Peanut Butter: Buy now save later

by c on October 21, 2011

in Economics

The price of peanuts has been soaring. And by soaring I mean prices have increased over 255% in the past year. Organic peanuts have increased even more. So much so that apparently Costco and Trader Joe’s have discontinued their store brands of organic peanut butter. If you haven’t already stocked up on this emergency staple you should head out and get at least a years worth. There is no better return on investment that buying a consumable that you know you’ll be using before it goes up 10, 15 or 5o percent. You won’t find a better investment anywhere. And to top it off, the current crop is looking even worse so you are likely to see a bigger increase next year.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates the current spot price for a ton of unprocessed Runner peanuts, commonly used in peanut butter, at about $1,150 a ton, which is up from about $450 a year ago. A pound of shelled peanuts, meanwhile, would fetch $1.20 currently, one broker said, up from 52 cents a year ago.

-Source: Wall Street Journal (Full Article)

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“The shortage won’t just hit snack giants like Jif. Popular grocery chain Trader Joe’s, which makes its own line of organic peanut butter, has discontinued it. When it does eventually hit shelves again, you’ll pay about 70 cents more per jar, according to Trader Joe’s Director of Public Relations Alison Mochizuki. But that won’t be for a few weeks, the company says.”

-Source: Kalamazoo Gazette

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For those of you located in the US who are still lacking in the water storage department, you may want to consider purchasing a Shelf Reliance 55-gallon water storage kit from Costco for $109 (w/ free shipping). You can buy the same thing from Shelf Reliance directly for the same price, but the shipping is not included. You will pay an extra $10 for shipping if you buy it thorough Shelf Reliance.

I can tell you from several reports around the country that the barrels typically go for around $60 brand-new at an industrial supply facility with no guarantee of them being BPA free. And that is without the bung wrench, siphon hose or water treatment solution. I would consider this a pretty good deal for anyone still looking for water storage, particularly those with no local place to get their own or people who are too busy to go pick them up. The barrel without the other items from Shelf Reliance is $74.99.

For those with a family thinking about water storage, remember your requirements are about 1 gallon per person per day. Children, sick and elderly should really have more than 1 gallon. I typically use the 1.5 gallons/person/day rule for storage for my family. So with a family of 4 (2 adults and 2 kids) you would ideally need 180 gallons of water for a 30 day supply. If I had a family of 4 I would buy one full kit and 2 additional barrels to have on hand as I had the proper space (At a minimum).

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Privacy fears raised as researchers reveal file on iPhone that stores location coordinates and timestamps of owner’s movements
Link: Here

I can say that I have reviewed the claims in this article and it is indeed very easy. I think it is easier to export the sqlLite table as a CSV file and then port the CSV to a KML format. I can clearly see long. and lat. dating back to the time I upgraded my phone to IOS 4.0. It is a little creepy to think that it is that easy, especially given the recent news that Michigan State Police are now actively engaged in grabbing cell phone data from people seemingly without cause. Here is a CNET article on that story.

The other interesting item I found, although I am sure there are plenty more, is that the same DB also keeps a record of every wireless access point you have seen. It does so in the WiFiLocation table.

You can use this site, http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/, if you want the absolute fastest way to get from csv to kml format for viewing in google earth or maps.

Use this code (link here) to make the fastest work of finding the right file, but it may be the case that the file is always named “4096c9ec676f2847dc283405900e284a7c815836″, which would eliminate the need to run the previously referenced python script.

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Political theatre

by c on April 6, 2011

in society

I have been listening to a few radio programs and they all brought up a very good point about governments in debt and budgets being cut. Why is it that every time money even looks like it is running short governments start laying off police officers and firemen? I may not be an economist, but I do know that there are probably many other areas that can withstand a hit that don’t impact the safety and security of a populous. Whether or not you think that police officers keep you safe is another topic, but it just doesn’t make any sense that the same people who are so up in arms about the negative impact to the community and it’s people are the ones actually making the decisions that have the negative impact.

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For those of you that feel like it can’t be done, here is an article that would suggest otherwise. It is interesting to see the recent uptick in stories and press surrounding the movement back to the land. I suppose we could attribute it to the middle class organic movement or perhaps its the media’s way of recognizing the need to get back to the land and to the idea of Americans providing for themselves on a local level. The sad reality is that much of this movement seems to be a new generation of hippies and socialist. My reasoning on this is specifically related to the emphasis on Karl Marx and Punk Rock music as influences amongst the groups the reporter spoke of.

Wouldn’t’ it be ironic if among some of the best prepared and most likely to sustain in the long-term could be socialist hippies that have put in on the line and given up everything else to engage in biodynamic agriculture and farming? I am sure not all the folks who are part of this movement are all cut from the same cloth. In fact I can only imagine that some of these folks are a more than disappointed to be featured in an article along with the comment that Karl Mark is the reason they are farmers.

In New Food Culture, a Young Generation of Farmers Emerges

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In doing some research this week I came across a great resource for small farmers. The site is the small farms program for Oregon State University, which is run by Garry Stephenson. For those of you with some acreage looking for what you might be able to do with it of for anyone looking to see what it might take to build up a small farming operation I would recommend you give the site a look. If you visit the Beginning Farmers section you can find your way to a large pool of great information.

Here is the site: http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/

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Water Storage

February 3, 2011

A good friend of mine just sent me a link to 2  water storage solutions. Many of my friends live in the city and are constantly looking for ways to store water. Some plan on relying on their swimming pools as water storage, while other stock up on water bottles at Sam’s Club and Costco. [...]

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Finding the right size oxygen absorber

February 1, 2011

Here is a link to a great article from Sorbet Systems which explains in very specific terms what amount of oxygen absorbers you need when preparing your food stores. Her is an excerpt from their page at:  Oxygen Absorbers: Measuring Volume of Oxygen Example: We want to know what size oxygen absorber to use for [...]

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