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Thursday, August 21, 2014

5 Steps to become a Gray Man

In this photo taken with a fisheye lens, people protest Monday, Aug. 18, 2014, for Michael Brown, who was killed by police Aug. 9 in Ferguson, Mo. Brown's shooting has sparked more than a week of protests, riots and looting in the St. Louis suburb. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

It’s a crazy world out there and it keeps getting more bizarre each day. We are seeing increased levels of social tension world wide, with cameras recording your every move, social media companies knowing you better than you know yourself and passing along that information to the government. As if that wasn’t enough, we have people becoming more radicalized, more distrustful and more violent. Online fraud costs people millions each year. Unfortunately this is the world we live in today and its more important than ever to go unnoticed.

1)Dressing to become invisible
Avoid wearing clothes with bright colors, unusual designs or large, memorable logos or designs. Typical clothes, the kind most people around you would be wearing, and going for mostly darker, better blending colors is a good idea. Jeans and tshirt, black, dark gray and blue are just some of the possible colors to go for, but avoid wearing loud colored clothes or accessories whenever possible.
Jason Borune’s movie comes to mind here. “You! Red Bag, Red Bag, stop right there!”
Many times criminals asses the socioeconomic level of their target by the brand of clothes he or she is wearing. Avoid clothes that are too expensive, same goes for shoes, bags, jewelry and cellphones. 

2)Avoiding noticeable features
Avoid the noticeable features that can be used to quickly to identify you. Try not to be the guy with the big skull tattoo in his forearm, or the girl with a pound of piercing in her face or the one with blue hair.  Not only are these already saying way too much about you to everyone around you, you are also making it much eaiser to detect you or find you when asking around.

3)Watch your body language
While you want to look alert and aware, you don’t want to seem too cocky so that others may sense it as a challenge, and you sure don’t want cops showing up at your door. Sometimes guys that have been in the military can´t avoid behaving and moving a certain way, and its not that hard to tell if someone is military based on body language alone. Also what you do will impact people around you, even the police. They may feel threatened, or that you are out looking for trouble. You want to be firm, but also polite to everyone and your body language should project just that.

4)Careful with what you say
The last thing you want is everyone in your block or your social circle knowing how big of a “survivalist” you are, or how much money you made with the recent car/house sale or that you got a big bonus from work. Most kidnappings and many robberies take place because someone couldnt keep thier mouth shut. Avoid voicing your opinions on politics and religion, if you do, be as conservative as possible until you know who you're dealing with and who's listening.

5)Careful what you post online
Nothing goes away. Everything you ever wrote online has been recorded and kept in some database.
Be very careful about posting personal information in Facebook, Twitter and in forums. All of it, everything you ever posted or even just wrote and then erased, its all stored. Facebook has been used many times to see who’s on holydays, when you can break into their home and what  kind of stuff you can expect to find once there.
Online profiles have been used to scam and steal from people. ID theft can be a nightmare that takes years to get rid of and it happens every day.  I’m not even mentioning the loss of liberty, the intrusion of the government and how they have incredibly accurate profiles on everyone’s online history. You're not nearly as anonymous as you probably think you are.


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Moto G + Case: Budget Survival Smartphone

Smartphones are powerful technological tools for the modern world but they aren’t exactly cheap.
For roughly 200 USd, (+a bit more for the 4G LTE version) you can get a solid unlocked smartphone that comes very close to the performance to be expected from phones costing three times more.  The display is 4.5 HD scratch-resistant Corning Gorilla Glass. The processor is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 A7 1.2GHz quad-core processor with built-in 4G LTE,  2070 mAh battery and it runs Android 4.4 (KitKat). Front and back camera and LED flash (which can work as a flashlight) Built-in FM radio and GPS (with GLONASS support).
The 4G LTE model not only has the faster connection, it also has a slot for expanding memory up to 32GB with a micro SD card.
The phone also has a water repelling internal coating, so a bit of rain or a quick dunk wont kill your phone.

Combining the Moto G with a 6.99 USD case makes for a surprisingly nice setup.

Urban Survival Application

Comms alone make a phone a must have, but smartphones are more like small personal computers these days.
Staying updated on current local and world events so as to stay ahead of the crowd, checking the price of precious metals and other currencies, using the GPS and maps to navigate around the city. Using the phone, texting, emailing or otherwise scrounging WIFI to communicate with people or using the built-in FM radio to listen to the news if everything else fails. Storing important data, booking last minute flights, online banking and making transfers, checking the weather, using the LED light or using the camera to record events and evidence if ever needed for insurance or other legal purposes. These are just some of the many possible uses for a smart phone, and the Moto G also happens to be pretty water resistant as well. Adding a case makes it impact resistance, making it even more resilient during emergencies. 


Vehicle Emergency Kit Saves the Day… Again

I’ve changed tires, used signaling triangles and vests before when having car problems like I suppose most of us have done before.
I’ve used the first aid kit in the car to patch up my oldest son’s hand not that long ago when doing outdoors activities. I’ve also used the water kept in my car before several times, both for drinking and refilling a friend’s car radiator (not ideal, but better than nothing).
Yesterday we were at a restaurant with my parents and I took my youngest son to the bathroom. Juggling with my son, the toilet, the paper and trying to keep him from touching anything while taking him to the toilet I ended up holding him in a weird position. It was only after he was done that I noticed that part of his pants had stayed up too high and he ended up with peed pants and underwear. What to do?
I quickly carried him to the parking lot, used the back of the SUV as an improvised dressing room. We keep a spare set of clothes in our car for each family member. I cleaned up the little guy with some wipes, changes his underwear and jeans and we were back to the restaurant in minutes and enjoyed the rest of the day.
I learned to appreciate having a spare set of clothes during a shooting course that took place one stormy day. The class wasn’t canceled in spite of the pouring rain which made it all more interesting, but driving back home soaking wet was not fun.
You may get caught in rain, someone may spill coffee over you, a child may throw up over you, you might get sick yourself and need to change you underwear or full set of clothes. If caught in a disaster, there’s a good chance you may end up wet, dirty, bloody and with torn clothes. A clean set of clothes can be a big bonus in such a situation.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Ferguson Riots: 5 Tips to Prepare for Rioting and Protests


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Riots, looting, demonstrations, and State of Emergency in Ferguson Missouri


Regarding the recent riots, looting, demonstrations, and now State of
Emergency in Ferguson Missouri:
1. Do you think this is a sign of more to come in the USA over the
next few years?
to prepare for growing incidents like this in America? (or in my case,
Gray Lady!). I personally prefer not to own a gun and I would adopt
the Gray philosophy as my best day-to-day routine. Any other

         Hello Jo,

        1) Yes, no doubt about that. A more divided, more hateful and more unequal society. By unequal I don’t mean it in the way bees (or communists) mean equality, but unequal regarding rights. I’ll write a dedicated article about this topic soon.  It seems to me that the erosion of rights and liberties along with the militarization of police is abundantly clear and causes significant damage to a free society. It is hard to say how bad it may get, but the path heading in a clear direction.

        2)Yes, absolutely. A gun is what you end up using when everything else fails. Most of all, it’s what you end up using when you failed at avoiding dangerous places and dangerous people.  I still believe you should own a firearm for self-defense, but I do understand that some people may chose not to own one. At the very least, have pepper spray so as to level your odds some in a violent confrontation. If you wont carry a gun at least carry the most powerful spray you can get, Fox Labs.

Fox Labs 2 Ounce 2% OC 5.3-mm Flip Top Medium Cone Fog Pepper Spray

Improving your home security will be crucial in the next few years. I recently wrote about good alarm systems to install. There a reason why houses with alarms get an insurance discount: You are less likely to get robbed if you have one installed. Good locks, a solid door and an alarm will make you far less appealing as a potential target and criminals will usually go looking elsewhere.

Finally, on often ignored, the importance of keeping a low profile, and our mouths shut. House sales, car sales, big job bonus, inheritance, I learned from Argentina that mentioning an of these may end up getting you kidnapped or robbed at home. Be careful with what you say! Once it leaves your lips, you don’t know who may have eavesdropped or who may be telling other about your situation. Simply saying “please don’t tell anyone”, makes no difference, people just like to talk.