Motorcycle maintenance attains nirvana?

Robert M. Pirsig, author of the 1974 cult classic book ‘Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance‘, has died. The New York Post reports: In the nearly five years it took Robert Pirsig to sell “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” 121 publishers rejected the rambling novel. The 122nd gently warned Pirsig, a former rhetoric professor who had a job writing technical manuals, not to expect more than his $3,000 advance. “The book is not, as I think you now realize from your correspondence with other publishers, a marketing man’s dream,” the editor at William Morrow wrote in a

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“A day without coal” in Britain?

It’s claimed the first “coal-free” day was achieved in the UK recently. The National Grid has announced Britain’s first full day without coal power “since the Industrial Revolution”. A combination of low demand for electricity and an abundance of wind meant the grid completed 24 hours relying on just gas, nuclear and renewables. Engineers at the company said Friday marked a “historic” milestone in Britain’s shift away from carbon fuels, and that coal-free days would become increasingly common. Use of the fossil fuel has significantly declined in recent years, accounting for just 9 per cent of electricity generation last year,

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How do you defend yourself against this?

I’m sure that by now, most of my readers have seen news reports about a gang of 40-60 ‘youths’ who took over a commuter train in Oakland, California last weekend, and robbed dozens of passengers.  If you haven’t, please follow that link to learn more, then come back here. As I pointed out on two occasions in 2014, even if you successfully defend yourself against such criminal ‘flash mob’ attacks, you still can’t win.  You’ll be pilloried by the press, excoriated by politically correct commentators, and in certain parts of the country (e.g. Baltimore, etc.) have to deal with politicians

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Another reason to avoid flying, if possible

There are well-grounded fears that some of Venezuela’s latest-generation man-portable surface-to-air missiles might get into the wrong hands. The Venezuelan government’s decision to arm civilians to defend the country’s socialist revolution amid growing unrest is rekindling fears of terrorists and criminal organizations acquiring part of the nation’s arsenal, which include a large stockpile of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles. . . . According to internal military documents obtained by el Nuevo Herald, over a number of years Venezuela has purchased several hundreds of the latest variant of the land-to-air missiles Igla-S, the Russian equivalent of the U.S.-made Stinger missile. Caracas’ possession of

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Big or small, they’re still cats

Observe the hunting behavior. Yep. Cats. No matter what their size or species, they’re the same inside . . . and the big ones will scare you to death!  Ask any old Africa hand about lions and leopards, or any Indian about tigers.  To them, we’re the equivalent of mice. Peter

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Learning from ancient history

Last month, Cdr. Salamander put up a very interesting video of a talk by Prof. Eric Cline, titled ‘1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed’.  Before embedding it, he had this to say. Few things seem as frightening, or as unrealistic to those living in the “now,” as systemic societal collapse. Not just of your country, but of the entire global system. All the zombie books, movies, and stories derive from that concern in the back of everyone’s mind; an almost genetic memory. It should be, as almost complete collapse has been a regular occurrence throughout human history. Sure, when you

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A potent reminder of why you should keep cash on hand

The power failure yesterday in San Francisco demonstrated, yet again, that cash is still essential. Johnny Sadoon, owner of Sutter Fine Foods on Nob Hill, sat against a register eating vanilla ice cream from a Häagen-Dazs carton. He figured he had but a few hours before he should start to worry about the food going bad and the ice cream melting in the freezers. He had kept the store open despite the blackout and a few customers perused the darkened aisles, but because the credit card machine doesn’t work without power, sales were few and far between. “No one pays

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At the bleeding edge of anti-missile warfare

I found this very interesting article about three young Israeli officers, each serving in an anti-missile unit, discussing their experiences in engaging incoming threats.  Here’s an excerpt. Ron, Dima and Chen are the face of a new brand of warfare. They may talk shyly, sometimes a bit too quietly, and smile with embarrassment when talking about their accomplishments, but they, along with the IDF’s cyber warfare unit, are at the forefront of the battle against the threats Israel faces today. They are the interceptors. Being a combat soldier nowadays doesn’t necessarily require gun-in-hand and knife-between-the-teeth, but rather advanced technological knowhow

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A useful – and very cheap – firearms accessory

If one uses one’s noggin, one can come up with some very low-cost alternatives to products sold by gun stores at a considerable markup.  For example, some time back I pointed out that #4 drywall anchors made very good .22 rimfire snap caps, at a fraction of the cost of the real thing. Here’s another helpful hint for those wanting to buy chamber flags – those red, orange or yellow plastic bars or flags that you insert into a semi-auto pistol or rifle chamber, to indicate that there’s no cartridge inside.  They cost one to two dollars apiece when you

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