Whew…

Whew… another week’s backlog caught up. By the end of this week I should be done. Spent all my spare time today looking through my fishing gear and figuring out what I DON’T have. Couldn’t even find one of my tackle boxes… I think it’s been at least 5 years since I’ve even seen it. So basically I’m starting from scratch except for the rod and reel – and I might need a new rod and reel. All my stuff is (was) set up for catching trout in small streams. This bass fishing is a whole new ball game. We’ll see. I’ll probably start with the rod and reel I already have and go from there. I ordered some topwater plugs because according to a friend, that’s what the bass in these ponds bite on.

In other news, I really need a motorcycle so I can explore all the dirt roads and trails around here. I think I’ve decided on a SWM RS500R. Two problems: 1, my wife is opposed. 2, the 2020 models are all sold out and the f*****g EPA or some crap Federal alphabet agency is holding up the 2021 models over some alleged emmissions bullspit. So they’re here – sitting on a dock in a shipping container somewhere. The shop I’m getting it through said they’d call around, so I’ll check with them in a day or so to see if they have any updates. Of course I could just get a KTM, but those are 14 freaking THOUSAND dollars out the door. They sure must be proud of them… The SWM is less than $10K out the door (assuming I can even get one).

If I can’t, the next choice might be a Yamaha WRF450F with a street kit on it to make it street legal. Which isn’t actually a choice. For one thing, it’s not as powerful as either the KTM or the SWM. Second, I really have my heart set on a European bike. Finally, the Yamaha is only about $1K less than the KTM – for that price, it’s not too big a jump to just get the KTM. But I don’t WANT the KTM. The SWM is a better bike imo, leaving alone the cheaper price. I guess we’ll see… (that phrase seems to come up way too often lately). Anyway, until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

There is no normal life…

If 2020 taught me one thing, it’s that there is no normal life, there is just life. We had (have) a pandemic, the economy went to shit, and in my opinion so did the political climate. Lots of people I know are hoping and praying for life to get “back to normal” while others are complaining about “the new normal. Both views are wrong imo. There is no normal life, only life. No one – not even in ‘Merica – gets to decide with 100% certainty what life will bring.

I like to think the kind of people who read Backwoodsman Magizine or even this blog are into self sufficiency and being able to take care of things themselves. Also good people who have the backs of their kith and kin. I don’t know that, but I hope it’s true…

So… what do I do when life stops being “normal”? I can waste time and energy worrying about things beyond my control, or I can focus my time and energy on things I can control. Instead of worrying about losing my job, I can figure out ways to earn money on the side. I can worry about the food supply, or I can start producing my own food. Do I choose to live in fear of getting sick, cowering in my house and hiding behind a mask, or embrace what freedoms we still have as much as possible?

I choose life and freedom. I don’t know what normal means any more. I knew what life was like growing up, and it was pretty sweet. Small town, 2 loving parents, both had stable jobs, large extended family. Like I said, pretty nice. I know quite a few people who had it a lot harder than I did (do), and a couple people that had it much “better,” at least financially. But most of my friends are doing OK – financially and emotionally. I’t not w,hat you got or what life gives you, it’s what you do with it.

Expecting 2021 to be better than last year?

I don’t. Actually 2020 wasn’t a bad year for me, except for restrictions on church and being forced to wear a mask some times. I didn’t lose any friends to the Wuhan virus, and I kept my job. I even made a lot of new friends, something that’s rare for me (being pretty much a loner). I’m not expecting 2021 to be so rosie though.

Work

I’ve already been told that my contract won’t be renewed when it ends this June, so as of July 1 I’ll be unemployed. Thankfully, because of my wife’s money management skills our house is paid off. We also don’t have any car loans to worry about. Most of my friends aren’t this lucky though, and I worry about them. For myself though, I’m actually looking forward to being unemployed.

I have some ideas for making money on the side. Small welding jobs, learning to make Kydex holsters, maybe even getting an FFL and doing a little gunsmithing work. I’ll have a lot of time to spend on our garden and I want to get into raising rabbits and chickens, so our food bill should be a lot lower than now (and we’ll also be more immune from any disruptions in the food supply chain). I’ll also have a lot more time for hunting and fishing, and one of my friends is taking me deer hunting in Wyoming this fall.

Politics

I expect the political scene in the US to get much worse in 2021. “President” Biden is bought and paid for by China and has a horrible record on civil rights, especially the 2nd Amendment. Harris is even worse. The left has been “cancelling” people (doxing them and harrassing their employers) and now it looks like they’re moving to criminalize any speech – even any opinion – that doesn’t agree with “progressive” dogma. I plan on keeping my head down, ny mouth shut, staying under the radar, and praying that in 2 years the communists get voted out of the House and Senate, with a non-Communist getting elected President again in 2024.

Covid 19

I believe the WuFlu (“Covid 19”) is real, but I can also see – CLEARLY – that is being weaponized by our elected “leaders” to strip us of our civil liberties. Think I’m wrong? Ask yourself this: if it’s really so dangerous, why does the political class ignore THEIR OWN restrictions that they impose on the rest of us? Why, in Nevada, were churches shut down “for our own safety” but bars and brothels allowed to stay open? You read that right. Whore houses were deemed essential and allowed to stay open, but churches were forced to close.

We’re told that shutdowns are necesarry (again “for our own good”), but countries that haven’t shut down have lower infections than the US, and in the US, some of the states with the most stringent restrictions have the highest infection (and death) rates for Covid. Could someone please expalin this to me? First we were told that masks weren’t necesarry except for first responders. Then we were told that masks were necesarry and would stop the spread of the virus. After that we’re told that masks won’t stop us from catching WuFlu, but would prevent us from infecting other people.

Wait for the vaccine we’re told… only to be told that now the vaccine is available we still “need” to wear masks anyway. For what? Meanwhile, there’s talk in the political class of making the WuFlu vaccine mandatory, requiring people to carry proof of vaccination, and locking up people who refuse to get it. Here’s another question: If the vaccine is effective, then why do we “need” to keep wearing masks? Also, if it really is effective, then my choosing not to get it should not affect ANYONE who does get vaccinated, right? Oh, and New York is considereing a law “authorizing” the government to forcibly remove people from their own homes if the governor deemd them a threat to public health by virtue of being infected with whatever the government deems a “health risk.” In America. The FORMER “land of the free.”

With that said, I’m not a Covid denier. I know it’s serious, especially for those in high risk groups. Still, the survival rate is over 98.5%, even if you count groups that are high risk – obese, having heart or respiratory disease, over 70, etc. Nevertheless I do my part. I wear a mask if a store requires it because I respect the right of a business to control access to their own property. If I’m around people and could potentially exposed, I wear a mask when I visit her (she has several risk factors).  I’m not planning on gettine the vaccine though, at least until it’s proven safe and effective. Given early results, I’m NOT AT ALL convinced of its safety.

Next time, part 2…

OK I was hoping to wrap this up in a single post but I’m starting to ramble. Next time I’ll try to tie all this together and how I relate it to my Backyardsman life. In the mean time, take care. As my son would say “Be careful, be safe, and be happy.” There is no normal life, there is just life. Live it to the fullest and enjoy it. Don’t be controlled by fear or wanna-be dictators.

Peace out,
porcupine

A real crappy week…

This past week really sucked. Started out with my ex-sister harassing my mom on FB. My cousin’s husband is hospitalized with heart failure. Antifuk and BlackLiesMatter are busing up to 300 “protesters” from California into a small rural town in MY state to “protest” against the local Sheriff’s office. His “sin” was pointing out that BLM is a Marxist organization. Our “governor” signed a proclamation declaring that “racism” is a “public health emergency.” He also supports groups that say all whites are racist. I’m kind of wondering what the implications are. If all that wasn’t enough, I found out last might that one of my uncles has been arrested for attempted murder. So how was YOUR week?

“Progressives” ruin everything…

This isn’t a political blog. I wish I could ignore politics. Unfortunately people who like politics won’t leave US alone. So… it’s either push back or bend over and grab the ankles. Just saying… There are two kinds of people: those who want to be left alone and those who won’t leave you the f**k alone. I.E. “progressives.” My ex-sister is a prime example. She won’t leave my mom alone. My mom is Christian and very conservative. Ex-sister is Marxist and fancies herself a “social justice warrior.” Which would be OK except she CONSTANTLY feels the need to push her viewpoint on my mom. My mom is 84 years old, and it’s highly unlikely she’s going to change life-long beliefs by being bullied. But my b1tch ex-sis keeps doing it. They won’t leave you alone unless you push back…

Family by choice…

An often misunderstood saying is “Blood is thicker than water.” Many think this means blood relations are stronger than any other, and the closer your blood relation to someone, the closer the bond. NOT true, as my ex-sister has proven many times. The quote is “Blood of the oath is thicker than the water of birth.” So it actually means the opposite of what most people think. Family is kith and kin – people who share your values, share mutual love, and have each others’ back. My ex-sis meets none of those. NOT family any more.

To be continued, because frankly I’m a little overwhelmed…

Great Blue Heron

great blue heronEver since this Wuhan virus crap started I haven’t been getting out enough. I went for a walk the other day though and came across a Great Blue Heron. He was standing next to a pond at a golf course close to my house. When I first saw him, he was so still I thought it was fake. As I watched him I could see him moving very slightly. I moved up very slowly, taking pics as I approached. Finally he’d had enough so he took off and flew away. What an awesome surprise on what I thought was going to be just a boring walk…

Getting out ain’t easy…

great blue heron taking off

It’s been tough. I’m working at home, which sounds good – except my boss expects me to basically stay glued to my computer and phone. Since I’m home, my wife also expects me to be able to drop whatever I’m doing and help when she needs something. Then there’s getting my kid to do his school work online. My elderly mom couldn’t get out for awhile due to our state’s lock down, so guess who’s expected to take phone calls 2 or 3 times a day when she’s bored and wants to talk to someone? On top of that, my allergies have been killing me this year.

Speaking of allergies, did you know that you can’t just get a kenalog shot any more? I went to the doctor and she said “NO.” Apparently there’s a slight risk of the shot weakening (“ruining” in her words) your thigh bones if you get too many. Never mind that I haven’t had one in over 15 years and I have excellent bone density (had it checked last year).  So instead of a single shot with low risk of a single side effect, she put me on the FDA recommended medical regime for allergies: THREE medicines with a whole laundry list of side effects. Such as severe (as in life threatening) asthma attack, depression and suicidal thoughts, extreme irritability, fatigue… personally, I’d rather take my chances with the bone density thing. But I guess “our” government “health experts” know what’s best right? OK, I’m getting off track here…

Early is better

One thing I’ve found is that “the earlier the better.” When I get up early enough, I can get out for awhile before my boss expects me available for “instant access.” If it’s going to be windy, it’s usually less windy in the morning. There are less people out and about. My side effects (irritability and fatigue) haven’t kicked in yet. The Great Blue Heron and other birds are still out.

The hard part about getting an early start is going to bed early the night before. I’m a night person so it’s hard to get to bed before 11:30 – 12:00. That makes it kind of hard to get up at 5:00 am ready to go (as an old fart, I need at least 7 hours of sleep). I guess that’s one good thing about the medicine side effects – I’ve been sleeping around 10:30.

The Great Blue Heron

So one day when I dragged my lazy self out of bed early, I managed to go for a walk. It was a route I’d never taken before. I was following a trail that ended abruptly at the edge of a golf course. I almost turned around and backtracked. Then I said “screw it, I’m cutting across their damn golf course.” I’m glad I did. The Great Blue Heron made my day.

What’s up?

Wow, what happened to the last seven weeks? I’ve been busy, not too busy but also run down. And above all, determined not to join in on the media shit show about that thing that’s going on. SO. How are ya’ll? Since  early March, in no particular order…

  • I have lost ALL patience for stupidity and stupid people. You know, like the morons that wait when the light turns green until it’s just about ready to turn red again before they go through, so EVERY ONE stuck behind them gets to wait for the next green light. Lots of other examples, that’s just the first one that pops into mind…
  • My wife finally understands the reason why it “might” be a good idea to plan and be ready for when things “ain’t normal.”
  • People who AREN’T part of your community, coming to your community for whatever reason, SUCK. WTF can’t they stay in their OWN communities while all this is going on???
  • Working from home gets a LOT easier once you make your family realize you’re actually WORKING and still have all those work responsibilities – maybe even more than normal.

Other than that, things are going pretty good. Looking for land. Hoping my EMT school doesn’t get cancelled. Built another AR. Found some guys to go shooting with. My wife is starting a garden.

Hope all is well with all of (OK, “both of”) you.

Peace out,
porcupine

The best time to plant a tree

The best time to plant a tree“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” I should have listened to my high school guidance counselor. Reviewing the results of my satisfaction test (can’t remember what it was actually called), he told me the results: The two jobs I’d most likely to find satisfying were Minister or Forest Ranger. My response… Really??? I don’t think so!!! I’m gonna be either a hotshot computer programmer or a race car mechanic. What does some old fogey and a “test” know anyway, right? So here I sit 29 years later wishing I’d followed his advice. Stuck in a cubicle, burned out with my IT job, and not spending nearly enough time outdoors. Time for a reset…

The best time to plant a tree is 20 years ago…

Twenty years ago I was a newlywed and starting a new career in IT. I’d just come off of 16 years working various mechanic jobs and it was time for a change. IT looked good, so I chose that as my new career field. I should have listened to the words from my HS guidance counselor from 1981. I can’t complain about my job, but I’m burned out. It takes too much time away from my family and too much time away from spending outdoors. I’m also 56 years old. Too young to retire but too burned out to keep doing what I’m doing.

The second best time is now.

I’m working on a career change. This time I want something that will give me more free time or more flexibility. Both would be nice but if I can only have one I’ll take flexibility. Also, after 40 years (counting high school years) of working for other people, self employment is looking very tempting.

I guess technically I could do anything. Maybe even go to seminary and become a minister or go back to school and be a forest ranger. In reality, I’m 56 years old and seminary for my church is 4 – 8 years and I’d have to learn to read both Hebrew and Greek. I don’t know what kind of college degree you need to be a forest ranger, but I’m guessing at least a 4 year degree. Four to eight years of school before I can start over is too long. I should have planted one of those trees 20 years ago.

Find something useful and get good at it…

Last November I took a 2 week wilderness first responder class. I just wanted to learn first aid, maybe a little more advanced than the local 2 day Red Cross classes. I liked it so much I’ve decided to take a wilderness EMT class this summer and get my EMT license.

Also, over the past few years I’ve been taking care of a couple rental properties for my wife. You know what? It’s really hard to find a decent handyman. So I’ve had to do quite a bit of the work myself. I’m not good at everything yet, but some things I can do just as well as some of the handymen we’ve hired. I’ve also built up a pretty good tool collection.

So my options are EMT or handyman. Maybe both? I can get a part time (per diem) EMT gig and do the handyman thing when I’m not doing that. Both options are really useful skills, especially in a backwoods or backwoods home situation. The point is, I could have convinced myself it’s too late to change. Stick it out for another 10 years or so. Be miserable for the next 10 years. Spend too much time at my job and away from home life for the next 10 years. Miss the outdoors for the next 10 years.

Then what? There are no guarantees in life so who knows if I’ll even live 10 more years? The thought of doing what I’m doing now until I (possibly) die really sucks. Maybe the best time to plant this tree was 20 years ago, but the second best time is now. Until next time…

Peace out,
porcupine

New Glock 47 – pfft…

Glock 47 CBPIn early April, Glock announced a new model as part of an $85 million contract with US Customs and Border Protection (CBP). The Glock 47 is the same size as a Gen 5 G17, and not available to civilians. It does have some interesting features though, so it’s worth checking out. I first read about the G47 on a blog I used to respect (emphasis on used to).

Late to the dance and full of… nothing burgers

The post I read was written on May 18, but the gun was announced in early April. In spite of the time lapse, the author manages to write about the Glock 47 without saying ANYTHING about the G47.

Instead, he starts out by berating ‘all the “experts” posting about this new Glock 47 and all the conjecture and general “making shit up” going long(sic) with it.’

Next, he informs us he knows where they get their information and what they’re trying to do with it: ‘They are all surfing each others web postings, trying to be the first to post something significant.’ 

At least he’s a real expert… I’m going to be issued one, and it will be the pistol riding in my holster until I retire. So when I’m getting hands on, while the rest are still reposting the same conjecture you’ll see it here first.’

Facts, not conjecture…

Well, I didn’t want to be mislead by all the “experts” the author is warning about, so I did a Google search for Glock 47. I didn’t find a lot of stuff, but what I did find was factual – no “made up stuff” and no “conjecture.”

The Truth About Glocks…

The truth about Glocks – including the new Glock 47 – is they’re really simple. You don’t need to be too much of an expert to understand them. A current production Glock only has 34 parts, and most parts are interchangeable across the entire line. So I really don’t understand why this particular blogger feels the need to grandstand on this issue. Especially since I’ve never seen him write anything on Glocks before.

What’s special about the Glock 47

So what’s so special about the G47? Not much. It has a full size (G17) frame and a G17 slide. The only thing special about it is the frame will take a G19 slide. That’s it. With the G19 slide, a G47 is the same size as the G19X/G45 (compact slide, full size grip frame).

Before the 19X, G17 slides fit G17 frames and G19 slides fit G19 frames. The 19X frame is basically a G19 frame with a G17 grip. Another way of looking at it would be to call it a G17 frame modified to accept a G19 slide. A G17 slide won’t fit a G19X/G45 frame, just like it won’t fit a G47 frame.

So how do they do it? The logical conclusion is the Glock 47 slide is a G17 slide modified to fit a Glock 19 (or G19X/G45) frame. That’s not “conjecture” or “making shit up.” It’s applying deductive reasoning to commonly known facts about existing Glock pistol models. I don’t see how one “riding in my holster” would make it more understandable.

Glock 47 – bottom line

The G47 is an interesting pistol. The ability to switch between short and long slides makes a lot of sense – especially if you’re a federal agency deploying thousands of pistols. For the average Backyardsman looking for a carry or trail gun? Still interesting, but that’s about it. Would I buy one if they were available to civilians? Probably not. For 9mm, my Glock 17 and Glock 19 suit me just fine.

Peace out,
porcupine

Can’t fix stupid…

I grew up in a small town. Most of the land was (is) controlled by a distant city for the water rights. A few days ago, the city proposed selling some of the land to locals as long as the city retained water rights. Predictably, some idiots living in the small town think this is JUST GREAT. One in particular, “our small town REALLY needs more housing.” So I asked why? Are there a lot of unfilled jobs? Are businesses having problems finding workers because there aren’t enough people to fill the jobs? Well, no, according to this person there aren’t enough jobs, so it’s very hard to find a job. COULD SOMEONE EXPLAIN TO ME how bringing in MORE workers to an already saturated job market would be good for anyone who already lives there???

So I asked her about that. Her reply was that it’s hard for employers to find people to hire because housing is too expensive. What? Just before that she said it’s hard to find a job. I’m not understanding this… it’s hard to find a job because too many people are looking for too few jobs, but somehow bringing in MORE job seekers would make it EASIER to find a job???

I guess it’s true, you can’t fix stupid

Finally decided to test the new WP editor

I never really understood why organizations take a perfectly good product and eff it up. For example the old Word Press editor. It worked fine. If I wanted to write “visually” I’d just pick the “Visual” tab in the editor. If I preferred typing in straight text and manually adjusting markup I’d select the “Text” tab. If I wanted to add a picture, it was really easy. All I had to do was put the cursor where I wanted the picture, click the “Add Media” button, and select my image. A very simple, 2 step process.

The new editor SUCKS…

Now it’s different. First I have to type my text into a paragraph “block.” If I decided later to add an image, I have to add an image “block.” Since “blocks” are added at the bottom of the edit window, I then have to position my newly added image “block” above the paragraph I want it inserted into, then tell the image block where to position itself in the paragraph and “OH GEE WHIZ it’s like MAGIC how the text of the paragraph magically wraps itself around the image. Except it’s not magic, it sucks. Why? Because what used to take only 2 steps now takes 4 – and the marketing geniuses at WP tout this as a “feature.” Yeah, right… So what about adding headings between paragraphs?

Yeah, what about adding a heading? In the old editor, it was really easy. Just put my cursor where I wanted the heading, type it, highlight it, click a drop down, and pick the format I wanted for that text (header and style or paragraph) and BAM!!! My new header positioned just where I want it. No fuss, no hassle. In the new editor though, same problem as adding pictures. I have to add my header block at the bottom of the post, then manually re-position it to where I want it. STUPID!!! So what about line breaks?

Line breaks…

Is it even possible to add a simple line break in the new editor? With the old editor, inserting a line break was easy – just make sure you’re in Text mode (by clicking the “Text” tab in the editor), put the cursor where you want the line break, hit “Enter” on your keyboard, and VIOLA!!! The editor would auto-magically put in a line break for you. It worked the same way in Visual mode, except you’d get a new paragraph instead of a line break. The new editor is different. You can still edit in raw text (now they call it “Code” instead of “Text”), but typing a return (or enter) character gets you nothing – you have to manually enter the </br> tag where you want it. I guess it’s OK if you know HTML (even though it’s an extra step you DIDN’T HAVE TO DO in the old editor), but if you don’t know HTML you’re screwed. Well, at least if you want a line break and not a new paragraph.

Other gripes, esp. Text (Code) editing…

In the old editor, switching between text and visual editing was easy – just click on the Visual or Text tab at the top of the editing field. In the new editor, you have to select the “more tools and options” icon in the top right, then pick what editing mode you want. Just another thing that used to be an easy, intuitive ONE STEP process that now requires two steps.

My other gripe about the new Text… sorry, “Code” editing mode is you lose EVERYTHING that makes adding elements easy. In the old editor – even in text mode – you could highlight text and format it by clicking a button above the editing field. In the new editor – NO. You have to be in block-head mode if you want to have the text formatting tools available. If it was easier to switch between modes (like it was in the old editor) it wouldn’t be as big a deal. As it stands, it’s just another DOWN-grade being touted as an upgrade.

Peace out (with manually added line break),
porcupine

Please send me some locust borers…

Please send me some locust borers!!! When we bought our home in 2003 it had a pretty black locust tree in the back yard. A variety of the black locust called purple robe. Besides shade, it gave us a show of lovely purple flowers every spring. The relationship turned sour soon though. It kept sending out little sucker roots every spring that invaded some of our other planting areas. I cut them down, but the shoots have these damnable thorns that hurt like hell and they go through leather work gloves like a knife through butter. Getting rid of them every spring turned into a painful PITA so we decided to get rid of the tree (heretofore referred to as the Tree from Hell…)

The Tree From Hell

After 3 years, the tree is worse than it’s ever been. The sucker roots are worse than ever and more prolific. Last year almost 1/4 of my back yard was cover with these g*****n things. Id cut of the branches, get stung by the thorns, and spray them with Roundup. Didn’t matter. They kept coming back, and keep coming back.

This year I’m trying something new. Digging up the stumps and pulling the sucker roots out of the ground. It’s hard work, it sucks. I just want to enjoy my back yard. Why does this effing trash tree seem so hell-bent on making sure I can’t? The sad thing is, I’m not sure that even pulling the roots out will solve the problem unless I can get ALL of the root. Even a missed fragment can grow into a new “tree.” This thing isn’t a tree, it’s a weed of the worst kind. Maybe even a Hydra…

How to kill a locust tree?

So how to you kill a locust tree without killing the rest of the plants in my back yard? I don’t want to use chemicals. I found out that locust borers are “often fatal to locust trees. Where to get them though? Can’t find them online. Couldsomeone tell me where I can get some locust borers? PLEASE???