Knitebane Manor Illos libenter devoramus qui nos opprimere velint


Well that sucked.

Posted by Knitebane

Some time ago we moved the server that runs this blog off onto a cloud service. Eliminating the occasional outages caused by power and network issues made it well worth the cost to move to a paid service. In fact, as we could switch from a DSL circuit with fixed IP addresses to a cable Internet service we actually managed to both decrease the cost and increase our downward bandwidth.

The move was fortunate as we got caught up in the mess of Hurricane Matthew.

While this:


... is a ways up the road from us, we got our share of flooding.


... is just down the street from the Manor proper.

The power went out around 2pm on Saturday and didn't return until about 8pm Sunday. The cable Internet didn't come back until about 2pm today.

Staying put seemed like the order of the day. Three people who decided to venture out won't be going home again.

A functioning generator, a good supply of LED lights and batteries and some good books substituted for web browsing and Netflix.

Oh by the way. Did you know that a Keurig 2.0 won't run properly on a generator? I didn't before.

Fortunately I had this in reserve: A propane-powered coffee pot.


Let them eat progress

Posted by Knitebane

This isn't going to go down well with some folks. Not well at all, especially with those people that have family that have been or are still suffering.  I can only say that we have family there too so it's not like we don't have a dog in this fight.

Unless they are insane, no parent likes to punish a child even when they obviously have earned it. The vast majority of parents hope that their children will learn by observation or instruction and do the right things. Sometimes when they don't, the authority of the parent must be applied to teach children that poor choices have consequences. Failure to punish that child will only result in that child continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again, eventually with much more dire consequences. A parent doesn't even like to see a child hurt themselves even when repeatedly warned. It truly sucks but sometimes pain is the best teacher.

So, much like the parent of a child that keeps running in the house and has been told that they're going to fall and get hurt repeatedly and is now standing over the fallen, crying child and letting the lesson sink in, I offer this:

Dear Residents of Staten Island and New Jersey,

At first, we were saddened to hear of your brush with the barely-a-hurricane that struck portions of your cities.  At first we were moved, as we are always moved, to send relief supplies and money to help. The storm was a mere fraction of the size and power of those storms that hit Florida and the southern U.S. east coast and the Gulf Coast but we know first-hand that even a minor storm can cause temporary disruptions and isolated cases of disaster. We prepare for them, evacuate or ride them out, and then help our neighbors. In a few hours or days (or weeks in the case of Category III or greater hurricanes) the power will be back, we and our neighbors will have chainsawed and swept away the debris and life will return to normal.

We prepare for such things because they can happen and because government help is often late, useless or simply non-existent. We know this and because of our observations of poor government responses and because of our well-earned general distrust of the intentions and actions of government we take care of ourselves and neighbors are leave government to do the slow, inefficient response in those isolated cases where co-ordination of outside resources is necessary.

And after Katrina, and after the howling and gnashing-of-teeth that came from the media we took careful note and made extra preparations. We assumed anyone within reach of a coastal storm would do the same.

Apparently we were wrong.

Two weeks after the storm you still have quite a mess and by some accounts some places are getting worse instead of better.

We continue to hear of non-union electrical workers being turned away. (and no, one report by CBS News to the contrary does not "debunk" that. Say, did CBS ever apologize for forging the National Guard papers that Dan Rather tried to use to tank a presidential election? No? Likewise, a union representative denying it doesn't make it so.)

We hear of food shipments being refused because your nanny mayor can't be sure if the amount of salt and transfats are within his designated limits.

We continue to hear of people living in the dark for weeks at a time, of flood ravaged neighborhoods, of morgues that suddenly disappear right before a presidential election.

You continue to lack medical care because your government is too big and too slow to get hospitals back on-line.

We hear of your closest neighbors coming in on "disaster tours" armed not with bottled water and blankets but cameras to populate their gruesome scrapbooks.

We hear of the 122nd precinct police that were ordered to shut down volunteer food relief efforts on Father Capodanno Boulevard in order to make people think that only FEMA can take care of people. To their credit, the police commander refused and instead moved the relief efforts off the street and into a parking lot where network news cameras would not see them.  Still, this is the end result of the politics being more important than the people.

We hear of rioting and looting on Coney Island, yet Mayor Bloomberg turned down National Guard troops because of his insane hatred for guns.

And the less said about the Pollyanna-like notion to continue with the NYC marathon through some of the some of the hardest hit parts of Manhattan the better. Yes, Bloomberg finally canceled it after  howls of outrage, and after a large number of runners dropped out to do storm relief instead. Still, those generators reserved for the marathon media tents just kinda sat there after the cancellation didn't they?

What's that? These failures can be contributed to your useless government and not to individual residents who are suffering you say?

Well, when your individual residents assault utility workers that are just there to help you, you can't lay that at the feet of the mysterious and far-off "government."

And besides, Staten Island, you voted overwhelmingly for Michael Bloomberg. You and New Jersey voted for the idiot in the White House that zipped in, made himself look good at your expense, and then abandoned you. Long after his photo op was done, FEMA continues to run out of water and food, you're still in the dark two weeks after the storm and the media doesn't seem to be telling anyone now do they? Where's Shepard Smith? Where's Jerry Rivers? And are you still chortling over National Geographic's "Doomsday Preppers?"

This is what you voted for.  In this most recent election, in the 2009 mayoral election and in the 2008 elections Staten Island voted for Obama, Bloomberg and Obama respectively by nearly 3-to-1 margins.  So much for Staten Island being the most conservative part of NYC. That rather seems like claiming to be the clean turd in the bowl at this point. And northern and coastal New Jersey votes for collectivist, big government, nanny staters regularly as well and in job lots. Chris Christie (who by our standards is barely a Republican, much less a  small-government conservative) was elected in spite of their votes, not because of them.  Indeed, a mere week after the storm while many of you were still trying to drag out wet carpet, find your wedding rings and were starting to smell your decomposing neighbors you happily pulled the lever for more of the same, even while you still hadn't seen hide nor hair of FEMA.

You vote for the people that intend to institute your failed big-government policies nationwide even while you are suffering from the failures of those polices and ask that we help you so that you can continue to force your choice of politicians on us.  Really?

You voted for big government, even when some of the elderly among you still bear the tatoos of another big government.  You voted for big government that has doubled our fuel prices and much of our food prices. You voted for big government that has spent trillions of our dollars fighting poverty only to have even more poverty now than in 1968. You voted for it, regardless of how poorly it has treated those that have to live under it or how badly it has failed in the past or how many have died from it.

So now that you've voted for all this big government and it's failing you, apparently we out here in flyover country are expected to send money and food (well, not food. Bloomberg said no to that) to bail you out. And when it's over you'll go right back to voting these statist monsters back into our lives. For this we should extend our hands in friendship and sympathy?

So, we're going to point out that the floor sure is hard, and say "Didn't we warn you not to run in the house?"

Yes, off to bed without dinner. Take it out of the taxes we've been soaked with.

As far as we're concerned you can sit in the dark and stay wet and cold and hungry. Until you affect regime change we're not willing to lift a finger to help you. You voted for "progress" and you got it, hard. There is not a more collectivist, big government, nanny-state collection of people on the east coast.  So revel in your creation. Bask in the glow of your progressive paradise. May that be a substitute for the actual lights that still don't work.

For those of you that vote for less intrusive government and prepared for disaster you have my sympathies. Eh, but you still decided to stay there in the socialist paradise didn't you? Well, then, even my sympathies are limited.

For those of you that voted with your feet and left and left your statist pro-big-government tendencies behind we say, "Welcome to America!" For those of you that stay there and vote for more of the same, you have our contempt. And you will continue to have it until such time as you wise up and affect regime change there in your inner shitty hellhole.  When you send Nanny Bloomberg packing and usher in someone willing to help get government off your back so you can rise or fall on your own then we'll reconsider. We'll be willing to help wipe that tear and say, "There, there. You did something stupid and you learned from it.  Here, have a cookie."

But until you show some signs of learning from it don't expect us to subsidize your bad decisions.

Yes, we will do what we can for our relatives that live there and some of us will donate a bit to salve our consciences. But when the huge outpouring of support like you saw on 9/11 or during Katrina or Joplin, MO or the Texas wildfires doesn't materialize you'll know why.

When you hear that the American Red Cross has collected only a fraction of what they collected for Katrina, far short of the some four billion dollars sent for that disaster, you'll know why. Much of this disaster is of your own making.  You wouldn't prepare, you didn't evacuate.  You trusted your big government to save you.  And you chose poorly. Only pain will teach you not to make the same mistakes again or worse, force those mistakes on the rest of us.  Yes, it sucks.  But continuing to save you from your mistakes will only make the next one worse.  This big government addiction you have is a sickness.  We really, honestly want you to get better but we certainly don't want you infecting the rest of us either.

What happens when a Category 4 storm hits Manhattan?   What happens when it's 10 million without power for two months?  Do you think your Bloomberg or FEMA or the Red Cross will do a better job?  Do you still think it can't happen?  Do you still think your government is going to save you?

Do you?

Do you want the rest of us to suffer under the same restrictions once we're all living under a big-government socialist nanny state? Is that why you voted for more Obama?  Would you rather we all suffer rather than a few succeed?

Do you?

And if the answer to that is yes, tell me again why we should help you?


The Red States

P.S.  When you're doing better (and you'll get through this.  After all, your ancestors were Americans), let's talk.  Let's work together to kick this big-government disease.  We're ready to help, but you have to want to get better for it to work.



Sir! Sir! Here’s a good stick to beat the lovely lady!

Posted by Mrs Knitebane

We went to see Brave back in July simply because it is about a princess who knows how to use a bow.  Today it is being released on DVD and I'm looking forward to watching it again.   I loved the movie but it got me thinking about how women responding to violence with violence is still a bit taboo in our society.  It often takes something tragic to make a woman decide to start taking control of her life and learn about firearms.  Very few of us will ever be physically strong enough to fight off a man but guns are a great equalizer.  Why aren't we raising our daughters to value their own life and give them real self-defense training?

Of course there are exceptions.  The best man at our wedding and his wonderful wife have successfully raised an amazing daughter.  She is strong, capable, intelligent, and heading out into the world on her own now.  Being the only girl with an older and a younger brother, she's learned how to defend herself.   She is not afraid to be competitive when needed.  She can shoot very well and has no issues standing up to guys that try to show her how its done.  I'm a touch jealous of her upbringing.

On the Fourth of July, the best man had friends over and took the kids out back to work on their rifle skills.  He came away with this:

"I had somewhat an epiphany a few days ago, while giving shooting instruction to some awesome young women that I know. Most guys want to hang out with girls that shoot. But most guys are too cheap to actually sacrifice what it takes to purchase decent weapons, much less ever get to the point where they actually "teach" a woman to shoot. Remember this "girls" - A boy will invite you to play "Airsoft" and try to impress you and gain your attention. A man will teach you to use a deadly weapon in order to protect yourself because he is naturally inclined to protect what is physically less capable of protecting itself. Learn to discern between each and choose wisely."

Reading that makes me realize just how lucky I am that Knitebane fell into my lap when he did because I was barking up the wrong tree when looking for a mate.  I think I once told him, "I don't need a man.  I can zip up my own dresses, open my own jars, and make my own money."  It really was just dumb luck that I found an honorable man.

"Women are empowered!  We can take care of ourselves!   We don't need men to protect us!"   I remember being told this in Health class in Jr. High when discussing sexuality.  There was some discussion of self-defense but nothing of actually picking up a gun to even the odds.  Apparently just thinking we were tough was going to protect us.

My family history has its own cases of violence that I almost repeated.  It was generational and I grew up hearing bits and pieces but I never got the full story until just a few years ago.   A common thread was sexual assault led to fear which lead to finding a strong and capable protector whose price was  often steep.  Sometimes just verbal abuse, sometimes beatings, and sometimes facing fits of rage that have become legend.   Although I grew up with a wonderful father, the family history still had influence.  Then I had an unfortunate incident with a neighbor that changed me forever.  He did very little physical damage but tons of emotional damage.    Suddenly I was repeating the family history and was driven by fear.   I did not trust men and saw no need to involve them in my life.  I can recall my fears being manipulated even more by women who were "trying to help me" by promoting my fear and encourage me to embrace being a victim, e.g. All men are rapists.  I fell for it.

When I finally decided to give men a try, I was already a legal adult.  The first man I dated was a Desert Storm veteran, very handsome, long blond hair, very protective of women, but abusive and controlling behind closed doors.   I ran as soon as I realized what was in store for me.  The string of failures just kept getting longer but I was starting to figure out what I should be looking for early in the relationship.

My mother was afraid she had not broken the circle because it was pretty obvious to everyone that I was looking for a protector.   There was a very conscious awareness in me that I did seek comfort in Knitebane because of his strength.   I knew he would defend me to the death from the first time he held me as tight as he could.   What I didn't realize at the time was that he was going to encourage me by any and every means possible to learn to defend myself.  That's a man who loves his wife!

Contrary to what most people would believe, the twelve year difference between Knitebane and myself has been a benefit for me more than him.  With age comes  patience and I taxed all of Knitebane's patience dealing with my fears.  Somewhere in my mid 20's, I decided the world was not so scary and I went overboard with my new-found freedom.  I never got hurt but I took chances that were probably not the smartest.  Knitebane was always a broken record talking about getting us into a concealed carry class and I just ignored him with a "Yes dear."  It took ten years and our house getting broken into before I finally started taking him seriously.

The past few years, others have been joining the chorus.  Every time I see our gunsmith, Tom, he lectures me on how it is MY responsibility to learn how to defend myself, not Knitebane's.  Just like I can't carry a cop around with me all the time, I can't carry my husband around with me either.

Having a gun isn't a talisman.  You have to know what you are doing.  Some may disagree with what I'm going to say but as long as I don't become complacent and actually do continue to improve my skills, I stand by my decision.  Almost all of my formal instruction has been in short, hour-long individual lessons.  For handgun training, I don't have much more than five or six hours of formal instruction.   For two years, I did not carry my gun with me because I thought I needed more training but never actually pursued it.  This year I started to carry daily on body with the gun I've had the most instruction with, a revolver.   When I first decided to do this, I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and would draw over and over again.   This is very different from .22 steel match and firing from a low ready.  There is still much to learn and perfect but I'm not crippled by the fear of the unknown anymore.

I respect and acknowledge the full responsibility carrying a gun brings.  I don't wear a gun to kill, I wear a gun to live.  My life is valuable and worth protecting.

Last night, Knitebane mentioned I should go read Garand Gal as I am often out after midnight.  "Nothing good happens after midnight."  True.  I have been witness to someone fleeing from police at 02:00 after trying to steal a radio.  Our neighborhood is an undeveloped subdivision with lots of half-finished and never lived in buildings.  There has been a lot of theft here too.  This spring, an obvious drug user attacked our car while we were at a stoplight 3 miles from our house.  Well within walking distance.  Knowing all of this, I still walk close to midnight with the dogs because I procrastinate till  the dogs start threatening to redecorate the house if they don't burn off some steam.  I should not be putting all of us in danger like that.   I thought I was doing my best to not be stupid and embrace Knitebane's thinking of if there is trouble there, don't be there.  It was a good wake up call.

Knitebane and I have discussed our training goals and we realize that getting training for me has got to be at the top of the list of priorities.  The last semi-auto we purchased has picked me as its new owner.  It was never meant for me but the gun decided.   I shoot fairly accurately with it but I know I can be better.  I do NOT have good muscle memory when it comes to drawing from concealment or even a holster and trying to get the safety off.  I've been watching a lot of gun shows lately and I noticed just how the pros do a lot of dry fire practice and just rehearse, rehearse, rehearse before they actually shoot one bullet.  This should not have been an epiphany for me but it was.  I used to play in my High School band and we would rehearse without ever playing a note, just singing and fingering the music.  I worked on my embouchure with just my mouthpiece.  Breaking things down without ever playing a note still built the muscle memory, still reinforced how my part mixed with the rest of the band.  It was not uncommon for the entire band to rehearse marching without playing or sometimes even carrying our instruments but we were still rehearsing and successful in competitions.

After realizing I can still improve without being at the range, I turned to the one closest to me for help.  I take advantage of Knitebane a lot when I'm learning something new because I am a firm believer in very physical training.  If I need to adjust something, don't just tell me, TOUCH ME.  I also like to use mirrors and video to see what I'm doing and how I'm doing it right or wrong.  So the Sunday before the election, we worked on me drawing from a holster with retention and just a cover garment.   After about 5 minutes, we saw some improvement.   I love to shoot just for fun but I also need that muscle memory and once a week is going to take a long time to get it.

2013 is thankfully still seven weeks away  but I have some goals for myself between now and the New Year.
1.  15 minutes of drills with an unloaded gun 3 to 5x a week.
2.  Review the budget and our calendar and try to get into at least 2 self-defence classes before summer 2013.
3.  Get back into some form of competition.  Learning to deal with stress is important and it gives me a goal to work towards.
4.  Schedule another Appleseed shoot for us.  Don't know how long it will take me to make rifleman but I know I can do it with practice.


I just don’t see how Romney gets there…

Posted by Knitebane

After Sean posted his prediction, I've been running the numbers and I have bad news.  I think Sean's being a tad optimistic and for those people who are predicting a huge blowout, well, sorry folks but I just don't see how Romney gets to 400 electoral votes, much less 489.

Reagan's record for the most EVs of a non-incumbent will stand. 

But Romney'll do okay:

Where I differ with Sean is that I think that He Who Shall Not Be Named keeps Minnesota and Nevada in his column.  Minnesota didn't even vote for Reagan and Romney's no Reagan.  And Dingy Harry has a lock on the Nevada brothel and organized crime machine.  He'll deliver for the SCOAMF.

I've heard rumors that people in New Jersey are pissed very upset with Obama over his non-reaction to the utter devastation along the coastline and that will put 14 more EVs in the Romney column. I've even heard some wild fantasies that New York may be in play due to the storm response.

I don't think so.  Not that it's not possible, but because the very people who are most upset are unlikely to be either able or willing to trek across the war-zone to polling places that may not exist.  If the election were to be held in three more weeks then I'd be more willing to accept that as that would give the survivors enough time to dig out and restore a modicum of civilization to the area.  But people still ripping out their sea-water saturated carpet to have a dry place to lay down and people wondering if they're going to freeze to death on Monday night or have more flooding are not going to venture out and vote.

And even Governor Christy's declaration that his constituents can vote by email or fax won't change much.  After all, when your computer is corroded to junk by salt water and your power's been out for a week, what good will that do?  In fact, this move will make it more likely that the Demonrat machines will just use this crisis to further their grip.  No, NY and NJ stay safe for The Lightbringer.

Now all we have to worry about is whether the east coast can survive round two and what new destruction the Jug-Eared Fool will impose on us by executive fiat before he's booted out in January. Well, that and the riots.  Listen folks, I'm not really the panicky type but when Massad Ayoob says to worry, it's time to worry.




Pro Tip: Do you have a can opener?

Posted by Knitebane

When I was a young sailor my unit had a Senior Chief that was a drunk. He did his job okay but it aged him. Eventually he was sent to get dried out. Back then the Navy program for alcohol abuse involved a lot of physical activity so he came back fit and tanned. He looked ten years younger.

Apparently his wife couldn't handle the change. About a month after his return and while he was at work, she packed up the contents of their house and left. She left him a can of soup, a pot, a bowl and a spoon.

But no can opener.

A can opener seems like such a simple thing...until you don't have one.

Here at the Manor we've been migrating to a new food system that comes mainly in #10 cans. While we had used our duty can opener before it was for the occasional standard #2 can or maybe some soup. But even that was apparently a bit much for our cordless, side-cut, As-Seen-On-TV can opener.

Cute, aint it?

And it worked pretty good too.  While a bit noisy and rather slow it did work but as it turns out it was not very resilient.  And when it died on the top of the first #10 can after having cut for about 3 inches it took a foot-long prybar and an Estwing dead-blow hammer to remove it.

A further search of the house failed to turn up a spare mechanical can opener.  The best I could come up with was a P-38:

...and the thought of having to open a bunch of #10 cans with that was too much.

So off to the store we went and picked up a couple of mechanical can openers. One is a big crank jobbie for big cans:

and the other is a standard twist-the-lever can opener.

So, as sometimes happens, we put another line on the "Stuff we need to have on hand when the lights go out" list and then checked it off on the same day.

Thinking back to our apartment days I'm pretty sure all we had was an under-counter mounted electric opener.  Not very prepared for power trouble then either.

I'll be spending some time going over some other basics in case I've overlooked something really flippin' obvious.

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