Saturday, August 31, 2013


In the History Channel docu-drama  After Armageddon,  the results of not having access to antibiotics is illustrated by having one of the protagonists die after he inadvertently cuts himself and gets an infection.  It's not easy to store up antibiotics because most doctors won't give you a prescription for more than just your immediate needs.

However, as people in rural areas already know, the antibiotics sold in pharmacies and those sold in feed stores for animals are exactly the same.  They're made by the same plants, inspected in the same way, marked in the same way.

Here's a source where you can buy animal antibiotics.  Yes, they are all marked "not for human consumption" or words to that effect. In a collapse situation it would still be a good idea to have a stash of antibiotics, and if you can't get them at the Walmart Pharmacy you may need to get them from somewhere else.

Antibiotics from Camping Survival

I first saw this link to the antibiotics at Camping Survival on Jim Rawles' blog a few days ago, to give credit where credit is due.

It goes without saying you have to know what each antibiotic does for people, and what the doses are. Otherwise, you aren't doing yourself much good.  Right now, there's plenty of information on the net about that. Or, you can go into a book store and for about $50.00 you can buy a nurses guide to pharmaceuticals that will detail all of that for you. Some are better than others for antibiotics so be sure you look it over before you buy it.  I actually use mine to make sure all the medicine the doctors prescribe for me has been deconflicted , so you can get a lot of use out of one of the books in many ways.

Kevin Hayden's blog: article on vet drugs for humans

This is a very good article that covers all the basics in much more detail than I could.   I printed a copy of it and put it in my "crash" folder. I only do that for really informative posts.

Am I saying everybody should run out and diagnose themselves. Nope. If you have access to a doctor, that's the way to go. I'm talking about a hypothetical time when you do not have access to doctors or drug stores. If you haven't seen After Armageddon , I'm told you can see it for free on the web.  Check that out and you'll take my point.

Keeping up with the local area.

I've written a good bit about short wave radios, but here are some radios that will keep you aware of what's going on in your neighborhood.

This is a Uniden Madison base unit,  a CB set that operates in AM or SSB configuration. With a good 20 foot whip you can skip the signal all over the country even without an amplifier.  It's actually a good tool for communicating with locals, though.  When I lived on Emerald Island, one of the outer banks islands in North Carolina, I could routinely communicate with people up and down the coast as far as 40 miles away. That's because salt water is an excellent surface to transmit over, and nothing attenuates your signal when there are no hills, trees , etc between you and your distant station.  The shrimp boats all had CB, and sometimes they would call me on mine, which I left on til I went to bed.  Usually they wanted me to call their homes and tell the wife they'd be in late. I was always glad to help. It was interesting to walk out on the wrap around porch and see those lights bobbing around way out there on the dark ocean, and know I'd just been talking to them. There was an octogenarian styled "The Red Rooster" who liked to scan the channels until he found a conversation going on, and then just break in with a flood of invective, cursing all and sundry. He used a 100 watt linear amplifier and I know of at least three times while I was there when the Red Rooster got busted by the FCC and they confiscated his gear. But he'd be back up and running before long.

Due to terrain masking here in the mountains, I can't rely on the kind of range I had on the island, but I can talk to people in six different counties, largely because they are located in direct line of sight from me, through gaps in the mountains. It helps a lot that I am way up on top of one of the higher mountains in our area.

CB is a lost art now, largely displaced by cell phones and "sports radios." All of the people I talk to are older with the exception of one younger man who is using his dad's old equipment.  For the most part, this kind of communication is handy if we have had snow, ice, or big thunderstorms because you can get first hand reports of conditions around you.  It's also nice to visit with people and drink a cup of coffee. Lots of the CB types are up late at night, because that's also when "the skip is in" and you can talk to people all over the country.  At night, the ionosphere cools and becomes denser. Instead of punching through and heading into space, your radio signal bounces back down to earth. You can't really control where it comes down, which limits your ability to pick where the receiving station is.   It's all hit and miss on that , so your odds of talking to the same person again are slim to none.

This is an old radio shack scanner. It will work vhf transmissions and I can listen to the air field frequency as well as an added bonus. I have this one set to our local law enforcement frequency,  the volunteer fire department, the EMS, and the hospital.

This is an ancient crystal set.  Today scanners are digital and tunable. But when this set was produced, you had to buy crystals for the frequencies you wanted, and plug them into the radio.  Despite it's age, this is a stirling piece of equipment, and works beautifully.  It's set for local law enforcement in this and the surrounding counties. I usually leave it on my county though. The far right button is set to the forest service , because if I smell smoke I can go in and turn it on, and they will be chattering about where the fire is, what is going on, and who is fighting it. Handy to know when the smoke starts wafting in through the woods.

Friday, August 30, 2013

A trip to the vet and that's it.

Rowena and I went to town to have her chip implanted.  It wasn't nearly as bad as I thought, I was expecting them to make an incision but they just use a little probe looking thing. Of course, if I had been the ferret I might have felt less sanguine about the whole thing. However, she should start getting better right away now.

Came on home. I hate to only accomplish one thing when I go to town, seems like a waste of time and fuel. But I couldn't leave her in the car, it was way too hot. So we just scooted on back.

I have been paying bills this afternoon.  I have a very convoluted, involved process for paying bills which involves Quicken,  on line banking, and Excel.  Unfortunately for me, I have to have a back up system to check myself and this is the one I evolved over the last twenty years. It is virtually impossible for me to make a mistake or forget something as long as I follow my own procedures.  There was a time when I did all this in my head, but these days I am more comfortable with my system.  It takes a lot longer, but it works.

There are things that need doing outside, but in this heat they are just going to have to wait.  I am keeping the place up pretty well by doing the things that need doing a bit at a time, trying to get a little done every day. Over the long run, it will all be accomplished. 

The Sergeant was telling me how, in the late 1980's, the Australian Army located a large number of Lithgow produced MK. III No.I rifles that had not been issued at the close of World War II.  Many of them were exported to the U.S. in "unissued condition."

This took me back to the past, because I remember the guns coming into the states.  There was a great hue and cry because the old time collectors said it was impossible.  They felt that such collectible guns could not possibly still exist and that this was some kind of scam.  I bought six of them, because they were absolutely perfect. I figured it didn't matter to me what the deal was, that I still had the mint condition rifles and if it turned out they had been refurbished, so what?   When it transpired that they were the real deal, though, I didn't fire them. I still have them in one of the safes, complete with the original Lithgow paper tags wired to the trigger guards. I have other Enfield No. I Mk.III rifles I can shoot when I want to.

I reload my own .303 British, but I also have many cases of Pakistani produced .303 British.  Back in the early 1990's to mid 1990's, a wholesaler up North used to get it .  The guy I worked for had a retailers license so we could buy wholesale from this outfit.  A full 840 round wood case, with the ammo in bandoleers inside spam cans, only ran a little over $100 plus S&H, which wasn't so bad in those days.


Thursday, August 29, 2013


I'm glad it's finally night.  However the day went, it's over now.  I've been reading a few blogs but many of those I like have not been updated recently. I sometimes forget people are working and don't have a lot of time. A few folks had posted though, and I enjoyed reading those.

Tomorrow I have some business at the court house. Nothing major, I just need to take some paper work by to get a handicapped parking pass for my wife. She has arthritis , which is another reason I think she is anxious to leave the winters in the mountains for balmy Florida.  Lately I've had some experiences that make me doubt I am really condo dweller material. But we have time to work out a mutually acceptable plan for that far away in the future.

I'm listening to some Jeff Oster smooth jazz tonight.  That guy can really compose and play some music. Helps me settle down.  I don't usually have a night cap but I am tonight, a nice Southern Comfort and Coke over ice.  This was that kind of day.

Tomorrow will be better, I'm sure.

Did you ever have one of those days where if just one more little thing goes wrong...... (warning:language)


I was already mad about this "no more surplus imports."  So I decided a change would do me good and I went into town. I went to my favorite restaurant. I've been eating there for 15 years , ever since it opened. I went out on the porch, where I always eat. I went to the table in the corner, where I always sit.

A waitress came out I didn't recognize. She was pretty young.  She asked me if I would mind moving inside. I told her I didn't want to eat with other people, and that's why I sat out there.  She said some "important gentlemen" were coming to lunch and she had to get the whole porch ready for their party.   Clearly I was not considered important.  I asked her who it was and she said it was Mr.XXXX and the other gentlemen from the bank.  I told her I had known him longer than she had been alive, that he was not important in my book and he sure as hell was no gentleman.

Then an older waitress came out. She knows me.  She knows I don't eat in the main part of the restaurant because I don't like being around crowds. She said she was sorry but they had to get the porch ready for Mr. XXX.  So I told her fine, I'd go somewhere else to eat.  I don't plan on ever going back, either.

Then I went to the Chinese place. Nobody up here likes Chinese food much, so I knew it would be quiet. When I got in there it was like walking into a blast furnace.  I told "Wi" , the lady who runs it, that she needed to turn on the air.  She said " no aira, dey steela pipes ona ruf."  Turns out, somebody climbed up on top of the building last night, cut all the copper pipe they could reach out of the air conditioning installation, and stole it.  I know the guy who owns that building, and he isn't going to spend one red cent until the insurance pays up, and God knows when that will be. I felt sorry for Wi and her husband.  The whole place was empty except for two obese ladies and a little kid about 4 who was shrieking and throwing food. Wi put my silverware down at the table next to them, but I told her no thanks, and went to the back of the restaurant. Not far enough away not to have to listen to the kid showing out, but as far as I could get.

Then I went to Walmart. They had .45 ACP , Winchester,  fmj for $47.00 a box.  I got the clerk out of the toy section. He is supposed to work in sporting goods but he likes to hang around in the toys. I told him the ammo was mispriced. He said no. I said, "yes, it damn sure is. You need to check."  He said no.

I went to the managers office. He told me it was not mispriced.  I congratulated him on being able to remember the prices of everything in his store off the top of his head.  he looked it up, and it should have been priced at $22.99.   So the guy asked me if I wanted to go back and deal with the clerk there to buy some. I told him no thanks, I'd rather chew glass.

At that point, it seemed to me that I was not going to have a productive day, so I decided to just go home. Today was too hot, too bright, and too humid.  It just wasn't a good day for trying to get much done.

As an aside, if you have never seen the movie "Falling Down" you should see it. I guarantee if you are a man who has worked all your life, you are going to see scenes in there that will make you say " that's exactly what happened to me."

Is there anywhere far enough out there to hide from D.C.?

The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

Ayn Rand

It's all well and good for me to sit out here in the middle of this forest,  and think that whatever happens "out there"  won't effect me.  But that's another manifestation of the Ostrich Defense.  Ignoring what's going on won't prevent the ripple effects from reaching as far as my mountain top.

It's true that in terms of firearms and ammunition, nothing the banditti  in D.C. do is going to effect me. Like someone living in a small Bavarian village while Hitler was in power,  I can sit back and watch the current regime in D.C. do it's significant worst and when I look outside the woods are still there.  I believe, as Heinlein did, that there is no moral imperative to obey bad laws.  He simply ignored or disobeyed laws that had political rather than moral ends, and he was right to do so.

Survivalism and anti-fascist politics have always been closely related.  That's one reason that the average sheeple recoils from the word "survivalist."  A survivalist is by nature inclined to be anti government because government as we know it today exists only to control and to coerce.  Government is people like Cathy Giffords, who decide that they have been enlightened as to the true path, and by God we are all going to walk it, like it or not.  It's people like that demented billionaire, Bloomberg,  who makes it his life's mission to control what the mob eats and drinks because he knows what's best and they don't.  Nobody is going to make decisions for me on that level, whether the "government" ostensibly gives them the "right" to do so or not. Illegitimate governments derive their power to govern from the barrel of a gun, as Mao so aptly phrased it.  Legitimate governments derive their power to govern from the consent of the governed.  If you had to choose which we have today, what would your choice be?

It's difficult to write a survivalist oriented blog without discussing politics, because the survivalist prizes individual freedom of will, and the government constantly strives to suppress that and force everyone into the square holes on the peg board that will allow the government to grow. There's a natural conflict between people who value choice and a system that does it's utmost to suppress freedom of choice. I've tried to avoid politics but sometimes the overlap is so great I just can't do it.

Would you put your kid on a school bus ?

These three thugs go "on trial" today.  Because they are jueveniles, they will probably get suspended sentences and stay not one day in jail.  The bus driver sat on his rear and did nothing while the three black kids beat the white kid to a pulp.  You can draw your own conclusions about  the implications of this for American society.

Obama as the Sun King.

I defy anyone to substantiate the premise that old military weapons like those I collect represent a threat on "the street."  This is just another example of Obama trying to run the country as a private fiefdom. He thinks he can rule by Executive Order but he's going to find out differently.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Free book you can download from Gutenburg Press or Kindle (and probably other places)

I just downloaded this book on my Kindle.  I don't know a lot about it, other than it was supposed to have been written during World War II.  The housewife who wrote it was trying to work around the different shortages caused by rationing.

When I get a chance I'll read through it and see if it is worth having.  

Rowena and I are leaving for her pre-op visit shortly.

We have to leave for town shortly.  I have her carrier all fixed up with an old towel she likes. Ferrets are good travelers but nobody likes to go to the doctor.  She is supposed to go in Friday for her operation if all goes well today.  All this would be unnecessary if some dithering moron of a politician had not felt compelled to get their name on a piece of legislation by passing stupid laws that harm the animals.  Spaying or neutering is a good idea but not when it has to be done so young that the ferrets get adrenal disease.

I haven't watched the news today so I don't know if Barak has ordered strikes on Syria yet to save face for himself.  Hope not.  It's a pointless evolution.  The talking heads are going on and on about "destroying the Syrian Air Force" and how that will solve the chemical weapons business. I guess they have never heard of artillery delivered chemical munitions.   People tend to forget that Syria is an Iranian proxy, and that Iran controls Hezbollah, who are the real crazies and bad boys of the Shiite world.   Over and over again last night, the military analysts,  retired types mostly, said "this is a really bad idea."  But the blood thirsty news guys like Charles Kuralt are all for it.

We have a long history of intervention and not all of it ends happily.  My own particular experiences of  "intervention politics" , which I gained in 1982-1983 in Beirut, do not make me a proponent.  But even back as far as 1918-1920, when we sent American troops into Russia to fight the Bolsheviks, it was a lousy idea.

I dug out one of my books on that little fiasco because I wanted a quote from it.  Richard Goldhurst wrote The Midnight War, The American Intervention in Russia, 1918-1920.  The last chapter has this to say:

" If nothing else, the Russian intervention is one of the classic examples of where war starts: in war rooms all over the world; warm, well appointed rooms where men can play politics and dwell on the certainty of result rather than the magnitude of catastrophe."

No lie. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Do you like horses?

If you do, take a look at this post on Outback Tania's blog.   Her daughter has a horse ranch, and it's pretty impressive.

Australian Horse Ranch

I always enjoy this blog because Tania and her family travel a good bit and she posts lots of pictures from Australia.  She's a good writer and how could someone who lives on the edge of the Australian Outback not be interesting?


I spent a lot of last night listening to the shortwave.   Here are some of the more interesting broadcasts I found.  I was using the Tecsun PL660 and the telescoping antenna, listening to AM wide band.

At 2300 Eastern, on 6165 khz  I got Radio Havanna.  They come in loud and clear here on several different frequencies year round.  This was a 4X signal.

At 2330 Eastern, on 6175 khz,  I listened to Radio Viet Nam.  I don't pick them up often on a hand held set using that kind of antenna, the propagation must have been just right.  This was a 5X signal but I didn't listen long, there was something creepy about the announcer. He sounded like a parody of a WW2 movie . You know, where the Japanese are out in the jungle at night yelling " You DIE TONIGHT!"

At 0345 Eastern, on 3184 khz, I listened to some pirate radio station for awhile. The HF spectrum is full of these guys.  As usual,  the announcer was a fundamentalist preacher and he worked in a lot of anti-government invective along with his wandering diatribe against pretty much everything he could think of. I'll bet you anything he was transmitting out of a barn in Kansas, Missouri, or Tennessee.  This was a 3X signal, as most of this kind of stations are.

At 0400 Eastern, on 4840 khz, I listened to the World Wide Christian Network. They had a program on about how potato chips are going to kill everybody because they have some kind of chemical in them. This is a "Prepper" outfit. There are lots of them on the HF spectrum at night, and they often have some good news programs. The advertisements are all for prepper supplies and equipment.  This lady I listened to last night was a little over the top, and some of the callers clearly came through the door from the Twilight Zone, but overall it wasn't that bad to pass the time. It was a 5X signal.

You may be able to infer another odd thing about my character from this post.  I'm an inveterate insomniac, and have been for a very long time.  Doesn't bother me, if I can't sleep at night I sleep during the day. Makes me a great shortwave listener, though.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Quest for Ferret Food

Note the Royal Ferret's gold collar.

I doubt Queen Elizabeth had much trouble feeding her ferrets.  She could just send her flunkies out for whatever the Royal Ferrets dined on.

No such luck here.  I have six ferrets.  Ferrets "imprint" on food when they are kits.  Whatever they start eating,  that's what they want all their lives.

Two of my ferrets eat "Kitten Chow."   Two of them eat regular cat food.   But the two really old ferrets will only eat Marshal's Premium Ferret Chow.  They are ferrets of discriminating palates and will only condescend  to dine upon ferret haute cuisine. The cat food eaten by the hoi polloi will not do.

There are three pet stores within a 50 mile radius.  That's 50 miles straight line distance, which equates to a lot longer journey here in the mountains, over windy and twisting roads that never go anywhere straight.

Through a combination of being busy and just poor planning, I found myself with an empty jar today where there should have been a bounty of Marshal's Premium Ferret Chow.  So I called around, and the two closest places were out.  Set out for the pet store up across the state line, and immediately ran into a detour. The road was closed.  The detour consisted of a big loop through the countryside, and added another 22 miles to the trip, one way.

Once I finally got to the pet shop, I bought their only bag of Ferret Chow,  a tube of ferret vitamin paste, and a bottle of ferret "supplement."  I figure I spent $24.00 on gas, and another $ 30.00 on ferret supplies.  I asked the proprietor to order me four bags of  Marshal's Premium Ferret Chow for my supply room. It comes in a sealed mylar bag and stays fresh a long time.  When I'm making my pre-checks for winter, I always include the animals. With dogs and cats, if you run out of food you can boil up big pots of rice, mix in a can of corned beef hash or gravy, and they will eat.  Chickens, I can put corn in the grain mill, bust it up, and they are taken care of.  But with ferrets, you have to have exactly what they eat. They don't accept substitutes.

It was nice to get out and I enjoyed the trip. Haven't been up that way for a good long while. The weather was beautiful, and the mountains looked like a picture post card.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Old Mother Hubbard, went to the cupboard....

One nice thing about keeping vast quantities of items you actually use,  is that you never have one of those moments where you realize you just used the last bottle, or bag,  or roll, or widget.  Keeping a full store room also enables you to avoid going to the store for long periods of time if you don't feel like going.

The longer you live this way,  the less chance there is of suddenly needing something you have never needed before. You actually develop your own supply system, whether you use spreadsheets, or paper lists, or whatever system works for you.

It is perfectly true that if you wait until people have reason to suspect some unusual event is about to occur, you may wind up empty handed.  Here in the mountains it's bread, milk, and kerosene.  Kerosene heaters are a primary backup for people who use electric heat .  Bread and milk seem to be obligatory though I have no idea why.  If the weather radio says the magic word "ice" then it's every man (or woman) for themselves. News of an impending asteroid strike could hardly generate more panic.

There's a reason for it.  Ice means no power.  Most of our power lines are above ground, and they go pretty quickly when we have an ice storm.  Ice also means no transportation. We have absolutely no way to clear the secondary roads, and for the main road in and out of the county there's only two ancient dump trucks which put salt on the highway. If we have salt. If the drivers can get to the county shed.

If you live up high, or if you live way back in the woods on a "possum trail"  it can literally be two weeks before a bad ice storm finally melts off and lets you get out. I tried to go down the trail in my 4 wheel drive Jeep after one. The Jeep spent the next 9 days catercorner across the road, with the front end wedged up against a tree.

Late in the 1980's, there came a big blizzard that left three to four feet of snow here. That's a lot of snow. A few days after, before the snow melted, we had an ice storm that laid down 2 to 3 inches of ice over it. If the Science Fiction channel ever needs a plot for one of their cheesy disaster movies, they should look into that event.  Nothing could move. Not even the farm tractors that are the last resort here.  Finally, after much trial and travail, the National Guard got some M113 tracked vehicles up here but by then it was too late for some of the older people out in their little single wide trailers down windy twisty roads through the forest. The power went out, and then they ran out of kerosene, or wood, or whatever their heat source was.  That particular episode was one of the things that got me off top dead center and made a believer out of me. I was not then very well equipped, made some basic decision making errors, and we had a really hard time. I had a wife and two small kids, and I told myself we'd never be caught totally unprepared again.  Over the years I've refined my techniques and philosophy but the basic thread remains the same. If something happens, I'm going to sit it out safe and warm,  sitting tight up here where I'm prepared.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nicht Schiessen! Nacht Und Nebel. When the Sicherheitsdienst comes you have to give them something...

You can have my blog list!

They're all right wing extremists, libertarians, or masons!

and some of them are CANADIANS!!!!

Al Jazeera and conversations with the FEMA man.

Al Jazeera news has suddenly appeared on my Direct TV menu.  I certainly didn't subscribe to it.  Direct TV does that ever so often.  Channels you are accustomed to watch like FX suddenly disappear, and in their place you get The Underwater Filipino Basket Weaving Channel. Then a few weeks later FX comes back and the UFBWC disappears. I hope it's that way with Al Jazeera.

It's a very popular channel with the burgeoning "persons of color" population in America. I can see why. One of the "news" segments I watched was a white feminist ranting about the suppression of black feminists in this totalitarian society.  Another was how the U.S. is responsible for the killing of civilians in Syria because we aren't "doing anything."  The 1982 intervention in Lebanon is a prime example of how "doing something" in these Arab states ends up. You go in with some people throwing flowers and others throwing grenades. Before long, the flowers are gone and everybody hates you. I was not impressed with their sad tale on the news segment, even though it was replete with lots of little kids bodies, scenes being milked for every drop of pathos. Evil Americans, how could you let this happen?  As far as I am concerned, the Arabs can slaughter each other wholesale and bad cess to them all.

 Then they moved on to a segment on Hispanics telling how they feel discriminated against all the time here. One of the prim young ladies, dressed to the nines in expensive clothing, told how she had gone to "The South" and someone had actually asked her why there were so many "Mexicans" there! Shocking! Despicable!  Appropriate sighs and nodding of the heads from her companions, all of whom seem to have stepped out of the Belks catalog. If that's discrimination then I'll have a slice, please.

Turned if off after awhile. The novelty paled on me and I hope it joins the Underwater Filipino Basket Weaving Channel in the dust bin of history.  Probably won't, though , since it gives an ever wider segment of our population validation.

Not long ago I took a tour of a medical facility.  One of those where they drag around a captive audience to explain why their facility is definitely the one you need to patronize, and the only one truly qualified to cure your ills. One of my fellow conscripts was a guy about my age, from somewhere up North. He talked non-stop, as fast as he possibly could. I wondered if he was on some kind of drug at first, but I think it was just his personality.

He told me all about working in the Katrina aftermath operations FEMA was involved in. Mainly he was interested in telling me how nice it was that he had a trailer with air to live in while most of the people they were supposed to be helping were in tents. I asked him if he got a merit badge for Katrina, but he missed the intended irony and just rocked on about how much money he made, and how great the overtime was, and how they milked it for all it was worth.

He didn't like the people of New Orleans. The guy had apparently worked in a lot of different FEMA operations and he said he had never seen such a bunch for just sitting around on their asses waiting for someone to take care of them. He said it was like they were just a bunch of Zombies, no initiative, no capability for thought.  Maybe that's how they were all the time, or maybe they were just beat down to that point by the disaster. I have no idea.

Strangely, this is the second FEMA person I have come into contact with in the last couple of months, and they both said the same thing about the job. You can make a lot of money, the pay is good and the overtime is excellent. Nobody said anything about the wonderful feeling of helping others that I have seen FEMA try to project, but at least they were honest. Probably you get tired of "victims" really quickly when you see too many of them.

Whatever the case, if we have a disaster here I am not relying on FEMA to ride to the rescue. They can go make their overtime helping somebody else.

A perfect day in the mountains.

Temperature here is 72 degrees,  and the humidity is 74 %.   There's a nice breeze blowing.   I spent part of the morning cleaning out the ditches up slope from the buildings. They funnel the water that comes down the side of the mountain off away from the structures and parking pads.  Then I worked on the roof of the main building.  After all this rain, I have moss growing on all my shake roofs , the first time I have ever seen it like this.  There is a moss removal spray for wooden roofs that I get from Home Depot,  and I'll have to get some soon. The moss keeps the roof from drying out completely, which is bad.  It also makes it difficult, if not impossible , to work up there and replace shakes.

That's about all I'm going to accomplish in terms of work today.  My wife and I talked about going into town for supper, but neither of us really wanted to make the trip, so I am cooking steaks on the grill.  No mess, nothing much to clean up.

About evening time,  we may drive over to the little lake and walk.   Not much news to pass on today but that's a good thing. Means everything is going well.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday evening

Here's one of  the national forest boundary markers on my property line.  I  have national forest on three sides of me. That's the primary protection I have against encroachment.   So far the government has been good, though not perfect, in terms of protecting the forest from logging and development.   You can never tell with them, though.  Their idea of good forest management is clear cutting everything like a giant lawn mower came through.  They aren't above "swapping" parcels of beautiful mountain land for no good, worthless land if the right people profit by it.  Average citizens are not the right people.

I get out and walk my property lines when I can.  I don't do it as often as in years past, but you have to do it. Once I found that someone had come up on my land and cut a bunch of my silver maples. I know where that wood went, it went across the state line to be made into furniture. They come in on four wheelers, cut the trees, and drag them down slope to a forest service road. Then they load the wood on a truck and they are gone.

I never go into the woods without my dogs.  There are a lot of animals out there I don't want to walk up on.  Hogs and bears are the number one denizens I don't want to surprise.  We have coyote, red wolves, Bob cats, and despite what the bureacrats say in the capitol we have panthers (or mountain lions) too.  For years the state said the mountain lions had all been killed off .  People who live up here would see them, though. My wife and I saw  one once crossing a freshly harvested cornfield, plain as day.  But the state always said no, we were seeing dogs, etc. This from people who never leave the city.   Then when the forest service starting using trail cameras to check on the wildlife they got pictures of a panther. So much for the hoity toity so holier than thou we know better than you peasants stuffed shirts.

It takes me a lot longer to recover from a hike in the woods than it used to do.  But the weather is nice, my wife is home, and tomorrow we can get some work on the roof done.

Time Magazine - A World Without Bees.

This isn't one of those Onion parody issues.  I was in the grocery store in town and saw this on the rack. I didn't actually buy a copy, but I thought I would post it here so the bee keepers like Pioneer Preppy can find a copy if they want one.

On the Wild Edge

Last night I was looking for something to read, and going through the bookshelves I rediscovered this book by David Petersen.

Petersen is an interesting character.  He went into the Marines five years before I did,  flew helicopters, and then for undisclosed reasons left the service and essentially became a sort of wandering latter day mountain man. He and his wife ended up on a bit of land in Colorado, and this is his story of living there in the mountains.

To paraphrase an old country song, "he was a survivalist when being a survivalist wasn't cool."

I don't think he would call himself that.  He's not worried about a societal collapse although he makes it clear he absolutely expects one in the not too far distant future.  This is more a story about renouncing modern society and values altogether, and trying to recreate a way of life that is essentially gone now.

I think I was attracted to the book because he articulates some of the concerns that most of  us in the self sufficiency community feel, but can't really quantify.  I know that his view of what large numbers of people do to any natural environment parallels my own , and his experience of having the place he settled turned into a Disneyland for Adults is a lot like what has happened up here over the last 15 to 20 years.

He's a hunter, and I'm not.  I don't understand his obsession with hunting, but I suspect that you can't unless you have that hunting mind set.  More difficult to rationalize is his courting of Grizzly Bear encounters. All I can get from what he writes is that he feels like the Grizzly and his proximity adds a fine edge to life. I've known people like that, and most of them don't die natural deaths.  Still, the one thing you can't gainsay is that the man chose a wilderness life and has lived it.  Out of 100 people who want to actually move to the woods and live there, maybe one or two really do it.  He's part of that 1 or 2 %.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Here's the motivator I was thinking of on the last post.

The Sergeant and thoughts on the Mosin Nagant rifle

I have been "talking" with an Australian shooter here lately.  I haven't got a blog address or I'd post it, because he's an interesting individual and I've learned some things from his comments that were fascinating. For instance, everyone knows all the bureaucratic rigamarole you have to go through here to buy a gun. But before the semi-autos were all taken away from people there, he bought himself an SLR direct from Lithgow just by sending a check!  That boggles the mind.  The man had a great collection of weapons but now, things being what they are, he is into black powder. I own two black powder weapons I've never really messed with. I got them at an auction, as part of a 22 gun lot that had some pistols I wanted.  So the Colt Army is up on the wall over the fireplace, and the Hawkins plains rifle is in the case in a safe.  Having read his comments on black powder shooting I'm going to haul them out to the gun club when it's Fall and find someone who can show me how to operate them.

He had some great bolt guns, too.  Reading about those, I remember a comment Herodutus Huxley made when we were talking about the Ishapore Enfield 2 and 2A.  She said if someone wanted a modestly priced rifle the Mosin Nagant was the way to go.

I have been grubbing through various surplus firearms wholesaler catalogs and I would say she is correct. It's always possible to find a good Mauser or something along those lines in a pawn shop or at a gun show if you want to take some time. But the Mosin Nagant Model 1891/30 you can order through a gun shop, or probably just find some at a gun store.  The prices are shocking, though.  Less than a year ago a new condition Mosin Nagant 1891/30 with a sling, ammo pouches, bayonet, and oil bottle was well under $100.00.  Now they are pushing $200.00.  Still, they seem to be the least expensive battle rifle out there.

 There actually are some original Model 1891 rifles extant, but you'll probably never see an example. I have only one, and I had to hunt a long time for it because so many of the 1891 rifles were rebuilt as 91/30's. But the 91/30 is a good, reliable rifle chambered in 7.62X54R.  Surplus ammo is still comparatively cheap, but unless you have a number of cases stashed away the days of 800 rounds for $64.00 are gone. You can still get it though, and that's something.  The ammo is available on stripper clips, which you definitely need. It takes seconds to strip ammo into the magazine off a clip, much longer to laboriously put the rounds in the single stack magazine by hand. The ammo is properly aligned on the clip, but if you try to load by hand you have to load to overlap the rimmed cartridge correctly or you are begging for a jam.

The little Mosin Nagant Model 1938 is handy, but they are highly collectible, which means scarce and expensive. They will also knock the fillings out of your teeth, because although they are much lighter, they fire the same full powered 7.62X54R cartridge. The muzzle flash is impressive, especially at night so if you don't hit an intruder you'll probably scare them to death anyway.

Mosin Nagant stripper clips

Then there's the Model 1944.   This used to be the rifle nobody wanted, because it has a bayonet on it that's not detachable. Makes the gun muzzle heavy and looks really strange.  Then, a few years back, a book came out on surplus bolt action military rifles, and it lauded the M44 as a great rifle for collectors.  Made in many different countries, and cheap.  Suddenly everybody was buying them up and the price sky rocketed. They do make great truck guns or home defense guns though.

You could think of the Model 1944 as a Model 1938 with a bayonet, because that's about what it amounts to.

So,  if  I had to watch my cash but had no firearm to defend myself with, these rifles would be a good place to start looking.