Monday, 16 November 2015

By on November 16th, 2015 in relocation

09:20 – Work on packing up continues. Barbara and I talked last night about staging the move, what we want to take and in what order, and so on. One thing we agreed is that we’ll haul guns with us back and forth each trip, not leaving any firearms in an unoccupied home. During the incremental move, people are going to be aware that both homes are only occupied part-time, which means that bad guys may also find out. We’ll have neighbors in both places keeping an eye on things, but it still makes sense not to leave firearms in a vacant house. So we’ll haul them with us up and back on each trip.

While I was doing laundry Saturday, Barbara came down to the basement and promptly announced, “Something stinks!” Her nose led her over to the vertical freezer, where she found a one-pound roll of Costco hamburger lying on the floor. It had apparently fallen out of the freezer while she’d been getting food out a couple days before and had been lying there rotting since.

She picked it up like a dead rat and carried it over to the garbage, intending to toss it in the garbage bag and put that out in the rolling garbage cart outside. I suggested that instead of tossing it out we have it for dinner, and she looked at me as if I were nuts. I told her that I just happened to have been writing about using spoiled food in an emergency, and that if we fully cooked it that meat would be completely safe to eat and that cooking would destroy most of the spoiled odor and taste. She looked at me as if I were nuts, and tossed it in the garbage. Oh, well.

12:48 – I see that those bastards at the MPAA have succeeded in taking down the biggest torrent tracker, for what good it does them. One would think they’d understand that the Internet and its protocols were designed to survive a full nuclear war, literally, and that they automatically route around and repair damage. As has already happened. When demonii disappeared, other torrent trackers took up the slack immediately.

38 Comments and discussion on "Monday, 16 November 2015"

  1. Dave says:

    One thing we agreed is that we’ll haul guns with us back and forth each trip, not leaving any firearms in an unoccupied home.

    I agree with your decision, but I would have thought you had too many guns to make that practical.

  2. DadCooks says:

    @RBT – Regarding security for both of your homes during the move: Have you considered one of the several security systems like SimpliSafe ( that do not require contracts. There are also some IP cameras that could be used (for the life of me I cannot find the links I want to include). Even just a video doorbell like that at

    Of course to be most effective you need to have a smartphone so you get instant alerts.

    As events continue to unfold worldwide it is becoming more and more important to keep your powder dry and Old Betsy* by your side. (*Davy Crockett’s rifle in case you forgot)

  3. Miles_Teg says:

    They lost most of them in a local lake. Plus they’ll be taking two cars each way.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I don’t know exactly how many guns we have now that most of them have been lost in the river, but transporting them shouldn’t be a problem. On the first trip up, we’ll take along a couple thousand rounds of ammo and leave it up there. We’ll take more each trip until we have only a couple thousand rounds left at the old house.

  5. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    For security, I’ll also be leaving our male rattlesnake, George, down here until the final trip. We’ll take the female, Martha, and leave her at the new house. For some reason, a 7-foot rattlesnake scares the hell out of most people.

  6. DadCooks says:

    The Wirecutter came through for me with this post this morning regarding IP cameras:

  7. dkreck says:

    Waiting for the Nest remote-contolled ptz auto gun mount.

  8. JLP says:

    Do you have a trusted friend who could hold the guns for you instead of schlepping them back and forth each trip? If you have a good relationship with your local gun store he might be willing to hold them (for a fee, of course) during move. Just a thought.

    With spoiled food, I would be leery, too. Cooking can kill the bugs but the toxins they produced may not necessarily be inactivated.

  9. nick says:


    according to my security trade magazines, nest is a giant security hole.

    There are lots of ip cameras out there, drop cam, and semipro ones, I like Speco.


  10. dkreck says:

    I’ve read that Nest is bad as well. Fascination especially since being acquired by Google. The thermostats do seem cool(no pun) but I’ve seen them first hand and they remind me of the eye on the HAL computer. Sorry Dave, I can’t do that.
    As my post was rather tongue-in-cheek I just decided for the most popular (though at $190 per cam I can’t see why) and that wirecutter author practically wet himself over it.
    The auto gun mount OTH might not be too wise on the internet.

  11. Roy Harvey says:

    You don’t have gun safes? I always imagined you would. Strange things, imaginations.

    My son-in-law keeps all his guns (and who knows what else) in gun safes. The last time he moved (which may well be the last time he moves) it was across town with family and friends doing the work, but a big task was moving the (empty) safe. He has several friends about as strong as he is, which says a lot, but when they got it to the short basement stairs (5 steps?) he had to stop and call professionals for that last bit. A few hundred dollars against getting crippled was an easy choice. He has since added at least one more, I assume delivered to where he wanted it. Putting some new flooring beneath one was… challenging.

  12. OFD says:

    Some recent nooz from my old haunts in Maffachufetts:

    The story has changed several times since the incident concerning the actual weapons missing; veterans who are familiar with these armories know that internal hardware security is almost always very tight and would require either an inside job and/or pros who have the necessary tools to break into it. The local rag reports PR flacks claiming that only rifles and pistols were taken and are now in the Feebies database, blah, blah, blah. As a former U.S. Army Reserve MP (344th MP Co., 182nd Infantry Brigade)(after the AF)), I would not be surprised if there had been heavier stuff that got taken and the gummint is keeping it quiet.

  13. Miles_Teg says:

    This guy’s a bit on the crazy side but he’s probably right about a lot of things, including Hillary…

  14. Miles_Teg says:

    At least six states have stated they remain open to Syrian refugees.

    One is Washington, whose governor, Jay Inslee, issued a statement saying: “We have been and will continue to be a state that embraces compassion and eschews fear mongering.”

  15. DadCooks says:

    I hope you guys did not mistake my Wirecutter link as an endorsement of the product, I meant it only as an example of an IP cam. However, the criticisms and observations are relevant and good.

    Again, this only an example of one that I personally use: surveillance cams by D-Link that I can pan and rotate w/IR ( All of them have their faults and foibles, but I guess that is to be expected in these inexpensive units.

    Edit: BTW, this is one WA resident that does not support our governor and have sent him an email telling him so. Our local Representatives in the WA Legislature have also expressed their displeasure.

    My Wife surprised me this morning by saying she wants some more home defense shotguns and some more range time.

  16. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “You don’t have gun safes?”

    Well, at this point all I have to protect is a BB gun and a couple Airsoft rifles. Everything else is in the lake.

  17. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “My Wife surprised me this morning by saying she wants some more home defense shotguns and some more range time.”

    You should leave skid marks on your way out to the gun store.

  18. Dave says:

    Well, at this point all I have to protect is a BB gun and a couple Airsoft rifles.

    I would have considered Airsoft rifles to be BB guns. Probably high end BB guns, but BB guns nonetheless. Is my classification incorrect.

  19. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    BB guns fire 4.5mm/.177″ diameter steel ball bearings, usually copper-plated. Airsoft guns fire (usually) plastic pellets that are 6mm or 8mm in diameter. Pellet guns fire metal projectiles of various diameters, most commonly .177″ or .22″. A good pellet gun achieves velocities similar to a .22 LR rimfire round, and is useful for killing varmints and even hunting small game.

  20. brad says:

    How “safe” are gun safes?

    The local test show on television just did a special on ordinary safes a couple of weeks ago. Nearly all of them could be opened in just a couple of minutes. Sometimes it took a couple of screwdrivers. Often, it took nothing more than a paperclip. They were tested by a German club that entertains itself by hacking safes, and the rating was the average time it took for a range of members, from beginners to experienced, to get the safe open.

    What struck me as really stupid were the electronic safes. They all apparently have an emergency key-based lock, generally of the crappiest kind imaginable. A couple of high end ones (that had decent physical locks) had unprotected USB ports that could be hacked.

    They also tested how hard it was just to carry the safe off. Even bolted to the wall or floor, lots of them could be easily pried loose, taken home, and opened at leisure.

    The ones carrying certifications fared the best, but they were generally also on the north side of $500.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Yep, I’ve never felt comfortable with depending on a gun safe. Back before I lost all our actual guns, I kept them scattered around the house, all loaded, and depending on the type of action, either Condition One or requiring only a quick cycle of the action to put them in Condition Zero. When you need a gun, you need it RIGHT NOW, and I’m not about to keep firearms in one central location, let alone a locked one.

  22. nick says:


    What most people consider ‘gun safes’ are legally just ‘storage containers.’ Any that you could pick up and carry are nothing more than a storage locker. In fact, many school or gym lockers could be made stronger than a cheap gun safe and more secure with a couple of quality padlocks and a bit of chain.

    If you go to a safe store, a real safe, even one marketed to secure guns, will be at least several thousand dollars to start and rapidly increasing from there.

    Anything made by stack on, or sold in a big box store, is barely adequate to keep your kids out of it, and will not pose any significant challenge to a thief.

    One of the easiest ways in, is to push it over on it’s face, and go in thru the very thin skin on the back of the “safe” with an angle grinder. A couple of quick cuts, and a peal back of the steel, and your guns lift right out. That is why it is vital to secure any safe to the wall and floor. Almost all mass market ‘safes’ have very thin sides and back.

    A well installed fire resistant gun safe will slow a thief and stymie the casual kid ransacking your house, but the best benefit is the fire rating.

    Any safe can be beaten, and the real ones are rated by how long that takes covertly, overtly, and forcefully.

    Go look at a showroom for a real safe store, they are happy to show you why their stuff is better 😉 and they are generally friendly to end users…(don’t expect them to tell you how THEIR safes are compromised, just how other cheap boxes are.)


    BTW, I asked the salesman about the old cliche’ that a good safe will just get you tortured into opening it for the attacker. His reply was that in decades of being in business in Houston, he’d never heard of that actually happening. I’m sure it happens, especially in other places, but it must be less common that one would think.

  23. nick says:

    FWIW, older commercial safes, true safes, are available at discounts used. There are online and real world dealers who specialize in them. They won’t look like a new car, or have gun safe shelves and pockets and carpet, but you really don’t need that stuff anyway, or you can easily add it. As a bonus, most thieves won’t know how to attack a safe they don’t recognize.

    For storing accessible guns, I really like the GunVault product line. It usually fares better than its imitators in tests too. It’s easy to open even in the dark.

    I have several MiniVaults, and a MicroVault to secure a pistol in my luggage. MiniVaults are useful to secure stuff you need accessible daily too, like checkbooks or credit cards. Screw one under your desk, near your bed, in the vehicle, under a coffee table, the possibilities are endless.

    Specifically designed for vehicles, google ‘console vault’. Again, I prefer the original.

    I have seen a couple of interesting ‘safes’ for use in the bedroom with rifles or shotguns. One stands in a corner, and you open it before bedtime, and close it upon waking. One is a locked drawer that bolts to the floor under your bed. Haven’t used them so I can’t comment from experience.


  24. Dave says:


    Thanks for the helpful information. There is one question you didn’t answer in your experiments though. How long does it take the water to get down to 60 degrees C would be the one other question to answer. Above that temperature food is generally considered safe from bacterial growth. I know in a prepping situation you probably won’t want to keep cooked food for that long, but if you had more than one thermos, it wouldn’t take much more fuel to cook two meals instead of one.

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Actually, most pathogenic bacteria stop reproducing at just over 37C (normal body temperature). That’s why we run fevers when we have infections. Few pathogens reproduce at 40C/104F, very few at 50C/112F, and none that I know of at 60C/130F. Above that, and you’re getting into killing territory. Boiling kills essentially all bacteria but doesn’t kill spores. Autoclaving or pressure cooking at 121C kills even spores, and destroys most but not all toxins.

    In Thermos cooking, the actual cooking occurs at the higher temperatures, but even lower temperatures suffice to keep the food warm enough to eat and to keep bacterial reproduction down. Not that there should be any bacteria in the Thermos to start with if you were starting at 100C or close to it.

  26. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I should probably talk about Tyndallization as well.

  27. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, based on the curve, that Thermos bottle should maintain 60C+ for 24 hours.

  28. nick says:

    @rbt, one of the things that struck me on the Tales From the Green Valley, was the use of salt to sterilize work surfaces and containers.

    I never thought of salt that way.

    I guess the salt solution ruptures cell walls?


    (and it’s a nice water soluble abrasive for scrubbing.)


  29. Dave says:

    Incidentally, based on the curve, that Thermos bottle should maintain 60C+ for 24 hours.

    Thanks, I figured it would. I was concerned about convincing my better half about food safety. My wife thinks that I should look at the expiration date of the two cans of chicken in our pantry which were probably purchased in 2013 before opening. I would spend more time looking at the condition of the can than the expiration date.

  30. Robert Bruce Thompson says:


    Yes, that’s the basis of using salt (or sugar) to preserve foods. A concentrated solution of either destroys microorganisms by sucking the water out of their cells. If you put a concentrated solution of the solute on one side of a permeable membrane (like a cell wall), osmotic pressure causes the water molecules to migrate from the less concentrated solution inside the cells to the more concentrated solution surrounding them in an attempt to equalize the concentrations (and osmotic pressure). It’s like pouring salt on a slug. It sucks them dry and kills them.

  31. Robert Bruce Thompson says:


    Exactly right. With canned goods, the only thing you need to worry about is a can that hasn’t maintained its integrity and has allowed microorganisms to get in from outside. Assuming it was processed properly, food inside a sealed can remains safe for the life of the can.

    There can be changes in taste, texture, and so on over the years. Nick mentioned the other day about opening a can of evaporated milk and finding that it had solidified. My sister-in-law calls that clabbering, which technically it’s not. Clabbered milk has started to spoil, which the milk in that can hasn’t. It’s simply separated, as milk naturally does. It’s still as safe as ever to consume, and the flavor won’t have changed much if at all, even over years. (The taste of evaporated milk is different from fresh milk to start with, as the canning process causes some carmelization.)

  32. nick says:

    Yup, still using it in my coffee today. Still yummy. One of those “better try my preps” things.

    I stock canned medium cream (‘table cream’) for cooking and coffee drinking. I routinely use the cans when I run short of my favorite heavy cream from Costco.

    I stocked up on some evaporated milk in cans when it was onsale, thinking to use it for baking or in my coffee-vietnamese style. I’ve had it that way in restaurants but not at home, so I gave it a try when I ran out of fresh cream.

    One thing to consider when buying canned food, many canners have started using cans with a pull ring top. I’d avoid this for storage food, as the material is MUCH thinner where it’s scored to open. I’ve had cans fail on the score. Buy a brand with a traditional top for storage.

    I’ve got mixed feelings about the newer ‘deep drawn’ cans too. They are the ones with an integral bottom, as opposed to a rolled on separate piece. On the one hand, the bottom should be less susceptible to pinholes from rust while sitting on the shelf. On the other, the can walls are thinner.

    Imported cans are usually still made with traditional rolled tops and bottoms, and have heavier gauge walls too.

    Something to consider.


  33. nick says:

    Also, if you have a really good mind for trivia, you might remember me commenting that I made a peach cobbler from some expired storage food.

    In this case it was the peach parts in syrup, in the little plastic single serving cups. The texture got softer, and the color was starting to get a little darker, but the taste was just fine. Adding it to the cobbler disguised any changes that might have been noticeable right out of the package.


  34. brad says:

    Not that there should be any bacteria in the Thermos to start with if you were starting at 100C or close to it.

    That’s something that people often forget. Just as an example: When I brew beer, I find the idea of crash cooling just dumb. Why waste hundreds of liters of water to cool the wort, when you can just let it cool down naturally?

    I brew in a pot with a tight-fitting lid, so when I’m done, I just put the lid on. The stuff has boiled over an hour – it’s sterile. Any bacteria on the lid will be killed by the steam off of the boiling liquid. Nothing at all is going to happen during the 24-36 hours it takes to cool down enough to add the yeast.

    The time I worry about are the first couple of days when the yeast is just starting. You have this lovely, sugar-rich nutrient solution, right around room temperature, just waiting for some random contamination to get a foothold. That’s the one time I do sterilize things, and work very carefully.

    A friend and I just made a really nice IPA, and I have a couple of other light beer recipes I like. But my favorite beers are dark, and I can’t seem to make a dark beer worth drinking. The last one, I finally gave in, opened all the bottles, and poured them down the drain. It was that bad.

    Anyone know what the secret of brewing a decent dark beer is? I must be missing something…

  35. Miles_Teg says:

    Why homebrew Brad? Does it taste better or save money?

  36. DadCooks says:

    @brad – look around your area for a brewing club. You might check out any brew pubs you may have locally or nearby. Even though they are a business the good ones started as passionate home brewers. They may have some suggestions or can put you in contact with a local club.

  37. brad says:

    @Miles: Why homebrew? It’s more expensive, makes a mess, and doesn’t (yet, anyway) taste better. Just for fun, really.

    @DadCooks: Yes, there are a couple of clubs around. Through my wife’s whisky business, I know some of the people involved. Typical of too many clubs, they seem to be dominated by 2-3 rather unpleasant people. Petty power to petty people, that kind of thing. Given that I am an anti-social type to begin with, I am just muddling through on my own.

    There are also a pile of really good online resources, both in English (mostly US) and in German (brewing is big in Germany). If anything, I ought to start participating regularly in one of the online forums.

  38. Dave says:


    I’m not terribly social either, but I do like model trains, and joined a model train club that didn’t really suit my interests because it was the only one in town. I met people there whose interests matched my own, even though the club didn’t particularly match our interests.

    I suspect that at the local brewing club there are others like you who don’t care for the politics, but just want to sit around talking with friends about brewing beer and probably drinking one or two as well.

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