Tuesday, November 10, 2015


"Which way is Denver???"

…since I'll be in Denver at MACHINE GUN TOURS, the Greatest Place on Earth, starting at noon tomorrow, we may have some kind of apocalyptic snow event tonight.The various and sundry weather sites are predicting anything from a couple of inches of snow to a full blown genuine Colorado blizzard. My tentative plan is to sleep late. I've got about 800 gallons of propane to run the gennie if we completely lose sight of the sun for days at a time and I stocked up on gin and tonic for, well, gin and tonic.

We will survive.

Meanwhile, I couldn't resist one more wild caught salmon and asparagus on the grill before the glaciers move south. It was wonderful, my favorite summer meal. Based on the weather reports, after tomorrow we'll probably have to hunt walruses with spears and live off their blubber. Unless, of course, we are captured by roving tribes from the University of Missouri, who will shout and spit on us until we succumb.

I'm kinda thinking that the best wine to serve with walrus blubber might be Peter Vella Table Wine in a box, which I think might be better packaged for the apocalypse than my first choice, Night Train Express. If NTE came in rubber bottles, I believe it might be the drink of choice for the end of the world, since heaven knows that stuff will never degrade. You can probably also use it to clean wounds or fuel a 1972 Mercedes. Or run those funky little alcohol lamps we used to have in science lab when I was in high school. Now, if you had an open flame in a high school it would probably cause a riot at the University of Missouri. Or Yale.


Anonymous said...

I lived in Alaska long enough to learn that Night Train goes better with muk tuk (Whale Blubber)

Alien said...

How is your propane stored? Multiple tanks or one large one? I'm currently wrestling with options.

Anonymous said...

For storing the propane, I'd recommend both types of containers. If the fuel line is breached, or smashed and frozen in the ground, having the means to connect 100# or 300# bottles is a plus. Have the connection provisions done ahead of time.

Up here in the "mitten" state, we're expecting gale-force winds. That usually spells "problems" for power. Generators (plural) have been readied. So have the chainsaws.

We also have plenty of Stoli' on hand and various Michigan wines. The meat is still walking around the woods. ; )

Life Member

Michael Bane said...

I have 2 500 gallon tanks. The systems are intentionally separate to avoid a cascading failure. The tank designated primary drives the boiler for the under-floor heating system, a highly insulated but traditional hot water for the kitchen as well as the propane stove. The secondary provides propane to the dreadfully efficient dreadfully expensive on-demand hot water boiler for the master bath and fuel for the back-up heating system.

Amazingly, last winter we used half the amount of propane we projected, and it was a hard winter.

Remaining to be done, an "either/or-both" manifold for the 2 tanks with additional provision for filling smaller tanks. May still try to get this accomplished before winter sets in seriously.

Got the wood fired "pizza oven" for outside, so I have wood-based cooking/baking/smoking separate from the kitchen. Cooked outside all summer.

Propane generator is tuned up and has been working well. Yes, it eats propane, but we've learned the secret is how quickly the battery banks can be recharged. Our system is battery-centric, with the goal to keep the batteries up. So the generator kicks in earlier in the cycle than you'd think (thanks to a twice as expensive replacement computer to monitor every step of the system).

Because I'm fundamentally paranoid, I would still like a second generator, preferably diesel, that could be used either to charge the batteries or to drive the house while we work on the primary system. I am also looking into placing Faraday Cages around the electronics (or to have a duplicate set-up EMP protected). The generator could also use EMP protection.

At the old Bunker, I created a 360-degree "ground" around the house, using 6 8-foot copper rods driven into the ground tied together by copper mesh. Then I tied all the other house electrical grounds and the metal plumbing pipes into that system. I also grounded any fences or metal that touched the house.

As if on cue, 2 weeks later the house took a devastating direct lightning strike, right at the electrical junction box. My line of sight Internet antenna melted, the electronics on the furnace fused and, honestly, a clock radio blew up. But that's it. When the fire department came out to inspect the damage, the guys couldn't believe the house was still standing. "This should be burned to the ground."

The new Bunker is not as exposed as the old Bunker, but it'll get the full grounding system in the spring.


Anonymous said...

MB said... "hot water boiler for the master bath and fuel for the back-up heating system."

Please don't use the M word. Real estate folks have decided that it is racist and dropped it from listings. You might offend people.

Michael Bane said...

OMG! I forgot to check my privilege!!!!

I'M SORRY I WORE THE SHIRT WITH NAKKED WOMENS ON IT! Really…oh wait…wrong apology…


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