Sunday, August 30, 2020


I picked up a new hobby during the quarantine -lock picking. I was giving an Amazon gift card so I picked up a book and few tools. Over time I was able able to fiddle with some old padlocks and got them open. It’s a very meditative hobby. Nothing can be forced.

Just for grins and giggles I thought I’d try the lock on my front door. It’s nothing special as far as locks go. It’s about average, probably like the one on your house. It took me, a rank amateur, five seconds to unlock it.

Here’s the thing. I always could bypass a lock in a matter of seconds. When I was a firefighter I took a lot of forcible entry courses. We had a fire in an office building one time. Every door was locked, but I popped them open so quickly that the officer coming behind me thought they must have been unlocked. Of course, I had a tool and was not afraid to make noise and do a bit of damage.

Locks are to keep honest people honest. The deadbolts on my house are there to slow a house invasion down just enough for me to get my gun.

Don’t even get me started on gated communities. The vast majority of them are just security theater. If there are kids in those communities they always have paths around gates and locks. Often there are back entrances to those communities left unlocked.

What’s more important than locks is the sort of place you live in. Bad neighborhoods are called bad for a reason.


Friday, August 28, 2020

Life in the woods

We are in a pretty good place during these trying times. Having a bit of land, a well, and significant solar electric is a comfort. That takes care of a lot worries right there.

My lovely wife and I had a great afternoon sailing out on the lake. The loons and osprey were very active. It’s nice not to have to deal with crowded boat ramps with tense people. The sailboat is right there at our beach, ready to be sailed at a moment’s notice. Sure, it’s a small lake, but sailing is sailing.

Progress has been made on sealing up the basement air leaks. We are looking in better shape for the coming winter. In recent years we’ve gotten snow on the ground in October that stays until spring. That brings things to a halt.

One more trip to the transfer station should take care of the rest of junk from when the old deck was torn down. Most of the debris was burned, but not everything could be. I’m not going to burn pressure treated as that’s pretty toxic.

I’m still taking the virus seriously. Rather than shop local I drive 50 miles to shop at a grocery store with good safety and a special shopping time for those over 60. Worth it for my piece of mind.


Sunday, August 23, 2020

Dialed in

The Sixbears household is doing well. I’ve been getting the house ready for winter. That’s what you do up here in New Hampshire’s North Country. Storms are coming.

Speaking of storms, I finally got a chance dial in one of my rifles. There’s a fairly isolated sandpit I like to shoot in. Unfortunately the woods road out to it was washed out and closed for repairs. One of my cousins goes to run his dogs in that area and he let me know the road was open again.

I didn’t mess around. Some folks just shoot a few rounds and call it good. There are a lot of variables when shooting. However, if the weapon is sighted in and functions well those are two less things to worry about. I brought a shooting table, chairs, binoculars, targets, surveyor’s tape measure, hearing protection, tools, quality ammo -the whole nine yards.

I’m glad I did. The sights were off. There was also a problem with one of the magazines. After four or five rounds it would sometimes fall right out of the gun. That could be embarrassing. Fortunately the other magazines functioned well. Never assume that just because something is new it functions the way it’s supposed to. When there’s high demand for firearms sometimes quality control suffers.

Guns and ammo are in short supply just about everywhere. Glad I don’t really need anything new. A friend gave me a box of 100 shotgun shells recently which was a nice surprise. 9 mm is almost non-existent. A friend paid a lot for a box. Every round shot is like buying a fancy coffee. There’s some 380 available in my area for reasonable money. It’s good to have firearms of different calibers. Personally, I’m glad I stocked up on .22s when they were cheap.

With any luck all I’m going to need my firearms for is hunting season.


Thursday, August 13, 2020

Mental Health in These Times


In a lot of ways I’m doing this pandemic on easy mode. When I say pandemic I’m not just talking about the virus, but all stuff that goes with it. There’s economic and social upheaval and even spiritual issues to deal with.

Of course, having a sailboat and a hammock on the beach of my little lake certainly helps.

In general my family and friends are handling it pretty well. That’s not to say there aren’t challenges. A deaf friend who lip reads is having a bad time with people wearing masks all the time.

Personally it helps that I’ve had bad times when other people were doing well. It gave me perspective. I’ve been blessed with the threat of the loss of all my material possessions. Once you let that fear of loss go life has a certain new freedom. It’s all just stuff. Money is an illusion.

That’s not that you don’t have to deal with it. For example, one bank just cut $8,000 from my credit line. Now I wasn’t using the credit and had never missed any payments. The main reason I carried that credit in the first place was for emergencies when traveling. No big deal. Next time I travel I’ll deal with emergencies in other ways. There are always solutions. By the way, I mention that because at least a third of Americans have had their credit reduced. If that happened to you, it’s not personal. You didn’t do anything wrong.

Having physical perps is helpful, but the real skill needed in these times is mental flexibility. Also, be kind to yourself when you aren’t handling things well. We are all allowed some bad moments. If they persist too long and cripple your life, don’t be afraid to get help.


Tuesday, August 11, 2020

New Blogger and other Stuff

Looks like the formatting of my last post was a bit messed. I don't know why Blogger thinks it a good idea to make people have to learn a whole new system every now and then. Some bloggers have just given up. This post is being done a bit different so I hope it works.


I'm not a survivalist. I'm into thriving. Fear is a powerful control mechanism. It's a trap

. . . . and yet, I wear a mask. That's because I did a lot of research and came to the conclusion that it couldn't hurt and might help a lot. Also, I like messing up facial recognition. If I'm wrong there's no harm done. If I'm right, I might save my life. My mask is so good that using a public porta potty is not a bad experience. 

My lovely wife and I have been doing some local travel and really enjoying the outdoors. Temperatures have been pretty hot for northern NH, so being on the lake has been a good thing. Odds are we'll be staying clos to him this winter. Looking forward to a lot of winter activities. As long as temperatures don't linger below zero for weeks on end it should be doable. 

 There's a lot of debate about kids going back to school. It got me thinking about how I'd feel about it if this would have happened when I was kid. Personally, I would have jumped at the chance not to go to school. It sucked. My grades were good, but I always felt school took too much time and kept me from learning cool stuff. 

There's a lot of things changing right now. That can be a good thing. Frankly, there was a lot of stuff that didn't work for most people before this pandemic. Since we have restart everything, might as well do it in a new way. It could be in big ways, like work and school, or in smaller ways. For example, I think I'm done paying for haircuts. 


Saturday, August 8, 2020

Calm Before the Storm

I’m enjoying summer. The weather’s been amazing here in the Great North Woods. My lovely wife and I take the sailboat out on the lake. We’ve visited with friends and family outside and in a safe manner. The other day we even went to listen to a local musician play in the park. Home projects are getting done. Maybe not as quickly or as easily as during normal times, but they are getting done. In these interesting times we are doing better than most. New Hampshire is one of the states managing the crisis fairly well. However, there are signs of trouble ahead. Tourists have come into the state from all over. There are packed restaurants. Bike week, which had been rescheduled from June, will be taking place. That usually brings in crowds from all over. Some people have gotten very lax about precautions. I’m hoping that our luck will hold, but still taking all precautions. Too many places have gone from few cases to major outbreaks to relax. Now is the time to sort out any last minute preps. You don’t have to be Nostradamus to know the fall and winter are going to be challenging times. Don’t let this narrow window of prep time slip away. I’m expecting to be pretty much locked down when the cold weather sets in. I’ve plenty of coffee, books to read, and popcorn to watch the show. -Sixbears