Sunday, June 12, 2016

What's worse than hate?


 
It's easy to blame Muslims, or radical Muslims, or fundamentalists of any type one wishes. Or any other label, group, or political divide our personal social group tells us it's okay to blame.

The reality is actually simpler, I believe. There have always been people for whom hate is their only reason to live.... or to die.

Such people often gravitate to positions or groups that empower their hate, giving themselves over to it completely. The Muslim religion is not the only one such people find a home in. Most major religions can boast of extreme violence done in their name. Hell, even Buddhism hasn't escaped the evil in the hearts of some people. It just happens that Muslim leadership around the world has created the latest and greatest place for evil to fester, hide, and grow.

Religion is not alone in this. Most every form of government known to man has found places for the darkest and most evil minds imaginable. Communism has slaughtered millions, using hatred to run blood by the river. Socialism has proven itself a premier home for the evilest among our species. Capitalism has not escaped either, having shielded and empowered many humans with dark souls. The green movement, drug culture, medicine, education.... all have nurtured their own forms of evil mindedness. White power, black power, brown power.... our lives matter and yours don't power..... every single group, culture, or belief system has at one time or another been a home for evil people.

You see, it's not the group... it's the people. The individuals who hate.... and hate.... and hate. Hate to the point where it becomes their existence. Hatred of other people with other ways, or just other people breathing air.

This hatred may seem the most evil and darkest part of humanity, but I suggest there is something worse. That would be those who seek power, who plan and plot, and who USE those filled with hatred to achieve their ends.

One can always.... always.... identify such creatures. They are the ones who tell us it's okay to hate. They are the ones who justify evil in the name of their cause. They are the people who apply labels, dehumanize, and fan the flames to fuel their own power.

THEY are the worst among us.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Food porn.... with history


Growing up, money was not exactly plentiful.  As a result, Mom didn't waste a lot of food, and the larder was occasionally a bit... limited.

Some things, one just seems to absorb through the skin.

What we have here, are rice cakes.  Made from leftover white rice and shredded cheddar, with an egg, a splash of evaporated mil, a few tablespoons of flour, powdered garlic, salt, and fresh ground pepper. Made into a thick 'batter', and spooned into a hot non-stick skillet.

Cook till brown and crispy, then flip.  Try to leave them alone till thoroughly done.

Here, each rice cake is holding up a sunny side, and there's a bit of Chipotle Corn salsa for topping.

From plain leftover rice to a pretty darned good breakfast.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

What I'm reading: Hell's Gate



http://amzn.to/22Gs7Dm(Actually, what I just read.)

Yesterday, I was afforded the opportunity to 'Be a Good Boyfriend' and go hang out with Herself in the hospital all day.  This not being my first rodeo, I accepted the offer.... and I grabbed a book to take along.

It turned to be the right choice of book.  Hell's Gate, by Bill Schutt and J.R.Finch, is a light thriller-ish novel, and managed to keep me sane while sitting in the ER for 6 hours.  I finished it just as the Doc cut her loose (No worries, all is well).

Set in WWII, Hell's Gate is a what-if story of an officer with a scientific bent being sent to deepest South American jungle, there to sniff out a hellish plot by axis forces.

There's just enough character development to get a reader interested, and the flashes of science that peak through the story actually build a framework which holds together.  The author is a zoologist, and that experience is what shows through consistently in the story.  

I'll be looking for more from this writer.  I suspect we haven't heard the last from this MacCready character of his.

I would call it light summertime reading.   You get a chance to relax for an hour while enjoying the weather, or maybe a quiet Sunday morning over coffee, and this would be a book to grab.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Living with other humans is about compromise. There are trade offs.  You give, you get.  Sometimes the deal is equal and fair, but more often it's not.

Eventually, no matter how much you care about them, no matter how much they care about you, they are going to do something that pisses you off.   You are going to do something that pisses them off.

Eventually, you reach a point where you don't care enough to let it slide anymore.  Eventually, they reach a point where they don't care enough to even think about whether it pisses you off or not.

This goes both ways, for every person who has other people in their lives.  Be it individual, family, or just society.

Everyone deals with this in their own way, in their own time. Some cope and adjust, some don't.

There is a reason some folks just say fuck it, and live their lives alone.

What would you.....?




This morning I woke up in an especially foul mood.  Perhaps it was my plan of driving into the city to deal with some things.  Maybe because it's Wednesday again.  I never really got the hang of Wednesdays.

Along with dark and grumpy, my thoughts have also headed deeply pessimistic. Towards life, the universe, and everything.  Most especially towards our next few years as a nation.

So let me ask you... if you had one fifty-cal ammo can and a squeaky small budget, what would you pack into it for hiding away?  What scenario would you consider possible, if not likely, that you would badly want that little bit of (Gear-money-etc) that you could have hidden away in a smallish container?

Dark visions of the future indeed.


Tuesday, May 10, 2016

The road less travelled


" But.... you can't just drive around without knowing where you are going!"

Some days, my Dad would say "Get in the truck, we are going for a ride".  I'd say "Where we going?", to which he would respond with something like "North".

Ahh..... one of THOSE rides.

Sometimes maps, plans, and destinations hold you back.  Sometimes, it's all about the trip, and about the discovery.

That is pretty much how I cook and bake.  Some of this, some of that, and sometimes a goal in mind.  Often, a recipe may spark the idea, but it's almost never the guideline.

Here we have HUUUuuuuge garlic and cheese biscuits.  A sploosh of Occident flour in the processor, a tablespoon of baking powder, a teaspoon each of baking soda and course salt.  Give 'er a spin.  Then feed in chunks of frozen butter and spin till crumbly.  Dump in a bowl.

Add one eggs, 8 ounces of shredded cheese, two tablespoons of garlic powder, and 1.5 whiskey glasses of water.  Combine with fingers till well mixed into a sticky mass.  Turn out onto a board.  Cut off and shape equal size hunks into largish flat rounds, placing them on a parchment lined baking sheet. Let rest for 10 minutes.

400 degrees for 20 minutes.

BOOM


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Living with music here in the future.



I haz a pair of these exact headphones, and recommend them highly.... if that's a thing you like.  I wear mine while doing house chores and such, driven through Bluetooth by my cell phone.  Pandora stations almost exclusively.

Funny story attached to these.  I originally got them for work, and had maybe two blissful weeks wearing these while I was stunningly productive.  The headphones blocked out a distracting world of people and noises, while channeling music into my skull that drove me forward at speed.

Only two weeks, for then my employer asked me not to wear them in the shop.... for safety reasons. He thought I couldn't hear people (My ENTIRE point in wearing them!).  He also said, if I was wearing them to block out loud noises, I could use the free work-provided foam earplugs. They block out everything pretty efficiently.  For safety, and saving hearing, and stuff.

Sigh.   So anyway, I wear these around the house and enjoy them greatly.  If you like music, and living in the future, you might enjoy them too :-)


Sunday food pron....


Man food on a cool morning... Home fries done crispy in butter, seasoned with fresh ground pepper. Covered with yesterdays sausage gravy, made with delinked country sausage and fresh creamy milk. On top, a simple sunnyside egg, the quintessential provider of sauce.

I'm using a new T-fal pan.   It allows for things my beloved cast iron often doesn't.  Cooking without fat, should I wish, as an example.  Non-stick has come light years since I first growled at such pans that scratched from nothing more than an unkind word.

This week I will attempt eating nothing that is processed.  Eat only what I make myself from basic ingredients.  I can do this because I am ON VACATION this coming week,  Thank whatever deity that cares to take an interest in my life.


On de-humanizing our neighbors


Saturday, May 7, 2016

The things one thinks of while in the smallest room....


One can tell a lot about a pooping experience by the number of flushes it generates.

One flush: Amateur, child, or 'Hey, I just wanted to sit and quietly play on my phone for a few minutes'.

Two flushes: Well, that's just simple courtesy there, that is.

Three flushes: Now we are getting into some serious shit.

Four flushes: Lol..... you had hot wings and beer last night, didn't you?

Continuous flushing: All you can eat taco night!


Friday, April 29, 2016


Chrysler 3.3 and 3.8 engines in soccer-mom vans.... all 866763 Bazillion of them.....

Corrosive coolant and steel intake gaskets.  What a..... brilliant..... combination.  It failed when Chevy tried it, so I guess the brain trust at Chrysler decided to give it a go as well.

Probably one in five vans I get ready for sale have this issue when I look for it.  Each gets the full boat surgery..... new intake and valve cover gaskets, new thermostat, new plugs and wires, coolant flushed and refilled.  In every case they run SOOOooooo nice after the job.

Funny though.... not a single customer has opted to fix it.  I only do it on our vehicles we are selling.  It's a matter of purpose I guess.  Customers usually expect to get another year or two out of their vehicles, while the ones we get ready for sale.... we want to be trouble free as long as humanly possible.

In other news..... I just began a blog for my mechanic'en adventures.    One for shooting, one for tech'ing, and one for PMS.  Seems about right.

Friday, April 22, 2016


So.... I just got done building a bargain basement AR-15...

And now I want to build another (better) one.  Sheesh.

The one above, soon to get a 500 round no-clean test. I'd like to see how the cheapest upper I can find will hold up.

Side note:  Herself said, upon my function testing the newest rifle, 'What does it say about my life that I now know exactly what that sound is?"

Thursday, April 14, 2016

I'm a registered......

 
Listening to NPR this morning, I heard something quite refreshing. A man, a Republican party official, carefully explaining that in their party (just as in the Democrat party) the primary elections and caucuses have no bearing at all on who receives the party nomination. It was refreshing because it's a seldom admitted truth.

That is the reality. For both major parties, the fix has been in for generations. Our 'popular' vote.... you know, what you and I think... does not matter the slightest. The party leadership will decide who we may (or may not) vote for in general election.

This has never been so clear, and I think this is largely why that man was on NPR this morning, as in this election cycle. Both major parties have non-anointed people running as party members and taking the lions share of the popular vote.

Thanks for making me think, Mr. Man on NPR. Good point made. If my vote is meaningless to the party leaderships, then why in the world would I register as a member of either major party? I've long wondered this, but never acted on it.

Til now. Just now. I moments ago changed my party affiliation to 'none' in the PA election system. I was only registered to a party so I could vote in a primary, given our states closed primary system, and now they kindly reminded me that my primary vote is meaningless to the process anyway.

I am registered 'None'. Seems fitting, as none of the bastards are worth a vote anyway.
 
 

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Summer thoughts....


I'm beginning to think about the Summer, and what may pass this year.

The patio in the back yard is going to see some serious use this Summer.  I can envision the grill AND the fire pit running full blast, and even my emergency Butane burner getting into the act.

People, music, good food, way too much alcohol. Good times.

That's what I want.... good times with good people.

Funny what one thinks of when looking at (almost) totally unrelated objects.

Lololol.....


Sadly, I do not have a 'Moron' font to post this with.
 

My name is Lewis Baach, Attorney at law. Sequel to your non
response to my previous email, I am re-sending this to you again thus; A deceased client of mine, that shares the same last name as yours,who died as the result of a heart-related condition on January 28th 2009. I have contacted you to assist in distributing the money left behind by my client which is lodged in the bank.

Regards,
Lewis Baach

Monday, March 28, 2016

I looked at a blog I haven't been to in over a year.  Found myself shocked at the number of my images still hanging there. I'm not sure if that makes me happy, or sad.  Remembrance is good, but so is moving on.

Then again, the easy path is the easy path.  Oh well, wish her the besta.


Sunday, March 27, 2016

Beats working...


Which is what I should be doing right now.  There are a LOT of things wanting done, and not a single other person waiting in line ahead of me to do them.

This here boat... all 14 feet of it's aluminum goodness... needs scrubbed.  Then, I need a plan to replace the rotted transom.  What I can see says I will need to grind rivets and remove the two supports.  I can do that; That's what stainless hardware is for.

Those lovely strengthening ribs on the floor?  Each and ever one was fully packed underneath with years of dirt and debris.  Ugh.

Herself is bound and determined to paint this pig, what with her being from a a nautical part of the world. I guess they do such madness up there.  Scrubbing and priming may kill me, but it will look good in the end.  I'm thinking blue and cream, as my idea of clean it up and leave it the hell alone does not seem to be flying.

Speaking of herself... she is 'dieting'.  What we see here is an example of diet food.  Seared flat steak, sweet potato gnocchi, and pumpkin gravy.

No... I'm serious... this is diet food.  She has lost ten pounds in two weeks feeding me like this!


And in shooty talk, a sad note. It seems my bifocaled eyes are making it difficult to shoot at range.  The 1 MOA dot on the Eotech goes blurry at 100 yards, and my groups reflect that.  Still in the black, but..... damn.   

Looks like I will be mounting a magnified optic on the AR in the near future.








Thursday, March 17, 2016

Hmm....


One byproduct of having the plague; I haven't touched a drop of spirits in over a week.

Between just feeling punky, and the cold meds, I've had no desire for anything 'tasty' in life.  Pouring a bit of 7 year old bourbon this evening, I find the flavor to be much richer than I recall.  Taste buds rededicated to their job perhaps?

Giving up alcohol for a time is something I do periodically, although not usually because of flu/cold/plague/martian fever/etc.   My family had it's share of boozers, and I've known quite a few outside the bloodline as well.  It's a road I won't travel, and every so often I knock it off for a few weeks just to check the state of things.

Allowing, even seeking out, pleasure is worthy.  Letting it have power over your will.... not so much.



Monday, March 14, 2016

Cough... Cough....


Scruffy me, and the little bitchy parrot who just adores sitting on my shoulder and biting my bits and pieces.

I'm home sick... everyone is sick... Herself, her brat, people at work, everyone.  Blech.  Coughing, things leaking, headache..... just heavy duty blech.

Herself and I have had the flu shots, and yes it's flu that's ravaging the ranks.  Her being in a medical(ish) career, the folks in white explained.  Having the flu shot this year doesn't stop one from getting it. It just mitigates the length and depth of the misery.

I worked sick last week while others were out with the plague.  Now it's my turn.

Yay.


Choice

I have this philosophy.... All humans are faced with a choice.

They can become students of human nature, trying to recognize the good and bad within themselves... or they can choose to ignore human nature, and act simply on drives, desires, and instincts. The former is what sets mankind aside from animals, and the latter is to act as an animal.

Making the first choice is harder, more complicated, and creates a difficult path to follow... for it's the basis of knowing right from wrong. There are those who study human nature, and themselves, and actively try to better themselves and do what is right. There are others... people who study human nature, note the flaws inherent to the unthinking herd, and use them as a means to control.

There is no danger greater than the refusal to see, and to think. Doing so leaves one a pawn to anyone awake, aware, and driven to power over others.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

He he.... it runs!

video

This engine is a mid 70's vintage, and hasn't been run in at least 20 years.  The smoke is from the fuel mix, as heavy chainsaw 2-stroke fuel is all I had on hand.

Now to find a water pump impeller...


The happiest days in a boat owners life are..........


This followed me home, quite literally, on the back of the Subbie.  All glorious 14 feet of 40 year old Sears flat bottom goodness.

As close as I can tell, it was last on the water about 25 years ago.  The transom reflects this, as it's more rot than actual wood.  Other than that, it needs a serious scrubbing and that's it.


 (The transom was dissolving in flakes as I towed the boat home.)  One weekend very soon, I'll grind off the rusted fasteners and install a new transom with stainless hardware. Probably two weeks from now, weather depending. 

The engine?  A 5 horse Chrysler that's older than my girlfriend.

It spins, has compression, and feels like I can make the recoil starter work.  Given time, I'm sure I can get it running.

That said, the boat will get a trolling motor first thing, and that's good enough for what fishing we'll be doing this Summer.

Cough........ cough........ cough........ cough........

People at work are sick..... going to hospital type sick.
There is a sick child here at the home, same level.

Now I have been coughing for several days straight, along with other lovely symptoms. 

Guess I will brew up a nice pot and see how many days this night will last.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Hard times..... and no skills.

(Sometimes I get the wild thought I might try my hand at writing.  Then I recall this piece, written back in 2011. That usually ends the idea cold. Lot's of wish, but little talent.)


A bowl of eggs sat on the counter. Still a little dirty, fresh from the morning gather. No chickens missing this morning... a small blessing... and perhaps due to a reputation owned by the same man who kept the chickens.

The kitchen was clean if a bit bare. Everything in it's place, and that place was put away where it belonged. It marked an orderly mind and a healthy respect for the value of hot water and a scrub brush.

The Man was not old, and he wasn't young. He was in between, of those years when nobody is quite sure. Old enough to have earned respect... after all, he made it this far. Not old enough to take for granted though. He was that age where a working man's body begins evolving from mere muscle and into something closer to hardened cut Oak. The skin on his arms was darkened from working in the sun, and beginning to show the wrinkles that brings, but the flesh underneath looked to be iron.

The morning was no special one, but a visitor was coming. He'd been told, or warned as the case may be, by a neighbors young boy sent with the words written on a scrap of paper. "A guy was asking after you. Sent him your way on the long path". Not a lot of words, on not a lot of paper, delivered by quite a small boy. Enough, like most things these days. Just enough.

The Man had friends, or at least people who thought well of him. He'd earned those good thoughts over the years by showing up just when a neighbor needed him. When the work was done, whatever it be, he seldom accepted anything in exchange. The debt was understood and the Man banked the goodwill of his neighbors like other men did silver in a lock box.

The Man knew there were reasons someone might seek him out. He knew this because he was not a fool.

His not being a fool was a life long affliction, and had led him years ago to a harsh conclusion. The world was changing, it wasn't a nice change, people were not going to like it, and trouble was on the horizon. It was clear to the Man long before it was to most others that the idea of money was going to be different soon. There wasn't going to be any value left in a dollar for people to steal away in the name of doing nice things for those as refused to do for themselves. Money was worth what it would buy and there would be precious little to buy before long. At least, not in a world where hard work was punished and sloth rewarded.

The Man quietly changed his life around. Cash was turned into things easy to buy early on, and much, much harder to find as time went by. The yards around his house were turned from mowed lawn into working vegetable plots. Evergreens came down, and fruit tree's were planted in their place. The house was made over into a more efficient place to live, needing only a little electrical power to be comfortable. In truth, the words 'need' and 'electrical power' were divorced. The Man needed no electricity at all to live comfortably.

Hardening the house for rough times, along with the garage and a small garden shed, those were more difficult jobs to accomplish. A day's labor here and there, along with supplies bought used and cheap, and the property took on new features. The windows were more efficient and had shutters that looked like old wood, in keeping with the age of the house. In reality they were steel, carefully painted to conceal their nature. The doors: front.. back.. and cellar.. were neatly and tastefully landscaped with healthy flowering shrubs and ferns. The coincidence that the plants were contained in concrete planters weighing a solid ton each, and blocking an easy run at the doors.... that was something not so easily noticed.

The Man had done more than change his lifestyle to suit the times he saw so obviously rushing at the world. He had also turned his cash into things of value, and his home into the safest place he could.

He knew his visitor was coming from the barking of his two dogs. His mixed breed mutts were working dogs. They knew all their jobs well, and warned their pack leader of the intrusion as they were supposed to. Little escaped their notice, and this day was no different. Not tied by anything more than training, the voice of command, and their love of the Man; No leash was needed with these dogs. They watched the newcomer carefully from far outside his reach. The Man in the house knew where the visitor was by the sound, how loud and how far away. Starting with a single woof as the stranger approached the property, and now a steady slow beat of barking, a few seconds between each, as the dogs took turns tracking the visitor to the house. They quieted as the stranger set foot on the porch, their job done. The silence as much a warning as the barking, the dogs watched closely as the visitor knocked on the kitchen door.

Seated at the kitchen table, the Man and the stranger spoke over glasses of cool water. The Man was courteous and quiet spoken, while the stranger was.... not as gentle of word. They spoke of why the visitor had sought out the Man.

"I hear you are the guy I need to talk to" said the stranger.

"Maybe" said the Man. "Tell me what it is brought you here, and we'll see if I can help you".

The Man had spoken the same words many times over the same table. Years of putting needful things aside had left him quietly well equipped to deal with hard times. When people found their cash had turned to valueless scraps of paper, his neighbors had learned him a good man to be friendly with. If a man had a family in need of something not available for any pile of useless cash, like maybe a Spring's garden seeds, or the .22 ammunition needed to keep critters from eating the garden faster than the kids would.... then 'The Man' was who he came to see. A deal might be struck. A few days labor in exchange for... whatever was needed. Maybe a share of the food grown from the seeds, maybe a half dozen rabbits harvested with each box of precious rim-fire ammo.

The visitor at the table this morning was not a neighbor. He was a stranger, and he didn't come at the side of someone the Man knew. That meant he was an unknown factor and that was something to be very careful of these days.

"I need something to defend my family with. I need a gun. I hear you have some to trade" said the stranger.

"Could be. Not much I need to trade for, but I'm open to suggestions" said the Man, as he took a sip from his glass of water. His eyes stayed on the stranger. "What kinda gun are you needing?"

The visitor didn't touch his glass. "A pistol. Something big enough to make a guy think twice when he looks at it from the wrong end, but small enough I can carry".

The stranger's request was unusual. Most people who came to bargain for a weapon were looking for a rifle to shoot game with and feed their family. Rarely, a shotgun.... since the shells were harder to find and expensive for what you got with each shot. A pistol? That was rarely asked for, and almost never a big bore pistol. They cost a lot to buy ammunition for, and a well aimed .22 rifle was more sure of bagging a deer with less damage to good meat. No.... a carry pistol was not something the Man was asked for every day.

"I got silver to trade, and tools. I brought silver with me, and the tools I can walk back another day if we make a deal" said the stranger.

"I don't need much in the way of silver, or tools for that matter" said the Man. "I suppose I could put them away till I meet someone who needs them more than I do. Wouldn't you rather trade some work rather than your tools?"

"Ain't got time to spend working here. I have other things I need to do. Like I said, I got silver, and tools I can get more when I want them" said the visitor, and he reached into a coat pocket and laid a cloth bag on the table. It hit with a ring that was unmistakable to ears that had heard it before. Silver coins and bullion rounds make a 'clink' like nothing else does. "Now, what have you got I might trade this for?"

The Man stood up slowly, and walked over to a kitchen cabinet. He had placed some trade goods there earlier that morning, among them a 9mm Ruger pistol. He'd bought it, along with a dozen others just like it, as police department trade-ins several decades before. The local police had moved up to something more powerful and newer, selling off their old sidearms in order to help with the cost of upgrading. Since buying the lot of them, he'd traded just a couple away to neighbors who had the need. The Man was of the idea that having his neighbors liking him, and their families safer from the roaming thieves that occasionally came around, was a good idea.

The Man pulled the slide back on the pistol with it pointed safely at the far wall. It locked back, as it should when empty of ammunition. Walking back to the table, he sat down and laid the pistol in front of him. With a shared glance, each person reached for the others offering and examined it. The Man poured out the silver on the table, careful to keep it and his hands in plain view, as he counted and judged the coins and silver rounds. Enough was there to make it a fair trade, although silver had little interest to most people just now. It might again one day, but right now local people had little wealth to 'store' in anything that couldn't be eaten or worked with.

The stranger handled the weapon like he had some idea how it worked, and what to do with it... although he showed no sign of being trained to it. He let the slide run forward, and dry fired the pistol a few times, working the double action trigger to feel if it was crisp, and the hammer fall solid with no weak springs. The Man noticed the stranger was not especially careful where the pistol was pointed as he worked the action, letting the muzzle drift in ways that made him uncomfortable. In fact, his whole comfort level was dropping pretty fast, both with the stranger and the situation.

"Magazines?" said the stranger.

"Two" spoke the Man slowly.

"Ammo?" asked the stranger, in a lower voice.

"I can let you have a box of hard ball with it, but that's all" the Man stated, watching the stranger's eyes as he said it.

"I want hollow points" was the reply, although the man didn't raise his eyes away from the pistol on the table in front of him.

"That's what everyone wants, but what I have to trade is hard ball. That's all there is." said the Man, as he casually dropped his right hand into his lap, and his left moved away from the silver and laid on the edge of table.

The stranger looked up after a moment, and his voice had a different edge to it. Not a dangerous edge, but not a friendly one either. "I said I want hollow points, and that's what I will get in this deal". It was a voice the Man had heard before, from one politician after another. It was the voice of a thug and a bully.... a voice that demanded everything and gave nothing but grief and pain in return.

The Man got up slowly from the table, picking up the pistol and racking back the slide so it locked open again. Not turning his back on the stranger, he reached over and laid the pistol on the kitchen cabinet near where he'd first got it from.  Facing the stranger, the Man looked down at him calmly... and began speaking with the tone of someone who'd reached a decision he'd never waver from.

"We have no bargain to make. I don't know you, I'm not comfortable with you, and I sure as hell am not going to arm you. That's a hard fact".

"Now you have a choice to make. If you think you are a smart man, you might try coming back tomorrow and asking me real nice to change my mind. Ain't gonna happen, so save yourself the effort".

"If you are a stupid man, but brave, you might try to take what's mine. That won't work either. I will gut shoot you and you will die slow, screaming. I don't miss".

"If you are stupid and a coward, you might try and pay someone else to do your dirty work for you. That won't happen either. They will die cursing your name and I will hunt you down and makes their curses come true".

"The best thing you can do is walk away and never look back. You and I have no business together and never will. I may not know you, but I know your kind. You are a taker and a looter. Someone who would demand something for free rather than work for it. Here you are, and here you've come up against something you ain't going to like. A man who can't be threatened, can't be bullied, and knows you for exactly what you are. Now... take your silver and get out".

The Man watched as the stranger carefully gathered his cold silver back into the bag, without a word. The stranger didn't meet his eyes, nor say a word, but his face was dark as thunder as he slowly walked out the back door and down the path. It was clear the Man had pegged this one right, and the stranger was a critter who was used to bullying people into giving him what he wanted. The dogs were silent this time, simply following with hackles raised, and teeth slightly bared. They knew where this game was going. They'd played it before. Their pack leader didn't like the stranger, and that meant they didn't either. Some things in a dog's life are simpler than in a mans.

The Man let his hand come away from his belt slowly, taking a deep breath which strained his side against the full sized Colt 1911 at his waist, under the loose shirt. Now that he could do it without giving anything away, he glanced over between the open kitchen door and the wall, where a short 12 gauge pump action shotgun was stored only a step away.

With a sigh, the Man began walking from window to window, closing the shutters. He moved carefully along, converting the comfortable home into a sort of fortress... not that he'd be in it. Shortly after full dark he'd be at his rest in his shed, along with his dogs. There he would have a fine view of the only way to approach the house, which would be well lit with 12 volt floodlights mounted under the eaves. The only way to get near the other side of the house were hidden paths cut through briar patches planted ten years before, now higher than a mans head and heavy with thorns. Only he and the dogs knew those paths, which even the local deer avoided.

The shed was more than it looked from the outside, with a comfortable place to bed down, and walls surprisingly thick. It had other surprises too, including a way in and out most people would never see.

The thing about the house which no one but the Man understood was this: It was a fortress, in it's way. It looked strong and safe because it was strong and safe. The Man understood though, there is no such thing as a fortress that can't be overwhelmed or starved out in time. That's why he defended his home from someplace else than inside it. Safety lay in being other than where people thought you would be, and able to do things they didn't know you could do. When he defended his home, nobody really figured out how till it was far too late, and that was a hard lesson no one had ever survived.

Reaching into a closet, above the door where no one could see, he pulled a rifle from it's rack. It was a simple bolt action .22 rimfire, only it had a suppressor on the barrel. With the big optics mounted above the action, it could silently deliver death's summons with pinpoint accuracy out to a hundred yards. The heavy subsonic bullets loped along fast enough to drop a man without any fuss, giving no more than a dull thump as they struck. The Man had a full case of that special ammunition tucked away, 5000 rounds of it. He never traded it with anyone.

When the motion sensors tripped the floodlights, any nightfall bandits would be silhouetted against the well lit house like little tin targets in an old fashioned arcade game, and they would fall with little more effort.

The Man's name was Banner, an old name his mother thought sounded dignified. These days, there were few people in the world who knew it. Most of the locals simply called him 'The Man' when they spoke of him, and 'Sir' when they spoke to him. He just had that effect on people, and he didn't do much of anything to change it.

Banner hoped with all his heart that he was wrong about the stranger, but he wasn't a man who let that get in the way of doing what needed done. At the very least, it would mean more nights sleeping with the dogs in the shed than usual, although Banner didn't see that as a chore. What he'd have to do if the stranger came back with friends in the dark of night, that would be a chore. A necessary one not to be regretted. Sometimes the sheep dog needed to protect his flock. Perhaps that is why most of the neighbors just called him Sir.

The stranger hadn't looked that bright. It was going to be a hard day, and a long night.



A day in images....

 At work, solving a mess left to a poor customer from the fine folks at Munro Muffler, Brake, Bait, and Butcher shops. A HUGE bill to replace a TPS sensor (3x retail on the parts), and so butchered I had to strip it all out and start over.
Finished the work day by mounting a hitch on the Subbie.  Hoping to bring home an elderly (Read CHEAP) 14' Jon boat and trailer this weekend.  Fingers crossed... the trailer has a 1994 tag on it....
 The neighbors are away, and I am playing jigger for their horses.  Old Dakota here is a sweetheart, and they sure do love their sweet grain :-)
Finally...... up at 3am. Can't sleep.  Brain too full of thinkies, and lungs too full of coughies.  Blech.  So much going on in life, and me hankering for a break that's not coming anytime soon.

Tuesday, March 8, 2016

For you Bernie.... not that you'll understand or care.

This is something I tapped out for facebook this morning, while sitting in my car in the dark, waiting to go into work:

The Bernhole says white people don't know what it's like to be poor. 

I know what it's like to sleep on the floor because you have no furniture, and do it in a sleeping bag because you have no heat.

I know that you can put eggs in a coffee pot at night and you will have boiled eggs in the morning for breakfast and lunch. then you put cheap chicken legs in the pot and you will have chicken and broth for dinner. Because a coffee pot is the only thing you have.

I know what it's like to pawn a wedding ring because a child needs medicine and there is just no money, and none coming. 

I know what it's like to be sitting in a car, wondering where you're going to sleep that night. You, and the whole family.

Fuck you Bernie.

I've been thinking today, and I think more needs to be added.  Here it is, as a message directly to the candidate:

Sanders, and I'll call you that as I haven't a shred of respect for you. You've given me no reason to respect you, and many to disdain you.

Sanders..... I'm going to add to my words on knowing what it is to be poor.  I'm going to tell you something I don't think you will understand, as you have nothing in your life to relate it to.  You, who have spent your entire adult life living off other peoples taxes, sucking at the public tit, and looking down at the working people who's labor you ate well on, like a parasite.

Yes, I was poor.  Several times.  Stupid as well. What I wasn't was lazy, nor without personal morality and ethics. 

Yes, there were times that were hard.... and I busted my ass to get past them while caring for my family.

I know what it's like to work two jobs, 16 hours a day, for low wages... because that's what I could get.

I know what it's like to borrow $300, which I used to buy a $175 roughly used motorcycle and a $125 helmet.  Whimsy? A toy?  Bullshit.  I had never ridden a motorcycle in my life.  A friend took me to the park and taught me, and the next day I road it to work. In fact, every day for the next year when there was no snow actually on the road, I used that little ugly Honda as my ride to work.  $75 a year for insurance, $3 a week in fuel, and all the frostbite you could stand.   But I GOT To Work Every Day.

I know what it's like to work hard all day, and then come home and do side work for cash... to buy food for the family.  In fact, sometimes I got paid in food, and was happy for it.

I know what it's like to work for an asshole, and swallow my words so I could keep that job and take care of people with the money I earned... till I could get a better job.

I know what it's like to bust my ass cutting and splitting firewood on weekends, to heat my home and also sell for money to pay bills.

I know what it's like to scavenge and salvage junk, fix it up, and spend entire weekends at flea markets selling it to make gas money for the month.

I know what it's like to work on a farm, keep chickens, and dig a garden so my family could eat decent food.

 I also know what it's like to struggle, how to see it in others, and how to lend a hand when *I* think it's the right thing to do. I know it doesn't matter if they are white, black, Hispanic, or polka dot for all I give a shit. I know it doesn't matter if they are this party, or that party, this faith, or no faith at all.  

People are people, Sanders, you self serving power hungry sack of shit, so don't you DARE tell me what I know about and don't know about.
 

Saturday, March 5, 2016


Zeki, rending flesh from her latest victim.  She's never happier than when she has a chicken leg to strip down.

Not sure what she has against chickens.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Voting...


I was a registered independent voter for most of my life, but some years back I switched it to Republican as my state has a closed primary.  That means you only get to vote for your registered parties candidates in the primary.

The Dems always..... ALWAYS.... ran a machine party candidate, and they seldom had a second choice even running by the time my state voted. No point registering as a D, unless you pull that party lever no matter who they run, like a good little idiot.

The Repubs... on occasion... actually had a choice in the primaries.  Rarely, but sometimes.

Well, this year I may go back to independent, if I bother doing anything at all.  The primary is a waste, as the candidate field is barren of worth on all sides. 

The general election?  At this point, it's a matter of searching through a bucket of shit, trying to find the cleanest lump to rest your slice of pie on.

The other races?  I'll vote against anyone already in office.  There's not a single one of those carpetbaggers who should hold office.   Thumper the wonderbunny would be a better choice.

I'm a heartbeat away from 'let it crash and burn, we'll start over'.
Not that my vote or voice matters much.





Parental abuse... and by that, I mean my boys abusing their father.  Me.

They ganged up, bought this THING, and forced it upon me.  Now I must decipher it's operation, master it's flight, and terrorize the catholes with it.

Amazing technology for an old Luddite such as I.  Self stabilizing (ish)  with on board sensors, multi channel wireless remote with two direction trim settings, USB charging of the on board battery, and the ability to do flips and acrobatics... once and *if* I learn to fly it.

Just engaging the motors while it's charging draw the cats to it like it was a mouse bathed in catnip dragging a tuna fillet.

We'll see how this turns out.

It comes with replacement propellers right in the box.  It's like they know something...

 

Monday, February 29, 2016

Using thieving idiots as pressure relief....


And..... I arrive home to find THIS van parked sideways across my driveway. Out of state slimeballs doing high pressure cold calls for meat, freezers, etc.

OH boy...... FRESH MEAT!  

Door to door salesman are fair game.

I walked in the door like the god of thunder.... "You parked sideways in my driveway and I can't even park at my own HOUSE? You think you are selling your crap HERE? Pack up your shit and GET OUT!!! If You display that much lack of intelligence on a sales cal, I can only image how bad your service is!"

Thumper the wonderdummy packed his meat up and vacated with due speed.






I hope they come back. That was fun.


Sunday, February 28, 2016

Sunday Morn food porn....


Noms...

I slow roasted an entire pork loin all day yesterday, at 250 degrees in the oven.  All..... Flipping.... Day.

First, covered with brown sugar, mustard, salt, and fresh ground pepper... then bacon layered over all.

From the oven, it 'sliced' with a wooden spoon, and was plated with Sweet Baby Rays and heaps of Mac and Cheese casserole.

Seriously good eats....

Later, the family menfolk gathered and the fire was lit.  Much alcohol consumed, much laughter and good times happened.


Later still, the last ghostly spirit of an Ex was burned in effigy by Herself, and a palpable weight lifted from this home.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Life is good

Hard work earns simple pleasures.

Good whiskey, fine cigars, excellent food, the partnership of a good woman, time in the hot tub....

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Mechanical archeology


What we have here is fuel pump module (in tank) on a Chebby Tahoe.   That nasty rusted out relic from the revolutionary war is the lock ring that holds the module in place.  It took me an hour with a pick and a vacuum cleaner to get enough rust knocked off this hunk of crap that I could get the module out of the tank without damaging the tank.

Chevy.... I am talking to YOU here.  You built this thing so the unit is in EXACTLY the best possible place to capture every bit of road salt and Amish exhaust, and also stay wet long after the rest of the vehicle is dry.

What the hell were you thinking?


Sunday, February 21, 2016



Just the once... I allow someone free rein of my tool box.  And.... she leaves notes inside it.