Mon. June 17, 2019 – back to work

68F and 99%RH this morning .  Gauge said 1.85 inches of rain before midnight, and it’s only been misty since.  Forecast is for more light rain, and higher temps by late afternoon.  No idea yet if our swim meet will go on.  The pool gets in poor condition with inches of rain and the grounds turn to a muddy mess.

Aesop at RaconteurReport is busy laying in some ground truths about the Ebola outbreak (and I’ve contributed a little bit.)  Today’s report out of Africa is it MAY have made a big leap in Uganda.

TL:DR is – if they don’t get a handle on it there (and they won’t), it will get to the west.  It’s likely to get here at some point, and if it breaks out here, it’s SHTF time.  Best defense is self-quarantine to avoid infection.  That means stocking up.

I’m gonna bring together some of Bob’s posts on getting started prepping into one place.  A lot of good info has disappeared when some other good sites sold out.  A new page here with good links and Bob’s advice should be helpful.

Kids are sleeping in, but wife still needs breakfast, so I’m off…

 

n

73 thoughts on “Mon. June 17, 2019 – back to work”

  1. @greg, there is a rumor that Austin might have a case they are monitoring. Heard anything?

    n

    (use a throwaway reply and I’ll delete the question… or answer in email)

  2. Nope. Haven’t heard. My wife’s current management is wetting themselves over her impending departure, but, of course, they can’t let on that they’re screwed so they just don’t talk to her.

    The new chief of Family Medicine is a newbie who works for shoe money thanks to being a trust fund baby. Just what you want in charge at a time like this, but say, doesn’t that UT diploma look great on his wall next to his pictures of his wife, the drill team instructor at the high school, and their new baby.

    My wife’s just seen the normal ADD overload Friday and yesterday. Of course, the chuckleheads who run the front desk at her office would probably schedule “bleeding out of every orifice” just to have the copay before calling the ambulance.

  3. 63º and foggy by the shallowest of the lakes. Water levels are still high – 1-2″ higher than the record set in 1986. It’s okay, though. It hasn’t washed away the island yet, so we’re probably safe.

    Ran with the eldest on Sunday morning. Our 5k race was cut down to 4k due to water on the roadway. Running through 1″ of water is nothing. Running through 4″ of water, for a fun-run, is something. So I got a PR at the 4k distance – something I haven’t done in years. (Never have I ever run a 4k before.)

    Prepping – yes I’m working on it. Small food purchases at the warehouse clubs. I’m not where I’d like to be, but we’re progressing. Part of it is clearing out space for storage. I’m a hoarder, so getting rid of stuff is a challenge. (Challenge accepted). Got rid of a BUNCH last week, and as I have time.

  4. My prep tip of the year: learn to swim. I can’t believe how many stories I’ve heard/read this year about people drowning in situations easily survivable. Don’t just learn how to tread water or stay afloat. You need to get to shore before you exhaust yourself.

  5. Quite the excitement at the Amazing Las Vegas Comic Con this weekend for me. I met Felix Silla at the Rogue Toys booth. I only wish Gil Gerard was there, but alas, no. I’m not an autograph collector, so just talked with him a couple of minutes.

    I got Lee Majors autograph at a horror show here in Texas recently. We only got to talk briefly. Nice guy. The upside of the autograph circuit is that these folks aren’t living in poverty while the studios cash in on the reruns. The possibility of “streaming” was never considered 40 years go.

    Gil Gerard would be cool. You know that the legend is he was BJ Klinton’s party buddy during Bubba’s first term as Governor of Arkansas from 79-80.

    Silla has to be happy that MeTV airs “Buck Rogers” on Saturday nights. The network ran completely through the “Hawk” episodes and started over within the last month. Dunno what the license covers, but I imagine they would give ol Buck a rest after this run.

    If your wife has to be in San Antonio close to Labor Day weekend, the big anime show, San Japan, offers excellent people watching.

  6. “I’m gonna bring together some of Bob’s posts on getting started prepping into one place.”

    Thanks, Nick. ISTR that Bob had some post about absolute minimum keep-me-alive food and water requirements that would be helpful now, given the bug-in for quarantine Ebola risk.

  7. From @Greg yesterday:

    ADD: I saw ugly in Texas back in 1986 when my $80K house outside Dallas dropped to $60K when I tried to sell it in 1989. I ended up renting the house out until 2002 or so. Since then, I ain’t seen much ugly in Texas, even in 2008 / 2009.

    Regardless of changes to appraisal rules and lending standards I’ve observed, The current Texas real estate market is built on 4% mortgages. Even a reversion to 6% will be ugly, much less historic “low” norms like 8%.

    We broke even selling our house in FL, but we ate ~ 30% loss on a piece of property we sold a few years ago. The property wasn’t in an HOA, but the old guy across the street was underwater in his retirement dream house by about $200k, and he had zero patience for the grass growing beyond ankle height — maintenance from WA/TX was a constant struggle with services.

    Yes, as soon as the interest rates rise, the house prices will drop in unison. Welcome to the treadmill ! I do not see the interest rates rising again until after the Presidential election in Nov 2020. If the interest rates do rise, Trump will take head of the Fed out and shoot him / her on the back lawn of the White House at dawn.

    So did the man across the street mow your property for you and send you a bill ?

  8. So did the man across the street mow your property for you and send you a bill ?

    No. The guy seemed to have the county’s Code Enforcement on speed dial.

    Considering the cr*p shack which was built on the land after we sold, he probably wishes it was just knee high grass he looked at every morning walking to get his paper. The new owners are a Puerto Rican family who actually homestead elsewhere, and they essentially built a barn to house their relatives (and park their cars) who are expatriating from the island.

  9. _Demons of the Past: RETRIBUTION_ by Ryk Spoor
    https://www.amazon.com/Demons-Past-RETRIBUTION-Ryk-Spoor/dp/1948818272/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number three of a three book space opera series. I read the well formatted and bound POD (print on demand) trade paperback. And the font was just right for my aging eyes !

    As mentioned in previous reviews, I love space opera. And I love psi. Mix the two together and you get a totally cool mix for me. And there is a new word in this series for me, psispy. BTW, one could call this book in the series military science fiction, but, no need to complicate things as milsf is just a special case of space opera to me.

    As mentioned in the review on the first book in the series, Ryk has spent an enormous effort working on the universe for the series and it shows. Things work together and are not a total surprise when they show up. Nice !

    From a posting on rec.arts.sf.written, Ryk says that the events in this series happened 480,000 years ago. And since the galaxy wide Atlantean empire fell 18,000 years before these books, things were wonderful and beautiful in the Milky Way before the demons came along and wrecked everything, almost a half million years ago.

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 5.0 out of 5 stars (4 reviews)

  10. So did the man across the street mow your property for you and send you a bill ?

    No. The guy seemed to have the county’s Code Enforcement on speed dial.

    Considering the cr*p shack which was built on the land after we sold, he probably wishes it was just knee high grass he looked at every morning walking to get his paper. The new owners are a Puerto Rican family who actually homestead elsewhere, and they essentially built a barn to house their relatives (and park their cars) who are expatriating from the island.

    Sounds like just deserts.

  11. Sounds like just deserts.

    I’m guessing military retiree, probably from one of the freak show commands at MacDill I’ve written about in the past.

    After all the hassle, we reached a point a few years ago where we realized that if we return to FL, we don’t want to live in Tampa again.

  12. Here’s my quick SWAG for my family of 2 adults, 2 kids.

    60 days. Power stays up, or gennies run for at least the first 30, ymmv.

    Breakfasts
    Quaker Quik Oats- 6 tubes.
    Frozen liquid eggs, 8 quarts
    6 pounds pancake mix
    (tortilla or bread, see Bulk)
    Case of hash browns in the little milk cartons
    Frozen sausages, bacon, or pouches of crumbles
    12 cans fruit slices, your choice or bags of dehydrated fruit
    Coffee or tea to match your use, UHT milk or Nido to match your use, powdered fruit drink

    Lunch
    primarily leftovers from dinner or breakfast
    add dehydrated fruit, rice, or noodles
    add as many cans of soup as you like, 30 mixed is a good start

    Dinner
    3 flats , mixed veg in cans (60+ cans total)
    Meat- 30 cans chicken and or tuna, pork,
    30 pouches (mix of shredded beef and taco meat)
    30 cans hot dogs, stew, ham/spam and any other meat you can find locally
    30 cans mixed beans
    30 boxes/pouches flavored pasta mix, instant potatoes
    30 cans fruit or pie filling

    Supplement with bulk
    50# of rice in two 5 gallon buckets
    2x “bread bucket” (also makes pasta) – 2x 5# bag flour, 1x 5# bag sugar, 1# salt, 1L veg oil, yeast packets
    1x “other” bucket with cornbread mix, oil, corn meal, sugar, salt
    1x “pasta” bucket with however much pasta you can fit.
    At least one gallon each vinegar, veg oil,

    Big cans of lemonade mix, gatorade mix, koolaid, crystal light, etc for flavoring water, 6x at least

    Of course I’ll be eating meat from the freezer first, and the 6 dozen eggs I like to have on hand.

    There isn’t anything exotic or expensive on the list, most people can eat most of the items (except low carb, that is always a problem). All of the items can be purchased during normal grocery shopping, and will keep on the shelf for years. Flour and rice are cheap enough that I’ll just throw them away every year or so if spoiled. I don’t have a price for the canned meat off the top of my head, but I usually can buy at these prices:

    Canned veg, beans — $1/can
    Canned fruit/pie filling — $3/can
    canned soup — $1/can
    Rice – 50c – $1/ pound
    Flour – 50c/pound
    salt and sugar are cheap too.

    I recommend leaving stuff in it’s smaller packaging in the buckets, so as to maybe minimize any contamination if compromised.

    I’m half to 3/4 of the way to that list due to some losses from the rats, and WAY over it in some areas. I’ve got my normal very deep pantry/freezer stocks, and some freeze drieds, and some MREs and lots of other normal stuff.

    Anything I buy at the store I try to keep at least 6 months on hand, be it toilet paper or toothbrushes (don’t forget those either.) I have shelves to store condiments, baking mixes, cleaners, instant rice and pasta, baggies, etc.

    It’s not at all organized at the moment due to the rat problem.

    The above list with a good water filter should do for 60 days, and will be supplemented by the normal pantry food you have on hand. You can and should add anything else with a longer shelf life that you eat normally.

    n

    (my main point is that it’s not rocket science, and shouldn’t be difficult or expensive to provide the basics, think in terms of meals, two cans of meat, a can of veg/beans, scoop of pasta or rice, tortilla or flat bread = a good dinner) (two cans if they are small, one can if large)

  13. You will need to provide your own infrastructure too, just in case.

    I like to eat hot food, so I have lots of ways to cook beyond my electric range and oven.

    I have multiples of coleman stoves, in a variety of fuels, along with the fuels.
    I have butane table top burners and fuel
    I have a variety of backpacking type stoves and fuels (from gasoline to butane canisters to alcohol)
    I’ve got the solid fuel bars
    I’ve got a propane grill and lots of propane
    I’ve got a wood fire pit with a cooking grate
    I’ve got the concrete blocks to make a rocket stove
    I can dig a dakota fire hole and cook over that
    I’ve got wood for a campfire…

    you’ll need water, so a couple of hiking/camping filters to supplement stored drinking water, filtered rainwater, etc. I’ve got a kiddie pool to use as rainwater catchment if things REALLY get bad. I’m assuming you already stockpile water. You will need WAY more than one gallon/person/day.

    you’ll need light
    -coleman lanterns in various fuels
    -oil lanterns with oil and wicks stored
    -LED lanterns with batteries stored
    -LED/solar landscape lighting for use after the fall indoors
    -FLASHLIGHTS and batteries
    -a few candles but I consider them poor light sources and WAY too dangerous

    you’ll want power
    -whole house natgas gennie
    -backed up by small gasoline gennie
    -backed by old UPS battery banks
    -backed by inverter in the vehicles
    -backed by solar chargers (5 and 12 v)
    -solar panels (in a stack, need a charge controller and batteries, but can wire them up if needed)

    you need to deal with hygiene
    -I’ve got propane “turkey fryer” burners, big pots for heating water, and a wash tub
    -I’m looking for mop buckets with wringers cheap to do laundry
    -got a couple of boxes (ie over a thousand) of wastepaper basket liners for collecting poop
    -got the seat for a five gallon bucket as a toilet
    -got spare wash basins and soap for dishes
    -got solar shower bags (really poor substitute, would like a camping “on demand” water heater, might add one this summer
    -got several hundred feet of garden hose, which when left in the sun will easily heat several gallons of water to “really freaking hot”.

    Of course every one of these things is ‘fractal’ in that the harder you look the more involved it can be.

    Still, you can do some simple things that would make a big difference. The solar/led security lights are an awesome hack for getting area light indoors as well as out. Small folding solar panels to charge USB devices are widely available and not too dear. Lithium battery “jump start” packs are a great value for size and weight power storage.

    I bet everyone here has burned themselves on hot hose water but did you consider using it to heat water on purpose? You probably have many other things already that can be easily used grid down to provide some creature comforts. And starting with hot water saves fuel for boiling it…

    nick

  14. Aesop is a bundle of joy today.

    I think I’m good for a month. Almost. Maybe more, it depends if the electricity is on. I’m going with no electricity beyond a generator I can run a couple of hours a day to keep the fridge and freezers cold and to run the well.

    There’s another thing…. enough gasoline to run the gennie a few hours a day for a couple of month. More gas cans! And fuel treatment.

    It never ends if you keep looking.

    Not a fan of my plan to thaw and pressure can six briskets using the turkey fryer set-up, but I can can. I have about a hundred lids. I think I have enough jars. But hey, if the elec if out, ain’t gonna be surfing the web and watching TV anyway.

    I need to re-stock the canned stuff like tomatoes. And Spam and tuna. That’s for the next couple of trips to the grocery store.

    I like the idea of tortilla mix and I need to try it. Pasta supplies need topping up. Same for rice. Drop all into the freezer for a week or so and then FoodSaver the stuff. Even if we are trying to cut carbs, food is food.

    Don’t forget dog and cat food.

    HEB’s Hill Country Fare brand canned whole potatoes are actually decent. Unlike the canned potatoes my Mom would buy when I was a kid. Wal-Mart’s canned potatoes have the same funny taste as what Mom bought, though not as strong.

    HEB’s Economax brand stuff is just fine, too. Availability varies by location. It’s out here but not at the Leander Plus store and certainly not at Central Market.

    Stock what you like to eat. No point in having 6 cases of green beans if you can’t stand the smell of them.

    I have plenty of space in the EDC. But if it comes to bugging in, it all of moves into the house.

    Not really set for cooking with Coleman. My camp stove leaks around one of the valves. That was exciting. But I have eight tanks for the propane grill and it has a side burner. I think I’ll save the dozen cans of coleman propane for the Coleman lantern. That’s only like a 500 watt halogen when turned up.

  15. You’re welcome Denis.

    One place where Bob and I came at the same problem from opposite directions was food storage, in particular figuring out what was appropriate. He came from the pov of a scientist, looking at calories per gram, nutritional content, etc.

    I came from the pov of Dad The Grocery Getter, Chief Cook, and Head Bottle Washer… I think in meals, and don’t care about the calories or the vitamins. I know my family won’t starve or waste away if they have meals built out of what I put above. Bob had to justify his recommendations with science. I can use anecdote 🙂

    He often broke things down by $/kcal or similar. I don’t have to as I can just say “If you buy these things for <$200 you won't starve, and if you are concerned about nutrition, take a multivitamin daily." If I only had $100 or $200 to spend, I'd be buying exactly what I listed above, and some way to heat it, starting with rice, canned beans (multiple varieties, serve over rice with sauce from can), and pancake mix. Add flour salt sugar and oil. Then meat. And I just realized I forgot syrup! We eat a lot of maple syrup. Sub some of the sugar for maple syrup. WATER is your first need, so stock up while it's free and coming out of your tap. Things to store it in are not free (unless you can recycle drink bottles) but about the cheapest thing I can think of is food safe five gallon buckets with spout lids. The combo is cheaper by a little bit than aquatainers, but you can still move them around if you need too. The lids with spouts are an added bonus. Being able to stack them is an extra-extra bonus. For new water storage 33 or 55 gallon drums are about the cheapest $/gallon but delivery will wipe out your savings. They are also hard to move. Buckets are useful for SO MANY things, and they often get overlooked. Ratchet straps are another overlooked thing that is EXTREMELY useful. You can use them to lift and move heavy things, secure tarps by wrapping them around the tarp and the object, and of course use them to strap things down. I strap water buckets to the hand truck so they don't fall off when going over uneven terrain (fancy for 'back yard'). Long ago, one of the new prepper couples who Bob counseled did a test weekend and had a lot of trouble moving water. I suggested a pneumatic-wheeled hand truck. I use mine all the time to move stuff. At the moment it has a folding chair and an EZup canopy strapped to it in preparation for our swim meet tonight. Much easier than carrying the stuff. I've used mine to move firewood, bags of sand or soil, concrete blocks, buckets, barrels, flip top crates, boxes, all sorts of things. It's a big force multiplier. n

  16. I expect that Newsom will make his move in a month, once the dust settles from the circular firing squad -er- debate in Miami. Newsom/O’Rourke 2020.

    “For the good of the country and with the full support of the people of California, who just elected me Governor, but understand the urgency, the necessity, and the sacrifice …”

    https://thehill.com/homenews/state-watch/448862-california-governor-says-republican-party-is-headed-into-the-waste-bin

    Newsom is really just Governor Moonbeam’s third term anyway.

  17. I had an ice storm several years ago and no electricity for almost two weeks. Heat was a wood burning stove. I had a 4K gennie with a B&S 8 horse engine. Plenty to run the well and fridge and microwave and watch some TV. Electric stove? Dead short as far as the generator cared.

    So yeah. Forget running your electric range and oven with a generator. Ditto electric water heater.

  18. Someone elsewhere suggested that everyone needed an old style backpack with an external frame. The idea was to make a shelf on it so you can move heavy stuff long distances, like scavenged car batteries, or 5 gallon buckets of water, or sand bags, or concrete blocks….. They are generally very cheap at yard sales or thrift stores, and probably worth putting a couple in the garage or attic.

    n

  19. @rick, my wall-o-text post above SHOULD have double line spaces in between paragraphs. I even went back and put in an extra carriage return. All the spaces show up in the editor, but they are not being inserted properly when the page renders. Is something going on with the style plugin that is stripping more than normal amounts of whitespace out of comments? It will normally leave one or two CR/LF but remove more than that….

    n

    (not important or urgent, just weird)

    added- I just deleted all the CRs and put them back and it displays fine now, so “Never mind!”

    added again, now the spaces are gone again. I SAW them when I finished my edit, now it’s a wall o text again. Mrrrrp.

  20. Sometimes, after a carriage return, hit the space bar. Invisible character….. Depends on the site.

  21. @nick

    I dunno about that comment problem. The plugin that allows for editing is not one of my favorites, and haven’t really looked for another.

    But I temporarily disabled the plugin, then went into your comment to edit (via admin), and removed and added paragraph breaks with blank lines between. Looked OK, but save and re-view of the page still showed the giant paragraph.

    There isn’t a ‘text’ view of comments like there is for pages/posts, so don’t know if there are some hidden codes in there. Which is my current theory.

    I’ll have to look into how WP deals with line breaks in comments. Or maybe ask the plugin guys “what-the-heck?”.

  22. Well don’t mind me….

    I just ordered 12 cans each of Keystone Beef, Ground Beef, Turkey, and Pork. The chicken is good but to me canned chicken is mush… like store brand tuna.

    I clicked wrong and the Beef was “pick up at store” and the rest is delivered. Ah, no. Deliver or Pickup all of it. So re-do.

    Say all you want about hating Walmart but their website works nicely.

  23. Progress report on reading Neal Stephens0n’s Fall (NO SPOILERS):
    I’m on p. 585 (of 883, ~66%) and finding the book very put-down-able. 🙁

  24. … not much support on the support area for the comment editor plugin used here.

    So, found another one. Let’s try it out for a few days. Comments or complaints welcomed.

  25. @Rick: In re my comment above, after submitting it I was only allowed 5 minutes to edit, instead of the usual hour. What’s up with that?

  26. Progress report on reading Neal Stephens0n’s Fall (NO SPOILERS):
    I’m on p. 585 (of 883, ~66%) and finding the book very put-down-able.

    That would be me reading Dracula when I was 10 or so. Abridged version. Took a couple of years… 50 years later and I still have the book. No desire to re-read.

  27. I like the hour timer. I tend to post and pop off to FB or whatever… or wander off to play and pet the dogs. 5 minutes isn’t much time….. for wandering off to pee and coming back to re-read what I said.


  28. I suggested a pneumatic-wheeled hand truck

    I would suggest non-pneumatic tires. Tires with air will generally lose air over time especially the small tires as there is not a lot to start. Then the tires are flat the first time you really need the hand truck. Instead get solid tires that never go flat. It is really difficult to operate a hand truck with tires that are low on air.

    Same reason I don’t use rechargeable batteries in many of my FLASHLIGHTS. I have a couple that are rechargeable as they are day to day use and the economics make it worthwhile. The lights I have stashed around the house and in the vehicles are all AA powered lights. I use lithium cells as they don’t leak whereas alkaline AA cells are really prone to leakage.

  29. Re editing comments

    New plugin, some tweaks needed to increase editing time. Now set to 60 minutes. Should be long enough for those of you that use the two-finger typing method.

  30. I would suggest non-pneumatic tires.

    And thorns. Plus cheap tires and tubes. But when the hand truck is $40 on sale at Tractor Supply and the solid tires are about $30 each…. well.

    Watch for thorns.

    I have a cart that had pneumatic tires. Replaced them. They didn’t last as long as the originals. Lots of Slime to no avail. Ok, now solid tires. Yeah, it’s harder to pull because the tires are skinny. Narrow tread. But no more jacking around with airing up tires.

    And yeah, about $120 for new wheels/tires for an eight year old $140 cart.

  31. …for those of you that use the two-finger typing method.

    That’s how I started. Typing wasn’t required when I was in school and I didn’t choose it as an elective (funny enough – it’s not even a class anymore these days). So, I started off with the single finger “hunt and peck” method, which became the two finger method, which I got faster and faster at over the years. I won’t set any typing speed records, but I’m fairly efficient at my horrible way of typing now. Mavis Beacon would not approve, but I’ve been a full time programmer for 20 years typing this God awful way.

  32. The stuff I just ordered from Walmart? Supposed to be here on the 19th. That’s nice but…. y’all chill a bit, ok? Friday works for me. Friday of next week, even. Take the time to add padding to the package. [shrug] Save me the time to take the dented cans to Returns at the local store.

    Oh, I get this on my website. Someone orders a few egg shells on Sunday afternoon and on Monday morning they want a tracking number. Huh? Sunday’s is Bloody Mary’s, Corned Beef Hash, fried eggs and toast and tossing something on the grill for supper. I get the e-mail from PayPal that I have an order and a complaint from the customer all at once on Monday morning. Did you not look at any of my web site and totally not clue into it’s just one guy and not freaking Amazon over here?

    I don’t have an answer.

  33. That’s how I started. Typing wasn’t required when I was in school and I didn’t choose it as an elective (funny enough – it’s not even a class anymore these days).

    I took typing class just to play with the typewriters. No, really. Ah, heck, the IBM Selectrics were awesome! How the hell it made the type ball swivel and turn is still a mystery.

    Er, 25 WPM and no typos on an old Underwood wasn’t “good enough” for an A. But 45 for other folks was great…. along with 10 minutes with an eraser and re-typing was perfect.

  34. I’ve been a full time programmer for 20 years typing this God awful way

    When all your variables are I, V, X, and Z it does not take a whole lot of typing. Now for us with COBOL experience variables such as INTEREST-RATE-CHARGED-PER-MONTH it takes more typing effort. 🙂

  35. My wife’s current management is wetting themselves over her impending departure, but, of course, they can’t let on that they’re screwed so they just don’t talk to her.

    This does not make sense. If they were truly concerned, they would have paid her more to stay. IIRC, she is making chicken feed and they are taking the large amounts for themselves. Therefore, they are not willing to take a pay cut to keep her around and figure that they will muddle through it.

  36. I have a cart that had pneumatic tires. Replaced them. They didn’t last as long as the originals. Lots of Slime to no avail. Ok, now solid tires. Yeah, it’s harder to pull because the tires are skinny. Narrow tread. But no more jacking around with airing up tires.

    And yeah, about $120 for new wheels/tires for an eight year old $140 cart.

    Every time I use my big dolly, I have to air up the tires as the air stays in for only a week or less. I figure that is the cost of doing business since I only use the big dolly once per month.

  37. I took typing in high school, they were still using manual typewriters. I mainly took it because of the girls, the same with a home economics course.

    Every year there was a full quarter when we had joint gym classes with the girls for dancing; ballroom dancing, social dancing, square dancings, and contemporary dancing. I am sure that this would never be allowed today, for a variety of politically correct reasons.

    Edit/Add: Thanks @Rick H for taking such good care of this site. The new editor seems to be working okay.

  38. I won’t set any typing speed records, but I’m fairly efficient at my horrible way of typing now. Mavis Beacon would not approve, but I’ve been a full time programmer for 20 years typing this God awful way.

    I learned how to type on a Univac 1108 mainframe console which is an old repurposed teletype machine. The key travel is 3/4 of inch with a full mechanical plunge. That means that one has to beat the crap out of each key. People have complained over the years that my pounding the keyboard reminds them of a cave man beating something with a big stick.

  39. Progress report on reading Neal Stephens0n’s Fall (NO SPOILERS):
    I’m on p. 585 (of 883, ~66%) and finding the book very put-down-able.

    He needed more “real world” events to explain the appearance of new ‘souls’ in the simulation. Obviously, deaths happened to favorite characters who date back 20 years in Stephenson books.

  40. This does not make sense. If they were truly concerned, they would have paid her more to stay. IIRC, she is making chicken feed and they are taking the large amounts for themselves. Therefore, they are not willing to take a pay cut to keep her around and figure that they will muddle through it.

    They think they’ll muddle through, but they’re scared that they might be wrong.

    The WA State clinic rolled the dice and came up snake eyes — five years without a permanent replacement for my wife as of July 1.

    I’ve written before that the clinic in WA State got so desperate to replace the coverage at one point, they attempted to deputize the area pharmacists with a limited prescribing capability. None of their remaining doctors bought into the scheme, however.

    Medicine is a legally sanctioned racket, and my wife is trusting/naive. Sometimes I think we would have been better off if she had done the Chemistry PhD and taught for the last 20 years.

  41. I had an ice storm several years ago and no electricity for almost two weeks. Heat was a wood burning stove. I had a 4K gennie with a B&S 8 horse engine. Plenty to run the well and fridge and microwave and watch some TV. Electric stove? Dead short as far as the generator cared.

    Bob moved to the country a year or so before he passed away. One of the things that he did was replace the electric stove in the new used house with a propane stove. And he got a 200+ gallon propane tank. I thought that this was wise. Besides that, one can run a generator off propane with the proper supply hose. I would get another propane tank though as a backup as generators can run through fuel like no ones business. And one can run a space heater off propane.

    I liked this idea so much that I replaced the malfunctioning electric cooktop in my house with a natural gas cooktop. I also figure that there is a huge reserve of natural gas in the system. Unless FEMA shuts it in (see current FEMA regs for hurricane prep).

  42. “I’m a 29-Year-Old With $235k in Student Debt. I’ll Never Pay It Back.”
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/m-29-old-235k-student-151734965.html

    “I have $235,000 of student debt. The first $120,000 came with a bachelor’s degree from my state school. Another $70,000 or so came with my master’s degree. The remainder is accrued interest.”

    Are you freaking kidding me ? And his solution is … have the federal government forgive his debt that he so foolishly acquired.

    “Congress could pay for it by repealing the $1.5 trillion tax cut it passed in 2017. Primarily benefiting the wealthy and corporations, even Goldman Sachs says that whatever economic boost the tax cut brought with it has passed.”

    “And to keep future generations from suffering under the burden of student debt, Congress could make public colleges, universities, and trade schools in the United States free.”

  43. He needed more “real world” events to explain the appearance of new ‘souls’ in the simulation. Obviously, deaths happened to favorite characters who date back 20 years in Stephenson books.

    It’s the verbose description of life in the simulation that’s bogging me down.

  44. I use the liquid fueled Coleman stove when camping just a few miles east of US395 and a few miles north of Red Mountain. (JimB knows where that is, going N from Johnannesburg on 395 down the hill, after crossing the RR from Mojave to Trona, make a right on the first dirt road and go up a few miles to some dry wash gold mines).

    As we we 4WD’ers used to talk out there, 10-4, over and out, good buddy!

  45. Are you freaking kidding me ? And his solution is … have the federal government forgive his debt that he so foolishly acquired.

    He’s not frigging kidding you. Unless things change in a huge way, student loan forgiveness is going to be one of the cornerstones of the 2020 campaign to unseat Trump. Bernie and the cocktail waitress spout the “forgiveness” word all the time.

    Education is the other grand legally sanctioned racket.

    Plus, student loans fund Obamacare which, in turn, feed the healthcare racket. The program was nationalized as part of ACA to make the bill ‘revenue neutral’.

    Bachelors and Masters degree in … what exactly?

    Under the previous Governor, as a political gimmick, the FL university system proposed charging *more* in tuition for Engineering and other technical degrees at the state schools. Those grads should probably be first on the forgiveness list and then we’ll think about the ‘C’ students in “Sosh”.

  46. “I have $235,000 of student debt. The first $120,000 came with a bachelor’s degree from my state school. Another $70,000 or so came with my master’s degree. The remainder is accrued interest.”

    He said he makes under $4K/month, with a Masters. OK, I guess his major could be Women’s Studies. He should have went to a Community College and got an Associates in a trade or service. Oh, wait, Snowflakes don’ du dat.

  47. Bachelors and Masters degree in … what exactly?

    <sarcasm>Odd that that’s never mentioned, isn’t it?</sarcasm>

  48. Bachelors and Masters degree in … what exactly?

    Odd that that’s never mentioned, isn’t it?

    Apparently Social Journalism.
    http://www.simongalperin.com/

    “I wanted to be foreign correspondent. That’s me on top of a 12th century castle in Jordan built to defend against Crusaders. I was there studying Arabic and Peace and Conflict.”

    “One year after that, I attempted a summit of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. That was right was after studying in Morocco and before traveling by cargo truck around Kenya, camping and studying ecology and conservation.”

    So apparently we, the USA tax payer, loaned him money to go gallivanting around the world talking about crusaders in the middle east. How nice.

  49. “I wanted to be foreign correspondent. That’s me on top of a 12th century castle in Jordan built to defend against Crusaders. I was there studying Arabic and Peace and Conflict.”

    He wanted to be Christiane Amanpour, but, as a liberal, he has to buy into the mythology that she got where she is purely through hard work and determination.

    Playing house with JFK Jr. had nothing to do with it.

  50. He wanted to be Christiane Amanpour, but, as a liberal, he has to buy into the mythology that she got where she is purely through hard work and determination.

    <Elmer Fudd voice>Gweg, you awe a vewy, vewy bad man!</Elmer Fudd voice> 😀

  51. I took typing class in the 7th grade, rather than PE. It wasn’t a “normal” option, but they had to do something with the nearly crippled kid. As far as programming, it helped a little. An editor that matched characters helped just as much. A C professor who deducted points for my variable names being too long didn’t help at all. I thought read_loop was a really good variable name.

  52. Ok, home from swim. We lost overall, but the kids did ok.

    Finally cooled down a bit when the sun set.

    Comments look the same to me, which is good.

    n

    ah, the edit is completely different. And I’m logged in but still see the countdown. Previously I could edit my comments forever, and anyone else’s comments too, forever.

    n
    now it looks like I can only edit other’s comments for as long as they can edit them, as I see a countdown for pcb_duffer, but no one else. This is only an issue when I want to break up a spam comment but leave it in place or if someone asks me to redact something. VERY RARE occurrences.

  53. I have a friend who has offered a campsite at least (pending quarantine)
    at his somewhat remote place, so I recently caught a deal on about a week’s
    worth of freeze-dried backpacker food (needing only boiling water) with very
    long expiration so I could survive a week gettting out there (25 miles).
    Of course, this is a pretty good shot for Bug Out (which I would hope not
    to do), along with whatever granola bar type stuff I have in stock at the
    time.

  54. pneumatic tires on the hand truck is one of those things I’m going to claim argument by authority on. It’s my recommendation to get the air tires. They are wider, they provide some give and bounce when moving heavy stuff over uneven ground. I get that they will need air, boy do I get that, but you already have a bicycle pump for your bike tires right? If you lose the seal at the bead, wrap rope or ratchet strap around the tire and squeeze until the bead sets. Air up. Despite the disadvantages, the bounciness and the wider surface are too much of a plus to give up. (just used one of each type this evening. The air tired one to move the ezup canopy across several blocks of dirt, grass, concrete and mud for the meet, the hard tired one on my driveway to move the car battery I used for the fans. Even on the driveway I was missing the air ‘suspension’.

    BTW, a 12v fan worked great, and lasted the whole meet on the same battery that the inverter and two 120v ac fans killed in 45 minutes. I’m def getting more 12v fans.

    n

  55. Yep, agree on pneumatic tires for 2-wheel cart (which I
    have used but don’t own), 4-wheel mesh wagon, and wheelbarrow!
    Strap trick usually works to seat tire bead, of course.

  56. Hmm, this is kinda evil, but especially in hard times
    you could just scrub the expiration date off food
    packaging (after making a rational decision for
    yourself about the safety for those you are feeding).

    Of course, you could just let any picky eaters starve.


  57. (JimB knows where that is, going N from Johnannesburg on 395 down the hill, after crossing the RR from Mojave to Trona, make a right on the first dirt road and go up a few miles to some dry wash gold mines).

    Sure do, good buddy! Sorta my back yard. Even remember watching movies outdoors there. Not exactly roughing it. There are still times when there are no people to be seen.

  58. Yes, well, the student loan program is stupidly out-of-whack. There shouldn’t be any governmental involvement at all. If a private lender wants to loan you money, they’ll look at your major and your grades. The govt does neither, so people like this wannabe journalist exist.

    Some degrees just aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on. I’m helping with some oral exams just now for a master’s program. In yesterday’s session, my recommendation was to fail 80% of the students we saw. They only failed 40%. I had to argue hard to keep them from dropping that even lower. The woman on the verge of tears…did not jerk my heartstrings.

    Students show up claiming to understand the concepts. When asked to apply the concepts, they can’t even get the first step correct. Prompted through the first step, they don’t know the second step. At the end of the exam “I understand the theory, I just can’t apply it” leads to me saying “if you can’t apply it, then you don’t understand the theory”. WTF?

  59. I’ll second (third) the sentiment over pneumatic tires. Moving heavy stuff up a gravel driveway and through grass puts me firmly in the pneumatic tire fan club. Yes, there are times for hard tires. But not in my home, yard, or AO.

    Student loans – the gift that keeps on giving. And they cannot even declare bankruptcy.

    My cousin’s daughter complains about making < $40k/year with her Masters (in Art!) working outside her major because there are no jobs. How could they do that to her!?!?!?.

    I have told my children (at least 6 years before they would start school) that trade school or an apprenticeship would be their route unless they get a scholarship. No way will I encourage or help them spend one penny for a vastly overpriced degree that's worth less than the paper. Get a loan for it? No.


  60. Hmm, this is kinda evil, but especially in hard times
    you could just scrub the expiration date off food
    packaging (after making a rational decision for
    yourself about the safety for those you are feeding).

    Of course, you could just let any picky eaters starve.

    Don’t know about the USA, but in Canada we have “best before dates” not expiry dates on food. That is a the date the manufacturer believes some measure of quality (freshness / flavour/ company profit) will have decreased enough that you won’t want to consume the item. It is NOT an expiry date and is one of the biggest scams around. A tub of plain yogurt in the fridge will probably be good for several years, not the roughly 45 days they give it. There are countless other examples. It encourages the lazy (who don’t actually check if food is still good before eating it) to blindly throw it away. Great for sales volumes but a horrible waste of food.

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