Saturday, 3 October 2015

09:32 – I was kind of hoping the MSM would adopt the “some asshole” idea for the next mass shooting, but of course they’re reporting the asshole’s name instead of making sure no one knows who he was.

We’re getting a lot of rain, about 5″ (12.7 cm) in the last week, but much less than some nearby areas. Sparta, where we’re considering relocating, had 14″ through Thursday morning, with another 12″ or so expected for Thursday through Sunday. Between the rain and the gusty winds, we’ve had a lot of large branches and some trees down. We had two or three momentary power failures yesterday and overnight, but nothing major so far. The ground is saturated, though, so we may have some big trees going down and taking out power.

I fired up our natural gas logs last night and let them burn for an hour or so, just to make sure they worked and kept working. On low, they put out enough heat to keep the upstairs comfortable when it’s above freezing outside. On high, they put out as many BTU/hr as our furnace, and can keep us warm even when outside temperatures are below zero Fahrenheit. I’m pretty comfortable depending on them for emergency heating, although natural gas isn’t as reliable as it used to be. I was just reading, for example, about the natural gas failure that occurred in Taos County, New Mexico in February/March 2011. The natural gas company intentionally cut off gas to large areas in Taos County for days and in some cases weeks, while outside temperatures were as low as 17F. Apparently, natural gas supples were inadequate to provide for everyone, so the gas company arbitrarily decided to cut off rural areas. The US congress investigated the matter, but that didn’t help those people who had been left for long periods without heat. I’m glad we have some stored propane and the means to use it for emergency heating.


10:45 – Someone emailed me to ask if I’d thought about including soybeans in the seed kit, both for their protein and their oil. I had, but I decided against it mainly because soybeans are a poor choice as an oil source. Most people probably assume that they can be pressed to obtain the oil, but the fact is that all that soybean oil you see in Costco, Sam’s, and the supermarket is obtained by solvent extraction rather than pressing because soybeans don’t like to give up their oil under pressing. Sunflower seeds, which will be included in the kit, are a much better source of oil. They are prolific, provide huge amounts of edible seeds, and don’t cross-pollinate with beans, which is an issue when you need to save seeds that will breed true.