Saturday, 3 October 2015

By on October 3rd, 2015 in personal, prepping

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.

36 Comments and discussion on "Saturday, 3 October 2015"

  1. Dave says:

    I guess my next project is to get our fireplace ready to go and buy some fire wood.

  2. OFD says:

    “Apparently, natural gas supples were inadequate to provide for everyone, so the gas company arbitrarily decided to cut off rural areas.”

    Good historical point; most of us are utterly dependent on the good offices of utility companies when the power goes out, and peeps out in the rural hinterlands get the short end of the stick. Up here it simply takes longer to get them back up; they’re down in valleys and hollows and up on unpaved mountain roads, and of course the house cats down in the cities will get priority.

    We’ll be ordering more wood soon, but of course we’re dependent on some guys who go out and cut and chop all that wood and deliver it here by truck. It would suck if we ourselves actually had to go out and do that at ages 62 and 60. One of my major purchases in the near future, I hope, is to get us an older 4X, manual tranny pickup truck in good shape, and equip it with a winch and some basic logging gear. Just in case, and I’d take it out for trial runs right away, too.

  3. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Back in the 70’s, one of my friends had a 1-ton pickup with a PTO that he used for all kinds of things. One of those was a hydraulic wood splitter, which split logs in about 10% of the time and 1% of the effort needed to do it by hand.

  4. Alan says:

    Sparta, where we’re considering relocating, had 14″ through Thursday morning, with another 12″ or so expected for Thursday through Sunday.

    When the rain stops there might be a good time for another visit to the area to see if there are parts to avoid that do not properly handle that much rain over a short period of time.

  5. Alan says:

    The US congress investigated the matter, but that didn’t help those people who had been left for long periods without heat, it did however help the politicians who ran the investigation.

    There, fixed that for ya.

  6. SteveF says:

    I hope … to get us an older … tranny

    I thought you were philosophically and morally opposed to trannies.

  7. ayjblog says:

    if you are thinking to use propane replacing methane, you need to adapt your furnace

    Best Regards

  8. OFD says:

    “When the rain stops there might be a good time for another visit to the area to see if there are parts to avoid that do not properly handle that much rain over a short period of time.”


    Absolutely; no substitute for seeing an area beforehand at its possible worst; where has it flooded? Any structural damage anywhere?

    “I thought you were philosophically and morally opposed to trannies.”

    Now, now, you are committing a terrible microaggression here; we do not insult these brave souls with pejorative colloquialisms. They are “transgender.” And they belong to the brave and heroic and long-suffering LGBTABCXYZ “community.” We’ll deduct a corrective sum from your bank account accordingly and your next income tax refund. Thank you for your support.

  9. Ray Thompson says:

    We’ll deduct a corrective sum from your bank account accordingly and your next income tax refund.

    And from what I hear you have an inside fast track into the IRS.

  10. OFD says:

    Oh my, yes indeed! I feel like I’m part of the fine IRS family now! They’re such wunnerful peeps to work with all the time! Can’t say enuff about ’em! Wunnerful!

  11. SteveF says:

    We’ll deduct a corrective sum from your bank account accordingly

    Ha! Thanks to the Herculean efforts of one member of the marriage who isn’t me, we don’t quite live paycheck-to-paycheck, but it’s not far off. I’ve separated my personal finances as far as I could from hers, but that wasn’t very far. Bottom line, my bank account’s bottom line is small enough that seizing it would piss me off but not materially affect the family budget.

    and your next income tax refund.

    I try to arrange my deductibles so that I have no tax refund. Somehow it never works out right and I end up getting money back. The suspicious might almost think that the government slants withholding information to the payroll companies so that the government has an unwarranted little pile of money to sit on during the year before (grudgingly) returning a fraction of it.

  12. OFD says:

    Not much in yer account? No problemo, Senor! We’ll just take the vehicles, tools, furniture, future book proceeds, and here’s one for you and nineteen for me….cue up the late George Harrison and the late Stevie Ray Vaughan….

    Up here we can just forget about any refunds for a good long time to come. At the current rate of our seized funds each month it’ll take us about seven years to get out from under. While they also take a third of each check per month anyway. I’ll be nearly 70 by then and ready to max out on my SS, assuming any of those funds will be left, haha, so now my main efforts are on A: getting ANY kind of revenue in here to help out with the crushing finances, and B: trying to get as much of it “under the table” as possible in the form of cash. Or hard goods, that works now, too.

    One of the guys doing commo training out west will take barter stuff in lieu of a student not having enough cash. I think we’ll start seeing a LOT more of this, even with medical treatment. Starve the Beast.

  13. pcb_duffer says:

    [snip] and of course the house cats down in the cities will get priority. [snip]

    In every large scale electrical outage I’ve ever been around (all the results of hurricanes), the priority list is (A) major infrastructure damage – substations, transformers, etc. (B) Re-connections made per man hour worked. Not because one neighborhood is more remote, or wealthier, etc., basically a function of population density.

  14. OFD says:

    I can’t complain about the utilities up here during blizzards and ice storms; we see them out in that stuff every winter and it’s hard, dangerous work. Our power at our old house would go out for a couple of hours, maybe, and that was it. Here it’s gone out for just an hour one time only. But folks to our east in the hills and valleys have gone a week or two without it, and some years ago a massive ice storm ripped across Quebec and the Champlain Islands and down across VT and NH; we weren’t up here then but the islanders went without power for weeks. They’re just to our west on the lake, so if we get hit with another one of those, we’ll be joining them, most likely, in reading by candlelight and cooking on the wood stoves.

    That’s my main prepper goal here; get us through three months of a hard cold snowy winter with no power, and eventually six months and then a year. Right now we’re at one month but with the firewood delivery coming up soon we’ll be in much better shape; another run to buy mass quantities of canned goods and related stuff should put us to rights at the three-month level. Also, more batteries and an alternative pump gizmo on the well.

    We’re heading down to MA on Tuesday so we’ll be much closer to whatever impact the hurricane will be having on southern New England; could be interesting. Wife’s Jeopardy audition is in Boston within a couple of blocks of the waterfront.

  15. Jim B says:

    Used to go to the local mountains to cut wood, but lately we burn stuff from much closer. It’s available for the hauling.

    We only supplement our solar space heat with wood, so don’t need more than a cord or so each season. Soon, we might be able to get nat gas, so won’t need wood at all.

    Even when I cut firewood, I tried to get limbs, so I didn’t need to split much. However, for soft woods, it is hard to beat a Monster Maul. There have been contests where one man with the maul beat two with a power splitter. Good exercise, too; we older folk just do a little each day. Will NOT work on hard woods, however.

    I remember hearing that wood warms three times: cutting, stacking, and burning. Still would prefer to never again have to tend a fire. Summer is even better!

  16. Jim B says:

    I’ve been a Jeopardy fan since before Alex Trebeck. Good luck to Mrs. OFD!

  17. rick says:

    Re: Oregon Community College shooting

    A number of commentators have said that Umpqua Community College is a gun free zone. Not true. Open carry is prohibited, concealed carry is not, due to a state statute. See There were students on campus who were armed. However, law enforcement was on campus quickly and they risked being shot by either the shooter or law enforcement and were advised not to intervene. Given how quickly the local law enforcement responded, I cannot argue with this.

    Because of Portland, Oregon is a very blue state, but the courts have said that public schools cannot prohibit concealed carry.

    Of course, the moron politicians are likely to use this incident to try to change this.

    Rick in Portland

  18. nick says:

    @rick, the article I read very clearly quotes from the school’s own policy, they are militantly and proudly gun free.

    My understanding of state law was that it left it to the school to decide.

    WRT quick police response beating out someone on scene who is armed, respectfully, you need to rethink this reaction.

    Police were “several minutes” away. How many people could you shoot, per minute? EVERY SECOND COUNTS. This is why the cops changed their doctrine after Columbine. The only reason the body count wasn’t higher, is this fucking murderer had to get his supervillian time in. If he just wanted to shoot people, they would ALL be dead. With 4 guns, and reloads, with the sheep huddled waiting meekly for the slaughter, I could shoot EVERY PERSON I SAW, at a rate of 60- 90 PER MINUTE depending how bunched up they were. 60-90. Even at half that rate, EVERY MINUTE you wait for the cops costs THIRTY LIVES. YOUR WIFE OR DAUGHTER IS IN THAT ROOM. Still want to wait?


  19. nick says:


    How Many Times Can You Shoot a Handgun in Seven Minutes?
    More than a thousand.

    Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the army psychiatrist accused of gunning down 13 people at Fort Hood on Thursday, managed to fire 100 rounds with a semiautomatic handgun between the start of his rampage at 1:20 p.m. and the time he was shot at 1:27 p.m.

    There’s u tube video, that I can’t find ATM, that will show you.

    1 second per aimed shot is actually slow.


  20. ech says:

    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.

    There is substantial evidence that mass shooters are motivated by fame, and there is a copycat effect. Ari Schulman has studied them and has a list of suggestions for the media and the police:

    Never publish the shooter’s propaganda
    Hide their names and faces
    Don’t report on biography or speculate on motive
    Minimize specifics and gory details
    No photos or videos of the event
    Talk about the victims but minimize images of grieving families
    Decrease the saturation
    Tell a different story

    The “Decrease the saturation” means that national media reports for about 24 hours, local media for a day or two more.

    Dr. Park Dietz, another expert says:

    We’ve had 20 years of mass murders throughout which I have repeatedly told CNN and our other media, if you don’t want to propagate more mass murders, don’t start the story with sirens blaring. Don’t have photographs of the killer. Don’t make this 24/7 coverage. Do everything you can not to make the body count the lead story, not to make the killer some kind of anti-hero. Do localize the story to the affected community and make it as boring as possible in every other market. Because every time we have intense saturation coverage of a mass murder, we expect to see one or two more within a week.”

  21. pcb_duffer says:

    Further to the electrical outage: When there’s a big damage event, one limiting factor is just how fast crews can get in from out of the area. When Huricane Ivan hit Pensacola in 2004, the local utility sent all of their out of area crews (much of the Deep South) to Pensacola, because the damage there was so severe. The local guys stayed here, and spent their time rebuilding a substation, because a tornado went right through it. The ordinary street lines / transformers / etc. didn’t get addressed until a bunch of crews from Louisville Kentucky got down here. Folks were very happy to see the swarm of green trucks doing their thing, and those guys had a hard time paying for a meal before they went back home.

  22. nick says:

    Skip to 1:45 in the video for the start of shooting.

    30 aimed rounds, ~20 sec.



  23. OFD says:

    “Given how quickly the local law enforcement responded, I cannot argue with this.”

    They took anywhere from five to eight minutes to arrive on the scene, according to the first day’s reports. As Mr. nick points out, a guy with several semi-auto firearms and reloads can do a shit-ton of murdering when all he’s got facing him are terrified citizens waiting on their butts or knees to die. Really a shame one of the people on campus, veterans or whatever, who were armed, couldn’t get to that piece of shit for whatever reason before the cops got there.

    In any case, the police have learned something at least, since the first mass shootings of this kind we’ve seen; the first officer/s on-site locate and directly engage the shooter/s and continue until the backup units arrive.

  24. nick says:

    On another note,

    Here’s a pdf scan of a Victory Garden pamphlet.

    They consider 30 x 50 ft to be a ‘ very small’ garden.

    includes quantity of seed, and row spacing.

    Some adjustments will be necessary for your locale.


  25. OFD says:

    “Some adjustments will be necessary for your locale.”

    No chit, hombre; we have that area in our back yahd but we’d have to take out about a dozen trees that shade it. Also half the yard sits over the septic tank and leach field. And most of the yahd is directly in the path of occasionally fierce winds off the lake. We can probably finagle another six to eight raised beds but we’ll have to bring in a shit-ton of topsoil and compost to make even that work. And we can string a bunch of containers along our gravel driveway, which is the area that gets the most sun, natch.

    We’ll start seedlings indoors this winter and expand our existing garden as much as we can, but I still think if TSHTF in a big way, we’ll need to band together and cooperate with other villagers here and townspeople to be able to buy, lease or otherwise utilize some of the existing square miles all around us of flat fertile farmland currently being used for alternate season corn and grazing.

  26. nick says:


    But do you have the 60 POUNDS of bean seeds needed for even the small garden?

    I sure don’t.

    Nor do I have the sqft.


  27. nick says:

    Anyone interested in more thinking about active shooter incidents, I’ve spent the last couple hours reading this guy’s stuff, and it has opened some really unpleasant doors in my mind.

    Someone linked him from Sarah Hoyt’s blog, and it’s worth the time. There are some things I’ll be asking my trainer Tuesday night, and my kids’ principal when I finally get to review her EM plans.


    added- at dinner asked my 6 yo about their intruder drill at school. She says “you mean the bad guy drill?” “you lock the door, turn out the lights, and put a piece of paper under the door. Then you sit quietly.” She remembers the drill from LAST year, as they haven’t had one yet this year. Her school was put on “modified” lockdown for an hour this week. My 4 yo says “yeah, [one of the other kids] fell asleep. It was pretty funny.” Fish in a barrel. My little fish.

    (paper under door is a code for responders)

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That VG pamphlet is one of the resources I’m using.

    “But do you have the 60 POUNDS of bean seeds needed for even the small garden?”

    Not for a small garden, for which they specify 1/2 pound each of the snap bean seeds and Lima bean seeds.

  29. nick says:

    Huh, brain confusion.

    Still, a community garden will need seeds. Widespread restart of ag will need cultivars. It would certainly be a mess.


  30. OFD says:

    “… and it’s worth the time.”

    Seems so, thanks for the link. I read the first ten pages or so and saw that I had a much longer way to go as you mention above. I might quibble with some of his response tactics, such as shooting through doors and walls when you can’t see the actual target/s on the other side, etc. But on the whole, it looks pretty solid. I sure hope that scenario doesn’t come to pass here, but that would be their M.O.; brutally and savagely attack defenseless women and children and make as big a media splash as possible. Police departments really ought to consider developing armed auxiliaries with the right training, but already we’re screwed because obviously their training sucks nowadays.

    “Fish in a barrel. My little fish.”

    That’s how they want us all, both cops and terrorists, just sitting quietly as wait to see who wins, and enjoy the nice crossfire.

    Added: Also, you gotta be in some kinda decent shape to pull off an individual response like that. I’d go for it, too, but assuming I didn’t get blown away myself, it would really test my physical limits and I’m not obese or crippled and I’ve been doing gradual basic PT up here.

  31. Dave says:

    I looked at the Victory Garden pamphlet nick linked. I found it interesting that they recommended against raised beds. Which I thought was interesting given that I am thinking of trying square foot gardening in the spring, which seems to me to be very similar to the raised bed method.

  32. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Different times and different purpose. At the time, most food was grown within a few miles of where it was consumed, and agriculture/transport was still functioning normally. This program was intended to provide supplemental food, but the real intention was to get everyone involved to support the war. The food produced was secondary.

  33. nick says:


    yep, that caught my eye too. I think it might have been to do with wartime shortages. Cheaper and easier to just amend the soil than spend the resources for the beds. Not to mention that the ‘very small’ garden would be a pretty big raised bed system!

    I tried the sqft garden kit that costco sold. It was a complete bust for me. That could just be heat and soil issues, but if you go with a kit, be sure it’s appropriate for your area.

    I like the idea of the sqft garden, but all the examples I’ve seen online would barely make a salad or 2, maybe a week of side dishes…

    Still, any practice is better than no practice!

    let us know how it goes.


  34. nick says:

    I’ll add that one advantage of raised beds can be spousal approval. Not a postSHTF consideration,but certainly a PREshtf one.

    My beds look nice even with almost nothing growing in them. I used trex decking, on edge, cut and stacked like lincoln logs to make the boxes. The most visible one, (in the back yard, just off the patio), has multiple layers and will get a grape arbor if the weather holds and my head clears.

    It was much easier to get my wife to approve when the gardens look like landscaping and not plowed up backyard.


  35. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Good point.

    So I suppose my plan to hitch Barbara to a plow and have her plow up the back 40 is a non-starter?

  36. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, yields vary with the intensity. Yields on a farm are lowest per acre, a traditional garden has much higher yields per acre, and intense gardening the highest yields of all.

    It’s kind of like the difference in reproduction between fish and humans. The fish spawn a zillion eggs and then swim away. The humans spawn one at a time, and then spend years caring for them intensely. Same deal with growing stuff. Regular farming is a numbers game. Intense gardening gives much more attention to each plant. I have even known gardeners who name each of their plants individually. I am not making this up. If they spot an insect pest on Henrietta, they rush in and slaughter the pest.

Comments are closed.