It’s a grey day, mentally, as so many pieces of the massive long con puzzle fall into place. I feel very much like a ghost flitting about the chaos, wishing I could shove the pieces away, saving what little might be saved by the gesture. Ineffectual, resigned.

I’ve taken to listening to Atlas Shrugged on Audible as a kind of self-medication. It has been particularly and addictively applied as the office full of pablum-lapping liberals hoot and cackle over their “win”. The older gentlemen move with a kind of avoidance around their trolls as if to avoid a contagion. Weary – we are, all of us of a certain age and mind – weary unto death of the nonsense.

I’d once told a freely admitted socialist here that if the Obamacare tax went through that I’d have no choice but to leave my job and remove myself from that tax; that it was so abhorrent to me that it would be the last straw. But I look to our reserves and tell myself, hell, it matters not at all. It’s all crashing down, anyway, and one might as well take the money, buy whatever we can, and pray it will be enough.

It is a terrible ennui that grips me. Nothing pleases, everything tasting of ashes…but as I toss another load of laundry in the dying washer I remind myself that the burden of that labor is still easy. I wash the dishes and remind myself that the endless spigot will dry and that the pudgy arms will grow solid with the hated weight of that life-giving element when it has to be toted to and fro.

I battle that surrender – I keep looking for things of value that we are shy of – what am I missing? Aluminum foil…matches…Gold Bond…all the things of blessed mercy that our days are chock full of…all those things that would be so dear if gone. I make mental notes and try to remedy the lacking here and there. Much as we are with the clearing of the Man Room, a tallying of what is there and what we need.

I listen to someone go on about tickets – some kind of insurance complaint – and want to stand above the cubicle and yell out that they are slaughtering the Republic for their damned vanity and to grow the fuck up already – but it is a foolish waste of time. They are decades from seeing their folly. If we make it that long.

No, instead, I must keep finding birds of a feather…maintain contacts and send out tendrils with deep care and hesitation so as to generate a kind of safety net. No man is an island and all that. But there is a hazard in it. One must do so with tremendous care and it takes rather a lot of time to vet anyone. And speaking of tendrils…

Facebook spat up a friend option to me – someone quite distinctly segregated from any of my online doings. Someone that it ought never to have linked…and I knew then that the system had won. The coordinates had been acquired, the 1’s and 0’s lined up in just the right way so that one could almost give a human sentiment to the code, hear a kind of snicker as the link pops up. Well, that’s done, then, I told myself. Hell, it wasn’t good for much, anyway, other than keeping a better track of friends than I am usually able. So it goes.

And the same applies to this space – his application is in and one needn’t have too much on the net for discovery. I’ve worked hard to keep this very much about Me and My beliefs – not annotating each debate we have in which his opinion differs – as it does on a few points. But I can easily imagine an enemy making it into fine fodder. Particularly an enemy so fully teflon’d as to be able to deflect a case against him with photographic evidence….persona non grata we are, now, in certain parts of the county. Glad I am that he is off the road and no longer relying on their backup. Heaven help us when the idiot gets to be a Lieutenant.

Regardless, I see the enemy here and there – and I no longer feel quite as above the fray as I once did. There is a very squicky feeling when the arm stretches out and points at you, even if only briefly before gliding onward. I’d felt it once before when certain documents fell into my lap and calls had the constant clicking of careless carriers.

Maybe it is time to end all this online business and get straight to the work at hand. After all, being constrained in my language is tiresome. I won’t be surprised to find more and more people dropping from the ephemeral presence. Work to be done, after all, and the pieces are being fitted together with ever-increasing pace as the final picture is discerned. In time, even the most obtuse individual will see it for what it is and think – eh, when did THAT happen? – and we’ll just shake our heads in contempt.

Time to get to work…because I have seen the full picture. My early warning went off a while back and I see you. Tally-ho, you soul killing piece of shit. Tally-ho, motherfucker.

Not Gonna Work Through The Pain

Guess who is home till the decision to cut or brace is made? Yep. The big man went down hard on the knee and is now hobbling around. Just waiting for the MRI review to come through. And, hell, I can’t read the things but this seemed pretty obvious…

Allow me to note he is NOT an easy patient. But at least I get to have him home. Er…well…yeah. We’ll go with that.

Ever tried to get a Ranger to slow the hell down and chill out? Not gonna happen.

Cue Storage Containers Acquired

Because we are such billiard fanatics…
A couple of these acquired…courtesy of the reminder by the Zed…one note, though: do NOT stick your snout down inside and give it a deep sniff. GAH! I think I’ve given myself some dread lung disease in about 10 years of incubation.

Very nice sealing cap, there was a definite pressure release on opening. I can imagine a number of things going in there but…they’ll need to air out a bit first. NOT a good option for edibles, obviously.
There appear to be some left so I recommend snatching some up if you like them…

ALSO TOO – check out the medical chest here. Sorta kinda like the mondo one we got not long ago but a bit different. If you missed out on that previous option, this might make a nice replacement!

Non-Sweat Pants

Allow me to give a referral to the best pair of Texas Summer pants ever. I am a fan of the hemp/linen fabric for its cool feel as well as its strength hemp fabric is very tough, indeed. It can be hard to find good quality fabric options so I went to Etsy on the hunt.

This pair may seem pricey but bear in mind that they are custom fitted. And the fabric is amazingly soft – not all “new” hemp fabrics are – sometimes it has to be broken in. These are already perfect. If you are outside in the heat a lot and would like to keep the sun off of your legs (or arms! she makes a lot of things!) give it a try!

It’s Shelf Bacon!

Guess what I made this weekend!!
Yep, it’s bacon – for the shelf. I’d been reading about it and bought the hefty All American pressure cooker. Note that you cannot can meat with a hot water canning process – only the pressure canner. I bought inexpensive, thick bacon, and decided it was time to give it a try.

I worked from this recipe and had initially tried her recommended masking paper but found it was much too thin and tore into pieces when trying to get the rolled bacon in the jar. I would have preferred to use a plain brown parchment paper but only had the white on hand. It worked well, holding up just fine.

I cooked it at 10 lbs pressure for 90 mins. It took rather longer to prep than I expected. But in the end it was a really satisfying bit of work.

You can see the rendered fat in the bottom of the jar. I think it will prove a delicious addition to any future bean making – when one has to live on beans and rice, the fat will be welcome, indeed. We opened a jar to see how it sealed and the vacuum was very strong.

It comes out a bit floppy and gelatinous – and rather flat – but it is cooked! If you had to, you could eat it. We cooked it in a pan (without the fat) and it rendered little fat. It was also a bit fragile when cooked. Someone else baked it in a pan and thought it was a better end product. But that didn’t concern me – it would be lovely even as bacon bits to cheer up nasty dried eggs, boring potato pearls, or even folded into a lowly pone of cornbread.

You can pressure can all kinds of meats – they mention chicken here. (A video I saw noted to put a square of bullion in each jar, dry, to ensure rich flavor and color.) I will be keeping an eye on the sales, and perhaps even shelling out the fee for the big box store to buy large amounts of chicken breast inexpensively. Now, I think that having the dehydrated and/or freeze dried meats is a very good thing, indeed. The shelf life may be longer, it is lighter and easier to move, and once opened it can be held for later use. But I also dislike the idea of relying on it – if one cannot get water or boil it to be safe, you just have chicken flavored bits. I like the idea of having the option of eating something right out of a jar if necessary. Too, if the power goes out, that chest freezer won’t stay cold forever.

Besides – it’s BACON! Whenever you want! The initial outlay for the canner was intimidating but it is the best reviewed and I wanted to ensure I only bought it once as they say. I’m looking forward to getting some things out of the freezer (like 3 deer’s worth of meat) and onto the shelf.

Gear Up

Well, a few things have crossed my path recently… This is a pretty darn good deal if you have the cash – some of the best gear made at a reasonable price. If the hip belt doesn’t fit, you can sell it and buy one that does from the manufacturer so don’t let that stop you. Then this guy notes some good sales, too! (And do review his book lists – good options there to add to your library…)The Swiss canteens were sold to us but noted a later delivery date so there will be a delay. These things were slick – yes, ordered a few of those, too. If you don’t have the gentleman on your blog review list, you ought to. He always has the best gear tips, early. Thanks, Z, for the above!!