It’s been a while since I wrote much besides a brief status update, mostly because there hasn’t been a lot going on. Here’s a brief update on everything that I can think of.
I’ve officially lost over fifty pounds since April. I’ll lose more as soon as the chocolate cravings subside, or as soon as I stop giving in to them. Yeah, like that’s going to happen.
I was going to wean the baby rabbits this week, but fate conspired against me and I didn’t get the other cage built. They are only a little over four weeks old, so another week won’t be too hard on mommy. Bonnie has lost a lot of weight since kindling, and I’m sure she’ll be happy when I take the kids away.
I put Lucky and Miss Piggy together about two weeks ago. The attempted matings that I observed weren’t as conclusive as the one with Bonnie, so I just left them together for a couple hours while I did other things. We’ll see in two and a half weeks if he was successful.
The garden continues to cover us up in tomatoes and jalapeños, and although cuke production has dropped off tremendously, I still get some every few days. I have more in the fridge than I can eat or give away, so I expect my worms will be happy in a couple weeks when I have to feed them whatever is left. Unlike tomatoes, they aren’t particularly fond of cucumbers, but they’ll eat ’em if they get hungry enough.
The heat has killed radish production, so I’ll wait until it cools off a bit before planting the next crop. At twenty cents a pack, the tops provide cheap, yummy treats for the rabbits, and I like the bottoms, too. Although there are already dozens of them in the fridge, that I need to hurry up and eat before they go bad.
I tried my first attempt at canning yesterday. I occasionally cook this dish that uses diced tomatoes flavored with jalapeños, ground meat, brown rice and a variety of spices. Instead of paying DelMonte a buck twenty-nine for a fourteen ounce can of their “zesty jalapeño” variety of diced tomatoes, I decided to make my own. I had tomatoes about to go bad just sitting on the counter even before I harvested the thirty-four pounds yesterday morning. Just so you know, DelMonte’s aforementioned tomatoes don’t have anywhere near enough jalapeños in them to be considered mild, much less “zesty”.
Over thirty pounds of tomatoes, three pounds of jalapeños and about eight hours of labor turned into twenty quarts and seven pints (I didn’t have enough quart jars ready) of this concoction. Only one of the pint jars did not seal. Roomie tasted it last night when she got up. Her eyes started watering, and she deemed it “thermo-nuclear”. Sounds like I got the tomato to jalapeño ratio about right.
Work continues. Some days I almost hate it, but for the most part I’m still OK with it. Our annual inventory comes up in less than three weeks, and the schedule for inventory week just came out. I only work the Saturday and Sunday prior to inventory, which is scheduled for mid-week. As long as this isn’t a permanent reduction of my hours, I’m completely fine with a sixteen hour week. Missing the hell that I’ve heard inventory is does not break my heart in the least.
I had a bit of a pulse-raising experience the day before yesterday. I was in the middle of my weekly grass-cutting adventure. The front and both sides were done, and I was working on the back. For the record, the reel mower continues to perform well, and I am still quite happy with my purchase. Anyway, three medium to large-sized dogs and a good sized puppy came tearing around the corner of the house towards me at full speed. I let go of the mower, grabbed my pistol, pressed the release button on the holster and was preparing to break the city’s firearm discharge ordinance. (Of course I was carrying a gun. I was wearing pants, and that’s the rule, remember?)
It quickly became clear through their body language that they were not aggressive, so I let go of the gun and waited to see what they were going to do. I recognized one of them as my next-door neighbor’s dog, and another was a dog that I’ve seen one of his friends jogging with. The largest dog and the puppy were unknowns. I’m guessing that they somehow escaped from said neighbor’s back yard and decided to come see me. I ran them off after a few minutes when they decided to alternate between walking through my garden and terrorizing my rabbits.
Remember that note I wrote a few weeks ago about Larry Corriea’s new book, Monster Hunter Alpha? I made the plug for him because he was trying to make the NYT bestseller list again. Thanks to anyone who bought it due to my recommendation – he made it! MHA will be at #23 on the list that comes out August 14th. Congrats, Larry! I finished reading the book a couple days ago, and it did not disappoint.
Here I go to plug another product, but this time it is only because it works. I picked up a Sentry Solutions Marine Tuf Cloth from knifecountryusa.com a few weeks ago. Briefly, it is a cloth soaked in some sort of chemical that bonds to metal and keeps it from rusting even in the presence of saltwater, and unlike oil, it does not attract dust and dirt. It set me back $8.50, but it has already proven to be worth it. As most of you know (if you actually read my scribbles), my KelTec PF-9 9mm pistol spends most of every day in a hiked-up belly band holster a couple inches below my armpit. Every day when I take it off, it is soaked with sweat. I had to clean and reoil it every day or two to keep the rust at a minimum, but even with this effort, it would always have some somewhere that I would have to sand or steel wool off.
As soon as I got the Tuf Cloth, I did my usual cleaning and rust removal, and rubbed every part of the gun I could get to with this cloth. Whatever the chemical is, it works! There is ZERO rust on the weapon, even on the bare metal of the barrel, after weeks of daily wear in a sweaty, fat man’s armpit. If you carry concealed anywhere that that your sweat may reach, and you like your gun, buy one of these. There is plenty on the cloth to last for multiple applications on any number of items – guns, knives, whatever. Not that you’ll need to reapply very often, though. I plan on once a month or after a range trip, whichever comes first.
Precious metals prices continue to rise. I wish I had more than a few ounces of silver and a quarter-ounce of gold. Despite record prices for gold, and the highest prices in decades for silver, you might want to think about buying a little if you can spare a little extra cash. The economy is going to implode, and it’s going to take a wheelbarrow full of Federal Reserve Notes to buy a loaf of bread before it is over with. As of earlier this week, my metal portfolio was up over 65% since October 2009. I only wish I’d invested several thousand dollars instead of only a few hundred.
Well, that’s about it. I have a few more things to do before I hit the sack in preparation for work tonight.