Tuesday, November 7, 2023


In a strange kind of way, I have some sympathy for the civilians in the Gaza strip.

Hear me out on this.

Some folks are saying "They elected Hamas to represent them. They made the bed. They should be content to lie in it. Inshallah!"

That is all very reasonable.

Prepare the smelling-salts

But what if Hamas' political ascendancy was by artifice and fraud? What if they had gained the reins of power through intimidation, fraud, ballot-stuffing and bad-math?

In hindsight, the "innocent" civilians should have resisted more vigorously because now they are paying the price of going-with-the-flow.

Hard thoughts for a conservative trapped in a Blue state that seems to have more similarities with Gaza than I am comfortable with.


"Della" open-pollinated sorghum and SS405 hybrid sorghum look interesting from a sorghum syrup-or-ethanol standpoint.

One disadvantage sorghum based ethanol has is that the time-window for harvest is short and it does not store nearly as well as grain. This made sorghum (juice) based whiskey a non-starter in days of yore, but today we have all kinds of inexpensive, above-ground swimming pools that can serve as fermentation vessels. Throw a solar cover over the top to exclude oxygen and you are off to the races.

I doubt that I will pull the trigger on growing sorghum but it would be spiffy if somebody in my neighborhood did.

Lifting weights

Belladonna LOVES lifting heavy weights and she adores "dead-lifts". That is where the lifter picks up a barbell that is on the ground and lifts the weight to mid-thigh height. She also likes squats but she LOVES dead-lifts. (Bragging a bit: her PR for dead-lifts is about 420 pounds which is a bit more than the average girl can DL)

That got me curious about what a reasonable expectation would be for an old-geezer to be able to dead-lift.

For guys between 20-and-40, an untrained, random dude can be expected to dead-lift between 80% and 90% of their body-weight for a single repetition.

A young man who has been weight-lifting for six-to-twelve months can be expected to dead-lift about 130% of their body-weight for a single repetition. Extrapolating, a geezer in his sixties who doesn't have issues with his joints or his back has nothing to apologize for if he can dead-lift his body-weight. Anything over that is frosting on the cake.

Because single-lift maximums can cause injury, the more conservative approach is to determine the maximum amount of weight you can lift six times or ten times and then use a "fudge factor" to estimate your single-lift maximum.

So, if you can lift 150 pounds six times the fudge-factor is 1.2 which means that you can probably lift 180 pounds ONCE. If you can lift 150 pounds ten times the fudge-factor is 1.33 which means you can probably lift 200 pounds ONCE.

For the record, I have a set of barbells made from two sacks of concrete and 60" of black-iron pipe. I think it weighs 135 pounds. I ordered 4, five-pound plates to add to the device to increase its weight. Being able to pick items up off the ground (logs, bodies, lumber, rocks, bags of grain...) is part of life.

Beware of January and December

I was mining data from the CDC database on mortality. January is the most dangerous month for death due to cardio-vascular diseases with December a close second.

January is 25% more lethal than September which is the "safest" month.

I remember one January when I was a supervisor. We were down for three weeks. When we started back up, Don informed me that he was going to be out for an extended period. Like an idiot, I suggested that he should apply for vacation.

He straightened me right out. "I am going on sick-leave."

He spent the three weeks of down-time watching TV from his recliner. He developed blood-clots in the calves of his legs. His doctor threw him into the hospital.

He stopped into work as a courtesy to me.

So...everybody talks about shoveling snow as being a risk factor. May I suggest that binge watching the bowl-games this Christmas-through-Jan 2 might be equally risky?

As a personal favor, I ask you to take a short walk-about every commercial break. Walk down the hall. Step outside and check the weather. Take a leak even if you can hold it until the next time-out. Give your wife or girlfriend a hug (but not if they are in the same room). Shoot your pellet gun at a target you hung in the yard.

For the medical professionals: Short of an autopsy, can a medical examiner discriminate between a lung embolism and an ischemic heart-attack on anecdotal evidence?  Suppose an overweight, 55 y-o male turns blue and falls over dead on January 3. What will the ME default to as the Cause-of-Death on the Death Certificate?

Hunting season

I will be a little bit ADHD over the next few weeks.

Firearm deer season opens November 15 and our hunting lease, which was in limbo, finally snapped into focus. We will be able to hunt there this year.

The preparations which historically we would have been making since September have been crammed into a much shorter time-frame.

I beg your indulgence.


  1. Hamas exists because killing Jews is a doctrinal necessity for Islam, and trying to debate doctrine will get you declared apostate, which is a universal death sentence. That is also why Sunni and Shai are constantly fighting too.

    1. Let’s not forget Israel’s admitted role in getting Hamas off the ground as a sectarian foil to the secular PLO.

    2. Yeah, trying to unravel this ball of twine is pointless. There is no good side nor justification in this story. They've been pissing over that patch of desert for 3000 years. Let em have at it, I dont give a fuuuuuuck.

    3. Regards the opening comments I offer the following quote. "He who provides the equipment for a soldier in jihad has himself performed jihad.....", page 600, Reliance of the Traveller, 2015. Ahmad ibn Naquib al-Misri.
      As I learned long ago and far away, know your enemy.

  2. The PaliSimians are muslim. They are raised from the day one to hate ALL non muslims... especially Jews. Their religion DEMANDS violence and conquest of everyone. The PaliSimians in Gaza are ALL equally complicit with Hamas and it's evil. There are NO civilians in Gaza. All of them are the enemy of Israel and the world.

  3. I enjoy watching Geoff Lawton permaculture videos.
    He has a place in Australia( I think), and his greening the desert project in Gaza. I remember him standing on the roof top and pointing out Israel and different sites.
    There are always people who just want to farm, work, raise a family etc.

    1. I think Lawton's desert project is in Jordan.

      From the website:
      "Greening The Desert demonstration site and education centre, located between the villages of Al Jawfa and Al Jawasreh in the Jordan River Valley, "

    2. It appears you are correct.

  4. I have a common blood clotting mutation, which led to me developing a couple of blood clots in my right leg some years back. They've been slowly dissolving ever since, under the gentle persuasion of aspirin. If you're the type to binge-watch things, I recommend just taking a single aspirin. You can get the low dose variety or cut it in half if you prefer, I'm lazy and just take one daily.

  5. ERJ, sorghum is one of the things that does surprisingly well in New Home. I have not had the wherewithal to produce syrup (or grown enough to do so), but it is a potential replacement for other forms of syrup.

  6. I have a very clear memory of a Fatah official being manhandled by Hamas in Gaza during the election.
    Fatah and Hamas (Muslim Brotherhood spawn) have no love lost between themselves.

    Israel is now at or very close to point of the Gaza operation moving from military expediency to a political liability.

    I'm not a fan of either side.

    What's really stupid has been the rash of 30+(?) killings of West Bank Palestinians since the Hamas attacks, mostly by the out of control Religious Zionists settlers. Unprovoked and often backed up by Israeli border police, these settlers have on numerous occasions attacked Arab villages.
    They have numerous illegal "outposts"scattered across the West Bank in direct contradiction to numerous Israeli court proceedings, but the Likudnik govt refuses to crack down and arrest them

    1. Sources for your last paragraph?

  7. All those "Palestinians" (there is no country of Palestine, so that term is a creation of the leftist press) have cell phones. Not a one dropped a dime to inform Israel of the preparations for the attack. Nor did they drop a dime about the clusters of rockets being assembled in their neighborhoods. While one could argue that they can't prevent Hamas from being there, they also don't do anything to prevent the attacks or in any way warn Israel.

    They are complicit, like it or not. .

    1. Cool story. Now explain why Israeli defense forces were ordered to stand down during the initial incursion.

    2. Could be fog-of-war or it could be speculation that they were told to stand-down or it could be disinformation.

      Let's stop picking at nits when we have orcas to slay.

  8. I suspect December ad January are bad months for the heart due to all the overeating, or at least bad eating, due to Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, holiday parties, etc.
    Not only do people eat more then, they become less active as winter kicks in AND I suspect that due to those other activities they further limit their physical activity - which is lengthened becomes a Doom loop.
    September would be the safest month because it's the end of the healthier more active summer.
    Have you seen data on differences north to south in the country? I assume people don't slow as much in places with milder Winters.
    Just my $0.02.

    1. Same trend for Arizona, Texas and Florida. January at +18% and December at +17% over September numbers for the 2016-2020 data (the most recent five years that are available).

    2. Of course, that COULD be due to all of the old snow-birds showing up just before they have the Big-One

  9. Dead lift versus dead weight lift.
    My wife has a medical condition (MS) that leaves her with little or no strength in her legs. The easiest way to transfer her is just pick her up and put where she needs to be.
    Sometimes she can help by stiffening herself but other times when tIred, she is just a rag doll.
    The weight remains the same ~135# but the force need to lift her is quite different. The difference is as if the two barbell weights were connected by a rope instead of a solid bar.

    Good luck during deer season. Ours opens this Saturday.

  10. I would enter a word of caution about lifting heavy things. When you get old [er] you may still have the muscles but the tendons aren't as strong. I have wreaked both shoulders and a knee because I didn't think of that until too late. ---ken

  11. Went to ER for one thing, turns out I had a silent heart attack prior. Took care of other problem, put on a heart pill and 2 years later had another not so silent heart attack. Hospital, stuck a camera in an artery for a look see. I woke up couple of hours later and Dr said "call us if you need us'. Wait, what about my heart? Oh, that's fine. You have no plaque anywhere, couldn't find a thing. So, cause? Don't know. Got a second opinion and same answer. My cholesterol is less than 100. So, I don't worry too much.

  12. Enjoy your deer hunt. 'Woods Church' is a great time to reflect on your place in the Universe and to listen for God's advice. Even if you don't return with meat, you don't come back empty handed.


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