“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Friday, January 24, 2014

2 degrees above zero, and I find a gun I thought I lent my brother.

Artist: Jared Sheer


That was the temperature when I got up this morning.  I didn't sleep in the apartment , my intention was to just go out there and run some water from time to time, but I didn't and the pipes froze. Not in the apartment itself, but somewhere out on the line between the pump and the building.  The pipe is only down 12 inches. That's more than adequate in normal times, but not for three weeks of bone crushing cold.  The red clay here isn't a very good insulator, and when the ground froze down to that 12 inch line, the pipe froze.  I'm hopeful it hasn't shattered, because I bought good pipe when I installed that line. If it has, once it thaws I'll have to dig it up and replace the pipe quickly. I can't run my pump constantly and if I turn it off I have no water in the house other than from stored water.

It's snowing in Louisiana and Northern Florida tonight.  That's pretty bizarre.  The further South you go the less the homes are built for cold weather and the harder it is on people there.  I'm reading about propane shortages in other states now, not just Oklahoma.  The weather looks bad all through next week, with another dip in the temperature coming in on Tuesday.

When my wife came home tonight, she told me a lot of the teachers at her school are running their home heat full bore and can only keep the house in the low sixties.  Everyone's energy bill is going to be much higher than normal, regardless of what form of energy they use to heat.  For people on a fixed income, this is going to mean real trouble since they don't have any surplus in their budgets, and sometimes have no reserve. I know the old guy down by the county road told me he is going to be in the hurt locker, and the paper is telling everyone the county is out of fuel assistance funds.

I can't lock my gate anymore. For one thing,  the lock is frozen solid and completely inoperable. For another, the cross bar that swings to open the gate is hitting on the cliff face and hanging up. Ordinarily if that happens I can just push it past the sticking spot but now that whole cliff face is frozen solid, like cement.

It's the old Chinese curse in action.  "May you live in interesting times."

Mosin M44. They used to be dirt cheap, but not anymore!


In digging  through a dark corner of one of the supply rooms, I came across a Marlin Camp Carbine in .45 caliber. I thought I had lent it to my brother, but I guess not.  Years ago I got this gun in a lot I bid on at an auction. I didn't want it, but you had to take the whole package and there were some guns in that lot I really did want.  I've never fired it.  It's a handy little thing though, and I like .45 ACP so maybe I will start using it as a truck gun.  Mosin Nagant Model 1944 rifles are getting so valuable today that it's probably not a good idea to use one where it's bouncing around in a cloth rack hanging on the back of the front seats. This carbine should work just fine in that role.



24 comments:

  1. Someday I hope I can say that I find guns and ammo I forgot I had. Now that's the lap of luxury there :)

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    1. I am good about keeping records on my weapons in terms of type and serial number. I am not so good at remembering which safe they are in. But I would have sworn I lent Robert this gun. I am wondering now, which one I did send him. I guess I should ask. The other question is how did it get to be laying around loose in the very back of a storeroom? I can't remember. Getting senile has it's issues I guess. ;-)

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  2. The internet says it is 29 degrees outside now. The roads seem to have cleared up at least from what I can see out the front door. If my road is clear the main roads are surely so. Still not going anywhere today.

    The new says 10% chance of precipitation tonight but who knows. It is cloudy which usually means rain here. Baring significantly more snow I will make a late morning run to the hardware store to get trim to finish a project. Might get lunch while I am out too.

    Hopefully none of your pipes burst.

    I'd do a bit of looking at prices on that Camp Carbine before using it as a beater. If I recall they can be worth some money. Certainly far more than a run of the mill M44.

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    1. Well, it's in unissued condition. I thought the Camp Carbine concept was pretty passe and nobody would be interested in the thing. I have every book you can name on military weapons but I haven't bought one of those civilian price guides in years. Maybe I should, though. It isn't a very beautiful gun, but I guess they were designed to be utilitarian in their day.

      Snow in Louisiana. That's so strange. I was watching the new weather channel on Direct TV, it's Wonder Weather or some weird thing, and they showed a radar image with snow in Louisiana and across through Pensacola. I bet the alligators are puzzling that one out. Maybe it will kill all the Moccasins and those monster rattlers they get in that part of the South.

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  3. Harry we have two school dist. that have called off school for Monday due to our bitter cold. More will call off Sunday night. I think schools will be closed on Tuesday too. We are at 25 days below zero so far this winter.

    On your water line you can buy heat tape to wrap around the line. It has a thermal couple that turns on when the temp goes under 38. You can order at Home Depot. Just plug in when the temps drop about a day or two before. We will unplug our mid April, or so. just something to think about.

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  4. The lines underground, Rob. It comes up through the woods, under the Jeep trail, up the meadow to the shop and apartment. I'd need a hell of a lot of that stuff to wrap it up. It's a good idea, but you know, I keep thinking things have to go back to normal. This is as abnormal as it comes. If it was this way every winter I expect I'd go broke buying propane, the amount I've spent since November is enough to turn my hair gray if it wasn't already. But as I told my wife tonight, it's still the cheapest way to heat except wood and I'm not up for all that work if I have an option. Of course, if this stuff about propane shortages is true at some point I may not have an option. Then I'll be glad I have the two wood burning stoves and the honest to God Tennessee fieldstone fireplace!

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    1. lol move here it is just raining sideways and storming again today. Although it is a long time since I saw hail stones the size of marbles. you normally see that on the coast here not in land.

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    2. If you have to dig it up then dig the trench down 3 feet. insurance for the coming ice age?

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  5. That Marlin Camp Carbine is more valuable than any Mosin Nagant you could possibly own. There are very collectible. Be aware that they have a poly buffer in them that will eat itself after a a thousand or so rounds. Once that buffer is gone, the bolt will slam into the back of the stock, breaking it in short order. Marlin will not replace the stocks on these things anymore because people were going through them so quickly. Fortunately, several companies sell aftermarket plastic buffers. I'd buy a big handful and shove them in the stock under the buttplate. If you wanna sell that thing, lemme know.

    To keep locks fromn freezing in the winter, lube them with graphite after completely degreasing them.

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    1. I was just at your place and the program still won't let me post a comment. Has anybody else ever mentioned that problem. It would be right up my ally to be the only person on the planet that has that issue.

      I didn't want the carbine when I bought it and I sure wouldn't have wanted it if I knew that. I'll get some of the buffers and put them in a box and keep it with the gun. When I'm dead my son will probably give you the gun if you ask him for it, he does not share my interest in firearms. Offer him some good computer equipment in trade, he'll be hooked.

      I still think it's ugly and I don't see why anyone would want to collect them, but you and Ryan are a lot better informed on civilian firearms than I am.

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    2. I dont often have anyone complain that they are unable to comment, but I suspect that if someones does have such a problem they dont usually hang around long enough to notify me of it. So, for all I know, it may be more common than I think.

      I know you've left comments before so im not sure why sometimes you can and sometimes you cant. I'll go check and see if maybe theres some sort of registration or something needed.

      As always, you can email me anything you have to say that isnt getting posted.

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  6. You're as bad as me at finding long forgotten firearms and ammunition. Listen here, I've a couple of M44's I'll swap you for that silly little camp....really. Swing by the shop next time you're in town. I invite Duke and Senior over and we'll have a hoe-down and swap weapons. So far no snow here. Just spoke to a lady a hundred miles north of here and she hasn't seen snow either. You reckon the weather critters have it wrong.

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    1. I saw the radar showing snow up near Pensacola but didn't see any down your way. I think it's going to be cold, though.

      I'd like to meet everybody. I used to go to blog meets with my wife but it's been a long time. I do go down to Palm Coast most summers for a week or so , that ought to enable us to get together again.

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  7. I tried to run today but my feet were too frozen and I only made it three miles. Sorry your pipes froze.

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    1. Lisa, only three miles? That's the distance of the run in the Marine Corps physical fitness test. In my youth I could run it in under 18 minutes, in boots. Now I'm lucky if I can walk down to the mailbox without taking a break. :-(
      But life has it's compensations, I don't have to take the PFT anymore. I always dreaded the pull ups.

      I guess I'm getting off lucky, so far. If the pipes didn't shatter down there under the ground. If they did, that will be a pain to fix.

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  8. I remember salivating over a camp carbine at a local Kmart back in the day, never did get one.
    As far as keeping homes warm, most folks around here have heat pumps. HP's don't do well at all below 32F ambient and need supplemental heat to keep up. We are using kerosene during the day and usually only need it a couple hours in the morning and evening.

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    1. I have kerosene heaters for backup, but there is now only one place in the entire county that sells K1, and they want $4.25 a gallon, plus I have to drive way across almost to North Carolina. Heat pumps aren't good in real cold, that's a fact. The auxiliary heating strips in the old ones would run up your electric bill something terrible, but I don't know how the newer ones do in that respect. How cold has it been getting down your way, any below zero temps?

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    2. There have been predictions of single digits but high teens is the lowest I've seen. I'm glad there has been no precipitation! There are not many K1 dealers local here anymore also and its $4.85 at the one I go to. My HP does have the heat strips, but I've already made Duke Power happy enough.

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    3. BTW, I remember you mentioning your stalker. I don't know how I could convince you that I'm not interested in such things, but I'm not.
      I'm just over the line in SC. If you ever need a strong back and a weak mind for digging pipes up or whatever, I could help. My work schedule is (almost) never more than 3 days away from a day off.
      Anyway, l a m a r d o o 10 (at) gmail is my contact info (remove spaces). I'd be happy to help, won't get my panties knotted if you'd prefer not.

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    4. The guy wasn't a stalker. He just wanted to come live at my place all summer without being invited....... But I take your point.

      If I get into a jam on the pipes I will take you up on your offer and I appreciate it. I went down this afternoon and put insulation on all the above ground pipes at the well, as Rob suggested although I didn't use the electric stuff , just tube insulation. Then I put hay all around the fiberglass pump cover. When I pulled the cover, I found out that when I replaced my pump a couple of years back, the guys who did it tore all the insulation out and didn't put it back. So there were just the bare pipes sticking up, and hanging down from a shut off valve was an icicle as bit as your thumb. I think it froze there. I walked the whole line and saw no evidence of a break, and the water has come back on out in the apartment and seems full strength. If the valve is blown, which I doubt, I can fix that myself easily enough. What has really got me worried is the stuff Jamie has been going through at her house with broken pipes. It's a hideous nightmare. If you really want to see a horror story about cold, check her blog at http://myadventuresinselfreliance.wordpress.com/

      I'll remember your kind offer to help and touch base if I am going to have to tear up any pipe or dig any trenches.

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  9. Harry

    (captaincrunch)

    super cold down here in South Texas, lots of ice just north of here, last night and this moring. Will warm up Sunday and Monday to 70 degrees and cold blast No.5 from the artic comes in on Tuesday.

    That damn Groundhog better not see his shadow this year, or I will bust out my pet Texas Coyote on that damn Groundhog in Pennslyvania.

    Harry,

    I did meet a RM (radioman) that was onboard the Puget Sound in Geata that took pride in abusing Marines when he had 'flash message traffic" that was to be delievered to the Admirals quarters. He ran down Marines and knocked them out of the way because he was ordered to deliver the massage as 'fast as humanly possible' to the admiral.
    I remember now where the admiral's quarters were and the ladder well in front of the quarters.
    By the way, I first shot an M14 off fantail way back when. Now upteen years later, I have a decked out M1A resting on a Harris bipod on a long table three feet to my left as I type this comment.
    One final thing, remember the soft drink, "Tahitian Treat" I drank the hell out of those things from the machines in the geedunk (Navy slang) they were great for hangovers.

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    1. I guess there's one in every crowd. As far as I can remember, I was always treated pretty well aboard the Navy's ships . They were different than us, and there was some good natured banter back and forth, but the Navy always did what they could for us to make us comfortable and help when we were ashore. Marine Units can't exist ashore for very long without support from the Navy. Also, when they are off shore and you are on the beach, you can usually think of an excuse to go out to the ships and get a good hot meal, and maybe a can of fruit juice to take back. On the one hand, I always envied the sailors their hot showers, clean racks, clean clothing. But I always had it in the back of my mind that if we got into it with somebody who had a Navy or an Air Force, the last place on earth I would want to be is on one of those big gray bomb magnets out in the middle of a placid sea.

      We called candy and the like "gedunk." The ships store sold it in my day, no machines on board. There was always a winding line when the ships store was open. Officers were supposed to go to the front of the line, but I never did. One, being Southern I was essentially an egalitarian from birth and the idea of taking advantage of a position of responsibility to feather your own nest was repugnant. Two, I noticed that the only officers who did go to the head of the line were the a**h*****s, none of the good ones did.

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  10. The cold has been so hard on everything, except the chickens, they seem to be doing fine. Thankfully we normally keep the house about 65-68 in the winter and just bundle up a lot. The living room is warmer since the wood stove is in it. I hope your water lines thaw without breakage!

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    1. Kathy, we had a brief period of above freezing weather and the water came back on out there, so I am hopeful I was spared any damage. I guess I won't know for sure until it warms up and all the ground thaws. Two of my cats and some of my chickens have died. I don't know why the cats did, they had warm boxes with lots of hay, plenty of food and water. Yet I've found two dead in the meadow without a mark on them. Some of the older chickens have died, they roost in trees but they can also dig holes in the hay house the dogs live in, which some of them have done. This cold has been too long, and too deep. We keep our house about 70, both because we get chilled but also because the ferrets need it to be about 70.

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