he simply destroys the (il)logic of the TSA security measures -

He [the former TSA administrator] wants us to trust that a 400-ml bottle of liquid is dangerous, but transferring it to four 100-ml bottles magically makes it safe. He wants us to trust that the butter knives given to first-class passengers are nevertheless too dangerous to be taken through a security checkpoint. He wants us to trust the no-fly list: 21,000 people so dangerous they're not allowed to fly, yet so innocent they can't be arrested. He wants us to trust that the deployment of expensive full-body scanners has nothing to do with the fact that the former secretary of homeland security, Michael Chertoff, lobbies for one of the companies that makes them. He wants us to trust that there's a reason to confiscate a cupcake (Las Vegas), a 3-inch plastic toy gun (London Gatwick), a purse with an embroidered gun on it (Norfolk, VA), a T-shirt with a picture of a gun on it (London Heathrow) and a plastic lightsaber that's really a flashlight with a long cone on top (Dallas/Fort Worth).
There are two things going on here.  First, government can only grow if there's a real or manufactured need.  Governments are true believers in the axiom of, "If a little is good, lots must be better."  If there's not a real need to be filled, they manufacture one.

The War On Terror.  The War On Drugs.  The War On Smoking.  The War On Unpasteurized Milk Products.  The War On Obesity.  The War On Bulimia.  The War on Transfats.  The War On Salt.  The War On Sugar.

The War On Terror would have been a non-event if we had simply enforced our border and immigration laws.  Even after 9/11, it could have been addressed by acknowledging the screw-up and fixing the problem.

But there's no money in that.  Defense contractors and big-government advocates couldn't let this opportunity pass.  It was a great opportunity for bought-and-paid-for representatives from both sides of the aisle to come together in unity.  We now have this behemoth called The Department Of Homeland Security.

At the time of its inception, every damned "conservative" I read or spoke with though the DHS was a great idea.  Every damned one of them.  Gonna keep us safe from them godless ragheads!  Constitution be damned.

Most liberals went along with the program because the conservatives had grabbed the national spotlight, and the libs cared more about re-election than principles.

The second thing going on here is trust - or the lack thereof.  Government doesn't trust "the people", and we don't trust the government.  Schneier made this observation in his Economist debate -
Trust is fundamental to society. There is an enormous amount written about this; high-trust societies are simply happier and more prosperous than low-trust societies. Trust is essential for both free markets and democracy. This is why open-government laws are so important; trust requires government transparency. The secret policies implemented by airport security harm society because of their very secrecy.
I've stated a gazillion times that I trust the judgement of the individual over the judgement of a government bureaucrat.  But again, there's no money in that.

If drugs were returned to their original legal status, huge portions of our government would be put out of business  As was true before Drug Prohibition - and as has been proven true in countries that have reduced or eliminated these prohibitions - society doesn't disintegrate when drugs are freely available.  People who formerly abstained from pot, crack, meth, heroin and the like don't suddenly become addicts.

Their judgement tells them they may end up face-down in the gutter, and that's not where they want to go.  They don't need some bureaucrat telling them it's stupid.  Why am I being treated like a child?

Many people are seeing the monster we've built.  They look at the Constitution and compare it with what's going on around them.  They try and reconcile how we can have random DUI checkpoints and the Fourth Amendment at the same time.  No law has been broken, no property damaged, no probable cause exists, no warrant has been served, yet they must submit to a search of their person and property.

Their trust in "the system" begins to wane.

They hear stories of how only about half of income earners actually pay income tax.  How can that be?  They themselves work more but take home less of the additional earnings.  The government keeps asking everyone to pay their, "fair share" but they begin to wonder, "How much is enough?"

Stories of waste and abuse filter into their consciousness.  Government loans to businesses -and big campaign contributors - that crash soon after the money has been spent.  Watchdog agencies - the GSA for goodness sake - living it up in Vegas, and flaunting the fact that they're pissing away OUR money.  Secret Service and military members buying hookers while on the job.  What the hell?

Their trust in the judgement of the government takes another hit.

Maybe, just maybe, the government isn't going to be able to live up to its promises.  They don't trust the math that's been belched their way.  Social Security and Medicare have been on shaky ground for as long as they can remember.  Bunches of states, counties and cities are either bankrupt or nearly so.  Best case would seem to be a reduction in promised payments.  Worst case would mean we end up like Greece.  Riots and burning.

The government seems to understand that the trust we have in them is slipping, and so they act.  They grant themselves powers to "disappear" American citizens on a whim - no pesky trial or review necessary.  They provide local police agencies with military-grade armored personnel carriers.  They purchase 450 million rounds of ammunition.  Not target practice ammunition, but hollow point ammo designed to put people down.  Stories of FEMA camps abound.  TSA Viper squads are already established. The arbiter of our laws - the Supreme Court - says we can be subjected to a body cavity search for ANY infraction.  Think about that the next time you're pulled over for a broken tail light.

All of these are "inward looking" acts.  The threat isn't outside of our borders, but within them.  It's almost like they don't trust us.  Like they view us as the enemy and a threat to their existence.

Apparently, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed has run its course.  They seem to be anticipating a challenge to the powers they hold, just or otherwise, and like any other organism, are prepared to fight to stay alive.

When a trust has been broken, or you've been looked in the eye and lie to - repeatedly - you begin to rethink your relationship with the liar.  When it's your government - the very people that you put in power to protect your rights - it can be difficult to accept.

Your mindset starts to change, ever so slowly.  Maybe it's time to stash a little something away or learn some new skills.  You know, nothing crazy like those nuts on Doomsday Preppers, but just a bit. 

The government comes out and says the economy is improving, but you know friends that are under-employed or have been out of work for years.  Maybe you'll pick up a bit of gold and silver.   

You're told we have no inflation, but food costs keep increasing.  You trust your wallet more than you trust the politicians.  Maybe you'll squirrel away some food. 

The government comes out with stats saying crime is going down, but it seems like whenever you open the paper, another shooting or murder has taken place in your city.  You don't trust the stats - you trust what you're seeing with your own two eyes.  Maybe you'll buy a gun and some ammo, and take a class on how to use them. 

Pretty soon, Doomsday Preppers doesn't seem quite so crazy.  Trust your gut.

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

What's In Your "Personal Bank"?

It seems like the more information you get, the more muddled things become.  I believe, Information Overload, is the term.  I think, perhaps, I'm getting too far, "into the weeds" and losing perspective.  Perhaps.

Precious metals.  I love 'em.  The quick explanation of my beliefs is, until the federal government stops purposefully causing inflation, stops creating money out of thin air (also causing inflation), and starts living by a balanced budget (so I don't have taxes increased, thus reducing my purchasing power), I'll have PM's.  As much as I can afford.

Lately, I've questioned my beliefs.  Is the money I've got tied up in PMs going to vaporize - be nothing more than shiny metal?  The stock market keeps chugging along - have I missed that boat?

Lots of folks are hesitant to buy PMs for a number of reasons.  The two biggest are future confiscations and the current (perceived) high prices. 

I'm not worried one little bit about either of these things.  I don't think confiscations will ever happen.  This video pretty well explains my views.

There are just too many other "easy pickin's" out there for the government to hit before they'd come after your gold or silver. Most importantly, if you buy your gold from private parties, or face-to-face IN CASH from bullion dealers, no record of your purchase will ever exist.

If a call similar to that which occurred in 1934 is made by the government, just twiddle your fingers and whistle Dixie.

The high price argument is a bit more sticky. When customers come into our shop, we tell them we have no way of predicting or influencing the price of PMs. None whatsoever.  Buy today, and your PMs may crash in value tomorrow.

Buying PMs is a matter of faith. Having faith that the government will continue its current path. If you honestly believe that they will stop creating money out of nothing, and will establish AND stick to a balanced budget without imposing obscene taxes, then you absolutely, positively should not buy PMs.

A key mental perspective you MUST have is that PMs are a long-term hold asset. If you have got to look at the spot prices each day -stress out on dips and are elated with spikes- you're going to end up in the loony bin.

When you make a PM purchase, it needs to be thought of as your "last resort" money. Like a 10-year CD in a bank. Just like that CD, you should only buy when all of your other needs have been taken care of - food, water, medical, guns, ammo, land.

Also keep in mind that all governments have a vested interest in keeping the price of PMs down.  High gold prices mean a weak(er) dollar, for instance.  That should be an item you mull over before you plunk everything you've got into PMs.  Governments will do all they can to keep or force prices down.

I'm a big believer in the concept of "dollar cost averaging".  Commit to buying a certain portion of your target amount each month.  If you're going to buy $1,000 or $10,000 or $100,000 in gold, spread that purchase out over 3 months, 6 months or a year.  Whatever time horizon makes you comfortable.

Many think that having other tangible forms of wealth - food, wood, guns, ammo and land - is the way to go.

I agree, up to a point.

You can only realistically store so much wheat and ammo.  Unless you have a warehouse facility on your property, you're somewhat limited.  You need to represent your accumulated wealth in other ways.

Land is an awesome option.  Especially land from which you can provide for yourself.  Fruits, vegetables, animals.  This, right now, is at the top of my To Do list.

But you're immobile and vulnerable.

History has shown us that governments will do pretty much whatever they want to you and your possessions.  Ask the Jews in Nazi Germany or the Japanese in America how being a large land owner turned out for them.

If you and your family must "bug out" you can only take so much food and ammo with you.

If the land is taken via eminent domain or for a failure to pay taxes which have been jacked up to pay for the nanny state, you're screwed.  All of your eggs are in one basket, and it just got taken from you at the point of a gun.

Yep, you can point a gun back in their direction, but it will be your last act on this earth.  And honestly, I think it's an option more and more folks will take.

Or you can live, and fight another day.

Here is my biggest concern:  Cash becoming illegal.  It's not as far-fetched (or distant) as you may think.
There are two major trends taking place that are shaping up as a recipe for disaster. On the one hand, we have massively indebted governments around the world desperate for tax revenues and, on the other, steadily growing multi-trillion underground economies whose main goal is to avoid paying them.

The concept is that everything must be bought and sold via electronic means.  Credit card, debit card, checks, Paypal, Bitcoin, etc.  There are very few (if any?) legal things that must be paid for with cash.

Right now, if you sell your gold, you get cash and for the most part, the transaction is invisible unless YOU decide to make it public.  If cash is made illegal, when you sell your gold coins, the money would be put on a debit card or you'd get a check to deposit into your bank.

You've now established an electronic audit trail that could raise the eyebrows of the .gov.   Hmmmm.  How much did you pay for that gold?  Still have the receipt?  No?  Well, you then need to pay taxes on the profit you made, and since you don't have a purchase receipt, the entire amount is considered a profit.  Have a nice day, comrade.

Right now, in Italy, it is illegal to buy anything over 1000 euros in cash.  That's planned to be dropped to 300 euros.  France is at 3000 euros and Spain is supposed to be following suit.

My belief is that if this happens, people will still use PMs in the black market.  Think about the old Soviet Union (or the current Argentina).  While domestic cash was not illegal, foreign currencies were.  Yet, the mighty dollar (strong relative to other currencies) was king.

People risked prison to acquire and use dollars.  I think the same will be true of PMs.

Accept The Challenge

What ya gonna do?

Personally, I want a diverse representation of what I've worked hard to acquire.  A little bit of this, a little bit of that.  I'll re-allocate into different piles as I see fit and things change.

If the fundamentals of our economy really change, I'll sell some of my PMs.  Not all, but some.

And I'm not talking about government-produced propaganda, either.  I'm talking real job growth, not unemployment numbers that drop because people fall off the rolls after a couple of years.

I'm talking about federal budgets that propose being balanced sometime in my lifetime, PLUS seeing actual changes NOW that indicate it might actually happen.  None of this, "We'll increase spending and borrowing now, and pinky-swear we'll make cuts in the future," crap.

I'm talking about real change.  The dismantling of this nanny state and a return to being a constitutional republic.

Seeing as little if any of this will happen over the next 30 years, PMs will be a part of my personal "bank" for a long, long time...

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grossed Out and PO'd

I haven't bought hamburger in 5 or more years.  I've made my own ever since I started making sausage.  Even though the Blessed USDA tells us that a certain percentages of rat hair, rat crap, rat parts and bugs is A-OK for me to consume, I won't do it.  Call me a picky eater.

And now we have the ever-appetizing, "Pink Slime".  Me thinks they need a better marketing guy working on this account.  The "insider" name for this stuff is, "Lean Finely Textured Beef (LFTB)".  Ah, that makes it all better.

The beef industry is in full panic mode with a, "Top 8 Myths Of "Pink Slime" [link] web page.  Hey, it's only got a "puff" of ammonia in it.  Quit yer bitchin'......

Here's a shocking story:  There was another slaughter at a gun free zone.
OAKLAND – Police said seven people were dead and three others injured after a gunman opened fire Monday at a small Korean Christian school.
This freak first shot the front office staff then moved through the school.  Hmmm.  How might this have turned out differently if one or more of the front office staff was carrying a concealed weapon. 1,2,3,4 or more LIVING human beings, perhaps?

Isn't it the left who always hits us with, "If only one life is saved for [pick a cause] it's worth the effort"?  So shouldn't they all be out marching to have our Constitutional right to carry a gun restored?


Sorry, it isn't always the left who does this.  It's the right as well.  USA PATRIOT act, DUI checkpoints, come to mind.

"If just one [drunk driver, terrorist] is stopped by shitting on your rights, it's worth it."

No.  It's not.  Life has risks, liberty has risks.

Anyone keeping a tally of the number of slaughters occurring in Gun Free Zones, versus slaughters that happen in Heavily Armed Zones like police stations?


An hour or so ago, the Federal Reserve minutes came out.  In short, they said that they didn't think the [totally manipulated] unemployment numbers were any good [HAHAHAHA!] and the economy might be in for some trouble.  Duh.

Logic says that means the economy - thus the dollar - are at risk.  In fact, it would be an occasion where the Fed would break out the old Quantitative Easing playbook, and start crankin' out dollars.  Lube up the economy really well.

Instead - illogically - the talking heads on TV are saying that the markets view this as an occasion where the Fed will tighten (?!) the money supply, making the dollar strong and PMs weak.


Gold dropped $30+ an ounce in the blink of an eye.  Can you spell m-a-n-i-p-u-l-a-t-i-o-n?

'Splain it to me, Lucy....

The various stock markets ALSO dropped like stones, but that makes sense, as a perceived weaker economy (or one where a visible public official acknowledges it sucks) will hurt the sales for most businesses.

I quit.  Gimme a cave, a cot and a carbine.  This is just insane.

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Lox of Love

I luvs me some lox.

Lox is preserved salmon.  For me, it's one of those great preservation techniques where you extend the life of a food, while making it into something great.  Similar to homemade jam.  As good or better than the fresh food.

Anyways, lox is brain-dead easy to make.

You start with a nice piece of salmon.  I usually buy a whole salmon and produce two big halves.  This time around, I just bought a half salmon already boned out.

This piece of salmon -about 5lbs - already had all of the small pin bones removed.  If you buy a whole salmon, you'll need to feel along the inside of the flesh until you find a bone.  Using a pair of needle nose pliers, pull out all of the bones.  There'll be a lot of them.

Next, you need to de-scale the fish.  Under a faucet, find the way the "grain" of the scales goes, and use the back of a knife to go against the grain and remove the scales.  Not difficult, but pretty messy.

When you're done, pat the fish dry and mix up your cure.  It's 1/3 salt, 1/3 brown sugar and 1/3 maple syrup.

For a whole salmon, I use a cup of each.  Since this was a half salmon, I used a half cup of each.  Put all of the seasoning in a bowl, and mix it up.  It will be a thick slurry.

I cut the pointy tail portion off for my wife to eat.  I then cut the remaining filet in half.

Next, get a dish with sides at least an inch deep.  When the salt goes into the fish, it will expel the water in it.  Take a piece of plastic wrap that is at least twice as long as the dish.  Put it - centered - in the dish.  Lay the first piece of fish -skin side down - and slather half of the salt/sugar/syrup slurry on the flesh side.

Do the same to the other piece.

Place the second piece of fish - flesh to flesh - on top of the first piece.  Bring the plastic wrap from the two ends and wrap up the fish.  Take another piece that you put underneath and wrap it side to side so the whole package is wrapped up very tightly.

Now ya wait.  I generally take an old cutting board or plank, and put a couple of heavy cans on top of the fish.  This helps to expel the water in the fish.  Put the whole contraption in the fridge, and wait 3 days.

Unwrap the fish, rinse it under cool water to get all of the slurry off of it, then pat it dry.  Here's what you get -

The flesh of the salmon will be much more dense.  Unlike fresh fish where when you push it, the flesh will bounce back, this flesh will stay indented.

Get a sharp knife and start a-slicin'.  The thinner, the better -

Me, my favorite is on a nice fat bagel with cream cheese -

From what I've read, this stuff is supposed to last a couple of weeks if kept in the fridge.  Never made it that long in my house.... ;-)

Copyright 2012 Bison Risk Management Associates. All rights reserved. Please note that in addition to owning Bison Risk Management, Chief Instructor is also a partner in a precious metals business. You are encouraged to repost this information so long as it is credited to Bison Risk Management Associates.