Monday, June 11, 2018

Summer is certainly here.


It's hot, humid, and we have thunderstorms every evening now.  Years ago, that was the norm. Then the thunderstorms stopped occurring on a daily basis for several years. Now, they are back.  That means the forest is wet and green, and very lush. I don't have to worry about forest fires this year if this keeps up.

On the other hand, I spend a lot of time shutting down electronic equipment, although a lot of it is on good battery back up gear with a high clamp speed. Still have to turn off the circuit breakers to the pantry, where there are a couple of deep freezes, and to the pump. I also scurry around turning off the air conditioners and dehumidifiers. Since this involves three buildings it gets a bit tiresome, but not as tiresome as buying new appliances.


This is the time of year when the air photo I sometimes post was taken. You can see nothing but the forest canopy, then there's my little bit of cleared land right in the middle of it.  No wonder my place attracts the "pot chopper"from time to time.  I'm also a navigation point for military aircraft flying out of Dobbins on night time low level training.  The reason is that there are no lights in the national forest around me, and then there are my green and red security flood lights. So coming up that way, and using Brass Town Bald observatory, also lit up at night as a navigation point, it's easy to make the "legs".  Of course, having a C-130 or a Black Hawk roar overhead at low level in the middle of the night is a bit disconcerting, but I don't mind. Especially in bad weather, I know how important good navigation points are. When I was flying, there was no GPS.  They still teach dead reckoning navigation though, because GPS is dependent on satellites, and you never know that they will still be there when you have to fly at night, or in really bad weather, or both.




CH Kadels has two good scanner units on sale right now, both for about $100.00.   If you live in a rural area, these things are very useful.  Just about everyone has at least one, and they help you keep up on what's going on in the county.  Here, there's one frequency for the Sheriff's Department, one for the Fire and Rescue, which includes ambulances. One frequency for the Forest Service, one for the county emergency management office.  You can listen to the adjacent counties if you want to, but I don't often bother.

Our different agencies transmit "in the clear" as opposed to "covered".  In cities, with so many frequencies in use they use more sophisticated equipment and trunking systems, so you really can't keep up with everything using a simple scanner.  But out here, you know what's going on as fast as the dispatchers can put it out on the air.  When we had that terrible fire season a few years back, it was really good to be able to keep track of where all the smoke was coming from. 

We do have a new system here now where the county emergency system will automatically generate a warning if something happens like a fire or bad weather. That's one reason I keep my land line. Cell service at the house is marginal.  We got the new system after the fires up in Eastern Tennessee burned up a lot of people who didn't know the fire was coming, because nobody warned them.



We had hogs come up by the house this week and do some damage.  I didn't take the picture above but that is what the males look like.  They come up here to try to get the chickens, or if dead chickens are out in the woods. Hogs will go through a five line electric fence like it wasn't there. When we used to try to have a big garden, it was the hogs, more than the deer, that destroyed it.  Back when I used to take long, exploring walks back into the forest, I always took several dogs with me. If you walk up on a herd of hogs while they are resting in the brush, they can seriously mess you up. They are big, strong, and well equipped to tear up other animals with their tusks.




I ordered 100 capsules of amoxicillin this week. Cost me $23.00.  Tuggy picked up some kind of infection, and this will take care of it.  If I could have gotten a prescription, the medicine would probably have cost $3.00.   But, to walk in the door at a vets office now costs $65.00 here. So this was cheaper in the long run.  We open the capsules, put the medicine inside a hot dog, and feed it to her.  We do all our own "taking care of" the animals up here, unless it is something serious. If need be, I take my ferrets to an exotic pet specialist 65 miles from here, but they are a lot more "needy" medically than dogs are cats. Ferrets are not very hardy little animals.


Today the humidity is 92 percent, and the high will be about 86 if the weather boffins are right. Inside, I can keep the buildings at around 53%, and 73 degrees.  We still have to go out today, as I have a doctors appointment in the next county this afternoon.  Still, that's why they put air conditioning in vehicles.  Not much else going on here.

Cartoons:









  






Thought for the Day:  "The Old Salt."


"Citizens of Rome. I am Spurius Ligustinus, of the Tribe Crustumina, and I come of Sabine stock. My father left me half an acre of land and the little hut in which I was born and brought up. I am still living there today. As soon as I came of age, my father gave me his brother's daughter to wife, who brought nothing with her save her free birth and her chastity, together with a fertility which would be enough even for a wealthy home. We have six sons, and two daughters (both already married). Four of my sons have taken the toga of manhood; two are still under age.

 I joined the army in the consulship of Publius Sulpicius and Gaius Aurelius (Cotta) [200 B.C.], and I served two years in the ranks in the army which was taken across to Macedonia, in the campaign against King Philip [V, of Macedonia who died in 179]. In the third year Titus Quinctius Flamininus promoted me, for my bravery, to be centurion of the 10th maniple of hastati. After the defeat of King Philip and the Macedonians, when we had been brought back to Italy and demobilized, I immediately left for Spain as a volunteer with the consul Marcus Porcius [CATO, consul in 195 B.C.].

 Of all the living generals, none has been a keener observer and judge of bravery than he, as is well known to those who through long military service have had experience of him and other commanders. This general judged me worthy to be appointed centurion of the 1st century of hastati.

 I enlisted for the third time, again as a volunteer, in the army sent against the Aetolians and King Antiochus. Manius Acilius [Glabrio, consul of 191] appointed me centurion of the first century of the principes. When King Antiochus had been driven out [Battle of Thermopylae] and the Aetolians had been crushed, we were brought back to Italy. And twice after that I took part in campaigns in which the legions served for a year. 

Thereafter I saw two campaigns in Spain, one with Quintus Fulvius Flaccus as Praetor [182, continued in office in 181 and 180], the other with Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus [father of the Gracchus brothers] in command [180]. I was brought back home by Flaccus with the others whom he brought back with him from the province for his Triumph, on account of their bravery.

 And I returned to Spain because I was asked to do so by Tiberius Gracchus. Four times in the course of a few years I held the rank of Chief Centurion. Thirty four times I was rewarded for bravery by the generals. I have been given six civic crowns. I have completed 22 years of service in the army, and I am now over 50 years old. "  As recorded by Livy.






26 comments:

  1. The last few nights we've had frost warnings. Then it slowly climbs into the low 70s during the day. Winter at night, summer during the day. That's not unheard of for these parts, but it's uncommon for this time of year. That makes it pretty hard to garden.

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    1. It's about noon here now, outside temp is 87 degrees, going for somewhere in the low 90's. The humidity is a killer, it's 92%. The air just sits on top of you like a wet blanket when we go out. At night, it's been getting down into the mid seventies temp wise. Odd you are having unusual weather, of a different sort, but we are too.

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  2. the skeleton in the painting looks like those which are being touted as the remains of aliens--whether of outer space or otherwise!!

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    1. I'm not sure why the artist put that in, but it must have meant something to him. I have had that particular picture file for about ten years, only saw it on line once and could never find it again on line. But I saved it to my "art" folder.

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    2. For some reason that image rings a bell as cover art for a book. Something for an author like David Drake.

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    3. David Drake wrote "Ranks of Bronze" which is about a Roman Legion sold into slavery to an alien trade federation to serve as warriors.

      Very good book. David does an excellent job of combining history and science-fiction.

      I like all of his writings. They are not the bright, fluffy stuff lots of people like, rather darker, in fact. He uses his experience in Vietnam with an armored cavalry unit to good effect.

      His short story "Arclight" is just... creepy.

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    4. Greg T, if you remember what book, let me know. I'd love to read it . Roman military history is one of my hobbies, and I have a good collection of history books on the subject. But I also like fiction about the Roman Army, so a new book in that genre would be good news for me.

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    5. Andrew, I've always enjoyed science fiction, and I like alternate history too. I'll get some of Drake's book through the library and get started. Thanks for the suggestion.

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  3. I don't know if you're an LL Bean customer/cardholder, as I have been for the last 60 years, but I am advised that Bean has contracted with Citi Bank for their card services. This being the same bank; https://personalliberty.com/citibank-attacks-2nd-amendment/...as reported in this linked article.


    I've contacted Bean and advised I will no longer be a customer and will do all in my power to publicize their decision so that others may make a more informed choice as to whether they wish to continue a relationship with either Bean or Citi Bank.

    I hope you will see fit to include this in your comments. Thanks!

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    1. DL, I have never done any business with LL Bean, but I don't use Citibank anymore. Nor do I use Dick's Sporting Goods, Delta Airlines, or any other outfit I hear of that is supporting the Schumerites. I try to publish it here when I learn of some other company going that route, so I appreciate the heads up.

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    2. When LL Bean moved their age to 21 for gun sales, I wrote them and told them we were done. This switch to Citibank with their credit card is just the final straw. Now I have to change all the auto accounts like trackfone, Walmart, amazon, etc. Royal pain in the butt. Stupid liberal bullshit.

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    3. Still, better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness, as the saying goes. You are doing something to hit back at the social engineers. The only thing they really understand is their bottom line. If enough people balk at their actions and don't trade with them, they'll amend their ways.

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  4. Well Harry, we had frost night before last and it never made it to 50 degrees yesterday. We lost all the fruit, too. Typical weather for this neck of the woods, but it sure is aggravating.

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    1. As I write this (5 in the afternoon) we have big thunderheads boiling off to the South, and you can hear the thunder rolling our way. If it gets much closer I'll have to start my "Jumping Jack Flash" routine, shutting things down.

      Sorry you lost the fruit, I know that must be disappointing. I planted fruit trees up here , and the first winter that came along killed them all. We had visions of fresh fruit in season but gave that up....

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  5. It is as hot as all get out here, and the humidity just drains you. We really need rain. Summer has just begun and it is already so bad.
    The hog situation here is very serious. They tear up all the pastures and are often in the middle of the road, so it is dangerous to drive at night. I see so many on the side of the road that have been hit and killed. I sure don't want to hit one. The state of Texas is trying a plan to poison them, but I am not sure how it is working out.
    I checked the Kadels website. The only scanner I saw is a Uniden. Would you recommend that brand? I am thinking about purchasing one. Jana

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    1. Jana, for some reason, we are getting big waves of humidity from the Gulf this year. It is making an already bad situation a lot worse. We've had more rain than we needed, by a long shot. The creeks and rivers are all way up, and these evening thunderstorms are putting down a lot of rain overnight as well.

      They have two scanners at Kadels, one is a "base unit" and one is "hand held." The base unit is a good one for home. I have used a lot of Uniden gear over the years and have always been pleased with it. My ancient SSB CB base station, which I purchased in 1985 at the Base Exchange at Camp Lejeune, is still going strong, at least, when the antenna outside is functional. Before you buy one, check your county on line and make sure they use an untrunked system, transmit in the clear, and have a system of repeaters if the county is big. Anyone who works at the Sheriff's office can tell you those things.

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    2. Thanks Harry-Jana

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  6. With all of the problems you and others are having with those wild hogs why can't any of us from up north ever find a place to go hunting for them without paying outrageous prices to shoot some fenced in, transplanted hog? I, my cousins and friends have been trying to find somewhere to go for literally decades and come up with nothing. I'd love to get one of those.. --ken from the U.P.

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    1. You can hunt them here, as I understand it, there's no such thing as a "hog license" but you just get the licence for whatever is in season and you can hunt hogs. The national forest is full of them and you can hunt them. I googled "hog hunting in Georgia" and came up with a lot of sites devoted to it. Some were "guided" hunts, and some were just personal interest sites. I'm sure if you want to come hunt them it isn't very expensive or difficult, other than getting down here.

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  7. Been in the mid 90's here all last week. Down to the 80's now, but going back to the 90's midweek.

    That your PRO-2006? Best scanner Radio Shack ever sold. Made by GRE in Japan, they are superb analog receivers. They also cover the 225MHz~400MHz military band, and you can hear some Real Neat Stuff if you know where to look.

    I had four of them set up back in Long Beach, each dedicated to only one or two services, like the railroad, and local air traffic. For the LAPD and LASD stuff I have a few of the APCO P25 capable digital scanners.

    But I still love the old Radio Shack PRO-2006!

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    1. Yes, my equipment is old. Some of it is crystal! But then, I really only care about the very few frequencies they use here, so it really doesn't matter. And as you point out, sometimes the older equipment is the best. You worked at a much higher level of sophistication than I do when you were out there in Long Beach, but it was probably a lot more informative too.

      I keep my eye open for old gear I can use, that's a fact. ;-)

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    2. The bad thing here is that the former Chief of Police in Fort Collins decreed that ALL police communications on their new system are to be encrypted (scrambled), so although my equipment works perfectly, I can't hear what my own city is doing!

      Even in SoCal the only things they encrypted was SWAT-type stuff.

      Oh, well....the Larimer County Sheriff is still in the clear, as are all the other agencies.

      Sorry to hear about the lightning. Did you get a direct hit? Building , power lines or tree?

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    3. Years ago, our Sheriff's Department tried to encrypt their transmissions. It didn't work out for a number of reasons. First, because we are in the mountains, VHF line of sight transmissions are shaky enough, although we have some repeaters to cover gaps. When they tried to encrypt, they found that there were lots of areas where the encrypted signal would not break squelch. Second, it caused a furor because almost everyone uses scanners to keep up with events in the county, and they were incensed when they couldn't follow the transmissions anymore. Sheriff is an elected office here, and an incumbent can't afford to alienate voters. Finally, the Sheriff's department found out they lost a valuable asset when the citizens couldn't hear the transmissions, because people would call in to the county dispatcher with information to help the Sheriff's Department about things they heard on the net.

      So, the county scrapped the program. Now, with cell phones, if there is something that is security sensitive, they call the deputies on the cell phones. Of course, cell phone coverage here is very, very limited once out of town, so often even that doesn't work.

      The lightning bolt hit the ground 15 feet off the porch. Unfortunately, the underground power line comes up the mountain right where it hit. All the breakers blew, and a lot of my battery backups, with the supposedly ultra high clamp speed, were utterly annihilated and so was the equipment attached to them. The tech who came out to troubleshoot the pumping system said if we hadn't had an old style interrupter in the line, we would have lost the pump. He also mentioned that almost no one puts them in the line these days. But I am one of those compulsive worriers, who likes backups to backups. Saved me a fortune this time. As for the equipment I lost, the USAA insurance policy will cover me on all of it except the $500 deductible. I pay a lot for insurance, more than most people do by a long shot, but it's because things like this happen up here frequently.

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  8. Hi Harry :) Hope all is well with you and your wife up on the mountain! I thought about you the other day when I saw a gaggle of bike-riders on the road here...thought about your spandex crowd and how that season has started grrrr. We had a few thunderstorms over night and I can happily say that our dog Marlene, who is terribly afraid of loud noises, seemed to be tolerating them much better than last year! I'm so happy about that!

    Those hogs look scary, my gosh they are big. I've heard they're dangerous, we don't have them here thankfully.

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    1. They are scary creatures. In south Georgia, one was killed that was so big, when the picture was put on the internet everybody said fake, so the guy who shot the hog got mad and dug it up with a back hoe for people to witness!

      Lightning hit our place Monday night. Lots of damage, lots of trouble. That's one reason I haven't been back on the blog. I planned on doing a post tonight about it, but I am flat worn out, may wait until Saturday. I am supposed to take my wife to a rodeo in the next county tomorrow so that's pretty much shot.

      Glad all is well up there. I need to come by and visit real soon, just need some time to sit down at the keyboard.

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  9. Summer actually happened today. June 21 is the first day of summer. I think every other year the 22nd is, but the 21st is close enough. I just know this because it's my birthday. I'm a cusp person (Gemini/Cancer), although I don't know if I put much stock into that. Some do.

    It's been more spring like in Nebraska. Really rainy! I traveled to Southern Missouri last weekend. It's much more hot and humid there. I imagine it just keeps getting that way the further one goes into GA. Although with you in the mountains it might not be so bad(?)

    I got in an online discussion with my Aunt about politics. I thought about you. She's a Trump supporter. I'm not a government lover very much, although I know we need it. I get both sides of the immigration stuff, but in the end I think it's crappy that kids have to sleep on mats and are away from their parents. Yes one would say that the parents should know better. I still come back to - it sucks. I just couldn't imagine Isaak or Mica being separated from me. Possibly I'm a sap. There was no winning with my aunt. She's Catholic, so I kept passing her Bible vers. on loving the weak. Then I found a section that the Pope put out about immigration that was all about acceptance. I sent her that too. It's funny I was going back and forth with her when I'm in the middle of the issue. I just kept thinking about the kids. Plus I like to get her going. She's a sheep. I think I won when Trump signed the paper. None of her friends would respond to me after that.

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