Friday, October 15, 2021

Fishy Fishy

Peter brings a story to light, along with it's fishy details.

What it talks about is an industry trying to work around and within regulations that would otherwise make their job impossible.

American commercial fisherman are hauling their catch of Alaskan Pollock to Canada, where it's put on a train for about 100 feet, and then trucked back to the USA.

What??  That's insane!  That's stupid!

Yeah, no it's not.  There's money involved of course, but something far more important.  If they don't pull this stunt, they might as well not catch the fish at all.  No fish sticks for you, little American peasant!

You see, the Jones act of 1920 says all shipping carried from US port to US port must be carried by US registered ships.  Therein is the problem.... there aren't enough US registered ships to carry the fish. In fact, we aren't even in the top ten list of nations who register maritime vessels. 

Why is that?  Because it's so costly and difficult to comply with US regulations and myriad regulating bodies that no commercial company will if they can help it.

The Jones act is a law made to protect a specific industries profits that's now backfired and is screwing Americans wholesale.  It was the Jones act that held up our aid to Porto Rico for weeks after the Hurricane.... there were no US flagged ships to satisfy the outdated law.

Remember... lawmakers are human, and have shown themselves to be the worst of the breed.  Ignorant, lazy, greedy, and dishonest.... and that's their likable traits.

This seems Important

 "Put simply, the money illusion refers to the fact that people typically tend to think in nominal dollars—the actual amount of money spent or earned—and not real dollars, which is the purchasing power of money after taking inflation into account."

This article in the WSJ makes some critically important points.

Crash Chronicles....



Help Police.....Oh....oops....

Lightbringer's guy on inflation....

TSA sad... (Kinda not worried about them).

Thursday, October 14, 2021

I have a question for you... and by you I mean everyone who reads this.

Did you get the Covid vaccinations?

No... no need to answer that one. I'll tell you everyone in this house decided to get them, and we did. 

BUT...... how would you have felt about that if you'd been ordered to by someone with authority over you? Someone who could materially hurt you if you didn't obey?  Someone who didn't care what you think.  Someone who did it for their own profit.

Me I'd probably have gotten it, and then burned the card and told them to go to hell.. I'm ornery that way. 

How about you? Do you follow orders ....take threats.....well?

Sorry Dad.

I remember my dad telling me it cost the family money every time I turned a light on.... and being unimpressed as a child.
I just came home to find lights and fans on in one bedroom. Lights in another bedroom. Bathroom light on. FOUR lights on in the living room, and two more on in the kitchen.
Only person in the house is the boy, who's asleep, and has been.
First, to my dad's ghost, I'm sorry. I get it now.
Second... I understand better why my dad was angry so often.
Third... why do they hate me?

Crash Chronicles..... the early edition

Something woke me at stupid O'clock this morning.  So.... coffee and the news.

The feebs say heat will now cost two arms and half a leg this year.  They usually bring the bad news in at half what it really is, so......

Gas prices, and Unca Joe screws the pooch again....

BUT..... Mike Rowe is trying to holding back the darkness.

Who ya gonna call?    More to the point.... will anyone answer?


And more....

And more....

And more....

And more....

Little known fact.... cops are people too.  They can feel it when politicians kick them in the nuts, and activists label them bad people, and they get no support while trying to help people.  Meanwhile, the murder rate jumped 30% in 2020, the biggest increase in our nations history.   Have to be crazy to take that job in today's sick social climate, and most cops are not crazy.

Another perspective on the Southwest airline debacle.

You remember when the FAA boldly lied to our faces about why SWA went Fubar?  Liars lie..... always.  Liars lie.

Rumor (for what that's worth) has it American Airlines canceled and delaying a large number of flights today (14th).  That bears watching.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Heard in da house....

 Herself on the phone:  "Oh Yeah, Art saw it coming early in 2020, and started stocking us up on lot's of things.  We just got done using up toilet paper from a year ago, and he bought even more now!"

Me:   "What you need to ask yourself is..... WHY did I buy even more now...."

Crash Chronicles....

CNN peaks at reality, and blanches.

I'm too tired to go through and find all their mistakes.  It IS CNN after all.

Transportation issues....


And more...

And more....

And more...

Biden makes a deal to keep LA port working 24/7!!!  He saves us all!!!  Buried in the piece.... the port has been 24/7 for a month now, with no noticeable change in cargo totals.  Truckers still report one container crane out of three is in service at any time.

Some business guy from DHL making his predictions....

Range report... getting better


This is the best of a dozen or so groups today.  I have another three or four that are only slightly larger.

What about the rest you ask?  Don't ask. Totally sucky two inch groups.

What's the difference you ask?  Well, that is a good question.

A few groups were straight up victims of flyer-mania.  I'm shooting up some pure crummy progressive handloads I bulked out six or eight years ago, and reaching the bottom of that can.

The rest..... just me sucking.

My groups got fine as soon as I enforced my calm, controlled my breathing, and spent twenty worthy minutes just dry-firing on the target.  You know.... quit dicking around and done did it right.

The rifle shoots.  The addition of a Vltor A5 stock completed the build.  Totally different rifle now. I can set out a bread pan and all the ejected cases will neatly stack themselves in it.

Next up, find the right handload this rifle wants, and trigger time trigger time trigger time.


And..... that led down a rathole

Where are our medications made?

Well now.... yes, no, and that depends.

Short answer, everywhere and not here.

Even what is nominally called 'made in the USA' is created with precursor elements that almost certainly came from overseas by container load.

I'm not adding this to the Crash Chronicles yet, but it certainly plays in with supply chain issues.

Where do pills come from?

China, of course.

What?  Who?   Of Course!


Over coffee this morning, I'm trying to think of what we need, that we ship in, and could be disrupted to the point of being unavailable.

I realized... I'm just too ignorant, or stupid, to come up with reasonable answers.

I ordered more coffee beans.

Tuesday, October 12, 2021

A Southwest pilot speaks about what happened this weekend.

 "The pilot told American Greatness that the mandate did not sit well with him or his colleagues.

“This is a collection of very conservative white collar professionals that are very successful, and have done well,” he said. “You mandate a vaccine on them—and these aren’t necessarily people that are going to comply,” he explained, adding “to some extent they’re going to resist.”

He said that over the holiday weekend, Southwest probably saw a 20 percent increase in flights, and relied on the goodwill of pilots to fly those extra trips.

The way Southwest schedules these flights these days, he said, is they rely on a significant number of pilots to pick up an extra trip for time and a half overtime pay. That time and a half pay is usually enough of a enticement to draw the needed number of pilots to fly those trips, he said.

After the vaccine mandate, however, Southwest shouldn’t have expected any pilots to sign up for those extra flights, he said.

The same was true for the pilots who called in sick.

“Let’s say I was supposed to work this past weekend after this vaccine mandate, and you know what, I’m going to lose my sick days in a month or 45 days, so I might as well just use them now and stay at home and help potty-train my two year old, you know what I mean?” the pilot said. “These are my sick days, and I own them, they’re mine.”

He continued: “So you have some people calling in sick, and then you have this extra 20 percent of flights that they’re relying on people to come out there and cover,” the pilot explained.  “And people like me are saying, a week ago, you mandated me to do something I’m not comfortable doing—so these are the dominos beginning to fall.

Southwest runs that tight schedule, and then they try to get people to do overtime, and they’re relying on the goodwill of their staff to do that, and it’s not going to happen right now. There’s no good will right now at that company,” he said.

The pilot told American Greatness that Southwest really relies on the goodwill of its employees.

“Historically, it is a family. It’s people that care about each other, and people that will go out of their way to give the shirt off their back to you,” he said, adding that management in one week had completely demolished all of that goodwill."

Everything ends, a short story.

 Constructive comments and suggestions are welcome.

“Look Oliver, I know.  You’re preaching to the choir here”.

Anna stood by the back door to the shop, carrying Shellie’s lunch.  It was only a few yards from their home to the shop, but more and more Shellie just kept working all day without a break.  He’d tell her how important it was that he keep peoples equipment going, but Anna could hear it in his voice.  He knew.

“Shellie, I know you’re a miracle worker.   You been pulling rabbits out of your hat as long as I’ve known you.  I need this truck on the road.  WE need this truck on the road!”

Anna knew the other voice too.  It was Oliver, and he’d been Shellie’s customer forever.  He was probably one before Shellie had opened the shop thirty years ago.  Now, Anna knew that Oliver had let his trucking company go over the last few years.  It was just him now, and just the one truck left.

“Oliver… please listen to what I’m telling you” pleaded Shellie.  “What that truck needs, I just can’t get anywhere.  I can’t find it new or used.  I can’t make another part do.  I can’t even make it myself”.

Anna heard the pain in Shellie’s voice.  He’d always been able to come up with something for his customers.  In the beginning, he was known for quality work and a can-do attitude.  Later, he became the mechanic who could fix anything.  Now, his was the last shop in their town that would even try to fix peoples machines.

“Shellie…. I need that truck.  The town needs that truck.  It’s literally the only thing left on the road to move supplies from Chesterton to here. I can’t even imagine what happens if I’m not trucking what we need.  You don’t want that on your mind any more than I do, Shellie.   You have to be able to do something…I’m kind of begging you here”.

Anna began quietly crying, as she sat down on a chair by the door.  Shellie had built the table and chairs years before, so they could eat lunch together in the warm sun.  She set his lunch on the table and put her face in her hands to hide the tears.  Like everyone else, her home was supplied by Oliver and his truck.  Now much anymore, but some things just weren’t made here.

“Oliver…. Ollie…. Come over here a minute.   Let me tell you what you’re looking at.  This is my forge.   It’s where I heat steel so I can work it.  These are the hammers I hit the steel with.  This toolbox is full of files and other tools I use to shape the metal.  Ollie… this is two- or three-hundred-year-old technology.  I spend half my day being a glorified blacksmith, Ollie!   Your truck needs an injection pump.  It’s worn out, just plain worn out, and I can’t find one anywhere.  Oliver… show me the hammer I can use to work on a pump machined to the ten thousandth of the inch.”

“But…. Maybe another engine somehow?” asked Oliver.

“There is none.  None here, none in Chesterton, and none I could find even over in Baslee. Nobody has any left that even might work.  I tried, Ollie, I tried everyplace and everyone”.

Oliver put his hand out to lean on a power hammer, a machine he couldn’t identify if he tried. “Shellie…. What am I going to do?  That truck was all we had.  What do I tell people?”

“Tell them the truth Ollie.  Tell them everything ends, eventually. Tell them to ask the old people what to do.  Tell them… they make do on their own now.   You can figure out how to tow the truck home or leave it here and I’ll give you credit for the metal in it.  There’s just nothing else to do”.

Anna heard Oliver leaving through the big bay door.  His boots scuffling the gravel used in the driveway.  She looked up and found shellie leaning in the doorway, looking at her.  “Did you hear all that Babe?”

“Yes Shellie, I heard.   What do we do now?” Anna asked, holding back her tears as best she could.

Sheldon, who’d been called Shellie since birth, sat down in his chair and pulled the lunch tray over in front of him.  “This looks good Babe.  Are these the first peas this year?”

“Yes Shellie.  I just picked them an hour ago.  I know you like them fresh” Anna said with a whisp of a smile.  “What do we do now Shellie?   I need to know”.

As he picked up a spoon full of peas, dripping with home made butter, Shellie said “We go on, love, the same as we always have.  We make do for ourselves.  If we can, we help our neighbors. We look back to the old ways and invent new ones if we must.  We figure it out and make do, Babe…. Just like we always have”.

“Damn, these peas are good.  Are there more for dinner?”

“Yes, Shellie, I will pick some more for dinner” Anna said, as her tears dried and she began thinking about a bigger garden, and canning supplies, and maybe a smoke house like her grandpa had.  She watched Shellie eating his bowl of fresh peas, and knew he’d have ideas on how to build a good smoke house.

Monday, October 11, 2021

Crash Chronicles....

 Savannah port is constipated....

Read through this one. On point, and informative.

Southwest Airlines imploding over vaccinations. 

Britain joins us in the straights of Taiwan.

A thought.... essential workers who intend to quit rather than submit.... I'm betting most have vacation and sick time banked up.  This may happen faster than I was thinking.  Use it or lose it.

Bare shelves, anyone?

 Yeah, we know about this, right? I know... not a whisper on the news. Not one word.

Are you still conscious enough to ask why?


Biden puts his foot down..... right on federal contractors throats.

Go read the proclamation from on high for yourself.  It's not long.

The gist is, federal contractors or subcontractors of any kind must have all employees vaccinated for Covid-19 by December 8th, including employees that don't even work on federal contract items.

Whether they want to or not.

Well then.... there's a place to start....

I've been bouncing a story idea round in my head.  It seemed like a good theme for a rollicking fun book that I'd like to read, so I presented it to an author I'm acquainted with.  "Sounds great!  Have fun writing the story!" is what I'll boil his advice down to.  There was also something about "I'll help you", and "If you don't use the idea I'll drop it into MY story idea file".

So, here I am, taking baby steps on the path of learning to write.  Why?  Because I want to read this blasted story, and the only way is to write it myself!

Towards that end, I'm making some things happen, to be discussed later if I get over my embarrassment at being a noob once again in life.  In that vein, today I gathered all my various ideas and bits or stories already begun, and dumped them into a 'projects' folder for ease of access.

For giggles, I added word counts.   Almost 20,000 words written across a handful of ideas.  20,000.... that surprised me.

None of that includes blog posts, FB stuff, LinkedIn articles, etc.


Sunday, October 10, 2021

Chili thoughts......


Chili...   Yeah, I said it.  Chili.  

Maybe just for a moment, how about we admit I don't know everything about this stuff... and neither do you... and the guy over there certainly isn't the chili god.

I'm going to bullet point some of my thoughts on this wonderful dish, and I don't want anyone to think I'm laying down any kind of rules here.  *I'm* not the Chili god, either.  Just some fat retired school teacher who enjoys a bowl of the red on occasion.   They are not rules, nor even guidelines.  Consider them suggestions.

  • Chili is a stew.  Like stew, the flavors are layered in, modifying and manipulating each as an addition to the whole.  Some things are basic, like meat, onions, peppers, and seasonings.  The rest, do as you will without harm.
  • Flavors take time.  Nothing is instant.  It all takes time to develop.  Hell, TIME is an ingredient as well.  Each flavor addition past the basics will need time to develop and bloom, in company with what's already in the pot.  That means make the addition you have in mind... gently... and walk away for a while.  There's no point in tasting again till it's had some happy time and gotten to know itself better.
  • Flavors come in SO many types and packages, and all have their key to unlock the magic.  Some flavors are heat soluble, like onions.  Some require water to dissolve, some fats, and some need alcohol to blossom.  Every ingredient has it's own needs, but chili is a pot of many things.  So, I add butter as my fat, and Bourbon as my alcohol, and water, and heat, and time.  Let it all hang out for hours on end.
  • Whatever meat you use should be precooked to brown it.  Take advantage of the Maillard reaction to it's fullest.  Veggies too!  Sauté those peppers and onions before adding because the direct heat needed to make them magical would destroy the chili.
  • Beans.... do what you want.  I put beans in my chili because I like them.  Usually deep red kidney and pinto beans.  My jam is canned, but some people like dried.  Whatever makes your boat bob.
  • Peppers?  I like red and yellow sweet peppers, and Jalapeno if I have them.  I usually have a big jar of sliced Jalapeno in the fridge, just in case.  I'll also slice in dried Honcho and Ancho if I have them.  Remember, let them cook a good while before judging flavors.  Working with dried peppers, I like to re-hydrate for a few hours or overnight first.  I find whiskey or beer does well for this, and it all goes in.
  • Liquid.  I add some Bourbon, and beer if I have it on hand.  There's nothing wrong with plain water too.  I've also done beef stock, just to add more flavor.
  • Tomatoes... Yes!  I go with canned, and multiple types.  Almost always Ro-Tel tomatoes canned with green chli's... Yum!  Also Hunt's fire roasted.  Sometimes whole, sometimes stewed, sometimes diced.   With or without the can liquid is a choice, except with the Ro-Tel.   I want ALL of that in my pot.  Also, I use tomato paste in my chili.  It's a thickener, and the richness it adds is hard to beat.  Just remember... you don't *have* to use the whole can, you know?
  • Spices..... it ain't chili without chili powder.   Find one you like, but don't ever stop looking.  There's a lot of goodness out there waiting to be discovered.  How much to use?   All personal there.  The only real rule is to start light and work up to where you want it.  You really can't go back except by expanding the pot with more beans and tomatoes.
  • Cook time?  More is better.  I will typically start a chili in the morning for dinner that evening.  Chili NEEDS the cook time, and like any stew it deeply benefits from being loving stirred... often.  This keeps ingredients mixed and helps break down the onions, meat, beans, etc.  A chili that's fresh from simmering is not the same creature as one that's been well stirred.
  • Secret ingredients?   Oh my, yes... and If I told you, I'd have to.... never mind.  That's BS.  Two of my favs are corn meal, as a thickener when needed.  Just a few spoonful's.  Besides thickening, it adds an earthy sweetness that hides below the surface.  I also add a touch of brown sugar.  Not enough to make it sweet, but just balance the acid from the tomatoes a bit.  Dark chocolate also shows up in my chili, if I have any.  Only the dark though.  It's not about sweetness, but depth of flavor.
  • Additions in the bowl?  Hell yes, have at it.  I go with some shredded cheese.  Herself does that, and sour cream as well.  Do what makes you happiest.


Saturday, October 9, 2021

Friday, October 8, 2021

Friday Chuckle fest


Drinky porn...

A nice Ghurka, the hot tub, and an adult beverage.  Todays sip is Fever Tree ginger beer, Tito's vodka, and frozen cherries.

Yes, the Fever tree costs more per ounce than the good vodka, but it's worth it.


Crash Chronicles....

Go to Duck Duck Go.  Type in 'Food Prices'.    Select the 'News' category.    Change 'Any time' to 'Past day'.Read as you will.  Consider the world spanning nature of the reports.

Here, Peter does a fair job explaining some of our shipping issues. Lot's of details I didn't know about, like how Federal regulations cut the truck drivers ability to deliver by a LOT. 

Someone has been counting.... Inflation costing the average family an extra $175 a month in gas and groceries.  Not a huge deal to $100,000 a year average family, but it's a back-breaker to a $30,000 a year family.

Wherein 'Wammies' are discussed.  2008 indeed. 

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Burger porn.... in images.


I asked girl child what I should put in the burgers.  She said.. MEAT.
Okay youngen, you got it.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Gut punch...

HT to Travis Beck...

“The Writing On the Wall” from Iron Maiden

“Across a painted desert lies a train of vagabonds
All that's left of what we were, it's what we have become
Once our empires glorious but now the empire's gone
The dead gave us the time to live and now our time is done
Now we are victorious, we've become our slaves
A land of hope and glory, building graveyards for the brave
Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?
Can you see them riding?
Holding on to fury, is that all we ever know?
Ignorance our judge and jury all we've got to show
From Hollywood to Babylon, holy war to kingdom come
On a trail of dust and ashes, when the burning sky is done
A tide of change is coming and that is what you fear
The earthquake is a coming, but you don't want to hear
You're just too blind to see
Have you seen the writing on the wall?
Have you seen that writing?
Can you see the riders on the storm?
Can you see them riding?
Can you see them riding, riding next to you?”

Crash Chronicles...

Is some form of war with China inevitable?

At the moment, China is suffering from deep self inflicted wounds of corruption and horrendously bad state-level decisions.   They are in a bad place, and historically the best way for a nation in bad place to pull itself up is..... you guessed it..... a handy little war.

I suspect this time is a 'perfect storm' of opportunity for Odin to get his blood sacrifice.  China needs the distraction of a war.  Taiwan is sitting right there, just a stones throw away.  Their only competition currently has the most ineffectual leadership it's ever had, including the Carter years.

China brinking, with warplanes.

Wars lost from the beginning.

Vulnerable and expensive carriers.

You there, Mate?

Big Bada Boom?

Salad for dinner

We often have salad for dinner.  Typically, I'll lay out the fixings all prepped and in bowls so folks can assemble as they wish.  Lettuce, spinach, cheese, tomatoes, olives, peppers, carrots.... whatever we have.

But, in THIS house, this is what counts as Croutons:

Tuesday, October 5, 2021


Crash Chronicles...

 China junk bonds fall down, go boom?

Just like magic.

Prices are going UP, and UP, and even more UP.

More like what I was hoping for.


I put this thing together, not holding back much on the cash (for me, anyway).

RRA upper with an air-gauged and cryo relieved barrel.  Decent trigger. Vortex first focal plane scope maxing at 25x.

Groups from the first 30 rounds were pretty meh, tried three different loads.  A 55 grain generic hand load,  A 55 grain Speer premium defense load, and a 62 grain Israeli military round. 2 and 3 inch groups, respectively. 

Back home, I gave it a fairly solid bore cleaning, retorqued the scope and mount, installed a bipod, and made certain of the flee float.

Today, shooting mostly the generic 55 grain hand load.... a world of difference.  The first group fired cold and clean:

I can cover the groups widest dimension with my thumb, so it's just under an inch.

I only fired about 20 rounds today, doing barrel break-in.  Groups got better, with the last five looking like this:

Probably around 1/2 an inch, but I didn't measure it yet.

Groups shrinking as the bore seasons and breaks in?  Or groups shrinking as I settle down and do a better job on the bench?

Either way, I'll take it.

I'll deep clean the barrel again as break-in continues, but not so much after that.  It's already pretty smooth and I got very little copper out on the first cleaning.  I'll also do up some precision loads with 69 grain match bullets, and see how the beastie does with them.

New match rifle?  Looking good so far!

Heat strategies this Winter....

Feet up on the wood pile, smoking a fair good stogie, and reading The Old Farmers Almanac.  Specifically, the long term Winter weather forecast.   Hmmm.....

For those who don't know, TOFA has a record of being (self proclaimed) 80% correct in their long range projections.  It's dolled up in overalls and hay stalks, but the science is right up front.

They use sunspot observations, ocean temperature history, and other long-term impactors on climate to reach their conclusions.  It's science that works, and let's them be right far more often than any highly funded gubermint agency.

Anywho.... Farmers is predicting a fair cold Winter, which I'm certain will be a heart breaker for the folks whose religion calls for warm forever.  

My feet were resting on two cords of prime oak firewood I'd manned up long enough to stack.... but now it seemed inadequate.  Let's just order another cord to be a little more sure.  A cool fact about well stacked firewood.... it doesn't really go bad. Just keep it dry most of the time, and it will stay prime for years.

Also, fill the heating oil tank to keep the furnace running (as long as we have electricity).   But, the furnace requires juice... and juice.  It's also a machine, and machines break down occasionally.  This one has, occasionally.     Heating oil fact.... it *does* go bad, eventually.  On the other hand, dump in some fuel preserver at the end of heating season and you can forget it till next Winter.

In addition, I have a large shop heater that burns propane.  It's not really rated for in home use, but if someone babysits it and some windows stay open, it works.  One downside is the MASSIVE amount of BTUs it generates.  Running on low, it manages to make the entire house toasty in 30 minutes.  Like I said.... someone has  to babysit it.   I need to check and top off that 40lb tank I guess.  Fun propane fact..... yup, you got it.  Good forever.  Just manage to keep it in the tank, and we are good.

PACE.  Primary (wood), Alternate (oil), Contingency (propane), and Emergency...... um.... hello..... Emergency heat?   Anyone home?

Electric doesn't cut it as emergency heat, even though we have an electric unit that will keep us above freezing.  By the time we get to the big E, power is probably gone.

I've used small portable propane heaters over the years, and found them problematic.  Specifically, the Mr. Heater units.  I haven't had one work properly more than a year or so.  That takes them off the table.

Time for me to give some thought to Emergency heating.

While we are considering that, lets look at what's available....

7 forced air propane heaters (shop heaters), 4 infrared propane heaters (patio heaters), and 4 empty cans labeled Kerosene. 

That's it for the 'heating' section of the local farm supply.  That, and a lot of empty floor and shelf space where products used to be.

No kerosene heaters.  No electric heaters. No wood stoves. No pellet stoves.  No coal stoves. No propane stoves.

Well now.


Monday, October 4, 2021


I just checked tomorrows calendar.... Gym.

Lord, I hate going to the gym, but I know I really should.  I resist so bad, I've scheduled myself doing it for the next few years.

More often than not, I end up going out for breakfast afterwards.  Someone said something about that, and I replied "Going to the gym is about not dying.  Going for diner breakfast is about living".

Facebook und Fubar


Facebook finds out what it's like to get blocked from Facebook.