“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Survivalist Magazines, good catalogs, and the end of a visit.


My daughter left to go back north this afternoon.  We had a good visit.  I worked on her car some, just minor things. When she came back to the U.S. from Canada, she and her brother had no vehicles. My wife and I  got him a Jeep Liberty, and her a Jeep Commander.  Both stout vehicles, not new but in good shape. My kids are proficient in basic vehicle maintenance but there were some other things on the Commander that needed attention and this was a good opportunity to address those.

We sent her back loaded with dried fruit, country ham, honey, and other things we store here that are either expensive or hard to find up there. It always makes us feel more secure to think they have at least the nucleus of a good food storage system, something to tide them over til we could get them out of the city, or they GOOD (get out of Dodge)  on their own.

The Silkies are doing well in their new home and seem to be settling in, so that apparently is going to work out alright. They aren't much trouble, and they are good layers so what little extra maintenance this little group of chickens require is requited in that respect.


The new Off Grid is out.   Given the season, and all the bad weather again this year, it's not surprising that it focuses on cold weather survival.  I actually enjoy the adds, and the articles on off road vehicles and gear, as much as anything else.  It's a good, high quality magazine, which is just as well considering it costs so much.


  Popular Mechanics had a good article on surviving tight situations, so I bought that.  It didn't cost much. I had largely assumed that my outdoors days were pretty well over, but I am planning a camping expedition this coming spring with some people I know, so it'll be time to drag out all the field gear so carefully stored away, once it warms up some. We are due for snow and temperatures in the teens at the end of the week, so it's a bit premature to be thinking about that. Still, I've committed to the trip so I might as well get ready , slowly but surely. I have everything I'll need, from a tent on down. I will unpack it all, and make sure it's still serviceable. Sometimes when something has been stored a long time, and you open it up, you get unpleasant surprises. I hope I make out better with the camping gear than I did with the seeds I stored, most of which were devoured by a mouse.





The Sportsman's Guide surplus catalog showed up in the mailbox earlier this week. It's coming was timely indeed, as I buy a lot of surplus gear from them.  There are other good outfits I buy from as well, but none are as conscientious about sending me catalogs as these guys are.

I often see equipment in the expensive survivalist magazines, which is beyond my reach. At least, I'm too cheap to pay for it because the price is excessive in my opinion. I can frequently get equipment that offers the same function from surplus dealers, though. It might not be as flashy, or have a trendy name embroidered on it, but it does the job and that's all I care about.


The last few days have been busy. My daughter stays up a lot later than I do, and it has been hard keeping up with her as she had lots of places around here she wanted to see again, and some "to do's" that needed attention.  It's been a good visit, and I look forward to a longer one in April.  Now it's time for me to catch up on my rest.



18 comments:

  1. So glad your daughter managed a visit - even the next town can be too far :) We always send our kids away loaded up too - sort of feels like your feeding them as normal.

    Planning on visiting K & J in the spring?

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    1. It was a good visit, even if I had some difficulty keeping up with my daughter. No, I sure wish I could go see them, but it's a long way and I can't be gone from the place that long. This will be a jaunt into the national forest with some locals.

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  2. Harry - i am so glad that your daughter was able to visit and then head home loaded with goodies! and you should have known that Dani, one of my all-time heroines, would guess what you were planning - bahahahah! so when should we expect you? i'll need to be sure we have enough "events" planned - like community dances, swimming at Morrison's beach, fishing, snaring rabbits and tons of fresh-cooked meals!

    you know that we would love to have you! and you wouldn't need a tent or any gear - we'd have you all sorted out! much love buddy, to you and yours always! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, a trip up to your beautiful place would be wonderful, and maybe someday if the kids come back to the mountains I will actually be able to come and visit. I hope so. We had a good visit with my daughter and she is coming back with my son in April. I need to catch my breath though, having her visit is like being swept up in a whirlwind.

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  3. Glad you enjoyed the visit and the silkies are settling in. Your camping trip sounds fun!

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    1. It should be a good experience. I like to go way out in the forest, far from any roads or trails but I don't think doing it alone will be a good idea for me anymore. Yes, it looks like the silkies will fit in ok here.

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  4. Jeeps are a good choice. My poor Cherokee is just sitting right now. Its about 250k miles, heat and a/c gone and needs brakes. We are driving my Father in laws Jeep Liberty since he passed away. Some day we will get mine fixed.

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    1. The Cherokee is an outstanding vehicle. We have a 1999 that is still going strong. I have been driving Jeeps for more than 30years and really like them.

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  5. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Good to hear your family is doing ok.

    I dig older jeeps, CJ-5's, CJ-7's and the Grand Cherokee's with the 360 V-8's.

    I like my old used Toyota's the best. Simple, rugged, reliable and great fuel milege. I still want an old American diesel truck though.

    The rest of the world can move forward. I'm going backwards.

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    1. New and modern is not always the best by a long shot. I had a Wrangler, one of the few vehicles I ever bought new. Loved that car but traded it in on the Commander for my daughter.

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  6. The SG HQ catalog is like 'crack' to me as well, I enjoy checking those out. Items I purchased from it years ago are now priced far above the original cost. Military government surplus is usually a good bargain - my problem is where to store it, lol.

    Your kids are lucky to have parents like the two of you, watching them grow up and leave must be bitter sweet. I have a pair of teenagers, and are dreading the day they leave (yes, I really said that about teenagers :^) out on their own. 'Cutting the cord' will be tough for us.

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    1. Anon, my father's philosophy was that once you left home, you were on your own. I was fortunate in that the U.S. Marine Corps gave me a full scholarship at the University of New Mexico, and then gave me a job when I got out of school. There were times when money was tight but overall you couldn't beat the military for job security and a good , reliable environment in those days. But my kids were born in the early eighties, then became young adults just as things started to go bad in terms of the economy and society in general. They are hard workers and never ask for anything, but their mom and I try to anticipate their needs and take some of the pressure off of them. No good ever came of worrying excessively about money. They aren't dependent on us, but their quality of life is better because we can help them a little.

      We sent them to Canada to go to school, and they spent two years in Vancouver. They loved it and would never have come back to live if they had been able to get legal status. When they did come back, they both decided they didn't want to live here in the mountains, which was a real blow to me. I had always thought they would live here and take over this place when I got too old to keep it up. After all, a free homestead, fully functional, in an area that people travel hundreds of miles to visit, who wouldn't want that? Alas, the answer was my two children. So we don't see as much of them as I had hoped we would, and the future isn't as certain as my long range planning would have made it had it had things gone the way I wanted. It's very hard not to have them around, but the compensation is that they are happy and doing what they wanted to do. I expect when your's leave you'll have the same things to deal with I did, and still do.

      I love Sportsmans Guide catalogs even if I don't buy anything. They are like really good survival magazines that are free. I buy enough from them that they make out ok in the long run, so everyone is happy.

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  7. Harry,

    I'm happy to hear you had a wonderful visit with your daughter. So here's the question, would you recommend getting Silkies?

    We picked up a few of the survivalist magazines, 1 for ourselves and a few others for a friend in the hospital. The one I bought specifically for hubby (only as a treat) was expensive. We won't be buying this one again.

    Your planned camping expedition sounds like fun. I would have to agree with you, pulling out your gear in advance is a good thing. You don't want to find a surprise and realize at the last minute somethings not going to work or needs replacing.

    Have a great afternoon.
    Hugs to you and your Sweet Wife.
    Sandy

    I'm going on the web to get this SG HQ catalog sent to the house. When it comes, I'll have to hide it because hubby will be doing to much shopping, lol....

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    1. Sandy, they have lots of different kinds of catalogs. Sometimes I buy things, and sometimes I don't, but I thoroughly enjoy looking through the catalogs, and they are free.

      I buy the expensive survival magazines because I keep them in my reference library. I think if TEOTWAWKI every happens, the library will come in handy for my kids, and perhaps even for my wife and myself. I know they are an extravagance, but I indulge myself. I am very frugal in most respects so the magazines are just a "treat" for myself.

      The people I am going out into the national forest with are good fellows, who share my own "world view" and my politics. They are younger than me for the most part, but I get along well with them. I have started walking more when the weather lets me, as I'm not a spring chicken anymore and would be very humiliated if I couldn't keep up or they had to slow down for me. So it's a good thing in every respect.

      I'm glad you and your husband are doing well out there, sorry about the friend in the hospital but maybe they will get out soon and be fine. I hope so.

      The Silkies are not as robust as my tough chickens that free range. Silkies also seem to require more care. My daughter wanted me to comb them, bath them, and blow dry them. I said I wasn't doing that but my wife said she would. So I guess they are not all that great in terms of being practical. Also, they can't hack cold weather, according to my daughter, so I am running an electric heater in the glass house to keep them warm, and I really didn't need more space that had to be climate controlled. But I have never been able to tell my daughter no and she just ignores me anyway if I do, so that's how I got the silkies.

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    2. Harry,

      Daughters have a way with their fathers!!!! I used to do the same with my dad years ago.

      Thanks for the information about silkies. I think when the time is right we're better off with the regular chickens.

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    3. I have never been really good about being a disciplinarian type of father. My dad was a real tyrant, which may have something to do with the fact that I never was able to be, even when it would have been in order. Fortunately for me, my daughter is level headed and never needed much in the way of draconian orders from dad.

      The silkies are more pet than practical, that's the bottom line. Pretty, but requiring a lot of care.

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  8. I bet she's loving you for your car knowledge, and the food! Things like that are the best presents ever. What a great Dad you are.

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  9. Alissa, it's kind of you to say so. Alas, I wasn't a great dad when they were little, because I was always working and gone so much. Men tend to fixate on providing the physical needs of the family, like food and a roof over their heads, and in doing so let the emotional needs slip some. I've always done my best but there have been times in the past where a smaller paycheck and more presence of the pater familias would have been welcome, or so everyone in my family tells me.

    I am not a very good mechanic but I can take care of minor things that get ignored, like checking the thread depth of tires, cleaning up the vehicle, getting the navigation system reprogrammed, having the satellite radio reactivated, etc.

    I worry they don't keep a big supply of food up there in the city. We send them home with large quantities of long term food storage like fruit, meat, soups, stews, most of which are dehydrated or freeze dried. We also get them products of the mountains. They like the country hams. My daughter told me a funny story. Her boyfriend went to great lengths to make her a "Southern" breakfast, and he brought it in on a tray saying " look, I've made you a breakfast in the tradition of your people!" He was very proud. But he had used a sugar cured ham, which is not Southern at all. She didn't have the heart to tell him. He came down here and stayed a week once, and our food was a shock to him. Grits, red eye gravy, country ham, and a few other things like sweet tea, were new to him.

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