“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Monday, September 2, 2013

Labor Day


I finished reading Morris' The Washing of the Spears again this afternoon.  It's one of those books that I always pick something up from with every reading.  Probably this is because it is very heavy going. Morris is an old school historian who has to explain the background of every single topic he touches in painful detail. You haven't lived until you have tried to wade through his explanation of the schism which split the Church of England into "High Churchers" and "Low Churchers" during the Victorian era.

But that's not why I read the book.  It deals with the history of South Africa, and I am a big fan of the Boers. They were not saintly people, but they were highly admirable in almost every respect. They were survivalists with the word spelled out in caps and underlined.

When I was reading through the book this time I kept seeing things that I'd think I needed to remember so I could quote them in a post. But I realized eventually that there was just too much good material here and I could never do it.  From self sufficiency to people using vet medicines, the book touches on all of it.

I've always loved military history and the Zulu Wars were basically the end of the old British Army and the beginning of a truly modern military. Lots of "the last time" situations in here, like the last time the British troops carried their colors uncased into battle. 

It's a good read if you have time.  I wish I could force myself to use a highlighter in my books, but I just can't.  If you can though, a cheap paperback copy would stand you in good stead.

I heard on the CB this afternoon that Walmart has some more .45 ACP , or did when the fellow on the other end of the transmission was there this morning.  I will go by tomorrow, I need some things anyway and I am over my pique with their incompetent sporting goods clerk. Maybe the old woman who works in sporting goods will be there. She doesn't know one end of a rifle from the other but at least she has the keys to the ammo cabinet and she is where she is supposed to be.

I have been going through the supply room and rearranging things. It's like living in a WW 2 submarine around here. Every nook and cranny filled with the things we might need if the stores and everything else go away. Not just scattered and stacked, before someone calls me a hoarder. All of this stuff is categorized and stored by category, split among three different buildings so that if I lose one building in a fire I won't lose every can of beans, or every box of bullets, etc. 

Not much else doing.




18 comments:

  1. I don't highlight my books. I underline, or bracket for longer passages, what I find important. Lightly, and in pencil. Just enough to catch my own attention.

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    1. Even with reading glasses I have trouble with small print books now. If I used a highlighter I could pick what I wanted right out. But it seems a shame to mess up the book. The way you do it would be great if I could see well enough.

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  2. Sigh...one more book to add to my already huge list. Rain here now..sounds nice. Big pot of homemade soup on the stove and I smell the cornbread. The wife should be home any minute now. Take care, my friend.

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    1. You can borrow my copy if you want, I'll be glad to send it down.

      Raining and some good soup, that's the way to end the day.

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  3. I enjoy history. I got hooked on WW2. My kids all passed history with great grades. I can't figure how ?? LOL Have a good week.

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    1. They probably had good teachers. Makes all the difference with history, social studies, that kind of thing. I'm particularly interested in Roman military history but anything is grist to the mill.

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  4. G'Day Harry,

    A very readable book on the Zulu Wars is "Brave Men's Blood" by Ian Knight. The Boers were certainly tough in every way, they gave the English a bloody nose and forced them to ask for help from their colonies as they needed soldiers who knew how to fight the same way as the Boers. In 1899 the 6 colonies of Australia (the Commonealth of Australia was not formed until 1901) sent 16,000 mounted infantry to help the old country and the Australian troops formed a respect for the Boers and their fighting ability.

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    1. I'll try to find that book. I have Parkenham's "The Boer War" and a few others but have not read "Brave Men's Blood." I saw Breaker Morant and I know that was based on historical events but you can never tell with a movie, really. If even half of it is true, thrown in with Gallipoli, the Australians seem to have gotten the short end of the stick sometimes.

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    2. I really liked that movie and it only had a bit of poetic licence. A direct consequence of that trial and execution was that Australia refused to ever again place it's troops under direct British control, we served under overall British command in the field but ultimate control of the troops resided in our Prime Minister and the Australian CIC. There was a famous incident in WW2 that illustrated why this was a good idea,in 1942 Australia was rushing it's veteren divisions back from the Western Desert to defend against the Japanese advance and Churchill tried to divert the convoy to Burma instead. it caused a huge diplomatic stink but our PM stood firm and the troops came home, Burma was an absolute debacle with the British retreating back to India in a rout,and we would have lost most of our best troops as well for no effect. To this day Churchill is not particularly popular in Australia (especially as the Gallipoli campaign was his idea as well).

      Gallipoli was the defining moment for Australia as a nation (the Commonwealth was only formed 14 years before), it defines us in the same way that I think the American Revolution defines you.

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  5. It's a shame that the Multi-Cult of the West decided to sacrifice the Boer on the altar of their White Guilt. It really is. I would love to cut off a few acres and rescue a Boer farmer or two if I could. Very sad.

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    1. I guess there are still a lot of people in South Africa descended from the Boers, but that agrarian lifestyle is long gone. They were utterly independent people, not many of those left anywhere. When I was stationed in Naples, Italy I met Rhodesians who had been run out of that country by their new Supreme Dictator Field Marshal President for Life Robert Mugabe. They are the ones who really got screwed, sold out to the terrorists in the name of multiculturalism. Of course, you can say it's the best example extant of "be careful what you wish for, you just may get it." Under Ian Smith Rhodesia was a net exporter of food and was prosperous . Now it's neighbors put up wire fences to keep the refugees who are starving in Rhodesia out of their countries. Oh, pardon moi feu, I meant "Zimbabwe."

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  6. That does sound like some heavy reading.

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    1. It is. There are parts of it that relate to English society at the time I'd just as soon skip over. But I'm always afraid if I do, I'll miss something useful.

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  7. Love the Mossberg 590 Riot gun. Mine is an 870P these days.

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    1. I bought that gun a long time ago. I remember because I was working at the gun counter in the general store then, and a week or so after I bought mine, a fellow walked in and traded in another one. Since I got a big discount as an employee, and the guy didn't get that much for it in the first place, I got that one too. The best place on earth to work if you like guns is a rural store that sells them. The trade in's are amazing.

      I'll have to look up the 870P, I can't bring it to mind.

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  8. Thanks for the review Harry. I now have a new book added to my wish list! JF

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    1. I think you will enjoy it. The description of the Boers and some of the events they participated in are really interesting.

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    2. I'm so pleased. I wasn't holding out much hope that I would find it at Abe Books ( reseller), but found a copy right off for one buck! Happy girl.
      Also, I do highlight, or pencil or anything else I want in the books I am certain will never leave my library. To me, it makes them even more personal. And in some books,as I go through them again, maybe years later, I remember where I was back then and can see how far I've progressed. I like that, cuz some days, it's hard to see the forest for the trees. :)
      JF

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