Tuesday, April 29, 2014

If you have missed any of the Survivorman shows, here's your chance to see them.

 Starting Monday, May 5th the Science Channel is running "Survival Week."

I ran through part of the schedule for that week. They are showing a good many of Les Stroud's first three seasons with the Survivorman Show.

They also have the four part series called "Survivorman's Survival Secrets."  The four shows were entitled shelter, fire, water, and Macgyverisms as I recall.

Also featured will be the two special 2 hour shows filmed in the Sea of Cortez and in Norway.   They are labeled part one and part two of each location, and as far as I could see  they are showing all four but not sequentially.

Survivorman's Top Ten ,  The Missing Pilot (Winter) and The Missing Pilot (Summer) are also being shown. These don't refer to aviators but to the two pilot features he used to pitch the show to Discovery Channel.

The two episodes of "Survivorman and Son" will be aired during the "Survival Week."  I enjoyed those, though I thought he was a little tough on his son. He means well, though.

I did not see the two episodes on the "Search for Bigfoot" listed on the schedule.  That's probably because only the first has aired. The second is on Friday at 10:00 on the Science Channel.  When I first heard of these two shows, I thought it was a strange foray for Stroud, who is a very down to earth person. But he did have an unusual experience while filming an episode of Survivor Man, and this is a follow up. I saw the first show and enjoyed it.  Fantastic scenery, none of the tacky fake drama most "big foot" shows have, and he's pretty unbiased as to whether or not such an animal could exist.

So, if you have a recorder, check the schedule on Science Channel and record the ones you'd like to see.

Severe weather

I don't know how they know a storm is coming, but they know.
It's a good thing Direct Tv and The Weather Channel finally arrived at a mutually satisfactory agreement. We got Weather Channel back about a week ago, and I certainly needed it last night.

Being here during a big electrical storm is like being on a submarine that's running silent. You have to shut everything completely down.  Before the storm got here, I'd already powered down the well pump, all but one of the satellite tv receivers, and then shut down the satellite radio.  I disconnected the television receivers from the antenna feeds, and disconnected the satellite radio receiver from both the antenna feed and the power cable.  If I hadn't done that before the storm got here, none of that equipment would have been functional today.

I was able to watch the storm coming on the weather channel until the lightning started, then had to shut down that last tv system.  I left the internet modem and the router up during the storm. Those are on a good surge suppressor, and they are both covered by insurance anyway.  That enabled me to use my Kindle and Intellicast to watch this weather come right on in.

The power failed intermittently throughout the night but I had LED lanterns going so it wasn't that big an inconvenience. I don't like using candles in a big storm because I'm always concerned that if a tree comes down on the house, fire of any kind could set the place blazing. . Everything is made of wood in my buildings, and old cedar burns like a torch.

I've been out around the house this morning, and it doesn't look like I have much more than the normal mess to clean up, tree limbs and pine boughs scattered around.  We are in for more bad weather today, but Georgia seems to have gotten off lightly compared to Arkansas, Kansas, Mississippi, and Alabama.

The ferrets did their normal bad weather routine. About 45 minutes before the storm got here, they started trooping down to the lowest level of the house and got under the cedar chest.  I have never been able to figure out how they know a storm is coming before you can hear it. Nor do I know why they go down into the basement, except that it's quieter down there. The only time they ever go get under my wife's cedar chest is when a storm is coming.  Ragnar, who had his stitches out yesterday afternoon, had some trouble with the stairs so I carried him down.  When all the ferrets were alive, it was something to see the seven of them solemnly going down the side of the stairs to their "storm shelter."

I am going out shortly to drive around some and see if there was any damage in my local area. I'll take my camera but I think we escaped any of the kind of trouble that hit the other states last night.

Sunday, April 27, 2014


We have thunderstorms rolling through this afternoon.  With any luck, that's all it will be.  Unfortunately, this region has a long history of April tornadoes.  It wouldn't surprise me to see a few of those blow up.  They usually tear up the counties to the Southwest of us. I can remember driving through two adjacent counties a few years back and seeing great views where there had been none before, because the forest had been uprooted.

In some places, where there had been little groups of houses, there were only flat cement foundations with pipes sticking up out of them.  In general, we have been lucky here, only one tornado has touched down in our county in five years, and that was up by the North Carolina border.

I have new chicks running around outside.  Four black chicks and two yellow ones, all with the same hen.  My dogs are good at finding the nests and eating the eggs, so this hen must have done an outstanding job of camouflage with her nest. We have big clay pots on the porch, and the hens like to lay in those. My old labrador makes the rounds checking the pots several times a day. When she gets an egg, she carries it off and just keeps it for awhile. finally she cracks the egg very gently and eats the contents.  Good for her, and good for me because I already have more chickens than I need.  The roosters kill each other wholesale in spring, so too many roosters isn't a problem.  I should cull the hens, but my wife and daughter forbid the shooting of the "chickies" so that's out.

It's also the time of new kittens.  The mother of this batch won't keep them in a box. She moves them to the porch.  So I put an old robe down for them and walled it in with diesel jugs.  Doesn't look very homey but I find they have a higher survival rate if you comply with what the Queen wants. Otherwise she tries to carry them off and they die.

I'm very grateful that Spring is finally here. This last winter nearly finished me off.  The leaves are all back on the trees now, the meadow is full of blue flowers and green grass.  At this point the climate is perfect, I don't have to run the heater or the air.  In a few more weeks, I'll be running the air conditioning in the house, the shop, and the apartment full tilt all day and night  The main culprit is humidity. The humidity here will hit 90% on a normal day, and you have to keep the enclosed spaces dry and cool.  Not just for the humans and ferrets, but to prevent mold and mildew.

This is the time of year when gold panning is best, because it's comfortable by the streams. I'll probably do some panning this week, near the house.

Last year my son came down for a visit and we did some panning way back out there.  It would be nice if he could make it down again but I don't know what the status of his vacation time is at work.

This time last year I was spending a lot of time walking around the lake for exercise. I think I might start doing that again.  It's only about a ten minute drive if I cut through the forest on an old forest service road.  That's an early morning activity, you have to do it before it gets hot.  But it's a nice start to a day.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My expectations of retirement were unrealistic.

It's a nice night on the mountain top.   There's a breeze blowing, it's warm, and very quiet. About the only sounds are those the creek is making just downslope.  I don't mind the sound of running water.

I have been retired now for more than two years.  When I left my company it was with no love lost between myself and the owner, and I never miss it.  In fact, I'm sure if I had lasted any longer it would have killed me. The only time I think about it now is when I suddenly realize how grateful I am not to be in  thrall to a greedy Septuagenarian whose only goal in life was to make money.  That man was purely evil.

I did think, however, that once I didn't have to work anymore and didn't have a boss, life would be very tranquil and idyllic.  I envisioned myself just doing the things I enjoy doing, every day a holiday and every meal a feast.

It hasn't actually turned out that way.  First, problems will expand to fill the amount of time available for you to think about them.  So, when I don't have to worry about work,  I just spend more time worrying about health issues. For everything you put behind you, either an ongoing problem becomes more pressing or something new comes up.

Once I read that some people believe hell is a place where you go on doing the things you like to do, over and over, in eternal surfeit.  Some of the pass times I used to enjoy have paled on me, or I'm not able to do them any more.  I liked hiking, but it's not smart to go out in the woods by myself, and I confess that getting to the mailbox and back (about a two mile round trip) has become challenging because of the steepness of the return trip.

Shooting full powered battle rifles beats me up pretty good, even with a padded shooting jacket. I could shoot mouse guns, I own some, but it isn't anything like the pleasure of shooting a Mauser or an Enfield from the 100 yard line.  I don't even particularly enjoy cleaning weapons anymore and I used to really like that, I'd set up at a table outside, put on the radio, and just experience the zen of weapons cleaning.

I get annoyed with myself because it often seems like I'm not satisfied unless I can think of something to be angry or worried about.  Older men are supposed to have better sense than that.  Everybody has things they have to deal with and I have fewer than most.  I'm in good shape with all the things that really matter, like family and home.  Maybe it takes more than two years to work into the retired life.

None of this is unique to me, least I give the impression I'm feeling picked on.  I know my two brothers feel exactly the same way, and there are some older guys whose blogs I read that evidence the same ideas, though they may not articulate them quite the same way I do.   It's just a part of adjusting to a different stage of life and you have to deal with it.

Friday, April 25, 2014

The chair is against the wall.

General Information.

Sunday night at midnight, this program will air on the H2 Channel. This is the secondary History Channel.

I don't know if it will be showing if you have Dish or cable, but I would imagine it will if you get H2.

I saw it on my Direct TV guide.

Although it's an older program, it's very good. It was made back when the History Channel produced serious documentaries that had real value. If you have never seen it, I hope you have the capability to tape it. I realize not many people can stay up from midnight Sunday til 2 in the morning on Monday and still make it to work.

The third issue of Off Grid is available now. I bought a copy at Walmart today.  As is usually the case with new magazines, it continues to improve and this is the best of the three.  This particular issue has several good articles about EMP, and three fictional scenarios written by people of different competence levels in the art of survival.  Off Grid has been very successful and is going to begin appearing quarterly.  Unlike it's sister publication Recoil, it's not available digitally.

Off Grid is primarily designed to meet the needs of people located in urban settings.  Even so, the articles are well written and interesting.  The equipment reviews are good though in many cases the equipment being evaluated is out of the reach of all except the most well heeled.  That doesn't make it any less fun to read, though.  It costs a little more than the average magazine, but these are printed to last a long time, on the highest quality paper. They're meant to be kept on your shelf that holds your other survivalist literature, not read and then used to line the bird cage.

Nice day out.

A quote I first saw on Stephen's blog.

  When I see something I really like on someone's blog, I always wait awhile before I post it on mine.  Then I put it here so I won't forget it, or lose it. Aside from being a means of communication with friends, my blog is also my filing cabinet for quotes, stories, pictures, news articles and other things I might want in the future.

I like Kipling and I have read a great deal of what he wrote.  But I had never heard this one until I saw it  here.   Standing Outside, Looking In.

“A man can never have too much red wine, too many books, or too much ammunition”

― Rudyard Kipling

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Brother, can you spare an AK-47?

 I got a phone call yesterday that wasn't a sales call.  That's really unusual for me.  I'm not much for talking on the phone and I never call anybody.

But this was from a guy I used to work with at the gun counter in the general store many years ago.  He's a great guy and I bump into him every now and then at the gas station where the old geezers hang out to drink coffee and sit on the benches in the sun when the weather is nice.

I remember telling him back when we were working together that he should buy himself a few AK-47 rifles. There was a big selection then, and we got guns at cost as a fringe benefit.

He was big into the FAL though, so that's where he put his gun money from the family budget.  I asked him why he wanted one now, and he said he just felt like he should own one. I know how he feels, sometimes you just want a gun without having any real need for it.

He wanted to know if I had an AK-47 I'd sell.   Years ago, before William the Bastard banned Chinese weapons from importation into the country, I bought a type 56.

 I found two Mac-90's in a gun shop going out of business, and I bought both of them and refitted them with Choate stocks.

 They are my working guns. I also bought a Chinese RPK that is really too heavy but I like it anyway.

I bought three drums to go with it, since the banana mag on an RPK is really awkward in prone position.

Alas, I didn't want to part with any of these guns, so I couldn't help him out.  I felt badly about it, because he picked up an STG-58 at a Shot Show for me way back then and I'd like to help him. Part of the problem is that, like so many people, he doesn't want to buy through a dealer.He doesn't want to be in the NIC's data base that everybody knows the feds keep even though it is illegal for them to do so. That's why he never got his C&R, because he knew once you get on their list, you never get off of it.

He told me that he had recently been given the opportunity to buy a Bulgarian AK-47 that had been rebuilt with an American receiver and enough American parts to be legal, but the guy wanted $500 for it.  My friend is still thinking of the days when you could get an AK47 in the $300 range but those days are gone forever.

There's one last AK I want to add to my collection, and that's the Yugoslavian underfolder. I know the stock lugs on these things come loose after a lot of use, and I know they are not as sturdy as a wooden butt stock. I just want one.  To kind of round things out.

At the same time I bought the two MAK 90's from the store that was closing, I got four cases of Norinco 7.62X39, in spam cans, in the case.   I think that the year was 1992.

Later I was able to get one case of Yugoslavian brass cased 7.62X39 on strippers, in spam cans, in the wooden case.

After all, you have to feed your babies!

Here's the Chinese SKS mentioned later in the comments section.

Sign of the Times

Recently I had to spend some time at one of the big medical centers SouthWest of here. Our little town has a hospital but you have to do considerable driving to get to specialists.  While I was over there I went into the men's room, and there posted under plexiglass over the mirror was this sign.

I really don't know what to make of it.  First off, I hadn't heard we had any problem with slavery here, although I'm sure ConAgra, Fieldale, and our other big chicken business people would be glad if it were brought back.  Nor have I heard of women being placed in this particular circumstance. Up here, it would be hard to keep something like that quiet and the churches would be on something of that nature like "a chicken on a June Bug."  Trying to set up a brothel in the middle of Southern Baptist country would be the equivalent of chumming up a school of sharks.

All I can think of is that this organization must post these where ever there are large concentrations of Hispanics, and this town I was in meets that criterion.  The street signs are in Spanish, the stores are hispanic, the taxis are all hispanic.  In 1986 there were no hispanics in that county at all. Today there are over 150,000 they know of.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Governor Nathan Deal signs our new pro Second Amendment bill into law. Gifford, Bloomberg and their ilk weep bitter salten tears!

A comment from a participant, related to a previous post " Napoleon the Pig Speaks"

I am a strong supporter of the NRA.   I believe without the NRA we'd be in the same sorry situation as our British, Australian and Canadian friends when it comes to the right of self protection.  However, they are a big outfit and the political situation is not always black and white.

Even so, I'm not going to support making a deal with the devil, which means no support for Harry Reid in any way, shape or form.  The individual who sent me this comment seems to me to be perfectly correct when he says the answer he got from NRA was ambiguous.   I would say if you are an NRA member it behooves you to write and tell them Harry Reid is not someone we can do business with. If you are a gun owner and you aren't a member, then consider the $25.00 yearly membership fee. The politicians only fear us because there are so many of us and we act in concert.

Anybody can come up with something the NRA has done they didn't like. But to withhold support for something of that nature is to cut off your nose to spit your face, and it plays right into the hands of people like Bloomberg and Gifford.  I don't want to be burying my guns in storage tubes under metal fixtures and I'm sure you don't either.

Hey all - I got a pretty bland reply back from the NRA. Sort of, "yeah we hang out, but he's not really my friend" sort of BS if you ask me.

MY EMAIL: "Message: Hello, As a long time member, I would like to know your current position on Sen. Harry Reid. You've given him high marks in the past for his voting record. However, as you are undoubtedly aware, he recently called a group of honest American citizens who were exercising their legal rights at the Bundy Ranch in Nevada, “domestic terrorists”. As my renewal date is coming up in August, I would very much like to know what you plan to do in light of this grossly outrageous remark. Your decision on whether or not to continue to support a tantrum-throwing anti-patriot will play a major factor in my continued membership. Thank you for the courtesy of a reply."

THEIR REPLY: "Thank you for contacting the NRA-ILA. The NRA is a single-issue organization that evaluates candidates based on their Second Amendment support each time they run for office. That means that the NRA-PVF will issue Harry Reid a new grade in 2016 based on his Second Amendment support to that point. Harry Reid’s grade issued by the NRA-PVF in 2010 was ‘B’, while his opponent’s, Sharon Angle, was an ‘A’.

While the NRA has worked with Harry Reid on Second Amendment issues when possible, the NRA-PVF has not endorsed him. We appreciate your support.


Erik, NRA-ILA"

Need I say more about the U.S. Postal Service?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

What's wrong with this picture?

This is part of Bloomberg's campaign to energize the Anti-2nd Amendment crowd.  He is spending $50 million dollars of his own money, pumping it into some of the more obnoxious outfits like the Brady Bunch, The Southern Poverty Law Center, etc.   They put this out all over the country and all over the internet.

Someone asked the everytown.org people if they really thought the cartridge cases came flying out the muzzle.  Seems like if you want to prevent other people from owning something, you should at least know a tiny bit about the object of your efforts.

That set off a hilarious round of finger pointing amongst the minions of Der Fuhrer Bloomberg, all blaming each other.  The British have a word that fits these people better than any American word. They are "twits."  It's not vulgar, it just means total nitwits.

Our new gun rights protection bill is being signed into law tomorrow and takes effect 1 July. NBC and the left are frothing at the mouth. I linked the NBC article in the "interesting news articles" at the top of the page, but here's a little quote from it.

"Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group co-founded by former Arizona congresswoman Gabby Giffords, has called the legislation “the most extreme gun bill in America,” and mounted an aggressive campaign against it. So have other gun-control organizations, including Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the group started by former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg."

Here's an update concerning the ongoing .22 shortage, from an Arizona station.

J.W. Rawles' next novel due out in October of 2014. It's entitled Liberators

The next novel in the Rawles series takes place primarily in Canada.  It's due out in late December, 2014.  I've enjoyed all of his books, but the latest works have been much more professionally written than his earlier efforts. He must realize that himself, since he went back and revised the first book.

You can learn a lot from these books, and still have a thoroughly enjoyable time reading them. I look forward to getting a copy.

For those of you who wonder if the reclusive J.W. Rawles really exists, I know only one individual who has ever seen him and talked to him  in person.  Can't say who it was because he doesn't want his name bandied about, but I believe him when he says he did meet the Invisible Man. I hope some day he will write about it because it's a very interesting tale.

Incidentally,  a sequel to "How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It is coming out mid December.   I've read the first book several times, and I bought copies and mailed them to all my siblings and my nephews and nieces (thereby confirming some of the younger set in their opinion that the Unabomber is alive and well, and living in North Georgia.)

I have absolutely no doubt I'll wind up buying a bunch of these and mailing them to the same family members.  Especially since my nephews and nieces are all married now and have children of their own, they need to make at least rudimentary preparations.  After this latest Yellowstone scare we got our kids squared away, at least in terms of equipment, supplies and a plan of action.   It's an ongoing thing with my kids, they tend to let their supplies run down, but at least they are players. Some of the younger adults in our clan snigger behind their hands at their dads and uncles, but we keep working on them.  I'll make sure they get their copies of this book as well.

Monday, April 21, 2014

What's next.

Went to town today to mail a book I've been meaning to send out to a friend.  Thought I'd pick up some groceries. Nothing major.

Got into town and truck wouldn't start.  It's not the  batteries. The vehicle has two massive batteries, and they are relatively new. I think it's the starter.

A guy I used to work at the gun counter with over at the General Store has a wrecker service. He had a stroke a few years ago, so he doesn't drive the wreckers anymore.  Called him, and he sent his truck.  They hauled me to the garage I have used for 20 years.  This Norwegian guy about my age used to run it, but now his two sons do. I always go there for vehicle repairs.  Left the truck there  Of course, I was 22 miles from home with no ride, but fortunately for me my old counter mate from the gun store gave me a lift in his POV. (Privately Owned Vehicle.)

I didn't want him to drive all the way up the dirt road though, because the gate key was in the truck, and there's no where to turn . I didn't want him to have to try to jockey around with that on the narrow road, so I got him to let me off at the foot of the mountain.

Started up the mountain and couldn't get going. I guess I am just tired.  Legs wouldn't hold up and I couldn't catch my breath. So it took me 45 minute to walk what used to take me about 15 minutes when I was younger. Still, I did make it to the house.

The annual "survival" issue of Popular Mechanics is on the newsstands.

They are pretty interesting issues, although they tend to focus on a higher level than the individual.  There is an archive of their past survival articles on their web page. It's linked somewhere on the right side of my blog but I don't remember where.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

All you PTR fans might want to pick up a copy of Issue 2.

The magazine is supposed to be out in April but I haven't seen it offered on their web page yet. The first edition was pretty good.

Sunday, two a.m.

I went to bed earlier but the dogs started barking and woke me up.  I would imagine I'll be awake now till dawn, anyway.

My wounded ferret is asleep in my bed.  He felt well enough to get out of his box, climb up the blanket like a boarding net, and settle down under the covers. I am sleeping on the couch.  Usually I wouldn't even notice him being there, and if I moved around in the middle of the night and bumped him he'd just scrunch out of the way.  But with all those threads sticking out of his neck, I'm afraid I might hurt him so he can have the bed til he gets the stitches out.  I could go sleep in another bedroom but the couch by the fire isn't so bad.

Maybe the picture of Ragnar with his stitches was a little shocking, but he really did undergo an ordeal and the picture in the last post sums it up a lot better than I could do with words.

Rain and drizzle all day.  I've kept the fire going so the house is not chill, but if you go outside it's dank and cold.

 The last two issues of Backwoods Home have been primarily about homesteading issues. Or, I should say, the logistics of homesteading.

I think this is one of the magazines that I may stop taking digitally and go back to paper.  Almost all my digital magazines are exact copies of the paper version, but not Backwoods Home. If you get it digitally, you just get the articles, not the actual pages so you miss all the advertisements.

With self sufficiency oriented publications I like the advertisements as much as I do the articles most of the time.

The newest issue, (right) just came out on Kindle this week.  As you can see, it's all about gardening, vegetables, etc.  Almost a cheaper version of Mother Earth News.

On the one hand, I don't find it very interesting anymore. On the other, it doesn't cost much and I would hate to miss anything interesting.

They've been using the same authors for years, and though they are very good, it must be hard to keep coming up with new ideas. I see they have a new editor, who is a woman, but the old guy is still around too. I don't know how that will work out but maybe new blood will help revitalize the magazine. It has been a standard of the community for a long time and I hate to see it just fade away.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Catching my breath

Ragnar/ Jiggles today. 
Ragnar/ Jiggles  the day before his surgery.

When the kids were here, they called him "Jiggles." But I didn't think that was very dignified for a big male ferret, so I renamed him "Ragnar."  I find though, that in times of stress I think of him as Jiggles.  

It's Saturday morning and I'm drinking my coffee by the fire.  Strange though it may be, I do have a fire burning in the fireplace this close to May.  We had a big rainstorm last night, about 12 hours worth of constant downpour, heavy at times. It brought cold air with it.   I went out this morning to turn off some security lights in the outbuildings and realized I would't be spending much time outside today in this chilly weather.

Yesterday was a long one.  Jiggles and I had to be at the animal hospital by 0845, so we left the house very early.  His operation took much longer than the doctor had anticipated, but the tumor was removed. I won't know til the biopsy comes back from the University of Georgia at Athens whether this is the end of that issue, or it was malignant.

Jiggles was really "cut about."  He has a three inch incision sewed up on his neck, and the stitches have to come out ten days from yesterday.  If you are less than a foot long not counting your tail, this is a pretty big cut.  They gave him a shot for pain that will last 24 hours from noon, yesterday. Not surprisingly, he has been asleep since then, just getting up to eat and drink a little and visit his restroom box.

So today we are all taking it easy here at Festung Mountain.  I have some book keeping to do, and I plan to do some napping myself. Too much going on the last couple of days.

The new Survivalist magazine was in the mailbox when we got back from the Animal Hospital.  I read it last night.  It's strange how so many of the magazines of this genre are now primarily about growing food, raising animals, homesteading, and essentially domestic issues.  Remembering the old American Survival Guide, back in the 90's, the bulk of the articles were about guns, camping, and living in the woods.

As the self sufficiency movement has gone more "main stream" over the years, I suppose this was inevitable. There are more families involved, and more urban and suburban people.  Many of the articles are written by women and I don't think that was the case back in the 1980's -1990's.  I think overall this is probably a positive trend, even if the magazines aren't as interesting. This issue of Survivalist was full of good information but it was a boring read.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Napoleon the Pig speaks out .

I wonder if Harry Reid ever read Animal Farm.  He gave an interview today in which he said that the people who supported the Bundys were "Domestic Terrorists."  Here's part of what he shared on the show, which you can see in it's entirety on Fox News.

"They had sniper rifles in the freeway. They had weapons, automatic weapons. They had children lined up. They wanted to make sure they got hurt first … What if others tried the same thing?"

I want to believe! (that the post office is not staffed by incompetent bureaucrats)

The post office lady called me this morning.  She said my package had arrived, but they wanted to "keep it" for a day to see what happened.

She called me back about an hour later and said there was nothing wrong with it, and she had no idea why it got shipped all over the county.

I asked about my refund. She said it was not "guaranteed."  I told her I was sure it was and she said that I had misunderstood.  I don't think so, but I don't care either. I'm not going to send anything with them anymore anyway.

I got off lucky. My package was only lost for a week, even though it caused me a lot of extra effort and expense.

Here's an extract  from a post a woman wrote after her package was shipped back and forth across the country for five weeks. The post office couldn't explain why that one went missing either.

Every person I talked to in consumer affairs during this ordeal told me I was entitled to a refund, which I certainly agreed with. After the package was finally delivered, I called, explained the situation, and requested a refund. I was told I did not qualify for a refund, because they do not guarantee any delivery except Express Mail! Despite the fact ALL of the literature for Priority Mail says “2 to 3 days”, apparently 5 weeks seems like a reasonable timeframe to them. I had to do even more calling, escalating, and fax my copy of the label (even though their own tracking database clearly shows all of the errors they made) to get my refund. After all this, they would only refund me by giving me $19 in stamps, despite the fact I had paid for the label with my credit card on their own web site. As if I ever want to send anything with the USPS again! I contacted my credit card company to initiate a chargeback.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Odyssey of a Priority Mail 2 day delivery guaranteed package.

Bear in mind the straight line distance from Cincinnati to my house in Georgia is 300 miles.

April 16, 2014
Depart USPS Sort Facility
April 16, 2014 , 2:16 am
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
April 13, 2014
Depart USPS Sort Facility
April 12, 2014 , 4:21 pm
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
April 12, 2014 , 4:58 am
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
April 11, 2014 , 8:21 am
Processed through USPS Sort Facility
April 11, 2014 , 7:33 am
Out for Delivery
April 11, 2014 , 7:23 am
Sorting Complete
April 11, 2014 , 5:17 am
Arrival at Post Office
April 10, 2014
Depart USPS Sort Facility
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April 9, 2014 , 7:09 pm
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April 9, 2014 , 2:00 pm

Tax Day

Went to town and paid more taxes.  Lots more.  It would be nice to say that I thought the money was going to good works, or to support something I approved of or believed in, but I'm not that delusional.

I hate handing over the money I worked for to the government. There are a lot of things I could do around this place with that money, or for my kids.  But if you don't pay, the IRS can put a lien on everything you have, garnish your wages, sell you out, and you wind up in jail or living in a cardboard refrigerator box under the overpass.  Not much of a choice.

Watched Lou Dobbs on CNN tonight. He had two ritzy lady lawyers on there. New York or LA types. Dobbs was really pounding the government actions in relation to the Bundy ranch.  The lawyers said that what Mr. Bundy was doing was "against the law."  Nothing else mattered to them. Didn't matter that it was a bad law, or that Bundy's family had been on that same land since 1870, before there even was a BLM and before that land was taken over by the "feds."  Didn't matter that Harry Reid was entangled with his son in some shenanigans with a Chinese company that had been considering building a solar plant out there. Didn't matter that the judge in the case was a vassal of Harry Reid.  When Dobbs tried to press them on these things, one of them said "Hey, back off. We're the lawyers here!"  Roland Freisler would be so proud of those two.  Didn't matter to them whether a law was wrong or right.  The main stream media is working overtime explaining all about how good old Harry and his son were working with the Chinese, but that was all BEFORE this happened of course, just a coincidence, as was the fact that the Governor of Nevada and the federal judge were both Reid's toadies.

Somebody needs to read All the Kings Men again.

Henry VI, part II, iv. 2
Dick: First thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers!

Robert A. Heinlein:  "No man is bound to obey an unconstitutional law."

Robert A. Heinlein: "If you obey a law just because it is a law, that's a pretty good sign it shouldn't be a law."

Robert A. Heinlein "There comes a time when a moral man can't obey a law which his conscience tells him is unjust."

No wonder I always liked his books.  Starship Troopers is my favorite.

Leaving decadence, decay, corruption, and tyranny behind for a moment.....

Ragnar is not looking too good.  He had a really bad night last night, which meant I didn't get any sleep. I guess I was fooling myself about his shoulder looking better.  Friday we will see what the doctor says.



Jasmine and Faye

It has rained all day.  Never got above 38 and the weather forecast says it's going to fall below freezing into the twenties tonight. I'm burning the heater and listening to the wind blowing outside. Bad news for all the people who got their crops planted or folks that grow fruit.

Another day behind me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

What is "heart bleed"?

I keep seeing news articles on this . I read them but I'm no wiser afterwards. They talk about something getting your passwords from years ago, and about phishing, and about people calling you on the phone, but nothing I have read really ties it all together, tells you what it actually is, or says how to protect yourself.

I just felt like doing a gun post.

This is an early production model of the HK G-3.   They're still being produced by license in some countries though not in Germany.

I have a Century Built G3.  When Century first start producing them with parts kits and American receivers, there were some problems. This rifle features a rather unique bolt, and Century didn't get it quite right.  Mine is from about the middle of the production run, and functions fine. It has black plastic furniture instead of wood.  I bought a complete set of wood furniture from Sportsmans Guide and someday when I get really motivated I am going to swap out the newer plastic for the more attractive (if less functional) wood.

For years, the big issue with the G3 was magazines . They come in two forms, a steel magazine and an aluminium alloy magazine.  Both were expensive,  in the 1980's they ran about $35.00 or $40.00 per example. Then in the mid 1990's the Germans released thousands of magazines, in unissued condition, from their war reserve.  You could buy the steel mags for about $6.00 and the aluminum alloy magazines for $2.00.  I bought about 50 of the latter and another 20 of the steel magazines. I knew this was going to be a one off opportunity.

The G3 aluminum alloy magazines were cheaper of course, and they were lighter.  I read that they
were originally intended for paratroop issue,  but I think it's more likely that one version preceeded the other, and they were simply a different production run.

The steel magazines were much more robust ,and significantly heavier.  Because they cost more, I didn't buy as many of them but I laid in a good supply.

With a semi-automatic rifle, it pays to have a lot of magazines. They don't last forever, even with good care.  Feed lips get bent, springs go bad, followers get bent. Some of this stuff you can repair, if you have the appropriate parts. Sometimes though, you just have to put a magazine in the scrap box and cannibalize it for parts down the road.

Obviously, aluminum alloy magazine bodies are going to be more susceptible to dents and other damage than steel.  Having a good supply of both types makes sense, especially when there is a short period of time where the price has dipped significantly. After market mags for rifles like the G3 can sometimes be hard to find, and when you do find them they may not function as well as the originals.

The HK G3 chambers the 7.62X51 NATO round.  I've used both that and Winchester .308 in my rifle without the slightest difficulty.  Overall, the G3 is a good, stout weapon that you can rely on. Parts are a bit hard to find but you can still do it.