Saturday, May 31, 2014

Lunch in the "Ville."

I had lunch in town yesterday.  There's a fellow I know who has decided to pack it in, and move back to the city.  His wife has breast cancer, and they have to go to Atlanta for treatment every week. That's a hellish long drive, and it's hard on her.  He has decided to sell out and move nearer the hospital where the oncologist that is treating her practices.

He's selling out his survival related goods, but doesn't want to deal with Tom, Dick and Harry so he's only negotiating with people he's known a long time.  We struck a bargain on the things I needed (or wanted). It was a little stressful because it's tough to be around people who are having a bad time. Face to face is harder than talking on the internet.  I want to be supportive without being saccharine or displaying emotion. I've known them a very long time. I didn't try to drive a hard bargain, we just agreed on fair prices. I went ahead and paid for the things and will take the truck up there sometime this next week to pick up the items.

The whole thing was made worse by the fact that post planning is going on in the local schools and they were having a school sponsored lunch at the same place, at the same time. There was nowhere to park, and the whole porch, where I like to sit, was taken up as well as most of the inside booths. I hate crowds, it makes me feel anxious and aggravated to be in a crowd. Nothing for it though, as we had scheduled this get together some time back.

My son called me yesterday.  One of his buddies at work was retiring, and "the guys" were going to a bar for a little celebration.  My son told me he was only going to have " a few drinks."  He rarely drinks alcohol. I asked him who he was going with and he said he was driving himself, because he wanted to be able to leave after a decent interval and go home.

I told him no alcohol. Not one.  He's thin and tall, and I'm not sure if he would "blow" a high enough number on one drink if he got pulled over, but I don't want to find out.  He was not pleased with this, as he and I sometimes have an issue about me being a "helicopter parent" who is always hovering over his head. I told him just to order cokes, nobody would know they weren't a rum and coke. He said he wasn't worried about that, but of course he was. Maybe times have changed but when I was his age, anybody who drank soda at that kind of party was going to get teased a lot and their masculinity called into question.   These days though, maybe young people are smarter. DUI is no joke, let that happen and you are screwed for a long , long time. If he lost his license he would lose his job, as he lives too far from work to walk or ride a bike.
I haven't been called from the police station and it's almost 3:45 in the morning so maybe it was much ado about nothing.

I tried some vitamins and minerals today that were suggested to me by an internet friend to help with sleeping.  I don't know if it was the little pills, or just the power of suggestion, but I slept from about nine last night straight through til 3 this morning, and woke up feeling better than I have in a long time. Either way, I'm not going to analyze my good fortune, for fear of spoiling it. It feels great not to be tired.

My wife and I are going to a movie today. I think we will go up to the big lake, have a nice dinner at one of the restaurants on the shore, and then go see "Godzilla."  I'm fine with light entertainment, in fact I prefer movies that don't try to shape my opinion about anything or offer any redeeming values.

Centerfire Systems has a good deal on police trade in AR-15's if anybody needs one.

Centerfire Systems

These are used rifles, but Centerfire stands by their products and you can expect to get a good rifle for the money.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Discovery Channel Episode on the Dual Survival Breakup.

Although I had decided not to watch anymore of the Dual Survival episodes after I heard Cody Lundin had been fired,  I taped them. Last night, I watched them.

I think it's important to remember that Discovery Channel made the show on the breakup. They wanted to get rid of Cody Lundin and over three years of filming it would be easy to get tape that showed people who were not at their best just at the moment of filming.

It's also true that Joe Teti came in after David Canterbury was fired under dubious circumstances. At the time, it was alleged that Canterbury had exaggerated his military record although after he was gone that allegation quietly died away. Rumor Control had it that Canterbury and Lundin just couldn't get along.

It's clear, from the scenes in the episode I watched last night, that Cody Lundin was fed up with Dual Survival and particularly fed up with Joe Teti.  I really can't blame him.  Teti is arrogant, abrasive, self centered and always has to call the shots even when he has no idea what he's about, other than his overwhelming need to keep moving and to give orders. His military credentials are impressive, and doubtless he had survival training, and practiced it.  I don't think that puts him on a par with Cody Lundin in survival skills, experience or decision making, however.

Cody Lundin had some bad moments during the filming of the first four shows this season. One instance where he had fits of uncontrollable laughter was a bad sign.  Another where he threw their equipment into a pool of water, stomped off, and then later threatened to quit the show if the segment was ever aired is hard to just shrug off.  It was probably time for him to go.  He's a good fellow, and certainly knows his stuff, but he has never been, by his own admission, a big team player. He likes his solitude and he likes to do things his way. Getting through three seasons of television land must have been very hard on him.

The new member of the show is Matt Graham.  He is presented as a primitive skills lifestyle adherent. These are very strange people, from my perspective. Primitive skill people are not survivalists or preppers. Rather, they follow the primitive skills lifestyle because they find it to be a "purer" life, closer to nature, and derive satisfaction from their lack of dependence on technology.  I have known a few up here in the mountains and in general I simply don't understand them. However, they're entitled to their life decisions and if they leave me alone I'll leave them alone.

Graham, we are told, has spent 25 years living in the Utah canyons honing his primitive living experience. He was, however, on another survival show called "Dude, you're screwed" until recently. I watched one episode and never watched another. One was enough.  If you google Graham, you are going to find zillions of pictures of him looking perfectly normal, and just a few of him as a latter day Tarzan. What the truth of all of it is, I don't know.

Although he seems a very calm person, I wish him luck with Teti.  In their first show, Joe Teti immediately begins to criticize him and to try to take over the show. He seemed to want to  convert Graham into his "Tonto" while Teti plays "The Lone Ranger." Good luck to them, I don't plan to watch any more of Dual Survival. I wish Cody Lundin well, and I hope his "wa" is restored now that he doesn't have to shill for Discovery Channel. Maybe he'll write another book. If he does, I'll buy it.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

That's out of whack.

I went to bed this morning about six and got up again at 4:30 this afternoon.  That's strange.  I feel pretty good though, first good "night's sleep" I've had in awhile.  It doesn't matter anyway since it rained during the night and it's raining now. I was going to start mowing the meadow today but mowing tall, wet grass is not on.

Went to town yesterday, but it turned into a fiasco.  I noticed as I drove in that my truck was pulling to the right.  Since it's usually aligned straight as an arrow, I went on to the tire shop. Sure enough, I had a nail in the right front.  I got it fixed and they charged me $15.00.  That's pretty outrageous for just pulling the tire, putting a plug in the hole and putting it back on the truck. The last time this happened to me, a couple of years ago, the cost was $3.00.  But that tire store closed when the owner died and now the "new" tire store is more interested in fixing tires for people in Bermuda shorts and sandals.

Then I went to have one of my chain saws worked on.  When I got to the place I always go, behind the farmers depot, it was all closed up.  I asked the woman who had the garden center next to the shop when they would be back, and she said they closed last year. She said most people don't use their own chain saws today, they just call a "tree surgeon", so the place that fixed chain saws dried up and blew away. I don't see how this can be. You don't call a tree removal outfit unless you have a tree hanging over your house and you need to be sure it doesn't fall on the house when it's taken out. Everybody that lives out of town is going to have to clear the road after a storm, because if you waited for the county to do it you'd be waiting forever unless you lived at the lake. At any rate, now I don't have anywhere to take my saw. I guess I will see if anybody in the neighboring counties works on them.

I went to Walmart looking for some herbal things that were recommended to me as sleep aids. I got the vitamins but didn't get the most important item so I'm going to go the pharmacy in town and look. I don't usually go there because their prices are outrageous.

Now that the ferrets have shed their winter coats, they look skinny.  I already had them in to the vet for their checkups. You have to make sure they don't have ear mites or any parasites. It's more a habit than anything else, because they don't get outside that much but you have to be sure. I took this picture in a dark room with a flash, and woke Spike up. He didn't appreciate that. The plastic is a big bag they were playing with and tore up.

I don't guess I'll try to go back to town today. It's too late.  I'm having lunch with an acquaintance tomorrow to do some business, and when that's over I'll go over to the pharmacy. It's been a slow week.

Shield Maidens. Did they really exist?

 A lot of people who enjoy the History Channel series Vikings come by here.

In general, everyone tends to agree that the props, wardrobe and sets are about as accurate as it's possible to make them in a television production.

However, there's one issue associated with the show that seems to have divided viewers pretty evenly.

The presence of women warriors in the series is the sticking point. Some people believe they existed in Norse society. Others don't think it probable.

I first came across this a long time ago when I was reading about the Norse , their culture and customs.  They had influence all the way into Western Russia (the Easterlings), all the way to North America, and down into the Mediterranean lands. They were a major presence in England from the late 700's until Stamford Bridge in 1066.  Historians know a lot about them because they left behind many well preserved settlements (York was the Viking capital in England and the Viking remnants there are still being excavated.)  They left many graves and ship burials which preserved significant quantities of their artifacts. They also had stories that told the histories of their people, called the sagas.  The Norse sagas clearly state that there were "Shield Maidens." But archaeological evidence is scant and subject to interpretation.

The idea of women warriors at first seemed ludicrous to me.  There may be some unusually big, strong women who could hold their own in hand to hand combat, but they would have had to be rare. Men are physically stronger than women in general.  In those days, you didn't snipe at people from 500 yards, you stood within feet of them and flailed away with heavy weapons. How, I thought, could a woman possible hold her ground against men in that environment. It seemed very unlikely.

My brother who had been a policeman told me not to underestimate how strong a woman in a fury can be. He said he'd had more trouble containing them than with men, because unlike most men a woman in a rage doesn't know when to stop and just keeps coming.

A security guard at a hospital told me the same thing.  He hated female 1013 cases more than male cases. 1013 means drug crazed, or mentally disturbed.  Women out of control were harder to handle than men in the same situation.  Partially I suspect that with both the guard and my brother, this is because they had instinctive reservations about using strong force on women, and none at all about using strong force on men.  "Strong force" implies a beat down.  But it does provide a clue to the overall question of whether or not there could have been women warriors in the time of the Vikings.

I am going to put some links here that discuss the idea.  Anyone who wants to do the same , either for or against the idea, or to give their thoughts on the question is welcome to do so.

As an aside, although I think Shield Maidens were a historical fact, I don't in principle approve of women being involved in combat, for a multiplicity of very good reasons. Putting women on a modern battlefield in combat roles is sick, and it's almost always espoused by people who have never been there themselves and are politically motivated, pushing their own agenda regardless of the consequences to others.

Was Lagertha Lodbrok based on real people, or is she made up to add drama to the show?

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Living in the Rain Forest

 This was the view from my front porch this morning at 7:45.  It's not yet June and the foliage is so thick you would have trouble walking through it.  Finding your way to a specific spot would be tough even with GPS, and I wouldn't try it with a map unless I could follow a game trail or a walking trail.

That's why there are only two other approaches to my place beside the vehicle trail. There's a deer path going down to the creek, and an old game trail headed up the mountain. Other than that, it's just thick foliage.

On the eastern side of the house, where I've thinned out the trees considerably, it's not quite so thick. However, there's nothing back there but hundreds of square miles of national forest

If there weren't any mist, you would just see the mountains through the trees. There's a famous hiking trail that goes through those mountains. On rare occasions, people have gotten lost up on the trail and walked down the mountain slope looking for roads. If I hear them talking on sports radios (which I monitor), I will try to talk them in and give them a ride back up to the trail head where it hits the hard surface road.  Once I just heard people yelling out in the woods. The dogs and I went to see what was going on and it was lost hikers off the trail. They were young people, in their mid twenties, and something wasn't right with the guy leading them. He seemed like one of those people who are intelligent but can't pour sand out of a boot.

 If you remember the pictures taken during the past winter, you'll remember the jeep trail that passes between two trees at the foot of the meadow. This is the same angle, showing the same spot, but you can barely see where the trail comes out.

The forest just closes in on you here. Especially at night. Last night we had an inversion fog, and it was so thick I could see the aura of the red security lights on the barn, but not the barn itself. On nights like that, the dogs and cats stay on the porch and the chickens stay up in the trees. You don't know who or what may be coming to visit in the fog.  Even my huge floodlight just makes a tunnel of light in the fog that goes out into the meadow and just stops.

The dogs got really rowdy this morning when I went out on the porch. They thought we were going for one of our morning rides to the lake, or just down the mountain for a walk. They're both a lot bigger than they look in this picture so I have to be careful of them when they are excited and rushing around. Some years back, they came down off the hill behind me after a big snow storm. They hit me from behind, going full tilt, and knocked me straight up in the air. When I came down, the two ribs I broke when I fell off the roof cracked again. Bad dogs! They mean well though and are boon companions most of the time.

 Momma Kitty was feeding her brood this morning, in her secure spot she has selected by the wood stacked on the porch.  Believe it or not, there was another kitten roaming around who was not in the picture. Two of the babies are her biological children, while four of them were abandoned by their moms and Momma Kitty took them in. She gets extra rations of milk, and of canned cat food, while she is nursing and until she recovers and puts on some weight.
My wife named her. She just came out of the woods one day and joined our household. I am glad to have the kittens, since the attrition among the older cats this past winter was severe and I have already lost another to snake bite this spring.

This is one of the pots that constitute Tuggy's egg farm. She is my big chocolate Lab.  Tuggy goes from pot to pot throughout the day, checking for eggs. When she finds one, she picks it up in her mouth and carries it around with her until she is ready to eat it. Then she cracks the shell at one end and licks out all the "goody."

When she got her shots earlier this month the vet said she is overweight and needs to cut back.  Easier to say that than to make it happen.

Well, today will be a busy one.  I'm off to town and to the lumber yard.  If it will just dry out a little I have some work to do on the porch and on the retaining wall.  Not hard or dangerous work, just standard maintenance type stuff.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Some programming schedules

  1. Longmire  :  Season 3 premiers on A&E  June 2, 2014 at 10 p.m. eastern
  2. The Bridge: Season 2 premiers on FX  July 9, 2014 at 10 p.m. eastern
  3. Defiance: Season 2 premiers on Sci Fi Channel June 19, 2014 at 8 p.m. eastern
  4. Hell on Wheels season 3 premiers on AMC in late summer 2014. production problems.
  5. Vikings: renewed for a third season, projected air date winter 2015.
  6. America Unplugged: premiers June 5th, 8 p.m. eastern on Sportsman Channel
  7. Falling Skies: season 4 premiers June 22, 9 p.m. eastern on TNT.

A Day Late and a Dollar Short. Again.

I got an email from AIM saying they had some of the Danish 5.56 I want.  My AIM emails go to an account I don't check very often, since no personal email comes in on that one.  I need to be more diligent.

Rushed to the AIM web page, credit card in hand.  Too late. Sold out again.

Don't worry, I have AIM's permission to use their photos when I write about their offerings.

This is "the good stuff".  Packed in bricks and blister packs.  That's why, unless you catch it the second it hits the net, you lose.  I only want one can. Do I need a can?  No, I have 5.56 and .223 in profusion. Then why spend several hundred dollars for a can of ammo I don't need right now?

Well,  throughout my adult life, people who have come into contact with me have said  that I have a  tendency to always expect the worst. I have tried to explain that if you expect the worst from life, you will rarely be disappointed. I have also pointed out that nothing you do in the way of preparedness is wasted.  If you plan for the worst and it doesn't happen, you haven't lost anything.

So, in the belief that I will somehow be able to pass the things I have accumulated over my life to my progeny, I always add to the supplies on hand when I see a good deal. This is a good deal, I just need to figure out some way to keep a closer eye on supply and availability. I wish they would text when things come in, but they haven't reached that point yet.  Nor can you "reserve" or "back order" the product. That's because with surplus ammo, each shipment received may be the last.

Even so, I like AIM.  I only do business with people who have done right by me in the past.  Primarily I buy from (in no particular order):

  • AIM Surplus
  • Southern Ohio Guns
  • Sportsmans Guide
  • Samco Global Arms
  • Century International Arms
  • Brownell's
  • Cheaper than Dirt
  • CDNN
  • Centerfire Systems
  • Midway Shooting Supply
  • Graf and Sons Reloading Supply
  • Numrich Gun Parts
  • J&G Sales
  • Sarco
  • Springfield Sporters Gun Parts

All of these outfits are straight shooters who stand by their advertisements and their goods. I have been ripped off, royally, in the past. There used to be a surplus ammo company called Paragon, and they taught me, early on, not to trust a company I hadn't done business with previously, unless it came highly recommended by people who knew what they were talking about.

Those are the outfits I buy shooting supplies from.  I have a whole different list for other logistical support but I already did a posting on that months ago, no sense in repeating it.

You never know when you will get out of bed and it will be the Black Swan day.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Memorial Day

Lots of the television channels are showing old war movies today.  Things like Wake Island, The Dawn Patrol, Sgt. York, The Red Badge of Courage.

But I've always thought this little clip from the old movie Blade Runner was a better acknowledgment of the holiday.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


I got up early this morning, before dawn, and went for a drive.  There's a big lake east of us, and I wanted to be there for the sunrise.  Part of the trip is made on a four lane road.  Even though it's Memorial Day weekend, nobody was stirring. I don't think I saw two other cars in the thirty minutes I was on that highway.

It was pretty clear even that early thunderstorms were on the agenda for today.  This afternoon we've had terrific rain, hail, and lightning bursts right overhead. Thanks to the ferret bad weather warning agency I had time to go through the storm procedures and had no equipment damage. I even got up on the roof, in that hard place to work on, and got that done before the rain came. My wife held on to the rope anchoring the ladder, and it was no trouble. She wants me to build a platform there to work on, and I think I will. It will be a sort of extension of the porch.

Sunday morning is a good time to be driving down the road, with a cup of coffee in the cup holder, the dogs in the back of the truck, and not a soul to be seen.  I took this picture one handed, without using the view finder, and through the window. Not too shabby!

This is the new show on the Sportsman Channel that I think looks pretty good.  I'm going to watch the first one and see how it goes.

It's out. If you can find one.

The second issue of Be Ready wasn't supposed to be out until the 26th.  However, our Walmart usually puts magazines out as they come in, rather than waiting til the official issue date.

I went in a couple of days ago, and there was a huge stack, probably 100 magazines. I went back today to get some that I could mail to family, and there were none.

The manager, when I finally tracked him down in his lair, said they had already put in a request for more copies.

I can remember when there was one decent Survivalist magazine, and that was the original American Survival Guide.  It disappeared long ago, and there was a hiatus where you really had to look for the occasional article in gun magazines.

Then in the last few years, the "prepper" movement caught on and now there are a lot of "back to nature" magazines and some good survivalist magazines as well.  The old Mother Earth News used to be about hippy oriented subjects and now even it has a flavor of practicality.

Be Ready is a Shotgun News publication.  The first issue was useful. Worth the money and interesting.  This issue is very good indeed.

First, there's an excellent article on long term, and short term, ammo storage. There isn't a lot new in it, but there are some interesting photos illustrating storage techniques, and for the beginner it would be a great guide to the subject.

An article on the Police is a virtual mirror image of what my brother the former cop told me long ago.  Written by a man with a law enforcement background, it will give you a perspective on the subject you probably haven't had before.  For the most part, this strongly reinforces what I already believed.  I have said before that "officer friendly isn't friendly anymore."  I'm not disparaging law enforcement, I'm simply stating a reality. There are some good tips on interacting with the police, and they don't include slavish obedience or fawning obsequiousness.

An article on electronic data storage told me a lot I didn't know, including the horrifying fact that stick drives often contain low end chips, or that they all come with a programmed max number of read/writes, after which they become read only. That's certainly worth knowing and there's a lot more in the story that's useful as well in terms of data storage.

One of the articles was written by a tornado survivor, and it was quite a read. Here's a partial excerpt:

"Again and again, I thought how different this was from what we heard of Hurricane Katrina, which saw both incompetence on the part of the government and a failure of self reliance by the population.  Or, Hurricane Sandy, where well heeled New Yorkers couldn't come up with a better idea than pooping in the hallways of their high rises and expecting someone else to clean it up......"

There's a review of the Yugo M70,  a copy of the Tokorev but in 9mm.  I thought it was interesting and I've been looking at those guns for some time. Now I might get one.

Also a review of the Century N-PAP, a rifle that has been getting a lot of air time on gun forums lately.

I liked the really comprehensive review of survival equipment. Unlike the same features in Off Grid, you don't have to be a yuppie driving a BMW to buy this gear and a lot of it was very practical.

Even the advertisements are good.  There's a full page add for the Sportsmans Channel, with information about their new series America Unplugged. Starting June 5th the show wil be airing every Thursday.

 Here's what the add says:

"Cut the Cord: Americans have taken matters into their own hands and "unplugged" from a system they believe to be unstable, unsafe, and unsustainable. Meet real survivors , defending their right to live free in the land of the free."

Sounds good to me, I'll give it a try. I already get Sportsmans Channel on Direct TV, (605), but is is also showing on Dish 395, Verizon FIOS 308, and some local cable networks.

There's a good article on chain saws, most of which I agreed with and all of which I enjoyed reading.

There are articles on food, food storage, and gardening as well.

The magazine isn't cheap, It's $9.00 plus tax.  I thought it was worth it though, and when they get some more in I'm buying a few copies to send to my nephews, neices and my own kids. I'd send some to my brothers but we are all pouting at each other right now and not speaking, so that will have to wait.  ;-)

Saturday, May 24, 2014

On the Wild Edge: David Petersen

David Petersen was a Marine Corps helicopter pilot who left the service,  and to a large extent civilization, and went to live in the woods with his wife.

He wrote this book about his life up in the mountains, and it makes a lot of sense, although of course we're not on the same sheet of music all the time.

  Here's a quote from the book. Sometimes he gets things just right.

" I am a happy camper most of the time. And like the Talking Heads' desperado, "Psycho Killer,"  I hate people when they are not polite. But yet, still-- Caroline is likely right when she accuses me at times of "thinking too much." What she means, and I agree, is that thoughtfulness, in this warped and thoughtless world, too often leads to disappointment, discontent, anger, rage and even psychosis. And all such problems are most pronounced in those of us who take life, perhaps, a bit too seriously."

I read a lot of books written by people who went off into the wilderness looking for they knew not what.  Many of them went a lot further than I did.  But when you read those books , whatever differences you may have with the authors, there are common strains.  It may be true that "all men lead lives of quiet desperation" but it's also true that some of them find a way out.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Far be it from me to imply any criticism of Islam, but.......

Why would you go back to some Third World hell hole if you once got out?  I've been following this story and I confess I am bewildered.

This Sudanese woman married an American christian.  One of her family members ratted her out to the the religious authorities in Sudan as an apostate.  The Sharia Law sentence for apostasy is, ahem, death.

She is eight months pregnant, which has thrown the mullahs a curve ball. So now some say she has to be hanged right after giving birth, while others say she can take care of the baby for two years and then be hanged.  Islam is, after all, a compassionate religion.

Right now she is being kept in one of their prisons, in chains.  The Sudanese are quite into the medieval thing, I guess.

Some Senators from the U.S., after expressing their respect for Islam and their acknowledgement of it as a religion of peace, have suggested to the Sudanese government that maybe this is not quite the way to handle the problem.

But the Sudanese said "hey, we gave her a chance to blow off Christianity and return to the one true faith, and she declined our benevolent offer, so she has to swing for it."

I hope she and her husband are doing a lot of praying because they better not put much faith in the U.S. Senate. There are a lot of Moslem voters in this country, and more every day, don't you know?

Anyway, from all the news reports this seems to be the story but if anyone has heard of any more bizarre angles and twists, pray let me hear of them.

I guess, in some ways, the Sudanese are progressives. In Pakistan they stone women to death for such heinous sins as being sassy to their husbands.  The Saudis have a little more class, they lash women with a cane, say 500 lashes, then chop their heads off in public. Some years back they gave one of their 21 year old Princesses this treatment, so they are really pretty democratic.  From what I've read it's quite a spectator sport and there is never a lack of gawkers. Standing room only, actually.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mad at Uncle Mike's and other matters of grave importance.

If anybody knows of an outfit that makes leather shoulder rigs for the Walther P-38, I sure wish they would let me know.

I have the Uncle Mike's rig pictured on the right.  But it's just not first class. The straps tend to slide when you pick things up (like a 50 lb sack of feed), which leaves the gun off balance and maybe showing under your vest. It also puts a lot of pressure right on the base of your neck. That's not so bad for short interludes but it has started giving me a headache.

I could go back to my Galco shoulder holsters, but those are all for big hand guns and the weight is oppressive. Put a fully loaded M1911 in one hand, and a fully loaded Walther in the other, and you'll be amazed at the difference.

When I'm fiddling around outside, I can just carry a rifle.  Close to home I have a Mauser or an Enfield handy, because they are full powered and sturdy.  But if I am going out aways, for instance if I'm walking my property line, I take a mouse gun. I don't really like them, but again, they weigh so much less than a full sized battle rifle. Huffing and puffing through the stifling heat and humidity, that matters. It's especially important in some places where my land is steep.

Obviously, if I am going to town or somewhere else there are people, I can't lug a rifle. So I wear my trusty fishing vest of the many pockets.  It covers my shoulder holster, it's cool in the summer time, and I like all those pockets. I can put my wallet, my cell phone, my check book, spare magazines, my folding knife and other useful things in the vest pockets.  But not the shopping list. My wife is tired of me having to empty out all my pockets to find the shopping list in the store, because I forget just which pocket it went into.

My vest is many years old now and it is starting to get ripped here and there. I have been looking in Sportsmans Guide for a not so expensive replacement. The NRA store has some nice one's but the NRA store caters to the very well heeled.  A bit out of my price range for shopping purposes.

Sportsmans Guide is more of an "everyman's" emporium.  I'll find something there that suits me in the affordable range. The next vest I buy won't have quite so many pockets.

The ferrets had a very rowdy night, pushing the fireplace tool stand off the hearth and nearly giving me a heart attack in the process.  Somehow, one of them managed to climb up the wall, latch on to the satellite radio antenna, and bring it crashing down too.  Today they are sleeping, so for a little while it is quiet.  Ferrets can be challenging friends, from time to time.

Ferrets like boxes, and if there isn't room in the box for all, they just cram in to the maximum extent possible. When I took this picture, there were four ferrets in the box. The rear end and the head you see in the photo belong to two different ferrets. The tail identifies one of the slumbering crew as Ragnar. He suffers from "rat tail" on and off.  Usually ferret tails are bushy, like a raccoon.

It's finally nice and warm here, at least for the moment. This picture was taken in April. I sincerely hope that last winter was just an aberration, and not a harbinger of things to come!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Lost email?

 Anyone who has written me an email at account, and has not received a response, please retransmit the message.

I am almost sure I lost some emails when I tried to open the "social" email box. I'm not sure what happened, but it looks like several messages just disappeared. They aren't in the "trash", so I am at a loss as to explain it.

You lose track of time.

One reason I go to town is that it provides me with my calender.  As in "I went to town two days ago." The day of the week only matters if there's a show I want to watch on tv, and even then it really doesn't because the machine tapes them.  I tried to remember what day of the week it was today, without looking at a calender or turning on the computer, and I couldn't. Because it doesn't matter in any way , shape or form.

I watched a new Science Channel show.   First time I'd seen it.  The series is called "Where the Wild Men Are."   The one I saw today was about an old Australian fellow in his seventies who lives on an island out in the Great Barrier Reef.  Sort of a latter day Tom Neale, except that he had a little money from his pension and had actually fixed himself up quite a nice place on this beautiful island. I take pride in living out away from people but when I see people like this I have to laugh at myself.  As so often seems to be the case when you find people living alone, the government is kicking the guy off this pristine island so it can be "developed." I wonder if the day will come when there won't be any places like that left, and everything will be covered with condominiums and tourist shops.

I'm behind on things, and I have some emails to answer.  If you sent me one and I haven't written back, I should be caught up this evening. I'm not dead, never fear.

It's warmer today, and drier.   Starting to look more like summer should look around this place. It means more work outside, but I'm not worried about that. Just glad to see summer here again.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Three days of rain, low clouds, and cold.

This has been a very strange three days.   The "Year of Bizarre Weather" continues.  It should be in the 70's or 80's here by day, sunny and relatively dry.  Instead, it's been getting down into the low forties at night, and no higher than the mid fifties during the day.  If we don't have rain clouds drizzling on us, we have low clouds on the mountain top that make it seem like we're living in a dense fog.  I've had a fire burning in the fireplace for the last 72 hours, non stop.

None of the work I had scheduled for outside got done. My wife says it won't matter to wait a week, but I told her we already waited a week, now this will be two unproductive weeks due to rain. She isn't concerned but then, she doesn't worry about things like maintenance anyway.

The Discovery Channel show I liked about people living in the American deserts is over. No Man's Land Season one was reasonably successful so I hope there will be a season two. On the other hand, I have stopped watching Dual Survival. As much as I like Cody Lundin, it's just getting too infantile. Whether all the childish behavior is real, or contrived by the producers, I don't need it. It reminds me too much of teaching 5th graders.

Tonight I watched Alaskan Bush People, off the grid.  This is a reality show with this setting. Some 36 years ago, a man and his new wife headed into the bush, built a home, and started a family.  Unfortunately, they were on public land and the feds eventually found them, seized their cabin, and burnt it.  One might be inclined to doubt this scenario, but I have read in The Cold Man Cometh that this exact same thing happened to the author and his family.

So, the story goes, the Brown family headed further north, bought five acres, and are trying to relocate. Seems plausible to me.  For one thing, although they seem like nice people, it's clear nobody has ever been near an orthodontist, and precious few visits to the dentist have been made. The family consists of the patriarch, the matriarch, five boys and two girls.  The older girl would be quite attractive if she had been afforded decent dental care as a kid.  Some of the boys are a bit quirky and I think there are some learning disabilities/ attention deficit disorders in there. They were all homeschooled by the mother, who is extremely articulate and seems to have had a good education somewhere in her past.

If you accept at face value that they were all raised in the bush, and that contacts with other people have been intermittent , that would explain a lot of the behavior.

I went to the Discovery Channel to see what else I could learn about these folks. Once I found the right web page, I was taken aback at how vehemently they are being attacked by people who don't like the show. "White Trash" is one of the kinder bits of name calling I saw there.  I'd say they are different, but the people using that term clearly don't know what it means.  People who work hard, keep their word, and stick together as a family are not "White Trash."  It's a free country and I would think those people who were so derogatory about the show would simply not watch it anymore. I hope so, anyway.

One thing I didn't like about the program is this odd function they have where people email in comments which are posted on the screen during the show.  I'm aggravated enough that television channels now feel compelled to put their logo's right across the bottom right of the screen after I pay for the programming. I certainly don't want to have to read "bobblehead32's" thoughts on the show as I'm watching it. I do not consider that progress.

The third show is on Tuesday night. The first two are replaying on Discovery Channel for the next two days at intervals. If you are at loose ends, it might be worth watching one and seeing what you think.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

"The Rover." New post apocalyptic movie from Australia.

News from the Birmingham , Alabama gun show.

Administrative notes. I am not cognizant of all the bells and whistles on blogger.

The ferrets and I had planned a little trip but it's raining and cold so we've postponed it.  Instead, I've got a fire going and am staying inside. It got down to 40 last night. Raining again today, so no work on the roof.

I got a nice invitation to a "hang out". I don't know how to do that, but I clicked on the button and it took me to a sort of web page / blog / email set up.  The person who sent it had a good joke. It went "Ferrets are slinkies that can go upstairs."  I thought that was pretty good, and told her the joke about ferrets being "carpet sharks" because they get under loose carpets and scoot right to you, even though they can't see you.  But I didn't know how to "send" my message, there didn't seem to be any button for that. So I closed the window and I hope it went to her. I'd hate to have someone think I ignored them.

If anyone ever leaves a comment on my blog, and  I don't respond, it's not intentional. It happens two ways. One, somebody comments on a really old blog post, and they do it anonymously. 99.9% of anonymous comments on old posts are spam. I get about 40 spam messages a day, and the spam filter catches them before they post. While I used to try to individually read all of them to make sure I did not inadvertently delete a real comment, it got to be too great an administrative burden.

The other way is this "reply" feature on comments. Sometimes, I go on the blog and there has been a conversation going on using reply. So you have several people talking. You can't "reply" to a comment in a colum of "replies" individually. So I add a comment at the end of the chain. That can look like I answered or responded to the last person and ignored the first ones. Not so, it's just a quirk of the program.

I don't know what circles are, or why you would want to have one. I know there must be a reason but I don't know what it is.  Same with "followers".  It's nice to have lots of readers and the little pictures are interesting, but I have never done anything like followers so if I have some they don't show up on the blog because I don't know it.

There, that gave me a chance to mention issues that I was afraid might have offended / hurt the feelings of anyone.

Living Ready Annual is out.

 I am fiddling around tonight on the computer.  In checking my Living Ready account, I found they've released their 2014 Annual.

Looking over the articles,  it appears to me that this is all new material, and not just a compendium of previously published articles lifted from the regular issues.

Not that I have a problem with that. I routinely buy the Shotgun News Treasuries, primarily because I could never keep all the Shotgun News newspapers. Now that I can, because they are digital, I may stop buying the Treasuries.

I thought I'd bought all the back issues of this magazine, since it's relatively new that didn't amount to much.  Tonight though, as I was scanning through the web, I found a previous issue I had not seen before.

Advertised as "the Premier Issue" it looked interesting.  I emailed them about it and we shall see what the story is.

    I notice they have an article entitled "the Deliverance Effect, Why There's Fear in the Woods."

I can't wait to read that.   I hope it's not a fantasy like the original movie was.  Probably it's a decent article with an unfortunate title. The Living Ready editors seem to have a good collection of writers, so I'm sure it 's nothing so tacky and annoying as Dreadful Hill Billies Hanging Out In The Woods And Assaulting Nice City People.

I'm also interested in the article "Fortify Your Home."

I've been doing that for a good long while. I'm not opposed to some more ideas on the subject, however.

Maybe I'll write one called "How to Sleep with a Full Sized .45 Under Your Pillow Without Getting a Headache."

Friday, May 16, 2014

Old Habits Die Hard.

I really belong to the 1980's-1990's group of Survivalists.  Those people were and remain very different in their attitudes and basic philosophies from the newer post 2000 self sufficiency lifestyle folks.

Before the advent of the Preppers, and before survivalism under that banner became mainstream,  most survivalists tended to be a low profile group.  It was almost exclusively male. That's not to imply women weren't involved in survivalism amongst the "hard core" but they were usually the spouses of survivalists more than being adherents themselves.

Operational Security is a term you hear a lot these days, but it becomes harder and harder to practice when you communicate with large numbers of other like minded people. Being like minded doesn't mean everybody shares the same methodology or philosophy.  Today it really means that you have common interests in some aspects of self sufficiency, but that's generally as far as it goes.

In using the blog as a means of communication, especially when commenting or responding to comments, you have to be very careful about inadvertently compromising someone.  Even the most innocuous statement can tell the world something about an individual that they would prefer not to have broadcast about.  You can also compromise yourself. After awhile, if you get careless, the aggragate result can be very surprising, and uncomfortable.  I sometimes feel that at my age, there's isn't a lot I can lose by these slips but depending on who is reading them and what their motivation is, that may not be true.

If one of your correspondents lives in a country where it's illegal to discuss certain aspects of life, and you do so in a comment left on their blog, can you get them into trouble?  I'm not talking about third world countries, either.  I have frequently left notes on comments I've sent to English bloggers, and said "if this might land you in trouble, don't post this." Sometimes, they don't.  Some other parts of the world that might surprise you are light on the "freedom of speech" aspect of blogging.  I don't want to cause difficulties for anyone so I have to take that into consideration. I would never be upset if someone did not post one of my comments because they were protecting themselves. I would be very upset if I got someone into difficulties.  It's easy for an American to do that because we aren't used to the idea of being arrested for expressing our views.

The Internet has changed everything.  There was a time when I might drive two days to meet with people and exchange ideas.  Meetings like this were usually set up through mutual acquaintances. They ordinarily involved tightly organized groups and frequently had strong political overtones. Often there was such a degree of suspicion and distrust that nothing positive could be achieved.

I think the number of groups devoted to mutual support and coordinated activity is much lower than it was then.  I know there are still some outfits quietly motoring along below the surface, but they tend to be much less common than they were. Today it's more a case of individuals sharing ideas , point to point through the internet.  Even the old events where bloggers who shared the self sufficient lifestyle would meet at some prearranged location for a "blogfest" don't seem to happen anymore.

Whether these are positive developments or not I genuinely don't know.   Because blogs are necessarily open to anyone who wants to read them if you want to achieve the maximum communication, there's a lot you can't discuss on blogs that could gainfully be communicated to others. I don't know of any way to address this.  Setting up a "restricted access" blog is technically feasible but it seems to defeat the purpose.

One aspect of laptops and tablets is that you can go on maintaining your blog , updating it and reading others, from anywhere.  You can pursue your interests without having to lose contact with other bloggers.  Sometimes that's difficult for me to remember and I have to struggle against the idea of shutting down for a bit when I'm involved in something outside my normal routine.

 It's the tendency to fall between two stools, the old way of doing things and the new technology that has changed those old ways.  Over the last thirty years I've learned to be flexible and I've tried to adapt.  I've made a lot of good friends that way, but it's certainly a different ball game these days.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Wednesday afternoon.

It's building up to a big thunderstorm. There's a cold front coming in, and it's hitting a warm, wet air mass from the Gulf of Mexico.  That's always good for some fireworks.

I went out on the porch this morning, to drink my coffee. Some kind of hideous wasp thing flew up and stung me over my right eye, which is now swollen shut.  The whole side of my face is puffed out. It gives me a gratifyingly gargoyle look and I wish I could see well enough to drive into town. I'd go to the grocery store and tell people it was a birth defect.

I have nothing planned for the rest of the day.  I can't work outside with this rain coming, and to tell the truth until the eye recovers I can't see well enough to do much of anything. Reading is certainly out of the question.

I have my trusty satellite radio though, and I can make myself a comfortable bed on the couch and listen to that, so the day is not a total loss.

I have been reading posts.   On one post I saw some amazingly realistic fake dog poop.  I was unaware that there was a market for this product and am now considering going into the fake ferret poop business . I am sure it would be a niche in this new industry, but who knows it might catch on.

I saw another post, at Pioneer Preppy's, where he was discussing the withdrawal of suburban creep from his area.  His description of what has happened very nearly matches Kunstler's description of what would happen in the future in his book The Long Emergency.   I need to get that out and read it again.