RANGER AGAINST WAR: The Wasps of Summer <

Monday, August 26, 2013

The Wasps of Summer

You shall see things wonderful to tell.
You shall see a cow on the roof of a cotton house
 And oh so many startlements 
--Oh Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

I sprayed it with flea spray
and the cat just fell over dead,
Just like that 
--Quoth Ranger to a woman who just
adopted a cat for her son

 She feeds you tea and oranges
That come all the way from China 
--Suzanne, Leonard Cohen
_____________________

[ed. comment: riffing off of Chris Hedges book title, War is a Force that Gives Us Meaning, RAW will be casting the net wider to look at society and where and how it makes meaning, and how that translates into war, which will justify the blog’s name. But for today, it is beans and bullets. L.]

Cutting the grass has been sketchy this year due to the monsoon-like rains, but as they say in the South, we need it. (Of course, it’s not enough to stop the sinkholes, and perhaps too much so that the nitrogen-rich pesticide and fertilizer runoff has shut down walking on our local beaches and swimming in the St. Johns waterway … but those are tragedies for another day.)

During a brief lull, Ranger had a slim opportunity to fire up his old walk-behind mower when he was promptly and unceremoniously bitten on the hand by three wasps who had made a nest under the ignition; he had failed to perform a visual reconnaissance. Though it hurt, Chinese medicine finds the stings to be most propitious, and a resultant sleepless night led to various meditations on the not-right state of things in the State.

As a gunman, Ranger is concerned about the shortage of ammunition in the touted World’s Only Superpower. Ammunition is the thing needed to operate the legally purchased objects called firearms which he owns. Even reloading components are scarce.

Last week Walmart – or, "your neighborhood’s friendly Chinese Consulate" – had 5.56/.223 Winchester Made in America ammo, but 3 boxes of 20 rounds each was the limit. Worse, however, than the limitation was the quality.

The bullets were visually inferior with no consistency and could easily have been remanufactured, but there is no statement to that effect on the box. The brass has different head stamps and the primers are corroded and of different colors indicating mixed lots. Dirt was also in the ejector slotted areas of the heads of the rounds, and the rounds varied in length.

Suffice it to say that this ammo, necessary for one to exercise the right of self defense, is questionable at best. This is not Mexican, Filipino, Korean, Turkish or Persian junk, but good old boy Winchester USA-made ammo.

While trying to avoid the “Made in China” label of shame, he still cannot seem to escape a shoddy product. His 2nd new Mini Clubman has been in the shop thrice for mysterious engine waning light problems, and the new car gets four-miles less per gallon mileage than the previous 2008 – even though he has tried using hi-test petrol (which he never did in the previous vehicle.) The computer is lying, saying the car is getting “36.3 mpg”, but manual computations show 32 mpg.

He’s waiting to meet the next tow truck driver since the last one said this problem is common in the new Minis.

Man must find daily succor somewhere, and food used to be a reliable momentary refuge, but not so today when high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and questionable additives lie in wait in most factory-produced food products, and the GMO’s fed to the livestock seem to be making even them sick.

If you want fat-free because your sedentary lifestyle is packing on the pounds, then it will be loaded with artificial sweetener, and if you want sugar free, you’ll get phony hydrogenated fats or engineered fats (inulin, Olestra) to give you that silky mouth feel that compensates for your lack of actually eating real food. You may, however, suffer some socially problematic unforeseen consequences of your better living through chemistry. Even good meats have fillers (unless you can find organic) and fish has color added to make you not feel sick at seeing the actual colors.

Bacon must have artificial maple syrup flavor, or apple, or “smoke flavor” – not natural flavors, mind you, but the simulacrum of the real thing. Mott’s apple juice -- "since 1842" -- is now sourced from China (would-you-like-some-Melamine-with-that?) After that discovery, it is now being used in his insect trap – but even the bugs will not slurp it. Why must we eat apples from China? And don't eat those "oranges all the way from China" (Mandarin), either.

The syrups on the grocery shelves have been sans maple syrup for a long time, but Aunt Jemima used to have a token 3% real syrup; no more. Now, the big catchword is “natural” syrup, which means precisely nothing. Everything carbon-based is “natural”, but not all is good to consume. We have lost the taste for actual sweetness, and do not know what actual meat should look like.

Living in Florida, we have seen the gradual encroachment of big floral scents and flavors to meet the taste of Sabor Latino over the last two decades. Now the fumes are ubiquitous: shower soap, dish detergent floor cleaner and laundry detergent is redolent with "grenade and lime", papaya and guava smells – things better suited to ingestion than infusion into one’s clothes or living quarters. Saith Ranger, he doesn’t want to smell like a French whore or a Tallahassee pimp.

All of this from three wasp bites which, though unpleasant, were “pure and natural”, and have probably always gotten the same mpg.

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7 Comments:

Blogger BBC said...

I took forth place in a shooting match on Saturday, not bad for an old drunk.

Monday, August 26, 2013 at 9:43:00 PM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Man, that ammo is a mess. Winchester white box 223 55 grain round used to be an excellent commercially available version of 5.56 M193. Same stuff, really. Same muzzle velocity and same Sierra 55 grain FMJ boat tail projectile. It was always nice and clean back when I used to buy it several years ago.

It is damn near impossible to find any mil spec ammo in 5.56 or 7.62 any more. Rumor is that Homeland Security has purchased it all either to use on us or to keep out of our hands ( an attempt at a backdoor "assault weapon" ban). My own thinking is that when the gun grabbers came into office, citizens bought it all up, along with the guns and high cap magaizens that shoot it - Another backfired liberal social policy attempt.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 10:56:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BBC said...

I haven't seen any .22 shells on a shelf for over a year.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013 at 11:15:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

No 1 and BBC.
Forget the gov't.
I have a burr under my blanket with Walmart, a capitalist commercial venture limiting my ammo purchase to 3 boxes.
What other product in Walmart is so restricted?
jim

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:04:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger BBC said...

Every store here that sells ammo restricts how much you can buy, usually two boxes.

Swain's has been getting in a little more ammo but still no .22's.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:17:00 AM GMT-5  
Anonymous jim at ranger said...

No 1,
How can WW/Olin put such TRASH out and call it ammo?
jim

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 8:47:00 AM GMT-5  
Blogger no one said...

Jim, as sign of the times. Decline of western civilization.

Our society was built on quality guns and ammo.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013 at 12:01:00 PM GMT-5  

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