Meat & freezers, gun show, 1978, Baygen radios, movies

Another day, another trip to the grocery hunting for bargain meat. Todays find – 85% lean ground beef, $1.69 a pound. Normally its around $2.99 a pound so, according to the little calculator in my toolbar, that’s a savings of around 44%. To put it another way, my ten dollars gets me 5.91 pounds of meat whereas it would normally only get me 3.34 pounds…a difference of over two and a half pounds. Its like free meat! The little bundles of beefy goodness wil be vaccuum sealed and then it’s the big cryo-nap for them. A trip to the deep freeze where they’ll sit with their fellow animal flesh.

Usable life? I’ve thawed ground beef that was two years old and it was just fine. Of course, theres a couple of things that make the difference.. one is the vacuum sealing. The other is that you cant just use the freezer in your refrigerator (well, maybe you can, but usually you can’t…won’t get cold enough.) you need to use an honest-to-Crom freezer – chest or upright. I have an upright but if I had to do it all over again I’d get a chest freezer. Why? Think of frigid, cold air as a liquid. Open the door to the upright freezer and all that nice cold air comes cascading out like a sitcom where someone leaves the water running in the bathroom. But with a chest freezer its like lifting the lid off a pot – the contents (the icy air) are undisturbed. I think this means that your cold stuff stays colder with less work from the freezer. Plus, if your stuffing the freezer in your basement like I am (well, in my basement not yours) that issue of headroom becomes paramount. Chest freezers pretty much can go anywhere theres an electrical outlet. Upright freezers take a bit more finagling.

Regardless, its nice to know that if theres a ‘rough patch’ in the ol’ cash flow I don’t have to worry about money for meat. Plus even for the day-to-day meals it’s handy to be able to buy the cheap meat in quantity. A penny saved is a penny earned they tell me.
Gun show tomorrow to attend. There isn’t much I’m looking for except for some cheap 7.62×39 and some AK mags. Oh sure, if theres a decent used scope that fits the criteria of what im looking for I’ll take it, but in terms of actively looking for something…nah. Just the ammo and mags. Of course, these venues are also good places for other things like poncho liners, web gear, knives, etc, etc, etc. And, of course, its also nice to hang out and socialize with other people who have similar likes and dislikes.
Hmmmm…high gas prices, gold is at record levels, people are unhappy at the current administration, theres a feeling of pessimism and doom in the air….could it be? Yes! We are officially back in the Carter years!
Interesting little nugget from ,Rawles’ Survivalblog… apparently the Baygen windup radios are being discontinued. Im not surprised…they were a unique item when they first appeared but now Coleman has licensed the technology for their lanterns and radioes, theres a host of Chinese knockoffs, and the market is probably going to see even more similar devices from other manufacturers. However, I think the Weza power generator is still around and that looks like a hell of an item to have when the lights go out.
Still haven’t gotten around to watching that Bird Flu movie yet. Its sitting on the tivo so maybe tonight when the girlfriend gets back from shooting practice we’ll watch it over some dinner. The reviews im seeing on the various forums says that it was ‘good’ in the sense that it gives a strong motivation for Joe Average to perhaps do something to improve his position, on the other hand there are others who say the whole movie was ‘trash’. Really, I don’t care…I’m in it for the entertainment, not the message.

Speaking of, what are some good disaster/teotwawki flicks? Hmmm….

Deep Impact – was thoroughly forgettable except for the scene of the family stuck in traffic and the kid on the enduro motorcycle managing to make it out of there alive.

Volcano – Yeah, it was farfetched but for my money you cant watch LA or NY get destroyed enough times. What bothered me was the huge ‘self sacrifice’ theme that permeated the whole movie. Every five seconds someone was putting on a grim expression and sacrificing their life to save someone else. Nice thought but I’ve got priorities and getting killed to save a stranger aint one of them – and Im okay with that!

Damnation Alley – Oh come on! It’s the LandMaster for crying out loud! And killer cockroaches! And Paul Winfield! George “The A-Team” Peppard! Jan-Michael “Airwolf” Vincent! Its so campy its cool!

The Road Warrior – Yeah, we’re leaving the planet of ‘at least grounded in reality’ and heading for the stratosphere. Still a fun movie.

Havent seen Trigger Effect or Panic In The Year Zero yet so I cant say about those….but I hear good things.

The Omega Man – Say it with me: “If it’s the future, and its bad, Charlton Heston is there!” Yet another TEOTWAWKI movie with Chuck. (Planet of the Apes and Soylent Green are the others…) Fortified brownstones, car dealership shopping and loads of Christ-imagery. A classic.

The Last Man On Earth – Vincent Price in a slightly different version of the book that became ‘The Omega Man’. Price was a great actor and it shows in this b&w flick.

Dawn/Day/Night/Dusk/Midafternoon/Late early morning Of The Dead – Again, not a lot of basis in reality but still damn good apocalypse.

28 Days Later – A more realistic zombie movie with ‘hey, theyre not really zombies’ zombies. One of the few movies that touches on one of the real-world possibilities in a major crisis – rogue military.

Tremors (I,II,III) – Not really a disaster flick but Burt Gummer is pretty much the only positive example of a survivalist Ive ever seen in a movie even if he’s sometimes played as an extremist.

The Postman – Trying to live up to Charlton Hestons rep for disaster movies, Costner did this and Waterworld. Between the two, I like this one better. Follows the book fairly closely for the first half and then goes on its own way. The book, by the way, had the least flattering opinion of survivalists Ive ever read in a piece of fiction. And any movie with Tom Petty is worth a peek just for the novelty value.

The Ultimate Warrior – Yul Brynner, of all people, plays a Mad Max type of character in post apocalyptic NYC. Great early end-of-the-world-movie.

Red Dawn – Needs no explanation

The Day After Tomorrow – Eh. Amusing for the great special effects and a few good scenes but otherwise it was just so-so.

War Of The Worlds – How NOT to handle an alien invasion and evacuation.

Radioactive Dreams – Yes, it’s a postnuclear-holocaust musical. Yes, it has film-noir hard-boiled detectives. Yes, it has disco mutants. Yes, it has cannibal hippies. Yes, it has George Kennedy. Yes, I am serious.

18 thoughts on “Meat & freezers, gun show, 1978, Baygen radios, movies

  1. sears

    often has sales on good size energy efficient chest freezers. even ones big enough to handle a crazed zombie or two. Wildflower 06

  2. On the Beach gave me nightmares after I saw it.

    Also Day of the Triffids was a little campy, but I still can’t look at a Venus flytrap without a shudder going down my spine. Very scary look at how civilization goes tits up.

    In both cases, the books were much better.

  3. “On The Beach” was one of Shute’s least interesting books, too. Although it’s quite dated now, “In The Wet” is far more interesting, almost approaching science fiction.

  4. You too? On The Beach was one of the saddest, most depressing movies I’ve ever seen.

    Not a happy movie, that’s for sure.

  5. Thumbs up for Tremors.

    What about, what was it, Red Comet or some such? Night of the Comet?

    Thumbs up for the Road Warrior. In that case it’s more of an example of a limited nuclear exchange that isolates Australia and Oz exhibits the same sort of degeneration of law and order just like the UK seems to be headed for right now and then the panicked last effort to bring effective law enforcement back after it’s too late.

  6. I have a really goofy friend who bought a big ass deep freeze. He buys meat to fill in, mostly steaks and roasts. When the use by date comes, he throws the stuff out even though it’s been well wrapped and held rock hard well below zero since the day of purchase.

    Of course he also sells his new TV all the time so he can make the payments on the credit card he used to buy the TV and will use to buy the next TV.

  7. “Daddy would have gotten us UZIs.” From “Night of the Comet.”

    I can’t wait until I get my UZI. Fly, little Form 3, fly!

  8. “The Quiet Earth” is a postapocalyptic story, but it’s all about the people and how they interact. There are no zombies or anything. It’s a good film, though; one of the first to come out of New Zealand.

    I stumbled across this the other day doing research, and thought you would be interested. Tamiflu, the only antiviral that is effective against the avian flu strains, is expensive and in short supply primarily because it is made from rare chemicals and is dangerous to synthesize. Or, at least, it was. If this new method passes QC and scales properly, Tamiflu would become easily available. The big question, in my mind, is will it happen fast enough to help?

  9. I thought Sudden Impact was a really good movie. But I think you mean Deep Impact, in which case I agree with your assessment.

  10. A full freezer work better then a partially filled one. Once all the items are cold the loss of air due to digging for around will not cause a problem and will quicly return to normal if it’s nearly full.

  11. Six String Samurai

    thirded, and it has The Red Elvises, the band that does ” I Wanna See You Bellydance”, a song that Tupelo danced on stage with them to, also i’ve seen Panic In Year Zero, and it’s not bad

  12. freezer meat will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no freezer meat

  13. Man, I was debating whether to mention this one, only to find someone beat me to it on the very first reply!

    Also worth mentioning, the TV miniseries of The Stand.

  14. Do you know if you have a butcher shop near you? Not like the butcher section at the local supermarket, but a processing house that starts with the whole cow? I’ve found you can often get some excellent deals for large amounts of meat at these. In particular:
    1. Ground beef. Generally made up of the leftover bits from preparing other cuts of beef. So it’s not a certain percentage lean like what you get in the supermarket, but is often made up of higher quality cuts. And hey, in a survival situation, having a little higher fat content may not be a bad thing! The one near me also offers discounts if you buy 10 pounds or more.
    2. Buying portions of a cow. Most of them seem to offer ‘package deals’ where you essentially buy a half or quarter cow. For this, you’ll get a variety of cuts for much cheaper than if you bought them individually.

    On a side note, I mentioned a week or two back that I had a shipment of the Honeyville powdered whole eggs coming in. I’ve so far used them in baking, both as an ingredient, and as an egg wash. Seem to work very well!

  15. Meat is denser than air and so it will retain the temp far better due to thermal mass.

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