Thursday, December 10, 2015

I wish the weather would settle down.

Earlier in the week it was cold and windy. Now it's warm and cloudy.  If the Atlanta weather forecaster on Fox 5 is right, it'll be in the 70's this weekend.  And this is the middle of December.

I saw a news article on wounded war dogs.  In my day, they would simply have been euthanized. I know a doctor who was a dog handler with the LRRP teams in Viet Nam.  There was a serious run in between his team and the NVA, and his dog was badly injured.  When they got back to their base, his C.O. sent him on a milk run up to some base or other to bring back a truck load of equipment. While he was gone they gave his dog morphine and killed him.  This was almost 45 years ago, and the guy still can't talk about it. It was only after I got to know him really well that he told me about it. We aren't "friends" but we have some shared experiences that give us a connection. I'm glad they do what they can for the dogs today. They get to be as much of the team as the human members.

Cheaper than Dirt is out with the new catalog.  They always have just about any kind of ammunition you might need, and they have a wide range of survivalist supplies and equipment as well.

They are far and away not the cheapest supplier out there. For common types of ammo you can get what you need at a big box store at considerably less cost. Anything you do buy from them, you will have to pay shipping on, and as of this past summer I have to pay state tax on the products at the rate of 7%.

If you don't buy something from them ever so often, they'll cut you off the mailing list and you won't get a catalog unless you go on line and request it.

It's a good catalog though, and sometimes you can find things you want that others aren't offering at the moment.

American Survival Guide came out with a good issue this month.

There's an interesting article about a fairly old fellow and how he gets prepared for winter. He's a lot more into hunting for meat, where I just buy it, but it was a useful article. The man knows what he's doing and has a good overall system.

I read the medical articles, although since we have a nurse in our "mutual aid society" I am not so obsessed with medical issues as I once was. I know something could happen to her, so I am trying to keep up with all of the medical aspects I need to be familiar with. I don't enjoy those articles though.

These magazines are a big help in making sure you have your bases covered. If you get just one idea on how to improve your situation, or you find even a single weakness in your plans and preparations, it's money well spent.  The advertisements are great because they keep you up to speed on new items of equipment or supplies you might want. You may not be able to afford the wonderful pieces of gear they review. ( I certainly can't lay out $100,000 on a new off road vehicle) but you may see a need that can be filled not with the high priced item being reviewed but with some item from a surplus store that does the same thing.

In reading Lights Out for the umpteenth time, I came across a character I hadn't thought much about previously. He had a nice retreat, well stocked, until marauders ran him out of it and then he was essentially screwed.  That's me. I have made zero provision for "Getting Out of Dodge."

Probably the biggest single factor in my abandoning the concept of " Bugging Out" was Cormack McCarthy's book The Road.

 I read that, and I thought to myself that our group would not last long in that environment. Then I saw the movie and that settled it.  But now I'm trying to force myself to be a little more realistic. That's why I am reading these magazine articles about subjects that are not natural interests of mine.

But I'm trying to give it some thought, in case the unthinkable should happen.  The wilderness skills article in this issue was one I read without any particular relish but I did read it. Because I needed to read it.  This place up here was selected for the advantages it offered in building a retreat. I've improved it, secured it, addressed every need I can think of , tried to anticipate every unexpected event. But I don't want to wind up like the character in Light's Out, whose only flaw was being so sure he'd never have to displace that he made no provision for doing so. This is a late development for me, but old dog's can learn new tricks, folk sayings to the contrary.

I enjoy the Greek Tragedies.  I own copies of most of them.  If there's one thing the Greek's understood and could intertwine into their plays, it was hubris.

It's easy for certain types of people to become too sure of themselves, to be so self confident that they are blinded to facts.

That's been one of my personal issues I've had to struggle with most of my life, so I've learned to be on guard against it. Over the years, when my friends advised me to at least give some thought to how I'd displace out of here if I needed to, I ignored their advice.

But as I've gotten older, I've had to cope with more instances of events that I can't control, which effect my entire family. So now I acknowledge that the day might come where we can't stay here in bad times. A little prior planning can prevent poor performance, if you take the time and effort. Hence my reading articles I'm not really that intrigued by, but which may come in useful some day.

At any rate.......

  The latest issue of Off Grid is out. If  I don't get into town soon, I'll have to back order it. Survival magazines, Gun magazines, and gardening magazines go off the rack at a rapid pace here. You snooze, you lose.

I'd subscribe, but they mail their magazines with no plastic sleeve, so by the time they get out to my mailbox way up here they are all beat to hell, spindled, folded, mutilated and wet.

So get them in town, But I haven't been going to town nearly as much as I used to. I do get them on my Kindle as well, but trying to read a magazine on a Kindle is too hard.

I keep all my survival magazines in my reference library, and most of them are ten dollars a pop.  So I want them in good shape.

When I was in my 50's, I could still wander through the woods. I didn't go out as far as I did when my son would go with me, but I wasn't afraid to go out there with a map and a compass.  Later I carried a GPS for backup.  I really enjoyed those jaunts way off where nobody ever went. I was thinking today, as I sat on my porch, that I should go down the mountain and get the mail. But I dreaded walking, it's a real struggle to get back up. I could take the truck, but then I have to take down the wire gate at the edge of the meadow, take down a number of wire based warning devices, unlock the gate, lock the gate, drive to the mailbox, then drive to a wide spot where I can turn around, then unlock the gate, relock the gate, reset the wires. And before I do any of that I have to take the tarp off the truck, then put it back on when I get back. Then go in the house and reset some electronic warning devices. I'm not going to get the mail.  And I'm sure not going to be able to do any of those long meandering trips into the national forest. That's over for me.

I guess I'll work out on the elliptical some.  I hate it, but I don't want to keel over dead . I have too much yet to do.


  1. Harry,

    They do so much now for military and law enforcement dogs. I would rather see them helped then put down. My last course would be to put down a well trained dog.

    I hear you on getting older. I find myself hating get old, I can't do everything I used to do, and that just bothers the crap out of me!!!!

    If you're having issues walking up that large hill/mountain after checking the mail. I would consider making something to help get you back up that hill after checking the mail. Maybe a bike with a motor to use for getting up the hill?? Just a thought!

    1. Sandy, I've often thought that animals who serve people well and faithfully are entitled to good treatment. When they get old, they ought to be put out to pasture, not killed or sent to the slaughter house. I realize I am somewhat eccentric in this respect, but it doesn't bother me any.

      This thing with the mountain is a trial. I've had good suggestions, like buying one of those gator things, like a golf cart on steroids. Going down slope is hard enough, but climbing back up is hellish. You wouldn't believe how steep the walk from the mailbox to the house is. You're climbing up nearly a thousand feet in elevation. With my knees and hip, it can hurt badly enough that I have to stop and sit by the trail. On the other hand, if I don't get out and walk I have to work out on that elliptical thing and I hate it. It's not all jolly and fun like the advertisements on tv make it look. Of course, I'm not a 30 year old built like a weight lifter either, as the people in the advertisements invariably are.

      When my wife gets well, she and I will go every day to walk at the little lake if the weather is good. We both need the exercise, and it's very beautiful there. It's also flat, which makes a big difference.

    2. just reading that walking a mile per day fends off the alzheimer's disease.

  2. I tinker with things, and making a motorized bike or cart would help when checking the mail.

    1. I wish I had your tinkering skills. I recently went through a great big long imbroglio with my truck, which took all of 15 minutes to fix. I had to get advice from other internet cronies to figure out what to do. I have looked at those off road golf cart machines. They cost about six grand for a new one, and my wife asked me what was the difference between driving the truck down to get the mail , and driving one of those. Other than the fact that it would be great fun to have the off road all terrain vehicle or whatever they are called, the answer is "not much." Still have to go through all the trouble with the security measures, and I'd have to put up a shed to park it under, or put a heavy duty tarp on it.

  3. I too have thought a lot about my situation in a grid-down, bug in-out situation. Truth is, I don't have a clear path ahead of me. I could try to make it to my folks place 3 hours away in the mountains, but that would be a temporary reprieve. You can only live off the land for so long.

    You are right that kids can enexpectedly change your master plan. I'm not really sure how I would survive with needing specialized medicine in my family. It's not like I can find a substitute at the pet store. And it's funny how age creeps up on us and begins to dilute some of the idealism of our younger years. But I think you have done better than most in trying to stay active. --Troy

    1. My wife needs some special medicines that you can't get at the pet store too. I don't know what I would do about that. I have a plentiful supply now, but after six months I would have none.

      I have stopped taking my medicines, trying to resolve the blood pressure issue by eating better and exercising every day. The pills weren't doing anything and I've been taking some of them for 18 years.

      I definitely don't have the energy I had even ten years ago in my fifties. Nor do I really seem to have the motivation to get out and work on the place. When I was younger, and would see a nice place going to rack and ruin, I always thought the people living there were "sorry", but now I know better. I have tried very hard to keep my place in good shape. I made a huge effort and got a lot done just before I had the pneumonia spell. I want to pass the place on to the kids in functional condition.

  4. I could not believe how bushed I was after hauling all my stuff to the boat. To be fair, I was still pretty stiff from the drive down. Still, I'm getting the exercise I need.

    Bugging out looked like a lot more fun when I was 18. However, due to all my travel there's a fair chance of something bad happening while I'm away from my home. I will feel better when the boat is ready to go. It's the best way to bug out that I know. Actually, all I have to do is get there. The final projects can be done while anchored in a remote back cove somewhere.

    1. I can think of several articles in the best survival magazines over the past few years about bugging out by boat. In fact, I think Disaster's Edge just had a cover article on that in the last issue.

      I once spent a week on a houseboat with my brothers. It seemed the perfect bug out vehicle and an isolated lake would be an ideal retreat. When I got back I wrote an article for Jim Benson's Modern Survival Guide about the idea. But most of the feedback I got was people pointing out this issue or that problem. I think if they had actually spent some time on a houseboat they would have seen that's it's a completely equipped home with everything you could need "off grid."

      I can't remember the name of the book right now (it's almost one in the morning, but I read a novel about a guy who bugged out of Seattle on his boat. It was a good one, made a lot of sense. I do have a sailing license I got from the special services sailing classes at the Marina behind Camp Lejeune. But I am not in your class, and was always careful not to go too far from shore. My wife hates boats (which I really enjoy), and while I was still flying she would never go up with me, not even here around our own little airfield. She doesn't like light aircraft either. You're fortunate your wife is supportive of your boating.

  5. Hey Harry,


    I worked on a few small projects today. One I have to do soon is install a new front sight on the Mosin. Its an adjustable front sight. I have instructions that I have not looked at yet but any advice in installing a front sight on a 1931 rifle?

    Another project is a plastic stock I have to fix on a Ruger 10/22 takedown rifle. I have to glue a small piece back on the stock (something tells me I will never have to take glue to a Mosin:)
    I gotta say that despite some of the 10/22 Takedown rifles short comings, it fits in a back pack and is a really neat little package.

    I am trying to wrap many loose ends here in case a full blown multi-national muslim infatada when they all decide to go 'Bat Guano Crazy" all at the same time.

    I got to think about that statement I wrote. Maybe if we pump large amounts of Prozac into their water supplies they will be happy and we can 'coexist' with happiness and Unicorns and stuff.

    I have given much thought to bugging out. I don't know yet what I would do nor do I know where I would go. I would rather be somewhere else but money and having the vehicles to move supplies to where, to where. I don't know?

    I think staying put for a number of reasons is best at this point unless things change. I got a few idea's for backup but its something I will have to work on.

    My mother is in her 70's so her mobility is an issue. I of course will not abandon her. If it means taking a bullet then I will take as many of the marauders and zombies with me as I can and go out with my boots on.

    Don't worry, I am not planning on checking out for a long, long, long, long time.

    I want to stick around and be a pain in the ass for as long as I can.

    On another note,

    On Natgeo channel. There's a show on Terlingua called 'Badlands' about a murder of a local bar and grill owner. It shows lots of scenery of the wonderful desert. The bar, grill was called 'The Kiva" it was across from the Terlingua Ghost town on the Lajita's highway. I ate at that restaurant years ago and they had really good food. A few years ago the owner was beaten to death in the parking lot. I never knew the owner. The murder shook the entire area and created a firestorm in the community of about 60 full time residents.
    If you watch the show you will get the idea that the people there are really self reliant old school, old west. The show was very interesting.

    1. Yeah, I was in Terlingua a few years ago. Some guy that owned a restaurant tried to stiff me on the bill so I .... ah, ahem, maybe that was some other town. Yes, in fact, I'm sure it was..... ;-)

      I have seen "Badlands" on the satellite tv menu but never knew what it was and never tried to watch it. I will have to check it out.

      Bugging out wouldn't be that hard for you if you didn't have mom along. You could just throw some stuff in the back of the truck and look for some place in West Texas you could camp on that had water. Might not be a bad idea to do some research on that. I am in the process of looking for somewhere in the Greater Smoky Mountains I could camp in. There are lots of wilderness areas up there. I hope to God nothing ever runs me out of here in a Black Swan of some kind, but I feel now that I ought to at least have a plan B.

  6. on the prozac in moslem water supplies, my daughter suggested that the active ingredient in cannabis be added to all middle east water supplies, and then parachute in tons of cases of twinkies.
    she thinks that would be sure to calm everything down.

    1. The Moslems have been stroking out on Hash for centuries. They're probably immune to it now. But it was a good thought. ;-)

      From the On Line Etymology Dictionary:

      assassin (n.) from Arabic hashishiyyin "hashish-users," plural of hashishiyy, from the source of hashish (q.v.). A fanatical Ismaili Muslim sect of the time of the Crusades, under leadership of the "Old Man of the Mountains" (translates Arabic shaik-al-jibal, name applied to Hasan ibu-al-Sabbah), with a reputation for murdering opposing leaders after intoxicating themselves by ingesting hashish.

    2. okay. prozac it is.
      does that require twinkies?

      daughter wanted to introduce them to rastafarianism. thought it would cool their jets.

  7. Dad went through lots of trouble protecting his magazines. He would cut a box, corner to corner, leaving about 2" on top and side to hold them in. Approximately 3" wide, he would could that certain year's magazines contained in them. He would scotch tape the more relevant topics of them on the side for easy reference.

    1. He was a wise man. I good reference library, in print, is something I consider essential for a survivalist. You can't remember everything. What usually happens to me is I remember reading an article that is suddenly germane to my situation, and keeping the magazines in chronological order helps , along with an index I keep on each issue. I just list the main points, but it would help me know where to start. Your dad sounds like someone I would have liked to know.

  8. I use to work with the MWDs, it was cool when they could come in to our clinic, we had to shut down for everyone else, and could not touch the attack ones. The bomb sniffers were a bit different. we could interact with them. I was fortuante enough to handle their clinic files. When one dies, they have to do a necropsy and I was lucky enough to sit in on a few. Then the Army vet had to write a detailed report on why it died. This was to justify getting a new dog to replace the dead one.

    I read the book and watched "The Road" OMG I cried. that is all I will say. I just finished "13 hours in benghazi" Excellant read and makes you get mad at hillary all over again...
    Warm here too, I don't care about it, just as long as we have a cold and seasonable Christmas. after that it can warm up

    1. You are probably not old enough to remember it, Glock Mom, but during the Viet Nam war the gutter trash that infested American cities and campuses used to like to say snidely that the vets coming back should be shot just like the war dogs were. I hated those people, not least because I got beaten up and stabbed by some of them once, but because of things like that. I'm really glad people treat both vets and service dogs so much better today.

      The Road scared me. Not many things do, but when I thought that the story was plausible, and that my family might someday be living in that scenario, it really rattled my cage. Knocked a lot of complacency out of me. One thing is for damn sure, I'll never be there in a scheiss sturm holding a little pimp pistol with one round in it.

      Several people whose opinions I value have told me that "13 Hours in Benghazi" is something I need to read, including you. I will get hold of a copy. Of course, I may stroke out. Just that woman's name makes my blood pressure soar. I detested her husband I have the same feelings of disgust when I think of her.

      It's so warm outside today here that I worked out there quite awhile, and it felt like spring. On the one hand, it saves me propane and firewood. On the other, it just doesn't feel right. I want the Christmas feeling, too.

  9. In the book Patriots by James Wesley Rawles (a series) He describes in detail what they do in preparation for having
    to leave their house and re establish camp further up into
    the woods. The story goes on to describe actually living in the camp, in the winter, what it is like, etc. It might help you to jump start your thinking if
    you re-read the book. Another series that has bugging out
    to a camp in Western Texas near Alpine and Terlingua areas is the books by Joe Nobody, "Holding their Own" series. These books have helped me at least get my head wrapped around the concept that what I am reading on the news is really happening, will happen, and I better start thinking about getting myself prepared as best I can. JB

    1. That's a good series. Living in the woods in the winter up here would be pretty difficult. Even Eric Rudolph couldn't do it indefinitely. I have never been able to learn how the Cherokee and Creek indians lived in these barren mountains in winter, and I've tried hard. I know they did, because De Soto came right through here and described a river valley village with a very large population. I've driven past that river valley more times than I can count, and I know there wasn't enough land for agriculture there to support that population, while game would have been cleaned out in short order. But they did do it, somehow.

      The Smoky Mountains get brutally cold some winters, well below zero. I am considering trying to find some acreage further up in the mountains, deep down some possum trail, where we would be unlikely to be discovered. I could put a couple of trailers on it and hide out. I want to stay well away from people. You notice how in all the really good survival novels, the plot usually evolves into a scenario where a sub division, or a town, or a county winds up being the center of the action? I'm not looking for that. More people means more trouble.

      This is both a planning and a logistics issue for me. How do I move literally tons of supplies and equipment from here to where ever? When do I do it, at what point? What about the others who are part of our "clan." I'll have to sound them out on it.

      It's going to be an expensive and arduous proposition to plan a second retreat to displace to. I know I'm not really enthusiastic about just heading out in the woods and camping somewhere. There are places in the wilderness areas where you could do that, but what a tough life it would be!

      I have not read the "Holding the Line" books, though I have seen them. I probably should. I don't doubt at all that the bad times we are living in now will continue to degrade, and a collapse would surprise me not one whit. Social scientists tend to agree that a a culture gets older, it gets less vital, inertia and an inability to cope with new challenges becomes prevalent, and then something comes along that finishes it off. I think we are on the cusp of that right now.

      After 30 years of living this lifestyle, I am not sure I have the energy to attack a whole new facet of it, but I'm going to try. As you point out, just acknowledging the need to do so is hard enough, and I'm past that at least.

    2. Hey Harry,


      In regards to the comment anonymous wrote above about the Joe Nobody 'books and West Texas. I read many of the books.
      I have only been in the survival thing since 2008. One of the basics I learned years ago is always buy more than you need of stuff that you will use. That helped me out when I was sick and did not leave the house for 11 days. I had plenty of the basics including coffee and benedryl for the head cold. There are a great many of us that only buy guns and ammo. Great' have fun eating ammo. Hope it taste's great there' hoss.

      In a 'The Road' scenario. Getting away from other humans would be best. I really don't want to be eaten by bubba and his buddies.

    3. have a recipe pamphlet from the 'kees.
      end of winter recipe how to get and cook a yellowjacket nest. anything for protein in the hunger time.

      go to ''.
      newest column is the view from 2018.
      makes me think of the Bible quote 'there is none so blind as him who will not see.'.

    4. I hope I never reach that point in food storage.

  10. It's always fun to catch up on resources. I ordered that show you recommended about the off grid postal deliveries. It'll be a Christmas present for my husband. He enjoys watching shows like that too.

    1. they're showing them again on the television. I have them set up to take so I can see the one's I missed.

  11. Hi Harry,

    Do you remember what Cheaper Than Dirt did after the Newtown, CT murders? They fully embraced civilian disarmament and stopped selling guns. They are traitors, Harry and we should not ever forget or forgive them for that.

    Unbreakable AZ

    1. No, don't remember that but a lot was going on. I'll have to go to their web page and see what they are doing now. Seems like that would be suicidal for a company in their line of work.

  12. It does seem like people try to rescue dogs and cats way more than they used to. If we're wounded they wouldn't put humans down. To me it's not really the same thing though. I haven't had a true pet, since I was 5. Allergies always prevented it. Just fish, and my sister had a bird once.

    The weather is on crack here as well. It was in the 60s in Nebraska (unheard of) last week. Then on Saturday we started getting a thunderstorm (also unheard of this time of year). I woke up this morning to slush being everywhere.

    1. Alissa, I guess it depends on whether or not you are an "animal" person. I am very much so. I'm sorry your allergies are so bad, I know they give you a lot of trouble. Seems like with modern science they could eliminate that, but my wife and daughter both have allergies despite all the trips to the allergists.

  13. CTD went whole hog crazy on their prices during the last anti-gun push ...3- rd magazines for huge prices (like $150 EACH) and ammo was for similarly crazy prices. They stopped selling firearms and went on record suggesting that we the people did not need high capacity magazines and "assault rifles". Some of us won't ever forget. I have not bought a single item from them since, and never will. You should think about doing the same, there are other retailers with similar pricing. B.

    Harry: Well, I already won't do business with Walmart, Amazon, E-bay and a host of others for doing things that I found obnoxious. No sense in supporting people who an inimical to your own beliefs.