Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Big Lie

   I keep coming back to a conversation I had with my bank teller about a year ago. Bill had an interesting theory, and he called it "The Big Lie". It isn't the one that Hitler told, but rather what we tell our kids. He says that we tell our kids to always tell the truth, but as adults, we don't want to hear the truth.

Your boss doesn't want to really hear what you think about his new idea. The sales clerk really doesn't want to hear how you are doing today. I could go on and on with these examples....but adults don't want to hear the truth.They want a reassuring lie. Politicians tell the voters what they want to hear....just like the Class President's campaign promise of a coke machine in every classroom.

We lie to our kids all the time....The Easter Bunny, The Tooth Fairy, and probably the biggest one of all...Santa Claus. I know that I lie to my kids, but still expect them to tell me the truth. The Big Lie.

I can remember my Dad telling me before going into a restaurant to tell them that I was six. I usually got a spanking for lying, he got a cheaper dinner bill.

I piggybacked onto that theory and included sharing and being fair. I hear my oldest tell me, "It's not fair". Life isn't fair, and can actually be quite cruel. When I had gum in elementary school, I used to hear, "Do you have enough for everyone?" The usual answer was, "No." We don't have to share when we are adults - this isn't a commune.

I love the honesty of children. "From the mouth of babes..."

Any Thoughts?

Keep Right On -K

Monday, May 28, 2012

MRE Monday - Chicken With Tomatoes And Feta Cheese

Happy Memorial Day and a big Thank You to all of our veterans!

Nutritional Information:
Calories 210 Calories from fat:60
Total Fat:7g - 11% Daily Value (DV)
Saturated Fat:3.5g - 18% DV
Cholesterol: 65mg - 22% DV
Sodium: 1110 mg - 46% DV
Total Carbohydrates: 4g - 1% DV
Dietary Fiber: 1g - 4% DV
Sugars: 2g
Protein 30g
Vitamin A: 2%
Vitamin C: 10%
Calcium: 15%
Iron: 10%

I read somewhere to keep my expectations low when eating MRE's. I am a self-described foodie and with nearly 30 years in the restaurant industry, I still think that food should look and taste good. That being said, I  imagined that it would be like the pulled chicken  consistency from a few weeks ago. The sauce, I had no idea what to expect, but I kinda keep it between low and edible.

The package was a nice size ( 8 oz. ) and a good sign for a dinner entree. I heated it up with boiling water, then opened it up and put it onto the plate seen above. I was pleased to see a whole chicken breast with rib meat. The sauce looked good, I would describe it as a creole type sauce. The two boys had a bite waiting on their forks when they came into the kitchen. Both ate it, but didn't ask for more. This wasn't a big surprise, but neither one spitting it out was a surprise. Neither asked for more. Sweetheart said that the sauce was a little off, and couldn't quite place the taste issue. I might be correcting this later, but I think that she could eat another one if a crisis situation developed. I actually liked it. It wouldn't be my first choice to order this on a menu, but I found it mildly spicy with the chicken breast having a good texture. The feta cheese was far off in the background flavor, barely detectable, but wished it had been more pronounced.

Final Thoughts:
I would order a few more. I guess this is the best compliment that I could give a product. What really worries me is appetite fatigue for the boys. I am wondering if any of the products would satisfy my young boys hunger pangs. The good thing about MREs is that each person can pick and choose what meal they want that day/night. I would rate this a 6/7 on a scale of 1 to 10. Not really excited about it, but I'd eat it.

Monday, May 14, 2012

MRE Monday - Fried Rice

I have been slacking lately on doing the reviews of MREs. At this rate, I have enough on hand to do a year's worth of reviews.
Nutritional Information:
Calories from fat:80
Total Fat 8g - 12% DV
Saturated Fat 1g - 5% DV
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg - 0% DV
Sodium 490mg - 20% DV
Total Carbohydrate 32g - 11% DV
Dietary Fiber 2g - 8% DV
Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A 8%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 2%
Iron 2%

I'm not going to even do a full review on this product. It's lousy. It slid out of the package onto the plate. Maybe about half a cup. Two bites for me was enough and my wife, who loves rice, only had one bite. At least my dog ate it. Here are my final thoughts: If you know someone with an APO address and they might be eating MREs, send them a care package.

Friday, May 11, 2012

How to Make Your Own Powder Laundry Detergent ( w/ recipe )

I delved into more homemade laundry detergents recipes, and narrowed it down to powders. The liquid recipes make over 2 gallons, and I really didn't wanna fool with cooking the bars of soap. The liquid recipes are a longer process of letting the liquid cool, stirring the ingredients into it, and finally adding two gallons of water. I'd rather use my cookware for dinner. This is the recipe ( HE compatible too ) that I decided to make:

1 Cup Borax ( 11 Cups per box )
1 Cup Super Washing Soda ( 7 Cups per box )
1 Cup Fels-Naptha ( 2 Cups grated  per bar )

This seemed rather straight forward and easy to prepare. The Borax Box has 11 cups. The Super Washing Soda box has 7 cups. The 2 bars of Fels-Naptha once grated made 4 I grated 2 bars of Ivory bar soap (  acceptable substitution from the research  ) which made 3 cups. Some this was gonna be a super batch of 21 cups.

Cost Analysis:

2 Fels-Naptha @.97 each = $1.94
1 Box Borax.....................= $3.38 (with 4 cups left over) final recipe cost is $2.15
1 Bx Super Washing Soda= $3.24
2 Bars Ivory @ . 33 each = $0.66
Total                                    $7.99

This makes a total of 21 cups and the measurement for each load is 2 TB (Tablespoon). 
There are 16 TB in a there are 336 TB in this batch.
336 Tb / 2 TB equals 118 loads this batch.
$7.99 / 118 loads equals  $.0677 per load.

Time to prepare took less than 15 minutes.

Most of the major brands run around 20 cents per load to wash your clothes. This is close to a 66% savings. I'll post updates with before and after shots! This ought to be fun with the kids.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Clothes Washer Soap Recipes

Here are 10 different recipes for clothes washer detergent. I'll post pictures soon of this project and cost analysis.

Monday, May 7, 2012


Hemmed-in-Hollow Falls

The final resting place for Larry Williams is a hollow with a 209 foot single drop waterfall. Today is the second year anniversary of his death - "And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest."

Sunday, May 6, 2012

A Good Cause...

I'm not a die hard environmentalist, but I do believe in being a good steward of what God has given us while we are here. I could get behind a message like this!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Ultralight Backpacking Cache or SHTF Cache - Part 2 of 2

SHTF ( Shit Hits the Fan ) Cache Version:

While this is hypothetical, I do have quite a bit of experience with backpacking caches. For the first part, here is the link that will open it in a new window.

Personally and ideally, I would place a cache at each ( or near ) stop if I had to walk home. This stop would probably be for the night, since I would be in a hurry to get home. The cache gives me a couple of advantages: I will look like everyone else when headed home, and I'll have less to carry. It will also make me a less likely target for begging, robbery, and/or questioning. Here is the Grey ManTheory.

The location will require planning and some foresight while you're driving home. Occasionally, I make a game out of drive time and point of various locations that might or might not be an excellent location for holing up. These locations can be evaluated throughout the year. Consider security and also take into consideration the Highway Dept. and mowing and maintenance. Weather conditions....snow, covering the site and making it harder to find. The depth of the cache needs to be deeper than the frost line. In my area, it is around 1 to 2 feet.

Some items that I would include and why:
  • 2 water bottles - one to drink immediately, and one to purify water while the other is drinkable OR Water Filtration Bottle.
  • fresh socks, underwear - discard old ones
  • $1.00 plastic "emergency" poncho - improv rain gear.
  • napkins from any fast food restaurant - toilet paper, tissue, and kindling.
  • Compass on a lanyard under shirt.
  • Bandana with a custom map created with a sharpie. Rolled up as a headband while traveling.
  • lighter - obvious reasons.
  • water tablets
  • aspirin/tylenol
  • Military MRE peanut butter/cheese spread & wheat snack bread
  • Any food item that can withstand a 5 year burial.
  • hard candy - share for info along route / conversation starter.
  • hints as to next cache - perhaps?
  • laminated photos on family - motivation.
  • MRE drink mixes ( 2 )
  • small hotel soap - packaged in mylar bag to prevent scent transfer/contamination. I sleep better clean.
  • ammunition w/ magazine for CCW weapon. Empty mag with bullets in mylar bag for moisture protection.
  • Favorite MRE meal.