Quote Of The Day

From Glenn Reynolds:

“At some point, the government’s behavior is sufficiently illegitimate that people will start acting outside of the usual channels. We’re getting dangerously close to that point, and our feckless overclass either doesn’t know, or doesn’t care, or actively wants that to happen.”

He’s talking specifically about the attempt to muzzle Trump for the 2024 election, but in fact you could apply it to pretty much everything they’re doing right now, whether it’s gun control, primary school education, destruction of the oil industry or [fill in the blank].

New Addiction

Okay, which one of you bastards mentioned author Mick Herron as a decent replacement for John Sandford in the “guilty reading pleasures” department?

Because I tried the first book of Herron’s Slough House series (Slow Horses), and then blew through the other seven in just over as many days, so much did I enjoy the story.

Just as background:  when agents of Britishland’s MI5 screw up, they aren’t fired, but sent into a backwater office (Slough House) to do horribly mundane jobs (e.g. “find out how many potential terrorists there are in the country based on their book withdrawals of [unspecified] dangerous books from public libraries”), the results of which are sent back to Regent’s Park (MI5 Head Office), and promptly ignored.

One might think that there are similarities to the eminence grise of espionage writers, John le Carré, but one would be wrong.  Compared to George Smiley, the head of Slough House (Jackson Lamb) is an anarchic bombthrower, implacably determined to defeat the country’s enemies (that would be MI5, the Foreign Office and MI6), and does so with a cunning, underhanded skill that would defeat Smiley in a single chapter.

As for the denizens of Slough House, they are a bunch of misfits:  alcoholics, gamblers, incompetents, psychopaths, hackers and malcontents, sometimes several in the same person.  As far as “the Park” is concerned, they could all quit or die tomorrow and the Service would be the better for not having to pay their salaries anymore.  And they would all quit or die, except that their boss (Lamb) looks after them and protects them from their feral attackers (that would be MI5) with a ferocity that would please any lioness with her cubs.

That doesn’t stop him from mercilessly torturing his employees (e.g. offering his recovering alcoholic secretary a glass of Scotch every time she walks into his office), and sending them out (against regulations) to do field operations (jobs) which he knows that they will screw up, and they do, often hilariously.  However, his hapless charges are still highly-trained agents, and they often end up doing the right thing by accident.  And some of them die.  And by the way, they all hate each other.

I’ve just finished the last in the series (Bad Actors), and I’m going to re-read them all after a decent interval (a week or so).  At one point, New Wife asked me why I kept bursting into fits of laughter, and my only response was:  “The dialogue.”

And by the way, the Slough House building is a character all to itself.

It’s seriously good stuff.  Read it at your peril.

Next up for me: the Oxford series, by the same author.

It’s Always Time

Over at American Thinker, Michael Devon asks the question:  “Is It Time To Start Prepping?

As the title to this post suggests, preparing for disaster is always relevant.  For many people — people with any kind of brain, that is — this would not be a time to start prepping as much as it would be a time to take stock of one’s preparations, and either add to such, refine what you need, or address any shortcomings thereof.  Devon’s list is interesting:

Water sources and water filtration.  You will need a minimum of 2 gallons of drinking water per soul per day — For how long, is the question.  I would suggest that 2-3 weeks’ supply is pretty much all the water one can store easily (unless you have substantial property like a farm), or carry in a car.  For longer than that, filtration becomes more appropriate.  How good is your filtration system?

Shelter.  This should be located 1–2 hours’ travel time outside urban and suburban metros — Forget it.  In my case, it ain’t gonna happen.  If the S genuinely does hit the F, I will either shelter in place, or drive 15 minutes to Doc Russia’s little festung (we’ve discussed it, often, and I know exactly what I’ll need to bring so as not to be a burden on him but a benefit (added security, an extra gun or two for guard duty, and shall we say “an aggressive mindset” towards protection of mine and his).

Non-perishable food.  You will need 2,000 calories per soul per day with a healthy ratio of carbs, protein, and fat. — I have about two months’ supply for me and New Wife, maybe a month longer if we ration ourselves severely.  After that, it’ll be time to go shopping with an AK.  Of course, there are all the dried food packs (e.g. Mountain and MREs), but that’s your call:  I’ve never found any of them palatable.  I’d rather just have dozens of different energy bars as the last resort.

Prescription medications.  Talk to your doctor and somehow finagle a three-year supply of all your non-perishable meds.  Perishable meds are a more difficult issue to resolve. — Only one of my meds is perishable (glaucoma drops, which I keep in the fridge).  I have about two months’ worth of my meds (New Wife has less, need to do something about that), which I can likewise extend to maybe three by skipping every third day.  With sufficient warning (a day or two) Doc can write me all the Rx I need if I think I’ll need longer.  Also worth considering:  “general purpose” antibiotics like amoxicillin and ciproflaxin.

Personal hygiene supplies.Covered.  Three months’ worth (at least) of soap, toilet paper, wipes, toothpaste, and so on.

Ten like-minded adults willing to work hard together and to defend the shelter and its souls.  — Nope, not interested in that big a group. There’d be four of us, although I’d really like it — as would Doc — if the Son&Heir could join us, suitably provisioned of course (that Eagle Scout thing, plus a deadly aim when it comes to boomsticks).

2A hardware.  Never come up empty. — I believe we have that part covered.
(I have some too, if necessary.  Also a few extra rounds of ammo.)

Comms.  Have multiple backup and power for all comm devices. — Ugh.  I need to get a couple decent Garmin walkie-talkies.  Batteries, I have about a six-month supply.

Electrical systems and chargers.  Solar-powered, and multiple redundancy is essential. — I need to check that my solar stuff is still in working condition.  Also my car’s power inverter.

Barter stuff.  Booze, tobacco products, OTC meds, instant coffee, batteries, Bic lighters.  Barter food. — Good point.  Note to self:  empty out liquor cabinet if decamping.  (The gin and single malt alone would get me whatever I want, for about six months.)  Passing thought:  I don’t smoke, nor do any of the folks in our little SHTF party.  Worth considering getting a carton or two of Marlboros as trade goods?  [/post-WWII Germany]

Metal tools.  Axes, knives, saws, etc. — Covered.  My SHTF bins have enough not only for me, but for Doc as well, if he needs any.

Home Depot stuff.  Lumber, screws, nails, tarps, rope, duct tape, glue, gloves, concrete, etc. — Concrete? LOL.  But I might need stuff like 2x4s and plywood (note:  talk to Doc).  All the other stuff I have in plenty.

Replacements:  clothes, shoes, boots, socks, undergarments, jackets, and hats. — Covered.  Included are things like serious rainwear, gloves (work and warmth), cold-weather gear and so on.

Shiny metals.Errrr whut?  I have a couple steel mirrors for signaling, but that’s about it.

Transport.  Trucks, motorcycles, fuel, and spare parts. — Just enough to get me to Doc’s, but I always keep at least a half-tank of gas in the car.  Doc has more at his place.

My additions and suggestions:

First aid:  antibacterial stuff (ointments, disinfectants), bandages and so on.  You can go nuts with preparing a list of this stuff, so I tend to go with a simple checklist of what I’ve needed to have handy over the past ten years, and adding things like coagulants and such for more serious wounds.  Rule of thumb:  whatever you think you’d need for OTC meds, double that number.

Cooking: some kind of camp stove or grill with an adequate fuel supply, plus metal pots and pans (like Lodge) that won’t break.  Also cooking oil because butter is perishable.

Extra sugar, salt/pepper and spices.  Great barter goods if nothing else.  Also rice, cornmeal, pasta, cereals and similar starches.

Canned food of stuff you like to eat.  Don’t bother with the junk like asparagus, cream corn and pumpkin which make you barf just at the thought;  go heavy on your favorites e.g. in my case, corned beef hash, chicken and tuna.  Also:  evaporated milk and condensed milk.

Biltong (not jerky).  Two lbs of biltong, if properly rationed out, can keep you alive for a month all by itself.  (You are already making it, using Kim’s Sooper-Seekrit Recipe, aren’t you?)

Feel free to add or substitute as you wish.

Touring Option

I was never a big fan of the 70s-era Maserati Ghibli, simply because at the time I was enthralled (and still am) by the much-smaller Dino 246 GT.

However:  times have moved on and changed, and so have I, a little bit here and there.  Now, the thrills of blatting away in a Dino at full throttle from light to light with a skinny blonde in the passenger seat have dimmed somewhat.

Now, what I think I would like is a bigger car, to accommodate the bigger Kim, and someone more akin to, say, Kelly Brook alongside me.

Rapid acceleration is okay, but not essential;  more important to me are things like sufficient torque and raw power that can push over hills and such towards my final destination.  Ditto the car.

Hence my interest in the Ghibli:  to wit, “a 4.7-liter, dry-sump V-8 that produces 330 horsepower, which is sufficient to move the big GT from zero to 60 MPH in a quick 6.4 seconds and reach a top speed of more than 150 mph.”

I know that a lot of today’s cars could do the same or better, with greater reliability and even better performance.  But what the hell:  I’m not a F1 driver, I’m not even a fast driver;  what I want is a reasonable facsimile of today’s performance, with a touch of history thrown in.

And with the top down (car and/or passenger), the thrill would be immense:

“Okay Kim, that’s enough, we get your point.”


I remember listening to some comedy record or other a long time ago, which featured a radio interview (à la Bob Newhart) of a captured Confederate soldier just before Antietam.  When asked his opinion about Union soldiers being armed with the new Winchester repeating rifles, the Rb thought for a moment, and said laconically, in a deep Southron accent:  “Yeah?  Well that’s all well and good for you Yankees… but we know how to aim, boy.”)

I was reminded of that exchange when I read this report (sent to me by several Readers, thankee) concerning this little incident in Seffrica:

Heavily armed attacks on armored cars are so common in South Africa they are known as Cash-in-Transit heists (CIT).

“15 robbers armed with automatic rifles carried out a CIT heist in Hoedspruit, killing the Fidelity driver,“ reports YouTuber Willem Petzer.

According to police spokesman Colonel Matimba Maluleke, the suspects shot at the escort vehicle before disarming the guards (a driver and crew) of their official rifle and pistol. “Unfortunately the two guards were shot at and sustained injuries that resulted in the death of the driver. The suspects then pursued the armoured vehicle while shooting at it until it stopped. The driver of the armoured vehicle and his crew were allegedly ordered to disembark the vehicle, disarmed of two firearms and chased into the nearby bushes. The suspects used explosives to blast the vehicle and made off with an undisclosed amount of money,” Maluleke said.

All was seemingly going according to plan for our Robbin’ Hoods;  however, things went downhill for our choirboys soon thereafter:

“A community crime watch group, Hoedspruit Farmwatch, was alerted to the incident and went in pursuit of the robbers, putting obstacles on the road to prevent their escape. A shootout ensued,” Petzer writes. 

“The volunteers blocked the roads outside of Hoedspruit with boulders after they were alerted of the attack. A skirmish, lasting about 20 minutes, ensued at one of the blockades between the robbers [armed with AK-47s] and the farmers, who were armed with pistols. The farmers managed to kill 4 of the robbers and wound 3. No farmer was hurt. The other suspects fled into nearby bushes after the shootout on foot.”

Apparently, untrained criminals spraying bullets from their rifles are not a match for trained shooters with handguns.  But it gets better:

“The Hoedspruit farmwatch tracked them down using their dogs and arrested the rest of them, recovering all the money from the heist.”

One of the arrested suspects is a highly wanted Mozambican suspect who has been on the run for some time for a spate of crimes he committed in the Free State in 2022 including the murder of a police officer. The injured suspects were found in possession of suspected stolen money, a rifle and a pistol.

For background on the whole “neighborhood watch” thing, read the full report.

So to summarize:

Asshole criminals with AK-47s:  1
Trained Afrikaners with pistols:  4, plus 3 wounded and the rest captured.

I don’t know the full details, but the farmer’s dogs were likely a mixture of Boerboels and Ridgebacks.

Yeah, I’d pretty much give up, too.

We may now begin the