Evaluating Consumer Products: Facts, Fraud & Opinion

Article first appeared in May 2018. I had to do some editing for content, clarity, and grammar…and practically rebuild it from scratch when the site crashed..


WARNING!!! This article is written by a cranky, frustrated, crotchety old man that would rather be working on his cabin or house. Reading further is at your own risk.  And there is a lot to read…WAY too much. But, I think I am important and feel people want to know what I have to say. And yes, I suffer from delusions of grandeur 🙂

I read some posts from other websites over the last few weeks that have really gotten under my skin. And that continued this morning. It just kept gnawing away at me till I had to say something. And rather than cause contention referring to any particular website or on any particular article/thread on any of those websites, I thought I would write my own article on my own website. That way I could focus on a positive subject that could be more generally applied to the aforementioned subject and more useful too. So here goes…

Background –

I spent over 30 years in emergency services as a firefighter; over 20 as a structure firefighter, over 10 as a wildland firefighter. Great experience! Through my career I’ve worked with some fantastic people, and some real idiots. I have had some incredibly memorable experiences like saving an infant that was only a few days old. I have had some terrible experiences…getting blown up one time in a house fire, and another having to pronounce a daughter dead. I’ve worked on-scene by myself in Florida, and on a team of nearly 5000 people in Oregon. I have fought fire in 20 or so states, onboard three different ships, and on two continents. All of that experience has helped me with a couple of things; 1) understand the difference between quality gear and junk, 2) given me a wide and deep frame of reference, 3) forced me to develop a keen “BS meter” when dealing with people, 4) learning the utmost lesson of “define the mission” when it comes to gear and equipment. Of course there are other aspects of life I’ve learned via my career but that is another conversation for another day…hopefully when I am less cranky.

While I wasn’t on-shift fighting fire I became a computer programmer and database administrator. I started back in the 80’s on the original Apple IIc and Intel 8086 platform…I even did some programming on an TRS-80 Model II. And of course we won’t talk about learning to program using IBM punch cards. All of that programming experience taught me to use logic, be extremely accurate and precise in my work when it was needed. One mistake and it didn’t run right. As that side of my career developed I learned “process engineering”. And that was an amazing set of skills to acquire that helped me in everything I did later in life.

For prepping…what this website is all about…I started prepping in the late 70’s, and really cranked it up to a whole new level about 15 years ago. How “cranked up”? Well, let’s just say my DW and I don’t have much to worry about for years and year and years if the grid falls apart.

Now, marry up all of the above and I feel confident in my ability to evaluate gear and equipment. Further, there is always an overarching principle to testing…valid and reliable. I won’t go into all of that but it just ensures that how you are testing/evaluating something is actually honest and true and accurate.

And yup…that is where the title of the thread came from. Too much, the majority actually, of evaluation of prepper gear comes from fraud and opinion and not enough from fact. So I figured I would write this article and maybe help some folks muddle through what gear to buy and what to avoid.

Why is that important? Because someday your decisions on what gear you bought might make the difference between life and death…your life or the lives of your family. So it is important to me…if I can help even in the smallest way.

And here comes the most valuable piece of information and fact of this whole article…all of this that I write today is MY OPINION. Yup…my opinion and my opinion completely and entirely. It is simply my viewpoint…worth exactly what you are paying me for it.

Facts –

Are facts actually “facts”? Ah, yes…and no. Sorry. Facts are fickle creatures. What can be true under one set of circumstances may not be true under another set of circumstances. Manufactures of products, including prepper gear, will only do testing, who’s results are released to the public, that shine well on their product. If their product doesn’t look good in one test environment, it is common for them to change the environment to show favorable results. So, that means I never, ever trust manufacture’s claims without independent, unbiased validation/verification. Doesn’t mean they lied as such, just means they have a vested interest (money) in placing their product in the best light possible.

Same goes for business owners who sell products. Actually, they have an even more vested interest in making sure the product sound good. If not, they and their families suffer financially…big time. So, any claims by a salesman or retailer I automatically dismiss.

Example: Years ago I wanted to buy life insurance. I bought a whole life policy from a reputable company and a really nice salesman. Happy! Well, some years later I wanted more life insurance. And found that it would be too expensive for me to afford at the time. A friend of ours talked to me about options other than whole life. He showed me a bunch of facts that made whole life look like nothing more than a scam. I did my independent research and he was right…whole life is a terrible, terrible product for life insurance. It only benefits the insurance company to any real degree and the salesmen financially…vs being in the best interests of the consumer. I bought a different product, term life insurance, cashed in my whole life policy, and was way ahead of the game financially and life protection wise for my family were I to die. Does that mean the salesman was dishonest (i.e. a criminal)? Not necessarily. But, the company surely was. And maybe the company sold the salesman a line of BS when they trained him and offered him a fat commission check to sell a vastly inferior and expensive product.

My point…while the company and salesman provided “facts”…they were only facts in the exact situation that they explained…when that was only about .000000001% of reality. So they weren’t true/honest facts in a way. They were very deceptive facts. But, yes…facts.

When you hear some folks talk about testing something, beware! I’ve done a lot of testing in my day. And depending on the test environment and the test process, they could be showing you only what they want you to hear.

I did some battery testing over the years. I took great pains to do “field testing” vs “laboratory” or “theoretical” testing. And there is a huge difference! I always dismiss theoretical testing. There is absolutely no relation to real life usage at all. Laboratory testing is often extremely accurate and very factual. But, to get those results, the testing only can be conducted in a laboratory. Those results can’t be replicated in the field. That leaves field testing, real-life testing. For me, that is the only true means of testing something…especially prepper gear/equipment.

Back when I was programming I learned quickly that I could get my code to work as required. But, the testing personnel would get a hold of it and it would fail. After this happened a few times I got together with them and had them show me how they tested the code/program/system. I was amazed! I remember saying “Why would you do that? That’s ridiculous!” And come to find out…that is how end-users would actually do something. Oooppppssss…my bad! Once I began testing my own code that way, real-life scenarios, did my code become top tier. So field testing as real-life end-users is the only way to really test something accurately and competently.

Misdirection is deception. This is a little more subtle…and yes, factual…although it can be very, very deceptive. Let me explain…let’s say you are looking to buy a widget. And you know what you want that widget to do. You find a widget that appears to be exactly what you want. But, then a salesman or company says…”Wait! Our widget will do XXXX! So it is a far better product.” That pitch might be enticing…might be, but probably just a slick sales pitch. To determine if it is actually a better product you have to decide if the so-called enhanced feature is actually something that makes a difference to you and to you defined mission for that equipment.

Example: Low self-discharge (LSD) batteries are the latest fad. If you are talking a non-rechargeable alkaline/lithium style battery you want a long shelf-life. Duracell is an excellent example of a 10year guaranteed shelf-life battery. But, LSD batteries refer to rechargeable batteries. You might be tempted to buy LSD batteries because it sounds cool. But, does the salesman or company explain that LSD batteries are inferior to a similar capacity non-LSD battery? Probably not. An LSD battery will not have the same capacity as a non-LSD battery that is rated the same mAh. Why? The same design that slows the discharge of the battery while it sits on the shelf also impedes the discharge of the battery when you are using it…thus, the battery is inferior. Is the company or salesman not telling the truth? Actually, they are probably telling you the truth but not telling you all of the facts. And then again, maybe they don’t always know all of the facts to tell you. So I look at this particular issue this way…I want the best performing battery when I am using it. I could care less about its performance while it sits on the shelf…that shelf-life thing means nothing to me. I want the battery to perform its best when it is in my tactical light or running my night vision. That is the priority…the mission. Not only does that mean LSD batteries have zero advantage to me…but are a huge disadvantage to me.

And here is the primary point in my case for “facts”…

You have to be able define the mission for the gear you are researching.

That means being able to clearly and competently say “I want this piece of gear to do X under conditions Y & Z.” If you can’t define the mission you can never identify the important facts that relate to the piece of gear you are considering purchasing.

Summary for this “fact” section:

  1. Clearly identify the equipment’s mission. Know exactly what you want it to do before you start to research it.
  2. Don’t believe anything a manufacturer, company, or salesman tells you until you can verify through an independent and unbiased source. A source that isn’t just repeating material that originates from the manufacturer, company, or salesman.
  3. Don’t trust anything but field testing by reliable, unbiased sources that you trust.
  4. Don’t be afraid to research something yourself and become educated.
Fraud –

I consider there to be two kinds of fraud…intentional and unintentional. The first comes from a scumbag, dirtbag, ne’er-do-well, criminal, piece of crap. They only care about their own interests…and that interest is almost always money. In my opinion these guys need quality time with a baseball bat…and I am not talking a softball game. The latter kind of fraud , unintentional, normally comes from someone who is well intentioned but uninformed. They have been taught, or learned, information that just isn’t true. They pass that along and they aren’t really concerned about what is best for the consumer (you). They are not willing to take the time to properly research what they are, talking about selling, or they may lack the intelligence to understand what they are saying is wrong, or at least not the whole truth.

Unintentional fraud normally comes in two flavors; outrageously false or not the entire truth. Both can be just as devastating to the consumer. Beware of both!

I won’t spend any time on the “outrageously false” scenario…you can figure that out. I will talk to the “not the entire truth” aspect of fraud and how it can be just a harmful.

Let’s say I want to buy a truck. I have defined the mission, rugged off-road use in rough terrain, under a load. I have a number of choices. Yup, the three major brands will claim they can operate in those environments. All of those claims are true. But, are they true to what you need to meet the mission for your truck? Having run a fleet of trucks for 20 years that require exactly the mission I stated there is only one logical choice. One brand has a great motor, probably the best, but the frame is light-weight and doesn’t hold up to rugged off-road. Undercarriage, including suspension, is very prone to failure in those kinds of conditions. Another is a fantastic road truck, smooth riding, comfortable, loaded with luxury options. And it falls apart under rugged off-road usage. The third option doesn’t have the best engine, but plenty good enough. Has a great transmission, but probably not the best, but good enough. It isn’t the most comfortable or the most luxurious vehicle, but good enough. Where this brand I am referring to excels is in its ability to hold up far, far better to hard rugged off-road use while hauling or towing a load. It meets the mission extremely well, far better than the other two.

So where is the fraud? No intentional fraud in my opinion. But, talk to a salesmen and their brand of truck is the best…always. Their job is to sell their trucks. They won’t focus on your mission needs…they focus on their paycheck and use their training to do so.

Another unintentional fraud example: let’s say you want to buy a water filter. You have clearly defined what you want. You are looking at several models. You decide between two for your final decision. Manufacturer “A” talks about all their testing and what it does and how great it is. It sounds really great! But, unknown to you, or the vendor you are thinking of using, the testing that “A” has done is all in the lab and not under real field conditions. Although they can produce lab results that speak glowingly of their product…the results come from the lab they paid to test it. However, manufacturer “B” has tested their unit in the muddy waters of Africa where it is used extensively…and they publish those results. And two independent competent testing organizations have tested it…unpaid…and prove the claims of the manufacturer. So which do you buy? Especially if “A” is the media-hyped and more popular brand of water filter! Is there fraud involved?

Summary of this “fraud” section:

  1. There are two types of fraud, intentional and unintentional. Both can ruin your purchase.
  2. Don’t believe manufacturers or vendors or salesmen…without quality, independent, unbiased verification of claims.
Opinion –

Dang!! This is the touchy part…but oh so important part.

Everything is opinion! There are no facts when it comes to evaluating prepper gear. Why? All testing is subjective. That means the person interpreting the results of the tests, or performing the tests, can sway all/any of it to meet whatever they want to promote. Not everyone nefarious of course, but many do, and all can.

The worst “opinion” is “group think”. That is where a whole group of folks feels the same way about something…and it isn’t necessarily true/accurate. You see it on prepper websites a whole lot. Someone starts it by saying “X is great!” Then someone else says, “yes, X is incredible!” then another and another and another…till everyone is saying “X is the best of the best and the only real option!” Than then some poor shmuck comes along and says, “Hey, I looked into it and X isn’t the best, Z is much better and less expensive”…Boom! …hammer time!

So, just because a whole group says something is the best or right, doesn’t mean that it is. I remember a saying somewhere that when you have truth on your side you are never outnumbered.

This “group think” hazard is particularly true in organizations such as the military and other hierarchical organizations. If the top of the organization says something is true, then everyone else normally wants to fall in line, be loved, not draw undue attention to themselves, not rock the boat, etc. I can’t tell you the number of times I have talked to firefighting peers and they feel “Y” about something. We go into a briefing and the boss promotes “X”. And my buddies never raise a question or objects or utter a voice of concern. Why? Human nature.

My dad told me more than once…If everyone is falling off the cliff, don’t follow them.

Here is the trap I fell into recently…

I wanted to buy a generator. I already own a Honda EU2000i. A fantastic machine, best on the market, everyone who owns one loves them…including me. So naturally I wanted to buy another Honda. Makes sense, right?

Unfortunately to meet my other mission requirements I simply couldn’t afford the Honda unit that would meet those needs. And not afford it by a wide, very wide margin. So, I looked around, read reviews, researched according to sound principles. And found a unit. Ran it buy a few folks on another website. Many disagreed with my decision and urged me to buy a Honda regardless of the cost. However, one gave me a reality check. Dang him! Don’t you just hate it when someone bursts your bubble and talks sense? So, back to doing research…thankfully. I ended up buying a Champion meeting enough of my mission requirements and extremely well priced. Good thing or bad thing?

Well, it meets my wattage power needs. It meets my “clean power” needs. It is capable of running on propane although I have to add the kit to it. But, it didn’t have electric start…FAIL! But, I bought it anyway. Why was it a fail? Because my Honda is a one-pull engine…every time. And everyone knows that only Hondas are one-pull engines. Right!?!

So I get my Champion…for a fraction of the price of a Honda. I fill it will oil, add some Lucas zinc additive, put some TruFuel in it, set the choke…and I am ready to pull it 4 – 6 times to start it. I mean after all, it isn’t a Honda…right?

First pull, brand new, first time with gas in it, first time with oil in it…BINGO!!!! It fires right up. Amazing…a fluke to be sure…yeah, right.

This is the break-in period so I am following their protocol exactly. About an hour into the process it shuts down. Dang! It’s not a Honda and here come the problems. Ah, it ran out of gas. So I gas it back up expecting it to take a couple of pulls to get it going again but hoping for one pull. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. Pull, nothing. And I am now convinced I am a loser and bought a substandard piece of loser machine. I am kicking myself. And then I look down…oh, turn the on/off switch to the “on” position. Pull, start…purring along just fine. 5+ hours later the machine is running perfectly under load.

Oh, but the Honda freaks out there are…”Yeah, but the Honda will last 2 – 3 times longer than the Champion!” Maybe, probably, perhaps. But I can buy 6 Champion generators for the price of the equivalent Honda. So did I do OK buying a non-Honda? Or not buying an electric start?

Avoid “group think” like the plague in everything…but especially when it comes to prepper gear!

But, there is a responsibility that comes with that…you must be able to think on your own. Yeah, again, sorry. And it helps to be able to employ “critical thinking” skills as well.

Should you become a “non-group thinker” and have a mind of your own…that means become an independent thinker.  The only problem is…be prepared to suffer at the hands of the “group”…you may find yourself not being liked, appreciated, or loved. You may be subject to immediate shunning or worse. And heaven forbid you cross the leader of the group. Then hell-fire will rain down on your head…you challenged their precious opinion and position…whether you are right or not will make no difference. But one fringe benefit…you will discover there are other independent thinkers out there…and they can be some pretty cool people…and they won’t be sheeple.

But don’t despair at all…every once in a while someone might thank you for advice or information you gave them. It will make you all warm and fuzzy inside and let you know life is worth living…even though you have walked through hell-fire.

Summary of “opinion” section –

  1. All evaluation of prepper gear is ultimately only opinion. Because the tester can manipulate the testing environment and outcomes, or simply cherry pick facts to match the narrative they wish to deliver.
  2. Think for yourself, and that means do your own research.
  3. Avoid “group think” like it is Satan’s fan club.
Summary –

I’ve been truly blessed in my life in many ways. One of those ways is folks sending me cool gear to test. They hope that my review will be positive and they will sell more widgets. After having written three prepper novels they think that the accompanying, albeit very limited, notoriety will somehow make them money. How sad they think that way. I have no horse in any race (or dog in the fight) when it comes to doing reviews. I simply want quality real-life information out there for my fellow preppers. Unfortunately, not everyone comes from, or agrees with, that perspective.

Use your discernment…A number of years ago I was testing a certain type of equipment. I kept producing and posting my results, and someone kept throwing a different product out there, ranting on about how their product was so much better. I say “their product” because that is the line they sold. Not only didn’t any of my testing validate anything they were saying, it was just the opposite. I found their product to be very, very expensive compared to other options. And top if off, their product was at least 1 – 2 technology generations behind the much less expensive alternatives. But their brand was all the rage in popularity due to group think.

Shortening the story…they sent me the product for free. I tested it and the testing validated all my previous results…it was an inferior product. That isn’t the point really. They gave me the product free of charge to keep for personal use after testing. Now, did they think that giving me the product would “buy me” into promoting their product? I don’t know. But, as I was finishing up the article on it, I had this rush of feeling to pay them for the product. It was the weirdest feeling…and ugly…the only time I ever got that feeling in reviewing products that had been given to me. I knew that I couldn’t trust them, I knew they were putting out false and misleading information, I knew that…well, they were not someone I wanted to “owe”. I sent them the full asking price of the product the next day in cash…the dark feeling went away.

What the heck? What does that have to do with anything? It means this…1) listen to your instinct, 2) listen to that still small voice, 3) act on those feelings. But, remember…normally those kinds of feelings come only after you have researched and pondered on the issue for yourself.

The summary of the “summary” section –

  1. You can figure out stuff on your own if you are willing to do the work.
  2. Listen to your instinct.
  3. Be wary of others (manufacturers, vendors, salesmen), they may not have your interests as a priority.
  4. Don’t believe anything I just told you. Figure it out on your own.

And, now…two and a half hours later I want to go back to working on the blueprints of the extension of the cabin that I will be staying in while I build our house that we will retire in. Well, technically I am already retired…but my wife isn’t. And technically, the “cabin” is also our “bug-out property”. And technically, I love doing any of that kind of work vs writing articles like this. But, I felt this was important enough to write about…and well worth the loss of the time in my life.

And since I am such an amazing self-sacrificing individual to do such a humble ministering thing…I am now going to reward myself with a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk. Yum!!!!!

One final though…this is all my opinion on “Facts, Fraud, & Opinions” when it comes to evaluation and reviewing prepper gear. Take it with a grain of salt.

OKAY…one final, final thought…it is pure fact…100% fact…not opinion…that a warm gooey cinnamon bun covered in icing and butter with a huge class of ice-cold whole milk absolutely rocks!!!

 

 

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No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Searching for a New Generator

This article appeared a couple of years ago but was lost in the “crash”, I am rebuilding it from notes with some editing.

So I am looking for a higher capacity generator than my Honda U2000i.

Here are some things I am looking for:

  1. Affordable
  2. 4,000 – 5,000 running watts.
  3. Dual fuel (gasoline & propane).
  4. Electric start.
  5. 30a RV plug.
  6. 2 x 110 – 120v household outlet (15a or greater).

Here are some things that I would like:

  1. Quiet run technology.
  2. Inverter power

Here are some things that would be icing on the cake:

  1. 240v outlet
  2. Remote start.

After the house is done the unit will probably sit in a corner of the shop somewhere gathering dust and not used much. Maybe a back-up to my solar system. Or rather, a back-up to my back-up. My Honda will be my first back-up.

I did think about a “companion” to my Honda EU2000i, effectively doubling my power capability. But I decided against it due to other considerations.

I also wasn’t real worried about noise…I have my Honda EU2000i for “stealth” running but I also don’t want to be heard in the next county over…or maybe even at the next property over.

So after a lot of searching and comparing and reading reviews I went with the Champion Model #100302 4000-Watt Open Frame Inverter.

The good, bad, & ugly:

  1. Afford it at $565.
  2. 3500 running watts…500 – 1500 watts lower than I was looking for.
  3. Not factory ready for propane, but a conversion kit exists,
  4. Not electric start but all reviewers claim 1 – 2 easy pulls and it starts Evey time.
  5. 30a RV plug
  6. Two 15a 3-prong household style outlets
  7. Quiet run technology
  8. Inverter style
  9. No electric start
  10. No remote start

Here are the specs and info on the unit…

  • Advanced Open Frame Inverter Design – 50% quieter and 20% lighter than a traditional Champion 3500-watt generator, plus our Economy Mode feature saves fuel and extends engine life,
  • No GFCI Outlets
  • Quiet Technology and Extended Run Time – 64 dBA is great for RVs, tailgating, your next project or home backup, with 4000 starting watts and 3500 running watts for up to 17 hours run time on gasoline
    Clean electricity for sensitive electronics
  • RV Ready with a 120V 30A RV, plus two 120V 20A household outlets with clean power (less than 3% THD) and 12V DC outlet with dual USB adapter
  • Parallel Ready – Increase your power output by connecting up to two 2800-watt or higher inverter or digital hybrid with the optional Parallel Kit
  • Champion Support – Includes 3-year limited warranty with FREE lifetime technical support from dedicated experts.
  • No Voltmeter.
  • Voltage: 120V AC and 12V DC
  • Start Type: Manual
  • Engine: 224cc Champion OHV
  • Fuel: Gasoline
  • Quick Touch Panel – all controls on one panel
  • Economy Mode – save fuel, extend engine life

I followed the break-in procedure to the letter. I used a hair dryer for the “load”, using the various wattage settings on the hair dryer to successively increase the load on the generator for each break-in phase. I also changed to the high altitude carburetor jet. The customer service folks were very helpful getting that to me for free.

With the initial addition of the crankcase oil I added a tablespoon of Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus. Most oil today has zinc processed out of it. But, zinc is a really good oil additive that helps lubricate an engine…especially helpful with small engines to extend their life.

After the initial break-in I used fully synthetic oil. I also use Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus with every engine oil change.


Update #1 – About a month after the generator purchase…

I wavered on buying the wheel kit or not. I’ve never been a big fan of those cheap, mostly useless, wheels on things like generators, etc. They never seem to be right for what I want to do. But, I had to be able to move the generator around easily since I will be using it at my house-building job site and later when I need to roll it out as a back-up power supply. So I had to do something.

Then I remembered being at a nursery and using a cool cart to move my plants around. So i researched it out and found this…

It cost $127 but I felt it would be worth it. I was right. When I was done mounting the generator to the cart my rig looks like this…

For the first two weeks I used the generator at the job site. It powered everything from air compressors to AC units. I used it from 6 – 12 hours per day, every day.

Here are my findings:

  1. The generator was worth every penny!
  2. It never failed to start on the first pull.
  3. It ran everything I plugged into it.
  4. It is better on gas than I thought.
  5. I would mount the generator in the middle of the cart next time. It is off-balance mounted so far to the rear of the cart.

I am immensely pleased with the generator! I think it is a fantastic unit and will hold up just fine if I do my part to change oil, etc.

Just for the record…I always had been a Honda Guy. I felt nothing was better or could even compete with a Honda. I have to admit…I was wrong. Well, at least so far.

Honda doesn’t make a 4kw inverter generator so I can’t make a comparison. But, I can tell you this…Honda’s 3kw (25% less power) costs about $2300…yup, over 4 times more than my Champion. So I can’t complain. Yes, that means I can own 4 Champions, have more power, and have paid less than a single Honda.

And now here is what I am thinking…I am considering buying a second Champion unit. Champion makes a parallel kit to hook them up and effectively double the output to 8kw of power. Not only would I have massive power generating capability I would have a back-up for my essential needs.

And yes…That means I would have about $1200 or so invested in 7kw of power. And yes…If I went Honda that means I would have spent over $4000.

Final thought…I am pleased with my Champion generator! I think it was a very good investment. It does everything I want it to. I think it was money very well spent. And I would do it again. Actually, I am thinking I will.

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No reproduction or other use of this content 
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TIP: Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus for Small Engines

This “tip” came to me from a very experienced, completely competent, marvelous small engine mechanic.

Small engine application – 1 table spoon per engine oil change. Most oil today has zinc processed out of it. But, zinc is a really good oil additive that helps lubricate an engine…especially helpful with small engines to extend their life.

Vehicle application – Lucas Oil TB Zinc Plus is a zinc additive for engine oil. Its designed for engines with no catalytic converter in the exhaust. This product is also used as an engine “break-in” additive for newly built engines. For non-race, vehicle applications, one bottle will usually treat two oil changes. Some race-engine applications require the entire bottle. Classic cars (depending on oil capacity) require approximately 2,100 PPM (Parts Per Million) zinc in the oil.

Note #1: The is meant for 4 stroke crank cases. In a 2 stroke, you don’t want any non-combustibles in the mixture as it will gum up everything, and likely damage the motor.
Note #2: diesel oil should have the higher zinc content that is required, such as Shell Rotella 15w-40. You can still use this Lucas product, just don’t over do it on quantity.

Note #3: It does not thicken the oil.

 

 

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No reproduction or other use of this content 
without expressed written permission from AHTrimble.com
See Content Use Policy for more information.

Stanford Medical Professors: The Projections are “Deeply Flawed”

I though this article was worth publishing in its entirety. Refreshing to see some very intelligent experts apply reason, logic, and facts to the COVID-19 panic…


Stanford medical professors: COVID-19 death toll estimates may be ‘orders of magnitude’ too high

They believe the projections are ‘deeply flawed’

The Blaze | March 26, 2020

A pair of public health experts from Stanford, Drs. Eran Bendavid and Jay Bhattacharya, warn Americans in a Wall Street Journal editorial that the current estimates about the coronavirus’ fatality rate may be too high by “orders of magnitude.”

According to Bendavid and Bhattacharya, both of whom are medical doctors, while they are supportive of social distancing guidelines and efforts to contain the disease, they fear that orders to shut down the entire economy may be based on shoddy research data.

Death toll projections may be ‘orders of magnitude too high’

“If it’s true that the novel coronavirus would kill millions without shelter-in-place orders and quarantines, then the extraordinary measures being carried out in cities and states around the country are surely justified,” they wrote. “But,” and what a big one it is, they add, “there’s little evidence to confirm that premise — and projections of the death toll could plausibly be orders of magnitude too high.”

The two submit that because the United States and other countries largely focus their testing on symptomatic patients, the number of people who are infected with COVID-19 is likely much larger than the number of confirmed cases being reported by public health agencies throughout the country, which means the virus’ mortality rate is likely significantly lower.

“Fear of Covid-19 is based on its high estimated case fatality rate — 2% to 4% of people with confirmed Covid-19 have died, according to the World Health Organization and others,” wrote Bendavid and Bhattacharya. “So if 100 million Americans ultimately get the disease, 2 million to 4 million could die. We believe that estimate is deeply flawed. The true fatality rate is the portion of those infected who die, not the deaths from identified positive cases.”

How did they predict this?

The two professors argue that the best evidence of the coronavirus death rate being significantly lower than what is being reported may lie in the Italian town of Vò. On March 6, the town’s 3,300 residents were tested. Of these, 90 tests came back positive, indicating a prevalence of 2.7% of the population having the virus.

If one were to apply this to the entire province where the town is located, which has a population of 955,000, it would mean there were actually 26,000 infections at the time, and not just the 198 that were officially confirmed. This would be 130 times greater than the number of reported cases. Since Italy’s case fatality rate of 8% is estimated using the confirmed cases, Bendavid and Bhattacharya write, “the real fatality rate [of the virus] could in fact be closer to 0.06%.”

A ’cause for optimism’?

The two Stanford Health Policy experts even said the virus’ mortality rate might be on par with that of the seasonal flu:

Existing evidence suggests that the virus is highly transmissible and that the number of infections doubles roughly every three days. An epidemic seed on Jan. 1 implies that by March 9 about six million people in the U.S. would have been infected. As of March 23, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there were 499 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. If our surmise of six million cases is accurate, that’s a mortality rate of 0.01%, assuming a two week lag between infection and death. This is one-tenth of the flu mortality rate of 0.1%. Such a low death rate would be cause for optimism.

A universal lockdown ‘may not be worth the costs’

Bendavid and Bhattacharya say that if they are right about the lower lethality of the epidemic, public policy experts should focus their measures on protecting the elderly and expanding medical capacity.

“Hospital resources will need to be reallocated to care for the critically ill patients. Triage will need to improve. And policy makers will need to focus on reducing risks for older adults and people with underlying medical conditions.”

The pair conclude that if their estimates are right, then the universal quarantine measures “may not be worth the costs it imposes on the economy, community, and individual mental and physical health.”

“We should undertake immediate steps to evaluate the empirical basis of the current lockdowns,” they added.

Feedback & Comments: 3/29/2020 – 2

AH Trimble Feedback and CommentsIn regards to to my post Hoax Alert: Coronavirus could kill 81,000 in U.S.posted on 3/28 (click here)

Barry writes…

“While I appreciate your alerts, I’m not sure that this qualifies as a hoax. This model could turn out to be accurate. The deaths due to Covid-19 in the U.S. are growing exponentially. We all hope that doesn’t continue, that as the weather warms up this thing slows down, that treatments like chloroquine work, and that other successful treatments are discovered along with a vaccine.”


My full response…

It is a hoax…in my opinion. They took a snap-shot sample of data in the MOST infected area of the country, during a time when it was growing the most rapidly for their model. There are several articles that were almost immediately published that have already discredited their report. But yes, there is always the chance that their model will be correct…but it is a mighty slim chance. And I am sure both of us hope they are wrong.

So, that being said…can we agree it is a very probable hoax?

And as a side note…..How many people in the US died from the flu in the 2017/2018 flu season?
Answer: 80,000 according to the CDC. Kinda interesting perspective.

Also, another note: The reason COVID-19 will more than likely slow down (as all flu does) as summer approaches is the sun. Flu viruses are very susceptible to UV (ultraviolet) light…it kills the virus. But, a word of caution, the Spanish Flu also died down during the summer, then came roaring back that fall.


Barry responded to my response…

“If you are modeling a hurricane in the Gulf do you use weather data from the Pacific North West? If you are trying to model an outbreak doesn’t it make sense to model the area currently getting hit the hardest? We can hope other areas don’t get hit as hard but the pattern will probably be similar. All areas being hit will experience their own curve.

At this time the average flu numbers look much worse. However we’re still early in the cycle and still on the way up on the bell-shaped curve. The number of cases and deaths are doubling every few days.”


My response to Barry’s response to my response to his feedback…

Great questions and somber words to ponder!

If you are modeling a hurricane in the Gulf you use Gulf data because the model’s projections only apply to that specific hurricane, in that specific location, during that specific time-frame, based on a very specific snapshot of data. So, we agree on that. So you can’t predict hurricanes in the Pacific Northwest based on data from the Gulf of Mexico. Entirely different data set (i.e. location, environment, temperatures, winds, tides, ocean currents, etc.) applies.

So any projections of the COVID-19 based on the state of Washington would only apply to the state of Washington (or general geographic area). And that would only be true if the data snapshot they used for the model was valid and reliable (i.e. credible). I am posting an article today that shows that these guys, and most so-called “experts”, are using math projections that are entirely wrong…”by orders of magnitude”.

But getting back to my point, no projections based on Washington data applies to anywhere else. Well, maybe to Oregon due to its close proximity. But, if the data snapshot came from an urban area of Washington alone, then the projections wouldn’t even apply to the rural areas of the state of Washington due to significant social differences (i.e. space between homes/property, number of daily interactions with people, contact with contaminated surfaces, healthier life style, etc.).

“...the pattern will probably be similar…” Again, no area where COVID-19 has appeared repeats the exact outbreak pattern or the same statistical numbers. So no, I don’t believe the pattern will be the same because that has not been the case so far. Similar? Maybe. But so far, the differences in pattern are greater than the similarities in pattern.

“All areas being hit will experience their own curve.” Absolutely true! And in each area, as more data becomes available, it is proving that statement to be true about experiencing their own specific bell curve. So each area is different in all aspects…with one exception…it appears that ALL mortality rates are grossly overstated. It appears now, based on the entire outbreak data pool and accurate application of mathematical formulas, that the true mortality rate could be somewhere between .1% to .06%, with the more accurate estimate closer to the .06%. However, if it is indeed as bad as the .1%, then the COVID-19 mortality rate matches a normal flu season outbreak’s mortality rate. And those numbers are almost certain to change as more valid and reliable data becomes available.

“The number of cases and deaths are doubling every few days.” Well, not entirely accurate. While the number of reported deaths are doubling approximately every four days may be somewhat accurate. We have absolutely no idea how many new cases there are…not even a clue. Why? Because; 1) there are simply not enough test kits, 2) many people who contract COVID-19 never show symptoms, 3) many people who show symptoms never have them severe enough to go to a doctor or the hospital, 4) many people who go to a doctor or the hospital never get tested because there aren’t enough test kits, 5) there are numbers now showing that, depending on the brand/type of test kit, there could be result error rates from 30 – 50%. So we still don’t have a good picture of accurate numbers…and probably won’t until well after the COVID-19 issues passes. And then it will still be estimates…albeit better informed estimates.

Thank you again Barry for the great interaction. I appreciate your free thinking and willingness to engage. Please keep it coming. While we both may have our opinions set in-place…others may benefit from our exchanges.

 

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Feedback & Comments: 3/29/2020 – 1

AH Trimble Feedback and CommentsIn regards to the Just Water Filter information I posted on 3/27 (click here > > IMPORTANT ! – Monolithic Water Filters  )

  • Duana writes…

“These are the filters my group here in Texas has been buying for several years. I love them!!”

 

  • Scott writes…

“Are these as good as Berkey brand filters?”

I responded…

In my opinion they are as good or better…and far less expensive!
My research of laboratory results shows it removes 85 – 90% of all insecticides, herbicides, pesticides. It removes 96 – 99% of metals. It removes 99.999 – 100% of all the ugly virus and bacteria junk. It removes 98% of all particles greater than .2 microns. It even removes Anthrax! Berkey filters run about $120 per pair. Just Water filters can be bought for about $40 each. Substantial price difference! And the Just Water filters are to be installed in regular buckets…even plastic trash cans! You can install one filter or 10. The more filters the higher the flow rate.

These filters remove:
> 99% Arsenic 5 and 99% Arsenic 3 (special order)
> 99% Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
> 95% Chlorine and Chloramines
> 99% Taste
> 99% Odor
> 98% Aluminum
> 96% Iron
> 98% Lead
> 90% Pesticides
> 85% Herbicides
> 85% Insecticides
> 90% Rodenticides
> 85% Phenols
> 85% MTBE
> 85% Perchlorate
> 80% Trihalomethanes
> 95% Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons
> 99.999% of particles larger than 0.5 micron (Staffordshire University Labs) (includes Anthrax)
> 99.7% of particles larger than 0.3 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
> 98% of particles larger than 0.2 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
> 100% Giardia Lamblia
> 100% Cyclospora
> 100% removal of live Cryptosporidium (WRc Standard)
> 100% removal of Cryptosporidium (NSF Standard 53 – A.C. fine dust – 4 log challenge)
> 100% removal of E. Coli, Vibrio Cholerae (Johns Hopkins University)
> 99.999% removal of Salmonella Typhil, Shigella Dysenteria, Kiebsiella Terrigena (Hyder Labs)

And this filter system comes with a great list of laboratories that certify how good it is:
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 42
National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 53
ISO 9002 Quality Standard
USA AEL Laboratories
USA Analytical Food Laboratories
USA Johns Hopkins University
British 5750 Quality Standard
England’s Water Research council (WRc)

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FAQ – 3/28/2020 (COVID-19)

  • On another website I frequent I noticed a thread that talked about people who were virus deniers. They all but mentioned you by name. And they referred to virus deniers as suffering from Normalcy Bias. Was that you they were talking about and do you suffer from Normalcy Bias?

Well, well…I see three issues here:

  1. Am I the person they are talking about?
  2. Am I a “virus denier” and suffer from “Normalcy Bias”?
  3. Are you just trying to stir up trouble/contention?

So, last question first…I don’t think you are doing so intentionally, probably not at all. I hope I am right about that because I don’t want to be involved in any contention…we have enough of that right now.

Am I the person they are talking about…No idea whatsoever!  I am trying to focus my attention on my website and creating original content that will help folks deal with the COVID-19 panic and virus.

Am I a “virus denier” and suffer from “Normalcy Bias”…the first part is easy…no. I’ve written about the virus extensively, provided lots of facts and stats, and even wrote what I am personally doing to boost my immune system.  Now…about the “Normalcy Bias” thing…a little more complicated and much more perspective is needed to understand the bigger picture.

Newton’s third law of physics is: For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. The statement means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces acting on the two interacting objects. 

A common person like myself understands that this law of physics applies more simply to everyday life…there is opposition in all things. There is good and evil, hot and cold, love and hate, intelligence and stupidity, etc.

I believe I know the website you are talking about…and I am not real popular with the leadership, the owner, many of the more vocal members of that website. And honestly…I understand why. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think they are right. I am surprised in their close mindedness, and disappointed in how they treated me, and others, who wouldn’t fall in line and toe the party line…meaning join their mob mentality and spread hoaxes and adding to the hysteria, hype, fear, and panic that they enjoy so much.

But, let’s go back to the Third Law. Normalcy Bias means refusal of your brain to accept that something has happened, will happen, or to what extent something has happened. It doesn’t mean a person is stupid or ignorant, or unable to think logically. It simply means your brain blocks out information that is out of the norm. It is a protection device your brain uses to prevent a you from freaking out or freezing…or going crazy. Unfortunately, it can also block out information that is significantly important to help you make an informed decision…as in to save your life. So, Normalcy Bias is a bad thing for a prepper…and for most people in general.

Now, applying the Third Law, what would be the opposite to Normalcy Bias?

Competency Bias is simply thinking you are better at something than you really are; or, you think you are better at something than others.

Competency Bias is basically thinking you are better or smarter than you really are. When held up next to Normalcy Bias…they are opposites. The Third Law of physics it true! Normalcy Bias is the absence of information in your brain because your brain blocked it and Competency Bias is the absence of accurate or real information in your brain because your brain blocked it or refused to accept it. See, opposites!

Now, how does this apply to me suffering from Normalcy Bias? Well, to me it is obvious…to others maybe not so much. Let me explain…

I have repeatedly written about COVID-19 and associated provable facts.

I have repeatedly written about the hype, panic, fear, and hysteria associated with COVID-19 and how it is generated by a long series of hoaxes and inaccurate information.

The mere fact I wrote about how I am boosting my immune system to deal with COVID-19 shows I know that there is a serious aspect to it.

So no, I am not suffering from Normalcy Bias because I see its actual, fact-based seriousness. But, to infer that I suffer from Normalcy Bias because I am not accepting and regurgitating the crap/fake information that is going around is pure stupidity.

Now…about the people who you say think I am suffering from Normalcy Bias…what do they embrace? Do they believe that COVID-19 is more deadly than the regular flu season…or host of other hoaxes? Or more simply put…do they think they are smarter than I am…and many others? Sounds like it. And if they are falling for all the hoaxes floating around I would suggest that they are suffering from Competency Bias. They think they are smarter than experienced, knowledgeable, trained experts. They think that facts and evidence don’t apply to them or this situation. Hence, Competency Bias.

The best test of a person suffering from Competency Bias is simple…do they think COVID-19 is more deadly than the regular flu?  For that conclusive and factual answer (click here)

I hope I answered your question…and I hope you weren’t trying to stir the pot.


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