W.O.O.D. – 20 March 2018


This is another of the W.O.O.D. series of semi-regular
Weekly Occasional Open Discussions.
(i.e. if I forget and skip one, no big)

Immediate prior one here:
and remains open for threads running there
(at least until the ‘several month’ auto-close of comments on stale threads).

Canonical list of old ones here:

So use “Tips” for “Oooh, look at the interesting ponder thing!”
and “W.O.O.D” for “Did you see what just happened?! What did you think about it?”

What’s Going On?


We’ve had something like 3 or 4 East Coast snow bombs, more feet of Sierra Nevada snow out west, and Europe being way more cold than usual with England yet again seeing white.

The listing at https://www.iceagenow.info/ is long and deep of places way cold.


So some guy who’s an ex-spy double agent gets poisoned with a very Russian nerve agent. But one where you can buy a book online that tells you how to make it. England ejects a bunch of Russian spies diplomats so Russia ejects a bunch of British diplomats spies. This is supposed to show resolve and a strong talking too… or some such.

Of course, it couldn’t possibly be that The Great Game is still afoot and the British (or the CIA or the FSB or China or the Israeli secret services or even Soros and his minions would want to spoil any hope of improved relations with Russia so set up a false flag that only involves poisoning some old tired useless ex-spy. (IMHO there’s no way to know who did this until you catch them and get a confession plus find matching toxin in their house, and even then I’d be suspicious in the spy vs spy game.)

Oh, and in a surprise non-reversal, Putin was re-elected for 6 more years…

Expect some kind of cyber-thingies as Russia / UK / free-lancers / China / try to keep the pots boiling.


We’ve got a ‘pennant’ with lower highs and higher lows. When it reaches a point it will break down one way or the other. IMHO most likely down. We’ve got a new Fed Chairman and talk of raising interest rates more. That usually means down.

I need to do some more graphs and analysis to get a better bead on it. In reality, it’s a battle ground between bulls and bears and resolves at the point of the pennant with whoever has the fattest wallet winning.

Subscribe to feed

About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
This entry was posted in W.O.O.D. and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

136 Responses to W.O.O.D. – 20 March 2018

  1. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yesterday we were talking about preparedness items like candles and cook stoves etc. This item is a good foot note to that discussion as it shows even with significant outside support catastrophic damage to a modern power grid can take months to repair.


    Just as a mental exercise how would you cope with 6 months without any electrical power and loss of other major infrastructure?

  2. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, it would depend on the specifics since my first rule of survival is to adapt to the conditions and use what is available.

    What I do is “level” against the available technical level.

    At the bottom tier is “stone age”. Nothing prevents just reverting to stone age tech. It still works. So I’d be doing things like hand harvesting all the mustard greens everyone around here treats as weeds and making a nice pot of “Squirrel & Mustard Greens Stew”.

    Just below our present tier is “coping using modern tech for missing bits”. So I’d fill my car once a “whenever” and use it to make about 200 W of electricity for charging cell phones, laptops, and running a couple of lights and a radio. At that point I’ve got most of what I need to be technically happy. I’d get into my “stores” for the first couple of months while planting fast foods like radishes (25 to 40 days) and hybrid fast corn ( 45 days) and green beans where you can eat the leaves and pods…. Even very young ones. With a garden, either collected rain water or passing water from the nearby creek through my high tech filter, and the occasional squirrel, I’d be pretty much fine. Radio for entertainment, laptop for writing & games, electric lights and all. IF gas is regularly available, I’d be doing a weekly run to get some gas for the generator and running more stuff. TV, fridge, etc.

    In the middle ground I’d be using things like my POB stove or BBQ or even my stored fuel and things like the Sterno Stove (about 3 months of fuel for it at modest use) and eating a lot of stored rice & beans stored food while scrounging for other “famine foods”.
    If the house were too damaged to stay in, I’d get into my “garbage can” of survival goods and set up the large tent in the yard, plus air mattresses and sleeping bags. Use the car for storms as it is both water / hail proof and warm / comfortable. With radio for weather reports / news. Basically live at 1950 & camping level.

    If it’s just lack of electricity & communications, I’d level at about 1890s tech level. Kerosene lamps / candles. Home canning of foods. Kerosene stove or wood stove. That kind of things. Don’t really need electricity to live in a house…

    Basically, with no electricity I’d live like my Dad did until he was about 12 and they got electricity, or like his parents did for their whole life, or like some of his Mom’s relatives who stayed Amish live today… With no fuel available I’d drop back to about 1400’s and “found fuels” meaning using plants and rendered fat to make “tallow” candles. With no food too then you eventually drop back to about 540 A.D. and the Dark Ages… someone survived by eating what others would not…

    I know how to dry, can, salt, smoke and otherwise preserve foods. I know how to identify edibles others can’t. I’ve got skills and abilities to catch “critters” (and I know we have at least raccoons, opossums, squirrels, several bird types, and the odd domestic animals… wandering the area). Plus I’ve got enough stored stuff to outlast most of the neighbors anyway, so by the time I’d need to start eating the wildlife, not too much competition would remain…


    Unless the whole USA were toast, in reality I’d just get into whichever car had the full tank and drive to my Sister’s place in the next State over…

  3. Larry Ledwick says:

    According to twitter they have arrested a suspect in Austin bombing case.

    Kris Betts
    ‏Verified account
    5 minutes ago
    BREAKING: APD, FBI arresting suspect in Austin bombing. Suspect detonated device, shots were fired. #AustinBomber #austinPD #kvue

    Waiting for elaboration


  4. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well, it would depend on the specifics since my first rule of survival is to adapt to the conditions and use what is available.

    In examining this sort of situation, the interesting thing you figure out after a while, is that total collapse is in some ways easier to deal with than big problems but still having a functional government. If the government is completely overwhelmed with response and it is obvious to everyone something major happened folks can get away with things that otherwise would not be tolerated. (the peaceful New York Blackout where citizens directed traffic and helped each other and cops let them) Such as setting up tent cities and sleeping in cars after a major earth quake. If the government is in that unique situation of having real problems to deal with so they cut people some slack but can still make essential responses to serious emergencies (ie dropping food packets to stranded people) you have a lot of options.

    It is the point where the government officials are trying to maintain the last bit of control or trying to re-establish control that local government can actually get in the way of adaption and survival.

    In the total collapse situation, where you effectively have every man for himself it gets a bit tougher to work out solutions but you have more freedom of action.
    For example the eating squirrels and rabbits assumption. If things are really going sideways, all the catch able critters would be hunted to extinction locally in just a matter of a week or so. Once city park lakes are fished out and all the little critters have been harvests then food gathering takes on a more predatory nature , where it is easier to both locate and take food from others than it is to harvest it directly from natural resources. (this might be titled the “eat the pets or steal from others stage).

    At that point, being the only person around that has not lost 20# could flag you as a source of supply. (this is one of the ways Russians figured out who the folks were who had gone cannibal in the WWII sieges).

    Your best survival strategy in a long running crunch would be to go on a serious diet right up front until your pants are too big and you look a bit drawn and hungry but walk the line of eating just enough to maintain strength and basic health but don’t stand out as being too well fed.

    In the same regard Dimitry Orlov mentions in his books about the collapse in the Soviet Union how they needed to keep a 24 hour guard on gardens to keep people from stealing the crops right out of the ground in the night. Similar stories are related by “Selco” a survivor of the wars in Bosnia and living in a surrounded city under a military siege for a year. (https://shtfschool.com/)

  5. Larry Ledwick says:

    It appears the Austin bombing suspect is dead

    Austin bombing suspect is dead, sources tell KVUE
    APD said it was working an officer-involved shooting in the 1700 block of N. Interstate 35.

  6. jim2 says:

    LL – well thought out. Some of us wouldn’t last anyway due to medical conditions. I’m not sure how one would acquire a year’s supply of lethal-without meds.

  7. jim2 says:

    Total collapse of society is a situation where social skills can save you. You would want to be a member of a large armed group.

  8. H.R. says:

    jim2: “Some of us wouldn’t last anyway due to medical conditions. I’m not sure how one would acquire a year’s supply of lethal-without meds.”

    Interesting point. I wonder what percent of the population would quickly drop off without the medical care and services we take for granted? For example, heart attacks are much more survivable now due to rapid emergency response times, ubiquitous defibrillators, and sophisticated recovery and after-care medicines and techniques. Quadruple bypasses? They aren’t going to happen.That will take some strain off the food supply.

    Of course the leaner diet and increased physical activity will improve the health of the younger population so we’ll have a leaner, meaner, more fit bunch of people roaming about.

    Any pandemic diseases that get loose will further reduce the population as the only option will be to sweat it out and hope you have a strong enough immune system. The very young and old will be hit the hardest as was the case up until relatively recently.

    Regarding social skills, alpha males will be competing for members to strengthen their tribes. Unaffiliated people may be killed instead of being accepted into a group, unless they can offer a skill that the group does not have. They may be deemed a threat or a burden on the resources of a group. Alpha males in a group may fight and/or be killed until there is only one leader.

    Spirituality and mysticism will make a resurgence, although I’m not sure what forms they will take on. Shaman-types will always find a way to make themselves be perceived as indispensable to a tribe. I’d imagine the first shamans will be from the doctors who have survived catastrophe. Chemists/pharmacists are probably also good candidates for shamans.

  9. H.R. says:

    OH! We have current events to tell us how the U.S. would devolve. We’d wind up with a feudal system.

    We see that now in South America and Africa. We have warlords who seize control of a geographical area and its population. Gangs are much the same thing; a strongman at the top who has ‘knights’ who help control the area and its population. Heck! The whole Middle East is still just a bunch of tribes who have trouble getting along. I’m late figuring this out even though the evidence is laid out plainly to see.

    I wish I had figured this out earlier. I’d have worked to become a warlord instead of an engineer.

  10. Larry Ledwick says:

    One of the interesting observations of Dmitry Orlov from the collapse of the Soviet Union was the nature of barter economies in that circumstance. The natural leaders in the black market development (which the USSR already had due to Communism) were those who had experience with illegal sales (ie smugglers, organized crime and drug culture folks). As he said in one of his books, to get the more critical or hard to find barter items (life saving drugs) you had to cultivate “new friends” the kind you can’t say no to if they ask for a favor in return.

    They ran black market flea market type operations at small discrete barter table operations or at cover locations like some bar or barber shop (with several body guard type friends that hung around). You would go to their cover location and ask where a person could find xyz. If they already knew you were trustworthy, they would say they might know someone who could get it, come back at 2:00 pm. and named a price if they could get it. If they did not know you, you might be completely shut out or have to go through some sort of vetting process before they would do business with you.

    One essential survival skill, might be learning to be comfortable in a barter and haggle economy operation like a flea market.

    You walked away and came back on time with the necessary money and they either had it or did not. If they did, the exchange was made and you walked off. The buyer never saw where the high demand item was gotten from (which helped prevent them getting ripped off by other similar folks).

    They did not keep their wares in plain sight, but all was done with a layer of isolation between the barter sales agent and where his stuff was coming from (couriers and a separate remote stash location). Think very much like how the underground in WWII would likely have handled things, you needed an introduction to the group to transact “special transactions”, and you were very careful who you recommended to who, failure to follow through with transactions would be settled in a very permanent or painful manner.

  11. jim2 says:

    Speaking of alpha males. I recall a 60 minutes episode from decades ago concerning a bully in a small town in Texas. He pushed everyone around. One day he drove into town for some supplies or some such. While he was in a store, someone told his girlfriend/wife to get out of the truck. When he returned there was gun fire from multiple directions impinging on the truck. When the authorities turned up to investigate, no one knew anything.

  12. philjourdan says:

    When the first reports came out about the Austin bomber, they withheld the name (pending notification). As it added nothing to the story since he was dead, they should have kept it that way. Notoriety is one thing they are seeking. And the media seems all to happy to grant them their last request.

  13. E.M.Smith says:

    BTW, post Aw-Shit, be it quake, hurricane, or social collapse; there may be failure of fuel delivery for petroleum products and manufactures, but there is usually a lot of wood debris. Thus my Pile Of Bricks stove. I have lots of ways to use that debris as fuel, from my “tool box BBQ” to the POB to my big BBQ to the fireplace. So I don’t really need a pocket stove that runs on it (for that I can put twigs in an empty Sterno can in the Sterno stove. BUT, one of these is interesting:


    (Basically just 6 perforated sheet metal panels in a box with special shaped holes)

    $14 for the cheap knock-off brand. About $30 for the original. $70 or so for the Titanium version with little weight. You can burn the obnoxious “fuel tablets” in a little metal pan insert (so can borrow some hexamine tablets from your military buddy…) or place a Trangia or Esbit alcohol burner in the hole up top (or in the bottom for less direct heat). Now you can use all sorts of alcohols including, if pressed, bottles of rubbing alcohol from the raided Walmart store… One write up on this kind of stove had someone mention they used BBQ Briquettes and that one or two of the self lighting kind was enough for a meal. Finally, it lets you burn wood directly and efficiently (i.e. no bonfire to make a cup of coffee, just a few twigs or splits of kindling.

    I know I don’t need one at all, but I want one ;-)

    The weight spec. is a bit confused listing 7 ounces for the item but 5.4 ounces for shipping. In any case, not a lot of weight. (Well, a ton of weight compared to the 0.8 oz Titanium gas burner but then you don’t need to carry a 200 gram fuel can… so that makes it about a wash…)

    In my “go bag” I have a very small stainless steel grating. About 4 inches by 8. Its my “wood stove” in that I figure I can always find rocks or “junk” to make a “3 rock fire” about 6 inches across, then just lay the grate on top. But this little bugger would mean no need to find rocks…

    Per SHTF and Fat:

    Since one of my basic rules is “only eat the minimum needed in a bad Aw Shit” since you don’t know how long it will last; I’d be on the “skinny diet” from the start anyway. I also plan on eating very boring crap (boiled beans and rice) for the first couple of months so not much risk of wanting to eat more ;-) This, while any garden or “move away” happens.

    Per “critters run out”:

    Despite years and years of people trying, it seems impossible to extirpate either squirrels or rats. I’m sure it would become hard to find and catch the few survivors, but I’m just as sure I’m one of maybe 5% of my neighbors who would even be trying. Back in my home (farm) town, well, darned near everyone or their cousin would be doing it. Here? Folks here can’t even mow their own lawn.

    Per Government “helping”:

    Oh yeah. Post the Loma Prieta quake we had a lady in suit dress and a guy in spandex directing traffic, volunteers clearing debris, neighbors setting up BBQs. We had a “wine and cheese Apocalypse party” with friends over from where they had no power nor prep. (I had power and a satellite TV system so despite NO local TV broadcaster running, we had news from out of State on the big screen watching what was happening here). It worked rather well as long as government was nowhere to be seen. It’s when they rope off whole areas and say you MUST get out that things get messy.

    In another multi-day power outage, I tossed a drop cord from my generator over the fence to my neighbor so they had some power too. Folks share.


    That’s why I’ve said I would set up “Smith’s Kitchen” on the front lawn. BBQ space and some chairs. One of the neighbors tends to sit out in the summer with chairs, table, and wine; so its just adding a BBQ to the normal. Then you offer to folks that they can cook what’s in their fridge if they like. Pretty quickly you have a “family group” around dinner prep and coffee.

    Now I don’t know how many neighbors are armed, but I know I have enough to arm a dozen or so of my nearest… plus reloading equipment. After, IIRC, Hurricane Andrew hit Louisiana, one suburb set up a common fire and posted “guards” in the evening at the entry to the area. No problems at all. The local police / sheriff was bright enough to drive up, see a guy with a slung hunting rifle on his back, and just ask if there were any problems. Told “no – folks around the fire down there are doing well”, then went off to where there were problems. (It seems you could hear some kind of ruckus from a more urban direction…)

    So yes, setting up a local “tribe” is very helpful. After one storm here a tree fell blocking in an older lady a few doors down. Me and the lady’s grandkid started the Huck Finn thing and pretty soon had a dozen folks sawing and chopping and piling wood and fetching drinks. Inside a few hours it was a stump and her front door was clear. IMHO that kind of “Y’all come pitch in” sets the stage for tribe forming.

    Per medical supplies:

    Well, depends on what it is. I have a drawer in the fridge where extra meds are stored. Most keep a very long time under refrigeration. For Type 2 Diabetes, fasting is sometimes a “cure” and often helpful, so a reduced diet may also mean reduced meds needed. For someone like my Mother-In-Law who had to take thyroxin post surgical thyroid reduction; well, they have a timer running and will need medevac or drug drops (or dying…) There are some herbal approaches but most folks wont have clue. ( I have a couple of herbal medicine books on the shelf AND a copy of the 1800s pharmacopeia on my computer – with inverter to support it – and it is heavy on herbals). So things like Digitalis for heart conditions you can make a crude replacement from foxglove (where it was discovered IIRC). Depending on what the condition is, I’d plant the associated herbal now…


    I see you are exploring the “Total collapse for the foreseeable future” scenario as opposed to just the “electricity out for 6 months but the roads are clear to town with power” Puerto Rico starting point for the discussion. That’s unlikely unless it’s a comet strike, mega-volcano, or EMP over multiple continents (nuke aw-shit). But exploring that:

    Folks initially don’t do the shunning and rejecting. That only happens as desperation gets confirmed. Eventually you get to that point. By then most of the really weak have already gone. During The Plague, European aristocracy would re-candle to remote country estates and set up guards at the gates to keep everyone else out. Leaving the urban masses to die. You would see more of that again, and folks in rural compounds would have higher surviveablity, while those in urban ghettos the least. Suburbs in between.

    FWIW, I’d probably end up the local Shaman. I have the skills and the books to become the local healer and also make things like ersatz tech stoves and fire starters.

    Also, there’s an identified gene that is much more common in European survivors of The Plague. “W something”. It confers much better immunity. That gene is why blacks die in greater percentages from a few diseases (including AIDS). The Plague never got to below the Sahara so they didn’t pass through that selection process. So there’s an existence proof for the idea of disease pandemics selecting for the hardy. I came through the ’56? flu without too much problem (it was one of the very bad ones). I toss off illness that takes those around me to their beds. My ancestors came through The Plagues…

    Yes, eventually you get tribal chieftains and gangs. One of the reasons to not “bug out” to the country. You will just be an invading alien. Locally folks know you and you are part of the tribe…

    Per bad alpha males:

    They won’t last long. It is important for them to be seen as fair and a good leader. Otherwise it’s just a setup for assassination (as noted by Jim2). In my old home town, there was a case of a bad actor who “woke up dead” out at the river. Police never did find who shot him. Not sure they tried… Anyone who did find out who did it would have bought the guy a beer or three… “Wild West Justice” was much more like that than shootouts in the main street between bad guy and sheriff.


    That’s what I grew up with as “Western Justice”. You’d get a couple of talking to episodes, and if it stayed belligerent AND The Law was not getting the job done, well, “stuff happens”… Accidents and the like. To prevent that, most folks figured it was better to “go along to get along” and do things like attend church and be nice. Rogue types who didn’t bother others were tolerated as it wasn’t worth the effort. But be a PITA long enough to enough folks and, well, “Oh look, his house burned down with him in it.” You also see this with abused wives where the husband just “wakes up dead” one morning. Takes a while to get there, but eventually…

    That’s why society evolved to polite and civil, IMHO. Pruning of the Evil Bastards. It’s also why our present social structure with Remote Untouchable Evil Bastards (like Soros IMHO) is decaying. The corrective process has been removed and the RU-EBs are taking over the governments of the world.


    Well then, I’m all set for that kind of barter. I lived with a Jazz Musician for a few years and we had regular Jam Sessions. With various drugs on the table. I’ve been through the “intro to the supplier” process and am very familiar with the “three handed handshake”. Or, in practical terms: “He’s just my room mate, he’s OK” followed by hairy eyeball and tepid transaction; then later “Oh, roomies not here at the moment, have a seat – beer or wine or what?” While I never bought anything from the guy, he came to accept me as part of the furniture.

  14. mpcraig says:

    All I have is an observation and question about the alleged Russian nerve agent attack in the UK over two weeks ago. This story has at least been in my Canadian MSM daily since it occurred. And the story is not about analysis or evidence it is about bashing Russia.

    I’ve seen much more important stories get 10% or less coverage. What gives?

  15. E.M.Smith says:

    As noted in this thread:

    I’ve chosen to do some “mass reduction” by using up some of my “odd” fuel stores. In particular, I’ve got a butane stove that uses these long 8 oz butane cans that look like a can of whipped cream.

    Well, I find I really like the stove. Just run the knob and POOF! fire. In the kitchen I’ve found it saves steps as some things I can prepare right on the counter where I’m mixing things instead of steps to the stove.

    Now I’m reaching the end of my first canister of fuel. I’ve been reminded that butane doesn’t evaporate well when cold AND at low fuel volumes, it gets cold quick.,

    I don’t know exactly how much fuel is left in the can. Maybe 10%? But it starts out with a big flame then as the fuel evaporatively cools, the flame shrinks. Just now I made a small pan of ramen (hey, no comments, I like ramen!) with about 8 oz of water. Started out big flame, just about simmer time it had shrunk to ‘not enough’ then went out. The can feels cold in the bottom of the arc. (It sits on the side in a carrier, so can’t be shaken nor warmed with a water bath). In “a while” I see if there’s enough left in it to make tea.

    I’d wondered about these butane candle / lantern things:

    One of them in comments said it was a good way to “drain the tank” you didn’t want to take out cooking with again. Now I understand. It’s a very slow gas drain that lets you get something of value out of the dregs in the can without waiting for a very slow cup of water to warm…

    Propane can get to where the fuel bottle is making frost before it starts to have that issue.

  16. E.M.Smith says:


    Well, you’ve identified one of my “propaganda here” flags. An excessive focus on what seems unimportant and a ‘4 walling’ where it shows up everywhere. (Projected on ‘4 walls’ …)

    It is part of why I’m suspecting it is part of the Great Game and a set-up.

    Historically Russia and the British Empire went at each other over Crimea. Then Europe vs Russia (and that whole German invasion thing… not to mention the prior Napoleon adventure in winter camping…) This has been called The Great Game.

    One wag said, of NATO, it was to:
    “Keep the Americans in, the Russians out, and the Germans down”

    So Trump was talking about wanting better relations with Russia. The EU is panties in a bunch about Russia while the UK see’s Russia take back Crimea just on the verge of it entering the EU with Ukraine. What to do, what to do…

    Oh, and Russia pitched out Soros and his NGO ilk…

    “Suddenly” Russia is the great evil empire again. Overnight, it seems, it goes from post USSR Russia joining the west to Evil Manipulator. Trump is accused of “collusion” (why is it “collusion” with Russia but “cooperation” with the UK, EU, and NATO areas? /rhetorical;) and Putin is accused of attempted Murder By Poison (of a kind that fingers Russia) of a substantially irrelevant person.

    Sure looks like “keep the Americans in, the Russians down” but oddly with the Germans not down…

    So who benefits?

    Soros, as he hates Russia AND Trump AND a free people.

    The UK Royal Crown, as it continues The Great Game they’ve been at for 200 years.

    The EU as it keeps NATO relevant (and America in / Russia out) while poking the UK about the risks of “going it alone” in the big bad world with Evil Russia in it.

    Who does not in any way benefit? The USA (as it keeps us engaged with NATO/EU/UN and opposed to Russia) and Russia (as they just get sanctions and crap in their face for nothing).

    Now, yes, Russia did chop off a chunk of Ukraine. A chunk that historically was Russia and was only handed over to Ukraine via a questionable process by a Premier who was himself essentially a Ukrainian. Kind of like the EU wanting to hive off Scotland from the UK. Think the UK would be justified in saying “no” to that?

    So overall, I’m leaning toward “Soros poking EU power structure who wants to both take down Trump, keep the UK off balance, and poke Putin in the eye” as the likely source of the process. Though it could also just be the UK doing a false flag to stay relevant on the global stage and keep the focus on Russia / Crimea / Ukraine in The Great Game.

    There is a very very small chance it really was Putin / Russia and they just didn’t care enough to use a Chinese / Turkish / Arab / ‘whatever’ cover and chemical signature. Not very Russian and not at all what master chess players and devious sorts would do, so very out of character; but possible.

    There’s a very very small chance it really was US Intelligence Agencies and they wanted to create a fuss between the various parties for God Only Knows what reason. Keep Trump off balance? Keep the UK / Russia “at it” and watch the communications traffic for contact tracing? Who knows.

    But the fact that it’s being 4 Walled sure makes it look like a Social Progressive Coordinated Plan, and that would finger the Soros / EU mob first and foremost.

  17. Larry Ledwick says:

    Hmmm I wonder if anyone is doing climate simulation/modeling with this Nvidia Titan V graphics cards?


  18. E.M.Smith says:

    Went back for the Tea Test. Seems that running on near-simmer for a small pan of ramen runs the can to nearly empty. I got about 5 seconds of medium-to-small flame then FUNT! out.

    The can feels empty with nothing sloshing.

    So it looks like you get some large number of meals, then one 10? ounce simmer, then done.

    Oh, FWIW I weighed the can. It’s 8 oz net of fuel and 11.8 full, so 3.8 oz of can weight. or…
    in metric via a conversion you get 227 gm fuel 335 grams full, so 108 gm of can weight.

    The flat / dome butane / iso-butane / butane-propane mix fuel cans for camping are 100 gm or 200 gm of fuel, so about the same as the 200 gm one. However, sold on Amazon for a variety of prices, the long-round ones run about $3 to $7 each while the flat ones come in at about $5 at Walmart (per folks stories – I’ve not checked) and up to $15 depending on brand at expensive places. Thus the selling of a ’round to flat can’ adapter for $8 on Amazon…

    Would be interesting to find out the tare wt of the flat camping cans, but that’s for “another day”. I’ll be buying one at Walmart as I’ve succumbed and bought a 0.8 oz Titanium stove that uses them… That’s 25 grams. So all of 125 gram for fuel and stove + tare wt of can. Going into my car bag / backpack to home once here. I’ve decided to rebuild and lighten it as well. Yes, doing a “get me home bag” refurbish. Out with the small folding min-stove thing that uses stinky tablets and doesn’t work all that well, really, in with this one. Works better in wind and enclosed spaces.

    I’m also taking the Trangia out of my car box / travel kitchen. One of these gas jobs to replace it. Reviewing the box, looks like the plastic bottle of alcohol fuel has suffered shrinkage. It’s slower than I like anyway and for on the road things I’d just as willingly use Sterno, so that stays in the box. I have a 1 burner electric hob (hot plate) for use in hotels, so were mostly talking heating water at rest stops anyway.

    Yes, cold dank day so “playing with fire”, literally ;-)

  19. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yes, eventually you get tribal chieftains and gangs. One of the reasons to not “bug out” to the country. You will just be an invading alien. Locally folks know you and you are part of the tribe…

    Yes I think this is one of the major failings of city preppers, they have no idea how long you are an outsider in small towns. In rural small towns if things go sideways with one of the multi-generational natives, you are an outsider if you can’t name a grand parent who grew up in that town.

    “. . .He’s only lived here for 20 years, when my Grand dad . . .”

    The more rural the location, the longer back that pedigree needs to be to remain a bonafide member of the tribe, unless you have done some heroic act of note that gets you accepted and adopted into the local tribe. It also depends a bit on the bonafides of the others around you. If everyone in your local group has moved in from some other place in the last 15 years, you might be considered a tribe member after only 10 years of residence. It helps a lot if you married one of the locals (reasons why tribal societies married off daughters to other tribes as a way of getting a foot in the door for allies.

  20. E.M.Smith says:



    Using GPUs is one of the current hot topics and several climate codes are being converted to use CUDA (i.e. NVIDIA GPU language calls).

  21. E.M.Smith says:

    FWIW, while the butane stove causes the tea kettle to whistle inside a couple of minutes (actual timing will be done later, but about as fast as I can set up the tea ball and get the cup ready) I just ran a test with the Sterno folding stove.

    Using “First Street” brand ethanol brand “chaffing” fuel (bought as a bulk flat of 24 at the local Big Lots or similar store… I ought to check the name… but it was cheap in bulk.. under $1/can) I put 8 oz of tap water in the tea kettle. Initial temp is usually about 56 F year round, but I didn’t measure it.

    I let the fuel warm after lighting for about 1 minute (this heats the can and the fire gets bigger) while preparing the kettle. On the Sterno stove, it took 7 minutes to reach an audible simmer, at 10 minutes there was significant visible steam from the spout – enough to say it was at a light boil. At 14 minutes it was about the same and still no whistle, so I made the tea…

    I then put 2 eggs in a small frying pan. Sloooowly they cooked… Flipped. About 7 minutes all told though I didn’t time it explicitly.

    Overall, it’s a barely tolerable cooking device. In a real emergency you could heat water for drinks, make instant cocoa, tea, even coffee, and probably even make ramen and freeze dried meals rehydrated / warmed. It is NOT suited to bad weather nor to comfortable camping / backpacking unless you need a warming plate surface to keep things warm after you cooked them on another stove. Realize my test was at 72 F room temperature and no wind. At freezing in 5 to 10 MPH wind, you might never know it was heating water…

    FWIW, I remember doing similar things using real Sterno fuel and it was similar, but a little faster and hotter. Not dramatic.

    In a few hours I’ll try the tea kettle test again using the “Simply Value” brand chafing dish fuel (methanol based and even cheaper). I did a less formal comparison some years back when I first got these fuels and IIRC the methanol fuel was noticeably slower / cooler.

    At this point I have about 20 cans of each left, and when I opened the First Street fuel there were tiny pin head sized corrosion spots inside the lid, so “storage for years” not really viable with these alcohol based fuels in cheap metal cans. Well, for a few years yes, since it DID work; but eventually they are going to fail. I do not remember ever seeing such corrosion artifacts inside Sterno brand cans even on long storage.

    OK so I’ve now put “use up the cheap knock-off gel fuel” on my to-do list. I’ll likely just use it to keep a big kettle of water at the simmer and toss it over onto the Big Stove when ready to make tea for a rapid “whistle” push. At one can / day I ought to be done in a month & 1/2 ;-)

  22. E.M.Smith says:


    My Mum was “The English Lady” her whole life. She had only lived in the town for about 35 years when she passed… Dad was accepted a little bit more, as he was a WWII Veteran and that made him part of the larger Veterans Tribe.

    Even though born in that town, I was still treated as something of an outsider. Those who had ancestors that built the town in the 1800s had status and rank. The rest not so much…

    “In my dreams” I’d like to buy 5 to 10 acres of ‘workable but rough’ dirt in the boonies on a lake / pond (not that hard in really rural Florida) and NOT very near even a small town (precisely to avoid the town-tribal long memory) and put an RV pad on it. Then, in a SHTF moment OR just weekend fishing trips, take the RV there. Enough to be “known” from visits and not a fully “space alien”…

    I doubt it will ever happen for 2 reasons.

    1) I really really hate mosquitoes and they are ubiquitous in the woods / remote.

    2) Unlikely to be completed in my remaining high function life, so better to just prep for the home care / visiting nurse / nursing home plan…

    So instead we’re looking at RV in an RV Resort on the edge of rural and enough money to pay the space rent forever… with lake fishing nearby and grocery store across the street… Still basically self contained living, but minus the farming part and yard work; and maybe add a trailer that holds 600 lbs of dry goods so we’ve got a year of survival food in a really dramatic Aw Shit. Though I might just stack boxes and put a cloth over it as a “coffee table” in the living room… A very easy way to both store and hide a food storage system.

    Very few folks would ever suspect an RV park and old folks in it of having anything worth taking.

  23. Larry Ledwick says:

    Sterno and related chaffing dish canned fuels are good for raising things to pasteurizing temp but not so much for boiling. That said, I have wondered about borrowing some technology from blast furnace construction and figure out a way to pre-heat the combustion air to about 100 deg F and see how it would work.

    I also have about 8 or 10 cans in storage for just food warming rather than cooking that requires high temps. Things like reconstituting freeze dried foods, dried soup, and cocoa mixes where you need hot water to get them to properly hydrate or mix and serve, but not so much actually cook the food.

    The pre-heating idea might be one way to use solar heating to aid cooking by setting up a rock filled collector that pre-heats during the day and then set up the air draft so it has to pass through the hot rock bed to get to the fire.

    If it was critically important to stretch fuel energy it might be work the trouble.

    Likewise a solar heat augmented sterno fuel stove might get to boiling in a manageable amount of time, by pre-heating the water to 140-160 degrees with a solar heater.

    or perhaps an alternate sterno or sterno like product would be more useful. I might try to find some of the 6 hour safe heat wick cans and try them out.


    Click to access Sterno_Product_Guide_rev_c_DIGITAL.pdf

    Click to access HOlChafingFuelBrochure094842.pdf

  24. jim2 says:

    I have a large Fresnel lens from an old-style projection TV. It will melt asphalt.

  25. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, at about the 18 minute mark the Methanol based fuel has finally reached a solid simmer with enough steam to tell me I can make coffee now. Clearly inferior fuel / power. I completely missed the “first light simmer” time as I got bored and went off to do something…

    The store I got these two fuels from was “Smart & Final”. Just stopped in again. Looks like “First Street” is their house brand.

    In the Sterno stove, especially with small pots, it DOES reach the boiling point. What changes is the amount of steam produced. I can hear it “at the boil” so clearly can poach and cook things like rice, but just not enough steam to drive the whistle.

    I mostly like it as hotels & corporate security folks are familiar with Sterno warmers so “can’t complain” as I’m not doing anything they don’t also do. It also uses “found fuel” well as a “can and grill over” with built in wind screen. Oh, and it’s something even spouse and kids understand how to operate, for when I’m not around, and without instruction (unlike many “camp” stoves).

    To juice up the Methanol, I’d likely add a bit of iso-propanol or maybe even anti-freeze. Doubt it’s worth the trouble, though. I’m just going to use them up keeping a kettle at a solid simmer…

    But, in a real pinch, and if patient, and out of the wind, and not frozen: You can cook on them. Clearly it will coagulate the proteins in fried eggs as I just did that, and boil water enough to do rehydrate and eat or simmer to cook meals. Don’t expect to fry pork chops or do sauteed vegetables though…

  26. E.M.Smith says:

    Odd… Following some of the Sterno links…

    The ‘wick’ Sterno is likely a glycol (like the Coghlan’s stuff) as they do better on wicks.

    But what surprised me was what looks like “the usual” Sterno gel (alcohol w/ Calcium Acetate in it)

    Item # 20102
    Gel formula to keep food warm
    Product Benefits

    2 hour burn time
    Recommended for chafing dishes and hot boxes
    Unlawful in the State of Pennsylvania

    Really? Why for crissakes?

    OK, so they also make a gelled ethanol “green” product. But really… What might be in there that P.O.’s Pennsylvania?

    You can make DIY Sterno like gel with various alcohols as desired.


    Basically use vinegar and calcium source (egg shells, chalk, ant-acids) to make Calcium Acetate and add some to alcohol. Wait.

    How to Make “Sterno™”
    A solid camping fuel like Sterno™ or Magic Heat™ was discovered several years ago when a group of campers forgot to pack fuel for their camp stove. Because the area prohibited use of campfires, the campers needed to use an alternative fuel source. One of the campers made a gel that they could use as a solid fuel. To make this gel, chalk was crushed and mixed with vinegar. The resulting mixture was filtered through a napkin and the liquid collected was heated using a solar reflector. Some rubbing alcohol was poured into the solution to form a gel which burned.

    You can repeat this process and make their own gelled fuel at home with alcohol and calcium acetate
    (C4H6CaO4). Either methanol or ethanol can be used for fuel. Calcium acetate (C4H6CaO4) can be purchased or made by slowly dissolving calcium carbonate (eggshells or chalk) in vinegar, filtering, and allowing to dry.

    Here’s how to do it…
    Step 1: Place about 1 oz. of chalk (or egg shells) in a mortar and pestle and grind to small pieces.
    Transfer chalk to pint container and add 4 oz of vinegar. Stir for 5 minutes.
    What’s Happening: A reaction between chalk (calcium carbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid, dilute) to
    produces carbon dioxide, water and calcium acetate

    Step 2: Pour the chalk-vinegar mixture into the funnel lined with a coffee filter and collect the liquid
    in a pint container.
    What’s Happening: Filtration of un-reacted chalk from the mixture to leave a solution of calcium acetate
    in water

    Step 3: Pour 2 oz of the liquid into the dish. Gently heat the dish with a Bunsen burner until the volume
    is reduced by half. Turn off burner and allow concentrated solution to cool.
    What’s Happening: Removal of excess water will concentrate the calcium acetate in the solution.

    Step 4: Add 1 oz. of alcohol to liquid in dish. DO NOT STIR! The gel should form rapidly. Pour off any
    excess alcohol.
    What’s Happening: Mixing alcohol with calcium acetate will form the gel fuel

    Personally, I did this using glacial acetic acid from my photo supply stock, but that's likely hard to get now in this digital age. Also worked with isopropanol, but was more prone to sooting.

  27. E.M.Smith says:

    Ah, I ought to have known that ZenStoves would have a write up on all the possible Sterno-like fuels:


    If you’ve not wandered ZenStoves, do so. It’s a stove fanatics playground… they have reviews of just about every stove on the planet and very good write-ups on the nature of the different fuels.

    Make Your Own Gelled Alcohol Fuel – Canned Heat

    Extreme do it yourselfers can make their own gelled fuel at home with by mixing alcohol and calcium acetate (C4H6CaO4).

    The following instructions and measurements are from the Montville High School Science Departmental.

    Add 25g of crushed chalk or egg shells (calcium carbonate-CaCO3) to 100ml of vinegar (water and acetic acid – CH3CO2H) and stir for about 5 minutes.

    This should produce carbon dioxide (CO2), calcium acetate (C4H6CaO4) and water (H2O) plus leave you with some left over chalk (CaCO3). If you are guessing on how much chalk to add, just make sure that there is a little extra after 5 minutes of stirring.

    Remove the excess chalk by filtering your mix through some filter paper (coffee filter or napkin can be used).

    Set a funnel in a jar, place your filter in it and pour your suspension through it.

    Mark the level of your solution in its container and allow your solution to evaporate off about half that volume to remove the excess water.

    Place your solution in an oven set on low heat or place it out in the sun to dry. If you went to far – just add the missing water.

    Note – if you like, you can dry out your solution completely and store the remaining dried calcium acetate for future use.

    If your solution isn’t already in the container you want your gel in, then pour it in there now.

    Add 30ml of alcohol (ethanol, methanol, or isopropanol) to your solution and watch the gel form. Do not stir.

    Once the reaction in complete, pour off any extra fuel.

    Y2kSurvivor suggests:

    Dissolved calcium acetate solution ratio:

    1 part dry calcium acetate (by volume) to 2 parts water

    Solution to fuel ratio:

    1 part dissolved calcium acetate solution to 4 parts alcohol

    Also see:
    Canned Heat: Alcohol Gels – University of Wisconsin
    Canned Heat An Alcohol Gel – Chem Matters
    Canned Heat: Sterno – Normal Community High school

    “In a pinch” you can in fact just pour some alcohol into an empty Sterno fuel can and use it as liquid fuel. You have the risk of a knock-over spill, but the cooking is essentially the same or a little hotter (no water in the fuel).

    Frankly, from my POV, the only use of bought gel fuel is to get the can for use with bottled alcohols and found fuels. I don’t care all that much about spill risks as I’m not a doofus when it comes to fire.

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    God I love ZenStoves… It’s the whole attitude thing:


    Referencing a very analytical graph made from a spread sheet for comparison of fuels / cooking systems and how much initial weight for a given number of days in the field:

    For petrol stove weight calculation, the lightest appropriate aluminum MSR bottle or bottle combination is used (i.e. 11oz for up to 11oz, then 22oz, then 33oz, then 33oz + 11oz, etc). Bottle capacities are based on advertised fluid capacity with Coleman fuel (specific gravity 0.69).

    The horizontal steps along the line plotted for gas stoves demonstrates how fuel determination is incremental, dependent on number of and/or canister size. It is possible to use different canister sizes and partially used/emptied canisters to get a little bit closer to your needs, decreasing excess weight or days without hot meals. For gas stove weight calculations a 110gm SnowPeak canister is used up to 16 meals, then 220gm canisters are used from that point on. Two separate graphs are shown. The first show the average weight is you carry your empty canisters with your. The second graph shows average weights when the weight of a canister is dropped when fuel runs out, simulating a hiker meeting a Buddhist monk who wants to use the empty canister for a small gong and the hiker giving it in trade for a bowl of lentils or perhaps some nice soup which isn’t counted as a meal for graphing purposes but tastes better than the rehydrated freezer bag meals he packed.

    For alcohol stoves, a plastic bottle is added for every 44 meals. Weight of bottles are not dropped, and it is assumed that hikers who carry alcohol stoves don’t litter and will pack empty bottles for the entire trek.

    An extra container of tinder is added for every 28 days of wood burning. For ease of calculations purposes, the weight of tinder remains constant.

    FWIW, 160 meals of white gas takes 1.2 Kg. of cooking system. Call it 60 days with a couple of cold meals some times. Basically, a small efficient camping stove and a can of Coleman white gas lets you cook for a very very long time…


    Covers the general needs for cooking and how to meet them, depending on your nature and where / when you will need it.

    Wisperlite Multi Fuel Stove

    Isobutane canister fuel is a delight to use on the trail as it lights up easily while requiring minimal stove maintenance. Unfortunately this gas fuel does poorly below freezing temperatures, which is when you need your stove the most.
    There are ways of extending the usability of this fuel at subfreezing temperatures, such as inverting the canister which delivers liquid fuel to your stove instead of fuel vapors. This allows the more volatile gasses in your fuel mix to last longer while limiting heat loss through vaporization of fuel which together significantly extends the usefulness of your canisters in cold weather, especially when canisters with good fuel mixes are used. The Whisperlite Universal stove system has been engineered so that it can support a gas canister inverted, has a more than adequate generator tube to vaporize the liquid fuel and has proper jetting for butane/propane mixed fuel. It has also been tested by a reputable company from a country regulated by liability lawyers, so most feel that this system and approach is “safe” for the average consumer. Other methods of extending the operating range of gas fuels in subfreezing temperatures (such as using a bicycle tire pump to pressurize your canister) are likely beyond what the “average consumer” would consider safe or reasonable. That said, knowledge of these techniques is also part of being a prepared hiker.

    But as a backup in cold weather or when gas fuel isn’t available, you can use white gas or kerosene with the Whisperlite Universal cooking system to heat up your food in the dead of winter and even melt snow for drinking water if needed. The Whisperlite family of stoves is so well designed to run petrol fuels in the cold weather that the WisperLite International is the lightest standard issue stove for the US Antarctic Program and is used as the emergency stove in all of its Survival Bags.


    Gelled Alcohol (Sterno, Canned Heat, jelled alcohol) –

    This is either methanol or ethanol trapped in a network of solid calcium acetate forming a gel. This gel is a little safer to use than liquid alcohol since there is less of a spill hazard. Unfortunately, most gelled alcohol stoves have small top openings and often don’t get food hot enough to cook or bring water to a boil.

    This fuel usually comes in a resealable can and may be the best choice for young and clumsy campers, since kicking it over is less likely to cause a significant fire hazard as would other liquid and gas stoves. Due to costs and limitations, it is not highly recommended for most long distance backpackers.

    Which is exactly when I bought the Sterno stove stuff, with spouse and small kids likely to be “home alone” while I was on the road and not wanting to “learn them” about pumping Coleman gas stoves over the phone in a power outage…

    Then the choosing your stove thread is just a hoot:


    Petroleum Stoves (White Gas, Kerosene)

    These are the standard for camp stoves but are generally considered too heavy and bulky for ultra-light hikers. Commercial stoves are generally durable, heavy and work well at high altitudes and low temperatures. The advantage of petrol fuels are they have good heat/weight ratio, are easily found and cheap. The downside of petroleum fuels is that they can be very messy and dangerous. See Petrol Stoves for more information. Homemade versions or modifications are not recommended due to the inherent catastrophic dangers associated with burning petroleum fuels.

    Choose this stove if:

    you need to melt lots of snow in extreme sub-freezing temperatures
    you want easy to find fuel
    you like to cook your food hot and fast

    Don’t choose this stove if:

    the sound of a jet engine isn’t appealing
    you are considering light weight backpacking
    you don’t like performing maintenance or field repairs on a regular basis
    the smell of fuel on your fingers or gear makes you nauseous
    the possibility of severe burns or loss of facial hair is undesirable


    Chemical Solid Fuel Stoves (Hexy, Hexamine, Esbit, Triox, Fuel Tab)

    These are simple, light and worth considering. Many alcohol stove setups double as solid fuel burners and some hexamine (Esbit) setups may even burn better in comparison to other stoves when considering water boiled per ounce of fuel. One drawback of hexamine is that it produces a noticeable odor and leaves sticky residue on pots.

    Choose this stove if:

    getting water hot or to a boil is your idea of cooking
    you want the lightest system available

    Avoid this stove if:

    finding fuel in small towns is important
    cooking options beyond slow are desired
    you want a cheap fuel
    having brown sticky residue on your pot irritates you to no end

    I found the “noticeable odor” more on the line of “gag and head for a window”… but I don’t remember just what tablet chemistry it was when that happened… something cheap from the army surplus store (but not actual army issue…) IIRC.

  29. Larry Ledwick says:

    As far as self contained small gasoline fuel back packing stoves the old reliable Primus should probably be high on the list

    Plus the old reliable (here in the US Coleman single burner)
    Coleman single burner dual fuel gasoline camp stove

    I have no idea what happened to my light weight gasoline camp stoves, probably a better choice for carrying in the car rather than propane so might have to pick up a new version of this critter.
    Along with a simple fuel siphon you would have effectively unlimited cooking fuel even if the gas tank was nearly empty.

  30. E.M.Smith says:


    OMG, they still make the Primus PT-3…

    FWIW, I already have one of the Coleman single burner Unleaded stoves #533. Works great. Used it to cook about 1/2 my meals one summer just so I could be on the patio ;-) Does take sporadic pumping in prolonged use, but not enough to be a bother.

    It works with all sorts of light distillate fuels. When I was a kid, my Dad would go buy a gallon of Stoddard Solvent at the local 76 station. We used that in lanterns and stoves. Just about any petroleum naphtha works. Benzene, toluene, and xylene too. ( I had a gallon of xylene once… I was using it to increase octane for a motorcycle… then had 1/2 gallon left over). Works on unleaded gasoline, and on the current unleaded E10 fuels. Seems to just always work, even if abused, stored too long with fuel still in it, or not used for a year. I just 2 days ago brought mine in from the patio (under an awning) where it has sat for about 2 years. The cardboard box it was shipped in had started to delaminate and looked oxidized. Stove inside looked near new…

    Until a couple of years ago, it and my 2 burner Coleman Unleaded stove were my default EOTWAWKI kit along with a matching dual fuel lantern. Then the “screw with the gasoline” went one step too far and I decided to swap over to Kerosene (as it is screwed with less and stores better than E10 and the proposed E15). That’s when I did the series of kerosene stove / oven tests. I know own a Coleman Kerosene lantern (similar to the Dual Fuel one but with a preheater ring around the gas generator that you fill with fuel and light to pre-heat it) along with a very nice wick based kerosene stove. Couple of gallons of K1 and you are “good to go”. Though now California mandates died K2 at the pumps, lord only knows why… they seem deathly afraid folks will run $5 / gallon un-taxed kerosene in their Diesels instead of $3.50 / gallon D2.

    Even now, if “car camping”, the 533 is my default stove.

    In my backpack sized kit, I have a Trangia alcohol stove and “aluminum ring” pot holder, along with a bottle of “HEAT” methanol. I’ve decided to swap that for a miniature 0.8 gram gas stove made of Titanium and a butane/propane mix gas canister (good down to something like minus -10 C and I’m not ;-) so no worries about cold performance). I’m pretty sure it will hold up better in prolonged storage (as the plastic HEAT bottle has had some volume evaporate over the last few years in the car). But “we’ll see” in testing when it gets here.

    The 533 + alcohol stove effectively let you use the entire paint thinner / solvent department of Home Depot as fuel supply.

    I do have an MSR multi-fuel expedition type stove that runs on anything from light solvent to unleaded to white gas to kerosene to Diesel that I used to carry in the car kit, especially when the Diesel was my daily driver, but it’s big & heavy compared to modern stuff & has a high “dick with factor” to make it go, oh and: soots the pots horribly on Diesel, and I’m just much more interested in packing a clean gas cartridge than running on variety found fuels. (I’m not on the road middle of random spots 1/2 a country from home any more, so different needs. Just need comfortable “walk home in a few days” with coffee and soup on the way – and without a lot of cleaning and fussing.)

    As I’m swapping to the Subaru as my “daily driver”, were I packing a larger car kit cross country, I’d now toss in the Coleman Dual Fuel single burner as it runs nicely on car gas. I can see the case for a smaller “whisperlite” like gasoline stove; but can’t justify it. Also the smaller backpacker stoves that run on unleaded gunk up the generator & jet more and need more fussing (smaller sized bits and rubbers that age out in higher heat). I’ll likely keep one of the small alcohol stoves in the car kit “just in case”. Were I stranded somewhere like middle of New Mexico and it was a loooong walk back, I’d not want to depend on cartridges of fuel nor carry the 533 in a pack; while the odds of finding “fuel line drier”, shellac solvent, and rubbing alcohol along the way would be high. ( I tested it on isopropanol rubbing alcohol and it works, but with some soot and not quite right action…)

    But that’s unlikely to happen.

    Spouse and I will tend to both be together from here on out, with only a few trips apart. We’re unlikely to need a “long hike” and even in a major Aw Shit with us middle of nowhere would be more likely to “survive in place” than hike home. No kids to worry about anymore and no real reason to be any place in particular. So emphasis shifting to “keep comfortable for a few days to weeks” and away from “How the hell to I get home from here?”

    So you pack different stuff and plan for different needs. More air mattresses and water filters, less hiking pack and bushcraft tools.

    But that Primus IS cute… maybe I can figure out a way to “need it” if I try hard ;-)

  31. Larry Ledwick says:

    Yeah that is my problem I have too good of an imagination and can almost always find a “good” reason to need a new gadget. In some cases it is legitimate testing just to understand the advantages and limitations of the different designs but in others it is just, “that is so cool!”

    In the case of small camp stoves I am not a big fan of the super light weight stoves just because they are so darn easy to tip over. At least with the Coleman it is big enough that you can bury the fuel tank an inch or so in the dirt and along with the weight of fuel it is really not easy to knock it over.

    The other “legitimate” reason is simple redundancy, I like having multiple options for really important tasks, as I have too many times depended on something to be reliable and gotten left holding the short end of the stick when a long way from home one minor little glitch keeps you from using it.

  32. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; your life is way too complicated. ;-)
    K.I.S.S. is the best survival tactic as well as you being versatile as to the options that life presents. Murphy’s law always prevails…pg

  33. E.M.Smith says:

    Why do you say it’s way too complicated? Because at $20 to $60 / stove they are cheap to buy and buying one every couple of years for 40 years gives you a lot of stoves? ;-)

    In reality, it’s just an accumulation of interesting gear over a few decades of changing needs. “Right tool for the job” each time, but the jobs change. in reality, of all the stoves I own, about 90%+ of them have not been used in the last 2 years. Their purpose has past (but there is no money is selling old used stoves so they sit on a shelf waiting a new day…)

    Coleman Dual Fuel 2 burner: Mattered when it was “Family of 4 camping in the wood with truck”. Doesn’t matter now that it’s “Two folks and only used in power outages really”.

    MSR multi-fuel including Diesel. Kind of mattered as part of my car Quake Kit in California and part of the Crossing the Country kit; when I was driving a Diesel car with a can of Diesel in the trunk. Now not so much…

    Mini-alcohol stove. Mattered as a very light weight backpack stove for the “get me home” kit in case of car failure or clogged roads post quake (i.e. NOT getting the Diesel car to “go there” so walking). Might still have some use in that case going forward, but a lot less “middle of nowhere walking out” likely even going cross country ’cause now I’m mostly just flying down the freeway, no longer taking the Benz over places like Christmas Tree Pass outside Laughlin Nevada (where the sign says 4 wheel drive off road vehicle preferred…) Also useful on day hikes and bike rides with the kids to make cocoa / soup / whatever at picnic tables… not so useful with them grown up adults in another State…

    etc. etc.

    So they accumulated.

    Now I’m going through “thinning the herd” and setting up for a new (simple K.I.S.S.) scenario. Spouse and me at home, power out. Spouse and me on the road, Aw Shit happens and we want a comfortable meal while we “shelter in place”. Maybe, sometime in the future, Spouse and me bugging out from Hurricane (but most likely that will just be start up the RV and drive…) Oh, and wanting less weight to haul around at this point in my life.

    Near as I can tell, that’s best served by a gas canister stove in my backpack and an alcohol stove as backup. The gas canister stove was something like $20 and I already have the alcohol stove. Then keeping the 533 Unleaded stove around the house for “whatever” should it happen, or tossing it in the car if I ever DO run coast to coast alone again, but in a gas car now.

    Seems pretty KISS to me.

    Deprecating all the “Family Sized” stuff ’cause they have moved on. (Likely give it to the Son).
    Deprecating all the “Found Fuels & Wilderness Survival” stuff ’cause I’m not doing that kind of trip much or at all any more and don’t do “hiking home post quake from 50 miles away at work”.
    Deprecating all the “Funky Toys” stuff just to get the space back in the moving van when that day comes.
    Deprecating a lot of the Preparing For Great Quake With Family as it just isn’t needed and is not needed for an RV in Florida

    In short, after living here over 30 years in the same place, time to clean out the garage ;-)

    (Where it goes to, TBD. Ask kids first, friends and neighbors second… yard sale last)

    But that doesn’t stop me from playing with the GasOne stove that was ideal for the spouse alone, nor does it stop be from using up all that stored Sterno fuel instead of just dumping it… After all, few things are as fun as playing with fire and fire makers ;-)

  34. Larry Ledwick says:

    Pretty much the same here, at first my own camping activities (drive in or hike in) that requires 2 different styles of stoves. Then later when I was on a mountain rescue team light weight and reliability became primary factors. Then shifted to more emergency preparedness, some stuff for car packs. The packs are different between the mostly stay in town car and my van which I used to drive out to Bonneville and places like Grand Teton, and Yellow Stone or like last year on a photography safari to get shots of the solar eclipse.

    I have one of those little camping stoves that uses the small thin metal canisters that you pierce the top to open them. Works great light, but shape was wrong for fitting in my pack and the canisters were getting hard to find and in really cold weather the lost pressure under use due the cooling effect of evaporating a liquid fuel to gas. I still have it, but it is “retired” as are a couple other designs when looked good on the shelf but had various minor issues in use.

    I hate to throw away stuff that works so it gets stashed in a box until I use it, cannibalize parts off it, sell it or give it away or use it as a barter trade for something else.

  35. E.M.Smith says:

    Re-checked my order. This is the one I bought:


    It’s only $14. Same basic design from various makers goes from $18 to $20 something and higher. Hopefully buying the really cheap knock off will work out OK. The reviews were good. 75% 5 star, 12% 4 star.

    25 grams. A bit under 2 kW (so about like a small home stove burner)
    Claim of about 140 g/hr fuel burn rate.

    Add a fuel canister from Walmart (about $5) and it’s all up a bit under $20.

    For that much weight gone and a fast burn, I’m willing to risk a $20.

  36. Larry Ledwick says:

    That style is the kind I was mentioning above, worked very well, but locally those fuel canisters got almost impossible to find for a while. I will have to look at walmart and see if they are stocking them again. Good light weight stove (the one I ended up carrying on search and rescue missions) for several years.

    I sewed up a little draw string pouch that held the stove with one canister attach sitting on top of a second spare canister, separated by a disk of corrugated cardboard. Resulted in a nice little long cylinder it was easy to carry in the side pouch of the back back.

    If the one that was mounted leaked you still had the spare untapped canister as a backup. I found a tin can a bit bigger than the canisters that I would fill with water and then sit it in the water. Made it more stable with the wider base and weight and kept the pressure up while cooking, early in the morning when it was cold. I slid that tin can over the bottom of the draw string pouch. In a pinch I could use that can to melt snow for water.

  37. Larry Ledwick says:

    Well I dug out that old butane camp stove. It is a GAZ Blujet S-200 and it appears the fuel cartridges are no longer available as I recalled. It still had one cartridge attached (empty big surprise I know after 25 years sitting in the back of my gear closet), and one full canister that has never been attached (pierced). Apparently the pierced style canister has been obsoleted by two different types of more secure attachment systems. I have found no adapters to convert the stove to the new style valves, so I guess this will become just a conversation piece and a one shot emergency backup with the one remaining fuel canister.

    I might go over to REI and ask around to see if there is a way to convert the stoves or try to touch base with GAZ. Great little stove for what it was designed to be used for.

  38. Larry Ledwick says:

    I found the canisters but they appear to only be available in Europe so probably illegal here in the US because it has no control valve on the bottle. (once you pierce the canister you have to use it all or vent the fuel before removing it from the stove.


    I think I will pick up one of the modern valve styles so I can use the current style of fuel cans, the amazon generic versions for the screw on canisters are only about $10.00 each, and very light weight.

    generic light weight camping stove for butane cartridges

  39. E.M.Smith says:

    Yeah, I was looking at that style (several makers). Didn’t find that particular one. At $10 quite a deal. (Some other brand had a 2 fer at $18.xx but I couldn’t see a need for two ATM). Really like the idea of a built in piezo striker. The one on the GasOne stove makes it soooo easy to use. No worries about ignition source either.

    I was also looking at this wood burner w/ alcohol insert:


    At $19 not bad. Use a bit of aluminum or tin can to make a flat insert where the spirit burner fits and you can burn gel and tablet fuels too. Would be good in the car kit. If the alcohol container has managed to leak (or get used up – I did use my alcohol stove while in Florida and I’m thinking maybe the Heet bottle didn’t 3/4 evaporate so much as I forgot to re-stock…) you can just put in some “found fuel” or resort to a small chunk of “heat tablets”.

    Pair those two in a Car Bag / Walk-out pack and you run on most found fuels, emergency long storage (tablets), and alcohol / solvents as needed; but get a couple of days from the canister to get you to a good spot without a lot of fuss. All at very low weight.

    Since I got a few Amazon Gift Cards for my birthday, I’ve got them burning a hole in my keyboard ;-) and spending them on “toys” instead of something sensible is “allowed”… (thus my buy of the dinky titanium stove…)

    Per the piercing canisters:

    I remember them well from the ’70s. Friends arguing over what was best. One hard core backpacking friend all certain that the few grams of valve weight would really matter in the long run and the lower cost of no valve on the canister too… The other arguing value of not dumping fuel when you take the stove off. Now we finally know who won that argument ;-)

    I doubt they are illegal in the USA. More likely just not much demand anywhere. I’d ask the seller if they can ship to the USA. The other thing you could do is take your empty canister and add a hose fitting to it. Solder or braise one into the side of it. Then you could refill it as desired. (Might even be possible to partly disassemble the stove and use it as a refill valve.)

    Back during the R12 to R134a transition, I started using a 20% propane 80% butane mix in my cars. Bought a “vampire tap” from J.C.Whitney that let me tap camping fuel cans and fill the car from them. Eventually filed a larger opening in the end of an old propane torch valve and removed the burner head. Connected it to the car hoses. I’d set the (empty) propane canister in an ice water bath and open the valve. It would very nicely drain the car of refrigerant into the tank as the car end was warmer than ice, so it would all evaporate and condense in the propane canister. Moved all kinds of R-12 and propane/butane gas mixes around from car to car that way.

    The point being that there are many ways to move gas around, and an empty container becomes a raw material for a new fitting…

    Or, perhaps, alternatively you could make an adapter of some sort that has a valve bit on one side and a flat surface for the “piercing bits” to sit on. Then just use screw on canisters.

    Do you know the size / part number for your stove?

    These folks have a discussion of finding canisters:


    That points at this place (in Swedish…) that has some canisters listed:


    but they mostly look (for the piercing ones) like the larger canisters.

    I’d look at the stove and IF their is a screw joint between the piercing bits and the rest of the stove body, look to replace the piercing bits with a screw on part. (Were I a stove maker in that era, I’d have one basic stove design and two bottom ends that adapted for piercing vs screw on, but I’m not a stove maker ;-) However, IF there is no joint and no part replacement, I’d just put either a “fill fitting” on the canister OR I’d put a hose fitting and use a standard hose to remote canister bit to use a screw on canister with that “empty” just acting as a piercing adapter.

    While a bit messy in terms of physical process, you could likely also just unscrew the burner head assembly and use the valve/piercing bit as a tank refill fitting. Get a hose to fit it and any other butane source. Put your canister on ice and open the valve…

    Personally I’m most fond of taking a screw on canister to “something else” adapter (commercial) and just machining out the “something else” side into a flat / hole that the piercing bits would sit on. Apply to a canister and be on your way. I suspect a 100 gram (short) canister would even give a short enough stack so as to not need too much adjusting of the canister attaching bits on the stove (assuming it has some kind of ‘legs’ that hold the canister to the piercing body).

    I probably ought to look up a diagram of the stove…

    Ah, this thread:


    Bleuet S206 / C206 cartridge.

    “It’s possible to refill a pierced cartridge in situ by removing the jet and connecting up a purpose-made refuelling rig. Though the gas carts you speak of are still readily available in the UK, the smaller capacity Campingaz carts for the original Bleuet from the 1950’s have long been obsolete and refilling one installed in the stove is the only way to keep the stove in use.”

    Has a picture too…

    ” The C206 canisters are not readily available in the US. I have an army surplus store a couple hours away that still has a small stock of em, and I spoke with someone on the east coast that found a stash in an old hardware store just a while back. As noted above, they can be refilled, does not have to be as complicated as pictured above, a cheapy butane caninster with a rubber nipple works fine. ”

    Majicwrench said:

    “As noted above, they can be refilled, does not have to be as complicated as pictured above, a cheapy butane caninster with a rubber nipple works fine.”

    True, but more gas has to be transferred than when refilling a butane lighter and hand-held refilling arrangements can get messy (and can freeze fingertips) with gas blow-by. Quite possibly you’re steadier of hand than I am, Majicwrench.

    Personally I think I’d make one of these refill hoses:


  40. Larry Ledwick says:

    The design of this GAZ Blujet S-200 pretty much limits it to the 6.75 os 190 gram cartridges. Even with the right cartridge is it a chore to get the keepers to latch over the bottom lips of the canisters. The empty one which has already been tapped is an Optimus 708 cartridge and the unused still full cartridge is a Garcia C-200 cartridge, both of the same weight as listed above.I am keeping the already tapped cartridge for exactly the reason you stated above. Checking it with a magnet it is a steel shell cartridge so a fitting could be brazed/soldered to the side of it to attach a conventional propane cartridges, take one of my old propane torch heads cut the torch end off and fasten the screw on base used to attach to a normal propane bottle and you have an adapter.

    I would like to pickup a couple more filled cartridges just for ease of use

    Hey success! I found a place that sells these 190g butane pierce-able cartridges in quantity on Alibaba search engine (minimum order 50000) Looks like they are made in Albania.


    I need to dig through my junk box in the garage I think I have a couple old propane torch heads with missing tips etc. which would be perfect for converting this to a normal screw on bottle setup, with a shut off valve so you could fill it from a standard bottle then close the valve and separate the two or leave them attached for the full capacity of the standard bottle.

  41. catweazle666 says:

    Concerning the Russian “nerve agent” attack, a number of things are clear.

    First, it appears to have been a “Weapon of Mass Distraction” designed to fill the media and divert attention from the way Theresa the Appeaser was selling out the 17.4 million of us who voted to leave the EU by giving up the UK’s claim to our fishing rights that the traitor Heath used to buy us into the Common Market, thus destroying our fishing fleet and numerous coastal towns that were dependent on the fishing and processing industry.

    Second, we now learn that meanwhile a deal has been done with a French company to produce the new British digital passports, despite the French and Germans producing their own for security reasons.

    Both of the above are clearly designed to humiliate the 17.4 million of us who put the nose of the Establishment right out of joint by refusing to obey our Europhile self-elected metropolitan elite who of course know what’s good for us, of course.

    Third, due to the totally imaginary threat from Russia we are now being pushed very hard to sign up to the EU Army which the Brussels Politburo is hoping will supersede NATO and includes provision for compulsory conscription because we need to show solidarity with the EU. Hmmm…..

    It also is significant that so far, decontamination hasn’t been started and as far as I can tell, there is no indication whatsoever of what the nerve agent really is which is why the Government has so far failed to furnish the Russians with a sample.

    The whole affair is extremely dubious, no sign whatsoever of “innocent until proven guilty” or “beyond reasonable doubt”, just “we think it’s highly likely” and similar BS.

    Too similar to the old “Dodgy Dossier” and “WMDs! WMDs! WMDs!” rhetoric that took us into the war with Iraq for my taste.

    Of course, the general attitude on the blogs etc. in the UK is that anyone who does not uncritically swallow the whole mess is an anti-Western troll in the pay of the Russian secret service.

    It’s a mess.

  42. jim2 says:

    CW – It’s a mess here in the US too. This latest excuse for a budget bill has very little of border wall funding, it does fund Planned Parenthood (abortion clinic), and funds more Dimorat initiatives, and does not end DACA. Trump is folding, apparently.

  43. Pingback: $60 – $120 per Gallon Camp Stove Fuel | Musings from the Chiefio

  44. Larry Ledwick says:

    New York Times feature on the Mandalay bay shooting. Gives a detailed time line backed up by in house surveillance video footage.

  45. E.M.Smith says:


    I like the refill adapter approach as it leaves the stove pristine, but then again, you need to take the jet out every time you refill…

    I thought the stove ran on Butane (low pressure), yet you are talking about propane torch heads (high pressure and heavier steel tanks). An issue?


    Clearly the game is “Never Give Up! Never Surrender!” and if the UK leaves, make sure all sorts of new laws and “treaties” keep things exactly like they never left.

    You (collectively) must stop that game.

    Freedom means being free, not bound by other means.

    IMHO, the simple fact that the Western PTB have decided to use Russia as the Evil Bad Guy in all things Trump points to a frame up of Russia “for effect”. Unless proven OTHERWISE, I’m going with “False Flag”. You can buy a book on-line that says how to make the nerve agent in question and I even pointed to a Wiki page on it.

    Anyone who thinks the Russians are stupid enough to use a nerve agent that fingers themselves and cause an international blow up right on the eve of Putin’s election “event” and the World Cup is not well versed in either Russian Intrigues nor in False Flag Creation…

  46. jim2 says:

    May be time to contact Congress Critters?

    “Congressional Republicans are jeopardizing the Second Amendment rights of 4.2 million senior citizens. At the same time, they have voted to funnel tens of millions of dollars to gun control organizations and support other actions that Democrats will love.

    All of this is wrapped up in the giant $1.3 trillion spending bill that the House of Representatives approved Thursday on a 256-167 vote and sent to the Senate.

    Just before President Obama left office, his administration finalized new regulations banning Social Security recipients from buying a gun if they have trouble managing their finances.

    About 10 percent of all people 65 and older risked being classified as “financially incompetent” – about 4.2 million in all.”


  47. David A says:

    Jim2, I am looking for deeper understanding on this budget deal. In general I think Trump has decided that a strong military is necessary for leveraged international negotiation ( China, NK, Iran, Russia, etc, and keeping his economic plan progressing, and his veto would have been overturned by the RINOS. ( A strategic loss)

    However some are saying that he can control much of the budget, as in building the wall with the military budget for national security, and he can not spend where he decides???

  48. David A says:

    What defines having trouble managing your budget?

  49. jim2 says:

    David A. My impression also is that he accepted the deal for the military, which IMO is worth a lot more than leverage in talks. If the SHTF, you want the best military of the bunch.

    But what is truly galling is the filibuster rule. Boils down to 60 votes are needed to pass a bill. This is not in the Constitution and could easily be changed by the ruling ReDimowits, including Senate leader Mitch McConnell. It sucks to see a backlog of nominees grow ever longer and have to accept sucky compromises like this bill because of the spineless ReDimowits.

    Trump in one of his speeches or pressers yesterday called for an end to it.

  50. jim2 says:

    David A. I mischaracterized the ReDimowits as spineless – I was just venting spleen.

    The real reason ReDimowits won’t remove the filibuster rule is that it gives them cover for failing to achieve conservative goals. Just as when the Dimorats were in power, the ReDimowits made a lot of noise about immigration control and repealing Obamacare – they campaigned on those planks! But now, when they have control, nothing has happened. The majority of them are common liars and don’t deserve to be in office. They actually kow tow to the wealthy globalists who want free labor, free trade, and free tax advantages. Those people are parasites on the body politic.

    And when it comes to Mitch McConnell, it’s possible he is being led around by his ying-yang courtesy of China. He is married to Elaine Chao, a daughter of Chinese immigrant in Taipei, Taiwan. I have not proof of that, but the China connection is intriguing. There are calls for him to be investigated for his soft stance on China.

    Mark Levin said: ““Mitch McConnell should be removed for all the reasons I’ve said before, but especially now, as majority leader,” Levin said. “And there ought to be an ethics investigation looking into his background. And I am damn serious about it.””


    Trump is up against a hoard of duplicitous liars on both side of the aisle.

  51. cdquarles says:

    Um, the filibuster rule is in the Constitution. Article I. The House and Senate can make their own rules governing their respective parts of the Legislature. The filibuster is a Senate rule. The House and Senate can change their respective organizing rules any time they want to change them.

    You’re right, they won’t unless forced. That’s what Article V is for and there are two processes that have high hurdles to overcome. But, but, but … a convention of the States can rewrite the Constitution …. and we can’t have that! Well yeah, if it comes to that, yet still they have to get 36 states to go along and that is a back stop. On the other hand, ‘they’ have already rewritten the Constitution several times over and have not followed proper procedure. For example, the word ‘affect’ is not there. It was ‘read in’ in order to cover for the 1930s fascist “New Deal”, which was and is a raw deal. The authors deliberately left “affect” out precisely because they wanted Article I, Section 8 to be strictly limited to what they wrote, when they wrote it.

  52. Larry Ledwick says:

    Since the kids marching today in the “March for Life” campaign is a big deal in the news thought I would do a bit of digging into the numbers.

    On average over recent years about 10 students are killed by shootings during school each year.
    More kids are killed every year in pool accidents and drownings.

    That means that death by school shootings is about as common as death by students participating in high school and college foot ball.


    Average 12 high school and college football players die each year, study says
    Research and found 243 football deaths recorded between July 1990 and June 2010.


    That means the statistical likelihood of any given public school student being killed by a gun, in school, on any given day since 1999 was roughly 1 in 614,000,000. And since the 1990s, shootings at schools have been getting less common.

    (that equates to 1 in 3.4 million per year)

    For comparison An estimated 8 teens die each day in car accidents. At an average school year or 180 school days in session approximately about 640 will die during a school year, making riding in a car 64x more likely to result in death that than being shot while in school.

    just a bit of perspective

  53. E.M.Smith says:


    No idea why, but your comment was in the spam bucket. Most of the time it’s a subset of a word that’s a match to a banned word, but I didn’t see any in reading it.

    I do find it oddly suspicious that a discussion of the constitutional basis of a rule went there. I wonder if the broader WordPress Admin Community has voted off the island some kind of constitutional advocacy comments…

    Well, whatever…

    So you point out that as a Senate Rule it’s authorized by the Constitution. Then there’s this thing on “affect” being “read in” to the Constitution… Um, evidence? Elaboration? I’d not heard of it before and it’s a bit unclear to me who & how a word can be added…

    Have you a pointer to an explanation? (I don’t doubt the Progressives were willing to do that, especially with Roosevelt having packed the Supreme Court)


    In most cases driving to / from events is the most lethal part.

    High school kids drinking at parties and driving badly is the biggest killer of them. Drugs gone bad in the mix too. Shootings are incredibly low risk outside the drug zones…

  54. cdquarles says:

    Evidence, okay. Some 20 years ago, a (now) famous candidate for the US Senate had a town hall in my workplace. We had quite the discussion. The commerce clause came up and the word “affect” came out of his mouth. As said, he’s well known and he used the word because that’s what ‘everyone’ has been taught about the commerce clause since the 1930s post Wicker v. Filburn, if I am remembering the case correctly. He is a graduate of a well known law school and was an employee of the US Department of Justice as a deputy DA then full DA (I forget which district, though I’m thinking either Middle or Southern, given that he’s from Wilcox county). Said person became the Attorney General of the State. Eventually, he was nominated for a judgeship (11th circuit); but was mistreated and the nomination failed. Subsequently, he became the junior US Senator. ;) Karma, she’s something else.

  55. cdquarles says:

    Oh, hit enter too soon. How was it read in? Recall the ’emanations’ and ‘penumbras’ mentioned. Via the ‘necessary and proper’ clause, most likely, was how this ‘reading’ was justified.

  56. jim2 says:

    cdquarles says:
    24 March 2018 at 4:36 pm
    “Um, the filibuster rule is in the Constitution. Article I. ”

    Um, it’s not in the Constitution. Yes, the Senate made the rule, and that’s OK. But the Constitution doesn’t say that. The Constitution says 51% will work just fine for nominee approvals and laws.

  57. jim2 says:

    Pi Alert!
    “Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+ is now on sale for $35 (the same price as the existing Raspberry Pi 3 Model B), featuring:

    A 1.4GHz 64-bit quad-core ARM Cortex-A53 CPU
    Dual-band 802.11ac wireless LAN and Bluetooth 4.2
    Faster Ethernet (Gigabit Ethernet over USB 2.0)
    Power-over-Ethernet support (with separate PoE HAT)
    Improved PXE network and USB mass-storage booting
    Improved thermal management
    Alongside a 200MHz increase in peak CPU clock frequency, we have roughly three times the wired and wireless network throughput, and the ability to sustain high performance for much longer periods.”


  58. cdquarles says:

    Yes, it does: https://www.usconstitution.net/xconst_A1Sec5.html. “Each House may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member”; so there it is, in print.

  59. Another Ian says:

    “How Israel Destroyed Syria’s Nuclear Reactor”


  60. jim2 says:

    No, cdquarles. The text you have to find in the Constitution would look something like this:

    “The Senate rules permit a senator, or a series of senators, to speak for as long as they wish, and on any topic they choose, unless “three-fifths of the Senators duly chosen and sworn”[1] (usually 60 out of 100) bring the debate to a close by invoking cloture under Senate Rule XXII.”

    It’s not in there. Handbag fight: over.

  61. Another Ian says:


    Unfortunately we’ve got them too and they’re mixed up in our equivalent of the spotted owl legislation

  62. cdquarles says:

    Nope, jim. As long as Art. 1, Section 5 says that the Senate may make its own organizing rules, by direct predicate whatever rules the Senate make are in. “Necessary and proper” applies here.

  63. E.M.Smith says:

    Just a general FYI:

    I am “away from internet” when at home… Last night, about 5pm-ish, there was a 1 minute power fail at home. That kind of short “blip” is often spiky. I was “on the road” at a social event, so the family at home was not equipped to “tend” cranky electronics. When the power came back up, everything was fine and the TV via internet resumed. About 1 hour later, the first UPS in the chain (that had been beeping asking for attention, but ignored…) ran out of juice. Sometime later, the second one in the chain (with the most important DNS server and internet router on it) also ran dry.

    Upon my return home at about midnight, I got to do “surprise Tech Support”. Reset the GFCI wall socket (which had tripped in the powers fail, but had not been reset) and then the first UPS commenced to hollering again. I removed it from the chain. Hollering when powered probably means it’s fried, but not essential to diagnosing / fixing ATM… so moved the 2nd UPS to direct wall power (and everything that was on the first UPS also to wall power- mostly desktop and monitors and a light bulb). Looked at the AT&T router. Nothing.

    There it sat. Dead black. No blinky lights.

    Well, at midnight I’m not really fond of lots of diagnostics and repairs, especially after 6 hours on the road… Today I did more. The net-net is that the power supply does light up with a little green light. (I haven’t found where I put my voltmeter when I ‘cleaned up’ two weeks ago, so not guarantee it’s working right, but probable.) Plugging it in, the ethernet hub ports on the router all give one green blink, then dark.

    My conclusion as of now is that in a power fail the AT&T router is “not robust”, and / or the UPS got fried and was emitting less than standard volts, and that’s what done it. Yet I find that unsatisfying. The UPS that was squealing was NOT the one the router was plugged into. It was at the head of the line of the ‘defense in depth’ and the second UPS seems fine.


    The bottom line is that the AT&T box is dead, and unlikely to recover. Sometime today I need to make a call to AT&T Perpetual Hold Helpless Line and report a fail.

    But first, I’m out to visit T-Mobile and get my Hot Spot re-activated. Looks like I can get enough speed to run the TV too ( 4G) and 50 GB/month before it slows, so about one TV, but not two, for an hour/day. ( 4 Mb / sec. measured is about 14,000 Mb/ hour or 1.4 k MB/hour with a few preamble overhead bits on the byte. 50,000 MB/ 1,400 = 35 hours of TV.) Not enough for daily use, but maybe until AT&T fixes their stuff…

    The Dilema:

    My AT&T contract runs out in about 3 weeks. I was not planning to renew as they will want a 2 year lock-in on contract terms changing (i.e. dropping DirecTV). But who / what to get instead? And do that NOW, or in a couple of weeks?

    The only really big alternative looks to be Comcast XFinity (so would likely need to run a new cable to the house since 30 years ago their cable was “removed to the pole”. (Hey, it crossed all the way from one corner of my back yard to the far corner of the house drooping along the way. Ugly…)

    I’m a bit out of date on the wireless options, but I doubt there’s anyone with an unlimited plan and at least 10 Mb/sec for $40 or less a month. (If I’m wrong and something big has changed, let me know!)

    So for now, I’m at Starbucks, then I’ll see if I can get T-Mobile running as my temp solution.

    Opinions welcomed.

  64. E.M.Smith says:

    CDQ & Jim2 are having a semantic food fight over the filibuster rule. You are both right.

    It is NOT explicitly written in the Constitution.
    It IS implicitly in the Constitution as it drives from the “make your own rules” clause.

    So yes, it is Constitutional, but NO it is not explicitly written in the Constitution so can be dumped at any time.


    I’ll need to look over the newer R.Pi M3… I got a new Gb ethernet switch so as soon as I’m done playing field network support I can properly assemble my Beowulf Cluster… Higher speed networking on the SBCs soon to be valuable.


    You gave me a nice mini-bio of some guy as an appeal to authority, but I’m still clueless about when, and how, and buy whom, the word “affect” got inserted. Or, for that matter, why it matters.

    A link to somebody ranting over it that ‘splains it would be sufficient.

  65. jim2 says:

    I don’t know what your CA options are for broadband, but it sounds like what with all your electronics on-line, a car battery might be a good option to supply the UPS bank.

  66. E.M.Smith says:

    I might well do that.

    More importantly, I think maybe I need to take out the GFCI. This the 2nd or 3rd time now that a power glitch has had it trip (despite no short in the office) and then the UPSs got drained. Without it, they would have carried through the glitch without issue (or died trying).

    As for options, I think mostly we’ve got AT&T or Xfinity for wired connections, and then a few other branded folks who re-sell the AT&T service with different terms. At least that was the last time I looked 2 years ago.

    I’m currently up on the T-Mobile hot spot. Good enough for a while (at a bit high price…)

    There are other providers of tethering ( or 4-G hotspots) all with high prices and volume limits (though one or two have no limits if you pay enough).

    Not looking forward to the Research phase…

  67. p.g.sharrow says:

    @EMSmith; didn’t you have this same AT&T modem/router problem about emmmmmmmm…………….2 years ago?
    Is this a “feature” of AT&T equipment to force contract renewal? Seems to happen to our systems as well after AT&T took over our Direct TVSat. service.
    Our AT&T telco internet service in Chico also seems to have a 2 year glitch that requires up grades and premature contract re-ups. Out here in the woods we have few alternatives as we are on a VERY LONG wire. Too deep in the hills for usable cell and Hughs Direct Internet satellite service is limited and not cheap.
    On the other hand it is nice and quiet at night here and We could go back to off the air TV…pg
    . ..

  68. Power Grab says:

    What a coinkydink…my old APC surge protector died last week (Friday?). They’re remodeling our building (I decided that infernal racket above me must have been jackhammers several days right overhead last week!!! and smaller noisemakers most hours during the rest of business day)… I actually got to bed before 9:30 one night last week because the noise was so wearing on me.

    Well, one of the guys who was working on installing those newer, insanely-loud fire alarms (part fo the remodel) told me that someone had cut the line to the elevator. Apparently, when they were working on restoring it, they turned off (or killed?) the circuit my newest computer is on. But I couldn’t get it to come up again on that APC. I had to switch to a generic power strip to get it to come on again. Until I did that, the computer’s power light would only come on briefly, then go off again. My other computer is plugged into an outlet on the other side of the room, and it functioned normally the whole time.

    The electrician told me that one possibility was that the event that took out the power to my circuit might well have killed the surge suppressing functionality of the APC. Well, alrighty then. I called our deskside support guy and asked if he had anything suitable to replace the APC. He asked a couple of questions and ascertained that it was pretty old anyway. They don’t even use them anymore.

    Today a runner brought over a couple of new Tripp Lite devices. Just in time for storm season. ;-)

  69. Larry Ledwick says:

    New type of super nova explosion which brightens and dims much quicker that conventional theory predicted. It involves a two stage process where the star first ejects mass creating a shell around the star then sometime later it finally undergoes a super nova explosion but the exterior shell of gas is almost instantly heated to very high temperatures (brightness) instead of the normal brightening behavior which typically takes 2.2 days.


  70. Larry Ledwick says:

    This will not be a surprise for those of us who hang out here (well maybe a bit of a surprise only in the depth of the data collected by google).

    This is precisely why I have never used google’s gmail services and rarely used google search engine when other search engines will get the job done. It is also why I never “login to other web pages using my facebook or other ids.

    I did down load my facebook info tonight and thanks to my disciplined use of it, it has nothing I care about being in their files. (in fact the down load file is a really handy archive of all the photos I have posted on my facebook account, so I now have a local copy of them all in one place.)

    Same for chats with folks I no longer need to even go onto facebook to look up some info that was shared by message on facebook now, as I can look at the local file.

    I know other people will be very shocked at what they find.


  71. Jon K says:

    Per the discussion of the filibuster, I have a question that’s been nagging at me for some time. Maybe some of you can help.
    The filibuster is frequently threatened and bills won’t be called for debate unless the leadership is fairly certain that they have 60 votes. Why doesn’t they majority leadership ever make the minority follow through on the actual filibuster and make them talk? I would think the minority party would grow tired of the exercise after a relatively short time (not to mention the political damage they would take for shutting down congress over a minor appointment) and they would save the filibuster for only those issues they deem very important. It just seemed a very quick surrender whenever the senate doesn’t have 60 votes. Am I missing something?

  72. llanfar says:

    From what I gather, the filibuster was changed at some point such that a person did not have to actually stay there and speak until 60 votes to kill or the legislation was deferred…

  73. E.M.Smith says:

    I think the current rules are that a person need not yield the floor as long as they are talking, but…no potty breaks or dinner breaks, or naps (unless the votes to let you have one). For very practical reasons, this tends to limit to about 24 hours as even with normal breaks (so potty and water / sandwich) few folks can be on their feet longer)

    @Jon K:

    It does happen some times. Rand Paul has filibustered the budget the last few times. But 24 hours of complaining at the podium doesn’t get much news time… That said: You are quite right that by far it is an idle threat and the majority folds; or doesn’t even raise the issue involved. Cowardice or more interest in harvesting lobbyist money come to mind…


    Yup. I’m almost exactly 1 month from contract renewal…

    Looks lie Comcast /Xfinity charges $10/mo. more to avoid the contract lock-in. Something like $40/mo for basic cable and internet. Looks best so far.

    Tried running the Roku through the T-Mobile last night. Works OK, but resolution drops. Netflx has a mode that displays Mb/sec and scan rate… 480 or sometimes even 240i… Never got to 720p. That kind of kills the notion of wireless. ( one TV at 780p AND one at 1080p through a device giving 480i? ) Was at prime talking time, so might improve at midnight… or not in an urban jungle with a million folks on cell phones…


    I don’t mind a UPS sacrificing itself to save the rest of the equipment. I am annoyed when it fails and takes the downstream gear with it. (Not so annoyed when it isn’t my gear that got fried…)

    There is a modest circuit board that’d the UPS guts. Hard to expect it to stand up to major surges.

    The AT&T gear has a note on it in mice type saying it can take 15 minutes to boot, and not to power cycle it then or it can die. I.E. not very robust equipment…

    This socket is on the inside wall about 5 feet from the power entry / breaker box on the outside wall. This means it gets major surge first compared to rest of house. Maybe it’s time to put a surge arrestor in the breaker box…

  74. E.M.Smith says:


    Yes, very spooky what is collected.

    Now you’all know why I have a stupid flip phone, my tablet has NO built in radio (phone service / ISP connection) and only connects via WiFi and only when I turn that on), why I rotate through a dozen computers with a half dozen browsers each doing different things on different systems, do NOT signup for ANY social media, and sporadically reset systems to a new install state (so figuring out it is “me” must restart…), use non-Android & non-Microsoft OSes whenever possible , etc. etc. Isolation of use cases is valuable… integrated connectivity is evil…

    It isn’t because I’m a reclusive ass… (that’s a freebee ;-) but because I saw this coming…

    The downside is sometimes I get odd advertising…. One of my devices now suggesting I need some kind of feminine products… probably because I was looking at cookware on it… and generally housewares stuff.

    Oh, and even if you are NOT a facebook account user, just looking at a facebook page can get a “beacon” installed on your computer. I also avoid using ANY Chrome (Google) applications. Just say no.

    It requires constant, persistent, and significant effort to retain even modest privacy.

    But on the plus side, now you know why I keep saying I’ll likely build my next phone. So as to have software control of it. No Android need apply. I’d accept a PGP phone as those guys are clueful about security, but we’ve been waiting a decade for it to ship already… But I want to build in a “block list” that simply prevents ANY communication with “social media” properties IP addresses.

    Maybe a go-fund-me or similar is in order… a “smart phone” that really is smart and refuses to communicate to the abusive services under any condition… But I doubt most folks would want it, or would understand why it wasn’t a bug that it can’t “do” facebook, google, etc…

  75. cdquarles says:

    It matters, EM, because prior to the “New Deal” via Wicker vs. Filburn, commerce meant just that. Prior to this case, and recall why FDR wanted to ‘pack’ the Court, it had to be recognized trade between a seller and a buyer, and in the case of trade within the US of A, the trade had to involve buyers and sellers across state lines (like me buying from Sears in IL via their catalog while I was not in IL).

    The case involved a farmer growing wheat on his farm for his own (and his family’s) use. There were production quotas involved via FDR’s marketing boards. Farmer was told that he couldn’t grow the wheat. Farmer objected. The case made to the Supreme Court. Court ‘read in’ ‘affect’ via ‘necessary and proper’ to give FDR the power to tell a farmer what he could grow, where he could grow it and to whom he could sell it to or to whom he could not sell it to, via the legislation Congress passed. [Same laws gave us nationalization of mortgages and much more. See FNMA and others.] That perversion has been taught as standard Con Law since, as far as I am aware. Thus illustrating how the Constitution is amended with and without going through the specified processes.

  76. E.M.Smith says:

    Just trying to “count it up” and I’m at 10 different devices on which I use YouTube, none of them with any common “login” to flag who I am (other than the ROKU devices sharing a login identity, but I don’t know if that’s shared to Youtube…) Some of the devices have multiple personalities (i.e. swapping of OS) and multiple personas (i.e. several logins – like this Mac where I have only two at the moment, or my Linux boxes where I typically have at least 3 ).

    Good luck lining all that up as “me”…

    Then about every 2 years I’ll scrub a given platform and start it over… Sometimes as often as a few months for the R. Pi like boards. Even tracking by IP will be an issue as sometimes I’ll go via VPN, and then, like now, it’s via hotspot. “Doable” if they beacon things a lot, but not everyone installs beacons (since some folks look for them and talk dirt about you if you use them…)

    It’s about time for me to get a new (bigger this time) chip and make a new Mac image… It is the one most at risk of “identity leakage” as i like it for many things ;-) both at home and on the road. Even there, though, we’ve got 2 personas and 3 browsers. One persona only used inside the house. And no login identities on any social media sites to shout who I am and how to collate my activity.

    Maybe I need to formalize that more. Have distinct logins for “home”, “out and about”, “blog work”, “at Friends”, etc. Never the same locations shall share a login… That would be fairly easy to do…

    The whole idea is “You can never cross the same river twice” so be the moving river…

  77. E.M.Smith says:

    Found my volt meter. AT&T PSU is making the expected 12 VDC center positive.

    Given that the telco connection died about an hour AFTER the power glitch, I’m wondering if someone was working on a pole and managed to send some volts down the phone line…

    Well, at least now I know. Not going to recover it “on my own” with a cheapo powersupply brick from Weird Stuff… or Fry’s.

    It IS oddly familiar… Circuit dies just in time for me to, again, log a service call and be given the upsell mambo… I’m going to use it as an opportunity to tell them I’m not going to renew in April. Just fix it…

    At this point I think I’ll keep the T-Mobile hot spot live (but move to the cheap plan something like $25/mo? ) for use out and about (I’ll save that much just on gratuitous Starbucks stops ;-) and talk to the Xfinity folks about their minimal service plan… while doing a ‘broad net choices review’ to see if I can turn up any other real choices.

  78. E.M.Smith says:

    Well, the T-Mobile is now running a full 720p to the TV. Guess not a lot of phone calls mid morning…

  79. Larry Ledwick says:

    My Comcast modem died a while back, and when I called in they told me it was an obsolete modem and they would send me a new replacement. I got the replacement but it was obnoxiously large (one of those clever designer shapes that will not stack on anything and looked like some futuristic space hardware), I never installed it. Interestingly the old modem started working again shortly after the service call (like they had intentionally end of life’d it to force an upsell to the newer style modem (or it could have just been one of those occasions where the Comcast modem goes stupid and you have to do a complete power reset). I bought a third party modem and installed it, and have used my own modem ever since.

  80. E.M.Smith says:

    The AT&T box stands upright (on edge) and has a non-flat surface profile (like both sides are slightly parabolic). No way you can make a ‘stack’ of it. Just this obelisk on the desk that must be inside 10 feet of a particular spot on the wall where the wire enters…

    FWIW, I tried every kind of reset and reboot I could think of. No joy. It’s just a dead box. When the new one arrives I’m going to try the new PSU on it, just to be sure. It could be giving 12 VDC at no load but failing under load, I suppose. But all indications are the PSU is fine. I suspect someone was working on a pole somewhere and first glitched the power, then managed to send a spike down the communications line…

    For now, I’m getting good internet data connection from the T-Mobile Hot Spot and TV that wanders from 480 to 720p depending on load conditions. Good enough for a couple of days.

  81. p.g.sharrow says:

    When we had a business AT&T DSL/Tel/cable modem in Chico they seemed to die every time there was a serious power outage. Every time they sent out a service guy he would want to cut out all the communication system and do a direct household type hookup just to the office phone. One day it took me 4 hours to fix the butchery one of them did. All he needed to do was plug in a 4 foot jumper that was there to do the needed hook up. This was in a big connection cabinet with schematics and labels on all the lines and office connection boxes. Grrrrrrrr…….just install the new box and leave! do not “fix” the internal wiring!
    AT&T buys the bare minimum spec box from suppliers in CHINA. It’s main feature is it can’t be fixed or re-programed…pg

  82. Another Ian says:
  83. Larry Ledwick says:

    Nissan has a strategy to recycle (partially anyway) older car batteries, but salvaging the better performing units in the packs and re-purposing them to less demanding applications.


    It is apparently getting to the point they need to start dealing with the long term life cycle issues of the battery packs before they all start failing at the same time.

  84. E.M.Smith says:

    @Another Ian:

    Perfect candidate! Has all the qualifications they were looking for in Hillary. Remember, the main requirement was to elect a woman president. Stormy has more and better qualifications for that. Bigger boobs and more experienced,er… “Has Presidential Experience” if you can believe her claim per Trump…

    /sarc; of course…


    Had that experience at a friends house in North Carolina. (When I helped him move from here to there). We’re in the house having unloaded truck. The house is some thousands of square feet multi-level high end place. Has a full on interior wiring cabinet. All rooms have lines punched down to RJ-45 sockets in the cabinet. Just jumper from the RJ-45 exterior block to the room of your choice.

    Guy runs a NEW wire (can’t use the one already there at the outside point of presence after all, to this box. Proceeds to screw down one of those 2 inch square things inside the patch panel. Then uses a very smart signal generator / pick-up to find the right leads for the “office” (never mind the labels…) and proceeds to UNWIRE THE OFFICE FROM THE RJ-45 SOCKET and screw the wires into the 2 inch thing he just installed.

    OK, it worked. But clearly entirely unclear on the concept of a patch panel… The “tech guy” I was helping move said to leave it as he didn’t care (was just renting for a while anyway and was not going to change what room was the office while he was there, and could fix it if he needed to) but it really pained me to see such “house painter doing a touch up to the Mona Lisa” approach to a wiring closet.

    All he really needed to do was connect to the outside wires for the RJ-45 in the patch panel, then install an RJ-45 to RJ-45 jumper. Don’t have one? I’ve made them before and he had all the needed tools and bits. It’s one wire and two crimp on ends. Besides, the patch panel had a couple in it…

    I will NEVER let them wire inside my premises unattended…


    I do marvel at how many people who must, at some time, have dealt with dead cell phone, car, or laptop batteries; and are clearly not paying attention to the built in ‘your car will now die’ of a battery driven car…

  85. jim2 says:

    What would happen to one of us at work if we had a keg in our office??? Of course, we are talking mucky-mucks in the CA government.

    “Assemblywoman Cristina Garcia, D-Bell Gardens, faces allegations that she groped and harassed legislative staffers. (California Assembly)”

    ” Yes. At some point I’ve had a keg at my office. A lot of us do. It’s part of the culture of socializing after the way business gets done. I think we can have a discussion about that and discuss whether or not that’s appropriate. ”


  86. jim2 says:

    They probably use the beer to take the edge off the LSD they use to craft the really creative laws that they are famous for.

  87. E.M.Smith says:

    Maybe it’s a California thing…. I’ve had kegs at work… and a Scotch testing…

    At Apple, the whole company had a Friday beer bash. In the cafeteria, but beer at the desk was OK too. 25 years ago. Don’t know about now.

    Once, for a May Day party I think it was, most of the managers had other things planned. Believe it or not, I was assigned to go to the beer party in our building and “be in charge”. That mostly meant making sure we didn’t run out of beer and doing Q.A. on the Harp Lager keg. Oh, and if anything horrible happened, taking the blame…

    So yes, I was paid to sit around and drink beer at a party…

  88. llanfar says:

    At IBM they have beer/wine parties once in awhile (limit 2). Not supposed to go back to work after that…

  89. E.M.Smith says:

    I know it was long away and far ago, but at Apple, then it was: Limit (floor) and you could go back to work any time you could still get back to work..

    True Story;

    i had been working for Amdahl Corp (an IBM “knock off” / clone seller). They were IBM Wannabees in the days when IBM was all white shirts and ties even if you were a grease monkey. So adopted many of the mannerisms. One was a House Rule: possession of alcohol on campus was a fireable offense.

    After working there a few years, I went to Apple. 2nd or 3rd week or so there, I’m at the Friday Beer Bash with beer in hand. I’m barely comfortable with this, but having been to a one or two, starting to be relaxed about it. This was in the open area of our building and my desk was same building, other side. Someone comes up with A Major Issue Right NOW! Needs emergency attention. OK, time to fix it at my desk, it’s fairly quick just log on, and do some admin magic… At my desk, tapity tap tap… TAP TAP tapity tap. Hmmm… Not quite what I expected… Need just a moment to think…

    Reach over while staring at the screen and sip my beer… sipping my, what was that, my… MY BEER! OMG I’M AT MY DESK WITH A BEEEER (short adrenaline shot… not wanting t be fired…) Oh, wait, this is Apple. it’s OK… Loong slow pull on the beer, feet up. Ahhhh… BING! I know the fix. Tap tap tapppity tap, return! Yay!

    Then I slowly walked back to the cafeteria, finished that one, and got another.

    The next 7.5 years where wonderful ;-)

  90. p.g.sharrow says:

    BEER at work, Hell Yes! Sometimes it is necessary “to get her done!”
    Beer is food for body and soul, at times, medicinal as well.
    When doing Hot, Dusty, disagreeable jobs on the farm a 6pack might be needed for successful completion of the days work. A second for recovery in the evening. ;-) …pg

  91. Larry Ledwick says:

    measure – – counter measure
    Firefox is building a facebook sand box container to isolate it from the other sites you might be browsing.


    I accomplish that by opening only facebook on one browser and do other things in a different browser.

  92. Rhoda Klapp says:

    When I was at IBM just having a beer can in the trunk in the parking lot was a firing offence in the US. UK IBM was a little looser, but you wouldn’t drink on the premises. IBM France had beer and wine in the cafeteria.
    At a rather younger company in Mass they had a monthly pizza party and beer every friday in the office but after work.

  93. Larry Ledwick says:

    An interesting look at who really showed up for the March For Our Lives protest in Washington DC, it was not quite the crowd makeup the media led everyone to believe. The majority of the crowd were actually middle aged well educated pro-Hillary women not school age kids demanding action on guns.


  94. E.M.Smith says:

    AT&T Speaks – From the “unclear on the concept” department…

    So my internet box is down. Dead dead dead. The nice lady on the phone caught clue when I informed her I’d tested the power brick with my voltmeter and it was in spec and producing 12 VDC center positive and it was not power, it was a Dead Box. So she sent me another one. Fine.

    It is supposed to arrive today “sometime”. At about 10 am I get a robo-call from a very nice, if a bit slow, computer telling me that AT&T loves me and is shipping out a thingy Real Soon Now and if I’d like directions on how to install it or a schedule update or anything, go to att.com/service or some such on the internet. Which is down here. Which is why they are sending me the box.

    Sigh. Very much plus ungood…

    So basically they had a robot tell me to go to Starbucks to find out if I need to be at home RIGHT NOW as the box may show up any day, or tomorrow, or something.

    Now yes, I have installed temporary internet ’cause I’m that kind of geek and tossed some bucks at T-Mobile for a hotspot activation. That’s not the point. IF I had NOT done that, I’d be up creek without hip-waders. Their standard form of service expects you are getting service from someone else. when your internet connection dies.

    So oh so double-plus ungood sans-clueness.

    I guess it was “a thought too far” for them to have the robot say something useful like “On the truck, delivery after noon today”…

  95. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting item on the Washington sword dance of dueling investigations.

    the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) will initiate a review that will examine the Justice Department’s and the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) compliance with legal requirements, and with applicable DOJ and FBI policies and procedures, in applications filed with the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) relating to a certain U.S. person.

    Click to access 2018-03-28b.pdf

  96. Larry Ledwick says:

    I suspect this is going to turn into a huge can of worms.
    Does this mean they will poke around and do deep packet inspection on emails?
    Will they dig into your local disk drive and examine the contents of your documents folder or other files?


  97. E.M.Smith says:

    One wonders how they will police Skype (every conversation has a censor listening in?) then there’s that thorny problem of how to tell people what they can’t say if you can’t type it in an Office doc nor say it over Skype nor…

    I’d care if I used any of their stuff, but as I’m in the land of Linux Freedom, I just don’t give a shit. Worst case is it will drive freedom loving folks away from Micro$oft and to Linux as they just say “Oh fick It”… repeatedly ;-) to all their friends !;-)

    It will also push more encryption. With luck, we’ll finally have something that get folks over the hump (will “humping” be banned? What then with ‘over the hump’? Hump day? – vs Humping weekend? Good luck getting an A.I. to sort those out… and then other language snips in English and vs. visa… “fuch”? And what about 733t? )

    Ah well, might be entertaining…

  98. Larry Ledwick says:

    Speech recognition is getting good enough that they could flag skype sessions for suspect content and then have a human review them if it gets more than a certain number of hits.
    NSA and CIA already do this sort of thing with intercepted phone calls and radio traffic, looking for key words and having a machine filter like Amazon Echo listen for certain key words/phrases.

    It is like what Twitter and some others are doing now going back through old posts and building a pattern of behavior to justify pulling the plug on certain users.

  99. E.M.Smith says:


    Text search on email by TLAs was common very early (70s?). Some friends and I would stick a .signature on all our mail (especially absolutely benign stuff) with a couple of dozen key works in it, just to trigger their flags and waste their time. So stuff like “Nuke, Communist, submarine, cocaine, Washington, ….”

    Eventually we got bored with it and stopped.

    At another time we’d call up a friend who worked in Top Secret Clearance Defense and greet him in Russian when he’d answer, then when he’d say “don’t DO that!!!” we’d switch to a heavily accented English “Oh, so sorry, not to Russian be speaking”… we knew they had word detectors on the line and that would wake up “Clarence Clearance” as they would trip on Russian. Figured it was good for about a week or two before it was just “Oh, them again…” ;-)

    I’m absolutely sure that there’s at lest 2 folders somewhere in D.C. with me in them that say “If it’s him, just ignore him. Damn Geeks.”


    Played with SUSE for a while. Decent release. Has the Germanic style of “You vill do it OUR way, and you vill LIKE it!!! (or else…)” But generally works well.

  100. Larry Ledwick says:

    I think SUSE was the distribution I finally got to work for the SETI at home program in the late 1990’s.

    On a slightly different note, interesting observations on automation as they apply to Tesla coming from the Bernstein report on Tesla’s manufacturing.

    Limitations of automation in manufacturing

    Limitations of automation in manufacturing other manufactures experience

  101. Another Ian says:

    Ingenious suggestions re McCabe’s go-fund-me follow on from

    “El Torito says:
    March 29, 2018 at 4:34 pm

    What if we get a million people to donate a penny. Make it a monthly recurring payment. Like a denial of service attack…Bog their server down processing useless donations.”


  102. jim2 says:

    Susan Rice was appointed to Netflix bored of directors.


    I just dropped my streaming and disc subscriptions and told them why. I’m just not that hard up for entertainment.

  103. E.M.Smith says:


    See: https://chiefio.wordpress.com/2018/03/30/dear-netflix/

    I saw it on RT and, well, there’s lots of choices…

  104. Larry Ledwick says:

    Lots of folks are leaving netflix from what I am seeing on twitter.

    On a different subject password strength a couple interesting items:

    Click to access WP_Consumer_Password_Worst_Practices.pdf

    This item lets you calculate the time it would take a cracker to break your password with a brute force attack. It looks like you should shoot for 11-12 characters with special characters, and upper and lower case. That gives enough entropy that even a fast cracker would take a life time to break the password.


  105. Gary P. Smith says:

    “If a man is not liberal at age 20, he has no heart. If he is not conservative by age 30, he has no brain”.

    This quote is often attributed to Churchill, and it is often disputed that he didn’t say it. I could care less who said it or exactly how they said it. More important to me is that I recognize that as a back-end member of the Baby Boomer generation, I went through that transformation.

    My concern is: Are the Gen Xers, the Millennials, and whatever name is given to the current crop of marching high school teen agers, going through this same transformation? Will they see the light in time and start to save and make investments for their future? Or worse, are they destined for Liberalism, Socialism, and dependence upon government support forever?

    As an aging Baby Boomer nearing retirement, I am expecting a portion of my retirement to be funded by the Ponzi scheme that I was compelled to contribute to: Social Security.

    We Baby Boomers did not do our job by electing representatives that would restore the Social Security funds to the Treasury rather than passing it on as an obligation to future generations. So, I wouldn’t really blame the future generations for electing their own representatives to reject that and tell us “you old farts are on your own”. Their demographics are about to overwhelm ours within the next year or two, so then what happens?

    Fortunately, my wife and I worked hard and saved hard, and in theory could get by even if we received no Social Security, as long as the stock market continues along the same path it has for the last 120 years. Therein lies the rub. My nightmare scenario is this:

    1. They cut back sharply on SS payouts, forcing those of us who have saved investments in the stock market to sell under severe downward price pressure.
    2. This puts more severe downward pressure on the stock market prices.
    3. This forces us to divest a higher percentage of assets at lower and lower prices in a circling drain of downward prices.

    How can I protect my retirement nest egg? I don’t really want to pick a time and move it all into cash, especially as the government answer will likely be to inflate the debt away as E.M. has predicted several times. But I’m not seeing a good alternative. Can I stick my head in the sand, cross my fingers and hope that the future generations become more conservative and start saving for their own retirement?

    “Hope is not a strategy – E.M. Smith”

    Gary P. Smith

  106. E.M.Smith says:

    Politicians are too spineless to do anything visible as long as an invisible option exists. We’ve already got an inflation index that doesn’t reflect real inflation. So all that’s needed is a real 4% inflation and a 2% nominal used for “adjusting” SS and related payments…

    Remember that real estate as an asset class is far larger than the Stock Market and Bonds are also very very much larger. Minor changes in allocation to or from bonds can swing the stock market like a baseball bat… So be more worried about interest rates.

    Also remember that most of ALL assets are owned by non-humans. Corporations. Funds. Governments. Insurance companies. etc. etc. They tend not to worry about cash for retirement expenses…

  107. Larry Ledwick says:

    A couple odds and ends observations –

    I was watching an old western TV show the other night and I realized that blogs like this are basically the electronic equivalent of setting around the wood burning stove in the general store or gossiping over the fence.

    People have a hardwired need to compare their thoughts with others and seek out information about the world around them. We just have a much bigger sitting room now.

    – – – – – – –
    Totally unrelated, I went over to grc.com and was poking around as I do occasionally and he has a tool that lets you calculate the time it would take for a brute force attack to crack a password you use or plan to use. It does not measure the “strength” of the pass word but rather the difficulty of attacking it with a brute force walk through all available characters required to crack it.
    (it assumes it is a raw attack not a rainbow tables or simple dictionary attack [good passwords should not be vulnerable to those attacks anyway] )


    I ran a few of my typical password – pass phrases through the tool and I like the numbers it is returning.

    A 20 character pass phrase with upper case, lower case, numbers and special characters gives a value of 11.52 thousand trillion centuries to crack using a massive cracking attack.

    Long pass phrases can actually be much easier to remember than obnoxious random character strings.

    By comparison a simple password like “Openplease” would take 24.56 minutes, and “bigdog5” would take 0.000806 seconds to crack with a massive cracking array. Those are the sort of times places like NSA would get on the really simple passwords lots of folks use.

    It is fun to play with it to see the power of entropy of long character strings quickly overwhelms complex strings.

    Even a plain jane string like this “abcdefGHIJK12345&&” because of its length achieves a cracking time by massive cracking array of 1.28 trillion centuries. Good enough to be for practical purposes uncrackable by anyone but the 3 letter agencies, unless they were just incredibly lucky or had some social engineering clue about the contents of the password to reduce its effective length.

  108. Another Ian says:

    “Huffington Post has noticed that many university academics are utter climate hypocrites, that many of them rate their personal importance by how many professional air miles they can accumulate every year.”

    More at


  109. Another Ian says:

    E.M. ???

    “Deplorable_Infidel says:
    March 31, 2018 at 11:32 pm

    “We are in uncharted territory, with regard to Laws that pertain to what is going on in cyberspace.”

    The US Government Just Destroyed Our Privacy While Nobody Was Paying Attention


    While the nation remained fixated on gun control and Facebook’s violative practices last week, the U.S. government quietly codified the CLOUD Act, its own intrusive policies on citizens’ data.
    While the massive, $1.2 trillion omnibus spending bill passed Friday received widespread media attention, the CLOUD Act — which lawmakers snuck into the end of the 2,300-page bill — was hardly addressed.”


  110. jim2 says:

    In the US, the right to privacy has an interesting history. It was inferred from some parts of the Constitution as well as general traditions, but it isn’t explicitly in the Constitution. This brings up the problem of the “living” Constitution principle. This principle has been used and abused, but OTOH, I don’t want to lose rights and privileges simply because it ISN’T in the Constitution. A weighty conundrum.


  111. jim2 says:

    Speaking of the cloud. At some time in the not-too-distant future, Microsoft will drop support for Visual Studio. I was aware of this before the CNN article linked by Slashdot. I develop Windows desktop apps using Visual Studio, so this may impact me directly, although I think it won’t before I retire in several years. Microsoft wants data AND apps to live in the cloud and they will be able to offer powerful monetary incentives to move apps and data to the cloud. This is probably one reason MS was so supportive of the CLOUD part of the budget bill.

    At work, we will have alternative platforms for apps and certainly can choose other means to handle data, but the financial incentives might be too juicy to resist.


  112. Larry Ledwick says:

    It is a sad commentary that on April Fools day, you can’t tell the spoof posts on the web from real news, so for today I have decided to simply ignore just about everything unless it appears on multiple feeds.

  113. p.g.sharrow says:

    @Larry; That is sad. You are a better news feed then Fox News is! :-)
    Guess I’ll just have to go outside and do something useful today.like weeding the gardens or maybe overhaul the chainsaw…pg

  114. E.M.Smith says:


    Fox used to do news. Now they do a fair amount of political commentary and a lot of talking dirt about what the other “news” programs are saying.

    Near as I can tell, ALL TV news has changed to “infotainment” light on the “info” part, and anything Domestic to the USA is largely just political bitching & propaganda. No “straight news” survives.

    So you get “Trump said leaving Syria” followed by lefties “The idiot, can’t decide what he wants, pissed off the Generals, the idiot, it will result in war in the region, the idiot.” or by the right “Hey, good job pissing off the left. Syria was Obama’s war anyway. Winning!”.

    Nowhere to you find “Trumps statement is interesting in that the war in Syria was started to remove Assad, yet he is still there. This leaves an Iranian presence facing the Sunni south and is likely to continue to destabilize northern Iraq and Jordan. Assad does not have control of his country yet, and this has lead to a stronger alliance with Russia and Iran. This will be an issue, going forward, for US interests in the area and for Israel. It is unclear if the newly active Saudi Arabia will step in, or if a region wide Sunni vs. Shia war will eventually result. The region has been at war for 700 years and looks to continue in that mode whatever we do.”

  115. Larry Ledwick says:

    Tiangong 1 should re-enter soon currently southeast bound from near the China coast over the south pacific near Guam at this time.

  116. Larry Ledwick says:

    Interesting that this is not getting much of any mention in the media (at least that I have seen)


  117. E.M.Smith says:


    Since it’s a city, I figure most folks are just saying to themselves: “gee, they are out of my hair and not buggering me. Oh Boy!” ;-)

    I can’t imagine the city does not have some kind of backup system. That would imply the I.T. folks ought to just be scrubbing the systems and restoring from last backup. In any shop I’ve ever run, that would be “last night” or newer data status (and they ought to have the daily transcript of transactions to reapply to bring to current…)

    IF they don’t have that, I’m available to be their new Chief Information Officer ;-)

  118. Larry Ledwick says:

    Drat I hate it when they report study results which are actually completely backwards and opposite the real conclusion of the study.

    Seems Liberals are the more likely to be psychotic and totalitarian after all, when compared to conservatives.


  119. jim2 says:

    Look what I got in email:

    www. sеху. xlqkip.ru liked a comment on Musings from the Chiefio

    [Reply: Please Don't Feed The Spam with quoting their links. I've disabled this one. As for where it comes from: There's all sorts of things that can get you on a SPAM ME list. It might or might not be related to the "like' process, but I doubt it. WordPress is pretty good on that count. E.M.Smith]

  120. jim2 says:

    Since we can’t “like” things around here, it does not appear to be linked to this WordPress site, but I’m wondering how they got my email.

  121. Pingback: W.O.O.D. – 2 April 2018 | Musings from the Chiefio

  122. p.g.sharrow says:

    @jim2; I got one of those last week. No idea of where it came from as the comment sighted did not exist…pg

  123. E.M.Smith says:

    Some ISPs will scan ALL email in transit and harvest email addresses. These can be used by then to spend spam (under another name, of course) or sold to others.

    I’m not saying that’s how it was done, just one of the possibles.

    Another is that one of your contacts can have been hacked or pwnd. The hacker harvests their email addresses and you are in it.

    There’s probably a dozen more…

    Just another reason why I don’t depend on email for anything important…

    (So, as yet another example, Facebook was recently caught out and had a huge number of profiles collected. Similarly, Target got hacked some years back. The Feds employee database got pwned – with me in it- and info stolen. IF any of those had your email address, that went with the hack and likely was being sold…)

    I’ve generally rotated my email address every decade or so when the SPAM gets too thick. I do NOT give a forwarding address.

  124. philjourdan says:

    AHA! Russian collusion for Jim2! :-)

  125. philjourdan says:

    Even though EM does not offer the “like” button, my understanding is if you have a WordPress account, you can still “like” a post when you get the email (it has a like button on it). So they probably do not have your email, unless you respond to them,

    I have gotten a lot of “likes” from this site, but I ignore them. I did not recognize any of the names.

  126. E.M.Smith says:

    Also realize that spammers and scammers will craft email that LOOKS LIKE common real email and then send it to blanket lists in the hope someone will respond and confirm it’s a live one…

    I just deleted 20 (yes TWENTY) SPAM that arrived in one day to the spam queue on the blog. ALL of them the same general format. A ‘from’ email address that looks to have been harvested from real folks, and a small bland message that looks like a valid posting to a valid page (and was also likely harvested by a bot) BUT, the only thing marking it as spam was the “web site” field where it was all the same and all had some mumble.sexstuff.ru in it. Some Russian site pushing sex junk.

    I’m certain the emails used are for people who have no clue they are being used.
    I’m certain the posting text is harvested from somewhere benign.

    Were it not for the IP address not matching the email it could get through on some sites. WordPress uses email and IP as the “approved” key for folks I’ve white listed.

    (FWIW, none of the emails were ‘regulars’ here so they harvested them somewhere else…)

    A Phishing Email (as opposed to SPAM) will include the actual senders email address in the reply field, but will present a valid “from” name that looks like someone else. It will ask you to take some action (like reply to a “like”) and that then sends your information back to them. Thus my NEVER responding to ANY bulk email things. If it isn’t directly TO ME from a PERSON I KNOW and with their email address THAT I RECOGNIZE it gets nothing. At most, I’ll do a deep inspection of the mail headers to see who it’s from and where…

    I’d guess that the “like” email you got is modeled on a valid “like” email of some kind, and that they harvested your login name from blog comments, but cross matched it to email addresses from somewhere else (and WordPress doesn’t advertise them); or that they got the email and login name from elsewhere and searched to find a blog comment match. Then send what is crafted to look like an email from the blog to what they hope is the matching email address in the hope someone will respond (and be gaffed).

    It is also possible the the email contains scripts that, if anything in it is clicked, get launched to pwn your system.

    Thus my “never respond to ANY survey, prompt, ‘click me’, reply, etc. etc. in any email unless I KNOW the individual sending it, have personal knowledge the email address is correct for them, and have inspected that there is no hidden script. (i.e. even a known friend sending me an eCard for my birthday – I’ll NOT click on anything in the eCard…)

  127. E.M.Smith says:


    You’ve got me wondering if WordPress itself is sending out “requests for a like” as a way of generating a contact database… IIRC I’ve seen some email saying “So and so ‘liked’ your posting on FOO” from WordPress. As I don’t have a “like” button the question of where they got that arises. Not sure why they would do that… they already know the email addresses and I’ve not asked for ‘like’ feedback…

    I think I need to look more closely at what WordPress sends me…

Comments are closed.