I got my ramen noodles!

March 24, 2020

This is a big deal because I got the “rain check” for a case lot sale and this small country grocery store got hammered by people coming from the “big city” to grab/buy everything  for the Wu-flu virus.  Small stores/small towns don’t have the basic infrastructure to deal with a lot of people descending on them via this flu.

Folks in the cities, you are not going to escape this virus as it is every where.  You could be bringing that virus with you because it has a several days of being infectious though you feel fine.  Please stay at home as big cities have larger hospitals to deal with this infection.  Most small towns have a health clinic or very small hospital at best.  Most small towns depend on big city hospitals for trauma/emergency rooms or ICU beds.

I understand the feelings of fear and uncertainty with this virus.  It is a bit of the “fight or flight” syndrome that us human have and it’s tough to stay home and do almost nothing for days or  a couple of weeks. Staying home, social distancing and going out to stores only when you need something is exactly the best thing you can be doing.  How many hospitals have ICU beds/ ventilators do you think are in Idaho or in any other flyover states?

The Midwest grows food and drills for oil.  I’ll agree shipping all manufacturing of critical goods Overseas was a bad choice but the USA makes food, paper products, lumber and has oil along with a lot of basic machinery for mining, timber and other materials to make potential products once factories get up and running in about 3-18 months depending on how much retro-fitting or building factories from the ground up is required.

Despite what the “Elites” believe you can not conjure food nor factories with a “Thanos” snap   If we could start up factories yesterday. It will take at least 3-6 months for those factories to produce a large enough amount of products to be put on store shelves.  That is a very optimistic forecast  in the USA Factories.

Many stores like Dollar tree/Family dollar are hiring.  Or other companies that are considered essential TODAY!  You probably won’t replace all of your income but if you can pay utilities and have food in the house that is a start.  You can work on the bigger bills like, credit cards, rent and mortgages later in 30 days or in May.  Mortgage companies and banks are facing huge margin calls, so foreclosure notices should be slow for home owners and landlords.  Courts are shutting down and that should limit evictions for 30-90 days.

I’m not saying you should not pay your debts/bills.  This is an Emergency and food, fuel and utilities for your family comes first then rent, credit card bills, and the mortgage payment can be put off for a month or two.

Being fearful, scared or feeling a little bit panic is not only normal. It is a rational response as long as you don’t “Freeze” or get overwhelmed and do nothing.  Stop your panic, know what you have, know what you need and slowly get those things you need to live.  It might be cash to pay your bills. Heck I’ve prepping for almost a decade and while I feel confident in my preps, I feel a bit worn out with the washing my hands, getting the garden ready as quickly as possible rather than enjoying my time in my yard puttering around I’m focused at growing as much food as possible as quickly as possible.

Those tomatoes aren’t going to grow any faster because I’m in a PANIC!  This virus panic will take some time to show how bad it will be in the next few weeks.  Plan for the worst, hope for the best.  Get plenty of sleep, take your vitamins, putter around your garden, even if it a few pots of herbs on your balcony or in a window.  Clean your house and make it your sanctuary/safe space. This situation is going  to suck!  This situation will also pass. Humanity won’t die, the earth will be fine and with a little luck all people will realize Globalism sucks!


Dry skin from hand washing and cleaning up garden beds for planting.

March 22, 2020

I’m not all that invested on having skin soft to touch and usually my skin does not dry out or get scaly /cracked.  With all this additional hand washing the skin on my arms is starting to get very dry.  I’m not one to use lotions on my skin, but dry and cracking skin is a possible entry point for a virus.

I used my aunt’s home made lotion and it worked pretty good but it washed off every time I washed my hands.  I’m trying out my skin cream made with essential oils, rice bran oil and beeswax.  The beeswax in the skin cream is holding up against a few hand washings.  I think I’m seeing some healing/less cracking of the skin using this cream.  It is only the first day so I’ll need a couple of more days to see how effective this cream is for drying skin.  Mom really likes a Suave lotion hand cream with aloe to keep her skin from drying out and cracking.

I think that unprocessed real beeswax has some of the anti-viral, anti- bacterial properties of honey. That might be the difference between my aunt’s lotion and my skin salve/cream.  This is my opinion and what seems to work for me and is not backed up by any medical studies.

I had a good day cleaning up my  large raised garden beds.  One bed laid fallow last summer so I cleaned up a few weeds and that will be the bed for tomato and pepper starts. I cleaned another bed and that will be for root crops. Parsnips, carrots, radishes, turnips and some beets.  This bed has a frame work for Frost cloth to be added to the bed but the weather looks good for planting root/cole crops.

I have a bed that has reseeded onions.  I cleaned around the onions and want to add greens/lettuce via seeds and see how that works out. I have not started many plants from seed in my garden beds so it is a bit new to me and may fail.  I have plant starts as a backup but this gardening thing seems new to me though I have had a garden for over 10 years.   I can’t speak for others, but I still think of myself as a newbie growing a garden.

I cleaned up another section of grape vines/canes.  Grape vines need air to reach the ground but the grow in such a mess of attaching vines to everything.  Cut any grape vines back to the original plant. This is task is much easier in Spring when you don’t have to fight new vines or the leaves that make cleaning up the old canes difficult.

Sometimes less is more as new growth makes up for cleaning out old growth that does not produce.  I have a small city lot and I use raised beds to grow a garden.  I also started out growing plants in pots, buckets and kiddie pools.  If you have yard grow some food!  If you have a balcony grow a tomato or pepper plant in a bucket.  Grow some herbs in a small pot in your kitchen window.  Or any window that gets some sun!  Heck buy a LED plant light and start growing plants in your home.

Don’t let yourself not try something because you don’t know enough or you don’t have a perfect set up.   You will never have a perfect set up for any task.  This how you learn how to do things!  You will fail at stuff, that is how you learn.  Seek out others that have failed and then succeeded.  Fail early and fail often is a good thing because you learn fast!

It is very scary to think your garden is all the fresh veggies your family might have on hand.  That is not reality as the USA is a Food making powerhouse.  There will be food in stores given a few days to restock.  This is your chance to learn growing and preserving food for your future.   You will probably screw up, I know I did with my first garden.  My problem last year is I had more produce that I knew how to preserve.   Not a bad problem to have as you can give excess produce to your neighbors.

There is never a downside to a problem without a fix.  The USA can bring all medical manufacturing back to the USA.   All those USA companies want a bail out but don’t have factories in the USA need to bring back those factories the the USA.  US companies that use Foreign countries to Flag their ships.  Do any Cruise ships register/flag their ship as USA?  Nope the Cruise ship are flagged/based in Panama or other countries other than the USA.  But they want the USA to make good their losses.

We are starting to see the companies that have been “swimming nekid” using the USA when convenient for them.  But not paying taxes for that protection.  F* the Diamond Princess whining about the US government not helping them.  What Country did you register your boat.  Was it the USA?  Nope, go figure out yourself and whine to the country that registered your boat.

We can longer afford ships that use  other countries registration of convenience.  Not pay out as we have a bottomless money pit for people that can afford cruises.  Oh you were an idiot and put your cruise on your credit card or took out a vacation loan.  I’m not feeling you were cheated, nor much sympathy for your situation.  Oh I don’t  feel anger at you alone.  I also hate the idiots that buy ocean front property and expect the government to pay off when you get slammed by a storm or Hurricane.  This is a disaster but it is also a disaster made worse because of greed and Bail out US Federal economics.

 


Garden seeds started in the Jiffy box

March 18, 2020

I bought a couple of the larger Jiffy  (72 cell) starter box for seeds starts last summer. I’m using some older seeds but hoping for a 50% germination rate on the box I finished the seed starts today.  This box has a lot of tomatoes and hot and sweet peppers along with a few melons.  For the the next 2 weeks I’ll keep the box in the dark, warm and the soil damp but not soaked.  I have some smaller 3-4 inch pots to transfer the starts into gardening soil if I get good growth from the seed starts.  I have a LED full spectrum light set up for my indoor growing area by a window that gets good sunlight.  I’m going do a lot more starts of herbs in smaller pots.  Usually I start off with herbs from the farm store and they tend to die from neglect, getting root bound in pots.  This year the herbs are getting their own raised garden bed.

It’s a little to early to plant seeds in beds, as the average last frost date in my area is around May 10th and the irrigation water usually starts about the 15th of April.  This year I have PVC frames and I can use either heavy duty clear plastic or frost cloth to protect the plants in the raised beds.  While we had a long winter it has not been very cold and plants are growing like crazy.  My onions have reseeded and I have a reseeded small lettuce plant that is growing though it got a little frost nipped.  While I’d recommend you get some frost cloth or build a little mini-green house for your garden beds. just starting the seeds indoors will let you get a jump on the growing season.  Anything you can grow at home be it containers of herbs, a few tomato and pepper plants or other crops in raised beds or a larger garden space will help cut down on your food costs and you will eat food you know that you have grown yourself.  While I will bitch and moan about big Agriculture in the USA I have to say they can grow a lot of food.  Idaho for example grows many plants besides potatoes. Grapes, orchards full of cherries, pears, apples, peaches and apricots. Fields of wheat, corn, oats and yes, rice.  Beef, pork, chickens and daily farms with milk, butter, eggs and cheese.

The USA can grow food! While the oil/energy companies are getting hammered on price for oil and natural gas the product is still in the ground.  We can dig coal to keep the energy flowing for electricity.  The west uses dams to make a lot of Hydro/water powered electricity. Yes the USA screwed the pooch out sourcing manufacturing.  The USA still can make food, dig for oil, minerals, harvest our forests, grow cotton for clothing if it becomes cost effective for those industries to start working again.  Other countries say they will not share medical items, PPE and even drugs/pharmaceuticals.  I can understand why they would want those items for their citizens.  The USA could save all the food and energy they produce for it’s own citizens.

I’m very sorry China you are suffering from a plague of locusts? Fire storms ravaging some of your provinces?  How is the production of chickens and pork going as your country is ravaged by pork and avian flu destroying your pork herds and your poultry farms.  My old phone, PC and LED TV will last a few years.  China what food will your people have to eat this year?


People are getting tense, stressed and frustrated around here (SW Idaho)

March 16, 2020

I admit that I’m one of those people getting frustrated because I’m not seeing much in the way of social distancing. I stopped at the Family Dollar because Mom wanted a comforter she saw on Friday.  The parking lot wasn’t full and the amount of people in the store did not seem excessive when I got in the check out line.  Things changed quickly and the checkout line started stacking up behind me and no one was keeping any real “social” distance.  Many people were in and out of the store searching for toilet paper, wipes or other items that had sold out and leaving empty handed.  Some of the shelves were empty but there were plenty of OTC meds, cleaning supplies heck even some milk, beer and wine on the shelves.

It was like people had tunnel vision to get one or two items. If that item wasn’t available they were off to another store.  This is why I think you need to make a list of all the items you want to buy/have at home.  Every time you go shopping you are taking a risk. I think it is better to try and get as many items on your list at any one store, rather than focus on getting one or two items but going into many different stores.  I was committed to the check out line but while I was at the store I picked up some red pepper flake, a 15 pack of beer along with Mom’s bedspread set. I wanted the red pepper flake and the beer was just a spur of the moment purchase that might become important if I have to keep dealing with idiots.

I have been tempted to carry a small spray bottle of water to spray people who don’t understand the concept of social distance in lines or other gathering spots.  A bit like spritzing your cat or dog when the pet goes where they should not!  I wonder if people would learn that the spray bottle of water droplet is sort of like if someone is coughing or sneezing on them and their grocery items?  The only reasons I am holding back is either I’d get arrested or sued.  So if you are out shopping, assume someone has a spray bottle of water or germs and keep your distance of 6 feet/2 yards or 2 meters.

I had a little tickle in my throat like I might be coming down with a cold on Sunday so my tolerance of idiots was very low. I got my humidifier fired up with a few drops of tea tree oil.  Today I got out and cut some wood for kindling and opened up the doors to get more fresh air moving through the house. The tickle is almost gone. Getting out in the sunshine, opening the house up to fresh air really helped boost my spirits as well as feeling much better physically.  I’m taking a B complex with vitamin C, a mineral compound of calcium, Magnesium and Zinc and I’m adding a some more D3 to that mix.  Be careful with vitamins and minerals as some are fat soluble like D3/calcium that you can overdose on.  B and C vitamins are water soluble so if you take a little to much you can pee away most of the vitamin your body does not use. Do your research because more of a good thing can become toxic in a larger dose.

I have to hit the bank on Tuesday and want to stock up on twenty and fifty dollar bills to have on hand.  I have one case lot sale Rain checks I want to buy.($20.00 cost) With the Stock market going crazy and many people out of work/laid off I think we are heading into economic recession if not something worse for the next few weeks.  I want to have some cash in $10, $20 and $50 dollar bills on hand.  I’m leaving some money in the bank for buying stuff online like e-books or it there are items I want to order online.  I don’t think you should try and screw anyone but there will probably be businesses that will start having sales on goods/services that will need some “cash flow” to keep going during economic hard times.  This can be a WIN/WIN for you and the business.  You get stuff done and the business keeps enough cash flow to pay employees and themselves during this economic hiccup.


Almost 70 degrees F. and started cleaning up the raised beds

March 7, 2020

It was a cloudy day but very warm for the first week of March.  It is staying above freezing at night, so starting a fire in the evening heats the house for a warm morning wake up temp.  My fire wood  use is much lower this month.  That will save my existing firewood pile just in case getting wood deliveries goes a little sideways this year.  I think I have enough fire wood for next winter already on hand.  I will feel much better about the wood pile if I could add another four cords stacked up and ready to burn.  Using the Carport area for fire wood has been great. I think it will help give me more time to stack wood deliveries as the wood will be under some overhead cover and protected from rain.  The little split Doug fir/kindling box seemed to work out but I need to be more proactive getting the box filled by fall.

I finally got started cleaning up two of the raised garden beds with the most leftover plants from last year.  The beds looked a bit ignored and abandoned but I found many onions have reseeded themselves and I have some lettuce that is coming back though a few leaves got frost nipped.  I’m rotating the crops in the beds as I had one large bed and 3 beds stay fallow.  I neglected those beds last year because I was doing all that fire wood stacking during gardening “Prime Time”.  I’m going to be optimistic and say all those raised beds needed to rest and it was all part of my plan.   I filled up one garbage can full of grape vines and yard trash so it was a good week.

Gardens of any sort will be a thing when people start to realize the supply chain of goods into the west start having hiccups in the delivery systems.  Things won’t just  get expensive.  Some items won’t be available at any price.  That is okay as you can substitute items or stock up  ahead of time.  The time to stock up on some items has been limited but not impossible.  I am a news geek/fiend and I was a bit concerned around the second week in January.  While I had stocked up for the 2014 Ebola scare with masks and Tyvek suits when I could afford to buy those products I was not panic buying.  I knew what I could afford to spend and bought what I could afford.

Poor people (I’m considered poor via government standards) had the month February to get a couple bottles of bleach, canned goods, rice , beans and other basic supplies.  Most people in the USA had plenty of time to do some stocking up without cleaning out the local grocery shelves. Stop wasting your money buying bottled water!  Tap water will flow and if you don’t like the taste buy a PUR/ Brita water filter.  Power/ electricity  or gas pumps are not going to stop working in the few weeks.  Even if the water supply gets a bit iffy for safe drinking water you can boil water of add a few drops of chlorine bleach to make safe drinking water.

I think the Supply chain will take a major hit and many of the goods/products will be in short supply for a few months.  Clothing items for example might be in short supply in stores.  Electronic items or even major appliances might go up in cost or be in short supply.  That is the Higher cost items going a bit harder to get.  There will be pain as the Globalist economy setup is taking a big hit in the markets.  Many people are whining about how life is getting less convenient for them.  That is life and “stuff happens”.

I suggest stocking up on “herbals” for basic home remedies.  I had no idea so many of the pharmaceuticals  have been off shored to China and India.  I don’t blame any country declaring all medical items will go to local citizens first. We might see anti-anxiety meds start to dry up.  That is not a good thing as some people can have a psychotic break when the Zoloft or other medications are unavailable.

In a way, I’m optimistic that people will learn the Globalist maximize short term profit over long term sustainability will get a look by people.  Yes that is a very optimistic mindset on me.  The data from the Corona virus/Covid 19 looks like about 80% of people will have flu like symptoms and recover.  I have a compromised immune system so I will probably be in the 20% of very ill if I catch the corona virus.  My Mom has Fybro and at 70+ years old is an at risk person to this flu.   I have read about many people on the internet that seem to hope boomers die as that means kids can buy a home cheap…?  It could be a meme but is disturbing to me.


Starting the garden plants. Buy stuff now in case of the supply chain collapse!

March 2, 2020

I’m gathering all my Seeds, grow lamp and starter pots for this year’s garden.  Last year I started to early (mid Feb.) and many of my plants died because it was to early to plant before the frost date.  Last year was also a little crazy with a very damp and cool May and June so the tomatoes and peppers did not grow very well.  This year I’m starting a couple of weeks later and I’m adding a lot of small planters just in case I need to transfer my seedlings before the raised beds are ready for planting due to weather.

This last winter has been long but it did not get cold and the ground never had a hard freeze.  So while I’m still cutting kindling for the wood stove. I can get started on clean up of the raised beds, turn the soil over and prep the beds for planting.  I want to try an experiment with one raised bed draping the PVC frames in clear heavy duty plastic to make a mini green house for planting early cole crops like broccoli.  Depending on the soil temp and air temp of the mini green house I could start some greens for early spring salads.  I think having a garden full off fresh veggies is going to darned important this year!  We will see the supply chain in the USA have some hiccups.

You may have seen some the panic buying on the west coast on the internet.  It seems bottled water, beans and rice are the new disaster supply rather that the milk, bread and eggs “Disaster Prep”!  I don’t think water will stop coming out of the tap or the power going out anytime soon.  So buying a lot of bottled water is silly and a waste of money right now.  If you filter your tap water like I do, a couple of extra water filters would be money well spent.  I don’t thing the electrical grid will go down anytime soon. So you can probably skip buying a generator or a bunch of gasoline or fuel to cook your food.  Your internet and phone probably won’t suddenly stop working.   You want to have your utility bills paid so they keep running so have money on hand to keep those bills up to date.  Manufacturing jobs will probably have some lay offs or furloughs.  Start hoarding your money/cash, so you can keep basic bills paid if the school closes down and some one has to be at home with kids.

While everyone is going crazy about the Stock market and Wall street, I think the BIG STORY in the next 4-6 weeks will be the Supply chain breaking down.  We know that most stores are full of cheap china crap, but your coffee comes either from Africa or south/central America.  Tea, Chocolate are also food products that are not grown here in the USA.  I’m not just talking about these products becoming expensive.  Some of the products may not be available for any price!  I suspect the produce section of the local grocery stores will get more limited on selection and out of season produce prices will probably go up.  If you have not tried growing a garden this is great time to get a few seeds or plant starts and try out that container/herb garden or raised bed garden or a perma-culture set up in your yard.  What ever idea you have thought about trying to garden. You now have a great motivation to get started.  Another bonus of a garden is it will help keep you busy if you or your family get quarantined for 2-4 weeks.  Having to stay home during a quarantine does not mean you have to stay always indoors.

Take time to think and not just panic/stampede with the herd.

  1. If people are crowding around a store, go to a different store.  Sure Costco/Sam’s club might have great prices but if the shelves are empty all you did is expose your self to a crowd and did not get what you wanted to buy. If you are standing in a long line you are preparing wrong.  Leave, try a different store or try shopping at a different time.
  2. Make a list of what you need/want and if something on the list is not available, get the next item.
  3. Think outside of the box!  I got my P100 masks in the little home improvement/tools section of my local Fred Meyers at the end of January when Home Depot/Lowes were completely sold out of masks of any sort.  Fred Meyers still had masks.  If you missed out on buying masks wait until the panic buyers and profiteers find out the market is saturated. Then the price will drop and then you can get those items like masks.  Panic buying seldom lasts more than a couple of weeks as people just can’t afford the high prices or refuse to pay the profiteers.
  4. Get stuff for treating the flu symptoms!  Vitamins, cough syrup, decongestants.  Herbal teas, honey, lemon juice, Essential oils. Aspirin non-aspirin fever/pain relievers, juices, gatorade ginger ale or sprite.  What ever you want to have on hand for a cold/flu.
  5. Bleach and spray bottles for disinfection.  A couple dollars for a quart or 1/2 gallon of bleach, diluted with a couple cups  water poured into a spray bottle will disinfect every thing in your house for a couple of months.  I like the Lysol Multi purpose cleaner in lemon scent and Mountain fresh scent.  I have no idea how much a bottle costs today as I got a couple of bottles in Nov./Dec of last year at $1.49 for a 32 oz. spray bottle on sale at Family dollar store.

This little Pandemic/new flu is going to take at least another 6-18 months to work out the new NORMAL.  So far it looks like the 80% of people get FLU symptoms, 10% get very sick and about 5-10%  put a respirator level of sick.  The Corona virus is out in the world and we will have deal with it.  I can lay blame on China or the CDC and politicians, but blame is irrelevant at this point.  Corona virus/ Covid-19 is here in the USA and everyone has to deal with it.

 


A little snow today and a cold spell. Scored on some good FLU preps

February 3, 2020

We are having  “cold snap” at least in comparison to most of winter this year.  Got a little snow and Freezing temps with gusty winds to start off February.  I got out today and cut a box of kindling for Mom and a sweatshirt was all additional protection that was needed to stay warm.  25-30 degrees F. feels cold after a week of 50-55 degree F. temps last week.  It has been a long winter but it has not been a cold winter here in the Treasure valley.  I have used about 1/3-1/2 of my wood pile so far and that is with Mom buying a couple of pick up loads of wood from me.  I figure about 2-4 cords of wood will be the average wood use for winter heating.  Even the bad winter of 2016-17 wasn’t that bad except my wood was wet and did not have time to season/dry properly.   This will probably be the last month of winter weather, though March will have some damp chilly weather. I’ll be starting the fire just to take the chill off the house rather than starting a fire to warm the house.   Mom is having a problem keeping her wood dry so this summer we need to build a few wood racks and hopefully start stacking wood early to give it the maximal time to dry.  Rather than just buying buying wood to burn in the fall to burn that winter heating season.  It takes a bit of time to build up a  seasoned wood pile on a fixed income.

I’m splitting my Doug Fir for kindling and split a good size box of kindling for Mom but I’m now splitting and filling up a box of those split doug fir to go with the kindling as the in between size of chunks of firewood and kindling.  Of course it is logical how to make a good easy to start fire! It took me a couple of years to actually set aside and split wood to that in between size of kindling and normal firewood!  I think my idea of the kindling wood box was correct but I’ll be splitting most of the firewood and letting it dry for a bit and then split that wood into kindling.

I think both Mom and I are ready for the WUFLU.  I gave Mom some Tyvek suits, masks and a box of gloves that she was a little lacking on for her supplies.   I bought a few bottles of Hydrogen peroxide as most of bottles were older and probably not as effective.  I shopped Family Dollar and they had a store brand concentrated bleach in the 6% range.  Since unsealed bleach will lose effectiveness in 6-12 months I bought a couple of smaller bottles to make sanitizer.  Remember when using a hard surface sanitizer you want to spritz and don’t wipe it off the surface for at least a minute or two and give the sanitizer time to kill the virus/bacteria/bugs.  Let the sanitizer dry naturally if at all possible.   I’m a big fan of liquid soap pump bottles and washing your hands often.  I don’t care for anti-bacterial soaps or hand sanitizer as I think create super bugs.  I still carry and have started using hand sanitizer outside my home as a precaution.

You are the first aid/medical for a cold/flu or any illness.  You want to prevent infections if possible and if someone gets sick you want to support the patient’s immune system to get better.  I’ve made bone broth, I’ll be making Chicken soup.  You can add vitamins, essential oils, colloidal silver to help support a person’s immune system.  You can put yourself into a quarantine against the WUFLU if you see an outbreak within 100 miles of your home town.  You will have to decide the risk level you will accept,  While the number coming out of China is suspect I’m glad that the recovered now outnumber the dead.

FYI: I got the flu/cold and it developed into pneumonia and then it developed into my immune system attacking nervous system.  Guillaume Barre/CIDP.  I spent over 4 months in a VA Extended Care Unit. I was so weak I could not put on socks or lift cup of water.  You don’t want that to happen to you.  Don’t panic, just buy the basics of food cold medicine if you are low make some bone broth, real chicken soup and stay away from crowds.  Once the “Panic Buying” is over in 2-4 weeks, then start stocking up on masks and goggles and other Protective gear.  Protective gear does not spoil, so once you have the basics on hand you are good to go.

Don’t panic and don’t buy gear at the highest price.  Most likely you will “quarantine” yourself. So have your home self care maxed out with food, basic cold medicines. Stay safe and just wait for the Flu of any sort, burn itself out.  Already more people in China are being declared recovered than those that have died.  I know it is tough to wait and see what happens with this flu.  Heck I don’t trust the US government numbers little lone the Chi-coms info/numbers.  But look at what you can do with the info you have already on hand.

  1. Treat the symptoms of the flu.
  2. Stay away from crowds.
  3. Wash your hands.
  4. Sanitize work spaces or yourself.
  5. Build up your immune system.

Nothing new with dealing with colds or the flu, except this flu seems to have a nasty pneumonia/bronchitis component as standard. It is a nasty flu bug but with good supportive health care in the home, it should not be as bad as what is happening in China.  Now if you are treating the flu and it gets worse as the patient is having problems breathing of can’t take fluids/food.  Call the hospital and let them know the symptoms before you self transport.  At that point it is best to be overly safe rather than sorry.

This post is getting into the TLDR territory but I don’t think anyone that has prepared should “freak out”.  It is just a cold, or just the flu until it is pneumonia and you need some additional health care.  300 people sick in a country of 330 million is not an epidemic.

 


Broken PC and The Wuhan Flu/ global epidemic?

January 26, 2020

My PC has been down but I’m still alive!

I’m building a new PC and things are not working out the way I had anticipated.  I’m sorry to say I went OS 10 to get my PC hardware working.  Some good news is Office 2003 still works for Windows 10. I used a demo version of Windows 10 downloaded from Microsoft website.  FYI  don’t pick the N version of MS10.  If you do down load the Media center update.  You will need that software to get your AMD video drivers to work.

If you have upgraded to an AMD Ryzen capable mother board.  Windows 7 will not work, as all mother board USB ports won’t work.  AMD and Win 7 have not done any thing about backward compatibility.  I’m upgrading to about 2015 tech and Win 7 does not support my new mother board.  Windows 10 GUI is awful to use.  No program drop down via the start menu.  Evey thing is treated as an APP rather than a program.  I’m a geek and I don’t like windows 10.  If you prefer a PC that seems to act like a tablet or a smart phone, this could be the OS for you!

I’m a little concerned about this “FLU” coming out of the Wuhan province, but I’m not panicked, despite the symptoms seem to settle down into bronchitis/pneumonia in a couple of weeks. The Chinese government seems to be downplaying the illness, yet the government is being very heavy handed with “Quarantine Zones”.

What I suspect is a “Flu virus” escaped the level 4 bio-contain facility and mutated.  This might seem a bit contradictory to that theory as the pork prices have skyrocketed due to the “pig flu” going on in China.  People can’t afford pork, so they buy bats,rats and less costly protein.  You have a population struggling to buy safe/good protein that is no longer available  and a level 4 bio-containment lab working and living in this city.

I don’t think any of this is the result of a pre-planned idea.  Just a muddle that blows up with us humans that think we are super smart!

What should you do?  If you have been following this blog for awhile, not much!  I did a lot or prepping for any sort of Ebola outbreak coming to the USA a few years ago.  I have plenty of bunnysuits, masks, face masks, goggles and face shields  to protect from spewing blood rather than a cough or a sneeze. Keep clean, stop touching your face and treat this as flu/cold until the person has bronchitis/pneumonia.  Perhaps then take the person to the hospital.  I don’t have much confidence in hospitals treating people with diseases with simple support they could get at home.  Sure they have IV’s but hospitals don’t make a good Bone broth or Chicken soup!   What I’m talking about is supporting a patient, treating the symptoms at home. Be it a basic cold or the new WU FLU.  The medical community has not been a shining light.  The latest Flu vaccine is less than 40% effective combating this years flu in the USA.  The vaccine makers do their best, but it it is not a get out of being sick shot.

If you are wondering what you need to have on hand?  The list is very simple. I’d say you should focus on getting items for any very bad flu season.

  1. Bleach and other anti-viral cleaning agents
  2. Protective gear like masks but don’t forget protective goggles as this virus can infect via the eyes as well as nose and mouth.
  3. It might be to late to get protective respirators or masks unless you buy high end $75.00+ full face respirator masks.
  4. I have not check out protective “Bunny Suits” like Tyvek/Tychem but I expect those are in as low supply as protective masks.
  5. Treat the symptoms and support the patient with good foods, liquids, OTC medicines and good care.
  6. If things get out of hand with the WU Flu. Have the ability to stay at home for 2-3 weeks.

The odds are that you won’t see or treat the corona virus in the USA.  Use this as a test about the supplies you have on hand.  One thing I never anticipated is family members buying up medical supplies  in the USA and shipping those products to China.  People doing this makes a lot sense, though I’m not sure how the supplies will get delivered in cities that are quarantined.

I know Information is lacking but we need to watch how this works out.  Declaring a quarantine in a city of 11 million people in China is easy but how can that city function without food and energy deliveries?  Who is picking up the trash, maintaining the water and sewage systems?  Unless the population is prepared for an emergency, a couple of breaks in the “supply chain” could be catastrophic.

New York City has a population of 8.5 million.  Can you imagine the US government trying to close down all deliveries of food, fuel and people moving in and out of that city?  China is trying to do that for several cities with a total population of 56 million.  The corona virus will spread because the Chinese lost control and the ability to hide the spread.  How bad the spread and death count is yet to be seen.

Don’t panic!  Just use this time to fix any areas of preparations you are lacking.  Remember when Fukishima Melted down and Iodine tablets sold out and no one really needed to take Iodine tablets because the radiation level dropped quickly a couple of hundred miles outside of the Fukishima zone?  I think concern is warranted, panic seems unwarranted at this time. You don’t have to build a Biological containment lab, just take a few simple precautions.


Shortest day of the year was Beautiful!

December 24, 2019

There has been a warm breeze blowing and the temp. hit a high of 60 degrees F. at my house.  This day was a treat for getting firewood stacked and getting some of the firewood split into smaller chunks that can then be split into kindling.  The axe finally has a good cutting edge. The new hardwood stump makes splitting firewood much faster and easier compared to the first sharpening attempts I made on the axe when I bought it.   I have to work on the hatchet edge as I must have screwed up the angle of the blade edge during the last sharpening session.  The hatchet edge is not terrible for cutting kindling but it cut a lot better before the last sharpening session I did before cutting kindling a week or two ago.

Mom got another box of kindling last week so I’m staying ahead of our kindling needs this winter burning season.  Mom had a small problem with her wood stove chimney not working and her house filled with smoke!  No casualties and the worst that happen is Mom got some excitement, learned her smoke alarms need to be in a different location and she met some nice boys from the local fire department.  It looks like the so called “Chimney Sweep” did not clean the Baffles/secondary combustion area of her wood stove.  She got a recommendation for a new Chimney sweep and was very pleased with the quick service she got from this new company.  I’ll be using this company to clean my wood stove next year as I have not been pleased with my most recent chimney sweeps.  People get dead, homes get damaged from chimney fires and clogged chimneys!  I went through a chimney fire back as a child. No one was hurt but it made me very “anal retentive” about having the safest firewood stove possible.  I have the chimney swept every year.  I have two fire extinguishers in my house that are in exit ways from bedrooms to the exit doors.  You must have safety measures to prevent house fires and if the house fire happens, you are alerted and you can fight your way out of the burning house.  The more effort you put into ensuring BAD Things don’t happen often makes those BAD Things not happen!

I have cleared all wood from my Douglas Fir, walk/breeze way firewood storage area.  So far this winter I have not used a lot of fire wood even with helping Mom out with some kindling every couple of weeks.  January/early February  tend to be the coldest winter months and is when I used the most fire wood.  So far this winter has been relatively warm.  There is a lot of difference between 10 degrees F. being your low or your high temp. for the day!  So while we did get an early frost and snow.  This winter has been mild,  with temperatures in the 20’s and 30’s for highs this winter.  It seems that my planning for a Snowmeggedon event like 2016/2017 winter has paid off with no 18 inches + of snow for the last two years. City roads not plowed or watching cars literally buried in snow along the street.  It often seems if you are ready for the “worst”.  The worst doesn’t happen!  Then again if you are prepared for the worst, you already have a plan in place and it’s no longer the worst thing ever to happen to you.  This warm day was a gift and it will get a bit snowy and cold by Xmas.

I’m trying something new for Xmas dinner of a rack of pork loin/chops and roasted brussel sprouts/sweet potato veggie mix.  I can cook a good BBQ turkey, my Prime ribs seem to be good tasting to most people.  Why not try something different? I’m roasting a pork loin/chops this year.  We will see if it a good holiday meal.  I doubt it will be bad as my Rotisserie cooks meat well without over cooking it.  Roasting veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts in a toaster oven add a bit of crunch/texture and the high heat of the oven releases the vegetable’s sugars and flavors without the veggies getting mushy or over cooked via boiling in water.  Never pass up an opportunity to add flavor to food via a cooking method.  Also be careful not to over season your food.  Sometimes less is more especially with vegetables.

Merry Christmas to all of you!


Cleaned out the small chest freezer

December 6, 2019

Cleaning out the little chest freezer went quicker than I had expected.  I feel bad that I wasted some food but now I can use that freezer as storage while I clean out old stuff from the other freezers.  There will be more tossed old “food” but I’ll get freezer that can store food to use by the “use by date”/ before freezer burn or age can ruin the food.  I was disappointed with my Thanksgiving turkey having an old taste to the skin though the meat tasted fine.   Now I can move the newly frozen goods from the big freezer to the small freezer and clean out any food that is over a year old.  I have read that a pressure cooker can mitigate “freezer burn” taste.  But for me I’m going to clean out the old stuff and try to be better at rotating food in and out of the freezers rather than try and keep them full of sales items.

I’m looking to buy new vacuum sealer to my old one that does not seal well/easily.  What is nice is vacuum food sealers tend to go on sale at Xmas time so that should be an easy buy next payday.  Yes, vacuum sealed products last much longer in the freezer, compared to double wrapped products. I had to learn this lesson the hard way.  Of course not cooking meat/vegatables before they have aged 2-3 years in a freezer would have helped a bit!

I’m buying a few computer items and getting my geek on. I just upgraded my video card to a newish 570 AMD from a 370 AMD.  The upgrade in frame rates is very impressive for a $120.00 card.  I have an older Mother board with DDR 3 memory and an older AM3  socket for the CPU so the next upgrade will have to include a new mother board, CPU and memory chips at a cost of at least $500.00.  This will be a “gaming PC build”  that should be up gradable or solid for most of the task I want for about five years.

I like how AMD CPU chips are powerful and reasonably priced for a home builder.  The Bitcoin miners really drove up the price of memory chips, multi-thread CPUs and Graphics cards but now the price is starting to drop for the mid-range CPU and mid cost range Graphic cards.  I got Borderlands 3 as a free game via my buying the AMD 570 video card.  I suck at playing the game, but I am having fun with the game.  I like how I can play the game offline and learn the game.  How can anyone “get gud” at a game when they get Crushed anytime they try to play the game online?  Playing against bots is easier than against people online but bots do give noobies a place to start playing the game.  If a noob can beat the bots they should be better player than anyone that didn’t play/beat the bots.  I do understand gamers that expect a level of competence playing any PC game.  I recommend for any new gamers learn to move side to side and minimize the bunny hop.

I did spurge this month and get a few small upgrades for my PC.  The AMD 570 video card really made a difference on getting a good frame rate out of video games.  The good thing is this VC will work with the upgraded Mother board.  I got a new thin bezel Acer LCD monitor and it looks so good I bought another to have a dual monitor set up.   This a sort of mile stone for me getting good dual monitors for gaming.  I’ll still suck at game play but I’ll have fun playing the game!  I’m 50 year old + woman with nerve damage that can get crushed playing video games.  Good for you gamer you beat me!

Any hoo, there are a lot of great games out there to play and if you have fun and enjoy your playtime then you win!