Friday, July 31, 2015

I have to go off the mountain. Not just to town, but to a whole other county.

Not that I want to at all.  It's a nice day, not so hot and humid, with a good breeze blowing.

But, I am running out of ferret paste. This is a high protein and vitamin supplement for ferrets. It comes in a tube like toothpaste, but it costs $14.50 per tube.  Now that I only have two ferrets, a tube lasts about five days. Usually I would have three or four in the cabinent, but I haven't been going out much and the supply has gotten exhausted.

I can only get it by going down the four lane for 45 miles, or up to North Carolina on a lesser road, for 38.

Today I think I will just stick with the four lane. I can motor along in the right hand lane about 50 and it's flatter with no steep curves.  I will buy whatever they have on hand at the pet shop. If I'm lucky, they'll have maybe five tubes. If I am not, they won't have any at all.  Come to think of it, I'll call them before I go down there. I'd hate to drive all  that way and then find out they were "sans paste."  While I'm there I'll get a big bottle of oil for the ferrets. It's to make their skin and fur healthy.  They like it and I have to be careful not to let them drink too much or they get stomach aches.

I washed their favorite sleeping bag (also known as a "snuggy" bag) today. It was getting kind of dirty. Both ferrets got a bath this week.  Their fur fluffs out after they bath and are toweled down, so they look twice as big as they really are.  Right now they're sleeping in their newly washed and dried snuggy bag, very content.

Yesterday evening a small bear meandered across the meadow. The dogs and I sat on the porch and watched him.  The only one who reacted was one of the cats, sleeping on a rail. She woke up, saw him, fluffed up and went to the back of the porch.  The dogs were too jaded from the heat and their supper to react.  He wasn't' very impressive, and I hope he can steer clear of other, larger males. The worst enemy a male bear has , short of poachers, is another male bear.

I guess I ought to start getting ready to go to the pet store. At the very least, I need to change into some decent clothes. The old clothes I wear around the house make me look like a hobo.

The Millennials : Survival supplies and gun safety.

 This is a clip from the movie "This is the End."  It's about the end of the world, and is pretty funny. Granted, the language is very vulgar, and some of the scenes are more attuned to a Roman sense of humor than a modern day American, but I still liked it.

Warning: Bad Language

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Full moon

Went out to look at the full moon tonight. Pretty spectacular.  Hot outside, even though it's just past eleven. Humid as well.

I fired Twenty one rounds of 8 MM Mauser yesterday. Didn't wear a shooting jacket because I wanted to simulate a situation in which I just picked up the rifle and fired it.

I think next time I'll wield a sword.

I have some nice katana I bought back from Japan in 1980. They don't have the range but they don't leave you feeling like you got hit by a truck either!

My shoulder looks like I have the Black Death, it's all mottled. I considered taking a picture of it to show what a full powered battle rifle can do through a thin shirt, but that seems course.

Suffice it to say you had to be a man to handle the weapons of World War II. (Ok. Or a pretty tough woman, if you were a Russian sniper of that persuasion.)

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Bad Laws. Staying off the Sky Line.

I read a good post recently about all these new laws and dicktats coming out of Washington. Basically, the person was saying that they weren't going to obey political laws that were designed not to protect people, not to maintain civil life, but to control.   I couldn't agree more. I admit to a certain prejudice against the New England states in general, though I know a lot of good folks live there. But I hear a great deal about how in Connecticut people are refusing to comply with registration laws, which are the first step to confiscation. That makes me think better of them.  And in my defense, there's never been a lot of love lost between New England and the South. In the Revolutionary War, my great, great, great,( I think I have that right) grandfather and his son were in the North Carolina Line. Their regiment was used to suppress a mutiny in George Washington's army, largely fomented by New Englanders, so the animus goes back a long way. These days I try to put those old aggravations off, and just consider where a person stands on how the country is going. That's what matters now.

  I get a lot of good pictures and articles from people who read the blog.  They send them to my email address, and I really appreciate it.

   Most of them are a lot better writers than I am. I've urged many of them to write blogs, because they would make a big contribution to putting out "the word", and they would strengthen the network of conservative bloggers. That's important because it lets people know there is still a large portion of the country that is conservative, something you would never imagine from watching the MSM  (main stream media), and that includes Fox these days.

It helps to know you are not alone, because it's easy in American society today to feel that things are hopeless, and that the minority cliques and the white guilt moon bats are having things their own way.

That's not the truth and internet blogs help conservatives keep their faith and their courage up.  They're important. If they weren't, the leftist trolls wouldn't be so enraged and go to so much trouble trying to shut them down.

But there's a down side. I can remember when people would say on their blogs that the government was reading their email, that the government was scanning their posts and comments on blogs, that the government was listening to and capturing cell phone conversations, that the government was capturing facial images off the internet.

This was invariably followed by tinkling laughter and jests about tin foil hats. I used to try to tell people those were just rumors and the spawn of the conspiracy theorists.  I'm embarrassed when I think of some of the things I said to people who argued with me on this.  I know I verged on the condescending.  I knew all about Bill Clinton and Janet Reno and their ilk, but I simply did not believe all these stories. After all, I'm really a product of the 1950's and that kind of totalitarian behavior didn't fit into my scheme of life in this country.

Now we know all that is true.  Say what you will about Snowden, he blew the lid off a lot of government practices that had been emphatically denied, under oath, by important people in the government. The "tin foil hat" people were right on target, and the complacent "it can't happen in America" folks like me could not have been more wrong if our lives depended on it.

So when people tell me they aren't blogging because they are "staying off the skyline", how can I argue with that.

There was a time in America where you could pretty much say what you thought, and the government couldn't arrest you for it. Now people sit in McDonalds, talking politics, and some leftard sitting behind them in the next booth records the conversation. The next thing in the process is the FBI kicking down your door, releasing all kinds of statements about how they have thwarted a " right wing extremist plot", and you're in jail.  Months later they let you go, never having filed charges. But by then you have lost your job, your home, and that was the whole point. That, and boosting the FBI or ATF profile at budget approval time.  There have been many, many examples of this.

How the FBI drums up some face time on the News.

Link above is a classic example.

We know, for a fact, that the government is scanning blogs. CBS recently had a side article on their web page entitled "ten words you shouldn't use on the internet". It was about how NSA uses automated programs to read blogs and look for "potential criminal activites."  No wonder people don't want to blog anymore, or if they do, they stick to neutral things and never discuss political matters.

So now I don't try to talk people into blogging. I'm not quitting myself. It would be pointless. For one thing, I've been doing it a long time and if there is a government "s**t list", I'm sure to be on it.  I'm probably in their "harmless crank" category, because before there were personal computers and the internet, I was writing people like Ted Kennedy and expressing my views. Letters that politicians got which are strongly worded and uncomplimentary were routinely reported to the FBI then and I suspect still are. You notice when they do arrest somebody for some trumped up thing there's always the choice tidbit in the news that he or she "had a long history of sending threatening letters to Senator So and So." Threatening includes things like "only an idiot would vote for a mentally incapacitated individual like you." It's all in your perspective, and the government has a very strange perspective on such matters.

Once you get on such a list, you don't get off. So there's no point in panicking or trying to go underground now.

I'm on the hook anyway, because I've had a federal firearms license, in the form of a C&R,  "forever", and those people are viewed with distaste, suspicion and intense dislike by outfits like BATF. I can remember when there were hundreds of "kitchen table"FFL holders, but they have largely been suppressed. Like the dinosaurs, they outlived their time. At least as far as the Justice Department sees it.

   So,  if people choose to keep off the skyline, so be it. Maybe they are entirely correct.

   I know some good people who won't even open a google account, and always comment anonymously. I'm not sure that will keep the feds from tracking you, but who can blame these people for using an "abundance of caution."

   In a way, it's a shame because it means the government is being partially successful in suppressing freedom of speech.  If they can put so much pressure on an individual they can silence him, they win.

But you have to live in the real world.  Like the four old guys in Toccoa, you never know who's listening or what they will do about it.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Hot even in the shade.

 I had it in mind to take the ferrets out and let them play in the meadow. They had a really good time yesterday,and it's good for them to get outside. But the heat today is up in the nineties. They wouldn't last long in that.  So they're staying inside , with the air turned up high. So am I, for the rest of the day.

I went out this morning and worked on the porch. The hardest part is getting the old boards up.  They were nailed on with massive nails, but when I try to pull them out with a crow bar, half the time the nail head tears off.  These deck planks are 29 years old, so this should come as no surprise. It does make replacing the older planks a lot harder though. Even with a crow bar getting the old boards up is exhausting.

I had a list of things I meant to get done.  As the day got hotter, working out in the heat and humidity became more difficult. I was determined not to quit til the list was finished.  I ran into trouble with my Ryobi power screwdriver/drill.  For some reason, the new boards I am using are so dense, I can't get the deck screws to go through them. I wound up having to drill a small hole through the deck plank , and a small hole in the underlying structure, to get the deck screws through. This took a lot of time.

 After I finished the part of the deck I'd planned on doing, I went down the Jeep trail to cut back the tree limbs and the undergrowth.

  It was hotter than Hades under there. The trees have closed in over the trail so that you can't see the sky at all.  The air is heavy and thick, and never a breath of breeze gets in there.

In some places, I had to use a hand saw because the mountain laurel was so thick and tangled I was afraid to try to use the chain saw.

Still, I went all the way down on one side, and all the way back up on the other, and got it finished.

Unfortunately, I got sick after doing this. Too much heat, I guess. So after cleaning up I'm staying inside in the cool for the rest of the day, at least until twilight cools the mountains off some.  I know I overdid it today, but I get so aggravated when I have a list of things I planned to do and then can't finish it.

I can never remember whether or not I've taken all my pills.  So my wife got me a pill box exactly like this one. Last night I was refilling it.  I take 7 pills a day, so that's 49 pills for a week.  I had it all loaded up and my hand slipped. The whole thing fell on the floor and emptied out.  I tried to put all the pills back in the right place but a lot of them look alike, same size and color.

I did the best I could.  I'm not throwing them away, they cost too much.

Time for me to go nap on the couch.  I'm used up for today.

A Sign of the Times: Seniors arming up.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Finally, a Goldilocks Day. Not too hot, not too cold. Not too wet, not too dry.

Sundays are my favorite day of the week.  This is a particularly nice one.  My only problem today is deciding if I want to stay home, or I want to go into town.

It I wait til after the church crowds are gone, the town will be largely deserted.  Sunday afternoon is a good time to go in. Even the tourists will be off doing whatever it is they do, so the grocery store won't be crowded.  I am trying to remember the last time I left the mountain. I think it might have been last week some time.

The humidity is low, the temperature outside is high 70's. There's a nice breeze blowing, so it feels cool.  The cicadas are chirping up a storm, so you know it's late summer.

I feel like going out and hooking up my hammock on the back porch. That's a nice place to take a nap when the weather is like this.

There's an immense oak tree that shades the porch out back in the afternoon.

Sundays there are sometimes some interesting talk shows on the local radio station. I can semi-nap in the hammock and listen to that.

The other option would be to go over to the little lake near my place. On the old forest service road I can be there in about 15 minutes.  It's probably pretty quiet this time of day on a Sunday.  There's a nice walking trail around it. There are also strategically placed benches in shady spots. If I take a loaf of bread or some cracked corn I can feed the ducks.

I already had lunch.  I got a canister of Idahoan dehydrated potatoes out of the supply room and made some cheese potatoes. According to the notes on the canister, it went into long term storage in October of 2006. They don't make those canisters anymore, I think now they use aluminum pouches. Too bad, because these potatoes were excellent despite having been on the shelf for almost nine years. I opened a can of Walton Feeds butter powder. That had been there since summer of 1999. Still good, and tasty.

Walton Feeds has gotten a lot bigger since 1999. They now have an adjunct business called "Rainy Day Foods."

My number ten cans that I bought in 1999 just have yellow paste on labels on them. But now, the stuff you get from Walton is just as well packaged and presented as anything in the grocery store.

Back in 1999, I bought an entire 18 wheeler load of supplies from them.  The truck came out to a little church some miles from my place, and we had to off load the truck and then put all the food and other supplies in  my little Chevy Luv pickup to get it up to the top of the mountain . I have rarely been as tired as I was that day.  Although we have eaten a lot of the supplies over the intervening 16 years, we still have a lot of it left. The only things that have ever gone bad were corn meal and dehydrated milk.  I guess those don't store too well. However, we were able to put those products in the chicken scratch and the chickens were happy to eat it, so it wasn't wasted.

There's a big difference between todays' slick product and the utilitarian #10 cans we got in 99.

Walton Feeds also sells things like wash tubs, grain mills, and other self sufficiency related products. We bought a high end grain mill from them, and have been very happy with it.

I could go to the waterfall.  I could load the dogs in the truck and go up to the trail head, take a little stroll on the Appalachian Trail.  Or, I could just go for a walk along the old forest service road, that would be less taxing because I wouldn't have to go through all the trouble of going down the trail, turning this off and unhooking that, unlocking this and then locking it back.  Like the old Murphy's Law quotation says "if you make it difficult for the enemy to get in, you make it difficult for you to get out." That's the truth.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Russian Arms and Ammunition.

I'm getting really tired of all the nonsense the MSM is putting out about the Russians. This week it was a big story about Russian Bear reconnaissance aircraft in the Bering Straits.  They've been flying those patrols forever. We've been intercepting the patrols forever. The air crew take pictures of each other, and depending on their temperament either hold up signs saying things like "Happy fourth of July" or expressing cruder sentiments.  None of this is new.  But over the weekend of the fourth, one of the Bears came near our airspace. When intercepted, someone in the bear held up a sign that said "Happy Fourth of July."

These routine patrols have been going on since before I was born. We intercept them, they intercept us. 

Fox put out a big segment featuring some twit of a Representative who waxed eloquent about how this "new evidence" of Russian aggressiveness boded ill for the future. I felt like throttling him.

Russia is a big country, it's a powerful country, and just like us it has to deal with all kinds of aggravations. Sometimes we don't like the way they do it, but there are always sources of friction between countries. I honestly think that Obama and his cabal of left wing stooges do this just to distract Americans from the reality of how bad things are getting in this country.  I grew up hearing the Russians were going to  get us one day. I served my entire time in the service practicing to fight the Russians. But it never happened, and enough is enough.  With medieval fundamentalist Islam on the rise, we better start focusing on what really represents a danger, and it isn't Russia.

Bill the Bastard banned the import of Russian weapons in November of 1997.  Before that, you could buy SKS rifles, Mosin Nagant rifles, SVT rifles, Tokorev semi-automatic pistols, Makarov semi-automatic pistols, Nagant revolvers,and all kinds of good gear. It was robust, reliable, easy to maintain, and cheap to buy.

I took advantage of this before Clinton came along, and got some very nice weapons for very little money.
Today, the same guns would cost you an arm and a leg.  You can still get Mosin Nagant rifles, because they come in through Ukraine and are not banned, but even these are drying up now.

Russian 7.62X54R ammo was very inexpensive and easy to get. I bought it by the case. It's berdan primed so you can't reload it, but when you could get a full case of high quality ammo for $50.00, who cared?

You can still get ammo for all these weapons. The only ammo I use that I don't reload is the ammo for the  Nagant pistol, because it's in the too hard category.

Several companies make the dies, and the brass is easy to get.  I just don't want to mess with it, since the surplus ammo is available from SOG for peanuts.

I really like my Russian weapons.  Some are elegant and real works of art in their own right. Some are plain and utilitarian. But one thing you can count on, if you pull the trigger they all go "boom."

Useful gear.

From a friend who works in a restaurant, I recently acquired four of these giant containers. They are very heavy duty plastic jugs, inside a cardboard box.

I took the cardboard off, filled the containers half way with hot water, and then added a big dollop of dish detergent that touts itself as a grease cutter.

My thought was to get these clean and use them for water storage. Unfortunately, hot water and dish soap are not having any effect at all. I can't get the oil out of them.

If anybody has any ideas on how to do that, I could use the suggestions. Obviously, I can't put gasoline or anything like that inside them.

I ordered some plastic ammo cans.  They were cheap, and came with a good gasket and seal. Unfortunately, for reasons known only to the manufacturer , the bottom of the cans slope upwards at an angle. That means you can't pack them tightly with boxes of ammunition like you can a square military can.  Still, for the price I can use them for something. Maybe loose packed ammo on stripper clips for ready use. I try to avoid metal to metal contact with my ammo, but this wouldn't have to be over a long period of time.

These are the real deal ammo cans. You can buy them brand new, unissued condition from AIM or Sportsman's Guide, among other places. I have heard that the military has been ordered to destroy ammo cans now rather than allow them to be sold as surplus. Other than pure and unadulterated vindictiveness on the part of some Obama bureaucrat in the government,  I can't think why this would be. Maybe it's a rumor. I know the same bureaucrats tried to have the military stop selling  once fired brass as surplus, but enough people howled to their congressmen to get that bit of hatefulness stopped.

Metal buckets are a good thing to have around the house.  If you have a fireplace, you need them because "dead" ashes are usually still hot enough to start a fire. So you set your metal bucket full of ashes out on the porch, on a brick base, and let them cool off.  Or use it to haul water, wash clothes in, or for whatever else comes up.  They don't cost a lot and last forever if you take care of them.

When I finish using up whatever I bought in a glass jar, I wash it up good, get the label off, and put it in my shop. Glass jars are great for storing nails, nuts and bolts, 22 LR ammunition, matches, salt, sugar, or whatever else you need to keep dry and safe.

Those giant pickle jars you get with dill pickles are what I use to store brass in. I can see in the jar so I don't have to open them up to figure out what caliber is in there.

Old military telephones are great.  You can run some slash wire from Point A to Point B, and you have communications that nobody can listen in on.  The TA-312 is the most prevalent on the surplus market right now. Nice piece of equipment.  You can use two , or you can use several on the same line. Military slash wire is really cheap and readily available.

All you need to power this system is 2 BA -30 batteries per phone. (That's a "D" cell battery, just like you put in a flash light.)  These telephones are for sale all over the internet. Sportsman's Guide usually has them.

These are just a few things that stuck in my mind as I was going over a list of equipment and supplies tonight.