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Archive for the ‘Guns’ Category

More Disgusted With Miami With Each Passing Day

Tuesday, October 10th, 2017

Thank You Again, God

They say the two happiest days in a boat owner’s life are the day he buys and the day he sells. That’s misleading. Selling is WAY better.

The sale of my dad’s boat closed today. That means it’s not my responsibility any more. I will never have to pay for another repair. I will never have to worry about it sinking. It’s gone! Gone! Gone!

The boat was fun. We cruised to Bimini, Eleuthera, Chub Cay, and Key West, among other places. It’s a real privilege to putt by the tourists on a huge cruise ship in Nassau Harbor and watch them wave at you and know they all wish they were you. It’s fun to catch dolphin in the Tongue of the Ocean and tuna off Harbour Island. But my dad is 85 and has no business on a dock, let alone a boat, and there was no possibility that we would use it again.

Boat culture is kind of sleazy anyway. It’s all about getting drunk and fornicating, to be quite honest. You take your boat to the Bahamas, you get a slip, you fish your heart out all day, and then you go to the bar, get drunk, and hope you get lucky. Yacht people are as shallow as ice trays, and nothing they talk about or think about has any real importance. None of it has any relationship to the kingdom of God. If you want to watch fat, drunk lawyers make fools of themselves in Bahamian bars, get a boat.

I don’t recall seeing a lot of doctors over there. But then doctors are not interested in fun. Just money.

What I take away from the boat is that I know how to run one and maintain one. If I ever have to jump on a 60-foot diesel yacht and go to Jamaica, I won’t need any instructions. Just GPS and lots of bottled water, Gatorade, and peanut butter M&M’s.

My dad’s boat was not 60 feet long. It was a 46-footer. But it’s the same thing.

I was starting to think I’d never get rid of that boat. Now I can put it behind me and start thinking I’ll never get rid of my dad’s rental house or the condo we want to dump.

I got rid of the boat, and I also renewed my concealed carry permit. If you’re a Florida person, I learned things that may help you. If you renew your permit by mail, it takes 8-10 weeks. They send you the application about 150 days before the time is up, but if you’re like me, you forget. This weekend I learned you can get your permit renewed at your county’s tax collector office, and they give the new card to you immediately.

I drove to the government building complex. It’s hilarious. Perfect for Ocala. It’s a bunch of brick buildings spread out over maybe 30 acres. It almost looks like a summer camp. I went in the biggest building and saw a gigantic line. I could not complain. I deserved it. But I asked the official greeter, and she said I had to follow some signs and go to another part of the building.

After some twists and turns, I came to a long row of windows and a line consisting of…ONE person. I was at a window in about a minute and a half. The lady who took my photo and did the paperwork could not have been nicer. How can that be? This is the same place where you get your driver’s license. They’re supposed to be rude and condescending, as if everyone admires and looks up to people who do repetitive government jobs.

It was a beautiful experience. I’m sure it’s not as much fun in Miami, though. Down there the tag agencies are staffed by huge, surly women in tights, who barely speak English.

When I finished my other jobs, I decided to look into fixing the bush hog. It didn’t cut too well. Someone on a website said bush hog blades don’t have to be sharp. The idea was that they moved so fast, sheer speed made the blades cut. That turned out to be a fantasy. You have to sharpen bush hog blades, or they just push the grass over.

My bush hog has blades held on by 1-5/8″ nuts. I do not have a 1-5/8″ socket. What to do? I saw someone on Youtube sharpening blades that were still attached, using an angle grinder. Couldn’t hurt to try!

I propped the end of the machine on a jackstand, and I got under there and sharpened the blades. Then I mowed. It’s considerably better. If I got them truly sharp, it would mow like crazy. I think the answer is to get the correct socket and use my bench grinder.

While I was mowing, a gigantic wasp smacked into the bill of my hat. At least I thought it was a wasp. A fraction of a second later I realized it was a spider. It was so big, it felt like someone hit me with a crabapple. Luckily it was not any happier about the situation than I was, and it scrambled off of me before I could have a complete mental breakdown.

I also got my hair cut. I love my barber. His shop has about five American flags out front, along with a big yellow “Don’t Tread on Me” flag in the center. I don’t even care how my hair looks. That’s where I’m going from now on.

On top of all that, I managed to shift my schedule so I’m getting up at 6:30. This is very important, because I pray a lot. By moving back to 6:30, I make it possible for me to be fed and showered by 9:00. I don’t lose as much of the morning. Nice.

Things are getting better.

Ocala still rocks. Miami is still a humongous butt boil. Every day, I’m happier about the move.

Tomorrow I’m thinking I might sharpen my chainsaws. Can life get any better than that? I may follow up with some target shooting.

I’ll try to post more photos. I’m too busy having fun to stop and take the phone out.

Miami Still Stinks

Monday, October 9th, 2017

Moving North, to the South

I thought today would be the day I was finally free of my dad’s boat. Wrong! It’s Columbus Day. Bank employees are not working. The brokerage can’t have the money wired today. I don’t know if title can pass before the money moves, but the brokerage appears to think it can’t. So I’m on the hook for another 19 hours or so.

In the meantime, I have accomplished some stuff here on the farm. I did some more work on the stupendous live oak that fell on my chicken house, I got a safety chain reattached to the bush hog, I bush-hogged part of the pasture, and I threw a whole lot of wood on the burn pile.

I assume the purpose of safety chains is to keep the bush hog attached in case the three-point hitch fails. I removed one chain because I needed to attach a strap to the pin the chain attaches to. I was pulling a tree down. After I got it down, the chain wouldn’t attach. Suddenly it was shorter.

It turned out the chain had done something physically impossible. It’s too boring to describe, but a chain link moved through an opening it was too small to fit through. No idea how it happened. I adjusted it and got the chain attached.

I’m sick of the piles of dead limbs all over the farm, and I’m tired of their huge masses of brown leaves. I would guess I got a thousand pounds of this stuff onto the pile today. As I expected, the pile was still burning from yesterday, so once I got a couple of forkloads on it, it started flaming up.

In the past, I have been unwilling to put wood on a live fire, because I didn’t want to melt the tractor. What if it stalled by the pile? I’d be in trouble. Now I’ve decided I don’t care. I have to get rid of this wood, and the odds that the tractor will stall and be unwilling to start right when I’m next to the pile are very low.

Like the odds that a hurricane will hit Miami one month after you list a yacht for sale.

Anyway, things go much, much faster if you’re willing to shovel wood on a live fire. You can do three days’ worth of burning in an afternoon.

I’m not sure I’m mowing correctly. The bush hog does not give me nice short grass. It seems to knock the grass over and tear some of the top off of it. This is a lot better than nothing, but it’s not what I want. My pasture is full of bahia grass, which is very tough, and it doesn’t seem to want to yield to the bush hog. I have the RPM’s at the right level, and I lower the bush hog as much as I can. I don’t know what else to do.

I do not like Columbus Day, and it’s not for the usual reasons. It’s not because Columbus was a white man who wasn’t gay and had a holiday named after him. I hate Columbus Day because every year, people in Miami use it as an excuse to cruise around the bay, drunk, stoned, and completely naked, performing sex acts in public.

Miami now has two disgusting holidays. The other is Memorial Day Weekend, which is now part of Urban Beach Week. Sleazy rappers descend on South Beach and scare the crap out of the locals, and they don’t spend money. They bring their own weed and cheap liquor, they pack ten people to a hotel room, and they don’t go to expensive clubs and restaurants. They shoot at each other a lot, so it’s always a good week for the TV news people.

Wait! I’m not in Miami! I have to keep that in mind. I’m on my own farm, with tractors and a shooting berm.

Whew.

Urban Beach Week is funny to watch (if you don’t mind watching a city sicken and die) because it exposes liberal hypocrisy. South Beach is a gay stronghold, and gays take great pride in their far-left leanings. Gays love crowing about the way they support minorities. Now they are watching their Shangri-La disintegrate due to an influx of two-bit gangsters, most of whom are black. There’s a lot of pressure to “fix” South Beach and bring back the days when it was all gays and Europeans, but how are socialist gays supposed to discuss the problem without being PC’d to death? They can’t. Local bigwigs made a sneaky effort to bring in a big air show to break the minority Memorial Day monopoly, and people saw right through it. Amusing.

The weather here got cool, and I was pretty excited, but then it got hot again. By the end of next week, we should have a return to normal October weather. Even with the heat, the sun is milder here than in Miami, and it cools off at night. It will probably be 80 degrees at 10 p.m. in Miami tonight.

I may have to go back to Miami at the end of the week. I sincerely hope not, but I knew when I moved up here that I would have to return from time to time. Visiting briefly is a whole lot better than returning to Miami after visiting some other place. You know it’s not permanent. When you re-enter Miami after visiting…anywhere…it’s like being returned to prison after a month on the run.

There is something seriously wrong with people who like Miami.

I don’t understand people who don’t like Ocala. It’s quiet. The people are wonderful. You can have land. You can have a tractor and a big workshop. You can speak English and be understood. There is good barbecue everywhere.

Some people can’t entertain themselves. They have to be able to go to bars. As if bars were exciting.

I can shoot here. I can use tools. I can ride motorcycles. I can enjoy the outdoors. To me, that’s too much entertainment to deal with.

The other day I saw a pickup truck here with a four-foot-wide Confederate flag flying from a pole in the bed. I thought that was neat. Years ago, I got rid of the only two items I had that had Confederate flags on them, because I don’t want people to think I support the Confederacy’s position on slavery, but I hate the hysteria and self-righteousness currently surrounding the flag. People who want one should be able to fly it. They’re not thinking about slavery. They’re thinking about how much they enjoy being Southerners. If you flew that flag in Miami, you would stand a pretty good chance of being run off the road and beaten. It’s neat that you can have that flag here and not have people take it the wrong way.

Being a Southerner is pretty cool. You get to shoot. You get to have tractors, golf carts, four-wheelers, and ATV’s. You get to drive to the mailbox instead of walking because it’s more fun. You get to be nice to people instead of going through life generating aggression displays like an angry lizard defending its territory. It’s understandable that people would be happy they’re from the South.

This place is great. Miami is a stinking abscess. That about covers it.

Growing Pains Continue

Saturday, October 7th, 2017

Cliff Clavin Would be Proud

Life in Ocala is wonderful, although I still have challenges. My dad sometimes decides he doesn’t have dementia, which actually makes sense. Dementia screws up your judgment and makes you forget things, including your dementia diagnosis. I have also had more problems getting rid of my dad’s yacht.

My dad has gotten worse. Dementia never stands still. Over the last few days he has forgotten his diagnosis, and he has been telling me his mind is fine. I tell him he was diagnosed with vascular dementia, and he says he doesn’t remember anything like that. Then I remind him that this proves the diagnosis is right.

He wants to drive. I told him he can’t drive because he gets lost. Then he wants to know when he got lost. Then I have to remind him. Then he says he wants to drive with me in the car with him, which negates the whole purpose of driving. He says he wants to maintain the skill. This could be useful to me, because he could follow me when I need him to take me to get the car fixed. But it’s not worth it, because it will convince him he’s a safe driver.

In December, he will have to take a driving test. I suppose that will put an end to the controversy.

Supposedly, the stage of dementia he’s in lasts a couple of years, tops. It’s too bad he has a contrary attitude, because he only has a short stretch of relative clarity before him, and he would get more out of it if he didn’t fight the truth. One of these days, he will drop another notch, and it may be a big one. That’s how the disease progresses. It could be tomorrow or three months from now. He would be better off admitting the obvious and trying to get right with God.

He has delusions now. He thinks he used to ride motorcycles. He has no idea how to operate one. He told a friend we used to take his boat to Europe. He said we put drums of diesel on the deck to extend the boat’s range. Imagine trying to lift a 55-gallon drum of diesel on a rocking boat and then using it to pour fuel into an opening on the boat’s gunnel.

I knew another man with a problem like my dad’s, but he was a less argumentative person. He had always been calm, rational, warm-hearted, patient, generous, and cooperative. Even after he was unable to look after himself, he was clean, well-mannered, and very pleasant to deal with. Everyone loved him, and he wasn’t a burden to anyone except possibly his wife. Your preexisting personality can shape the experience you have when you become demented.

I had to get a second fridge because my dad’s food habits were too gross to tolerate. I hid it in a closet in the garage, and I put certain items in it so they wouldn’t be defiled or eaten as soon as they made it into the house. I don’t want to eat pickles after he has put his fingers in the jar. Imagine the things he would have on his fingers. I don’t want to use mustard from a greasy bottle with dried mustard all over it. I don’t want to eat Raisin Bran after he has sat in front of the TV and eaten most of the box with his fingers. I would like a chance to eat some cheese or an ice cream sandwich before they suddenly vanish.

These habits didn’t start when he became demented. It’s just how he has always been. Now that he’s demented, he can’t remember when I remind him he has to think about cleanliness and leave some food for me.

He rubs spit on things now. That’s new. He thinks he’s cleaning things. I have to keep Lysol wipes and a spray bottle of alcohol handy.

It’s a big relief, knowing I can have clean food and that if I buy a bag of miniature Snickers bars, it won’t disappear before I get the chance to open it. He ate a two-pound bag of peanut butter M&M’s the other day. Who does that?

He won’t find the fridge because he can’t find his way around the house all that well. He’s not sure where my bedroom is. He can find the kitchen, the garage, and his bedroom, and he can walk around the neighborhood without problems, but he will probably never know there’s a closet in the garage.

As for his boat, it has been a horrendous ordeal trying to get rid of it. When the insurance came up for renewal, the agent said there was no coverage for damage. Just liability. This was my dad’s idea. I decided to follow suit, because I was listing the boat with a broker. How likely was it that a hurricane would hit Miami in the two months it would be on the market? Yeah, okay.

Irma showed up. She tore up the boat’s canvas and did some other damage, and I thought I was going to take a big hit. I had a stressful week thinking about it. Then one day I started praying for God to get it sold, and I thanked him over and over and gave him glory, saying, “because it’s done.” A few minutes later, the broker said we had two offers for much more than I expected. We accepted one of them. Then the bilge pumps acted up. I wrote about that a few days ago. If you read about it, you know that “Carlos,” our dubious boat mechanic, installed a new pump. I thought the pump saga was over.

Carlos said water was coming from a rotted head hose. He said he couldn’t close the seacock to keep water out while he replaced it, because it was stuck, and if he applied pressure to it, he might break it and let in enough water to sink the boat. This is a lot of BS. You can replace a seacock on a docked boat by having someone go over the side and cover the opening with a toilet plunger while you work. I know this because Carlos has done it. I wrote about this earlier.

You can pound a stopper into a through-hull if the seacock breaks. Everyone knows this. It’s not like mankind has been sailing for thousands of years without coming up with a few solutions to simple problems. It’s not like every boat with a hole in it sinks. Human beings aren’t that stupid.

Anyway, I thought the problem was fixed, but the broker went over the next day, and Carlos’s pump wasn’t working. The broker got it running, closed the seacock, and got the water pumped out.

Thanks again, Carlos.

Why did the broker go over the next day? Because he’s a responsible adult who cares if the boat sinks. He’s not just thinking about getting a check and running off.

I texted Carlos just to have my low expectations confirmed. He did not disappoint. He gave me a bunch of Bart Simpson excuses, including, “It was working when I left.” He started saying he would go over and fix the rest of the wiring. Yes, instead of apologizing profusely, he decided to award himself another profitable job. No, that would not be necessary. The sale was supposed to close the next day, and I didn’t feel much like paying another Carlos bill. I told him not to bother.

I found out I could move the closing up by sending the required documents early, so I jumped on the chance. I got them notarized and sent them the fastest way I could. On Wednesday, I used the Postal Service (You can see where this is heading) to send them by two-day Express Mail. They were guaranteed to arrive by noon Friday.

Hallelujah! Problem solved! The sale would be final on Friday! Not my boat, not my problem!

Then Friday came, and the delivery confirmation text didn’t come.

The Postal Service didn’t deliver the envelope in time. I spent over $80 for nothing, and I was facing two more days with a leaky boat on my hands.

I tried to log into the USPS site to get information. The site said my account was disabled. It referred me to a page to fix it. That page told me to create a new account, which had nothing to do with the problem. I called. The robot said the wait was at least 20 minutes. I tried their email contact page. I filled it out and clicked, and I got a page saying it wasn’t working.

Today I got my dad in the car, and we sent more documents using UPS. This is a real company that occasionally delivers things on time. We spent $91, and then we sat down at Bob Evans for breakfast. Ten minutes later, I got a text. The Postal Service had delivered the documents.

Okay.

The boat has to remain afloat until Monday morning, when the closer signs off on everything and has the money wired to my dad. I have around 40 hours of prayer ahead of me. After that, if it sinks, it’s the buyer’s baby. They had it surveyed. They have a mechanic. They know it has issues. Their responsibility.

Hurricane Irma knocked the boat around. The broker has messed with the wires. Carlos has puttered around with the wires. The buyer’s mechanic has been on the boat. It’s not an ideal situation.

My dad says the boat is in “tip top shape.”

I contacted friends for prayer. I don’t want to take chances. I need this boat gone.

I got an amazing answer to prayer when the offer arrived. Then I had all these problems. Am I getting resistance from Satan? Sure seems that way. But he’s the little one who loses, and God is the big one who always wins. I have to remember that.

I might shoot again tomorrow. Today I got an opportunity to set fire to our huge burn pile, so next week I’ll have an opportunity to clear more wood. Tomorrow it will be hot, so I think I’ll just shoot. Today Amanda and her sons came over, and I made pizza and garlic rolls.

If you have a minute, please pray the boat stays afloat until it gets to the Cayman Islands and that the sale goes through on Monday. I would be very grateful.

Things are going to get better. The current hurricane is headed somewhere where I don’t have land, my dad is not in the hospital, I have sanitary food, and sooner or later the hairs I burned off my legs have to grow back.

Here’s a photo of the burn pile.

It’s Nice not to be a PC Shemale

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Manly Activities Bring Joy

It seems like there is nothing you can’t do with chainsaws, a tow strap, and a tractor.

I have been putting off tackling a particularly dangerous fallen oak. It snapped about 15 feet off the ground and fell into the crotch of another oak so it was suspended horizontally. A major branch extended about 30 degrees off the fallen oak, toward the ground. This made things worse, because the big branch was bent against the ground, storing up energy so it could spring loose and kill me or drop the main trunk on me when I cut it.

You can’t cut the main trunk on a tree like this, because there’s a good chance the fallen part will come down and crush your skull. You never fell a tree with a rotten or broken part above your head. I had to work on it from the top end.

I didn’t even consider cutting this tree until I had a pole saw. Most of it was above shoulder height, to put it mildly. You don’t use a chainsaw for jobs like that. A pole saw is okay for high cuts under certain circumstances, i.e., when the wood you cut off won’t fall on your head.

I had to cut off the top of the fallen oak, which extended past the crotch of the host tree, as I choose to call it. The top had branches going every which way, and some were bent against the ground. My hope was to snub it off at the host tree’s trunk so I could then cut the fallen oak on the other side of the trunk, allowing it to fall downward with the fallen tree’s trunk acting like a hinge.

Cutting the top of the fallen oak got difficult as I cut higher and higher. Eventually, I had to climb on a ladder to cut. By the way, do not buy a long Climbtek ladder like mine. They’re really heavy, and they can swing shut on your hands while you adjust them. They’re strong and versatile, but 99% of the time, you’ll be better off with a sliding extension ladder and a regular step ladder.

If you need the versatility, then I highly recommend Climbtek. This ladder can do almost anything. Just don’t complain about the weight.

You should never climb a ladder with a chainsaw, but a pole saw is different, because if you fall, you’ll land seven feet from the chain. That’s my theory, at least.

I trimmed the top of the fallen tree as much as I could, but as I went higher, I got to the point where I was cutting nearly straight over my head. The last piece I cut took a fall path about four feet from me in the horizontal direction, and that was close enough. Now what? I stared at it for a long time.

I remembered I had a tractor and a 30-foot strap. I had also trimmed a lot off the fallen oak’s big branch. I realized I could put the strap on the end of the branch and use the branch as a lever to twist the fallen oak and make it fall off its stump. I had to get on the ladder to attach the strap to the branch, right under the horizontal part of the tree. That made me wish I were wearing diapers, but nothing happened.

I attached the strap and started pulling with the tractor. I pulled and backed up and pulled and backed up and pulled. I didn’t want to pull too hard and store too much energy in the tree and strap. I didn’t want anything coming loose and flying my way. After two or three repetitions, the fallen oak tore off its stump and fell. This was one of the great moments of my life. I’m ashamed to say I faced the oak and made a gesture I’ve seen a lot of Italians make in movies.

The big branch was hanging in the air now, so I used the pole saw to buck it into little chunks. You’re not supposed to buck logs with pole saws, but I was too tired to walk and get a big saw. Took me two minutes.

Now the tree is utterly defeated. Tomorrow I can get the big mama saw out and buck it for removal to the burn pile or the side of the road. I’ll get to use my new timberjack!

“What’s a timberjack?”, you wonder. It’s an amazing tool for bucking logs. It has a hook like a peavey on it. It has two legs on the other side. You use the hook to roll logs over so the legs hold them up. This gives you clearance to cut the logs in pieces without sawing into the dirt.

Sawing into the dirt is fun, but it’s a bad idea. Like a lot of fun things.

I should post photos of the timberjack when I finish that tree.

As far as I know, I will be able to cut and move every tree on the property without professional help. It’s just a matter of nibbling away at the unsafe bits until you have something safe. The tractor is a phenomenal tool. I can move wood with it, and that’s obvious, but I can also yank trees around and make them safer to cut.

I spent about $1200 on saws, plus another three hundred or so on things like a hard hat, gloves, the timberjack, and wedges. That’s bad, but it’s a whole lot less than a bunch of slackers with a crane would charge. I’ll want to hire slackers if I ever want to fell big trees near the house, but I’m not shelling out 10 grand for them to move trees that are already on the ground, especially when I can burn them or shove them onto the right of way for nothing.

I spent some money, but I have something to show for it other than huge bills and a Wimp of the Year trophy. The tools will be waiting in the shop for the next crisis. On a farm, there will always be tree issues, so I had to get these things anyway. I may never again have to deal with a dozen or so trees that fell over simultaneously, but trees will fall from time to time, because THEY’RE ALL ROTTEN HERE. This place produces the scabbiest, most scrofulous oaks in the world. It’s amazing they allow the filthy things to grow, when they could plant pecans or something.

Speaking of Wimp of the Year trophies, this whole ordeal has me thinking about Satan’s successful attacks on American masculinity. We raise ladies of both sexes now. What has happened to our men? They wear makeup and tights. Half of them are insisting we pretend they’re women. Is masculinity really that repellant to men? Is it possible they actually find it distasteful?

I love man stuff. I love my Danner boots, my diesel pickup, my tractor, my welders, my machine tools, my guns, and my tractors. I love going out there in a $4.99 Tractor Supply hat and wreaking havoc. I love shooting. I used to love fishing until it became a giant burden. What’s with our fruity modern males? How can they not like these things?

I can’t understand little sissies who don’t like setting things on fire, blowing things up, or ripping things up with power tools. I’m pretty far from a man’s man (even though Acidman called me that), but I’m doing a lot better than a lot of guys I see these days. I still feel gay every time I put gel in my hair.

I’ve started wearing my Tractor Supply hat into restaurants. I didn’t see that coming. I feel strange leaving the house without it.

Amanda got me a high-visibility Rural King hat, so I have variety. I kind of hate to sweat up a gift, though.

Hurricane Irma and these trees can kiss my big white Christian conservative male rear end. I didn’t move here so I could take estrogen and do yoga while my neighbors had all the fun. I will keep putting these trees in their place until they wish they had never germinated.

When I have my machine tools here, I’ll be the most annoying Southerner on earth. If I’m not already. Almost everything that causes me problems can be dealt with by cutting it, dragging it, welding it, machining it, or shooting it. When I have machining covered, I will be insufferable. I plan to, anyway.

Hope you enjoy the photos. If not, quit reading this blog, because I will never stop posting this kind of stuff.

More

I feel like writing some more. Another benefit of living in Ocala is that I’m in better shape. I can’t seem to gain weight here. I had to move to a smaller belt, even though I’ve been patronizing Sonny’s barbecue pretty heavily. On top of that, apart from a short hurricane-related lapse, I’ve been maintaining my HIIT workout schedule, and everything is firming up and improving. I would go so far as to describe myself as semi-muscular. I looked in the mirror the other day and saw something that almost resembled abs.

I’m excited about being in shape. I may even get some weights. Ordinarily, it’s hard to make myself lift, but I do so much work here, lifting will just be noise on the graph.

It would be neat to go back to 47 chest/33 waist.

I guess I’m the only person on earth who pushes exercise bike pedals with his hands, but I won’t apologize. It works. The resistance knob on the bike broke (again), so instead of fixing it, I put an adjustable clamp on the calipers that apply pressure to the bike’s wheel. Now I get lots of resistance. It’s having an effect. If you’re too lazy to lift, this will tone your upper body and even add some bulk, and if you ever have to do strenuous work, you’ll be ready for it.

This place rocks. I hate Miami more every second.

White Fright

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Vegas Slaughter Grounds Overt Anti-Caucasian Racism

It’s crazy how America is being transformed by Satan.

Last night a maniac opened fire on concertgoers with an automatic weapon, killing at least fifty. Who are Internet leftists blaming? The murderer? Mental illness? No, they’re blaming white people. Many are more specific: they blame conservative Christian white men.

There is a myth out there which says only white men commit mass murderers, and that only white men become serial killers. John Muhammad’s murder spree did nothing to change the minds of the faithful. They didn’t pay any attention to him, Wayne Williams, Colin Ferguson, Lee Malvo, Syed Farook, Omar Mateen, the 911 killers, or Christopher Dorner. They don’t even know who Charles Ng is. They hear a myth that confirms their preexisting bigotry, and they choose not to question it.

I include dark-skinned Muslims among non-white killers. They’re Caucasian, but “Caucasian” and “white” aren’t synonyms.

Here’s an interesting fact: white people aren’t that violent. According to government statistics, Asians commit the least violent crime in the US. After that, white people. Then you get a big bump in the statistics, and you come to Hispanics, who are much more violent than whites or Asians (largely because of the huge number of violent crimes committed by illegal aliens). Next on the list: black males. They commit MOST murders in America; a little over 50%. But somehow leftists have decided white men are our biggest terrorist threat.

The bizarre racist comments now appearing on the web seem to be coordinated by a central authority. A tremendous number of people have simultaneously appeared on the Internet, like a flash mob, spouting very similar hateful comments about white men. How can that be? Do they get together on the dark web and pass out talking points? Maybe some of them do, but the real explanation has to be supernatural. When a big percentage of a nation’s people start parroting the same hateful lies at the same time, Satan has to be behind it, just as he was behind the anti-Jewish lies of the Nazis.

In 1910, Germany and Austria were countries that welcomed Jews and allowed them to take part in every facet of society. Twenty years later, it was time for Jews to get out. Hatred had appeared out of nowhere, very suddenly, and it was about to get much worse. In 1997, anyone who blamed white Christian Americans for our nation’s terrorism issues would have been laughed into submission, rightfully. In 2017, white-hating bigots are mainstream. Colleges can have days when white people are forced to stay home.

I don’t believe white people are the master race or that minorities cause all of America’s problems, but you would have to be blind not to notice that we commit less crime than blacks and Hispanics. Where would you rather walk alone at night? Compton or Salt Lake City? Be serious.

It would be wrong to say that white people don’t commit violent crime, but to make the claim that we’re a bigger threat than Muslims, blacks, and illegals is asinine. It’s facially absurd. Yet somehow this is what we’re being told.

The Las Vegas murderer, Stephen Paddock, has been claimed by ISIS. That won’t change his whiteness, but if true, it takes him out of the white/male/conservative/Christian category into which the left is working furiously to jam him. ISIS says he converted to Islam months ago. Leftists are falling all over themselves, trying to refute this claim. In reality, we don’t know whether it’s true or not, and a lot of people are going to look stupid when we learn the truth.

I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s probably true, for two reasons. First of all, ISIS has a news agency, and they want to be taken seriously. They wouldn’t want to make a false claim that would be taken down in hours or minutes. Second, Paddock opened fire at a country music performance which he knew would be full of conservatives and Christians. If Paddock were a conservative avenger, he would have shot up a different type of event.

People say he used to be registered as a Democrat, so at the moment, the evil white male narrative is a bit shaky.

If ISIS is wrong, the overwhelming likelihood is that Paddock was a bitter, entitled old nut who had a beef with the management of the Mandalay Bay casino, and he didn’t care what type of people were in the crowd.

I saw someone say he couldn’t be a Muslim, because he was known to consume alcohol. Wrong. The 911 killers had no qualms about drinking. Their religion says Allah forgives drinking and fornication as long as you die killing non-Muslims. If anything, prior sins gave Paddock more motivation to kill. He may have done a lot of drinking and fornicating in his life, and under Islam’s rules, you can’t count on forgiveness and salvation unless you die waging jihad. The Las Vegas rampage may have been his insurance policy.

It’s very disturbing, seeing so much hate directed at white Christian males. It’s open season. How can such a thing happen in America? On the one hand, we are being overwhelmed with exhortations to love, tolerate, and forgive. The word “inclusive” now has far more moral weight than the word “holy.” On the other hand, the same people promoting love and peace are working feverishly to promote open hatred and persecution of white Christian males. And no one seems to see the obvious hypocrisy.

I don’t believe in slavery. I don’t believe in subjugating non-whites or trampling on their rights or their dignity. How did I end up in the crosshairs? Where did all these seething, murderous enemies come from? There are millions of people in my country who are quite literally ready to murder me as soon as they get permission. Over myths and lies. And many of them are as white as I am! They want to purge their white guilt by persecuting their own. I hate to break the news to them, but when anti-white racism is truly unleashed, no one will care about your self-hatred. You’ll be in just as much danger as the rest of us, even if you’re a kapo.

What if they manage to get rid of us eventually? What do they think will happen? Have they ever looked at places where blacks and Latins are in charge? Will they enjoy America more if it turns into Mexico, Venezuela, Honduras, Sudan, Somalia, Rwanda, or Zimbabwe? I doubt it very much. Life in Latin America and Africa is miserable, and it has nothing to do with white people. Life in Africa is so bad, people there wish they could move to India.

Try and name a few black and Latin countries where life is good. It’s not easy. We may be missed.

If you had told me 20 years ago that I would ever feel the need to discourage people from hating whites, I would have said you were dreaming. I can’t believe it has come to this.

I’m sorry to say it, but I’m very glad I live a good distance from the nearest minority strongholds. I have no desire whatsoever to bother them, but I have ample reason to think many of them will be coming after people like me in the relatively near future. I would not want to live within five miles of a ghetto these days.

I don’t know what movitated Stephen Paddock to kill. Maybe he’s a far-right Christian who wears Confederate flag pajamas to bed. I do know that it’s not right to blame my race for his crimes. Our track record over the last fifty years proves it makes no sense. There is no such thing as coordinated Christian terrorism or white terrorism in the United States. There will always be a few fringe nuts, but hey, there are also Chinese muggers. They don’t all go to dental school and medical school. A few robins don’t make a spring. Muslim terror, on the other hand, is raging all over the world, and American minority neighborhoods are war zones where whites and Asians are the preferred targets.

Guess I’ll sit back and see what news comes to light. I almost feel like praying Paddock turns out to be a Muslim.

We must be doing a few things right, for Satan to be working so hard to destroy us.

More

This is interesting. Leftist organ The Atlantic has published a piece saying false ISIS claims are “rare.”

Thanks for the Advice

Sunday, October 1st, 2017

The Opposite of Nostalgia

Today I was thinking about all the problems I have. I still have a bunch of big trees to cut and move. We are having a mosquito plague that beggars description. I still have to get my machinery moved from Miami. I have to get a house down there fixed up and rented. I gave myself a sunburn on one wrist and one leg using the welder. I added all that up, and this was my conclusion: I HATE MIAMI. THANK GOD I’M NOT IN MIAMI. I LOVE IT HERE.

So things could be worse.

I remember what some people said to me when I used to criticize Miami. “If you don’t like it, leave!” Sometimes they said, “Get the f___ out!”

I did! I left! Great advice! Muchos gracias!

People thought I wasn’t serious about leaving. Yeah, okay. They don’t know me very well. I’ve been trying to get out for years.

“Get the f___ out!” Always nice to get polite advice from good friends.

What do I miss about Miami? Still nothing! Nothing, nothing, nothing. Not the traffic. Not the rudeness. Not the ethnic tension. Not the near lack of seasons. Not the perpetually moldy smell of the air. I don’t miss paying ten bucks for a McDonald’s breakfast. I don’t miss having my unpleasant neighbors right up my nose as soon as I walk outside. I don’t miss not being able to shoot without driving for half an hour and paying a fee to be monitored by killjoy range officers. I don’t miss having a tiny, cramped workshop. I don’t miss not being able to talk to people because they’re too lazy and selfish to learn the language of the generous country that saved their lives.

I have two friends left in Miami. Two, after decades of living there. Guess what? They hate it. They hate it so much they want to move all the way to Virginia.

I know other people there, but we have drifted apart. Not including the couple I mentioned above, I don’t know anyone who wouldn’t be surprised if I called.

Well, I do have my house sitter. He has to stay there for another year because he’s in college. But he hates Miami, too.

Last week a friend had to go to Cudjoe Key to check on a rental house he owned. I let him sleep at my dad’s house in Miami, and he brought me a lot of stuff the movers left behind. I have my Rockstar beverage fridge! I have a guitar amp! My sawzall is here! I have my compressor hose reels! I even have one of my big soup pots, plus my huge pressure cooker!

I still have no steam iron, but that’s okay, because I hate ironing.

Yesterday Amanda and her kids came down for a visit, and I made collards, ham hocks, neckbones, hoe cakes, soup beans, and sliced tomatoes and Vidalias. We also slapped together some oatmeal cookies, from the recipe in my book. It turns out the book is wrong; they’re only supposed to have about 1/8 teaspoon of nutmeg in them. Anyway, it was a great feed. First real home-cooked meal I’ve made in months. Sometimes you need a big pot.

My laundry facilities are better than hers, so I told her to use them when she needs them. In return we get some company.

There are some things I had to replace after I moved. Example: my old-man tweezers. When you hit a certain age, hairs sprout all over you. You can either pull them out or watch them take over. I don’t mind buying tweezers, because tweezers are among the products we make a whole lot better than we used to.

It’s a good thing we got out when we did, because my dad’s condition worsened abruptly after our offer was accepted. It would have been a lot harder to move, had we waited. Now he has a big bedroom suite and a living room all to himself. He has a safe place to do his daily walking. His quality of life is much better. He isn’t tempted to drive. Looking after him is way easier here, and when things get worse, we’ll be surrounded by people who are experts at caring for old people. And they speak English.

He has started having false memories. The other day he told someone we had taken his boat to France and Italy, with extra diesel in drums on the deck. I sat there hoping no one would ask me about the trip.

Dementia is very strange. Dealing with a demented person is like walking through a house that has been hit by artillery fire. Some parts are totally sound, and others are just plain missing. Depending on what you talk to my dad about, you may be able to get very reliable input from him, but if you enter one of the damaged areas, the floor collapses under you.

Up here, he’s relatively safe from telemarketers and other swindlers. He doesn’t have to worry about close relations showing up on his doorstep, making wild accusations and demanding money. He’s less likely to be preyed upon by financially shaky, morally flexible middle-aged ladies who have suddenly found themselves drawn to octagenarians.

The weather has changed. I think. The forecast for this week is running seven to ten degrees lower than last week. That should make tree clearing easier. I’m told we will get bug relief after the first cold snap. That will be nice. Mosquitoes hate me, but there are so many here right now, even the outliers that find me tasty are able to cause problems. And because of the heat, sweat has been washing the repellant away.

Weather sites list the mosquito outlook as “EXTREME.” I would go along with that. And it makes sense. There is still standing water from Irma.

I can’t wait for better weather. The outdoor work has to be done.

I’m considering getting weights for the tractor. The guy who sold it to me left a bush hog on it for weight, but the bush hog gets beaten up a lot while I drag it around. It doesn’t lift completely off the ground. It would be a pain to switch weights for the bush hog, but it might be worth it. I would have more maneuverability, and the bush hog could be tucked away in the goat shed to rest.

A 1000-pound set of weights runs about a grand, but there is probably someone around here who has an old set to sell.

I had to weld the bush hog again. The welds I put on with a stick electrode broke when I hit a stump. They were really bad welds anyway. I fired up my generator and used the MIG to replace them, but I’ve had some problems. For one thing, the generator surges for some reason, and that makes the wire feed switch on and off. I may need a new torch cable liner to reduce resistance.

I don’t know what it will cost to get real 220 installed in the garage, but it’s a must-do.

That’s all I have right now. I am still here. I am still very, very, very glad I left. Hope to post more photos in the future.

I’m Home!

Wednesday, September 27th, 2017

This Place Rocks

Things are settling down here. I am learning new things in prayer, and I am trying to apply them. The unexpected financial drains are easing, the hurricane cleanup is getting easier, and I am starting to feel at home on the tractors.

Speaking of feeling at home, Ocala is suiting me better and better. It’s the craziest thing; I wanted some acreage, and I have it. I wanted tools and machinery, and I have them. I wanted to be around people whose mindset was more like mine, and I’m among them.

Back in Coral Gables, I used to get up and throw on Carhartt work pants and sneakers, grab my carry piece and my folding knife, and go about my day. I do those same things here, but because this isn’t Coral Gables, these things don’t make me weird. No one says, “Wow, you have a truck.” Everyone dresses pretty much like I do. I’m amassing a collection of ball caps (because you can’t wear bluetooth hearing protectors with a cowboy hat), and now I look like every other ball-cap-wearing Southerner in the county. The only thing missing is a can of Skoal, making a round bulge in a back pocket.

Come to think of it, people don’t seem to dip snuff here. Good for them. The spit is disgusting, and when you get Skoal cancer, they remove your face from the nose to the neck.

It’s very strange, being able to go outside without feeling I’m under scrutiny. Most of the time, people can’t see me when I’m outdoors here. I don’t have to worry about Jehovah’s Witnesses, blacktop gypsies, or fake Omaha Steaks drivers. The only leaf blower I ever hear is my own. I never hear a three-minute ear-splitting blast from a roach coach horn. I never hear the sound of my neighbors dragging their lawn waste onto my property.

If it weren’t for the ravenous bugs, I would be able to relax completely here. Irma produced a mosquito tsunami, and it will be a while before it subsides. Today I surrendered and Off’d myself before leaving the house.

Yesterday I went outside and shot 50 or so rounds without alerting anyone, calling the Sheriff, or asking my neighbors’ permission. It feels so natural. It’s how things worked when I lived in Kentucky. I hate suburban life.

Now that my feet are starting to touch bottom, it won’t be long before I start visiting churches. The feeling of fitting in will surely increase. I won’t drink the prosperity Kool-Aid, but I’m sure I’ll meet people who think it’s perfectly normal to wake up on a Monday morning and spend three hours in prayer.

Wow, I just got a big break. I received two offers on my dad’s yacht. I have been dying to get rid of it. We tied a lot of cash up when we bought this house, and we need to dump the excess baggage. On top of that, we could use the slip rent. I was starting to think the boat would never sell.

We offered it for a certain price, and nothing happened. We put it up for sale near the beginning of August, and nothing happens in Miami in August. We got one bad offer. Then Irma hit. She tore up the boat’s ancient canvas and messed up the tuna door, and we had no hull insurance. My dad didn’t carry it, and when I found that out, I decided not to renew it. We were going to be rid of it in a few weeks. What were the odds a storm would come through?

I thought we were going to get around $20000 less than the figure I originally wanted, but today the broker called and said someone is offering $2900 more than what I expected to clear. I said, “Take it. Take it. Take it.” I am not going to be greedy. I want that boat gone, I want the slip rented, and I want to sell it for a 1031 exchange next year. Or maybe I’ll just continue renting it, if the rent is good. I don’t think it will be.

I have that feeling you get when a big weight is taken off your shoulders. Shaky and drained. Thank you, God. That boat had become a curse.

Why did the boat sell all of a sudden? I think I know. The other day, I got a miracle healing. I wrote about it. It wasn’t a big healing. I blistered my finger, and the blister disappeared overnight. The way I prayed for that healing was unusual. First of all, it was very fervent, because I hate burns. Second, I kept praising and thanking God “because it’s done.” I kept this up for a very long time.

It worked for my finger, so I did it with the boat, today and yesterday. I also did it with the house we’re trying to sell. After prayer today, I expected to hear news about the boat. And I did.

I also ask for the following things for the people on my prayer list: I ask God to send people and spirits to pay us, to give things to us, to do our work for us, to give us advice, and to fight our battles. Today the broker said he had personally fixed up the boat’s batteries so he could get the generator and starboard engine running (an unpleasant job), and he wants to rent the slip for us with no commission. He isn’t required to do any of those things.

Now, will God come through on the rental house? If so, I will be too happy to live. That house has been an anchor around my neck. I never wanted it. My sister ruined it and forced us to take it over. My dad, frankly, was extremely unpleasant while I was getting it repaired. The contractors were liars and idiots. I want to see that house sell. NOW.

Oh, man. My cell phone just dinged. The pole saw I ordered is ready at Home Depot. I was about to go anyway, for mailbox letters, malathion, and maybe hydraulic fluid. This is perfect. That saw will bring down strongholds. There are things I just could not cut with a regular chainsaw.

I am giddy. Time to hop in the SUV (because the truck needs an alignment), cruise to Home Depot, pick up my goodies, and relax.

I’ve been cursed, and I’ve been blessed. Blessed is better. I hope my testimony will help you find relief.

Berm Notice

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

Get the Hell Out of my Yard…SERIOUSLY

I still have a lot of things to do, to get caught up on the move and the hurricane. I don’t care. Today I decided I was going to do something I had been wanting to do for a long time. I decided to shoot on my own property.

First thing I needed to do…choose a weapon. I have a number of long guns lying around, but until today, I had not unpacked the pistols. I had sent them to Ocala in one of our many moving boxes. I didn’t label it “Expensive Firearms.” I simply put them in box number 88. I didn’t see any point in tempting the movers.

Incidentally, Atlas Van Lines has a strict policy when it comes to shipping firearms. They say they have to fill out a lot of paperwork in order to do it, so if you don’t warn them in advance, they leave your guns on the floor of your old house. Do they really have to do paperwork? No idea. All I know is that they refused to take my rifles, and I had to do it myself. They had already packed my pistols, which, as noted above, I had not labeled.

They won’t carry ammunition, either, which is just stupid. Ammunition is very stable. It’s extremely hard to make it blow up or go off. By the time your household goods are in a situation which could cause bullets in boxes to go off, all is pretty much lost. By that time, the truck is in flames and the fire people have cordoned it off.

I went looking for box 88. I had stored it cleverly among other unassuming boxes with innocent-looking numbers on them. Problem: when I went to the big storage room to look for it, it wasn’t there.

You can imagine how I felt. I tore the house up. I searched the storage room at least three times. I searched all the closets. I searched the workshop. I prayed. I was very upset.

The thing that amazed me was that it wasn’t in the storage room. I had seen it there. Where else could it possibly be? Only two companies have had workers in the house since we moved, and I didn’t think they’d be stupid enough to steal. If the guns were gone, it meant some genius had seen through the random numbering strategy and chosen exactly the right box, out of dozens. Without opening the others.

The other possible explanation was that I had hidden the box in a safe place only I could find, and that I had forgotten where that place was.

I got very discouraged. I pictured my guns in the hands of a grimy air conditioner repairman. The air conditioning people spent more time here than anyone.

I went back to the storage room for a last try. I stood there thinking how amazing it was that the box wasn’t there. Then I saw it. On top of two other boxes. In plain sight. Exactly where I left it.

Explain that to me. I can’t figure out what happened. I looked right at it, over and over, and I didn’t see it. Then it mysteriously became visible.

Whatever.

I didn’t seem to have a whole lot of .45 ammo ready, and for some reason, I had tons of .38 Super, so .38 Super is what I chose to shoot.

The realtor who sold us this house decided to leave her big, annoying signs here forever. One attracted a moron in some kind of vehicle, and he ran over it and destroyed it, leaving problematic ruts in our swale. I took the remains of that sign to the dump. It had already attracted an aggressive realtor who rubbed me the wrong way, so I was glad it was gone. I took her second sign and laid it on the ground, and I sent a message to her firm via the Internet, telling them to come and get it.

They never responded, so today I took the sign out of the frame, and I set the frame up on my shooting berm. I taped a Caldwell target to it, and I was in business.

Here’s a photo. This is my first 300 rounds. I wish. That’s 5 rounds. I ended up shooting 35, I think, and I had three fliers that opened the hole up pretty badly. I did okay, though, and I learned, which is what matters.

Here’s one thing I learned: it’s impossible to police your brass in a pasture. I recovered about 4 expensive Starline shells. The rest are now part of the archaeological record. I don’t know what to do. Maybe I should just Roundup a small area to kill the grass that hides brass.

I quit shooting because shooting is expensive when you lose brass.

I wanted to shoot my .17 HMR, but that requires a table, chair, and God knows what else, and after losing all that time searching for box 88, I was in a hurry to get out there.

I think I should build a little shed type of thing for shooting, so I’ll have shade and a place to put my beer. I could fix it so it contains spent shells and saves me money.

How do you measure off long distances for shooting? I don’t think anyone makes a 200-yard tape measure. I want to be able to shoot at 100, 150, and 200 yards. The shorter distances are for .17 HMR. It’s a very cheap caliber for people who want to improve their technique.

It’s so nice, not having to deal with range officers and dangerous inexperienced shooters who literally shoot the inside of the range canopy. It’s nice not having to pay ten bucks or sit through a safety class. It’s also nice not to have to deal with the annoying camo and tactical crowd. People who think the world of themselves but shoot like little girls. When you see a cop in tactical pants at the range, get ready to duck. A pound of hair gel and 37 velcro pockets do not a marksman make.

I don’t think the neighbors had any idea I was shooting. They can’t see into the pasture unless they happen to be passing by the west end. I would be very surprised if they cared. We actually looked at one neighbor’s house before we bought this one, and he had an ammunition press set up in his garage.

There is an old deer stand in the pasture. Proof I’m not the first person to shoot out there.

I guess I’ll start moving trees again tomorrow.

He Maketh me to Drive in Circles in Green Pastures

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

The New Adventures of Tractor Boy

I received a pleasant reminder tonight. You can’t enjoy living in Ocala unless you go outside.

For the last ten days or so, I’ve been living like a cockroach, shunning the light and sitting indoors, working on an endless stream of unexpected problems. I kept wanting to go out to the shop and enjoy it, but I put it off. Always busy or tired.

Tonight I got a little time to myself, and I went out to look things over. The other day I managed to get the garden tractor running, and I butchered the yard, but it wasn’t very relaxing. I was nervous about running into things, and I didn’t know how to run the machine, and then, of course, it started raining. Tonight was a little different.

The property has one side which is woods and another side which is pasture. The pasture is getting overgrown, and it makes me nervous. I don’t know anything about farming, but I know you don’t want three-foot-high grass and weeds in a pasture, and I don’t know how a bush hog will feel about cutting it when it gets too tall. There is also a small pasture behind the house, and it was getting tall, too.

I decided to mow the “road”(grass track) that runs from the house end of the property to the end of the pasture, down by the highway. After some confusion and false starts, I got the John Deere running and took off.

I don’t know if you’re supposed to mow foot-high grass with a garden tractor, but I was not ready to risk death on the farm tractor, and I figured I could get away with cutting a narrow swath. We have a twenty-foot-wide circular burn area in the big pasture, and I decided to mow around that, too, so I wouldn’t have to walk through a jungle to burn limbs.

When we bought this land, I thought mowing was one of the major down sides. Boy, was I wrong. It’s very relaxing, and it puts you in contact with the nature you paid for. I spend about two hours zipping around in my Rural King hat and my Gun Muffler ear protectors. I didn’t stop until it was too dark to mow safely. The tractor has headlights, and I actually used them.

It’s very satisfing, seeing a scary overgrowth of weeds and grass lie down in an orderly, sheared carpet of green. You can walk in mowed grass. You don’t have to worry as much about snakes and other critters surprising you. You can see where to put your foot when you walk. When you mow, you show that someone is in control and that he cares.

I learned a number of things. First of all, when you mow in a spiral, you want the grass to shoot out of the outer side of the tractor. You don’t want to shoot it into an area you’ll have to mow on your next pass. If you do that, you keep piling mown grass up in the center of your spiral, and the mower has to deal with it over and over. It kills your speed.

I also learned that evenings are the best time to mow. Either that or early in the morning. The sun is just too brutal in the middle of the day. You have to be stupid to mow at noon.

The mower gets things done a lot faster than I expected. It really cooks. I’m sure it would be even faster if the grass were lower.

I don’t plan to mow the whole pasture with a garden tractor, but I can clear the road, and that allows me to get to the far end and out the gate onto the swale by the highway. I’m responsible for that swale, so I need a path a garden tractor can handle. I do hope I don’t get pancaked by a semi while I’m mowing it.

It’s scary using the garden tractor. I have come to realize that it sounds disturbed even when you use it correctly, and that has helped. It’s hard to get used to the fact that it has no clutch. You just ram it into gear, whether it likes it or not. Also, you turn on the PTO without a clutch, while the engine is running. That feels wrong, but the manual says it’s right.

I’m nearly sure I dinged one blade when I mowed the front yard, but I have no way to get under the tractor to change it. I need a set of ramps, as I understand it.

I did everything I wanted to in the big pasture, but I left maybe three-quarters of an acre in the little pasture. It was just too dark and too late. I don’t want to drive into a hole or a stump I can’t see. I’m definitely an amateur, leaving it that way, but I can knock it off in half an hour tomorrow.

When I was a kid, my dad got a push mower and figured I would use it. It had powered front wheels, so really, you just steered it. We both lost interest, and I forgot all about it. I didn’t like it much. I was lazy, and it wasn’t fun to use. A tractor is different. It’s a pleasure to use. I thought people were nuts when they said they liked mowing, but now I get it. Mowing is fine. Pushing a heavy machine that takes two hours to finish half an acre is what’s not fun.

Maybe I shouldn’t mow the little pasture. I’m told I may be able to sell hay. You find someone who makes round bales, and he mows in exchange for part of the proceeds. I suppose the little pasture has some potential. Thing is, it makes a very nice extension to the back yard. I don’t think it’s worth it to give up foot access to it for a few dollars.

Hay could get me a tax exemption next year, so letting the big pasture grow is probably a good move.

I look forward to the cooler months. I moved at the worst possible time. It’s boiling hot during the day. Mid-90’s. A month from now, I should start to see some relief. I was here in March, and it was wonderful. There will be cold days, but let’s be serious. Forty degrees is not cold. I lived in New York and Kentucky, and I know what it’s like to have two weeks of temperatures at or below zero, with thick snow everywhere. Northern Florida cold is a joke. It will be uncomfortable some times, but come on. While I’m complaining about forty degrees, people up north will be wondering which six-foot-deep pile of snow is their car.

I should have posted some photos. No one would have been impressed, though. Because the grass was so high, it was not an elegant cut. This was not maintenance mowing. This was desperation mowing, to get the height reduced at all costs before it was too late. If I want to make it pretty, I’ll have to wait until next time.

Anyway, I’m glad I got to mow a little. I feel that God used this to remind me that things are going to be okay here. If I sit in the house and look at the computer all day, life will be depressing and empty, but if I take advantage of the things that drew me here in the first place, I’ll enjoy myself. Moving here and sitting in the house is like moving to Miami and staying on shore. The only thing Miami has going for it is the ocean, and if you don’t make use of it, all you have is a rude, sweaty city with terrible traffic, high prices, and no culture.

Pray I don’t destroy my machinery while I’m learning to use it.

By the way, I checked, and they do make gun racks for golf carts. Does my golf cart really need a gun rack? Who cares? That’s not the point. Gun racks are fun, and they make a statement. That statement is, “I am all about conservative overkill.” I almost feel like getting a Confederate flag, just to make it worse. But that would be disingenuous. I gave up on the stars and bars years ago, because of slavery.

In any case, it will be good to have a .22 or the 16-gauge with me out there. We have rattlesnakes, possums, coons, and coyotes. I don’t want to kill possums. They’re harmless, obsequious creatures. But it looks like one is pooping on my front walk regularly. Coons…I hate. The first time you pick up trash after a coon, all your thoughts of cuteness and charm will evaporate. As for rattlesnakes, they should all be killed. Let the greenies whine. Rattlesnakes do horrible things to people. Google and see what a snake bite looks like after the poison has done its work.

Maybe I’ll get to shoot a little soon. This place is perfect for practicing with the .17 HMR and scope.

That’s all for tonight. Time to shower and look forward to another day.

This is my Stop

Monday, August 21st, 2017

The Armed Compound is a Reality

Today I’m trying something new: golf cart blogging. I’m in the woods east of my house, sitting in my E-Z-GO, drinking an Arizona Watermelon cocktail. I have the laptop with me, and I’m using my phone as a router.

I’m typing during the eclipse, which is on the way out now. I did not make any effort to observe it, but when I walked out of my dad’s hospital, I noticed that the sun was casting thousands of crescent-shaped lights on the sidwalk. To see an eclipse, you look down, not up.

Traditionally, eclipses have been considered bad omens, and lunar eclipses have been considered particularly ominous for Israel. I don’t know if it amounts to anything. I have not seen a correlation. I find eclipses themselves kind of dull, but it’s neat to see how the world becomes darker while staying sunny. I remember seeing that when I was a kid.

My dad is in the hospital because he refused to wait for me to give him his prescriptions two days ago. I already wrote about this. We were leaving a hotel in Kissimmee, and I asked him to wait by the car while I got the birds. They were in travel cages in my room. He wanted to take his pills, and I told him he needed to let me get them for him. When I got back to the car, he had a bag of bottles in his hands, and he was taking things. I had to pull the bag out of his fingers to get him to stop.

The next morning, in the new house, he came to my bedroom and said he didn’t know where he was.

I thought he had had a stroke, but it looks like he took the wrong dose of one drug and slowed his heart rate down to the point where it affected his thinking. I learn new lessons all the time, and now I’ve learned I have to keep his prescriptions in a special place.

The day we left Miami, he insisted he was not going to give up driving. He said he was perfectly able to find his way around the neighborhood. He was adamant. He was angry. He got in the car and tried to go to a Wendy’s about a mile and a half away. I didn’t see him again for several hours.

I used a phone app to track him, and I saw that he was several miles north of Coral Gables, driving in random directions, as if he were using dice to choose his way. I ended up chasing him down with the app. I found him near Northwest 79th Street, which is about 12 miles from where he should have been. Instead of leaving reasonably early and taking a leisurely drive to Ocala, we ended up leaving late and checking into the hotel in Kissimmee at about 1 a.m., and needless to say, a lot of loose ends down south remained loose.

I took the car keys, and I figured things would be okay, and then came the pill incident.

The movers didn’t finish putting everything where it should be. As Miami’s final slap in the face, the moving company sent three Cubans who did not speak any English. The job called for six, at least one of whom could communicate. They finally left at about midnight, promising to come back in a few days. Will I see them again? Search me.

I have one friend in Ocala, and she has been a godsend. When I texted her about my dad’s hospital stay, she drove to the hospital on her day off to visit him and see if he was okay. This gave me time to buy towels and some other things we needed. When I caught up with her at the hospital, she showed me where the Wal-Mart was, and I loaded up on waste baskets and so on.

Her ex-husband is a lawyer. Well, that’s not true. He used to be a lawyer. He stole a lot of money from two clients, and he is currently a guest of the state, awaiting final sentencing. Long story. She and I kept each other laughing with tales of our dysfunctional families. For example, we discussed the time her 350-pound great aunt got in the bathtub against everyone’s advice and got stuck there, and then insisted my friend lift her out.

The ex-husband is a strange case. The videotape of one of his hearings is online, and I decided to watch it. The judge asked him about his education level, and he said, “nineteenth grade.” What can you say about that? You’re talking to the person who decides how much time you get, and you decide to make a joke? I would not have made that choice. It may explain why the judge denied his motion to withdraw his guilty plea. He could be looking at 10 years or more.

The house, shop, and grounds are wonderful. The shop is going to be big enough for all my tools, and it’s already set up with a security system, a powered garage door on one end, and a chain-driven roll-up door on the other. It has a nice porch outside, with a swing and 4 plastic Adirondack chairs. When I experience failure and frustration with my tools, I can go out there, sit in one of the chairs, and sulk in the shade.

I have endless room to store my junk, so for the first time in years, I will not have to worry about clutter. I can’t get over that.

The area is like medicine to me. The people are polite. Nearly everyone speaks English. I see Trump stickers all over the place. The traffic is a joke. The landscape is very pretty. I can’t wait for the August heat to die down so I can enjoy Marion County even more.

I have some stress related to my dad’s little surprises, as well as the movers’ interesting business methods, but other than that, I have peace here. I’m trying to get used to the fact that everyone isn’t angry at me, the way they are in Miami. I was right about that place. It wasn’t me; it was Miami.

My friend Travis called and said he had a dream about me. He’s house sitting for me. He said he dreamed an angry hag tried to get into the house. At first, he didn’t know who it was, but it turned out to be my sister. That makes sense. She has been used against me all my life. Whatever it is that drives her is probably not pleased that I’m out here living among Christians.

Travis has had prophetic dreams before, so this one could be legit. He’s very concerned because so many of his strong Christian friends have left Miami. He thinks something bad is going to happen. Of course, something bad has already happened. It became Miami. How much worse could it get?

I guess I should fire up the Mach 5 and get back to the barn. In a month or two, I should be able to blog out here in 70-degree weather. That will be something. Maybe I’ll have some rifle targets to show you.

Expect more move-related posts. This adventure is just starting.

The Liberation of A. MacMoofing

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

GANGWAY!

If you want to have a thrilling experience that will leave you gasping, don’t buy a wingsuit and jump off Mount Everest. Hire movers to move your grand piano.

Today I watched movers turn my piano on its side and roll it outdoors. It’s like watching nurses play catch with your newborn child. Anyway, they seem to know what they’re doing.

Of course, the movers are doing more than I required in the original estimate. I’m handling everything myself, so it was not possible to get every possession packed. The cost went up a few hundred dollars, and it may go up more tomorrow. C’est la vie. That’s what money is for.

I still can’t get used to the idea that I’m leaving this miserable city. Day after tomorrow, I will be in MY house, in northern Florida. I won’t be a tourist or a guest. I’ll be a resident.

It’s frustrating, trying to do things in the right order. My tools are on a truck right now, so all the things I wanted to do with tools this week are not possible. I needed tools to prepare some things for the move! I had to rely on the movers and their pathetic tools. My lathe has a wooden tool shelf on it, and the shelf has to be removed for the trip north. The shelf uses special bolts. They’re not original to the lathe. I keep the originals in one of my rolling tool chests. Guess when I remembered that? After they started moving my tools into the truck. Thank God they hadn’t taken the chest yet.

Whoops. I have to get up and let them pack crystal. I’ll be back.

I have started to think there is no intelligent, efficient way to move. My obligations in South Florida are a bit screwed up, and there is nothing I can do about it. People are just going to have to show me a little patience. Or drive 300 miles to see me if they want a confrontation. By the time they get there, I should already have the security alligators trained.

I had to move in the most cloudless, blistering, glaring August in history. I hate to say anything that might make a global warming nut puff up and crow, but the sun is about an inch from the ground today. I actually had to walk around it to get to the car. It’s one of those Augusts when the sun follows you in the house. You sit in the air-conditioned shade and feel the sun’s heat and glare through the walls. Even when you close your eyes, you want sunglasses.

I feel like Miami is angry at me for leaving, and I suppose it is. There are big, filthy spirits assigned to various geographical areas, and I’m sure the ones that run Miami enjoy the suffering I endure here. I think they’re turning it up to punish me for going AWOL. It seems like people are ruder and more crass than ever this week. More people turning in front of me without turn signals. More people running yield signs simply because Carlos the Random Miamian and his leased Range Rover are more important than I am. More traffic backups. Papa John’s sent me a guy who could not say three words of English. I’m so busy I debase myself by ordering Papa John’s, and they rub it in by sending me an illegal who can’t say, “Twenty dollars and forty-two cents.”

That is some bad pizza, by the way. Really revolting. The cheese is fake (look up the ingredients), and they put about half an ounce of each topping on the pie. Flour and tomatoes are nearly free, so of course, that’s what Papa John’s sells you. Anything even slightly costly they dole out in tiny amounts more suitable for snorting than eating. They might as well chop the toppings into lines and serve them on a mirror.

At some point tomorrow, my dad’s TV will be packed. I do not look forward to that. He is not good at dealing with minor inconveniences. He was already bored with 800 channels. Now he will have…0 channels. That means he will be 800 divided by 0 times as bored. And we won’t have cable until next week. I may check into a motel by myself and claim I was abducted by aliens.

The flying saucer kind, not the lawn-mowing kind. Although for all I know, Salvadorans are already sneaking over Neptune’s border.

I found out I can use my cell phone to stream Youtube to my TV in Ocala. That’s really something. I can barely send a text message here, and the Internet is slower than Morse code in Ocala, but the phone service up there is so good I’ll be able to watch Youtube. Explain that to me. The phone should be lightning fast in Miami, and it’s not. The Internet should be faster than 1.5 MBPS in Ocala, but it’s not. The cell service in Ocala should be pretty slow…but it’s not. Whatever. As long as I can watch my machining channels with breakfast, life will be good.

Who am I kidding? Life will be magnificent. I’m not going to be in Miami! If I get bored, I’ll hop on my golf cart and tour the grounds with my AK-47. I’ll go lift something with my tractor. I’ll go for a drive! You can do that in Marion County! You can drive for pleasure! Unless you count riding my motorcycles at night, I haven’t done that since maybe 1990. Maybe I’ll just go to McDonald’s and ORDER IN ENGLISH!!!!

“I want two McMuffins.” “Ehhhhhhhhhhhhh…joo Juan A. MacMoofings?”

I’m going to change my name to A. MacMoofing.

Water. I should drink some water. I’ve been drinking it all day, and if you will excuse me for being indelicate, it’s all intake and no output. Too much work. Too much heat. I think it’s affecting my brain. I need to pump some water into it.

I guess I’ve wound down enough. Time to stop writing.

I may be able to write something tomorrow, and then again, I may not. If this is the last blog entry I ever write from this county, let me take the high road and say I will always try to remember my experiences here without heaving. No promises.

Getting Squirrelly

Saturday, August 5th, 2017

Making it Rain Rodents

I keep thinking about shooting on the new farm.

The seller told me coyotes are a problem in Marion County. His family raised goats, and coyotes ate kids. They also got one calf. I don’t know if I’ll have any livestock or not, but I hate pest animals, and as long as I live in a rural area where coyotes are pests, I plan to do my part, by sending them to the coyote promised land, which I like to call the Garden of Acme.

Problem: I don’t think my current rifle inventory is optimized for the work.

I know almost nothing about coyotes, but they’re supposed to be very smart, so I figure the best move is to use a scoped rifle. I assume coyotes won’t walk up to me and pose. When it comes to scoped rifles, I have .17 HMR and .308, with nothing in between. I did some research, and people say a .17 HMR will not necessarily kill a coyote cleanly. A .308 will do it, and then some, but it will probably blow out the other side and make a mess. Also, it’s an unpleasant round to shoot. I would like something that will do the job without overpenetration or bruising my delicate shoulder.

It looks like there are two popular choices. One is the AR-15 in .223, and the other is .22 Winchester Magnum Rimfire. Everyone pushes me to get an AR-15, and maybe now I have a good reason, but they’re expensive, and I like the 7.62 a lot better for home defense. You can get a .22 WMR for under $300 and spend the rest of your budget on nice glass.

I need to get up to speed on coyotes. What they look like and so on. It would be a big faux pas if I proudly posted a photo of a freshly killed coyote and then it turned to to be my neighbor’s Scottish terrier. That would make for a lot of tense moments when we encountered each other in the aisles at Tractor Supply.

Note to self: don’t shoot anything wearing a collar. Unless it also has tattoos.

The farm also has pest squirrels. Personally, I think every squirrel is a pest. I used to have one that cut mangoes off my trees and then left without eating them. I would hear a thump and then the skittering of guilty feet. I hate squirrels. I’ve even trained myself not to take my foot off the gas when I see one in the road. I am not going to wreck my car or injure someone over a rat that lives in a tree.

It would be fun to kill some squirrels for my dad. He eats them. But what would I use? My grandfather taught me you should shoot squirrels with a shotgun, because a squirrel killed with a .22 may drop in the crotch of a tree and get stuck. He said a shotgun would blow them out into a state of free fall, facilitating their cleaning and consumption. But won’t a shotgunned squirrel be full of pellets? I guess it must not be too bad, because my grandfather used a Browning Sweet Sixteen, which is now mine.

I think shooting squirrels with a rifle is irresponsible unless you’re on a huge property, because you don’t know where the rounds will land if they miss or go through the rats. What if you like your neighbors?

Is it legal to shoot squirrels? Yes it is. I just checked. On my land, I will be allowed to kill 12 per day from October through March, using any gun known to man. In September and early October, I’ll have to use a bow or crossbow. What? Seriously? Who can hit a squirrel with a bow? Did squirrels write this law? Do they have lobbyists? Crazy.

I have 16 gauge ammunition, but it’s burglar-sized. I will need birdshot. Or squirrelshot, as the case may be.

The seller says they don’t get deer on the farm. Pity, but then I’m too lazy to shoot anything that big, so it doesn’t matter. Anything you shoot has to be skinned and butchered. It also has to be dragged home. I have a golf cart now, so the dragging would be okay, but as for the meat…I’m five minutes from Winn-Dixie.

I should add that I have zero hunting skills, so deer would be difficult even if I weren’t lazy. With squirrels, you just walk out, look up, and shoot. I can handle that.

The final candidate for assassination is the eastern diamondback rattlesnake, AKA crotalus adamanteus (unless Linnaeus has changed his mind). This is the heaviest poisonous snake on earth, and it can grow to a length of eight feet. One more item I don’t feel like lugging. The seller says the snakes left when he built the house, but I’m ready for them anyway. I carry a 10mm Glock wherever I go. Guess I should keep some ear plugs on me.

There may be turkeys on the farm, but I am happy to coexist with them. When I was a kid, the mother of a friend of mine roasted a wild turkey, and I have not forgotten the stench. From the odor, I’m not sure if it was wild or merely homeless. Not anxious to eat anything that smells like that.

I don’t think I could ever hunt birds after buying three baby parrots and weaning them myself. Maybe I could shoot turkeys, which are big and ugly, but since I don’t want to eat them, I guess I won’t.

I can still go out with a shotgun and threaten them with it, so they don’t get out of line.

I have to figure out the licensing requirements. The FWC website is not very clear. I want to rid myself of pests, but I don’t want fines or the inconvenience of prison time.

If I get a .22 WMR, of course, I will be here to write about it and post photos of my targets. Assuming they’re not too embarrassing.

Porch: There is no Substitute

Friday, August 4th, 2017

Hola, Amigos

I am back in the land of joy, better known as Miami. I returned from Ocala today, and I am already basking in the rudeness and stupidity. As soon as I hit Palm Beach County, other drivers got nastier and less able.

We closed on the new house today. It’s a done deal. The sellers will stay on for two weeks, and then we take possession. It’s still not entirely real to me.

The property is far nicer than anything I thought possible. It’s secluded, it’s large, it has woods, it has pasture, it has a big ol’ shop building, and it even has a huge sand berm which will be a fine rifle backstop. Sonny’s BBQ is five minutes away, as is Cracker Barrel. Tractor Supply is close. The nearest neighbor is a guy who built a gun ROOM in his garage. Not a safe. A room with a thick steel door. Think he’ll complain about me shooting? I don’t.

The sellers kept giving me stuff. Today they gave us the rockers on the front porch. The house has a huge collection of porches. There’s a front porch with a gazebo on one end. There’s a back porch. The shop has a porch. The pool has a patio, which is sort of a porch. Rockers are a necessity. I’m not sure what rockers cost, but today at Cracker Barrel, I saw they were charging between one and two hundred bucks for one.

My only serious whine right now is that my dad doesn’t share my enthusiasm. He truly hates Miami and can’t wait to move, and he likes Ocala and the house, but he’s not excited about it. He doesn’t have that Charlie-getting-the-keys-to-the-chocolate-factory feeling I have. So I pester my friends via text.

Two years ago he thought Miami was just fine. What happened? God happened. That’s all I can tell you. My dad has changed. He complains about the people. He complains about the traffic. He sounds just like me, only without the joy over the impending move.

It seems like he has slipped a notch over the last week or two. That’s the way these things work. I’m glad we finally got the house bought, because it might have been a very strange process further down the line. I don’t know what his capabilities will be in six months. I’m certainly glad he has been able to participate in the house hunt and get involved with decisions. I wanted a place where he would be happy.

I’m fairly sure I can get us out of here in three weeks. I don’t know how often I’ll have to come back. “Never” would be my choice.

I can’t figure out why the sellers are so nice. I could sell the machinery they sold me for twice what I paid, and they didn’t expect me to pay as much as I did. They came down a lot on the price of the house. The appraiser felt it was underpriced already. Maybe they’re just tired and ready to move.

I hope I got a good deal, but I was not trying to gouge anyone. I just wanted a fair price. Maybe I did better than that. There is no way to be sure.

Next time I go up I’ll try to take pictures and post them.

I’m beat. Time for pizza. I’m so tired I’m willing to eat Papa John’s.

I look forward to blogging from one of the many porches.

I Have no Reservations

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

Unless Motel Reservations Count

I am now so close to the closing on the new house, I have had to make a motel reservation. I won’t say the name of the motel, but I wish I could, because I would recommend all of you stay there when traveling in Florida. It’s the cleanest, most well-kept motel in the universe, as far as I know. It doesn’t have rugs! Hardwood (or convincing fake hardwood) all the way. Kiss your allergies goodbye in this place.

The pillows are so nice, I meant to remove the case on one and check the brand. How often can you say that about a motel? And the rooms run about $65 per night.

I still do not have my books packed. I was busy all day with my dad’s affairs, and I will be busy most or all of tomorrow.

I learned something that may be of use to you, if you care for someone who is slipping. You can make them pay you.

Heartless! Right? Well, not really. You may be dealing with someone who needs to have his or her assets reduced for various reasons. Estate tax is one reason. Medicaid eligibility is another. I have been advised to start charging my dad. I don’t know if I like that. I don’t want him telling me the customer is always right.

Here’s something weird. I have a list of people I pray for every day. I’m on the list. I keep praying God will help us not to be borrowers and beggars. I ask him to make us givers and lenders. It looks like he’s listening, because there’s a good chance I may have to lend my dad money so he can buy the new house. How about that! We have a ton of things going on right now, and cash is tied up in this and that, so it may be smarter for him to borrow from me than to spend his own cash.

I should foreclose on him, just to needle him.

Anyway, I thought it was remarkable.

Once your parents hit a certain age, you have to be careful about giving them things and paying for things. Everything they have has the potential to cause aggravation when they die. Besides, your worthless relations are likely to try to take everything you gave your parents.

When my dad’s mother died, my aunts and uncles literally pulled a U-Haul up to her apartment and cleaned it out. I got a crystal angel my dad gave her, and my sister got a porcelain horse.

I’ve learned a whole lot about taxes and estates and so on. You have to have a will, you have to have a power of attorney, you should have a living will, and then on top of all that, you have to think about avoiding probate. A will may not be enough, if you have a sleazoid relative who feels like suing. You may want to have real estate put into a trust so it goes from mom or dad straight to you, just like a joint bank account. My dad’s desire is to give me the house he’s buying. It would be a bummer if he passed away and I got thrown out after caring for him there in his declining years.

Here’s something ridiculous: in the state of Florida, you have to protect your parents’ wills personally. You have to preserve an original will if you want to get anything, and you can’t record it at the courthouse like a power of attorney or a deed.

What if your dad is worth a billion dollars? You could end up a situation where all you have to secure that money is four sheets of flammable paper. But a copy of the will is admissible, right? Yes. If you can find a disinterested witness who can confirm its contents. So you have to find a reliable person, show him the original will, make him learn it, and then hope he outlives your parents.

The answer, of course, is to put the will in a safe deposit box and hope the bank doesn’t burn down. But what if you have to change banks? Every time you get in the car with the will, you risk a very expensive accident.

I’m no estate attorney, but it seems like a smart person would keep copies of the will and have his best friends look at the original, just in case.

I’m not obsessing on my dad’s passing. He’s doing fine. But dealing with his assets and helping him buy a house and sell other properties has brought financial matters to the forefront of my attention. Joining a caregiver’s forum accentuated them even more. There are horror stories out there.

My grandfather died with a very bad will, and it screwed up the whole family. There are hard feelings. Some relatives have behaved badly. Belongings that should have gone to other people magically turned up in their homes. My aunt sued my cousins over an insurance policy. It may seem crass to get into the particulars of estate planning, but if you don’t, a loved one’s death may be the match that burns the family down.

I rarely hear from my relatives. They have holiday dinners without my dad and me. No invitations. I can understand why my sister isn’t invited. It would be like dumping a bag of angry snakes on everyone. But I haven’t done anyone wrong.

Too bad. I miss them. I miss Kentucky. But I can’t unburn what poor planning burned.

Soon I will be living in a place where people hang American flags on their houses and end emails with “Have a Blessed Day.” I will be able to shoot rifles from my front porch. I will be five minutes from Cracker Barrel. I’ll have a yard big enough to require a motor vehicle to tour it. Whatever struggles I have to go through in the next month or two will be well worth it. I’ll get us moved. I’ll get the financial stuff in order. Tiny price to pay.

I look forward to sharing photos of my first northern-Florida front yard pistol targets. Stay tuned.

Where is Mr. Haney When You Need Him?

Monday, July 17th, 2017

Tractor Dilemma

I am still trying to figure out what to do about farm machinery.

As I wrote earlier, the seller of the house I’m moving to wants to sell me his Kubota L3710 tractor and some other stuff. In order to avoid getting hosed, I’ve been studying the Internet to find out what I should do.

Today it occurred to me I might be able to get a bigger machine for less money. My lathe weighs about 4000 pounds, and the Kubota can only lift 1500. I’m not sure what my mill weighs. It would be nice to be able to move these tools myself, without using pry bars for the whole job. A bigger tractor would lift more.

To get a bigger machine, I would have to pick up something older. Is that a smart idea? I don’t know. My grandfather’s old Massey-Fergusons were abused and left outdoors, but they always did what he wanted, and a lot of people on the web say they’ve spend under $5,000 for good machines.

While I was looking into all this, I decided to get people’s opinions on old machinery brands like Ford, Massey-Ferguson, International Harvester, and so on. I learned something very interesting: there are no American tractors now.

That’s not quite true. If you buy a giant machine for tending 10,000 acres of wheat, it may be American. That’s not what I want. I need a typical farm tractor. Those aren’t made here any more.

John Deere sells Japanese tractors, and it’s my understanding that a lot of their stuff is Mexican. Massey-Ferguson sells Indian machinery. Indian! The scariest country of product origin in the machine tool world. The Indians still make line-shaft lathes because their electrical grid is so primitive.

If what I’ve read is right, the American tractor has been dead for a long time. Maybe thirty years. Where was I? Not buying tractors, I guess.

There go my concerns about not buying American. Unless I go antique-shopping, American isn’t an option.

The more I think about it, the more I think I should buy the seller’s tractor, IF I get a good price. If I know I can get my money out of it, no harm done. I can upgrade or downgrade later. If he wants too much, forget it. I won’t need a tractor for weeks after I move, so I don’t have to rush.

Someone on a forum wrote a great tip for buyers: check the reputation of the local dealer when you buy a used tractor, because this is the outfit you will depend on for help. I checked the reputation of the Kubota dealer in Ocala, and I did not find any good news. One buyer who has a Yelp account said the seller refuses to send people out to look at machines, so I suppose you would have to pay to have your broken tractor towed. The buyer said the dealer’s people were irresponsible, extremely slow, and dishonest, more or less.

The dealer responded. You would think they would have begged forgiveness and done their best to fix the problems, or that they would have at least argued. No, they posted what looked like a cut and paste from the boilerplate on their website. “XXX Tractors is dedicated to providing customers with the best possible service and the lowest prices anywhere, with a highly trained staff and a spacious, modern repair facility.” Something of that sort. No denials.

The message I got was, “Maybe this guy is right about us. We don’t give a crap.”

Maybe it’s the greatest tractor dealership on earth, but I have no way of knowing that, based on what I’ve seen so far. And here I am, thinking of buying a tractor they probably sold.

I shouldn’t criticize India without saying people seem to love their tractors. Mahindra tractors get fine reviews. The Koreans are also in the game now. There is a Korean brand named Kioti, and people like it.

I feel like I should try to buy the seller’s machines, and if the price is bad, I should tell him I’m not interested. Good enough.

It would be neat to have an old Ford or something, for a few grand. It would be a hassle, though. Right now I have a tractor in a convenient location where I can look at it and maybe send a mechanic. If I Craigslist an antique, I’ll probably be expected to do business beside a tractor in someone’s side yard, without much opportunity to check it out.

This reminds me of buying my machine tools. Today, I would not hesitate to check out an old mill or lathe. I know what goes wrong with them. Before I had machine tools, I didn’t have that kind of confidence. I couldn’t tell whether the machines were any good or not. Once I’ve used a tractor for a while, I’ll know what to look for when I buy a used tractor. But I’ll have to buy a used tractor in order to get that knowledge.

That’s some catch, that Catch-22.

The answer, of course, is to buy more tools. The more tools I have, the less I will need creepy tractor dealers. And the more tools I have, the more tools I have.

In a completely irrelevant vein, I talked to the realtor today. He talked to the seller and confirmed: I WILL BE ABLE TO SHOOT ON MY PROPERTY! The seller does it all the time. This has to be a dream.

On top of that, I just showed the Miami house I’m trying to sell to a young couple with affluent parents. The couple came alone yesterday, and today the parents came with them. In a Maserati. In expensive clothes. With questions about expanding the house. Could they borrow the plans? Of course they could. Maybe these people are serious. Finally, someone with money.

I don’t know if I can stand any more good news.

More updates as they unfold.