Watching the recent, several local conflagrations, I’m glad that my field of pastureland and its combustibles has been cut, and fire danger substantially reduced. However as some survivors have noted, “We only had minutes to grab some clothes,” and so I’m taking a second look at our bug-out bags with an eye towards clothing over gear… The 9mm Shield will have to do as a sidearm, and maybe the 10/22 also because its light weight and versatility are easier to manage than a heavy M1 Garand and its weighty feeding requirements.
Musings: Fire is different than Civil Unrest, it’s a force of Nature, not a force of Man – and since we moved up to Flyover Country more likely. Whereas in our former life where any upset to the Main Order that might result in the rapid breakdown of Civility, fire is quickly bottled-up and compartmentalized as a packet. Buildings are surrounded by fire-hoses and heavy equipment pumps water to prevent the spread. Insurance companies spring into action and lawsuits are filed – but where are they when rioters set fire to dumpsters at the so-called University?
Up here where the infrastructure is less dense and fire less easily contained, somehow the likelihood of social collapse seems also more remote than in the congested asphalt lands of Suburban Elite Utopia. People work together despite the greater distances between homesteads, and rather than being insulated and cocooned from our neighbors, we wave hello and speak the same language. In case of wildfire animals and livestock are herded together and transported to safe venues, like the County Fairgrounds. Trucks are as common as cars, ranchers often have heavy equipment like backhoes and tractors, and the vehicles of Flyover still mainly have combustion chambers instead of toxic batteries…
The missing addition to my rig arrived and I proceeded to run the Malice Clips thorough it and do set-up while the MSM spewed pulpy-news out its boob-tube hole onto the floor. News about the trio of mass-murderers run amok down in San Berdoo. Seriously, attack San Berdoo? Don’t they know that’s a Hell’s Angels town? There’s more badasses than just some ISIS wannabees down there.
Three shooters means it’s not a solitary nutjob or lone-wolf type event that can easily be discarded or swept under the Media rug.
How many Presbyterians get so upset at the Christmas Party punchbowl that they go out to their SUV and load-up? How many Peevish Pentacostalists have murdered other parishioners lately? There’s only one religion famous for beheadings in the name of their god. There’s only one religious doctrine that calls for killing non-believers and cries daily from the tallest towers of their church/citadel/bunker for the total destruction of entire countries and people.
So I rigged the holster for the Kobra and it fits nicely, alongside the quad-plex mag pouches.
I guess I can put pistol magazines on the belt.
The concept of a battle-belt is interesting, but I don’t see how it can hold-up your pants at the same time if there’s a big ‘ol velcro warp-around on it – where do the loops go? So I have things to understand, conceptualize and learn about that sort of belt-thing and whether I want to get one.
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…
Happy 4th of July from the Ranch, all you independents!
We are not, sadly, not even to some parents who should at least begin that way. Nor are we all the same. We each have an unequal distribution of gifts, just starting with gender which presupposes a difference in upper-body strength. But don’t tell that to a 11 year old boy who just had his ass kicked by a girl. Maybe that is a memory-test.
There is much we can overcome, but it helps to be wired with a certain propensity for those things towards which we reach. Some reaches are beyond the reacher. Some are gifted musically, some linguistically, some physically, some politically, some artistically, some intellectually, some with “Beauty” and others with animal-magnetism.
And some have a heady cocktail mix of that which makes everything a turbulent frustrating struggle, while others travel with ease and an un-furrowed brow on still waters. The best thing about this country is we are not separated by Hereditary Titles of Nobility but by actual inherited physical differences, and those are legitimate.
So we each get to struggle, and in some kinds of struggle the athletes will win out over the intellectuals, and in other struggles the advantage is reversed. I’ve always been able to draw pictures, since I was small, to help make a memory-point, or explain an idea that words did not complete, but the same fluid-fingers are totally useless at music. So “creativity” is also unequally distributed. I find it odd that some people cannot draw a simple landscape-view or a person’s face, but other people can plot the financial outcomes of nations and the strategy of war, which I cannot.
At sports I was pretty fast and strong but not the fastest and strongest, pretty agile but not the most agile. Some sports, like basketball, are completely beyond me and hold no interest whatsoever – the enthusiasm for “March Madness” defies any and all of my comprehension, I never played much basketball since we lived overseas. I got stronger because I had to defeat my older and bigger brother – and I did.
My own physical tendency is to individual things where competition is not really central, because I’m not really interested in how well (or better) other people do the same thing – they are not me. I like to snorkel, but I’m a good swimmer and a lot of people have problems with open-water, or just water itself. Like shooting. I enjoy shooting competitively, but not because of the competition or any thought of “winning,” but because of the structure and organization that enables me to gauge my own personal progress. Some people care about winning and losing and keeping score. What color is that again? Like racing Enduros. I started riding late in life and “raced” as a C-Senior. Because I was persistent and showed-up at enough events I got the semblance of “Sponsorship.” But “Mistakes were made” and the color of that was purple – as in bruises and broken ribs, and the permanently bent finger. Before it was just a do-it-all hand, now it’s perfectly curved to grip a throttle or a gun.
High gray skies with a low-lying layer white cumulus in between the top-cover and the ground. Interesting muddle today. So we went down to the Evil City of Sleazeballs and Gov. Slimsuckers: Sack-O-Tomatos. It’s been a week since our last visit, and about three-weeks since our neighbor went into the Hospital, but she of the double brain aneurysm is visibly better than last time, and less at a loss for words. Therapy is keeping her busy, and last-time she complained saying, “I’m sorry I can’t be more articulate.” – but that right there was a good word-choice and a good sign. Today she was wearing her jogging shoes and it was other stuff to complain about, and we can tell she’s anxious to be out of the smelly facility and back home. I pointed to her shoes and told her she should make a break for it! She laughed.
Wednesday is septic-pumping at the new “other place,” and Thursday is the Inspection (and with that, Termite). I need to have a couple checks ready for the guys. State Farm declined to cover us because the zip-code is “high fire-danger” – but there are plenty of other homes out there, and this-here zip-code is also “high fire danger.” So…we got pointed to a broker who found a couple of mainstream biggies who will cover: both Travelers and Hartford. We’ll probably move our vehicles and all the rest to one of those…so bye-bye Snake Farm after thirty years. Things are looking up! Soon we’ll be measuring walls and painting at The Remote High-Chaparral Chalet, elevation about 3,100 ft.
It’s not really The End Of The World as We Know It – at least not for anybody else anyhow. But just for YOU the skies are on fire and frogs rain-down from heaven as the flood-waters rise. The rental-house burnt-down and the bug-out bag was in it, along with your cash reserves. It happened when you were at work and getting a surprise pink-slip after only a week – there’s no severance. So, laid-off (again), when you came outside your 12-year old truck wouldn’t start. The tow-fee to move the truck home cost more than the value of the rusted-out Chevy, and besides your tools to fix it were in the house, now three-feet deep in wet-ash slurry. It’s just YOU now – you don’t have anybody else to defend. Your now ex-wife got fed-up and took the kids with her back to Singapore about a month ago when the other job-contract ended, and she used the last of your United-Miles. Your credit card got cut-up a the grocery store when the limit was reached, and the un-paid bill was burnt in the fire. You moved to this remote town after a long and nearly fruitless job-search, and it was the last place your dwindling funds could take you… Sucks to be you, Job.
The Red Cross gives you a sleeping bag, socks, a toothbrush, a disposable razor, and a fresh pair of socks. Somebody left a shopping-cart down at the corner. No feeling-sorry, after-all you get to “re-invent yourself,” and you can now “launch a new career!” You get to let You be You. So what you’re carrying is the single piece you take-with when you’re turned-out – what is it? A rifle might look odd and attract attention as you push your cart down the street. Somebody might recognize and want to steal that precious M1 Garand. And where do you go, with no family to go-to? Do you head south where the weather is warm for sleeping-out? Does TSA frisk and wand people on the Greyhound now? You can’t afford much ammo or the weight that it adds – what do you take, Job?
I get the idea of not scaring the people and letting them roam peacefully, free from distraction and awareness in condition-white. When we were taking cased-guns up into the Rendezvous Casino on the elevator we were seldom alone but the rifles were out-of-sight. Mostly other adult riders were in various stages of quiet inebriation and financial-loss – but often there were families with kids who were naturally inquisitive. Sometimes people mistook us for musicians, grunting and groaning under the weight of instrumentation – keyboards are damn heavy! Kevin Baker’s best line in response to such a what’s-in-the-box query was, “Percussion!”
But if it’s really a hair-ball SHTF situation with fire raining down from the heavens alternating on Wednesdays with a rain of frogs…then the cute little fake tennis-racquet holder for your AR might not really matter much. And if people are desperate and weird, that “Fender” or “Gibson” sticker on the guitar-shaped carry-bag might attract the attention of the wrong people – the looter type. Maybe then a golf-bag would be a better subterfuge because looters are seldom aroused by the small white-ball sport. They wear the wrong shoes, after all.
I really don’t do resolutions – really. But now we are up-country and out from under the pasty white thumb of the fluorescent-light BayAryans, so we are on a bit of a kick – kicking away from the fatted-calf of sloth and the zombie-life of Cubicleland.
One Christmas card from the wife of an old friend and mentor was starkly sad. His stroke ten years ago was bad, but the decline that set-in was permanent and irreversible in physical, mental, and also spiritual health.
We don’t want to go out like that and one of the conditions that works to prevent such is adding strength with weights – and actually it was my wife’s idea. Having dropped a few, WE are adamant at regaining strength so that we move towards greater agility and physicality in order to make the most of our Time remaining on this crazy cue-ball.
Despite the role-models that I do have (thanks Bill!) I was content to just move rocks – and that worked, but they’re dirty and lumpy-shaped and don’t belong indoors, and that work now is mostly done.
So now we have some weighty book-ends to remind us that sitting around can be productive. She is working with the Eights while I’ve got these Tenners to hoist in between glasses of local Cabernet and alternating with the Newcastle Brown. I’m going to have to up my game when she starts to reach for the Tens…