Weather report, puppy video, product review

In the wake of a couple of weighty, more serious blog posts — especially yesterday’s, in which I observed the third anniversary of a 15-day shutdown that lasted 16 months — I’m taking a breath. Deb, the dogs and I are hanging out in the bus, watching rain and listening to thunder.

No puppy class for Smudge today. Scout is getting around a little bit better (still with a long way to go). Dipstick, for whatever reason, has no appetite.

Ernie sports a respectable moat.

By the time the trailing edge of this weather system leaves the area late this afternoon, we’ll have absorbed a couple of inches of rain, both in Harrison and on The Mountain. No further work on our homestead’s foundation will happen ’til the ground dries out. Inevitable standing water in the campground will recede by morning, I expect, leaving plenty of mud here, too.

We’re used to all that by now, of course, and the spring will bring much more. We’ll deal with it.

Late winter and early spring can be bumpy in The South, especially in the Gulf Coast states. Tornados have been popping up all across the region. We’re always mindful of that threat.

Fortunately (for us), the potential for “tornadic activity” from this system has been relatively low in our part of Ozarkansas. East-central Arkansas, as well as the northwest corner of Mississippi and western Tennessee, however, are in a big ol’ bullseye. We have friends in all three places.

But this is springtime, after all. It’s supposed to be stormy and wet. And after seeing the effects of last summer’s drought here firsthand, as far as I’m concerned the wetter, the better.

When I described our happy Heeler’s escapades on The Mountain a couple of days ago, all I gave you were still photos. You deserve better than that, so here are moving pictures. Smile along with me…

It’s lookin’ like our Redneck Malinois wants to be a Country dog.

It was last October when Deb and I arrived at a solution for carrying our rifles on the Ranger. I believe it’s time I caught up with a brief report on our experience so far.

After ruling out a handful of hard mounts as unworkable or too costly, we found the Cabela’s Tac Gear UTV Double Gun Case. In the “TrueTimber Kanati” pattern that we chose, these days the case is going for $79.99 plus shipping, though we snagged it for $59.99 on sale with free shipping. Honestly, it’s a good value even at full price.

It was easy to attach to the roll bar and headache rack aft of the cab, with a half-dozen adjustable straps giving it a snug fit. Once it’s on, it may sag a little when loaded but it doesn’t flop around, and yet it can be removed quickly.

Construction and materials are surprisingly good for a case at this price point. Zippers all work smoothly. There’s even a clever integrated cover that pulls out to protect the case and its contents from rain or dust. The thing is put together really well — that was apparent as soon as I took it out of the box, and in five months it hasn’t disappointed.

We’ve used the Cabela’s case for its intended purpose, of course, but also to haul everything from axes and saws to snacks and bottles of water. Plowing through the winter woods with it strapped to the buggy, the sturdy material has shrugged off every branch and briar without a rip or a tear.

A month or so ago, I removed the case and re-mounted it about six inches lower. It had been blocking the rear window, making backing up the Ranger a guessing game. (Those outside rearview mirrors you see are useless when the cab doors are installed.) Now I can see a little bit in the inside mirror, and I can look over my right shoulder above the case. Much better.

This was a great purchase. It works for us. We recommend it.

Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.

#WiseUp #LibertyOrDeath

#LetsGoBrandon #FJB

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