All posts by Ishimo

Just Nod If You Can Hear Me

It’s 4:30 am and I’m getting ready to head out to the swamp. I’ve been up since 1 trying to be sure I don’t forget anything vital this trip. I’ve made a trip to get fuel, visit the big city that has a Walmart and am now gathering all the stuff I haul back and forth.

My last week out was very productive. Amos and Hannah were up for a couple of days which is always a treat. He stopped by one afternoon and helped me screen in most of the first floor porch. I had been thinking about it for quite some time but it was just one of those jobs which require two sets of hands. In a little over two hours we had the screen up and sitting in the shade admiring our work. We were also impressed with how much it cut down on the number of yellow flies stalking us for a free meal.

They left the next morning which always sends the Zigster into a tail spin since he affectionately refers to Hannah as the “Cookie Monster”. After comforting him for a bit I set about framing in a screen door for the porch then tried to build a door. I screwed it up like polio but it was late afternoon by then, I was tired so I set it aside for the next trip out. I’ll have to break out the sawzall and do some major adjustments to make it work. I hope I can make it work.

I visited the Preacher last trip as well. He has a neat cabin built out of some super insulated stuff that is amazing. He and his wife have installed some screen doors, “As Seen On TV” that I fell in love with. A major purchase at Walmart this morning was two sets of screens which will go up later today. I’m hoping to get the shack to the point that I can sleep in peace without having to wear heavy wool socks, a long sleeved shirt and blue jeans. Nights are warm now so having to wear so many clothes is very uncomfortable.

My brush cutter is still being repaired, under warranty I hope, so the weeds are having a party out there. I’m hoping for a rainy day soon so I can break out the kerosene and burn some of it back. Not the best solution to the problem but with the brush cutter and mower out of commission it’s about the best I can do. Fire is a major concern out there so setting one intentionally isn’t undertaken lightly.

Time to start loading again. A lot of people think that I just jump in the truck and cruise off into the sunset. (sunrise in this case) I typically carry a 12 gauge shotgun, AR-15, 22 magnum rifle and a bag of pistols. Two coolers, gas cans, laptop, my food, the Zigster food and clean clothes. Sheesh, no wonder I’m worn out by the time I get there and unload.

Well, I’ll add more from the swamp and post this when I get back in about two weeks.

Got out to the swamp yesterday about 9 am, unloaded then spent the rest of the day on organizing and cleaning. Even with a fan last night it was past midnight before the shack cooled to below 80. With all the insulating I’ve been doing the shack tends to hold heat. I really need to look into building a wind tower or a passive geothermal heating/cooling system.

I did get the “As Seen On TV” screen up yesterday, thanks to a staple gun and a lot of duck tape. Since my door is shorter and wider than normal I had to get really creative to make it work. But, it’s up and works fairly well. The Zig is slowly getting used to it though I have to check to make sure it closed all the way whenever he goes in or out.

I spent today working on the screen door for the porch. Not being at all skilled in wood workology I was at decided disadvantage. About 4:30 it rained a bit so I used that as an excuse to quit for the day. Hopefully tomorrow I can finish then put the last of the screen up.

A few days have passed with not much, other than rain, happening. I’m close to lighting off the generator to charge batteries since we’ve not had but a very few hours of sun for nearly five days. On the positive side, it has been pretty cool and temps are down in the good sleeping range at night.

I did finish screening the porch. Building the door seemed to take forever with me making every mistake possible. I still need to put in a Ziggy door since he’s having nothing to do with the door I built for him.

I’m headed to town tomorrow for a short time. I’m planning on only being there long enough to grab a shower, post this, pick up a few supplies then head back out. Speaking of posting, I’m not sure I’ll be able to upload pix but we’ll see.

You might find the following interesting. I’ll be posting 15 “planks” at a time.

THE NAKED COMMUNIST: 45 COMMUNIST GOALS

On Jan. 10, 1963, Congressman Albert S. Herlong Jr. of Florida read a list of 45 Communist goals into the Congressional Record. The list was derived from researcher Cleon Skousen’s book “The Naked Communist.” These principles are well worth revisiting today in order to gain insights into the thinking and strategies of much of our so-called liberal elite:

  1. U.S. should accept coexistence as the only alternative to atomic war.
  2. U.S. should be willing to capitulate in preference to engaging in atomic war. [Note: These encapsulate the Kennan Doctrine, which advocated for the “containment” of communism. Establishment figures supporting the amoral containment policy at least implicitly worked with the communists in scaring the wits out of the American people concerning atomic war. President Ronald Reagan undid the doctrine when he took an aggressive stand against the Evil Empire by backing freedom fighters from around the world that were struggling against the left-wing communist jackboot. As a result, the Soviet Union and its satellites imploded, a considerable and unexpected setback to the international communist edifice.]
  3. Develop the illusion that total disarmament by the U.S. would be a demonstration of “moral strength.” [Note: The nuclear freeze advocates supported a freeze on American nuclear development only. Rarely were Soviet nukes or those of other nations mentioned in their self-righteous tirades. The same advocates now call for reducing American military might, claiming that there is something immoral about America preserving its military pre-eminence in the world.]
  4. Permit free trade between all nations regardless of Communist affiliation and regardless of whether or not items could be used for war. [Note: Today, there are calls to end the embargo on the slave island of Cuba, there were complaints about the embargo against Iraq, and the U.S., not Saddam Hussein, was blamed for the suffering of the Iraqi people. Would they have advocated for free trade with Hitler and his National Socialist regime?]
  5. Extend long-term loans to Russia and Soviet satellites.
  6. Provide American aid to all nations regardless of Communist domination. [Note: Such aid and trade over decades contributed greatly to the left-wing communist liquidation of over 100 million people worldwide, according to the well-documented “Black Book of Communism.” This aid and trade marks a shameful chapter in American history. Without the aid and trade, the left-wing international communist behemoth would have imploded on its own rot a lot sooner and umpteen millions would have been saved from poverty, misery, starvation and death.]
  7. Grant recognition of Red China and admission of Red China to the U.N. [Note: Not only did President Jimmy Carter fulfill this goal but he also betrayed America’s allies in Nicaragua, El Salvador, Iran, Afghanistan, Angola and elsewhere.]
  8. Set up East and West Germany as separate states in spite of Khrushchev’s promise in 1955 to settle the Germany question by free elections under supervision of the U.N.
  9. Prolong the conferences to ban atomic tests because the U.S. has agreed to suspend tests as long as negotiations are in progress.
  10. Allow all Soviet satellites individual representation in the U.N.
  11. Promote the U.N. as the only hope for mankind. If its charter is rewritten, demand that it be set up as a one-world government with its own independent armed forces. [Note: There are still American intellectuals, and elected members of Congress, who dream of an eventual one world government and who view the U.N., founded by communists such as Alger Hiss, the first secretary-general, as the instrument to bring this about. World government was also the dream of Adolf Hitler and J.V. Stalin. World government was the dream of Osama bin Laden and the 9/11 hijackers.]
  12. Resist any attempt to outlaw the Communist Party. [Note: While the idea of banning any political party runs contrary to notions of American freedom and liberty, notions that are the exact opposite of those held by the left-wing communists themselves, nevertheless these goals sought to undermine the constitutional obligation of Congress to investigate subversion. The weakening of our government’s ability to conduct such investigations led to the attack of 9/11.]
  13. Do away with loyalty oaths. [Note: It is entirely proper and appropriate for our government to expect employees, paid by the American taxpayer, to take an oath of loyalty.]
  14. Continue giving Russia access to the U.S. Patent Office.
  15. Capture one or both of the political parties in the U.S.

SWAMP GAMES 2017!!!

It’s that time of year. I’m announcing the first annual “Swamp Games 2017”!

I’ve been thinking about games which could prove useful for the family types who venture out here on the rare occasion they are all gripped with some form of collective insanity. After all, while the adults take three or four naps a day the children still need some sort of entertainment. In this article you will find a veritable treasure trove of tips to keep the young ones occupied. So this article fits today’s model of political correctness because after all, it’s for the children.

I call the first game “Ouch, Shit, Crap!” Those of you who are loyal readers may remember this quote from a post last year concerning yellow flies. This is a frequently heard exclamation out here during yellow fly season. We are entering the peak of yellow fly season and control of these little muzloid monsters is on every ones mind. “Ouch, Shit, Crap!” is specifically designed to help reduce the geehawdi movement.

To start, all the children should be assembled, rules explained, equipment issued and prizes displayed.

If you don’t feed the children frequently assembling them should be as easy as shouting “Ya wanna treat?” This works every time on my pit bull so it should work well. Of course if you want it to continue to work in the future you will need to give each child a treat. I suggest something with a lot of sugar and caffeine so they enter the game with a lot of energy and enthusiasm. A cup of extra strong coffee and sugar doughnut comes to mind.

The rules are really very simple although you can embellish them as needed for older children, say over the age of six or seven. Since the goal of the game is to see which child can kill or capture the most yellow flies in a set time period, six or eight hours is a good start, there aren’t many rules. So wing it.

Equipment is also negligible. A fly swatter and zip loc bag is about it. You want to avoid bug sprays, mosquito netting, gloves, etc. since the children will want to attract as many flies as possible within the time allotted. You might want to include calamine lotion in the suite of prizes.

By the end of six or eight hours your charges will be willing to kill for a bit of calamine lotion so it won’t take much to put the prize package over the top. Kept hungry, a popsicle and a ham sandwich might be all it takes to turn the horde into rampaging fly killers. If there are several children you can offer a second place prize. A shot of Southern Comfort with ice water chaser will help calm them after the excitement of the hunt.

There are a great many benefits to be had from this game. The children will learn eye hand coordination as they swat flies while learning how to hone their skill with each swat. It will also sharpen their reflexes as they react to the painful bites.

You will enjoy having fewer bites as you sip a few brews while watching the sun set. Don’t forget to wear gloves, insect repellent, mosquito netting and long sleeves.

A word of warning to any socialist democrats who happen to stumble across this blog. Don’t divide the flies at the end of the time period and award a prize to each child. Stupid is inherited and this will only teach them that competition doesn’t matter so the next time you play the game there will be no flies to count. They will only hole up somewhere in the shade and play with their toes all day. You need those kids swatting plus the fat kids will lose weight running from flies which is enough to justify the game in itself.

In the swamp, bears are a fact of life. You really, really don’t want to wander off into the brush to answer the call of nature then run across a bear. You could easily overheat not to mention the terrible mess of cleaning out your pants after sprinting a mile at top speed while screaming like a scared little girl. To avoid this situation you should teach the children a game I call “Where’s The Bear?”

There is only one rule for this game, don’t get eaten. Socialist democrats may want to strike this rule since the checks will probably still keep coming and you can always find another baby daddy to make more.

Equipment is a bit more elaborate than “Ouch, Shit, Crap!” As a minimum each child will need a topographical map, waterproof marker, GPS, walky talky, watch and compass. With each sighting the GPS coordinates are entered on the map, time noted and all information reported via walky talky.

At the end of the contest the surviving child with the most sightings wins. In case of a tie you might want to give each child a small club so the last child standing wins all.

You will soon learn which areas to avoid at what times of day. Bears tend to travel a set pattern and knowing this will endear you to whomever does your laundry.

Children are bound to love this game. They will learn tracking skills, how to recognize bear scat, map skills, radio communications, plus escape and evasion. It can also be viewed as a weight reduction program.

Have any ideas for “Swamp Games 2017”? Post them in comments. This could end up being an Olympic event. Be sure to get in on the ground floor.

No animals, muzloids, poisonous snakes, snowflakes or other vermin were harmed in the production of this post. Copyright 2017 by Ishimo; no rights reserved.

It’s A Post

Well, I’ve been told to get off my butt and start posting again. So here we go.

This winter was a frustrating mix of disaster and minor victories. Being somewhat human still I have to confess that the non-stop disasters got me down. At one point I was thinking of packing it all in, selling out again and disappearing into the sunset, again. But being stubborn as hell I refused to prove all the naysayers right and believe I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel.

So has there been any progress? Certainly, maybe not as much as I had hoped but I have made significant progress in several areas and decent progress in others.

Over the winter I made great strides insulating and sealing the shack. Our last cold snap had the mercury dropping to about 14 degrees outside. Using a kerosene heater I kept the shack at a comfortable 65 degrees barely noticing that it was so cold outside. This coming winter I hope to be insulated and sealed to the point that I can heat using only candles and a kerosene lamp. Frankly, I prefer lighting with candles over LEDs.

With summer coming I’ve put in LED lighting which generates little to no heat. I tried 12 volt compact florescent but they fail nearly as fast as you can replace them. I’m having very good luck with the LEDs though I’ve only had them in place for about a month. I have several more to try and will be putting them up sometime soon.

Thanks to all of you who have shopped Amazon from this site I now have 400 watts of panels and 440 amp hours of batteries in place. I just finished wiring everything up a few hours ago so I can’t really say how much more capability I now have. Before today I was able to run a 12 volt freezer, lights for a few hours a night and a small fan for a few hours. During the day I had enough surplus on a sunny day that I could charge my lap top, drills, flashlights and phone. Today is the second day in a row that we’ve had heavy clouds with occasional rain so I’m topping the batteries off using the generator. Since I just doubled the battery bank storage I’m not sure I’ll be able to fully charge the batteries today.

I’ve started a deck on the front of the shack. When finished it will be mid level between the first and second floor. I have steps from the first floor porch and will have another set of stairs from the deck to the second floor porch.

My site, yes this one, was hacked for some stupid reason. It took what seemed like forever to get that straightened out. On the heels of that WordPress went south which was another painful process to get back on track. I’m working on a full tilt site to replace this one. Right now I have very little in place regarding registering and commenting. Hopefully people will find it easier to comment if anyone is so inclined.

In a cost cutting measure I’ve had my internet cut off. I’m using the free wifi at the camp ground when I’m back in town which isn’t very often. It’s slow so I’m not sure there will be any pictures with this post. I’m considering getting satellite internet out here in the swamp if I can find a plan that works for me.

Well, it’s a post. Not very good I’m afraid but a start.

A Fifteen Minute Hack (One Mans Garbage)

Just got in from a weekend in the boonies. Not much going on except Amos and Hannah were down for a day so I got to visit with them for awhile which is always a pleasure. Ziggy got to see his hero so he was happy as well.

I had been given a couple of those blue five gallon water bottles you see on coolers in every waiting room in the world. I was all happy because I carry all my cooking and wash water out from town. The first trip out one of the bottles was fine but the other had cracked on the bottom. Water, being  what it is had made a break for it and I spent some time staring at an empty water bottle.

Figuring that it would eventually be useful I let the bottle hang around outside the shack for a few weeks. I finally decided that it wasn’t ever going to find a job on its own. So I broke out the tin snips and went to work.

After cutting the cracked bottom out I packed it with several layers of filter material then several inches of pea gravel. Then it was installed as a funnel on my rain barrel which has been patiently waiting on a gutter for over a year. As scared of heights as I am it may just wait several more years before I get drunk enough to put a gutter in.

So Sunday morning I bid farewell to Amos and Hannah then set about loading up so I could head out for the wilderness of civilization. After a few hours I was loaded, had the boy installed as co pilot and jumped in the truck. It wouldn’t start. Batteries (yes, it has two) were dead. “Not to worry!” says I, “I’ll start the generator, charge the truck, then VROOM, VROOM be on my way.”

The generator wouldn’t start. “Oh shux!” Or something to that effect. Oh, did I mention that I had forgot my cell phone charger and my phone was dead?

Thankfully, it was a bright sunny day so I was able to charge the truck from my solar cells. A couple of hours later I was on my way to town.

Getting to town I had just settled in then started to fire up the old lap top. Noticing that something looked odd I realized that I had left the charger in the swamp.

Oh well, it’ll all come out in the wash.

 

10 Common Prepping Mistakes | Urban Survival Site

 

With the abundance of bad info out there, it’s easy for new preppers to make a lot of mistakes. I’ve made many mistakes myself and I’m sure I’ll make more, but that’s part of the learning process. To help you speed up this process, here are some common prepping mistakes you’ll want to avoid:

1. Not having a survival library. Books are less common these days because we do so much reading on the Internet and Kindles. But if the power goes out, having a good collection of survival books could save your life. They’ll give you something to read when you’re bored, and will have important instructions on things like purifying water, building fires, and medical care. While you want to learn as much of this info as you can ahead of time, no one can know everything, and there are bound to be times when a survival library will come in handy. 

2. Focusing on supplies instead of skills. Of course, just because you have all the best books on survival doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bother to learn survival skills. It’s possible your books will be destroyed or you won’t be able to get to them. The same rule applies to your survival food and gear. What if you’re at work when your home is destroyed by an explosion, earthquake or some other disastrous event? Would you still have the skills to survive, or are you completely dependent on your food and gear?

3. Not having enough water preps. I cannot overemphasize the importance of water. There are many survivalists who have six months of food and only two weeks of water on hand. Considering that you can survive without food about ten times as long as you can survive without water, you’d be better off with two weeks of food and six months of water. Don’t do that either, but at least make sure your water will last as long as your food. If you don’t have enough room for that much, there are many ways to collect and purify water.

4. Not having enough variety in food supplies. Too many new preppers buy nothing but rice, beans, flour, salt and sugar. If that’s all you have to eat after a disaster, you’re going to be miserable. Your body will have trouble adjusting to the new bare-bones diet and you’ll suffer from food fatigue, where your survival food won’t be appetizing even when you’re very hungry. Make sure you buy the ingredients for a variety of possible meals so you’ll feel satisfied every time you eat. This leads to my next point…

5. Not eating what you store. This was the first mistake I made when I started stocking up on food. I bought all kinds of food, sealed it up, put it in the closet, and forgot about it. Inevitably, some of my food went bad and I had to throw it out. It’s important you store what you eat and eat what you store and rotate your food. If you’re not sure how to cook meals from the basic ingredients, I’d recommend getting some cookbooks and a guide like Emergency Food Storage & Survival Handbook which has a lot of great recipes.

6. Not having enough vitamins. Personally, I think everyone should be taking multivitamins since most modern diets don’t provide the nutrition we need, but this will be even more important in a survival situation. The stress of having your life turned upside down, constant threats to you and your family, and manual labor will take a lot of energy and tax your immune system. Vitamins will help keep you strong and healthy, especially Vitamin C.

7. Relying only on food storage. While the last few points have been about food, don’t forget all your other survival needs. When a lot of people think of prepping, the first things they think about are food and water and they proceed to stock up on them while neglecting health and beauty supplies, first aid kits, bug out bags, cooking implements, clothes, weapons and other important items. While food should be your first priority, don’t forget your other priorities.

8. Relying only on an arsenal. At the other end the spectrum, there are some preppers who focus all their attention on guns and ammo. The reasoning is that not only will they be able to protect themselves, they’ll be able to hunt their food and trade ammo for other supplies. This is unrealistic, especially if you’re in or near a city. The little bit of wildlife in your area will be picked clean by others, and most people won’t be interested in your ammo as they, like you, will be looking to trade for food and other vital supplies. Sure, have some weapons for self defense, but don’t go overboard.

9. Not taking care of pets. As much as we all love our pets, for some reason it’s easy to forget that they need preps, too. Animals require more than just food and water. Check the article, Pet Survival Kit.

10. Planning on bugging out. Although having a bug out bag and a vehicle survival kit is important, unless you have advance warning of a disaster it will be very difficult to get from your home to your bug out location. The streets will be congested, roads and entire area could be inaccessible, and gas could become unavailable.

Source: 10 Common Prepping Mistakes | Urban Survival Site

Can you live in a tiny house in winter? | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

The tiny house movement us huge (no pun intended), and is even becoming more mainstream. The fact that most of them are built on trailer chassis make them legal in many places where a non-mobile home would be illegal. Living year round in a tiny home means it’s going to be winter for you at some time unless you live in a southern latitude that doesn’t experience much or any cold weather. For the rest of us, it means you are going to have to deal with chilly air, snow, ice, cold wind and the such.Fortunately it would seem that these tiny homes are built well for cold weather, being small they are usually easy to heat, in fact you often have to worry more about overheating your small space when keeping your digs toasty. If you have enough insulation, it doesn’t take much to heat your tiny space. Other than overheating, another problem is moisture, condensation. Propane heat usually generates moisture, we humans also generate moisture, living generates moisture, these tiny homes being well insulated as well as being tight, you have to be conscious of the amount of moisture in the air so that you aren’t creating problems.Ariel C. McGlothin lives in a tiny home in Wyoming, a place known for beautiful vistas as well as cold temps in winter. She deals with snowfall, which she says her tiny home handles very well, with the steep pitch of her metal roof, it sheds the snow very readily and easily, she does have to shovel snow, to make paths to the various areas she needs to get to, as well as keeping various areas around her tiny home cleared for safety and access.

Source: Can you live in a tiny house in winter? | Living Off the Grid: Free Yourself

A Conex Is Born

Wow. Been nearly two months. Not to worry, not much has happened. Not worth getting excited about anyway.

One big news item though, I now have a conex in place. It’s only been a year and a half coming but it’s finally done.

Last week I met up with Amos early in the morning in town and we headed to Micky D’s for breakfast. (yuck) He had ordered two twenty foot conex out of Jacksonville and through some unbelievably creative financing on his and his brothers part I was to take possession of one of them. They were supposed to be at the interstate about 10 in the morning so we were in high spirits in spite of this months recycled coffee grounds at McD’s.

After a Pepto Bismol chaser we headed to town for material. Then he got a call that the truck hauling the boxes had been stopped for a DOT inspection would be delayed. Is anyone really surprised? So Amos called the wrecker and told them we would be delayed an hour.

Our plan was to meet the truck at the interstate, have him follow one of us as far out as possible, drop the boxes, then have a tilt bed wrecker deliver them the rest of the way. Not that many moving parts so obviously not much could go wrong. Right?

After gathering material in town we headed back to my trailer to sit around and solve the worlds problems while we waited. We gave up on that rather quickly since no one listens to us anyway. I do have to IMG_20170113_122808093admit that I liked the idea of an open season on politicians but in today’s PC world we knew we would never be able to sell it.

At the appointed time we were off to the interstate and our first look at the boxes. While we were waiting for them to show Amos tried calling the wrecker again. No luck. There was still some time to waste though.

Then the boxes showed up and, well, they were ugly. I mean shipping containers aren’t exactly glamorous to begin with but these wereIMG_20170113_122819675_HDR decidedly ugly. However they did appear solid and we both had plans for painting them anyway. Still no wrecker so we decided I would lead the truck with the boxes out while Amos went in search of the promised wrecker.

Although slow, the trip out was entirely uneventful. The guy driving the truck was obviously skilled and seemed like a nice guy to boot. I took him in the long way since it was a far better road plus there was IMG_20170113_122836228an area where he could do some maneuvering and make the sharp left turn that was required. A few minutes later we were at the head of our road which was where we planned on leaving the containers for the wrecker. After a bit of backing and jockeying around he dropped the containers in less time that it takes to tell then was on his way.

On the way out I had received a text from Amos indicating that he had found the wrecker and was on the way. Thinking that they were close behind, I waited patiently while the Zigster gave each box the extended sniff inspection. Having passed inspection we waited. IMG_20170113_122804511Then inspected the sides of the road. Then some unrecognizable mess that Zig wanted to roll in but I was able to talk him out of. Then waited. Finally I saw Amos approach with the wrecker in tow. So to speak. He wasn’t IMG_20170113_123139916really towing it but by the end of the day I had to wonder why not.

I had to run to my property to take down a fence so Amos and the tow truck people stayed and began loading his conex. By the time I finished with the fence they were already in place and unloading the first box. I remember thinking IMG_20170113_123344106_HDRthat this was going very well so we should be done a lot sooner than expected. So I stopped by to watch. And watched. And watched some more.

IMG_20170113_124159262_HDRAn hour later I was sitting on a stump in the shade, drinking lukewarm water, and watching. If it wasn’t for the fact that it was going to get dark in about seven hours it might have been funny. It really reminded me of that old saying about two monkeys engaging in carnal pleasures with a football.

If one of the wrecker drivers wanted to pull the truck forward, the other was equally sure it needed to back up. Raise the bed, no lowerIMG_20170113_133827984 the bed. Slide the bed back, slide it forward. Wait, wait. Pull the truck forward. Finally, with a healthy thump, the front of the conex fell the last few inches to the ground to a collective sigh of relief.

Then it was off again to collect and deliver my container. By now the IMG_20170113_135546887_HDRfootball has had enough of this crap and is fighting back with everything its got. Two hours later, I’m sitting in the shade drinking lukewarm water and watching. Amos and I agreed that the football was winning by a large margin.

By three o’clock I had to go back to town and left. Amos agreed to keep an eye on things. In town sometime after five I got a text that itIMG_20170113_135956883 was in place. My business in town didn’t conclude till nearly seven so it was way to dark to drive out that night. I spent the night in town and headed out at the crack of dawn the next morning.

Figuring that he needed rest after the day before, I stopped by IMG_20170114_081257809_HDRAmos’s place, left some croissants and fresh brewed coffee for a peace offering then eased on to my place.

I pulled in expecting to find the shack laying on the ground, fresh plowed ground as far as the eye could see and the conex on one side. I was pleasantly surprised to find everything in order and the box sitting very close to where I hadIMG_20170114_081334938_HDR hoped it would be.

After a couple of week ends of moving stuff from the shack to the box, I now have some room and can start to finish up insulating and sealing the shack. With spring just around the corner I want to get the second floor done so I can sleep up there this summer. More on that later.

IMG_20170115_091345350_HDRMany thanks to everyone using the Buy Amazon link. In a month or so I’ll be able to add a solar cell which will greatly improve my spirit at night. It gets really dark out there.

The Bridge On the River Kwai

Just spent a couple of days out in the swamp.

Last trip out I transferred all my frozen meat into the 12 vDC freezer and shut down the propane refrigerator. Even at 40 percent run time the fridge was drinking about 50 to 60 pounds of propane a month. That is way to much. When I have the time I’ll try to find the problem and fix it. I looked on the internet and everything says to adjust the doors so the seals will be tighter. The instruction sort of say, “open the doors”, “adjust the hinges”, “problem solved.”

To me this is akin to your car engine not running. You look it up and find “open the hood, fix the engine, close the hood.” Guess I’ll have to study on this further.

The good news is that the 12 vDC freezer that Plume sent me worked gang busters. When I arrived yesterday it was holding a steady zero degrees and the batteries were holding up well. I still need to add some more panels and a couple of more batteries soon but for now things are great.

Amos and Hannah were up for the weekend. I always look forward to their visits. They are super company and always have something going on. This weekend we built a bridge. Regular readers are already aware of the marsh across the back of our properties and that we’ve never managed to get across it. This weekend we may have laid the groundwork for finally seeing what the back 2/3s of our properties look like. Or we may have built a bridge to nowhere.

I was negligent in taking pictures so the before pix are missing. I do img_20161113_111510298_hdrhave a few after shots.

Ok, so it doesn’t look all that impressive. It consists of three 4x6s sixteen feet long and a whole host of 2x6s four feet long. But keep in mind that we hauled these things down 17 miles of bad road in a 6 foot bed pick up. Amos tooled along at a snails pace while I followed his dust cloud. At one point I had to signal a halt when the load shifted which could have resulted in scattering our (their) bridge everywhere.

On site there was the chore of getting the wood to the marsh. Where I have several wide paths cut that I can drive down, Amos has miles of narrow twisty paths requiring negotiation. But not to worry, Amos has a converted riding mower to tow everything in place. Yeah, right.

With Hannah expertly guiding the newly christened ATV getting the freshly cut four foot 2x6s was something somewhat akin to a nightmare. Not to belittle her driving, she really did a great job. But obviously the ATV didn’t get the memo regarding its new status and kept getting stuck. Still, it was finally done.

Then came the three 4x6s. For the uninformed, a sixteen foot 4×6 weighs roughly about a thousand pounds. The ATV didn’t read the second memo and refused to budge about half way in. So we towed them in one at a time by hand.

I was in the process of writing a memo about naps when they turned to and started building. Figuring it was a moot point I tore the memo up and feeling like a British soldier in a Japanese war camp I pitched in and tried to help.

After much pain and anguish the bridge was completed. You can imagine how happy we were when we found out that the other side ended right in front of a huge stump. “Not to worry!” says I. “I have tannerite. We’ll blow the stump up!” So off I went to gather said tannerite and a large caliber weapon.

Back at the bridge we mixed the tannerite, packed it into the stump then fell back to what we thought was a safe distance. Amos took the first shot while I was in retreat with Ziggy. (the Zigster isn’t a big fan of gunshots much less huge explosions) A few minutes later I learned that he had hit it but it didn’t detonate.

So back to the stump to repack it and try again. This time I took the shot. Three shots later I could clearly see that I had hit it and still no BOOM. We gave up at that point.

On a brighter note, the swamp inspector examined the bridge and img_20161112_161804878_hdrpronounced it satisfactory.

Speaking of shooting, I saw a display a few weeks ago that left me totally impressed. Amos was out with a friend and they came by my place for some recreational target shooting. We set up some rebar out to about 40 yards. It was late afternoon so the light was failing but we weren’t going to let that stop us.

We had put some apples on the rebar at 40 yards which I thought was a waste at the time. Soon I couldn’t even see the apples. That’s when Batman took a 50 caliber black powder rifle with a scope and exploded an apple. I knew he was a good shot but had no idea he could see in the dark.

Thinking that the show was over I settled back on a five gallon bucket to watch the wind down. That’s when he pulled a pistol, announced he was shooting an apple and commenced to do it.

As best as I can tell, this guy is part bat or something. He must emit some kind of chirping or something to find his target through echo location. Till then I wasn’t sure how to peg this guy but now he has to be Batman.

Meanwhile I’ve taken another part time job that is taking up a lot of time at least for now. As a result I’m not able to spend as much time out in the boonies but my finances are beginning to look up. Hopefully in a few weeks I’ll be able to cut back and put in two or three days a week then spend the rest in the swamp.

Dear Hollywood celebrities, You exist for my entertainment. Some of you are great eye candy. Some of you can deliver a line with such conviction that you bring tears to my eyes. Some of you can scare the crap out of me. Others make me laugh. But you all have one thing in common, you only have a place in my world to entertain me.

That’s it. You make your living pretending to be someone else. Playing dress up like a 6 year old. You live in a make believe world in front of a camera. And often when you are away from one too. Your entire existence depends on my patronage. I’ll crank the organ grinder; you dance. I don’t really care where you stand on issues. Honestly, your stance matters far less to me than that of my neighbor. You see, you aren’t real. I turn off my TV or shut down my computer and you cease to exist in my world. Once I am done with you, I can put you back in your little box until I want you to entertain me again.

I don’t care that you don’t like Mr.Trump. But I bet you looked cute saying it. Get back into your bubble. I’ll let you know when I’m in the mood for something blue and shiny. And I’m also supposed to care that you will leave this great country if Trump becomes president? Ha. Please don’t forget to close the door behind you. We’d like to reserve your seat for someone who loves this country and really wants to be here. Make me laugh, or cry. Scare me. But realize that the only words of yours that matter are scripted. I might agree with some of you from time to time, but it doesn’t matter. In my world, you exist solely for my entertainment. So, shut your pie hole and dance.”

 

OK. So it isn’t exactly a river. More of a mud puddle maybe. But who img_20161113_111524403_hdrwants to wade through it? After I get a marker that says “River Kwai” I’ll post a pic.