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SPAM Slicer Fail

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I purchased and tested this SPAM Slicer a few weeks ago, everything worked fine and the overall quality appeared very good. So I posted it for those who like SPAM and wanted a simple way to slice and control portion sizes.

Three days ago I went to slice some more SPAM and five (5) cutting wires broke before passing all the way through the SPAM. I didn’t force it and used the same pressure as before.

If you’re thinking about buying one of these,,, Don’t.



Hurricane Season 2018, Boarding Up

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Hurricane season is coming quickly only one month away, and it’s time to review your preparations. The season runs from June 1st to November 30th. Conditions are ripe for an above average number of hurricanes in 2018, a year after one of the most devastating seasons on record. Researchers at ColoradoStateUniversity predict 14 named storms, seven hurricanes and three major hurricanes, packing sustained winds of at least 111 mph. A typical season sees 12 named storms, 6.5 hurricanes and two majors.
What’s the purpose of boarding up your windows?

It’s simply to block flying debris like your neighbors flying tin roof from his shed, lawn chairs, BBQ’s, garbage cans and lids but most of all, snapped off branches from the trees. These and many more items should be blocked from busting out your windows and then letting torrential, horizontal rains fill your house.

I already have and used before plywood cut and fit to the windows and sliding glass door. Normally I use deck screws to attach the plywood to the windows. This last winter I decided to find a better and faster way to attach and remove the plywood over the windows and make it a one-man job.

I found these: The fastener called a “Hanger Bolt”, I purchased them online from https://www.boltdepot.com/Hanger_bolts_Stainless_steel_18-8_5_16-18.aspx?Selected=12152 the part number is #12152, Stainless Steel 18-8, 5/16–18 x 4. Also, the wing nut and fender washer are stainless steel (non-rusting hardware).

I ordered 40 of them; 40 bolts, washers and wing nuts including their ‘driver’ which works wonderful and it’s a must-have for the bolt installation. They’re not cheap as the order cost me $144.00, (but far cheaper than a window replacement) however they are a quality product, strong and will last a lifetime.

Here are the components; the bolt, fender washer, wing nut and the Driver (far right). The bolts are 4.0 inches long overall with 2.0 inches of machine threads and 2.0 inches of lag screw threads.

I counterbored a 5/16ths diameter through my cedar trim boards to my siding. From there is a 7/32nds pilot hole 2.0 inches deeper. This 2.0 inches is where the lag screw is driven home and mostly into the 2×4 wall stud. This is a rock solid connection.

Click here to view the original post.

Well, we’ve lost another long-time blogger this week. “Tired of the BS” by RP. He’s is very intelligent and easily see’s through peoples and government BS and on top of that a good writer. Hope he takes a break and then comes back. He’s right up there with another of my very long time favorite reads and interesting blogger “Bison Prepper” also listed at the bottom of featured blogs I recommend.


Enjoy your time away RP!


November Elections, Ugh!

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It has only been a few days since several politicians and wanna-be politicians announced their candidacy and already the back-stabbing has begun.
Once again we must suffer through another nauseating election cycle which will be like the last election with all the promises made but never delivered. The last election was classic of that. I hope voters impose there own term limits and vote them out of office, yes even the so-called good ones, because there are no good politicians!

I’m sure their main topic will be the AR-15 and school shootings. I assure you none of the old and new wanna-be politicians have a solution or want one. There’s no money for politicians in solutions, but there is for chaos or kicking the can down the road.

This may be the year I simply turn off the TV and radio until the season is over.

Lowering the Voting Age to 16, Goodbye USA

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If this becomes law, the Republican Party is Dead Forever! The Democrats will control the House and Senate along with the Presidency and State Governments! Allowing the voting age to change to 16 will give that right to over 12,000,000 new potential Democrat voters. This will assure the Left that the USA will become a Socialist Country (their goal) and in a few years after, a Dictatorship. Sixteen year olds using their propaganda saturated brains, will in short order become their own victims and the biggest losers. Who are some of the powerful groups driving this?

The Barack Obama’s organization: Called, “Organizing for Action” (OFA) is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do.

The George Soros organization: His “Open Society Foundations” is among the left-wing philanthropies backing “FairVote”, which has pushed to allow 17-year-olds who will turn 18 before the general election to vote in presidential primaries and caucuses, a policy now on the books in 21 states and the District of Columbia.


Links:

Source count:

Barack Obama’s organization called, “Organizing for Action” (OFA)

Billionaire George Soros fuels Democrats’ push to lower voting age to 17

Source: The Washington Times



Google’s Surveillance of You

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Cell phones are one of the greatest conveniences of our time. However, as we are finding out can be the most dangerous to our personal information and security.
For example;

Google is watching, recording and transmitting EVERY move you make, ALL THE TIME! Google tracks all your physical movements when your phone is carried with you. It tracks where you are and the exact time you are there! This information in criminal hands now gives them the ability to know when your home, at work or out on the town. They now know when it’s safe for them to break into your home or simply find you where ever you are to inflict harm on you!

The video link below is shocking as to how accurate and the amount of information gathered by Google on your personal lives. It is a must watch:

The National Debt and Your Retirement

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Today, there’s lots of talk about the coming Economic Collapse, because it is a real possibility. Are you prepared for it? How do you prepare for it? Most of all how will it affect your retirement? These are some of the questions you must ask yourself today and make a plan for it, or you may be left without a penny. What if your pension checks stop coming or the banks simply seize your account and then minimize withdrawal amounts?
The National Debt:

“According to the U.S. Treasury Department, the U.S. is more than $21 trillion in debt. But who does the U.S. actually owe? Click this link and find out who. It’s frightening the number of countries we owe: http://ticdata.treasury.gov/Publish/mfh.txt

The largest debt is to American citizens and U.S. entities (such as 401K’s, Pensions and Government Pensions) — it’s more than $14 trillion. That figure is made up of securities like Treasury bills, notes, bonds and savings bonds. The rest consists of foreign holders, beginning with China at more than $1.15 trillion. Japan is a close third with more than $1.13 trillion in foreign holdings. The “Emerald Isle,” Ireland, is next, owning more than $270 billion of U.S. debt. The Cayman Islands are No. 5 with more than $260 billion. And Brazil comes in sixth at more than $258 billion.”

Something to do to keep those “aging” grey cells active!

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  1. Johnny’s mother had three children.  The first child was named April. The second child was named May.  What was the third child’s name? 

    2. There is a clerk at the butcher shop, he is five feet ten inches tall and he wears size 13 sneakers.  What does he weigh? 

    3. Before Mt. Everest was discovered, what was the highest mountain in the world? 

    4. How much dirt is there in a hole that measures two feet by three feet by four feet? 

    5. What word in the English Language is always spelled incorrectly? 

    6. Billy was born on December 28th, yet his birthday is always in the summer. How is this possible? 

    7. In California, you cannot take a picture of a man with a wooden leg.  Why not? 

    8. What was the President’s  name in 1975? 

    9. If you were running a race, and you passed the person in 2nd place, what place would you be in now? 

    10. Which is correct to say, “The yolk of the egg are white” or “The yolk of the egg is white”? 

    11. If a farmer has 5 haystacks in one field and 4 haystacks in the other field, how many haystacks would he have if he combined them all in another field? 

The Enemy Amongst Us

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By Charles Krauthammer, Oct 11 2017 An article from the New York Post: 

I do not understand how living in a country with its democracy established over 200 years ago, and now, for the first time in history, suddenly we have one of our former presidents set up a group called “Organizing for Action” (OFA).

OFA is 30,000+ strong and working to disrupt everything that our current president’s administration is trying to do. This organization goes against our Democracy, and it is an operation that will destroy our way of governing. It goes against our Constitution, our laws, and the processes established over 200 years ago. If it is allowed to proceed then we will be living in chaos very much like third world countries are run. What good is it to have an established government if it is not going to be respected and allowed to follow our laws?

If you had an army some 30,000 strong and a court system stacked over the decades with judges who would allow you to break the laws, how much damage could you do to a country? We are about to find out in America!

Our ex-president said he was going to stay involved through community organizing and speak out on the issues and that appears to be one post-administration promise he intends to keep. He has moved many of his administration’s top dogs over to Organizing for Action.

OFA is behind the strategic and tactical implementation of the resistance to the Trump Administration that we are seeing across America, and politically active courts are providing the leverage for this revolution.

OFA is dedicated to organizing communities for “progressive” change… Its issues are gun control, socialist healthcare, abortion, sexual equality, climate change, and of course, immigration reform.

OFA members were propped up by the ex-president’s message from the shadows: “Organizing is the building block of everything great we have accomplished Organizers around the country are fighting for change in their communities and OFA is one of the groups on the front lines. Commit to this work in 2017 and beyond.” OFA’s website says it obtained its “digital” assets from the ex-president’s re-election effort and that he inspired the movement. In short, it is the shadow government organization aimed at resisting and tearing down the ConstitutionalRepublic we know as AMERICA.”

Solar Controller Discussion


Below is a video with a Blue Sky Representative talking about his product, the “Blue Sky SB3000i Solar Boost MPPT Solar Charge Controller”. It is a good review of the product for anyone who is thinking about adding solar to your Van, RV or Home. He covers just about everything in simple English, and all the facts are from the horse’s mouth, the manufacturer!
The video is by Jamie, of Enigmatic Nomadics:

Side Note:

Many You-Tube producers when discussing a product, direct you to their own Amazon link, stating that if you use his Amazon link to buy the product, the link will take you directly to the product and also say they make a few pennies off the sale (at no cost to the buyer) to support their video making. That sounds reasonable and it is convenient.

Well, I find few things ever cost me nothing when using a third party to purchase something. I did use Jamie’s Amazon link to take me to the product to check the price of the controller and here’s what I found. (I do not know if this is common for all You-Tube producers).

Pricing of the Blue Sky Controller using three sources:

$313 using Jamie’s Amazon link:

$282 Blue Sky factory direct:

$250 using Amazon direct:

It always pays to shop around:



Solar Controller Discussion

Click here to view the original post.


Below is a video with a Blue Sky Representative talking about his product, the “Blue Sky SB3000i Solar Boost MPPT Solar Charge Controller”. It is a good review of the product for anyone who is thinking about adding solar to your Van, RV or Home. He covers just about everything in simple English, and all the facts are from the horse’s mouth, the manufacturer!
The video is by Jamie, of Enigmatic Nomadics:

Side Note:

Many You-Tube producers when discussing a product, direct you to their own Amazon link, stating that if you use his Amazon link to buy the product, the link will take you directly to the product and also say they make a few pennies off the sale (at no cost to the buyer) to support their video making. That sounds reasonable and it is convenient.

Well, I find few things ever cost me nothing when using a third party to purchase something. I did use Jamie’s Amazon link to take me to the product to check the price of the controller and here’s what I found. (I do not know if this is common for all You-Tube producers).

Pricing of the Blue Sky Controller using three sources:

$313 using Jamie’s Amazon link:

$282 Blue Sky factory direct:

$250 using Amazon direct:

It always pays to shop around:



Van-dwelling and Self-reliance video

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If you’re a Van-dweller or wanna-be dweller, the link below is worth watching. The link is to her Fy-Nyth blog, a blog I also have on my sidebar. It’s about a single, extremely self-reliant young woman, who owns and lives on her homestead in a Tiny-Home near the Wyoming border. She lives totally off-grid with solar power, wood heat which she cuts and splits herself, hauls her fresh water and a composting toilet.

The link below will take you to her latest post about how she has modified a Chevy Astro AWD van she uses as an everyday vehicle and a camper with all the things she needs for her photography and in case gets stranded by winter storms. It has everything needed to survive a stranding until whether passes or until she gets home safely.

Her blog videos about her life in a Tiny-House are very good, but her wildlife photography is simply stunning, every bit on par with National Geographic! Look through some of her older posts about her photographic images.

Van-dwelling and Self-reliance video

If you’re a Van-dweller or wanna-be dweller, the link below is worth watching. The link is to her Fy-Nyth blog, a blog I also have on my sidebar. It’s about a single, extremely self-reliant young woman, who owns and lives on her homestead in a Tiny-Home near the Wyoming border. She lives totally off-grid with solar power, wood heat which she cuts and splits herself, hauls her fresh water and a composting toilet.

The link below will take you to her latest post about how she has modified a Chevy Astro AWD van she uses as an everyday vehicle and a camper with all the things she needs for her photography and in case gets stranded by winter storms. It has everything needed to survive a stranding until whether passes or until she gets home safely.

Her blog videos about her life in a Tiny-House are very good, but her wildlife photography is simply stunning, every bit on par with National Geographic! Look through some of her older posts about her photographic images.

I’m Blonde

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I’M BLONDE, I’M BEAUTIFUL, I’M GOING TO TORONTO!

A PLANE IS ON ITS WAY TO TORONTO , WHEN A Blonde GETS UP AND MOVES TO THE
FIRST CLASS SECTION AND SITS DOWN.

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT WATCHES HER DO THIS AND ASKS TO SEE HER TICKET.

SHE THEN TELLS THE BLONDE THAT SHE PAID FOR ECONOMY CLASS AND THAT SHE WILL HAVE TO SIT IN THE BACK.

THE BLONDE REPLIES, “I’M BLONDE, I’M BEAUTIFUL, I’M GOING TO TORONTO AND
I’M STAYING RIGHT HERE.”

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT GOES INTO THE COCKPIT AND TELLS THE PILOT AND THE
CO-PILOT THAT THERE IS A BLONDE BIMBO SITTING IN FIRST CLASS, THAT BELONGS
IN ECONOMY AND WON’T MOVE BACK TO HER SEAT.

THE CO-PILOT GOES BACK TO THE BLONDE AND TRIES TO EXPLAIN THAT BECAUSE SHE ONLY PAID FOR ECONOMY SHE WILL HAVE TO LEAVE AND RETURN TO HER SEAT.

THE BLONDE REPLIES, “I’M BLONDE, I’M BEAUTIFUL, I’M GOING TO TORONTO AND
I’M STAYING RIGHT HERE.”

THE CO-PILOT TELLS THE PILOT THAT HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE THE POLICE
WAITING WHEN THEY LAND TO ARREST THIS BLONDE WOMAN WHO WON’T LISTEN TO REASON.

THE PILOT SAYS, “YOU SAY SHE IS A BLONDE? I’LL HANDLE THIS, I’M MARRIED TO
A BLONDE. I SPEAK BLONDE.”

HE GOES BACK TO THE BLONDE AND WHISPERS IN HER EAR, AND SHE SAYS, “OH, I’M
SORRY.” AND GETS UP AND GOES BACK TO HER SEAT IN ECONOMY

THE FLIGHT ATTENDANT AND CO-PILOT ARE AMAZED AND ASKED HIM WHAT HE SAID TO MAKE HER MOVE WITHOUT ANY FUSS.

“I TOLD HER, ‘FIRST CLASS ISN’T GOING TO TORONTO.”



Breakfast Hash Brown Sandwich

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For fulltime Van-Dwellers or full-time RV’ers their pantry space is limited, or those of us who are on a tight budget, finding tasty, convenient, easy to prepare, low-cost food is always a plus.
I’ve always enjoyed McDonalds Hash Brown Patties, at one time tried to duplicate the recipe and its’ form/shape at home but without success. Last week I was shopping at WalMart and on the shopping list was Tater-Tots. When at that freezer I noticed on the very bottom freezer shelf, the Great Value Hash Brown Patties! Wow, could it be true, are they like the McDonalds Hash Browns? So, I picked up a package and it does look just like McDonalds Patties. They’re sold frozen, fully cooked and ten to a package. Price? $1.70 ($0.17 cents each!) What a deal! I had to try them and was not disappointed.

Cost Breakdown:

Bun $0.16

Cheese $0.17

Egg $0.16

Hash Brown $0.17

Total = $0.66

Add meat such as a SPAM Slice $0.29

Grand Total with SPAM = $0.95

Suggestion:

Here’s how I prepared the first few I made. I no longer fry them, I microwave them now that I figured out how to defrost and cook at the same time. Micro-waving them to fast (too high a wattage) will toughen the perimeter edge.

If you feel you need some meat in it, you can add some canned sausage, bacon, ham, SPAM, chicken or whatever you prefer. This is a cheap, fast, great tasting and filling meal.

As packaged.

One patty out for you to see.

In the skillet at med/hi heat with a couple tablespoons of oil. Cook four minutes on one side and the three minutes on the other side.

Patty on a slice of toasted homemade Beer Bread. Normally, I use a toasted Walmart Jumbo Hamburger Bun. (4-inch dia.)

Added a microwaved scrambled egg.

Added a slice of cheese and topped with another slice of Beer Bread.

Yummy! Makes a great and cheap breakfast, or any meal you like. About seven minutes total prep time.


Lost I.D.

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A guy traveling through Mexicoon vacation lost his wallet and all of his identification. Cutting his trip short, he attempted to make his way home but was stopped by the U.S. Customs Agent at the border.” May I see your identification please?” asked the agent.

“I’m sorry, but I lost my wallet,” replied the guy. “Sure buddy, I hear that every day. No ID, no entry,” said the agent.

“But I can prove I’m an American!” he exclaimed. “I have a picture of Donald Trump tattooed on one side of my butt and George Bush on the other”

“This I gotta see,” replied the agent. With that, the guy dropped his pants and showed the agent his behind.”

By golly, you’re right!” exclaimed the agent.

“Have a safe trip back to Chicago.”


 “Thanks!” he said. “But how did you know I was from Chicago?

“The agent replied, “I recognized Obama in the middle.”



Gram Conversions for Baking

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Baking is an exacting science. Measuring by weight/grams is far more accurate than measuring by volume, therefore is more likely to achieve reliable and consistent results especially when baking bread. Refer to the chart below to convert baking measures into grams.
All Purpose White Flour:
          1/2 cup = 60 grams

1 cup = 120 grams

          2 cups = 240 grams

          3 cups = 360 grams

         

Whole Wheat Grain Kernels, to Be Home Milled:
1/2 cup = 100 grams

1 cup = 200 grams

2 cups = 400 grams

         

Water, Milk:
1 oz = 30 grams

4 oz = ½ cup = 120 grams

8 oz = 1 cup = 240 grams

Oil:

          1 oz = 28 = grams

2 oz = ¼ cup = 56 grams

4 oz = ½ cup = 112 grams

8 oz = 1 cup = 224 grams

                  
Butter:

          1 tbs = 15 grams

2 tbs = 30 grams

4 tbs = ½ stick = ¼ cup = 60 grams

          8 tbs = 1 stick = ½ cup = 120 grams

          16 tbs = 2 sticks = 1 cup = 240 grams

Shortening:
Can shortening be substituted for oil? Yes in equal weights.

Not only does shortening have 50% less saturated fat than butter and 0g trans fat per serving, it gives you higher, lighter-textured baked goods.

Sugar, White or Light Brown (lightly packed):

          ¼  cup = 50 grams

          ½ cup = 100 grams

          1 cup = 200 grams



Beer Bread

Why I like this recipe:

It tastes great! It’s very simple to make, an 8 year old could make it if they’d put down their cell phone. It uses few ingredients, all of which are probably in or should be in your pantry. No mixer needed or special bread tools other than a bread baking pan. It’s a perfect Prepper food to stock ingredients for.

Sliced and ready to eat. Yummy!

The beer I used. Any beer should work but I prefer a Lager type.

Dough ready to put in the oven and bake.

Checking the internal temperature to be sure it’s finished.

Cooling for a few minutes in the pan before removing.

Out of the pan, nicely golden brown, ready to slice and enjoy!

Ingredients, makes one loaf:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour. [360 grams]

  • 12 oz room temperature beer, any kind, I use a Lager. [360 grams]

  • 1/2 cup sugar [100 grams]

  • 4 tbs butter (1/2 stick) [60 grams] for drizzling on loaf after first 40-45 minutes in oven.

If you do not have self-rising flour; then make your own by using double acting baking powder. For this recipe add 4½ tsp baking powder AND 1 tsp salt to the 3 cups of AP flour.

Directions:
Combine and blend thoroughly the dry ingredients.  

Add the beer and immediately blend to bring all the ingredients together. Don’t overwork the dough. The dough will be wet and sticky, almost pourable.

Once blended immediately place the dough in a greased bread pan (I use shortening) and into the pre-heated oven.

Bake @ 350f for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove from oven and drizzle the melted butter over the top of the loaf and return to oven.

Bake for 15 more minutes. Using an inexpensive stick thermometer the finished internal temp should be 195f – 205f.

Remove from oven and let the bread rest in the bread pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  

Allow to cool then serve.

This recipe was stolen from; http://twomenandalittlefarm.blogspot.com/2018/01/beer-bread-recipe.html and with a little modification.

It’s just too good to not pass around.

Beer Bread

Click here to view the original post.

Why I like this recipe:

It tastes great! It’s very simple to make, an 8 year old could make it if they’d put down their cell phone. It uses few ingredients, all of which are probably in or should be in your pantry. No mixer needed or special bread tools other than a bread baking pan. It’s a perfect Prepper food to stock ingredients for.

Beer Bread

Why I like this recipe:

It tastes great! It’s very simple to make, an 8 year old could make it if they’d put down their cell phone. It uses few ingredients, all of which are probably in or should be in your pantry. No mixer needed or special bread tools other than a bread baking pan. It’s a perfect Prepper food to stock ingredients for.

Sliced and ready to eat. Yummy!

The beer I used. Any beer should work but I prefer a Lager type.

Dough ready to put in the oven and bake.

Checking the internal temperature to be sure it’s finished.

Cooling for a few minutes in the pan before removing.

Out of the pan, nicely golden brown, ready to slice and enjoy!

Ingredients, makes one loaf:

  • 3 cups self-rising flour. [360 grams]

  • 12 oz room temperature beer, any kind, I use a Lager. [360 grams]

  • 1/2 cup sugar [100 grams]

  • 4 tbs butter (1/2 stick) [60 grams] for drizzling on loaf after first 40-45 minutes in oven.

If you do not have self-rising flour; then make your own by using double acting baking powder. For this recipe add 4½ tsp baking powder AND 1 tsp salt to the 3 cups of AP flour.

Directions:
Combine and blend thoroughly the dry ingredients.  

Add the beer and immediately blend to bring all the ingredients together. Don’t overwork the dough. The dough will be wet and sticky, almost pourable.

Once blended immediately place the dough in a greased bread pan (I use shortening) and into the pre-heated oven.

Bake @ 350f for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes remove from oven and drizzle the melted butter over the top of the loaf and return to oven.

Bake for 15 more minutes. Using an inexpensive stick thermometer the finished internal temp should be 195f – 205f.

Remove from oven and let the bread rest in the bread pan for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack.  

Allow to cool then serve.

This recipe was stolen from; http://twomenandalittlefarm.blogspot.com/2018/01/beer-bread-recipe.html and with a little modification.

It’s just too good to not pass around.

Mylar Bags, Bucket Stacker

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I found something new (to me anyway) in Mylar Bags used for Long Term Food Storage. It’s called “Bucket Stacker Bags”. They are premade in the shape of a stop sign, which when filled with one gallon of food allows five neatly stacked on top of one another inside a 5 gallon bucket. When you need to access some food you simply take the lid off the bucket, take one bag out and replace the bucket lid.
The advantage to using these bags over one large 5 gallon bag is you will not have to open then reseal the large bag which can be problematic because of all the wrinkles along the new reseal opening. The wrinkles are caused by stuffing the large Mylar bag into the bucket the resulting wrinkles may not allow a 100% seal and thereby possibly compromise the remaining food in the five gallon bag.

I now use the Bucket Stacker Bag exclusively because it’s smart and it works.

I did a similar thing but using regular rectangle gallon bags:

Containers I Currently Use:

Manufacturers Product Description:

Bucket Stack Mylar bags

“These are super tough, 6 mil, food grade Mylar foil bags and are shaped so that when filled they stack in layers into a 5 or 6 gallon bucket.

What are the advantages of using these? Well here are a few!

#1: You don’t have to open a huge 5 gallon size bag of one product and risk it going bad or getting bugs before you use all of it. Even if you wish to put up 50 lbs. of one item like rice for example, you are still much better off having 5, 1 gallon individually sealed bags in the bucket than you are to have one huge 5 gallon bag.

#2: The seal on a Mylar bag is an easy place for the integrity of the bag to be compromised. When you heat seal the top of a 20” bag, that is a long seal and you must have a smooth, wrinkle free seal the entire width of the bag. With these bucket bags however, all you have to seal is the end of a 5” wide opening. No more fighting with the sealing iron trying to keep everything lined up and smooth and then worrying about if it is good enough or not.

To use these just fill the bag from the open end “spout”, (You may find it helpful to use a large funnel to fill the bag) drop in an oxygen absorber, then heat seal the opening shut. Now layer the bags inside of your buckets until the bucket is full and put a lid on it.

Note: These do have a zipper on the open end however we recommend not using it and actually heat sealing just below the zipper.”

Where to Purchase Link:

Here’s a new Stacker Bag. My camera lens distorted the stop sign shape, it’s really quite symmetrical and is a shiny silver like a normal Mylar bag. The filling snout is about 5 inches across so a funnel is needed to fill the bag with.

Using a funnel to fill the bag. I taped the funnel to the bag while filling otherwise the funnel just slips off. Having a helper hold the bag and funnel would be the way to go.

Four bags filled and ready to be sealed.

The bag filled and sealed. The photo makes the bag look blown up but it really is quite flat. The date is when the original date wheat grain was purchased and bagged.

After removing the O2 absorbers needed from their bag, I resealed it.

A close up of the seal. Per the manufacturer’s instructions, my seal is just below their built-in zip-lock feature.

The four bags resting for about 10-15 minutes so the O2 absorber could start consuming some of the O2 in the bags. This makes it easy to stack in the bucket, and not trying to stack what feels like balloons.

Caution; do not wait too long or the absorbers will eat enough air to create a very strong vacuum and in that case, turn the wheat grain into a ridged house brick unable to conform to the round bucket.

Here are four Stacker Bags of wheat grain in the bucket. As you can see there is room for one more bag giving a total of five gallons. The reason I didn’t bag the fifth gallon is because I needed some grain and had to open a five gallon bag to get a gallon of grain for myself. So, I only had enough to fill four bags.

Summary:

I like them, good quality and fits my long term food storage method. The cost is $0.75 each, about $0.20 more than the typical rectangle bag.

Sad Day at Living Prepared

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This morning, I had to let my best little buddy go. Almost 15 years old and during the last six months she’s been rapidly losing her health with a heart murmur, multiple tumors, lost her hearing, and for the last three weeks not wanting to eat hardly anything. The vet said she’s just too old for any kind of surgery and it’s time.
Harley, 2003 – 2018


Unrest over food shortages spreads through Venezuela

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The story below is happening right now, 1-14-18. It is a good, real-life lesson as to what we Preppers can expect to live with should we have a countrywide political or man-made disaster. Even living out in the country is no guarantee of safety for your garden or livestock. Hungry, angry people are ruthless.
Mike

Unrest over food shortages spreads through Venezuela

By Anggy Polanco and Francisco Aguilar

SAN CRISTOBAL/BARINAS, Venezuela, Jan 11 (Reuters) – Hungry mobs ransacked a food collection center, and a supermarket in Venezuela’s western Andean state of Merida on Thursday and reportedly even slaughtered cattle grazing in a field as unrest over food shortages spread through the country.

An opposition lawmaker from Merida, Carlos Paparoni, said four people had died and 10 were injured in the chaos over the last two days, but he did not specify the circumstances.

Four years of recession and the world’s highest inflation have plunged millions of Venezuelans into poverty, and President Nicolas Maduro’s authoritarian socialist regime faces mounting unrest.

Venezuela‘s Information Ministry did not respond to a request for information about the latest disturbances to rock the nation of 30 million people.

Looters plundered a truck carrying corn, a food collection center, and a state-run supermarket, according to Paparoni, and a vet who witnessed the mayhem.

A video on social media also showed around a dozen men running into a lush pasture, chasing a cow, and then apparently beating it to death.

“They’re hunting. The people are hungry!” says the narrator of the video, who filmed the incident from his car. Lawmaker Paparoni said some 300 animals were believed to have been killed. Reuters could not verify the information.

Zuley Urdaneta, a 50 year-old vet in Merida, witnessed the looting of a truck along the highway around 2 p.m. on Thursday afternoon. About two hours later, he said some 800 people converged on a food collection center and proceeded to plunder it.

“They knocked down the gates and looted flour, rice, cooking oil, cooking gas,” said Urdaneta. “The police and the National Guard tried to control the situation by giving out what was left.”

Looting has been increasing in the provinces since Christmas, with food shortages and hyperinflation leaving millions of people hungry, though the capital, Caracas, has so far been largely unaffected.

The opposition says Maduro’s failed economic policies and rampant corruption are to blame for the meltdown in the once booming country home to the world’s largest crude reserves.

“What we’re living is barbaric,” said opposition lawmaker Juan Guaido in a tweet referencing the slaughter the cattle. “The dehumanizing regime of Nicolas Maduro is turning a blind eye to the tragedy that we Venezuelans are living.”

Maduro’s government accuses political opponents and business-friendly foreign powers of trying to foment a social uprising against him by stoking inflation and hoarding food.

In what they said was an attempt to combat “speculation,” authorities last week forced over 200 supermarkets to slash prices, creating chaos as desperate Venezuelans leapt at the chance to buy cheaper food.

Some supermarkets were sold out of fruit and vegetables, and staff were unsure if the shelves would be replenished.

(Writing by Alexandra Ulmer; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

“Hot Jaw” Heat Sealer

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Years back, when I first started long-term Mylar Bagged food storage, I wanted this clamshell heat sealer however back then it was $200.00. I’m not rich and couldn’t justify that amount of money then. Over the years this clamshell sealer has been dropping in price where today, it’s just $99.00! So I finally bought one!

It has an inline switch for Off, Low and High settings user selectable when sealing thin or thick Mylar Bags. Also has an LED lamp telling you the power is on.

The part number and power label:
Each jaw is independent (switch selectable, hi-low) and each jaw uses 25 watts. 50 watts total on high.

Also note: The sealer frame is molded from a ploly resin and aluminum (metalized resin). This resin is as stiff and ridged as aluminum. Absolutely nothing flimsy about this “Hot Jaw Sealer”!

Here I’m verifying the actual sealing temperature:

To melt and bond the Mylar Bag inside poly liner to itself within 4 seconds, the heat needs to be 300+f degrees. On the LOW setting only one jaw heats-up for thin bags, on HIGH both jaws heat-up to the same temperature for thick bags.

Note: The handles do not get hot to the touch even when on High.

This is what the 9/16ths wide seal looks like on a new bag. No air will leak through this seal.

Here I’m re-sealing a 5-gallon bag of wheat grain I had to open. It is very easy to do with the clam-shell sealer compared to an alligator style sealer. It does not require the pressure grip of Hulk Hogan, just a firm squeeze for 4 seconds and you’re done.

The 5-gallon bag re-sealed.

After re-sealing the entire opening of the 5-gallon bag, I then cut a corner off to insert the oxygen absorber, squeeze out all the air possible and then re-seal that corner.

Corner sealed and ready to go back into storage.

 Some of the reasons why I purchased this sealer?
1.      The width of the seal. 14mm (9/16) vs 2mm found on some alligator style sealers.

2.      Two heat settings, low for thin (under 4 mils) and high for thick (over 4 mils) Mylar bags.

3.      The best tool for sealing a 5-gallon bucket with a large single bag while the bag and food is in the bucket.

Manufacturers Product Description:
Teflon coated, not just covered with Teflon cloth like the majority of sealers. The upper and lower serrated jaws on these will give a high quality, extra wide 9/16″ seal x 6 inches long on any Mylar bag. Will seal 6 inches at a time. (For larger bags just make multiple seals and overlap them.)

Source to Purchase:

P/N: IPKHS-606T,  6” Teflon-Coated Hot-Jaw Sealer

Summary:

This Hot Jaw Sealer is a high-quality Mylar Bag sealing tool and easy to use.


A Husband Laments

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A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to Look for him.
She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of Coffee in front of him.

He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room, ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?’

The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.’

She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up.

The husband continues, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago? When we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 16,’ He says solemnly.

Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that Her husband is so caring and sensitive.

‘Yes, I do.’ she replies.

The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily. ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’

‘Yes, I remember’ said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued. ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?’

‘I remember that too’ she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said ‘I would have gotten out today.’




A Husband Laments

A woman awakes during the night to find that her husband is not in bed. She puts on her robe and goes downstairs to Look for him.
She finds him sitting at the kitchen table with a hot cup of Coffee in front of him.

He appears to be in deep thought, just staring at the wall.

She watches as he wipes a tear from his eye and takes a sip of his coffee.

‘What’s the matter, dear?’ she whispers as she steps into the room, ‘Why are you down here at this time of night?’

The husband looks up from his coffee, ‘It’s the 20th Anniversary of the day we met.’

She can’t believe he has remembered and starts to tear up.

The husband continues, ‘Do you remember 20 years ago? When we started dating? I was 18 and you were only 16,’ He says solemnly.

Once again, the wife is touched to tears thinking that Her husband is so caring and sensitive.

‘Yes, I do.’ she replies.

The husband pauses. The words were not coming easily. ‘Do you remember when your father caught us in the back seat of my car?’

‘Yes, I remember’ said the wife, lowering herself into a chair beside him.

The husband continued. ‘Do you remember when he shoved the shotgun in my face and said, ‘Either you marry my daughter or I will send you to prison for 20 years?’

‘I remember that too’ she replied softly.

He wiped another tear from his cheek and said ‘I would have gotten out today.’




Returning to the Disaster Zone, St. Martin after IRMA

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The sailing couple aboard “Sailing Mischief” went to St. Martin two months after hurricane IRMA. It is hard to imagine all the losses there. Their video is far more accurate to the real damage than any major news broadcaster has been.
A very sad situation, but a good lesson on how bad hurricanes are.

Mike

The sailors’ comments:

“After two months since Irma ripped through St. Martin we return to check on Mischief and see how the people and island are holding up. We are still very grateful to have our health and lives after living through the worst hurricane in recorded history”.

Link to the video:

What it’s ‘REALLY LIKE’ to live in a Major Disaster Aftermath!

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Puerto Rico and St Thomas are a disaster, no other way to describe it. They are a prime, real life example of what we Prep for, and what we can expect if a major disaster hits where we live!

Below is a video link of how the survivors in Puerto Rico are living their daily lives today months after the hurricane. It is an eye opener for those of you new to Prepping. It is miserable beyond description and why water, electricity and food are so important.

The link comes from a blog I read and featured in my side bar. Fernando has lived through government collapses and has first hand knowledge of how bad things can get and has published several books on the subject.

 http://ferfal.blogspot.com/  ‘SURVIVING IN ARGENTINA’


The Link to the video. Well worth 15 minutes of your Prepping Time:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/national/puerto-rico-life-without-power/?utm_term=.ffaf1d9ccb2b

Chicago

Bob was sitting on the plane waiting to fly to Chicago, when a guy took the seat next to him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking in fear.

“What’s the matter, afraid of flying?” Bob asked.

“No, it’s not that. I’ve been transferred to Chicago. The people are crazy there, right? Lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor schools, and the highest crime rate in the nation.”

Bob replied, “I’ve lived in Chicago all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, and enroll your kids in a nice private school. I’ve worked there for 14 years and never had the slightest trouble. “The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death, but if you’ve lived and worked there all those years and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a tail gunner on a Budweiser truck.”



Chicago

Bob was sitting on the plane waiting to fly to Chicago, when a guy took the seat next to him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking in fear.

“What’s the matter, afraid of flying?” Bob asked.

“No, it’s not that. I’ve been transferred to Chicago. The people are crazy there, right? Lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor schools, and the highest crime rate in the nation.”

Bob replied, “I’ve lived in Chicago all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, and enroll your kids in a nice private school. I’ve worked there for 14 years and never had the slightest trouble. “The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death, but if you’ve lived and worked there all those years and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a tail gunner on a Budweiser truck.”



Chicago

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Bob was sitting on the plane waiting to fly to Chicago, when a guy took the seat next to him. The guy was an emotional wreck, pale, hands shaking in fear.

“What’s the matter, afraid of flying?” Bob asked.

“No, it’s not that. I’ve been transferred to Chicago. The people are crazy there, right? Lots of shootings, gangs, race riots, drugs, poor schools, and the highest crime rate in the nation.”

Bob replied, “I’ve lived in Chicago all my life. It’s not as bad as the media says. Find a nice home, go to work, mind your own business, and enroll your kids in a nice private school. I’ve worked there for 14 years and never had the slightest trouble. “The guy relaxed and stopped shaking and said, “Oh, thank you. I’ve been worried to death, but if you’ve lived and worked there all those years and say it’s OK, I’ll take your word for it. What do you do for a living?”

“I’m a tail gunner on a Budweiser truck.”



“Shot Spotter”, The Militarizing of Police

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Gun violence in cities is on the rise. To confront it the police departments are buying and deploying military hardware and vehicles. Look at the SWAT teams, when they arrive at the problem area it’s with multiple armored vehicles, dressed in black with body armor carrying AR’s. They look like a dictators’ military hit squad. Now, another new military tool for the police called, “The Shot Spotter”.
I live in Northeast Florida. In a city of almost 1,000,000 people and the home of the JagWads, an endless multi-million dollar waste of taxpayer money. As with all big cities such as Chicago (my birth hometown), New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Orlando, Houston, and many, many more, have a high level of daily gun violence. Fortunately for me, the bad areas are in the opposite corner of the city (the sub-human ghetto’s) about 25 miles from me. For now, the daily shootings are not affecting my area, even so, I never leave home without my sidearm as the violence does get closer every day.

To get a heads up on the gunfire area, the police department here has recently deployed the ShotSpotter, a gunshot detection acoustic surveillance technology. It assists them with the exact location of the gunfire without the need to physically be there. It’s extremely helpful for the Cops and Para-Medics going to the scene to know in advance where the danger is for them.

My ONLY issue with this system is the cost. The cost is projected around $435,000 the first year and $325,000 annually after that. And as usual, it’s probably a political lowball estimate like all government programs. In the end, it will be three times that amount. I really don’t mind the cost as it will save the lives of many Cops and Para-Medics. All that money comes from homeowner taxes and in the end, reduces the cash needed for my current retired life. We desperately need to do away with the criminals as we can’t afford them, they add no value to our society.

Our country is in deep trouble because we coddle the criminal punks rather than prosecute them and put them in jail (like Hillary should be) or better yet, inject them and get rid of the problem. Or better yet, let’s send all the criminals, including illegal’s to the Mexican and Canadian Boarders to build the wall like Chinas’. They could learn a trade skill as cement masons and bricklayers! We could have the returning Middle East vets hold M16’s on them. If they try to escape the soldiers and Cobra Gunships know how to handle it.

Summary:

We as Peppers, need to clearly understand what’s coming our way. If you have the option, never live in a big city. A small town is much better when it’s in a country setting with small populations. Have everything paid for, have a garden and some chickens for eggs and meat to supplement what you may get from the FEMA Food Lines. Also, get a Concealed Carry Permit as soon as you can. How do you expect to get the meager amount of food from FEMA distribution locations home without one?

Please, Live Prepared. The bad times are here.

What is the ShotSpotter System?

ShotSpotter is gunshot detection, acoustic surveillance technology that uses sophisticated sensors to detect, locate and alert law enforcement agencies of illegal gunfire incidents in real time. The technology detects gunfire when a gun is discharged, protects officers with increased tactical awareness, and connects law enforcement agencies to the community and to their mission of protect and serve. The real-time digital alerts include a precise location on a map (latitude/longitude) with corresponding meta data such as the address, number of rounds fired, type of gunfire, etc. delivered to any browser-enabled device or mobile device.

ShotSpotter is used in approximately 90 cities in the United States, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, and South Africa. It is highly regarded by law enforcement agencies as a critical component of their gun violence reduction strategy. ShotSpotter deployments include a diverse set of cities by size, geography and socioeconomic standards. Police departments are the typical core user of ShotSpotter, and the data has been shown to be valuable to prosecutors in court cases and city leadership for smart city initiatives.

ShotSpotter uses acoustic sensors that are strategically placed in an array of 15-20 sensors per square mile in order to reliably detect and accurately triangulate gunshot activity. Each sensor captures the precise time, location, and audio snippet associated with boom and bang sounds (impulsive noise) that may represent a gunshot. This data is first filtered by sophisticated machine algorithms that are then further qualified by an expertly trained and staffed 24×7 IncidentReviewCenter at ShotSpotter to insure the events are in fact gunfire. In addition, they can append the alert with any other critical intelligence such as whether a full automatic weapon was fired. This process typically takes not more than 45 seconds between the actual shooting and the digital alert (with a precise location dot on a map) popping onto the screen of a computer in the 9-1-1 CallCenter.

ShotSpotter helps protect officers by instantly notifying them of gunshot crimes in progress with real-time data delivered to dispatch centers, patrol cars and even smartphones. This enhances officer safety and effectiveness with critical intelligence such as: real-time access to maps of shooting locations and gunshot audio, actionable intelligence detailing the number of shooters and the number of shots fired, accurate and precise locations for those first responders aiding victims, searching for evidence and interviewing witnesses. With ShotSpotter, officers can arrive at the scene of a crime faster and with an increased level of safety because they know exactly where the gunfire is taking place. In many cases, an officer can arrive with the shooter still live on the crime scene or if the criminal has fled, shell casings can be recovered and used for investigative and potential prosecution purposes.

This investment in technology should not be considered an either/or decision. The fact is police departments need both manpower and technology. ShotSpotter is a tool that augments and enhances the existing manpower to improve response time and quality of response. This technology is capable of doing something that no amount of manpower can accomplish, which is to comprehensively report in real-time all outdoor illegal gunfire.

Luggable Loo Improved

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There are three things a van dweller must have to be happy living full time in a van. One; a large bed so you can sleep comfortably. Two; being able to cook inside and Three; a comfortable place to poop.
The Luggable Loo works OK, but if possible I prefer a typical and familiar home toilet seat and size. The issue is altering the 5 gallon bucket is to small to fit the larger elongated toilet seat.

There are many ways of attaching a home size toilet seat to a 5 gallon bucket, below is one of the ways and the way I did it. The most difficult part is reshaping the bucket to fit the new lid. I found a simple way to do this and the total time was less than 2 hours to complete the project.

  

For size comparison is my Luggable Loo and the modified bucket with an elongated home size toilet seat.

Elongated seat installed.

Elongated seat with the lid in place and finished. Ready to go so to speak.

The wooden form made from 1×4 stock used to reshape the bucket. The curved end was determined by using the elongated seat as a pattern to trace onto the wood. The overall length is 13 ¼ inches.

The wooden form in place. Originally the form was one inch shorter so I had to shim it to get the proper size. A one-piece form needs to be 13 ¼ inches overall length.

With the form in place, all I had to do was use a heat gun (not a hair drier) on the small curved area from the bucket rim to about halfway down the bucket side. You need to get it hot enough to relax the round bucket molded tension and take the shape but be careful not to melt the plastic. This takes about 5 minutes. Do not overheat the plastic but get it to about 200f degrees. Let the bucket cool to touch and you’re done.

Here’s the bucket after the form was removed.

To align the seat to the buckets outer rim, I used ¼ x 1.5 inch long wood dowels glued in place. It just so happened that the holes in the seat were where the rubber seat bumpers were (simply pry out the bumpers) are in the perfect location. Also note the hinges were removed and not used.

To align the lid in correct position over the seat, use the seat as a template and magic marker the shape onto the bottom of the lid. Drill four dowel holes and glue in the wood dowels.

For an air seal I used window sponge weather seal that has a peel and stick backing. Size is 3/8 x ¾ x 10 feet long.

Seat seal in place.

Lid seal in place.

Finished seat with a 13 gallon kitchen plastic bag with draw string closure.

Summary;

It works great, just like home and about $13.00 or the same cost as a Luggable Loo.

Note;

You must use a wood toilet seat. If you use a plastic one, there is not enough plastic thickness to install the wood dowels.

Luggable Loo Improved

There are three things a van dweller must have to be happy living full time in a van. One; a large bed so you can sleep comfortably. Two; being able to cook inside and Three; a comfortable place to poop.
The Luggable Loo works OK, but if possible I prefer a typical and familiar home toilet seat and size. The issue is altering the 5 gallon bucket is to small to fit the larger elongated toilet seat.

There are many ways of attaching a home size toilet seat to a 5 gallon bucket, below is one of the ways and the way I did it. The most difficult part is reshaping the bucket to fit the new lid. I found a simple way to do this and the total time was less than 2 hours to complete the project.

  

For size comparison is my Luggable Loo and the modified bucket with an elongated home size toilet seat.

Elongated seat installed.

Elongated seat with the lid in place and finished. Ready to go so to speak.

The wooden form made from 1×4 stock used to reshape the bucket. The curved end was determined by using the elongated seat as a pattern to trace onto the wood. The overall length is 13 ¼ inches.

The wooden form in place. Originally the form was one inch shorter so I had to shim it to get the proper size. A one-piece form needs to be 13 ¼ inches overall length.

With the form in place, all I had to do was use a heat gun (not a hair drier) on the small curved area from the bucket rim to about halfway down the bucket side. You need to get it hot enough to relax the round bucket molded tension and take the shape but be careful not to melt the plastic. This takes about 5 minutes. Do not overheat the plastic but get it to about 200f degrees. Let the bucket cool to touch and you’re done.

Here’s the bucket after the form was removed.

To align the seat to the buckets outer rim, I used ¼ x 1.5 inch long wood dowels glued in place. It just so happened that the holes in the seat were where the rubber seat bumpers were (simply pry out the bumpers) are in the perfect location. Also note the hinges were removed and not used.

To align the lid in correct position over the seat, use the seat as a template and magic marker the shape onto the bottom of the lid. Drill four dowel holes and glue in the wood dowels.

For an air seal I used window sponge weather seal that has a peel and stick backing. Size is 3/8 x ¾ x 10 feet long.

Seat seal in place.

Lid seal in place.

Finished seat with a 13 gallon kitchen plastic bag with draw string closure.

Summary;

It works great, just like home and about $13.00 or the same cost as a Luggable Loo.

Note;

You must use a wood toilet seat. If you use a plastic one, there is not enough plastic thickness to install the wood dowels.

U.S. Economy Collapse: What Will Happen, How to Prepare

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My number one fear is an economic collapse! It will happen overnight and will affect everyone, whether you have millions of dollars or you’re living week to week. The article below does a very good job of explaining its consequences and how to prepare for it.



U.S. Economy Collapse: What Will Happen, How to Prepare

By: Kimberly Amadeo Updated November 20, 2017

If a U.S. economic collapse occurs, it will happen quickly. No one would predict it. That’s because the signs of imminent failure are difficult to see.

For example, the U.S. economy almost collapsed on September 17, 2008. That’s the day the Reserve Primary Fund broke the buck. Panicked investors withdrew a record $140 billion from money market accounts where businesses keep cash to fund day-to-day operations.

If withdrawals had gone on for even a week, the entire economy would have halted. That meant trucks would stop rolling, grocery stores would run out of food, and businesses would shut down. 

Fortunately, the Federal Reserve Chairman and U.S. Treasury Secretary noticed the signal and knew what it meant. Ben Bernanke was a Great Depression scholar. Hank Paulson was a Wall Street veteran. Their bailout plan supplied enough cash to prevent a total collapse. The 2008 financial crisis did plenty of damage, but it could have been much worse.

Another example occurred during the Great Depression. On Thursday, October 24, the 1929 stock market crash began. By Tuesday, the market had lost 25 percent. Many investors lost their life savings that weekend. The Dow didn’t recover until 1954. That’s how close the U.S. economy came to a real collapse, and how vulnerable it is to another one.

What Will Happen If the U.S. Economy Collapses?

If the U.S. economy collapses, you would not have access to credit.

Banks would close. Demand would outstrip supply of food, gas and other necessities. If the collapse affected local governments and utilities, then water and electricity would no longer be available. As people panic, they would revert to survival and self-defense modes. The economy would return to a traditional economy, where those who grow food barter for other services.

A U.S. economic collapse would create global panic. Demand for the dollar and U.S. Treasurys would plummet. Interest rates would skyrocket. Investors would rush to other currencies, such as the yuan, euro or even gold. It would create not just inflation, but hyperinflation as the dollar became dirt cheap.

When Would the U.S. Economy Collapse?

Any of the following six scenarios could create an economic collapse.

If the U.S. dollar rapidly loses value, it would create hyperinflation.

A bank run could force banks to close or even go out of business, cutting off lending and even cash withdrawals.

The internet could become paralyzed with a super-virus, preventing emails and online transactions. 

Terrorist attacks or a massive oil embargo could halt interstate trucking. Grocery stores would soon run out of food.  

Widespread violence erupts across the nation. That could range from inner-city riots, a civil war or a foreign military attack. It’s possible that a combination of these events could overwhelm the government’s ability to prevent or respond to a collapse.

Some believe the Federal Reserve, the president or an international conspiracy are driving the United States toward economic ruin. If that’s the case, the economy could collapse in as little as a week. That’s because it’s run on confidence that debts will be repaid, food and gas will be available when you need it and that you’ll get paid for this week’s work. If a large enough piece of that stops for even several days, it creates a chain reaction that leads to a rapid collapse.

Will the U.S Economy Collapse?

The U.S. economy’s size makes it resilient. It is highly unlikely that even these events could create a collapse. The Federal Reserve’s contractionary monetary tools can tame hyperinflation. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation insures banks, so there is little chance of a banking collapse similar to the 1930s. Homeland Security can address a  cyber threat. If not, the economy can always return to how it functioned before the internet.

The president can release Strategic Oil Reserves to offset an oil embargo. The U.S. military can respond to a terrorist attack, transportation stoppage or rioting/civil war. In other words, most federal government programs are designed to prevent just such an economic collapse. 

How to Prepare for a Collapse

Protecting yourself from a U.S. economic collapse is difficult. A catastrophic failure can happen without warning. In most crises, people survive through their knowledge, wits, and by helping each other. Make sure you understand basic economic concepts so you can see warning signs of instability. One of the first signs is a stock market crash. If it’s bad enough, a market crash can cause a recession.

Second, keep as many assets as liquid as possible so that you can withdraw them within a week. In addition to your regular job, make sure you have skills that you’d need in a traditional economy, such as farming, cooking or repair. 

Make sure your passport is current in case you’d need to leave the country on short notice. Research target countries now and travel there on vacation, so you are familiar with your destination.

Keep yourself in top physical shape. Know basic survival skills, such as self-defense, foraging, hunting, and farming. Practice now with camping trips. If you can, move near a wildlife preserve in a temperate climate. That way, if a collapse occurs, you can live off the land in a relatively unpopulated area.

As for cash, it may not be useful in a total economic collapse because its value might be decimated. Stockpiles of gold bullion may not help because they would be difficult to transport if you needed to move quickly. In a severe collapse, they may not be accepted as currency. But it would be good to have a stash of $20 bills and gold coins, just in case. During many crisis situations, these are commonly accepted as bribes. 

Van-Dwellers and RV’ers; Free Camping Databases

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This kind of information makes it easy for Van-Dwellers and Full-Time RV’ers to live for next to nothing by using the sources below. There are many others publications and online sites to visit including some that specialize in places like, Wal-Marts and truck stops. I’ll be adding those and others as I find the information.
For those who are Bugging Out!

This information is priceless. There is a substantial amount of out of town and very out of the way campsites to lay-low at. You can stay out of harms way that few people know about.

Search the web’s largest database of free RV parking locations in the US and Canada. Our database contains 13633 RV Parking and No Parking locations in the USA and Canada. Find free RV parking on your mobile device! Search by your current location, city and state or province or zip code. Download PDF files by state or province.  Cost: $25.00 per year.

Whether you just need to know where to camp nearby or you want to plan a free camping road trip, we’ve got you covered. You can simply use your smart phone’s GPS to find camping near you or even use our trip planner to plan your route from coast to coast.  Cost: Free.

Camo Patterns Compared

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Today, there are numerous camo patterns available to choose from such as: Woodland, Multicam, Marpat, Krytek, Flecktarn, Digital Flora and many more. Every military branch of every country has there own preferred patterns.
The problem I have is which one is overall best for My Area of Operations (Florida)? Camo clothing and equipment isn’t cheap and to buy then take out in the field just to find out it makes you stand out rather than not be seen is a waste of money.

Today, I came across some very good YouTube videos comparing the above-mentioned camo patterns side-by-side, in actual use, in my area of operations (always green and dense). They tested two patterns at a time with two guys. One was given a 2-minute head start to hide and the other 3 minutes to hunt and find him. Then they switched where the other guy would hide and the other hunt him.

The video work was very good and visually revealed the good and the bad of each pattern. If you’re thinking about buying some camo you will find the video’s helpful.

Below are the links to the three tests. Now, these are young guys and specialize in paintball games, they are intelligent and do a good job with these comparisons, the best I’ve found:

Camo Vs. Camo – Woodland Vs. Multicam


Camo Vs. Camo – Flecktarn Vs. Digital Flora

Camo Vs. Camo – Marpat Vs. Kryptek Mandrake

Batteries, Small NiMH Rechargeable

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Humans are not designed to live without light at night, we must have it to survive in today’s world of crime and violence. A Preppers best friend for lighting and communications in an extended grid-down situation are rechargeable batteries to keep these needed devices going.
Some of us have small generators to run lights and refrigeration, even heat for the home during a short term grid down. But long term, when your gas is gone and gas stations are closed, the only thing left is your own solar system. A 200 watt system can run small portable 12v refrigerators (Dometic), and recharge all your batteries for lighting and communications. This size of system is inexpensive and easily be made portable.

All my critical battery powered flashlights lights and radios are powered with “AA” rechargeable batteries. I only choose “AA” size because it makes battery stocking easy as this one size powers all my critical devices.

Like all prepping items, they need periodic review and maintenance (such as recharging) even if not used. NiMH (nickel–metal hydride) type batteries will self-discharge when not in use. The self-discharge amount varies with new technologies, from 10% to 50% with most only 20%. So once a year, and for me that is the beginning of hurricane season. I recharge (top-off) all my NiMH batteries so they are ready to do their job with full power.

When purchasing new NiMH, try to buy the same manufacturer brand and the ones with the largest mA (milliamp hours) or stored power (amps). Today that’s generally the 2300mA or 2500mA size.

What is ‘mA’ (milliamp hour)?

It’s a unit of electric current equal to one thousandth (1000) of an ampere. The SI base unit for electric current is the ampere. One ampere, is equal to 1000 milliamps, or 1 amps.

Example:

A 2500 mA battery equals 2.5 amps of stored power.

A 1500 mA battery equals 1.5 amps of stored power.

Rechargers:

I use two types of chargers, a fast recharger and the other is a smart recharger.

The fast recharger;

is just that, fast. It can recharge for “AA” batteries in as little as 15 minutes!

The smart recharger;

has a ‘conditioning’ charge. After a number of battery uses, the NiMH can develop a ‘memory’ or it thinks it is fully recharged but it’s not. The battery will tell the charger it’s full and the charger then stops the recharge cycle. The smart charger has a special conditioning charge function, user selected, will automatically discharge the battery completely, then recharge the battery to 100% of its’ rated (milliamps) capacity. Note that this conditioning charge is far slower than the fast recharger.

Below are the two chargers I use and recommend.

Important Note:

Every NiMH battery will have its’ mA capacity printed on the side. DO NOT MIX mA capacities either in the charger or in the device they’re used in. Why? Because the batteries have a chip (computer) in each one. This chip talks to the charger and lets the charger know when it is full and doesn’t need any more recharging. The typical charger has a four bay or battery capacity. If you put into the charger three, 2500 mA and one 1500 mA battery, the lower mA battery will be recharged first but, what happens is when the 1500 mA talks to the charger and says it’s full the charger will shut-off the cycle. What happens to the three 2500 mA batteries? They will only be charged to 1500 mA. Only charge the same mA batteries at the same time be it 1, 2, 3 or 4 of the same mA batteries.

Quick NiMH battery Facts:

Charge cycles: Up to 700 times

Charge retention: Lasts up to 12 months

The CCRANE Quick Charger (Smart Charger)

CCRANE showing charger compartment. Will charge one or up to four at a time of “AAA”, “AA”, “C” or “D” size batteries. Either NiMH or NiCad batteries.

Energizer Quick Charger (15 minute charge cycle)

Shown is a 2500 mA battery label. All rechargeable batteries will be labeled with their mA capacity. I also date each battery when purchased for overall age reference.

Both chargers, come with a 110v wall plug/cord and a 12v plug/cord for charging off your power port in your car or solar system if you have one. If 110v grid is down you can recharge your batteries from your car battery.

Update, Automobiles and Electronics

Yesterday, I went to my preferred mechanic shop to discuss the issues I was having with my van. He plugged my van into his code reader and it again showed nothing wrong. So then he logged onto his online data source program where all members can search for problems they can’t solve and when they do solve them they post what they did to correct the issue. The top ten fixes were moisture in the PCM (car computer) connection! He spent about 45 minutes with me and charged me nothing!

So, yesterday I took the cowl off to get to the PCM. A Pain in the butt job.

Here’s what I found:

This is the PCM module plug. Notice the rusty water marks! Water got up there at some time.


This is the receptacle of the plug. No noticeable moisture was seen.


This is the plug. Same thing, no moisture seen.

There was no obvious moisture in the connection but I blew it out anyway, then used a hair dryer to dry any moisture left, if any, then applied dielectric grease to all the pins and reassembled everything.

Look at all those pins, about 90 of them, each sends the different engine sensors data back and forth that keeps the engine running. For me, it’s unnecessarily complicated but I am old and like things simple.

Anyway, after assembly, I got in the car, started the engine and test drove it. For the last day and a half not one of the old issues showed up! Problem fixed and runs like new! I did drop off a box of cookies for him and his mechanics. He was happy we found the issue with the van, and so was I.

I wonder how many people get shafted into buying a new computer for a $1,000+ rather than cleaning the plug first?




Update, Automobiles and Electronics

Click here to view the original post.

Yesterday, I went to my preferred mechanic shop to discuss the issues I was having with my van. He plugged my van into his code reader and it again showed nothing wrong. So then he logged onto his online data source program where all members can search for problems they can’t solve and when they do solve them they post what they did to correct the issue. The top ten fixes were moisture in the PCM (car computer) connection! He spent about 45 minutes with me and charged me nothing!

So, yesterday I took the cowl off to get to the PCM. A Pain in the butt job.

Here’s what I found:

This is the PCM module plug. Notice the rusty water marks! Water got up there at some time.


This is the receptacle of the plug. No noticeable moisture was seen.


This is the plug. Same thing, no moisture seen.

There was no obvious moisture in the connection but I blew it out anyway, then used a hair dryer to dry any moisture left, if any, then applied dielectric grease to all the pins and reassembled everything.

Look at all those pins, about 90 of them, each sends the different engine sensors data back and forth that keeps the engine running. For me, it’s unnecessarily complicated but I am old and like things simple.

Anyway, after assembly, I got in the car, started the engine and test drove it. For the last day and a half not one of the old issues showed up! Problem fixed and runs like new! I did drop off a box of cookies for him and his mechanics. He was happy we found the issue with the van, and so was I.

I wonder how many people get shafted into buying a new computer for a $1,000+ rather than cleaning the plug first?




Automobiles an Electronics

My personal vehicle is a 2004 Ford Freestar with 168,000 miles and still uses no oil. It’s my everyday transportation and my Bug Out Vehicle, camping/fishing van. I planned on keeping it for at least another 6 years. Overall it’s in excellent condition, handles very well, quiet, comfortable and roomy.
Just got back from a trip to Dallas, Texas, a 2,084 mile round trip. Ran like a top except on the way back. About 500 miles from home it without warning bucked hard twice in a row like the ignition completely shut-off for ½ a second. Never did that before. After about another 75 miles I stopped at a rest area for a break. When ready to continue the van started fine, I backed out of the parking space, put it in drive and it stalled! It started right up again and I was on my way. The remainder of the trip it bucked again three more times. Made it home without any further issues.

Once home I contacted my mobile mechanic. He came over and put his code reader on and it showed no errors or issues with anything. Hmmm? It continues to (sometimes, not all the time) stall when backing out of a parking space or when sitting at a red light. The mechanic said it sound like an ‘idle air control valve’ and changed it and the fuel filter, $150. Still stalls. Sooo, thinking I may have gotten a bad tank of gas with the possibility of water in it, I added ½ gallon of alcohol to mix with the water if any were in the tank. Drove the mix out and still stalls and an occasional buck.

I then drove the van to my preferred mechanic shop, explained what was happening it to him. He agreed with installing the control valve and fuel filter. But with the code reader showing no faults, he said all they could do is look at it and hope it stalled when analyzing it. Then said the feared words “we may have to start replacing parts like the injectors, ignition coil-pacs, fuel pump and most feared the computer”. Any of these replacements could cost more than the van is worth.

I went onto Google and searched for my vehicle with the issues I’m experiencing. Holy cow, I am not alone. There are tons of problems with Ford electrics. The most common appears to be water migrating into the main computer connection. Why doesn’t Ford put the computer under the dashboard where it’s easy to get to and in a better environment? I guess it’s one of Fords better ideas! Hopefully, it’s simple as moisture in the connector that can be dry out and be on my way. If not I will have to get rid of a really nice well-maintained van.

Closing Comment:

We are not now and not for a long time be ready for failsafe “Driverless Cars, Trucks, Trains and Planes” if designers can’t handle the simple electronics of today.

Today’s new cars and trucks, especially at the extreme cost of them, need to have at least a 15 year, 250,000 mile bumper to bumper, no cost warrantee.

Automobiles an Electronics

Click here to view the original post.
My personal vehicle is a 2004 Ford Freestar with 168,000 miles and still uses no oil. It’s my everyday transportation and my Bug Out Vehicle, camping/fishing van. I planned on keeping it for at least another 6 years. Overall it’s in excellent condition, handles very well, quiet, comfortable and roomy.
Just got back from a trip to Dallas, Texas, a 2,084 mile round trip. Ran like a top except on the way back. About 500 miles from home it without warning bucked hard twice in a row like the ignition completely shut-off for ½ a second. Never did that before. After about another 75 miles I stopped at a rest area for a break. When ready to continue the van started fine, I backed out of the parking space, put it in drive and it stalled! It started right up again and I was on my way. The remainder of the trip it bucked again three more times. Made it home without any further issues.

Once home I contacted my mobile mechanic. He came over and put his code reader on and it showed no errors or issues with anything. Hmmm? It continues to (sometimes, not all the time) stall when backing out of a parking space or when sitting at a red light. The mechanic said it sound like an ‘idle air control valve’ and changed it and the fuel filter, $150. Still stalls. Sooo, thinking I may have gotten a bad tank of gas with the possibility of water in it, I added ½ gallon of alcohol to mix with the water if any were in the tank. Drove the mix out and still stalls and an occasional buck.

I then drove the van to my preferred mechanic shop, explained what was happening it to him. He agreed with installing the control valve and fuel filter. But with the code reader showing no faults, he said all they could do is look at it and hope it stalled when analyzing it. Then said the feared words “we may have to start replacing parts like the injectors, ignition coil-pacs, fuel pump and most feared the computer”. Any of these replacements could cost more than the van is worth.

I went onto Google and searched for my vehicle with the issues I’m experiencing. Holy cow, I am not alone. There are tons of problems with Ford electrics. The most common appears to be water migrating into the main computer connection. Why doesn’t Ford put the computer under the dashboard where it’s easy to get to and in a better environment? I guess it’s one of Fords better ideas! Hopefully, it’s simple as moisture in the connector that can be dry out and be on my way. If not I will have to get rid of a really nice well-maintained van.

Closing Comment:

We are not now and not for a long time be ready for failsafe “Driverless Cars, Trucks, Trains and Planes” if designers can’t handle the simple electronics of today.

Today’s new cars and trucks, especially at the extreme cost of them, need to have at least a 15 year, 250,000 mile bumper to bumper, no cost warrantee.

Flashlights

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We all need them at one time or another because the power will inevitably go out. In the days prior to LED’s you could buy a basic incandescent flashlight using ‘C’ cells for $3-$4 and life was fine.
Today, you can’t find any of those old flashlights and are stuck with buying LED flashlights, but the cost of the new LED technology was painfully expensive and they were packed with multiple unneeded modes like low, medium, high and strobe. Well, all I want is just a basic flashlight that’s just ‘on’ and ‘off’. Full-featured LED lighting is what my headlamp is for.

A couple months ago, WalMart had just what I was looking for, an LED flashlight that’s simply ‘on’ or ‘off’ and best of all cost just $1.00 each including batteries! I have no idea how WalMart can buy, stock and sell these flashlights for just $1.

I bought 10 of them, they’re perfect for around the house, garage, kitchen drawers, nightstands, bathrooms, etc.

  • They have a push button tailstock ‘on’ ‘off’ switch

  • Use 3 caged ‘AAA’ batteries. The batteries as expected are not worth much and don’t last long. I replaced mine with DuraCell batteries and they’re still going strong.

  • Overall it’s a surprisingly well-made flashlight.

  • Remember to unscrew the tail cap and remove the insulating disc before use. The insulator is so people can’t turn them on in the store and leave them on.

  • Are they a replacement for a Tactical LED Light? Of course not.



Flashlights

We all need them at one time or another because the power will inevitably go out. In the days prior to LED’s you could buy a basic incandescent flashlight using ‘C’ cells for $3-$4 and life was fine.
Today, you can’t find any of those old flashlights and are stuck with buying LED flashlights, but the cost of the new LED technology was painfully expensive and they were packed with multiple unneeded modes like low, medium, high and strobe. Well, all I want is just a basic flashlight that’s just ‘on’ and ‘off’. Full-featured LED lighting is what my headlamp is for.

A couple months ago, WalMart had just what I was looking for, an LED flashlight that’s simply ‘on’ or ‘off’ and best of all cost just $1.00 each including batteries! I have no idea how WalMart can buy, stock and sell these flashlights for just $1.

I bought 10 of them, they’re perfect for around the house, garage, kitchen drawers, nightstands, bathrooms, etc.

  • They have a push button tailstock ‘on’ ‘off’ switch

  • Use 3 caged ‘AAA’ batteries. The batteries as expected are not worth much and don’t last long. I replaced mine with DuraCell batteries and they’re still going strong.

  • Overall it’s a surprisingly well-made flashlight.

  • Remember to unscrew the tail cap and remove the insulating disc before use. The insulator is so people can’t turn them on in the store and leave them on.

  • Are they a replacement for a Tactical LED Light? Of course not.



Just a reminder

During IRMA, many used their generators and ate food and drank water from the pantry. Most people think the hurricane is gone and they can relax. Not so! Another one just came through and if you are one that used your preps up you could be in deep trouble standing in line at the empty supermarket shelves or waiting in endless line at a gas station just like the rest of the unprepared people.

Re-stock now!

Just a reminder

Click here to view the original post.

During IRMA, many used their generators and ate food and drank water from the pantry. Most people think the hurricane is gone and they can relax. Not so! Another one just came through and if you are one that used your preps up you could be in deep trouble standing in line at the empty supermarket shelves or waiting in endless line at a gas station just like the rest of the unprepared people.

Re-stock now!

Just a reminder

During IRMA, many used their generators and ate food and drank water from the pantry. Most people think the hurricane is gone and they can relax. Not so! Another one just came through and if you are one that used your preps up you could be in deep trouble standing in line at the empty supermarket shelves or waiting in endless line at a gas station just like the rest of the unprepared people.

Re-stock now!

Just a reminder

During IRMA, many used their generators and ate food and drank water from the pantry. Most people think the hurricane is gone and they can relax. Not so! Another one just came through and if you are one that used your preps up you could be in deep trouble standing in line at the empty supermarket shelves or waiting in endless line at a gas station just like the rest of the unprepared people.

Re-stock now!

Coleman New Propane Camp Stove

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My 30+ year old Sears Propane Camp Stove finally gave up during Hurricane IRMA. One of the burners valves started leaking propane and resulted in a flame around the valve knob. I turned it off and used only the one good burner for the duration of the hurricane. In all the years I’ve used the stove this was the only problem with it. It is now retired in the landfill.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a new Coleman propane stove because it has 10,000btu burners where I believe the old Sears stove had much lower btu burners. The extra btu’s now to heat my Coleman fold-up oven much hotter, from barely 300f up to 400f+ degrees needed for all the baking I do in it, like bread, dinner rolls, pizza, etc. Coleman’s new burner design and the regulator is noticeably better, uses less propane and produce much more uniform heat throughout the cooking cycle.

The new stove.

Initial testing of the new stove propane:

Its propane consumption and performance is encouraging.

Percolated Coffee, 8 cup percolator for this test:
Turning the burner on high it took 7:44 seconds to begin to perk.
It took another 5 minutes (typical) to complete the brew cycle with the burner flame reduced by half for controlled perking.
Total time the burner was on start to finish was, 12.44 seconds.
Total propane consumed was 36.0 grams (1.26 oz).

Heating a can of Soup:
Typical can sizes of Campbell’s Soup is for Chunky 18.6 net wt. or for Condensed Soup including the can of water is 21.0 net wt. I used the Chunky soup for this test.
Turning the burner on high it took 2:35 seconds to bring the soup up to 180f the industry standard temperature for serving soup.
Total propane consumed was 7 grams (.24 oz) for the 2:35 seconds cooking time.

Boiling ½ gallon of water to sterilize for drinking:

With burner on high it took 6:48 seconds to bring the water to a rolling boil and using a thermometer verified it was at 212f degrees.

Propane used: 25 grams (.88 oz)

Camp Stove Coleman Oven:

Time to pre-heat to 350f degrees, burner on high, 4:30 seconds.

Propane used, including pre-heating. To maintain 350f for an 18:00 minute baking cycle, I only needed about ¼ the burner flame. This temperature is typical for baking bread or dinner rolls used 45 grams (1.58 oz) total amount of propane used.


Propane, Typical Single Burner Consumption Rate:
A one pound cylinder will run a single burner on high for 2 hours (120 minutes).
A one pound cylinder will make 12 pots of coffee.
A one pound cylinder will heat 64 cans of soup.

A one pound cylinder will boil 8.5 gallons of water to sterilized for drinking.
A one pound cylinder will burn for 12, 10 minute cycles for general meal preparations.

A 20 pound RV tank:

Will provide 240, 10-minute cycles for general meal preparations.

A 30 pound RV tank:

Will provide 360, 10-minute cycles for general meal preparations.

One of the common questions about propane:

What is the shelf-life of propane?
Propane has an indefinite shelf-life. As long as the tank or cylinder are in sound condition and doesn’t leak it will last as long as the tank that contains it.

Another question:

Do the one pound camping cylinders leak over time?
Well, it is possible because there is a mechanical valve that makes the seal.
I checked eight of my one pound cylinders that I have in storage with several over 15 years, and none of them have leaked. This was verified by using a gram scale and checking the weight each cylinder and found they were within 2 grams of each other and were the same weight as two brand new cylinders.

Manufacturers Comments:

  • Wind Block™ panels help shield burners from wind and adjust for various pan sizes

  • Perfect Flow™ technology provides consistent performance, even in extreme conditions

  • Perfect Heat™ technology for more efficient cooking with less fuel

  • 20,000 total BTUs of cooking power

  • Fits a 12-in. and 10-in. pan at the same time

  • 2 independently adjustable burners give you precise control for 2 temperature zones

  • Durable, chrome-plated grate is removable for easy cleaning

  • Aluminized steel cooktop for durable rust-resistance

  • Lasts up to 1 hour with both burners on high on one 16.4-oz propane cylinder

  • Perfect for camping, hunting, tailgating and other outdoor occasions

  • 3-year limited warranty

Photo’s of Oven Test

Stove with ½ gallon of water and timer.

Percolator and timer.

Soups, timer, and temperature gauge.

Gram scale used for weighing propane usage.

Stove with oven.

Ovens’ temperature gauge. Need to add 100f to the reading for the actual inside oven temperature.

Oven with temperature gauge inside oven showing actual oven temperature compared to oven door gauge.

Made some dinner rolls to test the oven. Rolls ready to rise.

Rolls risen, 60 minutes.

Rolls baked, 18 minutes.

Roll bottoms. These rolls were baked on the lowest rack position. Browned the bottom to much and top not enough. I will use the middle rack position from now on as this will balance the browning.

Rolls ready to eat! Yes, they were very good eating.

Overall:

The new stove is vastly improved over older models, mostly due to new burner design, it burns hotter using less fuel.

It will take some experimenting to find out the correct flame size to maintain the oven baking temperature and the proper rack position (there are 3 positions) for the types of food you bake. It’s not difficult to use and does a good job for camp baking. Worth owning!



C Crane, Skywave Portable Radio

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Two weeks ago I purchased this radio and used it for the first time during Hurricane IRMA. It is a very good, very small radio that does just about everything you could ask of a small pocket radio. Naturally, it has AM/FM, Weather, important to me at that time and Shortwave.
The most impressive feature of this radio is the battery life of 60-70 hours on two “AA” batteries and its simple intuitive controls. Don’t need a manual every time you want to use it!

During the Hurricane, I used the radio because the power went out at the motel shortly after we arrived. All the hallway emergency lights came on as they should and apparently the Wi-Fi system ran on a backup battery also. The Wi-Fi connection became weaker and weaker until there was no signal available, so the radio was our connection to the outside events. This also meant no internet, no way to charge the laptops, i-pads or phones.

Link and more information:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QMTI6YK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 Small Lightweight Portable AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather/Airband Travel Clock Radio With Alarm
  • Lighted LCD Display, Rotary Volume Knob, Stereo Headphone Jack, Sleep Timer

  • 400 Memory Presets, Direct Entry Keypad, Autoscan Tuning, Signal Meter

  • Runs approx. 60-70 hrs. at moderate volume on (2) AA batteries (not included) or can be powered by an optional AC adapter

  • Includes Earbuds, Carry Case and Fold-out Backstand.

  • 1 Year Warranty.

C Crane, Skywave Portable Radio

Two weeks ago I purchased this radio and used it for the first time during Hurricane IRMA. It is a very good, very small radio that does just about everything you could ask of a small pocket radio. Naturally, it has AM/FM, Weather, important to me at that time and Shortwave.
The most impressive feature of this radio is the battery life of 60-70 hours on two “AA” batteries and its simple intuitive controls. Don’t need a manual every time you want to use it!

During the Hurricane, I used the radio because the power went out at the motel shortly after we arrived. All the hallway emergency lights came on as they should and apparently the Wi-Fi system ran on a backup battery also. The Wi-Fi connection became weaker and weaker until there was no signal available, so the radio was our connection to the outside events. This also meant no internet, no way to charge the laptops, i-pads or phones.

Link and more information:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00QMTI6YK/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 Small Lightweight Portable AM/FM/Shortwave/Weather/Airband Travel Clock Radio With Alarm
  • Lighted LCD Display, Rotary Volume Knob, Stereo Headphone Jack, Sleep Timer

  • 400 Memory Presets, Direct Entry Keypad, Autoscan Tuning, Signal Meter

  • Runs approx. 60-70 hrs. at moderate volume on (2) AA batteries (not included) or can be powered by an optional AC adapter

  • Includes Earbuds, Carry Case and Fold-out Backstand.

  • 1 Year Warranty.

Irma, last update 9-11-17

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Well it’s over, goodbye Irma. We were very lucky, again!
The motel lost its power about 8:00pm last night and didn’t come back on until we were checking out Monday about 10:30am, it was windy but no rain. At home, I had one big tree 20-inch diameter down and one next to it about 16-inch diameter leaning and ready to go. None hit the house just a bunch of branches all over the yard and there was no flooding.

Also no power at home, the power company says maybe a week or more before power is restored. So the Honda gets to earn its keep.

My front yard before clean-up.

Neighbors yard, lost two trees.

My front yard tree. Lucky all trees down fell into the street!

Neighbors cutting it up so not to block the road.

Another view of it.

My side yard.

The other side yard.

My winters firewood stack blown over.

A house a couple yards away. Could have been bad if it fell on the house.

Irma 9-10 Update #3, Sunday 7:30pm

Starting to get gusty, maybe 50mph at times.
The power at the motel went out several times, once for an hour. No motel coffee, A/C, TV or lights, hope it stays on because the room gets warm quickly and no windows that open. The downside of evacuation is you can get trapped in an uncomfortable bug out location.

Nothing special going on today, actually been kind of nice out. Just similar to one of our typical thunderstorms. We will be heading home Monday afternoon just 30+mph expected in the morning fading to normal winds. A neighbor said, no trees down or high winds at home. Good!

Irma 9-10 Update #3, Sunday 7:30pm

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Starting to get gusty, maybe 50mph at times.
The power at the motel went out several times, once for an hour. No motel coffee, A/C, TV or lights, hope it stays on because the room gets warm quickly and no windows that open. The downside of evacuation is you can get trapped in an uncomfortable bug out location.

Nothing special going on today, actually been kind of nice out. Just similar to one of our typical thunderstorms. We will be heading home Monday afternoon just 30+mph expected in the morning fading to normal winds. A neighbor said, no trees down or high winds at home. Good!

Irma 9-10 #2, Sunday Morning 7:30am

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Bummer, the power just went out at 7:20 am
The motel I’m at has 127 rooms and is fully booked. I thought for sure I’d have a hard time finding two parking spaces for my cars because most people who would stay here are locals with two cars. Last night and this morning there’s hardly anyone here! Found out JEA, our electric company, booked all available rooms (95 of them)  for their emergency crews to stay at and stage repair materials. I guess it’s nice to actually see advanced planning so when the power goes out they have the borrowed from other states and counties the crews necessary to get it back on.

The weather yesterday Saturday evening and this morning Sunday was and is nice now, overcast with a few light showers and a few gusts maybe 25mph. None related to the hurricane yet.

During Sunday, today, the rain bands will start to move in this morning and grow in strength until about 12:00 noon Monday, the peak or the eye is closest to me, then taper off as the storm moves north out of my area.

I’m thinking Sunday is going to be one big bore for us just sitting here waiting for it to be over. My feeling right now is I may go home Monday evening because the winds will not be what they are predicting.

IRMA 9-7 Update

As typical for hurricanes, they are unpredictable. Two days ago Irma’s eye was going to go right over the top of me (Jacksonville) as a Cat-4. Serious winds at 150mph at the eye wall and I’d be hit with two eye walls. The first with winds right to left and after the calm eye passes then the reverse with left to right winds. No doubt I’d have serious home damage if not totaled.
As of today, the hurricanes path has moved to the west coast, about 120 miles from my home. The results for me will be dealing with only 80mph winds. Been there before with no home damage except for trees down and tree branch debris everywhere. Very tolerable.

Needless to say, I am a Prepper and have a motel room booked about 10 miles from home for the entirety of the storm. It’s on higher ground and a building rated for high winds.

Right now I’m home waiting for my 3:00pm room check in. It is quite nice out right now but come Monday morning, the rain bands and winds will hit here dumping an estimated 10-12 inches of rain within 6-8 hours.

More later.

PVC Water Pipe Fish Trap

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Should we ever find ourselves in a Venezuela situation, where food is scarce or rationed, you’ll need alternative food sources. Many believe they’ll go hunting for extra meat to eat. Trouble is so will every other hunter and the game will be quickly depleted, plus I doubt the acting government in charge will allow you to be in public with a gun.
Another source for food is fishing. If you’re fortunate and live near lakes, rivers, or like myself next to major water like the Intracoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean and have reasonable fishing skills you’ll have more fish than you can eat.

I came across this video below that shows how to make a simple fish trap made from PVC pipe and two-liter bottles. Interesting, and it gives you the ability to fish all night without being there. Note, this is probably illegal so be careful.

Also in the videos side bar they make traps for snakes, and yes snakes taste good. I believe this video was taken in Cambodia.

North Korea a Serious Situation

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It reminds me of the Cuban Missile Crisis, it was a very serious situation then. We were dealing with sane people back then, but today the NoKo leadership are full blown nut cases.
We also find out today that NoKo has 10-20 miniature nuke warheads that can be delivered by their current missiles with the ability to reach the east coast. And don’t forget NoKo has subs that can deliver nukes. If we were issued an attack warning we would have only minutes till detonation.

If an EMP attack were to happen and it was only 25% as devastating as suggested it could be, we will as a country lose millions of citizens and the country may never recover from just one let alone multiple targets.

I suggest we review our preps now and restock accordingly with food, water, camping gear and plenty of propane for cooking and water sterilization.

Below are two links to articles about EMP that are located in my sidebar. Worth your time to review.

The EMP Threat to Canada and the USA:

EMP Pulse Event:

Geezer Truths

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1. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. 

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger. 

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font. 

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? 

6. Was learning cursive really necessary? 

7. Map Quest or Google Maps really need to start their directions on # 5.  I’m  pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. 

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. 

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired. 

10. Bad decisions make good stories. 

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. 

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray?  I don’t want to have to restart my collection… again. 

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to. 

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. 

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers.  I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay. 

17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option. 

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. 

19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said? 

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front.  Stay strong, brothers and sisters! 

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. 

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time, while half asleep. 

23. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important. (Ladies .. Quit Laughing! )

It just gets better as you get older, doesn’t it? 

I was in a Starbucks Coffee recently when my stomach started rumbling and I realized that I desperately needed to fart.  The place was packed, but the music was really loud so to get relief and reduce embarrassment I timed my farts to the beat of the music.  After a couple of songs I started to feel much better.  I finished my coffee and noticed that everyone was staring at me.  I  suddenly remembered that I was listening to my IPod (with ear piece) – and how was your day? 

(This is what happens when old people start using technology!)

 I Would Like To Add One.

At What Point-In-Life Do We Become “OLD PEOPLE” ? It seems like I’ve been “Middle Aged” most of my life!


Geezer Truths

1. Sometimes I’ll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you’re wrong. 

3. I totally take back all those times I didn’t want to nap when I was younger. 

4. There is a great need for a sarcasm font. 

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet? 

6. Was learning cursive really necessary? 

7. Map Quest or Google Maps really need to start their directions on # 5.  I’m  pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood. 

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died. 

9. I can’t remember the last time I wasn’t at least kind of tired. 

10. Bad decisions make good stories. 

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment when you know that you just aren’t going to do anything productive for the rest of the day. 

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu-Ray?  I don’t want to have to restart my collection… again. 

13. I’m always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to. 

14. I keep some people’s phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call. 

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well. 

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers.  I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Light than Kay. 

17. I wish Google Maps had an “Avoid Ghetto” routing option. 

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger. 

19. How many times is it appropriate to say “What?” before you just nod and smile because you still didn’t hear or understand a word they said? 

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front.  Stay strong, brothers and sisters! 

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever. 

22. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey – but I’d bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time, while half asleep. 

23. The first testicular guard, the “Cup,” was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important. (Ladies .. Quit Laughing! )

It just gets better as you get older, doesn’t it? 

I was in a Starbucks Coffee recently when my stomach started rumbling and I realized that I desperately needed to fart.  The place was packed, but the music was really loud so to get relief and reduce embarrassment I timed my farts to the beat of the music.  After a couple of songs I started to feel much better.  I finished my coffee and noticed that everyone was staring at me.  I  suddenly remembered that I was listening to my IPod (with ear piece) – and how was your day? 

(This is what happens when old people start using technology!)

 I Would Like To Add One.

At What Point-In-Life Do We Become “OLD PEOPLE” ? It seems like I’ve been “Middle Aged” most of my life!


Changes to my Side Bar Categories

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I’m going to make a couple changes to the category side bar.
One will be the deletion of several sailing blogs. For me and where I live, a sailboat would make a great Bug Out Vehicle (BOV) and for anyone else who has easy access to the oceans.

Reading sailboat blogs are fun and makes me want to join them, so as I came across other interesting sailboat blogs I added them. Suitable BOV live aboard sailboats such as 30 to 39 feet costing $25,000 to $80,000 are comfortable to live on but the maintenance is very expensive. Some who live and sail on this size of boat claim they were on a tight budget but actually didn’t have a budget. They have plenty of money so that rules out their thoughts as Preppers! Another blog features an upgrade from a tired 37-foot boat to a $500,000 catamaran! Oh sure, budget my butt!

Just a note; if I were to be a liveaboard on a 39-foot sailboat the local marina charges $400 a month plus electric for the docking. It includes Wi-Fi, bath house and laundry facilities.

I will keep three Sailing Blogs because they are green start-up sailors and reading them will show you what they have gone through from the very beginning of their adventure if you’d like to have a sailboat BOV:

“Zero to Cruising”

“Life on The Hook”

“Mid-Life Cruising”

If you want to keep reading the others, you’ll have to copy their address and save them for yourself. Next week I’ll make the deletions.

I also added another category “Opinion Blogs”:

Warning the language can be strong! These blogs as I add them, are ticked off Patriots and vent their feelings.

Firewood

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I was a little too low on firewood for this 2017 hurricane season. So I ordered a face cord to get me through the season, after the season is over then I’ll order another face cord to finish out the winter. The reason I like to have some wood on hand is just incase a major storm takes the grid down for a long time and I should run out of propane I can still boil water and cook in the fireplace!  J
Also, I’m thinking about trying some of the “BIO-Bricks” rather than regular firewood. I’m definitely going to pick a few up to see how well the burn in my fireplace before committing to buying a load of them.

Info Link:

https://www.ruralking.com/wood-fuel-blocks-greenheat-20pk.html?utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIjZTH15ut1QIVDnZ-Ch3z2g9dEAQYAyABEgKJMPD_BwE

Useless Thoughts

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I read that 4,153,237 people got married last year.  Not to cause any trouble, but shouldn’t that be an even number?
Today a man knocked on my door and asked for a small donation towards the local swimming pool.  I gave him a glass of water.

I find it ironic that the colors red, white, and blue stand for freedom until they are flashing behind you.

When wearing a bikini, women reveal 90% of their body… men are so polite they only look at the covered parts.

Relationships are a lot like algebra.  Have you ever looked at your X and wondered Y?

America is a country which produces citizens who will cross the ocean to fight for democracy but won’t cross the street to vote.

You know that tingly little feeling you get when you like someone?  That’s your common sense leaving your body.

Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?

My therapist says I have a preoccupation with vengeance.  We’ll see about that.

I think my neighbor is stalking me as she’s been googling my name on her computer.  I saw it through my telescope last night.

Money talks… but all mine ever says is good-bye.

You’re not fat, you’re just… easier to see.

If you think nobody cares whether you’re alive, try missing a couple of car payments.

I can’t understand why women are okay that JC Penny has an older women’s clothing line named, “ Sag Harbor”.

My therapist said that my narcissism causes me to misread social situations.  I’m pretty sure she was hitting on me.

My 60-year kindergarten reunion is coming up soon and I’m worried about the 175 pounds I’ve gained since then.

Denny’s has a slogan, “If it’s your birthday, the meal is on us”.  If you’re in Denny’s and it’s your birthday, your life sucks!

The pharmacist asked me my birth date again today.  I’m pretty sure she’s going to get me something.

The location of your mailbox shows you how far away from your house you can be in a robe before you start looking like a mental patient.

I think it’s pretty cool how Chinese people made a language entirely out of tattoos.

Money can’t buy happiness, but it keeps the kids in touch!

The reason Mayberry was so peaceful and quiet was because nobody was married. Andy, Aunt Bea, Barney, Floyd, Howard, Goober, Gomer, Sam, Earnest T Bass, Helen, Thelma Lou, Clara and, of course, Opie were all single. The only married person was Otis, and he stayed drunk.




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Cherry-Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

This is just too easy and is it good!

Below is my very first try at this recipe using the Pillsbury Crescent Dough. I plan to tweak the recipe to use my White Bread Recipe and different fillings. What a simple and minimal ingredient preparedness comfort food.

Ingredients:

1 package (3 oz) cream cheese, softened

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

1 teaspoon almond extract

¼ cup sliced almonds

¼ cup chopped maraschino cherries, well drained

1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 1 can (8 oz) Pillsbury™ refrigerated Crescent Dough Sheet

½ cup powdered sugar

2 teaspoons milk

Directions:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. Grease cookie sheet with shortening. In a small bowl, beat cream cheese and granulated sugar with electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Stir in almond extract, almonds and cherries; set aside.

2. If using crescent rolls: Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press into 13×7-inch rectangle, firmly pressing perforations to seal. If using dough sheet: Unroll dough onto cookie sheet; press into 13×7-inch rectangle.

3. Spoon cream cheese mixture lengthwise down center 1/3 of the rectangle. On each long side of dough rectangle, make cuts 1 inch apart to edge of filling. Fold opposite strips of dough over filling and cross in center to form a braided appearance; seal ends.

4. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from cookie sheet to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.

5. In a small bowl, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth; drizzle over coffee cake. If desired, garnish with additional sliced almonds and cherries. Cover and refrigerate any remaining coffee cake.

Link to recipe source:

Link to my bread recipe:

http://livingprepared.blogspot.com/search/label/Baking%20Bread%20with%20100%25%20White%20Flour

End the Spoiled Brat Protesting

I think I figured out a sure way to stop all these Anti-American, selfish protestings.

Reinstate the DRAFT for duty in South Korea, Afghanistan, Syria, and Iraq! The protestors will all bail to either Canada or Mexico. Sorry Canada but our problem is solved!

Concealed Carry urged by Repub Congressmen for Congressmen but not a word from the Dem’s!!!

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Also, not a word from Repub’s about we citizens and easing the laws for citizens to be able to protect ourselves with guns. I think we can look forward to the Dem’s using this event to move a gun ban on us.
Link:

SPAM French Fries

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Another perfect use for my new SPAM Slicer, SPAM Fries! Oh are they ever good!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 can of your favorite SPAM

Flour Dredge:

¾ cup flour

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp garlic

½ tsp black pepper

1 egg +2 tbs water for wash (enough for ½ can of spam, 2 eggs for 1 can)

1 cup bread crumbs (regular or Panko, I used panko)

Directions:

Cut Spam into French fry size/shapes

Dredge in flour

Dredge in egg wash

Dredge in bread crumbs

Deep fry 3-4 minutes

Dipping Sauce:

4 tbs mayo

2 tsp Dijon

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp lemon juice

Using the Spam Slicer I sliced the entire can into 9 slices (normal amount).

I then removed 4 slices and place them aside.

The remaining stack of 5 slices I rotated 90 degrees, placed in the slicer and then sliced them into French Fry shapes/sticks. Really simple to do.

All the ingredients for a typical dredge and fry.

The Fry Daddy doing its thing. Frying 5-6 at a time.

The finished fries, yummy!


SPAM French Fries

Another perfect use for my new SPAM Slicer, SPAM Fries! Oh are they ever good!

Recipe:

Ingredients:

1 can of your favorite SPAM

Flour Dredge:

¾ cup flour

1 tsp paprika

¼ tsp garlic

½ tsp black pepper

1 egg +2 tbs water for wash (enough for ½ can of spam, 2 eggs for 1 can)

1 cup bread crumbs (regular or Panko, I used panko)

Directions:

Cut Spam into French fry size/shapes

Dredge in flour

Dredge in egg wash

Dredge in bread crumbs

Deep fry 3-4 minutes

Dipping Sauce:

4 tbs mayo

2 tsp Dijon

2 cloves garlic

½ tsp lemon juice

Using the Spam Slicer I sliced the entire can into 9 slices (normal amount).

I then removed 4 slices and place them aside.

The remaining stack of 5 slices I rotated 90 degrees, placed in the slicer and then sliced them into French Fry shapes/sticks. Really simple to do.

All the ingredients for a typical dredge and fry.

The Fry Daddy doing its thing. Frying 5-6 at a time.

The finished fries, yummy!


Ball Canning Lids Improved?

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Today, I bought a dozen new quart canning jars for a new project I’m starting using #10 Cans of dehydrated foods. I noticed the label on top of the canning jars case stating a new “Sure Tight” lid that’s good for 18 months! Hmm, something new from Ball? To me that’s unusual for them in the dozens of years they have been the “Go To” reliable source of canning. Anyone have more information about these new lids? We’d like to hear about it.
Below is a copy of the PDF describing their new lid.

Here’s what the PDF had to say:

New Ball® Sure Tight™ Lids – 2017

The Ball® brand is introducing new canning lids for 2017. These lids will start appearing in stores where canning supplies are sold in May 2017. These lids will replace all Ball® and Kerr® lids. Current lid supplies are safe to use and will be sold until they are gone.

Information from the Manufacturer:

• Most significant performance improvement for home canning lids in 30 years.

• Twice the tinplate coating compared to current lids. They do not feel or look heavier than current lids.

• Additional rust resistance.

• Longer lasting seal, up to 18 months when following a tested and approved recipe. • No need to heat lids prior to placing on filled jars. Wash lids in warm, soapy water and rinse prior to use.

• No canning processing adjustments needed. Always use tested and approved recipes for safe home canning.

• All canning lids are for one canning use ONLY!

• All lids are best used within five years of purchase.

• Freezer safe. • Lid is printed with a spot to record the date the food was processed.  • BPA free.

• Made in the USA.

• For more information, see https://www.freshpreserving.com/canning-lids-101.html 

The USDA recommends that for best food quality, store home canned foods in a clean, cool, dark, dry location at a temperature between 50 and 70°F. It is also recommended for food quality purposes that you can no more food than you will use within a year; however, there is no specific shelf life for home canned foods.

Prepared by: Karen Blakeslee, M.S., Extension Associate, Department of Animal Sciences and Industry, K-State Research and Extension

Source:

Ball® Canning; Newell Brands; NationalCenter for Home Food Preservation, Dr. Elizabeth Andress, University of Georgia Extension

Disclaimer:

Reference to any specific commercial products, process, service, manufacturer, or company does not constitute its endorsement or recommendation.

Kansas StateUniversity Agricultural Experiment Station and Cooperative Extension Service K-State Research and Extension is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Issued in furtherance of Cooperative Extension Work, Acts of May 8 and June 30, 1914, as amended. KansasStateUniversity, CountyExtension Councils, Extension Districts, and United States Department of Agriculture Cooperating, John D. Floros, Director. March 201

Photo’s of the new jars and lids in the case and the label and lid with the new label close-up.

  

Pasta Machine, The Marcato Atlas Wellness 150

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The machine arrived! And the quality is far better than I expected.

 

My very first attempt using the machine was easy and I had no difficulty at all. Here’s a single serving recipe rolled out and ready to cut using the machine.

Here’s the Fettuccini cut from the single serving recipe not cooked yet.


The Fettuccini yield cooked.


The spaghetti cut from the single serving recipe not cooked yet.


The spaghetti yield cooked.

(When making this dough it was a little dry. I suspect I didn’t measure the flour accurately and needed to add a little water. I added 1 tbs of water but should have added 1 tsp as stated in the recipe. Then it came out wet and had to add 3 tbs more flour to get the dough right. This is why there is more than the fettuccini serving.)

[Blogger is giving me fits with the line spacing, don’t know why]

I have been making fresh pasta for several years using a rolling pin to roll to the proper thickness and a wood framed banjo wire type cutter to cut the rolled-out pasta to shape or size, this works but the rolled thickness is difficult to be consistent. I’ve been looking forward to the Marcato machine as it will be a lot easier and be produce a uniform dough thickness rather than hand rolling with a rolling pin. I make the dough using a food processor as this is a very quick way to make the dough! It still amazes me how fast the processor works.

This Marcato’s Original World-Famous Atlas Pasta Machine rolls and cuts pasta dough for making traditional lasagna, fettuccine, ravioli and spaghetti at home.

Is this a Prepper Machine?

Maybe, providing your disaster prep’s are nearing completion or you simply love fresh pasta to feed your family and friends. It’s especially useful as a prep tool if you have an alternative power source to power a food processor. I do have a small 200 watt solar system that easily handles the few seconds of power for the food processor. And yes, it is easy to make the dough by hand I know because that’s the way I used to make it, but the processor is lightening fast and very consistent.

Also, instead of stocking dry pasta long term, all you would need is to stock All Purpose white flour and make all the fresh pasta you could ever want providing you have eggs, however powdered eggs also work fine.

A 25lb bag of All Purpose flour fills perfectly a 5 gallon bucket. From this bucket you can produce 121 almost 2 cup servings of fresh cooked pasta.

Another note; it only take about 2 minutes to cook fresh pasta so be ready to cook it very quickly as compared to dry pasta.

Also, there are many knock-offs of this original premium Italian made machine. They are not worth your money, even though they are $20.00+ less. Buy the Italian made machine. This Marcato machine is a work of manufacturing art and is warranted for 10 years.

The Pasta Recipe I Use:

This is just too easy not to make.

Ingredients for almost a 2 cups cooked:

1 egg

2/3 cup flour

Directions:

Use a food processor if possible because it’s the easiest.

Add all the flour, then Pulse to aerate the flour.

Then add the slightly beaten egg/eggs.

Turn on and mix the dough for about 30 seconds.

If wet and sticky add a tablespoon at a time of flour.

If dry and crumbly add a teaspoon at a time of water.

Remove the dough from the processor, be careful of the sharp blade.

Knead the dough by hand until smooth, about 3-5 minutes.

Wrap dough ball in plastic then let the dough rest for about 15 minutes before you begin rolling it out.

Divide the dough into 2 pieces. Roll the dough thinner and thinner, progressing from ‘zero’  machine setting to the #5 for fettuccini or #7 for spaghetti, one step at a time.

Cut the dough sheet length in half then use the machine cut either Spaghetti or Fettuccine.

To cook the noodles, just boil them in salted water for about two minutes. They cook lightning fast, so don’t let them cook too long.

Important if making a lot of pasta: To keep the pasta dough or freshly cut dough from drying out, always keep it under a damp towel. The dough dries out very quickly if you don’t.

Links:

Link to Amazon for a detailed description or to buy:

Marcato Atlas Wellness 150 Pasta Machine:

Video by Marcato the manufacturer, how to use:

Atlas Wellness 150 directions for use and cleaning

Video by Cooks Illustrated,

How to Make Fresh Pasta (Homemade Fettuccine) Using the Marcato Pasta machine:

Buying from Amazon

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Have you ever noticed that when you look at a product on Amazon that you’d like to buy, noted the price, but don’t want to buy right then instead wanted to think about it for a few days? Then the next time you look and are ready to buy the price is higher! I find this to be common. Case in point is the pasta machine I just purchased.
  • The pasta machine when the first time I looked was $69.00

  • I went back to buy a week later and it was $70.00

  • I went back another week later and it was $73.00

  • Also, the machine is offered in seven different colors. I really wanted the Candy Red but the price for a colored unit over the polished stainless unit was at Amazon and multiple other sellers a $129.00, that’s just not going to happen for me!

I finally decided to order the polished stainless machine, but when I went to order it surprisingly it was back to $69.00. I also noticed they now offer the choice of colors for the same $69.00 (not $129.00)! So I have the Candy Red one on its way for $69.00 and free shipping! Should be here Thursday. Yippee!

Amazon in case you didn’t notice, saves your searches and to me appears to adjust the price higher to make a few more dollars and hustle you into buying at the new higher price! It also looks to me that Amazon (and WalMart) will soon put the brick and mortar stores out of business as they are growing very rapidly leaving us no other choice but to buy from these giants. We will soon have no choice and have to shop much smarter (other places or sources) to get the best honest prices.