“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Power fluctuations are expensive.

The electric grid here is doing somersaults.  It's on, then it's off.  When it is on, the amps on the line are fluctuating dramatically. So far, since power was "restored" after Irma, I've had one air conditioner and one dehumidifier go down. In both cases, the compressors appear to have been destroyed by low amperage.

There isn't much I can do about it.  The EMC here does sell a "surge suppression system" for a house, but it's expensive and it isn't surges that are destroying my equipment. It's low amps on the line and there is nothing I know of, other than buying a $10,000 Genrac system, that can help with that.

To replace the air conditioning unit and the dehumidifier will run me about $500.00.  If I do it before the buffoons at the Electric Membership Cooperative finally get their act together, those could get burned out as well.

It's not like a I have a choice , though. The environment in the apartment over the shop, where both of these pieces of gear went down, is 80 degrees and 65 %.  In the other buildings, it's 72 degrees and 54 percent. Makes a big difference. At any humidity level above 60% here, you are going to get mold and mildew.

Power still hasn't been restored to the whole county.  If your home suffered significant damage, the EMC won't turn the power back on until the damage is repaired. But most people don't have insurance that pays for them to live in a hotel while the repairs take place ( I do, no tents for me), so they have to live in the damaged house. Most of them rent generators, seal off a livable section of the house with plastic sheeting, and go back to the dark ages life style.


New Magazine:

I don't usually read Rifle.  I'm not that interested in modern firearms. But this special edition was really good. I have a good many world war I weapons, and I still shoot them.  Not as much as I used to, perhaps, but I still get out behind the barn and blast away sometimes. Usually in the fall when the weather is clear, cool and the air is dry.  Since I use a lot of surplus ammo, some of it quite old, I always clean the guns three days in a row with bore cleaner designed for corrosive primers. I think soap and water works just as well, but I still use commercial bore cleaner designed for the old primers. I wish I could find World War II bore cleaner, I used it for years and it was perfect. But I don't have a source anymore.

Just a short post to let people know we are still alive up here on the mountain. Things have been very slow since the storm. We've made a couple of shopping expeditions, and that's about it.

Hillary takes a page out of the Soro's play book:

Speaking of books, Amazon is helping Hillary out by deleting negative reviews of her book.

Nothing much else to tell.  No big plans for the immediate future up here. We're in a rest and relaxation mode right now.  Between launching out on our series of little overnight trips, and then the storm, we overdid things a bit.  It's good to just stay up here. Fall is starting at our elevation, the leaves are just beginning to turn. Wont' be long til October, and it will be flannel shirt weather, and fire in the hearth time.

I've been doing some reading while our batteries recharge.  One of the books was written a long time ago, about another forgotten incident in U.S. history.  Operation El Dorado Canyon took place the month before I left the service, so I remember it well.

Operation El Dorado Canyon

link to synopsis of El Dorado Canyon above.

It was a joint Air Force/ Navy operation to pay the Libyans back  for two terror attacks, one on a nightclub in Germany frequented by U.S. service personnel, and one on an airliner that killed four Americans. They were sucked out of the side of the aircraft when a bomb exploded, and at least two of them, a young mother and her small child, were determined to have been alive during the fall according to the book.

 The book is technical, and has a great deal of information on the fighter bomber used in the attack, the Aardvark.

It goes into great detail about the planning of the attack, and the huge difficulties involved in trying to put together a plan when all the higher headquarters in Europe and back in the states felt compelled to put their oar in. I know something of how that feels from having been on Admiral Martin's NATO staff during the Lebanon fiasco. So I can sympathize with the author. He was a U.S. Air Force Colonel who was instrumental in planning the attack, so he knows where of he speaks.

One of the things I remember about that operation is that of all our NATO "allies" only England would give us overflight rights. That meant our aircraft had to be in the air for 14 hours, instead of 6, and had to conduct multiple refueling evolutions as a result. 

After the attack , the Europeans squealed and whined, saying our action put them in jeopardy. They were a bunch of wimps then, especially the French.   I'm talking about their governments here, not the guy on the street who had a different opinion.  There's a lot in the book about after the attack and the fall out that I didn't know, but found interesting.

The other book I've been plugging away on is a collection of reminiscences by Marines who fought in the Pacific theater in World War II.  My dad, my  Uncle and my father in law all fought in that theater so it's of particular interest to me.

Some of these books I've been writing about over the past year, I get at our library. Some of them I'm reading again, and have in my own collection. Lucky thing as both of these are out of print at the moment, but I'm sure there are used copies to be found on Amazon. If they aren't too busy deleting negative reviews of Hillary's self exculpatory masterpiece, anyway.

Thought for the Day:

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

New Magazines. Hurricane Maria. Aftereffects of Irma. Don't open the door if you don't know who's out there. Scanners.

There's a good article in here on the procedures for buying a fully automatic weapon in the United States.  Also some information on storing long term supplies, and a few other interesting articles. American Survival Guide costs $10.00 on the news stand, is monthly, and is both entertaining and educational.

(Power went out again as I was writing this. It's been on and off all day)

Some great articles in this edition.  Military Surplus doesn't just cover firearms, but the whole spectrum of old military gear. This issue had a pretty good article on the best old war movies. Costs $10.00 and doesn't come out often, but I buy them religiously.

Another hurricane in the Atlantic.  Harvey didn't bother us, Irma pummeled the mountains, Jose gave us a miss, but Maria may come this way. For right now, nothing to do but watch it. If it does hit the Carolina coast, we'll be in the southwest quadrant most of the time, the best place to be.

We are still dealing with the aftermath of Irma.  One young fellow who lives out in my quadrant of the county had a lot of damage to his house, but no insurance. He shot himself, which was kind of tough on his three little kids.

Last night an old guy who uses a walker to get around tried to climb up on a ladder and clean out at gutter on his roof. He fell 10 feet, and broke his back. They had to call in a medivac helicopter and have it land out on the floor of the rodeo arena to haul him off to Chattanooga.

There was another strange incident a couple of days ago.  I live in a remote part of the county, but not the most remote. Out that way, a man was home with his family, having dinner. Somebody knocked at the door, and he opened it. There were three men there and one of  them hit him in the face with a wooden club. These guys beat the tar out of the husband, assaulted the wife, and while all this was going on , their daughter ran to the neighbors.

The neighbors, who live in another farm house some distance away, called 911 and the farmer and his two boys came loaded for bear. The assailants were pulling out as the neighbors arrived. The Sheriff's Department put out a "bolo" (an emergency alert to our county and neighboring counties) on the vehicle and called in off duty officers. But I haven't heard anything more, so it looks like the attackers got away. Sometimes weird, random things like that happen here. Some years ago, down on the hard surface road just a few miles from my place, a little old lady who lived alone was beaten to death. She didn't lock her doors, and apparently somebody just walked in and killed her. Nobody has ever been charged with that, either.

Cartoons: on a lighter note:


I've mentioned these before. In a rural area, they're worth their weight in gold. In a city, where radio communications are usually trunked and encrypted, not so much so.

My equipment is old, but it works fine.

The top two sets are digital , but the bottom set is so old it uses crystals.  My situation is such that while there are a number of nets here, I only monitor a few:

1. Sheriff's Department  ( I always have the old crystal set locked on this frequency)

2. Fire and Rescue/Ems ( I keep one scanner on this frequency)

3. Forest Service (one of the frequencies on the third scanner)

4. Adjacent county Sheriff's Departments (4 frequencies on the third scanner)

5. Georgia State Police (2 frequencies on the third scanner)

6. County Emergency Control Center (1 frequency on the third scanner)

One extra item I'd add to the equipment list is a good battery backup. I use a pedestal mounted system that can supply power to all three radios for about six hours before it has to recharge, assuming the radios are all on. Cost around $300.00, but protects your electronics from low amps on the line, and line spikes. Anything electronic you have plugged in, has  to be plugged into a battery backup with a high spike clamp speed and good line conditioning. Out here, the power system is shaky at best, and if you don't do this, you'll be buying a lot of radios, computers, satellite receivers, et al.

Of course, if the fewmets really hit the windmill, scanners may not be operational. During a lot of the Hurricane Irma storm, the "repeaters" we use here were off line. These are radios on mountain tops that pick up a transmission and retransmit it. VHF is line of sight, so that's the only way to get around terrain masking. If the repeater's antenna system is knocked out, your scanners are not going to be much use.

As for CB, which is good in normal times, the people you communicate with that way tend to disappear in a storm. They don't have alternate power, in most cases, and they lose their external antenna farms pretty quickly into the event. However, CB is a darn good thing to have in rural areas, because it can keep you posted on what's going on around the county.

A base station that offers SSB (single side ban) and AM is best, with a good external whip antenna. I've been using one of those for more than 30 years.

My pole antenna was knocked down by the latest storm, but the mounting pole is still up, and I'm working on getting it fixed.

Thought for the Day:


Some end of day music:

Chill Mix - Another Day on the Terrace

Monday, September 18, 2017

I was never really a stamp collector, still... Walter Williams on the Civil War.

I wrote snail mail letters from about 1971 through 1992.  Since my family kept many of the letters, I collected stamps by default.  On line bill pay didn't come into use until much later, and I still  buy stamps to pay bills right up through the present.  When I went to the Post Office, I passed on the schlock and usually bought stamps with a historical connotation.

I have lots of stamps that commemorate different branches of the Armed Forces, especially the Marines. I also have a few that acknowledged Civil War heroes.  But the definition of "hero" has changed dramatically in some parts of the country since those days.  I don't expect to see any more stamps like these floating around in my life time.

Walter Williams is a college professor and a long time conservative commentator. On my old blog, I used to publish his articles pretty frequently.  He was kind enough to give me his permission to do so, something not every writer is willing to do.

I found this while doing some research on the stamps, and I thought it might be interesting for people who haven't really read a lot about the War Between the States.  Williams has put up with a lot of criticism and abuse from the left over the years.  He's an unsung American Hero.  If you read World Net Daily you are probably already familiar with him.

Thought for the Day:

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Quiet up here at the moment. A consideration of burgeoning Islamism.

It's Sunday afternoon here.  Relatively cool and the humidity is about 75%, which is good for the time of year.

Yesterday we drove up to the big lake in the next county for lunch, then went to North Carolina so my wife could do some shopping. She needed to relax and that's one of her favorite ways of doing that. I sat out in the car and listened to talk radio most of the time, though I did go in when we got to the "scratch and dint" grocery store.

I've mentioned my dismay at seeing Moslems turning up in my county.  If that's racist, then so be it. I suppose it's racist to not want copperhead snakes under your porch, until they kill your dog. That's the way things seem to be today.

What really surprised me was seeing them in Murphy,  North Carolina. Murphy has always been a rough place, it used to be a sawmill town, when we first came up here in 1986 that was all that was there.  I don't think Moslems are going to find a warm welcome there at all.   Murphy is the town that hid out Eric Rudolph while the FBI was running around up there, trying to intimidate people and offering huge rewards for someone to betray him. They didn't make much progress.

I usually link to posts or articles that I think people would be interested in, but in this case, I wanted to republish the whole article. Lately I have noticed that videos and articles tend to disappear from the internet without warning, especially if they are not preaching the Kumbaya party line espoused by Google. The only way to make sure people have access to them is to publish them on your blog. And even then, there's no guarantee some Antifa worm working at Google won't delete the whole blog.

By Julienne Davis
September 16, 2017
The terrorist bombing Friday of a train on the London Underground, which injured 30 people – including one of my very close friends – was yet more evidence of a painful truth: the Islamification of the United Kingdom and Europe is well under way, changing the very character of the continent that gave birth to Western Civilization.

To escape this disturbing transformation of Britain – a place I had come to love after spending much of my adult life there, even becoming a dual British-U.S. citizen in 2000 – my English husband and I moved back to America at the end of 2006. I felt like a bit of a coward, but I did not want to live in an England changing dramatically for the worse before my eyes.

Yet now I fear that the United States will be next in line to see our wonderful traditions of freedom, tolerance, respect for human rights and the rule of law threatened by the regressive and oppressive ideology of Islamic fundamentalism.

Friday’s terrorist attack in London brought these fears to the front of my mind, especially after my friend nearly lost her life when the bomb partially detonated in the train car she was riding in. The Islamic State, also known as ISIS, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

My friend told me she heard the bomb go off 30 feet away, looked in the direction of the sound and saw a huge fireball coming towards her. Her skin is burned, she no longer has eyebrows and eyelashes, and her hair and clothes were singed as well. She will recover. But if the bomb had detonated properly, I would be preparing now to attend her funeral.

My husband and I saw Britain changing before our eyes. The final straw was during the 2006 Danish Embassy Muhammad cartoon protest, when hundreds of Islamists holding signs like “Behead Infidels” and “Prepare for a New Holocaust,” marched unopposed to the Danish Embassy in London.

The bombing was the fifth terrorist attack in Britain this year but the first on London’s mass transit system since bombings on three trains and a bus on July 7, 2005 that killed 52 people and wounded over 700. I remember the day clearly – people dazed, frightened and with blood on their shirts coming out of the tube.

Is this what awaits us in the U.S. five or 10 years from now? Rather than flee again, I feel the need to speak out before it is too late.

Let me be clear: In a free land, everyone should be free to follow the religion of his or her choice. But sadly, fundamentalist Islam does not allow other theologies to coexist.

Islamism, as the Brookings Institution describes it, is based on the belief that “Islamic law or Islamic values should play a central role in public life. They (Islamists) feel Islam has things to say about how politics should be conducted, how the law should be applied, and how other people – not just themselves – should conduct themselves.”

Islamification is the imposition of an Islamist social and political system onto a society – depriving individuals (particularly women) of their freedoms and making even nations where Muslims are in the minority change their way of life to be more aligned with Islamic fundamentalism.

This has nothing in common with the pluralistic and polytheist society I grew up in living in the U.S. or that I found in England years ago.

Tragically, things are only going to get worse – much worse – in Europe. The British and European Union governments are no longer looking after their people and are willfully allowing the destruction of their culture and free societies. They have utterly failed their citizens.

An English friend told me recently that her daughter’s Church of England village school was teaching what they call RE (Religious Education) to the children and spending an inordinate amount of time and positively favoring Islam over other religions. Children of all faiths are now being taught how to pray to Allah with prayer mats.

The Koran is the only book open on a stand at the back of the classroom. And at a school assembly when the prophet Muhammad was mentioned, 200 children chanted in unison:  “Peace be upon him.”

I was speechless when I heard this. But I am continually shocked at the news coming out of Britain – a country that is my second home and one I love so very much.

My husband and I saw Britain changing before our eyes. The final straw for my husband and I was during the 2006 Danish Embassy Muhammad cartoon protest, when hundreds of Islamists holding signs like “Behead Infidels” and “Prepare for a New Holocaust,” marched unopposed to the Danish Embassy in London.

The only person arrested that day was an Englishman who jeered at the Islamists. Upon seeing that, my husband turned to me and painfully admitted with tears in his eyes, “England is finished. I guess I’d rather be a stranger in a strange land, than a stranger in my own land.”  We left England when his U.S. green card came through.

Since then, we have heard about many more incidents happening in the United Kingdom from friends who live there – not just in the news.

There was the nail bomb attack at a pop concert; Islamists shouting “Allahu Akbar” as they stabbed and drove into people on deadly rampages; and the beheading of a British soldier in the streets of London in broad daylight.

In addition, many churches are being converted to mosques with minarets and are now broadcasting calls to prayer; Muslim rapists have targeted underage English girls; and the insidious Islamist indoctrination of children in schools is becoming more common.

How do you irreparably change a country? By targeting and indoctrinating its children.

On top of this, the United Kingdom’s flawed immigration policies and laws have enabling a rapid rise in the Muslim population to more than 3.5 million, equalling 5.5 percent of the nation in 2016, according to the Gatestone Institute International Policy Council.

The institute reports that a survey found that 23 percent of British Muslims advocate replacement of British law with Islamic law in areas with large Muslim populations. And the same survey estimates that “more than 100,000 British Muslims sympathize with suicide bombers.”

Many of us in the U.S. may hear of these incidences and are horrified. But we are relived that at least none of this is happening over here.

But what is going on in Britain and Europe is both a warning and a precursor to what could very well happen here if we don’t take heed. Furthermore, allowing the Islamists in America to change our laws, ethics and customs to suit or cater to only their beliefs at the expense of others is a slippery slope.

I am glad I returned to the United States. At the time of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on our country my patriotism welled up in me like a tidal wave and only grew. And I became appalled by the anti-American and pro-Islamist rhetoric that was going on in the leftist British media and among friends and acquaintances there.

Everyone who lives in the United States is lucky and blessed to be here. While we will continue to welcome people here from around the world, we need to be careful to not change the very character of our nation by opening the floodgates to people determined to recast our country into the image of another culture.

Friday, September 15, 2017

There and back again.

We lost power, phones, and of course the internet on Monday afternoon.  Today is Friday, and for the moment at least, the power and the internet have been restored. The phones will take a lot longer, if past experience is anything to go on.

When the hurricane remnants came through here, North Georgia took a real beating. We had been told to expect 55 mph winds, which would have been bad enough, but in fact wind gusts hit 75 miles an hour. The counties like Lumpkin and White, which are at the foot of the mountains, were harder hit than Towns, Union, Fannin, and Rabun, which are actually in the mountains.

The wind came on like waves. You could hear it coming, just like an ocean wave roaring into the beach. Just before it actually hit us, things would start banging against the buildings and the roofs, branches and such that the wind had picked up or broken off.  This went on from about six in the evening through most of the next day.

We had some roof damage on two buildings, including the main house. We did not have any flooding. The people who live down at the foot of the mountain, on the paved road, were not so lucky. One of them had a big oak come down and split his house right in half. I doubt it can be fixed. The roads were trashed, mightily. I know from the scanner that a surprising number of people came out and cleared their own roads, something I had not expected this time around.

This was a hard four and a half days.  We didn't lack anything, but my wife and I were just slap worn out by yesterday. We didn't have as good an attitude as we have had in the past, perhaps because once the storm passed, the heat and humidity were very bad. The house and outbuildings got up to 71 percent humidity inside. It will take a while to get everything dried out, and a lot of things like blankets, sheets, etc that were on the shelves will have to be laundered and run through the drier.

We used virtually none of the extra supplies we bought, but we can use them later. Neither my wife or I felt like cooking, so we didn't eat much and that probably accounts for how worn down we both feel. The property is a mess. I had a lot of pine trees fall, and I will just let them lay where they fell if they are in the forest. But some will have to be cut up and I'll have to dump them in the woods to rot. That wont' be fun.

We got pretty by well except that physically and mentally, it was rough. I'm not sure why, as we have been through worse. Part of it was lack of information. Once we lost the satellite tv and couldn't see the Atlanta stations, we had no way of finding out what was coming. The NOAA weather transmitters on Brass Town Bald mountain went down almost immediately. No internet. Nothing of any help on shortwave. I can get one FM station here reliably, it's a hill billy station and in four days, the only thing I heard of any interest was when they put our county commissioner on. He said "be patient, the power is out everywhere." We knew that, so it wasn't all that helpful.

We're still catching up on our rest and our breath, so this is just a short post to say we are quite well and had little damage.  I'll sit down and write an "after action" report here this weekend, but it won't be much help to old time survivalists as it was all pretty routine. Might be of use to people new to the mind set,though..


While I'm waiting for my 9mm MP-40, I think I will get me one of these!

These guys are funny.