Thursday, 24 November 2016

09:49 – Barbara just left to drive down to Winston, where she’s spending Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday with Frances and Al. They’ll do a few errands Saturday, and then she’s heading back. As usual, it’ll be wild women and parties for Colin and me.

They’re going to the Greensboro craft fair tomorrow. Since they’ll be out in a crowd, I suggested she put a gub in her purse. Better to have a gub and not need one than need a gub and not have one.

I got a lot of items checked off my prepping list this month. We’ve added close to one person-year of LTS food (250 pounds of macaroni, 80 pounds of beans, 2.5 gallons of vegetable oil, and other miscellaneous stuff that totals about 730,000 calories, or about 2,000 cal/day for a year). I also added a pressure canner, four dozen more wide-mouth quart canning jars, and some reusable lids. The new gas cooktop has arrived, and we’re scheduled to get a 250-gallon propane tank installed on December 9th. I called an electrician to come out and get a cut-over switch installed for our generator and install a propane adapter kit on it. I have the beginnings of a small solar power system, with four 100W panels and a charge controller. More to do there. I’ve boosted our antibiotic stocks, with half a dozen to five dozen courses each of doxycycline, SMZ/TMP, metronidazole, levofloxacin, and amoxiclav. And various other miscellaneous stuff.

As I keep saying, it’s not that I expect anything catastrophic to happen, although that remains a real possibility and one that I want to be prepared for as well as realistically possible. What I really expect is for things to continue getting gradually worse. I don’t think there’s any way to turn that around at this point. Basically, I think we’re in the calm before the storm. I have no idea when that storm will occur or what form it will take. It may be five years coming, or ten. Or it may occur tomorrow. But it will occur at some point.

37 thoughts on “Thursday, 24 November 2016”

  1. Agreed on the slow slide scenario now that we may have some breathing room with the new National Administrator, assuming that all continues to happen in the next few weeks.

    My priorities continue to be ramping up the food and water supplies here, the gub training for both of us, and beefing up security on the front and back doors, while lobbying harder for the generator config similar to what you’re gonna get going. Dual-fuel, preferably, with a transfer switch, but prior to that we’ve really gotta get an electrician in here for the whole house.

    Light but steady snow here today, and the forecast calls for more of the same, possibly mixed w/rain showers for the next few days.

    NFL binge day while also working up a New and Improved To-Do List and a bit of cooking here and there. Wife is continuing to be busy in her newly windowed studio; the contractors turned the wood stove in there around to face the whole space and now that the stupid cheap garage door is gone, it’s nice and cozy and warm. We also wanna close off the overhead loft space with a ceiling to make it even better. And we have some landscaping to do in the spring out there. Which reminds me; another project once I get the attic space configured, is to set up a seed starting operation indoors with grow lights up there.

    Happy Thanksgiving to those celebrating it, and remember how my wunnerful Pilgrim ancestors got off the boat and half of them croaked that first winter down in Maffachufetts. All together now: PREPPER FAIL.

  2. Instead of my usual comments about Miles_Teg dating sheep or suggestions of genocide, I thought I’d respect the spirit of the holiday by bringing up another topic: Think about a sheep. Nice and wooly, usually off-white. Nothing special about this guy. And then think about that sheep with MrAtoz’s head on it. And now think about how lucky MrAtoz is that Miles_Teg is on the other side of the planet.

  3. Actually Miles_Teg’s head is on that sheep down in OZ and the OZ gummint is right behind him, and that doesn’t look like a can of grease in their hands…

  4. Dad hopes you are all having a fine Thanksgiving and that you get to do what you want to do.

    This year I am doing the turkey (3-day brine) in the crock pot. I have a 6.5 qt. oval crock pot and a 10 to 12 pound turkey fits real nice. Butter and herb rub all over and under the skin, a can of chicken broth in the bottom along with chopped onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Start on high for 2-hours then on low for 4 to 6-hours (4 is usually enough for 10-pounder). Before putting the turkey in I make a sling of heavy duty aluminum foil to make it easy to get the bird out. The only disadvantage is the skin is not crisp but you can crisp the skin at the end by placing the turkey under the broiler until desired crispness is reached (15-minutes is our magic number). The big advantage of this method is fall-off-the-bone tender turkey with lots of rich juice for gravy. Plus no need to baste

    Yesterday I got a pecan pie from Costco, love to watch the mad pie rush when the doors open. People got out of the way of my scooter 😉 and then I also made pumpkin pies yesterday.

  5. Well, the turkey’s been in the smoke for a couple hours, the picnic ham likewise for 1 1/2hrs. Ribs have been in the smoke on the electric smoker for about an hour. That thing took 1 hr to get up to temp and start smoking. $20 garage sale item, first time I’ve tried to use it.

    The gas smoker takes a bit of finicky messing around to get the temp stable, but it holds the temp really well once dialed in. Using pecan twigs from my trees means feeding it constantly. Would be easier to buy chunks but less ‘prepper’ than collecting my own 🙂

    I guess we’ll see how it all turns out. First time smoking all of these.

    Wife has the spiral slice ham and the fixins going in the kitchen. Both ovens are getting a workout. Last night was for the 2 pies. Thinking about getting the spare microwave down from the attic…..

    Got the bread in the bread machine.

    Got ice and drinks in the cooler.

    5 yo cut all the potatoes, skinned the yams, and smashed the yams. Used my 10in chef knife w/out issue. 7yo is hiding with a tablet. Shows the basic difference in their personalities clearly.

    Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone. Take a moment and be truly thankful that we are living in ‘the good old days’ still.


  6. @dadcooks,

    I’m the only pumpkin or pecan pie eater, so I’ll have a bunch for myself. I tried picking up a pecan pie, but Spec’s no longer carries it… And the costco pie is TOO BIG.

    We made pumpkin and fresh apple.

    Pumpkin from stored food. Apples from the store.


  7. 5 yo cut all the potatoes, skinned the yams, and smashed the yams. Used my 10in chef knife w/out issue. 7yo is hiding with a tablet. Shows the basic difference in their personalities clearly.

    Our 5 yo is clearly off the normal development path. She’s playing with the tablet while watching a recording of the Macy’s Parade. I think if I let her anywhere near the 10 inch Chef’s knife she would freak out. Although I wouldn’t notice her freaking out, because her mother would freak out even more.

  8. Mom was the one that put it in her hand.

    Yesterday she peeled all the apples for the pie, using the mechanical apple peeler thing…she’s very focused when she’s on a task she likes.

    The 7yo only focuses on Lego kit building so far. With cooking, she swoops in at the end, does a couple of quick things, and claims credit. I see a future for her in politics if she can thicken up her very thin skin.

    I know we are not beduin tribesmen, but even in 1900 the 5 and 7 yo would have chores that were essential to the household. Hell, in 1940 my 7yo dad and his older brother would ride the trolley a couple dozen miles and CADDY at a golf course. (and if they couldn’t caddy, they’d steal balls and sell them back to the golfers)

    Both kids were in montessori from infancy, and it has an emphasis on hand work and chores. I think that kids like doing meaningful work, for whatever their attention span is.


  9. Anyone with time on their hands today should check out zerohedge. There’s a ton of shit going on in the world at the moment, and they don’t care that it’s a holiday here.


  10. Here’s an observation. It was a couple of weeks ago that I posted the zerohedge article about Venesualans weighing cash instead of counting it.

    Today, DailyMail has the story.

    I see this again and again with zerohedge, they lead the MSM and even the altM by days, weeks, or sometimes months.


  11. First NFL game over; Detroit Lions in first place NFC North for the first time since 1993. They need to take their kicker out to whatever restaurant he wants and let him order anything he wants and then whatever hotel in whatever part of the world’s resorts. Anything he wants.

    Next game coming up.

    Wife working on studio and listening to Moh-ree-all classical station on my CountyComm portable SSB shortwave.

    I’m about to make tuna salad for tuna melts later, served with Frito’s Original Corn Chips. Our T-Day, haha. Actual T-Day for us will be Saturday. Brined and grilled turkey, etc. We dig having this one to ourselves, no guests, no travel anywhere, and not going anywhere tomorrow, either. Other than deposit wife’s way overdue check if it comes, as promised a week ago for each day so far, via FedEx. I hope whoever is responsible at wife’s employer has a really crappy T-Day.

    And I gotta order heating oil, too.

    Working my To-Do List during commercials and time-outs. Soon, Moxie and pretzels, after a nice breakfast of a leftover-spuds, cheese, and bacon omelet topped off with taco sauce, and English muffins.

    Life in the Good Old Days.

  12. I’d guess that ZeroHedge got the story from Bloomberg’s story about a half day earlier.

  13. And then think about that sheep with MrAtoz’s head on it.

    Hey! If I’m on the head, guess where your face is bucko!

  14. I’ve so fah gotten about three-dozen emails wishing me a Happy Thanksgiving since yesterday with the bigger block letters advertising their Black Friday sale events. Yes, I will have a Happy Thanksgiving, esp. since I won’t be buying any of their chit this Black Friday.

    As my fellow right-wing gun nuts say, skip flippin’ Black Friday’s flippin’ sales and go zero your rifle/s at the range, and work for close groups. I will probably do that Sunday instead, but not going anywhere tomorrow regardless and not buying anything.

    Dallas Cowboys basically taking the Washington REDSKINS to the woodshed today. Getting real tired, though, of the showboating Ezekiel Elliot, Dez Bryant’s antics, and the wunnerful Dak the Quarterback. Hope they run into the Patriots buzz-saw real soon.

  15. Just saw Fantastic Beasts. Liked it. Now off to the buffet for turkey.

    We took our kids last week. My son thought that “Fantastic Beasts” was a pretty good Matt Smith “Doctor Who” movie. 🙂

  16. Well the guests have gone, the leftovers are bagged or in the fridge, and it’s time for a breather.

    Smoked turkey was a big hit. Smoked ‘green’ ham was really good in the sliver I tried tonight. I was so full with dinner, more tasting will have to wait. Ditto for the smoked pork ribs.

    Pies were great, and the sides were excellent.

    Some good conversation with friends, some good food and drink, and a very pleasant day was had.

    The turkey ended up at about 6hrs for a 12# bird. No brine (except the factory brine). no rub, just pecan smoke. Tender, gentle smoke flavor, very moist. Success.

    Tomorrow I’ll clean up the smokers, and hopefully do a craigslist deal for a couple of bucks. NO intention of doing any black friday sales.

    I’m beat. I think an early bed is calling my name.


  17. And the Pittsburgh Steelers took the Indianapolis Colts to the woodshed, also; the latter plagued by injuries and their QB out w/concussion protocol

    Fuck Black Friday; I’ll be cleaning up a bit here and cooking or prepping a few things for our Saturday T-Day dinner; wife off to Moh-ree-all to spend more $ w/Princess for lunch, etc.

    And my closely scribbled To-Do List on one page will be transferred to the pooter in legible font and organized by categories.

    Next up, is registering for the VT Master Gardener online course, having finished the VT Master Composter one and just needing 20 hours of volunteer time to put in, preferably in this AO. And finishing the Part 1 of the NRA pistol course online and moving on to Part 2 at the range, followed by Rifle and Shotgun and Instructor certs for those, plus Range Safety Officer. I’ll be lucky to get them done over the next year, due to scheduling and locations. Also taking bicycle maintenance and repair/mechanics lessons once a week down in Burlap into the winter.

    If we don’t get enough snow down here on the lake shore, we’ll head up to higher elevations and do some x-c skiing and snowshoeing and I’ll bring along a couple of radios and the maps and compass for some land navigation and commo fun. I’ll also be packing either the CZ-P09 or the Glock 40 (10mm) w/spare mags.

    And now the recliner calls my name, as I end the day with some reading from the Biblia Sacra w/Latin-English facing pages.

    Pax vobiscum, fratres.

  18. Almost forgot: this is what I’m using currently on the main desktop, running the latest and greatest Mint:

    I’ll put it on other machines, one by one, plus encrypted hard drive volumes and USB sticks; downloaded the latest Tails yesterday. Looking forward to playing with Qubes.

  19. My brother’s english setter and red bloodhound love turkey. And pie. And spilled cream. And dressing. And biscuits. And … So does my BIL’s german water spaniel. We had large dogs underfoot all day. Except when the bloodhound was running outside to bay at passersby. Have you ever heard a bloodhound in full bay inside the house ?

    My 14 year old nephew has grown another inch since last year. He is now 6’4″ and 250+ lbs.

  20. I don’t get the fear of kids with sharp knives. They’ve got to learn, best they learn young and under supervision. Our kids were certainly helping in the kitchen from an early age – maybe 4 or 5. There were a couple of cut fingers, but that’s how they learn to be careful.

    Otherwise, you get idiocies like this: an 11 year old, using her toddler-safe silverware, causes a major freak-out at a school.

    We don’t celebrate Thanksgiving here, of course, but I wish y’all a happy holiday, and good recovery from eating too much turkey.

  21. There were a couple of cut fingers

    Well there you go. Any risk at all is simply unacceptable. No, much better to keep the precious little babies bundled in their swaddling clothes for their entire lives.

    Not entirely jokingly, I wonder if part of the problem is the reduced reproduction rate in the US. (That is, reduced within the dominant native culture. Lower-income immigrants and the native permanent underclass seem to have no difficulty with half a dozen children per woman.) With only one or two children, the parents treat them as precious, irreplaceable items. If the family had four children, it would be easier to let the kids take risks, even risking maiming or death. There’s at least one spare, so losing one is acceptable.

  22. That’s been true historically, and even into relatively recent times. (Barbara, for example, comes from a very large family. Nine siblings on one parent’s side, and eleven on the other). Back when a high percentage of children died young, families got used to loosing children, and in many families only half or less of children made it to adulthood.

    Of course, back then it was disease, poor nutrition, accidents, and other avoidable causes. Nowadays among the underclass, many women spawn like salmon, and the survival rate of their offspring isn’t much better than salmon hatchlings.

  23. Since they’ll be out in a crowd, I suggested she put a gub in her purse.

    Is this new code word ? Did I miss the memo ?

  24. Yeah, that’s when Woody still made good movies. In that one, the scene where he’s folding shirts in the prison laundry puts me on the floor crying, I’m laughing so hard.

  25. Yeah, I kind of gave up on him after Annie Hall. I saw that one about a dozen times, but not because I liked it (even though I like Diane Keaton). That was back when I was running operations for a commercial/industrial security company. NuCar Carriers had just brought in an entire trainload of new Ford Broncos (each with the keys in it and half a tank of gas) and needed somewhere to stage them until their tractor/trailers could haul them to dealers. So they rented the back half of a drive-in theater and parked a couple of hundred of them there.

    We had all of our armed guards working 80+ hours a week already, so we ended up having to have the executives/managers working shifts. I drew the 1800 – 0200 shift at the drive-in, so I ended up sitting through multiple showings of Annie Hall for three nights. By that time, I was ready to strangle Woody.

  26. “…so I ended up sitting through multiple showings of Annie Hall for three nights. By that time, I was ready to strangle Woody.”

    So basically you’ve already done your time in Hell and now get a free pass. Congrats!

  27. For sure. I couldn’t even sit in my car because I needed to keep all the Broncos in sight. (We routinely dealt with car thieves who could break into a locked car and drive it off faster than someone who had the keys to it.) So I ended up sitting outdoors on a hill that overlooked the lot, in full camo and with a 7X50 binocular and my trusty HK-41 rifle.

  28. “So I ended up sitting outdoors on a hill that overlooked the lot, in full camo and with a 7X50 binocular and my trusty HK-41 rifle.”

    1.) So you’re tanned, fit and rested now for what’s coming up, excellent!

    2.) Gee whiz, we coulda used you during some of our ops in SEA.

    I’ve got two Orion 7×50 binocs that we use for looking at the night sky here, but also during the day out into the bay and “inland sea.” We can see three or four boats out there with our naked eyes and then another twenty or so with the binocs, pretty funny. Also good for spying on local riff-raff when they infest the village, usually to buy beer and ciggies at the Shell station/store; so we can get plate numbers, descriptions, etc., likewise with the small-time dope deals going on in the town park entrance directly in back of wife’s studio. She gets a front-row seat now that the leaves are off the trees and turns her lights off and watches.

  29. 1.) So you’re tanned, fit and rested now for what’s coming up, excellent!

    Not me, kemosabe. I did that kind of shit almost 40 years ago. Now, I’m weak, shy, mild, and unassuming. I’d never hurt anyone.

    2.) Gee whiz, we coulda used you during some of our ops in SEA.

    Only if you wanted to get yourself and the rest of your team killed. My military skills back then were zero. Nowadays, they’re even lower.

    Orion sells excellent binoculars. Even their least expensive store-brand ones are surprisingly good. We have two of those. I’ve compared them to first-rate German/Japanese units and they hold up surprisingly well. The middle-grade and up Orion binocs are Japanese-made and are truly excellent for the money.

  30. “Now, I’m weak, shy, mild, and unassuming. I’d never hurt anyone.”

    Ditto here, plus I’m crippled, disabled, debilitated, decrepit, and basically a demented douche-nozzle these days. I wouldn’t hurt a fly. Just a big ol’ friendly teddy bear, no danger to anyone.

    Your mil-spec skillz back then probably surpassed all too many of our various teams and esp team “leaders” and newly minted officers from OCS. You want mil-spec expertise, look to E5 and up in the various branches w/requisite specialty training and combat experience in one or more of our series of overseas clusterfucks. Also veteran officer platoon and company leaders to the rank of, say, major and lieutenant-colonel.

    I like Orion binocs a lot and have a tripod to use w/them for absolute steadiness, as my frail old hands tremble and jerk a bit. (makes things extra-spicy in any CQB encounters with handguns, lol). What do you know about their entry-level telescopes, and whether Dobsonian or otherwise would be indicated? I’d like to get local kids and old farts interested in the night sky and further out.

  31. Your mil-spec skillz back then probably surpassed all too many of our various teams and esp team “leaders” and newly minted officers from OCS.

    If so, their skills were truly pathetic. At my best, I could move through the woods without frightening game, kind of, although I usually did stand hunting for larger game. With an appropriate rifle and scope, I could reliably hit woodchucks out to maybe 300 yards, man-size targets reliably out to 500+, and with my .45ACP Colt Combat Commander I could hit a man-size silhouette target reliably out to maybe 150 yards, and probably half the time at 200. But that’s the best I could ever do, and that on a very good day. I hung around with guys who made me look really pathetic.

    As to the telescope, Orion generally sells pretty good stuff, althought it’s all Pacific Rim. We have a Guan-Sheng (Taiwanese) 10″ Orion Dob, although we haven’t been out observing in years because of my vertigo, which is much worse in the dark.

  32. Oh, yeah. A Dob gives you by far the best bang for the buck. A manual scope also forces you to learn the night sky and learn how to find objects by star-hopping, which is half the fun. Some people love computerized scopes because they find stuff for you and therefore allow you to view a whole lot of objects per unit time, but for me most of the fun is in the finding objects rather than just looking at them.

  33. Agreed; I noticed that a bunch of the new telescopes come with that computerized crap and I want NO part of it; I wanna find stuff on my own, now doing it with the binocs. I realize most of the scopes come from the Pacific Rim and some of them make excellent stuff, but so do the Germans, still. It’s so nice that we became allies and good buddies so soon after the Good War, isn’t it? And now we’re best buds with the Vietnamese, and soon the Cubans. Isn’t it wunnerful? Now…what to say to all those soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who were told that all those people were devils or subhuman animals to be destroyed…even at the cost of their own lives or their buddies’ lives….hmmmmm…..tough one. Tough sell to a dead soldier. Or many of us live ex-soldiers.

    “If so, their skills were truly pathetic.”

    I was a sergeant at 19 and considered an old man and they were sending us ripe young kids who’d gotten processed fast through training to cover the end of the Indochina wars and other hot spots flaring up at the time. I went over for multiple deployments to support troops LEAVING that fucking place and was very nearly among the very last troops to actually GTFO. An ex-Marine buddy of my brother and I was on that roof in Saigon for the last chopper lift-offs of embassy and intel personnel. We also got REMF officers and NCOs who’d been working stuff like supply and logistics and finance and pressed into semi-combat roles in hostile fire zones, not a pretty sight at all. They rolled in full of piss and vinegar and ended up doing what the fuck I told them to do.

    “With an appropriate rifle and scope, I could reliably hit woodchucks out to maybe 300 yards, man-size targets reliably out to 500+, and with my .45ACP Colt Combat Commander I could hit a man-size silhouette target reliably out to maybe 150 yards, and probably half the time at 200.”

    There is no earthly reason why you can’t get back out there and reach those levels, at LEAST, again. The 500-yard man-size target is standard for Marine Corps rifle training and those are good numbers for your handgun, but knowing, of course, that the handguns are most likely gonna get used at far closer ranges, which ought to be the gist of any training these days, like seven yards at most, and down to body contact level.

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