Friday, 21 March 2014

09:45 – Lots of interesting comments and emails about yesterday’s post. Just to be clear, what I’m designing/building right now are the 144-hour (2-person-3-day/3P2D/4P/1.5D) duffel bags for Barbara’s and my vehicles. These aren’t zombie apocalypse kits, just short-term emergency kits in case we’re stranded in an ice storm or something. Everything should fit in a large duffel bag or two smaller duffels. Everything with a limited shelf life (batteries, drugs, light sticks, some foods, etc.) goes on top and gets checked/replaced annually. Otherwise, they just sit in the vehicles until needed. I’ll post a detailed checklist (including brand names) once I finalize it.

I’ll spend some time today making up more solutions for the kits. If I have time remaining, I’ll work on the earth/space science kit manual.


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37 Responses to Friday, 21 March 2014

  1. Chad says:

    What’s a good container for storing water for an extended period of time in an environment that isn’t temperature controlled? That is, what container would survive both freezing solid in January and getting to 130° in a close up car in direct sunlight in August?

  2. Lynn McGuire says:

    Please let us know what goes in the kit. I am interested.

    One of my partners lives at 8,500 ft in Colorado. He only has 4WDs and puts blankets in his cars along with food, etc. It has gotten to -45 F at his place.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Good question. During periods when it’s very unlikely to get below freezing, I’ll keep a case (40 500 mL bottles) of Costco bottled water in each vehicle. The problem with it is that the bottles are filled so full that they’ll rupture if they freeze. For cold-weather months, I’ll substitute ten 2-liter soft drink bottles filled to below the freeze line with tap water. Twenty liters provides more than 3 liters per day per person in a 2-person/3-day kit, sufficient for drinking, cooking, washing up, and a bit of personal maintenance.

    Because it’s small, light, and may come in very handy, I’ll also include a bottle of iodine water in each kit. This is simply a 30 mL amber glass bottle with a few grams of crystal iodine in the bottom and filled with water. Iodine is almost insoluble in water, but enough dissolves in 30 mL of water at room temperature to disinfect a liter or two of water. (Iodine is by far the best chemical treatment, but of course boiling is even better.) I’ll also include a supply of vitamin C tablets, which are used after iodine treatment to convert the elemental iodine (tastes terrible) to iodide ions (tasteless).

  4. Chad says:

    Because it’s small, light, and may come in very handy, I’ll also include a bottle of iodine water in each kit. This is simply a 30 mL amber glass bottle with a few grams of crystal iodine in the bottom and filled with water. Iodine is almost insoluble in water, but enough dissolves in 30 mL of water at room temperature to disinfect a liter or two of water. (Iodine is by far the best chemical treatment, but of course boiling is even better.) I’ll also include a supply of vitamin C tablets, which are used after iodine treatment to convert the elemental iodine (tastes terrible) to iodide ions (tasteless).

    Why not the iodine tablets they make for that purpose? I believe it’s tetraglycine hydroperiodide. Though, IIRC, the usable life of the tablets goes to hell really quickly once the bottle has been open. It’s like they’re good forever, but once exposed to open air they’re only good for like 30 days or something. The military used to dip their bottles of iodine water treatment tablets in wax to keep them sealed and so they knew if they had been opened or not.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Those tablets are considerably less effective than elemental iodine. Also, that one 30 mL bottle of iodine water can treat up to several thousand liters of suspect water. You simply replace the water and allow it to dissolve more iodine. And the shelf life of iodine water is essentially unlimited.

  6. Chad says:

    Those tablets are considerably less effective than elemental iodine. Also, that one 30 mL bottle of iodine water can treat up to several thousand liters of suspect water. You simply replace the water and allow it to dissolve more iodine. And the shelf life of iodine water is essentially unlimited.

    Okay, so let me see if I got this right. 🙂 You put some crystal iodine in a 1oz bottle along with some water and shake it vigorously. Not all of the crystals will dissolve (as indicated when you said it’s almost insoluble in water). However, enough iodine will dissolve that the water in that 1oz bottle can be added to a 2-liter bottle of water to treat it for drinking (leave the remaining crystals in the 1oz bottle). Then add more water to the 1oz bottle containing the crystals, shake vigorously, and the process can be repeated thousands of times. Sound right? I suppose accidentally ingesting the crystal iodine itself would be very bad, so big warning to make sure you leave the iodine crystals in the 1oz bottle so they don’t get accidentally ingested while drinking from the 2-liter bottle).

  7. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yes, basically, although the concentration of the saturated aqueous iodine solution varies with temperature. If you keep the bottle warm (carry it next to your skin), call it at least 77F/25C, then 25 mL of the solution (5 teaspoons) should treat two liters of water. Double that concentration and extend the treatment time if the water is extremely cold and/or turbid. (But it’s still always better to boil the water, which kills everything including cryptosporidium. You don’t have to boil it long; just bringing it to a full boil is sufficient to kill everything.)

    The danger of ingesting iodine crystals is often grossly overstated. First, iodine is very dense and sits at the bottom of the bottle. (The saturated aqueous iodine solution is pale colored, and you can easily see if a crystal has escaped the bottle.) Also, if you do happen to ingest a tiny crystal, it isn’t going to hurt you. I carry saturated aqueous iodine only for emergency water treatment, when boiling isn’t an option.

  8. Chad says:

    What’s the concern with old water? That is, why can’t you store the same water for like 10 years and then drink it in an emergency? If it’s biological, then couldn’t you just store it in clear containers and just keep a fluorescent UV light shining on it?

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Old water is fine. And, yes, UV is excellent at sterilizing water. Sitting a colorless 2-liter soft drink bottle full of suspect water in direct sunlight for several hours will kill all microorganisms.

  10. Lynn McGuire says:

    I now understand why Russia just took Crimea. Rush Limbaugh was talking about this while I running around at lunch.

    First, the Ukraine is a kleptocracy. The government is run by the mafia. So, you cannot do anything or get anything done without paying somebody (or a lot of somebodies) off. Think of the USA but the problem is squared (not just lobbyists and politicians get the payoffs).

    Second, Europe has bought in big time to the global warming idiots and is shutting down all coal power plants. Germany and the UK even are shutting down their nuclear power plants (France is not that stupid). They are installing solar and windmills all over the place but then you are at the mercy of the weather. So, Europe is using natural gas to run power plants now.

    Third, all of the Russian natural gas pipelines to Europe run through the Ukraine. The Ukrainians take a percentage of the natural gas that crosses their land as a fee. Plus they have many pipeline outages due to “accidents” to collect more fees from the downstream people.

    So, Putin just wants to get rid of the middle man and be the major energy provider to Europe. Therefore Putin will be taking the rest of the Ukraine soon. Then do something Putin does not like, get your natural gas cutoff, Germany.

  11. OFD says:

    The Russians have already told the Euros this is coming. And doesn’t France get a huge chunk of their energy from nukes?

    We can’t do that here, of course, because we’re retarded and think that each new plant will be like Three Mile Island or Chernobyl. When we need to be building thirty a year for thirty years. Instead we’ll keep having wars in the middle east, fart around with fracking, shale oil sands and natural gas, and it will all get harder to locate and extract and thus more expensive. In ten years we’ll be seeing the beginning of the end of Happy Motoring. And it’s fossil fuel that also powers all the juice; so when the former goes, the latter goes with it; end of Grid. No more tee-vee, radio or internet, and most of the economic activity with it.

    Hello 1900!

    If we’re lucky.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    The French are 70% nuclear power. They even sell it to Germany and Spain when the days are cloudy or the wind does not blow. And the French recycle their nuclear fuel in one of the world’s two operating breeder reactors. Of course, they use nothing but the best, GE Nuclear reactors.

    The Cringe thinks that all future cars will be electric:
    http://www.cringely.com/2014/03/19/impending-black-swan-electric-cars/

  13. Sam Olson says:

    YouTube.com has a good “dramatization” of what it would probably be like when a serious power outage causes a massive breakdown of our society.

    Check it out at …

    American Blackout 2013 – National Geographic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYoXxVnTePA

    kind of surreal, to say the least !!

  14. ech says:

    The Cringe thinks that all future cars will be electric:

    Possibly. The short term problem is that there isn’t enough Lithium production for massive conversion to electric cars. Another problem is that the US electric grid has been said to be undersized. Studies are inconclusive but an electric car is said to be equal to about 1/3 of a house. The upgrades would mostly be localized, and it’s possible that there would be time of day restrictions for plugging in, especially on hot afternoons. (Expect smart meters to be linked to the charger to restrict use during peak hours.) A medium term problem is lack of copper for the motors.

    There are reports that China is watching the electric car developments closely and might convert their fleet over once prices drop enough. They need to provide cars for the expanding middle class, but IC cars are a non-starter due to pollution concerns. Also, China has been buying copper mines and lithium mines…..

  15. Ray Thompson says:

    For a lighter diversion consider the link at th end.

    I have been in Florida for the past few days, 1450 miles driving down and back. Those annoying toll roads suck big time. Unattended booths where you toss in your coins, in the correct amount, and the light does not turn green. Toss in some more coins just in case the amount was wrong and still no light. So I drive through and get photographed. Happened twice. Also on one major road you are not informed you are about to turn onto a toll road until you have driven several miles and encounter a toll plaza. Of course you pay to get on and you pay to get off the toll road. Florida is a state ripe with fraud when dealing with the toll roads.

    Anyway, here is a link to some pictures for your viewing pleasure. These were taken with my cheap Nikon P&S camera for which I paid $129.00 over a year ago. I was just not in to toting a heavy camera around and preferred one that would fit in my pocket.

    http://www.raymondthompsonphotography.com/SpringBreak2014

  16. OFD says:

    Wow, sharp pics, as always, Ray. Very nice.

    I’ll watch that NatGeo flick when I have a non-interruptible 90 minutes, I guess; Mrs. OFD supposed to call now when she arrives back in the great Green Mountain State from the great Lone Star State.

  17. As regards the shelf life of iodine water, sure, the iodine itself isn’t going to decay, but my impression is that the usual problem with iodine is that it diffuses out: the iodine molecule is very difficult to keep sealed in. I don’t believe it can get through glass, but it diffuses through plastics, and attacks metals. Wouldn’t this happen with iodine water, too?

    Of course in the case of iodine water the remedy, if that happens, is simple: look at the bottle, notice that the iodine crystals have disappeared, and replace them. It’s not like iodine-containing pills where the pill will still be intact after all the iodine has diffused away, which can lead to a false sense of security.

    By the way, why amber glass for the iodine water bottle? Is there some sort of reaction that it does with sunlight?

  18. Bob Phillips says:

    Change of Subject: How much does it cost the taxpayers to run the USPS??? How much does it cost taxpayers to run AMTRACK??? Only using 2 examples here, I know there are more “Government subsidized” activities that the taxpayers pay for… Now, If the penny and the nickel are eliminated, the lowest denomination coin to use for taxation is the dime… HIDDEN TAX INCREASE!!!!!
    If American business made the coins in American Factories, management would cut the cost of production so as to make some kind of profit… I think the figure being used is that it costs over 1.8m more dollars than the actual penny is worth… My question is, how many millions of dollars does the penny take in in taxes??? I’m sure it is well above 1.8 million, the cost over and above what it actually costs to manufacture the penny…

    The cost of Stamps increase by pennies… $0.49 will be $0.50 shortly and the next increase will be $0.60… Now, how about “Federal Excise Tax”, http://www.ehow.com/list_6575637_list-federal-excise-taxes.html??? Tires, Gasoline, etc?????
    So, do Americans want to be taxed penny wise or dime wise?????

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    Oh look, the Obamacare taxes are really starting in earnest now:
    http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/03/21/White-House-Leads-Liberal-Media-In-Matt-Drudge-Attack

    As a small business person, I hate taxes! I especially hate new taxes. I have been paying a 3.5% tax on the health insurance that I buy for 16 people monthly since Jan 1 of this year. It is $210 per month that I could spend on something else for my business. Or, put it in my pocket! But no, I am one of those evil business people. And this is on health insurance that I buy for my people and their dependents.

    Scum! And the reporters are worse, they know better!

    What happened to the news media in the USA? They are scum too! They make $500k per year and claim that they are part of the common folk. Huh, I do not know anyone making $500k per year. Or more.

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Re: iodine water

    Yes. iodine really, really wants to be free. It’s a pain in the butt to contain it. It diffuses through many common plastics, including PE and PP. Interestingly, it does not diffuse through PET. A common soda bottle contains it. I’ve done some testing, and even the solid iodine crystals in direct contact with a PET bottle for a year or more do not degrade the plastic.

    For chemicals in our science kits that contain iodine, we use amber glass bottles with phenolic cone caps, which works fine. For emergency kits, I’m seriously thinking about using one liter PET bottles with 8 grams of iodine crystals and filled with water.

    The recommended concentration of iodine for water disinfection is 4 to 8 milligrams per liter, which means that bottle of aqueous iodine would suffice to disinfect between 1,000 and 2,000 liters. I could accomplish the same thing with 8 g of iodine crystals in the 30 mL glass bottle, but the problem with that is that the water in the small bottle is sufficient to disinfect only one or two liters of drinking water, after which I’d have to refill the small bottle with water and wait for it to equilibrate. With the 1 liter bottle, I’d always have enough saturated aqueous iodine on hand to disinfect 30 to 60 liters.

  21. SteveF says:

    Idle curiosity: How do (or would) you label your soda bottles filled with various and sundry liquids? Cut off the labels, write on the bottle with black magic marker, then cover with clear shipping tape? Masking tape, write on that, and then cover with shipping tape?

    I normally just write on the bottle, but my bottles are hardly ever filled with anything not drinkable, and I don’t usually have liquids around that would dissolve the marker writing.

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Depends on how I’m using them. I often use them just as mixing vessels, transferring the solutions later to bottles with full labels. In that case, I just slit and remove the shrink-wrap label and label them temporarily with a felt-tip pen. If I’m using them for longer-term storage, I use a printed sticky label.

    There’s no danger of confusing one of my solutions for drinkable liquid. Barbara doesn’t drink soft drinks at all, and I drink only Coke and Sprite from 2-liter bottles. Most of what we use for longer-term storage are 1-liter bottles that Paul and Mary save for me, so we know that anything in a 1-liter bottle isn’t drinkable.

  23. Lynn McGuire says:

    American Blackout 2013 – National Geographic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYoXxVnTePA

    kind of surreal, to say the least !!

    Watched this. Nothing I do not expect. We saw a lot of these problem in Houston after Hurricane Ike in 2008. We did not have electric power at our house for three days. Some areas in Houston, especially the east side (the dirty side of the storm), did not have power for six weeks. But most people had power back after a week.

    Just about the biggest problem was that the gas stations did not have generators. Most of the gas stations away from the freeways had plenty of gas but no electricity for the pumps.

    My neighbors and I had to clean about a foot of storm debris (branches, leaves, etc) out of our street before it was drivable. That took quite a while for ten of us. I had to chainsaw a 40 ft tree in my backyard. There were about a dozen trees down in the roads of our neighborhood of 5,000 homes. Somebody chainsawed them before we got out there.

    My neighbor at the corner had a generator and ran it all night. It was the noisiest piece of crap. We had all the windows open and listened to it all night long. A group of us were just about ready to kill it the next day. If I ever buy a generator, I will look for one of the “quiet” ones.

    All of our gas stations with generators had long lines, 10 to 20 cars, at them. And a cop to keep crowd control and stop line jumpers. Whenever anyone saw a gasoline truck, people would follow it to the station and line up. That went on for at least two weeks.

  24. OFD says:

    And a prolonged or permanent Grid blackout means no more Happy Motoring here in North Murka.

    In other, sorta related nooz, I just did a quick search for sex offenders in the area here and found ZERO here in the bay village, which is good to know, but 34 in the larger surrounding town. They look a likely bunch, too. Some of them repeat offenders, either here in VT or other states. Our kids ain’t home anymore and even if they were, they’re big enough to mess somebody up seriously who bothers them and if that ain’t enough then I will just have to go kill somebody, not a problem, either.

    Y’all may wanna take a look in your own jurisdictions if you got kids, or for that matter, women, around your home regularly. Also several of the offenders were women themselves. When I used to look this stuff up in our previous VT town or down in MA, it was fah worse. So now that we’re up in the sticks by the Canadian border, the number of offenders and scroats and skells have gone considerably down. That’s 34 out of a population of around 8k, and of course, they’re the ones who got caught.

  25. Chuck W says:

    Waaay back when I was in college in the late ’60’s, I worked in the university’s radio/TV stations. We were close to other crucial departments, like the security cops, PR department (called “Campus News Bureau” back then), and the student-run newspaper, in addition to the 2 local rags in town. What was covered up back in that day, was that there were a several rapes on campus property reported every weekend. But who ever knew? It never made the papers or any of the local media.

    They cannot hide that stuff these days, and there are even more such crimes than back then (probably more victims reporting these days), but it is amazing that it was possible to keep that kind of stuff out of the news — and even the local grapevine.

    Oh, and BTW, some of those rapes reported were same sex.

  26. Chuck W says:

    Lynn and OFD touch on something very important: if there is complete and long-term societal breakdown: there ain’t gonna be cars and the ability to travel, or even run them to generate electricity. A lot of the previous days’ comments have clearly assumed that you can get out of town to some place of relative safety, then keep moving about in your cars as if nothing happened.

    Personally, I think that loss of transport is something that will not happen due to some sort of financial or economic breakdown, but an asteroid or coordinated nuclear attack that kills a substantial part of the population could drive us in that direction.

    I went through this ‘breakdown of society’ stuff with my dad back when I was of a much more impressionable age, and we were way over-prepared for the nothing that happened back in the ‘70’s. My dad bought my mom a diesel-powered car, just so it could be run on home heating oil, if necessary, as — at one point — gas stations were closed for ‘lack of gas’ more days of the week than they were open. But just a couple years after that diesel purchase, the Feds pulled strings that made diesel fuel more expensive than gasoline, instead of remaining significantly cheaper, and that car caused more expense instead of saving it, as had been the original intent. They also passed laws prohibiting heating oil from being used in diesel engines (no road taxes collected in that case).

    I do recall reading lots and lots of books on both a supposedly malfunctioning economy, and survivalist needs. I came away believing that the Mormons have done more thinking on this than others, and I read every book Howard Ruff churned out during that period.

    His advice was that you only needed to move to safety if you were in a large city. People in small towns (pop. a few hundred max) are already where they need to be. He recommended owning your own retreat, but it should not be more than 1 tank of gas away, as you might not get there otherwise. He also recommended not being too far from a small town trading center that you could walk to and carry goods home. He also suggested that having a moped as one’s prime method of transport would conserve what little fuel one is likely to get.

    Also recommended was to try doing without electricity and conventional fuel for long periods of at least 6 weeks, to learn how to cope without them, if they come. The Amish do it perpetually (although I understand anything is fair game in the barn — electric milking machines, telephones, and other modern conveniences), so apparently it can be done. I do see electric lines running to the barns at Amish farms around me. No wires to the houses, though.

    Regarding riding out high winds, here in farmland, many country houses and barns have all-metal roofs, not standard shingles like the city-folk. High wind is not going to rip off shingles when there are none. The earth sheltered house I was attracted to back in the ‘70’s seems wise for a no- or low-energy situation, especially in northern climes.

    One thing I have always taken exception with, is imagining that gold is somehow going to become a monetary medium of exchange. Nobody but a few enthusiasts are going to know anything about gold or gold coin values, or even about coins with silver and other precious metals content. There just is no way the population of this country is going to be trading in any currency but what is already familiar to them. It may take more of it to buy stuff, but people with gold are going to be sitting on it for a long time before a new generation learns to accept something different for payment and get used to trading in it. And assuming the grid and Internets go down, there will be no way for people to learn. In my teen years, I was once in charge of restocking a drink machine, and funneled a ton of ‘junk coins’ from that to my dad over several years during the period those coins were being withdrawn from circulation, and coins with no valuable metal content replaced them.. I ended up selling all his accumulated coin stocks after his death. Very, very heavy; I am not a storage packrat; nor a collector of anything but music, and I just do not believe a shift in currencies will take place. Over the centuries, only the French could make an easy conversion to gold.

    Great ideas here the last few days, applicable to emergencies we have already had in spades in this country.

  27. OFD says:

    Regarding campus security and crime: I was a campus cop for five years, total, at a private and well-known university with major research standards in a New England city long ago, and the campus was/is situated in a tough “crime-impact” area. We were armed and had training via the city PD, the state police and the state’s criminal justice training council. I’d been a cop in other places before, including the military, two branches of it, in fact.

    At one point, for nearly a full academic year, we had a serial rapist operating in the ‘hood; this guy grew increasingly violent in his attacks, too. We tore our hair out trying to catch his ass, and had plainclothes stakeouts, unlimited overtime, etc., and never caught him. Several times we responded with lightning speed to a rape incident report and arrived thinking we had the bastard, only to find out the victim had waited a half-hour or longer to call it in. And finally the attacks all stopped, cold. Never happened again so far as I know; maybe the guy moved away or was dead; who knows. In sorta related situations, there was a womens’ shelter house near the campus, which was allegedly top-secret, etc., but routinely women would call their boyfriends or husbands from there or close by and give it out, to be picked up and again abused and attacked. You can see why somebody might become just a tad cynical after a while, and I eventually just bailed outta “law enforcement” altogether in ’86.

    Not long after that they got a designated sexual assault officer on board and trained, and stepped up with computers and other community policing programs but it’s still a tough ‘hood.

    Howard Ruff had some very good advice; I remember reading him and the late Mel Tappan quite a bit back in the day; he’s right on the money when it comes to evacuating as something you need to be doing or planning to do if you and yours live in a city or close to one in Megalopolis. If, however, you’re already in a small town somewhere away from major highways, rail lines, and military installations you’re in pretty good shape.

    We’re three miles from the “city” downtown and farmers’ market stuff; probably close to five miles from the interstate but only three miles or so from a freight rail line and the Amtrak. I can walk into the city or back again in about forty minutes at a brisk pace while trying not to get run over by ass-hat kids gunning their trucks down the road. A tank of gas in our most fuel-efficient vehicle will only get us 330 miles north of Montreal, which is pretty bleak, or further to the northeast, about roughly halfway to our cottage in northern Nouveau Brunswick on the Atlantic. So we’d be packing five- and ten-gallon gas cans and also stopping anywhere to top off that we could. Frankly, I’d take the truck and tow the car and make a week-long trip of it, loaded with goods, and well in advance of expected shit-storm.

    Too bad you didn’t hang onto all that “junk” silver, Chuck; that, more than gold, is worth accumulating and stocking up on and will represent familiar currency to ordinary folks. In our area this can be both U.S. and Canadian coins, too. I wouldn’t even bother with gold. (and can’t afford it, anyway)

    Never did get that expected snow storm here today and even the wind has died down and the sun came out for the last half-hour of the day, typical.

    Now to continue watching Season Two of “Deadwood.” Watched the midget Scientologist Tom Cruise in “Valkurie” last night; it was OK, and fairly accurate; thankfully they didn’t include exactly what happened to some of the conspirators afterward, and it was good to know that Mrs. Stauffenberg survived the war and only died in 2006.

  28. Chuck W says:

    When my dad died, I was still living in Berlin — not even halfway through my tenure there — and never planning on returning. All those coins were beyond heavy, they were more than an albatross. No good at all to me in Germany, and I sure was not going to import them, which would have been a significant financial cost, so now someone else is holding that considerable weight. I am a minimalist, and at my age, I can probably get around better living like Cody Lundgren (who was just fired from Dual Survivor, by the way), than a hobbling old Scrooge carrying his life savings with him everywhere in a gunny sack that someone could steal the moment I dozed off. I agree that if credit cards ever stop being accepted, I’m screwed, but that is as much weight as I am willing to carry with me. I have not been to an ATM machine save 3 or 4 times in the 4+ years I have been back, and pay for McDonald’s with plastic to avoid carrying money (having been forced to pay cash for everything in Germany, I never intend to change that habit). Aside from a couple downtown Indy parking lots that only accept cash (and ought to be denied a license for doing that), it’s a wonderful life.

  29. OFD says:

    You must mean Cody Lundin and “Dual Survival.” (sorry, I’m a hyper-literate English language correction Nazi). He’s the dude that goes around barefoot all the time; I’m too old to get into the wilderness primitive survival stuff; I wouldn’t last too long out there anymore. (I have some asthma, creaky knees and back occasionally, and if I lost my glasses I’d be screwed, totally.) I’m a small-town prepper, basically.

    In IT nooz; I’d just got Mrs. OFD a lightweight Acer laptop running Windows 7, and put security sw on it, Microslop Orifice 2013, and deleted the Acer bloatware. So I fired up the Windows updates last night about this time and it is only now, nearly 24 hours later, close to finishing the 107 of them, downloading and installing. I’ve done several hundred updates on Fedora and RHEL and it’s taken maybe an hour. So now I’ll take one or both of the older laptops she’s been hauling around and re-purpose them to other stuff accordingly, probably Linux-based.

  30. Chuck W says:

    Great pics Ray. In the half-dozen visits I have made to Disney World and Epcot over the years, there was never any sun, and often rain. Exact opposite for Disneyland, though. You obviously had some really good weather.

  31. bgrigg says:

    OFD, I suspect you mean “news”, “Microsoft” and “Office”, especially considering your self-proclaimed hyper-literate English language correction Nazism. 🙂

  32. OFD says:

    I got that “hyper-literate” phrase from Chuck, who used it to describe several of us here a while back, which I thought was pretty funny.

    But high school English grammar and about 55 years of reading like a complete lunatic, constantly, and I can’t help but see errors all the time; usually I STFU but sometimes just can’t, esp. if it’s a guy’s name or a factual thing. Also recognizing the ubiquity of typos….

  33. Lynn McGuire says:

    I’ve built two Windows 7 x64 PCs in the last week. The amount of updates, over 150, was freaking amazing. And the fact that one hosed me while I was loading our Act! software was an additional blessing. Windows wanted to reboot before installing and then proceeded to install over 100 of those updates in single user mode.

    On the other hand, I sure am glad that Microsoft is maintaining their software and looking out for the common man, me. I like Windows 7 x64 and happen to think that it is the best software that they ever produced. I have zero experience with Windows 8.0 X1 X2 and am doing my best to keep it that way. BTW, one of those PCs only has 4 GB of ram and it is running just fine with no paging. I plan to change out the ram and take it to 8 GB in a while though.

    Only two more Windows XP PCs to rebuild and load Windows 7 x64 in our shop! A sales PC and our source code server PC.

  34. Lynn McGuire says:

    His advice was that you only needed to move to safety if you were in a large city. People in small towns (pop. a few hundred max) are already where they need to be. He recommended owning your own retreat, but it should not be more than 1 tank of gas away, as you might not get there otherwise. He also recommended not being too far from a small town trading center that you could walk to and carry goods home. He also suggested that having a moped as one’s prime method of transport would conserve what little fuel one is likely to get.

    All good advice. I am still wondering if I am far enough away from the Houston center to stay here at home. If real bad, we can bug out to my parents in Port Lavaca (110 miles) or my brothers place in Luling (150 miles). Port Lavaca is a little town on the coast with about 13,000 people. About half of them are on the dole and have no disaster preparation at all.

  35. Chuck W says:

    I never watch TV. Haven’t even owned one for nearly 20 years now. And since I only watch TV if I get paid for it, and it does not look like I will ever get paid to watch it again (they are only paying young whippersnappers to watch these days), I likely will never be watching it again. Only know about Lundigan from the Internets. Everything is misspellted their.

  36. Lynn McGuire says:

    American Blackout 2013 – National Geographic

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYoXxVnTePA

    kind of surreal, to say the least !!

    BTW, in watching this very good video, I did come up with one item. The prepper dude made a serious mistake and left his bunker to confront the thieves messing with his fuel tanks. First mistake was doing it alone. Second mistake was confronting the thieves.

    I would have stuck my AK out the door and fired off an entire magazine over their heads. Then if any of them stayed around, I would have started shooting them from a place of refuge, not in the open. They are trespassing and have been warned previously. This stuff belongs to the prepper, it is not a food mart.

    That said, I would have shared some food and water with the thieves, aka self proclaimed neighbors. But always from a position of strength.

    Also, his bunker was not under his house. Major mistake in placement.

  37. OFD says:

    I haven’t seen it yet but yeah, those are all serious errors of judgement. Judgement takes a beating often when one is stressed or panicked.

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