Being in LIMBO is that state where you feel:-
Nothing in particular is happening and there is no clear pattern to events.
You can’t seem draw any conclusions as there is insufficient information to process
Thus it’s difficult to plan and for some that’s a very emotionally unsettling time.

Some would argue that being in limbo is a good state to be in.
It should be a time for relaxation as nothing definite is going on.
Catch up time for those little pleasures in life. That and time for blogging.

Survivalists will still be preparing for the storm they know is coming and probably intensify their activities thinking this could be “the calm before the storm”.
Yep, that fits me and I’m still wondering when Ebola will hit.

Experienced preppers should be carrying on as normal.
Mainly set in their ways, provisioning if required, the lucky ones quietly tending their live stock and veg patches. Quietly confident that they are ready although the:-

Newcomers to prepping will probably still be working flat-out to build up their supplies. From those I’ve talked to, being in limbo is actually a trigger for frantic activity and not a sigh of relief that they have more time before something occurs.

Some of our more flaky brethren will be thinking
“What am I missing, it can’t be this quiet?”
One step lower than paranoia (but only just), this is when errors of judgement creep in.
Some will even bug out as no news is actually bad news to them.

Others are thinking “I wish something would happen”.
Being in limbo is actually a torture to them.
These are the adrenaline junkies of life where it doesn’t matter what happens as long as it happens. These persons can actually reach a state where they will cause mayhem to relieve the boredom of the moment.

Think two hungry crows sat on a telephone line looking round and one says to another “Sod this waiting round for something to die” and the other one says “OK, let’s go and kill something!”

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Out of Service

Total dependence on a global source of information (Internet) is often taken for granted and we felt the full force of a lack of up to date information blackout this weekend with the loss of the Internet.

For example, no accurate weather forecasting.
As a result, we missed the warnings of the storm on the Internet weather radar and that sent me scrabbling about doubling up on the mooring lines. Something which we knew how to do, we’re equipped to do, yet always did BEFORE THE EVENT.

No news about current events.
A tough one this was. Dusting down our transistor radio, we listened to the UK government’s sanitized BBC news broadcasts. YET AGAIN after listening to the Midnight news on Saturday night, NOTHING ELSE HAPPENED during the rest of the day. One copy of the news covering the whole day. What use is that to us let lone anyone else?

As for the newspapers.
When in supermarkets we often flick through the papers. Only this time it was hammered home to us just how blinkered, censored, and lacking in USEFUL NEWS they were.
That and some of the news items were even less up to date than the BBC radio reporting was.

After all do I really care about what the lying politicians are promising in the hope of being re-elected? Does pictures of UKIP’s Farage chugging yet another beer down fill me with confidence about him being in power? That would be a resounding NO!

Hows about “The EU is tottering on the brink of economic collapse including the almighty German industrial machine”. Yeah right, their money printing presses are already rolling to take care of that one.

I did find a couple of interesting things.
Apparently there is something called Ebola which is causing MASSIVE delays to incoming flights round the world as people are being questioned at length when they idiotically fill in their forms incorrectly i.e. by telling the truth.

Much more of that and they’ll do what they always do, quietly drop the proposed requirements and hope the press don’t find out.

Nearly forgot.
UK people have been going to the streets to protest about low wages.
About time too yet nothing will come of 4 hour protests.
4 weeks and the government would do something about it,
4 months and the country would be on its knees and the politicians would be BEGGING for a solution, BUT 4 HOURS, what’s that?
3 large cups of Costa coffee and a couple of cigarettes I’m thinking.
I did however read an article about how UK workers are now the 3rd worse paid in Europe regarding hourly rates. Just in front of Romania and Bulgaria. Not surprising to me with people holding down 3 to 4 part-time jobs just to survive in our wonderful country.

We also had no means of long-range communications through email or Skype.
You could argue we had our mobile phone so we weren’t out of contact in the truest sense.
We could have texted others.  200 characters a time in order to have a chat.
Likely? No, just a quick text to say we are out of service for the foreseeable future.

We keep the phone for dire emergencies anyway and our phone book only has a few critical numbers in it anyway. Doctor, dentist, vet, and a couple of close friends.

Enter the debate about Amateur radio I suppose.
Yeah, yeah, except none of our friends are interested in the expense or even interested enough to do the course. I don’t blame them either when often all you hear on the HF amateur bands are complete dribbling idiots muttering about QSL, power, and what flavour of aerial they are trying out today.

The art of conversation has taken a nose dive on the amateur radio bands and you will actually have more fun on the pirate bands than CQ CQ CQ This is XYZ calling on 2 meters, is there anyone out there? (or “K” please).

One word “Yawn”. Go onto free band frequencies and boy can you have FUN!
So Monday dawns and we’ll once more turn the PC’s on to see if the Internet is running again.
If it is, here is today’s Word Press post. Written Sunday, after listening to the BBC news, and wringing out my jumper when me and the dog got soaked!



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Ebola, what next?

I wrote this as a comment to an article on preppernextdoor’s series (part 4) about Ebola.

Ebola spread across the world is going to be VERY difficult to predict.
So far the experts can’t even reach a consensus on basic management of the infected.
Such is the ineptitude of the “civilised world”.

The Blame Game starts.
I couldn’t believe it when today I read a statement from the WHO which said:-

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has admitted that it botched attempts to halt the ebola outbreak in West Africa. The UN health agency has blamed factors including incompetent staff and a lack of information, according to a draft internal document obtained by The Associated Press.


Yet is that it?
No it isn’t and the Worlds leaders have stupidly kept international flights and other travel routes open. WTF is that all about? Rank stupidity and political blustering. Especially in the UK.

So what if it hits the UK.
In a country with over 70 million (not including the millions of illegal and migrant workers), the ground has been well prepared for a mass die off.

The WHO finds 70 percent Ebola mortality rate (Last updated: 15 Oct 2014 13:56)
Dr Bruce Aylward, WHO’s assistant director-general, said on Tuesday
The 50% kill rate was updated to 70% a few days ago too.

UK population, 70 million at 70%?
There is a possibility that 49 million will die.

We’ve got what, 4 hospitals equipped for it, say 12 beds.

Ow sod it, bring it on, with any luck me and SWMBO will be fine.

Why did I write these last four lines?
I’m really mad as today on the radio news I hear that our Prime “limp” minister David Cameron is writing to fellow EU leaders to “significantly step up” their contribution to the fight to tackle the Ebola outbreak appealing for a combined one billion euro pledge.

That’s his answer to everything, chuck money at a problem.
No sensible plan like close down all world travel, no closing our borders, no public information campaign, just throw money at the problem from afar.

Right now to hear that Ebola had been found in the Houses of Parliament (our center of government) would generate one loud cheer from me.
That, and put us straight into our 60 day isolation plan.

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It all went off.

Now hows about this for poor site management skills.
The marina where we are at this moment has all sorts of “mod cons” including a laundry AND WiFi. Yet the whole place was probably wired up by a monkey.

How do I know this?
The tumble dryer in the laundrette developed an earth leakage fault and tripped the RCD.

OK you may be thinking, no big problem (except it happened when all the staff had gone home) AND the whole of the marina’s computer system including the WiFi for the 3 boat basins, and access security for the same all came off the same RCD.

durrrWas the system protected against a major power failure by fitting a $200 UPS (uninterruptible power supply)? That would be a no.

One electronic strangled groan later and it all went DARK!

So what to do when you can’t blog?
Watch a DVD on the laptop.
Except the DVD player is on SWMBO’s machine and that is a windows 8 machine.
Go on, feel free to flinch. I did.
The “pre-installed” software is a masterpiece of bloatware and has Microsoft stamped all over it.

So the DVD we had gone out and bought specially, wouldn’t run, hung on the copyright screen, and kept coming up “resume move” every time you pressed “END” or “EJECT”. Argh! This was more than enough to make me a “little” peeved to say the least.

Now on my ancient Windows 7 (only because my XP disk has gone walkabout) laptop with NO DVD player had my copy of VLC onboard.
VLC? A free open code no frills media player.
Seldom fails, easy to use and (as possibly mentioned) FREE!

Transferable across to Windows 8?
No, because the version I always use isn’t 64 bit thus won’t run on Win 8.
Everyone who owns a Windows 8 machine sighs with that “been there, done that” feeling.
So no internet, Skype, ANYTHING and a DVD that couldnt load.
What to watch aside from that? Happy Feet or Preditors.
Guess what won?




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Busy little spider

Linyphiidae to give its posh name but in the UK we usually call them “money Spiders”.

Why do I know he (or is it she) is busy?
Because as I type the little thing is running along the top of my laptop screen back and forward, forward and back and has been for the last hour!

Strangely hypnotic,
wonderfully relaxing,
and . . . .

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Addditional notes Ebola PPE

An additional word of caution if I may.
On the Internet prepper marketplace the “in thing” to buy is Tyvek overalls as basic PPE for Ebola.
Is that right or wrong? I’ve no idea but the following comes from the Dupont Corporate website:-

Tyvek® is the brand for a protective material and protective clothing manufactured from it. Tyvek® is a versatile non-woven material manufactured only by DuPont. The unique combination of properties of Tyvek® makes it very suitable for a number of end use applications, for example Protective Apparel amongst others. Tyvek® is made of millions of ultra-fine, continuous fibres of high-density polyethylene that are flash spun and heat-bonded into a fabric. It is permeable to air and water vapour, repels water-based liquids and aerosols, blocks particles and fibres down to 1µm,

Note the particles bit. 1µm, That’s 1000 nm.
Is a virus a particle? I’ve no idea BUT the Ebola virus pencils in at 970 nm long and a diameter of 80 nm.
One thin stick of a nasty isn’t it?

Washing the stuff.
This from Tyvek’s technical handbook.

Washing and laundering
In general, washing and laundering impacts on the performance of the materials. Therefore laundering is not recommended for Tyvek® and Tychem® products.

Nomex® is another material made by Dupont, Washing instructions for this stuff SPECIFICALLY says no bleach.

Nomex® garments can be cleaned by home or industrial laundry or dry cleaning. The following suggestions will help keep your garments looking their best and optimise their wear life.

Read and carefully follow manufacturer’s laundering instructions.
Close/cover all Velcro™ and zippers.
Empty all pockets.
Launder  garments separately from other garments.
Do not overload laundry equipment.
Use detergents for coloured textiles, preferably liquid without bleaching agents.
Tumble dry garments at low temperature settings or hang dry away from any lightsource.
Store Nomex® garments away from any lightsource.

And finally
Buy what you want people but think about what the front line people wear and why.

The second “poster” type thingy is the instructions on how to dress  in the WHO recommended PPE. An extenal link to the poster PDF is [HERE]

A key phrase I noted was the reference in Step 10.

Definition of impermeable?
impermeable. Relating to a material through which substances, such as liquids or gases, cannot pass.

Like I said, buy what you want folks and impermeable stuff is hell to wear in the heat thus my yellow condom pvc suit isn’t ideal for hot climates. Except I can rinse it down with a bleach solution.
As for Tyvek? Your decision to take, not mine.


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Rust on a blued barrel

Condensation, wet, bad storage, or just bad handling, surface rust can occur on a nicely blued barrel or rifle action. After all bluing is only a very thin layer of chemical reaction to inhibit the formation of rust.

I’ve read all sorts of comments on how to deal with it.
Chemical blue cleaner
Brasso (fine metal cleaner) and cotton wool,
Ultra-fine wet and dry with oil,
Fine wire wool and oil.

The best way is the finest grade of wire wool you can find and NOTHING ELSE.
Think about it. Rust is an abrasive mix of ferric oxide.
So you rub it off using an oil into a wire wool and voila, you now have a compound WELL CAPABLE of gouging through the remaining blue and causing even more damage.

A gentle rub with the DRY wire wool will loosen it.
Either keep changing the wool or just keep knocking out the rust.
Surface rust is just that. A lightly adhering layer.
There is no need to get the rotary sander out, patience is all you will need the majority of the time.
On tiny patches, I’ll even roll the wire round the tip of a cotton bud to avoid spreading the damage.

So what to do with the newly cleaned metal.
If I cannot re blue it immediately I smear on the Vaseline.

As for the wire wool, I’m talking the FINEST QUALITY, FINEST GRADE YOU CAN FIND typically Grade #0000. Anything coarser than that and all you are doing is gouging metal. The grades are:-


Most Liquid blue solutions are a pleasure to use nowadays provided the metal is clean, de-greased, and rust free. With a few words of caution though.

  • Wear nitrile gloves at all times but have thick leather gloves for when you are handling a hot barrel (should the bluing solution call for a hot dip.)
  • Degrease the barrel and plug the chamber and muzzle.
    The LAST thing you want down the barrel is bluing solution.
  • Don’t rush it. It’s best to build up thin layers rubbing down between each layer.
  • Chemical blue solutions usual call for the use of boiling water as a dip / fixing agent. Guess what, the barrel gets hot. VERY HOT.
  • On a MINOR repair job, you may get away with only touching up the defective part BUT on extensive damage, I like to re blue the whole barrel. It will be worth it except you’ll need to take all the old blue off before you start. A long and tedious task with fine wire wool unless you prefer to use a chemical dip.
  • After your final rub down, a thin coat of oil (if you can see it then you have used too much) will allow the blue to settle.
  • Don’t forget to clean the barrel.
    The repeated dunks in hot water will have loosened whatever gunk is inside.

Like everything in life it’s a “practice makes perfect” sort of skill.
To learn? I started on rusty nails.
Stupid as it might seem but after getting them nice, a gun barrel was easy.

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