Monday, June 30, 2014

Der Fuhrer prepares to issue Executive Orders on Immigration.

  Barack Hussein announced today that he will pursue revision of U.S. immigration policy through a new series of Executive Orders.  He said that since congress won't do what he wants, he will simply have to do what he "can" without them.  He's proven that he's perfectly willing to do what he can, way beyond the legal limits, already.

What he wants is an amnesty program.  If you are old enough to have been following this for some time, you will remember the Bill Clinton amnesty, which allowed an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants to remain in the country and which Clinton "guaranteed" would solve the problem of hordes of illegals swarming across the Southern borders.

The 12 million (or more) stayed so at least he got that part right.  Obama knows illegals vote, illegally, and he knows they vote  Democrat. Why would he try to stop them?

Excerpt from a story on an incredibly vulgar anti-gun add now making the rounds on You Tube.

There's an extremely vulgar anti-gun add going around on the internet.  The anti- second amendment group that paid for it is quite pleased with itself.  However, a left wing writer from the Daily Beast, which is about as left coast as you can get,  pointed out that being trashy doesn't win friends and influence people of the sort you would want.

"Based on this language it stands to reason that the target audience for this PSA would be those who actually own guns. Gallup’s 2012 analysis of five years’ worth of interviews with more than 6,000 Americans provide some of the most comprehensive insight into our country’s gun owners ever conducted. The analysis found that gun ownership is significantly higher among those who identify as politically conservative than those who identify as politically liberal. Other significant indicators for owning a gun: being male, being Southern, and being married. Being Southern and conservative are not adjectives that describe someone likely to find (deleted )  humor funny."


It started raining last night. Raining hard.  We get some torrential downpours but they are almost always associated with thunderstorms. This time, it's just a front or something settled down over us. I have been looking out the big windows upstairs and watching the rain come down without let up.

Most of the morning, I spent paying bills. So I have a headache.  I pay all our bills at the end of the month, and may of them are medical bills.  You have to watch those guys like a hawk, because hospitals and doctors offices appear to make a practice of hiring incompetents to do their book keeping. I frequently have my payments posted to other accounts, or other peoples payments posted to mine.  Between my wife and her constant accidents, and my own medical foibles, a lot of our disposable income goes to medical blood suckers.  It's the only business I know where you have to go in and they can charge you absolutely anything they want to.  Our insurance, which used to be marginal at best, is now worthless thanks to Barack Hussein.  If only I were Hispanic, so I could just go in and not pay at all.

Two months ago I upgraded my kids cell phones to "smart phones."  It has proven to be a good call, because living in the city, they can use the internet to check their schedules, etc. on the go. However, my daughter does not have wifi at her house, so she has to use the AT&T network, and that means she is using up the 2 GB of data we pay for all on her lonesome. It doesn't help that she and her mother like to conduct marathon phone conversations that last for more than an hour just about every day. So, tonight my son is going to my daughters house to install a router and get her phone set up to work with wifi when it is available. Maybe that will help keep me out of the poor house.  Remember the old song that says "Saint Peter, don't you call me cause I can't go, I owe my soul to the company store."? Well, substitute AT&T for the company store and that would be me.

I am reading Deep Winter again.  It's a good book, and so is the sequel, Shatter.  There are actually three books in the series, but the third deals with restoring a political system after a collapse and it gets a little "science fiction" , so though it was not a bad book I don't think I will read it again.

Sherry is a good author, who did his research.  Before he wrote the book he communicated with a lot of the survivalists who had blogs, and as a result he hits a lot of things that other authors pass over or give no thought to.  It rings true with people who know something about the subject themselves. It's also a darn good book just for entertainment.

I think Commander Zero was right when he said the unusual ferret activity a few nights ago was due to the snake already being in the house.  They weren't exhibiting storm behavior, which invariably involves going downstairs and getting under the cedar chest.  They were more in hunting mode but I didn't make the connection.  When ferrets are alarmed, or angry, or hunting their tails fluff up like a cat. They get low to the ground and they stand still ever so often to smell. Their sense of smell is so far superior to their eyesight that a ferret can be blind and the owner won't know because they navigate so well on smell.

Next time they start patrolling around a part of the house, and making their "Dook, Dook" noise to each other, I'll get a flashlight and start looking for scaly reptilian home invaders under the furniture.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

To do list.

  • Answer all email by Monday night ATL.
  • Take the truck into town and get a little more lumber, a few more bags of planting soil, and try to get the new test garden finished.
  • Order a full case of ferret protein paste and another of ferret supplement oil.
  • Get off of top dead center and contact the local Ham radio club about their next meeting for tyros.
  • Go ahead and pre order Rawle's two new books due out in October. He isn't doing book bomb anymore so it doesn't matter when I order.
  • Go through the spreadsheets on powder and bullets, and see what I need to order to keep a good stocking level up for all my common chamberings.  Talk to Pioneer Preppy about loading cast lead bullets and see what I can learn about that for the .45 Colt guns.
  • Buy two more fifty pound sacks of dog food, 4 more 22 pound sacks of cat food, some cases of canned cat food, and at least six months of ferret food. The other animals can eat improvised food, the ferrets can't.  Another 200 pounds of cracked corn or scratch, whichever I can get.
  • Try to find a pole antenna to replace the old on one the SSB CB. If I can't find one, rig a dipole.
  • Find a new headset for the old SSB CB. Or at least an adaptor which will work with a more modern headset.
  • Order six of the new LED no wire motion sensor lights from Sportsman's Guide.
  • Get more window film to cut down on heat coming into big living room windows. Get some heavy plywood and precut it for shutters on all the ground floor windows.
  • Call the woodman and start picking up a load a week if he has it.
  • Find somewhere to get the chainsaws overhauled.
  • Find a good place in the city to have Glenn's car engine rebuilt.
  • Find mirror set for his new car to replace the old ones. Try Whitney catalog.
  • Pick up another four hundred rounds of 9mm (Tula in the can) and another 100 rounds of .45 ACP.  If .38 special or .357 show up at Walmart, buy some.
  • Fill all five kerosene jugs while the summer prices are in effect.
  • Talk to gas company about summer fill up schedule
  • Start keeping the truck tanks, main and saddle, full to the max. Fill the two truck Jerry cans and keep them on the truck.
  • Keep the Jeep at a minimum of half full.
  • Put one scanner, one HF receiver, four "sports radios" in the ferrady cage.
  • Restock the battery supply, especially AA, AAA and D.
  • Replace the 20 pounds of rice you used to make a ferret dig box.
  • Fill all the large plastic jars with rice or beans. No exceptions.
  • Go to the flea markets in North Carolina and over near the South Carolina border, look for things on the "pick up" list.  Make an overnight trip out of South Carolina.
  • Decide whether or not to buy more 7.62X54. 

That should keep me busy for a while.  Being retired is good in one respect, it does let you spend your time working on things you need to do for yourself, and not grubbing away at some job to make money for someone who already has too much of it.

I have run down my stored stocks of animal feed in the last three months, intentionally. I want all new, fresh supplies stored by the end of July.  I have other projects, but I am going to try to make a dint in this list before I start working on the other "big" jobs.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Attack of the snake.

It has been an interesting day.  First, we had a thin overcast this afternoon.  Out of that overcast came some very strange thunder, like the noise kids used to make by blowing up their paper lunch sacks and popping them.  No rain, no lightning, just these unusual bursts of noise. I don't recall ever hearing anything quite like it before.

Then, as it got to be dusk, low clouds came in on the mountain. We get these, and fog, fairly often. It's thick tonight. I can only assume that a cold air mass has moved in over the heavy wet air mass we already had, and the fog is condensing out of it.  It's certainly cooler outside tonight.

About 11, there was a ruckus in the living room.  My wife went to see what was going on and she came back a lot faster than she went.  The cat and two of the ferrets were battling a two foot long black snake.  I have no idea how it got in the house, but this is not the first time a snake has made it's way inside.

Midori the cat and the ferrets are unlikely allies. Midori hits the ferrets with her paws, and they , understandably enough, do not trust her. But faced with this reptilian intruder they all pitched in.  Midori was trying to pin the snake down, and the ferrets were sliding in from both sides, looking for a chance to grab the snake by the head.

I pinned it down with a broom and caught it, then tossed it outside.  If it has any intelligence at all, it will take advantage of the darkness to put some distance between the chickens and itself.

After that , I went back to reading.  I have a collection of books written by people who participated in the War between the States.  Time Life published some 30 odd of them in the series back in the early to mid eighties.  I've read all the books by Confederates. It's harder to read those by Northeners, for obvious reasons.  Tonight I'm working on Hard Tack and Coffee by John D. Billings.  I have to keep reminding myself it was written when the war was still within the life spans of those who fought it.  Billings was typical of the time, and his chapters about the march through Georgia and the destruction of Virginia make hard reading.  He was an enemy so there's no need  to expect him to have any other attitude than he did, but even so his gloating over despoiling helpless civilians is tough to read through.  Some Northern officers might have tried to prevent the worst excesses, but Billings feels like the South was to blame for the war and got what it deserved.

Still, no use in buying books you aren't going to read, and these have been sitting on the shelf now a long time.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Kissing the Toads.

 Somewhere or other, I remember reading a book where the princess explained that in order to find a prince, one had to kiss a lot of toads.

I spent a good bit of today kissing toads, with no commensurate reward .  I wasn't looking for a prince, but I was looking for some useful connections and they did not materialize.

I'm not a joiner, and I work alone.  That doesn't mean I'm opposed to cooperating with people who have common interests when it's to my advantage to do so.  Particularly now that my kids are gone, it won't hurt me to be on speaking terms with other individuals in
my part of the mountains who are also practitioners of self sufficiency.

So, today I went in to town for a get together being touted by a person I know in an off hand manner.  He was having coffee with some of his buddies and invited me to go along and meet them.

Right off the bat, I didn't get a good feeling with these people.  I've met all kinds of self sufficiency oriented people in Georgia and the surrounding states over the last 30 years. They come in every persuasion, from disparate backgrounds in plenty.  I'm not particularly concerned with their origins so much as their philosophy and planning.  These guys were clearly from the mountains, which on the face of it is fine.

However....  Though they doubtless had skills that were of value, I didn't like them.  I'm sure they can hunt, and farm, and do carpentry.  I'm certain they would be unpleasant people to tangle with and they probably keep their word.  They were extremely coarse people. I don't expect everybody to be a Pi Beta Kapa, but  frankly these individuals would have fit right in with the cast of Deliverance.

One fellow regaled us with his story of how he smokes woodchucks out of their burrows, so his dogs can tear them apart alive.  His descriptions were graphic and met with gales of appreciative laughter.  Another bragged about shooting foxes from his front porch, when they came to play in a grassy spot on his land. I asked him if they were getting his chickens, and he said, oh, no , it was just fun to shoot them.

I am not naive about life up here.  Still, it occurred to me that these bold souls had no idea what real, serious violence is about or what it looks like. They thought they were hard cases but they don't know a thing about the real deal.  I was not impressed.  I made my excuses and left.   Allies like that I don't need.  A wasted trip.

Stopped at the Farmers Depot on the way back, so as to try to salvage something out of the day.  I ran into a fellow I know who is a janitor at a hospital two counties over.  Yesterday, all the "workers", the house keepers, janitors, etc. were called in to a staff meeting. They were told that effective immediately, they no longer worked for the hospital. Instead, they were now employees of a contract labor company. They took pay cuts, loss of vacation time, loss of insurance. I told him that the hospital couldn't just "sell" them to a blood sucking labor contractor outfit like that, and he said if he quit he wouldn't have a job. There is no work up here to speak of, and he's right.  This is one more example of things just getting worse and worse for working people.  It's exactly what Kunstler said in "The Long Emergency."  The guy wrote the book in 2005 and it's like he could see the future. I took some time tonight to skim through it again. Over and over, exactly what he said would happen, did happen.  He predicted the housing bubble bust, what has happened in Iraq, what has happened to our economy, and on and on.  I wish I could give everybody whose blog I read a copy.

Well, it's been a pretty trying day, but at least it's over.  Tomorrow may be better.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Mauser. As they used to say about the Hawkin, " You cain't go no better."

"When it all comes down, the last man standing is going to be standing there in shorts and sneakers, armed with a '98 Mauser, and all the ninja-looking guys belly up at his feet-- with all their cool gear."

Louis Awerbuck

** Awerbuck was a member of the South African special forces during the struggle against marxist terrorism there. He later was a lead instructor at the Gunsite Academy, forming his own shooting school, the Yavapai Firearms Academy.  He was a noted gun writer and appeared in the top firearms magazines of the day.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Flying over the New Mexican Desert, 1973-1975

I got my private pilots license in November of 1973.  There was a Navy program, called the Flight Indoctrination Program, that paid for everything if a reservist wanted to go to the aviation pipeline once they finished college.

About twenty minutes out of Albuquerque there was a small airstrip and fixed base operation called "Seven Bar Flying Service." They had the contract for the FIP guys.

The basic trainer was the Cessna 150. Once you had soloed, you could fly the Tomahawk or the Cessna 172.

One of the guys I flew with there was from Albuquerque. His father had been a Navy pilot, and owned an old Lescombe. It's the only tail dragger I ever flew.

On weekends, a bunch of us would go out to the airfield, sign out the aircraft, and then go out to fly over the mesa as a big gaggle.  It was lots of fun.  The fellow on the left of this picture was a UNM wrestler, got injured, and had to leave the program. The guy on the right eventually went ground, and ended his career as the commanding officer of a Light Armored Assault Vehicle battalion.

New Mexico was a wonderful place to fly.  Almost always good weather,  vast expanses of desert where you could fly way lower than the legal limitations.  I went back out there in 2004, and flew over where the airfield used to be , in a balloon. There was nothing of it left, just row upon row of tract houses.

Flying "civilian" in New Mexico back then was a lot more fun than flying military later on. For one thing, you could do pretty much what you wanted to do while you were up.  We used to flour bomb. Take up little bags of flour.  Find a place out there where two dirt roads crossed. Pull the throttle back, put the flaps down, and play Stuka dive bomber. The guy in the right seat opened the wing window and threw out the flour bag just before you pulled up. The lower you went, the better your chances for a good hit.   Whoever got the closest hit was Hans Ulrich Rudel for the day.  It was great fun.

That's me on the left.  The fellow in the middle flew A7 Corsair II fighter bombers, then P3 Orion patrol planes. Last I heard some years back, he was flying for Fedex.  The fellow on the right is the wrestler who got hurt. I lost track of him, but he was a good man and it was a shame he never made it to active duty.

Everybody likes to have their picture taken by the aircraft.  It's a very ancient aviation tradition.

I distinctly remember the day this was taken.  The guy in the aircraft next to mine was my college roommate for four years.  This day, we went "flat hatting." That's getting up early, taking off as the sun comes up, when the air is smooth, and then just skimming across the mesa a few feet above the deck. I remember this day because he was in the lead, popped up over a little hill, and there were power lines directly ahead of us.  Pilots joke about your rear end biting washers out of the seat when things get interesting fast.  This was one of those events.

Dog fighting with the Lescomb and a Cessna.  They weren't much in the way of aerobatics. Neither plane was designed for that, so it was mostly just chasing each other through the clouds. The Lescombe was more maneuverable, the Cessna was faster. It was fun.

College was a lot of fun.  I never could have gone if the Navy hadn't picked up the tab. It was a great deal.  They paid for tuition, for room and board, and gave us our reserve pay. On summer breaks we went on training and got full pay. It was a tightly structured unit, with a great commanding officer and First Sergeant. They kept us out of trouble most of the time, and if there were fights with the "freaks" who didn't appreciate our presence on campus, the campus police were sympathetic and the First Sergeant could always fix things.  Our First Sergeant was Top Herringer. He died on Okinawa in 1976. He was out running and had a heart attack. What a great man he was, and I doubt there's a one of us from that unit that's still living who doesn't remember him fondly, and with great respect.

I owe a lot to the Navy and Marine Corps.  Not all of my experiences were positive, but overall it was very good to me, and the times can't all be good. You have to take a little of the bad along the way. Even then, you learn something from every experience.

Old 70's song: Harry Chapin

Monday, June 23, 2014

The ferrets are restless.

 The ferrets are scurrying around tonight. They are worked up about something. It's a hot, muggy night but inside the house it's very comfortable, so it can't be that.

I checked the radar, and there's no bad weather lurking out there.

The last time they acted this way, this late, we had an earthquake.

I don't know what has them stirred up, but something is amiss.  If the dogs start howling and the chickens start clucking in unison, I'll know to stand by for heavy rolls.

Nurse Daddy sent this list of military equipment we left behind in Vietnam, which fell into the hands of the North Vietnamese. Fighting a war costs a lot of money. So does losing one.  The new Vietnamese government pimped this gear all over the planet, almost exclusively to people who hated us.

DOD states the following hardware was left behind in '75:
(Viet Nam and Cambodia)
114,000 M1911A1's
946,000 M16A1's (!!!!!)
15,320 M60's
65,500 M79's
63,000 M72 LAW's
550 tanks (M48A3 and M41A3)

This list doesn't include the thousands of vehicles we left there, or the vast numbers of helicopters, light aircraft , Spads, F5 fighters, transport aircraft and other aviation assets that the North Vietnamese captured intact on the abandoned air bases when the South Vietnamese folded.  Nor does it include the truly monumental amounts of ammo and supplies.

Yet just tonight, some snooty woman from Obama's staff was on Fox News, telling the viewers that the administration is going to send more weapons and equipment to the Iraqi army to help them "stand up" to ISIL.  Yes, we need to replace all the gear they ran off and left to the terrorists, who will be months inventorying all the booty. Politicians have no idea why men fight, or how they are led. So you get this grocery list mentality. Idiots.   This woman, incidentally, was the same one who held a news conference and said that the squad mates of the deserter we recently recovered were all liars, and that the deserter was not a deserter.  I have no idea how even the current administration could let somebody like that out on the loose.

Oh, well.  It's almost midnight.  I think I'll go sit on the porch awhile and watch the lightning bugs. There's a bit of a breeze blowing so it should be a little cooler out there now.

Nice night for stars

There's some moisture in the air, but it's still a good night for looking at the stars. I turn out all the red security lights, and go back up behind the shop into the meadow. Then I go up slope, to the treeline. There's a good view of the night sky from there. I turn out the lantern, and once the eyes adjust, there are the stars and the silhouettes of the mountains.

 To really enjoy the night sky, you have to be in a position where there is no artificial light at all.  A blacked out warship at sea will give you the best view of the entire bowl of the sky at night.  The desert will do it, too, if you are far enough out from civilization.  The mountains don't let you see 360 degrees unless you are on the highest peak in the region, and my mountain is not that. But I can see the sky , down the mountain and towards North Carolina. It's very relaxing. A quiet night with the stars up there does wonders for keeping things in perspective.

It was hot today, in the low nineties range. The humidity was high.  It's still not what I would call cool at one in the morning, but it's more tolerable.  Once it gets to the high summer days, I tend to stay inside by day, and spend more time outside in the evening and at night. You get less heat stress that way.

I finally straggled down to the mail box to see what had accumulated, and found a new Graf and Sons catalog. This is a big event for me,  since I buy most of my reloading supplies from them. Midway is my second supplier. Between the two I can get everything I need. The catalogs are free and more fun than most magazines I pay for.

 I was in the apartment today, looking for something and I opened a cabinent I haven't been into for awhile. I found this book in there.  At first, I couldn't remember it at all and thought maybe I'd bought it and then not read it.

But when I thumbed through,  I remembered it.  Not a bad book.  The title is a give a way that it's about an electromagnetic pulse, but it has some unusual twists to the story that keep it from being stale. I bought it some time ago, and haven't seen any reviews so I don't know if Williams wrote anything else, or even if this is still in print.

It's a good way to spend a hot afternoon, though. The book is well written, and it feels "professional." As if the author has been writing for a long time and has story telling down pat.  I don't know anything about him, it's just an impression.

All in all, it's not been a bad day.

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Sunday: Dead Quiet.

I have been watching the events in Iraq with increasing incredulity.  If you'd told me the Iraqi army would fold up and blow away, I'd have believed it.  They don't have much of a reputation. They tangled with Israel in 1948 and 1973, and were no threat.  They fought World War I all over again against the Iranians in the 1980's, and neither side showed to advantage although the Iranians demonstrated an interesting proclivity for suicidal frontal attacks. I guess they never studied World War I much at their religious schools. In the two Gulf wars the Iraqi military was largely a bad joke. So their current performance against an Al Qaeda offshoot, ISIL, is not surprising. What does surprise me is that our government seems to have been expecting better. The troops who tried to train the Iraqis could have told them what would happen. You can't make a silk purse out of a sows ear. We always seem to get stuck trying to make an army out of dross. Remember Vietnam?

The Al Qaeda group seems to be sweeping all before it, except when they accidentally bump into the Kurds and have to fight the Peshmerga. That hasn't worked out well for them, so they are bypassing the Kurds when they can.  Iran is making noises about sending the Revolutionary Guards into Iraq. I hope they do. It was the Revolutionary Guards who masterminded the Beirut Bombing. It would be sweet to see Al Qaeda and those guys stacking each other up like cordwood. The Shiite and the Sunni killing each other may save our bacon.  It was something very similar that allowed the Crusader states to survive in Palestine much longer than they could have otherwise. I regret the vast quantities of advanced weaponry, such as stingers and Apaches, that we've lost to Al Qaeda because the Iraqis ran away and left all the supplies and equipment intact. Tens of thousands of the best small arms, tons of ammunition, a nice present for Islamic terrorists.  It seems our government has to learn some lessons every few years or so all over again. Remember the helicopters being pushed off the decks of the ships off South Vietnam?  For years after the end of the Vietnam War, the Vietnamese were selling F5 fighters, M48 tanks, M60 machine guns, M16 rifles, M1911 pistols, and every other nuts and bolts part of a military to any purchasers who showed interest. A lot of it wound up in the wrong hands in Central and South America.

We live in interesting times.

Whatever is going on in the rest of the world, here in the woods it's quiet.  I went out at dawn, and it was cool with a nice breeze blowing.  Supposed to be very hot by afternoon.  We are going to run into town this morning for a quick trip to Walmart before the church mob shows up.  Primarily we need some eye drops for one of the cats who has an eye infection.

The rest of the day, I'll stay inside where it's cool.  Tomorrow we are going to the lumber yard to get some boards for our garden beds, and I hope we can get started on that when it's cool in the evening. Not much else planned for the week.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

We have enough problems without the U.N.

U.N. pushing their "small arms and ammo treaty" again.

                                        link to article above

It's tough enough trying to keep our own government from making stupid laws.  Despite the best efforts of people who still live in the sphere of reality,  Washington D.C. pumps out hundreds of new laws each year. Some of them are just codified acts of stupidity, engendered by some nobody who wanted to have a "legacy."  Many of them, though, are serious threats to the rights of the average citizen in the United States.  There's a book called  Three Felonies a Day which addresses this phenomenon.

The essence is that there are so many laws now, that no one can avoid breaking some of  them every day.  Far from trying to do something to trim this unmanageable mass of paper into something understandable, the Feds are delighted.  It gives them the power to nail anyone they want to, any time they want to.  They just have to figure out what statute you're in violation of, and they can ruin you. That's what they were trying to do with Bundy out West.  They wanted his land, so they just found a "law" they could say he violated.

Now, this U.N. "treaty" has reared it's head again.  There was a time when all treaties had to be ratified by the Senate and the House. But these days, the President and his lackey's don't worry about the Constitution. Anything they want that they can't get through the Congress, they simply implement through Executive Order.  My concern with the U.N. trying to mandate gun regulation in the United States is that Obama will use this as an excuse for more executive orders.  The use of executive orders by a President to rule by Diktat started on a large scale with Bill Clinton, and has been going strong with Obama.  It's just one more threat to our way of life, but it's a big one.

A Good Place to Live

I got up early today and rode up to a gap in the mountains, about three miles from the house. It's a perfect place to view the sunrise.  Professional photographers go up to that spot to catch the sun coming up against the mountains.

This is a view of the Chattahoochee National Forest.  There's nothing out there. No houses, no roads. The Appalachian Trail runs through it, usually along the mountain ridges.

Not all of the county is mountainous.  There are flat places, called coves.  Most of these are used for crops like corn and beans, but there are some pastures for cattle and horses as well.

I took this picture from the Appalachian Trail.  It's looking down towards Atlanta and the "flat lands."

This is the shop (first floor) and the apartment (second floor).  All of my buildings are under the forest canopy.  That serves to help keep them cool in the hot months.  If you look at an air photo of my place, you can see the meadow but it looks like nobody lives there unless you blow up the picture and look very closely. Then you can see the outline of some of the buildings.

I live so far out, and so far away from people, that I can do whatever I want to out here. I don't have to worry about whiny people bitching to the Sheriff if I want to shoot. Nobody hears me in the middle of this forest.

The dogs and I used to spend a lot of time out in the woods, exploring.  I'm good with a map and compass, so I never got lost.  I also had a hand held GPS for verification purposes. I don't go out into the forest much anymore, it's really tough on the legs because it's all up and down.

Nobody can escape problems and worries, but I do think living way out in the desert, or the mountains, or the woods, makes life simpler.   You don't have all the issues inherent in interaction with people.  It tends to be a very uncomplicated existence that centers around your immediate needs.  You can be very comfortable, and have all the amenities that city dwellers do, but without the issues they deal with.

Friday, June 20, 2014

An experiment in agriculture.

I have decided to plant some potatoes, corn and maybe some beans.  I find it difficult to believe that there is much magic involved in raising some vegetables.  If it's hard, then how are all the people around here able to raise these huge gardens like they do?

The rules of my experiment are:

  • I can only use seeds I have on hand, except I have to buy some potatoes to cut up.
  • No buying fertilizer or pesticides that wouldn't be available in a crunch.
  • If the chickens get in there and start eating the seeds, I'll have to put up a chicken wire fence and start over.
  • If the deer or hogs eat them, that doesn't count because that doesn't mean I couldn't have grown them otherwise.
  • I'll take pictures of the vegetables as they grow and post them. Of if they don't grow, I'll post those.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Backwoods Home Magazine is out.

   I got my new issue of Backwoods Home Magazine on the Kindle.  Almost all magazines give you an exact copy of the paper edition, but not Backwoods Home.  You get the articles, but that's it. I am aggravated by this because I like to read the adds in self sufficiency magazines.

As originally written "These days, Backwoods Home is a lot more about farming, gardening, canning, and other rural home related topics than it is about preparedness."

These days, Backwood Home has a lot more about farming , gardening, canning and other rural home related topics than it does about any other aspects of preparedness. The magazine has changed over the years.  They still have some very good self sufficiency articles from time to time, and they put out "specials" that are survivalist in nature.  There are already more than enough magazines focused on agrarian facets of self reliance, we don't need to convert everything to a version of The New Pioneer.

I quit buying the magazine in hard copy because it's expensive and I didn't feel like the new emphasis on homesteading issues really justified the cost. But with the much cheaper Kindle subscription I can still read the articles.

This is the type of special I always make it a point to buy.  They come out with them about once a year, and the articles are excellent.  Sometimes people ask me why, since I've been doing this for more than thirty years, I still read basic articles on survival. First , I find the stories and articles interesting. Second, nobody knows everything and I'm a long way from feeling like I know all I need to know. I'm always trying to pick up tips or ideas to improve our situation here on the mountain.  Finally, if my kids ever get serious about preparedness, I'd like to have a good , ready to hand reference library for them. That's why I buy books, and why I save the digital material in such a manner that as long as we can charge the computer battery, we can access it, internet or not.

The Backwoods Home Emergency Preparedness and Survival Guide is not bad.  It's very basic, but until Rawles' How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It came out, this was the basic reference book I always kept on my desk.  It's updated about every four years or so as far as I can tell.

You can buy either a paperback copy, or you can get it on a CD.  It's a handy book and doesn't cost a lot.  If you have relatives who aren't giving much thought to self sufficiency, this would be a good one to send to them. They might just set it on the bookshelf and forget it, but they might read it.  I would expect that anyone who read the book would have to have their complacency shaken just a bit.

The latest edition of the magazine says they are putting out another anthology. I think it's the first 22 years of the magazine and sells for about $150.00.  It's on CD's.   I haven't decided yet whether I want to buy it , because I am pretty sure I have most of the magazines in my collection already.

Overall, it you are very interested in gardening and doing your own small building projects, you will probably get your money out of the magazine.  If nothing else, it's fun to read.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Fast and Furious.

We went into town for lunch today.  It was already overcast and we got some heavy rain on the way in, but I didn't think much of it.  It's that time of year, and according to The Weather Channel we are getting way more rain than normal anyway.

We went to our favorite place for lunch. They are up on a hillside, with a great view of the mountains. People started coming in and talking about big hail and wind just outside of town.  Then we saw the storm come over the mountains from the NE.  It was just a black mass.   There was lightning spiking down from it and the thunder was impressive.  As it passed over the town the lights flickered and the silverware on the table shook.  When particularly big bursts of thunder went off the floor would vibrate. Some of the women shrieked, that kind of thing where everybody laughs afterwards but they're still nervous and looking around.  It was an amazing storm, they just keep getting stronger and I am continually thinking that each particular storm is the most powerful I've seen here.

When we got home, one of the kittens had gotten off the front porch and been out in the storm. He was almost dead.  My wife dried him off with the hair drier and put him on a heating pad, but I don't think he will make it.  Why he went out in the storm is beyond me. Animals do strange things.  This past winter I found one of our cats sitting out in the middle of the meadow, covered with snow, frozen solid. It was as if he just sat down in the snow, 20 feet from the warm hay stacked out of the wind, and died.

The lightning bugs are out tonight in force.  The meadow is swarming with them, and the bats are swooping down out of the trees and gobbling them up.   It's very damp and quiet out there tonight, too warm to spend much time on the porch but it was still an interesting sight.

Nothing really interesting other than the storm today.  Some days up here are just that way.