Forgotten Weapons Swag

Ian has set up preorders for his 2015 Forgotten Weapons calendar here.

Buy early, buy often.

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no no no dammit

The only private space project I’ve watched with interest (because it’s the only one I know of that wasn’t just selling services to the feds) has crashed.

Yes, it's a silly stunt for quarter-million buck tourist flights. But still, they'll be selling rides. Assuming this doesn't sink them.

Yes, it’s a silly stunt for quarter-million buck tourist flights. But still, they’ll be selling rides. Assuming this doesn’t sink them.

This is apparently going down right now and there’s not much information except it says here that one pilot’s dead and another badly injured.

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Lust and greed are deadly sins, Joel.

I got a chuckle from this pic, seen at Weer’d's place.protectionOut here we just call them “rifles.”

Oddly, for all the rifles contained and carried in the Gulch, until recently there wasn’t a single AR. I came here eight years ago with my M1A, Landlady had Vera the shorty Garand, and as always you never know what Ian’s going to show up with but it won’t be anything as ubiquitous as an AR. I decided fairly early that – despite my position as High Priest of the First Church of the Immaculate M14 – I wanted something handier. So I went to a build party and came home with the World’s Ugliest Carbine.akAnd with the addition of a front-mounted scope to compensate for my inadequacies, it does me just fine and I desire no other.

Or so I say. Our AR-less state isn’t driven by any particular prejudice, and not long ago Landlady brought one home. Ian had it at his Cave a few weeks ago, and I confess I molested it with unsolicited fondling. Such a cute little thing.

Ian watched this and remarked, “You could get one, you know. All you’d have to do is sell your Springfield…”

I put the carbine right back down. “I don’t want one that badly,” I said, perhaps a bit archly.

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A page that aches for a word which speaks on a theme that is timeless…

No, that’s got nothing to do with the post, I just always liked the line. And may I say that when you wake up singing a pretentious* Neil Diamond song, especially one from that source, it’s probably going to be a weird day. :-)

So it begins. From now until sometime in April, the time of the morning when the sun clears the eastern ridge and starts to paint the one to the west, across the wash, will be a matter of interest. At the Solstice, it'll happen sometime around eight AM. And it's a drag.

So it begins. From now until sometime in April, the time of the morning when the sun clears the eastern ridge and starts to paint the one to the west, across the wash, will be a matter of interest. At the Solstice, it’ll happen sometime around eight AM. And it’s a drag.

Sorry about the photo quality, as with all things I do the best I can with what I’ve got. It’s really very pretty, but you’ll have to take my word for it.
This is the time of year when I start trying to go to bed later, because I really hate waking up early and freezing in the dark. I much prefer freezing in the light.

This is the time of year when I start trying to go to bed later, because I really hate waking up early and freezing in the dark. I much prefer freezing in the light.

But it’s not like a moral obligation or anything – last night I fell asleep around 8:30, so I crawled out of the sack in the dark and confused hell out of the boys. LB doesn’t mind the dark but Ghost has always considered it a time when Here There Be Monsters and he’s not completely wrong. So he wanted right back in again, and didn’t come out until just now. He’s still looking at me a little funny.
The girls just wanted to know where their damned feeder went. Tired of feeding rats, I've been taking it in in the evenings and so must remember to put it back out in the morning.

The girls just wanted to know where their damned feeder went. Tired of feeding rats, I’ve been taking it in in the evenings and so must remember to put it back out in the morning.

Speaking of which…
My idea of prosperity is full bins and buckets. 24 hours ago I was scraping the bottom of this one, but yesterday I brought back 100# of chicken pellets. Which always makes me feel much more the prosperous hermit.

My idea of prosperity is full bins and buckets. 24 hours ago I was scraping the bottom of this one, but yesterday I brought back 100# of chicken pellets. Which always makes me feel much more the prosperous hermit.

And another morning begins. :-)

*Yeah, I know. Like there’s any other kind.

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Looks like I’m gonna have to do some research.

Thanks to a generous donation from a reader, coupled with a very generous donation from another reader, I think I’ve got the money to replace the Jeep’s rear tires. And I just got back from trying to do exactly that.

Unfortunately, I live near a very small, dying, not-functional-in-an-exemplary-manner desert town, and all it got me was grief. So I guess I’m gonna have to go online.

First thing I’ll need is a size equivalence chart, because the one fellow told me the size that’s on the Jeep is discontinued. I suspect he means it’s been discontinued by the one brand he deals in, but I don’t know and must now endeavor to persevere.

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Lords of Improvisation

Two of my neighbors have a long-term problem with their water systems. They piped the inlets to their tanks to an upper fitting, which I believe is the way it’s supposed to work, and every winter night the water in those pipes freezes. Since the pipes are heavily insulated, they may or may not thaw again in time to add water to the tanks. D&L actually burned out a water pump one time on account of this.

They have tried various expedients but are always reduced to using hot water to dissolve the ice plugs. This year Neighbor J, who also objects to the hordes of mice nesting in the insulation, is trying something innovative.1029140933First he re-wrapped the pipe with fiberglass insulation, then bound it with a tarp with the seams tightly bound to discourage mice. Then on the top of the whole rig he’s installing the dome of an old light tube on the theory that anything that will concentrate light will also concentrate heat. Finally he’s going to wall the whole thing with sandbags – which I suggested, because that worked great for me.

And we’ll see if that doesn’t fix the problem. :)

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Hotspot Bleg

Here at the Secret Lair we’re trying out a new piece of gear. It’s a UMX hotspot, sent for evaluation by a generous reader – I’ll be taking over and paying for the account. And just at the point where I was mostly sold, it went and decided “No Web for You.”100_4452
Cell coverage out here in the boonies is not all that great at the best of times. I tried another hotspot more than a year ago and found there was no service at all. This one works: I’ve been using it since Saturday with mixed results. Sometimes it’s faster than the satellite dish – not usually too hard to do – and sometimes it drops right out. This morning it did that last thing even though the icon on the ‘pooter’s toolbar said I had the best connection I’d ever seen with it.

I plugged my satellite modem back in, just to eliminate the computer as the cause of the problem. It worked just fine.

Regular readers know I’m not too fond of Wildblue, my provider of several years’ tenure. I’d love to dump it, but would prefer that it be for something better. The hotspot has several advantages, including a superior download limit and lower operating cost. Also, recent experimentation told me – belatedly, I confess – that most of the power draw I’ve been blaming on my ‘pooter is actually going to run the modem. So yeah, I’d love to go to a hotspot. But…

Ian had a similar problem only much worse when he bought a hotspot for his Cave. It’s a concrete-and-steel structure that’s pretty much impervious to radio waves. If the Norks start popping off EMP bombs in the atmo, that’s where I want to hustle my electronics because the Cave is apparently a pretty darned good Faraday cage. He solved the problem by installing a booster antenna on a mast and now has the best reception in the Gulch. Maybe I could do the same? I don’t even see a way to hook this hotspot to such a thing: The only connection is for the charger.

Advice? Please? I’m on a time crunch here – Like I must make a decision before November.

ETA: Okay, this must be an account problem. The computer sees the hotspot just fine but doesn’t connect to the net at all. I’m back on the satellite modem for now.

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That’s a good question. I don’t know the answer for sure.

Question of the Day: Would You Provide Security for a ‘Disarmenter’ Who’d Mocked You?

Lo and behold, when I got inside, some yuppie soccer Mom type wear(ing) a “Moms Demand Action” t-shirt spotted me and the sidearm on my hip and immediately started ranting about how I was dangerous and scary, that my big, bad SigSauer made her nervous, how did she know I wasn’t going to shoot everybody in the joint, etc. I did my best to ignore her, hit the latrine, and came back out and paid for my gas.

While I was walking to the door, I noticed the doped up potential troublemaker was waving his arms around, beating on his chest and (gesturing) at people like he was going to throw a punch while yelling, “I’ma f* you up! Y’all don’t want none!” and so on.

I walked out the door to head to the car, and when I did, the Mom’s Demand nutjob approached from my right and quietly asked, “Would you walk me to my car?”

My first response is to say I’d go ahead and do it, because I like to keep on the plus side of the good/bad karma ratio. I’m not certain that’s the right answer.

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I love this guy.

The Adaptive Curmudgeon buys (or actually attempts to buy, so far) a cord of wood.

I stack’em in order, so you don’t have to. Which is more than Mudge is gonna end up with, I do predict.

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Must be gettin’ on toward election time…

…because the same old damn argument is raging again. (Or still. Whatever. It never stops, but it only rages once every two years.)

“If you don’t vote, you don’t have any right to complain.”

Which to me always seems exactly backward. If you vote, you’re acknowledging the legitimacy of the system as it has devolved so what are you complaining about? You’re getting just what you said you wanted: More government*.

So am I, of course, but let that go for a moment.

I’m just stating that because I don’t pretend to stand above the argument. If the argument must happen at all, that’s the side I’d take in it. To quote the cliché, No matter who you vote for government wins. All this is brought to mind on this beautiful if chilly Tuesday by reading all about it here, in a rather unusual example of the argument in that both sides are expressed quite well as is the third conclusion which somebody will inevitably draw, which is that it’s time to start letting Mssrs. Stoner and Kalashnikov do the voting.

And that’s wrong, too. In fact that’s the worst conclusion you’ll find in the box: the course of despair, in which you blow off steam until some overgeared drone blows off your head. And/or burns your house down around you. Continue reading

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So the boys had quite a weekend, relatively speaking…

Friday afternoon Landlady texted me that she was coming up that evening. Friday night just before my bedtime I let the boys out and Ghost vanished. He usually pulls this Saturday morning, but decided not to wait. So that was the last I saw of him for a while.
100_4444Which left me and Little Bear batching it. Unfortunately for LB, I was also out and around in dogless ways quite a lot of Saturday which left him guarding the Lair all alone. LB doesn’t actually spend very much time all alone, and he doesn’t like it.100_4448So I brought him back the ribs of an enemy as a consolation prize. He still wasn’t happy, but was mostly too busy crunching bones to complain. LB’s an uncomplicated soul.

Speaking of bones and complications: They’re kind of an issue when both dogs are around. Ghost isn’t especially enthusiastic about them while Little Bear thinks they’re one of the best things in his world. But Ghost can’t stand the sight of LB getting a treat he doesn’t also get. So I always need two, but that doesn’t help. Ghost invariably takes his off somewhere and forgets it five minutes later. But then he comes back to the Lair to find LB happily knoshing on his. This is offensive to Ghost, and it causes discord. LB is normally very good about playing second fiddle, but there are limits. He’s aware that he’s bigger and stronger than…pretty much everything except me, and he will defend his bone. But Ghost is First Dog and doesn’t think anybody should have a treat he doesn’t have. So bones normally only appear when I’m down to the one dog – it’s just simpler that way, and I like simple.100_4449A couple of my girls also seem to have decided to go on strike Saturday. Everybody’s a critic.

But this morning we were all back together, and I got the boys’ attention in their very favorite way. While I was in town I splurged on a can of Spam, the genuine article. LB, who can be completely deaf to an angry call from ten feet behind him, can detect the sound of a Spam can’s top coming off in Iowa. No sooner did I peel it back than I heard a hundred-plus pounds of dog hitting the front steps. Ghost, not quite so uncomplicated, detected a possible trap and hung back until assaulted by the scent of frying Spam which he can no more resist than the sight of a cottontail disappearing into the brush.100_4450 When there’s Spam, I always have to fry up fifty percent more than I plan to eat. If I plan to eat in peace, that is. And just to keep them guessing, this time it wasn’t a trap. As soon as breakfast was over we all set out for Monday morning shit-shoveling and brush-hauling.

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A bit of Sunday morning schadenfreude

Remember Amber Vinson? She was one of those two nurses who contracted ebola, and I’m happy to hear that she’s been declared clear. It was widely reported that shortly before her temperature rose she was on a trip that involved airline travel.

And we all know what we are required by statute to endure before exercising the privilege of air travel, don’t we, campers?


Guess who’s having an unpleasant, albeit leisurely and fully-paid, month?


The thoughts and prayers of TUAK staff and management go out to our brave protector in hopes of a fitting outcome.


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From the “Welcome to the party, pal” files…

I don’t spend a lot of time at NRO because all statists taste the same to me. Having uttered the obligatory exculpation, I’ll go ahead and admit that Kevin Williamson is an excellent writer and something of a guilty pleasure. Yeah, he’s a conservative statist but he always seems so enticingly on the brink of joining us here in the wilderness. Maybe someday he’ll become Joe Sobran.

This morning I read his column Meet the New Serfs: You. There’s nothing in it regular TUAK readers are likely to find new, but he seems to have found the discovery jolting and he writes about it well. Enjoy.

If you’re an ordinary schmo, a typo can land you in jail. If you work for the government, you can burn the face off a baby and walk.

Even in medieval times, the distinction between lords and serfs was not so pronounced.

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I presume his full name is Zale Thompson Derka Derka Mohammed Jihad.

But then again maybe this is just workplace violence. Hey, weird things happen.

I kinda doubt it, though…a_zalethompsonGiven other things in the recent news, it would be a helluva coincidence if this guy turned out to be a Nordic Baptist who just decided it was a beautiful day to take a hatchet to a couple of cops. Assuming he really was practicing ecumenicism jihad-style, as I do assume, please sit back and join me in observing with dismay as the screeching jihadophobes, in partnership with every government on the continent, proceed to draw (and act upon) all the wrong conclusions.

For I wish to point out that this fellow fell prey to one of the classic blunders. And in NYC, he really had to go out of his way to do it. He (Yes, I’ll go here. I have no shame or sense of originality) brought a hatchet to a gunfight. He actually sought out four of the very few people on a NYC street absolutely guaranteed to be properly armed, and then he beaned one of them with a hatchet. The result was written:

“As he continued his assault, the remaining two officers then fired on the armed suspect who fell to the ground dropping the hatchet,” Bratton said. “The suspect was pronounced dead at the scene.”

So it didn’t work out very well for the guy with the hatchet*. But now one of two things will happen: Either the feds will decide and the State Media will report that Zale Thompson was actually a crazed Estwing salesman and this is just random workplace violence like the last time, or he really was a wannabe jihadi and we’ll all be directed to run in circles, wave our arms and cry for more protection.

Under no circumstances will a more logical lesson be drawn, nor will it be promulgated. Because that way lies chaos, of course. Self-reliance would be a terrible thing to ask of the lowing herd. No, what this situation will call for is more government.

*Nor, as Bear points out in the comments, for the innocent bystander gunned down by the crack NYPD sharpshooters.

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The sun is growing weak…

Almost November, and the sun isn’t its usual lethal self.100_4443As the shadows lean toward the east I go to collect my laundry, only to find the thicker stuff still sodden. In two more months’ time it will have frozen there, only becoming dry when the frozen water sublimates into the very dry air.

Much as I dislike winter, sometimes I like the slow, building anticipation of it even less.

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Gun rights compromise explained


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Uncle Joel fires an M1 v*e*r*y s*l*o*w*l*y

From Forgotten Weapons, of course, though the Garand would take a lot of forgetting.

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The apocalypse may not be televised, but it will be politicized.

I recall somebody saying not long ago that the ebola scare would definitely not be politicized. I don’t recall who said that, or in what universe that person was standing at the time.

Because this is ‘Murca, buddy, and we politicize everything we possibly can. Case in point:

In America, we don’t kill the Ebola dog

"That's right, chump. You're looking at a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the genuine article, so cute you won't need sugar on your cereal for a month just from looking at me.  "Um...why are you looking at me like that?"

“That’s right, chump. You’re looking at a Cavalier King Charles spaniel, the genuine article, so cute you won’t need sugar on your cereal for a month just from looking at me.
“Um…why are you looking at me like that?”

We’re looking at you like that, Fido, because it seems you’ve managed to become a political issue.

I know what you’re thinking. Cute dog, tested negative for the virus, good news. Right? Well of course it is. I like dogs. But that’s not really the story of the piece.

America is a compassionate nation to be sure, and we love our dogs. But even more than that, the bureaucrats in Washington love to win elections. And with only two weeks to go before the midterms, there was no way on God’s green Earth that anyone in the CDC was going to be allowed to give the order to put that dog down. The headlines would have been a nightmare and the name Bentley would, you may rest assured, have come up during a White House press room briefing.

And oh by the way, in case anybody cares in an election year, that nurse might live as well. So that happened. But this morning the news seems to be all about her dog.

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I suppose if I didn’t know about it, he’s not hurting me.

I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t come from an especially rich background. Due to the effort of my father, I was born in Detroit and not on a crappy farm somewhere outside Moscow, Michigan. We weren’t poor white trash, in that we weren’t poor. We sure weren’t rich. I’m familiar with the demographics of a trailer park.

I don’t mention that to brag or whine, but just as prologue. Now and then in the course of any day you’re likely to encounter something that reminds you of things you saw when you were young, and as often as not it’ll be something you were just as happy to forget.

One thing I grew up familiar with was preachers on the television. I never went through a religious phase, and spent far more time listening to preachers in churches than I cared to when I was a boy, so I sure wasn’t going to spend valuable TV time on them. Still it seemed like they were always there, and as time went by and I got older I learned about some of them through sheer osmosis.

Most were innocuous enough. They weren’t hurting anybody I could see. But there were two creatures I just couldn’t stand. And they popped up with punishing frequency, like your very least favorite Jackson Five song.bakkerAs far as I could tell during all the millisecond-long periods in which I watched their show, the road to salvation lay entirely in the act of sending money to Jim & Tammy Faye. And I knew people who did it. You couldn’t argue with’em. Okay, none of my business, and those people would probably throw their money away some way regardless. But these two were as shameless as they were ubiquitous. By the mid-eighties, they were a spectator sport. Which, since I couldn’t stand the sight of them, made me hate them the more.

So I was very pleasantly surprised when Jim Bakker actually went to Club Fed for many, many counts of fraud. From that time 25 years ago, I rarely if ever gave him a thought.

And that’s why I felt like a cockroach ran across me when I clicked on a link at a Codrea post this afternoon and found myself staring at Jim Bakker’s elderly and apparently non-incarcerated phiz.

Turns out (I looked it up) he got sprung after only five years. He’s been out for decades. And you’ll have to click through to see what he’s doing for a living these days – you’ll never guess.

Also, if I ever get it into my head to buy ‘survival food’ off a TV infomercial, I’m first going to examine very closely who’s selling it.

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Lord, Mr. Freud.

I had a really embarrassing brain fart regarding those arsenic caps I was supposed to have finished last weekend. I did work on them Saturday, but due to some supply deficiencies couldn’t finish. Geiger Counter Guy was away at a trade show, so I figured I’d talk to him about it on Monday.

Then I completely forgot the whole thing.

I continued forgetting until last night, when I got a voicemail from GC Guy asking if I was ever planning to, you know, do my job. His family’s company isn’t screaming about their complete lack of arsenic caps any more quietly now than they were six days ago.

So that’s where I’ve been, and now my part of it is done. Though it seems we’ll be getting back to work on them rather sooner than usual, or at least so he says.

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