Monday, 24 July 2017

09:06 – It was 68.0F (20C) when I took Colin out at 0730, cloudy and breezy. We had a strong thunderstorm roll in about midnight, with loud thunder and bright lightning. Colin was terrified and started climbing all over us, begging us to make it stop. We ended up getting about 1.2″ (3 cm) of rain.

We got a lot of chemical bottles filled yesterday. More today. Barbara is off to the gym this morning. While she’s gone I’ll make up more chemicals, a gallon (4 L) each of salicylate standard solution, 1.0 M stabilized sodium thiosulfate solution, 6 M hydrochloric acid solution, etc. etc. With the dozen or so other solutions I’ve made up over the last couple of days, that gives us plenty of bottles to fill.

Email from Kathy overnight, who says Phase I of their prepping is now complete, other than a few items that are still on order and haven’t arrived and the installation of their propane tank and appliances. That happens this week. They’re taking a break from buying/stacking stuff, and intend to start actually using it. The first step was last night, when they made beef Stroganoff all from LTS storage. She said it turned out very good.

Their intention now is to start cooking and baking at least several days a week from LTS, with minimal use of fresh foods until they find recipes they like that they can make from LTS food. Going forward, they’ll periodically replace what they’ve used and continue to expand on what they have until they’ve filled their storage space. She and Mike were both impressed by just how little the bulk food/calories cost them, so they’ll focus their expansion efforts on the cheap LTS bulk stuff so that they’ll have extra on hand to help friends and neighbors if it ever comes to that.

This entry was posted in Kathy, long-term food storage, personal, science kits. Bookmark the permalink.

89 Responses to Monday, 24 July 2017

  1. Dave Hardy says:

    Steady rain all the way down to the airport and back this morning, after dropping wife off for her flight to Newark and a wunnerful week in Paramus, NJ. Temps in the 60s; feels more like spring or fall than midsummer.

    Well, no need to water the tomatoes and artichokes and flowers today.

    Getting busy now on the phone calls and errands.

    Exciting.

  2. Harold says:

    Spent Sunday working on rearranging my Get-Home bags.
    They were a mess as I had just jammed stuff in as it looked useful. Watched a couple of YouTume videos on how others do their bags and realized I needed to organize. I raided the kitchen and the wifes office space and came away with heavy duty baggies and lots of rubber bands. Then I emptied each bag and sorted contents by use. I put all fire-starting supplies in one baggie and rubber banded it tight. Same with lighting, light medical (cuts/burns/abrasions/headache), eating utensils, electronics, etc. Then I placed what I expected to be high-use items, small flashlight, knife, gloves, etc. directly on the external webbing or in easy-to-access pouches. I had snagged a couple of small vacuum clothes bags so I put socks, underwear and a long-sleeve T-shirt in each and collapsed it down. Put that in the bottom with the tarp, poncho, and a couple of packages of Mountain House meals. With everything organized, I had plenty of room left for the micro stove and Stanley cook kit. I replaced all batteries with eneloop AA & AAA and a couple of plastic cases of extras. I took the opportunity to test the radios and ear-peices as I had found a bad erapiece in my kit last year. The result looked pretty good and I felt it was an afternoon well spent.

  3. nick flandrey says:

    Congrats Harold. You did all the stuff I need to do with my bags. Worse, I took one out of my truck and just realized I never put it back.

    And the kids have grown a couple of sizes since I did theirs.

    definitely need to move it up my list.

    Thanks for the reminder.

    n

  4. Miles_Teg says:

    The USAF Security Police are getting better looking, certainly since the Seventies… 🙂

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remington_Model_870#/media/File:6_SFS_marine_patrol_airmans_magazine.jpg

  5. Dave Hardy says:

    Yes, Mr. Harold, I forgot to add that stuff to my current week’s to-do list; good reminder. I’m 30 miles away at least once a a week and ought to have a GHB configured like yours by now. Since it’s raining cats and dogs again here, it can be one of my legion of indoor projects in the next several days.

    “The USAF Security Police are getting better looking, certainly since the Seventies…”

    Yeah, we didn’t even have any “marine patrol” SPs back then, so fah as I know. We had rivet-counters, those of us delegated to march around or stand next to various aircraft out on the flight lines. “Priority A” Air Force Resources, doncha know.

    And we certainly didn’t have any cutie-pie womyn doing that gig, again, so far as I know. We had training with the Remington 870s but I didn’t tote one normally, due to my role as either a “counter-sniper” in northern Kalifornia or machine-gunner in SEA. I’d say the firearm I was most often carrying was the M60 during my sentence with Uncle.

    And the rain continues to pour down here…temps in the low 50s….in late July…Texans, eat yer hahts out….

  6. nick flandrey says:

    Well, we’ll get some rain here later today.

    Right now, 102 and 50%RH in my driveway. Less in the shade of course, but I’m not working in the shade.

    Gonna spray some more bug killer, then shower, then off to do errands. No fun store today, they’re closed, so I might feel compelled to hit a couple of thrift stores or pawn shops. And I’ve got an auction pickup which will fill my pickup…

    Oh, just bumped to 103F…

    n

  7. lynn says:

    Oh look, we’ve got our own Trayvon here in Fort Bend County. He was convicted last week of armed robbery of two teenagers walking home from school. Mr. Trayvon asked for understanding and probation. The judge awarded him five years in the ultra comfortable Texas jails with no air conditioning.
    http://thepolicenews.net/default.aspx?act=Newsletter.aspx&category=News+1-2&newsletterid=67723&menugroup=Home

    Channeling Mr. OFD, not like us.

  8. lynn says:

    Email from Kathy overnight, who says Phase I of their prepping is now complete, other than a few items that are still on order and haven’t arrived and the installation of their propane tank and appliances. That happens this week.

    I am glad to see that people realize that it is just not enough to store food and water but that you need some way of cooking that food also.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “it can be one of my legion of indoor projects in the next several days.”

    The problem I see with all these “projects” is that making something a “project” often means it doesn’t actually get done. As that commie said, “Perfect is the enemy of Good Enough”.

    Don’t wait for the perfect backpack or other container, just the right knife, fire starter, water filter, etc. Walk around with a paper sack (if necessary) and start throwing stuff into it. You can add to and replace stuff later, but that at least gets you started and makes you much better off than you would be with the perfect GHB that you never actually got around to putting together.

  10. nick flandrey says:

    Seconded!

    n

  11. SteveF says:

    What RBT says. +1 for the kind of solid, practical advice you’d expect from an engineer.

    … Except RBT is a scientist, not an engineer. Now I’m all befuddled.

  12. nick flandrey says:

    just when I think they couldn’t get any weirder, any more hypocritical, or any more disgusting, I see something like this:

    http://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2017/07/huffpost-journalist-james-michael-nichols-thinks-confused-women-covered-period-blood-powerful/

    Women, dressed and acting as men, yet ‘celebrating’ menstruation, by following the advice of a 4chan prank…

    Good thing I’m not a fundie or I’d be convinced these were indeed the end times.

    nick

  13. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Scientists and engineers are the same thing. It’s just that we figure out how to do something lab-scale, and they figure out how to make it work industrial-scale.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Which is actually when I started undergrad I debated between majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering. The former requires lots of chemistry courses, but allows for a decent complement of engineering courses. The latter requires lots of engineering courses, but allows for a decent complement of chemistry courses. I actually read the books and audited several CE courses for just that reason. I’m not a CE, but more so than most pure chemists. Hell, I even play a biologist and a forensic scientist on TV.

  15. SteveF says:

    From where I sit, there is a difference. Scientists figure out “how does it work” or “why does it work”, whereas engineers figure out “how to make it work”. Certainly there can be overlap, notably when a scientist is designing and building equipment to allow him to conduct an experiment, but the fundamental motivation is different.

    Usual caveats apply: “usually”, “for the most part”, “considerable overlap may be noticed in practice”.

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Sure. And most people aren’t at all aware of just how big a task it is to scale up a process from lab-scale to industrial-scale. If a CE screws up, a plant may detonate, wiping out a large surrounding area. If a chemist screws up, the only damage is usually to himself and his lab. Well, okay, sometimes to the whole building the lab was in.

  17. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My real point was that scientists and engineers have very similar thought processes; it’s only the goal that they’re thinking about that differs.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    From where I sit, there is a difference. Scientists figure out “how does it work” or “why does it work”, whereas engineers figure out “how to make it work”.

    In grad school, whenever I raised the issue that most of our foreign students were lousy programmers, the people in charge told me that great computer scientists are not necessarily great coders.

    God help them if they’re using that rationalization to fill the new PhD program.

  19. Harold says:

    RBT Don’t wait for the perfect backpack or other container, just the right knife, fire starter, water filter, etc. Walk around with a paper sack (if necessary) and start throwing stuff into it. You can add to and replace stuff later, but that at least gets you started and makes you much better off than you would be with the perfect GHB that you never actually got around to putting together.

    Roger that !! It’s always a work in progress. I started with a large waist bag, graduated to a smallish backpack, and moved up to Timberline emergency bags and survival gear kit found on WOOT for $99 a year or so back. That’s what I’m using now and don’t think I’ll get any bigger if I want to have room for other stuff in the back of the car.

    My Chevy HHR has minimal storage space but does have a shelf under the loading floor and above the spare. It’s big enough to hold an smalish emergency medical kit, 12v air pump, Motorolla handheld CB and magenetic car-top antenna, blanket, tarp, Henry AR-14 rifle and auto-start siphon hose.
    https://www.amazon.com/Super-Easy-Siphon-Hose-SES1001/dp/B00MVAIL76/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1500923182&sr=8-3&keywords=siphon+hose
    I LOVE that siphon hose. I use it to fill my vehicles from gasoline storage cans when the local unleaded price gets low. Then I refil the cans from the station. That way I always cycle through my gasoline storage evey couple of months.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Barbara also drives a Chevy HHR, which she loves. It’s a nice little car. I’m not sure why Chevy stopped making them.

  21. Harold says:

    I upgraded (or maybe downgraded) to the HHR from a Miata.
    In 2014 my wife and I bought each other convertables for our aniversary. We had a $5K limit each. I bought her a 1994 Honda Del Sol and she bought me a glorious 1999 Miata. I loved that car but it was a little tight for my 6 ft / 260 lb frame. So when I broke my left ankle and had to wear a boot for while I couldn’t drive a stick and traded the Miata for an HHR. Wife still LOVES her Del Sol (best present ever she says). We got a good deal on a low milage 2004 Chevy Suburban last year so that is our “serious” vehicle. It replaces a Dodge Durango that had somehow become an accident magnet (4 rear or side colisions in one year).

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Barbara also drives a Chevy HHR, which she loves. It’s a nice little car. I’m not sure why Chevy stopped making them.

    The revamped Equinox replaced the HHR in 2010. The HHR continued as a fleet/rental car only into 2011.

    My guess is that the HHR cannot meet the new safety standard where the vehicle has to support its own weight in the event of a rollover. My 2001 Solara is a similar rolling deathtrap.

    Plus, the HHR was one of Bob Lutz’s special projects at Old GM. New GM can’t admit Old GM did anything right, especially something Lutz initiated. IIRC, he was an ex fighter jock who piloted a helicopter to work every morning — the antithesis of the snowflakes New GM has down at their product development center here in Austin right now.

  23. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    We still use a 1993 Trooper II SUV as our serious vehicle. It runs fine and has something like 130K total on the oddometer, so I see no reason to change.

  24. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Must’ve been 2011, because Barbara’s is a 2011 model.

  25. Harold says:

    While I like my HHR (not LOVE) I do have a bone to pick with the “engineer” who designed the insturment cluster. It’s almost impossible to read with bright outside light (puts it in dark shadow) or glare. Here in Mississippi that means most days. They should force a decision maker to drive production prototypes so this nonsense wouldn’t slip by.

  26. CowboySlim says:

    “Which is actually when I started undergrad I debated between majoring in chemistry or chemical engineering.”

    10-4, and then I was faced with the choice, I went with chem eng’g instead of chemistry. I felt that with only a BS in chemistry, one was limited to quality control lab titrating, while advancement with only a BS in Chem Eng’g was more likely.

    Didn’t matter after all, did not get CPI offers prior to graduation. Only offers were in aerospace so it stayed there for 45 years.

    Oh yeah, WRT to RPN, checked out company HP 15C in mid ’80s. Upon retiring in ’07, administrating office was shut down and I could not return it. Have to use my retirement gift to do reconcile paper checkbook register monthly.

  27. JimL says:

    I didn’t like the RPN calculators – too much work to change my thought processes to make effective use of it.

    Then I took a CS class wherein we had to write a parser to solve RPN equations. Terribly simple to do. I did it with a single stack.

    Then I had to write a parser for “normal” mathematical equations. It took two stacks to make it work, and amounted to RPN for the solution at the end.

    In any event, I _understand_ RPN. I simply don’t _like_ RPN.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That was back in the days when HP still made first-rate gear, I guess because so many of their customers were scientists and engineers who wouldn’t put up with less.

    I decided on chemistry rather than ChemE because at the time Eastman Kodak had already offered that if I majored in Chemistry as an undergrad they’d put me through school to my Ph.D. in organic chemistry and my MD.

    In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t accept that offer. Before long, I’d have ended up working for a dying company in a dying region.

  29. Greg Norton says:

    Must’ve been 2011, because Barbara’s is a 2011 model.

    2011s were definitely manufactured, but with something like 1/3 of the dealers being forced out of GM affiliation as part of the government/union takeover of the company, I doubt there was any real control as to whether the cars went to fleets or consumers that year. The dealers were caught off guard by the closures with a lot of product still on their lots.

  30. lynn says:

    “Windows 10 Gains In the Enterprise But Windows 7 Is Still The Top Dog”
    https://www.petri.com/windows-10-gains-enterprise-windows-7-still-top-dog

    “This week, Windows 10 will turn two years old and while the general sentiment is that this OS will eventually take over Windows 7 market share, there is still a long road to climb. For Microsoft, it is critical that they entice companies to move to Windows 10 as it opens up new revenue streams and avoids the issue of having an unsupported OS being widely used after it reaches end of life.”

    Time moves on but I don’t know if we will ever go to Windows 10.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    Time moves on but I don’t know if we will ever go to Windows 10.

    My new job is at a company still using Windows 7 for the employee laptops. The IT staff is “studying” Windows 10.

    At home, I upgraded what used to be my school laptop to Windows 10 in order to play with Docker and the Windows Linux environment, but I spend most of my time on an old Santa Rosa Macbook Pro running Windows 7 (Apple stopped supporting the machine with OS X).

    (Ironically, the Macbook is the best Windows 7 laptop I’ve ever used, but I don’t recommend buying one second hand unless you understand completely the caveats of the Santa Rosa.)

    Docker works very well on Windows 10. The Windows Linux environment? Not so much.

  32. MrAtoz says:

    Here’s a pic of a knick knack some of you might like:Kaboom

  33. pcb_duffer says:

    The caption with the scattergun armed USAF woman says that she’s at MacDill. She would therefore be at least partially responsible for the maritime approaches to the base. The AFB here has its own fleet of boats, mostly to retrieve missiles, drones, parts, etc, but also a couple of Boston Whalers to cruise down the beach. The AFB just to the west has its NCO club on the most pristine, whitest sand beach any of you good folks have ever seen, but they also patrol the beach once in a while.

    [snip] I upgraded (or maybe downgraded) to the HHR from a Miata. [snip]
    A college buddy bought one of those silly Mazdas after just a few months in the real world. He once said that the only place he & his girlfriend could vacation in it would be a nudists colony.

    [snip] They should force a decision maker to drive production prototypes so this nonsense wouldn’t slip by. [snip]
    A retired GM mechanical engineer with whom I used to have some dealings opined that the real decline of GM started with car buffs were replaced by bean counters. My dad had a late 80s smaller sized GM pickup truck, and it was nearly impossible to slide under it on a creeper and remove the oil filter. Stupid ^ 4. 🙁

  34. Greg Norton says:

    The caption with the scattergun armed USAF woman says that she’s at MacDill. She would therefore be at least partially responsible for the maritime approaches to the base.

    MacDill is on the Interbay Peninsula. Lots of water, and the gasoline terminal serving most of Florida is on the periphery. The base is economically un-viable and strategically vulnerable, but politics keep the place open.

  35. CowboySlim says:

    “In retrospect, I’m glad I didn’t accept that offer. Before long, I’d have ended up working for a dying company in a dying region.”

    I lucked out. Luck because Douglas Aircraft Co. was my only offer at graduation. Then McDonnell Aircraft Co. merged it in and then Boeing Aircraft Co. likewise. So, I actually retired from Boeing, which is still doing very well.

  36. nick flandrey says:

    “I’m not sure why Chevy stopped making them.”

    It’s my understanding that CHEVY never made them. They were built by a boutique house under contract to Chevy. Could be wrong…

    I rented a lot of them while I was traveling for work. With the seat fully back, I could JUST get my knees inside the vehicle. They would touch the dash/door/console but weren’t uncomfortable. I liked the vehicle, but wouldn’t buy one without a couple more inches of seat slide.

    n

  37. lynn says:

    “112,000,000: Medicaid Enrollees Set to Climb 40,000,000 Under Obamacare”
    http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/terence-p-jeffrey/112000000-medicaid-enrollees-set-climb-40m-under-obamacare

    There are 97 million people enrolled in Medicaid now ??? “Jaw drops to the floor”

    No wonder the feddies are going broke. Instead of putting everyone on Medicare and raising the Medicare payroll tax accordingly, they put 1/3rd of the nation on Medicaid with a hodgepodge of new taxes. Talk about your smoke and mirrors.

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  38. Dave Hardy says:

    Yes, Mr. Lynn, that is the situation currently. Nearly a hundred-million derps on Medicaid. Mrs. OFD was the Medicaid Director for the state of Vermont ten years ago. She knows all about this stuff.

    But like Ben Stein’s late dad used to say, ‘what can’t go on, won’t.’ And this whole house of cards can’t go on indefinitely; just a question of guessing how much time is left before it all comes crashing down. Could just be a sequel to 2008 or it could end up much worse than the 1929-39 Great Depression. Already we have many tens of millions of otherwise employable Murkans outta work, too, including yours truly.

    If it happens during tRump’s current term in office, it will all be blamed on him, of course. But the cards were dealt long before he got there.

    Combine that with Grid Down and the NORKs launching warheads across the Pacific and the ongoing invasion of Europe and the endless Mideast clusterfucks and our last years or decades on the planet could be a lot more interesting than many of us old farts would like.

  39. Larry Peters says:

    As a long-time reader of RBT’s blog I offer this possibly uncommented reason in support of prepping:

    Bread is made from 4 ingredients; flour, water, yeast and salt.
    One would therefor expect breadcrumbs are made from the same 4 ingredients.

    I bought a bag of breadcrumbs from a supermarket and read the following on the back: Ingredients: Flour [ Wheat Flour, Wholemeal Wheat Flour, Rye Flour, Soy Flour], Mixed Grains [ Kibbled Rye, Kibbled Wheat, Kibbled Purple Wheat, Oats, Kibbled Corn, Kibbled Barley, Triticale, Maize, Millet], Yeast, Wheat Gluten, Seeds [Linseed, Pumpkin, Poppy, Canola, Sunflower, Sesame], Vinegar, Iodised Salt, Vegetable Oils [Canola, Soybeanl], Water, Kibbled Soy, Vegetable Fibres [ Wheat, Soy, Oat], Bran [ Wheat, Oat], Maize Starch, Wheat Germ, Wheat Protein Isolate, Emulsifiers [Emulsifier (481, 472e, 471)], Malted Wheat Flake, Malt Flour [ Barley, Wheat]
    Allergens:
    Contains CEREALS CONTAINING GLUTEN, Contains FISH, Contains MILK, Contains SESAME, Contains SOY

    WTF?

  40. Greg Norton says:

    There are 97 million people enrolled in Medicaid now ??? “Jaw drops to the floor”

    When we left WA State, the percentage of Obamacare exchange plans sold which were just re-badged Medicaid stood at ~85%. Dunno about TX yet.

    I saw a big chunk of the country while moving west in 2010, and things were bad in a lot of places back then. I think I should have considered it an omen when, loading my suitcase into my car at a hotel in Laramie, WY, the guy next to me was hefting “garbage sack” luggage into his old Honda with Oregon plates that looked like he had his whole life in the car.

    When we left, I drove West while the other guy headed east towards Cheyenne. Maybe I should have turned around, back to The South, that weekend.

  41. dkreck says:

    Another summer in Bakersfield with a long heat wave of 100+. Three year old car battery just quit, three is about all the last here. That’s $140 not expected.

  42. Dave Hardy says:

    WRT the questionable breadcrumbs; that word “kibbled” repeated several times would have given me pause.

    WRT various areas of the country having long been in tough shape; yes, witnessed by me personally here in New England since the 1980s. And over in north-country Vampire State, too. Kunstler has written about it over the years. Lotta abandoned and semi-abandoned mill towns. And out in the Midwest and West, modern ghost towns.

    WRT car batteries; would it be a smart prepper move to buy spare car and truck batteries, and also, have a use for marine batteries around the prepper household??

  43. Spook says:

    I have managed to accumulate 5 or 6 old vehicle batteries, and I try to keep them maintained. Some might actually work in the vehicle, some might add a little juice for a jump, and some almost certainly will keep a laptop and cell modem charged for a week or two (using DC to DC adapter, not an inverter). Add lighting uses, radios, and so on…
    The major trick is to use the worst (sometimes hard to determine) battery in the pile for the “core” to trade in for a new battery for the vehicles, which of course get the best I have.

  44. nick flandrey says:

    I’ve got one (expensive) optimus deep cycle battery as a spare. It’s old, but charges. I’ve got a LOT of SLA batteries in a 16KVA UPS, and literally dozens more from other old UPSs. UPSs were my hurricane standby. Many small electronics and smaller UPSs won’t charge on generator power from small portable generators. My big UPSs do as they have a switch on the back for “generator”. Otherwise, they decide the power is too dirty and don’t charge. So the gennie feeds the big UPSs and everything else plugs into them.

    My current setup is meant to be different, but I still don’t have the whole house gennie installed.

    n

  45. dkreck says:

    I also highly recommend having a jump pack. So easy when you have a dead car battery and holds the charge for months when unused. Not for long term can can offer a couple of days of useful power. We use it camping, runs the CPAP machine, led light, usb outlets, 120v outlet.
    mines a Schumacher Multi-functional Portable Digital Power

  46. Spook says:

    Smaller lithium ion (or whatever) jump starters don’t have the depth that that kind of larger lead-acid power pack does, but for a small car the little lithium pack can get you home… and you’ll never notice its size and weight for hauling it every day.

  47. Miles_Teg says:

    Last time I looked at Windows 10 it made the decision as to when to do Windows Update, and you couldn’t override it. Is that still the case?

  48. dkreck says:

    My jump pack is a big one 1200 peak amp. More a luggable pack. Still not that heavy and I jumped the Honda Accord maybe three time and it still showed 100 on the status. If you’re building solar powered backup arrays I’m sure lead acid is a better choice.

  49. Dave Hardy says:

    Thanks much for the battery info, sportsfans. Appreciated. Will be taking a good look at options here for those.

    Mostly cleanup ops this week, and mostly inside, looks like, as we expect rain pretty much every day going forward.

    The prepping-related stuff will involve getting the cellar freezer cleaned up and working again, and doing some deadbolt and hinge screw installations on the front and back doors and the studio/shed.

    Whatever I can manage, anyway. And arranging for various paperwork to be sent to the college for September admission as a grad student again. Gonna be kinda weird. It’s been almost 25 years. I’m old enough to be the kids’ grandfather.

    So I’ll mos def need the GHB configured and in the car with me on commutes there and my usual stuff down in beeyooteeful Burlap. 30 miles each way in both cases.

  50. Dave Hardy says:

    For late night, early morning, or morning coffee reading:

    “The Deep State may win its war against the pathetic President Trump, but it won’t win any war against the imperatives of the universe and the way that expresses itself in the true valuation of things. And when the moment of clarification arrives — the instant of cosmic price discovery — the clueless elites will have to really and truly worry about the value of their heads.”

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/the-value-of-everything/

    “Given that Syria’s prewar population was not 10 percent of ours, this is the equivalent of a million dead and wounded Americans. What justifies America’s participation in this slaughter?”

    http://buchanan.org/blog/americas-wars-just-moral-127383

    The Empire at home is in bad shape and yet we’re working to get more civilians killed and wounded across the globe. This is insane.

  51. Dave Hardy says:

    And one more…

    https://www.theburningplatform.com/2017/07/23/the-economic-collapse-began-long-ago/

    Climaxing when? I’d say it could happen anytime from now on but no later than 2019; things are really starting to snowball….

    Pax vobiscum, fratres; tempus fugit….

  52. ech says:

    At Rice when I was there, ChemE was the second hardest major, Architecture was the hardest because of all the lab time and Biochem and Physics (my major) were right behind ChemE. * The big problem was that there were exactly 16 slots for Juniors, as the labs could only hold that many students. So, second semester of sophomore year, there was a required intro to Chem E class held. Only 16 students got an A or a B, the rest got Cs or below and had to change majors.

    IIRC, there were over 100 of the 850 incoming students that were going to major in Physics. Only about 15 of us got degrees. There were 4 astronomy guys like me, three that went atomic physics (all Naval ROTC), and the rest general physics.

    I have degrees in both science and engineering and the differences can be huge or small. Most of my Physics and Astronomy classes were pretty abstract outside of labs. We actually had to learn some digital electronics in lab so that we could understand instrumentation. In EE, some classes were very abstract (“Detection Theory” was all math), some very practical (“VLSI Design” was all practical).

    * Math may have been the hardest major, but since you have to be wired differently to be a math major, it doesn’t count.

  53. Miles_Teg says:

    ech wrote:

    “intro to Chem E class held Only 16 students got an A or a B, the rest got Cs or below and had to change majors”

    Why didn’t they run some extra classes in parallel?

  54. Greg Norton says:

    Last time I looked at Windows 10 it made the decision as to when to do Windows Update, and you couldn’t override it. Is that still the case?

    Yup. However, you do have some control over when the OS reboots and installs patches, and Windows 10 is slightly less obnoxious about the update as of late.

    I accept the tradeoff on the machine I use to play with Docker for Windows and other Windows 10-only software. YMMV.

  55. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Why didn’t they run some extra classes in parallel?”

    Because back then they used this method to wash out the people who didn’t belong in the major in the first place.

    I had the same experience first day of organic chemistry. Back then, and in fact until recently, every med school required organic for admission. So we had lots and lots of chemistry and pre-med majors signing up for organic. The first lecture, Dr. Shaw counted the number of people in the class and announced that there were something like twice as many students there as there were available positions in lab.

    “Oh, well,” he announced, “we’ll be down to the number we have room for after the first test.” And in fact that’s what happened. Half of the would-be organic students washed out after that first test. If they couldn’t hack O-Chem, they sure wouldn’t be able to make it in med school.

  56. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “WRT car batteries; would it be a smart prepper move to buy spare car and truck batteries, and also, have a use for marine batteries around the prepper household??”

    See my post here:

    http://www.ttgnet.com/journal/2017/01/02/monday-2-january-2017/

    Basically, starting batteries are optimized for two things: ability to deliver high current for a very short time, and low cost. Their plates are thin and have very high surface area to allow them to deliver that high current for the few seconds needed to start the car.

    Deep-cycle batteries are optimized for the ability to deliver lots of amp-hours at a lower current and to allow many discharge/recharge cycles. They have thicker plates and typically weigh a lot more than starting batteries.

    You can use a deep-cycle battery in place of a starting battery, but if you do the converse you’ll kill the starting battery very quickly because it’s not designed for deep discharge and multiple charge/discharge cycles.

  57. MrAtoz says:

    My Twins start O-Chem in the upcoming semester. They’ll have this class together so have built in study buddies.

    My BS/MS are in maths. I can attest to the “dryness” of math since I’m not a savant in math. I should have done Physics or EE, but that’s just how it worked out.

  58. Miles_Teg says:

    I would have done EE, but I was too dumb.

    I enjoyed pure and applied maths, and computer science. Some of us were nerds, the engineering guys all were.

  59. lynn says:

    There are 97 million people enrolled in Medicaid now ??? “Jaw drops to the floor”

    When we left WA State, the percentage of Obamacare exchange plans sold which were just re-badged Medicaid stood at ~85%. Dunno about TX yet.

    Texas did not opt into the special Medicaid plan where families with income up to $85K per year can get into Medicaid for almost nothing.

    97 million people * $500/month/people * 12 months/year = $582 billion/year cost of the Medicaid program.

    And now you know why the feddies are going broke. BTW, $500/month/person is a SWAG. It could be $700/month/person or $300/month/person, I just don’t know and that research is difficult.

    Wait, http://www.kff.org/medicaid/state-indicator/medicaid-spending-per-enrollee/?currentTimeframe=0&sortModel=%7B%22colId%22:%22Location%22,%22sort%22:%22asc%22%7D says that $500/month/person might be good for 2014.

  60. lynn says:

    Some of us were nerds, the engineering guys all were.

    All engineers are borderline Aspergers, some more than others. I had a friend of mine graduate in 1982 from TAMU in Chemical Engineering with a 4.0. He then decided that he did not want to be an engineer and moved to China to teach English. Last I heard, he is still there.

  61. lynn says:

    At Rice when I was there, ChemE was the second hardest major, Architecture was the hardest because of all the lab time and Biochem and Physics (my major) were right behind ChemE. * The big problem was that there were exactly 16 slots for Juniors, as the labs could only hold that many students. So, second semester of sophomore year, there was a required intro to Chem E class held. Only 16 students got an A or a B, the rest got Cs or below and had to change majors.

    I took ChemE 204 and Organic chemistry in my first sophomore semester at TAMU. I got overwhelmed halfway through and ended up with D’s in both. Next semester, I was in Mechanical Engineering and taking Statics. I still graduated in four years total but with a horrible GPA since I continued to take an average of 18 hours per semester.

  62. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I took at least 16 hours/semester, with one semester at 21 hours. Average, IIRC, was 18.

  63. Spook says:

    My plan with several “salvage” car batteries is to have them for a short-term emergency and if they are ruined that’s not so bad, considering the small investment. Storage, safety, and occasional recharging are the concerns.
    Ideally, I’d like to have a bank of fresh deep cycle batteries, always on fresh charge, with solar back-up.
    Anybody have any ideas about using a deep cycle / starting battery (RV type) in an ordinary vehicle (likely a truck, to have the space) and using it routinely, to keep it charged to be able to use it deep cycle in a pinch?

  64. Ray Thompson says:

    Anybody have any ideas about using a deep cycle / starting battery (RV type) in an ordinary vehicle

    Look at RV places. They have equipment that will charge deep cycle batteries from the vehicles electrical system.

  65. Ray Thompson says:

    I see the senate has voted to start dismantling obuttwadcare. VP Pence finally did something and cast the deciding vote. Probably gave him an orgasm.

    The plan that was being pushed to replace obuttwadcare was going to result in a huge increase in what I pay for my wife. Currently paying about $450 a month for a crappy plan but at least it is coverage. Because of her two hip replacements private insurance is out of the question. What the Republicans were proposing would have raised my premiums to about $1800 a month.

    Unfortunately the health exchange is all that is available. I need 2.5 more years before she can become eligible for Medicare. I am watching what is happening with more than keen interest.

    It is not just obuttwadcare that is a disaster, it is healthcare in general for this country. Ruined by high premiums due to high cost of medical care, a large portion of that cost being malpractice insurance, crushing debt by medical school graduates who have had to endure absurd tuition by universities, drug companies that are raping the American people, and people on welfare who run to the emergency room 13 times a month because no doctor will take them.

  66. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Meanwhile, people are under a crushing financial burden, and many doctors are giving up practicing medicine because it’s so tough to make a living at it.

  67. Dave Hardy says:

    And a lotta doctors and dentists are just bailing out of the whole system, either to take on patients who can pay cash or some form of barter, retire, or find another line of work after the many years and mucho dineros of med school investments.

    Q: What is the common denominator for all these programs?

    A: The Federal and state governments.

    No further questions, your Honor.

  68. lynn says:

    Unfortunately the health exchange is all that is available. I need 2.5 more years before she can become eligible for Medicare. I am watching what is happening with more than keen interest.

    Me too. I wrote a check to BCBS yesterday for approximately $7,800 for health insurance to cover 13 people for the month of August. And I am hearing that our BCBS cost will go up significantly on Dec 1 (our annual date).

    So do you want to put all CITIZENS on Medicare yet ?

  69. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “So do you want to put all CITIZENS on Medicare yet ?”

    Absolutely not. That’s jumping from the proverbial frying pan.

    The fundamental problem, or at least the major fundamental problem, is medical insurance, period. But what we have right now is even worse than insurance, because it covers pre-existing conditions. It’s required to do so, and companies are not allowed to charge much, if any, more than they do for good risks. That’s NOT insurance. Insurance by definition is risk pooling. You shouldn’t be able to insure for pre-existing conditions any more than you should be able to buy homeowner’s insurance when your house is already burning down.

    In a free market, insurance companies would write policies on people who are poor risks, at a commensurate premium. An average 25 year old guy won’t pay much. An average 25 YO girl will pay a lot more, because she consumes a hell of a lot more medical services than a guy, and that’s not limited to pregnancies. A 55 YO guy with heart trouble may be able to buy insurance that covers that. It may cost him 10, 50, or 100 times as much as someone without such troubles, but that’s fair. The insurer is taking on a much bigger risk, and the likelihood of loss is much higher. Alternatively, the 55 YO guy may be able to buy insurance that covers everything EXCEPT heart problems, which’ll cost him a small fraction of what an all-risks policy would cost.

    People who want pre-existing conditions covered aren’t interested in fairness or willing to pay their real share of costs. They’re looking for government-mandated giveaways to pay their way. They’re no different from the underclass welfare leeches, as far as I’m concerned.

    And, if all this did come to pass, which is inevitable, people would come to understand that the net results would be very positive. Yes, there would be some financial losers, but overall we’d all win. Insurance would be so much cheaper, but even so many people would elect to go barefoot or at most buy only what used to be called major medical.

    A procedure that now costs $50,000 would cost more like $500 if we were all paying out of pocket. Just look at what it cost to have a baby back before medical insurance and compare that to what it costs nowadays. Back then, an average blue-collar worker could easily afford to pay out of pocket for his wife having a baby. Nowadays, not.

  70. Dave Hardy says:

    “Just look at what it cost to have a baby back before medical insurance and compare that to what it costs nowadays. Back then, an average blue-collar worker could easily afford to pay out of pocket for his wife having a baby. Nowadays, not.”

    There it is.

    And my dad supported himself, wife, five kids (there were gonna be more) and the car on $13,000/year.

    Some funny chit has gone down since those days.

  71. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    And, I note that back when we were born, mothers typically stayed in the hospital for anything from three or four days to a week or more. Nowadays, they try to get them out later that same afternoon or at best the following day.

    I actually saw the bill for a guy a few years old than us who came across the original bill when he was clearing out his parents’ house. This would have been in about 1949 or 1950, and the total for the several days’ hospital stay, physicians’ services, etc. was something like $27. That was out of pocket, with no insurance involved.

  72. Dave Hardy says:

    Simply amazing how we managed to do all that chit back then, ain’t it? Good thing the insurance companies came along, and the government, to make things even less expensive and much easier……oh wait.

  73. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    When I’ve made this point to different people over the years, many of them argue that nowadays we have all this expensive hi-tech equipment that we didn’t have back then. So what? It doesn’t matter how many toys you have. What matters is outcomes, and those have not significantly improved.

    When we were watching War and Peace the other night, a character died in childbirth. I commented to Barbara that she’d probably have lived if she’d had a midwife instead of a physician. The 19th century was the absolute worst period ever for deaths in childbirth. Before then, midwives assisted in nearly all the births. After 1900, doctors had finally learned to wash their hands. That by itself reduced maternal deaths by about 99%.

  74. Dave Hardy says:

    Midwives are coming back, as are paramedics, nurses, etc. to do stuff that we don’t need a zillion years of med school and internships and residencies for.

    That’s right; the toyz don’t matter so much as the techniques and experience. And basic sanitation.

  75. DadCooks says:

    I am just going to make a simple statement; from all my reading, my Daughter’s job as a Certified Accredited Coder, and 7-months of our experience on Medicare, Medicare is going to explode sooner rather than later.

    Rates are going up a good deal next year for basic Medicare, Part D, and Supplemental. Less is going to be covered. And don’t fall for the Advantage route, you will really be screwed with even higher rates and exclusions. Be prepared for all Medicare expenses to soon be adjusted quarterly.

    The other hand has been busy.

  76. lynn says:

    I am just going to make a simple statement; from all my reading, my Daughter’s job as a Certified Accredited Coder, and 7-months of our experience on Medicare, Medicare is going to explode sooner rather than later.

    My dad told me last week that my mother’s endometrial cancer treatment was $750K last year. I have no idea what paid for by Medicare, what was written off by the medical institutions, and what they paid out of hand. I suspect that more than half was written off. The treatments were successful, Mom has been through two of the three month checkups with no problems. But, Mom is stage 4 and it will come back, hopefully later. Way later.

  77. lynn says:

    And don’t fall for the Advantage route, you will really be screwed with even higher rates and exclusions.

    My former employer covered my family with an HMO back in the 1980s. They were ok then if you did not mind having your doctors chosen for you. Now, I will pass.

  78. Miles_Teg says:

    “I had a friend of mine graduate in 1982 from TAMU in Chemical Engineering with a 4.0. He then decided that he did not want to be an engineer and moved to China to teach English. Last I heard, he is still there.”

    My mum knew a guy who went to med school because his mum insisted on it. Six years. When he finished he told her he’d done what she wanted and now he was going to do what he wanted. He became a musician.

  79. lynn says:

    My mum knew a guy who went to med school because his mum insisted on it. Six years. When he finished he told her he’d done what she wanted and now he was going to do what he wanted. He became a musician.

    Michael Crichton. Graduate of Harvard Medical School. Never got his medical license after internship as he was too busy writing books.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Crichton

  80. Dave Hardy says:

    T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound never finished their graduate degrees, either.

    Eliot is perhaps best remembered nowadays for the Broadway adaptation of his series of poems about cats.

    Pound, probably, for his pro-Mussolini broadcasts out of Italy during the war. For which he was imprisoned in an open-air cage like an animal and then shut away in an insane asylum for fourteen years.

    And Dr. Johnson was never a doctor of anything. Who remembers him today?

    Also, the Stratford “Shakspere” had “…small Latin and less Greek…” according to Ben Jonson. Wait—who the eff was Ben Jonson???

  81. nick flandrey says:

    Didn’t Dr Jonson have some things to say about M. Chaucer, whom I love for this bit–

    “But with his mouth he kissed her naked arse
    Right greedily, before he knew of this.
    Aback he leapt- it seemed somehow amiss,
    For well he knew a woman has no beard;
    He’d felt a thing all rough and longish haired,
    And said, “Oh fie, alas! What did I do?””

  82. Dave Hardy says:

    Johnson had a LOT to say about a LOT of writers, mostly English.

    And Minister Chaucer also has LOTS of interesting stuff among his writings. He wrote a treatise on the astrolabe, for example. Very busy guy in his time.

  83. ech says:

    Why didn’t they run some extra classes in parallel?

    It wasn’t possible. The chokepoint was lab space. There were labs that took days to finish – they would start stuff up and come back each day to check on it. Some labs took round-the-clock monitoring by the students over a weekend.

    The ChemE department at Rice is/was one of the top in the world in some areas. IIRC, one of the professors was the world expert in certain catalysts. He had a huge string of patents and was very wealthy from them.

  84. Ray Thompson says:

    He had a huge string of patents and was very wealthy from them.

    In other words he developed these patents on school time, using school resources, with students as lab monkeys to do the work. In my opinion anything created, designed, developed, improved, etc. at a public school should be public domain and any patents should be void. I know my former boss would have taken a dim view of me working on someone else’s code while at work.

  85. SteveF says:

    I think it was during the Clinton years that research professors who developed useful inventions or discoveries, at public schools or with government grants, were freshly granted full rights to patent the discoveries and to personally profit from them.

    Speaking as a taxpayer who helped to fund these inventions and discoveries, I do not recognize these patents at all.

    (Aside from the fact that I don’t acknowledge most patents in my field, software development. There are a few non-obvious developments which were patented, but those are a tiny fraction of the total software patents.)

  86. lynn says:

    Rice is a private university.

  87. ech says:

    In other words he developed these patents on school time, using school resources, with students as lab monkeys to do the work.

    Nope. He had done his pioneering work in industrial and private research, then he decided to teach. Plus, Rice is a private school.

    I think it was during the Clinton years that research professors who developed useful inventions or discoveries, at public schools or with government grants, were freshly granted full rights to patent the discoveries and to personally profit from them.

    As I understand it, it’s more complicated than that. There is revenue sharing among the school and the people on the patent. Depending on who funded the research, they may get some of the money. Right now there is a huge fight over who should get the patents on the CRISPR gene editing technique, a patent that could be worth hundreds of millions.

  88. SteveF says:

    As I understand it, it’s more complicated than that.

    Yes, the essential fact of public money being used for private gain has been gussied up with many frills. One may speculate whether all these frills are intended to distract from the essence or to create more opportunities for more hands to dip into the money stream.

    I clearly remember the debate, if you want to call it that, when Congress changed the law 20 years ago. “Those poor, dedicated research professors are slaving away for a miserly salary and have no incentive to work hard and anyway we all benefit from their inventions even if they profit from them.” It wasn’t convincing then and I haven’t heard anything convincing since then.

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