Sunday, 11 August 2013

08:57 – Barbara labeled a bunch of bottles for biology kits yesterday, and will label a bunch more today. I’ll be filling those over the next few days, along with everything else I have to do. We’re in pretty good shape on finished-goods inventory, with enough of all kits to carry us through end of this month, or nearly so. By then, we’ll have more in stock.


39 thoughts on “Sunday, 11 August 2013”

  1. So, what is the status with Saturday mail delivery? Has it stopped yet? Seems like I get mail only every second or third day lately. None came yesterday.

  2. You must just be unpopular. USPS still doesn’t have permission from Congress to discontinue Saturday delivery.

  3. We had a couple of pieces yesterday up here; typically we get an avalanche on Mondays.

    74 here this afternoon, a gorgeous August day; lotsa activity in the Redneck Riviera; boats, motorcycles, softball games, horseshoes, and Mrs. OFD winging her way to Denver from which she will then drive five hours to Casper, Wyoming for this week’s gig, followed by a week in Alabama.

    While OFD himself does various little chores and errands around the estate, continues to read through two biographies of Stalin, and later watch a couple more episodes from Season Five of “Breaking Bad.” It’s pretty bad when the only character I identify with is “Mike” the renegade murdering cop.

  4. I like being unpopular when it comes to mail. Wish it were possible to stop all mail but bills. With the plan I have for cell phone, I had no choice but to sign up for email billing, as printed billings are verboten with my choice. Already, I am not getting the monthly email billings reliably. Fortunately, I have GnuCash set up to make an auto-entry, which reminds me when it is due, but I have had to call several times so far about not getting an email bill (then they send me a printed bill), and I only started with them near the first of this year. We are not off to a good start. Furthermore, while all other carriers seem to have roaming agreements so your calls are carried seamlessly while you travel, if you stray from Sprint towers, you drop the call, because they still charge for roaming.

    Sprint also will drop GPS support in October and recommends Scout as a substitute. So, my Garmin does not care who I am, or a thing about me, but the first thing Scout wants is positive identification or they won’t give you service. This is not starting well, either.

    Still hot here in Hoosierland, but humidity has dropped from unbearable to definitely noticeable. Temps are to fall back into the mid 70’s for days and mid 50’s for nights—which is how I remember things back before air-conditioning was totally pervasive. It was the super-hot 80+ July nights that were dreadful; August was always a welcome relief—as this one seems to be.

    Another Pleasant Valley Sunday around me—lawnmowers running everywhere. Busy week, starting with a very early morning trip to Ft. Wayne for video work. Ft. Wayne is another place that would have been preferable to Marion for Mrs. OFD.

    Sunsets are now at 20:30, instead of 21:30—big change in just a very few weeks. The peak to summer and winter is like hitting the top of a roller coaster—really slow right at the top, then the fast drop in no time flat.

  5. “…here in status-symbol land…”

    Oh yeah. The wealthy with their huge motorboats trailered behind giant pickup trucks, all brand spanking new, and the huge motor homes which must get about three gallons per mile, and the tons of spiffy motorcycles and lovingly restored and pristine classic cars and trucks, a nation so in lust with its internal combustion noise-making engines that it will come as a shock eventually when all the chickens come home to roost.

    We do a combination of electronic and snail-mail bill-paying here; some places, like the power company and landline phone account will ONLY do snail mail.

    Cell phone service along the lake shore here sucks rocks, and the postmistress advised me that a very large scrap metal pile is just three-hundred yards or so to our south by the public works garage area, itself right ON the lake shore; people who live nearer have told her that their cell service is basically non-existent. Three miles to our east in the big city it’s fine.

    And fall is icumen in; leaves turning orange and red here and there, and we can feel it in the air.

  6. Hmm. I just responded to an email query from a long-time reader who’s never posted a comment. He wanted my advice about storing food for his family, but he’s too shy to post a question directly. Either that, or he’s trying to stay under the radar.

    I guess I’ll reply in a post. I suspect some folks here will be surprised at what I recommend. (If you have guns and ammunition, food is easy to come by… Nah, only kidding…)

  7. I pay everything possible by Internet, except those that charge for paying by Internet. Although the charge is often not much more than a stamp, it pisses me off that it costs them nothing (my cousin works in that industry and knows the inner workings) while receiving volumes of checks costs them much, much more, but they still try to whack those willing to move with the times, while subsidizing those remaining in the past that cause them more expense.

    I sincerely advise leaving the country. There are better places with a better quality of life, and fewer political hassles. I had a lot of hope when I returned, but the last few years have squashed that all flat. We’re in a Lamborghini making payments we cannot afford, travelling 180mph, and there’s a brick wall ahead. Congress should resign in shame and let others give it a try.

  8. Write it up as a longer entry to the daily blog. The statistics people used to say—based on television viewing numbers for Indianapolis of the late 1960’s—that for every person making connection with a comment or question, there are 100 others who share the same viewpoint, but are too shy to make contact.

    Clearly, this is a topic that is increasingly on more and more people’s minds.

  9. So….leave the country and stock up on food….or….stock up on food and then leave the country….yikes.

    If I was thirty years younger and starting out in a career I’d consider Chile, Andorra or San Marino at this point. But, being old and crotchety and having just bought a house, we’re staying put for now and stocking up on stuff. We also have a foot outside the country in O Kanada, about twelve hours’ drive north of here, on the ocean.

    Now waiting to see what Bob recommends…

    My own is for a month’s supply, for now, of the stuff we regularly eat and can prepare without juice or heat. Then three months, six months, a year, etc. of basics, canned goods, freeze-dried and meds, plus the means to store it and cook it. Plus a source of wottuh.

  10. Yeah. Basically I told him that there was no need to bankrupt himself buying freeze-dried, vacuum-packed stuff. The stated shelf lives on canned goods and dry goods are marketing rather than reality. Actual shelf lives on most canned and dry food products (not to mention most drugs) are 10 to 50 times what’s stated.

  11. Uh, you already have a source of water in the form of the lake. Just bring it to a rolling boil for a couple minutes, making sure to slurp the boiling water over all parts of the container than the lake water has contacted, and you’ll be fine. Boiling is more effective than any kind of chemical treatment.

    You may also want to build yourself a simple sand filter to remove solids like algae, but that’s not actually necessary as long as you boil the hell out of it. For times when you can’t boil, keep a sealed new gallon bottle of generic 5.25% or 6.0% sodium hypochlorite chlorine laundry bleach.

  12. Uh, you already have a source of water in the form of the lake. Just bring it to a rolling boil for a couple minutes, making sure to slurp the boiling water over all parts of the container than the lake water has contacted, and you’ll be fine. Boiling is more effective than any kind of chemical treatment.

    He needs a heat source that can go way above 212 F also. Oil is bad as it generally requires some form of electricity. An old pot bellied stove and some form of wood is best. And matches unless you want to do the twirly stick thingie.

  13. I thought that was implicit in what I said. But I do think he’ll need more than just a woodstove and some fuel. More like a nuclear power station or two. Do you realize how many ergs it takes to bring a lake that size to a rolling boil?

  14. I just got off the phone with Algore and he assured me that globalwarmingchangeclimate will be so powerful that Lake Champlain will boil on its own and eventually turn to steam which will once again power The Nation’s Industries, like it used to here in Nova Anglia.

    My rec for the source of wottuh was not for me but for whomever is working on this question; we have the Lake, yeah, and Lynn has the beautiful Brazos but what about the poor schmuck with a depleted water aquifer/water table or the folks who have no well, don’t live near a lake or river, etc.?

    And yes, we have two woodstoves, plus the oil heat as backup, at least until the tank runs dry.

  15. More like a nuclear power station or two. Do you realize how many ergs it takes to bring a lake that size to a rolling boil?

    Try a thousand nuclear power plants. Maybe 10,000. My employer got a power plant cooling lake (100 miles^2 if I remember right) up to 99 F back in 1986 or so. It took three coal power plants running at 780 MW 24×7 all summer at about 30% efficiency. The surface area for Lake Champlain is about 1,000 times that big?

  16. I just got off the phone with Algore

    Did you tell him that the Danish are looking for him to use for heating fuel this winter?

    Lynn has the beautiful Brazos

    Now up to a full one foot depth! More mud than water though. I watched some idiots XXXXXX adventurers walking it last week in the middle.

    I put about an acre-foot of water from the new well into the north pond last week. It is beautiful clear water in the pond so I can see all the stinking turtles laying on the bottom. Very few fish though, looks like the gators ate all those.

    In case I did not mention, the new well is 220 ft deep, the water level is 80 ft deep and the pump is at 160 ft deep. The new well is in the 3rd sand layer which can produce up to 70 gpm (the well pump is 30 gpm). The first layer of sand was only 10 gpm and the second layer was dry. The well drillers think that the old well was in the first layer of sand so that well pump was continuously going dry and cavitating.

    The water is about 60 F, day and night. The new well pump requires 13 amps at 240 volts to run which means that we will need a 5 kW generator when the apocalypse comes. Just to run the well.

  17. Lake Champlain info:

    Max. length 201 km (125 mi)
    Max. width 23 km (14 mi)
    Surface area 1,269 km2 (490 sq mi)
    Average depth 19.5 m (64 ft)
    Max. depth 122 m (400 ft)
    Water volume 25.8 km3 (6.2 cu mi)
    Residence time 3.3 years
    Shore length1 945 km (587 mi)
    Surface elevation 29 to 30 m (95

    “…we will need a 5 kW generator when the apocalypse comes. Just to run the well.”

    What if you can’t or don’t wanna run a generator?

    Some thoughts here:

    http://www.survivalistboards.com/showthread.php?t=212134

    http://flojak.com/

  18. 6.2 cubic miles X (5280^3 cu ft/cu mi) = 912,627,302,400 cu ft

    912,627,302,400 cu ft X 62.5 pounds/cu ft = 57,039,206,400,000 pounds

    one BTU raises the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Assume the mean temperature of the lake water is 62 F. We need 150 BTUs per pound to raise the temperature to 212 F.

    150 BTU/pound X 57,039,206,400,000 pounds = 8,555,880,960,000,000 BTUs

    Apply the conversion factor of 1 BTU = 0.293071 watt-hours

    and we get about 2.5 million gigawatt hours required. Assuming two nuke plants at 1 GW each, that means the two plants could bring that lake to a boil in only 1.25 million hours, disregarding losses. That’s less than 143 years. So Lynn’s suggested 1,000 nukes would boil it in just a few months, and 10,000 in a bit over a week.

  19. You guys evidently have way too much time on your hands…..

    I hope you didn’t do all that in your head but it wouldn’t surprise me…

    The mean surface temp of the lake right now is about 70.

    And there won’t be 1,000 nuke plants here or even two nuke plants, unfortunately. We need to build thirty a year for about thirty years but that’s just a pipe dream. Instead we’ll keep screwing around with fossil fuels and goofy ‘alternative energy’ schemes, plots and innovations that won’t work on the scale we need the power.

    I’m sure Lynn has better, and hopefully more positive, information on this, as usual. I just hope the market is allowed to work without the State getting its nasty claws into it, again, per usual.

  20. Almost all equipment is becoming more efficient, so with a population drop, energy consumption should fall. A few of us were just contemplating how much power it used to take to run a radio studio compared with today. We added up the total of all the power bricks in the radio project’s current studio and came up with 1.5 amps. The power for old tube radio mixing boards alone used to require more than 15 amps. Add in all the turntable and tape machine motors and you had power requirements equal to a whole house in just one studio. One computer replaces all that, and CD players—if you have some—are usually not on all the time and use almost no power compared to old motor-driven turntables. We replaced our 3,000 watt tube transmitter at 60% efficiency with all solid state in the 90% efficiency range and dropped the power consumption by more than half.

    The world is using less power per person all the time, and that is going down every year, even though people and businesses may have more electronic devices than ever. I used to replace the batteries on my older portable radio at least once every couple of months, but have been using the current one for 3 years and the batteries still show full power for about the same usage. The batteries are likely to die from age before the current draw runs them down.

  21. RBT wrote:

    “Uh, you already have a source of water in the form of the lake. Just bring it to a rolling boil for a couple minutes, making sure to slurp the boiling water over all parts of the container than the lake water has contacted, and you’ll be fine. Boiling is more effective than any kind of chemical treatment.”

    In 1998 I did a geology subject that involved an all day hike. Before we set off I drank as much water as I could and also took a two litre container of tap water. By the mid afternoon my water was running low so I was just taking sips rather than the mouthfuls I wanted. When we got back to our accommodation in the late afternoon I was so thirsty I drank three litres of water in 30 minutes.

    Some of the other students hadn’t thought about water, and when we got to our destination, Blue Lake in the Snowy Mountains, some of them drank directly from the lake water, which I also considered doing. The people running the walk didn’t think this was a good idea as the water probably contained all sorts of parasites.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Lake_%28New_South_Wales%29

  22. Do you think Adobe will EVER get rid of that super-annoying “Press escape to exit fullscreen” message on Flash Player? I just cannot wait until the world is rid of Adobe. I think even grandma’s and grandpa’s know how to exit fullscreen by now.

  23. 6.2 cubic miles X (5280^3 cu ft/cu mi) = 912,627,302,400 cu ft

    912,627,302,400 cu ft X 62.5 pounds/cu ft = 57,039,206,400,000 pounds

    one BTU raises the temperature of one pound of water by one degree Fahrenheit. Assume the mean temperature of the lake water is 62 F. We need 150 BTUs per pound to raise the temperature to 212 F.

    150 BTU/pound X 57,039,206,400,000 pounds = 8,555,880,960,000,000 BTUs

    Apply the conversion factor of 1 BTU = 0.293071 watt-hours

    and we get about 2.5 million gigawatt hours required. Assuming two nuke plants at 1 GW each, that means the two plants could bring that lake to a boil in only 1.25 million hours, disregarding losses. That’s less than 143 years. So Lynn’s suggested 1,000 nukes would boil it in just a few months, and 10,000 in a bit over a week.

    Sorry, that is just the amount of energy required to bring the lake temperature to the boiling temperature (at sea level pressure). You then need another 970 btu per lb of water to convert that water from liquid to vapor (steam). Also known as the heat of vaporization.

  24. Oh well, the conversion of Lake Champlain via boiling it in its entirety to produce steam project is now null and void, but hey, thanks for the input!

    If our juice cuts out for any appreciable length of time, I would rather be able to pump water directly from our well, which is right next to the house, than to hump buckets from the lake every day. Don’t forget; I’m sixty now. So we’ll be looking at the Flojaks, among other ideas.

    Shit. My main man on “Breaking Bad” just got killed. Now I got nobody.

  25. Lynn has the beautiful Brazos

    I kid you not, this afternoon two people were sitting in the Brazos river in lawn chairs with a beach umbrella. I should have stopped and taken a picture but I was in a hurry to get to Sam’s Club before it closed. I couldn’t see what they were using to fend off the gators and water moccasins.

    I figure the water level in the Brazos is up from six inches to one foot because more people are flushing toilets upstream.

    energy consumption should fall

    But more people are getting air conditioning and electric heat. Both of those drive energy usage out of sight. Of course, the A/C is getting more efficient, the 16 SEER unit that I have used $290 of electricity last month plus the pool pump (1.5 hp) runs 8 hours every day (I figure $50/month of that bill).

    BTW, my house is in a subdivision with a private water utility. The utility has diesel generators for the ground water pumps if necessary. I’m not sure if there is more than a weeks worth of diesel though. The utility has three 400 hp pumps 2,000 ft in the ground (below the aquifer).

  26. We don’t worry much about water in Winston-Salem. At the peak of a multi-year drought several years ago, the flow rate of the Yadkin River was the lowest recorded in more than 100 years, and it was still an order of magnitude higher than Winston-Salem needs for its water supply. Greensboro is a different story. They ran out of water and ended up buying water from Winston-Salem via an 8″ or 12″ pipeline that was built for just that reason.

    Lynn’s situation is the main reason we wouldn’t consider relocating out west. There simply isn’t enough water there to support even the current population. Western states have been drinking their seed corn for decades, sucking down ancient aquifers that were built over a million years. That water isn’t being replaced.

  27. An old pot bellied stove and some form of wood is best.

    I have no disagreement with a wood stove – assuming you live somewhere with trees – but forget the pot-bellied kind and go with something efficient.

  28. I have no disagreement with a wood stove – assuming you live somewhere with trees – but forget the pot-bellied kind and go with something efficient.

    The catalytic converter in the stack will make up for the inefficiency. Of course, nothing likes lots of iron to hold the heat for a long time. Stove by the pound is the best.

  29. Lynn’s situation is the main reason we wouldn’t consider relocating out west. There simply isn’t enough water there to support even the current population. Western states have been drinking their seed corn for decades, sucking down ancient aquifers that were built over a million years. That water isn’t being replaced.

    Cool! I did not know that we were in the western USA! Yes, places like West Texas suck. Arizona sucks bad and California sucks real bad. California really needs to get that iceberg hauling service going soon, assuming that they can find a clean and unsalty iceberg.

    We’ve got a huge aquifer 200 ft below us that is probably 200 miles long by 100 miles wide. It is about 2,000 ft deep. We are pulling about a foot out of it each year and it is getting recharged about an inch each year. There is some recharge going on but probably less than 10% of the discharge rate. Of course, we stand the chance of becoming the world’s largest sinkhole some day.

    This portion of Texas is trying to convert to surface water but that is not going to happen in the middle of a drought. We are at 40% surface water now and scheduled to be at 70% by 2020 or some date like that. Not gonna happen.
    http://www.fbsubsidence.org/

  30. We have a small wood stove out in the shed/studio where Mrs. OFD has her jewelry operations and we’re about to install a larger soapstone wood stove in our living room, which has a rep of running hot and retaining heat for a long time. We anticipate being able to heat the house with this, using the oil burner as a backup, if necessary. Firewood up here is beaucoups plentiful. We’d have a cord for burning on hand and a second cord seasoning at any given time, depending on cold weather conditions around here; I found it interesting that thirty years ago this area was Zone 3 on the climate/gardening charts and now it’s getting close to 5, thanks mainly to being alongside this huge lake and in a farming valley that stretches for nearly 200 miles north to south. We had maybe three decent snow storms last winter here and not many days below 20. It’s a crap shoot every year so we will see.

    80 today and gorgeous again; sailboats and fishing out on the pier. More chores and errands and job search stuff, fun, fun, fun.

  31. 80 today and gorgeous again; sailboats and fishing out on the pier.

    I may just come for a visit.

  32. Yo, homie, slide on up! I’ll pick you up in my ’96 Dodge truck at the Franklin County Airport just up the road here. We’ll fish with grenades off the pier; just like old times!

  33. Hey OFD, when you get the new stove I’d be interested to see a pic and or link to the details.

  34. The stove is in the back of my truck right now; the stove guy is coming at the end of the month (he’s in Jamaica getting married right now, poor stupid bastard). I’ll take pics of the process and set something up online, long overdue, for stuff like that. Any recommendations welcome.

  35. he’s in Jamaica getting married right now, poor stupid bastard

    Some years ago one of my coworkers was getting ready to pop the question to his girlfriend. He was soooo happy and sooooo in love.

    I took him out to lunch one day, dragging two other guys along. The three of us were all divorced, all getting screwed over with child support and access to the kids and all the other bullshit attending divorced men in modern America. We weren’t trying to tell him not to get married, exactly, just give him a broader view of the realities than he might previously have encountered.

    The younger guy did end up proposing anyway. Poor, stupid bastard.

  36. That’s right, “….a broader view of the realities.” Well, one look at this kid up here and I knew it would be futile. And then Mrs. OFD rolled up in her spiffy yellow Saab convertible and gushed all over him in congratulations. I stepped behind the truck and puked.

    We have one family victory, though; one of my younger brothers has seen and heard enough over the decades and is still single, at 56, and no, he’s not gay. Sister not married, either, at 52, but has a kid. Just us three simple-minded cretins, with me the worst, having done it twice.

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