Sunday, 11 December 2016

10:45 – Barbara cooked dinner on her new propane cooktop last night. A pound of pasta, a pound of ground beef, a pound can of chili beans, a 6-oz. can of tomato paste, 1.5 cups of water, one tsp. of chili powder, and one Tbsp. of onion flakes. It turned out pretty well, although I’d boost the onion to 2 Tbsp and add a tsp. of garlic powder.

Barbara really likes her new propane cooktop, although she’s having to get used to the burners. There are four: 15,000, 12,000, 9,100, and 5,000 BTUs. Papa Bear, Mama Bear, Tweenie Bear, and Baby Bear.

I’ve been building our collection of cast-iron cookware, which is particularly well suited to use on a gas cooktop with a heavy cast-iron grate. I just ordered a Lodge P14W3 Pro-Logic Cast Iron Wok. We’re doing stir-fry more often. We have a cast-steel wok that works fine, but I want to have a reasonably full set of cast-iron cookware.

If electric power goes down long-term, we’ll have to do all our cooking on the propane cooktop. I’ve never baked bread in a Dutch oven on a cooktop, but there are numerous pages on the web that describe how to do so. The next time we bake bread, I want to try baking at least one loaf in a Dutch oven on the gas cooktop.

Email overnight from Brittany, who’s been following our progress on getting propane installed for cooking. They currently have an electric cooktop and oven, and have decided to switch to a propane cooktop. Brittany ordered the same cooktop we have from Lowe’s, and has contacted their local propane supplier to have a tank installed and connected up to the cooktop. They’re going to move their current electric cooktop down to the food storage area in the basement and use it primarily for canning. I plan to do the same thing with our old electric cooktop.


68 thoughts on “Sunday, 11 December 2016”

  1. Sorry, so sorry. 1,000 whacks across our backs with wet noodles cooked on your new cooktop!

    We love us our cast-iron cookware, and cannot recommend the Lodge line highly enough; it’s reasonably priced, and sure, you may be able to find cast-iron stuff at yahd sales and flea markets and suchlike and bring it back almost good-as-new, but keep yer eyes peeled for Lodge stuff. Which we feel is reasonably priced, anyway. They also have their web site, cookbooks, recipes, etc. I wanna try cooking on top of our woodstove and also set up cinder blocks or bricks in front of it, level with the glowing coals to try stuff that way, too.

    But meanwhile we have our dryer kaput and I have to try to fuss with it in the next couple of days, probably a busted belt. Which means doing laundry in the washer and then toting it to the laundromat dryers. Which also means we need to set up an old-skool clothesline with a pulley arrangement real soon anyway. My next-younger brother sent me his login creds for Consumer Reports reviews so we can research washers and dryers accordingly, so I should get on that, too.

    Mrs. OFD does not wanna mess with canning, and that reminds me that when we have the means, I really need to ramp up the food and wotta stocks here, and to that end I really gotta finish cleaning out the cellar of the last bits of flotsam and jetsam and get shelving organized there. Once I get that unpleasant task done I will reward myself by working on the attic space.

    She’s out in the studio this afternoon and I’m hauling in firewood and succumbing to my nasty NFL addiction; we’ll see what happens between the end of this season and the beginning of the next; not sure how long the NFL and televised sportsball is gonnas be happening, so it might be good to cut it loose and also chit-can the tee-vee part of our Comcast bundle if that is possible.

  2. Almost two hours w/o one comment? C’mon guys.
    I was doing laundry, cleaning the kitchen, making breakfast and stuff.
    Now kiddo is playing in her room, dogs are napping, and I’m sitting down to a second cup of coffee and catching a few minutes surfing…

    The new stove top sounds good. We have natural gas for our every day cooking. I much prefer gas to electric.

    Our DR cooking plan for short term is several camp stoves and lots of propane in 20lb canisters with the adapter. Works well but would be unsustainable in a TEOTWAWKI.

  3. If you are up for a road trip, the Lodge Factory Outlet in Pittsburgh, *TN* is a for real outlet with the complete product line and a room full of factory seconds. I haven’t been out there since making a stop on the move west in 2010, but I doubt it has changed significantly. I doubt much in that town has changed since the 80s.

  4. Slow morning!

    Hit my sales yesterday, didn’t find much.

    Couple of nice butcher/chef’s knives, solingen steel, for $1 each. I’m building a couple of kitchens worth of basic tools. You don’t want to get to your secondary location, pull out your camp stove, and discover you don’t have measuring cups or kitchen knives…. This is something that I don’t think gets much coverage on prepping sites. It’s very mundane, but food, water, shelter, hygiene, those are the basics. Flashlights are sexy, but how you gonna dress out your rabbits, chickens, or squirrel with your tacticool folding knife? How you gonna prep all those veg from your garden for canning without peelers, paring knives, and choppers? Justification for spouse?? Camping equipment- don’t want to have to raid the kitchen every time you go camping…

    I did pick up a nice stainless steel camp cook set at the Goodwill. Nice nesting pots for $4.

    I got one piece of cast iron, a mini-griddle with a wire handle. It’s modern, but looks well made.

    I don’t know if I mentioned it, but I pick up ‘hobo pie’ makers whenever I see them. You can get them new at camping stores, but I like the old stuff. They are a great, cheap, fun way to expand your ability to cook over open fire. (sometimes called ‘pie irons’) Great fun camping or in the back yard, they also help condition the idea that food can be cooked over a fire. I’m surprised by the folks who think food comes from the microwave, or the stove. They don’t take much room to store, or skill to use. Bread, butter, and a can of pie filling is a good start. If you can make a s’more, you can make hobo pie.

    Picked up a couple more reference books, electronics basics, old radio repair, some ham radio classics.

    And that’s about it. Garden (such as it is) continues to grow. I’ll harvest my ONE orange any day now. The mini grapefruits aren’t getting any bigger, so I might as well harvest. The limes are all the way to yellow on the tree- but still taste like limes. And the Meyer lemon is just coming ripe. Seems super late, but that’s what I get. Window box root veg is progressing, but slowly. Onions aren’t sprouted after all, but the beats, turnips, and radishes all have nice leaves. The collards are starting to flourish. I’ll probably steal a harvest soon. I don’t want to take too many leaves too soon.

    If anyone has a quick and easy recipe for candied citrus, I’m interested. Most of the ones I found online are very involved and really just produce a novelty item. Worst case, I juice and freeze….

    nick

  5. I was taking care of computer chores, doing laundry, noodling up an article, commenting on another blog and doing minor editorial chores there, working on a short story, and getting my lunch and stuff ready for tomorrow, as tonight and early tomorrow morning are going to be a mess.

    Either that or I was busy indexing my extensive porn collection.

    Anecdote time: some years ago I did some consulting at an “internet company services company”. They did anything from search engine optimization (ie, setting up a network of inter-site links in an attempt to trick Google) to putting up news posts for company owners who couldn’t figure out how to use WordPress. One of their services was to operate porn sites for others. One guy at this company would make the thumbnails from pictures provided by the client and another set up the web of links and redirects and popups that trapped people in the sites. Not all of the company’s services were sketchy but most were, and the owner certainly was, and I was just as glad when that gig ended.

  6. If Mrs. OFD gets another gig near there in TN, I’ll have her slide by that outlet. But most of hers lately seem to be up here in the Northeast Megalopolis; she had a great class in Queens, but absolutely hates having to do them anywhere near NYC; the air really messes up her sinuses and throat and breathing. Up here we have pretty clean air, so it’s a real shock to her system. And takes longer to recover the older we get, of course.

    For cooking, we’ve got our glass-topped electric stove but both of us would prefer gas, and our woodstove, and our PK grill. But I could see picking up a couple of Coleman stoves and some propane tanks, esp. if and when we get our dual-fuel generator. I’d probably have to find safe and secure storage for our gasoline and kerosene by then, anyway, and would want a couple of filled 100-lb propane tanks standing by for the genny. But natural gas is not an option anywhere up here.

    Steelers are playing at Buffalo and it looks like they’re getting a slanting mix of snow and sleet. Blue skies here.

  7. “Either that or I was busy indexing my extensive porn collection.”

    When I was posting back in the late 90s on Salon’s Table Talk “blog,” as one of maybe four or five right-wingers on there among thousands of libturds and Maoists, there was a guy whose main job was running porn sites and he claimed to be making a pretty big chunk of change from it all. I don’t doubt it.

    My excuse for not posting earlier? We both slept in this AM. Missed Mass. Going to Hell. (not anywhere near a substitute, but I’ll be reading in my Latin-English Bible later; today is the Third Sunday in Advent, aka Gaudete Sunday).

    I’ll also be fiddling with some minor housekeeping chores in between the football plays, and researching where we can go x-c or snowshoeing up in the mountains near here that have snow when wife gets back from Hawaii. I wanna bring along at least one radio and a couple of antennas to try, see what we can pick up from a couple of thousand feet elevation. I’ll be packing the Glock 10mm in case of rabid bear or moose attack, or any rabid two-legged varmints, and none of that is totally far-fetched, incidentally.

    Glanced at the local rag nooz-paper yesterday and I see they’re now featuring tired old libtard smartypants has-been Garrison Keillor on alternate days as the main editorial. Sheeesh. They couldn’t find anybody else for that gig? And the letters indicate to me that we have that roughly 50-50 divide up here, too, between lefty morons and the Fox Nooz cretins who hack and slash away at each other. We’re gonna be well beyond all that in the coming years.

  8. Speaking of local goblins, Barbara just read me an email alert she’d gotten from the county Sheriff, warning of a lot of larcenies and break-ins recently. The Sheriff has his deputies working overtime trying to catch the goblins. It’s that time of year here. The Christmas tree growers bring in a lot of Mexicans, and the petty crime rate invariably soars.

    So, basically the Sheriff says to keep our eyes open, and if we spot anything suspicious either to call 911 or just shoot the goblin. So I have Colin on watch and 12-gauge pump guns waiting near each door. They’re loaded with rock salt, of the lead #00 variety.

  9. Sigh, small water leak outside in the outside sink. Supply valve and hose need to be replaced. I drained the line before the freeze but the interior cutoff valve is not sealing properly and needs replaced. It allowed some water to build back into the pipe. Interior copper pipe needs to be cut and new valve soldered in place. I can do it but cannot find my torch head. Found the canister of MAP gas, but no torch. I have all the other parts to do the soldering including the valve. Off to Home Depot for a new supply line and torch head. I have a torch head but put it somewhere that I could find it and have no idea of the location.

  10. A colleague got on a flight in CA, and the guy next to him in First was talking non-stop into his cell. As soon as they were airbourne, he was talking non-stop into the in-flight airphone. He talked for the entire couple hours of the flight. When he shut down for landing, my buddy asked him what was so critical that he could afford 2 hours at a couple of bucks a minute for airtime.

    He was the main tech support for a porn site, which was down, and he was flying in to fix it, and for every minute it was down they were losing 10s of thousands of dollars. Phone support didn’t do the trick, but even if it had, his flight and phone bill were small change compared to the outage.

    Porn has driven adoption and development of just about every new technology. Photography, VHS, pay and cable TV, the internet… even good old phone sex. All that video we take for granted online was initially driven by porn…it’s the only type of content people would pay that sort of money to see. Ironically, now porn is so commonplace that you could spend every waking moment looking at porn and never spend a dime on it.

    nick

  11. No bias in this headline and sub…..

    ” Ku Klux Klan members insist they’re NOT white supremacists

    KKK members insist they’re not white supremacists, a label that is gaining traction in the country since Trump won with the public backing of the Klan, neo-Nazis and other white racists”

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4020244/White-supremacists-Not-exactly-KKK-groups-claim.html

    ‘Course he won with the backing of a lot of people, 80 million or so iirc. There must be a few murders, rapists, pedophiles, and other scumbags in there, so why hold back to the KKK? Come on media, what’re ya, a bunch of pussies?

    nick

  12. rock salt, of the lead #00 variety

    Heh.

    you could spend every waking moment looking at porn and never spend a dime on it.

    It’s… it’s like a vision of paradise!

    But yah. I’ve worked on sites where a couple hours’ outage per month would kill the site’s profitability. SFAIK, no production outage was ever traced to anything I’d done, but I was still called in to “fix it, dammit”.

    There must be a few … rapists, pedophiles, and other scumbags in there

    Evidence suggests that most of them were firmly in the Clinton camp this year.

  13. Today we had elections here, for a new Parliament. There are every 4 years, and the Parliament will approve a new Government.
    Prior to this day, we had a boring campagne: same old lies. No accusations of russian involvements, nothing.

    The main competitors are:

    PSD – Social Democrat Party: the crooks, disciplined, organized, masters of manipulation. Took power after the romanian revolutions from 1989. One year ago, after the Colectiv club fire (60 deads) and street protests against corruption, their Prime Minister resigned, and PSD accepted an independent technocrat Prime Minister. This was a strategic move: give up to 1 year of power, when things were hot, to win later 4 years of power. PSD is not doing too well, as many of its crooks has been found and convicted.

    PNL – National Liberal Party: the demagogues, chaotic, think good about themselves; some crooks here too.

    USR – Save Romania Union: the hope; normal people trying to get rid of the above parties. A newcomer founded only in this summer.

  14. Turnout: 39.5%
    Exit-polls:
    PSD 45%
    ALDE 6% (more crooks, satellite of PSD)
    PNL 20%
    USR 9%
    others ..

    So the crooks win as planned. Sad. Stupid people.

  15. If Mrs. OFD gets another gig near there in TN, I’ll have her slide by that outlet. But most of hers lately seem to be up here in the Northeast Megalopolis.

    I remember the South Pittsburgh, TN exit being only a couple of hours outside of Atlanta, but I was hauling a** on that drive — Orlando to Portland in three days. Columbus Day Weekend, the Cannonball Run’s traditional date. 🙂

    I can safely call it a day trip if Mrs. OFD is starting from Midtown Atlanta. I passed The Varsity around 2 PM and hit South Pittsburgh at 4:00 PM.

    Damn, that reminds me — I didn’t even stop at The Varsity. That is practically sacrilegious having grown up in a Coca Cola family in The South.

  16. “I have a torch head but put it somewhere that I could find it and have no idea of the location.”

    Hey, that’s just how us grouchy old farts roll! I’m always doing that; put something where I KNOW I can find it again fast, but nope.

    “So the crooks win as planned. Sad. Stupid people.”

    Don’t feel bad; that’s how it is here, too, in the third-biggest country in the world, also the richest and most powerful. We, too, like the Russians and Romanians, are ruled by various gangs of crooks and criminal scum.

    “I can safely call it a day trip if Mrs. OFD is starting from Midtown Atlanta.”

    Or from Nashville or Knoxville, but I doubt she’d wanna drive that fah. It would have to be a gig in Chattanooga, I’m thinking.

  17. Pornography didn’t drive the adoption of VHS vs. Beta, it was JVC’s willingness to license the technology to any willing customer, and the resulting market driven decrease in price of VHS machines. The porn houses didn’t care one whit about format, but the market very quickly decided that VHS was king.

    And Greg Norton, you ought to try living across the street from the V. The memory of the greasy smell, and the lingo, never leaves you. 🙁

  18. When I worked as server support manager for a major world wide telco out of their London HQ in the late 90s, we discovered that a large portion of our (then very expensive) shared storage was employee porn. So I instituted a project to go through and clean up our network to prevent having to buy more terabytes of NAS. We were doing pretty well when I got a call from our office manager in Amsterdam. He said his team was upset we were deleting their porn collection. He then informed me that porn was not illegal in the NL and was a right. I checked with our legal department who verified that I had been breaching their rights by removing it off company equipment. The EU is a weird creature. I had to restore all Netherlands user porn from backups.
    When we lived in New Zealand a few years later a policeman was let go because they found really nasty porn on his work laptop. He went to court and proved that he never downloaded or watched porn on the job, just on break and at home, and the court had him reinstated.

  19. Or from Nashville or Knoxville, but I doubt she’d wanna drive that fah. It would have to be a gig in Chattanooga, I’m thinking.

    I had to drive past a lot of cool touristy type activities in that area. It is on our list of places to visit now that we are safely relocated back to the South.

    Chattanooga would be dangerous for me — Moon Pies are made there.

  20. @pcb_duffer

    “Pornography didn’t drive the adoption of VHS vs. Beta, it was JVC’s willingness to license the technology to any willing customer”

    As I understand it, it is the flip side of this. Sony WASN’T willing to license Betamax for porn (the Japs have some very strange porn laws, even today). VHS was licensed to pornographers, and the availability of porn drove the adoption of the VCR. THEN if you’ve got it to watch porn anyway, you might as well buy a couple of movies for the family to watch.

    Remember, movies were $80 each. (since the studios were convinced that VHS would destroy the industry, they kept the cost high- which led to the rise of the video rental store, which resulted in people discovering they LIKED movies if they didn’t have to put up with poorly maintained theatres and noisy patrons- which led to the eventual resurgence of theatrical films…….)

    Other than porn, at $80, how many movies are you going to buy that YOU WILL WATCH AGAIN AND AGAIN until you have your $80 worth?

    And porn drove the development of compression codecs and increasing availability of bandwidth, I have that from the horse’s mouth.

    nick

  21. Let me add to the ‘excuses’….er, ‘reasons’ for slow posting here. My Sunday starts at my local church at 6am (early morning leadership meetings), and ends around 1pm (some finance duties). So it’s 230 before I get home (20-minute drive), change into something more comfortable (jeans and t-shirts; get your minds out of the gutters) and lunch.

    Then, surfing commences.

    As for prepping (of the non-SHTF-variety): Bluehost (and several other related companies had a major outage Friday starting about 2pm PST. Didn’t get fixed for about 12 hours (it was still down when I went to bed at midnight). Affected Jerry’s sites, among everyone elses’ sites there.

    Much wailing and gnashing of teeth from website owners about the downtime, lost revenue, etc.

    I replied to some of them (on the BlueHost FB site) that perhaps the site owners (not BH) was partially at fault for lost revenue. If their site makes them $$, and that loss is not desired, perhaps they should have done some ‘prepping’ of their web site. Set up a backup site, cloud-based, and a procedure (well-practiced) to switch to the backup site.

    One guy said that his site was down, but he had an Amazon ‘instance’ and CloudFlare (CDN) at the ready, and it just took a little bit of time to switch over and the $$ started rolling in again. That was a web site owner that believed in ‘prepping’ his web site.

    The outage affected all of my sites (and Jerry’s, which I manage), but none of them (especially mine, dag-nabbit) are not $$ producers, so I wasn’t worried or hysterical like others posting to the host’s FB site.

    But it did make me think a bit about ‘business prepping’. Revenue loss insurance, alternate locations, backup plans, etc. How many business will fail or have severe issues because of data loss, building fire, etc? In fact, how many people will be impacted in some way if their computer (with all their pix and financials, etc) hard drive starts letting out blue smoke?

    I’m better prepared for that. Data from all the laptops here is backed up to the upstairs computer, which runs a on-line backup to the ‘cloud’. That on-line backup is automated, so I just have to remember to run the “SyncToy” process on my laptop weekly (or more often, depending on need).

    Prepping is more than food, propane tanks, wood piles, generators, fuel, weapons, etc. Gotta prep for more non-SHTF scenarios.

    Anyway, that’s what’s happening here in the Olympic Peninsula today.

  22. The CDC has a really good, in depth section on “Business Continuity” which is what you are referring to. I recommend anyone with a business, that wants it to keep going, take a look thru their info and linked resources.

    n

    One of the specific scenarios they look at (and ask you to consider) is pandemic. What happens to your business if your employees stay home, either because they are too afraid to move around, or their kids are home from school?

    BTW, a LOT of the CDC ‘prepping’ is concerned with pandemic. They know we are WAY overdue and very vulnerable.

  23. One of the trade mags I get has several articles this month that might be of interest to folks here.

    There was recently some discussion here about securing the power grid-

    http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12271103/new-standards-create-opportunities-in-power-grid-security

    .Gov has finally released a standard and requirement, prompted by the attack on the Cali substation TWO YEARS ago. Note the irony that the substation is not covered by the new standard.

    There is some background on the kind of ‘big brother’ going on in cities:

    http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12270593/interoperability-vital-for-the-safe-city

    Which has less content than some other articles but might be of interest as background.

    And here’s an example of when Congress just makes a decree, and then keeps meddling. In 2002 they mandated the TWIC program, that’s Transportation Workers ID Card. FOURTEEN YEARS LATER- and we still don’t have one, with the next milestone in 2018.

    http://www.securityinfowatch.com/article/12270618/has-the-twic-finally-arrived

    Turns out, physical security, biometrics, and id is a very hard problem, esp. when foreigners and shipping are involved. Read the article to see why we are no better off WRT port security threats from people.

    nick

  24. “Don’t feel bad; that’s how it is here, too, in the third-biggest country in the world”

    It’s a disaster.. Until now, PSD had to corrupt another party to be able to have a majority. After this election, they will have the majority by themselves (parties under 5% wouldn’t make in Parliament; their percentage is redistributed to the ones who would) and easy help from ALDE, UMDR (Magyars ethnics) if needed. They already speak about changing the Constitution in 2017. Justice will be hard hit. European Union will be affected too. Even Ro is a modest member, its big support for EU in this part of Europe was important. But Ro won’t be a trustful partner with PSD in power (we already been through this, only a few years ago). So, as attempted in the past, PSD will try to find friends Est and further (Russia, China, etc..). And if you add the region problems, in Ukraina, Moldavia, Bulgaria, Greece, and especially Turkey, Ro will go down along with them, as nobody will invest anymore in this part of Europe. The pieces will be picked up by Russia, in about 10 years from now.

  25. Going back a little further it used to be said the first book produced on a printing press was a bible, the second a dirty book.

  26. I’m pretty sure you got that backwards.

    I do know that among the first Daguerrotypes were ones of nekkid girls.

  27. That wok is overkill. In fact, I’d say you don’t want cast iron for a wok – too slow to heat, too slow to cool. It weighs 14 lbs, which is too heavy.

    Go to a restaurant supply place or an asian grocery and get one there. The local restaurant place sells them for $15-20 plus $4 for the ring. Light, easy to maneuver, seasons like cast iron. A 19 inch one weighs 5 lb.

  28. @Nick
    which led to the rise of the video rental store
    A local entrepreneur in my home town started a video rental place. For $20 you could rent 3 movies and a VCR overnight. It was fabulous. We didn’t know anyone who owned a VCR so thus was great.

    Re: porn on tape. We used to wait for the seminal moment then view it on rewind over and over, until we choked on our own laughter. Juvenile and unappreciative of the artistry. Probably a micro aggression.

  29. “”That wok is overkill. In fact, I’d say you don’t want cast iron for a wok – too slow to heat, too slow to cool. It weighs 14 lbs, which is too heavy.

    Go to a restaurant supply place or an asian grocery and get one there. The local restaurant place sells them for $15-20 plus $4 for the ring. Light, easy to maneuver, seasons like cast iron. A 19 inch one weighs 5 lb.””

    +1
    Don’t try to re-invent the wheel… uh, wok.
    Use cast iron for what it was designed for… not that you can’t fake stir-fry in an ordinary Lodge skillet.
    I want to hear more about baking in a dutch oven on gas stove top! I had figured the dutch oven was for campfires, mostly, whether for fun or out of necessity. Can’t understand how to bake without a pile of hot coals on top…
    I tried some of my biscuits in the iron skillet the other day. It works, but only if you flip ’em.

  30. I m at a Christmas event in one of our local affluent neighborhoods sponsored by some churches Lotta cops no hard cover anywhere.

    not much chance of anything happening but if it did nowhere to go.

    Of course I’d be shocked if I’m the only one carrying.

    N

  31. Moon Pies are made there.

    Depending on where you are located in the south you may want to attend the annual Moon Pie Festival in Bell Buckle TN. You can get an RC Cola and a Moon Pie, multiple flavors. And witness synchronized wading.

  32. Almost two hours w/o one comment? C’mon guys.

    I’m tired. Got up, went to 830 am first service at church. Then went with my wife and several of my fellow church members to The Hampton skilled nursing and memory care center and conducted a Christmas Church service for 20+ of the inhabitants. There was a lady there who is over 100 years old who is weak in body but strong in the soul. She reads her Bible daily and averages 15 books a month from our public library. There was a Catholic service before ours ! I was just about the youngest person there as our song leaders were 62 to 65 and our preacher was 80.

    Most of us went to lunch then at Gringo’s where I ate too much beef and tortillas. I then ran home, changed, and met my electrician at my office building. He and I proceeded to rewire the electrical wiring for the electric heaters in my office. Somebody in the past wired the circuits together and overloaded the double circuit breaker so I could only run one heater at a time.

    Since my 400 amp breaker box is full, we took four of the lighting circuits and put them on two 15 amp breakers. Since I changed our 80 light bulbs to CFLs and LEDs from incandescents, the building lighting load is a lot less. In fact, my building demand meter has dropped from 17 kW to 13 kW since I replaced all those light bulbs. We then put in a double 50 amp circuit breaker and ran new wiring into the attic. Then John rewired the heating circuits and voila ! We now have both heaters running simultaneously.

    $300 of new wiring and circuit breakers plus $260 for his labor. I am very happy. Did I mention tired ? I’ll bet I went up and down those stairs a dozen times and my knees are screaming.

    Now I am speed watching my Oilers XXXXXX Texans on my DVR. Don’t tell me what happened …

  33. Probably a micro aggression.

    Probably. It used to be impossible for women to commit sex-based microaggressions, just as it was impossible for women to be sexist. However, with the recent discovery of new sexes, that’s no longer the case. If you were to tell a middle-aged man that he couldn’t use the women’s bathroom while your daughter was in there, that would be at least a microaggression based on sexual identity which, as we’ve been informed by the recent wave of feminists, is exactly the same as rape. Have fun with going to jail for raping a fat, bearded forty-year-old man, you hater!

    I want to hear more about baking in a dutch oven on gas stove top!

    The way I do it is to put some water in the dutch oven or stock pot, put cans or breadpans on the bottom, and add water to maybe an inch deep. Bring to a boil and then simmer without opening the lid for an hour or two, depending. You’ll want to cover the can or pan with foil or a lid. This is a good way to make quickbreads, most especially Boston brown bread. Yeast breads can also be cooked this way; I’ve never done it myself but have eaten the result.

    re woks, agreed, 14# is too heavy unless Barbara or you are as strong as a gorilla, pretty much literally. I suppose you can stir-fry with the wok left in place, but the usual way involves flipping the pan up to move the food around quickly. I prefer a large, wrought iron pan; they’re lightweight and transfer the heat decently, and so long as you season them they won’t rust.

    The only problem with the big woks (and skillets) is that getting a large enough splatter screen is expensive. That’s not quite as important for the wok because you should be constantly stirring or taking things out while the heat is on, but I still prefer to have the screen.

  34. “”Now I am speed watching my Oilers XXXXXX Texans on my DVR. Don’t tell me what happened …””

    Spoilers! It’s 98% guys standing around scratching themselves, and worse.
    I once explained football to a buddy, that it’s a big gay thing. Mostly grabbing butts, hugging, dancing… They wear those plastic things over their faces to keep them from kissing on TV.
    And just what happens in that huddle?

  35. Someone won, someone lost! Hopes were dashed, dreams came true.

    N

    Hope that didn’t spoil it for ya!

  36. Tell me about splatter screens!
    I tried some (literal) screens that just let liquid right through.

  37. Somebody in the past wired the circuits together and overloaded the double circuit breaker

    Grr. The wiring in this piece of crap house is atrocious. And very definitely not in accordance with code. The assholes who built the house say they don’t have to do anything to fix it because it passed inspection by the township. The inspector apparently spent 0 minutes on site doing the inspection, which explains how he missed the missing ground drains, the basement safety rail held on with one nail at the top and one at the bottom, the incomplete plumbing, and the wiring. (And probably more, but that’s the stuff I’ve fixed or paid to have fixed.)

    We can’t sue the township for the fraudulent inspection that we (that is, my wife; I was still out of state) paid for, because, um, reasons. I did look into it, and the lawyer told me that it would not only be pointless to sue, it was actually impossible. Yes, that day I gave serious thought to going postal at town hall.

  38. Currently sitting in front of the Living Nativity. These pikers keep moving. And I’d swear that the baby is a doll!

  39. Crap, now that I got all snarky, Mary and Joe just tagged out, and the new one’s have a real baby.

    Joe is about 55 and Mary has at least 3 decades, so not accurate, but you gotta admire the effort.

    N

  40. Grr. The wiring in this piece of crap house is atrocious. And very definitely not in accordance with code. The assholes who built the house say they don’t have to do anything to fix it because it passed inspection by the township. The inspector apparently spent 0 minutes on site doing the inspection, which explains how he missed the missing ground drains, the basement safety rail held on with one nail at the top and one at the bottom, the incomplete plumbing, and the wiring. (And probably more, but that’s the stuff I’ve fixed or paid to have fixed.)

    Both my house and my office building are out in the County. No inspections out here. But John the Electrician is a member of IBEW local #3 from upper state New York. He is 40 and got enticed down here by a young lady two years who said she would marry him. She is 34 and they are trying to start a baby, it has not been successful so far. I was very impressed by John’s work, he was recommended on http://www.nextdoor.com . You know, good electrical work is just common sense.

  41. And Greg Norton, you ought to try living across the street from the V. The memory of the greasy smell, and the lingo, never leaves you.

    I’ll freely admit that I wouldn’t want to live in Midtown and/or near a fast food place as popular as The Varsity.

    Back when I worked for that phone company with the Death Star logo, I was sentenced -er- stayed in Midtown for a week for scab training. The company did not pay for a rental car since MARTA stopped right under the Bell South building, across from the Georgian Terrace. 10 hour days in the classroom, every business day that week.

  42. Wow, you can tell it is December. Lots of head hunting going on by the safety and corners.

  43. We can’t sue the township for the fraudulent inspection that we (that is, my wife; I was still out of state) paid for, because, um, reasons. I did look into it, and the lawyer told me that it would not only be pointless to sue, it was actually impossible. Yes, that day I gave serious thought to going postal at town hall.

    Back during the real estate bubble in FL, Code Enforcement in Hillsborough County decided that an appropriate level of inspection for my new roof was driving by and taking a photo from the street. Of course it leaked within six months.

  44. the basement safety rail held on with one nail at the top and one at the bottom

    Wow, that is … dangerous. Nails accelerate when they start to give. Just replacing those nails with screws would make the stair rail almost … usable.

  45. “”I want to hear more about baking in a dutch oven on gas stove top!

    The way I do it is to put some water in the dutch oven or stock pot, put cans or breadpans on the bottom, and add water to maybe an inch deep. Bring to a boil and then simmer without opening the lid for an hour or two, depending. You’ll want to cover the can or pan with foil or a lid.””

    I’m not sure I understand…
    Sounds like the idea is to bake with steam with a smaller (fairly well sealed with a lid) pan inside another pan which has water, thus steam, and don’t let the steam out for a while. Not really dutch oven baking, per se… Any large pot would work, right?

    Guess a lot of it is about adapting what you have to do to what you have to do it with, the basic prep skill, duh…

  46. Home safe and sound. Turnout was low, but it was dreary and misty drizzle throughout the day. That literally put a damper on things.

    Lotta church, not much santa, but what did I expect from a Christmas event sponsored by 20 churches. Some nice carols….

    Free cookies, all you can eat, but the hot chocolate was 50c/ cup. Robbery!

    Kids got to pet baby animals, decorate an ornament, eat cookies, hear some carols, oh, and we got accosted by a pair of roman soldiers who were busy trying to collect the tax. Told them I didn’t have any salt on me when he said “we gotta get paid.” That got a laugh.

    Weird idea for characters roaming the event though. I don’t think anyone had any idea what they were talking about. Tried to explain it to the 7 yo, but I don’t think it stuck. After all, the REASON the young couple was in town, and couldn’t find lodgings, gets left out of most of the stories.

    Anyway, an almost fun time was had by most.

    nick

  47. Had a wild situation yesterday. I went to Autozone and got a new battery for my truck as the recent old snap gave me a little pause when starting my truck. The store manager came out and was changing my battery after I waited about a half hour for him to come out. I got the privilege of holding my hood up for him as my struts do not work so good anymore. I really wanted them to do the work as my hands get torn so easily nowadays.

    He was cleaning the corrosion off my battery cables and we were talking about the Marine Corps (he was a 20 year man) when this lady came up and start yelling about getting her light bulb changed. The manager answered and started telling her that them doing the work is a free service and she needed to wait her turn. She then yells at him for interrupting her. She then turns around and screams at the top of her lungs. We were both flabbergasted at her temper tantrum.

  48. Hey, lady, hold up this hood and I’ll go change your bulb.
    Hey, manager, where’s your big hammer?

  49. Nah, Lynn should have condescendingly asked her “Time of the month? Or are you always a bitch?” and when she screamed and attacked him, shot her.

  50. It’s sometimes possible to defuse or diffuse such incidents on the front end, like it’s possible the manager failed to explain earlier on.
    Nah… He probably had seen this sort of thing often enough, and set it up the best he could.
    “Lady” could not perceive that a potentially complex bulb change needed to be moved up the list, just because it was about a lightweight item.

  51. Maybe, but based on infinitely-repeated* experience, I’ll bet it was more along the lines of “I want it and I want it now! Everyone else can just wait!”

    * For the pedants among you, and you know who you are, “infinite” there was deliberate exaggeration intended for wry effect.

  52. Yep. Most likely.
    Hmm… Comes to mind why she even wanted a bulb…
    Cannot imagine such a person caring about being able to see an innocent victim in her path, or wanting to signal, or what.

  53. Nick, when I studied the VHS/Beta case back in B-school, the crux was that Sony wouldn’t license their idea to anyone else, and JVC would. In the end, JVC won with demonstrably worse product, and made a lot more money. The point that the prof drove home was that patents were nice, but only made you money when lots of the product got made. The porn producers just went with market share.

    Greg, I remember that Bell South building, visible from just about anywhere on campus. Also Coke’s world HQ building, and the MARTA stations at North Avenue and 10th Street, used both of them quite a bit over the years.

  54. @pcb_duffer, All those things are true, but the porn producers went with the only tech that would license them and LED to the market share. I’m just arguing cart vs. horse, and it’s been a long time since I looked at it rigorously.

    One other observation that is inescapable from the rise of the VCR is that every entrenched entertainment tech screams that they’ll be destroyed by the new one, and wants it restricted/taxed/destroyed, and what we’ve found instead is that it actually grows the market for the entertainment tech. Radio got restrictions placed on TV and music reproduction, VCRs were going to destroy movie theaters, mp3s would make it impossible to make money as an artist, free streaming (youtube in particular) would wipe out paid- when in fact there are thousands of people making a living producing youtube content, and on and on.

    The general economic observation is that it’s better to grow the pie, than to worry about the size and number of slices.

    nick

    (freaking snapchat/twitter/etc has spawned a whole new way to make money too, the “pretty people doing cool stuff” and posting pics crowd.)

    Oh yeah, and “format wars suck for the consumer” and possibly “tech is cool but content is king.”

  55. Weird idea for characters roaming the event though. I don’t think anyone had any idea what they were talking about. Tried to explain it to the 7 yo, but I don’t think it stuck. After all, the REASON the young couple was in town, and couldn’t find lodgings, gets left out of most of the stories.

    Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, I know ! They were in town to pay their Roman taxes !

    And to fulfill the prophecy (I had forgotten that).
    http://www.biblestudy.org/basicart/why-was-jesus-born-in-bethlehem.html

  56. “format wars suck for the consumer”

    Do they ? I think that they drive prices down after the early adopters are satisfied.

  57. Maybe, but based on infinitely-repeated* experience, I’ll bet it was more along the lines of “I want it and I want it now! Everyone else can just wait!”

    * For the pedants among you, and you know who you are, “infinite” there was deliberate exaggeration intended for wry effect.

    And for the truly pedantic among us, it should be noted that the construction “infinitely-repeated*” is actually regular-expression-ese for an item repeated zero or more times.

    Good job, SteveF! 🙂

  58. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, I know ! They were in town to pay their Roman taxes !

    So why don’t we celebrate Christmas on April 15 every year with a manger scene at the parking garage closest to the post office?

  59. Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, I know ! They were in town to pay their Roman taxes !

    So why don’t we celebrate Christmas on April 15 every year with a manger scene at the parking garage closest to the post office?

    I agree. Take that you “freedom from religion” derps.

  60. “Take that you “freedom from religion” derps.”

    Not all of us atheists are hostile toward religious folks. Hell, I don’t even mind when the city puts up Christmas decorations on the lamp posts. But I want the government to be completely hands-off when it comes to either hindering or helping religion. (Except islam, which is not a real religion but a totalitarian political system).

  61. @RBT, you are a common sense atheist with a brain (and you know how to use it). The same can be said of some folks who practice alternative lifestyles. When people understand that, in most cases (except for mooslems), practicing a live and let live lifestyle is productive and beneficial to all. I respect people of varying opinions who are willing to respect mine. Understanding boundaries is important. Today’s gooberment has no idea what a boundary is.

  62. “(Except islam, which is not a real religion but a totalitarian political system).”

    Mooslems, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Scientologists can FROAD. The others I can get on with.

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