Sunday, October 9, 2022


I went to the Lansing/Mason Knife and Gun show Saturday. Shotgun and I met up in the parking lot an hour after it opened.

The crowds were light.

I met Donna Brandenburg who is a Michigan gubernatorial candidate for the Constitutional party. She was one of the Republican aspirants who was bounced by the Democrat Secretary of State for questionable petition entries. Odd that the only Repubs who were bounced were the ones most likely to give the incumbent Democrat governor, Big Retch, a strong challenge.

Reloading components were almost non-existent. Ammo was scarce and the selection was spotty.

Turkish Mausers which could be had for $85 in 1990 were about ten times that price. Mosins were pushing $500. S&W SD40VE for $450. 50 rounds of .45 Colt for $70 and 50 empty brass for $65.

Incidentally, the young lady who had the misfortune with the .45 Colt ammo damaged in shipping sent the ammo back and the vendor is replacing it.

It behooves a fellow to know what prices are because it is easy to get swept away by the excitement and spend 50% "market".

It was pretty easy to keep my wallet in my pocket.


The wise, lovely and industrious Mrs ERJ got the refrigerator cleaned out and I moved it out of its hole. The new one is expected to show up Monday.

Thank-you so very, very much for all of the recommendations.

Color tour

We are once-again watching the neighbor's place while they are on a color tour up north.

I took few minutes to find some 8' long, Black Locust posts that I had cut down last winter. They were covered by long grass and I found them when I tripped on them. Nine of them found their way out into the back of my truck.

75% of the soybeans are picked

Locally, it looks like about 75% of the soybeans are picked.

Many farmers are coming in the next day and planting wheat. The ground looks very dry. I don't know how fast the seed will germinate.

Michigan grows a lot of "soft" winter wheat which is used for cake-mixes and pancake flour. Yields the last three or four years have been excellent as we entered May with good soil moisture. Then we had little rain through May and June which ensured little mold damage and modest winds. Wind when the head is heavy with grain is the bane of wheat farmers. It blows down the standing (called lodging) and that grain is lost.

Fence chargers

I got a package from UPS today. I now have two 6 Joule fence chargers on the property. "One is none and two is one" as the old saying goes.

I am making progress on the one that died due to the phenomenal patience of the gentleman who is attempting to coach me. Components are ordered and are expected to arrive by Friday. Then I get to try my hand at soldering fiddly electrical bits.

God willing, I might end up with THREE functional 6J fence chargers!

Out of sight, out of mind

My ex-brother-in-law is thinking of putting in a garden and is planning to put it behind his barn.

I felt compelled to share some unsolicited advice. If you really want your garden to be productive, put it where you will see it every day. Next to your driveway is a good choice if it is sunny and the soil is adequate. Weeds are the bane of a productive garden. Not noticing when produce is ready to pick is wasteful.

Another problem with "behind the barn" is lack of easy access to supplemental watering. You might not need to water at all in a good year. Or you might need to water two out of every three weeks in a dry year like this one.

He seemed to listen. Then he commented that he was still pondering how large of a garden to start with. Of course that will vary from person-to-person but 400 square-feet is a reasonable starting point. Fencing a 20'-by-20' plot and putting a hot wire around it is not a major project. 400 square-feet is large enough to put a quarter of it into sweet-corn and still have plenty of room for most other vegetables (except pumpkins).

Recovering from training

I was in training Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I was still aching Saturday evening. Getting old is not for sissies.

I was surprised that it was not my leg complaining. It was my shoulders, triceps (other side of upper-arm from biceps) and lats, the muscles between my shoulder-blades.

I also had tingling in my right arm, likely from a nerve being slightly compressed by neck muscles that objected to my yanking them out of retirement.

I have been getting the following question from my extended family:

"Are you mad?!?!"

I don't think so. The thing about accelerating inflation is that you could have $10 million saved and it would not be enough. There are enough signs that we are heading that way that I want a Plan B, a Plan C and a Plan D.

Plan C is to have sufficient skills and physical capability to hire-out my labor, which might not keep up with inflation but should easily out-pace the value retention of fiat-currency. I am currently 63-years-old and, God willing, have another 10 good years in me and another 10 at a somewhat reduced capacity (eye-sight, hand-strength, stamina, cognitive speed). Several of those declining abilities will hold-up better if I exercise them.

The way I read the tea-leaves is that nearly everybody will retreat down Maslow's Hierarchy when the economy goes in the septic tank. People will stop worrying about having the latest iPhone, bounciest Air Jordans, the most manly hair-bun. They will worry about keeping their toes-and-fingers warm, their bellies filled and the human predators from caving in their skulls.

The work that supports fulfilling the bottom levels of Maslow's Hierarchy is not so much "knowledge work" as brute lifting and carrying, cutting and nailing down, smoothing and arranging.

And that is why my muscles ache.


  1. Good points at the end. When times are tough, people focus on the basics.

    I've been selling at some gun shows recently; the small ones have been good - the big name ones have not been.
    Ammo prices for common calibers are continuing to come down; uncommon calibers are either very pricey or not available.
    I wouldn't look for reloading at a gun show - it'll be expensive if they even have it.
    Many venues are putting restrictions on powder, primers, etc by conflating it all with black powder.

  2. Beans are still too wet here, but by the end of next week, a lot will have been picked.
    I'm almost as old as you and getting a second job now is something that is being considered.

    FYI I had to turn my VPN off to reply

  3. I’m 73 and had back surgery more than a decade ago so I’m kind of stove up. I managed to take care of 560 feet of potato row plus two hoop houses totaling 480 square feet plus a 30x60 that got in late and didn’t do too well.

  4. Funny you mention the relatives quizzical looks. I moved to EastTN 8 years ago, bought a chunk of land, built a house, 'hobby farm' I said...
    KungFlu hit and a few people who once called me crazy asked how I knew? LOL! I get the same types of reactions myself when I tell people what I'm doing now. I remind them that they were calling me crazy over something else a few years ago, and they start to look scared.

  5. Google paid 50 US dollars an hour for the laptop. My close relative has been without labor for nine months and the earlier month her compensation check was 13,600 by working at home for 12 hours a day. Everybody must try this j0b now by just using this website.. Www.Profit97.Com

  6. We have been without inflation so long, people do not really understand what life is like with the sorts that other economies see. One year, even two is manageable. 5 years in, things will be a lot different.

  7. Fridge: Which one earned your investment?
    Ammo: One can have neither too much on hand nor too much expertise in its use
    Work: I suspect a great many of us will be in the same boat. I have accomplished my primary and secondary missions: A) LOTS of food on hand and a good connection to a Rural Member who grows it (he gets my mechanical engineering expertise labor and my grunt "farmhand" labor labor in exchange for future foodstuffs and possible Remote Refuge, and; B) I owe absolutely no one any money for anything and have cash on hand (which is accelerating in its worthlessness and will soon achieve light speed so it has been disbursed very carefully and the disbursement rate has been increasing over the last year - "stuff on hand" has been increasing in value and will soon far outstrip any potential value of "cash"). I am now working on Very Important Tertiary Missions; I figure the deadline is about 35-50 days away, although we might have until mid-January if we're very lucky.
    Would using a second of the (soon to be) 3 fence chargers in conjunction with the first allow easy on-off switching of a section to make stock control and movement easier?

  8. If you want to work when you want become a "house husband". In my small town of 10k there is no one left who can come in an change a lock, install a new pane of glass, fix a leaky faucet etc. I use to be able to do most but due to age and health I can't anymore. We had a man doing this but he has retired at 78. After our tornado I had an upstairs window blown out in December. The quickest they could get to me was July.
    I know of 7 widows who have let things go because they just can't do them. Kids live away, have their own homes and family. You see them once a year and you don't want to hand them a honey do list when they walk in the door.

    1. Im a general contractor but on occasion will do a few handyman projects when I can fit them in. Per the last commenter, most of it is for elderly folks and one does these jobs knowing its mostly as charity. Even when they insist on paying for your time it doesn't cover the cost of the drive to and from. It's just how it is and one hopes to find reciprocity when I get deep into old age.

  9. seems to be becoming a more common problem
    a young handyman could do very well almost anywhere now
    also young ladies who would clean for the elders

    1. Except the elderly love on fixed income that doesn't keep pace with inflation. Meanwhile the handyman's gas tank, tires, materials and insurance have doubled or more. Unless you are single with a paid off mortgage, handyman work is a ticket to the poor house. Unless you live in an area like palm beach where the elderly are wealthy.


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