Wednesday, 8 October 2014

09:04 – Barbara leaves Friday for a trip to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with her sister, brother-in-law, and friend Marcy. They’ll return Monday, but as usual Colin is afraid I’ll forget to feed him while Barbara’s away.

I got a bit done yesterday on the chapter on food storage, preservation, and production. One of the things I intend to do with respect to the last item is sell packages of heirloom (AKA non-hybrid, open-pollination, or true-breeding) seeds for long-term storage. That’s not as simple as it sounds.

Even choosing which varieties to include is non-trivial. For example, different varieties of onion are adapted for different latitudes. So-called long-day varieties are adapted for northern latitudes, where summer days are much longer than they are here in the Southland. Long-day onions are completely unsuited to the South, because the days never get long enough to cause them to bulb. Conversely, short-day varieties do not do well in Northern latitudes. I’ll probably end up including either an intermediate-day variety or a day-neutral variety or both. But day-length preference is just one characteristic that needs to be taken into account. Soil preference, disease resistance, days-to-harvest, and other characteristics are just as important.

Then there’s the matter of storage. Most ordinary seeds don’t store well. For example, a particular seed that has an 80% germination rate if planted the following year may have only a 50% germination rate after two years, a 10% germination rate after three, and a 1% germination rate after four.

The solution is to dry the seeds and then freeze them. By itself, drying the seeds greatly extends their shelf life, typically to 10 years or more. Freezing them extends the shelf life indefinitely. That’s why many large-scale heirloom seed banks are located north of the Arctic Circle. But freezing seeds without drying them first damages the seeds.

On the other hand, drying them too much also damages viability. The ideal is about 8% moisture by weight. Much less than that, and the seeds become “hard”, which means their shells become so impervious to moisture that they won’t germinate even in ideal conditions. Much more than 8%, and freezing will damage them.

The problem, of course, is to determine the initial percentage of moisture in each type of seed. That means I’ll have to weigh specimens of each seed, dry them to constant mass, determine the moisture percentage of each type, and then dry them accordingly. Then I’ll have to test them to make sure the initial germination rate is acceptably high. Assuming that’s true, I’ll package each type of seed in zip-lock snack bags and heat-seal those bags in laminated Mylar/aluminum bags.

I’ll probably design each seed kit to contain sufficient seeds of a couple dozen types to sow an acre or so of land. That may not sound like much, but it’s sufficient to produce literally tons of food along with enough seeds to sow several acres the following year.


108 thoughts on “Wednesday, 8 October 2014”

  1. “…as usual Colin is afraid I’ll forget to feed him while Barbara’s away.”

    Aren’t there any stray cats in the neighborhood?

  2. Yes, plenty of them. And Colin is already in Mighty Hunter mode. When I walked him this morning, it took twice as long as usual because he was stalking squirrels. He’s far faster than any squirrel. From watching him, my guess is that he could succeed in stalking and pouncing squirrels at least one time in ten, so he wouldn’t have any trouble keeping himself fed.

  3. OK, here’s a recurring iPhone issue; anyone else deal with this?

    I connect it to iTunes on the pooter; it starts to sync and then tells me it can’t ’cause the pooter ain’t authorized. I authorize it via the Store and it then tells me it’s already authorized. I try to sync again, same deal, not authorized. I de-authorize the bugger, disconnect the phone, reconnect it and RE-authorize it AGAIN. Same deal.

    I’ve been through this before and just wondered if there was ever any solution for it; nothing useful yet via the usual Google searches; it’s an iPhone 4.

    Oh my; driving torrential rain here all of a sudden with continuing strong winds. This will accelerate the leaves falling out. Damn, looks like monsoon out there!

  4. Then there’s the matter of storage. Most ordinary seeds don’t store well. For example, a particular seed that has an 80% germination rate if planted the following year may have only a 50% germination rate after two years, a 10% germination rate after three, and a 1% germination rate after four.

    They got that Judean Date Palm to grow from a 2,000 year old seed. Obviously, not typical, but it is pretty cool.

  5. Oh, yes. They’ve also successfully germinated emmer from several thousand years ago that was found in the tombs of pharaohs. But such reports seldom or never mention the germination rates. They might have planted an entire jar of seeds and gotten one plant to germinate. We’re shooting for a lot better than that.

  6. @OFD – my wife has a similar problem with her iPod Touch (just like an iPhone without the phone part). Unfortunately the only solution I have found to reliably work is to before every sync we do a backup of the Touch and iTunes, if the “unauthorized bug” pops up we uninstall (using Revo Uninstaller Pro, free works too) and reinstall, then restore backups and then sync. This same “unauthorized bug” also appears about 50% of the time with iTunes updates.

    Now for another oddity, my daughter does not have the same problem with her Touch and her MacBook Pro. Call it the Apple revenge.

    Our squirrels here in my Southeast corner of Washington State are starting to put on their thick bushy winter tails almost a month early and leaves are turning early.

  7. I connect it to iTunes on the pooter; it starts to sync and then tells me it can’t ’cause the pooter ain’t authorized. I authorize it via the Store and it then tells me it’s already authorized.

    The only time I get anything close to this is if there is an app on the phone that was purchased or free and installed under someone else’s iTunes account. You can only have 5 pooters/devices authorized, also. Even then, everything under the signed-in account syncs.

    iTunes for Windows is inferior to iTunes for Mac (so say many users, I only use the Mac version).

    Mr. OFD, is this under a VM of Windows, or do you use multiple Apple ID’s?

  8. It’s a straight-up base Windows 8 host system, not a vm. iTunes informs me on the one hand that I have one authorized pooter out of five possible. Then it tells me, no, it’s not authorized. So I de-authorize it, disconnect the phone, re-connect, and re-authorize and go through the same loop again, having to type the pw each time, natch.

    I will now try the DadCooks solution.

  9. Are you running iTunes under a local user account or an admin account? May want to try running iTunes as an administrator and see what happens.

    I use iTunes on Windows with two iPads, two iPods and an iPhone 5 with no difficulty. However they are run under an administrator account.

  10. We started out using iTunes at the radio station about 6 years ago at sign-on. The Mac folks in the group loved it, and most switched to it as their main music playtoy. Those of us with Windows hated the damned thing, because the Win version was clearly inferior to the Mac. I suspect that if you keep everything in native Mac, you will have fewer problems.

  11. Cemetery just 3 blocks from me. Every day they are running their huge leaf vac from 08:00 to 17:00 with an hour break for lunch. Tiny House is not well sound-insulated, and this is like living next to the Chrysler forge shop when I lived here as a young kid (we were 6 blocks away and the hammers shook the ground). Have to keep the music going while I work, or I would be in whine hell.

  12. Duke Energy just admitted that they have falsely reported to Equifax and Dun & Bradstreet, that around 200,000 customers in Indiana, Kentucky, and Ohio were late with their payments if they were on a budget billing plan.

    I classify Duke as not only an incompetent company, but intentionally evil. They are still trying to use political clout to get their two executives in Indiana and an Indiana Public Utilities chief regulatory officer off the hook for felony charges relating to company operations, including collusion on price-fixing and illegal contact with regulators. The guys in question admitted doing what was charged, but — like the Dick Nixons and Mitt Romneys of the world — do not believe the law applies to them like it does inexorably to the rest of us, and they want exonerated. If prosecuted and convicted, the guys could do more than a decade each in the State Pen. And, it is their Republican cronies that are trying to get them off, so you do not have to guess at the politics involved. The regulator was already excused of felony misconduct by an appeals judge who noted that the law has since been changed (a Republican legislature changed it AFTER the acts took place and BECAUSE they were made public), even though he did break the law that was in place at the time. The former Duke executives (they were fired after all was revealed) want the same treatment.

    Duke paid the top executive who was fired and sent “hundreds” of emails to the regulator in felony violation of the law, $10 million as a goodbye kiss as the scandal unfolded and he was shown door number 1 with the maximum prize winnings.

    As for the false reports to credit ratings agencies? Duke says they will voluntarily change “some” of them. It will be up to everybody else to check to see if they were falsely reported, and contact Duke to try and get a resolution.

  13. I was under the impression that utilities were not reported to the credit bureaus. Now, if you don’t pay your bill, they disconnect, and send you to collections then the collection account may appear on your credit report. However, being, for example, a month late on your electric or water bill is never reported.

  14. Doesn’t matter whether I run iTunes as local user or admin; also tried uninstalling it completely and re-installing. Tells me again this pooter ain’t authorized and how to authorize it. I do so, again, and it tells me it’s already authorized, one of a potential five pooters. Theoretically I could authorize four more pooters here. Don’t wanna even go there, ever.

    So I’m caught in an endless loop with this, apparently, no matter what.

    In any case, I was finally able to update all the apps on the phone without it being connected to said pooter; takes forever, but it’s done.

    On the credit reporting issues; been there and done that; I have some kind of derogatory info somewhere on some report that has prevented me from getting a local Fed job, twice. Which is itself a joke on so many levels it beggars belief; here are two: if you fix an error (on their part) in some form or other, the background check people see it the next time you apply and flag it as somehow unsubstantiated changed data and deny you again. The second funny thing is how that guy with a host of mental problems got cleared to work IT at the Washington Navy Yard a while back and then shot the place up. So yeah, it’s all just a big joke, immigration, credit reporting, taxes, background checks, etc.

    And the guys who cause all the problems and make out like fat rats in a cheese factory are never called to account and always skate; only little people eat shit in this country now, and we’re almost all of us little people now. Subjects, not citizens.

    Weather here is wild today; started out windy but mostly sunny; then a torrential downpour; then sunny again with clouds racing across the sky; now it’s overcast and dark again and the wind has even picked up substantially, close to gale force.

    Got the latest North Murkan weather bumf, Mr. Chuck? Are we getting snow by the weekend?

  15. Hey Bob, one of the questions that I have about prepping is food storage and preparation. In the event of a national failure of the USA, there will be no natural gas, propane or electricity. If all this canned food requires cooking, then do you store a years worth of sterno cans?

    BTW, we had a power loss at the house again on Monday for 3 or 4 hours. I am seriously considering a 20 kw propane generator with a 500 gallon propane tank in my backyard.

  16. We’ve got a sunny, dry day going, and I am going to have to mow the lawn after I get some more work done; rain again tomorrow, lasting as far out as the forecast goes into next week.

    We are a month ahead of average years, but the leaves are not turning in significant numbers yet. I am told that is because we have had so much rain this year — especially during the late summer and into the fall. We are something like +5 inches ahead of the norm. That makes trees hold onto their leaves longer, apparently.

    Gas company tells me I am right even with last year’s usage, although I did not remember turning it on as early as I had to this year.

  17. “I am seriously considering a 20 kw propane generator with a 500 gallon propane tank in my backyard.”

    I dunno how isolated or not you are but your place is likely to be a scumbag magnet if and when it all blows up in some kind of “national failure,” which, by the way, has been the case for a very long time now. This isn’t a nation anymore; it’s a fascist corporate oligarchy being run by the Bolshie staff for some reason, temporarily. Probably to hasten the destruction, as it would be done by experts in the field.

    “Hey, get a load of this guy’s place! Swimming pool, generator, big propane tank, lessee wut he’s got inside the house!”

  18. Dallas Ebola guy just died.

    MC Hammer claims he died a “hero.” Whatever that means. And, oh yeah, he died because of RAACCIISSM you see. Because the WHITEY patients all got experimental drugs that saved them and Ebola guy got nothing. Cause he’s RAACCCIIISMMM!!!!

  19. I think I’d skip the generator and fuel storage and install some serious solar instead. A generator isn’t a long-term solution.

    As to heating/cooking, I intend to buy property that is wooded or ideally backs up onto a national or state park/forest.

  20. Agreed on both counts; plenty of solar where Mr. Lynn lives and works. Generators are noisy and require fuel storage that would attract undesirable characters; see the Mad Max series.

    Our small property here is partially wooded and backs up to one of the town parks, right on the bay shore and adjacent to a wildlife sanctuary/marsh and then many square miles of farmland. We’re also only about ten or twelve miles south of the 6,000-acre Mississiquoi wildlife refuge on the Canadian border itself.

    Hey,now it’s sunny and gorgeous again with blue skies but still very windy; that wind has been blowing hard for three days straight now.

  21. I think I’d skip the generator and fuel storage and install some serious solar instead. A generator isn’t a long-term solution.

    Solar only works until about 5pm unless I put in a huge battery bank. Or hydrogen generation, storage and combustion.

    And I would have to sneak the generator / propane tank onto my property. I cannot even imagine what the HOA would think about 50 solar panels in my backyard.

  22. I believe that the feds overruled any local laws and HOA restrictions that prohibit installing solar.

  23. We had life without the microwave once upon a time. And without smartypants phones, too. We somehow managed to muddle through.

    Yeah, good point, Mr. Lynn; either way, the gigantic propane tank/generator config or the array of solar panels will give you away as the rich bourgeoisie ready for plucking.

    Take a page outta the Davy Crockett notebook and rough it for a few years.

  24. I believe that the feds overruled any local laws and HOA restrictions that prohibit installing solar.

    I believe that law failed to pass.

  25. You’re right. Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, North Carolina, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have state laws that prohibit HOAs from preventing homeowners from installing solar, but the federal law I was thinking of is H.R. 2454 which passed the US House in 2009, but hasn’t passed in the Senate.

  26. …all have state laws that prohibit HOAs from preventing homeowners from installing solar…

    If only they had state laws preventing HOAs. 🙂

  27. I used to live in Sweetwater, Texas and work in Colorado City. The problem with Colorado City was that just about every fifth house had an old car parked in front of the living room window. I don’t know why people did that, it was just the way the town was.

    HOAs were put into place to stop that nonsense. But, HOAs have gone way overboard and Pournelle’s Iron Law of Bureaucracy has sadly come into play. One of my neighbors in my previous HOA tried to put on a solar shingle roof, the HOA shut them down quickly. I thought it was a good idea but, I was not asked it.

  28. “MC Hammer claims he died a ‘hero.'”

    I have a real problem with all the “heroes” we have in our society these days. “Heroes” and “leaders”. Local TV station is putting up billboards with single photo shots of their anchors and weather person, calling them “a leader for today”. The state high school athletic association had a campaign last year with photos of high school football players, calling them “today’s heroes and tomorrow’s leaders”.

    Aside from the fact that I have long opposed sports as a school activity (it should be clubs completely independent of schools and school funding, just like in most of Europe), and we could use “leaders” who are a whole lot better educated, with better principles and common sense than what we have got. School sports has been the source of discrimination, bullying, hooliganism, and fights stretching back at least as far as my parent’s generation. If you wanted to get beat up as an innocent teenager attending a game in the 1930’s, just go attend a Tiny Town vs. Muncie Central game at Muncie, and sit on the visitor side. Muncie Central boys would beat up and harass even girls, while Muncie cops looked the other way.

    An anchor person on TV is a leader? Not a chance.

  29. RBT, re planting food for an acre, consider multi-crop low-soil-disturbance crop selection and advice to the neophyte subsistence farmer. If you don’t have a tractor or at least a mule and plow, using a shovel to turn over an acre as for a conventional farm is a daunting prospect.

    This is a new (again) idea in farming and gets some play in the science and environment news. Sorry, can’t remember what it’s called or I’d provide search terms. (In my defense, I’ve slept like five hours in two nights and am not firing on all cylinders.)

  30. Chuck W says on 8 October 2014 at 17:41

    I have a real problem with all the “heroes” we have in our society these days. “Heroes” and “leaders”. Local TV station is putting up billboards with single photo shots of their anchors and weather person, calling them “a leader for today”. … a campaign last year with photos of high school football players, calling them “today’s heroes and tomorrow’s leaders”.

    I agree. It’s been one of my pet peeves for a while. For good or ill, “leader” seems to be a fair use of the term, whether they are leading in good directions or bad. However, calling them “heroes” is a degradation of the term and the concept.

    For my money, a hero is someone who’s put their life on the line to protect others, in conditions such that there was a fair chance the award might have been made posthumously. Any other use of the term is an insult to true heroes.

  31. I’d be interested to know what the germination rates are for plants that are successfully grown from seeds that are 100 or 1000 years old. Growing this year’s crop of wheat will help to stave off famine, but if next year’s crop has only a 1% success rate then we’re in real trouble.

  32. A lot depends on the species as well as storage condition for the seed, etc., but typical seeds produced from heirloom plants and stored reasonably have germination rates the following year of anything from maybe 50% to 90%, with 70% being a good average number. Of course, some species are have much higher or lower averages, and if you don’t store the seed properly all bets are off.

  33. I’ve heard that germination and survival rates for parsnip seeds are woeful – sort of (from memory) on the close order of one third, year-to-year. Of course, we can offset that with the fact that there are enormous quantities of seeds. I’d be interested to hear about any seeds that are like that – viability rates over say six years that are not just pathetic, but effectively zero unless offset by thousands of seeds to produce a single living seedling, and even more so if the odds against are increased by requiring separate sexes and/or separate strains. Plants, in other words, where if you didn’t grow them every single year, you’d be going for a lottery win to keep their breed alive.

  34. Cemetery just 3 blocks from me. Every day they are running their huge leaf vac from 08:00 to 17:00 with an hour break for lunch. Tiny House is not well sound-insulated, and this is like living next to the Chrysler forge shop when I lived here as a young kid (we were 6 blocks away and the hammers shook the ground).

    Can you foam the walls?
    http://www.sprayfoamkit.com/

  35. “Cemetery just 3 blocks from me. Every day they are running their huge leaf vac…”

    Jayzus, Mary an’ Joseph, it’s enough to wake the bloody dead!

    Can you spell “sabotage?”

    Is it a nice cemetery? Are people dyin’ to get in?

    Still exceedingly windy here, now three days and nights in a row. The dead are probably walkin’ around out there, three weeks early. The town hall is all lit up behind waving tree branches across the street against a very Halloween-y sky…very eerie-looking…must be the janitor or cleaning crew or sumthin…since it’s nearly 21:00 here..

    Watching “Contagion,” looks to be fairly realistic for a disease disaster sweeping the world…riots, looting, gummint liars, troops called out, etc.

  36. Yeah, from what I’ve read they got the science right in Contagion, which is a refreshing change from the usual Hollywood crap.

  37. Which girl would that be? There were half a dozen.

    For accuracy, they coulda jacked up the mob violence a few notches, I reckon. And troops shooting down rioters and suchlike.

    Shoulda stayed away from the IT stuff here tonight; screwed up a BSD install on a laptop; the Windows 8 machine lost the DVD drive for some reason; also lost the built-in ability to burn DVDs, no idea why; same laptop would suddenly not see either its own optical drive or the USB stick in any of its ports; and finally, for the icing on the cake, I accidentally formatted an external drive and lost a whole bunch of movies, tee-vee shows, and other files. Really bonehead maneuver for OFD tonight. I now have two dead laptops, one dead external drive (not the one I wiped) and the surviving laptop runs an older version of CrunchBang but I can’t find the power cord. That one was once a state-owned XP laptop, a Thinkpad, gotta be at least twelve years old, with 1 GB of RAM.

    For my next trick…

    Well, knock on wood, the Ideapad running Santoku and the Kindle are still operative.

    As are the Windows 8 machine, the Mint 17 desktop, and the Ubuntu Studio desktop.

    What a night.

  38. I am still fighting audio in Linux. Apparently, the key to success is to use only ALSA, but never have more than one application that uses audio on the computer. Not very realistic for me.

    Nice cemetery. I have enough plots there to bury anybody in my clan now alive, and then about 10 more plots, and I can double that if the remains are only ashes. My grandfather bought a whole row in a section that no longer sees any burials. That means the part of the cemetery close to me (the city can still go a couple miles in the other direction) is super quiet, except for all the leaf vacuuming.

    Meanwhile, on the other side of me, the 24/7 barking dog is gone! Along with the associated family that had kids running through the neighborhood all hours of day and night. That after nearly 2 years of problems. Thanks owed to the fireman across the street, who is very well connected politically. In talking about the dog that barked continuously day and night, he told me well over a month ago that the family was being evicted. Dog was gone within the week; just noticed the house was empty when I came home last night.

    Moral of the story is: don’t mess with that fireman.

  39. As are the Windows 8 machine, the Mint 17 desktop, and the Ubuntu Studio desktop.

    Wut? No Hacintosh! You could run iTunes on it.

  40. I don’t care about iTunes and don’t listen to music, watch movies or play games on the damn phone. Never will.

    But oh crap; I also lost a bunch of music on that hard drive.

    Oh well, back to the CDs, radio, etc.

    We don’t have any plots laid out yet in any of the cemeteries around here; and the one my dad and his parents and grandparents are in down in New Bedford is full up. I figure the State will end up working me until I’m dead and then they’ll harvest any usable organs and grind up the rest for shark chum.

    More boffo hi-jinks down in the Great Lone Star State; a second guy has gone to the hospital with Ebola symptoms; yeah, he had contact with the recently deceased Liberian national who waltzed into the country and exposed fifty other people, too.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2785514/Second-person-rushed-hospital-Ebola-symptoms-contact-patient-zero-Thomas-Duncan.html

  41. I figure the State will end up working me until I’m dead

    And then bury you in a mass grave.

    More boffo hi-jinks down in the Great Lone Star State; a second guy has gone to the hospital with Ebola symptoms; yeah, he had contact with the recently deceased Liberian national who waltzed into the country and exposed fifty other people, too.

    Yeah, I saw that too. Note to self, if first responder then do not lick the walls of the apartment where I am picking someone up. I’m not saying that he did that, just a note to self.

    I will be ten miles away from that apartment complex this weekend. Maybe five miles, I am not sure of the apartment address. And then Monday evening I am going to see Paul McCartney with 40,000 new friends in a large room. Nervous, me? Never!

    If they serve me that milk then I will be barfing it up quick with my milk allergy. Two ounces and it comes right back up in about 20 minutes. About a dozen upchucks.

  42. More boffo hi-jinks down in the Great Lone Star State; a second guy has gone to the hospital with Ebola symptoms; yeah, he had contact with the recently deceased Liberian national who waltzed into the country and exposed fifty other people, too.

    Excuse me Mr. OFD. You mean the “hero”.

  43. OFD wrote:

    “…undesirable characters; see the Mad Max series.”

    All hail The Lord Humungous, aka OFD… 🙂

  44. Canberra is “cold” in winter, minimums of around -8C overnight. I know that’s not cold by North American standards, but I really like it warm. Also, it’s not on the coast.

    And the people there would vote for a brown dog if the Labor Party endorsed it.

  45. “All hail The Lord Humungous, aka OFD…”

    Interestingly, when that flick came out, I was still on the cops, and the other guys likened me to that dude. I think more from the raving and ranting I did than size. Although I am, in fact, bigger than that actual actor. Or was until recently.

    Just now wondering if the winds are ever gonna stop out there…just about four days running now…

    “…to see Paul McCartney with 40,000 new friends in a large room.”

    I was never a fan of his; his stuff after the Beatles sucked, and I always liked Ringo and George better. Of the Stones, ya gotta love Keef.

    Off to the Land of Nod; another interview tomorrow afternoon for a local Winblows IT gig. While waiting also to hear from a couple other places.

    Wife and MIL back here Saturday at some point. Got cleanup ops to do tomorrow and Friday accordingly; hide all the bottles, ashtrays full of dead spliffs, wipe off the mirrors, bag up the condoms and sex toys, spray the air freshener liberally to get rid of all the perfume smell, etc.

  46. Hey, equality, man! Everybody’s a hero, just as much as everybody else. :-/

    Spain has a similar case, a nurse who cam back into the country and then turned out to have ebola. As in the Texas case, the health authorities seem to have screwed up big time.

    People are now in an uproar because her dog has been put down. Seems like some people’s priorities are just a bit off…

  47. Swiss TV interviewed the admiral in charge of Guantanamo, and aired the interview last night. Amazing stuff. Two things really struck me:

    – The interview questions were carefully phrased, but they amounted to “Admiral, do you seen any problem with detaining people, with no legal charges, with no standard of proof, giving them no legal recourse – indefinitely, for years on end?” They interleaved interviews with a couple of people who had – after years of detention – been quietly released “oops, wrong person, no hard feelings”. The admiral’s answer? No, no problem at all, perfectly fine, the fact that Switzerland sees this as a clear violation of human rights is irrelevant and unimportant.

    – The reporters described the process they had to go through. All of their photography was carefully vetted. They were not allowed to show anyone’s faces – military or prisoners – except for the admiral. Even so, most of their footage was deleted. Except for a couple of very short takes, they were only allowed to show footage of the admiral’s office and of the souvenir shop (there’s a souvenir shop? huh?). This reminded me of reporting in places like North Korea, or worst times with the old USSR.

    I have always thought Guantanamo was the ultimate proof that the US government has morally descended to the level of the terrorist it claims to be fighting. The fact that an admiral, who is sworn to uphold the the Constitution, sees no problem? Man, is he far gone down the rabbit hole…

  48. Dave, I was talking about Jennifer Ehle.

    http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000383/?ref_=fn_al_nm_1

    Brad, don’t forget that the prisoners at Guantanamo are outlaws in the original sense of the word. They could legally have been shot out of hand when they were captured, and they have no rights under international law. Legally, they’re walking dead men, and the dead have no rights.

  49. I also lost a bunch of music on that hard drive.

    If you want I can zip up my entire music collection from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s, toss them on my website and using a private link allow you to download all 3,800+ songs. Some you won’t like (I don’t but they were part of the RIP from the CD). Many, in fact most, are from Time-Life series that I had purchased over time. I have a lot of music from the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra under the direction of Eric Kunzel (who is now dead, sigh) which is largely movie theme music. Fuck the RIAA.

  50. “They could legally have been shot out of hand when they were captured, and they have no rights under international law.”

    According to our government; we have no other source of information on these people. What is to stop them from simply grabbing you or me up and taking us there, putting us in orange jumpsuits and telling the media they got two more “terrorists.”?

    And how come some of them get released years later because the gummint got the wrong guys?

    “If you want I can zip up my entire music collection…”

    Thanks, Ray; that’s OK; the stuff I lost was music videos, some of which were a little hard to find and took a while to download originally. For straight audio I have a ton of CDs. I appreciate the offer, though, and heartily agree with your sentiment concerning the RIAA.

    I didn’t lose *all* the movies and tee-vee shows; I hadn’t yet gotten around to moving the more recent downloads to that external drive, so I have a good start at rebuilding and I kind of remember what I had; no list anywhere, sometimes I can just kick myself for not being more organized.

    Yet another day of partly sunny and very windy.

    Job interview this afternoon, cleanup operations, stacking firewood, etc.

  51. What is to stop them from simply grabbing you or me up and taking us there, putting us in orange jumpsuits and telling the media they got two more “terrorists.”?

    We’re US citizens, so we have Constitutional rights as well as rights under international law. I know, I know. I just made you spray your coffee through your nose.

  52. I don’t drink coffee or tea so it was probably Gatorade or wottuh I just sprayed.

    We’re U.S. citizens and have whatever rights so long as the State says we’re citizens with rights, and I don’t even believe that anymore. We’re subjects, and subject to their whims and demands across a wide variety of activities and issues, at the drop of a hat.

    If some bureaucrat gets pissed off about your homeschooling business and your involvement with chemicals and weapons, or about my various rantings on the net and my ditto involvement with weapons and prior vet status (always a bad sign), there is really nothing to stop them from ‘disappearing’ us to Gitmo or some other remote site for however long they wish. It’s already been done to people here.

    We live in a de facto police state, and while most of us don’t get hassled by it, and are perfectly happy with the State and its cops hassling *other* people, say, the inner cities, where “those people” belong and are outta control, they can turn it on us just as easily. It’s no great trick to find tons of stories on the net now of police and prosecutorial abuses and atrocities committed on hapless citizens by the hundreds every year. Half the time it’s because they screwed up and got the wrong address or the wrong suspect.

    The institution of law enforcement, courts and the law is rife with opportunities for lying, theft, corruption, and moral depravity and has always been so. I don’t trust them as fah as I can throw them.

  53. don’t forget that the prisoners at Guantanamo are outlaws in the original sense of the word

    By who’s word? What standard of evidence was applied? You can’t simply let some green 2nd Lieutenant – or worse, some random private – say “him, he’s the one who did X” – and then jail the guy and toss the key away.

    Have they got proven Al Queda terrorists who were involved in 9/11? Fine, put them through a military trial, show the evidence, and shoot them.

    I’d be perfectly willing to bet that most of the Guantanamo inmates are slimeballs. That is entirely irrelevant. The point is: you can’t* just invade some other country, snatch people you don’t like, and jail them with no legal recourse. This is immoral behavior, and in clear violation of international law. It certainly isn’t the way a civilized country ought to behave.

    *Well, you obviously can…but it isn’t right.

  54. I accidentally formatted an external drive and lost a whole bunch of movies, tee-vee shows, and other files.

    Where is your backup? If it ain’t backed up, it does not exist.

    Lynn hurriedly checks his home pc and realizes the last backup was Aug 8. Nope, the last backup is now Oct 9.

  55. I think your intention to sell seeds is a mistake and will cause you nothing but grief. I predict endless issues with suppliers you use one year being gone the next. Are you going to test a sample of every supply in the garden? Could you, even if you wanted to, with the climate issues you already raised? Does it make sense for people to buy seeds from a guy who doesn’t grow stuff and doesn’t even live where some of them can grow? Research the issues, absolutely. Tell your readers what to consider when buying, absolutely. Encourage them to start such a garden NOW instead of waiting, for both the food and the experience, absolutely. Point them to good sources (if you can find them), absolutely. But I think it would be a mistake to become a middle-man. In such a role I would want someone whose fingernails always have soil from the garden under them, someone devoted to it.

  56. Geez, guys, I know. I’m an anarchist, remember. I don’t believe we should have any government, let alone what we have now. I don’t believe we should have any standing military, let alone what we have now. I don’t believe we should intervene in any foreign country, let alone what we do now.

    What you guys are talking about is the main reason I am an anarchist. Wanting a small, local, intrusive government is like wanting a woman to get a little bit pregnant and stay that way forever. She just grows, and so does government. That’s why I don’t understand why all of you guys aren’t anarchists as well.

  57. @ Roy Harvey

    I didn’t make myself clear. I intend to buy a large initial stock of various heirloom seeds and then dry/package/freeze them myself. When Barbara and I relocate, one of the first things I intend to do is establish a large garden devoted to growing heirloom plants and propagating their seeds. (That, incidentally, is what heirloom seeds are all about; they’re not produced by large agribusiness, they’re maintained and nurtured by hobbyists.) As to variants that aren’t suitable for our area, I’ll depend on other hobbyists in the areas that they are suitable for.

  58. I last backed up about 18 seconds ago. I do full backups once a week and incremental/differential backups many times per day.

  59. @OFD – thanks for being willing to try the iTunes fix that works for us. I am really sorry that it was not successful for you. I hope I have not totally destroyed your confidence in any advice I provide.

    Robert has developed a very knowledgeable and reliable following of folks here and on the legacy HardwareGuys2 forum. I feel a real sense of letting a friend down if I am not able to help.

    In general news, the pucker factor caused by the Ebola talk is getting to the health professionals. My wife is an RN (works in surgery 35+ years) and my daughter is a Certified Medical Coder and the Government and Regulators do nothing but stream “new” and conflicting “advice” all day. There is another elephant in the hospital though and that is the now thousands of Enterovirus D68 cases with a growing percentage of them showing paralysis. The boarders need to be closed, and that includes incoming planes, trains, and boats, not just “pedestrians”. The foxes are in the hen house, but letting more in is not going to help.

  60. Actually, I do not think McCartney did too badly post-Beatles. Probably the sanest one of the bunch. And he adapted to the times remarkably well. While Lennon was making stuff only his fans adored, McCartney was doing Bond theme music that was selling like wildfire to the whole world.

    And, of course, I consider the Beatles to be the most important composers the world has ever seen to date. No one has influenced music or a generation of people more than they did — and unlike most classical composers, they were revered in their own time. I suppose there is a learning curve to everything — what baffles me is that they were still making ‘bubblegum’ music until their late 20’s, when they finally became lyrical artists virtually without peers.

    I will be interested to hear what Lynn thinks of McCartney’s voice. Few vocalists keep their chops into advanced years, and what I heard from McCartney’s latest LP did not sound like the old Paul.

    Meanwhile, Ron Dante, whose big claim to fame WAS bubblegum music, has a voice that, at 70, still sounds exactly like it did when he started recording as a teenager.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4dK2qyZjhVg

    The backup singers are often flat there, but Dante is right on the mark at all times. He avoids some of the high notes, but does hit them on occasion. Not bad at all for a 70 year-old.

  61. Well, crap, I went to Mr. Chuck’s link and came back here and my entire post was gone; haven’t had that happen before; of course you would think I’d have learned by now to open it in a separate page, but no, not me.

    I plead guilty as charged for the backup stupidity and idiotically wiping my drive, i.e., the one that had the backups on it. Classic case of early senility.

    Bubblegum music, Greg, was that treacly nonsense on AM radio that appealed mainly to prepubescent grrls in this country during the 70s; it showed up alongside disco. Yes, the 70s were a terrible, terrible decade.

    And thanks to DadCooks for the advice; the apps updated on their own for some reason when the phone was not connected to the pooter and regardless of my password inputs. No explanation, but it dovetails nicely with what other folks say about iTunes on Windows sucking rocks. Your advice may well work with Mrs. OFD’s iPhone 5 if this issue comes up with her.

  62. @OFD – thanks for the update.

    As we all know, happy wife = happy life 🙂

    Keeping my fingers crossed for you.

  63. OFD wrote:

    “Yes, the 70s were a terrible, terrible decade.”

    How I long for the days when heretics could be flogged to within an inch of their lives!

    The Seventies were the decade of paisley shirts, flares, wonderful music and nicely styled kitchens (burnt orange and mission brown anyone?)

    All hail Tina Charles!! All hail Maxine Nightingale!! All hail Billy Ocean!! All hail Barry Manilow!!

  64. I see that Obala is going to have his minions start checking travelers for fevers. This is of course what we used to do until Obala stopped the practice several years via Presidential Fiat.

    I wonder if that will be rectal or oral? Will they clean the device between temperature checks? Can I be first in line and wipe down the instrument with an alcohol wipe first?

  65. We backup our full office LAN, 2 TB now, to three separate PCs with dedicated backup drives daily. My office PC is one of those. I also have seven USB external drives that I backup to once a week in rotation so we have six weeks running backwards.

    I reformat the backup drives very occasionally when they get full. We never delete old files during our backups, only reformat when get down to 100 GB free. I have found over the years that deleting files off backups to maintain a perfect image is foolish. I have heard the anguished cries down the hallway several times in my career, “where is my file?” and it turns out to have been deleted many moons ago and fallen off the backups.

    I replace one of the USB external drives every six months and throw the old one in the back of my home closet for perpetual storage.

    And stuff still gets left off the backup!

    In other news, WD is now selling a 6 TB USB external drive for $250 on Amazon:
    http://www.amazon.com/Book-USB-Hard-Drive-Backup/dp/B00E3RH61W/

    I am guessing that is one of the new helium drives with umpteen platters.

  66. More Obola Guy racist nonsense in the Daily Mail. Obola Guy basically lied and snuck into the US. As one commenter noted, “he didn’t even get prosecuted. He got off scot-free.” Sort of.

    And Jerry Rivers had to chime in from the racist angle: “Real shame of Dallas: Ebola fatality Thomas Duncan turned away from Presbyterian Hospital-Was it because he was too poor, black & uninsured?” WTF? Does that comment help anything. Loser.

    I wonder if that will be rectal or oral? Rest assured Preezy Obola will ensure WHITEY gets it in the butt. Calling Mr. OFD! At your next vet checkup, be suspicious of rectal thermometers.

  67. All hail Tina Charles!! All hail Maxine Nightingale!! All hail Billy Ocean!! All hail Barry Manilow!!

    You forgot the Bee Gees. And the good old Texas boy who likes food and paradise, Meat Loaf. And the Brit who sings that great song about his sister getting married, Billy Idol.

  68. I will be interested to hear what Lynn thinks of McCartney’s voice. Few vocalists keep their chops into advanced years, and what I heard from McCartney’s latest LP did not sound like the old Paul.

    How do I tell when he is lip synching?

    It is easy to tell when the Eagles are playing that they do not lip synch. They cannot hit their highs anymore but Joe Walsh just goes ahead and hits the whammy bar on his Stratocaster so you don’t notice.

  69. “I wonder if that will be rectal or oral?”

    Both.

    “Will they clean the device between temperature checks?”

    No.

    “Can I be first in line and wipe down the instrument with an alcohol wipe first?”

    No.

    “Calling Mr. OFD! At your next vet checkup, be suspicious of rectal thermometers.”

    Yeah, but if I resist I’m likely to be wrestled to the floor and beaten (after a prodigious struggle taking some of them out first). One of their VA cop goons might kneel on my throat or sit on my chest (at 350 pounds, some of them) and I get croaked and they get promoted with a bonus. This happened to some old crotchety vet a while back; he just tried to leave, due to sudden invasive procedures and no reasonable explanation, and they killed his sorry ass.

    I rest my case on the 70s sucking for music. Thanks for supplying additional evidence, comrades!

  70. Off to the Land of Nod; another interview tomorrow afternoon for a local Winblows IT gig. While waiting also to hear from a couple other places.

    Hey, good luck! Especially the local thing. I love my four mile commute through backroads and over a two lane bridge.

  71. Hmm. Musically speaking, I don’t think the early- to mid-70’s belong in the same decade with the late 70’s. Of course, the same was true of the 60’s, the early part of which belonged to the 50’s. Mid-60’s to mid-70’s are their own decade.

  72. I’m with Bob. To me, 1964 to 1976 was the greatest “decade” for music.

    Sucky, bubblegum music has always been around, and you can find evidence of it in every decade of recorded music. It’s what teen girls (and Miles_Teg) like to listen to.

  73. “Musically speaking, I don’t think the early- to mid-70’s belong in the same decade with the late 70’s.”

    You’re probably right; musicians Merle Haggard and Larry Coryell have both said, along with non-musician OFD, that there ain’t much worth anything after 1975. Merle will now only listen to classical and oldies rock.

    OFD, who has a Statler Brothers cd in MIL’s car today. Replacing the very early Fleetwood Mac cd of a live concert at the old Tea Party in Boston; before the Christine McVie/Nicks/Buckingham era. John McVie, Christine’s ex, and Mick Fleetwood were old-time blues guys in the UK and had worked with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Now they’re going on a huge tour again and Christine is back from her years of retirement; she got bored, she says. Formerly known as folk-singer Christine Perfect. I always thought she was hotter than Stevie Nicks, but hats off to the latter for her song about ‘Nam vets.

  74. Oh, it’s not just Greg. I find Yummy, Yummy, Yummy, I Got Love in My Tummy to be haunting.

  75. “To stop data theft, pull the plug”
    http://www.cringely.com/2014/10/09/stop-data-theft-pull-plug/

    “Here’s the simple truth: it makes no sense, none, nada, for a bank to send financial transactions over the public Internet. It makes no sense for a bank or any other company to build gateways between their private networks and the public Internet. If a company PC connects to both the corporate network and the Internet, then the corporate network is vulnerable.”

    Wow, just seems like the answer to me too.

  76. OFD, who has a Statler Brothers cd in MIL’s car today.

    Dude, did they take the new car away from you already?

  77. “Dude, did they take the new car away from you already?”

    Yeah, man; they needed its storage space for hauling their piles of junk outta the cottage up in northern NB that is about to fall into the sea.

    I’m here with MIL’s Saab, which has a noisy defective trunk latch and non-working radio panel on the dash. And wife’s Saab convertible which now has a defective driver’s side interior door handle so we have to roll the window down to open it from the outside to get out. These are things that aren’t readily fixable with Saabs, as I have found over the years, ditto the broken antenna on the back of wife’s car; the fix is to basically dismantle the rear of the trunk to get at it and then painstakingly fool around with wires and cables and suchlike and still end up with an easily bent or broken final product. Squarehead engineering at its finest. I’m guessing the driver’s side door handle will also involve dismantling the freaking door to get at the mechanism. And the nearest reliable Saab mechanics are way down in Berlin/Barre, VT, about a 70-mile drive. But oh my, the women love the Saabs!

    I’m just hoping to get the the RAV4 back in reasonable shape or Ima gon be peed off.

  78. @SteveF; do you know of any successfully used disk recovery tools that would do that? I’m outta practice on that score.

    How did I manage this great caper? I was formatting USB sticks and not paying attention, apparently, to drive letters; further complicating this is the half a dozen ghost drives on my box here that I can’t seem to get rid of and googling about it has got me nowhere. So I screwed myself pretty good.

    Anyway, I still have the freshly formatted drive and it would be nice if I could get at least some of that stuff back.

  79. OFD, a google search on “unformat hard drive windows” gives a bunch of hits for how-tos, commercial tools, and free tools.

    I can’t recommend any, as I haven’t accidentally formatted a drive in ages. I always disconnect or unmount drives as soon as they’re not needed; this is mainly to prevent unintended overwrites and deletions, but it prevents unintended formats as well. There’s also the issue that I use Linux rather than Windows, though I’ll note that searching on “unformat hard drive linux” shows a bunch of tools and how-tos as well.

  80. Roger that, I’ll check ’em out, choose one, run it, and post back here how it went.

    Thanks; I must really getting senile lately; looking that up didn’t even occur to me. Of course I had the job interview today and other crap going on so I plead mental overload. Which apparently doesn’t take much anymore.

  81. Global warming and raycism. Gotta be. Dey down on me ’cause I part First Nayshunz.

    Wampanoag.

    Heap big chief here now.

    Know witch doctor down in NC.

  82. I’m running the EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard 8.5 trial sw on that formerly wiped drive now; looking good so fah; sees the filenames but apparently is gonna take a couple of hours to scan the whole drive. If it recovers the stuff, I’ll gladly pay the 70 bucks for it.

    Some free stuff I tried either didn’t do chit or I was not following directions or didn’t RTFM enough.

  83. Weird things happen. Y’all were talking about phones the other day, and I was – on my phone (Nexus 5) – entering a comment about how happy I am with it. At that specific moment in time, the screen started behaving really weirdly, so I figured I would shut it down and turn it back on. Strange timing, that, but it gets worse…

    I generally have no trouble remembering passwords, because I don’t have all that many to remember (most are randomly generated and kept in KeePassX). In any case, I keep all my devices encrypted, and my phone decryption password is one I am supposed to remember. Only, I hadn’t restarted the phone in so long – months – that I didn’t. After some number of tries – probably 30 or so – the phone announced that it was erasing all data. O frabjous joy.

    The positive side of “the cloud”: no data loss at all. Just a long exercise in re-installing and re-connecting all the various apps…

  84. Very nice. I have the same issue occasionally if I don’t use a device or a site for a while and then forget the pw. I’ve been meaning to get something like KeePassX and make more use of encryption, etc., but like so many things, haven’t got around to it yet.

    My To-Do List is about five pages long, and counting.

  85. @OFD – I have had good luck recovering hard drives, USB sticks, and SD cards with a product call Recuva:

    https://www.piriform.com/recuva

    Even though I am a belt and suspenders backup kinda guy, Murphy keeps coming by with his book of laws.

    For passwords I have been using RoboForm (the Everywhere version) since their beginning:

    http://www.roboform.com/

    I consider its yearly fee worth it as I can put it an all my computers and smartphones.

    My second choice would be LastPass:

    https://lastpass.com/

    If I had not been using RoboForm for so many years the choice would be a toss-up.

  86. My second choice would be LastPass:

    I use LastPass and have been for a couple of years. The dollar a month is worth it as I don’t have to keep track of multiple passwords. Just one master password that I use to get into the application which is a fairly secure password. I also store my driver’s licenses, passports, card numbers, etc. within the app.

    When I traveled overseas last year I could not access the site with my credentials. I had to have an email sent to my recovery email which I then used to tell the app that it truly was me. So a word to the wise if you travel overseas and need to access LastPass you better know your recovery email password otherwise you are locked out. LastPass may have changed some of that since then.

  87. OFD, ignore the advice about LastPass and such. You don’t want to be stuck paying “just a dollar a month” for yet another subscription for the rest of your life, nor do you want to lose everything if they go under or get hacked or whatever. No, what you want to do is keep everything under your own control. Just write accounts and passwords down on a piece of paper and keep the paper somewhere safe. Taped to the bottom of your keyboard is good, because no one would think to look there.

    Joking aside, the first half of what I said is serious. Put your passwords into a text file, encrypt it, and make multiple copies (with the timestamp in the file name). For tracking seldom-used passwords, it’s not much of a pain at all.

  88. I intend to buy a large initial stock of various heirloom seeds and then dry/package/freeze them myself.

    Be careful here. There are state and federal laws that regulate the sale of seeds. I read a story about a library that wanted to set up an heirloom seed exchange for patrons. One of the agriculture agencies shut it down.

  89. OFD, the low tech solution I use is this:

    Get a small diary and write the usernames and passwords in it. I usually write the usernames in cleartext and the passwords as hints that likely only I would understand, such as the name of someone I knew in 1968 who lived round the corner, concatenated with our family phone number in 1972, my Year-11 exam number, and so on. If you know them I guess I’m screwed.

  90. If you have all your financials hidden under a password, please let someone in your family know what it is or where it is. My father is 76 and has passwords out the wazoo. Supposedly he has given Mom a diary but I am not so sure.

  91. Be careful here. There are state and federal laws that regulate the sale of seeds. I read a story about a library that wanted to set up an heirloom seed exchange for patrons. One of the agriculture agencies shut it down.

    Yeah, I know, and if I don’t end up doing this, that’ll be why. The library was in Pennsylvania, BTW.

  92. “just a dollar a month” is worth it to me as I have access to all my passwords on my iPhone, iPad and on any web browser that I choose to use. I may not have my text file with me at all times.

  93. I tried some of those password programs, but returned to my tried and true spreadsheet. *I* need to define all the columns of info, not some genius that is going to charge me $1/mo. And I currently have columns going up to Q. I keep all access info in there, including Web, email and street addresses, phone numbers and a whole lot of stuff — some of it good for only 1 entry, but that stuff comes in handy. The file has a strange name, but everyone in the family knows what it is by the strange story behind it. Password protected, and yes I know passwords for spreadsheets are notoriously easy to crack, but it is one step better than that piece of paper under the keyboard. Early on, I got locked out of one of those password programs, and that is when I decided that *I* need to be able to hack my own protection scheme.

  94. Like Chuck, I use a spreadsheet. If someone has physical access to your computer, all bets are off anyway.

  95. I wouldn’t store passwords only on a computer, which is subject to a disk crash, hacking, etc. I think my system is a good one, you have to be me to know the answers to the hints. I guess I should make a photocopy of the diary and store it elsewhere, but it doesn’t matter that much. Almost all of the passwords can be recovered by e-mailing the game or e-mail provider.

  96. I wouldn’t store passwords only on a computer, which is subject to a disk crash

    Please tell me that you are backing up your home pc. It is incredibly easy to buy usb external drives and use robocopy to mirror your hard drive. I believe that the minimum external drive rotation is three. Paranoid people like me also have an internal drive just for backing up onto.

    There are two types of people, them that have had a drive crash and them that are gonna have a drive crash.

    We lost the accountant’s hard drive two weeks ago. It was a six year old WD 1 TB Caviar Black. Failed in the MBR, a real unusual place. Replaced it with another WD 1 TB Caviar Black that I had sitting around, only five years old. I bought more Intel SSD 240 GB drives for the next failure.

  97. I use 1Password for Mac (they have a Win version, also). Encrypted file kept where you want. It can be stored on Dropbox or iCloud and sync to your devices if desired. I export a csv text file from it and encrypt it for an additional backup to a USB flash drive and keep it in my fire box. Also hold cards, notes, etc. The browser plugin works well. Built-in password generator that can adjust length, readability, special characters, etc.

  98. My main criteria, after security and encryption for the software solution, is ease of use for my wife and children. If something happens to me they need quick and easy access to all our financial accounts.

    As a backup I have a 4×6 card file system that contains a card for each site. It records a chronology of each site’s web address history, registration history, and password history. There is a note section in RoboForm where I record this too.

    The card file is part of my go inventory.

  99. I have a real problem storing stuff on the intertubes. Encrypted, schmypted, nothing is secure.

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