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May 27, 2012

New Things to Come

I know that I have been absent from this blog for quite a while.  Fear not, however, as I will be posting some new stuff in the near future.  I have, however, disabled comments entirely, as all I get is spam.  If you want to comment, please send it directly to my email rfgriffiths@1160main.com .  Thanks for your patience.

September 27, 2008

$85 Billion

Filed under: Guest Poster,Political Rants — admin @ 12:48 pm

I received this email from my sweetie, who received it from a coworker. I didn’t do ANY fact checking on this, nor did I look for it on Snopes , just passing it on, as it is a nice idea on the surface.

NOTE: I just checked with snopes, and according to them, the numbers are optimistic by a factor of 1000. I’m leaving it up, as written, however, because it IS a nice sentiment. Perhaps if we pared the numbers down by eliminating those adults who did not pay income taxes last year, it might amount to some meaningful pocket change.

Subject: $85 Billion

I’m against the $85,000,000,000.00 bailout of AIG.

Instead, I’m in favor of giving $85,000,000,000 to America in
a We Deserve It Dividend.

To make the math simple, let’s assume there are 200,000,000
bonafide U.S. Citizens 18+.

Our population is about 301,000,000 +/- counting every man, woman
and child. So 200,000,000 might be a fair stab at adults 18 and up..

So divide 200 million adults 18+ into $85 billon that equals $425,000.00.

My plan is to give $425,0 00 to every person 18+ as a
We Deserve It Dividend.

Of course, it would NOT be tax free.
So let’s assume a tax rate of 30%.

Every individual 18+ has to pay $127,500.00 in taxes.
That sends $25,500,000,000 right back to Uncle Sam.

But it means that every adult 18+ has $297,500.00 in their pocket.
A husband and wife has $595,000.00.

What would you do with $297,500.00 to $595,000.00 in your family?
Pay off your mortgage – housing crisis solved.
Repay college loans – what a great boost to new grads
Put away money for college – it’ll be there
Save in a bank – create money to loan to entrepreneurs.
Buy a new car – create jobs
Invest in the market – capital drives growth
Pay for your parent’s medical insurance – health care improves
Enable Deadbeat Dads to come clean or else

Remember this is for every adult U S Citizen 18+ including the folks
who lost their jobs at Lehman Brothers and every other compan y
that is cutting back. And of course, for those serving in our Armed Forces.

If we’re going to re-distribute wealth let’s really do it…instead of trickling out
a puny $1000.00 economic incentive that is being proposed by one of our candidates for President.

If we’re going to do an $85 billion bailout, let’s bail out every adult U S Citizen 18+!

As for AIG – liquidate it.
Sell off its parts.
Let American General go back to being American General.
Sell off the real estate.
Let the private sector bargain hunters cut it up and clean it up.

Here’s my rationale. We deserve it and AIG doesn’t.

Sure it’s a crazy idea that can work.

But can you imagine the Coast-To-Coast Block Party!

How do you spell Economic Boom?

I trust my fellow adult Americans to know how to use the $85 Billion
We Deserve It Dividend more than the geniuses at AIG or in Washington DC .

And remember, The Family pla n only really costs $59.5 Billion because $25.5 Billion is returned instantly in taxes to Uncle Sam.

Ahhh…I feel so much better getting that off my chest.

September 25, 2008

I Want to Buy a Generator, Part 2… Contributed by Rick Powell

Filed under: Guest Poster — admin @ 12:05 am

This is the third and final installment of the ‘preparedness emails’ that my friend Rick Powell sent me recently.

ok,
this is what i’ll call,,,,
“i want to buy a generator” Part 2…

a bit less ‘scolding’ and a bit more better usefull advice.

lets establish the starting point…

for the last X many years you have been going thru life in automatic, with just the usual care’s and concern’s…

but last week sucked. you lost a whole lotta food, you burnt thru a whole lotta money, were horribly inconvienenced,
really stressed, and at times,,,,, frightened.

guess what, so was about 600,000 other folks in the greater cincinnati-tri-state-area.

ok, so now that it’s sorta over… you wanna do better next time…..

and you wanna buy a generator…..

sure, look at the current balance in your checkbook…. is it over $10,000?
if so, get down to your local generator store, and go friggin buy the biggest generator you can carry/pull/tow,
go home, set it up, play with it, and stop reading this.

really,
stop.
i have no usefull information for you.
you can figure it out on your own, or for that matter,
go call an electrical contractor, and get a whole house generator installed, that runs on natural gas,
or if you don’t have natural gas, get one on a propane tank, complete with a full propane tank the size
of a small nation.
you can even get them that auto start.. the whole system is only about 15-20k, runs fine, don’t forget
to get the service contract, so that a tech will come out and service/test the generator regularly.

now get back to work. the economy needs you…

now, for everyone else….

i’m assuming you have read part 1,,,,,, and also, Thanks Ma,,,,, if not,,, go read them now.
and think about it….

ok,

things you MUST have.

fire extinguishers…….
no, i’m NOT kidding, get some.
they are usually available in ‘two packs’, for like $15. at wallmart.

next.
at least START the envelope of ‘oh shit’ money. feed it regularly.

next.
at least START storing up some water, no you don’t need 200 gallons, well, yes you do, but if space is limited,
at least go down to wallmart, and buy a case of small water bottles, for like $4.

next.
get a couple of .5L – 1L plastic bottles of your favorite bevarage, consume them, rinse them out. fill them up with water,
and stick them in the freezer.

next.
first aid kit? yes?, ok,,,, no? they got some basic ones at wallmart for like $10.

next.
flashlights,,,,, just keep your eyes open for cheapies… get at least 2 cheapies for each person in your house.
and have at least 1 GOOD one. and at least some extra battries…

next.
battry powered am/fm radio…… again, garage sales, flea market. etc…

next.
battry powered weather radio….. actually, if you don’t have one, and funds are seriously limited, the am/fm radio will
probably do ya, but at least put out the word to your friends/relatives that you want one for ‘winter gift season’..

next.
scanner. you can do fine without one. but, personally, i LIKE knowing what’s going on around me,,, and also, they can be
a wonderful source of evening entertainment for the whole family.

next.
cooler. you GOTTA have a cooler. it’s REQUIRED… how are you gonna go on picknic’s with the kids, if you don’t have a cooler.
it don’t have to be the size of a small truck. just enough so you can stick a 12 pack in it will do. for now. oh, plan to use
it….
fill it up, grab a frisbe or a football, and take the kids to the park. go. do it this weekend. hell, do it NOW. no kids…. ok,
fill it up, grab the wife/husband, and go have a picknic. outside, in the fresh air. away from tv’s, radios, phones, etc….
trust me, you WILL eventually find something to talk about…….

next.
home protection. a cheap shotgun, at wallmart, is inexpensive. got kids? so what. if you think for a minute, instead of
sprouting off some left wing anti gun propaganda, you will realize quickly, that for a couple of hundred years, folks here in
the states have had guns not only at home, but easily accessable, and still managed to have kids. and managed somehow, to not have
their kids shoot themselves…… believe me,,, it CAN be done. and it CAN be done, without trigger locks, or gun safe’s….
some people would call it,,,,,,,, teachin yer kids what is a toy, and what is NOT a toy. trust me, it works..

next.
fine, you just cant stand it any more, you are about to just stop reading this,,, and go down to home depot, and buy a generator….

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO DONT DO IT…….

yet.

you may still actually want one. you may actually still get away with buying one….
but are you familiar with the term ‘Force Multiplier’????? hrm???

no? it’s sorta a military term… it’s descriptive of how to massively increase the effectiveness of the limited number of ‘troops’
or
‘ships’ or ‘resources’ available..
an example…
take a marine… yes, any marine…
he is a FORCE all by himself… we’ll call that an effectiveness of 5.
now give that marine a rifle…. you have just multiplied his effectiveness by a factor of 5 or so..
so,
naked marine: effectiveness 5
naked marine with rifle: effectiveness 25

add another marine…
2 naked marines with rifles: effectiveness 50,,,, no wait…. not 50, that’s addition.

2 naked marines with rifles: effectiveness 625!

now, add some land mines, morters, maybe some night vision goggles,,, heck, let’s even put some clothes on the marines,
and give them radios…….

now, you have a force that is probably enough, to take over the state of california,,,, (cause lets see, uh, PRK is systematically
disarming it’s population. at least, the law abiding part of the population,,, although the gang’s are still well armed…..)

anyway, you get my point……

force multiplication is good, mkay…

what do you have right now, that could benefit from some force multiplication?????

well, let’s see, if you happen to have a car, truck, or even minivan (yuk), you have a force!

ever heard of an inverter? you can use an inverter to ‘multiply’ the ‘force’ of your piece of krap chebby, and do what???

you can keep your fridge cool!….
at least enough so that you wont loose everything in the fridge/freezer.

here is the details…..

your car. has this wonderfull little accessory,, it’s call a battry.
it also has this other wonderfull little accessory,,,it’s called an alternator.
if you are NOT familiar with the alternator,,, you don’t really need to be. but it would be very helpfull
to be at least marginally familiar with the battry.

at most truck stops (flying j, TA, whatever) you will usually find a wide assortment of CB’s, Inverters, and 12V powered ‘stuff’.
these are wonderfull places. just don’t get pushy, truckers bring you your groceries.
thank them.
anyway, in the ‘inverter section’ you will see everything from a cute little blue one, that MAY provide enough power
to charge your cellphone, to the big, shiney, HUGE one, that could probably be used to light Riverfront Stadium! (oops… no,
that’s gone,,, it’s Cinergy Field now…)
(no, wait,,,,, not Cinergy Field,,, uh, screw it.. the place where the red’s provide batting practice for the rest of the teams in
the league… yeah, that place…)

a good compromise, would be,,, something in the 1500 to 2500 watt range.

Price Check on Isle Inverters please….

ah, flying j, Cobra, 1500 Watt Power Inverter, CPI1575, $149.99

SWEEET!
of course, your mileage may vary… but i would say that would be the SMALLEST inverter to get.
it will have enough, uh, ‘testicular fortitude’, to ‘get the job done’. at least for the fridge and freezer.

bigger being better of course, but for what you NEED, this will do.

how to use it?

remember, modern refridgeration is a wonderfull thing…..
they have something called ‘insulation’.. it’s kinda like a big powered cooler. only better.

assuming you HAVE A PLAN when opening the fridge/freezer, you can get away with the following:

get up an hour early in the morning,,,, start the car. hook up the inverter to the battry, run the cord to the fridge.
turn on the inverter,,, SHAZAM,,, fridge runs….

go thru morning routine. all the time, with the fridge on.. for at least 90 minutes….

yeah, car is running (idleing) the whole time…
oh, turn off the lights, air, radio, fog lights, rear window defrogger, wipers, seat heaters,
EVERYTHING in the car that uses power…. turn it all off. you are just letting the engine run, to power the fridge.

when you are all done with the fridge, let it continue to run for at least 30 minutes.
yeah, you are gonna use a couple of gallons of gas. but dammit, we’re talking COLD MILK here……

done?
fine.
shut down the inverter, disconnect it from the battry, DO NOT SHUT OFF THE CAR for at LEAST another 20 minutes…
yeah, you can drive it… feel free to go to work now… or whatever,,,, just don’t shut off the car for 20 minutes,
and it does actually HELP if you actually drive it around a bit. (that’s what they are for after all. to drive around in).
if you don’t have to go to work,, then at least go out and score some gas, to keep the tank topped off, and some bread.
oh, and while you are out, would you pick me up some flour tortillas please? yeah, Mission burrito size…

now, if everyone is headed out to work,, fine. don’t sweat it. it will still all be there when you get home.

if not vacating the house… then STAY OUT OF THE FRIDGE…..
(remember the cooler???? and the frozen bottles of water??????? USE THEM…)

otherwise,,,, every time you are going to open the fridge, for whatever reason,,,,,,
start the car.
hook up the inverter
start the inverter,
wait 15 minutes,
open the fridge,
do whatever.
when you are done, wait another 15 minutes.
THEN shutdown the inverter, disconnect it, close the hood, drive around for at least 10 minutes.
then go back to life as usual…

(one modification,,, if you own a crown vic/grand marquis/town car… with a modular 4.6L or 5.4L engine… these things are
DESIGNED to
sit and idle. the modification is after you shut down and disconnect the inverter, just let it idle for another 5 minutes, then just
shut it off. you dont have to drive it.)

(oh, another modification, if you own a car/truck with a diesel engine,,, just leave it running, with the inverter powering the
fridge.
it will be just fine, at least until you run out of fuel, which i would NOT reccomend, as its’ kinda expensive to get the fuel
system
purged.)

then, assuming you’ve had the fridge powered up, every few hours,,,,
in the power it up, access it,,, let it cool down some more,,, shut it down cycle…..
and it’s coming to the end of the day,,,,

do it one more time, before going to bed….
let it run for at least 30 minutes, as kinda the ‘last thing for the day’

you’ll be fine….

a couple of things you may want to keep in mind.,,,,,,,

1. a FULL freezer stays colder longer than an empty freezer
soooooo, FILL THE FREEZER WITH WATER BOTTLES AND LET THEM FREEZE….

cause,,,, you can take some of those frozen bottles, put the in the fridge side (or the cooler), to help keep things cooler in
there.
when they are mostly melted, put them back in the freezer…

2. Your Mileage May Vary…
i.e. it may take running it more often…….
or less often…
it helps a LOT to know what the ‘normal’ cycles of your particular fridge is….
i.e. how often does it cycle….. how long does it run for each cycle….

think about it…
when and how long, does your fridge ‘run’ when you aren’t in and out of it?
and
how long does it take, until it gets back into it’s ‘regular cycle’ after you have been in it???

note: running the car/inverter to power the fridge, when it’s all cooled down, only acts to use up your gas.
note: stopping the car/inverter to power the fridge, while it’s still trying to cool down, only acts to spoil yer milk.
note: keeping frequently used fridge items in a cooler, reduces the amount of times per day that the fridge is opened,,,
thereby reducing the amount of time per day that you have to power the fridge from yer kar…

capice?

oh, a 1500w inverter will probably be able to power up your warshing machine, if you run out of clean socks.

oh, a 1500w inverter will probably be able to power up your vaccuum cleaner.
oh, a 1500w inverter will probably be able to power up your sump pump.

ah,, thanks for mentioning it…
the freezer, if you stay out of them:
chest freezer: power once per day for 1 hour or until it’s gone thru two cycles
upright freezer: power twice per day for 1 hour each time, or until it’s gone thru two cycles.

or if you plan on getting in to them,,,, treat the same as getting into the fridge during the day….

yeah, it’s that easy….

i’m NOT going to list all the specific safety measures you must take under these conditions….
cause if you can’t figure out that you must NOT run your car with the garage door shut,,,, well,
can i have first pick of your stuff after you die?

i’m also not going to explain that the power cord for the fridge is in BACK, and YES you are going
to have to move the fridge, you may as well clean under it, since you moved it anyway…

of course, watch your loads,,,,,,, you may be able to run both the fridge and the freezer at the same time,,,
things like that.

you may be able to get away with running it less than i said… it’s just a starting point….

it’s up to YOU to know or at least figure out, how often/long/etc you have to run things.
it’s up to YOU to figure out how to minimize the required run time.

cause i’m ASSuming that since the starting point of this whole discussion is ‘i’m smart enough to know i need something’
so that is a good thing. as opposed to those who are sitting in the dark, with a roast still in the oven since sunday,
with candles sitting on every horizontal surface of the house, with a fridge full of rotting ‘stuff’, bitching about why
SOMEONE hasn’t come to FIX THEIR PROBLEM.

sheesh….

oh, yeah, the generator….

i have a 900W troy-bilt. that does just fine. the thing i like about it the most, is that it’s small and light.

UltraQuiet, UltraLight, Generator-Inverter: usually in the 1000W to 2500W range:
i would reccomend avoiding any of the ‘generator inverter’ systems, honda has a whole line of them,, they are small,
light, quiet, efficient,,, but they are small. and they have HARD LIMITS to surges. 1000w is also the usual size.
and for the same price, you can get something a little more ‘indestructable’. hey, if you wanna play with something like this,
and you find one for the ‘right price’, that at least has a 1000w capacity,,, go for it. be my guest, just don’t bitch at me
when it trips offline every time the fridge cycles… or that it will only run for 2 hours before having to refill it.
it’s your money. although, it would be nice to have some ‘real world’ feedback on how well they work.

below 1500w: there is a nice selection, for a reasonable
price, in the 800-1200 watt range, that an old man CAN actually pick up and carry with one hand. that aren’t horribly loud.
with proper care, they will provide many years of service. yeah, you gotta shut them down every 12 hours or so, to
refill the oil, clean the air filter, etc,,, but hey, you can get them for about $250, they are small, easy to store, easy to run,
easy to carry and move,,, all in all, this is the power range I would reccomend.

1500-1800w: nice little systems, kinda heavy sometimes,,,, but nice. generally loud. but forgiving,
and again, with proper maintenance, they will serve you nicely for a long time. although, for me,,, it’s overkill, plus,,, they
take up MUCH more room than what i care to use for storage of a generator right now.

1800-5000: sorry, i’m an old man, i can’t lift one of those without ‘hurting myself’ in ‘tender places’. personally, i
avoid this size,,, don’t get me wrong,,, they are great units,,, BUT, i don’t have the ‘testicular fortitude’ to drag
one of these bad boys out into the yard, in the middle of a thunderstorm, in my skivvies.

5kw-10kw: see above. but,, also, i would consider 8kw the MINIMUM SIZE if you actually worked from home.
cause then, you are talking running a coupla computers, some networking stuff, lights, fax machine, printers, fridge, freezer,
fans, etc…. and still being stable enought to not blow up yer computer….

10kw and above: you are definetly into the whole house generator now,,,,, call Generac, and see above in the ‘what is the
current balance of your checkbook’ section.

there you go.

yeah, really. that’s it

for now,,,,
/rick out….

(oh, wait, it’s International Talk Like a Pirate Day!)

so,,,,,,
arrrrrrrrrr

/Pirate Quinn the Rum-Swiller out

September 22, 2008

What Generator (part 1)

Filed under: Guest Poster — admin @ 12:54 am

As promised, I am posting a series of letters from a close friend, Rick Powell, on emergency preparedness. This one deals with generators, which is a very timely topic since many households in our area and other areas such as Cincinnati have been without power for over a week now.

the decision to purchase a generator is not to be taken lightly.

because WAY before you finally obtain one, there are LOTS of questions to ask…
and answer.

the biggest one, is….

are you REALLY READY to buy a generator.

huh you say?

well, lets see, the generator should be the LAST thing you buy.
cause you gotta get all this other stuff FIRST….

and that would be:

Fire Extinguisher(s)
Gas Cans
tools
cables
flashlights
battries
radio(s)
canned goods
paper products
cooler(s)
guns
ammo
tire inflator
fix-a-flat
toilet paper
stored water and filter
charcoal
propane
coffee

etc….

yep. the generator should be low on the list until you get all that other stuff….

why?

well, let’s look at the typical timeline for an ‘event’

t=0h to 1h: Recognize and Analyze

hrm… tv went off. hrm, wonder if we lost power, must switch on lights to see, nope. no lights, what about this one… damn, ok.
power is out… wonder if it’s just us, go see, yep, neighbors are looking at each other….

why? may be obvious…. may not be…. let’s check 700 (TheBigOne). hrm, reds are loosing,,, so what,,,, how bout derrick, what’s he
have to say,,, oh yeah, tv’s off. damn. oh, how bout 1360 homer.. hrm, 96 rock?, oh there, nope. they’re just bitching about the
bengals… ok, what about the weather radio? aha. there it is…. big storm…. yeah, widespread. ok. looks like this will be a
while… maybe i’ll call

comms: grab cordless phone, damn, no dialtone, phones must be out,,,, no wait, power is out, i’m on a cordless phone,,, ok, go
upstairs, grab wire’d phone… krap, still no dialtone, friggin cbell…… murmur,,, krap, cellphone, yep, it works, call chris,
yep, they’re out too… ok. oops, cell just dropped… ok, this sux..

now what,,, ok, better unplug the computers. ok, just so we don’t blow stuff up if power bounces a lot. turn off stuff that was on.
check the flashlights.
and,,,
fire up the scanner, so i can see what’s going on with Fire/Ems/Police/hams, so i’ll get a feel for not only scope, but cause,
effect, and ‘threat level’.
and will SOMEONE PLEASE silence that damn alarm system,,,, yeah, the power is out, yeah, the phone line failed,,, STFU allready….
where is that damn plug, krap, no, the battry, yeah, how do i disconnect the battry from the alarm system so it doesn’t drive me
MAD.

all in all, in hour one, it’s all about information….

i want to know,
1. why
2. scope (how big, how long (in gross terms, minutes, hours, days, weeks)) 3. where is ‘everyone’ (wife, kids, friends, relatives,
etc….)

that is,,, if it’s not raining……

if it’s raining,,, that changes things…
cause,,,, i am NOT interested in a flooded basement.

if it’s windy,, i wanna know if i’ve taken any damage, or if i have to go chase the deck furniture down the street.

so in the first hour, i’ve got some decisions to make, obviously, at this point, it’s all kinda a ‘no brainer’…..

now, looking at hour 1,,, what do i need to have in place…

1. flashlights,,, duh. that work!
2. comms: charged cellphone, battry operated radio, battry operated weather radio, battry operated scanner, all with good battry’s.
3. basement: battry operated backup sump pump (available at home depot for $140), or ‘alternat power’ for the sump pump, that can be
immediately brought into service. (a big ups, or a good sized inverter on at least one battry) etc….
4. rope, to tie down the deck furniture.
5. sheet plastic, nails, boards, hammer, tape, ladder, duct tape, etc, just in case a window broke, roof’s peeling away, tree’s
getting ready to uproot, whatever the specific case may be…. maybe even a chain saw.

but all in all, the first hour is not real expensive. but you HAVE to be ready with items 1-5, no matter what.

if you aint ready for the first hour,,,, you don’t need a generator.

next….
T=1h to 6h: survive the night.
one quick note about hour 1, if hour 1 happens at oh-dark-thirty, then really, you can wait till the sun comes up for this part. as
long as the basement doesn’t flood. otherwise, just sleep. doing stuff in the dark can be dangerous, and it’s not like you are in
and out of the fridge…
in fact, ignore the fridge. it’s good for 6 hours at a minimum. the freezer is good for 2 days if you don’t open it. just make sure
the basement isnt going to flood.
but now, it’s either just getting to be daytime, or it’s approaching nighttime, or approaching midnight. thing is, here you need
more ‘stuff’…
cause at the end of this ‘segment’, assuming the lights are still out, you got to do SOMETHING…..

priorities:
air. water, shelter.
yep. those ones…
air. in this case, we’re talking VENTILATION/HEATING/COOLING…. is it cold? well, where’s the extra blankets, sweats, jackets,
etc…
if it’s hot… open the damn windows, and make sure you got lotsa drinkable water,,, grab some small towels or wash clothes that can
be wetted, if it’s comfortable… open some windows anyway, you really don’t want stuff to start to smell bad.
oh, by the way, take the trash out. NOW. put in a fresh bag. pick up stuff on the floor. basically ‘tidy up a bit’. and while you
are at it,,,, make sure there is a small flashlight in every bathroom, and by each bed. check the battries. set out replacements for
each battry operated thing.
make sure that there is an extra roll of TP by each toilet. get out extra towels and place them near where they may need to be used.
get out the first aid kit, and put it somewhere where it can be quickly available.
basically, rearrange the house.
there are a couple of reasons for this…
1. it’s light out, and you can still see enough to be able to find all this stuff.
2. it gives the rest of the family something to do, while you think.

yeah, its probably fine at this point to setup a ’emergency area’ somewhere if you have the room. like, lets’ say the ‘formal dining
room’ or just basically someplace where you a)have room to work, and b) can stage stuff.
a ‘single place to go’ in case……
yep, there is all the extra battries, (at least the ones that aren’t already in a bathroom, bedroom, etc…. the ‘general stock)
yep, there is all the first aid stuff, from EVERYWHERE in the howse,,,, yep, there is the extra flashlights, yep, duct tape,
plastic, nails, hammer, (boards can stay where they were), fire extinguisher, a case of water, towels.
yep, jumper cables
yep, tire inflator.
why? cause really, i’m not fond of trying to find something in the dark. not at all.

oh, a couple other things….
get the shotgun out, check it. get the extra shells out.
strap your pistol on, keep it there. your pistol is your friend.
grab the AK, and SKS, stage one in the living room by your chair, stage the other by the front door, so you can grab it on your way
out to start the car to keep the cooler powered up.

(here i am going to diverge a little. cause the following is ASSUMING that you don’t have a generator.) ok, where is the cooler.
yeah, the big blue one we take to when we go to aunt sally’s house for thanksgiving… get that out…
oh, and the powered cooler, yeah, the one that we can plug into the car (12v). get that one out. and it’s power supply, we’ll need
that too.
someone get the frozen bottles out of the freezer, and put them in the blue cooler. then stick the non-dairy stuff from the fridge
in there.
we’re talking, katsup, pickles, mustard, oil-based salad dressing, hot sauce, bbq sauce, the unopened tube of biscuits, torilla’s,
you know, basically the ‘stuff’ from the fridge that just basically should not be just left out, but should be kept cool.
the powered cooler? yeah, that’s for the stuff that really does need to be kept cold. milk, cheese, dairy based goo (mayo, sour
cream, butter, leftovers that are still in the fridge), lunchmeat, etc..
power up the powered cooler from the most efficient car you have. and make sure the cooler isn’t sitting in the sun. cause a hot
cooler doesn’t cool well. oh, while you were in the freezer, you DID get out a ‘ball of meat’ for the burgers tomorrow didn’t you?
it will thaw nicely in the blue cooler, as will the unopened packages of tube meat, bacon, and the flavor-ice. all those go in the
blue cooler.
now, back to the powered cooler for a sec,,,,,,,,,, you are powering from the car.
backing up the dependency tree what do we see…

1. a powered cooler
2. a 12v ‘extension cord’ so the cooler can be in a ‘cool place’ while the car can be in the ‘not cool’ place.
3. a car
4. gas. you DO have 40 gallons of gas in the garage don’t you? what do you mean you don’t…… wtf over….. what, you gonna go sit
in line to get gas?
oh wait, no cash? well, guess what, the gas station has gas, but they don’t have phones for the credit card machine…. so you might
as well just head to the nearest shelter, cause guess what, you are screwed.) that is, IF you can find a gas station that has a)
gas, b) power, c)a manageble line.

anyway, now that you have opened the freezer, so it’s timer resets to 24 hours.
you have opened and basically emptied the fridge, so it’s now on ‘coolers’..

life is good.

shopping list:
fire extinguishers
big cooler
powered cooler
12v extension cord for the powered cooler (or if you have an inverter in the car, a regular extension cord will do) a pump action
shotgun (12ga), a box of shells a pistol, holster, ammo at least one, but preferabley two semi-automatic rifles, with ammo, and
extra ammo.
5x5gal gas cans, FULL of gas.
a long skinny funnel so you can actually put that gas in a car.
bottles of frozen water in the freezer
a battry powered radio, extra battries
flashlights, extra battrys
extra toilet paper
first aid kit(s)
blankets
towells
a case of drinking water
nails
plastic
duct tape
rope
hammer
2X4 boards
saw (manual)
jumper cables
12v tire inflator
a battry powered weather radio, and extra battries a battry powered scanner, and extra battries a telephone that uses a cord, i.e.
doesn’t need power to work, just a dial tone. (yep, they still sell them at wallmart. for like $5. or you can get one at a garage
sale) charcoal & lighter propane and a propane stove matches and lighters backup sump pump either a windup or battery powered alarm
clock.
a case of toilet paper.
chainsaw, bar oil, already mixed gas, ax, hatchet, hand saw, knife, scredriver, wrench, pliers, floor jack, engine stand, no,
wait…. hold on the engine stand…..
200 gallons of at least ‘filterable’ water, in the basement. yeah, rinsed out and filled up 2L soda bottles, milk jugs, whatever,,,,
a water purifier (filter), sure, a backpacking one is fine.
oh, and you DID get out the ’emergency cash’ envelope, didn’t you? you know, the one that has about $500 in it, in 10’s and 20’s?
cause it’s a sure bet, that if you did NEED something, and you found a store that was open, and had what you needed, that the credit
card processing would be impaired.

what, you don’t have all that stuff??????

uh, wtf? why do you want to buy a generator if you don’t have any guns? how the hell are you gonna KEEP the generator if you don’t
have any guns.
how the hell you gonna do ANYTHING if you don’t have gas?
how are you gonna know the extent of what is happeneing if you don’t at least have a scanner?
how are you gonna flush the toilets if the water is out? hrm?
how are you gonna buy anything if you don’t have cash when the atm network is down? hrm?

and we ain’t even thru the first 6 hours yet.

and will SOMEONE PLEASE turn off that friggin alarm or i’m going to shoot it.

before i continue,,, answer me one thing,,,,,,

is it time for you to buy a generator yet?
/Rick

September 20, 2008

Thanks Ma

Filed under: Guest Poster — admin @ 2:47 am

The following letter was sent to me by a good friend, Rick Powell, who is more family than friend. Rick lives in the Greater Cincinnati area, and, like us, recently felt the wrath of Ike. It is published here at my request and with his permission. This is the first of three installments of this series. This serves as a good reminder of what being an American is all about … self reliance, independence, initiative, and preparedness. If you’re looking for someone else to blame for your lack of preparedness, you need to either read up or move on The letter is included in it’s entirety, including postscript.

LONG before i became a “Heavily Armed Right Wing Extreemest with an Attitude”,,,, i was just some kid living in sandy eggo.

Way back then, living in ‘Earthquake Country’, there was an intrinsic understanding, that when ‘stuff happened’, it was the RESPONSIBILITY of the INDIVIDUAL to do everything in your power to NOT become a ‘victim’…

This RESPONSIBILITY extended beyond the INDIVIDUAL to the FAMILY, beyond the FAMILY to the COMMUNITY, and then, and only then, beyond the COMMUNITY to the City/County/State/Fed..

I personally believe, some folks may have either forgotten that, or maybe never learned it.

Now, taking into consideration, that i grew up in Earthquake Land, I can understand that maybe, just maybe, someone living in an area that is IMMUNE from ANY type of ‘DISASTER’, could miss this whole concept. like, for example, folks living in Ohio, where the biggest thing you gotta be concerned about is maybe a Tornado, or maybe a widespread power outtage, or maybe even a big Ice Storm, or some flooding, or maybe some civil distress, and of course, the regularly scheduled Thunderstorm, which knocks out power, blows trees down, tears roof’s off, floods basements, or, God Forbid,,, the leftovers of a little huricane making it’s way to Canada, and meeting up with a cold front along the way… you know,,, little bitty issues like that. absolutely NOTHING compared to an (OMG) Earthquake. (is there maybe a little sarcasm there? hmmmm?)

so what just irk’s me to no end, is people who think it’s SOMEONE ELSE’s problem, ANYBODY’s problem but their own…..

and i gotta say, personally, I think, Duke Energy has done an INCREDIBLE job in restoration of power, considering that half their normal crew’s were in TX working IKE recovery, when IKE made it’s way here to THWAK us. i mean, come on, two days into the recovery they manage to muster 1200 linemen from out of state, complete with untility trucks, and not to even mention what they have managed to do on the supply side. SO GET OFF THEIR CASE… sheesh……

anyway, back to my main point……

i grew up with an ‘Earthquake Bag’. at least, that’s what Ma called it.

now that i’m a HARWEWAA i realize that what it REALLY was is a Bug Out Bag….

now, we’re not talking anything extravegent here. in fact, it was setup in ‘layers’……lemme ‘splain….

the Family (me, ma, dad) had a ‘bag’, it was about the size of a bowling ball bag, it was some goofy floral looking soft sided zipper thing, about 16″ wide, 6″ deep, and 12″ high, with convient carry handles. i really have no idea other than that, to describe it. ma said she got it at a garage sale for 25 cents. but that isn’t the important info you want to know,,,, what you want to know is WHAT’S IN THE BAG,,, I CAN’T REEEEEEEEEEEED!!!!!,,, no wait, not bacon,,, hangon,,,, reset…..

In the ‘Family Earthquake Bag’ was the following… (trust me, i remember it well, cause twice a year, we ‘inventoried and updated’ the FEB.

in no particular order….

oh, also, most of the items in the bag were contained inside either ziplock bags, or firmly wrapped in saran wrap, so that the ‘important stuff’ would stay dry if this thing was held underwater for 2 hours…..

the ‘info packet’.. this took various shapes over the years, but allways contained the same stuff….. Names, full legal names, of us, including dates of birth, social security numbers, employer info, bank account info, physician info, medical info, relatives, key friends, memberships, where legal documents were stored, titled item info, etc. etc… basically, a summary of everything that someone would NEED to know, if they found our rotting bodies under a pile of rubble somewhere after ‘the big one’.

the ‘key packet’,,, spare keys for EVERYTHING,,,,, each one labeled with what it was for, including but not limited to: car key(s), house keys, safety deposit box keys, combination to the ‘safe box’, locker key at the golf course, the spare spare key to Pearl’s house,, etc.. so, even if all we could do was grab the bag on the way out of the house, because it was ‘the big one’, by golly we could get into the car, drive it to the golf course, and get a pair of golf shoes and a hat out of my dad’s locker at Cottonwood, then drive to LA, and let ourselves into Aunt Pearl’s house.

the ‘medicine packet’… yep, at least a 10 day supply of whatever meds whoever may be on. how were these obtained????? well, every month ma would take one ‘dose’ out of a month supply, and put them in an appropriate ‘container’, and when there were 10 days in there, (yep, 10 months, one ‘dose’ per month), it went IN the bag, and the old one came OUT of the bag, and got used…. this did NOT include the insulin. yes, my dad was an insulin dependent diabetic,,, sooooooo, in the fridge, there was ALLWAYS a ‘soup thermos’ in there, being kept cold. and in the freezer there was always a baggie with just enough ice in it, to fill the ‘soup thermos’, specifically set aside, just for that, and in the medicine packet, was an extra syringe, and needles (a month’s worth of needles), to support the insulin use..

the ‘first aid kit’… nope, nothing fancy here, some bandaids, a little bottle of iodine, one of some mecurichrome(sp?), an ace bandage, some antibiotic goo, a small tin ‘thing’ of aspirin, some ‘medical tape’, a baggie of cotton balls, the smallest bottle of isopropyl alcohol i’ve ever seen, and the ever present tweasers.

the ‘personal hygene bag’,, ew, tampoons, ew, soap, a little bottle of shampoo, 3 toothbrushes, a ‘travel size’ tube of toothpaste, a comb, a hairbrush, a couple of rubber bands (for hair), bobby pins, a razor, 5 razor blades, and a small pair of scissors (theoretically for the control of nose hairs), and a fingernail file. (hey, i didn’t come up with this list…)

the ‘paper products’ bag…. a whole roll of toilet paper, a small package of ‘facial tissues’ (yuk), a ‘notepad’ (conviently provided by ‘La Mesa Market’) a stubby pencil (conviently provided by Cottonwood Country Club), and, a WHOLE ‘dry cleaning bag’, (the thin plastic bag that your clothes come in when you get them back from the dry cleaner’s).

the ‘other stuff’ bag…. two packs of smokes. 6 packs of matches. various rubber bands, paper clips, safety pins, a small sewing kit, an eyeglass repair kit, chapstick, straightpins, small pocketknife, a little compass, and a couple of pages of local maps from an old phone book. there were quite a few ‘other things’ in this ‘bag’, which i’m really not sure i could identify if i saw them. think of it as the Junk Drawer…..

let’s see,,,,what else,,,,
a bag of socks, (two pair for each person),
a bag of underwear (two pair for each person),
some sorta rubber hair covering thing.
a snub nosed .38 (loaded), and an ‘extra’ load of bullets for it.
two small flashlights, each with an extra set of batteries.
a small transistor radio, and an extra battery for it.
a deck of cards.
a pocket sized New Testament Bible.
some sorta ‘rosey’ thing. (looked like a string of beads to me… never did actually figure out what it was)
two collapsable cups
a spoon, butter knife, fork,
a can opener (the one that would make a triangle sized hole in a can, or could pop the top off a soda bottle with the other end)
a can opener (the one that would actually OPEN a can of veggies or equivalent)
a small can of orange juice (for my dad, if he had a ‘reaction’)
two cans of (yuk) vienna sausages, which i believe have a shelf life of approximately 270 years.
two packs of chewing gum.
a small bag of hard candy
three disposable rain ponchos
a handkerchef

and probably the most important thing,,,,,a bag of ‘money’, including coins (for the phone), and ‘cash money’, so if we could, and needed to, we could ‘buy stuff’. (i think it was enough to get a FULL TANK of gas, and purchase a month’s worth of insulin and syringes, and an extra $10 in mostly change)

yep. a whole lotta ‘stuff’. i think the most expensive single item (other than insulin related stuff and the .38) was the socks. most of everything else, was either obtained at a garage sale, or at the ‘swap meet’ (old time term that refers to what we now call a flea market), or some ‘freebee’ from one place or another, or at the ‘dime store’ (i think you could call odd-lots a ‘dime store’), or with things like the socks, and underwear,,, they were ‘last year’s model’ usually. although, mine were usually ‘next year’s model’. some string, (i think it was actually stronger than just ‘string’, in fact, i think it was some stuff that Aunt Pearl got, that was used to ‘wrap’ wire bundles. all i know, is it was STRONG STUFF, MUCH stronger than just ‘string’, i’m thinking here, it had a ‘working strength’ of around 100 lbs or so.). and of course, some ‘duct tape’,,, BEFORE it was called ‘Duct tape’.. not a whole roll, just ‘some’, probably about 5 or 6 feet.

yep, really huge outlay of cash, i mean,,, like, almost FIVE DOLLARS TOTAL……

but by golly, we had one…..

now, remember, that was the FAMILY BAG…. the one that HAD TO MAKE IT OUT THE DOOR with the first person who got there.

we kept it very close to the front door. usually in the bottom of some ‘cabinet’, or in the ‘coat closet’, or somewhere, as long as it was 1) out of the way, and 2) easily accessable while running, screaming out the front door.

then, there was ‘the drill’… well, not really a ‘drill’, but more like a ‘walkthru simulation’, every 6 months, usually corresponding with the semi-annual ‘restocking and inventorying’ of ‘the bag’,,,,,this was where we identified just what actions were ABSOLUTLY REQUIRED, in the event of ‘the big one’….it went something like this: whoever noticed the earthquake first, would yell EARTHQUAKE, and make sure everyone else was awake, and aware. this was PRI ONE…sometimes known as ‘PASS THE WORD’ (that’s navy speak for DROP YER COCKS AND GRAB YER SOCKS), and of course, this was situational, obviously, if we were all sitting around watching Walter Cronkite, it wouldn’t have to be soo ‘dramatic’..

then, whoever was closest to the fridge, would identify themselves as the ‘Kitchen’ person, and proceed in an orderly fashion to obtain the ‘soup thermos’, the little baggie of ice, and all the available insulin bottles, quickly scan the stove to make sure all the burners were off, same with the oven, and then proceed directly out the closest door, and head for the ‘safe spot’ (i’ll explain that in a sec).

then, (actually, all these actions would probably occur simultaneously), whoever was closest to the front door, would identify themselves as the ‘bag’ person, and proceed in an orderly fashon to obtain the ‘earthquake bag’, proceed out the front door, and head for the ‘safe spot’….

And, finally, the poor sap that was left, was to go directly to the ‘power box’ outside, and shut off the mains power to the house. (back then, there was a big ‘switch’ on the outside of the house, on the main power inlet, that all you had to do was grab and pull, and it would cut off all the power going in. not like today, where that box still exists, but at least on ours, it’s got a metal cable ‘seal’ on it, that prevents it from being thrown,,, and not to be removed under penalty of law, or some krap like that……, anyway, the deal was to ‘cut power’ to the house, then head for the ‘safe spot’..

obviously, this was dependent on a couple of things,,,,,
1. we were all home.
2. the house hasn’t fallen down yet.
3. somehow, we all were dressed.

yeah, dressed,,,,the MOST important thing was shoes. you could be in the shower,,,, earthquake happens,,,,, and the NUMBER ONE priority was,,,, GET YER SHOES…..

yep, you end up outside, wet, naked, wearing shoes…. but you know what? in ‘the bag’, you at least had a pair of socks, and underwear. oh, and you could comb your hair. yeah, i joke a little here, but seriously,,,, the last thing you want, when there are windows breaking, and ‘stuff’ falling around you, is to not be able to RUN because you were barefoot. yeah, you may be buck arse naked, with various body parts ‘swinging in the wind’ but at least you wont get all cut up on your feet with broken glass…. REAL ISSUE HERE.

fun stuff huh?

but the overriding factor, the number one thing, was to get that bag to the ‘safe place’…

what was the ‘safe place’????

well, remember, this was all about earthquakes,,, so, the ‘safe place’ was a specific location, where ‘nothing would fall on you’. of course, this varied with where we lived. you had to check the buildings, wires, trees, rocks, signs, whatever may ‘get knocked down’ and ‘squish you’.

all in all, the point of this, was that, when ‘the big one’ happened, we could ‘make do’ for at least a few days, without needing ‘help’.

cause, after all, ‘help’ was for people who were unable to ‘fend for themselves’. people like ‘old folks who can’t move real good’, or people who were ‘crippled’, or ‘po folks’ who ‘couldnt fend for themselves’.

sounds simple don’t it….well, lets see, it WAS…

we had everything we needed ‘in the bag’ to ‘fend for ourselves’ for long enough, that we wouldn’t be ‘part of the problem’…

we could wash (assuming we could find water), we had cups, utensils, meds, first aid, clothes, Toilet Paper, fresh socks, and skivvies, we could comb/brush our hair, file our nails, keep our lips from being chapped, entertain ourselves, inform ourselves, and we could ‘read the good book’, and ma could count her roses. if we got real hungry, we could chew gum, we had some hard candy to keep our sugar levels up, we had all the information required to contact whatever bank/work/club/relative/friend or ‘important thing’ that we may ‘need to know’.. or for whoever ‘finds our rotting corpses’, so they can notify ‘someone who cares’ as to the status of our ‘rotting corpses’..

basically, we could ‘get by just fine’ until ‘things settled out’….

helluva idear huh?

of course, there was more to this than just ‘the bag’.

there was an ‘attitude’. the attitude, was basically that our ‘situation’ was mainly OUR responsibility. NOBODY ELSE’s. it was OUR PROBLEM. no matter what.

you know, last sunday, the remnants of hurrican ike, came thru our area ‘with a vengance’. we were out of power from about 2pm sunday, until 7pm tuesday.

i thank God, that my Momma made ‘the bag’ soo big of an issue, because for the basically 3 days that the power was out, the single biggest issue we had, was that we didn’t have internet access. yep. that was the biggest issue. and it was only an issue, because it caused me to have to actually GO TO the datacenter so i could check the servers. that was it.

thanks ma. you learned me well.

/Rick

p.s. after my mom passed away, and her ‘stuff’ was shipped out to us, in one of the boxes, i found her earthquake bag, that she still had, and kept ‘current’, until the day she died….

and she STILL had tampoon’s in it…. (yuk)

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