Friday, 30 October 2015

08:56 – The lead headline in the paper this morning says that 24% of Winston-Salem residents live in poverty. Says who? How can anyone define poverty to include people who have plenty to eat, including meat every day if they want it, heated living quarters, television and cable service, their own automobiles, money in their pockets, and even cell phones, all provided at taxpayer expense? Living in real poverty means you have none of those things, and by that definition more like 0% of Winston-Salem residents live in poverty.

Enough is never enough for these clients of the state and the politicians who covet their votes. Neither will be satisfied until tax-consumers enjoy a better standard of living than the taxpayers who support them.

Email from Jen. One of the men in her extended group had suggested that they do their second trial run over the Christmas holiday, a suggestion that was quickly vetoed by all of the women and most of the men. Instead, they’re going to do a four-day second trial run starting on Thursday, 12/31 and running through the holiday weekend. They figure that’ll give them enough time to digest the results from the Thanksgiving trial run and make any fixes necessary.

Here’s what I did to prep this week:

  • We’re just about finished packing up the seed containers. We got germination on all the seed species, although in some cases we almost literally needed a microscope to see evidence of germination. All that remains is to bin them into sets and do the final packaging in foil-laminate Mylar bags. Well, that and I have to finish the planting guide, create and print the main package labels, and make up the PBS saline for the Rhizobia culture and bottle it. My original goal was to ship the kits in mid- to late November, and getting that done shouldn’t be any problem.
  • I put in several hours on the prepping book. I think another thousand hours will do it to finish volume one.
  • I read William Forstchen’s One Year After, the sequel to his earlier One Second After. I won’t link to either book, because the ebooks are priced outrageously. I wouldn’t have read either if readers hadn’t sent me copies. The second book is better-edited but no better-written than the first, which is to say it’s second-tier. And that’s grading on the not-too-demanding curve that I apply to PA novels. Rather bizarrely, the sequel opens exactly TWO Years After the first. Not only can’t Forstchen write, he apparently can’t count, either. I also started reading John Ross’s Unintended Consequences, a massive tome that’s larger even than Crawford’s Lights Out. Ross’s book is apparently out of print, although you can buy used paperback copies for $28 and up. The book appears so far to be a collection of snippets that relate in one way or another to America’s “gun culture”, presented as a spirited defense of the 2nd Amendment.

So, what precisely did you do to prepare this week? Tell me about it in the comments.


68 thoughts on “Friday, 30 October 2015”

  1. Basically took a down week.

    Family obligations, heavy rain, and general lassitude ate most of my time.

    I did have another of my ongoing police familiarization classes. We did EVOC–emergency vehicle operation course. This involved pushing cop cars thru a course in a parking lot at increasing speeds until we ‘ran out of talent.’ Much like gunfighting, smooth is fast. I had the same time thru smoothly in a Charger as I did with squealing wheels, spinning tires, and one dead traffic cone in the Crown Vic. My fast time was near the top of our group and only a few seconds slower than the deputy who set up the course. I think he could have been faster, and I’d need a lot more practice to get much better, so I’m not counting my time as all that great. The coaching had me going into the 90deg turns MUCH faster and harder than I thought possible. Slalom was fun, and again, possible at much higher speeds than I thought.

    I’m pretty confident in my driving skills, but clearly I can learn more. Aggressive driving might be life or death as things get sporty. Worth finding a course near you. (side note that even a broken down old crown vic can get up and move with the right driver, you don’t need a sports car.)

    I did a little with getting my Toughbooks set up. Intended for mobile or field use, they are heavy but built like tanks. The SSD means no moving parts, so it should be even more durable than as originally equipped. They are going to be my ‘radio’ laptops, to include all my radio programming tools, ham software, and wifi ‘war driving’ tools. (I also have one set up with winXP to run some older machine programming and diagnostic tools for work.) They say they need 15 vDC but run fine on 12v, and run in vehicles directly off battery at 13.8 vDC nominal. I think they are a good choice for a lappy for off grid, or any other prepper need. There are large groups of fans of the Toughbook platform online and they are still in wide use in public service agencies.

    I did buy a mast for my scanner discone antenna. I found a rake at Lowes with a fiberglas handle, for only $9. That is a pretty low cost for a sturdy, 5ft, non-conductive mast! I may get it up this weekend, since I’ll be messing around on the roof doing Halloween things anyway. (I’ve been watching at my yard sales for a sturdy fiberglas extension pole, like a painter’s pole, or from a tree branch trimmer, to build a portable antenna mast. Since it’s low on my list, I won’t spend much money on it. Haven’t found one yet.)

    Newly planted gardens have all sprouted. Beats, carrots, beans, and peas are poking their heads up. Lettuce is doing ok with visible growth. Not HUGE growth, but at least it’s getting bigger. Peppers and tomatoes that I moved to pots survived. Still need to get turnips, radishes, and more beans in the ‘flower boxes.’ Holiday commitments are delaying that….

    And with that, I better get started on my day. Couple of sales look good this weekend, so who knows, I might have some more stuff later.

    nick

  2. When it comes to non-prepping life, I really could lose 20 to 25 pounds. Actually I could stand to lose more, but 20 to 25 pounds would be a good start. The only thing I’ve tried to lose weight which actually works when I follow it is the South Beach Diet. The South Beach Diet involves cutting back on refined carbohydrates. The first step of prepping is to store lots of refined carbohydrates. So I’ve held off on doing both because they seem to be at cross purposes.

    I have finally decided what to do to resolve these two things that don’t go together. Have a smaller stash of whole grain carbs for the first few weeks of an emergency, and have a deeper stash of refined carbs in case we run out of the whole grain stuff. I can buy 12 one pound boxes of whole wheat macaroni from WalMart, and we can use those normally. Then I can get #10 cans of macaroni from the local Mormon cannery or the LDS store, and we can have plenty of macaroni. Macaroni and cheese is one of those things you just have to have on hand always if you have a four year old.

  3. No question the low carb diets work very well for losing weight, particularly when we’re living the fat-well-fed life. OTH in dire times that’s just what we need to get the bang for the buck. I could afford to drop 20# myself.

  4. The Atkins for Life plan works very well for me. On the Atkins plan I dropped 10% of my starting weight in 3 weeks, as did my wife. We followed the plan and lived it for several years before the kids and laziness had us adding back sugar and high carb foods, with the resulting weight gain. Still 25 – 30 pounds below where I started.

    WRT storing carbs, it’s always a challenge to find storage meat. Lately though, the choices have improved dramatically. I now have several different pouch meats stored, along with the canned chicken chunks, canned pulled pork, canned whole chickens, canned ham, and Spam ™. People on other sites report good results with freeze dried pork chops, and home canned hamburger.

    I look at the stored bulk ingredients as a bank that I can draw on as needed. Some carbs are fine, even in every day life. Under the crushing physical burden of post collapse life, or even the heightened workload of disaster recovery, I’m not worried about gaining weight from eating my rice. I’m worried about getting ENOUGH to eat.

    Same for augmenting available food during an economic downturn. Draw as much or as little as you want from the rice and flour banks. Or trade it for meat or beans or veg. It’s cheap, plentiful, and easy to store, so why not?

    nick

  5. Don’t just think about it. Do it.

    If the SEDHTF, I guarantee you that we and all other preppers are going to regret not doing things that we’d planned to do. We’ll all be caught less prepared than we want to be. But it’s a matter of degree. We might be caught with only 2,xxx pounds of food instead of the 6,xxx pounds we’d intended to have and only 1x,xxx rounds of ammo instead of our planned 2x,xxx rounds. We’ll regret putting it off.

    But those who are caught with xx pounds of food and 00 rounds are going to regret it on a whole different level.

  6. Also, why buy bulk ingredients for the short term and processed for the long?

    Pasta is basically flour and water. Some adds eggs and salt. Tortilla, the staple food of millions, is water flour and fat. Stored pasta, in boxes, will quickly become stale. If you’re gonna repack it, why not repack ingredients instead?

    In any case, DO IT. Spend a hundred bucks on flour, rice, beans, and salt. Or 30 each of canned stew, veg, and beans. You can eat them without heating if needed.

    without doing the math for nutrition, only going by meals,

    For 200 bucks,

    30 cans each, mixed canned meats- ie chili, stew
    30 cans each, mixed canned veg- ie peas, carrots, mixed veg
    30 cans each, mixed canned beans

    40 pounds rice

    4 big cartons quaker oats quick oats
    30 cans each, mixed fruit

    2 meals a day for family of 4 for one month.

    $200 or starve? I know which one I picked!

    nick

    BTW, in my way of thinking, panic buys ™ are to quickly establish a base to build off of, not the only answer. Build a base. Add to it.

  7. The people I know that live below the defined poverty line never go hungry. When I’ve pointed this out they will tell me a story about how they ran out of food and money on their EBT card with a week still to go in the month and that they had to wait A WHOLE DAY before someone could drive them to the charity pantry. The horror.

    To be a good friend I have driven many poor acquaintances to the supermarket for shopping. It is quite a chore to hold my tongue while they buy 30 Lean Cuisine frozen meals. I have pointed out that for the cost of 2 frozen entrees you can buy 10lbs of rice (more when it’s on sale). It falls on deaf ears or they say they don’t have the time for all that cooking. None of them have a job, for-goodness-sake. One woman spent 20% of her total monthly food stamps on diet Pepsi.

  8. @dave,

    mac and cheese is one of those things you have always on hand with kids WHEN IT’S NOT SHTF TIME!

    When it’s SHTF, (for local disaster, over soon, keep things normal for the kids- but that means a deep pantry, not pots of mac n cheese) you need to quickly adopt a different mindset. One that sees every resource as limited and irreplaceable. Boiling noodles for 15 minutes isn’t a good use of fuel IMO. Fresh pasta cooks much faster, if you’re gonna cook pasta.

    anyway, that could be a long post all by itself.

    The key is DO SOMETHING!!

    Anyone reading this should be working toward a goal. When you meet that goal, work toward the next one. Your progress might be uneven, but you will make progress. Even if it’s only a can or 2 extra every shopping trip….

    nick

  9. Yay North Carolina!

    The new law bans North Carolina cities from adopting sanctuary policies for illegal aliens, requires government contractors to check the immigration status of workers, and prevents police and government agencies from accepting IDs issued by foreign governments. A further provision stops the state from issuing waivers exempting food stamp recipients from federal work requirements; unemployed able-bodied adults without dependents face a three-month time limit on food stamps.

  10. @MrAtoZ

    And it will all be challenged and tied up in court, and eventually struck down as a violation of people’s civil rights.

    Because apparently some people have a right to not work, and a right to my money for their own use. Until we clear up that this is in fact UNACCEPTABLE to those of us with money, it won’t change.

    nick

    and heck, I’ve been sucked in and still haven’t left the house. bugger

  11. Smokes, junk and fast food, tee-vees with screens way bigger than ours, internet, tablets, etc., no problemo, hombres. Up here it’s the white underclass, and we see them every day.

    Here’s a corrective vision of our current election situation for those in other countries who still think it’s a viable means of, say, ‘throwing the bums out.’ Hell, a useful corrective also for peeps right here in this country, who’ve had the advantage of seeing it up close for however many years:

    http://www.dethguild.com/screw-the-debates-heres-the-real-dirty/

  12. Here’s a corrective vision of our current election situation

    lol, great article!

    And it will all be challenged and tied up in court

    Alas, yes. Sigh. If only all States said screw it! Get rid of the invaders. Maybe the Gov’s of our States will keep a close eye on what happens in Europe. I wonder what Germany’s response is when TSHTF with all those mooslims.

  13. The health insurance carousel is spinning again. Effective Dec 1, 2015, our health insurance bill is increasing from $6,206.56 per month to $7,162.93 per month. That is an increase of 15%. I am not making any changes in the coverage at this time. That means that we are staying with the BCBS PPO silver plan that we swapped to last year.

    Sigh. This is to cover eight employees (including yours truly) and four dependents.

  14. A friend of mine’s wife is a clock collector. This is his weekend of hell, dragging a ladder around the house, changing 102 clocks. Here is his facebook post:

    “OK – that’s it. I’ll vote for anybody that will end this changing of the clocks twice a year. I’ll vote for al qaeda, I’ll campaign for isis, I’ll put a Hillary Clinton sign in my yard – I’ll donate to isis. ANYBODY THAT WILL END THIS!!!!”

    “Is this the most important issue right now? When I’m making that six foot drop from the top of the ladder to the surface of earth while trying to change a stupid clock, it’s going to be pretty high on MY list.”

    He also posted that anyone wearing a gender specific costume tomorrow night will get a double handful of candy. Yup, he is way farther to the right than me.

  15. I don’t understand the problem. I just keep mine set to TST (Thompson Standard Time), which is currently about 00:07:14 ahead of ET.

    Except for damned computers. If I set them to TST, they insist on “correcting” it to ET.

  16. “I have been wondering this myself.”

    Indeed; just look at the trail of dead bodies behind the Klinton Machine over the past twenty years.

    The question is, which candidate is in the best interest of the actual rulers? My guess is that it’s Cankles. Solidly Wall Street, war-mongering, reliable political player, and she’ll do what she’s told.

  17. We need work camps. Give the decent people who try jobs running the camps. The rest can get two servings of gruel a day. Go out and fill potholes and you can earn your smokes. (is that too harsh or too easy on them?)

  18. JLP wrote:

    “It is quite a chore to hold my tongue while they buy 30 Lean Cuisine frozen meals.”

    Were *they* lean? Is Lean Cuisine junk food or good for you?

  19. “We need work camps. Give the decent people who try jobs running the camps.”

    Swell ideer. Here’s how it would work in real life:

    The decent peeps get the two meals of maggoty gruel per day for back-breaking scut and grunge labor while the scum and sadistic thugs run the camps.

  20. We need work camps. Give the decent people who try jobs running the camps. The rest can get two servings of gruel a day. Go out and fill potholes and you can earn your smokes. (is that too harsh or too easy on them?)

    +1

    work camps = employer of last resort and should be located in the boonies

    Of course, the work camps will be turned into PRCs. Families? Children? Taking care of children and educating them is always a good job. Is supplying food and housing to people in a collective cheaper than individually (EBTs)?

  21. The decent peeps get the two meals of maggoty gruel per day for back-breaking scut and grunge labor while the scum and sadistic thugs run the camps.

    Are you calling loyal DHS employees scum and sadistic thugs?

  22. Lean Cuisine is a brand name for low calorie frozen dinners. In my opinion they taste crappy. The last time I ate one (many years ago) I needed about a gallon of water to flush the salt out of my system. My point was that they are an expensive and lazy way to feed yourself; $4-$5 for ~350 calories and just push a couple of buttons on the microwave.

  23. “(is that too harsh or too easy on them?)”

    Way too easy on them. Let them grow their own food if they want to eat and cut their own firewood if they want to keep warm. If they want to smoke, let them grow their own tobacco and marijuana (varieties of both of which thrive in all 50 states and into Canada). Let them have their own laws and enforce them themselves. If they want to join polite society, let them prove they’re good enough to do so.

  24. Let them grow their own food if they want to eat and cut their own firewood if they want to keep warm.

    The Pen at Leavenworth used to have a large farm and the cons grew a lot of their vegetables. The cons used to load groceries in your car at the commissary, wash cars cheap, etc. The best cons competed for that. Then some puke convinced the higher ups they shouldn’t be doing anything outside the walls. Three squares and a cot for doing nothing but getting caught for murder, rape, etc. I don’t even know if they press license plates anymore. Just sit around till they die.

  25. I’m a compassionate guy, so I’d make some allowances for the elderly or infirm. I might even be willing to contribute a buck or even two bucks per year toward supporting them, although not in luxury. Call it two bowls of gruel per day and a bed in a room that was kept at least 60F in winter.

    Other than that, millions for defense but a not a penny for tribute. I’d be willing to kick in toward buying remote land, building fences, and paying guards a small wage to keep them where they belong.

  26. I also started reading John Ross’s Unintended Consequences, a massive tome that’s larger even than Crawford’s Lights Out. Ross’s book is apparently out of print, although you can buy used paperback copies for $28 and up. The book appears so far to be a collection of snippets that relate in one way or another to America’s “gun culture”, presented as a spirited defense of the 2nd Amendment.

    I’m getting tired of apocalypse books about 2nd amendmenters. That was why I think so highly of those people who just treat owning guns as a natural right and write their stories about life after the event. So, I will pass on this one.

  27. The wife has just informed me that she is keeping my pc in the study for her use. So, I will need to build a new pc for my new man cave XXX XXXX game room. I am looking at the following components:
    1. Antec Sonata III 500 Quiet Super Mid Tower ATX Case (Black) (with power supply)
    http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Sonata-III-500-Quiet/dp/B000QAVVAM/
    2. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Z97 Motherboard
    http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GA-Z97X-UD5H-Networking-Express-Motherboard/dp/B00JKCHDKY/
    3. Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-4690K-Processor-BX80646I54690K/dp/B00KPRWB9G/
    4. LG 27MP33HQ 27-inch Full HD IPS LED Monitor, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, HDMI, VGA Input (Black)
    http://www.amazon.com/LG-27MP33HQ-27-inch-Monitor-resolution/dp/B00NRGNGCS/
    5. Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600, PC3-12800 Memory
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006YG9C6C/

    I already have a spare Intel 240 GB SSD drive that I am going to use.

    Any thoughts here?

    Thanks!

  28. Ross *does* treat owning guns as a natural right, and documents the perverted government actions over the decades that have abridged that right.

  29. “Killing government officials just because they are anti-gun is too extreme.”

    Not if being “anti-gun” means them actually coming and trying to take them away.

  30. I’m playing with Auguson Farms products. Might as well see if it’s edible. I do like the cheese powder… adding a tablespoon to a box of mac and cheese is pretty good. So, here goes:

    HEB Au Gratin Potatoes made with Auguson Farms ingredients.

    Set oven to 400F.

    Combine 2 ounces by weight (scant 1/2 cup) of Cheese Blend Powder and 2 tablespoons of Butter Powder. Add onion powder or flakes, garlic powder, salt and pepper to taste.

    Mix 2 1/4 cups hot water and 2/3 cup milk in a 1.5 qt. baking dish.

    Whisk the powder mix into the liquid.

    Add 3.5 oz of Potato Slices (about 1/2 inch above the 2 cup line on a Pyrex 2 cup measure).

    Bake uncovered about 35 minutes or until the potatoes are tender.

    I’m still tuning this. I add about a tablespoon of dried onion, a half teaspoon of salt and pepper, a heaping half teaspoon of garlic powder, a pinch of cayenne pepper and sometimes a little finger of curry powder. Little finger of curry powder? Stick your finger in the container and what comes out on your little fingernail is it.

  31. @paul – you are doing it right, now is definitely time to learn how to use your storage foods.

    There are ways to prepare pasta without using a big pot of boiling water.

    This site has some methods that I find work well.
    http://www.seriouseats.com/2010/05/how-to-cook-pasta-salt-water-boiling-tips-the-food-lab.html

    And this site approaches preparing pasta from an Efficiency standpoint.
    http://food52.com/blog/4367-3-ways-to-cook-pasta

    Experiment and document. Water and fuel are precious resources so you need to learn how to be efficient with them when “cooking”.

  32. [snip] John Ross’s Unintended Consequences, … you can buy used paperback copies for $28 and up [snip]
    My oh my did that ‘novel’ need an editor. My copy is just shy of 900 pages, and somewhere in the middle of it is a tale worth reading, but it’s shrouded by way too much arcana. My hardback copy was priced at $28.95

    [snip] This is his weekend of hell, dragging a ladder around the house, changing 102 clocks [snip]
    Why not just set them all to GMT? Or just the standard time to his location, and ignore daylight savings?

    [snip] The Pen at Leavenworth used to have a large farm and the cons grew a lot of their vegetables. [snip]
    Ditto the state pens in Angola, Louisiana & Parchman, Mississippi.

    [snip] The health insurance carousel is spinning again. … That is an increase of 15%. [snip]
    Just about what Blue Cross is going to bump me here in Florida. They will, however, sell me insurance, which they refused to do pre-Obamacare.

    [snip] You know, I’ve thought a lot of things about Obola but until now, warmonger was not in that list. [snip]
    Either you haven’t been paying attention or you’re pulling our collective legs.

  33. If y’all think we’ve had some warmonger Presidents in the recent past, wait and see what Field Marshal von Rodham will be cooking up.

    Of course if I run down and vote for Rubio or The Donald that won’t happen.

  34. Hey dadcooks, thanks for the pasta links. Good to know that it can just simmer, and that you can use a lot less water. I’ve always used less water, with no ill effect, but it’s anathema to a cook…..

    nick

  35. “Okay Dave, why don’t you run for president?”

    Sorry, wrong gender, wrong color, wrong sexual orientation, wrong political views and worst of all, no friggin’ money.

    Plus the rulers undoubtedly know I’d shoot or hang the lot of them once in power and then start on Wall Street and Hollyweird.

  36. Bought more canned goods, arranged for new ceiling panels for the living room (more efficient heat retention), got some heavy-duty plastic sheeting for the back porch screened windows (again, to cut down on the Siberian winds when they come from the north), more plastic for the two kitchen windows and upstairs laundry windows, got the Tecsun PL-880 shortwave working with the nice antenna that came with it and now looking through the WRTH Handbook, continued ham radio license study, ordered a ham radio go-bag that I will config to my specs, began the config of my pistol go-bag, and set up the first month’s calendar for going to various local meetings at the gun range, parish, Legion post, and town hall (to continue trying to build neighborly relationships and ID potential recruits and like-minded peeps).

    Mrs. OFD has the flu out in northern Kalifornia, probably picked up from one of the students in her class who probably in turn picked it up from whatever socio-biological soup environment he or she came from. Not too good to have while she’s staying with 87-year-old Great-Grandma or planning to go and stay with grandkids next week. But since there’s evidently zero cell or net service where they are presently, I dunno what her plans are yet.

    News from Maffachufetts is that my sister probably has cancer and is scheduled for CAT and MRI scans soonest and they’re planning to have her in for three months of daily chemo and radiation treatments. She’s eight years younger than me, and two of my brothers are cancer survivors, the youngest having already gone that route and still above ground with us.

    I send a nice little sample annually down to the VA-connected research lab in New Mexico in lieu of regular invasive procedures and so fah, so good. Haht is good, lungs good, all systems go, except for mental and spiritual matters, of course. But the stats on our family’s causes of death have the top three being cancer, senility and gunshot. I’ll probably end up with the trifecta.

  37. RBT, is your clock innacurate, or do you intentionally set it to TST? If so, why? Just curious.

    I had a friend who used to say the most ridiculous gift was a gold watch to someone retiring. He said he did fine with just a calendar. I think I am becoming that.

    Although we have a few clocks, most are automatic, referenced to WWVB. I used to not like the change to and from DST, but hardly notice it any more.

  38. Couple sales today.

    Got a 70s vintage portable shortwave radio, includes the 2 meter band as a police band, and covers up past NOAA. Works on AM and FM, need to bring it in and hook it to a real antenna to see how the rest do. At this rate, I might end up with as many SW radios as I have colman lanterns…… well, probably not.

    Got a strawberry pot to add to the garden.

    Got an older Machinery’s Handbook (14th ed), and 2 copies of the Metal Cutting Tool Handbook (late 50s,early 60s), one to sell, one to keep. $2 and $1 each. These are at a great sweet spot for ‘rebuilder’ workshop survival library. Modern steels were coming out, but they still covered a lot of steam power, and all the processes were manual.

    Got some other stuff to sell, vintage electronics, watches, small stuff. Should more than pay for the day.

    Lots of family and holiday stuff to do tomorrow if the rain doesn’t wash us out. Not much commenting time…

    nick

  39. News from Maffachufetts is that my sister probably has cancer and is scheduled for CAT and MRI scans soonest

    I hope all turns out well Mr. OFD. My Mom is still hanging in there at 90 with rectal cancer. Pills are keeping it in check.

  40. Thanks, MrAtoz; that is what my sister supposedly has, a polyp in soft tissue which needs to be killed and then apparently a reconstruction of that area. Sister is only 52, and my youngest brother was only 49-50 when he got it. My late dad caught early-onset Alzeheimer’s starting in his late 50s and was gone by age 71; late uncle, a fellow ‘Nam vet dead at 63, but he didn’t take any care of himself at all.

    Wife’s female relatives live well into their 80s and 90s.

    We neither know the time nor the place, I guess….

    And in a few minutes it shall be All Hallows Eve….

  41. [snip] The Pen at Leavenworth used to have a large farm and the cons grew a lot of their vegetables. [snip]
    Ditto the state pens in Angola, Louisiana & Parchman, Mississippi.

    Here in The Great State of Texas also. We use to have a prison here in the Land of Sugar where you frequently saw chain gangs working in the fields or on the roads. Now they sit in the prison and watch Oprah.

    [snip] The health insurance carousel is spinning again. … That is an increase of 15%. [snip]
    Just about what Blue Cross is going to bump me here in Florida. They will, however, sell me insurance, which they refused to do pre-Obamacare.

    That and no discrimination against the sick are the only blessings of Obolacare. BCBS Texas will not sell PPO plans to individuals anymore, just the HMO plans. We have been on BCBS for almost a decade now and the increases for the last 3 or 4 years have been around 20% per year.

    [snip] You know, I’ve thought a lot of things about Obola but until now, warmonger was not in that list. [snip]
    Either you haven’t been paying attention or you’re pulling our collective legs.

    Obola has been the mad bomber until now. He bombs anything that moves. But, boots on the ground is a first for him. And not a good move. Reminds me of Vietnam.

  42. Well waddayano.

    Shortwave portion of the new radio works well. Only covers 3.0Mhz to around 12Mhz. Signals were strong so I’m tuning around the bands tonight, instead of sleeping.

    Getting Kuwait, pretty strong and clean, 12.3K km away…on 5.865

    Lots of local hams on 80m.

    9.5K km to the BBC on Ascension Island, never get them…

    Wow, over 16K km to Puerto LLeras island in the middle of the Indian ocean…

    12.8K to Bahrain, readable but noisy…

    Toronto, which I rarely get…

    Peking,

    Brasil

    and now alex jones at 4.840 now completely clean and loud….was noisy and fading earlier.

    nick

    sleepy now, bedtime

  43. @Jim B

    The only clock I have is the one in my Trooper. When I had the battery replaced, the clock diverged from official time and I never saw any reason to change it.

  44. “no discrimination against the sick are the only blessings of Obolacare.”

    No, that’s the WORST part. It’s like forcing car insurance companies to sell insurance to drivers who have ten or twenty convictions for accidents they caused while driving drunk, and to do so for the same price they give to someone with a perfect driving record.

    Refusing to sell medical insurance to people who are already sick or placing them in a high-risk pool is fair. Would you force an insurance company to sell home insurance to someone whose home was already burning down? The parallel is exact.

  45. @nick – you’re welcome

    When you first start making pasta with less water or the “soak” method you will get some pasta sticking, so don’t be discouraged. When done I stir the pasta with either some extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) or butter depending on what use I am going to put the pasta to e.g. spaghetti use EVOO, mac and cheese use butter.

  46. It’s also a good idea to get one or more wide-mouth vacuum bottles for that purpose. That’s one item that I may buy used, the older the better. The new Chinese-made ones get horrible reviews on Amazon.com. They don’t hold heat like the old ones did.

    Nick, got any US-made wide-mouth vacuum bottles you’d be willing to sell me?

  47. So, I will need to build a new pc for my new man cave XXX XXXX game room. I am looking at the following components…Any thoughts here?

    Dual (or more) monitors? Two at home and three wide-screens at work – once you try it you won’t go back.

  48. The wife has just informed me that she is keeping my pc in the study for her use. So, I will need to build a new pc for my new man cave XXX XXXX game room. I am looking at the following components:
    1. Antec Sonata III 500 Quiet Super Mid Tower ATX Case (Black) (with power supply)
    http://www.amazon.com/Antec-Sonata-III-500-Quiet/dp/B000QAVVAM/
    2. Gigabyte GA-Z97X-UD5H LGA 1150 Z97 Motherboard
    http://www.amazon.com/Gigabyte-GA-Z97X-UD5H-Networking-Express-Motherboard/dp/B00JKCHDKY/
    3. Intel Core i5-4690K Processor 3.5 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I54690K
    http://www.amazon.com/Intel-Core-i5-4690K-Processor-BX80646I54690K/dp/B00KPRWB9G/
    4. LG 27MP33HQ 27-inch Full HD IPS LED Monitor, 1920 x 1080 resolution, 16:9 aspect ratio, HDMI, VGA Input (Black)
    http://www.amazon.com/LG-27MP33HQ-27-inch-Monitor-resolution/dp/B00NRGNGCS/
    5. Crucial Ballistix Tactical 16GB Kit (8GBx2) DDR3 1600, PC3-12800 Memory
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B006YG9C6C/

    I already have a spare Intel 240 GB SSD drive that I am going to use.

    Any thoughts here?

    It is for a “game room” and if it is for a gaming PC, there is one thing missing, a video card. Otherwise everything looks good. Unless of course you’re wanting to spend more money and buy something overkill with an X99 or Z170 chipset and DDR4 memory. But that would require a different CPU and aftermarket cooler as well.

    Dual (or triple) monitors are cool as well.

  49. @RBT they are common estate items. I picked up a couple of stanleys, but ended up giving them to my dad.

    I hadn’t made the mental note to start more aggressively looking despite you mentioning the hot pot cooking before.

    Wide is less common as the stopper/cap is the least heat insulated part.

    I always open them and sniff. I only buy if they’re like new, no odor of coffee, and I thought I was pretty covered with 2.

    That will change! Soon, I hope to have one per colman lantern!

    nick

    Seriously, I’m gonna start collecting, and when successful, I’ll share.

  50. Please keep me in mind if you find extras. I really want a couple older US-made Stanley or Thermos quart or larger, and I don’t normally buy anything used, let alone go to the kind of sales you do.

  51. Clocks. It slightly bugs me that almost everything seems to have a clock. However, a good trend (I hope) is that some things have clocks that can be optioned OFF. We have a microwave oven or stove with that option, but the wife wants both ON, so I have forgotten which. It bugs me a little that they seldom agree.

    While in the subject, ever notice how differently electronic clocks work? It is now rare for them to use the line frequency as a reference, which means they drift off time. There was also a proposal to drop the long term accuracy of the 60 Hz line, but that was (apparently) quietly dropped.

    And then, there is the setting UI, which is really varied, and a challenge twice a year. That’s why I have sought and bought clocks that sync to WWVB. Many of them are just great.

  52. I thought using 60-Hz AC as the standard went away with analog clocks and that digital models all use internal oscillators.

  53. I’m pretty picky about what I actually buy (not as SteveF put it so colorfully “dead man’s clothes.”)

    Since I’m past panic buying, I pick up and then put down way more stuff than I keep. If it’s something I’m stocking up on, it has to be better than what I have. And you shouldn’t be surprised (since you are going thru everything and packing) just how much stuff is never used. It’s relatively rare that I get anything that touches food unless it is super quality, and I know how to clean it, or it’s already clean.

    That’s what I’m looking for, the stuff that was rarely if ever used, was well taken care of, or is new in box. I am a sucker for colman stoves and lanterns and have a bunch that aren’t working, but that is a labor of love. Even so, I’m not buying broken ones anymore… (except for parts. yeah, I know…)

    nick

  54. Re: 60hz and clocks, turns out there are small variations in freq all the time. And they are non-random after the fact (meaning someone tracks them.)

    It came out in an article that the Brits could analyze the background electrical hum in recorded messages like oh, bomb threats, ransom messages, terrorist videos, etc, and determine when and where they were made.

    ‘Course, once it was revealed, the smart guys took steps to counter that.

    nick

  55. Regarding “thermos” bottles: I agree that older stainless steel is not just better but superior. It’s a shame that Stanley and Thermos went to China, their bottles are essentially worthless IMHO.

    I have several SS Thermos and Stanley that I got back in the early 70s (as a poor sailor I remember they cost a lot even at the Base Exchange) that I still regularly use today (all tested to >250 ft. and >20 knots). I use a citric acid powder (designed for commercial coffee urns) to regularly clean my SS bottles and after each use I fill with hot water and drop in a couple of Polident tablets to clean (shake, empty, triple rinse).

    A few years back I found a vintage Stanley at a Thrift Shop, inside was totally black, it was only $1 so I bought it. It took 4 rounds of boiling water and citric acid to clean off the crud layer, the first dump looked like diarrhea (“chunky”), second like thick black coffee, third like weak tea, finally clear on #4.

  56. “no discrimination against the sick are the only blessings of Obolacare.”

    No, that’s the WORST part. It’s like forcing car insurance companies to sell insurance to drivers who have ten or twenty convictions for accidents they caused while driving drunk, and to do so for the same price they give to someone with a perfect driving record.

    No, your analogy does not work here. You are confusing personal behavior with genetics. I believe that most sickness is in your genes. Continue to let the insurance companies discriminate and they will be publishing our gene scans at age 18.

    Anyway, it is all moot anyway. The cost of health insurance is rising much faster than that of inflation. Soon, most people will not be able to afford health insurance and will go naked. That is already happening here in Texas as the state cannot afford to subsidize all the people who qualify for the expanded Medicaid in other states. The dollars are not trivial, they are would be well over ten billion dollars/year when the 90% federal match ended here in Texas.

  57. It is for a “game room” and if it is for a gaming PC, there is one thing missing, a video card. Otherwise everything looks good. Unless of course you’re wanting to spend more money and buy something overkill with an X99 or Z170 chipset and DDR4 memory. But that would require a different CPU and aftermarket cooler as well.

    Dual (or triple) monitors are cool as well.

    The only pc game that I play is spider solitaire. No much graphics required there so I just use the excellent graphics built into the Z97X chipset.

    I use a 27 and 19 at work. Here at home, I just use a 27 by itself.

    Plus, I overspent for the new game room and bath room. I’ve got to economize for a year and two.

  58. No, I’m not confusing anything. If you have bad genes, it’s not your fault, but neither is it my (or the insurance company’s) problem. Insurance companies charging higher premiums to or refusing to insure bad risks is in no way discrimination. It’s actually the definition of insurance, charging premiums commensurate with expected losses. What you’re saying is the equivalent of claiming discrimination if a life insurance company charges a 90-year-old guy higher premiums than it charges a teenager.

  59. We’ve got to agree to disagree here. But like I said, health insurance is moot. Medicare for all in the USA will be happening soon. I expect President Trump to herald it in as a part of his administration. Obolacare is a freaking nightmare and is failing more by the day.

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