Words On Wednesday

Words on Wednesday, October 1, 2014

As people lose their minds about pumpkin spice coffee drinks, take a moment to read this pleasantly unrelated blog post.

Emergency Food Supply

When crisis happens, it’s good to be prepared.


I’ll admit, I’m less prepared for an emergency situation than I should be. We keep very little long-term non-perishable food on hand at any given time, we have no bottled water, we don’t own a gas generator, and we have no gasoline stored at home for any other purposes. We would be in pretty bad shape if something happened to limit our mobility or remove our access to power, water, food, and other necessities. Living in an apartment currently, I can justify part of this because we just don’t have the space to store emergency supplies. However, we will soon be in a house of our own (I hope) and it would probably be in my best interest to at least get some basic necessities stored up.


Looking on Costco’s web site, I came across a pallet of ARK (All-Purpose Readiness Kit) Food Storage Buckets, containing 11,880 servings in all. The servings are divided into 36 buckets containing 1 month of food each. All in all, that’s 3 years of food for 1 person or 1 year of food for my 3-person family. I’m not expecting a great need for something like that immediately, but the buckets last 20 years when stored properly and who knows what could happen in the next 2 decades. At $3,299.99 for the whole thing, it’s more money than I can spare at the moment no matter how useful it might be.


What if I went in with several other people to buy a few buckets, though? For easy math, say I go in with 11 other people and split everything evenly. At about $3300 for 36 buckets, that means we would each pay $275 for 3 buckets. Such an investment would take care of my family for roughly a month, and less than $300 is far easier to manage. Besides, I probably don’t exactly need a year of supplies when we could likely make some sort of arrangements within a month. And storing 3 buckets of 6 gallon capacity each is much easier than finding room for 36 and a pallet. If someone wanted to be a little more prepared or needed food for a bigger family, 6 people could make the split at $550 each and get 6 buckets.


It isn’t a perfect solution. All of the meals require water, so a clean water source has to be available or at least some way to obtain water and purify it. Being survival food, I’m sure this is all far more bland than what you might otherwise eat on a daily basis. The limited number of options essentially means that you have the same group of meals day after day for the most part. However, these buckets provide sustenance. The goal isn’t to provide the quality of a 5 star restaurant, the idea is low-maintenance food that will keep you alive. If you have a heat source, water, and some basic cookware, you have food available.


When I have the storage space available and I’m not saving up money for a down payment on a house, I really think I’ll look more seriously into splitting some of these buckets with a few people. Nobody ever expects disaster to strike, but it’s good to be prepared in the event that it does. A month’s supply of food isn’t enough to last out a medieval siege, but it would hopefully keep us up and going until help arrives.

New Nexus

New phones attract rumors, and the Nexus 6 is no exception.


I typically put very little stock into tech rumors. Most of them are just click-bait and very few have any sort of reliable sources. Closer to release, however, rumors usually solidify a good bit and multiple sources will agree upon a few points. With new Nexus devices typically announced around October, the time draws nigh for a new installment. Be it the “Nexus 6,” the “Nexus X,” or something off in left field, Google is likely on the verge of dropping a new device.


The rumor mill originally discussed the Nexus 6 as a phablet, with a display above 5.5” most likely. I wasn’t extremely keen on this, as I personally don’t like phablets. I use a 4.7” Nexus 4 and I’ve played around with phones up to 5.7” in display size. Anything above 5” gradually becomes unwieldy for me, and I have big hands. Being just rumors, I knew that details were subject to change.


Over time, some sources began to theorize that the new Nexus might be a little closer to the LG G3 in size and shape, which is slightly more palatable. Though bigger than I was hoping, 5.5” is better than something north of 5.5” in my mind. This thought process continued for a while and I felt pretty sure that Google had decided against going full-on phablet.


Fast forward to Tuesday morning: several sources announce rather solid details that the “Nexus 6,” as the name has presumably been set in stone, will almost definitely have a 5.9” display. While this does clear up some of the naming conventions around Nexus devices, that’s a behemoth of a phone. Considering that it isn’t official news from Google, it could still change, but this seems to be rather solid. It looks like the newest member to the Nexus family may very well be out of my comfort range.


However, browsing Reddit gave me a shred of hope. There haven’t been any leaks to suggest it, but a few members of the community suggested that Google’s plan may be to release a new edition of the Nexus 5. Pondering the possibility, it doesn’t seem completely unlikely. First, the Nexus 7 has already proven that Google is willing to release updated versions of their devices with a 2013 edition and a 2014 edition. Also, it would clear up the nomenclature of Nexus devices: the number of the device definitely refers to screen size and not to the iteration of the Nexus series. Finally, offering both 5” and 6” display options, Google has a device for those who want smaller devices as well as those who want larger devices. It’s a stretch, Google phased out the Nexus 4 when the Nexus 5 was released and it may very well do the same with the Nexus 6 release. In my unprofessional opinion, refreshing the Nexus 5 would make far more people happy than simply offering a single, large device and hoping people with smaller devices can adjust.
Of course, my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt. I do my research exclusively online and I’m still rocking the Nexus 4 from 2012. Frankly, I was hoping at first for the Nexus 5 to be discounted on the Google Play Store so I could score a new device for extremely cheap. If Google produces a 2014 Edition Nexus 5, maybe the play store will reduce the price of the old edition in order to sell off stock. Hopefully Google will release some official news on the matter soon.


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