Thursday, 10 September 2015

08:14 – Happy Anniversary to us. Barbara and I were married on 10 September 1983, 32 years ago today. I’m surprised she’s managed to put up with me this long.

We shipped only three science kits yesterday, but at the moment we have orders for 14 more outstanding that I don’t have the kits in stock to ship. I need to build those so that I can get them shipped, along with the other orders that keep coming in.


35 thoughts on “Thursday, 10 September 2015”

  1. And my dad would have been 88 today; died 17 years ago of early-onset Alzeheimer’s, WWII vet, who managed to support a family with five kids, a house, and a car, on $13,000 per year back in the 1960s.

    Overcast here so fah today; we’ve had drenching rain/t-storms over the last couple of nights.

  2. I’m sorry for your loss. My dad died on 1 December 1990, aged 67. Only five years older than I am now, which is a scary thought.

  3. Sorry for your loss as well; our dads went too early. Mine was just nine years older than I am now. But we think he got hit with environmental factors that exacerbated any other conditions, like, say, smoking a pipe most of his life. And growing up in New Bedford, MA, when it was a roaring textile manufacturing center and factories spewed all kinds of shit into the groundwater, air and soil. Then years of working as a boiler and machinery insurance inspector at factories all over New England and crawling into boilers.

  4. Other than smoking two or three packs a day for decades, I think what really got my father was his milk habit. He went through probably half a gallon to a gallon a day of whole milk. I remember telling him when I was in high school that doing that had to be bad for him, because milk was baby food. His fat intake must’ve been off the charts. Also, he was a classic Type A personality. I take more after my mother, who was very calm and just dealt with problems as they arose.

  5. “who managed to support a family with five kids, a house, and a car, on $13,000 per year back in the 1960s.”
    Interesting, our family w/3 kids was doing okay on $8,500/yr in 1963, when I thought I would be able to do just fine on $10,000/yr. Isn’t inflation fun?
    Congratulations Robert and Barbara, our marriage turns 50 next week.

  6. Liz turned 66 today. We’ll be married 35 years in December.

    I had my first full time job in 1973. I was making $5,400/year. On that I bought a new car ($2,350) and a small house ($12,900) within a year. I thought I was doing great in 1979 when I was making $18,000/year.

  7. My father died age 72, in 1997. Despite saying many many times “I won’t make old bones” mum lived 15 years longer, dying at 88 in 2012.

    I’m hoping to live longer than my father, but I have to watch my heart – heart attacks killed him and three of my grandparents. No sign of trouble yet.

  8. Oh, and conga-rats on the milestone. My parents were approaching their 50th when my father died, and my sister’s marriage lasted 35 years before she divorced the ratbag.

  9. And my dad would have been 88 today; died 17 years ago of early-onset Alzeheimer’s, WWII vet, who managed to support a family with five kids, a house, and a car, on $13,000 per year back in the 1960s.

    Sorry to hear that, my parents are still alive. Dad will be 77 next week and Mom just turned 74. Dad has fought non-Hodgkins Lymphoma four times (from 1982 to 2014), bladder cancer three times, and won each time. Mom is fighting endometrial cancer at the moment and had a hysterectomy two days ago after nine shots of chemotherapy. She starts chemo again in four weeks. Mom and Dad have been married for 56 years.

    My wife’s father is still alive at age 83 but we had to put him in a nursing home XXXXXX XXXXX skilled care center 18 months ago. He is actually thriving there but cannot do anything. Like walk. Her mom passed away at age 58 after her eighth heart attack. Could have been her tenth, who counts after the first 5 or 6 heart attacks? Square heart valves suck and are not that uncommon.

  10. Happy Anniversary Dr. and Mrs. Bob.

    Alas, my Dad passed away at 54. I’m 60. My Mom turned 90 in June. She beat breast cancer and is battling rectal cancer. Chemo pills are keeping it in check. I take after my Mom, so I hope to see 100.

  11. So I’m sitting here wondering if the Zombie Apocalypse is tomorrow. If it isn’t, then my wife and I are going to have a serious talk about prepping this weekend.

  12. Happy Anniversary to the Thompson’s, best wishes for many more.

    If I read this article correctly (, our ancestors have been around for about 3-million years. These weren’t exactly knuckle dragging “missing links” as they were found in a ritual burial cave. Makes one wonder how many times civilization has risen only to nearly destroy itself then to rinse and repeat.

  13. Happy Anniversary to us. Barbara and I were married on 10 September 1983, 32 years ago today. I’m surprised she’s managed to put up with me this long.

    Congrats! I think that women are much more tolerant than men. I know that putting up with all my crap would continuously torque me off.

  14. So I’m sitting here wondering if the Zombie Apocalypse is tomorrow.

    So I’m sitting here wondering if the MZB Apocalypse is tomorrow. Fixed that for you!

    MZB = Mutant Zombie Biker.

  15. Congrats on the anniversary. I think you’re looking at it wrong, though. If you visibly wonder “How has my wife managed to put up with me this long”, then your wife is likely to start wondering if there is, in fact, something wrong with you, and thinking she can do better, and wondering just why she does put up with your little quirks. You’d be better off sitting in your favorite thinking chair, visibly thinking deep thoughts. When your wife asks what you’ve been thinking about, say, “I’ve been wondering how you got so lucky as to land someone as awesome as I.” Then your wife will start thinking about how awesome you truly are and how lucky she truly is.

    My father died much younger than I am now. I neither know nor care about the details, but if he followed the pattern of his family (as related by my mother; I have no memory of any of them), he died of stupid, probably involving alcohol. That’s one of the reasons I don’t drink: lots of alcoholics on all sides of the family, including my step-father’s. He, by the way, is in his early 70s and alternately creaking along and doing pretty well. He has no idea if he’ll keel over tomorrow or last another 20 years.

  16. “These weren’t exactly knuckle dragging “missing links” as they were found in a ritual burial cave.”

    All kinds of stuff is showing up now that we didn’t know about or have access to before, including stuff from the Biblical period. But leaving that aside, just two items that struck OFD’s fancy (OFD wanted to be an archaeologist as a kid, dumb kid): the discovery of very well-preserved Caucasian bodies dressed in what appear to be tartan clothing and still sporting long braided red or blonde hair, in the western China deserts, dating back many tens of thousands of years. Then we have the capability now of floating over earthly terrain slowly in balloons, for example, and taking pictures of the land below and seeing remains of fortifications, burial grounds, etc., that are not visible at all at ground level.

    “…90 percent of recent refugees from Middle Eastern nations are on food stamps and nearly 70 percent receive cash assistance, according to government data.”

    If anyone is surprised by this, then I despair of their cognitive abilities and reading comprehension. Did anyone NOT realize this is exactly what would happen? While they spit on us and promise us dhimmi-hood or death.

    “I think that women are much more tolerant than men.”

    It’s variable, just like anything else. My wife and I have at different times put up with lots of each other’s crap over the years. We’ve gotten better at it through laying off the sauce, me totally, and aging. And gained more of an ability to be in the other person’s shoes and try to make life less miserable for them.

    “If it isn’t, then my wife and I are going to have a serious talk about prepping this weekend.”

    Why tomorrow? I thought the Big Day is supposed to be the 23rd….?

    Hey, ten more days of summa! While leaves continue turning orange, yellow and red and have started falling already.

  17. _Light’s Out_ by David Crawford

    A standalone post apocalyptic novel. No prequels or sequels that I can see. Set in south Texas outside of San Antonio. The dead tree printing is a POD, print on demand, trade paperback. BTW, at 2.1 lbs, the book itself can be used as a weapon.

    One fine day in Texas, some one detonated several large nuclear bombs in very low Earth orbit above the USA. In the story, all connected electronic items were destroyed due to over voltage, etc. I suspect that the real effect would not be near that pronounced and that most devices would survive. Any way, the story is about what happens over the next three months as people fight to survive in a society suddenly turned dark as none of the electrical devices work anymore without extensive repairs. BTW, there is quite a bit online about possible EMP damage to society:

    So, how do you live when electrical items no longer work and the wires do not even carry electricity anymore? Electricity is a very convenient force multiplier for humanity. For pre-computer vehicles, roughly pre-1980, the ignition systems must be replaced. Any vehicle with fuel injection is basically a dead hunk of metal.

    The author leaves no story unexamined in his quest for a rip-roaring adventure. Many, many, many MZBs (mutant zombie bikers – the author’s shorthand for evil people). People walking places to get anywhere. Extensive shortages of food, medical help and fuel. Charismatic leaders and bad leaders. Good people and horrible people. People grouping together for protection.

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.3 out of 5 stars (885 reviews)

  18. “So, how do you live when electrical items no longer work and the wires do not even carry electricity anymore?”

    Let’s hope we don’t find out. But I think we’ll get at least a taste of it in times to come, with rolling brownouts and blackouts, thanks to aging and vulnerable infrastructure, and the fact that bad actors are continually probing our Grid and looking for weak spots they can exploit for their nefarious ends. We’ve had some major blackouts here in the Northeast during my lifetime and it sure made life interesting for a while. Now imagine it lasting weeks or months.

    IIRC, the “Revolution” TV series was based on that premise, that the juice had cut out, and finding a solution was akin to WWII’s Manhattan Project, and done on the sly. Meanwhile, civil wars, roving brigands, violence, etc.

    Look out your windows tonight and picture the ‘hood completely dark, no streetlights, no lights at all, other than maybe somebody’s lone candle, lantern or bobbing flashlight. Your own house dark likewise. Every night for weeks or months. With no innernet or tee-vee. No iPhones or iPads or Droids. No fridge or freezer or electric stove. No radios except those on batteries. Hell, the Entitled Generation would go into convulsions within hours and swallow their tongues.

  19. Now imagine it lasting weeks or months.

    When I was growing up we were 15 miles outside the nearest town. The power lines, (three phase ended at the pole for our 40 HP pump) crossed a lot of property. Such crossings in the middle of fields that became very muddy during the winter.

    One time the power line snapped where it ran across our property. The power company brought their trucks in fix the line and the trucks got stuck. They brought in a small dozer (D4) to free the trucks and the dozer got stuck. Stayed that way for a week until they brought in a much larger dozer (D8) and ran a cable from that dozer to the stuck dozer then to the trucks. Had to basically winch the trucks out. Left huge ruts in the field that the power company had to fix.

    Anyway, we, along with anyone further up the line from us, were without power for a week. Dead of winter in Oregon. The days were short and the nights were long. We got by just fine. We cooked on the cooking surface of the gravity fed oil heating stove and used the fire place for living room heat. Bedrooms were unheated with lots of blankets. Water was fed from a spring on the hill so no pump needed for water. Used lots of flashlights for working outdoors. A camping lantern served the inside of the house.

    Water for bathing was also heated on the same stove that was used for cooking. Sponge baths were the norm unless you really enjoyed cold showers.

    Of course the vehicles worked but even if they did not we had enough food stored, canned mostly, to last a good six months. Other staples such as flour, sugar, beans were stored in sealed metal bins in mass quantities in the pantry.

    Inconvenient? You bet. A game stopper? Not even close. Zombies? Just my brother.

  20. What kind of flashlights?

    This was in the 60’s. Standard crappy hot wire bulbs running on carbon zinc batteries. A few 2 cell lights, and some four cell lights. One cheap LED light of today, that costs less than those lights, will put out more light, whiter light, for a longer period of time.

    It would have been wonderful back then to have some of the LED headlights of today.

    Is really a nice headlight. I did pick up two DeWalt headlights for $3.49 each. They were mismarked for price at Lowes and Lowes said they would sell them to me at that price. The lights are normally $24.95. Lowes quickly changed the price sticker.

  21. Geez, I can’t remember more than a day without electricity (except for camping). I’m gonna be a real pussy if the grid goes kaput. Can I get back in the Army now? They have lots and lots of generators.

  22. I can’t remember more than a day without electricity

    Me neither since I left the farm. Most I remember was 12 hours when a tornado came close and took out some power lines. Next longest was 8 hours in 1993 when there was a lot of snow that took out some lines.

    Currently I would have no heat or A/C. I could cook and heat water on the propane grill. I would have light because I have a lot of flashlights and a lot of batteries. Food would not be a problem for several days. No hot water unless I heated water on the grill.

  23. Geez, I can’t remember more than a day without electricity (except for camping).

    We did not have electricity for 2.5 days after hurricane Ike. We did have water and natural gas. We bugged out the next day for Port Lavaca to get air conditioning (my parents house). We returned Monday morning to grab the office PCs and servers to move them all to Port Lavaca.

    Just as we were doing the final packing, the electricity came back on. We stayed and ran WinSim from our home for a week until the office power came back on. Seven employees in our home, what fun! Not. I did make a huge pan of scrambled eggs each day for everyone.

  24. “Inconvenient? You bet. A game stopper? Not even close.”

    Right now we’d be OK in similar circumstances and with similar solutions, with a stove instead of a fireplace, which can heat the whole house, for about three months.

    “I have a lot of flashlights and a lot of batteries.”

    No way! You’re just hackin’ on us, aintcha?

    “Can I get back in the Army now?”

    You mean you dint stay for the full thirty?

    ” I did make a huge pan of scrambled eggs each day for everyone.”

    Good call. I woulda loaded ’em up with onions, peppers, ham, cheese, spuds, etc. And then dumped salsa all over ’em. Sides of grits.

    Somebody here done said a few times “they ain’t like us…” Ya think?

  25. We were without power for 14 days following Ike. We were without city water for 3.

    Other than buying a window ac unit small enough for the geni to run, we got thru without any difficulty or hardship. This was the event that convinced me the rules of thumb for water storage were complete bull.

    I was filling trash cans with rainwater (not really practical.) The water stayed on at my secondary location, so I used 5 gal buckets to move some from there to home for sanitation. We were fine for drinking water, and had filled the tub for flushing water.

    So now I’ve got 80 gal drinking in stainless steel cans, 21 gal in aquatainers for ready kitchen use, and 225 gal of rainwater collection in two 55 gal drums and a 125gal storage tank. I’ve got refilled gallon bottles at my backup location, and at least 3 different hiking filters, plus the lifestraws, plus the bleach, plus the aquapur tabs.

    It’s not as bad as my stove affliction, but YOU NEED WATER TO LIVE. And to clean, and treat injuries, etc.

    Smaller generators use less fuel, which is a bonus in a longer term event.


  26. I’m not sure, but I think I remember my dad earning $16000 in the late 1960’s. As y’all say, ain’t inflation great. I earn many times that, plus my wife runs her company, but I’m not so sure our standard of living is any higher.

    Unfortunately, I never knew him as an adult. He was a type 1 diabetic, managed it poorly, and died at the age of 46. The poor management wasn’t entirely his fault: his rural parents didn’t understand diabetes at all, and when he got sick as a child, they thought they should stop with the insulin until he felt better. He was lucky to survive, but did so with a lot of internal damage.

    In retrospect, I can see that he was ridiculously smart. Although he had no college education, he worked as an accountant, taught himself programming, and wrote accounting software for the last couple of companies he worked at in the 1970s. Guess that’s where my love of computers comes from, but I didn’t appreciate it at the time.

Comments are closed.