Friday, March 31, 2006

Current Projects

I have a few different things I'm working on right now. I don't really know when any of them will be completed. First, now that the weather is nice, I've already started flintknapping. I'm working on my first obsidian point. Thus far I've only worked on glass bottle bottoms so this is a new challenge. If the weather is nice, I'll have the point done this weekend.

I'm also working on a new bow. This will be my first osage orange bow. I made a mistake early on but I don't know if it will be a problem until I figure out which part of the stave my bow will comprise.

I've been listening to John Young's Advanced Bird Language series on CD. John Young was mentored by Tom Brown Jr. of the Tracker School for many years. It is a pretty awesome series and the stories are cool. With knowledge of bird language, you can move more stealthily through nature, see more animals, know where animals are before you can see them and generally increase your awareness. For example, in the wilderness John Young knows when a person is coming 2 minutes before he can see them by listening to birds. How cool is that!

Monday, March 20, 2006

Bone Knife with Sheath

I am participating in the Skill of the Month Club that my brother and his friends came up with. This month's skill is making a bone knife. I ordered an elk and moose femur bone from an online company. I recently completed my moose bone knife. Here are several pictures of the knife.

This is the original moose leg bone.

Here it is after sawing off part of it.

This is my nearly complete knife.

Here you can see the compartment door I put on the knife. Since the bone is hollow, I thought I might store a sharpening stone or other items inside of it. The door slides back and forth, but will stick when it is in it's closed position so I don't have to worry about it always falling open.

Here is the knife after painting blue ink into the carved out areas. I carved a moose design on each side to honor the animal whose body is now my tool. The sheath is a design I found on this web page. The beauty of it is that it requires no stitching. I will eventually loop a leather cord through the top of the sheath so it can be worn around the waist. Alternatively, it could be looped through a belt.

I wasn't able to get the knife to be very sharp. I did some scraping and burnishing as suggested by Tom Brown Jr., but I couldn't get it to be sharp enough to shave as he has.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

The Search For My Doppleganger Is Over!

It's late Thursday night. I'm watching IU in the first round of the NCAA tournament. I get bored during the commercials so I decided to Google myself. The first result always shows up as the 35 year old guy getting denied an insurance claim. As I look further, I see results for me related to playing volleyball in college. But, this time I stumbled upon my clone.

I mean, look at this picture I found of him on icq white pages.

Michael Pinger

My clone even has a blog clone of my blog. This is crazy! Look at this blog and you'll see that it is a clone of my blog.

I guess the only real difference between us is that my blog is about primitive survival skills and his is about insane religious ramblings such as "I have done this for my female Angelic Wifes!", "A Talk with the Pleog Angels!", and "Seventeen and the reat Unseen!". I like how he uses exclamation points in all his posts. Out of admiration, I did for this post. Please try to read at least one of his posts so you see what I mean about rambling.

Monday, March 13, 2006

My Profile

We have a new application at work that stores documents online. So instead of passing around Word documents everyone can go to the same place and see them. Anyway, here is the profile screen I set up for myself. Note the text under the picture.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Survival Documentary

When I was at The Shelter Challenge a week and a half ago, Kevin was telling me about his week of survival and how he and his friends wished they had taken a camera with them to record their experience. Obviously a camera isn't appropriate in a full survival situation. We got to talking about how cool it would be to have a camera crew come out and film the whole thing. Since then, I've been thinking about it a lot.

After seeing a show like Survivorman make it onto The Science Channel, I wonder why this idea wouldn't work. The idea I envision is getting a group of 5-8 people like me who are into survival skills and go somewhere to do full survival for some period of time. I think getting people of different skill levels would be important. To make the show interesting I think it would be better to have inexperienced people like me involved. Without some struggle, it wouldn't be as fun to watch.

The show could be a mix of reality tv and educational so you learn and are entertained at the same time. So at one point it shows the group actually building debris huts and then it cuts to an animated sequence showing the structure of a typical debris hut and the science behind how it keeps you warm. I imagine there is a narrator for the show to summarize events and explain the animation.

It would be cool because as the show progresses you can start seeing new skills. Of course you start with seeing how a shelter is built and then fire. Eventually you see traps and snares and hunting. If it went long enough you could see other things like basketmaking, tanning, and other crafts that you don't get into as much until you're settled.

I guess the idea is a lot like Survivorman except it would be a group of people who weren't experts and the conditions wouldn't be as extreme and it would be a longer period of time. Maybe it is just a one episode show our a documentary.

What do you think?

Monday, March 06, 2006

Safety Procedures

Awhile ago I wrote a post about a Safety Team meeting I attended. We have a tornado drill coming up Wednesday and today I received an email from two female co-workers. What follows is our unaltered email chain.

From: Kara
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 3:04 PM
To: Pinger, Michael
Cc: Kristin
Subject: Safety Procedures
Importance: High

Pinger –

As Kristin and I are preparing for our upcoming tornado drill, we wanted to simply confirm the process that we will use once hearing the announcement of a Tornado!

1) Immediately panic
2) Grab as many personal belongings as we can possibly carry
3) Take off in a dead sprint and start yelling as we head toward the nearest elevator
4) Press the “down button” on the elevator persistently and immediately jump on board waiting for no stragglers
5) We will exit the elevator at the 3rd floor, raiding Chris's candy drawer as everyone else is sitting in the stairwell
Lastly, we will take the elevator to the 1
st floor and proceed outside, to sit in the grass and eat our candy in the 60 degree weather.

As a member of the Safety Team, please let us know if the above procedure is going to cause any problems.

Lastly, the Tornado email has brought up many other concerns such as, what should we do if we received a Flash Flood Warning? A Hurricane? A Tsunami? Please forward the procedures to us immediately, as we would like to be prepared before such natural disasters occur.

p.s. The first stall in the women’s bathroom (4th floor) continuously runs out of toilet paper and we feel that must be hazardous. Can you please make sure this item is added to the agenda for the next Safety Team meeting?

Thank you for your time.


Kara & Kristin

From: Pinger, Michael
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 3:39 PM
To: Kara
Cc: Kristin
Subject: RE: Safety Procedures
Importance: High

First, let me applaud you for your interest in safety procedures. If everyone in the building were as concerned with following procedure as you two we wouldn’t need to have drills. But alas, most people don’t share our enthusiasm. The steps you’ve outlined below, while appropriate, fall short of my recommendations. Instead of using the elevator, I recommend finding the nearest stairwell and pushing people downstairs yelling, “We’ll all get out of here a lot faster if we push!” I like where you’re going with step 5, but as a survival enthusiast, I recommend raiding the refrigerator’s first. After all, studies show that in a survival situation, a person can only go two days without soft drinks, but function for almost a month without candy. I’m not sure if those studies took into account the “women love chocolate factor” though.

As far as flash floods, hurricanes, and tsunamis, I recommend wearing capri pants or coolats with a strap-on sandle during the rainy season. It’s an ensemble that is both stylish and safe. I usually have aqua socks and swimming trunks with me at all times.

I understand your concern with toilet paper, but have you tried the handicapped stall? Does it have the same problem? If not, I’d use it. It is more rooming which allows for a more comfortable experience.

Thanks again for your concern and enthusiasm for safety. If you’d like I could ask the team if you can enter into our junior officer program. You’ll get a sash and a flashlight and after a year’s time you’ll be eligible to join the team. We’re always looking for rookies to kick around. :)

Safety Team Member and Evangelist,

Mike Pinger

From: Kristin
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 4:05 PM
To: Pinger, Michael; Kara
Subject: RE: Safety Procedures

Thanks, Mike. We applaud continuous dedication to solving our safety problems and alleviating our safety concerns. And while the invitation to join the Safety team is much appreciated, we will not be able to accept due to a time conflict. You may have already heard that we recently joined the Walker Wear Design Team and need to focus our attention on the upcoming spring collection. However, we will keep your suggestion of aqua socks and swimming trunks in mind as we look to improve the core functionality of the Walker Wear Collection.

Thanks again for your perseverance and timely response.

Best regards,

Kristin and Kara

Senior Designers

Walker Wear Apparel

From: Pinger, Michael
Sent: Monday, March 06, 2006 5:00 PM
To: Kristin; Kara
Subject: RE: Safety Procedures

Congratulations on joining the Walker Wear team. I’m sure the other young professional women in the company will appreciate having stylish women such as you designing the spring line. I’m looking forward to the spring collection. As a tall slender male, it is hard for me to find fall and winter apparel that both fits comfortably and passes the Walker dress code.



P.S. Let me know if you need a runway model for a Walker Wear fashion show. I’ve have experience modeling both men’s and women’s clothing.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

It's Knot time

I recently started working on memorizing knots. Knots are something that I don't use too often, but when I do need one, I always struggle with it. Up until last year, my knowledge of knots was pretty limited. I could tie a bow on my shoelace and a square knot and that was about it. At my last Tracker School class, one of the guys in my group showed me some pretty cool and useful knots which really got me interested.

This week I bought a book on knots. I also bought a bundle of nylon rope. It is about a 1/4 inch in diameter so it is easy to tie and untie. My plan is to keep learning new knots until I have a good arsenal to work with. I cut 3 ft. sections of rope off the main rope and have them in different places so I can always have them to work with. I have rope by the couch for when I 'm watching tv. I have some at work to practice with over lunch and maybe snare some unsuspecting co-workers with. I also have some in my car in case I get stuck at a long red light.

As with pretty much all learning, the best way is with repetition and experience. Each time I learn a new knot I also tie the ones I already know and try to combine different knots together to see what I can make. One of my favorite drills is to tie knots with my eyes closed or with my left hand. I'll never know when I'll have to tie a knot in the dark or when my right hand will be injured.

These are two of the new ones I'm working on now. The top is a bowline loop and the bottom is a hangman's knot.