Busy Morning

Here’s the world famous woodsman, doing woodsy things to wood.
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I don’t usually get serious about firewood until sometime in October, but lately it’s been piling up in the yard due to other gigs and needs to be cut and split whether I’m really ready to or not.

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Private to Nosmo King

I got a phone call from Ian this afternoon. He’s planning to come up Wednesday after his extremely unsatisfactory trip to the Pecos Run & Gun, for which he spent weeks training.

“Hey, I’ve got two rather large and extremely light boxes from Amazon here for you. Do you have any idea what they are?”

As a matter of fact I did, and I was surprised they’d arrived so soon. “Yeah, they’re a care package from Nosmo King, one of my more generous readers.”

“Well, they’re filling up my whole truck bed, and I’ve got animal feed to bring up. Ammo. Big guns. You know, the usual. Any way I can repackage them?”

“Oh, I don’t think that’ll be a problem.”4806857615We had a discussion a few days ago in which some readers deplored my practice of doing laundry in 5-gallon buckets. Nosmo decided to go proactive, and ordered two 10-gallon pails for me. I do believe it’ll be an improvement, but will certainly report back.

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Those clever Germans showed us the way.

So there’s been another security breach at the White House. A crazy guy jumped the fence and the highly trained professionals in the Secret Service Security Force forgot to lock the front door, so we must all be punished more.

the U.S. Secret Service is weighing a series of measures that would move tourists and D.C. residents farther away from the complex to reduce the chances of intruders piercing its security perimeter and endangering the president.

One proposal is to keep people off the sidewalks around the White House fence and create several yards of additional barrier around the compound’s perimeter. Another is to screen visitors as far as a block away from the entrance gates.

We here at TUAK believe no effort must be spared in safeguarding the safety and security of our ruling class. With great respect for the highly trained professionals of the White House security forces, these half measures must cease immediately.wall1Using skilled East German craftsmen, a protective barrier must be constructed surrounding the entirety of Washington DC, and undesirable civilians removed.wall5No expense must be spared, no precaution overlooked.wall3With full protection details inside the wall to prevent any contamination from possibly terroristic citizens, a volunteer civilian force must be raised to keep the inhabitants securely inside for their own protection.wall4Finally, an outer perimeter of antiaircraft defenses, also manned (or womanned, whatever) 24/7 by civilian volunteers will protect our rulers from any aircraft entering or leaving the forbidden zone.

Only then can our beloved leaders be kept safe. This must be done!

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I laughed, I cried…No, I’m lying. Really I just laughed.

“I appreciate your honesty. Not, you know, a lot, but…”

Alaskan news reporter files a blatantly biased report, fires herself for it on air, pretty much forecloses any possibility of any future on-air career ever, anywhere, no way, uh uh.

Alternate explanation: Don’t use your own product when you know you’re going in front of a camera.

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Birds in the yard

Roadrunners are relatively rare here, which is why with three quick sightings I think I’ve been seeing the same bird. First it showed up on Landlady’s ridge. Next day in my yard, and then later that afternoon I saw it or one just like it about half a mile away.

Someday I'm gonna blow $100 on another decent camera, then kill it in six months like all the others.

Someday I’m gonna blow $100 on another decent camera, then kill it in six months like all the others.

With this camera you couldn’t see it clearly even if I weren’t shooting through a screen, but take my word that that vaguely V-shaped object is a roadrunner.

Somebody gave me a melon that had dried up in a fridge, and I tossed it to the girls.
0922141020aI wouldn’t say they were appreciative, but at least they were enthusiastic.

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And that, children, is why we make wells much smaller now.

Shamelessly stolen from JDZ

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Because dogs would definitely do this. Some dogs, anyway. Ghost would totally do this. In fact he sort of has.
cbr1x

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Me so self-satisfied…

Several years ago when I started baking my own bread, Landlady used to bring in big sacks of flour from Costco. I thought that was really cool, y’know, like a real baker. Then that supply dried up – after a while the only reason she was paying for a Costco membership was because sometimes I gave her money and asked her to bring bulk food up, and it wasn’t worth it – and I started looking for other sources of flour.

The one little food market in the increasingly crappy town nearest where I live sometimes had Bluebird flour in 20-pound sacks, but it cost damn near $1 a pound and wasn’t especially good flour. Sometimes I could get it at the big town about 50 miles away but I go there rarely and like to keep between 50 and 100 pounds of flour on hand. It was becoming a problem. The supply-which-must-never-dwindle was dwindling.

A solution came from the damndest place. The aforementioned crappy little town used to have two dollar stores until one recently closed. That one always carries flour, and it’s cheap, but it’s a lousy house brand that makes Bluebird look like exotic designer flour ground with the dainty bound feet of dedicated nubile maidens from the Isle of Flouros. It’s somewhere in the Aegean, kind of a trade secret. Don’t bother looking for it on any map. You can practically taste the dessicated cockroach fragments. I’d rather not use it but I would if I had to. It was at least cheap and available.

Then the situation changed dramatically. Somehow or other the local Dollar General ended up with a pallet of Gold Medal, way better than you normally see around here, for $2.50 a sack. I, along with neighbor L and a few other people, made that supply go away quickly. Lest the situation turn out to have been a fluke, L had a talk with the manager – and yeah it’s just a dollar store but this ain’t no big town. This guy knows his customer base – and he started stocking it whenever possible. We go shopping there almost every Saturday ’cause that’s coupon day, and when there’s Gold Medal on the shelf we descend on it.
100_440720 pounds at a time, I’ve been able to refill my flour pails and even start working on the overflow tub.

When I first moved out here, I’d have looked you in the eye and declared with a quiver of conviction in my voice that I didn’t have the slightest remnant of city-boy snobbishness left in me. But it still took months before I’d lower myself to shop for food in a dollar store. Turns out you can get the best deals there, if you just keep your eyes open for what’s worth it and what isn’t.

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History is written by the winners…

…and the winners are often right bastards. Even – maybe especially – when they’re the Good Guys.

News of the big vote in Scotland on whether to stay a part of Great Britain was all over the radio and Internet all this past week. It stirred up a recurring news piece about American attitudes toward secession. Seems there was this Reuters poll…

A new Reuters poll which asks Americans if they would want their state to secede from the UNION of the United States has found that 1 in 4 Americans would say “yes.”

Okay, fine, yet another news article about an opinion poll. Who cares? But this particular article, linked by Wendy McElroy, got into the pros and cons of the one serious attempt at secession in American history and included a sentence that had me grinding my teeth before my first cup was dry… Continue reading

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More along the lines of “I’m getting too old for this.”

It’s Friday, which has become the day we fill a Jeep trailer with horse shit. After most of a rainy week, it’s not my favorite thing.
0919140959aAfter a nice deep soaking, we’re probably well on the way to being able to collect saltpetre here. We’ve certainly got enough horseshit.
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Today, unlike yesterday, the sunshine held on. The first stage of work took nearly two hours and Ghost had had quite enough of the hot Jeep. So he chose to keep me company under a nearby juniper.

Once I’d emptied the trailer the first time, I took the boys home. It was getting too hot. Then it was back to J&H’s for…
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More brush hauling! Yay! But I am now officially done with that gully forever and ever, world without end, amen.

And I am very tired and filthy, and planning to toddle over to Ian’s and borrow his shower.

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The key to joie de vivre in hand-washing…

…is frequency.

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I’ll remember that advice with a bitter sneer in a few months when I’m heating water on the stove and trying to pound sweatshirts clean in my kitchen sink. But for now, a sunny day without (or even with) shit-shoveling duties is likely to be laundry day. A week is a long time to let it build up, when you’re washing it by the bucket-load.
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Kind reader AS sent me a box of prosthetic parts, some of which I can’t use and some I might be able to use but don’t really know how. But one thing I do understand is stump socks. I moved out here with a bunch of good wool socks and they last well, but that was eight years ago and they don’t last quite that well. And they’re expensive. A new stump sock in the right size, in the right thickness, is precious as gold and he sent me a few.

Last night I found out he did more than that. I got an email from a prosthetist he’d contacted on my behalf, offering parts and advice. I replied very promptly with pix and specs on what I’ve got, which really is starting to need refurbishment. So that happened, and I’m very appreciative.

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After almost four days with no more than peek-a-boo sun…

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A day earlier than predicted, but this area seems to take pleasure in confounding weathermen. Anyway I heard on the radio yesterday that that tropical storm down south had fizzled out.

I must say my tiny little solar power system (400 watts of panel, 460 A/h batts) balances very well with the way I use it. Even on a completely overcast day I get some push from the panels, not enough to let me play on the pooter promiscuously but more than enough for lights at night as long as I leave the batteries to charge during the day. I think this is the longest cloudy spell we’ve had since installing the new batteries in February and I still don’t know how long they’d run before being fully discharged. Far longer than three or four days, it seems.

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Here’s something far more interesting.

Here’s Karl Kasarda in a Red Skull haircut waving a submachinegun around! Because who wouldn’t find that a confidence-builder?

Seriously, Ian and Karl got a lot of comments about the trailer for the first episode of their new InRange show, and how it doesn’t actually say that much about what’s in the first episode of their new InRange show. :)

So they’ve made another trailer that does, and here it is.

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Do you know what I care about even less than what-all some celebrity was seen wearing at some party?

Romney will run, top Wall Street backer predicts: ‘I think he’s going to do it’

Fade further into obscurity already. Geez.

Nice hair, though.

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Did you know…

…that water can fall right out of the sky? For hour after hour? For, like, days?

rainyday
I’m in charge of weather around here, and the boys are becoming increasingly critical of my mismanagement. Personally I have several books I could be reading, and I would if only Ghost would give me back the chair.

Make it stop, and the chair will be returned unharmed.

Make it stop, and the chair will be returned unharmed.

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The Gulch’s running gag…

…is that a visit from the two actual property-holders, Landlady and Ian, is more likely than not to bring horrid weather where before there were clear skies and fair temps. Over the past couple of months their visits have set that rule on its ear: Things are gorgeous until moments after I say farewell to their taillights, and then the clouds sock in and there’s rain. And more rain. We’ve been promised a late-monsoon storm for almost a week and it held off until I’d about decided it was mythical. Then Landlady and Ian went home, and so came the clouds and rain. Nothing apocalyptic, just enough to keep me grumping indoors. Senseless gusts of wind that keep things scattered around the yard where I had thought them neatly stacked. And of course pollen and wild swings in humidity which keep Uncle Joel lurching for the tissue box or the pocket where he keeps the scary bandanna. Probably in another couple of weeks things will settle down and we’ll get a month of cool autumn, and then we’ll find out what winter has to offer.

This weekend’s visit brought a couple of thoughtful care packages. I’m often struck by just how timely these can be. A kind reader who shares my odd number of feet promised a box of spare prosthetic parts including… Continue reading

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Some days…

I’ve got care package acknowledgements to make, observations about synchronicity to bloviate about, posts that will transform your life for the better in utterly cosmic ways. But I feel like crap and it’s been a lousy day and all I want is to not do that right now. Mañana.

wile

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On Inrange.tv

Ok, you guys know Ian is a close friend of mine. So if his new offering of Inrange.tv were a total failure, I’d just sort of go silent. Obviously I hope he does well, but first he’s obligated to do good. Ol’ hermit Joel has a satellite connection with a maximum 750 megabytes per month, so at 5-point-something gigabytes per download I was not in a position to experience the joy or sadness. So I plugged the show and stated my expectations because I know Ian and Forgotten Weapons, but at the time I had never actually seen the thing.

Now that I’ve seen the first iteration of Inrange, I can honestly say this is something I think you’ll find worth your time and $2.99.

There are four major segments. The first, on the Lage conversion to the Mac-11 submachine gun, at first left me a little cold I must admit. Karl is a serious competitive 3-gun shooter and knows a great more about modern machine guns than I do, and he went off in directions I didn’t think the average (ie, me) shooter would find all that riveting. But he and Ian tied it together nicely at the end, showing reasons why a person who’s interested in maybe getting into full-auto might find this a good entry rather than choosing a historical subgun or a beltfed.

The second segment is the one where I perked up my ears, because I was involved in this one. Most of us have heard of the Allied propaganda from WWI about evil Huns and their vile, inhumane sawtoothed bayonets. Actually it turns out the saw teeth were simply provided as an expedient method of building fighting positions. Would they work? Segment Two showed that they would, though a standard bucksaw would certainly be a better choice. Full disclosure: that sawbuck he’s working on is mine, as is the off-camera voice.

Segment three is an interview with a fellow named Jim Fuller of Rifle Dynamics, an AK specialist. Being an AK shooter myself, I was interested to watch this. Fuller did appear to be on meth at the time, so despite his undoubted expertise it was a little hard to follow what the hell he was talking about. AKs don’t have the reputation for modification that ARs do, but still there is quite a bit of tweaking (heh) that can be done and this segment gets into that in some detail. I’ve been examining the combination of folding stock vs. front-mounted optic on an AK myself, so I found this segment more informative than at first I thought I might.

The final segment is a series of interviews with people participating in a full-auto shoot associated with the Defcon Hacker Conference in Las Vegas last month. I really wouldn’t have thought there would be a lot of connection between gun nerds and computer nerds, but it turns out that isn’t the case at all and their stated reasons for that were quite well articulated.

There have been some criticisms of the sound quality in the connecting studio segments with Ian and Karl, and having now watched the show I’d have to concede those criticisms are justified. There are definitely improvements to be made, and I have no doubt they will be made.

Having said that, there have also been criticisms concerning the $2.99 subscription cost, since anybody can go to Youtube and watch all sorts of gun videos for free. As to these criticisms, I must say the words “whining bullshit” come to mind. It’s perfectly true that the Forgotten Weapons videos are free, and the InRange videos are not. That’s because FW videos don’t involve travel and production expenses, while InRange definitely does. If you want to watch some guy shooting guns he already has handy on a range that’s right there for using, you’ll always be able to watch that for free and god bless. Think of InRange as the Top Gear of gun videos: There’s a qualitative difference between a Ford Pinto and a Bugatti Veyron, and this is it right here.

In conclusion, in the opinion of this hermitish gun nut you’ll find InRange.tv well worth your time and $2.99 investment*. Enjoy!


*And no, I didn’t get paid to say that.

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When “Don’t Tread on Me” becomes…

“Don’t Drone Me, Bro!”

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Virginia’s special “Don’t Tread on Me” license plate featuring the Gadsden flag has exploded in popularity since its introduction. It has quickly overtaken many other specialty license plates in the Old Dominion.

If anybody out there gets the irony of putting a Gadsden flag on a license plate, they’re keeping it to themselves. But given the one they chose to photograph, maybe somebody does at that.
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I’m not your dad, so you kids do what you want. But…

I’m just sayin’: If you’re doing it this way, you’re doing it wrong.

At Ohio State University, to avoid being guilty of “sexual assault” or “sexual violence,” you and your partner now apparently have to agree on the reason WHY you are making out or having sex. It’s not enough to agree to DO it, you have to agree on WHY: there has to be agreement “regarding the who, what, where, when, why, and how this sexual activity will take place.”

And there’s apparently talk of getting it in writing. Given some of the hyperbolic news stories coming out of colleges these days that really might not be a bad idea, though a quicker and surer buzzkill I truly can’t imagine.

I have occasionally speculated that if I were a college student in the scary environment they’ve built for themselves, I’d have died a virgin just because that’s safer and simpler.

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Me so exploited

horsesWhile the Alpha-Plus citizens are forced to tend to the needs of smelly, nasty horses…

pull1…we happy Epsilons seek hearty exercise in the rock gullies. We practice our boy scout knots on the wood snags…

pull2…then jerk them into the clean, uncluttered sand. Silly Alpha-Pluses, to think of this as unpleasant desert!

habitatWe happy Epsilons use this material to build habitat for our wild friends, the rats and snakes!

manureAnd then we pile up healthy fertilizer in the shining sun! Happy, happy Epsilons!

Got paid, and tomorrow I’m off to the big town about 50 miles away to spend my riches on glaucoma meds and – hopefully – a pair of boots.

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