Sunday, March 30, 2014

The Minuteman Project: A neighborhood watch on the Southern Border.

The Minuteman Project became active in early 2005, under the leadership of Jim Gilchrist.  The object was to draw attention to the poor state of immigration control on the border. It was also hoped that the activities sponsored by the group would provide some positive press coverage that conservative politicians could use as cover for enacting more stringent controls along that borer.

Immediately, The Minuteman Project became a primary target of Morris Dee and his so called "Southern Poverty Law Center."  Every effort was made to portray the members of the group in negative connotations, and to intimidate members so they would withdraw from active participation.

When Gilchrist attempted to speak at different venues to which he had been invited, crowds of "students" armed with soda cans full of marbles attacked the vehicles of his party.  This occurred on a number of occasions and the  turmoil resulted in fewer invitations to speak.  Individuals in opposition to the movement would mob Gilchrist's vehicle,  fall down in front of it when the police attempted to clear a path, have themselves taken to the hospital and then try to press charges for "assault."

Despite all this, and one particularly unpleasant incident at Columbia University at which the protesters prevented Gilchrist and a black speaker from taking the podium, chanting racial epithets and mobbing the stage,  actual deployment of the observation teams progressed.

Gilchrist received vocal support from Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Governor of California, and from other conservative groups and politicians.  His primary source of support, however, remained common citizens from all walks of life and every strata of society.

The size of the observation teams varied, depending on time and location.  Initially, the people going out received a number of training sessions to insure that everyone understood the rationale and methodology of the group.  After completion of the training sessions,  a designated section of the border was then "spotted' by the volunteers.  American flags were displayed prominently, as there was no desire for an inadvertent "meeting engagement" between the observation teams and human traffickers or drug runners.  Although most observers were unarmed,  many of the law enforcement personnel who participated on their own time, and many of the veterans who supported the movement, were armed on an open carry basis.

While radio communications with local Border Patrol units were maintained, and observers did report incidents of illegal border crossing, there was never any real belief that the deployment of volunteer teams would have a practical impact on illegal border crossings.  Rather, the primary impetus for the movement remained drawing public attention to the flood of illegals coming across the porous Southern border of the United States.

However, the Minuteman activities in 2006 were instrumental in bringing to a halt a joint program between the Mexican government and a U.S. based organization called "Humane Borders." Operating in conjunction with one another, the Mexican government provided maps to would be illegal immigrants, which showed routes into the country, water stations, rescue towers and other useful sites. For their part, the members of "Humane Borders" manned these installations in order to aid and abet illegal immigration into the U.S.  After the Minutemen observation groups drew attention to these activities, the Mexican government withdrew from their association with "Humane Borders."

The Minuteman project began to suffer growing pains.  An independent group using the Minuteman name produced fake videos purporting to show Minuteman members shooting down illegal immigrants. At first the main stream media gave much air time to these videos, until it was shown that they were faked. A splinter group called "The Mountain Minutemen" produced the videos because they were "bored" and because they felt widespread dissemination of the apparent killings might deter would be illegals.

By 2010 the Minuteman Project had splintered, Gilchrist had been overthrown as leader of the movement by a board of directors, and was busily suing the board to force his return. The movement was no longer hot news, donations and volunteers became scarce, and interest faded.  They may still exist but I haven't had any contact with the organization for more than two years.

That's the thumb nail sketch, and it's provided as background to the story that follows.

My brother, T

I almost never involve myself in organizations today.  But during the late 1980's,  up through the mid 1990's, I felt differently .  I did affiliate with a number of what would now be called patriot organizations, usually in some kind of logistics aspect.  I edited and produced newsletters in some cases,  helped with other aspects of administration in others. I met some very interesting people, all across the conservative political spectrum.

My brother T, on the other hand,  was a foot soldier in conservative organizations.  He was a former Marine officer , serving as a police office in California at the time the Minutemen kicked off.  T was never one for paper pushing. He loaded up and did stints with observation teams down on the border.

He had several friends who were police officers in Arizona, Nevada and California.  Ordinarily he would fly into an airfield near the section of the border he was going to be working on, be picked up by one of these individuals, and then a group of them would go down to the area where they were expected.

 The obligatory training session took place before the teams went out on the border. Although many of the participants were going out on multiple trips, there were also people who were doing their first stint, so all had to attend. You can see, looking at this picture, that you have people from different ethnic groups, genders and backgrounds. This gives the lie to allegations that the Minuteman were "white supremacists", as they were frequently labeled by the press and left wing special interest groups. My brother is the first man on the right in this picture.

American flags prominently displayed along the portions of the border the teams patrolled served two purposes. They emphasized the patriotic  basis of the movement, and they were also intended to prevent accidental run in's with drug traffickers or the "coyotes" moving humans across the border that might lead to violence.

Like the original Minutemen,  all equipment was provided by the individuals who participated. The costs of food, lodging, transportation and any other expenses were born by the participants themselves, from their own pockets.

There was not supposed to be any interaction between participants and illegals.  The most proactive aspect of the observation teams was reporting illegals to the Border Patrol. However, the Border Patrol was vehemently opposed to the presence of Minutemen observation teams on their "turf" in most instances, and there was almost no positive contact between the Minuteman project team members and members of the U.S. Border Patrol.

Once I was reading a post on a blog, and the writer said something about "keyboard commandos". From the context, I took this to be derogatory, like "Mall Ninja."  One thing I can say about my brother, he's no keyboard commando.  When he takes up a cause, he does it all the way.  Like me, he's a lot older now, 2 years my junior, and none of us are active participants in the political scene anymore.

He's lived an active life. When he finally checks out, he'll have quite a list of adventures  behind him.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

Men, when's the last time you had a serious conversation with your "femme." Does this sound familiar?

The ATI German MP40 in .22 LR

I have always wanted an MP40 .  The problem, of course, is that they cost a King's Ransom.  You have to go through the ATF to buy a tax stamp, then you have to find a class III dealer who has one, then you have to pay for it.

I've made a couple of bids , but never even came close to being the successful purchaser. There are too many people out there with deeper pockets.

Now ATI is importing a German reproduction model, a beautiful piece of engineering as all German weapons seem to be.  It's semi-auto and chambered for .22 LR. The one you can buy in Germany is pictured above.

But ATF said to bring it into the US they had to lengthen the barrel. So the Germans had to put this bogus, ridiculous fake suppressor on it.  That ruined the gun for me.  I'd love to have one, but  I want the correct version that you can buy in Germany but not here in Obamaland.

Maybe I'll buy the German replica STG44, semi auto in .22 LR, which escaped the obnoxious parasites of the ATF and can be imported in true replica form.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Country Dwellers, don't miss this one!

There is a hell of a conversation going on over at Pioneer Preppy's about septic tanks.  If you live out in the countryside and have one ,  you never know what you'll pick up when a thread like this takes off.

Pioneer Preppy: The Septic Tank Seminar.

Even people from different worlds know the score.

"Innocent folks,  wrong place at the wrong time,

 drawn in a chalk line,

Evil is here, the boogie man too,

You  don't own a gun, man you should plan to! "

Extract from the Insane Clown Posse Song "Where's God?"

Remembering Rowena

This is a picture of Ragnar, and his mate, Rowena.  They both got adrenal disease, and in January they had operations to implant a medical chip, which trickled medicine into their bodies to counteract the effects of the disease.

Ragnar got better. He still has some issues but he is doing ok, especially for a "past middle age" ferret. But Rowena didn't respond to  the treatment.  She lost her hair, and got sores on her body. It was very much like what happens to a person with chemotherapy.  She got weaker, but we bathed her with a soothing shampoo the vet ordered, and kept medicine on the sores, and she had some quality of life.

Last week, however, it became obvious she was not going to be with us much longer. She spent her final days sleeping in her box, with her favorite hand towel, and she was not in pain.  She died Wednesday, the 26th, around five in the afternoon.   She is buried up on the mountainside, at the top of the meadow, with the other members of her colony who have passed on.  Faye is up there, and Chloe, and Jasmine so she is still with her friends.  It's a nice place, with a view, and I planted some miniature trees around it.

I wasn't going to say anything about it, but then I thought that people say anything on the internet is out there forever. It doesn't seem fair that when I croak , it would be as if she never existed. Rowena was a great little animal, who started life in terrible circumstances but didn't let that ruin her existence. She had a good life, and enjoyed it, once she came to live up here on the mountain.

Since a lot of our communications are by satellite and microwave, then it's fair to say that this picture of her and this little obituary will beam on out into space and travel forever, so the memory of her won't be lost.

Doubtless this seems a bit crazy but I don't much care.  In fact, I don't care at all. It makes sense to me and that's what matters.

The Mystery of Gibbs Rifle Company

From the early 1990's up until about 2005, there were two related companies that offered good rifles and hand guns. Some were surplus, which were either refurbished to like new condition, or sold "as is", usually in NRA good to NRA excellent condition.  These came from the Gibbs Rifle Company.   Others were primarily Italian imports, replicas of weapons from the War Between the States or the Old West. Primarily Navy Arms offered these.  Both were owned by a man named Val Forgett.

Here's the write up on the company from their web page, which still exists.


Gibbs Rifle Company, Inc., was founded in 1991 by Val Forgett, III, originally to act as a distribution arm for Navy Arms' curio and relic firearms and to refurbish curio and relic firearms. In 1991, Navy Arms was headquartered in anti-gun New Jersey, who had elected the most anti-gun Governor in the nation at the time. Val, Jr. and Val III had just purchased the rifle division of the famed Parker-Hale of England and, rather than expand operations in New Jersey, decided to take a chance on West Virginia, its people and its culture. Val III moved there immediately after graduating from Clemson University in 1991 and knew instantly the right decision had been made. Gibbs grew to become the bulk distribution point for Navy Arms on its curio and relic firearms and ammunition sales, and also became a distribution and warehousing facility for numerous other firearms and ammunition firms.

The production facilities purchased from Parker-Hale were ideal for taking worn-out curio and relic firearms and upgrading them to Historical Remake™ arms like the #5 Jungle Carbine and Sport Specialty™ rifles like the Quest™ and Summit™ rifles., all made from the famous British Enfield action. Gibbs historic remakes have been used in several major movies, including "The Last Samurai" starring Tom Cruise.

Gibbs Rifle imported some fine surplus guns. They sent people all over the world, particularly to Africa and South America, where they found rifles that no one would have believed still existed in any quantity.

If you own an Ishapore Enfield, it's almost certainly one originally imported by Gibbs Rifle Company.

Gibbs also built some Jungle Carbine No. 7 rifles using Ishapore .308 actions.  The No. 7 was just going into trial production in Australia when WW2 ended.  The Australians had never switched over to the Enfield No. 4, as the English did.  So when the English built a carbine version of the No.4,  the Australians tooled up to do the same for their Enfield MK.III.  The rifle just didn't have time to reach the troops for trials. However, Gibbs built some according to the exact specifications of the original plans. Since they were not actually collectibles , they primarily went to people who just wanted a nice shooting .308 carbine, or a good truck gun.  The original limited numbers make them hard to find, but they show up on gun auction sites occasionally.

Navy Arms sold good, high quality replicas of just about any  Federal or Confederate weapon your heart could desire. I own a Colt Navy that was originally imported by Navy Arms, and it's a nice piece of work. The Italians have always had a flair for gun making and they spared no efforts on these weapons. Navy Arms imported reproductions of both rifles and pistols that were highly prized by shooters, reenactors, and the members of the Cowboy Action Shooting Community.

Then, somewhere in the mid 2000's, both companies just disappeared.  They still have their web pages, but I have not seen their products offered for sale anywhere in a very long time. The last rifle they put out was a rebuilt Springfield 1903A3 in the sniper variant.  It was well received and I heard only good things about it.

There are many, many threads on different shooting forums in which people are trying to find out why they seem to have disappeared.  I haven't seen any that offered substantive theories.  I did find one web page that deals in law suits, and apparently someone filed a suit against Gibbs Rifle alleging that some "ceremonial weapons" which had been reactivated after being demilled were subject to inferior welding on the receivers.  However, in reading the web page it seemed to me that the person writing it was confused. It's well known that low serial number M1903 rifles can't be fired safely because the heat treating system used on the receivers was inadequate.  There's no way Gibbs Rifle would have sold those as shooters, and they are very expensive to buy anyway because low serial numbers are highly desired by collectors who don't fire the rifles in their collections anyway.  So I don't think the company went under, if indeed it has gone under, due to anything related to bogus law suits.

If anyone knows anything about either Navy Arms or Gibbs Rifle, I'd be interested in hearing it.  Their old catalogs are now showing up on E Bay as collectibles, and that's a bad sign.  If they have shut down, it's a real shame.  They were good people, who put out a solid product and stood by their offerings.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The L.A. Times is mad at Georgia. Well , La De Dah!

L.A. Times whiney article about Georgia's new gun laws.

    "Well, I'd love to spit some beechnut in that dude's eye, as I shoot him with my old .45"

                     Hank Williams Jr. "Country Boy"

The High Desert

Note the massive fire burning in the background. Nobody seemed to care.
 In 2002,  my son and I went out to the Oregon high desert for a camping trip with my brothers.  One of them opted out at the last minute, but my middle brother had all the equipment we needed, so it still worked out.

My son and I flew into Sacramento, California and my brother picked us up there.  We drove up to Chico, California and stayed at my youngest brothers place overnight. It was our staging area.  We left the next morning for my brother R's place in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

His cabin and outbuildings are loosely based on the set up at my own property in the Blue Ridge mountains.

He has a good sized piece of land, with a main house, and an outbuilding configured as a shop on the main floor, with an apartment over it.  His place is more luxurious than mine. I was interested primarily in utility, and he wanted utility and comfort. So he has a few things like a hot tub and a propane generator I don't have.

 His creek is wider than mine, but not as deep or fast flowing. He's built some rock dams to raise the water level, and they catch good trout in there.

Like me, he has to deal with bears because they are attracted to the fish in the creek.  Unlike me, he shoots bears in season if he has a tag, and he shoots coyotes that come up around his place.

We camped out at his place in the Sierra's for one night. We could have stayed in the house, which is just a few hundred feet back from the creek, but this was supposed to be a camping trip.

That night they told me all about the time a Big Foot came up to the house. Both my brothers were inebriated when this supposedly occurred, so how true the story is I don't know. They both believe it, or pretend to.  I know it gave me something to think about. The only one who had a gun that night was my brother T. He had his police issue Beretta 92, but he promised that if Big Foot showed up he was legging it for the house. I didn't sleep all that well that night. I feel "nekkid" without a gun.

  Although I live in the woods, I like to be "forted up" inside a sturdy building when dark comes.  I wasn't really all that comfortable out there in a sleeping bag, in the pitch black night.

The forest in the Sierras is more like a forest in Germany or Britain. It's not full of dense undergrowth, and the forest floor is clean and dry compared to the Blue Ridge. You can see a good way in the forest there, where here you can't see 10 feet most of the time.

The next morning we left for the desert. We stopped his truck at a Walmart for a few last minute things, but I don't remember the name of the town.  After that, there were no towns.  Just places like this. There will be a wide spot in the road, and you find a gas station and a little grocery store.  If you go outside and look around in 360 degrees, all you see is the desert, with roads going off in different directions.

 It's strange, but you can come around a corner there and find a big lake. No houses around it, no sign of life. My brother told me that most of these lakes are "bitter", meaning they are alkaline and not useable for stock or agriculture.

We stopped at this one and walked around on the shoreline for awhile to stretch our legs. It was dead quiet. The wind was blowing, and that was about the only sound. No birds, no cars, just the wind blowing through the brush.

To get to the place on the Snake River where we were going to camp, we turned on to a dirt road and drove for about thirty miles. The road ran along a huge canyon for part of the trip.

The views were spectacular. Living here in the Blue Ridge, I'm not used to being able to see far in a 360 degre arc. I'm also not used to seeing much of the sky because of the forest canopy. Out there, it was like being at sea. You could see forever, in all directions.

When we finally reached the river, I was amazed.  Running through the desert, it was still clear and deep. The water was great and we did a lot of swimming.

There were drawbacks, though. The bushes along the river were filled with gigantic mosquitos that came out at night and were annoying.

There were also rattlesnakes in the rocks all around the river, and you had to be really careful about where you put your hands and feet. I slept in a large tent with my son, and I kept the door zipped tight all the time because I didn't want to get into the sleeping bag with a rattler. My brother slept in his truck so he didn't have that worry.

This place was way out there.  We camped down by the river.  The only people there besides us was a retired Navy Chief and his wife. They had an excellent camper truck rig, and had set up on a hillside further up from the river than we were. After we got our camp organized, we went up to introduce ourselves. My brother said that the proper etiquette when camping way out in the boonies was to go introduce yourselves to the people who were already there.  Seemed like a good idea to me and they were really nice people.

There were terrific lightning storms out there. I've been all over the world, literally.  Never have I seen lightning displays like we saw in this desert. Especially at night, I liked to sit by the little folding table, smoke my pipe, and watch the lightning off on the horizon.

Our third day there, lightning hit the ground near the Chief's camp.  We saw them out trying to put the grass out, so we grabbed our shovels and ran up there. It was impromptu and I was about to go swimming, so I wound up in tennis shoes and a swimming suit but there wasn't time to change. The hardest part was keeping one eye on the fire and the other out for snakes. That's definitely a place where you feel better in high topped boots.

We got the fire out, and later my brother told me we would just have let it burn, if it hadn't been near the other campers. This is government land and their policy is just to let it burn off normally unless it threatens homes or roads.

This was my son's first trip out West, and he really enjoyed it.  He explored all over the river bank and the canyon rims. I was worried about him coming up on rattlesnakes, but when he did it didn't phase him any.

 I think it's important for fathers and sons to do things like this together. I'm not much of a joiner so we never did boy scouts or any of that. But he and I had some good times on these trips with his Uncles.  When he was growing up we used to go on some kind of adventure planned and hosted by his Uncle R about every other year.  Everything from hot air ballooning in New Mexico to archeological digs , we tried it. I've always been grateful to R for setting those things up for us.

Eventually, we had to pack up and go home.  We spent a couple of days at Lake Tahoe on the way back. My brother and I gambled (not much) and my son enjoyed the huge casino video arcades. It was a great trip, and some good memories for all of us.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

The New York Times leads the charge and the rest of MSM follows.

Georgia is taking a real bashing from the New York press, and the news networks.  We sent this law to the Governor and he has indicated he will sign it.  This at a time when "stand your ground" laws are under a lot of pressure from minority and left wing groups across the country.  I saw a news broadcast yesterday in which the recent Florida shootings were characterized as "attacks on children." Interesting perspective there, calling a car load of young men old enough to be in the Army children.

Anyway, I have serious doubts that anyone in Georgia gives a Tinker's Damn what the people in New York City think.  They were able to force their social structure on us during reconstruction but that lasted until the last of the occupation forces pulled out and it doesn't have much impact now.

Georgia: Historic Victory for the Second Amendment

Posted on March 21, 2014
Shortly before midnight last night, within the last hour before adjournment of the 2014 legislative session, House Bill 60 was agreed to in the state House of Representatives by a 112-58 vote and sent to Governor Nathan Deal (R) for his expected signature into law.
As previously reported, HB 60, as amended, had multiple transformations throughout this year’s session, and at one point was in real trouble of being watered down beyond repair.  Thankfully, your activism through repeated phone calls, e-mails and visits to the Capitol carried the day.  Your gun rights were not only preserved this year, but were restored and advanced further than they ever have in the history of the Peach State.  This truly is an historic day for Georgia gun owners, shooters and sportsmen.
Upon the Governor’s signature, HB 60 will enact the following pro-gun reforms for all law-abiding gun owners in Georgia:
  • Remove fingerprinting for renewal of Weapons Carry Licenses (WCL).
  • Prohibit the state from creating and maintaining a database of WCL holders.
  • Create an absolute defense for the legal use of deadly force in the face of a violent attack.
  • Lower the age to obtain a concealed WCL for self-defense from 21 to 18 for active duty military, with specific training.
  • Allows for the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting.
  • Repeal the unnecessary and duplicative state-required license for a firearms dealer, instead requiring only a Federal Firearms License (FFL).
  • Prohibit a ban on firearms in public housing, ensuring that the right to self-defense should not be infringed based on where one calls home.
  • Codify the ability to legally carry, with a WCL, in sterile/non-secure areas of airports.
  • Require reporting those persons who have been involuntarily hospitalized or have been adjudicated mentally deficient to the NICS system while also providing the ability for relief through an application process to the court system allowing for restoration of gun rights.
  • State that under a declared state of emergency, all law-abiding gun owners will not have their Second Amendment rights restricted or infringed by executive authority through Emergency Powers protection.
  • Strengthen current firearms preemption statutes through further clarification of the regulatory authority of local governments, excluding firearm discharge ordinances.
  • Remove the sweeping restrictions on legally carrying a firearm with a WCL in bars, leaving this decision to private property owners.
  • Allowing for churches to opt-in for legal carry with only a civil penalty of a $100 if a person happens to carry into a prohibited church unknowingly.
This resounding victory must first and foremost be credited to our members, who tirelessly worked to ensure that passage of this bill was possible.  We also thank the following state lawmakers who went above and beyond this year and were critical in seeing this bill through to the end.  The NRA’s gratitude cannot be conveyed enough to the below state legislators for their unwavering support:
- House Speaker David Ralston (R-7)
- Representative Rick Jasperse (R-11), original bill sponsor
- Representative Alan Powell (R-32)
- Representative John Meadows (R-5)
- Representative Jay Roberts (R-155)
- Representative Mandi Ballinger (R-23)
- Representative Dusty Hightower (R-68)
- Representative Stephen Allison (R-8)
- President Pro Tem David Shafer (R-48)
- Senator Bill Heath (R-31), original bill sponsor
- Senator Tyler Harper (R-7)
- Senator Butch Miller (R-49)
- Senator Jeff Mullis (R-53)
- Senator Ross Tolleson (R-20)
- Senator Mike Dugan (R-30)
- Senator Jack Murphy (R-27)
- Lieutenant Governor Casey Cagle
These elected men and women were critical to the passage of this important and significant pro-gun legislative package, not only with their votes but also with their outspoken support and actions throughout the entire 2014 session.  Your NRA would also like to thank the pro-gun group, Georgia Carry, for working alongside us to get this bill passed and sent to Governor Deal for his signature.
While we fully expect Governor Deal to sign HB 60 into law, please contact the Governor and politely ask that HB 60 receive his signature in the coming days.  Governor Deal can be reached at (404) 656-1776 and by e-mail here.
Please stay tuned to your e-mail inbox and for further updates.

Links to news articles.

Here are some links to interesting articles.  Recently I've had plenty of time sitting around in waiting rooms to look at the news on Kindle, and I saved these.

Russian conflict could cause U.S. ammo shortages

NASA study warns of impending collapse.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Living Ready Magazine and Store

Before events here went off the tracks last week, I was working on a review of this new magazine. I'd been trying to find a copy,  but they aren't carried by our local grocery store. I could have driven to Chattanooga, since Barnes and Nobles has them, but in the end I just bought the digital edition.

The first thing I learned was that their magazines are actually not their primary business. The magazines are ancillary to their preparedness oriented mail order business.  Most of what I saw offered there was practical and looked high end. That means the gear was not cheap, either in terms of cost or as regards the quality of the goods.  I saw some things I could use and at some point I'm sure I'll buy something and see how it works out.

There have only been four editions of the magazine released to this point.  Each is tuned to one of the seasons.  I bought one edition first, the most current. Then, having read that one and found it to be very good, I bought the others.

The cost was $5.75 each, and you get unlimited downloads. That's good if , like me, you use more than one digital device for your on line reading. I have both a Kindle and a PC, and being able to download the magazines to both devices was very convenient.  It also means that if I inadvertently delete some of my files, which has happened, I can restore them without trouble.

The Living Ready magazines are not really typical survivalist magazines.  They cover the same topics, but it seemed to me the articles were more professionally written than is normal.  Many of them are excerpts from new books being published, and some were from books that have been on the shelves for awhile.  I like book excerpts because they let me decide if I want to buy the book itself.  The excerpts tend to be better written and more polished than one off magazine articles as a rule, so the reading is more enjoyable.

Another feature that I really enjoyed was the inclusion of first person accounts related to survival situations.  Most survival magazines are very heavy on theory and philosophy but short on examples of practical application.  The Living Ready magazines don't suffer from that defect.   They also have an outstanding book review section that was very well done. Some of the books I own, some I had not heard of, but that's the whole point of the book review.  It gives you an idea of what's out there on topic that you might want to add to your own professional library.

I know from reading blogs that many survivalists and preppers are very interested in having their own gardens, canning and preserving their own food, and other matters related to agriculture. Although I am not knowledgeable about these things, I am trying to learn more.  I liked the fact that Living Ready magazines devote a lot of space to these subjects, and the articles are concise and full of actionable information.  This spring, if spring ever really comes, I'm going to try some of their suggestions on a garden. I have already gotten some good advice from others who blog and who are good at growing food, and this magazine information will augment that source and increase my chances of success.

All in all, I'm glad I took the trouble to run down this outfit, and I look forward to a great deal of interesting reading and good information from them in the future.

Living Ready Store and magazine

Monday, March 24, 2014

"Just the facts, Maam"

Remember Sgt. Friday used to say that on Drag Net?   Maybe not, unless you are in your sixties or so.

Miriam came out of the wreck in worse condition than I realized.  It will take her awhile to get back to normal and I have been occupied primarily with that in the last week. Hence no posts.  I've just been too tired and too far behind the power curve.

The police report says she failed to yield the right of way.  She was not conscious when they hauled her off in the ambulance, so the only people who gave a statement to the police were , guess who, the people in the other car. One suspects their version of events might have been somewhat stilted.

I am just now getting back to some semblance of order here.  I let the blog go, and I also let the book keeping go, so now I am having to go back and straighten all that out.  She will be coming home on Friday and staying home for a week or so. She has enough sick leave so it is not an issue on the job front.

I will try to get around to everyone's blog and see what I have missed .

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Moving right along.

I appreciate the kind thoughts from everyone.  Other than the loss of the vehicle and the attendant paperwork evolutions (and some hospital bills) so far it hasn't been that bad.  It appears that the people who ran into my wife's car are claiming the accident was her fault. That's standard practice these days, so no surprise there.

The Sheriff's Deputy who was supposed to be directing traffic at the school did not show, and during the course of the morning there were 3 wrecks during the "deliver the kids" morning rush. The road the school is on is a four lane. Without the little cones they put out, people were not smart enough to figure a way across the road. The people who hit my wife apparently got tired of waiting, floored it and shot out into traffic expecting everyone to get out of their way. It didn't work out.  They were driving a massive steel built vehicle, my wife was driving an aluminum alloy and plastic vehicle. They had a big vehicle, she had a little one. Basic physics determined the outcome of that. Our car was annihilated and they got a crushed bumper and lost some paint. I would never have bought a car like that Dodge, but my mother in law gave it to us and my wife liked it.  Good milage in exchange for no protection is a poor tradeoff.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Here's another fine mess you've gotten us into!

Remember Laurel and Hardy?  Probably not, but that's what they used to say.

Got a call this morning at about seven from my sister in law.  My wife was on her way to work in her little beer can aluminum Dodge this morning and somebody crashed into her.  Her car is totaled, but she apparently emerged unscathed other than some bruising. She is at the hospital now. I am headed over that way to take care of the post crash business of getting the police report, getting the junk out of her car (it's in the crash lot at a local wrecker service) and generally doing what I can to clean up the mess. We have good insurance, but the car was a 2009 which means what we get from the insurance company will not be enough to replace it, and I will have to come out of pocket for the difference. We also have marginal health insurance now, thanks to Obama who is responsible for our HMO being cancelled, and that will mean big hospital bills.

Be back when I get back.

Prepper and Shooter. Bizarre phone calls.

I have never actually seen a copy of this magazine, so I can't really say whether or not it is any good. But the cover looks interesting.  As soon as I can track down how to buy a copy, I'll be able to provide more information on the publication.  It's amazing to me how many Survivalist/Prepper magazines there are now. Some of them are actually quite good, though you tend to see the same authors cropping up in all of them. I'd like a little diversity, both in writers and subject matter.  You can only read so many articles on long term food storage or fire starting before your interest begins to flag.

I am getting random phone calls from an entity the caller i.d. identifies as West Union W.Virginia.
I checked on the internet and there is actually a town by that name in West Virginia, but I suspect someone is hoping that recipients will think it is Western Union calling.  The phone number is 304-873-4020.  If I answer the phone, the line goes dead. If my answering machine picks up, there is no message.  If I call the number back, I get a message saying the number I have called is no longer in service.  Running West Union West Virginia phone calls has turned up nothing. Usually, if it is a scam or some kind of sales call, you can run it on google and you get lots of links to posts complaining about X caller, or explanations from people who know about X caller,  as to what they are about. But I came up dry with this outfit.

I don't care enough to pay money to use a reverse call lookup service.  It's no doubt another phone scam, I seem to get a lot of those calls even though I am on the "no call" list.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Survivalist Magazine

Here's the latest issue of Survivalist.   Looks like it was cut out for people like Captain Crunch, who live on the beach.

I haven't gotten my copy yet.  That's pretty typical for Survivalist.   It's a good magazine, but they have a tiny staff. Sometimes you get your magazine, and sometimes you don't.  When you don't,  then you have to call them and ask for it.  When your subscription expires, they don't send you a notice or a renewal form, they just quit sending the magazine.

I called down there once, and the only person in their office was an elderly gentleman who asked if I would mind calling back, as he was just going out the door to pick up his grandson at school .  Didn't bother me any but it certainly indicates they are a small business in every sense of the word. I don't mind that, either.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

American Survival Guide April May 2014 out on the stands now.

There's an article in here on the Ruger 10/22 Take Down that everybody seems to like so much. I admit I've been thinking about getting one myself.  I'm not sure why, but I think I will do like the pentagon does in weapons procurement. I will buy the rifle than come up with a reason why I need it.
I have a Ruger 10/22 with a composite stock and stainless steel metal. It's really a sweet rifle. Ruger did up a matching set, with the Mini-14 and the 10/22 in identical furniture and finish. I got one of the sets. Even though I usually don't shoot things like that , I have fired both of those rifles a good bit, and they are fine. I have Butler Creek banana clips for the 10/22.   I know some people run down Butler Creek but I have a lot of their magazines for the 10/22 and never had the first problem.  I also have some stainless steel Ruger Mini-14 mags by Millet.  Millet is no longer around, they went broke in the early 1990's as I recall, but they made good gear while they were in business.

My wife and I went out for dinner tonight.  We went to our favorite little restaurant, and nobody was on the porch but us, so it was like having the place to ourselves. You can have a good dinner there for two, including the onion ring appetizers my wife likes, for $22.00 including tip so it isn't extravagant. Sure is nice to go out and do something different, too.

We have another monster storm coming in from Texas and Louisiana tomorrow, so I spent some time today checking the roof for loose shakes, and getting all the leaves out of the upslope drainage ditches. The water comes down the mountainside in torrents when we get heavy rain, and without the drainage ditches it would flow right up against the back of the barn and shop , which would be a very bad thing. But it's hard cleaning all that junk out of the ditches, I'm not found of using a shovel these days. Not that I ever was, really.

We had dehydrated soup for lunch. It was a new kind, and I didn't like it. I was supposed to put the leftovers  in containers after we had lunch so we could eat it later on, but I gave it to the dogs. They liked it. I won't tell the wife if they don't.  Just to be sure of their silence I brought them each home a marrow bone from town. You can never be sure about dogs......

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Piercing Analytic Mind of Mensa.

I told my wife all about my strange experience this morning, and here is her explanation.

1. What was the weird beeping noise on my baby monitor?

My wife pointed out that both the buildings in question have a lot of electronic equipment in them that stays on line. She says there must have been a low amp situation on our grid power, which set off the alert on one of the battery backup systems. Since I have a number of them, by different manufacturers, and some of them are pretty old, that's possible.

2. Why did the chickens and the dogs go berserk?

She says that is exactly the way they behave when a hawk swoops down over the meadow after the chickens.  So coincidentally, just as I came roaring out the door, the hawk must have made a pass and taken off.

3. Why did the outdoor cats run and hide?

I use a very low power bb pistol to break up Tomcat fights. I have learned the hard way not to stick an arm or leg into a Tomcat furball.  I can't wait til one of them has ripped the other up and I have to pay a big vet bill. But all the cats have seen me use it, none of them like the noise it makes, and I was carrying a Walther P-38, which looks a lot like the bb gun.  So that's her explanation of why the outdoor cats made themselves scarce.

4. Why did the indoor cat go hide downstairs under the cedar chest?

She's Himalayan and anything sets her off.  My wife says the sound of me roaring down the wooden floored hall in flip flops undoubtedly gave Midori a heart attack and she headed for her favorite hiding place.

5.  Why was the satellite dish not working?

My wife pointed out that it shuts itself off in a low amp situation, and then has to run through a long and complicated reboot. If , during the reboot, the power falls to low amperage again, it starts over. So if low amperage on the line precipitated the first noise on the baby monitor, it probably took down the Direct TV receiver.

I am torn between admiration for her analytical ability and annoyance because I am not sure that all these things happened "just so" but I can't disagree with her saying it's possible.

Guess I better call the producer at "UFO Files" and cancel our appointment!  ; - )

Some strange things happen way out here in the woods.

I had an interesting experience today, just as the sun was beginning to peep over the mountains. It was still gray but there was enough light to see.

Since I have outbuildings, and since I heat them in winter, I have to worry about fires.  So I put baby monitor transmitters in the two buildings, and I keep the receiver in by my bed on the night stand. There are smoke detectors all over the place in those buildings.  The idea is that the detectors will go off, and I'll go out with a fire extinguisher.

My system is older than this, but essentially is configured in the same manner.  I have two transmitters, which operate on two separate frequencies. You just set one to "A" and one to "B".  Then I have a receiver that "chirps" both freqs.  If there is a hit on one freq, I get an audio signal and I also get a visual signal, in that there are five red LED's on the receiver. The louder the sound the receiver picks up, the more LED 's light up.

Just at dawn, I got one loud (all five red lights lit up) beep.  Not a smoke detector. I've never heard it before, but it sounded just like the old Sputnik signal.  Five seconds later, another beep, and at that point all the dogs and the chickens started raising hell.  Barking and running around on the porch from the dogs, alarmed screeching from the chickens.

The receiver beeped two more times before I could really wake up, but at that point I snatched up my pistol and went outside.

The chickens were all in the juniper shrubs.  That's where they go when they are threatened from the air, as in hawks swooping down.  If ground bound predators come , they fly way up in the limbs of a dead poplar tree.  The dogs ran out into the meadow as soon as I came out and started running around , barking, whining, and looking up and down.

I did not see a thing.  It was dead calm, no movement at all.

What all this was about, I do not know.  I think I can eliminate UFO's and Black Helicopters, but I am fresh out of ideas.  Something was making one heck of a signal and it was close, but what kind of signal and for what purpose, I don't know.  I guess it will be like the green lights I see in the forest at night sometimes. You just have to ignore them.

This is why you don't want to walk up on wild hogs in the woods.

Link to story on CBS

Seems a shame to me that this guy killed the animal just for the hell of it.   If he'd done it with a knife, I could see it. But sitting on his rear end in the woods and sniping it doesn't impress me. I doubt he ate it.

I know wild hogs eat gardens, and there are a lot of them, and that's why we should hunt them from helicopters, or drop atomic bombs on them, or whatever.  

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Illegal Immigration. Come on down!

"There are eleven and a half milion to twelve million illegal immigrants living in this country." Pew Hispanic Center. 

  *Note: some conservative think tanks put the number as high as twenty two million.

 The magazine cover on the left is a parody, but it tells the truth.

Tonight I was flipping through channels on the satellite tv, and I came on a show about Americans who help illegal aliens get across the border and into American cities.  There are several channels on Direct TV that show nothing but bizarre left wing documentaries, and this was one of them.

These people were largely comprised of ancient hippies who felt that borders were immoral, and that it was wrong to keep people who wanted to come here from doing so.  There were also the obligatory middle aged people with no spouse or children, who were filling the time with this noble cause.  And, of course, there were the members of fringe churches who feel they are helping with God's work by abetting the influx of illegals. They haven't kept up with the progress of the Great Somali Experience in Minnesota I guess.

As amazing as it is, these people run dispensaries on the border where they hand out food, water, and medicines to illegals. They watch the border patrol, and try to help coordinate illegal border crossings from Mexico.  They didn't want to say how but it appears to me they were using VHF radios to send "coast is clear" messages to coyotes on the other side of the border.

I could write a book on why illegal immigration is a bad thing. If you have school aged children, your children are receiving a substandard education if they are in public schools. Much of this is because teachers and resources are diverted to deal with the non english speaking children of illegals. While the teacher is working with Miquel and Rosa, your kids are doing busy work. Money that could have been spent on teaching your children is spent on special programs and special teachers for non english speaking illegals.  Ask me my source and I'll tell you I saw it, and did it, myself when I taught for 3 years in public schools. It's just the way it is.

If you pay taxes, a lot of your money goes to subsidize housing, food, and medical care for illegals. When Hispanics registered their kids at our school, it was forbidden to ask for proof of citizenship.  If illegals go to a hospital emergency room, it is against the law to ask for proof of citizenship, or to turn them away if they have no insurance or ability to pay. So illegal immigrants never go to a doctor. They go to the ER.  That means while the ER staff is looking at Jose's diaper rash,  you can be sitting out in the waiting room in agony.  I have seen this happen with my own eyes.  Where I get a bill for medical services rendered, the Hispanics go to the business office and chirp "me medicaid" , "me medicaid" while their five or six or seven kids roll around the floor at their feet.

They get drivers licenses even though they are illegal. In many states, there is a "shall issue" policy on drivers licenses. Even though they have no right to be here, they get a state issued identity card and with it and $30.00 worth of fake papers that anyone can crank out now on a computer, a whole wonderful world of freebies is theirs for the asking. Except that they are not freebies, because you and I are paying for them.

One reason the Democrats insure that it's easy to get state id is because that makes it easy to vote. Got a drivers's license?  Just take a copy of your power bill and your water bill and that drivers license down to the courthouse, and Hey Presto! You're a registered voter. Then you can vote for more Democrats, who will give you more largesse and make it easier to get id, so your buddies can come on over, who will vote for more Democrats......

I read an article a year or so ago concerning how diseases which were eradicated in the U.S. are back now, stronger and more virulent than ever. And where, pray tell, did these things come from?  Why, they rode across the border with their hosts, the illegal immigrants.  Some of the things, like TB, are bad enough. But read up on it and find out how your kids can get diseases at school now that we have never even heard of in the United States.

And then, there's the younger set of illegals who are too savvy and too clever to make a living working.  Dad may have come to work in the chicken plant, or mow lawns, but  Pedro makes ten times as much selling drugs and engaging in other fun activities under the auspices of gangs.  Most Americans have no idea how rampant gang activity is, and the Hispanic gangs, like MS13 and The Latin Kings are in virtually every state and city in the U.S.  People think it's largely a California problem, but far from it.  There's a town 50 miles from my house that is infested with Hispanic gangs. You can go over there in broad daylight and see them driving around in flashy Hummers, bandanas and tattoos resplendent as they drive down the middle of the road, forcing all other traffic off to the shoulders.

You aren't safe from these people even if you live out in the sticks.  Here in Georgia, the Hispanic gangs have exterminated the old Hill Billy meth distributors, and they control the illegal drug trade. That brings them out to the rural counties, where most of their meth labs are. The national forest can be a dangerous place to roam around in, because these guys cook out there, and they use the old abandoned roads to meet and transact business. 

You can have some ugly run in's on the road with these gang types, or in the gas stations along the highway. If you do, don't bother to report it to the police.  You'll just wind up getting a big lecture and being told that you precipitated the incident by being "aggressive."  Then you'll get the long winded dissertation about how you are lucky you are not being charged for "brandishing a weapon on the public highway."  The truth is, the police know they can't track these guys down, that they won't get a DA to take anything to a grand jury that involves illegals, and they just want you to shut up and not make waves. I think they are also afraid of the gang bangers. There have been some ugly incidents in Georgia where people who pressed charges against gang members came to grisly ends.  In a county southwest of here, a contractor brought charges against some gang types who broke into his building and stole his tools.  A few weeks later, the same guys went to his home while he was away, tied his wife and daughter up, and set fire to the house. The wife got free and they both made it  out, but the man got the message.  I heard later on that his charges had quietly been dropped, and no one was ever charged in the arson or attempted murder. 

We have all this to cope with, and then you turn on the television and see a bunch of brain dead simpletons doing all they can to make it worse.

One of my brothers participated in the Minute Man movement on the Arizona border some years ago. I have a lot good pictures taken down there then, and it was a very interesting experience for him.  I've been pondering doing a post on his trip.