Fri. May 11, 2018 – again?

72F and humid, but clear skies. Should be another hot sweaty day here in Houston.

Friday again. More school activities. More stuff to do around the house. More, more, more…

This week I ordered (and received some) parts to rebuild the Portacool cooler I pulled from the trash. It should help me work outside in the heat, so I’m calling that a prep. It’s the reciprocal of making sure you have heat in the winter for those of us in a warm climate.

I think I won this round with the caterpillars that would eat my grape vines. I’ll keep an eye on them. Not sure what to do if you don’t have the right pest control. Soapy water and picking them off by hand seem to be the recommendation. Growing food takes a lot of time and effort if you don’t have access to modern tools. There’s a reason farm employment is down to like 1% of the population here.

The rats continue to make their presence known. I’m VERY reluctant to re-establish my shelves of food while I know there are some around. So the food sits in big black bins in stacks in the driveway. Even though it’s not as much food as I’d like, it still takes up more space than you’d think, stacked in the driveway. It’s also more difficult to USE the food when it’s in random stacked bins.

What have I learned from the rats? For canned food, a simple sheet of cardboard on top of the flat of cans would have kept the rat ‘debris’ off the can tops.

For boxed food, I’m not buying any more unless the contents are in plastic bags. The packaging can get ‘wet’ or otherwise damaged, and the food stays usable. Cheap pasta seems to be the biggest issue, with the pasta just in the treated cardboard.

For cases of plastic containers, like fruit cups, rotation is key. The damnable rats ate into the case from the rear, ate out the contents, and I never saw an indication… but when I went to pick up the case, it was nothing but an empty box, filled with empty cups and ‘debris’.

Rats are smart, adaptable, and seem to communicate. You probably won’t be able to get them with the same trick twice. This means lots of different control strategies.

Be aggressive in your response. I was tepid, let them get established, and they ate some very expensive food (and a ton of cheap food too). I’m still fighting them. They will eat your cooking oil, flavor packets, sauce mixes, shelf stable, pouch meals, boxed food, and anything else they can get their teeth through. They will ruin you cans if it goes on too long, even if they can’t eat them. Man up and KILL the little thieves.

So, what have you done or learned this week?


18 Comments and discussion on "Fri. May 11, 2018 – again?"

  1. Nick Flandrey says:

    Umm, I don’t think this will end well for us meatsacks…..

    “Terrifying Black Mirror-style robots by Boston Dynamics can now CHASE you, climb stairs and even find their way around on their own”

    “Google’s ‘horrifying’ human-sounding Duplex AI will now identify itself as a robot when making phone calls to humans after a massive backlash”

    Add to that, both Russia and the US have armed robots, well, perhaps we don’t need to worry about ebola anymore…..


  2. JimL says:

    47º and partly cloudy in a city in decline. Like rats from a sinking ship, people are leaving the city for the outlying districts. I just wish they’d leave the policies that sunk the city behind as well.

    Prepping – just property maintenance tasks this week. We don’t really get to plant until after Memorial Day, though a large number of veggies are started in cups & trays. I know we won’t eat exclusively from the garden this year, but we’ll get enough meals out of it to make it worthwhile.

  3. MrAtoz says:

    The Black Mirror episode with the dog-bots was freaky. It’s only a matter of time before the goobermint uses ‘bots like this for crowd control. “I feared for my life…so I unleashed 50 dog-bots on the perp. They killed him, not me.”

  4. RickH says:

    Nice weather here in my little corner of OlyPen opposite Mutiny Bay. Temps are mid-60’s, clear skies, except for a few clouds to the east in the usual ‘convergence zone’.

    (Posted this just to check if all is OK.)

  5. JimL says:

    Posting has been rather sparse today.

    The SCO box is now the new normal.

    I have a Windows Server 2008R1 box I’m trying to repurpose. I have a 546 GB drive (RAID 5, 5 drives) I’m trying to clone to a 136 GB RAID1 array. I know I normally cannot do this, but I have, in the past, shrunk a partition to accomplish just that. Given that I have only 50 GBytes on the drive after a thorough house cleaning, it should be simple, right?

    In this case, there is 0 space available to shrink. I’ve gone through just about everything I can find on the subject and it SHOULD just work. That it doesn’t is frustrating as heck.

    So I’m working on it in my spare time.

  6. JimL says:

    Microsoft is trying REALLY hard to kill IE. I just updated a laptop and IE disappeared from available apps. Had to go looking for it to add a shortcut back to the desktop. When I search the Windows store, it pushes Edge, and IE is not available.

    Some things just DON’T WORK with anything but IE. It’s not my favorite, but doggone it, quit making it so hard to do what I need to do. Sheesh.

  7. paul says:

    Firefox cookies.

    Cookie management has changed with version 60.
    From; I found you can paste


    into your address bar.

    and see the details of your cookies. For example, I have 22 cookies from this site. Other than “comment_author_url” (my website), “comment_author_email” (my email), and “comment_author” (my name), it all appears to be session stuff.

    Try this: make a comment and close Firefox. Reload this site and the time left to edit your comment is still there. Do the same after you delete your cookie for this site and your time left to edit is instantly gone.

  8. paul says:

    Actually to don’t need to close Firefox to test this. Just delete the cookie and F5 this page and your “edit time” is gone. 🙂

  9. paul says:

    Some things just DON’T WORK with anything but IE.

    True. I have a friend that does his Franchise Tax report online and Firefox doesn’t work. He has to use IE. Ya’d think the State of Texas would have fixed this some time in the last 5+ years, but, noooooo. “Great customer service they have there” is what I hear every year.

  10. Greg Norton says:

    Some things just DON’T WORK with anything but IE. It’s not my favorite, but doggone it, quit making it so hard to do what I need to do. Sheesh.

    Much like VB6 support, IE will be around for a while to make corporate customers happy. The banking products I supported at CGI required IE, and I worked directly on an install for a large customer whose name you would recognize in a heartbeat. I can’t imagine Microsoft upsetting that company.

  11. Spook says:

    @jlp, I don’t do that sort of camping, but I would probably just carry my EDC, a mini-Griptillion from Benchmade. It’s a great compromise in strength, size, and shape.

    I would likely grab one of my Morakniv plastic handled, fixed blades, just to have on my pack. I honestly can’t think what I would use it for that I couldn’t use my griptillion…

    I think a lightweight hatchet, or a machete, or sven saw would be a better use of the weight, for anything you’d need a big knife for.

    Unless you are talking about a knife as a survival tool with nothing else, if the SHTF happens while you are out… I don’t think the giant knife is that useful.


    Benchmark is ‘way out of my usual price range, but there are lots of similar designs from good to very good brands, and that’s the basic recommendation that I would make, too, for general carry and use. A good lockblade is plenty safe…
    I have not tried real hard to tear up my Morakniv, but this is a good choice for all-around useful fixed blade, with excellent (plastic) sheath. Works good for a kitchen or camp kitchen knife (decide whether to go for stainless steel; carbon steel has other advantages), presumably for game and fish, and so on. Prices under $15 and light weight mean you should probably stash a few in all your kits.
    And, well, if you have to chop, it’s hard to beat a little hatchet. Even the Harbor Freight one is not all that bad (but add a sheath of some sort!).
    Big knives (KaBar examples) are nice to have, but even for combat (I’m guessing) the smaller versions like the Air Force survival knife (or similar) are plenty big. For basic cutting, these are just clumsy compared to a small lockback or something like a Morakniv.
    General idea: Weigh (literally) a pile of small knives and compare to some big honkin’ knife and decide which you’d rather carry for the weight and usefulness (and back-up in case of loss) !
    Carry some sort of sharpening device, and test it in advance. I like little (tiny) steels and some of the diamond “stones” or sticks are good, too. Even a few small pieces of emery paper beat nothing.

  12. CowboySlim says:

    When I search the Windows store, it pushes Edge, and IE is not available.

    Isn’t that what the Clinton’s wanted? Kill IE because it was the monopoly that killed Netscape?

    @nick, a while back you posted an email of yours. I failed to save it, but now I would like to send you something that you might appreciate. It will include a reply link that you can use to get back to me.

  13. MrAtoz says:

    So much for those “spontaneous” protests!

    Ya, probably 99% of BLM, #metoo, Fuk the NRA, Dumbocrats against tRump, etc.

  14. Lynn says:

    Ok, today on the Missouri River in Montana was cold and wet. 37 F, about an inch of rain, and wind gusts to 30 mph. Fishing was incedental to survival. Still, I caught 8 fish.

  15. nick flandrey says:

    I almost did a ‘is this thing on’ comment this morning.

    I was out most of the day doing auction pickup, banking, rent house, client work, etc. Almost like a real job….

    and a couple of people are traveling…

    slow day.


  16. nick flandrey says:

    @cowboyslim, my email is flandrey at aol dot com


  17. CowboySlim says:

    Got it, thanks, nick.

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