Friday, 30 January 2015

09:29 – Barbara’s out running a half-Marathon this morning. Well, not really, but my guess is that she’ll be out walking the neighborhood in the next day or two. She reminds me of that ad that a cable comedy channel ran 25 years or so ago. Ellen DeGeneres was not yet well known, and they featured a clip of her talking about how the doctor had told her grandmother to walk five miles a day, “and now we don’t know where the hell she is.”

I’m building science kits today.

Several people had recommended James Wesley Rawles, so I picked up the fifth in his series, Liberators. I wanted to like it, but I hated it. I finally bagged it about 50 pages in. The fundie Christian focus was just too much for me to bear. I mean, this is actually a religious tract, full of scripture quotes and religious references. I don’t think there was a single page that didn’t have some kind of religious reference, literally. People hum or sing hymns while they’re walking down the halls at work. Gay marriage is evil. Only Good Christian Men are worth associating with. And on and on. And, to top it all of, this guy can’t write his way out of a paper bag. I couldn’t help but compare it to Lucifer’s Hammer. Jerry Pournelle is also a conservative Christian. The difference is that he doesn’t keep hammering the reader constantly with fundie Christian propaganda. Well, that and the fact that Pournelle can actually write, which Rawles can’t.

Another prepping book arrived from Amazon yesterday, Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition by Dr. Arthur T. Bradley. At first, I assumed the “Dr.” was a bogus Ph.D. in psychology or social work or education or some similarly non-rigorous “discipline”. As it turns out, not. Dr. Bradley actually has a Ph.D. in engineering and is employed by NASA. I expected that, as an engineer, he’d be writing with an engineering focus and actually have something useful to say.

So far, not. I flipped at random to 15 or 20 different pages and found nothing helpful and a lot that’s just flat-out wrong. I didn’t know, for example, that’s it’s not practical to store a year’s supply of food because the average American eats a ton of food per year–five and a half pounds a day–and there’s simply no practical way to store four tons of food to feed a family of four. I also didn’t know that water filters cannot remove viruses. I guess this Sawyer Point ZeroTwo filter I have, which filters to 0.02 micron absolute doesn’t actually exist. And so on.