Sunday, 25 October 2015

By on October 25th, 2015 in prepping, science kits

08:40 – We did the first check yesterday on the germination tests we’re running on the seeds to be included in the kits. Four days had passed since we started the seeds that had undergone one freeze/thaw transition, and the results were pretty much as expected.

Many of the species showed good germination rates, including barley (94%), basil (90%), dry soldier bean (92%), green bean (100%), Lima bean (73%), beet (93%), broccoli (83%), sweet corn (93%), pea (83%), summer squash (100%), sunflower (93%), tomato (93%), and turnip (84%). Those are all fast-germinating species, and we can get started packaging them for the kits.

Several others showed moderate germination rates, including amaranth (50%), hulless oats (63%), and onion (50%). Those are all slower-germinating species, and we simply returned them to their baggies to allow them more time to germinate. We’ll check them again in a few days, by which time I expect the rates to be noticeably higher.

A few other species showed minor signs of germination, including carrot, dill, oregano, and parsley. Those were just getting started. We’ll check them again in a week or so.

Several species showed no signs of germination, including parsnip, pepper, rosemary, sage, winter squash, St. John’s wort, and thyme. After only four days, that was expected. All of those are very slow to germinate, in some cases taking three weeks or more. We’ll check them all again in a couple of weeks, but I expect all of them to be viable, if slow. Some of them, like parsnip, are very slow to germinate but will show good percentage germination. Others, like rosemary, are extremely slow to germinate, and will also show very low germination rates. The good news is that the ones with very low germination rates, like rosemary, are extremely robust once they’re established, and subsequently propagate like weeds. The herbs in particular are weed-like, to the extent that you’ll probably want to plant them in pots to prevent them from taking over your garden.

21 Comments and discussion on "Sunday, 25 October 2015"

  1. nick says:

    If anyone out there has a LEO credential, this FLIR system will likely go very cheaply.

    Last LEO only auction they sold stuff for pennies on the thousand due to low bidder numbers.

    I’d be bidding if I could figure a way…


    This would be the shinizzle (as the kids used to say) on a tower or pole somewhere on your property…

  2. OFD says:

    “…to the extent that you’ll probably want to plant them in pots to prevent them from taking over your garden.”

    Yup, we have rosemary in a large pot and I suspect it would survive a nuclear blast now.

    @Mr. nick; I’ve been looking at various night-vision and FLIR stuff; too pricey for now but like other tech gizmos, the prices will hopefully start dropping. How ’bout this one for the iPhone:

    One possibility mentioned elsewhere for home surveillance ops is the use of ordinary game cameras, which I’m also looking into. And using RaspberryPI gimcracks to run them and send images in real time accessed via the web.

    Overcast here and the wind and rain finally faded away. Tomorrow I’ll be picking up twigs, branches, other flotsam and jetsam from all over the yard; outta gas today from lack of sleep and the mayhem here last night as wife got all bent outta shape about her next two weeks of air travel, teaching out in Kalifornia and dealing with 87-year-old great-Grandma. Rest of today will be watching football and taking notes and reading up on stuff during the commercials.

  3. nick says:

    We’ve had about 10-12 inches here over the last day or so. Not the massive flood predicted, at least in our neighborhood.

    Re night vision- Readily available network cameras can do a good job at night. The pro and semi pro ones can be set to alarm on motion, record on motion, etc. Many will run off a small solar panel and gel cell, or string the cat 5 and run poe. Older analog cameras can work well too. Add an IR illuminator and you can see pretty well. Older pro security gear for analog, including what used to be high end cameras and DVRs is cheap on ebay.

    Even the Swann brand kits sold at Costco and fry’s are pretty good for the money. What you don’t get is flexibility with camera selection.

    Of course IR illumination stands out to night vision users, but right now, and in most situations, that shouldn’t be a big negative.

    The advantage of FLIR or thermal is it is passive, works thru haze and fog, and will see much farther than IR illumination and normal cams. It has high cost though, and low resolution.


  4. OFD says:

    “…IR illumination stands out to night vision users, but right now, and in most situations, that shouldn’t be a big negative.”

    True, that. I’m just an old fart homeowner (well, caretaker for the bank) who won’t be traipsing around the AO in combat gear hoping not to be spotted by drones or The Other Guys.

    At least not yet. And by the time that scenario might unfold, I’ll probably be too old for it, of course. Maybe I can show the noobs how all the gear works and help out with commo and intel.

  5. MrAtoz says:

    Maybe I could borrow an OH58-D and return it without the FLIR.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Why not return the FLIR and keep the OH58-D?

  7. OFD says:

    Shenanigunz in the Carolinas:

    Will they be destroyed, auctioned off, kept in LE storage limbo…?

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    In the rural South, my guess is that they’ll be returned to their owners after the courts are finished with them as evidence.

  9. nick says:

    Wow, just spent a frustrating couple of hours trying to get a used SSD drive ready for install in one of my toughbooks.

    drive was reporting 8 megs free of 120G, with a “security freeze.”

    Intel ‘Toolbox’ isn’t really. The directions for clearing the ‘security freeze’ so I could secure erase and then repartition and format, didn’t work. None of the stuff on google did either. (power cycle the drive while windows is running.)

    What finally did work was starting windows with the drive powered but not connected, after disabling it in Device Manager. Then starting Toolbox (part of one piece of advice), then connect drive. Enable in Device Mgr, and viola, NOW toolbox can see the drive, ‘security freeze’ is cleared and secure erase can proceed.

    Then I had to reboot for windows to see the drive at 120gig. And finally I could use windows drive mgmt to partition and format.

    Now Toolbox sees the drive and can run diagnostics on the whole drive.

    I miss the days when a manf tool kit really let you do stuff directly to their hardware. Reset hardware, format, partition, test…

    This messing around in windows, and the toolbox, and reboots, is all a mess….


  10. nick says:

    What I should have been able to do is connect the drive, find it, format it, and be done.

    NONE of this nonsense prevented me from doing that, it just made it way harder and more obscure.

    IF I HAVE PHYSICAL ACCESS TO THE DRIVE I OWN IT. Nothing changes that fact. So why make me mess about like this?


    data integrity scan is 68%complete…..

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    parted didn’t work?

  12. OFD says:

    IT at home or at work is almost always an “adventure” like this on most days, whether Winblows, Linux or the Macs. I used to get paid for it, but no longer, I guess. So be it.

    The wind-and-rain storm overnight knocked out half of our lilac tree/bush in the front yard which I had to disconnect and drag into the back yard. LOTS of twigs, sticks and branches all over the yard, too. I don’t think the once-big lilac out front is gonna last much longer. If not, we’ll go get another one and plant it accordingly in the same spot. The wind also tore a hole in the standard-issue Murkan flag I was flying; time to throw some other flag up there, either the Betsy Ross or Bennington Battlefield one; the latter ironically commemorates a Revolutionary War battle fought just over the VT border in the Vampire State, whereas nobody has heard of the one battle of that war actually fought in Vermont, the Battle of Hubbardton, a precursor to very critical Saratoga, and critical in its own right. We lost it, thanks to German mercs mainly, but held up the Brits long enough to eventually make Saratoga the turning point.

  13. nick says:

    Got win7 ultimate installed.

    Really slow with external dvd drive.

    Need to add memory, but it performs pretty snappily thanks to the SSD.

    Core 2 Duo, 1.9

    only half gig ram is holding my score down, and the graphics chipset is holding me back too.

    Old hardware, but seems to run well. So far, I’ve got about $30 in this Toughbook, including SSD and OS.

    I’m going to set it up with all my radio management stuff, scanner programmers, HT programmers, CAT control, digital mode controller, etc. It won’t be a primary machine, but should be nice and sturdy in the field with ham stuff, or running off battery, or in a vehicle. Might get some war driving stuff on there too while I’m at it.


  14. nick says:

    @RBT, nothing I looked at the drive with saw it correctly. Only the Intel Toolbox told me it was ‘security frozen.’ There are lots of threads online about the issue and dealing with it under linux, which at a glance was even more convoluted.

    What gets me is that the manf ‘tools’ don’t really do anything more than the os. What is the point if your tools aren’t better than anyone else’s? If you are going to bother writing ‘tools’ is should be a special crow bar, not just a screwdriver with a different colored handle.


  15. Jenny says:

    Prepping this week related to prepping the pups for going to their new homes in two weeks.

    I continue lots of handling and careful socialization. I’m up to about 70 unique.strangers. Pretty dang proud of that. Had their professional structural analysis at 8 weeks precisely. Here is the YouTube:
    53 minutes and very interesting. The better the structure the less time required to evaluate the individual.

    Tonight was microchipping. Having the vet do it would have been $250. I ordered a kit from AKC Reunite and did all 5 for $110. A doctor friend helped. Little fuss from the pups (needle is ginormous).

    Also did buccal swabs to test for Degenerative Myelothepy. Spelling incorrectly but too tired to care. Pups made an enormous struggle over collecting their cheek cells but it’s done. Left husband and I frazzled.

    Made a sausage skillet dish tonight. Tasty. Sausage, cabbage, apple, onion, fennel seeds. Fully demolished it.

    Pups are huge. Two more weeks. Dam has been been sent back to her owner. Miss her dreadfully. Such a cool dog. Vaccinations at 9 weeks to avoid doing something really scary during their critical fear period. Would have been better to do microchipping and cheek swabs sooner or later but timing was what it was.

    Attempting to get toddler to sleep. She is fighting it. I think the ability to go to sleep easily is an important skill. Not sure how to install it in her. Husband I sleep easily but our fatigue is the main factor their.

    It was a good weekend. Bitter sweet looking forward to pups leaving. I will be keeping the dark faced male. I think he is going to be an awesome stock dog. He’s biddable, loves chasing, and very focused on me. Good traits.

    Take a look at the structure video. You will learn interesting things.

  16. brad says:

    @Jenny: Interesting read, thanks. My wife is much into dogs, so I can relate to a lot of the stuff you are going through. We haven’t had puppies ourselves for a while; our dogs are now older. For exactly which reason, I see a puppy on the horizon.

    Regarding toddlers and sleeping. I’m not sure how to train the skill either, but one thing that we did find important: never make the place especially quiet, none of the “shhhh…the kids are sleeping” nonsense. The result is that both of our kids can now fall asleep just about anywhere and sleep through just about anything.

  17. nick says:


    I agree that you should have normal household noise levels. (I have 2 girls, now aged 4 and 6, both sleep well.)

    Routine, and going to bed when tired made the biggest difference for us.

    Routine- start before bedtime. For us it’s dinner, bath, stories, bed. Once in bed, it’s individual “bed” story, lights out, then pats on back and calming talk or a little game of making the stuffed animals talk, then hug, kiss, and out.

    They will try to add steps to the routine, and you may have to periodically ‘reset’ to your base procedure to get rid of the accumulation.

    We reduce light levels at each step, starting with the ‘together’ story.

    Bedtime also goes much more smoothly when they have had time with both my wife and I.

    Our kids don’t usually fall asleep anywhere other than their beds. They don’t sleep in the car unless exhausted. Nor do they fall asleep on the floor or couch.

    Come bed time though, if we go thru the routine steps, even if a bit quickly, they will go right down.


    one other thing is knowing them well enough to gauge their tiredness, and get them in bed before they are “overtired” and manic.

    good luck, consistent sleep for the kids means good sleep for the parents!

  18. Jenny says:

    @Brad @Nick
    Thanks for the sleep suggestions. Some of these things we do or try to do. I think a review of the process is in order to see what we are missing.

    We learned in NICU about ‘normal noise’. Silence has never been part of bedtime

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