I need to get into some land here pretty quick. Somewhere to stake out and plant seeds. Not necessarily agricultural. Perhaps spiritual, for what that's worth coming from a nonbeliever. Certainly, the seeds of craft if nothing else.

Among other things, some place I can start bricking up a proper furnace without having to worry about things like bothering the neighbors with a 36 hour burn or operating an unlicensed foundry within city limits. The Authorities do not take kindly to, and do not often believe, your assurances that the molten metal in your backyard is under control.

I want to start casting aluminum as a stepping stone to casting iron. If it goes well with this plan, if it looks like I am ready to punch out for the long haul, perhaps I will end up wandering down to the hippie swap meet/farmer's market in town, down the hypothetical mountain, on a monthly basis in order to trade various cast metal objects, icons, and fetishes for scrap to melt, and provisions to sustain me while doing so.

I wonder what a bigass zinc buddha would be worth to the right person? These days, quality zinc in alloys suitable for casting is nearly free, what with honest, God-fearing lead wheel weights being replaced by pinko steel and zinc substitutes. As a side note, little do they know (and this is just between us) that zinc makes nearly as good a cast bullet as lead does; you just need to know the little tricks.

Yeah, that's the ticket. An exorbitant price tag on a huge shiny Siddhartha, labelled properly of course. Handmade by an authentic hermit using traditional artisanal techniques applied to upcycled wheel weights. Save the environment while contemplating karmic retribution. A reminder of the spinning luxury trim package alloy wheels of existence, and our task is to balance it so that each revolution is more attuned than the last.

And eventually, as is always the case when some nut decides to build a compound and get weird, when the ATF and/or FDA comes looking for me, they'll have to wade through acres of failed castings and jagged metal scrap. The photos will seal my fate before a word is spoken in a courtroom. No jury of anyone's peers can tolerate repeated viewings of those kinds of trappings of madness, to say nothing of those with the kind of devilish intensity sure to accumulate around a homemade religious icon foundry in the middle of the fucking woods.

A sound bite played over and over again, leaked to the press just after the operation:

"We think he's holed up behind that pile of broken Jesii."

What better demonstration of the impermanence of the physical world than to demonstrate the impermanence of a dozen crudely cast buddha statues repurposed as the frag jackets on IEDs? Would it be better to leave cryptic hints about being a direct action bodhisattva in the manifesto, or perhaps not? Can I really trust anyone to get the symbolism and hilarious irony if I don't spell it out?

To say nothing of the cannons. A good bronze cannon, although hopelessly outclassed in terms of modern firepower, will still kill an armored government SUV, or even wound (or at least scare) a black helicopter if you can get the damn things angled in time.

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