“FYSA” was our shorthand in the military for anything noteworthy. We’d mark intel reports, weather reports, open-source press, and even certain forms of gossip (“RUMINT” or “rumor intel”) with that four-letter acronym. Situational Awareness is very important. It’s even a tag here on Rhyming With History!
For today’s post I’m going to do something different. I’m going to skip the cute memes and pictures, offer up no commentary on current events, and make no judgements on what your DEFCON should be based on my read of the situation.
Instead, I’d like to throw out a couple of links to some very thought-provoking things that I have found in the past day or two. But not things I’ve read in the papers, a magazine, or saw on TV. You see, I start my day by sitting down at a desktop PC and getting on the Internet*. I have a minimum requirement for my own situational awareness before I even step foot out the door which I will share with you in a moment. If you are doing something similar but instead are doing it on your phone as you commute to work – or worse, after you’ve already arrived at work, you’re doing it wrong. I’ve said it before and I’ll keep saying it until it sinks it: relying on a personal communication device for your situational awareness is a mistake. One day it will not be there for you and you’ll be lost without it. And everything you do on that device is betraying your location, mood, and intent. In short, using a mobile phone for anything other very brief calls and/or texts is bad OPSEC…and you know it. And if you can’t remove the battery from your device, you should assume it is always on…listening to you, watching you, and tracking you.
On to my morning routine…
The first thing I do is the same thing any farmer does: I check the weather.
And then I check the space weather. Don’t know what “space weather” is? That’s my fault. I started this blog by talking about space weather and how it could be the “black swan” that ends our way of life on this planet. Maybe I need to mention it more often…
Next, I check the geological situation in my AO (Area of Operations) as well as in the entire North American continent. Earthquakes – contrary to common belief – are not always unexpected. If you live, like me, in an area of the country where seismic activity is rare, then it’s always a good idea to be on the lookout for any activity. A “3” today near you could be a foreshock of a larger seismic event coming in the next day or two. This kind of a heads up will not only save your life, it can motivate you to take prudent action that will make the days and weeks following an earthquake much more survivable for you and your family. If you see a cluster of small quakes near you and you live on the West Coast or near the New Madrid fault line, it wouldn’t be the least bit crazy for you to take the day off, fill up your bathtubs, warn loved ones, and spend a few hours checking your preps.
Those are my Big Three and I check them every morning whether I’m leaving the house or not. Everything else I read in the morning is more for education or entertainment purposes. Here are a few examples of the things I’ve been reading lately:
The left laughs about White genocide because they think it’s hilarious…and a really good idea. (Yes, I love Jim Goad. Don’t you?)
Occasionally, I trip over articles that look exactly like something I might have written. If I had more time to write. And if I was a better writer. I feel a tiny bit jealous. And then I put on my big boy pants and go to my super-cool six-figure salary job defending America from invading hordes of sub-human filth and bloodthirsty barbarians. Hey! Somebody’s got to do it!
The great thing about my morning reads (which I usually repeat again in the evening just for fun), is that I find bloggers who think and write just like me. This happens daily and it cheers me up immensely. Here’s an example. I would love to have a beer with this guy.
And when I’m not getting my situational awareness squared away, man-crushing on Jim Goad, or suffering from blog-envy, I am probably making myself smarter on things that matter. Like firearms. Nuclear weapons. Conspiracy theories (and Ron Paul, this one’s a two-fer). Prepping. More prepping. And still more prepping. Humor/cranky old guy rants. Non-politically correct social criticism. Leftist strategy guides (there’s a lot of good intel in places you normally would avoid, so don’t be so picky!). And dessert is always two scoops of cultural commentary from either of my two favorite news aggregators (these two are near the very top of my list of sites I regularly visit just for the sheer enjoyment of it.)
The point here isn’t to spend all day on the Internet. Life’s too short for that. But if it’s raining out and you’ve already split and stacked all your firewood, sorted and inventoried your ammo, and zeroed all your rifles, you might as well reward yourself with a bit of web surfing. Just avoid the porn, the eBay, and the Facebook. Down those paths lie self-destruction, misery, and despair.
And if you ever need a recommendation for something to read that isn’t on a screen, there’s always my reading list. Enjoy!
* For the record, I use anonymizing browsers whenever possible. I only use private, non-logging search engines like Start Page or DuckDuckGo. I clear my cache and cookies after every session. I use browser security add-ons like “HTTPS everywhere” and “No Script”. I never leave my PC on when I’m not using it. And I never, ever use a phone to get on the Internet. OPSEC is no joke. Your “smart” phone is not smart at all. One day it might get you killed.