Mon. April 19, 2021 – a fresh new week, hoo boy, let’s get to work

Cool and damp, probably no rain, but it was scattered spatters of rain most of yesterday, and the forecast was for dry…

I got a bunch done yesterday. All little things, but several that were much easier in 60F weather than 90F.

I cleaned and seasoned 3 cast iron pots with lids. Those will go to the auction. They were Goodwill Outlet, so $1.20/ pound. I’ll make decent money on them and I like saving things like cast iron. Didn’t take long with the angle grinder and wire wheel, followed up with oil and a good bake. One piece is modern, the other two are vintage.

I hung another IR illuminator for my cams. This one points in the same direction as my latest camera and should light up half the street. I didn’t get the power hooked up yet. I got side tracked while going through a bin of wall warts, and ended up powering up several other things that have been kicking around waiting for power supplies. I’ll get to the illuminator soon, and in the mean time, the other things can either be put into service or put away, or sold.

Did a little bit of work in my attic. I moved all the light bulb holders to be above my head level. Since I store stuff up there, I’m moving around at least a few times a month, and I’m always afraid I’ll hit one of the bare bulbs with my head, slashing my face open. It didn’t take long and has been on the list for quite some time. I also put the Easter decor away and checked the rat traps- no rats.

Put another bin of auction items together.

Did some cleaning, poking around, and arranging in the garage too. And I wired the attic fan to a plug. I was going to put a receptacle in the attic for it and a work light, but didn’t have the right j-box, so for now it’s just a cord plugged into an existing outlet. I’m really hoping it will help keep the temps in the garage down. I need a Home Depot run to do some replenishing of plumbing supplies and any veg seedlings, so I might as well get a couple of j-boxes too.

The tomato plants are lush. There isn’t any other word for them. My wife is crowing about her success (I get one or two tomatoes from 3 or 4 plants every year, not a strong suit.) I’m claiming it’s the used coffee grounds I’ve been adding to the beds 🙂 The grape vine continues to leaf out, as does the peach tree. The frozen citrus is still not showing any signs of life. I’m starting to believe it was all killed, which is very disappointing.

I tried something new for dinner. I sautéed frozen shrimp with minced onion and bacon crumbles, and then used a can of Campbell’s Cream of Shrimp soup as a sauce, serving the whole thing over rice. Tasted good to my wife and to me, and the kids loved it. Quick, easy, low fuel cost, and a real change of pace.

Today if the rain holds off, I’ll be taking a pickup load to my industrial auction. I will have no trouble filling the truck. Then I’ll swing by Lowe’s and pick up the fridge for my rent house. Maybe I’ll even get that installed if I hustle. We’ll see.

And out there in the world, we’ll see how soon it all falls apart. The recent spate of shootings, the lawlessness in MN, OR, and NYC, a Congresswoman inciting riotous crowds that then shoot up an NG unit, lions and tigers and bears… oh my. It seems like the violence is accelerating and escalating.

Keep improving your position, and keep stacking…

nick

Fri. April 9, 2021 – and now we’re one step closer to CWII, thanks Joe!

Warm and sunny, with a small chance of rain, or hot and sunny, I’m reasonably sure it will be one or the other. It was sunny and warm yesterday, but so humid that puddles in the driveway wouldn’t dry. I was soaked with sweat pretty quickly after going outside. Sunny and beautiful, but not pleasant.

Spent a couple of hours napping. I just felt really wrung out, and was falling asleep in my office chair. Since that hurts my neck, I just went back to bed. I’ve done that more in the last couple of months than in the last couple of years. That is not necessarily a good thing.

The rest of the day was eaten up with small tasks. I got a mounting arm for my last camera cobbled together. I put the mount for the mount in place on the chimney. And I got the camera configured, along with the NVR software. Even though the cam is sitting in my office, I am looking at image from it on my NVR. Since getting that camera in place and working moved to pretty near the top of my list, it felt like a good day.

The rest of the afternoon and evening was devoted to cooking our belated Easter dinner. I was able to use mint and rosemary from the garden to season the lamb. I also used some instant potato packets from 2014. They were a bit orange, as the butter flavor coloring changed with time, but after adding some cream, butter, and bacon crumbles, the mashed potatoes were perfectly fine as an accompaniment to the lamb. I had one box of envelopes that tasted “old” and then this box that is well within acceptable range for taste. Same age, but one got more heat than the other. Heat is the killer of stored food.

I have decided to increase my stored bulk rice and flour beyond where it is now. It’s relatively cheap, and things aren’t looking better world wide, in fact our pResident seems to be actively working to make them worse. (And of course I don’t believe it’s him at all, but whoever is pulling the strings. It’s convenient to blame him, after all he’s sitting in the big chair, and that way I don’t need to type all this every time.) I think when I did the math, if we were eating it every day, one bucket of rice would last one month, and 50 pounds fits in a bucket. I’ll double check later today and update. So, 10-12 buckets of rice at $25-$40/bucket for the year. I haven’t priced bulk rice in a year, and it varies by grade, producer, and availability. If someone here is using rice every day (roughly) please add your usage observations.

Flour is much harder to judge because I do almost nothing with bulk flour. I’m going to guess at 10-12 buckets per year for that too, because it’s cheap, so why not.

I’ll need to add a few gallons of vitamin E stabilized peanut cooking oil too. That will actually be the most expensive part.

Those three things, and some salt, comprise most of the traditional ‘poor people’ food the world over, time without end. Some type of powdered flour, some rice, some cooking oil, some water and salt, and you have basic calories that can be added to with whatever is available. RBT called them “iron rations” and it never seemed very appealing to me. I plan to have lots to add to them, but they are the base load. It’s time to build up the canned storage too.

We’re currently eating canned corn, beans, peas, and a few other things that I panic bought during ebola-14, and the vast majority is as good as when I bought it. There are exceptions. High acid foods don’t survive as long in cans. Pineapple, tomato products, some other fruit, they have swelled up and/or popped. Dry mixes with a high fat content also tend to taste “old” once past their best by date. In our climate, dried food in boxes picks up an “old” taste too soon too– Kraft mac n cheese I’m looking at you.

The way I’m looking at it, maybe we WON’T need enough stuff to stay home for 6 months to a year because of a pandemic…. and maybe we won’t need to supplement our shopping with stored food for a year or two, while the economy and security situation stabilize. But what if we do? Food security is cheap insurance.

So stack it high.

nick

Mon. Mar. 8, 2021 – did some cooking and cleaning

Cool again today, and hopefully dry.   It stayed cool yesterday and was sunny and bright.   A beautiful day.  A day for . . . yardwork!

Well, my wife did some planting, and I did some cleaning.   She got some new plants into the herb garden and replaced some of the decorative stuff that froze.   She cut back the stuff we’re hoping recovers.

I raked some more leaves, especially by the citrus trees.   I shook and knocked most of the dead leaves off the trees and then I cleaned up around them.   I didn’t quite get everything bagged, I’ll have to finish later.  In the back yard my wife planted some tomatoes (and the herbs) while I picked up debris and ran the lawnmower.   Put the fire pit cooker back in the middle of the yard.   Pressure washed some spots on the patio and a few things I’d missed, basically just to run  the gas tank dry.  And then, because the firepit was just sitting right there, we decided to have a little fire.   And if we’re going to have a fire, might as well use it to cook dinner, says the 9 year old… wisdom from the mouths of babes.

So that’s what we did.   The firepit is enclosed with mesh all the way around and has a cast iron grill that you can cook on.   We re-heated beef stew, put some mushrooms in butter in foil, and grilled some kielbasa sausages.  I put a can of red beans and rice on too and that made a real nice meal with the sliced sausage.   During the blackouts we ate a couple of cans of the stuff, and gave some to the neighbors too.   Recommended.   Tasty, hearty, and easy to make.

(And of course dessert was s’mores.   We had the fire going anyway…)

Canned and ‘instant’ versions of food and ingredients should be high on your stored food list.   They take less time and less heat energy to prepare and you might be short on both of those things during your emergency.   I’ve got lots of regular rice, but during short term events, I reach for the Minute Rice.  Everything we had for dinner had already been cooked, and really just needed to be heated.

Speaking of shortcuts, for breakfast I made eggs, and biscuits with sausage gravy.   First time for me and the gravy.   It was from a can too.  Biscuits from a tube, gravy from a can, and eggs (ultimately from a chicken, but yesterday just from the store.)   The gravy was pretty good, the family all ate it and my wife got seconds.   It was FAR better than the white goo I got from a gravy packet last time I tried biscuits and gravy.  Younger daughter also got fried sliced spam.  She loves it.

So breakfast was from medium and long term storage, and dinner was from the pantry but cooked over a wood fire.    Eat what you store…   and store some stuff you don’t normally eat so that you have some novel foods if you get bored.

Cooking over a wood fire is fun when you don’t have to do it.  Practice using some of the different ways you have stacked to cook, clean, heat water, etc.  MUCH easier to do so in the daylight on a nice day, when the indoor stove is there for backup…

And of course, keep stacking the stuff you need.

nick

Thur. Feb. 11, 2021 – starting to get chilly

Cold.  Wet.  Dreary.  With freezing temps on the way.

Yesterday was 0ccasional light misty drizzle pretty much all day.

Once the sun went down the temperature started to drop… da drop, drop…..

46F when I went to bed.

Got very little done during the day.  Got a bit done during the afternoon.   I did do some housecleaning, and a load or 3 of laundry, and put clothes away, and some other domestic bliss, but no where near what my list needed.  Sorting lego from megablox and chinese knockoff ‘building blocks’ doesn’t really count as work, even if it did need to be done eventually, does it?

I made one of my bachelor staples for dinner though.   Canned chicken in maple curry sauce, over minute rice…   It all got eaten, wife liked it and the kids had seconds.   Hooray for me!   Of course my fingers still smell like the curry cubes, and I’ve washed about 7 or 8 times.  Still, super easy, really tasty, and all from long term stores.

I’m going to avoid talking about the show trial.   The language in the reporting is so over the top, I can’t believe I’m reading it.  Does it really play well for the ‘folks back home’?  If so, we’re in a LOT worse trouble than I hoped.   And what must the inside of their heads look like if they hear ‘coded phrases’ in everyday speech?  They sound psychotic.  Thank God they don’t do half of what the voices must be urging them to do.

I am increasing my stores.   Holy cow this won’t end well.   They are actually nuts, and there is no reasoning with crazy.

You need water, and ways to get more.   Food.  Meds.  Comms.  Money.  And you need them in place and outside of normal channels.   “Normal” has left the building, and won’t be back for a while.    And hey, if I’m wrong, donate it to a food bank later on.   I know there will be plenty of them.

Keep stacking.

n

 

Sat. Jan. 2, 2021 – and away we go!

Cold.  Clear.  Gusty.  Starting in the mid 30s and getting warmer throughout the day.  I hope.

It was a nice day, if a bit gusty and cool yesterday.  36F when I went to bed, down from mid-40s.

I basically took the day off.  Didn’t even look at my phone until midnight.  Left it on the charger in the other room.  I did make a nice dinner for New Year’s Day.

I started with five pounds of bone on ribeye roast from the sale last week.  Mashed potatoes with cream and bacon crumbles.  Steamed broccoli from the garden.  Biscuits from a roll, and key lime pie from a can.  Yup.  A can of pie filling, some whipped cream, and a graham cracker crust, a few hours in the freezer, and a delicious treat was served.  I even garnished it with a thin slice of lime, heavily sugared.

Canned pie filling is one of my stored food staples.   Cheap, quick, easy, and very satisfying.  I’ve got everything from key lime to chocolate, with dark cherry and apple being two favorites.  Some you bake, some you freeze, but all have been good and the dark cherry is great.  Crusts are either pre-made graham cracker (which keeps forever in the fridge) or the rolled up pilsbury, also in the fridge, or from some premade mixes.  My wife will make pie crust from scratch.  I don’t.  The other way I use it is to make little ‘mini’ pies in small ramekins.  A circle of pie crust, a scoop of canned filling, another circle to cover, et viola!  Personal sized pies.  I sometimes roll the pre-made crust a bit thinner to be sure I have enough.  Or use the mini pre-made graham crusts, and some jello pudding mix to make little pies…  Everyone is cheered by the sight of a pie.

Which transitions nicely into the idea of morale, and the importance of keeping it up.  Even though we’re not fully locked down and isolated, we were in the early days.  I’d planned for a long time on our lifeboat, and did several things to hopefully improve morale.  Firstly I stocked a variety of food.  I stock a bunch of stuff we don’t eat regularly and some we’ve never eaten as a family.  I figure that coming up with new meals and tastes is important to keep people interested in eating.   I stock a bunch of different canned pie fillings.  They can be used as pie filling, served over icecream, or used in other ways to keep things interesting.  I have some freeze dried “astronaut ice cream” as a special treat.  I have a lot of cake and cookie mixes too.  I figure a nice dessert goes a long way to helping with morale as does good food.

I stocked up on gifts for special occasions.  We were able to augment the stored gifts for birthdays and anniversaries, but I had SOME things ready if needed.  It had been handy pre-covid, to grab a gift from the closet for the ‘pop up’ birthday party the kid forgot about until the last minute.

I have lots of movies and tv shows on DVD that the kids and even my wife and I have never seen.  We’ve got old favorites too.  I’ve got puzzles, games, and art supplies.  Books of course, but also books with activities for kids – like how to draw horses, or making paper airplanes, or how to make origami animals.  I’ve even got a couple of books on learning to play instruments we have.  The idea was not just to have stuff to do, but also some novelty.  A couple of decks of cards and a Hoyles book of card games is a DEEP fallback position.

I stored books and supplies for traditional crafts and handiwork too-needlework and leather-crafting in particular, as there are practical applications as well as busy work.  Keeping hands occupied and accomplishing something usually raises peoples’ spirits.

Lego and Vex kits also keep them busy.  I’ve got other educational kits in reserve too.

Throughout the last 9 months, as the kids were looking for something to do, or needed project materials for classes, I was able to just tap into the stuff I had stored.  When they would get a bit ‘down’ we’d whip out something novel they hadn’t seen or done before.  Sometimes it didn’t work.  But usually it did.

For us here in Texas, and other states that didn’t go full jackboot, the covid restrictions have been a bit of a dry run for the zombie apocalypse or a really bad plague.  Mostly stuff worked well.  There were some gaps, and I’m working to fill those.  Being able to keep prepping and adding to preps during the pandemic has been helpful.   Still a long way to go to prep for civil war, economic collapse, civil unrest/race riots, the Greatest Depression, global cooling, alien invasion, ebola, chicken AIDS, or whatever is coming next to plague us.

People and relationships are important, both virtually and in real life.  Skills are important.  Knowledge is important.  Having the stuff to USE those skills and that knowledge on, or to help out a friend, or build a relationship, is important too.  So keep stackin’, you don’t want to be lackin’…

nick

Mon. Dec. 14, 2020 – king for a day

Cool and wet.  Although the forecast doesn’t have any rain for our area, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Yesterday was rainy throughout.  Lots of thunder, lots of rain in the morning, with more rain and heavy wind gusts all through the day.

I did inside stuff.  Marginally productive inside stuff, testing a couple of things, organizing some stuff, but mostly not doing much despite all the movement.   I did find some meds in my travel kit, and that helped.  I’ll be chasing my prescription today, and taking more steps to stack it up.  I can not skip it if I need to.  Not if I want to be active and effective.

Kids spent the whole day by themselves.  My wife ran errands and made cookies.  Yummy PILES of cookies.  I made 2 pounds of bacon for breakfast.  It got eaten too.  Dinner was pulled pork from cans that our Costco carried for a while.  I drain them, heat them, and add BBQ sauce.  Served them on King’s Hawaiian rolls.  Some leftover carrots, baked beans, and fresh onion filled out the plate.   The pulled pork isn’t as versatile as the chicken but it makes a nice change of pace and was widely available and not expensive.

Today I’m at home, while my wife goes into the office, so I’ll be doing at home stuff.   I hope to be a bit more productive today.  Since I’m not going to be allowed to solve the country’s problems today, I’ll have to keep working on my own.

On the wuflu front, we should be seeing peaks from the Thanksgiving spread this week and next.  We’re up, but not storing the dead in freezer trucks, and I’m very glad for that.

On the national insurgency/coup/civil war, it’s just getting started.  Pretty sure lots more is coming.   Someone online pointed out that the dems are not confident.  They aren’t dancing in the street.  They and their propaganda arm are doing their best to gaslight, censor, restrict, and obfuscate, but if they were confident they’d be a whole lot more “in your face” about it.   I find that heartening, but ultimately, I think the deep state and a bunch of others had their Quisling ‘peace in our day’ moment.   The cheaters know they cheated.  The others know they cheated, and they decided NOT to kick off CWII this week.   I think they haven’t bought nearly as much time as they think they have.  I guess we’ll see.

We’ve got a bit more time to get our stuff straightened out.   I could load a box truck here at the house if I was serious and had somewhere to SEND all this stuff.  I might just have to.  I did make two ebay sales yesterday.  I think my net was $40.  That isn’t going to buy much in the way of preps… and it’s not clearing stuff out fast enough.  I usually move the equivalent of two pallets at the March hamfest swapmeet.  That isn’t happening this year either.  On the plus side I figured out how to get more stuff thrown away, even if I can’t get the forklift running right.  I’ll cut it up and move it piece by piece, instead of moving it then cutting it up at the dumpster.  There’ll be a lot more handling of the stuff, but I’ve got the equivalent of a 53 foot tractor trailer taking up space I need for other things.   I won’t get it all back, I’m keeping some of the shipping containers, but they’ll nest to a degree.  I just need to find 10 hours during the day when I can go do it, and when it’s not raining.

Where did I go wrong?  I kept buying stuff long after it stopped selling.  I’ve found myself doing the same with preps…   I get a bug that I should pick up item x, and keep doing so long after I should have recognized I’ve got enough x and moved to y.  So take stock of what you have, where you need to be, and how you hope to get there.   You might be surprised by the hills and the valleys in what you thought was level ground.

I’m sure there are valleys to be filled by more stacking.  And if not, it’s time to level up skills.  A good scanner for Christmas and leaving it on while you work so you can get an idea about what’s going on in your area might be a place to start, if you’ve got the rest taken care of… or start working on your HUMINT so you can get a feel for the restlessness of the natives.  Get out of the house and talk to some people, at a safe distance of course.

Figure out your needs and keep stacking them.

nick

 

Tues. Nov. 17, 2020 – the wheel turns…

Cool, damp, but sunny and clear.  I hope.

Stayed cool and clear all day yesterday. It was 45F at midnight but 70s and maybe into the low 80s at some point during the day.  Cool in the shade though.

I got stuff done around the house.  Moved the rest of the insulation into the attic.  Broke down a whole bunch of scrap.  Messed with the pool liner so it will hopefully finally dry out.  Poked at a couple of other things.

It doesn’t sound like much but it was forward progress.

On the other hand, my cough and sore throat don’t seem to be getting better.  I’m going to try to get a test today or tomorrow.  I don’t have a fever, or any of the other serious and definitive symptoms, but I’m supposed to be driving to Florida to spend a week with my mom at the end of the week…  I’m still not comfortable with that, and especially so if I’m not feeling well.  Maybe I’ll try a rapid test this time, and pay for it.

I’ve been feeling tired and run down, but then I’m not sleeping enough either.  Being tired is a natural consequence of not sleeping.  Anyway.   Better to test if I can.  And if I can trust the results.  And if I can actually get a test.   To be honest, I stopped paying attention, and the pictures out of El Paso shocked me.  Daily Mail had this to say,

it has become a particularly heavy burden upon rural America.

Counties with fewer than 10,000 residents now have the highest rate of new daily coronavirus infections per capita of any size county, according to an Axios analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

These rural counties – referred to as ‘non-core’ by the National Center for Health Statistics and US Census Bureau are suffering an average of 60.4 new cases per every 100,000 people, whereas 35.4 out of every 100,000 people living in large central metro areas are being diagnosed a day.

As a result, the national rate of infections seemed to be climbing more slowly, but hospital systems are more likely to be imperiled now than they were during the first spring peak of the pandemic in the U.S.

Rural areas have fewer beds to begin with, meaning that they can quickly become overwhelmed, as El Paso, Texas, has. That means that even if the absolute numbers of new cases and hospitalizations remain low, facilities may run out of space and personnel to treat patients, and people may die faster than space an be made in small local morgues.

Aesop and others had mentioned this very scenario way back in the early days…  Other than total deaths, most of what was outlined before this became political has remained on target.  Waves.  Of decreasing size.   For years.  Rural areas with no resources quickly overwhelmed.

No one called the political aspects. Always there are second and third order effects.  Those are much harder to predict.


Violent rhetoric and  actual violence against conservatives are increasing.  The radical elements on the left are becoming emboldened (or the ones who are in the know are becoming desperate.)  If I was a conspiracy guy, I’d say we’re due for a major incident that will overwhelm the election stories.  Bonus if it kills Americans, bonus if it can be used to bludgeon Trump for not giving up and letting Biden in the door.  And if it looks like Trump might actually be successful in his challenge, expect someone to try for him.  It’s kinda amazing that he’s made it this long considering the forces aligned against him.  They’ve tried smears, they’ve tried legal action, they’re trying election fraud, what’s left?  And Harris is waiting in the wings to step in…   The flip side is some antifa/blm/black bloc kids get sacrificed to create a narrative that Trump’s nazzi white supremacist thugs are out of control and need more crackdowns…

Or dozens of other potential scenarios, most of which end in increased violence and lead toward civil ware…..

The good news is, if you are prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for most of the rest of the threats too.   Don’t get caught short this time.  Stack what you need.  Stack it high and deep.

nick

 

 

Tues. Oct. 13, 2020 – back to school

Another fairly hot and very humid day.  No rain forecast though.

Monday was so humid I was sweating just standing outside talking with the roofing contractor.  It got up into the low nineties too.  Hotter in the sun, I’m sure.  Roofing is one of those jobs that I would do just about anything to avoid.  Septic pumping is another.

I did my pickups.  Got my roof vents and the rest of my household stuff.  Not much for resale in these two auctions.

The roofers got the back side of the house and some of the garage done.  Today they’ll finish with the garage and do all of the front side.  The new color shingle looks great.  It really freshens up the look and I can’t wait to see it on the front from the street.  House will look good for the riots at least.

I really don’t like having the crew in my driveway and around the house in the back where all the good stuff is.  The generators and water tanks are pretty hard to miss if you are in the yard.  The food is a bit more undercover.  @paul would probably recognize what I’ve got going on.  I’ve used night shields (aluminized fabric set up like an old school movie screen) horizontally to cover my three sets of shelves where my canned goods are stored.  The night shields are normally used in a grocery store to cover the open face of reach in coolers and freezers at night.  I picked up three at some point.  They work great as retractable ‘doors’ in front of the metal shelves.

Hard to maintain OPSEC when you’ve got people crawling all over your house.

Once the roofers are done and gone, I’ll be able to get more Halloween decor out.  That gives me a sense of normality that I kind of need right now to counter my sense of dread for what I see coming.  Every one of these milestones I want to make as normal as possible for the kids, so if things do go pear shaped, they have that to remember.  And if they DON’T go pear shaped, all the better to have celebrated the small events, instead of skipping them.  On the other hand, I can be pretty sure we won’t be doing 4 Trunk or Treats this year.  As long as we get one Trick or Treat night I’ll be happy.

Ate one orange from my tree today.  A bit sour and woody.  Very disappointing.  I hope the others are better.  Daughter 2 wanted to make cookies, and used a box of mix Best By 2018.  It was pretty bad.  There is something bitter in there.  For everything that lasts well past its BB, there is something else that doesn’t.

On the other hand, I used a skillet flavor mix from 2018 to make chicken tacos last night and they were REALLY good.  Chicken from the freezer, ‘street truck’ one skillet flavor packet, and I made the tortillas from the big bucket o mix.  Just add water!  I’m getting the hang of it.  They aren’t round, but I’m getting them cooked more consistently and rolled out to a more consistent and thin thickness.  The dough really needs to be kneaded, and it really needs to rest.  After that it rolls out nicely.  The tortilla press was a failure again.  Operator error or just not needed, the press is going to Goodwill.  I don’t have a comal but the western rolling pin works just fine and I’ll keep trying.  Sometimes the simplest things are much harder than they might look.  That’s why we need to practice the skills.

And keep stacking.  So you have the resources to use with those skills…

 

nick

Fri. Oct. 2, 2020 – another week gone and good riddance

Cool in the morning, warm in the afternoon, cool again at night.

That’s what yesterday was like anyway.

I did a few little things.  The main two were looking at roofing samples with the wife under various lighting conditions trying to pick the one to go with.  Simple for me, not so simple for her.  And D/L’ing and trying some different security cam NVR software.   I like the one from Russia with love, Xeoma Video.  The playback is very nice and intuitive.  It’s easy to zoom both the live video and the recording.  The load on my pc is MUCH less as well.  The main difference is that there are license fees for the product.  There is a free version, some limited versions, and lots of additional cost add ons.  I like it, but I’ll have to see what the cost would end up being.  I was able to add all my cameras, even the weird old ones.  There is a version that runs on linux.  This may be the case where the additional cost is well worth it.

Couldn’t find my micro drip irrigation supplies.  Bummer.  I’ll have to buy some to water the ‘window’ boxes on the fence.  If I don’t, I can be pretty sure I won’t be successful growing anything in them.

I ate too many carbs at lunch and had to take a nap.  I decided to lay down, as I’m tired of waking up in my chair with a sore neck.  That’s been happening more than I’d like.  I’ve been coughing more than I’d like too.  Part of cleaning up my bedroom was to control the dust under the bed and around the corners…but that didn’t solve the issue.   My temp is normal as is my pulse ox, but I can’t help but consider that I might have picked up the wuflu.  I think I picked up something, which is a breach of my protocol somewhere.  It could just be lack of sleep and seasonal allergies, but now my wife thinks I should get tested.  I’ll report on that when it happens.

Grocery order today, and more stuff for the freezer.  Wife took a look at the canned goods and questioned some of the more unusual items.  I like to have some choices, so I buy some stuff we don’t normally eat.  Heck, until I started storing long term food we rarely ate anything out of cans at all.  I have them to combat appetite fatigue if we’re ever forced to eat out of stores for a long time, and alot of them can be  added to rice too, for a change of pace.  I shudder to think of a time when lima beans will be welcome on the plate.

We can’t know for certain what tomorrow will bring, but we can prepare for the likely things.   No one knew on September 10th, 2001 that the world would change forever the next day.   So get ready for what you can, and plan to deal with the rest.  Stack it high.

nick

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

09:56 – It was 37.4F (3C) when I took Colin out at 0645, but the damp breeze made it feel colder. When I took Colin again around 0900, the temperature had gone up to only 40.8F (5C).

I’d noticed the first time I had Colin out that Barbara’s hanging wire-mesh bird feeder was completely empty. That was odd, since at dinnertime yesterday it had still been half-full. But I think I know what happened.

About 2100 last night, I was finishing watching a Youtube video and was planning to give Colin a last time out. He was lying at the front storm door, calmly surveying his domain. He suddenly went into Cujo mode, barking and snarling viciously. At first I thought it was the two little dogs that have recently been showing up to visit him. When Colin momentarily moved aside, I could see that it wasn’t one of the dogs. It looked like a C-A-T, so I went over toward the door and it ambled away as I did so. By the time I got out the front door, being careful not to let Colin get past me, it was just disappearing over the far end of the porch. I could see its striped tail. A raccoon, then.

I have nothing against raccoons generally, but their place is not up near my house. They’re vicious and carry rabies. I’m sure that Colin could rip up any raccoon who ever lived, but he might get bitten while doing so. So I grabbed my big flashlight and some .45 ACP raccoon repellent, and headed out into the yard to look for it. It apparently saw me coming and got the hell out. But I think it came back later and vacuumed out all the seed that had been in the feeder.


Yesterday, I showed a lot of progress health-wise. My breathing is now pretty much back to normal, I’m back up near my normal daily fluid intake level, and I’m convinced I could sleep through the night if Colin would stop walking around whimpering every few minutes.


There was an interesting article with videos over on zerohedge.com this morning about LBGTQABCXYZ activists arming themselves and training for what they expect to be another civil war. Oddly, articles in almost all conservative/libertarian publications seem to be against this. I’m all in favor of it.

That’s because I’m a Constitutional absolutist, and in particular a 2nd Amendment absolutist. The People have the absolute right to Keep and Bear Arms. That doesn’t mean just People I approve of. That means convicted violent felons, Antifa, BLM, muslim jihadists, child molesters, etc. etc. In other words, the scum of the earth. Why? Because if we give the government any ability whatsoever to limit the 2nd Amendment, we essentially give it the ability to destroy the 2nd Amendment.


11:23 – Email from a regular reader raising the subject of powdered eggs. She was baking last night and needed three eggs. She thought she had a full carton, but it turned out there was only one egg left. She didn’t feel like getting dressed and running to the supermarket, so she decided to open one of her precious cans of Augason Powdered Whole Eggs. She made up the two eggs she needed per the instructions, and the cake turned out fine.

This morning, she decided that since the can was already open and the clock was ticking on its shelf life, she might as well try making powdered egg omelets for breakfast. She was kind of expecting the powdered eggs to taste noticeably different. She said the yellow color of the mixed eggs was not quite the same as with fresh eggs, but the omelet tasted normal to her and that neither her husband nor their son noticed anything different. Useful data point.

I did suggest that she could greatly extend the shelf-life of the remaining egg powder by transferring it to canning jars with oxygen absorbers. Just put the lid in place and screw down the band tightly. After a day or so, remove the band and check to make sure the lid sealed. If you don’t have oxygen absorbers, the lid won’t seal, but that’s okay. Just keep the band on there, screwed down tight. The remaining eggs should remain good for months if not longer.

Oh, yeah. I almost forgot to mention…

For situations where you’re using eggs structurally, like most baking, you don’t really need to use eggs at all. One excellent substitute is ordinary gelatin powder. You can buy that in bulk for $6 or $8 per pound, and it keeps for a long, long time. When you get to the point in the recipe where you’re to add a fresh egg, simply mix one tablespoon of gelatin powder with one tablespoon of room temperature water, whisk until mixed, and then add two tablespoons of very hot water and whisk until mixed. That’s the equivalent of one whole egg. From experience, I know it works fine for recipes that call for only one or a few eggs. I’m not sure how it’d work with recipes that call for many eggs. But in the former case, the gelatin proteins are doing exactly what the egg proteins do: serving as a glue to hold the rest of the components together.