Quote of the Day
"One bleeding-heart type asked me in a recent interview if I did not agree that 'violence begets violence.' I told him that it is my earnest endeavor to see that it does. I would like very much to ensure — and in some cases I have — that any man who offers violence to his fellow citizen begets a whole lot more in return than he can enjoy."
Colonel Jeff Cooper
Thursday, December 24, 2015
Wednesday, December 23, 2015
I have some accounts I balance every day. Only a few, but they get used so I balance them daily. Waiting 30 days for a new statement is unwise these days.
We have a family debit card. I checked that account, and Lo! There were a lot of charges on it down in Florida. The problem is, we don't have any family members in Florida just now.
Called the bank. Our bank operates in three states. It's a big company. I could not get through. Tried and tried, finally got a person in the fraud department. She was having a bad day. I was not the only one who got an unpleasant surprise this morning in that respect. Apparently, someone or a group of someones got the debit card info on many, many customers of my bank in all three states and started buying things. In my case, they bought a hundred dollars worth of beauty products, then some things at different Walmart's around Ocala.
So, we cancelled that card, and tomorrow I have to go to the bank and fill out some forms to get my money back. Fortunately for me, since we only keep a minimum in that account, they didn't get a whole lot. The lady I was talking to on the phone told me a lot of people got zapped for thousands of dollars, including one person who lost nine thousand. Of course, they will get it back, but it will not be a Merry Christmas for those who had their only account drained. They won't get their money back for "three to four working days" after they come in and file their paper work.
Now I know some people will say that their bank would catch that kind of thing and nip it in the bud. Mine was supposed to, but didn't. I wouldn't count on the bank stopping anyone from pilfering your account, even though you do get your money back in the end.
|Don't worry. The banks got you covered!|
Why, I wonder, are there so many people out there who are low life scum? Watching the Atlanta News, stealing packages off people's front door steps is another big Christmas activity down there.
|And they look like such nice young fellows! (Not)|
Last night we had a big storm, heavy rain and wind all night. Today was warm, but overcast and wet. Outside temperature here, just after midnight, is 58 degrees outside. I've been up here more than thirty years, and have never see a winter like this one. There isn't any winter. If this keeps up, we'll have a bumper crop of snakes and insects come Spring.
The kids will be here Christmas Day. We need to get them new glasses while they are here, their Jeep is going into the shop for some minor body work, a new front windshield (it's cracking), and four new tires. My daughter needs to renew her drivers license. They will be here six days, and I think those will be busy one's. It will be good to see them again, and I hope they bring me the new ferrets.
|Mine probably won't have wings but you never know who will turn up at a Ferret Rescue.|
Monday, December 21, 2015
Although it's coming up on midnight, I am doing the laundry. In winter, I run the laundry at night because the dryer puts some heat and some moisture back into the air. I run the washing machine because it periodically runs some water through the lines and the pressure tank. There's also the fact that the ferrets are both asleep just now. Doing laundry with ferrets around is time consuming. They like nothing better than to sneak into a basket of dirty laundry and lay very still. It would be easy to dump them in and accidentally drown them in the washing machine. I still put every piece in one at a time, even though I have located them and I know they are not in the basket.
I watched a good old movie recently. Cast a Giant Shadow is about Israel's War of Independence. Specifically, it's about a Colonel in the U.S. Army who went over to help the Israelis in that war. This wasn't uncommon. A lot of the nascent Israeli Air Force was piloted by foreigners, Jewish and gentile. The only tanks they had at the start were British tanks either abandoned when the Brits pulled out of Palestine, or stolen from them as they did so. The drivers were British deserters, most of whom had Israeli girl friends and little or nothing to look forward to once they got back to Britain.
Israel had to form a government and fight off attack at the same time. This caused problems on the military front. Israel had the Palmach, centered around the kibbutz system. Good fighters, mostly young, good at low level tactics but hopeless at executing anything much above company level. The Israelis had the Haganah, a much more "regular" force, officered in many cases by men who had served in the British Army in World War II. There was a formation in the British Army that participated in the Italian campaign entitled "The Jewish Brigade."
Then, more harm than help, there were the Irgun and the Stern Gang. These guys were frankly terrorist in nature and deed, and a massive thorn in the side of Ben-Gurion and the legitimate government. Among other accomplishments they massacred the inhabitants of the Arab Village at Deir Yassin, and they assassinated the U.N. envoy tasked with partitioning the area, Count Folke Bernadotte. Eventually David Ben- Gurion and the Haganah "suppressed" them. Google "Atelana affair", that's a hell of a story. (*Ben-Gurion is the Israeli equivalent of George Washington.)
Cast a Giant Shadow has a great cast. Yul Bryner, Kirk Douglas, John Wayne, Frank Sinatra, Angie Dickenson, and a lot of other people the older viewer will recognize.
The movie was a big budget production, and the technical advisers went to a lot of trouble to make the details accurate. You'll see the Lee Enfield Mk.111, the Sten gun, the Czech produced Mauser k98, the German MG 34 and MG42, and a lot of other World War II favorites that the Israelis scrapped up from here and there. How they did so is such an interesting story that several books have been written on that subject alone. For firearms enthusiasts it's a good flick if only for that reason!
The script was written based on good history. It's a drama, but it's historically accurate, especially the scenes from the Battle of Latrun. Young men got off the immigrant ships, were given rifles, and sent right into the fight in the same clothes they wore on the ship. Many of them had never handled a rifle before, and after the fight numbers were found dead with the safety catches still in the "on" position on their rifles. They were never shown how to take the catch off.
If you like the movie and want to know more, Check the books Oh, Jerusalem and Genesis 1948,
It's also interesting to see what went on in Washington D.C. over whether or not to recognize Israel. President Truman was generally in favor. The State Department was not. The Pentagon supported recognition. The Pentagon and the State Department loathed each other (as they do today), but the final decision in the end was the President's.
The Secretary of State made a gentleman's agreement to support the British position, which called for a U.N. mandated partition of the region, and a halt on Jewish Immigration.
Truman knew the aristocrats at the State Department looked down on him. He came from humble beginnings and was only President because Roosevelt died and he was V.P. when it happened. He knew the State Department called him "Haberdasher Harry" because he had run a clothing store in Missouri before going into politics.
At the last minute, Truman over ruled the State Department and the U.S. recognized the State of Israel. As Wellington said of Waterloo "it has been a damned nice thing! The nearest run thing you ever saw in your life."
The pivotal characterh in the movie , played by Kirk Douglas, was a U.S. Army colonel named Micky Marcus.
Spoiler Alert: Don't read this if you don't want to know how the movie ends, but it's interesting in and of itself.
On the last night before a U.N. truce went into effect, Marcus left an Israeli camp, and walked out into an orange grove in the dark. He didn't speak Hebrew. Coming back into camp, he didn't answer when a sentry challenged him, and was fatally shot.
But there's more to the story. Ben- Gurion had been working feverishly to develop a united military command. Officers in the Haganah and the Palmach wouldn't take orders from each other, and the Irgun and Sternists were complete loose cannons as ready to kill a Jew as anybody else if it suited them, answerable to no one.
Ben -Gurion wanted to combine the Palmach and the Haganah, but the Palmach was vehemently opposed. Before Latrun, Ben- Gurion appointed Marcus overall field commander, a move that infuriated the Palmach commanders on the scene.
So back to the orange grove.
The official version was that Marcus was killed by accident, by a sentry armed with a Mauser 98K, chambered for 8 mm Mauser. Ben -Gurion smelled a rat, and sent a doctor down to do an autopsy. The Dr. found that Marcus was killed by 9mm Luger bullets, probably fired from a Sten gun. Coincidentally, the Sten was a weapon much favored by the Palmach.
The whole thing was covered up, because Ben -Gurion judged the time wasn't right to precipitate a fight with the Palmach. But he bore it in mind and did not forget.
Even if you don't know a lot of Israeli military history, it's a really interesting movie. There's very little "B.S." added for dramatic effect. About the only example I can think of is fixing Marcus up with a beautiful Israeli mistress. That's pretty much whole cloth as he was known to be a family man and not a skirt chaser. But it adds flair, I suppose.
In the clip below, there are some scenes where you'll probably think "nah, that would never happen." But it did. Remember the Israelis had to make do with whatever came to hand, and they really did do things like throwing pipe bombs and seltzer water bottles out of piper cubs early in the war.
In the whole movie, there's only one scene that's clearly wrong. It shows U.S. Paratroopers jumping on D Day carrying their weapons in their hands. That was lame, but scenes shot in Israel are accurate.
When you look at the scene where the Egyptians attack a kibbutz, remember that the Arabs received vast amounts of American equipment from the English before 1947. When you see the really incredibly stupid tactical use of the Egyptian Infantry, that's how it actually was. We aren't talking about Western troops here, and the Arab officers, with the exception of the Jordanians (who were mentored by British officers through the first part of the war) were truly terrible.
The Israelis made mistakes, too. They were new to building a country and new to organized warfare. They left the women and kids in Kibbutz settlements early in the war. The plan was to make fortresses out of the individual settlements, and leaving the women and kids was expected to stiffen the morale of the defenders. After a few Kibbutz were overun, they stopped doing that in a hurry. You can guess why.
It's a good movie, and showing right now on Turner Classics. It's also on the internet in 10 parts. I am going to order a DVD for my little favorite film library here on the mountain.
Friday, December 18, 2015
This time yesterday, it was nearly sixty degrees. Today it's 31 outside. I like this better, it feels like Christmas. My wife has gone into town to the grocery store, with a long shopping list. You have to have good food for it be Christmas, and we want some things we don't normally eat. When she gets to the turn on the two lane road coming back, she'll call, and I'll start walking down the mountain. We'll get to the gate at the same time. She doesn't like to open or close the gate. It's right by a pool from our stream and sometimes bears hang out there.
This edition of Survivalist came out late, but it was sure worth waiting for! I actually called them because it was so late, I thought my subscription must have expired. They are a small outfit. If you call them, the guy who picks up the phone is often the same man who publishes the magazine. I called down there about something or other a year or so ago, and the Honcho answered. He asked me what I needed. Then he said he was about to go pick up his grandson at school, and would I mind waiting for him to call me back when he came back to the office in about 30 minutes. I said that was fine, it wasn't anything urgent, and he called me back as promised.
This months edition is great. There's an outstanding article on ammunition and the terms associated with it. Remember the nurse I mentioned who is now part of our group? She still absolutely does not understand that a "bullet" is not a loaded round of ammunition. I am going to get her to read this. Part of it will go over her head, but it's great for the basics for a beginner. Can you explain "minute of angle?" If not, you might want to pick up a copy.
There's a really good article on the Mosin Nagant series of rifles. CC, you need to find a copy, this is the first part of a three part series and it's right up your alley.
For the Europeans, there's a long article about medieval weapons like crossbows, maces, swords, etc. As the Moslem hordes come swarming over your garden walls, you might want to be able to reenact the Song of Roland, though one hopes with happier results!
It's a good issue, well worth the measly cost of the magazine.
They are a little strange in that they never, to my knowledge, send out renewal notices. I've never gotten one. Either you keep up with your subscription, or you just suddenly stop getting the magazines. Usually you can tell from the mailing label on a magazine when your subscription expires, but the last time I looked you couldn't do that from theirs. Small thing, just unusual.
Well, I need to start dressing for the trip down the mountain. I wear comfortable clothes inside, but to go down the trail when it's chilly I dress more appropriately. Looks like it will be a good day.
Thursday, December 17, 2015
I am not trying to make jelly. I'm trying to reconstitute powdered milk. It is not going well.
I feed my dogs and cats milk with their supper. I want to be sure they are getting the calcium they need. They get table scraps, and they get quality cat and dog food. Not the cheap stuff that comes in 50 lb bags, but the good (and expensive ) dog and cat food.
The outdoor animals, besides being my associates and friends, are also working animals. They provide me with essential services which I appreciate.
First Timothy 5:18 applies:
For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages."
But now, with both of us retired, I am trying to look at our lifestyle and see what, if any, savings we can obtain by making changes in how we do things. Milk is expensive. I have ten 25 pound pails of powdered milk I haven't opened in eons.
I don't like powdered milk. Instead, I keep cases of evaporated milk in the store room, and if we don't have fresh on hand, we use that. If I don't have fresh milk for the animals, I mix up evaporated milk with water in a big bowl, and give them that.
But I want to start using up the powdered milk. Can't be too hard, you just add water, right?
Tonight I made a huge bowl of it. I boiled water in my coffee pot on the stove, added a good dose of sugar to the powdered milk, and poured in the hot water. It immediately clumped up. I had to use a wooden spoon to mash up the clumps, then use an egg wisp to beat it some more. I thought I got all the lumps out.
But when I poured it in the bowls on the porch for the animals, there were huge clumps like sugar cubes on the bottom. Clearly something went wrong.
- Maybe the milk is doing that because it's old. It's been around for about 15 years, but it's in sealed containers and supposed to last twice that long if properly stored, and it was.
- Maybe I should not have used boiling water. I did so because I wanted the milk to be warm when I gave it to the animals, and I thought boiling hot water would also help it to "melt" and return to liquid.
- Perhaps putting sugar in it messed it up somehow.
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Unless you were old enough to watch television in the early 1980's, you probably don't remember these adds. "No one can eat just one" was the source of a lot of humor back then, and there were countless jokes and tv skits about it.
But Browning High Powers are like those potato chips. Once you get one, you have to have more.
|From their webpage at the time of the turmoil|
During a recent post, I mentioned Cheaper Than Dirt. (CTD) From time to time, I buy from them though usually only if they have something I can't get elsewhere, as their prices are high.
(Yes, I'm not doing business with Walmart, Amazon, Ebay and a number of others over political issues, but I'm a renowned eccentric and I've never portrayed myself as Joe Everyman.)
But for a company that sells firearms, ammo, etc, it would be a very bad business decision, regardless of their own personal politics.
BELOW IS AN EDITED TRANSCRIPT OF THE CONVERSATION. I HAVE ELIMINATED PLEASANTRIES, AND ANYTHING THAT WOULD DISCLOSE THE IDENTIFICATION OF THE CTD REPRESENTATIVE, AS I CONSIDER THIS A NON ATTRIBUTION COMMUNICATION.
Tuesday, December 15, 2015
I'm forted up tonight. Most of the morning I spend doing "admin work." That means sitting at a computer surrounded with paperwork, trying to wend my way through it. When you are dealing with social security and the teachers retirement system, nothing is simple. Then throw into the mix a lot of doctor bills from a good many medical outfits. I never pay on a medical bill until I have gone through a matching line by line analysis. Nobody is going to charge me for a "bed side kit" that turns out to be a $3.00 plastic basin but is billed out at $110.00. If you have insurance, you have to watch your derriere with medical bills, because they "get well" on people who are insured to make up for what they lose on people who aren't.
Yesterday we made a rare foray to another town to get new glasses. I had explained beforehand that while we have Blue Cross insurance, our vision expenses are paid through Ameritas.
We drove an hour and fifteen minutes to get to the optometrist. When we got there, they told us that they didn't accept Ameritas. So we drove an hour and a half back home. Next week we are driving almost to Atlanta to get new glasses. I called this bunch twice to confirm we wouldn't have a similar debacle when we show up next week. I'm all for hiring the handicapped but I think the optometrist we went to this week overdoes it.
Tonight's a good night for radio. Down in the "radio room" I have scanners tuned to :
- County Law Enforcement (Sheriff and town police.)
- Fire and Rescue
- Ambulance Service
- Forest Service
- The local airfield
Thursday, December 10, 2015
I saw a news article on wounded war dogs. In my day, they would simply have been euthanized. I know a doctor who was a dog handler with the LRRP teams in Viet Nam. There was a serious run in between his team and the NVA, and his dog was badly injured. When they got back to their base, his C.O. sent him on a milk run up to some base or other to bring back a truck load of equipment. While he was gone they gave his dog morphine and killed him. This was almost 45 years ago, and the guy still can't talk about it. It was only after I got to know him really well that he told me about it. We aren't "friends" but we have some shared experiences that give us a connection. I'm glad they do what they can for the dogs today. They get to be as much of the team as the human members.
Cheaper than Dirt is out with the new catalog. They always have just about any kind of ammunition you might need, and they have a wide range of survivalist supplies and equipment as well.
They are far and away not the cheapest supplier out there. For common types of ammo you can get what you need at a big box store at considerably less cost. Anything you do buy from them, you will have to pay shipping on, and as of this past summer I have to pay state tax on the products at the rate of 7%.
If you don't buy something from them ever so often, they'll cut you off the mailing list and you won't get a catalog unless you go on line and request it.
It's a good catalog though, and sometimes you can find things you want that others aren't offering at the moment.
American Survival Guide came out with a good issue this month.
There's an interesting article about a fairly old fellow and how he gets prepared for winter. He's a lot more into hunting for meat, where I just buy it, but it was a useful article. The man knows what he's doing and has a good overall system.
I read the medical articles, although since we have a nurse in our "mutual aid society" I am not so obsessed with medical issues as I once was. I know something could happen to her, so I am trying to keep up with all of the medical aspects I need to be familiar with. I don't enjoy those articles though.
These magazines are a big help in making sure you have your bases covered. If you get just one idea on how to improve your situation, or you find even a single weakness in your plans and preparations, it's money well spent. The advertisements are great because they keep you up to speed on new items of equipment or supplies you might want. You may not be able to afford the wonderful pieces of gear they review. ( I certainly can't lay out $100,000 on a new off road vehicle) but you may see a need that can be filled not with the high priced item being reviewed but with some item from a surplus store that does the same thing.
In reading Lights Out for the umpteenth time, I came across a character I hadn't thought much about previously. He had a nice retreat, well stocked, until marauders ran him out of it and then he was essentially screwed. That's me. I have made zero provision for "Getting Out of Dodge."
Probably the biggest single factor in my abandoning the concept of " Bugging Out" was Cormack McCarthy's book The Road.
I read that, and I thought to myself that our group would not last long in that environment. Then I saw the movie and that settled it. But now I'm trying to force myself to be a little more realistic. That's why I am reading these magazine articles about subjects that are not natural interests of mine.
But I'm trying to give it some thought, in case the unthinkable should happen. The wilderness skills article in this issue was one I read without any particular relish but I did read it. Because I needed to read it. This place up here was selected for the advantages it offered in building a retreat. I've improved it, secured it, addressed every need I can think of , tried to anticipate every unexpected event. But I don't want to wind up like the character in Light's Out, whose only flaw was being so sure he'd never have to displace that he made no provision for doing so. This is a late development for me, but old dog's can learn new tricks, folk sayings to the contrary.
It's easy for certain types of people to become too sure of themselves, to be so self confident that they are blinded to facts.
That's been one of my personal issues I've had to struggle with most of my life, so I've learned to be on guard against it. Over the years, when my friends advised me to at least give some thought to how I'd displace out of here if I needed to, I ignored their advice.
But as I've gotten older, I've had to cope with more instances of events that I can't control, which effect my entire family. So now I acknowledge that the day might come where we can't stay here in bad times. A little prior planning can prevent poor performance, if you take the time and effort. Hence my reading articles I'm not really that intrigued by, but which may come in useful some day.
At any rate.......
The latest issue of Off Grid is out. If I don't get into town soon, I'll have to back order it. Survival magazines, Gun magazines, and gardening magazines go off the rack at a rapid pace here. You snooze, you lose.
I'd subscribe, but they mail their magazines with no plastic sleeve, so by the time they get out to my mailbox way up here they are all beat to hell, spindled, folded, mutilated and wet.
So get them in town, But I haven't been going to town nearly as much as I used to. I do get them on my Kindle as well, but trying to read a magazine on a Kindle is too hard.
I keep all my survival magazines in my reference library, and most of them are ten dollars a pop. So I want them in good shape.
When I was in my 50's, I could still wander through the woods. I didn't go out as far as I did when my son would go with me, but I wasn't afraid to go out there with a map and a compass. Later I carried a GPS for backup. I really enjoyed those jaunts way off where nobody ever went. I was thinking today, as I sat on my porch, that I should go down the mountain and get the mail. But I dreaded walking, it's a real struggle to get back up. I could take the truck, but then I have to take down the wire gate at the edge of the meadow, take down a number of wire based warning devices, unlock the gate, lock the gate, drive to the mailbox, then drive to a wide spot where I can turn around, then unlock the gate, relock the gate, reset the wires. And before I do any of that I have to take the tarp off the truck, then put it back on when I get back. Then go in the house and reset some electronic warning devices. I'm not going to get the mail. And I'm sure not going to be able to do any of those long meandering trips into the national forest. That's over for me.
Wednesday, December 9, 2015
They're not coming. They're already here.
I'll be ok up here in the woods. I sure worry about my kids in the city though.
Tuesday, December 8, 2015
Watched CNN, Fox, MSNBC, Al Jazeera, and CBS today. Never got around to ABC because by 1900 I'd had all the BS I could handle. Brief Synopsis of the stories:
Fox: Norway is quietly giving "Islamic Immigrants" free plane tickets and a big cash bonus to get the hell out of the country. Primary reason: sexual assaults are going through the roof, and the perps are all young Islamic men. It's reached crisis proportions. Want the details, go to the side bar on the Fox web page and there's a shortened version of the story.
CBS: Of the approximately 70,000 people on the "no fly" list, the head of the FBI estimates that over half of the listings are "erroneous or unjustified." It seems that almost anybody in any of the myriad of law enforcement entities can put you on the list with no more justification than knowing the password to a data base. The Fox reporter doing the story was on it, couldn't get off it, and had to get up with his crony the Head of the Homeland Security Department to get it fixed. Senator "Chappaquiddick Ted" Kennedy got on it and it took him three weeks to get his name off the list. But Black Jesus wants to say that anybody on the list loses his constitutional right to self defense.
CNN: ran a big story about how Australia banned semi-autos. They dredged up all these Limp Members all in favor of banning guns, and showed big piles of guns being smelted. CNN admitted it hadn't done squat to end gun violence. The story said gun violence had been on the decline before Australia banned semi-autos, but that it was a great idea anyhow. They dragged out some shriveled up old prune who had been the El Supremo in Australia at the time and he made it crystal clear he didn't give a Tinkers Damn about what people wanted, he knew what was best for Australians and had no regrets. For CNN, it was fairly balanced as they didn't call gun owners "gun nuts" or "deranged" an inordinate number of times.
Al Jazeera: All the Republicans are going after Trump for saying we need to halt Moslem immigration until the broken system can be fixed. Al Jazeera found some idiot from the State Department who said that it's "not what America is about " to do that and that if there are more shootings and killing by "extremists" who sneak into the country , it's ok because "freedom isn't free." He said a lot more inane things, a typical State Department moron, of the type I saw in Lebanon. Shades of Philip Habib and his lackey Bob McFarlane so long ago.
Ok, yeah. She's no beauty queen, but she speaks sooth.
On the more mundane level of how I spent today. I slept late, which is to say I got up just after sunrise. I have to go around the outbuildings and turn off security lights and heat. Electricity is not cheap, so I don't sleep in often.
Cooked some spare ribs and potatoes. Couldn't even begin to eat all of it so I put most of the food in containers and froze it. Won't have to cook anything for awhile.
Later in the day I walked down to the mailbox. My package of .333 bullets and two boxes of 7.62X39 was at the gate. Why did I order two boxes of 7.62X39? Not something I'm short of. I did it because I had to in order to make the minimum order with Graf and Sons. I really only wanted the bullets.
|Yugo brass cased FMJ. Have cases of it on stripper clips, but had to buy two boxes to make the minimum order for Graf. I can live with it.|
At dusk I went around and turned on the security lights and the heat in the outbuildings. That was today.
I think I'll finish this post with a few cartoons sent to me by a friend . Just about says it all.