Sunday, 22 November 2015

09:43 – I just got back from walking Colin, who has the squirties. I wore just my hoodie, since the thermometer said it was 47F outside. I’m sure that’s correct, but it didn’t account for the wind, which was gusting up to 25 or 30 MPH. The cold cut through my hoodie and my sweat pants. I have my own metric for wind chill. I subtract one degree from the nominal temperature for each one MPH of wind speed, which yields an accurate “feels like” temperature for me. That means it felt like 17F to 22F out there, which indeed is what it felt like to me.

I did laundry yesterday as usual. Barbara is cleaning house today, as usual, although with all the stuff sitting around packed up she’ll only be able to do a quick run through with the vacuum and clean the bathrooms.

With only a week to go, we’ve still got a lot of stuff left to pack up. I actually thought about renting a storage unit up in Sparta so we’d have somewhere to pile stuff until we can get into the new house, but we might as well spend our time down here getting stuff packed up and then just move it directly to the house once we have it. Barbara said there’s no way she wants to move this stuff twice.

Barbara got a lot of the science kit component inventory boxed up and stacked yesterday, and will get more done today and this coming week. I’ll be working on other stuff, including making sure we have what we need up there to have functioning computers and a TV once we’re up there and have Internet service working. I also need to call the Blue Ridge Electric Co-Op tomorrow about scheduling them to install a propane tank and heater in case we have a power failure. We’re going to get an unvented 25,000 BTU/hr heater, which is enough to keep the downstairs den and bedrooms at normal room temperature and keep the main floor warm enough to keep the pipes from freezing. The biggest propane tank they had when we visited them the other day was 100 gallons, which is enough to run a 25K BTU/hr heater running 24 hours a day for about 25 days. I’m going to see if they can install a 250 gallon tank instead, or even a 500 gallon tank.

Back to packing.


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47 Responses to Sunday, 22 November 2015

  1. OFD says:

    I’m sure you’ve thought of this; what if the Situation develops to where propane deliveries aren’t being made anymore? I have the same concern about firewood and oil up here; we’re dependent on guys driving trucks to our house.

    Gorgeous day here but with the wind I’m guessing the 40s is more like the 20s.

  2. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Oh, yeah, I’ve thought about it. That’s the reason I want to get a propane tank larger than 100 gallons, not to mention a wood stove. If there’s one thing Sparta has plenty of, it’s trees. That 25,000 BTU/hr for 25 days is a nice emergency backup, but it’s neither enough BTUs nor enough time. As soon as I can get it past Barbara, I want to install a large wood-burning stove that could also be used for cooking. I’d like something rated for 100,000+ BTU/hr, but I’d settle for 75K or even 50K if I had to.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As far as the driving trucks part, I’ll also be set up to turn starches (think turnips or potatoes) into ABE (acetone-butanol-ethanol) in a 3:6:1 ratio by fermentation and subsequent distillation to separate them. The butanol is a drop-in replacement for gasoline in any standard gasoline engine.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t really expect things to get that bad, but if they do I’ll bet I could trade a few gallons of drop-in gasoline replacement for quite a bit of split and stacked firewood.

  4. nick says:

    @rbt,

    how much plant matter to the gallon?

    I bet it’s a lot…

    I’m thinking that scaling up from a counter top to producing 50 gallon batches would be a major undertaking. I’ve seen pix of a guy making biodiesel in his garage, and it’s really a barn. Lots of drums, lots of pipe. Does the process need heat? Where does that come from on a cottage industry scale?

    Not just being knee jerk negative, but WHY make gasoline substitute? Not for vehicles surely. Where would you go and why? Diesel would be simpler for transportation and I’ve heard about collecting crankcase oil, etc for use in diesel engines. If things are that bad, wouldn’t it be easier to refine the stale gas in cars and tanks? Or process the millions of gallons stored in tank farms, either crude, diesel or gas?

    Alcohol is relatively easy to make too and will run in small engines, although it’s hell on seals.

    It seems a bit like a ‘movie plot’ idea, rather than especially practical. Or I could just be in a mood this am…

    nick

    I know it’s a useful way to store energy, and small engines are great force multipliers, but I’m not seeing a scenario where it makes sense.

  5. dkreck says:

    Diesel would be simpler for transportation and I’ve heard about collecting crankcase oil, etc for use in diesel engines.

    But wouldn’t that pollute?

    (don’t take that at face value)

  6. Jenny says:

    @RBT

    Feed Colin a heaping teaspoon of canned pumpkin (pure pumpkin) morning and night. Should dry him up pretty fast.

    Bake a pie with the leftovers.

    Emergency trip to my parents. Dad at end stage renal failure with a number of complications. Mom hospitalized this morning with chest pains. None of this is unexpected so I’m not freaking out. Oldest sibling also expected this outcome. Between the two of us it will all be managed. Lots of local resources to help us. Other sibling and grandkids arrive soon.

    That’ll up the stress but a good thing in terms of saying goodbyes.

    A sedentary life spent drinking and smoking does not much to improve quality life in ones final years.

    I’ve had many friends lose their spouses in 40’s and I’ve had more practice at grief than my siblings so dealing with it is familiar.

    Prepping extends to lots of areas of life. Death is no different.

  7. OFD says:

    I bet you could also trade a bunch of your wizard services and techniques likewise, esp. with that last bit about butanol as fuel. Those starches can also be turned, as you know, into alcohol, another valuable wizard skill. Between the “ersatz” fuel and the booze, you could be raking it in while hordes of derps are dropping like flies or living like rats and cockroaches in the cities.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Ethanol is problematic as a fuel for gasoline engines, not least because it sucks water out of the air. Butanol doesn’t do that, and is literally a high-octane drop-in replacement for gasoline than can be used in an unmodified gasoline engine. Don’t try that with ethanol.

    A Diesel engine will burn almost anything. Rudolf Diesel ran his first one on peanut oil. The main problem you run into with running on something other than regular fuel is viscosity, which can be dealt with.

    As to yield, ABE bacteria yield acetone:butanol:ethanol in a 3:6:1 ratio. One gallon of butanol weighs about 6.75 pounds, so assuming 100% of theoretical yield (with some fudging to account for the mixed product), you’d need about (6.75/.6) = 11.25 pounds of starch to produce a gallon of n-butanol. There’ll be losses, so let’s assume the actual yield is 25% of theoretical, which means you’d need about 45 pounds of potatoes or whatever per gallon of n-butanol.

  9. OFD says:

    9-10 5-pound bags of spuds per gallon, then. About as much as we’re likely to be able to grow in our shady, clay-soil back yard. We’re simply gonna have to commandeer some nearby farm acreage that gets plenty of sun and wotta, in the name of the Revolution.

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I look at it in terms of energy equivalents, discounting readily available fuel sources like wood, and considering only high-end fuel sources like food and liquid fuel. A gallon of gas might not sound like much and I haven’t run the numbers, but I’ll bet that that gallon of gas in a rototiller or chain saw would save a lot more food energy than it would cost to do that labor by hand.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, IIRC, the ABE bacteria don’t die off until the culture medium exceeds 10% of the liquid fuels, so a 50-gallon barrel might contain five gallons of fuel mixed with the water. Acetone and ethanol have reasonably low boiling points, so they’re relatively easy to strip out of solution, particularly under vacuum. The n-butanol is harder to isolate because it boils about 17C higher than water. That means you need to strip the water out of the butanol rather than vice versa, but again even a relatively small vacuum helps.

  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And, yes, Nick is correct that it takes a bit of infrastructure, but nothing that would be that hard to come by.

  13. JLP says:

    I watched a PA documentary last night, “Mad Max Fury Road”.

    Some things I learned:
    1) Scantily clad beautiful woman will survive the apocalypse.
    2) There will be plenty of ammunition so you can fire your automatic weapons with abandon and never have to scrounge for the spent brass.
    3) If you survive the apocalypse you will be so tough that someone can detonate a bomb next to you, stab you, and throw you from a moving vehicle and you’ll be just fine.
    4) You will have plenty of free time and energy to create bizarre looking cars and trucks.

    There were a few other interesting revelations but you get the idea. JLP Rating: 2 stars out of 10 (1 star for fun car chases, 1 star for scantily clad beautiful women).

  14. MrAtoz says:

    My best to you and your family, Ms. Jenny.

  15. DadCooks says:

    @Jenny – (BTW, the name of my first born niece) I sense you are a very strong woman and can deal with whatever life deals you. However, you do need to remember to take some time for yourself to reflect and recharge. Sometimes it is good to let that stiff upper lip quiver a bit.

    This ol’ salt wishes you and your family fair winds and following seas.

  16. nick says:

    Hey why worry about fuel, this guy says there will be free unlimited energy.

    http://pro.moneymappress.com/EADSLR79/PEADRB09/?iris=435649&ad=atgt2-tnfwkbo-dm2&h=true

    I’ve been listening for 5 minutes and I have no idea what he’s talking about.

    If only we could power the world with flimflam…..

    nick

    oh, it’s tiny tiny energy particles in the air, ‘we’re swimming in energy’ and it’s ‘perpetual’. ‘the power is beyond conception’. ‘this fuel is absolutely free, available to anyone with the means to harvest it.’

    Hah! The energy particles are traveling ‘at the speed of light’ from the SUN! But it’s not solar power, cause when ‘I think of that, I think of liberals taxing us to pay for their own benefit.’

    wow.

    Ooooo, the key is getting in on the ground floor…

    And there just happens to be a little solar company you could learn about.

    Now he’s talking about Si, and saying “sigh”, pure “sigh”.

    sweet jebus.

  17. OFD says:

    “There were a few other interesting revelations but you get the idea.”

    Yeah, I started to watch that flick and got about ten minutes into it and said “eff it,” what a pile of junk. Not even close to ANY of its predecessors.

    I’m kinda looking forward to seeing the new movie about the notorious Kray brothers, starring my “cousin” Tom Hardy in both roles. The earlier flick about the Krays was good; this one looks to be very interesting. (the Krays were a couple of ultra-violent psycho brothers in London a few decades ago.).

    I might check out the new Bond movie, too, but other than that I’m wrapping up the last season, sadly, of “The Wire,” and moving on to the current seasons of “The Blacklist,” and “Homeland.” Hey, I gotta have a bit of mindless junk like any other red-blooded Murkan guy; can’t all be epic medieval poetry and Baroque music on the radio.

  18. SteveF says:

    Hey why worry about fuel, this guy says there will be free unlimited energy.

    Some time ago, decades, I was assured that the US doesn’t need to worry about the endless turmoil in the Middle East, or the dangers of nuclear power, or any other energy problem. Why not? Because a species of tumbleweed had been found to produce diesel. A small amount per plant, to be sure, but there’s a lot of desert southwest, so we can get all the fuel the country needs from renewable sources.

    So I looked into it, then looked up some numbers and did some multiplying. At something under a teaspoon of diesel per tumbleweed and however many tumbleweeds per acre and however many acres of desert and steppe and assuming 0 energy in gathering up and rendering the tumbleweeds, we could get … under 1% of the US petrol consumption at the time. Renewables for the win, yo!

  19. lynn says:

    The biggest propane tank they had when we visited them the other day was 100 gallons, which is enough to run a 25K BTU/hr heater running 24 hours a day for about 25 days. I’m going to see if they can install a 250 gallon tank instead, or even a 500 gallon tank.

    Get two 250 gallon tanks. That way you can always have a full tank. Switching between the tanks is a pain though as it is not automatic and you might actually have to uncouple and recouple the hose. No smoking while working on the tanks!

    And, most generators have a add-on propane kit for them.

  20. lynn says:

    With only a week to go, we’ve still got a lot of stuff left to pack up. I actually thought about renting a storage unit up in Sparta so we’d have somewhere to pile stuff until we can get into the new house, but we might as well spend our time down here getting stuff packed up and then just move it directly to the house once we have it. Barbara said there’s no way she wants to move this stuff twice.

    I’d listen to her. Unless you get in hurry such as someone willing a million bucks on your old home.

    BTW, do you have a paint contractor lined up for the old house? Many realtors will know several.

  21. Miles_Teg says:

    free energy?

    45 years ago my sister was dating a ministry student who was working seriously in his spare time on a perpetual motion machine. Mum was so glad when they broke up she took my sister shopping for sone new clothes… 🙂

    He’s now a professor at a Christian college in Virginia.

  22. Miles_Teg says:

    I like an occasional glance at scantilly clad wimminz and stuff blowing up, so despite OFD’s warnings may go see Fury Road.

    Mad Max II was the best.

    Haven’t been to the cinema for over a year. The last time was when my sister insisted on seeing some film staring Richard Gere that was so bad I walked out after 30 minutes.

  23. DadCooks says:

    Regarding energy from tumbleweeds:

    In the 1890s the area that would become Kennewick WA built an irrigation pumping station and power station that burned the abundant tumbleweeds we have here to this day.

  24. nick says:

    What a waste of a weekend.

    Spent yesterday afternoon fixing the washing machine at my rental house.

    Spent this afternoon fixing the dishwasher at my house, then running the drain snake to clean out the lines. The washer was overflowing. Happens every year around thanksgiving. Usually with guests in the house. Hopefully got it early this time.

    Still, long and frustrating days.

    We’re under a freeze watch tonight. I threw blankets over the citrus trees, and sheet and tarps over the raised bed. the ‘window boxes’ on the fence were easy, I stapled a blanket to hang down over them. If it stays cold, I might hang plastic like a green house over them. We’ll see. I hope we don’t get frozen. Currently 42 deg and dead calm.

    Funny how the same scams keep coming around. Free energy, perpetual motion. Zero point energy. Everybody wants something for nothing.

    nick

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And their chicks for free.

  26. medium wave says:

    Dunno whether to file this under “No good deed goes unpunished” or “They’re not like us”: Police release video of Tulane med student shooting: Graphic content. Notice how the perp tries THREE TIMES to execute the med student after initially shooting him in the stomach. The perp likely won’t be free for long: Cops ID Suspect in Tulane Med Student Shooting: ‘We’re Going to Find You’.

  27. lynn says:

    I might check out the new Bond movie, too, but other than that I’m wrapping up the last season, sadly, of “The Wire,” and moving on to the current seasons of “The Blacklist,” and “Homeland.”

    Skip the new Bond movie (I saw it last week with me Mum and Dad) and go see “The Martian”. All the science in the Martian movie is doable, just need a lot of money. I say $75 trillion, Ech??? says $65 billion. I am reading the book now and am willing to drop my estimate by 10X. I think that we should split our estimates and call it a worthy project.

  28. lynn says:

    Emergency trip to my parents. Dad at end stage renal failure with a number of complications. Mom hospitalized this morning with chest pains. None of this is unexpected so I’m not freaking out. Oldest sibling also expected this outcome. Between the two of us it will all be managed. Lots of local resources to help us. Other sibling and grandkids arrive soon.

    Sorry to hear that. My mother is getting cured of stage 3 Endometrial Cancer by a hysterectomy, horrible nasty drugs (last treatment is this Wednesday before Tday), and radiation treatments through the Christmas holiday. The good news is that she is surviving it and actually feeling better. My Dad successfully fought Lymphoma last year, for the fourth time. and is doing well now. I’m kinda hoping that they get to hang around for another ten+ years. The really good news is that they have been driving each other to treatments and doctor visits.

    I’m not in the sandwich generation yet but I sure can see it from here. The wife is on the cusp of it with her dad whom we put in a nursing home XXXX XXXXX skilled nursing center last year. The good thing is that he is actually doing well and has the money to pay for it.

    Sounds like you are graduating to the sandwich generation. Does not sound like very much fun.

  29. lynn says:

    As far as the driving trucks part, I’ll also be set up to turn starches (think turnips or potatoes) into ABE (acetone-butanol-ethanol) in a 3:6:1 ratio by fermentation and subsequent distillation to separate them. The butanol is a drop-in replacement for gasoline in any standard gasoline engine.

    As I’ve said repeatedly, I don’t really expect things to get that bad, but if they do I’ll bet I could trade a few gallons of drop-in gasoline replacement for quite a bit of split and stacked firewood.

    I’ve been catching up on the second season of the “Last Man on Earth” tv show. Our eight survivors in the USA (or above it) have been alone for two years now. The gasoline is now jellying up, clogging their generators, cars, RVs and toys. Me, I think that the jellying would happen much quicker with today’s rotgut that they call gasoline. The show is basically a farce but it does have many valid problems: water, sewer, energy, transportation, communication, conflict, food, etc, etc, etc. Especially with so few people.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Last_Man_on_Earth_%28TV_series%29

  30. lynn says:

    As a rule, I don’t pass along these “add your name” lists that appear in e-mails, BUT this one is important. It has been circulating for months and has been sent to over 25 million people. We don’t want to lose any names on the list so just hit forward and send it on.

    Please keep it going

    ………….​

    To show your support for President Obama and the job he is doing please go to the end of the list and add your name.
    1. Michelle Obama
    2.

  31. Jenny says:

    @DadCooks. Thank you for your kind words. I’ll miss dad when he’s gone (sorry for the statement of the blindingly obvious) however modern medicine isn’t doing him and favors at this point. Death will be a welcome relief from pain and anger at the loss of control of his body. Mom is coming around. She was sent home midday. Stubborn old goat got tired of waiting for her ride (two cars, one was visiting dad and other was picking up family for airports). She snuck out of the hospital and started walking home! Gotta admit I feel an unreasonable pride at her determination.

    Dad on oxygen now. With his heart function at 10% his quality of life made a major upswing. Watching the two of them process the idea of his imminent death has been fascinating.

    @lynn I’ve been using my toddler as an excuse to take regular breaks from the chaos. I’m being selfish with my own well being. Learned that the hard way after last years car crash. Sad truth is my emotional coping skills are operating at a deficit. I ALWAYS book a hotel and rental car for family visits. They are insane so this essential to maintaining sanity.

    Very gratifying to receive so many comments on daughters superb behavior. The judicious use of breaks, play, and quietly whispered dire threats have worked their magic.

    Aunt flies in from New Zealand tomorrow. I haven’t seen her since 1995 so very excited.

    Looking forward to resolution. I’m firmly of the opinion that death is not that worst you can experience

    Cross eyed tired. Time to rest

  32. brad says:

    The reviews for the new MadMax and for the new James Bond were pretty clear: both of them are supposed to be pervaded by PC-feminist message. They have emasculated what are supposed to be simple, brainless, macho films. Worth avoiding.

    OTOH, I am looking forward to the new Star Wars, which is apparently promising. It will be interesting to see what Disney has done with the franchise. Also, The Martian – great book, hopefully also a great movie.

    – – – – –

    On the subject of free energy, perpetual motion machines, etc., I actually do understand why so many people believe in this kind of stuff. There are two kinds of people in the world: those with an intuition for physical systems, and those without. There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle-ground.

    Just as an example: I was waiting for a train, watching a freight train thunder by. The freight train consisted of a pile of oil tankers. The guy I was waiting with commented that this looked like a really inefficient way to transport oil, since each tanker could probably only fill up 2-3 houses’ oil tanks. I looked at him oddly, and said: “What? More like 50!” Back at home, I looked up the size of one of these cars: 130,000 liters. The average size of an oil tank in a single-family house here ranges from 1000 to 5000 liters.

    Not coincidentally, the same guy also doesn’t understand why a perpetual motion machine should be impossible. He is otherwise a smart guy, but he just has no intuition, no feeling at all for physical systems.

  33. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    @Jenny

    We’re very sorry for what you’re going through, and we can both empathize. I lost my dad 12/1/90 and my mom 8/10/03, and ten years later Barbara went through it with her dad, followed by her mom only a year later. Just waiting 24×7 for the phone to ring and dealing with all the stuff that needs to be dealt with is exhausting emotionally and physically. I’ll second the recommendation to take some time for yourself to just unwind.

  34. Lynn says:

    Dad on oxygen now. With his heart function at 10% his quality of life made a major upswing. Watching the two of them process the idea of his imminent death has been fascinating.

    Oh wow! 10% heart function is below what I have been told is necessary for life to continue which is 20%. We have totally awesome docs and medicine nowadays but, there is only so much they can do.

    After my second heart incident, mine dropped to 45% but, the docs got it back up to 55% (very good value) through drugs. Unfortunately, I am having breakthroughs in the last couple of months and am considering heart ablation surgery again. Doc says that it “should” work.

  35. OFD says:

    We all, or many of us, anyway, seem to be inundated with med issues lately; I feel for y’all who are dealing with it, either personally or in support of others. We pray up here daily and I make sure to include folks here who are going through the mill, even if they may not believe in it; can’t hurt, amirite?

    My mom is 83 with Pick’s Disease (an Alzheimer’s variant) and in a nursing home; next younger brother is a cancer survivor and is now scheduled for major back surgery. Our sister has had epilepsy since she was thirteen and is now going daily for chem and radiation treatments for the next three months, followed by reconstructive surgery. And my youngest brother is a prostate cancer survivor and he just recently took a bad spill jogging with his damn mutts and planted his face onto the asphalt, after which he had to jog two miles back to the house bleeding like a stuck pig; multiple stitches and probably a scar; his face looks like somebody socked him with one of them pro-wrestling gloves sewn with bits of razor and sandpaper.

    Meanwhile Mrs. OFD has bouts of severe depression, probably needs eye surgery, and has insomnia and sleep apnea to beat the band. I’m used to the latter and sleep right through it. Her mom is 86 and has had hip replacements, cataract surgeries, etc., etc. and is still going strong and driving all over hell. Her mom’s OLDER sister, at 90, swims, paddles a kayak and rides a bicycle, while also driving all over hell.

    And we have our son out there in Kalifornia who is my height and probably outweighs me now by 60 or more pounds, tipping the scales at 300; darling DIL has him beat, however, and is as big as a friggin’ house; probably 350+ at 5’6″.

    The lessons here: lay off the junk food, processed crap, frozen chit, fast food garbage and get off yer ass and hump a ruck or at least take a walk REGULARLY. Son and DIL are cruising for haht disease, diabetes and early deaths.

    Also, if you’re out jogging miles from the house or humping a ruck somewhere, at least bring along some friggin’ band-aids, which can lie flat in yer wallet. In his case, little bro woulda needed the jumbo size or better yet, some gauze and tape. And if you’re packing heat to the range or wherever, bring along a trauma kit, if nothing more than the tourniquet, so-called Israeli bandage, and learn how to use that stuff, plus the usual CPR.

    Wife’s checks now weeks overdue again and they were supposed to have been FedExed Overnight this past Friday; now her ass-hat employers’ office staff can’t find them. Don’t know, don’t much care, and “sorry ’bout that.” All our bills are stacked up like the planes at Newark and we have guests arriving for the Thanksgiving holidays.

    Six or more years ago and I’d be well into the bag by now, drowning all this stress in gallons (literally) of booze. Now I hop outside and get going with the chainsaw, rakes, shovels, etc., or run up and down the waterfront. Soon I’ll start doing that WITH the chainsaw.

  36. nick says:

    @OFD,

    The hardest part of being a contractor isn’t getting the work, or even doing the work, it’s getting paid.

    Can you factor her invoices? You’ll lose some small percentage, but get the money right away. I have a friend who factors almost every invoice from big oil… and another that set everything up, and only had to do it once, before the company decided they were better off paying promptly.

    I’m aware of a couple of companies in the entertainment industry that went broke waiting for invoices to be paid by major players.

    All the health issues are just par for the course. All part of livin’.

    nick

  37. OFD says:

    “Can you factor her invoices? You’ll lose some small percentage, but get the money right away.”

    Not sure what that means/involves. She gets her invoices and receipts organized right away after each assignment and sends them in immediately. They sit on them and often don’t bother telling her they have a question about a $1.35 parking fee or some other b.s. issue (this while she has saved them many thousands by finding the cheapest flights and using Air B&B instead of the pricey and shitty hotels). So no check for weeks and then she finds they had that question. Resolved it, and they sit on it some more. Ask them to expedite and they take even longer. She was just notified on her phone and email tonight that it allegedly is going out FedEx Priority Overnight and should be here by noon tomorrow, which we’ll believe when we see it. It also means it sat in their offices over the weekend and never went out FedEx Overnight last Friday like they said they’d do. And when FedEx says it’ll be here by 10:30 it shows sometime after 1:30; they say noon and it’ll be 4 or 5, and probably too late to deposit at the bank. Do it over the iPhone and it’ll be lost in Limbo forever.

    And since they owe her for three assignments now, if it’s all one big check, the bank will sit on it now all fucking week. They do direct deposit for themselves and their office staff but not for the field you-know-what’s bringing in the cotton. And they’ve brought in increasingly bumper crops of cotton each year and still not had the pay cut they took seven years ago restored.

    I hate to even bring this up, but after a while one notices the surnames of the people running businesses and nonprofits like this and those of the people who seem to be working hardest against gun rights in this country. Or maybe I’m just a damn nut, I dunno.

  38. DadCooks says:

    @OFD, when I was doing some freelance (job shop) “engineering” work after I was laid off (more than 19 years ago) I would only accept jobs that paid an up front stipend/advance or a per diem. In fact, even the last few years I worked for the Government Contractor all my travel was on a per diem basis plus a set amount for airfare to and from.

    In both these cases the companies found it very cost effective. First off they got rid of a lot of people who did nothing but play little Hitler over expense reports. Second, there is enough data out there that a company knows what usual and customary expenses are. Finally, we had an incentive to be frugal as what we didn’t spend was ours. And for the companies they do save money and have happier employee/contractors. In the case of the Government Contractor they reduced travel expenses by over 20% with more people traveling (the cost reduction also factored in that they no longer had to have a big “travel” department).

    I guess I don’t have to tell you the obvious, but IMHO, your Wife is being taken advantage of and I sense she deserves far better.

  39. MrAtoz says:

    We’ve had the same problems with our company. The only thing that saved us early on was a $30k line of credit with Wells Fargo. We only got that because I was still in Uncle’s Army and as an O5 I got to know a banker on a first name basis. The LOC is still in my name but used for the company. Yes you pay some interest, but I’d rather have that than creditors on my back. Also great for floating payroll when you have employees.

    A LOC is not that easy to get these days, but it you ever incorporate, try to get a biz LOC and just have it for emergencies.

  40. OFD says:

    “…your Wife is being taken advantage of and I sense she deserves far better.”

    Absolutely. She loves what she does, but this stuff drives us both nuts.

    @MrAtoz; it’s probably too late for us to bother now, in regard to the LOC, but might have been nice to have set up years ago if we’d known about it. (we were both busy with our jobs and raising one kid still then and had no clue, our bad).

  41. Miles_Teg says:

    Dave, there’s an old saying:

    “Get your revenge! Live long enough to be a burden to your kids.”

    I’m sure Princess will gladly support you and Mrs OFD in your dottage, just as my sibs and I supported our mum.

  42. OFD says:

    I won’t make it to dotage; I’ll be going out in a blaze of glory firefight somewhere, maybe right here on my doorstep.

  43. Miles_Teg says:

    You’ll make it to 20/01/2017, when Hillary herself, leading 50 of her goons, comes to disarm you.

    I’ll send flowers… 🙂

  44. Alan says:

    @OFD: “Can you factor her invoices? You’ll lose some small percentage, but get the money right away.” Not sure what that means/involves.

    http://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/small-business/small-business-invoice-factoring/

  45. nick says:

    yup, that ^

    nick

  46. OFD says:

    Thanks, Mr. nick and Mr. Alan; bookmarked the site and will discuss with SWMBO later this week, after all the holiday chaos.

  47. brad says:

    @OFD: What a sucka** organization. I understand that your wife feels exposed – if she applies too much pressure, they might just find someone else. However, it she can, it might be time for a new contract negotiation. Sell it to the organization as an advantage for them: simplified billing with per diem, or whatever. The point for your wife would be to ensure that there is a deadline “payment within xx days”, with a penalty clause attached. Give them a financial incentive to actually pay on time. With a bit of luck, she can get this in without much struggle, because the organization may not realize or admit just how bad it is about paying.

    Names of people running nonprofits? It wouldn’t be surprising. Nonprofit management is too often a dumping ground for useless kids of rich parents. The resulting mismanagement doesn’t kill the organization, because the organizations don’t have to be efficient as long as the money keeps coming in. The mid-level bureaucrats are immune to criticism, because it doesn’t actually matter how well they do their jobs. Obviously, there are also good, well-run nonprofits out there, but too many aren’t…

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