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

― Frank Herbert

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Thunder and rain.


A cool front is moving through the mountains. Not cold, but cooler air.  It has been brutally hot here for four days.  Up into the nineties even at the higher elevations.  Now it's about to start raining, but I don't mind that.


Two new magazines on the stands this week:


There's a very good article on a company that converts surplus military vehicles into your own custom specifications BOV.  Very affordable, too. Less than you would pay for a new 4 door Wrangler, stripped down.

There's a very well written story on land navigation, using a map and compass. This is rapidly becoming a lost art, but everyone should know how to land navigate without a GPS.  GPS is nice, and easy, but it's seductive and if you abandon map reading skills as a result , you may be up the creek without a paddle if GPS fails for any reason.

They have some good articles on field cooking,  on preserving food, and on security for rural retreats. As always, the adds and gear reviews are worth the price of the magazine.   When American Survival Guide came out, it was a little rough around the edges, and people compared it unfavorably with the "old" American Survival Guide" edited by Jim Benson before Y2K.  That was an outstanding magazine, but I think the new one is starting to approach those standards.


The third issue of Be Ready is out.   This is the Shotgun News entry into the world of self sufficiency publishing.

This quarter, there's a very good article on the NSA, and it's invasion of privacy and flagrant disregard for the rights of American citizens.

The NSA spies on your phone calls, emails, social media messages and harvests huge amounts of personal information about you in the process. Although anyone who reads the news knows this, the article in this magazine puts all the information in one place.  If you use the internet, or cell phones, you should give it a read. There are some surprises in here for most of us.

They put stories about caching , ham radio, and using an axe in this edition.  The adds and gear reviews are pretty good.  Although Be Ready is still developing, it's a worthwhile magazine to read.


While working on my porch this week I had a minor accident when a scaffolding I built collapsed. I didn't get very beat up but it has slowed me down a little, hence fewer posts this week and probably for a bit in the future.  Work has to get done, and sometimes things go wrong.







24 comments:

  1. A good comment about land navigation. I'm sure many people don't have a clue as to how to use a compass and map.
    Remember "Dead Reckoning." I spent many anxious moments in the cockpit waiting for the next check point to appear!
    Harry, ladders and geezers don't get along too well. Glad you didn't break anything.

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    1. I wonder if pilots even do dead reckoning anymore. I can remember when it was thought you were well off if you rode the right radial til station passage on the old VOR system. But not long ago, I was watching a video a fellow took while flying his light plane, and it showed his cockpit instrument panel. This was a single engine land type aircraft, nice but not anything special. Yet his control panel was all digital screens. So I thought, if people are flying using a GPS, that kind of does away with the need for VOR bearings, so maybe the charts don't even show the "highway in the sky" anymore. I've been out of flying for a long time.

      I am replacing my wrap around porch. I built a scaffolding to get up to the porch on the high side. It looked stable and I used good quality wood screws to put it together. I guess, like the Titanic, it had some fatal flaw. The thing just folded up. No harm done to me, I'm just rethinking how to get at the work and resting a bit. You're right, being a geezer makes it hard to get things done. You can't lift as much, work as long, and it's very tiring. Wish my son hadn't moved off.

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    2. I'm sure it was an errant ice-burg in the area that took you down. You did mention a cold front....

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    3. Harry: That panel alone is worth about 100 grand,100% IFR. The plane is not mine but I do get to play with it on occasion. It has steam gauges back up but just the bare minimum. It does use GPS for a lot of stuff and this allows for way more situational awareness than we had with the old steam gauges. But can also fly on ground signals alone, NDB, VOR and ILS. The GPS if the signal is of the adequate strength, does allow WAS, or in pedestrian lingo you can shoot your approaches to lower minimums than those published for standard ILS approaches. Additionally it has storm-scope and live weather radar depiction though an XM radio type subscription. As well as TCAS (traffic collision avoidance) All this along with the weeping wing de-ice and a turbo charged IO-540 allows us a cruise altitude of 25 thousand feet breathing O2. A couple of years ago we left Chattanooga at 5:30pm and made it to Portland Maine by 9:45 doing over 300kts over the ground. But if you don't use it at least on a weekly basis it is way easy to get rusty on the process because you are a systems manager. We can plan our flight in the nav/com radio, way point to way point and all we have to do is give it the throttle, rotate and engage the autopilot. Cruise waypoint to waypoint, and even insert new waypoints should weather or controllers require. On landing the sequence is reversed and all we do is manage throttle and landing gear and do the flare on touch down.
      But I get your point. Dead-reconing is a basic skill no pilot air, sea or land should forget.

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    4. Matt, by God, that's it! I knew it wasn't bad design or carpentry work on my part. Nothing anybody can do about an iceberg. ;-)

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    5. Silvius, that's a nice aircraft you have there. I started flying in 1973 and my last flight as a PIC was mid 1990's, in a Civil Air Patrol T-141.

      Are you sure that's an airplane you have, or a spaceship? I looked at all that stuff on your video and I thought, " I'm glad I can't pass the physical anymore because I am not sure I could fly something that looks like a space shuttle inside."

      It's nice you can use the aircraft, but even paying for the gas must cost an arm and leg. That's what I liked about Civil Air Patrol, only $15.00 an hour to fly the plane for fun, and nothing at all if you were flying a SAR, or some more mundane thing like taking the aircraft to a maintenance facility. I know I am outdated, but dead reckoning for a pilot would seem to be de rigueur . In my time, instruments could and did fail with dismaying regularity and your brain was your backup. Thus spake Zarathustra !

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  2. Glad you posted. I was beginning to worry about you. Take it easy. We don't bounce back quite as fast as we used to, do we.

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    1. Vicki, I'm dong fine. Just been so hot here, and one of my engineering projects did an "epic fail" as the current saying goes. So I am regrouping.

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  3. Harry - you know i love you and you know that i only threaten certain people, not naming any names (pointing at PioneerPreppy) with the *ss-kciking boots, but you better start taking better care of yourself and not trying to do so many jobs by yourself or else....oh ya mister! or else. and you don't want to know what "or else" really means!

    you take care of yourself buddy. we need you! much love my friend, to you and all of yours! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, I am all there is up here. My wife helps me some, but I can't risk her on a scaffolding or ladder. She's not up to it physically. I made some real mistakes when I planned this house, in not making allowances for decreasing capability on my part as I got older. But when you are 32 "older" seems like something that will never come. I wish now I had built all on one level. A three level home took advantage of the very little amount of ground here that could be leveled out enough to build on. But it is dreadful from a maintenance standpoint. Then too, nobody knows how to do everything well. I am not a good carpenter, and something about the scaffolding I built was wrong. It just folded up from left to right and collapsed, although it appeared to be well designed and properly braced when I looked at it. I didn't get hurt. It has just been so hot and humid here the last few days I have been a bit tired trying to keep up with the routine chores.

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  4. Home rigged setups like that can fail for a lot of reasons. A little patch of soft wood in the wrong spot or a screw/ nail that went in at an angle and bit into a lot less wood than you thought are common culprits.

    Glad you are OK but you do need to remember you aren't 30 or even 50 anymore.

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    1. I have to get up there and fix the porch, and I can't do it from a ladder, so I had to build a scaffolding to stand on. I tied it down to trees, but I was more concerned about it tilting over and falling than just folding up. I never gave that a seconds thought.

      I can get this stuff done. I just need a little luck. I'm not working with a time schedule, so I don't have to overdo. I appreciate the thought, though.

      I sure wish I was 50 again.

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  5. Even Super Heros can start to slow down over time. Please take care and if you must slow down some.

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    1. Rob, I'm taking things slow. I just did something wrong when I built the scaffolding. I should have been an engineer when I was in the service then I'd know how to do this stuff. :-)

      Anyway, this has given me a bit of a pause to read my magazines. It's too hot out to work outside.

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  6. Hey Harry,


    (captaincrunch)


    I think you should enlist the help of "Travis The Chimp" as your helper on your house.....

    Sorry you took that fall though, that must really suck.

    I got chased out of the water by a six or seven foot blacktip shark on Friday while surfing.
    I saw the shark tail come up out of the water about 30 yards to my right heading right in my direction. I started to paddle and took the first wave in. I did not make it and I took off on the next wave and had to ride on the nose (of the surfboard) to make it all the way back in to the shallows.
    I already spent at least a good two hours in the water and I was tired so I just called it the day and loaded up my board and went home.

    I think that was one of them "Canadian Black Tip Sharks" that migrated from the 'great white north'

    On another note;

    There is an article on Glenn Beck's "the blaze" about how some muslim woman in Maine or someplace was offended by the word "Bacon" on a sign from a Restourant.
    I hope one of thease days I get some muslim neighbors and I get to bring back dead hogs I shot on ranches and I will 'gut, skin and barbecue that hog on my driveway while drinking 'Shiner Bach Beer" and reading the latest issue of 'Penthouse Magazine" just so I can freak out the muslims next door.
    Maybe I will add to the shock value and hang strips of Bacon on my house over the doors, like some people would have used garlic to warn off vampires.

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    1. It would be a long time before I went back in the water after something like that. Seven feet long is pretty big for a carnivorous fish that turns up next to your surf board.

      My thought is that those who were offended by bacon should pack their trash and move back to Syria or Iraq, where things are so much better. I am offended by a lot of things I have to put up with, so they will just have to learn to deal with it.

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  7. Was a little concerned about your silence so I checked your blog last night. Saw that you had replied to someone on the 22nd, so I figured that you were taking a break.

    Glad the injury wasn't serious - being on your own, as you mostly are, you need to check and double check that everything is secure - they'll be no-one there to help if you get in to trouble, Harry!!

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    1. Dani, I am fine. It's just been too hot to work outside so I have been reading and sleeping, my two favorite pass times.

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  8. Sounds like a very worthy read. We had a ton of rain here over the past week.

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    1. Clear and cool here today. Pretty nice overall.

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  9. Wow, lot of good stuff here.

    I used to teach Land Navigation with map and compass; I was good at it--real good.
    I just pulled my old stuff out a few months ago, and darned if I haven't forgotten most all of it. I doubt I could plot and run a course myself today without a refresher.

    Dead-reckoning is the same thing. I learned to fly that way, and was no great shakes at it, but I was at least competent. Now I look at the "cumputer" wheel in my flight bag and I have no idea what it does any more. So re-learning both perishable skills are on my to-do list now.

    As for the fall, be careful there, man. You remember what happened to that Humpty Dumpty guy, don't you? Glad you're ok.

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    1. I still have that old round wheel around the place somewhere. I think it's in the foot locker with my log books and some other paraphernalia from the past.

      I don't get out in the woods like I used to so I don't do as much practicing with the map and compass as I would like to, but I can still shoot a back azimuth and read contour lines.

      This is a big place, especially for one guy to take care of, but I do take precautions. This was a design failure issue. I should probably just rent a metal scaffold in town instead of trying to build my own.

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  10. I am guessing ex-military vehicles are cheap because they are gas hogs. I can imagine carrying a $500 dollar-to-fill tank on the top just to get anywhere.

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    1. These are trucks with expanding vans. The article mentioned that you can have one built with adequate fuel storage to travel six hundred miles. I don't guess you would want to be joy riding in one of those, but if it were really" the day" the cost of filling up would probably be the least of your worries.

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