Sunday, September 3, 2017

Slow Sunday. Government Preparedness Web Page. Post Primacy. Old Movies. Hurricane Irma.

Fall and winter are coming:

September.  Feels more like October out there this morning.  We have a cold air mass over us right now that is really making the weather pleasant.  Humidity is only 65% and it was 55 degrees at dawn.  It'll warm up again, of course.  Real fall weather won't be here until mid October.

By  October, the wind will be picking up.  We are located just below the topographic crest of the mountain, and we get some fierce winds through here in fall and winter.  That's why I am up on the roof replacing shakes so often during those seasons.

In another two or three weeks, the farmers will be harvesting the corn. Most of it is left to dry out on the stalk, then they use it for animal feed.  The corn I feed my chickens through the winter comes from a Christian cooperative in the county.  It's cheaper than Walmart corn, doesn't have any chemical additives, and comes in an old fashioned burlap sack that can be used for all kinds of things. I never throw away anything useful.

At this time of year, there are lots of good things in our county farmers market. The county spent a lot of  money to build a new farmers market, with plenty of parking, and new buildings with cement floors, metal roofs, and permanent sellers stalls.  In the past few years, our county has built a new canning plant for the public, a new farmer's market, a shotgun  range for 4H,  two magnificent parks on the river, new boat docks for  the public.  They also built an agricultural center and a fine arts center for the school system, which I suppose is ok.

Best of all, they are building a big new shooting range, open to the public , that will accommodate hand guns and rifles.

It's a nice place to live. No place is perfect, but I'm comfortable here. There are things I would change if I could , but I'm satisfied with life in the mountains.

Winter will be here soon.  I'm about ready for it. Still a few things to do, but overall most of the work is done.  Firewood all split and stacked.  Propane, diesel and kerosene stored. Animal feed and long term food and water storage up to snuff.  All these things are so much easier to do before the cold comes. Once the snow is here, or it gets to where the lake freezes over, everything is much harder to accomplish.

Pulling sacks of feed, or jugs of kerosene, or just plain groceries up the Jeep trail on a sled is not something I ever enjoyed, but now I'd just as soon not have to do it all.  It's a steep climb.

Once it gets too cold to do much outside, I will start doing "inside" things, like cleaning my guns, reloading, and working on other projects that don't take me out in the weather.

It does get pretty cold here in winter.

But, after October, we have all of winter and spring before the snow birds and tourists start coming back. That's the best time of year.

Hurricane Irma. It's out there.  Can't tell if it will be a problem here yet.

Sunday evening

Post Primacy America:

I have been hearing a lot about this monograph released by the Government Printing Office. It postulates that our near future is one in which the United States is no longer the primary power on the planet. Rather, we'll just be one of a number of contending political entities.

I haven't read it yet.  It's available free of charge on Kindle, but I have to figure out how to find it.

Some time back, I started looking at the government preparedness website:

Government Readiness Home Page

If you can take the time to go through it, there are some good links to other government agencies. I signed up for reports from the Department of Homeland Security and the Government Printing Office.  It's free, and if you have some spare time, might be an asset to you.

Old Movies.

I've been watching some old movies lately,  to pass the evenings.  It's a good bet that many people won't have heard of these, but they're excellent entertainment.  I don't enjoy many of today's movies, which seem cheap and contrived, and often have a left wing agenda. But movies used to be more in line with my values.

The Magnificent Seven:

Based on the Japanese classic, The Seven Samurai, this is a morality tale about the choice between standing up for yourself and just being a drone.  The 1960 version was excellent, the remake of a few years ago, not so much.

The Wild Bunch:

Sam Peckinpah was one of my favorite directors, along with John Ford.  His movie "The Wild Bunch" , which takes place at the end of the "Old West", has a great cast and emphasized the themes of  loyalty and courage.  Not topics much considered in today's films.

Peckinpah also directed  "The Cross of Iron" with James Coburn and an excellent supporting cast. It's the best American movie on the Eastern Front I have ever seen.  The attention to detail on weapons, equipment, vehicles, uniforms was outstanding.  I had the opportunity to talk with some veterans who fought on that front when I was in Germany for the first time, in 1977.  It was an experience I've always remembered.

The Alamo: John Wayne

This was a favorite of mine since I was a kid.  The cast is the pick of the 1950's and 1960's Hollywood retinue, as it was produced in 1960.  When I taught 5th grade I used clips from this movie in history classes.

The Horse Soldiers: John Wayne

This movie was produced in 1959, when it was still permissible to portray the Confederacy realistically, and not from the warped view of modern liberalism.  The scene below is based on the battle of New Market, when the Confederacy was forced to deploy the cadets of VMI to counter a Federal incursion. In the movie, none of the kids get killed but the reality was different. In the real battle, they lost 10 KIA and 45 WIA.  Some of the cadets who were killed are buried on the grounds of VMI to this day. At least until BLM gets around to digging them up.

Thought for the Day:


  1. Out of curiosity, do you have a four-wheeler? It seems like it would be the ideal vehicle for your use in the winter in terms of getting up and down the mountain with your supplies. Additionally, in the summer, it'd be just the ticket for riding the muddy forest roads and carrying gear to remove downed trees.

    1. or one of those motorized sleds, like a motorcycle for snow. good for those of us who are not so young.
      could probably haul the entire jeep cargo in one trip.

    2. Zero, the forest here is too thick, and there's too much underbrush, to just ride through it. I'd have to make trails to use a vehicle like a four wheeler. In winter, there's usually ice under the snow on the Jeep trail. If I tried to ride a four wheeler down that, and started to slide, I'd either go off into the ravine, or hit the steep cut on the other side. When I first got up here, I bought a vehicle like that. It was a "three wheeler", since those were about all you could get in that respect 30 years ago. I never got much use out of it, and finally wound up rolling it on a steep slope that was slick from rain.

      My land has almost no flat or shallow slopes. I had to cut places to build the house and outbuildings out of the mountain side with a bulldozer. The meadow was carved out that way as well.

    3. That would be handy to have, but I doubt I would need it more than twice a year, so the utility to cost ratio would be pretty low. I don't get caught out much these days, and can usually get by with what I have on hand. We used to go into town out of sheer boredom back when those pictures were taken, but now we don't go out in the snow without a good reason! ;-)

    4. Well, you have to chain up the four wheeler like we do. We even chain up our tractor

  2. Harry: here is a link to the kindle edition of "At Our Own Peril"


    1. Fred, thanks. I am not very good at finding specific links. The government web page let you download it as a pdf, but I'd rather just read it on Kindle.

  3. Forgot to include the link Duh!

  4. That's a good Thought Of The Day.

    I read something just now that has me feeling better.
    I voted Trump, hoping he'd "throw the rascals out", but lately it seems like they were telling him what to do.

    I just read a piece where the guy said that a guy like Trump, who really does think he's the greatest, doesn't go for the highest office on the planet, only to let other people tell him what he can and can't do.

    I think he's right about that. I can't really see ol' Trump meekly saying "Yes, Ma'am".

    I hope he's right.

    - Charlie

    1. Charlie, I think the President has done wonders, considering that he has the entire political apparatus of government and both parties doing all they can to prevent him from changing anything.

      I was also really impressed with how he stood up to all the press bastards and political slime like Schumer, McCain, Ryan and Graham over the fighting in Charlottesville. They wanted him to bless the violence of Antifa and condemn all the people who were there to protest the removal of the statue, and he flat out wouldn't. He is not a politician, Thank God!

  5. Hi Harry! :) Nice photos! It's fall weather here too. Way too cold for beginning of September. I remember swimming in the lake last year all the way up to October. Oh well. For now we are renting, so we rely on electric heat (which I despise)...but hopefully soon we'll be splitting and stacking wood for the winter just like you. :) Though that photo of you on the frozen lake...I can wait a little longer for the cold weather, I get cabin fever!! It's nice when the tourists leave...they are all here this Labour Day weekend...Alex and I are hiding indoors until Tuesday. I think it's part of the weekender-code to be as loud as they can, sigh.

    I love your gun collection. We will be happy to own just one in the near future!

    Alex got me into old movies. I think I liked the Seven Samurai much better than the Magnificent Seven, mainly because of Toshiro Mufine! He's one tough Samurai! Oh, and the more John Wayne, the better...I think one of my favourite movies is "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance" though we are huge Jimmy Stewart and and Lee Marvin fans too!

    1. Hey, Rain. Maybe we are in for a long , cold winter. There are acorns falling off the trees here, very early for that. The Wooly Boogers are out too, and it's early for that. (Wooly Boogers are a type of caterpillar the old folks use to predict the weather.)

      I heat with a propane system, primarily. I also have a big Tennessee field-stone fireplace in the living room, a wood burning stove in the lower level, and a wood burning kitchen stove in our kitchen which we almost never fire up, but could at need. Firewood is nice for when we just want to have a fire for comfort and ambiance. The kerosene heaters are to heat the outbuildings if we lose power.

      Best to just lay low when the tourists are out. I have been listening to the scanners most of today, and the local Sheriff's Department is doing a land office business pulling people over and writing tickets. Just as well not to be on the roads.

      I've been collecting old rifles for more than 30 years. I have some modern weapons, but they are more in the way of tools than collectibles. I don't shoot as much as I used to, but I still take a lot of pleasure from the hobby. And , as my daughter said on a recent visit, you never know when the guns will come in handy.

      The Seven Samurai is absolutely one of my favorites, and Toshiro Mufine movies are always good. The guy had tremendous style. I used to watch "The Blind Samurai" movies on weekends, on an odd channel that isn't out there anymore. Enjoyed those too.

      I like Jimmy Stewart and Lee Marvin as well. I just watched an old Jimmy Stewart movie about the 1950's Air Force not long ago, and "Shout at the Devil" is a show with Lee Marvin that I've seen a lot and always enjoyed!

    2. I've heard of the Wooly Boogers weather lore, but we don't get them here, or maybe I've never seen them! I am very much into lore and I watch nature and the skies a lot to try to predict the weather and climate. I'm thrilled when I'm right :)

      I like the old tough guys in the movies I guess...I've never been able to see Jimmy Stewart as a tough guy...I like his sensitive side I guess lol...I'm such a girl! It's nice to relate to someone who enjoys the same movies...the ones out there today are just "fluff" for the most part in my opinion.

    3. I just saw some wooly boogers today, Rain. We were driving to town on a back road, and I had to be careful not to run over them. I told my wife I'd never seen so many this early before.

      Jimmy Stewart was a quiet guy, but he was tough, in real life. He flew two tours in the European theater during World War II, flying B-24 bombers. He started out as a pilot in command of a single bomber, and ended the war as a group commander. He stayed in the Air Force Reserve, flew the B-36 and B-47, and retired as a General. So many of the old actors were like that, real people with strong values, not like they are today.

      As for you being "so much a girl", I love girly girls. I married one in 1982 and I'm still in love with her. ;-)

  6. another fine post Harry. We have leaves starting to turn here in MN. A month early sad to say. I love old westerns and WW2 movies. John Wayne is my favorite

    1. Rob, I'm sure you folks up there will get winter before we do. I'm ready for the long, hot summer to be over.

      I'm a big John Wayne fan. I liked him as an actor, and I admired him as a person.

      The old Westerns are great. They made a lot of them in the 50's and 60's, but then they went out of style. It's a shame.

  7. Hey Harry,


    I watched that YouTube clip of the Wild Bunch. Remind me to never give a 'Mexican a Maxim' (Pun Intended)

    Speaking of Mexicans. Hurricane Irma is looking for her ex-boyfriend Harvey.

    I have no idea where Irma will go at this point. I hear its a 30 percent chance of going into the Gulf of Mexico but I think the Carolina's are the likely targets.

    I wonder what will happen when Confederate graves get dug up. 'Will there be a public outcry or will decency go out with a whimper. I fear the backlash will lead to a large re-emergence of the KKK and other hate groups. Normal Americans will be left in the middle between two mortal enemies and this will all coincide with massive economic problems that will dwarf the Waimar Republic.

    North Korean Nuke's

    I think there will be a break in the long held cease fire with North Korea will end soon. This may be a brutal winter war. Something the North Korean's will use to their advantage.
    I am hoping China will work with us on this one in some capacity to maintain a stable Korean Penninsula.

  8. I saw a sergeant fire a Browning .30 tripod mounted machine gun by lifting it off the tripod with a wire handle slipped over the barrel. He was able to fire it and control it, but he was a specialist in small arms and a very big man. General Mapache did pretty good, all things considered! ;-)

    I hope Irma goes way off shore and back into the Atlantic. If it comes up the coast we will get wind and heavy rain here, neither of which would be welcome.

    I hope the idiots back off. When they were opposed at Gettysburg by armed individuals who came to fight, they turned craven and fled, then pretended they were never there. Beating up old people at political rallies is more their style.

    Fatty Kim is out of his mind. We've screwed around with those insects from hell for decades. Now they have the hydrogen bomb and rudimentary systems for delivering it over long distances. We can either snuff them out now, or wait til they vaporize San Francisco. Not much of a choice.

  9. Always good to read your posts, Harry, and the thoughtful comments your readers leave.

    Your blog is a relaxing little place to come to!

    We're down to two weeks from The Great Colorado Move, and the stress is at an all-time high here.

    I'm renting a little 4'x6' foot open trailer from U-Haul tomorrow, and I'm loading it up, and taking it down to the "eWaste" / electronics recycling place here. Pains me to throw away good, usable stuff, but nobody wants it. I had several of my Ham buddies come look at the stuff, but it was either too specialized ("I don't do microwave stuff" or "I don't do satellite stuff", or etc, etc, etc.), or they expected me to GIVE away radio gear that was 100% functional, and in pristine condition. Gee....and here I thought us Hams prided ourselves on repairing older equipment, cleaning it up, or stripping it for all the hard to find, expensive parts that are in it.

    And I just know what's going to happen....the next time I see these guys, they're going to ask about it, and when I tell them I quite literally THREW IT AWAY, they'll all say, to a man, "Gee...if I knew you were going to throw it away, I would have taken it!".

    No, you wouldn't have, as when you were here I told it was going away and you gave me a blank stare.

    Sorry to vent, Harry. I found the problem with your little weather radio. It had a broken solder connection causing the AC power adapter to "drop out", and drain the battery.

    Problem is, my wife packed it away somewhere, so I can't send it back until after we get settled in Colorado!

    1. drjim


      I was a knew a ham that was throwing away obsolete gear, especially tube powered gear, large old cold war era stuff that's EMP resistant and rock solid. Everyone wants the latest and greatest. I want WW2 era or post WW2 era. Something I can fix with screw driver and a soldering iron and not a damn computer.

    2. I have two complete HF stations tat are tube gear. I have a set of Drake "twins", an R-4B and TX-4B, with most of the accessories. I also have a Hallicrafters SX-117 and HT-44 pair, and as an "afterburner", I have a Collins Radio 30L-1 1000 Watt input (about 600 Watts out) linear amplifier, so I'm fixed pretty good for tube gear. And I have a Heathkit SB-310 vacuum tube general coverage shortwave receiver. I also have a Hallicrafters SX-122 tube-type shortwave, but I listed that on eBay this last Sunday to get it out of here, and shut the wife up!

      The 4'x6' U-Haul I picked up this morning is just about loaded, and I'll be taking off to the recycle place in about 20 minutes....

  10. Try the local humane society thrift store. They would be delighted to have the equipment you need to dispose of, someone would be glad to buy it, and the animals would benefit. Beats scrapping functional gear and you can get a receipt, deduct the value of the gear, and lower your gross adjusted income.

    I'm delighted you could fix the radio, I like it a lot, even if, or perhaps because, it's old . Don't worry about it, I know you are up to your derriere in alligators right now.

    1. The problem with donating stuff out here is that they ONLY accept "mainstream" stuff that works 100%, and looks 95% new.

      I've tried it before, and they won't take it.

      Goodwill here will ONLY accept computer stuff running very late or current versions of Windows or MacOS. Anything older they simply refuse.

      I don't think the Goodwill stores here train people any more, unless it's just to wipe the equipment down, price it, and put it on a shelf.....

    2. I'll be damned. As long as something can be utilized or fixed, it's welcome here. I only go to the humane society thrift shop to drop stuff off, because I've found things there I could use in the past. I look at it as a kind of co-op. I don't have much use for the Goodwill/ Salvation Army places.

      Our people who work in the humane society thrift shop are all volunteers, mostly old ladies but there are a few old men who fix up equipment so it runs. I got that radio you fixed for me there. Maybe when you get out to Colorado, the local people will be more practical and less hoity toity.

    3. I'm sure they will be, Harry!

  11. We are enduring heavy smoke filled air right now. Temps have been in the high 90's,,,,,unheard of!! This year we had no frost the end of August, that's unheard of, too. Our state along with the rest of the west is burning up with wildfire. Worst I have ever seen. Luckily for me we have low humidity of 15%, but that is not good for the wildfires. More thunderstorms on the way. I love the old movies, too. Especially Westerns. Your county has done a lot for its citizens. Nothing like that here. Our local gun club has a range, but it is unmanned and not much. Everything is shut down now because of fire watch.

    1. Talked to my mom on the phone today. She lives in Corvallis. She said that the smoke is really bad there, and the city is telling all the old people to stay inside. My brother coaches a boys soccer team in the city, and he might have to cancel his first practice today because of the smoke. I thought about you. When I was out there in your neck of the woods with my son and brother in 2005, there was a big fire burning just off outside your town.

      I wish we had 15 percent humidity. It's almost 90 percent today as thunderstorms are moving in. In winter, our humidity gets down that low and I have to run humidifier throughout the house and the apartment.

      Old Westerns are great. Especially those from the 50's and 60's, when there were so many good actors. There's no one to hold a candle to John Wayne today. :-(

      Our county commissioner is like a King, and we are the peasants. We pay our taxes to the Lord High Commissioner, and he sees that we get the things we need. It's very medieval, but it seems to work.

  12. Love your videos and pictures Harry. Just saw that Irma was upgraded to a Cat 5 and it looks as though you could be affected. I love the movie "The Alamo." Unfortunately, some politicians have approved "updating" the actual Alamo. They want to change the name to the San Antonio de Valero mission and take the focus off the actual battle of the Alamo They plan to put plexiglass around it and make it to resemble a tourist theme park. There are efforts being made to thwart these plans. Hopefully our opposition to these changes will be heard and respected. Stupid politicians!! Take care Harry and I will be praying for you and your wife's safety. Jana

    1. Hey, Jana. Looks like it is coming this way but I am hoping something will move it off to the side somehow. Should know pretty soon if we are going to get the "remnants."

      I hadn't heard that about the Alamo, but I hope they don't get away with it. When I was coming back from Okinawa, I picked up my car from my brothers place at Pendleton, and drove back to Quantico. I went through San Antonio and visted the Alamo. It had a sign that said "Gentlemen, remove your hats. This is a shrine." I was impressed with it. That would have been about 1980 I think. Multiculturalism means you lose everything you treasure to make some third world trog happy. I hope they don't spoil the Alamo to pander to the left wing.

  13. I think Big Jake has always been my favorite John Wayne movie. I like the dog.

    We are prepping pastures for winter rotation. I'm concerned about my horse, Phoenix. His arthritis has become so bad he's hobbling a lot. I've got him on a number of supplements (MSM, yucca, devil's claw, glucosamine Chondroitin) plus the vet has him on a daily dosage of bute. But it doesn't seem to be helping him much. I worry about how the cold months will treat him. It sure is hard to watch an old friend decline. He's been with me since 1995.

  14. We just got back from Branson, MO. We were going to count the confederate flags, but only saw 4. They used to, maybe still do have a Dukes of Hazzard store or museum of some kind there. I didn't see it. Anyhow the flag has changed meanings over time.