Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts
Showing posts with label coffee. Show all posts

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

All Sorts of Things

Well it looks like the Colt ACE Conversion Kit has a buyer. A fellow got in contact with me about trading. After some discussion (it takes awhile to narrow down potential trades to stuff a person wants) we came to a deal. I will be getting a used Streamlight TLR-1 and a set of pretty nice soft body armor with a plate for the front. A pistol light was high on my list and the vest wasn't exactly in my plans but it is a good thing to have around. The great thing about trades is that nobody is out any money, which is tight everywhere, and both parties can trade stuff they are not using for stuff they can use.

I fired up the Coleman propane stove with one of the big canisters as a test run. For whatever reason it wouldn't work with one hose but after realizing we had multiple sets I just swapped it out. The In Laws probably had 3 of the sets that let you run a propane Coleman stove and lantern off a big refillable canister. The one that worked was put away with the stove in the box. More testing or research than I am willing to do would have to take place to really know but I suspect one of those BBQ sized propane bottles would run a Coleman stove for a really long time.

Continuing on our trek towards getting rid of all the unused and unneeded stuff in our lives called minimalism we have sold 2 strollers and a coffee table. Another stroller should get sold tomorrow. We started organizing all of Walkers old clothes. Some sentimental stuff as well as a small set of things in each size will be kept but the remainder (far more than our kid wore) will be sold. The money will go towards purchasing things we need or want for kiddo #2.

Yesterday I made some pretty good corn bread. It was the normal recipe plus a bit more than half a jalapeno and a 1/2 cup of cheese. It definitely brought some life to an otherwise average side dish. We will do it again.

Survival Blog mentioned that Walmart is going to be selling Savage pump shotguns for $169 on black Friday. I am a Remington/ Mossberg guy but if you need a shotgun this is a heck of a deal for a new shotgun in a viable defensive configuration.

Our friends at Camping Survival did a video on long term coffee storage.

Check out the 10 Most Memorable Fictional Survivalists.

Anyway that is what's going on here.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Eating Expired Shelf Stable Foods

As a bit of background I recently returned from a year in Afghanistan. During that time Wifey went back home to stay with family in the PNW. We kept our residence in Germany through this time. We left all the shelf stable food in the kitchen. Over this time pretty much everything that was in the kitchen expired. Being cheap we want to use whatever we can. After all food storage is budget neutral or even positive (you can buy at sales since you don't need it for dinner that night) BUT ONLY IF YOU ACTUALLY EAT THE FOOD. Also I was just plain curious.

Before any more discussion there should probably be a disclaimer. I am going to write some anecdotal observations which come from evaluating and eating food that is past the "best by" date. Please do not take this as anything more than one families individual experiences. I am not a doctor or a nutrition expert or a scientist or in any way qualified to say that expired food is safe to consume.  I am just some yahoo sitting at home eating expired food and writing about it on the internet. Do your own research, talk to some experts and make your own decisions. If you eat a can of oysters that have been in a shed in Alabama for a decade, get sick an die don't have your survivors come complaining to me.

I think it is important to consider three things when it comes to the dates put on food. The first is that the dates are "best by" not "you will die if you eat after". Secondly we live in a very litigious society so companies have to error seriously (like belt and suspenders with pants that fit) on the side of caution. Lastly knowing that many people toss stuff at the date on the package and then go out and replace it companies have financial motivation to make the date a bit earlier to (over time and a large customer base) increase their sales. Due to these three things I think the dates on packages are often far earlier than the practical date where food is seriously degraded or unsafe to consume.

We will go item by item in no particular order discussing the edible then those deemed inedible. All items were in their original packaging.

The following items were solidly edible:

Cereal (Cherios 11 months past date, Captain Crunch 13 months past and generic Frosted Flakes 9 months past). No identifiable changes. Smells and tastes fine.

Flour, sealed, 6 months past best by date. It didn't rise quite as much as normal but tasted fine.

Folgers coffee opened 8 months past best by date. Maybe a little bit stale but perfectly drinkable.

Peter Pan chunky peanut butter, opened and partially used, 8 months past best by date. Starting to separate into solid and oil but smells and tastes fine.

Peter Pan creamy peanut butter opened and partially used, 10 months past best by date. No identifiable changes. Smells and tastes fine.

Crisco vegitable oil, 7 months past date. No identifiable changes. Smells and tastes fine. Used for cooking and baking.

Campbells tomato soup, 8 months past date. Slightly gelatinous and the soup came out with some lumps but otherwise tasted fine.
The below items were deemed inedible:
Manwich BBQ Sloppy Joe Sauce, 13 months past date. Opened the can and the contents were gelatinous and seemed to have some pockets of green discoloratation on the top that may have been some sort of mold. Needless to say we did not eat it.
Grape Jelly, Smuckers sugarless, unopened and 6 months past date. Smelled slightly like vinegar and we did not eat it.
It bears repeating that I am just some yahoo sitting at home eating expired food and writing about it on the internet. Just because something worked once for me does not mean it is necessarily so for all people under all circumstances. Do your own research, consult experts if necessary and use common sense before eating any food that is beyond the best by date or has been preserved/ stored questionably.
Anyway I thought this stuff might interest you all. As we try some more stuff I will keep track of it and report the results.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Eating The Stash 2

Still working my way through the food storage. I wrote about this before and have been mentally tracking my observations. Here they are.

-Coffee filters. I have a percolator but it would be nice to have some filters lying around for all the scenarios where I am not going to the store but am working through the stash. They are so stupidly cheap there isn't an excuse. Unsure of the exact coffee filter to coffee ratio but picking up a pack for every can of coffee would probably be sufficient.

-Honey. We needed some for a recipe and had apparantly worked through or misplaced the bear shaped thing that lives in the kitchen.

- Louisiana Purchase Red Beans and Rice. I got a single box of this stuff for no particular reason. It has been in the cupboard for awhile now. Today I cooked it up for dinner and it was really good. Really easy to cook and flavorful. Comparable in ease of cooking to ricearone type stuff but far better tasting. Not something that could or should be a core part of our overall food storage plan but a case of the stuff would be good to break up the monotany of things.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

What Did You Do To Prepare This Week?

I got a few things done. Picked up some extra medical and hygiene stuff to fill holes identified when we finally organized the bathroom closet. Also got flour, corn meal, yeast, pancake mix, peanut butter and syrup. Hit the gym a couple times and am working through an enlightening if dry book on Afghanistan. Also this morning I ran my best time in about forever. Apparently I am doing something right in terms of running these days.

What did you do to prepare this week?

This coming week I am going to start tightening up on my diet. Nothing crazy just splenda in my coffee instead of sugar, working in more veggies to displace higher calorie stuff and avoiding anything that could go on this is why you're fat. Might even have to cut back from 2 beers a day to 1 but on reflection I think I would rather just eat less and run more. Going to keep plugging away on the book and in the gym.

Also I've got to do some cleaning before Wifey comes home on Monday.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


I talked about the militarization of Law Enforcement awhile back. I got to thinking about what shapes our feeling on law enforcement. I think our feelings are based upon a combination of personal experiences and good/bad press the law enforcement community gets.

Today I realized that my personal experiences and feelings thereon about law enforcement in whatever community I am living in are based upon one main thing. They are a ratio of how much the cops inconvenience/ annoy me and how much I perceive they do a good job that makes my life safer. If they are keeping the serious crime situation (as much as anyone can) under control a traffic stop now and then doesn't bother me. Conversely if they are doing a miserable job of keeping crime at decently low levels or there is no job to do (no real crime to begin with) I do not feel so great about getting hassled for not coming to a complete stop at a stop sign.

That brings me to the fun topic of traffic stops. Traffic stops are by far where normal citizens have the most interaction with cops. I find it amusing that we all have inherently selfish views of traffic laws. We think it is just fine for us to do whatever we want but generally want safe reasonable roads. (Those safe reasonable roads come precisely because of laws being enforced. If you disagree try driving in a country without traffic cops or mandatory licensing.) We will get mad about a guy driving irresponsibly or too fast in our neighborhood but then turn around and also get mad if we get a ticket for some infraction. We just can't seem to remember that last Tuesday when we were running late and had to do an errand before work we drove about as fast as that jerk driving like it was the Indy 500 in front of our house. I am not going to pretend for a second that I don't do the same thing. I think all of you should follow cautious and responsible rules but I should be able to do whatever I want to. Your actions should be well enforced but I should be able to drive 75 in a school zone while talking on a cell phone, drinking coffee and eating a bowl of cereal.

I read a lot of crazy "Only One" stuff. Heck I even post a funny video now and then. I do think it is worth noting that maybe it isn't so much that cops have started doing more ridiculous stuff but that via some bloggers and news sites the info is getting out. Prior to the world wide web getting to its current hugeness the word of a city cop in Centerville, NJ being a jerk didn't go any further than a degree or two of separation from the people involved. Once in a blue moon it would make a city paper. Vague tales of a crooked cop or one who was just a jerk are nothing new. However 30 years ago it was more of a rumor among a certain group that you don't want to argue with the cops in Middle Creek, Arkansas. Nowadays an article from a local newspaper goes all over the world. I am not saying that some cops aren't jerks or that they should not be appropriately punished. I am just saying that I am not so convinced that the overall percentage of unacceptable behavior has radically changed.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Belated Lent Sacrifice #2

So far giving up coffee hasn't killed me or anyone else which is good. I haven't even sucker punched anybody to then grab their cup of coffee and run off. Today I decided to make another sacrifice. Going to give up my favorite food group, deep fried.

No coffee or deep fried stuff until Easter.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Listening To My Buddy

Mayberry did a podcast a little bit ago. Very interesting and enjoyable to listen to. At a bit over 20 minutes it is right for drinking a cup of coffee (or tea if you gave joe up for lent) or getting started on a beer. Hopefully more podcasts will follow.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Lent is coming up pretty darn quickly. Though not particularly religious (3.5 out of a possible 10) I do practice Lent. Interestingly I started it in college after being inspired by a friend who is a total atheist. It is kind of a good way to practice some self sacrifice and control. Also helps put things in perspective.

This year I have decided to give up coffee. It is not going to be fun.

Ryan and Maggy have a 'Lent Off' every year. I believe it is % based weight loss with cash for the winner. Not sure where the big guy is on turning Lent into a form of gambling by making wagers but in any case.

So yeah I am going to give up coffee.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

quote of the day

"Questions and a dollar ninety three will get you a cup of Starbucks coffee."
-Brit Hume

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Joy of a Decent Pantry

Yesterday morning I ran out of milk. Work being what it has this week I got out at eight oclock which is long after the stores close here. This morning I was making some coffee and realized I was in fact out still out of milk. Poured a bit of sugar in the cup like usual. After that I thought for a second. We have powdered milk. We also have some of the little (OIF style) cartons of UHT milk. I grabbed one of the cartons and cut a hole in it to and poured it into my cup to get the desired effect. Tossed that one and another into the fridge for my cereal this morning. Prepping has benefits even if the world doesn't end.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

quote of the day

"I like my sugar with coffee and cream"
-The Beastie Boys

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

How To: Survive in a Redneck Bar

I saw this link and it sort of amused me in a tounge and cheek way. This is not for the prudish. I didn't see anything NSFW on this page but if you cruize the site you will probably find something which is.

Probably enough to keep you amused for part of a coffee break.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Motivation and Greed, Classism and Perks- Rant #2

Lets start with some definitions thanks to the might and utility of Wikipedia.

is the activation or energization of goal-oriented behavior. Motivation may be internal or external."

"Greed in psychology is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth."

Lets talk about motivation first. We do almost everything we do because of some sort of motivation. I am currently drinking coffee with a bit of sugar and milk in it (pause while I refill my cup), my motivation for drinking it is that it tastes good to me and gets me going in the morning.

Most of us have motivation to work (using work as a generic term for whatever you do for money) from a couple sources. Hopefully we at least sort of enjoy our jobs. Maybe we enjoy some prestige or respect or various fringe benefits of our job. Lastly we get to monetary compensation a la pay. We work because we get money which we use to pay for basic necessities like food, shelter, transportation, coffee and beer. Very few people would still be going to their jobs if they stopped getting paychecks. The ones who would probably have long term secure jobs and think there is a reasonable chance this is just a short term FUBAR time.

Motivation is why we do what we do. It all boils down to motivation.

Now onto that evil thing called greed. Lets read its definition again.

"Greed in psychology is an excessive desire to acquire or possess more than what one needs or deserves, especially with respect to material wealth."

That reads like some commie assed shit to me. Excessive desire to acquire or possess more than one needs or deserves. Who gets to decide what someone else needs or deserves? Maybe a panel of intellectuals and other wise and good individuals should decide. That sounds like socialism to me and I want no part of it.

Example: My Grandmother owns an amazing vacation home which is probably worth around 3/4's of a million dollars in today's market. She and Grandpa both had pretty good jobs and they saved and invested wisely, particularly in real estate. They sold a couple small apartment complexes and ended up buying this place for a bit under 200k twenty years ago.

Does she need this place? No she does not. Does she possess more than she needs? Probably. Could the money gained from selling that place buy several families a nice modest residence and get them our of the rental trap or off the streets? Yes.

Fuck that. She worked hard and got a nice place and now she is enjoying it. She spends 2-3 months a year there and rents it out for most of the rest. We went there while I was home and had a wonderful time. There have been almost two decades of great family vacations and times and it is worth it to her to keep the place so those continue.

Greed does exist and on an individual level it causes some personal grief because they can't be happy with what they have.

On a big picture level greed is a good thing. Would Bill Gates have invented Microsoft and revolutionized our world if he would not make any money? No he would not have. Would he currently be employing thousands and thousands of people at very good wages if he wasn't motivated by making money? No he would not have.

That is just one example, there are too many more to possibly list.

I think almost all complaints of "greed" are just classicist pseudo socialist gripes. Just like the whole "yuppy survivalist" thing. You are just fine but the people two, three or four levels above you are bad.

It is "motivation" when you seek a promotion or a bonus or try to grow your business but it is greed if someone else does the same? These arguments stink. I am not a shill for big business and often I am a serious critic of them (bail outs, buddy buddy legislation, etc) but I fundamentally think that as long as they don't break the law they should try to make as much money as possible.

In my last rant's comment section someone spoke of the difference between legal and "right and wrong". Methinks the argument is mainly theoretical. While we do not live in a zero sum world every time you get a job someone else doesn't get it. Every time your business expands into a new area it probably means that either someone else can not start a business there, is failing or has failed. At the end of the day we all owe it to ourselves to do the best for us that we legally are allowed to. This is called freedom and it is why America is the greatest nation on earth.

Is it "wrong" for a bank to foreclose on a nice elderly lady who just can't pay the last couple years of payments on her modest home? It certainly isn't nice but life is tough. Freedom is free, it is not pretty and it often is not nice.

On a slight tangent I can not help but note some blatant classism in people who gripe about big business or bankers or whatever. These are the same folks who (you could argue rightly) rant and rave about programs, subsidies or preferential treatment for those in poverty. Why should they get a handout, they didn't earn it!

Oh Really. My observation has shown that if it comes from your pocket or helps someone else it is a handout or welfare or whatever other stigmatized phrase you choose. However if it benefits you at the detriment of those who make more money it is fair and much needed, after all it is just letting you keep more of YOUR MONEY.

The concept that you should be able to keep 100% of your income is a fine one. It would not work because at the end of the day we need some level of government (how much can be debated hotly) and that costs money. Saying that you should be able to keep every dollar you make and those below you can be damned also is fine. A legitimate argument can be made that your premace is correct. However I just do not understand how people who want to keep their own money and pet legislation (mortgage interest deduction, etc) without giving any special treatment to those below them (welfare, earned income credit, etc) can be so ademant about cracking down on the earnings and "greed" of those who do better than them via the characterization of these folks as "big business".

It is a loophole when it benefits someone who makes more than you. It is fair and right if it benefits you. It is a handout or welfare if it helps someone who makes less than you.To me this view is at best a bit hypocritical.

I think some laws concerning big business and certain financial institutions are completely wrong and obviously the direct result of cozy relationships with elected officials. I think those elected individuals should be voted out of office (or at least put on notice) and the laws should be changed. However I do not look down on business taking advantage of "loopholes" which exist as any more evil than someone who deducts their home mortgage interest from their income on their taxes or someone who claims earned income credit or whatever else.

This covered a lot of ground and I am interested in your thoughts?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Luxuries and Addictions

I am very proud to say that tomorrow Wifey will have been tobacco free for two months. I didn't say anything earlier because as anyone who knows a smoker is aware the relapse rate for quitting smoking (at least in the beginning) is quite high. While these things are never completely certain it really looks like it is going to stick this time. I am very proud of her.

There has been talk floating around about quitting this or quitting that so (keep in mind this is a big if) that is something happens you are ready. Tobacco, beer, wine, booze, candy and all sorts of other stuff comes up.

I think there is a huge difference between having an addiction and something you just like. Brutal self examination may be required to tell the difference. As a general rule I would say if not having something for a day is a major problem you are probably addicted; if you have physical or mental withdraws after not getting something you are definitely addicted.

For instance I like to have coffee in the morning but if for whatever reason I don't end up having any it isn't the end of the world. I don't get headaches if I can't have coffee or something like that.

I don't think we should give up all the things we like because some day we might not have access to them. Being pissed off now because you really want a mocha will not really help you from being pissed off if the world ends because you want a mocha. As Andy Mcnab , SAS once said "there is no way to train for being cold, hungry and tired". I extend that same logic for not being able to have what you want. It sucks and will suck just as much if you have a mocha today or don't.

I do however think that addressing addictions would be very prudent because the last thing you want to do is go out in a riot because you have the shakes because of lack of alcohol and the Mrs. needs more smokes.

Stocking some of your favorite luxuries would probably be prudent so at least you could have some for awhile or maybe for special occasions.

I think a lot of this stuff is also a value judgment on what others enjoy being somehow bad or less good. A person who NEEDS to have their special blue berry cereal or soy milk or non fat vanilla latte has just as much of a problem as one who NEEDS to have a glass of wine or whatever. I probably know half as many people who are addicted to foofy coffee drinks as I do that are addicted to something else.

Enjoy the luxuries you like and address the addictions.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What I Like In A Beer

I have been thinking a lot about what I really like in a beer. Part of this is because I am in Germany which is to beer what say the South is to fried stuff and BBQ or the PNW is to coffee and Salmon (or trendy micro brews but I will get to that later) and also because one of my next big ventures is going to be brewing my own beer. Since a goal without a time line is a wish (thanks for the great phrase TOM) I intend to get a beer brewing setup around Christmas time and be brewing NLT Feb.

This can partially be explained by my own personal experiences with beer. I am not talking about drunken antics or anything like that but more how tastes have developed. Like most in rural areas I started off with good old domestic stuff. My peer group leaned heavily toward Coors Light and goes to Busch Light if they are watching their expenses. Good stuff to buy a lot of for cheap and drink around a bonfire or at some random house party.

After a couple years my tastes started to change. I wanted beer with some real flavor. Also in this time frame Micro Breweries were becoming a big thing in my region (more getting traction in popularity than anything else) and all sorts of new beers were coming around or maybe I was coming to them, who knows.

I liked Fat Tire a lot and drank plenty of Alaskan Amber. Guinness was my choice when available on tap. These beers were stronger and had lots of flavor. Also drank a variety of Micro's and was sort of a beer snob.

Somewhere in the last couple years I got tired of expensive heavy dark beer. I didn't want a meal in a bottle I wanted to enjoy a beer or maybe a few of them. I switched back to light domestic stuff. Someone said in passing that Bud light /Coors light were "great lawn mowing beers". The kind of brew you can have after doing some work on a hot day and be refreshed.

I still wanted to have a beer with some more flavor than the "lawn mowing" variety. Also as my income got better the price of beer became a relative non issue (if you are poor/ in college a 30 bomb of Busch lite for $13 is money). I started drinking Yuengling and Amstel Light and occasionally Blue Moon in addition to the cheap domestic stuff.

Since we have been here in Germany I have been trying as much beer as I can. Not being a drunk or anything but having a different beer every day at dinner. I have really liked all except one and it was just OK. I think I have officially discovered what I like in beer. It may not be a big suprise but the Germans make darn good beer, probably the best IMO.

I like beer that is flavorful and has character but isn't heavy, thick and super filling. Not a big fan of really darn or bitter beers. Despite what the populations of Seattle and Portland might think beer can be unique and good without being heavy and thick.

As for alcohol content I think something in the 4.8-6 range is pretty good. A reasonable balance between being needing to shotgun 5 able to feel anything and being able to sit around for awhile and have a few with friends without falling off the chair.

I like Blue Moon and Hefeweizen/ wheat beers but more as something to have in the rotation than the regular beer.

My goal is to make a beer that is golden in color, not heavy but still has plenty of character and flavor coupled with a medium alcohol content.

What do you like in a beer?

Saturday, August 22, 2009

quote of the day

(973): "Coffee is gods way of saying go ahead, get absolutly trashed on weeknights, I got your back"
-Texts From Last Night

Monday, July 20, 2009

An Interesting Perspective On Retirement and Social Security

Retirement during the collapse. Can't say that I am certain this is how things will play out but it is as likely as anything else I have heard. That both younguns who are paying in and old folks who are looking to collect 'benefits' are going to get shafted is probably realistic. The combination of information, a unique view on history, some anecdotal personal experiences and a few good laughs is prime Dakin. Good to read over a cold beer if you check this in the pm or a nice cup of coffee if you're an am reader.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Waking Up Is Hard To Do

The last two days I have not woken up well at all. Both times something messed up happened. Saturday morning I opened my eyes at about 6:30 and completely freaked out. I saw sure it was a work day and that I was at least an hour and a half late. I ran into around like a chicken with its head cut off trying to find my stuff for work. Wifey woke up two minutes into this because her husband was screaming profanity about it being late. She asked why I was so concerned about the time as it was Saturday. I then went back to bed.

This morning I had a wonderful CQ shift from 2-4am. No huge worries, I went to bed at 10ish. Aside from the 1:10am alarm being unpleasant the first couple minutes were OK, brushed my teeth and all that. I started the coffee maker so I could have some go juice to help me stay awake. Went and got my clothes on and then went back to put the coffee in my thermos. I got into the kitchen and black water with coffee grounds in it were spewing out of the top of the pot all over the place. I first grabbed a towel to try and stop the spread of this mess then realized that putting it into the sink might be the best choice. That ended up with my hands getting scalded by very hot water. Since I was screaming Wifey woke up and came out to see WTF was going on. She helped me contain the mess to deal with later and got me a bag of ice to put on the back of my hand while driving to work.

So my luck with waking up hasn't been so good the last couple of days. Hopefully tomorrow morning isn't a Fuck My Life moment.
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