Earth and sky

I was in Idaho yesterday. Among other things I was getting the Boomershoot weather station and webcam back online. A bunch of weeds had grown up high enough that the solar panels were severely shaded and the batteries had discharged to the point that everything shutdown.


Despite the “bird repellent” wires, birds had used the rain gauge as a toilet:


Everything is now fixed.

It was nearing sundown as I was leaving and I noticed an unusual cloud formation:


The sky picture goes with the earth pictures I took not too far away earlier in the day:



This was formed where there was standing water on clay which dried up.

When my brothers and I were growing up we would sometimes marvel at a similar formation a short distance from the house. There was the added thrill of seeing sparkles in the “mud chips”. We wondered if it was gold or silver. It was probably just fine sand, but still we found the formations fascinating.

Quote of the day—Michael Snyder

A historic economic nightmare is here, and the guy in the White House is all out of answers.

So buckle up and try to enjoy the ride.

The months ahead are going to be quite chaotic, and you probably don’t even want to think about what is coming after that.

Michael Snyder
June 2, 2022
Americans Will Never Forget The Historic Economic Collapse During Joe Biden’s Presidency
[I want an underground bunker in Idaho.—Joe]


Barb and I like cruises, but I’m not sure we like them this much:

When Angelyn Burk, a recently retired Seattle accountant, decided to crunch some numbers one evening last year, she made a stunning discovery: It would be cheaper for her and her husband to spend their retirement perpetually aboard cruise ships than to continue living on land.

“This is how I want to retire,” Angelyn, 53, decided in that moment. “Life is too short.”

She turned to her husband, Richard Burk, and said: “We can do this. Let’s make cruise ships our home.”

To her delight, he was onboard. The couple had thoroughly enjoyed the nearly 10 cruises they had been on together in the past, and they have a mutual love for travel as well as a shared disdain for airports.

They looked online and determined that, on average, they could string together voyages on various cruise ships for markedly less money than their collective cost of living on land. All they had to do was hop from ship to ship with some small breaks in between.

“We calculated that we can probably live reasonably well with about $100 a day together, with what we’ve saved up,” said Richard, 51, who retired as a computer programmer last month.

$100/day per person? At first thought that seems high but after some estimates and crunching my own numbers including infrequent things like home maintenance, vacations, and car purchases that probably isn’t far off. But looking at the cabin type and cruise lines we prefer the cost would be significantly more than $100/day per person. I did find cabins in that price range. So, if you didn’t mind having a tiny interior cabin with no view you could live your life like that.

The risk of being a victim of violent crime would be much lower. You would get maid service and great food with no time investment in shopping, cooking, washing dishes, etc.. My gun activities such as competition and reloading would be left behind. And we would not see our long time friends nearly as often.

I”m thinking the answer is no. But it is an interesting idea…

Hearing loss reversal

Restoring Hearing: New Tool To Create Ear Hair Cells Lost Due to Aging or Noise

Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, and some cancer therapy medications and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die.

But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had previously prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing, according to new research published today (May 4, 2022) in the journal Nature.

This is great news! I grew up driving extremely noisy tractors without hearing protection. And even with hearing protection after shooting some guns under certain conditions I can tell I had too much exposure.

I like living in the future.

News you can use

Vitamin D, Omega-3s, and Exercise May Reduce Cancer Risk in Older Adults

Engaging in exercise and taking nutritional supplements may reduce the risk of invasive cancer in healthy individuals aged 70 years or older, a new study suggests.

Researchers observed a 61% reduction in the risk of invasive cancer among patients who completed a home exercise program and took vitamin D3 and omega-3 fatty acids daily.

Hmm… that seems like a worthwhile thing to do for the reduced risk.

Eat your lentils

Low folate levels associated with dementia and mortality:

Among the individuals with insufficient amounts of folate, the rates of dementia were 3.4%. The rates of death from any cause came in just under 8%.

The participants without the deficiency experienced rates of dementia of 3.2%, and the all-cause death rates amounted to almost 4%.

After factoring in co-occurring conditions, such as diabetes, vitamin B12 deficiency, cognitive decline, and depression, the researchers associated folate deficiency with a 68% higher risk of a dementia diagnosis.

Lentils are a great source of folate:

Did you know? Out of all plant-based foods, lentils contain the most folate!

Lentils are an excellent source of folate. A type of B-vitamin, folate helps support red blood cell formation and proper nerve functions. Folate also plays an important role in lowering artery-damaging homocysteine. In addition, the water-soluble vitamin may help prevent anemia and protect against developing heart disease, cancer, and dementia. Folate is particularly important for women of childbearing age, as it is needed to support increasing maternal blood volume.

I also should note that my brothers raise lentils on the farm and I frequently transport 50 and 100 pound bags of lentils to the Seattle area for sale (and donation to a food bank) at near my own cost.

Before I had a blog

Back in the dark ages, before I had a blog, I attempted mass communication using a word processor to put words on material made from dead trees. I then used an envelope and stamp to send my missives to the local newspaper in hopes they might indulge me by sharing my words with their readers.

I didn’t realize it, but my parent saved at least some of those published Letters to the Editor.

Although my parents died in 2012 and 2014, my brothers are still cleaning the attic of their house. Stuff related to me has ended up on my desk. These two clippings arrived recently and are from over 20 years ago:



Options for father’s day

Barb sometimes hints that I have too many t-shirts or caps.

I would like to suggest to my daughters that if the correct selection is made I’ll find a way to sneak something into the closet. Here are some suggestions:

I found these via an email from Pete:

Hey there,

My name is Pete and I run a business called Eagle Six Gear –

Our mission is simple – to employ service disabled veterans and help them transition into the civilian workforce.

I really like your site and I was wondering if your readers would be interested in hearing about us?

I’d love to send you a hat or tee for you to review.

I’ll cover the hat and shipping…all I ask for is a review and a link back to our site.

Hopefully we’re a match and this works out!

Looking forward to hearing from you.


I declined the free hat.

Rumors of my death are greatly exaggerated

I run across these sort of things from time to time:

Joe Huffman Obituary

Here is Joe Huffman’s obituary. Please accept Echovita’s sincere condolences.

It is with deep sorrow that we announce the death of Joe Huffman of Wilkesboro, North Carolina, who passed away on February 3, 2022, at the age of 84, leaving to mourn family and friends. You can send your sympathy in the guestbook provided and share it with the family.

He was predeceased by : his parents, Earl Thomas and Martha Cisco Eller Huffman; his wife Linda Adelaide Ellis Huffman; and his siblings, Patty Sue Wingler and Shelmer Blackburn, Sr..

He is survived by : his children, Patricia Huffman Shacklette (Peter) of Roanoke Rapids and Keith Huffman (Barbara) of Wilkesboro; his grandchildren, Ellis Shacklette, Brad Calloway and Brittany Hemric (Logan); and his great grandchild Mila Hemric.

Visitation will be held on Monday, February 7th 2022 from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM at the Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church (239 Champion Mt Pleasant Rd, Wilkesboro, NC 28697). A funeral service will be held on Monday, February 7th 2022 at 2:00 PM at the same location. A burial will be held on Monday, February 7th 2022 at the same location.

No known relation. But Huffman’s have been in North America since before the Revolutionary War. I also have a ancestor on my dad’s maternal side which was known to have fought in the Revolutionary War.

That was Captain Jesse Gray. He was born in North Carolina. He fought and was captured at the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780. He later fled to Nova Scotia where he was granted land for his service to the Crown. His great grandson, Frank Carey Sr. was born on the 80th anniversary of the Battle of King’s Mountain. Frank came to America when he was sixteen years old and eventually homesteaded on South Road in 1895.

Boomershoot Mecca, where we manufacture the targets, has a great view of the site of Frank Carey’s 1895 homestead on South Road. This picture is from January 17th of this year: Boomershoot Mecca is just behind the camera. South Road is at the near horizon this side of the trees.


Three of Frank’s daughters purchased the 40 acre field where Boomershoot is now held. One of those daughters was my grandmother. I inherited that 40 acre field.

Statistics experiment results

As I requested last weekend people gave me some numbers regarding how many people they knew in the following categories:

  1. Had a reaction to a mRNA “vaccine” which resulted in an ER visit and/or hospitalization.
  2. Had a reaction to a mRNA “vaccine” which resulted in long term (two or more months) adverse effects.
  3. Had a reaction to a mRNA “vaccine” which resulted in death.
  4. Had COVID-19 which which resulted in an ER visit and/or hospitalization.
  5. Had COVID-19 which resulted in long term (two or more months) adverse effects.
  6. Had COVID-19 which resulted in death.

The raw numbers and simple statistics are:

Question 1 2 3 4 5 6
Vaccine COVID-19
ER/Hosp | Long Term | Death | ER/Hosp | Long Term | Death
1 0 0 1 1 1
0 0 0 1 1 0
  0 0 0 0 0 0
2 0 0 1 0 0
1 2 0 1 3 0
0 0 0 0 2 0
  0 1 0 1 0 2
0 0 0 0 0 1
60 0 4 1 2 0
0 0 0 0 0 1
0 0 0 0 1 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 1 0 0
3 0 2 1 0 0
0 0 0 0 1 2
0 0 0 0 0 2
0 0 0 1 0 1
2 2 0 0 0 0
0 2 0 3 0 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 0 0 0 1 1
0 0 1 1 0 1
0 1 0 0 0 2
1 5 0 2 2 0
0 0 0 0 0 0
0 1 0 0 1 1
0 0 0 1 1 1
1 0 0 1 0 0
Total 71 14 7 17 16 16
Mean 2.54 0.50 0.25 0.61 0.57 0.57
Std Dev 11.29 1.11 0.84 0.74 0.84 0.74

We have an outlier in row 9. A 60 when the mean is 2.54 (including the outlier!). This is nearly 5.1 standard deviations above the mean. If this sample were part of the same population as the rest of the samples the odds of that happening by chance are about 1 in 5.6 million. I considered keeping this row anyway and ascribe the greater numbers to a much greater set of people known. But the ratios are nowhere close to another other samples. So, for the following discussion I’m going exclude that row. You can easily modify any conclusions on your own if you want to include that row.

This gives us the following simple statistics:

Totals: 11 14 3 16 14 16
Mean 0.41 0.52 0.11 0.59 0.52 0.59
Std Dev 0.80 1.12 0.42 0.75 0.80 0.75

There is still one “vaccine” death report with a 4.46 standard deviation which one could argue is an outlier but I’m leaving it in. The numbers we are dealing with are just so small that things may look odd when they really aren’t.

At least 76% of the U.S. population, just under 250,000,000 people, has had at least one dose of one of the vaccines.

Our sample is 27 people. A rough rule of thumb is that people knows about 600 people. I think that is a bit high but let’s go for it since it is based on some evidence as opposed to my gut feel from a collection of other sources (sociological issues develop when the groups get larger than about 200). But knowing 600 is different than having a tribe of 600.

With this information our 27 reports represents about 16,200 people.

This means that the odds of dying from COVID-19 is about 16 / 16,200 or 0.099%. This is not the odds of dying once you were infected. This is the odds of dying after living through two years of the pandemic and taking whatever precautions, including vaccinations, these people engaged in.

The odds of dying from the “vaccine” is about 3 / 12,312 or 0.024%. This set of people deliberately exposed themselves to this risk which is about 1/5 the risk of dying if they were to continuing using whatever precautions to avoid being infected and dying of COVID. But these numbers are too small to have much reliability. A difference of just one less or one more changes the odds to 0.016% or 0.032%. Even the higher number is less than one third the risk of a COVID death.

This does not take into account the apparent higher risk of vaccination for young people and the higher risk of COVID death for old people and other risk factors such as obesity, etc. At some point on the curves we are likely to see the tradeoffs cross over. It is easy to imagine that a young healthy person has a higher risk of death from the vaccine than from taking some precautions and risking a COVID infection and death. Also not taken into account is the probable higher vaccination rate in those with higher risk factors.

For the long term adverse effects the odds are worse for the “vaccine” than COVID. They are 14 / 16,200 versus 14 / 12,312 or 0.086% versus 0.113%. The same caveats as in the death rates apply.

The ER/hospitalization rates are 16 / 16,200 and 11 / 12,312 or 0.099% and 0.089%. Or for our sample size, essentially the same.

My conclusions from this is that the average risk of death from COVID is significantly greater than the average risk of death from the “vaccines”. The average long term adverse effects (known at this time) are a little higher.

I have had the two Moderna shots early last year and the booster shot 10 days ago. The side effects for the first two shots were a sore arm for several days, and chills, fever and low energy for one day. The booster effect were a slightly sore arm and slightly lower energy for one day. Barb’s experience with Pfizer were essentially the same for the first two and somewhat greater than mine for the booster a couple months ago. I’m confident we made the right decisions for us. Our risk of death is now much lower and we escaped the known adverse effects of the shots.

Make the best decision you can for yourself.

Tips for your move to Idaho

I’ve been keeping my finger on the pulse of people moving to Idaho for a couple years now. Last July this crossed my desktop:

Idaho is America’s fastest-growing state, according to data released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Its population increased by 2.1 percent to almost 1.8 million from July 2018 to June 2019.

Because of this I thought I would offer a few tips to those moving in. There can be some culture shock and the locals are going to insist you adapt to their culture rather than you imposing your culture and “the right way to do things” upon them. If they wanted the city culture they would have adapted it or moved to the city years ago.

Finding a home.

I talked to a builder in North central Idaho a few months ago and he had some interesting stories to tell.

There are no houses available for sale or rent in the area. One family, desperate to leave California, brought a camping trailer and lived in it while they looked for a place to buy or rent. After several months they gave up and went back to California.

Home builders, if you can get one to return your call, will tell you they are completely booked up a year or more into the future. If you decide you want to get on their schedule you will discover it involves an interview and if you aren’t local the odds are very low of them you giving you an interview. They won’t answer or return your calls if you fail your one and only interview. Although there may be a half dozen or a dozen builders in your area you will be lucky to get more than one to talk to you. After you fail the first interview he will tell his builder friends what a doofus your are and share your name and telephone number with them.

Here are some common interview questions and tips for answers:

  • Why are you moving here? Wrong answers include:
    “I don’t have to work in the office anymore and we want to be in the country.”
    ”There is too much crime in the city.”
    ”Things are too hectic in the city and we want a simpler life.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”The prosecutors are on the side of the criminals.”
    ”Saying, ‘All lives matter’ will cost you your job.”
    ”They are making all my guns illegal.”
  • Who do you know around here? Wrong answers are anything other than a half dozen people who have lived there all their lives and will vouch for your good character. You will be asked how you know them and you should be ready to tell stories about them that your interviewer, who probably also knows them, will recognize as being in character.
  • What are you going to do here? Wrong answers include:
    “Farming a few acres.”
    ”Organic <anything>.”
    ”I have enough money I don’t have to do anything.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”If I can get a good enough Internet connection I can work from home.”
    ”I’ll do almost anything to get out away from the politics of <state/city>.”
    ”Construction/drive truck/heavy equipment operator/etc.”
  • What sort of hunting do you do? Wrong answers include:
    ”I’m a vegan.”
    ”I’m not against others hunting but it isn’t something anyone in our family would ever consider doing.”
    ”I was thinking I might try hunting antelope (or other species that doesn’t exist in this area of Idaho) when I get here.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”I’ve harvested a few mulies and some ducks, but nothing recently.”
    ”Hunting is something I have always wanted to try. Can you recommend someone to help me get my hunter education card?”
    ”My wife did some hunting when she was growing up and promised she would teach me after we get settled in.”
  • What type of guns do you have? Wrong answers include:
    ”We have a couple 9mm shotguns.”
    ”Part of the reason we are leaving the city is to get away from all the guns.”
    ”Nothing right now but I expect we will be getting an assault weapon or two after we get here.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”We started to buy a couple handguns a year ago but it was just too much of a hassle and the sheriff wouldn’t give us a concealed carry license unless we ‘donated’ to his reelection campaign anyway.”
    “I’d rather not discuss the details until we can get them out of the state.”
    ”I haven’t done an inventory recently but I checked with a moving company and we are going to need to rent a U-Haul trailer because they won’t move them for us.”
  • What did you think of that last presidential election? Wrong answers include:
    ”It was so scary that Trump got that many votes.”
    ”If Hillary had not given up in 2016 we wouldn’t have had to worry about Trump in 2020.”
    ”If there hadn’t been so much corruption Trump would have been in jail and we could have all breathed a little easier.”
    Answers that won’t eliminate you from consideration:
    ”Let’s go Brandon!”
    ”Why hasn’t the FBI interviewed any of the people who reported election fraud?”
    ”They called that an insurrection? One day soon they are likely to see a real insurrection.”

The weather deserves mention. Given the state of the education system people may not know that living within a few tens of miles of the ocean has a moderating effect on the temperature. Currently my property in Idaho looks like this:


That is a picnic table covered in snow next to my explosives production facility. The snow has drifted some so the depth is quite variable but on the average it’s a couple feet deep with another 10 inches or so forecast for the coming week. And my weather station went offline last night when the temperature suddenly crashed below –5 F:


It’s been a common problem. The weather station was sold by an Arizona company and it just doesn’t seem to be able to handle the cold. And –5 isn’t all the cold as things go around here. I’ve seen it as low as –30F for a week at a time while never getting above –20F. It’s not all that bad as long as the electricity doesn’t go out. That winter with the lows of –30F for a week included no electricity. We heated snow on our wood stove for water. After the electricity came back on we thawed the frozen underground pipes using our electric welder. You do know how to do that, right?

The –30 F for a week was an outlier. But there have been several times when it never got above 0 F for more than a month so you should be prepared for that. Also, with it that cold and lots of snow the county may not plow the roads for several days. You and your neighbors will need to get your dozers started up and plow them yourselves. Be sure and put winterized diesel in your snow removal equipment before it turns cold. The summer diesel will be jelly when you need it the most. Starting a diesel engine in the extreme cold is not for the novice. Know how to use glow plugs, block heaters, and starting fluid.

Oh! You alerted on the “explosive production facility”? It’s no big deal. You don’t have to have your own facility. Most people buy their recreational explosives from the local sporting goods store or even the local builders supply. I have my own facility because I make over a ton of recreational explosives each year.

Back to the weather… The summers are hot. 100+ F is expected in the late summer. Some of the lower elevations get days with the temperature over 110F. You should see the wildfires we get around here: That was in 2020 and was just a warm up for 2021. After they lite the backfires for the 2021 fire less than a mile from my brother’s house the flames were estimated at over 1000 feet high. If you want to keep your buildings you will need your own generator to keep your pump running and hope your well has the capacity to supply enough water to keep everything saturated. Why your own generator and water you ask? The power frequently goes out because of the fires. There is no city/county water supply. Your own well is what you have. The local fire department is a volunteer organization and will probably be busy someplace else. This is especially true if you are the new guy in the neighborhood and has been a little snotty about the local “deplorables”. If properly equipped, your dozer for plowing the snow in the winter can be used for fighting fires in the summer.

Gardens are common. Most people in the country have gardens and maybe a few fruit and/or nut trees and/or berry bushes. But its not required unless driving 30 minutes to an hour into town to buy fresh food is annoying. You will need to have a fence which is at least six feet high. The deer will jump over anything less than that. Instacart and Amazon fresh don’t deliver in this area. You might want to consider canning and freezing your own food too. Have enough on hand to make it through those weeks where the roads haven’t been cleared of snow or are closed because of the fires.

Transportation. The thing about no Instacart or Amazon Fresh services reminded me of a story about someone who shall remain nameless. This person was coming out for a visit and I offered to pick them up at the airport. They declined saying they would just take public transportation from the airport to the motel in the closest town to me. I repeated my offer but they insisted. An hour or so later they called back, “There isn’t any public transportation from the airport to your town!” Yeah, I was pretty sure you would discover that. I’ll be glad to pick you up.

Septic systems. Another service people in the city take for granted is a sewer system. That’s right, in addition to your own well you have to have your own septic system. This is composed of a 1000+ gallon tank buried near your house where the turds decompose until they exit as a smelly liquid along with the other stuff you send down your drain. The effluent from the septic tank go into the drain field a little further from the house, and much further from your well, to be reintroduced to the ground. The septic tank will need to be pumped out every three to five years. Do not neglect this! Get it done during the summer. If your drain plugs up during one of those times when the roads are closed because of the snow and the subzero temperatures you will be using a latrine made out of a snow drift. Your pee won’t necessarily freeze before it gets blown into your shoes and that will probably result in more frequent changing of your socks than if you just had to brush the ice off.

Because the bacterial requirements for turd decomposition differs from that required for food scrap decomposition you will not have a garage disposal in your kitchen sink. You will learn to compost for your garden or pay extra for garbage removal—if it exists in your area. You may have to take it to the transfer station yourself. They are usually within 30 minutes to an hour away from your house.(when the roads are passable). You might want a pickup to haul it because carrying garbage in your car can cause it to smell bad for a long time.

Vehicles. Speaking of transportation and cars… You should have at least one four wheel or all wheel drive vehicle for winter travel. And don’t count on all season tires to be “good enough”. Get dedicated winter tires. If you have a decent relationship with your neighbors they will pull you out of the ditches the first few times you slide off the road near their place. But if you are a slow learner they will grow tired of it and let you stay in the ditch for a day or two. They might give you a ride home or bring you some food, water, and a blanket. After all, we are friendly folks and care about our neighbors.

If you slide off the edge of the hill instead of a ditch… well, you will be lucky if your car stops tumbling after a couple hundred feet. It’s over 1,000 feet all the way down to the river. And the only people I have ever known to call a tow truck were city people. If you call a tow truck and manage to get one to come out the neighbors will be telling that story for decades.

Your Prius, Tesla, BMW, and Mercedes will be viewed in a very negative light with you thought of as virtue signaling and/or a snob. The Ferrari, Jaguar, or Porsche that was the status symbol of your city neighborhood will be be considered conclusive evidence you are an arrogant narcissist.

Privacy. You might think that because your nearest neighbor is hundreds of yards away that you have more privacy than in the city with neighbors a few dozen feet from you. Don’t count on it. When the deer are more common than people your neighbors know what vehicles you drive and when and probably where you are at any given time. When your spouse invites a friend over while you are in town or out of the area for a while within a few hours the neighbors will have shared that information with everyone else in a five mile radius.

Internet access. Do you require “good Internet”? If you do, then don’t even think about moving here. I recently had a repairman come out to my place to fix something and while waiting for someone to bring him some parts from town I told him he could use my open Wi-Fi. This is at a rather remote location where I have a dish antenna pointed at a mountain top four miles away to get my Internet. This connects to my router and retransmits to another location almost a half mile away where it is broadcast again at my gun range. Both the router location and the gun range Internet equipment is powered by solar cells and batteries. When he was leaving he thanked me for the Internet connection and commented, “That is a better Internet connection than I have at home.”

My service is 6 Mbs down and 3 Mbs up. For comparison, “good Internet” in the city is going to be something on the order of at least 70+ Mbs down.

Social factors. Having good neighbors is incredibly important. Defending against fires in the summer and travel in the winter are life threating even with good relationships with your neighbors. You will need to fit in to be welcomed or even tolerated. If you are a slow learner or think the way the things are done in the city is better then you are likely to become a social outcast and you will spend, at most, a few years before you retreat to the city where you belong.

Summary. Country life in Idaho is much different from what city people are used to. I’ve just touched the surface to give you some clues. People who live here do not appreciate people who move from the city and expect people and the environment to adapt to them or accept your insistence that they are your inferiors. If you are arrogant, difficult to get along with, or a slow learner they can and will make life difficult or deadly for you simply by minor neglect. You will adapt or you will leave—one way or another.

Update 1/8/2022: I forgot to mention the Indian reservation. The reservation encompasses a lot of square miles and several small towns:


The Nez Perce tribe has their own court system.

Business dealings with the tribe can be “interesting”. Once, my brothers and I came to a verbal agreement on a land swap with them. It was a great deal for both them and us. They were getting land which was well connected with their land (and not much of ours) and we were getting land which well connected with ours (and not much of theirs). After the verbal agreement it took (IIRC) six years to get a signed contract which only formalized the verbal agreement and said the deal will be closed within six months. It took seven, rather painful, months to close the deal.

I could tell stories for hours but that might spoil relationships that took decades to build.

The snow kept falling. Here are updated pictures of the same location a few days later:



Here is a picture of my brother’s front deck:


They lost electricity at the same time for a day or too also.

Quote of the day—BioViva Science

In fiction and the popular imagination the quest for youth is associated with a bevy of unsavory characters: pharaohs, vampires, and Saturday morning villains. Yet the real face of longevity research is us, all of us. All of us who have ever had to watch a friend or family member lose everything to an age-related illness, all of us who have had to sit by while a “natural” process executed an innocent person. What sort of perverse imagination could think anyone deserves to die in this way?

BioViva Science
Email sent on November 11, 2021
[I’ve had many people tell me something to the effect of there being something wrong with wanting to live for much longer than the currently expected lifetimes. The reasons were varied and none were compelling to me. Probably the best was something to the effect that there needed to be “room” for new people with new ideas to prevent a stagnation of civilization and possibly technological advancement.

The worst was rather personal.

As my mother was sliding away with Alzheimer I had a friend cheerfully tell me I should enjoy the natural aging. As that is what she did as her grandfather as his brain failed and he could no longer recognize family and friends or speak coherently.

I didn’t accept her advice then and I don’t now.

There is evidence scientists are close to effective treatments if not outright cures for dementia. With my family history I see this as a race between scientists and time. I have a rather keen interest in this race as my life has a much higher than acceptable risk of being decided by the winner.—Joe]

Underground nuclear bunker

‘We Live in a 6,000 Square Foot Underground Nuclear Bunker’

The bunker is primarily made up of four large rooms that all have 16.5ft ceilings. As you enter, you reach the smallest room. Then you get to the second biggest room, and turning to the right from there is the largest room. Circling back from there, you come to a smaller room at the back. There is also a mezzanine and a pump room and a small fan room. The first room was originally an office space, the second largest room was the telecommunications equipment room and the largest room was the battery room. That one room is 1,700 square feet.

There is only about 4ft of earth above us, but the whole structure is built with two feet of reinforced concrete, and I have heard that rebar is as thick as a human arm. It’s also electromagnetic pulse (EMP) shielded; the whole structure has a copper mesh around it in case there was an EMP burst, in order to protect the electronics. We have a 3,000lb blast door at the front, a 2,000lb blast door at the back and an escape hatch. The escape hatch leads to a full stairwell that you can go up and leave through. My understanding is that the bunker can withstand a near-miss nuclear explosion. As long as we are not vaporized in the crater, we should be OK.

Interesting, but no thank you. This isn’t for me. I’m not opposed to the heavy doors, EMP shielding, and the four feet of earth is acceptable. I don’t need or want 6,000 square feet to take care of. Nor would I want to have to spend hundreds of thousands to remodel it into something resembling a reasonable floor plan. The escape hatch would be kind of nice though.

My grade school was small

Back in the days of the dinosaurs schools were much smaller. This is the first through the fourth grade with the one and only teacher:


I’m the third boy from the left. Verl Presnall, who I mentioned when he died just over a year ago, is the first boy on the left. Second boy from the left, L.J., worked at CCI for decades.

Thanks to cousin Janis, first girl from the left, who posted the picture on Facebook.

Right to Bear Arms

Via email from Rolf:

Recommended Age Range: 4-12

The Right to Bear Arms is a tool designed to assist parents in teaching children about the Second Amendment and constitutional liberties.  It highlights the time Charisma Cat attempted to take over the forest by using tricks, social shame, and manipulation to convince other animals to give up their teeth and claws.  Only the Bears refuse to surrender their arms.  You can guess what happens next.

I just ordered a copy for a Christmas gift for my grandson.

More deer than people

Because of the gun range I spent quite a bit of time on my land in Idaho this summer. I saw more deer than people. I’m pretty sure it was the same deer multiple times. They came out of the woods at the same place, ate my crops in the same area of the field, and I’m pretty sure I was recognizing some of them.

Here is a picture of one group of seven (click to enlarge and see there are two next to each other at the upper left) about 250 yards away:


I saw as many as 14 at one time in this same area. Some of them would come as close as about 25 yards away without much fear as long as I didn’t pay much attention to them.

There were also other parts of my field deer visited but this was where I saw them most frequently.