Day: January 23, 2016

Saturday, 23 January 2016

10:34 – The snow is mostly past. We’re to have maybe another inch today, but that’s it for this storm. I have no idea how much we got. We’ve had sustained winds of 20+ MPH (32 KPH) the whole time, with frequent gusts up to twice that. Looking out the front window a few minutes ago, there appeared to be a blizzard, even though no snow was actually falling. It was just the wind blowing snow off our front yard. Barbara estimated we’d gotten at least 12″ (30 cm) total, and it may be more than that.

USPS didn’t run at all yesterday. Even counter service was closed. I did get through to them this morning. The guy said they’re doing the best they can and will be running routes today, although they’ll be running very late and may not get to everyone. When I asked him, the guy did say not to worry about any packages with postage labels dated earlier than the current date. He said they’d accept them, even if they didn’t manage to get to them until Monday.

There’s no shortage of snow plows around here, which makes sense. Yesterday and this morning on our road, I saw at least a dozen different trucks with plows on them. There were a couple of different county trucks with plows and salt flings, several private flat-beds and dump trucks, and probably half a dozen private pickups. Most of them weren’t plowing or salting as they passed our house, but several were.

I’d consider us to be pretty heavy users of Netflix streaming, but apparently we’re not out of the ordinary. As of 2015, the average Netflix streaming subscriber was watching nearly two hours per day. Given how many subscribers Netflix now has, that doesn’t bode well for cable and satellite TV. We cut the cord more than a decade ago, retaining only local stations, which we didn’t watch much anyway. As of our move to Sparta, we cut the cord entirely. We have no TV service here other than Netflix and Amazon streaming, and we don’t miss it.

I didn’t do anything specifically prepping-related this week, other than continuing the process of getting settled in our new house. Well, that and starting a list for our next run down to Costco in Winston-Salem. So far, the only things on that list are some 50-pound (22.7 kilo) bags of sugar, flour, and rice; a couple 10-pound boxes of oatmeal; another bottle or two of vanilla extract to replace one that didn’t survive the move; some large bottles of cinnamon and other spices; another bottle of molasses; another jug of oil; and a couple bags of coffee.

This week, I also want to get a bunch of 2-liter soda bottles cleaned and prepared for those bulk staples. We’ll do that on a production line, rinsing each, washing them out with sudsy water, rinsing again with dilute chlorine bleach solution, and setting them aside to drain. The problem is that they take forever to air dry completely. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to speed that up. After they’re drained as well as possible, I’ll simply transfer a couple pounds of dry rice to each bottle, shake it around to absorb any remaining water, and dump it into the next bottle. Two passes with different batches of rice suffice to remove all the moisture from the bottles, and when the rice starts to get damp it can be dried in the oven and reused indefinitely.


12:21 – Colin escaped this morning while Barbara was standing with the front door open, taking pictures of the snow. He apparently sneaked out behind her without being noticed. Some time later, Barbara heard him barking at the front door to be let in. Good Dog. We’re both concerned about him being out loose. At first, it was because he wasn’t thinking of this as his home yet, and we were afraid if he got loose he’d head for Winston-Salem, literally. Now that he thinks of the new house as home, we’re mainly concerned about the traffic on our road and US21. Colin has no fear of cars, and being hit by a car is a leading cause of death of Border Collies. They try to herd the cars. With the wintry conditions and everyone driving at sane speeds, him being loose isn’t much of a problem today. In fact, I let him out the front door off-leash first thing this morning to go pee. He stood on the relatively snow-free front porch looking at the snow-covered front yard, walked over to one of the porch support columns, lifted his leg and peed on it, and then headed for the front door.

Oh, yeah. I just added butter to our Costco list. Ordinarily, we have at least six or eight four-pound packs in the big freezer, but we’re down to two. We’re using more butter for cooking and baking. Just making a regular batch of oatmeal cookies takes half a pound.

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