Thursday, 2 October 2014

11:05 – I mentioned to Barbara this morning that we need to build another batch of biology kits this weekend. We’ve shipped three so far this month, and we’re down under half a dozen in stock.

When I sit down to write a book, I immediately become aware of how much I don’t know. No worries there. I can always research it, figure it out, do it myself, and so on. What worries me is the things I only think I know, because those don’t get researched, figured out, or done. That’s why a final fact-checking pass is so important, as well as running the rough draft manuscript past people who know more about particular things than I do.

And some of the stuff I only thought I knew turns out to be very interesting indeed once I dig deeper. For example, I was under the impression that exposure to strong UV killed essentially all microorganisms, that placing a 2-liter soda bottle of questionable water in bright sunlight for a few hours sterilized it. In fact, I’ve even tested that by filling a 2-liter Coke bottle with ditch water, leaving it out in the sun all day, and then culturing the contents on different agar media designed to encourage growth of various classes of bacteria, protozoa, and fungi. The agar plates grew no colonies of anything, so I concluded that exposure to UV was indeed a good way to sterilize water.

The problem is, I was thinking “sterilized” as in “killed everything”. That turns out not to be the case. UV does indeed “sterilize” the water, but only in sense of rendering some of the microorganisms unable to reproduce. The UV turns them into teeny, tiny Walking Dead. What’s worse is that they can be revivified by exposure to visible light, ideally in the violet/blue portion of the spectrum. This activates enzymes called photolyases, which turn around and fix the DNA that the UV light broke, reactivating the Walking Dead microorganisms with their full reproductive abilities restored. Geez.

Not that it really matters. Solar Disinfection (SODIS) is used worldwide to provide safe drinking water for tens of millions of people. In practical terms, it works, so I’ll present it as such.

Several people have expressed interest in following the progress of The Ultimate Family Prepping Guide, so I decided to set up a private email discussion list. It’ll be a while before there’s much activity on the list, but eventually I’ll be doing stuff like posting draft chapters for download. If you want to join the list, visit http://lists.family-prepping.com/listinfo.cgi/tufpg-family-prepping.com.

It turns out that at my age I end up doing things that I later just barely remember doing. For example, I just got an email that began, “Thank you for contributing to Brian Taylor & Kate Doody’s new book: CERAMIC GLAZES: The Complete Handbook” and asked for my mailing address so they could send me the print copy they’d promised. I almost clicked to send it to junk mail before I vaguely remembered doing something that had to do with ceramic glazes. So I sent them my address. Once I get the book, I may even remember what I wrote for them or told them.


11:59 – I’ve already gotten a bunch of new subscriber notices for the new discussion list, but I’ve also gotten a couple of emails along the lines of “I’d like to join but I’m afraid I have nothing to contribute.” Don’t worry about it. Join if you want to, even if you’ll only lurk. You may be surprised at how much you have to contribute. I’m interested in getting a “hive mind” thing going with this discussion list, and over the decades that I’ve participated on such lists I’ve ceased to be surprised at how much useful knowledge is known by so few people. So go ahead and join. Lurk if you have nothing to say. If you do have something to say, say it.


14:41 – It’s interesting how much kit sales swing up and down. Last month, for example, started out big. For the first week or so, I thought we might do 150% or even 200% of September, 2013 revenues. Then things died completely for a few days. Then they started booming again, but that lasted only a few days. The last week of the month was dead slow, and we ended up doing only about 80% of last September’s revenues. But the first two days of this month we’ve done almost 20% of last October’s total revenues. If this holds up, which I’m sure it won’t, we’d do around 300% of October 2013 revenues. Then again, it could hold up, because we have had months where we did 300% or more of the same month’s prior year revenues. I just don’t worry about it one way or the other. As of very early October, YTD revenues are where they were in early December of 2013, so we’re doing fine.

36 thoughts on “Thursday, 2 October 2014”

  1. “It turns out that at my age I end up doing things that I later just barely remember doing.”

    Welcome to the club. At the more advanced levels of membership, you will probably discover that you don’t remember doing those things at all, but nevertheless, the empirical evidence lies there before you.

    Slower day for us here today for some reason; we have ongoing nagging chit to do, but in general we’re not being slammed like the other day, knock on wood!

    Dense ground fog this morning most of the way in, cloaking the burnished gold, bronze and red colors of our northern Vermont autumn; looks wicked pissah in that morning light. Blue cloudless skies right now, though, and temp pushing 70. Hope rest of the day goes nice and slow so we can catch up on chit here and otherwise slack off a bit.

    Just about time for lunch; I’m tempted to go sit outside away from the main building so I don’t get interrupted. We’ve found in IT over decades that no one ever minds interrupting YOUR lunch. Their chit is WAY more important and right NOW, too!

  2. Two things have happened to me as I age: 1) I cannot remember who I told what, and that was never a problem in younger years, and probably explains why my older elders kept telling me the same stuff over and over again; 2) I lay things down for a minute and have zero recollection where. I used to be able to replay my steps exactly for more than a whole day, and figure out where I put something. No longer. It is lost if I do not put things where they belong.

  3. Both Mrs. OFD and me lose things that we just had in our effin hands a few seconds earlier, and PRESTO! They’ve disappeared! Completely!

    Related to this is sometimes when I drop something, and it doesn’t have to be tiny, right there below me on the floor or ground, it also disappears. Completely! As if into another dimension entirely or a black hole in space!

    Sorta related note: Mrs. OFD claims she’s told me stuff but I mos def do not remember her doing so; likewise she’ll repeat the same thing to me two or three times over the course of a few days or a week. Of course she’ll also be talking to me as she’s walking away and facing the other direction and she knows dahn well my right ear is not so great for some reason…and I can’t hear what she’s saying.

    Big critical IT thang this week now seems to be the surveillance camera system; we are expected to grasp it in all its technical arcana instantly. First time either of us have had anything to do with either the hw or sw involved, ever. Some defects apparently went out due to employee negligence and lollygagging or sumthin and they just want additional ammo/evidence for this one clown who has a known record of it. I’m sorta guessing it’s the tall skinny denizen who likes to wear a sleeveless tee shirt to show off all his multiple arm- and shoulder-emblazoned tatts. Looks like an idiot but that’s Murka now for ya. Buncha dumbass junior orcs, buffoons, and the ever-present manchild, in baggy shorts and baseball cap.

  4. you don’t remember doing those things at all, but nevertheless, the empirical evidence lies there before you

    Been there, done that. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always had a horrible memory; even so, it gets worse with age. This causes certain problems. My wife planned a night out a few weeks ago. I totally forgot we had it planned. Mind you, I was at home, and would have happily gone out with her had she reminded me. She didn’t. Instead, she let the whole evening go by waiting for me to remember, and then was hugely upset. Then it happened again this week. We celebrated her birthday a couple of days early, on the weekend. When the real date rolled around, it totally slipped my mind. Not good. I was terribly sorry and apologetic both times, but…this is me. It frustrates me as much as anyone, but there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. :-/

  5. “…I was under the impression that exposure to strong UV killed essentially all microorganisms, that placing a 2-liter soda bottle of questionable water in bright sunlight for a few hours sterilized it.”

    I’ve taken a 1 litre plastic bottle of cordial concentrate, made up to three 2 litre bottles of diluted cordial and left them just inside the kitchen window, facing the sun. Normally I would refrigerate this stuff, if only to make it more palatable to drink, but my fridge is rather full so I couldn’t.

    Several weeks later I noticed that one of the plastic bottles of cordial was bulging at the sides and bottom, and when I opened it it smelt off. Nevertheless, I drank some, didn’t like the taste and put the lid back on. The bottle next to it was normal – no unpleasant smell or bulging. A week or so later I had another whiff of the bulging bottle and decided to empty it in to the sink. The non-bulging bottle next to it still smelt and tasted okay. Nevertheless, I’ve decided to make up only one bottle of diluted cordial at a time and store it in the fridge – it tastes better that way.

    So I guess the offending bottle got infected with some bug that resisted UV and the one next to it didn’t.

  6. Been there, done that. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve always had a horrible memory; even so, it gets worse with age. This causes certain problems. My wife planned a night out a few weeks ago. I totally forgot we had it planned. Mind you, I was at home, and would have happily gone out with her had she reminded me. She didn’t. Instead, she let the whole evening go by waiting for me to remember, and then was hugely upset. Then it happened again this week. We celebrated her birthday a couple of days early, on the weekend. When the real date rolled around, it totally slipped my mind. Not good. I was terribly sorry and apologetic both times, but…this is me. It frustrates me as much as anyone, but there’s not a hell of a lot I can do about it. :-/

    You need Google Calendar (or something like it) even worse than I do. I started to use it when I was having trouble forgetting about my mother’s CDs and keeping them from renewing at pointlessly low rates before she died. It pops up reminders on my Android cell phone and has been a great help.

  7. Just found this: Glass is not a perfect UV blocker, but it is pretty darn good.* Your kitchen window isn’t letting enough through.

    *http://www.newton.dep.anl.gov/askasci/chem00/chem00539.htm

  8. I see the new list used Mailman. Do you mind telling me where it is hosted? I run a couple of mailman lists myself; so far I have no reason to look for another host, but You Never Know What Will Happen.

  9. Yep, for SODIS you need to pay careful attention to the container. Even some plastics block enough UV to make SODIS unusable. A glass window certainly does, as does a glass bottle.

  10. Welcome to the club. At the more advanced levels of membership, you will probably discover that you don’t remember doing those things at all, but nevertheless, the empirical evidence lies there before you.

    I forgot an Eagles concert. Yes, those Eagles. I remembered when I saw the review in the paper the next day. I now use Google Calendar religiously.
    http://www.eaglesband.com/

    We are going to see Paul McCartney in Dallas in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, Dallas will still be there and has not been air-fuel bombed.

  11. “… She didn’t. Instead, she let the whole evening go by waiting for me to remember, and then was hugely upset.”

    This is known in military parlance as an ambush. Or a variation of one of the old games described long ago in Eric Berne’s book, “Games People Play,” i.e., “NIGYYSOB”.

    “Now I’ve Got You, You Son Of a Bitch.”

  12. “We are going to see Paul McCartney in Dallas in a couple of weeks. Hopefully, Dallas will still be there.”

    I’d pay to go see/hear Ringo but not Paul. Never cared for him or his schtick, and even less the late working-class hero Lennon. George was OK and a nice guy, and so is Ringo.

    I have an Eagles concert on disk that they did in Oz a few years ago; man, they are a very tight band. Saw them live as the headliner band down in Maffachufetts in 1976 at the old Schaeffer Stadium in Foxborough. Warmup bands were Boz Scaggs and Fleetwood Mac, LOL. People passed around joints and hash pipes in the stands. I got knocked down by a van on the way out but zero damage to either the van or me.

  13. We are going to see Paul McCartney in Dallas in a couple of weeks.

    Have a good Tejas steak in his honor. 😉

  14. Press silence, black privilege, and unintended consequences

    By Eric Raymond

    ‘I’m here to say what that article could have but did not: suppressio veri, when performed systematically enough, itself becomes a code that can be read. What the press is teaching Americans to assume, story after story, is that if “youths” commit public violence and they are not specified to be white, or hispanic, or asian — then it’s yet another black street gang on a wilding.’

  15. Yeah, I saw dat nooz on the new 3D printer capabilities; now making lower receivers, haha! What, oh what, will be Leviathan’s response to this dastardly new threat?

    And the whole stupid ATF deal for years of regulating lower receivers has been a total joke, approaching in hilarity the alleged inability of many of us to mod semi-autos, say, AR’s, to fire selective.

  16. My second marriage was better than my first, because I flat out told Jeri (we met at school 26 years earlier) all the shortcomings I believed myself to have, and indicated that since those did not go away in the past 30 years, I did not expect them to. Ever.

    Celebrating ‘special days’ was one. Try as I might, every day to me is the same as any other. I do not care when my birthday is, or anybody else’s (except my kids’ until they got grown). Although I do like holidays and vacations, I can never be made to believe one day is more special than another. Which is a cardinal sin in Germany, because birthdays are sanctified by some Teutonic god as the day you must throw a whopping big party for all of your friends at your own expense. My solution was never to tell anyone my birthdate. Got away with ignoring my birthday for nearly 10 years.

    I have kept a careful calendar, which — up until this year — was paper. I never got around to printing up this year’s, so I started entering things into the Android. But it died. Fourteen days without a phone and counting now. I think I am going to demand a refund from the carrier, because I brought the phone in the second day after it died, and they sent me away, telling me I could only deal with the problem via telephone. That turned out not to be true, but here I am, fourteen days later, still without a working phone, because it refuses to ‘self-activate’ forcing me back to the store for the third time tomorrow. It is a 38 minute drive to that store, as it must be a company-owned store, and that is the closest one to Tiny Town.

    Jeri fully accepted responsibility for keeping me on top of our social engagements, including her own birthday and our anniversary. I still do not understand why the date two people agreed to be together on a daily basis needs to be celebrated above any other. If you are truly compatible, why is the date you hitched up more important than any other? Moreover, when we did celebrate an occasion, it was never on the real day, as that was almost always a workday. I realize most guys do not get that kind of support. I sure didn’t the first time around.

  17. I am about fed up with gift-giving which has pretty much taken the true meaning of every holiday and special day and shit on it.

  18. As a kid I was raised within the traditional small-town, New England, Protestant-Christian milieu of the usual holidays and birthdays and suchlike and have sort of maintained that to the present day, mainly because of Mrs. OFD; she knows I now take a dim view of the whole mess as it is these days and am not really into it. Halloween is now bigger than Christmas and more billions spent on it and it’s now a psycho pagan atrocity inflicted on us all, just short of actual human sacrifices and necrophilia. The original intent is long gone outside of practicing Christian families. Ditto Christmas, and the rest. I deal with all of these privately and quietly as I was raised to do, and my active participation is limited to the minimum for kids and grandkids, who’ve across the board, with siblings’ families down in MA, and our own grandkids, been subjected to the dross and commercialized garbage and all the wrong things, constantly.

    As for wedding anniversaries, we both work our asses off, and have been through the mill on so many levels it beggars the imagination sometimes, so if we take a day each year and try to be celebratory in that we made it this far, I don’t see how anyone can find fault with that. And I’m not saying anyone is; holidays and anniversaries have also been sad and depressing times for us, mainly remembering those now lost to us, and some of the bad times we’ve endured together.

    I also remember back in my cop days how Xmas Eve was the most terrible night of the year for us; nonstop domestic disputes all night long and into the next day, just brutal stuff, that would drive a person to drink, and worse. Thank God and the FSM I’m outta that line of work, nearly thirty years now.

    Next big holiday? Columbus Day, I guess; means nothing up here but big for all the Italian-Americans down in lower Megalopolis. We’ll celebrate Leif Erikson Day, of course. After that, All Hallows Eve, All Souls Day, and All Saints Day. Followed by Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, when we rejoice in the heroic sacrifices made by our valiant warrior heroes in defense of freedom, liberty, democracy, etc., etc., did I get all that right?

    So where’s our freedom, liberty and democracy these days, eh?

  19. I never got around to printing up this year’s, so I started entering things into the Android.

    Shouldn’t that calendar be in the Google apps calendar app? You should be able to see it at:
    https://www.gmail.com

  20. Shouldn’t that calendar be in the Google apps calendar app?

    Yup. I even integrate my Mac calendar into my work Google cals. All show up on all my devices, and, of course, in any browser.

  21. Lynn, did you catch this opinion piece on moving to Texas?
    http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/30/opinion/moore-texas-growth/index.html

    Yes, all true. I’ve having a running battle with my Dad about the state gasoline tax. I maintain that we should double it from 14 cents/gal to 28 cents/gal. And he swears up and down that the state highway agency should be more efficient while costs have tripled since the tax was last raised. Meanwhile we are building toll roads all over the place. I run about $30/month on the four toll tags I own.

    Although, the state is widening the I-69 highway where I am at from four lanes to 12 lanes (2 + 3 + 1 + 1 + 3 + 2) for about 20 miles out. That is two service road lanes, three freeway lanes and one HOV lane on both sides.

    We got 20 inches of rain in September so the water shortage may be going away. But the rain was localized to Southeast Texas. Central Texas, North Texas and West Texas did not get any rain so the rivers are all still very, very low. And half of our drinking water comes from the heavily recycled water in the rivers. That water has been through water treatment plants about ten or so times by the time it gets down here.

    My area and my property use water wells. The water table has dropped from 80 ft to 145 ft since last March and may drop more unless the underground aquifer gets some recharging from all the rain that we had. But I think that the recharging takes quite a a few years. My office water well is at 180 ft and can be lowered another 60 ft if necessary AND I catch it in time before the pump melts the tubing.

    The population in my county, Fort Bend County, is suppose to double in the next ten years. That is from 650,000 people to 1.2 million. Can you say wow? I cannot figure where they are going to drive, live and poop.

  22. “I cannot figure where they are going to drive, live and poop.”

    Clearly, wherever they want. Didja notice we don’t have borders anymore? No one cares. Double and triple and quadruple the pop in some areas; no one cares. Come one, come all, half the country will pay for it all. Until we’re bled white. And cain’t pay no mo.

    What happens then?

    This just in, from the “How Do I Get In On That Department”

    “J.P. Morgan Chase says 76 million households impacted in previously disclosed data breach.”

    So they rob us blind, lose our data all over the world, and nothing whatsoever happens to them. If they lose money, we bail them out. While also losing our data to parts and parties unknown.

    I would have posted a slew of similar or worse stories from my WSJ nooz squirts earlier this week but was too busy. This chit just keeps happening and the people responsible skate. And the nooz is reported from one of their prime media whore companies, too; what else are they NOT telling us???

    I dunno, Mr. Lynn; but if I was you I’d be very seriously considering selling out my biz and other operations down there and high-tailing it for higher ground, and there’s not much time left for arranging all that now. Remember, the Lord helps them what help theyselves…

    A word to the wise, MrAtoz, and I’d say Mr. SteveF, but he’s in an area where he can skeddadle right quick and be in God’s country to the north.

    We intend to step up our preps here in Retroville ASAP.

  23. I am working on a project where I am getting 2 or 3 packages a day from USPS, UPS, and Fed Ex. All the senders are using 8.5×11 bubble-packs, even though some of the shipped materials are just paper. There must have been a deal on those bubble-packs while I was not looking.

    Anyway, I am blown away at how immaculate the USPS shipped stuff is when it arrives. Absolutely pristine and always put inside the screen door. Fed Ex is often creased or with dog-eared corners, but the UPS stuff — geez! I do not know where they get such dirt as covers these packages they deliver. It looks like they take it out to a dry dirt lot, drag it along the ground, then stomp on it all over it with waffle-bottomed boots. My hands have black spots all over them after trying to open one. This is not just a single package, but everything that arrives from UPS. Totally weird.

  24. A word to the wise, MrAtoz, and I’d say Mr. SteveF, but he’s in an area where he can skeddadle right quick and be in God’s country to the north.

    I can drive to Leavenworth in 20 hours or so. I’m waiting to see if the “straw” makes it to the dam. It so hot and dry here, I don’t expect a flood of crimmigrants. If things don’t get too bad in twenty years (I’ll be 79), I wonder if I will give a shit then. I still have relatives in the great city of Rhinelander, WI. Plenty of water and good dirt up there. I could always bail with the family and move there. Population about 10,000 for the last 40 years or so.

  25. lol! Just saw a picture of a crew power spraying ebola vomit in Dallas down the drain. Maybe ObuttWad is personally supervising that, too. The virus will die before it could infect anyone, right. Dr. Bob, anybody?

  26. “Wonder which of those guys is the young OFD?”

    Unfortunately I’m old enuff to well remember those printers and the damn racket they made, plus the noise inside the data centers, worse then than now. The kid’s red hair and glasses and plaid shirt were/are me but I don’t look and never did look like such a goofy nerdball. The other guys in that vid are probably all dead by now.

    “Just saw a picture of a crew power spraying ebola vomit in Dallas down the drain.”

    Down WHAT drain? R U serious? Barry mos def must be in charge of that; he’d love to see Texas wiped out by plague. Then another zillion or so denizens from south of the Rio Grande can roll right in afterward; Aztlan!

  27. “Dr. Bob, anybody?”

    I’m neither a virologist nor an epidemiologist, but I am very concerned about the Ebola epidemic. What worries me is that this is a new strain that may well be more easily transmissible than earlier strains. Apparently, the untreated mortality of this strain is about 70% (earlier reported erroneously as 50%), but this strain isn’t behaving like earlier ones. Hotspots pop up, which leads me to believe that it may have made the jump to being easily air-transmissible.

  28. All the merrier for the global elites running the show. Mass die-off fits right in nicely with their worldview.

    Next up: stock market crashes, financial crises, lower Euro tier falling like dominoes.

    Panic. Unrest.

    Eventual reactionary State response and martial law.

    It’s also quite clear that either our med and gummint personnel do not have a real handle on this yet or are deliberately letting it rip.

  29. OFD says: 2 October 2014 at 15:43
    Yeah, I saw dat nooz on the new 3D printer capabilities; now making lower receivers, haha!
    ===========================================================

    Ahmm… NO!
    Same guy, different trick. Or a whole raft of them.

    Ths time he’s released a miniature CNC-controlled milling machine.
    Not depositing stuff by sputtering it into place, but removing it from a lump of metal to make a finished part.

    What he’s demonstrating is finishing an 80% AR lower, but the S will really HTF when people realise that with different software ( download, he will say, at xyz.disorg/1 or 2 or 3), several tool bits that will wear out, several lumps of metal bar-stock, two small slabs of wood or plastic, a few screws from Home Depot, a few springs, and a lump off a rifle barrel then you will be able to create a revolver or a self-loading handgun. Replace a worn rifle barrel, add a small box full of apparent junk, you’ll still have your (say) lever-action carbine or bolt-action rifle (but with a brand-new barrel), and you’ll also have half-a-dozen untraceable handguns in a matching calibre, possibly even matching cartridge. In fact, if you were really pushed, the same machine might even be able to produce straight-wall cartridge cases to match.

    Watch for a CNC mini-lathe as well, and a rifling attachment for a bench-mounted hand-drill, I’d expect, unless they find an excuse to imprison him first.

    Interesting times!

  30. Argh! I am resetting my automatic bills that were being charged to my Mastercard that the Home Depot nightmare got canceled on me. This is a pain in the buttocks! Two down, eight to go. The tough part is figuring out which password I used. Most important was my electric bill which the provider was threatening to turn off if I did not pay in the next ten days. But, they charged me a $30 charge since the credit card was now invalid. Love it!

    BTW, this Mastercard nightmare is apparently costing Home Depot one billion dollars. I cannot even comprehend that level of expense. $50 each to replace the credit cards of fifty million people. And looks like JP Morgan Chase is up next.
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-10-02/jpmorgan-says-data-breach-affected-76-million-households.html

    I bought an encryption certificate for my business today and am converting the entire website to https. Is painful but I think I have a trick to automatically convert all http requests to https at the web server. Google will apparently move your website higher in the rankings if you are https now.
    https://www.winsim.com

  31. It’s also quite clear that either our med and gummint personnel do not have a real handle on this yet or are deliberately letting it rip.

    We have not had an epidemic in the USA for 100 years. People do not remember the rules. I wonder where I can buy a bunny suit with a filtered rebreather?

    Seriously, keep your gas tanks full and your pantry full. I’m not quite sure how this 21 day staycation thing works that they are enforcing on the victims in Dallas but evidently it is quite a mess.
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_EBOLA_QUARANTINED_WOMAN?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2014-10-02-19-22-20

Comments are closed.