Thursday, October 28, 2021

Spuds and Machine Parts

My cousin is helping a local farmer finish up the growing season. Thanks to them I scored a good amount of potatoes to get me though the winter. Spuds have loads of nutrition and last a long time if stored in a cool dry place. Squash is another food that lasts with no preparation than keeping them in a good place. It’s old school prepper foods. That’s pretty much how they used to get though the winters back in the day.

Any potatoes left in the spring can go back in the ground to start the cycle all over again. You can also save those squash seeds.

The supply chain problems are affecting farms too. If something breaks on farm equipment the odds are good that parts won’t be available. Local farmers are sharing parts to get through the season. To make it all happen those poor guys are working day and night.

Should be an interesting winter.


Tuesday, October 26, 2021

North of Northeaster


Well, that big Northeaster storm blew in. Fortunately the bulk of it never made it over the White Mountains. We just had a day of mild rain and not even much wind. That’s fine with me.

I must admit I was worried when I got up to the sound of chainsaws. The first thing I did was to check to see if we still had grid power. That wasn’t a problem so I went outside to see what the fuss was all about. As it turns out it was the regular crew that the local power company uses to trim trees. They were catching up on regular maintenance.

Before storms I make sure the house batteries on my solar electric are topped off. Had the grid gone down it’s best to start at full power. Storms come with a lot of clouds so the solar panels don’t do much until it passes. With that in mind energy intensive jobs like laundry and dishes get done ahead of time.

While normal precautions were taken, it’s just as well not to need them.


Sunday, October 24, 2021

Red Zone


It’s been a while since I posted. Frankly, not all that much to write about. Northern New Hampshire is a virus red zone right now. The local hospital is maxed out. Even Walmart had to close for a while because too many of its workers were sick. I’m not taking any chances because I suffered enough lung damage when I was a firefighter. Because of that I’ve been sticking close to home or doing activities far from people.

For what it’s worth plenty of vaccinated local people have caught covid. However, they aren’t the ones in hospital beds or dying. That’s what I know from the local doctors. Personally, I don’t want to be even a little sick so I’m channeling my inner hermit.

Until recently we had an unusually mild fall. My lovely wife and I didn’t pull the sailboat off the lake until last Wednesday. Today it’s supposed to snow. What a difference a few days can make.

The weather was so warm that I didn’t go hunting much as my hunting clothes is all cold weather stuff. I should be able to get back in the woods this week.

I’m also looking forward to catching up on some handgun practice. One of my favorite handguns is my Ruger P-89 in 9mm. Old man Ruger required that it be able to function with just about any brand and type of ammo. That’s been really handy when there are shortages. I know of $4,000 handguns that can only function properly with a specific cartridge.

By now everyone has heard about supply line issues. We are at the end of the line during the best of times. Now you never know what will be missing. This week it was butter and frozen pizzas. Go figure. Good thing I make a mean pizza from scratch. If there’s no butter next week I can always open a big can of dehydrated butter. It’s surprisingly tasty. Too bad they’ve doubled in price since I stocked up. Glad I got mine when I did.

Should be an interesting winter.


Monday, September 27, 2021

Another Winter

We are well into fall here in the Great North Woods. The leaves are changing fast. My lovely wife and I had a nice day bumping up against the Canadian border. Too bad the border is mostly closed but the best scenery is on this side of the border anyway.

In past years we’d been well into our winter travel plans by now. This is when the final touches on the boat or preparing the camping gear would happen. Last year we felt it best to stay close to home. Looks like that’s what we’ll be doing again this year.

With that in mind I put energy and money into prepping for winter here in the north. I had the furnace serviced by a professional and did some insulation and basement door repair. It could be a long cold winter.

While we might get some nasty winters, we are prepared to deal with them. For example, the local power company has been getting the trees around the power lines trimmed back. We are less likely to lose power due to falling snow laden tree limbs. I serviced my solar electric battery bank and checked over the panels and electronics. While my system makes significant power, it’s nice to have grid energy for those long dark winter days.

I hope to get some hunting in this fall. With the price of meat where it is these days that’s not a bad idea. The exercise will do me some good too.


Saturday, September 18, 2021

On the Raggity Edge

You might have noticed that people are a little crazy these days.

It really shows up on the roads. People are doing everything from constantly running stop signs to road rage with shots fired. A road rage incident recently happened about 30 minutes down the road from me. That sort of thing used to never happen around here. According to the stats, New Hampshire is one of the safest states. What the heck does the rest of the world look like?

There are homeless people moving into the woods. They have no woods skills either. One guy pitched his tent in the middle of a trail. Someone else destroyed his stuff so he was wandering around with a large knife in his hand.

The weather has been mild for September in the Great North Woods. We’ve yet to even have a frost. That’s not going to last. In recent years there have been October snows that stayed on the ground until spring. People who are already having a bad time being homeless will be in a world of hurt.

People are losing it and it’s not pretty.


Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Ammo Update


Over the weekend I got to talk with two close friends who work in the firearms industry. They have many years of experience and both have worked for different companies over the years. The US firearms industry is not that big a club. A lot of the professional people know each other. My friends are in contact with a lot of people.

I figured these would be the ones to talk to about ammo shortages. In short, they have no solid answers.

Here’s what I could get from them. A certain percentage of the shortage is real. Part of the shortage is a result of the same type of thinking that caused toilet paper shortages. When people see it on the shelves, they buy it all. However, my friends would not even guess the percentages.

There are a lot of rumors out there, but real hard numbers and solid answers are in short supply. Your guess is a good as mine.


Thursday, September 9, 2021

Supply Disruptions

There’s a lot of chatter out there about supply disruptions. There are broken links in the chain reaching from the factory to your house. Remember when they couldn’t find enough truck drivers? Well now they can’t even keep the trucks on the road due to the unavailability of spare parts.

Previously I mentioned the food supply issues and how knowing to make something tasty with whatever is available is a needed skill. Pro tip: stock up on spices while you still can and don’t be afraid to use them. The same basic ingredients, with the proper spices, can be anything from Mexican, to Asian, to Indian meals. It’s a quick way to get variety when you don’t really have many ingredients.

Being able and willing to fix things will make all the difference. Going down to the store for a replacement is no longer a guaranteed option. Fortunately, I’ve always had a tight budget and learned how to make do. One of my cars had a bad temperature switch for cooling fan. It was fine at highway speed what would overheat if stuck in traffic. The replacement part was expensive and difficult to find. Tapping a manual switch directly into the fan did the job for a couple bucks.

Another thing I’m glad I never got into was the whole decluttering thing. That “unsightly clutter” is where I get the parts and materials to keep my stuff running.

Given enough tools and junk you can make just about anything out of almost nothing.