Firearms Purchases During Covid-19

Lots of articles have been written discussing the huge surge of firearms sales during the Covid-19 event. Many of the purchasers are brand new gun owners and OMG! Liberals!

Welcome newcomers to liberty and self-reliance. You will find many very friendly and helpful folks on this side of the aisle ready to get you up and running SAFELY. Just ask!

For those unfortunates still trapped in the Police States of the USA of A, some options you may not have considered. Replicas of historical percussion revolvers that cannot be loaded with cartridge ammunition fall into the “antiques” definition of the Gun Control Act of 1968 making them exempt from the normal Federal laws regarding firearms. This allows these guns to be purchased through the mail without licenses, registration, and all of that hoplophobic clap-trap foisted upon folks by useless control freaks with delusions of relevance.

SOME AREAS HAVE SPECIFIC LAWS THAT SPECIFICALLY RESTRICT ANTIQUE ARMS, SO CHECK YOUR LOCAL LAWS.  

The percussion revolver was patented by Samuel Colt in 1835. It was the handgun that saw the end of the western frontier, served through the War of Northern Aggression, and guarded my home for over two years after a messy divorce left my gun collection in the ex-wife’s closet and my bank account drained.

My handgun of choice at the time was a replica of the 1858 Remington New Army revolver in .44 caliber manufactured by Pietta. I was never concerned that pistol would let me down in a tight spot.

Here’s some helpful reading on the topic:

Black Powder Revolvers for Home & Self Defense from Truth About Guns

The Handbook of Modern Percussion Revolvers – Kindle Edition

Percussion Revolver Sellers

Buffalo Arms.com

MidwayUSA.com

Personal Note: I do not think much of conversion cylinders that allow cartridges to be fired through percussion revolvers. I have experimented with them, and consider them too  dangerous for use due to potential for a firing pin to be struck while inserting the cylinder in the frame of the gun. I consider this to fall into the same risk bucket as trying to speed load a percussion revolver by swapping out a loaded and capped conventional cylinder. Yes, it can be done safely, but it has an unreasonable level of accident potential.

Besides, for the money I would spend on the conversion cylinder, I could have a second pistol, and I can bring that backup pistol into play much faster than I can reload a modern Glock.

Read More here: Safety with Antique Arms

Preppers PLAN…

…because panic buying at the moment of disaster is short-sighted and usually WRONG!

COSTCO is refusing to allow TP hoarders to rollback their purchases.

Read and learn from those who have been there and done that.

Selco lived through the Bosnian conflict.

Fernando lived through the collapse of Argentina’s economy.

Once you have an idea of the kinds of things you are preparing to face, find out how to go about it.

J. W. Rawles is a wealth of info and a pretty good novelist

Dolly Freed wrote “Possum Living” back in the ’70s.

Backwoods Home is an old publication, but still quite valid.

If you really want to go old school while sill living in a house, try the Foxfire series of books.

John & Geri McPherson have two excellent books on the topic of aboriginal living.

The Hersperian Foundation offers great books on austere medicine

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0967877776/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_hsch_vapi_taft_p1_i0

Finally decide what you want to plan for by making a list of the potential threat events and work from the Most Likely to Least Likely to occur.  Identify the equipment and TRAINING you will need to face each one, and then create a budget to obtain the TRAINING and equipment.

Once you have the plan, follow through.

ALWAYS START WITH THE TRAINING. In every disaster you have to be prepared to be naked and alone. Equipment can always  be lost, but knowledge cannot, unless you fail to keep learning and practicing what you have learned.

https://www.amazon.com/Books-Selco-Begovic/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ASelco+Begovic

https://www.amazon.com/Books-Selco-Begovic/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ASelco+Begovic

https://www.amazon.com/Books-Selco-Begovic/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ASelco+Begovic

 

 

https://www.amazon.com/Books-Selco-Begovic/s?rh=n%3A283155%2Cp_27%3ASelco+Begovic

 

 

The Lost Traveler: Being Strung Along

Road-trippin’ through the Covid-19 Apocalypse was not the way I expected to spend the last Spring Break of the Amazon’s high school career. We faced the horror of selecting a university to flush our life savings down, so we choked down the Pepto and Imodium, threw common sense to the gutter, and saddled up the family ride for the trek Eastward.

Day 1 ended much like Season 1 of The Walking Dead in Atlanta, GA. Specifically, we stopped at the Hampton Inn & Suites Atlanta Buckhead Place, GA located at 3312 Piedmont Road NE, Atlanta, GA, 30305.  First-off Expedia’s directions were awful. Second off, the hotel shares parking with a neighboring shopping district, so they clipped us for $25 extra to park our car. In this case, booking through Expedia paid off because they covered the parking, but that fee would have been a deal killer in my book. The usual urban zombies were lurking around the garage when I parked. Made me glad to be south of The Line so my pest control options were not infringed. The room was adequate. The breakfast buffet pretty standard. We were DEFINITELY glad to leave that place behind.

Since the secondary goal of this odyssey was to have one last road trip as a family, we had planned to spend the day in Atlanta, so we made two stops.

The World of Coca-Cola was selected by the Mrs. for reasons still obscure to your humble correspondent. This place is a monument to successful marketing, and a disease pit of unbelievable scope. Lots of people packed into small spaces, not to mention the tasting room where folks can try various Coca-Cola products from around the world. It would be traumatic to a germophobe in normal times, but with Covid-19 in the air, you wanted to jump into a vat on sanitized gel and inhale deeply. If you are a genuine Coke fan, the memorabilia displays were entertaining, and the displays were well executed. The tour ends with the gift shop of course. All in all, I should have listened to my gut. Give it a miss.

On the other side of town was the Center for Puppetry Arts. This is an off the normal beat gem that more than made up for being dragged through the World of Coca-Cola. This small museum contains exhibits of historical puppets from across the world, and they offer classes in the puppetry arts.

 

The reason the Amazon chose this venue for a stop was the exhibits of Jim Henson’s characters, and artifacts from his 1982 film “The Dark Crystal” . Please do not confuse the original film with the Dark Crystal series recently released by Netflix.

StainedGlass_Kermit

Stained Glass window above entrance to the Jim Henson exhibit

 

 

The Dark Crystal exhibit was definitely worth the time. I’ll let the artifacts speak for themselves. If you are old enough to have watched the film in the theater, you know how remarkable the set and effects were. No CGI. No computers. Just practical effects went into creating a world and story that holds up to the present time.

I won’t bore you with the rest of the journey except to give a thumbnail review of the hotels where we stopped.

Drury Inn & Suites Charlotte University Place 415 West W.T. Harris Blvd, Charlotte, NC, 28262 United States of America <  >

This hotel was the best of the entire trip. We arrived in the early evening and were pleasantly surprised to find out they offer a “Kick-back Hour” that comes with your room. This included a taco/baked potato bar, Hot Dog bar, Salad bar, and two drinks from the bar. The breakfast offerings were also very good. All of the usual Southern treats like eggs, biscuits, sausage, and gravy. Makes my ol’ arteries clog just thinking back on it.

Home2 Suites by Hilton Durham Chapel Hill 3305 Watkins Road, Durham, 27707, NC, US  When I thought the hotel in Atlanta was going to be the low point of this trip, we stopped at Home 2. This is a “greenie’ enterprise promoting sustainability and healthy living. While I’m all for these ideas, the execution left a lot to be desired. The sheets on the beds were all microfiber made from “recycled materials” aka plastic. If you want to experience this for yourself, replace the sheets on your bed with vinyl shower curtains or plastic trash bags and snuggle down for the night. The breakfast offerings were little boxes of yellowish blobs that claimed to be scrambled eggs and sausage that you had to microwave. We bought some Slim Jim Meat Snacks at the gas station instead.

The nice part of this stop was an Asian confusion eatery across the parking lot called Tasu Express . A good selection of classic “Chinese food” options sold by the individual plate in a very clean and pleasant setting. Definitely worth the time to stop.

Best Western Plus Music Row 1407 Division Street, Nashville, TN, 37203 United States of America This stop was half-way between the Drury Inn and Home2. The bedspread had a big black footprint on it that proved housekeeping was less than engaged in their jobs. On the other hand, breakfast was excellent. Made to order omelets, waffles, and all of the classic Southern faves.

Stay Safe & Stay Away!

Devil Take the Hindmost!

This showed up on a news aggregator recently:
 
“The Supermassive Black Hole at The Centre of Our Galaxy Is
Becoming More Active.”
 
The tagline that accompanied it made me LMAO:
 
“THAT’S NOT WHAT BOTHERS ME, WHAT BOTHERS ME ARE ALL THE FLEEING
PUPPETEERS”
 
If you are too young, or out of the loop, to get the reference, the Puppeteers are an alien race from Larry Niven’s “Known Space” stories. While you are social distancing, pick up a copy of Ringworld. you can meet the Puppeteers, find out where the world from Halo came from, and understand the gag in the title of this post.
Stay Calm & Stay Away.
 

CES: Consumerism Enabling Stupid

Let me get this straight, (if that phrase that is still politically correct enough to be used in public). Millions of people would willingly sacrifice major organs and undergo painful experimental treatments to get out of a chair forced upon them by injury, disability, or disease. Now the idiots at #Segway want to put EVERYONE in chairs…

I thought them folks was ‘posed to be the “smart” ones. Guess they’d best go back to watching cartoons and leave problem solvin’ to the ijits.

 

SegwayPod
To be fair, if this device can benefit those in chairs for legitimate reasons, go forth and conquer, but I see this ending up like the horror from the movie WALL-E.

“We’re All In This Together Kid…”

What happens when Terry Gilliam of Monty Python’s Flying Circus fame takes on George Orwell’s classic 1984 ?

Brazil 

Brazil_Poster

Jonathan Pryce plays Sam Lowry, a bumbling shade of Orwell’s Winston, a man who actually enjoys being the smartest man in his little corner of the behemoth idiocratic government filled with paranoids, Party members, and quislings all sharing an obsession with tiny screens that play an endless parade of classic films, but absolutely nothing that could bring the actions of the government or society at large into question.

All is well and the Christmas season is in full swing when the swatting of a fly turns into the SWAT-ing of an innocent man who is arrested on suspicion of being a terrorist, and who dies while undergoing interrogation. The dead man has been erroneously charged for government expenses related to his own imprisonment and interrogation under a new program promoted as a way to ease the tax burden of the war on terror.

Sam Lowry gets sucked out of his comfortable shell when a refund check made out to the dead man arrives in his boss’s office. The refund means an error was made somewhere, and everyone is scrambling to avoid the blame. The error snowballs, with Sam trapped in the middle until he is accused of being a terrorist himself and ultimately lands in the interrogator’s chair.

Brazil_Interrogation

As a last act of desperation, Sam escapes into his last place of refuge, his fantasies.

Brazil_escape

“He’s got away from us Jack.”

Most folks have their favorite holiday movie that has been watched so many times it has become a tradition to annoy their children and relatives with. “It’s a Wonderful Life”  with Jimmy Stewart as George Bailey is probably one of the most popular next to “Miracle on 34th Street“.

The prescience of Mr. Gilliam’s vision is far more apropos in the current climate of “cancellation”, “deplatforming”, the renewal of the Patriot Act, FBI officers committing fraud before the FISA court, the existence of the FISA court itself, out of control government spending, and the scorched earth politics of our times.

All of the madness is thinly hidden behind the tattered wrapping of the Holiday Season. The endless ongoing exchange of meaningless gifts by over-leveraged people playing a senseless game for years on end because its “tradition”. Its enough to drive one mad…

 

I cannot help dreaming of my own escape to a Happy Place…

Brazil_Cabin_Scene

Brazil really IS a Christmas movie because it reminds me that even with all of the social unpleasantness and objectionable people one might encounter during the holiday season, we can always turn off the screens, walk away from the objectionables, and escape into a happy place with a good book.

If anyone knows a hungry literary agent, I have some great escapism just waiting to be published.

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Lost Traveler – Five-Sixty, Where Wolfgang Pucked Up

Once in a lifetime experiences come in two forms. The first are things you only want/get to try once, and things you NEVER want to repeat. Five-Sixty by Wolfgang Puck Is definitely a combination of the two.

The occasion was the 18th birthday of the Amazon that lives at my house. The Mrs. wanted to gift her a really cool experience, and a rotating restaurant sitting atop Reunion Tower offering a genuine panoramic view of Big D seemed ideal.

The food was excellent. Starters were the “Texas Wagyu  Wontons” and “Tamarind Glazed Baby Back Ribs”. Both were tasty, but the ribs were the hands down faves. The Mrs. had the “Wok Fried Whole Red Snapper”. This presentation of this dish deserves a bit of elaboration. The fish is very lightly battered and fried. So lightly you can still see the red-orange color of the fish beneath the batter. Then the fillets are split from the dorsal side and the fish mostly deboned between the head and tail. The fish is placed belly-side down and the veggies ar inserted between the fillets. Absolutely beautiful. The Mrs. said she thoroughly enjoys it, and for those wondering, she only found five or six small bones. No problem for anyone who enjoys fish from places other than fast food outlets.

The Amazon and I each had the Szechuan Beef Filet “Au Poivre” serves with wild mushrooms. The fillets are seared with black pepper and served with thin sliced garlic and chilies on top. Nice bit of bite, but nothing to put one in discomfort.

The ladies shared a bowl of Crab Fried Rice from which your humble correspondent abstained because I know that eating seafood is the cause of all airline disaster films, and being a busy travel weekend, I did not want to put the flying public at additional risk. In any case, the rice was enjoyed with gusto.

The service was top-notch as is to be expected in an organization of this caliber. Josh and Jose were our team, and they made our evening. Since the service team knew we were celebrating a birthday, the Amazon’s baked Alaska arrived with a lit candle and “Happy Birthday” written on the plate in white icing. The Mrs. enjoyed a Mizo ice cream and Chocolate Mousse tort. Both dishes were well received.

Total tab for the three of us came to $325, again, in line with expectations. It was a once in a lifetime experience after all, and that brings me to the thing that insures I will never be in that restaurant again.

Five-Sixty is built inside a large glass cylinder. The glass observation windows are smooth reflective surfaces. The opposing walls are smooth wood paneling. The noise level in the restaurant was oppressive. My family could not hear one another speak across the table at a normal tone of voice, much less the subdued tones expected in a top-shelf restaurant. I was forced to lip-read Josh as he described the dishes on offer. and struggled to answer our questions. The result of this issue was my order for “Two Szechuan Beef Filets” was lost in translation as the Amazon and I would split a fillet. The meal was delivered accordingly, and once we politely yelled at each other loudly enough to get things sorted out, my filet was rushed through, and served with many effuse apologies.

I do not blame the service team in any way. It was simply the noise level in the place prevented my order from being herd correctly, and this is ridiculous because the restaurant was barely half-full.

A few white noise devices strategically placed would solve this problem. This is the same technology used in noise canceling headphones popular with air travelers. My employer uses them in our call center, and even during the height of activity two people can conduct a conversation in normal tone of voice, and be heard without disturbing others nearby.

So, visit Five-Sixty. Take your noise canceling headphone and some small white boards so you don’t have to keep asking for cocktail napkins to have a conversation until Wolfgang gets this un-Pucked.

Be safe out there!

Shoppers vs. Buyers

Apologies for the long drought in posts. Life has gotten in the way of writing.

During my unintended hiatus I have been doing a great deal of very nonscientific observation of conditions in the local economy.

The stock market is great! This is something we hear shouted from the rooftops of every news outlet. Ok. Maybe it is, but how does this help the little person? What is the real “hometown” street saying?

The artist in my life has been running out of room for her creations, and a co-worker told us about Second Saturday in McKinney, Texas. Most of the small towns that are now “suburbs” of Dallas and Fort Worth have begun promoting the remnants of their old down town business districts as shopping and dining destinations.

Part of this promotion effort includes festivals of various kinds. One of the better known is Grapefest in Grapevine, Texas. Another is famous is First Monday in Canton.

We chose to spend a Saturday in McKinney because that city allows artists to set up tables and peddle their wares for free. Our table held a variety of art pieces that have done well in the On My Own Time art contest sponsored by the North Texas Business Council for the Arts and other competitions in addition to pieces in similar styles.

We did not sell a thing. In fact, none of the people that passed by the table slowed down enough to ask about the price of an item. I can completely understand that the works on offer might not have appealed to the people, but I also noticed that even with a reasonable amount of foot traffic on the square, only 10-15% of the people were carrying shopping bags. Lots of people going in and out of the shops but nobody buying. Only he restaurants seemed to be actually doing any meaningful business.

Notice that “Black Friday” has been changed to “Black Halloween” this year? The holiday shopping season continues its trend of beginning earlier and earlier each year. The media is full of multi-billion dollar predictions, but the post holiday reports are barely whispered. If things are going so great,  why are the anchor stores abandoning malls and so many big chains closing locations? Looks like people are shopping, but nobody is buying.

Are you one of the lucky people who get the “We want to buy your car!” offers in the mail? My house gets about 6 a week. Why? The hot market is used vehicles now. Especially lease returns. The quiet word in the automotive industry is a huge backlog in new vehicles. A lot of “Your job is your credit,” and “Make $400 per week, then we can put you in the car you deserve…” ads are showing up on billboards and the radio. I expect the TV promotions in December to be completely over the top because the dealers have to move inventory. The 2007 sub-prime auto loans may come roaring back.

These observations have me wondering if the US consumer’s credit is completely tapped out. I have noticed a major drop in the number of credit cards offers coming in the mail. Credit must be getting tight, or the banks are expecting a sea change and are reducing their exposure to unsecured debt.

Even the People of Walmart seem to be cutting back. The stereotype is a person with an overflowing shopping cart, but these days the carts I have seen are less than half-full.

Pay attention as you go about your wanderings. Count the number of people in the store vs. the number of people that are actually buying anything. It’s creepy.

What if Black Friday came and everybody stayed home?