Thursday, 24 December 2015

10:52 – We’re taking the next couple of days off from physical labor to relax and enjoy the holiday. Barbara is baking brownies and a cinnamon crumb cake this morning. This afternoon we’ll make up a batch of no-knead bread dough to bake tomorrow morning.

Someone emailed me to ask why installing solar to power the well pump isn’t a higher priority. The short answer is that we already have a 7KW generator, which if necessary I could run for about 10 minutes a day to pump and collect sufficient water for a dozen people at 3 gallons/day each as well as flushing the toilets a couple dozen times or more per day. I could run the generator for that five hours a month for months on just the gasoline we have stored in our vehicle fuel tanks. I do need to pick up a couple cans of ether-based starter fluid.

It’s another drizzly, foggy day here, with thunderstorms predicted for tonight and tomorrow, so we’ll stay indoors again. Fortunately, the highs and lows are both forecast to be in the 50’s F. We’d have a real mess if we got temperatures below freezing.

I just read the first two-thirds of Jacqueline Druga’s The Flu, yet another pandemic PA novel, before I ended up bagging it. To the good, Druga writes competent English prose. To the bad, she spends the first third of the novel introducing her characters. Nothing much actually happens before that. And when things do start to happen, Druga strains her readers’ credulity well beyond the breaking point. She’s completely clueless about the mechanics of a pandemic. She confuses cause and effect. (Amazing true fact according to Druga: septicemia caused the Black Plague, rather than the converse.) She believes that viral diseases can be treated successfully with anti-bacterial antibiotics. If you know anything at all about viral epidemics, you’ll find yourself throwing your Kindle across the room.

On Steve Konkoly’s recommendation, I also used my KU account to pick up a copy of Tom Abraham’s Home: A Post Apocalyptic/Dystopian Adventure (The Traveler Book 1). I’m glad I didn’t pay for it. Abraham’s writing is mediocre at best, typical of self-published PA novels. He goes into excruciating detail about the hardware. I mean, I don’t need to know the brand and model of his tactical rifle, let alone the barrel length or the fact that he’s using 77-grain bullets. Geez. I managed to get through about 15% of the book, just to be fair to the author, but it didn’t get better. If anything, it was getting worse. I can appreciate that Konkoly wants to help his friends, but he loses credibility by even mentioning bad books like this, let alone giving them a strong personal endorsement.