practice makes perfect

While the DH just bought an electric powered Traeger pellet smoker, I’m still working with my “alternatives”.  And just ordered a 400w Goal Zero so I have a portable unit for keeping my Trike charged on the road, and for other portable needs.

Earlier this year we had to change the bib on our 1100 gallon water tank as it was leaking badly.  The bib on the 1000 gallon tank is leaking as is the bib on the 350 gallon tank.  Now, we see one leg on the 650 gallon horizontal leg tank is buckling and cracking as the earth has shifted under it.  So this morning we are emptying it with deep garden watering and the rest will be pumped into one of the other tanks.

and that leads back to the Yeti 400.  Right now, we have no rain.  Have only had two rains this year so far; the first one filled the tanks, the second one added about 100 gallons to them, but they were already 1/2 empty by then.  So what would we do if we had to refill the tanks?  Ride down to the creek, fill up bottles and bring them home and transfer them.  the yeti 400 will allow me to use a pump leaving the bottles in the back of the Trike (or car if we have fuel) and transfer that water into the tanks rather than having to lift and haul.  Still a lot of trips to fill 3000 gallons of tank!!

Of course, SHasn’tHTF, and we can just turn on the house hose bib.

PLUS, the Trike has an electrical problem and I’m discovering that I can barely peddle myself up a hill, much less the Trike with a load!!

While out on the Trike yesterday (practicing going up hill on human power alone), stopped at a garage sale and picked up a new Coleman two burner stove, with 2 medium (about quart sized) gas cans for $20.  We already have a couple of older ones, this will go into my Westy – if we ever get it back on the road.  That is going to be set up as a bug out vehicle. With forest fires raging around us, am constantly reminded how necessary that may be one day and not every place will take the dog . . .nor does she want to be just any place; she is a barker!

but before I put it away, want to make sure I know how to use it. Its been years since I’ve done so.

cause practice makes perfect.

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another goal zero

Know there are all kinds of opinions about alternate power sources, and I’m not going to get into that conversation other than to say have considered my capabilities and have gone with the Goal Zero.

Not too long ago bought their Yeti 1000 Lithium at Costco – where it is just $999.99 vs the $1250 Goal Zero sells it for.

Meanwhile, my old Goal Zero with the lead acid battery, the battery had died. Gave it to a friend, who only has to replace the battery, which gives him a short term power option for his very limited needs.

Keep the Yeti1000 in a cooler to help keep its temperature moderated, cause I’m not too keen about having the big lithium battery in the house.

And have been thinking of getting another and had been debating between another 400, or just going for another 1000.  Then thought about replacing the 400 with the lead acid one, as it can be chained, unlike the Lithium.  And then there is the question of disposal of Lithium batteries . . .

So, Goal Zero has “open box” items discounted.  new items but not in the original packing; like used for displays at shows, etc.   Had been looking for the Yeti400 in the open box (almost 1/2 the full retail!) but they didn’t have any.

So today, bit the bullet and bought a yeti 1250, lead acid, open box for less than $1000.  Heavy thing, comes with a roller cart.  Went with the lead acid because it is chainable, which means I can increase the total power by just adding in a battery of the appropriate strength – or two!  The max draw remains the same, the ohms and amp remain the same, but the total wattage is increased.

Sometimes it seems like a total waste to spend so much money on this stuff, but then again, if you start adding up the money you spent on water storage, food stocks, etc. it comes to a lot of money, doesn’t it?  and actually, I’m hoping to start switching over some of the household electric needs to these goal zero’s before we get to a “have to” situation!!

concerned

was never a conspiracy theorist until 9/11/2001.  And to this day, find it inconceivable that our supposed excellent intelligence system missed that event!  and either that’s true, in which case, our country is far from being as safe as we all hope we are.  OR  they allowed it to happen so “they” could begin to clamp down on civil liberties.

and with what has been happening since, the latter is looking more and more like the reality.

Having been a stupid, know it all, liberal anti-war protestor in the 60’s, I have room in my thinking to give the kids protesting today some slack.  Like us, they find themselves in a situation that they have no control of, and which no one seems to give a damn.

What I don’t understand, is the total support of media with unfactual information.  Am not going to say Fake News, but will say highly edited presentation of stories.  Like, Columbine will be brought up as an example of an AR being used in a school shooting – but not the fact that it happened during a ban on the guns!  Nor will instances of an armed person stopping a shooting from becoming a massacre.  Or the lack of reporting on a shooting involving a basic 10-22 rifle, used by a young man to kill his mother and friend because he wanted to see what it was like to kill someone!  The NRA is criticized, even condemned, but no one deems it necessary to point out that the NRA is the one that lobbied FOR the current background check system. but that the military and local municipalities are the ones failing to report people into it!

and so I’m left with the feeling, that once again, things are being manipulated to give the government more power over us, and the people less civil rights.  In this case, to truly try to disarm the populace.

I certainly do not NEED to own a gun.  I’m not using it in my work.  I’m not using it as part of my livelihood.  I don’t live in a crime ridden area.  Its not how I put food on the table.

But I lock my doors, have a smoke detector, an alarm system, a fire extinguisher, insurance, carry a spare tire.  Not because I intend to use them, but JUST IN CASE I ever need them.  My neighborhood would be considered upper middle class with a few homes being only part time residents.  We’re private.  and we’ve had break ins.  More than a couple.  We have coyotes, bobcats, and rabies in our wild animal population.  We’ve had mountain lions move through regularly on their way to water, and we’ve had bears foraging in the back yard.  We have homeless people camping in the forest regularly.  And the police, unless we are very lucky, are at least 20 minutes away and we no longer have an animal control officer.

So, while I don’t need a gun, I carry one, JUST IN CASE.  And I don’t think its appropriate for someone who lives in the urban environment, who has never been robbed, attacked, or otherwise threatened (over my almost 70 years have been more than once), tell me what I need to be safe.  And until they can answer the question as to how my giving up my right to security and safety is going to keep someone else from breaking the law, in such a way as to demonstrate its necessity, I’m going to argue against this direction of society.

unexpected consequences

Yesterday fell off my Trike.  and it hurt!

Bought my Trike for several reasons, but one of them was because we live a little more than a mile UPHILL from a year round creek, which would be our only water source when the storage tanks run out, SHTF.  and our 3000 gallons of water storage would only last about a month of garden watering alone if there’s no rain.  Humping gallons of water from the tank would not be fun, but hauling a few gallons at a time with a vehicle would make it all so much easier.

Hence, the Trike.

So yesterday went over that way to see how steep that hill really is and can I get up it with a loaded Trike!

and the short answer is NO

As mentioned in another post gained 25 lbs last year and that puts me close to the max weight allowance for the Trike.  and I don’t have the leg power to assist the motor.  Ended up running backwards, one wheel went off the pavement, swung the bike across the slope and there was no place to go but tip over!

And when I hit the ground, my gun, which is in a belly band off to the side for cross draw, slammed into my arm with all my body weight.  It took me awhile to realize why my arm hurt so much as I don’t think about the gun in that way.

Being 68, am really lucky that I was able to pick the trike up, put the chain back on it, and pedal home, instead of ending up in the hospital with broken bones.  Seem to have just sprained my forearm.  Although last night was wondering if I didn’t need the ER!

So besides having to lose weight, have to get stronger leg muscles, and keep doing those exercises that keep my bones strong!

Which is why prepping is about our health and strength as much as it is about canned goods, dried rice, and water!!

its that time again

Another school shooting and the hue and cry for more gun laws.  Lets not deal with the whys, just the how.  This is not to demean the horror of a school shooting, but it is about not making us all guilty because of a few.  I keep hearing how we shouldn’t judge all undocumented aliens by the actions of a few, but those same people DO judge all gun owners by the actions of a few.

and with a conservative pro gun president in office, it is likely that we won’t see any action on this subject on the large stage.  BUT we will see it on the State Level.

Almost every state now has a local organization that works on the State level as the NRA works on the national level.  And these groups need all our support, even if it is just as a voice to remind our state representatives how we feel.  Bloomberg is throwing money around, offering support to local elected officials who push his agenda.  Last year they were offering $15M towards election campaigns of people who got gun regulations through here in AZ.

This year, as the legislation session begins, we already have one proposal on the floor for making all gun transfers through an FFL (no more buying your kid a 10-22 to get them started), AND making mental competency a requirement.  Who and how that is to be determined remains to be seen (and again, am not FOR people who can’t control themselves being armed), but his first step is if you’ve bought a gun within the last 6 months!  Buying multiple guns is a sign of mental incompetence!!!???!!!  A lot of us would have to be carted off to the loony bin then!  BUT to enforce that, it means keeping records of who is buying what.  IE, gun registration of some sort.

The NRA is not getting involved at this level, nor is the Second Amendment foundation.   This is strictly a grass roots type action.

Our state has been bleeding red for the last 6 years or so.  We’ve gone from private funding of a border fence, to municipalities talking of black listing construction companies from city bids that take part in building the wall!  From having our governor go head to head with the President over SB 1040, a state law regarding deporting illegal immigrants to sanctuary cities.

On a personal note, I see all our amendment rights being eroded at a dangerous speed.  The second amendment is about physical property so it becomes a rallying point and is obvious.  But we have already reached a point where freedom of speech is being shouted down and banned, depending on who you are and what you want to say.  Where religion and national pride are derided.  There is a natural evolution that we cannot, nor should not, stop.  But there are limits that we need to define, not just as a nation, but as our own personal borders.

The last couple of years has seen my person borders get firmer, while limiting who I let cross those borders.  probably, many of you have seen the same.

does this gun make me look fat?

Despite big talk and bigger expectations, managed to gain 25 lbs last year.  This had an adverse effect on my life from general health, to how I could (or could not) work the garden, and how I carried my gun.  Over the same period became very dissatisfied with using the carry purse.  As nice as it is, its just not on body.  The Can-Can product, the Big Shebang is still my favorite belly band style holster system.  But wearing it around my hips wasn’t working because every time I sat down or bent over, it would ride up in the back.  Since it is the stretch of the elastic that holds the gun securely, that meant constant fussing.

fatgun1Then I found one could wear it around the waist.  Its not the most convenient position for a fast draw, but it is on body, secure and this works with jeans (which I don’t really wear), yoga pants or skirts.  For the rare dress occasion will use the purse.

fatgun2it could be snugger – you can see how it sags, but for at home comfort, this is fine.  Do have another row of eyes to go and when I’m out and about that’s how snug I wear it to be sure the gun is secure.  Remember also, this is a full 4″ revolver – a BIG and HEAVY gun.

attrition

If you’ve ever wondered how gun sales stay so high, where and how do all those guns go, let me explain attrition.

20+ years ago my DH bought me my first .22 pistol to get me started (and what a monster he created!).  A few months later, that was traded in for a used S&W 59 9mm and a new Springfield .45.  the 9mm got old, springs wore, parts got loose and when it came time for getting my CCW, bought a new Ruger P95.  Also picked up a Ruger LCR for concealed carry.  lost the P95 (don’t ask) and replaced it with a Ruger 1911.  Along the way had also fallen in love with an older S&W Model 19 (.357) with 6″ barrel and the Ruger GP100 with 4″ barrel.

So fast forward to today:

the S&W 59 is worn out and not a reliable gun anymore.  Won’t even hold the magazine securely and parts are not available.  Is it worth going to the gunsmith and paying the $$ for custom work? don’t think so

The Springfield .45 was sold a few years ago to a friend, who has since died, and the gun ????

Lost the P95 (still, don’t ask)

sold the 1911 to our nephew

The friend who had bought the Springfield was shooting the model 19 and not paying attention that he had a misfire and a bullet had gotten stuck in the muzzle. He kept shooting until he split the barrel.

and a week ago, this happenedwednesday3

SO, out of 7 gun purchases, I’m down to the Ruger GP100.  Good thing I like that gun!!!

And that’s where and how people keep buying guns.