Zen and The Art of The Swiss Army Knife

Greetings Me Droogs N Droogettes!
So, a small metaphor for tonight:

Become A Swiss Army Knife.

The More Blades, The Better.

Like I say about myself “Jack of All, Master of None” (or thereabouts). The concept came to me tonight whilst prepping Gretchen’s Ivermectin shot. It sort of came to me…

I got a lot of varied skills.
Like a really huge amount.
I knew what size needle gauge and syringe we needed to ‘do’ her shot up correctly (the lil diabetic 100 minis are waaay too small) as well as, well hell the fact that I’ve had the Ivermectin on hand for emergencies i.e. any of us getting hit with a more potent Phase 3, 4 or 5 variant of the ‘Vid, well it’s kind of reassuring for her to know I have an encyclopedic pile of intel crammed in the thinkin’ meat.

True Fact: After about our 2nd or 3rd Anniversary, Gretchen broke up with me. “Reasons and sheeee-it” as I called it. IRL she was playing ‘dread game’ (fear of losing someone forever) the female variant, but honestly? That shit doesn’t work on me. FAR too many younger and tighter out there dying to get with a guy like myself…

So, I told her “OK, you get ONE break, and after that, it’s the streets for you. HOWEVER… best not fuck around too long ‘cos your ass’ll find out hard because I’ve never had an issue finding a replacement.” I then pointed out that I had told the X the same exact thing… the X ignored it and well, almost 30 days to the day the X and I were done, I had Gretchen and about 2 other plates spinning…

Sometimes as cruel as it may be, ya gotta remind ’em:

“Men age like a Fine Cognac, Women age like Milk”

She was back within 2 weeks.
It was nice to have a break TBH.
Anyways… point is, that tonight?
Tonight, while I was reassuring her shit was going to be fine, she thanked me profusely for taking her back. I had to ask what the hell she was talking about as, well, I’m a guy. I’d forgotten that shit 5 minutes after she got back. She also told me she’d realized the world was going to be seriously pear shaped, and she could do far worse as far as an “Apocalypse Boyfriend/Husband” than me.

So yeah.
Besides a minor ego trip, and yeah, allow me… it’s been a rough patch lately… but yeah. If anything that’s happening, you need “blades on your knife.” Ergo the Swiss Army Knife.

The more skills you know and have, the better.

It’s great if you’ve got some medical skills… it’s better if you have medical certifications… BEST if you have IRL experience dealing with Medical Issues either under fire/stress or under ‘austere conditions’. Being able to suture someone is valuable not if, but when shit does eventually go retarded.

Same goes for your boomstick. Great if you can do minor repairs on your AR. Best if you can tear one down and/or build one from a pile of pieces-parts… or, BEST if you’re given 4 burned up, battle damaged M-4s and can make as many functional rifles with bare minimum tools.

Godlike Level is unlocked and achieved if you can make a weapon from basic Harbor Freight tools and scrap metal like Phil from BustedKnuckles. Gunsmithing and Reloading are going to be serious ‘must have’ skills post whatever-the-fuck is coming.

So, my advice:
To reiterate
Get some skills.
The More, The Better.

Note to this also: All these guys running around doing ‘tactical training’ and whatnot for hundreds of dollars? Yeah… I suppose if you have had ZERO training EVER then , yep… it might be advisable. Thing of it is, is that if you served in the DotMil, or are an avid hunter/fisherman/wilderness kind of guy, then, unless you’re planning on forming up a squad of wannabe Militia, then no, I’d say avoid that crap.

First, it’s pricey.

Secondly, especially in light of some of the new ‘Anti-Training/Anti-Militia’ legislation they’re trying to push, I’m pretty sure that -somewhere- in those bills is something about mandatory intel gathering and whatnot to make lists of those who do or have done some form of advanced tacticool rifle/pistol training. Easier to round up folks to kill ’em later if they feel the need.

Your best sources you can do use simple.
First Aid stuff at Community Colleges or the “Y”
Appleseed Rifle Marksmanship Courses as so far that’s not on the ‘bad guy list’ as of yet. Of course that’ll probably change knowing our current maladministration.

And Books…

Boy oh Boy oh Boy.

Get Hardcopy of Everything You Think You >Might< Need

Can’t emphasize this enough
Unfortunately for us, we’ve all gotten waaay too cozy with our electronic gizmos, doodads and whatchamacallits. God forbid, we get a EMP/Grid Down/No More Net situation, most motherfuckers won’t know how to get home without the Goolag.

Land Nav? What is this Land Nav of which you speak?

Can be. That’s what used book stores online are for. As long as they’re not missing pages and/or tore the fuck up to illegibility, used books are fucking mint for these purposes. My own ‘operational immediate’ library is this:

Shakespeare, Religion (Shintoism and Buddhism, plus ‘other’ meditative stuff…) Philosophy and poetry, Basho in particular. Medical Books to include Survival Medicine and the incomparable “Where There Are No Doctors”. Reloading Manuals. Intel Gathering books. How to use Commo (Thanks to Brushbeater for those). Uncle Ted’s books (all of them… fascinating how brilliant but cracked he was… a true visionary, albeit pretty fucked in the head) and then also, Field Manuals, DotMil, multibranch. The grey “survival guides” up there are alll the pre-Y2K stuff I printed off when I first found out about prepping and Y2K… all off of USENET believe it or not (tell me I’m dating myself Aye?) It contains articles and how-to stuff about animal husbandry, skinning animals properly, egg storage and the like.

And that’s just the “OMFG The house is on fire!!!! Quick get these in the truck so’s we at least have them!!!” collection. The third bedroom has literally 8 bookcases stuffed with books, from Gardening (18th Century Florida Style) to Sniping by John Plaster.

Each skill you have is a blade in your knife.
Each book you have sharpens that blade.
Each blade can help you live better and survive.

As Sapper pointed out the relevant quote to me, which I had forgotten (Bad BC, Bad BC!) from the Master, Robert Heinlien:

“Specialization is for Ants”

Hope you enjoyed.
More Later
Big Country

39 thoughts on “Zen and The Art of The Swiss Army Knife”

  1. Ok. That last meme is wrong on so many levels. I’m kinda ashamed I laughed at it.

    Thanks for the reminders about skills and hardcover books. I picked up a couple of copies of “Machinery’s Handbook” and “Pocket Ref” and its larger brother “Desk Ref”. The Foxfire Books are also good.
    As a kid, I devoured The American Boy’s Handy Book. Had a lot of fun making some of the stuff in it.
    Wife and I are praying for your lady. When she prays, God responds.

  2. If times get tough another thing to try and get is extra medication that you need or a natural alternative.
    If you have high blood pressure, diabetes, etc make sure to always have 90 days minimum supply and more if you can get it. Also research as there are some natural remedies that will lower blood sugar and blood pressure that you could use in an emergency.

    One of the great tragedies if even there are supply shortages is that millions of people will die when their medications run out.
    Also the 10s of millions of people on drugs for their mental health are going to have SERIOUS problems when their drugs run out. Expect lots of people to lose their shit when this happens.

  3. “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”

    ― Robert A. Heinlein

    1. Yo, when I had the ‘Vid I used a supply of the Indian (dot variety) cure called “Ziverdo pack”.

      14 day regimen of Zinc, Ivermectin, and Doxycycline.

      Got sick on Wednesday, test positive for the ‘Vod Thursday morning with a 101° fever. Took my meds and the fever broke that day. Worked the next day. Had some lingering tiredness from my body fighting off the ‘Vid, but was all better in 5 days.

      Mongo hook you up if needed..

  4. Be able to fix things…both “properly” and “jury rigged”. Understand how things work and be able to diagnose why something is not working. Some basic electrician skills, plumbing skills, some carpentry, growing your own garden, welding, auto repairs (doing your own brakes saves like $600), motorcycle repairs, very basic machining skills – depends on what tools you have. Definitely know first aid and then take it further, lifesaving, “stop-the-bleed”, etc. Understand the basic difference between a bacteria-caused illness and a viral one and what works for each. Field sanitation! Develop some basic planning skills. You don’t always have to DIY, but if you NEED TO…you can.

    1. I don’t know if it’s because I’m a renaissance man or what, but for me, NOT being able to do all the above (and more!) is what is strange. I have an ‘engineers’ bent in how my mind works. That is: I like understanding how things work. In the physical world – that works WONDERFULLY. In people skills/interactions – it may help (understanding motivations and such), but people are irrational animals, and can’t be counted on to behave in a predictable rational way. Can can’t even always count on them to act in their own best interest. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

      The way I look at it is: I don’t have to remember ALL of the things, if I have persistent (i.e. – hard-copy/dead tree) copies of the documentation to help. The stuff I keep in my head is for if/when I don’t have access to my ‘library’, and/or I need to help instruct others. All I have to remember is – which book (probably) contains what I need. The rest is just study/review.

      Suggestion for additional info/blades: Foraging skills for local and adjacent geographic regions, either to supplement your garden, or in case it fails or you have to bug-out and/or are ‘on the run’. It’s amazing how many edible plants there are (for some definitions of ‘edible’). 😉

      1. Re engineer mentality and people skills — percussive maintenance works just fine. Just avoid any legal hassles.

  5. Used to hate that needle horsesh1t, so glad I got off that.
    If you do it too fast it hurts like a mofo and bruises the gut.
    Sold it all on CL when Brandon came in and went on a roadtrip.
    Mental is important and make sure your knife isn’t hecho en China.
    Survive by any means necessary is the skill and commies aren’t human, they are property of the state.

  6. Unle Ted…

    The Nuge?

    Or my other Uncle Ted, the Unabomber? I gotta admit I like his theories about mail-in voating more each day… 😂👍

    Errr… and I too would like to lodge a complaint about that last meme. GAH!

  7. Appleseed is going strong, A great course and Really great instructors. From newbies to experienced shooters you will learn all the things you did not know you did not know about rifle marksmanship. They offer events from 25mtr rifle to known distance out to 400 yrds, The do not tolerate political or militia talk beyond April 1775. 2 day events with plenty of rounds sent down range. Check it out http://www.appleseedinfo.org

    1. Highly recommended. I thought I knew rifles and shooting. Until I went to my first Project Appleseed. And don’t fool yourself – the 25m Appleseed is NOT easy. You’ll learn a hell of a lot. And learn about why the American Revolution started. It wasn’t just about taxes. April 19, 1775. Lexington & Concord.

  8. Reminds me of how grateful I am to have grown up poor as a gen-Xer. Had to learn how to fix everything because we couldn’t afford to replace it. If I wanted to listen to my cassettes of music taped off the radio, I had to make sure my tape deck worked. Many memories of stripping tape players down to individual parts, cleaning with denatured alcohol, and putting it all back together so I could get that sweet relief of some Van Halen or Scorpions. We always had broken down piece of junk vehicles that required constant maintenance as well. Changing wheel bearings, drum brakes, head gaskets, all tremendously valuable for building skills and wisdom. Grateful also that my dad instilled a sense of preparedness in me. Learning how to figure things out myself, rather than taking anyone’s word for it. We went to the library weekly growing up as it was a free way to keep us entertained. I enjoyed the section of the library with reference manuals and learned the inner workings of many different machines, vehicles, appliances, and weapons. I had a particular interest in studying weaponry and how it changed over time. Seeing how some of the earliest iterations of projectile launching tubed weapons worked is highly valuable information. While I enjoy the supreme accuracy of a modern rifle with finely tuned pieces/parts, it is helpful to understand how to reasonably safely build a “cannon” of sorts that can launch whatever bits of rock, scrap metal, ball bearings, chain, nails, nuts, screws, washers, or dildos (for psychological effect) at oncoming danger.

  9. BCE when I first saw the post about
    swiss army knives” I thought you were going to mention the story about the urban ape who bought a new car with a swiss army knife…https://cwbchicago.com/2024/02/chicago-carjacker-armed-with-swiss-army-knife-stick.html
    While ferals will be feral, the lesson here is that weapon improvising can be a serious skill for the upwardly mobile social climber in dire situations.
    Just like the one shot stamped shooters that were dropped into France in WWII,
    It give the chuckle to the line :
    Ho Ho Ho, Now I have a machine gun”

    MSG Grumpy

  10. That was the most disgusting meme I have ever seen. I’m going to immediately repost it to my friends. I read you everyday, though I don’t always comment. Been saying’ a prayer for you and yours. So if they get to you it must be because Tallahassee ain’t to far away… It’s a sick world, and I’m a happy guy. Everyday is a holiday.

  11. Have lots of skills especially ones you can use to barter with. It seems a lot of guys, and I am guilty of this, are laser focused on the tacticool skills but in a grid down situation you are going to need to know a lot more than how to shoot.

  12. Perhaps post a list of BCE’s most useful books? amzn link? I’m due for several. When you have a breather of course.

    You and fam are in my thoughts and prayers. Nothing to do but keep moving forward!

  13. You opened the grandma door.

    I had an employee call off work the other day. I asked him if he was sick.

    He said “I just rolled off my grandma, you tell me”.

  14. Those are great points about accumulating as much knowledge as possible, about the widest array of shit.

    In my younger days, when an electrical or plumbing tragedy would befall me, I would always call the pros. But I quickly learned that most of these pros are highly personable people, and are more than happy to show you a few tricks of the trade. That is, if you’re willing to listen.

    Most people call a pro, and say “fix my shit, let me know when you’re done.”

    I’ve gotten to the point where with plumbing, if it’s within the four walls of my home, I can pretty much fix it. Same way with electrical. I don’t mess with the box, but everything else I can handle.

    This is all attributed to just wanting to learn, and some helpful professionals that were more than happy to show me the way.

  15. abebooks.com is a site with small second hand book dealers competing for best prices. I almost always find what I am looking for and they have a ‘when you find this book e-mail me’ feature.

    Good luck with Gretchen.

  16. don’t mean to rain on your parade, Bossman, however. Injecting ivermectin is NOT recommended, unless it is specifically formulated for human usage. The stuff from Tractor Supply, ect, is for oral intake only, by humans. Injectable ivermectin for people is by prescription only and is a totally different formulary from the 1% solution bought for animal use. Do more research, don’t take my word for it. Oral intake only for people, unless you get it from an MD.
    You guys are in our prayers.
    Old School Spook

  17. The Foxfire books. Great series with useful knowledge of the “Apalachian old ways”.

    1. I bet you felt so good about yourself for typing that, didn’t you? Because that’s all that matters to you vermin, whatever makes you feel good about yourselves and look down on others.

  18. Study up, my friends, on 18th century technology and study well. How to harness a draft horse will be worth a whole lot more as a skill than how to fix a Tesla. Knowing how to sharpen a grass scythe will be an in-demand skill set. Making horseshoes, barrels, and glasses will be in high demand. Forging metals, welding, and working in sheetmetal will become the lifeblood industries of every community. Just as it once was.
    Learn about basic machine tools like simple lathes, grain milling using water power, and creating other prime type engines and tools that will help rebuild your community.

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