6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

Susie Harrison
By Susie Harrison November 19, 2020 09:36

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

It is 12:30 am and suddenly I awake! It’s pitch black but I know the power is out because I always leave a bathroom night light on for the kids. The boys stumble into my bedroom, confused. They have already checked the outdoor breaker… still nothing. The neighborhood is dark… upon getting in the car and turning on the radio, I get a local station on generator power, explaining an EMP has gone off. Since we are a small town out in the desert, it may be 3-6 months before it is restored!

Thank God, with my limited budget, I have prepared as best as I could. What would your family need in an extended blackout? Start getting that stuff now, before it’s too late.

Food and Water

Always have enough food and water stored for at least 30-90 days. Just up your game for the long haul. There are many articles on how to store food, how to store food in order of expiration date. I have purchased a few emergency food supplies, but found my local dollar store and sales at Wal-Mart is nearly if not more efficient.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutGet some chickens. I know, in my city limits, we are only allowed one chicken, but this rule can be broken. I read how in New York City; people are getting chickens by asking their neighbors permission. If the neighbor agrees you can have chickens, you will share some of your eggs and they won’t report you. This has worked for me for the past several years.

Here are a few of our chickens which provide 1-2 dozen eggs a week.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutWater is harder here in the desert, but while pondering how to store thousands of gallons of water in the desert, I looked over at my son’s playing in their swimming pool. The pool box says 1074 Gallons. I purchased another pool and cover for double the water.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutIn addition, I went to my local hardware store for 34 Gallon trashcans at 15$ a piece with lid. Every time I grocery shop, I buy 5 single gallons of water, 2 forty count bottled water, and fill my 5-gallon jugs. We have about 2500 gallons of water ready to go.

Light, Heat and Cooking

The lighting you use at first should be considered. If there is an earthquake or an explosion nearby, you must consider not lighting candles for the first week. There could be a gas leak.

There are alternatives to actual candles or oil lanterns, such as battery powered and solar lights. If they are LED lights, they should be kept in a faraday cage to be safe, either way, they come in handy regardless of the cause of an outage.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutOften the dollar stores sells the little solar lights. Mirrors can magnify your light. Here’s how one of my candle holders with a mirror looks in front of the bathroom mirror.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutCurio Cabinets with mirrors candles/lights also can light up a living room. Oil lamps and Candles are of course particularly useful when safe. Keep your batteries in your smoke detectors.

One of my kids collects oil lamps. He gets those and candles from thrift shops and yard sales.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

I can get candles from the dollar store cheap, along with emergency candles and votive candles.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutHeating- Make sure you have a cord+ firewood, depending on your area.

If you don’t have a fireplace, you must invest in something like a Kerosene Heater and a Gas/Smoke detector (battery powered). Buy your own container and Kerosene for a 10th of the cost.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutIf you can afford clear plastic from the hardware store. Buy clear shower curtains at the dollar store. This will allow you to section off a room, while still seeing any movement of a predator.

Cooking should be easy if your ready. Coleman stoves, outdoor BBQ pits are nice. We have two grills. BUT you need to have plenty of propane, coal, or burning materials for cooking. My new grill has a thermometer. I was able to make the best homemade bread ever.

Have several extra propane bottles.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutIf you cook outside, which you really have to with any gas, remember your food might smell. I suggest that if you cook rice, beans, noodles in boiling water then add sauce or meat after removed from burner to avoid ‘smells’.

Medicine and Back up Sources 

Always have a first aid kit fully stocked.

If you take regular medicine, or your child has asthma or something life threatening, you might to need to save extra medicine prescribed by a physician.

Have a Pill Book handy, in case you need to identify medication if a situation arises.

Bartering can also get you some of the medicine you may need. Stock up on all the medicine you can. Find health food/supplements that also may tackle your health issue.

I hear fish medicine can come in handy for anti-biotics, but I am not a physician. Something you will have to investigate yourself.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutIf you have a Cpap, Pulse Ox, Blood Pressure Cuff, Sugar kits, or a Nebulizer you need to think ahead for power supplies; preferably solar. I have a few power sources for phone, laptop, and other chargeables. In addition, I have a small gas generator. However, gas will run out.

Small lithium battery sources and small gas generators can handle mild medical equipment. Keep these power sources and their solar panels in faraday cages when not in use. Here’s one of my three:

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

Defense and Protection

You have all your food, medicine, wood, gas, medicine, and power sources. NOW you must defend it.

Ahead of time you can design faraday cages or use triple wrap foil and foil tape to protect power sources, laptops, phones, and medical equipment listed above.

Related: 10 Faraday Cages You Can Make at Home

I am writing for those sheltering in place. Make sure your doors, garage doors, and windows are secured. Remember if people you don’t know come to your front door, that back door better be secure as well.

I purchased outdoor LED motion lights for to place darker parts of my back yard. This will also work for the front door as well. It will look dark but if a vandal gets close the lights will go off and notify everyone.

We have a few shotguns, and the guns sold out before we could get more. I researched the best air rifles and air pistols that can become just as good of a defense if someone is rushing at you with a gun, bat, knife, or other weapon.

Practice with your family scenarios of intrusion.

One of my sons has sharp swords, sling shots with marbles and steel bits. Another author here suggested wasp spray that goes 20 feet.

There are traps you can also set up. Using 50 lbs. fishing line, lined across a fence to a wall on the sides of your house, about calf or knee height. Repeat about 18 inches each line; that with a solar motion light is sure to trip up any burglar at night while notifying you of incoming persons.

Remember too, that with all the locked doors and windows, you must be able to get out fast in an emergency. Have your family practice getting out quickly and avoiding traps.

Some of our weapon dry:

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

Use your own discretion. And remember, if you are in a small town, not all people knocking on your door will be predators. Your neighbor’s children will get hungry, desperate parents do strange things. This can be handled with bartering.


When your buying your food supplies, always add some things for family or close neighbors you trust.

When neighbors come knocking always act like you don’t have much either… but have a list handy of things YOU need like medicine, flour/ and firewood. You might be surprised at what they will find lying around if they get desperate.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended Blackout

If you are in a smaller town where it is safer, you could consider opening up a small Trading Post till things improve nationwide.

You can create trade-able care packages in advance separate from your food for-seeing the future. That way you know how much you have. A 1$ spaghetti noodles/1$ spaghetti sauce, Two or three boxes of Mac n Cheese with a can of Chili (for Chili mac) is about 2$, Pancake Mix (add water only) with a Syrup is about 2$… etc.

One of my oil lamps with a container of oil might be worth someone’s tank of gas for my generator. It is all negotiable.

Common Sense

No one knows for sure what could trigger and extended blackout. This is designed for those sheltering in place. You will have to be logical about what you do, not emotional. Common sense for your circumstances will be vital to survival.

When the lights go out, you’ll also have to stay sane. That little bottle of anti-depressants in the cupboard might end up being needed. There may be some initial panic. Ration your food and water. Set up any traps to stop thieves from entering backyards, garages, or property to protect what you have.

Note where your first aid supplies are. Without physicians, even a small cut should be treated right away. Place different weapons in their best positions. In the long run if it gets dangerous out there, set up a person for guard duty in the best place for each time of the day.

A fun thing to make life almost seem normal from time to time would be to have board games and puzzles. Also, pre-load your laptops and phones with music and movies.

6 Things To Do Immediately In An Extended BlackoutGive everyone in your house daily tasks and perhaps guard duty. This will provide purpose, a schedule, and sanity.

Plan for the worst, hope for the best… just in case S does HTF.

And for helpful and fun reading during the extended blackout, you can get my apocalypse trilogy from here.

You may also like: 

banner cowboys tlw 26 Bug In Mistakes That You’re Probably Making Right Now

How To Protect Your Electronics, Car, Mobile Phone In An Extended Blackout (Video)

Five Ways Our Life is Better Living Off The Grid

Turning Flour into Hardtack Biscuits With Over 100 Year Shelf Life

Susie Harrison
By Susie Harrison November 19, 2020 09:36
Write a comment


  1. Mic November 19, 14:46

    The first thing you do in a extended blackout is Bug Out.
    The rioting and the looting will go wild.

    The 2500 gallons of water that they have stored up will last a family of 4, maybe 2 months. What will you do after that?
    Is your survival plan only a 2 month plan?

    Bartering is a bad idea.As soon as you admit to having what they needed ( more than once) you have become a potential target.
    Besides, people talk. Rumors will fly like the wind. Especially the rumor that you have lots of extra supplies, just for the taking.

    For the scenarios in Portland; we see that if they can’t overcome your defenses, then they will try to burn you out.
    Either way you will lose all your supplies, if not your life.

    As far as stocking up stuff, the biggest oversight here is fire suppression equipment. whether you accidentally start it or some one is trying to burn you out. You need more than just a single, kitchen size fire extinguisher.

    Then there is also no mention of a plan of action. Having preps is only half the battle. without a plan of how you are going to use them, who you can rely on, outside of your family for help. training for everyone on defense of the location, fall back positions, contact points if you have to flee the area and a few hundred other things.

    If you put most of this advise to a trial run you will find it fails miserably, in any long term application.

    Reply to this comment
    • Jill November 19, 17:49

      Will galvanized metal garbage cans protect electronics, etc against an emp? In other words, will they suffice as faraday cages? Also, does the metal body of a car protect the engine from an emp?

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 19, 22:32

        Jill: On October 23, the construction of a Faraday cage was discussed including the garbage can Faraday cage. I would refer you to that article and in particular, the discussion following the article.

        Dr. Arthur Bradley, whom I have mentioned before is writing a new book dealing specifically with how to protect against overwhelming electrical pulses. As soon as it hits the market I will post the information on this site for those who want to get information from an informed source.

        In short, however, a galvanized metal garbage can can be made into a Faraday cage if constructed properly.

        Unfortunately, the only testing of electrical pulses on auto engines that has been reported was a half baked test using the testers’ privately owned vehicles. As soon as the vehicles started to show symptoms of failure they discontinued the test. The results which some report as gospel from on high were spotty. Some vehicles the engine died but started up after dying. Other vehicles exhibited no signs of failure. I don’t know why anyone relies on that testing for anything. Who is going to use a high enough surge to melt the wiring in their own car?

        I think you won’t see the government involved in testing cars because the possibly new administration is socialism indoctrinated and they want to make privately owned vehicles so expensive to own that they can force people onto public transportation which is much easier to control than privately owned motor vehicles.

        I am of the opinion if you own one of the highbred electrical vehicles, it will be toast most definitely after an EMP and quite possibly after a CME. And therein lies the reason why you won’t see government testing of motor vehicles. If they don’t subject highbred and all electrical vehicles to ultra high voltage folks will wonder why. If they do and there is complete failure, what do you suppose will happen to the highbred/electrical motor vehicle market?

        If you guessed that it will tank, you win the million dollar prize. So the greenies pressure the goobermint not to test any vehicles for fear that their pet projects will fair dismally.

        My suspicion is that if your car is down on the fourth underground level of an underground garage and you aren’t near the elevator nor any transformers, you car will fair okay and run after an ultra high voltage event. If your Prius is parked on the upper deck of an open air parking garage, it will be a burned out heap of smoldering plastic.

        The metal body offers zero protection against ultra high voltage events. There are too many entry points for it to afford any protection and the urban legend that the tires insulate the car from ultra high surges I think is just that, an urban legend. We have no actual testing one way or the other.

        It would be really interesting to all of us if some follower of this list had their car actually struck by lightening and what happened to the car and the components in that lightening strike. I don’t care what your cousin Billy Bob told your grandfather what happened one night after a moonshine party, I mean someone who heard the crack, looked out and saw St. Elmo’s Fire all around the car and smelled the ozone in the air.

        Reply to this comment
      • Dale November 25, 05:28

        Go to disasterprepper.com. He shows how to take a 35 gallon metal trash can and convert to a Faraday Cage. He shows how the tests are conducted and the results. He also carries EMP resistant bags you can buy.

        Reply to this comment
    • red November 20, 03:04

      Mic: Susan said this is for folks who bug-in. She and I both live in small towns where people know each other. Most of my neighbors are preppers.

      Reply to this comment
    • smartesusieq December 16, 23:00

      My original article addressed many of your complaints. Sadly I had to cut it in half, which was good for you since you probably like to complain about everything I write. Just trying to contribute like everyone else. I live in a very small farming town. Not the city, in my case different rules apply. Please write an article with all your information and put it here so you can share your experience and wisdom.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Rox November 19, 16:35

    I always find these articles helpful. I was raised Mormon where we were trained to be prepared. Thanks.

    Reply to this comment
  3. GW November 19, 17:59

    I hope your motion lights are solar. There are some good inexpensive ones at Harbor Freight.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Honorable Prepper November 19, 17:59

    I am wondering if this article is fraudulent – fake name, from China perhaps?. The grammar is terrible and much of the information can be gleaned from many (unreliable) sources.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck November 20, 19:46

      Unless the name is purloined, the lady is real. She is a self-published author on Amazon Kindle. I started reading her trilogy of preppier novels. She claims she wanted to write a preppier novel about an apocalyptic event from the woman’s viewpoint, not realizing there is a whole hierarchy of women writers who have written preppier novels from a woman’s viewpoint. Not a new idea.

      So far I am only into morning of the second day after a tsunami attack against both coasts of the U.S. Now that is a novel approach that I had not read before. I did read about dropping huge telephone pole size titanium rods from satellites to cause destructive tsunami along the coast and act as earthquake simulators inland.

      Not sure about the validity of that kind of an attack as we are all covered by the rule of terminal velocity and right off the top of my head I don’t remember what terminal velocity is and am not sure I could calculate the foot pounds of energy such a device could develop no matter how high up it was dropped form.

      The atomic bomb generated tsunami is certainly an interesting approach and would wreak havoc all along the low lying coasts of the country.

      I am quite sure the lady has not done much research into prepping as she reiterates in her novel about purchasing bbs to ward off marauders. As so many pointed out, good luck with that. She also arranged used appliances and dead big screen tvs on her front lawn to provide protection against marauders shooting at her and her family. I guess if the marauders are attacking with bb guns those should work fine. My experience is that a .22 long rifle will penetrate through and through on the sheet metal of a washing machine. If it hits the motor or pump assembly it won’t penetrate, but the sheet metal is quite thin and easily penetrated. I would think my pump action .22 air rifle would penetrate it. I don’t have an old washing machine to test that theory. I know my bullet trap that I use for my .177 pellets is quarter inch thick plate and slanted to put the pellets into the trap at the bottom. It is the curves and slanted surface that give it the most protection. It also is almost as heavy as the clothes dryer.

      Will post more when I have read more.

      Reply to this comment
      • Dale November 25, 05:33

        Full auto pellet gun by Hatsan:
        Yes, it is legal. It shoots .22 cal pellets. It is fast and I would buy a bunch of pellet clips/magazines/whatever for reload.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck November 30, 02:29

          Here is the scoop on the Hatsan Blitz from Pyramid Air dot com:

          “Hatsan Blitz Full Auto PCP Air Rifle 
          • Pre-charged pneumatic
          • Full/semi-automatic selector switch
          • 580cc carbon fiber bottle on forearm
          • 1,000 rounds per minute cyclic rate
          • Max Velocity w/ Lead Pellets: 1050 FPS (.22), 970 FPS (.25), 730 FPS (.30)
          • Max Energy: 36 FPE (.22), 41 FPE (.25), 53 FPE (.30)
          • Shots at optimal velocity*: 130 (.22), 110 (.25), 100 (.30)
          • Magazine Capacity: 21 rds. (.22), 19 rds. (.25), 16 rds. (.30)
          • Gas-operating cycling mechanism requires no batteries
          • QuietEnergy fully-shrouded barrel
          • Detachable SwingLoad Magazine (Includes 2)
          • Magazine winding tool stored in stock
          • Elevation Adjustable Comb
          • Adjustable rubber butt pad
          • Combo 11mm dovetail and 22mm Weaver optics rail
          • Carry handle with integral adjustable open sights
          • 3 Picatinny forearm accessory rails
          • 250 BAR / 3,625 PSI fill pressure
          • Integral manometer
          • All-weather synthetic stock with textured rubber pistol grip
          • Includes fill probe with 1/8” BSPP Male threading 
          *Shots at optimal velocity is the number of shots within 85% of max velocity.

          List Price $999.99 Save $50.00 (5%

          “The Hatsan Blitz select-fire pre-charged pneumatic air rifle is the first fully-automatic airgun anywhere that shoots .30 caliber pellets. The Blitz has a newly designed SwingLoad rotary magazine and a fully-shrouded QuietEnergy barrel capable of 730 feet-per-second of muzzle velocity with 53 foot-pounds of muzzle energy in .30 caliber. With a Full/Semi selector switch above the grip, you can easily choose which way you want to shoot. Simply fill the non-removable 580cc carbon fiber bottle to 250 BAR while watching the color-coded integral manometer on the bottom of the rifle and you’ll have enough air for 100+ shots at optimal velocity (caliber dependent).
          If you want to add accessories or optics, the Hatsan Blitz offers a few options that can help you  maximize your choices or leverage what you already have. The Blitz has a carry handle with integral adjustable open sights, which can be removed to access Hatsan’s standard combination dovetail 11mm and Weaver 22mm optics rail that’s split by the magazine. In addition, the Blitz offers three Picatinny accessory rails surrounding the bottle. With textured all-weather rubber on the ambidextrous pistol grip and forearm, you can shoot in any conditions, and the elevation-adjustable cheek comb and adjustable butt pad allow you to position the rifle for maximum fit and comfort. Hatsan has answered the call for a full auto PCP rifle, and no matter which caliber you choose, the Blitz will leave you smiling from ear to ear with every shot!  

          “Air Venturi MK5 pump by Hill Hand Pump, up to 4500 psi – $199.9”

          Maybe it is just me, for for over a a thousand dollars, I would rather have a real rifle that fired real bullets.

          The PPSH used by the North Koreans and he Chicoms fired a .30 caliber bullet at 1500 fps with a total muzzle foot pounds of energy of 430 ft/lbs.

          The reason I compared the Hatsan to the PPSH is that they fired a similar caliber rifle and the PPSH at 1500 fps muzzle velocity was considered a low velocity shoulder weapon. The PPSH had a rate of fire of 900 rounds per minute, somewhat close to the Hatsan. However, compare the difference in muzzle energy, 53 fpe for the Hatsan, 400 for the PPSH.

          Unfortunately because it fired from an open bolt and was fully automatic only, it can’t be imported into the U.S. There is a semi-automatic version being manufactured here in the U.S. but it is fairly expensive for an imitation gun. Again, for its costs I would rather have a Ruger American in .308 which has an MSRP of less than $500.

          I think this lady is looking in the wrong places for firearms. If she offered me $1,000 for my Marlin 336 in .30-30 Winchester, I would ship it to the gun dealer of her choice in a New York minute — well, considering all the paper work, it would be somewhat longer than a minute. I would also throw in all the ammo I have for it and the loading dies and the load book that is just for .30-30. She would be all set to go with a rifle that could reach out and touch a bad guy at 100 yards and would really make an impression at 25 years. I haven’t looked at it in a while, but I think it has a nice scope mounted on it. For one large, I would even through in the mounted scope.

          She should do as I suggested and start reading the classifieds in the Reno paper and start going around to garage sales with cash in her pocket early on Saturday mornings. Wouldn’t hurt to invest in the Blue Book of Gun Values, 2021 edition either if one is serious about the used garage sale marketplace. The reason I recommend the 2021 edition is that it will have 2020 prices in it which are already astronomical whereas the 2020 edition will have 2019 prices in it and won’t reflect the condition of the market today.

          Well, I would start in the Fernley paper first and then branch out. Fallon might be a better area but be careful you are not buying purloined firearms from NAS Fallon. You will have Mark Harmon after you and you know he always solves every case he gets in 40 minutes.

          Reply to this comment
    • smartesusieq December 16, 23:06

      There is always a Karen Grammar Nazi reading someone’s articles everywhere. Sharing my experience and what I’ve done… and I was born in California, not China. Sorry I didn’t have my prof copy editor go over this for an expensive fee to please you. Please feel free to submit your own article and take the heat for your ideas without critique.

      Reply to this comment
  5. left coast chuck November 19, 18:34

    Agreed, Mic.

    Additionally, many swords bought at gun shows or on line from Budk or Smokey Mountain Knife Works are cheap junk. Japanese sword makers test their blades by cutting a bundle of bamboo reeds. If you go on line to coldsteel.com and look at them testing their Japanese sword line you can see how Japanese swords are tested for edge hardness and blade temper.

    If you want to see how swords faired against single shot black powder rifles, get a copy of The Last Samurai with Tom Cruise. The final battle in real history went very badly for the purists who insisted on take a sword to a gun fight.

    We discussed the whole idea at some length in this lady’s post about her weaponry a week or so ago.

    In all my years of following news reports about shootings I can recall only one fatality caused by a pellet gun, not a bb gun, where the unlucky shot because it was unintended, pierced the neck of the victim and punctured a major artery so that death resulted from blood loss due to delayed medical attention. “It’s not serious, it’s only a pellet gun. Oh, shit, he’s really bleeding bad!”

    Not to say that sharp pointy objects don’t have value. I have what I consider an adequate supply, but not for heading off an armed attack. More for dispatching bad guys who have already been incapacitated with gunfire. Don’t want to waste bullets in an EOTW situation where ammunition will be worth more than gold.

    Reply to this comment
    • City Chick November 19, 23:35

      After the last blackout here in the big city, I returned home to a dark house! Had to fumble around the door to get it opened. Had to fumble around the kitchen to find a flashlight so that I could then go down the basement to bring up my blackout supplies. Lesson learned – always carry a flash light. And don’t keep all those supplies in one place spread it out around the house! Work them into the decor!

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 20, 02:52

        CC: It doesn’t have to be a sear-their-eyeballs 10,000 lumen blowtorch flashlight. Those are okay for home defense where you want to blind the bad guy. While others may disagree, I have always been in favor of a minimal light. There are times when you just don’t want to advertise your presence and I am not talking about when you are burglarizing the local CVS drug department for a fix of your preferred drug, but if there are potentially hostile folks in the area you might not want to stumble over the footstool that you can’t see in the dark but you also might not want to look like opening night on Broadway either. The Streamlight Stylus Pro comes with a pocket clip and takes standard AAA batteries. It has a good beam but you can easily cover it with your hand to limit how much light is emitted. It has a constant on and a momentary switch. The constant on takes a determined effort to latch it, but that means that it won’t accidentally come on in your bag so that when you want it, the batteries are dead. I have several Princteton Tec Pulsars. While the battery is replaceable, it takes someone with far more manual dexterity than I to replace the battery. They are so cheap I treat them as a throwaway. The battery is almost as expensive as the whole light. They have a press and hold version and they have one with press for quick flash and a little button to put it in constant mode. I buy the ones that are press to light as they are a little cheaper than the ones that have a constant on feature as they both have the same disassembly to change the battery I opted for the press and hold model because both are throw-aways — but not necessarily. You may have the dexterity of an eye surgeon. I also have a Streamlight Keymate. It is a twist the bulb holder to light and takes those little button batteries. The advantage to that is that if you leave it in your purse for ten years without turning it on, it will probably still light.

        All three will not seriously degrade your night vision, although the Stylus Pro is approaching night vision deterioration level. It is the brightest of the three.

        Just some food for thought on easy to carry flashlights that don’t scream “Hello everybody, here is another victim.”

        Reply to this comment
        • City Chick November 20, 13:58

          LCC – Very timely recommendations and good stocking stuffers too! A girl can never have enough flashlights!

          Reply to this comment
        • ST December 21, 19:16

          There’s an upper limit on how powerful a flashlight one should use indoors. The light can blind the user as well as the target through excessive glare. Between the small size of my place and the big bank of stupid mirrors on one wall, I have to be very careful about what I shine around the house!

          Reply to this comment
    • IvyMike November 20, 01:09

      Speaking of The Last Samurai, I watched a video by a Master Samurai on how real the fighting scenes are in the movies, I’m not a big Cruise fan but he scored that movie and TC’s work very high. Japanese swords are beautiful but this video left me with the impression that it is footwork, movement, and posture that make a great swordsman. I usually have a link to a video, but sadly don’t have one this time. Me with a Hattari Hanzo sword vs TC armed with a package of uncooked linguini? I’m going down…

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 20, 03:34

        Mike: What is a “Master Samurai”? Is he a practitioner of Iaido? Kendo? Who designated him a “Master Samurai”? That isn’t a grade of any Japanese martial art that I am aware of. Is he U.S. or Asian? I suspect U.S. Martial arts as transplanted to the U.S. are totally different from martial arts in Japan. There you are a white belt until you reach 3rd class student which is a brown belt. Then you work through 2nd class and 1st class student until you achieve shodan or first degree black belt. Then you go nidan, sandan, yondan, godan, rokudan, sichidan. After that you have to be active in the politics of judo or kendo or karate. In judo there is only one judan or tenth degree. He gets to wear a red belt. Sort of like the pope of judo. I don’t know about kendo or karate but I suspect the organization in Japan is similar. I studied judo for almost three years and only reached third class student. They didn’t have mercy promotions like they do here in the states. Those are promotions to encourage a student who shouldn’t be promoted but is to keep him coming back for more lessons.

        According to writers on any of the Japanese martial arts, mastery and success in the art is a zen like state wherein you are only focused on the exact moment without a single extraneous thought. If you can achieve that over your opponent, you will overcome your opponent. It isn’t a “win” in the western sense, it is overcoming your own shortcomings in a situation where your opponent was unable to achieve the same state.

        The apocryphal story is that Musashi was facing an opponent and he said to his opponent, “You lost.” the opponent said, “What? I’m still here.” Musashi said, “I detected a weakness in your spirit which means you lost.” The other guy lunged at Musashi and Musashi promptly cut his head off. Now, don’t know if that was psychological warfare or not but it is a famous story about Musashi. It is repeated to illustrate the point that self-mastery is the most important part of art mastery.

        All of the Japanese martial arts have zen self-mastery as the underlying principle of the art. If you have self-mastery your art will naturally follow and you will overcome your opponent who lacks that self-mastery. It is difficult to really explain in western thought. My judo instructor on Okinawa was a seventh dan in judo which is the highest competition rank. Eighth, ninth and tenth degrees are awarded for educational (read political) contributions to the art of judo. He was an incredibly interesting fellow. We had another student who was well over six feet tall and well over 200 pounds. He was incredibly strong. He had terrible technique and couldn’t manage a decent throw but could just manhandle any student in the class around the dojo. The sensei could throw him at will, repeatedly and continuously without raising a sweat or even looking like he was expending any energy. The student would jerk at the sensei and the next think he knew he was on the deck wondering how he got there and the sensei would be explaining his technique in Japanese which was a lot more obscure than the Japanese some of us knew. He wouldn’t even look at the big ox and throw him while explaining what he was going to do to the class. I am sure the sensei didn’t weigh more than 150 pounds and stood about 5’8″, on the tall side for Okinawans of the age but not exceptionally so. He projected a force even when he was absolutely still watching us bumble through the exercises. Hard to describe the force but you could actually feel some kind of aura. All very mystical.

        So if you can master yourself while practicing sword technique, you can easily overcome Tom Cruise if he hasn’t achieved the same level of self-mastery. I just watched a 45 minute segment on NHK about a Brit who got interested in kendo while in Japan and has remained in Japan for quite a few years following his interest in kendo. A Japanese sensei on the program said that this fellow understands more about swordsmanship than most Japanese. The strikes in kendo are so quick for someone who is not really familiar with the sport, it is hard to tell who struck the overcoming blow. It looked like the Brit knew what he was doing with a stick though. If they mentioned what degree he held, I missed it. From the way it looked like he was whacking the teacher I imagine his ranking is quite high.

        Reply to this comment
        • IvyMike November 21, 00:53

          This is the video I referenced, think you’ll find it interesting, not by a California Cowboy.
          Kyudo is really cool and seems to embody Zen totally. I like Judo,too, love to watch the world class competitions where the opponents spend moments shuffling and twitching as they initiate and counter moves and then, boom!
          How great to have had instruction in Okinawa from a 7th dan instructor, it is amazing to be involved with a person of that spirit.

          Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck November 23, 06:20

        Okay, Mike, I watch the clip you posted. I think there is a little lost in translation. Master in Japanese is probably sensei, a title of respect for anyone with superior knowledge. A doctor is addressed as sensei, a teacher, a lawyer, the head of a dojo, much like we use doctor for someone who has an advanced degree in a field. When the students in the dojo where I studied addressed the teacher we always used “sensei.”

        It was interesting watching Tatsuya Nakadai in the film clip. He was a very famous actor. I saw that movie when it came out and played in the U.S. Most actors who played lead roles in samurai movies had to study swordsmanship quite seriously in order to carry off scenes realistically. Too many Japanese had actually studied swordsmanship so it couldn’t be faked.

        Toshio Mifune was another well known Japanese actor who played in many, many samurai films. Sadly, neither of those fine actors are with us any longer. Mifune was also a famous drinker. It is said that he could drink a fifth of scotch without exhibiting any signs of drunkenness. I think that might be an exaggeration but one did not want to go drink for drink with him unless one had already arranged for a ride home.

        Had Cruise been cut with a real sword in the short clip from The Last Samurai, his head would have been separated from his body. Many of the samurai movies of the 50s, 60s, and 70s were quite gory. I remember one scene where, I know it was photography and not real, but the scene was a samurai getting his hand cut off while holding his sword. It was so realistic, having viewed it I could swear the actor actually got his hand cut off.

        Those three decades, especially the 60s and 70s were the zenith of Japanese movie making. Sadly they have switched mostly to animae now and animae just doesn’t move me like watching a skilled actor portraying human emotions.

        I wouldn’t want to own a famous sword. they are really priceless treasures. I have a sword made in Seki, Japan. It is a well-known sword making center and has been for a least a couple of centuries if not longer. I acquired it from a very knowledgable Nisei weapons collector. He had an astoundingly fine collection of Japanese weaponry. He actually did me a favor selling me the sword I own. He owned museum quality pieces that he acquired in Japan after WWII when families sold family treasures in order to live. Since my stay in the Far East many years ago I have been a follower of Japanese weaponry and martial arts. Unfortunately, after I returned to the states family responsibilities interfered with my continuation of my studies. But I have followed the martial arts and in the last several years have been able to follow them on NHK to my great delight.

        Thanks for posting the link. I enjoyed listening to the sensei talk about swordsmanship and technique and enjoyed watching Nakadai giving another fine performance.

        Reply to this comment
  6. red November 20, 03:08

    Susan, all good ideas. Most of us will bug-in, either from no choice in the matter, or health or other issues. I would convert one of those pools into something solid, tho, or risk losing the water to chance of jealousy. An adobe wall around it would work. niio

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck November 20, 17:18

      Red: I started reading her preppier doomsday series. If she actually lives in Fernley, NV, that is only a two-day walk from Reno. While it didn’t make the national news, Reno had its share of downtown rioting by the BLM/antifa thugs. It’s downhill from Reno to Fernley. It’s uphill from Reno to Lake Tahoe and Stateline. While some rugged individualists will make the trek up to Lake Tahoe, knowing human nature, the mobs once they have trashed Reno will head downhill to Fernley and Fallon. She had better have more than a bb gun when they show up. I doubt that they will be in a bartering mood.

      Reply to this comment
      • red November 21, 04:14

        LCC: Her take on airguns is “In a pinch”. Her family seems well-stocked with what they need, shotguns and so on, but she wanted something for the kids, not the adults. Mobs are made up of sheeple, not adult people. This isn’t Tiananmen Square but along the line of rats. niio

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck November 22, 02:40

          Red: I think predicting the behavior of a mob is harder than predicting the weather. Some mobs break and run the minute any kind of force is introduced, tear gas, water cannon, whaling with batons, firing live ammunition. Other mobs go on the attack when violence is used against them.

          Then too, it depends upon whether we are talking about a mob where there is still nominal rule of law with arrests and prosecutions perhaps in the offing. If that is the case, it seems to me the mobs have been more complaint with official use of force.

          So far we have avoided situations without any chance of rule of law such as an end of the world event. In that event, I think every mob situation will involve use of deadly force on both sides from the get-go.

          In that case, I think hacking with machetes would be more fear inducing than even shooting with anything less than shotguns. For some reason people seem to fear flashing blades more than getting shot. Perhaps it is because gunpowder and shooting is a relatively recent development in dealing death whereas getting cut with a sharp sword, even if it is bronze is centuries old and blades are still employed to generate terror. Witness the public beheadings favored by certain “religious” groups. The sole purpose of such exhibitions is to instill fear in people and it seems to work.

          Readers of any NRA publications know that each month there is a report of armed defense by citizens who are attacked in various locales by criminals or deranged persons. I can remember reading recently about some bad guys who invaded a home and were frightened off by the homeowner wielding a machete. They were frightened off even though one of the bad guys was himself armed with a machete. Can’t count on that happening every time, but I think it shows the frame of mind of a lot of people with regard to blades and cutting.

          Reply to this comment
          • red November 22, 20:25

            LCC: Mobs are like that, yes. Think sheep. This is about both now and sans rule of law.

            Most violence people meditate on (TV, songs, and the cinema) include guns. You’re on the money about machetes, but ‘cocktails work, too, if you want to waste the gas or moonshine. Ninja used caltrops to good effect. Black, because then they have no idea what might be on the ground or waiting to bite.

            People like natural, passive defenses. Rogusa roses, bougainvillea, and a host of other things were bred for home defense. I like moats. A garden moat is a trench filled with logs, thorns, scorpions, brush, and so on. Fill with dirt. Plant on top. As the wood decays, it leaves hollow places between the logs and thorns. Rioters are no less nervous about their feet than normal people. Thorns are a special effect that can take years to decay. Low growing agaves, horse crippler cactus, or a ground cover MIGHT be infested with snakes. Most city people are terrified of snakes, for some reason. All garden beds are narrow moats.

            I used to get laughed at for a love of knives over guns. Guns, yep, got a few. I don’t see a need for high power because every little old lady around here knows what happened when the PRI in Mexico outlawed guns. This is Indian Country. niio

            Reply to this comment
        • City Chick November 22, 20:39

          Red – Here in the big city, they’ve switched to flame throwers! Looks like they work out great from the top of a city bus in downtown Brooklyn too!

          Reply to this comment
          • red November 23, 09:15

            CC: They worked pretty good in the Pacific, Dad said, in WWII. FDR approved, and today the dnc whines about throwing water in someone’s face. Do not have too much fun! We don’t need cops involved, again 🙂 niio

            Reply to this comment
            • Red Rover November 25, 16:52

              Check out X-15 Throw Flame. I saw one and the price tag and stated I could buid it for $400….and I did. Identical, except I put on a Gadsen sticker rather than the factory logo. Later when I found a used tank for $10 I built another, but for $300 second time around.

              Meeting fire with fire sounds only fair…

              These are legal in many States, but you would need to check yourself for what you can legally own to be sure. Sorry Chuck, almost everything is illegal in California and with the fires, wouldn’t be good there anyway.

              Reply to this comment
              • City Chick November 25, 20:20

                Red Rover – Did you sell one of these contraptions to the guy on top of the Brooklyn NYC bus or was that you up there with the blazing flame thrower scaring people out of their wits the other day? Here, in the big city, we pride ourselves on thinking we’ve seen just about everything, but this was a real holiday surprise! Nothing like live entertainment!

                Reply to this comment
                • Red Rover November 26, 02:22

                  Just to set the record straight, I don’t hold with the nonsense of the violence and destruction. I’m on the far right, so naw, I still have both of those I made and follow the premise that two is one and one is none. BTW, I was in NYC once just to see what it was like and that was many years ago. I like forests of trees, not of buildings,so I am on the far side from you living in an isolated forested area. To each his own. Wishing you the best!

                  Reply to this comment
                  • left coast chuck November 30, 02:45

                    I haven’t been to NYC since the days of the Automat where one could buy a cup of coffee for a nickel and get a piece of pie out of the dispenser for two nickels. That and a trip to White Castle in Philly for a small bag of their sliders. Only two restaurants I was in until I was a sophomore high school and working as a grocery clerk in the evenings and on Saturday. No Sunday grocery shopping in those days — PA Blue Laws forbad stores being open so the employees could go to church. The bowling alleys and movies could be open though for those not in church. Don’t remember everything else that was allowed open that long ago.

                    Reply to this comment
  7. HJH November 20, 11:37

    Bribe your neighbor with eggs not to report you… time to move far far away.

    Bartering is great with people you trust, i barter all the time as it is. Those i barter with have as much to lose as i do so its mutual. As far as strangers heck no.

    Reply to this comment
  8. Red Rover November 26, 03:07

    Just to set the record straight, I don’t hold with the nonsense of the violence and destruction. I’m on the far right, so naw, I still have both of those I made and follow the premise that two is one and one is none. BTW, I was in NYC once just to see what it was like and that was many years ago. I like forests of trees, not of buildings,so I am on the far side from you living in an isolated forested area. To each his own. Wishing you the best!

    Reply to this comment
View comments

Write a comment