So we decided to build a fountain in our front yard…..

DSC_1962So we decided that we would build a fountain in our front yard. Nothing fancy just use some of the things we had lying around as well as a few things Cindy brought up from her mom’s house.

We started with the location.DSC_1493 (Custom)

 

We wanted it kind of close to the house but not so close that it would get damaged during the renovations we have planned for when the house is finally paid off, (about three more years).

Then we began digging a hole. This is my son, running the tiller.
DSC_1497 (Custom)Once we had the hole dug we put in the plastic kiddie pool.

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Leveled it up and started filling the pool with water. The reason we put water into the pool before the base was to keep the base from grinding across the bottom and ripping a hole.
These pools are extremely thin. But for 20 bucks at Dollar General what do you expect?

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Hooked up the pump and made sure everything was working. Then backfilled and started adding flowers around the pool.

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After all the flowers were added we leveled off an area began adding some stepping stones I had acquired last year. They were on sale at Home Depot and I figured I could use them for something eventually.

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I then ripped a landscape timber to make some edging for the outside of the stones. Bought the timbers last year as well, they were on sale for less than two dollars apiece

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Then added a couple of bags of play sand to fill in between the stones. This will probably be changed over to crushed marble pretty soon.

DSC_1868 (Custom)Added some solar powered lights.

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Then some rocks around the rim of the pool

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This is what we have now.DSC_1995

 

We plan on changing the sand to crushed marble. I still have to install a weather resistant electrical outlet near the fountain and we want to get some submersible lights to put in the actual pool.
Our cost for this fountain was slightly more than a  hundred dollars total.
Stones were left overs from a previous project that were bought on sale for $1.05 each for a total of  $35.70.
One landscape timber that was left over from a previous project that was bought on sale for $1.49
The flowers were bought for a total of $23.68.
The pump was given to me by a friend.
The base was found here at the house, left over by the previous owners.
The statue and bowl were furnished by Cindy’s sister. They were originally used at her mothers place and since her death, they were more or less discarded in the back yard.
The pool was $20.00.
The sand was from a previous project and was purchased for $2.98 a bag for a total of $5.96.
The stones around the rim were given to us by a neighbor who wanted them removed from her yard.
Solar lights were $15.00

Our total cost was $ 101.83

Not bad for being able to sit out under the tree and relax to the sounds of the water flowing.

Update; DSC_2429-2

I Hate Buick Regals.

Now not the old classic Regals but, no wait a minute, I hate the old classic Buick Regals also, the old Rivieras I liked but those freaking Regals, hate them.

My hate for them has really increased since they went to front wheel drive with those freaking sideways v-6 engines.
What kind of sick son of a bitch come up with that shit?

Today I had to put a water pump on my old lady’s Buick Regal. It’s a 1998 model with the 3800 Series II engine.
It sucks.
There is not enough room in the engine compartment to work on the thing, but after about twenty minutes with a cutting torch I was able to get started replacing that water pump.
Just kidding.
So if you want to replace the water pump on a 1998 Buick Regal, okay let me clarify that if you want to replace it you are a sick individual, however if you find yourself having to replace the water pump here are some directions.
Step one get lots of beer or anything else that helps to settle your nerves because you will need it.

You will need an 8mm, 10mm,  and 13mm socket and a small ratchet 1/4 inch is what I used, and a small extension.
You will also need a large ratchet or breaker bar and a 15 mm socket.

Step 1. is to open the hood.

Step 2. Drink a beer and think about it a while.

Step 3.   Using the large ratchet and 15mm socket release the tension on the idler pulley by pulling it toward the rear of the engine compartment and downward. 

While holding the ratchet, remove the belt (you will probably have to put your beer down for this or you will spill it like I did).
Once the belt is out of the way go to step 4.

Step 4.  Using the 8mm socket and small ratchet (you will not be able to use the extension on these unless you actually do remove the fender well) remove the four bolts from the water pump pulley and slide the pulley off.

Step 5. Using the 10mm socket you can now remove the four smaller bolts around the water pump.

Step 6. Drink a beer and gripe a few minutes about ripping the hide off your knuckles because there is no freaking room for anyone with actual hands to get them in between the engine and fender well.

Step 7. This is where the fun starts. There are four long 13mm bolts that you have to remove as well. The first three are easy but the last one is right behind the power steering pump pulley. So remove the first three and then go to step 8.

Step 8. Drink a beer and cuss, at this point profanity is no longer an option but a mandate.

Step 9. Using the small ratchet, and small extension you can wiggle a 13mm socket onto the two bolts that hold the power steering pump onto the engine block.
These bolts are right behind the pulley and you have to go through the holes in the power steering pulley to get to them, it is a tight fit and a pain in the butt as well as hands and arms, but it is possible.
The way I did it is I removed the top bolt completely and loosened the bottom bolt up enough that I could slide the power steering pump away from the block about 1/2 of an inch and push it down enough to get to the last bolt in the water pump.

Step 10. Remove the last water pump bolt.

You may have to bump the water pump to get it to come away from the engine.

Step 11. Clean all the old gasket material off the engine.

Step 12. I used a little bit of gasket sealant and applied the gasket to the pump then put a little bit of sealant on the engine side of the gasket as well then stuck it on the motor.

To finish the install just go from step 10 back to step 1.

Step 13. Fill radiator with proper amount of Antifreeze and water, down here a 70-30 water to antifreeze mix is enough (although I use a 50-50 mix) Cooler climates will require more antifreeze.

Step 14. Drink a beer, smoke a joint, jump up and down, or crap your pants cause you’re so freaking happy to be done with that mess.

Step 15. Trade the 1998 Buick Regal for a 1972 Ford Maverick, you will get a better car that is easier to work on. Not to mention parts are not nearly as high.
 

This post was brought to you by the fine folks at Budweiser, Advance Auto Parts, Red Man Chewing Tobacco and Bass Pro Shops
 

Cheese Dip Recipe (Great for Football Games)

So I made some of my great cheese dip for the ball game the other day and had a few folks ask me for the recipe, so I decided I would put it up here in case any of you three folks that read this blog would like a great recipe that is easy to make for ball games, parties or just the hell of it.
To start with there are three basic ways I make it, one involves fresh tomatoes, cilantro, onions, peppers and mushrooms and takes about four hours to make.
One involves a crock pot, canned stuff and takes about two hours to make.
Then there is the fast an easy one which takes about thirty minutes to make.
Here’s the ingredients.
One block of Velveeta Cheese (Mexican is best).
One package of Taco Seasoning (I use Old El Paso).
One Pound of ground beef (I try to use deer meat for this, but sometimes use ground chuck or ground beef).
One pound of ground pork sausage (Tennessee Pride Hot works best although you can use something milder if you want).
One can of Rotel with Habenero peppers.
One can of Rotel with green chili peppers.
One jar of Picante sauce (I often make my own but that goes into the long recipe version)
One jar of Salsa (there again I often make my own but this is the quick version so I won’t go into all those details).

Okay in a large pot, pour in the picante and salsa, then drain the liquid out of the Rotel stuff and pour it into the pot, turn on low heat and cut up and add in the cheese (the smaller you cut the cheese the quicker it melts).
Once the cheese is melted add in the taco seasoning.
While the cheese is melting you can go ahead and brown the ground beef (or what ever) and drain all the grease off of it you can (that’s why I like to use deer, very little to almost no grease).
Add the ground beef (it’s okay if the cheese is still melting when you add it.
Brown the pork sausage, chopping it up as fine as you can with the spatula while it’s cooking then add it into the pot.
As soon as the cheese has melted and the meat has all been added stir it pretty good and let it simmer for a couple of minutes and it’s ready to go.
Grab some good tortilla chips and enjoy.

You can make it hotter or milder by changing some of the ingredients but this is how I make it and it goes great with Beer and football.

If you need new kitchen utensils, bakeware, or just need to organize things truck on over to Organize.com and pick some up.

Freaking Yellow Jackets.

A Yellow Jacket

 If you have ever tried to do any type of work outdoors chances are you have come across yellow jackets. Not the Georgia Tech ones, but the more aggravating little wasps (although they look like bees), that like to live in the ground and fly up your pants leg stinging every freaking part of your body they come in contact with.

Now if you go searching on some liberal leaning website, they’re going to tell you that yellow jackets are beneficial insects and that you should protect them. Beneficial to masochists that like getting stung by wasps, maybe. Apparently some of these idiots have never been working in their yard and mowed the grass in close proximity to a yellow jacket nest, or have never cut firewood and stirred up a yellow jacket nest.
 
Although they are often mistaken for their cousins the Guinea Wasp which looks like a slightly longer version of the yellow jacket and build a regular hanging wasp nest.

Yellow jackets build nests that look a lot like a hornet’s except instead of in a tree or on a building theirs is usually completely underground, although there have been some cases where the nest was built in the trunk of an old abandoned car or a hollow tree.

Usually they are not noticeable until late Summer and early Fall that is when the workers are gathering most of the food and adding on to the nest.
When defending the nest yellow jackets attack in swarms. Usually causing the offending animal or human to immediately leave the vicinity, or in some human cases, causing you to run blindly into trees or trip over logs injuring yourself further.
So how do you locate these pesky little suckers you might ask.
Go ahead ask.
Okay glad you asked, their are two really simple ways to locate their nests.
One is you simply look around a wooded area for them and when you locate several you watch them, they will eventually go back into the hole they came out of allowing you to see where they go in and out of the ground.
The other is just stomp around in the woods until they swarm your ass and then try to remember where you were when they attacked. I do not recommend this way.

As far as wasp and bees go the yellow jacket sting is not the worst, in my experience red wasp and hornets have that covered.
Yellow jacket stings are usually slightly painful, followed by itching (that’s the worst part of it), however if you are allergic to bee or wasp stings they could be fatal as like I said before they swarm and you usually get stung multiple times.

Getting rid of them however is pretty simple also.
Once you locate the nest, you simply use something like a  pyrethrum aerosol to kill them, the best way is to mark the location and spray the aerosol into the nest at night that way they are all inside.
Some people pour gasoline in the nest which does kill them but runs the risk of fire or explosion if any source of fire is around before the vapors evaporate.
Sometimes you may have to treat the nest more than once to kill them all. 
 

 

Tornadoes in Alabama – How can we help

We were very blessed here in Shelby, on Wednesday, everything either went above us, or below us and we suffered no major damage.

I thank the Lord above for that and I pray that he will help and ease the pain and suffering.

However,Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee all saw deadly storms pass through on Wednesday.
The death toll here in Alabama has gone over 200 and area wide it’s over 300 with a still large number of people missing it will go higher. Much higher I’m afraid.
I don’t know if you are a religious person or not, if you are I would like to ask that you pray for those that lost family members and loved ones.
No words, or actions can ease the pain of losing a loved one, only the Good Lord and time can ease that pain.
I know this from personal experience.

What we have decided to do here at Light Outdoors is to use all the proceeds from this website for the rest of this month as well as all of next month to help the people that we can. It doesn’t cost you one cent more to buy from the affiliates on this site, than it would for you to buy straight through their site.  This website makes a pretty decent amount to only be an affiliate site and we get paid from advertising products for those stores.

What I would like is even if you don’t purchase anything from any of the links go to one of the links below and help out if you can. If you do purchase anything through any of the affiliated links on this site, I want you to know that every dime of commission that we get will go to help out the people that suffered from those storms. You’ll get something you want and the people will get something they need.

Here are some of the ways that you can help the people devastated by these storms.

Red Cross
Donations can be made to the American Red Cross by calling (334) 246-4017 or by mailing a check or money order to Red Cross Central Alabama, 5015 Woods Crossing, Montgomery, AL 36106. Add “Alabama Tornado” to the “for” line of the check.
The Red Cross is also accepting donations on its website at www.redcross.org and via text messages by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999 for a $10 donation. You can also call 1-800-red-cross.

Also the NE Mississippi chapter of the Red Cross is asking for volunteers. Please reach out to your local Red Cross Chapter: Tupelo: 662-842-6101; Starkville: 662-323-4621; Columbus: 662-328-5710. Training is available. Nurses, mental health professionals needed… and anyone with the time can be trained to assess damage, drive the mobile feeding trucks, facilitate client casework, answer phones, give out info, etc.

The Salvation Army 
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services is providing food, drinks and spiritual support to storm survivors in Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

To donate online, visit salvationarmyusa.org.

You can also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) and designate “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”

Text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.

Checks can be sent to: 
Salvation Army Disaster Relief 
P.O. Box 100339 
Atlanta, GA

Governor Robert Bentley has set up a website that you can also use to donate help through Click Here for it.

Do It Yourself – Shooting House

For those unfamiliar with the term a shooting house is basically an enclosed deer stand,  or blind.
Usually it is not much more than four pieces of plywood assembled together with a door and openings for you to stick your rifle through in order to shoot.

Now some folks build them fancy and some folks build them plain.
I’m going to show you how to build the one I built that looked so good that it never saw the woods with me.
Truth is I was hauling it out to the woods and stopped for fuel and a man made me an offer I couldn’t refuse on it.
Of course I regretted selling it, because deer season started a week later and I never got a chance to build another one.

Okay lets build that shooting house.

To start with you will need five sheets of pressure treated plywood or 5 sheets of wafer board. Some black paint, 7 eight foot 2x4s and some camouflage blind material. I used the Mossy Oak Breakup pattern.

First thing I did was cut the four pieces of the plywood 6 feet long. You can leave it eight feet if you want to but I wanted it shorter so that it wouldn’t be so noticable and I wouldn’t have to trim as many tree limbs. Besides I wasn’t going to be standing up in it.

I then cut four of the 2x4s to the same length and attached them two two sheets of plywood 1 on each edge.
Then I attached the other sheets of plywood.
I then cut out a door. This was a small opening roughly five feet tall and two feet wide.  Wide enough  that I could ease in and out without making a lot of noise.
Once the door was in place I put my seat in place and swivel it around so that I could see where I needed to cut out the windows in order to have a full range of view. The window slots on mine were roughly 1 foot high.
I then braced the area over the door with a piece of 2×8. What you can also do is leave one section of plywood off thereby leaving one side open, but I preferred mine closed to help keep the wind out. 
I then attached 2x4s around the inside of the top in order to attach the roof to the shooting house.
The roof was the other section of plywood. Four foot wide and five foot long, that allowed for a little hangover in the front and back.
Once it was assembled to my liking I painted the inside and the outside black. Using a flat black exterior paint.
I then put the camou blind material around the outside, over the doors and over the windows, so that I could see through it.
I attached the blind material with staples, stapling it every foot. 
This project took about a day to do and looked pretty good when finished.
If you don’t attack the camouflage so that it laps over onto other sheets you can take it apart and have five panels to reassemble when you get it out to the woods.
Then just reassemble it put a chair in and your ready to go.

Solar Powered Clothes Dryer -DIY

Today I’m going to tell you how to build a solar powered clothes dryer.

It’s simple, requires only a few items and it save you a lot of money.

To start you need to figure out how much space you have for the solar powered clothes dryer.

Then you will need some posts. My solar powered clothes dryer has three post all are in a straight line and spaced about ten feet apart.
Then you will need some cable I use the plastic coated steel cable on my solar powered clothes dryer.
If you haven’t caught it by now the solar powered clothes dryer is actually a clothes line.

Here are the plans to build a twenty foot long clothes line or solar powered dryer.

You will need three post, I use 4X4s eight feet long.
A couple of stakes
Some string
100 feet of wire or cable for the lines.
2 bags of quikrete or sacrete or any other concrete mix you want to use. These are 80 lb bags.
9 eye bolts
6 small cable clamps
3 turnbuckles or cable tensioners.
3 8 feet long 2×4 s
Some 16d nails or 3 inch long galvanized wood screws.

To start figure out where you want to put the clothes line, then drive a stake into the ground. Measure out 20 feet from the stake and drive the other stake in the ground.
Drive a nail somewhere near the center of the tops of the stakes and then tie your sting to it stretching the string to the other stake and tying it to the other nail. This gives you a straight line to set your posts with.
Measure ten feet to the center of the string, then dig your post hole straight down there, make sure that the string is straight across the top of the hole.
Make sure that the hole is close to 18 inches deep.  Take up your string and stakes and Dig a hole where each stake was at.
Insert your posts into the holes and pour about 2/3 of a bag of  the concrete mix in the hole around the post. Tamp it in then pour some water on it and tamp it again. This is where you want to use a level and make sure that your posts are plumb (or straight up and down).

Once you have the posts plumb, tamp the ground around it again, check it one more time and as long as it is close you are okay. It doesn’ t have to be totally plumb for this. But the closer it is the better it is.
Let the post set over night.
After the concrete has set up and the posts are in good and tight, you are ready to make the arms.
Cut three 4 foot sections from the 2x4s you will need your level again.
Here’s where the fun comes in, to set the height on the arms you will need to figure how high you want the clothes line. 
You want it so that what ever you hang on it, it will not touch the ground.  If you have to reach up a little to take the pins off that’s fine, if you have to have a step ladder that’s not to good.

Once you have figured the height you want the arms to be, put a mark at the center of your 2×4 on the edge, and put a mark on the center of your 4×4 at the height you want the arm. I usually make a T with the top line being the bottom edge of my 2×4 and the upright line being the center. Then I line up my first board and either nail it or screw it to the post. then put your level across it and make sure it is level then add another nail or two (or screws).

Measure the other end post and put the arm on it the same way. For the one in the center you just run a string from one end post to the other on the both ends of the arm (2 strings total). Then slide you center arm up against the strings and attach it to the post.

Now you should have 1 eight foot 2×4 and 1 four foot 2×4 left. You want to cut those each into two feet sections.
Cutting a 45 degree angle on each end of your 2×4, then attach those to the post, under the arms so that they join in the front or on the arm side of the post.
Attach them to the arms and to the post. Usually when you attach the braces about a foot of the arm will hang out past the braces ( the two foot long sections) 
Attach the eye bolts to the arm one on each end and one in the center.
You may have to cut the center post off even with the top of the arms.
Attach the cables by passing them through the eye bolts and then clamping them to themselves with the clamps.
Run the cables through the eye bolts on the middle post and attach them to the turnbuckles.
Attach the turnbuckles to the eye bolts on the last post. Tighten the turn buckles.
Your solar powered clothes dryer is now complete.

Cutting Costs

With the high cost of living these days and the high amount of unemployed people everywhere, cutting costs and saving money is on everyone’s mind.
The sad part is if you are unemployed or barely scraping by, you can’t afford to spend a lot of money hiring a contractor to do a lot of repairs. So I’m going to try to help you.

There are several things that we can’t cut like car payment (unless we get rid of our car), house payment or rent (unless we get rid of our home) and medical bills.
What we can cut are everyday bills, such as fuel costs. Unless you absolutely need to, don’t go anywhere, or if you go walk or ride a bike. The way fuel is now days I don’t go anywhere unless I absolutely have to.
If your going to be sitting somewhere in your car longer than five minutes turn your car off. I can’t count the number of times that I pull up to the school to pick my son up and see a line of cars idling, knowing full well that they will have to wait at least twenty minutes. Now granted a car doesn’t use that much gas when it’s idling,  but it uses no gas when it is not running.
Take the shortest route home, and drive reasonably. Jack rabbit take offs use more gas just like driving fast does. Take your time, you’ll get home safer and you can save a couple of gallons of gas that way.

Here’s a personal experience I had, I used to work for a company that was 17 miles from my house, I had to be at work at 6:00 a.m. everyday, I would leave my house at 5:30 a.m. and drive like a bat out of hell to get to work. I was spending 45 dollars a week in gas and gas was under two dollars a gallon then. When it went up to 5 for a while I was spending almost 100 dollars a week in gas. I started leaving my house at 5:00 a.m. and began driving  45 miles an hour (which is the speed limit anyway). My gas costs went down to 60 dollars a week. I had saved five gallons of gas a week by driving slower. That was 25 dollars a week, 100 dollars a month, 1200 dollars a year in savings.
Now gas is going back up again (for no reason other than our crooked politicians allow it).
I still drive speed limits. When I am on the interstate I stay in the slow lane and run the speed limit constantly. Try it, it saves gas, as well as wear and tear on your car.

Another thing to save money on is your grocery bill, as Americans we have gotten so used to the various snacks and junk food that we buy (alot of which are bad for out health). By cutting out junk, we save money, another thing is if you have a local farmers market buy your vegetables there. They will be a lot cheaper and a lot fresher. If you don’t have a local farmers market then buy from the grocery store and don’t make a special trip for the vegetables because you won’t save that much.

Grow a little garden if you have room to. A garden will provide you with fresh vegetables at a very low cost and will also give you a little bit of exercise working in the garden. Home grown tomatoes beat the heck out of paying three bucks for a pack of two store bought ones.

If you have the room to do it, raise some of your own meat. A cattle requires a lot of room to graze and a good bit of feed, but if you have the area to make a good pasture a calf is a good investment. Same for a hog, a full grown hog can feed a family of six for a season (trust me I know). But there again raising hogs may not be the best thing for your area.

Chickens, quail, and rabbits are a good investment and they don’t require as much feed and you can raise them in a smaller area. Not only that home grown chicken is ten times better for you than that store bought hormone fed stuff.

Hunt,  wild game is pretty good and it’s relatively low cost, if you already own the stuff to hunt with. Of course if you don’t own a gun chances are you’re not reading my blog in the first place. There are plenty of cookbooks out there that will help you prepare wild game.  Rabbit, deer, turkey, quail and wild hog abound here so there is plenty of wild game to cook, and I believe you can hog hunt here just about year round.

Another cost cutting tip is you can cut down on your power bill by doing just a few simple things.
When you wash clothes, wash big loads. This will save on not only power but water as well.
On cool days or warm days depending on your climate and the time of year, turn your air conditioner or heater off and open some doors and windows.
When you leave a room turn the lights off. Some of my lights are on motion detectors now. When I walk into the kitchen the light comes on 5 seconds after I walk out the light goes off, same for the bathroom light. Both of these switches allow you to turn the light on or off manually or you can turn the switch off and the light stays off.

The little flourescent lights that you see every where will save money on your power bill, but most of them use mercury vapor which is harmful to your health and the environment so I stay away from them when I can.
Although they are higher in price some of the new LEDs they are coming out with use less power than the fluorescents and they are supposed to last much much longer, I haven’t tried these yet but as soon as I can afford it I intend to. If anyone reading this has tried the LEDs let us know how well they work.

Another big power guzzler is your dryer. In the old days they used solar powered dryers called clotheslines. 
Make one of these and see the difference in your power bill. My mom’s house is twice the size of mine, harder to heat and harder to cool, but her power bill is always lower than mine because she uses a clothesline instead of a dryer.

Turn off appliances when they are not in use.
Computers, televisions, vcrs, dvd players and a lot of other things will use electricity even when they are not turned on.  You can buy power strips that have circuit breakers in them, that also have an on and off switch, turn these switches off and you can start saving.

These tips may not seem like much and they may not save much all at once, but if they save 1 dollar a day on your power bill that adds up to 365 dollars a year.

I personally will be glad when I can afford solar panels in order to really start lowering my power bill.

Any suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments area.

Thanks for reading

Gary

 

 

 

Personal Security

Today we are going to talk about personal security. 
Most crimes against a person occurs either in the home or in a parking lot somewhere.

I’m going to try to offer you some tips on how to avoid being a victim.

1 The first tip is don’t act like a victim. By that I mean don’t walk around looking down at the ground acting like you are afraid of everything. The individuals I talked with looked for people that wouldn’t look them in the eye, because they said that showed fear and that is what they preyed on.

2 Don’t act like a tourist. When you are in the city somewhere act like it is your home as well. Criminals are less likely to attack someone if they think that person knows their surroundings as well as they do. One other thing some of the guys I talked to said “When people are looking at the buildings and are awe struck that means they are tourists and since tourists don’t know what is going on they are ripe for the pickings.

3 Go in groups, you are far less likely to get mugged, raped or robbed if there is more than one of you. Just like the lions get one buffalo away from the herd, predators would rather prey on a single individual than two or more.

4 Carry protection, pepper spray is pretty good but it has been shown that it doesn’t always work and in high winds it is liable to end up in your own face. A small firearm is better, get something concealable and easy to carry, learn how to use it, clean it, and make sure that you can hit with it.

5 PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS. This is the most important one. 
When you pull into a parking lot, look around.
See what is around you, check out what kind of people there are. See if anyone is loitering in the area.
Never park near a van or large truck, always make sure that you have good visibility between your parking spot and the shop you are going into. Look for a landmark of sorts. Light Pole, Sign, Fire hydrant anything that you can use for a landmark to get you back to your vehicle.

6 Be prepared. Always hope for the best but prepare for the worst. If you have a distance to walk to get to your vehicle always have a plan for what to do in the event of an attempted mugging. If you are carrying a firearm, keep one hand on it.
I carry one in my pocket all the time and if I am in a strange area, I will have one hand in my pocket on the butt of the gun at all times.

7 Don’t take unnecessary chances. If you don’t have to be in a high crime area, don’t be there. Avoid doing things that are going to have you out late at night by yourself.

8 Check your lifestyle. If you have friends that are criminals chances are they will try to victimize you at some time or another. Straighten out your life and choose your friends wisely. If you allow crackheads into your home and then find out they have stolen your silverware or what ever, then it is just as much your fault as it is theirs. If you do drugs chances are you will be a victim to crime other than being stupid.

9 Don’t be flashy. If you go out showing off with lots of gold or diamonds flashing on you, or waving around large amounts of cash, it’s only a matter of time before some one tries to take it.

10 Don’t count on the police to protect you. The police cannot baby sit everyone, and even if they could they wouldn’t. The truth is the police are only good after the fact, meaning that if no crime has yet been committed there is nothing they can do about the strange guy following you around.

No one wants to be a victim and no one has to be. Remember to always be prepared and pay attention to what goes on around you, even around people you know, because you never really know a person until (To quote a scene from Firefly) you hang them over the edge of a volcano.

Thanks for reading

Gary.

 

Home Security Alarm Systems

If you are serious about home security then you need to look into the use of an alarm system.
Alarm systems have become more advanced in the last 30 years.
Considering when we were making moonshine back in the hills our alarm system involved fishing line tied in various places that would shake little jars with a piece of metal, usually a nut, bolt or washer, suspended in the jar to act as a bell which would notify us if anyone was coming down one of our trails.
Of course the revenuers would just follow the fishing line and it would lead them to usually within a hundred foot of our still. That was a state of the art alarm system back then and it worked great for a while until they figured out how to get around it.

Now days you have motion detectors, cameras, pressure detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors and window and door connections that notify you of almost anything that goes on in your home.
Some alarm companies offer alarm systems that you can log into from your computer and see what is going on through your home surveillance cameras. Yep times have surely changed.

Sure you have the big name companies that are cornering the market on the business, but securing your home shouldn’t mean having to be locked into a contract and being made to feel like as soon as you cancel it the company is going to send someone over to burglarize you.

For the DiYers out there, there are other options Smart At Home for instance states that for only $8.95 a month, you can have your self-installed system monitored 24/7 by a professional central station that can dispatch the police, fire department, or medical aid when there’s an emergency at your home. Yet unlike other, more expensive monitoring services, this security monitoring requires no multi-year contracts, no credit reports, and no hassles. So you install it yourself and they will monitor it.

X10 is another great option that offers do it yourself home security and home automation kits. This is from their website.  Ironclad wireless home security! With X10 Wireless Alarm Systems you can quickly and easily set up a home security system to protect what’s most important to you. We have a Wireless Security System to fit any home size or budget. Choose America’s #1 Wireless Security System – the Protector Plus Voice Dialer – and pay no monthly fees! Pick up the Monitor Plus Security System and have the peace of mind that comes from professional monitoring 24-hours per day.

One of the best home security system happens to be one of the oldest ones. If you have a fenced in yard get a dog.
The dog you choose doesn’t have to be a big dog it just has to have a big bark and be moderately protective.
My dogs are as gentle as they can be to kids and adults if I am in the yard with them, but if I’m not out there or if my son is out there by himself, you will not walk up in my yard. They are very protective of the house and my son. Maybe a little too protective of my son, if he does something wrong and I am getting on to him, they let me know real quick.

A small indoor or foo foo type of dog is also a good alarm system, my ex-wife’s dachshund  would let her know anytime anyone set foot on her porch. The little dog would run up to the door and start barking furiously and if she didn’t open the door for them that little dog would bite. Face it no one wants to get bit by a dog, even a little one.

Of course you may live in an area (an apartment, condo or rental property) that doesn’t allow pets. Then the X10 system coupled with the Smart At Home system would be my recommendation.

Home security doesn’t have to cost you an arm and a leg, with the above systems you can save money and secure your home the way you want to, instead of having to pay one of the big name home security companies to come out and lock you into a home security monitoring contract that you have a hard time getting out of.
A lot of times home security companies will get you to let them pull the money out of your bank account and then to cancel it you have to send them a letter (sometimes certified) up to three months in some cases ahead of the time you want to cancel your home security monitoring.
That’s the way my current one is set up and I have another year on my three year contract to go, but when that is over I’m going to look into the X10 system. Maybe they will cut me some slack since I’ve plugged them in this blog.

If you know of any other low cost but reliable home security systems feel free to put a link to them in the comment section.

Thanks for reading

Gary