Monday, December 30, 2013

too much to do.

My desk is stacking up with things that need doing. By this time tomorrow, I will have most of it done. Either I get my old computer back, or I buy another one, or both but I can't go without one any longer.

It's supposed to snow here before dawn. I went outside on the porch a little bit ago, and there are low clouds but I don't think it's cold enough.  I've picked up some kind of loathsome bug and don't feel so hot, so I didn't stay out there long. Too chilly.

Spent some time on the Kindle laboriously going over different blogs and catching up.  I have missed a lot, but I'm glad that everybody seems to have survived Christmas and now life is returning to normal.

Hopefully, if I can learn to use Windows 8, I can start doing more interesting posts tomorrow. That is, if I can get the thing to work. I have been reading about it on line on this tablet, and the more I read the less confidence I have in my ability to use  Windows 8.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Raining again

It is raining again. More flood watches out. Last time around I saw corn fields by the river under water. All this warm air coming up out of the Gulf is making things very wet.

 Ragnar and Rowena went to the vet today. They probably have adrenal disease, but have to go to a specialist near Atlanta, Georgia this coming week. Then he will decide if they need operations or if they need medicine. The medicine is $250 per ferret for a years supply. It doesn't have a very good success rate. The sad thing is that Europeans dont' neuter their ferrets so young, and adrenal disease is virtually unheard of there. But here, some Senator from New York got a federal law passed that mandates early neutering .His rationale was that he feared some ferrets might escape and interbreed with black faced ferrets, the only wild breed in the U.S. That's BS since domestic ferrets can't survive in the wild, but he got his name on a law and that was the main motivation anyway.

 They were working on my computer when I went by the store today. No luck, and the guy said they needed to do a full system restore.

 Well, I could have done that by myself for free. But I think the young man has been doing what he could, so I told him to go ahead. I have also called my son and asked him to look for a good computer for me up where he lives because I am never, ever going to get into a position again where I have no backup system. It's supremely ironic, because I have backups to backups for almost every essential system on this mountain, but because I don't relate the computer to my survivalist planning, I didn't worry about it. Thank God I had the modicrum of good sense necessary to at least back up the important files daily. I'd be really shipwrecked at tax time, among other things, without that. All of my logistics records are Excel spreadsheets, as well.

Friday, December 27, 2013

No computer yet.

I went to town today. Yesterday I got all my prescriptions filled. When I got home, one bottle had pills in it that didn't look at all like the old ones. I took it back and they checked, and it was right. I didn't want to be taking female harmones or something because somebody made a mistake at the pharmacy. I am trying to put some spaces in here but the Kindle doesn't seem to like them. I wind up with one big long paragraph. Headed to the vets tomorrow, we have a nine o'clock appointment. Ragnar and Rowena are confined to the pantry so I will be able to find them in the morning when it is time to go. Bought a big bundle of shakes and spent most of the afternoon replacing bad ones on the roof. Why, oh why, did I not put a metal roof on this place? I think back in 1986 metal roofs were not much in vogue. Shakes looked rustic and fit the cabin. Now they are an unmitigated pain in the neck. I am losing ground on keeping this place up. With the storms and the rain , wind and cold things are breaking or going off line faster than I can fix them. This is the worst winter I can remember since the late 80's up here and it isn't even really started yet. Stopped by the computer store, they are working on my computer and said they might have it ready tomorrow. I sure miss it. I can just barely scrimp by with most things I need to do on line with the Kindle, but it is not anything like having my computer back.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Still operating on the Kindle.

My computer is in the shop. If I didn't have this Kindle, I'd be off line. I once had two high powered top of the line desktops, which I got from my old company when I retired.

 However, my son commandeered them and hauled them off to his apartment, where they are doing duty in his computer room. I don't know what exactly they are doing but they are dedicated to something or other.

 The ferrets go to the doctor on Saturday morning. I am hoping she can give them some medicine and they don't have to have operations. The survival rate for adrenal disease is not good, but maybe that is not what they have. One hard thing about having little animals with a six year average lifespan is you have to watch them go through their whole life cycle. They go from young and strong to old and infirm, and it's hard not to think about how that applies to humans as well.

 It is still cold here. Honestly, I don't remember having so much cold, for so long, in December since the late 1980' s up here. Now they are saying another rain storm is coming Saturday and God knows the last thing the mountains need right now is more wind and rain. I saw another edition of American Frontiersman today. I didn't buy the premier edition because it was mostly primitive living oriented. This one had a lot of stories with the word "survival" in them, but it still looked like it was more for people trying to go back to the days of the Mountain Men, so I passed.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Tomorrow will be a busy day.

My laptop went down again and this time I can't get it to work. So, tomorrow I will take it to the computer repair shop in town, assuming they are open. I'm going to buy a new computer at Walmart, but I would like to have this old one fixed so I don't have to try to round up all those drivers if I can avoid it. Besides, with only one computer in the house, when it fails I am left to rely on the Kindle HD, which is ok for reading and surfing the web but not very useful for anything serious. Never got above freezing here today and it's really cold outside now. By early morning I don't care to think what it will be like outside. All the animals are provided for with warm places to sleep, so I'm not too worried about the cold other than it's very inconvenient. Everything takes longer to do when the weather is so frigid. Ragner and Rowena are going to have to go to the vet . I hope I can get them in tomorrow, because I don't have an appointment. If I have to I will just go sit there until they see my ferrets. Neither of them are doing well, and I'm not sure what the problem is but it is beginning to look like adrenal disease, which is to ferrets what distemper is to dogs. It can only be cured by surgery or by implants, and the latter does not always work. Not much else to tell.

Well, here in the Eastern Time Zone it's Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Prognosis on ammunition availability from the Civilian Marksmanship Program.

As I'm sure most of you know , the Civilian Marksmanship Program allows qualified American citizens to purchase specific military arms and ammo from U.S. military stocks.  These weapons consist of arms with historic value, or just odd bits and pieces returned from overseas by countries who acquired them through lend lease.  The most common rifle available now is the M1 Garand, of which they have huge numbers. In the past, you could also get M1 Carbines, M1917 Enfields,  M1903 Springfields, and other collectibles from them. Sometimes you still can. Three years ago a huge shipment of M1 Carbines came in and were bought up in a flash.

Here's the CMP description of their operations from their web page CMP Sales.

The Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP) is a U.S. government-chartered program that promotes firearms safety training and rifle practice for all qualified U.S. citizens with special emphasis on youth. Any U.S. citizen who is legally not prohibited from owning a firearm may purchase a military surplus rifle from the CMP, provided they are a member of a CMP affiliated club. The CMP operates through a network of affiliated shooting clubs and state associations that covers every state in the U.S. The clubs and associations offer firearms safety training and marksmanship courses as well as the opportunity for continued practice and competition. 


 Here is a copy of a letter from CMP in which they give their analysis of the ammunition situation in the United States for the immediate future.

Courtesy of Doug Rink, from today's CMP Sales Update:
AMMUNITION UPDATE. The CMP has been notified by ammunition manufacturers and distributors to expect price increases and significant delivery delays for all calibers of ammunition, especially for .22 rimfire. The price increases and delays apply to orders we have already placed with the manufacturers. Prior to 2013 CMP received deliveries of truckloads of ammo within a few weeks of placing orders. We are now being advised, as in the case of Aguila .22, that it may take several years to receive all of the 35,000,000 rounds of Aguila ammo we have on order.
As a result of this situation, CMP has placed orders with several different manufacturers for large amounts of ammunition in various calibers. We expect to receive only a few pallets at a time because manufacturers and distributors are rationing the ammo to their customers. As we receive ammo, we will contact customers with oldest orders already in place with the option to purchase whatever we receive at the new prices, cancel the order, or remain on the list for the manufacturer they originally requested. All price increases to CMP will be passed on to the customer. CMP will not be profiting from the increase in prices.
We will continue to accept orders for ammunition, with the understanding that the wait time for customers between placing an order and receiving the ammunition may be anywhere from a few weeks to a few years. Most other retailers are in the same situation as the CMP. We suggest that customers leave their CMP orders in place and not cancel until they are able to purchase ammo elsewhere. CMP customers will be contacted as to pricing and manufacturer before any orders are filled. We do not expect to have any additional information until after the annual SHOT Show in mid-January, when we will meet with all of the ammo manufacturers.

 *note: This letter originally appeared on the Sipsey Street Irregulars blog, and was referenced and linked on J.W. Rawles' Survival Blog.

The Turkish Ammo at Walmart.

I've been reading some gun forums and this new Turkish ammo is causing quite a furor.  As with anything new, there are a lot of rumors floating around that are unfounded.

The ammo is produced by a munitions company owned by the Turkish government.  This plant makes small arms ammo, but also mortar rounds, cannon rounds, and a number of other related products. They are the suppliers of small arms ammo for the Turkish Armed Forces. Doing a little research on the company, they appear to be highly professional and have significant international sales.  I  worked in Turkey on frequent TAD trips from 1982-1985, from Izmir to Eskişehir to Diyarbakır and points in between.  I can  say without reservation that shoddy equipment of any kind produced in Turkey for  the Turkish military would have immediate and unpleasant ramifications for the responsible individuals. Failure to meet quality control goals or produce spec equipment is punished severely.

The U.S. distributor has a web page :  ZQI Ammo

ZQI currently offers 9mm luger,  .380 ACP, .45 ACP, 5.56,  7.62X51 in the U.S.  I read on the forums that other chamberings are available, but I can't confirm that.  I did look at the Turkish web page but it is primarily concerned with items other than small arms ammo. MKEK web page

Here are some pictures of the ammunition.

I have not seen anyone writing about actually having fired any.  Many people on different forums bought some, and I will be checking back to see what their experience of it was.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

I hope everyone has a good Christmas, and that the coming year is a good one for you and your families.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Mikhail T. Kalashnikov 1919 - 2013

Nov 10, 1919

Dec 23, 2013

MOSCOW -- Mikhail Kalashnikov, whose work as a weapons designer for the Soviet Union is immortalized in the name of the world's most popular firearm, died Monday at the age of 94.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Sunday. Gemini is stalled out over the mountains.

The storm here is really blowing.  The weather radio says it has stalled out over us and won't be moving on until tomorrow morning.  At 3 a.m. I took the Jeep down the mountain, clearing the trail and the forest service road of branches that had fallen down out of the trees. Even the tarp had been torn off the truck by the wind, and it was thoroughly strapped down. When I got back my wife decided she would wait one day to leave for to see the kids, which I think was a good call. She can drive in rain on the freeway, but I'm not sure about everyone else out there.

We are holding up ok. I went out and checked the drainage ditches and the  gutters and down spouts, everything is functioning properly.  The barn, shop and apartment are ok and the main house is ok.  I got soaked doing this ,but you want to find problems early on, before they become serious.  So much rain has fallen, about two inches since noon yesterday,  that the ditches upslope become critical.  If they don't take the water out of the meadow and into the forest, the water flowing downslope gets up against the back of the shop and that can be a bad thing.

Yesterday I went to Walmart and saw a strange sight.  The ammo cabinet had been filled with .50 caliber ammo cans.  They were selling different types of ammo for $457.00 per ammo can.   I saw 1200 rounds of 9mm luger in one can,  7.62X51 in another,  .45 ACP in another, and  5.56 in still another. All the same prices but I couldn't tell how many rounds in a can on these later chamberings because they were all just stuck in the glass case in a haphazard fashion. Doing the math in my head on the 9mm this did not seem like a very good price.  I couldn't tell who was manufacturing this ammo, but each can had a red, square sticker on it that said "metal cans made in Turkey."

We are just sitting this weather out today.  Power has stayed on and my wife is watching Christmas shows. I've been listening to radio programs.  Seems like the right thing to do is to fort up, and we don't have any pressing reason to go out.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Watching the new weather program channel on Direct TV.

There is a new weather program channel on Direct TV, right below Weather Channel on the guide. My wife and I have watched Weather Channel since it first came on line, back in the days of the old G band satellites, where you had to have a huge dish. Every time there was lightning it blew up your down block converters and you had to send them back to Uniden for repair, so you kept a shelf of spares.

We remember when Jim Cantore had hair.  Seriously.

But the Weather Channel lately isn't about weather. They have stupid shows like "prospectors" where they expect us to believe that some busty woman works her claim on the mountain in a red bustier. Or "Coast Guard Alaska" things like that.  This new channel just has weather and their coverage is good.

My wife got in Friday and is leaving in the morning for Cincinnati. I spent most of today getting her car checked out, tires aligned and balanced, oil changed, and in cleaning the car up.  I have never seen anyone in my life as bad as she is about letting her car get nasty, full of old coke bottles, tissues, McDonald's bags, that sort of thing. I wouldn't even get in the car until I cleaned it out.

There is a huge storm coming in tonight, and she will be driving in rain all day tomorrow. I asked her to wait one day and go Monday but she is too anxious to get up to the kids to wait.  She's a grown woman and I can't make her do anything, but I think this is unwise.

Just as an aside, the new premier date for Survivor Man, the new series , is now Tuesday, January 7th, 2200 (10 pm) on Science Channel.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Crossing the Desert in the snow.

My brother R is on his way from Boise, Idaho to his place in the Sierras.  Unfortunately for him, it's snowing along the way and up in the mountains to boot.  He and his dogs will make it through, they have a good vehicle.   He sent me some nice pictures of the desert. I lived in New Mexico for four years while I was in the reserves going to college. We chose the mountains to live in when I got out of the service, but I've always wanted to live down one of those long, straight dirt roads going nowhere you see out there.

R makes this  trip between the Sierra's and Boise pretty frequently.  His girl friend lives in Boise and he spends about a third of his time there.  He's been a survivalist  (not a prepper) for about twenty years. Because he has significantly greater financial resources than I do,  he's been able to cover multiple bases while I concentrate primarily on my place in the Smokies and on my kids.  One thing he has done is to establish caches along this route. They contain food, fuel, and other necessities .  He has them marked with GPS coordinates.  While these might be nice to have if he got caught in an ice or snow storm and was stranded along the way, his real purpose was to ensure he could get to Boise, get his lady friend, and get back to the Sierras in the event of a collapse. He leaves nothing to chance.  The guy made a lot of money after he left the Marine Corps through his capability to anticipate trends and take advantage of them. He applies those skills to his survival preparations as well.  While I always think in terms of a fixed base, he plans to get from whatever point he's at, to whichever of his safe locations he thinks will be best depending on the situation. He is far more flexible than I am.

Left to right,  my brother T's son,  brother T,  brother R.

Full moon and a clear sky.

 addendum: Just got a comment on an old post from a fellow named Dane. He says Survivorman has been rescheduled for January 2014. When I hear any more about details I'll post them.

 Just past midnight here in the mountains.  I spent some time out on the front porch this evening.  No need for security lights, the moon is doing that job.  For once, it's not really cold outside so I was able to stay and enjoy the view for awhile.

Tomorrow I have more work to do on the roof.  Went into the town today,  to mail some books to a friend , go to the doctors office, and  pick up a few things at the grocery.  I should have gone to the hardware store, but by the time I finished all that I was running low on energy. I'll go back in tomorrow, the change of pace will be good for me.

You can tell that Christmas is fast approaching because people are not posting much on their blogs. Lots of people are having big family get togethers at their homes, and I suppose there's still a lot of shopping to be done. I think if my wife is not up to the trip to the kids place, she and I will go to Chattanooga this weekend . She loves to see the decorations at all the stores. It's a nice trip over there, through a river valley that leads to a lake. Not much traffic.

Very quiet out there tonight, not a single sound except the creek running.  If you were looking for a peaceful place, you could hardly do better than here unless you were out in the desert somewhere.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Fox News Article: End of the Road for Lead Bullets.



End of the line for the lead bullet? Regulations, bans force switch to 'green' ammo

Can't keep up with all the survival shows.

There are so many survival shows on now that I can't track them all.   Doomsday Preppers is still out there, but I don't watch it anymore.  There's a new show on National Geographic called How to Survive the End of the World,  and it's more like the old documentaries. I've only seen one episode, but I thought it was interesting.

Naked and Afraid is on, but I haven't watched it because it doesn't really seem relevant. I watched a few episodes of the first season though.  Tonight at 10:00 the first episode of Les Strouds new Survival Man show was supposed to be on, but it has disappeared from the Direct TV listing, and I can't find anything on the premier date on line. I don't know what happened there.

There are several reality shows that they are trying to tie into the survival theme, mostly based in Alaska and from my view, not very useful or interesting. I haven't watched any of them.

So tonight I think I'll just listen to the scanners and read a book.

Cut Veterans pensions so illegal immigrants can benefit.

Fox News:
17 Dec 2013

A final effort by Senate Republicans to halt cuts to pensions of military retirees failed late Tuesday, after Democrats blocked an amendment to the controversial budget bill.

The two-year budget agreement, which cleared a key test vote earlier in the day, was expected to get a final vote no later than Wednesday.

Ahead of the final vote, Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., tried unsuccessfully to use a parliamentary tactic to force a vote on the amendment, which he wrote to undo the cuts for military retirees.

A provision in the already House-passed bill would cut retirement benefits for military retirees by $6 billion over 10 years.

Sessions wanted to instead eliminate an estimated $4.2 billion in annual spending by reining in an IRS credit that illegal immigrants have claimed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

You shouldn't make a pot of coffee at six p.m. if you can't sleep nights anyway.

But then again, if you already know you are going to be awake, how can the coffee hurt?

I have been outside feeding all and sundry, and I'm thoroughly frozen.  It's good to be back in the house. I checked the propane gauge, as I do every single day, to track usage. We are burning a lot.  In a normal December, we have a good many days where we don't have to use the propane heater during daylight hours. But lately, it just doesn't get warm during the day and the nights are very cold.  Last night, according to the Weather Channel, our low was supposed to be 31.  In fact, when I went out on the porch at dawn, it was 19 degrees above zero.  Not their fault, though. They get all their numbers from our airfield, and I am very much higher in elevation than the town is.  That changes things dramatically.

I went to town today.  Our town is not very picturesque.  We have the red brick court house in the town square, like every small town in the South. But instead of tourist shops and restaurants, we have pawn shops and thrift stores. Down by the four lane road, there are motels and fast food joints, but no one ever tried to do anything for the old town. Most counties up here have made their old towns into tourist draws. Ours looks like 1936.  I saw a man there with a sign that said "looking for work."  I don't think he will have much luck.  Years ago there were old buildings from the 1890's around the town square, and it had some dignity if nothing else. But the county commissioner cut down all the big old trees there, and the old buildings were torn down and replaced by shabby commercial buildings.  The only really nice thing we have in the old town is our War Memorial. It's a  good one.  All marble, with the names of all the military people who served from the county.  When it comes to the War Between the States, there are close to 100 names of Confederate soldiers, and about six Union soldiers. I expect at least some of the six were "galvanized Yankees". Those were Confederate prisoners who were released from prison and sent West to protect settlers from the Indians while the regular army of the United States was busy attacking the South.  This was not considered being a turncoat because the federal government had already decided not to reassign regular troops to the West until the war was over, so it wasn't like these men were freeing up federal troops for use against the South.

My wife is sick again, so now her trip to visit the kids is in question.  My daughter wants her mom to come, but this is a very busy season for people in the restaurant business and she can't afford to get sick. So the two of them will have to decide if mom's visit is worth the risk. I wouldn't mind having my wife home for awhile, but I know how much she looks forward to visiting the kids.

I spent a good part of the afternoon up in the study. I have a big, plush easy chair there, and my satellite radio is set up next to it.  That's a great piece of gear.  You can listen to any music you like, any time you want, with no advertisements. It's crystal clear.  If you want to you can get news, weather, talk radio or whatever but mostly I just listen to smooth jazz.  The radio will run on AC power or batteries. If I'm using batteries, I use a headset. That lets the batteries have a much longer useful life since they are not powering the large speakers on the radio.

Technically, this is a man portable device but actually, because of the satellite antenna, it's not practical to haul it around. The antenna has to be oriented directly towards the satellite,  and have a clear shot. No trees, mountains, or any other obstruction.

For $16.00 a month you can't beat it.  Mine is a pretty old radio, I think it's probably six year or more. At some point I should get a new one but this one is fine for the time being.

We do have one FM station you can pick up. It's a good one, with lots of local news shows, and conservative talk radio. But that's it.  So the Sirius/XM radio gives me some variety, and I do listen to a lot of radio.

It's been a good day to stay inside and the temperature is dropping out there fast. I have one of those devices where you put the little transmitter outside, and the gauge inside the house gives you the outdoor and indoor humidity and temperature. Living up here is like living on the surface of Mars.  The whole system has to function or you are SOL.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Full Moon

There's a full moon out tonight,  and it's not so cold as it was last night.  There was a hard frost that covered everything overnight , which was in keeping with the season. The woods looked like they were made of crystal.  Tonight is supposed to be warmer but it's still very clear. There was a star out at twiight that I thought was an airplane for awhile, it was so bright. Must have been Venus although I am no astronomer.

My wife will be home Friday and leaves Saturday to go spend the holidays with the Kids. I wish I could go, but with the property and the animals to take care of,  I can't. Maybe, if it were summer, I could go for a day or two but in winter it just isn't possible. They are moving to a new apartment , something a little closer to my son's job, and my wife will help them with all of that.

I cleaned a good many rifles today. They seemed in good condition, no sign of rust, but I gave them all a wipe down with Rem Oil ,  and ran a patch through the bores.  It never hurts. I don't seem to have the desire to get out and shoot as much as I once did,  maybe I need to start doing more plinking with .22's and less of the full power battle rifle shooting. I was looking at some of the older guns today, and it's strange to realize that every single human being who was alive when that gun left the factory is dead now.  Yet here I'm holding this rifle and it's as good as the day it was made.  People don't do that kind of work anymore. Everything is just designed to have a finite life and be replaced.

I am reading a book about a family from Savannah, Georgia during the Civil War.  I particularly searched it out because it deals with the same Regiment my Great, Great Grandfather was in. The book consists of 357 letters between a mother and her three sons written before and during the war.  Here's an interesting passage:

The day after LIncoln's election:

A public meeting was held at the Masonic Lodge, at the corner of Bull and Broughton, drawing a large crowd. Captain Bartow  spoke for all Savannahians when he said "If any man is to peril life, fortune and honor in defense of our rights, I claim to be one of those men.....I do not wish to destroy the government. I am a Union man in every fiber of my heart.  But I will imperil all- ALL- before I will abandon our rights or submit to be governed by the unprincipled majority........."

..... The platform for speakers was graced with a large framed picture of a rattlesnake, with the words "Don't Tread On Me"....

The sentiments seem familiar , you could just about give that speech today and a lot of people would understand it.

Sunday, December 15, 2013


The wind is really blowing here today, and it's cold outside.  The weather forecast said sunshine, but it's heavy clouds at the moment. Maybe they are all supposed to blow away.  The prognosis for Christmas Day is snow here, but it's still ten days away and my guess is the weather forecast will change ten times in that period. Predicting the weather in the mountains seems to be fairly difficult because they don't get it right often.

One of my dogs brought home what was left of a deer somebody field dressed.  I tried to take it away from her, because I don't want her to start getting a taste for deer. Couldn't catch her though. I just hope she doesn't swallow a bone splinter.

I bought this book on Kindle for 99 cents.  There are all kinds of survivalist lists on the internet,  and I think this fellow laboriously went through most of them, then prioritized what he found there and made his own list up.  That's fine with me,  I'm always curious to see what other people think the essentials are.

As far as I can tell, the book is only available on Kindle.

The best book I ever found on this was the Mormon version, but you never can tell what you might glean from a new book.  All I need is one new thought from this one and I've more than justified the dollar I spent on it.

If nothing else, it will make an interesting read some evening when I haven't got anything else to do. Those nights come along fairly frequently now that it gets dark so early.

Unless something unforeseen happens today I'm just staying at home.  I don't need anything from town and it's too cold to be out in the wind without a good reason.

A Heads Up for M-1 Garand owners.

Anyone who knows guns recognizes instantly which weapon this ammunition is for.  The en bloc clips tell you this is for the M-1 Garand.

The rifle used to be tremendously popular in the 60's through the late 90's.  Most rifle shooters had one, and it was the weapon of choice for NRA High Power matches.

Now, those guys are getting too old to do much shooting or take the buffeting the M-1 deals out. The newer generation of veterans is all about the AR-15, with a few die hards still shooting the Springfield M-1, which is actually an M-14 for civilians, and has nothing to do with the M-1 Garand. The M-14 is a modernized M-1 but the Garand is still unique.

So, for those out there who own one, I wanted to do this post tonight.   I hear from a friend who should know, that AIM  Surplus is expecting another shipment of the specially made M-1 ammo from Serbia.

The thing to do,  is to log on to AIM, open your account, then look up the ammo under 30-06.  Click the button that says "notify me when on hand" or words to that effect.  Then, the instant you get the email, order it. If you don't check your email pretty frequently you are probably not going to get any, since this ammunition has gotten excellent reviews, is reloadable,  and AIM doesn't get much in at a time. But as far as I can tell this is your best shot. I check my email very often, and I've missed out twice now.

Just as an aside, this .223 is now instock and it is prized for long term storage. 

A full can is three bricks of 300,  $145.00 per brick, for 900 rounds. It's Danish production. That's a good price for ammo packed like this.  So a can is $435 plus shipping,  for 900 rounds.  I guess there's more of a market for 5.56/ .223 , so I tacked it on the M-1 post as an aside. I realize this is a rather haphazard posting, but it's almost 2 a.m. and I figured it was better to get the word out, than to wait til morning when I might write a better post.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

The new Survivalist magazine is out.

This issue is all about cold weather topics, which is reasonable enough . There's an article on firewood and which types of wood are the best for heating your house.  Most of us have to just use what's growing around our place but it was still interesting. If you have a Kindle you can get this magazine for next to nothing. I have been switching most of my magazines to Kindle from paper subscriptions, but this one I still get on paper because it's very high quality and will last a long time.

I had to make a journey up further into the mountains because I ran out of ferret supplies and needed some ferret medicine.  My wife was going to pick them up at a different pet store on her way home Friday, but since she's sick she didn't come.  After I went to the pet store,  I went to the El Cheapo grocery store there, where they just put open boxes out, and the goods are different every time. I found this corned beef on sale for $2.25 a tin so I bought a case. When I was in college, corn beef in a can was twenty five cents a can. I know because when it got towards the end of the month my cronies and I often survived by eating corned beef on French bread until we got paid. It was cheap, you weren't hungry, and it tasted good.

 I also found Ranch Style Beans with peppers.  I've never seen that particular flavor before though the Ranch Style brand is popular in the South. They were selling those 3 cans for a dollar, so I bought two cases. I've already tried them and they are excellent. I probably should go back up there this next week and buy another few cases for the long term storage.

The only other thing I found that was a good deal was Italica whole green olives. A 7 ounce jar was $1.00.
I didn't buy a case of them, because my wife likes green olives, but not all of them.  I bought two jars, and if she likes them I'll go back up and get more.  That's risky, because by next weekend there may not be any left (though they had a wall full at the store), but I'd hate to buy 48 jars and have her say they are not good.

The other fun thing I did today was replace the kitchen hot water faucet.  It was dripping, and I don't want to lose hot water.  It wasn't hard, I just got another faucet at the hardware store and replaced the old one. Some things you can wait on , but repairs that cost you money if you put them off, those have to be dealt with riki tik.

So, it's been a productive day.  I am going to read any new posts on the blog list, then see if there are any good movies on tonight.  It's been a busy day but a good one.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The Labors of Hercules.

I am flat on my back pecking this out with a stylus on my Kindle. Today the weather was good and I did not waste the opportunity to get things done. I cleaned all the leaves off the roofs of both porches. On the back porch this is not so bad. On the front porch if I fall off I will have lots of time to think about it before the shattering crash at the bottom. I repaired some loose shakes and put waterproofing on the decks. Then I cleaned out all the gutters and used the leaf blower to clean all around the house. Hauling my two huge ladders around was not fun. I miss having my son to help me. My wife and daughter would bring me out something to drink but of course neither of them was around today. I'm beat tonight. The ferrets are taking up most of the bed but I have one side to myself. Ragnar has been sick for a couple of days and if he isn't better tomorrow it's time to go to the vet. Rain this weekend so with all the essential work done I can rest. We were going to see the hobbit Saturday as a belated anniversary treat to ourselves but my wife has the flu and won't be home this week. I offered to go get her but she didn't feel well enough to make the trip. Maybe next week.

America. The best justice money can buy.

This kid is 16.  He has a long history of getting away with things that a normal family's boy would not have. He and his cronies stole some beer from Walmart,  then he went roaring down the road with a blood alcohol level that was three times what the law allows. If it allowed anything for 16 year olds.

There was a young woman who had a flat tire. A middle aged woman and her twenty something daughter stopped to help. So did a minister. The "affluenza" victim hit them and killed them all.  But it's ok, he's going to a country club for counseling.

There is a much better news story on CNN about it. CBS was tip toeing around the whole thing.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

When this happens on a large scale, hang on to your hat.

I don't actually have anything against people using food stamps when they are down on their luck. I think today it would be a mistake to be too high and mighty about that, because anyone can end up in the street with just a little bit of bad luck. One fellow I know, who has a job and a home, recently commented that his worst fear these days is to wind up homeless and starving. I know there are people who use food stamps and don't try to work. I also know that there are a lot of people who do try to work, but still need them. I think a lot more people are going to be in that boat now that jobs are going from full time to part time on a grand scale. But what happens when millions of people who get food stamps, suddenly don't? Regardless of the right or wrong of it, or the individuals motivation, I don't think everyone will sit home and quietly starve.

These people don't sound like followers of Gandhi to me.

Retransmission of a post on another blog. Lisa rescues a sick horse.

Lisa from Two Bears Farm has rescued a small mare that had serious health conditions.  This caught my eye because my daughter rescued a horse that was starving to death ( she really needed a $200.00 a month stable bill, but I understand why she did it.) so seeing someone else willing to do that surprised me.

If you would like to read about it, here's the link.  There are some good people left. It's too easy to start thinking that most people are a waste of air. That's not really true.

Horse Rescue

Here is the government web page for your credit reports.

Annual Credit Report


You can get your annual credit report , free of charge, once a year.  The three major credit bureaus are all on this page.  The U.S. government required them to set it up when the law was passed allowing people to see their reports free .  This is not one of those sites that says free credit report and isn't.

As you might expect, it is not really easy to navigate around.  You will have to know a lot of things about your finances that you might not remember, before you can log on.  Once you have answered all these arcane questions and  are logged on, only Equifax gives you the chance to download the report as a pdf.  The other two you have to know a little bit about files to save, but not much, since I was able to do it. I just saved the files as Microsoft Word files.

You won't be printing these unless you don't mind a massive expenditure of ink, because they are long and they are colorful.  I just save them and read them on the computer.

There are two main reasons to check your credit report:

1. If somebody has signed up for some kind of credit in your name, you will see the credit information on something you know nothing about. For instance, some years ago a person bought a lot of furniture in Delaware and then skipped town. Unfortunately for me, they used my name and credit information to do it. Once you know that  has happened, you can begin the long , involved, and frustrating procedure to get it fixed and off your record.

2. Mistakes. The credit agencies apparently do not hire the brightest lightbulbs in the pack, so they make mistakes.  My daughter lost my credit card in a parking lot in Canada. I called, cancelled it, and they sent me a new one. Then the credit agency entered it as a $20,000 charge off.  Losing a card and not paying a $20,000 limit card are two different things. Some clerk made a mistake, and I would never have known if I hadn't checked the report and seen that.  

So it's worth the time and frustration it takes to get your reports once a year.     

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Annual Assessment

Every December, I take a look back at the past year and try to do an honest estimate of our family situation in terms of self sufficiency. I run some reports, look at spreadsheets, and go over a journal I keep that relates to all the different facets of this particular mind set in practical terms.

Some years, I think we have made significant steps forward, and others, it's clear we have lost ground. Usually, the latter happens due to circumstances beyond our control. Unexpected events occur that take precedent over your plan for the year and that causes missed goals.  Life has a way of changing your priorities.

This year, we've done fairly well.  Despite having given away a significant amount of food to our guests in October, and transferring still more up to the kids in the form of long term storage items, we have more in our supply rooms, and of better quality, than we started the year with. I am particularly pleased with the fact that we utilized a lot of the canned goods and replaced them with new supplies. We added large quantities of dried fruit, spices, butter and cheese to the stored supplies and now I feel like we have close to what we really need.

The situation on arms and ammunition is very good.   I was not much affected by the great panic that ensued when Obama went back on his word not to try to take people's guns away. Although I've bought some ammunition during the shortage, I already had plenty and the means to make more, so that is not a problem for me.

All of the vehicles are in good condition, though my daughters Commander needs some cosmetic work. Her proclivity for running into things in parking lots makes that a normal state of affairs.

The house and outbuildings are in good shape. Log buildings always require maintenance but there are no major jobs pending and everything is in good condition.

We have paid off a significant amount of debt this year.  Largely this was related to my daughters medical expenses. Even though we had fair insurance, her medical costs were high and will continue to be so. Even more now that Obama has caused us to lose our HMO and we have been dumped into a Health Expense Reimbursement Account that is worse than useless. I did not worry about debt to any great extent in years past, because I figured if things got really bad nobody was going to be coming around asking about payments. But I've learned that it's the grey times, in between all's well and total calamity, where you need to be cautious about debt. So we've launched a program to get out of debt as much as possible , as quickly as possible.

The damage from the wood burning stove chimney fire has been repaired and the stove is back in order.

On the debit side, I have not replaced the electric fence that was destroyed in a big storm last Spring. I will have to completely replace it, down to the last insulator and pole.  If I had done so, this big storm last week would have torn it to bits with trees coming down and limbs falling out of trees. I am not sure it is cost effect or practical to rebuild the fence, though it is nice to be able to look out from the porch and see the red light on the energizer which tells me nothing has broken through the fence. I don't think it ever kept anything out, but it did let me know, before I walked out in the dark to the barn or shop, if something was inside that perimeter.

I have not replaced the security camera system.  The one we had worked well for many years, but when it failed, the cost of replacing it was , by my standards, exorbitant. Some friends sent me specs on nice systems, but they obviously had more in their operating budget for security than I did.  I'll have to address this though, because the camera system was a great boon on dark nights when the motion detectors started going off.

I know more people via the internet than I did a year ago, and that's a positive thing. Not only can I learn a lot from others with similar interests, but I get a better feel for conditions around the country, and even in foreign countries. It's a much more reliable way of keeping a finger on the pulse of things than listening to the bleating of the talking heads on television.

All in all, I 'd be inclined to put this down as a good year.  I feel like we are going into 2014 with a good handle on all these issues, and if nothing dreadful and unexpected happens, I think next year will be even better.

I can finally see the night sky.

This is the first clear night we've had in a long time.  There's a moon out, and it's good to see stars again. It's still cold and windy, but at least the rain isn't pouring down.

The UPS guy called me and told me he left a package at the gate. I walked down to get it, and it was Omaha Steaks , which is nice. Unfortunately, the FEDEX guy had left a can of ammo for me down there too, and I had to carry both of the boxes up. The Styrofoam container for the steaks was big and bulky, while the ammo was heavy.  I barely made it back up to the house.  I didn't drive down because I thought I needed the exercise and it wasn't raining. I certainly got what I asked for.

My computer "blew up" and shut itself down today.  I went through the whole drill of starting in safe mode, then restoring the system files from a restore point, and it seems to be working ok now. I guess I am going to have to buy a new computer. They are cheap these days and buying a new one isn't the issue. It's trying to get all the correct drivers and niche programs I use on a new computer. I dread it.

A friend sent me a book, which came in the mail yesterday.  I finished it a few minutes ago. The book rates a posting in it's own right, but tonight I'm not up to doing it justice.  If the computer will start and stay on, I'll try tomorrow.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


When people make comments on older posts, sometimes they get missed. Even I miss them and I try to be really careful about replying to comments.

When a comment can stand on it's own as a posting, I will retransmit it so people don't miss it. This is one of those. It's from Sol.

The comment relates to the discussion of the book Red Victory     under the post title 

 “The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.”  ― Winston Churchill

Sol's Comment:

On a personal note, my great grand parents dug all of their valuables into the garden wrapped in news paper and sack cloth. I think this is where I get all of my 'barter' skills from. And also don't forget they never ever forgot when the helped another. you really did owe your life to someone who gave you food. You had to reciprocate or the village ousted you. The children used to climb the trees in the copsed areas. and tie themselves on with any food they had so that the 'officials could not take it'.

I will say one thing that is a very stark realisation, being that we are in the EU, people were very very worried about all the Poles coming. They are more worried now about the Bulgarians and Romanians but that is another comment for another time. But the Poles, just like the people who came from the West Indies in the 60's. They have come from somewhere worse than here.

Communism and the teachings in the school (one that I know if being a book that has to be learnt), even now is Marx and hegeil (cant spell that). No one can deny that the Poles really do work. they work bloody hard. They do all the jobs Brits don't want to as they think they are above it. They band together. And they do what my nan used to call money bouncing in the community. They make the money and it passes between 4 and 15 times before it is spent in a place like Walmart or Tescos. That is how they become richer. Yes they send the money back to Poland and they live 6 or 7 people to one small house. I do not begrudge them the jobs. They work hard. and I think it is in them from an early age.

the change to communism must have been so harsh and completely beyond anything I can comprehend. Like your picture says, we have to learn from the past to make the future better. We just have to pick the best bits of everything that has happened before and some how force it through.

I can say at work I used to barter at least 3 times a week. kitchen scraps for eggs in winter, my surplus crops in summer for something I haven't been able to grow or even with someone who is the most excellent bread maker.

The prices of food are already a problem here. That is why so many Brits are returning to growing food and keeping chickens. We can see it coming. We are digging in and trying the best we can. We just have to help each other the best we can.

Transition towns are the way forward.

we know the end of life as we know it is coming to an end.

On a higher note, you could build something like a high fruit cage, digging the fence into the soil to stop pigs and foxes digging under. and then like the person above mentioned. Make raised beds, use the Lasagne treatment as mentioned with the card board. We cant keep up with eating it all in the summer and we have red clay like you.

Good luck. (sorry about the massive comment)

Feels like winter out there now.

I woke up this morning to a familiar sound.  When the wind blows steadily through the trees here, it makes a noise like a jet engine off in the distance.  Sometime during the night, the rain turned into sleet and the wind picked up.

 So long as you stay inside on a day like this, it's not bad.  I can keep the house warm and keep the humidity level at a decent point.

Going outside isn't much fun though. Even the dogs are all forted up in their straw house. It isn't the ambient temperature that makes things so dicey, it's that roaring wind.

After so many days of rain, it's almost inevitable that more trees will fall. As long as it happens out away from the house I don't mind that so much.

I don't think I've been into town since Saturday, but I'm not sure. When the weather is like this, one day tends to blend into the next and you begin to lose track.

Probably I will ride in today and have lunch, then maybe do a little browsing around at Walmart. Just for a change of pace.

Hitler finds out about Obama Care

Monday, December 9, 2013


Heavy fog tonight.  Cold air must have moved in over the warm, moist air we've been having. It's thick out there. I can't see my shop or barn from the porch even with a strong flood light. It would be a bad night to be outside.

I notice the "Naked and Afraid"  survival shows are back on with a two hour special.  I watched a couple of them last season but didn't find the basic premise very plausible.  Nor did I think the people they chose for the show did a very good job of taking care of themselves in the situations they got dropped into. Since the guys generally chose to take out their frustrations on their female partners, I wondered if they were picked more for that kind of personality than for their survival skills.  I was going to watch the season premier but I got interested in a book and missed it. Oh,well.

 Short wave reception is bad tonight.  I gave up on that early on.  My CB is out of commission, since the whip antenna coaxial cable got hit by a falling branch and was torn out of the base of the whip. Maybe I will try to fix it, or maybe I will just try to hook up a regular two foot CB antenna on top of the pole. At least the telephone line going out to the apartment survived, which is something of a miracle considering how much junk came down out of the trees above it these past few days.

My mother sent me a big box of Omaha Steaks which was supposed to arrive today but didn't. I suppose bad weather probably delayed them in transit. I like the steaks and such , but I like the big Styrofoam coolers they come in better. Those are great for storing things in and I have a bunch of them filled with supplies out in the barn. I never throw one away.

I wish I could say I've been productive today, but all I really accomplished was balancing some financial statements. That's a chore I hate and at least it's out of the way.  The rest of the week should be good. Wednesday and Thursday are supposed to be mild and sunny, and I have some outdoor work I can get done if that comes to pass. You can't trust the weather forecast at all out past 24 hours, so we will see what develops.

CDNN's new catalog is out.  You can  download it from their web site, or you can get a paper copy for free. They have a good selection of magazines, and the prices are very reasonable. They also carry optics, and other firearms accessories. I've bought a good many magazines from them over the years and always got good value for my money. I also bought two P-38 slides from them, and that's the only place I ever found that had new ones.

That's about all that can be said for today.  Part of the joy of living up here is not having to hustle and bustle though. It's just a hard habit to break, so that you can enjoy doing nothing.