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.


Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Road to Nowhere


Normally by now my lovely wife and I would be nailing down our plans for winter travel. Instead I find myself getting the house ready for another winter. The fuel tank is full and a service guy will be out here in a few days. The basement door has been rebuilt and is now much more weatherproof. My solar electric system battery bank has been inspected and serviced.

Currently our only possible long trip will be out to Texas to visit the in-laws. We haven’t seen them in a while and it doesn’t look like they’ll be able to make the trip to New Hampshire. It looks like our niece will still be living with us and she can keep the home fires burning.

There is always the option to change our plans. We can have a vehicle loaded up and the house winterized in matter of hours if we want to. Bugging out is something we know how to do. One time we decided to go camping for a long weekend. My lovely wife and I were packed and gone in twenty minutes.

There’s a hurricane in the Atlantic right now. As long as the jet stream holds steady it should stay off-shore. Coastal areas will have some serious wave action to deal with, but here in the mountains we’ll be fine.


Thursday, September 2, 2021



Last Thursday night my lovely wife came down with a cough and generally felt lousy. Friday morning we were in the drive through line at the hospital covid testing site. Both of us got tested. Their turn around had been 24 to 48 hours and you’d get the results. It took six days for us. We both tested negative. My lovely wife is mostly feeling better now. No idea what she had. I’ve been fine the whole time.

Apparently we isolated for a week for nothing. Better safe than sorry. I’d feel petty bad if I had something and was spreading it to others. The testing site has been getting slammed as cases are skyrocketing locally. The school district has remote learning back on the table. It was fun while it lasted.

In other medical news I actually signed up for medical insurance again. It’s a slightly better plan the last one I had and for a bit less money too. It’s still a crap plan, but I won’t get refused treatment if something happens. Sure, they can’t turn you away from the emergency room, but they don’t have to do follow up tests and treatments. When I was in the hospital a couple years ago there were tests that just were not done as they required me to prepay before doing them. My doctor was extremely frustrated by that as she wanted to practice medicine to the best of her ability.

In other news the hurricane remnants will not make it over the mountains and will turn out to sea. The Northeast is not prepared for flash floods and tornadoes. I’m glad I live up in the hills.

Hurricane Ida has passed through the Gulf states and now the real problems begin. How do you deal with over a million people who need water, food, shelter, and utilities? This was one of those instances where bugging out was most likely the best thing to do. Even buildings that survived multiple hurricanes in the past were destroyed. Authorities will have to try to move the people to other states as they can’t bring in enough supplies to keep everyone alive. It could get nasty and my prayers are with them.

Buckle up. Interesting times ahead.