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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43 Responses to Saturday, 23 January 2016

  1. DadCooks says:

    I ran across this blog http://www.frugalwoods.com/ the other day. I would call them out-of-time hippie/yuppie/new age millennials. They are preppers of sort, still floundering. There are a few really honest posts about where they went astray yielding to peer pressure, flim flam “advisors”, and fad.

    A few nuggets of information, but mostly just an example of what some young folks are trying to do these days.

    I recommend browsing their blog using the Categories listing on the right.

    BTW, I kind of like the WordPress Theme they use (it is done by a Swede).

  2. nick says:

    The 3 column theme has some nice things, but it doesn’t zoom well. The columns stay the same width, and the text in the middle just gets bigger.

    As I routinely zoom every page, (so I can read it- firey pain on anyone who defaults to 6 point type just because the page is 1900 px wide).

    If sites don’t zoom their main content well, I usually just move on.

    nick

    EDIT hmm, when I went back to confirm the behavior it zoomed well. side columns dropped out, and main content displayed.

    Strange.

  3. SteveF says:

    so I can read it

    -cough- old -cough-

    when I went back to confirm the behavior it zoomed well. side columns dropped out, and main content displayed.

    Strange.

    I’d guess not all of the Javascript and CSS files had loaded yet, the first time.

  4. OFD says:

    “I would call them out-of-time hippie/yuppie/new age millennials. They are preppers of sort, still floundering.”

    Do Mr. and Mrs. FrugalBeard ever mention home defense/firearms or commo?

    I had a beard like that a few years ago but it kept getting caught in the pesky seat belts so I trimmed it right back down. Also, the local chickadees kept mistaking it for their nest.

  5. dkreck says:

    Lumbersexual.

    Out there ahead of the trend.

  6. OFD says:

    “Lumbersexual.”

    Mr. dkreck is a finalist 2day for winner of the innernet.

  7. DadCooks says:

    “Do Mr. and Mrs. FrugalBeard ever mention home defense/firearms or commo?”

    Don’t recall ever seeing anything about self protection, or even hunting/fishing for that matter. Just did some quick searches with appropriate key words, came up with hits but no mention in the posts of self protection, guns, hunting, or fishing. The Frugalwoods’ must plan on 911 and Whole Foods always being at their beck and call. They are definitely hippie pacifists with stars of perfection in their eyes (they need to get some tie dye). I probably should have said that what is to be learned from them is more of what not to do or consider.

  8. nick says:

    Just another hipster neckbeard.

    Nice gentle writing style, not afraid to dumpster dive (well, shop at curbside anyway).

    Couple articles pointing out the at the best way to have more money is to MAKE more.

    nick

  9. nick says:

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2016-01-23/anyone-using-new-york-city-roads-after-230pm-will-be-arrested

    Under what authority? Or have we gone so far they can just make a declaration like this and no one even peeps? If so, it’s too late.

    If I was insane enough to live in the socialist criminal paradise of NY, I think I might go lawsuit trolling today….

    nick

  10. Miles_Teg says:

    “I had a beard like that a few years ago but it kept getting caught in the pesky seat belts so I trimmed it right back down.”

    Long beards are not recomended for motorbike riding, unless you have a full face helmet.

  11. OFD says:

    “If I was insane enough to live in the socialist criminal paradise of NY…”

    No one on this board is that crazy, so fah as I know. That article about obtaining a CC license there in the current American Handgunner spells it out; worse than Emily wassername’s travail down in Mordor. Boston PD and NYC PD have now thus demonstrated they will implement and enforce de facto martial law in their respective cities with the full backing of state and Fed authorities. If it got to the point they couldn’t manage it on their own, the Guard would be called in, like apparently it has already further south in Megalopolis. And not just to plow or shovel snow or help little old ladies across the streets, either.

    “If so, it’s too late.”

    Well, the only peeps I’ve seen so fah are the comments after that news squib. Which, as usual, are pretty funny; gives me hope again, like in most comments after crap like this, that a lotta my fellow Murkans know full well WTF is going on lately.

    “Long beards are not recomended for motorbike riding, unless you have a full face helmet.”

    Yet we see “outlaw” and other bikers doing this all the time. Must suck to have to comb out all the dead (and live) bugs and other road crap after a ride.

    Sunny with blue skies today, temps in the single digits this AM and rocketing now into the teens, a veritable heat wave! Mrs. OFD off to MA tomorrow for the week in wunnerful Woburn, just outside Boston. Back for a day and then off to Kalifornia again for another week. Still hasn’t been paid for a week she did in early December, though. No one cares, offices closed in Mordor yesterday, no response to emails or phone calls.

  12. dkreck says:

    @OFD Yet we see “outlaw” and other bikers doing this all the time. Must suck to have to comb out all the dead (and live) bugs and other road crap after a ride.

    What makes you think they do?

  13. Miles_Teg says:

    One of my biker pals from many moons ago wore an old skool helmet, the wind would blow his lengthy beard up over his face, covering his eyes.

    Not recomended.

  14. OFD says:

    “What makes you think they do?”

    I guess I was projecting or sumthin…good point.

  15. medium wave says:

    Must suck to have to comb out all the dead (and live) bugs and other road crap after a ride.

    On-the-go snacks.

  16. dkreck says:

    Don’t shovel snow if you’re an old man. Like over 50. Odds of cardiac arrest go way up. Twice today there have been docs on the news warning them. (yes I’m one but I don’t live where it snows).
    Hire a dumb strong kid.

  17. MrAtoz says:

    NYPD will probably empty a mag into you then arrest you for “driving whilst snowing.”

  18. SteveF says:

    Two mornings this week I did squats, going from a warmup weight of 150-ish to about 250 in sets of 6, which certainly gets the heart pounding. When I use the cardio machines I aim for a heartrate of 180 for half an hour or so. I just turned 53. Tell me again about the danger of shoveling snow.

    (If we had any snow, which we don’t.)

  19. lynn says:

    Barbara estimated we’d gotten at least 12″ (30 cm) total, and it may be more than that.

    Picture or it did not happen!

  20. lynn says:

    Two mornings this week I did squats, going from a warmup weight of 150-ish to about 250 in sets of 6, which certainly gets the heart pounding. When I use the cardio machines I aim for a heartrate of 180 for half an hour or so. I just turned 53. Tell me again about the danger of shoveling snow.

    When I had a heart attack in 2009 (age of 49), my bp peaked at 210 / 110.

  21. DadCooks says:

    I did a couple of squats this morning, could have been the chili I had last night 😉

  22. Ray Thompson says:

    I did a couple of squats this morning

    Was a 20 foot dash involved?

  23. DadCooks says:

    Was a 20 foot dash involved?

    I don’t dash anymore :snail:

  24. OFD says:

    “Don’t shovel snow if you’re an old man. Like over 50.”

    I was doing that until this current wintuh, and I’m WAY over fifty; now I gots me a corded electric SnowJoe blower and it works wicked pissah; the chute throws it a good thirty feet, too. So I make sure to spray the road with it for the plow drivers.

    “NYPD will probably empty a mag into you then arrest you…”

    Assuming they can even hit you from six feet out…

    …while spraying the cityscape with most if not all of their rounds…

    “Tell me again about the danger of shoveling snow.”

    We’ll ring you when the snowblower conks out…

    “… could have been the chili I had last night…”

    Chili does that to Mrs. OFD but not me; she watched me eat a full plate of corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, beans, and taco sauce this morning and thought I’d explode or something; nope, does zero to me, and tastes great! And I like to hang onto stuff like that for a day or two, get the full benefit…

  25. SteveF says:

    We’ll ring you when the snowblower conks out…

    In the house I owned before remarrying and moving to my wife’s house (because it was in a better school district), I regularly shoveled my driveway and sidewalk, then my one neighbor’s (because he was in his 70s at a guess), then the next neighbor down (because he was no spring chicken either and had had a heart attack recently and his wife was not in great shape either). After several years of me doing the sidewalks and at least the driveway ends, the heart attack guy had enough to buy a snowblower and then he’d take care of the three houses … unless I did them first. I don’t mind shoveling snow, as it’s a good workout.

  26. nick says:

    Just got in from spending a few minutes with the kids looking at the moon.

    Very full and bright, but just enough haze to dim it so it’s easy to see the features. Some nights it’s so bright you can’t look at it. Pretty good view thru my spotting scope on a tripod.

    Kid #1 says, “you can see the mountains and volcanoes and stuff!”

    Kind chilly though at 64F and 32%RH. Feels colder. Stiff hands and cold noses.

    Wife has just authorized a big ‘scope if I find one at a sale…… And suggested we organize a family viewing night at our neighborhood rec association. That’s gonna take some work.

    @RBT, will you start stargazing again? or are you out of that groove?

    nick

  27. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    My vertigo makes observing problematic.

  28. nick says:

    I’m sorry to hear that. At one time I had vertigo, and needed to be able to work from ladders and bucket lifts. It was quite scary to lose it on a ladder. All kinds of diagnostic testing, and lots of stuff was ruled out, but nothing was determined. The drug (allorvert?) made me dopey so I couldn’t take it. Gradually it faded, and I avoided ladders and bucket lifts. Scissor lifts were a problem, but they are way harder to fall out of. I still get occasional bouts. Their final diagnosis was that I compressed some vessel in my neck when I turned my head, thus triggering it. I don’t know about that, but it did get better.

    My suspicion is that as my hearing was damaged, that affected my balance as well. That or allergies messing with the fluids in my head.

    Either way, it’s not pleasant, especially if it limits you doing something you love.

    nick

  29. SteveF says:

    RBT, what you need is an auxiliary control system to help keep you upright. Tilt sensors mounted all over your skeleton and twitch activators connected to your major muscle groups, that sort of thing. Now, I’m not saying I have any experience in creating cybernetic monstrosities, but I totally have experience in creating cybernetic monstrosities.

  30. OFD says:

    “Kind chilly though at 64F and 32%RH. Feels colder. Stiff hands and cold noses.”

    We were heading up to the hoss bahn in West Swanton late this afternoon and saw the full moon just as it was coming up over the horizon; it was gigantic and very bright. Quite a sight, and yeah, you could see the craters and “seas” with the nekked eye. It was in the single digits outside and pretty much inside the barn tonight.

    Wife’s horse is a very large bugger, about eighteen hands, kinda frisky, and once sold for $70,000. More than I ever made in a year, lol. She likes me to be around there to keep an eye on her a couple of times a week if she rides him; residual PTSD from having been tossed and kicked in the past few years and feels better if someone else is there. She’s ridden hosses since she was twelve but is now older, more careful and a bit nervous with a new one.

    In re: vertigo and related issues; I’ve had trouble with heights and big wide open spaces (agoraphobia) off and on over the years, which is funny because I was in the AF and it didn’t faze me back then at all. Nothing in the last few, though. The agoraphobia may even be partially hereditary, as my mom has been notorious with it her whole life, ditto the fear of heights. Vertigo and balance not a problem, though, not yet; the very late Dean Jonathan Swift had that stuff going on with his inner-ear issues the last few years of his life and it drove him literally insane.

  31. lynn says:

    Chili does that to Mrs. OFD but not me; she watched me eat a full plate of corned beef hash, scrambled eggs, beans, and taco sauce this morning and thought I’d explode or something; nope, does zero to me, and tastes great!

    Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and supper like a pauper.

  32. SteveF says:

    That’s fine, but aren’t you missing about two meals in that list?

  33. OFD says:

    I do what Mr. Lynn sez; and stay at around 240-250. When I was a teenager, that is, ravenous teenage boy into sports and fun substances like beer and acid and pot, I ate breakfast before skool, midmorning snack, lunch, mid-afternoon snack, supper at home, and depending on what was served there, three or four sandwiches right after that, candy bars, and then late-night meals like burgers, spaghetti and meatballs, etc. Thin as a rail. If I did that now I’d crush the scales at 500 or so, probably.

  34. lynn says:

    I have serious trouble with the supper like a pauper. When I do follow that rule, I lose a pound a week or so.

    I have managed to find an ice cream that does not trigger my milk allergy and just had a wee bit tonight. Right, I ate at least a quarter pound.

  35. OFD says:

    “Right, I ate at least a quarter pound.”

    I had a half-dozen spoonfuls of Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry…and a quarter-pound is only four ounces…

    Back to the king-sized breakfast in the AM, light lunch, and snack for supper tomorrow.

  36. lynn says:

    I am reading the Shaver book about nuclear winter. I am scared.
    http://www.amazon.com/Snow-Ash-Endless-Winter-Novel/dp/0988003023/

    I wonder how well she researched this stuff about the extreme cold, -100 F, after three thousand nuclear bombs are exploded in the atmosphere over an hour ?

  37. MrK says:

    Looking forward to your review Mr Lynn..

  38. DadCooks says:

    WRT Vertigo:

    Yes, I have it except in airplanes for some reason. Vertigo is one reason I chose Submarines. But even with them there are situations that stressed me out; like being up in the sail while cruising at >25 knots to change a lamp on the sail communications panel, the worst was being on a sail plane while in dry dock to change a light, followed closely by walking over a rocking bouncing gang plank while in dry dock. Give me close quarters any day.

  39. SteveF says:

    You had a dry dock? In my day, we had to go out on the sail plane in the middle of the ocean! At night, in a gale! And it was uphill both ways! And we were grateful!

  40. DadCooks says:

    Well most of the time we didn’t even bother to surface and had to hang on while answering an All Ahead Flank Bell and fighting off giant squid. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

  41. nick says:

    Luxury! Why when I was a lad…….

    n

  42. MrAtoz says:

    I used to clean the windshield on my chopper. While I was flying, biotches!

  43. lynn says:

    _Strands of Sorrow_ (Black Tide Rising) by John Ringo
    http://www.amazon.com/Strands-Sorrow-Black-Tide-Rising/dp/1476781028/

    Book number four of a four book zombie apocalypse series. Supposedly the conclusion of the series. But, there will be more books in the series that are short stories and novellas, written by other authors with Ringo as the editor. I will buy more books in the series if I can.

    The series starts off well and ends well. I am not a biologist but some deranged biologist creating a flu virus in his garage with a rabies payload sounds somewhat plausible. And the spreading worldwide of the dual strain virus to 99% of the world population in less than three months also is very plausible with todays airplanes and interstates.

    My rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.6 out of 5 stars (370 reviews)

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