30 October, 2008

Chicken prices up, again

One of the largest chicken wholesalers in the country has raised their retail prices by 7.14 %. This was preceded by a 3.7 % increase two months ago.

- Trini Funshooter

26 October, 2008

Video: Air Rifle Shooting Positions

This basic instructional video shows three air rifle shooting positions. Just copy and paste the following URL into your browser’s address bar:


- Trini Funshooter

23 October, 2008

Gold reserves

An opposition senator has advised government to convert the majority of its’ foreign reserve currency holdings into gold. Finally, a voice of wisdom and prudence.

Trinidad and Tobago has 1.9 tonnes (.7% of total reserves) of gold reserves held by the central bank. Venezuela holds 356.8 tonnes (33.3%) of its’ reserves in gold.

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gold_reserves

Out of a listing of 107 countries holding gold as part of their reserves, Venezuela appears at #15, with T&T at #91.

Our net official reserves are US$9,145,500,000 (July 2008). If we convert about 25% (US$2,286,375,000) of that to gold, we will get 2,540,416 ounces troy of at least 99.95% purity. Add that to the 61,093 ozt (1.9 tonnes) we already hold in reserves and we will be holding 2,601,509 ozt (2.6 tonnes) worth US$2,341,358,000.

A well negotiated deal with our CARICOM neighbour and trading partner, Guyana, may even allow us to receive payment for our products in gold, at slightly below market rates. After all, we forgave three quarters of a billion dollars in debt just a few short years ago. The Guyanese are probably eager to show their appreciation for our magnanimity.

Every time the price of gold rises by US$10, the value of our gold holding will appreciate by US$26,000,000.

This will certainly be a tangible asset that has real value, will not corrode, and will be available for use, trade or conversion long after any of the world’s ‘monopoly (the game) currencies’ become worthless. Its uses are well documented and numerous: In electronics, electricity, the aviation/space industry, medicine, decoration, and of course, jewelry.

Two thousand years ago, one ounce troy of gold would buy a Greek citizen a well-made toga and a pair of good sandals. Gold is such an excellent store of value that today one troy ounce will still buy a gentleman a quality tailored suit and a pair of leather shoes, along with shirt, tie, socks, cuff links, underwear. Name one currency that has retained that type of value.

It’s clear that we need some comprehensive strategy to ride out the coming economic storm. Will we repeat the mistakes of the 80s?

Visited four jewelry stores, asking about possible purchase of gold ingots, small bars, coins or other forms of bullion. All persons approached seemed perplexed. One salesperson even suggested I ask someone to smuggle it out of Guyana for me!

- Trini Funshooter

21 October, 2008

Airport disaster drill

Will be present at an upcoming Caribbean international airport’s disaster drill, soon. I have attended a few of these over the years and thoroughly enjoy them. One has the opportunity to observe national level emergency responders under pressure. An education in itself. Most actors happily answer questions posed.

Each drill involves a different, but likely scenario. A plane crash, an explosion, terrorist attack, hazardous material spill etc. The first responders arrive and go to work immediately, after the initial phase, and the area is secured, then secondary and tertiary responders do their part. All actors strive for seamless operation between agencies, but naturally, there are always a few snags.
Agencies involved are fire fighters, police, military, intelligence, medical, airports authorities, disaster preparedness specialists, safety specialists, hospitals, civil aviation authorities, ambulance services, helicopter services, relevant government ministries, communications, customs, immigration and sundry observers, volunteers (victims etc) and evaluators.

An incident management post is established, with each agency involved having at least two representatives; a supervisor and a scribe. They report to their respective superiors at the command centre, which is staffed with one higher-level supervisor/manager along with one scribe per agency. All agencies report their intel to the command centre. A single person, usually the airport operations manager, coordinates this centre with advice from the various agencies represented.

The drill lasts about 3-4 hours, but the preparations begin almost two months before. The airport involved is shut down for the duration of the drill. There is a post-drill evaluation, with lessons learned shared.
The result of the evaluation bears weight in the decision of the ACI as to which category status to issue to that particular airport. The category status has ramifications for insurance rates, airlines that will/will not land there etc.

- Trini Funshooter

17 October, 2008


While enjoying the sunset this evening with the family at the ‘El Dorado’ hill, I saw a movement out of the corner of my eye, in the bushes. An adult wild rabbit, about eight to ten metres away. He paused for a moment, but that was enough time to squeeze off a head shot. He fell over twitched for a couple minutes, then lay still. Large and brown, with a healthy coat, he was heavier than my rifle (nine pounds), so a good, conservative estimate would be about 12-15 pounds. My 24 month old son said, “doggie, Daddy?” When corrected, he said, “wabbit”.

While showing it off, someone offered enough money that I couldn’t refuse, so it was sold on the spot. The cash will be used to buy more pellets. Someone else’s family will enjoy rabbit stew tomorrow for lunch.

There is really something special about that hill. Maybe this was an omen.

Today was a great day.

- Trini Funshooter

04 October, 2008

Hunt, shop and preps

The hunt this morning was more enjoyable than last time. A few birds downed, with lots of misses. A trek through grass and bush, some taller than us. Lots of razor grass and thorns, but also a large number of birds. From hawks, parrots and ground doves to parakeets, kiskeedees and unidentifieds.

No small game spotted, but fruit trees reconned as potential future stalking sites. Even without game, a great morning spent ‘in the bush’.

Bought a few preps while shopping for baby boy’s upcoming party. Canned foods, juices, Ramen soup, Crix Multigrain crackers, toothpaste, laundry detergent and unexpected gem; a pair of safety/utility gloves that may also work well as shooting gloves. They are made of Spandex, stretchable leather, PVC and composite synthetics. Managed to get it for even less than the sale price. A deal.

Stockpiling food, water, pellets, gun spare parts, tools, pharmaceuticals and bandages (beans, bullets and bandaids) gives me and my family a sense of security in these uncertain times.

With ongoing wars and rumours of wars, tropical storms, hurricanes, violent crime, dynamic political escapades and feuds coupled with food and fuel increases side by side with double digit inflation…
Spending money today on consumables we will use tomorrow seems better than earning 6% in some mutual fund that may or may not be there when I need it. Remember ITL? Summit Finance? If those unfortunate folks had spent more money on preps, then when the companies folded, the impact would have been less devastating.

It doesn’t have to be either or. You can still invest AND prep. Just tweak your asset allocation policy to include tangibles in hand. Remember the adage of “a bird in hand…” being “worth more than two in the bush.”

Prepare for your family’s immediate (and future) needs today.

Hunting season is open!

Wednesday the 2008-09 hunting season opened. Eager hunters have been waiting since the season’s close at the end of February to renew their hobby. For some it’s a passion. Being a newbie, the passion hasn’t yet developed. But the idea of being able to track, stalk, trap, kill, field dress and cook game appeals to me on a visceral level.

Woke up at 4: 30 am and left without breakfast. Assembled all my gear the night before, so packing the car was easy. Drove to the chosen area and awaited dawn. As the sun’s rays began peeking over the hills, geared up and started the trek into the bush.

It was fairly uneventful, with no game sighted. Made a beginner’s mistake by bringing a cleaver instead of a cutlass (machete). Spent a few hours walking, standing, stopping, listening, looking, smelling, shooting. Bushcraft skills need improvement and tuning up with regular practice.

- Trini Funshooter

02 October, 2008

The Four Universal Gun Safety Rules:

Rule 1: Treat every weapon as if it were loaded.

Rule 2: Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy (this includes your own body parts).

Rule 3: Keep your finger off the trigger and outside the trigger guard until you are ready to shoot.

Rule 4: Be sure of your target and what’s in line with your target.

- Trini Funshooter
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