Wednesday, 30 November 2016

10:26 – I’m closing the month. Barring any orders that come in today, we’ve done about 80% of the revenue that we did last November. I’m not too concerned. Sales by month year-on-year bounce up and down. One month, we may do 60% of the prior year’s revenue. The next month, we may do 150%. Unless we have a monster December, we’ll finish 2017 behind 2016 revenues, but not hugely so.

It’s been warm and wet. It was 57F (~14C) when I took Colin out this morning, and that’ll probably be our high for the day. There’s a cold front moving in and we’ll be returning to seasonal temperatures, with cool days and nighttime lows near or below freezing. Fortunately, we’re getting our rain out of the way while it was still warm. From Monday night through this morning we had about 2.6 inches (6.6 cm) of rain, with maybe another inch forecast for this afternoon and evening before things clear up. This rain was badly needed, not just because the whole area was getting very dry, but to help put out the wildfires that have been ravaging several states in the Appalachians. The closest they’ve gotten to us is 30 miles or so, so the only effects we’ve seen have been smoke and haze. Our house sits in the middle of large cleared fields with not many trees nearby, so we should be safe from wildfires generally.

But it’s still a relief for the whole area to get three inches (7.6 cm) or so of rainfall. That’s most of a month’s worth of rain in a couple of days, and will go a long way toward extinguishing the wildfires to our south and west. Unfortunately, the rains came a bit too late to save many mountain communities, including Gatlinburg, TN, which is just over the NC border. Our thoughts are with the Gatlinburg residents, who had to evacuate on zero notice. Three dead and hundreds of homes destroyed. It must have been a shock for Gatlinburg residents. One moment, everything was normal. The next moment, cops were knocking on their doors, telling them to evacuate immediately. Obviously, people who had a grab-and-go bag packed and ready to go were the fortunate ones. Many people lost everything.

We did make peanut butter fudge yesterday, and it turned out pretty well. Barbara isn’t a big fan of fudge, but she tried it and said it was good. The recipe reminded me of Calvin & Hobbes’ chocolate-coated sugar bombs: combine a stick of butter and half a cup of milk or half-and-half in a medium size saucepan. Bring to a rolling boil and add 2.25 cups (16-7/8 ounces or 480 grams) of brown sugar. Stir and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil for two minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in 3/4 cup (7-1/8 ounces or 203 grams) of peanut butter and one teaspoon of vanilla extract and blend thoroughly. Pour over 3-1/2 cups (14 ounces or 397 grams) of powdered sugar in a large mixing bowl. Beat until smooth, and pour into an 8×8″ baking dish. Chill until firm and cut into squares.

I got email yesterday from a guy who’s facing a problem that many preppers encounter and asked for advice. Most preppers’ spouses think they’re at least slightly nuts, but sometimes it goes further than that. Some spouses are so affected by normalcy bias that they are actively hostile toward taking any prepping steps. I’ve been lucky in that Barbara is pretty much on-board with prepping, and gets more so each time she reads a news headline. Things are not normal in this country. Far from it. And they seem to get worse every week.

So what’s a guy like him to do? His wife doesn’t just look at him funny or make snide remarks. She literally pitches a fit, screaming and yelling at him if he buys any long-term food or takes any other steps to prepare for bad times. She’s convinced that there’s nothing to worry about, that all of these terrorist attacks, targeted assassinations of cops, etc. etc. are just aberrations and that things are completely normal with no serious threats on the horizon.

At first, he was buying cases of canned goods and so on at Costco and stacking them on the garage shelves. He had several cases accumulated, and one day arrived home from work to find they’d all disappeared. His wife had loaded them into her vehicle and drove them down to the homeless shelter, where she donated them. She told him in no uncertain terms that she wouldn’t have him hoarding food in her house. So he replaced them and hauled them over to a friend’s house who offered to store them in his basement. Now he’s afraid that his wife is going to start checking their credit card statements and freak out if she sees big Costco charges.

He asked if I had any advice, and about the only thing I could suggest is that he tell his wife that he’s going to continue stocking up whether she likes it or not. I think he’s afraid that she’ll divorce him, literally. I told him that many of my readers/commenters were in similar situations, if not quite as extreme and that I’d ask all of you for your advice to him.

I’m thankful every day that Barbara is reasonable about prepping. She thinks I go overboard, particularly in terms of the quantities of food we’re putting up for LTS, but she goes along with it anyway. As I’ve told her, I don’t really expect anything catastrophic to happen but there is a small but significant chance of a real disaster, maybe 3% per year, and that adds up to a scarily high chance of something really bad happening over the next five or ten years.

I don’t know what I’d do if I were in this guy’s shoes.


This entry was posted in cooking with LTS food, personal, prepping, recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

69 Responses to Wednesday, 30 November 2016

  1. Dennis says:

    I’d say they have other issues that are triggering this behavior. I’m on my second marriage myself and after some marriage counseling/experiences know that talking about who/what/when/why is needed to keep the relationship healthy. On the flip side, she sounds crazy and if he is really concerned about upcoming events, I would recommend working with cash only and keep the stuff in his buddy’s basement.

    My wife understands why I am trying to be better prepared for emergencies and supports it – to a point. She’s concerned for the financial impact on our daily lives and future plans (retirement, kids, etc.). We talk often and both make compromises.

    Tough situation…

    Just my two cents!

    Dennis

  2. Dave says:

    I just ordered a toy digital microscope for my daughter for Christmas. Do you have any recommendations for a slide set? I thought you might sell one, but didn’t see anything over at the science kit site. I’m looking for things to encourage her natural curiosity, not a rigorous science curriculum. I’ll be looking to do that in a few years.

  3. SteveF says:

    Unless we have a monster December, we’ll finish 2017 behind 2016 revenues

    It’s that Obamarecovery, still going strong!

    I have thoughts on the new correspondent’s problems with prepping and spouses, but I’ll save them for a bit. For one thing, my darling, beloved wife took time out of her busy morning to scream at me while I was working, for no apparent reason other than she was stressed because she was running late because she overslept because she stayed up late drawing. Regardless, I’m more pissed off than usual and unlikely to be able to give balanced advice. Later.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Barbara isn’t concerned at all about the cost part. Over the last couple of years, I’ve spent a few thousand bucks on LTS food, but as I’ve told her, this is stuff that keeps essentially forever and that we eat anyway. Since she retired and we moved up here, we’re doing a lot more cooking and baking rather than just preparing frozen convenience foods, so she sees us actually pulling stuff out of storage and using it. Same deal on spending a couple grand on having propane and a gas cooktop installed. She’s actually looking forward to cooking with gas again, and for her I’m sure the prepping aspect is just an added bonus. So every day I count my blessings. In the last couple of years, Barbara has gone from being anti-prepping, although not emphatically so, to being pro-prepping. After she read my page this morning, her only comment was that she did think we had enough food and should start just periodically replacing what we’d used. If it was completely up to me, I’d probably add 10 to 20 person-years of food to what we have now, but I can live with just what we have.

    Oddly, her major concern is space and clutter. She just commented that I still have that 100W solar starter kit sitting in large boxes in the garage, and asked if I planned to just leave them where they were for the next three years. I told her that was in fact my plan, which is probably the wrong thing to say.

  5. nick flandrey says:

    My wife is on board much more now than in the beginning. As a child of east coast Boston area liberals, she had some serious early conditioning to overcome. She still draws the line at “doomsday” prepping, but she sees the practicality of “normal” levels of prepping every day. (I am pretty sure she’d NOT be ok with 200# of flour, rice, and other bulk. Fortunately, it’s just some white buckets stacked in the back of the garage (and in my secondary location.) [‘normal’ is get thru this natural disaster, ‘doomsday’ is stocking bulk or blacksmith tools against a massive worldwide collapse]

    Living in hurricane country makes it easier to break down the barriers. Hurricanes DO happen. Scrambling around when one is headed your way sucks. Actually experiencing that helps tremendously when you are presented with an alternative.

    Seeing first hand the benefit of being prepared will win over anyone who CAN be won over.

    For some practical advice– prep small, and for some specific and reasonable event. Identify your local hazards and prep specifically for them. Only a psychotic would deny that hurricanes happen in a hurricane zone, or earthquakes, or winter storms, etc. Pick something that HAS happened and CAN happen.

    Use that as an entry point. Point out that the government recommends xyz for 72 hours. ready.gov is the central hub for gov’t recommendations.

    Extend your 72 hours to longer.

    Many prepping items are normally used for something else. Camping gear especially has prep uses. Buying and storing camping gear isn’t prepping, it’s building memories with the kids, spending quality family time together, etc.

    Ham radio is a hobby as well as a prep.

    So are traditional crafts.

    Joining a CERT team, getting red cross certified, or other disaster volunteer work will let you stockpile things related to those activities.

    Build the depth of your normal pantry. Don’t stack cases, but put more of your normal food on the shelf. Being able to quickly pull an item out of stock and avoid a sudden trip to the grocery store can help convert a spouse. “Wow, glad we could just keep cooking and not have to run out….”

    Take over the cooking and shopping duties. If you are doing the menu, and cooking and shopping, it’s much easier to mix in preps and stock what you want.

    Some more personal observations….

    Find someone other than your spouse to talk to. In other words, don’t keep pestering them with it. You’re excited about prepping, she hears you rambling and thinks it’s the raving of a lunatic. Stop feeding that belief. I know, once your eyes are open, you can’t unsee the world around you. She’s not just unseeing, she’s got her eyes covered, fingers in ears, and is shouting “nyah nyah I can’t hear you.”

    Not to get all psychoanalytical but actually destroying/disposing of preps you spent money on is not a sign of good mental health. The ‘hoarding’ comments might point to something else, that is deeper. Remember that SOMETHING is causing the belief and behavior, and it makes perfect sense to her. Since that’s a massive overreaction, whatever it is is an emotional landmine. Tread carefully. [actually taking action, and in a controlling way, with negative financial effect, is a HUGE red flag, relationship wise. It is NOT rational.]

    Not every relationship was meant to last. People change. Others don’t. Are there other areas of conflict?

    This is a common issue. Continuing in secret is a choice but may destroy the very relationship you are hoping to preserve thru prepping. I think there are ways to bring the reluctant partner around to at least grudging acceptance, but the mostly involve time, and proven utility. You can go a long time without a disaster…..

    nick

  6. Harold says:

    Wow … I never thought that simple prepping might endanger a marriage. I have been VERY lucky in choice of a wife. My girl (15 when I met her) was an Army brat, growing up in interesting places from Japan to Turkey, and Germany where she met Elvis who was in her fathers unit. Some summers she stayed with her Grandmother in a log cabin outside Atoka Oklahoma where she learned pioneer traditions, carrying water from the creek, canning, smoking, and using a “spring house”. So when our youngest son moved out to college in the 90’s she was happy to help me find a job in the UK that turned into a transfer to China after a few years ( she had learned Mandarin in college ) then a few years in New Zealand. Where ever we went she would use her English degree to teach ESL and get involved in the community. I’ve met other ex-pats who’s wife’s HATED living not just outside the US but outside driving distance from their mothers. We were “survivalists” back in the 70’s when the threat of WWIII was the big issue and we collected the Foxfire series and read Mother Earth. Now we are back in the US she is always pushing me to do more and coming up with (mostly) good ideas. When I spent almost $500 for a generator her main concern was that she learn how to operate it too.
    I have no idea what kind of advice to give to your corespondent. Perhaps he needs to simply decide what is most important in his life and devote his energies there?

  7. Dave says:

    He asked if I had any advice, and about the only thing I could suggest is that he tell his wife that he’s going to continue stocking up whether she likes it or not. I think he’s afraid that she’ll divorce him, literally. I told him that many of my readers/commenters were in similar situations, if not quite as extreme and that I’d ask all of you for your advice to him.

    I’m married, and I’m sure my wife thinks I’m a little nuts for the small steps I’m making to prepare. I think if the situation between your reader and his wife is that far apart, he needs to deal with the state of his marriage before prepping. I think the first thing he needs to figure out why his wife is so averse to hoarding. Is she an immigrant from a country where hoarders were ostracized or worse?

  8. Miles_Teg says:

    I’m very tempted to comment, but, never having been married I’m not sure what I have to say would go over well, especially with your correspondent’s wife.

  9. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I don’t know any details about him, even what part of the US he lives in. Actually, I don’t even know for sure that he lives in the US.

    I agree that it sounds like his marriage is in bad trouble, even without bringing prepping into it. If I’d come home and found that Barbara had disposed of stuff like that, I don’t know what I’d do. Of course, that’s not an issue, since she’d never even consider doing that, any more than I’d consider discarding a bunch of her stuff.

    I don’t know if there are kids involved and, if so, what age(s), but from what little he said I’m not sure why he’s still with her. She sounds like a lunatic, but of course we’re hearing only one side of the story.

  10. SteveF says:

    If I’d come home and found that Barbara had disposed of stuff like that, I don’t know what I’d do.

    I have. I’d have moved out … if not for the youngest kid.

    Not every relationship was meant to last.

    Eight years, nine months to go. Not that I’m counting or anything.

  11. nick flandrey says:

    One of the saddest relationships that I personally watched was a co-worker. He sacrificed like crazy to stay with his wife, for the sake of the step kid. He was a California “super commuter” driving into Hollywood from way out in the sticks. He’d get up around 2am, drive in, then sleep in his car until work started to beat the traffic.

    One day he found her in bed with someone else. Within a week he’d rented a house across the street from our shop, and cut his commute to a minute on foot. He gave her years of his life…

    n

  12. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    I’m old-fashioned enough to believe that any man’s primary responsibility is to protect his family first, and other women and children second. I remember one woman telling me that I had a bad case of “testosterone poisoning”. I told her she had an even worse case of stupid.

  13. Dave Hardy says:

    I can’t improve over what Mr. Dennis said initially, and then Mr. Nick. I’m on my second marriage and she evidently thinks I’m partly nuts concerning what I see coming, mainly, but up here we DO have to be ready for harsh winter weather with accompanying power outages, and increasingly, the potential for local gremlin and goblin activity striking too close to home for comfort. She may have some kind of reaction, though, once she sees the extent to which I’ve already gone with food and water storage in the cellar and I have it all organized on shelving this winter. I’ll get back to youse when that happens.

    My feeling is that if she has sort of “delegated” the defense of this house and ourselves to me, then I’m also responsible for disaster and security precautions and preparations. And she’s willing to get up to speed on the guns, but it’s been tough to schedule it with her work traveling and then several days of decompressing after each gig. I may have some additional leverage now that she’s finally got the new windows put in for her studio and is real happy and excited about it. I feel like that gives me more lobbying power for the generator, and to do something seriously about our front and back door situations.

    I hope your recent correspondent can work something out, but am concerned, like others have mentioned here already, that there are other issues going on that need to be dealt with even before getting into the prepping stuff. And at least two or three of us who post here regularly have had spouses dump our stuff while our backs were turned. How did WE deal with that and what was the upshot?

    Partly sunny here today; trying to get a few outside things done, you know, make hay while the sun shines. And being careful while doing so; don’t want to exacerbate any more back pain issues.

  14. lynn says:

    So what’s a guy like him to do? His wife doesn’t just look at him funny or make snide remarks. She literally pitches a fit, screaming and yelling at him if he buys any long-term food or takes any other steps to prepare for bad times. She’s convinced that there’s nothing to worry about, that all of these terrorist attacks, targeted assassinations of cops, etc. etc. are just aberrations and that things are completely normal with no serious threats on the horizon.

    At first, he was buying cases of canned goods and so on at Costco and stacking them on the garage shelves. He had several cases accumulated, and one day arrived home from work to find they’d all disappeared. His wife had loaded them into her vehicle and drove them down to the homeless shelter, where she donated them.

    He and his wife need some very serious counseling. And he needs to rent a storage locker somewhere near his house, within a mile would be good. That is what the guy in the 299 Days series did.
    https://www.amazon.com/299-Days-Preparation-Glen-Tate/dp/0615680682/

  15. nick flandrey says:

    A couple of interesting posts over on JW,R website this week.

    Interesting in a “hmmm, WTF was he thinking kind of way.”

    The first is the siren song of the aware but still non-prepper:

    https://survivalblog.com/a-non-survivalist-survivalist-by-l-f/

    It comes down to “I’m a smart guy. I don’t need to prep, I’ll just learn as I go.”

    DON’T BE THAT GUY. He’s bragging that he has no hard skills or material to bring to a survival situation. But he’s a “quick learner” “a negotiator” and “can problem solve.”

    The money quote is “Now don’t get me wrong; a number of these individuals (probably me included) will die within the first few months because of their lack of preparedness. However, the people who have these traits and have survived for over a year in a hostile environment probably have proven their worth more than once. Plus, after a year of surviving on their own, they probably have acquired one or two useful skills on top of their intangible traits. These are people who have learned to survive and have used their intangible skills to maintain some sort of life after the SHTF.”

    So he acknowledges that he doesn’t have what it takes to survive, but someone might- despite being unprepared, and if the school of hard knocks doesn’t kill them, they might be valuable to you. jebus.

    DON’T BE THAT GUY. Work on your skills now, while the world is still tooling along, and youtube is up with literally thousands of hands on videos, and the world is full of books, and screwing up won’t leave your kids staving to death. Work on your piles, because it’s cheap now, and priceless later. jeez.

    And the second post, which is something, but I can’t bring the snark:

    https://survivalblog.com/do-it-yourself-ceramic-water-filter-by-the-architect/

    These articles appeal to a certain kind of prepper. There is a sort of “look, I don’t have to buy a reliable filter, I’ll just print this out and add it to my binder” prepper. DON’T BE THAT GUY. Get a quality, reliable filter NOW. Get two, they’re cheap. Really, they are infinitely cheaper than watching your daughter die from dehydration after contracting a waterborne illness. He makes a tangential point that water filters are cheaper in the long run than the fuel and time cost of boiling, and I think he gets that right. But to base your design on a piece of ‘unobtainium’? “I was lucky enough to find an entire case of old, delaminated filters on Ebay for $5 each…” Freaking non-sense. There is no need, not even poverty, to reinvent the tube that holds a filter in place. There is no need to take risks with such an important piece of gear. You’re buying the filters anyway, buy the tube that was engineered to hold them.

    Don’t put it off. Don’t think you can learn as you go. Learn NOW. Practice with and USE your preps. I guarantee that you will discover something critical that you forgot or didn’t even know that you didn’t know.

    nick

    added– I HATE articles like these. They are actively self sabotaging. “I’m an idiot that will likely die for my choices, but I think you could make them and live” is just stupid. And “I got lucky and found a way to save a few bux but you likely won’t but that’s ok ‘cuz you’ll feel better knowing it COULD be done, if everything is exactly right” is just as bad. If you want low cost water treatment for everyday use, MUCH better to look at the systems (commercial or improvised) that use the UV light of the SUN to purify the water. Just putting strained water in a clear bottle, and leaving it in the sun long enough will make MOST water drinkable. Learning about THAT is a soft skill that would be worth having!

  16. Dave Hardy says:

    All of that also brings up the question of how exactly does “that guy” expect to be fed and support himself while he’s ramping up to learn all the new chit he has to learn? Who’s gonna feed him, tend to any of his medical emergencies, and protect his arrogant ass when gremlins come to call?

  17. nick flandrey says:

    @RBT’s new correspondent,

    leaving aside the issues of your spouse’s mental state, and assuming you want to prep, and stay together, FOCUS ON SKILLS AND KNOWLEDGE.

    If you can’t stack preps, start learning. Medical care is always in short supply even grid up. Clean drinking water is worth anything, and knowing how to get it is priceless. Improvised shelters, field cooking, disaster sanitation, communication, self defense, growing food, processing game, even caring for and educating kids are all worth studying.

    oh, and welcome to the real world, it may not be as comfortable to know what you know, but it is comforting to feel like you can prepare for it.

    nick

  18. Charlie says:

    Bob, a few months back you mentioned that purifying insulin was fairly simple. Do you have a link to a description of the process?

  19. MrAtoz says:

    I opted for 30 days of dehydrated food since MrsAtoz isn’t a prepper, but not really against it. Enough water to rehydrate etc. I’ll slowly work on LTS, but need to be mobile to eventually move into our condo (we may buy another house in San Antonio). We got a free 8×8 storage area with the condo I can put enough food and water in to last a long time. It’s right outside the condo in the covered garage. I use a small cart to move stored items in and out (you can access storage from inside the building, too).

  20. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Do you have any recommendations for a slide set?”

    Your best bet is amazon. AmScope and others offer many different slide sets from $10 and up. Some are intended specifically for young children. Some use plastic rather than glass.

  21. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “Bob, a few months back you mentioned that purifying insulin was fairly simple. Do you have a link to a description of the process?”

    It’s pretty straightforward, at least the basics. Solubility of proteins varies with pH. (You have to be careful to avoid extremes in pH, because they will denature the protein, rending it useless.) The basic procedure is pretty simple. Off the top of my head:

    1. Obtain animal pancreata. Sheep were commonly used, mainly because they were readily-available, but pig or cow will also work. The insulin from different mammals has slight differences in amino-acid sequences, but all from large livestock are close enough to human to work.

    2. Wash the organs with clean water, put them in a blender (or other device to macerate them; even chopping finely with a sharp knife will work), and immerse the chopped pancreata in a dilute acid solution. I’d use dilute reagent grade hydrochloric, but almost any acid will work including acetic (vinegar).

    3. Allow them to soak in the acid for an hour or two, with frequent agitation.

    4. Filter the solution through a rough filter (cheesecloth, old t-shirt, etc.) to remove the bulk of the suspended solids. Then filter a second time through a fine filter (regular filter paper, paper towel, etc.) to remove as much of the remaining fine solids as possible.

    5. Neutralize the acid with a weak base. Baking soda is ideal. Once the foaming ceases, continue adding and stirring in baking soda to increase the alkalinity (pH) until you start to see a fine precipitate, which is the insulin. (Make sure you don’t add so much baking soda that what you’re seeing is undissolved baking soda suspended in the liquid.)

    6. Ideally, centrifuge the liquid. Otherwise, just allow it to settle and put it through a fine filter to isolate the solid. Rinse once or twice with a dilute solution of baking soda and finally a small amount of very cold DI water to remove as much contamination as possible.

    I’d also be inclined to resolubilize the raw insulin, do a final filtration through a microfilter to remove any microorganisms present, and then reprecipitate it.

    I’ll see if I can dig up a detailed procedure, which I really need to have printed out anyway.

  22. lynn says:

    “Netflix Adds Offline Viewing”
    https://www.thurrott.com/music-videos/85908/netflix-adds-offline-viewing

    A step in the right direction but only for Android and IOS devices. I love my DVR.

  23. nick flandrey says:

    @RBT, last time I asked about slides, you recommended http://www.hometrainingtools.com/zoology-slide-set

    nick

  24. Jenny says:

    @SteveF
    I’d have moved out … if not for the youngest kid.
    My parents (alcoholic disfunctionsl smokers) stayed together ‘for the children’. After we were all out of the house they stayed together out of masochistic habit.

    They didn’t do us any favors. I at times wonder whether my siblings and I as adults would be ‘better adjusted’ if they’d just accepted the ostracism and divorced.

    We all saw the elephant in the room growing up. Didn’t talk about it.
    My 4 year old sees the elephant in the room as my husband and I work thru our ‘rough patches’.

    I’ve never been divorced, hope I never have to go down that road. Nonetheless I have no illusion that ‘for the children’ is any sort of kindness.

  25. rick says:

    Bob, a few months back you mentioned that purifying insulin was fairly simple. Do you have a link to a description of the process?

    My wife had her thyroid removed, so she need thyroid hormone replacement pills. We keep an extra sixty day supply of levothyroxine sodium which will, along with our food, water and other supplies get us through for a while.

    Do you know where I could get information about making the equivalent of levothyroxine sodium?

    I have not had a problem persuading my wife to prep as we are in earthquake country.

    Rick in Portland

  26. Miles_Teg says:

    “http://americanhistory.si.edu/blog/2013/11/two-tons-of-pig-parts-making-insulin-in-the-1920s.html”

    Fatal error: Call to undefined function mailchimp_get_list() in /data/americanhistory.nmah/htdocs2/sites/all/modules/mailchimp/modules/mailchimp_lists/mailchimp_lists.module on line 474

    Mum’s mum got Type I Diabetes in 1936, when my mum was 13. Not sure when insulin was commonly available in Australia, but I think it came just in time for gran.

  27. Dave Hardy says:

    Families really go through some very tough stuff; I’ve seen it or know about it from my own and wife’s, but also through the eyes of a former police officer responding to various domestic crises over the years, a long time ago. My own parents and teachers were borderline abusive (they would all be in jail today) but nothing on the scale of what Mr. Ray went through. And to this day, I still have to be careful of how angry I get as it scares people, including my wife. Anger and violence, as a means of resolving issues is not recommended but we’re only human and we can see it occurring among our simian relatives, too.

    I’ve noticed in my own case that the older I get, the less I get genuinely angry and taking things out on other people, but it’s still a problem and I have to be aware of it. It’s no small thing when a person my size armed to the teeth is pissed off, so I gotta dial it WAY back most of the time.

    I believe my parents mainly stuck together because neither one really had any other place to go and certainly didn’t want to go back living with their own parents. And they had us five kids, and there were certainly plenty of bright moments and good things that happened during our lives with them.

    Now the shoe is on the other foot, although wife and I are still kind of the sandwich generation, with her 88-year-old mom and my 85-year-old mom with a form of Alzheimer’s. Plus our son and DIL and three grandkids. And our daughter on the Seven-Year-BA-Plan. See, I can’t even mention her without taking a shot. Leftover stuff from her teenage years and some of it ongoing.

    Well, I think most of us try to do the best we can, in the face of a whole shit-ton of negativity and real uneasiness about our futures. Things could be a LOT worse, however, and maybe they will be, but one day at a time, and one step at a time.

    Wow, dusk already here, and another day devoured by locusts.

  28. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Huh. That page worked and works fine for me. The other page goes into much more detail. The si.edu page is an overview.

  29. nick flandrey says:

    And we see some more of this:

    “Last year, Keith Van Haren, a child neurologist at Stanford University School of Medicine, told The Atlantic that doctors don’t know how to treat or prevent the illness.

    ‘It actually looks just like polio, but that term really freaks out the public-health people,’ he said.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-3984552/9th-Washington-state-polio-like-case-confirmed.html

    “Polio-like” symptoms. Had some outbreak of this last year, and it seems it’s back/ongoing. Last year it was linked to entero virus that was common in central and south america. Guess what we brought into contact with our children in large numbers? Central and South American “refugee” unaccompanied minors.

    Wonder how the lickspittle press will spin that news to avoid “backlash” if the link is proven?

    nick

  30. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Re: levothyroxine

    Not off the top of my head, but it can be isolated from livestock thyroids. The first total synthesis was in 1927, so it’s probably not too difficult. You would need a wizard of the organic chemistry clan and reasonable lab facilities.

  31. Dave Hardy says:

    Speaking of “lickspittle press….”

    http://www.captainsjournal.com/2016/11/29/pizzagate-vii/

    It’s kind of convoluted and way more stuff than I care to sift through and spend time with, but at least it explains what all this “pizzagate” stuff is about. I hadn’t know anything about it in particular, but I did previously know about accounts concerning at least one former President and his friendship and companionship with a known pedophile and their activities on the latter’s private jet. Big names with big money engaging in abusive sex with children and their enslavement, and now a hint of something called “spirit cooking”about which I’ve also been ignorant. If even a tenth of this stuff is for real, then yeah, some people need to be strung up on meat hooks.

  32. JLP says:

    I acquired a housemate two months ago. She’s fully on-board with my prepping activities and does believe there could be a major disaster or social disruption. I think it is easier for her since our finances are separate and I’m spending my money.

    We disagree on a cause and effect. She thinks because Trump was elected bad things are far more likely to happen. I think the likelihood of things going to pot doesn’t change much with the White House occupant. One new guy (good or bad) is barely a blip in the last 50 years of very bad policy decisions.

  33. lynn says:

    Goodness, my office manager just gave me eight original copies of the same form to sign (relief from double taxation for our customers in Greece). Then she will stamp them with our corporate stamp. Then she will send them to the IRS for their stamp. The IRS will return them to us and we will send them to the tax authorities in Greece. Who will will stamp them and then allow our customers in Greece to pay us via wire transfer.

    Greece is a failed country by my means. We do business in 60+ countries and they are the most difficult to deal with. But it is a five digit income for us.

    Our sales are running two percent ahead of last year. And the December forecast does not knock my socks off.

  34. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    We’ll actually finish November at about 90% of last November’s revenue. We’ve shipped quite a few kits today, and the day isn’t over. (Anything ordered by 23:59:59 today is booked as November revenue.)

  35. DadCooks says:

    A little SA (situational awareness) refresher from the Lucky Gunner:
    http://www.luckygunner.com/lounge/what-is-situational-awareness/

    I am sure that some of you have some additional words of wisdom, but for the newbie this is a place to start.

  36. SteveF says:

    Instead of situational awareness, I prefer to rely on circular saw blades and telekinesis. Keep a dozen blades orbiting around you, each spinning at a few hundred RPM, and no one will be able to get close.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    I just chant the oxygen out of their blood….

    n

  38. SteveF says:

    I used to carry a rabid possum in my pocket. Worked wonders.

  39. paul says:

    “I believe my parents mainly stuck together because neither one really had any other place to go …”

    Right there is the money shot. About 1978 Mom went to Florida for some kind of training school. I don’t know, I was busy doing the college stuff and then learning how to work crutches. She met someone and told Dad she’s done, good bye.

    So here I am, in a hospital bed and the old man is asking me what to do. What to do? With a woman? Stay away when they are mad is all I knew about women. He didn’t care for that answer. So, ok, Dad, go talk to her.

    He did. They got back together. It didn’t fix anything. But here she is, in a nursing home and Tricare is picking up the tab. I asked her once… she said she knew what side of her toast was buttered.

    It makes sense. Doesn’t mean it makes /good/ sense.

    She got a funny look on her face when I told her all four of us kids were cool if she had left the bastard. Yeah, it would have been rough for a while but we would have figured it out.

  40. lynn says:

    Sweet ! I just got my first Unicode spam ! It got through the filters at gmail by using lookalike Unicode characters for ASCII characters. Here is part of it:

    URGENΤ: Cοnfirmατiοn of ΟnΙιne Βαnκιng Detαιls

    Deαr Chαsε Οnlιne(SM) Cusτοmεr

    Αs pαrt οf Οur cοmmitment tο help keep yοur αccοunτ sεcurε, wε hαvε dεtεctεd αn irregulαr αctιvιty οn yοur αccοunt and we are plαcing α hοld οn yοur αccοunτ fοr yοur prοτecτiοn. PΙεasε cΙιck Here and fοllοw τhe ιnsτrucτiοns το unlοck yοur accοunτ.

    We are here to αssist yοu αnytime. Yοur αccοunτ sεcurιτy is οur priοriτy. τhαnΚ yοu fοr chοοsing Chαsε.

    Sincεrεly,
    Chαsε Frαud Depαrtmεnt

    Wow, that is legible. Might even fool some people into clicking on it.

  41. lynn says:

    Yeah, it would have been rough for a while but we would have figured it out.

    That is the problem that I think of. Usually the parent who gets the kid(s), aka Mom, cannot support the kids and herself.

    Plus teenage boys really need a Dad to learn from. Of course, that is assuming that the Dad is worth learning from. I can give examples of how not to be a Dad worth learning from using my alcoholic brother if needful.

  42. paul says:

    I’m lucky on the prepping stuff.

    It’s stuff for the RV. Or farm-ish stuff. Having a lot of food in another climate controlled building is actually pretty handy. We call it the U-tote-M.

    What flak I get is for Augason/insane prepper stuff. And perhaps a few too many packs of paper towels and TP. Which is ok. It will all be used.

  43. Dave Hardy says:

    Wifey just called and is going to Hawaii on her own hook, i.e., not as part of her job, a week from this coming Tuesday, thanks to a chit-load of plane miles accrued and a cheap fare, i.e., $450 from Montreal-Chicongo-Hawaii round-trip and first-class. A person from Hawaii whom she trained a while back told her to come and stay with her so free accommodations, too. Wifey is riding high this week with new windows on her studio, plans for doing the inside of it, and now a trip to Hawaii in December.

    Should I be concerned?? lol. Not really. I told her to go for it. I can certainly manage chit here at the house, ALONE AGAIN, like shoveling snow, hauling in firewood, feeding the cats and the dog and letting them in and out as their personal doorman and bellhop, etc., etc.

    And there is the possibility I might be called into work at the new job that week anyway, the way things are going so fah. We shall see.

    Situational awareness? Yeah. Be in, at minimum, Condition Yellow during all your waking moments. Watch your six, and also, look UP once in a while; nobody does that, but you can see and find out some interesting chit sometimes doing that. When I was still working the cop job I went in and out of Yellow and Orange constantly and on to Red occasionally. Since we’ve moved up here I’ve only been to Orange once or twice, when I was on foot and saw groups of half a dozen rowdy male subjects approaching, but the joke was on me, ’cause they crossed the street before getting to me. My view is that you may get me eventually but which two or three of you wanna be first? Even at my advanced state of mental and physical decrepitude and dilapidation.

  44. MrAtoz says:

    Wifey just called and is going to Hawaii on her own hook

    MrsAtoz just left for Grenada, but is getting paid. I was scheduled to go after moving my Mom into assisted living on Tuesday. Mom’s been in rehab for for 20 days for her legs. Tuesday early I get a call from the rehab facility they are sending her to the ER for low blood O2 and sugar. Diagnosed in the ER with UTI. Back in rehab for at least through the weekend. Can’t make Grenada now. At least MrsAtoz has a collegue travelling with her. A great Puerto Ricano lady we have known for years. Third time I’ve missed Grenada.

  45. nick flandrey says:

    80m shortwave sounds good tonight.

    Tennessee coming in like local AM radio….nice and loud, clear, full, no noise. Good conditions.

    n

    Romania booming in, greece too. BBC out of the UK readable but down in the noise, 1st time for them….

    Madagascar on 25m. very readable and mostly noise free

    New Zealand down in the noise but copy-able on 15.720mhz

    Pretty good night.

  46. Greg Norton says:

    The teacher training class that meets across from our lab had this running tonight.

    I wish they would close the d*mned door. I’m not allowed to close ours in case students drop by for help with their projects.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wtroop739uU

  47. Dave Hardy says:

    “Third time I’ve missed Grenada.”

    Were you by any chance detailed to go when we had that unpleasantness down there a good while back??

    “I wish they would close the d*mned door.”

    No chit, hombre; I’d keep earplugs or ear buds or whatever on standby in case that sorta chit happens again, what a drag.

    “….or you can stay on the sidelines silently supporting the systems that perpetuate the inequality, violence, and poverty that plague our world.” (from the Toob caption)

    Yes, asshole, I’ll stay on the WHITEY Catholic Christian cis-hetero married male sidelines and watch as you bitch and whine from YOUR privileged position in society, and making up shit as you go along about our history and who made life so wonderful for you and yours, you ungrateful poseur son of a bitch. It’s previous SJWs and progs like you who have consistently and with malice aforethought made life miserable by orders of magnitude greater than any other despots and tyrants in human history, and caused the death-by-state of hundreds of millions, most of them in the last century. Kiss my ass, you piece of rancid pig shit.

  48. Miles_Teg says:

    Steve F’s wife:

    “Honey, is that a rabid possum in your pocket, or are you just glad to see me?”

  49. Miles_Teg says:

    My father’s parents lived next door, and didn’t really get on, so I’m told. My grandfather moved to Melbourne by himself for several years, then came back. I never asked mum what was behind it. He died running for a tram. They only had one child, my father.

  50. Spook says:

    “”I’d also be inclined to resolubilize the raw insulin, do a final filtration through a microfilter to remove any microorganisms present, and then reprecipitate it.””

    So you coulda saved that guy (the one who saved lots of books for the future of our species) in “Lucifer’s Hammer” ?
    How can you sleep at night?

  51. Dave Hardy says:

    Diversity is our vibrancy, our vivacity, our vibrations, our vavava-vooooooom!

    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/america-this-is-your-future/

    What could possibly go wrong???

  52. Spook says:

    “” feeding the cats and the dog and letting them in and out as their personal doorman and bellhop, etc., etc.””

    I question the usefulness of “pets” even considering the emotional stuff.
    Dogs just bark at anything, cat piss attracts rodents… Why bother?

  53. Dave Hardy says:

    And they’re giving out awards to snowflakes now, truly awesome…

    https://masondixontactical.wordpress.com/2016/11/27/the-special-snowflake-second-class-award-goes-to/

  54. Dave Hardy says:

    “Dogs just bark at anything, cat piss attracts rodents… Why bother?”

    Our dawg barks at anything, alright; anything that threatens to upset his meal ticket or his “pack” here, I’m not sure in what order. He’s alerted on dirtbags walking by out in the street and alerts if anyone he doesn’t know comes to either door, so here I am sticking up for his otherwise worthless hairy ass.

    Our cats pee and crap outdoors and they also kill and eat rodents every few days or so, which suits us just fine. Ever find mouse droppings in your silverware drawer? Or have the buggers chew through wiring?

  55. MrAtoz says:

    Were you by any chance detailed to go when we had that unpleasantness down there a good while back??

    A First Looey in the Big Red One. We were too heavy. The second two trips were/are paid civvie gigs by MrsAtoz.

  56. MrAtoz says:

    Trent, the Special Fukstik Snowflake, is probably trying to get laid. The list of “friends” he mentions probably consists of one person, a closeted Mooslim lesbian overweight douchenozzle. I’m sure his assault shotgun tough talk will get him grabbed by the pussy. Way to stay low key numbnuts.

  57. Spook says:

    “”Ever find mouse droppings in your silverware drawer? Or have the buggers chew through wiring?””

    http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/index.php?date=2013/03/22

    Billy Collins poem about a mouse druid…

  58. Spook says:

    “”Ever find mouse droppings in your silverware drawer? Or have the buggers chew through wiring?””

    Yep. Mostly only when felines in the ‘hood run rodents into my house.

  59. MrAtoz says:

    lol! Jackwagons in Cuba to suck Fidel’s dead dick. Maybe looking to fleece Raul. Where’s Sharpless? Probably trying to immigrate to Canada before the IRS says pay up or go to jail.

  60. Spook says:

    Gotta stock up on more rum, cola, and lime…

    Cuba Libre !!

    It’s time for those amazingly resourceful Cubans to have the freedom
    to get on with it.
    Free trade! A ’57 Chevy with Soviet tractor running gear just simply sucks.

  61. Charlie says:

    Thanks, Bob, for that insulin info.

    I had been re-reading “One Second After”, and near the end, after that large battle, they let all the corpses rot, when they could have produced large quantities of human insulin and pig feed.

  62. Dave says:

    On the insulin front, I’ll add that all of the insulin made in the US is synthetic. One diabetic doctor has said that when he started taking synthetic insulin he found that he only needed half as much insulin. He also found that the reduced insulin dosage caused one of his diabetes complications to get better. So if you have to make your own insulin, you’re going to need more and it won’t work as well.

  63. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “So you coulda saved that guy (the one who saved lots of books for the future of our species) in “Lucifer’s Hammer” ?”

    Dan Alderson in real life, who died of complications from diabetes. He was Dan Forrester in LH, and was the character I most identified with, even back in the late 70’s when the book was published. He could have produced insulin and saved himself, but there were so many other things that needed his attention that he died for lack of insulin.

  64. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “I had been re-reading “One Second After”, and near the end, after that large battle, they let all the corpses rot, when they could have produced large quantities of human insulin and pig feed.”

    Yep. Yet another “what were they thinking?” moment. Kind of like the TV series Jericho, where they have a hard winter, are short of firewood, and have people literally freezing to death, but everyone stays in their own homes. Just moving a group of people into one home (one room) would have let them keep it warm with body heat, since an average person dissipates 100W of heat energy. Put a dozen people in one room and you have the equivalent of a 1200W radiant heater. Of course, overcrowding also leads to disease, but even so.

  65. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    “On the insulin front, I’ll add that all of the insulin made in the US is synthetic.”

    Yeah, synthetic biology to the rescue. Scientists have genetically engineered both E. coli bacteria and S. cerevisiae yeast by inserting genes to produce human insulin. I’ve tried to get specimens, but they’re pretty tightly controlled, basically trade secrets. I’d be happy with even an older iteration, but of course those aren’t kept once a better version is made. That’s why I’m following the open source insulin project carefully.

  66. pcb_duffer says:

    That Special Snowflake is correct in at least one regard. The true patriot should be willing to defend himself and his comrades from his own government. It’s his underlying assumptions that are farcical, IMHO.

    And One Second After had other howlers, too. Paying people to bury the dead? No, find an empty garbage dumpster, some kindling, and you have a makeshift crematorium. However crude and foul smelling, still better than letting the dead poison the living.

  67. lynn says:

    feeding the cats and the dog and letting them in and out as their personal doorman and bellhop

    Here you go, “Ideal Pet Products Ruff-Weather Pet Door with Telescoping Frame – White”
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0017JWARY/

    Installation is a pain in our steel door at the back of the house but oh so worth it.

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