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John Weiland

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since Aug 26, 2014
RRV of da Nort
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Recent posts by John Weiland

Just wanted to add two potentially useful links, the first for symptoms and the infection cycle of the current coronavirus in question and the second a cautionary writing about potentially amping up your immune system too high with regard to this type of infection:
10 hours ago

paul salvaterra wrote:I live in Amish country, they have bikes with no peddels, horse and buggies, and taxi, in amish you are amish or english

So the english provide taxi rides to the amish, many taxi, I see it every day, doctors, hospital, grocery, lowes. Walmart you name it

As a disclaimer, my wife and I are in the multiple vehicle camp on this issue.  All purchases were used, bargain basement 4X4s with decent reliability records because we just aren't the 'maintaining' kind.  But unless I missed it, Paul's comment was the only one that had a hint of 'social capital' attached to it, although even the suggestion here was the use of standard paid taxi service.  I'm thinking though as one solution, not necessarily long term, but who knows....would be *if* you are on good terms with some neighbors and could borrow or rent from them a vehicle that is not getting much use at the time, it would give some hauling and transportation options without having to make an immediate purchase and yet might not cost the same as a rental vehicle from an agency (which for SUVs/4X4s obviously can be costly).  Just a possibility.....

Edited to add, although I can imagine much if not most of Norway/Sweden is not as bitterly cold as Wisconsin, wouldn't the northern tier where the Sami live be pretty nippy?....

Second edit to add:  Although it would be impractical for our own set-up, I can imagine some rural situations where one only needs to drive ~10 -20 miles on most occasions to a small town for supplies/mail etc.  Right now the expense of a 4X4 the John Deere Gator, prohibitive, but I can see where the market may become saturated enough down the road with the many brands that these vehicles will be more affordable as a used unit.  More and more I've heard of 'street packages' with these vehicles and, if purchased with a heated cab, could replace a car for most purposes in the rural setting described.  Even now, none of my vehicles are used for long highway trips....I just rent economy/midsize cars for any interstate road travel, using the saved money *not* going into a new car purchase.
1 day ago

Eric Hanson wrote:.....  some have suggested exhuming at least one of those bodies to get a preserved sample of the virus in its pre-mutated version just to study it to find out what the heck it is/was and why it spread so fast.  

This has already been done and the investigations are on-going:

Like Ebola and the 1918 influenza virus, it remains a mystery what goes into the "fitness" of a pathogen.  The long standing view is that pathogens will 'attenuate' (mutate to a milder form) because killing their host off too rapidly is a dead-end game.  It's not a deliberate changing of its genetic make-up.....rather it is viewed as still being a product of chance---those strains that don't kill off a host necessary for their survival will be the ones that survive, because their host is surviving.  But in the realm of 'fitness', there can be reasons un-related to the host that pathogens seem to disappear and that has more to do with the stability of the mutations that are allowing it to become more virulent.  Influenza virus has a genome size of 13,000 nucleotides (the genetic building blocks of the genome) and when mutations occur that create greater virulence, but lower fitness, there may be other changes in those 13,000+ nucleotides that stabilize the more virulent mutations. This is what most pathogists/epidemiologists dread is the possibility of that happening.....bad enough to deal with the heightened virulence, we don't need the thing being more stable outside of the main host.  Fortunately, this did not seem to happen and the 1918 influenza faded into the background.   Coronavirus genomes are ~30,000 nucleotides in length, a fact that has made them less tractable to laboratory studies, but ground is being gained very quickly. (By contrast, viruses like polio, West Nile, Zika, etc. come in around 10,000 nucleotides, meaning there is just less total information to have to wade through to find crucial virulence factors.)

End of the day, most epidemics are wake-up calls for how certain things are being done.  Host health/concentration/sanitation conditions are pretty key, but the interface of biomes that have not come in contact before can be a potent factor as well as history has shown with smallpox, rinderpest, etc.
2 weeks ago
Some good information within on the compounds within natural sources bearing antiviral activity:   (open source document)

Some of it is pretty technical but if you scroll through the entire paper there may be things of use.

2 weeks ago

Pearl Sutton wrote:....Frozen fog frost? What is this stuff called?

Another version of this that we get is hoar frost on the trees that gets so thick and heavy that, once the sun appears and starts warming a bit, a mini snowfall can occur from all of that frost descending from the branches.  It's quite pretty cuz it really only happens when the frozen foggy morning gives way to a sunny afternoon.....
2 weeks ago
I'll let those more versed in herbal remedies handle this, but just to say that viruses will need to be treated differently from bacterial or fungal maladies which sometimes can be combated with natural compounds possessing anti-fungal or anti-bacterial activity.  Seems like the best approach with viruses is to boost your immune system and try to follow some of the recommendations for avoiding contact with it to the extent possible.
3 weeks ago

Rob Kaiser wrote: I was initially disappointed when they gave us a Yaris, as I'm about 6'3" and 200lbs - but surprisingly, I fit comfortably inside that little car and enjoyed driving it.

I bought a Toyota RAV4 (used) in retirement and like it well enough.  We are rural in northern Minnesota and if I don't have 4X4 I at least want AWD until I may get to the point where I just drive the truck in winter and any sedan/hatchback during the non-winter months.  My own experience has me liking the Japanese imports more that the domestics (USA) for reliability reasons across several decades.....that may have changed in the most recent offerings but I can't speak to that.  The mileage isn't great because of the AWD, but that's the trade-off.  Would relish bombing around in a Honda Fit or similar pint-size.....really miss my older CRV with 5-speed man.

But to the point of my clipped lines from Rob K., I can't recall where I heard or read of it, but somewhere I picked up the notion that Toyota went to great lengths to design comfortable seats.  Although it doesn't appear from internet comments that all are in agreement, I must say I feel them to be very good to my back....and continue to try to push for Toyota sedans when needing to rent.  Being about your size as well, I don't feel to have ever had a bad ride in a rented Toyota, whereas only *some* of the domestic rentals have been equally as comfortable....and several of the latter downright tortuous.
3 weeks ago

Eric Hanson wrote:

Basically it was just an extremely reliable, surprisingly powerful and highly fuel efficient machine.  

Just chiming in with the same opinion.  In the photo below, the JD4010 (2005) is only 18 hp, but the gearing and diesel engine make it quite a workhorse.  Minimal maintenance on that in that machine in ~15 years of ownership (bought new).  The Kubota is 32 hp and with a wider wheelbase is better for mowing over bumpy terrain and pulling large loads.   Note one thing in the photo-- the relative distance of the loader bucket from the front wheels for the JD versus the Kubota.  It's something I didn't even realize until using the Kubota a bit but the closer proximity of bucket to the front wheels on the Deere make it a more stable experience when lifting heavy loads.  The Kubota is fine due to its extra power, but it's easier to get its rear wheels to rise off the ground if the load in the bucket is too heavy.  
3 weeks ago

Amy Francis wrote:]  To this effect I make very tasty scrambled eggs!  I start off with melting some butter (in a non stick pan), adding crushed garlic, some turmeric and black pepper.  After a minute or so, I'll add the beaten eggs, with some salt, and scramble over a lowered heat.  The turmeric adds more colour and provides a subtle undercurrent taste to it all which I really like.

This is pretty much how I've enjoyed scrambled eggs over the years and I never thought I would find a vegan alternative.  (We still eat eggs when our chickens are laying, but it's the time of year now when that's a scarce item.)  The key for my own palate has been himalyan black salt (the sulphury one).  Mix up ~1/2 cup of chickpea flour with water to form a thin paste, then add about 1/4 tsp of black salt.....more if you really like the taste.  Add additional spicing if you like...I like a chili-lime southwest blend added into the paste and this is where I add ~1/2 tsp of turmeric.  Saute onion, red/green pepper, tomato, etc. in butter or a vegan substitute, then add 1/2 block of tofu of your desired consistency.  Use the spatula to mince the tofu into small 'scramble' pieces, then add the chickpea paste mix and scramble all together.  For whatever reason, the chickpea paste under these conditions tends to clump, lending itself to a more scrambled egg texture along with the tofu.  The black salt gives the sulphur taste to the scramble and the turmeric lends color to the meal.  Worth a try if you've never given it a spin.....
4 weeks ago
A good discussion of the soup in the North Dakota area:

Was recently dining with a German colleague in downtown Fargo and had Mettwurst with spaetzle and rotkohl.  Quite good for restaurant fare and the spaetzle did indeed come with gravy.  I had to get the visitor to try the local 'kuchen', which although being the generic word for 'cake' in German nevertheless regionally refers to a more specific German-American northern Plains comestible.   He found it ..... well..... ."interesting".   Mostly a sweet bread base with sweet cream custard cushioning your fruit of choice.  My own recipe for that was passed down to me from my German-Russian grandmother and I felt compelled to wait until she passed before modifying it to my 'lazy man's' version of the recipe.  Anyway, a link to a recipe for the kuchen for anyone interested:

Edited to add, for the vegans in the crowd, I've made knoepfla pretty successfully by using vegan butter substitutes, vegan chicken-flavored bouillon for stock, and almond-cashew milk for the creamy texture.

Edited again to note that the author of the knoepfla soup that I linked is the same one behind the Ramshackle Pantry that Anita M. linked above....
1 month ago