Friday, 2 June 2017

08:58 – It was 70.7F (21.5C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning, sunny and cloudless. Barbara is due back tomorrow. Only one more day.

Well, that was weird. FedEx showed up yesterday with a box from Walmart. It contained: four 5-pound bags of Aunt Jemima yellow cornmeal; five 2-pound boxes of Alpo Variety Snaps dog treats; two 12-ounce cans each (minimum order) of Armour Treet luncheon meat and Walmart Great Value luncheon meat (I wanted to compare both of these to the more expensive Spam); and one 22-ounce can of baking powder. Oh, yeah. The weird part. Walmart shipped this 38-pound order via FedEx air rather than ground, and (for the first time) they required a signature.

Last month was really dead in terms of kit shipments. We did something like 33% of the revenue we did in May 2016, which itself wasn’t very good. But things may be looking up. As of this morning, so far in June we’ve sold five kits, and kit sales typically accelerate noticeably after mid-June.

Yesterday, I also repackaged the 20 pounds of cornmeal, because I didn’t want Barbara to come home and find still more bulk food that needed to be repackaged. With tamping to settle it, 3.5 pounds of cornmeal fit in a 2-liter bottle. I still need to add oxygen absorbers, but they’re down in the main deep pantry, which is inaccessible until the contractor finishes work downstairs and we can get all the furniture and other assorted stuff moved back into the main downstairs room.

I also did something I’d been thinking about doing for a long time. I made up a 5% w/v iodine standard solution (as potassium iodide), which is 65 mg/mL. The adult dosage for prophylaxis against radioactive iodine-131 is 130 mg (which is obviously arbitrary since 130 mg of potassium iodide contains a conveniently round 100 mg of iodine), so an adult dose is 2 mL. I packaged that solution in 30 mL bottles, which just happens to be 15 doses.

When Lori showed up yesterday morning to pick up a Priority Mail shipment, I asked her if she had any KI tablets or solution in her preps. She didn’t, so I told her to remind me this morning and I’d give her a bottle each for herself and her daughter Casey. I packed the two bottles and a few graduated disposable pipettes in a quart ziplock to hand to her when she picks up the outgoing boxes this morning.


When I had Colin out a few minutes ago, I stood and counted the vehicles passing out on US21. The final count was:

17 tractor-trailers, dump trucks, and other commercial trucks.

53 pickup trucks, 14 of them with trailers

37 SUV’s, 7 of them with trailers

41 regular cars, 2 of them with trailers


I watched the Homestead Channel again after dinner last night. I got through the entire first season (10 episodes, mostly about 15 minutes each) of An American Homestead. It’s about an extended family of six people. Parents Tim and Joanne, 20-something daughter, Jaimie, her husband Zac, and their two pre-school boys.

Together, they buy 100 acres in the Ozarks that is completely off-grid, 20 miles from the nearest gas station. No grid power, water, sewer, or any of the other conveniences we all take for granted. Their only connection to the modern world is the DSL phone line they use for Internet access, powered by solar panels.

They’re preppers, of course, but of the homesteading sub-class. Tim and Zac are always armed, at least with sidearms. Tim and Joanne used to live in Texas. Jaimie, Zach, and their kids lived in St. Louis. But they’re all sick of the rat race and consumer society and wanted to get back to the land. Tim, Joanne, and Jaimie were missionaries and spent a lot of time in third-world areas, so they do have some experience with living off-grid.

What they’re doing is not something I’d ever want to do, but it’s interesting to watch.


I’m currently doing a final read-through of Franklin Horton’s latest PA novel, which is scheduled to become available on Amazon late this month. It’s excellent, as are all of his books. It’s also incredibly dark, as are all of his books.

 

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37 Responses to Friday, 2 June 2017

  1. Dave says:

    I could see living off grid with solar panels and batteries for electricity. I could live with a weekend or vacation without electricity. I wouldn’t want to go without indoor plumbing though. Indoor plumbing was probably the greatest advancement in public health in the 20th century. OK, actually it probably isn’t. The invention of antibiotics and the decline of horse drawn vehicles probably were bigger public health wins.

  2. pcb_duffer says:

    Suggestion: Take a purple Sharpie / red nail polish / etc. and color the top of the 2 liter bottles which don’t have the oxygen absorbers. When you can finally get to them it will be easier to find the bottles which need them.

  3. Dave Hardy says:

    49 here and overcast again, with more rain showers expected. NEW England is looking a lot like OLD England lately.

    “I stood and counted the vehicles passing out on US21.”

    Yikes. I dunno how long you stood out there, but to me that’s a LOT, but given that it’s a US route, normal, I guess. Maybe we’d see that many, nearly 150, in the course of a full warm weather day here on the state road behind us.

  4. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    That was over the course of maybe half an hour, so maybe ~300 vehicles per hour. But that’s pretty much at a peak time. In the middle of the day, I could stand out there for an hour and see maybe 50 to 100 vehicles total.

  5. Dave Hardy says:

    Then my seat-of-the-pants calculation would be that we’re seeing maybe a tenth of what you do every day here. Or even less.

    That is likely to change somewhat when the new marina is built and sidewalks and bike ways are extended from the Rail Trail about five miles northwest of here, to the bay.

    Wife and I have already discussed maybe spending summers in northern New Brunswick.

  6. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Which makes me wonder if the transportation department has done any traffic counts out on US21. We’ve been driving on it for more than 18 months, and I don’t remember ever seeing one of those rubber tubes, but maybe nowadays they use electronic counters.

  7. Dave Hardy says:

    Keep yer eyes peeled for any funny metal boxes alongside the road down there, possibly in conjunction with other roadside infrastructure. Or overhead traffic surveillance cameras. But normally, even nowadays, it’s that rubber hose across the road surface.

  8. ech says:

    Bill Gates got his start building equipment to read the data from those traffic counters.

  9. lynn says:

    I ran the Microsoft MRT (Malicious Software Removal Tool) tool from Microsoft on my home and office PCs. My home PC full scan looked at 60 million files and took 24 hours with no infections. My office PC full scan looked at 180 million files and took 3 days with no infections. Whew, I am tired.
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/download/malicious-software-removal-tool-details.aspx

    To get it to run on Windows 7, 8, 10, just open the start search box and enter MRT. The MRT tool is dialog based with a minimum of interaction.

  10. lynn says:

    Last month was really dead in terms of kit shipments. We did something like 33% of the revenue we did in May 2016

    Our May sucked also, about half of May 2016. But we have already invoiced double our expenses for June. June is traditionally our best month.

    My A/R (accounts receivable) is approaching a half million. This is scary, I just turned two customers into a collection agency for 1/3 of the proceeds. And one of the deadbeats is a Fortune 100 company.

  11. MrAtoz says:

    If you followed the Kathy Griffin debacle, she just held a new conferences (with lawyer who’s daughter of Gloria Allred, lol!). She accuses President tRump of the first sitting President trying to destroy a comedian. With one tweet, apparently. Why anyone would hire this loser (sad) after this is beyond me. When’s the last time a comedian produced a video of he/she holding up the severed, bloody head of a sitting President. As Camille Paglia said “there are consequences for your actions.” Griffin destroyed her own career.

  12. lynn says:

    Oh, yeah. The weird part. Walmart shipped this 38-pound order via FedEx air rather than ground, and (for the first time) they required a signature.

    Weird, that was expensive.

    I just cannot tear myself away from Walmart.com, the prices are 10 to 25% less than Big River. But the packaging definitely sucks.

  13. nick flandrey says:

    She’s a hag ridden old fag hag. And not funny anyway. That’s coming from someone who was a Production Manager for a big name touring professional, 30+ years in the business, actually funny comedian.

    The left is so used to calling the tune, and the rest went along because it was easier, or because something like the Piss Christ was so distasteful that people couldn’t even talk negatively about it because they would have to describe it to others.

    The backlash has been building and is finally finding release. They’ve hounded hundreds if not thousands out of their livelihoods for the crime of ‘badthink’ we’ll see how they like it when the shoe is on the other foot.

    n

  14. nick flandrey says:

    Woke up to a neighbor knocking on the door. Looked at the front yard, and water was bubbling out of it, and running down the street. UH OH. Big check for plumbing in my immediate future.

    Rupture in the copper line feeding the house, broken by a tree root. New line (pex) and a lot of digging will be ~$3k. That’s about what I expected. 40 yo lines buried with tree roots. What are you gonna do?

    Add in the current downpour and I’m glad we called in the pros.

    n

  15. MrAtoz says:

    Rupture in the copper line feeding the house, broken by a tree root.

    Roots gonna root, Mr. Nick. Can the plumber guys use tech to find any other leaks while they are there?

  16. lynn says:

    That is a big plane. I am surprised that the tails are not joined for structural strength. I wonder if one can move from one fuselage to the other inflight ? Looks almost like a modern day version of the P-38.
    https://www.petri.com/paul-thurrotts-short-takes-june-2

  17. lynn says:

    When I had Colin out a few minutes ago, I stood and counted the vehicles passing out on US21. The final count was:

    The USA is a very mobile place, Europe is not. The AGW / Paris agreement people are striking at the heart of America and trying to bring us down to their level.

    I have no idea how to teach this to the Eloi. They have been taught that the USA is bad all of their lives. It is difficult to make them think.

  18. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    As Dorothy Parker famously said, “You can lead a horticulture …”
    ,

  19. pcb_duffer says:

    Re: WalMart’s shipping via FedEx. Was it conventional FedEx (the ‘absolutely, positively has to be there overnight’ kind) or FedEx Ground? As I understand it, FedEx bought a truck line and renamed them, so they have all sorts of logistics options. And I knew one woman who was a FedEx Ground driver, completely different operation / set of folks than the air freight side.

  20. lynn says:

    “‘F*** you!’ Donald Trump blasted in German media after pulling out of Paris climate deal”
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/world/812190/donald-trump-paris-climate-deal-agreement-speech-germany-angela-merkel-emmanuel-macron

    Can we close our military bases in Germany now ? And cease all foreign aid to Germany ?

  21. nick flandrey says:

    Re: fedex ground, it was american freightways IIRC. Also if you look at the white panel vans ground uses, they all have a placard that they are owned and operated by ‘someguy’ and subbed to FedEx.

    WRT my supply line, they are going to replace it from the meter to the house. First above ground today, so we have water, then they will come back on monday and trench. There are 2 former trees in the straight line path that we will be avoiding with a much different but slightly longer trench this time. With all the tree roots and the sprinkler system, they didn’t think they could get the trench in today and they don’t work weekends.

    Above the leak was almost solid tree. a Y with 4-6″ legs, and a tap root going straight down. 3 other big roots crossed thru the same 2 sq ft area too. They support the giant live oak in my front yard. Big trees will always cause problems but they are worth it.

    n

  22. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    No, it was FedEx Air. A different truck showed up a couple hours later to deliver my FedEx Ground package, the second box of the same order.

  23. paul says:

    FedEx bought DHL in 2008. I haven’t missed them a bit. They would call for directions every time, even for another package the very next day. Same driver, too.

  24. paul says:

    Can we close our military bases in Germany now ? And cease all foreign aid to Germany ?

    Yeah, if they’re so scared of Russians, that’s their problem. As messy as Mexico and down is, imagine what it could be like if all that sweet sweet money we give to Germany, etc. had stayed in the Americas?

    I’m gonna pass on some the links on that site. “Anal cancer symptoms – these factors could be putting you at risk”. Uh, right… I’ll pass. Plus someone is showing their naivety with “Fifty Shades has NOTHING on this: ‘Most EXPLICIT nude scene EVER’ premieres at Cannes 2017”. What is more explicit than a Swedish Erotica film with Seka? 🙂

  25. Dave Hardy says:

    @Mr. Nick; We ran into that situation where tree roots impacted our drainage PVC pipes leading downhill away from our first house back in Montpeculiar years ago; the water backed up into our basement and flooded it to about 18 inches deep. Lost a bunch of stuff. And this was after a particularly heavy snowfall winter and rainy spring, with just atmospheres of water soaking the landscape for many weeks. When the roto-rooter boyz showed up, they knew immediately WTF was up and exactly where to dig to fix it. How so? Because they’d been there before for the previous owners, who somehow neglected to advise us of this possibility.

    When we sold that house we made sure to tell the new owners the deal on that and to keep an eye on it.

  26. medium wave says:

    Madison police investigating possible ambush of ‘Proud Boy’ by anti-fascists

    Why does the word “antifa” bring to mind the word “Intifada”?

    Just a coinky-dink, I suppose! 🙂

  27. Dave Hardy says:

    WRT money and weapons being sent to Europe and the Sandbox countries, y’all can guess my opinion pretty easily. As Mr. paul says, what if, indeed? All those trillions sent over both moats while most of the recipients spat on us. Plus the trillion/s spent here on an underclass that shits on us and themselves.

    Just spent an hour on the phone with my fellow AF combat vet concerning various proposals in Congress right now to cut our benefits. About to return a call to the combat nurse who called me on my cell while I was out on errands and driving, and another call back to my AF guy. Meanwhile waiting for a call back from the Tax Advocates office. Phone tag this afternoon!

    We had a pretty good rain shower pass over just now; fly over or drive through it and you’ll see why this is called the Green Mountain State. Everything is fucking GREEN! Which brings to my ex-military mind thoughts of camouflage during the course of the seasons; up here you’d wanna be in heavily green Woodland from May through September. Mostly brown Woodland into December, and then white from the waist down and brown Woodland from the waist up until April. That means three sets of camouflage gear for SUT in the AO.

    No, it won’t likely be me out there ruck-marching across the landscape; but I gotta keep this stuff in mind for when I send out my teams…

  28. Dave Hardy says:

    “Just a coinky-dink, I suppose!”

    My takeaway? As usual, per their SOP, they ganged up on one guy. How brave of them.

    We’ll see how these antifa assholes enjoy having the tables turned on them from now on. And it sounds like some elements are more than willing to escalate to lethal force.

    Sporty times ahead this summer, ladies and germs!

  29. lynn says:

    And cease all foreign aid to Germany ?

    BTW, I am talking about NATO. I am counting all of NATO as foreign aid to Germany.

  30. SteveF says:

    As Dorothy Parker famously said, “You can lead a horticulture …”

    When it comes to American libtards, it’s more like bacteria, where they form colonies and memetic biofilms to protect themselves from contamination from without.

  31. dkreck says:

    As Dorothy Parker famously said, “You can lead a horticulture …”

    them there bon mots is shootin’ over us deplorables.

  32. Dave Hardy says:

    Leave NATO.

    Ditto the World Bank, IMF and UN.

    Bring all the troops home to defend THIS country.

    Close most of the overseas bases and installations.

    Secure our borders, coasts and airspace and sea lanes.

    Period.

  33. nick flandrey says:

    “..but you can’t make her think”. ??

    n

  34. Robert Bruce Thompson says:

    Her reply to an editor who complained about a missed deadline while she was on her honeymoon:

    Too fucking busy, and vice versa.

    I love that woman.

  35. DadCooks says:

    There are not enough +ez (plus-ez) for @OFD.

    There is a talk show host, Michael Savage, who is continually preaching: “Borders – Language – Culture”

    A pretty simple philosophy for the survival of the USofA if I do say so myself.

  36. lynn says:

    There is a talk show host, Michael Savage, who is continually preaching: “Borders – Language – Culture”

    Yup. To start with, the USA needs an “English only” constitutional amendment for all government documents, functions, voting, schooling, and ???. Instead, we are becoming Babylon and Bible studiers know how that worked out.

  37. Dave Hardy says:

    It worked out badly for the residents of Babylon. Where the name comes from. Try and find Babylon now.

    Yes indeed; borders, language and culture. The German nationalists get a bad rap for preaching “blood and soil” but that’s it. We’ve pretty much lost on all three counts, or two counts, or whatever. The borders are a joke; we’re a de facto polyglot country now which I think sucks, however if you don’t know English pretty well, you’re likely to be a loser; and we won’t even get into the destruction of our American culture, such as it was or is now.

    Thanks and a hat tip to Mr. DadCooks for his possibly misplaced appreciation for my demented raving and ranting here. It comes easily after spending two days straight with demented fellow veterans, either in person or on the phone. Plus two hours last night on the horn with Mrs. OFD. That is a LOT for ol’ OFD in such a short time.

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