RFI: Jennies

No, not Aniston, Tilly or Lopez.


…because that can wait for another time.

No, I mean generators of the small, affordable and reliable kind which run on either gasoline or propane, or both.  If it’s only one or the other, that’s fine too.

I know diddly about this topic, so all the terms used in the descriptions of generators mean about as much to me as Sanskrit poetry.

Here’s my scenario.

I don’t want to get caught without power during a freezing Texas winter ever again.  (From experience, this is when this shit is most likely to happen.)

Technically speaking we’re not allowed to have one of these things running in the apartment (of course, I’d run it outside on the balcony, where we’re not even allowed to barbecue, but if the SHTF then fukkem).

First question:  What’s the effective wattage and horsepower I should look at?

My electricity needs would be relatively light:

  • phone charging
  • laptop power supply
  • wifi router power (assuming that the network itself hasn’t fallen over)
  • an electric blanket
  • a small bedside light
  • a small electric grill or hotplate, and
  • perhaps my fridge, or maybe even both (garage & kitchen).  If it’s that cold and the fridges too power-thirsty, I’d just pop the perishables into some coolers and store them out on the balcony.

I have little or no room to store the generator in the meantime, so size is very important.  Quiet would also be nice, but not essential because fukkem.

I know how to maintain gasoline for long-term storage, and of course propane is no problem.

As for my options…

Is a cheapie like this Sportsman even worth considering?  What about this Westinghouse, Pulsar or Champion, at double the price?  I really can’t afford to go over a grand — and even that would be a huge stretch — so I would put $600 as my upper limit for cost.  (Is this completely unrealistic?)

As with all such RFIs I put out, personal experience on the topic is paramount.

All assistance is gratefully accepted.

What’s The Fuss?

Back when I lived and worked in Chicago, I had a pair of Timberland boots like these:

I got them for several reasons:

  • they had soles that resisted the cold from the ground (Vibram?)
  • they were the best boots I could find at short notice, at any price (and yes, they were quite spendy at, I think, about $125)
  • they were available at the Timberland store at the mall, and
  • Made in Maine, U.S.A.

Just over a quarter-century later, I gave them to Goodwill because I’d put on weight, gone up a shoe size and they no longer fit.  They were still in perfect condition, despite having spent 15 years in all kinds of Chicago and New Jersey weather (not to mention the occasional trip to glacial Wisconsin and northern Michigan, see below for proof).

Last year I was getting ready for my trip up to Boomershoot, and decided that I needed another pair of Timberlands because Idaho weather and why not? they’d been great boots for me.

Bah.  Compare and contrast the list below with the bullet points above:

  • no longer made with Vibram soles
  • rubbish quality, judging from a significant number of reviews on Amazon AND on Timberland’s own website
  • no longer any Timberland stores in malls, and
  • Made in Dominican Republic (real Timberlands) OR Made in China (fakes you get through Amazon).

So much for Timberland, then.

All that came to mind when I saw this silliness in (where else?) the Daily Mail, in which they were making fun of BritPM Rishi Sunak for wearing (gasp)  a pair of Timberland boots:

Rishi Sunak is mocked over his £150 Timberland footwear as they steal the limelight during speech

One of the less-than-endearing traits of Brits is what I call “Toff Envy”, i.e. the hatred of people who are wealthy and own things that are of higher quality and (mostly) expensive.

As always, the Greatest Living Englishman has the condition nailed:  “In America,” saith Clarkson, “if you drive a nice car, the Americans will think, ‘Great car!  I need to work harder so I can afford one like that’, whereas Brits see the same thing and think, ‘I’ll soon have you out of that, you plutocrat bastard’.”  And that’s reflected in UK insurance companies, by the way, where by far the largest number of repair claims are for “keyed” doors and suchlike vandalism.   We just don’t see that thuggishness Over Here, do we?

I don’t know what the problem is with £150 Timberlands (that’s about what they cost, if not more nowadays), and more to the point, Sunak is a fucking billionaire (well his wife is, which comes to the same thing).  What did they expect him to wear?  Oxfam slippers (like the awful Emma Thompson)?

Idiots.  No wonder their governments are all socialist, regardless of party label.  And don’t get me started on their reptilian journalists…

Afterthought:  an RFI on American-made work boots. please?  Must be insulated and waterproof.  Personal testimony a must.

The Tightening Spiral

Bear with me while a gather all sorts of straws, political, social and policy.  Some will have links you can follow, most won’t because you’d have to have been in a coma not to have seen them.

So Government — our own and furriners’ both — have all sorts of rules they wish to impose on us (and from here on I’m going to use “they” to describe them, just for reasons of brevity and laziness — but we all know who “they” are).  Let’s start with one, pretty much picked at random.

They want to end sales of vehicles powered by internal combustion engines, and make us all switch to electric-powered ones.  Leaving aside the fact that as far as the trucking industry is concerned, this can never happen no matter how massive the regulation, we all know that this is not going to happen (explanation, as if any were needed, is here).  But to add to the idiocy, they have imposed all sorts of unrealistic, nonsensical and impossible deadlines to all of this, because:

There isn’t enough electricity — and won’t be enough electricity, ever — to power their future of universal electric car usage.  Why is that?  Well, for one thing, they hate nuclear power (based on outdated 1970s-era fears), are closing existing ones and will not allow new ones to be built by dint of strangling environmental regulation (passed because of said 1970s-era fears).  Then, to add to that, they have forced the existing electricity supply to become unstable by insisting on unreliable and variable generation sources such as solar and wind power.  Of course, existing fuel sources such as oil. coal and natural gas are also being phased out because they are “dirty” (they aren’t, in the case of natgas, and as far as oil and coal are concerned, much much less so than in decades past) — but as with nuclear power, the rules are being drawn up as though old technologies are still being used (they aren’t, except in the Third World / China — which is another whole essay in itself).  And if people want to generate their own electricity?  Silly rabbits: US Agency Advances New Rule Targeting Portable Gas-Powered Generators. (It’s a poxy paywall, but the headline says it all, really.)

So how is this pixie dust “new” electricity to be stored?  Why, in batteries, of course — to be specific, in lithium batteries which are so far the most efficient storage medium.  The only problem, of course, is that lithium needs to be mined (a really dirty industry) and even assuming there are vast reserves of lithium, the number of batteries needed to power a universe of cars is exponentially larger than the small number of batteries available — but that means MOAR MINING which means MOAR DIRTY.  And given how dirty mining is, that would be a problem, yes?

No.  Because — wait for it — they will limit lithium mining, also by regulation, by enforcing recycling (where have we heard this before?) and by reducing battery size.

Now take all the above into consideration, and see where this is going.  Reduced power supply, reduced power consumption, reduced fuel supply:  a tightening spiral, which leads to my final question:


If there’s one thing we know, it’s that increased pressure without escape mechanisms will eventually cause explosion.  It’s true in physics, it’s true in nature and it’s true, lest we forget, in humanity.

Volcanoes erupt when the pressure of expanding gas and magma becomes too much for the Earth’s crust to prevent.  The English once executed their king because his rule became too tyrannical to bear.  (Side note:  when the Cromwellian republic also became too tyrannical, they brought back the kingdom, but the next king was a much gentler and more controllable one than his father was.)

Here’s the historical truism when it comes to tyranny, and it’s true for all totalitarian regimes:

Totalitarian states suppress their peoples and impose misery on them.  When the people rebel against that suppression and misery, the State uses that as an excuse to suppress them yet further, and increase the misery thereby.

But at some point the dictator will be executed, the soviet will be cast out (by force if necessary), and the walls will be brought down.

Sic semper tyrannis.

I just hope I’m still alive to see that day, to help reload the machine guns, and to hold the coats of the gunners while refilling their tray of martinis.

SHTF Reminder

When New Wife first arrived here in Plano and I was giving her a tour of the new apartment, she looked a little taken aback at the extent of my SHTF supplies, as well as my grab ‘n go bags and tubs.  While she didn’t say much about it, I got the impression that she thought I was being a little too paranoid about it — after all, we live in Plano, where disaster seldom strikes.

After the flooding of a couple years back, and the recent cold winters, she appreciated those SHTF preps a lot more.

Then two nights back, we watched A Refuge Of Last Resort  on BezosTV, which was a personal video account of New Orleans during Katrina.  She wasn’t here during that little episode, so I suggested that she watch it with me.

She watched the whole thing in silence.  Then, after it finished, she said, “We need more emergency drinking water.”

I don’t have to tell you guys anything about SHTF scenarios, of course, as we’ve discussed this many times in the past.  Nevertheless, let this serve as a reminder to check your own SHTF stocks, and add / replace as necessary.

My own takeaway from this man’s story was a little different.

Firstly, FEMA is fucking incompetent — we all know that, of course, but it was the depth of the incompetence (coupled with outright lying) which gave me pause.  (Nor, speaking of government agencies, did the New Orleans police come out of this covered in roses.)

Secondly, it is even clearer to me that the more prepared you are, the less you’ll have the need to go to “evacuation centers” or any of that kind of thing.  If you are forced to leave your home (predicted flood, fire, hurricane etc.), you’ll be better off hunkering down with friends or family, or in a hotel room off the ground floor, along with all your supplies.

Thirdly, if you are going to hit the road, do it sooner rather than later.  Keep your gas tanks as close to full as possible at all times.

I certainly don’t have to remind anyone of the need to be well armed.

And finally:  if you do live in a Democrat-run shithole like New Orleans, get out now rather than later.


Apparently, the End Times are almost certainly due at the bus stop soon:

Soaring food, energy, and shelter inflation have led to what could be a new era of civil unrest worldwide. Pockets of unrest have been observed in Sri Lanka, Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, Iran, and Europe. New research forecasts a broader wave of discontent is just ahead.

“Only a significant reduction in global food and energy prices can arrest the negative global trend in civil unrest risk. Recession fears are mounting, and inflation is expected to be worse in 2023 than in 2022.”

Wow… I wonder if some giant, powerful nation could address both those issues simultaneously?

Naaahhhh they’re too busy rummaging in Melania Trump’s undies drawer.

And then there’s this little kettle coming to the boil:

Now, winter in Europe is rapidly approaching when homes particularly in northern Europe will need gas the most to keep their homes warm and one hopes the weather itself will be a mercifully temperate. As recession looms, the only thing overheating right now are prices. Unemployment will surely follow.

My fervent hope is that the popular response to this is to see politicians and bureaucrats dangling from lamp posts but sadly, that’s not gonna happen.  More likely is that they’ll flee to safe havens, clutching suitcases full of our (looted) cash.

I’d take that outcome, now that I think of it.

But if you think all that’s bad, try this.

Aux barricades, mes amis!!!

*Sweet Meteor Of Doom, e.g. this one.

Expensive Bag

Followed this link from Insty for a survival first-aid kit, but on scrutinizing the contents thereof, my conclusion is that I’d be paying $70 just for a bag — because I already have all the other stuff, and more so withal.

That said:  none of it is in one place, but scattered around the house;  so Job #1 is to round it all up and put it into a bag, and I’m sure I have a spare one of those lying around somewhere, too.