Desert Cat's Paradise
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it." - Proverbs 27:12.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
This is five days old, but Daisycat thought it important enough to forward to me.Comments
Investors: The $1 Billion Armageddon Trade Placed Against The United States
The implication is that someone with massively deep pockets may have inside information regarding the imminent downgrade of American debt.
Contrary to the linked story, it may have little to do with the debt ceiling drama still ongoing in Congress however. According to a couple sources I've seen, US debt may be downgraded even if Congress raises the debt ceiling. If there is any inside information, it is probably knowledge of the certainty that Moody's, S&P, or Fitch will downgrade anyway. That's not something you're hearing much over the heated rhetoric emanating from Washington.
Also for reference, Why Social Security Payments Are Not At Risk as a result of a deal or no deal regarding the debt limit. As expected, it is pure poppycock demagoguery aimed at scaring seniors into supporting Donk intransigence.
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:29 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 28, 2011
Chimp with an AKComments
Quand on donne une AK-47 un singe!!!
What a scream!
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:44 PM | permalink
For those who nearly shat a brick in the last day or so when a click to Roissy's site came up empty, he's moved:Comments
Update your links accordingly.
posted by Desert Cat @ 2:07 PM | permalink
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Zombie gun arrived!Comments
Update: Is Desert Cat Never Happy With His Arsenal? Story at 10.
I'm still jonesing for a bullpup configuration AR, and Kel Tec has one here that makes me feel funny in the pants:
Kel Tec RFB
As if I don't have enough shotguns already, this sweetie gets my pulse racing too:
Kel Tec KSG
Dual tube (switchable--think buckshot in one and slugs in the other), 14 shot total, bullpup configuration. Hubba! Hubba! The only thing that could make it better would be semi-auto action.
Later, later baby! Be still my beating heart. I have a zombie gun to accessorize and break-in...
I can seriously see how Kim Du Toit came to own as many firearms as he has. This can be a f&king obsession! Hummel figurines for the Alpha Male...
posted by Desert Cat @ 6:16 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Last week's "progress" post is now updated and complete, FWIW.Comments
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:16 AM | permalink
Monday, July 25, 2011
I can't say I fully grok steampunk, but there is some very interesting handmade jewelry here:Comments
Simply Willow -- Victorian and Steampunk Jewelry
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:01 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 23, 2011
Birds poop on people!Comments
Birds poop on art!
Even the cute chicks poop on stuff!
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:08 PM | permalink
Friday, July 22, 2011
This guy knew two months before the sudden halt in the Real Estate Rocketship alerted me to impending doom, June 2006:Comments
The Greater Depression – it's coming
By the time the subprime mortgage meltdown began I had done the math and realized it mean the end for major banks (in fact massive bailouts prevented their demise), and the September 2008 near-meltdown was entirely unsurprising (again massive bailouts permitted the can to be kicked down the road).
But it is people like this fellow--Doug Casey--who could see it coming in the midst of the mad boom times that I must give mad props to, and pay attention to the rest of what he sees coming. He predicted simultaneous inflation and deflation similar to what I concluded would happen, but did so years earlier. Nate and Vox are still having their "tastes great", "less filling" debate, but I think Doug Casey will end up being right.
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:30 PM | permalink
Thursday, July 21, 2011
Just wanted to share the e-card my sister sent me.
Puts the hampsterdance to shame, it does!
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:24 PM | permalink
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
I've been digging into a new online comic (new to me anyway) that I found through a comment at Stoaty's place. It's actually been around for eleven years now.Comments
It's really quite good, and I hate to say how much I identify with one of the main protagonists. ;P
This has to go on the sidebar!
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 10:31 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 17, 2011
I did do a little bit on the tower--got the edges along the house sealed the rest of the way up, and installed the last pieces of trim. But the remainder of the time got away from me in one side project or another. The worst part is I can't remember everything I did. Which frustrates the point of these posts--to remind me of what I did so it doesn't seem like I'm standing still.Comments
Granted Friday evening was taken by a minor emergency room visit for my Mom--she was feeling rather badly from the antibiotic her doctor gave her. There were a cluster of side effects that were worse than the lung infection she was fighting. They verified that there was nothing else going on and switched her antibiotic. She's been fine the rest of the weekend. But we did not get back until 11 PM Friday night and as a result I was dragging all day Saturday.
Today I looked at the mesquite trees, hanging heavy with ripe pods, and decided I need to take advantage of the season to verify certain assumptions.
These pods are edible and nutritious, having a carbohydrate pith surrounding a protein-rich seed, that can be ground into flour.
I have been assuming that I may be able to grind them coarse for chicken feed or fine for human consumption using my Country Living grain mill. Well...not so much. I learned the carbohydrate pith turns into a sticky, molassesy goo when ground. It rapidly gummed up the teeth of my burr mill.
Next I tried grinding the pods using my meat grinder with the coarse blade.
I had more luck grinding them up, but it was exceedingly difficult to turn the handle, again because they were sticky and heavy.
"Why not throw the pods to the chickens and let them figure out how to eat them?" you may ask. Because the pods are inedible to chickens that way. The outer shell is hard. If they could break the shell and eat the pith, then would next encounter a hard inner pod that protects the high protein seed. If they could breach that inner pod they would next discover that the seed is hard as a rock.
These are designed to be eaten by wild animals that can chew. Everything from mice to raccoons and skunks and on up to cows and horses will chew these up to get the carbohydrate pith. The inner pod and the seed survive their digestive tracts and ends up in their scat, where it sprouts the next time it rains. So to make the whole thing edible for chickens requires some sort of processing.
Taste test time:
They seemed to like it. They had gorged on kitchen scraps earlier in the day, but found this pod mush to be sufficiently interesting to pick at it some.
Next I tried picking some green pods.
These were substantially easier to grind with the meat grinder.
And the chickens approved of them as well.
"So", I thought. "Maybe if I boil the pods to soften them I can run them through the meat grinder more easily."
The pods gave off a sweet fragrance reminiscent of Malt-o-Meal while boiling.
But alas, upon cooling and grinding, they had not substantially improved their grindability.
Next try, I threw the remaining pods into the blender. The blender was quickly smelling like it might overheat, but it did chew the pods up pretty well.
After sieving the liquid from the solids, I had this thick liquid. Intrigued by the fragrance while the pods were cooking, I decided to boil it down some.
It made a thick, sweetish, slightly bitter pudding. Certainly something quite edible if other foods were not available, and from all accounts nutritious.
The pods rattle when they are dry so I assumed the inner seed pods may float if they are full of air. I tossed the contents of the sieve into a pot of water, and indeed many of the inner seed pods floated right to the top. Many of them did not, however, so this is probably not an efficient way to sort them out.
Still, at this point someone determined to get at the high protein inner seed could dry these thoroughly and run them through a burr mill, since all the sticky carbohydrate has been rinsed off them.
A lot of work for a small return though...
I did try grinding them in the meat grinder. Again hard going, and a lot of the inner seeds went *PTING!* as the grinder loosed them from the pod.
The chickens liked this part too though.
The burr mill was uncleanable by conventional methods. A wire brush was completely unable to dislodge the epoxy-like mess. Tossing the plates in a pot of boiling water however, turned out to make cleaning a breeze. It melted right off in the water.
Next up to try : converting my hammermill shredder to a mesquite pod pulverizer. I bought this shredder probably fifteen years ago to process yard debris at the Tucson house, and have used it all of maybe five times. After that I started hauling all the debris to the curb at the "brush and bulky" pickup times. It needs a good carburetor cleaning, an oil change, and the grinding chamber needs to be disassembled and cleaned of rust and years-old shredded material and it will be back online. What I would need to do is devise a way to recycle the output back into the input while passing it over a sifting screen. The built-in screen is far too coarse for these purposes. This modification would run the pods through the shredder as many times as required to bust them up into chicken feed-sized pieces. Not as slick as a purpose built hammermill grinder, but then those puppies start at about $2000.
But this is a project for another season. I'm back to finishing that Eternal Tower Project next week.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:40 PM | permalink
Monday, July 11, 2011
Serious snorking LOL!Comments
Labels: felicity and jocularity
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:11 PM | permalink
An Explanation Of What Is Really Going On Behind The Scenes As Rome Burns | zero hedge
Got your shit in one sock?
Most J6P have no clue what this all means or why he should care. Then again most J6P who pay any attention to politics and economics think maybe the next election or two could turn things around if the right people were elected.
We are way beyond the point of no return. It is now just a matter of where we're positioned on the sled as we ride down the slope into hell. All this blah blah from Boehner and Obama regarding the debt ceiling and deficit reduction is just sideshow. No one is willing to take the hard medicine that might slow our descent. We'll take it when there is no choice, when we hit bottom. It will be *much* more painful then. But nobody cares, we're still on a bender and the bruises aren't quite registering through the opiate haze.
Meanwhile the bankers and corporate elite are scrambling like rats off a sinking ship, ensuring their survival and prosperity in a post-collapse world.
UPDATE: Overnight China steps into the boat, starts bailing. Also, the article notes that central banks now appear to be at war with each other.
Things that make ya go "Hm".
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:17 PM | permalink
Sunday, July 10, 2011
At least some at least somewhere nearby every day since it started. Now this is what a Monsoon Season is *supposed* to be. It can keep doing this until mid-September, thankyouverymuch!Comments
Friday I was flattened by a migraine. I managed to get out and scythe some grass and weeds around the garden toward sunset. I'm trying to avoid cutting the flowers, which is why I'm using the scythe and not a mower.
Snicker-snack went my vorpal scythe. Really a grass blade is much too long for weed trimming around beds, but I made do. I want to get a bush blade when I can afford it. Now that the grass is down I can actually see my beans in these beds.
Bob coming through the beans...
Saturday I did more scything and also got down on hands and knees and did some weeding in my bean field (northwest field). There is more to do, but the majority of the weeds are out.
My corn and melons patch, same spot I photographed before...
And the whole bed...
I didn't get back to my tower until Sunday. It was a day of fiddly cutting and fitting and painting and sealing with caulk and polyurethane to get the bottom sealed in.
Concrete caulk fills the gap beneath the flashing.
Polyurethane caulk closes the gaps around the fiddly bits I cut and fit.
I'm determined to get this thing closed in to get the ventilation tower functional, despite the heat. Then I can come back to finishing the water heater when the weather cools.
After this, in the cool weather of fall, I'm looking hard at a fencing project. We need to enclose a portion of the property more tightly against javelinas, dogs and coyotes for the sake of gardens, chickens and cats.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:15 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 09, 2011
Granny Miller's site is offline as of this morning. I'm not sure what is up with that, because the last I read she was going to have it up through the rest of this year.Comments
I emailed her recently about what will become of her material after the end of the year, and at that time she mentioned personal family issues plus keeping up with her farm as reasons she planned to quit blogging again. She expressed hope that people would take the intervening time to save stuff they wanted to reference in the future however. So I'm shocked that the site is down today.
Fortunately I did exactly as she said, and I have a wealth of Granny Miller material on my hard drive. I inquired about copyright and she told me she was going to release her material under the Creative Commons "Attribution, Non-Commercial, No Derivatives" copyright.
Therefore, unless her site comes back up, I am making plans to do a "Best of Granny Miller" series from time to time when her material happens to coincide with what I'm doing on my farm.
In related news, I finally recovered a huge stash of articles and other information pertaining to preparedness from my deceased computer hard drive (this would be the fabled "Mega Folder" from another defunct website--I should note again for those of you searching for it, it is still available as a torrent). Some of you may recall I was planning to do a series using these files. I never did so, having enough to write about on my own. It is more work to reproduce and adapt outside materials than it is to write original material. Believe it or not. But this is still worth doing for you all, in the spirit of sharing value.
Labels: blogospheric navel-gazing
posted by Desert Cat @ 8:21 AM | permalink
Wednesday, July 06, 2011
I take seriously my responsibility to protect my family and premises. Because my CCW is up for renewal, and since renewals in Arizona no longer require refresher courses in firearm safety and AZ gun law, I've reviewed the Arizona Revised Statutes in a couple of areas.Comments
Here are some reasons why I love living in the State of Arizona:
Title 13, Chapter 4, ARS
Section 4--Use of force is justified in self defense.
Section 5--Use of deadly force is justified for reasons listed in Section 4 in self defense against threat or use of deadly force. Also, no duty to retreat in the face of the threat of physical force or deadly force.
Section 6--Use of deadly force is justified in defense of third person.
Section 7--Threat (not use) of deadly force is justified to prevent or terminate criminal trespass. (However use of deadly force is justified for reasons cited in sections 5, 6 and 11 if they are coincident.)
Section 8--Use of physical force (not deadly force) is justified to prevent criminal damage or theft. (Again, use of deadly force is justified for reasons cited in sections 5, 6 and 11 if they are coincident.)
Section 11--Use of deadly force is justified to prevent A) arson of an occupied structure, B) 1st or 2nd degree burglary, C) kidnapping, D) manslaughter, E) murder, F) sexual assault, sexual conduct with a minor or child molestation, G) armed robbery, or H) aggravated assault. No duty to retreat. Not limited to one's own premises or property. (This is the "instant karma for looters and rioters" clause--open season, no bag limit. Note also that the definition of 1st degree burglary includes trespass into a fenced yard with intent to steal or commit any other felony while armed with any dangerous instrument. For the record, my property is entirely fenced in...)
Section 13--No civil liability for justified conduct.
Section 18--Deadly force is justified against a person breaking and entering residential premises or motor vehicle, if the person using deadly force believed himself to be in imminent peril of serious injury or death. No duty to retreat. (This is the "instant karma for carjackers and home invaders" clause.)
Section 20--Attorneys fees and other expenses shall be awarded to the defendant in a civil action brought as a result of justified conduct under this Chapter if the defendant prevails in the civil action.
Section 21--Defensive display of firearm is justified. (That is, no "brandishing" charges under assault code if the defensive display is justified. Justification includes all circumstances justifying the immediate need to protect against physical force or deadly physical force.)
In the case of the breakdown of civil order, Section 11 gives broad justification for the use of deadly force. Under severe circumstances (total breakdown), all unknown trespassers on my (entirely fenced) property, as well as those known in advance to have exhibited hostile intent toward me or my family, will be presumed to have intent to use deadly force under Sections 5, 6 and 11, and will be dealt with accordingly. It is nice to know that one does not need to rely solely on 'Rule 308' in an extreme circumstance.
posted by Desert Cat @ 4:11 PM | permalink
Monday, July 04, 2011
This was one of those "off" weekends for a couple of reasons. Friday I had an optometry doctor appointment in the morning, and then some other items that kept me from getting out here until mid-afternoon Friday. Saturday was completely occupied by house cleaning. I only do the whole house whenever Daisycat is coming out, and only then as much as I can fit into one day.Comments
Daisycat got the Fourth off, so she decided to come out here ostensibly to take photographs for insurance documentation purposes, although I did all the picture taking. Early in the day Sunday and again later in the evening, she was my Girl Friday, helping me work on the tower by handing stuff up the ladder. Given how much energy I expend ascending and descending the ladder when I work by myself, this alone probably doubled my output in the time spent. She also cut a couple of the panels for me.
Next will be putting on the final exterior trim, installing the door and weatherstripping, installing some final fiddly pieces on the inside to finish closing it in, and then sealing up all the edges with foam fill (behind the corner trim) and polyurethane caulk (everywhere else).
Today we worked on one of those side jobs that have been begging to get done. Some tree branches were hanging so low against the house that the caught in the door when it was closed. I trimmed while she gathered and barrowed away the trimmings.
More was trimmed around the meditation garden paths and also along the front yard path by the garden a couple trees were growing wild.
About half this pile was today's work.
Meanwhile at this hour, Tucson is getting hammered by a monster thunderstorm cell. I've been watching it on the weather radar and it looks to be at least fifteen or twenty miles wide at the core, and the ice top in the stratosphere has to be thirty plus miles across.
Not a drop here though. One smaller storm missed me to the north mid-afternoon, and this monster baby skirted me to the south. There is another line of storms approaching from the east, and the chances look good for me to get some rain out of them.
UPDATE: He-e-ere it comes!
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 5:45 PM | permalink
Saturday, July 02, 2011
No, the high temperatures are not forecast to be as high as last week. But the seasonal sea-change is upon us--the Monsoon Season flow is here.Comments
This is the unfortunate part of life in the Sonoran Desert. The "dry heat" of the last month or so allows an escape from it's excesses--after sunset the temperatures plummet, and don't rocket skyward again until well after sunrise. Now that the humidity is beginning to roll in, the evenings are stifling, and the early mornings bring scant relief.
This season definitely has its own beauty--when the storms get to brewing up their massive columns of steam, the show can be exhilarating. And there is nothing so refreshing and alive as the desert after a hard downpour! But in the 2-3 weeks between dry heat and full-on Monsoon Season, there is a period of gradually increasing oppression to endure--higher and higher humidity with no refreshing rainstorms. The evaporative coolers stop working, and work outside becomes nearly unbearable. Fortunately the transition has been pretty fast this year. There have been storms around the region already, and the farm got a quarter inch of rain a couple days ago.
I am sitting at my computer, trying to motivate myself to do what I need to do, knowing what is out there facing me. Today there is no rain forecast, just heat and humidity.
In other news, Granny Miller is closing her weblog at the end of the year. Argh! I am busy archiving many of the articles there that I have found to be useful, and I contacted her about republishing what may be relevant to what I am doing here, from time to time. Go, peruse, print out or save what you want to reference later. At least she has given us the grace to forewarn us with plenty of time to save what we want.
Labels: San Pedro homestead
posted by Desert Cat @ 9:53 AM | permalink
posted by Desert Cat @ 7:31 AM | permalink
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