Thursday, June 13, 2013

odd stuff


ODD STUFF

Well, as you read this on Thursday, shaking your head in disappointment that you aren’t consuming yet another day of a pearl of wisdom for the ages,  please keep in mind that being one of the very most important people I’ve run out of time recently and am just splattering you with some odd crap and calling it good enough for me and still better than most ( seventy five word run on sentence- go me! ).  Last weekend was day three and four of five in a bit of a heat wave of mid- nineties.  I know a lot of you are just getting warmed up then but up here at elevations close to Baby Jesus himself, anything over ninety is both rare and very uncomfortable.  So, I’m just kind of half melted into my recliner and while it would have been smarter to go down in the Bison Pit Of Doom the wife gets claustrophobic down there so stays away at every opportunity ( she’s grateful in the winter, even going so far as to admit such to me and if you knew her you’d understand how rare this is, making all my efforts worthwhile ) and like a dutiful husband I follow.  I was so damn hot, cursing myself for cursing the previous weeks bout of cloudy 50 high weather, I had no motivation all weekend to do any writing.  So I’m throwing this together last minute and you WILL like it and feel bad for me for suffering and go buy all my crap ( come on!  I cut the price of everything ).

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So today you get patio/garden path  lights, swords and if I need to fill up the remaining space, one of two Kindle book reviews.  I normally leave the little crap alone, content that other far less worthy sites cover container gardener or BOB’s or simple elementary crap so I can focus on Big Picture items that make me look smarter than I am.  So normally I wouldn’t cover news like “Shocking!  You can use garden lights for post-apocalypse illumination!!!” even though that would be a great excuse for larding up the download page time with a bunch of animated ads for Home Depot gardening products.  Alas, today I’ve lowered myself into the swirling putrid mass of mediocrity.  I do have one new thing to add to the topic- experience.  The original patio light I bought ( whatever you want to call them.  The single battery/single LED solar panel on a plastic stick you push into the ground ) was around three bucks or so I got to duct tape above my trailer door ( zip tie works better and looks like a higher grade of trailer trash ).  Four years later it is still throwing out light every night.  Every rechargeable battery guide says you can get around a thousand recharges.  Well, I’ve gotten 1500.  I couldn’t tell you if the reduced output-barely noticeable, you still can see your keys and the doorknob which was the original purpose- is from the battery nearing the end of its life or if the plastic case surrounding the bulb has just been clouded by solar exposure, but end result is that bastard is still going strong enough. 

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Nowadays you can buy these things for about a buck each.  I can’t say they will last as long, but you can buy a case and have one or two in use and a few more as back-ups and not be out the price of a movie ticket.  You would be a complete moron to NOT have a baker’s dozen of these or more ( seems like a great barter item to me.  Buy now while they are stocked up for summer building projects ).  On to swords.  I really couldn’t believe another site had an article on post-apocalypse swords, but they did.  Not because they won’t eventually come in handy, they will.  What I found so humorous was the thought that any of the readers could wield one of these things with any competence.  I could just picture any attempt to mimic that of a six year old boy trying to present a karate stance and look intimidating.  I don’t need no stinking sword, having thought these things through previously and bought an arsenal of rifles that carried bayonets.  Hard to screw that one up.  Just poke at someone and be careful you don’t stick yourself if you also employ a butt stroke.  But the basic assumption is valid.  Have something sharp and/or pointy you carry as a basic back-up.  Something with a little better reach than a dagger.  Even a thick well made ( as opposed to a Wal-Mart special purposely made dull one ) machete.  Just don’t get stupid with the weight.  You are a pudgy office worker, not a Green Beret.

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“No Normal Day” by J. Richardson was a disappointing two star turd.  I try my dandiest to avoid being a Grammar Nazi, but this author literally could not decipher the placement of commas.   “I think, therefor I am” was “I, think therefor I am”.  Throughout the whole book.  I could have ignored that, and I did for quite awhile, but near the middle the book really took a turn for the worse, really stupid ideas being presented survival wise.  Pass on this one.

“The Last Pilgrims” by Michael Bunker was a wonderful four star.  The author of “Surviving Off-Off Grid” which I thought highly of, he is equally good at fiction.  I normally can’t stand “twenty years after the collapse” books, automatically discounting them as post-apocalypse.  But here was a novel that defied that rule.  Very well written and very plausible.  His coming sequel is titled “Cold Harbor” and I’ll be getting it.  Out now is “Wick”, kinda-sorta a prequel.  It wasn’t bad at all, but more “well written enjoyable” than it was “genre enjoyable”.  But at least get “Pilgrims”, a high recommendation. 

END

32 comments:

  1. I can assure you there are thousands of guys and a few gals that can use a sword with some competency. Not enough to remake the world into mini SCA kingdoms like the books I can't remember the titles of or who wrote them. But enough that it could factor into things somehow.

    Depending on how fast and large a die off would happen I doubt we would ever be reduced to a non-firearms world but a "Last of the Mohicans" type scenario isn't far fetched in my opinion.

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    1. Was it SM Stirling? Dies The Fire, etc. Not a primary weapon, just a battlefield back-up for when you spray and pray and then curse your incompetance and for not having listened to me and you run out of ammo.

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    2. YA that was the author. I didn't care much for his warped other plane of existence science experiment gone bad scenario but his choosing SCA movers and shakers as the builders of the new world was interesting. I thought it also funny how he picked and chose just which "Kingdoms" would dominate their areas while other areas seemed to have no SCA royalty to take them over. Iowa for example has a good sized SCA presents compared to it's population.

      I still disagree with your lack of ammo and how to combat it. While brass has a limited use lifetime especially high powered calibers with a neck, straight walled pistol rounds can almost last forever. It doesn't take much stored and little investment in some tools to keep yourself in ammo for a lifetime.

      On second thought we don't really disagree I just took it a bit further than stopping at a bolt action Enfield for long term shooting. The end result will be combat more like the musket era and that will make short, fast hand cutting weapons important once again.

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    3. I'm not real knowledgeable on brass/reloading, but my thought were ( and someone tell me if I'm full of crap ) once the neck is split, how about a brass base and a paper/cardboard/paper machete neck? Wouldn't that give you the life performance of a pistol brass, but high power? Obviously, you can't use the magazine after that.

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    4. If the neck is split the bullet will not seat tight enough and the powder + Primer will degrade quickly. Anything besides a fitted neck wouldn't hold the bullet either. It also will not fit properly in the chamber/bore and will allow a lot of gas leakage and may actually not have enough pressure to push the bullet out of the barrel even if it did go off.

      Pistol brass doesn't seat into the chamber like hi powered rifle brass, especially revolvers, so exact sizing isn't as much of an issue. The pistol and other straight walled brass will eventually stretch and become thin at the base near the rim but it has been my experience they last infinitely longer than rifle brass.

      Also they take much less powder to reload. A pound of rifle powder will do maybe 500 rounds a pound of pistol powder, well I am up to over 2K .38 rounds with some HP38 and the container isn't even half gone yet.

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    5. One alternative (Though pricey) for the lack of future brass Jim, is to get a percussion breech loader. There are the smith carbine, and the early sharps percussion breech loaders. These guns used a rolled paper nitrate treated cartridge for ease of loading. But they can still be loaded the slow way, by placing the bullet first, then pouring the powder if one had to. I'm surprised that there are not more of these breech loading percussion guns being produced today? Also, it was common during the civil war to roll paper cartridges for the cap and ball revolvers. These are often still rolled today, using standard cigarette papers, and a wooden dowel as a jig. The guns mentioned above are still considered muzzleloaders, and can be purchased without any hassle or registration. Your paper/brass hybrid idea, might just work with a straight case cartridge Jim? Think of the plastic shot capsules sold for pistols and rifles, but using nitrate treated paper instead of the plastic capsule.

      As far as swords go, there are only a few alternatives that readily come to mind when facing someone carrying one. (Assuming of course that you are without an adequate weapon such as a gun or bow )

      Place the longest pole possible between myself and them.
      Start chucking the biggest rocks at my disposal at the motherf'ers head as hard and as fast as I can.
      Or perhaps, the best of all; turn around and run like a son of a bitch!

      Remember; few to no doctors available in a post collapse scenario to stitch you up, and reattach those severed limbs.
      Just another sound reason to go as far out in to the wilderness as you possibly can.

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    6. So, what I am hearing you tell me is that I should go ahead and buy a chamber insert for my Enfield. I believe it is a 32. Then I better get a back-up bayonet cause I'll need to be using it a lot for the coup de grat.

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  2. Brought a 19 inch "Negrito Bolo" short sword home with me from the Philippines back in the day. While I was in the far east I studied Taikwondo under a 7th degree Korean master. He taught me a thing or two, on how to implement that particular blade. Not that I'd be an expert ha ha. Always figured it'd be a good back up weapon tho.

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    1. I'm leaning to a gurka or tomihawk ( did I spell those right? ). Back up to the bayonet back up.

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    2. Ghurka is a people, kukri is the scary looking curved knife they use.

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    3. Although Kleenex is still a tissue as well as a company.

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  3. I'd go with the tomahawk, plenty of low cost options there. Gurkas are pretty much specialized. Machetes are my fave for backups.

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    1. Aren't both simple slashing weapons? Although the tomahawk also has a nifty smashing option.

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    2. Machetes have a longer reach, and Gurkas are supposed to taste blood every time is is drawn out of it's sheath. I hate cutting myself, and really hate explaining that to the cops. Estwing makes a really nice roofing hammer that fills the bill as a tomahawk, plus it can pull nails. Some minor grinding can make it a decent throwing weapon, but personally I hate throwing a perfectly good weapon away.

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    3. Tomahawk it is. I don't want to anger any God that needs blood.

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  4. If you consider that shotgun shells used to be paper and are still a rather thin plastic then I would think that paper mache would have a possibility of working. Or you simply use a wider bullet. Like the way they cut the neck off of 223 cases for use as 300 blackout rounds. -SemperFido

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    1. Although, see PP's response. Now he's got me worried.

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  5. "something with better reach than a dagger".

    Half inch steel threaded rod is best, but
    broom stick will serve. Cut two 13 inch pieces.
    Near one end of the two pieces drill a
    hole. Connect the two pieces 6 inches apart
    with chain (or paracord). You have nunchaku
    aka "chucks"
    Carry chucks on one shoulder, or hanging on a
    hook on your belt but concealed inside your waistband.
    Practise striking forward and downward to break
    the collar bone or skull; and striking side to
    side to side of head, elbow or knee.
    Get a girl to distract the fool. Keep all useful gear.
    Take care never to fall into the pen with carcass
    and hawgs.

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    Replies
    1. And if YOU have a pen with same, don't eat the bacon-cannibalism by proxie.

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  6. I have not reloaded 300 blackout but I have read how to do it and the neck isn't cut off but is only reduced. The neck seats the bullet and allows the pressure to build. In a straight walled case the bullet is crimped in and removes the need for the neck. It isn't as efficient and allows for more gas leakage. Shotgun rounds were always sealed so in effect creating a different kind of crimp.

    As for a .30 insert, why not? Being able to use different calibers is never a bad thing. My theory is that you can get much more mileage storing pistol round components and that they will still be useable long after all the .223 and 7.62x whatever is used up. The end result being closer in combat more like frontier fighting during the Horse and Musket period.

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    1. I appreciate the knowlege and you have convinced me on the insert. I thank ya.

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  7. On the subject of swords, I have always marveled at the fitness and strength that must have been required for combat in those days. Just using the occasional hand saw wears me out!

    What are your thoughts on boats? I'm not talking about fancy blue water cruisers, but simple cheap homebuilt coastal boats and I'm assuming you can make sails and do the maintenance yourself. The mobility would allow you to tie up somewhere near work and then move elsewhere on nonworking days, even take vacations.

    I got the idea when I was in Juneau. I talked to a guy who cleaned windows for a living and lived with his wife on a boat north of town, just anchored in a bay with a cheap POS car parked nearby at a scenic parking spot. It wouldn't work everywhere,but most coastal States have enough undeveloped coastline to anchor in for free and usually some kind of public dock for short term use by tourists.

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    1. If I was motivated and brave and/or gave a crap, I'd be houseboating down in Florida on the St. John's. All the food, none of the rent.

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  8. Darn it, I was reading a great survivalist fiction book the other day and it started out wonderful -- mom and kids are wandering the wilderness starving to death and dad is almost dead from pneumonia. Dad collapses and then mom spots an abandoned house, she finds some canned food, but not a lot. So she decides to eat it herself so that she'll survive until the last child starves to death--she was worried about the children dying alone.

    Then, the author ruins the story. Mom finds a filled cargo container full of everything you need--food, antibiotics, instruction manuals, etc. AND WAIT THERE'S MORE -- a map for the other 6-7 storage containers.

    Why can't anyone write a realistic survival novel? Luckily this short story was free on Kindle -- Hope I.

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. Dammit woman! You know reality doesn't sell.

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  9. I was a member of the SCA for several years. Better than swords is spear throwers and archery. The "light" fighters were banned from many of the battle scenarios because the "heavies" didn't like being taken out from a distance. That took all the fun out of it for the big guys.

    So my advice for "real" life, forget the swords and focus on weapons that "reach out and touch someone".

    Idaho Homesteader

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    1. Their attitude was correct. Only scumbag peasants cheat and use non-sword weapons. Can't have the rabble killing nobility.

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    2. Bah the heavies got tired of being told they couldn't lay a stick on the panty waste archers when we did close. The SCA archers wanted to be on the field but didn't want to get hit. Except for the Calontir ones. I have fond memories of some light archers flopping around like fish when a group of Calontir skirmishers got in to them and didn't realize they were non-targets. Good fun!! and just deserts.

      Archery in period is never as effective as the archers want to claim. They at best might get one battle of effective kills and then the shields, armor, etc. change.

      Before someone can scream "Hundred Years War" I would point out that every battle the English stayed behind their stakes they won. Every battle they left their stakes they lost despite having longbowmen all the time win or lose.

      Common denominator maybe?

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    3. As always, it wasn't one group of weapons that won but three being used in correct concert. Archery ( longbows ) was the original spray and prey, mass projectile. Corrordinated industry was needed to manufacture the fighters and weapons. Just the early version of line up and spray with the Brown Bess. Then lose the calvery and artillary.

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  10. So load up on rifle ammo, count on reloading pistol ammo.

    BTW, ammo prices have come down since I sold some of mine. I sold some 556 at .80 rd. Internet has 556 at .63-.65
    Gonna buy a 1000 rds this week to replace the 840 rds I sold! And I used that money back in April to help buy grain and land!!!

    Unlucky in love, lucky in gambling...
    Gil

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    1. I only saw steel cases for that price. Course, I didn't price cases.

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    2. http://ammoseek.com/?gun=rifle&cal=113&grains=0&mfg=&keywords=&sortby=cpr

      Change caliber to what you are looking for

      http://ammoseek.com/ is the main page.

      also http://gun-deals.com has a good ammo search

      Gil

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