Friday, 22 May 2015

07:18 – I’ve spent some time over the last few days inventorying and organizing our stocks. I was putting some #10 cans in the downstairs freezer yesterday when I realized that some of my readers might be interested in what specifically we store. Other than LDS dry staple “iron rations” (x pounds of white sugar, y pounds of macaroni and spaghetti, z liters of vegetable oil, etc.) I hate making specific recommendations because people’s taste in food varies so much. What’s ideal for us may be non-optimal for you and vice-versa.

As to quantities, we’re nominally preparing for Barbara and me plus our 4-year-old, 65-pound Border Collie dog, Colin. In reality, if push comes to shove, I expect to feed more people, including Barbara’s sister and her husband, maybe my brother and his wife, and perhaps a couple of close friends. So although the quantities in this list are nominally for one couple and our dog, in reality we’ll plan to stretch them to cover more people. The way we’ll do that is to buy more “iron rations” than the three of us really need, because bulk staples are inexpensive, particularly if we package them ourselves. A 50-pound bag of white sugar or flour, for example, costs something like $17 at Costco. Stocking way up on those cheap staples provides the basic nutrition—calories, protein, fats, etc.—which can be made palatable with limited quantities of supplemental foods like those in this list.

All of that said, the following list is items we store in #10 cans from Augason Farms, with quantities in parentheses. It may at least give you some idea of items and quantities to consider. You’ll note we don’t include any bulk staples in this list. Augason’s prices on things like #10 cans of wheat, sugar, etc. are usually lower than its competitors other than the LDS Home Storage Centers, but the LDS HSC is far less expensive than Augason. Our rule is that when the LDS HSC offers a product we buy it from them because their quality is high and their prices are lower than any of their commercial competitors. They’re basically selling at cost. Either that, or we package it ourselves in 2 L soft drink bottles or foil-laminate Mylar bags, which is cheaper still.

We’ve standardized on Augason Farms because their quality is very high and their prices are almost always better than their commercial competitors. We’re not radical about it. If Augason doesn’t offer a particular product that we really want, we’ll buy it from Thrive Life, Mountain House, Honeyville, or one of AF’s other commercial competitors. But if the LDS HSC doesn’t carry something and Augason does, we’ll buy it from Augason.

Actually, we won’t buy it from Augason directly, but instead we’ll order it from Walmart, which offers deeply discounted prices and free shipping on orders of $50 or more. Augason actually ships the product directly to us. Walmart is simply offering drop-shipping at a great price.

Note that the following list is by no means all of the supplemental foods we buy to extend our “iron ration” dry staples and make them palatable. We also store lots of canned meats, canned soups, canned fruit and vegetables, spices, baking essentials, etc. etc. These items are simply the ones that it made sense to order from Augason. As of today, our stock of Augason Farms #10 cans totals 46, including:

(9) Whole Eggs Dried Egg Product, 33 oz
(6) Morning Moo’s Low Fat Milk Alternative, 56 oz.
(6) Cheese Blend Powder, 48 oz
(5) Butter Powder, 36 oz
(3) Honey-Coated Banana Slices, 32 oz
(2) Chicken Bouillon Powdered Extract, 65 oz
(2) Dehydrated Red & Green Bell Peppers, 20 oz
(2) Brown Sugar, 56 oz
(2) Lentils, 80 oz
(1) Dehydrated Chopped Onions, 23 oz
(1) Cream of Chicken Soup Mix, 52 oz
(1) Creamy Potato Soup Mix, 3 lbs
(1) Chicken Vegetarian Meat Substitute, 38 oz
(1) Beef Vegetarian Meat Substitute, 37 oz
(1) Bacon Bits Vegetarian Meat Substitute, 34 oz
(1) Potato Gems Mashed Potatoes, 48 oz
(1) Super Nutty Granola, 48 oz
(1) Non-Hybrid Vegetables Garden Seeds, 16 oz

The first four items are the most important ones, and the only ones we’ll probably be adding incrementally over the coming months and years.

The powdered eggs are intended primarily as minor ingredients for cooking and baking, rather than for direct consumption. Each can is equivalent to roughly six dozen medium eggs, so we have sufficient for about a dozen eggs a week for a year. Note that Auguson is honest here and elsewhere. They rate this 33-ounce can as equivalent to 71 medium eggs, which is accurate. Some competitors rate their canned eggs as equivalent to many more eggs. One vendor whose can doesn’t weigh much more than this one rates it as 200+ eggs. Yeah, if you’re counting equivalence in quail eggs. The best-by date on this product is 10 years out, but we keep it frozen, which extends that to 40 years or more.

If you’ve ever tasted non-fat dry milk, you know it tastes nothing like fresh milk. You can aerate it thoroughly, add vanilla or other flavoring, or whatever, and it still tastes like non-fat dry milk. We do keep 42 pounds of non-fat dry milk, along with 48 12-ounce cans of evaporated milk, but that’s mainly for cooking and baking. For drinking, use on cereal, and so on, we keep six 56-ounce cans of Morning Moo’s, which is a dry milk product with other things added to make it taste more like fresh milk. It’s a stupid name, but among dry milks and milk alternatives, most people prefer its taste. The best-by date is 25 years out. Each can reconstitutes to just under six gallons, so the six cans we stock are about 35 gallons worth.

We keep cheeses in the form of frozen fresh cheeses, powdered Parmesan in PET bottles, and cheese sauce in #10 cans. The latter two have best-by dates one or two years out, but in practical terms can be stored for much longer without any significant loss in flavor or nutrients. Still, for long term storage, I decided to keep a half dozen cans of this cheese powder. Its best-by date is 10 years out, but in practical terms it’ll be perfectly good for at least 20 or 30 years. Frozen, it’ll stay good forever.

We normally keep 20 or 30 pounds of frozen fresh butter on hand. If a long term power loss occurred, one of the first things I’d do is melt this down and fill wide-mouth glass or PET jars with it and add an oxygen absorber, which’d keep it good at room temperature for a long, long time. But these #10 cans of butter powder have a rated shelf-life of 10 years, and a real shelf life that’s much longer, even without freezing. The powder can be used as is to add butter flavor for cooking and baking, or reconstituted with water into a butter-like spread. Even better, it can be added to cooking oil to make something that’s very close to soft butter.

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.


54 Comments and discussion on "Friday, 22 May 2015"

  1. Chad says:

    Had this discussion at work today and thought I’d run it by the regulars on here that know more about such things.

    A Moscow Mule is an alcoholic drink made with vodka, ginger beer, and lime juice and is served in a copper mug. They’ve become quite popular in recent years. Supposedly, the lime juice has a galvanic reaction with the copper and that gives the drink a unique character when it’s served from the traditional copper mug. Thus, purchasing any copper mugs that are lacquered to prevent tarnishing or that are lined with tin or nickel on the inside defeats the purpose entirely.

    My questions are:

    1) Will there actually be a “reaction” between the ingredients and the copper that would actually modify the taste of the drink?
    2) Is it safe to drink from an unlacquered unlined copper cup? I imagine doing it daily with most everything you drink from the time you’re a small child until you’re an older adult may lead to a build up of copper in your system, but once or twice a week with a cocktail and not even beginning to do so until you’re a young adult should be okay, right?

  2. OFD says:

    I assume ginger beer is carbonated and I in my drinking days would never have mixed vodka with a carbonated beverage. Otherwise, I’m clueless here.

    In any case, small children should not be drinking Moscow Mules; unless they gotta get through a typical publik skool day….

  3. dkreck says:

    The copper mugs are so expensive most bars make the drinker turn over their driver’s license or credit card when ordering so they get the mug back. I’m stickin’ to beer.

  4. Lynn McGuire says:

    This website maintains that Obola is betraying the USA to the Muslim brotherhood:
    http://gatesofvienna.net/2015/02/the-betrayal-papers-part-i-of-v/
    … skipped papers 2 and 3 URLs so I don’t get moderated …
    http://gatesofvienna.net/2015/03/the-betrayal-papers-part-iv-of-v/

    “The Betrayal Papers — Part I of V
    U.S. under Barack Hussein Obama: A Captured State, Property of the Muslim Brotherhood”

    “In America we have a weak and struggling economy, growing public and private debt, and millions are un- and underemployed. While a weaponized IRS targets Tea Party groups and other voices of liberty, and military veterans are labeled as “domestic terrorists” by the Department of Homeland Security, the federal government refuses to secure the southern border. Educational policy now includes the teaching Arabic and visits to mosques for schoolchildren.”

    “Internationally, America is in retreat. The Middle East is in ashes, and in the midst of an ongoing genocide replete with daily horrors the likes which have not been seen for centuries. Former allies have been abandoned and are embittered. Under the present leadership in the White House and State Department Israel is considered the aggressor and Hamas the oppressed.”

    “In sum, the world is at its most volatile point since the outbreak of World War II.
    If you think that this is a result of something other than an “incompetent,” “stupid,” or “clueless” President, words regularly used by those who sense something is wrong but, can’t quite bring themselves to own up to the ugly truth, you’re not alone.”

    “Millions of Americans are realizing that the Obama administration is not merely “misguided.” It is actually and consciously anti-American, anti-Semitic, anti-Christian, and broadly anti-Western. Yet the American public does not yet fully appreciate why and how the administration always finds itself square against everything this country is based on — religious freedom, capitalism, and justice under law.”

    Hat tip to the daily Day by Day very political cartoon for the URLs:
    http://www.daybydaycartoon.com/

  5. Lynn McGuire says:

    Interesting. Google has gone to 2-Step Verification for gmail.
    https://www.google.com/landing/2step/

  6. brad says:

    I brewed some – well, maybe – ginger beer. Basically, no grain at all, pure ginger, with enough sugar to ferment it to 5% alcohol. It’s an interesting concoction, not really enjoyable by itself, but half-n-half with a light beer is pretty good.

  7. Lynn McGuire says:

    So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week?

    We have around three or four person months of canned and bagged food in the pantry. We have about thirty #10 cans of Augason Farms various foods. Three cases of MREs. We have thirty 35 bottle cases of Ozarka half liter water. I now have a verbal warning from the wife on canned food and water storage. She is vehemently against storing more than four person months of food in the house.

    I retrieved my guns from the Brazos river before the great flood. Which now has peaked here but 20 miles downstream at Rosharon is starting to cause major flooding.

    My big concern is a heat source for cooking. I would assume that under just about any scenario of hurricane, insurrection, etc that the electricity and natural gas will be shut off. I have some firewood and bricks that I can use to build a firepit. Might have enough wood for a week.

    I would like to purchase a cheap propane free standing grill and have found one at Walmart for $168:
    http://www.walmart.com/ip/Char-Broil-Convective-4-Burner-Grill-Stainless-Steel-Black/39073040

    I see no downside with this grill but have reservations since it is so cheap. Any thoughts here? My only thought is that it does not have the infrared burners which I do not care about.

    Plus 4? 5? 6? 20? propane bottles? Plus a Coleman stove for backup? I already have the propane hose that Dr. Bob??? recommended the other day.

  8. Jim B says:

    Ahhhh. A belated welcome back to Mr. Lynn. His posts, and the others’ posts here, give order to our chaotic world.

    Re OFD’s comment yesterday about the character of the characters here: I represent that 🙂

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Plus 4? 5? 6? 20? propane bottles? Plus a Coleman stove for backup? I already have the propane hose that Dr. Bob??? recommended the other day.

    Yeah, that was me, but again guys I don’t use the “Dr.” title. I don’t even play one on TV.

    The net energy content of propane is roughly 21,500 BTU/pound, so a 20-pound cannister should operate a 21,000 BTU dual-burner propane stove for about 20 hours with both burners running on high. In most situations, I’d think that two full 20-pound cannisters should suffice for at least a month.

    I wouldn’t bother buying that grill. A Coleman propane stove is much, much easier to cook on, and uses propane more efficiently.

  10. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Another way to look at it is by how much water you can bring to a boil. Assuming your water source is at 62F and normal atmospheric pressure, you need to raise the temperature by 150F. That requires 150 BTU per pound of water, or about 1,251 BTU per gallon. A 20-pound cannister of propane contains about 430,000 BTU and (assuming 100% efficiency) would suffice to bring almost 344 gallons of water just to the boiling point. Assuming two cannisters and a one-month timeframe, you’d be able to boil more than 22 gallons of water a day, or the equivalent in heating food and so on.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, it sounds like you’ve made some progress convincing your wife, if she’s willing to tolerate a whole four months’ worth.

  12. Lynn McGuire says:

    A Coleman propane stove is much, much easier to cook on, and uses propane more efficiently.

    Why? I would think that the burners would be rather similar.

    Incidentally, it sounds like you’ve made some progress convincing your wife, if she’s willing to tolerate a whole four months’ worth.

    Four person months. One month of food for the family. Plus the dog.

  13. OFD says:

    I’ve only been using the “Dr.” title for ya in regards to you being a future witch doctor and whatever PhD-minting mill you might have mentioned you had one from.

    As for the Obummer regime selling us out to the hadjis? Good luck with that. Even with the long haul, of which there won’t be any, actually. Obummer and his minions are TOLD what to do; the main thrust seems to be fomenting racial, ethnic and religious conflict as much as possible and getting our military involved in as many possible flusterclucks as possible. While the national infrastructure crumbles and the Grid becomes more and more vulnerable. Some sort of financial disaster seems more in the offing soon than any big threat from the hadjis, but hey, it makes a great story and has drama and chit and keeps peeps’ minds off the banksters and their political enablers.

    This guy knows how to get the country back:

    “Abolish prison and give everyone a gun. The end. Good night. Oh wait, that’s not enough for a column? Okay, how about legalize drugs too? I’m not kidding. I know it sounds outrageous but hate facts often are.”

    http://takimag.com/article/idle_hands_do_time_gavin_mcinnes/print

    Temps were in the fotties here overnight and may drop even further tonight, more of that globalwarmingchangingclimate stuff. Vermonters ain’t kidding when they say don’t plant yer tomatoes till after Memorial Day. Then the forecast sez 75 by Sunday and low 80s into next week.

    Prep stuff this past week? More canned goods, still trying to figure out what to do with our well, beginning to stock up on grilling charcoal (more so than we would for summuh anyway), continuing work on the raised beds (such as they are, apparently pitifully nothing worth much as to our long-term survival here, where we’re told we need pretty much every square inch of our property to grow enough for just one person), studying the concept of a neighborhood protective group with all that implies, and also fooling around with the various radios, scanners, antennas, and suchlike.

    We’re a bit limited right now due to long-overdue repairs on one vehicle and now new suddenly needed repair on the other one. Plus handing out money to Princess again, who is apparently blowing it all over New England and telling us she still needs it for bills at college and also collecting money from several of us unbeknownst to the others; this seems remarkably like a grifter enterprise but saying anything about it gets me snapped at. While Grandma agrees with me and is as bothered by it. So much for the “united front” I was told we have to start presenting.

    Yes, family dynamics are such fun.

    My next prep steps are cleaning out the basement for storage purposes and putting electricity and flooring in up in the attic. While also getting our measly six raised beds and containers going, taking online courses for certifications, and job-hunting. Plus still working on the web dev and firearms stuff.

    Never a dull moment.

  14. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Barbecue grills are okay, but a camp stove allows finer control, uses less propane, and is easier to cook on using standard pots and pans.

    Four person-months is light. I thought you meant a four-month supply for your family.

    Barbara’s not convinced I’m not crazy, but she’s willing to tolerate my craziness within reason. When we passed two person-years she started to question me a bit more, but I told her I wanted enough food to feed several extra people, including her family. My purchases are on hold until we get moved, but after that I intend to ramp it up, particularly on adding bulk staples.

  15. Jim B says:

    I will add a practical confirmation to RBT’s calcs. I have a couple portable surface combustion radiant heaters. It is amazing how long a typical BBQ cylinder lasts.

    I have long thought propane to be an ideal storable fuel. It has unlimited shelf life, and high energy/volume density. It has many potential uses. It is also pretty cheap. Its only real downside is that it will be hard to (re)supply during a disaster. But so will gasoline and diesel, and natural gas will likely be shut down.

  16. OFD says:

    What? What’s that you say? You’re tired of me harping on the crumbling national infrastructure? I’m like a broken record? I keep repeating myself? I’m like a broken record???

    Hey, don’t take it from me; take it from my hot little gf, Katie:

    https://news.yahoo.com/america-s-crumbling-infrastructure-katie-couric-explains-170349892.html

  17. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’ve only been using the “Dr.” title for ya in regards to you being a future witch doctor and whatever PhD-minting mill you might have mentioned you had one from.

    Actually, I have two hard-science Ph.D.’s and an MD, but none of them cost much.

  18. Lynn McGuire says:

    Four person-months is light. I thought you meant a four-month supply for your family.

    I got twelve more Augason Farms #10 cans drop shipped to me while I was fishing. They arrived on the front porch in a six can box, a four can box, and a two can box. The wife had to haul them in and gave me an earful when I got back. I made the mistake of asking her why she did not use the in house dolly which got me another earful.

    Yes, that is light. I would like to have a minimum of eight person-months of food and water in the house. As you say, the neighbors will come over at some point when they smell the cooking.

  19. Lynn McGuire says:

    Both of my partners have PhDs in Chemical Engineering, one from Princeton and the other from Rice. They have both dropped the Dr. since so many people assume that they are medical doctors and start asking weird medical questions.

  20. dkreck says:

    Crumbling Infrastructure.

    Translation – big government projects by big labor working for 3 times the going rate (also called prevailing wage) doing half a days work at best and paying union dues to support democratic office holders who push big government projects. Result – more taxes.

    See California – run by democrats and try to pass $100 B trains and $50 B water projects. Oh and that bridge to Oakland that cost $6.5 B for half a bridge that is rusting away…

  21. Lynn McGuire says:

    Hey, don’t take it from me; take it from my hot little gf, Katie:

    https://news.yahoo.com/america-s-crumbling-infrastructure-katie-couric-explains-170349892.html

    Hey, Katie found a job! I wonder if they are paying her in Yahoo! stock?

  22. pcb_duffer says:

    Has anyone here tried reconstituting dry milk with water & whole milk, in say a 3:1 ratio? I have to assume it would taste better than conventional dry milk, although to the best of my knowledge I’ve never had dry milk.

  23. Lynn McGuire says:

    We desperately need more infrastructure here in The Great State of Texas. About five million people have moved here in the last ten years, increasing our population by 20%. They are all constantly driving around the place since they seem to all live about 20 to 40 miles away from where they work. The traffic jams in Houston and the feeder freeways are awesome. Not!

    TXDot is widening the I-69 freeway two miles away from my house from four lanes to fourteen lanes for about twenty miles. From Sugar Land to Beasley. That is a good start and means only 10,000 more miles of freeways need to be rebuilt and widened. I-45 needs to be widened to six lanes from Conroe to Corsicanna (200 miles). I-10 needs to be widened from to six lanes from Beaumont to Junction (500 miles). I-35 needs to be … ten lanes??? from Corpus Christi to Dallas. We also need at least three more interstates in Texas: state highway 36, 35, 6, etc, etc, etc.

  24. Lynn McGuire says:

    Temps were in the fotties here overnight and may drop even further tonight, more of that globalwarmingchangingclimate stuff. Vermonters ain’t kidding when they say don’t plant yer tomatoes till after Memorial Day. Then the forecast sez 75 by Sunday and low 80s into next week.

    We have yet to hit 90 F this year in the Land of Sugar. We have hit 89 F but with the cold front this morning, 90 F looks unachievable in May. Unreal as we usually hit 90 F by May 1. I endorse this climate change!

  25. dkreck says:

    Forget the fourteen lane freeways. Start the deportations.

  26. pcb_duffer says:

    You might need that much highway for the deportations…

  27. nick says:

    @Lynn,

    I’ve posted my cooking backups before, but I’ll summarize.

    That grill looks fine IF you will use it as a grill. Since you don’t already have one, I’m gonna go out on a limb and guess that you don’t normally grill. As a one burner stove replacement, it is a waste of money and space.

    Colman stoves are the way to go if you want to continue cooking normally. They are good for boiling water for hygiene and to make safe to drink too. You could also consider a single or double burner propane stove that is intended for use in the home. Many asians use them on a counter top. They use a smaller bottle of propane, but are compact to store.

    http://www.amazon.com/GasOne-GS-3000-Portable-Stove-Color/dp/B00BS4RP7S/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1432334518&sr=8-7&keywords=propane+stove

    Since I have electric stove, I have (and used) a colman fuel powered colman stove during Ike. Set up on a counter just outside the back door, it was very convenient to the kitchen. A little practice and you are cooking normally.

    I have a bunch of colman stoves. I buy them at yard and estate sales for <$20 whenever I see them in good condition. I have mostly liquid fuel models but also ones that use propane. They are only about $40 new. I kit them up with a colman lantern, some yard sale pans, rice and paper plates/plastic utensils. I figure I have a couple of friends that will need a kit if we have another local disaster.

    Colman fuel is sold in 1 gal cans for about $8 and will store indefinitely. Just don't let the can get rusty. I buy cans at sales that are 20+ years old that burn fine.

    I have a salvaged grill, with the grill removed and an extra burner installed (for total of 2) with the grill replaced by a shelf. I can use a colman stove on the shelf, or store my cajun fire ring there. I haven't used the burners from the grill yet as it was a post-Ike creation.

    I have several backpacking style stoves that burn alcohol, some that burn colman fuel, some use propane canisters, and a couple that are dual fuel colman and gasoline. There is a mini-stove in my main grab and go bag. I have several gallons of alcohol stored.

    Also I have the concrete blocks to make a rocket stove like this one-

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmDYUrVHPWc

    Rocket stoves are very efficient wood burners, using mainly twigs. I save the twigs from my pecan trees to use in my smoker, and in a rocket stove. In the mean time, the blocks hold up potted plants.

    I've also made a "penny stove" although I will need to make a better one- just google it. They are really cool. This is very similar to the one I tried. http://www.george-smart.co.uk/wiki/Penny_Stove

    I mentioned the cajun fire ring. It runs on propane and is meant to boil crawdads or fry turkeys. I have used it for frying and boiling water. How you gonna heat dish and bathing water????? Well, I've got a big pot and the fire ring.

    I've got a propane fired smoker, which I use for flavor and cooking, but could probably be used to preserve food too, although I haven't looked at that aspect.

    Lastly, we have a patio accessory style fire pit that we could have an open fire in for cooking, etc. I have some wood put up for it, basically from trimming my pecan and oak trees.

    So my strategy is clearly overkill, but I like to eat warm food, and wash with warm water, and it will help keep things normal for the kids. I want to be able to use ANY possible fuel that comes my way.

    nick

    (I have plans for a solar cooker, but haven't tried it yet. In my copious free time, real soon now, I'm sure…..) (sunlight we've got in abundance)

  28. nick says:

    For preps, I still have the weekend’s sales to go to.

    I bought a quad band antenna for my pawn shop radio. It came in today. Now I just have to figure out a mount. I need to find a stealthy place for the radio too. I’m helped by the fact it has a remote option for the control face.

    Made a replacement bracket for my multi-band vertical antenna. One step closer to getting that on the air. Found a spot for it, not too far from where I wanted to put it. Not as high as I’d like, but until I resolve my current difficulties with my HOA, I don’t want to add anything to the mix. Our subdivision allows antennas, but I don’t want to attract attention right now.

    Found that I did have a suitable adapter to get my RTL-SDR (software radio) connected to a real antenna. I’ve got a nice discone I got cheap from a closing Radio Shack that I will use to drive the SDR and my scanners. Teh intarwebs seem to think that I can distribute the signal to multiple scanners without too much loss. We’ll see.

    Did some truck maintenance.

    Added some cans of ‘ingredient’ type food, tomato paste, mushroom soup, etc. Added more toilet paper (was onsale at costco.)

    Picked up an old panasonic Toughbook laptop for $20. It’s built like a brick, and I wanted a solid older laptop to run some machine control and updater software that needs hard serial ports, and older OS’s. Thankfully I shouldn’t have to go back past XP. To anyone who thinks Linux is hard to install, you should try putting XP on a loaded lappy. NOTHING worked correctly. The USB optical drive works under the install environment, but not under windows. None of the internal hardware was recognized and I still don’t have it all up, despite a couple of hours with downloaded drivers. Some works partially. I figure I have a few more hours of messing around JUST to get the OS up and hardware working. In contrast, an Ubuntu live CD found everything I tested and ran on the first go round from the USB optical (didn’t test the modem, remember those?) and I didn’t have to reboot 8 times. Too bad I can’t just use linux but the whole use for this machine is hardware support, and that stuff only runs under windows (and dos.)

    Well, that’s it for now. More after this week’s sales.

    nick

  29. Sam Olson says:

    @Lynn
    Maybe sit down with your wife some night and watch that National Geographic special together …

    American Blackout 2013 – National Geographic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYoXxVnTePA
    Then talk about it afterwards, expressing your concerns about
    having enough food, water, and supplies on hand to survive an
    extended outage.

    Let me know how you like those non-dairy frozen desserts (links) I posted for you back on Wednesday (if you decide to try them).

  30. Sam Olson says:

    @nick
    Thanks for re-posting those cooking backups. I’ve got lots of food and water stored up, but only a small backpacking stove to cook with if the power goes out.

  31. nick says:

    WRT powdered milk, I like the taste of Nestle’s Nido brand. It’s aimed at the hispanic market, so you may need to look in that aisle at the store. NOT the Nido for Kids.

    It tastes like whole milk, not at all like dry non-fat milk.

    I have several gallons of UHT milk in whole and chocolate too. That is my first line, after the fresh, then the Nido.

    nick

    @sam, I like to eat! Hot meals are a great mood elevator when you are stressed during an event. The ability to keep things as normal as possible for the kids helps too. That’s one reason to eat out of your preps, so the kids are used to the foods.

  32. Sam Olson says:

    @OFD
    I’ve been telling people for years now that I figure both Hillary and Barack met with the banking industry and Hillary tried to make a deal, while Barack just told them “I’ll do whatever you tell me to”. We all know who got the nomination!! Ditto for Romney. And we all know who got the presidency!!! We have the best democracy money can buy!! [Greg Palast]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Best_Democracy_Money_Can_Buy

  33. nick says:

    @sam
    @lynn

    Sorry my summary got so long!

    For the size and money, you can’t beat a colman stove. One stove, 3 cans gas, only a couple of cubic feet of space. Meals for a long time….

    nick

  34. Sam Olson says:

    and now for some SERIOUS humor !!!

    This is probably one of the funniest commercials I’ve ever seen !!!

    HILARIOUS REAL Commercial: Poo-Pourri with BETHANY WOODRUFF
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oaQ1CdISw8o

  35. Lynn McGuire says:

    I need a backyard fire pit. One that looks good that I can cook on extremely occasionally. We do have a 20 ft by 8 ft covered rear patio and about 200 ft2 of uncovered patio surrounding the pool. In fact, the previous owner had a 4 ft tall fire pit that they were not considerate enough to leave. Picture #23 at:
    http://houstonarea.har.com/2007-starlite-field-dr/sold_77484442

    I would like to try some propane grilling, just for grins. My previous grilling efforts used charcoal, about once per year, because that is how long it took for the memory to go away. Plus, I do not have a counter top on the back patio for placing one of those cooking elements.

    @Sam, I really have minimized my consumption of anything dairy like. If in high need, I have been known to drop by McDonalds or Chikfila to grab a cone since there is no appreciable dairy in those products.

  36. Lynn McGuire says:

    @Sam, that Poo-Pourri commercial (and the three others I watched including the blooper reel) were hilarious. And it is an actual product! I continuously cannot believe what crap that people will buy.

    American Blackout 2013 – National Geographic
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FYoXxVnTePA
    Then talk about it afterwards, expressing your concerns about having enough food, water, and supplies on hand to survive an extended outage.

    No good, she watched a little of that with me over a year ago and declared it to be craziness. Could never happen in todays USA. Actually, my main worry at the moment is a Cat4 hurricane (this house will not survive a Cat5). I figure that the Houston area would not be back in service for 4 to 8 weeks with a Cat4.

  37. nick says:

    @lynn, nice pool!

    I can’t really imagine not using the grill. I cook on mine at least once, and usually 2 times a week. It used to be more often than that, but we have included more convenience foods since the kids arrived.

    I grill meat, sometimes veg, and use the rotisserie option to roast chicken, beef, and pork roasts. Roasted baby red potatoes tossed in oil, salt and fresh rosemary is a favorite, as is bacon wrapped grilled asparagus spears. I cook fish on the grill too, usually on a piece of foil so it’s more like baking than grilling. It keeps the smells and the mess out of the house.

    I find it is WAY easier to cook on a gas grill than charcoal, and quicker too. The flavor is different, but the convenience more than makes up for it. I haven’t used charcoal in years. You do need to ‘learn’ your grill, where the hot spots are, etc. Well worth doing!

    nick

  38. Lynn McGuire says:

    “A Masters in Slack”
    http://www.gocomics.com/overthehedge/2015/05/16

  39. Lynn McGuire says:

    @lynn, nice pool!

    Cold pool! It is still 82 F. Too cold for me, I need 85 F and prefer 87 F. Although, if one puts a fire in the hot tub then one can stand the cold pool for a few moments.

    The neighbors kids have been in their pool for over a month. I think they went in at 75 F.

  40. Lynn McGuire says:

    use the rotisserie option to roast chicken, beef, and pork roasts.

    I have not seen a rotisserie option for less than $800 or so. Expensive but nice!

  41. nick says:

    @lynn, my buddy has a ‘thermal blanket’ for his pool. It looks like industrial strength bubble wrap, is cut to the shape of the pool, and floats on the water. It heats the pool up real well.

    My wife bought our grill shortly after we moved to this house, or about 6-7 years ago. It was a scratch and dent floor model from Lowes. I think it was about half price, and was already assembled 🙂 We bought the rotisserie on ebay for much less than in the store. I have had to replace the burners 2 times, and the main grill bars once (not difficult or expensive). That’s mainly due to my habit of turning it on full, and letting it heat to 700+ to char off anything on the grill. It’s easy to clean when you just need to brush off ash. But it is very hard on the grill…. I use the infrared ceramic for the rotisserie, but I’ve never used the ceramic side grill (meant for steaks). The main grill is fine for steaks. At 700 deg I can do tandoori chicken too.

    nick

    -can’t sleep. anxious and sore. May have to read some of my ham radio Extra Class study guide. That’s the nuclear option.

  42. Sam Olson says:

    I have to wear my wetsuit to comfortably swim and snorkel in nearby mountain lakes and reservoirs in the Sierra Nevada mountains in the summer months. In the winter I ski, both downhill and cross-country. Of course backpacking is four-season. Pools are for wimps and sissies. If only the ocean (Pacific) was a little closer. Just hope I don’t end up regretting saying that (San Andreas fault).

  43. Miles_Teg says:

    My cordless home phones are now about 7-8 years old and the batteries aren’t holding much charge, so I need to get some new ones.

    The trouble is, I can’t find any (so far) that are exactly the same as the current ones. (Nickel Metal Hydride, AAA, 1.2V, 600 mAh).

    Would 500, 600 or 800 mAh be okay?

  44. SteveF says:

    Temps were in the fotties here overnight and may drop even further tonight, more of that globalwarmingchangingclimate stuff.

    No, no. Haven’t you been paying attention? Only unusually hot temperatures are evidence of climate change. Unusually cold temperatures are just weather.

  45. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “I now have a verbal warning from the wife on canned food and water storage. She is vehemently against storing more than four person months of food in the house.”

    Why? Your house is so large you need a map to find stuff, don’t you? Just tell her that 2-3 rooms are YOURS and you can store whatever you like in them. If she still objects tell her you’ll ditch enough of her stuff to make room, including the stuff she and the junior fembot rescued from the dumpster years ago and haven’t touched since… 🙂

  46. Miles_Teg says:

    “No, no. Haven’t you been paying attention? Only unusually hot temperatures are evidence of climate change. Unusually cold temperatures are just weather.”

    Wrong.

    EVERYTHING is evidence of climate change. Hot, cold, wet, dry, wind, no wind. Climate change causes all of this stuff and the only way to stop it is to abandon technology and go back to the caves – or the trees in your and OFD’s case… 🙂

  47. Ray Thompson says:

    my buddy has a ‘thermal blanket’ for his pool. It looks like industrial strength bubble wrap, is cut to the shape of the pool, and floats on the water. It heats the pool up real well.

    As do I. The blanket can raise the temperature of my 25K gallon pool almost two degrees a day on a sunny day. We have had to remove my blanket because the pool was at 88 degrees and that is too warm. The blankets are relatively cheap, are amazing effective. It is possible to keep the pool swimable until the end of October.

    Would 500, 600 or 800 mAh be okay?

    Yes. The 500 mAh would give you a little less time, the 800mAh would give you more time. What is important is the voltage and polarity. The current capability is not important as far as being able to use the battery. All the capacity affects is the run time.

  48. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I like the taste of Nestle’s Nido brand

    Yeah, but that’s not non-fat dry milk. It’s whole dry milk, which means it’s alleged shelf-life is pretty short.

  49. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Re: stoves

    I’d certainly have a Coleman dual-fuel on hand. It can burn regular unleaded gasoline in addition to Coleman Fuel.

  50. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn wrote:

    “I made the mistake of asking her why she did not use the in house dolly which got me another earful.”

    Well? Why didn’t she?

  51. Miles_Teg says:

    Thanks Ray, the voltage is rated at 1.2 V, which seems an unusual figure to me. How much tollerance would I get? Would 1.5V be okay?

  52. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    The nominal voltage of alkaline cells is 1.5V. The nominal voltage of NiCd and NiMH cells is 1.2V. You don’t get a choice of voltage.

  53. nick says:

    ” which means it’s alleged shelf-life is pretty short.”

    –I’m willing to rotate it out unused if needed, it’s not super expensive. Having it taste good, and be acceptable to the kids is worth the risk. (store what you eat, eat what you store, not ALWAYS possible)

    I’ll do the same with bulk staples. 50# of flour is so cheap it’s not worth worrying about compared to some things. In our daily life we rarely use bulk flour, sugar, or salt. I stock them though, just in case. Right now, pasta is cheap and plentiful, later? You can make a lot of pasta with bulk and the kids love it. Tortillas are easy too. No need for the iffy process of bread making with tortillas around.

    I’ll admit that this is a change as I progress along this path as a prepper. I started preparing for a particular emergency- civil unrest following Y2K. I morphed that into preparing for a particular local disaster- earthquakes (in Cali.) That shifted to hurricanes, and more general preparedness, still focused on regional and local emergencies and disasters where help will be coming from outside, eventually. Now I’ve made the jump to prepping for longer term events= economic collapse (societal or personal), civil disorder, larger or multiple disasters, etc. It takes a change in mindset and a practical change in what you do to prep.

    nick

  54. Lynn McGuire says:

    Why? Your house is so large you need a map to find stuff, don’t you? Just tell her that 2-3 rooms are YOURS and you can store whatever you like in them. If she still objects tell her you’ll ditch enough of her stuff to make room, including the stuff she and the junior fembot rescued from the dumpster years ago and haven’t touched since… 🙂

    I am storing the #10 cans on my side of the master closet (7 ft x 20 ft). Once I get them in there then she says nothing. She was griping over having to bring them in the house from the front porch. She forgot about the dolly while moving them 10 ft.

    Oh my goodness, you would not believe. We had an infestation of fleas last summer so she packed up the junior fembot stuff and moved it out into the garage. Where, it still is, taking up my 10 ft garage extension. I cannot get to anything, including my lawn sprinkler controller. I am very tempted to take it all out to the unoccupied little office (450 ft2) on our office property. I already took all the Christmas stuff out there.

    Hey, that solar blanket on the pool sounds good! Usually it is so warm around this place that the pool is up to 85 F by May 1. This year is unusually cool and the cold front yesterday killed it again.

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