Monday, 20 April 2015

10:21 – We decided to make a quick Costco run yesterday morning. The only prepping supplies I picked up were a couple large cans of Country Time lemonade ($6.79 each), 10 pounds of oats ($8.29), and an empty 20-pound propane cannister ($26.69). Well, that and two pairs of Kirkland jeans ($13.99 each).

I grabbed the 10 pound box of Quaker Oats right as Barbara was picking up two large boxes of cereal. She told me not to buy the oats. She doesn’t like oatmeal, and I almost never eat breakfast. Oddly, she likes oat bars and oatmeal cookies. Perhaps I’ll make her a batch of oatmeal cookies and/or oat bars with whatever is left after I transfer the bulk of the oats into 2-liter bottles. Even without an oxygen absorber, they’ll stay good in 2-liter bottles for at least five years if not ten. With oxygen absorbers, their shelf life is essentially unlimited.

What about Plodia interpunctella (pantry moths, weevils)? Not really a problem. They lay eggs in flour and other grain products that are stored in paper sacks or containers otherwise subject to access by the adult bugs. Using an oxygen absorber in a foil-laminate Mylar bag or a PET or glass bottle is a definitive solution. It suffocates the eggs or immature insects. But transferring the Quaker Oats from a sealed bag directly to clean 2-liter bottles also works pretty well. It’s not like a passing pantry moth is going to have much chance to land on the oats and lay eggs.

Some sources recommend putting the bottles in the freezer for a week or two to kill insect eggs. The only problem with that method is that it doesn’t work. It reminds me of that old joke about the guy tearing off strips of paper and tossing them out the train window in Vermont to keep elephants away. That works for the same reason freezing works. They both keep away the pests, elephants or weevils, because there weren’t any there in the first place. And a long line of scientists ending with Pasteur and Tyndall in the 19th century finally definitively falsified the concept of spontaneous generation, despite the millennium-long insistence by the Roman Catholic Church that spontaneous generation was the source of life.

I need to ship overnight kit orders and build more kits.


12:08 – It seems that Amazon is clearing inventory of their Fire HD7 tablets. Not the HDX7, but its predecessor. They have them on sale, today only, for $79 in the ad-supported version. I just ordered one for myself, along with a $12 folding case. The original HD7 is more than good enough for what I use a tablet for, which is mostly quick checks of email and web sites.

I got an HDX7 for Barbara, but I use it as much as she does. So much, in fact, that she’s started calling her Kindle Fire my Kindle Fire. Not good. So, once this HD7 shows up, her Kindle Fire goes back to being her Kindle Fire and I’ll have my own.