“Wyrd biõ ful ãræd.”

Thursday, September 1, 2016


Psychologically, summer starts for me on the first of June and ends on the first of September. I know we will still have some hot days ahead, but before long the crisp winds will be blowing and the leaves will be coming down up here. I am more than ready for a change. This has been a brutally hot, wet summer.

  There's a lot to do outside and when it cools off, I can start on it.

I've been handicapped in getting projects completed this summer, not only by the weather but by continual problems with the truck.

Having solved the idiot switch problem, now the assembly that holds all the clutch control components in alignment has to be replaced.

So, my mechanic has tasked me with going out and finding an auto machine shop that will build me one from scratch.  I have five shops on a list, and will have to drive to each and see if they will undertake the task, and if so, what it will cost.

You cannot live in the country without a truck, plain and simple. My mechanic tells me the F250 is in excellent shape other  than this current problem, and that it would be a real shame to scrap it at this point. I don't want to do that anyway. It suits me.  Old, comfortable things suit me.

I just finished watching this six hour mini-series again. Michael Wood and Michael Grant are my two favorite historians. Grant wrote a long time ago, and his books on classical history are excellent. Wood is about my age. He's an English historian, and many of his books are companion pieces to documentaries.

In 1979, I did an exercise in Turkey. Display Determination 79.  It took place in Saros Bay, and I flew over the site of Troy.  When I was a kid I had a picture book of the Trojan War, and the Iliad was one of my favorite books and remains so. So actually seeing Troy, even if I didn't get to see a lot of it, was a big thrill.

Wood's documentary is excellent, really good! He did another on The Dark Ages which was great too, but the Trojan War show is my favorite.  It was produced in 1985 but you can still get it through your library.

 Having finished the Trojan War, I am watching The War That Made America.    My primary interest is not so much the historical aspects, as how the settlers defended themselves.

They lived on the frontier, constantly subjected to raids from savages of the most brutal nature. They lived in isolated , forested settings.

So far, the documentary has not been particularly encouraging. I had thought that the settlers on the frontier must have evolved some sophisticated means of guarding themselves from attack, but if they did I haven't gotten to that part of story yet.  Up to now, when the Indians attack they pretty much massacre everybody except the young women, and those they haul back to their villages to be "wives."

Not very encouraging when you consider the same situation in a modern setting.

Thought for the Day.


  1. The timing of summer is like that for me as well. It's odd because my birthday is usually on the first day of summer (calendar wise). You'd think I'd always have that in my radar.

    It has to be rough not having a truck to haul things. My husband had a truck before we had kids. It was nice to haul garden things in it. He used it for his sculpture stuff to. It just didn't work well with carseats.

    1. Alissa, summer is a mental thing, I think. I never really feel like it's summer til it's June. Maybe because long ago, the first day of June ended the school year and we went back after Labor Day.

      Just got a call from the mechanics shop as I was typing this. They found the whole assembly I need on Ebay for only $260.00 plus shipping, so I may have the truck issue resolved shortly. Mine is a crew cab, so when we had the kids we were able to buckle them in when we were in the truck.

      You can't live here without a truck. I have to haul my garbage to the dump, and I buy a lot of things like hay and wood which I have to transport myself. Without the truck being operational, we only have the Cherokee and being a one car family in the mountains is a very risky endeavor.

  2. On the East Coast (going back to King Philips War) and through at least Kentucky Tennessee, the settlers would "fort up". In other words, run to a central structure (usually looking a lot like a large meeting hall) and hunker down there. They would combine that with the general "skulking"/ambush tactics that the natives used.

    The massacres generally occurred at the start of hostilities as a sort of Pearl Harbor-type start to the fighting.

    These tactics generally worked in a sense that it allowed the settlers to hold on until the more offensive aspects to the fighting won. But the natives did, if memory serves me right, push the settlers back over the Mountains three times before eventual success and about half the Massachusetts settlements were abandoned by the end of King Philip's War.

    1. This show on the French Indian war emphasizes the predicament of the people who went way out on the fringe of the frontier. Some of them were 20 miles or so from the nearest white neighbor, let alone any sort of infrastructure. I know you are right about the people who lived in or near settlements. That old movie with Henry Fonda and Claudine Colbert, "Drums Along the Mohawk" is one of my favorites.

      I remember, probably 30 years or more ago, there was a National Geographic magazine that was mostly about an Indian attack, I think it was in Massachusetts, I think the name of the town was Smithfield or something like it. The Indians got into the outlying cabins before anybody knew they were there and killed a lot of people before the rest could flee to the fort.

      Seems like if there were imminent prospects of an attack the settlers could at least have had pickets out. But apparently they didn't bother, or could not support it for some practical reason I can't think of.

      I know something of the Old West Indian Wars, but the Indian Wars fought back in the East in the 1600's and 1700's are a mystery to me, for the most part. I've heard of King Phillip's War and The War of Jenkins Ear but can't remember anything about them.

  3. I found the Trojan War video in its entirety on YouTube. The War that Made America video apparently has not been uploaded yet, for all I found were trailers for it. I have been pleasantly surprised at the number of shows, particularly from the BBC, that I have found on YouTube. Makes for some good late night watching.

    Temps here have dropped into the high 70's with nights in the 60's. The leaves haven't begun to turn color, but it won't be long. Am trying to fill in the gaps in my preps. Have heard rumors that the coming winter promises to be a rough one.

    1. Vicki, the War that Made America is one I got from my library. It is not a commercial DVD, it says "For Library Use Only" on the label, so maybe they haven't released it for commercial availability yet. It's pretty violent. The makers toned it down as much as they could, because it's intended for educational purposes and there's a teachers guide for it, but those times were so horrific that it's still unsettling. The Indians killing and scalping the little children, even if it takes place "off screen" is still unsettling.

      It's still hot here during the days, but at least not up around 100. Right now, we are concerned about the wind and the rain that is supposed to pass through here as the hurricane hitting Florida moves up the coast. The worst we have ever suffered here in terms of power outages and road closures was when what was left of a hurricane in the Gulf came up here and just wiped us out.

  4. Be grateful for the WET, hot summer. Weather forecasters here are saying that the chance of La Niña bringing much needed rain to break the drought which has gripped this country is not very good. So that, together with heat (we are already having temps in the late 30's in SA - in AUGUST) it looks like this summer could be an abnormally severe one 😟 I pray they are wrong...

    1. We are still in a drought here, so the weather service says, despite the large number of showers we've had over the last few months. You couldn't tell it from looking around. Everything is verdant and green, and the forest is a tangle of trees and undergrowth.

      I am hearing now we are in for a severe winter, and I'm ready for that. I can keep everything heated, and if I can't get out, I just stay home. But this incessant rain, and high humidity, has not been good for my wooden log buildings.

      I hope you get some rain. I know your area has been having water problems, which are never easy to deal with. We had a drought here in 1987 so severe my spring dried up (the only time I know of that has happened) and I had to sink a well at great expense.

  5. The 1st Sept is important in several ways, Its the start of fall, and the start of World War Two. I finished watching Historian David Reynolds outlines World War I’s long shadow of influence and the century-old conflict's surprising impact on current events. A very good series.

    1. I'm not familiar with Reynolds, but it sounds like something I would enjoy. I'll see if I can find it on the internet.

  6. I bet my library had those documentaries. I watched one not too long ago from pbs about the list colony of Roanoke that was really interesting.

    Thanks for helping am eye out on that book. I am looking too. Or maybe I will just break down and ask for a kindle for Christmas. Lately I have seen some books I would like to read that are only available this way.

    1. The Virginia Dare stones are in Gainesville, Ga at Bernau college. I saw them once. I know most of them have been determined to be fake but there are two that the "experts" agree might be legitimate.

      I have really enjoyed my Kindles. My first one has the largest screen and I use it for reading. My second has a much more reliable browser and I use it for the weather and things of that nature. You can get lots of books on kindle that are not available in print any more, as you say, and many of them are free.

  7. Hey Harry,


    In regards to past, present and future. All conflicts involve brutal fighting and slaughter of innocents. Its a part of humanity that we cannot escape.

    The battles over Greek empires or territorial settlement of the American frontier all were bloody. Women will always be trophies to the victors. Some victors will be much, much more humane to the women. Some will not.

    Modern western leaders have forgotten what brutality is and are not prepared to defend against it. Western leaders think since this is the 21st century that every society in the world is enlightend as we are.

    The same mistakes will be repeated and the same lessons will be learned the hard and brutal way until our country folds under pressure. Maybe we will adapt, overcome and preserver. Maybe we will regain our constitution (no pun intended) and our society remains intact for another 200 years.

    'Time will only tell but history will repeat itself'

    (I just made that one up)

    As what the Indians did to children is humane compared to being enslaved by muslims. The more I read about the life of 'Kaffirs' and 'Demhi's' the more I wish plague upon the muslim world. Diversity does not exist in a muslim society and its even worse in a society ruled by Sharia. The battle between civilizations will soon be played out on a massive scale. We will have shred our concepts of what being civilized is, if we are to push the Islamic genie back into its bottle.

    In the end its about how you want to live, what kind of God do you want to worship and to what king do you wish to serve and pay tribute to.

    This has played out countless times throughout history and will be played out countless times again, and again.

    1. There are degrees of savagery. I doubt anyone can beat the Indians at it, though some might tie. The Mongols come to mind. But the Rousseau Theory of the "Noble Savage" is utter hogwash, just as the "Dances with Wolves" Hollywood version is nonsense. Anyone who thinks the Indians were anything but barbarians (with the possible exception of the "Nez Perce" ) needs to read some primary sources. Starting with Richard Pakenham's The Oregon Trail.

      I think the struggle between Islam and the West has pretty well already been lost. We're just living through the end game. If Clinton gets elected in November, I'm sure of it. If Trump is elected, we may be able to stem the tide. It calls for a clear sighted vision of the future and the resolution to utilize any means necessary to implement countermeasures. We won't get that from the Hillary Worshipers.

  8. I am really sick of summer, but I say that every year because I don't like the heat and humidity. At least this summer, we have not been under a drought. Looks like the hurricane will hit Florida. Guess you will see some of the effects of this storm. Stay safe. Jana

    1. Jana, it's Friday afternoon now. The skies are overcast, and we've had some wind, but no rain as was expected. Savannah is really taking a pounding and having some flooding. Tybee Island was essentially shut down and this is one of their biggest tourist weekends of the year. I feel for them.

  9. The Indian Wars tended to stop when the settlers resorted to being more savage than the 'savages.' Ugly reprisal raids, extreme mutilation of the dead and injured, slaughter of everyone in a camp including children.

    This wasn't a new thing. Typically the western Europeans, since at least before the middle ages, have taken a mellow 'Christian' attitude towards militant neighbors until they are pushed over the edge. Then the civility comes off and the real savage comes out. William the Conqueror salted the earth at the Scottish border, slaughtered whole towns, and just fu--ed things up in order to stop Scottish raids into England.

    This is something that many people have forgotten. Eventually the white European will show up again, and it will become ugly all over.

    1. Things get rough when it gets personal.

      My interest in the French Indian Wars stems from a realization that my own circumstances out here in the woods are similar to those settlers lived in at the time. I had hoped to read something that would help me strengthen security here, but so far it's been negative information.

      In essence, the men are out working in the fields. The Indians and French creep up on the edge of the clearing. They fire a volley, then rush out to finish off the men with edged weapons. Having done so, they rush the house where the women are, for a bacchanal , looting and indulging in other pleasures of raiding. Then they kill and scalp the women and kids they don't want, and haul off the women they do want.
      None of that helps me plan better here. Right now there's little chance of similar events but given the right circumstances, our shaky house of cards society could topple over and then, it would be a new scenario.

    2. Yes, the first settlers were taken out that way. Eventually, mutually assured destruction became the norm. Destruction of whole settlements, ending only when one aggressor couldn't take the losses anymore (usually the natives.)

      In your case, being deep in the woods, consider what our modern 'injuns' deal with. Their 'fields and woods' are the roads and 'hoods' where they live. Expect 'settlers' to be picked off in the fashion you laid out when the 'settlers' are on the roadways or near 'hoods' or other over-urbanized areas.

      You are mostly safe due to the fact that in the last 30 years, even the country-bubba has been gentrified, not straying from more open and accessible areas.

      Back to the original settlers, those that survived lived in backwoods hollows, in fortified houses, and kept weapons close at hand. In your case, that pretty much describes you. Your set-up would not be far off of a survivable settlement in the Indian war era.

      Extrapolating that to the modern 'natives' that I talked about above, most modern rats are actually scared of the deep woods, to the point that they will attack your small town, but not notice you in your end-of-the-road, unmarked, unremarkable location.

      To summarize, if you were facing real 'injuns', then yes, you're screwed if they press the issue. Against the urban bubba, the hispo-thug and the hood-rat? You are remarkably safe.

      Now, against other back-woods survivalists hell-bent on getting your stash? How many people like you are actually out there where you live and know where you live and are so fracked in the head that they would come to you with evil intent. That small minority are the ones you truly have to deal with. (My estimations, considering the part of the country where you live and the fact that you are the gruff competent loner you are, you are really safe.

      Basically, any trash that washes up on your shore will be so beat to death you have more worries from disposal of said trash than the trash disposing of you.

      Deus Vult.

    3. I've always relied on the remoteness of my location, and the difficulty in finding it, more than anything else. That's one reason I try to be so careful about disclosing my location. Not everyone who reads the blog is benevolent, by a long shot. I ought to publish some of the comments I get. There are some really sick people out there.

  10. Batten down the hatches Harry...hurricane remnants headed your way!

    Agreed on the truck. I can't live without mine. Have you ever considered RockAuto.com for your parts? Best prices I have ever
    found. And I seem to be fixing my vehicles a lot (they are breaking down too often...just like yours truly).

    Happy for you that your family time went well. --Troy

    1. Troy, I always just take the vehicles to the same garage I have been going to for nearly 30 years. The old man retired and his two sons run it now. One of the guys called me and told me he had found everything I needed for sale on ebay, so I don't have to trek around the mountains trying to get a new rod built for the truck.

      Even if I spend a thousand on vehicle repairs once in awhile, that's still a savings over buying new vehicles. And I don't want all the bells and whistles on a vehicle , like electric starting, that seem to be pushed off on everyone now. My vehicles, like yours, might be older but I am satisfied with them, and I'm not out to impress anybody.

      Everything went well with the kids but I was worn down to a nub. I'm getting back to normal, slowly but surely.

  11. Re: Ford diesel f250 1988 I went through all that trauma with clutch controls. Turns out the firewall is weak and flexes too much. My mechanic somehow reinforced the firewall, reattached everything and engagement was back to normal. Not cheap.

    1. No, it's not going to be cheap. The kit was $300 including shipping. Labor will run about $450.

      But then I'll have my truck back and that's one more thing off my back.

  12. I HAD an extender by NetGear that plugged in my room's electrical outlet and "grabbed" the signal from the modem in the main area of the lodge. Sure was nice to compute in my quiet room.

    If you have wireless phone and use that for computer a friend told me he bought an antenna at Radio Shack and now gets three bars in his house. Although in the three hundred plus range he said it was well work the money. When my ship comes in, I will get one of those because we have to find a high spot to use cell service in our valley.

    1. I think that's called a router. I have one of those. But the problem is, the signal is too weak to reliably get to the apartment from the main house where the router is. I have a land line, as wireless service doesn't work at my house, only up the mountain at an outcrop of granite boulders.