Mon. Jan. 11, 2021 – so much happening so fast, where to start?

Cold.  Wet.  Wet.  Cold.

Yesterday was low 40s and mid 30s with non-stop drizzle or worse.  It was 35F when I went to sleep.

Didn’t get anything at all done yesterday.  Really somewhat overwhelmed by the pace of things happening in the world.  Still, gotta keep moving forward.  So.

We’re 11 days into the New Year, and consider how much things have changed, just since Christmas.  Holy cr@p sandwich Batman…  what can a person do?

Well, it’s not too late to do something but by starting late everything will be harder and cost more.   If, that is, you think time is getting short.   If everything is fine, then why do you feel like you might want a gun, or some extra food in the house “just in case?”  Those sorts of feelings are your brain trying to tell you something is wrong with the world around you.  People who pay attention and do something about it are called “preppers” nowadays, but used to be called other things including “prudent”.

Most of the folks here at Daynotes have been preppers or at least have been prepping for a while now, or I hope they have been to SOME extent.   This post is more along the lines of something you can point the ‘new kid’ toward when they ask about what they should do.

First off, prepping is NOT a fringe activity.  Millions of people in the US and elsewhere prep to varying degrees.   It is the official policy of the US Government, promulgated by FEMA, that the citizens should prepare themselves for dealing with emergencies on their own.  There is a lot of information available from ‘official’ sources, but most of it is watered down, ‘lowest common denominator’ stuff.  Officially, FEMA says that in the event of an emergency, you should have enough stuff to take care of your needs for 72 hours, that being their minimum response time to a major incident.  Note the word ‘minimum’.   After several recent drills, for some people in some places, the recommended time was increased to 2 weeks.   Most people who consider themselves to be preppers can easily meet the 72 hours goal, and rapidly move on to the next level goal, and when they’ve reached that, move to the next.   That assumes they actually START, and that there is time for that approach to work.   There are other approaches we’ll talk about later.

There are as many approaches to prepping as there are preppers and there is an overwhelming amount of data online.   Somehow it became fashionable to put up prepping guides a couple of years ago, that were little more than fluff and had very little actual information in them and often had really bad advice to boot.  Because the internet is forever, a whole lot of those clickbait articles will show up when you start looking into prepping.

Before letting yourself be overwhelmed though, it’s important to realize a couple of things.   Prepping is a journey, not a destination.  Everyone’s journey is different, and as the Chinese and other’s have noted, the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.   So take that first step.

The first step is a question.  What are you prepping FOR?  The answer to that will shape your journey, but doesn’t necessarily define it.  The beauty of prepping is that each step builds upon the next and by prepping for the big things, you should automatically have the littler things covered along the way.  In normal times the answers range from a localized or regional “ordinary” disaster, like a flood, hurricane, winter storm, train derailment, or some other thing that is a likely and real hazard in your area; to a big thing, like global societal and economic collapse, a worldwide pandemic, or the fictional combination of the two- the zombie apocalypse.  A quick side note, for people new to prepping the idea of zombies and a zombie apocalypse can seem crazy, foolish, bizarre, or off-putting, but it’s really just a sort of shorthand for ‘everything goes nuts, nothing works like it should, and you are on your own.’    If you prep towards surviving that, you should have everything else covered.

So what are you prepping for?  If you are just starting,  you are likely concerned by the recent riots and destruction in our cities.  You have of course been affected by the current worldwide pandemic, and the restrictions related to covid-19 to some degree or another.  You might have been caught short in the beginning and wish to avoid that happening again if the wuflu does get worse.*  Or it might just be the REACTION to wuflu that concerns you.   You might be concerned by the political polarization in America.  Believe me, people on both sides are fully convinced that people on the other side are just a hair’s breadth away from exploding into violence.   That tells me that it’s coming for sure.   I don’t care which side you are on, and my politics are evident in other posts, but shouldn’t put you off.  I’ll try to be non-partisan in the body of these posts about prepping.  Maybe you see an economic collapse in the future.  Or you just see hurricane season starting up in a few months and you just want to get a jump on it…   I’ll tell you a secret.  Unless you live in a hazard zone, the most common disasters to befall people are much more personal – the loss of a job followed by long term unemployment, or serious illness/death of a loved one.  Prepping will help tremendously with those too.

One last thing before getting started.   This is going to be based on my approach, and my beliefs.    This website was Robert Bruce Thompson’s and he spent a lot of time talking about prepping issues, and his ideas shaped my own prepping journey.    He was a published author, a scientist, and a really smart guy who was very detail oriented and thorough.  I encourage anyone at any stage of their prepping journey to use the keywords at the right and read what Bob (RBT) said in his own words, as well as the discussion it engendered.  I’ll talk about his approach and link where appropriate.   I am not Bob, I’m not writing a book to serve as a reference manual, and I don’t think there is a lot of time to get YOU up to speed and taking the first step.   My approach is very quick and dirty compared to Bob’s well researched approach.  I usually go with the first thing that mostly works, rather than search for the perfect or complete solution.  I feel VERY STRONGLY that you should DO SOMETHING.  Preferably with guidance, and consideration, but I’d choose action over inaction in most cases.  Paralysis by analysis, or ‘overthinking’ is a real risk in prepping as in most complex endeavors.   The imperfect preps you actually have are infinitely better than the ‘perfect’ preps you DON’T have.

Ok, one more last thing.  I’m just a guy on the internet.  If something I suggest or advocate doesn’t seem right to you, do some more research.  There are as many different approaches and attitudes as there are people.  There are a LOT of good people out there writing about prepping and related subjects.   I’ll refer to them where I can.  I won’t generally be linking or footnoting everything.  You are sitting at a computer, connected to the internet- use that to your advantage if you need to see a reference or a link.  Consider too that my approach might not be a good fit for you, but you can hopefully still benefit from what I write, even if just by the negative example.   There are lots of people here to help me and to help you too, by keeping a sharp eye on me and what I’m writing.

So, today’s question.  What are you prepping for?  That will determine the extent of your preps, and your timeline, but mostly under my approach, it will determine when you STOP.  If you don’t know what you’re prepping for, just do what preppers do and say “zombie apocalypse.”

Today’s lesson, to get started, just do a little bit more than you usually do.  Buy more food that you normally buy.  Buy an extra of whatever home repair item you are buying.  Do a bit more cleaning.  A bit more exercise.  Fill your gas tank sooner than you might normally.  Get something fixed before it breaks more.  Along with that, go through your home and look at what resources you already have.   Look for things that aren’t going to help, that you no longer use/need/want.  Look for stuff that could be sold or traded or given to someone so that you can improve your situation, or theirs.

Figure out where you are starting from, so you know what you can build on.  Do you have tools?  A garden?  Generator?  Food in the pantry?  Camping equipment?  Medical knowledge but no supplies?  Any reference library?  What skills do you have?  If it helps you, make a list.

My approach is modular, builds off the previous level, and is a bit opportunistic.   Be open to things happening out of sequence.  Be prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.

First goal- be able to stay in your home completely isolated, without changing your lifestyle or routine significantly, for 72 hours- 3 days.  And at the end of those days, you are not desperate or in need of aid, but you can continue your normal life, and replace what got used up.

We’ll talk about how to get there, and the next step later.


*I’ve been calling it wuflu from the beginning.  I know it’s not a ‘flu’ but it rolls off the tongue and is intended to remind the reader that this virus originated in Wuhan China.


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What do you guys think?  Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while?  Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week?  Maybe on a separate page?  Too chatty?  Too presumptuous?  Too general?  Already been done?  Too ambitious?  Unnecessary?

Let me know what you think, and in your own lives, keep stacking.

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

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

68 thoughts on “Mon. Jan. 11, 2021 – so much happening so fast, where to start?”


  1. What do you guys think? Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while?

    Mixed feelings. I think most of the current readers don’t need this. However, a series of motivational and “how to start” posts on a separate thread? That might be a link that people would share with friends, to get them started. OTOH, doing that right would be a lot of work – basically, you would be writing a book, or at least a draft of one.

  2. 33F and raining. They usually cancel school before now, but haven’t yet.

    @brad, that about sums it up for my feelings too, but most of the good ‘getting started’ sites have shuttered or been sold to cash out to the fluff and paid article clickbait artists.

    I’ll see if I can vary the tone, maybe recycle some stuff. Even that is time consuming though.

    n


  3. What do you guys think? Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while? Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week?

    Yes. Everyone has weak spots that we overlook, so it is good to have reminders. Your mention of Mr Thompson’s posts is useful – prepping info never goes out of date. I’ll spend some time reading there.

    As always, some days the chatter will pick up on something you’ve said, other days it will wander wildly. But every day it will all be useful in some way, because that is how this community works.


  4. What do you guys think? Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while? Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week?

    Absolutely. My weak spot is comms / radio. We’ve had some excellent posts in the past on comms and scanners and a short discussion with links would sure help me and maybe others.

    BTW: Opened my news feed this morning to find that Biden has announced he plans to “defeat” the NRA, a citizen organization built to promote safe exercise of our 2nd ammendment rights. They have made themselves clear, aimed citizens will not be tolerated. History tells us the “shot heard round the world” was fired at Concord Bridge when the king send his army to disarm those pesky colonists. Some people never learn.

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  5. I have been coughing a bit at home for the last few days. I don’t cough outside the house, so I think it’s something in the air here. And unlike most days, I haven’t been out of the house at all today. Still, it’s worrying.

    The Cedar pollen count is off the charts right now in Texas.

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  6. First off, prepping is NOT a fringe activity. Millions of people in the US and elsewhere prep to varying degrees.

    Living in Florida without prepping for the possibility of a week without power following a hurricane used to be denial, but it is the norm anymore, evidenced by a hysterical reaction to a casual comment Jeb! made in the run up to one storm about 15 years ago.

    IIRC, the line was something like, “Gee, doesn’t everyone have a few days of canned goods at home?”

    Monster.

    That said, since Y2k, there seems to be a fringe element who takes things too far, seemingly disappointed at the thought that *something* may not happen in their lifetime. We had distant family and acquaintances in Florida who ran their lives like that. Ironically, I wouldn’t trust them in a crisis because of the seemingly non-stop opportunism in the thought processes. Given the desirable skills and licenses my wife possesses and most outsiders’ perceptions of my contribution to both the acquisition of that capability and day-to-day running of the household, I suspect I would end up shivved and dumped in the swamp in a crisis if we were around that group.

  7. Not coughing much this am. Cold and clear, roads are actually dry which is why they didn’t call off school.

    If you are resourceful the comments on Aesop’s post from work have useful info in them about how they are treating people in his hosp ital.

    https://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2021/01/live-from-kung-flu-lounge.html

    Particularly of interest is that they are giving supplements, like vitamin D in particular. Go and RTWT.

    n

    added- fwiw, I’ve been taking D3 supplements for a few weeks now, based in the observation that low D levels strongly correlate with bad outcomes which has been reported in a couple of places.

  8. An Oregon baker was forced, by the courts, by the government, to bake a cake for a couple whose lifestyle the baker did not condone or support. The couple could have chosen another baker but did not as the couple wanted to make it an issue. Yet AWS can shut down a platform that Amazon does not like, does not support, without a peep from the government. Apple and Android did the same thing by removing the apps from the respective stores.

    I find this very troubling. While private sites, private entities, can certainly control the content they allow or provide services, the government forcing one to comply and the other is applauded is unacceptable. Can printing companies now refuse to print something the government does not like yet be able to print something the government support? The precedent is very troubling.

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  9. BTW: Opened my news feed this morning to find that Biden has announced he plans to “defeat” the NRA, a citizen organization built to promote safe exercise of our 2nd ammendment rights. They have made themselves clear, aimed citizens will not be tolerated. History tells us the “shot heard round the world” was fired at Concord Bridge when the king send his army to disarm those pesky colonists. Some people never learn.

    Biden is a hypocrite on the gun issue. When he ran in 2008, in the runup to Iowa, he was widely perceived as weak on the NRA, and video floated around of his boasting about *Dr.* Jill Biden possessing a Mossberg for home defense and knowing how to use the weapon. I believe the money line was “That sound (chambering a round in the weapon) gets folks’ attention.”

    The implication of the video was that Biden knew his way around guns and had much more at home.

    The Dems had the White House, Congress, and a fillibuster-proof majority in the Senate 12 years ago, until Uncle Ted assumed room temperature in Aug (?) 2009, and all they accomplished in that time was Porkulus. The fussing about the “fairness” of student loan forgiveness has already started, and even Manchin had to walk back reluctance about the $2000 in “walkin’ ’round” money promised in Georgia before the runoffs.

    The election in VA is looming. The KKKlansman Governor has to leave office due to term limits, and the DC suburbs are nervous. Despair is a sin.

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  10. IIRC, the line was something like, “Gee, doesn’t everyone have a few days of canned goods at home?”

    Monster.

    Yup. Food, Water, Gas, FLASHLIGHTS! Medicine, including some more dire preps like Oral Rehydration Salts in case of bad water. See Puerto Rico for examples. Or New Orleans.

    2 weeks is WAY more likely than 3 days before return to normalcy. I have had three 10 day power outages on the Space Coast of Florida since I moved her in 1992. 3 to 5 day outages don’t even register.

  11. And at my mom’s retirement community in FL the had 5 people test positive this weekend.

    Prop mgr, maintenance guy, association prez, his wife, and the assoc treasurer. There are undoubtedly more cases waiting to pop. Mom said previously that they were all being careful.

    Christmas and visitors must have changed that.

    n

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  12. “Biden is a hypocrite” full stop.

    FIFY.

    he’s also dangerously full of sh!t with gun advice, telling people to use a warning shot. No. Others have spelled out why, guggle it, but TL:DR is “you’ll be the one going to jail.”

    n

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  13. Nick, rather than writing about a prepping topic, which is time consuming, how about putting up a daily “Prepping consideration you may not have thought about”?

    – If you have to get up and go, what are you prepared to leave behind? Your books? Your pets? Your invalid mother?
    – Diet fatigue is a thing.
    – Does your car have everything needed to get you 100 miles away NOW? Gas in the tank, bottles of oil and coolant, air pump or Fix-a-flat?

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  14. That’s not a bad idea. I was thinking (I know!) this morning about a 101 level segment and a 401 level segment whenever I do it. IE. Intro level and grad school level.

    n

    The only reason I’m considering it, I’m seeing people in comments elsewhere saying it’s too late to prep, while at the same time, I am pretty sure new people are waking up every day. When bikini babes (albeit a very successful and canny one) not only SEE it but are willing to call it out, and then a bunch more people who make their living by being ‘liked’ also risk deplatforming to back that up, I think there might be a shift in the wind…

  15. Sarah Hoyt has a rallying cry…. and a strategy. I don’t know if it’s a workable one, but she makes the case.

    n

  16. “2 weeks is WAY more likely than 3 days before return to normalcy.”

    — I agree. The .gov is afraid to worry the sheep and at the same time, needs to CYA. Hence the mealymouth wording in almost all of their recommendations.

    “Have some extra bottled water on hand” instead of “bare minimum you should have one gallon of water, per person, per day and really 5 gallons is more reasonable.” They think people would just throw up their hands and not do anything and they might be right. That’s why I was stunned to see the recommended ‘self sufficient’ time increase in the wake of Cascadia Rising. It admits that they were wrong, and pols (admin at .gov agencies are pols no matter what their job description says) never admit they were wrong….

    n

  17. As far as getting started, here is a plan:

    Whenever long term storage goods (Think dry, canned, and jars) are on sale at your local grocery, buy some extra. Canned and jarred goods, stored at reasonable temps, last indefinitely as long as the package is not compromised. YEAR and YEARS past the best used date.

    I keep tuna, soup, pasta and sauce, rice, chili, and canned chicken on hand at all times. An extra couple cases of bottled water, and you have a start.

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  18. 2 weeks is WAY more likely than 3 days before return to normalcy. I have had three 10 day power outages on the Space Coast of Florida since I moved her in 1992. 3 to 5 day outages don’t even register.

    If you live in an area without buried power lines or not a lot of people, yeah, it can take a while. We never saw an outage of more than 36 hours in Florida, but we lived on a direct line between a major substation and a politically powerful Baptist church which always sees a visit from the Republican candidate for Governor and, usually, President until 2012.

    (Mormon Elder Mittens wasn’t welcome, and the hardcore evangelicals cast a wary eye at Trump so he didn’t bother.)

    Anyone who doesn’t think there is state planning for those kinds of events needs to visit the McDonalds near Animal Kingdom on the Disney property during the runup to a storm striking the Peninsula. Still, for anyone not living in an evac zone in FL, there exists a certain amount of responsibility to be prepared for power outages regardless of the now-cowardly stance of the politicians, especially with anti-gouging laws making quick restocking of stores a problem.

  19. FWIW: We don’t explicitly prep, but we have a big pantry. Freezer full of meat, cheese and sauces. We buy flour and sugar in 10kg packs. Pasta, beans, etc.. I would like to do more explicit prepping, but I’m already pretty happy that my wife supports a full pantry.

    Looks like we might need some of it this week – lots of snow forecast for the next four days. Forecasts in the mountains are unreliable, but it could easily be 2-3 feet. We’ll see, starting tomorrow afternoon.

  20. Working in the family grocery store in Illinois 50 years ago, there was no such thing as bottled water. Maybe a few gallons of distilled for granny’s iron, but certainly not the plethora of “Purified” waters that we see for sale today. The small town I moved to at age 12 had well water and smelled to high heaven of sulphur. The residents were used to it. There were restaurants there that I could not go into because of the smell.
    Now that I live in South Florida, when a hurricane threatens I fill up clean containers of filtered tap water. My family looks at me like I am crazy. Like tap water is some kind of vile poison.
    Sam’s, Costco, Publix & BJ’s sell truckload after truckload of purified water at the approach of any storm of consequence.

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  21. Now that I live in South Florida, when a hurricane threatens I fill up clean containers of filtered tap water.

    I should have mentioned that. I have some of those coolers you see at sportsball games. And fill the tub for flushing!

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  22. Looks like we might need some of it this week – lots of snow forecast for the next four days. Forecasts in the mountains are unreliable, but it could easily be 2-3 feet. We’ll see, starting tomorrow afternoon.

    Round Rock (north of Austin) ended up with 5.5 inches of snow last night.

    According to the *visibly baked* weatherman on the local Faux News last night, Austin’s northern suburbs and exurbs (find the I-14 stub on a map running west from Belton) saw more snow yesterday than Chicago has seen all winter to date.

  23. I should have mentioned that. I have some of those coolers you see at sportsball games. And fill the tub for flushing!

    If you or the neighbors have pools, virtually unlimited flushing water is readily available after a storm. The water doesn’t need to be drinkable to use in the toilet tank.

  24. Stockpiling meds is a great idea, if possible. Some prescription medications you aren’t allowed to buy extra of or have a tiny shelf life like insulin. My wife requires regular kidney dialysis to stay alive. If SHTF for very long, she will die a slow and painful death. I’m a non-insulin dependent diabetic. I skip my pills one day out of 7 to build up an emergency stash but its not that large.

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  25. As our dear departed host often said on prepping topics. When you need one, buy two. Now I have the climate controlled storage space, I do this all the time. One new problem popped up over the weekend. For the first time since we moved in a year ago I saw a mouse. Now I need to go through the indoors storage and see what has been spoiled. Any advice on eradicating mice would be heartily appreciated.

    BTW: this morning deleted my FB account. Thanks to AWS, my Parler account no longer works. Some are recommending me we or gab but my feeling is that if they can take down parler, no service is safe. I have given my wife her own email address on my private hosted domain and am looking for a listserv to implement.

  26. Gab is self-hosted on their own servers. (That’s why site performance has been so bad for the past few days: traffic up 5X (not 5%) and it takes time to add hardware.) Their domain registrar has already demonstrated resolve in resisting pressure to drop them.

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  27. Two years ago I had a mouse invasion. Small field mice. I used both sticky traps and snap traps. Using small shipping boxes (10x8x2) I would cut a small hole out both ends of a long side, place the trap inside an seal it up. You can bait it if need be but not usually needed. Place the box on edge along a wall they travel behind something (to keep the dog out) and wait. Found where one had set up a nest in a box of rags near the dry dog food. Most likely the original invader. Couple of weeks I had them all, about 8 total.
    I have a whole other story from 40 years ago about rats. Lots of traping and took poison bait to finsh that one off. Killed about 25-30, I think next door had them and they kept coming over.

  28. Mice, I’ve always had the best luck with live traps baited with peanut butter.

  29. My experiences have been with rats, as many of you watched that saga. It was poison that finally did it.

    I have evidence that mice are moving around on my shelves full of food outside the back door on the patio, but they haven’t gotten into the plastic organizing bins, or the buckets. I put most other stuff in vac seal bags. If they don’t know it’s food, they won’t try. (touch wood) I did put some sticky pads out and the electronic killer, which still smells of dead rat to the others, I’m sure.

    n

    Rat traps were something I stacked as a long shot, thinking to use them to snare squirrels if it ever came to that. Turned out to be a good thing I had them. Since then, I’ve gotten more traps, sticky pads, liquid attractant, electronic excluders, etc. I’ve also built a couple of the ‘best of youtube’ traps for the experience, so I could improvise if needed.

  30. Long time ago I predicted that they’d go after body armor. They are trying in some places. AR500 has some inexpensive packages, plates and carrier, in stock.

    n

  31. “I’ve always had the best luck with live traps baited with peanut butter. ”

    I trained my rat infestation that peanut butter = death, and they don’t seem to have forgotten.

    even my dog figured out that peanut butter (which he LOVED) = nasty pill inside and he doesn’t want it anymore. I actually feel really bad about that, turning something he loved into something to be avoided.

    n

  32. re mice: We have an old house, and live in a rural area, so we have to stay on top of it. I have three strategies:
    (1) Keep them out. Usually, if I caulk religiously every year or two, there won’t be any mice.
    Caulk (cheap painter’s caulk) is what I use on all the baseboards (including inner wall baseboards, as we have an old pier-and-beam house). Outdoors, caulking around the foundation helps a lot too. Since it is an old house and the foundation settles, I have to check and recaulk new gaps every so often.

    (2) Keep them out of stuff if they get in. For that I use plastic tubs. As I mentioned a while back, I store everything in plastic and have never had any mice get into a plastic tub. For the pantry, I save any clear plastic canister (such as the large coconut oil containers etc) and use those or plastic shoe boxes or shallow tubs to hold flour, grains, sugar, everything edible that comes in a box – add in a couple bay leaves and those foods are then protected from bugs as well. I have one large shallow tub that has all the macaroni & pasta in it, one for all the boxed mixes, another that is all dried fruits, etc.

    (3) Eliminate them quickly if they do get in. I keep poison down in the back of the pantry and of closets. We don’t get them in the attic here for some reason, but if we did, I’d throw some up there too. That way it keeps them from being able to do damage or reproduce inside. A lot of people prefer traps, but I’ve had best luck with poison.

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  33. Poisoned mice, dead in the walls = no big deal. Poisoned 2 pound rat = lotsa stink.

    I believe I told that story.

    n

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  34. re dogs, peanut butter, and pills, the trick is to have nine non-pilled peanut butter globs for every pilled glob.

    I haven’t had to deal with vermin smart enough to learn, but I’d think the same would work with them.

  35. LOL! Perfumed Prince *Colon* Powell announces he is no longer a Redumblican. Ha, OK Colon.

    Ahnahld SausageHanger announces DC protest the same as “Kristallnacht”. Another “Redumblican” RINO.

    Cumulus Media announces Mark Levin and Dan Bongino will be *fired* if they don’t stop claiming election fraud. Sure, they are Enemies of the State.

    Many articles on DM claiming “murderous riots in DC caused by tRump”. Sure, hang tRump and anybody who supported him.

    Dumbocrats threaten Pence “invoke 25th on tRump…or else”. Sure impeach him.

    Dumbocrats want to expunge and hang Ted Cruz for sedition. Sure, go for it.

    And on and on.

    I think it *is* time for a “Patriot Party”. First and primary mission: get all the current, useless, Redumblicans out of office and off the gravy train. What difference, at this point, does it make? RINOs one and all. Second half of the War Party. Second half of the spending party. They turn on anybody to continue on the gravy train.

    I read a “murderous mob” of tRump supporters are planning to protest at Google HQ and Parler is suing Amazon. The courts will completely back Big Corporate. I wonder if Parler can find a lawyer to rep them.

    And…

    Battle ready: Antifa protesters dressed head-to-toe in black and armed with SHIELDS march on Manhattan to demand ‘Trump and Pence leave White House now’

    Think the FBI will be all over Antifa? HARRIS/plugs will probably declare Antifa Heroes of the Republic.

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  36. “@Nick: What sort of antenna, if any, does a scanner require?”

    –any old piece of wire will work to some extent, but what you really want is probably a discone antenna. MFJ sells what used to be the Radio Shack gold standard as the MFJ-1868 and -1866. MFJ products are available widely from lots of retailers.

    A discone is very wide band and can be used for transmit as well, although you would have to be very careful switching back and forth between scanner and TXR, and there are other antennas that work a bit better for VHF, and UHF ham bands anyway.

    Just for scanner use, the MFJ-1866 is great, and the cheaper of the two.

    For connecting it to your scanner, you can use video coax (75ohm)if that’s all you have. With cable, fatter is better, ie. RG-6 is better than RG-59, but real radio coax is best, with LMR-400 being the best trade between price and performance. You can use the coax that is normally used for CB radios and ham radio(RG-58, 50 ohm cable), but the higher the frequency, the more loss that cable has.

    If your cable run is long, and your interesting frequencies are high, better cable will make a big difference, especially if you are some distance from the transmitter and the signals you want to hear are weak. The frequencies most public safety agencies are using are in the 800 and 900 mhz range and you really need good cable. LMR-400 is pricey compared to RG-58, so look for places where it is common- wifi access points! There is a bunch of LM-400 and even LMR – 600 on ebay as surplus wifi access point cabling. In theory, using 3 pieces of 25ft cable will have more loss because of the connectors than a single piece 75ft long. In practice, I don’t think it makes so much difference as to overcome the reduced loss moving from RG-58 to LMR-400. I started with RG-58 and upgraded to LMR-400. I use the radio shack version of the discone for the scanner, and a dual band quarterwave antenna for my ham band transceiver. In the garage, I’m running an old analog scanner for ham band listening, with an old CB antenna connected to it. Works fine.

    TRANSMITTING needs a whole lot more thought to antennas as they need to “match” the frequencies you are tx ing on to get any signal out, and not burn up your transmitter.

    n

    There are charts and specs available online but it’s all approximation and guessing until you get an antenna analyzer and do the actual testing.

    You can use a modern or even older TV antenna if you have one up already, although TV antennas are designed around VHF and UHF and not 800-900 mhz. It will still work though.

    If you’re close to a repeater, you might be fine with the scanner’s included little stubby antenna, so I’d give that a try before spending a bunch of money.

    For a mast, I use the fiberglas handle off a $9 rake from Lowes. As a bonus it fits into an aluminum flag pole holder that I have attached to my eaves. Hasn’t blown down yet.

    One caveat about the LMR=400, it will usually have N style connectors… your discone will probably have PL259 or the female version SO-239, and your scanner might have a BNC connector. You’ll need adapters to go from one to the other, and you’ll need some female to female ‘barrels’ to join shorter lengths of cable.

    It sounds more complicated than it is, because like everything in ham radio, getting a straight answer is usually impossible. “It depends” is what you usually get.

    n


  37. RG-6 is better than RG-59

    I use RG-59 exclusively in the broadcast studio and for all the cable runs. Carrying HD video and eight channels of audio with no difficulty. I know it is not the same as RF frequencies and the power involved. The reason I chose RG-59 is the cable is smaller and more flexible. I have some RG-6 and it is difficult for cable runs with curves and bends in the cable rack and some of the places that cables need to be routed. The RF portion of the broadcast (we have our own modulator) that is sent to the broadcast cable is still RG-59 with no issues. I have no idea the frequency used. I have over 150 patch cables in the rack and 11 long 200 feet cable runs. A couple long runs that exceed 300 feet is long enough that I have to use re-clocking to get a signal.

  38. “@Nick: What sort of antenna, if any, does a scanner require?”

    It sounds more complicated than it is, because like everything in ham radio, getting a straight answer is usually impossible. “It depends” is what you usually get.

    Thanks!

  39. It’s more likely that outsiders coming into the facility are the reason, but my rule for a while is going to be ‘you first’.

    Vaccine arbitrage is starting. I doubt this is an isolated incident. Plus, if the residents were vaccinated on 12/22, they haven’t had the second shot.

    https://www.orlandosentinel.com/coronavirus/ny-covid-investigation-florida-home-20210108-eo7wkdckhnbbnfzt5j27yzlqfu-story.html

    One of the stories on the local Faux News was about how Plugs is going to loosen the vaccine distribution to get all of the supply out as soon as possible rather than the current approach of keeping reserves for the second doses. The new administration will rely on the manufacturers to step up production or exercise the Defense Production Act.

    Of course, Plugs got his second shot yesterday … if you believe he actually got the shot.

    If the patient doesn’t receive the second shot, they aren’t protected.

  40. @ray, I too have run many 10s of thousands of feet of RG-59 for video and encoded video and it’s great for that. 1v p-p leaves a LOT of room for loss.

    With radio reception, we’re talking about millivolts and even microvolts. When you start to consider the power levels involved, it starts to look miraculous that radio works at all.

    For radio RECEPTION a good antenna system (including grounds, cable, amplifiers, supports, environment, etc) is critical for very weak signals. But for the strength of signals from local repeaters, used by public agencies, paperclips can work.

    n
    added- also, “pricey” is relative, and for someone from the ham world, which is notoriously

    cheap, I mean thrifty, $1/ft is a lot for cable. If you’ve got a $500 radio, and you spend $100 on your antenna system, that’s not bad at all for most people.

  41. My main scanner and all the rest….

    Uniden Home Patrol II, adapted to so-239 connector from BNC, connected to about 40-50ft of LMR-400, connected to the MFJ-1866 discone, mounted on a fiberglass rake handle, on the edge of a dormer on my roof, about 20ft above ground level.

    My desktop ham rig is a Yaesu FT-8900r quad band mobile (that I only use for 144mhz and 440mhz) connected with RG-58 to a dual band 1/4 wave ground plane antenna, mounted similarly to the discone, about 10 ft from it on the same dormer. I can’t find a good link for the antenna I have…

    My desktop all bands, all modes transceiver is a Yaesu FT-847 ‘transportable’ currently only feeding a multiband vertical antenna for HF bands, a cushcraft R-8. I’ve got separate antennas for VHF and UHF, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

    n

  42. I’m not the only one to list some of the ways they’ll be going after people from the DC rally, (which I might have done in comments over at commanderzero’s or aesops, come to think of it) and this guy leaves out a bunch of ways, like bluetooth and wifi presence tracking. From one of the many semi-spam newsletters I get–

    Dear Black Bag Confidential Reader,

    The protest at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. is being called a major security failure.

    Five people lost their lives during the protest, including a veteran and a U.S. Capitol Police Officer.

    As you know, the protestors made their way past security guards and into the Senate chamber, where election results were being certified.

    People roamed the halls and were able to enter the offices of multiple lawmakers.

    Four hours after the security breach, the protestors had been cleared out of the building.

    Lawmakers reconvened the joint session to count electoral votes from the election.

    But the damage was done.

    And, authorities are still looking for many of those who participated to pursue criminals charges.

    Many participants posed for photos and videos at the scene – some even live-streamed the protest on social media.

    With many attendees believing they were not breaking the law, they walked past cameras, some even with their ID badges on.

    At least 50 people were charged with crimes.

    With protestors coming from all over the U.S. it could take a decent amount of time before the FBI tracks down all of them, even though many have already been found.

    But, it is instructive to see how they are tracking them down.

    Social media:

    Social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are being used to identify protestors.

    These liberal tech giants don’t care about your privacy.

    They would love nothing more than to help arrest these people.

    (Although, if these people were not conservatives, I’m sure the tech giants would be slower to help out.)

    The FBI has asked for digital media showing the actions of those inside the Capitol.

    According to the FBI, they are working with their “partners” to hold people accountable.

    Even social media detectives are tracking down people.

    There are websites with accounts dedicated to identifying and naming protestors.

    There is even an Instagram page focused on identifying attendees. It had over 200,000 followers in the days after the protest.

    Cell phones:

    The U.S. Capitol opened in 1800. It’s old, made of stone, with deep underground areas.

    But it has a vast infrastructure to support cell phones, because lawmakers need access to the latest technology.

    As for the protestors, this makes it easy for cell phone providers to pinpoint their location.

    Any connected cell phone can act as a tracking device.

    And investigators identified cell phone users who may have connected to guest Wi-Fi networks.

    Unless protestors made a point of deactivating their devices or leaving them behind, their location is known.

    The best way to avoid this type of tracking is to leave your phone at home or put it in a Faraday bag.

    Facial recognition:

    There are countless hours of video from the protest. Much of it taken by the attendees themselves.

    It provides the ideal video for facial recognition.

    Much of the same footage was captured from different angles, and with good lighting.

    Also, very few of the protestors wore masks that would have blocked parts of their face.

    The military-grade facial recognition technology used by the federal government is the best.

    It can compare images from other government databases such as state driver’s license records.

    The FBI’s software alone includes more than 641 million photos of Americans’ faces.

    These are images from jail mug shots, visa applications, and driver’s licenses.

    Authorities have made clear their determination to investigate the security breakdown.

    FBI Office chief Steven D’Antuono said:

    “Just because you’ve left the D.C. region, you can still expect a knock on the door if we find out you were part of criminal activity in the Capitol.”

    Now, last summer people burned down parts of major U.S. cities.

    But the FBI didn’t put this much effort into tracking down those people – I guess this hit too close to home.

    Now that you know people are being tracked, you can see how many folks are handing their info to any group that wants it.

    Don’t do that.

    Be careful what you post and what you record.

    1

  43. The new administration will rely on the manufacturers to step up production or exercise the Defense Production Act.

    Which won’t do any good. They are producing as fast as they can. Warp Speed identified the bottlenecks to production and smoothed them out – they paid for more glass vials and rubber stoppers, paid for more equipment for filling the vials, etc.

    If the patient doesn’t receive the second shot, they aren’t protected.

    There is evidence that one shot gives some protection for a while, decreasing severity of an infection. Also, they may be able to cut doses in half and get full protection. That’s being looked at now. But, yeah, two doses are needed for the best level of protection. The wife got her first shot last week when she went in for a routine checkup. Her PCP is part of a large hospital chain and they had open vaccination slots.

  44. “The new administration will rely on the manufacturers to step up production or exercise the Defense Production Act.”

    Which won’t do any good.

    Plugs doesn’t want to simply duplicate Trumps efforts. Plagiarism? Heaven forbid.

    IIRC, the Defense Production Act allows them to give the IP to another company if the manufacturer can’t step up, but, yeah, producing a complex biological product like a vaccine isn’t the same as giving Ford an order for additional Willys Jeeps during WWII.

  45. apropos of yesterday’s discussion

    Twitter ends 6% down wiping $2bn off company value after banning Trump and purging his supporters while Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg says she has no intention of reinstating the president

    Could be the shareholders (the smart ones anyway) see the lawsuits coming, while everyone else is gleefully dancing around. Could be a sea change like this is the beginning of the end for a company that depends on ‘momentum’ for value. In any case, it clearly DID hurt, and the fleeing is only beginning.

    n

  46. Is there any state that is bumping up close to 100% utilization of their vaccine allotment?

    Most of the numbers I’ve seen have been below 30%.

    The pipeline seems to be getting the vaccine out there, it’s the states that are failing in the “last mile”.

    And the worst on the list are Cuomo and the rest of the Democratic clowns.

    The Feds should just announce that the shipment rate will be adjusted to send more to the states that are getting their people vaccinated, and less to the rest “until they catch up”.


  47. And the worst on the list are Cuomo and the rest of the Democratic clowns.

    Like any doctrinaire communist, Cuomo is full of excuses and accusations. None of the problems are his fault!

    (I’d have said “like any good communist”, but Fredo’s stupider brother isn’t dead. Pity, that.)

  48. Like any doctrinaire communist, Cuomo is full of excuses and accusations feces.

    Fixed it for you.

  49. Could be the shareholders (the smart ones anyway) see the lawsuits coming, while everyone else is gleefully dancing around. Could be a sea change like this is the beginning of the end for a company that depends on ‘momentum’ for value. In any case, it clearly DID hurt, and the fleeing is only beginning.

    Twitter was in trouble before Trump. Just like CNN and MSNBC.

  50. My Indian clinic called today and scheduled me for a covid-19 vaccination on Friday. My brother had his last week and said the third arm gets really useful after a while.
    My wife’s dialysis clinic announced they will be providing vaccination for those not yet vaccinated. She had to verify she hadn’t taken the vaccine and they will give her a jab next week.
    I’ll let you-all know if we have a problem.

  51. I have some ham radio gear, scanners, baofengs. Everything charged. Lots of FLASHLIGHTS with 18650s, all charged.

    Apps:
    I recommend the signal app – useful, secure, but requires that you know the other person’s phone number. Needs wifi or cell data to operate.

    Briar is interesting – Android only, serverless. You can only talk to contacts on the same wifi network or within bluetooth range. Useful on airplanes or other places without wifi. It has a way to do group chats where contacts get the messages when they come into range of a phone which is a member of the same group.

  52. Note: just ordered a Uniden Home Patrol II. I live in a tiny county seat, pop 3430, in rural Oklahoma. May be able to hear the local sheriff and fire but not much else here. I liked the uniden because its small size makes it portable.

  53. The best thing about the Uniden Home Patrol is the different paradigm for scanners. It’s “object oriented”, not frequency oriented. You don’t need to know anything at all about the frequencies, talk groups, trunking systems, anything but where you are, and optionally what systems and services you want to listen to. I picked ALL then started blocking them on the radio as they came up. Like Fire Dispatch. In Houston, there are several of those and they NEVER stop. The police dispatch can be similar, but they mostly use their in car computers and wireless data for that now. I’ve blocked aviation, college PDs, marine ops, and some others. Oh, CB radio.

    There are three levels you can see on the display, the system, the user, and their channels. you can lock or block any of those. Most of the time now, I lock TxWARN (Texas Wide Area Radio Network) and Interop zone 77 (which they use locally for agency law enforcement interop, particularly surveillance) and I let the channels float. If it’s quiet, I might unlock the middle branch so I get all of TxWARN. That gives me the sheriffs, DPS, and the constables most of the time. If something interesting is going on, I reach over and lock either the channel or the user (agency) and listen for a while.

    There is a ‘range’ setting that loads more or fewer channels, and setting it high can load a LOT of channels. That just means it will take longer to scan thru them and you’ll miss more of the stuff you’re interested in, close by.

    I never read the manual, and I’m happy with the use I get out of it. It can also record and ‘repeat’. If you are driving cross country, you can attach a gps and it will load whatever is close to you as you drive.

    It’s not cheap but it is very powerful.
    n


  54. I don’t cough outside the house, so I think it’s something in the air here.

    @nick; have you tried a HEPA air purifier? We have two running (living room and bedroom) and they help my wife who is very sensitive to dust – in fact, she reliably knows, give or take a day or two, when the furnace filter needs changing.

  55. I normally run the 3m purple triple alergen filters in the HVAC, and they could be do for a change. I try to change them at the beginning of every month, but I missed this time. It will be almost 2 months….

    I run the fan constantly to keep the air moving thru them normally too.

    n


  56. First goal- be able to stay in your home completely isolated, without changing your lifestyle or routine significantly, for 72 hours- 3 days. And at the end of those days, you are not desperate or in need of aid, but you can continue your normal life, and replace what got used up.

    Specifically consider your planning for this scenario with and without your various utilities.
    Power – it can get quite uncomfortable sleeping indoors when it’s 105 and you have no A/C for three days.
    Natural Gas for heating and cooking (and don’t forget electrically dependent starters).
    Water – it is off? Or on but needs boiling? If the latter, do you have the means to heat it?
    Internet
    Sewer – a little more advanced but do you have backup prevention measures and/or sewage insurance on your Homeowners policy? (And an aside here, this is a good time to review your HO policy carefully regarding exclusions. I found out the hard way that there was some ambiguity in a hurricane-related clause that almost cost me a few grand. Luckily there was an independent adjuster involved and he sided with our reading of the policy and we came out okay.


  57. What do you guys think? Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while? Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week? Maybe on a separate page? Too chatty? Too presumptuous? Too general? Already been done? Too ambitious? Unnecessary?

    I lean towards yes, maybe one specific day of the week (@RickH – can your stats easily tell us our ‘slow’ day in terms of number of comments?)
    What’s good is hearing how five different people accomplished the same goal – maybe nick’s rain collection system doesn’t work for me but what brad did matches 95% of my need
    Also would like people’s input on non-gub home defense ideas (e.g. crossbow, slingshot, boiling oil, etc.)
    Also since I believe I’m seeing a number of new names here is it easy to temporarily add a poll widget to the sidebar and quickly get a Yes/IDC/No sense?


  58. One of the stories on the local Faux News was about how Plugs is going to loosen the vaccine distribution to get all of the supply out as soon as possible rather than the current approach of keeping reserves for the second doses. The new administration will rely on the manufacturers to step up production or exercise the Defense Production Act.

    In violation of the FDA EUA…err, nothing to see here folks, move along…


  59. Is there any state that is bumping up close to 100% utilization of their vaccine allotment?

    @drwilliams; and the winner is: North Dakota at 73% – 38K does used out of 53K on hand – which represents 5.1% of the state population. By coverage it’s South Dakota at 5.5% (and ND at 5.1%).
    Chart here: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/covid-19-vaccine-doses.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_nn_20210110&instance_id=25857&nl=the-morning&regi_id=52160700&segment_id=48890&te=1&user_id=e9d62056cb914182a595727baa394e6b


  60. connected to about 40-50ft of LMR-400, connected to the MFJ-1866 discone

    @nick; for me, a good example of why you should keep posting ‘prepping’ stuff. Still haven’t acquired a scanner (other $ priorities) but it’s still on the list and now I’ve added info on LMR-400 (new to me) and the antenna. Keep up the good work!

  61. Thanks Alan, see tomorrows post for more on that thought.

    It occurs to me (not for the first time) that what makes Daynotes special and different is that it has evolved into more of a chat room, without the pretentiousness of calling it a ‘salon’ and without the silo-ing of a forum. On the best days it’s much more than the sum of its parts, and even on ordinary days it has a comfortable feel like a neighborhood pub. That’s down to the people Bob attracted and all the folks who come by and contribute. (and all the lurkers too, I’m glad you find enough value to keep coming around.)

    n

  62. That’s the one thing WhuFlu has shown is the need to have adequate supplies. Nothing like empty supermarket shelves do get the point across.. 🙂

    @Nick, most districts/councils have air quality stations set up in various locations. You might find a link to the nearest to check quality if it helps.

  63. “most districts/councils have air quality stations set up in various locations. You might find a link to the nearest to check quality if it helps. ”

    –that is a good idea. City of Houston has a great web portal to their GIS data and they map EVERYTHING. I’ll take a look.

    and my filters do need changing. Did I already mention that? Tomorrow.

    n


  64. even on ordinary days it has a comfortable feel like a neighborhood pub

    This. It’s a comfortable place. Some days, I feel like tossing in my two cents worth. Other days, it’s nice to just lean back and listen.

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