Friday, 18 August 2017

08:56 – It was 69.9F (21C) when I took Colin out at 0630, mostly cloudy and muggy. Barbara is heading for the gym and supermarket this morning, after which she’ll be working in the garden and perhaps doing some work on science kits.

I asked Barbara to pick me up a couple of bags of frozen French fries because I want to do some dehydration experiments on them. She’s going to get me a bag of the thicker, crinkle-cut fries and another of the thin, shoestring fries so that I can compare the dehydration properties of each. My guess is that the shoestring fries will dehydrate better, simply because they have a larger surface area to volume ratio, but we’ll see. I will, of course, weigh the specimens before dehydrating them and then after different drying periods to calculate the percentage moisture and moisture loss of each.


We were just discussing this morning that we’re both very glad that Sparta is outside the path of totality for the eclipse. It’s going to be a real mess in that path across rural and small-town America. These areas simply aren’t capable of dealing with a massive influx of people. Gas stations will run out of fuel, supermarkets and restaurants will run out of food, Roach Motels will be charging $1,000 per night, emergency and medical services will be swamped, and so on. Even the roads aren’t designed to support the volume they may see. Dealing with even minor breakdowns and flat tires will be frustrating and time-consuming. EMS in many areas will be slow to respond because they’ll be in such high demand. Rural emergency rooms will be packed. Tempers will fray. Fist fights and worse will be frequent. We’re well out of it.


I write often about long-term food storage, but I got an interesting email yesterday that makes it clear I need to mention short-term food storage. This woman is in her late 30’s and is preparing only for herself and her daughter, age 15. She has several months’ worth of LTS food. Everything except meats, which presents a problem for her.

They’d like to buy a supply of Keystone Meats 28-ounce cans and put them on the shelf. They’ve already ordered small numbers of the various Keystone Meats, and like all of them. The problem is, she’s looking at the possibility of a long-term emergency where refrigeration is not available, and a 28-ounce can is too much for the two of them to eat at one sitting.

So their LTS pantry currently has maybe a 3-month supply of 12.5-ounce cans of Costco chicken, and not much other meat. Freeze-dried meats are out of the question cost-wise. Neither of them particularly likes canned tuna or salmon, and both of them despise Spam. They both like chicken, but not every day. She’d like to store a lot more variety in her canned meats. So what are the alternatives?

First, she can actively search out smaller cans of different meats. Keystone does sell all of their meats in smaller (14.5-ounce) cans, but the cost per ounce is much higher, and those smaller cans can be difficult to find. Costco used to carry 12-ounce cans of Harvest Creek Pulled Pork, but no longer does so. (We just moved the last cans of that pulled pork from the deep pantry up to the kitchen. They have a best-by date of 6/27/17.) Costco does offer 12-ounce cans of roast beast for about $3.50 per can. It’s not Barbara’s favorite, but she will eat it. She’s not a big beef eater anyway. I think it’s pretty good, about equivalent to Keystone beef chunks. There are also alternatives like DAK canned hams that might be worth taste-testing.

Second, she can pressure-can meats herself, as several of the Prepper Girls do. After the upfront cost of a decent pressure canner and related supplies, it’ll cost her about $0.75 to put up a one-pint (one pound) jar of whatever meats she wants to store. And, of course, the cost of the meat itself, but she can buy that in bulk when it’s on sale. It’s a lot of time, work, and fuel, but depending on what meats she decides to pressure-can, it’ll probably be about break-even cost-wise compared to buying commercially-canned meats. And it’s perfectly safe if she follows USDA recommendations.

I’ll call home pressure-canning MTS, medium-term storage, if only because some vendors of canning jars and lids have made some disturbing statements about how long their products will maintain a safe seal. At one point, some vendors were saying only one year, but I believe they’ve upped that to 18 months now. Still, in the past we all assumed that pressure-canned foods would remain safe for many year or even decades, so these new recommendations are disturbing. I’m not sure what’s changed to cause the dramatic reduction in rated shelf life. Perhaps the shift away from BPA?

Third, just because you don’t have refrigeration doesn’t mean you can’t preserve meats from day to day. For thousands of years, people have used pottage to do just that, particularly during the winter months. A pot of a meat dish kept on low heat remains good for a long, long time. Back the middle ages, people kept pottage going for literally months on end, adding things to the pot every day–from a scoop of grain or beans to some chunks of rabbit or squirrel or quail or whatever meat they could get–and eating their meals from it.

We could do exactly that here if it ever became necessary. Our propane supply is large enough to keep the smallest burner on our cooktop running 24/7 on low for many years. If we were heating with our wood stove in a long-term emergency, we could also use that. Or, in the winter, of course, we’d have outdoors refrigeration.

But summer or winter, there’s an easier solution based on modern technology: the vacuum bottle. We keep two or three of these wide-mouth vacuum bottles on hand, and they’re capable of keep hot foods hot overnight. So, for example, we might make up a pot of beef with barley soup or beef stew or whatever. After the meal, we’d transfer the leftovers, still hot, into one or more of these Thermos bottles, where they’d still be perfectly safe to eat 24 hours later. Or we could simply transfer the hot Dutch oven to one of our large coolers, which would keep the food hot enough to prevent microorganisms from growing in it.

She also ended her message by commenting on a question I’ve raised more than once: why do people listen to me? Her answer was, “Because you obviously know what you’re talking about. You don’t pretend to know about things you don’t know, you admit it when you’re wrong and you’re not trying to sell me anything. This is the only prepping web site I’ve seen like that.”

While I appreciate the sentiment, I’m still in the same boat as everyone else: I don’t know what I don’t know. And even more worrying is the things I think I know that I turn out to be wrong about. Still, I just realized that as of this year I’ve been a prepper for 55 years, ever since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis, so I’ve had time to figure a lot of stuff out by actual experience.

147 thoughts on “Friday, 18 August 2017”

  1. It’s going to be a real mess in that path across rural and small-town America. These areas simply aren’t capable of dealing with a massive influx of people.

    The Oregon Coast at Lincoln City will be a trainwreck since they will get the longest, best view of the eclipse as long as the weather cooperates (always a wildcard), and the infrastructure in place is not designed to support more than a few thousand tourists driving through daily on their way elsewhere in the area.

    If you plan to hit The Coast, bring food and water in the car, enough for a few days being stuck on the road. The State of Oregon is effectively bankrupt and not prepared for what will hit them next week.

  2. Our local paper has some pictures of the mess that has already started in Oree-gone:

    And those pictures are from Highway 26, the only road designed to efficiently get people to/from The Coast in a reasonable amount of time. The rest of the roads were designed to discourage commuting, especially to/from HP’s facility in Corvallis and the state universities inland.

  3. We live near Memphis and the totality will pass close to Nashville, about 2.5 hrs drive north on I-40. I have no desire to get involved in the insanity and so will be at my desk on Monday. I saw the annular eclypse in 1994 and will be directly in the path for the 2024 totality so I will have another opportunity.

  4. Call me dense but I can’t see why anyone has a desire to view this event anywhere but online. There will be plenty of sites to watch it and avoid this coming mess. Also you won’t have to worry about your eyes.

  5. I’ve commented before on my strategy for food and the fact it’s geared toward relatively limited (in both duration and affected area) natural and man-made disasters. I’m a firm believer in meal sized cans and NOT #10 cans. We won’t eat the same thing 3 days in a row, I don’t like spoilage, and I wouldn’t be able to do even the medium amount of rotation by “eating what we store” if it was huge cans. The cost per ounce savings are a false economy if you end up throwing away half the can, or if you won’t eat it because institutional sized food is never as good as the smaller packages.

    That said, it’s been tested in a couple of hurricanes now.

    What works for me…is a three tiered approach.

    Pantry- what we eat normally. I’ve developed a pretty deep pantry, mainly by just buying a few extra of whatever while shopping. Physically the pantry consists of kitchen cabinets, kitchen fridge, some close shelves in the garage, and the garage fridge and chest freezer. Having the extra fridge and freezer is very helpful. The nearby shelves in the garage are organized like store shelves, with items stacked one behind the other. It is mainly stuff that replenishes the kitchen pantry, ie. peanut butter and jelly, condiments, pastas in larger bags, drinks, sauce packets and mixes.

    Short term disaster food- this is stuff we might not normally eat. I include shelf stable meals (which mostly taste nasty), several boxes of mixed Mountain House freeze drieds, and several boxes set up as homemade shelf stable meals for a day. Each box is good for 1 day 6 adults, or a bit less than a week for my family, longer if careful. They can be eaten in place when we can’t cook or are limited in our cooking options, or thrown in a vehicle if we evacuate. Emphasis was on light weight, and low energy preparation and having it “kitted” into days. I’ve NEVER been into this food, because it’s never gotten that bad.

    Long term – this is designed to be my food bank if things go seriously pear shaped. It includes normal food, canned food, and some bulk (traditional) LTS food. It’s meant to allow us to bug in for at least 45 days (since I stated it during the Ebola outbreak), to supplement available food during a long decline or serious depression, to provide relief to friends and neighbors in the event of a massive disaster or long duration event, and to feed the kids if my wife or I was incapacitated for 6 months. Buckets of bulk are only part of the food, the majority is mixes, cans, and ordinary food that will store for a year or more. Potato and pasta side dishes, quick rice, rice side dishes, baking mixes, and sauce packets and pouches are the main dry foods, canned fruit and veg make up most of the wet. We do eat from this regularly, whether it’s pouch meat on taco night, or canned veg. It’s also where I “shop” to replenish my short term shelves and my kitchen pantry (so there are flats of condiments and peanut butter and jelly, syrup, nutella, almonds, etc). In terms of LTS, I have bulk rice, salt, sugar, flour in 10 and 20 pound bags (mostly in buckets, but also in the black and yellow bins from costco.)

    To address the meat storage directly, when I started (Y2K) there was very little meat available. Tuna, chicken, spam, DAK canned hams, Dinty Moore beef stew, and beanless chili were about it. NOW however that has changed. Part of it is living in a large city with a lot of immigrants looking for “home food”. Part of it is just more imports available. My main strategy is to look in the “ethnic” sections of the store, and in “ethnic” groceries. Most of the rest of the world doesn’t have giant fridges and freezers in every house, so a lot more of their food is in cans and other stable packaging.

    My shelves include all the old standbys (except Dinty Moore- that stuff is nasty), but also includes:

    Pouch meats (I think this is what RBT calls retort packaging). In hispanic flavors I have 4 different shredded taco and burrito meats, in pork, beef, and turkey. I have shredded beef in BBQ, and plain. I have meatballs in spaghetti sauce.

    In cans I have whole stewed chicken. Hotdogs imported from Holland. Chicken in a la king sauce. Chicken chunks in pouches. Salmon slices in pouches. Single slice spam. (Side note that Spam is a staple in some cultures and there are dozens of look alike brands, and even Spam ™ has dozens of flavors. If you don’t like regular spam, try Low Salt, bacon, or other flavors.)

    I’ll admit that I don’t have ANY keystone canned meats at home. I can’t find it locally, the online prices are HIGH, and I’ve got a large variety of other choices.

    I also have food and supplies stored ‘off site.’ Pictures of the OK tornadoes a few years ago convinced me this was worth spending money and effort on. If your house is destroyed, you still need to eat. My offsite has much more bulk in the mix as it’s a backup to the backup.

    Finally, I think in terms of “meals” rather than calories. I intend to eat as normally as possible for as long as possible, and since we’re not starving or malnourished now, continuing on makes sense to me. I do stock multi-vitamins as supplements. 1 year for each person in the house. As an average joe, I’ve got no idea how many servings are in a 50# sack of rice. To make it even harder, you cook with it in ‘cups’ but it’s sold by weight, so the conversions aren’t straight forward. I sidestep the issue by looking at meals. One container of meat, one veg, one starch and something for dessert = one meal. That makes the conversion simple. One flat of 30 cans mixed veg, one flat of pasta and rice side dishes, one flat of 30 cans/pouches/etc of meat = one month of dinners. Worst case (probably) is one meal a day, maybe supplemented with rice, tortillas, or cereal for breakfast.

    Anyway, that’s what I do. RBT has different plans and different needs, and thinks like a scientist, all of which influences how he goes about it. And I’m certainly no expert, so I don’t have to be as rigorous or thorough.

    nick

    BTW, I accept a certain amount of spoilage and waste. No way I can actually rotate thru all this, esp the bulk, and a lot of the short term disaster food will age out instead of being eaten (since some is only good in extremis). So losing some to age, poor storage conditions, failed packaging, pests, or other things is just part of the cost of being prepped.

  6. @nick

    You should post comments of this length as articles.

    As to quantities/weights/calories/meals, I think all those ways. Incidentally, you may find the following useful:

    http://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/ingredient-weight-chart.html

    So, when I buy a 50-pound bag of white rice, I think of that as (a) 50 pounds of rice, (b) about 85,000 calories, and (c) the basis for 200 person-meals based primarily on rice, at 4 ounces (400+ calories) per person-meal. (One cup of dry white rice weighs about 200 grams, so you get about 2.25 cups per pound.)

  7. As to spoilage, I mentioned that I just ordered eight one-gallon jugs of vegetable oil from Walmart. The total cost was $4.77/gallon. Do I care if that stuff sits on the shelves and eventually goes rancid? No. First, it’ll be a long, long time before that happens. Second, I can use it for purposes other than food, such as burning in an oil lamp.

  8. I guess it did get a bit long 🙂 Hard to see the overall length in the edit box of the comment form.

    n

  9. BTW, when you mentioned pottage, I thought about “potting” or covering cooked food in a layer of fat to keep the air and everything else out. It seems that it was a common technique for preserving food, even mentioned in The Swiss Family Robinson….

    n

  10. Call me dense but I can’t see why anyone has a desire to view this event anywhere but online.

    Because being in the totality and watching the sky go dark will change your life.

    Yah, I’m not buying it, either.

  11. “Second, I can use it for purposes other than food, such as burning in an oil lamp.”

    This is why I kept the 5 gallons from my turkey fry. The thin milky looking plastic jug deteriorated in the sunlight though, so after 2 years it went in the trash.

    n

  12. “The thin milky looking plastic jug deteriorated in the sunlight”

    Maybe three years ago, I bought a 4.5 gallon (35-pound, 17-liter) jug of soybean oil at Sam’s.

    https://www.samsclub.com/sams/bakers-chefs-clear-frying-oil-35-lbs/155796.ip?xid=plp:product:1:1

    I was uncomfortable with the thin plastic of the jug. Without the cardboard box to support it, the jug was kind of floppy. So I transferred the oil into 2-liter Coke bottles, filling them to within an inch or so from the mouth. At the time I filled and stored them, the 2-liter bottles looked normal. Since then, they’ve started looking like I’d put an oxygen absorber in them–all dented in. That’s very odd, since (a) PET is extremely impervious to air, and (b) the reduction in volume suggests that the oil absorbed air from the closed bottle. Given that there was maybe 25 mL of air (= 5 mL of oxygen) in those bottles when I sealed them, oxygen absorption by the oil can’t explain what’s going on. I should probably open and taste one of the bottle’s contents, but they’re happy stacked away where they are.

    If worse comes to worse and they’re badly rancid, I’ll simply use them for lamp oil or perhaps in a SPMF of an emergency, as lubricating oil for our generator. For that matter, it could be burned in a diesel engine.

  13. Because being in the totality and watching the sky go dark will change your life.

    Don’t laugh — they believe things like that out on the West Coast.

  14. It’s going to be a real mess in that path across rural and small-town America

    As I have indicated before, my house will get totality for about 15 seconds as I am on the edge of the path. I will be driving about 40 miles southwest where I can get 150 seconds of totality. I plan on taking a back road that is not heavily traveled, four lanes in both directions with little traffic. I may not get as far as my planned destination of Spring City and may stop in Rockwood at the Walmart parking lot. I expect a lot of people but not massive crowds.

    I would not put up with the traffic that the two lane roads in Oregon are experiencing. I don’t plan on putting up with a lot of hassles here. If I encounter a lot of traffic on my way to Spring City I will find a place to pull over and wait.

    People in some areas here are renting out their farmland. A site to camp, basically for a tent, no facilities, is going for $100 a night. If you have a travel trailer it goes up to $300 a night. They interviewed a property owner and they said it they it would be a nice gesture if they offered their property to be used for the eclipse. Bull crap. They just see a chance to make some money. Some homeowners in Nashville are renting out rooms, a single room, for $700 for the night. Insanity.

    People have asked if I am going to take pictures. The answer is not only NO, but HELL NO. I want to watch and experience the event and not fuss with a camera and risk damage. There will be enough pictures on the web that I can steal research, many such better than I could take with my equipment.

    Having been in a full eclipse in 1970 while stationed in Virginia it is an awesome event to experience. In my opinion if you can get in the path without a lot of effort, do it. If it requires a lot of effort or expense, watch the Discovery Channel.

  15. I can’t see why anyone has a desire to view this event anywhere but online

    I recently read an article from a solar scientist who has visited all the totalities for the last 30 years. He tells of the strange feeling that happens during the totality, the sudden loss of all solar radiation, not just visible light, makes for a bizzare and creepy experience. So, yes, I would like to see one in person but not worth the hassle right now. I will be retired in 2024 and living close to the region of totality so I will probably visit it then.

  16. Stepping into a faraday cage made from gold was creepy feeling too. VERY strange.

    n

    (our local museum had a shower sized room set up in their ‘Gold’ exhibit that was completely lined with gold leaf. They also had a gold ingot you could touch and try to pick up. Now I LAUGH when I see a movie with gold ingots. Those things are freakin’ HEAVY.)

  17. I’m left wondering why this eclipse is so amazing and necessary to see to the point that evidently hundreds of thousands of derps, if not millions, are eager to hit the road just to watch it for its short duration. Are we in some kind of prehistoric time warp or something?

    WRT prepping; I’m still plugging along slowly with stocking up food and water; main objective is to have a minimum three months of stuff during a winter with no power. Once we’ve got to that point, I’ll work on six months, and so on. Tough sledding with our current income and financial obligations; wish we’d started when I was still slaving at Big Blue’s plantation up here. No use crying over spilled dry milk powder, though.

    In other nooz, my VA case manager informs me that the college I’ve applied to has decided, finally, to waive the transcript requirement. They just need two more recommendation letters, one of which I know is enroute now; the other I may have to double-check on; I know the guy is just back from vay-cay and it may have slipped his mind. Not sure if they’re gonna also ask for the face-to-face interview and/or schedule it before next Friday’s alleged deadline. My VA guy says this is the hardest semester for this type of stuff and should go much more easily from now on. I sure hope so.

    Meanwhile I’ve started an online basic psych course with MIT’s OpenCourseWare program and it’s pretty good so far; lot of info I never had. Bearing in mind I don’t consider it a real science, other than that it necessarily uses scientific tools more and more these days.

    Sunny w/blue skies and very windy today so fah; I’m on various errands and chores per usual.

  18. If it were passing over my house of course I would go outside and view it with appropriate gear. But travel miles and miles and spend a ton of money? That’s not crazy, that’s fucking nuts.

  19. Long Term Storage of cans. About 4 years ago we bought these plastic can storage racks for our pantry in the garage. https://www.amazon.com/FIFO-Tracker-Storage-Organizer-Dispenser/dp/B004DB7XCA/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1503072290&sr=8-4&keywords=can+storage+rack+for+pantry
    After a couple of years they had deformed enough that they no longer reliably dispensed cans. Our garage gets very hot in the summer so I thought that may have been the cause. So I replaced them with chrome wire can organizers. The metal ones are much tighter than the plastic ones meaning some cans just will not fit in them. I have plans for building wooden racks but will wait till I move to my retirement home to do that.

  20. Don’t laugh — they believe things like that out on the West Coast.

    That’s why when the Big One hits and the Left Coast drops into the ocean, I will laugh and laugh.

    Of course, if the Yellowstone Caldera lets go and the entire continent drops into the ocean and all that’s left is the Left Coast, I’m going to be really pissed.

  21. “I’m going to be really pissed.”

    Not for long …

  22. I’ve got a similar can organizer I picked up at a sale. I haven’t been able to find a place to use it. It takes up a lot of space, doesn’t fit all the different cans, and I don’t use enough cans to make cycling thru a big deal.

    What I DO use, is the costco cardboard flats from various veg and fruit. I put the cans in them, then put them on the shelf. This lets me “pull out the drawer” and easily stock the back of the flat, while pushing everything forward. I’m convinced that without easy access to the back of the shelf, most people will just rotate the stuff in front, and end up with a can of mushroom soup from the previous century at the back 🙂

    Someone I was chatting with this week suggested using the plastic bread trays from stores (that are usually in jumbled stacks outside every restaurant and convenience store.) Unless you like stealing though, I’m not sure how accessible they are….
    n

  23. Not for long …

    Meh. It’ll take more than that to kill me. I’d keep going out of spite if nothing else.

  24. “end up with a can of mushroom soup from the previous century at the back”

    You have something against mushroom soup made back in the 1990’s?

  25. The best arrangement I’ve seen for rotating canned foods, if you really think that’s necessary, was in one house we looked at up here. They had a large basement room devoted to LTS food, with wall-to-wall, floor-to-ceiling hand-built shelves of 2X6’s and 2×8-foot sheets of plywood. They were all islands, with a couple feet of aisle between the rows of islands. At a guess, they probably had at least five or eight years’ worth of food for a family of six, so rotating canned goods made some sense.

    They must have had literally 100 cases of canned soups, each labeled with the best-by date on all sides of the flats. I walked around to the other side, and sure enough they had it arranged so that they pulled the oldest stuff off one side of the island and put in the new stuff on the opposite side. Simple, and effective.

  26. If worse comes to worse and they’re badly rancid, I’ll simply use them for lamp oil or perhaps in a SPMF of an emergency, as lubricating oil for our generator. For that matter, it could be burned in a diesel engine.

    Not in any diesel engine made since 2000 or so (SWAG). The new diesel fuel injectors, especially the piezoelectric models, plug with disgusting regularity. The newest diesel pumps are way better about self lubrication though, turns out the sulfur in the old diesel fuel lubricated the diesel pumps very well. Who knew ?

  27. “Not in any diesel engine made since 2000 or so (SWAG)”

    Of course. I’m talking about engines made in the early 90’s, if not the 80’s, 70’s, or earlier. I have no interest in effete, computerized, snowflake, progressive engines. I always shake my head when I see someone driving a newish Deere tractor down the road. Why would anyone buy something like that when they could buy a good, old-fashioned diesel tractor that doesn’t sic the feds on you if you try to work on it?

  28. Now, it’s our turn tomorrow in Orange County, Laguna Beach is two towns down the coast from me:
    http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2017/08/17/laguna-beach-installing-barriers-to-protect-pedestrians-against-weaponized-cars/

    Well, I have other plans for Sunday aft. Going to Mother’s Tavern, about a mile up the coast the other direction, for an afternoon of C & W music by Bordertown Saints!
    https://www.facebook.com/MothersTavern/

    OK, dkreck, this is not really on par with Buck Owens Crystal Palace, but will have to do for now. (Oh yeah, the Kernville Saloon is pretty good).

  29. “Yuuup, down here they call that: “carmageddon”.”

    Several words come to mind. Lemmings. Cretins. Imbeciles.

    Putting themselves, and presumably children, at all sorts of risks out there to see something that comes up with some regularity over the decades and now can be observed in other venues.

    Of course, that said, I’d be willing to do the same thing if there was a chance I could witness the firing squad or guillotine executions of most of the previous administration’s leadership, along with every tenth person from the Fed and state bureaucracies and a whole swarm of media rumpswabs and celebs. Also all living ex-National Administrators and another swarm of financial speculators and banksters.

    Thing could go for months.

  30. “along with every tenth person from the Fed and state bureaucracies”

    I am reminded of the immortal words of the 19th-century anarchist Lysander Spooner: “Gradualism in theory is perpetuity in practice.”

    Why only decimate them?

  31. “Wow, I am an advocate for a hate group, the Family Research Council.”

    I don’t particularly care for the FRC or its positions, but it’s ridiculous to attempt to define it as a hate group. And note that this classification comes from SPLC, itself an extreme hate group.

  32. “Why only decimate them?”

    The rest can be used for hard labor on national infrastructure repairs until we can get all the robots up to speed. I figure 1,000 calories a day, could be tricky timing, I dunno.

    “And note that this classification comes from SPLC, itself an extreme hate group.”

    Again, a case of “projection.” Accuse your opponents of the offenses YOU are and have been committing. That’s what antifa assholes did in Charlottesville. And got away with it. Again. Standard commie tactic.

    But I hope a lot of peeps see the genuine vid footage from that event and the one in Durham, NC. And maybe we’ll see some more stuff in Boston this weekend. No shortage of monuments and statues to attack there, that’s for sure. Maybe they should try it in Southie or Charlestown. Now that would be fun to watch.

  33. FedEx showed up a little while ago with two boxes, about 30 pounds each, from WalMart. Each box contained four 1-gallon jugs of vegetable oil, $19.08 worth. So for a total of $38.16, WalMart shipped me eight gallons of vegetable oil and paid FedEx to deliver two boxes that weighed 30 pounds each. How can WalMart not be losing their shirts on these kinds of transactions? They must really, really hate Amazon.

    BTW, the weird thing is that the two one-gallon bottles of WalMart vegetable oil that arrived a couple days ago were in PET jugs. The eight one-gallon bottles that arrived today are in HDPE jugs. I prefer PET for LTS, but thick HDPE is okay.

    Barbara just asked me what was in the boxes. I responded “cases of canned kumquats”. She said she didn’t eat kumquats, so I told her it was actually eight gallons of vegetable oil. She responded, “Oh, that’s okay, then.”

  34. Why would anyone buy something like that when they could buy a good, old-fashioned diesel tractor that doesn’t sic the feds on you if you try to work on it?

    Comfort, ease of operation, ancillary functions, better hydraulics, power steering, power brakes, etc. Comfort is a big item as is ease of operation. Try sitting on an older tractor for 10 hours a day then switching to a newer tractor. Big difference in the operators fatigue factor. I spent thousands of hours sitting on a Ford 600 tractor. We got a new John Deere with the power assisted stuff and it was a major, as in really major, upgrade. Like riding in an early model T verses a new Toyota Avalon.

  35. Once in a lifetime. Given that the last eclipse I lived through was rained out (pouring rain, it was), I was disappointed. “Just” an annular.

    I don’t recall ever “seeing” any eclipse. So this one promises to be special – my “first” at 50 years of age. My children (ages 6, 7, and 10) are going to get their first. Joe’s working on a badge for boy scouts related to the eclipse. They’ll get to watch the partial with those special glasses from the back yard. I’m just going to leave the office & do a pin-hole viewer for the experience.

    I think the internet and the echo chambers it provides are driving this. Everything (and I mean everything) is getting driven to the extreme. I’m tuning out as much of it as I can. It’s enough to make me nuts. (Well, nuttier than I am already.)

  36. How can WalMart not be losing their shirts on these kinds of transactions? They must really, really hate Amazon.

    Marc Lore, CEO of Walmart E-Commerce, has a well documented grudge against Bezos stemming from Amazon’s strong-arming and subsequent buyout of Lore’s Diapers.com.

    Diapers.com taught Amazon about using local warehouses and Kiva robots.

  37. I wasn’t talking about tractors made 60+ years ago.

    A tractor made today will still have a big difference over one made 20 years ago. For many farmers productivity with the machine is significant. An idle non-working tractor is a waste of money. With computer monitoring maintenance is easier and cheaper as only the computer can tell the operator what needs to be changed, cleaned or repaired. Fuel costs are lowered as the computer is more efficient. Engine speed and transmission setting is more matched to the workload by the computer. The upgrades in operator comfort have also made significant progress over the years. Older tractors are for nostalgia and tractor shows. Newer tractors get the work done.

  38. Putting themselves, and presumably children, at all sorts of risks out there to see something that comes up with some regularity over the decades and now can be observed in other venues.

    The entertainment options for kids on the Oregon Coast are limited, especially south of Seaside. This is going to be a long weekend for many people out there even if the traffic flows smoothly … and the plumbing doesn’t explode.

  39. “Newer tractors get the work done.”

    One thing that sells well and consistently in the surplus auctions are old tractors. Fords do especially well. I think most people are using them for grass mowing, not general farm work.

    n

  40. currently in my driveway, 108F and 42%RH, for a feels like of 120.

    I feel like hammered shite. not working outdoors today.

    n

  41. One thing that sells well and consistently in the surplus auctions are old tractors.

    I would like to get my hands on an Old John Deere popper and restore it. Used one when I was a youngen’ and actually enjoyed using that tractor. Well until we got the new John Deere. But I would have no place to put it and the wife would put the brakes on such a venture. My second option would be a Ford 600 which I spent most of the time in the seat. Fairly easy to work on and fairly reliable. Four cylinder 24HP at the hitch.

    Only thing I did not like was the PTO was not live and was tied to main clutch at the engine. New John Deere had a live PTO that got power before the main drive train. Thus it was possible to disengage the main clutch and have the PTO still turning.

    Because of the lack of a live PTO on the Fords it was necessary to have a baler with it’s own engine rather than use PTO drive. That baler engine (2 cylinder air cooled Wisconsin Engine) was sometimes hard to start as it was hand cranked with a large hand pulley.

  42. How … do you know what hammered shite feels like?

    Virtual reality systems with haptic feedback, of course.

  43. “Weather Channel founder denies climate change: so ‘put me to death’”
    http://mynewsla.com/hollywood/2017/08/17/weather-channel-founder-denies-climate-change-so-put-me-to-death/

    ““San Diego’s not going to go underwater. Period,” he says. “Not in my lifetime or yours or our kids’ lifetime. When the Earth ends in 4 1/2 billion years, it probably still won’t have flooded.””

    “He calls efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions “an insult to the average American family,” whose energy costs already rise $2,500 a year “because of the threat of so-called global warming. And that cap-and-trade will take it up to probably $4,800 a year.””

    Hat tip to:
    http://drudgereport.com/

  44. I don’t care about San Diego; I want from Boston to Florida coastline underwater to ten or fifteen miles inland. Ditto for Kalifornia from LA to the Golden Gate Bridge. Along, of course, with the Portland/Seattle/Vancouver metropole. Most of the Clinton Archipelago gone in one fell swoop. I can dream, can’t I?

    Just had a long chat with my next-door neighbor; he is exercised about the proposed plan to rip out green space at the end of our street and put in parking spaces so the Kreamee stand customers don’t have to walk as far for three months of the year. Both our spouses also quite pissed off. We will all be trudging over to the Selectboard meeting on Monday night accordingly. As will the wife from across the street; her husband’s another ‘Nam vet. Anyone parking down on the shore will risk being obliterated when they try backing out on a curve that is used as a raceway by local pickup truck driver/assholes who hit that stretch at double the speed limit regularly. With little kids all over the place. Or any of the milk or cattle trucks that come flying around it.

    So we shall see.

    Meatspace!!!

  45. I’m now a Global Warming is Real and We’re All Gonna Die!!!!! believer. Today the temperature was around 80. Torture! How any human can be expected to live in this heat and humidity* is beyond me.

    * It’s been raining all day. I don’t know how to figure the humidity when a cubic foot contains both water vapor and raindrops. I think that any honest** calculation would yield a relative humidity of well over 100%.

    ** Where “honest” is determined using the standard set by climate scientists over the past decade or two.

  46. proposed plan to rip out green space at the end of our street

    In the meeting, speculate what a terrible thing it would be if any government agent approving such a plan were to be doxxed and SWATted.

  47. ” How any human can be expected to live in this heat and humidity* is beyond me.”

    Ditto.

    82 w/humidity allegedly 72%. Very windy also. I feel like I’m in a drafty sauna. Then we have that guy down in Texas talking about temps over 100 in his driveway. The stuff of nightmares!

  48. Then we have that guy down in Texas talking about temps over 100 in his driveway.

    Meh, we all know that Texans tend to, ah, overstate things. A bit of sun and a squashed bug on the driveway becomes “so hot even the fire ants are dying”.

  49. I will heading to Lincoln, NE in the morning and staying for the eclipse. I’m taking my telescope, an older Celestron 900mm Newtonian with solar filter to look at the partial eclipse and may take a few photos. Tested it out today and it worked great. Saw 4 sunspots, btw.

    We may need to drive West from Lincoln if the cloud forecast holds up. I’ll be heading out early if that is the case.

  50. How any human can be expected to live in this heat and humidity* is beyond me.

    94 deg. here, feels like 105.

    Wusses. 🙂

  51. I don’t care about San Diego; I want from Boston to Florida coastline underwater to ten or fifteen miles inland.

    Simply innundating Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach County would solve most of the problems originating in Florida.

    Whenever people ask me about how the 2000 election mess happened, I refer them to the Emerald Hills grocery store (Winn Dixie leased the building last time I checked), on 46th in Hollywood, FL, where an hour of people watching will give them the answers they seek.

    Bonus — the pizza next door at Di Salvos is decent.

  52. I’ve got a couple of John Deere 2 cylinder tractors up at the farm my wife grew up on in North Dakota. I worked for a small mechanic and we restored several antique tractors and used some of them in tractor pulls. Made me an antique tractor fan!

    The first 2 cylinder was basically given to me by a friend up there. It is a model A with electric start. It was stuck when I got it but with help of some diesel / ATF and a big wrench on the flywheel, I managed to bring it back to life. It had leaky valves and bad rings so I rebuilt it. Very easy job – they made those so you could overhaul them out in the field if needed.

    The other is a very nice hand start model B. I really like starting it. It is easy once you know the tricks. You open petcocks on each cylinder to drop the compression, set the throttle and choke and roll the flywheel over by hand. It will start after a pull or 2 every time – great fun. It is in fine shape but needs new tires – maybe this year. We were up there for Christmas one year and I got it fired up with no problem (was around -20°F IIRC). The torque of these old popper tractors is amazing. They lug down and really pull. Pistons the size of coffee cans. Very simple, elegant designs.

    I also have an LA Case. The sheet metal is good, still has original unbroken headlights and gauges, but the engine is badly stuck. I got that one for free – just needed to go get it. Needs new sleeves and pistons. If we wind up retiring up there, I will restore it. The old Case tractors are fun to work on, a 3/4″ wrench is really about all you need. The LA was a big 4 cylinder (403 in^3) gas tractor. They came out right when diesel was gaining momentum and lost out badly due to their prodigious thirst. But a nice antique tractor.

    My wife’s father was an International guy. They sold off the big iron when they quit farming but still have an old H. It runs really well, I mow with it whenever I get the chance. But you really had to be tough to sit on one of those old tractors without a cab, or power steering, or AC, or radio, or GPS all day like the old timers did.

    For a city kid, I have a big love of these old tractors.

  53. And I just spent 5-10 minutes int he driveway weighing and measuring. Wow. Soaked thru with sweat.

    n

  54. A bit of sun and a squashed bug on the driveway becomes “so hot even the fire ants are dying”.

    PLEASE ! PLEASE ! PLEASE !!!

    I got bit by about 20 fire ants last night so I am feeling a little antagonistic. They were in my socks and shoes so I pulled them off and walked over a mile home barefoot. Now I have a new appreciation for the cushioning in my Asics.

  55. My heavy work today was early this morning, rotating the tires on my van. Most of it was no problem and not heavy work, but removing the lug nuts took a bit of effort. Note that I regularly deadlift over 300 pounds, sets of 5 … and I barely managed to get them free with a 15″ breaker bar. Can I get a chorus of “mechanics who tighten their air wrenches all the way down are assholerific dumbasses”?

    On the plus side, I didn’t break the breaker bar or the 20mm socket needed for the lug nuts. The breaker bar flexed enough that I was worried about it breaking (and no doubt going straight into my leg) and the socket is a regular one, not an impact socket. On the even more plus side, I didn’t nail myself in the kneecap the way I did when I rotated my wife’s car’s tires.

  56. A bunch more jihadi killer scum today, but you have to scroll down past trump, trump, more trump, and even more trump to see it.

    But don’t forget, the biggest problem in the world is American white-against-black racism, white American racists, and Trumphitler who supports white racists. Oh, and climate change, which is going to kill us all, though I haven’t heard a peep about it in a while.

  57. My heavy work today was early this morning, rotating the tires on my van.

    I replaced a missing valve cap on one of my Tacoma’s tires. It was 102 out. Do I need to torque the cap down?

  58. I pulled them off and walked over a mile home barefoot. Now I have a new appreciation for the cushioning in my Asics.

    If you have to walk barefoot, come down on the ball of your foot, behind the toes. Then let the heel come down. (Or keep the heel off the ground entirely, if your feet and calves are strong enough.) You’ll likely get blisters on the ball of your foot from the unaccustomed friction, but you won’t get the impact damage of bringing your weight down on your bare heel. (And you’d get blisters on both your heel and the ball of your foot.)

  59. Do I need to torque the cap down?

    No, just put some LocTite on the valve stem’s threads before putting the cap on.

  60. Same old, same old.

    Hadji fucks murder some people and it’s maybe a one-day nooz item, soon buried. If some white kid drives into a crowd of people, for whatever cause/reason, still unknown, really, the country loses its mind for weeks.

    I continue to unload all things Google, including gmail, the search engine, etc., and am now auditioning a new browser, too; Brave. So far, so good; imported all my FF bookmarks OK, and set up security chit OK. Already on Fastmail and some offshore stuff. And this is just the Winblows machine I’m stuck on temporarily for TurboTax files already in progress. As soon as they’re done, I’m installing Ubuntu Studio on here along with Crossover for Linux and the VPN software. And no more Google.

  61. I continue to unload all things Google, including gmail, the search engine, etc.

    A lot of websites use JavaScript libraries from Google. Some, such as googletagmanager, can almost always be blocked without harming the user experience. Others, such as ajax.googleapis.com, are essential for the site to work.

    If you need to use sites which won’t work without google libraries, you can keep a separate browser which is used only for such purposes. Better, you can use a separate computer or at least a VM within your one computer. Block the Google libs in your main browser.

    For what it’s worth, I’ve been seeing an increasing number of sites which test whether you’re coming in through the Tor browser and refuse to load if you are. I don’t know whether this is to protect their ad revenue, because they use third party JavaScript libraries which do the checking, because the site owners are under pressure from governments, bankers, or anyone else, or for some other reason.

  62. The entertainment options for kids on the Oregon Coast are limited, especially south of Seaside. This is going to be a long weekend for many people out there even if the traffic flows smoothly … and the plumbing doesn’t explode.

    Dad and I regularly go fishing on the Missouri river in Craig, Montana each May. The town has a public sewer system that is jealously guarded for townspeople only since it barely works. The public toilets are two outhouses with concrete floors on the boat launch. The toilet pits are 4 to 5 ft deep with three ft deep piles of horror. One of the guides told us that a raccoon fell in one year and he did not get out for weeks. You had to be careful with your dangly bits.

  63. I pulled them off and walked over a mile home barefoot. Now I have a new appreciation for the cushioning in my Asics.

    If you have to walk barefoot, come down on the ball of your foot, behind the toes. Then let the heel come down. (Or keep the heel off the ground entirely, if your feet and calves are strong enough.) You’ll likely get blisters on the ball of your foot from the unaccustomed friction, but you won’t get the impact damage of bringing your weight down on your bare heel. (And you’d get blisters on both your heel and the ball of your foot.)

    About 500 ft away from the house, I said screw it and put my shoes back on after beating them against the ground and carefully examining them for more fire ants. I left the laces undone since I wanted to be able to make a hasty exit. The shoe cushioning was exquisite joy. I do not want to be a cave man and walk around everywhere barefoot.

  64. I do not want to be a cave rugged man who is able to take on any challenge the world throws at me.

    Understood.

  65. ” Better, you can use a separate computer or at least a VM within your one computer. Block the Google libs in your main browser.”

    @SteveF; Roger that, and thanks for the info. This’ll be Linux with a VM running. Bummer about Tor, and also the intel that the Feds have a chit-load of Tor nodes in operation nowadays.

  66. Fun with cell phones!

    Yikes.

    Just watered all the veggie plants and got two more nice tomatoes for tonight’s lonely repast. Talking to the cats again. Wife will be home Sunday night for a few days.

    And the way things are now clicking, I may have to start grad skool again, coming up on August 28, looks like. Yikes.

  67. Dad and I regularly go fishing on the Missouri river in Craig, Montana each May. The town has a public sewer system that is jealously guarded for townspeople only since it barely works.

    Coastal Oregon isn’t quite that constrained, but the place isn’t designed for a half million people visiting out there on one day.

    I actually miss our regular trips to Newport. The Coast is fun … for about a week.

  68. No, just put some LocTite on the valve stem’s threads before putting the cap on.

    Wouldn’t superglue be better?

  69. No, and use the blue LocTite, not the red.

    About ten minutes after I watered all the veggie plants, we had a t-storm with monsoon showers of rain, naturally.

  70. I know you were just screwing around (which is fair enough, as I was, too, which was fair enough, as you started it) but your question got me looking into Superglue vs Loctite. Setting aside that Loctite is a brand and that they make a whole lot of glues, including cyanoacrylate superglue, Superglue would in fact be better for my wise-ass goal of making sure the cap never came off the valve stem.

  71. LocTite and ‘super glue’ is for sissies. Gorilla Glue. That is all.

  72. “Yuuup, down here they call that: “carmageddon”.”

    It doesn’t help that they’re all driving on the wrong side of the road.

  73. But you really had to be tough to sit on one of those old tractors without a cab, or power steering, or AC, or radio, or GPS all day like the old timers did.

    As I am well aware. Spent many long days in the summer in the metal seat of those Ford 600 tractors. Dusty, hot, noisy and many times boring as all get out. Ten+ hours mowing a field, next day 10+ hours raking, sit a couple of days to dry, then about 14 hours to bale the field. Next day hauling about 1,500 bales of hay into the barn. Rinse and repeat for several fields the same size.

    Fall was plowing one or two of the fields with two bottom plow. Slow work, 1st gear, motor about 1,800 RPM (red line was about 2,200), up and back, not much faster than a walking pace. Took about three days to complete the plowing of some fields at 14 hours a day.

    Spring was discing to smooth the plow furrows. Faster than plowing but still slow and exceptionally dirty as the ground had to be dry otherwise you would get stuck really easily.

    Our Fords had fluid in the tires, some type of salt solution, making the tires really heavy. Then we added 600 pounds of steel weights to each tire giving us north of 2,500 pounds of additional weight on the back for traction.

    Mostly used the old John Deere for towing trailers, hay, pipe, utility as the hitch arrangement made it much easier to maneuver the wagons. The John Deere also had a lower idle and higher gear ratio so you could really creep slow if needed.

    New John Deer had power steering and a real seat with cushions. Major step up.

    I would like to spend a few hours in one of the big new tractors with hydraulic controls at your fingertips, GPS guidance, power steering, power brakes, power clutch, hydraulic shifting, A/C and satellite radio.

  74. Geez, Mr. Ray, basic training in east Texas must have been a relief for ya!

    I only shoveled driveways, mowed lawns, delivered nooz-papers, and worked as a stockboy at the local supermarket and department store. I was a really sharp cookie so later they let me work the cash registers. All while doing high skool and sports and going to rock concerts in Boston. Life of Reilly.

    I woulda lasted about ten minutes on your farm. Probably run myself over with a tractor.

  75. Lynn wrote:

    “I do not want to be a cave man and walk around everywhere barefoot.”

    ChuckW, wherever he is, will be spitting chips.

  76. BTW, Rush Limbaugh mentioned today that he is talking next week off. Naturally, there will be some earth-shaking event in the USA next week as that always happens when Rush takes a week off.

  77. “Just as empires tend to build their most grandiose monuments prior to collapse, our tottering empire is concocting the most monumentally ludicrous delusions before it slides down the laundry chute of history. It’s as if the Marx Brothers colluded with Alfred Hitchcock to dream up a melodramatic climax to the American Century that would be the most ridiculous and embarrassing to our posterity.”

    http://kunstler.com/clusterfuck-nation/total-eclipse/

  78. A word to the wise…

    http://fmshooter.com/gun-sales-declined-trump/

    J&G Sales is moving the Ruger 5.56 at under $500 right now. It’s a great AR, too. Put a decent two-point sling on it and your choice of glass and Bob’s yer uncle! Buy two or three, give ’em to spouse and kids. Family day at the range every month!

  79. Well, I tried buying one of the WD 8 TB external USB drives and extracting the bare hard drive from it. I bought the external to save some money since the bare drives are $80 more. The gorilla that helped me extract the drive from the case kinda fubar’d the case up but he got the drive out. So much for my backup plan of putting the 8 TB drive into the external drive rotation if it did not work.
    https://www.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBBGB0080HBK-NESN/dp/B01LQQHLGC/

    And I tried putting the WD80EZZX into one of my file servers as the backup drive. No joy, the system locks up at the BIOS screen. I flashed the BIOS into the latest non-beta version, F14. BTW, the motherboard is a Gigabyte Z77X-UD5H which supports UEFI. BTW, the current backup drive in this machine is a 4 TB drive that must use UEFI already. No joy after the BIOS flash. I guess that I will try the bare drive in a newer pc.

  80. Geez, Mr. Ray, basic training in east Texas must have been a relief for ya!

    Yes, it was. I made the mistake of telling the DI the same when he asked me if I thought it was rough in basic training. Lesson learned.

    Along with the tractor work there was the hauling of hay and other field work. Fences constantly needing repair. We had 3/4 of a mile of irrigation pipe that had to be moved 60 feet twice a day in 40 foot sections. 200 head of cattle is a lot of work. I also worked on a hay crew with two other chaps hauling hay for other ranches in the area.

    My parents did not want me as I was a surprise arrival 11 months after my brother. Best option to them was to give me to my aunt and uncle who used me for slave labor on the farm. Aunt and Uncle physically, mentally and sexually abused me. Got whipped many times with a belt or board that would leave my buttocks bloody. As I got to be about 15 my uncle would beat me with his fists resulting in a few black eyes and lots of bloody noses.

    Many times I would escape to the neighbors who knew something was going on but could do nothing. This was the ’60’s and no one believed kids and parents had all the advantage. One time I went to school with two black eyes and some cuts on my face from a beating. Teacher reported it and the police got involved. Aunt and Uncle lied through their teeth and got off without any issues. Of course that resulted in another beating because “I had told on them” when in reality I had not.

    Surprisingly, in spite of the crap I was better off in Oregon with those animals (cows and aunt and uncle) than I was in SOCAL. Having parents that do not want you and do not care would have let me get into a lot things I should not have been involved. Oregon probably kept me out of jail.

    When I hear reports about someone killing and then blaming a bad childhood my bullshit detector goes off.

  81. Jesus, Ray, thank God you turned out alright anyway and have been a godsend and inspiration to countless kids and exchange students over the decades.

    I got smacked around a few times by parents and teachers back then but nothing even in the same ballpark as that. Damn.

    They stopped hitting me when I got to be six feet tall at thirteen and carried a Puma bowie knife around with me all the time. You know, for chopping kindling for campfires and suchlike. Too bad you didn’t find a chance to dump aunt and uncle into a wood chipper or plow them under the sod real deep.

  82. And I tried putting the WD80EZZX into one of my file servers as the backup drive. No joy, the system locks up at the BIOS screen.

    https://tinkertry.com/liberate-western-digital-8tb-from-external-drive-enclosure-to-save-big

    My son is wondering if WD put a boot killer in the drive’s bios since they first released the external drive ?

    And, we were not smart enough to test the drive in its external enclosure. I will do that Monday. If this drive is a DOA, then Grrr !

  83. “No More White Knights”
    https://accordingtohoyt.com/2017/08/18/no-more-white-knights/

    “I’m starting to get really tired of White Knights.”

    “You’ve seen these gentlemen. They rush in, when they perceive someone as being in danger, and pavane around with grandeur, proclaim their goodness and wonderfulness, and their willingness to defend the helpless. And nine times out of ten, leave, full of honor and glory, leaving things worse than they found them.”

    “Except the modern versions don’t ask you if you are helpless, they just assume. And they don’t do anything except signal their virtue and their willingness to defend you. Oh, they might take the opportunity to bash a few of their personal enemies, perhaps by claiming that they are your enemies too.”

    Evil day star ! Snark !

  84. And, we were not smart enough to test the drive in its external enclosure. I will do that Monday. If this drive is a DOA, then Grrr !

    Newegg and, for a while, even ThinkGeek had a set of cables which would allow you to temporarily connect a bare drive as an external USB — great for upgrades and testing.

    I have a set around here … somewhere.

  85. thank God you turned out alright anyway

    Jury is still out on that.

    After my aunt died (uncle was already dead) I sat down and started writing a document that described all the stunts my aunt and uncle had pulled over the years. Some of the major abuse starting from when I was seven years old. Turned into a 52 page document and I am certain I have missed some events.

    After it was completed I sent copies to my mother, my childhood neighbors, my brothers and a few other people. Most were aghast at what transpired. The one ex-neighbor said if they had truly know they would have removed me from my aunt and uncle and let me live with them. I told them it was not their fault as being the ’60’s such treatment of kids was kept under wraps.

    It was a healing process for me and I was glad I produced the document. Made me come to terms with what I went through. It also brought back a lot of really bad memories that I had tried to bury which was probably a good thing.

    Then as time went on and my aunt started having issues I brought her to TN and put her in assisted living and eventually a nursing home. The obvious question is why the hell would I do that.

    First was because of my wife. The entire family hated my aunt because of stunts she and her husband had pulled with the family. Someone had to do something otherwise the government would get involved and would seize all her money. That brings up the second reason, money. Based on what I had been through I felt I was entitled to some of the money, most which had come from the farm that I had slaved on during my childhood. There were some relatives that showed up at my uncle’s funeral that were very much interested in grabbing the money and nothing else and I needed to protect those funds. I had never seen or heard of these relatives before and my scam warning indicator was on high alert. Third reason is that it would not be the Christian and Human thing to just dump someone on the system. There was no one else but me and my wife.

    When my aunt died there was no grief from anyone. No one in the family was sad. Most of the comments were along the lines of “Finally”, “Good riddance”, “Hope the bitch went to Hell”, etc.

    In the end I got a small fraction of the money. She burned through several hundred thousand in the assisted living. It was her money and the system for the most part made certain that the money was used for her benefit. Once the money was gone, and only when the money was gone, did the state start paying for her care. Had my wife and I not stepped in the state would have stolen the money or the money grubbing relatives absconded with the funds and still dumped her on the system. I was determined I was not going to let the state steal the money.

  86. Lynn wrote:

    “And, we were not smart enough to test the drive in its external enclosure. I will do that Monday. If this drive is a DOA, then Grrr !”

    I thought you’d ruined the enclosure.

  87. Ray wrote:

    “Third reason is that it would not be the Christian and Human thing to just dump someone on the system.”

    If my ex brother in law was on fire I wouldn’t piss on him to put out the fire.

  88. @Mr. Ray; everything you did was the Right Thing to do and it’s good you created your own means of venting all the shit you went through for all those years. As you probably know, that kind of stuff doesn’t ever really go away completely but we hopefully learn to cope with it and use various tools to help us cope.

    When I did the cognitive processing therapy last year at the VA, they had me write a lotta stuff, too, and then focus on one specific event that did a lot of damage to me. It was hard, and there are guys in the group who won’t do it, or who started it and then quit. One of our young “Desert One” vets did it, but lately he’s also needed more help again, thanks to events at home smacking him around that are not his fault. (loss of control and a shit-ton of frustration and anger).

    But we were all adults or close to it when we went to work for Uncle on his overseas plantations. For two grown people to do to a little boy what they did to Ray is just, shit, I don’t have any words for it that aren’t cliches of some kind.

  89. @Ray, you are a survivor.

    Your childhood treatment stories make me cringe with anger for the scum who you had been entrusted to.

    I do enjoy your farm stories. They bring back good memories for me. Even though I was a “city kid” I spent a lot of time on my Grandparents farms, particularly my Mom’s Parents. I spent most of my summer, every summer until I was 18, working like a “farm kid”. My memory cannot recall the specific models, but my Maternal Grandfather had gasoline engine Ford tractors and IH diesel tractors. I learned at age 7 to mow, rake, and bale hay (at both ends, running the baler and stacking the bales). It was a stretch to reach the controls, but I could do it. Grandpa raised Registered Angus, mostly for sale as breeding stock (big bucks). The “culls” were raised for meat which usually graded Prime.

    Every November I got some time off from school so I could help my Granddad and his Brothers show at the International Livestock Exposition at the original Stockyards in Chicago. They always showed in the Carcass Class, they didn’t believe in showing for “beauty”. They more often than not took home a Grand Champion and/or Reserve Grand Champion trophy. That meant higher demand and prices for their breeding stock and the same for the few that were raised for beef.

  90. Writing n stuff is all well and good, but wouldn’t Mr Ray have found greater long-term happiness if he’d vented by becoming a porn star?

  91. wouldn’t Mr Ray have found greater long-term happiness if he’d vented by becoming a porn star?

    I could show you why but you could never get the image out of your head.

    Grandpa raised Registered Angus, mostly for sale as breeding stock (big bucks)

    So did we. About 200 head. When I turned 16 and got a regular driving license I got the job of going to many shows and sales all over Oregon, Washington and Northern California. Usually placed high in the sale order.

    I enjoyed many aspects of the farm, operating the equipment, haying, etc. Hated working with the cows. Made good money in the summer working other fields at the neighbors, allowance at home was a dollar a day. Farm kept me out of jail, taught me a lot. As I said, better than CA in spite of the abuse. Strange concept indeed.

  92. So did we. About 200 head.

    My Grandfather had me make signs for he and his brothers’ farms:
    Browns’ Angus Farms – They’re Better If They’re Black

    The farm work did me a lot of good. I needed a lot of stretching exercise to fight my Polio, and baling and bucking hay did it 😉

  93. @dadcooks,

    IIRC you are in your low 50s, how did you get polio? I’m the same age and I got the scar on my arm from smallpox vaccine, and I’m sure I got the polio too….

    n

  94. My farm work consisted of shoveling cow shit. Other tasks as directed, but the cow shit was probably 80% of it. Strange to say, I never did develop any fondness for farm work. Must say, though, that it prepared me for life in the corporate and government contracting world.

  95. you are in your low 50s, how did you get polio?

    I’m in my early or mid-50s, and got a mild case of polio from the vaccine.

    (Or else I didn’t. My mother told me that repeatedly when I was a kid but when I was an adult she told me “I never told you that.” Between her drinking when I was a kid and her fading memory once she passed 60, I don’t know which to believe.)

  96. DadCooks: how many attack subs do you need to defend a CBG?

    1?, 2?, 6?

  97. That depends on how many light bulbs there are in the CBG.

  98. That depends on how many light bulbs there are in the CBG.

    Or how many dimbulbs there are in the Pentagon.

  99. “Or how many dimbulbs there are in the Pentagon.”

    General rule of thumb: O-6 and above.

  100. My parents did not want me as I was a surprise arrival 11 months after my brother. Best option to them was to give me to my aunt and uncle who used me for slave labor on the farm.

    @Ray, how old were you when you were given away to your aunt ?

    And taking care of your aunt in her old age was the right thing to do.

  101. @Ray, how old were you when you were given away to your aunt ?

    I was seven years old when I was sent to live with my aunt and uncle.

    taking care of your aunt in her old age was the right thing to do

    Though my reasons were almost entirely selfish. The thought of just taking all her money and dumping her on the state crossed my mind more than once. That is when I learned about that nasty three year (then) look back (now five years) rule from the states. Also the need to protect all her assets from the money grubbing relatives who were never around and deserved nothing was a priority.

  102. “And, we were not smart enough to test the drive in its external enclosure. I will do that Monday. If this drive is a DOA, then Grrr !”

    I thought you’d ruined the enclosure.

    Yup, Gorilla 1 (my son) and Gorilla 2 (yours truly) broke the enclosure into several pieces. Not returnable.

    You know, I had a DOA WD 6 TB external drive recently. You would think that I would test any new drive immediately. Especially before “altering” it.

  103. My farm work consisted of shoveling cow shit

    I did a lot of that myself. One of my projects assigned to me was to clean out one of the feeding areas in the barn. This had been accumulating cow dung, sawdust and straw over many years. The layer had accumulated to about 18 inches (it was a dirt floor) and it had to be removed.

    I put in temporary supports on the barn wall and took out the entire wall. I then used the tractor with front end loader and started scooping stuff out. Halfway through the front support bolts on the front end loader sheared off causing the front of the loader to come down on the tractor and scrape the ground. The tractor could not move.

    So I had to get a jack, crawl under the tractor in that 18 inches of cow shit and jack up the front of the loader. I then had to replace all three of the support bolts while laying on my back in this rancid foul smelling quagmire of straw, shit and sawdust. I think I just burned my clothes.

    Got it all cleaned out in a couple of days. Put the side of the barn back together. Not too difficult as it was mainly support posts and side rails. The wall was not solid. Had a large pile of this manure stacked in the barnyard area and it could be seen from the road.

    At some point a person stopped by in their pickup and asked my uncle if they could have some of the manure for their garden. My uncle said to talk to me and uncle said I could keep any money. I told the guy no problem, $10.00 to fill his pickup. He handed me the money, I filled his truck, and off he went.

    About 30 minutes later and over the course of the next four hours about a dozen more people showed up with their pickups. $10.00 each. At the end the pile was completely gone and I had $140.00 in my pocket. My uncle was furious that I had gotten that much money money for the manure. He let me keep it as he was a man of his word if nothing else but got even in other ways.

    It was not all bad times on the farm. There were good days and I did have some good adventures with my aunt and uncle. Several camping trips my parents would have never done. My uncle did take me fishing and took me on my first hunt. He did teach me integrity where a man’s word was stronger than a contract. They did teach me the value of hard work and completing a task to the best possible way you could.

    As I have always stated, I was much better off on the farm with abusive relatives than living with parents who did not want me and really did not have much interest in me. That lack of interest and caring would have put me in a lot of situations that would not have turned out well.

  104. As I have always stated, I was much better off on the farm

    Could be, but you have some self esteem problems. Viz, from above:

    I could show you why but you could never get the image out of your head.

    You shouldn’t sell yourself short after comparing yourself to livestock. Some of them are pretty hung.

  105. And, we were not smart enough to test the drive in its external enclosure. I will do that Monday. If this drive is a DOA, then Grrr !

    Newegg and, for a while, even ThinkGeek had a set of cables which would allow you to temporarily connect a bare drive as an external USB — great for upgrades and testing.

    I still have the SATA to USB daughter board that attached to the bare hard drive. It is an amazing little device.

    I can fix the drive enclosure. Duct tape does wonders.

  106. The Voice of Experience wrote:

    “Some of them are pretty hung.”

    We all bow to your extensive experience in this area…

  107. We all bow to your extensive experience in this area…

    Oh, but no one has more hands-on experience than Miles_Teg.

  108. @nick said:

    @dadcooks, IIRC you are in your low 50s, how did you get polio?

    I’ll be 67 in September, next month. I was diagnosed with Polio when I was 22-months, way before the vaccine.

    @SteveF said:

    I’m in my early or mid-50s, and got a mild case of polio from the vaccine.

    I got the experimental Polio Vaccine when I was 5 or 6 and it caused a major relapse of paralysis on my left side. I received no further Polio shots or oral after that.

    @Miles_Teg said:

    DadCooks: how many attack subs do you need to defend a CBG? 1?, 2?, 6?

    That is a number I cannot tell you, but less than half the fast attacks requested were approved and what is actually available today is about half that. The “mission” has had to be drastically modified. The Los Angeles Class (688 Class) did show that it could perform better than expected though, out of necessity.

  109. I know you were just screwing around (which is fair enough, as I was, too, which was fair enough, as you started it) but your question got me looking into Superglue vs Loctite. Setting aside that Loctite is a brand and that they make a whole lot of glues, including cyanoacrylate superglue, Superglue would in fact be better for my wise-ass goal of making sure the cap never came off the valve stem.

    I believe the reference is to Loctite Threadlocker: http://www.loctiteproducts.com/p/10/15/t_lkr_red/overview/Loctite-Threadlocker-Red-271.htm

    The Red (vs. the Blue) is designed for the permanent locking and sealing of threaded fasteners. The product cures when confined in the absence of air between close fitting metal surfaces. It protects threads from rust and corrosion and prevents loosening from shock and vibration. It is only removable once cured by heating up parts to 500°F (260°C).

  110. Thus me saying earlier that for most of our purposes, as in working with firearms, we wanna use the blue Loctite and not the red. Heating up the valve stem on the tire to 500 degrees would be problematic.

  111. “Heating up the valve stem on the tire to 500 degrees would be problematic.”

    Not really. Thermite gets much hotter than that. I used to use it to erase hard drives permanently. Now I just use a .44. Which would also work on a valve stem.

  112. Sure, if there was no alternative method of murdering a valve stem.

    I wonder if thermite would work well to interrogate antifa cadres….

  113. “I wonder if thermite would work well to interrogate antifa cadres….”

    Much too hot for that. A Bernz-o-Matic torch works much better.

  114. Your valve stem is more than a valve stem if you have a newer vehicle with a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPM). Ruin the valve stem and you also ruin the very expensive TPM transmitter on it. The cost for those “puppies” can be $149.00 each or more and sometimes you have to get a whole new set for all your tires because they are “keyed/synced” together.

    Isn’t gooberment wonderful looking out for the lazy snowflakes who cannot be bothered to check their tires air pressure.

  115. Common thermite is just iron oxide (rust) and aluminum powder, both sold as paint pigments. It’s very hard to ignite. The best way I found to get it going, better than a magnesium strip, is a small pile of potassium permanganate (hardware store) with some glycerol (glycerin) from the drugstore.

  116. Back in ancient times, yer humble northern correspondent nutjob used little jars filled halfway with the chloride crystal powder used for pools back then, and a dollop of glycerine from the hobby photography store at the mall. Blew up like an M-80 with a beautiful green flame.

  117. “Much too hot for that. A Bernz-o-Matic torch works much better. ”

    A lit stick of dynamite up the arse can persuade people to cooperate too.

    (Eye of the Tiger, 1986)

  118. @SteveF said:
    “But think of the children, DadCooks! Think of the children!”

    “Let them eat cake.”

    I was going to say something a bit more befitting a Sub Vet, but it’s Sunday.

  119. “How many starving children can you fit in a torpedo tube?”

    Unfair! Trick question.

    First, what diameter torpedo tube? Second, are we talking starving as in stick-thin or as in bloated bellies? It makes a difference.

  120. How many starving children can you fit in a torpedo tube?

    Ah… that depends. Size of torpedo tube…. Have have they been starved? Perhaps even….

    Oh, ick. You win with the worst dead baby joke ever.

  121. We use a hydraulic ram to shove the torpedoes into the tubes and there are drains in the tubes, so you could squeeze in quite a few.

  122. Unfair! Trick question.

    If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

    (Actually, I think that line is bullshit. If you can’t win under the agreed-upon rules, well, I guess you’re a loser, aren’t you? I’ve managed to really piss off some people over the years with that reasoning. Oh, yah, you’re a real winner, so long as you play by one set of rules and everyone else plays by another. Loser.)

    Oh, ick. You win with the worst dead baby joke ever.

    My power is a fearsome power.

  123. If you’re not cheating, you’re not trying.

    Actually, I think that line is bullshit

    Ever watch NASCAR?

    You win with the worst dead baby joke ever.

    What’s easier to unload from a train car? Dead babies or peanut butter?

    Dead babies. You can use a pitchfork.

  124. Haters.

    Mean as snakes, these people here.

    I need a safe space.

    (not a torpedo tube)

  125. Right up there with country act “The Dixie Chicks” slagging America while on their European tour.

    n

  126. Obummer was also very good at trashing this country every time he went overseas.

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