Friday, 11 March 2016

10:47 – Barbara is off to the gym, library, and supermarket. I wouldn’t say she’s completely happy with the state of the house, but I think she’s satisfied with the progress we’ve made. Upstairs is relatively organized and uncluttered, as is the downstairs finished area and lab area. The garage needs more work, but we’re getting there.

Yesterday, we got another 50 pounds of bread flour transferred to empty one-gallon Costco water bottles. I need to get those labeled and moved downstairs today. Flour is a really cheap way to store calories, albeit not nutritionally complete calories. A 50-pound bag costs only $13 and contains about 85,000 calories, or about six person-weeks’ worth. Supplemented with eight pounds or so of dry beans, a liter of cooking oil, and half a pound of salt, that provides complete nutrition, albeit not particularly tasty nutrition. As our 90 year old neighbor Bonnie says about her own food stockpile of potatoes, beans, and other long-term staples, “I may not like the flavor much, but I won’t starve.”

I also started rinsing out 2-liter Coke bottles. We’ll fill those with well water treated with dilute bleach, so they will be safe to use for drinking and cooking. But their real purpose is for flushing the toilets if we have a mid- to long-term power outage. We’ll fill them to 1.9 liters in case they freeze. Three of those bottles, 5.7 liters, is sufficient for one flush, so 300 of them will suffice for about 100 flushes, which in an emergency would be sufficient to last a month or so, assuming we have two to four people staying here. And 300 bottles really doesn’t take up that much space/volume, assuming we stack them in out-of-the-way places.

I started reading Fuel, Book 1 in the Best Laid Plans series, last night. It has lots of jarring flaws, such as the protagonist checking a pistol to see if there’s “a chamber in the round”, but overall so far it seems a lot better than most self-published PA novels. Assuming it holds up, I’ll read the others in the series, all of which are available free with Kindle Unlimited.