Saturday, 27 August 2016

09:14 – We had Jen’s Bean Gloppita recipe for dinner last night. I’m not much of a vegetarian, but it was pretty good. Barbara wasn’t able to find coriander at the supermarket yesterday, so we made it up without it. I tried to convince Barbara that bacon was a reasonable substitute for coriander, but she wanted to try the Gloppita as the original vegetarian recipe. We made up a half of the original recipe, which makes a very large pile of Gloppita. There was enough left that I’m having the left-overs for dinner tonight.

I was thinking about ordering some dry black beans and repackaging them for long-term storage, but I think instead I’ll just buy the canned version. The nice thing about the canned beans is that they’re ready to use right out of the can. Just open the can, drain them, rinse them, and they’re ready to go. Dry beans need pre-processing, which is time- and fuel-intensive. Even if you soak the beans overnight, you’re still supposed to boil them for an hour. In an emergency, that’s a significant amount of fuel. The downside of canned is that a one-pound can of the beans costs $0.60 to $1.50+, depending on brand and vendor, versus maybe $1.50/pound for dry black beans. And most of that can is water weight. I’m guessing that on a dry-weight basis, that can of beans probably costs $4 to $5/pound. On balance, I think I’ll store a few cases of the canned for regular use and maybe 30 pounds of the dry beans in foil-laminate bags that we’ll reserve for SPMF emergencies.

Barbara is cleaning house this morning and then heading over to volunteer at the historical museum this afternoon. We’ll wait and do more kit stuff tomorrow.


75 thoughts on “Saturday, 27 August 2016”

  1. “that’s a significant amount of fuel”

    That’s what I’ve been saying all along. I think preppers need low-fuel-use choices for that short to intermediate period, between where you are still living mostly like normal, (or trying to) and shifting to a long term different style of living.

    To that end, I have shelf stable meals, minute rice, pasta, and canned beans.

    Heck, I remember a backpacker saying that “if you have to carry all your water, canned food makes as much sense as freeze dried, since your carrying the equivalent water any way. The difference in weight is small, but cost and convenience is large.

    In real grid down, you don’t “drain the water.” You use it or drink it.

    In a long term situation, (based on historic models) you have a pot of ‘porridge’ or ‘potage’ or ‘stew’ that is ALWAYS on the fire. You always have a fire going due to the difficulty of starting fires, and everything edible goes into the pot for a long simmer. In that scenario, long cook times for beans or really tough meat aren’t an issue.

    n

  2. In real grid down, you don’t “drain the water.” You use it or drink it.

    One of the reasons I don’t routinely eat canned vegetables is that during the canning process some of the nutrients dissolve in the water. The primary reason is I prefer fresh or frozen vegetables. Almost all canned fruit is canned in syrup, which is to say sugar water. If you’re counting calories under normal situations, drain the syrup. In a survival situation the syrup is free calories, so drink it.

  3. Sure, I prefer fresh, but fresh doesn’t store…

    Frozen meets my short term prep goals in that it lasts a long time and allows me to build up reserves. Since I have a gennie, I worry a lot less about losing the freezer than someone else might. 14 days without electricity during IKE and not one problem with the freezer or frozen food.

    That said, it’s only good as long as I can provide energy to it. In a wide scale disaster, or longer term, that is a problem.

    There are always compromises to be made. Eating from cans, so you rotate your preps is one of those. I do it mostly with canned corn (actually delicious), beans (just like cooked from scratch) and a few things we wouldn’t cook like sauted cabbage, or collard greens. There are tasty canned foods that you can make part of your regular meal plan without any sacrifice, you just need to find what works for you and your family.

    nick

    (I should add that it helps tremendously if you are the one doing the routine shopping and cooking. If you come home from work and expect dinner on the table, you probably aren’t gonna have too much ability to change what gets bought, stored, and used, unless you are a tyrant.)

  4. “… 14 days without electricity during IKE and not one problem with the freezer or frozen food.”

    Did you ever mention on here what kinda gennie you have? If going out and getting one now, what would you recommend? Dual-fuel? How many watts?

    “… unless you are a tyrant.”

    Sic semper tyrannis!

  5. I love black beans but am wary of buying them myself. Last time I did there was gravel mixed in with the beans, to add weight I suppose. Can’t remember if they were from China or Vietnam.

  6. Dried beans have always had ‘rocks’ in them and I have always spread them out on a baking sheet before using them. Over the last few years that has dropped almost to zero but I imagine foreign ones might have less QC.

  7. Since I have a gennie, I worry a lot less about losing the freezer than someone else might. 14 days without electricity during IKE and not one problem with the freezer or frozen food.

    So here come the questions:

    1. What kind of generator?

    2. How much did you run the generator? Continiously or an hour or two a day to keep stuff cold?

    3. How did you choose the size of the generator? To run one thing at a time or to run everything at once?

  8. Silence is violence

    How about black silence in the face of crimes being committed by black Americans far above their proportion of the American population. Better, how about silence regarding the massively disparate black-on-white versus white-on-black violent crime rates? For every prominent black American who says nothing about this (which is to say, almost all of them), “silence is violence” means each one is a rapist and a murderer and an armed robber.

  9. The S&W Organic Black Beans sold by Costco are *really* bland straight out of the can.

    Experiment around with recipes from Cuban or other Latin cookbooks and have the spices on hand.

  10. Ok, here are some answers, but they won’t be specifically relevant. It does give some insight into my mind and life though….

    It’s a Generac 4000 XL gasoline fueled portable generator. I bought it in 1999 pre-Y2K. It’s no longer available. At the time, it was the biggest one I could afford, at about $600 with the best name brand. It’s physically compact, and has a tank big enough to run for 13 hrs at moderate load.

    Other than testing, it sat unused until Hurricane Rita. That’s a long time.

    All the rubber parts are still good. This is very unlikely to be true on more modern ‘consumer’ grade gennies. I saw this first hand a few weeks ago. I looked at a Centurion by Generac portable that was a few years old, and every soft (rubbery) thing was cracked or brittle.

    These are things I like, and why I think you should have a small gennie and a big one (if you can get there.) Use the small one for small loads. Big one for big loads. Most of the time you can get by with small loads.

    It is fuel efficient. It runs 13 hours on one tank (~5 gallons).

    The capacity is sufficient to run everything in the house, EXCEPT electrical appliances. It won’t start or run my AC, or my stove or oven. It will run the coffee maker and microwave. It will run the washer, and gas dryer. It will run a window AC unit.

    It has a plastic gas tank. NO RUST!

    It’s compact. It has the footprint of one of the cardboard produce trays from costco, or about 22 x 18x 20h. It sits on a standard furniture dolly with room to spare.

    Things I don’t like;

    It’s LOUD. We only ran it during daylight, and most of the surrounding area had power for much of the 14 day periods, so we weren’t worried about ravening hordes.

    For the time that everyone’s power was out, we only ran it for 1 hour on, 2 hours off thru the day. That’s enough to keep things charged, check the news, and keep the fridge and freezer cold. Don’t open the doors, and they will stay cold over night, even in Houston heat. This is where a chest freezer shines BTW.

    [added- by the second week of Ike, most people had power but our street didn’t. My wife was running the gennie full time during daylight to run a window AC unit. I was in China on business. She wasn’t worried about the golden horde during the day, but still didn’t run it after dark when she was worried about theft.]

    It’s obsolete so parts availability is an issue. That said, it hasn’t needed anything. I suppose I should do a major service, or at least change the oil, but the oil looks, smells, and tastes fine.

    No fuel filter. This is easy and cheap to add, I just never got around to it.

    Some lessons learned:

    You need lots of good quality extension cords, 3 ways, power strips, etc. Having a box that splits the 240v outlet into usable 120v outlets will let you use the full capacity of the gennie. (They are available commercially for jobsites, or make one.) Be sure you can use every outlet on your gennie. (many have a twist lock 30A outlet)

    The power won’t be clean enough to run your UPSs so you will risk your electronics. I’m pretty sure this contributed to early failure of my TV and my refrigerator.

    Get some surplus UPSs that are commercial grade, they have a switch for ‘generator power’ and will run on your dirty gennie power. Put your electronics on this big UPS.

    Have a disconnect installed to safely and properly connect your gennie to the house. This has costs, but so does running a bunch of extension cords everywhere, and it lets you power some of your appliances and all your lighting.

    Get a hand pump or siphon pump for refueling. My wife is tough, but she can’t easily or safely pick up and pour from a five gallon fuel jug.

    After the initial disaster, it is QUIET. Gennies make a lot of noise that carries for a long distance. This can be a security risk.

    Chain your portable gennie to something. Locally thieves were stealing lawnmowers, pushing them up to the gennie, then stealing the gennie. You lose power but still hear the engine, so you don’t rush out guns ready. Then you don’t have a gennie anymore.

    If there is no resupply (real grid down) you need to be prepared to do the recommended service and maintenance. The service interval is MUCH shorter than you expect, usually 40 hours of run time. Generators that are designed to run continuously are MUCH more expensive.

    Use an ammeter to look at your normal electrical loads, and see what you use. You might be surprised by how LITTLE you need. Switch off breakers for items that are too big to run off your little gennie so they don’t try to start by mistake. Move loads to other outlets to balance the draw on the gennie. You want to use ALL the power you are generating at a given overall load level.

    Be ready with chargers to charge up some batteries. Whenever you are running the gennie, charge some batteries. Pay attention and rotate them as soon as they are charged.

    Your neighbors will want you to help them. Be prepared to run a cord to a fridge and phone charger across the street or next door. This generosity may actually save you later, for instance when THEIR power is restored but yours is still off, and you need to power your fridge and freezer while you are traveling for family business (fer instance).

    Some thoughts for the future.

    A whole house gennie, powered by natural gas, with an automatic transfer switch is the best. Good ones are expensive, and you will be generating more power than you likely use, thus burning more fuel per minute. They are usually MUCH quieter than gasoline portables.

    I got a big whole house gennie at auction, had it repaired, and I’m waiting to have it installed. I still need to find a cheap transfer switch. I decided to spend the money for a couple of reasons mainly reduced noise and running big appliances, including AC. I believe infrastructure failures will increase in frequency and severity, so I’ll be using it more often and for longer.

    I will keep my portable as backup, and because it uses a different fuel. (Safe fuel storage is an issue.)

    If I was doing it from scratch, I’d buy a mid-sized portable gas gennie first. Then add a small quiet power source, either solar and batteries, or a small inverter based gennie like the Honda. Finally I’d add a quiet and sturdy whole house running on nat gas or propane.

    One upgrade would be a portable mid-sized (6500w or bigger) diesel gennie, like one from Kubota. We used one for portable power at events and it was a great compromise between size/capacity/and noise. Sturdy as heck too.

    Having different sized gennies is a luxury, but it allows you to efficiently match capacity to fuel use.

    Hope this helped, ask away!

    nick

  11. “Get some surplus UPSs that are commercial grade, they have a switch for ‘generator power’ and will run on your dirty gennie power. Put your electronics on this big UPS.”

    Can you recomend a good quality domestic or commercial brand? I have a number of APC UPSes and one Belkin.

  12. @miles, APC is the gold standard, at least here. Leibert is good too, and lesser known so you can get them at a discount.

    For a big company, it’s about the same cost to swap the batteries, or order a new unit, so they typically just order a new unit. There is usually LOTS of life left in the batteries for our sort of use, and if you get the UPS for pennies on the pound, replacing batteries isn’t a big deal.

    If you are ordering new, APC has a trade in program where you can get credit for your existing UPSs, no matter the manf. If you order new, look at rack mount styles as they are more serious and likely to have the generator switch.

    Lots of used UPSs in the surplus market though

    n

  13. I just got back from my first trip to the LDS Home Storage Center. I only got five cases of stuff, but it all fit in the trunk of my car. One thing I thought was nice was they had small jars that contained samples of everything.

    I’m going to keep building our stores of food, but now I want to start focusing on other aspects of prepping. I’m going to keep adding food, but I’m going to give some thought to other things. There are other things that need a little time and effort as well.

    1. Get a water filter and do something to have more water on hand.
    2. Make our house more secure.
    3. We have a fireplace, we should be prepared to use it.
    4. What are we going to do if the power goes out?
    5. I haven’t had any first aid training since Boy Scouts.
    6. Get a shotgun and/or handgun and learn more about firearms.

    When it comes to food I’m going to work on these things:

    1. Get recipes, print them and try them.
    2. Buy the missing ingredients for the recipes above.
    3. Stockpile more food.

  14. “How about black silence in the face of crimes being committed by black Americans far above their proportion of the American population. Better, how about silence regarding the massively disparate black-on-white versus white-on-black violent crime rates?”

    Been going on a very long time and the MSM won’t cover it at all.

    And this is of a piece with the silence from what, a billion musloids, when their co-cultists commit mayhem and atrocities around the world, usually on defenseless, unarmed people, including children.

    And of a piece with all the activist and radical fembats in the West who will bitch and screech endlessly about the glass ceiling and how there should be more women this and that everywhere but utter silence on how the musloids treat women and what they’ve done to women over the many centuries.

    Not violence per se, but yet another illustration of selective silence when looking at how the MSM is treating the two presidential campaigns; Cankles gets caught in endless lies and obfuscations, has seizures on live tee-vee, can’t make it up a flight of stairs or into a limo without help, and her tenure as SecState smacks largely of personal enrichment, theft and treason. Crickets. And they’ll lose their minds if you bring any of this up. But Cheeto-Head tweets some bullshit comment or there’s gravy on his tie and suddenly it’s either Hitler or the AntiChrist who threatens to destroy the world and all of humanity, when the likelihood of that is WAY greater with Field Marshal Rodham.

    Also, we need to see HIS tax and medical records immediately but not hers. Amazing how it all flies, no problemo, with the tens of millions out here.

    I think Culper was right: with him we’re probably gonna get a leftist insurrection and an evolution with the BLM from nascent ANC to full-fledged terror network of “armed struggle.” With her it will be Stalinoid repression here at home and more clusterfuck wars overseas to enrich her and her terminal piece of shit husband and their cronies, including the Bush Crime Family. One of those wars could end up going nuclear, too.

    Behind it all, the musloids will continue to terrorize and the economic house of cards will keep teetering in the breeze.

    Nine weeks.

  15. That could be VERY interesting. Naturally the local MSM stooges think it’s a bad idea.

    Say, I just saw a nooz item about NC’s CCW reciprocity which said that y’all accept CCW’s from ALL other states that issue them. That would be a better deal even than Virginia’s, which I guess is a political football and can’t be counted on.

    And I’ve also wondered how other states would treat me, coming from a state that has ZERO licenses for firearms.

  16. If you ever make it to Sparta, I’ll issue you an honorary Good Olde Boy card.

  17. “If you ever make it to Sparta, I’ll issue you an honorary Good Olde Boy card.”

    Could happen, depending on wife’s assignments, but they just recently assigned specific instructors to particular geographic quadrants, so she now has the Northeast, unless somebody can’t make it to one somewhere else. They based this on some stupid algorithm that has zero bearing on anything much and is mistaken anyway.

    “I thought Vermont issued CCL’s just for reciprocity.”

    Vermont issues nothing. We can CCW, OCW and now buy silencers with no problem. The commies try regularly to screw this up but so far have always failed badly. They just never stop trying, never give up. So if I pack heat in NC and get stopped by one of those new deputies or any LE person, what then? Show them my VT operator’s license?

  18. I don’t know.

    I just called the Sheriff’s office to check. They’re going to check and get back to me.

  19. Alas, no dice. You could carry openly, which requires no permit, but if your state hasn’t issued you a permit your only option here would be to get an NC permit.

  20. I believe most States won’t issue a permit to nonresidents.

    Actually, a number of states do issue permits to non-residents. My state does issue non-resident permits which would be honored in North Carolina.

    Check out this site for details.

  21. About 50/50 but look at the requirements like you have to apply in person in NV. Alas, NC no nonresident. Funny VT has no restrictions, but other States penalize them for it.

  22. If I got a Utah or Florida non-resident permit, I could carry in NV and NE. Every other state that honors those non-resident permits honors my state’s resident permit.

    Update: There used to be more than two states on the list, and there were people in my state who offered the training you need to get either of those non-resident permits.

  23. Yeah, off the top of my noggin I do know that both Virginia and Utah issue CCW permits to non-residents; you have to take a simpleton online class, send in fingerprint card and photo, and pay a bit of coin, usually around a Franklin. One of those states is probably reciprocal to NC, as the two of them cover somewhere between 30-35 states for reciprocity. The big problem region, is, as you might expect, the blue-state Northeast.

    From Mr. Dave’s link:

    “Vermont Residents can carry in the states of Arizona, Alaska, Kansas, Maine, Mississippi and Oklahoma and West Virginia with just their state Issued Drivers License or State issued ID if they are 21 Years of age and can legally own a firearm.”

    Wife has had gigs in all those states except Alaska. I’m not sure about OK.

    “North Carolina Honors All Other States Permit/Licenses.”

    So I could have a permit from, say, VA or UT, and be OK in almost all other states, including NC. And all I need is my operator’s license for those listed above.

    Whereas:

    “Massachusetts does not honor any other state permits.”

    Where the crime and terrorist activities far surpass any of the other New England states, of course. Gee, could that just be a coincidence???

  24. “Every State should reciprocate.”

    There is a bill pending, IIRC, in Congress, to do just that.

    “Ha ha ha! I made a funny.”

    Probably. Because Dems, RINOS, SJWs, etc. in Congress or having an inordinate effect on it.

    But as has been pointed out, if our driver’s licenses work in all 50 states, why not our CCWs??? Cars kill more peeps than guns, of course. And incidentally, when the anti-gun asswipes cite the fatality gun stats, they include suicides, which jacks it right up there.

  25. Every State should reciprocate.

    It shouldn’t even be an issue. The rest of the Bill of Rights has been incorporated, meaning the restrictions on federal action has been found to also restrict state action.* States cannot make laws establishing a church, and neither can they restrict the right to keep and bear arms.

    * Whether that’s a valid interpretation is another matter. “Congress shall make no law…” in light of the 10th Amendment does not impose any restriction on state laws, regardless of what a majority of black-robed tyrants say.

  26. Massachusetts does not honor any other state permits.

    Neither does New York. The status of the governor and the vast majority of the legislature being ambulatory sacks of shit may have some bearing on that.

  27. “…in light of the 10th Amendment…”

    Oh now you went and done it, mentioning the Ghost Amendment, the one that doesn’t really exist. Thanks to our black-robed tyrants and the severely defective memory banks here in the United States of Amnesia.

    “…governor and the vast majority of the legislature being [felonious, criminal and treasonous] ambulatory sacks of shit…”

    FIFY. And just as bad if not worse in our neighboring Commonwealth of Maffachufetts.

  28. Anybody else like Reliance brand water jugs?
    I got the one with the extra-large cap so I can reach in and install
    a proper “bulkhead fitting” for the air vent, so that it’s capped to
    keep out rain and bird poop while still venting air (specifically at
    the remote campsite, but a good solution is valid in most contexts).
    Use this one for the actual “running water” (sitting on a tailgate)
    and refill it from other jugs. Uh, this is still a good thing for home
    water crisis issues, of course.
    Note that the Reliance caps fit normal plumbing threads, so you
    can upgrade the spigot significantly.

    https://relianceproducts.com/products/hydration/216.html

  29. I seldom comment on politics…

    It just sounds like you guys are advocating Federal firearms
    carry (and possession) licensing.

    I sure don’t want to trust 50 random legislatures (which could
    change laws suddenly, as I’m passing through)…

    The odds of a problem are 50 times 50, doing the math on
    reciprocity…

    So, uh, what?

  30. Like driving license, marriage license, etc reciprocity shouldn’t even be an issue. Note that the states are free to have different requirements for the license, and different laws about what the license holder can do, so that would potentially be an issue.

    n

  31. Why should a goverment license be needed for any of those things? Fuck ’em.

  32. WRT @Spook’s Reliance Beverage Buddy:

    This link should get you to one on Amazon that ships free with Prime for $14.99 (downside is that it says ships in 1 to 2 months):
    https://www.amazon.com/Reliance-Beverage-Gallon-Container-Medium/dp/B003EMENYU/ref=sr_1_1?rps=1&ie=UTF8&qid=1472341521&sr=8-1&keywords=reliance+beverage+buddy&refinements=p_85%3A2470955011

    Like many things on Amazon you do not always get an Amazon Prime product when you click on a link. You must be careful and look on the right side of the page for the Other Sellers on Amazon and pick the one really sold by Amazon.

  33. The wife and the daughter stopped by our local CarMax and checked out all of the small SUVs. I believe that they actually have all of them in stock in their exhaustive inventory. They liked the Kia Sorento also and will be driving that also. But they are still considering the Subaru Forrester. And the wife is considering the Toyota RAV4 again (I am flabbergasted).

    I have no idea if this is actually going anywhere. They have the ability to talk anything like this into a deep and dark death.

  34. Why should a goverment license be needed for any of those things

    To keep drug head loser cretin low life pond scum shit head assholes like the jerk that caused my accident off the road. They can pull his license and if he drives after that can put him in prison although I think public flogging with salt water thrown in the wounds would be more appropriate.

    Speaking of which, court on Monday where he will most likely take a plea bargain. 28 months after the incident.

  35. @rbt, I agree, but this is the world we live in. Baby steps.

    For sure but if Hillary gets elected, look out ! She has not let the rule of law stop her before. And I figure that the election has been rigged already, regardless what the people actually vote for.

  36. Well, heck, if you’re going to bring silly posters into the mix, here are some I made a few years ago.

    I had another account on the same site, with ridiculous rather than cynical content. Alas, I can’t remember the account name for that one and the site’s search is not quite fully operational.

  37. Why should a goverment license be needed for any of those things

    To keep drug head loser cretin low life pond scum s*** head assholes like the jerk that caused my accident off the road. They can pull his license and if he drives after that can put him in prison although I think public flogging with salt water thrown in the wounds would be more appropriate.

    My youngest brother has not had a driver’s license in a decade. Maybe two. They do not even take him to jail anymore since the judge will throw him out immediately.

  38. “”WRT @Spook’s Reliance Beverage Buddy:””

    Yeah, there’s some strange stuff about availability of any of
    the Reliance jugs on Amazon.
    It’s possible to just hold out for a real up-front Prime deal.

    Ideal for a daily use jug would be one with the big neck (and
    custom user modified air vent) and without the hollow handle
    area (harder to clean, even with hand access)… and I want
    about three gallons for more reasonable weight…

    Still would use a regular plumbing threaded spigot (lots of options
    there; plastic makes sense) and I use teflon thread tape and probably
    good O-rings all around.

    Keep rain or other contaminants out, and keep your clean water in,
    duh.

  39. @lynn, funny question but do you need any wheel chair tie down straps? I’ve got a bunch in different styles….
    n

  40. Re Subaru…

    In backed up traffic on interstate-whatever, I once saw a Subaru WRX
    briefly red-shift (or is that blue?)… accelerating briefly to faster than
    the speed of light. The sound was pretty amazing, too.

    “In the clearing stands a boxer, and a fighter by his trade… ”

    I have only driven a Corvair, a Beetle or two, and a BRAT… but there is
    something about the snap of power in a horizontially opposed engine.
    I want to try a Porsche 911… and a BMW R90…

  41. “…here are some I made a few years ago.”

    Those are friggin’ awesome, Mr. SteveF. Interestingly, I can’t get to the one with the 1911 pic, the only one…..which just increases my paranoia….

    “…every time I see your avatar I am going to think of this:”

    I’ve made plenty of awful mistakes in life but I still think I’m no longer as stupid and gullible as Elmer. I could be wrong about that.

    “Baby steps.”

    We take baby steps and the bastards take Big Boy Steps. Or Big Girl Steps. Usually backwards. Peeps with a historical bent ought to look at just how much we’ve given up since the 1930s in this country; it’ll blow yer mind. When the SHTF, no more baby steps.

    “They have the ability to talk anything like this into a deep and dark death.”

    Sounds all too familiar.

    “To keep drug head loser cretin low life pond scum shit head assholes like the jerk that caused my accident off the road.”

    I’d agree with you but the evidence has long been in that a license doesn’t stop these bastards; licenses are taken away for DUI (after about ten incidents in some cases) and the buggers drive away from the courthouse parking lot.

  42. @lynn, funny question but do you need any wheel chair tie down straps? I’ve got a bunch in different styles….

    Nope, the daughter is out of her wheelchair, maybe forever.

  43. I might ask you to send it up for me pretty soon. This back pain chit is for the birds; back to hobbling and shuffling like that 145-year-old guy in Java.

  44. I can’t get to the one with the 1911 pic

    The full text was something like “1911: Better than calling 9-1-1”. The site’s automated approval and censoring scripts had previously pulled it with the reason “It’s too soon to joke about 9/11”. It was restored but was probably pulled again.

    Nope, the daughter is out of her wheelchair, maybe forever.

    Congrats to her.

    the evidence has long been in that a license doesn’t stop these bastards

    Agreed. Govt-issued drivers’ licenses demonstrate approximately nothing in terms of skill or attentiveness, and their suspension stops only the basically law-abiding. They should be scrapped entirely. Bad drivers should be thrown in jail, crippled with fines, broken up for spare parts, or whatever.

    I am in favor of vehicle identification, as a means of reducing criminals’ and bad drivers’ ability to run away anonymously. Possibly this could be done in the marketplace, but in practice it probably needs to be done through government.

  45. that 145-year-old guy in Java

    I don’t know about anyone else, but I am totally credulous about that claim.

  46. I might ask you to send it up for me pretty soon. This back pain chit is for the birds; back to hobbling and shuffling like that 145-year-old guy in Java.

    Perhaps you could get that moose next door to walk on your back. I’ve heard having a small Asian woman walk on your back does wonders. Imagine what your neighbor could do?

  47. Nope, the daughter is out of her wheelchair, maybe forever.

    Congrats to her.

    Thanks, it has been a long hard battle. It is is not over yet and some of the damage is permanent.

  48. “I don’t know about anyone else, but I am totally credulous about that claim.”

    There was a pic of an official-looking gummint document but hell, there was one of those for Obola, too. He certainly LOOKS 145. And in certain pics, so does Larry Klinton and his lovely wife Bruno. Speaking of which, there is now toilet paper with her pic on each sheet. And a t-shirt you can get concerning the two things all Murkans should know, with a pic of a semi-auto handgun and a Bible. Buy it, and they’ll send you an audiobook of the Geneva Bible. I thought to myself, why not the KJV, RSV or God forbid, Douay-Rheims??? More important: why not a revolver?

    “Perhaps you could get that moose next door to walk on your back. I’ve heard having a small Asian woman walk on your back does wonders. Imagine what your neighbor could do?”

    There is a moose girl on each side of us now; one lives with her toddler daughter, no dad anywhere in sight, and the other lives with her mom, stepdad and granddad on the other side. Both smokers, into the wee hours every night outside, as they cough and hack away. I’ll just live with the pain, thank you very much.

    Wife to the airport tomorrow afternoon and heading for Shannon, Ireland and the northwest of Ireland for ten days with Princess. Life is grand, doncha know. I’ll be here cleaning up animal carcasses, puke and excrement to start off my week, and then whatever I can manage for other scut work, plus the online radio and firearms and IT classes.

  49. nick wrote:

    “APC is the gold standard, at least here. Leibert is good too, and lesser known so you can get them at a discount.”

    Yeah, my first UPS was a Liebert, followed by a number of APC SmartUPSes. The batteries tend to last me about seven years. I inquired about swapping batteries, but it wasn’t worth doing. Plus, as you said, I can trade in the old one and get a new warranty. I had bad luck with one APC UPS: I made the mistake of getting a RS1500 made in India (I didn’t know that when I ordered it.) I knew when I balanced the unit on one finger that I’d made a mistake. It was very very light and failed out of the box. Got it replaced and the new one failed just out of warranty. Got a small Belkin unit for backing up the modem (which was in another room.)

    Our host recomended APC SmartUPSes for many years until they started failing too frequently. Then he switched to Falcon UPSes (http://www.falconups.com/), as recomended by Jerry P. They didn’t have an Australian distributor so warranty claims would have been a pain, so I didn’t buy one.

  50. The Falcon units are true (dual-conversion) UPSs, which means you’re running off battery 100% of the time. The APCs are SPSs, which means you’re running on mains power until it fails, at which point the SPS changes over to battery.

  51. In this application, I’m using the big UPS as a filter, and then secondarily as a battery backup. Since the power is dirty (spikey, w/voltage fluctuations) most consumer UPSs will switch over to battery and not charge. The big ones will do what they are supposed to do, and will charge from the generator. The power coming out is clean and steady, so whatever is happening inside works for me.

    nick

  52. FWIW, we now have computers and sensitive electronics in all sorts of places you wouldn’t expect.

    -hot water heaters, heat pumps or on demand
    -furnaces- esp. with energy saver features like soft start, variable fan speed, direct vent
    -fridge
    -clothes washer
    -dish washer
    -alarm

    n

  53. You might have either a true UPS or an SPS. Some of the latter have serious filtering and can smooth out dirty power from a contractor-grade generator. The only practical difference between that and a true UPS is that the latter provides much, much better isolation.

  54. Oh, yeah. And a true UPS eats batteries faster because those batteries are constantly operating at high current charge+discharge. An SPS tops up its battery and then leaves it alone until it’s needed.

  55. To say it’s running off the batteries is not really true. You have a AC to DC reduction component, a battery and an DC to AC up inverter all connected to a DC bus. Since the battery does not have inputs and outputs it really looks more like a ballast evening out the low voltage delivered to the up inverter. When the AC is on power is basically coming from both the low down converter and the battery. When the AC input drops out the battery is now providing all the power. Good designs have of course lots of filtering on both sides.
    Sort of just different ways to look at it but you are right, it is hard on batteries. Lots of inefficiency and heat but cleaner on more isolation from the mains.

  56. So a non-electronics/electricity/math genius wants to have a generator that will AT LEAST power the well pump and hot water heater via maybe running it a half-hour every other day or weekly, preferably dual-fuel, and that might possibly run a few other things periodically. With a backup UPS for less robust electronics devices? Do I have all this more or less right?

  57. One of the things I’ve found that helps me both as a consumer and as a student of electronics (and design in general) is teardowns. Of course I have literally tons of scrap to tear apart, but you can find teardowns on youtube as well.

    The difference between brands of the same device or between the consumer version and the “pro” version can be quite astounding.

    UPSs are a great example. (Brands are for illustration purposes only) Suppose you tear open two UPSs, one from Connant, one from APC. One of them is going to have big aluminum heatsinks, large chokes and inductors (and lots of them) and big MOVs. Lots of copper and aluminum. Even the circuit board will be thicker. The other might only have a couple of small MOVs, thin board, and a couple of little chokes. Guess which one is the cheap one?

    Laser printers are the same. Cheap ones are all foamed plastic, commercial ones have metal still in them. Everything is bigger and heavier on the commercial ones. Also the commercial ones will have better, more robust PSU components.

    Tearing apart scrap can show you clever design tricks, (like tab and slot assembly), it can show the difference in price reflected in components, and it can give you a bunch of parts for your own messing around with electronics. (Why learn hot air rework on your radio’s board, when you can practice on a board from a garbage pile printer?)

    Next time you are going to throw away some electronics, tear it open first and look at what’s inside!

    nick

  58. “Do I have all this more or less right?”

    Sure if that’s what’s important to you.

    Well pumps sound pretty important. Hot water heater, very convenient, but that might mean your gennie needs to be bigger (like 50A 240v- or whatever your’s is rated at).

    For me, it’s about keeping things cool. Fridge, freezer, wife/kids. I can do that with a window AC and a relatively small gennie. I decided, for convenience and comfort, to go WAY upsize and add the whole house gennie. I also had an opportunity to do it at less cost. (been in Houston 13 years, 3 major hurricanes, and STILL couldn’t convince the wife to buy the whole house, until I did it cheaply.) (And SHE’S the one who had to keep the little one fueled last time.)

    For you, it sounds like the well pump will be a critical factor in sizing your gennie. As long as you get big enough to run your critical items, don’t agonize too much. There really aren’t that many variations in size. Will 3000w do it? if not-4500? if not-6800? What fuel is available? Gasoline is the easiest grid up, unless you already have propane. Nat gas is gonna cost more, and may not stay up, but is very convenient. You can store a crap ton more diesel safely and covertly than gasoline or propane. I have a friend who buried a tank inside his garage, under the floor. No one saw him move a shovel full of dirt. Fuel oil storage tanks are VERY common in some parts of the country. You may have an abandoned one in your own basement… Or on the farm.

    My advice is… identify your critical loads. Pick a gennie with enough capacity for those loads, and a bit extra. Pick a fuel that is available and that you can safely store. (says the guy with 40 gallons of gasoline in Tupperware cabinets outside his garage for 8 years) Using most portable gennies with electronics can be hit or miss and can damage them. Some UPSs will not work with your gennie, but that might not be critical. We got thru fine (mostly).

    Finally, this IS one of those places where you get what you pay for. DON’T buy the cheapest no name china crap (harbor freight/northern tool/canadian tire I’m looking at you.) Stick with proven brands like Generac (and based on a sample size of one, NOT their centurion line). Make sure it has a motor by a big name- honda, tecumsah, briggs and stratton. Get the maintenance supplies too. Don’t backfeed your house with a ‘suicide plug.’ Buy a disconnect, or use extension cords.

    I can’t make a specific recommendation, because I haven’t tried a bunch of gear, but my generac with the honda OHC engine has lasted well and been dependable with no maintenance and now hundreds of hours over 17 years.

    nick

  59. I had bad luck with one APC UPS

    As did I. Came in one morning and the servers were down and there was a horrible odor of magic smoke. The UPS fried something on the UPS mother board. Cheaper to replace than repair and got new batteries. Had to run extension cords until the new unit arrived. UPS has a 30 amp plug and there is only one plug on the wall thus the extension cords. I guess I should not complain as the unit lasted 11 years and saved us from several small power outages. It has enough power to run the servers and associated switches and routers for about 45 minutes.

  60. @lynn, I meant to reply to this upthread, but got distracted.

    ” They liked the Kia Sorento also and will be driving that also. ”

    My wife said “why not Kia?” and insisted we give it a shot.

    They certainly look nice and have a lot of features for the money… but … they gotta save some money somewhere….

    While in the showroom (or parked) open the driver or passenger door all the way. Gently bounce it open against the stops. Observe the rotational flex in the steel of the frame where the door hinges attach. YES, the door bouncing gently open will ROTATE frame elements. After seeing that, my wife was FINE, really really fine, with taking Kia off the potential vehicle list.

    YMMV of course.

    nick

  61. It seems to me that using YMMV in any automotive context other than actual milage should result in public shaming.

  62. FWIW, we now have computers and sensitive electronics in all sorts of places you wouldn’t expect.

    -hot water heaters, heat pumps or on demand

    One of my hot water heaters has been converted back to the old thermocouple, pilot, and burner combo. Only cost me $450. That piece of crap computer that it came with burned. And there is no failure mode. My plumber does not install those computer jobs anymore.

  63. You can store a crap ton more diesel safely and covertly than gasoline or propane. I have a friend who buried a tank inside his garage, under the floor. No one saw him move a shovel full of dirt. Fuel oil storage tanks are VERY common in some parts of the country. You may have an abandoned one in your own basement… Or on the farm.

    Do not put todays diesel into an old fuel oil tank without extreme cleaning of the tank ! Todays diesel is 15 ppm sulfur. Old fuel oil is up to 5,000 ppm sulfur. If you contaminate that new diesel and take it out to run in a modern day diesel engine that might have a catalytic converter, you can trash the catalytic converter within one tank (20 to 30 gallons). Next, todays diesel engines use 30,000 psi injectors. Todays diesel has a very low cloud point (parafin waxes) to keep from plugging these ultra high pressure injectors. Old fuel oil has a cloud point as high as 40 F.

    The EPA has ruined diesels over the last 20 years. Ask VW and Cummins:
    https://www.epa.gov/enforcement/cummins-engine-company-diesel-engine-clean-air-act-settlement

  64. My understanding was that in the old days (70s 80s) you could burn #2 heating oil in your diesel engine with no ill effect.

    Modern engines, thanks for the warning. I still think it’s much easier to get a tank to store some diesel if you claim it’s for heating oil in a region where that is common. Go looking for a diesel or god forbid a gasoline storage tank and you’ll trigger every busybody in the region to get ‘up in your grill.’

    Even 15 yrs ago trying to get a tank on the jobsite was a huge pain.

    n

  65. My main concern is the well pump; we just need something to keep it running for short-term outages, say a week or two of blizzard and ice storm conditions; anything longer (SHTF) and we’d have to go to solar or manual gear. Or haul it up from the lake shore and boil it.

    So, at this point, I guess something for the whole house that will also run the well pump, covering a short-term power outage. Gas or propane stored in a locked shed on the property, no room for big-ass fuel tanks here.

    Longer term, we just wouldn’t have power here, other than what can be cobbled together with solar and batteries. And once various parts deteriorate and fail, buh-bye to that, too.

    At that point, we’d be back to circa 1900 in a rural small-town in northern Vermont. Like generations of peeps before us, although we obviously don’t have their skill sets anymore. So we’d have to make ourselves valuable enough to others, in our dotage, to be able to trade goods and services. Because that would also mean no more SS or VA payments from the State. Mr. and Mrs. Rural Murkan in 1900 didn’t have those, either. Nor did most city Murkans.

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