Thursday, July 13, 2017

some medical tweaks and air pistols



This is where I’m presently set up. Going through quite a bit of sugar for the little fighters. There were no tracks when I first got here, but the truck tires are making marks. Bummer. Not going to be one of my leave-no-trace spots. That’s an important aspect of hard-wall camping.

Parking across a slight slope was the only option. So, as I’ve done other times, I dug out two holes on the uphill side for the wheels to drop into and rolled the downhill wheels up onto three blocks to get the rig near level. Just another aspect of hard-wall camping.
As you can see, there are some nice Ponderosa down the hill, but I can’t get the Nash down there, so it’s out in the sun all day. I really prefer shade in the summer. I was not up for driving north and scoping out a couple new spots up at elevation to hard-wall camp for the summer. But I needed a base to recoup and this is working out well.

I’m definitely getting back into exercise. I might even nail Diana’s Sixty Minutes for Sixty years challenge that I wrote about on the June 2011 page. With all the tasks and whatnot I’ve been catching up on, it is a real treat when I can sit down and do some reading.
M&M like being outside again, but they stick pretty close. Maybe they scent the bobcats, lynx, and coyotes in the area. The only time they go out from the camping spot is on our evening walks.


I had an appointment with a hematologist/oncologist. The colon surgeon had some concerns with the tumor. It broke through two of the three layers of the colon. Through the third layer would have given the cancer access to the lymph nodes. The tumor was also kinda funky, in a sickly way. So I will be starting on a chemo-pill procedure. A number of pills a day for two weeks and then one week off. I’m hoping I can cope with the side effects. We’ll see. Since it is a three-week program, it will work well with my 3-week town runs. I need to pick up the next batch of meds at each visit.
I’m looking forward to seeing my lab results to see if I’m still anemic (the tumor might have been bleeding).

I also saw an ophthalmologists and will be having my cataracts cut out next month. I thought cataracts were a layer over the lens; I didn’t know it was a condition in the lens. Having my eyes’ lenses cut out and replaced with artificial lenses (intraocular lens) is somewhat unsettling. At least the surgeon does it on two separate days. Since I have no one to drive me, I’ll have to get a motel room down in Alamogordo for each day of the surgeries and hire a ride. Bummer. Oh well, at least I will get the hot, foam baths that I missed this past winter.

I forget if I came across this while reading or listening to public radio. It’s strange. There is a good-rated merlot, from Chile, that sells for only $6-7. The wine is only sold through Walmart. That just does not seem right. Anyway, I think the wine is Casillero del Diablo, Reserva. Produced and bottled in Chili by Vina Concha Y Toro. I like it.
I like this too. On the label, “More than 100 years ago, Con Melchor de Conch y Toro reserved for himself an exclusive batch of his best wines. To keep strangers away from his private reserves, he spread the rumor that the Devil lived in that place. Hence the name: Casillero del Diable. The Devils Cellar.”

I enjoy shooting handguns, but since I got into this lifestyle, not so much. I like the challenge, but not the noise. When I’m out off-the-grid and someone starts shooting, even though it is generally off in the distance, it puts a damper on the natural sounds. So, a few years ago, I pretty much stopped shooting firearms. I did not want to trash another hard-wall camper’s out-in-nature experience.

I still enjoy the challenge to shoot well, however. Back in the ‘60s, I had a Benjamin multi-pump air rifle; I think it was the Sheridan. I was totally impressed with the power and accuracy. Now I shoot a pellet air pistol.


I’ve had this Tempest since the ‘80s. It is a barrel-break, spring-piston pistol that shoots .177 caliber pellets at 400 fps. The Webley company was based in Birmingham, England and supplied the British Empire with handguns for decades, prior to and through World Wars I and II. The passing of the Firearms Act in the UK put a damper on sales to civilians. Webley then started to produce pneumatic guns. They offered a number of pellet pistols over the years, the Tempest, being one.
There are a few youtube videos on the Webley Tempest.


This past winter I purchased this Avanti 747 single-stroke, side-lever pneumatic pistol. It shoots .177 pellets at 360 fps. I swear, when outdoors, the pellet striking the small paper plates I use for targets makes more noise than the pistol firing.

“The spring-pistol air gun is powered by the compression of a mainspring when the gun is manually cocked. The compression spring is released when the trigger is pulled, driving the piston forward, thus building up air pressure that pushes the pellet out of the barrel. Spring-pistol guns are of three types: Break-barrel, Underlever and Sidelever. BB guns are also in this category.”

I like the standard FAS 6004 Match Pellet Pistol but I did not want to spend $500 on an air pistol. There are articles on this pistol on the web and videos on youtube. It’s an all-metal pistol made in Italy by Chiappa.


10 meter (11 yards) air pistol competition is an Olympic event. Competition grade pistols start around $1500. The bull is 5mm (approx. 3/16”).

Like I said, I enjoy the challenge of shooting well. When shooting an air pistol, the range is only 25-30 feet or so. If there is no one around, one can set up a target at the edge of one’s camping spot or go off on a walk, plinking at pinecones and whatnot. Air pistols are so quiet, one can shoot them in an apartment. Just don’t shoot into an unpadded metal pellet trap if you want to keep things quiet.
In the Nash, I use an empty 5-liter wine box stuffed with cardboard.

I just plink and target shoot. I don’t need the power of a multi-pump action, nor did I want the ongoing expense of a CO2 powered model. A single-stroke action is all I need. Keep it simple.
If I were to choose between the Avanti and the Webley, I would choose the Avanti. It takes a second longer to load, like so what, but I find it easier to shoot and a tad more accurate. But either one is a good choice for the price range.

Shooting an air pistol is a form of simple, fun, challenging, inexpensive entertainment, like darts. Airguns are also good for those who shoot firearms and want to keep up their shooting skills without having to pack up their guns and gear, and drive to a spot to shoot. They are also a good way for someone who wants to become familiar with a handgun and shooting but does not want to go to the expense of purchasing a good handgun without first getting a taste of it. But then again, different strokes.

“You are today where your thoughts have brought you;
you will be tomorrow where your thoughts take you.”
James Lane Allen


RVwest article ‘Following a Free Spirit’

RVwest article ‘The Spaces Between the Places’