Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Big Dig

Am stalling on manning up and cutting a path to the road...still snowing, but not the 1-3 inches an hour it has been for the last 24 hours....agree with commmenters: Global Warming is a Bitch! Power lasted until yesterday evening, the flickered and went out again...still out. I got up, made cowboy coffee and ministered to the needs of the zoo.

The key to staying up here in any kind of sane manner is non-grid-dependent heat. Since my furnace is on propane and I keep a lot of it in the tank (3 months supply), I have a propane-fired soapstone stove...expensive, and worth every penny. It is incredibly efficient and will actually keep the bottom floor of my house at 60 degrees @ 0 zero outside temp...of course the house is super-insulated and reinformed by an extra layer of sheathing facing the prevailing west winds. On days like this, with the outside temp running around freezing, I just run the stove occasionally.  I didn't run it at all last night, and the house only lost 10 degrees in 12 hours. The stove is also fitted with a grill on top, and it's easy to cook on.

Entertainment comes from the iPod with battery-powered speakers or my excellent Sony SW7600 receiver. Thanks for the connection on beeswax candles...I'm been meaning to buy a bunch to replace my wax candles, which are getting a bit tatty. More intense light comes from Coleman LED latterns, with kerosene latterns as a backup. I blow hot and cold on adding a generator...I'll be moving the Secret Hidden Bunker in a couple of years to some property we bought with an eye to an off-grid set-up that would include a propane generator as the backup...I don't like storing gasoline at all, and I really haven't fiddled with diesel. 

What irritates me the most is that the little town I live in is one of the few places in Colorado without cell service, so no 3G Internet hook-up. This is largely because of an unholy collection of aging hippies who are afraid aliens are tapping into their Grateful Dead cassette collection through cell phones and busybody stay-at-home women with indeterminate professions ("I, uh, photograph my cats, dabble in astrology, have done a bit of massage and psychotherapy and write a column on peace for the local shopper..." you know the type) with a relentless commitment to "the environment." Most recently, a cell tower supported by the local cops, the firefighters, all the first responders, the town's businesspeople and everyone else an above-room-temperature IQ was voted down because the fruit and nut basket that passes for a town council agreed that the tower would "spoil the view." The tower was going to be attached to a sewage treatment plant, which looks uncannily like a, well, sewage treatment plant. I can't quite craft a sentence that includes "beautiful views" and "bubbling crap" in close proximity. But, hey, that's just me...

Am trying to keep up on the gun amazed at the tenacity of the Mexican connection that keeps getting debunked and pops back up like a turd roiling around a treatment pant. Here's a link to the most recent LA Times blog story...if I try to cut and paste on this dial up connection, I'll be here until the snow melts. Here's a second link to the study they're referencing. 

I haven't seen anyone address the addition issue of what "originating in the United States" actually means...for example, if the guns came from the U.S. directly to the Mexican military, such as it is, and went to the cartels when the 150,000 or so soldiers deserted or sold off military hardware to the cartel, does that count as firearms "originating in the United States?" Secondly, guns that were made here have been floating around Central America for more than a century. We've provided guns to various and sundry governments, dictators and wannabes, a wicked assortment of rebel groups and a generous collection of people and groups we perceived to be our surrogates south of the border. Do those count as "originating in America?" If a gunrunner ponies up a shipment of M4s that fell off a truck in Iraq, is shipped via Syria to Paraguay, then carted to the open arms markets in Honduras and sold to the cartels, do those guns count as "originating in America?" 

Do the "no trace" American arms our government provided to El Salvador count? Hell, if the Cubans sell the Mexican cartels a selection of battlefield pick-ups dating from when we remembered the Maine or from the stockpiles their former partners in socialism, the Russians, delivered during the Cold War, are those guns lumped into the "originating in America" pile?

Inquiring minds want to know! Okay, it's SHOVEL TIME!


nj_larry said...

Just two words...."Donner Party".


Hazcat said...

MB, even the smaller gens (like my 15 kw) can run on propane. They make a retrofit kit for the carburetors.

Good questions about "American guns', of course we will never get an answer.

Anonymous said...

If you didn't like the political power structure (aging hippies) in the town why did you move there? I sure as hell ain't gonna pack up and move to San Fransico, ya know?

Rastus said...

More energy cheaper in diesel than in the propane. I know you'll check the consumption figures for yourself.

EMP---propane would probably require an ignition system...diesel does not if you get the right equipment. Put the generator in a metal shed and ground the generator feeds until needed.

Slow speed diesel, like the ever dependable Lister cold start. These things are highly dependable, run like forever if you change the oil and don't have electronic ignitions.

Anonymous said...

All of your examples plus any more they can, no matter how far fetched they are, dream up. Did Caulderon or whatever his name is start this at the urging of the userper's admin. or is it his idea to get the US to take the blame for his problems, fix them and pile money we don't have into his pockets. Like Frank James said on his blog - caulderon can KISS MY A**!!!!!!!!!! hte mushroom

Anonymous said...

Mmmmm- parrot, tastes like chicken. the mushroom

Anonymous said...

We bought property in Ohio, NE of Columbus; my wife wants to move "back East" in a few years - and every guy says, "Yes, dear", even when he doesn't mean it. As she'll make it past 100 [if I get to 70, you're all invited to the party], I had a 16kw generator installed. It runs directly off the gas line coming into the house. We're on a strange loop of the local electrical system, and the power's always been a problem in that corner of town. Meanwhile, it seems she had our large snow blower shipped out in the latest truckload, after I'd bought a small unit there. So I'm sitting SE of Denver with about a foot of "cement" snow, and both 'throwers are in Ohio. OldeForce

CJS3 said...

I think you'll find that "originating in America" apllies to any and all firearms and weapons possesed by the Cartels. At least until OH Bama can enact more "common sense" gun control measures.

In the mean time, I'm getting more guns.

clark said...

Speaking of big digs
Front Range Shooting Sports Partners (FRSSP)
The FRSSP is hosting a shooting sports clean-up day at Pawnee National Grassland: Coal Allotment, and at the South Rampart Shooting Range. Heavy use of these facilities requires they be cleaned up on a regular basis; we need your help!

Anonymous said...

regarding cel phone towers: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

I met a guy who rented out space on his store roof to a cel phone company for a small tower. He made a few bucks, and had no responsibility for upkeep. He bought the property specifically for that reason (it was on a hill) then approached the cel phone company.