Friday, September 26, 2008

Another long ride.

I know this is out of order, but life isn't very organized just now.

I drove the mobile survival facility seven hundred twentythree miles on Saturday.

Some things I noticed:

I95 transitions from Superhighway to Parking lot in the distance of one panic stop with both feet on the whoa peddle.

The Cross Bronx Express Way, is express only due to the insane volume of traffic.

A New Yorker will change lanes at any speed, as long as you do not physically occupy the space they want.

They pay for the George Washington Bridge, in it's entirety, daily, in tolls. One pickup and trailer, $32? multiply that by a bazillion.

My GPS navigation soft ware isn't up to date, yet. Working on it. I didn't get lost, but I did get really ticked.

The law of gross tonnage doesn't apply.

I am hungry at the end of the day, even though my butt has been eating upholstery all day.

The last nut in the can......


I have a friend who is, actually, certifiable.Well, several of them, but now I know why. He lived several years alone in the middle of no where, with nothing to fill the evenings.

I can feel his life.

I am living it this weekend. It's raining fit to drown frogs. I'm seven hundred miles from home and eight weeks from the drive back.

It's a good thing they're paying me pretty well. I could hook this dog up and be down the road in a few minets.

This should be a very interesting few weeks.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

And I'm off....

Well. I'm always a little off, but I have to go to work too. The company I will work for this fall called yesterday and wants me to take a supervisor position. More money, possible bonus based on no rework and no injuries to my direct reports.

OK, more money, and an extra weeks work, on the front end. That cut all the slack out of my prep time.

Therefore, posting will take a beating.

I was getting all would up for a bash at Gaffey the Democrap. (Obamessiah, This is the best country in the world, lets change it!)

Guess it'll have to wait.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Red Knights Motorcycle Club

I was invited to attend a meeting of this club by a prospective son in law.

Good move on his part.

These gentlemen are connected in some way to the fire service, active, retired, or disabled. They are a little brash, a little crude, they drink a little, and might eat too much.

My kind of folks!
Obviously they like motorcycles.

There are more of them than I've seen at meetings, a lot more. I met more of them at the 343 Memorial Ride this past Saturday. Like a couple of hundred more.

This is the second year that the RKMC has sponsored a group ride to raise funds for the State Burn Center. I hope this isn't my last chance to participate in this work. They raised a big hand full of money.

We had a victim from the burn center as mascot, and a fire fighter who was at the World Trade Center to lead the ride.

I will post the tally here when I can contact someone for the official numbers. I'm guessing two hundred plus bikes.

A rider gets a shirt (naturally, got to have the shirt) a pin for your colors, lunch and the chance to participate in something really cool.

The entire traffic division in our town, probably thirty officers, volunteered on their day off, to provide escort and blocking at intersections. That can be a little unsettling when you are riding left file, in the right lane, and an unmarked Mustang running lights and siren hustles by to leap frog the car ahead to the next light. Trust me that car can really hustle, and we had been warned, if you wander across the line, you may become a bug in his grill.


No worries, all went well. It was the coolest thing I've done lately.

We arrived in time for the ride, barely, after the ten hour flight from Mexico and a five hour drive from Dulles. I had been up for twenty seven hours with an hour and a half nap. Color me droopy.

I am a prospective member and hope to be voted in at the next meeting. The Red Knights are a national organisation, that parallel the Blue Knights.
Another cool thing that shows here, the owner of the shop that ordered the back rest for my bike, wasn't able to get it in time so he let me ride his Harley. That let TLOML enjoy the ride, with out worrying about slipping off the back. Not many shop owners will hand you the keys to their personal property and say have a nice day!
Rob at The House of Chrome is way cool for the helping hand!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

We're baaaack......

As requested here are pictures.

The vacation criteria was water, white sand, palm trees and cheap rum. We got all that and more.

I don't know how cheap the rum was, because the venue was all inclusive. One price for lodging, food, transfers, drinks and tours. The mini bar was replenished daily with drinks and beer. the restaurants were top notch and the service was all with a smile.
The five days and four nights thing, turned into three days and four nights. Thanks to two travel days. We got a half day at the pool the day we checked in.

Our second day we toured Chizen Itza, Just... WOW!

The third day was grey and cloudy for the morning, thanks to Ike.

The fourth day was sunny and breezy and we spent the majority of the day at the pool. I was under a palm tree and the Love of My Life was toasting in the edge of the pool.

Lots of cold beer and lots of good food, and nothing to do but lay in the shade.

I could probably stand a couple of weeks more there.

Some things stand out. The mosquitoes were big enough to molest buzzards. That's understandable, as the place is built in a mangrove swamp.

We had dinner in a beach side restaurant with open walls and no AC the first night, when we noticed the table closer to the outside had two couples seated and move to another table in short order. We were sitting close to a spice that was burned to keep the mosquito's away, and they were not in the draft that carried the smoke.
Poor babies!

I had bought insect repellent shortly before, for the next day on the tour and had it in my pocket. The second couple, apparently newly wed, were moved to a table just out of my sight behind me. The young lady, a tall thin, blond continued to swat and twist. TLOML was facing her and got the full show. TLOML was feeling pretty sorry for the girl and I was about to offer the bug spray, when TLOML said "OMG! cooter shot", I spit wine across the table and tried not to choke. TLOML looked at me and said "I swear she had her foot behind her head!"

Sorry I missed that.

The distraught young man was being berated by his new spouse and and was slowly sinking into his chair. You could tell he had "locked brain syndrome" and wasn't going to come up with any answers. I was a heart beat away from sticking my nose in when she asked a waiter if they had insect repellent. When the waiter turned away to go and ask, I put my can of bug spray in his hands. He offered it to the girl, who was massively relieved. The first couple who had been swarmed, also asked if they could use some. I asked them to go outside and spray, to avoid the flame from the little candles on the table turning the whole cloud into a fire ball.

I made four friends on the spot.
Several things made a lasting impression, like the young ladies who came to the resort and could only afford half their bathing suits, and the half they wore was too small. I felt soooo sorry for them.
In the resort every thing was beautiful, outside was grinding poverty. I know poor, and these people couldn't work their way up to mearly poor in a life time.
The skill of the local drivers was on display a little too much. A short van ride resulted in a least six near crashes, not bumps, crashes.
All things considered it was one of our better trips, I would go back tomorrow, and stay longer.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Out of town

Gettin' out of town for a few days, didn't win the big one (91 mil) so I have to come back. Goin' to Cancun. Fly out of D.C. to Miami, (just my luck) and then on to the Yucatan. I feel like I'm playing "run dodge and jump", Army dudes will remember that one from Basic, with storms.

We are going to Chechinitza, remember that one? A huge city that was built before Europe got started good.

Pics when we get back.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Don't go in the water.....

.....unless you're a surfer. Then you won't go anyway, too trashy and no good breaks. About eight feet, and this is nine hours before peak winds.

Rip currents are very bad about now, but some parents were letting their kids play on the edge of the drop off at low tide.

That would be where the currents are strongest.

Just trying for a little pay back on the insurance costs, I guess.

After all, it's useless if you don't file a claim

Pretty stupid if you do.

Fortune smiles.....

....on the homestead. Our storm passed to our west. We got some wind and some rain. No damage. the power flickered but didn't go off. A "going over" with the mower and clear the roof with the leaf blower and we're good. We may not be done yet but it's close.

Thanks to the Master of the Deep.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Today I expect to be busy,,,,

Hurricane tonight, rain and wind today. I suppose I'll be about making the yard missile free.

Happily there is nothing like a glass patio table at a hundred miles an hour, and I hope to keep it that way.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Evil just got a bath.....

The Kitty above is fifteen years old, and has never enjoyed a single bath. She gets 'em. she just doesn't like 'em.

I'm afraid.

I Love IT!!!!!!!

"What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."

Sarah Palin

Not made in my home....

Long ago and far away, or so it seems, a young man decided to go hiking. He had been on the Grand tour of every whore house in South America and the Med, courtesy of the US Navy, howsomever, carousing with five thousand or so of your closest friends didn't fill the void of his wandering soul.

He was determined to find real adventure.

Boy, Howdy!

I don't know that he spun a globe and threw a dart while drunk and blind folded, but I wouldn't be surprised.

His first hike ever, he decided to go to Nepal.

Talk about gettin' out of town.

At one point in our history I had given him some nonverbal indication that bad things were about to befall him, at my hand. When we got past that, with out legal or medical involvement, we actually became friends.

Imagine my surprise!

When I got the news that he was about to risk his life gallivanting about the Himalayas, I extended an offer for help and education. I taught him some lessons that I had learned the hard way about caring for his feet, advised him on foot ware and taught him some things about what to do when the above didn't work.

I should have told him not to eat anything that you didn't see cooked. Poor sap caught something in Thailand that cost him about twenty pounds and two weeks of work before it left his system.

Partly because of my efforts on behalf of his feet, and somewhat because of my efforts at anger management on behalf of the rest of him, he asked if there was something small he could bring me. After lengthy discussions regarding the possibly difficulty in transporting small Thai ladies in carry on bags, I opined that a knife would be nice.

The above pictured blade came from half a world away.

The style is from Nepal; the bent, leaf shaped blade with "eating knives" in the sheath. The blade is .333 thick and seven inches long. This design and workmanship are out of history. The tool marks indicate the shape was chiseled from whatever came to hand and then shaped with basic tools to it's present finish. Over all length is 13 inches.

The decoration is carved into the steel with a chisel. Some one spent considerable time drawing what appear to be a dragon and coi into the blade. The brass fixtures are riveted to the tang. The grip is yak bone, hand carved and the grooves filled with ocher and copper rivets. The triangular piece on the grip is copper.

The sheath is wood covered in leather, and decorated with hand carved copper brass and what appears to be nickle silver. The metal is covered in designs from end to end. The decoration is held in place with wire rivets, and tacks. Interestingly there is cardboard under the metal and inside the sheath.

I am ashamed to say I never looked at it closely until I sat down to write this.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


B. Hussein Obama wants to lead this country,,, where?

Doesn't the Bible, which he professes to believe, say "And the King shall answer and say to them, Truly I say to you, Inasmuch as you have done it to one of the least of these my brothers, you have done it to me."

B. Hussein Obama would you have let Jesus die?

B. Hussein Obama would you lead us to hell and open the gate for us to walk through?

I think I have my answer!

Rough time back at the farm...

I just checked the storm tracs from Hanna, fifteen of them. Fourteen of them go through my living room, or near enough by hurricane standards.


The Radical Skinner....

Before you ask, I didn't skin a radical with it, not that it hasn't crossed my mind occasionally. I really wouldn't want to skunk up a nice knife.

This blade is also full tanged, .221 thick, 64 Rockwell and deeply hollow ground. As I do most of the knives I build, all wood and bolts are epoxied in place. The three inch blade has some really deep serrations for "cutting tendons", or sawing lumber possibly. I've never seen the use for them. The scales are layered bluegreen and black. The sheath is once again ordered from the wholesaler soaked in linseed oil.

This blank came with a defect common to the entire run of blades, a corner that was pulled and too long. This made the width of the curve on the grips too wide for the scales I could buy in standard width. I could buy a wider piece, I could have bought a whole 4X8 sheet, but instead decided to reshape the tang. I removed the sharp corner and rounded it down to a more comfortable shape.

Most jobs done with a knife could be done with a piece of broken glass. It would be, after all, sharp enough. The purpose of all the other stuff is comfort and control. That's why the shaping in this case is mostly organic curves and rounded shapes. The curves give the layered wood nice cats eye ovals and color changes.

One really nice thing about the tool is it's heft. It's thick and heavy in your hand. In conjunction with the round shapes, it feels really good in your hand.
I have actually used this knife, to put down a deer hit by a car near Steamboat Springs in Colorado. This while all my guns were locked in the back of the truck in cases, just too much trouble to get to.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Cowboy up people...

Fish or cut bait: Put your money where your mouth is, or shut up until 2012Posted by: LCBrendan in Distant Voices, Imperial Thoughts, LC Contributions, Pause and reflect, Politics, Words of Wisdom8:40 AM
For months I have seen the concerns and the issues you have raised.

Your rights
.Free speech.

Well, ladies and gents, in November it’ll be time for you to make your choices. Some of you have said you wont vote..or haven’t decided to yet.


I am telling you right now that if you don’t… expect to be called on it for four long years.
I don’t care who you vote for…that’s your business. But if you want to see Obama defeated…if you want to see him and Biden humiliated…then get up off your backsides and VOTE

“But I only have one vote”

You and another, and another, and another, make a few, then ten, then twenty, then a hundred then a thousand..and pretty soon that real conservative that didn’t seem to have a chance is all of a sudden busy planning his next few years in office because a bunch of people decided to exercise their franchise and get what they wanted and deserved..a government for the people, of the people and …by GOD, BY the people…

[ channeling Lincoln on company time - Ed]

You, your friends, your family, your neighbours, your work colleagues, your schoolmates….get em all involved. Australia has on an average, a 97 percent turnout for all elections.


Now it’s your turn.

In November, you will have the chance to stop the Obamessiah™ forever, and your weapon of choice???….will be the “silver ballot”.

Battles are won by those that show up.


Or be left behind.

These words from the Antiidiotarian Rottweiler, too true! Ignore it at your own risk. I have heard all my life about changing things by working with in the system. Now is the time to put legs on your prayers!

Another home built knife

This is my favorite skinning knife. As a friend of mine said, "You can skin a whale with a four inch blade, it just takes longer." Longer blades cover more area, they are also harder to control.
This one is also .221 thick 440 stainless. The knife is seven and three quarters inches long. It has epoxy impregnated hard wood grips and nickle silver bolts. It's full tang has finger grooves as well as a gut hook for opening the body cavity of game. The blade is three inches of hollow ground sharpness with a Rockwell hardness of about sixty four. Hard enough to hold a a good edge, but it can be sharpened with about anything.

The scales are laminated in brown, green and black stained hard wood. They are set with a layer of Super Glue underneath to keep anything from leaking under them and being unsanitary.
The sheath was bought from the supplier of the blade blank and soaked in a zip lock of linseed oil. That transforms a pinkish tan to a chocolate brown and hopefully will preserve the leather long past my demise. I've never been a fan of drop in sheaths, you never know when a missed step will leave you injured, and if you are alone and lose your knife, nothing good will come of it.
I don't worry about that issue because of the fact that I carry a couple of backups.
When I shape the grips, I drill the holes to fit the blade and then glue and bolt the scales in place. When all is dry I'll star shaping them with a sanding wheel. This allows me to blend the shapes and remove material with out damaging the steel or it's finish. The final step for this grip is a polish with a cotton wheel and plastic polish.
Not counting my time or equipment, I probably have fifty or so dollars in a knife that will last several life times.

I know one thing I'm doing today

As a retired person, I have to carefully plan my day. I'm generally running a day or two behind. I'm as busy as a one armed paper hanger most of the time.

Per the weather report today, it's hurricane preps. Not that much to do, actually. We keep it pretty well done up all the time. I will be starting and testing the generator, buying gas for same, perhaps picking up some canned meats, got bread, got noodles, got ammo. Don't expect to need it, but one never knows. I'll need some two cycle oil for the chain saws, have to make sure there is some bar oil around.

We watch storm tracks around here, closely. The projected track for Hanna is already starting to slip North.


Monday, September 1, 2008

When the wind gets up....

When I moved to the coast close to thirty years ago, I had never experienced a hurricane. I have nine under my belt now, that would be nine direct hits, not not near hits or close misses.
The map of where I live, yes all those are storm tracks.

Needless to say, there have been some interesting quotes from people waiting for those storms.

The redneck from New Jersey-"I hope it hits here, I want to get out in the wind and feel what a hundred miles an hour is like!" This while striking a heroic (or in this case stupid) pose with his fists clenched and chest pushed out.

My reply, "Hey hero, what you gonna' do when you're out in the wind and see a stop sign coming edge on at a hundred miles an hour? Or maybe a pine cone off those Long leaf pines?"

His reply, ????blank stare???

The guys in the back room at work- "Hey, look at the window, it's bulging inward when the wind picks up!"

My reply, "Shit, see ya! I'm getting inside the shield wall!"

The Sheriffs deputy in charge of the shelter- "See that guy, (points at me) he knows what's going on, put him too work!"

Me- "Damn it!"

Me- "Boss, I need to go check my house, my wife has passed out from shock and fear in the service building."

Boss- "You can't leave!"

My reply- "This isn't a bleeding jail, hide and watch me bud!" He turned several shades of white and got me permission. I drove home and back, in a seventy mile an hour cross winds in a Subaru Brat, all was well. Except for the pinch marks in the seat and steering wheel.

Me cutting one of my trees off the neighbors house in the middle of the storm.
TLOML stomping and spitting like a wet cat, while screaming at me to get off the top of the neighbors house. The words and gestures exceed my ability to describe, but I was more afraid of her than the storm.

My neighbor Bill from New Jersey, "How much will you charge me to cut up this tree?"
Me- "Nothing"
Bill- "What do you mean, nothing"
Me- "We're neighbors, I'll do it for nothing."
Bill- "Whats your favorite poison?"
Me- "Excuse me?"
Bill- "Liquor"
Me- "JD Black label"
Bill brought me a gallon.
After that when any of my non chain saw owning friends asked me to work up a blow down, I always told them "I work for Booze", I don't remember much after that.

After several hours of work with one of my big chain saws the neighbor I'm helping asks, "Do you guy's want a beer?"
Me -"Yes, please!"
As the three of us are standing in the rain drinking our beers, "Uh, guy's do you realise how stupid we look standing here in the rain?"
Neighbors- "Yeah, maybe we should come in out of the rain."

All my prayers to those on the Gulf Coast, God knows I hope all you have to remember is the stupid quotes