Subterranean Rivers

DAY ONE: The ground was awful soggy out behind the house and between the shed where the A/C compressor sat on its pad, and the creeping weed that I call “witches hair” (burr clover), had grown up heavily around the corner and up onto the mesh screen surrounding the A/C unit. I raked away at it the weeds to clear the patch of gravel alongside the house and wonder what was going on. It’s awful damp around here and it can’t be the A/C just extracting moisture. We need to test the irrigation system on lines #1 and #2 that go around the house, going out the planter beds and the perimeter emitters. So we did, but after I first replaced the broken plastic spray-top on a lawn-sprinkler pop-up with a brass one. img_0935x800

With the valve #1 and then to #2 turned on “Manual,” suddenly back around the corner there’s a gush of water coming out of one of the numerous “snake” holes in the side-yard – or gophers or voles or moles or whatever burrowing critters have made homes there.
I chase the water with a shovel, uncovering the path of least resistance it has followed, digging here and there until I get up by the corner and uncover the pipes in a layered cluster of three. img_0939x750
A second run-test clearly shows which pipe-run has the flaw. #2, and it also has a very “scorched” look to it, even purple in places, as though it had been exposed to the sun and even perhaps re-purposed after being used as conduit?… It’s hot and I’m done for the day anyhow.

DAY TWO: I dig up the long run all the way down to the joint, just to see where/how-far that was – and to see if if any other failure might be visible anywhere else. The big 1-inch line is fine and rather fresh looking as is #3. The #2 pipe after the joint has the same scorched look, and I wonder how long it will hold before failure. Time to get some pipe and some glue…
UPDATE: Finito, the glue-up held. Plus now I have a big pile of granite stones and rocks that I dug out and can use for border effects. Or something.

Rendezvous Eleven – Range-day and Steel-day

One, two, three, four-million – the days fall like pieces of sands in an hourglass.
A big, hot hourglass.
“I went to the desert in a Ford with no name, it felt good to be out on the Range.
In the desert if you can remember your range, you better write it down and hit at the same…”

Mainly 70-yards for me since I had a pistol and a rifle of the same old-school caliber. Forty-four, forty.

“After two hours in the desert wind, the gun began to run dry.”
(That was the AR-build on last year’s receiver that I won, which mis-fed once and needed some lube)
After three hours at the desert range, my target began to shred.
And the bullet holes and all the fliers it showed made me sad to think I was so misled.”

Sheesh, even with all the bottled-water and everything, same old crap-shoot.

“I went to the desert in a Ford with old Billl, it felt good to be out at the Range…
In the desert, if you remember your game, better try to hold it down and lie about the same…”

Did a Costco run for adult-type beverages and went back to the Hospitality Suite. Nobody gathered for the show-and-tell, everyone was kind bushed and even though the lever gun was a novelty I didn’t break it out of the case. Instead Aaron told us the story of his long-time range in Westchester County NY that was on a Con-Ed land-lease, and got closed by newbie-neighbors who rallied a cadre of self-righteous little-old-lady-in-tennis-shoes, a brigade to harass and attack them with lies and innuendo – and through internal divisions collapsed. It was a really good presentation and a warning to complacent gunners.

The next day was steel-day and I wrung-out my index finger on the Shield-9 in a desperate attempt to hit. Came in last. But it’s easy to carry, and carry all the time.

Rendezvous Eleven – Med Class

After checking-in and unloading and unpacking, I took the down-elevator and in the lobby ran-into Mike and Kiwi and Bill and Lucky Gunner’s rep Anthony Welsch, then Aaron showed-up and later Miles. They all piled into Anthony’s rental vehicle while I drove solo in the F-150, and we headed out to Reno Guns & Range for our Emergency Medical Range Training class.
The class was lead by a well-experienced former EMT and former Flight-EMT and former Reno motor officer and EMT Trainer and former multi-deployment overseas warrior-EMT – all just one guy named Derek.
He made an important distinction between the “Medical Kit” and its components of: a Compression bandage, wound Dressings, Hemostatic agents, and a Tourniquet – versus a “First-Aid Kit” with band-aids, tape, gauze and eye-wash, etc. for minor wound care.
From my recent RSO class I also appreciated his re-iteration of the need for assigning or designating different people to certain specific tasks when an emergency-event occurs — and the importance of a short Range Safety Briefing when training activities are taking place, where you identify the Medical Kit, put it in a convenient place, BY ITSELF, and show everyone the location of the Kit so they won’t be sprinting around the range like a chicken when something Unpleasantly Medical happens.
2.) To designate a medic person you grab someone and say, “You are the Medic!” From the Briefing you should have already identified this potential medic-person, and they are not the one having the accident.
3.) Designate a phone-caller you grab someone else and say, “You call 911!” AND have a ready-scripted dialog for the EMS dispatcher to respond-to, so they don’t send police first and cordon off the area before allowing the EMS van on-scene. Say: “We have had a training accident.” They ask, “What kind of training accident?” Say: “We have a person with a bullet injury…” Also that phone-person must have the coordinates or a good description of your location. ALSO FYI if a patient has a penetrating wound to the: Head, Neck, Chest, Abdomen – then they are UNSTABLE and it would be good to include that information.
4.) AND designate an escort-person, someone to go to the location-entrance, meet the EMS van, and guide them to the medical-site.
And there were some more designations I forget.
Following that he discussed (and we Q&A’d) about wound treatment itself, the order of priorities and application of care. FIRST you must protect yourself. You must have barrier safety-equipment: nitrile gloves and an air-way shield. Then the application of pressure to control bleeding. With gloves-on comes direct pressure, then a sterile DRESSING directly onto wound, then another dressing as necessary if bleeding continues, and then a pressure BANDAGE such as the “Israeli Bandage” that wraps the dressing IN PLACE and ALSO applies pressure – and if bleeding still continues, then the TOURNIQUET…
It was a really good class, and obviously I could take it again in order to remember everything better.
But enough for now.

Rendezvous Eleven – Getting there

The drive up to was surprisingly quick and relaxing, and I attribute that to taking back-country roads nearly the entire way or as much as I could. Fueled-up at 8:40 AM in Diamond Springs, and went up Pleasant Valley Road to the Sly Park cutoff where the Mormon Immigrant Trail leads out to Hwy 88 in the direction of Kirkwood.
Only saw about four vehicles headed in the other direction. Being out of the freeway insanity-mix was a breath of fresh air, and the High Country always has unparalleled vistas to appreciate that cleanse the mind and soul. Rolling over Carson pass at 8,000 feet down past Silver Lake, Caples Lake, and Woods lake into Hope Valley on a beautiful fall morning was magical.
The roll down into Nevada was easy and lead straight to Carson City, and then Reno. Somehow Nevada traffic was minimal and placid (Thursday after all), until I hit Reno and the metal-swarm began again. Oh well easy enough and I hit the Casino about 12:15 with plenty of time to unload and get ready to go to the class on Emergency Medical Range Training lead by multi-tour participant in the GWT, ex-Reno Motor-Office and Detective, experienced EMT and former Flight EMS Derek Cecil — who had many (darkly funny) stories to tell including his own…

GBR XI thoughts: semi-sponsor

The Rendezvous is fast upon us!! There’s always the question of what gun(s) to bring, for show-and-tell, or for cool-factor, or for bragging rights at the 900-yard drum out at the Washoe facility. At the first Rendezvous I attended it seemed like people brought-out an amazing array of all kinds of stuff in mass-quantities, but that trend seems to have diminished in recent years with things getting more specific, and the weight-to-carry more burdensome.
This year I’m bringing the .44-40 Rossi 92 carbine, and the .44-40 Vaquero. I don’t believe/recall seeing a lever-gun at the Rendezvous ever before, but it could just be that I’ve missed something among the plethora of guns.
Also hitching a ride is my new #PewPewLife 9mm Shield. We’ll see how well that does at the steel games, HA!
In other news I’m bring a few contributions to the Raffle Table that may interest people. UPDATE: I have a couple of scope mounts for which I have no scopes: a .S.A.L.T 30mm (with 1-inch inserts) that’s as rugged as a brick, and a 30mm ultra lightweight Aero Precision 30mm mount.
Also I made-up a couple of blow-out kits that contain: a Sof-T Wide tourniquet, two Hyfin chest-seals (you need two), a compressed 4-inch gauze pack, and trauma shears all shoved into a in a nifty HSG molle pouch with malice clips. Included is a velcro First Aid patch. Some lucky persons could take these home.
Blowout kit

Fine Tuning – more Gladiator track

Started laying-in the track to get things up off the floor and on the wall. Some of the tall boxes got moved around and consolidated, mainly the Auto-und-Moto stuff, which aligns with the Toolboxes of metalworking and the left-side bench.
Garage work
garage corner
Did the washer-dryer corner.
washer corner
Then I started working on the Groundkeeping equipment-wall and the tall-box. The floor of the garage slopes away at that point (for rain-intrusion/drainage) and the tall box was listing as it stood on wheels, so time to get it up OFF the floor and onto the wall.
I measured three times to get the distances correct for the wall-track to receive the box-brackets, then hit all the studs with the impact-driver.
mower lift 2
mower lift
Then I used the lawn-mower hoist to jack-up the box and slide it into position. Voila! It dropped into the wall-track like magic.
Drop the mower-lift and pull it away to its lair by the water heater.
hoist 2
Still got a bunch of sporting-out to do with the yard-tools, but now there is (some) order from chaos.
tool wall

Get to the Clipper!

UPDATE: Coming from the other direction I was able to get about fifty more feet done, twenty-odd today until I ran into the sun, and like a Vampire had to turn away. It’s thick and tough going, and across the curbing is a lush paradise of rocks and weeds that require removal.
sun-edge adjust

hand edging
Hand edging is a little time-consuming, but this week the heat has lightened a bit and I can stay out there longer, at least long enough to get another forty or fifty feet done.
There’s a lot of crabgrass to snip-through, and a lot of dirt has washed down along with grass that has grown up. Cutting-back to the edging amounts to about four-inches wide of grass and a bunch of dirt too. Some of the sprinkler heads are at least two inches below the grass surface, sometimes they are down below the dirt-surface.
first edging
Edging 2
Along the entry walkway I also had to trim back the ground-cover that the hummingbirds love, but there’s plenty of it. The stuff was on sale at Home Depot recently. I tried looking it up up, but I the name I thought I saw and didn’t properly remember (“Island-Calendula or something?) didn’t come back with any hits — however a little Google-fu revealed: Epilobium canum ‘Silver Select’, Red flowering California Fuchsia with silver gray foliage.
CA Fuchsia
Something like that anyhow. It’s hardy and takes the sun and heat well so I’ll see about getting some more of it for the embankment.ground-cover

Get to the Chopper!

Or something. I went chop-chop-chop and got busy with the big and small lopers (and a saw), and the thick mat of leaves and branches on the ground quickly doubled in size. When Temps hit the 90’s I bailed off.
Today I bagged and chopped and cleaned up the mess on the embankment, sweating like a mule, drinking a blender full of peaches and watermelon.
Got the green-waste bin filled to the brim and now it’s gonna be a heavy pull up the driveway and out to the road, but not for the first time…I always load it up as much as I can, I guess I need the exercise.
Bin to brim

Attack on the Eastern Front

The dark forces of Oleanderous have been increasing, and so we began a counter-assault on the stalking-shrubbery. At first our efforts were only to staunch the flow of greenery, but now decisive prunery-measures have been taken with the force of Lopers. Much leafy-ness has been laid low.
IMG_0841x750Further advances high upon the embankment have been made against The Second Battalion of Oleanderous, that lay hidden behind the first. The site of slaughter is covered in fallen stalks, crying out for bagging.
Meanwhile, on a armed and covert scouting mission, I came upon Saaleman-of-Stihl at the Tru-Valu pub. I am intrigued by the potential new weaponry for this Fighting Division. Combi-toools of horrendous apportment and agility, extensible Wands of Power, powered-up Hedgery!
I am reclining with a malty-mountain beverage of banquet proportions, perusing the catalog of Stihl weaponry… Such a wishbook!

Gun Club Picnic-versary

Today was the Annual Gun Club Picnic. The temps have dropped to accommodate us and the weather was really fine as long as you were not stuck in traffic on Hwy-50, but taking the back-roads instead. Once again I didn’t win any of the big raffle prizes, no AR-15, no Henry .22LR or S&W Shield 9mm — but I won a Yeti can-cooler and that basically paid-back for my ticket outlay among the peanut-gallery prizes.
With our last name in the salad-making group, we brought three large tin-foil pans laden with chilled fruit: pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. By the end of the event there wasn’t a bite left in sight. So good, plus the Yeti!
We met new friends *cough* (?Dave?) and Carol – and Eddy who is retiring in January so he can shoot more.
Tomorrow night is a general club-meeting and I should probably attend since I am a “sorta-RSO” and should be clued-in about things.
And today is apparently my Blogversary, going back to my first Mai-Tai Recipe post on this date in 2004. Sheesh, 12-years of this drivel, really? Please forgive my rambling. In the ensuing years I have bought and sold a number of different pistols and rifles (’43 M1-Carbine, Swiss K-31, Sig P220/P220-ST Nitron). That will probably continue as I search for a happy medium of what I can reasonably get my head around in terms of caliber-assortment, and as my perspective and direction grows and changes.
Up here in Old West cowboy-country, I now have a .44-40 single-action Vaquero and a Rossi lever-gun to match in the same obsolete caliber. I’m no longer engaged in Across-the-Course NRA High-Power matches or web-mastering the club-scores, but now I am an RSO and a CCW-carrier.
The California Gerrymandered One-Party Stupidslature is making it challenging (again) to be a gun-owner of certain kinds of scary-looking stuff, while other things that actually present a greater danger are utterly off-the-radar (duh!). Hunting is poised on the brink of extinction, leveraged by bogus science and false statistics, and an agenda-driven Leftward slant relying on the vast ignorance and apathy of the majority-urban population voting bloc. Let’s hope we can change that because in this part of the state Hunting is still a viable and necessary food-resource, and out-of-control animal population growth MUST be managed while people still need to eat.
God Bless you all.