Sunday, 19 October 2014

09:03 – Late last month, Barbara and I stopped at the Dick’s Sporting Goods store to buy a couple of Marlin Model 60 .22LR rifles and a couple of Mossberg Maverick 88 pump-action riot guns. They had the Marlins in stock, but we had to special-order the shotguns. They said they’d give us a call when they arrived in a week to 10 days.

After waiting nearly three weeks, I finally called them Thursday to ask what was going on. As it turned out, their wholesaler had accidentally canceled the order. The guy at Dick’s said they’d reordered them and they should be in by the 24th. I wasn’t happy about that, but I didn’t have much choice other than to wait yet another week. Friday afternoon, they called and said they’d gotten in a regular shipment and asked if I wanted two of those. So Barbara and I went down yesterday after a Sam’s Club run to pick them up.

Originally, we’d paid $220 each for them, but they gave us 10% off on that whole order because we applied for a Dick’s MasterCard. The shotguns ended up costing us $198 each, which I was happy with. But the manager at the gun counter said they needed to zero out that original transaction and run a new transaction. I said fine, as long as we got the 10% discount. When we finally got through all the paperwork and the manager carried the shotguns downstairs to the checkout lane, the woman at the register said that they were now selling those shotguns for $180 rather than $220, so she rang it up at $180 each. I pointed out that that didn’t reflect the 10% discount, so she issued a $36 gift card to make up the difference. Barbara grabbed that and said that she’d get something she wanted with it. So the end of the story is that we now have two more riot guns at home, for which we ended up paying only $162 each, the same amount we paid for the Marlin Model 60’s.

Incidentally, when I mentioned Tess Pennington’s prepping book I said that my initial impression was that it wasn’t bad. I was wrong. It’s not just bad. It’s horribly, ridiculously bad. Ms. Pennington is an anti-vaxxer, a proponent of “alternative medicine”, and generally anti-science. As just one example, in her short chapter on preparing for a pandemic, she wastes two full pages describing how to make up woo-woo mixtures of essential oils and spices to prevent or treat deadly viral diseases. Good luck with that. And in a chapter on alternative light sources she recommends a method that she says requires only a bottle and water to provide as much light as a 50-watt bulb. She doesn’t give any specifics, but tells her readers to look up the details on the Internet. Yeah, right.

25 thoughts on “Sunday, 19 October 2014”

  1. We should take a bunch of alternative medicine experts, roll them in their essential oils, and stuff them into an ebola ward to care for the sick. Heck, just to show what a nice guy I am, I’ll even let them load up on all the superfoods they want. Supercharge your immune system, baby!

    As for the luminescent bottle of water, I could probably rig something up, so long as the bottle was really big and loaded with luminescent fish or algae or something. Something the size of a swimming pool making as much light as a 50W bulb sounds about right.

  2. Damn, that anti-science stuff is a shame. Both because of the bad advice she gives, and also because it hurts the image of preppers in general. Somehow, the who prepper-scene seems to attract an unusual number of fruitcakes, from wannabe revolutionaries to religious zealots. This is not helpful…

  3. I try to take a charitable view of things. There are millions to tens of millions of people out there who could reasonably be called preppers, and most of them aren’t experts on much. They’re doing the best they can, which is a whole lot better than nothing.

    Incidentally, I looked up the bottle/water thing. It doesn’t produce light, obviously, but is merely a cheap form of skylight. Chances are it won’t work very well in the middle of the night. 😉

  4. Also laughing at all the libturds agreeing with ObolaWad’s comment that banning travel to/from Ebola countries will make things worse. Why? Because “illegal” travel will increase and more sickies will come here. I guess these turds haven’t been to the US southern border lately. It just shows you how effective “Homeland Security” is. A large bureaucratic joke. Apparently passports and visas are useless in this country. Right up there with Constitution.

  5. Speaking of spices and essential oils, a couple of things I don’t recall seeing in ‘prepper’ sorts of books are recommendations on food oils and on vitamins. I’m not claiming to have made a thorough survey, or anything like it, but somehow I’ve run across a lot of mentions of the storage of grains, and fairly little advice to (say) stock up on gallon bottles of olive oil. Maybe that’s because the latter is so easy to do that one hardly needs to say anything about it, and so I’ve just forgotten having seen it, but maybe it’s been the political incorrectness of oils and fats penetrating even to circles that normally aren’t politically correct, or something. I mean, oils are the highest calorie density food that exists, and they keep basically forever if packaged well. Maybe it’s largely that they are normally used as part of cooking, and disaster planning advice tends to have the mindset of addressing a shit-hits-the-fan scenario where there will be no time to cook. Which is fine for the first few weeks, but after that, with the economy screwed, there will be plenty of people with extra time on their hands.

    Likewise with vitamins: they’re easy to stock up on, and last quite a while; a good addition to a canned-food diet that otherwise would lead to scurvy. Now, I have run across one brand of multivitamin capsule that seems to quickly grow fungus (or something) after the bottle is opened and ordinary humidity gets in, but most vitamins seem to last indefinitely.

  6. Most sources I’ve seen do cover lipids, although they apparently worry a lot about best-by dates. We always have several gallons of olive, corn, and other fruit oils (“vegetable” oils) in the house, and I also keep numerous 48-oz cans of Crisco shortening in the freezer. Crisco at room temperature is good for at least 5 to 10 years, and frozen it keeps indefinitely.

    As to vitamins in canned foods, they do degrade but typically very slowly. Still, we typically have a couple thousand multivitamins in the house, and anything from 2,000 to 10,000 500 mg vitamin C tablets, which we use in the science kits.

  7. My impression, as regards canned foods and vitamin C, was that it wasn’t the deterioration in the can that was the problem so much as the deterioration when the food was initially canned, and heated to sterilize it. But doing a quick search, it seems it isn’t entirely destroyed: the loss in canning is commonly at least half, and can be (from one review article, linked below) up to 90 percent. But that still isn’t total, and still likely is enough, provided one eats plenty of the canned food. I guess it’s stuff like stored grains which really give you a C-deficient diet.

  8. Those essential oils (and garlic, and vinegar, and wine or beer, and what-all, (some of them) are actually pretty useful disinfectants and antiseptics. Pick the right ones, or the right mixtures, and they’ll kill off bacteria and fungi, and inactivate viruses, or alter the environment so they can’t thrive, pretty effectively. Acids in particular are effective against bacterial biofilms.

    Unfortunately, that’s mostly on the surface. Not too many of them are effective if taken internally to work against blood-borne or tissue infections. The ones that are, they are often poisonous, or have effects at odds with their external effects. For instance, one of the great strengths of the Mediterranean diet is that garlic is a very effective and safe blood-thinner. It’s also somewhat effective against systemic infections, and also as a preventative measure against them. As a direct structural analogue of the highly reactive hydrogen sulphide, I’d expect (but don’t know) that it would react with some other biologically active substances, such as drugs and bodily compounds.
    We all know, of course, of plants that are effective birth-control, and others which (often unluckily) are effective abortifacients.

    As further examples, ti-tree oil is very effective against fungal infections, particularly tinea. Honey made from the blossom is an effective dressing for wounds, improved if mixed with cooked garlic and then allowed to cool. Thymol from thyme or oregano is quite poisonous in excess, but an effective external antibiotic. Likewise for thujone from sage, oregano, juniper, and particularly wormwood; which iis poisonous and leads to miscarriages if taken to excess internally.

    Not to mention bioactivity of (and legal activity due to) naturally bioactive substances in poppies (notably papaver somniferum), and in cannabis sativa/indica/ruderalis.

    Also noting that stored grains are a very good source of Vitamin C – once you’ve sprouted them. You could probably last through a winter on wheat alone (including as fuel), or maybe add a legume, eggs, or dried milk for better health.

  9. Another argument for storing oils is to use them for lighting.

    One of the traditional uses of olive oil, dating back to even before the Roman Empire was to take a reservoir of oil and stick a wick in it, then light the wick.

    While not up to the standards of modern electric lighting, one would presume such a lamp would make a better light source than a bottle filled with water, especially after the sun goes down.

  10. But what if you put that bottle of water in a pyramid, and surrounded it with crystals? Bet you didn’t think of that, did you?

  11. No, I didn’t think of the pyramid, though I did consider a willow wand and pixie dust…

  12. The 101st Airborne is off to save Afreaka from Ebola. Another taxpayer funded ObolaWad boondoggle.

  13. Maybe it’s a training mission.

    When they get back from building all those tent hospitals for African ebola patients in Africa, they can start building tent hospitals for American ebola patients in a line along the Rio Grande.

    A line of ebola wards would be more effective than a wall at keeping the panicking hordes running north from crossing that line once ebola breaks out in Central or South America.

  14. And…drum roll, please… even in a state with zero cases of ebola, martial law has already begun.

    “Just in case, you see, we need to have the authority to force all of these potentially wrong thinking physically ill citizens to disappear submit without due process…

    Don’t be alarmed! While we have suspended your civil rights, we haven’t cut off the news outlets, internet and telephones or issued a curfew. Yet.”

  15. SteveB said on 19 October 2014 at 19:19
    No, I didn’t think of the pyramid, though I did consider a willow wand and pixie dust…

    Sorry, no willow available. It will all be needed to uphold the basis of civilisation and meet world demand for cricket bats after catastrophic floods in Kashmir destroyed stockpiles and growing trees:

  16. S’alright, Don. Got a nice willow tree in my back yard. Plenty more down at Big Spring Park, too.

    Gonna hang onto mine at least until the price is right or I cut it up for the bark as an analgesic and the wood to make charcoal for that infamous powder created by the Chinese that Marco Polo brought back to Europe. Can’t speak for the city’s Public Parks Department, though…

    Any leads for additional pixie dust would be appreciated.

  17. I have it on good authority that Obola farts out pixie dust. Either it can power the nation’s electric grid after all the coal reactors are shut down or it’s a powerful hallucinogenic and makes stupid people think it can power the electric grid.

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