Saturday, March 23, 2019

Sunrise and Sunset. Miami Vice. 7.55 Swiss brass.

With sunrise, the day is just starting out.  It's quiet, and you can stand outside and listen to the forest denizens starting to wake up.  At sunset, the day's over.  Whatever you were going to get done, either you did or you didn't. Both times of day are peaceful , and a good cup of coffee or some good pipe tobacco fits right in.

Of all the decades I've lived through, starting in the 1950's and up to now, I think the 1980's were my favorite. Couldn't say why. Maybe because my wife and I were young and that decade was packed full of unique experiences for us, some good, some bad.

I always associate "Miami Vice" with that time, and I really like Jan Hammer's music. If you have Amazon Prime, you can download most of it for free, including the two disc collection.

If you don't have Amazon Prime, this site says you can download it directly from their webpage for free. I haven't tried it, but here's the link.

Download the two disc collection of Jan Hammer's Miami Vice music

It works, and it doesn't.

I got that disc with the old American Survival Guide magazine issues on it.  The disk works perfectly on my Windows 7 laptop.  It won't work at all on my Windows 8 laptop.  I know virtually nothing about computers so I can't begin to guess why.  Still, for $7.00 it was a bargain, and I can read the disc as long as the Windows 7 machine lasts.

Through the good offices of Commander Zero, I was able to acquire 100 brass cartridge cases for my 7.5 Swiss rifles.  Not easy to come by, and this is Norma brass, ichi ban stuff.  From time to time, Zero has some good deals on gun accessories. Here's a link to his blog.

Branco Cartoons:

American Civil War 2.0

I've been doing some reading on this subject.  There are a lot of home made videos out on the internet, some of which are interesting and some outright bizarre. So, I've basically been researching print publications that have articles on our current political situation and how it may well be resolved in the streets.  For instance, this issue of the New Yorker has an article on the subject. I've been surprised that most published articles on the possibility of a violent resolution of our difficulties appear in left wing magazines like "The New Yorker."  This particular article was written by a fluffy marshmellow with a cute little avatar .  The general theme is that President Trump and his followers are completely to blame for the impasse.  Some articles tout violence as the solution, which surprises me because I can't see how the Snow Flakes expect to wipe out President Trumps imminently more physical and armed to the teeth supporters. I suppose the writers envision hordes of 20 somethings prancing down the street in black leotards and masks, spraying all the evil rednecks with insect repellent. They haven't thought it out.

If anyone really wants to see how it might go, take a look at the Spanish Civil War.  They'd reached the same stage we are at now.  On the one side, the Communists, Socialists, Anarchists, Labor Unions, and all the lefty dogs and ponies.  On the other side: The Church, the Military Establishment, Business, Land Owners, and what there was of a middle class.

It was a pretty horrible business and once it got set off by the kidnapping and murder of a conservative politician, things went to hell quickly.  Both sides routinely murdered everyone they captured from the other camp. No one knows for sure how many people were just rounded up and shot, but conservative estimates tend toward 500,000.  Everybody and their dog was fighting, and on the left wing side, they were fighting each other while they were still fighting the Nationalists. 

Here's a book written by a lefty author with an agenda. Even so, it's a good fast  read on the war and what can happen when the string finally snaps.

You have to read the book to really believe that a civilized people could act like the Spanish did . 

The best book on the topic is Hugh Thomas's .  Be careful if you order a copy, you want the original and not the "revised" edition.  

This book is not light reading.  It's detailed, comprehensive, and sometimes you have to plow through it. There isn't any better book on the war that I ever heard of , though.

Should we go to Golden Corral in Chattanooga for lunch?


 This picture was taken a few years back in the parking lot of the Golden Corral, off Gun Barrel Road by the mall in Chattanooga.  We love Golden Coral and that's the closest one. But Gun Barrel Road is where I had my intercultural encounter  with the four young black men who were heading for their bible school meeting when they happened to spot my Confederate Flag bumper sticker.  Nah. Don't think we will go over there today, upon consideration.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Looking out over the mountains. Quiet times in the woods.

Cutting back on trips to town sure saves me a lot of money on gasoline.  Getting rid of the land line saves me $40.00 a month.  The more secluded and rustic your existence, the cheaper it is to live.

Ever so often I post this song.  I sure do like her music.  Music from the 1970's , and especially the 1980's, appeals to me a lot more than modern music. This song came out in '92, but that's close enough for government work.

Stabby, Stabby, Mug, Mug

My daughter was at a restaurant managed by the company she works for , in Nashville, Tenn.  It was once in a nice part of town, but the not so nice part of  town is rapidly encroaching on it.  The place stays open til one in the morning Friday nights and weekends. It's the kind of place you'd want to go as a couple, for some special occasion.

There's only one gas station nearby that's open when the workers get off.  Lots of the young people who work at the restaurant live a pretty hand to mouth existence, and they get paid every night. You know how waitresses, for instance, might make $2.50 an hour "salary" but they live on their tips. Bussers get "tipped out" by the waitresses working  their section.  This means lots of young people, carrying cash, who may have arrived at work with dry fuel tanks, and have to use some of their cash from that nights work for gas. And the only gas station is haunted by these guys:

The Morloch's  know when the workers get off. They know they are carrying cash.  So they wait there and they mug young people coming in for gas.  My daughter says they just take the money, jewelry, cell phones, etc from the young women, but some of the young men who tried to resist have been stabbed.

Not surprisingly, the workers at this restaurant call the gas station "Stabby Stabby Mug Mug."  I suggested that maybe convoying to the gas station would be a good idea. If I were managing the place, I'd tell everybody who needed gas to wait til I locked up, and then we could all drive there together. I doubt the Morlochs would try to mug a large group of people. But my daughter says people don't all get off at the same time, and so because of that it would not be likely people would want to wait around at the end of a long shift.  

I'm glad I'm not young now. My daughter knows to never go below half a tank, ever. She usually doesn't have to be out at night, either. Night is when really bad things happen.  I feel sorry for young folks who are that tight for cash they have to run the risk at Stabby Stabby Mug Mug. Here's my advice for those that do:

It's all peace and tranquility up here:

Oh by the way:  What a surprise......

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Good Movie. Good Joke. Catching up on Branco. El Gringo song about California.


There is a very good movie on Netflix, if you get it.  It's the long forgotten story of an Irish infantry unit, serving as part of the UN "peacekeeping" forces in Kantanga in 1961.  It's an interesting story, with some parallels to American operations in Lebanon in 1982-1984. The comparisons between the two in how the troops were treated afterwards, and how politics influenced events, are very close.

If you are interested in World War II era weapons, you'll see a lot of them in this movie. The attention to detail was excellent, on a par with "Band of Brothers" and "The Pacific."

The Siege of Jadotville

a link to a short history of the event

The Chickens Come Home to Roost:

My mother lives in a small college town in Oregon.  Being a college town, there are a lot of starry eyed idealists with no practical experience of the world, and no ability to make rational decisions. Wouldn't it be nice, they thought, to have some needy souls from the third world come and live with them, and enhance their cultural diversity? Well, they got what they asked for.

Bear in mind my mother is 88, completely apolitical, and studiously avoids any exposure to things like the news or politics:

"Seems everybody is having trouble with the immigrants. my nephews name redacted and his pals from his junior high were going to the Boys and Girls Club once a month for a dance and well-organized games. The last one they went to, a bunch of Mexican boys were there and they intimidated the regular kids and then they had a huge fight. So, of course, none of the parents are going to let their kids go back. I feel sorry for the people at the club, because they have built a new building and their organizational plans and activities are superior....but it is what it is. The fight was even written up in the paper. I believe it was still going on when my brothers name redacted drove up to get nephews name redacted."

I was interested in seeing the story made the paper there.  Here, the Landed Gentry that control the county government make sure that nothing hits the paper which might negatively impact tourism or the real estate business. Can't upset those tourists or old people moving here from Florida.

New Magazines Just Out:

Got behind on Branco's cartoons. Here's a "catch up."

Quote for the Day:

Good Song:

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Cat in a tree. CDROM with 65 issues of the old American Suvival Guide. Ammo spam can openers.

Thursday night, I went outside and heard a cat squalling. Got the hand held floodlight, wandered into the woods, and found one of my wife's cats up a tree about 30 feet.

This isn't all that unusual. Most of the time, you go to the foot of the tree and call them, and they'll come down.

Not this guy. He is one of the "twins", born about six or seven months ago. Still pretty young and probably shouldn't have been out in the woods at night.

So, I left him up the tree. Not much else I could do in the dark. Next day, (Friday) I got the wife and we went out and called him, but it wasn't looking good.  I got the extension ladder, put it at full stretch, and timorously climbed up with a large extendable painting pole, to which I had taped a basket. The basket just reached him, but the wretch wouldn't climb in.  He climbed up further.

I cut down a small tree next to the tree he was in, thinking I could drop it against the larger tree and he could use it for a ladder. My lumberjack skills were not quite up to the job, and the tree I cut just missed "the cat tree" . All that for naught.

It was raining, really cold, and then we had a big thunderstorm. I was sure the cat would come down, but he didn't.  Friday night was really bad, and I thought he'd probably be dead from exposure by morning .  Saturday he was still up  there, looking pretty weak.  I told M he would come down on his own when he got hungry enough, but she looked up "how long can a cat stay in a tree" on the internet, and all these vets said that after about 24 hours the cat would not make it. They also said it is a myth that all cats will climb down. My credibility as a savant of cat lore was somewhat tarnished.

So, I told her the only thing I knew to do was cut down the tree the cat was in.  If it fell on him he'd be squashed unless he bailed out before it hit, but I couldn't think of any alternatives. Even if I was willing to become the subject of titters and smirks in the county, I wasn't going to call the fire department. Even if they would come up here, which is doubtful, they couldn't get a ladder truck up the mountain and the country doesn't have a real ladder truck anyway.....

So, with me wearing my ridiculous safety helmet  (which I scorned until a small branch fell out of a big tree I was cutting and knocked me cross eyed some years back), and with the wife safely away, I cut down the tree. I did better this time, and dropped it so the side that fell was 180 degrees out from the side the cat was sitting on.

About 2 seconds before the dreadful crash, the cat ejected and came down in a tangle of undergrowth, but was unharmed. My wife snatched him up and hauled him off to the house, leaving me to drag the ladder back up the muddy, slippery slope to the barn and haul the tools back to the tool shed.

Today (Sunday) the cat is fine and back to his usual self.  Doesn't seem any the worse for wear.

M was happy to get her cat back safe, and I was relieved to have survived another mini-traumatic experience. Living up here is fraught with mini-traumatic experiences.  I just hope the cat learned his lesson about staying on the ground.

Remember the old American Survival Guide?

The original American Survival Guide actually started out in 1978 as Shooters Journal.  As time passed, the editors included more and more survival and freedom related articles, and by 1981 it was carrying articles like "Insurrection, are you ready?"

By 1983 the magazine had morphed into Survival Guide and in June, 1985 the American Survival Guide title appeared on the cover.

About this time, McMullen publishing company, the original creator, began to run into red ink problems. One of the staff, Ken Yee, bought in as a part owner and the magazine continued to march. Yee died in 1994, and McMullen a year later. Argus bought the company, and American Survival Guide continued to be popular through the 1990's. 

PriMedia bought Argus out in 2000, and cancelled American Survival Guide, the last issue coming out in September of 2000. 

 *note: most of this information, and a good deal more, can be found 
in the Feb. 2015 edition of the new magazine.

The "new" American Survival Guide  is a good magazine, and I enjoy it. But the readers they are looking for are completely different in virtually every respect from the people who read the old magazine.  I always feel like the "old dead white guys" have been supplanted by "the beautiful people." Times change, that' s the way it is.

As I mentioned before, in previous blogs, I had a good collection of the original magazines. Then I used a lot of them in my reading class during my three year experiment teaching 5th graders. Kids that wouldn't touch the official "reader" with stories like Abdul and Mokobomo teach Jane to love nature, wore out the issues of "Guns and Ammo" or "American Survival Guide" I brought. My principal blessed the idea (try getting that from an administrator today!), and the parents all signed parental consent forms, and we were off to the races.

Later, a buddy of mine , a Vietnam veteran , had some health problems and I gave him most of the rest of my American Survival Guide magazines. His family eventually threw them away but he enjoyed them and that's what mattered.

When the internet evolved to the point where people could put up pdf. files, I started trying to restore my collection of the old magazine with digital copies.  There was a strange fellow on the net whose nom de plume was "Steve." He had a web site with copies of all kinds of magazines you could download. He needed a donation when you did it, because the bandwidth usage was pretty high, but it was a small price to pay.

Steve died, and it looked like his web page and all the information on it would disappear. But a well off fellow from a gun forum (I think from the Pacific North West), picked up the bill and kept it alive. What happened after that, I don't know but it's still out there .

There is now a CDROM you can buy on Ebay with 65 issues of the old magazine, and I would suspect these are the same ones that were available on the old web site. 

CDROM with 65 issues of old American Survival Guide.

I've just ordered it (cost $7.50) , so can't say anything more than it exists. When I get it , I'll be able to tell more.  Incidently, the company that offers this has a lot of survival oriented CD's , you can pull up a list on the same page linked above.

As far as I know, I am completely caught up on emails and packages.  I mailed some packages on Saturday, so those should get to people shortly although with "book rate" and the U.S. Post Office, nothing is certain. I am caught up on all my emails and have answered everyone I needed to respond to.

I found at least one email address of mine that is not getting  through to a friend in Australia, but switched to a gmail account and the emails seem to be getting through fine to him now.

If you wrote me at any time in the past and didn't get an answering email, please let me know. I check my sent folder after I send an email, but I have learned conclusively that the fact something is in the sent folder DOES NOT insure the intended recipient actually got the message.

It's always the things you don't expect that bite you in the derriere. 

In line with that, I thought I should mention that you can buy ammo spam can openers from  these guys for $4.95 each, plus $13.00 shipping (Fedex). 

Cheapest price for spam can opener I can find.

Over the years, especially when Slick Willie was President and Janet Reno was ruling over Narnia, I bought a lot of ammo in cases.

Inside each case (usually, anyway) are two spam cans of ammo.  What IS NOT always inside the case is a spam can opener.

You can open the spam cans with a hammer and a chisel, (or as the guy in the video below says, with a rock and a bayonet) but a spam can opener helps. It's like the nail in the old poem.

For want of a nail, the shoe was lost;
For want of the shoe, the horse was lost;
For want of the horse, the rider was lost;
For want of the rider, the battle was lost;
For want of the battle, the kingdom was lost;
And all from the want of a horseshoe nail.

Spam cans are all pretty much the same, although some of the older ammo has a wire pull tab instead of a can opener.

Seems about right to me:

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

It's cold outside.

Remember that old song from the 1950's, "Baby, it's cold outside."

Well, it sure is.  That much dreaded cold front got here Monday night, and it was 17 degrees above zero when the sun rose. Never got above 34 up here on the mountain. Today has been about the same.  I know for some folks in the North, and out in the Dakotas/Wyoming/Montana area , they have it a lot worse. Still, for Georgians in the mountains, this is another record in a 12 month period that has set a lot of them, from "wettest" to "coldest."  The ATL weather people say Monday was the coldest day in March here in eons.

Things are quiet.  It would be hard for  them to be otherwise, seeing as we haven't left the mountain in some time.  I can listen to the creek roaring down slope, for as long as I can stand being out on the porch. Even the dogs are inside the house, just too cold outside for them. Especially, at night when the temperatures really plummet. So we are forted up and enjoying some calm and tranquility.

My little digital camera I bought at Walmart in 2006 finally gave up the ghost, but these old pictures make my point.  I came up to the mountains for some solitude , and even now, as long as I stay back in the woods, I have that.

This afternoon the wife is watching a 2 hour segment of "Quacker Factory", and I'm listening to smooth jazz on Pandora and fiddling around with the computer.  I made a pot of coffee earlier, and we have a big roast cooking in the crock pot with potatoes and onions.  All in all, life is pretty  good.

I had to put the  "word verification" switch to active on the blog. I'm getting spammed to death. It's primarily bizarre little two or three sentence comments that make no sense. Things like:  " Hello I enjoy your blog very much, I think that your topics are very interesting. I am tired of mechanical preparation of food."  Why would anybody bother to send messages like that? And why are the comments addressed to posts from years ago?  Strange times we live in.

We ran out of strawberries today, part of the Bearded Dragon's diet.

My daughter brought "Gur" to live with us a month or so ago.  Then the next time she came, she brought a female,  named "Zek."  These lizards live in big tanks in my son's old bedroom. My wife takes care of them.  They like to eat fresh mustard or collard greens, strawberries, and dried meal worms and crickets. I guess they would eat fresh one's if any could be found, but having no pet store here, we have to make do with dried bugs. They can change colors, depending on their mood. If my daughter's interpretation of color is correct, Gur is usually in a bad mood.  Maybe because the female is in a different tank?

We are still sticking to the plan, going into town on Saturday.  The Beardie's can do without strawberries for two days.

Have you heard all this about the Mexican Government is helping the U.S. to keep illegals away from the border?  Even Fox seems to be toeing the party line on that.

But it isn't true.  Why am I not surprised?

Here are a few new Branco cartoons:

Quote for the Day:

From Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath:

"Then the women came out of the houses to stand beside their men—to feel whether this time the men would break.....  After a while the faces of the watching men lost their bemused perplexity and became hard and angry and resistant. Then the women knew that they were safe and that there was no break."

Steinbeck, John. The Grapes of Wrath

And finally, for all the good people out there who still have to go to work every day, and take a bite of the sandwich: