Saturday, 1 July 2017

10:51 – It was 73.4F (23C) when I took Colin out at 0700, partly cloudy. We apparently had a thunderstorm and heavy rain overnight, although I never woke up. Neither did Colin, or at least if he did he didn’t wake us. The rain apparently didn’t last long, because we got only 0.4″ (1 cm). We’re pretty much taking the holiday weekend off.

We’re now halfway through the year. Science kit revenues are running about 14.5% above revenues for the first half of last year. Not a huge increase, but an improvement on 2015 and 2016, both of which were actually down year-on-year.

The four of us had an early dinner yesterday at Mt. Surf Seafood Restaurant, a family-run restaurant up near the Virginia line that’s been there for almost 20 years. The parking lot was about one third VA plates and two-thirds NC plates.

The food was excellent, and the people were friendly. Including our waitress, Kelly, whom I assumed was part of the family who own the restaurant. Turns out, she wasn’t, although she’s worked there for nine years. As we were paying for dinner and mentioned that we’d just moved to Sparta 18 months ago, we got the usual questions: are you living here year-round, and what made you choose Sparta?

Barbara chatted about that with them for a while, and then I commented that what I liked about living up here is that all of the people are normal. The owner commented that we have some crazies up here, to which I replied, “Yes, but they’re NORMAL crazies.”

I came across a Youtube channel yesterday that was new to me. I don’t pay much attention to Youtube since it censored me several years ago. They never even bothered to email me; they just removed one of my TheHomeScientist videos, the one on making napalm. That’s apparently becoming much more common. A couple of the homesteading channels I’ve looked at have posted anti-Youtube rants because some or all of their videos are being flagged/removed as not being “family-friendly” or “advertiser-friendly”. Screw them. There are alternatives.

The channel I mentioned is one of those that Youtube is stomping all over. I was surprised I’d never heard of it before, given that they’ve been around since 2010, have something like 650,000 subscribers, and have posted something like 1,600 videos. A few of those are short, but the vast majority run anything from 8 or 9 minutes up to half an hour or so. In other words, they’re working this as a full-time job.

The channel is Wranglerstar, and it’s run by a young married couple, Cody Crone (AKA Wranglerstar) and his wife Melissa (AKA Mrs. Wranglerstar). They homestead on 50+ acres in Washington state and are serious preppers. My google-foo isn’t the best, but it took me about 30 seconds to locate them. From the name of their town, I assumed they were in prepper territory in eastern Washington, over near Idaho. Nope. They’re on the very southern edge of Washington, just over the border from Portland, Oregon. IOW, they’re very close to a massive population center, surrounded by superprogs. Oh, well. I wish them the best.

They’re both likable people, particularly Melissa, who comes across as happy, friendly, and helpful. Unfortunately for them, they’re Deplorables on three counts: they’re preppers and own and use guns, they’re homesteaders, and they’re religious. Three strikes and you’re out, says Youtube.

USPS just showed up with my Amazon order: another 500 grams of agar, two spare electronic scales, and a gallon of liquid smoke for the deep pantry.

73 thoughts on “Saturday, 1 July 2017”

  1. “…they’re Deplorables on three counts: they’re preppers and own and use guns, they’re homesteaders, and they’re religious. Three strikes and you’re out, says Youtube.”

    The Toob has been increasingly censorious, like FaceCrack, and of course the people and channels they seem to dislike are like unto the couple you just mentioned, with their three strikes.

    I was considering a Toob channel at some point but am not happy with all that chit and I would have more than three strikes: religious (Roman Catholic; gee whiz, that must be a double strike right there!); prepper; gun-owner (NRA Patron Life Member, another double strike); two-war veteran; and of course cis-hetero breeder and what I’m sure they and their ilk would consider, extreme-right-winger, or the “fascist” that they all crap themselves over. When in fact they are the fascists.

    I will have to look into alternatives when the time comes.

    Oh goody, it’s started raining here; should dampen the Bay Day festivities considerably, and if it continues and gets heavier, all the bettah! Postpone fireworks until tomorrow night, haha!

    Scanner is hopping with cop traffic detail activity and a couple of ambulance calls so far. Will play with the shortwave later per Mr. Nick’s suggestions last night.

  2. @RBT, wranglestar is one of the reasons I wish youtube allowed viewers to block a whole channel.

    He does do it full time, and that means he does stuff in a way that is intended to maximize his revenue from youtube. In other words, a lot of his stuff is ‘clickbait’.

    Slick, light, and ultimately very superficial. Almost ‘glib’- applied to the channel, not the person.

    Anyway, after being suckered into watching some of his content, I now hate seeing it in my ‘recommended for you’ list because it crowds out stuff that I actually would like to discover.

    Since around Christmas time, I’ve been watching almost no tv, preferring to watch a dozen “amateur” creators on youtube instead. Some that I really liked have been producing less lately, focusing on content funded by Patreon subscribers, and not freely available on yt. YT has been screwing with creators’ “monetization” lately, both for political reasons, and because (I think) advertizers are beginning to realize no one watches their ads, and they are ineffective in any case.

    For a few hundred creators, YT is providing 6 and 7 figure incomes. For a bunch of savvy creators, the best current model seems to be using YT to create customers for ‘real world’ services or products. And there is a whole mid-list who make enough money to keep doing it as at least a part time income.

    The people I like best are interesting personalities, are passionate and knowledgeable, and love what they do. The content is focused on their interest/work/life/job/hobby, and not on getting money from YT.

    There is a lot of room in the space currently for new models to be developed. It’s very much like the beginning of self-publishing (modern era) in written word, with Amazon and kindle.

    nick

    BTW, there aren’t really alternatives that are ‘just like them.’ There are some other platforms, but they are tiny, don’t offer monetization, have restrictive ‘partnership’ agreements, or cost money. One of the guys I watch regularly has talked about it pretty extensively, and has set up alternative streams, so knows whereof he speaks.

  3. Youtubers use “views” and “subscribers” or subs as a proxy for popularity. Views usually vastly outnumber subscribers, and many subscribers watch one video, hit subscribe, and never come back to watch another. They treat the ‘subscribe’ button as a kind of tip jar, since YT takes it into consideration when promoting material and channels.

    That said, here’s what some of the stuff I watch regularly and sub looks like:

    an old englishman tinkering in his shed- 12K subs – posts infrequently

    a part time machinist and old machine restorer- 96K subs – posts regularly, is “internet famous”

    an apple repair guy, does component level repair live while sharing political and philosophical thoughts – 276K subs, livestreams daily, has huge back catalog of helpful vids

    german radio repair – 14K

    canadian radio repair- tubes- 65K

    canadian knifemaker, with occasional prep and homestead, – 93K

    rock and roll blacksmith, 300K

    really creative guy in his shed, 39K

    some other hobby guys, 9K to 14K

    And that doesn’t include the other “internet famous” guys like Dave at the EEVBlog-456K, or Hickok45 -2.6M, tubalcain(mrPete222) – 141K

    Hickok45 has lots of vids with over a million views. EEVBlog usually gets around 7oK views, my old brit in a shed gets 1-3K, the mac guy gets 10-15K on average, but occasionally gets 160K views.

    My old machine restorer guy has a bunch of vids with >500K views and one with 1.5M views, although his short weekly stuff usually gets 20-30K

    A micro payment system (other than ad based YT monetization) would be awesome for these guys, even at a penny a view.

    n

  4. I’ve watched only a dozen or so of their videos, but that was certainly not my impression.

  5. Older ones or newer? The ones titled “””OOOMMMMGGG1!!!!!!!!111! I’m gonna lose my channel!!!!!!1!!!!”

    The one where he talks about axes he’s never used for an hour?

    There must be some content in there somewhere or he wouldn’t have risen to prominence but I didn’t see it. Never watched any with his wife though, and maybe I should give him a second chance….

    n

  6. It’s overcast and 81f at noon on July 1st here in Northern Mississippi. Forecast is for highs in the middle 80s for the next week. No complaints from me. We are usually seeing triple digit highs by July.
    I still have to figure out what to do with the huge stump and root ball that remains from the tree that went down in the memorial day storms. Granddaughter wants to make the huge hole it left into a pool. The hole is easily 12ftt across and 4 ft deep. Wife wants me to upend the stump back into the hole. I don’t know how to do that after all this time it’s settled and moving would be a bear. Backyard is still too muddy to get a vehicle into. And my broken wrist has yet to heal so we will see what happens.

  7. Both. The first one I watched was them building basement shelves, from maybe four years ago. I watched several others from around then, and thought they did a pretty good job. I did watch a couple of the recent ones, but none of the “cheapest knife” ones.

  8. It’s always possible my mental filters are set too aggressively. Or that it just caught me on a bad day (days).

    On the other hand, I mostly gravitate to more narrowly focused channels, and many of them I only visit occasionally to see what’s new.

    Commsprepper
    GuerrillaComms
    SkinnyMedic
    ThePostAppocalypticInventor (not so narrow focus)

    And there are some I just watch for fun, but those are in my non-preps hobbies.

    Since some of the best content gets posted only infrequently, you need a BIG bucket of people to watch to have something fresh at any given moment.

    n

  9. “They never even bothered to email me; they just removed one of my TheHomeScientist videos, the one on making napalm. ”

    BTW- they are also infamous for leaving the vilest jihadi videos up despite many reports as inappropriate.

    n

  10. So you’re saying that if I remake that video to show how to make napalm at home and then use it to burn jihadis to a crisp, they’d leave it up?

  11. Light rain continues steadily. A veritable paucity of straggling holiday peeps. So fah.

    The Toob: I watch the Hickock series fairly regulary. Also:

    Jimmy Dore for a funny prog view of things; he and wifey (Miserable Liberal) on the show consistently skewer the Dem half of the Party and it’s fun to watch progs and libs clash (The Revolution Eats Its Young); and Paul Joseph Watson for his bashing of a lot of libturd crap and shibboleths. Heavy English accent and he’s almost in your face but a riot nevertheless.

    Also sootch00/sensible prepper

    iraqveteran8888, many guns, much fun

    Professor Jordan Peterson; not well-loved by the academic Left, which is to say, all of it

    David Casler for the amateur radio stuff and exam prep

    And that’s about it for regular viewing for me. Other than occasional rock oldie live performances, little trip down memory lane for when I used to go to rock concerts, which I did up until 1984.

  12. “…if I remake that video to show how to make napalm at home and then use it to burn jihadis to a crisp, they’d leave it up?”

    No, bro. You must not have got the memo.

    Das ist verboten.

    However. If musloid scum put up the vid of them burning the Jordanian pilot to death in a cage, that’s OK. Or if musloid scum are raping toddlers, that’s probably OK, too. Different cultures, ya know? Have some respect for other cultures but none for your own is the ticket to media success now.

  13. David Casler is in my subs list too, but I don’t watch him regularly.

  14. @RBT, you need to grow a proper Jihad Johnny beard, wear a white knit cap and an all white outfit, have a black flag with your initials in Arabic in the background; and before you know it “Bob’s Your Uncle” you’ll get your YouTubes recommended on the YouTube home page. 😉

    Aloha Snackbar

  15. Wouldn’t have thought of Little Rock AR as home to teh Diversite’ but here you go:

    “Terrifying moment gunman opens fire inside Arkansas nightclub leaving 25 people shot and others injured as they leapt from windows to escape carnage”

    Rankin, who filmed the video, posted on Facebook: [Prayers] go up for my nigga Cash Qui he got shot but god got him he gone be okay prayers work I love you Thug.’

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4656858/17-people-shot-Arkansas-nightclub.html

    n

  16. WRT the Little Rock AK shooting: This occurred on the last day of Ramadan and the shooter is unknown? Guess again folks, I bet there is a mooslem link (that will not be admitted).

    What many people do not realize is that the mooslems are very active in the black community. BTW black mooslems are not considered to be the “right kind” of mooslems so their actions are not heralded by the likes of ISIS.

  17. WRT the Little Rock gunplay; peeps tired of all the shooting and killing and want their kids to be safe but hey, no snitching rule. Who can blame them? Even if the perps go to jail, they have friends outside, and if not, they’ll be out soon enough anyway, and guess what happens to snitches? Personally, I’d start capping the leading mofos left and right by cover of night…see? I can get a rap going with that….

    “See any familiar faces?”

    Wow, they’re all fat as pigs. Are we sure they’re not Americans? Or Germans?

    “Their parents are so proud”

    Parents undoubtedly a major source of the problem. Boomers, amirite? Our generation. These are our kids and grandkids. I hate Boomers. Talkin’ ’bout my g-g-g-generation…

  18. “Paul Joseph Watson is a regular on the Alex Jones show.”

    So fah he hasn’t mentioned lizard peeps in the WH basement or teenage sex rings on Mars run by NASA for the past 20 years.

    I’d love to see a debate between him and all three regulars on the Jimmy Dore show.

    Light and steady rain continues; a damper indeed, on the usual mayhem here. They may still light off the fireworks, as they have before during light rain. Neighbors HATE this day; I find it amusing and a mild annoyance. I keep my eyes wide open all the time, as I see the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes…

  19. I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes…

    FIFY

  20. “Lyme Disease: Inside America’s Mysterious Epidemic”
    http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/lyme-disease-inside-americas-mysterious-epidemic-w487776

    “In 2004, Kelly Osbourne was bitten by a tick. Her dad burned it off with a match and that, she thought, was the end of that.”

    “But in the years that followed, she suffered from persistent body aches, headaches, stomach pain and trouble sleeping. In 2013, she had a seizure on the set of her show, Fashion Police. As her symptoms piled up, so did the prescriptions: Ambien, Trazodone, anti-seizure medications, even painkillers, despite her past addiction issues. The pills robbed her of her energy and emotions. “You know in movies where a mental patient sits in a rocking chair in a cardigan and nightgown and stares at a wall all day?” Osbourne wrote in her new memoir, There Is No F*cking Secret: Letters From a Badass Bitch. “That was me.””

    My daughter has had Lyme disease for over ten years. It has been a living hell. I would love a solution.

  21. “…walk by dressed in their summer clothes…”

    Thanks! I know I heard a much younger Mick sing it as “go by…” when I saw them at Boston Garden with Billy Preston. OTOH, memory is a funny and not-so-funny thing.

    WRT to ticks and Lyme Disease; burning it off with a match was the old-school method but no longer; last I heard you were supposed to use petroleum jelly and rather than smother it would back itself out. Otherwise the head is left in while the rest has been burned or gouged off. Assuming you even notice it in the first place.

    Very sorry for your daughter and you and Mrs. Lynn, Mr. Lynn. I sure hope and pray something can be done ASAP; hadn’t known that about Kelly Osbourne.

  22. Weird? Coincidence?

    Just got an email in one of my email accounts from Mother Earth News telling me about the new book for 17 bucks by the Wranglestars. I only just heard about them, what, yesterday? And checked out their Toob channel but that was it. Toob is only linked to another email address.

    Friggin’ Google…

  23. For OFD. Don’t be fooled by the realistic imagery. They haven’t been perp-walked in orange, it’s just an amazingly sophisticated edit of a real photo.

  24. “… an amazingly sophisticated edit of a real photo.”

    Truly amazing, indeed. WRT possible jail time, I just don’t know. Normally the elites skate from chit like this scot-free. It’s political pay-back/infighting between various politicals, just like the stuff inside the White House with various parties. But OTOH, ham planet Jane is nowhere near as well-liked as ol’ Berno, even here in Vermont. And her alleged criminal activity and heartlessness look pretty bad. It’s a toss-up; they’ll probably cut some kinda deal and skate. They have very slick, high-priced lawyers in Burlap and Mordor.

    Rain has abated and I can see a bit of blue up there in the sky, but the only nearby activity is among the denizens across the street having cookouts or something. They also have primo viewing for the fireworks off the pier and usually a bunch of their pals arrive and I’m sure the drinking and smoking stuff starts early. But they haven’t ever been a problem, so to each their own. Dusk is a ways off, around 9 PM here.

  25. Only murderers get the orange jumpsuit, is what my buddy in high school was told upon his incarceration…

    n

  26. From the name of their town, I assumed they were in prepper territory in eastern Washington, over near Idaho. Nope. They’re on the very southern edge of Washington, just over the border from Portland, Oregon. IOW, they’re very close to a massive population center, surrounded by superprogs. Oh, well. I wish them the best.

    Vantucky!

    I didn’t catch the name of the town. They could be up in the hills, above the valley floors where the progs will remain in a SHTF scenario, but they would be deep in enemy territory.

  27. “…Only murderers get the orange jumpsuit…”

    Uh-oh; that means all those dozens of peeps we’ve seen picking up highway litter on the interstate are actually murderers. Dint know we had so many in the state, yikes.

    I also dint see Jane or Bernie Sanders among them yet but would pay beaucoups piastres for the view.

    Overcast and slightly breezy; could rain again any minute. Pretty quiet so far for a Bay Day and I haven’t heard any bands rockin’ behind us in the town park as was advertised. Seems to be a bust so fah.

    And our cats do not like loud-ass fireworks just a hundred feet away. Peeps ask me if they bother me, but nope, they do not. Long as I know what’s going on or I’m at the range, all is good. Interestingly the cats aren’t bothered at all by t-storms and thunder and lightning thereof, while the dog is a near basket-case. And he couldn’t care less about the fireworks.

  28. My dog is not bothered by storms or bangs. I feel very fortunate when I read about other peoples’ pets suffering thru.

    103F in the driveway, 44%RH, feels like 115F. Too hot for me.

    Hit up the two sales down in the Land of Sugar today. The nice one was a bust, as I expected, but the other had a couple small items. Got another of the Prism Digital portable HDTVs. Now I’ve got 3. These are great in that they run on 12v, and have a second AV input. If you are short power during your local SHTF, you can still tune in the local liars and see what they have to say. Or use it as a portable monitor for an older analog device. The pic isn’t awesome, especially from off angle, but at $5 I couldn’t say no.

    Pair of old 7×50 binos with really nice glass, $10. Some kitchen stuff- metal measure cup set, pot lid for one missing at home, 6 inch Emiril saute pan, <$10 all in.

    The power washer and gennie were priced too high, even at 50% off on the closing day. The seller seems to be one of the less savory guys who prices high, then buys out whatever is left at the end of the sale for a lowball offer, and sells it on for HIS profit. When I made him a low offer on the power washer, he as much as told me so, and laughed about buying it from the estate "with his discount." Scumbags. Most of the house was still full of stuff, which always screams "priced too high". Other than the appliances and power equipment, there was nothing of real quality in the whole house.

    I did raid a trash pile in the neighborhood. I saw 2 gas leaf blowers and a gas string trimmer, so I stopped. Those things are almost always an easy fix to get running, but not these. Someone removed the carburators from all of the gas equipment. I DID grab a surveyor's pole that I'll have no trouble selling on ebay for ~$50 and a couple of kayak paddles from the same pile. I ain't too proud to pick up money when I see it on the curb 🙂

    So the sales were slow this week, but I got some stuff for home, some to sell, and some small preps.

    Now I need to find out what's gone wrong with MY pressure washer. Clattering and low pressure from the pump probably isn't a good thing.

    nick

  29. On the Hood River west of, and way too close to Portland and Vancouver. Plus being deep in prog territory. Yikes.

  30. Yeah, the town itself isn’t much bigger than Sparta, maybe 20% or so, but it’s half an hour up the Interstate from Portland/Vancouver. Oh, well. As I’ve said, I’m not a big believer in the Golden Hordes notion. I hope the Crones will be okay if TSHTF. They seem like nice people. Yeah, they’re trying to make a living on Youtube videos and tie-in sales, but so what? They’re homesteaders, and there are only so many ways to make a buck.

  31. White Salmon, WA

    Still in the Columbia Gorge, but on the edge of the high desert east of the Cascades.

    Actually, there aren’t many progs out there except for The Dalles. Winter weather is brutal, and I’ve been out at Maryhill in summer during a sandstorm.

    That bridge would be a constant source of problems, however.

  32. I’ve got no objection to anyone making a buck…

    but I don’t need to watch anything like their top 20 recent vids, which are gear reviews of the “cheapest xxx on amazon” or the like. Not my cuppa.

    I understand the temptation to cash in on your audience that you’ve built, and lots of people like gear reviews, but it’s not for me. I find it cheesy, glib, and a waste of time.

    ‘Cuz if the thing is good, it’s still only relatively good, and if it sucks, well what did you expect from the cheapest available?

    For almost every category of thing, if they’ve been making it for 40 or more years, it’s very likely you can get better than new, for less than new, if you buy used and vintage. Quality for physical things has dropped across the board. As long as the materials don’t change with age, older, simpler, and cheaper is probably better.

    n

  33. “Quality for physical things has dropped across the board. As long as the materials don’t change with age, older, simpler, and cheaper is probably better.”

    Agreed. Though I’m on the fence WRT firearms. LOTS of technological improvements and advances over the past century but a 1911 or M1 or K98 or Mossy-Nugget will still kill your ass real fast and permanently. And they can be maintained, fixed and modded six ways from Sunday. Still, in the case of gunz, I’d rather have fairly recent stuff, if only for the improvements in metallurgy and ballistics and powder. And the chit-mega-tons of ammo.

    “FRNs?” Federal Reserve Notes?

    WRT NJ partial shutdown: state parks and ferry services? Seriously? That is like unto what they did at the Fed level not that long ago. National parks, war and veterans memorials, etc. i.e., symbolically stick it to Normals, at first.

    WRT Illinois; it’s a failed state now. And they don’t have any money for vital human services and overdue bills and interest payments because FUCKING CROOKS STOLE IT. Just like NJ and CT; the state rulers have been systematically and methodically looting state tax revenues for many decades; wait for it; don’t be surprised to see Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York next. Regardless of any complex explanations, the crooks in each locale simple stole the money. How else does a person get elected to state rep or state senator or at the Fed level starting out making, say, $60,000 a year and then retire or otherwise leave years later as a multi-millionaire??? How have Larry Klinton and his lovely wife Bruno become mega-multi-millionaires in the years since they were deducting used underwear on their tax returns at the governor’s mansion in Little Rock?

    But yes, WRT to Mr. Nick’s recommendations; I’ve now begun systematically putting aside cash from each pay check and stocking up, currently, on canned goods. 21 cans per week. Nine gallons of water per week. Periodically grab more basic staples, of which we already have a fair amount of rice and beans and flour.

    I tend to think the trigger will actually be some sort of violence. Not sure what, though. And I tend to think that could also accelerate any financial issues.

    So, from Illinois to CT and NJ; I figure MA, RI, NY and Kalifornia are lining up, just like those Italian banks across the Eastern Moat.

  34. This would all matter a lot more if we used real money. As it is, the Feds can just create as much more as they want and keep kicking the can. It’ll all crash at some point, of course, but that could easily be ten or more years out.

  35. Yeah, it’s all just ones and zeros in worldwide databases, connected by the innernet. What could possibly go wrong?

    I suppose ten years or more but suspect it’ll happen sooner. These dominoes in Europe and here are kinda unsettling.

  36. Feurwerken apparently postponed until tomorrow night; intermittent light rain has been steady, low cloud ceiling, strong breeze from the south. Very light activity and no bands in the park behind us. Denizens across the street had gotten all set up with overhead tarps, chairs, grills, 55-gallon drum grill, food, beverages and fireworks. Now they’re apparently lighting off all their stuff anyway. Some peeps must have a few bucks.

    I wonder how many of them will be able to distinguish between those and gunshots down the block….

  37. FRNs, you guessed it. I intentionally used a ‘dog whistle’ from a certain type of forums and discussion groups. Nod to the tin foil crowd. Not that they’re wrong wrt the Federal Reserve.

    Guns and some mechanical things might be an exception, but only due to advances in science and metallurgy. I like modern designs, but you can’t beat the AR and AK platforms and they’re more than 40yrs old.

    A perfect example is Reverewear cooking pots. I see them at almost every estate sale. Unless they’ve been treated very badly, they are all in great shape, 50 plus years later. I’ve upgraded and replaced my cheap pots with 50 yo Revere and Faber wear. I fully expect to get another 20-40 years out of them, and the only reason I wouldn’t is if the plastic handles fail from age, detergent, or heat.

    Coleman stoves and lanterns are the same, much better steel and porcelain (or paint) 40 years ago than today.

    Axes, rakes, other garden and farm implements, if they were quality then, they are still quality.

    n

  38. Neighbors and I had a calm discussion, the other night, about whether some rather distant noises were gunfire or fireworks. I claimed 9mm or so, with about the sequence of a typical pistol, but of course it’s hard to prove anything.
    If it’s a pistol, I think it’s an occasional “political” statement / noise, probably shot into the ground or a safe backstop… I hope.

  39. “A perfect example is Reverewear cooking pots.”

    YES! My family used that stuff when we were growing up and we had to have the copper cleaner powder to do the copper bottoms. I made mine shine like it was new. All gone/lost somewhere now. My late aunt worked at Revere Copper and Brass down in New Bedford for years, you know, when Americans still made stuff. I remember the plant had a big lighted sign visible for a couple of miles across the hahbuh. That’s gone now, too, of course. I’ll keep any eye out; thanks for the trip down memory lane and a good reminder and tip for others interested.

    Agreed also on the Coleman products and the garden and farm implements, though some garden tools now are giving them all a run for their money. I forget the retailers and the stuff is spendy, but boy, is it rugged. Not Lehman’s; some other outfit. I’ll find it or think of it at some point.

    “…a calm discussion, the other night, about whether some rather distant noises were gunfire or fireworks.”

    I am glad you did not drive on down to sort it out to prove anything. And wife here can now distinguish between fireworks and shotguns, at least.

  40. “”I am glad you did not drive on down to sort it out to prove anything.””

    Well, actually, we drove around for two or three hours, in the general area of the noises, firing into houses and back yards, but nobody returned fire, so I guess it was just fireworks…

  41. Excellent plan, Mr. Spook; I admire your initiative and aggressive determination.

  42. WRT Illinois; it’s a failed state now. And they don’t have any money for vital human services and overdue bills and interest payments
    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-07-01/horrific-catastrophic-court-ruling-send-illinois-financial-abyss

    “federal judge Joan Lefkow in Chicago ordered Illinois to come up with hundreds of millions of dollars it owes in Medicaid payments that state officials say the government doesn’t have, the Chicago Tribune reported. Judge Lefkow ordered the state to make $586 million in monthly payments (from the current $160 million) as well as another $2 billion toward a $3 billion backlog of payments – a $167 million increase in monthly outlays – the state owes to managed care organizations that process payments to providers.”

    I find it hilarious that a federal judge thinks that she can wave her wand and make $600 million per month in medical insurance payments happen. The judge will be taking over the state taxing system next in order to pay for everything that the judge thinks needs to be paid for.

    Observation: Medical insurance costs are bankrupting both individuals and the states. Next, the federal government unless Trump stops the Obolacare medicaid payments to the states (Texas does not get these excess Medicaid payments).

  43. “I find it hilarious that a federal judge thinks that she can wave her wand and make $600 million per month in medical insurance payments happen.”

    Me, too. Yet there she is.

    “SWAT chased us down and offered us jobs…”

    Run, don’t walk, RUN, as fast as you can. Unless you’d enjoy going on raids to catch people with overdue library books or growing organic celery in their back yards. Also, I happen to know a former SWAT commander from NY and he’s a near basket-case and suicidal. Functional day to day and working and running a biz but man, he’s had some dark days.

  44. How else does a person get elected to state rep or state senator or at the Fed level starting out making, say, $60,000 a year and then retire or otherwise leave years later as a multi-millionaire???

    There is a commonly known trick. The elected officials find out which companies are going to get a government contract and go buy their stock before the public announcement. They then sell the stock soon after the public announcement and pocket a chunk of change. The bold ones also short the stocks of the companies that do not win the government contracts and double down on the profit.

  45. Yeah, I prefer to maintain amateur SWAT status, though there is the issue of much more oversight than the militarized professional police get.

  46. “There is a commonly known trick.”

    Among a whole bag of tricks they employ to steal from us.

    “… maintain amateur SWAT status…”

    A worthy goal. Several classes offered by Max Velocity down in West Virginia may be of interest. (military focus but applicable tactics easily transferable to certain law enforcement functions along those lines). I’m too old and decrepit for that stuff but seriously, Max is the real deal.

  47. Sleep tight and wake bright, Mr. Nick. Thanks for all the recent tips.

    I’m off shortly myself…seeing as how it’s now July 2. I’m assuming that the locals will light off the fireworks tonight and we’ll see the crowds today. I’ll keep one eye on them and the other on cleanup details here and paperwork. My ears on the shortwave.

  48. (military focus but applicable tactics easily transferable to certain law enforcement functions along those lines)

    I’d somewhat like to have the knowledge but I can’t imagine a context in which I’d decide to bust down doors, et cetera… and I’m too old and damaged, too.

    It continues to disturb me that (allegedly) civilian police officers are taking on the roles of an occupying military army.

  49. “It continues to disturb me that (allegedly) civilian police officers are taking on the roles of an occupying military army.”

    Yup. That’s the training and that’s what the town, city, state and Fed fathers and mothers want them doing, apparently. And as in my day, a lotta vets come back and get into it, for a variety of reasons. Closest thing they have relevant training for and a job possibility; keep up the adrenaline rush; better money than working nights at the local all-night gas station, etc.

    Conversely, overseas military are doing babysitter cop jobs for truck convoys bringing ice cream and steaks to the Green Zone or escorting local warlords around and other such bullshit. And training local troops who all too often turn on them.

  50. Wake bright indeed. 7:30 and I’m up and awake. Crying shame.

    n

    I know now who cursed me so Watch out!

  51. OFD wrote:

    “…as I see the girls go by dressed in their summer clothes…”

    Too bad you didn’t go to Oberlin in the early Seventies… 🙂

  52. “Too bad you didn’t go to Oberlin in the early Seventies…”

    Yes, too bad. I was otherwise engaged.

    Why Oberlin?

  53. He’s referring to me. I dated a girl who went to Oberlin. They had full co-ed dorms, down to the room/bed level. On one visit, we had a co-ed mud fight out in the quad. We all trooped in, and everyone stripped down and stepped into the co-ed gang shower to wash all the mud off.

    There were a few girls who were shy, so the bathroom had a cardboard sign on the outer door. Hung one way, it read M for men only. Hung upside-down, it read W for women-only. If you didn’t care, which most people didn’t, you reversed it to hide the M/W side to indicate that you didn’t care.

  54. A veritable den of iniquity and sin.

    Well, that sorta thing will end when we have sharia coast to coast.

  55. Wake bright indeed. 7:30 and I’m up and awake. Crying shame.

    Bah. I’ve been up since before 0400. Though I probably fell asleep before midnight, so I’m fine on number of hours unconscious.

    Yesterday and this morning were busy. We had my daughter’s birthday party, such as it was, at a local bounce castle/hamster tube joint. It wasn’t a party so much as a horde of screaming girls running hither and yon, climbing up this obstacle thing and then coming down that giant slide. Luckily, not many friends came, as I was the only parent present with my daughter’s group; all the others took off for various errands. Mostly it wasn’t much of a problem, as the girls were running around while I stayed in the cafe area and tried to work. They came back when they were thirsty and I got them (painfully expensive) sodas or juices, and I also provided almost a dozen bandages for various friction burns and other abrasions. (Oh, right: I need to restock my backpack, as the band-aid supply is almost wiped out.) And dealt with the ongoing dipshittedness, momentary petit squabbles, and the other usual preteen BS. And I also had to take care of the six-year-old who wasn’t able to keep up with the bigger girls and who had to be persuaded that the sore spot on her butt (which she was was about to show me by way of mooning me, but I stopped her in time) wasn’t a life-ending injury and that she should go back to playing. (The clerk in the food area told me she thought I was going to strangle two of the girls. She didn’t quite come out and say that she had seen the whole thing and wouldn’t have blamed me a bit.)

    Then brought them lunch in the mall’s food court, which was highly annoying because only one ate all the food they got. (I’ll cut the 6-y-o some slack, as they gave her an adult-sized portion. The other girls have no excuse.) I grew up hungry and never waste food, and it drives me up a wall when people do. (The one girl who ate all of her food is the one my wife and I have been helping out for years. She’s not as emaciated as when she was younger, but she’s still skinny and still eats everything set before her. Everything. Her parents don’t mind her coming over to our house anymore, but limit it because the kid was getting too attached to us and apparently made a few invidious comparisons of her parents to my wife and me after her (insane) mother refused to feed her for some (no doubt insane) reason. Poor kid.) Anyway, then back to the hamster tubes for a couple more hours.

    … And then to our house for supper and cake and a sleep-over. (With a Latin lesson for my daughter and piano practice for one of the other girls squeezed into the gaps. Some things do require regular review or practice and can’t be put off too long.) One of the other girls’ mothers stayed over and kept an eye on all the brats in the family room, which was good because it got them to shut up, stop giggling, and go to sleep at a not-too-unreasonable time.

    … And then breakfast — sausage and bacon and eggs and waffles for a small mob. A bit of help would have been nice, but to be fair to my wife, she’d likely have just gotten in my way as I flickered from stovetop to countertop to table to sink. She poured milk for all the girls. That’s something, I guess.

    And everyone was finally gone by 1100 or so. And now I can try to catch up on the chores I was for some reason unable to get to yesterday.

  56. And…Mr. SteveF presents for us…a scene from Hell….

    Thanks, Steve!

    Yikes!

  57. Or a glimpse into my future 😉

    I don’t like the Cheezy Rat’s Maze Place. Too many low rents, to much history of over-serving adults with the resulting fights and shootings. Even in the nice neighborhood, the Ratmeister’s place is decidedly downscale. The little one LOVES it though.

    Breakfast today was french toast, sausages, and for me, an oatmeal brand from my childhood. Sister heard that I couldn’t find any locally and shipped me some. Yup, still delicious. Makes me sleepy though.

    n

  58. I’m way out on the right-hand side of the bell curve in terms of ability to deal with chaos.

    Doesn’t mean I like it.

    But I didn’t strangle anyone yesterday. Didn’t even stuff the 6-year-old into the recycle bin after she got soda all over my laptop’s keyboard. Count it as a win.

  59. C-e-C is relatively inexpensive, so a lot of lowlifes go there for the family’s entertainment. I’m sure that by far the majority of the clientele are not lowlifes, but as the saying goes, it takes only one turd in the punchbowl to ruin it. (If that’s not a saying, it should be.)

    The place we went yesterday was kind of pricey, though considering that the girls were running and yelling and generally burning off a week’s worth of excess energy for over four hours, it wasn’t bad on an hourly basis. Though when you roll a $2.50 soda or $2.00 water or juice box per hour per girl in, the cost comes right back up. One may assume that would keep the worst of the low-renters out. (Though Dave would no doubt be delighted were I to regale him with tales of the not slender women in tank tops and tattoos. Not many of them, but they were a marvel to behold.)

  60. “…they were a marvel to behold….”

    Not to worry; there are many such marvels up here. Way too many young womyn very overweight, to the levels, respectively, of Wallyhog, Pie-Wagon, and Ham Planet. Always with hair pulled back very tightly in greasy buns, at least several tatts, and smoking ciggies. The male companions, if any, whether bf’s or husbands, are almost always the Jack Sprat types; wife informs me that they’re most likely strung out on what we used to call “speed,” or opiods. She further informs me that they beat their womyn and then the womyn get addicted to the painkillers/opiods, too. This is our white underclass up this way, most of them on some kind of State assistance, carried on in many cases, from their parents. So at least a couple of generations on the permanent dole.

    Never a problem, though, as Mr. Ray has documented in his neck of the woods, for them to have big-screen tee-vees, late-model vehicles, and be loading up on carriage-loads of groceries at the market while paying cash for beer and cartons of ciggies, and for the latter we’re talking beaucoups piastres. Also no problem procuring truck- and trunk-loads of fireworks, I guess.

    WRT to kiddie-emporium-restaurants, I recall that wife and I took the kids to one such down in the Rut-Vegas area many moons ago for our son’s b-day or something, and within fifteen minutes I would have cheerfully and with great enthusiasm slaughtered everyone in the place. Wife must have somehow picked up on this and we never again ventured forth to any of them joints. I have since largely conquered my episodes of insane and murderous rage. For the most part.

  61. DH wrote:

    “Why Oberlin?”

    Back in the early Seventies Oberlin integrated its dorms. Used to be seperate buildings for guys and gals. They not only integrated the buildings, they integrated the floors.

    Problem: There was only one bathroom per floor, so the guys and gals would be using cubicles next to each other, shaving, peeing and taking off their faces in front of each other. Gang Showers: As our host said guys and gals usually showered together in a shower room having no partitions. It was possible to restrict the shower room to guys only or gals only, but 95% of the time they didn’t bother. And there was no way a girl could have a shower without other girls being there too. Same for guys. Unless they went at 4 AM.

    I was pretty much gobsmacked when I first read this.

  62. My age cohort came of age just as AIDS was becoming known and being panicked over. Gee thanks, everyone older than me. You got birth control pills and cures for VD and all the free love you could handle. We got HIV and “if you have sex, it could kill you”. Thanks more than I can put into words.

  63. I’m the same. The early 80’s rocked, and the late 80’s began to really suck.

    And something similar with drugs. We went from dope you couldn’t smoke yourself to death on, coke you couldn’t afford enough of to hurt yourself, and only losers doing needle drugs- to crack cocaine, pot dusted with PCP and genetically enhanced levels of THC, and snorting mexican brown heroin, and a variety of injectables that would ruin your life damn quick. Not to mention pcp and meth.

    n

  64. Crybabies.

    OFD did everything there was, pretty much. Hardcore.

    But ya know what the real killer was, and almost did me in? Ya, you know.

    And that fummamucker has been true for several thousand years.

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