Saturday, 27 February 2016

10:31 – Our Internet service is back to normal. Apparently, the gremlins just went away. I’m now getting normal throughput on my notebook sitting on the dining room table, whereas I was getting 0.1/0.1 Mbps down/up the other day. No changes to anything. It just started working again. I hate that.

Barbara did a quick Costco run yesterday before she headed back up to Sparta. I’d asked her to pick up another case of toilet paper, which she did, but she also picked up another case of paper towels. She’d also stopped at BB&B, where she picked up various stuff for the house, including some small kitchen items like a whisk and a set of biscuit cutters.

I re-read Ted Koppel’s Lights Out last night. It’s a short book, and well worth reading if you haven’t already. One of the points that Koppel makes in passing is the differing levels of preparedness of different areas. Urban residents typically keep very little food on hand. If they’re underclass, they probably keep about a day or two worth on hand. Even if they’re middle-class or better, they probably keep little shelf-stable food on hand because they mostly eat out, eat only fresh foods, or cook microwave meals. Suburban residents are typically better stocked, which corresponds with my own experience. A typical suburban home probably has at least a week or two worth of food on hand, and many have more. Costco and Sam’s Club shopping has encouraged that trend. Suburban homes have more storage than urban apartments, and lots of suburbanites stock up during monthly Costco/Sam’s runs. Rural dwellers are typically even better prepared. I’d guess that the typical home in Sparta has at least a month worth of food on hand, and many/most probably have more. And that’s just regular people. Those who would class themselves as preppers–and there are probably a lot more preppers in this area than in a typical suburban area–have a lot more. It’s ironic that the closer one lives to food-producing areas, the more likely one is to have a lot of food stored. That’s probably because rural residents are on average a lot more conscious of the need to be prepared and a lot less likely to count on the government to do anything to help them during an emergency.

Barbara just got the electric co-op newsletter, which announced that our electric rates would be reduced by about 1.8 cents/KWh. Last month, we used 1,723 KWh at about 10.2 cents/KWh, so our electric bill should be going down by roughly 18% for the rest of this year, a result of cheap natural gas. Yet another example of why low oil/gas prices are a huge benefit across the US.

Living in an all-electric house, I’m well aware of the dangers of a grid-down scenario. That’s why one of the first things we did when we moved in was install a wood stove large enough to heat our home and, if necessary cook on. That means my main concern about electricity at this point is that we have a well for water, so we need to be able to power the well pump if the grid goes down. As a stop-gap measure, we have a generator large enough to power the well pump. We also have a gas station with probably 40,000 gallons of gasoline about 100 yards from our house. But our next major acquisition will probably be a solar installation sufficient to power that well pump for at least 10 or 15 minutes a day. With a flow rate of 5 to 6 gallons per minute, that’d give us 50 to 90 gallons of water a day, which we could live with. We could probably manage that with one or two 100W panels and the associated electronics and deep cycle batteries.


48 thoughts on “Saturday, 27 February 2016”

  1. “…we have a generator large enough to power the well pump.”

    Just HOW large is that generator? And if it runs on gasoline, can it also run on propane, maybe with some kind of conversion gizmo?

    “…a solar installation sufficient to power that well pump for at least 10 or 15 minutes a day.”

    I’d be very interested in what you end up with and how you configure it; I’m debating whether that is worth the time and expense for us here due to the amount of direct sunlight we get or do not get, so am also considering a manual pump as backup.

    “… I’d guess that the typical home in Sparta has at least a month worth of food on hand, and many/most probably have more. And that’s just regular people.”

    We probably have about two months of food here, but I’m working toward six months, the typical six months of a cold snowy winter with no power. I suspect my siblings down in Megalopolis Maffachufetts barely have a few days on hand, despite living in the ‘burbs. Normalcy bias reigns, although my next-younger bro is aware of all this stuff; he gets nearly zero spousal or daughter support for it. The others stick their heads in the sand while glued to nightly crap on the tee-vees and innernet and don’t wanna hear about it; more fun to bitch around the water cooler about the previous night’s Fox News guests and the latest bromides from Michael Savage or Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity.

  2. What I don’t understand is why the solar panels can’t be powered by FLASHLIGHTS and operate 24 hrs/day.

  3. Probably something to do with the maximum lumens or luminsoity or thickness of the lens itself or maybe the type of bulb and the length and weight and atmospheric pressure on Tuesday afternoons in the summer, depending, of course, on wind conditions and humidity.

  4. No, no, no. It’s about how the LED die is heat sinked. Cheap Chinese flashlights aren’t heat sinked and therefore are inferior.

  5. You forgot to capitalize “FLASHLIGHTS.”

    And your remark about Chinese FLASHLIGHTS just reeks of hate and rayciss thoughtcrime.

  6. You forgot to capitalize “FLASHLIGHTS.”

    🙁

    And your remark about Chinese FLASHLIGHTS just reeks of hate and rayciss thoughtcrime.

    🙂

  7. Hmmmm….Colonel Atoz knows emoticons pretty well but gee whiz, not much about properly capitalizing certain nouns critical to prepping.

    And then another guy chimes in with something about “solar torches.” Pray tell, maestro, how doth one get lit? With a magnifying glass focusing the sun’s rays?

    “This is how they do it in India”

    Hateful abuse of animals. Why not hitch up libturds, Dumbcrats, RINOs, lawyers, stockbrokers, investment banksters, politicians, and, for a live pay-per-view demo, Cankles herself. She’s certainly got the legs and feet for this task; just make sure to stuff a spiked gag in her mouth and let’s not expose any more body parts than are necessary.

  8. There is no way that pump is producing that much pressure and volume. Having been raised on a farm that kind of distance for water requires over 40 PSI and several GPM. We ran about 80 sprinklers at 60 PSI with the pump, 30HP, pushing almost 500 GPM. Each sprinkler head was a 4 GPM and those look about 3 GPM.

  9. I see where Cankles is winning big in SC. That will pump her ego up. I fear our choice come election time will be Trump and the bitch queen. Unless the FBI and DOJ bring charges against her before the election. I suspect what will happen is she will chose some idiot for her VP choice, get charged after being elected, step down and leave the idiot in the top slot. Although how you distinguish between idiots at that level we will have to leave to the insights of OFD.

  10. The MSM kept harping on how Cankles would conquer SC and finish off Sanders once and for all, to cheers and suchlike. And at some dumbass speech that her “husband” Larry Klinton was making down there, he barked at a Marine vet who was asking pesky questions about the VA and Benghazi. The crowd jeered and booed the Marine, of course, and a woman who also spoke up in the same vein.

    Yes, it will probably be Trump vs. Cankles, and Mr. Ray could be right; i.e., she picks a ringer VP and then has to step down and deal with multiple Fed charges bordering on treason and potential jail time, but neither her nor Larry will ever see the inside of a cell in this life. Then the ringer steps up and finishes the job started by her and Obola in the destruction of the country and its people.

    And yes, they’re idiots in some respects, but also clever, conniving sons of bitches and filthy criminal scum. I’m currently reading Roger Stone’s book on the JFK assassination put in motion by LBJ and it’s just more confirmation that we’ve been “electing” absolute criminal scumbags for a long time now. Johnson is right up there with Lincoln, Wilson, the second Roosevelt, Clinton and Obama as our worst Presidents.

    I’ll be moving on to Stone’s later two books on the Clintons’ ‘war on women’ and the criminal activities of the Bush klan, more scumbag crooks. Yet we keep getting lectured and harped at to run out and vote for these shit-heads on the basis of ‘lesser of two evils’ and suchlike; there is no “lesser;” they’re ALL evil. Vote for one and you’re voting for your own continued enslavement; LBJ used to stand at the top of the stairs of Air Force Two and One, waving and smiling at the crowd that was cheering for him, and saying “Fuck all you little shits; I piss on you.” Verbatim.

    You think Trump feels any differently? Do you also believe in the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny?

  11. I am still going to maintain that the slow Internet was due to poor DNS workings. Sounds exactly like my slowdowns, the last of which was a couple months ago. When you get a page loaded with pics, analytics, and tons of other such stuff, it is hard to remember that it is doing lookups for each and every one of those things. Assigning the Google DNS as the backup helped immeasurably (it quit working altogether at one point), but things were not really back to normal until they fixed the DNS server problems.

    Regarding Roy’s comment about full vs. half duplex, there is no setting for that on my router, but the instruction manual says the ethernet ports are all full duplex, and that is what I am connected to with this computer. The current router is 10/100, and I suppose if I got a gigabyte router, speed would no longer be a problem.

  12. I totally discount the S.C. election. That is the heart of Dixie, and we know what comes out of there. After all, even the Chicago machine has moved along farther than Dixie.

    However, given the super-delegates already committed to Hill, Bernie really has an impossible task ahead of him. Florida, California, and Ohio are where the election will be won. And jury-rigging will be part of outcome, as Al Gore well knows.

  13. It’s, per usual, just another gigantic BAG JOB.

    Vote early and often.

    See what good it does us.

  14. I see the Chicago Machine at work in SC, but not very good at it. With the first returns Cankles had 74% to 76% and Bernie had 24% to 25%. That split remained constant as the percentage of counties reporting increased. Just too coincidental and indicating that the same “factor” was being plugged into all the computers.

    Bernie also doesn’t understand that you have to grease some palms with actually money now. A promise of free stuff later does not work on election day.

    I see some real chaos brewing for this fall. The Republican Party is going to use a brokered convention to dump Trump and Trump is going to unleash holy hell. On the Democrat side, Obuttwad will do whatever he needs to to the FBI and any other agency that gets too close to indicting Cankles.

    Revolution is on the horizon. Gird you loins, lock, and load.

  15. “A promise of free stuff later does not work on election day.”

    Yeah, that chit don’t slide. But he’s not dumb; he must know the same thing we do, therefore, my theory holds that he’s just a stalking hoss that started to get big ideas and is now about to get some splashes of ice-water in his face.

    “I see some real chaos brewing for this fall. The Republican Party is going to use a brokered convention to dump Trump and Trump is going to unleash holy hell.”

    Could well be, one way or another. Unless they can work a deal somehow and still believe they can control him through the general election and at the WH thereafter. It’s pretty much whatever the actual rulers decide. They must be having fun right now, flipping coins, laughing, and enjoying the show. Once they see millions actually voting again, they’ll be rolling on the floor laughing.

    I don’t see revolution coming until there’s real hurt kicking more Murkans in the ass; too many still think everything’s rosy and we’ll get through any unpleasantness; the government wouldn’t really let anything BAD happen to us, and if it does, they’ll take care of us. Like they did with Katrina? 9/11? Pearl Harbor?

  16. Just heard an NPR interview with an ecstatic Democratic Clinton strategist. He spent most of the interview slamming Republicans for supporting Trump. That tells me they really fear Trump in the general election.

    He even went so far as to compare Trump to John Silber ‘the ultimate angry white guy’ as he called Silber, who collapsed into ashes from his attitude, so this guy said. When they reach to the obscure John Silber, whom only OFD and I would know, they have got to be shaking in their boots at facing Trump.

    My one brush with potential greatness was sitting directly behind Silber at the movie “Hamlet” produced and starring the big ego Kenneth Branagh back in the ’90’s, at the theater complex in Copley. Silber got up and left about midway through. I should have, too. Even I could have made a better movie than Branagh, although I would not have starred myself as the lead. Or Branagh.

  17. “That tells me they really fear Trump in the general election.”

    Exactly. They’d much rather face the “Democratic Socialist” fossil.

    “When they reach to the obscure John Silber, whom only OFD and I would know…”

    No kidding. I dug the guy back then and still do. He kicked ass, and told off “that damn matriarchy” at the BU English Department. I also remember when he was running for office and would not concede until the very last minute, and Chet and Natalie were apoplectic on the air about it, practically rending their garments and literally gnashing their teeth. I laughed my ass off.

    “Silber got up and left about midway through. I should have, too. Even I could have made a better movie than Branagh, although I would not have starred myself as the lead. Or Branagh.”

    Hahahahah…no kidding. That movie sucked. Especially the second half. I also could have done a better job of it; now who would we pick for the lead…? From the current crop of actors…probably gotta be a Brit….ya know…I might go for that kid who played Henry VIII in “The Tudors.” Or…the kid who plays the psychopath brat in “Game of Thrones.” I’d wanna play Falstaff myself, a bit part by then in the cycle.

  18. “His inability to support himself outside of politics suggests otherwise.”

    That is what I meant, he’s not dumb about politics, so must be aware of the way things work, in SC or anywhere else in this country for the past couple of centuries. This indicates to me that he may have got a big head for a few weeks and better start thinking now of how he can best extricate himself and make it look good. The fix is in for Cankles and always was. Now it remains for us to see what the rulers finally decide.

  19. I always saw Richard Harris in that role. Hamlet was insane, and so was Harris in a drunk kind of way. Everything I ever saw of Hamlet played him as a conniving guy whose best laid plans went wrong. No, he was just plain nuts! We’ve all known somebody like that, but that is never how Hamlet is portrayed. Branagh’s Hamlet had all the personality of a fish.

  20. Sure, Richard Harris half a century ago; but what about now? Gotta be a young guy, like I say, probably a Brit.

    As for Branagh, I still can’t understand how he let Emma Thompson go; what a dish!

  21. I’m not up on the current crop of kinder stars. Even Ben Afflick, Matt Damon, and Val Kilmer are all elderly now. I will not ever be watching that much video I do not get paid to watch anymore. The films I pick to watch now, are older ones I missed or want to see again. “More” was the latest. A slow-moving European movie that was supposed to turn kids away from drug use, but inadvertently glamorized it with special effects, and exotic location shooting. “More” was the European independent film answer to America’s “Easy Rider”. Stars one of my childhood crushes, Mimsy Farmer, appearing full Monty, something Europeans did not mind as far back as 1969. Mimsy had dazzled me in Ozzie & Harriet episodes, My Three Sons, Donna Reed, Lassie, and such, and I remember seeing “More” back in the day at a drive-in next town over from campus that showed foreign flicks on Tuesday nights and porn on Thursday nights right through the winter. Lotta needle thrusts in that movie, which still make me cringe — although not as much after my German DIL doctor told me there are 7 liters of blood in our systems, and you can lose a lot more than I previously thought before you are in real danger. She laughed when I told her I got light-headed once giving for a blood test. In the movie queue are all the Roger Corman movies I missed when they first came out.

  22. It just astounds me that anyone could be supporting a lying, vindictive, criminal such as Hillary Clinton. Are people really that stupid? (I know the answer). The illiterate, lazy, and poor will vote for anyone that promises them free stuff.

    She has done nothing in her career other than trample people. I would not be surprised to find out a few mystery disappearances of people that got in her way were under her direction.

  23. “It just astounds me that anyone could be supporting a lying, vindictive, criminal such as Hillary Clinton.”

    Read Roger Stone’s books and discover that it ain’t just Cankles who’s “a lying, vindictive, criminal;” LBJ stands head and shoulders above her (so far) and ditto the Bush and Kennedy clans. The rulers place our version of tribal potentates in the White House and there are very few Presidents in the past century who were not full-blown criminal scumbags. You’ll also find that Nixon got a bad rap; yeah, he was a dick but nowhere near the same kind of bastard that Johnson was, or JFK for that matter.

    People voted for Lincoln, Wilson, both Roosevelt war criminals, and G.W. Bush, who got us from a punitive expedition to punish the 9/11 perpetrators to a massive national security regime and apparently decades more war in the Sandbox countries. I see the kids coming back from those wars every week up here and it ain’t pretty. Many of them are still traumatized, extremely angry, super-hyper-vigilant to the point of paranoia, and often violent, for some odd reason. And there are legions of them; this does not bode well for the future of this country.

    What astounds me is that more people will go out and vote for Trump with the idea that he’ll somehow be better than Cankles and he might actually either fix things or at least not make them worse. Our experience over many decades proves this to be a false hope and in any case, it’s probably way too late for whichever WH sock puppet to do anything to help us.

  24. Speaking of Roger Stone…

    http://www.infowars.com/breaking-insider-leaks-koch-bros-rubio-plan-to-stop-trump/

    This will be pretty funny if it goes down like that; one last desperate attempt to sandbag Trump and possibly bring Bishop Mittens into the mess; if they do that, he’s guaranteed to lose against Cankles, which is maybe the point of the exercise.

    I see now why Mr. Ray is exercised this morning; Cankles headlines Drudge with her “landslide,” and the mobs rejoice. Hey, let’s keep in mind that possible Fed indictment hanging over her head; it COULD happen. (which makes me think of Mike Myers; “and monkeys could fly out of my butt!”)

  25. Ah, prepping, what did I do?

    Well, yesterday I broke down and bought more lanterns and stoves. I couldn’t help myself. Brand new, never used colman stove- $12. Like new colman dual fuel (gas, white gas) lantern- $7. Like new, out of package but never used, colman mini (backpack style) dual fuel stove-$7. The dual fuels are much less common at sales than the straight colman fuel models, and potentially much more useful post SHTF when gasoline is available but colman fuel is scarce.

    Got some more radio stuff for the hamfest. Mostly CBs for resale, but also a nice Daiwa dual needle SWR/power meter, with about a 5″ meter face.

    QST (the ARRL magazine) had a nice article about building a cheap transverter so you can listen to HF on one of the SDR dongles. Cheap and straightforward, it’s on my project list. Listening to HF is much more satisfying with a waterfall display to show you were the signals are. Listening to shortwave is great for getting a feel for propagation and DX.

    “Picnic hams” or shoulder ham, or a variety of things with the word ‘picnic’ in them, were on sale this week for stupid cheap, so today I’ll be smoking a couple. This is an all day process, but will give me something to check in on while doing other things around the house. It won’t actually turn the pork shoulder into a ham, as you must cure it first to be a ham, but it will cook and smoke it for BBQ. It also won’t smoke them enough to preserve them, but they should be tasty.

    And with that, I’m off….

    nick

  26. Well, scratch that. Picnic hams are frozen solid. Next weekend.

    I forgot that I bought a cast iron dutch oven, with lid, for $10, and I won’t even have to recondition it. It’s like new. One owner, little old lady, only drove it on sunday, etc…..

    nick

  27. Oh, and I saw a really neat adjustable thing for holding pots over an open fire. They wanted too much for it though, so I might make my own. Just add it to the project list.

    I think it’s called a ‘jack’ but that’s about useless as a search term.

    nick

    ADD well, campfire cooking equipment IS a good search!

    It was like the antique version of this:
    http://www.overtons.com/modperl/product/details.cgi?pdesc=Camp-Chef-Mountain-Man-Grill-MMGRILL&i=726237&r=view&utm_medium=cpc

    ADD- and on reflection, maybe $20 wasn’t too much….

  28. A chef friend commented that pork shoulders are extremely cheap in US grocery stores because so few people know how to cook them anymore. Same goes some other cuts. Beef brisket is usually very cheap, too, presumably because of the “fat is bad” idiocy that’s been going around for 40 years. Works out well for me, as I’m a meat eater, am generally broke, and do know how to cook these cuts.

    My wife and mother-in-law eat very little meat because of health issues. You’d think that with just me, an eight-year-old girl, and sometimes one or two more girls aged 8 and 9, that I’d be able to eat most of the beef brisket I cook. You’d be wrong. The two eight-year-olds in particular go nuts for it whether I cook it by itself in the crockpot or with potatoes and carrots in the oven, nor does it matter how I season it. I don’t think any of them individually eat more than I do, but four pounds of meat doesn’t last as long as I’d normally expect it to — like, one meal and enough leftovers for me to have lunch. They sit down and eat as much as they can cram in, even when I let them know there’s ice cream or fresh-baked cookies available for dessert.

  29. My kids too.

    In fact my 6yo ASKS for the fat from the beef.

    She loves “squishy meat” ie- rare beef.

    The pig in question was $5 for 7+pounds. I haven’t tried cooking the picnic hams before, but I do pork shoulder in the crock pot for pulled pork. I buy beef chuck for pot roast and stew in the crockpot at $3.50 on sale. Very simple but satisfying meals.

    nick

  30. Curing pork shoulders or similar porcine cuts or beef is not rocket science and Morton makes specific salts for those purposes. If cooking up the brisket, don’t cut into it right away; let it sit in the fridge overnight and then reheat if needed and it will slice very nicely instead of crumbling and falling apart. Heavenly, on dark rye with spicy mustard, sauerkraut and swiss cheese slightly melted, maybe horseradish instead of the mustard. Side of deli garlic pickles and some German or Murkan potato salad.

  31. Curing pork shoulders or similar porcine cuts or beef is not rocket science

    Nope, not at all… unless you eat most of your meals out, put together packaged stuff for most of your meals at home, and your idea of cooking from scratch is mixing up a batch of pancakes.

  32. We eat out about three times a year; wife might do it more often as she travels all over CONUS, but she most often stays at air-b&b places and cooks her own meals at them. Packaged stuff here is pretty rare, too; I do it or get takeout subs sometimes when it’s just me here and I’m too lazy to cook something up. Wife is also not big on breakfasts, so we haven’t done pancakes or French toast in ages; she usually just has an English muffin w/peanut butter and black coffee. I load up, alternating ham-and-egg days with cereals and fruit.

    We have a freezing rain weather advisory here till tomorrow AM and it’s now overcast and raw; wife is winging her way to Lexington, KY, after which a drive to Prestonsburg, KY for her gig this coming week. Country-music Highway 23 and a War Between the States battlefield close by. Mr. Ray may be familiar with the area.

  33. I’m getting lazy in my old age so I use the Crock-Pot® a lot to quickly and simply take care of large cuts of meat (any meat any cut, bone-in or boneless: pork, beef, venison, road kill). Leave whole, slice or cube, depending on what you want to do with the result. If you want more cleanup you can brown your meat on the stove or simpler put it in a 500°F oven for 15 to 20 minutes (stir/flip if sliced/cubed). Put the meat in the Crock-Pot®. Add a liquid of choice: salsa (red or green), soda (Coke, 7-Up, Mountain Dew, Moxie [if your brave]), bar-b-que sauce, and/or booze (beer, wine, whiskey). Cook on low for 7 to 8 hours and be prepared for tasty and tender.

    Before Christmas the grocery stores around here were having a price war on bone-in prime rib. When it hit $2.98/lb. I bought as much as I had extra freezer space. A couple of weeks ago I did one in the Crock-Pot®. I just put a 3-bone prime rib (rubbed with my favorite rub) in my largest Crock-Pot®, added a cup of Burgundy and enjoyed hours of wonderful aroma. That evening I made the best pulled beef sandwiches I can recall. Later in the week I took the juices left in the Crock-Pot® and made a gravy, added some shredded prime rib, and put it over mashed Yukon Gold potatoes.

  34. Mr. Ray may be familiar with the area.

    Nope. I only travel through Kentucky when necessary. Have to break out a tooth and a headlight when I do travel through so I don’t get singled out as a foreigner.

  35. Ah yes, Crock-Pots; love ’em. Think I’ll go buy me some hunks of meat tomorrow, all this talk of sammiches and aromas is gettin’ to me, but the roads are a sheet of ice right now. Ain’t no sunshine till Thursday, looks like.

    @Mr. Ray; wife will be singled out immediately, with her height, red hair and blue eyes, and nasal north-country Vampire State accent. But she loves people and gets along with them nicely everywhere for the most paht.

  36. But she loves people and gets along with them nicely everywhere for the most paht.

    Indeed she will be able to get along with little effort. I make may jokes about some of the southern states but by and large the majority of the people are nice. Many will provide help if needed and ask for nary a dollar in return.

  37. She’s had a bunch of gigs in southern states and reports unfailingly how nice the people are, which, when you think about it, kinda intimates that peeps up here are nasty buggers, which is true to a point. It takes a while to get to know a New Englander, and we’re very taciturn and standoffish, thanks, no doubt, to centuries of the Calvinist and Puritan viruses.

    I sent her several links of places to visit in any bit of off-time she gets there this week, including a nearby War Between the States battlefield. She even got me a Confederate hat back from one of these trips and a portrait of Gen. Jackson.

  38. ” She even got me a Confederate hat back from one of these trips and a portrait of Gen. Jackson.”

    I’m surprised that the TSA didn’t confiscate them. You’ve got yourself some real collector items there.

    BTW, on both sides of my family I have relatives that fought on both sides. When my Aunt died a couple of years ago my nephew was going through some of old trunks in the attic of the homestead and came across one that was full of Confederate Uniforms, a couple of swords, a couple of pistols, some camp gear, and a well worn bible. All those items were donated to a Confederate Museum in South Carolina in the county that he fought for. Too bad my Dad never knew what a treasure was in his mother-in-laws attic, for that matter no one living today did. History lost is history forgotten and vice-versa.

  39. “I’m surprised that the TSA didn’t confiscate them. You’ve got yourself some real collector items there.”

    Wife knows I’m a longtime Copperhead and have nothing but contempt for the arch warmonger Lincoln and his thug generals. Ironically, of course, my home state and this one sent zillions of kids off to that damn war, with Vermont, IIRC, having the highest KIA ratio per capita. None of my family, of course, having long since been Quakers, from before the War of Independence and up to the Great War, when my grandfather served in the Army.

    “…and came across one that was full of Confederate Uniforms, a couple of swords, a couple of pistols, some camp gear, and a well worn bible. All those items were donated to a Confederate Museum in South Carolina in the county that he fought for.”

    Outstanding.

    “History lost is history forgotten and vice-versa.”

    How true that is. Even in my own family, most of them don’t give a shit. Just me and my next-younger brother and my wife. Once we’re gone, that’s it, I guess. I traced my father’s side of the family back to medieval England and sent the info to all the siblings, etc; got back…….crickets. Even though several ancestors were close to the first Elizabeth’s court, didn’t cause a stir. Three early Maffachufetts governors and the poet Ann Bradstreet….not a peep. Benjamin Franklin…nada.

  40. The interest skips a generation, or sometimes two.

    And by the time the interest starts, the old ones are gone. But that is part of what makes it interesting. If you can just ask granddad, it’s not a mystery. After all, we all think we know our parents and grandparents.

    nick

  41. Towards the end my Dad finally started to open up about what he did in WWII and what he knew of out ancestors; good, bad, and ugly. He was particularly open to my Nephew and my Nephew had the presence of mind to record and take notes. He has, as a long term project, to write a book. He has already done a short book with pictures (many painstakingly found in the archives of the Smithsonian), Grandpa Bill and Word War II that is for family eyes only right now.

  42. “Towards the end my Dad finally started to open up about what he did in WWII and what he knew of out ancestors; good, bad, and ugly.”

    We got diddly from our father and one grandfather (World War II) or the other grandfather (World War I) or my uncle (Vietnam). Because? You don’t talk about those things, esp. not to family, ’cause you’ll bum them out and upset them. Not to friends, ’cause they won’t understand. That means guys (and now women, isn’t it wunnerful?) end up staying silent and bottling it all up inside to rot their brains and turn their guts and hearts inside out over decades, often medicating ourselves with booze and dope. And being mean, hostile, angry and hyper-vigilant all the time, esp. w/family, who don’t get it why you’re like that. We are only now starting to see a few surviving WWII vets talk about their stuff, and that’s mainly because we finally had to do that ourselves. And now also, we’re dealing with the kids, our own kids’ ages, coming back from the various wars with the same stuff going on. The wounds you don’t see.

    Good deal your dad got to talk to your nephew and he’s doing the books. So much unnecessary pain could be avoided, and maybe future kids will think twice about signing up for bullshit adventures killing other people and being killed by them for nothing.

    “For nothing” he says! Yup. Case in point: our feared and nasty enemies the dirty Japs and Nazis became our best buds right after that war and have stayed that way. Our good pals the Russians became our enemies around the same time, and we still like to poke them in the eye every chance we get. Our nasty and atrocity-committing enemies the NVA and VC are now our pals, too; we have tourists visiting Hanoi and vets going back for “closure.” Bullshit. So what was all that for? Millions upon millions of maimed and dead human beings.

    Right now? We’re continuing to bomb and strafe in the Middle East and foment rebellions and revolutions and civil wars from the shores of Tripoli to the minarets of Iran and Pakistan. While “refugees” in the millions from those regions swarm Europe and eventually come here. What do ya think’s gonna happen then? With what, three times the landmass of Europe and the third most populous country in the world, plus hundreds of millions of firearms?

    Some days it just don’t pay to get outta bed and contemplate the human condition and human nature.

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