Monday, March 31, 2014

Just Because

It's been a long hard day of doctor visits (x2), third world box stores, and banks. Spent most of the day with a Kindle stuck under my nose.

I feel like the pooch in the tub...


Saturday, March 29, 2014


Some of you I'm sure seldom read and that is fine...sad, but fine. I cannot live without the written word, period.

If you indeed enjoy the quiet moments alone with the great authors of our time you will find this of interest.

On the other hand if your inclination is to exclaim out loud, "That sure is a thick book," on the rare occasion you actually find yourself in close proximity to a library - never mind.


Soft Light

One of my readers, Linda, left a comment and asked if the old hurricane lantern pictured in my last post was mine....and in so doing she reminded me I do need to throw a container in the back of my truck. I want another five gallons of kerosene for my oil lamps. Hurricane season is just around the bend.

We own dozens of oil lamps (kerosene) and keep the lamps scattered thru out the house. There are miniature lamps, and huge very old lamps of all shapes and sizes and all have nice trimmed wicks that give gentle bright light. The lamps have proven their worth on many a dark rainy night when the winds roar and trees fall.

Between our home generator and the lamps and various forms of flashlights (torches to you good folks in Great Britain and Ireland) we're able to survive the storms without busted knee caps and broken bones.

I haven't the time at present to dive into great detail but suffice it to say if you're a novice prepper (survivalist) hit the garage sales and snatch the good offerings...if the brass works screw into the base, its a good one, and probably very old. If the wick works screw onto the base its still good but not high quality. I'm not sure when the manufacturing techniques changed but I'm sure someone will inform us.

Pictured, four oil lamps from Google files. Not mine.
Aladdin made some wonderful lamps. And hey, don't forget the wicks.

That is all.


Friday, March 28, 2014

The Sound of Rain

Has a wonderfully soothing quality, doesn't it.

This evening I believe I'll put my feet to rest and read by lamplight, but not before I search Ebay for a vintage leather holster for one of my favorite handguns. Wish me luck. 

This rain is nice indeed.

Goodnight, my friends.


Double Dose

My favorite brand of cereal sat there in all its glory with a flag which read, gluten free.

The stores taped music station played scratchy sixties rock transformed into 'put me to sleep while I walk' nonsense tunes. Older women and snap card recipients strolled the aisles with their elbows firmly planted atop the store carts as if each and every step would be their last. The gluten free thing bugged the hell out of me.

The little girl in the green store vest came close as she used her inventory ray gun. She snapped scans of scans, and left pleasant trails of perfume in her wake. I reached out, said, "Hey, what's happened to my cereal? Its been highjacked," or words to that effect.

"Huh?" I could see we were off to great start.

I tried once more, "Have you this cereal," I pointed, "Unaltered from its original form?"

"Ah, I don't know. Like, what do 'ya mean?" Such a bright girl, wonderful girl.

Play time. "Please, dear pretty girl, is it possible for you or either management to please check your inventory for this particular brand of cereal in its original package, unaltered, with its everyday hundred year flavor, texture, and if it isn't to much of a bother, I'd like extra, extra, double-dosed gluten. I like's the gluey aftertaste I so much appreciate...the way it mingles with the whole  milk, it really kick starts my mornings. Really, do you believe it possible?"

Her little brown eyes expand. She takes a half-step back and gets all Baptist on me with, "Oh, my God. That stuff will kill you. Why do you think they put 'Gluten Free' on the box. You really shouldn't eat that stuff."

Such a cute little booger, wonderful child. Me, all smiles with, "Like egg yolks....."


"And, sausage, and bacon?"

"Duh, oops, er..."

"May I ask, please little one - what exactly is gluten?"

"I don't know, kinda like a chemical...?"

I just stood there, slumped shouldered and with a pretend sad smile on my face. "No, dear girl, its basically a gluey substance made from wheat, and/or barley and rye. It appears the American liberal media and the hoard which presently occupy the White House has convinced the general public that to even sniff a gluten's tail will give you cancer and turn your tallywacker white. And, sadly otherwise intelligent people have convinced themselves it's true. But, that's fine. The government has folks dead set against animal fats too....takes all kinds."

For some strange reason she took another step, back. Odd girl indeed.

I took the box of Cheerios, flipped the crap in my grip, leaned close and said, "Bet you hate guns and puppy dogs too."



Thursday, March 27, 2014

Pure Capitalism

I just placed two inexpensive rifle scopes out for sale with a handwritten note, 'For sale, $20.00 each or two for $50.00.'

Sometimes you just place the bait and wait for the first tug - then set the hook.

I should be ashamed of myself...


On the Road

She's on the cell to her mother when I hear, "I'll leave Thursday, early."  I flip the newspaper aside and throw a long look in her direction - one of those, 'Huh, what 'da heck did you just say,' kinda looks, like that...

Her mother, again. Bless her heart she's headed back to Atlanta, land of the democritter, for another examination. My lovely wife will drive. She leaves this morning. I packed her SUV. She has water, blankets, a nice first aid kit, tools, flashlight, maps (Remember maps?) and her Get Home Bag, and of course, personal protection. Hey, it's a long drive to Crittersville.

Here's the thing - she asked for a second handgun, and not just any handgun. She wanted a revolver. And, she wanted me to spread a lap quilt on our coffee table and explain, again, how to load the magazines and operate her little Ruger LCP. So I jog to the firearms safe and remove a little Smith & Wesson Ladysmith .38 (Model 60), a nice little handgun. I slipped five Plus P's inside.

Twenty minutes later she's comfortable with the Elsiepea. She's slapping those magazines home like a pro. Me, all proud of her and stuff....

Asked her, "When do you cease fire?"

"The moment the booger ceases to moan."

Good girl.

I explained the need of practical footwear, socks, and a heavy jacket or coat. I know....I do tend to get carried away with the prep stuff, but remember, she's my wife and I'm kinda attached and very fond of her, and let's not forget her elderly mother. The LadySmith is for Mom - the 'Ole Girl is good with a revolver.

Each of my girls will hump full boxes of ammunition. When asked why I threw in the spare ammo I just turned to her and said, "Hey, Zombies."

Be careful out there....


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

For Your Listening Pleasure

Just a quick one here...

In my last post I mentioned my nighttime radio activities, how I enjoy shortwave....thought I post this link for your listening pleasure.

Primetime Shortwave. It's a very helpful guide and has most frequency listings. I always check the last update and print. This is a private endeavor so if you've the means and enjoy global shortwave broadcast and the QSL card collecting hobby - throw the man a bone.

Gotta run. The bell, she rings.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Cat in the Lap

Still alive here. I'm on recess. Book and shortwave radio time. The old cat is in my lap and we're takin' life easy....

The taxes are finally finished, the plumber has completed his work and at a reasonable price, and the weather is once again cool and windy.

Life is good.

Now, if the dadgum preachers would get off the airwaves I'd be happy.



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Old Fire

In order to take a step back from the daily task of life I decided to fine tune my get home bag; thought I'd beat the mosquitoes and gnats and take advantage of our beautiful weather...two out of three isn't bad. Ever had a gnat build a nest inside your nose...

Anyhow...last week I found a stash of Vietnam era Hexamine fuel tabs, several bundles of the tubes to be exact, and a few Trioxane tabs. The Trioxane I'd dumped in a closet after a long ago camp trip and had flat forgotten the bag of hot stuff. Both these fuel tabs work well with the little stamped tin Esbit stoves.

Esbit stove, Germany.
I'd hate to depend on fuel tabs and Esbit stoves for all my on the road meals, but hey, it beats cold MRE's and coffee. The wee tabs will heat a cup of water for a nice mug of tea or hot chocolate. I've owned several Esbit stoves in my life. Most I lose. One I left on the banks of river when I packed in a hurry during a bad flood. They're cheap, buy two. In my humble opinion they fall under the category of a back-up to your main heat source.

A very old tube of Hexamine fuel tabs. 

Ragnar Benson had some very useful purposes for Hexamine tabs. The government ceased production probably for that very reason. I'll let you do the homework. I only have a few left, so no, I will not share.

Trioxane, package of, hot stuff.
Both fuel tabs burn clean and will burn the dickens out of your fingers if you hold the tab when you  set a match to it...light the fuel tablets on the ground or stove. I've even used my boot heel to slap out a slight trench and placed the tabs inside with cup atop.

Esbit stoves are sold on Ebay and arrive with a package of German brand fuel tabs, cheap.

Check those get home bags...if you lack an Esbit and fuel tabs they make a great addition and take very little space. The little Esbit is made of stamped metal and weights next to nothing. Just picture a cold wet night as you hunker down under the tarp...all those zombie democritters hot on your trail and the comfort a single fuel tab will provide.

Don't say I didn't warn you.



The thing is I need to climb into my handyman overalls, drive to Home Depot or Lowe's, and ask silly questions about parts I'm certain haven't seen dust on a shelf in years. Then I'll do a return trip and cuss and throw tools and after long consultation with the wife call a darn professional plumber. That's the crux of it. Yet, I shall try. Frugal is my middle name. But please allow me to yell this fact loud and clear....I hate home plumbing projects. I've yet to meet two pipes I've had the skill to wed without the joint ever so slowly bend in order to shed a tear of soft water.

The central single knob faucet of our tub shower combo leaks. Well, perhaps leaks is an understatement....the friggin sucker pours a stream of precious and very expensive water. We not only pay for the water but the disposal of water in the form of a city sewer tax based on usage. Liquid gold. And, I'm just stubborn enough to try and hunt down a repair kit and make an effort to replace those worn parts. If I screw the pooch the results could cost a thousand or so to repair. Three copper lines connect the back of this sucker. It's an older Delta.

Sweet Wife suggested we break the bank and purchase a newer model and then have the repair company install it. My manhood card took a hit....

We'll see. Hey, if you hear screams and a hard bump and several .45 shots from this'll know what just happened.


Friday, March 21, 2014


You should hear the birds sing. As my lovely wife likes to say, "They're singing their little hearts out." She's like that...seems we're to see temperatures in the low eighties today.

Earlier I checked my online business account, read a bit, then became so angry I slammed and broke a number two pencil on my desk. I'm sick and tired of the banks continued fee increases. The bank debits my account a floating fee for cash deposits. I've just discovered this fee doubled. I've had enough. Monday will find me with a new bank, probably a small credit union.

Trust me - you don't wanna screw with me today. I'm pissed. This has been an awful week.

Guess I should jerk another cup of coffee before I say something I'll regret.

See you guys later.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Optimus Hiker, Almost

Almost. I almost clicked. Then, I noticed the shipping cost.

Those Aussies....gotta love 'em.

Guess the hunt continues.


Home Defense

Here, watch this as I work on my taxes and rest my wounded muse. Then say hello to the very talented and nice folks on my sidebar.

As Arnold said, I'll be back.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Optimus and You

Have you one? Ever used or seen the little stoves in operation? I'd really like to hear your experiences, either good or bad.

I understand Optimus also made two burner stoves. I'd like a kerosene model as a backup to my other spirit stoves.

Early this evening I came very close to a purchase of a nice original Swedish made one burner from a company in Poland. At the very last second I though of you and flipped my wallet shut. I'll wait on your kind advice. That and the shipping cost darn near made me gag.



Know What I Want

A good 'ole RC Cola and a Moon Pie. Perhaps one of those little bags of Lance salted peanuts and a  tiny bottled Coke in which to pour the nuts and sip the fizz...

Don't even tell me you haven't tried Coke and peanuts.

It's been so long for me I can't remember the last taste.

Think of this as my bucket list in reverse.


Monday, March 17, 2014

The Irish

To others of my people....

Have a safe and happy St. Patrick's Day.


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Cranberries in March

Still here, just busy. She wanted baked turkey, with dressing and gravy. I am but her humble servant and as I type the bird is in the oven. She asked about I walked to the garage freezer and brought forth the red goodness. The cranberry sauce chills. Guess we'll have a holiday dish in March.

I aim to please.

The winds of today have forced me inside. I cannot paint under these conditions. So once again my Coleman stove restoration has been delayed, well almost, I did clean and polish a few minor fittings and screws and shot a layer of primer on each. If I can remember I'll snap a few pictures. The stove body is completely disassemble and primed...not much to show. 

Time to baste the bird, and read..see 'ya later.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jars of Blue and Green

Today we together made a huge pot of vegetable soup. She diced the potatoes as I browned the ground beef and chopped the onions. She smashed and diced the garlic and together we both took turns stirring the pot and the result was a very tasty but huge pot of soup. Even with two large bowls  for dinner we have far too much for us to refrigerate and feel safe it'll keep before we have completed the entire pot. Waste bugs me.

So, tomorrow I will break out the 'ole All American and a few Mason jars of blue and green and can the remaining soup. Besides, I need the practice. Along with Ball's Blue Book I shall also use Jackie Clay's excellent book on home canning for reference. I don't trust myself to remember every little step in the canning process, as you too shouldn't.

I'm sure we'll have at least three if not four quarts when the job is completed. As I said, I should can far more often. It's fun, and to a degree, an artful science. Besides, a stocked larder of home cooked and processed canned food gives great satisfaction.

If you consider yourself a survivalist (or Prepper) and haven't as yet set flame to canner - sorry, you're still in the minor leagues. Do yourself a favor and give it a try. If you are experienced please remember to hit the reference books for a refresher course, unless you're in Jackie Clay's realm. 



I hate to post news, but -

This just sucks.

How long before they order gallons of tattoo ink and tell us to stretch out our arms.


Friday, March 14, 2014

Dirty Girl

I hate a dirty handgun. This little beauty came in today covered in grime.

Her barrel was black as the bottom of a coal digger's butt.

Each cylinder required about twenty passes.

.32 S&W Safety Hammerless, 2nd Model circa 1902-1906.
Isn't that nickel finish purty...the little Lemon Squeezer is in fine shape and as soon as I find a box of ammo we'll take a walk, hand in hand.


City Boy Sports

This dude, "I need to shove off. Can't miss the Gators."

He hops from foot to foot, all bouncy and stuff. Gotta be fifty if he's a day old. Flannel shirt, jeans. Wants to sell me his Ruger Blackhawk in .357; problem is he failed to bring the firearm. Told him I will not offer a price sight unseen. Also reminded him he'd need to give me his price. Didn't like that...'tuff.

I'm dreaming its a three screw. He's not a member of our club. He's a 'ball' fan, which borders on wussy. Sorry if you fall in the same crack but that's just me. Nothing personal so don't drop off the follower list...matter fact I'd like two get with it.

Him, "I just love those boys." See what I mean....ball fans are strange. I give him a look, then, "You know, if firearms were incorporated into all forms of ball sports it would make it an interesting game."

"Ah, get out of here...."

"Really, just think about it. When the sides shift, say when the defense takes the court or field, they arrive on stage packing sidearms. Then, anytime said ball is in the air, the defense is given the chance to shoot the silly piece of rubber or pigskin flat. Just imagine the excitement."

Him, flushed face. Panties in a wad. Said, "Oh my God, that isn't safe."

I'm telling 'ya, wussies, metro-sexual. All of 'em.

(Sorry, I'm in a foul mood.)


Me, the Owl

I should grow feathers and talons and join the friggin owls on the limb. Here it is three-thirty in the friggin morning and I'm still awake. Just sat the Kindle down and I'm on my second glass of cold milk. Aside here - next gallon of milk I buy will be the full fat, bring on the cream, real milk. I'm sick of this watery pale white stuff.

I'm this close to downing a full bottle of sleep medication. Took one earlier...nothing, nada. Might as well eat candy. I expected to open my business between eight and nine...what, five hours from now. I'm telling 'ya, if I find sleep between now and isn't gonna happen. Damn, I hate late middle age.

Well...just look at me. I've written a rant.

Excuse me. I've another chapter to read.

Oh, I've replied to your most kind comments. You can thank me in the morning, ah wait....never mind.


Thursday, March 13, 2014

Kindle Fodder

Fed my Kindle this afternoon, then came home and collapsed...kinda feel not so good. Anyway, I thought I'd pass these novels along to you. Nice light reads but packed with some great advice on bug out and get home bags. For the most part I've forsaken the concept of a Bug Out Bag. I much prefer Get Home Bags....just my swing the way you wish.

Forgive the Amazon logos.

I downloaded the above two, the next is per-ordered and the fourth is still in the works. I may have posted these pics out of order.

Again, I might have the last two out of order so check with Amazon, or the author's website, here.

Like I said, although far from great literature the first in the series is a fun read. I haven't as yet read the second.


Please forgive my lack of replies to comments. I will visit with you tomorrow. Now, please excuse me while I pass out.


A Ramble

I hear a mockingbird's song, the tick tick tick of the timepiece above my desk. The sound of light traffic, and now a titmouse, or not. I hear the strong wind as it shifts the bracket of my old thermometer against the window frame. The squeak of my chair as I shift, and if I listen very closely, my breath. I hear the rattle of my silver bracelet when I move my wrist to type this...and I hear my keyboards padded strokes. Yet I grow deaf with age.

There was once a grove of gray-backed oaks with limbs heavy with Spanish moss. The grove was locally known for its high population of Fox and Gray squirrels and my bother and I hunted there as often as possible.

My brother was a pissant.

I, the eldest by four years, was wise and gave great counsel to my younger and height challenged sibling. I demanded, as befitted my status as older brother, obedience and discipline. Younger brother balked. He defied me. Me, a man of twelve whole years of life on this earth. The mighty mountain man of Florida and great slayer of the deadly saber-toothed squirrel. As was my birthright I'd correct his behavior, his sniveling disregard for my instructions, by a well placed palm against his noggin. Properly applied the results were most remarkable.

Early one frosty morning we eased from the house and moved as one towards the ancient live oak grove. We followed the creek bank and our boots squeaked in the pure white sand and the trees were alive with the drums of woodpeckers and always the scent of pine and oak mast and the water gave mist in the November chill.

Thirty minutes found us deep in a patch of palmettos our backs towards the gray bark and our shotguns close. He'd wiggle. Shift, and readjust his placement. Sniffle. Cough. Wiggle again. How many times had I suffered such misbehavior here in the cathedral of patience was worn to a razors edge. I smacked.

The blow landed like a small cannon to his right ear. He screamed. The birds took wing and the small game froze and our hide thus revealed. He continued to yell bloody murder so I whipped out another blow. Hey, you don't mess with older brothers.

He settled, stilled. Grew quiet. Contemplative. He gave me, a look. The sun had barely broken the eastern rise as we shared a thermos of coffee. Swift glances in his direction revealed one very disturbed boy. Some seconds later hr gently placed his coffee on a stump, took his single shot .410 in hand, and rose to full height. My brother, the peon, looked at me and said, "I'm gonna shot you in the ear."

"No you're not."

He smiled.

I asked, "You serious?"

Sometimes you just know.

He drew back the hammer on his Western Auto shotgun.

Quick as a snake I took to my feet and turned to run. Within two steps the muzzle blast just kissed the other edge of my right ear. It brought me to my knees. My world became one with pain. I did not hear the distant bird song nor the wind or the rustle of underbrush as I shifted my hands for purchase. I did not hear the creek's early morning flow, nor the hammer of the woodpecker, and for a brief few seconds, truly felt I'd never again hear mine own heartbeat.

 He disappeared into the brush and trees.

We're older now and all is forgiven. To this day neither of us turns our backs on the other when shotguns are present. And, he's still a pissant.



Wednesday, March 12, 2014


Will happen.

Gotta love, pie.

H/T, The Iowa Housewife.


Goal Zero, for Vicki

Here she is Vicki. The little Goal Zero sits atop our kitchen table as she soaks the rays and zips life back into my portable power pack.

As the sun sets I'll adjust the panels.

She's upside down but will do the job either way. A very simple device.

Highly recommended.



I just took a walk around the shop. I have a patch of wild Blackberries out back and they are in bloom.

They give a scent to delicate to experience so they offer hope in the form of pure white flowers.

It's officially Spring, here.


Just a Wednesday Morning

And I have nothing. Oh wait, I can write about the rock on my desk. Nah, too boring. Or, the fact we have partial sunshine and bits of moisture, what many refer to as rain, and even the wet is sporadic.

My tax preparation is on hold until next weekend. What is it about taxes...every April 15th I want to place a sign in front of my business, kind like a badge of honor, which reads, 'I paid your rent, again.'

Skinny little girl just knocked. She's dirty, smells, and I'm sure her breakfast was a piece of crack. Poor creature asked if I'd 'loan' her five dollars. What's that old saying, "There but for the grace of God," yeah.

Said she had a line on a 'few' handguns, and for a mere five dollars she'd steer these lines towards me. Told her not to bother. I love the black market, really I do, but I'll not support her habit. Don't start with me over this....if for instance I knew, without a shadow of doubt, she'd take the funds and walk towards a meal, fine. I'd pay for breakfast. But we know better, don't we.

Besides, I'm poor.

Back to the black market for just a moment. I firmly believe if one is to make a living in this country you'd best hang a shingle and proclaim yourself an independent business. The dependance on employers is, in my humble estimation, a huge risk. Keep those funds on the down low. Fly beneath the radar. Barter. Screw the government....


My friends are supposed to meet here at the shop later this evening. Should be interesting. I thought perhaps for a change of pace we'd cross the street and walk the park. Critter hunt. Use one of the guys as bait. If we make the late local news I'll post a notification, tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

I Can Dream, Can't I

If only I were wealthy,

I'd bid on this.


Are You Ready

Get your candles, Coleman lanterns, and kerosene for those great old Hurricane lamps. If you own a generator is the tank full. Check your fuel reserves. Fill the potable water barrel. If you need me to remind you of your personal safety then you've stumbled upon the wrong blog.

It'll be here, soon.

In my humble opinion one of these days the attackers will achieve their goal.


Mrs. Campbell's Beretta

She'd phoned, said, "I'll be there, shortly."

"Yes, Ma'am." You never argue with Mrs. Campbell.

I'd expected her call. Over the last few months she's sold me several of her late husbands toys. Her husband's name was Percy. Nice fella. Percy checked out, intelligence intact, in his late eighties. He and I got along well. Percy spoke several languages, none fluent, and had a deep abiding love for literature, especially science fiction. Percy also enjoyed firearms.

Mrs. Campbell, his wife of over fifty years, did not.

Mrs. Campbell stands four foot nothing. She's a tiny little booger with coiffed hair and deep green eyes, slim. She'd never step from her home without the best dressed award around her neck. Today she wore yellow. A necklace of pearls, and a diamond to envy. Mrs. Campbell, for eighty odd years of youth, is a cutie pie. If I were twenty years older I'd ask her out. Well, maybe once.

Mrs. Campbell entered the building...."Well, are you ready?"

"Yes, Ma'am."

She places a thick padded envelope in my hands. It has heft. I like heft. Inside I find a plastic bag, tightly bound. I remove the plastic bag and after a few cuts of knife I find a sweet Pietro Beretta Gardone V-T in .380. By the date code I guessed an early 1960 model. (It later proved 1966.)

I goofed and said, "Nice."

"Oh, really. Good. How much will you pay me?"

I stalled. "Did this belong to Percy?" She took a seat. I joined her. She turns to me and said, "Where's your book. Let's find out how much its worth."

See what I mean. I goofed.

Again with the stall. "I didn't know he carried a Beretta." There was a holster in the bag. Her, "He didn't. I did."

Flash back several months - After his death she'd drive to the shop and ask me to step outside and remove this, in her words, 'thing' or 'things' from her vehicle. She proclaimed a pure hatred for firearms. I'd always purchase her things. Old Savage this, Winchester that....Fudd stuff. She'd really gotten my attention when she said this nice pistol belonged to her.

Mrs. Campbell's Beretta.
So, me, "I thought you hated firearms."

"I do. Hate 'em with a passion. They hurt people."


"Well, a lady must protect herself and Percy taught me how to shoot. He insisted, even when I dropped it each time I pulled the trigger. Stupid thing is loud."

Mrs. Campbell is a hoot. After a few minutes we settled upon a price. Then, she reached over and gave my upper thigh a good squeeze. I laughed. She stood, all four foot nothing of loveliness, said goodbye, and drifted like a flower towards her car.

Just before the door closed she yelled, "Soon as I find those old things I'll be back."

"What things?"

"You know, those things. The things you put into the gun - bullets."