This weekly column is a collection of short snippets: responses to posted articles, practical self-sufficiency items, how-tos, lessons learned, tips and tricks, and news items — both from readers and from SurvivalBlog’s editors. We may select some long e-mails for posting as separate letters.
By way of American Partisan, there is this useful video: How To Unlock A New Baofeng UV-5R – Easy Unlock Hack To Transmit On GMRS & Other Frequencies. Note that this hack is not necessary for the older-vintage UV-5Rs that I recommended stockpiling, a couple of years ago. Those are the “open” or “unlocked” type.)
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At The New York Post, confirmation of what many of us had assumed: COVID lockdowns had ‘little to no effect’ on mortality rate, study says.
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Reader C.B. found this piece in The Wall Street Journal of interest: Two Years Into Pandemic, Shoppers Are Still Hoarding.
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SaraSue offered this update:
“Another week of below-freezing temps in Tennessee. I remembered something I used to have to do in another state where below-freezing temps were not planned for in the home building process. This might be helpful to people. Simply run one or two faucets in the house on a very slow stream or dribble on Hot. The hot water will keep water moving in the pipes. I read that someone’s septic tank line actually froze.
In other news, months ago I made it a goal to have basic food supplies stocked up for a 7 year period. I have enough wheat berries, baking supplies, beans, lentils, rice, peas, etc. now to have met that goal (for 1 person). Beans are an excellent meat replacement in regards to protein and fiber. In other food areas, I have a year’s worth. This has not taken up as much space or cost as much as I thought it would because I bought in bulk, mostly through AzureStandard. I’ve used food-grade buckets and stacked them, filled an upright freezer with local meat, and used the available pantry for canned goods. With the chickens, turkeys, goats, rabbits, and hopefully a mini Jersey cow soon + a planned quarter-acre garden, I’m very close to a self-sufficient model. It feels a bit crazy that this has been accomplished in 6 months, but it has been a priority. Not bragging, just grateful. Very grateful.”
Reader D.S.V. spotted this: A coronavirus variant once helped the global pork industry. Could one protect us?
JWR’s Comment: Because mutations that are more deadly tend to not be spread very far — by quickly running out of hosts — the general historic trend for virii is toward less virulence. I have read that the original “common cold” virus was probably deadly, in its early iterations.
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Larry V. forwarded two links about the Canadian truckers freedom convoy:
Larry’s Comment: “Doug Wilson addressed this topic in his usual straight-shooting style.”
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David L. wrote us:
“Please pardon this second interruption today. I have been updating my digital library and noticed the Appropriate Technology Library by Village Earth is now selling on a flash drive for $69. This is tremendous. I paid more than $1,000 prior to Y2K for this info on microfiche. You published an article on February 3, 2013 with the digital price at that time at $400. This library, at $69, should be a no-brainer for your readership.
Standard disclaimer: I am not affiliated in any way with the Village Earth people and probably wouldn’t like them if I met them.”
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Tim J. sent this report:
“For the 2021 Hurricane season, I bought a solar water boiler/cooker.
It actually worked pretty well, here in Florida.
“Parabolic mirrors trap the rays of the sun. Then, solar-collection technology focuses the sun’s energy on the tempered-glass tube. Which heats your water to temps as high as 212°F in about 45 minutes, depending on your weather conditions.”
This was the large model, and I was considering adding some smaller ones to my camping gear.
However, it rolled off the table, hit the floor, and shattered into a million pieces, much like the old glass thermos bottles.
So much for their selling points:
“Constructed from tough, ABS plastic & shatter-resistant, tempered glass”
“…Built Tough: Tempered-glass tube is shatter-resistant to withstand tumbles & bumps.”
My bad, I should have been more careful with it, but it is not a tough-built product.
So, these things are very fragile and not recommended for field use.
I’ll have to consider replacing it for homestead grid-down use, for $100, there are more durable options.”
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Also from Tim J.: Victor Davis Hanson: The Failure of Globalism. (A Hillsdale College video.)
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Suggested by long-time content contributor H.L.: The Vaccine Passport Scheme Goes National One QR Code at a Time.
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“In your blog on 1/29, “Some Basic Preparedness Information — Part 3, by C.I.”, it mentions having a propane tank with a “wet leg” to fill smaller tanks. I tried to get our local compressed gas dealer to sell me one last year, and they refused — they said they don’t sell them anymore due to liability concerns. I did some research and found that the correct combination valve (vapor and liquid) for a 100 lb. tank is a Rego 8556. This comes with a 48″ dip tube to reach the bottom of a 100 lb. tank (you will probably have to shorten it slightly). The “CGA 555 to barbeque” hose needed to fill smaller tanks is available on eBay from an international seller. Just be careful when you do this. Get familiar with the correct procedure, which involves weighing the tank as you are filling it, as you cannot tell how full the tank is from the pressure inside because the gas liquifies (hence the name ‘liquefied petroleum gas’), so you don’t blow up yourself and others.”
JWR Adds: Thanks for that suggestion. I must remind readers: Just because you’ve done this once or twice doesn’t mean that you can skip weighing the smaller tank and simply wait “X” number of minutes, and assume a safe fill. Differences in temperature (both seasonal and shade) make a big difference in the rate of fill.
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And lastly, Jim A. had this:
“Dinesh D’Souza does it again: 2,000 Mules, wherein he tracks 2,000 mules delivering ballots to drop boxes (illegal ballot harvesting). See the trailer (1.5 minutes long) for his coming documentary.”