Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Preppers....Whadda ya know?

So I'm perusing the blogroll the other day, catching up on some posts by folks I enjoy, and stumble on one of Matt's posts. I can't seem to find it now, but I'm not looking that hard at the moment :p Anyway, he linked, I think, to an older post of his, where he mentioned prepping, and linked to a site called Alpha Disaster Contingencies. So I started poking around there.

Matt had mentioned that these guys were actual Preppers, and not fringe extremists, hoping for society to fail so that they could propel themselves to dominance in a Lord of the Flies kinda scene. Even with that endorsement, I went into it pretty skeptical, cause it seems there are always some wierdos that slip through.

I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised. These guys seem pretty tight. I'm not saying that there aren't a few things that seem a little 'out there' to me, but nothing to make you want to back up and try to slip out un-noticed.

It actually got me thinking about my own situation. I don't claim to be a prepper by any means, and our worst disasters here usually revolve around power outages during ice storms. We had an outage a few years back that lasted a week, and while we were inconvenienced, the only thing we really missed was being able to take regular showers. So I was feeling pretty good about how I might stack up.


These folks, from what little I've seen, really have it together. They got a good grip on everything, including who gets access to the majority of their methods and information. They apparently go through everything they do with a fine tooth comb, test it to make sure it works, then submit it to everyone else who does their own eval of it, before it gets boiled down to be considered a 'proven' method or technique, or item.

The only downside I see to it, and that's a downside for me, not for them, is that they're very selective about who they allow in to share in their wealth of knowledge. You have to be able to commit to active participation and contribution to even be considered for the probationary evaluation status.

At this point, between work, the kids, work, home repair issues, work, etc., I am unwilling, or just unable, to make the commitment required to get involved. Maybe later on down the road it will be something to look at. Heck, I've already got The Wife on board with stocking up canned goods, and even trying out pressure canning some things.

What I'd really love to do is sit down with one of these guys, and chew the fat for an hour two. There's gotta be a lot of great stories mixed up in all that prepping. Speaking of which, from what I read, there seem to be a number of them located right here in Upstate Carolina. If anyone knows one of them, and would be willing to make an introduction, e-mail me at GreycatSR5_AT_gmail_DOT_com. I'll buy the first round for a sit down at one of our local establishments, just for the chance to talk with one of these guys for a while.

OK, I'm off to see what else I may have missed perusing in the blogroll.

Take care all,


Monday, August 23, 2010

Did you ever wonder....

Have you ever wondered what you look like to other people?

I asked myself this the other day because of some interactions I had with people recently released to Probation. One thing I do like about our agency, is unlike other agencies who refer to these people as 'clients', we call a spade a spade, and refer to them as offenders. Mainly because that's what they are, criminal offenders who have broken the law. Apparently, some of them don't know that we know that.

I met one female offender the other day, who obviously thinks I look like Cletus, from the Simpsons.

Image shamelessly stolen from the website, that stole it from the website, that stole it from the website, that stole it from The Simpsons.

Just lift up those bangs to show the scars from the frontal lobotomy, and I guess you'd have a picture of what this woman saw me as.

Generally, when I'm processing someone, I ignore most of what they're saying to try and explain why they are on Probation. It's almost always a misunderstanding, or someone else's fault, they just happened to be the one charged, and pled it out just to "get it over with".

On a side note, I've never understood how committing yourself to seeing me for the next few years, with the threat of years in prison hanging over your head if you screw up, gets anything "over with", but I digress.

For whatever reason, the things she was saying just got on my nerves, so I started listening to her. She was going on about how she'd never been in trouble before, how she'd just fallen in with a bad crowd, etc, etc. Then she started squeezing out some tears, for pity I guess. That was the last straw.

I said "really?", and flipped open her file. So, you're on probation for crime X, hunh? Looks like you were first arrested and convicted of crime X in 1997, again in 1999, and again in 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, and this final time in 2009, where you were busted for committing crime X a number of times, over 4 different states. That's why you're actually on Probation for crime X-a. That little -a means "Enhancement for 3rd or subsequent offense", which why you're on probation for three years, for what is normally a 30 day charge. Because you keep getting caught for the same crap, you now have to deal with me for the next three years, and if you screw it up, you're facing seven long years down the road.

At this point, the tears were real. Of course, even sobs don't cut it when you just lied to my face, and I had to call out your life story. Sobbing and saying how this is the turning point in your life, and you'll be on the straight and narrow is also a wash. See those little sticks in the cup of your urine there, those tell me you've been doing three different prescription drugs in the two days since you've been out.

What, no viable prescriptions in your name? I didn't think so. That little screw up just cost you $500 worth of substance abuse counseling. Sign at the X, be back here Monday, and if you're dirty again, we'll ditch the classes, and you can explain it to the judge.

Just a tip, you might get away with the "I've never been in trouble before" coupled with a squeeze of the cleavage routine with some rookie still filled with idealism. However, pulling that crap with the graybeard holding your thirty page rap sheet, is just stupid, and digging yourself deeper before you even get started.


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deer Hunting

Went out to some family property in the lower part of the state today to do some scouting for deer season. It's only 50 acres, and mostly a big field from it's time as a grass strip runway for small planes, but oh my, it looks promising!

I knew about the blackberry patch at what had been one end of the runway, and thought that would be promising. I'd forgotten about the old Scupernon vine that had been planted so long ago though. Apparently, a decade or so of neglect just causes them to go crazy. It's huge, heavy with fruit, and about 8 feet away from a veritable deer highway, judging from the tracks.

In addition, wild Muscadine, and honeysuckle are everywhere. Plus, we found two different spots with wild Persimmon trees coming on strong, also heavy with fruit, as yet unripe.

Deer trails are everywhere, with one being so well used it has made about a 3 inch deep rut on the ground.

Prospects look very good there, and I hope to put several deer in the freezer this year.

I'll probably be hunting mostly with a shotgun, my Mossberg 500 pump. Anyone have a favorite load for buckshot, and choke recommendation? I've got a few Winchester and Remington 2 3/4 shells, and a handful of Federal 3 inchers, all in 00 buck. However, as I've never hunted deer with a shotgun, I am open to suggestions.


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Saturday, August 21, 2010


Trying out a new recipe. It's supposed to approximate a rustic European style bread. Got the recipe from a book by a guy named Jim Lahey. It's a " no knead " method. Basically, you mix the ingredients together and leave it sticky. Instead of kneading it, and letting it rise for an hour or two, you just let it proof for twelve to eighteen hours. Then a minor shaping and dusting with meal before letting it rise for another two hours. Finally, it goes into a pre-heated Dutch oven, in a hot oven with the lid on for thirty minutes. Then take off the lid and let it get some good color. Another fifteen minutes or so.

That's all there is to it. The long fermentation is supposed to impart a good flavor to the bread. I'll let you know what the critics think.

Other than dumping a mix into a bread machine, this has been about the easiest bread I've ever made. Including the initial mix, the after proof shaping and dusting, putting it into the pot, and pulling it out, I had less than thirty minutes of hands on tine, start to finish. I had to plan it out ahead of time, but it's almost too easy for bread to come out that well on the first try.

Hope you're enjoying your own culinary experiences.


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So I saw all of the squee over Blogpress. I realized I wasn't posting much because even though I have good ideas, between work and the kids, I have trouble finding time to write. Poor time management skills I guess :p

Anyway, thought I'd give this a try, as I can jot down things as they come up, and post from anywhere, not just my broken down dial-up computer at home.

So, this is the very first app I've ever paid for, can you guess those Scottish roots, we'll see if it was worth it :)

Take care all, hope to get to regular posting soon!


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