When is Taft's War coming?
Thank all of you for purchasing Taft's Weapons. I see reports of sales in the United Kingdom, Canada and Australia. Thank you for risking your money and tolerating the American bias.
Taft's War exists in draft form. I am reformatting for submission to Kindle Direct Publishing. I am also repairing a few issues that came to my attention while writing Taft's Weapons.
I hope to submit to Amazon this year. Best regards, Rick
Thinking about a wood stove?
Why should you think about a wood stove? Keeping warm in the winters to come and saving the planet are both good reasons. Our country has decided to go for green power in a big way. I am sure Detroit can provide everyone, in the USA, with a 100% battery electric vehicle by 2035. I am not sure our electric grid will keep up. The current plan is to shut down the nuclear plants that provide 20 percent of our electricity (a far greater percent of carbon free energy) within the next five years.
Replacing nuclear plants will require three times the peak power capacity with wind and solar because wind doesn't blow all the time and the sun goes down at night. We will also need tons of batteries and about three times as much wire in the grid to power cars and heat homes. While the output of solar panels fairly matches current peak demand for summer air conditioning, my temperate California climate requires 3,000 heating degree days versus 1,000 cooling degree days. Most states have a far higher heating requirement. California has banned natural gas piping for new homes. The United States is already raiding the emergency oil reserves, just to keep gasoline prices under $5/gallon through Christmas.
Winter is fast coming and I am busy stacking stove wood for the colder nights. The Bear Fire killed all the trees on my property so cutting to length and splitting will keep me warm even before I burn it. Pine wood is free for the asking in much of the burn scar areas.
If you live in the city, you might look at a pellet stove. While most have electric screw feeds, you can find some with gravity feed that will stay working in a power outage. Our next gravity outage will be the first.
Burning wood in stoves saves the planet because wood grows back, pulling carbon from the atmosphere. Even if you are skeptical about human caused global warming, you may want to preserve some fossil fuels for our grandchildren.
Burning wood in stoves also provides a market for loggers to harvest both timber and brush. The houses of our six nearest neighbors burned to the ground in the same Bear Fire that killed our trees. I may be a bit biased in believing it is better to heat our homes with wood from the forest rather than have forest fires burn the same wood without any pollution controls. Best regards, Rick
Taft's Weapons in Paperback
My 9mm solution
Dear readers, I have been readying Taft's Weapons for publishing as a paperback. I added some material so the spine was thick enough to bear Title and Author. I also added some illustrations.
The ammunition shortage has been acute in my cabin after the burglary. California only allows in-store purchases with ammunition limited to .22 Long Rifle, 9mm NATO, 10mm and 12-gauge shot shells.
.22 Long Rifle is reported as a fairly reliable man stopper from a rifle. It is better than a sharp stick from a pistol, but I prefer bigger calibers.
The 9mm NATO is manufactured in many of the member nations and boxes are available from a dozen manufacturers both online and in my local stores. Full metal jacket ammo may run about $0.50/round this November with high end copper bullet ammo running $37/20 rounds. Hunting in condor friendly California requires only copper bullets on your person. The bargain may be Israeli Military Industries jacketed hollow points at $25/50, which is as cheap as many full metal jacket rounds.
Now, if I only had a 9mm handgun. I have owned a few. The revolver required some sort of moon clips for ejection and were a pain to deal with in ammo boxes.
A current effort is to purchase a 9mm barrel to convert my .40 Smith and Wesson automatic. The maker also suggests using a 9mm magazine for most reliable feeding. This will go with me on road trips where purchasing extra ammunition may become an issue. I was invited to do some recreational shooting a few decades back, in Arizona, and only had a few magazines of ammuniton packed on my motorcycle.
The dearth of .22 Magnum cartridges has me looking for a centerfire revolver that my wife can shoot comfortably. .32's are attractive as the burglars left a good supply of empty cases. Finding ammo on the road is nearly a miracle. My second venture is to investigate the Charter Arms 9mm Pug. Charter has spring loaded tabs to eject rimless cases with the need to wrestle with clips. I can reload light weight lead bullets with Trail Boss to emulate early black powder ballistics. Will see how that works out.
November 02nd, 2021
I look forward to tonight's episode of La Brea on NBC. Gavin Harris is getting ready to pilot a second plane into the sinkhole. The plane is supplied by Rebecca Aldrich with the assertion that it will remain operational and not cause any earthquakes.
We have learned the electric portal to La Brea is closing and that previous sinkholes have closed. My thought is the second plane should include colonizing supplies down, in case of failure to return or inability to rescue everyone.
Robert Heinlein wrote (Door into Summer?) that domestic plants would take thousands of years to replicate, so heirloom (non-hybrid) seeds adapted to California climate would be a big help to those stranded 12,000 years in the past. Domestic animals able to convert grass to milk and cheese likely helped end cannibalism in the New World. A full grown bull is out of the question but some baby goats and sheep might be available for transport. Chickens and piglets would also fit in cages in the plane. It is claimed that hay and horse collars ended much of the slavery common to Rome, Greece and Egypt. I note the standard iron mercury flask is the same size as carried by Spartacus before he bit the slave master's Achilles tendon and was recruited to be a gladiator.
Few moderns have the skills of Twain's Connecticut Yankee, so books such as the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica would be of immense worth. Blacksmith tools could modify automotive metal to gardening tasks but other tools could be of immediate use and serve as models and trade goods. Surgical tools, carpentry hard to make items such as pins and fishhooks would be good.
I would not have high hopes of the colony surviving, but who knows? The HMS Bounty landed on Pitcairn Island with 27 souls, 12 of which were Tahitian women. When contact was made 20 years later, only one man remained alive. The others had died, mostly in contests for the women. The film crew for the 1935 movie, Mutiny on the Bounty noted the Islanders of that day were highly religious. When I checked a few decades back, half the male population was imprisoned in Australia for the rape of cruise ship passengers. I believe humans share 75% of their DNA with cockroaches. We may be disgusting but are likely to survive. Rick
Rick Kester is a Viet Nam era veteran living in Northern California with his wife Nancy.