Visit among the BayAryans

With a deck covered in specks of ash and cinders from the Butte Fire and an orangeish-opaque thick smoky stench looming overhead in the air, we ran down the hill.
And just as quickly back, as if stung by the intemperate and needle-like fuss-budget Scorpion Socialist Millionaire locals.
I packed heat with the Sig P25 since coming from a Free County Sheriff I am able and obliged. Suck-it-up bastard BayAryan Nazi Hoplophobes!
24-hours, 383.2 miles round trip (in the F-150 at 16.82mpg), with a top-speed of around 87mph and an average of 65mph, we went in and out again.
It was a relief to be home in Fire Country once all was over as opposed to Suffocatingly Smug and Pretentious Earthquake Country. I can’t believe I even survived there. Oh wait, I didn’t.
The Family-Birthday(s) Celebration-gathering was full of its always-awkward and weird moments as usual, besides the foolish, obtuse, and stupid ones. Not much of consequence was achieved, but Dad is doing well at 91 and off-the-charts for most Medical personnel, and Mom at 86 is not far behind in the MD Conundrum Syndrome. The MD’s who are forced to take-visit of them don’t really care anyhow, they don’t have to bury or eulogize them, they just prescribe needless and stupid medications that might fatten their own Socialist Millionaire wallets. Some computer-work on the aging Vista Machine at Mom’s behest was necessary.
VIGNETTE: Dad in a brief conversation that was for once not a sermon, expressed concern about one Nephew who has finally nailed down a real job and is making actual money to support himself. “I’m not sure he knows that there’s more to life than Sales and making money.”

UPDATE Insertion: > Point is he’s working in Sales for a big company that does construction and home improvement – from asphalt to pavers, from siding to roofs to solar – but he’s not the carpenter or plumber accomplishing the tasks, which is probably where my dad would rather see him – but that’s not where his skills or abilities mesh.

(Big WTF moment for me. No shit Sherlock!) I replied, “He’s never going to be a Professor – he’s not an Academic (like you) you, he’s also not ever going to make any money as a Rap Musician, and he’s not in a Union or secure setting – but he’s got a job and supporting himself – he can find time for philosophical hobbies later, with the free time his as money allows.”
Good-God I hate socialist academics and their fuzzy-wuzzy conceptual world of cerebral-ethereal Unicorn-powered rainbow farts.
More later.

September 11th was a Tuesday

There’s a huge body of people who live in growing denial of events, and stand upon burnt and blood-sodden ground that is slowly sinking into the sands of Time.

They vocalize a litany of fear, uncertainty, and doubt that streams from their subconscious – a manifest projection of all their archetypal confusion and world-view.

As they repeat the evidence of their disconnection over and over again it becomes their chant, a magical charm to ward off Evil, and they regress behind imaginary walls and paralytic self-sheltering. They are the Villagers of September 10th past.

They know the Monster’s name and they are afraid to invoke it. Unwilling to speak it, their fear drives them to appease it.

In the labyrinth of their confusion they believe they can make diplomacy with the Minotaur. Hoping to slake its thirst for blood they are prepared to send ten, twenty, or forty virgins to the lip of the Volcano.  Stockholm-syndrome has its way with them. They fear that which might identify them: Point away, point away! They are ready to send a whole Civilization into the inferno to save themselves – but they are already in the fire.
Holding protest signs like strings of Garlic, too small and weak to fight against Terror, the Villagers clamor instead to seek shelter beneath the ruthless walls of The Hatred itself – that is no shelter.

A Hatred that casually and lustily destroyed the lives of over two thousand small innocents, working people with families who were simply going about their business. A Hatred that danced upon its millipede feat in the befouled streets of its diseased home and sang from it’s hundred Hydra-heads with shrill voices of gloating, as thousands perished in flames, in falling, and in smokey rubble.

The Villagers of September 10th plead, “Please do not harm us – we are like you.”  But they are only small, Little Hatreds – nothing like the big blood-lust.

The insatiable Hatred will take their Life and laugh, and laugh again as they give up the lives of others, while the Hatred remains at the banquet of blood, hungry for more.

It’s Big (another one)

Smoke from the Butte Fire down in Mokelumne Hill is blanketing the (my) area, including Ebbetts Pass, which had been virtually smoke free this morning, is now covered with smoke… The fire shown is only a mile from the homes on the high ridge above the Mokelumne River Drainage, and the road closure on Hwy 26 is being moved down closer to the Cal Fire station on Hwy 26 toward Railroad Flat… Air tankers are dumping retardant again and again all along the roadway.
That’s about thirty-two miles from here, to the ridge they’re talking about, and from Mokelumne Hill to Ebbetts Pass is 75 miles.

They aren’t sure what they are going to do to stop it at this time. The Butte Fire command is short units.
The Butte Fire was being managed by the Amador County Cal Fire District. It jumped the Calaveras River and started a bee-line for Mokelumne Hill, where it is now. Homes have already gone up in flames at Montgomery Road and Candy Circle. Additional resources have been requested from other areas to try and stop this fire.
Open gate to save cows
September 10, 2015 at 4 PM: A man who is being evacuated on Hwy 26 in the Moke Hill area has left his gate open, per CHP, so his cows won’t burn.
If you drive through that area, please be extra cautious so you don’t hit any animals that may be loose.


UPDATE: After a night’s sleep as the sun rose the main cloud was gone. Maybe that is related to the rising sun’s direction and rays lighting up the sky, we’ll see later today. The news from the Sierra Sentinel news-service is mixed:

Warning: If you live in Mountain Ranch area of Butte Fire….
UPDATE at 4:35 AM: Per PG&E, all power lines are now de-energized east of Calaveritas Road…
UPDATE September 11, 2015 at 5 AM: A road block has been set up on Mountain Ranch Road. The Butte Fire is now very near the roadway. Crews are trying to keep it from crossing Mountain Ranch Road…
UPDATE September 11, 2015 at 6 AM: For now, Cal Fire seems to be holding the Butte fire at Mountain Ranch Road.
They are battling constant reports of spot fires in the area, especially on Michel Road. Morning briefings are now being held.

Or not so good:

Butte Fire doubles again
September 11, 2015 at 7:30 AM: The Butte Fire has been remapped and is now listed as 32,000 acres.

The fire is only 10% contained and continues to grow without sufficient assistance. More evacuations are taking place in Mountain Ranch and the Sheep Ranch area.

Mokelumne Fire

Labor-Day and Labors of Hercules

My old (almost 30-some years) street-riding, dual-sportin’, dirt-riding, Squid-Hunter buddy and his wife are is moving up here – two more refugees from the social and economic hellhole that is fast becoming the Land of BayAryans.
They found a place up the ridge along Pleasant Valley Road towards Pollock, on the edge of the National Forest. It’s in need of some work. The previous owner was a 70-something yr. old smoker who sold and moved in with his girlfriend.
(Cue stable-scene:) The 30-year old gold-tone wall-to-wall shag carpet in the house absolutely reeked of smoke, so like the Augean Stables and with a dumpster in the side yard, my buddy has been systematically hauling out the stinking crud, washing down the walls and windows, and scraping off the stinking late 70’s-period popcorn ceiling.
We went up to help since we had a minor load from the Ranch-work to also toss in the dumpster.
Standing on the pickup truck’s tailgate and with a foot up on the dumpster, the eye-watering old smoke-stench from the carpet and ceiling-crud almost made me fall over backwards. Luckily we are experiencing a cool-down, and the breezes up the mountain contain the fragrant balsam smell of sugar pines and fall colors and new beginnings. The smell of that revived me and I remained upright. Also some of the lumber I brought went into immediate use in a stair-repair. And we have a screen door that will fit in place of the old bent one with its stinking screen.
With ten gallons of primer/sealer on hand my friend is carving away a clean and habitable corner of the house in which to homestead while further repairs and cleaning takes place. Fortunately the garage of the house has survived without need for such treatment and provides a temporary secondary residence before winter closes in. They have a short escrow and will be up here in full by next weekend. Good luck and welcome to the neighborhood!

Loco-moco, we get to Work

I was feeling a bit frustrated about things in the garage at the ranch being disheveled and just not in the kind of shape I’d like for-to get ‘er things done. Like cleaning guns for one thing, and my lovely and talented and telepathic wife picked-up on that.
In the morning I awoke to a bunch of fully formed and expressed thoughts as she is wont, entire paragraphs emerge in the space of an eye-blink, while my own brain temperature is barely registering. Coffee! “Lets move the bench and couple of the rolling boxes.” And, I added, “Lets do rocks.”
Earlier on Sunday night in the coolness of the evening and with twelve sacks of tanbark lying around, I laid-out landscape fabric and cleaned up the area under the “pear” tree (“pear” because they are micro-miniatures and inedible and not real fruit except for being annoying – fruit is annoying). Then I started-in and ‘barked it. Looking good!
Likewise at Airport House, in and around the propane tank there was some need to better define the spaces – and by that I mean it needed bigger and more impressive rocks. We have ’em. The small, shoe-box sized, little rocks just lack presence and drama, even piled in a heap. You need some big ones to define the space. So we spent some time yesterday heaving and hauling and moving the big bad-boys – the 60-pounders and such – into more aesthetically pleasing locations and sites. And so We did that again today (this morning) too, and then ‘barked it. Nice!! My back is stronger now and not troubling me, knock on wood.
All done before the heat got-up, at 10:00 it was time for a Costco run.
After that we loaded the 200-lb behemoth 8-foot Gladiator maple-top bench into the back of the F-150, and along with that a tall rolling cabinet, a bunch of crap, and headed to the Ranch. Unloading went faster because things just fall down.
Then lunch at Bricks.
Then another trip the Airport House and a rolly-cabinet – the five-drawer – and back to the Ranch… Phew!!
The other rolling box that was central to my organizing NOW has a drawer for #1.) Motorcyckle stuff, and now a separate #2.) for Woodworking and saws and spikey-pointy-slicy things, and a #3.) for Metal-Shop crap and drill-bits and burning-torch thingy, and finally #4.) a catch-all Bottom Drawer full of all the heavy-heavy stuff, like the crowbar and plumber’s monkey-wrench and a bunch of heavy specialty vises, and the when-will-I-ever-need-it-again grease-gun, loaded with black moly. And clamps…
Done. Phew!
And the biggest challenge of ALL: the forty-drawer (miniature) nut-and-screw organizer-thing for all the weird crap. All the old fastener detritus that I had been neglecting and saving in zip-loc baggies, the weird and unfathomable mechanistic flat-top wood and machine-thread junk… And put them in a new, shiny, plastic same-thing but not stinky organizer. And things like electrical wire-nuts and fuses, and just crap.
And I did it!
Still have to dismantle the pre-existing wood-bench and save the plywood for decking up in the attic and the 2×4’s for various…but I’m on the home-stretch. More or less. There’s still the mud-and-tape and paint – but with mobile garage boxes that’s easy and a separate chore. Time to hit the hay.

AR Build

The ten-day paperwork is ticking on the lower from Richard that I “won” at the Rendezvous, so I bought a Bullet Button and a CMMG LPK – and a MOE handle in FDE. Moe of the Stooges. Flat Dark Earth looks nothing whatsoever like “flat dark earth” because it has no loamy bottom-land Super-Soil type richness. It looks more like a crusty broken dirt-clod in the California summer among the hot dry hills – everything is a bleached dirt color, and I resemble that. The Noveske build is OD Green, and the Match Rifle is just CMP-Black, so this is the other end of the color spectrum besides pink.
And then what? Seems like for Uppers the “key-mod” – AKA “my build-it-yourself shelving system from Costco”- is the latest rage. Also I think a lighter rifle than the 3/4-Ton F-250 Noveske Pickup-truck is appropriate for family-fun.
I still want a free-floating handguard for accuracy, and maybe some ~bling~ like TiN or Nickel Boron in the interior where lubricity matters. I don’t see a need to load up the stock with a lot of batteries and other things. I’m thinking “running around” gun, and maybe as this State collapses into anarchy, “run-fast and hide-somewhere gun.”
Anyhow it’s beginning.
I already have a trigger and I don’t feel like going all Giesselelly, and with the dried-mud colored handle, I’m getting a dirt-colored ambi-selector from some bad-ass tactical Ninja-named company that I can’t even remember the actual name of, but it uses the word/letters “BAD” in it so it must be bad or buiutxchin’ … And I am leaning, familiarity-wise, towards the CTR stock (in FDE). Maybe I could get the single-stage Rock-River trigger dipped in some wicked-slick boron-nitride witches-brew so the pull-weight is a scary .002 ounces!?
Yeh that would be great for home defense…and a Slide-Fire stock with the same super-slick treatment so that it jumps right out of your hands. Then the tactical gloves would rally help – finally!
It’s like selling your street-bike and putting Armor-All on the seat to impress the new rider/buyer, “Whoa Dude, it’s FAAAAST!!
Anyhow I have not kept-up with the latest booger-slinging stuff on the web-boards, so I dunno. Dirt-color is all. Ashes to dirt…

Bug-Out-Bag Revisited, viz Hunting

The Hunter Education class covered the issue of self-preservation and lost-hunter survival, so that brought to mind the Bug Out Bags and a need to re-visit their status, review the contents, and update their condition.
Also the bags seem to have grown overly heavy somehow. I want to figure out where and how the weight-gain has occurred. Since the whole purpose is to travel light and leave no footprint, how have I over-packed? I’m guessing it’s just me and my kitchen-sink approach.
Maybe I need to separate-out the 72-hour rescue-camping stuff from the rest. That means Shelter, Fire, and Water are one unit, and First-Aid is a separate entity. One area of Shelter is bedding, and maybe the cheap fluffy sleeping bag is heavy – for sure it takes up a lot of space. It’s not a four-season bag or anything like that either, and it doesn’t pack-down, so maybe some compression sacks are in order – and a smaller, more versatile unit.
“Two is one and one is none” is a great utilitarian philosophy, but it also begs the question of weight and sustainability. Three of everything adds up very quickly on the scale. This ain’t no Army with a deuce and a half to haul stuff. How much can you really carry, how much can SHE really carry, and how do we shrink the overall load? If we get separated, which is likely given two different houses – each needs what they need independent of the other – and we’re not even talking guns and ammo yet. So what is the minimum?
As far as First-Aid goes, snakebite up here is a real possibility and the main culprit is the Pacific Coast Rattler. Don’t even THINK to do the cut-and-suck thing, unless you’re over six-hours out from Medical – but especially not if you have anything “going on” in your mouth. But if you’re dealing with a chest-area gunshot wound you need TWO halo seals, one for entry and one exit. And tourniquet.
Finally for the hunt I need some binoculars, because the mounted scope makes a poor resolver of vision and identification issues and a spotting scope is a big-ass lug-item. I don’t know whether I’m gonna be snoozing in a blind or still-hunting, but definitely not reaching out across some canyon. Things here are vertical and close and bushy, so “canyon hopping” could mean a 1,000 foot descent followed by a 1,000 foot ascent – all in a 500-foot, as-the-crow flies distance. Down and Up. That’s not how I want this to proceed, not what I’m in shape-for, and also not how I figure it will work-out. I’m thinking a 70-yard shot from a blind at most. Probably a smelly-nasty blind with tattered windows too…

Thanks Rendezvousers-X!

Reno Guns and Range has grown considerably since last year when we went to try-out the simulation exercises, and has moved to a huge and spacious building near the Harley dealership. The range walls are .50BMG capable and there is superior ventilation, so much so that being indoors at their location was preferable to being outdoors, especially when the fire-smoke hung in the air and occluded visibility. Rangemaster Kevin Crawford also had some very pertinent advice re: carry – “If you carry one of these (pointing to belt), you should carry one off these (pointing to tourniquet).” While I arrived in Reno there was a big, state-funeral being held for Officer Carl Howell who had been killed a week ago in Carson City, responding to a domestic – the first time a Carson City sheriff’s deputy has been shot and killed on duty since 1963. The suspect emerged shooting and they exchanged gunfire, and while the Officer reportedly killed the suspect, before medical attention could arrive he bled-out from an aortal leg wound and died. So now I am looking for a SOF® Wide Tactical Tourniquet (SOFTT-W) and some Z-Pak, and I’m all for a class offering instruction on the use of these too. So maybe next year we’ll get some hands-on training? If not, I will before then.

I suppose I had the benefit of a fat wallet since this is my main charitable event each year, so I was disposed to paying full-retail on the Raffle, and with the extra tickets was able to score a number of fine items including the one AR receiver that was available, and so in that sense I Won the Gun. Also a couple very nice Sig ball-caps, some Blackhawk! Aviator Flight Ops Gloves that fit well and will be a splendid accoutrement to the Gentleman’s Express this summer as we coast over the high-mountain passes, an AP Custom 3×3 shot-shell belt holder for Three-gun, and a pair of MOA Beast collapsible target stands from Mitch Gerlinger, the owner and designer of MOA Targets.

More later…

Rendezvous-X and Seasons’-change

The sun rises later over the Prairie and I get up out of bed later – like 6:30. The smoke from the fires all around has dissipated today. There’s a coolness in the morning air that has been missing since May, and I could run the mower if I felt like it,, and the shelves at Walmart are denuded of archery equipment as the hunting season is about to begin – it’s not Cabela’s but it’s a good barometer of the seasons and that Fall is around the corner.
And the Gunblogger Rendezvous was a smash-hit for me. I got to meet several people who’s blogs I have only read, and others who actually read mine! I got to re-unite with old friends and meet new ones. The trip to Scheel’s was interesting and overwhelming as usual. I never know what to buy there and just don’t. Almost bought a box of .243 Hornady but managed to overcome the excitement.
After Thursday night dinner with Mike, Kiwi, Kevin, Billl, and Paula I hit the sack early. The drive-up was an interesting drive-variation with a route over Kingsbury Grade on the Nevada side of South Tahoe that I had not driven in thirty-three years. The view out over the high desert farmland is spectacular and the little town of Genoa down on the valley’s edge was Nevada’s first settlement – or something.
Friday morning was an early wake-up at 5:00 to get ready and meet Kevin and his Giant Truck, and go get the Gardner Gun in Gardnerville. Once again suppressor-maker and De Lisle carbine-guy Richard at Special Interest Arms had something interesting for Show-and-Tell, and it was good to see him again and get to know him better. His knowledge of the gun is encyclopedic and he probably wrote the Wiki on it, that is if he did such things.
The smoke was very evident in the high desert valley morning, and a huge orb of the sun rose red over the hills, then grew smaller and more faint as it got higher. I remarked that visibility sucked and the 900-yard targets might be hard to reach today.
We got back to Breakfast late but there were some crumbs and fruit remaining – and coffee!
Met-up with Kevin’s spotter-buddy Rusty who I remember from last year, old pal Dutch-Oven Jeff, and new Nevada resident and commenter-friend Pat who has made quite an impression here. And then I got to meet Clayton Cramer and his irrepressible wife Rhonda — then it was back upstairs, grab the guns, and off to the most EXCELLENT and friendly staff at the Washoe County range…
I brought the little .22WRF Model 90 Winchester, the Ruger Vaquero, the S&W Model 19-3, and my carry Ed Brown Kobra. OBSERVATION: It was interesting to carry in Nevada and its something (carry) that I am adjusting-to. I learned that my Galco OWB “Fletch” holster, while very slimming and non-printing, prevented me from reaching into my hip pocket where my wallet normally resides, and it was finally easier to extricate my wallet and move it to the left than re-adjust the holster – after that I used the Milt Sparks Summer Special instead.
At the range The Gardner Gun occupied the full-auto space at the end and Richard was there with an assortment of full-auto suppressed rifles as well, including the “Trecenti,” Latin for 300 which is his new flagship-gun, the integrally suppressed 300 BLK AR-15. Also and again his friend and business partner (?) Brian was there as he was at last year’s event.
I shot Pat’s .450 Lott and I’m glad it was just a deer-load. The Model 19-3 should have been cleaned (my bad, but I didn’t) and a diet of .38Spl illustrated how residue build-up can affect the chambers of a .357Mag as primers showed evidence of flow and cratering, and locked-up the gun until Pat managed to open it. I put the magnum loads aside and shot .38Spl instead and it proved very accurate. The .44-40 was also accurate and with hunting loads not any worse for handling or feel – it soaked ’em up and kept poking holes in paper. The little .22WRF trombone also zipped to POA, and if I had brought my spotting scope I could have seen the group better (or at-all), but during a cease-fire I got a close look and was impressed. Maybe I’ll get a .22Mag pistol and have a shared-round companion gun for the rifle…

More upcoming.

Rendezvous with Groceries

Apparently the refrigerator occasionally needs to be re-stocked, and at my house that’s my job – so a day of rest, Raley’s, and laundry is on the calendar.
And fresh produce from the local farmer’s market at Boa Vista Orchards.
More about the Super Fabulous Star-Studded Celebrity Rendezvous-X upcoming!