Thursday, March 31, 2011

musing electricity.

As has been stated on this blog in a couple of posts, I am going off grid with this house.
Today, a day off, has been spent playing with the first set of Solar panels I picked up. I am getting 3 more sets of these and that should be enough to do what I intend on.

I am impressed by the output of these panels. They aren't the top of the line but they are functional enough. I could have picked up more powerful ones that take up less rooftop, but the cost goes up exponentially with efficiency. I am not at the point of being able to afford much more than $4/watt. Some of the better units are as high as $12/watt. Even so, for what they are, the output on a gloomy day in southern KY is pretty damned impressive. 3 hours has brought a discharged battery up to 13.59 volts and rising. Granted that is surface charge and I have no way of testing the load rating at this time, I will have to assume that the rest of the math is still good without further testing at this point.

The cells I purchased are only 60 watts (4 15w panels) In use, they are putting out roughly 4A.(on a grey day mind you) More than sufficient to charge a 12 volt battery. If said battery is not completely discharged, and you never want to discharge a battery lower than 50%; these cells will maintain most large batteries without strain on the system. 16 panels total, 4 large deep-cycle Marine batteries, 1 2500watt inverter and one 700 watt inverter (I have my reasons) and you can power a house fairly well, so long as you aren't running a bunch of really power thirsty equipment (like giant flatscreen TV's or PC's with 1000watt power supplies.). In some ways, forcing frugality upon you when it comes to energy consumption.

Yet all of this brings up some finer points that I have been looking into. Things like microhydro generation, wind power, etc etc. There are far more efficient ways for a solo re-constructionist (I will explain that later) to generate the power they need. Solar panels take up massive amounts of surface space. The only advantage to them being the near complete lack of maintenance needed on the cells themselves. (there are lots of maintenance items on the storage system no matter which direction you choose.) But when you look at the surface space used divided by wattage, you find that they are seriously lacking in wattage by weight. Look at a GM alternator. Package weighs in around 10 pounds, takes up less than one cubic foot of space and can generate between 55-120 amps depending on the model you are using. Do the math (assume 100A@12V) and that comes out to 1200 watts. Its not factual so much as Q&D estimation since amps is volume of power and wattage is more like a Distance. Huge difference but,,,,, It does take energy to push that little power house. There are mods that can be done to a GM or Delco unit that are fairly well covered on the nets. One is to replace the original armature with one made of ceramic magnets (like the ones found in Large speakers.) Doing this turns the unit into a true generator not an alternator even though you will still need to rectify voltage on the output. Yet again, back to having to put energy in, to get energy out.
That's where microhydro comes into play, or wind power. Really what it boils down to is what is available to you. If you have a good sized stream near your abode, Microhydro is the way to go. If you end up in a valley near a mountain in the desert, wind may be your better bet. Of the three; Solar, Hydro, and Wind, you can even make a damned fine hybrid setup. Of course there will be a certain amount of monetary investment involved, even if you are capable of making your own components.
Now, there may be some that are willing to invest, hell, able to invest, in a professionally designed, and installed system. Not everyone is able to do that. With the economy going through its death throes, most of us can't even think about a base system that we cobble together. I am taking advantage of the "No Bills" period in my life to do the things I am doing. The flip side to that coin is in the future. What happens when you have dire need for it, don't have anything in place, and there isn't an established company/tinker/know-it-all in your vicinity? Bill mentioned in one of his posts that Solar cells are going to be available for the taking when things come apart. I have to disagree. Yes, most DOT signs are now powered by PV panels, yes they have battery banks made specifically for that purpose. But I wouldn't go laying any money down that they will be readily available when you need them most. Chances are some Monkey working for DOT or some enterprising daredevil will have already managed to make off with them long before you find the time. That leaves 'making do' with what you have. There are ways of making what you need, with few tools other than what you should have stashed in the trunk of you car/truck anyway. Mostly what you are going to need is a base of knowledge. Knowing the basics of many different subjects and a little good ol'fashioned tongue in cheek duct tape manipulation can and will move mountains; or in this case, electrons. And that's all any of these systems do: Shuffle electrons from one place to another. Its controlling that movement that makes the magic work.

Now there are some enterprising fellows in Colorado that have made a low RPM generator from magnets, wood panelling, some resin composite materials and a lot of that 'tongue in cheek' ingenuity. (I can no longer find the link but here is the one that inspired them.) (here is a link to lots of DIY ideas on this subject.) These units are producing kilowatts at less than 500 rpm(usually around 150-200) Think about that. One good water wheel, a stream that flows year-round, one of these units and a little gearheadedness: one communities power needs are handled. Back that up with PV panels on each house or outbuilding and you get redundant systems that complement each other. And for far less than getting all of that shipped in on a grid that may or may not be functional in 20 years. While electricity doesn't answer all of our energy needs, it has enough of an impact that we all get a little nuts when we don't have it, and we really don't have many options for certain things without it. (that whole refrigeration thing.) But having electric available can make getting other types of energy a whole lot easier. (While you won't use electricity for fermenting, you have a better chance of distilling your 'alkeehol' using the heating element out of an old coffee maker. Less dangerous, much better control of the end product. This little tidbit of info could also be used when working with biodiesel, at least the first stages when you need to heat the stuff up for reaction with the lye.)

There are some downsides to generating your own electricity. Maintenance is one. Not being able to generate 3 phase is another. (it is possible but the demands of the system are a whole lot larger than just getting 110) Down-scaling your needs is part of that but in the long run well worth the effort. In my case, I am going with a wood burning stove as my sole heat source. For air movement, I will be using a high efficiency, old fashioned, ceiling fan. For cooling, there is a setup I have in plan but not put any effort into at this point: it will use water from the ol mine up the hill ran through a radiator with forced air to cool the air of the house. The water in that old mine is a constant 52 degrees year round. Not quite AC but not far from it. With proper insulation, which is a requirement no matter what, I should be good and comfy year round. Another expedient of all of this is the size of the house. Small is much better for energy conservation. I am not concerned about my 'carbon footprint' or any of that other feel good crap that gets shoved down our throats. Nope, this is all about not paying others for something I can come up with myself. (IE Starving some monkeys.) LOL Hell, My carbon footprint is that of BigFoot, when you consider my coal usage in my foundry, the burning of wood to heat the house, the fuel I use to acquire that wood, etc etc etc. Not that any of that really matters to me. Heck, even my cooking habits are going to have a heavy carbon footprint when I start using my grill for the majority of my cooking. (9-10 months out of the year. Nothing like grilled anything and a cold beer.) That and slow cooking on top of the woodstove with a dutch oven. d

There I go again, I have been called flutterheaded for a reason. I flutter around like a butterfly (flutterby? Thats what my granddaughter calls 'em) and land on all these great ideas. Occasionally I find one really tasty one. Thats also the reason I haven't resorted to a weekly blog update like some others. It would take ya'll a week to figure out what I was rambling about if I did that.

Really this post is an attempt to show others that we are limited ONLY by our own hesitancy to let our creative side out. We have all been conditioned to repress that 'spark' because it scares the monkeys. Magic always scares the monkeys. And you all know the old saw about magic. One mans magic is another mans technology. The only difference really is knowledge. So, I have put up some links, wandered all over the subject (and some others) and hopefully planted a spark in your mind somewhere. Maybe its time to go out and 'learn some magic'.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Lets do a little preachin

Something keeps getting brought up in comments.

WARNING! I am holding nothing back, if you are easily offended by truth, go away now.


I have really only one question to ask when this gets brought up: well, Okay, maybe a couple but they all point in the same direction.
1) Look around you, at the markets, especially the Muni's and Derivatives market. Do you see ANY company being stable 20 years down the road? Yes or no answers only please.
2) IF there are any companies that are still stable (or even in existence) 20 years from now, do you see anyway that they will be able to honor a warranty without shafting you for 'upgrades'? Again, yes or no only.
3) IF they are able to warranty said item/object/service, is it really worth it?

The reasons I ask this should be painfully simple to see. If they aren't, well, you have more of an education coming your way than I can prepare you for.

I don't look for warranties on anything that I have purchased for my house since I am the one building it, the one that will maintain it, and the one that will be there at 3am when the tree comes crashing through the roof. Not some company that may or may not be available at any given timeline over the next 20 years. I may have insurance on said house, but it will only go so far to 'ease' issues AND, I must stress this part, I have little confidence that when/if I need to collect on said insurance that it will be worth squat due to the above #1 question. Now, thats not to say that I don't expect warranties on certain items. I have one on my Iphone and even went so far as to get the extended warranty on it. (2 years) Will I need it? Prolly not. Why didn't I get a longer warranty? Simply put, I don't expect to need a phone in 2 years: you can take that however you want to. If it all falls apart, phone is toast. If it doesn't and my plans start to come to fruition, phone is toast. Either way, no phone. (and Dio breathes a sigh of relief.)

I was one of the first ones to jump on Cellular service when it really kicked off in the early 90's. I loved being able to be reached, at any time, at any place. Guess you might say that I have had an evolution in mentality since then. Now, if I can get away with leaving my phone on a charger at home, I usually do. I really hate being bothered most times. It has become quite frustrating to be disturbed when I am in deep thought or right in the middle of a critical cut on the lathe. (and I won't even have it near me if I am casting. Really bad mojo in that case.) Take a bubble for instance: its rather fragile, easily popped. When I am 'inspired', I am that bubble. My entire existence at that point is within that bubble of creativity. One ring of a phone and the whole thing goes 'pop!' and my level of frustration goes up a notch or two. Those of you that work with your hands (and your minds) probably have a good idea of what I am talking about.
Now, when/if my plans come to fruition, I will only be able to be reached by people coming to me. I fully intend on being the 'goto guy' at that point. Yes, people will be able to pop my bubble, yet, it won't be nearly as easy as punching a couple of buttons on a phone and being out of retaliation range. It will also be easier to 'close and bar the door' when I really need to be left alone on some task. I also intend to train the dogs to "keep em away" when I give that command.

Sorry, I digress.

Back to the warranty issue. Looking back at comments too. There was the point made of freezing food. Talk about a complete waste of precious battery life. There are other ways of keeping food. Yes, there may be need to freeze somethings, yes a full freezer is easier to keep cold than a partially full one. Either way though, the total KW needed to do so will eat up massive amounts of sunlight that I will better be able to use elsewhere. Especially since I plan on canning most of my Veggies, some meats, and smoking what I don't can. Yes, it takes energy to can foods; the difference being, I can choose what I want to use at the time. Fire on the stove or fire in a pit/BBQ The cans don't care if they are in a 12qt pan on the stove or a 5 gal washtub on a firepit. Really, they could care less. The food within them doesn't give a hoot either. It reallly boils down to whims and weather. Nothing else. Keeping them is even easier. There is a root-cellar going in under the house that will keep canned foods quite nicely. It will also serve as a storm cellar in those times as needed. Properly built, it will also store my onions and potatoes for the next years planting and on as needed basis for cooking. (among other plantstuffs)

Heres the gist of the whole mess. Being self sufficient is work. There is no way around that. You will work to get that way, you will work to stay that way, you will teach your offspring the same (read: work) and if you have done your job correctly, they will be taking care of you while you teach their offspring. And even then, it will be work. Are you seeing the bigger picture here? If not, its called WORK.

BUT!!!!!!!!! There is a benefit to it all. Really, there is. ( I am not trying to sound condescending here even if I am coming off that way. If you are taking offense, best look at the opening warning again.)

The Benefit. and its a doozie. IF you are able to do all of this: get yourself weaned off the monkeys, get self sufficient, get off the grid, become a staple of your local community (IE a commodity that no one can do without) You will be completely FREE. There is a catch to it though. In todays world, there are far too many monkey rules to evade, too many monkeys themselves that "won't understand", Too many monkeys that will "see something-say something" etc, etc. If you want this; Really, Truly, WANT this, you are going to have to make sacrifices in your current lifestyle, above and beyond the aforementioned. Well above and beyond.

Remember this though. You are your world, not the clothes on your back, the car you drive or the house you live in. YOU. Your family is even just a part of what you call your world albeit a very important part. But YOU and only YOU are responsible for YOU when the day closes and its time to talk to your maker about your day. It may seem rather solipsist in philosophy, yet try to argue it away and see how far you get.

And that's really where the problems lie isn't it? 99.999997% of this world has little responsibility to themselves. Yeah, they get up, get showered, fed, dressed, and go to the work thingy or whatever. But how many would be able to actually accomplish something that didn't require a major infrastructure to support them? I know that there are many out there that don't fall into that trap, I know many that think they don't but are in for a rude awakening. (and I freely admit, I may fit in that last category: Please don't think that I am picking on anyone. )

Facts are, we have a major exam coming up soon. How much have you crammed for it? Are you ready? I am trying to get as much cram time in as I can and I KNOW that the clock is ticking. The buzzer may go off long before I, hell, most of us, are truly ready. But if we aren't at least trying to get a passing grade, the remaining options are pretty grim.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Response to

an email that came in last night. I figured I would share it with everyone.

Yeah, I am skipping over the BS that is being espoused from the MSM's right now. For good reason to.
There ain't a damned thing we can do to stop the fail that is coming at us. I don't give two squirts about that any longer.
Our country gets involved with a third war BECAUSE the Banking institutions that REALLY run the world see a hickup with the catastrophe in Japan. Best to keep the boat afloat as long as possible so they can bleed as much off before they let burn to the water line. And burn it will.

The EU is starting a slow smoulder that may or may not leap into flames in the next year, BUT it won't put out for at least a century. My reasoning behind that is based on historical points. All you need to do is look into the Crusades of the middle Dark ages to see proofs. This is an ongoing war that never did cease even though there has been a centuries long lull in the action. I think the Islamist are going to win this round. But what does that mean on this continent?

Things are going all EU on us here. Maybe not the Fundamentalist fights of Christianity/Islamist fight (but it is soon to follow) But the whole Entitled, socialist, gimme-gimme attitude of the monkey sphere. So few are willing to get dirty doing what needs to be done to make their world RIGHT but want the Government to do the dirty work for them, at the expense of everybody else of course.

And of course, the MSM's are doing exactly what the PTB want them to do; keep shifting the coverage around so the sheep are too distracted to notice the water lapping at their ankles. Or the sharks circling the boat.

I haven't been saying as much about it as there isn't much point. If you can't see the shit hitting the fan(and it is), I can't wake you up. I am just one little scribbler in a sea of scribblers. Most of whom are much better at getting the idea across than I.
What I can do is 'lead by example'. I am not going to be burning my bridges any longer (unless that is the only way to keep the hoard from crossing the river) but I am going to make my world as 'closed loop' as possible. That means building a house, from scratch, on the cheap, without a bank to assist the financial side of it, without tying into any 'formal infrastructure' that can't be replaced easily, etc, etc. Every single Item I am working on for this house is to be for the long haul. Tin Roof for the life of the house. Properly maintained should outlive the house. Yeah, vinyl windows, but again, properly maintained=longevity. Solar panels to be off grid, there is the battery issue but I am trying to figure something out for that. I would prefer a 'generator' type system but location is key to one of those. My location isn't prime for that; at least, not yet. (just a thought percolating in my mind.) I am not going with the chinese processed pine splinters that they sell at the big box stores for timber, either. There are more than a few local sawmills that cut actual 2"X4"s Rough cut, mostly hardwoods. I can keep the cost down by going that route, and build a better house for it. I will go with sheeting from the box store but only because I can't find anything other than some flooring sheets from a teardown.
The other side of it, that I haven't been covering yet is the gardens. Others are doing a fine job of that, explaining the difference between raised beds and the like. Follow along with them. I am. I have quite a bit to do before I can even put my gardens in around the house, but we have 'community' gardens all over around here. Some are quite large too. May be a liability but then anything could be liability soon enough.
I talk about education in nearly every post as I see it as a means to an end. If you don't know how, learn. Teach yourself, find someone who does know, make the effort. Failing to plan is planning to fail; Period. If you can't take advantage of the full net access we currently have to accomplish some self education now, later when we are struggling and there is extremely limited or NO net, well, good luck. I won't go into what you should learn as there is way more information out there than any one body can absorb. Look around you, figure out what you are lacking in, work on it. Personally, I teach myself as much as I can get my hands on about pretty much whatever I can get my hands on. The more I learn and see how things are so integrated with each other, the more I want to learn. It can be a vicious cycle so be careful. Oh and just a hint: It does all start with the basics. Fire and rock. While I don't see us falling back that far, I do see us making a big fall soon. Better to learn now.

I may restructure this blog to something less 'political' though I am sure there will be the occasional "WTF were they thinking" post. I may even put up a suggested reading list. Not blogs but actual analog books. Things that may not make you think about where we are going; information that may be critical when we get there.
To be honest, I have to shift directions at this point. Not to do so will only lead down a dark road that helps no one. I don't think I need to elaborate any more on that.

I will be back on later with more thoughts on being super cheap and making a go at homesteading. I promise at least one shooty-goodness post soon.Link

Monday, March 28, 2011

James sees a light and decides to open the shutters up.

If you don't check out Bison Survival, you may want to check out this little tidbit.

Quite illuminating I think. Yes, there was something 'screwy' about the timing of things but of course, "Que Bono" once again answers more than a few questions about things. Hey, I may be smart but sometimes it takes a sledgehammer to get the tiniest point into the cranium. This is one of those times.

thinking about,,,,


What justifies a home over a house.

I know that this seems off base with the title of my blog but those that have been following me around in the blogosphere know that I am in process of setting up house.

This started with Mayberry talking about his shed, then a coversation with my dad about the house I am working on.(BTW, make sure to check out Mayb's new site.) The first installment of my solar panels showed up today and it got him to questioning me on what I am up to. To say he is 'not happy' about it would be a bit of an understatement. Unfortunately, I have to wait on him talking to my sister to get the full story. That's the way it is in my family. You never get the straight scoop from the source; it has to be filtered through a third party first. (My dad is the worst about this. Granted it has saved a lot of trouble in some situations though.)

Back to the home thoughts.

For me, and I know that this won't apply to all, a home is a place to lay my body down, with only the comforts I want around me and a way to shut out the world at large until I am ready to invite it in, and a way to kick it back out when it has worn out its welcome. Notice not one point in there about Floor space, or giga-sized gourmet kitchens, or Heinlein-esque "Refreshers". Nope, none of that for me. I only want enough to keep the wind and rain out, the world off my back, and a place to keep my books and me. There will be a good sized porch and that is essential to my sanity. I spend most of my time either on a porch or in a shop but very little actual time in a house. I much prefer the world in its natural state to 4 walls and a ceiling. When I am working in a shop, my attention is focused on the work at hand, not my location so much. Even so, I end up stepping out a lot to clear the fog.

Now, update on how this mess is going. I purchased all of the Metal roofing this past week. All of it from a house that is being dismantled. 32 sheets 14'X4' very few screw holes in it and in great shape. $250 for all of it, delivered to my site. I am looking at 6 4'X2 1/2' triple paned vinyl windows from another site, Willing to pay $50 each but my dad thinks the guy may part with them for cheaper. Guess you could call me a scrooge but I really hate paying full price for anything. Especially when I can find the same thing for a whole lot less. Things are starting to come together and if they keep moving at the pace they are: I won't worry about getting a camper.(other than for the appliances I want.) In some ways, my dad is in good spirits as he is seeing some of his influence in my choices (being super frugal for one.) But I know he is still having a hard time getting his head around my wanting 'a shack' in the woods. That's alright, he will get over it when I am in it and living comfortably. Once he sees how things work and that its much bigger than his vision, that is.

And just to make sure I get a plug for the original intent of this blog: Yes, I will be able to shoot my rifle off my porch. LOL

Sunday, March 27, 2011

just a thread, follow if you can.

You all know I am an education nut. Self-education being my 'thing' right now. I have been hitting the books hard lately and not just hitting the books but putting that mess into working order by using it. One of those is the Stirling engine project that I have been working on. This is covering my maths, my metal-casting, metalworking, studies in energy, and an attempt to come up with a design that can be scaled up as needed with minimal gear-churning upstairs.

Another area that I have been working on is languages. I was attempting to study Latin. There are several reasons for that but key being a foundation. So much of our own language (amongst others, some more some less) is Latin based. Well, I was beating my head against a wall. There really needs to be another person involved when learning a language. Seriously so. To attempt self taught language, especially one that is considered 'dead', is an exercise best left to monks living on high in the Andes.(and chances are, they will screw it up too.) With some twisted logic, a shot of Vodka, a full pipe and some net time, I figured out I would learn Spanish instead. Latin based language, 82% vocabulary similarity, all of the vowels repeat consistently, etc etc. I am going to plug a product here. They aren't paying me to do so, but I have to say, I have never found a better program to learn with. Repetitive, without being boring and has a more than a little bit of an adult theme to the 'plot line'. Has more 'street cred' than the other Big name out there and they chose the hardest dialect to learn from to encourage further learning.(Argentinian) I am only one week into the course, (5 weeks, 6 classes a week.) WOW, I am able to actually HEAR the local Immigre and understand at least some of what they say beyond, 'Ola' and 'Burrito' (I am not pushing it either. I re-watch each class about 3 times before moving on and refer back frequently. Its set up for ease of doing so. Also a better setup than the really expensive big name) Now, I also chose Spanish for some slightly more selfish reasons. One is, how ya say, um, hormonal. LOL .
The other is kinda career oriented. Not just in my current or potential future endeavors, but 'just in case' things really go from bad to worse (as we all expect.) Think about it. 1/6th of the world is Spanish speaking. Of that, I haven't a clue how much of the Continental America is primarily Spanish speaking. More than 50% though I would guess . If not as a primary at least a dominant second language. The other side of that is the current “Undocumented Workers” here in the U.S. Many would either like to “Kill 'em all” , Run em back south of the border, or Legalize em for the vote. Having talked to a couple from around here, they don't want to be Citizens. They only want to make the American dream as seen from South of the border. That is , Work your tail off under less than desirable conditions, while cramming your butt in a small space with other like minded peeps, save EVERY SINGLE DIME you can, then return home and live as a rich man on 1//5th of what a similar American lives on. (NO, this doesn't apply to all of them, only the handful I spoke with for certain.) There are two ways to look at that. The first and obvious point being, THEFT. Yes, they are stealing the livelihood right out of America. This would be 1400 times worse if we still had a Gold Standard but even so, its money that is leaving the country, never to return.(I have a hard time holding this thought, If you think about it, the fact that we no longer manufacture, well, pretty much anything, all of our money is going overseas, never to return ANYWAY. That and the fact that we sell our debt to the highest bidder to be paid back at interest. The least of our worries is some Mexican sending money home .)
The other way to look at it. These people are already starving the monkeys. They soak the system for all that they can get while here, sock away a large amount of money, then go live large while still young enough to enjoy it. There may be a think or two that we could learn from them in the meantime. There may even be more of a way that we can set up a shadow economy (if it isn't already established) in the meantime with them. They may be more open to the idea if they could get a fair shake at things without having to constantly watch out for 'Le Migre'.
Around here, I hear the locals condemning the Immigre for 'stealing jobs'. Funny thing is, when you offer a local a job, chances are they will come up with 29 excuses as to why they 'Can't'. (the real reason is that most of them are soaking up SSI and/or are pill-heads) There are a few local contract companies that are more than happy to give the work up to the Mexicans since they will work on the cheap, work till the job is done, and not complain about “work conditions”. Plus, they show up without fail. Unlike the druggies around here. Once the Druggies have a couple of bucks for a pill, they are usually pretty much gone. Either physically, or mentally or both.(one note of good I can say for the druggies around here. They have cleaned up all of the old junkers that used to fill the valleys and creeks. Scrap metal is a big hit around here. LOL)
I know that some of this may start a firestorm in comments. That's alright. I am not saying we need to be less watchful of our borders. Quite the opposite. There are more than a few baddies getting across our border. More the southern one than the North but only because the southern 'state' of Mexico is a whole lot more lax about what crosses OUT than we are about what crosses in. They just don't care. Maybe they feel that the Cartels and Terrorists cutting cross our border is a good thing for Mexico. What we do need is to ENFORCE the law. AND we need to figure out how to make it so the law isn't so mucked up with Monkey rules. Those that wish to become legal, struggle through that muck while there are new citizens born in everyday just by the luck of 'being on the right side of the fence.” Yes, this is a minor call for Reform of Immigration. BUT, I think there are much bigger fish to fry before this really gets tackled by the people.
Lets get back to the Monkeys in this thought. How many have tried to figure out someway of keeping more of what you earn? Hands up, I am guilty. Of course that is one way of starving monkeys. Another way is to get “onto the dole” in some way. All while hiding the real money from the monkey collective. I know that this is something that Tom B. has covered much more extensively and much more eloquently than this little scribbler can. I suggest going and learning that while you can if you haven't already. But one thing that wasn't covered (at least not in depth ) was the Monkey starver's that are already amongst us. The ones that the collective has a hard-on for(only for the good of the nation, not a damned thing to do with a new voting base) The ones I am talking about are the ones that try to hide in the cracks. Not the ones that are attending “Universidad” in SoCal all while Protesting how unfair the U.S. Is to them, Nor the ones that insist that WE learn Spanish instead of their attempting to learn the native tongue.(IE English.) I CHOOSE to learn Spanish as I think it will be useful in more ways than I can count. IF it were forced upon me, well, Someone would find out just how much of a rompepelotas I really can be.
\The other side of that coin is 'Common Courtesy'. I wouldn't travel to another country without trying to learn at least a passable 'tourist' vocabulary.(I did this while in the Philippines, and again during the short time I was in country during the first Gulf war.) I certainly wouldn't intend on migrating to another country without learning at least a conversational level of the local dialect. Most countries won't accept your immigration papers unless you have a basic level of the local tongue mastered. WE, the U.S, are one of the few exceptions to that. Again, something that needs thought about but at this time, can wait. Bigger fish to fry.
As it is, there are bad 'illegals' in the mix and that is of course what many focus on when they need a demon to expose. There are many that only want to get away from an extremely depressed economic state that is bordering on complete dictatorship. There are some that would rather attempt to take over a part of CONUS and re-establish a Mexican Territory. There are some that only want to feed an already addicted society with more addictives. We are far enough along that no matter what the future holds for 'illegals', none are going to get a fair shake at 'getting it right'.

I think what I am getting at is this: Self-improvement. We all need to be better persons, more well rounded in our knowledge, and on the same token, more adaptable. The Mexicans here trying to get ahead without being outright criminals are trying to get ahead but are not prepared for if things get really wonky. (other than cut and run back home.) We on the other hand can't cut and run. We are home. Its time to start thinking about how we can keep our home together. And if we can't keep it together, how we can make our little corner that much better. Self-improvement is a start to that. (along with a whole lot of sweat and toil and hopefully full gardens.)

Friday, March 25, 2011

Slow go`

It's Vaca time at work and we are short a relief driver now. What that means for you is: limited blogs from me.
What it means to me is

Granted, I am a complete mushhead by the time I get done driving 350+miles everyday, dealing with every screwed up driver in the Commonwealth. They drive like grandma or like they just stole the danged thing,. No in between with the exception of the coal trucks and I feel for those guys. Creep up hill with 80,000 lbs, barrel down the other side hoping to keep the load relatively behind you, all while watching for Johnny Law and his portable scales.

Had a win today but that is for laters. When I can actually write something intelligible.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

On a wing and a prayer.

That seems to be how O'boy is operating these days. If you pay attention to the media anyway. But if you watch the bigger picture, something much more insidious is going on. If you only pay attention to how they are making a big deal out of Libya (and it is a big deal when you are dumping million dollar missiles on a nearly third world country) and ignore all of the other crap that is out there; it doesn't reek nearly all that bad (two day old roadkill like).

But lets look at the bigger picture.

Israel. Getting hammered and there is NO support for it from our administration. The first time in 50+ years.
The Rebels in Libya being supported by Various groups that really aren't all that friendly to America.(can't find the link now. Hmmm?)
Crude oil is back on the rise. All over the map in less than 30 days. (sitting at 106 as I write this.)

What the media is covering is the lack of support that O'boy, pretty much across the board, in his 'choice'.
Now, there is this new 'language' that is running around about "Kinetics"
Hey, if that isn't leftist mentality at play, I don't know what is. The way I see it, when you are in a shooting gallery, people are shooting at you, you are shooting at them, things are really confusing, blood and guts in the air and on the ground, planes bulldozing into the ground, etc etc: THATS WAR! At the very least its combat but it all boils down to the same ol shit. War is hell. Hell on finances, hell on soldiers and their families and hell on the receiving end. You can call it all kinds of things but why the hell are you trying to paint it a different color and then sell it as "new and improved"? That only goes to show the level of crap they think they can get away with.

But lets go into something that isn't gonna get covered by the MSM's this week (and if they do cover it, I will happily eat a worm.) (Now this one reeks like 1 week old roadkill in a Texas summer)

Mr. George Soros.
Now, before any of you tell me I have to eat a worm because of that link, I plead that its not MAINSTREAM, I highly doubt CNN or any of the others are going to do much more than a Mumbled mention right at the end of the show just before a commercial break, IF they even mention it at all.

You know, I read this stuff, I think about it, and I always come to one conclusion. Maybe its the Cynic in me, I dunno. That conclusion is this.

It can't fall apart fast enough.

I know that I will be ok in the long run. I may "be on the run" but I will be ok. I know enough about 'just about' enough, that I can get along. It's the rest of the world that I wonder about. I refuse to 'worry' about it any longer since the vast majority refuse to open their eyes and see that the train is almost right on top of them. (and there are more than a few that do see that but can't act. Rather like a deer in the same situation) The wonder part is due to synergy. While they may not be in the same boat able to deal with things, they WILL affect my decisions by their actions. There are no two ways around that. Its the dichotomy of the prepper. Knowing that its coming, taking as much 'investment*' out of the current system as you can, and hoping that things don't go completely apeshit and wash all of that investment down the drain. We all admit the possibility of that. If George has his way, its a given. If our country has its way (IE Big Sis ) its reasonable to assume that we will have a fight on our hands. Either way; ain't nuthin good gonna come out of this. Well, not quickly anyway. And probably not in my lifetime.

*Thanks to Bill for that most appropriate term.

PS: How about this for a change.((Original content edited by yours truly. Hindsight told me it was too crude. ))

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

May be a stupid question, but

There are no stupid questions, right?

WHEN the shit hits the fan, do you go by your blogger alias, or attempt to fumble through as the name you were forced to wear upon birth?

I haven't any doubt that we will see great trouble within our borders here shortly. Two years tops in my opinion. I do see a massive failure of our current system though the system itself will not die off, only morph into something even more malignant. At that time, most of us will either be encamped, entrenched or on the move. For those of us on the move(and I fully think I will be one of those, only time will tell) How do we go about establishing "known Identity" among the like minded? I think going by your birth name would be a serious breach to operational security. Then again, There may be times where the opposite is true.

I guess I answered my own question, didn't I?

I do know this though, "Shut your yap!" if cornered. Applies now as well as in the future. Make like a turtle if you can and if you can't, develop a serious case of "Idunno-itus".

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Lessons in futility.

Just cruizin through the Drudge report; Confirmed that things I heard about were actually taking place. Shooting missiles into Libya, Hamas gettin a little off the hook with Israel, O'boy getting his laurels handed to him while on Vaca.

Dunno 'bout y'all, but when I read this shit, the first thought that goes through my head is "Damn, didn't someone warn us about all of this? Like 2000 years ago warned us?" So much crap goin' on that one has to wonder if this isn't what was predicted in the Revelations.

Now there is a part of me that is also looking at in an "educated" (read Liberal defined education or no religious background) and I have to wonder at the sheer stupidity of that blabbermouth that wishes to be "the leader of the free world".
When this country was founded it was with the intent of friendly acquaintances and not unhealthy alliances. GW (not the Bush but Washington) made his stand on that VERY clear. And yet, 235 years later, we have our hand in everybody's business, our taliwhacker in nearly every bush in MENA, and Troops scattered so thinly, the Recruiters are scrambling every Tom, Dick and PFC fresh from the Parade Grounds, in an attempt to fill ANY slot they can. (they have one advantage right now. Low Unemployment. Think it doesn't make a difference?) Now that whole mess with shooting into Libya is pretty stupid in and of itself with that whole "non-intervention" thought in mind. Lets just throw in the fact that we are STILL involved in TWO, not one but TWO wars. Just because Iraq doesn't make the headlines right now doesn't mean we aren't still there 'Locked and cocked'. We may have shuffled some troops from Iraq into Afghanistan but we didn't downscale actual deployments one little bit. Quite the opposite. I am sure there are more than a few that voted for O'boy that are more than a little bit miffed by the failing promise of "Bring the troops home" he made in 2008. (I am sure that they will get over it. The same way I got over him actually getting elected.) So we have the whole two wars thing still rolling, Large amounts of equipment tied up in those two wars, and yabberbutt TOTUS decides to give the OK to fire some hardware WHILE HE IS OUT OF THE COUNTRY ON A 'VACATION' IN A PLACE WHERE EVEN THE SOCIALISTS ARE PROTESTING HIM. ROFLMAO on that one. What a dickhead.
Now don't get me wrong, I don't like war. I was in one, I was close enough to the shit to see things that won't EVER be forgotten. And I was in the shortest war this country fought in the 20th Century. But here is where I think this "Harvard Law Professor" really screwed the pooch: He is firing on an openly Muslim country. While we are fighting in two wars that are filled with Muslim extremists. While MENA is exploding with Protests, and riots fueled by MUSLIM DISCONTENT.

If I ever had any doubt that the MUsLim in Chief were an enemy of the state, he just proved it beyond any shadow of doubt in my book. He was voted as the #1 gunsalesman of 2008, 2009 and 2010 (at least here locally. I would imagine that was pretty much across the board.) So Kudos for that one. (Oh yeah El Presidente, that is what you call an unintended consequence. Ready for another one?) But his current actions spell nothing but pure trouble to those that are already in those areas fighting and only wanting to come home. Preferably in one piece and of soundmind. I think, IMHO, Obama just became the #1 recruiter for the Taliban, AlQueda, The Muslim Brotherhood, and every other little Qu'ran thumping group that has a chip on its shoulder.

Good Job Prez. Hope that little trip to Rio to see 1/2 naked chicas on the beach was worth it. I am hoping that your "attempt" to show a pair of balls (or was it Michelle that gave the go ahead?) was a poorly executed and sad excuse for 'leadership'. Should have listened to Palin: done the no fly zone and let them sort it out on the ground like ALL good toe thumpin rebels and tyrants should do.(if we even had to "DO" anything, this would have been the best Diplomatically)

Heres another "Unintended Consequence" for ya Prez. You have shown the cards you are holding. We know whats on the table since we helped deal that deck long before the USSR folded and left the table. But we didn't know that the only cards you are holding are deuces and wild cards. Not 100% sure, but I would have to say that China and the bankers are holding all the aces and royalty at this point. Dude, Maybe its time to take a fold and step away from the table. I know that the people of this country would understand and the Soldiers and Sailors that are in harms way will breath a heavy sigh of relief. But if you do it, Do it fast, do it stealthily, and do whatever you can to save the soldiers we do have out there. Bring em home.

But you won't do that will you? Nope, you are betting on the muslims to 'do their thing'. Why else would you have made such a blatant enemy move?

Believe me this: I am not the only one that has come to that conclusion. Hell, I may not even be the first to air it. But I am done being silent (cough! Have I been silent? ;P )

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Official (from me)

The HUMAN RACE, not just individuals, but the whole she-bang, is Three sheets to the wind, upside down and backwards batshit fucking insane.

I don't state this lightly and I am probably the last one in the blogosphere to come to this conclusion, but it hit me today.

The definition of insanity by Einstein, "Doing the same thing repeatedly, in exactly the same way, and expecting different results."

WE, as a species, have been doing EXACTLY the same lame ass shit, for going on 5000 fucking YEARS. The last great leap forward was in Greece (and this point is highly arguable, some may say Macedonia, others Alexandria, matters not really, whats an Eon here or an Eon there when the point is the same.)
The Greek Society failed and guess what: IT WAS A DEMOCRACY. What is that term that the media is hyping so much on lately with all of the protests going on in the MENA area? anyone feel free to speak up, informal class in session here.)
Then comes the Roman Empire. Started off with some unruly tribes that got an education in, first guess wins a cupie doll,


This unruly tribe did what any good minority does when there is a power vacuum. They took the reins in their teeth and ran with the wagon. They created this fantabulous, rockin empire, where everyone had public bathing, even the street vendors had disposable cups for all of that kickbutt Vino flowing out of the Mediterranean basin. And guess what, IT WAS A DEMOCRACY! (well kinda, they elected plebes to show that there was a common voice.) They may have had an emperor but in the long run, he really was an elected official (at first.) He had the blessing of the army since he was in charge of it. And yet again, the COMMON VOICE voted itself all these cool things, for free, so long as they didn't have to worry about nasty things like, oh, Hunger, Evil hoards Rapin' an pillagin', or that the Emperor wasn't debasing the coin of the realm 'too much'. Hey, free food, lots of blood on the coliseum floor, lions tigers and dead Christians; what more could a good Roman ask for?

Fast forward roughly 2000 years.

We have what is supposedly a Representative Democracy. A republic.

Can ANYONE, point out how we are all that much different than the Romans of THEN? We aren't an empire. PHBLLTTTTTT!!!!!! Wrong answer.
- we have military basis WORLD WIDE, our finger in damned near everyones business (after all, the Dollar is the Reserve currency for the world; for now) and have been acting as the world police since I was a zygote (longer actually)
We don't have Bread and Circuses. %!# Cough, Hack, Gag, &#*((!!! Way off base answer.
- Organized sports with DEVOTE fans! Maybe it isn't funded by the Government, but it sure as hell is Reminiscent of the Coliseum days. Hell even our coliseums are based upon their designs. As for the "Bread"; Go dig up how many families, and even many single people, are on Food stamps this month. Run it as a percentage of Population. Don't go into denial when you see the numbers. I won't even go into the entire welfare system, just the foodstamp side of things.
The other side of the Circus is our current level of Media entertainment. 24/7 400+channels, and 99.9% of it is complete and total crap. What isn't crap gets played so repeatedly as to make you ignore it if they actually runs a new episode. Then again, most of that is put together for the "short attention span generation".
-The Romans ended up a Police state, with Centurions controlling the populace and keeping the Emperor in check: We aren't like that at all. !SChoom, Zip, Bang clatter bounce bounce bounce.(the sounds of my head exploding and bouncing off the floor.) NNNNGGGHHTTTTTTTT! Wrong answer, Three strikes, you are out! If ANYONE tries to tell me, TO MY FACE, that we aren't living in a police state: the Bitchslap I will deliver will be heard across state lines. And they will be lucky to only get slapped. We may not be Nazi Germany, we may not have Concentration camps (And we HAVE had them, don't be delusional here) but we are so CLOSE to crossing that line, it will only take the right nudge at the right time and the Masses will scream for it in the name of safety and security. I would say at this point, we are as close to Nazi Germany as Germany was just before the Reichstag fire. And lets not even discuss how our current "leader" acts amazingly like some Roman Emperor or French Monarch from the 1700's. When the shit gets rough, take a vaca but do a speech so it is covered as a 'working Vaca'. (my bad, I went there. sorry. :-( )

The news I was listening into today wasn't fit for lining a bird cage with. I listened to both sides of the aisle. NPR for 3 hours. (maybe that explains the cramp in my gut) then the CONservatives for a couple or three. I eventually had to turn it all off and listen to tire hum. That's when I came to the above conclusion. This species needs a good swift kick in the pants, then locked up on some backwater planet in a corner of our Galaxy. (Oh, wait, They already did that to us didn't they. ;-P )

Thursday, March 17, 2011

used ta be.

Used to be,,,,,

a handshake was all you needed.

Used to be,,,,

A man was worth his word or he was worthless.

Went to get the camper today.

Suddenly, the price was not what was agreed upon, AND there was more damage to the interior.

I won't give the guy grief on the interior as it wasn't all that to begin with and with where the thing sits; kids could have gotten into it and 'played house' or 'doctor'. Who knows.

But the price. THAT I hold him on.

He didn't hold.

Back to the drawing board and search maps.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

dammit Tamara!!!!

There is a reason I read her blog posts. This is just one more reason.
Dear news media:
Remember back in '50s and early '60s, when we set off something like 900 atomic bombs in Nevada? And how we just let the fallout blow wherever and it landed all over the eastern US? And how it wiped out life as we know it and all that was left from Colorado to the Atlantic were six-legged rats battling two-headed cockroaches in the glowing ruins?

Yeah. Exactly. So shut up with the panic already.

Nuff said.

little rant.

Just received a bill from the insurance company for my dentist visit.

I get a little ticked off at the insurance companies at times like this. Seems that I am responsible for a majority of the costs, while the insurance company is off the hook for all but 20%. This, after I have been paying into the program for 6 months.

I am going to pay this one. Technically, I already have but the accountants would say otherwise.

No more though. I have a follow up with another dentist in a couple of weeks. I am going to ask, right off the bat, how much the services will cost me if I pay cash and not use the insurance at all. The last time I did this, I saved about $1000 up front, had no headaches with 'bills', and everyone was happy with the end result. If he tells me that it will cost the same or less, I am going to pay cash, call the insurance company and cancel my policy. I will save more in the long run that way just by NOT paying them for the headaches. (if you have never tried this, I recommend it. Most Docs and DDS's are willing to get around the system since it cuts down on trying to chase down the money.)

This is exactly how I was set up with my Doc in Cincy (and I am trying to find one here that is willing to work the same way) and it saved me tons. Hell, just an office visit to him was only $25 and that was less than my co-pay with insurance. If I needed a prescription, he would see what he had in samples first before writing anything and if he had to write one, he would make it for a generic that cost tons less.(and I only needed that once)

Insurance is not exactly all its cracked up to be. And the amounts of money that get tossed around probably don't add up in the books at the end of the day.

And of course, the Federal Government has had a hand in the destruction of the medical field for years. (that whole medicaid/medicare scam really sets off the scales of the true costs of things)

Granted, if something bad really happens (IE cancer or major accident) I am screwed. The only way I can pay for any hospital treatments is with the insurance. But routine stuff is usually not too bad.

Does anyone know of an insurance company that specializes in ONLY catastrophic health insurance?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tam nails my feelings about this, quite succinctly too.

Just a quick hit. Go here and read the snark queen in her own words.

If ya ain't got nuthin nice to say,,,,,

You know what, I ain't got a damned nice thing to say today.

I thought about not saying anything at all but James D's post of a couple of days ago (I just read it) kind of set me off. Its not what he said so much as how he said it.

When people tell me not to worry, I get twice as worried. Call it paranoia.

Yep, that about sums it up. All I have been hearing on the MSM's is, “don't worry, there won't be enough radiation to make a difference, here in the states.” And they may be right, but when I hear preaching like that, I get worried. Something ain't right. Maybe they are only saying it to keep the sheep from stampeding. Again, when I hear stuff like this, I start to get worried. Hell, their history of preaching against issues is quite well documented. “Don't worry, the housing market is fine.” “Don't worry, Unemployment is improving.” “ Don't worry, The Federal Government has the situation well in hand.”

Yeah right.

Facts are, there is a lot of shit going down that is far beyond the means of normal people to deal with in an adequate manner. I know only a few people that can handle radiation exposure of any level above normal day to day existence. Just try to find iodine tablets at your local pharmacopoeia. In todays, world, not gonna happen. That shit is poison. (as is anything in the right doses. Even oxygen can kill you. Just ask the astronauts of Apollo 1 ) Unless someone has prepared for Nuclear fallout, you will be hard pressed to find what you need. Since the fall of Russia, I don't think there are that many preppers that have stocked up on the means for dealing with it(and I could be wrong,)

Now, throw in the fact that DHS and FEMA have been making inroads on Emergency Food supplies, even shutting down public sales in the case of one company.(not that I blame them. When you are at capacity and someone with a large bank account comes along, you sell them whatever they want.) We have seen a recent upsurge of quake activity centrally here in the states.(who's kidding, World wide) And of course there is the Societal upheavals all over the place even here in the states. (unions)

Its not so much having a place to run to. When the shits falling out of the sky, the ground is running in circles under your feet, and everybody in the world is going three sheets to the wind insane; where are you going to run? Best bet would be to sit tight for a bit, hope that you get through that level of madness, and when things are done moving on their own, figure out where to go or how to get along where you are. Granted there may be unforeseen circumstances that force you to 'bootscootboogie' on over the horizon, and if thats the case;Vaya con Dios. Le deseo suerte! And say 'Ola!' to the refugees leaving Mexico for here as you pass on the way. In other words, when it hits, its gonna get us all in one way or another.

See, not one damned nice thing to say today. Luckily I am keeping it toned down and not reverting to the words I really want to use.


kinda like that.

So what are we supposed to do?

Wait on FEMA? HA! Fat chance of that. If anyone thinks when things get real bad, that the FEMA people are gonna give up all of those cans of food to the everyday mundano on the streets. LOL hell NO! That is 100% prime grade A barter material buddy. You may find a few honest ones, but I doubt it. Lets not even discuss their history of being late to the party.
Do you think the Cops are gonna stick around to make sure that looting is held to minimal levels? Chances are they will make sure that they get first dibs then do that bootscoot to higher ground, 'y'all can take care of the rest.' as they leave.
(guess that really depends on location. In N'awlins, they just sat on bridges shooting at people.) Again, there may be the few that feel the call of duty, but I doubt it.

No, none of the above are an option in my book. Having preps in place is a pre-requisite. More importantly, attitude. If you panic, you are cold meat on someones table.(and think about that. There are those that will get hungry enough to outgrow that taboo.) The attitude of “I can do this” and “Can't kill me like that” will get you further than you really know. Knowledge is important but creativity is gonna save your ass more. Doing without may become commonplace but if you are creative enough, you won't be without for long; even if it is Hilljacked together and looks a lot like a mutilated roll of duct tape with bits sticking out.. The attitude, creativity, and thinking on your feet, are your key tools. Knowing whether to sit tight or high tail it; thats going to be something along the lines of the lottery. (here's a clue: Don't sit like a deer in headlights when the Train is bearing down on you.) It may be a 50/50 chance but if you choose correctly, you will have hit that powerball for the day. (something to think about now. Look around your current domicile. What are the really nasty business's around you. Not referring to that sex shop up the way either, but the toxic alley's, refineries, nuke power, whatever. You may even want to expand that search out a few miles. IF things get really scary and Mama Terra decides her upstart fleas (IE US) need a good swift kick (Like she just delivered to the Japanese) These particular areas are going to be even more nasty than they are now. Ever seen an oil spill. 1Qt of oil covers an amazingly huge area. (I know you have Mayberry, no need to comment on that) 1000's of gallons (or millions) is not even able to be described in words I know how to spell.(or that get the Expletive deleted action) (well, you all know it, you watched the Gulf oil spill too.) Even the word Brobdingnagian is not enough to describe that level of mess.

Maybe I should just James Morrison the whole concept. In a long enough time line, the survivability of everyone rate is zero. Or in the words of the above mentioned bard, 'No one gets out alive'. Dunno 'bout you, but I would prefer to be upright and breathing no matter what the circumstances are. At least from that position, I have a chance to try again. Horizontally, I am toast.(unless its because I am shooting from the prone) I may go down with a bullet to the head, but it won't be because I pulled the trigger. I may go out starved to death, but not because of lack of trying to get that garden growing. I may wear the soles of my boots of trying to find a better place, but I won't QUIT trying.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cheap ass or smart?

You know about the camper I have been looking at, more for the appliances than the camper itself. Cheap in price, but functional.
What about building supplies? Block, cement, board, screws/nails aren't cheap. What about that you ask. Well, its really not as bad as you would imagine.

Lets take block for example. And cement for that matter. There is a local company that makes cinderblock. I went and asked about block and they happen to sell 'broken' skids on the cheap. Its easier for them to sell of an entire skid where one or two blocks have been damaged instead of unstacking the entire skid of block to remove the broken ones. With the size house I am building, three skids will be more than enough. Cost:$5/skid. There are roughly 80 blocks per skid.
As for the cement, they will be providing that too. The machine that packages cement is rather sloppy. I can bring a shovel and get what doesn't make it into the bag for $1/yard THAT is a lot of cement. Gravel is another matter but even it isn't all that bad in price (thats a different company though)

Fact is, once all is said and done, I will probably only spent about $6000 on everything for this house. There are ways that you can get what you need without 'breaking the bank'. It takes some leg work, and obviously quite a bit of hard labor to get to the end product but the savings are well worth it. The fact that I will out right OWN this compilation of labor when I am done is of far more value to me than going the easy route. NO more mortgages for me, EVER! I will pay the property tax as that is the only way they will 'own' me. Once I have the shop in place, the job will go the way of the dodo too. Work for whomever is willing to pay, but only if they are willing to pay under the table, preferably in silver. Raise my own food, generate my own electric, have a local water source, maybe even go the route of methane generator for heating water and cooking(I am still up in the air about that one. I have options.) Other than internet access, completely off grid. ( My internet access right now is 'borrowed' from my cousin) Funny thing about living like the above description; unless there is catastrophic annihilation, Chances are, I would probably never notice societal failures.(except loss of internet)

In some ways, that is a freedom most will NEVER experience.

Lets talk about freedom.

Meet Bob.

As you can see, Bob is a dog. Bob has an interesting history for a dog though. One, he doesn't have an owner. His 'owner' left him in the hood a few years back when he foreclosed on his house. Bob stayed while dude left. Bob has never had a collar on his neck, has been to the vet to get shots and patched up on occasion but never been 'tagged'. He runs the neighborhood making puppies, being friendly to EVERYBODY (well there is one person he doesn't like but they deserve it), eats where he wants, gets taken care of by anyone that finds an issue with him, sleeps where he wants, and all because he is a nice dog. Once, he strayed into an area that he should have stayed out of and had the shit kicked out of him by a pair of Bulldogs: My dad and cousin took him to the Vet to get patched up. When he got sick once, my aunt took him to the vet for that. No one claims Bob, he just lives here. His choice, and no one runs him off.

Bob is FREE. What does Bob do that makes him accepted? He barks. That is his job. When the Coyotes are running, He barks. When some vagrant is walking on the tracks, he barks. But that's it; he doesn't go around making a nuisance of himself, he only barks when something needs barked at. The other thing he does is shows his happiness. He is ALWAYS happy to see you: Tail wagging, ready for a good belly rub.(and you can see in the pic, his tail is going a mile a minute LOL )
He is free to come and go and happily provides a 'service' in return for the things he does get. He is free.

How many of us, in the land of the free can say we are free? There is no way that any of us can be Free like Bob; not in todays society. Too many obligations, bills that need paid, taxes. Of course, we also have to feed ourselves. Bob is given his food and I guess you could say that is the leash that holds him here. There is that little darkness in Bob's story. I don't think it would be the worst though. I am sure that Bob would do ok no matter where he decided to curl up.

How many of us can say that?

Well, the old truth of "what you own, owns you." probably applies here. Bob owns nothing, owes nothing, gives are receives freely of immaterial though substantial things and lives his days without ANY stresses. I would imagine, being human without tooth or claw, we would have a hard time doing the same. Guess its just the nature of the beast. (no pun intended)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

meanderings of thought on scrap and creative impulses.

As you have seen, I have that little project in mind, on paper, and slowly but surely, in three dimensions.

Here is most of the blank I need for casting the pistons. There is still some work to go but it is getting closer.

Here is the future blank for the connecting rods.

And here are the parts as shown on my drawing. Still have a lot of work to do before I can cast them. I am only making the one as I want all of my casts the same whether its one part or a dozen.

Since I don't always trust the maths, I even made a cardboard cut out engine (2 dimensions) and using push pins and a couple of letter tabs, checked to see that my measurements would be true and not have any interference of Crank and piston skirts or Connecting rods and Cylinder walls. At the highest points in the cycle, there is still 1/16" clearance to the skirts and walls: I'm good. Of course, this also is dependent upon good castings coming out of my 'foundry'. I think I may even splurge and get the degas tablets as a little insurance policy for that. If I do, that will be the only thing that I will have purchased in this whole escapade. Seriously, literally every piece is either scrap metal, or a tidbit I have laying around. I seem to remember reading that a pair of inventors back in the early 1900's , created a carburetor for their little machine out of a tomato soup can. I used to wonder how in the hell they could have done that. Now, I know. While I may not know all of the details of that, or if its even true (though I don't doubt it any longer) I do know this: If a person is determined enough, there is nothing beyond their own imagination.(short of the laws of physics) Tools aren't even all that much in the way of that, as a person can make whatever they can imagine if given time and bullheaded determination (as David Gingery has shown many a person) Hell, I rig up at least one tool for every project I do. Just something to 'get the job done'. Sometimes its a copy of something that has already been invented (like the tool for tightening the bands on CV axles. Made one when I needed one) or scrapping together a new cutter because the ones I have aren't 'cutting it'. *pun intended* Like the saying goes, if in doubt, get a bigger hammer. In this case, the hammer is my imagination.

Now, off topic. I am not going to bring up the mess in Japan, I figure there are more than enough others doing just that. Maybe later in the week, I will put in my two cents on how I think it is going to effect the future here, but, to be honest, there ain't shit I can do about it. I feel for those that are suffering for it. Then again, I feel for those of us here suffering through a Societal decline too. Matters not if its a Tsunami, flood, terrorist attack, Hurricane, or Tornado; Shit happens, you survive (or not) and move on. Never forget, but don't let it control you anymore than possible. More on that later though.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Gravitational pull, and societal myths.

As you all know, I am an avid talk radio nut. I listen to as much as I can stand on a day to day basis, until I am ready to explode. Guess you could also call me a glutton for punishment.

One thing I have been screaming about lately is this whole "Leadership" myth the hawkers have been espousing since time out of mind. WHERE did this crap come from? The only person who should even represent leadership in our country is the President. All others are Representative of the people that elect them: or at least that is what I had always been taught and that is what my research concludes. Yet these talking 'gurus' constantly talk about the leadership of this country. Lately it has been about how we don't have any effective leaders but the point is the same. The only persons you should look to for leadership are yourself first and foremost, and any person of authority whom you respect secondly.(person of authority in this case is someone with more knowledge or wisdom than yourself) This goes back to that whole "cop=security" myth. If you are in need of a cop, chances are they are too far away to be effective in that sense AND they have no obligation to any ONE person for that persons security. '911 only takes a second, waiting for the cops could take the rest of your life.' Again, this is a myth that is sold downstream to the masses and yet I never really ever hear anyone contradict it other than in various blogs. You NEVER hear it in the MSM's. Rarely will one of the Talking heads speak those words (with GB being an exception but he still pulls out that leadership myth more times than I care to count. Micheal Savage is another but same applies to him)

I don't need a 'leader' to tell me how to live my life. My upbringing provided me with the foundation I need to get through life. A moral background that may not be written in stone but is made much stronger with every passing day and growing experience.(and some of these morals were written in stone at one point supposedly.) I think it was in "the Selfish Gene" that I read something about moral upbringings and lack of that as a foundation for criminal activity. There is some truth to that but not all. Sometimes even with a highly moral background, there isn't enough structure provided to provide that foundation. Kinda like laying a brick wall, you need to make sure the footer is properly laid out before you lay the brick; you can lay the brick and it will 'look good' but without that foundation, its gonna crumble with little outside force.

Sadly, it seems that these mythical "leaders" are in dire need of a solid foundation. Even more sadly, its right there within a couple of blocks of them and yet they can't look at it without trying to 'read between the lines'.(and thats lawyers for ya. Always lookin for the loophole)

Like the old cowboy adage goes, "you can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." Of course, like the horse, they need the desire to actually want to make that change. They aren't thirsty for it. While the rest of the country is slowly falling to pieces, these 'Elite' aren't. They have all of their money tied up nice and tight and no matter what happens, they will be ok. (short of total economic collapse. I am sure that there are a few that even have that covered.)

But lets get back to that Leadership idea. I mentioned that the President is supposed to represent the leadership role. And yes, there is that "leader of the free world" title and there is some merit to it. Our current PoTuS (or should I say ToTUS?) is more than a few strands shy of that role. Hell, every move he makes seems to have the underlying goal of Destruction of the Free world. When he is confronted with 'hard choices', he waffles around them, nearly Dances around them, tries to shuffle them off on others, etc etc. THAT is not a leader by any definition of the word. THAT is an Assistant Manager. Delegate authority but take none for themselves. So, If the Prez is an assistant manager, and Biden is his running scapegoat; WHO is really 'in charge'?

Ponder on that one, I know it has been covered by many conspiracy sites, rumor-mills, etc etc. I don't have, nor pretend to have an answer. I only know that I am the only one ultimately responsible for my well being. I am the only one responsible for my self protection, I am the only one at the end of the day that has to answer to my maker for my actions. I fully understand that there is no I in team. When I was in the Corps, we had to learn to operate as a team, especially if we all wanted to get out of some of the situations they put us into. But even there, we had to have individual traits to make the team function. It all boiled down to a bunch of I's There is only one time in this world where I was the least important part of the equation. As a parent. Even so, the I had to be strong to build the foundation for the child.

The President (maybe I should start calling him El Presidente. Ya think?) is supposedly a leader, but has a serious bent towards 'I' when leaders can't think about themselves first. Like I told my daughter the day granbehbie was born. "Until she is grown and out of home, 'YOU' are the last thing in the world when it comes to making decisions. She takes priority. You will do without, suffer, be humbled, and humiliated; but if you do your job right, she will make you the proudest person on the planet." Mr. President can't see past the mirror to realize that this country is now "his baby" and he HAS TO TAKE CARE OF IT ABOVE AND BEYOND HIS DESIRES.

But maybe that is asking too much from a narcissist.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gettin a lil sideways

On the way home, I was taking a little backroad to avoid the grandma traffic due to the rain. Funny how I say that since I am in southern KY and traffic down here is similar to early morning saturday traffic in Cincy. LOL
But here I am, scootin down this little one lane excuse of a road along side of a swollen river. Minding my own business, hit a puddle, hit the wipers and all of a sudden; sideways pointing into the river. Correct and the truck starts to spin the other direction but I can tell, NOTHING is grabbing onto anything. Complete 180 later (about half a second) and I am in the ditch AWAY from the river, Thank God, but at a dead stop, looking at my tire tracks through about 6" of mud on the surface of the road. I took a minute to make sure that my shorts were still clean, then put it into 4wheel and pulled my sorry ass out of that hole. One minor ding on the front quarter and a whole shitload of mud everywhere, but otherwise, just a good solid wake up call to me.

But it got me thinking.(and what doesn't anymore) Here we are, cruising down the road of history, desperately trying to mind our own business, and some jack-knob is putting down boatloads of mud on perfectly good asphalt. It doesn't matter if we are doing the speed limit, or trying to keep it down to a crawl, we can't keep the wheels from losing traction and getting sideways.

I was originally going to post about some of my core beliefs but that little spinout scrambled that thought line. It just seems that when things are stablizing, someone or something throws mud under the tires of this country. At one point, it all seemed to come from the outside. Lately though, its more and more coming from internal things. Unions, ridiculous laws, power encroachment, or lack of power where its desperately needed.

With that thought in mind, I think its nearly time to get out of the truck and start making my own way on foot. Let the rest of the country go on down that messy road, and hopefully they don't run headlong into the river, but if they end up in the ditch, I will be along shortly to help get it out. But I won't get there fast.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Back in the Yankee socialist state for 48 hours

And let me tell you, I feel the venom in the air. I am over 100 miles from the capitol that is having Wisconsin issues today but the 'chill' is in the air.

Least to say, I am glad as hell I decided to pack my Bug home bag today. Simple as hell: a blizzard sleeping bag, firestarter, Gerber multi-tool, 1911 and 6 magazines, a box of 100 rounds in addition to the mag'ed rounds, $6 face value of silver (boils down to about $150 at todays market price) plus a small wad of FNR's, and some other 'useful' items.

Will I need it. More than likely not. But like the saying we had while in TEI, "better looking at it, than looking for it". My shoulder doesn't appreciate it but if things get ugly, societal or just simple breakdown of mechanics, I will very much appreciate it.

We all have been talking about how things are getting worse. I haven't any real input, just empirical observations, but I would like to see just how things are panning out around the states. Here is my observation from my trip today. Gas is cheaper here than 'down home' where, usually, there is a .20-25 cent difference in the other direction. I went into a grocery store to do some comparison shopping and food is even cheaper. This state is having 'issues' with the SEIU, while KY is not. Maybe its my level of paranoia, or a slight case of "tin foil hat" but it seems that there may be something under the surface going on. Has anyone else 'seen' similar situations in other states? Any input is a good thing.

Anyway, I am up here today seeing the Granbehbie and Granddog, both of whom had a fight to see who gave "pa-paw" the warmest welcome. (wasn't even a contest as the dog outweighs granbehbie by 100# LOL) and that absolutely made my day. Well worth the 250 mile trip over any cash expenditure. I am also here getting some of those little things that I can't seem to find locally but know EXACTLY were to look here. (this was my original AO) Kill more than one bird on this trip. Things like 1/4" brass tubing, 1/32" tubing: just little stuff that if you have to find it on-line, you are probably gonna pay a LOT more in shipping than the item is worth. (I also picked up some brewing stuff since I CAN'T find that locally. Dry county, and YES they do still exist.) In some ways, I am also scouting to see the real "state of the Union".

I am not liking what I am seeing.

Guess that should come as no surprise, and it doesn't.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Et tu, Brute?

Man, I take a couple of days off and what the hell happens? Maybe things moving slow is part of the issue but things really seemed to have taken a turn and not for the better. Before going much further into I want to direct you to a post by William. Prudence is the key right now, not going off half cocked with a nearly empty magazine (and right now, none of us has a full magazine no matter how well prepped we are. ) Doing so may kick off the events, but its going to get alot more people, deader than hell, a whole lot sooner, and may even backfire.

Now back to what got to me. I have a set of daily reads, as I am sure that you all do. Some I hit more frequently than others depending upon how much is usually posted.(as I am sure you all do too.)
But then I came across this on Sipsey St. You can follow all the links yourself if you so desire, I won't go any further with it than I have: just no point when you can see the road fairly clearly and that it leads into a rather bad area. We already know that the future is going to be messed up, and thats putting it pretty lightly to be honest. Now is NOT the time to be making further enemies unless you have an agenda that, frankly, I want no part of. Enemies we have plenty of, you don't need to be running at the mouth and making more. Those enemies we have, know that division of forces is a key point to victory. And its not like we are even all that organized. (unorganized militia? Try disorganized militia. and I ain't laughin about it.) Whenever I see/hear of someone running at the mouth like this, I have to wonder as to what side they are actually working for. To put a 'Manchurian candidate' in place is not below the tactics of the left, proof is in the pudding so to speak. I am not calling anyone traitor at this point but I am saying "be careful what you wish for". Unintended consequences, karma, whatever, has a much better track record than 'Original intent'. Labeling EVERYONE of a certain class/career as 'the enemy' is no better than what our enemies are trying to do with 'class envy'. While the word isn't that, the intent is. Please tell me that we are better than that. That we don't hold grudges just because someone puts on a particular uniform everyday. Even in the trenches of Belgium. they understood that the real reason behind the war was not some "evil enemy" but politics and political aspirations. (and no I am not saying that there aren't bad people in uniform, just as I am not saying that everyone with a patriotic urge is the 'good guy' either. It goes both ways on both sides)

For those that are itching for a new/continued Civil War, hold on to your pants, keep your boots by your bedside. IT IS COMING. I, along with everyone else, is getting impatient with the speed of the decline, but no worries; it will get here. Trust me on this one: once it does, we will be wishing it hadn't. Its a troublesome dichotomy, isn't it?

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Great DBD addition this morning.

If you don't follow this online comic, you may want to. He 'tries' to cover both sides but you can tell which side he is really on.

Here is the link for DBD
And here is todays comic.

Now, about trying to make a piston through metal casting. I have not one clue how the 'pro's ' do it. I am winging it with a prayer to above on this one. I was trying to set up something where I could get as close to the bore dimensions as I could prior to any actual machining but the material I was using shrank considerably(enough that even a blind man could see it without having to resort to measuring instruments!) Finally decided on making one out of an excess piece of pipe that I am using for the bore. I will use body filler to shape the actual internal pieces to hold the gudgeon pin etc and will only have to machine the outer surface for the rings and final fit. I was planning on that anyway but was hoping to 'kinda cut corners'. I only need one blank as any castings will 'match' each other. The machining is where things can get screwed royally. My brain has been working overtime on how to chuck up a piston without having to set it IN the jaws of the chuck. I think I have a way but won't be for certain until I have one cooled and on the bench. Yeah, probably trying to reinvent the wheel here; thats part of the fun. The learning curve here is part of the challenge. Trying to get parts to do things they probably were NOT designed to do. Manufacturing things to "do the job" etc etc. Feel those neurons stretching out and reaching into the abyss of highschool memories, HOPING they find some tidbit of knowledge long forgotten about.

Once I have the blank to where I am content with it, prior to casting, I will post pics. One advantage to the Iphone, I don't have to email my pics to myself to get them, the data cable is all I need, unlike that other brick of a name I won't mention here.

Iphone update. What the Hell is all the rage about Apps?!?!?! I don't get it. I went online to check them out and found NOT ONE I would even be interested in. Maybe the Periodic table or the Converter program but other than that. Gah!!!!

Are people really that dense that they need to have applications to show them how to breathe? (well they aren't that bad but damned close) I just can't see how they would make a life easier if you are attached to a brick of tech that much more. If you can't use your brain for things (see above) how can you assume the title of Homo Sapien?

Maybe I am just too old school.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Nada mucho

And that's what I have right now. About the most excitement I have had the last couple of days was having my phone take dump on me. Broke down and bought an Iphone only because of the price point and what its able to do. Better camera for certain.

Had to go through it and turn off EVERYTHING but what I wanted and shut down its internal tracking curiosities that Apple built in the danged thing. I am fairly certain I didn't get them all but then, right now, I am not all that concerned about it. When the time comes to be concerned about it: it will make a fine necklace on a stray dog. Let whomever is looking for me, track that for awhile.

Just a little update on the engine thing. Working on setting up the casting profile for the pistons. Ran into a little snafu with my original idea and am now in the process of trying something different. Like I said in one of my posts; its a great way for the world to go to shit without me. LOL Better for my brain to be chewing on ideas like this than dwelling on trying to fix something that is pretty much beyond repair, and definitely beyond anything I can do to fix it. (sometimes, ya just gotta let the disease run its course.)

Work again tomorrow, I should be back on sometime Monday with a rant or two. Sundays usually give me some pretty good fuel for the fire.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Poco a poco


Ever notice the amount of it that goes on, on a daily basis?

That was the gist of a discussion this morning while waiting for another late truck to show. One of my cohorts mentioned that there was the big blowup a last week or so about "$4 gas RIGHT NOW!" and then, it didn't happen QUITE like that though there was an outright increase. His logic is rather straight forward, and definitively shows how much of a conspirasist he truly is (despite his protests) His logis was "they do that to attenuate your thinking to something much worse, then when it doesn't happen quite the way they stated, you are not so upset about it." Dead nutz in the black on that statement. Even when prices do rise, but not as much as people were dreading, they breathe a sigh of relief EVEN THOUGH the end result is nearly as bad as if the original issue had arisen.

Yup, they know how to program the populace to accept anything, unquestioning. Whether its paying more at the pump or 4th Amendment violations on the highway; they are quite good at controlling the sheep.(and those that are in the know have to go along to get along to some extent.)

One thing that everyone I talk to is in agreement on (except most politicians it seems) is that Laws are only to make criminals out of everyone. IF someone feels like breaking laws, it matters not how ANY law is written: they are gonna break 'em. Only the ones that want to stay out of trouble will pay attention to 'the rules' and when Said 'rules' are so convoluted and obscure, NO ONE really knows if they are 'in the right' even if they are within moral boundaries. I am to the point of not giving a crap one way or another about 99.9% of the laws on the book since every single stinking one of them is only written to make a criminal out of someone, generate another "tax" for Leviathan, and suck more funding out of the current revenue to 'house' another inmate. (follow that through, and you will actually see how fucked up the accounting is in the FedGov.)

Now the real question is this: If you are traveling along the highway(and it matters not one bit WHERE) knowing full well you are within legal status, not speeding, current license, all lights working properly, tags 6 months old and 6 moths before renewal, insurance is all legit, etc etc etc; and suddenly a cop hits the lights. Do you pull over despite knowing you are in the clear? 99.9999% of us will. What would happen if you didn't? Of course the 'Authoritah' would escalate his 'pursuit' until you did pull over at which time you would be subjected to abuses (verbal more than likely but potentially physical) and, of course, subjected to 'breaking a law' for 'ignoring' the "authoritah"'. Chances are, depending on how far you pushed it, you would be physically 'subdued' and confined for any number of charges (and the more the better since maybe only one will stick) and of course, no matter who you get for a lawyer, you WILL hear "plea bargain this one, its easier for everybody".

I remember watching an Andy Griffith show a while back where Barney had to go visit one of the local farmers (don't recall which one) with a new female Doc. When he arrived, the local started shooting at (kinda) Barney and telling him to go away. Funny thing is, at one point, that was completely legal to do, so long as you gave warning, including a 'warning shot' as the police officer was considered a trespasser if he did NOT have a warrant OR addressed his presence prior and had permission to approach the citizen. (note the last word in that sentence, its important)

What happened to this country? Where everyone that isn't a Federal law enforcement or even state law enforcement (and if you think they don't treat each other 'differently', I can't help you) are the CITIZENS and every body else is either 'subject' to the law or an ELITE far above the law (or so they think) with the prior being quite a bit more predominant in population.

I do not like the idea of being a "subject" whether its in a courtroom or in documentation in some filing cabinet being scrutinized as a "subject". Having done much reading, studying, thinking, more reading, I find it hard to get away from any of the above without completely turning my back on society as a whole. Starve the monkey's: Doing it to the best of my ability now. Get off Grid: in process. Use 'gray economies': Oh yeah, nearly every dollar I earn is getting converted over and if I can find what I need without having to resort to using FRN's, I do it. But the whole mess is rather invasive to everything short of breathing (and even there, can be).

It is for this reason above, I cheer on whatever collapse is coming at us. When the "Elite" are shown for the incompetents they truly are, even the not so "Citizens" LEO will have to admit that they had been duped (I like to hope so anyway)

And with that thought, back into the tub where the work bench is hidden. Time to polish some cylinder bores.