Saturday, September 6, 2014

Saturday. I need to go to town.

 I need a change.  Got up this morning and the thunder was rolling.  No rain yet, but it's almost one thirty in the afternoon, and it's dark outside.   I think I will drive into town and have lunch at the restaurant I like.  Then I'll go to Walmart, and pick up a few odds and ends. Not so much because I need them, but because I want to do something different.

I have been listening to the satellite radio this afternoon.  Sirius XM is the result of the combination of the only two satellite radio companies in America. Whatever kind of music you like, they have it without advertisements. I like smooth jazz, music from the 1950's and 1960's by people like Frank Sinatra, and music from the 1930's and 1940's.  Sirius XM has individual channels for all those.

They also have news and weather, but I don't listen to that very often.

You can run the radio on batteries or on ac power.  Sirius XM costs about $16.00 a month, and the radios are very cheap.  It's been a nice addition to my radio equipment, and I've been listening for years now.

I checked the movies showing in the general area, but there's nothing on I want to see.  I like old movies from the 1940's and 1950's best. Sometimes I can watch them on Turner Movie Classics, but it doesn't look like there's anything on today that's interesting.

Has anyone else noted an increase in the anxiety level across the country?  Last night I was listening to a  news analysis program  on short wave that I enjoy very much.  The host announced that henceforth, he is not going to be discussing the news, and will concentrate on praying and preaching because all the news is so bad, and there's so much of it that's frightening, that he feels that's all he can do.  I thought that was very strange, since this is a successful program with a large following.  The programs where somebody gets on the air and screeches about religion are a dime a dozen on the shortwave. Just seems odd.

Then I notice too that the blogosphere is riven with a lot of friction right now. Some of that always happens but I don't remember it being this tempestuous since I bailed on blogging some years ago and quit for awhile.  I think people are keyed up a lot more than normal, or at least, a good many are.

Oh, well.  I can't do anything about that.  In hard times you just stick to what you know, and stand by your friends.


  1. Harry, we stand by our friends, watch their backs, and aid them when necessary. For those who aren't friends, we watch them with a wary eye.

    Yesterday was draining for me, but it wasn't a day for me to do nothing. When people need to chat or talk, I'm there. There are days that I need to blow steam, other days I need to listen to others

    1. I felt a little run down myself. This ultra hot weather with 99% humidity is really debilitating. I had an ok time going into town today, but once I got there the skies opened up and the rain came down in buckets. It didn't cool off any, either. By the time I got the truck unloaded I was exhausted. I've been sleeping on the couch since then. Thank God for air conditioning, It's like living on the surface of Mars. You go outside, you die!

  2. Harry: I know there is a lot of frightening stuff going on out there. But I try my best to not let it get to me. I don't ignore it but I figure there is little I can do about most stuff. If there is something I can do about it, I do it, and there is nothing to worry about, and if there is nothing I can do about it, what is the point in fretting about it if nothing can be done. But just like flying you can't let your emotions get to you. You have to fly the dam thing even when things are looking sketchy, panicking serves you no good and keeps you from seeing a solution to the problem in front of you. As for XM radio we have it in the Bonanza, and on the upgrade package they also provide a live real time weather imaging for the Garmin radios. Amazing stuff. You can see the weather couple hundred miles away and a 10 degree heading change now will keep you out of the thunder boomers and save you a lot of pucker factor down the road.
    Thunder boomers just hitting us now in Scarborough Maine.

    1. Technology is great, and adds to the quality of life. If we ever lose it, things are going to be much harder. I don't think living here without air could be much fun at all.

      Everybody is either wound up like a three dollar watch, or they are just coasting down the river clueless. As long as the Schumer doesn't hit the fan, the latter is probably preferable. I think I belong to the former group, I'm always trying to figure out what's coming next and what to do about it. That wears you down after awhile.

      I tried to fly a Comanche under a squall line over North Carolina a long time ago. Didn't work, and I landed at the first field I could find, some little tiny airstrip in some dusty town. After I got down, even the big twins were coming in and landing. Everybody just hung out and drank coke with peanuts in it, and waited for the storm to pass. I never tried to go under one again. I think that place saw more aircraft in one hour than they usually did in a month.

  3. Harry,

    This is a stressful time, nothing like sitting on pins and needles.

    1. It wears on the nerves, doesn't it. There's no let up. The drought, Islamic Terrorists, Ebola, Illegal Immigration, rising crime, a corrupt and increasingly out of control federal government, an out of touch , imperial president. The economy is sinking , unemployment rising, and the national debt is beyond comprehension. Obama care has destroyed health care for the middle class.

      Not so easy to sit back and relax.

    2. The anxiety is palpable. It is felt in everything we see. It feels like we are being surrounded by the end. I was looking into the water issue on the west coast. Soon whoever owns water rights will become king. If we loose our food production, those people who do not know how to garden ect for fresh food will suffer. the price of everything will go up. Arg, dont get me started lol

    3. I have been watching the drought in the West for a number of reason. I have an interest in the Anasazi , and there's a body of evidence that suggests their culture was utterly eradicated by a long term drought about 1200 A.D.

      On another level, my mom lives in a retirement community there. I can't get her to adapt to the new reality, so she ha a grass lawn at her little house, and the water bill is atrocious. But she considers rock landscaping to be "Arizona Houses" and she won't change.

      I admit to a certain increased level of concern at the moment. Seems like the handwriting is on the wall for some unpleasant events in the near future.

  4. I've needed change lately to. Today we went to the library. They have a Lego Club once a week that I never knew about. I've been checking out old movies there. Ones that are kid friendly - classics. We've watched Bednobs and Broomsticks, and Old Yeller lately. I put on hold the first Starwars movie I saw. The boys have never seen Starwars. My nerdy friends wouldn't be proud of me. I aways thought the series was groundbreaking, but nothing I'd watch over and over again.

    Stress - yes. Our health insurance just sent us a letter saying that they wouldn't cover a major hospital here. They feel the hospital charges too much. They couldn't come to an agreement, so there you have it. It doesn't effect me much, as I wouldn't go there anyhow, but what about those that are in the middle of being treated for chemo? I'd be pissed if I were them!

    Then someone was moved here that has Ebola. So many are freaking that they could get it. The chance of that happening is super low! He's in confinement big time.

    Then there's all kinds of stuff going on in the world.

    1. That's the kind of thing that is getting everyone wound up. All this noise from Obama about how much better health insurance is, but for the middle class the whole thing has been a disaster. We lost our HMO as a result of his machinations, and the replacement was a worthless "health care cost account". We just got a letter emhasizing that after the $250 the state puts into teachers account for each family member, it won't pay anything more until we have spent $5000 out of pocket per family member per year. This fraud costs us $200 a month, and you can't opt out.

      I wouldn't want Ebola in my area, either. First the news said nobody could get it unless they actually handled the bodies of victims. Then they changed that story and now it's becoming an international crisis. Reading about it on the internet you get stories just as conflicting.

      I remember when Star Wars came out in theaters, back in the mid seventies. I enjoyed it, for it's time it was really spectacular.

      I guess all we can do is just do the best we can do. One day at a time.

  5. Hey Harry,


    Yeah' I'm seeing and hearing the same stuff.

    a friend that sells preparedness foods has notice an increase in business the last few weeks.
    Also I have notice more people getting nervous too online.

    1. Nervous and angry, the online things . My personal policy is just to delete comments that I don't want to get into, without any further discussion. There's a poster that is kind of mean, but there's some truth in it. It says "arguing on the internet is like winning the special Olympics. Even if you do win, you're still retarded." I remember when things got out of hand on my last blog, that's why I started handling it a different way.

  6. Hey Harry,


    On an unrelated note' Harry. I am a craigslist junkie and I found some cool stuff on craigslist in my area.
    A few weeks ago I picked up an 'Athol Machinists vise, model number 624 of pre-1905 manufactuer in very, very good condition.
    The vise weighs in I think almost 70 LBS. and is fricking huge. It has three inch jaws that are in excellent condition. Everything works, the swivel works. The vise locks up great with the original handle that turns great.
    I spent all morning yesterday cleaning off light rust and grime using a Hilti hammer drill with a wire brush attachment to get the rust off.

    Trust me Harry. I know how to remove rust. (I scraped enough of it off the 'Puget Sound)

    The vise is all cleaned up and oiled now and sitting in an air conditioned bedroom (four feet behind me on my left) that I kinda turned in to a makeshift workshop/office (I also re-greased the main screw with lithium grease)
    I will work on another workbench to mount it on soon. This vise is in unreal good condition for being made before 1905.

    The vise is worth at least $120.00 online at ebay. I paid $35.00 cash!

    All American steel made in Athol, Mass during the Industrial Revolution by Americans that cared about quality.

    I can't stand to by tools made in China. I inherited a large antique tool collection of tools (made in that era) from my father and now that vise is a big addition to all the tools I have. I can see the real quality steel that was used in a all the antique tools that I use. I keep them inside the house and not stored in a humid environment. I am careful when using them so they are not damaged (or abused)

    Harry' you have mentioned that you prefer older rifles because of the quality. The same quality went into tools way back then.

    I also think its real important that 'survivalist's, doomsday preppers, or whatever one calls himself or herself that tools are needed to fix things that fall apart. Good quality tools are a necessity because junk tools and equipment could cost you your life.
    A person does not need a "Snap On' tool set. I recommend at least finding 20 year old or older 'Craftsman tools' or older.
    I also have a collection axes and hatchets that some are collectors including a 'True Temper Red Warrior axe and one hatchet that was made in Sweden in the 1920's (that's my only import)

    One more thing.

    Speaking of old stuff. I will be taking the Mosin Nagant out to the range today. I picked up a box of Winchester, brass 7.62 by 54R (Yeah' Brass) I don't want that cherry 1930 Hex receiver rifle to get beat up. Maybe I'm babying it, but I take care of my stuff and I wont run corrosive ammo through it if I can help it.
    I want be shooting it enough to where I will be spending a fortune on ammo so that's no big deal.

    1. Don't throw the brass away. 7.62X54 boxer primed brass is not that common. Even if you don't reload it you can trade it for something to someone who does.

      I have a lot of tools but they aren't collectors items, just stuff I picked up here and there. I got a lot of them at a big flea market in North Carolina.

      I've only recently (relatively speaking) begun buying some nice power tools, because it's so much easier to get the job done with them.

  7. Dan and I looked into SiriusXM but I ended up getting an internet radio for our router. We found Pandora, where music listening can be customized into one's own "channels".

    I definitely agree about increased stress levels these days. It seems that folks sense something but don't always understand what it is, i.e. that we are being pushed over the brink of a hopelessly flawed economic and political system. We are pushed to buy more and have more, but are never satisfied. Seems like more and more folks are on anti-depressants and stress relievers too, with all their self-destructive side effects. That only makes it worse IMO.

    1. Leigh, I went the satellite radio route primarily as a communications backup. I have Pandora for my computer, but if the internet goes down, i will have a news source as long as HF radio broadcasters , Hams, etc are still in business. Even so, it seemed that the satellite radio would be a good backup to HF.

      People who pay any attention to events around them are unsettled and who could blame them. So much going wrong, and so little being doing to fix it. Nobody has much in the way of security, physical or emotional. My daughter's boyfriend went in to work yesterday, and they told him they were sorry, but the business was not doing well and they would have to "let him go." They had apparently made the decision some weeks ago but didn't tell him so he would keep working til they day they planned the cut. He had been there four years, had excellent work performance evaluations, but none of that helped. He wasn't the only person there who went in to work and was kicked out the door that day, either.

      How can anyone catch a breath with everything happening like it is? Anti-depressants and stress relievers are so common now that they aren't even remarkable. Same thing with a lot of prescription pain medicine that people just take to feel good.

  8. I think you have to take a small grain of salt with this increased tension situation. If you're getting that impression from reading blogs that are similar to yours and mine, then you're probably going to conclude that theres a heightened anxiety or tension going on recently. BUT...guys like you and me tend to be more 'in tune' and aware of all these potential threats. It's like going to a five year olds birthday party and asking what you see - you'd say 'a bunch of happy kids', right? And a pediatrician might say "That one over there looks like he has pink eye, the kid at the table has lice, the one in the chair by the window is picking at an infected scab on his leg, the girl in the hallway has an ear infection...." Same party, but each of us is on the lookout for something different and we tend to see what we're looking for.

    Doesn't mean the threats are not there, just that we're kinda blinded to anything that ISNT a threat. The weather may be beautiful today but instead I focus on that one black cloud off on the horizon. That sorta thing.

    1. There's some truth to that. The low information group is still taking a hit though, because , despite what the talking heads say, most people who got hurt in 2007 are still having a problem finding full time work , or any work. For instance, I hear people say frequently that "McDonald's is hiring." That's nice, but if you had a sixty thousand dollar a year job in a medical office, for instance, it probably won't help your personal situation a lot. This weekend, my daughter's boy friend went into work, where he's worked for four years. He is well liked and always had good fitness evaluations. When he walked in the door, they fired him. Management had known, apparently, for some months, they were going to cut staff, but instead of giving people a heads up so they could look for alternate positions, they kept it quiet so they could use the guy to the last minute. When that happens, it sends a ripple of anxiety through friends and family . It's hard to feel secure when all around you people are dropping like flies.

      As for other issues, like terrorism and Ebola, the constant barrage of information out there on radio and television penetrates to some extent through everyone's routine haze.

      I'm certain there are more people currently worrying about the future than has been the case in a long time. Take the huge proliferation of survival oriented magazines. From one or two a few years ago, there are now so many I can't even keep track of them. Magazines like Home Defense, Popular Mechanics and Hiking run special survival editions. Even the not very good television show Doomsday Preppers is into it's fourth season with good ratings.

      The old man down on the hard surface road at the foot of the mountain stopped me as I drove by the other day. He wanted to show me something in his basement. It turned out to be four of those Wise Food packs. He lives solely on social security, but somewhere he came up with the money to buy that stuff. It represents a considerable capital investment for him.

      So while I agree that survivalists and preppers are more cognizant of potential problems, I think there is a degree of unease among the general population that's higher than normal.

      It only matters, however, if those people do like the old fellow did and take some concrete steps to deal with the potential problems. If all they do is think about it, then it's counter productive.

    2. I should also point out that September is National Preparedness Month (Whovever decides this stuff!?) so there might be an increased media presence on the topic driving the news cycle.

    3. I wasn't aware of that. I wonder who came up with that? Probably somebody who needed a catchy phrase to justify a departmental budget increase request.

  9. I see no more tension than usual. September is often a good month for really bad domestic news.

  10. I know it's traditionally bad for the stock market. We'll have to see about everything else. If something dreadful happens in September, I anticipate being hailed as a great Guru and Prophet. If nothing does, we'll just forget about it. I'm not going near any cities on Sept 11, that's for sure.

  11. Hello there Mr Mountain man,
    I hear what you are saying loud and clear. There is so much doom and gloom in the world these days. I don't even put the TV on anymore, I put music on instead and listen to that. I have a radio next to my bed that goes on first thing in the morning then off for the rest of the day. We don't need to be constantly bombarded with it day in day out. Now there is an Ebola scare here in Queensland. Cripes we don't need that to take off in our country, I will be heading for the outback!

    Hope you enjoyed your change. A change is as good as a holiday as they say :)

    Take care friend,


    1. Hey, Tania. Thanks for stopping by, it's always good to hear from you. I just got an email from an Australian buddy who has been on a big trip through the outback, and he is sending me some pictures of it. I like deserts.

      Everything is fine here. It's been some strange weather this year, and that's caused me some work out here on the mountain but nothing I can't handle.