Tuesday, 25 August 2015

08:14 – One of the interesting aspects of offering a free sample chapter of the prepping book is all the emails I get from people whose names I don’t recognize because they never post comments here, including a disproportionate number of women. Maybe 1% of my male readers ever post a comment here; for female readers, it’s probably more like 0.1%. Given that my readership is probably 10:1 male:female, that means we see very, very few comments from women. Perhaps I’ve made this journal unfriendly to women. If so, it’s not intentional and I regret that I seem to attract mostly you crotchety old bastards who are always commenting.

Yesterday’s stock market crash seems to be leveling out, although a significant minority of observers believe much worse things are imminent and even most of the optimists appear to be badly shaken. If one thing is clear, it’s that China is out of control. Yesterday wasn’t the big crash that a lot of people are expecting, but that doesn’t mean they’re wrong. The big crash is coming, maybe not today or next month or even this year, but it is coming. And when it comes it seems likely that it will start in China and quickly flood over the EU like a tsunami. The US and Canada are the only real havens. They’ll both take severe hits, but nothing like the rest of the world.

Barbara’s first day back at work yesterday was uneventful. She’s turning things over to the several people who will replace her, teaching them what she does. It sounds like her final five weeks at work will be relatively calm, which is a good thing.

If you’d like a PDF copy of Chapter 1 of the prepping book, email me at thompson (at) ttgnet (dot) com with the subject line “book sample”. I’ll send you the PDF.

10:34 – At Lynn’s suggestion, I just added the following text as a sidebar in Chapter 1.

What About Cooling?

Cold can kill, but so can heat, particularly the elderly, infants, and others who are less able than most people to tolerate high temperatures and humidity. With power down, the lack of air conditioning can be a lethal threat to these vulnerable people.

Unfortunately, it takes a lot of power to run a whole-house air conditioning system, much more than is practical for most people to make provision for. Keeping whole-house air conditioning running during a power outage requires a very large generator and the fuel to run it.

If you must have cooling, there are two practical options:

First, you can buy a high-efficiency, inverter-based generator1, store enough fuel to run it for the expected duration of the power outage, and use it to power a small portable or window air conditioner to cool one room.

Second, you can do what our ancestors did before there was air conditioning. If you still have running water, use cool water for frequent cooling baths or showers. Utility water usually comes from the tap at about the average year-round temperature for your location. For example, the annual average temperature in Dallas, Texas is about 67 °F and that of Boston, Massachusetts is about 52 °F, so utility water temperatures in those cities are normally within ±5 or 10 °F of those temperatures. (Oddly, the water temperature is usually somewhat higher in cold months and somewhat lower in warm months because it takes six months or so for air temperature changes to penetrate the soil to the depth at which water pipes are usually buried.) Utility water at 65 or 70 °F is far enough below body temperature that bathing or showering in it will cool you down quickly. In fact, spending too long in cool water can produce hypothermia.

If you don’t have running water, use whatever water you do have. Other than shallow ponds, the temperature of natural water sources like streams, rivers, and lakes is usually much lower than the ambient air temperature.

130 thoughts on “Tuesday, 25 August 2015”

  1. “If so, it’s not intentional and I regret that I seem to attract mostly you crotchety old bastards who are always commenting.”

    Dear Mr. Thompson,

    Crotchety old bastard? Moi? At 0x32, I am one of the younger commenters here. And my parents got married 13 months before I was born. I guess I have to concede the crotchety part.

  2. @Dave: Wow, that was a long gestation!

    Signed: Another crotchety old bastard…

  3. Yes, you are a crotchety old one. One of your responses several years ago stopped me from commenting for a long time. Several commenters over the past few years have disappeared from the boards after receiving your comments.

    I realized some time ago that I’m probably as crotchety as you (now), so I don’t let that bother me. Sort of a growing-up thing. Nobody is going to change you, so learn to live with it. I suspect that many readers here don’t comment because they don’t care to see the negative (potential) response.

    You are quite valuable as you are. I wouldn’t change a thing. But some insight might be good.

  4. On a more serious note, I just stumbled across this article, which details the woes of LGBT diplomats.

    The tone-deafness of the American government can be pretty amazing. I mean, unless you are trying to poison your relationship with another country, why would you send them a diplomat whose lifestyle they find offensive? Which part of the word “diplomacy” do these people not understand?

    There’s a follow-up article at Unz that is a lot more sensible.

  5. @Brad

    “The tone-deafness of the American government can be pretty amazing.”

    Have you been gone that long? We are talking about the country who made a woman the ambassador to Iraq in the period leading up to the first Gulf War. Or more recently the country that sent a gay male to be our ambassador to a turbulent Muslim Libya.

  6. Chapter comments,

    Mistake in the recommended bleach concentration??, 1/2 cup per gal looks like WAY too much:

    Solutions used for sanitizing equipment shall not exceed
    200 parts per million (ppm) available chlorine.
    As shown in Table 1, about one tablespoon (1/2 fluid ounce, 15
    ml) of typical chlorine bleach per gallon of water is the maximum
    that should be used for sanitizing food contact surfaces, according
    to federal regulation
    . If higher concentrations are used, the surface
    must be rinsed with potable water after sanitizing. Contact times of
    one to five minutes are usually sufficient to achieve a thorough kill,
    depending on chlorine concentration and organic load.


    In a commercial kitchen you use ph test strips to verify the concentration.

    When I’m reusing bottles, I shake with a little soapy water, rinse thoroughly, then add undiluted bleach (about 1 tsp or 2) Shake well to coat inside of bottle. Drain excess and fill with tap water. Seal. Leave air gap at top.

    I’m mainly concerned about killing anything that could leave a biofilm inside the bottle. Seems to have worked, and is easy to remember. YMMV, what say you?


  7. I’d prefer comments by email, but however people want to do it is fine.

  8. @Dave: I probably have been gone that long, dunno – I left in ’92. Back then, I was also probably naive enough not to really see the government for what it is.

  9. We were called “Survivalists” in the 70’s, preparing to survive an oil shortage, ice age, or a nuclear exchange. Today we are “Preppers”. Reminds me of the late 70’s Dr. Pepper commercial jingle “I’m a Prepper, he’s a Prepper, she’s a Prepper, we’re a Prepper! Wouldn’t you like to be a Prepper too?”
    In the 70’s I tricked out a 4WD with camping & survival gear. added a separate LNG carb for multi-fuel capability, and had a stock of Foxfire and Mother Earth books to show me how to build a dome home, truck tire garden, and tie-dye T-Shirts for trade goods. The one thing we didn’t have was a stockpile of food & essentials. But hey, I was 21, foolish (in oh so many ways) and poor.

  10. @rbt.

    Nice first chapter.

    Although I disagree on the utility of a handgun, and believe the number of successful self defense uses every year supports my position that they are useful, even with minimal training, I understand where you are coming from.

    There is always a balance to be struck between completeness and simplicity, and I think you’ve done a good job of it. I wonder if you could maybe link to some additional foot or end notes, or use sidebars for more detail. I’d like to see more detail about chemical treatment of water (bleach, or a mention of the tablets) and how LONG to boil water w/mention that it’s not effective against chemical contamination.) Toilet tank water may not be potable. Every tank I’ve worked on had some sort of slime or contamination, and many people will have some sort of Ty-D-bowl treatment there.

    Maybe a sidebar on CO detectors and why they should be used? Every disaster people die from CO, usually related to running a geni.

    It is perhaps unfair to judge the level of detail without knowing what you intend for the other chapters, and there is the problem of ‘clutter’ making the book difficult to follow.

    Thanks for the emphasis on the amount of water recommended being only a minimum, and way low at that. That is definitely one of the things that is endlessly repeated and while technically true, is misleading.


  11. @Harold,

    I bet you concentrated on the things you chose because they were fun, and were where your natural interest lay. I see that with preppers all the time, including myself.

    We should all ask ourselves, “what are we NOT doing?” “What are the parts of prepping we dislike?”(and therefore under prepare)

    For some it will be physical fitness, others might dislike guns and self-defense. Some people won’t like financial discipline, or learning to produce and store their own food.

    I’m sure we could all benefit from an honest look at where we are concentrating our efforts, and where we are stinting.


  12. @nick

    As you say, this is only an intro chapter. The stuff you mention is covered in great detail in later chapters.

    Here’s my current working TOC:

    Level I – The First Week
    1. Basic Supplies and Equipment
    2. Getting Home
    3. Emergency Kits
    Level II – The First Month
    4. Water for a Month
    5. Food for a Month
    6. Preparing Meals
    7. Shelter
    8. Sanitation
    9. Medical
    10. Electricity, Light, and Communications
    11. Security and Defense
    12. Preparing for Evacuation
    13. Preparing for Pandemic Emergencies
    14. Preparing for Nuclear Radiation Emergencies
    15. Preparing for Grid-Down Emergencies
    16. Preparing for Financial Emergencies
    17. Preparing for Social Unrest
    18. Helping Family, Friends, and Neighbors
    Level III – The First Year
    19. Forming a Prepping Group
    20. Water for a Year
    21. Food for a Year
    22. Preparing Meals
    23. Shelter
    24. Sanitation
    25. Medical
    26. Electricity, Light, and Communications
    27. Security and Defense
    28. Trade Goods
    Section IV – Appendices
    A. Building a Library

    There was originally another section “Beyond the First Year”, but that’s going to have to be a separate book, if I ever have time to write it. The TOC as listed already makes the book too large. I’ll be doing quite a bit of trimming/rewrite, and also moving some stuff around. For example, the chapter on preparing to evacuate may end up in Section I instead of II.

  13. “We are talking about the country who made a woman the ambassador to Iraq in the period leading up to the first Gulf War. Or more recently the country that sent a gay male to be our ambassador to a turbulent Muslim Libya.”

    In the first case I’d postulate the usual incredible ignorance and arrogance. In the second case, smug malice aforethought and arrogance.

    “I regret that I seem to attract mostly you crotchety old bastards who are always commenting.”

    Guilty as charged!

    I regret that there aren’t more women on here and commenting, too; I bet a lot of them are pissed at a couple of us for our misogynist rantings, but hey, we have mothers, sisters, wives and daughters whom we love dearly, and many of us are all too familiar with our multitudinous failings as stubborn, immature pigs. So jump on in and join the fun; not all threads are about flashlights!

  14. I regret that there aren’t more women on here and commenting, too

    You just want to see their boobs.

    Is that a micro-aggression.

    I’m a crotchety, old, WHITE! bastard. Racist, too. Knuckle dragger. Etc.

  15. Not me. Unlike about 99% or 99.9% of men, I actually LIKE women. I’d rather spend time around women than around other men.

    Barbara actually noticed that not long after we were married. We’d go to a party and all the guys would soon migrate to the den, where they’d sit around the TV watching sports and talking about guy stuff. I’d stay in the kitchen with the women and sit there listening to them talk about girl stuff. They’d actually come to think of me as one of the girls. So I know from experience that when women get together they talk in incredible detail about personal stuff that’d make a Marine Corps DI blush.

  16. At 65 you can call me a mostly lurking crotchety old bastard (or MLCOB since everything must have an acronym these days).

    As a point of reference for you landlubbers and folks of military services other than the Navy Submarine Service; when I first saw “crotchety old bastard (COB)” my mind immediately went to the truly most respected person on board a submarine and most certainly a true “crotchety old bastard (COB)” , the COB, the Chief of the Boat. The COB is the most senior Chief on board a submarine and until not that long ago the COB had prior service on a diesel boat. Diesel boat sailors were a rare breed and it would take a book to do their description justice.

    There goes my slowly degrading mind again, getting off on a tangent. I’ll just sit back and let you youngins keep up the banter of fun, facts, and information.

  17. I’ve known since I was a freshman in college that women are much more likely to be switch hitters than guys are. Simple observation of a reasonably large universe made that abundantly clear.

    The first time a girl dumped me for another girl, I thought it was me. By about the third or fourth time that happened I realized it wasn’t about me. And I often ended up friends with both girls involved, which means I also ended up in bed with two women at the same time more often than most other guys I knew.

  18. “You just want to see their boobs.”

    Well, that would be frosting on the cake, but I’m willing to settle for just the cake.

    “I’m a crotchety, old, WHITE! bastard. Racist, too. Knuckle dragger. Etc.”

    Don’t forget sexist, nativist, xenophobic, and chauvinist pig…

    “So I know from experience that when women get together they talk in incredible detail about personal stuff…”

    …that would make yer hair stand on end. I was the only guy on a night shift with a couple of dozen women in a factory nearly forty years ago and after a couple of weeks they got used to having me around and would say ANYTHING, often about husbands and boyfriends. Yikes. I have always preferred the company of guys, and grew up on the sports teams, hanging out with guys, the military, the cops, the IT world, etc. But up here I’m usually the only guy again, esp. during holidays and family events.

    “…when I first saw “crotchety old bastard…”

    Instead of Chief of the Boat, we usually had a Chief of the Base, the most senior sergeant, often, but not always, the First Sergeant. During my northern Kalifornia deployment, it was a “Brown Shoe Air Force” Chief Master Sergeant. He’d been in the Good War over Europe in the old Army Air Corps and joined the USAF when it was first formed in 1947. I was and am proud to have served with Good War and Korean War vets and also older ‘Nam vets back for second, third, fourth, etc. tours of duty there.

    @Mr. DadCooks; my dad was a Coastie in the waning days of the Good War, mostly in the north Atlantic against der unterseebooten, and Shore Patrol in Manhattan and Ball-more. My maternal uncle was USN on a destroyer off ‘Nam and my maternal grandpa was USN, with three years in North Africa during the aforementioned Good War. My other grandpa was Army, in the Great War, the war to end all wars, lol. Born in 1894.

  19. which means I also ended up in bed with two women at the same time more often than most other guys I knew

    They have to be alive to count.

  20. Oh, they were all alive. So much so that if I tried that today, it’d kill me. It sometimes almost killed me when I was 20. Of course, that nearly happened more than once with just one girl at a time. The nice thing about two at a time is that after I passed out, the two of them could entertain themselves.

  21. “They have to be alive to count.”

    And nasty ol’ Mr. Ray wins the innernet for today!

    Another misogynist and chauvinist knuckle-dragging pig and yet another micro-aggression of some sort, I haven’t figured out what kind yet (it’s damn hahd work, ya know!)

  22. Actually, I remember Buffy referring to Undead Americans so as not to offend a vampire she was about to introduce to Mr. Pointy.

  23. I also prefer the company of women. They’re so much more interesting to talk to, let alone stare at… 🙂

    “I also ended up in bed with two women at the same time more often than most other guys I knew.”

    You shouldn’t let women exploit you like that, just using you as a sex toy… 🙂

  24. That’s a nice rack! 😉

    I have a serious lack of wall space though. I’d have to stack them 3 deep with staggered bottoms, but then they wouldn’t be so easy or straightforward to build.

    As for the M/F discussion, well…. Ima gonna keep my trap shut. 😉


  25. Something that may not be obvious to some for a little extra cooling is to open the upper sash on the window. Heat rises and if it has no where to go you form a bubble of hot air in the room. The best passive cooling I have in my home is to open the upper sashes in the upstairs rooms, the lower sashes in the downstairs and leave all the room doors open. Sort of a chimney effect as the hot air rises up the stairs and out, all the while drawing in fresh cooler air downstairs.

    Now for something completely different, I’m finally getting around to putting some survival/safety gear in my car. Decided it was time since I taking a little trip (5 days about 120 miles from home). What do you guys keep your “car gear” in? Plastic box, duffle bag, backpack, tote bags?

  26. Ours is in multiple duffel bags, grouped by size and priority, with the highest priority items in the smallest, lightest bag. That way, if it’s just one of us in the car, we can grab the first-priority (or first- and second-) and walk away. If we’re both in the car, we’d grab at least the first two bags and maybe the first four. The large and/or heavy stuff (like canned foods, the bulk of the water, ammunition, etc.) is in a large duffel that we’d abandon if we had to walk out.

  27. On a more serious note, I just stumbled across this article, which details the woes of LGBT diplomats

    BTW, the LGBT acronym is no longer proper. Instead, you should be now using LGBTQI.

    And, I am wondering where A for Androgynous goes.


  28. Oh, wait. I just realized that that might be a micro-aggression and might also be offensive to some women, whom I have no desire to know.

  29. “You shouldn’t let women exploit you like that, just using you as a sex toy…”

    Yep, sounds like our Dr. Bob was a “boy-toy,” perhaps even a gigolo. A Don Juan. A Casanova.

    “Ours is in multiple duffel bags…”

    Mr. JLP is only going 120 miles for a short week, yikes. A couple of backpacks oughta suffice, and not huge ones, either. With the essentials. One might ask, however, whether Mr. JLP plans to camp out or stay in hotels/motels. Even so, a couple of backpacks/rucksacks should do nicely.

    If memory serves, that is roughly the distance from his AO to the Berkshires, heading west.

    “And, I am wondering where A for Androgynous goes.”

    Naughty micro-aggression!

    “Fuck ’em all.”

    No thanks. You first.

  30. I’m building a kit for each car tonight. Amazon just delivered the stuff today. That kit will be in a backpack, because I want it to be very easy to carry, since I may be carrying a preschooler as well. Given the small size of the backpack, I’m going to build an additional kit in a duffel bag that I can grab if we need to evacuate. The most important and useful stuff will go in the backpack. The heavier and bulkier stuff will go in the duffel bag.

  31. The car kit will be a relatively permanent fixture, not just for the upcoming trip. I very, very, rarely venture more than 100 miles from home** so I think of this as a “help me survive the night and get me home kit”.

    Mr. OFD, I am not heading west to the Berkshires (a beautiful area, though). I’m heading north to the lovely coast of Maine and I will be staying in a nice hotel. Only the best for me and my lady friend.

    **There was talk at work of sending me on a trip to our contract manufacturer located about 2 miles form downtown Ferguson MO. Yikes! Luckily I was able to resolve the problems here in my own lab.

  32. Yesterday’s stock market crash seems to be leveling out, although a significant minority of observers believe much worse things are imminent and even most of the optimists appear to be badly shaken.

    What a load of bananas. The significant minority of observers who believe much worse things are imminent certainly exist but should be largely ignored. The optimists I know are not badly shaken, they are looking to buy when the dust settles.

    Is the market likely to go down some more? Sure, there is a good chance. Typically there is a downturn every decade or so, though not on a predictable timetable. It is normal. It is expected (in general) but unpredictable (in the specific). Key to keeping your head when all the headlines are screaming doom and gloom is to learn to ignore all the headlines and “experts” who feed the media frenzy. The typical way to understand those guys is along the lines of “he predicted eleven of the last three downturns”. Such a downturn means even better buying opportunities. The long-term, patient investor who diversifies their investments across a selection of good companies (companies, not stocks) doesn’t have to get freaked out by market craziness. They do best by moving slowly and buying carefully.

    Sad to say, the most common reaction is to cut your own throat, in this instance by selling in a panic.

  33. “…I think of this as a “help me survive the night and get me home kit”.”

    A bail-out-bag, then; a backpack or rucksack with the essentials to get home if you somehow lose your motorized transportation. In the current case, you probably wouldn’t have much to worry about; could always get a relative or friend to come get you or you could take a bus or train or whatever. (for which you’d need credit cards/cash, of course).

    On the other hand, in the dead of winter, it’s not that hard to imagine slipping on black ice and sliding down a snowy embankment into a ravine, where no one is likely to see you or hear you, esp. at night. And you could be injured; so you wanna allow for possibilities like that, too.

    In a SHTF scenario, presumably we would not be gallivanting all over the countryside, but if we absolutely had no choice, as in having to retrieve a kid from school/college or some other reason, I’d wanna have at the very least, a good sidearm I was comfortable using, and even better, that and a rifle. With extra mags.

    Glad you didn’t have to zip on down to MO. That mighta sucked.

  34. “I love soldier’s songs.”

    I remember a few cadence songs from Basic but they’re too nasty to post here.

    “…the most common reaction is to cut your own throat, in this instance by selling in a panic.”

    There it is. I just read somewhere today that it is like unto a big store sale but all the customers are running OUT the doors.

  35. The tone-deafness of the American government can be pretty amazing. I mean, unless you are trying to poison your relationship with another country, why would you send them a diplomat whose lifestyle they find offensive?

    Yeah, sending Caroline Kennedy to be ambassador to Japan was a bad idea. (She also has done a bad job running the embassy.
    http://pjmedia.com/claudiarosett/under-ambassador-caroline-kennedy-amateur-hour-at-the-u-s-embassy-in-japan/ )

  36. Ambassadors to furrin countries ought to at least know, or acquire right away, the relevant major language; in addition, they should know the country’s history and culture and be mature, reliable, honest individuals. Instead, it’s a game of celebs and socialite crap shoots, and we send idiots like her and Glaspie and the other country loses face, particularly important in Asia.

    Next they’ll send Bruce Jenner to Saudi Arabia.

  37. So, after the SHTF, there will be lots of dead bodies. Dead bodies == flies. What is a good prepper going to do?

    Get a Bug A Salt and shoot those pesky flies right out of the air. A review is available at http://www.saysuncle.com/2013/04/30/bug-a-salt-a-review/

    The review recommends using Kosher salt instead of table salt. (Don’t know what kind he used – there are two different types available with different grain size.) Now, preppers would probably want iodized table salt for the iodine content. However, if you intend to do any salt preserving or pickling, you want Kosher salt since it has no iodine to react and produce off flavors/colors. So stock both.

    (Via Instapundit)

    (Via Instapundit)

  38. Next they’ll send Bruce Jenner to Saudi Arabia.

    They call *her* Caitlyn. Sexist knuckle-dragger, that youse is.

  39. Now for something completely different, I’m finally getting around to putting some survival/safety gear in my car. Decided it was time since I taking a little trip (5 days about 120 miles from home). What do you guys keep your “car gear” in? Plastic box, duffle bag, backpack, tote bags?

    If you had to walk home from your destination, what would you want to have?

  40. Fifty bucks for a fly shooter!!? I think the dollar store has better ones.

  41. Regarding the market crash-

    if you hold most of your savings in stock funds, YOU DON’T HAVE A [*******] CHOICE. The funds will sell out of the stocks and realize their losses. As I have mentioned before, I’ve had this happen twice. EVERYONE with the eyes to see saw this coming. EVERYONE had time to get out. Greed (not wanting to leave a penny on the table) and transaction based compensation kept the pros in too long. Normalcy bias kept the punters in.

    Having a long timeline is awesome and complete bullsh!t in real life. MILLIONS of people retire every year and need to begin using that money that JUST ISN’T THERE anymore. Telling them to just wait for 5 to 10 years is shockingly offensive. I hope the comments were sarcasm, but they don’t read that way.

    You say, ” they are looking to buy when the dust settles.” Well, with what MONEY? If they were invested, they just lost a bunch of it. If they weren’t WHY NOT if everything is just fine? Yeah, I’ll be looking to buy when the dust settles too– because I got my money OUT after the big gains, and before the crash. Historically, almost all the gains in the market came in just a few up markets. And those gains are lost when there is a crash or correction. If you never take those paper profits, you never really made them. And if you stick around too long, you will get crushed.

    “The long-term, patient investor who diversifies their investments across a selection of good companies (companies, not stocks) doesn’t have to get freaked out by market craziness. They do best by moving slowly and buying carefully.”

    Buy and hold value investing. How quaint. For every one person who does this, and is invested in the market, there are thousands who instead are in stock funds, or bond funds, because that is what their company has available for 401K choices. Those funds almost always trade actively and that means they got spanked. So which companies? GE? They’re a financial company now and are down for the year. Caterpillar? Dependent on macro economics in emerging countries and construction here at home-down %30 for the year. 3M? Lower than a year ago. GM? Down. Ford? Down a third. AT&T? down 10%. No matter what individual stocks you might hold, if the market is down when you need the money, you are F’d.

    Not to mention that when the crash is big enough, banks are wiped out, companies go out of business and their employees lose their jobs, pension funds go broke- and pensioners get whatever the .gov can afford instead of what they worked for and were promised.

    The inflation that results from central bank intervention ROBS anyone on a fixed income and savers, destroying their futures.

    So the comments about this not mattering are just a little offensive to me. It IS likely to be a big deal for millions of people if this ‘correction’ continues. The second and third order effects will destroy ordinary people’s plans and lives.

    The one thing I do agree with is that people shouldn’t panic. But not because “this to will pass” but because like any other RECURRING AND FORESEEABLE disaster, they should have already taken steps to prepare for it, and to deal with the aftermath.

    If they haven’t, well, they are likely to be in a world of hurt.


  42. @dave, I have the essentials in a buttpack. It only weighs a few pounds, leaving capacity for carrying other stuff, like a toddler.

    You will want a carrier if you really think you’ll have to carry a kid. If you don’t have one, a sturdy book bag style bag can probably be made to work in a pinch, esp if it has a waist strap. Look in thrift stores, I see high quality book bag/computer bags all the time for just a few bucks. At a minimum a strap or blanket tied in a loop can be used over your shoulders and under her butt to help support her. 2 circles the right size would be SO much better than nothing. All will store under a seat easily.


  43. @ech, saw that shooter on one of those TV shows where they look at inventions and pick one for development. The guy was turned down due mainly to high cost IIRC.

    Flies and insects will be a real threat. Think about putting up a bat box. Or look at some of the fly traps on Instructables.com there are tons of clever traps.


  44. Houses built in the south before AC became common featured high ceilings and a layout suitable for cross ventilation. Usually a porch wrapping around half the house as well, and if it were screened, it was not uncommon to sleep on the porch during exceptionally hot nights.

    We’ve had a few times when the AC system was serviceable for several days – here in the Washington DC area with 90 deg F air temp and 80% humidity, and a house built to depend on AC, it wasn’t fun trying to sleep, even with a window fan helping the natural circulation.

    In theory, I suppose one could spread a desiccant such as silica gel over a large surface area in a room to reduce humidity and then rejuvenate it the next day in the oven, or in a post SHTF environment, a solar heated drying box.

    Solar powered AC shouldn’t be impossible – gas fired refrigerators and AC units used to be moderately common, but I have not worked out the thermal requirements to see if it’s feasible.

  45. Investments?

    Invest in: knowledge, training, your physical fitness/health, tools, land, guns, ammo and trade goods. Maybe “junk” silver coins.

    Anyone who entrusts decades of saved funds to “professionals” in the financial sectors is simply asking for trouble and heartache, and that goes for retirement funds, too. Many peeps are sadly finding this out now. More will also find out in the times to come.

  46. To cool off from oppressive heat…

    If you have a basement, go there. Basements are normally cooler than the ambient air. For long term planning, dig a root cellar.

    This might not work in North Carolina or much of the South, but out west swamp coolers or “evaporative coolers” work well. I’ve got a misting system from a company called “Arizona Mist” over the door of my south-facing garage. The mister drops the summer temperature of my garage by 20 degrees; from “intolerably hot” to merely “pretty warm”.

  47. “To cool off from oppressive heat… ”

    Indeed. It hit 90 here a couple of times recently and I went down and did some work in the cellar. Which I’m setting up for food storage/root cellar.

  48. The US and Canada are the only real havens. They’ll both take severe hits, but nothing like the rest of the world.

    True, but how about Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden? Finland? Chile? UK? Ireland? The eastern Europeans?

    I did not think that Greece and Italy could be in any worse trouble but the invading forces are threatening to swamp them if this goes on for a couple of years. And any country that borders them.

  49. Denmark, Norway and Sweden have already surrendered to the muslim scourge. Saw it with my own eyes in Norway.

    UK lost their way. Banning knives? Treating the victim as the villain? Oh, and a large muslim population.

    Eastern Europe is tired and broke, and well, much of it is muslim.

    The aussies and kiwis have the best chance in the region but they are awfully close to china.

    So you’ve got lots of imported unassimilated muslims, and socialist governments, who are now out of money with which to continue bribing their constituents. The populations of the western societies, long weakened by sucking on the .gov teat, lulled into pacivity, with ‘tolerance’ for the savage ingrained in their cultural dna, will find themselves destroyed by the vipers they’ve clasped to their bosom.

    Physical islands MIGHT have a chance to isolate from the contagion.

    I think we’re too big to secure, and have done too good a job globalizing to be a haven. And Canadia, well, they really are “america’s hat.” they are simultaneously ‘america lite’ and ‘europe lite.’ They get the worst of each, with a little of their own weirdness thrown in.


    with no customers to buy their oil, they will be facing crisis like the rest of us.

  50. True, but how about Australia, Switzerland, Denmark, Norway, and Sweden? Finland? Chile? UK? Ireland? The eastern Europeans?

    I’d think Australia would do ok, being geographically isolated. For obvious reasons, I do hope Switzerland would do alright as well, despite being surrounded by other countries: we are already something of a haven for the wealthy, and I expect that would increase in times of trouble. While there’s really no way to secure our borders effectively, we are small enough, and densely enough populated, that the country can be policed fairly effectively.

    Hopefully, we won’t find out. Europe is slowly awakening to the extent of the refugee problem. The SJWs in Germany were on the news last night, arguing that Germany can take on the 800,000 expected refugees in the current wave. Which begs the obvious question: if you take this wave, what do you do with the next wave, and the next, and the next? Until you close the door, the waves will keep coming. There’s getting to be a lot of social unrest, and the obvious questions are slowly being discussed. I mention the Australian solution at every opportunity, and I’ve heard others do so as well.

  51. If push comes to shove, the US and Canada are havens because we can be completely self-reliant in everything that matters–food, energy, and manufactured goods. We’re also isolated, with only a short, easily-defended border between the southwestern US and Mexico. History also shows that we are ruthless, the US more obviously but Canada no less so.

    As Nick says, in the long term Europe is toast. I wish Australia and NZ the best, but they’re entirely too close to China and the rest of Asia, both physically and in terms of market dependence. Neither has the population to stand alone. Switzerland has the same problems: surrounded, too small, and too interdependent. In the long term, Switzerland too will fall to the muslim scourge.

    Of course, all of this is worst-case, but that seems to be the way things are heading.

  52. @brad,

    Yeah, it kills me that the default assumption is that we MUST accommodate the illegal entrants. Or in EU case, the open borders migrants.

    As far as I’m concerned, we have no obligation to provide them with anything but a quick trip back to the border they crossed.

    Let THEIR governments provide for them.


  53. “If push comes to shove, the US and Canada are havens…”

    If we had leaders with foresight and intelligence and common sense, we’d encourage and assist our European cousins to emigrate here before it’s too late and to hell with all the others, unless based on desirable skill sets and education. No country is gonna be able to take in continuous waves of tens of millions of people from the Southern Hemisphere.

    But since we don’t have such leaders, and most North Murkan derps sleep-walk through their lives, we’ll get the continuing waves through our southern border like we’ve been getting for decades, with no end in sight.

  54. Oh, eventually it’s going to break. People can only be pushed so far before they snap.

  55. @Lynn “If you had to walk home from your destination, what would you want to have?”

    My good hiking boots and good socks. I can walk all day in those with no issue. The last time I had to unexpectedly walk ~5 miles (in sneakers) I wore a hole in my cheap socks after the first couple of miles. Got a blister. Socks and shoes are a single system.

    I would love to bring my little .22 but no reciprocity between ME and MA.

    My little trip is not a big deal but it is a chance to finally put together a good car kit. My traveling companion has a bad case of normalcy bias and I’m sure she will scoff at the few cans of food and the big knife that will be in the bag.

  56. When I was working my money was in funds in a 401k with very limited investment choices. It was in funds through fun times; 1987, 1999/2000, 2008/2009. By just letting it ride through it all I made out fine. Once I was retired I could move it all to an IRA where I had control.

    Funds sell when their investors sell. Their managers don’t choose to sell during a panic, they have to sell when people take their money out. These days the only funds I suggest to anyone are index funds – S&P 500 by default – with the lowest available fees. As I write this the S&P 500 is down 9.3% YTD, down 6% on the last 12 months, and up 74% on the last five years. Match the market, on the way down and again on the way up.

    The standard advice is to keep a few years of money in cash. Achieving that can be really tough. Yes, there will always be times when unforeseen problems require selling low. I don’t see any way to avoid that. My focus was on not acting in panic and avoiding self-inflicted damage based on the panic.

    GM, Ford, Caterpillar, AT&T, 3M? How quaint. Did you ever think to invest in this century? Actually if the emphasis is on dividends they are probably not bad choices. Note that their dividends are not impacted by drops in their share prices, they pay out the same before and after. That excludes other problems that they experience, like bankruptcy (GM) and having their financing side (GE) destroyed. GE, by the way, has been actively divesting their financial operations.

    If you foresaw this latest event and made out well, great for you! I don’t pretend to know how to time the market, and I can not suggest it as a practical approach for anyone. There is always someone predicting such events, there are always issues, whether war or oil or Greece or bubbles (tech, real estate, whatever). The joke about predicting several times more crashes than actually occur is painfully real. So instead of doing what is for me (and virtually everyone else) impossible, I skip timing the market and try to pick companies whose business (not stock price) will still be doing well afterwards.

  57. “…try to pick companies whose business (not stock price) will still be doing well afterwards.”

    Booze, tobacco, pornography, and bullets.

  58. “Did you ever think to invest in this century? ”


    “…try to pick companies whose business (not stock price) will still be doing well afterwards.”

    Those requirements are mutually exclusive when applied to the “new economy”. And again reveal a snideness and scornfulness on your part. Cars, construction equipment, internet infrastructure, and industrial and consumer products aren’t relevant any more?

    Your advice is that all you have to do to make money in the stock market is pick winners. Gee, whodathunkit?

    So what are the picks for this century? Facebook? Twitter? Netflix? Amazon? Uber? Groupon? Talk about some companies with high stock price instead of high business value.

    The companies I picked were the first big companies that came to mind that actually make things, that I knew their ticker symbol offhand. They are all examples of the sort of solid, long term companies that almost anyone would expect to do well. They are all doing poorly at the moment. Almost everything is.

    That is the problem. Stock prices are increasingly divorced from fundamentals- ie. what is the company earning, what will they likely earn in the future? Today’s valuations are driven by cheap and easy borrowing, HFTs, price manipulation, and other financial shenanigans.

    All I did what take the classic advice – buy low, sell high. How much higher does it have to be before it’s high enough?

    The other advice I acted on – Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me. The markets are cyclical. Everyone says this but very few ACT on it. Two previous times I watched the market go up dramatically and then fall. This time, I got out before the fall.

    I count that as a success.


  59. Netflix is moving to Amazon Web Services.

    Netflix is finishing the move to Amazon Web Services.

    Fixed that for you.

  60. Right-o, Mr. Lynn; they’re about to close down their now-defunct data center accordingly.

    And peeps with AWS certs are allegedly being paid six figures and up nowadays.

  61. This time, I got out before the fall.

    I count that as a success.

    I would too. Congratulations! I knew it would happen someday, just not which year.

    From my side, any snideness and scornfulness on my part was only in response to that which I perceived in your post. After seeing my suggestion termed quaint, followed by suggesting a few old-school behemoths, well it seemed too good a setup to pass by. CAT is a great company having problems both with its last big acquisition and the global economy. Ford is probably the best of the major car companies, and car sales are doing great, but the industry is cyclical and competitive. I wouldn’t touch GM. GE is working pretty hard at getting back into the making stuff business and out of smoke-and-mirrors financial stuff that took it so high, and then so low. AT&T can probably be bled for dividends for another decade but I worry about their long-term fundamentals. I’ve never looked at 3M. There are plenty more such companies with pretty good long-term fundamentals despite what might be happening today (P&G), but I wouldn’t build my portfolio around just them. Yes I’ve got some Amazon (up 330%) and Netflix (up 625%), why not? I may not hold them forever, lightened on Netflix a couple of times already; they sure have been good to me, but I don’t recommend any specif company to anyone. The only specific advice I have ever given anyone is low-fee S&P 500 index funds.

    The way I deal with prices being divorced from fundamentals is to let time sort things out. Over time the cream really does rise to the top, however much the financial wheelers and dealers and programmed traders try to screw it all up. When the high-frequency traders deal in milliseconds and I deal in months or better yet years they mostly turn into noise.

  62. @Roy,

    Thank you for the considered response. I was pretty upset last night when I wrote the first comment, and reacted badly. I tried to moderate that but it still was heated. My apologies for the personal stuff.

    It sucks that retail investors are mainly seen as food by the marketplace, given that most people are retail investors. And you are correct that most people do the exact wrong thing, buying high (hey this stock/fund is up I better buy some too) as the sharks look to profit take and unload, then selling low (oh sh!t, this stock is tanking, I’ve got to get out) letting the sharks rinse and repeat.

    I agree that a longer term approach is better than short in general. The mouse can sometimes follow the cat closely, and take advantage of the madness that is contemporary valuation, but at some point, the cat will turn and that little mouse is lunch. (And so are all the mice that joined in following since they could see that the first mouse was safe.) This little mouse stopped following the cat before he turned this time. This will hopefully leave me sitting pretty when, post crash, there are bargains to be had. When I believed that market was knowable, and that logic and considered thought drove it, I was willing to participate. The current situation has much more in common with a casino, and participation is gambling. I don’t have the stomach for gambling. Never did. I worked in Vegas for a while, and in the end, the house always wins.


    Anyway, regarding timing, that is usually talking about finding the exact tops and bottoms. You CAN pick good timing for when to enter and exit the market. I’m happy with leaving some money on the table. I won’t get back in at the very bottom either, as I won’t get in until there is clear evidence that prices are really moving back up.

    In the mean time, I sleep a lot better at night. Which is one of the reasons to prep, so that you are ready for ordinary and even some extraordinary events.

    Am I completely prepped for a collapse? No way. I don’t have the piles of PMs that I’d like. I still have money that is supposed to be mine, but isn’t in my hands, and could be taken from me with the stroke of a pen, or a phone call. I don’t have the food supplies or a country place or some of the other things I’d like.

  63. ” I don’t have the food supplies or a country place or some of the other things I’d like.”

    But you have beaucoups knowledge, experience and tips, for which I, for one, and I’m sure, many others, are grateful. That often trumps hard goods and property, as evidenced by 10k years of recorded human history thus fah.

  64. And peeps with AWS certs are allegedly being paid six figures and up nowadays.


  65. “Huh?”

    No, not welding. Amazon Web Services, administrators, developers, architects, etc. Six figures and up. Join the Amazon Empire! All hail Jeff Bezos! Ave Jeff!

  66. Thanks OFD, other than age and brain damage, they can’t take away your knowledge.

    Maybe I’ll have buyers for all those colman lanterns I’ve been “stockpiling”….

    Most of the morning here was nice so of course I spent it inside on the computer. Now that it’s almost 100, I’ll be leaving the house on errands.


  67. “No, not welding.”

    Master welders make more, right?

  68. “Master welders make more, right?”

    Ha, ha, you make small joke, Dr. Maybe AFTER the TSHTF but not now.

    “In 2015, PayScale.com reported total annual earnings for most novice and experienced welders between $25,198 and $58,021. The site indicated that welders with 20 years of experience or more earned up to $43,000 a year.”


    So as long the Grid stays up, an AWS IT drone can make three times what a master welder makes right now.

  69. Depends on your skill set and certs. Process piping, xray welds, should be in 6 figures.


  70. I am very concerned about the UK’s future. We’ve lost a lot of industry, and we’ve done an atrocious job of insulating ourselves against Europe. There are growing movements on both the Left and Right against the EU, but I fear it could be too late.

    For the last year, I’ve been thinking of trying to move to Canada or the US. The problem is that I’m only a year into my PhD, and if I want to finish it, I expect I’ve got at least two (and probably three) years to go. I guess I’m going to stay here for at least that long, and hope that the faeces don’t hit the fan before then. I’ve been making some small prepping efforts, but I worry that a lot of them are futile as long as I live in central London.

  71. I think you’ll be okay, but I’m of the gradual-slide school. I do think that slide is accelerating in the UK, but I suspect you’ll be able to get to Canada for the foreseeable future.

    Don’t discount the value of prepping even in a large metro area like London. It may not help, but then again it may, and it certainly can’t hurt. Do you have any friends who live in largely muslim-free areas of the UK? Might be a good idea to cozy up to them.

  72. @eristasist

    I know that your accomodations there are typically smaller than in the US, and probably particularly so in the City, but anything you can do to build up some reserves will help.

    As things slide, and street violence becomes more common, just think how much safer you will be if you can stay in and still eat for a few days of rioting?

    Any bit helps.


  73. What both RBT and Mr. nick said; I’d try to hook up with like-minded friends/family outside of any hadji areas of the city while also building up the prime human needs stock of food, water, light, heat, etc. I assume you only have yourself to prep for? And how is the transportation between where you live and your academic site/s? Our daughter is at McGill in Montreal and often walks or rides her bike through areas of downtown at night and it’s something to consider.

    IIRC, you will have a valuable doctorate when you finish, and I’d certainly hope you could finish it there. But if things get real sporty in the next year or two, you may want to think about it some more. Can you pick up where you left off if you have to take a break?

  74. Yeah; I think the gradual slide scenarios are more realistic, although I could imagine a step change increase in problems here depending upon what happens in Europe. It’s reassuring to hear you think similarly.

    Your idea about cosying up to friends in less vulnerable parts of the country is an interesting one. The country’s small enough that it’d be pretty easy for me to reach them, but big enough that the distance could be useful in a situation of unrest. I’ll have to think about this, and get in touch with some friends…

    By the way, Bob and Nick, I didn’t mean to discount the value of prepping. I completely agree that any amount is better than none. I’ve just about got food stores for a week, and I’m aiming to expand that to a month when I move to a larger place in a few days. I think anything more than that isn’t worth having here — if the situation’s that bad, I’ll either be somewhere other than London or be dead.

  75. Also good points, OFD. At least in a short-term emergency, it’d just be myself that I’d need to take care of. In a longer-term situation, I’d want to do something with my family, which would complicate things a lot. I have young siblings, two of whom are under 10; and effectively three parents, two of whom have quite serious health problems. I’ve been trying to get them better prepared, but success is limited so far. On the plus side, they don’t live in London, although they do live in another fairly built-up area with worrying demographics.

    Transportation to my lab is actually very easy. It’s only something like eight miles, and I quite frequently jog or cycle home. If normal transport became unavailable (which happened recently due to strikes by transport workers), I could still get home fine. It might be worth my re-examining the route, on the off-chance of having to avoid groups of people in the streets.

    Taking a break in the doctorate would be difficult, because of the way funding is allocated. Essentially, it would require my PI to do a *lot* of financial juggling and fighting. OTOH, if the situation got that bad, I wouldn’t care so much about finishing. I already have good undergrad and masters degrees — and in practice, a doctorate isn’t really important for getting jobs outside academia.

    I guess another preparation I should make is to define under what conditions I would make it a priority to leave the UK. I want to set a clear limit on what I’ll tolerate, so if the day ever comes, I won’t second-guess my decision. Of course, another problem here is the family — it’s harsh to say, but it’ll make things easier when the unwell relatives pass away. The healthy parent is much more amenable to prepping, and has privately agreed with me that we should leave the country in the long term. By no means am I looking forward to them leaving, but it’s what the future will hold, and I need to plan for it…

  76. It sounds very much like some thought and planning is needed by you to work out just what prepping you can manage and may need to stay indoors for a while if conditions in the streets are bad enough, balanced with family considerations and how far you are along in your doctorate. Do what you can this week, make a rough written draft of your priorities, and at least feel like you’ve gotten rolling and can make some progress. Don’t let it all pile up until it becomes unmanageable.

    My best wishes, as always.

  77. in practice, a doctorate isn’t really important for getting jobs outside academia.

    Not to totally derail the thread, but what about research? In the US, if you look for grants for research in any field, you pretty well need a doctorate if you wish to have any realistic chance of getting them. (Anyone with contradictory information is invited to correct me.) Is it different in the UK?

  78. I was kind of lumping research into academia. You’re right that it’s not entirely accurate for me to do that — but my experience of engineering R&D in a corporate environment is that a PhD is less of a necessity and more of a bonus there. Mainly because a lot of corporate R&D has a wider mix of funding, with fewer ties to the individual.

  79. A PhD in Engineering proves that one can do research in the field (outside the lab) to find out how to do something. I have four PhD Chemical Engineers currently working with me and they are all very smart, much smarter than me. One each from Princeton U. (my dad), Rice U., U of Clemson, and U of Alabama. The only problem that they have is focusing on the task at hand and not darting down the rabbit hole at something cool and interesting.

  80. I’ve done internally-funded R&D for NASA and for LockMart. Lack of a PhD was not a stumbling block. I do have an MSEE.

  81. I have the focusing problem that your Phds have, but I only have a BS.

    Me too. I also have the special handicap of being a BS ME. To ME’s, all mixtures are just a single component: air, fire, water, etc.

  82. I’m a BA in English Literature, with MA and PhD graduate study. I’m now building a dirty nuke to light off in Riyadh. Can one of youse guys slide on up and gimme a hand?

  83. I can save you the trouble. I have a couple of old Poseidon warheads, 40kt each, I can let you have for $5 million each… 🙂

  84. I’ve got a BFA and I’ll point out that when I was in grad school, there were two licensed AutoCAD labs on campus, one in the engineering department, and ours in the theater department. Theater, and entertainment in general, is a surprisingly technical endeavor.


  85. “I can let you have for $5 million each… :-)”

    In addition to Mr. Ray’s question about free shipping, will you supply the tech manuals and tools?

    “Theater, and entertainment in general, is a surprisingly technical endeavor.”

    Whereas the most technical endeavor in the English departments that I slaved for was operating the pencil sharpener.

  86. “I’m a BS EE so I ignore everything but the electrons.”

    I’m a BS BS, so I ignore everything but the BS.

  87. Shipping free to the US and Canukistan, delivery to Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran or Syria is an extra $500k.

    Sorry, no manuals or tools – even a STEM challenged arts graduate should be able to work out how to push a button… 🙂

  88. True, dat. I can push a button.

    I’ll apply for a grant. Maybe a loan. Pretend I’m a new immigrant. Should be a snap.

  89. I’ll apply for a grant. Maybe a loan. Pretend I’m a new immigrant.

    Just tell the grant people that it is to study global warming, CO2 capture, anything that deals with the frauds of today. They will throw many your way if you can come up with a clever name for the device. Thermo-Reactive-Instrument-of Massive-Energy-Reaction. TRIMER for short.

  90. It’s to study wind currents over the Sandbox regions, in an effort to ameliorate climate change; we’re sending probes over the most populated areas and urban heat sinks. And I’m a disabled Native American veteran.

  91. And I’m a disabled Native American veteran

    And I’m a black female disabled Native American veteran.

    Now you are sure to get a grant.

    In Oak Ridge the most coveted person for any of the contractors is a black, disabled, female. Because of the diversity and minority hiring clauses in the contracts the contractors will hire such people and have them do nothing. These people are more valuable doing nothing than doing any work. A place I worked at had such a person. She was nice and all but did absolutely nothing all day and freely admitted she was hired because she was black, disabled and female, did not want to actually work, and also stated she was never without a job even if the contractor changed. Her performance reviews were absolutely top notch.

  92. That sort of thing couldn’t possibly arouse feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness or racial animosity, could it?

    Divide and conquer.

  93. That sort of thing couldn’t possibly arouse feelings of resentment, anger, bitterness or racial animosity, could it?

    Indeed it did. I got laid off, she kept her job. As stated, she kept the contractors diversity numbers up as the contractor was considered an 8A firm, a minority owned firm. Needed to keep a certain number of females and minorities on the payroll. Did not really matter if they worked. She was more valuable than any worker as she allowed the company to stay in compliance with diversity rules. Did nothing all day but read books and her performance review was always top notch.

  94. “Did nothing all day but read books…”

    Were they at least good books? Classics? Quality literature?

  95. Why you gotta be such a hater, Mr. Ray. You WHITEYS! are pathetic.

    I actually like her as she was a nice person and knew exactly why she was hired. Made no attempt to hide what her role was in the company. Never asked for anything or caused any problems.

    Were they at least good books?

    I don’t know.

    Of course I could get Mr. Atoz’s dander up by stating “Don’t know, some of the pages weren’t yet colored.”. Then I would really be a hater.

  96. Hey, coloring books for adults are now big business.


    (I weep.)

    Hey, you are talking about my sister-in-law!

  97. Coloring books for adults, the brony geeks, the standard Murkan derp fashion getup for both SEXES, the countless primetime cartoons for adults like “The Simpsons,” “South Park,” etc., and the insipid primetime sitcoms for many years now, along with the long list of shitty juvenile movies over those years.

    We went from a feminized nation of metrosexual wimps to a country of big fat squalling babies needing our diapers changed and wanting lollipops.

  98. @lynn – I too used to work with a PhD Chemical Engineer (Dr. Phil), in fact he had two PhDs and was working on a third. His IQ was off the chart and his knowledge was invaluable for what we were doing, remediating and mothballing the mess left at the Hanford Site in WA State. A great “team player” and not one to flaunt his knowledge, he could make the complicated simple.

    Too bad the DOE did not respect him. He took early retirement when there was a big layoff in 1996 because he was sick of DOE idiots with worthless degrees telling him what to do. BTW, I was forcibly laid off at the same time because I was too old (45), a “non-degreed” Engineer, and also they (DOE) were no longer granting EEOC/Affirmative Action points for Vietnam Era Veterans. Programs that Dr. Phil and I created are still being worked today. Not so amazing how the Government can take a 5-year plan and stretch it into infinity.

    Why am I a “non-degreed Engineer”? Well, when I got out of the Navy in 1979 I was hired by Westinghouse Hanford. At that time folks like me were hired as “Plant Engineers” with all the rights and responsibilities of a degreed Engineer based upon our Navy rate and experience (my experience was considered equivalent to an MA in Electrical and Mechanical Engineering and a BA in Chemical Engineering). Before I was laid off I was supervising a multi-disciplined group of degreed Engineers.

  99. “Before I was laid off I was supervising a multi-disciplined group of degreed Engineers.”

    Like unto my late dad, who never finished high skool but left to join the Coasties at age 17 in 1945. He never got a high skool diploma or college degree but was a senior supervising mechanical engineer supervising guys with master’s degrees.

    You could do that kinda stuff back then. Not now.

    “…no longer granting EEOC/Affirmative Action points for Vietnam Era Veterans.”

    Buncha crybaby, whining losers, baby-killers and junkies anyway.

  100. “Like unto my late dad, who never finished high skool…”

    My Dad was a voracious reader of anything mechanical, financial, or Civil War. When he left the Army Air Corps at the end of WWII he got a job with an engineering firm that designed ice making plants (they used ammonia for coolant). He designed a plant that was built outside of Houston Texas and served a railway line. There was a plaque at the plant that recognized my Dad as the “Chief Engineer and Designer”. The plant was finally torn down about 10 years ago. It was in operation up until just a couple of years before it was torn down. The plant never an accident or leak in its long period of operation. The city sent him the plaque and a nice letter of recognition when the plant was torn down.

    After a couple of years at the engineering firm he entered the world of finance. He got so good at it that he was a “Guest Professor of Finance and Banking” at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University, just to name two. Towards the end of his life he was brought in at several national banks (Chase to name one) as an “Executive Vice President” to help them get out of their problems with the Government. None of the big banks wanted to bite the bullet and do as he recommended, the rest is history. There was one small regional bank that did follow his advice and avoided the problems with the big housing downturn.

    I’ve mentioned before his expertise with the Civil War and this was another area where he was a “Guest Professor of History”. Recognized by Colleges and Universities in both the North and South.

    I guess I got my attitude “I don’t need no stinking sheepskin” from him, my grandfather, and a couple of uncles. Too bad today you cannot get a job flipping burgers without one.

  101. “Too bad today you cannot get a job flipping burgers without one.”

    Indeed. And most of them are worthless, as fah as I’m concerned. Peeps tell me they have a degree from Hahvud or Yale and I bust out laughing. All it means to me is they did four years on Mommy and Daddy’s financial apron strings, partied their asses off, and learned how to be super-PC.

    Someone, on the other hand, shows me a STEM degree from Podunk State and I’ll pay more attention to them.

    My mom and dad were also voracious readers but that faded out as they got older and my dad got early-onset Alzheimer’s. Wife and I here read like crazy, our main recreational activity; I tend to more serious stuff and she digs the escapist novels. Although she’ll also read serious stuff, pretty much when she runs out of the other.

  102. Of course degrees are required for burger-flipping jobs. You don’t expect HR, Recruiting, or prospective bosses to be able to evaluate a candidate’s ability, honesty, and likely benefit to the company, do you? You do realize that HR and Recruiting tend to be staffed by underachievers, to put it politely, right?

    To cut HR, Recruiting, and employers in general a bit of slack, they do need objective criteria to justify hiring or not hiring a prospect. That’s not guaranteed armor against lawsuits and action by the federal government, but it’s about all that’s available. Mere possession of a college degree doesn’t tell very much, but it’s a nice boolean criterion. There’s also the fact that the public schools are approximately worthless, so far as teaching employable skills and background knowledge go. A college degree, per se, doesn’t mean much, either, but HR/Recruiting/Management people probably don’t realize that because they themselves are the proud possessors of worthless degrees.

  103. Wow, that is pretty cynical, Mr. SteveF. Bums me right out. Makes me fearful and more bummed out. I needed a trigger warning before seeing that tonight. Now I need to get to a safe space…

  104. OFD, try calming the fears of your inner child with an adult diaper, a pacifier, and a teddy bear. I saw an article somewhere by some guy with PhD after his (her?) name saying this was a good thing, and that person’s (claimed) credential means more than common sense, experience, or self-respect. Er, no, wait. I think I’m arguing against what I and others just said. Disregard.

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