Saturday, 15 August 2015

08:59 – Colin seems to have recovered. We’re keeping our fingers crossed. Barbara just left to get her car inspected and the brakes checked.

We made a Costco run yesterday to restock our freezer, mostly with meat. We usually go on weekends, so it was a pleasant change to have half the amount of traffic in the store and at the checkout lines. I also picked up a pair of slippers, two pair of heavy sweat pants on sale for $10 each, and three medium-weight flannel shirts, also on sale for $10 each. Oh, and I also picked up another box of 1,000 Thank-You t-shirt bags. I was right that the Costco bags are heavier. They’re 15-micron versus 10-micron for the ones Sam’s Club carries.


43 thoughts on “Saturday, 15 August 2015”

  1. @RBT, one of the best parts of running your own business is setting your own schedule. I go to costco during the week, Thursdays mainly. Same for the regular grocery. And I try for times that aren’t crowded- 4pm is a ghosttown most places.

    Same for things like service appointments, or other shopping.

    Although I am sometimes amazed by how many people are out during working hours.

    nick

  2. “Although I am sometimes amazed by how many people are out during working hours.”

    Ditto. Including me. Why am I out during working hours? I should be working. Oh well.

    I gotta find a good “ghost town” hour for our Costco thirty miles to our south.

    @RBT; what’s the viable storage limit on meat and fish in a freezer?

  3. @OFD

    Depends on how you package them. Barbara just uses ziplock freezer bags, and the frozen meats and fish stay unchanged as far as I can tell for at least six months. I think we’ve had stuff in there for a year with no problems. Vacuum sealing them is even better, but the vacuum seal bags are quite expensive.

  4. ‘Although I am sometimes amazed by how many people are out during working hours.’

    Have to agree with this. The few times that I’m out and about during the day I’ve found it curious how many other people are on the streets. Don’t they have jobs? Is it just coincidental that others have chosen to take the same day off that I have? Maybe it’s a reflection of the ‘stellar’ economy the powers that be claim we have.

    I also find it interesting how many school aged kids are on the street during the day. When I was a yoot, we were in school from 8-3 every weekday, and would be in serious trouble if we left the school grounds. This could in part, explain why so many people are growing up stupid.

  5. Costco used to open an hour earlier for Executive and Business members but they’ve done away with that, at least at my store.

  6. Ours too, although the “Business Center” still opens early.

  7. “… ziplock freezer bags, and the frozen meats and fish stay unchanged as far as I can tell for at least six months.”

    Thanks, that sounds about right; I gotta go through it and probably dump most of what’s been in there for a good year or two by now. Clean it out good and staht ovuh.

    “…we were in school from 8-3 every weekday, and would be in serious trouble if we left the school grounds. This could in part, explain why so many people are growing up stupid.”

    Ditto, 8 to about 2:30 every day, and in earlier years I’d be there until 4 or later, for sports practices or detention or both. The yoots wandering around outside skool grounds during the day? A tossup, as to whether they’re better off not in skool or in it; in it they’re still stupid but super-PC. Outside of it they’re stupid and prone to stupid activities like crime. Six of one and half a dozen of the other. Multiple stupid generations who have endless self-esteem, political correctness, and so forth, but don’t know squat about much else.

    Lotta helicopter activity over the village here for the past few days; low altitude, and the one that just passed overhead was O.D. Green. Guard or Reserve weekend? Who knows? Spying on OFD? Naw, I’m wicked small fry, not worth the effort or time. Just send a drone by with a Hellfire if I get too uppity.

  8. You guys had it easy, my high school’s normal hours were 7:35 to 3:35 consisting of 9 periods. You had to have classes in all periods except for 1/2 period for lunch and 1-1/2 periods for PE. You could have up to 1 period of study hall. Sports and marching/dance band met before and after school. The school paper and yearbook met last period and were considered a language arts course.

    My normal school day went from 6:30 to 5:30 with no study halls.

    The standard form of punishment for miscreants was an hour after school with Coach Reek (girls too). Coach Reek was a retired old school Gunny with time in Nam and the Purple Heart to prove it, need I say more.

    There were 736 in my graduating class (90% went on to college) and I managed to be in the top 5% and a National Merit Scholar which got me a small scholarship at the University of Illinois.

  9. About the kids running around loose during the day. In addition to the usual skips I live in a part of town that includes parts of three different school districts, all running on their own schedules, so that it rare that one of them is not on some sort of break or partial day for teacher training. Hard to tell which of those kids are truant.

  10. Again, story/fact from the good old days. If you were seen out and about during school hours by an Officer of the Law you had better have an excuse slip from the school explaining what you were doing. Now since these chits could be forged the OotL would call the school’s Guidance Office to verify the chit valid. Not valid and you were going to spend several days in detention with Coach Reek (see my comment above).

    BTW, even if you were with an adult, that adult had better be able to show ID that they were your parent. Truancy used to not be tolerated, might have had something to do with the high graduation rates.

    For the less academically inclined we had shop classes in wood working, auto, radio/TV/electronics. At the end of the year these classes displayed their projects.

  11. My skools were more akin to Mr. DadCooks’s, I guess; truancy was a major crime, and if caught, like I was once, you got brought home by the PO-leese, and wouldn’t you know it, the one day I got caught my old man was home from work for some reason and went fucking ballistic on me. Smashed all my ship, plane and tank models for starters, etc.

    And yeah, they had us on three tracks at the high skool, basically; college-bound like me, supposedly; and the allegedly less gifted, who are probably all millionaires by now, taking the shop and A-V-type classes and not going on to wunnerful college. The de facto third track, consisted of fellow college-bound drones like me, but these kids were National Merit scholars and STEM geeks and brilliant, who evidently went home from skool every day and did homework and studied their asses off. I, on the other hand, built and blew up stuff, drank, did dope, and went to demonstrations and rock concerts. Which is why I’m the success I am today.

    We didn’t have a Coach Reek (great name) but the existing coaches were sufficiently sadistic bastards anyway. And I’d had Good War vets as teachers, previously; Mr. Hopkins, who’d been machine-gunned by Germans and limped and clanked around with metal leg braces; and Mr. Lynch, who’d been Army Air Corps and a POW in Europe for three years, where he saw all kinds of horrific shit. No ‘Nam vets in positions of authority yet; and one of my brothers has since sent me links to a ‘Nam memorial that was set up down there a while back honoring those guys who didn’t come back, including my best friend’s neighbor kid, due to “accidental homicide,” we think a game of Russian Roulette with M16s that went awry. I went over a couple of years after he’d been and gone, signing up at 17.

    Belated congrats, Mr. DadCooks, on your National Merit scholarship; outstanding!

    I did great in subjects I liked and just barely passed the others; scored pretty good on the SATs and three Achievement tests, but had had enuff of skool by then. More fun in SEA, amirite?

    Sunny here now, but humid. Local Caucasian underclass types on the move in the vicinity; I keep a close eye on their shenanigans. And have the scanners operational with all local and state freqs programmed. These derps ain’t gonna last long if and when TSHTF.

  12. Thanks Mr. OFD. We are pretty close in age and experience, except I didn’t inhale 😉

    The sports teams at my high school were not very good so it was us band geeks that had the pick of the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders rode in the band bus to away games, fun was had by all. There was a certain protocol that had to be followed. In my senior year, since I was first trumpet that meant I dated the head cheerleader. Without a doubt that was a year to remember, we actually stayed together graduation summer but going off to college changed everything.

    Most of science teachers were WWII Vets. My chemistry teacher used to be in ordinance disposal, missing a couple of fingers. Whenever he had the chance he expanded the topic at hand to include some sort of pyrotechnic demonstration.

  13. Vacuum sealing them is even better, but the vacuum seal bags are quite expensive.

    Not that bad. Quart bags from FoodSaver are about 36 cents in bulk, and the rolls are even cheaper. Worth doing for expensive cuts for long term storage.

  14. When I have time, I intend to do some testing using standard ziplock freezer bags for vacuum sealing. They’re heavier plastic than the Foodsaver bags. The issue is that they don’t have the ridges along the open end that allow the air to be sucked out, so you can’t get a vacuum in them.

    I’m going to try cutting 1/2″ to 1″ strips off a vacuum roll and placing them at the open end of the ziplock bag. That’ll give the ridges needed for the exhaust to work, and the sealer should be able to seal through three layers of plastic.

    Incidentally, several people who’ve used Foodsaver sealers for decades have told me that they wouldn’t buy one of the current models, which they say are junk. The old ones were apparently great, but not the new ones. They recommend the Nesco VS-02, which is what I have.

  15. “… it was us band geeks that had the pick of the cheerleaders. The cheerleaders rode in the band bus to away games, fun was had by all. There was a certain protocol that had to be followed. In my senior year, since I was first trumpet that meant I dated the head cheerleader.”

    Bastards. I couldn’t get the time of day from the hottie cheerleaders. Even during my times as an end on the football team and second-string QB, plus indoor and spring track. We often wondered what the band geeks were up to and now, half a century later, I know. So I got lumped in with the hippie chicks and later, the older broads doing the hardcore lefty demos in Boston. I remember it shocked the crap outta me when I was with a tall blonde chick and found she didn’t shave her legs and had more blonde hair on them than I had red hair on mine. They all thought it was fun to jump a younger semi-jock type but I am here to attest that even a teenage boy can get too much of a good thing and more than one chick at the same time can wear a guy out at some point. If I tried that now I’d be dead inside of ten minutes.

    And now back to freezer bags…

    …so…would it be prudent to invest in a vacuum sealer and use that for frozen storage? The current Backwoods Home mag has a nice article by the great Jackie Clay on her indispensable kitchen toolz that have made life easier for her tired old butt in recent years, including various juicers, grinders, and even a taco press. She keeps the non-powered ones around anyway just-in-case, for example, the Grid goes down for a while. Then it’s back to elbow grease and throwing one’s weight into it.

  16. A lot of preppers use vacuum sealers extensively, and not just for foods. They’ll seal documents, batteries, etc. etc. I’ve had my Nesco VS-02 for close to a year now, and haven’t used it yet.

    TTBOMR, I never asked out a cheerleader. They always seemed to be such twits. I asked out the nerdy girls, many of whom were as or more attractive physically if one just took the time to notice. We also had shared interests.

  17. Several of our cheerleaders at the time were also very, very smart, and one or two were National Merit Scholars. They were evidently smaht enuff to avoid the likes of me and good for them.

    At least two of them are even more gorgeous now than back then; one is a professional dance and theater impresario in Boston and stunning. The other, along with an equally hot confederate, came very close to molesting me to the point of no return in the back of the late Hank Fortier’s AP English class one day. Which I have never forgotten, although I bet they’ve long since done so and moved on to grandma-hood.

  18. When photographing football games I am on the sideline. If I am close the cheerleaders I can get closer to the sidelines. If a thundering running back should head my way I jump behind a cheerleader. The theory being they are expendable and don’t have enough brains to get out of the way.

  19. Winter is approaching, “Super cold, slew of snow in Old Farmer’s Almanac forecast”:
    http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_OLD_FARMERS_ALMANAC

    “Just when you thought you had gotten over last winter, be warned: The Old Farmer’s Almanac predicts it will be super cold with a slew of snow for much of the country, even in places that don’t usually see too much of it, like the Pacific Northwest.”

    “Otherwise, look for above-normal snow and below-normal temperatures for much of New England; icy conditions in parts of the South; and frigid weather in the Midwest. The snowiest periods in the Pacific Northwest will be in mid-December, early to mid-January and mid- to late February, the almanac predicts.”

    Stepped outside a little while ago, was actually cool at only 96 F. Brrr.

  20. One of the criteria for our cheerleaders was academics, a B average minimum. My cheerleader was a science geek in addition to her dance and gymnastic skills. She went on to be a general surgeon.

    I have a Magic Vac™ that is at least 15 years old. Its suction is almost too much. Everything is manual, no automatic vacuum shutoff or heat seal shutoff so you have to pay attention. My wife will not touch it. It also sounds like an industrial air compressor.

    As with any of today’s appliances, if Costco doesn’t carry it I probably will not buy it. It’s that Costco guarantee that seals the deal (pun intended). Also, many times when appliance shopping an appliance that looks the same as one at Costco on close examination there is a difference in the model number. In the few cases I have checked the Costco model is a commercial/industrial grade that only on the surface looks like the home model. For the most part Costco’s buyers know what they are doing. Did I mention the guarantee?

  21. “If a thundering running back should head my way I jump behind a cheerleader. The theory being they are expendable and don’t have enough brains to get out of the way.”

    I am a sicko bastid but I find it amusing when gigantic football players run into and overturn and/or trample cheerleaders, camera guys, sports anchors, and game officials. “Trample the wounded and hurdle the dead.”

    “… look for above-normal snow and below-normal temperatures for much of New England…”

    Yeah. What else is new? We up here tend to think lately that the latest and greatest weather predictions exaggerate quite a bit; six inches of snow is a horrifying blizzard to them and temps below zero beyond the Pale. However do we manage? How did we ever manage over four centuries, the first three-and-a-half of them without central heat or air.

    We still have a cord or so of firewood and will be ordering four more shortly; I mos def wanna get an alternate gizmo on the well ASAP. We’ll also keep the oil tank topped off and the vehicle tanks likewise. If the power goes, we have heat, wottuh, and alternate cooking methods (two woodstoves, the PK grill, our “cowboy” grill, and I’ll be looking for Colemans soon, too), lamps, lamp oil and wicks, matches, lanterns, candles, and we’re stocking up on food every week now. Batteries and battery chargers and the scanners, shortwaves, and Bow-Fungs in full swing. Until such time as we get a generator or something similar, we’ll be without pooters and innernet if the power goes out, but we’ve got books and the radios and we’ll get plenty of exercise shoveling and blowing out snow and stacking and hauling firewood.

    “…if Costco doesn’t carry it I probably will not buy it. It’s that Costco guarantee that seals the deal…”

    Good info; I need to do more recon there now that I have my Executive card re-upped. Gotta try an early AM visit soon.

  22. I have a current FoodSaver and it works fine.  I use it all the time for smaller portions and leftovers in the freezer.  I also vacuum my paper tax returns in case the Brazos floods.

    I tried a Ziplock once and it wouldn’t vacuum without the channels that the FS bags have. What’s worse, when sealing, the Ziplock melts into a frayed mess.  I guess you could press “Cancel” and try to seal the bag without the mess.

    I do have a Pump n Seal that comes with a small tube (can’t remember where I got it, but it’s this one).  You use a bit of olive oil inside the zipper, place the tube in and zip up around it.  Place on a towel and start pumping.  When vacuumed, pull out the tube quickly and press closed. That works consistently.  You get small tabs  that can vacuum seal a Mason top by punching a small hole, place the “bandaid” over it and pump away.  That works consistently, also.

    Ziplock now have their own vacuum bags and hand pump (they have a valve).  They work well, but the “seal” doesn’t last, so you have to check it.  If you just throw it in the freezer, it should be OK.

  23. Waaaalll now….we gots to ID a reliable and simple-ass vacuum sealer and bags to store frozen food and other stuff…seems like…conflicting reports here today….

    …I’d do the chore of cleaning out the cellar freezer today but have lost the ambition…maybe tomorrow…

    Jackie Clay sez she won’t trust her food to any freezers no mo….

  24. Hey all, back from my forage, and not a stunning success. The stuff I went back for turned out to be Alice belts and load carrying harness, and I’ve got all Molle webbing. I did get a nice Panavise with circuit board holder for $12 and a no name plastic canteen and bag with Molle strips for $3. Other than that, a big bust. It turned out the reloading presses were not for sale, the gun cases were cheap junk, all the good bow hunting stuff was gone, and I’m good on no-name propane stoves….although I got a collectable vintage Optimus gasoline backpacker stove to sell on ebay.

    Re: freezer storage. If the food has not been exposed to air in the freezer, it is good as long as it stays hard frozen. I just cooked some bacon that was a couple of years old. Yum. 1 day or 1000, once frozen it really doesn’t change. BUT you have to keep the air out.

    Ziplok freezer bags will ALWAYS let the air in eventually. I only use them for short term storage for leftovers. I close the zip most of the way, and suck the air out with my mouth as I close the zip. Works well and gets most of the air.

    I have the Foodsaver from Costco. It works great. I freeze about 20 bags a month and haven’t had any problems over the last several years. I get the bags at Costco when they go on sale, and at yard and estate sales. They are very cheap at yard sales 🙂 Other people have mentioned success with the non-Foodsaver bags (well, rolls) from Uline.com, but I haven’t tried them. FWIW, costco had the foodsaver onsale this month. The foodsaver and the box of rolls usually go on sale on alternating months or 2 months out of 3. Never onsale at the same time tho. Most of the stuff I buy at costco goes on sale alternating months or every third sale flyer. I buy enough at the sale price to last until the next sale.

    Helpful hint, if you are bagging wet stuff, like leftover side dishes from Thanksgiving, freeze them first in a square or rectangular container (like the reusable ziplok containers). Then when you vac it, it won’t suck the liquid into your vac.

    Label every bag with WHAT IT IS, the freeze date, and how much it weighs (so you can microwave defrost it), and how many days it would have left if you hadn’t frozen it. That will tell you how quickly you need to use it once defrosted.

    So mine say “pork chops, 1#, 7/15/15, +5 meaning it was fresh when frozen and had 5 days left on the sell by date when frozen.

    Helpful hint #2, If you season meat before cooking, you can do it before vac sealing. The vac helps with the seasoning, and it saves time when preparing to cook.

    Helpful hint #3, one you all know, the main benefit to me of the vac sealer and freezer is letting me buy bulk and cut it up (or portion it) to normal serving sizes. I buy the beef tenderloin and cut into filet mignon, then season, and pack 3 to a bag. Perfect for my little family. Same with the rib eye roast, cut off a couple steaks, and cut the roast down to a 2#, or 3# size for your family. I cut lamb and pork roasts in half before packing, boil and pack bratwurst from costco for a quick meal, and pre-sauce my pork chops too. Portion out the “family” or “value” packs that go onsale before freezing, whether steak, hamburger, porkchops, or chicken parts.

    I have the canning attachment too, but haven’t tried it. Some folks swear by it with canning jars and old lids for dry foods.

    I have the marinade attachment, but haven’t used it much. I don’t usually marinade steak, and my pork chops are good with just the sauce on top…

    A vac sealer and a chest freezer are two critical tools for anyone with a family, but especially for preppers.

    nick

    And my thought on freezers– get a chest freezer. Uprights dump out all the cold air every time you open the door, and build a lot more frost. Their biggest advantage is being able to see all the stuff inside but you can counter that by being consistent about where you put stuff in the chest, or put a little dry erase board above the chest with a map on it. That’s what I did for my wife. If you have room you might want 2 smaller freezers rather than one giant one. That way if you have an unattended failure, you only lose half.

  25. I am a sicko bastid but I find it amusing when gigantic football players run into and overturn and/or trample cheerleaders, camera guys, sports anchors, and game officials.

    I have been trampled a couple of times. And you are a sicko bastid because it hurts. 250 pounds (with gear) hurtling a 20 mph, them with padding, me with none. Damn straight it hurts. I have been pinned against a fence one time and got slammed. The good news is the cameras have never been damaged. I have some bruises and did some limping. Waiting for the big one when I need medical. I will be sure and send you pictures when that occurs you sicko bastid so you can have your laugh for the day. 🙂

    Seriously I have been trampled a couple of times. When they start getting close I turn and run. The trampling occurred when I encountered the fence which tend to be close to the sidelines anyways at high school games. It does indeed hurt. I used to chuckle at the unfortunate but now have a lot of sympathy.

  26. Damn, Mr. nick; you maybe oughta consider putting together a book yerself of all these tips and info; I’m just an old bastid and can’t remember all this, although I can copy/paste it to text files, I suppose.

    Much excellent info, but some days it’s like trying to sip from a fire hose. Thanks for all of it!

    Mrs. OFD is up in northern NB with Grandma at the seaside cottage; she evidently forgot to take her meds for the past five days and is extremely tired and been sleeping twelve hours at a crack. Two weeks off the meds and she’s dead. Why do I gotta keep having to worry about chit like this, 600-700 miles away???

    And yesterday I hadda pick up the mutt from Princess, where she’s been staying at Grandma’s house down here, and working her summer job on the Lake Champlain ferry. So she’s bought a used violin, had it for a few days, learning it. Immediately reels off several early English and Irish pieces on it, no problemo. Insane. Kid picks up whatever instrument and learns it in days; can now do that one, plus any keyboards, guitar, and Celtic harp. Gotta learn Japanese by next Saturday? No sweat. Translate a Russian poem into English and analyze it? Easy peezee.

    I told her not to get interested in drums or any percussion instruments and not to bother learning Arabic, as we plan on wiping them all out pretty soon.

    Right after we wipe out all the lawyers, politicians, financial speculators, progs and SJWs….

  27. “…250 pounds (with gear) hurtling a 20 mph, them with padding…”

    Yup, that would be me. I dunno about 20 MPH, though.

    “I will be sure and send you pictures when that occurs you sicko bastid so you can have your laugh for the day. :)”

    OK, I won’t laugh anymore when camera guys get it. Refs, officials, sports anchors and cheerleaders are fair game, though. I actually kinda feel sorry for the camera guys ’cause they be concentrating through their lenses and maybe cain’t see Bubba bearing down on them in time. You’ll note, however, that when the bruisers are spinning outta control into the sidelines, even the opposing players, if anywhere near enough, will try to grab them before any damage occurs.

    “The trampling occurred when I encountered the fence which tend to be close to the sidelines anyways at high school games.”

    You gotta make the jump over the fence, kemosabe…

    I’ll slide on down there and show you how it’s done…I was a high jumper in high skool track…oh wait…that was half a century ago…

  28. You gotta make the jump over the fence, kemosabe…

    The end result of that would be worse than the collision plus provide much comedic relief for the persons in the stand.

  29. I hear ya; I seriously doubt I could make a running leap over any fence much higher than three or four feet these days. In my days of yore, I did over six feet, just as the Fosbury Flop was coming on strong.

    I also doubt I could move outta the way as fast as you seem to have to do down there. I might take my chances with one of them brutes, seeing as how I ain’t much smaller, if at all. And clobber the dumb clumsy bastid with the camera. No, not the camera, the tripod. Or maybe just a sap I have in my back pocket. Or throw a cheerleader in front of me…

  30. Or throw a cheerleader in front of me…

    There’s the ticket.

    I seriously doubt I could make a running leap over any fence much higher than three or four feet these days.

    Three feet would score you as the high jump champ in my league.

    In my days of yore, I did over six feet

    I did leap fences on the cattle ranch. Although I think most of our fences were five feet. I also chose only wooden fences fences. A barbed wire fence may have resulted in a “Jenner”.

  31. In those ancient days of yore, we were still doing the high jump by running at an angle toward the bar, which was fabricated from steel, not some pussy plastic chit like they have now, or faggoty fiberglass. So if you missed a certain way, you could catch the bar smack in your chest or neck or head, or come down on top of it and ride it to the sawdust below, or make the jump but just nick it by a you-know-what hair and have it come crashing down on top of you. I used to hobble home black and blue and bleeding for the first few weeks of that chit. Also ran middle distances; hard to do when you’re nursing bruised bones and limping. So you’d get: “Rub some dirt on it, cupcake, and haul ass!” A nice precursor for the boot camp to come.

    Barbed wire fences: seen ’em on farms and ranches. Also seen ’em at war zone airfields and bases. Ten feet of chain-link, topped by triple-standard concertina, not so much barbs, per se, but razor blades. And patrolled by AF sentry dogs. Nevertheless, every once in a while Mr. Charles or his NVA sapper buddies would slide on through, in nothing but shorts and sandals, and toting a pair of wire-cutters and his cute little satchel.

  32. Camp of the Saints, Redux:

    http://www.phillytrib.com/news/district-registration-for-immigrant-students-closes-aug/article_3c47f9d0-1566-5d46-bfe5-54f1a3968cad.html

    http://news.yahoo.com/least-40-migrants-dead-mediterranean-sinking-102241286.html;_ylt=AwrC1jFecs9VYlsAWB7QtDMD;_ylu=X3oDMTByMHZ0NG9yBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwM3BHZ0aWQDBHNlYwNzcg–

    Come one, come all, ye struggling masses yearning to breathe free, etc.

    They do it out of love.

    You’re looking askant at these capers? You must be a rayciss. Or a nativist. Or a xenophobe. After all, ain’t yo family been immigrants?

  33. @OFD,

    “Damn, Mr. nick; you maybe oughta consider putting together a book yerself….. some days it’s like trying to sip from a fire hose. Thanks for all of it!”

    You are welcome. I hope it is useful. And I’m willing to hear criticisms or suggestions or corrections, although I reserve the right to be grumpy about it 🙂 Often thru the free exchange of ideas we are able to define, refine, and clarify our own thoughts on a subject.

    Writing books is hard work, and then the whole internet comes after you for every little thing. So I’ll leave that (the prose) to the pros. Hah!

    Sharing here makes me feel like I’m helping, and ‘giving back.’ And where I can, providing first hand experience is (I think) helpful. And I learn a bunch of things, and am forced to think of and consider things that I missed. Some of them are unknown unknowns which are the hardest things to catch.

    nick

    oh, and since I work from home I don’t get to interact with living people face to face during the week, so it tends to come out here.

  34. And I tend to use ‘and’ a lot, and start sentences with ‘but’ and I intentionally misuse the single quote mark ‘ in the british way, as I try to work out a way to ‘talk’ without using ” for actual quotes of people, and I occasionally use run-on sentences, and I like the Oxford comma, so I overuse “so”, as a way to be more ‘conversational, and in general, make life miserable for a copy editor 🙂

    nick

    OTOH, I know when I am breaking the rules most of the time.

    Good writin’ is hard work.

    OTOOH, if I was writing a book, I would have completely overlooked putting in any info about freezers or vacuum sealers. I think of those under the mental heading of ‘cooking’ and not ‘prepping’ even when used specifically for preps.

    OTGH, I wondered the other day how much room Our Host has in his freezer for food. IIRC there are a lot of non-food items stored in there– dru gs, seeds, pre-c ursors, batteries, and I’m sure I missed something 🙂

  35. RBT probably has a couple of cats in the freezer, ready to bring back to life just in case there’s a species extinction and he can’t hate on cats any more. Haters gonna hate…

  36. OTGH, I wondered the other day how much room Our Host has in his freezer for food. IIRC there are a lot of non-food items stored in there– dru gs, seeds, pre-cursors, batteries, and I’m sure I missed something 🙂

    We have a large vertical commercial-grade freezer. At any given time, there will be probably 100 to 200 pounds of frozen meats and fish, a bunch of convenience foods like half a dozen frozen pizzas and 10 pounds of onion rings, a few loaves of bread, buns, etc., and maybe 20 to 40 pounds of butter. All of that is stuff that we use day-to-day.

    For long-term storage, I use the freezer as a shelf-life extender for high-value items. For example, I have nine #10 cans of powdered eggs in there, which have a nominal shelf-life of ten years. Frozen, they’re good for 50 or 100, because the SL clock stops running. If the power grid went down long-term, the 10-year SL starts running again. I do the same-thing on a space-available basis with some low/medium-value items. For example, right now I have three 3-liter bottles of olive oil frozen solid in there. Those’ll come out if I need more freezer space for high-value items.

    I don’t store batteries in there, but I do store a lot of low-bulk medium/high-value items like heirloom seeds. I also have a pretty decent collection of important drugs like kilos of assorted antibiotics and antifungals, along with thousands of assorted pain relievers, antihistamines, multivitamins, loperamide, etc. etc. Of course, I also keep a manual pill filler and gelatin capsules for converting bulk medications to capsule form.

  37. If the power grid went down long-term, the 10-year SL starts running again.

    So for short-term outages I presume an alternate power source for the freezer would be ideal given other normally powered items (lights, heat, etc.) are more easily substituted with non-power alternatives. Unless it’s well below zero outside and the outdoors can be your temporary freezer (given reasonable protection of foodstocks from animals).

  38. the outdoors can be your temporary freezer

    In northern Minnesota, several people did just that. A few that I saw left their freezers out all year, but it was more common to set them on the porch in the fall and winter and maybe spring, sometimes protected from the weather, sometimes not. Heck, it’s not that cold here in upstate NY and I’m still able to use my garage as an auxiliary refrigerator much of the year, and put the chest freezer there about half the year, whenever the average temperature is lower than about 60F.

  39. Yep. We have a 7KW generator, which’d only need to be run for an hour or so a day to keep the freezer cold as well as recharge batteries, radios, etc.

  40. “…Heck, it’s not that cold here in upstate NY and I’m still able to use my garage as an auxiliary refrigerator much of the year…”

    Ditto, and then some up here. We’ve used our back porch as a stand-alone freezer during the winter months repeatedly. Last winter some big pots full of stuff stayed frozen solid well into March.

    Since our weather forecast this coming week looks like horrific high 80s and up to 90, a good project for me is to clean out the chest freezer in the cellar and assemble the shelving down there. While avoiding the attic, which could probably be used to bake casseroles or sumthin…

  41. We have a 7KW generator, which’d only need to be run for an hour or so a day to keep the freezer cold as well as recharge batteries, radios, etc.

    How often do you test run that bad boy? My experience at the electric company was that if you did not run your black start generators once per week and run them for an hour or two, they would never start due to battery, fuel, etc, etc, etc issues. Of course, our black start generators were usually 2,500 hp GE locomotives engines running on diesel. Lots and lots of diesel. One of our plants in east Texas had five of them. We tripped all five of them one fine spring day black starting a 4,500 hp boiler feed pump. Then we tripped the pump on the 45 second timeout to speed. That was a very long day trying to keep from underspeeding the diesels and overheating the boiler feed pump.

    Or, old submarine diesels from WWII. Or, we actually bought a couple of supercharged and turbocharged Stewart-Stevenson diesels before I left. All hooked up to 10,000 to 50,000 gallon diesel tanks. That you had to put algaecide into every couple of months.

  42. We keep a can of ether starting fluid, which works even when the engine is recalcitrant.

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