Saturday, February 06, 2016

Back and update...Changing Lodgings!

Sorry for the lack of posting. Having one's hand splinted really makes typing mot a lot of fun. But the hand is progressing and half of the splinting has been removed now, with the other half due to come off in a week if things keep on the way that they are.

In other news--and another reason for my sparseness on-line...the dogs and I are relocating next month! It's officially official and we're off to the land of tourists and tow boats, tasty treats and tramps...New Orleans, LA.
I do love that city.

I'll be moving down next month, so posting may get a bit sporadic, but the dogs and I will still be on-line. And of course, once we're settled, anyone who was welcomed at the Lair before will still be welcome to the new abode down in the Crescent City.


Oh--and of course any friends with trucks are more than welcome to make a drive from WV to the land of the bars that never close.

Monday, February 01, 2016

Shooting

So we went out today. It was Proud Hillbilly, Bruce, me, and our newest shooter, Rebecca. It was Rebecca's first time ever even holding a firearm, and that being the case, she did exceptionally well for a first time out. She was obviously nervous and tense, but she paid attention to what she was taught and she was safe. (And "safe" is right at the top of the list of attributes that I like in new and older shooters.)

She started out with the Glock 23 in .40 and did ok. Then it was PH's Kahr 9mm, which she handled like a pro. I let her try my .41 mag for a bit, and she didn't seem to care for that, but then I didn't expect her to. She was game though, and shot a whole cylinder. Then I gave her the S&W M&P-22 rifle, and she took to that one like a duck to a pond.

We got cut short by the rain, but she put most of her rounds on the target and committed no major safety errors...and she wants to come out again. I call this day a "win" for bringing another new shooter into the flock. And even if she never buys a gun of her own, at least now she has a fair and accurate idea about what they're really like.

And as major bonus points...she's pretty and personable. Plus Murphy and Belle like her.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Still here. Hands, dogs, Oregon, etc.

Sorry for the dearth of posts. This inability to use one hand really makes typing much more of a chore than it should be.

Still, I've not been idle. Lots of house cleaning (not that you can tell...sigh) and lots of this crap from the hounds.
All. Day. Long.

Fun for them, annoying to me.

In other news, there are still four remaining "Y'all Qeada" types barricaded in that federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. Eleven have been locked up, dozens have been released or were allowed to leave without charges, and one, "Quick Draw Finicum", is still dead. I note that the feds and Oregon State Police were very selective in who they decided to arrest, singling out those whom they wanted after watching them in action for a month and viewing all of their interviews and non-stop Youtube ramblings. The ones who made threats, harassed citizens in town, or committed other specific acts are being treated differently than the average "playtriot" who just showed up and hung out. The arrests appear to have planned well, and they probably would have come off without any injury to anyone had not Finicum decided that he had some right to refuse to comply with the officers and tried to drive off. Some people are now claiming that in his warped belief system, he only recognized county sheriffs as legitimate authority, as if that somehow justifies either his attempt to flee or his reaching for a gun. My theory is that he just committed "Suicide by Cop", as commenter Old 1811 mentioned in the previous post's comment section. Finicum had ranted numerous times about how he could not handle prison and wanted to die free, and even in the anti-government novel that he self-published, he reportedly had the lead character, modeled after himself, die in a gun battle with the police rather than submit to lawful arrest. Yeah, he came out of the truck with his hands up, but in the videos that I saw he quickly squared off to an officer and made what appeared to be a clumsy effort to reach into a pocket...a pocket that was subsequently found to have a pistol in it. Based on what I saw, he took the coward's way out and I'm not feeling any sympathy for him. Those who call it "murder by ambush" seem to have a hard time explaining why none of the others in either vehicle were killed. Obviously that wasn't the intent of the authorities, nor does it appear that "hundreds of rounds were fired at the truck" as passenger Victoria Sharp is claiming. Her credibility is gone right there, ans so is that of anyone who cites her as a source.

Now as to the four still holed up, their internet was apparently just cut, according to the reporting being done by OregonLive, which is right on top of this topic and doing an excellent job, IMHO. These four now say that they'll only come out if the feds promise to let them go without arresting them AND pardon the other arrestees. I get the idea that they don't really understand how this sort of thing works. They definitely don't grasp the concept of Civil Disobedience even though they claim it's all they were doing. Civil Disobedience involves breaking laws as a protest, and there's a long history of it in America. I can respect and applaud that, personally when done to protest an injustice. But it also entails accepting the punishment that comes with it, either for the opportunity to argue the merits of the law at trial or in the media. Martin Luther King Jr. spent a lot of time in jail as a result of his protests, and so did a lot of other civil rights protesters. And they made a difference in the end by shifting public opinion through their suffering on behalf of their beliefs. But these characters seem to want to just go home scott-free after their disobedience and skip that whole "accepting the consequences" part. That just makes them cowards or dimwits in my book, and even dimwits should know that the police are not just going to let barricaded gunmen walk away without a few charges and an eventual day in court. I'm thinking that few if any of these folks really sat down and thought about what they were doing and how it might go. Heck, they didn't even bring food in with them--just guns. I kinda feel bad for people that stupid, but not too bad. Stupid is supposed to be painful, both to motivate the stupid people to not be stupid again and to serve as an object lesson for other would-be stupid people.

Hopefully this ends soon, and without any further bloodshed.

By the way...anyone else see the irony in every one of those charged so far (other than ringleader Ammon Bundy) begging for free legal assistance from the Federal Public Defender's office? I thought that they hated the federal government, but I guess that changes when they want something from it.

And if you want to know who these folks are, OregonLive has done profiles on most of them. It's interesting, especially when you start to count up the felony convictions, bankruptcies and other clues that indicate that these folks are not exactly the Best and Brightest. In fact, more appear to be convicted felons than actual military vets.


Range time tomorrow...and with a newbie shooter. And me with just one hand. Stay tuned for that AAR.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Oregon Bundy mess explodes. 1 dead and Bundy boys held.

Details are sketchy, but it appears that when the police made a traffic stop on a car containing the Bundy brothers, someone--probably someone in that car--started shooting.

One dead, Bundys arrested after confrontation with FBI on highway

Arrested: Both Ammon and Ryan Bundy and their stolen valor fake Marine "bodyguard" Brian Cavalier, among others.

All are apparently facing felony charges of conspiracy to impede officers of the US from discharging their official duties through the use of force, intimidation or threats at present, and more charges are likely against them and any of their followers dumb enough to stick around at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge that they took over three and a half weeks ago. I'm guessing that that occupation is pretty much over as well, what with the leaders in jail.

Idiots.

Idiots with guns making the rest of us look bad by association.

And no, I do not support those who think that just because they have guns and hate the government, they can decide for themselves which laws to obey and which laws to ignore. That was never the intent of our Founding Fathers. Those wise men gave us a Judicial Branch, an Electoral System and a Free Press and Right to Speak Out as means of addressing grievances. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say "Go ahead and disregard any laws that inconvenience you personally", nor does it ok trying to kill police officers who are acting lawfully.

Looks like the next piece of federal property that Ammon and Ryan Bundy will be occupying will be a cell in a federal prison.

Freedom

The road to the outside finally opened today.

Last night, this came by and made a narrow clear path on the road.
It wasn't government, as I heard. Apparently someone in the area owns it and he and other people with such machines were at work yesterday just opening up the roads. He still got watched, though.

Following this, A couple of neighbors and I worked together to get the last of the snow out of each other's driveways that the dozer had pushed in. One has a big snowblower. Another shoveled. With my hand messed up, I used the other hand and a spade to break up the snow so the snowblower could get it. Then when the driveways were clear and one woman lamented being out of wine, I went back in the house and grabbed a Malbeck and three styrofoam cups and we stood outside drinking wine as the sun went down.

This morning a bigger tractor with a bigger plow came by and blocked our driveways again. We all dug out again, this time without wine. But most of the lower roads were still blocked by thoughtless idiots who had gotten stuck early on during the storm and just walked home, leaving their cars where they were. (These people's cars all need to be whacked repeatedly with sledgehammers, IMHO. That's DC metro-style douchery and it has no place up here.) Eventually most of those got moved today and people could get out.

I chose to just stay here though. Nothing out there that I need. Dogs and I just took another snow day.
"We got bones. We're good."

Monday, January 25, 2016

Monday snow day.

Called the Sheriff's office this morning. The lady who answered sounded like she was going to lose it when I asked if they had any idea when we here might expect some snow removal. Apparently the calls demanding help have been off the charts. She sounded almost grateful when I reassured her that I was all set to wait things out but was only calling out of curiosity. "I'm supplied and quite comfortable here," I told her. Sounds like I'm one of the relative few out of the non-stop callers that that office has been getting. Many people are demanding immediate rescue and/or complaining that they don't have food. Seriously, people? We all saw this storm coming a week out. How could any of you not have taken basic steps to ensure that you could get through this?

Oh yeah...Our local Dem voters. I forgot about the ones who always think that the government is going to take care of them. Surprise, fools. Obama ain't coming and even the state and county folks are hindered by the snow and backlogged by priority rescues. Sheriff's phone lady told me to hope for the promised warmer weather later this week but in any case it is likely to be a few days before they get up to us folks on the mountain.

Glad I got books and booze.

Some folks are getting impatient though.
"Where is that UPS truck? Where is the garbage man? Where is ANYBODY? Please, God...I need someone to bark at!"

Sunday, January 24, 2016

And while some toil to clear paths...

Others play on them.


"Say 'what' again. Say 'WHAT' again! I dare you, I double dare you!"

"OK...what."
Fight's on.
Nothing says winter fun like roughhousing in the snow.


"These woods are lovely, dark and deep..."

"But you won't get by me, you creep!"

"Girl, don't make me have to remind you of your place again!"

All in fun...but what's that?
Just a bird. Carry on.

Gee, it sure was nice of someone to go out and tromp down all those trails to play on, wasn't it, dogs.

Dogs?

"Getting chilly out here. Let's head back in for some Cocoa."

Best pals.
Who could ask for a better snow day?


As for me...a book of over a hundred of Jack London's best short stories...just the right book to be snowbound with.

Storm's over.

Now we all just have to deal with 36" to 40" of snow. And many of us here are a mile and change off of a main paved road.

Do, do, do, looking out my back door.
And that's the lee side of the house.

Front, looking up the drive.

The drive.

The primary SUV is pretty much buried until spring.
The black thing sticking out near the "bottom" of the pile? That's the drivers' side mirror.

But there's another pile down by the road.
It's the other SUV--the old dependable "Dog Hauler".
Dug out now. And yeah, the snow is up to the hood. But now after two shovel excursions out this morning, it's free and there is a path for it carved down to where the road used to be. Waiting on the state now, and their heavy equipment. Regular plow trucks ain't getting up here any time soon.

So how you doin'?

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Dog Run Fail

I let Murphy out into the dog run. The snow is three feet deep. He tried to go straight off the steps and promptly did a face-plant in the deeper snow beyond.
And thus endeth the winter stroll.

Back to his native habitat he went.

Still coming down. Global warming, my ass.

Snow Belles


"Off into the white stuff...and this wasn't here yesterday!"


"Oh no. Just hell no! Fuck this, I'm going back!"


"This is better. Come on, Dad...shovel the rest. I gotta pee!"

Murphy's snow adventure.

So with over two and a half feet of snow down, the dogs had to go out. I took them out front and carved a path for them to get under the carport, the only place where the snow is not up to their backs.
I knew that Belle would not be a problem but with Murphy I was rolling the dice. I gambled that the snow was too deep to let him get anywhere other than where I wanted them.

I lost on that roll because I underestimated his prey drive and sheer dog power.

Down the driveway he went, bounding through snow so deep that he had to leap as he broke trail towards the road. The road was not plowed and was just as deep, and he continued to plow through the undisturbed snow at rocket speed. It was actually beautiful to watch him go, or at least it would have been had he not been ignoring me as I tried to recall him. In seconds, he was around the corner and out of sight.

Belle started after him, but she stopped at the bottom of the driveway when I called her once and she came back. Then I thought about it and sent her after Murphy, figuring that two dogs breaking trail for me would make my trek easier. Her I trust.

By the time I got to the crazy cat neighbor's house, Murphy had already forced his way up their driveway and into their garage, hunting cats. He'd then turned and gone up onto their front porch where they have numerous cat shelter boxes. I got up there and summoned him, and to his partial credit, he did come to me. I got hold of his collar with my one good hand and came back home, with my good Belle leading the way all the way back to our door again.

I was out of breath from trying to move through that snow, and it was only mid-thigh deep on me. But that black engine of destruction, Audie Murphy dog, he'd bulldozed through that crap like it was nothing, and he was primed and ready for more.

And guess who is not going back out front any more?

Blizzard morning

Well I'd managed to shovel the driveway twice yesterday, the last time just before going to bed. Figured if I kept ahead of it I might do ok.

Well during the night we got a foot and a half to two feet of the stuff. The driveway has been lost, and it's so deep that even the Shepherds won't go out in it. They tried, but it's up almost to their backs. They freaked and came back in. And it's supposed to keep snowing like this all day and into tonight.

I'll stomp a drop zone. Air drop supplies, please. Send more whiskey, beer and milk bones.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Bring it.

Last trip into town this morning. Got more gas for the generator and a few last minute items.
Dragged the generator out and tested it (with one hand). Ready to go.
Wood brought in for the basement wood stove and plenty of pellets ready for the pellet stove upstairs. Fresh batteries in the battery lights and all rechargeables are on the charges. First snowflakes are just starting to fall.

Lets do this thing.

Weather coming

Looks like we'll be taking a direct hit from the storm here. Being on the mountain that catches the weather heading to DC, we're expecting in excess of two feet of snow. I'm supplied, and if I had two working hands, this'd be a lark. Got to keep the driveway shoveled clean though, and those of you who've been here know what I'm up against. I'll get it done somehow, but the snow's not going to be as much fun as it should have been. Gonna get through it though. Prepping for power outages now and then I'll be as set as I can get. If you're under this system too, take care.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hand job.

Yeah, I chose the title to bump my traffic a bit courtesy of the perverts out there. If you're reading this post now because you're one of those people, thanks for stopping by but shame on you.

As for my hand, and my latest injury, I gotta admit that it seemed like such a trivial thing, that slip of a broken pane of glass on Tuesday. It fell against the back of my hand as I was reaching down to pick it up from the bottom and gave me a slice across the base of my ring finger. Blood ran free for a minute until I fashioned a dressing from a box of emergency medical supplies that was conveniently nearby, but once dressed, the little two-inch slice stopped bleeding in fairly short order. No big deal, right? I've done a lot worse more times than I care to recall. It didn't even hurt after the first few minutes and I went on about my day.

But after a while, noticed that the finger wasn't moving quite like the other ones and I started pondering it a bit. Being an old paramedic from back in the day, I had a fair idea about the make-up of the hand, and I know that there are a lot of nerves and tendons close to the skin in that area. I had sensation just fine, but range of motion in one direction was diminished so I headed on into the Urgent Care just to have it checked out. The Urgent Care doc took one look at it and sent me straight to the Emergency Department at the local hospital. They looked at it for a minute and sent me to see a hand surgeon fifty miles away yesterday morning. He looked at it and scheduled me for surgery that afternoon. Turns out that the sharp glass had gone deep and completely severed a tendon. Had I not gone in to the Urgent Care to get it checked out, I would probably have lost a good deal of use of that finger permanently, which would have had serious implication for my job and much of my active lifestyle.

We take life for granted but things can change that quickly, and sometimes so subtly that we can miss it if we're not careful.

The hand doc is a really cool guy. He's a pilot and a gun guy, and we had some nice conversation as he opened up my hand and reconnected the tendon. I even got to watch. But now the hand is splinted for the next two weeks, and I'll have to forego serious use of it for a couple of months.

All from one little nick that I barely even felt.

But I for damned sure feel it this morning, lemme tell you. Ow. Ow squared even.

2016 is not exactly starting off as a stellar year.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Guest Post #2

Dad's getting his hand operated now. They think it's fixable, but he's going to be staying home with us for a while instead of going to work. Not sure for how long. We'll see what the doctor says. I'm just going to hug my wookie until he gets home again and then maybe he can have it for a bit. Thoughts and prayers, ok?