Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 – where does the time go?

Cool and wet. [50F and 99%RH]

Yesterday stayed chilly. I was in long pants and a mid-weight jacket all day.

Some prepping got done this week but not enough.

People seem to be as polarized by the coronavirus as they are by politics. People I’ve been reading for years and generally like and respect are coming down on both sides like, hard. Which is nuts. It doesn’t MATTER if the normal flu kills 2000 or 20000 a year. We go to great lengths to avoid it, including poisoning ourselves and our kids with vaccine cocktails every year. Flu’s got nothing to do with WuFlu, it’s a false dichotomy. Flu is going to kill those folks, and the WuFlu is going to kill MORE folks. They’re BOTH killers and to be avoided.

Now, my feeling is, china inc KNOWS that regular flu kills a bunch of people and no one gets quarantined. But China inc just quarantined 50 MILLION people, and doesn’t seem to think they’ll need food soon. Which is ominous. Bringing food in breaks the quarantine. A hundred cubic yards of mixed stone and dirt makes a difficult barricade to pass with your food and water trucks too, you know, like it’s WAY harder than moving a red and white striped 2×4…. So either no one’s thought this through, or they HAVE and they made a decision we won’t like.

No one would cancel LNY and all tourism without believing or knowing something that WE DON’T KNOW. To pretend that we know better than the chinese making those decisions is ludicrous. They are taking this CRAZY seriously. I think we should too.

I’m taking my standard precautions. I’m not doing anything irrevocable or irreversible but I am taking steps. I’ve got a good supply of masks. My gloves were aging out (they get fragile) so I picked some up. I’ve got lots of bleach but will be watching closely to see if I want more. I’ve got bleach rated sprayers, rubber boots, and tyvek. I’ve got eye pro.

I have been rebuilding food stocks run down by the rats and time, and added 80 pounds of rice today. Also various and sundry other food. My secondary has a great deal of bulk from the first ebola scare. Much might be stale, but it’s there as a back up. I’m not throwing out that rice unless it smells bad.

I’m watching for secondary effects. Our Just In Time and Lean management systems mean that any disruption in the flow of materials and parts from China will effect manufacturing and commerce worldwide. That’s gonna be hard on some companies. In turn it will be hard on workers, and also banks. China focused on internal issues will either have them looking for enemies/scapegoats/targets or will distract them from their empire building… who knows which? Keep your eyes open though. If they stop buying Tbills, the financial house of cards could collapse and that can trigger all sorts of unpleasantness too.

There’s basically a whole bunch of different prepper scenarios that can come out of this. No matter what happens outside China, there already are and will continue to be disastrous effects internally and globally from the disruptions already under way.

The BEST that can come from this if it ended tomorrow would be supply chain disruptions, and the knock on effects from that. The worst is this being the tip of the iceburg of trouble, all the way to mass death and collapse.

I expect to be somewhere in the middle, but to think it will be nothing at all is nuts.

nick

Keep stacking.

54 thoughts on “Fri. Jan. 31, 2020 – where does the time go?”


  1. normal flu kills 2000 or 20000 a year

    That’s what they keep saying, but do you know anyone who died of the flu? I haven’t. Maybe the numbers are simply low enough that by chance I’ve never had an acquaintance who mentioned that his mother or his neighbor’s baby died of flu. Or maybe flu deaths get rolled up with other causes. “She basically died of old age.” Or maybe the government is lying to us for some unfathomable reason.

  2. Presumably there is an annual report somewhere that lists causes of death….

    With drunk driving deaths you see the cars, or the leftover glass, or the news reports. I know people who have lost loved ones. Nothing like the 30-50K a year they claim though, just going by ‘feel’. My guess is we’re not good with numbers at that level.

    n

  3. First movers get what they want, everyone else gets nothing….

    https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/theyre-sold-out-everywhere-virus-masks-sell-out-us-and-europe

    —this time when I check northernsafety.com I see THIS message….

    Thank you for visiting northernsafety.com

    The recent outbreak of the Coronavirus has caused a high demand for N95 Disposable Respirators and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). As a result, NSI has limited supply on hand and we are experiencing longer lead times due to increased demand. Any order placed for N95 Disposable Respirators and PPE on January 23, 2020 and later, will be reviewed and prioritized.

    For a list of products effected by these restrictions, please click here

    Please note: these products are unavailable for export, non-returnable, and non-refundable.

    To learn more about the Coronavirus, please click here.

    We appreciate your business, and thank you for your patience and understanding.

    Respectfully,
    The NSI Team

    –and look at the results on ebay for the ones I got at habitat…. look at the dates

    https://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=sperian+surgical+masks&_sacat=0&rt=nc&LH_Sold=1&LH_Complete=1

    –case of 200 was $35-50 last year. NOW $275!

    –two boxes, 40 masks — $158!

    n

  4. Maybe because–

    Summary:

    UK confirms first two coronavirus cases after multiple scares
    Confirmed cases in China rise to 9,692 from 7,700 a day earlier
    Risk-off mood hits stocks
    Impact of virus “not fully reflected” in rigged China PMI number
    At least two-thirds of China’s economy to stay shut.
    Goldman disagrees with Ross, says virus blowback will wipe 0.4% off US GDP growth
    ‘The U.K. health department confirmed two cases of coronavirus in England on Friday, while the U.S. and Japan advised citizens to avoid traveling to China.
    Hong Kong schools shuttered until March 2
    Singapore closes borders to Chinese travelers, first southeast Asian nation to do so.
    43 airlines cancel flights to China
    France successfully evacuates citizens
    1,000 suspected virus cases ‘under observation’ in India


  5. That’s what they keep saying, but do you know anyone who died of the flu?

    Old people and weak people that die during flu season, and have the flu, are counted as having died from the flu. When in reality they would have died anyway within a couple of weeks. The flu just accelerated the process by a couple of weeks. When a person is above 80 and dies, it is just old age regardless of the circumstances. They classed by aunt’s death as “Failure to Thrive” when in reality she died of dementia. Had it been during flu season it may have been classed as a flu death. Have to keep the population scared.

  6. Guys, I can’t emphasis enough, you need to be ready BEFORE the thing happens.

    One week ago you could move freely in China. One week ago you could buy masks, food, or a plane ticket.

    Today you can’t.

    One week ago, 650 cases. This week, ~10K, more than 10 fold increase. Next week 100K?- if you think not, why? What will stop it rising?

    I’ve got a sh!t ton of things to do today that all have to happen RIGHT NOW, or I’d be out hitting stores for masks to resell. (I bought a forklift. I need to pick it up today and get it securely stored. And there are 3 things that need to happen before that can happen.)

    Don’t put off ’til tomorrow what your heart and head tell you to do today.

    Pet food?
    People food?
    Shoes for 6 months?
    Tampons? Condoms?
    Dentistry?

    n

    How long before ebay bans selling masks as ‘price gouging?’


  7. Guys, I can’t emphasis enough, you need to be ready BEFORE the thing happens.

    Oh, I am ready. Could live for a month with no outside movement from the house.

    I am not entirely certain that the government is overreacting and am leaning towards they are overreacting. The number of deaths, verses the number afflicted, does not (at least to me) seem terribly out of line with the flu. If the death toll begins reaches about 5% of those afflicted then it will be serious. Currently the rate in China, with probably less than stellar medical facilities, is running about 2%. China for large sections is a third world country.

    9,700 cases in China verses 140 confirmed cases outside of China. Does not seem out of line. Thousands of people traveled out of China during the incubation period yet the number of confirmed cases are low outside of China. Consider 9,700 confirmed cases in China is not a lot compared to the population of China. Less than flu numbers.

    Thus the government of China and the WHO making a big deal out of this leads me to believe there is something about this kungflu that is not being relayed to the public. Making such a big deal out of something that has had less impact than regular flu is odd. Something else is going on that is not being relayed to the general public in my opinion.

    Or maybe I am just a crotchety old man that lived and survived through the polio, measles, chicken pox and multiple other afflictions. At least until effective vaccines were created. Thank you Mr. Salk. Or maybe I am just a bitter old man who has seen the government promote a lot of scare tactics in the past just keep a crisis, any crisis, foremost in the eye of the public.

  8. “just keep a crisis, any crisis, foremost in the eye of the public. ”

    –I don’t understand how that would be of benefit to the chinese gov. US gov, sure but the US gov is doing everything they can to minimize the situation. That alone makes me suspicious. The CDC is getting lawyerly and using more weasel words than normal, and putting more disclaimers on their pronouncements than normal.

    –also, we are in the first two weeks of the next wave outside of China where people are exposed but not sick.

    –we also tend to think of the world being like our experience, but most of it is not. India, Africa, Mexico, Brazil = lots of people in essentially the same living conditions as China. MOST of the world’s population lives in shitholes. Anyone care to think about the transmission rate in a favela? or Islamabad? or Liberia? the only blessing is that chinese tourist aren’t going directly to those places. However, sex tourism and day labor are sure to bring some into contact with those populations.

    n


  9. My gloves were aging out (they get fragile)…

    I have used gloves for automotive work for many years. I will focus here on stretchy, “rubbery” gloves only. I have found that latex gloves are fragile, store poorly, and deteriorate quickly. Vinyl and polyethylene have survived 10+ years storage, but are not very suitable for my work, a reason I have had them around a long time.

    Finally, nitrile rubber has the best combination of utility and storage longevity. I have had some stored in cars over 10 years with no apparent deterioration. I mostly use 5 mil and 7 mil. The 5 mil give good tactile feel, and the 7 mil are more durable. Both are quite resistant to punctures. There seems to be some quality variation among brands. I have found Costco gloves to be good, but only one thickness choice. Once again, Harbor Freight carries a good variety, and every box I have bought over 20+ years has been of good quality.

    I make no claim for resistance to bacteria and viruses. Also, all but polyethylene are porous to hydrocarbons. Use carefully. Obviously, this is not a review, just my experience.

  10. For any government a scared population is a controllable population. I have lived through many “we’re all going to die” situations over the years. Many laws were passed during those years, restrictions placed on people, etc. many of those bad laws still in place.

    I remember bomb shelters. I remember “duck and cover” in school where some would actually start crying during the drill. One such drill I was walking home, stopped by police, told I would be arrested if I did not get off the street.

    I remember the fear of polio and restrictions place on movement and contact. I remember measles and being quarantined at home. The fear of smallpox caused a couple of my friends to be shut up in their house for two weeks.

    As I am pushing 70 I have seen, and experienced, a lot of government reactions over the years. None of the doomsday predictions has ever come true. Maybe it is because of the government actions. I am not entirely convinced.

  11. First movers get what they want, everyone else gets nothing….

    Again, Chinese people are involved. You Ain’t Got No Ice Cream (TM).

    It is really risky speculation, not that much different than what happens in this country anytime Nintendo releases a new console. Instead of Best Buy, Habitat ReStore becomes a wholesaler for the Brown Truck Economy.

    Dunno the composition of the masks, but cotton degrades sitting in a warehouse. The Chinese learned this the hard way a few years ago when they attempted to corner the cotton market in a move You Ain’t Got No Denim Jeans.

    (Americans are mostly clueless because most of the denim manufacturing machinery left the country more than a decade ago, and Made in Bangladesh Levis don’t seem to be a big deal.)

    The mask situation is like the “gas shortage” in Central Texas from two years ago. The media stoked the fire.

  12. @Lynn — Multiple system failure warnings on my Camry this morning mean I’m stuck at home until my wife can help me take the car to the dealer.

    This car is not going to be around for long. Last Toyota for a while. I’m tired of the runaround I get from the service departments and the parent company regarding the problems this car has had since day one.

  13. And it’s Brexit day! At 11PM GMT. It’s not over yet, the UK will remain in the EU and have to pay into it for the remainder of the year.

  14. @ Ray ” None of the doomsday predictions has ever come true.”

    Which doesn’t mean the current doomsday prediction is false. The needle on my worry meter has been slowly but steadily rising. Governments (at several levels) are beginning to close borders and limit movements. That costs real money and impacts economies.

    I’m not saying that governments are not susceptible to media hype, they are, but they generally have a more measured response when it comes to money.

  15. i wonder if there is any satellite imagery of the Wuhan crematoriums? A couple hundred extra deaths wouldn’t be a blip on activities there, for a city of tens of millions, but if hearses and body bags are lined (as rumor has it) up it’d be a different story.
    A decade ago I would have assumed the NSA and other agencies would have obtained had the intelligence and were providing it to the President and responsible parties, now I doubt either of those can be assured.

  16. I’m now reading Kobe’s pilot was not qualified to *fly in fog* whatever that means. Apparently the chopper company didn’t get their choppers IFR certified. Even if the pilot was commercial rotary wing instrument certified, if the chopper isn’t, it was against regs. He killed all through arrogance and complacency.

    Let the laws suits fly! Pun intended.

  17. START tinfoilhat

    What an opportunity to test a deadly bio-weapon’s ability to spread with WuFlu. Then let out the real thing on the FUSA. What’s a million or two Chicomm deaths to the Chicomm goobermint. They want to get rid of them anyway.

    END tinfoilhat

  18. Scud running is stupid. Thirty years ago my instructors warned against it.

    People will do it though.


  19. Which doesn’t mean the current doomsday prediction is false.

    Of which I cannot refute. Somewhere, sometime, it may come true. But after a dozen or so dire predictions one tends to get meeehhh. And when my guard is the lowest is when the prediction will come true.

    What an opportunity to test a deadly bio-weapon’s ability to spread with WuFlu.

    Or something in development, a variant perhaps, got loose from a lab. Or perhaps testing something on some poor village people living in cardboard shacks got out of hand. One of the “volunteers” accidentally got away.

  20. From @Greg yesterday:

    Are any of the malls going to survive ? Most of them are in bankruptcy or headed there.

    Some will. Some won’t. It depends on the location.

    The Brown Truck Store, while convenient, is not economically viable when energy costs inevitably rise. Two hour delivery isn’t viable now, but, like a lot of the unicorn services, artificially low interest rates paper over the losses. Even Amazon knows what’s coming; I recently talked with their retail infrastructure tech group working out of Austin, a separate operation from Whole Foods.

    (Everybody is looking for an exit from my current group, even the young’n’s working their first job out of college have learned the hard lesson about not pushing back against stupid.)

    For now, sanity can’t compete with speculators willing to endure 80+ PE ratios.

    Soon, in the next decade, the last of the baby boomers will retire and start pulling their IRA money out of the stock markets. And the markets will fall.

    Or not, my prognostications suck. And I am never going to retire. At least not until I turn 85 in 25 years.

  21. Soon, in the next decade, the last of the baby boomers will retire and start pulling their IRA money out of the stock markets. And the markets will fall.

    The index funds following the S&P 500 are going to have a heapin’ helping of FAANG stocks, and 10% returns or greater with passive management are going to be history. Mid- and small-cap companies in this country still make things and provide real services (imagine). Investors will have to work for the returns, but opportunities will still be there.

    At a minimum, a lot of physical retail will have to be rebuilt, relearning all the mid-late 20th century lessons of Sam Walton, Doc Webb (who Walton cribbed from), and others.

  22. @Lynn – Rat chewed my fuel injector wires. $600.

    The car is still done as far as I’m concerned. That’s pretty pricey for wiring, which has me concerned for the long term, and I generally don’t like the experience of the vehicle.

  23. I’m in the air about malls. They were fun/interesting/useful to me 40 years ago. Someplace to hang with friends out of the weather. Like a bowling alley but missing the smelly shoes and good food.

    Since then, how much junk do I actually need? Sears. Well, once upon a time. Penny’s once in a while. Same for Joske’s. Foley’s. And Dillard’s.

    Macy’s leaves me cold, I feel I’m buying sub-Sears quality at Dillard’s prices. I don’t like the vibe there. I’d rather buy seconds at the outlet mall.

    The last time I went to Highland Mall in Austin was strange. Penny’s was ok. Dillard’s at the other end of the mall was ok. The trip through the mall was not ok… thuggy, sort of.

  24. The last time I went to Highland Mall in Austin was strange. Penny’s was ok. Dillard’s at the other end of the mall was ok. The trip through the mall was not ok… thuggy, sort of.

    Highland Mall has been 100% an ACC campus for a few years. The nearby Sears went last year.

  25. @Lynn – Rat chewed my fuel injector wires. $600.

    The car is still done as far as I’m concerned. That’s pretty pricey for wiring, which has me concerned for the long term, and I generally don’t like the experience of the vehicle.

    Eeep ! Is the “new” Camry ? That really sucks.

    The son loves his new Camry. It is one gallon of gas to work and back instead of three from his old 2005 Silverado. And his Silverado needs to full replacement of the electrical wiring.

  26. At a minimum, a lot of physical retail will have to be rebuilt, relearning all the mid-late 20th century lessons of Sam Walton, Doc Webb (who Walton cribbed from), and others.

    Nah, local retail is gone forever. Big River (Amazon) is going to predict what you need and have it ready to send to you via drone.


  27. Rat chewed my fuel injector wires. $600.

    First, the $600. Modern wiring harnesses are not subdivided as much as in older cars, so the FI wiring is probably part of a much bigger harness, and requires a lot of other replacement, with likely removal of lots of stuff in the way. A lot of work on the clock. These harnesses are designed for ease of assembly, not service. Sorry.

    Then there is the issue of rodent repellent. I have no idea about current cars, but back in the 1960s and going forward several decades, American brands had rodent repellent compounded into the wire insulation. This was a substance that the rodents didn’t like, and it was relatively rare to have them chew wiring. Of course, there were exceptions. I put aftermarket spark plug wires on a car, and within a few weeks had the spark plug boots (silicone, supposedly very heat resistant) completely eaten away. Nothing else was touched.

    Some time in the 1970s or early 1980s, Japanese cars in particular seemed very susceptible to rodents. I can only assume there was no rodent repellent compounded into the wiring. A friend had a problem similar to yours with his approximately 2012 Japanese car. I don’t remember the make, but his insurance comprehensive did cover the loss.

    By ignoring history, we seem doomed to learn things over and over. To be fair, I don’t know if the rodent repellent is now restricted by the EPA or similar. I wouldn’t be surprised if it is.

    One very good product is Ropel, a very bitter liquid that can be sprayed on anything susceptible to rodents, including deer. It has never been easy to find, and I just looked at about ten places that said it was not available. If you can find it, it is claimed by reviewers to be the most effective product available. One thing I like about it is that it doesn’t smell bad, like many other products.

  28. First, the $600. Modern wiring harnesses are not subdivided as much as in older cars, so the FI wiring is probably part of a much bigger harness, and requires a lot of other replacement, with likely removal of lots of stuff in the way. A lot of work on the clock. These harnesses are designed for ease of assembly, not service. Sorry.

    When the battery wiring failed on my 2005 Expedition last year, the Ford shop quoted me $1,100 for the new wiring harness and $500 for the labor. After I got through laughing, I told him goodbye. I fixed it myself by patching the existing harness for $20 at most.

    I cannot believe that Ford uses only ONE wiring harness for the 2005 Expedition / F-150 / etc. Wow ! I am guessing that it has rat killer in it as I never had a problem until sulfuric acid ate through the battery wiring.

    I just looked at a guy’s new F-350 diesel dually. Two batteries and two 180 amp alternators. Are you freaking kidding me ?

  29. “My first two predictions for 2020 — IBM and Trump”
    https://www.cringely.com/2020/01/31/predictions-for-2020-ibm-and-trump/

    “Whitehurst will turn IBM into Red Hat, which will take HQ to North Carolina and mean most of the remaining GBS staff will be gone in a year. That’s because software is everything for Red Hat, which means certifications proving staff can actually do what they are being paid to do. But IBMers don’t believe in certifications; they are IBMers. In the end, nothing can be done for these people, so the answer will be to release anyone without the proper certifications, helping Red Hat realign the company in 2021.”

    “It still won’t save IBM.”

    The Cringe is back ! He and some other dudes are getting into the cheap satellite launch business using a Mach 2.2 plane. Think of the 1970s ASAT launcher using a stripped F-15 with extra fuel tanks.
    https://www.cringely.com/2020/01/23/not-dead-yet-what-bob-cringely-has-been-up-to/
    and
    http://cubecab.com/

  30. In regards to ‘critter repellent’ – I’ve used the spray “Critter Ridder” https://amzn.to/37NdDdI with success against the squirrels/chipmunks that were wandering into the engine area of the Camry parked outside. (They had started stuffing nesting material down the fresh air intake.) Not any more – I apply it every couple of months.

    Neighbor had a problem with something eating their front porch plants, and used some there – no more problem.

    Mild capascin spray – not a problem applying, or outside air into the car after using it. As Jerry used to say “Recommended”.

    Have seen it at WalMart and HomeDepot. And, the Zon has it also.

    In other news, a bit windy here today; 20mph+, gusts higher. Has closed the Hood Canal bridge a few times this afternoon. At home a few light-flickering, but still OK. Some outages nearby. I have a nice view of the tall pine trees; they are bending quite a bit. Walked to the mailbox; gusts were strong enough to impeded progress slightly.

    But, I’ve got the generator, bypass switch, and plenty of gas. And, of course, FLASHLIGHT, plus lots of batteries. And fully charged tablets and phones.

  31. @lynn, if we have a ten fold increase this week, like we did last week, we’ll be at 100K by Sunday. Of course that assumes there is still a reservoir of disease to infect new people.

    Well, I have a forklift. It runs. It has stuff that needs attention, but I can use it immediately to do work. It was cheap and I can always sell it later.

    Traffic was terrible today. No idea why.

    Tomorrow morning I have my non=prepping swap meet. I have a few items to sell, I hope. If not, it will still be a fun morning.

    Kids are watching Iron Man. I really don’t have an interest so I’m wasting time on the internet with my friends.

    n

  32. The Cringe is back !

    He’s probably right about IBM shedding GTS and GBS. RHEL is the only Linux which is “Common Criteria” certified, and they won’t be able to keep Dell involved in the testing process without shedding the server hardware (GTS) and establishing that the OS is independent of managers who want to sell hardware.

    I just hope IBM remembers that RHEL is successful because of CentOS — RHEL without paid support — and Fedora, essentially the beta test program. I’m typing on a Fedora laptop now.

    As for GBS, they cant bid any lower than they already do without a CGI-style US Government/state/local subsidy nipple, and no one is left in Armonk who can build the kind of Kabuki sets that are CGI’s “Onshore Centers of Excellence” which hide the real location of the work from the auditors.

    As long as the parking lot in Belton is full on weekdays, no one is the wiser. Cue the drums and Japanese men in drag …

    As for Trump, in another lifetime, before he transitioned to Cringely, Mark Stevens was a minor figure in the Carter Administration’s investigation of Three Mile Island. He has a bias.

  33. First, the $600. Modern wiring harnesses are not subdivided as much as in older cars, so the FI wiring is probably part of a much bigger harness, and requires a lot of other replacement, with likely removal of lots of stuff in the way. A lot of work on the clock. These harnesses are designed for ease of assembly, not service. Sorry.

    About 20 years ago, someone tried to hotwire my 93 Probe while it sat in the parking lot of my apartment complex. They stripped several wires in the harness, but failed to start the car.

    Ford quoted $400 for the install/part so not that much more than today given inflation. However, the dealer also offered the alternative of splicing the damaged wires in the harness for $140, offering a written warranty for the service for the rest of the time I owned the car, so I went that route. I never had another problem with the wiring, but the rest of the car is a different story.

    I’ve never really liked the Camry. Ownership has been a completely different experience than my 2001 Solara, which has been surprising.

  34. When the battery wiring failed on my 2005 Expedition last year, the Ford shop quoted me $1,100 for the new wiring harness and $500 for the labor. After I got through laughing, I told him goodbye. I fixed it myself by patching the existing harness for $20 at most.

    $600 was parts and labor. I’ve decided that I’m going to get rid of the car within the next six months so I didn’t even ask about a splice. I want the Toyota records about the incident to be pristine since I took it in after I didn’t see anything obvious opening the hood, assuming a major failure. I already have a botched front license plate frame they’ll nitpick about thanks to the first dealer where I bought the car.

  35. One of the advantages of an older vehicle is that most of the issues are known. My Expy has developed a problem with the cabin air fan speed controller. That usually means a little pc board with resisters on it has failed. About $30 on ebay last time I looked. Simple repair. BUT annoying that it fails often enough to be well known.

    n

  36. Kids are watching Iron Man. I really don’t have an interest so I’m wasting time on the internet with my friends.

    I am watching Stargate Universe on Hulu and am in hog heaven. I need to pack another ten boxes before I go to bed tonight at 2am or so.

  37. Power died here about an hour ago. Still windy, so not unexpected. Current count is 3700+ houses out, spread out over a wide area. The marina (about a mile away) has power, but other areas out, as shown by the power outage.

    When it went out, I brought the portable oxygen machine to my wife. Then I grabbed my pre-positioned (next to my chair) LED headlamp, flashlight (backup for the headlamp) and LED coleman-type lantern. Out to the garage, manually open the door, drag the generator out into the driveway. Hooked up the cord to the bypass panel.

    Fired up the generator (about 7 pulls; I haven’t replaced the battery that would allow pushbutton start; not a high priority because we only get 1-2 outages a year), and stabilized it. Runs well, but noisy. Over to the bypass panel, switch on the 6 circuits.

    Inside, lights are on (all LEDs). Switched on the normal AC-powered oxy machine. All is well.

    One hour later – I expect a 4-6 hour outage – listening to the Zon music (internet still working). Will wander into the den later and watch TV (LED TV, DirecTV; so that works just fine). Weather station stats down; that computer is not on a generator circuit.)

    Generator running at about 2500W (about 50% capacity). Freezer, fridge, oxy machine, stereo, LED ‘can’ lights all working fine. Still windy outside (10-15mph here, gusts to 25mph; but my house is in a slightly protected area from the southerly winds).

    Preps! And FLASHLIGHTS !!

  38. That Critter Ridder looks good. Capsaicin is a good repellent, but doesn’t last very long. My neighbor put three or four ultrasonic devices under the hood of his new Toyota. Probably has a battery maintainer, too. He plugs the car in whenever home. Says it works well. I used ultrasonic devices in our old garage, but had to quit when we got a cat. Interestingly, it didn’t bother our dogs.

    As for wiring harnesses, fixing one is much easier than replacing it, unless there is extensive damage. I can understand why some people don’t do that, however. A lot of car wiring is hard to get at. Then too, some of my electronics engineer friends would shy away from this because they weren’t electricians. No kidding. It takes some different knowledge to work on low voltage, high current stuff. The smallest amount of resistance can screw up some circuits. FWIW, I wouldn’t buy a car whose owner worked on the electrical system… unless I wanted another project.

    And, Greg, I understand where you are coming from. I agree that you should have a 100% blessed fix, since you want to sell the car. It is bad enough to take the depreciation after such a short ownership. I have never dumped a car early. If I had had to dump one early, I could usually get my money back out, because I always (one exception) bought used, and for a fair price.

  39. One of the advantages of an older vehicle is that most of the issues are known. My Expy has developed a problem with the cabin air fan speed controller. That usually means a little pc board with resisters on it has failed. About $30 on ebay last time I looked. Simple repair. BUT annoying that it fails often enough to be well known.

    I had this problem on my 2005 Expedition Eddie Bauer. It is probably the fan control resistor. About $100 for the fancy 7 position version at AutoZone. This model if I remember correctly:
    https://www.autozone.com/cooling-heating-and-climate-control/blower-motor-resistor/duralast-blower-motor-resistor-ja1862/278492_16939_4222

  40. RickH, good for you with the generator. Your preps should be a good example to just about everyone. I have a new in box generator that still has the factory preservatives. I don’t intend to use it until there is some prolonged outage. I don’t know if it even works, but I’ll take my chances compared to testing it and then preserving it. Our outages are usually just a minute or two, just enough to be irritating.

    My longer term plans are to have some PV solar with just enough battery storage to get through the night with minimal discomfort. Our heating and cooling take less than a kW each. Lights are trivial draws.

    And, CowboySlim, notice that I am not trying to “save” money. I agree that PV solar is an economic loser, but as a prep it can make sense. In a time of emergency, having reasonable comfort, light, and entertainment are worth some expense.

  41. The plus for solar is that it is silent. Running a gennie at night is a good way to have it stolen or attract unwanted attention. Plus, the noise pisses off the neighbors who have their windows open for cooling….

    n

  42. My trim level has manual HVAC controls.

    Gotcha ! Mine had the automatic climate control with split control for each side. Except for the freaking fan speed control !

  43. And, Greg, I understand where you are coming from. I agree that you should have a 100% blessed fix, since you want to sell the car.

    I received a pic of the damage from the dealer service tonight. I don’t think an amateur splice job would have worked properly given the location.

    Apparently rodents finding newer Toyota wiring tasty is a common problem. I’m not the only one with the issue based on what I saw in the complaints in online forums.

  44. And, Greg, I understand where you are coming from. I agree that you should have a 100% blessed fix, since you want to sell the car.

    I received a pic of the damage from the dealer service tonight. I don’t think an amateur splice job would have worked properly given the location.

    Apparently rodents finding newer Toyota wiring tasty is a common problem. I’m not the only one with the issue based on what I saw in the complaints in online forums.

    Sounds a total replacement is necessary.

    Do they have a way to prevent future damage due to rodents ?

    Of course, @RickH’s critter ridder sounds like a good solution too.

    In regards to ‘critter repellent’ – I’ve used the spray “Critter Ridder” https://amzn.to/37NdDdI with success against the squirrels/chipmunks that were wandering into the engine area of the Camry parked outside. (They had started stuffing nesting material down the fresh air intake.) Not any more – I apply it every couple of months.


  45. The plus for solar is that it is silent. Running a gennie at night is a good way to have it stolen or attract unwanted attention. Plus, the noise pisses off the neighbors who have their windows open for cooling….

    Roger that. I like silence. Visitors always comment on how quiet it is outdoors here. As for neighbors, the minimum lot size is 2.5 acres, which is approximately 100 yards square. However, there are no native trees, so sound does travel. The nearest pavement is a half mile away, and I can hear cars driven on it. I only have one adjacent neighbor, and we have been on good terms for over forty years. So, I don’t want a noisy generator. If I were to operate mine, I would put it inside a shelter to partially contain the noise. The next closest neighbor, about 200 yards away, has a deck facing away from us; I have heard conversations that far away. THAT’S how quiet it is. Another neighbor, about the same distance, has some trees; I can hear the noise light breezes make in those trees. Vewy qwiet!!

  46. Do they have a way to prevent future damage due to rodents ?

    Of course, @RickH’s critter ridder sounds like a good solution too.

    The Critter Ridder spray is available on the shelf at Home Depot. I’ll try that on the wiring harness along with putting one of the regular bags of scooped cat litter under the car.

    My Solara and my wife’s Exploder often sit in the same spot in the driveway without incident.

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