Fri. Jan. 10, 2020 – Finally Friday, oh who am I kidding?

Warmish, and very damp. [71F and windy, with bad weather forecast for later]

Yesterday was overcast and windy with extra dampness. I put away stuff that sat for 5 days and was still wet.

Spent a couple of hours in the driveway and yard and garage. Didn’t make much forward progress, mainly put things back after disrupting them for Christmas.

Did sell a couple of things on ebay this week. I’ve got high hopes that more sells soon.

Found a couple of good things this week too. Walked into the Goodwill outlet and picked up a QRP (low power) ham radio kit, a nice concealed holster, and some stuff for the truck. All for less than $10.

I’ve already mentioned getting a nice inverter, battery charger/maintainer/reconditioner, and some tactical toys… I was bidding on a case of MREs but they got too expensive without knowing the date.

I have moved a few things that my wife wanted moved, and cleaned up some stuff in the house.

Today I’ll be doing domestic goddess stuff, laundry, shopping, cleaning, etc. Later this evening Basketball starts up for the little one.

Starting the week with a day off sure made it pass quickly…

Anyone get any preps in this week?

n

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

47 thoughts on “Fri. Jan. 10, 2020 – Finally Friday, oh who am I kidding?”

  1. From yesterday, re: Enron:

    The family lost all of their investment in Enron.

    I too had money in Enron, about $25K when the bubble exploded. Original investment was $5K, provided by a relative. Originally it was PG&E (or some utility stock) that got folded over into Enron through what I am certain were shady deals. Over time the money grew and I was a happy camper waiting to take my profits. But I was encouraged by a person I thought was knowledgeable to keep the money in Enron. I believe he lost over $150K.

    I did get a couple of checks for the settlement of the damage. One check was for about $14.00 which I promptly cashed. A few months later I got another check for $0.02, which I never cashed. Figured it was worth more as a souvenir than actual cash value.

    I also suffered through 2008, lost about over half my investments in that downturn. At that time my money was held in several mutual funds managed by an adviser. I was panicking, ready to dump when things started going south. I was advised to stay calm, ride it out for the long term by my adviser. He was correct. I have gained all the losses back and a lot more. Moral of that story is that listening to trained advisers is probably a better strategy than listening to some clown with whom a person works.

  2. I did get a couple of checks for the settlement of the damage. One check was for about $14.00 which I promptly cashed. A few months later I got another check for $0.02, which I never cashed. Figured it was worth more as a souvenir than actual cash value.

    Yeah, the check is definitely a conversation piece if nothing else.

    I have a Pets.com hand puppet in my stash of collectibles.

    Moral of that story is that listening to trained advisers is probably a better strategy than listening to some clown with whom a person works.

    I read Andrew Tobias book in the 90s and stick to the principles he presented which has worked out for the most part. I’ve lost four and five figure money amounts in stocks and FL real estate, but the big hole in our retirement funding is due to Vantucky. The selling never stopped that Fall since my wife didn’t get paid for nearly three months.

  3. Worker shortage.

    No shortage of bodies, so what’s the problem? I thought all bodies were equal or something. Hmm, you say no? Rac-isss.

    Maybe what we need ISN”T a flood of manual laborers with little education, and prison cities full of angry entitled violent drug users. Maybe we NEED all those middle class well behaved white* folks who built our country and culture in the first place.

    n

    *in attitude and culture not necessarily skin tone

  4. Strong storms are expected tomorrow for Northern AL. Nothing like April 2011 (hopefully) but still potential for damage from high winds and tornadoes. I’ve been lax in keeping my short term water supply up, so i partially resolved that yesterday by picking up 4 big cases of bottles water yesterday. I’ll get 4 more today. The only other thing I need to do is fill up a couple gas cans as I let them get depleted this summer. I don’t need to keep more than that on hand, as I have a big gas container that holds around 11 gallons that always stays full (well, at least 3/4), otherwise known as a 71 corvette. Great storage, and super easy to get the gas out. Take of the gas cap and look straight down into the tank.


  5. Great storage, and super easy to get the gas out

    I am guessing you are using stabilizer. I use marine stabilizer as it is much better at absorbing water and preserving the integrity of the fuel. Used it in my boat (until I sold it) and also use the marine stabilizer in the fuel for the mower. More expensive than regular stuff but works better, in my uneducated unscientific and generally worth what you pay pay for it, my opinion.

    Subbing again today. Art class which is easy until the last period. Such period occupied by some losers are just taking the class because there was nothing else available. The “prison math” crowd.


  6. I am guessing you are using stabilizer.

    Nope. I drive it enough where I cycle through without any issues. I do put stabilizer in the 5 gal cans though, good point.


  7. At some point, people will start fighting back

    The last couple of rate hikes have made me change my preferred route to the Baltimore/DC area from the Turnpike to going I70 to I79 to I68 to I70. Roads are good and scenery is nice during the day. Plus I can stop in my ancestral Western Maryland if I desire.

    I have made many a trip over the PA Turnpike. Early 70s the road was in bad enough shape that the longer I80 route to/from New Jersey was much better to drive and not beat up your car. Late 70s the Turnpike was much improved and there were still stretches of 2 lane going through Western Maryland before I68, so the Turnpike was preferred and worth the cost.

    Wife will probably use the Turnpike as it is familiar, though if she is going alone she will probably just fly in.

    At any rate, looks like they are pricing themselves out of the market. There are good alternatives going from Ohio to the East that were not always there before. Unless you are going to someplace close to the Turnpike or to Philadelphia you have good options.


  8. Wife will probably use the Turnpike as it is familiar

    I really despise Florida, especially the Orlando area. The roads that are toll are poorly marked with small signs, especially the entrances. Before a person realizes it they are on an entrance to a toll road. Too late to change lanes. Getting off at the next exit is generally expensive. Usually an unmanned toll booth. Drive through and get a nasty-gram in the mail several weeks later with the added bonus of a “convenience fee”. Payment can be by credit card incurring another “convenience fee”. It is all a carefully designed scam to catch the unsuspecting tourist that are not familiar with the area.

    And it works. It has trapped me twice. One time I called the toll authority when I got my bill and informed them I had paid my $0.75 in the coin booth and the system failed to register my payment. Thus I did not feel I should pay. Surprised me they agreed. Said foreigners from overseas would toss in foreign coins that would jam the mechanism. Poorly designed mechanism if it cannot reject or clear jammed coins.

  9. Maybe what we need ISN”T a flood of manual laborers with little education, and prison cities full of angry entitled violent drug users. Maybe we NEED all those middle class well behaved white* folks who built our country and culture in the first place.

    As I’ve posted before, I don’t think decriminalization of being in the country illegally will change the numbers of unskilled labor nearly as much as the numbers chasing the 20% of skill jobs that still offer career paths and a living wage. Figure 20-30 million from the Subcontinent and China showing up with “engineering” degrees, staked by families so they can accept lowball salaries and establish a family presence in the US before the SHTF overseas.

    Maybe another million or so of unskilled labor will show up from points south.

  10. It seems to be universally true that convenience fees aren’t convenient for the person paying them.


  11. It seems to be universally true that convenience fees aren’t convenient for the person paying them.

    I never really understood why there is ever a charge for E-Filing a tax return. It involves little to no effort on the part of the agency. No data entry, no validation of the data, well maybe minor stuff. No paperwork. Certainly no human involved, well intelligent humans. Life is easier for everyone and substantially less chance for error. Quicker processing for everyone involved.

    Yet TN charges $19.95 for E-Filing. The state will charge $25.00 for a paper return. Never, ever should a taxing authority charge people for filing and paying their taxes. Then if taxes are owed the state will charge a processing fee if a credit card is used. No fee for a debit card but I have a real problem with the state having my debit card information. Payment by check incurs another fee. It is nothing but a money grab.

  12. Poorly designed mechanism if it cannot reject or clear jammed coins.

    Some places have the ATM-like devices which accept bill, coins, and debit/credit, but they’re more fragile than the coin buckets and the mechanical parts originate in … Spain (?). Maybe Portugal. Either way, big $$$.

    Last Summer, for several months, the only tolls collected in Florida came from either the coin buckets or manual toll booths. The current vendor is so bad that if you call in to dispute a bill for a one-off charge from the automated system, chances are the rep will just waive it.

    The toll roads between the airport and the Disney property are a confusing mess, but The Mouse doesn’t care since they want you using their bus anyway.


  13. but The Mouse doesn’t care since they want you using their bus anyway

    Based on past experience when I visit Disneyworld again I will never stay on property that is not part of the Disney system. The transportation and the quality of the accommodations are top notch. Getting to the park property is a gauntlet of toll roads that are poorly marked.

  14. Based on past experience when I visit Disneyworld again I will never stay on property that is not part of the Disney system. The transportation and the quality of the accommodations are top notch. Getting to the park property is a gauntlet of toll roads that are poorly marked.

    I’ve posted before about the All Star hotels leaving much to be desired, but most of the accommodations on property are first class.

    Just be careful about Bonnet Creek resorts. That property was the last of the holdouts when Disney bought most of the surrounding land, and the owner simply hung on over the decades until the state forced The Mouse to connect their roads to his. The hotels are nice, but not all of them pay Disney to participate in the bus system and Extra Magic hours.

    We like the Fort Wilderness Cabins when we stay there, but those get evacuated if even a hint of tropical weather is predicted for Central Florida. Disney will still charge you full price for the night and evacuate you to … All Star Sports!

    We lived the evac experience the last time we went. Hurricanes are always a possibility getting into August/September.

  15. _Black Tide Rising (5)_ by John Ringo and Gary Poole
    https://www.amazon.com/Black-Tide-Rising-Gary-Poole/dp/1481482645/?tag=ttgnet-20

    Book number five of a eight book zombie apocalypse series. I read the well printed and bound MMPB. I am now reading the sixth book in the series.
    https://www.amazon.com/Valley-Shadows-Black-Tide-Rising/dp/1982124199/?tag=ttgnet-20

    John Ringo wrote the first four books in the series on his own. Now he has brought in an entire hoard of authors to flesh out the series. This particular book is a series of short stories about the beginning of the zombie apocalypse. Even John Scalzi has a short story in there about equality on the wall. I must admit that the short story of the people relocating themselves to the top of an oil tank farm was interesting.

    For those who do not know, John Ringo’s zombie apocalypse was started by a rogue biologist who integrated a rabies virus payload into a flu virus, H7D3. The airborne incubation period is about a week or so. The saliva incubation period is less than a day. The resulting mess is a total top brain blowout. Nasty.

    My rating: 4 out of 5 stars
    Amazon rating: 4.4 out of 5 stars (209 reviews)


  16. but most of the accommodations on property are first class

    I have made several trips to Disney World to take exchange students. We stayed at local hotels with shuttles to the park. Generally the shuttle winds up being backed into sardine like conditions with lots of orientals, who seem to thrive on being packed in. (Yeh, I am a racist). I have seen their subway and train situations and any group that uses pushers to pack the train thrives on over crowding.

    The shuttles only ran to the park at a certain time and returned at a certain time. Miss it and you get stuck with a large cab bill as the cab rates go up at that time.

    The last trip we stayed at the animal resort, forget the name. Got a text with our room number before we arrived, wrist bands let us in the room. Quality room, top notch. Drinks on the resort are free, breakfast was included as we had the meal plan. The decor of the room just added to the experience.

    Shuttle to the park ran every 20 minutes. This allowed us to leave the park in the afternoon for a break and a nap. Then returned later in the day for the evening festivities.

    I really liked the wrist bands for the fast pass use and getting into the park and into the hotel room. Biggest downside is that you really don’t know how much has been spent on snacks and other items in the park. That is divulged when check out is done, online of course, and the other charges are now displayed. Ouch. Lesson learned.

    Still I would not do otherwise. When the grandson is six years old in four years, I am taking wife, son, his wife and the grandson for a balls to the walls trip to Disney World. Stay on resort property, breakfast with the characters, no holds barred. It will be expensive but spending money on something that will not be forgotten and brings joy to many (especially Disney accountants) is worth the cost.

    I plan to go through Disney for the booking. Will avail myself of their booking services and their planning services to make it all happening. Too complicated to attempt myself. I do want to stay on property that has access to the monorail.

  17. wrt stock picking… it’s all good until it isn’t.

    “Because once again, the market just doesn’t care. Plane crashes have been normalized in 2020, and so, apparently, has gross incompetence and contempt for both government regulators and the broader public.”

    Something is wrong at Boeing. I blame the accountants running the company. Boeing is an engineering and manufacturing company, it should be run by engineers.

    The CEO is not a pilot. The President is not a pilot. There is not a single pilot on the BOD that I know of.

  18. Strong storms are expected tomorrow for Northern AL. Nothing like April 2011 (hopefully) but still potential for damage from high winds and tornadoes. I’ve been lax in keeping my short term water supply up, so i partially resolved that yesterday by picking up 4 big cases of bottles water yesterday. I’ll get 4 more today. The only other thing I need to do is fill up a couple gas cans as I let them get depleted this summer. I don’t need to keep more than that on hand, as I have a big gas container that holds around 11 gallons that always stays full (well, at least 3/4), otherwise known as a 71 corvette. Great storage, and super easy to get the gas out. Take of the gas cap and look straight down into the tank.

    We are going to get a piece of that action tonight in the Land of Sugar by the biggest hot tub in the USA. Up to 75 mph winds.
    https://spacecityweather.com/quick-update-on-timing-intensity-of-friday-night-storms/

    I filled up the 36 gal gas tank on the new F-150 so I am ready to go. I have a dozen water cases at the old house and another dozen cases at the new used house. I have moved a lot of the LTS food to the new used house. Now I need to move us when the new carpet gets installed.

  19. The CEO is not a pilot. The President is not a pilot. There is not a single pilot on the BOD that I know of.

    Once HQ moved to Chicago, into the building which, ironically, housed the HQ of Morton Salt until that company’s legacy was squashed in yet another merger, the clock started ticking on engineers and pilots running things at Boeing.

    I saw an article recently arguing that, 20-plus years ago, McDonnell Douglas essentially bought Boeing using Boeing’s money, not the other way around, and that McDonnell’s culture dominates today.

  20. The CEO is not a pilot. The President is not a pilot. There is not a single pilot on the BOD that I know of.

    Once HQ moved to Chicago, into the building which, ironically, housed the HQ of Morton Salt until that company’s legacy was squashed in yet another merger, the clock started ticking on engineers and pilots running things at Boeing.

    I saw an article recently arguing that, 20-plus years ago, McDonnell Douglas essentially bought Boeing using Boeing’s money, not the other way around, and that McDonnell’s culture dominates today.

    I used to say that bankruptcy cures all of these problems but that was before the first GM bankruptcy. Now that GM has filed bankruptcy two ? three ? times, even that cure is suspect.

  21. I filled up the 36 gal gas tank on the new F-150 so I am ready to go. I have a dozen water cases at the old house and another dozen cases at the new used house. I have moved a lot of the LTS food to the new used house. Now I need to move us when the new carpet gets installed.

    The HEB near my house probably has gas lines and panic buying of water, bread, and eggs. That always happens with any storm event post Harvey.

    I have 3/4 of a tank of ethanol free gas in the Camry, and the MPG average of the vehicle running on that stuff has been consistently above 40 on my commute. I’m in the old car today, however, driving it once a week until my son gets his license.

  22. “Sound Off: My Rant About Ford Motor Company” by Jerry Reynolds | January 9, 2020
    https://www.carprousa.com/Sound-Off-My-Rant-About-Ford-Motor-Company/a/1185

    “That led me to the CEO, Jim Hackett, of whom I have not been a fan, and I truly gave him a chance in the beginning. I admit I was skeptical from the start because his claim to fame was running a desk manufacturing company into the ground. Still, there was hope because the best CEO in Ford history in my opinion, Alan Mulally, came from outside the auto industry.”

    “My biggest complaint with Hackett was the decision to abandon the car business, and by car I mean sedan and hatchbacks. In the radio clip below, I talk about how the market can change due to gas prices escalating. I’ve seen it many times starting in the early ‘70s. People tend to panic and trade their big trucks and SUVs for cars, particularly fuel-efficient ones.”

    “Since the sales numbers are out now, I looked at Ford CAR sales for 2019. The four Ford cars sold in 2019 were the Fiesta, the Fusion, the Taurus, and for part of the year, the Focus. Total sales for the year of those four? 252,096. To be fair as we look ahead, Fusion will have some sales in 2020 before it gets hacked by Hackett.”

    This is why Tesla is doing well.

  23. I have 3/4 of a tank of ethanol free gas in the Camry, and the MPG average on that stuff has been running consistently above 40 on my commute.

    BTW, number one son bought himself a new 2020 Camry LE four cylinder on Dec 30 for $23,000 + TTL. He really likes it. Me, it is very low to the ground and hurts my knees to get in it.

  24. I have 3/4 of a tank of ethanol free gas in the Camry, and the MPG average of the vehicle running on that stuff has been consistently above 40 on my commute.

    Where are you getting ethanol free gasoline at ?

  25. BTW, number one son bought himself a new 2020 Camry LE four cylinder on Dec 30 for $23,000 + TTL. He really likes it. Me, it is very low to the ground and hurts my knee to get in it.

    23k is a decent deal for the LE. My deal was similar.

    I’m still not thrilled with the acceleration of my 2018. The ethanol-free gass seems to mitigate the problem a bit, however. The forward-facing camera failures have stopped since I cleaned that part of the windshield (where the rear view mirror attaches) with Windex to get rid of the RainX.

    Toyota Care won’t pay for an oil change at 5000 miles, but I’d recommend paying for it. 10000 miles is a lot of distance to put on a new engine before changing the oil, and I remember Toyota having to backtrack on 8500 miles between changes in my Solara’s model year after the 2.2 L four started developing sludge issues — I never saw it, but I didn’t believe 8500 miles between oil changes would work from Day One.

  26. Toyota Care won’t pay for an oil change at 5000 miles, but I’d recommend paying for it. 10000 miles is a lot of distance to put on a new engine before changing the oil, and I remember Toyota having to backtrack on 8500 miles between changes in my Solara’s model year after the 2.2 L four started developing sludge issues — I never saw it, but I didn’t believe 8500 miles between oil changes would work from Day One.

    I got the wife to get the oil changed in her 2019 Highlander V6 at 5,000 miles. I will do the same in my 2019 F-150 (at 2,600 miles now). The son, who knows ? He is a free and independent spirit.

  27. Where are you getting ethanol free gasoline at ?

    Check your local Walmart gas station. I also saw it at the big Buc-ee’s in Katy over the Summer. As they say, your mileage may vary.

    Try it in the old car. Early 2000s were still transition years for E10. My Solara definitely runs better ethanol-free. I doubt it will survive E15 when that happens.

  28. “Since the sales numbers are out now, I looked at Ford CAR sales for 2019. The four Ford cars sold in 2019 were the Fiesta, the Fusion, the Taurus, and for part of the year, the Focus. Total sales for the year of those four? 252,096. To be fair as we look ahead, Fusion will have some sales in 2020 before it gets hacked by Hackett.”

    This is why Tesla is doing well.

    Lots of PR from The Real Life Tony Stark (TM) as of late. Bet the beer money.

    The Focus and Fiesta are getting replaced with a crossover almost-car smaller than the Escape, and I saw what looked like the much-rumored Crown Vic-class (cop?) vehicle on the road in Chicago in March. Heavily shrouded, but those lines are hard to miss. I got pics from a distance since I was in the middle of lunch.

    As for the Fusion, in a pinch, Ford could import the Mondeo from Spain, retool to build them in Jalisco if it works, and badge the “new” vehicle as a Fusion. People like crossovers and trucks, however … for now.

    Transit Connect vans already come in from Spain through Jacksonville. Due to the strange tariff laws on imported trucks and vans, the vehicles arrive with windows, which Ford removes and ships back to Spain, replacing the glass with sheet metal inserts to make tradesman vehicles.

  29. I second staying on property at WDW. There is a resort property for every budget, and we’ve stayed at many of them over the years.

    Now we’re DVC (vacation club time share) and that is working really well for us. The DVC resorts are all right next to the main resorts, and you get a clothes washer and dryer and a kitchen. Just eating breakfast in the room every day is a great way to save a buck and ease into the day.

    The meal plan changes all the time and the value proposition changes too. When we last did it, there were too many snacks that we never used, even when we realized that a bottle of water was a “snack”. It’s very convenient if you are in a resort.

    Magic bands and fastpass also get tweaked constantly. We all love the magic bands. Even though they are supposed to be reusable, we end up with new ones every time. We’ve got a bunch now. Super convenient way to manage fastpass, room keys, and charges and admissions…..

    Monorail resorts are the best, but individual ones may be better choices. Check out the mouse fan boards to see if one resort is super long or not. Remember that unless they’ve changed the security state, you can walk from contemporary to the MK very easily.

    Look into ‘renting’ a DVC property too. Having the comforts of home makes dealing with the kids much easier, and the rooms are bigger than most of the resort rooms.

    Finally, wrt using their services to set up the trip, book it as a Magical Gathering. If you have enough people (and it’s not a ton, but I forget how many) you get extra perks at no cost, while they coordinate for you. The only thing that might surprise you is that they won’t put your whole group in adjoining rooms. They’ll try to get them close, but no guarantees.

    Avoid the Swan and Dolphin. They are soulless convention properties and the buses are not as frequent.

    n

  30. Now we’re DVC (vacation club time share) and that is working really well for us. The DVC resorts are all right next to the main resorts, and you get a clothes washer and dryer and a kitchen. Just eating breakfast in the room every day is a great way to save a buck and ease into the day.

    Is any one not selling time shares now ?

    The wife has killed off three of her father’s timeshares now. Two left to go and they are really nasty. They have threatened to sue her if she even sells the time shares without their permissions. They want her to come to Missouri for a three day education on how to lease her father’s timeshares through them. At our cost, of course.


  31. Avoid the Swan and Dolphin.

    I have been at those resorts for a ColdFusion convention. I did not even like staying there for the convention.

    book it as a Magical Gathering

    Good information. There will be five of us going. If we need another to get a better rate we can probably find a spare teenager to borrow for a few days.

    Look into ‘renting’ a DVC property too

    Will do. But I really want the DW transportation and the monorail seems to be really good for traversing to and from the park. The bus to animal kingdom was OK but was sometimes crowded. As I told my son, cost is not going to be a primary, secondary or tertiary consideration. I am getting old enough that spending money on enjoyment is more important than things.


  32. They have threatened to sue her if she even sells the time shares without their permissions

    If she has a deed and there are no deed restrictions, she can tell them to pound sand. We transferred our deed at the county courthouse back to the property company. Only needed our signatures. Of course we got nothing in the transaction. We only paid $4200.00 25 years ago, swapped many times, and stayed at the resort many times, sold our week several times. I figure we got our money’s worth and was not concerned about the lost. The timeshare transfer company wanted a couple thousand to get rid of the timeshare. We don’t regret the purchase but are glad we are rid of the timeshare.

    On the flip side our friends in Atlanta have a timeshare on Hilton Head Island about three blocks from the beach. They use it every year in June and really enjoy it. There is no golf course so maintenance fees are not through the roof. We join them on many years. A days (9-10 hours) drive to get there.

  33. @Ray, so what did you do for your wife’s health insurance until she turns 65 ?

    If this is a sore subject then please ignore me.

  34. There is no golf course so maintenance fees are not through the roof.

    In Florida, we call it a golf curse.

    40 years of life is typical for a curse in a development before the land gets sold for more houses/condos or the homeowners have to pick up the maintenance tab for the club.

    Curses age and players get bored. A lot of the curses I knew as a kid are gone.

  35. Re: storing gasoline, there are two modes to address: sealed and vented containers.

    I have never used stabilizer, but I would not recommend against it. One problem might be deciding which one to use. I’ll get to that later.

    Gasoline with or without 10-15% ethanol stored in airtight metal cans should last at least a year without adding anything. This presumes the container is really airtight; the old fashioned steel jerry cans are good but pricey nowadays. I like the ones with the screw cap, which seals better than the flip cap. They have one gasket, which can be checked simply with the sense of smell. Gasoline odor is easy to detect in extremely small quantities. A good way to check is to let the can air out for a day or two after filling until there is no odor of gasoline, then temporarily put the can in the sun for about a half hour until it gets noticeably warmer. The resulting pressure buildup will accentuate any air leaks. If a new gasket is needed, don’t use cork gaskets. Buy only the ones that look like solid rubber.

    That one year storage time presumes the temperature is well below about 100F. I have stored gasoline this way for as long as five years, but the summer storage temperature averaged 80F.

    I have no experience with the modern plastic gas “cans.” I would not trust them to be non-permeable. Use them only for very short time storage until you can find out.

    All gasoline, regardless of whether it contains ethanol, goes bad by oxidation or moisture contamination. Storing it in sealed containers should allow it to last indefinitely. It is easy to inspect stored gasoline: just draw off a small sample from the bottom of the container and put it in a clean glass jar. Let it settle for a few minutes. Any cloudiness indicates trouble. If there is noticeable phase separation, there is more moisture than the ethanol can absorb. In either case, it is best to discard it and fix the air leak. If you can carefully open the jerry can without moving or agitating it, it is easier to shine a flashlight and look at the (usually) shiny bottom. Good gasoline is completely clear.

    OK, now in the real world… In a partially full vented tank, such as a car or lawnmower, gasoline is exposed to air and moisture. Even newer cars have to have vented tanks, but they are vented through a charcoal canister. Although this is better than just an open vent, it is not much better for the life of the gasoline. Air still gets in to oxidize the gasoline. Oxidized gasoline causes gum to precipitate, potentially clogging fuel systems. But this takes time. If the tank needs to be filled every one or two months, oxidation should not be a problem, because there are sufficient antioxidants and detergents in the fresh gasoline to handle the gum formed.

    Humidity is a different problem. Before E10, alcohols were added to gasoline to allow condensed water to mix with the gasoline and be burned harmlessly. Now with E10 and E15, there is even more alcohol, so the gasoline is more water tolerant. Still, there are limits. When enough water gets into the gasoline, it can no longer be absorbed, and there is a phase separation. The denser, contaminated stuff sinks to the bottom of the tank, where it is concentrated and pumped into the fuel system first. The engine doesn’t like this stuff.

    If this happens, there are several ways to deal with it. The best way is to drain and clean the tank. If that is too difficult, remove as much as possible from the tank and add only a gallon or two of fresh gasoline. Drive around the block. If this doesn’t solve the problem, add about eight ounces of either 90+% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol and repeat. Hope you never have to do this.

    On stabilizers, the problem is what to use. Most stabilizers prevent oxidation and subsequent gum precipitation. That is important. However, the popular stabilizers do NOT significantly increase the ability of gasoline to tolerate water:
    https://cropwatch.unl.edu/ethanol-and-water-contamination-%E2%80%94-comparing-water-removal-additives
    Some fuel treatments contain proprietary emulsifiers that help, but I am not familiar with them. The only way I know is to add either 90+% isopropyl alcohol or ethanol until the water goes into solution. The military used to do that a long time ago, but I don’t know what they do now. And, this is not practical for most people.

    Ray, I tried without success to find independent testing for water tolerance of marine stabilizers.

    Here in the desert, I have had no trouble with gasoline aging. I even drove one car so little that I didn’t fill the tank for over four years. Curious, I drew a sample, and it looked good. Not satisfied, I pulled the top of the carburetor, and saw only clear fuel. It also ran fine, and passed two biennial emissions tests. We seldom have enough humidity to be of concern, but I can’t explain the lack of gum formation. I do like the desert. 🙂


  36. Where are you getting ethanol free gasoline at ?

    There’s an app called Pure Gas on Android.

  37. @ray, as a DVC owner, (or having rented the owners week) you are a WDW resort guest. Full access just like you were in one of the named resorts, transportation, extra magic hours, etc. Dining is at the resort. The only difference is that they prefer you to use the pool at your DVC property rather than the adjacent resort, but no one has ever made an issue of it for us. Most of the DVC properties have nice smaller pools that are less crowded anyway.

    Our “home week” is at the Yacht and Beach Club, but we’ve used our shares to stay at the Bay Lake Towers (attached to the Contemporary), and next to the Animal Kingdom Lodge. We’ve stayed next to the Wilderness Lodge too. Before we got the DVC, we’ve stayed at all the low price (All Star etc), both Riverside(our favorite so far) and Port Orleans , and one night at Wilderness Lodge. The different vibe at each resort is very nice, letting you vary each trip, or settle into one you love.

    We’ve stayed in several variations of the Fort Wilderness cabins over the years too. They can be great for shared accommodation for family groups. I love the campground as that is where we stayed when I was a kid.

    n

    (I got married at the Wedding Chapel there and had our reception in various places but mostly the Living Seas and Lower French Island. My sister got married in a church, but the reception was in Epcot, with events in various places on property. NO ONE does hospitality like Disney (at least in that price range.)

  38. @JimB, if I ever get Bob’s prepping book notes in order, I’ll be using big chunks from posts and comments. I’ll be hitting you up about including that gas comment….

    n


  39. I’ll be hitting you up about including that gas comment….

    OK with me. I would be honored. I would also clean it up, or at least edit it a little tighter. Some further fact checking would also be in order.

    I like writing, but don’t do much any more, so am rusty. It also helps me figure things out. Here, I had the opportunity to look into stabilizers, since I have no experience with them. But, the writing was mostly stream of consciousness.

  40. The wife has killed off three of her father’s timeshares now. Two left to go and they are really nasty. They have threatened to sue her if she even sells the time shares without their permissions. They want her to come to Missouri for a three day education on how to lease her father’s timeshares through them. At our cost, of course.

    Has your wife’s father passed or is he still alive? I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating: Make sure you are familiar with the process to reject bequeathals in the state where he lives before he passes. That process is Kryptonite to the time share industry. A lot of family lawyers don’t want to get involved with heirs rejecting bequeathals or declining executorships, especially in small towns, so you want to be clear in advance.

    Hmmm, three day reeducation at a corporate retreat facility in a rural location, low protein/high carbohydrate menu under total control of the entity renting the retreat — no vending machines. The nearest restaurant is “EAT”, a two mile hike uphill, and they close at 3 PM. No cell service. By the end of the last day, you’ll sign anything for a chicken nugget.

    Been there, done that, but not for timeshare-related training.

    In case you’re wondering — or looking to put together a reeducation week yourself — Historic Banning Mills in Whitesburg, GA, an hour SW of the Atlanta airport. Easy bus charters, but make sure the drivers are on board with your program or else they’ll warn the students about the food situation and offer to stop at the Piggly Wiggly in Newnan on the road out to the retreat.

    Wish I had listened to the driver.


  41. @Ray, so what did you do for your wife’s health insurance until she turns 65 ?

    Nothing. We have just done without. With the high deductible of $4K and the premiums of $300.00 we took the risk. It would cost us more in the first month than the savings from insurance. We would be at a net loss. Decided to take the risk.

    Ray, I tried without success to find independent testing for water tolerance of marine stabilizers.

    I got my information from boating forums and the dealer, two different ones, and my regular boat mechanic. My friend who owns a boat acquired water in their fuel the year they did not use stabilizer. Took a couple of tanks to get all the water finally consumed. Anecdotal evidence for certain.

    I have had no trouble with gasoline aging

    Maybe the refining is better today and the quality of the fuel is better. Humidity is a very real problem here. I have always used stabilizer and never had issues. Foolish waste of money? Perhaps. A little extra security and precaution. Yep.

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