Wednesday, 5 April 2017

09:04 – It was 55.3F (13C) when I took Colin out around 0720 this morning, sunny and breezy. The weather is supposed to go downhill today, with showers and thunderstorms moving in, followed by colder weather tomorrow and Friday with precipitation changing from rain to snow.

Barbara took Colin to the vet yesterday for his annual checkup and vaccinations. He’s in fine shape, a Border Collie in his prime. He weighed in at 65 pounds (29.5 kilos). That’s huge for a BC, but Colin is a huge BC. He’s not fat. He’s 20 to 30 pounds heavier than an average adult BC, but he’s also 5 inches (12.5 cm) or more taller. He, along with Malcolm and Duncan before him, is part of a very large line.

Since about the beginning of the year, I’ve not been able to order any canned Keystone Meats from Walmart except the pork and beef chunks. Any time I tried to add ground beef, chicken, or even turkey to my cart, I’d get a message telling me that product was unavailable for either shipping or pickup with that combination of “options,” whatever options are when they’re at home.

Last night, I was on the Walmart site and noticed out of the corner of my eye that it was listing the Keystone ground beef on the “order again” group. So I cunningly sneaked up on it through the tall grass until I was close enough to pounce. I clicked on the quantity until it got up to a dozen 28-ounce cans, which was as high as it’d go, clicked on the Add to Cart option. Lo and behold, it showed up in my cart. I quickly clicked on the order now icon, and got it on order. So now I have another dozen 28-ounce cans of the ground beef on order, to arrive Friday.

Since the beginning of the year, I’ve ordered two dozen 28-ounce cans of Keystone pork, 22 beef chunks, and a dozen ground beef, a total of 58 cans and 101.5 pounds (46 kilos). With the other chicken, beef, pork, tuna, and Spam already in our deep pantry, not to mention the meat in our big freezer, that puts us in pretty decent shape on meat. We’re also in pretty good shape on grains, sugars, fats, and cooking/baking essentials, easily enough to keep the 4.5 of us fed reasonably well for a year plus.

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83 thoughts on “Wednesday, 5 April 2017”

  1. Currently very fall like here in Houston. Chilly 60F and 64%RH with gusting and variable wind. Chilly, but sunny, so I get at least another day where I can safely work in the attic.

    Had to get a PoE injector for one of the cams I’m adding. FWIW, ubiquiti gear needs ubiquiti injectors, and ubiquiti injectors won’t work with other gear. They are NOT standards compliant. So back to the store…

    I’m tied to the house today awaiting arrival of the new Speed Queen washer and dryer set. All manual controls. Gas dryer. We could have (and probably should have) kept fixing the whirlpool duet washer every time it manages to get something stuck in the debris trap, but the wife was sick of it. And all the cool kids are getting SQs on the FB groups she consults. Other than the expense, it’s fine with me. It’s my nature to fix and keep things running, but I’ve hated that washer and dryer from the moment she brought it home. Now I’ve got the ‘prepper’ set.

    Funny the ‘prepper’ stuff that has filtered into my wife’s mindset. She’s made her own laundry soap (a prepper staple), has a knife in her EDC, often carries a flashlight FLASHLIGHT, carries the boo boo kit, etc. A lot of it leverages off the desire to protect and provide for the kids. That’s one of my main drivers too. Possibly a way for some of you to get the spouse more onboard??

    n

  2. She’s made her own laundry soap (a prepper staple), has a knife in her EDC, often carries a flashlight FLASHLIGHT, carries the boo boo kit, etc. A lot of it leverages off the desire to protect and provide for the kids. That’s one of my main drivers too. Possibly a way for some of you to get the spouse more onboard??

    Interesting idea. I’ve already slipped a FLASHLIGHT, maybe I should slip a boo boo kit in her purse. I don’t think the knife would work though…

  3. Over the years, Barbara has gone from being anti-prepping to tolerant of it to actually suggesting additional things we need to do. I was proud of her the first time she went shopping and brought back extra stuff to go on the shelf.

    I’ve done what I could to encourage her toward prepping. It’s really a lot of small things: pointing out riots, violence, protests, murders and robberies, etc. and the effects those have on ordinary people. Pointing out severe weather, floods, etc. and how people end up having to evacuate or go to shelters. Convincing her by demonstration that best-by dates are completely imaginary for canned goods and other shelf-stable stuff. She’ll now eat stuff that’s several years past its best-by date without giving it a second thought. Like me, she doesn’t even bother rotating canned goods. Actually cooking and baking from LTS has also had a salutatory effect, as she notices that the stuff we cook from scratch actually tastes better than convenience foods.

    I also think that what she saw when we were looking at houses up here had a good effect. Many of them had LTS food storage in the basement, in one case probably five or ten times what we now have in our deep pantry. Barbara really liked Paula, our realtor, who was completely up-front about being a serious prepper. She also knows that Lori, our USPS carrier, is a serious prepper. Even the woman who came out to do the termite inspection/treatment commented on our deep pantry and congratulated us for being prepared. She was out on the front porch with me when one of our UPS guys made a delivery that was obviously LTS food and we had a discussion about his level of prepping and what he should be doing to improve it.

  4. But with all of this, Barbara isn’t actually expecting a SHTF event. I can’t argue with her, because as I keep saying I’m expecting just a slow but inexorable slide into dystopia. But I do estimate the chances of a SHTF catastrophe at maybe 3%/year, so it makes me nervous when she drives down to Winston or travels a few hundred miles away and absolutely refuses to take a get-home bag with her.

  5. 46 and bright overcast, after a night of scattered cold rain showers; we have a hazardous warning in effect through Friday night, flood watch, due to melting snow and continuing rain. I’ve seen several of our local streams running full-tilt-boogie, and it’s no laughing matter with several streams and rivers here in Vermont and over in New Hampshuh.

    “Possibly a way for some of you to get the spouse more onboard??”

    Nope, not here; our kidz have long fled the coop; we is “empty nesters,” as I imagine a lot of others here are by now. So I just point out the local burglaries, dope busts, and hazardous weather warnings for now, and pile up stuff on the sly.

    “…absolutely refuses to take a get-home bag with her.”

    That I don’t understand. Even if it’s just to get to the next gas station or phone booth (do they still have phone booths down there? I’ve only seen one in this AO so fah.) This, of course, presupposes a large event where no vehicle or other transportation is available back from Winston or wherever, and the commo is also dead somehow and no one can come get her right away. But meanwhile less than sterling characters are be-bopping around the landscape. Probably never gonna happen, sure, but it would suck a lot if it did and a person was empty-handed.

  6. Well, at least she used to take along a Ruger .357 revolver before I lost it in the lake.

    And she does keep a decent knife, multitool, and FLASHLIGHT in her purse, and carries several bottles of water in the car. She’s in excellent shape for a woman of 62, and goes to the gym three times a week for an hour workout.

    It’s not the trips down to Winston that really worry me. It’s the longer ones, like her trip with Frances and Al up to Cape May, NJ last autumn. That was right when the Colonial Pipeline went down and gasoline was difficult or impossible to get around here. Further to the NE, it was still available, and I did convince her to talk to Al about keeping their tank filled. Our house was just about one tank of gas from where she was. The fallback scenario was that they’d get as far toward home as possible and I’d go pick them up in my Trooper. I figured with all the gasoline we had at home, I could make it maybe half way to Cape May and then back.

  7. Listening to the scanner this AM, first heard the roll call for the regional emergency management net, now the roll call for the “Houston Catastrophic Medical Operations Center” net. Didn’t know we had one of those. Lots of hospitals not responding.

    [frowny face]

    n

  8. “Didn’t know we had one of those. Lots of hospitals not responding.”

    Yeah, one wonders how many other such quasi-official entities are out there nowadays; also, I guess we can expect similar or worse if S ever does hit the F, i.e., non-responses on emergency networks and other commo problems. I’d bet 911 will go down pretty fast; it’s certainly had its problems up here.

    [another frowny face]

  9. And from the Surfing Drudge Headlines Real Fast Department:

    Bannon demoted! (bone thrown to RINOs, Pee Party, and Maoists (rest of political body in Mordor and NYC and Sodom-on-the-Bay)

    Barry Manilow is gay! (didn’t see THAT one coming!)

    Melania tells critics to go to hell and also looks pretty dahned hot.

    Drunk Lives Matter guy arrested for drunk driving, i.e., DUI. (need the full intel on that one)

    More musloids being born than Christians; didn’t see THAT one coming, either!

    USAF pilot bails while his F16 crashes “near D.C.” Better luck next time!

    And thank God Jimmy the cat made it home after 2.5 years! Life is good!

  10. “I’ve ordered two dozen 28-ounce cans of Keystone pork, 22 beef chunks, and a dozen ground beef, a total of 58 cans and 101.5 pounds (46 kilos)”.

    Sounds like the makings of a reasonably good sangwidge!

    “I’ve already slipped a FLASHLIGHT, maybe I should slip a boo boo kit in her purse. I don’t think the knife would work though…”

    I had to pass through a security screening checkpoint this morning. The screener alerted on my pocketknife, which I duly handed over under protest (fortunately, to be returned later – this was not at the airport). Upon which, my colleague chimes in: “that’s funny, they didn’t find either of mine”. To say that the security drones gave her a dirty look would be somewhat of an understatement. They didn’t dare re-screen her, however…

  11. Back in 1980, the very early days of metal detectors at airports, I was traveling a lot for the Libertarian Party. One of my friends from my home town met me at the airport and went through the metal detector without incident to meet me in arrivals. As we drove away from the airport, he started laughing about how bad the detectors were. He’d walked through them carrying a Colt 1911, a Sparks six-pack of spare loaded mags, and his Star PD backup piece in an ankle holster. Not so much as a beep.

  12. Many times I walked thru with a spyderco ‘rescue’ slipped into my work boot.

    n

  13. One not so obvious consequence of being very overweight-

    Lifeflight on the scanner, 350+ pound victim, and 250 pound victim, industrial accident with crushing injuries to chest, they need TWO lifeflights, due to the weight of the first vic.

    You might have to wait, maybe just a bit too long….

    n

  14. Not to mention what the EMT crews have to go through to handle those big guys. I heard more than one call to the fire department to help ambulance crews simply because of size (and sometimes just difficult maneuvers).

  15. And in the ‘ya never know what you’re gonna find’ files, I bought an external hard drive at a yard sale for a couple bucks. Turns out it’s a WD 2 Tb drive, with 250 movies on it.

    Good stuff too. And all subtitled in Vietnamese. (which you can turn of)

    beats the hell out of c hild p orn.

    n

  16. Anyone need 10 stainless steel body trays?

    Nah. I just leave them where they fall. Sure, it’s littering, or possibly improper disposal of hazardous material, but as I keep saying, I’m a lazyass.

  17. Yeah, I remember a similar case in the paper years ago. The victim weighed something like 600 pounds, and they couldn’t carry him on the medevac chopper. They ended up transferring him by ambulance, and it was a long trip. Don’t remember the outcome.

  18. Yah, I’ve helped lift a plus-sized person. Former person, rather. I can lift a 300-plus-pound barbell with no difficulty, but IIRC four of us struggled to lift that guy onto the gurney to be carted away. Could have used more people, but that’s all that could fit. One of the medics (stretcher techs? Whatever they’re called) commented that at least the straps fit around him, which isn’t always the case.

  19. Every time a see a 115# woman on an EMT crew I question that wisdom. Of course I’m just a sexist pig.

  20. Same deal with women as firemen, let alone infantry. I want someone with me who can lift and carry me if necessary.

  21. Actually fire men kind of prefer a mix. Attic crawlers were the small guys. (still men of course)

  22. Eh, if the EMTs are there, there is support.

    I’d rather have someone who is top of their class and has the skills to save my life than someone whose claim to fame is their strength.

    Mountain S & R? Wilderness or fast water rescue? Sure, you are gonna select for strength, stamina, and toughness as well as stacked up skills. Urban EMT, you need to fill the shifts.

    n

  23. The other lifeflight on the radio this am had the victims described as “over in the trees” and “we’d like you guys to handle this one.” That conjured up some gruesome images.

    n

  24. WRT preps, I’ve got a rolled up tailgate cargo net in my truck for an improvised stretcher if needed.

    n

  25. Don’t forget Lamar Odom! Too tall to fit in the Life Flight choppah. Now he’s FUBAR in the brain.

    “Get to the choppah!”

    “I can’t, I’m too tall!”

  26. Hey ambulance guys, if I’m out cold or dead, sorry; I’m 240, but long enough so maybe four guys can carry me. Each grab a limb and swing…One….Twoooo…..THREE!

    In SEA the little wiry guys were tunnel rats or in the Seals. Not to be fucked with. Two other specialties not to fuck with are EOD personnel and MPs. I liked to hang with the EOD guys while they dismantled booby traps (second tour and certifiably nutso; also trained the chopper M60 on the pilot and co-pilot one time when they thought they could fuck with me; never again.)

    Did another dump run today; local Radio Shack store is EMPTY. Gone.

  27. Eh, if the EMTs are there, there is support.

    Right. Usually. Calls I’ve heard like that are often non-emergency so are probably just transport crews. Still they call the FD for help.
    ‘Round here EMTs are a private company but FD responds automatically on emergency calls.

  28. In the local towns here, they always send two meat wagons in response to a 911. That brings enough EMTs to handle the grossest.

    Note to self: Watch 600 lb’ers on Channel TLC about 7:00 PDT tonight.

  29. My van has a tarp (10×12 or thereabouts) by policy and several 6′ martial arts staves (on account of I haven’t gotten around to taking them out) so I could dummy up a stretcher if I had to. Not that I would, likely. I rolled the dice to determine my personality for the month and they came up “Asshole”. Sorry, everyone who might have been carried to safety. Better luck next month.

  30. So now I have another dozen 28-ounce cans of the ground beef on order, to arrive Friday.

    Can we start a pool on the number of dents and dings ? I venture 8.

  31. I rolled the dice to determine my personality for the month and they came up “Asshole”. Now don’t everyone here rush to contradict SteveF! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Which segues nicely into this Eric S. Raymond post:

    Hacker Archetypes

    Me, I’m the quintessential Algorithmicist; it’s as if ESR had me in mind when he wrote the description. Not really a team player, so no doubt some of my former coworkers would’ve been just as happy to call me an asshole. 🙂

    To all of you who’ve worked in IT or related fields: Which archetype are you?

  32. “Can we start a pool on the number of dents and dings ? I venture 8.”

    Total dents on the last 3 dozen cans = zero

    It doesn’t matter much. Undented ones go into LTS. Dented ones go into the upstairs pantry for routine use.

  33. Hacker Archetypes
    http://esr.ibiblio.org/?p=7478

    Me, I’m the quintessential Algorithmicist; it’s as if ESR had me in mind when he wrote the description. Not really a team player, so no doubt some of my former coworkers would’ve been just as happy to call me an asshole.

    To all of you who’ve worked in IT or related fields: Which archetype are you?

    JOAT.

  34. “To all of you who’ve worked in IT or related fields: Which archetype are you?”

    DISCLAIMER: I was never hired as a programmer/coder. My job classifications and titles always included “Engineer”.

    REALITY: For a number of reasons at various times it was decided that I was the best choice to design and create the required software. Over the decades, I never worked in machine language; my experience was limited to two: Fortran (II and IV) and MS Office VBA.

    The Envelope Please: Developing the engineering algorithms and the resultant code, I confess to being in the Algorithmicist category.

  35. “To all of you who’ve worked in IT or related fields: Which archetype are you?”

    It’s been a rocky IT “career” since I started with it, kind of, in 1984-86. I guess I’m sort of a Prankster, but never got the chance to fully develop as such in the corporate and gummint worlds. And the closest I’ve been to programming is shell scripting with bash and vim. Never at a Winblows site long enough to bother much with PowerShell but it’s the thing now for all the cool Winblows sys admin kidz. When I was a sys admin it was really nothing more than a jumped-up operator, and many of us had actually been operators, on all kinds of effed-up night shifts, for years. Now a sys admin is apparently supposed to be what an engineer used to be; multiple scripting/programming chops, in-depth on multiple operating systems, business-savvy, and a bunch of other IT acronyms, and also know every inch of a site’s IT infrastructure at their job interview with you. Bah, humbug!

    Meanwhile at Chez OFD, Mrs. OFD is recovering from having her foot punctured by a nail, but now is also dealing with a pulled back muscle where her permanent scar crease is from one of her falls off a horse years ago. She landed on that spot on a rock from about six feet in the air. And then rode the horse several miles back to civilization. And OFD himself is still gimping around with the back pain and sciatica, so what a happy house this is today!

    But I’ve still managed several dump runs and made a good dent on cleaning up the back porch and seeing what has to be done in the yard. Supper will be a ham-and-spuds casserole dish with cheese and onions and whatever seasonings, and a side of steamed peas, maybe some biscuits.

    And today the National Administrator and his gorgeous First Lady are entertaining the King of Jordan and his lovely wife at the White House. We’ll fix all that Middle East nonsense and that’ll be an end to it, of course.

    And word has it that the tax “reform” package is a “done deal.” Assuming the Deep State sits still for being screwed with it and letting a few bones drop to the middle class and small biz owners for a change. I’m a cynical bastard so I’m watching for another mass shooting, terrorist attack, or a ginned-up war in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, the South China Sea, Taiwan, Ukraine, wherever.

  36. Meanwhile at Chez OFD, Mrs. OFD is recovering from having her foot punctured by a nail,

    Is she on antibiotics? I’ll never forget my brother getting a nail piercing in the foot. He got deathly sick and was hospitalized. Nasty bugs down in nail land.

  37. To all of you who’ve worked in IT or related fields: Which archetype are you?

    Sharpshooter turned Algorithmicist after I started working on crypto/VPN technology.

    In grad school, after the career tanked, JOAT.

  38. Chief of Mod/Sim at Texcom (Fort Hood), choppah pilot, and shill for Mr. SteveF.

  39. “Is she on antibiotics?”

    She’s had a tetanus shot and has also been soaking her foot, first in warm soapy water and then several times in Betadine. The wound has drained off and she’s now wearing Betadine-soaked band-aids. Seems to be recovering and pain is subsiding. Actually she kinda forgot about that pain with the new back pain.

    I’ve had days when I seriously wanted somebody to shoot my lower back full of codeine or heroin or methadone or whatever it would take, but that never happened. The two epidural shots the VA docs gave me helped quite a bit, however. So now my slightest movements are not painful ordeals. I can more or less function for short periods doing chit I used to do. And I still gotta get this inner tube off my gut; it’s not soft blubbery fat, either, but that hard fat than can take a hard punch.

    And now to start up our suppah…

  40. I suppose I’m a JOAT. Though, over the years it has become Of All Trades instead of Off Alla Time.

    Age does that. 🙂

    My six cans of Keystone Beef arrived today. One can has dented ends. Not horribly but enough to keep an eye on if in the deep pantry. Packaging could be better… as in a smaller box. A 13 inch square box for six cans is too big. Lots of packing filler to get rid of.

  41. I’ve been a JOAT, Architect, and Sharpshooter at various times in my career. My two best Sharpshooting events involved finding a bug in a minicomputer OS and a bug in an IBM PL/I compiler.

  42. pcb_duffer is mostly a Translator, whose nearly 30 year old degree in Management Information Systems is proving no help whatsoever in finding a computer related job. No security clearance, none of the latest whiz-bang certificates, no current programming standards.

  43. JOAT here too, master of some, good faker of the rest and I’ll keep faking it until I make it 😉

    The Wife got to take her anger out on the weeds today, she is an expert shot with the Round-Up.

    Yesterday was our 42nd Wedding Anniversary. Not supposed to last; been acquainted only 7-months, I was in the Navy, she was from a Navy town, the Episcopal Priest refused to marry us because I would not be in town long enough for marriage counseling, neither set of parents approved, no money, and… . Guess we will have to give it some more time.

    We were going to have a nice lunch at Red Robin, a fancy burger joint. We were seated in an overly crowed dining room, so much so that people who were seated had to scootch in to allow even a small child to pass. Got our ice teas and the Wife went to the Ladies Room. Came back and said that we were leaving; no toilet paper or seat covers in any stall, 1 of 3 stalls out-of-order, and water and filth all over the floor (the sink area was even worse). After our bout with NoroVirus she is not about to take any chances. The Manager did comp our ice teas, that we had not drunk. I called the Health Department and said it might be a good time for a surprise inspection. Oh, and the table and floor was sticky.

    Then we went to McDonald’s and recreated our Wedding Day Lunch; Big Mac and Fries for me, Cheese Burger and Fries for her, and Hot Fudge Sundaes (with extra peanuts) for dessert. We had a good time.

  44. I love the competitive power market in The Great State of Texas. I just renewed my 24 month residential electric contract for 7.5 cents/kwh plus a $5 meter charge per month. We use 1,500 to 4,000 kwh/month at the house so this is a good deal. They autobill my credit card each month is the only downside (I would rather write them a check).
    https://signup.discountpowertx.com/PDFDocs/SS24H28171-433739.pdf

  45. Then we went to McDonald’s and recreated our Wedding Day Lunch; Big Mac and Fries for me, Cheese Burger and Fries for her, and Hot Fudge Sundaes (with extra peanuts) for dessert. We had a good time.

    Cool! MrsAtoz and I got married in Atchison, KS, while stationed at Fort Leavenworth. It was the only place I could find that had a judge to marry us (for $15, to boot). On the way back, we stopped at Wendy’s for a burger and baked potato. The manager comped the newly weds! Then on to bingo at the Oclub. We won and they gave us a bottle of bubbly for our honeymoon.

  46. Yesterday was our 42nd Wedding Anniversary. Not supposed to last; been acquainted only 7-months, I was in the Navy, she was from a Navy town, the Episcopal Priest refused to marry us because I would not be in town long enough for marriage counseling, neither set of parents approved, no money, and… . Guess we will have to give it some more time.

    Congrats ! I hope it works out.

    I told the wife that I was ready to get married and that we should elope at five weeks of dating. She wanted a church wedding so we waited six months after that to get married. Of course if we had eloped, my mother would have beaten me with a wooden stirring spoon (and broken it on me too).

    Then we went to McDonald’s and recreated our Wedding Day Lunch; Big Mac and Fries for me, Cheese Burger and Fries for her, and Hot Fudge Sundaes (with extra peanuts) for dessert. We had a good time.

    That is actually cool.

  47. ”Can we start a pool on the number of dents and dings ? ”

    Thus I prefer to buy in the store (Walmart for Keystone) at about the prices y’all have noted. Check for dents at shelf. I use self-check since dents are almost certain if they do the bagging…
    Get home and check again, and continue with policy to put dents in the front of the rotation.
    Plenty of dents happen in the warehouse and stocking processes, of course.

  48. The nearest Walmart to us is Galax, VA. They carry Keystone meats, but had only half a dozen assorted cans on the shelf. I want to buy a dozen to five dozen cans at a time.

  49. Congrats, DadCooks. And that priest was right, you know: without premarital counseling, from a priest because nothing else will do, how can you expect your marriage to last? Just you wait, any day now you two will have a disagreement over something foolish and it’ll all fall apart.

  50. Congrats, DadCooks, but I’m betting that after only 42 years you still make rookie errors.

  51. Greetings, felicitations and congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. DadCooks! That sorta lunch afterward woulda worked for us, too. We ain’t fancy up here.

    “… the Episcopal Priest refused to marry us because I would not be in town long enough for marriage counseling…”

    That’s pretty funny, and reminds me of the time I was an Episcopal Church verger and assisted the rector with weddings and funerals. He was a former Methodist and a pretty liberal guy, but man, what a stickler on the marriages. He’d tell the buggers to bring their damn licenses with ’em (like dog tags and rabies tags, of course, another gummint interference in our lives) and if they showed up without those licenses, often all dressed up, with hangers-on, etc., he’d absolutely refuse to marry them.

    I met my first wife when I was still working as a cop and she was a student and a dispatcher; I had eleven years on her. We got married by a JP at ye old Publick House in Sturbridge, Maffachufetts and had the reception/dinner there. The marriage per se lasted seven years, and she’s since gone on to be a hotshot medical malpractice attorney in New Jersey and so fah as I know, has remained unmarried yet kept my name.

    My current wife and I met when I was working as a sys admin drone at EDS in Waltham, MA and she was doing some kind of gig in Boston. So we ate at the Black Shamrock and then took a walk around the historic area and the Common, where they used to hang malefactors and Quakers.

    Our wedding was also by a JP at this place:

    http://static.panoramio.com/photos/original/28691632.jpg

    And the reception/dinner thang was here:

    http://media.travelnetsolutions.com/06bcfbdc20287c46200c8686b90fd3bc/large.jpg

    Then our marriage was officially signed off on in gratiam et fidem by Johannes Paulus Secundus, and celebrated here:

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/43/St_Augustine_Church%2C_Montpelier.jpg/288px-St_Augustine_Church%2C_Montpelier.jpg

  52. My first marriage was by a judge. I offered to pay, he said that wasn’t allowed, I offered to put money in the office’s coffee jar, he said that wasn’t allowed, I said thanks and have a nice day. That marriage lasted less than five years.

    Second marriage was by the pastor at my wife’s church. I gave my wife a couple hundred dollars to split between the pastor and the church itself. We’ve been married 12 years and, though I can and do complain mightily about her, I must admit that my second wife is much much better than my first.

    Say, I wonder if I get married a third time I’ll finally get it right? I should mention that to my second wife, just to make her day that little bit brighter.

    In neither case did we have any premarital counseling. If either bride had wanted it I’d probably have gone along with it, but I find “counselors” to be useless on average, with some managing to be considerably worse than that average. A checklist of things to think about and discuss before marriage should be plenty for a couple of halfway bright people.

  53. We were going to have a nice lunch at Red Robin, a fancy burger joint. We were seated in an overly crowed dining room, so much so that people who were seated had to scootch in to allow even a small child to pass. Got our ice teas and the Wife went to the Ladies Room. Came back and said that we were leaving; no toilet paper or seat covers in any stall, 1 of 3 stalls out-of-order, and water and filth all over the floor (the sink area was even worse). After our bout with NoroVirus she is not about to take any chances. The Manager did comp our ice teas, that we had not drunk. I called the Health Department and said it might be a good time for a surprise inspection. Oh, and the table and floor was sticky.

    Didn’t the state-wide WA State minimum wage go above $10 at the beginning of the year? There’s your cleanliness problem.

    Also — unionized state without “right to work” means that the chain’s local plumber will get out there to fix the out-of-order stall “in a few days”.

    I laughed when I read that “Restaurant Zero” for Chipotle’s E Coli outbreak was the one near our former rental house in Vantucky (Vancouver, WA). I was shocked. Shocked!

  54. I still introduce Barbara to people as “my first wife”.

  55. Actually, I’d forgotten about the counseling bit; they told us to do the Church’s Pre-Cana classes, and we showed up for the first couple of them and saw immediately that we were the oldest couple there and it wasn’t our first rodeo, whereas the others were all apparent young imbeciles and cretins who needed (desperately in several cases and clearly too late in several others) said counseling and guidance. We simply stopped going and nobody ever said anything about it and we got the Church’s blessing anyway, though it took over a year and involved the Diocese of Burlington and the Vatican.

    I also crab about my wife but she’s orders of magnitude better than the first one, who was/is a real smart cookie but that marriage got sandbagged and sabotaged by her father and uncle, and that family’s expectations that she could do far better than an ex-cop and poor-ass grad student in English literature. (also too old for her) Though we had some good times and did a lot of winter skiing and visiting historical sites and going out to eat and all that stuff. (I keep forgetting also, she’s 5’3″ and got mistaken for my daughter a couple of times).

    Current wife is also a smart cookie but has loads more experience and common sense, is only two years younger than me, and is 5’10”. Also saved my ass from eventually croaking way too early just like my ‘Nam vet uncle Ricky, dead at the age I am now. So there’s that.

    Ricky got the Bronze Star, among other decorations, and served as a gunner’s mate on the U.S.S. Beale, a Navy destroyer shelling the shit out of the place 7×24. They got hit by MIGs a couple of times, IIRC. Then Ricky came home and went through a couple of marriages and a bunch of kids, and continued to drink, smoke and not eat right and it finally caught up with him; always a depressed and lonely soul, just seven years older than me. RIP, Eric Dobson, Jr.

  56. ”buy a dozen to five dozen cans at a time.”

    Definitely a valid approach.
    I’m close enough to Walmart to do it incrementally. Arranging storage remains a problem, especially for “arranged” or sorted storage. I have made some progress, but I have very limited space. With limited space, it’s hard to arrange and sort to make better use of the space, a vicious cycle. There’s also just me, but as noted before, I would try to feed neighbors and friends if it comes to that.
    Anyway, I have a pretty good stash of food, and I guess that a crisis would provoke some more careful sorting.

  57. “I still introduce Barbara to people as “my first wife”.”

    And does she still smack ya?

  58. I once chatted with a couple and she was introduced as current wife, and then the guy kept going on about how beautiful and special his first wife was, such a great cook, and so on… and of course it was the same lady (who of course just rolled her eyes).

  59. and got mistaken for my daughter a couple of times

    Ha. In theory, that could happen with my wife, who’s barely 5’0″. In practice, she looks older than I do even when she dyes her hair, a fact which irritates her almost literally to tears. (I don’t think I look younger than I am, but people routinely think I’m in my mid-40s. The only explanation I can come up with is that I act so childishly that it throws off their estimates.)

    I still introduce Barbara to people as “my first wife”.

    I used to refer to my current wife as my not-yet-second-ex-wife. Stopped doing that when it stopped being just a joke.

  60. Just upgraded two systems to the W10 Creators edition. No issues. More privacy settings. Everything seems to work without issues. Everything was where I left it. Took about 30 minutes for each system.

  61. A checklist of things to think about and discuss before marriage should be plenty for a couple of halfway bright people.

    Yeah, right. Him, “I can hardly wait for the constant wild sex”. Her, “He is going to treat me so nice and love me so much and bring me flowers and candy all the time”. And that is the bright people.

    I used to refer to my current wife as my not-yet-second-ex-wife. Stopped doing that when it stopped being just a joke.

    Doesn’t your MIL live with you ? If so, is she the cause of your irritation ? Isn’t divorce expensive ?

  62. And from the Yuk Yuk Yuk Department:

    https://westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com/2017/04/05/heres-your-provocation-for-war/

    Yes, OFD remembers the 40-oz malt liquor cans, a very long time ago. But didn’t do the meth. Or downers, either. Strictly hallucinogens and booze, the latter to speed up the wired descent from the trip and get some damn sleep.

    Well, looks like the Night of the Long Knives continues, as people are thrown under the bus or from the sleigh. One little civil war after another until the Big One.

  63. I was searching for a potential relocation address when a (Google wild guess) list of meth contaminated residential addresses showed up. Might be a good thing to know about… but of course it’s US EPA funded clean-ups by state environmental outfit(s), so don’t bet on knowing about it, or on it being cleaned up, ever again.
    I’m all for streamlining bureaucracy, but…

  64. From the Pretty Funny Chit Department:

    https://readfomag.com/2017/04/05/us-military-has-no-defense-against-russian-nuclear-missiles-top-general-says/

    Yeah, as they may or may not tend to threaten European targets; who gives a chit? Let the Euros defend themselves; we did it for them twice in the last century; we’re in a new century now. Or they can make arrangements with the Russians, like, forex, backing off NATO installations and bases and troops and flights from the Russian border. Listen, I’m no big fan of Russia or Prince Vlad, but WTF? The running joke is: Why did Russia move its country so close to our bases?

  65. Meanwhile at Chez OFD, Mrs. OFD is recovering from having her foot punctured by a nail
    In my 30s, I was tearing down a crap wooden fence to use in the cast iron wood stove I had just installed in our suburban home. I stepped up on a pile of the boards to cross them when my foot wouldn’t come up. I was confused. I looked at my foot and saw a nail point protruding from the top my tennis shoe. I still hadn’t had any pain. So I just pulled my foot up and free. Yikes!! That’s when it started to hurt. Went inside and showed the wife who calmly said “Why did you do that”. Visited the doctor who put some antibiotic cream on the wounds and gave me a tetanus booster. No infection, no scar, no problem. But I never did any work in sneakers again.

  66. They used to make a metal insert for guys who wouldn’t give up their sneakers. It was really thin but tough, and went between the foot bed and the liner.

    n

  67. Well, like I said in my earlier post about this incident, you’d think that now Mrs. OFD would stop running around barefoot; we’ve no doubt got broken glass and nails around the property and house that one or the other of us failed to see during whatever cleanup and yet…and yet…she has been walking around here barefoot all day.

    To me it’s like accidentally grabbing a hot dish from the oven; you don’t wanna do that again, not w/o oven mitts. I grabbed a potato out of the oven one time a few years ago and my knuckles just brushed the underside of the coil very slightly; the damn scar/crease took months to disappear. Really stupid stuff; no major car wrecks or chainsaw mishaps.

    Anyway, it’s her back/hip pain now that she’s feeling and not her foot anymore. And I seem to be getting whacked with some kind of allergy thing; now bothering me more than my back discomfort. We’ve had a bunch of rain and it’s kinda warm now, so I’m wondering if some sort of leaf mold or tree pollen has kicked it off. Dead wet leaves all over the place.

  68. “…so don’t bet on knowing about it, or on it being cleaned up, ever again.”

    Wow, ya larn sumthin’ new every day; I had no idea that a list like that existed. Meth-contaminated houses. Bet there’s a few right around this AO, too. I will look into that accordingly, just outta curiosity.

    On my third dump run of the week tomorrow, I’ll stop by the town hall on my way out and drop off my letter of interest in serving on the Planning Commission for a one- or two-year term. Will also start regularly attending those and Selectboard meetings.

    Election coming up later this month at the monthly meeting of my Legion post, too.

    And the monthly meeting at the gun club/range.

    MEATSPACE

  69. After our marriage at a tiny, non denominational chapel in Mill Valley CA, we rode my Harley to Jack in the Box for lunch before heading up to the Seria Nevada mountains for our honeymoon. We camped out and panned for gold from Reno to Bodie. We had eloped, flying from Oklahoma to Memphis, to CA, technically violating the Mann act, as she was 17 and I was 19. Everyone said it wouldn’t last but after 46 years we are still hanging in there and still riding my Harley. It hasn’t been easy, almost gave up when our eldest son was murdered but raising our granddaughter helped us through.

  70. ”’Wow, ya larn sumthin’ new every day; I had no idea that a list like that existed. Meth-contaminated houses. Bet there’s a few right around this AO, too. I will look into that accordingly, just outta curiosity.”’

    If you can’t trust a real estate developer in matters of contamination with toxins, who can you trust?

    But, seriously, apparently the state environmental bureaucrats (mostly funded by US EPA) maintain and share the data about contaminated sites (like they do for other pollution issues). Looks like local cops make the determination of what’s contaminated in the meth context, where it is, and so on.

  71. “…non denominational chapel in Mill Valley CA…”

    In 1973 I was a buck sergeant in the USAF Security Police on top of Mt. Tamalapias, 666th Radar Squadron for the 26th Air Division and NORAD. Two radar domes, both long gone by now, along with all the buildings, including our very own Security Police barracks overlooking Corte Madera and San Anselmo far below. We sat out on the shelf sticking out from the second floor where my room was and smoked doobies and drank beer and wine in our off-time.

    I used to hike all over the Mt. Tam State Park and up and down the mountain, to Stinson Beach and Muir Beach, and several times down to Mill Valley itself.

    One of the guys I stacked time with up there joined the Marin County Sheriff’s Department after he got out and was one of the responding deputies to Grace Slick’s home when she came out with a shotgun. He’s still working there, and she’s still living nearby.

  72. “They carry Keystone meats, but had only half a dozen assorted cans on the shelf. I want to buy a dozen to five dozen cans at a time.”

    No chance you could order directly from Keystone, I suppose? Get a few of your prepper neighbours on-board and order a pallet-load between you. This is what we do here with ammunition orders – group buys.

    In my experience, anything that can leave the factory or main distributor and arrive to you on an intact, wrapped pallet will be as cheap as it can be. Once human intervention (unwrapping, restacking etc.) is required, the prices go up fast.

  73. SteveF writes: “I find “counselors” to be useless on average, with some managing to be considerably worse than that average.”

    I’ve never gone to any sort of therapist or counselor, but I do have trouble imagining that they are terribly useful. I read a couple of (US-based) advice columns, just for grins, and the columnists are always recommending therapy:

    – Had an argument with your spouse? “Get couples therapy, and get a private therapist while you’re at it”.

    – Should I do X or would Y be better? “Ask a therapist”.

    – I have a hangnail. “Talk to your therapist”.

    WTF? This must be a giant industry, and I’ll bet that the vast majority of the so-called therapists out there are just unqualified busybodies who like meddling in other people’s lives.

    SteveF also natters on: “The only explanation I can come up with is that I act so childishly that it throws off their estimates.”

    To which I can only say: keep it up! Getting older is required, growing up is entirely optional. Drives my wife nuts, sometimes. Like, when I’m cracking teenage jokes with the boys, and she’s the only adult at the table.

  74. Everyone said it wouldn’t last but after 46 years we are still hanging in there and still riding my Harley.

    Mmhmm, just you wait. It’s only been 46 years, not long enough to tell.

    And presumably it’s not the same Harley. If it is the same, and it’s still running, well, there’s you’re retirement plan right there.

    Sympathies on the loss of your child. Sucks.

    re seeing counselors or therapists, yah, it’s not generally my idea to talk to the useless knobs. That said, the marriage counselor that my current wife and I saw was trained as an engineer, then med school, then psychiatry. He’s hard-headed and practical and had good suggestions. I stopped going to see him because my wife wouldn’t follow his suggestions for reconciling problems between us. It’s more important to her to talk than to listen, and as the marriage counselor pretty well came out and said that our marital problems are her fault (which you never hear from a marriage counselor) (he did suggest that I cut down on the sarcasm when annoyed but that was it, contrasted with a lengthy list of things she does which are a problem and which she should do to make things work better) and that she needs to stop talking and listen to me once in a while, well, he’s not doing any good and there’s no point in wasting my time and money.

    Aside from that, I spoke to a couple psychologists or whatever while in the Army, mainly as part of the evaluation when I was applying to go into Special Forces. I deduce that this was an experiment on the Army’s part, as the usual procedure was that candidates are grilled by green berets, not by psychologists. For that matter, it’s also not usual procedure to attach a half-trained extra, to wit me, to a team and send them out on a job, regardless of the extra’s special skillset, so something was odd about the whole thing. (And then Congress cut the budget for intel officers so I was out anyway.) (And six weeks later the new fiscal year started and the budget was back up and I got a call to see if I wanted to come back in. No, thanks, been screwed over enough.)

  75. Prices have fallen so far and so fast on guns that it’s catching people unaware.

    I’ve got an estate sale this weekend with lots of guns listed.

    And at first glance the prices look good.

    BUT due to the rapid collapse, post Trump, they are actually high, sometimes higher than retail new. Pmags for the AR are onsale for <$10 atm, but he's listing for $35. S&W AR15-22 is $374 new, he's asking $400 used. $400 was a good price just a few months ago. Ruger 10/22 listing for $300 The prices otherwise aren’t outrageous, so if someone is looking for a no paper private party sale, they could do a lot worse on some items, I guess.

    (This seller prices based on original purchase price – if they have a receipt – and a book. This is not the way to be current.)

    It points up that there are some really good values out there, with S&W offering rebates on a lot of stuff too.

    n

  76. Hmm weather station says 70F and 45%RH this am, but it sure feels chilly. Feels like I can see my breath weather.

    Clear and cool. Good for the leafy greens in the garden.

    Got 3 new antenna runs in the attic yesterday. Only got one actually hooked up though. I replaced the feedline on my discone. I notice much stronger signals, particularly the harmonics of commercial FM broadcasters (higher freqs are more attenuated by the old thinner feedline, so I never saw the 3rd and 5th harmonics. I do now). I’m now getting multiple NOAA weather stations instead of just one. I’m currently feeding SDR# so I can look at the spectrum to see how strong signals are.

    I’m expecting my scanner to have a lot more hits with the better feedline, but still need one adapter to make that connection.

    Gonna spend the day renewing my drivers license and a visit to the state surplus store in Austin. Maybe they’ll have some good mags in the bin, or a bunch of great knives. Never know til you get there.

    nick

  77. “…a visit to the state surplus store in Austin.”

    Curses. I didn’t know there was such a thing, or I would have gone there last time I was in Austin. I did go to McBrides’ gunshop, though.

    I visit the official Army-Surplus stores in Switzerland whenever I can. Absolute treasure troves. My favourite non-firearm-related purchases so far were a wonderful lambswool blanket, the biggest, toughest crowbar I own, and a collection of never-used Swiss-made metalworking files, which would have cost me a fortune if I bought them retail or even on ebay. My only trouble is that they only accept(ed) cash payments, and I never seem(ed) to have changed enough Francs!

    http://www.armyliqshop.ch/

    The first time I was looking for the Liqshop at the Morges Arsenal (in the days long before in-car GPS), I distractedly managed to take a turn where none was allowed. Two grim-looking Swiss motorcycle cops promptly appeared out of nowhere and stopped me.

    They asked where I thought I was going, and when I replied I was looking for the Liqshop, they not only let me go, they actually escorted me to it! Alas, the Morges shop is no more, but I think the arsenal museum is still there, and if so, it’s well worth a visit.

  78. It hasn’t been easy, almost gave up when our eldest son was murdered but raising our granddaughter helped us through.

    Wow, it still hurts, doesn’t it ? My brother-in-law was murdered 35 years ago this month on his 21st birthday. For the $65 he had in his pocket from cashing his paycheck at the register at Pizza Hut on Fondren. You just want to scream why ? My wife still cries about him. My BIL and I were best friends for two years and then he introduced me to his sister, my wife of 35 years.

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