Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tax Return Time: Best5Zach Style

Every year I have grand plans of what I am going to use my tax return to pay off. Well, this year was special because there wasn't much that needed to be paid off (except student loans, the new car....ok....anyway). So, though the plan is always to save a large portion of the return, we did divvy up some money to spend on our hobbies. My wife decided to get her hair done, a pedicure, and buy groceries....because she isn't a selfish person. I on the other hand......


Anyway, so I love Amazon, as I am sure all of you do as well. I love it so much that I have even opened my own Amazon Store to sell used text books and PowerTeam Lures. So, hint hint, if you are looking for used engineering text books or discount baits, go check it out!

One of the things I love about Amazon is that I can shop such a diverse field of items and pay shipping (wait, I don't have to pay shipping because I have Prime!). Well, at least it all shows up together. So, I just have to share what I ended up buying from Amazon. It's quite the list!

If you read my last blog post last week, you will recall that I discussed being a thrifty fisherman and buying line in bulk. Well, I got on Amazon and bought 2 different 1,000 yard spools. I do a lot of cranking. I probably have 4 rods at any one time to crank. And, I love DEEP cranking, which means light line. On a related note, I use my Jewel Bait Hound a LOT.     :-)

Additionally, I use my cranks around brush and rocks, so I opted up to the Seaguar AbrazX 10 pound. I can also use this on my shakey head rods, which I also use around heavy cover. I also bought a spool of red label 17 pound, which I will use for C-rig, T-rig, and rattle baits, but mostly for swimbaits. I spent last night using my winter down time wisely by respooling 5 different reels. Man, was it nice not to have to worry about running out in the middle of a reel!
So, that Amazon order covered fishing. What else did it cover? Well, prepping of course! While we carry a good amount of seeds for planting our garden every year, they are mostly sealed in zip-lock bags, which isn't very good for them. I wanted something that was hermetically sealed and easily transported. I had been eyeing the Survival Seed Vault from My Patriot Supply. It's $29.95 on Amazon. 100% pure heirloom, non-GMO and non-hybrid. It can plan plant a full acre with the following:

  • Blue Lake Bean Over 150 seeds
  • California Wonder Pepper Over 70 seeds
  • Scarlet Nantes Carrot Over 800 seeds
  • Marketmore Cucumber Over 150 seeds
  • Parris Island Cos Romaine Lettuce Over 900 seeds
  • Golden Acre Cabbage Over 530 seeds
  • Detroit Dark Red Beet Over 260 seeds
  • Lincoln Shell Pea Over 100 seeds
  • Lucullus Swiss Chard Over 160 seeds
  • Beefsteak Tomato Over 180 seeds
  • Champion Radish Over 320 seeds
  • Green Sprouting Broccoli Over 500 seeds
  • Waltham Butternut Winter Squash Over 100 seeds
  • Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach Over 260 seeds
  • Yellow Sweet Spanish Onion Over 145 seeds
  • Golden Bantam Sweet Corn Over 250 seeds
  • Hales Best Cantaloupe Over 70 seeds
  • Snowball Self-blanching Cauliflower Over 285 seeds
  • Black Beauty Zucchini Over 50 seeds
  • Crimson Sweet Watermelon Over 60 seeds
My plan is to save it until time to plant my garden. I will use it, judge how well the seeds do, make a product review, of course, then replace it with another each year. 

In terms of survival, I purchased a few add-in for my Bug-Out bags. I bought the eGear Survival Essentials Floating Whistle and Mirror Combo. The ability to signal was something that I had completely ignored, so I remedied that by purchasing two. One for my big Bug Out bag and one for my 24 Hour Bug Out bag. I really should have purchased one for my Automotive Survival Bag, but I'm not perfect....
My big bag already has plenty of paracord, which is an extremely useful item. But, my 24 hour bag did not, so I purchased a small roll of 550lb paracord by Rothco. There isn't much you can't do with some paracord. This is an item that is worth having around, and in good amounts. 


Now, on to what I am REALLY looking forward to! Many of you recall that I finished my first AR-15 build a few months ago. I built it from mostly Palmetto State Armory parts. These parts are their "less expensive" line of parts, though I wouldn't go so far as to call them cheap. But, I didn't want to shoot the wad and find out that I don't have the ability to build a quality gun. Fortunately, even I can assemble a decent gun!  With that in mind, I decided to step up and build a nicer firearm. I have already assembled the lower using an Anderson stripped lower and a PSA classic lower parts kit. Now it was time to finish it out with a good upper assembly and bolt and carrier group. 
 
For the former, I selected one of their Weekend Deals. I purchassed that 16" Premium Strikefire upper. Here are the specs:



  • 16" Barrel length
  • Chrome moly vanadium barrel
  • 5.56 Nato Chamber
  • 1 in 7" twist rate
  • Chrome-lined bore
  • HPT/MPI Barrel
  • M4 Feed ramps
  • F-Marked Front sight post
  • A2 Flash Hider
  • Sling Loop
  • Standard Hand Guards w/ heat shields
  • Forged upper receiver
  • Vortex Strikefire Red-dot optic
  • T-Marks



I finished it off with a PSA 5.56 Premium full auto bolt and carrier group. Here are the specs on it:

  • Milspec Carpenter No. 158® steel bolt
  • Shot Peened Bolt
  • High pressure tested
  • Mag particle inspected
  • Chrome Lined Carrier (AUTO)
  • Chrome Lined Gas Key
  • Gas Key Hardened to USGI Specifications
  • Gas Key Grade 8 Hardened Fasteners
  • Gas Key Staked Per Mil-Spec
  • Tool Steel Extractor
  • Extractor Spring
  • Extractor O-ring Insert

I am very excited about this new gun! I will be making a write up on it very soon!


The next items were for the blog in general. I have all but lost all of the accessories for my GoPro. Additionally, I wanted to add a second GoPro with the ability to use it for in-situ shots. So, I bought the XShot 2.0 Extender.
Additionally, I purchased a used GoPro Hero 1 with another suction cup mount kit and a pistol case to house it and all my other video stuff within. 


And, my daughter is love sick with One Direction. I don't get it....but, I am a dude. She wanted me to buy One Direction duct tape. When she first told me, I was skepticle. Why would they sell 1D duct tape? But, I looked it up on Amazon and there it was. So, if all I have to do is buy a roll of duct tape for a few bucks for her Valentine's Day...so be it!