The Junkyard Dog

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Now available at

Now you can buy my book: "Dealing With Danger -- Be Prepared, Aware and Decisive"

My Book, Dealing With Danger is now available at Also available at price $15.95

Available from Barnes & Noble as an e-reader Nook book price $ 8.99

Available for download on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch with iBooks and on your computer with iTunes as an eReader book price $8.99
'dealing with danger: be prepared, aware and decisive' is Available on the iBookstore
It's an instructional book to show people how to develop a straightforward, but comprehensive mindset or mental attitude to be aware of their surroundings, make simple but effective plans, and know when to put them into action. You can read a preview of the book online. A lot of people say that we need to develop a warrior attitude, but that just doesn't work for everyone. In my book I'll show you, regardless of age, gender, background, physical ability, and especially attitude how to be better prepared to survive the bad events in life by becoming a junkyard dog. Just click here.

Retail price is $15.95 plus shipping & handling


Friday, March 21, 2014

The Cutting edge of Freedom

Whatever your views of personal security and freedom, it’s worth considering that other people may not share your concerns, plans and opinions. I recently attended a meeting at a local company where we all had to fill in a paper ballot for a vote. The ballot slip was on the bottom of a piece of photocopy paper and had to be filled in and then torn off the sheet and handed in. I folded my piece of paper and then used my Spyderco folding knife with 3 ¼ inch serrated blade to neatly separate the ballot slip from the sheet.
I got a few general comments from other people in the room questioning if the knife was legal; what a big and dangerous blade it had; asking why I carry a knife and whether it was permitted on company premises. I defused the situation by making a joke out of it and saying that I carry a folder because carrying scissors would be silly.
However, here’s the more serious problem: Some people regard objects that may be used in a dangerous manner as always dangerous, regardless of the skill, intelligence, morality and maturity of the person in charge of that object. As a society, we are losing our ability to judge individual situations and behavior on their merits. Instead, we dumb down everything to the lowest common denominator.  There is a saying that I believe originated in the old East Germany back when it was a part of the Soviet Union: “everything which is not allowed (by the government) is forbidden."
There is an underlying sentiment that everything is forbidden unless it is specifically allowed. If this is the way we want our society to function, then it should be made clear who has the authority to make good decisions and why they are so much better at making good and appropriate decisions than the individual citizen.
I choose to carry a knife because it’s a valuable tool that I use in a responsible, lawful and appropriate way. I resent having to explain that to my colleagues who don’t understand the way that a free and open society operates.
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Founding father Benjamin Franklin from his Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin

Friday, January 10, 2014

Learn to change a wheel; It may save your life

Venezuelen beauty queen Monica Spear Mootz and her estranged husband were murdered while on a driving vacation in Venezuela recently. Media reports indicate that the couple's car had a flat tire and that they were waiting in the car for a tow truck to arrive when they were ambushed and shot dead. Newspaper photos show their car with bullet holes in the windows, and report that the couple had locked themselves in the vehicle along with their young daughter, who was also shot, but survived.

It's a pity they didn't try to drive away at the first sign of trouble. Most vehicles can still be driven at least a short distance with a flat tire, even though doing so will eventually shred the tire. I don't know how much time elapsed from when they called the tow truck to when they were attacked, but it might have been better if they had at least started to change the tire while they were waiting for the tow truck. An alternative would have been for them to leave the car and walk to a safe place where they could wait until the car was fixed. I don't know if any of these options would have guaranteed their safety. I'm just offering some suggestions for consideration.

There are two lessons to be learned from this very sad situation. First, every driver who is physically capable of changing a wheel should practice it until they are able to do it properly. Second, it's better to drive to safety on a flat tire and risk damaging it than it is to stay in a place that is not safe and hope that roadside assistance arrives before the bad guys do.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Is your car protected?

Is your car protected? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, July and August are the two worst months for vehicle thefts in the USA. That's an interesting statistic, but it's worth remembering that a lot of cars and trucks are also stolen in the other ten months of the year.

It isn't just luxury vehicles that disappear. Some of the most likely vehicles to be stolen are similar to the 1994 Honda Accord, with the Dodge Charger being a firm favorite of car thieves.

There are various physical methods of securing a vehicle. First, the most obvious and simple to do is to wind up the windows and lock all the doors (and the trunk if there is one), even when leaving the vehicle for a very short period of time. People who gas up their car and then leave the keys in it while they go into the gas station convenience store are giving a passing thief a great opportunity to steal a car with a full tank of gas. With gas prices today, that's just adding insult to injury. There are other physical means of securing a vehicle, such as a locking clamp on the steering wheel, or fitting one of the many electronic devices to disable the ignition system or the block the supply of fuel to the engine.

Another good idea is to have the vehicle's VIN number etched into all the windows. This may deter thieves from stealing the car to resell it. Some police and Sherrif's departments offer this service, or can refer car owners to organisations that can help.

A thin polymer film can be applied on the inside of all the windows--similar to tinting, but stronger--that serves as physicaldeterrent to thieves smashing the glass and stealing valuables through the window. Be sure to get an appropriate product. Ordinary window tint isn't designed as a security feature.

Whenever possible, park in places where it's possible to keep a visual check on the vehicle. Don't expect neighbors or passers-by to prevent someone from stealing your car. We don't live in Mayberry any more. There are many more things to take into account when it comes to vehicle security; not least of which is what to do in a carjacking--someone tries to take the car while the driver and passenges are in it. The main thing to remember is that cars can be replaced, people cannot. Let's be sensible about this.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

More information on electronic car keys

In my previous post about my problem with electronic car keys, I did not realise that the car will only start by pressing the button if the car keys are actually close to the car. So, it would not be possible for a thief to simply press the button and start the car if the keys were not present. Thanks to Andy for pointing this out. Of course, it still leaves the problem that if the doors cannot be locked due to an electrical fault in the system, any items can still be stolen from the vehicle. Thanks again, Andy for the correction.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Problems with Electronic Car Keys

I recently rented a car from one of the large car rental companies. It was a late model, mid-size auto with the usual keyless electronic door lock system. Inside, instead of the traditional key activated ignition, there was a button that you press to start the engine. I drove to my hotel, got out of the car and tried to lock all the doors with the key fob. The doors would not lock. I tried to lock them manually, but when one door locked, another unlocked. Finally, I called the 800 number for customer support and was advised that there was a fault in the system and that I’d have to return the car to the rental place and get a different vehicle, which is what I did.

The real problem was that since the ignition was activated by a button, and not with a key, anyone could have climbed into the driver’s seat, started the car and driven away. I admit, I’m not a big fan of electronic gizmos, and this is part of the reason. Why would a car designer not include some sort of manual override to insure that the vehicle is secure when the owner (or renter in my case)  is away?

In future, I’ll ask for a rental car with a standard keyed ignition. At least I’ll have improved the odds in my favor a little bit of not coming back to an empty parking space where my rental ought to be.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

The American Flag

I am the American flag. The Stars and Stripes. Old Glory. I am thirteen stripes, seven red alternating with six white to represent the original 13 colonies, with a white star on a blue background for each state. The colors are also those of the British and French flags; two countries that, in their own way each contributed to the birth of a new American nation, the likes of which had never been seen before. Over the years, more and more stars have been added to me, but not one has ever been taken away.

I have been carried by troops in every war from the Revolutionary war, Civil war, the war to end all wars, the war after that one, Korea, Vietnam and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I have been carried by athletes, by mountaineers, skydivers, on suit lapels and leather motorcycle jackets; I’ve even been carried into space and planted on the Moon. I have been carried on seas and oceans around the world and to the bottom of Pearl Harbor. I have flown at the Olympics, The White House, every state Capitol in the Union, school graduations, Boy Scout camps and NASCAR races. I have been trodden underfoot or burned by foreign dissenters and enemies of my country as well as Americans expressing their opinions. I have lain, draped over the coffins of those who can no longer salute me. I have flown at half mast to signify respect and remembrance for those who can no longer carry me in their hearts or hands. 

There are many flags in the world, each with their own story, each one unique. But I am not them and they are not me; for I am the American Flag.

© copyright John Higgs, 2013 Distribution for non-commercial use only.

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's Tornado Season. Do You Have Plan?

The tornado that swept across parts of Oklahoma recently and that touched down in Moore, OK, a few miles from Oklamoma City, was an E4 strength tornado. E5 is the most powerful. The tornado was estimated to be between one and two miles wide. Tornados can be incredibly unpredictable and extremely destructive. The Oklahoma tornado killed at least 24 people and  destroyed homes and two schools, according to reports.

While escaping or bugging out to safety is often the preferred method of surviving a natural disaster, there isn't always time to get away from a tornado, and because it can move so quickly, it isn't always possible to outrun it. Last weekend's tornado that hit parts of Oklahoma City also brought a lot of rain. Many people who tried to either drive out of the storm or get home from work were stuck on clogged freeways. Being stuck in a traffic jam AND in the path of a tornado is a very dangerous situation. A car is not a safe shelter for a tornado, it can be picked up and carried a long way by the high winds.

Modern technology has provided many towns and cities with up to 15 minutes warning of a potential tornado strike. This doesn't sound like much, but it's better than it used to be and it gives many people enough time to seek shelter where they are.

I think that it's a good idea before the annual tornado season begins, to put together a simple bugout bag that contains items that would help a person to survive for a few days in the event of a tornado hitting their home or where they work.

However, there is an alternative to to escaping from a tornado, and that is to Shelter in Place (SIP). SIP is often a much safer alternative to trying to outrun a tornado. People have done it for decades. Often, they simply go into the cellar of their home and hide under something solid, such as a workbench or table. It may not be perfect, but it's quick and simple to do, and it doesn't involve escaping while carrying a bag of belongings and going outside into the path of the tornado.

Many public places such as airports and government buildings offer designated tornado shelters. These are also good places for people who are not at home to seek shelter, but you have to know where they are located BEFORE there is the threat of a tornado.

Survival always comes back to the same principles: Be AWARE of your surroundings, be PREPARED with a simple plan and a few items to survive a specific, predetermined disaster, and be able to DECIDE if or when to put the plan into action.