Friday, 25 March 2016

09:37 – Barbara, Colin, and I went down to Winston yesterday. We had an appointment with a realtor to look at the house. Barbara had errands to run and was meeting a friend for lunch. She had to leave not long after the realtor arrived, so I showed her around the house and got her recommendations about what to do to get the house ready to go on the market. Otherwise, Colin and I spent our time punching out wall anchors, dozens of them, and spackling the holes.

When Barbara returned mid-afternoon, we packed up more stuff from my lab, and then headed for Costco. I returned the Lenovo desktop system, which had stopped working. I booted it up once and went through the windows registration crap. The next time I tried to boot it, it simply sat there at a blank screen. No hard drive spin-up noises, nothing. So back it went and I got a credit to my credit card.

Meanwhile, I installed a new hard drive in my old main system, a Core i7 Extreme, and got Linux Mint installed without a problem. Well, other than the fact that I have no Internet connectivity because that system has no WiFi adapter and I can’t get the powerline Ethernet to work up here in my corner. I ordered a D-Link DWA-140 USB Wifi adapter the other day, and it showed up yesterday. It’s supposed to run with Linux Mint, so I’ll get that installed and can stop using this Mint notebook as my primary system.

Michael David, the electrician our realtor recommended, showed up at 8:00 this morning to look at our situation and tell me what needed to be done to run our well pump and pressure tank from our Generac generator. He said there were two options, doing it right or doing it cheap (but legal) and less convenient. I asked him to explain the right way first. That involves him installing a cut-over switch in our breaker box that in one position routes the utility power to our house and in the other position cuts the connection to the utility power and makes the connection to the generator. With that option, we can run anything in the house that the generator has enough power to drive, simply by switching regular breakers off or on. There’d be a sealed box on the outside wall with a connector for the cable from the generator. I asked him about how much that’d cost us, and he said about $350. That was a whole lot less than I expected, given that when I’d gotten a quote down in Winston 10 or 15 years ago, the electrician had told us $900 for just installing a Frankenstein DPDT knife switch to isolate the house from utility power. Just for giggles, I asked Michael how much the cheap option would cost and how it’d work. It would involve them installing a cut-off and receptacle at the pressure tank and then running a cable from the generator across the basement, throwing the switch, and connecting the cable. It’d also allow us to run only the well pump and pressure tank. He said that option would cost maybe $200 or $250, so the choice was a no-brainer. I told him to do it the right way and give me a call to set up a time.

Other than that, I haven’t done much prepping this week. I did put in a Walmart order for half a dozen boxes of Alpo Variety Snaps dog treats for Colin, a half dozen boxes of Krusteaz Cinnamon Crumb Cake mix, and (to get to the $50 required for free shipping) three one-gallon jugs of pancake syrup. Those arrived very early this morning. Barbara hauled in the boxes while I was downstairs with the electricians. When I got back upstairs, Barbara said we had a leak in the box with the pancake syrup and that she wished I’d stop ordering stuff that can be dented or leak from Walmart’s website. They apparently hire baboons to pack shipments. Except for glass containers, they use no packing material whatsoever, just throwing the cans/jars/bottles randomly into the shipping boxes for UPS to abuse in transit. Fortunately, the three jugs of pancake syrup were in their own box, and the leakage was minor. I’ll rinse off the stickiness in the sink and check to see if any of the bottles are leaking. If so, I’ll repackage the contents in PET gallon bottles.


This entry was posted in personal, prepping, weekly prepping. Bookmark the permalink.

62 Responses to Friday, 25 March 2016

  1. dkreck says:

    THREE gallons of pancake syrup! Wow. I think that might be a ten year supply here.

  2. Dave says:

    So is Walmart capable of shipping cans of Augason Farms foods that arrive without denting? How about shipping Keystone canned meat and having it arrive without denting?

  3. nick says:

    Well, I’m finally over my poison ivy/sumac. I had to use a Rug Doctor machine and thoroughly clean the seats, door cards, and arm rests in my pickup. While I had the machine, I cleaned the carpet and mats too. It’s been a LONG time since I did a good clean and organize in the pickup. I ended up using the machine on the carpet in the one room in the house that still has it. Roughly 2 half days were eaten up by that unexpected, unbudgeted, and unscheduled chore.

    As a lesson learned, clearing brush can end up costing you. I was not productive for some time when the attack was at its worst. I needed prescription cream, and a shot to get it under control. Grid down, I’d have been out for even longer. As a consequence, I have significantly increased my stock of OTC antihistamine drugs. They go quickly when you are taking big doses. And some work better than others. I tried several lotions and creams, but the only thing really effective was the prescription steroid based one. (tested by doing one arm with one, and something else on the other, and comparing results) The colloidal oatmeal baths really did help, and felt very nice while in them, but were not a cure. The cleaner specifically made for removing the oil after exposure is something I think EVERYONE should stock in quantity. Or look at making your own from the ingredients on the label. When you need this, you REALLY need it 🙂

    I have allowed my pantry to be somewhat drawn down, while stocking up the longer term foods. Some things the kids won’t eat, like some flavors of ‘hamburger helper’ style box meals, won’t be replaced. I’m willing to accept a certain amount of spoilage in the stored food that we don’t normally eat (like canned veg) or shelf stable meals, so that I have it for when we are more hungry and less picky. But I’d rather not waste money or food if possible, so I’m drawing down, and adjusting. I’ve also posted some of the things that aren’t good after their sell by dates as I work my way deeper into the shelves… (UHT milk in particular)

    I am pleased with the way my shelf project is working. While not as easy as drawers, being able to pull out the cardboard tray (from costco) and add cans to the back is helping my with FIFO, and having the cans grouped into months of meals makes it easy to see at a glance that I need more stored food!

    Last week the sales weren’t particularly good. I did get a pouch with some good medical stuff in it. It was labeled as a “traveler’s bloodborne pathogen kit” and was from a local travel medicine Dr. It contained the things you’d want if you ended up hurt in a 3rd world hospital where sterility and single use of instruments can’t be guaranteed. 5 different sized syringes, a couple of suture kits, a set of minor surgical instruments in a sterile pouch (ie single use tray), the needles for drawing blood, a bunch of different size steri-strips, and some general cleaning wipes. I’m going to see if I can get a couple of kits prescribed by my Dr.

    In our area there are many Dr’s who specifically practice ‘travel medicine’, which mainly involves vaccinations, and confirmation that you don’t have something exotic if you get sick after a trip. It also involves taking real world precautions that your general practitioner might hesitate doing. For instance, it is very common to get a bottle of Cipro prescribed for travel as well as a mildly narcotic anti-diarrheal treatment that you wouldn’t normally get here, without having symptoms. This may be a path for those who are uncomfortable with the idea of ‘fish antibiotics’ to get some of ‘the good stuff.’ Travel medicine is ‘cash and carry’ and not covered by most insurance. (Getting vaccinated for all the bad stuff isn’t a bad idea if you think conditions here will deteriorate to that point either.)

    As previously reported, the hamfest was a bust. I sold very little of what I was hoping, and about half of last year. There were fewer buyers, and they bought cheaper stuff. I did meet a couple of like minded individuals, which is not super surprising, given the overlap between the ham and prepper communities.

    The economy here is definitely slowing down. The layoffs in the oil business are starting to show effects. Construction projects are being delayed or scaled back. With TX being one of the few bright spots in the economy, that bodes ill for the rest of the country.

    Keep stacking.

    nick

  4. SteveF says:

    So is Walmart capable of shipping cans of Augason Farms foods that arrive without denting? How about shipping Keystone canned meat and having it arrive without denting?

    Only by accident, in my experience. The one, and probably only, time I ordered canned food from Walmart, it was as RBT said – just thrown in a box with one piece of partially crumpled wrapping paper tossed on top. At least 2/3 of the cans had dents, some large enough to make me worried about mechanical integrity.

  5. Dave says:

    I actually did some stuff to prep this week. I am now impatiently waiting for my name to show up in the FCC database, and I have started studying for the Amateur Extra exam. I started the process of applying for a concealed carry permit, and almost joined the NRA. OK, the last wouldn’t even count as prepping if I finished it.

  6. Dave says:

    Only by accident, in my experience. The one, and probably only, time I ordered canned food from Walmart, it was as RBT said – just thrown in a box with one piece of partially crumpled wrapping paper tossed on top. At least 2/3 of the cans had dents, some large enough to make me worried about mechanical integrity.

    Thanks for the prompt answer. Almost makes me want to pay the premium to buy from Augason Farms directly.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Travel medicine is ‘cash and carry’ and not covered by most insurance.

    I’ve been thinking about how to build my drug supply. My Sis-in-Law is a Border Agent in Laredo and deals with gringos bringing back stuff all the time. They mostly turn a blind eye for small quantities. I have relatives that go to Mexico all the time. I have to see what they can get for me. I’ll ask her “I have a somewhat illegal, hypothetical, question for you”.

  8. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Three gallons of pancake syrup count as LTS food. Their best-by date is July 2017, but in fact they’ll still be as good as new 20 or 50 years from now. They’re basically the same as honey (concentrated sugar solution), which doesn’t degrade at all. We have a lot of stuff like flour and oats stored, which’ll turn into pancakes and oatmeal and so on, so it’s important to have something to flavor them. That three gallons is only 192 2-ounce servings. If we plan on having pancakes three times a week for, say, eight people, that 192 servings is only an eight-week supply. Speaking of best-by dates, Barbara and I had a packaged Kraft mac & cheese dinner with our dinner the other night. It was about two years past its best-by date, and completely indistinguishable from fresh.

    As to Augason Farms, Walmart just takes orders and sends them to AF for shipping. AF has shipping boxes designed for 2, 3, or 6 #10 cans, so as long as you order in those multiples you get a full box. We’ve gotten a few cans with minor dents suffered I suspect in transit, but no major damage. Speaking of which, I remember when Jen ordered a metric boatload of AF stuff, including 30 #10 cans of powdered whole eggs. At the time, they were $17/can on Walmart, and I remember thinking that $500+ was a pretty significant amount of money to spend on the equivalent of 180 dozen eggs for six people. Of course, not long after the price of eggs went way up, and it would have cost Jen $1,500+ for the same amount.

    I’ve gotten Keystone Meats products from Walmart on-line, from the Galax, VA Walmart Super Center, and direct from the KM website. Ordering by the case direct from KM costs more than getting the stuff from Walmart, but they ship full cases and we’ve had no damage on those. Presumably, one could order a full case from Walmart and have it shipped in the original case, but the problem is that Walmart’s on-line ordering has quantity limits on products. IIRC, they’d let me order a maximum of only 6 or 8 cans of each type of KM they had in stock, which they’re usually out of stock on.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Incidentally, Costco on-line is a good choice for canned meats. I’ve gotten cases of their chicken, chicken bologna, roast beast, and a couple of other items. Just search for emergency food on the Costco website.

    Incidentally, all three bottles of pancake syrup appear to be fine. The fill levels on all three are similar, and only one was sticky when I pulled it from the box. I was doing dishes in the sink this morning anyway, so I put them in the sudsy water, gave them a good wash, and dried them. None of them appear to be leaking, so I suspect what happened is that UPS gave the box their usual careful handling, and one of the bottles just blurped a tiny amount of syrup around the cap.

  10. SteveF says:

    IIRC, they’d let me order a maximum of only 6 or 8 cans of each type of KM they had in stock, which they’re usually out of stock on.

    That was my experience. I ordered several each of three or four AF cans, a pound or so each, and a handful of other canned goods around the same size. The box was around 3/4 full and obviously not treated gently in transit.

  11. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    You got AF cans directly from Walmart? I’ve ordered AF product maybe a dozen times from walmart.com, and every time it was shipped directly from AF. I didn’t think Walmart actually shipped any AF product themselves.

  12. nick says:

    As a point of reference, whole ham at costco here is back around or even a bit under $2/pound. Bacon is around $3/pound, and processed ham is $4. This is about 25-30% off of highs.

    Eggs are back to just over $2/ 18. They were as high as $3.89

    buying when on sale, and eating when expensive is one of the advantages of prepping.

    And I understand that there are costs involved with storage. I use vac seal bags, and have to own and run the freezer for example. Chest freezers are pretty efficient though, and cheap to buy (compared to other major appliances). Vac sealers will pay themselves back quickly if you buy the supplies on sale, or thru 3rd parties (or at yard and estate sales like I do) thru the discounts on bulk or ‘family pack’ meat sales.

    Still the benefits far outweigh the costs..

    nick

  13. DadCooks says:

    @RBT, looks like you’ve got a good electrician there. As the old saying goes though the proof will be in the pudding. The “right” method gives you practically infinite possibilities for expansion. The reason for the low cost is simply two areas, first no big-city union rates and second this guy is not working for some company that adds overhead.

    Now I’ll divulge what I did many years ago when I set up my house for a generator(s). I split my home electrical system into vital and non-vital loads (my Navy experience did teach me something). So I have two breaker boxes going to two cut-over switches going to two generator busses. The light switches and outlets in the house all have a colored sticker to indicate whether the power is coming from vital or non-vital. I found a licensed electrician (ex-Navy) who would work with me, I did all the work except for the final connection of the power lines to the switches. He inspected all my work and offered me a job, I should have taken it but instead spent the next 30 years in the gooberment contractor meat grinder.

    Today is International Waffle Day, so dig that waffle iron out the closet and have some waffles today (BTW, Kirkland Organic Maple Syrup is highly rated and a best buy). And give this book a look to get some new ideas: http://www.amazon.com/Will-It-Waffle-Irresistible-Unexpected-ebook/dp/B00K8H307U

  14. Greg Norton says:

    I could not get powerline to work between our main router and my home office, but, after some time in the attic rearranging coax, I was able to get a connection via a pair of MOCA adapters connected to unused portions of the cable TV system.

    The link is much more reliable/secure than WiFi and runs about as fast as our cable modem’s maximum download speed.

  15. nick says:

    Oh, I noticed that our costco has some emergency food back in stock. They used to have Mountain House variety boxes, and some of the ’72 hour’ buckets. They both have been out of stock for months, and I worried they dropped them completely.

    This week I saw that they have the bucket style back in stock. Unfortunately, its a pretty crappy bucket. The meals are mostly grain based (oatmeal, pasta) with low calorie counts and basically WAY over presented (way UNDER nourishing.) This is common with the pre-packaged (certain length of time) food. Real life use would be half what it’s rated for or less. With that kind of shenanigans, I suspect the quality is poor too. Pictures on the bucket look nice…

    (This is a case where my previous comments about just panic buying something wouldn’t apply. It’s better than nothing, but mis-represents itself, and you’d be much less prepared than you thought. There are packages that do a better job. Poor quality product is one risk with panic buying.)

    nick

  16. SteveF says:

    My mistake – it was Keystone canned meats, not Auguson Farms. Just ran down and checked.

    I was mistaken about another thing, too. There were two slightly crumpled pieces of paper in the box, not just one.

  17. OFD says:

    “…installing a cut-over switch in our breaker box that in one position routes the utility power to our house and in the other position cuts the connection to the utility power and makes the connection to the generator. With that option, we can run anything in the house that the generator has enough power to drive, simply by switching regular breakers off or on. There’d be a sealed box on the outside wall with a connector for the cable from the generator. I asked him about how much that’d cost us, and he said about $350.”

    So what size generator would suffice to run the house like it was normally coming from the utility? And what if all one wanted to do was have a portable generator in the cellar to run ONLY the well pump and pressure tank; how big should that one be in terms of watts?

    In re: “pancake syrup.” We won’t be having that here. Egad. We’re spoiled. We live in Vermont; just up the road there are sap pails on the trees, and miles of blue sap lines all through the maple woods. Vermont Made, baby!

    Ditto for cheese. Ditto for apples. Bacon and ham are pretty dahn good here, too.

    Picked up Princess at the border this AM; overcast with drizzle and fog. Border Patrol vehicles on the interstate median, pretty quiet, not much going on. Saw a Chinese tour bus arrive and disgorge a load of Chinese peeps to use the bathrooms. And one ditzy fembat driving ACROSS the multiple lanes of oncoming traffic into the U.S., slowly, wobbly, not paying the least attention to anything, while talking to a kid in the front seat. And then just sat there, in the middle of it all. No LE’s came out, and she finally rolled outta the way.

    Princess is off for some music event over by Portland, Maine, this weekend. Wife is off to check on the hoss. I’m doing cleanup ops here and then have several errands to run, maybe, down in Burlap. Light drizzle and fog continue.

  18. MrAtoz says:

    May be of interest to upcoming hams:

    Turn your BeagleBone Black into a wide-band (0-30 MHz) SDR with a multi-user web interface. Includes a software-defined GPS receiver.

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1575992013/kiwisdr-beaglebone-software-defined-radio-sdr-with

  19. OFD says:

    Lotsa electronics kit projects for amateur radio out there nowadays; several in the current issue of QST magazine. Once I get the attic space configured, part of it will be the ham shack ops and a table for just these sorts of projects. Tx for the link!

  20. ech says:

    So what size generator would suffice to run the house like it was normally coming from the utility?

    A big one: 12 to 20+ kilowatts for peak load. If you have central air/heat, you might need a couple of kilowatts just for that. Generac has some that use natural gas or propane that run from $3k to $5k that are that size. Lots of them were sold in Houston after the last storm because natural gas tends to stay up after a hurricane. We looked at one, but we would have had to place it in the middle of our back yard, next to the pool due to building codes. I’ll make due with the gas generator with the cord set I built to power the microwave, fridges, coffee maker, and one room with a window AC unit, TV, and lamp.

  21. OFD says:

    Thanks, Mr. ech; that’s about what I figured. We ain’t gonna be goin’ in that direction for a generator, looks like. I like RBT’s electrician’s cutover switch solution so we’ll try to figure what size would be good for a portable genny that sits in the cellar ready to be hooked up to the well pump; my best guess is somewhere in the 6-7 kw range.

  22. RickH says:

    Regarding the size of generator to get: most generator web sites have a wattage calculator that you can use to determine your power load. Champion has this one; others are similar http://www.championpowerequipment.com/generator-selector/ .

    Good choice on the standby cutover switch. That’s my plan for my generator; will probably get the electrician here this summer, although it is not difficult to do yourself if you have some basic skills. We get some great windstorms 3-4 times a year (usually fall/winter) that cause trees into power lines. I live in a residential area, so our outages are 4-12 hours. Some of the more rural places around here can get outages of several days. In my case, the 6K/7K generator with 15 gals of gas will work for the outages that I will experience.

    Having a standby switch ready is more convenient than running the heavy-duty extension cords that I did last time, although that wasn’t too bad; maybe 15 minutes setup time.

  23. MrAtoz says:

    The Klinton Spawn is running around everywhere slamming Obola, especially ObolaCare. Now wonder Barry isn’t crowing about her/it. I guess the Dumbocrats don’t think much of Obuttwad

    And Fred Klinton (aka Cankles) squawking on the TV about Area 51. Her brain is mush after the concussion.

  24. MrAtoz says:

    Cool Tools has upped their ante with plenty of “tool tips” lately.

  25. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    With what limited data I have, we’ve been using a peak of 1,800 kWh per month, including heating on quite a few days with highs in the single digits. Call it 60 kWh/day. With careful management of peak loads (making sure heavy peak draw items like the well pump (which is 120VAC, BTW, and draws 11 amps when running), freezer, refrigerator, etc. aren’t starting up at the same time, we could theoretically get by running our generator (which is actually 5KW/6.25KW) for 12 hours a day. But that would come at a huge, huge cost in gasoline. I’d actually plan to run it maybe 10 to 15 minutes a day, maybe split into two or three sessions, just to provide water for drinking and minimal washing up, along with keeping our pressure tank, hot water heater, and toilet tanks filled. Call it 75 gallons/day, which is sufficient to support maybe 10 or 12 people with drinking/cooking water, along with one or two toilet flushes per person per day with our 1.6 gallon toilets.

    As to the pancake syrup, it’s Mrs. Butterworth’s, which is basically HFCS with maple flavor added. It’s nowhere near as good as real maple syrup, but it’s a hell of a lot cheaper, and it’s close enough to maple syrup that I don’t mind eating it routinely, let alone in an emergency. Barbara thinks three gallons is a lot, but again I’m planning to feed not just Barbara, Colin, and me, but also some family, friends, and neighbors. I’d be more comfortable with 20 or 30 gallons on hand.

  26. nick says:

    RE: geni sizing. If you want whole house, just look at your main breaker in your panel, and size to match that. Going a little over or under is ok, just be mindful of what you turn on while it’s running.

    Most whole house gennies will come with an appropriately sized transfer switch now.

    Granted that this is more than you actually need. Getting enough to cover your peak starting draw for your biggest item (in Houston, this is air conditioning) will likely give you plenty for ordinary use too.

    Most modern homes have 200amp service, so the biggest ordinary geni before the jump, 18K, will be fine.

    Don’t buy a chinese brand.

    Don’t overthink it. There are only so many sizes for permanent install anyway.

    (You will use more fuel with an oversized unit, which is a real concern, but the smaller portable units tend to be built for construction use, running motors not electronics, and put out dirtier power. You might find yourself replacing expensive electronics, including your fridge, HVAC, and tankless water heater control boards after a week or two of running on the geni.)

    Manually controlling which loads are present, and when (by choosing what and when to run machines) combined with keeping an eye on loads with an ammeter or a monitor like the TED(TM) can get you by comfortably on a smaller geni.

    Another consideration- refueling. If you are using nat gas, the geni typically stays connected and will start automatically, saving your freezer full of food, even if you are not there. Smaller portable genis need fueling, at least once a day. Can your spouse lift and safely pour a five gallon gas can? (mine can’t, heck I don’t even like doing it-so I got a hand siphon pump to transfer gas. Recommended! This will make refueling much easier and safer. TRUST ME, you want to be able to share the load and responsibilities during a prolonged event. There is always more to be done than you can do alone. And what if you are incapacitated?)

    Can your spouse get out the geni, hook it up, fuel it, start it, do the load transfer switching, etc, in the dark and rain? What about troubleshooting it if it doesn’t start? If not, spend the extra on permanent install and an auto start/ auto transfer system.

    The (possibly) best solution is a tiered approach, where you can run small loads off small generators that are quiet (solar, battery, wind, or inverter based tiny gas generators) while having the ability to run bigger loads off a bigger geni when needed (resistive heat, washing machines, stove, AC, or more than one at a time). You should also have batteries and chargers ready to use up any excess capacity and store it for later.

    Natural gas whole house genis are usually quieter than much smaller capacity portables, as are genis meant for RV installation. They cost more though, and they usually produce better quality power.

    Gotta feed the kids, so sorry for the disjointed nature of these comments.

    nick

  27. MrAtoz says:

    Murka’s finest “kids” in action.

    Nine people have been charged with murder after a row between two high school girls over ‘a boy and some racy photos’ led to the death of a teenager.

    Demajhay Bell, 18, was stabbed in the neck by a friend during a chaotic street brawl at the house of one of the feuding girls in Hephzibah, South Augusta.

    The teenager, who stayed inside for most of the fighting, was wounded in the deadly melee which featured a 50-strong mob wielding baseball bats, knives and pipes last Friday. He died in hospital two days later.

    Where’s Sharpless, Jackwagon, Fartinacan and Obola? Yawn, #BLM.

  28. nick says:

    I should add that my geni is a portable, gas powered, Generac 4800XL. It’s no longer made, but similar are available. At max load, it uses 5 gallons in ~12 hours. It’s more than enough for daytime use, except it won’t start the AC. It ran every day for 14 days after Ike, but not at night. It will run the window ac to take the edge off the hot house, run the microwave and coffee maker in the morning, charge the phones and lappys and tablets, charge up the big UPS, and the smaller ones in the house, run the laundry machines and dishwasher, in fact almost everything we need. We use the Colman stove and grill instead of the electric range, and abstain from running the electric oven. It will run all our lighting loads with no trouble (this is important in a hurricane, as our windows were covered with plywood. It gets real dark with every window closed, and takes a while to get them all uncovered. In an unrest situation, it might be better to leave them covered anyway. We ran the fridges and freezer as long as the geni was running and kept them closed all night. This worked fine, with good temps and everything remained frozen.

    With the pump, my wife can easily and safely refuel the geni. She’s very handy, so she can troubleshoot most normal issues, and is trained as an electrician, so knows her way around temporary power. This is definitely NOT going to be the case for everyone.

    We have talked about a whole house geni and gotten bids twice, but never spent the money. She’s comfortable running the smaller geni. I would prefer the permanent solution, but would still keep the geni as backup.

    With a gas geni, you have a fuel storage issue. I normally store enough to refill one vehicle fully and half again, or run the geni for a week of daytime use. In hurricane season, I increase the storage. I’m not comfortable with that much gasoline in the cabinet behind the garage, but it’s only for a while.

    The biggest problem with a portable is noise. The cheaper, the louder. Storing fuel, and refueling, and maintenance come next, followed by power quality, and limited capacity.

    Note that capacity is last on my list. It won’t kill me, but the others could.

    Whole coal mines worth of bits have been expended on the topic, but here’s my bottom line, if money (or priority for the spending) was not an issue.

    First get a super quiet gas tiny geni, like the honda inverter 2400 one. This will charge batteries, and run a fridge and freezer.

    Add a 45-6500w portable from a major manufacturer, choose for run time, power quality, and quietness. Base your capacity choice on your biggest starting load, and you will cover everything else.

    Add a whole house super quiet permanently installed and fully automatic geni.

    Keep the others as backup, for camping, or for being more stealthy than running your big geni.

    Get a big UPS and keep it charged.
    Get enough solar and batteries to charge your small electronics.

    This is my recommendation for most people in a suburban home. If you live in a tower or mid rise, you might look at hanging more solar off your balcony, and having a couple of bigger batteries, but your other issues are probably gonna force you out before it makes much difference. (See also Selco’s posts for more info on living in an apartment block when SHTF.)

    nick

  29. nick says:

    I picked up a bunch of indoor outdoor thermometers like this one on clearance some time ago. Putting the outdoor sensor in the fridge and freezer gives you a good way to see what the temps are without opening the doors. This will save you cold and give you peace of mind during the blackout.

    http://www.amazon.com/Taylor-Precision-Products-Digital-Thermometer/dp/B001H1LTME/ref=pd_sim_201_1?ie=UTF8&dpID=41UBRlFQuTL&dpSrc=sims&preST=_AC_UL160_SR160%2C160_&refRID=0NKGKBA46HA33K8F2EJR

    nick

  30. DadCooks says:

    @nick, your wealth of information and advice is more than welcome, to me at least. While I am a “know-it-all” I also know what I don’t know and my brain needs an occasional kick-start to get it to remember both situations.

  31. SteveF says:

    Nick’s knowledge is ok, I guess, but I’d like it better if he’d share advice of greater importance, things like how to come to terms with your white guilt over events that happened before your great-grandfather was born, or how to gracefully submit to the demands of third gen feminists, BLM mobs, and put-upon Muslims.

  32. nick says:

    Thanks DadCooks, some of it was hard won.

    I lived in Los Angeles for the Rodney King riots.
    I lived in Cali during several earthquakes and a couple of fire seasons.
    I was in the Meadowlands NJ on 9/11, 5 miles from ground zero, 2500 miles from home.
    I was in Houston for Katrina, Rita, and Ike as well as a bunch of smaller storms.

    I’ve been in a couple of major accidents, narrowly avoided some others, saved a couple lives, almost killed a couple people.

    I spend a lot of time thinking about this stuff, and usually 20-30 hours a week on it. I’ve been kinda slack lately and busy with other things. It’s a hobby as well as a lifestyle. I’ve thought about making it a living, but any position of authority would mean being away from my family if something did happen, and that’s the opposite of why I do it.

    I learn something every time I talk to someone about it. There is a LOT to learn.

    nick

  33. nick says:

    @SteveF

    “how to come to terms with your white guilt over events that happened before your great-grandfather was born,”

    That was easy, if lengthy. I just got older and more curmudgeonly. I no longer CARE what others think of me, so they no longer have power over me. Call me racist, I say “so?” That usually leaves them flummoxed. They are used to having magic power, but I’ve got a ward now. And if they persist, I start with my own polite but pointed questions.

    ” how to gracefully submit to the demands of third gen feminists, BLM mobs, and put-upon Muslims.”

    This I have no idea. By leaving regular employment for self employment, and limiting that, I no longer am in regular contact with those people, and if I do encounter them, I can usually just leave. If they make an issue of it, I usually laugh out loud as if they’ve told a funny joke, and continue with whatever I was doing. Their incantations have no effect on me anymore. And often, I find that I’m surrounded by allies and LMI who can’t shield themselves from the fury of the witches, but appreciate someone who can.

    Being really, really, really good at what I did, and being one of only a few that did it, also protected me and found me alternatives the few times when it did become an issue. My bosses were happy to let the harpies have the less capable players, while they moved me on to the next fire. I’m sure they took grief for it, and there were surely meetings to discuss ‘what to do about me’, and there were even a couple of what .mil now calls ‘counseling sessions’ involved, but I kept on being me, doing the job, and plowing ahead as if I hadn’t heard it. And when I finally left the last company, they lost one of the five biggest companies in the industry as clients because I was no longer there, and basically had to abandon a whole market segment. There were senior mgmt who didn’t believe I was that important, and they learned the hard way that I was. Oh well. (they had previously had a similar learning opportunity when they booted the sales manager for my area–sometimes it really DOES matter WHO does the job.)

    So and honest answer to a tongue in cheek question! Next!

    nick

  34. Dave says:

    I’ve thought about making it a living, but any position of authority would mean being away from my family if something did happen, and that’s the opposite of why I do it.

    Nick, you could always write a book…

    I’d be almost as interested in reading your prepping book as I would Bob’s. Thanks for sharing the knowledge that you have.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    Sounds like a lot of work! And I feel like people would be less likely to call bs on a book, and I think it’s vital that people be able to tell me I’m full of it. (Or simply mistaken) The level of nitpicking and”grammar Nazi” goes way up with anything more formal than comments. Even blog posts will sometimes get the pedantic sticklers.

    But thanks! I’m happy to share as it causes me to rethink things, nothing will help you learn material like having to teach it 🙂

    Nick

  36. Nick Flandrey says:

    Posting from my phone, the last one went to moderation due to a typo in the name field.

  37. Nick Flandrey says:

    Speaking of our host’s book, gonna post any more chapters for comments?

    N

  38. OFD says:

    “But that would come at a huge, huge cost in gasoline. I’d actually plan to run it maybe 10 to 15 minutes a day, maybe split into two or three sessions, just to provide water for drinking and minimal washing up, along with keeping our pressure tank, hot water heater, and toilet tanks filled. Call it 75 gallons/day, which is sufficient to support maybe 10 or 12 people with drinking/cooking water, along with one or two toilet flushes per person per day with our 1.6 gallon toilets.”

    That is what we’d use the generator for; not to run everything in the house. Just the wotta. And I’d want a dual-fuel genny, or just propane. Don’t wanna store too many containers of gasoline on the property here, maybe a couple for the vehicles.

    I’d also be interested in any published prep material from Mr. nick. For obvious reasons by now.

    Thanks to medium wave for those tutorial links, too.

    “…how to come to terms with your white guilt over events that happened before your great-grandfather was born, or how to gracefully submit to the demands of third gen feminists, BLM mobs, and put-upon Muslims.”

    I don’t bother getting into it with these assholes but in short: my family all became Quakers in the late 17th through the late 19th-Centuries and some of them ran stations on the Underground Railroad up here. None of them fought in the War of Northern Aggression, praise be to God. One contributed money to Washington’s troops at Valley Forge. Another fought in King Philip’s (Metacomet’s) War. And then my paternal grandfather enlisted in the Army for the so-called Great War. Y’all have heard the rest of that story by now.

    And as for the various demands and whining of the contemporary mobs of losers and bullshit artists and grievance whores and pimps? They can kiss my Anglo-Celtic-American ass; fuck ’em all.

  39. dkreck says:

    My family all became Shakers.

  40. lynn says:

    So is Walmart capable of shipping cans of Augason Farms foods that arrive without denting?

    Yes. I have bought about 40 Auguson Farms #10 cans without any damage at all, all shipped via USPS or UPS with free shipping.

  41. SteveF says:

    My family all became Shakers.

    Presumably you mean shakedown artists, what with the Shakers’ celibacy greatly cutting down on the number of their descendants.

    (I know more than most about the Shakers, what with living right square in the middle of where their main settlements were in the New World.)

  42. OFD says:

    Them Shakers made ’em some dahn nice furniture, though. Of course, how else would you while away them dark cold nights wid no hanky-panky? Other people I’ve talked to here in the north country over the past couple of decades often have a LOT of siblings, and they tell me it’s ’cause of the long, dark cold nights. What else to do? Certainly not make furniture.

  43. dkreck says:

    Presumably you mean shakedown artists, what with the Shakers’ celibacy greatly cutting down on the number of their descendants.

    Well yes. Aren’t most religious sects?

  44. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Why would celibacy necessarily reduce the number of one’s descendants?

  45. nick says:

    I guess it depends when you start

    🙂

    n

  46. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I was referring to celibate (unmarried) versus chaste (virgin).

  47. SteveF says:

    Those of us who use modern English understood my earlier statement. Those of you who use a chimerical pseudo-antiquarian English, with words assigned meanings based purely on Latin roots wherever they can be shoehorned in, were no doubt confused.

  48. nick says:

    ” the state of voluntarily being unmarried, sexually abstinent, or both,”

    It’s the “sexually abstinent” bit that limits your descendants… (/humorless drone voice)

    Although my understanding is they would take adults that had previously been married with kids, so it would only limit you after you joined, and if you stayed, (and were faithful.) I’m not sure what the venn diagram of those characteristics looks like 🙂

    It is a powerful example of what can be accomplished when you subsume the urge to procreate into plain old creating.

    nick

  49. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    You meant “misuse modern English”, right? Similar to misusing “gender” when you meant “sex”.

  50. OFD says:

    Buncha high-skool English class freshmen.

    I’ll start up and run a remedial, oh whoops, “developmental” class.

    Naw, forget it. They don’t actually teach English in them classes, anyway. It’s a mix of middle-skool-level basic reading comprehension utilizing no texts produced before they were born, or before the TA’s or professors were born; that, and PC hectoring and lecturing, whereupon the TA’s and profs meet once a week in their “collective” (hive) to discuss non-judgmental pedagogy (don’t use red ink; don’t criticize their actual writing but it’s mandatory to criticize bourgeois attitudes, etc.) Shit’s been going on since the 1970s, at least, and hasn’t changed much, except in the extreme special snowflake characteristics of the spoiled rotten brats infesting the campuses.

    “Those of you who use a chimerical pseudo-antiquarian English, with words assigned meanings based purely on Latin roots wherever they can be shoehorned in, were no doubt confused.”

    Hmmm….I may resemble that remark, ergo, I’ll have to step up my contemporary street lingo game.

    Meanwhile, from that pseudo-antiquarian rascal Samuel Johnson’s “Dictionary”

    Chaste: Pure from all commerce of sexes; as a chaste virgin.

    Virgin: A maid; a woman unacquainted with men.

    Gender: A kind, a sort. A sex.

    Sex: The property by which any animal is male or female.

  51. lynn says:

    _Dark Road (The Dark Grid Series) (Volume 2)_ by David C. Waldron
    http://www.amazon.com/Dark-Road-Grid-Series-Volume/dp/1479244716

    Book number two of a three book series. I bought the POD (print on demand) version in trade paperback. I have purchased the third book in the series also.

    Not everybody left the small HOA in Nashville in the first week after the Solar CME event. But when the electricity never came back on, the HOA rapidly turned into a work camp and the HOA president became a Colonel Klink wannabe. After the gasoline ran out, the EMT decides to follow his neighbors to the state park 100 miles outside Nashville. On bicycles with a six year old and eight year old.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (130 reviews)

  52. OFD says:

    Some may remember me harping about the beginning of the national security state in 1947; I didn’t just make that up outta whole cloth, though:

    “Reading Will Griggs’ powerful article, Merrick Garland, Richard W. Roberts, and the Kenneth Trentadue Murder: The Deep State Takes Care of Its Own, I am reminded of Michael Glennon’s perceptive book, National Security and Double Government, an exercise in Deep State Studies by a Washington policymaker on the dual nature of the American government. It is one of the most disturbing and disconcerting I have ever read.”

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/deep-state-takes-care/

    And from previous contacts I’ve had politically here and in O Kanada, with secondary connections to professional intel operators, it’s clear to me that there is, in fact, a shadow government, and probably two major factions at loggerheads for a while now; one is made up of the good guys, basically, and the other is not. Roger Stone’s books on the various Presidents also make this pretty clear.

    “Abe would be looking up at us from where he is now and smiling.”

    And I bet he is.

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/neocon-plot-steal-nomination-trump-now-officially-sanctified/

  53. OFD says:

    But the big news for tonight:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/lrc-blog/breaking-heckuva-job-merkel-isis-terror-squads-swarm-europe/

    Paris and Brussels were the beta versions.

    But it can’t happen here.

  54. lynn says:

    Those of us who use modern English understood my earlier statement. Those of you who use a chimerical pseudo-antiquarian English, with words assigned meanings based purely on Latin roots wherever they can be shoehorned in, were no doubt confused.

    Reminds me of that wonderful expression about trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

  55. lynn says:

    Paris and Brussels were the beta versions.

    But it can’t happen here.

    Wasn’t there a traumatic event in 2001 in the USA? I would not call that a beta event.

    I am waiting for the Europeans to start loading the muslims into boxcars.

  56. dkreck says:

    One Shaker joke and it becomes a word analysis battle. If these guys were mooslims I’d wind up with a chisel in my back.

  57. MrAtoz says:

    Sex: The property by which any animal is male or female.

    Did that come from the Book of WHITEY! What about Cait and all those transgender creatures who have the gummint and SJWs declaring them special flowers.

    Your punishment, Sir, for disgracing this board with that reference, is watching 10 episodes of “Dr. Drew” to hone your sensitivity.

  58. OFD says:

    “Wasn’t there a traumatic event in 2001 in the USA? I would not call that a beta event.”

    It most certainly was a beta event. You don’t think so, but it was. Probably a one-off, and they got to see its effects and consequences to avoid for the next events. Yeah, it was fifteen years ago but they think in terms of centuries, not like us, who think in terms of a minute ago.

    “Did that come from the Book of WHITEY!”

    The Book of Whitey says there is only male and female, He created them. Period.

Comments are closed.