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Archive for the month “January, 2016”

12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

Source: 12 Life Lessons Learned From The Great Depression

Another good one from Rachel at How to Provide.  My parents were married during The Great Depression and passed along many lessons learned.  If you don’t follow the international financial news, right now the Chicken Littles of the financial sector are going on about “bubbles bigger than ’08.”  How serious is it?  Are they truly warning of dire circumstances in progress and death and destruction in the pipeline?  Or, are they just trying to sell whatever financial instrument or commodity that they’re hawking this week?  I don’t know.  I tend to be an optimist and believe that they are trading on fear.  But, I could be wrong.

If you would like a look into the insights of the international financial wizards and pundits, here’s an article at (Where else?) How to Provide titled “Deflation Threatens to Swallow the World.”

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Legal Issues for Homesteaders and Farmers

Source: Legal Issues for Homesteaders and Farmers

For those of you thinking of moving to the country to raise a living for your family, you need to read this article over at How to Provide — just to determine if you wish to adopt the mindset necessary to deal with government agents when they appear on your property.

We have family members with personal experience with this.  They were out working in their garden when they saw armed men in dark clothing strolling across their ten acres.  When they confronted them about it, they were told that – because they live with in 50 miles of the border with Canada – that Homeland Security has the right to “inspect” their property at will, unless it is fenced and posted.  What one federal agency takes upon itself, the rest soon adopt.

Then, there are corporate agents, who think themselves a power even above the agencies of mere mortals . . . Anyone ever heard of Monsanto and their “patented genetic materials?”

Puddle Duck Dreamin’

Christmas decorations are all back up in the garage’s “attic,” days are starting to get longer – and warmer – and, an old geek’s mind is starting to wander toward days to spend learning to sail in some unlikely-looking boxy little boats at the lake down the road.  Yep!  I’m Puddle Duck dreamin’ again!

Puddle Duck Racers are a loosely knit international class of low-cost racing dinghies that are usually home-built.  To facilitate participation by home builders and a high degree of experimentation, the developer of the class, David “Shorty” Routh, decided that the bottom 10″ of the boats should be as similar as practical (+/- 1/4″) for home boat builders, and that the rest should be left up to the individual builder.  There have been some evolutionary changes, but you are basically building an 8′ x 4′ flat-bottomed box boat.  The bottom has enough rocker to allow for planing performance under a modest sail rig — that is usually as homemade as the rest of the boat.

PDRRacin

Start of the very first Puddle Duck “Regatta” Lake Woodlands, TX Feb. 28, 2004.  Hulls #1 & 2 pictured.

What you wind up with is a safe, light & stable 8′ boat to learn to sail in.  As you can see from the photo, even us “old guys” can have fun in them.  I’ve always been very enamored with sailing, but have never really learned how — other than playing deck monkey for other people on their boats.  I would also like to get John & Joe interested in sailing, as it is a sport that they can enjoy for the rest of their lives, and, sailing is also a means of traveling long distances relatively inexpensively — without being at the mercy of some multinational corporation.

I won’t go into all the details of my planning for the construction of these boats, but I’m going to do at least two ‘ducks from 1/4″ ACX plywood with fir strips for framing, and would really like to do a “PD-Goose” which is a 12’ version of the PDR.  The Goose is not class legal, but I think it would make a good car-top fishing boat for the local lakes, and could serve as a “committee boat” if we generate some interest in racing Puddle Ducks in the local area.

If you want more information about the Puddle Duck Racer, please go to the class pages maintained at PDRacer.com.  Their is an extensive site map, as well as a good site-specific Google search on several of the index pages.  By all means, go on over and take a look around.  Shorty and the other ‘duckers have amassed a wealth of information on building, equipping and sailing the Puddle Duck Racer.   Who knows?  We might wind up fighting for position approaching the windward mark someday.  =;)

 

8 World War II Survival Lessons We Must Never Forget

Spotted this at Paleotool’s Weblog, and decided to re-post it myself, as this is a good reminder for those of us who have strayed far from our roots. My parents worked for the Army Coast Watch during WWII.  My Mom and my Aunt were both observers, while Dad was one of the drivers.  Mom always planted a full acre of garden and had both chickens and pigs.  We ran a grade “B” dairy with thirteen cows, and Dad fished in the Summer.  Yeah, they put in long hours, yet — they always seemed to have time for us boys.  We grew up either playing in their shadows as they worked, or learning to work right alongside them.  I wish I had the chance to do the same with my kids today . . .

 

Source: 8 World War II Survival Lessons We Must Never Forget

How to take your Mora Classic N.1 to the next bushcraft level

Mattia over at Wild Tuscany Survival did a great little article on modifying the standard Mora knife for bushcraft use. I love these knives, because they are tough, will take & hold a razor edge, and you can buy about ten of them for what you would pay for a single copy of one of the knives being marketed for “survival” or “bush craft.”  Heck, you can buy four of the Mora Military knives for what one K-Bar will set you back — without any of the commemorative engraving.  Go ahead and buy a couple.  You’ll want one in each vehicle and a spare in your pack – along with a ferrite rod and other survival basics. These are the everyday belt knives in Sweden and a kissing cousin to the famous Finnish Puuku that was so feared by the Russian and German invaders.  These may not be as “sexy” as a K-Bar or a Ramboesque “survival” knife, but they get the job done and you won’t have to hock your firstborn to get one.

Wild Tuscany Bushcraft

how_to_upgrade_mora_classic_1

The knife

Mora knives (the brand name is Morakniv®) are actually a must-have for any true bushcraft lovers: these knives are simple, practical with excellent cutting properties at very inexpensive prices.
Recently Morakniv® has also developed a new line of knives with great attention to the bushcraft world, if you are interested go to this page http://www.moraofsweden.se/products/adventure.
But two of the most popular bushcraft knives of Mora of Sweden are the oldest Mora models: the Mora Classic Number 1 and 2.
If your haven’t in your equipment one these knives, i must say… buy it! 

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Or, yet, even!

Maybe — someday — I’ll get the hang of this blogging stuff and get a little more regular about content creation.

Been a busy seven months.  Work was crazy – but it always has been (I’m now under three years until *RETIREMENT*!! Yay!!) – and, unfortunately, there’s been lots of personal drama.  Please pardon me for refraining from over-sharing . . .

Still madly in love with my beautiful bride.  Still love my kids & grandkids.  Still ADD – dang it!  Still have more interests than time to participate in them.

Have had a few mini adventures.  Like the one where I grabbed the photo below while we were stopped for a red light on Alaskan Way:

Seattle Wheel Sunset 01-02-2016 © 2016 Richard Weeks Photography

Seattle Wheel Sunset 01-02-2016 © 2016 Richard Weeks Photography

One of James’ friends, JillyAnna, had taken us to brunch at the Space Needle.   It was our first trip to the SkyCity restaurant, and we had a ball.  You definitely pay for the venue, but both the food and service are excellent.  We were blessed with one of those rare PNW Winter days where it was crystal clear blue sky from horizon to horizon with just enough mist in the valleys to set them apart and make the views look like an incredible work of art.  John & Joe were on their best behavior and had a great time.  Jilly is one of those people that you just love to be around.  Always so nice and full of fun.  We had met up with her and her little brother at the WinterFest skating rink on the prior weekend so they could try ice skating with John & Joe.  Mom & I took the prudent route and sat it out.  I watched the pile of stuff at a table, while Brenda took care of photographer duties.  They skated until they were worn out.  Ice skating is something that we don’t get much chance to do, here on the Wet side of Washington state.  I’m glad that they had such a great time.

Spent a week in September up on the Skagit River with Dave & Susie and family fishing for salmon.

It had been warm & dry all Spring & Summer, but when you are camping and fishing — it just has to be cold & rainy, right?   No worries!  We had a great time, anyway!

River, family, fish, great food, lots of fun — does it get any better?

Collage

As you can see, we went to the big game between Sedro-Woolley and Mt. Baker so we could see Dillon playing in the band.  The rain that night was brutal.  There were a couple times that you couldn’t see what was happening on the field, the horizontal rain was so thick.  It wasn’t all that way, as you can see from the shots on the far right, we had a couple days of really nice weather.

BTW — You young guys out there: If you find a woman who will clean the fish you catch, marry the girl.  She’s a keeper. 🙂

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