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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Of Rants and Preps

On the last day of 2010, I wrote about how the federal government is purposely making it more difficult to use cash ("Outlawing Cash").   A reporter from SmartMoney.com tried to go alll-cash for a couple of weeks.  'Tain't easy.

An observation I found interesting -

Scottrade stops customers cold with a plaque on the front counter: no cash accepted. Government regs, a rep told me. Turns out, money laundering rules make it tough for brokers to accept cash. We're living in a strange time, when the government bars you from funding your brokerage account with government-issued currency. I used a money order.
Yeah.  Money laundering.  Sure.  Strange times, indeed...
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Andrew Sullivan has a blog (I guess) in The Atlantic online where he asked, "How Did Loughner Get A Legal Gun?"

Really?  That's like asking how the guy that shot up Virginia Tech got a legal gun.  Or how we have a regular stream of salmonilla deaths each year.  Or how we ended up with the bank bailouts.  Or how BP had an oil rig blow-out.  Or how Bernie Madoff stole billions of dollars. 

The answer to each is the same:  The government has grown too bloated and thus ineffective.  In each of the instances listed above, the government had approved or directed all of the circumstances which lead to the deaths or errors.

They screwed up on background checks.  They rubber-stamped the pig/cow/chicken farms.  They guaranteed bad loans, encouraging banks to make more of the same.  They told BP their disaster and operational plans for the well were A-OK.  They looked the other way (at their Internet porn?) all together with Madoff. 

Instead of focusing on core regulatory issues, they try to operate and control the businesses.  Instead of the business being given a set of guidelines with which to follow, they tell them how to run their businesses.

NOT a core-competency of any government ever to exist on this earth.

Give business rules to play by, and get the hell out of the way.  Let them fail if they screw up.  The market will regulate itself.  If I know that Bob's Chicken Farm sold eggs that killed some people, I'd never buy from Bob again.  He's going to make sure his product is healthy.  He's not going to rely on the cop-out of, "Well, the government gave me a seal of approval.  It's not my fault!"

But not to worry.  More help is on the way.  Let's pile on some more laws that make it more difficult for non-crazy law-abiding citizens to protect themselves.

It makes perfect sense.  I'm sure it will turn out just fine. 

Yep.
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I tried a new kind of meat to home can yesterday.  Chicken thigh.

In a recent post on canning meat ("Home Canned Burger"), reader/commenter liteluvr made a comment about cooking and canning chicken leg quarters.  He made the comment that he cooks the meat until it falls off the bone, then home cans it.

Since I'm a dark chicken meat kinda guy, I wanted to give this a try.

I bought 14 pounds of chicken thighs that were at a great price.  I figured that I should be able to get at least 7 pounds of meat after the skin and bones had been removed.



I took the raw thighs and boiled them for about 20 minutes.  I'd call it medium-well.  Not all the way cooked through.  I wanted the meat to come off easily, but I also wanted some of the texture of the meat to remain after the high-temp pressure canning.

I boned the meat and was quite surprised.  I ended up with just under 6 pounds of meat.  Hmm.



I chunked it and got it ready for the jars.  Into half of the jars, I put a 1/4 tsp of store-bought BBQ rub.  It's very salty stuff.  When I've done canned meat and added salt, I go with 1/8 tsp, but I figured that this stuff was "cut" with other spices.



Into the other 5 jars, I put 1/4 tsp of Chinese 5-spice, and about 1 tablespoon of soy sauce (regular strength, not light salt).



I then started filling the jars with the meat, and to my absolute amazement, the 6 pounds of meat fit perfectly into the 10 pint jars.  I was careful to not over-stuff the jars, but I wasn't really measuring for each one.  I just filled and pushed down a little bit.  I ended up with perhaps a quarter-cup of leftover meat.  You'd think I'd done this before... ;-)

I topped off each jar to within 1/2 inch of the lip with the stock I reserved from boiling up the thighs.  75 minutes at 10 pounds of pressure, and I have 10 pints of chicken thighs!



Chinese spiced, left, BBQ (looks pretty weak) on the right.
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While we're on the subject of preps, I just opened one of my vacuum-sealed bags of white flour.  Interesting.

When I had first put this bag away - in November of 2008 (!) - I had it in a plastic tub with a bunch of spices.  After 6 months or so, I opened up the tub, and could REALLY smell the spices (cumin especially).  I figured that the scent wouldn't infiltrate the vacuum bag, but separated them anyways.

Well.... the scent DID infiltrate the vacuum bags.  There was a distinct cumin smell to the flour.

I used it to make a couple loaves of bread.  The bread came out wonderfully (2-year old flour!) AND I could not detect any of the cumin smell in the bread.  Go figure.

If I was using the flour for a sweet dish, it might have been different.  Perhaps the yeast/souring of the dough over-powered the cumin.  I dunno.  I just know it tasted good!
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For every box of ammo you shoot in practice - which you should be doing at least once each and every month - buy two more.  At least.

Californians:  Buy at least three.

Accept The Challenge

Man Oh Man, times, they are strange.

Reader/commenter suek posted this link that is certainly an eye-opener:

http://neithercorp.us/npress/2011/01/economic-consequences-of-the-%e2%80%9cnew-world-order%e2%80%9d/

It's a lengthy article, but well worth your time.  The whole, "New World Order" marches on, and our leaders here in the states seem to keep looking for excuses to extend the concept here.

Controlling money and controlling business go hand-in-hand.  Control the money, and you control just about everything.

Somewhere, something is going to burst.  Not develop a slow leak, but burst.  And when it does, I fear it's going to have a domino effect on lots of other things.  It's the timing that's the only question.

PLEASE do what you can to ensure all of your stored wealth - food, money, equipment, etc. - are not in one place allowing for easy, "re-patriation".

Practice the skills you know, and learn some new ones.  I'm trying to memorize-thru-practice on how to make simple breads.  Loafs, flat breads, etc.  I want it to come as second nature.

Pick a new skill and master it.
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9 comments:

MikeH. said...

Chief,

There is no doubt, times ARE strange and becoming even more so moment by moment.

Re: "How did Louchner get a legal gun." Considering the number of people interviewed who claim the guy was certifiable, not one of them was concerned enough to press the issue to see him receive the actual certification.

I hate to sound hard hearted, but there was a time when families kept their whack-jobs locked in the basement or packed off to asylums. Now it's common place to allow them to roam free, without direct supervision, to do whatever the voices in their heads tell them to do.

Considering the percentages between people who legally own guns and the number of insane who shouldn't have access to guns, the smart money would be on whacko control, not gun control.

MikeH.

suek said...

About that "How did he get a legal gun"...
posted this link on the other shooter post as well. Something to make you go "hmmm", for sure.

http://market-ticker.org/akcs-www?post=176947

Re: the chicken...you say bone-in chicken - you didn't mention skin. Was skin still on, and did your 6# weight include the skin as well as bone removed? How would the price compare to boneless-skinless in original cost? It seems to me that boneless-skinless at Costco is normally .99 per pound.... If you bought boneless-skinless, do you think it would have been necessary to cook the chicken at all before putting it in jars?

I found a link on this that may interest you - but I'll have to find it again!

suek said...

>>...there was a time when families kept their whack-jobs locked in the basement or packed off to asylums. Now it's common place to allow them to roam free, without direct supervision, to do whatever the voices in their heads tell them to do.>>

I think that changed under Reagan. Unfortunately, committing people was being abused, as I recall, and was tantamount to getting rid of people who got in other people's way - particularly family members. There were a lot of fairly harmless people who were committed who were set loose - which is one of the reasons we have so many homeless as well. Many of them should probably be committed as they're unable to care for themselves.

It's kind of a tricky problem. Some people - like Laughner - are probably easily defined as commitable, but then you have people who are relatively harmless. Add to that a system that has a hard time _un_ committing people, and you have a perfect setup for political imprisonment. There _must_ be some kind of a solution, but I'm not sure what it is.

Chief Instructor said...

Mike, the smart money would be on whacko control, not gun control

Bingo. Of course, that's not what will happen, as it's the right thing to do.

Sue, re: the link. VERY interesting. Sounds like Barney Fife is engaged in a bit of butt covering with his, "hateful rhetoric" garbage. Dump him.

Chicken: The 14 lbs was the whole thing - skin, bones, meat. I got the chicken for $0.89 a pound. $12.46 total.

The 6 lbs was just the cooked meat. That comes out to $2.07 a pound.

CLEARLY, I could have gotten a better deal by buying boneless, skinless thighs if I got it for a price below that. My store usually has them for around the same price as boneless, skinless breast, which is generally in the $2 range.

I need to look at that the next time I'm at the store.

Mental health: Your Reagan comment is right on point. I feel a post coming.... ;-)

suek said...

This isn't the site I found before - I remember specifically that the other site mentioned using a cloth or paper towel wet with vinegar to wipe the rims. But it's a _good_ site, nevertheless!

http://www.simplycanning.com/canning-chicken.html

I have to clarify on the Reagan comment - I believe that it was in relation to California only, and he closed the state run institutions...

The Camarillo Mental Hospital - locally called the Camarillo Nut House - to distinguish it from the Somis Nut House (that processed local walnuts at the time, but no longer does. Now they sell prepared packages of various dried fruit/nut confections - or you can buy individual packages and make up your own. Very pricey, but good. They probably have a web site - but at Christmas season, you can hardly find a place to park!) The area no longer has walnut groves. Today the farms are lemons, strawberries, raspberries and various fresh veggie stuff. The land is constantly producing - usually about 3 crops a year except for the perennials.

mama4x said...

I read yesterday that vacuum bags are 4mm and Mylar is 9mm? You said your cumin was in a clear vacuum bag, not mylar? I am always interested to hear what people find when they open stuff they've packed years earlier. Glad to know your bread was good anyway!

Off Grid Survival said...

The cash thing is a little scary.... Banks are making it harder for you to take out cash as well.

In fact if you take out "to much" of your money they make you answer a number of questions like where your employeed, etc.... before they will release the funds.

Anonymous said...

Turkey is the way to go. We got a deal around thanksgiving and paid $4.12 for a 19 lb turkey. Cooked it to perfection in the oven and then cut off all the meat. Everything that wasn't meat went into the stew pot with 10 quarts of water and simmered for four hours. Then we canned 7 quarts of turkey with a 3-4 nice slices of breast in every jar and a nice cup or more of dark meat. Topped off every quart with the broth and had 3-4 quarts left over. I tried one the other day to check it out and it was awesome. The broth made an awesome gravy, best I've ever made from a turkey. Had open face sandwiches the first night and a nice turkey soup the second night. Still had gravy left over for potatoes the third night.

suek said...

If you get that post going...you might want to check this out:

http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2011/01/predicting-behavior-and-preventing.html

If I thought every state employed psychiatrist had her ethics - and qualifications - I'd say the state should commit people as needed. Unfortunately, I don't trust the State to have that level of "trustable" employee.

I took a Psychology course in college - one, note - and the first day of class, the professor said something to the fact of "Why are you here? do _you_ have a problem, or is it someone you know?" If that's the standard for your typical psychiatrist - you or some one you know has a problem of some sort - then there's no wonder we have some of the problems we have. How could you trust someone with a problem to handle the lives of others with problems??? Interesting dilemna!