is for the damned bears. It sucks when your thoughts grow further than “Berries, roots, get laid, Sleepzzzzz” (not to say that they don’t include those, I am male after all and while not hormone laden and in rut, T’ain’t ded yet either.)
Long story short, Ol’ man winter is really kickin’ ass around these parts. This is my second day off work due to being unable to traverse my drive off the hill. We had a “bit” of snow yesterday while at work and that piled on the frozen stuff on the hill and by the time I came home, slicker than snot! Lazarus is stuck, the temps dropped over night to sub-zero and what was ‘stuck’ is now frozen beyond recovery until the rains (if the weather man is right) tomorrow. Tonight is supposed to get down into a balmy north of the arctic circle -17 so I ain’t even gonna try to get out until that goes its merry way. I’ll just stay at home, keep the fire burnin’ and hibernate for awhile. But that doesn’t keep the mind from churnin’ away at things.
I could provide links to many of the things I am reading while down, but to be honest, it just gets to the point where a body is just chasing ghosts with all the information we have available. I love the internet, and hate it at the same time. Un-regulated, it provides oodles of information and good learning (so long as you are smart enough to realize that there is also a 90% BS factor in almost any web crawl.) and yet, I see that there are parties in favor going all regulatory on it.
Fine. Have at you interloping fucks. Ruin a good thing like you have ruined so many other good things. Keep it up and that habit will lead you to get your ass hung from a lamp-post somewhere.
But hey, thats just a pipedream on my behalf, right? Ain’t no group going to step off the porch until the stuporbowl is no more, the cheetos are gone and the beer is all skunked and flat. Then they might wake up and wonder “WTF? Where’d the good times go?”
Welcome to the party pal! Hey, I don’t care about any of that shit do I? I don’t really drink, I hate cheetos, and I have only watched the stuporbowl twice (and watched the bengals get their asses stomped by SanFran BOTH TIMES and in THE SAME WAY, stupid fuckers. )(give you an idea how long ago THAT was? LOL)
Well, it’s damned cold outside, that I can say with no hesitation. Its not cold in my hovel, again, no hesitation. In fact, I have had to crack the door and vents on occasion as it was uncomfortably warm. Even Voo, with his Texas fur decided that the snow was more comfortable than the Death Valley heat that daddy had in the house.(but not for very long each time. he cools off QUICK) I have food and more than enough to last me through this snap, I have coffee, and clean dry clothes, and enough space near the stove to dry out what gets wet while outside, including boots. I ain’t hurtin’ but damned if I ain’t bored outta my skull.
Which brings me to another prep, and one I have slipped on, obviously. Mind games or card games for one. Company for the other. Remember the rule of threes? There is one rule of three that many people leave out. 3 minutes w/o air, 3 days w/o water, 3 weeks w/o food, and 3 months without companionship. That last is entirely dependent on a persons mental state, but some form of companionship is essential for the long term, and some way of exercising the mind without getting into a mental loop is CRITICAL.
In my case, Dog was good enough for the companion aspect, especially with the way the mutt listens to me. Unfortunately, cabin fever is not friendly to either of us. He just wants to sleep when he is in, and gets frustrated at how slow I am walking in this frozen shit. (He has four wheel drive while I am a big lumbering hulk on a pair of stilts. I sink!) Least to say, walkies are a test of frustration for the both of us in this weather, and the rat bastard likes to nip to get me movin’. Pass I say.
I think I just need to dig out a good Heinlein book and ‘escape’ for the rest of the day.
Flame at will, or comment in general, don’t like talking to the walls of this blog.
is for the damned bears. It sucks when your thoughts grow further than “Berries, roots, get laid, Sleepzzzzz” (not to say that they don’t include those, I am male after all and while not hormone laden and in rut, T’ain’t ded yet either.)
Ol’ man winter came rip-roarin’ back into town over the weekend and jeez, was he pissed off.
All that work on the water tank put on hold for sub freezing temps and I lost all 350 gallons out of that tank thanks to not listening to the weatherman. The 2″ ball valve froze and characteristic of plastic and ice, one had to give. Much easier to break a pipe from the inside than out and the ice won the day, to my dismay. I haven’t finished the down hill side of things so the valve was closed. I went to put insulation around the exposed bits early sunday morning but the damage had already been done. I couldn’t even get to the tank until mid-afternoon due to all the ice from 300+ gallons spraying all over that little hillside below the tank.
Good news though, I now know what needs the most attention and from there can move forward.
The real fun with Ol’ man winter in these parts started today. All that snow that has threatened us but never shown up decide to come down in the first few hours of the day. Not hateful in my book, but a lot of the guys I work with figured that it was safer at home than waiting to drive home. By lunch, the shop was down to a handful of guys and my line was decimated. I went ahead and left as well. Good thing too, as while driving home, the weather shifted from snow to freezing rain. Thinking that getting off my hill come the wee hours is going to be fruitless. I am going to give it a few more hours to see what happens, but if the temp drops off like they are forecasting (and so far, since saturday, they are batting 1000) then that steep hill leading up here (that took three tries to get up before I succeeded, even in 4 wheel ) is going to be one solid sheet of ice and no fun to traverse in the dark hours of the day. It can be tricky enough after a good hard rain and the resulting washouts.
Well, whatever happens over the next 24 hours, I am safe at home right now, the fire is going, and I am even getting a trickle of charge from the panels since I cleaned off the snow. Wind is down or I would be getting that as well. That will pick up later though, or so they say. It is still nice to be be able to claim the independence of energy. That just keeps getting better and better as time goes by and I hear all the guys at work whining about the outrageous electric bills they have to contend with. Yeah, I paid for the panels and mill, and batteries, but the end cost over the last few years has more than justified the shift in lifestyle. It isn’t for everyone, that I can say with confidence, but it suits me just fine.
It’s winter, and it’s almost over. Then things can really take off again and I can come out of hibernation.
Water water everywheres and I’ma gonna be able to drink it!!!!
Well, I spoke just a bit soon. My Dad is completely responsible and I humbly stand aside for his accolades. He found a spot up the hill a ways and dug down to stone and even before he could install the collection bucket the hole was filling up on him. The tank was placed and the water ran to it and within the space of 4 hours had almost 100 gallons in it. It was completely filled by the next morning.
The collection bucket is a 5 gallon bucket with some holes in the side and a fitting to attach a hose to. The hole it resides in is about 3′ across and the remaining space is filled with limestone gravel to act as a sediment filter. Limestone also does a bit of a trick in getting rid of other things that may creep in as well. I am not going to run a filter on the line as most of the water is for utility use, but I am going to have a Berkey filter for drinking water.
There is still a ways to go yet before the system is functional for me, but by Dog, I think we’ve got this. Lots of digging in the near future to get the pipe under frost level, but that isn’t as deep as you would think around here. I have to dig a trench to cross the drive here but like the rest of it, a mere matter of labor and the worst is out of the way.
Yet another step towards self-sufficiency; its gettin on time for the garden as well.
Next step, House and shop. or should it be Shop and house? I be thinkin’ that Shop/ House is in order, only because working at home will make more steps feasible over having to travel for a paycheck. (and having somewhere to make things out of the weather is always nice.)
Side note: For those that have thought of taking the RV/Travel trailer path. If you do it, do not plan on being in the thing for very long. They are not intended for sustained living. The amount of maintenance to do on them gets outrageous very quickly. I have been in mine going on three years now and the wear and tear is getting to a point where I am thinking total renovation would be needed. Small leaks become big leaks after a freeze and the small ones are the harder to find/fix. Eventually, you have more patch than structure. As it stands now, I am not going to renovate the beast. I am going to build that house, use some of the fittings and such to fill in the house (stove, fridge, sinks, maybe some cabinitry) then scrap what I don’t use. The beast will not be for re-sale after I am done as I wouldn’t want to pass along the mess to anyone else. Besides, there is lots of good steel in the beast; 1″ square tubing, and the like. (she was made before they started using the aluminum framing) The frame would be the biggest part to reconfigure, and the panels that make the shell can be re-use’d for other things like insulation in the floor of the house or something. And of course, miles of wiring; with the price of copper now, the hell I will just send that to the scrap yard. I already have plans in place to pull the Onan 4K and put it in it’s own little genny shack for powering the shop when I need to. I want to convert it to propane or woodgas, but that is just a small detail that will have to be addressed later down the road. No need to junk such a useful piece of machinery. As for the mechanical side of things on the beast, I will likely part it out. Its a 2 1/2 ton rear axle set up and I am sure that someone around here could use it. It doesn’t have a boatload of miles on it like Lazarus the SUV does so it will fill the bill for someone that needs such. The engine needs rebuilt, but the transmission is newly rebuilt. (Heck, I know a few racing types that would happily cough up cash for a Turbo400! LOL) (and now I am just rambling on and on. )
Nothing goes to waste around me, but it’s likely you won’t recognize it later.
Well, the temp outside is getting to the point where I can work on this water mess and get some diggin’ done. Talk atcha’ll laters.
Over the weekend, I ran across a discussion on TED that rather “got my Goat”. I followed along as long as I could, but to be honest, the level of willful ignorance of facts and reality left me gasping for air. Yeah, there are similarities along the way, but they tend to stop after about the first chapter of the varied tomes that each religion leans the most on. Pretty much about the time of Noah things really start to separate and go different pathways.
BUT, that doesn’t bring to light the realities that those persons willfully “forgot”. Like the recent beheading’s of truly neutral persons. Nor the annihilation of an entire community of Christians who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Everyone, from old to young and even infants violently removed from our current timeline,,,,,
But what does all of this have to do with us here in the united states safely across thousands of miles of ocean between them and us?
That particular event, little, but the sum of the whole, EVERYTHING. What most of those commenting on that site linked above failed to bring up is history, specifically the history of Islam itself. They forgot that Islam has been at war with the rest of the world pretty much non-stop since the middle ages. They failed to bring up the Caliphates of the past, nor that current data indicates that there may be a new Caliphate in the next few years. They failed to mention that if the Caliphate decrees war (Jihad), that becomes the new normal for ALL Muslims, not just a few “extremists”. They failed to mention that there are Muslims in every single nation world wide that would listen to the decrees of a new Caliphate. (enemies in your backyard that you don’t even see as enemies until they have the knife at your throat.) Nor did they mention the precarious establishment within Saudi Arabia. The fact that the current (new) King of KSA has to, essentially, bribe the population to not rise up against him and his is not mentioned, not even in passing. The Wahabi factions have been sucking at the teat of KSA since its inception back in the day, and the only reason KSA could ‘afford’ it is the almighty Petro-Dollar.
Think about that for a minute. The whole house of cards is built on buying loyalty using a debased and near worthless currency. A currency now being broadsided by BRICS. There have been movements to undermine the validity of the current regime within KSA including the assassination of a Key General of the KSA armed forces. There are many that are loyal only due to the free money passing around and if that free money is in question, than so are the loyalties. How long would it take for that loyalty to pass over to the other side if they thought it would be more prudent to change flags? Seeing how things have been going of late, I would say a blink of an eye would be too long.
How long before the oil fields of KSA are no longer such, but the oil fields of ISIS? How long after that does a new Caliphate rise up and the cooled Crusades begin again? How long after that, does the petrodollar evaporate like the aether it is?
How long after that does this country explode into civil war?
Here is another historical fact for some that may be leaning toward ignoring this ‘tirade’. Our current wars are not the first time we have ever fought Islam. Desert Storm was not either. The Philippines were not the first either, where “BlackJack” Pershing decimated the Muslims there. Nope, the first time Americans fought against Muslims was Tripoli. We went there to remove a pirate menace and those pirates were Muslims. They were only following the dictates of their religion and persecuting “nonbelievers” and extracting Tax for that ‘crime’. (of course, as in all things, perception is key, but I think the world view at that time overrode whatever perception the pirates may have had. Hang’em High may not have been the key phrase back then. but the result was the same.) Heck, even some of our founders warned about the menace of Islam, even Jefferson made mention of that in some of his writings.
Having been in the Middle East for Desert Storm, and having had some shore liberty at a couple of places there, I saw some things that made me question a lot of what was being passed along on the “religion of Peace” I won’t call myself an expert by any means, and as individuals, most Muslim are pretty decent people if you can get around the strange habits they exhibit. But the whole she-bang is not a religion at all, but a ideology of political tyranny wrapped in the words of God. (even the names are the same in the Koran if that gives any indication. ) For more of why I say that, look up the history of the Prophet Mohamed and see for yourself just how deviant he was and figure that as the catalyst for the directions this so called religion has progressed along over the last several centuries.) I can tell you some stories that have been told to me by people that have had to deal with them much more closely than I ever did, but I don’t really want to pass along third hand information. I can tell you this though: if truth (and I don’t doubt it) the persons witnessed are just as morally backwards and perverse as the original yahoo that started this whole mess.
Yes, there are a lot of variables to contend with and I won’t get into one of the side debates about the “evil Jooo’s” that started
(about the time I said enough self-inflicted mental torture was enough) There is a benefit to re-visiting history on occasion. Many times, what was, will be again, and with a group that still presides in the 14th century, such will continue to come back and haunt us, and not just with a sheet and rattled chains, but poltergeists and oodles of bad mojo.
I have to say, there isn’t a whole lot that can be done about the situation as it sits right now. I have read proposals to nuke Mecca and Medina, and I can’t say that would be a bad thing, but on the same note, I can’t say that it would accomplish the goal either. The only aspect that I do agree with is that there would have to be a blood bath, not just on the extremists of the mess, but the clerics that drive it. The Imams are the key to what current doctrine is, and with the Koran (Qur’an, or whatever spelling you prefer) all precedent is superseded by the word of the current Imam/Caliphate. (FYI, all of this can be verified with only a few hours of research of your own, don’t take my word for it.) Seriously, if an Imam declares all woman should have their labia removed with glass shards, that over-rides ANY prior word contrary to the decree. Does that sound like a religious thing or a power thing? (and such was decreed by one at some point in time or we would never have heard about genital mutilation of young girls)
With the fact that I have no idea how to deal with the situation, nor would it do any good as I am just a little blogger fish in a great big sea of other fish that care or don’t on a whim; I can only suggest carrying on as you have been. What is coming is either going to blow chunks faster than an RPG into a crowded mall, or simmer over many years the same way the Crusades did. (and with all the attendant interesting history that provides us.) THE ONLY ADVANTAGE WE HAVE AT THIS TIME IS SPEED OF LIGHT COMMUNICATION OVER THE ENTIRE WORLD. And that may be brought to a screeching halt by Government at any moment (and they will if they feel it threatens their position of power.) So, keep preparing for worst case, and hope you won’t need it. Sadly, I beleive we are going to need much sooner than later.
Build your personal insurance policy as no one else is gonna build it for you.
:o More later that won’t be so downbeat.
Update: more about the (H/T to SiGB)Crusades and Jihad
Some of my readers have read Heinlein at least a bit. Those that haven’t, well the title is from some of his works. I believe it was in Stranger that each chapter began with some “tabloid headlines of the day”. Glancing over the Drudge Report I feel like I am about to start in on another chapter of Stranger. They just get weirder and weirder as time passes
Part of me wants to believe that everything that is coming down the pike at us was/is avoidable, but then I throw in the human aspect of the equation and realize that none of this is avoidable, and the longer it takes to pan out, the more painful it is going to be. But enough of the obvious and onto something that may interest you.
I picked up a recurve back in September.
Hadn’t touched one since I was a kid and just felt this urge to splurge, so to speak. Actually, I didn’t spend all that much on the bow, I have spent far more for arrows and points than I did on the bow.
Here is the kicker. It has improved my rifle shooting quite a bit. First off, I always had an issue holding both eyes open and using my dominant eye for sighting. NOW, I can do it with Irons and Scope and not lose sight of that front post, and have a much fuller view of the entire area, not just what is exposed by that ring in front of my dominant eye. Second, My upper body strength has improved and I am far more stable in the standing position without support. I wouldn’t want to use that position for long range, but out to 200m, yeah, that’ll work.(not to say I wouldn’t use supports if available, hell, I would want them for cover if possible and using them to firm up a firing position works too.)
Now, there is no reason to go out and get a recurve if you have no intention of using one for hunting. It does make a fine sport at targets and is fun to boot. But there is a serious learning curve involved. I chose to go traditional in my endeavors as I felt that all the sights and stabilizers and the let off of a compound was more like shooting a gun. Yes, they give an advantage to the hunter/target shooter, but I felt that if I needed to make a bow for a survival situation or some-such, I would have to be shooting off the shelf anyways, why not start there. It really is just like tossing a ball around. You don’t have a set of sights and a peep when you are chucking a ball to a friend, and yet, you can do it. It is a learned skill, and one that took some time to learn, but once learned, stays with you, even if you have to pull it out and polish it up from time to time.
Just for shits and giggles, I am making a couple of arrows from native materials. Sadly, the fletching is from a crow, not a hawk like I wanted, but this crow was an unfortunate idjit, and stuck by his meal when a car came by. He can’t use his feathers, but I can. I will post pics of the arrows when done. Right now, I haven’t made a point for them and I am deciding on steel or bone. Not enough flint in this area, and when found can be pretty nasty with inclusions. (another option is glass but I am not really up to knapping that.) I know that none of this is worth squat unless things get REALLY bad off over the next decade, but since I started it, I have been learning more and more about some new skills that really have no financial input needed (my frugal desires) as I can find the materials for everything pretty much anywhere, and I find the mental state I get into when doing these things is quite calming. Even just firing off a dozen shafts into a target from different ranges (I am out to 60 yards) and improving those shots over time and practice, almost brings on a Zen state of mind. I also have been using it while taking Voo out for his evening walks. I have three shafts set up with brush busters to keep them from getting lost, and while Voo chases imaginary squirrels, I stalk the elusive and dangerous tree stump. So far, I have only broken about a dozen arrows, some of which were salvageable, and only lost 2 shafts into tall grass. (modern shafts are camouflaged, WTF?) Even the broken ones are becoming farther and farther apart as my accuracy improves. Voo has finally figured out that they move far too fast for him to catch one, thank the dog gods for small miracles. But it was interesting at first with him barking encouragement from the sidelines of the target range to suddenly rush out and try to catch the shaft I just shot. For a dog, his sight is wicked good. (He even spots high flying hawks that look like small dots that I have to squint to see.) As for his hearing, I think he chose selective hearing as sometimes I hear things that he (seemingly) does not. And my hearing is pretty much shot after years in front of concert P.A.’s
But I digress. I would imagine that some of you are wondering what’s going on with the house/shop build. It’s winter time and I don’t trust the weather to stay stable long enough to get concrete or mortar time to set up correctly. Temperature swings around here can drive a man nuts with planning, so I figure I will wait until mid-spring to start mortaring the stones together for the foundation of the house. I am holding off on pouring a pad until after I purchase a pickup truck as “The SUV formerly called Lexi, now called Lazarus” is on short notice in my world; one too many scares with breakdowns and I have much more need of a truck with a bed. Mortar is cheap in small amounts, 6 yards of concrete is not. Truck first. Luckily for me, there is an old deep mine up the hill from my place and 5 or 6 slag piles radiating from its mouth(since the mine was abandoned in the 50’s, trees and scrub hide them and its hard to tell just how many there are.) . The old mine is flooded now, but I can still get to the good rock that was cut out of it, and that is good stone for building foundation and other pieces for the house (like a chimney). A pickup would make getting that from there to here much easier as well. (been using a garden wagon and that wears a body out FAST! and the amount of stone I need means many many such trips with that little wagon.)
Another point to note. Water. What I thought was a spring is not, and has moved further down hill from the original location. I am still on the hunt for a water source, but that is one of the things that I do while taking the slave drivin’ Voodoo for his nightly walkies. (he at least earns his keep by sounding alarm when the coyotes are about. Can’t convince him that the rabbits in the garden are pests though. ‘why bother them dad?, they don’t want my food!”) If I haven’t found a source by the time I start raising walls on the house, I am going to come up with a catchment system and work from there. Water is critical and I really don’t want to be hauling water all the time; there is enough to do as it is without having to haul water every day.
“But Dio, you said that old mine was flooded, why not use it?” Good question and an even better answer. Sulfur! The pond in front of the mine is loaded with sulfur from the coal deep inside. The dogs get in there for cooling off and come up as yellow as flowers in spring, and stinking of rotten eggs. It does good at keeping scratches and stuff from festering on them, but damn do they stink afterwards. I have no intention of piping that trash into my house.
Well, I think I have annoyed you with my trivial life long enough today. Nothing really new to add about the saw or any of the other projects. Many of them are on hold until the shop is built anyway (the saw has to wait until warm weather same as the concrete and mortar.) I haven’t forgotten them, and am slightly annoyed at how long some of this is taking, but I weather that frustration in the knowledge that once I am settled, my future will open up no matter how goofy things can get.(and maybe I am being a little Pollyanna-ish there, but to hell with it, a man needs goals!)
Picked up a cheepy tablet at the local pawnshop for a song, as well as a wireless/bluetooth keyboard. Running the wordpress app (same as on my phone) I can do what I need, offline, then upload when I do have net access.
So! I said that I was gonna post pics of the windmill for y’all and I am gonna try that for the first time from this app. Lets see what happens.
Well, seems to get into the post from this end. Yah, I am rambling. Little details here. Swept area is 80 1/2″ Each blade is over 5″ wide and about 3″ at its narrowest. Total static weight of the spinny bits is 10# but very well balanced so resistance to wind is minimal. Takes about 6mph to get them going, and they will continue to spin down to about 2mph when the cogging effect overcomes the lift. I may only get a few watts when the wind is down. but that few watts is better than nada that I was getting out of the other set. (and that other set wouldn’t work except during stormy weather) This was a VERY good investment towards my system.
Far too many times in my reading of late, I have felt the irritation of separatism being espoused by fellow patriots. Don’t take it wrong, there is good advice being passed on as well, but the unwillingness to accept that not all are “on the same plane” galls my bearings just a bit. What do I mean by “not on the same plane”? Pretty simple: not all of us
here can afford to shoot 500-1000 rounds a week to practice all the various concepts around a battle rifle. Not all of us are physically able to PT beyond a certain point (IE I can work a 10 hour day and still walk my dog in the hills, but my knees don’t allow running of ANY sort and no I can’t afford to have the surgery to fix the issue). Even so, we (specifically myself, as I can’t vouch for all) are not out of the game nor should we be critiqued negatively. We still prep as best we can on a monetary system stretched past breaking. More than a few of us have taken steps far past simple preps and actually occupy our personal redoubts (James Dakin being one such, myself another, Wunderdawg another ).
Let me explain it another way. I have quite a bit more to do before I am willing to “go Galt” completely and yet I am constantly on that march. My day does start at zero dark thirty and continues to “can’t” which tends to being quite close to that zero dark point more than a few times a week. There are many things I work on that never get more than a brief mention, if even that, and it all has an end goal that represents the closest thing I feel, to a ‘working retirement’
And when the weekend rolls around and I am coming out of the woods, led by a happy mutt, a brace of squirrel in my bag, and I see that blueish smoke from my flue and my wind genny working and 3/4 acre already tilled ready for planting; well, I realize that all the hoopla is just that. I have to wonder just how many of those pushing the gun work can claim what I live. I have my days such as that and realize that no matter what happens in the bigger world, I and mine will be just fine. I may not be in the greatest shape after 46 years of adventure, but I am still operative and I will defend what I have made with my life.
And that is enough for me.