“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Just after midnight.


It's cold out there tonight. I know this because my outdoor temperature transmitter failed, and I had to go out and change the batteries a few minutes ago.

19 degrees out.  The Weather Channel said it wouldn't get that cold but they often miss their bets up here.

There's one of those Weather Underground private weather stations about six miles as the crow flies from here, but he's way down a lot lower than I am so I have my own temperature transmitter up here.


I use an ungodly number of batteries on my electronic gear here on the mountain.  Smoke detectors in every building, all over the place. Radio transmitters to send a signal to me in the main house if the alarms in the outbuildings go off.  Radios of all types,  galore. Flashlights. Motion detectors. That's just the tip of the iceberg. I went to Home Depot last week and spent over a hundred dollars on batteries. They were having a cell on special packages of all types of these batteries that amounted to half off. I bought a lot of them. Cold weather uses them up fast in the equipment that's outside, and I have a lot of that . No help for it.



Survivor's Edge magazine (Spring 2016) is out. Nothing spectacular. More of the articles on self defense techniques in unarmed combat. I think these are a waste of time. I don't think you can learn self defense from a magazine. I sweated for many years, twice a week, with a good teacher and was never particularly good at it. Maybe because I never planned on getting caught in a situation where I'd be unarmed.

Seems to me you could learn enough from a magazine article to get killed and that's about it.

The rest of the magazine was pretty typical. There was one long "I love me" article from some guy who was in that bizarre "naked and afraid" show. I watched that once for about half an hour and gave up in horror.


Shotgun News, which as been around for many decades, is now renaming itself Firearms News and changing the number of editions per month, and it's "look." It used to be a great magazine for parts, and specialty articles on old weapons. I haven't seen the new version yet so don't know if I will like it. I doubt it.



Gunlist disappeared long ago, a victim of the Internet. But it was a good magazine, great for finding parts and specific guns you wanted.  Like so many other things , it's gone now.



Incidentally, just as a footnote. I've said this before but let me reiterate it.  I write about some contentious subjects and I don't expect everyone to agree with me.  It's perfectly OK to say so if you do. I'll acknowledge we disagree. Because there's no facial expression, no tone of voice, no body language on the net, it's easy to sound unpleasant in such a situation. That's never my intent. So if you get a response from me and feel like I was being rude, it wasn't my intention. Word of Honor.

In the case of trolls who are just out to get my goat, I just don't ever publish their comments. But I always publish comments from people I know.

30 comments:

  1. Have you tried rechargables?

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    1. I did once. They didn't seem to hold a charge long enough for it to be worthwhile. But that was years ago, and perhaps they have improved. If you use them, is there a particular brand you've been pleased with?

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    2. The Eneloop "pro" seems to have the highest capacity, while the "regular" Eneloops have the most charge/discharge cycles.

      And the ones Maha make seem to be pretty good, too.

      The bad thing about ALL the NiMH rechargeables is that they only start with 1.2 Volts, vs 1.5 Volts for regular alkalines. If your equipment monitors the batteries for voltage, it will start sending "low battery" warnings well before the batteries are actually depleted. I've gottenaround this in the past by using an external battery holder and running an "extra" battery (5 NiMH vs 4 alkaline), but some equipment might not like the extra voltage.

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    3. Hum. How many times can you recharge one of these things before it wears out? I'd be a little bit nervous about putting in the extra battery loop on my radios, do you ever damage any of your gear inadvertently by doing that?

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    4. The "Pro" series is rated for 500 charge/discharge cycles, while the other is rated for something like 2000 cycles.

      In all my years of using various types of rechargeables, I don't think I've *ever* hit the 500 cycle mark.

      I haven't damaged anything yet (looks for some wood to knock...) using an "extra" cell, and if the device has an "External Power" jack, I just make up a pack that matches the high end of the voltage it's rated to accept.

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    5. I wish I was more knowledgeable about this kind of thing. When my son moved away, all the expertise in electronics moved away with him. I have been looking at rechargeable batteries on Sportsmans Guide since you mentioned it. I think I am going to try a small order just to see how it works out.

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  2. WE try to maintain a natural balance which is so important to survival of all creatures. Dad said during the Great Depression almost all living creatures were wiped out to feed people and it took many years to recover the population.

    I can understand if you have livestock and the predators are endangering them, yes, by all means, thin them. Reach your balance but never in my life was I taught to kill something just because it is. Even poison snakes are killed only if they are close to our home and yard. I was also raised to kill nothing I wouldn't eat and to take one leave three when harvesting will plants. I think these are good things.

    I think these habits of killing just because they are is a hang over from the times when you needed to kill them. The reason has been lost and all that's left is the kill part.

    I have not decided if this pair in my posts are coyotes or Red Wolves. I'm hoping Wolves...what do you think? They just seem too big and not right for coyotes. They have been gone far too long. We have bobcats but not that bother us and bear that we never see. Hogs are coming our way and we look forward to free range pork anytime we want it.

    Hubby and I had a little "discussion" when he wanted to eliminate whatever this pair on my post. I explained to him, there must be balance. We need some predatory animals. Yes, they may get a deer now and then and eat some turkey eggs but having deer and turkey lost this way is far more humane than seeing the grazers starve through a winter. Balance...it's all about balance.

    I love him but he was raised in the city (three hundred people) and has some to learn...as I do, too. Even after we are in our sixties, we are learning.

    I have seen many good magazines die since the birth of the internet. It's sad because I still like holding a book or magazine in my hand. What will people do when the internet is gone? Hope they have a few books laying around.

    Are the rechargeable batteries an option? We use a lot too.

    You may choose anytime to post my comment or not. It will not bother me because I kinda consider this just a letter to you anyway. Sometimes my sick humor comes off as being a smart a-- remark. Please look over that.

    Thanks for visiting.

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    1. It's not other folks I worry about in terms of comments. It's the possibility that I may come across as being snide when that's not my intention at all. If you talk with someone long enough, you can tell a lot about their personality. I've only had one person who would get really ugly on occasion, and they were decent enough otherwise. I just stopped going by their place because I'm not looking for a shouting contest, and when they were "ugly" they were really ugly. There wasn't any mistaking it.

      You may be right, it is probably just a cultural hold over from days past up here. But I still have trouble understanding the mentality of someone who will kill animals just for the hell of it. Shooting woodchucks, for instance. I know people will say that their burrows are dangerous for cattle and such, because they step in them. But I also notice that most of the people doing this have no connection what so ever to farming or to cattle.

      I live up here with the animals, not in spite of them. Even when we had bears coming and just living here at my place, we got the forest service to relocate them, I didn't just shoot them. I expect a lot of people who go along with Rawles on this issue (wipe 'em all out!) will not agree but it used to be a free country so they are entitled to their opinions. One of my magazines I buy recently had an article on wolves and how dangerous they are, and it was total nonsense. Even they admitted there had been 3 wolf attacks in all of North America in the last 20 years. I always tell people who want to talk about the evil wolves to read Farley Mowatt's book "Never Cry Wolf."

      We have the Red Wolves here, some years back the Forest Service brought in some pairs from the Florida pan handle, and they are slowly but surely reestablishing themselves.

      Hunting is not the sport it was ten years ago here, people just aren't coming into the sport as "newbies" and older people are just getting too long in the tooth to come out. As a result, the deer population is much larger than it would be if the predators hadn't been killed off. I recently drove down a four lane road to another town, there and back. The trip was about 79 miles. In that trip I saw 13 dead deer by the road. The highway department doesn't even pick up the deer anymore, they just leave them to rot by the roadside.

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  3. Hit zero degrees F here last night. Looks like Google has declared war on guns and has shut down Hickok45's youtube channel. They did the same thing to Midway-USA's channel a while back. Took him a long time to sort it out but Mr Potterfield lost most of his archival gunsmithing content. Looks like they may be looking to eliminate any gun content form the web. I wonder who they are coming after next?

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    1. Google has long been a proponent of providing service on a selective basis. If an interest doesn't fit their ideological filter, they suppress it. I'm sorry to hear about the Midway USA Channel. I watched a lot of Potterfields shows on the Outdoor channel and have always enjoyed them. In fact, I have the whole "Gun Stories" series stored on my satellite receiver.

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  4. About once or twice per year, I place an order with BatteryJunction.com for a bunch of Duracells and odd coin type batteries. I buy a pretty good quantity to offset the shipping fee. They are a bit slow, but I keep going back, and use a small 'frequent flyer' discount they give. No endorsement here, but just to say I don't buy Batts at stores anymore.

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    1. I found some good deals recently at Home Depot, but any way you cut it they are still very expensive. I have not been to BatteryJunction.com but I will certainly go take a look. I am always open to saving a few shekels here and there.

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  5. It was 18 degrees this morning when I left for work.
    Batteries are so expensive now. It's crazy.

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    1. Very expensive and very essential. If the power goes out, I can run most of my gear on the generator for a long time. But things that I need to carry around, like flashlights, will only work if I have batteries.

      I try to replace all those I use, and buy extra besides. I keep a close eye on Home Depot, they usually have the best deals on batteries.

      Cold here today as well. We may get light snow after midnight tomorrow.

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  6. It's 34 degrees midday here. It's during the winter that I miss Savannah. We've been pretty lucky with winter this year though. Only 2 bigger snows.

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    1. Savannah is a nice place as long as you stay out of about 75% of it these days. Even the River Walk is getting dangerous. We used to go down there quite a bit, to Tybee, but these days not so much. There have been some really bad attacks on "tourists" and that of chills my ardor for the city. Safe enough out on the beach though, at least for now.

      We may get snow tomorrow night late. Not supposed to be a lot of it.

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  7. I have a strategy... I look at the grocery store and drug store sales flyers. Wait until the last day of the sale, so stocks are depleted. Get a "raincheck"(s) for a large amount, and then you get the sale price whenever you need batteries. I also sometimes look for coupons in the suppliment on Sunday papers. Wait until a local store "doubles" coupons, take them and your rain checks...I use LED "Headlamps" instead of drop lights, so use a fair amount of batteries.

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    1. J, I don't get the drug store flyers, and we only have two drug stores, but I will swing by and check their prices. I never thought of buying batteries at a drug store.

      We don't have a Sunday paper, alas. We have a weekly paper that comes out on Tuesday but it's pretty thin and doesn't have much in the way of advertising. There is a Chattanooga Sunday paper you can buy at one of our stores on Sunday, but it's four dollars and doesn't have anything relevant to our corner of North Georgia. I guess those are all drawbacks to living in the sticks. I am finding more of the negative aspects of living way the hell out in the woods as I get older, but I guess you "pays your dime and takes your chances."

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  8. The cooler temps haven't been a big deal on the boat in FL. However, the strong north winds have caused me no end of grief, especially since we want to head north right now. Oh well, don't expect much pity as we are living on a boat.

    I've seen a lot of magazines start out with a few really good issues then they seem to loose their focus or exhaust their ideas. Before too long they look just like the magazines they were trying to outdo.

    I'm trying to use less batteries on the boat. Thanks to the solar electric panel I can recharge my electronics better than before. However, I don't like to rely on one system for everything. My rechargable handheld marine radio has an option to use AAA batteries in a special pack. It's come in handy in the past when my previous boat's electrical system packed up. Salt water is harsh on electronics. Right now I'm nervous having to rely on a 400 watt inverter that's making the occasional weird noise. Bought it for $15 at a yard sale so it much be quality, right?

    We also use LED headlamps a lot. They are super efficient, but over time they will eat a lot batteries.

    My big concern is having enough AA batteries for the handheld GPS receivers. Really hate to have those pack up in the middle of a tight channel.

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    1. I saw on your blog where the winds were giving you trouble. You have to have a very stolid personality to put up with all the different problems that crop up and not let it bother you.

      I'm a big magazine reader because they tend to be more up to date than books do. Some magazines today cost as much as the hardback books I used to buy, so I am careful with them and keep them in good shape for reference. I do miss some of the old magazines that were excellent but just couldn't compete with on line magazines.

      I suppose everybody needs lots of batteries. Probably given your mobility and the fact that you never really know where you may wind up, having some backup batteries is a must. You have constructed a really nice system there on the boat, even if you didn't pay much for the components!

      Keep posting. I really enjoy the journal of your daily life on the boat and I'm sure a lot of others do as well.

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  9. Hey Harry, I'm Kathy's (Moving onto the Past) husband, Tom. Brother, you need to get a ham license! I don't know if you are aware of APRS or not but you can access the data from it at www.aprs.fi. If you click on the blue WX icons you can get readings from individual weather stations that are set up by hams. I don't know where you're at or how many if any stations are near you but it's another info resource.

    By the way, if you'd like to get a license or need any other info on ham radio let Kathy or me know and I'll help any way that I can.

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    1. Catawissa, I have been following Kathy's blog a long time, and knew you were a ham. I have never heard of ARPS but I am certainly going to that link, the WX info sounds very useful.

      I was reading one of Rawles' books again last week, and there is almost an entire chapter devoted to how an individual in Europe stayed in contact with family in New Mexico using very portable and affordable ham equipment. I thought again, for the thousandth time, that I should get a licence. While I learned morse code at NAS Pensacola in 1977, I don't remember it now. But I'm told morse is no longer part of the test. I have HF receivers galore, good quality and different configurations but no transceivers.

      We have a ham club here, or really, we had one but it was all older guys and most of them have either died off or moved away after 2007/08 when the people who had second homes here disappeared.

      I appreciate the tip and if you know of a link that would explain exactly what I have to do to get the beginners license, (is it called novice?) I would like to look that over and see if it is within my means.

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    2. The beginning license is now a Technician License. There are only three levels now - Technician, General and Extra. The Tech license will give you privileges on everything from 6 meters on up and a little slice of 10 meter voice with some CW allocation in a few of the lower bands. You're right. You no longer need CW (Morse Code) for your license.

      This link will take you to the Band Plan which will show who gets to play where:

      http://www.arrl.org/graphical-frequency-allocations

      As far as studying for the license, the best way is to go to Ham Test Online (https://www.hamradiolicenseexam.com/), pay the small fee and get to it. The software will test and retest you using algorithms designed to focus on your weak spots. The question pool for the exam is around 135 questions or so and the test has 35 questions on it. It's well within the bounds of rote memorization.

      Some might think this is cheating but to be honest I think you'll learn as much from this as you will sitting through most club courses. You can't help it.

      The test will be given through a local club. Most offer it and you'll have to find one near you. The cost is generally $15.

      You can buy radios used , though I wouldn't suggest it unless you're pretty good with fixing electronics. Something is always broken. You can get a new radio, say a Yaesu FT-2900 (http://www.universal-radio.com/catalog/fm_txvrs/2900.html) and a magnetic antenna (or you can build an antenna. There are plenty of websites that will show you how) for under $200 and be on the air on the 2 meter band with 75 watts of power. I don't know where you live or if there is a repeater nearby but there probably is. That could give you hundreds of square miles of coverage. But that rig, even without a repeater, in the right location, will give you 40-60 miles of range without a problem.

      Let me know if you have any other questions. I think ham radio would be something you'll find useful. And maybe life saving in the most likely very near future.

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    3. That's a good guide for how to do this. I have been wanting a ham license for along time but the testing and all that held me back. I'm tired of testing, had more than enough of it in my flying career and then in accounting.

      But if I can just buckle down and get this done I would enjoy ham radio work. Maybe I could get CC down in Texas to do the course as well, that would make it easier to have someone to work with on the preparation.

      I really appreciate your taking the time to give me this information.

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  10. I also smoke and like good coffee. The lovely Guvna Owe Mao-ly cranked on a 2 buck a pack cigarette tax here. So, I sometimes look at ebay and buy coupons cheaply. You have to know the brands/prices locally of course, but I figure the cash I save can be spent on other things, like ammo...I don't have a lot of disposable income, so I look for ways to stretch it out.

    And no, I do not think you can worry too much about importing the third world. Look what happened in Europe over the holidays...

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    1. I smoke a pipe. Tried to give up smoking in the mid seventies, was able to move to the pipe but never gave up the "nefarious weed" entirely. A good pipe calms me down and makes me feel better if I am wound up about something.

      I always us coupons if I can find them for on line purchases. I wish we had a Sunday paper as I would have no qualms at all about using coupons to buy food, but we don't.

      You have a lot of company in the disposable income category. When my wife retired, our net income from all sourced dropped by $2000 a month. Our retirement finances are on track to live a modest life, but ONLY if we are frugal and exercise strict self control. Being Scotch Irish, I've always been frugal. My dad could pinch a nickle until it bled, and in that respect I follow in his footsteps. On the other hand, I know my priorities are somewhat unusual so I spend less than most on some things, and more than others elsewhere. It all works out.

      The Hispanics were bad enough. There were none in 1986, and they have just about overrun the mountains here now. But at least most of them are not murderous or thieves. I can't say the same for the mob flooding in from the dregs of the earth right now. Obama the Idiot may call them "widows and orphans" but it's pretty clear he doesn't keep up with the news.

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  11. Maybe pick one of your smaller, not-so-critical devices and mail it to your son. Have him put together and test the battery-charging enclosure (the one with the extra battery to bring the voltage up to par). Then, he could make 5 or 6 and send them on down to you.

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    1. Charlie, I will ask my son when I talk to him tonight on the phone. I have trouble getting him to do things like getting the Commander into the shop for recalls, or getting his tax stuff to me so I can send it to my tax accountant. But maybe he will help his old man out since it involves a "project" and he likes those.

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  12. Harry,

    Good morning, I'm finally back home and now can work from a desktop. Our temperatures have been pretty cold here and in the small town where my parents estate is located. The winds truly don't help, the cold just blows right through you. We always stash extra batteries of all sizes. Every time we head into town and shop at Sam's Club we pick up a large pack of batteries to replenish our stash. One must remember to rotate their battery stash.

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    1. Sandy, it's sure good to hear from you again. I know how busy you and B.D. man have been, glad things are settling down.

      With all the equipment I use that's dependent on batteries, rotation gets done through necessity. I am thinking of trying some rechargeable batteries to save money.

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