Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Monday, April 30, 2007
While this sport is nominally "tactical", most people "game" the course within the parameters of the rules to make their best time. On this course, Daisycat learned there was no specific distance she was required to maintain to the targets. So, rather than risking misses, she preferred to take the time to get right up close and personal and blow these cardboard badguys away at near point-blank range:Comments
Now in real life the badguys wouldn't just be standing around letting you walk up to them to be popped, but hey, that's what makes this a game.
Here's Cowboy Blob on the same course, making better tactical use of cover (and better time), although it wasn't technically required:
Finally, here's Daisycat on the "hoser" stage (as Cowboy Blob calls it), the close quarters rifle stage. Y'know sometimes he makes some pretty inscrutable statements until you look at the video and go "...ah."
Notice the puff of dirt at the very top of the berm at second 0:33 and the upward aim about the middle of the course as she's moving from left to right...
The guys in the next bay over (and maybe the next county over) are hearing *pshww!* *pshww!* *pshww!* overhead. :)
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:33 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 29, 2007
And the hare wins.Comments
Here is an illustration of why Cowboy Blob's friend Jon got First Place in his category and Yours Truly was lagging the pack.
Granted this is me on a different stage, but the contrast is rather hilarious.
Now I have positively no doubt in my mind about my time on this stage. Sheesh...
Reader EN emails the following comment:
I'm glad to see anyone shoot, it's what makes us better. However, the drill that had you reloading in the open is bad, bad, bad. It's teaching you to do that for real, which is suicide. Always reload from cover, particularly with a shotgun. I know it sounds basic, but when you do something like that in training you will repeat it exactly when it's for real. Your mind will focus on the threat and your body will use muscle memory from past similar experiences, meaning you'll stand there reloading why your mind works at a 1000 mph trying to watch the threat. Just my 2cents. EN
That's a good point. I might make the suggestion next time to add some cover to the shotgun stage(s) for reloading. Thing is though, the rules for this particular 3-gun match are pretty loose when it comes to tactical requirements. I also shoot IDPA and ACTS, which have much tighter requirements about the use of cover, tactical engagement sequences, etc.
Update 2: Here's an edited clip of Daisycat's performance with the rotating star. Very impressive for the first time facing it, especially the last two shots when it got to rotating pretty good (yes, that's my voice in the cheerleader role.)
(updated version with better clarity)
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:34 PM | permalink
Excite News - Fiery Crash Collapses Bay Area Freeway:
Witnesses reported flames rising up to 200 feet into the air. Heat exceeded 2,750 degrees and caused the steel beams holding up the interchange from eastbound I-80 to eastbound Interstate 580 above to buckle and bolts holding the structure together to melt, leading to the collapse, California Department of Transportation director Will Kempton said.
To Rosie O'Donnell and the other associated 9-11 conspiracy morons and dunderheads: DUH! Steel melts (and/or weakens) when hot flames are applied.
Update: More here.
Steel melts at about 2,750 degrees Fahrenheit—but it loses strength at temperatures as low as 400 F. When temperatures break 1000 degrees F, steel loses nearly 50 percent of its strength. It is unknown what temperatures were reached inside WTC7, but fires in the building raged for seven hours before the collapse.The Truth, children. The Truth. I know I know...it hurts. But you have to believe it.
Then again, when has insanity cared about reality?
Update 2: OOH! Have you heard the latest? Bu$Hitler STAGED this accident just to try to prove Rosie wrong and strike a blow to the heart of Blue State America! But she's still right! The bolts didn't melt--there were hidden charges under the bridge, positioned to make it collapse at just the right moment to obilterate the Enron and Halliburton financial records that were being carried in the cab of the truck.
Suspiciously enough, no Jews were injured or killed by this collapse...
And WHERE was Dick Cheney?!
Update 3: "Google it, people!"
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:13 PM | permalink
Cowboy Blob has details up at his site here:Comments
Cowboy Blob's Saloon and Shootin Gallery: Pima Tactical - April
Daisycat bought a new digital camera for our upcoming vacation, and it happens to have video capability. So instead of photos we took videos.
Now just figgerin' a-how ta edit um an' put um on mah blogg...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:05 PM | permalink
Friday, April 27, 2007
An extension for Firefox that obscures efforts by Google to track search habits, by burying actual searches under an avalanche of random searches. Doesn't work with Seamonkey: TrackMeNotComments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:11 AM | permalink
Thursday, April 26, 2007
Jeepers, it's almost next weekend and I haven't posted last weekend's progress pics yet!Comments
Changes. There's a few good reasons I don't like an audience while I'm working, and changes that I make in my work along the way is one of them. When I am building something and then stop and redo it a different way, someone watching me inevitably either asks me overtly or implies the question "Do you know what you're doing?"
Sometimes this is preceded by me sitting and staring at the work in progress for a lengthly period of time. "Why aren't you working on it?" Of course I am working on it more intensely at those times than when I am actually fabricating and assembling.
Don't forget you're dealing with an engineer here, not some mindless nob who'd keep banging away at something until far too late he discovered it would not work as built.
Two changes were necessary last weekend, one involving the hose bibb I had already changed once. But I realized that where I had it positioned just might cause issues with the inspector. They want all kinds of clearance from a electric service panel, and the hose bibb infringed on that clearance. So out came the saw and the glue, remounted to exit on the side instead of the front.
Then after pondering the situation long, I decided it would be far easier to mount the enclosure panel behind the electric service and then mount the electric service to the enclosure, rather than to try to cut out a hole in the enclosure where the electric service was already mounted. So off it came.
But from that point I made progress on the enclosure frame (until I ran out of parts), mounted the roof panels (until I ran out of panels), put on one side of the enclosure and re-mounted the electric service panel.
In other news, you can see how the trees have greened up nicely. I keep wanting to take photos of them, but all they would catch would be the billowing masses of spring green, backed by mountains and blue sky.
What the images can't capture are the nonstop birdsongs. There are so many that I don't recognize--birds that are never heard in the upland deserts. But down here in this riverbottom, this little ribbon of rich life in the barren places, they congregate.
There are birds that remind me of warm grassy meadows of the Augusts of my childhood. There are redwing blackbirds! These are the ubiquitous birds of the swamplands in Minnesota, and here they congregate on the powerlines and trill their unique song.
Then there is this chatty bird who sounds so much like R2D2 as he hops about commenting on everything he sees--inconspicuous to the eyes, but a strong sweet presence to the ears:
This is in addition to the roosters crowing, the turkeys gobbling, the horses whinnying, children playing off in the distance...
And just to remind me that I am still on this earth, and am *not* in paradise yet, the neighbor had to add his damnable music to the mix Sunday afternoon. Too quiet to complain legitimately, but loud enough for the "brp rmmm bup bup bup" to infiltrate nonetheless. Earplugs/earmuffs and silence for the rest of the day.
I have purchased the components to construct a "sonic fog" machine--a subwoofer-boosted pink noise generator. I am hopeful that the low rumble it will produce will be enough to drown out the neighbor's noise pollution while still allowing me to enjoy the birds.
Hedgehog cactus--just another extravagant, flamboyant expression amidst the desolation:
How many of you still think of the Wile E. Coyote/Roadrunner version of this desert when you think of Arizona? Funny thing is, northern Arizona looks more like the cartoon, but we have the roadrunners down here. My local clown was around last weekend doing his thing. At one point he was up in a tree and I had no idea what he was up to. Normally they scoot around on the ground looking for lizards to eat. Nonetheless he was flopping around the tree awkwardly, probably chasing after a juicy bug or something.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:55 PM | permalink
Wednesday, April 25, 2007Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:22 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:05 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 22, 2007
Occasionally if the back door is not closed all the way, it is possible for Rumsfeld to push it open from the outside. When this happens he trades places with several of the indoor cats and they go on a lark.Comments
Discovering it this evening I ejected the intruder and began rounding up the truants. Unfortunately Oscar and Irene were among the escapees this time. When I approached his hidey-hole, Oscar bolted across the yard and toward a light I had positioned to look for cats.
Between him and the light was the lily pond.
One eyed cat + Backlit pond + Duckweed covered surface = Full immersion baptism
Poor li'l thing was yowling piteously when I finally corraled him and brought him indoors. Now he's got an evening of work ahead of him, extracting the duckweed from his fur.
His sister Irene unfortunately is far too feral to catch again. It will require the trap if I am to bring her in. She may be back to being an outdoor cat. Missing still too, is Roscoe, but his adventure ought to be worn out by morning and he'll be around waiting to come in. Which is to say I've seen him, but he's determined not to be caught so quickly.
Update: SOMEone is a little wiped out from his adventure!
That's Roscoe (left) and Jasmine. Roscoe would never let Jasmine sleep next to him like this unless he was too pooped to care.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:54 PM | permalink
Friday, April 20, 2007
Some fascinating insights from Vox here: Vox Popoli: Sympathy for the devilComments
Perhaps moreso for me, because I too was a social leper in school, although it never manifest in anger toward authority figures. And it was small kindnesses that pulled me out of it, though subsequent betrayals nearly sunk me again.
Update: wow...now it turns out Cho was autistic.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:43 PM | permalink
...on the twentieth of April.Comments
And I haven't a lick of herb.
Labels: stream of consciousness
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:20 PM | permalink
...call for information.Comments
Sahara Mustard, Brassica tournefortii
I want to know what kind of nutritive value this plant has, and whether chickens might eat it. I'm looking at a way to turn a plague into a blessing.
I've tasted it myself. It has a sharp, tangy flavor, typical of garden-variety mustard plants, and similar to horseradish. Probably quite edible in combination with other greens or as the basis for a wild wasabi. What's it got for vitamins though? Being a Brassica species, probably a lot.
I know my iguana loved it. But if chickens will eat it, well there ya go! Just gather it by the wheelbarrow load and dump it in their enclosure, or fence off an area and let them go at it.
It's a noxious weed where it is not wanted. I've fought it for years in my in-town lot and pretty much eliminated it (eventually, if you pull all the new plants before they set seed, there is no more seed for future years). But out in San Pedro it covers the acreage, especially in the areas where I have been irrigating the poor drought-stricken trees.
It was fascinating to watch a troop of harvester ants meticulously dismember a patch of sahara mustard the last time I was out there. Because it was in the vicinity of the "outhole", I watched them for a length of time while I sat and contemplated. At the end of the day, all that was left was the main plant stalks, sans leaves or flower stems. And all around the ant hole they had laid out their bounty to dry before storing it below-decks.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:16 PM | permalink
Found. Lost. Stonewalled.Comments
"See I told you so," for all the damn good it does.
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:25 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 19, 2007
This is an oft-recommended substitute for sugar in one's preparedness supplies. Raw honey has benefits that the regular clear grocery store honey doesn't have--most importantly it still has the enzymes intact which gives it the antimicrobial properties it is famous for. Unfortunately storebought pasteurized honey can't make the same claim.Comments
Raw Honey, Really Raw Honey, Honey Products including Royal Jelly, Propolis, Bee Pollen, Beeswax, Beeswax Candles from an Ohio Beekeeper
Another one here: The Bee Folks
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:15 PM | permalink
Piece-O-Cake! Now I don't think I'll be buying canned butter for my storage foods. It's too easy to make my own.Comments
Many more resources at their Main Page!
Now if I could just get confirmation that canning lard is this easy, I'll be set.
(I just know someone is going WTF at this point. Trust me, if your packaged and canned food has run out and all you have left is pinto beans and rice, you *will* want lard and butter to supplement, lest you go stark raving bonkers. Somewhere I read this happened to pioneers and mountain men. They called it "rabbit madness" (or something like that) because there were plenty of rabbits to shoot and eat but they had no fat whatsoever on their carcasses. If there were no fat-containing larger game species available, after a while the lack of fat in the diet took its toll...)
Update: Found the reference--Rabbit starvation
Update 2: Bingo! Found the lard confirmation I was looking for:
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:57 PM | permalink
Got to go around
Talkin' 'bout your troubles Is a cryin' sin
Ride a painted pony Let the spinning wheel spin
You got no money
You got no home
Spinning wheel, all alone
Talkin' 'bout your troubles and you never learn
Ride a painted pony Let the spinning wheel turn
Did you find
The directing sign
On the straight and narrow highway?
Would you mind a reflecting sign?
Just let it shine, within your mind
And show you, the colors that are real
Someone is waiting
Just for you
Spinning wheel, spinning true
Drop all your troubles by the riverside
Ride a painted pony Let the spinning wheel fly
Blood, Sweat & Tears--1969
There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:27 AM | permalink
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Not a complete refrigerator or freezer, just the condensor unit, but it operates on solar power/batteries. Add an evaporator and a heavily insulated chest and you've got post-teotwawki or remote cabin refrigeration without the inefficiencies of converting from 12vdc to 120vac!Comments
Adler Barbour | Adler Barbour Cold Machine | CU100 from the ShipStore.com ™ on-line catalog.
Update: More here, including the evaporator units
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:03 PM | permalink
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Well drat. The Tucson Sidewinders lost tonight. But going to the game is a fun thing we do a couple times every season anyway.Comments
I have little to no interest in major league baseball or professional sports in general. But there's something different about minor league baseball. It's more for fun and never as serious. Although attendees this Thursday get to watch the Big Unit--Randy Johnson hurl balls for the Sidewinders. That'll be a packed stadium again, no doubt. I pity the opposing minor league team that has to face him.
Yes, baseball can be a most interesting and subtle sport.
The men are divided into teams. One team plays with their balls. The other team rubs and shakes and swings their sticks. After one team is "outed" three times, a new "inning" begins. The teams switch sides, and now the team that was playing with their balls swings their sticks, and the team that was swinging their sticks plays with their balls.
Some of the more subtle moves that I have observed include the antics of the man called the "batter", otherwise known as the "man whose turn it is to shake his stick at the other team". The "batter" emerges from a cave in the ground called a "dugout". In the cave, other men can be observed spitting and grunting and scratching their balls. The "batter" approaches a certain location, spits on his hands, and then rubs his stick. He thumps it on the ground a few times, shakes it menacingly toward the other team, and then raises it in the air over his head.
These antics appear to be designed to draw the attention of a man from the other team called the "pitcher", otherwise known as the "man standing on a hump, fondling his balls." This man glares at the "batter" for a few moments, like a bull contemplating the matador. He glances around at his teammates, as if summoning courage. Then all of a sudden he rears up on one leg in a MOST dramatic fashion, kicks his other leg outward defiantly, and hurls his ball at the "batter"!
This is a most startling development, and one that would be expected to result in an immediate melee in any other context! But no melee ensues. Instead, the hurled ball is caught by a man kneeling behind the "batter", called a "catcher", otherwise known as "oddly dressed little man squatting behind the batter in a submissive posture".
After catching the hurled ball, he fondles it and tosses it back at the "pitcher", then kneels down again behind the "batter" in an expectant pose. The "pitcher" kicks at the ground with his foot, snorts and spits an enormous quantity of mucus, then proceeds to examine and fondle his ball again.
Meanwhile the "batter" seems to completely ignore this "catcher". He kicks the ground several times himself, rubs his stick and waves it around again, and then returns to focusing his attention on the "pitcher". There certainly seems to be some kind of tension between these three players, that's for sure. (The other players are gathered in a broad circle around the field, watching the drama unfold.)
Simultaneous with the hurling of the ball, there is yet another man hunched down behind the "catcher". At the moment the "catcher" catches the hurled ball, this man barks an unintelligible command (sometimes "EE-Ryke!", sometimes "Bwoah!"), and makes a (lewd?) gesture with his fist. What this means I cannot fathom, (although this same man is sometimes observed fondling and exchanging balls with the "catcher"). Perhaps he is expressing his dismay at this outburst of temper from the "man standing on the hump, fondling balls".
There is much more that I have observed, much of it most startling and dismaying. But I haven't the time to go into it all right now.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:47 PM | permalink
Monday, April 16, 2007
Pic via Billy Budd
Backstory is that this pussified adminstrator cheered the Virginia Legislature's failure to pass a bill permitting concealed carry permit holders to carry their firearms on campus just a year ago.
Had this gunman confronted an armed student or faculty member, this shooting spree could have been stopped early.
This incident is a perfect illustration of the idiocy of feel-good liberalism.
Update: Opinion: Guns On Campus--One Is One Too Few
Update 2: It happened before in Virginia at a different school about five years ago, except that time there were armed students on campus that stopped the attack. But this fact was *NOT* widely reported at the time. Go Read
Update 3: A good piece here from Steve H. However given his tendency to delete his typically excellent political pieces I've also placed it below the fold here:
Virginia Tech Students Doomed by Gun Ban
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:44 PM | permalink
With ammo getting in short supply, this could be useful:Comments
Centurion Ordnance, Inc.
The prices for. 45 ACP and .380 are pretty close to what we pay locally at gun shows or WalMart. Too bad they don't carry larger caliber rifle ammo. Via Rodger.
Update: And another page here that lists several suppliers and their current prices: Bill StClair
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:34 PM | permalink
This paper is an outline of a seven year "covenant with many" between the EU and several Mediterranean nations, of which Israel is one participating nation, which was previously outlined a few years ago and recently confirmed and put into effect on January 1 this year. Notice that the National Indicative Program is in effect a 3-1/2 year review period of sorts:Comments
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:57 PM | permalink
There are times that I feel I have Bill Whittle-sized essays inside me. But rarely do I have the patience to extract them, spread them out, arrange them coherently and set them to words. Nor the genius of Whittle to do so, so seemingly effortlessly.Comments
This is one of those times. There will be no essay however. Just more in a long string of ruminations I post in these pages.
We are being used.
By whom? Oh, leave that to the conspiracy theorists to answer. They're right however. At least some of them must be. Which ones I don't know for certain. But there is no doubt in my mind that we are being used. And it has been going on since the dawn of civilization.
Looking into the Bible at the history of the Hebrew people, they brought upon themselves that which God wished to spare them from when they demanded a king. "In that day there was no king over Israel, and each man did what was right in his own sight." That line is repeated a couple of times in the book of Judges and/or Samuel. Some make that into an endorsement of centralized authority, but I don't buy it. Else why would God go to such lengths to explain to Samuel what a mistake it was His people were making by demanding a king? God said "*I* am your king--you don't need secular authority over you. I will raise up judges when you need correction and guidance and salvation from your enemies." But they insisted and he relented. And they paid the price.
God's "permissive will" at work. Ouch.
The genius of the Founding Fathers of this nation is that in part they attempted to recreate a government form that resembled the pre-monarchial Hebrew nation, with maximum responsibility placed upon the individual who would ultimately stand before his God in judgement for his life. Government was severely restricted in scope to that which they believed minimally necessary to secure rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness as each individual, family and community saw fit to pursue.
This is why I am so much an originalist when it comes to politics in this country. In the current political climate, originalism is essentially conservative libertarianism.
However, as I have noted elsewhere, neither the modern Democrat or Republican parties represent this perspective. Both parties are statist in their orientation--they just differ in the purpose to which they wish to use state power. And I believe the left-right dichotomy is largely a red-herring, a Hegelian dialectic designed to distract us as a people from the real dichotomy, which is between centralized state authority and the rights and freedoms of the people.
It's gotten so bad that just saying "the rights and freedoms of the people" gets eyes rolling. I can feel the tickle on the back of the neck as I write it. Because I saw you. And you. And you over there, rolling your eyes when you read it. Yeah, I just revealed myself as some kind of nutcase for worrying about "rights and freedoms", didn't I? Don't I know we're at WAR?! Don't I know about SOCIAL INJUSTICE and GLOBAL WARMING?! How dare I piss and moan about so-called "rights" and "freedom" at a time like this?
Can Don Imus! Mandate Priuses and fluorescent lightbulbs! Ban hamburgers! Imprison flag burners and beat hippies and commies, damnit! We have IMPORTANT THINGS to worry about as a nation!!
We are being used. Left or right, we're being fed bullshit by the bushel load to keep us at each other's throat, to keep us grasping after the reins of power, demanding more and more be done by elected officials and unelected agencies to further our agenda when "our" party is in power.
But is it really our agenda? Is it my agenda? Is it your agenda? What is actually important, versus what you and I have been led to believe is so very critical?
I submit that the average person, dropped into the middle of a blank white void with the power to create a world of their choosing on command, would have little idea what they really want and where to begin. How many recliners and 60" plasma screens would be the firstborn of creation? Until they realize that it is up to them to create the programming on the screen, that is.
Back to the real world, I don't think most people have a good grasp on what really matters to them personally, what is truly worth pursuing and devoting focused energy toward achieving. We are being used, but the manipulation is so subtle and so pervasive that most people are quite unaware. We spend our years in pursuit of happiness and wonder why we're still not happy. "Aren't I doing everything I'm supposed to? What's wrong with my life then? Maybe I need a new hairdo, or a new car or house or spouse. Maybe I'll join a campaign or fight for a cause. I feel so empty..."
You've been co-opted, programmed to serve someone else's agenda.
But as long as we have our steady stream of mindless entertainment, our steady supply of baubles and trinkets to lust after and acquire (but never quite enough to get *all* the ones we want), we can be manipulated and used for the ends of others who are more sure of what they are after.
"And who are these diabolical puppetmasters then?", you may ask. Oh, it's likely different in different times and in different nations. No explicit need for grand conspiracies. In every age and nation since the dawn of civilization, there have been individuals, "elites" if you will, who see the people not as sovereign individuals to be respected and let alone to pursue their own nirvana here on this earth in whatever manner they see fit, but as tools to be exploited in pursuit of greatness for the elites. From the first ziggurat in Mesopotamia to the latest empire building in Europe and elsewhere, there is Glory to be had. But only if the people are enslaved or their wills otherwise twisted toward achieving it for their betters.
Think about your own programming. Weren't you trained up to be a "productive member of society"? I mean what on earth are you doing in that cubicle (besides "stealing company time" reading my missive)? Pursuing your happiness?
No matter how you slice it, it's someone else's vision you're pursuing, even while that carrot dangles so enticingly in front of your nose--so close you can smell it's sweet savor and almost taste it's cool crunchiness...
Keep pulling, Mule!!
Somewhere the Bible describes earthly paradise as each man (and women and children) with their own vine and fig tree, with the ability to enjoy it's shade and eat it's fruit in peace.
And yet instead, we've had millenia of wars and enslavement, empire building and empires crumbling, glory gained and lost, but not for the average man. No, he's a mere pawn in someone else's vision of greatness. Never can a village or a kingdom be left in peace and freedom for more than a few decades, a couple centuries in rare cases, before some new conqueror sweeps through, destroying everything and making slaves of the people.
In the last century we had our Hitlers and our Stalins, Maos and Pol Pots, obvious and overt statists whose goals were clearly stated. But for all the talk of American freedom, how free are we really to pursue our own vision? Not very. Our whole society is structured such that we are expected to pull together toward some common good, some national greatness that isn't always clear how it is supposed to manifest. In the last century it was "Progress". Or SCIENCE!! Today the focus has moved to the global stage as we're expected to move together toward some sort of global harmonic convergence of peace, prosperity, ecology and a New World Order.
But God help us if we stand up and ask just what and why.
People like me who stand up and say "Hey wait a minute! Just where is all this right-left, liberal-conservative, socialist-capitalist, Islam-secular world back and forth leading us to anyway? Is this **really** where we want to go? Who is leading us there? Who is pushing us there? Can I get off the train here?"
Thus the drug war, as an example. Pot makes people lazy and happy, and we can't have that now!! How would progress toward our new world order suffer if people couldn't be driven by anxiety and want? And the righteous campaign against it permits all sorts of new powers to be demanded by the people and, happily, granted by the government to itself.
See, there you go again. I saw you tense up a little bit and push back from your keyboard just a bit there. Click! The programming just kicked in again.
The drug war is not the thing. It is just a symptom of the need to control that continues to grow stronger and stronger in this nation and in the world. If this were really a government "by the People and for the People", then the government would not have such an increasing need to control "the People", would it? No, it is because "the People" have differing goals and aspirations from "the Elite" that this control becomes necessary. And of course it must be gradual lest we notice and take drastic action before it is "too late" (oh, it's probably too late anyway...)
Thus likewise the baubles and trinkets and mindless entertainment to keep our attention elsewhere. And if our attention is determinedly focused on politics and government policy, then there are always the false dichotomies, the Great Causes we're led to believe in and fight for, the squabbling left and right that somehow, magically, always leads to more government power, more state control over the lives and fortunes of "the People".
Phff...had enough for now.
Thoughts, comments, missives, diatribes?
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:16 PM | permalink
Saturday, April 14, 2007
...was a blast, despite coming in second to last. (Ouch.)Comments
I was looking through the pics I took today and they're remarkably similar to pics I've taken of previous IDPA matches, only the firearms are more varied. Nonetheless, I'll post a few. What we need is a digital video camera. That way we can replay and analyze our performance a little better.
First off, the lovely Daisy Cat, sporting her bran' spankin' new DPMS Panther Lite and her Bersa Thunder .380:
(Just try separating her from that Bersa. Nuh uh.)
... and Desert Cat with his Norinco MAK90 and Kimber ProCarry II:
And we had the pleasure of shooting a match for the first time today with Teh Faymous Cowboy Blob!!, whose enthusiasm for three-gun competition and similar events got us started in this sport:
For sheer fun, check out Robert the Class III dealer on his last stage before he had to leave early: Full-Auto
*Ahem* The tapers appreciated that, I'm sure. ;)
More here from Cowboy Blob.
Update: Yknow, every time I look at these pictures again, I get a silly grin on my face. Dang this is fun!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:49 PM | permalink
Friday, April 13, 2007
I don't recall sharing this previously. But it popped up on my screensaver and I thought, "dayum that's nice!"
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:09 PM | permalink
I recently found this link to an online police scanner for Tucson, after I heard some shots a few nights ago: www.azstarnet.com | radioscanner streamComments
This evening there were some rapid-fire shots extremely close to my house. I stuck my ear out the door trying to hear anything, then realized I had this link.
Drive by shooting, next block over.
G-damned Crips are moving in, I've been told.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:26 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Desert Cat, you are channelling the Angry Atheist. This text is ripped verbatim from a typical Angry Atheist rant. Pretty Lady is feeling faint. She is Reeling. She feels as though the world is collapsing down to one diseased, paranoid psyche, with her in it. Whimper. It's just that Pretty Lady has discovered that she has a Type, which she cannot seem to get away from. A type which, seemingly, finds her. What is this about? --Pretty LadyComments
Seems the Type is a puzzle. Intelligent, complicated. If I have gleaned anything from reading, it is that PL does enjoy a good puzzle. The problem (if it is repeating) is that a high percentage of intelligent, complicated Types are also slightly twisted when it comes to the interpersonal. --JWYW
When you feel them unerringly homing in on you? Instead of reacting with that combination of fear, curiousity, compassion, turn it around. Sever the connection if that's what's needed, especially in the earlier part of the *recovery phase.* They pose a real danger to you. Otherwise, when you can, just keep them at a safe arm's length...and observe. Practice and hone your skills at fending off their manipulations. --k
*Tsk* *tsk*, DC, I see you've been behaving like a cad, making the lady swoon! --miket
Someone starts ranting irrationally, he gets ejected. Immediately and permanently. --Pretty Lady
Yes, there you go. You've got ol' Desert Cat pigeonholed. He's *just like* the Angry Atheist. Dangerous. Diseased. Paranoid. Psychotic. Twisted. Manipulative. Irrational. Best kept at arms length or further.
DC, you and I have so much in common, it's scary. --Pretty Lady
And furthermore, I. Am. Not. Channeling. Anyone. (!) Someone is engaged in some major league projection.
Update: From the comments: "Pops. Listen: Even when you try to look scary you're not."
Well, actually it was originally going to be thus:
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:57 AM | permalink
I am quoting here a passage by Lt. Colonel Dave Grossman which was in turn quoted by Bill Whittle in his excellent Tribes essay. In response to some recent comments at Pretty Lady's Blog, I will let this passage to speak for itself, for now:Comments
One Vietnam veteran, an old retired colonel, once said this to me: "Most of the people in our society are sheep. They are kind, gentle, productive creatures who can only hurt one another by accident."
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:57 AM | permalink
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
For Doozey's upgrade: Holding Tanks-16 - 20 GallonComments
One of a couple sources I've found. Marked for future reference.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:40 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 08, 2007
You may have noticed that Desert Cat did not post a great deal about last weekend. There was good reason for this. Desert Cat was not an especially happy camper last weekend.Comments
On the way out there, Doozey blew out one of her rear tires. Not a flat, but a literal blowout--BOOM! WHapata! Whapata! Whapata! Whapata!, etc. Fortunately 1) Doozey has duallies and 2) This occurred within a few hundred yards of the end of the pavement and the beginning of the dirt road. The second is fortunate because it was 9 PM and the middle of nowhere, and the thought of struggling to change a tire in the pitch dark just did not appeal. After inspecting things and seeing that the tread had come completely off--no hanging flaps of tread to continue smacking the living snot out of the bottomside of the vehicle, he proceeded slowly and carefully the remaining ten miles to his San Pedro homestead, with the shredded remants of the inner left tire schwip-schwip-schwipping on the wheel well.
No biggie, right? Change the tire first thing in the morning, life goes on.
Morning comes and Desert Cat discovers that no level of effort, no combination of pipe extensions and breaker bars is going to budge those lug nuts holding the blown tire to the vehicle. Apparently his mechanic in his manic zeal to ensure that the wheels do not fall off, had all but welded the suckers on. His final herculean effort to remove the lug nuts results in his 1/2" socket extension getting twisted a full 45 degrees. Nuh uh. This is not worth busting tools over.
He initially considers driving slowly home, as he had the last ten dirt road miles. Unfortunately his inspection of the inner tire on the opposite side shows an ominous bulge on that tire as well. A second blowout appears to be imminent. Furthermore, on that side the engine exhaust pipes, the exhaust pipe for the generator, and an LP gas line all pass within reach of a flapping, hammering "alligator", and the potential for serious damage caused by a blowout on that side is much greater.
No biggie. He will drive his van home (which happens to be parked here as a deterrent against snoops, vandals, and thieves breaking into what would otherwise appear to be an unoccupied mobile home), and bring his compressor and air impact wrench next time he comes out.
Next up, he hears a sound that is normally, and up to this point exclusively, limited to city environs. For some ungodly reason, unbeknownst to Desert Cat, his neighbor to the east has brought the city out to the country and has turned on some music, OUT-doors, and just loud enough so that the bass can be heard through the trees.
Why? Why would someone move way the tarnation OUT of the city, way OUT in the country just to bring the city with them?
It turns out to be "country" music, which would seem to be appropriate were it not for the fact that Desert Cat's definition of country music includes the music the red-wing blackbirds make, and the wrens and the finches and the quail, and even the crows, together with the soft accompaniment of the wind in the mesquite branches.
"Country" music is not the worst thing out there. At least it is not rap, or heavy metal, or bubblegum pop. Still it is just another form of city music, and unfortunately most of it sounds like the singer had to be whacked upside the head a few times with a rubber mallet to get him to sing that way. But while Desert Cat most definitely does not like "country" music, this in itself is not the most objectionable part of this unfortunate turn of events. The music itself would be barely discernable were it not for the existence of a bass line and beat. Through the trees the treble disappears and what assaults his ears is a brrp brrm brrm hoob-hoob-hoob HOOM, fup boooma boom boom rummm rooom boop, on and on and on, throughout the remainder of the morning and all of the afternoon. See, Desert Cat is one of those Highly Sensitive Individuals that Pretty Lady wrote about, and such as this would be bad enough, were it not intruding itself upon HIS SANCTUARY, which makes it abomination! It finally (finally!) died out at dusk (oh thank the Lord God in heaven, it's silent!!), only to start up again in the morning, BEFORE HE HAD EVEN WOKEN!
Brrp brrm brrm hoob-hoob-hoob HOOM, fup boooma boom boom rummm rooom boop
Madness! Seething, jittering jibbering madness! He finally found refuge in a pair of brand new earplugs inserted full depth and topped with his earmuff-style hearing protectors. Aah.
Back to tires an the flatness thereof.
For the many tasks of hauling and the moving of materials of various sorts that one finds to accomplish on a homestead, Desert Cat purchased a clone of the venerable Garden Way cart. Garden Way is no longer in business, but several reputable manufacturers have taken up the mantle and continue to produce solidly built garden carts on the same pattern. The one he purchased is made by the Norway Company. For those of you unfamilar with the Garden Way cart, suffice to say that a comparison of the use of a Garden Way cart to one of those plastic "garden carts" for sale in hardware centers, or worse yet, a one-wheel barrow is the difference between utter ecstatic rapture and wretched, abominable misery.
Not. Even. Close!
The 26" pneumatic wheels of the Garden Way style carts make rough terrain smooth and the perfect balance of the wheel position and handle placement make heavy loads light. One-wheel barrows keep chiropractors in business, and plastic "garden carts" are the very epitome of planned obsolescence (plastic + sunlight = disintegration within 2 years).
Given that his corner of paradise ironically includes a large number of thorns, Desert Cat wisely ordered his cart with the optional heavy duty puncture resistant inner tubes.
You get where this is going, right?
The operative word is "resistant". Which is not the same as "proof". And the proof of that is when a large and especially stiff thorn embeds itself into the tire when the cart is loaded up with a heavy load of rock.
So much for *that* task...
Topping off the weekend, in addition to the usual problem of running out of parts to complete various tasks, he constructed the most hideous, butt-ugly contraption involving a pressure gauge and brass hose bibb. He dared not photograph it for fear of inspiring derision and laughter, and instead vowed to purchase what he needed to make it right next weekend.
On the other hand, he did get a couple of cool pix of a fresh spider web--so fresh the spider was still spinning it as he snapped the rainbow reflections off it from the setting sun. And now that he's had a *good* weekend back in paradise, he's ready and willing to share them with you:
This weekend I came armed with air compressor and impact wrench. Unfortunately I was still not initially able to loosen the lug nuts, and was ready to let the air out of the second crippled tire on the other side and hobble slowly back to civilization, when I inspected the threads on the lug nuts more closely and made a disturbing discovery.
"Righty tighty. Lefty loosey." Everyone knows it. Everyone has it memorized.
Except that the driver side lug nuts on 1966 Dodge 1 ton chassis vehicles are "righty loosey, lefty tighty".
Yes. You know the implications by now...
Them suckers were on there *tight*! Boy howdy!
Here's what remains of my blowout. The "alligator" was wrapped around the axle:
More pics, here is the hose bibb sans ridiculous contraption, and the pressure gauge in a proper location:
Pad, showing installed breakers, not showing the weatherproof boxes on the back side of the electric panel, showing the incoming conduit run and the start of the unistrut frame for the shelter:
I was finding it a little difficult to drive myself today. It was a hazy, dusty day, but the temperatures were modest and the sun pleasant, and I kept finding myself daydreaming or wanting to doze in the cart or on the bench next to the wildlife pool. The fresh green of the mesquites was mesmerizing too, though this pic hardly captures it, and I even hesitated including it:
But that's probably okay, as I ran out of parts before I ran out of time again, and potholing the existing utilities (my other task) was more strenuous an activity than I was up to for a Sunday afternoon.
The music recurred this weekend only once. Saturday evening, just as I had called Daisycat on my cellphone to chat for a while, it came on at low volume, and then was cranked up very loud. That was sufficient for me to justify a complaint, and so I wandered over there, got the attention of the young man who was responsible, and kindly asked him if he would consider turning the music down and maybe moving his stereo closer to where he was working so that he would not feel the need to blast it so loud to hear it where he was. He said he would, while having the appearance of a puppy faced with a rolled up newspaper. I felt a little guilty at that--but only a little. The music stopped and didn't reappear this weekend. Maybe message delivered.
Dare I hope?
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:46 PM | permalink
Thursday, April 05, 2007
...must be busted.Comments
Or I've been blacklisted.
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:26 PM | permalink
...as much for my benefit as yours. I save extensive bookmark lists of websites of interest, and occasionally suffer hard drive crashes and the like wherein I lose all my lists of great internet resources I've found over the preceding months.Comments
This is a presumably more permanent medium.
I can't say for sure what I will include under this subheading, but at the moment I am researching preparedness resources and related similar sites.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:54 PM | permalink
Got any dead lead acid batteries lying around? The devices described on this page:Comments
Lead Acid Battery Desulfator
and discussed in more detail on this forum:
Lead Acid Battery Desulfation Message Board
could breathe new life into them.
Ever bought a new auxiliary battery for an RV and had it go dead after a year or two, despite the fact that it was rarely used and supposedly kept charged by the engine alternator? I have, and it gripes my wagger. These devices reverse the sulfation that is the culprit. As soon as I confirm that the kits are still available through the first site, I will be getting one and putting it to the test on a couple of bum aux batteries I have.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:54 PM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:03 PM | permalink
Daisycat had her knee operated on today to correct a cartilage problem. There were no complications and she's walking around the house now.Comments
Furthermore she plans to dance in the Easter celebration on Sunday.
There's modern medicine for ya. And thanks be to God for his hand on all concerned, to make sure it went well.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:45 PM | permalink
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
A hippy perspective, but still a source of some good usable ideas toward independence and survival planning: Path to Freedom.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:26 PM | permalink
Notice what is at the heart of this arrangement? The Western European Union, consisting of, count 'em, ten nations. Worth noting is that the authority to wield what military power exists within the EU resides within this prior organization.
"The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast. They have one purpose and will give their power and authority to the beast." Rev 17:12-13 NIV
Update: An important note I want to add here regarding the "antichrist". That denotation probably gives rise to some false ideas about this man. When he appears, he will not be "anti" Christianity. In fact as I learned to day, the Greek word that is translated as "antichrist" actually means "pseudo-christ", which implies he will appear as a false Christ, claiming to be Christ himself. Other scriptures witness to this, in that he will at some point proclaim himself to be God, and Jesus' own words that false Christs would precede his return.
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:10 PM | permalink
Monday, April 02, 2007
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 12:41 PM | permalink
Sunday, April 01, 2007
See those images up there?Comments
It was thus that Desert Cat found himself these last couple of evenings. And he slept with shades open under the light of the waxing full moon.
The Lady, she speaks, and restless dreams she makes in his head. And when she goes down and the light goes out, he mourns the sudden stillness.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:48 PM | permalink
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