The Replica Prop Forum

The Replica Prop Forum
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Day by Day Cartoon

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Traveling and the prepared mind

Do you remember the saying, "Chance favors the prepared mind"?  From the really forgettable Steven Seagal flick "Under Siege 2: Dark Territory", it was the catchphrase of Travis Dane n engineer and programmer with delusions of power and riches.

Yet the phrase itself is realistic and honest.

Chance DOES favor those who have taken some preparations and keep their minds fresh by thinking about the possibilities.

In the movie, Seagal's character was prepared by having his 1911A1 and extra ammunition in his luggage plus his PDA and his own personal skills.

Let me give you a real life example of chance favoring the prepared mind.

Just a few weeks ago I moved my daughter and her fiance from College Station down her to my area.  Before I left however, I prepared myself.

What did I do?

I checked all the tires on my truck, including the spare underneath the bed, I pulled out the jack, tire iron and everything associated with changing a tire and made sure they were all there and operable.  Which was a good thing as the jack had sat for so long, it took myself and my sons over an hour to get it freed up and lubricated the joints and the screw mechanism, so it would work properly.  We also lowered the spare from under the bed and lubricated the cable and it's raising and lowering mechanism as well.

I also checked and topped off the fluids, oil power steering, brakes, radiator/coolant and windshield washer fluid.

Then I loaded up the truck for the drive up there.

Now what items would you think that a person like myself would carry for a trip?

If you said a gun, you would be right.  In fact I took 4 guns.  My Glock 23, one of my 12 gauge pump shotguns and a .22 LR rifle and a .22 LR pistol.  I also took a cooler where I had put 3, 3 liter bottles of water we had frozen to keep our food chilled and we could use for drinking water after it melted.

I also took along some canned goods, a small cook kit and an alcohol stove with a pot holder.

Was I expecting any problems?  No I wasn't expecting anything to go wrong.

However what I was expecting and what actually happened are 2 entirely different things.

On the way back the front tire blew out.  If I hadn't checked before my trip, I would have no way to get the spare down, no way to air up the spare if I had been able to get it down, and my jack would have been a rusted, corroded hunk of junk that was inoperable.

However, "Chance" favors the prepared mind.

I made preparations beforehand to try to eliminate as many variables as I could.

I don't know how many times I've pulled over to help people who had flats or other problems, and they didn't even have a spare, or a jack, or a tire iron, or anything they needed to correct their problem.

Ran out of gas, but no gas can, blew a fuse, but no spare fuses, had a flat but no spare, OR their spare was already on the car and they hadn't replaced the original flat.

What do I keep in my vehicles?

All of them has spare tires, working jacks, sometimes multiple jacks, cans of fixaflat for a minor leak, plug kits, small 12v compressors that can do more than "top off" a tire, ones that are powerful enough to inflate a tires to 80+ PSI, 12 v pigtails, that have alligator clips to attach to a battery and plug a 12 v device into. Jumper cables, penetrating oil, extra oil, transmission fluid, spray lubricant, carb cleaner, brake cleaner, all kinds of extra stuff.

Chance favors the prepared mind.

If you don't make any preparations, and just leave things to chance, you, your family, or your friends could be on the side of the road at 2 in the morning, trying to flag someone down to help you, who MIGHT not have your best interests in mind.

When the tire blew, one of the first things I did after I got to the shoulder of the road, was to grab my Glock and it's holster and put it on.  Then I grabbed one of the several flashlights I keep in all of my vehicles and get out to check the damage.  I had a flat and the tire was disintegrated.  So the boys got my tools out, lowered the spare, and we got to work changing the tire.

All of the boys commented on the fact that just a few days before we had checked everything and had gotten the jack working properly and lubricated.  The same about making sure the spare had the proper air pressure in it.

So what preps did I have and what did I leave to chance?

I had all the necessary tools and materials to take care of the situation, I had a firearm to protect us in case someone with ill will pulled over, I had all the tools to change the tire, I had a good spare to put on the truck, I had plenty of lights so we could see what we were doing.

"Chance" favors the prepared mind.

So if you are traveling, what do you leave to chance?  And what do you take upon yourself to ameliorate the situation?

My last trip to Missouri, my older brother when he saw the amount of gear I had asked me if I was going out to fight World War Three.  I still don't think it was that bad, I only had 3 handguns, a .45 ACP a .38 Special and a .22 LR, with a 12 ga pump and the Franken-15.  I had a bucket of 1100 .22 LR ammo, 250 rounds of .38 Spec and 150 rounds of .45 ACP, I also had 300 12 ga. shells mixed slug and 00 Buck, and only 15 loaded mags for the Franken-15.

Was I expecting any problems?  No.  But I did plan on hitting the range while I was up there, so I brought my own ammo as I didn't want to have to purchase any.  By the time I returned back down to Texas, I only had 4  loaded AR-15 mags, maybe 50 rounds of .38 Spec., 45-50 rounds of .45 ACP, 25 12 ga shells, and about 200 rounds of .22 LR left over.

"Chance" favors the prepared mind

If you check my Twitter feed, you will see where I posted photos of me pulling off the road and sitting in my folding chair while I watched the sunrise on Highway 67 about 20 miles north of Little rock Arkansas.  what the photos don't show was me heating up some water and making myself a cup of hot chocolate to drink while I watched that sunrise.  Again, my little alcohol burner and cook kit with some water from a previously frozen 3 liter bottle of water.

Here is the pic:

And after the sun is all the way up

"Chance" favors the prepared mind.

If I had gotten really tired, I also had a small "Sleeping Envelope" an ultra lightweight sleeping bag that folds down to the size of a paperback book and a few fleece blankets, I could have laid out in the bed of the truck and gotten a little sleep with my Beretta 71 tucked n with me.

So when you travel, do you prepare?  Or do you leave it to chance?

As for someone saying I don't need to carry a gun, I will remind you, I'm former Law enforcement, and I HAVE needed to have a firearm on me many times.  I've never had to shoot anyone and I pray I never do have to, but I have drawn my weapon several times when the situation warranted it.  It's amazing how the sight of a firearm in the hands of a person who KNOWS how to use it, makes rowdy, unruly people suddenly remember their manners.

That plus many times just pulling my jacket out of the way to clear my weapon in case I had to draw it, was usually enough to get the other persons attention and make them back down.

Remember, "Chance" favors the prepared mind.

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