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Month: October 2012


This has nothing directly to do with any of the usual topics. It started out to be a short vignette in a group of short vignettes. Then it grew. It won’t be to everybody’s taste, but it’s something I needed to write. To my mind, it has as much to do with freedom as anything else I write, but not necessarily in an obvious way. —– The summer I was five, my family drove to the train station — a very exotic thing in itself! — to pick up an old lady none of us had ever met. I remember…


The apple saga continues

Community cider pressing pot-luck last weekend! I wasn’t there, but furrydoc took along a box of apples from my tree and took these pictures: First the apples were washed, either in a dilute bleach bath or a vinegar bath (for those who didn’t like the idea of bleach on their apples). Then into the grinder and the press. The juice went into buckets. The pulp was caught in cheesecloth and taken to the host family’s animals. The juice … … is incredible. And I’m not just saying that because it has my very own backyard apples in it. My apples…


Tuesday links

Well, in some places that was as bad as everybody thought it would be. Oy, that picture of seawater flooding into the PATH station — impressive. A lot of phony photos of Sandy have been circulating, though. I’m not sure this one of a Niagra of seawater flooding into the World Trade Center construction site is real; it’s credited to the AP, but there so much to sort out yet. Is anybody hereabouts planning to participate in National Novel Writing Month? I’m thinking about it, but the idea scares the bejabbers out of me. “The Island Where People Forget to…


Preparedness priorities, part VI

Storing water Again, I’m going to deal with the simple stuff here. I won’t cover things like rainwater catchment systems, homemade water towers, or underground cisterns. Once again, I’m just sticking with things anybody could do simply. The most basic thing Everybody should have a few days supply of water in every vehicle and every bug-out bag. The “official” recommendation is a three-day supply. A week is better, but water is heavy and three days supply will get you through most mobile emergencies. As with everything else, we need to evaluate our own circumstances and needs. Do you live in…


Good luck with Sandy

With post-Sandy comments You folks on the mid and upper east coast — batten down the hatches and good luck with that b***h, Sandy. I hadn’t been taking the Sandy reports very seriously. (How many media-touted mega-storms fizzle every year?) But this morning I heard a normally dispassionate meteorologist here in the west compare Sandy to The Perfect Storm of 1991 — only worse. Then he likened it to the west coast’s Columbus Day Storm. That one remains the biggest “wind event” to hit the U.S. since records have been kept; even the fringes of it, which I experienced as…


Sometimes snitching is good

As we say in the snitch book, sometimes it’s self-defense. And defense of others. I’m sure David Codrea will say it if he hasn’t already, but yep, this is about another of those “only ones.” Those special, noble, trustworthy ones that the antis think should always be able to outgun the rest of us. I think we all owe this guy’s wife our thanks. —– Added per David C’s comment below: “We’re the Only Ones Anthrropophagic Enough.”


Thursday links

Can you fix a scratched DVD with a banana? Inquiring minds want to know. Oleg Volk doesn’t approve of the fixation on great marksmanship. Life in Uruguay. I think I could get used to it. Always has kind of struck me as “Switzerland south,” but cheaper. The Flagstaff, AZ, cop who committed one of the most prolonged and barbaric puppycides has resigned. It may be news to the Wall Street Journal that overseas banks, including the famous Swiss banks are tossing American clients out with the trash. But some readers hereabouts know it all too well. From first-hand experience. At…


Tell me about emergency generators

Yesterday morning somebody had an offer up at the post office: Troy-Built 5500-watt generator, Briggs & Stratton motor, six years old, hardly used, $350. I’m not buying this generator because it doesn’t have an electronic start. I know from daily experience at the Desert Hermitage that if my life depended on successfully cord-starting a generator, they’d soon find my mouldering bones in the sand, cord still grasped in my skeletal fingers. (I have no problem starting a lawn mower, but that generator we had for a while: &^%$#@!) Fortunately, we mostly had electric starters. Other than at the Hermitage, where…