Sunday, 25 January 2015

09:49 – Barbara is bound and determined to clean house today. While I was walking Colin, she cleaned toilets, even though I’d told her just before I left that I’d do that when I got back. I managed to get the kitchen floor vacuumed before she showed up and demanded that I hand it over. So she’s now vacuumed the den, worked her way down the hall, and into our bedroom and bath.

I’m currently oven-drying some nominally anhydrous magnesium sulfate. The problem with this stuff, like anhydrous calcium chloride, is that it sucks water vapor out of the air. If you pour either one into a weigh boat on a scale and watch the indicated mass, you can actually see it increasing as the solid sucks water out of the air. So I dry it at 300C, fill and pack bottles while it’s still quite warm, and tape the caps. I’ll make an extra bottle, date it, and weigh it on a milligram balance. The last time I did that, it gained only about 0.5% mass in a year, but as soon as the bottle is opened it’ll start sucking up water vapor until the mass of the solid nearly doubles.

This is part of an order that came in Friday from one of our state virtual school customers that provides AP chemistry materials for distance-learning to state residents. I need to get the stuff finished and packed up today so that I can ship tomorrow.

5 thoughts on “Sunday, 25 January 2015”

  1. Wow, I’m fairly sure that I would still be moaning in my easy chair … “Baby, please bring me some cold water …”.

    Nice article that challenges some of my precepts:

    “In the long-term after an economic collapse, there will be roving gangs of armed survivors from the cities that will make trips into the surrounding countryside to raid homes, farms and other sources for supplies but it will not be the “horde” of hundreds of thousands that is foreseen by many in the survival / prepper community… Those most at risk of attack by these types of “raiders” will be those living within 50 miles of major population areas – but the further you are away from those areas the lower your risk will be…”

    I had not thought about roving gangs of armed survivors making raiding trips into the countryside. That even more says that one wants to have a community around one’s self for mutual protection rather than being isolated somewhere.

  2. It is 69 F and idyllic in the Land of Sugar. Got the doors in the house open. Just the faintest smell of lacquer in the air from the front door which just got refinished.

  3. I’ve long since known that the scenario of the roving bands within 50 or so miles of the metropoles is far more likely than hordes of howling zombies in the millions, which is just nonsense.

    Most of these bands will likely be very loosely “organized” and consist of people not all that familiar with their weapons and tactics, but still dangerous. More deadly will be the bands of former soldiers and cops, who are, in fact, familiar with their weapons and tactics. The former groups will probably attack any and all residences, stores, businesses, etc., and not be too picky. The latter will target sites worth the hassle and risk, and they’ll do recon and planning.

    In our region there are some pretty ritzy houses, mostly down in Chittenden County just outside of Burlap. And there are the second and third vacation-type homes owned by non-residents from Megalopolis. Those will get hit. Unoccupied or abandoned properties will become squats after being stripped down.

    Our little village is 75 miles south of Montreal and I don’t envy bands of raiders trying to negotiate the terrain in between for at least five or six months of the year. The interstates would likely be jammed, blocked or ruined in such a scenario of dystopia. And we’re a tank of gas northwest of Boston, Worcester, Providence, etc., but again, the terrain outside of the highways would not be fun to traverse on foot while hauling gear, weapons and ammo. Plus, nobody here has anything much worth stealing, at the likely cost of being shot to shit for trying.

  4. RBT: Is your book going to cover growing crops? If so, you ought to have pointers to canning/pickling/preserving info/books.

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