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

― Frank Herbert

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Security in a secluded setting.




I haven't lived in a suburban or urban area for more than thirty years. So I'll leave those environments to others when it comes to security.  Lately the issue of security has been on my mind, given some events in North Georgia. So writing this will help me review my own procedures.

Google Earth image of my location. Most of the compound is under the canopy. The bright splash of light is solar panels.


Location:  Pick one with no neighbors anywhere near you. Having neighbors complicates your life in many different ways, and it also makes your security situation more tenuous.  If you have people who feel comfortable with walking up to your house, for whatever reason, then you'll never know exactly who is out there or what they want.  If you don't have neighbors, and you have taken precautions to prevent unauthorized access to your home, you can make some basic assumptions about anyone who shows up there unannounced. The first assumption is that you need to be very, very careful.  Maybe the person has a legitimate reason to be at your remote location, but you need to verify it.

Air photo of my property


Access:  The "one way in, one way out" philosophy is best.  Limiting access means narrowing down the avenues of approach you have to be concerned about.  With one access route, you can take steps to make it either too hard for someone to get up to your place, or you can make it so difficult that evil doers will just go somewhere else. Criminals prefer soft targets.  They like people who leave the door unlocked, live by rural roads, and don't have a dog.  Why would they bother with someone who clearly expects trouble and is presumably ready for it?  A big steel gate is excellent, especially if you can locate it in a choke point, where it's impossible to go around.

This is down by the fence. It's natures way of saying "go rob somebody else."
 Remember, though, that an obstacle not covered by fire is not an obstacle. The main thing a gate does for you is prevent the casual moron out driving around to test his new 4 wheel drive from coming up.  It also tells you that if a vehicle of any kind is coming up your drive, then  the people in it cut your lock or your gate. That probably means they are not there selling encyclopedias and you should stand by to repel boarders.



No matter how well your access route is covered, be sure to put supplementary coverage on any possible alternate routes. Remember, the British lost Singapore because they were sure the Japanese could never get tanks down the coastal routes of the peninsula. You can't afford to assume anything, just prioritize your assets based on your own evaluation of probability.

There are a great many warning devices you can acquire. Some are military surplus, excellent but costly. Some come from Home Depot, cheap to buy, relatively short effective range and a short functional lifespan if placed out in the weather.



Some are specialist devices,  like spring loaded trip wires that activate a black powder cartridge. Simple black powder loads, no projectiles, but very loud and at night , very bright.  Bad guys won't know what they are, and will imagine the worst.  Put the wires up high enough so your dogs won't set them off.  "Set guns", or trip wire devices that fire projectiles, are illegal, and dangerous as hell. The benefit doesn't come near outweighing the potential downside. I know some people who don't agree, to each his own.




Early Warning:  Electronic detection devices are so cheap now , and so effective, that it would almost be a sin to go without them.  If you have outbuildings, be sure you can monitor them.  Security cameras are so inexpensive that it's well within the means of most to set one up covering critical points. Be sure to buy a system with infrared capable cameras.  Motion detectors that set off lights are good. That will set off the dogs, which in turn will alert you to check the cameras.   Don't go running out on the porch with your shotgun and attached flashlight. Those lights hanging off of firearms are just like tracers. They work both ways.  Yes, you can see out in the woods with the naked eye, but the bad guys can see you lit up like Broadway.  I prefer using night vision with an infrared projector. I know someone using night vision can then see you all lit up, but I'll take my chances on that.



If you use flood lights, use green or red lights. Those can't be seen from miles away, but they provide excellent additional light for your night vision if you want to operate in passive mode, with no infrared projector going.



Have dogs.  If you live away from people so you don't have to put up with their issues about dogs running free, there's no reason you shouldn't have several big dogs. I know of no better warning system.  I don't expect my dogs to fight, just to wake me up and I'll take it from there.


 I don't tie my dogs up, or keep them in a pen. There's absolutely no reason to.  If you had neighbors, you'd have some prissy old woman walking up to your door complaining that your dogs came on her property, or chased her cat, or whatever. A penned up dog, or a dog that is tied up, is miserable and the dog's viability as an alarm is severely compromised.  They work best in a completely rural and isolated location.

 Believe it or not, my chickens are a good alarm system as well. Everybody knows the story about the Romans and the Sacred Geese. Penned inside their fortifications, the Romans were alerted to a surprise attack on the part of besieging barbarians when the Sacred Geese were disturbed and began to raise hell. The Romans had time to reinforce the walls and beat back the attack thanks to that warning.




Chickens do the same thing. Mine roost in trees all around the main building.  If something disturbs them, they squawk and flap their wings, and it's loud enough to set off the dogs, which gets me up.   Low tech, but I'll take what warning I can get, I'm not proud in that respect.




Some simple rules that people seem to forget out of complacency.  I know of at least one case up here where an old woman who lived alone was beaten to death in her home simply because she left the front door unlocked.


  • Always lock the door if you are going out of sight of the house.  Because you are up at the barn on on the backside of your property does not mean someone with evil intent won't show up at the front door of the main house, and let themselves in.
  • If you are in the house, lock the door. Being inside is no guarantee that someone won't open the door and come on in, as the case of the old lady I mentioned above substantiates.
  • Always keep firearms loaded and placed in strategic places so that you don't have to go running to the bedroom with "Machete Manuel" in hot pursuit.  If you have kids, this approach is out and you'll have to figure out what's best for you. Some people use those finger punch safes. Fortunately for me, my kids are adults now.
  • Have drapes across your windows that are thick enough to prevent someone out in the dark from seeing your silhouette. Keep the drapes shut at night.  There are better ways to handle this, but they require some work.
  • You absolutely need to be able to see who is at your door without opening the door or standing directly behind it. A camera on the porch serves this purpose for me.
  • Don't be an idiot and open the door if someone shows up at your place in the middle of nowhere, and tells a sad story about being lost.  Tell them to sit down, call the Sheriff's Department, and let them wait the 45 minutes or so till the Sheriff comes out. I know somebody is going to  comment and say "how does the Sheriff get up the mountain to your place?" Let me just say I've handled that.


If you don't want to have firearms around, stay in the 'burbs.  You can't live out in the woods without a means of self protection.  Calling 911 is an exercise in futility in most rural counties because there isn't the money for a big police force or Sheriff's department, so at any given time maybe three deputies are spread out over the whole county.


 Handle it yourself or prepare to be made into chutney. If you have any doubts at all about whether you would shoot to defend yourself or your family, then you should stay in a setting where the police might be able to get to you in time to save you. That isn't a rural location.




I know some people will think I'm paranoid.  I'm not, though.  Through experience, I've learned that the Sardine Defense is not viable. Everyone has seen the Nat Geo or Discovery channel ocean documentaries where vast swirling schools of sardines are attacked by predators. The predator slashes through the school, but there are so many sardines that even though many are eaten, the  majority escape.



 For people, the Sardine Defense is where they rationalize to themselves that there's no need to worry or take precautions because only a small percentage of people wind up being victimized by criminals. I've found that in reality,  your number comes up , sooner or later.  Maybe you could have prevented it, in retrospect. Often, it happens because of factors beyond your control.  You were in the wrong place, at the wrong time. It will happen to almost everyone, sooner or later, to some degree. When it does, then it will be too late to take preventive measures.  If you are one of the lucky few who grab the brass ring and never do have such an experience, what have you lost by taking steps to protect yourself and your family? A few dollars and a little extra effort?


Repairing the electric fence is one of my summer projects this year.


When it does happen, you need everything going for you that you can manage. Prior planning really does prevent poor performance. So does not being naive, or trusting.  Trust is fine once you know someone well enough to bestow it.  Only then.




42 comments:

  1. My beagle mix is an effective early warning system. She goes nuts when anyone comes near my property. I always check it out and only shush her once the situation is clear.

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  2. If I could only have one component of my security system, it wouldn't be lights or alarms or cameras. It would be a good dog. You bring up a good point. Dogs will bark at bears, or possums, or just the wind knocking stuff out of trees. If you go out and yell "shut up, bad dog!" you are making a serious mistake. You want them to bark, so it's incumbent on you not to punish them when they do, even if it's because a possum is eating their food or some other triviality. I appreciate your mentioning that. I should have but I missed it.

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  3. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    Okay I have to back track to the post where I was talking about radio's. I got mine in, albeit no antenna.
    It's in perfect shape ready to go (Ranger RCI 2950) I'm trying to get a friend of mine to stand on the roof with the antenna cable while he holds a coat hanger over his head and see what happens:)

    Second, Matt (I hope you see this) I went for the smaller power supply because its easy to move and If I have to get out in case of a hurricane I don't want to lug around any extra mass. This radio will also be hooked up in a truck in case of hurricane evac anyway.

    On the post above about security in a remote setting. There is no perfect security. Set things up to make it so 'unattractive' that no one wants to break in and steal anything. I thought about moving out to the deep West Texas desert and buying 'The Worst" mobile home I can find and gutting it. New insulation, walls, bathrooms, etc. Make it look like hell on the outside and act if I was some crazy old hermit in a living in a rundown shack (meanwhile I have a Sterns and Foster bedset, new computer, gun safe, etc, etc) I can tell people that I see my big antenna (for my radio's) that I use it to monitor 'George Noory" because he is Martian Spy and part of an advance force of three legged, leviathan Martians.

    That's a good, serious question. How does one keep a 17 or 24 foot antenna (low profile)

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    1. You could use a long wire antenna instead of a whip mounted on a pole. Long wires are best when designed for a specific frequency if you are doing HF. There are lots of military manuals on line for free that deal with field expedient antennas.

      If you live out in the desert, you probably don't need to worry much about a Q-ship appearance. You could see people coming a long way off, and the odds of someone showing up should be slim unless you are on the illegal immigrant or drug cartel routes , in which case I wouldn't live there anyway, even in a bunker.

      If you put a trailer out there, and put a good electric fence around it, that should be enough to cover your six if you have a dog. If electricity is a problem you can buy German Tape at defense property disposal lots. Texas must have a ton of them. That is nasty stuff, it's a bitch to get it out and on the engineer stakes without cutting yourself to bits, but they make special gauntlets for it. I can't use concertina, German Tape or even regular barbed wire here because too many animals like deer and bear would wander into it in the dark and get tangled, but you wouldn't have that problem out in the desert.

      You still listening to Coast to Coast? Noory infuriated me with his monologue about how the people at the French magazine should not have made the Islamists mad, so I don't listen to that program any more. Besides, those guests of his were getting pretty strange....... It was so much better when Art Bell was running the show.

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    2. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      No I don't listen to George Noory for the same reason as you and if I hear anything else about 'Bigfoot' I'm gonna puke my guts out on the floor:(
      George Noory and his producers, writers and staffers all need to get fired.

      On the wire antenna thing. I have issues on where to hang the wire and how far away from the house as well as the height of the wire. I looked seriously at a 'Bazooka Antenna" but it would have to be 35 feet in the air and how the hell am I going to find anything around here that's 35 feet in the air???
      The antenna conundrum is becoming tiring. I have salt air, salt water, high winds and storms that will blow roofs off on occasion.

      Sorry for the rant. Finding the right antenna has become daunting task and I am frustrated.

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    3. Well, a long wire antenna doesn't have to be way up. I've seen them strung up in trees by guys standing on the backs of M151 Jeeps. It's just a wire with a couple of insulators. You can use plastic spoons for the insulators.

      Or just go ahead and put up a whip. Like I said, I used a 20 foot whip mounted on a pole the whole year I lived on Emerald Isle and I had zero trouble with corrosion other than the coaxial cable, which has to be replaced ever so often anyway. I doubt anybody will be tempted to break into your place just to get a base unit.

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  4. The sheriff has already told us it would take 30-45 minutes to respond, depending on where they were. If I needed a siren I'd call the fire department or ambulance which is just 3 miles away. I'd get in trouble but if it were an emergency . . .

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    1. If your fire department is manned 24 hours a day that would work. Better to explain things to the Sheriff afterwards than to be dead and have everybody say what a shame it was.

      I figure I'll have to handle any events of that nature on my own, so that's how I plan.

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  5. In this day and age, the intelligent person takes steps to give them an edge for if / when the Bad Guy chooses to strike. Owning firearms, knowing how to use them and having them available for instant use (i.e. handgun - most people will leave a rifle / shotgun 'over there' while doing a task) makes sense. Having animals that alert you to strangers showing up - check. Concealing your toys from the casual observer to avoid interest - check. Hardened doors - COMMERCIAL STEEL DOORS, HARDWARE, LOCK SETS AND FRAMES, well installed also makes sense.

    In the urbans, these steps will help prevent an intruder from being picked. That is what criminals do - choose the target that gives the most chance of getting away with the loot with little chance of getting caught or stopped. Why choose the hardened target when so many others are easier to hit ?

    I live near the south Texas desert where those drug / human traffic routes occur. Ranch homes that are near windmills are particularly vulnerable, as the illegal often needs water for their trip. These water sources are like a funnel of sorts.

    Thank you Mr. Flashman for the post - a good one!

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    1. I have rebuilt the doors to my house to enhance their strength. Two I replaced altogether with steel doors. I use dead bolt doors which have to be keyed on either side, I don't like the ones you can twist the little handle to open if you can bust a hole through the door.

      I don't envy you living where you do, particularly after having seen "The Arroyo" on Newsmax. Takes steel nerves to live in that environment.

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    2. I don't live out in the ranch lands, but we own property there that we visit. Handguns are loaded and unloaded when the edge of the black top pavement is found - that is religiously done.

      Pretty similar to living in areas where pot farms are - not paranoid, but cautious is the way to go.

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  6. Hey Harry,

    (captaincrunch)


    I am looking at the Salorcon Max 2000 '24 foot antenna. Anyone got any opinions.

    I read that the antenna should be ran at nine foot intervals for best reception on the 10 meter band, so I think I will add three foot to the base and be at '27 feet.

    'I was talking to a fellow out in North Carolina via phone who owns a CB shop and sells online and he seems to know his stuff. He told me I would need a nice SWR meter hooked up between antenna and the radio and some lighting arrestor stuff. Do I really need all that???

    I don't mean to sound ignorant but I was not able to find a 'DXing for Idoits" book out there.


    Matt' Harry. Anyone got any opinions???

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    1. I think most people do use a standing wave ratio meter. I ground my antennas but whips come with a grounding nut/lug arrangement and a copper grounding rod costs (or used to cost) about five bucks max.

      You know , Kathy Usher's husband is a ham operator. He builds a lot of his own gear. She made a comment up above. I am sure if you go to her blog, and leave a very specific question he could answer it for you. You're welcome to leave any comments you want here, you know. I am just thinking he's a resource ideal for this issue. You can get to her blog by clicking on her name above her comment. Just a thought since you seem to be working on this as a high priority.

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    2. CC, I don't want to clog up Harry's page with all this, but :

      1) Lightning is very serious and you need to have it arrested as much as you can. Nothing like being in the crunch where resources are limited and now you just burnt down your home because you didn't have appropriate safety stuff applied. Ounce of prevention vs a pound of cure.

      2) A vertical antenna will work as will a horizontal dipole. Look at this:

      http://www.ebay.com/itm/10-Meter-HF-Ham-Antenna-Dipole-Free-Shipping-2KW-PEP-GREAT-DX-Antenna-/171385869577?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item27e764d509

      An SWR meter is important. You want to get the ratio as close to 1:1. You theoretically will never get that, but it should be your goal. A ratio that is to far apart will refect much of your transmitted energy back to the radio and this will reduce how well and far you are heard. It can also harm your radio.

      I got mine at a radio shack that shut it doors recently at a nice discount.

      The 10 meter dipole I linked to on ebay claims no turning needed. I'm going to buy this as soon as I post this comment. I've got an older 10 meter rig from Radio Shack that I need to get up and running.

      Depending on your property lot, a horizontal dipole might me easier to hide from the public rather than having a big ol antenna sticking up for all to see. opsec an all that....

      CC, even if you aren't interested in getting your ham license like I did, go buy this book:

      http://www.amazon.com/ARRL-Ham-Radio-License-Manual/dp/1625950136/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1431523751&sr=8-1&keywords=technician+class+ham+radio

      It contains a lot of the basic info you've been asking. This way, you'll always have it handy in case the internet goes down. Of course, I'm glad to answer questions as best that I can as are most hams.

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    3. Hey Harry,

      (captaincrunch)

      Thanks for the input. I will leave a message for Kathy Usher's husband on her blog.

      I want to test this radio to make sure it works even if I have to wait awhile on the antenna. That is reason for the urgency.

      Delete
    4. CC, I was just reading the latest issue of Shotgun News. There was an article on the next issue of Be Ready magazine, which is due out on May 26. One of the article is on shortwave antennas you can make for your home set up. It had diagrams. Might be worth picking up a copy even though I know you don't usually read magazines.

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    5. Hey Matt, Harry (and everyone else)

      (captaincrunch)

      I am putting the 'base station idea" on the backburner. I ordered a Wilson 1000, wire, five foot antenna for one of the trucks and I will set the radio and work with it out of the truck.

      I appreciate everyone's help.

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    6. That should be a fun rig. I wait with great interest to see how it turns out.

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    7. i'm just glad to see Matt sharing his knowledge - hi Matt!

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  7. I'd like to get an alarm at the base of our driveway where the gate is. It's on my to do list eventually.

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    1. Depending on how far the gate would be from the house, and the foliage and topography in between, you might need a wired system. I think that would be a wise investment, as your husband can't be there all the time and you do live in a very rural spot. Forewarned is all the difference in some situations.

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  8. You forgot to mention not answering the door to the black eyed children when they show up saying "We are hungry and cold, let us in.". Hehehe

    The lady that we bought our goats from lives on a 340 acre ranch. She has peacocks and they are excellent alarms. As we drive up her long winding driveway there are always some hanging out along the way, and they alert setting off the peacocks all over the farm. I have heard that guinea hens are also really good alarms. Plus they have the tick and snake eating bonus. I have wanted to get guinea hens for a long time, but we can't have them here. Our neighbors will complain.
    Kimberly

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    1. I saw a television show about the black eyed children thing. There is an old witch woman here who sells charms reputed to repulse the spawn of Satan. I might better go by there with cured ham, silver and bees wax and do some business with her!

      We had a peacock here. He just came walking out of the forest. He had a voice like a Klaxon and was the nastiest thing on earth, he messed on the jeeps and it looked like a Brontosaur had passed that way. He stayed about a week and then walked back into the forest and we never saw him again. Presumably he went back to wherever he came from. Guinea hens are good and they are all over South Georgia but I have never seen them in the mountains. Maybe they can't survive the winters.

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  9. Harry,

    It always pay's to be security conscious no matter where you live. I've been always taught to never open yourself up to becoming a target. Be aware of your surroundings at all times. Be prepared to protect yourself, and your family.
    Dogs, Chickens, ducks, and donkey's make great alarm systems!!!

    Thank God the woman in the video above husband taught her how to handle a gun in case of an emergency. Even though her husband had to talk her through it.....she saved herself and her children.

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    1. She was pretty brave, I thought. That guy that was after her and the kids with the crowbar was a drug crazed psychopath. I've always believed women should be armed and trained in the use of weapons exactly because of incidents like this.

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  10. We carry the keys to our front and back security doors on a clip on our belt loops. We have trained ourselves to automatically lock every outside door as we go in or out. At first it was a hassle, but now we do it without thinking. All our doors have double deadbolts that only open with keys. We have also reinforced the doors and doorjambs and hinges. But, I really long for the good old days when we didn't have to lock anything and had never even heard of home invasions. (sigh).

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    1. That's exactly the kind of locks we use. I've either replaced my doors with steel versions or beefed them up so that Goliath himself couldn't burst them in. I first did that to the front porch door after a bear got into a fight with the dogs in the winter. He put his big old rump against the door and backed up. My wife said the door bulged inward from the weight. After that I did a lot of work on doors and windows.

      I remember those times, but they are gone for good now. The mountain people just didn't break into houses, but our new immigrants don't have any compulsion about doing that or worse.

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  11. I'm a new HAM operator, I would suggest everyone get licensed. It's not that difficult now. No morse code to deal with. And you have the peace of mind knowing that the FCC won't come after you if you decide to play around with HF. With just a handheld radio, I can reach Las Vegas...that's 650 miles on just 5 watts and a 12 inch antenna. Not too shabby! My two cents worth on antennas is this: When it doubt, just get one of the portable ones that telescope. Set up is easy. I've seen them retract up to 30 feet.

    Harry, it always pays to have a good security system (although my chickens haven't been too good in that regard). I appreciate the different pics posted. Gives me some great ideas. I also like that revolver, looks just like my .38 "combat masterpiece". Wish mine were a .357 though.--Troy

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    1. I've given a lot of thought to that. Kathy said her husband would help me, he's a ham. There is also a ham operator club in our county. But I wonder if I would ever actually talk to anyone. I already have beau coupe receivers I listen to. With my SSB CB base station I sometimes communicate with locals but mostly I just monitor. I'm not a big talker. I'm famously unable to carry on a telephone conversation for more than five minutes. I will have to ponder it.

      I like revolvers too. If you lift up a newspaper or magazine at my house odds are you'll find a Smith and Wesson wheel gun under it.

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  12. We just had an incident like the one you mentioned with the old woman. It happened in a little community just across the river from me. A couple of weeks ago a 90 year old farmer was found tied up and beaten to death in his home, where he lived alone. Today it was announced that the two pieces of slime who did that to him had been arrested. Seems they had painted his house for him some time back and had used that opportunity to look around and decide that the farmer was alone, that he was trusting and they thought he had money. They walked in the back door which was unlocked, found the old man asleep on his couch and they proceeded to beat him to death and then ransacked the house looking for cash and whatever else they could steal.

    I, too, wish we still lived in the world of my youth where nobody in rural America ever locked a door or took the keys out of their cars. These days I don't go down to the first floor to check my mailbox or go to the basement to do laundry without locking my door behind me.

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    1. Nobody is safe anymore. Monsters snatch women and kids right off the sidewalks now. Seniors like that farmer are prime targets for the goblins. Most people look the other way. When someone does forcefully intervene to protect an innocent from thugs they get the "red a$$" from the police about brandishing weapons. I get so angry when I think about it all, but there's nothing any of us can do that I can see. Sometimes I feel like "it's all over but the crying."

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  13. My dogs probably weigh a combined 200 lbs. Our big ole boy who is a Neufoundland muttt is goood to go.

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    1. Hey Ryan , long time no see. I'm glad you are still kicking. I have heard nothing but good about the Newfoundland dogs. People say they are very protective of women and kids. Big is always good.

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  14. I read this yesterday and didn't have chacne to comment but I think this is a top notch post. I've read books that weren't as complete concise as this on home security - maybe you should do it as a book?
    Lots of points in here that I'm not doing and need to improve on. Cameras are one I really want at some point but more gates and a dog would be a good starting point really. the footpath is the difficulty as I have to give access to walkers, although I have fenced this path off to stop them wondering from it, I do need to finish the gates though as there is a 20ft entrance that's open to it.
    Not trusting strangers is pretty high on my list as well though.

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    1. Kev, I'm not really sure what the situation is outside your cities in terms of safety. I know from reading English newspapers on line that there are instances where you have the same issues we do here. The way your society deals with those is much different than the way mine does, at least, here in the South. Especially with little kids at home, it seems to me a good idea to take precautions even if they seem unnecessary. Bad things happen to good people all the time.

      You have great skills with building things so whatever you visualize I'm sure you can turn into reality in short order.

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  15. Harry - these kinds of posts really help a lot of people and for that i am glad that you share your knowledge and experience, as well as getting conversations going.

    back in the city, we locked doors and windows and whatnot. but not here. it makes me happy that we live in a place where no one locks their doors or trucks because we all think about what if someone was stranded or needed a vehicle? it sounds pretty crazy, i know, but that's what we all think. most of the people in our 2 communities are "do drop-inners" - they are always dropping in on each other. they know that we are not like that and no one has ever come up our driveway unnanounced and without calling first - except for 3 times over 4 yrs and all of those times it was stranger (electric meter reader, delivery guy, and census people). we knock whenever we visit any of our friends and everyone gets mad that we knock - no one here knocks - they just walk into each other's houses as they please. everyone here has stopped at someone's house when the people weren't home, went into their house, had some tea, maybe a snack....it's just how they do things. as well, people have woken up in the morning and their truck is missing from the driveway. they just wait until a decent hour (9am) and then they start calling their friends to see who borrowed the truck. crazy eh? but that's the kind of great place that we live and i wish everyone could live in a community like this.

    get yer butt up here Harry! CC and Matt, too. you guys are all loony enough to actually fit in here!

    much love Harry! your friend,
    kymber

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    1. Kymber, there are places like that in the United States, but North Georgia is no longer one of them. I know you and J fit well into a culture like you describe, and it's not so far off from what did exist here when I moved to the mountain in 86. There are some differences but none of them earth shaking. All of that came to a screeching halt once we got large numbers of immigrants, many of whom do not share any of those values, within an easy drive of our county. Then along came the four lane highway and that was utterly the end.

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    2. Harry - you have mentioned that highway coming along and how it impacted your community. and you have warned us many times that if something like that comes our way to haul our butts. we have not forgotten and will hit the road for greener pastures if they ever pave our road. thanks buddy!

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  16. I really like one of our neighbors. Well except for the fact that they knocked on our door over and over again earlier this week. It was for a good reason, but scared the crap out of us. They wanted to let us know that our car light was on inside. We would have woken up to a dead battery. A nice gesture, but a simple phone call would have been great. Our other neighbor doesn't do crap around their house. I wonder why in the heck they got such a big yard if they don't want to do anything in it? They put a swing set in that their kids never play on. It's too bad. Kids should be outside running around, and not parked in front of a TV set.

    I love having the one set of neighbors, and feel safe with them living there. The others - not so much. I get the feeling that they are not passionate about anything really.

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    1. Alissa, I guess it's a case of taking the good with the bad. I feel like very close interaction with other people limits my ability to live how and as I want to live. I know I will have to curb those feelings if something happens and people come up here to live, but I think in that situation I will have enough to work on and worry about that having others around will be a comfort, and not an irritation. Also, I plan to move my wife and myself into the apartment and use the main house to quarter other people, so I will still have some solitude.

      Was your car locked? Seems like they could have just turned off the light for you and let it go at that.

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  17. I noticed that quote on your blog: "I can't keep calm I am Irish and Scottish."

    Here is a good book that you might like to read:

    "Born Fighting: How the Scots-Irish Shaped America"
    By James Webb

    http://tim-shey.blogspot.com/2010/10/born-fighting.html

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  18. Tim, I have some of James Webbs other works, primarily dealing with Viet Nam.
    I'll take a look at that, I appreciate the thought.

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