Saturday, 31 January 2015

11:09 – Barbara and I just got back from a Sam’s Club run. She did just fine walking the aisles of the warehouse. We got out of there for about $180 even though our cart was heaped precariously. That’s what happens when you don’t buy any meat.

I told Barbara I needed some #10 cans (institutional size) to shoot images for the book. In the past, she’s always put her foot down and forbidden #10 cans. This time, she let me get away with half a dozen #10 cans of peas, corn, Bush’s Best Baked Beans, and so on. I’d have gotten more, but our cart was already starting to bulge. Each time I picked up a different kind of #10 can, she said, “Okay, I’ll eat that.” So I’ll probably pick up more from time to time.

The advantage to #10 cans is that the food is noticeably cheaper per ounce. The drawback, of course, is that when you open a 6- or 7-pound #10 can, you’re opening the equivalent of 6 or 7 regular-size cans. That’s not really a problem, because all of that stuff keeps for months in a sealed container in the refrigerator or for years if frozen.


13:36 – As further evidence of the ridiculousness of best-by dates, I just bought 6 quarts of 91% isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) at Sam’s. I just noticed that they’re stamped best-by 02/17. As stupid as it is, a lot of people–probably the majority of the population–would actually discard this alcohol after February of 2017.

I’d forgotten, but we actually did buy some meat at Sam’s. Two 3-pound tubes of Hillshire Farms sausage. It’s shelf stable, with a best-by date of July 2015. I’m half inclined to vacuum seal one of those tubes in a foil-laminate Mylar bag and stick it on the shelf for several years. I suspect it’d be as good five years from now as it is now. Assuming no damage to the container, a packaged product either contains microorganisms or it doesn’t. If it does, they’ll reproduce so quickly at room temperature that the product will spoil in a day or less. If it contains no microorganisms, there aren’t any to reproduce, so that package will remain free of microorganisms indefinitely.

This is something that seems to escape most people who write about long-term food storage. They claim that canned food “goes bad” after x number of years, which is crap. Apparently, these people still believe in spontaneous generation, which was disproven in the 19th century.

Others claim that canned food loses nutritional value. There’s actually a kernel of truth to that. The carbohydrates, proteins, and fats don’t degrade over time, or at worst only very, very slowly. Some vitamins do very gradually degrade, but this really isn’t important. Even the least stable vitamins are reasonably stable in canned foods. After 10 years, a can of food may lose 10% of its original vitamin content, but typical canned goods and other shelf-stable foods contain such high levels of vitamins that it’s a non-issue.

41 thoughts on “Saturday, 31 January 2015”

  1. Apparently, these people still believe in spontaneous generation, which was disproven in the 19th century.

    The world is flat and the sun revolves around the earth.

  2. And men fought dinosaurs just 4,000 years ago, it’s true! (same time Stonehenge was erected and we got hosses “under control,” haha.)

    A lovely day on the bay today…blue skies, sun, no wind and minus-1 or so.

    Mrs. OFD will be flying outta Mordor later today and getting in late tonight after a two-hour layover in the City of Brotherly Love. Where she got me a Philadelphia FD tee-shirt last year and where now we discover that certain firefighters have been engaging in “love” triangles of sexual misconduct around the city. They take dat love thang seriously down there!

    Another stupid phone interview Monday AM with a female IT director (already a problem as fah as I’m concerned) and the female HR drone. After that, maybe a F2F, where I’d be grilled by the techies and then given a test. I’m sorely tempted to call the whole thang off. Only reason I don’t is for due diligence (for the benefit of others here who still think regular jobs are the way to go, when clearly they’re not anymore) and ’cause it’s mainly a Linux shop. It also sounds like a bunch of hippie types and hipsters, so I’m playing it by ear now.

    I hope it don’t pan out so I can go back to focusing on my own chit this week ASAP.

  3. There is a post on Slashdot pointing to a survey: how do Americans of various stripes view various federal agencies? The results are pretty surprising, at least to me. Take the time to look through them carefully, and see what you think.

    For example: Nearly as many people view the IRS positively (45%) as view it negatively (48%). The Democrats are pretty much in love with the IRS; interestingly, opinions are flat across various income levels.

    Strangely, more Democrats than Republicans like the DoD.

    Lots more people hold favorable opinions of the NSA (51%) than hold negative opinions (37%) – showing just how clueless the general public is about privacy issues and government overreach.

    Plenty more surprising results there…

  4. Another stupid phone interview Monday AM with a female IT director

    I hope it goes well for your Mr. OFD. Who knows, maybe you’ll hit the jackpot of motherly love there. Like you say, due diligence.

  5. I’m most likely old enough to be that IT director’s daddy. Once they see that, ball game over, I’m guessing. Assuming I even get through their wittle phone screening caper.

    “Plenty more surprising results there…”

    Not so surprising; very large sectors of the Murkan population love their gummint; it’s been a cornucopia of goodies for them in many respects all their lives. And they assume it will last forever; Our Nanny the Almighty State will always be there to cuddle them and give them treats. And if mass civil unrest and Grid outages and the ongoing War on Some Terror (not ours, of course) get worse, why, the State will have to do what it needs to do to keep order. If that means martial law in many areas, most Murkans will be ‘down wid dat.’

    If things get really messy, they’ll beg on their knees for more stringent and rigorous measures; if that requires they fall out every morning on their front lawns naked and on their knees, reciting whatever Pledge, they’ll do it happily. And line up eagerly for tattoos; one problem already with that, though; finding space on their skin for any new ones.

  6. Yay! More exemptions coming for Obolacare from the WH. Soon, Obolacare will be free for all! I wonder who will pay for it? Who cares! It’s freeeee!!! Maybe the Chinese will pay for it before they invade so we’re real complacent.

  7. Your comments on prepping-related fiction brought to mind a book I read (and re-read uncounted times) as a kid, Verne’s Mysterious Island. (The protagonists re-establish Victorian-era civilization working from almost nothing.) I grabbed my father’s discarded paperback, always a source of interesting reading. It probably is in the bookcase upstairs under V even now, but I haven’t touched it in decades. As an adult with less wonder and more information I realize how absurd the natural history aspects were, but I have also come to realize how badly written the translation was. Poking around a few minutes ago I discovered that a new modern translation exists and is freely available, and that it is said to be more complete. I think I will give it a read.

  8. I wonder who will pay for it? Who cares! It’s freeeee!!!

    Years ago, probably at least 20 and maybe closer to 30, I was almost face-to-face with a loud-mouthed, small-brained individual (a fat, black woman; those may be pertinent details or may not) who was outraged that “the people” would have to pay for something — I think it was some kind of bailout, of banks or an insurance company or something. Anyway, “the people” shouldn’t have been paying for it. “Let the government pay for it,” she was shouting. “It’s their problem, so let them pay for it.”

    At the time I thought that was ridiculous on two levels: first the nonexistent separation of the people paying for something and the government paying for it, and second the idea that the government was “them”.

    Now, I think she may have been on to something. The government is running up debt that won’t be repaid and can’t be repaid, but it has little to do with day-to-day life and my personal finances. Oh, sure, a good chunk of my tax dollars are diverted to politically connected investment banks and other cronies, but I disapprove of 90% or more of all government spending, so that’s not that big a deal. And the government is certainly “them”. The entire class of government politicians and “workers” and hangers-on and dependents is “them” to me. I have more in common with a hard-working, privately employed Tunisian man than I do with some nameless clerk in some US government office.

  9. “I have more in common with a hard-working, privately employed Tunisian man than I do with some nameless clerk in some US government office.”

    Does the Tunisian dude speak English? Yeah, probably. OK, forget that. Does he know who the Kardashians are? Shit. Scratch that, too.

    Yeah, you right again, Mr. SteveF.

    “The entire class of government politicians and “workers” and hangers-on and dependents is “them” to me.”

    Ditto, even the ones who’ve been helping me at the VA; they know many things about PTSD and vets and dealing with stuff, etc., etc. but there are also MANY things they do NOT know and they kinda live in another dimension from mine. I may bring that up next time for the hell of it. I know they’re getting paid for what they do, but they also seem to actually care, unless they’re very good fakirs.

    Otherwise, yeah, it’s us versus them, but I’m afraid that woman from decades ago is getting a little too much credit; I’m pretty sure she saw/sees the gummint as overall benign benefactors who pull scads of cash out of their bungholes or thin air and freely distribute it to folks like her and dat’s da way it all works.

  10. I’m pretty sure she saw/sees the gummint as overall benign benefactors who pull scads of cash out of their bungholes or thin air and freely distribute it to folks like her and dat’s da way it all works.

    She was probably right, too, as far as she was concerned. She probably was below the minimum income where taxation kicks in; had zero savings, so taxation of savings and investment by printing press/ depreciation/ inflation wasn’t an immediate worry for her. She was probably in subsidised housing, so she didn’t get hit by rent increases associated with the increased costs that ordinary landlords were wearing. She was on food stamps, and that meant she had more than enough for basic nutrition, and she was close enough to older times to still know how to cook basic foodstuffs, unlike the princesses who’ve “matured” over the last thirty or forty years. All she really had to worry about was the cost of utilities (which may even have been bundled in her subsidised housing), and of fuel if she drove.

  11. Bob, while I haven’t done it, I’ve heard of a lot of people who can the contents of #10 tins once they’ve opened them; or even use them as ingredients, add some beans or lentils or something, maybe some ground or cubed meat, chopped fresh vegetables, then can the contents as home-grown MRE’s for in-home use. Of course, they’ll be overcooked to blazes and mucho mushy, but throw in a pinch of herbs, a pinch of spices, dried garlic, and maybe a pinch of ascorbic acid, and you can get by.

    They also re-can them straight-up if it’s canned fruit.

    Of course, refrigerating and freezing is easier, if you’ve got refrigerators, freezers and power sources you can rely on.

  12. For what it’s worth, something I’ve posted elsewhere. All my own work, and it DOES work well. Home-made long-life dried meat. Better and much longer-life (because effectively zero fat) than the “hamburger rocks” that seem popular. It’s a decent hiking food too.

    DRIED MEAT.

    Get lots of ground meat on special. Something with some flavour, like beef, mutton or turkey is best; but you can use chicken or pork.

    Ground hearts are good for this, as their flavour is typical of the other muscle meat of the animal, but more intense – this lets you retain better flavour.

    *1* Prepare a LARGE saucepan. Mix some ground meat, some crushed garlic, gelatine, some water to a creamy consistency – a potato masher or stick mixer is good to use for this.
    *2* Add some more water, place on stove, bring to boil, then simmer for about five minutes.
    *3* Sieve through a colander, SAVING THE LIQUID. This removes fat from the meat, so it won’t go rancid. Set the cooked meat aside.

    NOTE THAT you will be losing some flavour and juices to the cooking water. That is why we add garlic and gelatine. It is also why we save and re-use the cooking liquid, so that less will go from meat to water in repeated steps. We also save the meat from the first loop through these steps, when it was cooked in plain water and would have lost most, and mix it with subsequent batches.

    REPEAT steps 1,2 & 3 as many times as necessary, RE-USING the cooking liquid, adding more garlic.
    If the cooking liquid becomes too fatty and greasy, pour some into another container and chill until the fat floats, sets, and can be broken up and removed.
    Any time, ADD ONLY enough water to make up volume.

    *4* When finished, mix the batches of cooked meat, spread thinly on a cookie tray, and dry in a slow oven to the consistency of fine gravel.
    Stir occasionally, so the grains dry separately.
    If necessary, chill or even freeze excess, and dry on other days.
    *5* Store dried meat in airtight and preferably light-proof containers in a cool, dry, dark place. It will last for years this way, but vacuum pack would extend that.

    This meat is useful anywhere you could use ground meat. Soup, stew, spaghetti sauce, meat pies.
    If dried meat is not re-cooked in liquid, you will need to simmer in water or sauce and leave to soak first.
    It can be eaten dry, in small quantities. After all, it is already cooked.
    This is not a secret you want to let children know, though – I speak from experience – your dried meat stash can disappear quickly.

    *6* FINAL STEP. Chill all the leftover cooking liquid (containing meat flavour and gelatine – a rich stock), remove fat, add a handful of the ground meat, some chopped vegetables, a handful of macaroni or rice, and make yourself a very tasty soup. This is your immediate reward for your work.

  13. “All she really had to worry about…”

    Plus the litter of kids, some of whom may well have been involved in gang-related crime, if for no other reason than survival on the streets, and in ongoing skirmishes with the cops. Maybe bullets flying around the streetscape and through the windows. No dad for the kids; he be long gone. Thanks to demented libtard programs that rewarded all that behavior during the Great Society enacted and enabled by one of our worst presidents, the warmonger and assassin, LBJ.

    “…and mucho mushy…”

    Gotta drain off excess wottuh. Don’t chop stuff too fine.

    Nice recipe there, Mr. Don; will give it a try. We need to get out more on longer hikes and canoe trips to remote areas up here, with overnight stays. This looks very good.

  14. Another stupid phone interview Monday AM with a female IT director

    I think this is the year I retire from full time work. January 2, 2016 is the target date and will be my final day. Why that day? So I can take advantage of paid days off from the company over the Christmas holidays.

    I have talked with my financial adviser and I can pull down about $5K a month until I am age 70 at which time I can draw the max SS. That would drop my pull down to less than $2K a month and that is sustainable until I am 95. I can easily live on $3K a month so I may not draw down that much each month. Once my wife reach 66 and gets SS then our combined take home from SS will be $4500 a month.

    I am forced into Medicare in February of 2016. I need to find some insurance for my wife and I am hoping for about $500 a month until she turns 65 fours later. I may have to wait until the end of February 2016 so that my health insurance with the company drops and I may be able to cover her under COBRA. Since that would go from a family plan to individual plan the cost should drop substantially.

    I see no reason to continue working full time. I will acquire a part time job doing something as I need to keep busy. But showing up for work on a daily basis is going out the window.

    Of course there is the issue of possible major health problems that would severely cut down on the resources. But you cannot live based on a future that you cannot determine. I really don’t want to die and not have spent my savings. You have to make decisions based on what you know now.

  15. Yo, sound like a good plan, Mr. Ray!

    We has roughly da same situation up here, and I hope to arrive at similar financial circumstances with Mrs. OFD as the next few years FLASH by RUTHLESSLY.

    We also hope to permanently kiss off having to commute places and work for jerks as soon as humanly possible.

    Agreed on your rationale of living as best we can on what we know now; the few-chuh will take care of itself and we know neither the day nor the hour, etc., etc.

  16. @Don Armstrong

    Thanks. I just copied/pasted this into the chapter on food storage for the first year. Do you mind if I use it, credited to you of course? If you don’t mind me using it, let me know if you want it credited to you by name or anonymously.

  17. Once my wife reach 66 and gets SS then our combined take home from SS will be $4500 a month.

    Are you absolutely sure about that amount? I thought that the second person on SS in a married couple got their SS cut by 50%. If that amount is true, no wonder SS is going broke.

    Have you taken your costs for medicare part a, b, d, and whatever into account? My parents are paying $500/month EACH back into medicare. Plus they are paying several hundred dollars/month each for supplemental insurance. I have no idea but my Dad cannot believe how much it all costs.

    The wife ran off yesterday to go check on her Dad in Dallas for a few days. I did not feel like cooking last night so daughter and I got Dominos thin crust for supper. She is much healthier with ham and extra pineapple as opposed to my pepperoni and extra onion. I will miss Dominos greatly if teotwawki happens. I even managed to coax the daughter out of her room to watch some tv last night despite her feeling bad. We watched three episodes of Tim Allen’s “Last Man Standing”.

  18. We also kinda like the Domino’s thin crust up here, and usually get it with mushrooms, black olives, maybe onions.

    The State evidently wants all of us totally dependent and living in near-penury, while also totally obedient and compliant. For that they’ll promise to keep us safe from the various bogeymen and allow us to have a thousand or so calories per day. As we age into very expensive medical treatment/procedures, they’ll quietly put us down and recycle our cadavers, all the cemeteries too crowded and thus emptied and paved over for the State’s priorities.

    We’ll be allowed to watch tee-vee of course, so we can view the nightly State-approved programs and get our one-minute hates about Oceania, Europa, etc. and whoever our kids are being dragooned off to fight. Internet surfing strictly regulated and only allowed to Stasi informers who meet their monthly quota of relatives, friends and neighbors betrayed.

    O what a brave new world!

  19. Are you absolutely sure about that amount?

    No, you can never be sure with the government, but here is my reasoning. If I wait until I am 70 my SS will be $3,203 according to the SSA site. If my wife gets half that will be $1600. Add the two together and you get $4700. What I am not sure about is her distribution. She is supposed to get half of mine. But is that what I am receiving at age 70 or is what I would have received at her age? In other words, does her amount go up if she waits until 70 or is that what she gets, half of mine, regardless of her age beyond 66?

  20. We can safely assume that it is what it is, that is, whatever the State in its infinite generosity and largess deigns to give back to us who paid into this system over decades. Probably after, very soon now, confiscating in all but actual name, all our retirement accounts and then merging it all together in one huge superfund with Medicare and Medicaid that they can loot at will until it is completely gone.

    As they swan off to their various underground bunkers and tropical paradise retreats, they’ll flip us off and laugh uproariously.

    As is their prerogative, because we let them do it to us.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson said on 1 February 2015 at 08:41

    @Don Armstrong

    Thanks. I just copied/pasted this into the chapter on food storage for the first year. Do you mind if I use it, credited to you of course? If you don’t mind me using it, let me know if you want it credited to you by name or anonymously.

    You’re welcome. Just seeing it out there would be enough, but if you credit it, please just use “Don Armstrong, Australia”.

    Your site got tired of my editing in moving from other site’s formats to yours, and wouldn’t let me make one final change, even though I was comfortably within the hour. The second-last paragraph which ended:
    “your dried meat stash can disappear quickly”
    should have had appended
    “, particularly if you are using ground or cubed bacon to add flavour”.
    I’d forgotten that that was what killed my stash that time.

  22. I’ve made pemmican from a mix of organ meat and cheap ground meat. (It’s probably a sign of something, but I don’t know what, that chicken livers were more expensive per pound than 73% ground beef.)

    Grind the meat finely, then brown in a skillet to remove most of the water, then finish drying in the oven. (It’s easier to remove the meat from the fat and then continue to heat the fat to make sure all of the water is gone, than it is to just plop the combined meat and fat into the oven.) Then grind again or run it through a food processor so it’s in very small pieces — powder is the ideal but it’s difficult to process it that far. Finally, start melting lard or tallow in a dutch oven or stock pot and add the meat. You want to have enough melted fat to just cover the meat. Let it cool and then put into packaging. I’m lazy, so I put it into one-quart zip-lock bags and then just put it on the shelf. Others pour it into cupcake papers (set into muffin tins) and then put the cooled and set “cakes” into air-tight containers.

    It’s labor-intensive to make, but it keeps about forever, assuming you’ve removed all water and then store it away from air and light. I’ve kept one package in my office for almost five years. It’s out of the sun, but not at all temperature controlled — my office often goes over 100F in the summer. (Big, west-facing window with nothing to block the sun.) I plan to eat it at the five year mark; I figure that if it’s still good despite the storage conditions, then the packages which I keep cool will last decades.

    The taste of pemmican is not great. It’s like a cold, very greasy hamburger. Some people season it with dried berries or spices when they make it, but I prefer to make it plain and then season to taste on consumption. YMMV.

  23. My Algonqian ancestors here in Nova Anglia (various Wampanoag bands) used to usually throw in berries, esp. cranberries and then got extra seasonings from wherever, particularly after my Pilgrim, Puritan and Quaker ancestors got here.

    We can get the cold, greasy, flat as sanding disks, hamburgers just north of here from our Quebecois neighbors; they also overcook steak. When they oughta just stick to their nice French colonial fare, which is pretty good.

    Mrs. OFD finally back from her recent travels; now going with Princess and friends to visit the 17-hand “Appendix Quarter-Horse,” colored “flea-bitten gray.” He’s the height but not the weight of the mythological-appearing Westphalian stallion she used to ride a few years ago in English dressage performances. That bugger was a monster, but he loved bananas! The other hosses seem to love apples and peppermint candies.

    I am now installing RHEL 7 Server on the former Mint box for now, so I can run multiple vm’s on it and learn more virtualization and network security chit. This is partly in boning up for the dumbass phone interview in the AM and also so I can prep for near-future web site development. I’ll have two Scientific Linux vm’s, two Ubuntu Server vm’s and a Windows 7, 8 or 10 vm on it. Using Xen. Or KVM, not sure yet which.

    Big Game in three hours. Go Pats. Who tried to be nice guys, with the biggest ballz in the league, so they deflated ’em to give the Colts a chance and this is the thanks they get; media controversy and now everyone is hating on them. Gonna be funny if they get booed when they come out later. Tom Brady, Gridiron Assassin. With everyone healthy, last I checked. Pretty much unstoppable.

    Unless some weird chit happens, as has happened before.

    Any given team on any given day…

  24. The State evidently wants all of us totally dependent and living in near-penury, while also totally obedient and compliant.

    Glenn Beck’s “Agenda 21” books will flat knock your socks off with stuff along that slant:
    http://www.amazon.com/Agenda-21-Glenn-Beck/dp/147671701X/

    “HOW MUCH WOULD YOU RISK TO BE FREE?”

    “Emmeline and her family live in a place that just a generation ago was called America. Now, it’s simply known as “the Republic.” There is no president. No Congress. No Supreme Court. No freedom.”

    “There are only the Authorities.”

    “This bleak and barren existence is all that eighteen-year-old Emmeline has ever known. She dutifully walks her energy board daily and accepts all male pairings assigned to her by the Authorities. Like most citizens, she keeps her head down and her eyes closed.”

    And yes, they are at war with some other country in the east.

  25. In other words, does her amount go up if she waits until 70 or is that what she gets, half of mine, regardless of her age beyond 66?

    Don’t know. My mom went on SS at age 65 since Dad maintained that it did not make a penny difference. Dad waited until he was 67? 68?

  26. “Glenn Beck’s “Agenda 21″ books…”

    No time for reading that imbecilic maniac’s scribblings. He is clearly in need of improved medications and extensive therapeutic counseling.

    History shows us more fantastic stuff than any of today’s wack jobs can dream up and yet we are approaching new historical territory here. The wack jobs can’t predict any of it, either. What will befall us, no one really knows.

    We do know the current mess is unsustainable. And when a thing cannot go on, it stops. What that stop will be like is anyone’s guess.

  27. Ray, there are a lot of tricks to getting the most out of Social Security, and since neither you nor your wife are collecting yet you may be able to take advantage of them. I am no expert, but some knowledgeable folks gave me the links I will put in my next message. I think the number of links will put that message into review status so it could be a while before you see it.

  28. Thanks Roy. I have read almost the same material elsewhere. Since I am four years ahead of my wife I will be waiting until I am 70 to claim my benefit. I will apply when I am 66 but suspend payment until I am 70 to get the maximum. When I am 70 my wife will be 66 and she can claim a spousal benefit which is half of mine, and is considerably more than she would get on her own.

    What is frustrating in all of this is some experts say to file early, as soon as possible. Others say wait until you are 70. I have a year to decide.

    I told my boss this morning that February 29, 2016 would be my last day of working. I go on Medicare, my company paid health insurance drops and just cover my wife. I will then continue her health insurance under COBRA for four more years.

  29. The start-right-away approach works in your favor if you die early. I don’t plan on doing that, and I don’t plan on planning for it. Dying early doesn’t pose any financial issues for me, but living a long time does!

    Unless your wife is going to start taking spousal benefits before you reach 70 I am not sure you get anything by apply-and-suspend before you are 70. The idea behind that, as I understand it, is to allow your spouse to start getting spousal before you start your own. However I don’t know if it might change things for what your wife collects if you die at say age 68.

    The other bit of advice I received is for both of you to make an appointment at the local Social Security office, sit down with them together, and go over all the alternatives, including the various who-dies-when alternatives.

  30. The other bit of advice I received is for both of you to make an appointment at the local Social Security office

    I plan to do that late this summer. I also been told to get the expert in the office, not just the run of the mill clerk. Apparently they are as clueless as the people in the IRS office who have given me incorrect information in the past.

  31. Can I safely assume that the upshot here is that they will try their damndest, either through ignorance and incompetence, or with malice aforethought, to screw us out of as much as they possibly can and end up paying us and our spouse as little as possible for as short a time as possible???

    Does that sound about right?

    Or am I just being a cynical PITA who throws wet blankets all over everything?

  32. The start-right-away approach works in your favor if you die early.

    Or if the USA has a financial apocalypse.

    I told my boss this morning that February 29, 2016 would be my last day of working.

    Bold move. I like to keep my options open.

  33. I’ve given my “two-weeks notice” a couple of times over the years and been dumped immediately, with the usual desk-clearing and escort-to-the-exit routines. Son got that treatment a month ago.

    “Or if the USA has a financial apocalypse.”

    At that point, 401k’s, Roth, SS, Medicaid/Medicare, pension plans, etc., all go right out the window and we’re all on our own, totally. All us Mundanes, that is. The One Percent and Our Lords Temporal and their minions will get along fine, until the mobs show up with torches and pitchforks and homemade BBQ spits.

  34. Or am I just being a cynical PITA

    Well, OFD, another of my catch-phrases is that “cynical” is just another word for “experienced”.

  35. At that point, 401k’s, Roth, SS, Medicaid/Medicare, pension plans, etc., all go right out the window and we’re all on our own, totally.

    Not if you have your IRA invested in hard assets. I would only invest in real estate with an IRA though. And only property that you can pay 100% for that will basically manage itself.
    http://www.irainnovations.com

    I’m not sure what will happen to SS, Medicare, or Medicaid. It may be tough on those programs. Food stamps also.

    I am fairly sure that we will muddle through things though. But the inflation, when it gets started, will blow you away. Those not owning hard assets will take it in the teeth.

  36. I’ve given notice a couple times. Only once was I told to pack up and get out. That was because the head of the local office was new and didn’t know me (ie, know that I was one of the most productive 10%) and was persuaded by a middle management jackass, who despised me for not taking him seriously, that I posed a threat to the company and the classified data it handled. So I got escorted out. The next morning my project manager was reportedly incandescent when she heard that I was gone.

    I’ve been fired several times, for a variety of alleged reasons but all boiling down to not putting up with unlimited bullshit and dishonesty from bosses. eg, refusing to pull a second all-nighter in a row to fix someone else’s repeated mistakes. More often than either of those, though, I’ve been a contractor and simply let the contract expire and not sought to extend it. (Once my contract with a government agency was terminated on no notice a few weeks before it was set to end anyway. I have no idea what happened there. Best guess is that the contracting company was due a completion bonus on successful completion and the agency was seeking to avoid it.)

  37. Bold move. I like to keep my options open.

    Not really. My options are still open. Boss told me that he wanted at least 6 months notice before I left. He also needs this advance notice so that budget plans can be made to bring another person on board and the associated costs. Boss told me that he realizes plans change and if something does not go as planned they would still keep me on, even with another person hired. So my options are not sealed.

    The boss needs a six month overlap because of the things I do. I do the web applications, database support, server support, desktop support, phone system support, email server support, even change the batteries in the clock. Some of what I do is on a three month cycle and requires some special processes. All the business software is custom written to support the organization so there is a learning curve. The replacement will need to understand SQL, ColdFusion, HTML and the support requirements. I am mediocre at a lot, great at very little.

    It was mostly for myself. I have been swaying back and forth on the issue and setting a target date makes it more real.

    COBRA is usually good for only 18 months

    And that should be more than enough time to find alternative insurance. As indicated above my options are not sealed and I would hate to acquire other insurance for my wife and still remain employed.

    I’ve given my “two-weeks notice” a couple of times over the years and been dumped immediately

    We did that at the bank. Fired or leaving, the last two weeks were on the bank. Did not want people hanging around who could do damage to the system.

    I’ve been fired several times, for a variety of alleged reasons

    I have been fired once. The lousy company that was replacing our CU software did a piss poor job and I was a thorn in the side of Summit Information Systems. The project manager (really a salesperson) by the name of Megan Cakett, waved her tits in front of the CEO, he got a boner and she talked him into terminating me thus eliminating their adversary. Turned out I was right and one year later the CEO was terminated by the board.

    However, that termination was the best thing that ever happened to me. I got my nights and weekends back. I got into a dead end job where there is zero opportunity for advancement. The pay was enough to pay the bills with some left over. The work was not mission critical, no personnel issues, no vendor issues, small outfit. Got my health back and most importantly my family back as the old job was turning me into a real asshole.

  38. I am mediocre at a lot, great at very little.

    Hey, sounds like me! I spent three hours with a customer today trying to figure out how we could help them. I still don’t understand what they want.

    And that should be more than enough time to find alternative insurance.

    Obolacare man!
    https://www.healthcare.gov/

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