Sunday, 11 January 2015

09:05 – The low last night was in the mid- to upper-teens Fahrenheit (~ -8C). Not record-setting cold, but distinctly chilly for around here.

I got quite a few comments and email questions about my post yesterday, so I’ll try to deal with them here.

Q: How do you store all these dry staples? A: In clean 2-liter soft drink bottles, which can be stacked at least four or five high. The polyethylene terephthalate (PET) used for these bottles is by far the most impermeable to water vapor and oxygen of any common plastic. In the thickness used in bottles, it’s not as good as glass or metal, but it’s good enough for storing food for at least five to ten years. Some items, including the sugar and salt, don’t even need an oxygen absorber. For the others, one 300cc oxygen absorber per 2-liter bottle is sufficient to prevent oxygen damage.

Q: Why the emphasis on white flour instead of whole-wheat flour or wheat berries? A: White flour is far more stable in storage than whole-wheat flour. Wheat berries are more stable still, but require an expensive mill. Also, white flour is far more digestible, particularly for children, than whole-wheat flour or the flour you grind yourself from wheat berries. If you’re not used to a diet heavy in whole-wheat flour, you will regret a sudden shift to it.

Q: Why so much flour and beans instead of legumes and lentils like split peas, which are faster and easier to cook, particularly when fuel is in short supply? A: Again, digestibility and food preferences. Extended soaking greatly reduces the cooking needed for beans. White flour is extremely versatile. If you have any means of cooking/baking, it can be used for porridge/pottage, no-knead bread, pancakes, etc., etc.

Q: What’s the best way to get started on all this? A: Just go do it.

20 thoughts on “Sunday, 11 January 2015”

  1. Q: What’s the best way to get started on all this? A: Just go do it.

    Excellent advice, applicable to much more than prepping.

  2. Just out of curiosity are the bottles that many juices and energy drinks come in PET? Most of those have larger caps.

  3. Dr. Bob, your prepping book will rock. I can’t wait for the book to be published.

  4. For those that are bored, and remotely interested in my trip to Europe I have placed some pictures at this location.

    I did not take as many pictures on this trip as last because I did not travel to as many places and there was many times a limit on light. What is in the site is a very small subset of the images.

  5. Wow. Friggin’ awesome pics, Mr. Ray.

    What church is that?

    The snowy countryside pics look a lot like around here during a nommul wintuh. Which it ain’t so fah; subzero but only one snowstorm so fah, WTF?

    Uansett, velkommen tilbake til landet av Big PX.

  6. Bob, apropos prepping, but otherwise out of left field, have you or could you as an interested party and a qualified professional, run a test on “Grandma’s red powder”? It is a substitute for black powder, made from rust powder, home-made nitre, and home-made sugar. It’s been batting around the Net forever, and it reads well, but I’ve never seen anything about anyone having actually tested it. It is supposed to work in a .32 or .33 (0 buck or 00 buck – weight equivalent of .22LR) flintlock squirrel gun, and if it does work it would presumably work in a .44 Special or .357 Magnum cartridge if you had appropriate percussion caps.

    Of course, if we’re talking firearms, “Ed’s Red” is worth a test, as is “ATF” (automatic transmission fluid – not the Government Department), and brake fluid.

  7. I’d be interested in that red powder substitute as well and will be researching it with some other parties on another site forthwith.

    The Aviator browser kept crashing on me recently so I uninstalled and reinstalled it and it was OK for a few days but started crashing again; a notice at their site indicates they’ve turned it over totally to the open-sauce development “community,” and if so, things ain’t goin’ real well so fah as I can see.

    So now I’m using Pale Moon, a security-enhanced version of Firefox and imported all my bookmarks accordingly; so fah, so good.

    Apropos of nothing besides some lightweight nocturnal weekend amusement: Mrs. OFD was always a very nice girl, brought up as such, the only child of a widow in north-country Vampire State, and butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth growing up. A nice Irish-American Roman Catholic girl, who went on to a private young womens’ school (Emma Willard, on scholarship) and then on to Brown, also on scholarship and further to McGill, NYU and Columbia. She is really some sort of angel or saint, and would have to be, to have put up with the likes of me for the past eighteen years and counting.

    Anyway, Friday night was her last night out at her Pasadena gig and she needed to be up at 06:00 for her flight to Tampa. At around 02:30 the young couple below her suite rolled in, shrieking and yelling and cranking up the tee-vee and/or stereo. Mrs. OFD has insomnia on the best of nights and this pretty much destroyed the rest of her chances for any sleep that morning. All was quiet, though, at 06:00 when she dressed, put on her clodhopper walking shoes, and stomped around for a half-hour upstairs. Then she left, making sure to drag her heavy-ass luggage case-on-wheels down the stairs, one step at a time, bang, bang, bang, and then for good measure, another bang against their door as she left.

    She has for some time now also occasionally swore like a drunken Marine on shore leave when she gets pissed about something here.

    I fear I have been a bad influence on her and will now go to Hell forthwith.

    Excuse me, while I consult Jack Chick on my probable destination and punishment:

  8. Then she left, making sure to drag her heavy-ass luggage case-on-wheels down the stairs, one step at a time, bang, bang, bang, and then for good measure, another bang against their door as she left.

    You are also supposed to turn on the TV, high volume, then walk out leaving said TV to annoy those who have offended you. For good measure also turn on the clock radio to add to the noise.

    Having just recently flown I got even with my surrounding passengers. As we were standing up to deplane, I emitted a rather nasty, but silent, gas bomb, that even offended my senses. I think I saw a few watery eyes as I looked around and made faces just like the others so as not to attract suspicion. I was in Newark so some probably just thought it was Newark.

  9. Excellent tips which I will refer to now-evil wife (thanks to evil OFD) and also very nice payback for your fellow passengers; I assume they annoyed you in some way but you did not provide that information. They may have well thought it was just Newark, which ain’t too far from oil and gas refineries right up the “shore” and plenty of current and deactivated manufacturing facilities, plants and toxic waste dumps, lagoons and bogs. I know all this from having commuted past it all for over three years and having lived and worked in lovely nearby communities. Twenty years ago, and good riddance to bad rubbish.

    Up to Episode 13 of “Blacklist,” very enjoyable. My goal is life is to be as capable as “Red” Reddington in all fields, LOL.

    Actually my goal in life is REFORM, so that I can avoid Monsignor Jack Chick’s Lake of Fire and I will begin my reformation RUTHLESSLY this year.

  10. We’ve had a sad day around here. One of my son’s friends committed suicide Friday by hanging herself. She had interned for my business about a decade ago. Her mother committed suicide five years ago and she apparently never recovered from that tragedy. My son was not totally surprised as she would tell him her paranoid delusions occasionally. She blamed her father for her mother’s suicide, not his fault, and refused to talk with him. She was 28 years old and a beautiful young lady with way too many tattoos to hide the cutting scars on her arms.

  11. That really sucks, Lynn; prayers for her soul. We have several suicidal veterans in our VA-sponsored group that I go to weekly and I dread hearing anything like that. RIP.

  12. “As the world watches the wrenching events in France unfold after the horrific “Charlie Hebdo” massacre, one cannot not help but be reminded of the stentorian warning to the West emblazoned in the apocalyptic novel by Jean Raspail, The Camp of the Saints (.pdf). ”

    I’ve mentioned this work several times here and it’s well worth a good read, as are the other works mentioned.

  13. How sad Mr. Lynn. The mental anguish one must suffer to contemplate ending your life is little understood.

  14. I’m sorry to hear that, Lynn.

    Re: “Grandma’s red powder”, this looks pretty bogus to me. The stuff would burn, I’m sure, but the fuel and oxidizer are way out of balance, and the iron oxide does nothing that I can see. If you want to make black powder, make black powder.

    Charcoal is obviously easy to come by. Pick up a big bag of sulfur at a garden store. It’s pretty cheap. Check the sulfur percentage; some sulfur sold in garden stores is nearly 100% sulfur, but some is a much lower percentage. As far as the oxidant, classic black powder uses potassium nitrate rather than sodium or ammonium nitrate only because the potassium salt doesn’t suck water out of the air like the other two do. Powder made with either the sodium or ammonium salt works fine as long as you dry it completely and keep it dry by loading it into impervious plastic bags or sealed cartridges. You can make the potassium salt by selective precipitation of saturated solutions of either ammonium or sodium nitrate.

  15. The mental anguish one must suffer to contemplate ending your life is little understood.

    And the mental anguish that she has caused for ones that love her. I was with her Dad a couple of years ago when she called him out of the blue. He was on cloud 9 after the conversation just knowing that she was alive and ok.

  16. “And the mental anguish that she has caused for ones that love her.”

    Indeed. And we’ll never know if they even considered that, or considered it and did themselves anyway. Our son’s SIL did herself a couple of years ago up here and it truly messed up her mom and sisters bigtime thereafter. Her mom looked like she’d aged ten years when I saw her at the cemetery.

  17. That’s not real good news about “Grandma’s Red”. What I was hoping for was something one could make with ingredients which were readily available after TSHHTF. Speaking generally, sulphur is not one such in Australia. Remembering H.Beam Piper’s description that in fireseed, charcoal is what burns, saltpetre is what makes the air for it to do so, and sulfur (his spelling) is the tinder, is there any other commonly available ingredient which will do a good job of being the tinder in gunpowder; or any other mix of barnyard ingredients which will do the same job as the common routine gunpowder recipe?

    I have in fact heard of Afghanis in the blackpowder days using dust from a pulverised local lichen as a substitute for sulphur in blackpowder, and straight-up undiluted in the flashpan of flintlocks. And the Brits, the Russkis, and the Yanks ALL thought they could defeat these people? Anyway, we don’t seem to have quite that ingredient available in Australia. Any possibilities?

  18. I haven’t made black powder since I was in my mid-teens, but this guy seems to have a pretty good handle on it (other than the fact that his stoichiometry is off; the conflagration of black powder is immensely more complex than his simple equations would lead one to believe).

Comments are closed.