Tuesday, October 30, 2012


Internet Exploder here at my Just Over Broke showed another blank embedded video at the top of this post.  That wasn't visible at home using Firefox.  I am beginning to suspect there may be something in all of the formatting garbage MS Word includes when you copy/past directly from Word.  I like having a spell checker, but I may change my SOP to writing in Word then copy/past into Notepad then copy/paste into the Blogger window.  That seems to strip the text of all the ‘bonus material’ Word hides behind the scenes.


BTW: If you should notice one of these blank videos in one of my posts, I wouldn’t click on it.  I didn’t put it there.  Also, I would greatly appreciate it if you would let me know it’s there in the comments so I can remove the thing.  I can’t see them myself on my home computer.


Snore-easter-cane: Day 1 after action report.


It rained.  Not as bad as I've seen in some storms that didn't get the media red carpet this one did.

There was wind.  Bad enough by the evening commute that I was glad I decided to stay home.  But again, I've seen worse.

Listening to the scanner the city next door had their hands full with trees and wires down.  It sounded like a bunch of roads were closed.  My town and the several surrounding that I have programmed into the scanner were much quieter.

As of this writing I am unaware of any damage here at the HerrBGone Homestead V2.0.  But I haven't been outside yet...


Today there is a department meeting that, unfortunately, I can't get out of.  More snore.

Oh well.  Wish me luck.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Prepping for po folk

Er, rather, as Bayou Renaissance Man put it:

This is a must read post – whether cash is an issue or not.  I will eventually get ‘round to reading the rest of the series.  But I wanted to spread the word on this installment particularly in light of the impending Frankenstorm or snore-easter-cane depending on who you read.

In BRM’s post he goes into quite a bit of detail on the contents of a bare bones food kit to keep one person going for a week.  The anticipated cost is around US $30 and I was able to build a kit at my local Wal*Mart based on these recommendations for about that.  I did read one thing wrong and only got 5 5oz. cans of tuna instead of the 7 recommended.  I will correct that as well as add a can opener from the dollar store before I give the whole kit and caboodle to the friend I put it together for.

Rewind to last night on the phone with my friend:

Me: So you do have plenty of groceries in the house, I trust.

She: Um, I think I have a couple of boxes of Cheerio’s…

This is my friend who gets thirsty and instead of going to the fridge and getting something to drink goes out to the car and drives to the local fast food emporium for a drive through super jumbo humongous soda with a price tag to match.

* Ye gods and little fishies!*  (to blatantly swipe a phrase from LawDawg)

So here I am, having just read BRM’s great post on prepping on the cheap and knowing we may have this nor’easter-hurricane-thing bearing down on us depending on the storms actual track (that we will finally know for sure some time around Thursday in the here’s where it went after the fact report) and I have reason to believe a very good friend who I care about very much ain’t got no preps in place.

I sense an opportunity to put the test to the info.

So here’s the inventory for the little kit that we put together today:

·        1 2-pound bag of Iberia long grain brown rice
·        2 1-pound bags of Best Bet elbow macaroni
·        2 1-pound bags of La Cena pinto beans
·        2 26-ounce jars of Great Value pasta sauce in two flavors
·        1 2-pound package of Great Value whole grain oats
·        5* 5-ounce cans of StarKist Selects chunk light tuna in water
·        1 5-ounce can of Butter Field chunk ham in water
·        1 5-ounce can Bumble Bee premium white chicken in water
·        1 Morton/McCormick sat & pepper set
·        1 Ozark Trail pocket knife
·        1 85-piece Be Smart Get Prepared first aid kit
·        1 5-gallon pail with lid to put it all in**

* Two more cans of tuna and one can opener need to be added to match the inventory from BRM’s post.  The first aid kit was my own little addition since I have no idea what my friend may have on hand.

** At Mum’s recommendation we had originally grabbed two boxes of store brand minute rice – but they wouldn’t fit in the pail.  So I swapped them out for the bag of rice that does.  It may not be as convenient to cook, but it can be protected from the elements (and the cats) inside the bucket.

As mentioned elsewhere at BRM’s, having a bucket with a lid on hand has many uses.  It can be used to store water in case the water supply is interrupted and it can be used as a ‘sanitary facility’ if that stops working.  (Not at the same time obviously!)  In fact he has a whole post on just that subject!

The price tag for my little kit as put together so far at my local Wal*Mart on Route 38 in Tewksbury Marxistchusetts came to US $29.45 including tax.  The can opener will come from the dollar store and two more cans of tuna should be about US $2.50.  Since the first aid kit was about US $5.00 the cost of the basic kit does in fact come in at about the US $30 predicted.

As you can see, putting together this little bitty kit that’ll get you by for a few days of deconveniance is really no big deal.  Augmented by the pantry you should have on hand anyway, going a week or two without access to your local grocery store shouldn’t be much more than a tale to tell in later years.

Now I just have to get this to my friend before the storm hits.

Oh, BTW: I got five more of those knives for barter.  That was a great idea!  Thanks!

UPDATE: Here's another picture of the kit, all packed in the bucket.  That's the P-38 I mentioned in the the comments (good idea, Mr. B!).  I've taped a small rare Earth magnet from Harbor Freight to the inside of the lid to attach the can opener to.

Also in the bucket but not shown is a copy of  BRM's post that started this whole project.  Lots of good information there.  If you haven't read it already I highly recommend that you do.  There is a link at the top of this post.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sunday, October 21, 2012


This afternoon while Mum was doing some grocery shopping at our localest Super Waly I spent some time poking around in the camping and guns and ammo department.  Plenty of ammo, not much by way of guns and meh camping gear, as per usual. 

The one thing of note that I did find was a CKRT Guppie and Eat’N Tool combo kit.  It was on the wrong peg, also as per usual, so I took it over a couple of isles to the price scanner.  It worked, which is becoming more usual.  They were pretty bad for a while.  But this Wally seems to be improving in that regard lately.  Holding the bar-code in the cross-hairs and moving it back and forth to find the readers range it finally went boop and I went “I’ll take it!”  The CKRT web sight lists just the Guppie with a $39.99 MSRP.  I got mine in the kit with the Eat’N Tool for $10.

Can’t beat that with a stick!

The other toy in the picture is a NiteIze S-Biner Ahhh…  Yes, that is its proper name.  This S-Biner is even more useful than it’s less talented but almost identical to the untrained eye cousins in that both sides of this ‘biner double as bottle openers.  Having actually used it to open my Sam Adams Oktoberfest this very evening I can attest to the fact that as a bottle opener they work.  I just picked that up last weekend at a slightly less local Aubuchon Hardware Store. 

I hadn’t intended to start a bottle opener collection!  But, since the carabineer clip on the Guppie can also be used in that capacity, there are actually four in this one picture.  Then there’s the one in my MiniChamp SAK that I carry every day in my cell phone case.  And if I’ve got my Maxpedition Fatboy there are at least two more among the various gear in that.  So I guess I’ve got opening bottles pretty well covered. 

Now about all that storage food that comes in cans…

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Analyzing the News

At the HerrBGone Homestead V2.0 both Mum and I have the Boston classical station on our clock radios.  We’ve listened to Laura’s morning show for years.  Unfortunately the station was sold to our local PBS affiliate a couple of years ago, so now we are regaled with NPR News at the bottom of the hour.  Bias much?  The “report” about last night’s debate during the 6:30 “News” sounded like a campaign ad for the incumbent.

To the “News” (paraphrased because my photographic memory ain’t so much any more…):

Reporter: Last night The President was much more spirited than in the first debate.

Cut to a sound byte of the incumbent sounding very presidential.

Then the reporter tells us, in a somewhat dismissive tone of voice, something that the challenger said.

Then we go to a another reporter who claimed to have watched the debate at a “bi-partisan campaign event” I don’t recall exactly where.

Cut to ‘da mose iliterite sound’n conservative dey coul find in da whole frik’n croud.’

Cut to a hip young liberal who started out sounding almost complimentary: “I was very surprised by how smooth [the challenger] was.  He’s a very good debater.  Real slick.  Of course I didn’t believe half of what he said…’

Cut back to Laura: “And in local sports …”

Nope.  No bias there.  [eyeroll]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Is the Mother Ship over DC?

I've never seen a radar signature quite like that.

It may just be ground clutter not properly filtered by the system.  I wouldn't blame it for being a bit off tonight after all that shaking.  Of course it does look like a cosmic bulls-eye...

Rock & Roll!

We just had a notable earthquake here in eastern north central Marxixtachusetts!  Don't know what it was on the Richter scale - yet - but the house shook pretty dern good.

Update: Just heard on the scanner it was a preliminary magnitude 4. did she say 2 or 8?  Still checking...

From Fox News 25 the USGS pegs it at 4.5 and centered near Arrowhead Lake in Maine.

More from the USGS.

This is why QC is so important…

However, the counterfeit currency was easily detected by the cash machines and customers (perhaps due to the fact that they were blank on one side). - emphasis added

What was he thinking?  Er, perhaps I should rephrase: Was he thinking?

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Prepping is going mainstream

And I think that is a good thing!

Seen in the wild at my local Wal*Mart:

As always, click on the image for a larger version.

Each of these buckets claim to keep four people fed for 72 hours.  They also claim to last for 25 years if properly stored.  I haven't done a cost breakdown (and I probably won't bother to be perfectly honest...) but it does seem a bit spendy.  But to be able to exchange a fist-full of worthless FRN's for a ready made kit seems to me to be a very good idea.

Other stores have similar items available on-line.  Costco, for examples has a whole section of their food page dedicated to storage food.  BJ’s has a smaller section.  Neither have any of their storage food available in-store.

However you get it (provided it’s through legal means) you should lay in a supply of food to keep you going in the event on “unforeseen circumstances.”  It doesn’t have to be a full scale SHTF catastrophe.  An extended power failure, as but one example, will shutter the grocery store.  If your cupboard’s bare it won’t refill itself particularly if the stores are closed or the normal supply lines are disrupted.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Getting a bit spendy out there…

Last night I popped by the local stop & rob for a splash of gogo juice.  I still find it hard to believe that I put two stink’n zincolns shy of a U.S.Grant in the gas tank of my Volkswagen Beetle!  AND it was the cheapest unleaded regular they had!