“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Endless days of summer.

I've been retired for several years, and I still have trouble believing that I don't have to go to work. It doesn't really matter what day of the week it is. I suppose eventually I'll settle down and stop feeling anxious on Sunday night because tomorrow is Monday.


I have been telling M it's time for another trip to the beach.  She wants to hold off until after Labor Day, when there won't be so many people there.

We usually go to Tybee Island, but this year, we are looking at South Carolina.

I don't go anywhere I can't take my pistol. For many, many years South Carolina did not have a reciprocal agreement with Georgia on the issue of concealed carry permits. Now they do, and that opens up a whole lot of new territory for us to explore.


We don't have a big window for going to the beach after labor day, because as soon as it starts freezing in the mountains, I need to be home.

Have to keep all the different climate controlled spaces heated to stop pipes from freezing and to maintain a good temperature for equipment and supplies.

First freeze usually comes in late October. So, that gives us about six weeks to make a trip to the beach.






We had a very strong thunderstorm come through last night.  You could hear the rolling thunder coming closer and closer. I was sitting in the living room in my easy chair.  There was a sudden loud sound like sizzling bacon, then a clap of thunder right over the house. The power went out , naturally enough. I already had all the electrical equipment shut down and the pump turned off. This morning I went out to see if I could find where the lightning hit, but no luck. I know it hit somewhere in the nearby forest.

Art by Stef: The best ferret artist I know.
Spike and I went out this morning and he had a good run in the meadow.  Four of the younger outdoor cats came along, and they all played "leap out of the bushes ambush".  Spike is better at it than they are, because they are all white and show up too well in the greenery.  I used to have to keep him on a leash when we went out, because he was fast as lightning. I worried about him making it to the treeline and vanishing in the woods. Now that he's older, he isn't so fast and is content to just play in the meadow.

Sportsman's Guide got a good supply of 5.56 on stripper clips, in the can, after a long wait. However, they aren't offering free shipping this week so I will have to wait until they do. Ammo will murder you on shipping costs. One of the reasons I buy so much from Sportsman's Guide, and Midway, is that they frequently offer the free shipping option.


480 rounds on stripper clips runs you $180.00 if you are a club member.  I save a lot of money by joining the Sportsman's Guide Buyers Club.  First, you get a discount on everything you buy, and second, you can break up large orders into four payments. True, you aren't saving any money but it's a nice mental slight of hand to excuse going over budget. Paying $500 for ammo in one month is over budget for me, but doing it over four months isn't!

I am constantly fighting a minor mental war over the issue of what rifle to keep by the door. If I use a bolt gun, I don't have to keep it loaded so I don't run the risk of compressing the magazine follower spring. I can load a bolt gun with a stripper clip in seconds.


I would think that a bolt gun and ammo on stripper clips would let me handle anything I might run into way out here in the woods. I'm not expecting a full on assault by crazed Jihadis or the hordes of "Black Lives Matter" up here.

But then, sometimes I get ancy and keep a loaded AK 47 or AR-15 by the door.  The advantages are more rounds down range , faster, and you just stick a new magazine in it to reload. But the disadvantage is that I don't really like modern weapons that well, and you have to keep the spring under the follower depressed. You can address that to some extent by only loading the magazine to 3/4 capacity.



I'm curious as to what the general consensus on this weighty quandary is. Any thoughts?


Went over to the lake to walk yesterday.  I had forgotten that Monday was the fourth of July. This place is usually pristine. You never see trash or any sign of people. But walking around the lake yesterday, there were plastic bottles floating in the water, there were discarded food wrappers in the rushes along the bank. People had just thrown their garbage every which way. Made me feel really badly. Remember the old "Iron Eyes Cody" advertisements that started the "Keep America Beautiful" campaign?







In closing, just in case you don't have television and missed  this:


Thought for the Day:






38 comments:

  1. Planning a beach trip is always fun. We went to Hilton Head a lot when I was a kid.

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    1. In 1977, I was flying a Piper Archer from Jacksonville, North Carolina to Leesburg, Florida.

      Ran into really bad weather near Hilton Head, and couldn't get around it. I landed at the airfield there, and then fog came in. I wound up spending three days in the Holiday Inn waiting for the weather to clear.It was a nice place but I haven't been back. Now that South Carolina is recognizing our Georgia gun permits I may go there with the wife. Hilton Head, even then, was pretty ritzy and expensive, so it will have to be a special occasion and not just a weekend trip!

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  2. I like beaches only if I'm the only one there. My "by the bed gun" is a 12ga. single shot with a 20" barrel and extra shells on the buttstock. I think it was Mark Twain that first uttered the words in the last photo.

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    1. That does sound like something he would say, Gorges.

      Nothing wrong with a twelve gauge, and you can reload in short order if need be.

      I love the ocean. I spent almost my entire "young adult" life around it. Early mornings are best, and then in the evening. When we lived on Emerald Isle, July 1985-Aug 1986, I think that was about the nicest place I ever lived. In winter, no one was there and you had the whole island to yourself.

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  3. Harry, Come back to Virginia, to Virginia Beach!

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    1. I haven't been to Virginia Beach since 1978. I can't imagine what it must look like now. Virginia , at least Southern Virginia , is a great place. But it's a long way from North Georgia! South Carolina beaches are a hop, skip and a jump. Who knows though, I wouldn't mind seeing the Smithsonian Aviation museum one last time, so you never know.

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  4. We rotate and rest the follower springs on a regular schedule on everything. There is always a rifle "at the ready" by the doors. It is like rotating canned goods. I have read that follower springs don't really need to be rested, but we are old school and just do what we have always done. We are having a very cool summer this year, much to my disgust. Wish we were near a beach to go to.

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    1. Tewshooz, that is an argument that has been going on at least since the early seventies, and probably a lot longer. I remember in the late eighties, Guns and Ammo hired a metallurgy company to do an exhaustive series of tests to answer the question once and for all. The conclusion was that the business about the springs setting was absolutely untrue. But I can't bring myself to just leave a magazine loaded indefinitely. It's like always doing a walk around of my vehicle before I leave the house. I know it really isn't necessary, but still....

      I swap out mags on my carry guns and on the AK's or AR-15's if I am using them. Right now I have a Mosin Nagant M44 by the living room door, a Smith and Wesson Model 10 on the coffee table next to my easy chair, and a Browning High Power in my carry rig. But I change around with guns like ladies change their hair styles, sooner or later I'll get antsy and swap everything around.

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  5. Cucumbers and squash are producing strongly.

    I, too, was raised eating named food animals. Have done the same. It isn't easy but a necessary evil I suppose.

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    1. I have some little squash, and am hopeful they will reach the "eating" size. I didn't plant any cucumbers this year, maybe next.

      years ago, we tried to go vegetarian. Not so much from any problem with eating meat, but because meat is so hard to store and I was hoping we could "get off it" and simplify my long term food storage procedures. It didn't work because we became convinced it was not healthy for our young children.

      I could hunt. I doubt, unless I was starving, that I could butcher animals I had raised. Except the chickens. They are not among my favorite creatures on earth.

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  6. Hey Harry,

    I don't change anything out. I know a few engineers that say that what damages the springs is being loaded, then unloaded. Then loaded and unloaded again. That causes metal fatigue and spring failure. So far I have never had a problem.

    As per beaches. I would say the Gulf Coast is save but if you want a change. Go to South Carolina but go after all the kids are back in school when tourist season ends.

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    1. I haven't either but that question is like a loose tooth for me, I am always wiggling it.

      I like the gulf coast but it's a long way from here.

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  7. Makes my blood boil when evidence of man's laziness is visible in the trash they so casually discard. Wonder if they're that careless in their own homes...?

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    1. The absolute worst litter bugs are Hispanics . I saw a big group of about forty leave the picnic pavlions once and the place was knee deep in trash. There were a couple of dozen dirty diapers laying in the parking lot. There are 147,000 Hispanics in a nearby county. That's why you can't leave your vehicle at the trail head of the ATF in this county anymore. When you get back to the car your tires are gone and your windows are busted out.

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  8. Have fun at the beach, although I can't quite picture going to the beach with your gun concealed.

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    1. But Inger , I was going to put my Taurus revolver with a six inch barrel down inside the front of my Italian speedo swim suit. You don't think that would work? ;-)

      Nah, actually I don't swim at the beach. I wear walking shorts and a long, short sleeve shirt, with a collar. Cool and comfortable. It also covers the pig skin inside the belt holster with my Walther PPK inside it.

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  9. I've been picking up 223 at Wallyworld for 14.95 a box of 50. That's 30 cents a round for the Fiocci made Perfecta. Brass case and relodable. Its hit or miss when they have it so you got to keep checking. Seems to work well in the Mini 14. Trying to find some 10 round mags for it but no luck so far.
    Haven't had a real vacation since 2001 since we got stuck in Portugal during 9/11. My next vacation will be a permanent one. I am gonna do what this Japanese guy has done. https://youtu.be/ZBtBePnUOZU

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    1. I'm agog to see what Kinji has done. Those Japanese are innovative people. I'll pull that up here when I finish answering comments.

      I hate Walmart since the flag thing. I have just been buying my ammo off the net. The UPS driver is a friend of mine and calls me on his cell phone when he is headed out my way. I bring him a cold can of coke down to the gate to stay on his food side. FEDEX is a bunch of different drivers, they haven't impressed me much but I can't call the shots on who the sellers ship with.

      All the commercial ammo I buy is reloadable. I have a hell of a lot of surplus ammo I bought in the 80's and 90's by the case that's berdan primed. I bought one of those tools for pulling the primer out, but it just ripped the head off the cases so I said the hell with trying to reload European stuff.

      Why do you want ten round mags? To hunt with? Tapco makes great 30 rounders for the Mini-14. Cheap, or at least, comparatively so.

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    2. I have a few higher capacity mags but they get in the way when shooting from a bench. Tend rounds is enough for target work and it keeps me from wasting too much ammo.

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    3. I went back and divided it out. You are getting a considerably better price for the ammo, but I get the can, which is a $14.00 value, and the stripper clips (which I don't use with semi automatic rifles, but what the hell.)

      Plus I get to hope I am helping Walmart to collapse. Some times a little self delusion is good for the soul.

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    4. Does that $14.95 a box include tax? Because if it doesn't, I'm not so far behind you.

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    5. Here in Maine we have 5.5% sales tax so you got to add that to the $19.95 So its a close call, and like you said you get the stripper clips and the nice metal can.

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    6. I just watched that video you sent me, and it was excellent. I was much impressed with the old man on the island, and I kind of envied him, although I would need a hell of a lot more infrastructure than he had. I would also need my wife. Did you notice that both Tom Neale and this old guy didn't want any women around at all. Not that they didn't appreciate women, they just didn't want their solitude infringed on.

      5.5 % is darn good. We have a 7% sales tax and they are always tacking on 2% more each year for something they call SPLOSH, which should be called BOHICA because they use the money for asinine things like a fine arts center, which we need like a hole in the head. Or palatial offices for the county commissioner, with imported Italian marble and bronze fixtures in the bathrooms.

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    7. I can see how that might mess you up on a bench. I will keep my eye open when I am plundering around in catalogs and on the web and see if I spot any.

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    8. I got one of the Pro-Mag brand 10 rounders but I had to send it back as the bottom cap was plastic and was about to come off right in the package. Their 20 rounders have a steel base. The Ruger made ones are all steel. They run about 45 $ ea. I need to try and catch one of the spring time gun shows and see if I can get some used ones.
      As for the Japanese hermit he had his own reasons for leaving society. I have my own mostly regarding my frustration with the choices people make in light of recent news events. I agree with you, I'd want to set up a bit more permanent structure. I think it would be impossible to isolate my self completely as like the fellow in that video you occasionally need to do a supply run, but the more distance I can put between society and me the happier I will personally feel.

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    9. That has worked for me. I came up here in 1986, to the most remote place I could find that I thought I could support my family in. I've generally been happy on the mountain and in this part of the country. One of the biggest freedoms is not having to take into account the bullshit other people do. If people live right around you, you are going to have to get involved with them, they will impact on your life. Even the nice ones. And the vast majority of people are not nice people.

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  10. What about a pump action shot gun. The pump noise alone would be a good deterant and not too many springs depressed if you don't keep it to full.

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    1. Kev, nothing wrong with a good pump gun. As I write this I am about six feet from a Mossberg pump with an extension tube on it. In my particular case, I should be aware that unwelcome guests are coming up the Jeep trail quite some time before they actually get to the meadow. I couldn't reach them with a shotgun with any accuracy from my front porch so I have rifles by that door. But, I have shotguns and hand guns strategically located throughout the house so that if something goes awry, I am not standing there empty handed when the dogs go berserk.

      As for the noise of racking the slide, it might deter the casual intruder, but anyone who comes way the hell out here in the deep dark forest to do mischief isn't going to be frightened off. Also, I feel about that like I do about having a light on my rifle. Assuming my head is aligned with the sights on the rifle, I don't want some guy down at the entrance to the meadow putting a round into the light and thus through my noggin. So I don't want a lot of noise giving my position outside away either. The first I want bad people to know of my presence is the flash from the rifle the first time I let off a round. Incidentally, I think most AF-15 people would not agree with me and would go for the light. But like Pop Eye the Sailor (long before your time), " I yam what I yam."

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  11. I'd love to go to Tybee right about now. I tell you though, when I moved there for 2 years that's when my allergies got so bad. It's hot and humid here, and I've been having nocturnal asthma. It is a thing - I looked it up. I don't want to suck up the inhaler because I hate the side effects, but if I don't I could die.
    Someone did just die of an asthma attack here. Apparently I'm not alone.

    I'd like to go camping, but with how I've been I don't know if it's a great idea.

    We've had storms the last few nights. Just rain here, but I see friends in Missouri had power out.

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    1. Alergies are a big problem here. We have all kinds of pollen in Georgia, the killer for the mountains is pine pollen. It looks like yellow powder. You go out at night, when the flood lights are on, and you can see it falling. In the morning, your vehicle is covered with a light dusting of yellow pine pollen.

      My son has asthma and carries an inhaler with him all the time. You are absolutely not alone. Georgia is brutally hot and humid. I am constantly complaining about the mountains, but Southern Georgia is hellish. The heat gets up above 100 there routinely in summer, and the humidity is terrific. They also have rattlesnakes the size of pythons but that's a whole different issue. ;-)

      I'd like to go camping if I had a nice RV. I'm not doing the tent and pack thing. I got enough of that to last me several life times in the Marines.

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  12. I should be good for couple more beach trips before the end of the summer. Actually, fall is nice too if you pick the time between when the kids go back to school and before the leaves turn color.

    We are finally getting some much needed rain here. Northern NH is consistently wetter than southern, but even we were getting a bit dry. However, it was nice that it held off until my week at the coast was over.

    Sad to say, I've found littering to be much worse in the south. Even had one guy tell me that he litters " -cause the gubment don't want you to." Yeah, he's really putting it to the man.

    That's not to say we don't get litter here. I pick up empty beer cans in the spring. For some reason it's always cheap American beers. It's almost never a quality beer. Go figure.

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    1. You've heard the expression "trailer park trash"? I would not say we don't have some people like that. I think most indigenous people, that is to say, those who speak English, try hard to keep the mountains clean. The closer you get to a city , of course, the worse the liter problem is.

      Thunderstorms at night are the current weather type here. Last night it rained heavily, tonight it just thundered and there was only a sprinkle. Our part of Georgia is in "moderate" drought. I really sweated out the 4th of July, for fear of the forest catching fire.

      That's basically the time frame my wife is looking at. The beaches in Georgia stay busy through August, but after labor day congestion and prices both go down.

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  13. My understanding is that the springs wear from the compression/decompression cycles. That is to say, load and unload a magazine a hundred times and the spring will be more fatigued thatn if you loaded the magazine once and left it alone for ten years.

    My own experience has been that magazines I loaded for my AR fifteen years ago worked just fine. So...I don't worry about it at all. Getting into the habit of rotating magazines seems like just adding another failure point.

    Like Ron Popeill says, "Just set it and forget it!"

    On a side note, I don't know if you're still active in a group or not, but when it comes to buying and defrayong ammo costs have you thought of setting up a 'group buy' of some kind?

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    1. Coffeebottlerocket is of a similar mind. I think that's probably true. But old habits die hard. I'm sure the Guns and Ammo people were exactly right. I'm almost superstitious about the idea, I guess.

      Here's the issue with groups and buying supplies or equipment in common. From 1986 till 1993, I planned on a "Lone wolf" basis. More people meant more complications, and eroded my ability to call all the shots.

      In 1993, I started looking for a group that suited me, and I have never really stopped. I look for awhile, don't find what I want, quit, then a year or so later, I try it again.

      I decided to hand pick the people I wanted, and I did. At the time, I was working and had more exposure to people than I have in the last few years. But as with any group , it changed over the years. People moved off, or in one case a guy married a woman who didn't want any part of "survivalists" and he quit. Either way, the thing you had to deal with was common property. What was X worth when the group went in on it? What was X worth now? Who makes the decision. What if the person leaving doesn't like the "offer." What if other members are angry about something to do with the departure and won't ante up? . I finally just decreed that people should stage heavy or bulky items up here, and bring everything else when they came. I didn't want to have a lot of stuff here at the place that didn't belong to me, so I made arrangements for adequate storage in the immediate vicinity that suited everyone. You want it, you buy it, was the procedure. The infrastructure here I paid for myself. No way in hell I was going to have anyone else on earth having any say in how I run this place. Ammo, personal equipment, weapons, vehicles, that kind of thing I have here, and if anyone else brings more of any (and they all say they will) that's fine.

      My group relationship has fluctuated over the years. Based on the premise of a complete breakdown, we don't currently have enough people on the list to handle security, work the place, and still sleep. The best way to solve that is to affiliate with others who are like minded. Some interesting people have just purchased a sweet property about 12 miles from me. Way off in the woods, down a possum trail. Two creeks intersect, a nice flat garden plot they are already harvesting from. A fort like building, built for defense, with a workshop supply room on the ground floor, and living quarters above. This is an extended family, but they are light on numbers too. We may be able to work something out down the road.The honcho is a retired Navy guy, plenty of G2.

      I guess the bottom line for me is that shared purchases just open a can of worms. I suppose you could try to make a big buy, then divy it up according to who paid what and let them all just haul it to storage or home. But even that has potential issues. Trying to get everyone to pay up front would be like herding kittens, and I wouldn't want to pay the whole thing and then have people "pay me back" when they felt like it. Having gone through several years of trying to keep a viable group, I have learned to be really cautious about sticking my neck out.

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  14. I mostly keep Smith and Wessons handy here at the shop. The oldest I depend on is 79 years old, and as far as I know has all original parts inside, including springs. So far, so good. I also have a Beretta 92F, and a 1911A1. I have several magazines for each, so occasionally I will empty one out and load another. I use all the mags when I shoot , and have had no problems with any of them. Makes me feel better I guess. I understand that , at least for some guns, you can get new magazine springs. I have never felt the need, so have not researched it farther. Seems to me that if the AR or AK is doing door duty, have a spare mag(loaded of course) handy, so if you have a malfunction, just drop it and insert a fresh one. I guess you could get all tacticool and tape them together...
    Horrible shooting in Dallas tonight, last I heard was 4 cops dead, 7 more injured, no suspects in custody as of now...

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    1. I got up this morning and turned on the news. I tell you what, I have about had it to the gills.

      I have purchased some magazine spring kits. I got my first one from a friend who sent me a set for the Walther P-38 (which I collect), and that got me started on thinking I should get spring sets for the weapons I use the most.

      I think about things like that not so much for my life time, but for my son's and his son's. The day isn't far off when the only people who have weapons will be the Islamists, the Gangsta's, the Hispanics, and all the other dogs and ponies in the show. People like you and I won't have access unless we bought the arms and ammunition a long time ago, and just ignored the government when it decided that only criminals should have guns.

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  15. We had so much rain here that the 4th wasn't as crazy as it normally is, plus it was on a Monday which means work Tuesday morning. I felt sorry for the town next to us, the one we lived in for 20 years, they won a national contest and I think it was USA Today and Discover America threw them a party on July 2, and it poured. they still had the fireworks and all but it could have been better. Someone submitted them due to the horrible floods that took out all of the downtown.

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    1. Your part of the country has really been getting the rain, Kathy. I watched it on the news with part envy and part relief it hasn't happened here. Seems like it's either no rain at all, or way too much of a good thing these days. The people in West Virginia seem to have been the hardest hit lately, that's a real mess up there. But your area didn't skate either, I know from your earlier posts. I'm just glad your house didn't get floated away!

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