So…what’s up with y’all?

Before diving in, I want to note this from Remus at the Woodpile Report:

There’s no gentle way to say this, so I’ll not try. My wife is at the end stage of a terminal condition. As is always the case there’s some uncertainty. Weeks are possible, days are probable.

If you’re so motivated, I’m sure prayer would be appreciated.


It’s been busy around here. It’s election time, and I’ve been politickin’ for an acquaintance who also happens to be my state senator. Normally, this is not my thing, but I’m working to keep a politician, who would like to be the state senator from Duke Energy, out of the office. Yep, in the Time of Coronavirus I’m out talking to lots of strangers at close range. Color me stupid, I suppose. Election is Tuesday and so far, no news of any infections within several states of me, so I’m hoping I’m not too stupid.

We’ve purchased a (used) replacement freezer. Our old one is a huge chest freezer that was only half full of food. We simply don’t need as much space with kids gone from home. Mrs. Freeholder has also complained that it’s become increasingly difficult for her to get to “the bottom of things”. I was fortunate enough to find a used upright freezer in very good condition at a good price. The family males got together yesterday and moved it. The chest freezer will go to Daughter and Son-In-Law. They have the habit of buying beef half a cow at a time.

One thing I’ve noticed is that the shelves, both in the door and in the freezer proper, are some weak-ass things. A 25 pound sack of flour is about all one will hold without sagging in a frightening manner. The upright freezer from the 90s that proceeded the chest freezer seemed much more substantial. 

Something else I’ve noticed is that freezer thermometers, like the one pictured, are just junk. I have two in it now. One reads 6o and the other is pegged below -30o. Things are staying frozen so I believe I’m OK, but we’re going to get a better one and fast.

I’ve been forced to replace my old battery box. Checking through things, I found that it had accidently gotten unplugged at some point and the battery had released it’s load of schmoo. I thought gel cells weren’t supposed to do that? At any rate, I purchased a Suaoki G500 Portable Power Station. It’s rated at 300 watts, 600 surge. Should be able to power anything I need, and should be useful for the RV thing as well. It’s charged up and I’m going to start discharging it today. I want to see if it will start/run a refrigerator. Based on the observed power use, it should.

I also hit Harbor Freight for another set of their Thunderbolt 100 Watt Solar Panel Kit and a “Universal” Solar Panel Connector. The latter will let me gang both of the kits I own and send their output into a larger, more efficient charge controller when I get one. This will let me quickly charge the Suaoki while leaving me the flexibility to use the panels for other things. I want to set up the entire rig and see how it goes. Monsoon season is due to restart Tuesday (just in time for Election Day) and the next sunny day will be next weekend if the weatherdroids are correct.

Reports on the energy experiments at some point in the future.

Despite reports of panic buying in Hawaii, the West Coast and NYC, no one seems interested in emptying out the grocery stores here. Another large trip, primarily to stock upon pet supplies, saw the shelves stocked and in good order, with no shortages on any goods that as far as I noticed. No obvious panic buying, except yours truly. I plan to continue regular expeditions until Mrs. Freeholder says “Enough!” or things start to make my Spidey Sense tingle.

The mylar bags, oxygens absorbers and the like are now in fully hand, so next week will see some time spent breaking down the bulk goods into more useful sizes. I’ve never done this sort of prepping before, so it’s going to be a new and interesting experience.

I’ve asked around a bit, and so far none of the local EMS groups or the like have received any official notifications on anything. The State of NC’s health folks continue to be low-key as well. Apparently there’s nothing to worry about. They’ve got this.

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