Monthly Archives: December 2015

Work Sharp WSKTS

by Woodsbum

This year I got a really sweet gift from my son that will actually help me out quite a bit. I received a Work Sharp WSKTS knife sharpening system. I received the basic pack with the powered belt system, 2 angle jigs and 6 belts. So far, I really like the system. They should have included more belts between 220 grit and 6000 grit, however.

Work Sharp WSKTS

Work Sharp WSKTS

What I did soon after receiving and trying out the gift was make a run over to <a target=”_blank” href=””>Work Shop Tools</a> and pick up some additional belts. These are the finest grit that they have so I picked up some more for polishing the edges.

6000 Grit Belts

6000 Grit Belts

The really important items that I purchased to make this kit truly versatile were the 600 and 1800 grit belts. The 6000 grit is for fine polishing work and the assortment that comes with the sharpener jumps from 220 to 6000. There is nothing in between to do staged sharpening. You either grind or polish. I found some 600 and 1800 grit through the Work Sharp site. I did find an assortment through Amazon for a reasonable price.

Assorted Belts

Assorted Belts

The thing to really look for would be the 1/2″ x 12″ size. There were several options on Amazon, which I found after I had already made the purchase through Work Sharp. <br /><br />The edge that this puts on is actually decent. I am very surprised and happy with the results thus far. The best thing is the way that it seems to sharpen the curved portion of the blade. This is going to be quite the time and energy saver overall.

Even though I have only had this for one weekend, I must say that I do recommend this product and will definitely be using it for years to come. This is definitely one item that I would suggest you put on your list.

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Police Duty Belts

by Woodsbum

I found this article quite interesting. It from the Washington Post about police duty belts and how they have have become more militarized since the LA incident in 1997 where the police were outgunned. The article also goes on to talk about how carrying a piece of equipment tends to increase the desire to use that equipment. That really plays into human nature and is common sense. If you carry some really nice toys with you obviously you will want to play with them at some point.

Here is the article I am talking about:


How the police duty belt went from Officer Friendly to Mad Max in 30 short years

The modern era of police firepower dawned on Feb. 28, 1997, when 200 Los Angeles police officers armed with pistols and shotguns struggled to slow down two bank robbers carrying fully automatic rifles and wearing 40 pounds of body armor. Outgunned, several officers ran to local gun stores to borrow semiautomatic AR-15s. The LAPD SWAT team brought the gunmen down.

After the Battle of North Hollywood, police across the nation vowed never to be overpowered again. And so they began adding the trusty AR-15 to their arsenals.

The moment was part of a wider trend: the steady accumulation of new, more accurate and more deadly tools on the U.S. police officer’s duty belt and in his patrol car. So far this year, police nationwide have shot and killed more than 900 people, according to a Washington Post database tracking such shootings. As the nation debates the propriety of those encounters, law enforcement experts say the modern police duty belt may play a significant role in an officer’s decision to use deadly force.

“The more crap you put on your belt, the more apt you are to use it,” said Mark Lomax, executive director of the National Tactical Officers Association.

[Creating Guardians, Calming Warriors: A new style of police training emphasizes de-escalating conflict.]

Not that police didn’t have good reason to load up their belts. The ultra-violent crack cocaine epidemic of the 1980s and 1990s led police to fear for their safety, as did the increasing number of criminals who showed up for work armed with military-grade weapons.

“The transition of weaponry in law enforcement over the last 30 and 40 years is the direct result of what the civilian world was carrying,” Lomax said.

So the duty belt evolved. In the 1960s and 1970s, it was a leather belt with maybe five attachments, according to Jim Bueermann, president of the Police Foundation: a Smith & Wesson Model 10 revolver, ammunition pouches, Mace spray, a nightstick and handcuffs. Today, Lomax said, there’s usually a metal baton, pepper spray, a Taser and a semiautomatic pistol with ammunition.

Here’s a primer on the evolution:

The gun:

Police began shifting to semiautomatic handguns in the late 1980s. The handguns replaced revolvers, which require shooters to manually load six bullets into the cylinder. Semiautomatic pistols reload automatically though — unlike fully automatic weapons — they fire just one shot with each trigger pull.

Departments feeling outgunned by gangsters and searching for a new weapon found the perfect solution in the Glock 17, an Austrian weapon manufactured by Gaston Glock, according to Paul Barrett, author of “GLOCK: The Rise of America’s Gun.” When Glock peddled his cheap, easy-to-use pistol to stations across the
United States, police officials were impressed.

Officers actually shot more accurately with the Glock because it only required 5.5 pounds of pressure on the trigger compared to 12 pounds for the Smith & Wesson revolver. But this feature had complicated consequences, Barrett said.

“If you graze the trigger, the gun will go off, which led to safety problems before people were properly trained,” Barrett said. “They couldn’t have a finger on the trigger until they are actually able to shoot.”

[New recruits and a new weapon: How the arrival of the Glock 17 contributed to a surge of police shootings in the District.]

Pepper spray:

Revolvers weren’t the only weapons needing improvement. Police found tear gas sprays, such as phenacyl chloride or Mace, had little effect on drunks or people high on drugs. So they traded Mace for pepper spray in the mid-1980s, after the FBI adopted the weapon. The active ingredient, found in cayenne peppers, temporarily blinds suspects, burns skin and causes difficulty breathing.


Some new additions to the duty belt were made to solve PR problems. Take the Taser. In the 1960s, news reports described police jabbing civil rights activists with the same three-foot-long electrical poles “usually used for forcing cattle into chutes.”

“They didn’t like the optics of using tools meant for animals on people pushing for equal rights, so people started coming up with alternative means of delivering electricity,” said Adam Bates, of the Cato Institute’s Project on Criminal Justice.

The first stun guns were marketed as a way to demobilize terrorists, particularly on airplanes, said Darius Rejali, a Reed College professor who studies electric weapons. Later, in the late 1990s, the Taser appeared on police belts after being declassified as a firearm.

Instead of pressing the weapon directly to the skin of an attacker, like a traditional stun gun, a Taser lets an officer fire a pair of electrodes, which remain connected to the weapon by wires, which then deliver the jolt. Tasers are now carried by more than 18,000 law enforcement agencies worldwide.

[Improper Techniques; Increased Risks: Deaths raise questions about the improper deployment of Tasers]

The baton:

The nightstick, too, suffered an image problem after Chicago police were photographed clubbing African Americans during the 1968 riots, said Massad F. Ayoob, the author of “Fundamentals of Modern Police Impact Weapons.”

The solution came in 1972 with the PR-24, a 24-inch side-handle baton modeled after a Japanese martial arts weapon.

Police grip the perpendicular handle and hold it like a shield across their chests in a defensive stance. While greatly improving police departments’ image problems, the altered training had unintended consequences.

“The offense was very weak because you were swinging rather than striking,” said Dave Young, the founder of ARMA training, a Wisconsin law enforcement academy. “Sure, the public image was greatly improved, but you compromised officer safety.”


This is an interesting topic that I feel is the root of a lot of our current, rebellious attitude toward authority. Our police forces have moved from being “Peace Officers” and are not “Law Enforcement Officers.” Think about this change a bit. They no longer “keep the peace,” but instead “enforce laws.” They have gone from a group of people that find a way to keep everyone safe and peaceful. Instead they have become the strong arm of a authoritarian system designed to keep the masses enslaved by laws. This name change says it all. “Law Enforcement” says that they no longer are concerned with public safety. It is all about revenue generation and controlling the general population.

Since words are powerful and able to ignite an entire generation into action, the words chose to describe those that were once there to protect us tell a new story…….

Another article that I find interesting is here. It seems that a lot of blame has been placed upon our military for the current LEO mindset. According to the Seattle Globalist, the 1033 program that allows old military equipment to be transferred to enforcement departments and the hiring of former military personnel are to blame for the shift towards more heavy handed attitudes of police. They say that “Police officers who see themselves as soldiers fighting wars against drugs and terror are more likely to shoot to kill.” This really says a lot of the media’s and current LEO mindset. This “War on Drugs” idea and push has militarized our police? Interesting slant on the whole issue. Personally, I feel that there is more to it than a few MRAPS and hiring former military personnel. I feel that this is a symptom of larger issues that are being mistaken for the disease. That discussion should be left for one on one talks over lots of alcohol, however.

No matter where you stand on the issue or what your beliefs are one thing is sure. Our current LEOs running around on the streets do carry a lot of expensive toys that they like to use whenever they get a chance. Some of it is actually nice to have on hand for your own protection as well. Next time you see a cop, do yourself a favor and check out their duty belt. Some of that might end up being used on your the next time you don’t do a complete stop at a light if you get too sassy!

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TAG Deltoid Protector

by Woodsbum

For those that have been keeping up with my posts, this will come as no real surprise. New readers might think that I am a bit goofy and in need of professional help above what Dr. Jack Daniels can provide. Either way, I did it again. I ran across a great deal on ballistic Level IIIA deltoid protectors so I picked them up.

TAG Deltoid Protector

TAG Deltoid Protector

The only color that was available was black, but you can get an idea of what they look like from the picture above.

What these bad boys do is add ballistic protection to your deltoid region. This might not seem like a big deal to some people, but having that added pistol protection is a potential life saver if you actually need your armor. With your auxillary, subclavian, and brachial arteries all easily accessed by a bullet entering that area I feel that the money spent on this is a great investment.

So you can get an idea of what these look like when attached to a carrier, here is a picture for reference. The attachments I am referencing are the part that cover the upper arm/shoulder region. The collar bone/clavial region and throat attachment piece is also not included. This does give you a good idea of the various pieces you can buy, however.

Full Armor With Deltoid Protection

Full Armor With Deltoid Protection

What really struck me as the negligible weight of these ballistic protectors. They only add less than a pound to your gear, for the pair. I also like the fact that they will help protect you against potential shoulder strikes with blunt or cutting weapons. They are not designed for such attacks, but common sense tells you that a semi rigid structure that is 1/4 thick will be hard to cut through and will help against blunt force trauma.

Either way, I was really happy to find these little guys. They were on clearance from Tactical Assault Gear for about $70 shipped. Unfortunately for anyone wanting to pick up a pair like I did, they are now out of stock and discontinued. A web search did show many for sale on Ebay as well as other sources.

If you run across a set of these, I highly recommend them as a great addition to your body armor kit. The weight is nothing compared to the protection you receive from them.

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Traffic Increase

by Woodsbum

Today I am departing a bit from my normal subject matter to talk about a huge waste of my life. Since the middle of November I have seen a huge increase in commute times and traffic congestion, particularly during my morning commute. As I searched for a reason why for this traffic increase I not only found the answer, but found some support of my claims as to how bad it has gotten to be around here.

Every day I have to brave the Portland, Oregon traffic. Although I have really wanted to keep myself as generic as I possibly could on this website, I just have to find a pulpit from which I can yell, “THIS IS BULLSHIT!!” from when needed. Normally, I leave my home around 5:30 in the morning and it takes me about 25 minutes to get to work. Of course it can vary a bit, but I am usually walking in the door between 5:55 and 6:05 almost every morning. This has changed as of the middle of November. For no apparent reason my morning commute went from around 25 minutes to almost an hour. There has been no news related to the traffic increase and I can’t visibly see that much change other than even worse driving habits than normal.

Let me quickly interject the main issues associated with traffic in the Portland, Oregon area. The drivers here tend to be so self absorbed as to cause 99.9% of the congestion through their own arrogance. Before you yell obscenities at your computer and surf away from my website, let me fully explain myself and my observations. If you have ever watched the TV show Portlandia, you have at least a basic understanding of the Portland area. That show is not just dead on with regard to most of the Portland residents, but it could almost be a documentary. The people that live here have a weird mindset. Everything they do MUST make themselves feel better on a personal/spiritual level and MUST, without exception, turn them into a special little snowflake unlike all other snowflakes. For example, the bicycle riders around here will get into physical altercations with people if you don’t recognize their “sacrifice” for the planet. There are, not joking at all, people that walk around chastising others for having pets. They believe that all animals should be allowed to be free, but they defend and support the rights of people to have service animals. Again, this place is full of self righteous assholes that transfer their attitudes over to the road. If you don’t believe me just take a look at the people merging onto or off the freeway. They will cut right in front of you while going 20 mph slower than traffic and then flip you off for almost rear ending them. These same people not only think that their turn signal is a force field where everyone must move out of their way so that they can go where they want without looking, but they will slow down and speed up to stay right in you blind spot as a way to honk at you for “almost hitting them.” This gives them something to complain about for the next 3 weeks while they get a group of protesters to go and put up signs around a neighborhood “for your safety.”

These guys are a joke.

Now, as I try to research the traffic increase, I find out that there was some little known deal made at the Port of Portland that pushed a lot of the shipping across the bridge to Washington. This means that all that downtown and Highway 30 traffic will decrease drastically while the traffic on I-5 and I-405 will increase exponentially.

Then I found something else out that helps to add more salt to my wounds. Even though Portland metro area is 26th in size, it is number 10 in terms of the worst commutes. After more research I discovered that PDX ranks between number 9 and number 13 since 2012. No wonder I hate my commute and get so stressed out after my work day.

I guess I will have to leave an hour early to avoid the congestion during my morning commute. That just seems like a silly solution to a problem caused by allowing people to purposely cause traffic congestion due to self important driving habits. A lot of our accidents and traffic would be decreased if people were forced to stay right except to pass, were ticketed for inability to maintain a constant speed on the highway, and were also ticketed for entering the highway below the speed of traffic. That would fix about 50% of our issues in a single movement.

Too bad I couldn’t be made king for a day….  Just saying.

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Defining Bushcraft

by Woodsbum

When I get sick, like I am right now, I tend to do a lot of video searches and internet surfing to keep my mind off feeling like crap. Today I ran across a video that was made at the 2012 Woodsmoke in Idaho. Even though the video speaks for itself, I wanted to make a couple of comments.

The way that they did the overlapping circle thing to make their point was interesting. They really did a decent job of explaining how the core bushcraft skills really overlap between the following groups:

* Primitive skills
* Re-enactment and classic camping
* Modern equipment/guide camping

This was actually fairly decent insight, although they don’t break down the different skills that DO overlap. I am sure that arguments can be made for just about anything, but sitting through one of these type discussions would truly be as enlightening as it would be painful.

Here is the video. Enjoy!

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