WolfesBlogArchives: November 2004
Monday, November 29, 2004
OH NO! I haven't been on line for several days, so the word just reached me from kind reader S.A. The release of Serenity the movie has been pushed back from April 22 to September 20. Strictly a marketing decision by the studio. Much gnashing of teeth and tearing of hair!
This is worse than all our water pipes and sewer valves freezing today here at the desert hermitage -- and record cold temperatures continuing for the rest of the week. Worse. Much worse.
Posted by Claire @ 05:57 PM CST [Link]
Monday, November 22, 2004
WHILE OTHER 17-YEAR-OLDS WERE PLAYING VIDEO GAMES after spending 7 or 8 hours a day in government education camps, 17-year-old -- unschooled -- Heather built her own cabin and while she was at it started restoring a 1975 van.
As Debra said when she e-mailed me these links, I'm feeling slightly inadequate right now. But nowhere near as inadequate as the government school system that actively works to keep kids from making accomplishments like these.
Posted by Claire @ 12:31 PM CST [Link]
I WAS GOING TO MENTION THAT MY LATEST PRINT ARTICLE, "The Most Valuable Commodity" (about the value of uninterrupted time, especially for people who want to be free) is now also online.
But I got carried away reading an accompanying article, "Hell No, We Won't Go! -- For this war either" by my Loompanics editor, Gia Cosindas. Damn, that woman can write. She makes a scary case for the Bushevik's secret plans to reinstitute a draft, then makes a strong defiant case for honorably refusing to serve the cause of empire.
Posted by Claire @ 12:20 PM CST [Link]
Sunday, November 21, 2004
WHAT A WONDERFUL REVIEW OF THE FREEDOM OUTLAW'S HANDBOOK. And from Liberty magazine, yet (which usually doesn't mention me)!
Thank you, Ragnar Danneskjold, for finding it. Thank you, Andy van Sonn for writing it.
Posted by Claire @ 02:24 PM CST [Link]
WELL. SO MUCH FOR MY HOPE OF BLOGGING MORE OFTEN. Been even more out of touch the last few days. If not for blogispondent Ian (and, indirectly, roving rifle range reporter Alton Speers -- thank you, guys) we'd have had one quiet week here at Wolfesblog.
I've been digging ditches. Long ones. Terrible long ones. Not fun ones, like a couple of weeks ago. And when I was out of the dirt, my Net connection wasn't available. Ah well.
I am, however, still making super progress on my part of the Great Mystery Project. We're about 2/3 of the way through now -- and in a couple of months, actual human beings -- including perhaps even you! -- will get to see teaser bits of it online. (The main project will be in print -- and CD and possibly DVD.) And I tell you, ignoring the enormous flood of bad-scary news that keeps pouring in might not make for the most dynamic, up-to-the-minute blogging. But damn, it makes for a good life.
Posted by Claire @ 01:38 PM CST [Link]
MY BRUSH WITH DEATH. Last night the carbon monoxide detector began to yammer just as the dogs and I were settling in for the evening. "You're all about to keel over dead-dead-dead-dead!" it screamed in its little electronic code.
Not a one of us felt like we were fixin' to die. Besides, we're currently bedded down in an old travel trailer so full of air leaks that carbon monoxide would have less chance here than an honest politician in Chicago.
But you know the warnings: clear, odorless gas, blah-blah, even if you don't smell anything, blah-blah. So out the door (with its one-inch air gap at the bottom) we trooped.
The bossy little doodad continued to insist we were on the point of tragic collapse even after I carried it out into the clear desert air and held it up to the stars. Bleat-bleat-bleat-bleat! Bleat-bleat-bleat-bleat! Is it really possible that the entire desert is thick with deadly, choking gasses??? Is the Hermitage under alien miasma attack? Are Mad Busheviks doing chemwar experiments in the wayback? Is a heretofore undetected underground volcano venting its deadly gasses through the sand?
It must be something of the kind. Because surely, a device mandated and approved by Our Glorious Federal Government wouldn't make a mistake about a matter of life or death. If a Device For Our Own Good says we're about to corpsify with our next breath, then it's our downright civic duty either to corpsify or run for safety.
Yet, what could I do, with both outside and inside air equally clotted with noxious, insidious, invisible death? If we were going to die outside we might as well die inside where it was warm and light. I yanked the detector's battery, laid the pieces down, went back inside, and returned to my gripping game of FreeCell.
For the next hour, I kept waiting for the clear, odorless, invisible effects to tragically overwhelm me. I felt perfectly clearheaded and alert. But then, what would I know? If I were being slowly poisoned by the very air I was breathing, might my gas-clouded, disoriented brain be too disoriented to recognize disorientation?
Weeks later, they find us. Foolish woman. Disconnected the battery and died in ignorance ...
It now appears I survived the night (as did all four "trailer canary" dogs). The pieces of the CO detector now rest next to the pieces of the smoke alarm (which warned of immanent death every time I boiled spaghetti water).
The reliability of these devices makes me so glad my truck is too old to have an airbag.
Posted by Claire @ 01:13 PM CST [Link]
SOME PEOPLE BELIEVE DUCT TAPE is the prime force that holds the universe together and keeps it from flying into chaos.
Others worship at the altar of WD-40. Without that elixir of life, they preach, everything in all the known galaxies would freeze up and grind to a rusty, creaking halt.
They're both right. And wrong. We who are too sophisticated for mono-elemental belief systems see a more complex picture of the universe. Clearly, the 'verse runs on four elements: duct tape, WD-40, JB Weld, and hose clamps. Give me a screwdriver big enough and an item to be fixed, and with these four elements, I (or rather, a competent handyperson) can make anything, from the dented-in roof of a trailer to a leaky toilet, perfected.
Even politicians (who, most of us believe can't be fixed by any known means) could be at least considerably improved by creative application of these four elements plus the aforesaid screwdriver.
Posted by Claire @ 01:00 PM CST [Link]
Friday, November 19, 2004
Blogispondent Ian here again. Thought I'd share a range report of an interesting product written by the TCF forum's own Alton Speers. The product is a replacement rifle front sight that uses a crosshair design rather than the usual post or bead. So without further ado, click 'more' to read his report... [more]
Posted by Ian @ 09:50 PM CST [Link]
Did anyone else celebrate National Ammo Day today? Blogispondent Ian here. The idea for a National Ammo Day comes from Kim du Toit - a day to celebrate gun rights by buying an extra 100 rounds of ammo. A buycott, as he puts it. If all 75 million gun owners participant, that's seven and a half BILLION rounds of ammo bought on a single day. Makes a pretty cool statement, don'tcha think?
And hey - if you didn't know about it or couldn't make it to the shop, don't worry. The crew around here ordered up a bit over 4000 rounds today, so we can cover for ya'. :)
Posted by Ian @ 09:34 PM CST [Link]
Sunday, November 14, 2004
IS YOUR LEXMARK PRINTER SPYING ON YOU? Unconfirmed so far, but it appears to be so.
Here's one of the original user reports: [more]
Posted by Claire @ 06:05 PM CST [Link]
THE NEW HARDYVILLE COLUMN should be live online by Monday morning. A departure from the usual (no politics, no subversion), this one will make you hungry for the foods of home.
Posted by Claire @ 05:30 PM CST [Link]
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
AND WE THOUGHT IT COULDN'T BE WORSE THAN ASHCROFT. Bush's new AG choice is Alberto Gonzalez, defender of torture and endless detention without counsel, criminal charges, or trial.
Forget the anointing with Crisco. Are there any exorcists in the house?
Posted by Claire @ 03:16 PM CST [Link]
Tuesday, November 9, 2004
ASHCROFT RESIGNS. Declares victory over crime and terrorism. Quote: "The objective of securing the safety of Americans from crime and terror has been achieved."
Yippee! I guess that means they can disband the Justice Department and the Department of Homeland Security now. And who'll need the Secret Service anymore? Bush can just walk around like a normal person. And does this mean ... no ninja raids at midnight for us ordinary folk from now on? Yeehaw!
Wow, now I feel so bad about dissing the Busheviks -- and for laughing at John Ashcroft for anointing himself with Crisco. Thank you, Mr. Ashcroft! Or should I say, thank you, O Holy Messiah? For could anyone else have achieved the total elimination of crime and terrorism for the first time in human history?
Now, I'm off to try that Crisco thing, since it seems to work so well ...
Posted by Claire @ 06:00 PM CST [Link]
Sunday, November 7, 2004
GULCHERS, TAKE NOTE! If you're interested in self-reliance, gulching, intentional communities, and networking with like-minded individuals, have I got a site for you.
Debra here, filling in for Claire.
They don't call it gulching, but it's damn close to what we've talked about. The site's called the AlphaRubicon and they make Mel Tappan look like a piker. Much more than the usual, "I gots me 3 SKS's and a bag o' gold" survivalists, these guys are the real McCoy.
First, the philosophy. [more]
Posted by Debra @ 01:31 PM CST [Link]
CHARLEY REESE: "A Storm is Coming." Bill St. Clair had this LewRockwell.com article linked from his blog yesterday, but it's so good I have to keep the word spreading. The most lucid analysis I've ever read of the difference between real wealth and mere money -- and why we're headed for trouble.
Posted by Claire @ 10:50 AM CST [Link]
THE ULTIMATE NIGERIAN SCAM LETTER, courtesy of Sandy Sandfort.
Posted by Claire @ 10:13 AM CST [Link]
Parishioners protest firing of pistol packing priestAngry parishioners chained shut a church in central Mexico on Friday in protest at the sacking of their priest, whose habit of tucking a gun under his robes has earned him fame and the nickname "Padre Pistolas." Hundreds of people from the town of Chucandiro demonstrated outside the cathedral in the city of Morelia after Catholic church leaders there defrocked their gunslinging priest, Alfredo Gallegos, local media reported. ... Gallegos is wildly popular with parishioners but has angered his Catholic superiors with his habit of wearing a shiny pistol beneath his robes, despite strict laws in Mexico banning private citizens from carrying guns."
From CNN News and Mary Lou Seymour's Second Amendment News Digest.
Posted by Claire @ 10:06 AM CST [Link]
Saturday, November 6, 2004
TODAY'S THE FIRST DAY I'VE HAD OPPORTUNITY just to sit down for an hour or two of mindless Netsurfing, here at the Desert Hermitage. Although back in the real world I spent hours a day Netting and newswatching, I find there are only three things I really miss: Bill St Clair's blog End the War on Freedom, Karen de Coster's blog, and having real serious time to spend at The Claire Files Forums.
Did get a chance to stop in today and read the strategizing for DullHawk's run for the presidency in 2008. Kent, my non-vote will definitely go to you.
Posted by Claire @ 10:44 AM CST [Link]
THE "CHIP" PROGRAM FOR KIDS.They provided fingerprints, DNA samples, teeth impressions, and videotaped interviews, but they weren't suspects in a police booking room.
The procedures were part of a Dedham program to create identification kits to help police in the event a child is missing.
(I won't mention it to my tinfoil hat friends, but the Freemasons are behind the whole thing.)
Posted by Claire @ 10:10 AM CST [Link]
Thursday, November 4, 2004
OOPS, I JUSTABOUT FORGOT. The new Backwoods Home Hardyville column is up! Thanks to one of our recent visitors at the Desert Hermitage, this one is about finding stuff for fun with geocaching.
Hey, Lightning, thank you for the reminder (and the posting at TCF).
Posted by Claire @ 07:54 PM CST [Link]
ADVENTURES IN INFRASTRUCTURE. We have power out here at the Desert Hermitage, thanks to the investment of time, money, and cleverness by my fellow hermits.
This is a Very Good Thing. While I can wax as nostalgic as anybody while browsing the Lehman's Non-Electric Catalog, in reality my idea of primitive living is being compelled to use a low-wattage microwave oven.
Power out here is not always present, though. Even when it is, you do things like unplug that low-wattage nuke when it's not in use, just to keep the little green LED from drawing its tiny bit of juice out of the system.
One of the things we're learning, now that it's November, is that cold weather and frost suck electricity out of a makeshift power system more than about a zillion of those little nuke timer lights. Live and learn. Even if your off-grid system is temporary, use the most heavy duty wire, lay the lines inside conduit, and don't coil up that extra bit of extension cord. (Apparently extra cord, especially coiled, is a Very Bad Thing.)
Compared to pioneer ancestors, we're still living in luxury, I know. In the worst case short of SHTF time - power failure coupled with the failure of our propane heaters and cookers on a 20-degree night - all we'd have to do is pile into a Jeep and check ourselves into a motel in some nearby town to get warm, cozy, and well-fed. Still, when it's below freezing - which it is most nights now - and there's no grid to rely on, no flip-a-switch-and-it's-there heat, light, and cook-power, you're really surprisingly aware of how vulnerable human beings are. It's easy to dis "civilization" when you're sitting in the middle of it. But out here, you understand why our grannies and great granpas rushed to embrace its benefits.
Eventually the Hermitage will have more sophisticated (and hopefully reliable) off-grid "infrastructure." With backups (oh, I love backups). But there's still something very different about knowing that you, and you alone (with the dubious help of nature and the machinery and fuel of your choice), are responsible for providing everything that makes civilization civilized.
This morning just before dawn one of my propane bottles died and the heat went out. Getting warm again took half an hour or less of fiddling. Conditions weren't particularly grim - no snow, no rain, no wind. But fumbling around in the chilly pre-dawn reminded me of how vulnerable, how scary, it can be for human beings to take care of themselves.
Yeah, I know. I'm a wuss. Tell me about it. This is hardly the same as venturing into the wilderness with nothing but a knife and a few strips of jerky. But it's both nervous-making and a thrill to live with makeshift "infrastructure" as winter approaches. Every day is a reminder that the simple life is anything but simple.
Posted by Claire @ 07:44 PM CST [Link]
Wednesday, November 3, 2004
FROM THE HYSTERICAL KNEE-SLAPPING DEPARTMENT: The International Association of Privacy Professionals has just announced its annual awards for the greatest privacy innovators. In the category of governments or non-profits the winnah is: The United States Postal Service. Among corporations, the great privacy hero is: Microsoft.
No, don't clean your glasses. You read that right.
Next year: John Ashcroft honored for his heroism in the cause of civil liberties and George W. Bush given the Nobel Peace Prize.
Posted by Claire @ 06:52 PM CST [Link]
A MANDATE. I hear that's what Cheney called yesterday's vote. A mandate for more Patriot Acts? For more mid-east slaughter? For more Project Safe Neighborhoods-type prosecutions?
Ugh. Now, there's a scary thing. And to think, the damn Democrats could have had this one if they'd fielded Anybody-But-Kerry. But even Eminem's last-minute mosh-the-vote video (nice try, pal) couldn't rouse anybody to get excited about that dude.
I roamed around the Desert Hermitage yesterday and today, dimly wondering how the vote was going, had gone. We have no radio here, no TV, and only part-time Internet, so I had no way of knowing who won the election or how it was going until somebody brought the news this evening.
My old political-junky instincts kept trying to push to the surface, kept trying to get me to care. I finally dimly decided that I'd rather have Bush than Kerry for president, if only because Bush isn't inclined to pass too many new Clinton-style gun laws. Even if it might mean four more years of Demonic Ashcroft, greasing himself with Crisco before he shafts us. But Bush and a solid majority in both houses of Congress ...? Erk.
Worse, as one of my tin-foil-hat friends pointed out, this result paves the way for Hillary in 2008. Paves? Hell, it damn near strews rose petals in her path.
If you have the ear of any gods, pray to them for mercy. Then I strongly suggest you get yourself a gulch somewhere, retreat, and hang on to what liberty you can.
(Oh yeah. You might also buy yourself and some of those Bush voters a copy of The Freedom Outlaws Handbook. I fear we're all gonna need it. Or get those Bush voters a copy of The State vs. the People so they'll understand what kind of government they really voted for.)
Posted by Claire @ 06:36 PM CST [Link]
Monday, November 1, 2004
NOW I KNOW WHY THEY CALL IT ROCK & ROLL!!!!! And trust me, I'm not talking about music! The Desert Hermitage had another visitor this weekend (yes, very busy hermitage, I know). This visitor -- a high-energy fella who goes by the handle UnReconstructed -- brought a Mac-10 machine gun. AND 600 rounds of ammo.
Whoohoo! Were we a bunch of happy hermits.
The Mac-10 was fully tricked out with a rifle stock, extended barrel, nice compensator, and Russian-made holosights. Very hot -- literally very hot after we each put 100 rounds or so through it. Nobody but UnReconstructed himself had ever shot a machine gun before. (Well, technically I did, once, many years ago. But that was a badly homemade job and I fired only a couple of rounds out of it, fearful it was going to blow up in my hands. This was a gunsmith's gun -- very smooth.) He had "slowed it down" so it fired about 800 rounds per minute, instead of the 1200 per minute the Mac is designed to do. (I think 800 is plenty ...)
First, each of us shot a 30-round magazine, squeezing three- or four-round bursts out of the trigger to accustom ourselves to the feel of the gun. Then, under UnReconstructed's supervision, we all took a turn holding down that trigger and letting 30 rounds go out as fast as they would go.
Yowee, is that ever a hoot! At first, the force of the 30 rounds of .45 ACP blasting out of the gun in seconds pushed us off balance, even when we braced ourselves as UnReconstructed taught us. We'd get halfway through the magazine, stagger backward or sideways, and laugh at the sheer staggering (but damn, what fun!) power of the weapon in our hands. Then UnReconstructed showed us how to lean into the gun. Pretty soon, we were looking like real machine gunners, thrusting our upper bodies forward as the gun tried to push us back, standing firm, looking like nothing in the world could stop us.
Alas, that was about the time we ran out of ammo. And that did stop us. :-(
It was a great visit -- even the non-shooting parts of it. UnReconstructed turns out to be another Net acquaintance who's just as warm, smart, and decent in person as he appears from his e-mails and forum posts. We had a wonderful weekend. I feel truly blessed to be here in this place and to have such extraordinary friends. You come back soon, too, UnReconstructed. And bring your kind and surprising wife.
But ... er, now it's time to get back to work again. Oh damn.
I'm hoping to blog a little more from here out. My Net access remains unpredictable. But now with the cold weather arriving (this being high desert, not the Phoenix or Tucson type), I should be hunkering down and spending more time cuddled up to my computer.
I've missed blogging and missed the family at the Claire Files forums. But I'm still not missing all the news I'm missing. Not one bit. Who cares who wins the damned election?
"It's still rock & roll to me." :-)
Posted by Claire @ 12:31 PM CST [Link]
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