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Living amongst the Dead
Living amongst the Dead: Dark Days
When her No means Yes
To Take what is Needed
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Living amongst the Dead: On the Road Again
Living amongst the Dead: Struggles New and Old
Another One Please, to Dull the Pain (This title is perma-free on Lulu however)
Living amongst the Dead: Will there be No Reprieve
I think it has been quite some time since I’ve really tried to piss off the minions with an inflammatory idea, one that headed straight into the pasture where the sacred cows were grazing. What I’d like for you to do is look to either side of yourself. See your fellow minions? Most of you really suck with a firearm. I’d think one out of ten being marksmen is asking too much. Let’s call it nineteen out of twenty, basically striving mightily to attain mediocre status. Hey, no loss of love from here, I hold zero illusions on my skills with most guns. I suck, also.
If you think I’m full of crap, and can prove it, well, congratulations. You are the 5% who can shoot. The rest of us? I see no reason to be embarrassed. Shooting is just a skill like any other. If you can’t afford the time and or money, you’ll stay a novice. And it doesn’t even have to be money. Mostly it is just the lack of willingness to TRULY dedicate yourself. I’m going to tell you two stories, not to make you feel bad about your lack of talent but to showcase how insanely time consuming it is to acquire some skills without spending money ( old timey skills require very little investment but that is because they lack a worldwide high tech supply chain ).
A minion was telling me about how he beat the motor vehicle tax ( the high cost of operating a motor vehicle for 99% of us ). As a teen, he got a junked truck. You know, back before China started buying up all our scrape metal and if you hauled away a beater they were happy to give it to you at no charge. He took the entire vehicle apart. Every nut and bolt. Every single component. Then he put it all together again. And from then on it was easy to figure out how to replace anything. You might not be able to diagnose every problem-but few mechanics do. Sometimes they just replace the most likely part. Anyway, the point was he learned how to be a mechanic, for free. And from then on each New To Him car cost less than the average yearly insurance payment you or I would make.
Second, I was watching a YouTube video titled something along the lines of shooting a 223 for ten cents a round. This guy ended up shooting for free, actually, but the amount of time he took to get there was crazy. He must have lived in the corner of the garage with his reloader. Yes, he did have hundreds of dollars in tools, but you know that paid for itself pretty quick. The first part was range scavenging. I thought everyone policed their brass at the range, but what do I know? The last official one I was at was a good ten years ago. Perhaps not everyone does. That, AND he got permission to sieve the berms for bullets.
You’d think this would be as fruitful as looking for wheel weights at the tire shop. It takes ONE guy in town to get there before you and the supply is used up ( how to sort wheel weights: lead when rapped against hard steel makes a dull thud sound. Zinc and steel a high ping. Lead weights will scratch or cut easy. Or, rub against hard metal and lead will easily rub away to show a shiny spot. A magnet, used far away from the clip, confirms steel. Once you’ve found a collection of lead, use them on similar sizes to confirm-zinc and steel are much lighter in the same size. Labeling. Zinc is Z or Zn, steel is Fe. Sometimes lead is marked “micro”, but it is also the only one that gets deformed, gouged, scratched and scared. This saves you from trying to melt them all to determine content ).
But my point here is not that this kind of advice is usually not applicable but the amount of effort that is involved in free. He recast all the bullets, from ingots he had created with the reclaimed lead, then he coated them with something in his tumbler and cooked it dry. If I recall they were a bit of a red/orange color, which I assume took the place of copper jacketed bullets. Then he reloaded. The ten cent cost was assumed to be the powder and the primer. He didn’t really break anything down by cost ( that was just in the video title ). He did mention he gave his buddy a bunch of range brass in exchange for the powder and primer, reducing his cost to zero beyond the tool amortization.
Now, I am certainly NOT arguing that the level of Zen master in anything isn’t attainable. All you need is dedication and practice ( being half bullheaded and anal retentive German and half tightwad Scottish doesn’t hurt ). What I am saying is that after all our workaday world jobs, you can usually pick ONE additional skill to get really good at. Most of us DON’T pick being a Billy Bad Ass Sniper or military grade Close Quarter Urban Combat Ninja. For that, we usually trust and hope our money rather than skill equipment makes up in 80/20 fashion.
This is usually what a semi-auto and a near middle class income does. It makes up for the lack of skill. Again, don’t be butt hurt here. Almost every cop and every non-combat veteran military puke out there almost never practices and counts on semi-auto to replace skill. With the lack of community cohesion, cops have been forced into the role of mediator for ALL conflicts, and that makes up the bulk of their skill set. The military is so bureaucratic and Politically Correct it is almost impossible to nourish and encourage gun skills past On The Job Training.
Now, of course, being cursed by the gods to not only be able to identify problems but also be expected to remedy them by legions of screaming minions, I’ll continue tomorrow.
END ( today's related link http://amzn.to/2yP9mrx )
* By the by, all my writing is copyrighted. For the obtuse out there