Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Monday, November 30, 2009
...laces are being untied--expect it to drop soon.Comments
Dubai debt fears threaten credit crunch 2 — and RBS is exposed - Times Online
The standstill has raised the prospect that Dubai World and, by extension, the government of Dubai might default on their debt.
Dubai's problems hint at trouble elsewhere
The fear, which reached Wall Street on Friday, sending the Dow Jones industrial average down more than 150 points, is that other countries and institutions could be in trouble, too — from other heavily indebted nations like Greece and even Britain, to high-flying emerging markets and European and American banks that have lent Dubai money. "Dubai shows us that what we are now facing is a solvency issue, not a liquidity issue," said Jonathan Tepper, a partner at Variant Perception, a research house in London that has been outspoken on the debt problems facing European economies.
Still brewing is the commercial real estate crash. An article over the weekend in the local paper revealed that a number of apartment complexes in the Tucson area are in foreclosure. There are many more to come.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:19 AM | permalink
Fiat Currency Money Printing Leading to Decentralization and Operational Secession--Comments
Dr. Gary North
Excellent article here by Dr. North. He outlines how we may be able to take our country back from the bankster establishment that is running us into the ground.
He also identifies what I have previously said is the true central conflict in the current political sphere. It is not left versus right, conservative versus liberal. This is the smokescreen the Establishment has thrown up to keep us distracted from the true issue. The true issue is centralized power versus diffused power, or Statism (fascism by any other name...) versus Liberty. What has been going on behind our backs, behind the smokescreen of left versus right wrangling is a relentless drive to centralized political (and economic) power. It is not just occurring on a national level, but on an international level with efforts to create a world governing authority.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:55 AM | permalink
H1N1 Re-infections Raise Pandemic ConcernsComments
I had this suspicion that this was happening. Having had H1N1 once does not necessarily confer immunity to the virus or slightly mutated cousins.
This also suggests that vaccination may not prove effective either.
I was wiped out in June, and I was "under the weather" again a few weeks ago, when they were saying that seasonal influenza was not yet circulating but H1N1 was. So unless it was a rhinovirus (again doubtful due to the weather/time of year), it was possibly a mild recurrence of H1N1. If you had it mild the first time, the linked article suggests it could come back harder the second time around.
Labels: health and lifestyle
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:44 AM | permalink
Sunday, November 29, 2009
I never used to care much for it. It was always the "food of last resort" growing up--when nothing else was in the fridge, a peanut butter sandwich had to do.Comments
Browsing my fridge for late night munchy satisfaction, I grabbed the peanut butter jar and honey squeeze bottle. But I discovered upon opening the peanut butter that I had consumed most of it the last time I had the late night urge to browse.
Now it is empty and I am wanting more.
I didn't even buy it for myself. Daisycat brought this out to my place a few weeks ago when she visited. She bought it for herself but decided she didn't want it.
Funny how tastes change with time.
Maybe I need to place an ad:
Avid honey connoisseur seeks
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:03 PM | permalink
I didn't post after last weekend because progress was minimal. That Friday was Chicken Butchering Day II, and the rest of the weekend was spent rearranging my living space and attempting to tame the chaos.Comments
Only three more chickens fell to the axe last Friday. The old rooster found a new home with the neighbors, whose coop did not have a rooster. And one of the old hens redeemed herself by starting to lay again right before butchering day. So it was just two young roosters and one old hen who was done with her laying days.
This weekend was more akin to a week, starting as it did on Wednesday. I continued work on my workshop area, putting some shelving units in place and constructing a wall out of the back of the shelves, the patio cover supports, the existing paint shed and some sheets of siding.
The pad for the paint shed needed to be extended a bit to one side. Here I just mixed up some concrete, since it is close to where water will drain off the roof when it rains. I didn't want unprotected sand or aggregate being washed away.
A couple more photos from our Thanksgiving hike.
Daisycat on the trail below...
And the trail continuing uphill beyond where we stopped.
The old hens stopped laying completely the last month or so prior to the start of butchering. Now with all the extra roosters and the constant cockfights gone, the one old hen started up again and the young hens have suddenly busted loose and started laying. And they are laying easter eggs!
Olive green eggs, reddish tan and tan-yellow!
The olive green eggs are laid by a little white hen of mixed breed. The red eggs are laid by the Buff Orpington hens. And the tan-yellow egg is laid by the old white hen.
The olive green eggs are aqua-blue on the inside, and the reddish tan eggs are more clearly red (pink) on the inside.
And they taste so much better than factory farm eggs!
Yesterday I made more progress on the workshop shelves (no pics), and today I was back at my chaos taming exercise indoors. I shredded four large garbage bags of paper, going through old records. I finally established a reasonable document retention policy a couple years ago, but I had several boxes of old records that had not yet succumbed. The were dragged out here in my move, and today I finally got around to dealing with them.
The bags of shredded paper become mulch in Momcat's garden.
Next weekend will be short--I am heading back into town Sunday afternoon to join Daisycat at a Christmas concert. Mannheim Steamroller will be in town. OH, but I love their Christmas music!
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:29 PM | permalink
Saturday, November 28, 2009
THIS, is where I live.Comments
(Click on the small image to load a much larger image that can be zoomed to full size, allowing you to pan back and forth and vertically. Really, do it! This little image does *not* do it justice. Update: after clicking on the image, you have to click the embiggenizer to get it full-size. Internet Explorer has a big button that appears in the lower right corner of the image. With Firefox you just hover over the image and a 'plus' sign appears. Click the image with that to embiggen. Oddball browsers...you're on your own.)
Daisycat and I took a hike across the river and up into the hills on the far side after Thanksgiving dinner Thursday. I took this series of photos from a trail halfway up the first set of hills as they rise out of the valley bottom.
You have seen many photos of my place up close, this is the context--the stunning valley in which my place is nestled.
My sister disparages this land as being desolate and inhospitable...
...I look at her and wonder who put the clouds in her eyes.
It is austere, to be sure, but it is an austerity that is wracked with beauty.
This is where I always wanted to live. I saw it in my minds eye years before I ever found it. The green carpeted hills rising out of the valley, layer upon layer fading into the horizon, backed by the high mountains blue in the distance.
I don't see the valley like this from my place--down in the trees looking up it is different. But I catch a glimpse of a view very much like this every time I come home during daylight hours--as I turn off the pavement and start to make my way down the gravel road into the valley bottom, such a view greets me at every turn of the road until I reach the fork in the road that takes me upriver to my home.
It is marvelous to behold the specific panorama that contains my little patch of paradise however.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:23 PM | permalink
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
A McCain Upset? - WSJ.comComments
John McCain may have been the GOP's national standard-bearer just a year ago, but now he's in electoral trouble at home. And this time no one can claim it's because of Sarah Palin.
Oh this would be schweet! Finally to ditch the RINO and get a real conservative as our other senator.
And the "glicken" would be if Sarah Palin would come to our state to campaign for Hayworth!
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:20 PM | permalink
A review of the forces gathering to hit us as the eye of the hurricane (current conditions) passes us, and the other side of the storm hits:Comments
Red Alert: The Second Wave of The Financial Tsunami
The Wave Is gathering force & could hit between the first & second quarter of 2010
I have nearly finished reading Vox Day's latest book, The Return of the Great Depression. If there is any comfort to be found therein, he does not believe that the total societal meltdown/Golden Horde/zombie menace scenario is very likely. He does believe that a depression more severe than the Great Depression of the 1930's is in the making.
You may ask, "what's the difference?" For one, if you've done nothing to prepare and you find yourself facing the prospect of joblessness and homelessness for years to come, you may have wished for a more sudden and complete destruction of civilization. At least then your suffering would be brutal, but mercifully short. In the case of a severe depression, you may instead find yourself shuffling from homeless camp to homeless camp, scrabbling for something, anything to eat to keep yourself alive for another day. Or you may find yourself a prisoner in a FEMA concentration camp, given just enough to get by, but with no freedom and no prospects.
If you *have* done much to prepare, then the prospects could look substantially better. In a Great Depression 2.0 scenario, the most difficult challenge may never fully manifest--that being the dreaded Golden Horde, the bands of roving scavengers that become more desperate and violent with time. There ought to be a semblance of law enforcement that remains intact, at least in less populated areas. And the lawlessness that does occur should be less organized and easier for individuals and families to deal with under their right of self-defense, even if law enforcement cannot respond in a timely manner.
Those who have followed the advice of the preparedness enthusiasts will be able to weather hard times more readily, without resorting to desperate measures. And those who followed the advice to get the heck out of dodge and establish a well-stocked retreat on a piece of rural farmland should be in a very good position to not only weather the crisis but prosper while doing so. They may need to take what would seem to be extraordinary security measures during normal times, to protect what they have during the crisis, but they may be able to purchase the assistance they require for this security via the resources (primarily food) that they have at their disposal.
Need to keep watch against looters? Hire a couple of security guards for the price of room and board to stand watch over your holdings by night. If we hit 25% or 30% unemployment, there ought to be a sufficient number of trustworthy individuals that can be found who are willing to work for a comfortable place to sleep, a couple of solid meals per day, and an escape from the chaos gripping the cities. It would be far preferable to assemble a retreat team ahead of the crisis, but it is difficult enough to get people to even believe it is coming, let alone do anything about it.
But with a few acres of fertile land (or the time to *make* it fertile) and enough water to irrigate, it is possible to not only feed yourself and your family, but also generate surplus food to trade for other goods and services. Have family members who show up weeping on your doorstep? Put them to work hoeing the turnip patch, gathering wild foods, or hauling manure. Their labor contribution to the farm ought to be enough to cover their take from the table--within the limits of your retreat's productivity, of course.
My place is strictly limited by the output of my well, which is enough to intensively garden about an acre of land. If done right, that is enough to support several more people. However there will be a delay of several months between expanded gardening efforts and additional food on the table. Obviously I cannot address my entire extended family showing up at my doorstep. They would have to be turned away. Production on that much space would need to be ramped up over the course of a year or two, even with more hands to help.
I know some of you, my readers, are concerned about extended family that could not, even if they had the knowledge and will, do much to prepare for hard times, due to age or disability. Think about your own long-term plans and how they may fit in, then think about what additional supplies you may need to lay up to address the short-term needs of additional faces to feed.
As I have said before, you need to make a complete paradigm shift to be able to effectively address what is coming. You cannot think of this in terms of past recessions. New jobs are not just around the corner. The equity in your house is gone forever. You need to look back to the Great Depression--read books about it if there is no one left in your life who remembers--and multiply the severity by about two. Then, facing that scenario, ask yourself what you can do to increase your chances of survival? The answers are likely to be very different than the answers you would give if you had the expectation of a return to prosperity sometime in the next year or two.
It ain't coming back.
If this seems surreal to you, you are not alone. I have been forcing myself to confront this future for going on four years now, and I still have some trouble grasping the reality of it, now that it it is becoming manifest.
In some ways the ostriches have it good. They're going to get walloped in the ass and wiped out without knowing what hit them. I've been watching this beast rising from the sea for months and years now, and growing paler as I contemplate the sheer magnitude of the destruction that is to come.
Update: Here is a quote from the linked article:
The present fallout can be summarized in simple terms:yIkes. How appropriate to Revelation.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:49 AM | permalink
Monday, November 23, 2009
World bankers suspected...Comments
Gld ETF Warning, Tungsten Filled Fake Gold Bars :: The Market Oracle
Ya wonder why gold prices were so low for so many years? Fake gold bars flooding the market! And the Fed is implicated.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:18 AM | permalink
Survival School | The Big MoneyComments
It's a sticky Saturday morning and I'm handcuffed in the back seat of a Jeep Grand Cherokee parked on the side of a Philadelphia street. On one side of me is my boyfriend, Bruce, and on the other his best friend, Nick. Both of them are also cuffed—and like me, sweating like pigs. I reach into my hair and pull out a bobby pin that within seconds I've fashioned into a simple device I use to jimmy open my handcuff locks. Our assignment now is to evade 12 professionally trained trackers in a 25-square-block area for the next eight hours.
If we end up in an Argentina-style collapse, this kind of training could be invaluable for survival in an urban environment. Kidnappings were rampant during the worst of their downturn. And it wouldn't hurt to have these skills when/if dealing with some sort of NWO military occupation or other illegitimate forces in a crisis.
Update 2: 50 free internet tools for tin-foil hat wearers
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:28 AM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:16 AM | permalink
Saturday, November 21, 2009
Political Quiz - What Type of Conservative Are You?Comments
Yup. Got that right.
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:46 PM | permalink
Baroness Ashton becomes Europe’s first foreign minsterComments
What does this mean for Herb Peter's timeline? I am not entirely sure, but there are a couple of things that *do* jump out at me and suggest an interpretation:
by European accounts, it was French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who resolved that the new president would be a low-profile figure from a small country.
By setting up a pair of weak unknowns into the top two positions of the EU in order to keep the EU weak, these three have set themselves up as the three horns that will be uprooted by the 'little horn', the eighth king--a much stronger politician who will arise, take these posts, and overthrow the will of Brown, Merkel and Sarkozy. I always thought the three horns to be overthrown were likely to be represented by these three countries, but this current event cements that connection in my mind.
Based upon this, I expect the tenure of Ms. Ashton and Mr. Van Rompuy to be short and uneventful. If Herb's timeline is still in effect, they will be supplanted by a much more powerful "Mr Europe" before the middle of next year.
Still more from the folks at FulfilledProphecy.com There is definitely room for this High Representative appointment to be nullified before she takes office. She faces the scrutiny of the European Parliament in January. Until then, it is presumed that Solana still occupies the post.
As Herb would say, "stay tuned!"
Update correction--She takes office December 1. She will be confirmed (or not) sometime in January for the other half of the office she occupies, that is Vice President of the council.
Labels: watching the skies
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:27 PM | permalink
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Just glancing at the list I have a whole lot of browsing to do and probably a good deal of downloading and CD burning as well.Comments
Check it out:
Survival Books (Free Downloads) GARDENING, WILD FORAGING AND SELF SUFFICIENCY - 12160.org
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:06 PM | permalink
...my tail is getting all bristly again today.Comments
I don't know if that signifies anything in particular, other than my nutcase survivalist mentality getting tweaked by current news events again...
I mean, a couple days ago we had the President of the United States basically admitting to Fox News (in an indirect way) that we are far from being out of the woods. "Double-dip recession" my hairy hiney! We have certainly not pulled out of the current one we are in. The only "dips" are the ones who are too gullible to realize the snowjob the PTB are pulling to try to convince the American consumer that the worst is over. He wants to be on record to be able to say "see I told you so". To what end? Do something about it now, foo!
It ain't over. We are still sliding down a slope too steep to put the brakes on. The scenario detailed in the post below hits home hard, because it is the gaping void we are currently staring into. The flutter of a butterfly wing is all it would take to unleash the torrent of hell described.
Oh yea, and the confirmation of the killer mutant version of swine flu devastating the Ukraine is just so comforting too.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:02 AM | permalink
May the internet godz forgive me, but this fiction piece is quoted in full below the fold. Because I know most of you will be to lazy to click the link and read the rest on the site it came from, and you need to read it.Comments
Here is why--this is by far the most likely way that the S will HTF, given today's economic dire straits. I would give this scenario or a substantially similar scenario a better than 1 in 3 chance of happening within the next year, maybe even odds out to two years. It can be every bit as devastating as an EMP takedown of the power grid or even a mutant zombie nuclear holocaust and far more likely:
Shenandoah -- The Day the Dollar Died
Mike was less than an hour from home in Minnesota after dropping his load off in Fargo but knew he needed to top his tank off this Sunday evening to insure his rig would make it home. He pulled into the Petro Truck Stop just outside of Fargo and hopped out of the cab into the bitter twenty below temperatures which he could not believe had already hit at ten o’clock at night. He slid his fuel card into the pump waiting for the next prompt when the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed in the screen. He blustered, figured it was another card problem and whipped out his Master Card and slid it in after the pump reset and again the “SEE ATTENDANT” message flashed up. “What the hell is going on?” he thought to himself as he wandered into the long line of drivers boisterously yelling at managers and clerks alike.
1730 ET…February 21, 2010
Update: Part II, lazybutts.
Update again: Part III.
Update final: There is a part IV up now, but here is a link to the whole series: The Day The Dollar Died Series. Click, link, check back periodically for the rest of the story as it is written.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:56 AM | permalink
In a nutshell: it is not pneumonia--it cannot be treated with antibiotics. Basically this strain of flu gets into the air sacs in the lungs, causes them to begin hemorrhage, and when the body tries to stop the hemorrhaging it shuts down the oxygen transfer mechanism in the air sacs and the person suffocates to death (cardio-pulmonary insufficiency and cardiogenic shock).
Especially nasty, this strain. Reports coming out today indicate that it is definitely a mutation of the original H1N1 and not just severe cases of the original virus. If/when this strain spreads here, expect quarantines and maybe panic.
May I say it again? STOCK UP NOW, so you have enough in your pantry and medicine chest to not have to leave the house for AT LEAST ONE MONTH!
A month's worth of groceries and medical supplies. Come on people! None of you reading this should have any excuse when the time comes. That is bare minimum that anyone should be able to do, even if it means skipping a month paying some unsecured debt. Your health is more important than keeping the damn banksters happy, isn't it?
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:41 AM | permalink
Wednesday, November 18, 2009Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:24 AM | permalink
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
I never thought I'd see the day that I'd issue forth a hearty "A-MEN!" to anything uttered by a union thug:Comments
AFL-CIO wants TARP funds to target small businesses, not Wall Street - TheHill.com
AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka wants lawmakers to redirect bailout funds for the financial sector to small businesses.
IF, if we're going to have bailouts (which I disagree with on first principles), then they should be directed in such a manner. I am furious at the massive handouts the banksters have managed to finagle for themselves out of the public pocketbook, especially when it turns out they are using not a penny of it for its intended use, but are instead conducting hedge fund operations with the money.
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:28 AM | permalink
Monday, November 16, 2009Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:56 AM | permalink
...who's the wiseacre who put a Skunk Regenerator on my property?Comments
Skunks have a two mile foraging range, I read. There has to be a hard limit to how many skunks any given two mile radius area can support. Apparently I haven't hit that limit yet, unless some sadistic game designer dropped said regenerator on my parcel somewhere.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:20 AM | permalink
Sunday, November 15, 2009
One thing leads to another...Comments
Daisycat stayed for a while longer today than she often does, so I chose a project that we could both work on. She transported patio blocks from where they were stored over to the workshop area.
I hauled aggregate and smoothed a bed to lay the blocks on to set the paint storage shed. I sprinkled a layer of portland cement to help stabilize the surface for the blocks to be laid upon.
Since I have a bunch of metal shelves, I decided to use up the remainder of the blocks we have to provide a finished surface to set the shelves on (so I won't need to move them later when I lay patio block on the rest of the floor. I laid down what sand cement I had on hand, and then sifted additional sand out of my aggregate pile and added portland cement to it to provide a level block laying surface. I screeded it level just based upon whatever high points I had left from my work on Wednesday and Thursday. It was much less level than the eyeball suggested.
This is as far as they stretched.
Now I need more block to extend this strip the other direction to accommodate all of the shelves, and it also wouldn't make sense to bring the workbenches into this area without laying blocks underneath them...and since the space between the two should really have block laid in it to make sure that the pattern and spacing matches up, well...I should really buy enough block and sand to complete the whole floor.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:27 PM | permalink
Saturday, November 14, 2009
"Oh life on a farm is a-kinda laid back,Comments
Ain't much an old country boy like me can't hack."
"Mommy, where does our food come from?"
Well, those of you who are squeamish, or vegetarian, or otherwise would rather not know the answer to that, do not click on the "read the rest" link--some of the in-between steps are a bit gruesome.
Today was Chicken Butchering Day One. Five young brash roosters were slated for processing into chicken dinners.
The implements of their demise:
Daisycat, Momcat and I worked together on this project. None of us have gone through the process from start to finish by ourselves before. Momcat has done plucking and cleaning in the past, but her mother always did the slaughtering. So it was a "learn by doing" for us all, to one degree or another.
I served as executioner for the first three. The Intrepid Daisycat whacked the heads off the last two. (What a woman! No squeam here.)
Here she is demonstrating her ingenious Chicken Executioner Device (TM). This was mostly her brainstorm and partly some last minute modifications to make it better.
This is an improvement over the old fashioned method of grabbing the chicken, laying it on the chopping block and whacking off its head with a hatchet. Instead, the chicken is inserted into the funnel-shaped device with its head pulled through the narrow end. Once inserted into the funnel the chicken stops struggling for the most part. One person holds the funnel on the block while the other person whacks off the head. Then instead of taking off across the barnyard "like a chicken with his head cut off", he stays in the funnel, which is then hung up on a crossbar while he finishes dying.
If it looks a little BDSM, that was my first impression...
Next step after the chicken is bled out is to dunk it in a pot of boiling water. This loosens the feathers to permit plucking to happen more easily.
Plucking the bird. For whatever reason, my ralph response is set on high, and I couldn't suppress it at the smell of hot bird feathers. I helped finish the plucking once the bird had cooled down just a bit.
Picking off the pin feathers.
Then the bird is cut open and the innards are all carefully removed. The feet, neck and tail are cut off. Some of the internal organs, the neck and the tail can be saved to make soup stock, but Momcat didn't want these this time, so they all went in the offal bucket.
After a final rinsing and check of the body cavity for stray organs, the bird is done.
"Just like the kind from the grocery store!"
Five chicken dinners ready to freeze!
We have five more to process. In a couple weeks we will do this again. These are all the chickens that need butchering this year. We will be left with a new rooster and a batch of new young hens ready to produce an egg a day for the next year or two.
Update: Here is where the roosters began. They hatched out back in June of this year, so they were five months old.
I also need to mention: another skunk this morning. I have lost track of the count...
Update 2: Hey, if you came here from a search engine and need a much more detailed step-by-step tutorial for processing your chickens, here you go: How To Slaughter And Butcher A Chicken. We did a few things differently from the procedure at this link, but he goes into substantially more detail on the whole process, including how to cut up the chicken into parts. We're just freezing them whole.
Again a warning for the faint of heart: the photos at the link are graphic.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:05 PM | permalink
Friday, November 13, 2009
Done with the workshop area leveling!
Wednesday I spent the day working on my vehicles. I capped off the ports to the EGR on Mitzi. She seems to run just fine now. I also changed her oil and fixed a handful of minor annoyance things. I also tightened up the loose exhaust pipes on Doozey. She was making quite the racket on the way here Tuesday night. Back in 1966 they hadn't figured out yet that there are better ways to attach an exhaust pipe to the manifold than a two-hole flange. Those damn bolts have come loose on me a dozen times! This time I replaced them with carriage bolts and added a second nut to each one to lock them in place.
The fuel pump for my scooter didn't come until today, so I haven't gotten to finishing that task yet.
But yesterday and today I finally finished the workshop floor leveling. After getting it level yesterday, I soaked the ground well.
This morning I tilled the top couple inches.
Then I spread several bags of portland cement over the area.
...and tilled that in.
After raking everything back to level again, I damped the surface again and brought Mitzi into the area to roll it compact.
Now I still plan to lay patio blocks over portions of this area, bedded in a thin layer of sand cement mix. But for now I have a stabilized soil-cement floor.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:23 PM | permalink
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
Now I know these plagues of varmints are getting to me. I had a dream sequence about them.Comments
I was looking at a hole in the ground when a huge (woodchuck-sized) gopher pushed some dirt up and stuck his head up out of the hole. I froze, hoping he didn't see me, wishing dearly that I had my sidearm on me. I zipped away to grab the 410 shotgun, hoping he'd still be busy pushing dirt up when I got back.
Well he wasn't at the surface anymore, but I could still see the dirt moving as he pushed it out. I was worried about disturbing the neighbors but then thought "what the heck", and stuck the muzzle into the top of the soft dirt and pulled the trigger. I racked the mechanism for another shot.
Did you notice it is hard to get your limbs to do what they are supposed to in dreams? I had a heck of a time getting a clean **snick**-**snak** motion to rack the next round. My arms felt kind of rubber-noodley and I ended up jamming the round once before getting a second round loaded.
Now there was mud in the hole somehow. Water was trickling in from the side, from under my storage trailer (the hole was located inside the cat yard by the trailer). I knew he was still down there, and was bound to try to surface again if his hole was filling with water and mud, so I stuck the barrel in the mud a couple inches and pulled the trigger again. (Why th' sam hill I would do that to my gun I do not know...) This time the gun went off with a muffled thud and the gun jerked forward in my hands. Fun "dream physics" time: The shotgun now had a gas chamber like an AK, and the "explanation" was that with the barrel under the soupy mud, the cycling of the gas chamber had somehow created a vacuum that had pulled the gun under. I pulled it up thinking "oh lordy, now I've got MUD in the barrel and all over in the gas chamber and receiver!!" I inspected it and it didn't seem as bad as I thought, but then the dream ended.
Just now while awake I remembered this dream and found myself greatly relieved that I did not have that cleaning task ahead of me!
Update Thursday Morning: Yet another skunk takes a dirt nap...
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:12 AM | permalink
Monday, November 09, 2009
Via survivalblog.com, here is a supplier of food storage system components and other preparedness items: Five Star PreparednessComments
The buckets are a good price, and are food grade to boot, so it is not strictly necessary to use a mylar liner for foods that do not require oxygen removal, especially in combination with their gasketed lid (sold separately). Although the mylar bags cost less than the gasketed lid, so...consider carefully your needs.
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:02 PM | permalink
Sunday, November 08, 2009
...worth reporting on.Comments
Friday morning was taken up with packing more stuff from my desk area in Tucson, undoing some wiring I had done to accommodate a printer there, so that I can set the same printer up at my new place, then buying and installing a new battery for Doozey (my camper) so that I could move her to make way for the trailer in the driveway, then loading my woodworking bench and my boxes of desk junk in the trailer to take out to the farm. By then it was early afternoon. I arrived on the farm mid afternoon and spent the rest of the day unloading my junk.
Saturday I did manage to haul a number of loads of dirt into my workshop area, and level and compact the dirt. Endless. But the end is near. I have about six feet of 2-3 inch fill before I get to the level point, and then I need to cut a couple inches off the final ten feet of the area. My plans are to stabilize the top couple inches of the dirt with portland cement (my fabulous Troy Bilt will help with the mixing), and then spread a thin layer of sand mix over the top of that for a level finish surface. It won't be a fine finished concrete floor, but for this application I don't care. I just need something that will stand up to a moderate amount of use. Later I can lay a brick patio over the top of this if I choose.
Sunday was a near total loss. I started out the day moving my scooter to continue the dirt leveling operation. I put a charger on the battery overnight, as I discovered it was quite dead late Friday and I had little hope for it. But the charger had revived it. So I thought to scoot into town to pick up some brake fluid, because the brake reservoir was low, and also to make sure all systems were good to go. I hadn't rode it in quite a while, but I am counting on it as my backup transportation system, and I wanted to make sure there were no other issues.
A quarter mile down the road it died on me after sputtering and losing power.
After pushing it back I went to work troubleshooting. I finally sifted out the fact that the electric fuel pump had failed--specifically the inlet check valve was stuck open. No amount of penetrating oil sprayed into the inlet could convince it otherwise. By now it was 2:30 PM, I was late for lunch and quite crabby. Especially since I learned that replacement fuel pumps are $160. After lunch I went to work searching on the internet and purchased a Bosch universal fuel pump for a third of the cost of the OEM pump.
So much for the weekend.
Next weekend will be extra long. I have Veteran's Day off, and I extended that into a 5 day weekend by taking Thursday off also. I have high hopes for mucho progresso.
Update: As it should happen, this morning having backup transportation would have been valuable. My Mitsubishi has had a recurrence of a vacuum leak (presumed) problem that occurred previously. Ten miles down the road I decided I wasn't going to make it all the way into town. I turned around and bummed a ride into town from my dear Mum. It is probably the EGR valve which I should have removed and capped off this weekend. But it was running just fine for the last couple of days.
It helps to have the Lord looking over your shoulder. This explains why I felt driven to pursue the problem with the scooter until I had it troubleshot, and then ordered the required part. It also explains why I felt the need to get the battery installed in Doozey to move her this weekend rather than just wheeling the stuff around where she was parked. I will be driving Miss Doozey back home.
His message to me: Keep your backup vehicles running!
Riding the scooter on clear days will save me gas money too, which currently runs $12/day with Mitzi and would be more than double that if I had to rely on Doozey for commuting. The scooter will take about $4/day.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:59 PM | permalink
Saturday, November 07, 2009
I was expecting this (surprise, huh?)
Remember this graph next fall's campaign season when the president and the Democrats try to tell us how many jobs they "saved or created".
Utter bullshit. They made it worse.
posted by Desert Cat @ 11:19 PM | permalink
Thursday, November 05, 2009
12 Dead, 31 Wounded in Base Shootings - NYTimes.comComments
Within moments they get someone from the FBI to say "not terrorism related", before they know Jack! Diddly! Squat!
An Army spokesman, Gary Tallman, said that the dead gunman was an Army major. A law enforcement official identified the him as Malik Nadal Hassan.Um, yeah.
"Nope! No Islamic terrorism here folks! Run along now! Back to your shopping malls and reality TV!"
Update: No, of course I don't know anything more at the moment. But the categorical denial up front, like a knee jerking in response to a knock, is absurd on the face of it. If I were a betting man I'd place bets that this Malik Nadal Hassan turns out to be a Muslim. Further investigation will reveal connections to Islamic groups in this country that have connections to overseas extremists.
But "not terrorism". No siree!
Update again: Yeah, phone calls to Al Quaeda...I'm calling three for three. I'd be a prophet except that I'm more Cassandra than Elijah.
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:49 PM | permalink
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
I just downloaded this (courtesy of a link on survivalblog.com) and have looked over a portion of it. This...is excellent! It brings together in one document a whole lot of stuff I have found scattered across the 'net.Comments
I don't have time to go over it thoroughly right at the moment, but I know at least some of my readers should be very interested in it also.
LDS Preparedness Manual (.pdf download--right click, save as...)"
It doesn't matter if you're not LDS. It is 95% general purpose and maybe 5% LDS specific. If you can print it out and bind it, it would make a great resource whether the internet is available or not.
Ironically, only a small fraction of LDS members actually follow their teachings on preparedness. I'm probably set better than 19 out of 20 church members. And even still I feel underprepared.
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:17 PM | permalink
It's been embedded in my ear for decades now. My parents had an LP (remember those kids?) of the music of Fiddler on the Roof, when I was a kid, and I played it too many times. I saw a live performance of the play in my early teen years, and that was the final hammer-blow that permanently embedded this earbug.
Labels: art appreciation
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:48 PM | permalink
Tuesday, November 03, 2009
...at the Desert Cat Estate.Comments
Steve walks warily down the street
Did I mention skunks are kind of cute and I feel bad having to kill them?
How do you deal with "varmint" and "cute" at the same time?
Oh well. This is good practice for chicken butchering day, which is coming up soon.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:35 AM | permalink
Monday, November 02, 2009
For those interested, the truth trickles out in dribbles, regarding what transpired last fall during the big Panic.Comments
New York Fed’s Secret Choice to Pay for Swaps Hits Taxpayers - Bloomberg.com
Labels: financial ponderings
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:42 PM | permalink
Lest we forget, this has not yet been accounted for:Comments
Trillion Dollar Ticking Derivatives Time Bomb to Explode Under Bankrupt Banks :: The Market Oracle
At Gains, Pains, & Capital I’ve been warning about the Trillion Dollar Ticking Time Bomb of derivatives for months now. As a brief recap, let’s consider the following:keep reading...
Be sure to check out the chart in that article showing which banks are sitting on the biggest powderkegs.
Ya wonder why I fled JP Morgan Chase?
Labels: financial ponderings
posted by Desert Cat @ 3:08 PM | permalink
I just saw this on survivalblog.com and I thought what this author found was pretty descriptive of my own mindset:Comments
Letter Re: Thoughts on Preparedness in a Diverse Community--SurvivalBlog.com
"7) The final funny observation is how close these guys are with all the ex-hippie counterculture...
posted by Desert Cat @ 1:54 PM | permalink
Sunday, November 01, 2009
Momcat harvested her sweet potato bed this weekend, because the frost had finished off the tops. She got 35 lbs of sweet potatoes from a single square yard! That's a phenomenal yield. From a full 100 square foot bed that would be nearly 350 lbs of sweet potatoes! Contrast that to the 75 lbs of regular potatoes she got out of the same size bed this summer. Clearly sweet potatoes love growing in the soil and in the weather we have here.Comments
Titan the Giant Sweet Potato:
I spent all day Friday gardening. I first mowed down the beds that had cover crop in them.
Because Granny J made me feel bad about mowing the gaillardias, I left the pathways unmowed in this part of the garden. There are a lot of them growing here, although the blooms were knocked down by the frost.
I got three of the six remaining beds tilled and seeded before dark.
I had to run into town Saturday to buy a replacement for one of the two sprinklers that were destroyed by the hard freeze. I tried to fix the other one but the glue didn't hold. I will need to replace it also. Most of the rest of the day was spent indoors doing cleaning and other crap, but I did get more of my cold water pipe wrapped near the end of the day.
Daisycat joined me Saturday evening and Sunday. There was some stuff she needed help with on her computer. In the afternoon we worked on hauling more dirt to the workshop area, filling in the railroad tie box. Endless. I can see the end soon though. We're working up toward the shallow end and it takes less barrow loads to cover a larger area now.
Thomas, my golden honey boy:
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:02 PM | permalink
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