Thursday, January 25, 2018

Things that go bump in the night. 7.5 French (military surplus) . New catalogs.



Living out in the forest, you expect to hear night noises.  There are some I've been hearing for years, that I can't identify.  I'm sure an ornithologist or a person who studies animals could identify the sounds. They are just "night noises" to me.  Some of them, I know. Owls hooting to each other, wild hogs snuffling, coyotes and the red wolves, I'm familiar with.

But a couple of nights ago, I heard one that has me really flummoxed.  I went outside to take the readings on the propane tanks. I'd forgotten to do it before dark, so I took a light and went out to the tanks. They are inside the tree line to keep them shaded in summer.

There was an ear splitting noise, so loud that I hardly believe any animal could have made it. It sounded like someone with a clarinet, hitting one bad note, amplified many times. It seemed to originate just inside the treeline across the meadow. There was an element of tearing metal in it, too.  Instantly, the two outdoor dogs started howling and the chickens , who were up in the trees, began to cluck their "alarm song."

Never have figured out how they do it, but a flock of chickens, when frightened, can all cluck in unison, and the same note. They start at the same time, and they stop at the same time. If someone else told me that I'd wink and nod, but it's true.

I didn't see anything out of the ordinary, and I didn't hear it again. I mention it because it happened. From time to time, you have strange experiences living out here. Doubtless they all have perfectly rational explanations but it still lifts the hair on your arms up with the goose bumps.


On a more mundane level, I'm looking for 7.5 French MAS ammo, specifically for military surplus ammo.


I want it for my MAS 49/56.   A friend sent me some components of the MAS 49/56 recently, which reminded me I had it.




Some were imported into the country back in the early 90's.  They are usually associated with the French Foreign Legion, for which they were standard issue in the 50's and 60's. Everything in the picture came with the rifle (mine has a slightly different colored stock), and I paid about $200 for it at the time.

These guns won't shoot low pressure Privi, so you have to find the military surplus or reload your own. I'd like to pick up some of the military surplus , though I do load for this weapon.


I know lots of people buy from different suppliers than I do, so if anyone has seen any of this for sale, please let me know. I'm in the market.


I have plenty of the commercial production, but I shoot it in the MAS 36. No gas system in that gun, so it isn't picky.



Got a couple of new catalogs. Good stuff.  I made some small purchases from both, essentially to keep on their mailing list.









Cartoons:








It has been a bit of a  trying week.  My wife had problems at the hospital Monday.  We had a good scare because she had some kind of very negative reaction to the anesthesia. She's ok now, but we are rethinking any elective treatment that requires "going under" anymore.

We've made a concerted effort to get our stores replenished. Part of that was because we needed to, and part of it was because getting out with our lists and going to the different places ( six different counties and two other states) was fun and helped us get to feeling "normal" again.

It's nice to do day trips, because you can be home again at night, but you still got to see places you haven't been to in awhile, places that are different.  Home is where a person feels the most secure, the most at ease. But it helps to leave sometimes, so you appreciate it better when you get back.



 Things are going well overall.  Still haven't decided what video camera to buy, but I have narrowed it down some and look forward to being able to show people more of the mountains.


Thought for the Day:


Some quiet time music.

42 comments:

  1. Hate to tell you, but your description is very similar to that I've read about supposed "Sasquatch" encounters. Then again, I once heard a loud wailing/screaming noise in the hollow behind the farmhouse where I was raised and discovered a possum to be the culprit, a female in heat, I think. Who KNOWS what noises bigger critters might make under similar situations? (Especially a Sasquatch! - LOL)

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    1. There was an episode of the Discovery Channel series "Looking for Bigfoot" filmed near Helen, Georgia up here. A deputy was out on a back road at night and his dashboard camera filmed something unusual crossing the road in front of the police cruiser. Certainly wasn't a bear, but I don't know what it was. Les Stroud made a great effort to find Big Foot, but was unsuccessful. Then I remember the coelacanth, and I don't know.
      Whatever caused that racket, I hope it's moved on.😮

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  2. Glad your wife came out ok. Yeah, elective surgery is a..... a thing to ponder.

    That noise! Yikes!

    Yes, home is best. We get it to "fit like a glove", and be comfortable. Yes, it's the best place to be. :-)

    Hope everything continues in a cool way, for your wife. No fun, when the partner is down. No fun, at all.

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    1. She's better now. I bought her a string of pearls she's been looking at for a long time. Nothing very costly, just an extravagance, but I wanted to show her I knew it had been a terrible experience and that I appreciate her. She has a fondness for jewelry. When I was in the Marines I always brought her jewelry from the places I went, but haven't done that in a long time now.

      There have been some strange things up here on this mountain over the years. If I can't explain something, I just try to take it in stride.😟

      Home is familiar, comfortable, and generally, under control.😀

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  3. Harry,

    I'm afraid you might have a big foot in your neck of the woods. I have heard the stories from several persons in my state describe hearing a high-pitched scream just as you tell it.

    A few years ago, a friend of mine took his kids camping not too far from here. That scream woke him up that night and his kids were so unsettled that they decided to come home. He's not the kind of guy to embellish.

    Some might think me crazy for my belief in it. That's O.K. with me I suppose. There are things in the mountains that we just can't explain. Neither can science. --Troy

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    1. Troy, I doubt any thinking person would ridicule you for thinking there might be some validity to the Big Foot legends. When Les Stroud, who is certainly a level headed man, thinks it's likely enough that he invests a fortune and his own time to try to find evidence, I'd say it's plausible. As I mentioned to Gorges, one of the episodes of the Discovery Channel series "Looking for Bigfoot"was filmed near here. A deputy Sheriff patrolling at night near Helen, Georgia caught something very unusual crossing the road, on his cruiser dash cam.

      I've lived long enough to be careful about dismissing possibilities out of hand. After all, the mountain gorilla was considered to be nothing more than a legend until a German officer brought one back from an exploratory expedition in the early 1900's.

      If something like that were living around here though, I'd just as soon it would go on back into the national forest. 😮

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  4. Regarding the sound, I have two possible candidates:

    The opossum. Those little critters can make an ungodly amount of noise when getting it on, sounding like some 2 ton boojum coming to get you. I heard it while reading a Stephen King book one stormy night with the windows open.

    The other is the Puma/Panther/Mountain Lion. You know, the ones that wildlife officials didn't believe until recently existed in the Smokies and Appalachian mountains. They can make a large cat sound, but also a large metallic horrid noise that will just about cause you to poop yourself. Seriously. Again, that darned 2 ton boojum and some of his mates deciding to do 'Death Metal.' (Heavy Metal but even less understandable with the Bass turned up to maximum. Catchy, from about a mile away.)

    As to the anesthesia thingy, sounds like your wife developed a later year allergy to that stuff. It sucks. I know. All my brothers and I have the same stuff. I spent 8 hours recovering from simple surgery one time at a day clinic. They really should have transported me, but I guess they were trying to save their collective butt. A good doctor told me to just avoid surgery for the rest of my life, or it could be my life. It sucks, that and not being able to take any painkiller higher than Advil.

    Hope your wife is okay. You might suggest to the doctors to check her for sensitivities to the various anesthesias, as there are more than one variety out there.

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    1. Gorges suggested a possum as well. But they are frequent visitors her, as I put out food for Possums and Raccoons. The dogs pay them no attention, and they were clearly upset at whatever made that noise. I've heard mountain lions first hand when I lived in Northern California, wasn't them I don't think. Having said that, I acknowledge I could be wrong. I just don't know. In 30 plus years of living up in these mountains, I've seen and heard a number of things I can't account for. I guess this is just one more.

      As for the doctors, I told them she has respiratory issues and they just gaffed me off. We are not doing any more elective procedures that involve anesthesia,and I should not have gone along with this one. Bad head work on my part.

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  5. Harry,

    Thank goodness your wife came out of the anesthesia. It's very worrisome to experience a bad reaction. I've noticed as I become older I react to medications differently. The reaction your wife experienced needs to be noted in all of her medical files so she will never been given this particular medication for procedures ever again.

    The unique noise heard could be an elk or a cougar. Elk sound like a clarinet, and the sound of metal could of been the elk rubbing his antlers against something.

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    1. Sandy,

      It was a very unsettling and aggravating experience. As far as I know, she's never been subjected to anesthesia before, other than an epidural when the children were born. I let myself be overborne by our doctor. This was not something that was essential, and I could have just said no. Next time, be it my wife or me, I will do exactly that.

      We don't have elk here, only white tail deer, and I guess it could have been a cougar, but it just didn't sound like that. It wasn't a growl, it really sounded just like a clarinet note being blasted through a gargantuan amplifier, with sheet metal being ripped behind it.

      No telling. I hope I don't have the opportunity to hear it again, though. ;-)

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  6. I had a Mas 49/56 for a short time. Sold it before I found out was a great cartridge that 7.5 was. Wish I hadn't. Had a Mas 36/51 too, a Vietnam bring-back, but I sold it before I moved here as part of my scale-down. No more French guns or ammo for them--pity. Had a fair bit of Prvi 7.5 too. BUt with less room here for storage of the collection, several nice guns that I didn't shoot or need for my collection moved on to other homes.

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    1. I made a mistake when I got mine. The first one Century sent me was unissued, and immaculate. But it wouldn't cycle. In a rage, I sent it back and they sent me mine, which was nice but not of the same "unissued" condition. When that didn't cycle, I asked around and found out that virtually no one who owned one of the guns could get it to function reliably with commercial French 7.5. There was a lot of the military surplus around then, so it wasn't a problem. But the last time I found any French 7.5 in quantity was about two years ago, when SOG got a bunch in. I did buy several hundred rounds then, but I'd like more if I can find it.

      Even scaled down, your collection is truly impressive.

      I have a jungle production single shot replica of the Mas 36, some Gomer knocked out in a workshop somewhere. I wouldn't fire it on a bet, and if somebody ever did fire it, they were truly stupid and brave. I got it from the widow of a Viet Nam vet who picked it up there in the Mid -60's and brought it home as a souvenir. I have the Mas 36 but not the 36/51. I saw some in unissued condition years back, for not much money, but didn't buy one. I've regretted it ever since.

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  7. If you find a good source for milsurp 7.5 French (or an equivalent) please let me know. I have a friend who needs some for his MAS.

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    1. B, if I find any, I will post about it and everybody can jump on board that needs some. I always try to let people know if I come across military surplus ammo. There just hasn't been any that wasn't overpriced lately.

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  8. I'd be very much inclined to let some heavy lead fly in response to that sort of racket. Hand grenades if available might be an option as well. Either way, let the creature know to keep his distance or put him out of his misery all together.
    It certainly gets your attention when medical procedures doesn't go quite as expected. I am told that last year during my spinal operation my heart flat-lined long enough to give every one in the operating room a good fright. Apparently it came back on its own just about the time they were getting ready to hit me with some heavy voltage. A close call like that certainly makes you reassess your own permanence.

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    1. I didn't have anything but a flash light with me, and to tell the truth, I just stood there like a bump on a log shining the flashlight into the woods, I was so taken aback.

      I noticed that my two dogs, good outdoor dogs that they are, effected a retrograde movement back to the porch in short order, howling as they went. That's only happened once before. If it was the Booger Man, the chicken provided enough racket to cover my retreat. ;-)

      I didn't know you had had that experience. But it adds validity to my decision not to get myself or my wife in that vulnerable situation again unless it's truly a matter of life or death.


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  9. When we lived in the woods around Clear Lake CA, years ago, I heard a mountain lion scream in the middle of the night. High pitched like you describe. It made me sit straight up in bed from a deep sleep, yelling..What in the hell was that? My DH said it was a big cat. That sound has stayed with me all these years since. Lots of things out there in the wilderness that we don't know about, maybe. Glad the missus is feeling better after that scary experience in the hospital. I'm with you...stay out of hospitals if I can.

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    1. Tewshooz, we do have mountain lions here, though they are known locally as "panthers." Up until just a few years ago, the State said there were none left in the mountains, despite numerous eye witness accounts from reliable people. But then someone caught on a game trail camera. The state had to fess up then, and even put the picture on the cover of that years game regulations.

      I've heard cougars when I was a teenager, living in the foothills of the Sierra Nevadas. This didn't sound like one, but I only heard it that one time.

      We intend to avoid anymore trips to the hospital if it's humanly possible. This last episode badly dented what little faith I had left in "medicine."

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    2. On You Tube I heard a fox screaming. Wow, made the hair on my neck stand up....they do that as a warning. Maybe you startled one. Just type in fox screaming...lots come up

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    3. We do have foxes here, and I have no idea what kind of sound they make. But, I think that a fox would have a hard time reaching the "base" this noise had. Sounded more like a bull than small animal.

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  10. Sir

    I am glad to hear your wife came through her elective surgery safely. Anesthesia allergies are nothing to scoff at. My wife is an allergy specialist, and they can do testing for anesthesia drugs, although the testing is very involved. If, in the future, she has to have a non-elective surgery requiring anesthesia, consider testing!

    I follow your adventures regularly, and always enjoy your blog postings. We live in Idaho, which has many similarities to your rural life. Although, as of yet, it is blessed to not have as much of the, shall we say, 'negative' influences as your state.

    Regarding the strange, noisy visitor, have you considered night vision of some kind? A thermal sight would have been very interesting to use on that noisy stranger, and a big asset to have around in your location. Just a thought...

    Warmest regards from Idaho

    Will N. in Idaho

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    1. TRexDad,

      We usually steer clear of hospitals and doctors, but we've had to have some interaction with doctors as our age caught up with us. My wife has problems with allergies, most of which we have not been able to successfully resolve despite visits to "specialists" all over North Georgia.

      This was supposed to be a routine procedure and it turned out to be anything but. We won't try anything non-essential again.

      Georgia, at least the Appalachian Mountains part of it, used to be paradise on earth. Now it's overrun with people in general and some undesirables in particular. I'm pretty well shielded when I am at home, as my land is surrounded by national forest, but even I have to go into town sometimes....

      I have night vision equipment, and I also have a very powerful floodlight that is man portable. The problem in this instance is that I was just going out to do a check on some gauges on the propane tanks, and I only anticipated being outside for a few minutes. So I didn't have anything with me but a flashlight.

      I don't think I would be comfortable up here with the flood light or the night vision device. Especially in summer, when the forest closes in around the buildings and there's so much animal activity out there.

      Troy lives out in Idaho too, and I envy you both.

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  11. I've a shortened single 12 ga with a gun light on the barrel. Perfect for those night treks. If needed, just light up the offending critter and pull the trigger. #4 for the light stuff and 00 buck for the stubborn kind. The survival stock has most everything needed to survive so if Sasquatch comes a runnin I can disappear the other way till reinforcements arrive.

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    1. Loren, I usually have a rifle if I am working outside, but this was just a quick trip to check the gauges on the tanks.

      I suppose it's odd, but I would not shoot a Sasquatch if I had the chance unless it was apparently going to attack me. I don't care about being famous or getting in the history books, in fact, can you imagine how your life would go down hill rapidly if something like that happened to you? However, Big Foot had better hope he runs up on me, and not on my brothers. They both mightily lament the fact that they did not shoot the one they saw. Both of my brothers are reliable guys, at home in the woods, and they swear they saw one up at my middle brothers place in the Sierra Nevada mountains.

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    2. You know, Harry, it is that one time that you are not armed that something happens....murphy's law and all. Just a quick trip outside can be lethal if you are unaware, even with your dogs.

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    3. I've gotten careless about living in the woods, Tewshooz. At night, when Rufus has to go out, he likes to run right up the back of the meadow to the up slope treeline. I would never, ever have walked out there with just a flashlight in the past, but I've been doing it routinely these days. Sometimes I even go out there without a flashlight, as the new floods reach the treeline now. But it's pretty stupid. I'm not so much worried about bears or mountain lions, or wolves, etc as I should be concerned about wild hogs. Especially in summer, the hogs come right down around the place and root around in the meadow. When I had a garden, they walked right through the five strand electric fence to root the garden up and eat the plants. Probably need to get back to my usual procedures, but Rufus goes out a lot , especially at night (he's old) and I usually just get up, slip on my shoes and take him out.

      It would be undignified to be found all torn to pieces out in the meadow in my flannel pajamas. ;-)

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  12. remember you wrote about that thing that scared your dogs, seemed very tall, and breathed noxious breath? it was in the bush and you left immediately although the dogs had streaked out before you?
    it indeed may be a sasquatch.
    that is 2 possible encounters. sounds like it camps near your place.

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  13. Hi Harry :)

    First of all, I would LOVE to paint that first photo you posted...that is just up my alley. Looks nice and spooky! :)

    I love the word "flummoxed" and I've had those goose-bump moments too. I've watched way too many Sasquatch documentaries. I just noticed that Gorges thought the same thing in the comments.

    We actually saw what we think might have been a mink or a fisher in the back woods today, which is rare around here. We hear coyotes. We often hear odd howls in the night...can't identify them, but they make us bring the dogs in quicker!

    Your thought of the day is how I feel, but I'm not sad to say it. :) I'm so glad that M is doing better, how scary. Elective surgery...I don't even consider it to be honest.

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    1. It does look like something you would paint, a somber landscape. You should do one if you can make the time, I am sure it would be good!

      Several people mentioned the Sasquatch on this post. My two brothers say they saw one once up at my middle brothers cabin in the Sierra Nevada mountains. I always tease them and accuse them of drinking, but they weren't (that day, anyway), they are both accomplished woodsmen, and they say what they saw was not a bear, which is the conventional wisdom answer for something like that. Personally, if there is such a thing, and if they are around here, I'd as soon they stay away from my place. No need to come around here when there are thousands of acres of uninhabited forest for them to roam in all around here.

      I hope nobody traps that mink. Ferrets are a kind of weasel, and minks are a kind of weasel. I don't have much regard for trapping at the best of times.

      That thought of the day is exactly how I feel. Edward Abbey was pretty outspoken, and he seems to have detested everybody, regardless of race, creed, or color. Except women, anyway.

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    2. Thanks Harry, I hope it's okay, I saved that image for when I want to paint it. :)

      I agree with you, I do NOT need to see a Sasquatch. I've watched a lot of documentaries, some are mediocre but some really make you think, why not?

      I'm not a fan of trapping at all. Though, I'm a meat eater, so I wonder sometimes if that makes me a hypocrite. Anyway...no sign of the mink this morning, no new tracks either. I hope it found its way to the forest and lake.

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    3. I just got that off the internet, Rain, I think it's a painting somebody did, and I can't see any reason they would object if you used it as inspiration for a painting of your own. I have been using paintings off the net for my blog for many years. If I can find the author, I ask if it is ok and they usually let me, like Stef let me use her ferret paintings. I can remember only once when somebody wouldn't let me use a painting. I thought at the time it was a bad decision on their part, because I was perfectly willing to give them credit for the painting and link to their page where they were trying to sell their work. To me, that seemed a fair exchange. But since they were unwilling I just found another picture that I liked better anyway.

      No, I don't want to see a woods monster, especially around my house. The woods are creepy enough out here, without that happening. Whether Big Foot exists or not, I can't say. But I look at it this way. It wouldn't be the first time that cryptozoologists were proven to be right, and the hoity toity college professors , wrong. Also, when you have reputable people seeing things, I think it's ludicrous for people who didn't see the same thing to say "oh, it's a bear" or something of that nature. If a person wants to say "well, I need quantifiable proof before I will accept X" that's ok with me. But I don't think ridiculing other people is appropriate. Besides, ridiculing somebody like my younger brother might be injurious to the health of the ridiculer. ;-)

      I think trapping is pretty barbaric. I might get into trouble saying that, as I know at least one good fellow who comes here, who is heavily involved in it. But the idea of catching animals in spring traps, snares, etc is not one that I think is reasonable. It is like catching a human in a bear trap, and letting them wait there in horrible agony, until you decide to show up and kill them. That's my opinion. There are, of course, others ...

      I hope the mink has headed out to the wild woods, where he won't get shot by some Cretan with a .22.

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    4. There are cretans here, but I doubt any of them have guns. Cowards with big mouths and loud snowmobiles only lol! :)

      I laughed about not ridiculing your younger brother! I'm open minded Harry. I think too many people "poo poo" things that either scare them or they just don't understand, or refuse to understand. Or...it's beyond their scope of logic to understand. We could get into the whole "if you can't see God, why believe in him" debate, or the Big Bang Theory debate...quantum physics... none have been conclusively proven...but people believe based on their own perception and ability to be open-minded. I prefer to remain that way. That's why I think that butterflies are fairies. :) Makes me feel good. Believing in Sasquatch though, does scare me, but I can't say NO, that creature doesn't exist.

      I feel the same way about trapping methods. But I can't criticize those who do it as a living. Just not my cup of tea.

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    5. Kind of like the Rainbow Bridge, Rain. I know it's not there on a logical basis. But when one of my ferrets dies, it makes the loss easier to bear.😞

      Too many times, I've had vehement opinions about something, based not on experience or logic, but solely on shallow reaction. These days I try not to say "no way" to anything if I have now nothing to base that on.😕

      All the males in my family have a violent streak we have to struggle with sometimes if we are provoked. My youngest brother doesn't struggle against it very hard.😠

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  14. Glad your wife is Okay. Medical issues are scary, especially when they don't go as planned.

    Sounds like it might be a big cat . . . or bigfoot.

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    1. I'll probably never know what it was. To say it got my attention would be an understatement.

      We are going to minimize our exposure to medical situations henceforth. Sometimes the cure is worse than the disease.

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    2. I am reminded of those ads for medicine that treats discolored toenails. One side effect is that it could destroy your liver. Why take that kind of risk for a cosmetic problem?

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    3. Yeah, I agree. Tests and "proactive" medical procedures have probably scuppered more people than the bubonic plague.

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  15. I agree. The other thing that catches you, especially older people, is when the doctor says you "need" to have "tests" done for this or that. There's no indication of a problem, but it makes money for your doctor, money for the specialist who performs the procedure, money for the hospital where the procedure is performed. It also covers the doctor's ass in case you do develop colon cancer or whatever down the road. But it subjects individuals to a lot of unnecessary inconvenience, expense, and risk.

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  16. Glad to her the wife is better!

    When we were living at the shop in Bellvue after we first moved here I'd hear "funny things" at night. One night I heard something close, kind of a growl/screetch/hoot/cluck really weird noise. After that, I'd strap on my 1911 when I walked the dog late at night, and loaded my Remington 870 with some slugs, "Just In Case".

    Turns out the funny noise was the Momma Badger that lives in the hillside. Our realyives told me if it made that kind of noise, the dog must have tripped her and scared her.

    I'd heard a lot of weird night noises growing up in Illinois, but never anything like that Badger!

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    1. Hey,Dr. Jim

      Wish I had a badger living near me, I've always liked them. I know that they are not really like the badger in "The Wind in the Willows" but I still like them.

      I'm jumpy at night. Someone once said that if something bad is going to happen it will happen at night, and I tend to feel that way myself.😮

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  17. Great equipment, I would also like to buy a new weapon art

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    1. You can find what you need in a pawnshop if you check them frequently enough, Patrick.

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