“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thursday night.

I don't have any security lights on tonight. Don't need them, because the moon is so bright.

I sat out on the porch for a bit at twilight, but the mosquitos are out. It's early for that, and I'd have thought this past winter would have killed them off anyway, but not so.  There is supposed to be some new kind of disease you can get from the mosquitos this year, but I can't remember what it's called. I do remember a few years back, when encephalitis first appeared in North Georgia as something carried by the mosquitos.  Seems to be more and more of that kind of thing happening these days.

Did a lot of driving today.  It was in the eighties, so I wore a light weight vest and carried a P38 in an Uncle Mike's rig.  Those are not nearly as good as the Galco rigs, but Galco doesn't make a Walther P38 holster.

The Walther is so much lighter than an M1911A1 or a Beretta or Sig.  I carry a spare magazine in the vest as there's no magazine holder on the rig like there is with Galco.  Sometimes, when it's hot, I'm tempted to just go on where I have to go and not carry a gun at all.  But that's getting careless and every time I get careless or slack, something bad always happens. So I compromise. The Walther is more comfortable, but holds half the rounds of a Beretta or Sig, and doesn't have the stopping power of an M1911A1. It's a trade off.

I got my bundle of cedar shakes. Just this small bundle you can lift up and carry off alone cost $50.00 plus tax.  Even if someone wanted a cedar shake roof, I don't think it would be affordable. Enough shakes to cover an entire roof today would cost more than it was worth.

I always keep a full bundle in the tool room, because I constantly have to repair the old cedar shake roof. Having pre-cut shakes makes the job a lot less difficult, although you can make your own with a special kind of hatchet. I did that for awhile a long time ago, but that was when you could still get cedar at the lumber yard.  Those days are long gone.  I'm told there is plenty of cedar in Canada but they must not be importing it anymore.

Spent a good while working on the retaining wall this afternoon.  I am constantly amazed at how much easier a job is if you have the right tools.  When I was younger, I wouldn't spend money on things like electric screwdrivers, drills, etc. I used all hand tools. Partly because I felt it was more appropriate to the life style I wanted to lead, and partly because it was so much cheaper.  Now I buy good tools for the job and save a lot of wear and tear on myself.  Especially the wear and tear that comes from getting frustrated and angry because you can't quite get something to work out like you want it too.  In a pinch I can charge these off the generator, so it isn't a complete capitulation to convenience over survivability.

I standardized on Ryobi when I started buying good tools.  I can get parts for them easily, they sell you gear with a complete kit and all the accessories.
They give you two batteries with each device you buy.   I am careful to buy equipment that has exactly the same batteries, so they are interchangeable between tools.

 I keep the charger set up on a desk in the shop. It takes about 45 minutes to recharge one of the batteries, but since you have two with each tool, you can just keep on working.

The flood light is great.  I can light the whole meadow up with this thing from the porch, and it's strong enough to penetrate some distance into the forest even when the leaves are on the trees.  True, it's heavy and cumbersome, but I keep it on a stand near the door where it's always handy.  I don't lug it around in a pack, so being heavy and bulky is not detrimental.

I have a backup chain saw, but when my Stahl finally wore out, I bought a new Ryobi to replace it. I liked the case it came in, and they gave me two spare chains, and some other ancillary equipment. It may not amount to much in terms of cost, but the items showed attention to detail on their part and I like that.

The case holds the saw, spare oil for the chain,  and some other spare gear.  I never had a case with a saw before and was much taken with the idea. Beats letting your saw bounce around in the back of the truck.  These are good quality tools, and if you take care of them you can pass them on when you get too aged to use them yourself. Besides, I have discovered that tools share one aspect with guns. There's a lot of pride in having good ones, and much satisfaction in caring for them.


  1. I have ryobi portable tools as well, I have been pleased with them. They get the job done. I was looking at a rig for my 1911 this past weekend. I thought about it, but I have flashbacks to the T.V. Show Miami Vice. I could see wearing it in the winter, but i'm more a T-shirt and shorts guy in the summer.

    1. The Ryobi tools I've acquired have been good bargains. Stout, they do the job, and they don't break. I'm glad to hear yours have done well too, I've not met anyone yet who bad mouthed them.

      I wear a vest in summer. Up here lots of older men do and it doesn't draw attention. Hauling an M1911 around in a t shirt and shorts would be tough. I carry a Walther PPK in a hogskin inside the belt holster when it's too hot to wear the vest.

  2. I am just starting to buy tools again. I have a power screw driver, and bought a regular power drill not battery powered. My boys made the purchase. We have had t- storms move through the last 24 hrs. Stay safe working alone.

    1. The retaining wall is pretty straightforward so it's not a problem working on it alone.

      I do a lot of fixit stuff here and good tools make all the difference. It's good you are acquiring some , they come in handy.

      Just hot, dry and dusty here now. I have the air running tonight.

  3. How you are with the P-38 is like me with my little airweight .38 (though admittedly yours is a lot more gun but at my age the vest screams GUN). I try to remain strong and carry a real gun but that little guy is just so handy especially when it is hot and the risk is low.

    For this summer I have a couple better Glock holsters so that should help matters.

    1. Vests are not in style for younger guys. It's like the younger men who wear "fanny packs." Everybody knows that they've got a gun in there. But at my age, you like to have lots of pockets for your pills, your pipe (tobacco pipe!), your tobacco, your camera, your phone, and all the other things geezers don't leave home without. So I fit right in.

      A .38 will do the trick, nothing wrong with that.

    2. In hot weather for CCW I find myself limited to IWB or pocket carry. A shoulder holster prints too much unless I am wearing a fairly heavy cover garment or one that is a full size too big (which is pretty obvious).

      Balllistically the .38 is just fine, the cartridge will do the job. The issues are capacity and ease of reloading. The revolver sucks at both. That is a shame because I love them but choosing one puts one at a disadvantage over more modern weapons.

  4. Honestly I almost only open carry anymore when I bother to leave my property anyway. I can't carry when I am working and it's legal in Missouri to have the firearm in a vehicle with you and considered open carry that way so that's pretty much the only way I operate now a days. If I need to take it with me, like when checking swarm traps or something I just belt it on. I have even walked into the gas station open carry and no one cares.

    Just as well I have never found a chest rig I like anyway but then again I rarely find a belt I like either.

    1. Can you wear your gun into a grocery store there without raising eyebrows? We have open carry, and I do see people in Walmart doing that, but I like having my gun out of sight. I know this sounds silly, but one reason I don't want people to know I have a gun is that I don't want to be stopped by some friendly older fellow who wants to talk guns. I have had guys come up to me in Walmart who saw part of the shoulder holster or rig under my vest and initiate a conversation I couldn't extract myself from for half an hour. Really.

    2. Some grocery stores may ask you to not bring it in if it is open. The closest one to me has never said anything but they are basically rural. Since Mo clamped down on cities making their own ordinances open carry is showing up a bit more. Not being able to carry at my job almost made me say no to the position but with today's litigation I can kinda understand it I guess. Still I have thought about putting one in my bag when I am traveling for them just in case.

    3. I didn't know you had started working off your farm again. I must have missed a post over at your place. What are you going to be doing?

  5. Harry,


    Yeah' I inherited a large old tool collection that I guess you would find impressive.
    The tools date from the late 19th Century to the Mid-Twentieth Century. All American.

    I don't carry much stuff on my person. No cell phone (I hate cell phones) some allergy pills I keep in the truck with aspirin. I cant seem to carry a lot in the pockets of my board shorts and I cant surf with a loaded 1911. Damn thing would act as an anchor.
    Down here things tend to rot or rust out on the beach so packing in stuff ain't exactly the thing to do. I even had 'Sexwax" melt in my truck (surfboard wax) Now I use Mrs. Palmers surfboard wax. I also carry meat tenderizer in case I get stung by a Man-O-War Jellyfish. Meat Tenderizer works great for absorbing the venom out of your skin.
    I found out that you can also have a friend "Urinate" on your jellyfish sting. No I am not making this up, nor do I wish to try it anyway:)
    Im sure Kymber would love to hear the story of the Great Captain Crunch getting stung by a "Man-O-War" and begging his friends to be "Urinated on"

    Its a surfer thing.....

    I did have a friend who got a Sting Ray barb right through the foot and I was there when It happened and I took him bleeding in my truck to the E.R. My friend even hung his foot out the window of my first Toyota truck and he bled all over passenger side of the truck as I was driving 90 miles an hour to the hospital.

    1. That's why I don't go into the ocean over my knees. There are nasty things out there that I have no desire to cross paths with. I'm a gullible sort in some ways. When I lived in Naples, Italy our staff used to hire "party boats" and cruise out to the islands in the bay of Naples. Everybody swam off the side of the ship. People told me there were no sharks because they couldn't get in through the straits of Gibraltar as the outflow was too fast. It was only years later that I learned the Med is full of "Squali" and that in Sardinia they have a big tuna festival every year and they always corral Great Whites.

  6. I wonder what the best tool is to buy now a days? It seems like when I was a kid my Dad wanted to buy tools from Sears because it had a life time warranty. Now their tools are crappy. Sometimes my husband buys cheap tools because he knows he won't use them a lot. The ones he knows he'll use, he buys a ton.

    1. As far as metal hand tools, I just buy stuff from Sportsman's Guide. Like your husband, I buy serviceable tools but not the top of the line stuff. When it comes to power tools, I've been buying the Ryobi because it seems like their equipment doesn't break, and you get lots of nice to have extras with the basic tool. I don't think Sears will be around much longer for the very reason you mentioned. It's a shame, it's always been a small town icon.