Seeds Have Been Started

The wife and kids had their respective spring breaks pretty early this year. For the life of me I can’t figure out why the school districts up here insist on having spring break in March! It’s too freaking cold to go anywhere except the Caribbean or Latin America… and who can afford that shiznit! In past years, the three of them have gone somewhere together but since the wife teaches in a different suburb than the one the girls attend their breaks didn’t line up. While the wife was on her break, we went to the high school where she teaches and started the seeds for this years garden.

I believe I’ve mentioned previously that my bride is a biology teacher. This comes in handy when I can’t figure something out in the garden or need general advice on a particular practice. Incidentally, most of the time she just shakes her head at me. Regardless, with her being a high school bio teacher is extremely beneficial when it comes to starting seeds. The high school has several of these massive three-tiered commercial sized grow light stands and there is usually enough room to squeeze in our stuff with the kids seeds. Plus, I provide the table top light stand and the large heat mat to handle the germination. The large grow light ‘carts’ handle the plants after they’ve germinated.

Here was the original plan:

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Seed Planting Tally.JPG

By all accounts, the seeds germinated without issue. Everything was planted on March 31st. The wife sends me daily updates every morning or calls me via FaceTime to let me know/see what kind of progress has been made as she’s also been handling the transplanting with the students. Most everything was up within 7-10 days. The squash, zucchini, and eggplants took a full two weeks though. Here’s the germination list she sent me:

Germination Tally.JPEG

If I’m reading it right, I think we picked up a few plants along the way. That or some of the student plantings found their way into our family plot already. It doesn’t really matter because we always wind up with quite a few more than we planted because a decent number of the students forget to take home their plants. Whatever they forget we’ve been putting in the garden (if there is room) or we’ve been placing them in planters at the house. It’s pretty much a win-win for us.

Here are the images she sent me a day or two ago:

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Student Plants 2.JPEG
Student Plants 3.JPEG

There is still quite a bit of room left in the stand right now but as the plants mature and get transplanted into larger cowpots, that space will disappear rapidly.

Tapped my Trees!

Now that the Foreign & Domestic series is finished, the wife and I are finding more time to do stuff together. It’s pretty much mundane household maintenance stuff but we enjoying doing stuff together all the same. Just this week we removed and reinstalled little plastic feet on our patio furniture after 20+ years of ownership. Who says the love is dead!

Much to her chagrin, this winter I ordered some supplies from the tapmytrees website because, well… I’ll eat breakfast for every meal and I really love true blue, dyed in the wool, all-American, maple syrup! You know what I’m talking about! No additives, preservatives, high fructose corn syrup, Aunt Jamima bull shit!

My property in suburban hell has two maple trees. One that was planted by her parents 40+ years ago that sits in the front yard and provides oodles of curb appeal and the one that just showed up in our backyard. The one in the backyard we have named ‘Steve’ after that stupid Michael Keaton movie ‘Multiplicity’.

In a nutshell, I procured a spile w hook, a bucket, and a lid from the tapmytrees folks. It was actually pretty easy.

Step #1: Tap the tree —> you need a spile, drill, and a hammer. Drill a 2” to 2 1/2” deep hole at an upward angle in the tree approximately three feet off the ground on the south side of the tree.

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Step #2: With a hole drilled at an upward angle, on the south side of the tree at about three feet above ground, insert the spile.

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Step #3: Hang the bucket from the hook, which is attached to the spile, and then attach the lid… easy peesy!

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I think I might be about a week or two too late. We drove to Cleveland over the weekend for a thing for my daughter and every single valley and every single hardwood stand not only had bags hanging from the trees collecting maple syrup, but each of the valley’s was filled with campfire smoke where the locals were cooking the syrup down.

I can’t wait to cook my syrup down. More pics and maybe a video to follow!

Release Date!

Whoop! Whoop! Parts IV and V are loaded into Amazon and should be released Friday, March 1… here’s the cover art! I’ve also made Parts I-III free from March 1 through March 3! Read and enjoy the exciting conclusion to the series!

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Took me a little over three years to complete these two novels… and believe me, life threw more than enough in my way during the course of this. I’m gonna take a break from writing for a few weeks and decompress. I’ve still got the two non-fiction pieces to finish and then I’m gonna review Parts I-III and prep the entire series to become an audiobook.

I Did It!

Well, folks! I finally did it! I’ve just finished Part V of the series. Now I have a couples weeks of editing and review on both Part IV and Part V and then I’ll publish them simultaneously! At about 400 pages apiece it was a lot of effort, but I’m finally finished!

WTF Sweden!

I’ve seen and read an article or two about people in Europe that are willingly microchipping themselves and my first thought is always, why?

Why would they be doing this? Do they think it is a fad like the idiots eating tide pods or pouring boiling water on themselves? 

Why would they, or anyone for that matter, give up what remained of their privacy and security?  After reading the article (link below), I can’t help but be reminded of a Benjamin Franklin quote:

 Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.

I’m sorry, folks... but if the Europeans are doing this now, rest assured, it’ll be on our shores in less than a decade… just in time for the next generation of socialist voters to be finishing college. I think that we, as Americans, and the rest of the world need to take off the blinders we’ve been wearing as we watched Europe’s slow decline and recognize and admit that Europe is truly lost and the patients are running the asylum at this point.

https://trendingposts.net/trending-technology-news/swedes-are-inserting-microchips-in-their-hands/?ia=334_6217&utm_source=SC&utm_medium=334&utm_campaign=6217 

Updates Abound!

Believe it not, I’ve actually been kinda busy of late… which explains why it’s been a month since my last post! Our family life has been chaotic to say the least!

Anyhoo, here are my updates:

  • The finishing touches are being put on the text of Part’s IV and V and both books with be released simultaneously shortly after New Year’s. Yeah me!

As an added side note, during the coarse of my interview some years ago with the Survival Punk podcast, the host, James Burnette, asked if I could write him into the book and have him die horrifically. Well, mission accomplished! As I told him in an email, not only did I write him into the series, but I ended up making him one of two protagonists throughout both parts. I drew my inspiration for his demise from history, of course. Think Rasputin!

  • As soon as Parts IV and V are released, the two non-fiction pieces I’ve been working on will be released. I’m shooting for late winter for the Poultice, Salves, and Tinctures piece and early spring for Preparing to Prepare.

  • I’ve been updating the Useful Resource - Books and Useful Resources - Websites pages as of late so be sure to click on over there and see what’s been added or re-tooled.

  • I also added a Precious Metals page under the Resources menu option. I thought it would be fun to mess with some coding on the site and inserted a real time PM table that is fed by the Money Metals Exchange website. I’m also looking to add an RSS feed for ammo… because, why not!

Weird, I thought I had more updates than this… oh well. That’s what I remember for right now.

  • Oh, and I did get my wife to sit still for nearly three whole hours and watch The Postman with me. She enjoyed it, but got a little antsy around the two and half hour mark.

Annnddd I just remembered something else.

  • Once these four books are released I’ll be circling back to Part I and prepping all five parts for Amazon’s ACX feature in order to release the series on audio! If possible, I’d like the same narrator to do all five parts for consistency. Personally, I’d love Scott Brick to do it, but I don’t think he does charity… just putting that out there in the universe.

There! That’s the last update!

Leaf Matter Fire Bricks

Several years ago, I saw something on the Internet that piqued my curiosity. It was a series of posts and steps from a variety of sources that explained and dealt with what to do with all of your fall leaves. Here are some images of my front yard:

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Basically, they collected the fallen leaves using a variety of means (raking, blowing, back pack blower/vacuum) and then formed the leaf matter, along with shredded newspaper, in to fire starter ‘bricks’.

The method I settled on was fairly simple. I’d supply pictures but the General Contractor from our remodel walked off with what I needed to depict.

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 5-gallon buckets

  • 1 long paint stirring drill attachment

  • 2 2x4’s 16” long

  • 1 drill

  • 1/4” drill bit

  • Leaves

  • Shredded Newspaper

Instructions:

  1. Turn one of the five gallon buckets into a colander by drilling successive holes around the bottom 2”-3” perimeter of the bucket, including the bottom of the bucket.

  2. Place the colander bucket inside one of the two remaining solid buckets.

  3. Fill the colander with leaf material and shredded newspaper.

  4. Fill the buckets 1/2 to 3/4 full of water.

  5. Attach the paint stirring attachment to your drill and combine (shred) the leaf matter while mixing it with the shredded newspaper.

  6. Remove the colander bucket from the solid bucket and place atop the two 2x4’s which have been situated on top of the solid bucket rim.

  7. Take the 3rd bucket (solid), and insert it into the colander and press down mightily and express all of the water.

  8. Once almost all of the water is pressed out, turn the colander over and remove the leaf/newspaper brick.

  9. Place the brick on a wire rack to dry for approximately 2 weeks.

  10. Repeat this process as many times as necessary until you have the desired number of bricks. (NOTE: You don’t need to empty the water for successive bricks.)

This is what I did. However, I have seen where people used 6” and 8” PVC pipe with holes drilled in it, combined with a removable end cap and a plunger of sorts, to accomplish the same thing. To each their own. Use what you have and turn all of those downed leaves into something useful.

Here are some videos and websites to give you some other ideas:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oh4SeyDgI7I

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hFSVtJbpHF8

https://www.hunker.com/12375733/how-to-make-fire-logs-out-of-leaves

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-_MQgYK6c0

Food Storage Idea

As I mentioned previously, I’ve deleted the Facebook and Twitter apps from my phone. I did this, solely, so my mood would improve on a daily basis. Obliviousness is bliss. Tragically, I still, on occasion, access these two sycophant liberal bastions of hate smartphone apps on my PC. I really shouldn’t do that. I’m currently embroiled in a tit-for-tat with a complete an utter idiot that has swallowed the “Obama was a the best President in history” and “we should revoke the 22nd Amendment” Kool-Aid. I really should be better at turning the other cheek… sadly I fear I am back-sliding with these intolerant liberals.

Anyway…. as I was perusing the conservative filtering leftist propaganda hate app (aka Facebook), I happened to notice an advertisement for an arts and crafts cabinet. The website is: The Original Scrap Box. It’s design piqued my curiosity. When I saw it, my immediate thought was, ‘what a great way to hide food!’

With some minor modifications (dimensions, sturdier piano hinges, and extra rollers), someone, who was so inclined, could hide a substantial amount of food in one of these armoire looking cabinets. Here are the images I downloaded:

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5 - Dimensions_WB_29JUN2018.jpg

Can you just imagine if you made some slight dimensional modifications so that the doors were wide enough to handle, say, mason jars of various sizes, or stacked boxes of pasta, cans of soup, veggies, etc., etc. You could have an entire self contained pantry that literally takes up 4 to 8 square feet (depending on your modifications) of floor or storage space. Building this cabinet, by my estimation, is about $200-$300 dollars and several hours of work as compared to the $1200-$2000 list price for a pre-built item shipped to you. If you had the skills and knew what you were doing, this is a great space saver and a bonafide means to some serious extra storage.

I think the next time the wife is out of town I might have to seriously consider building this.

2018 Mid-Term Election Cycle

Shockingly, it’s election season again… and I’m excited!

Why?

Because the Democrats keep pissing in their own wading pool.

For the longest time, well, pretty much since November 9, 2016 when the world awoke to find a President-elect Trump instead of Shillary standing victorious, we have been constantly inundated with the Democratic Party’s shrill temper tantrum. See if you can follow along with some highlights from the last two years… (My commentary is italicized).

  • From day 1, Trump was ‘deemed’ an illegitimate President. Why? Because he didn’t win the popular vote. I’m pretty sure that’s not how presidential elections work in this country. In fact, I’m pretty sure a Presidential election is actually fifty little elections in one. But hey, since the left doesn’t like the outcome, by all means, let’s abolish the Electoral College (for clarity, that’s sarcasm). Incidentally, the popular vote was the exact reason that the Electoral College was created by the Founding Fathers in the first place. Why? Because the ‘popular vote’ is, at its core, the very definition of mob rule.

  • Also prior to the inauguration, forces within the FBI, DOJ, and the intelligence industry colluded to remove a duly elected President of the United States. The plan included many tentacles, but whose sole intent was to garner an investigation of the President for collusion and obstruction so impeachment proceedings could begin when the Democrats retook Congress after the mid-terms. History says that’s what happens in mid-terms. (This has been referred to as the ‘insurance policy’ noted in several text message between a former FBI employee and a DOJ lawyer.) This investigation, they say, is winding down. Does it strike any one as more than a mere coincidence that the conclusion of the investigation seems to be timed to coincide with the mid-term election? Why go through all of this? Well, you might notice a theme here, but it’s because they didn’t agree with the results of the election.

  • During the inauguration, protesters destroyed parts of our nation’s capital. Apparently, they didn’t agree with the election results either.

  • On day 2, literally, the country was subjected to crass and foul-mouthed feminists and entertainers with ‘Pussy Hats’, labia collars, and f-bomb laden shirts and banners taking part in the Women’s March. I know several of the women who attended and to say that their typical daily personal demeanor changed would be an understatement. Militancy won’t win arguments or score points with me. All it gets you with me is a one-way ticket off my social media island. So far, I’ve booted a brother, mother-in-law, sister-in-law, and several co-workers. Interestingly, they all are from different political persuasions, but they were all booted for the same reason, intolerance. Specifically, the inability to hear or allow debate with someone espousing an opposing viewpoint. Moreover, in case you were wondering, that is the very definition of bigotry.

  • When intimidation and destruction didn’t work, the left turned to the Title of Nobility Clause of the Constitution, specifically Article 1, Section 9, Clause 8. The ‘Emoluments Clause,’ as it is commonly referred to, is where the founders attempted to prohibit foreign influence on elected officials and discourage a nobility class from forming. The Emoluments Clause is pretty much a catchall and a fairly sound idea. However, I don’t think they (the founders) ever envisioned international business empires on the scale and magnitude that exists today. This outrage campaign lasted about a month while the President, who was unwilling to shut down a worldwide multi-million (or billion?) dollar business enterprise and brand outright while he ran the country, worked through the legal ramifications for divesting himself of his holdings while President.

  • Then the left went to their impeachment argument. This outrage campaign is a near constant tantrum given the likes of Congresswoman Maxine Waters and others. However, it seems to ebb and flow as a headline in the daily news cycles due to the short attention span of American media as it bounces from one outrage campaign to the next. If it’s a slow news week, this one seems to be the go-to standard.

  • Then there was net neutrality, North Korea, Stormy,  trade tariffs, moving the embassy in Israel, revoking the Iran deal, re-negotiating NAFTA, Paris Climate Accords, enforcing immigration laws, and, and, and, but, but, but… until you get to present day and the successful nomination and confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh as Associate Justice to the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is this latest outrage campaign surrounding the SCOTUS nomination, but more specifically, the courts as a cumulative whole, which I find myself thinking about now.

As I see it, the Democrats have a record of 1 and 2 when it comes to smear tactics against a Republican nominate for Supreme Court Associate Justice. They succeeded in smearing Judge Bork to the point that the man’s last name is used as a verb when pundits say ‘Borking a nominee’. The left failed however with Judge’s Thomas and Kavanaugh. Strangely, there was little opposition to Judge’s Gorsuch, Roberts and Alito. Gorsuch, a Trump nominee, passed a Senate by a 54-45 vote. An equally reviled Republican President, George W. Bush, was successful in nominating Roberts (77-22 vote) and Alito (58-42 vote).

However, the lengths to which the left went against Judge Kavanaugh didn’t lead to the promise land of a liberal majority seated on the bench for the highest court in the land. The left also wasn’t successful in its attempt to re-ignite an assortment of progressive movements. What is was successful in accomplishing was angering and appalling independents and Republicans alike… and a few of their own on the left.

Any political cachet the left held going into the 2018 mid-term election cycle has since evaporated. Democrat Senators in red states (states that Trump won in 2016) have seen their minimal polling leads evaporate. This means the Senate is lost to them. In fact, Republicans are likely to increase their majority. Democrats running for the House of Representatives have seen similar returns. This means the House is likely lost to them as well. They’ll likely pick up seats but not enough to put the gavel back in, God forbid, Nancy Pelosi’s hand.

So let’s review… because the left over played their hand AND, in no small part, because the right finally grew a spine and stood up to and refused to yield to the barrage of negative attacks on a nominee and themselves, they have effectively turned a ‘blue wave’ into a red ripple. Both houses of Congress will remain in Republican hands as will the Executive branch of government. You heard it here first folks!

But why did the left go this far this time? They hadn’t tried this scorched earth approach since 1991 with the Clarence Thomas hearings, so what gives?

Well, some will say it is multi-faceted. It’s ‘resist Trump’, and the ‘#MeToo’ movement, or it’s a new ‘Believe Survivors’ movement or it’s the age old fight of Roe v. Wade… and on and on it goes. To me though, all of those facets boil down to one thing.

The left needs the courts on their side like my daughters needed their blankies.

Why? Why do they need the courts?

Because the left has been historically inept at passing progressive legislation. They need the courts in order to legislate the laws they were unsuccessfully able to pass through the Congress or through the fifty state houses into existence. Period.

The left may be many things detrimental to our country, but the one thing they are not is entirely devoid of calculating, manipulative, and, dare I say, reasoned thought. They see a conservative majority on the SCOTUS in much the same way that an independent nation state views a hostile act of naked aggression. A conservative majority on the court anywhere in America, whether it be the Circuit Court, the Court of Appeals, or the Supreme Court, isn’t safe from the anarchistic wrath of the left.

Again, I ask why…

The reason the left goes to the mattresses for court appointees is because of the simple reason that the appointments are for life!

Interestingly enough, I started this blog post several days ago, but I happened to come across an article this morning. I’ve included three excerpts that help to sum up the left’s tactics. These excerpts are from the October 10, 2018 article in The Daily Signal titled How Justice Kavanaugh Will Change the Supreme Court by Hans von Spakovsky’.

Excerpt #1

Much has been said about the unfair and downright nasty tactics used by some Democratic senators and their allies during Kavanaugh’s confirmation battle. But the reason they resorted to these tactics is because the federal courts have become so important in their quest to change America into their version of a progressive utopia.

For many decades, liberals have been using the federal courts to implement the changes they have been unable to achieve through Congress and state legislatures. When they cannot convince voters and legislators, they have resorted to federal judges to ignore the law and ignore the Constitution and implement their social policies by judicial fiat.

Excerpt #2

Democrats still have four solid liberal justices on the court who are likely to vote the way liberals want them to on most issues, particularly “social justice” issues like abortion, racial preferences, gay marriage, and campaign finance. From their perspective, there is only one politically acceptable view on those issues.

Excerpt #3

Even though Kennedy often voted against what liberals wanted the court to do, he voted with them often enough that they continued to see the federal courts—and in particular, the Supreme Court—as their substitute venue for implementing the social policy they could not achieve through the democratic process. With Kavanaugh, that substitute venue will likely disappear.

That, in turn, could diminish the power of the Supreme Court over the political, social, and cultural affairs of the nation. And that would be a good thing.

The Supreme Court was never envisioned by our Founders as the final arbiter and decision-maker on all affairs, foreign and domestic. It is the court’s extension of its power into areas where it should not be exercising power that has played a large role in turning the confirmation of its justices into a rancorous political campaign that diminishes the court and damages the pursuit of justice in the federal courts."

So there you have it folks… with every successful lifetime judicial appointment the Trump administration makes, the closer and closer you are to living in the country your Founding Fathers envisioned.

Socialism by Any Name is Still Crap

Anyone who has ever read an accurate and unbiased history book knows that all of these ‘ism’ forms of government control and regulation are crap. Personally, I find talk of socialism and communism within the United States government to be a personal affront to not only the veteran’s within my family but every veteran that ever fought defending our freedoms and our way of life.

To be clear, the ‘ism’ forms of government and regulation I am referring to are socialism, fascism, and communism. These three terms are in the news all the time nowadays for a variety of reasons, usually incorrectly attributed to someone or something associated with the current POTUS.

To me, democracies, republics, and democratic republics that employ a capitalistic form of commerce, as noted throughout the annals of history, is the only form of economics and commerce that allows its citizens to succeed or fail based on their own merit. Basically, it calls ‘balls and strikes’ and stays out of the way.

And just so we’re clear, and you know where I’m coming from, when I see hipsters and millennials thinking they’re hip and cool by wearing a Che Guevara t-shirt or spouting anarchy and socialism for all, it takes everything in me not to pistol whip and accost the little dumb asses.

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Just for shits and giggles, here’s a website that’ll clue you in to this little Marxist dipshit, Che Guevara:

Che Guevara - Wikipedia

5 Reasons Why Che’s Not Cool

Now that I’ve gotten Che outta the way, I do want to say that, to me, it’s not surprising in the least that every time our government (you know, that omnipotent bastard in D.C.) expands and gets involved, everything goes to hell in a hand basket.

Don’t believe me?

Look at the two most recent forays by our government into the private industry; health insurance and college student loans. Game, set, match… so don’t even bother arguing. And do yourself a favor before you fill up my inbox with inaccurate vitriol… read a book.

Now, so that everyone is on the same page, a quick search and reading (skimming) of a dictionary provided these definitions:

  • Communism: a political and economic system in which the major productive resources in a society—such as mines, factories, and farms—are owned by the public or the state, and wealth is divided among citizens equally or according to individual need. 

  • Socialism: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole. 

  • Fascism: a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism. 

  • Democracy: a system of government by the whole population or all the eligible members of a state, typically through elected representatives. 

  • Republic: a state in which supreme power is held by the people and their elected representatives, and which has an elected or nominated president rather than a monarch. 

  • Democratic Republic: a form of government operating on principles adopted from a republic and a democracy. Rather than being a cross between two entirely separate systems, democratic republics function on principles shared by both republics and democracies. 

  • Capitalism: an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state. 

Today though… today I found myself more hopeful that people are finally getting the message that our grandparents knew from the start… communism, fascism, socialism… these things suck. I say I’m more hopeful because, you see, today I came across an article from The Daily Signal discussing Venezuela and this country’s latest attempt at a newer, better form of socialism.

Guess what folks, socialism by any name is still crap. Here’s a link to the article (below) so you can read for yourself how the latest dictator to employ this form of government is living the high life while everyone else either flees or starves.

If you meet someone who has fled that shit hole of a country and received asylum here in the United States because of this lunatic, go out of your way to give them a helping hand. They’ve earned it just for surviving sheer stupidity.

Some Are More Equal Than Others in Socialist Venezuela