Sunday, December 09, 2018

Hellbent but Heaven bound?

(Via the Woodpile Report)

As a former motorcyclist (as opposed to a biker, who would say that I rode a rice burner and therefore wasn't a biker, probably among other things), I'm aware of the reputation that the so-called "1%" has. Basically, it's not a good one, although in some part the reputation isn't deserved. More on that in a sec.

In something that may be a preview of things to come sooner than later, a big group of the 1% is proving that more than a little of their reputation isn't deserved, and that some of it is. These guys, who most people, including the ones at the church, would probably avoid in other times, are providing a level of safety and security for victims of California's Camp Fire that their benevolent local and state governments have failed to provide. They're also dispelling some of the poor image they've accumulated over the years.

Bikers are, in my opinion, a misunderstood subculture in the US. Sure, there are some that are basically organized crime on Harleys, but most of them aren't. That's not to say they aren't hardasses, because they are. You do not screw around with these folks. Many of them have no qualms about physical violence.

When I was going through Army basic and AIT, there was a guy in my squad from Illinois. He was a biker, although you wouldn't have known it to see him. Unlike the mental picture of the big, burly biker, he was a small guy, even smaller than me. Unlike me, he was all muscle and attitude.

Except for his squad mates. I have known no more loyal friend, no one with who I'd rather find myself in a fight with (as long as he was on my side). The guy elevated loyalty to a near art-form.

Over the years since then, I've had the opportunity to meet other bikers. They have been, for the most part, cut from the same fabric as my old squaddie. Hardass to the core, but possessing both loyalty to those they associate with as well as a caring streak a mile wide but seemingly carefully hidden. In our area, there is always a memorial ride, a poker run for this or that charity or some organized event in which they play a major role. At this time of year one of the biggest is a ride that ends up at a local children's home, where they drop off thousands if not tens of thousands of dollars worth of toys for the kids. I remember one year where on guy showed up with his "old lady" on the back of his bike, with a sidecar full of stuffed animals.

Wouldn't it one of the universe's great ironies if these folks became one of the groups you most want to have around if TSHTF?

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Nailed it

(Via the Woodpile Report)

I'll admit that I like Larry Corriea's Monster Hunter series a lot, and his take on The Gun Thing even more, so I'm probably a bit inclined to pump my fist when he decides it's time to educate the heathens on the other side. But man, this one is just great.

If any of the SJWs manage to read and understand it, they will shut up all their friends NOW. Otherwise, if that revolution they want happens, there's going to be a shortage of ropes, lampposts and SJWs.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Are you OK? Are you alright? HELP, MEDIC!

Aesop at the Raconteur Report has put up what I believe will be the most important thing I've read this month-medical kit advice from someone in the medical field. Go, read, learn, apply the knowledge.

In other news, water is wet

A UC Davis study examining the first ten years after California adopted universal background checks shows that those checks did not reduce homicides.

Not that this will make any difference in the shrill calls for "universal background checks", because the goal isn't a reduction of crime, but the eventual registration and confiscation of all firearms.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

A new improved tourniquet

(Via SurvivalBlog)

It looks like there is another tourniquet out there that hopes to dethrone the CAT. I can't say if it's a superior product or not. Time will answer that question.

Water, water, not here, not there, not anywhere

On SurvivalBlog there is an excellent article about the world nearly ending for Cape Town, South Africa. Drought, coupled with the general African inability to govern in anything short of a kleptocratic manner just about did in one of the great cities of the world.

Don't bet against seeing this story again in the same place.

For us, the lesson to be learned is that it's great to have x different ways to purify your water, but when there's no water to purify things get festive in a hurry. Got blue barrels?

You got your knife on you?

(Via Kim DuToit)

As the son of West "By God" Virginia hillbillies, this sounds so familiar I could be sitting there on the stool beside the author.

The Kind of Men Who Carry Pocketknives. Because real men carry a knife or three, every day.

And in a OMG moment, I went to their home page to see if the site was worth bookmarking, and the lead Article is "Remembering the Days of CB Radios"-and I just bought a President Washington base, because sometimes unlicensed communication just suits me.

Mine's the third version, discernible by the 5 pin mike jack.

Facing down Hell

(Via the Drudge Report)

“I’m not a survivalist, I’m a survivor.”

Even in the People's Republic of California there are hearty individuals-and those who support them-who are willing to risk their lives for what they believe in. Those of us who value individual rights, a strong work ethic and simply the right to live our lives by our own lights need to recognize and salute these people.

The hearty few who refused to give up their homes, in the midst of a fire that consumed their home town of Paradise, CA, might be thought of as reckless and foolish by many. Indeed, I'm not sure I'd have stayed in the midst of that hell. But they did and God and the dice were on their side. Good on ya.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

A Happy Thanksgiving to you

 Jean Leon Gerome Ferris - 'The First Thanksgiving'
I like to wish everyone who happens by a Happy Thanksgiving. Even in what I think of as trying times, we all need to find those things we can be thankful for and acknowledge them on this day.

I'm thankful that my Daughter's wedding is successfully complete and that her and Son-In-Law have the resources to buy a home and start out their married life in such stellar fashion.

I'm thankful for my Son, who is being equally successful with his chosen trade and is out on his own, a productive member of society.

I'm thankful that both my children still live within a 15 minute drive of home.

I'm thankful for Mrs. Freeholder, who for reasons unknown still puts up with me after all these years.

I thankful that I'm still on the right side of the dirt and in relative health.

Last but hardly least, I'm thankful for those who continue to drop by and read my musings. Thank you all.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The hardest part of being a pet owner

I'm a cat person; have been for 35-ish years. I seem to have a knack for getting most of mine to some seriously ripe old ages. We had to have Ethyl, a little spitfire of a cat, euthanized about 14 months ago at the age of 19 because of kidney failure.

Ethyl was pretty obvious-she stopped eating and couldn't move about, even to get to a litter box in the same room. We knew she was suffering from the disease, but we were doing as much as she would allow to support her. And then she just crashed, and the blood test said "Time, please". As we always do, we brought her home and she's buried with 2 others (Ricky and Fred) off to one side of the back yard.

We're facing this again with our 15 year old Thing. Thing has always been small, particular and a picky eater. She is also a train wreck, one that started in 2012 with a diagnoses of Idiopathic Vestibular Disease. With the help of good veterinary care, we got her past that, but it has poked its head up a time or three since.

For the last 3-4 years, blood tests showed her liver under heavy stress. Some expensive diagnostic tests could find no reason. Then her kidney numbers went up, pointing toward kidney failure. Her white blood count spiked to half again what it should be, pointing to an infection or maybe cancer. This all happened in quick succession. We only caught it early because she was having a pre-anesthesia blood workup so we could have her teeth cleaned and a bad one removed.

Catching it early, we've been able to provide supportive care and give her a good quality of life, despite never having a firm diagnoses of what was wrong. But as time has passed she's gotten frail, and the goal of a quality life has been harder to maintain. Now we're nearing the end of the road, and I've been struggling with trying to work out "When do we take that last ride?" It's complicated by Thing herself, because she's been such a game fighter. She isn't going to go easy.

One resource that my vets suggested was the "Feline Quality of Life Index". While it sounds kind of cold and clinical, it's meant to help cat owners reach the hardest decision they have to make about a pet-when is it time to let go? Even though I can be a cold, clinical bastard, about my animals I'm anything but.

Hopefully, this resource will help someone else make this hard, shitty decision with less guilt than they might otherwise have.