MONDAY 04/18/2021


This is an example of some of the references I have made in the past about the impossibility of boot strapping a technological infrastructure that has crashed. 

The worldwide chip shortage is now making it difficult to get chip making equipment.... which rely on the chips that are in short supply but which are necessary to expand chip making capacity.

While ZeroHedge is not an authoritative source and tends to exaggerate situations what he is reporting does strike to the core of the issue. You can't make chip making machines without those very chips that are in short supply.

With our existing infrastructure that simply creates an extended slowdown that takes some time to catch up and to smooth out the bumps in the supply chains. 

In a world trying to rebuild there will be no chip building machines left intact and functional. Without them no one will be making any new chips. Without those no one will be making new computers, control boards and other computer circuitry which would need to be replaced to reboot the technological systems.

So even without a catastrophic event the technological infrastructure is fragile enough that a relatively minor manufacturing problem can wreak havoc on the entire interrelated system and all of the industries dependent on it.

The Librarian

FRIDAY 04/09/2021


Not one of those things I want to hear....

New study shows, once you wade through the verbose verbiage.... that solar storms are twice as probable as we originally thought.

Be nice to get some good news once in a while wouldn't it?

The Librarian

THURSDAY 04/08/2021


One of the things that the Library is oriented towards is Long Term (i.e. multi-generational) survival and rebuilding after a collapse that destroys the existing technological and

industrial infrastructure. Whether from a Solar EMP, a manmade one of simply a general economic/social/political collapse.

At one time Rome governed most of the known world and enjoyed a level of sophistication, technological/social/industrial and economic that in many ways rivaled today's world. Yet in a relatively short period of time it collapsed bringing on what has long been referred to as the "Dark Ages" when much of the world fell back into tribalism and anarchy. There's nothing inherent in our existing civilization that prevents something similar. In fact I suspect our current civilization is far more fragile than Rome was considering how dependent we are on the electrical grid and electronic technology.

People who survive that collapse, from whatever cause, will form communities and start to rebuild. That will clearly be a long term, multi-generational undertaking and it will take generations for the world to rebuild to anything comparable to our current world or even the 1800s.

An interesting phenomenon will be that First vs Second generation perspective which will, I suspect, generate some conflict.

The first generation will be those who grew up in our current world. Those who took TV and the internet and automobiles and cable TV and 24/7 shopping for granted. Indoor plumbing and water heaters and unlimited availability of food and clothing and fuel. Physical security provided by professional police and military forces.

They will, by necessity, become accustomed to the new world where you have to grow and preserve your own food or starve. Where clothing is something you make or trade for and is worn for protection not fashion. Where security means protecting your community and family yourself at the very real risk of your own life. Where travel outside the community is something risky and not undertaken lightly without careful preparation and planning. Where caution is mandatory because a severe injury likely means a slow painful death. Where infant mortality again becomes a major issue for families and communities and where a disease outbreak can devastate an entire community.

The Second generation are those who are born or were only very young children at the time of the collapse. These are the people who grow up in the new world and have no conception of the old world except what they hear from the adults around them. As they mature and reach adulthood their perspective on the world is going to be vastly different form those who remember the old.

To them the stories of cars and planes and television and internet and grocery stores and Walmarts are going to be little more than myths, fairy tales and all that silly stuff the "old" people run on about. None of it will matter to them because they have no experience of any of it and to them it will be completely irrelevant and meaningless since there is no possibility of them ever having any of those things themselves.

That radically different perspective and world view between the First and the Second generation is going to widen as the Second generation reaches adulthood and begins to take power and become the majority.

That boundary event, the Second Generation taking power and assuming the leadership of communities and families, is when many of the existing moral and ethical values are going to shift radically.

Values that makes sense in today's society may or may not survive the initial collapse but it's a given that many won't. The education of that Second generation will be more critical than any later generation since it will be the boundary event between today's civilization and what comes after it. Many value that will be maintained by that6 First generation will not be ones that actually contribute to survival but simply values that survived because no one ever questioned them. Those will disappear along with that first generation.

An analogy might help.

Many think that the legends and tales of King Arthur stem from the attempts of ancient Britons to maintain civilization in England after Rome abandoned the island as it began to collapse inward. That the stories recount the attempts to maintain that civilization without the Roman technical, industrial and political infrastructure that suddenly fell apart. Arthur ultimately failed and England fell into a period of barbarism and invasion and turmoil that lasted centuries. Only the stories remained.
A lot of the tales of Arthur embody that falling away from the Roman laws, ideal, morals and social infrastructure.

Whether something similar will occur after a collapse of our civilization is completely in the hands of the First Generation and how they educate the Second generation. Whether that can be avoided I have no idea. Honestly I doubt it based on historical precedent.

Ultimately after the collapse of Rome only the Byzantine Empire maintained anything even remotely resembling the sophistication of Rome. However it fell into a different kind of collapse of internal strife and politics that kept it from restoring the civilization from which it sprung. It turned inward much as modern America has.

A new civilization that grew in Europe ultimately replace the Byzantine Empire as well. I suspect something similar will happen once our civilization falls and the wellspring of it will be that boundary event between the First and Second generation.

The Librarian

THURSDAY 04/01/2021


I've removed the Wood Magazine Category from the Library.

When it was originally added it was polled from, if I remember correctly, and it was marked as being in the Public Domain. I assumed that they were a public enough and well known enough source that if they had it labelled as Public Domain it was, in fact, in the Public Domain. 

I just found out yesterday that it is not and is still in Copyright. So it has been removed and the files deleted from the repository.

On the plus side that frees up a little room on the Flash Drives for the new material I'll be adding shortly.

The Librarian

SATURDAY 03/27/2021


Over the years I've pointed out various points at which the world's industrial infrastructure is fragile and why that should concern everyone. This week's Suez Canal problem is just another one.

A single ship seemingly poorly piloted has managed to jam itself in the canal preventing traffic in the canal until it can be freed.

One Twelfth of the world's maritime traffic passes through the canal which is now closed. That means much longer and more dangerous trips around the tip of Africa putting additional strain on the ships, using much more fuel and taking much longer. 

There is no redundancy. There is no backup. Yet another Single Point of Failure. 

Fortunately it's not rocket science and they will get the ship back afloat and moving relatively soon. In the meantime ships and their captains and owners sit and ponder whether to continue waiting sit or to change course and head south to round Africa. This particular failure is relatively easy to fix. Not all would be.

But just another reminder that we live in a world dependent on massively complex and extremely fragile infrastructure which can be broken by simple negligence.

The Librarian


Some of you may remember Victorian Farm the BBC series about running a farm for a year using The Book of the Farm as the reference book.

The same 3 historians have done a different series called Tudor Monastery Farm. It was actually made several years ago but it is now available in the US on Amazon Prime for those who have access to that. I think it's available on Apple TV and could be one some other streaming services.

Here's a link to some background information on it.

Or you can just search for it on whatever search engine you use. 

There's no real single source for the techniques they use like The Book of the Farm in Victorian Farm. The knowledge seems to be gleaned from a variety of sources from the time period. It's a more primitive level of subsistence farming but there are still some good pieces of information in it for those who have access to the series. 

The Librarian

TUESDAY 03/16/2021


The 3 volume set of D. Magner's The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse 1884 is posted and available on the site.

The Librarian

TUESDAY 03/16/2021


The 3 volume sets of The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse 1884 will be posted for sale later today for anyone interested.

I had originally planned t make it a 2 volume set but at over 1100 pages even 2 volumes resulted in very thick and unwieldy volumes so I broke it into 3. I edited the original TOC for each volume to reflect the contents of the volume and broke it on Chapter breaks. I added (Volume x of 3) to the Title page and duplicated the entire Index at the end of each volume. 

The Librarian

MONDAY 03/15/2021


For those who are under some misapprehension... I'm not a nice person. I'm old and grumpy and downright mean some of the time. I have little patience with people and find I have less every year. I'm an ex-cop, ex-mercenary, ex-diesel mechanic, firearms instructor, concealed carry instructor, woodworker, beekeeper, book binder and above all else a Survivor.  Been married three times. My father is in his 90s and lives in the mountains of Northern Idaho. Compared to him I'm a sweet, humble, shy submissive sissy man.

I operate the Library because I find the material interesting. If you do also that's fine. If you find it offensive that's fine too. I suspect the people who will survive something like an EMP are not very nice people either. The nice people will get eaten early on.

In the aftermath of a collapse if I capture a looter or rapist or raider I won't debate the morality of their actions or what made them like they are. I won't ask them "Why?" The only conversation I might have with them is if I need information from them and I guarantee they will tell me anything and everything I want to know. Then I'll simply kill them and make sure the body is dumped far enough away not to be a disease hazard. And I will feel no remorse whatever nor lose any sleep. 

Given that, if I say something that offends you... then... you are offended. It's not a problem for me whatever. If you don't like what I say then put your fingers in your ears and go "LA LA LA" or better yet just go away and hang out with people like you. Life is too short to worry whether other people like what you say or get their feelings hurt because you didn't address them by the pronoun of their choice.

MY preferred pronoun by the way is Most Gracious Lord High Emperor of the Known Universe...(Your Royal Highness is sufficient for friends). Use my preferred pronoun and I might... MIGHT... try to avoid offending you. Actually no. I won't. Anyone who knows what "preferred pronoun" mean is going to be offended by my mere existence. Too bad.

The Librarian

MONDAY 03/15/2021

MORE UPDATES (updated with the rest of the conversation)

I got the print sets for The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse 1884 finished finally. It took several tries to get the cover and bindings setting correct for it but after several tries I ended up with a good set. The biggest problem were the large illustrations in the second half of the book since it is replete with detailed drawings of horse anatomy. Some of them were large enough to bleed off the edge of the page when the finished book was trimmed. Those I either shifted or just reduced slightly to eliminate the problem. I have several more sets printed but did not get a chance to bind them over the weekend. Was at the farmhouse up in a hundred year old sycamore with a chain saw trimming large branches threatening power lines, the roof and the road in front of the house. I'll have them bound and posted in the next couple days.  

Now for your viewing enjoyment here is a recent exchange with someone via email about what a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Person I am. It's stuff like this that sometimes makes we wonder why I bother running the site and whether or not it actually is a good thing for humanity to survive a Solar EMP in the first place, much less rebuild.


On 3/15/2021 8:36 AM, xxxxx wrote:

The book:

Three years hunting and trapping in America... Turner 1888.

I'm not one to judge too harshly the venacular and perspective of English writers when they belittle Americans, especially when the work is non-fiction and there seems to be some truth in their experiences, but the author of this book goes well out of his way to deride most of the American people of which he's in contact and frequently uses the term "ni##er" to describe blacks. That term may have been more commonly used in days gone by as in other old books I've read, however, with greater sensitivity.

You will find Turner's FIRST use of the term on page 3, about line 12 in chapter 2. The author's pompous, self righteous style only reinforces the notion that the term is used not in the course of venacular trend, but rather in a condescending, derogatory spirit. Perhaps Brits were eager then to read negative books about America.

The story is well written grammatically but of minor historical value. The work, I believe, is beneath the goals of your library, which is to support education by ways and means that may seem antiquated but useful; should we be thrown back into the stone age. This book provides nothing usefull in those terms and is likely to disturb some, if not most, contemporary readers; without benefit of gaining important morsals of old world skill or culture.

I recommend this book be dropped from your list soonest.



On Mar 15, 2021 9:10 PM, "Librarian" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

Unlike most "conteporary" Americans I believe that if you encounter something in a book which you find objectionable then you have the right and privilege of not reading it. I have the same right.

I do not,however, believe that I have the right or the hubris to make that decision for other people and choose what they may or may not read. Taking such action belittles and denigrates the intellect and moral integritystrength of those individuals. It shows a contempt for the people it purports to "protect".

It implies that the person taking such actions believes themselves somehow superior to those who are seen as inferiors who muct be "protected" since they are apparently incapable of protecting themselves. It additionaly implies that the person taking such actions clearly believes that their personal moral and ethical beliefs are superior since they should be enforced on others without bothering to ask those others is they share those moral and ethical beliefs.

I case you don't fully understand my pisition, censoring books or speech is an issue about which I feel very strongly. I reject the modern ideology of peopel who feel themselves superior to others atrtempting to control what others can say or read. I reject that ideology and movement whole heartedly and absolutely without reservations.

The Librarian


On 3/15/2021 10:31 AM, Piers Bridges wrote:
> It's your site, and your right to keep antequated abusive books that veer wildly from your catalog goals, unless, of course, one of your goals is to adopt every page of godless tripe ever published. Btw, I happen to notice that your library contains absolutely no literature which describes visually or textually how to fuck, murder babies, shoot up drugs, make money on the side selling one's body (a profession perfected even before farming), or how to become a eunuch in two easy lessons. You're slipping, or perhaps even great thinkers draw the line somewhere, but I don't see how that might apply in your case.
> You failed to recognize that my letter was merely a recommendation, not a command, and based wholly on reasoning well considered. Yet you took exception with only the thinnest of devices - any censorship is bad censorship... and hashed out every evil, dishonest contrivance abnormal persons think of and slung it where you thought it might stick. Thank god you're not teaching in my child's school... you might have them watching Debbie Does Dallas or reading back issues of Slavery Illustrated.
> Did I ever tell you how repulsed I am by hypocrites?
> In case you dont fully comprehend my position.... you seem arrogant, self absorbed, egotistical, and self righteous today... probably the meds. Perhaps I caught you at a bad time... were you giving your nigger a good whipping, or scratching your naked peanut balls in front of the grandkids again?
> How about publishing our entire conversation on your blog... or would you rather sensor it... AH... I think you'll sensor - just the thing a pretentious,narrow minded hypocrite would do.
> The librarian's sensible librarian.


I'll be happy to publish it. Will do solater today or tomorrow when I'm caught up at work.


Right... that will be the day... and dont give me any opportunity to refute your introduction either.... thats an editors prerogative. Slant the discussion and corrupt the reader. However, I promise to publish this conversation in its entirety as well... my readers will be anxious.

On Mar 15, 2021 11:34 PM, "Librarian" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

I redacted your name and email address out of courtesy.


I rather you left it in or some lunitic might think I'm in hiding. I have no fear of evil and invite any and all constructive dialog. I am quite sorry we disagree on these points, ive almost always valued your opinions. However, for righteousness sake, I will defend the less able from insideous blathering of which the selection in question holds virtuous, and utterly without a hint of sensitivity. You would think the author took the war of 1812 personally, and perhaps he has, perhaps regretting the emancipation proclamation.


On Mar 16, 2021 1:25 AM, "Librarian" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

So you feel a duty to defend those "less able". Nothing wrong iwth that.

It does however beg the question of how you determined that those people to whom you are referring are "less able"? Did they tell you they were and ask for your assistance? Did someone else detetmine that they were less able and let you know whch specific individuals they are and hwat actions would benefit them? Did you determine that they were and what criteria did you use in making that determination. In all of those possible determinations did anyone inform those individuals that they have been judged "less able" and explain the ramifications and potential limitations of being "less able"?

Perhaps thos seem like specious questions but they are actually quite serious. I've noticed an increasing and rapidly accelerating movement in our society of labelling people with specific adjectives such as that and then acting ostensibly on their behalf. And all too often the actions which are taken on the behalf of the labeleld persons happens, purely coincidently I'm sure, to somehow benefit those who are acting as benefactors.

I really don't need any responses as to what kind of person I am. I'm quite content with who and what I am and other folks opinions, especially those who do not know me, says more about them than it does about me. So use the Library or don't.


On Mar 16, 2021 1:25 AM, "Librarian" <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote:

So you feel a duty to defend those "less able". Nothing wrong iwth that.

It does however beg the question of how you determined that those people to whom you are referring are "less able"? Did they tell you they were and ask for your assistance? Did someone else detetmine that they were less able and let you know whch specific individuals they are and hwat actions would benefit them? Did you determine that they were and what criteria did you use in making that determination. In all of those possible determinations did anyone inform those individuals that they have been judged "less able" and explain the ramifications and potential limitations of being "less able"?

Perhaps thos seem like specious questions but they are actually quite serious. I've noticed an increasing and rapidly accelerating movement in our society of labelling people with specific adjectives such as that and then acting ostensibly on their behalf. And all too often the actions which are taken on the behalf of the labeleld persons happens, purely coincidently I'm sure, to somehow benefit those who are acting as benefactors.


Children are less able

The edu system is less able

Social constructs are less able

Government is less able

In a way we are all less able to see truth, light, right from wrong, and evil.

Even churches are less able and seek popularity rather than faithful servants.

There is only one reason for our existance... and one guidepost. Anything that detracts from that guide is evil. There is a fence that separates two sides, and having a foot on both sides is worse than choosing either, for it puts doubts in timid minds as to what's right or wrong.

Do as you will, librarian, you are responsible only for your own salvation. However the evil we do or turn a blind eye to will someday come back to haunt us.

Best regards


And I assume that concludes the "discussion".

I'm not clear on what the kind of person I am or am not has to do with the books in the Library and whether they are useful or not. But then in today's society if I wore the wrong costume for Halloween when I was 6 or 7 or said the wrong thing online 25 years ago (or yesterday) it somehow magically makes a hundred and fifty year old book on technology invalid and unusable because I'm the one who posted it on the site.

I will, however, continue posting books on the site. If people want to download them and read them that's fine. If people don't that's fine too. 

The Librarian

MONDAY 03/08/2021


A few Updates on various items...

Binding Machine:

The new Binding machine arrived. Wasted an entire day and a case of paper testing it. Could not get it to produce a single binding that I considered acceptable. It's back in the box and will ship out this week. But the current one I have is adequate and I'll simply continue using it.

Cancelled Books:

So far none of the book in the teaching Categories have been cancelled. I'm sure many would be if the folks carrying out that insanity noticed them... but then... I would ignore them anyway.

The Art of Training and Educating the Horse 1884:

The book setup is almost complete. I'm building the print sets for it today and will have a test copy printed tomorrow or Wednesday. Might be some touchup work to do or some formatting problems or some page out of order or something but those are easy to correct. With any luck I'll actually have some copies printed and bound by the end of the week. 

I broke it into 2 volumes of about 250 pages (sheets) each. Otherwise it would have been 3 inches thick and hard to handle. Slightly edited the TOC to match each volume and kept the full index on each. Virtually then entire second half of the book is highly detailed illustrations of the anatomy of horses. Since I'm not a horse person they don't mean much to me. I'll leave it to the horse folks to comment on it. 

New Books to Add:

Several folks have provided links to some good books on the "Boy's Book of ..."  theme and some more books of electronics from the early days of radio experimentation and DIY electronics. Once I get the Book on Horses done I'll be working on getting those added. 

Flash Drive Capacity:

On the issue of Flash Drives the Library has grown to the point where the Flash Drives only have about 4-5 GB free on them so there's little room to add anything to them. Once I add another category it will no longer fit on a 256 TGB flash drive. 512 GB Flash Drives are still too expensive to be a practical solution so until those drop in price significantly I'm going to just move the Scientific American Series 2 files to a 32gb flash drive which will free up 30 GB on the primary Library Flash Drive. That will solve the problem for the immediate future. 

Hard Drive Copies:

I ordered more hard drives week before last and they were scheduled to arrive midweek last week. They never arrived and though they showed "In Transit" a closer look shows they never actually shipped at all. I ordered more from a different vendor and they are "Out for Delivery" so I should have those later today and have some ready to mail out tomorrow. Only ordered a few though since I thought the original order was just delayed and did not want to have too many. But will order more today since the original order is clearly not happening. 

The Librarian  

SATURDAY 02/27/2021


While drinking tea and checking through news this morning to see what kind of craziness is going on in the world I ran across several stories and reports that I jotted down to consider posting as links. In the end I decided not to bother. I'm sure all of you see what's going on around us. Grids failing and becoming more and more fragile, social and political chaos, ideological clashes everywhere, massive overreactions to illness that threaten to destroy the very societies they are ostensibly meant to protect. 

And there's not a thing most of us can do about it outside of our own immediate family and circumstances. Governments less and less have any accountability to anyone and are determined to tell us what to think, what to say and what to believe. Once government, at least in the U.S., was intended to reflect the beliefs and will of the Citizens. Now government demands that we obey and tell us what to say and not say and what we MUST believe. In the long run it's not a tenable situation. Such contradictions are not sustainable.

In the meantime the world becomes more and more unstable. The hugely complex and interconnected infrastructure that make a technological and industrial civilization possible, as we know it, continues to fray and weaken and become more and more fragile. Some of it is ideological fantasy that denies reality and weaken parts of the system. Some of it is simply incompetence. Some of it is moving funds required to maintain the infrastructure to more politically useful projects.

Back in the 60s and afterwards the U.S. Steel Industry kept putting off modernization and maintenance and upgrades of equipment. There were always more "important" things to spend money on. Meanwhile the Europeans and the Asian countries modernized, improved their technology and quality control and productivity. In the end, almost overnight, the U.S. Steel Industry completely collapsed and most of it went bankrupt and shut down. They simply were no longer able to compete, not even with regulations and tariffs to protect them. They sold out the long term for short term gain.

In Birmingham, Al where I once lived there are huge miles long and wide sections of the city that are barren wastelands of rusting buildings, steel mills foundries, and rotting equipment. The remains of that industry are so massive and heavy and pervasive that they remain there today... simply to expensive to get rid of to make the land useful for anything else. The soil itself is probably so contaminated with the rubbish of a hundred years of steel production that it's probably impractical to ever cleanup. 

And that's what's happening to our civilization, our societies and our infrastructures. The people with their hands on the wheels are selling out the long term survival of all of those in exchange for short term political and/or ideological gain. I don't think that's going to change for the better in our lifetimes.

You can continue to drive your car without changing the oil, replacing balding tires or rotting hoses or the failing battery. You can ignore the rust spots in the body and floor...but... eventually the car is going to simply quit leaving you stranded by the side of the road and nothing you do will get it started and running again. You will be reliant on your own two feet to get where you are going and then home again.

So I'm not posting any of those links. I'm not going to try to point out the signs of this continued slow motion collapse. Most of you are already aware of it. If you aren't by now then there's likely nothing I can write that would make you aware. 

Instead I'm going to spend the weekend focusing on the site. I'm going to try to finish off The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse to get it ready to print and bind. Work on the new Farming books I've collected to get them ready to post. Someone suggested a new Category which I think was a great idea so I'm looking for more books like The Boy's Book of Crystal Radios. The Boy's Book of Science. The Boys Book of Metals that he sent me. 

Back in the late 1800s and early 1900s when we still valued the future of young men there were a LOT of books published to introduce young men (and no doubt a lot of young women as well regardless of what their parents and society thought) to a wide range of topics and teach the rudiments of that subject. I think those would make great additions to the Library. If I get enough I might make it a new Category and if not I'll add them to the Education/Teaching Category.

Rather than lament the continuing decay of our civilization I'll spend my time on those things we will need to rebuild after they destroy it.

The Librarian 

THURSDAY 02/18/2021 (Part 2)


Back early last year I posted about the a new Executive Order that mandated that the Federal Government investigate and reconsider our power grid being dependent on foreign (perhaps adversarial) nations for our primary large transformers. That was at least a minor step in the direction of making our national power grid a bit more robust or at least a bit less prone to catastrophic failure.

We are currently dependent on Europe and China for the large and ultra large transformers required to operate our grid. Long distance transmission of power over the power lines requires extremely high voltage to be be efficient or even practical. That voltage must be stepped down several times before it reaches a business or home. Unfortunately those large transformers are primarily made in Europe and Asia and we do not have backups and spares in stock. The lead time on some of the larger ones is several years.

Last year's Executive Order was a small first step in trying to make the U.S. grid less dependent on other countries particularly ones who might end up being enemies at some point in the future.

Unfortunately grid security is no longer a matter of Science or Engineering or National Security. It is now a Political and/or Ideological matter.

According to Transformer Magazine last year's EO has just been suspended because... Climate Change and the Environment.

Apparently making the U.S. grid less dependent on potential enemies is bad for the environment.

Who knew?

The Librarian

THURSDAY 02/18/2021


Seems slightly ironic that while I'm running a site oriented around rebuilding after a power grid failure due to an EMP or other catastrophic event that large sections of the power grid are failing simply due to bad Weather.

(They like to call it "climate change" or "global warming" since that helps advance specific political agendas and ideologies much more effectively than just calling it what it is which is Weather. But nevertheless it remains Weather and bad Weather took down much of an entire power grid leaving large numbers of people in the middle of winter without power and other needed services like water and food.)

It comes back, as always, to the ever increasing complexity and thus vulnerability of our power grids.

Some people blame it on the frozen windmills, others on the solar panels that don't work that great when covered with snow and in overcast conditions. Others say it's the fault of the coal and gas plants which have been on operation over a hundred years throughout a century of good and bad Weather. Strangely Texas (like every state) has bad Weather occasionally and has always managed to deal with it before. 

In the end it doesn't really matter which individual are responsible or what technology failed or whether it's both. What matters is that we are increasingly putting our lives and those of our families in a position where we are totally reliant for survival on technological systems we don't understand, don't fully control and which are vulnerable to a widening variety of failure modes beyond our ability to cope. I understand that the people who "manage" the Texas power grid don't even live in Texas. Some don't even live in the United States.

Who or what is at fault makes great grist for the news media mill and talking heads and "experts" will be pontificating and bloviating 24/7 for weeks. None of that, however, helps the people in the cold who have no water, no food and no heat.

The people responsible for the grid are secure in nice warm houses elsewhere with plenty of food and water as they sit and "discuss" the situation and assure everyone affected that they are "working hard to address the situation". I'm not real sure how that fends off the cold or moves food and water to the people doing without. But in today's world we are told that it's "intentions" that matter most.

California is already experiencing this kind of problem. Now it's spread to Texas. I have absolutely no doubt that it will continue to spread to other states and regional grids as we make our grids increasingly complex, add more and more advanced technology and make the management of it more and more remote. The real Rubicon will be if/when the Federal government takes over the Grid. Think IRS level of efficiency in getting power to your home or business.

In the long term if you want to survive look around you at how many technological systems YOU are totally dependent on and ask yourself "What if...?" 

It may not require an EMP to ultimately takes down the national power grid. We appear to be well on the path to accomplishing that ourselves.

My prayers, and I hope yours, are with those enduring this awful situation.

The Librarian

WEDNESDAY 02/17/2021


Since I'm subscribed to I got an interesting email today. They have created a Text Alert system for Solar Flares and CME's. It's a paid service so that's something of an individual choice as to whether there is value in it or not. Since I receive daily and frequent emails form them and at least glance at the site every morning I'm not planning to make use of it. 

But for anyone who doesn't look at their site often it might be useful.

 The Librarian

p.s. Making slow but steady progress on The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse 1884

SATURDAY 02/13/2021


I've added The Square Rigged Cruiser or Lorrain's Sea Sermons 1885 to the shop. Someone on the Site pointed out that it was in the Library. I had read an old original printed copy many, many years ago but had somewhat forgotten about it. That it was in the Library struck me as a hint that I should read it again and since I'm binding selected books from the Library that I should make sure it was one of them. 

So it's there and is available. As I said before, even if no one wants a copy of it I feel better knowing I took the time to make it available. 

I'm working on Henry Stephens Catechism of Practical Agriculture which is a sort of companion book to The Book of the Farm and should have that ready in a few days.

Several people have insisted that The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse 1884 is the next one to print. I looked REALLY hard to see if there was another Horse book that might be a better choice but reluctantly have to agree that this 1100+ page monster is the logical next one to add. Considering the importance of Horses in a farming environment both for transportation and motive power I could not in good conscience skip it or put it off till later.

So it's currently dumping to image files for cleanup and formatting into a print set. Probably be at least a week or so but it's in the pipeline. It will most likely be broken into a 2 volume set due to the sheer size of it.

 The Librarian



I'm going to see if adding the 3 volume set of The Book of the Farm 1991 Fourth Edition in addition to the 1889 Fourth Edition is practical as an option for those who prefer the 3 volume set. It's the exact same material internally. Only the physical format is different. 

The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse (1884)

I had planned to make The Art of Taming and Educating the Horse (1884) the next book to put into print but I forgot that it is about 1200 pages long. It is however something of a definitive book on horses, their nature, training, anatomy and methods of riding and harnessing them. It's mentioned frequently in many books from that period and was apparently considered the Gold standard on books about horses of the 1800s. 

I printed and bound it several years ago and have read much of it but it's been a while since I had it down and forgot the sheer heft and bulk of it. I'm probably going to have to look at splitting it into at least 2 volumes, more likely 3. My binding machine will not handle a 1200 page book and I'm not sure Perfect Binding (i.e. thermal glue binding) will work on something that thick. So that's on hold for now till I decide on the best approach.

Catechism of Practical Agriculture (1856)

There's another one I just got hold of recently I'm definitely going to do. It's called Catechism of Practical Agriculture (1856). It's fairly short, only 80 pages and is written by Henry Stephens the author of The Book of the Farm. It's all of the primary points from The Book of the Farm.

If you can imagine a list of Final Exam questions on The Book of the Farm this would be it. If you could answer every one one of these questions without having to read the provided answers you can consider yourself a true "Farmer" as defined by William Stephens. It is packed full of diagrams and pictures and reminders of all of the primary information in The Book of the Farm. I'll hopefully have that one posted within a week since it is fairly short and won't take long to format for printing.

The Square Rigged Cruiser (1885)

There is another book I'm probably going to add purely for selfish reasons. To quote someone's recent comment on it to me:

"The SQUARE RIGGED CRUISER 1855 is one of the best Christian reads I've seen in a long time.

I'm not sure you are aware of this gem in your collection. The sermons are directed towards sailors and I assume their families. Its full of wonderful poetry, sailing vernacular, and sea inspired metaphor and similes.

Now that I've read from it I know I wouldn't wish to go through life without reading it."

It's very easy, especially these days, to get caught up in the crisis of the day, this weeks panic being sown by the media, the political and ideological warfare and insanity going on around us and forget that there is a real world outside of all the national frenzy gripping our country that is indifferent to all of it. 

This book, a volume of wisdom from a period 160 years ago, still speaks to the heart that lives in that real world and cuts through a century and a half of Civil Wars, World Wars, political and social upheaval. It reminds and reassures us that people are still people, human nature is unchanged despite all of the ideological efforts to rewrite it and that the human soul remains unchanged despite all efforts to forge it into some new social construct to suit someone's agenda.

Even if no one wants a copy of it I'll feel better knowing I took the time to make it available. 

The Librarian

FRIDAY 02/05/2021


I put 6 more sets of the The Book of the Farm (1889) Fourth Edition into stock. Getting a bit more efficient with the process. Hopefully soon I'll be able to start looking at other books in the Library that would be good additions to the shelf for a wide variety of folks in printed format.

Usually when I print and bind a book for myself it's one to fill a specific need or address a particular area that's applicable to my geographic and climatic area or is in an area where my own knowledge is woefully inadequate but would be vital to be able to do.

But there are many that apply equally well everywhere just like The Book of the Farm. I just need to identify them and get them formatted for printing and binding. If anyone has any specific suggestions as to good candidates please let me know. 

The Librarian

THURSDAY 01/28/2021


I posted 4 more sets of The Book of the Farm  1189 Fourth Edition for sale to anyone interested.

This is the same Fourth Edition as the 1891 edition but when it was printed in 1889 they printed it in 6 Divisions as they called them. Basically they split each of the 3 thick volumes in half and added a TOC to each one. The result is 6 much easier to handle volumes about an inch thick. I've added a set to my own shelf. The content pages are completely identical to the 1891 Edition they are just bound in 6 separate slimmer volumes.

I may still print some of the 1892 3-Volume sets but I haven't tried binding them in the new machine yet. I'll have to see how well they do. 

I changed the cover stock I was using as well. I had been using a semigloss card stock but being somewhat shiny it took a good 24 hours for ink to dry on them enough that a clear coat could be applied to prevent them from smearing. It was taking as long to make the covers as it was to bind the book itself. So I tested and then switched to a somewhat lighter matte card stock that prints like normal paper. MUCH more pleasant to work with and make a perfectly fine cover.

As I expected it's taken me some time to adjust to using a binding machine rather than binding by hand as I have always done. It is much faster, or rather WILL be much faster, but I'm doing a lot of tuning and adjusting of the machine to get it to perform to my expectations.

The Librarian

MONDAY 01/18/2021


The 6 sets I posted Saturday are all gone now. I'm leaving the item in the Store section but showing out of stock until I get some more ready.

The new binding machine is supposed to be here this week. I already have the new cover stock, the paper and the glue chips for the new machine. Also have a heavy duty guillotine cutter to trim books so they have nice smooth edges. My old one gave up the ghost some time ago and I never bothered to replace it since pretty neat edges aren't really much concern to me in books I bind for my own bookshelf.

I'm also getting the 1889 Fourth Edition set ready for print as well. The actual content is identical to the 1891 Fourth Edition that I just printed. The only difference is it physically broken in 6 separate books they called "Divisions". So instead of 3 thick heavy volumes it's 6 much thinner volumes. It's so identical that the last page of text in Div 1 is numbered 256 and the first page of text in Div 2 is numbered 257. One of the pages in Div2 had a blotch on the scanned page and I was able to just grab the same page from the 1891 edition. I checked it line by line and it was 100% identical... but without the blotch.

At the end of Div 6 it even includes additional TOCs from Volumes 1,2 and 3 and instructions on how to rebind it into the traditional 3 Volumes. I just think the 6 book set will be much more User friendly than the 3 1/2 lb, 8.5 x 11 volumes.

But I will probably have both sets available so you can choose whichever. Identical, just the format 

Definitely looking forward to the new Binding machine. 

At the same time if you know of any other books in the Library that that you think would be good candidates for printed editions please let me know which ones. I personally have printed out and bound ones that are applicable to us here in SE North Carolina and for our own level of knowledge and skills. But our location and backgrounds are very different from that of other folks I'm clearly open to suggestions.

In addition if there are any that you personally want, let me know. I can pretty quickly tell you whether it's a practical one to print or not.

The Librarian

SATURDAY 01/16/2021


I have the 6 sets that are ready posted for sale on the site.

I have it set to show the number left in stock. Once the new binding machine is in I'll make them available again since they can be printed and bound on demand. The current binding process is just too slow to do that right now. But in a week or two it will be practical. 

The Librarian

THURSDAY 01/14/2021


Okay the current status of the Book Binding project is as follows:

I'll have the first 6 sets of the 1891 The Book of the Farm ready and posted for sale this weekend. Pictures of the current set are below. I also have a new Perfect Binding machine on order and it should be here late next week or the following week. Perfect Binding is a particular type of binding. If you go to a bookstore and look at any of the larger paperback books they all use Perfect Binding. It's an adhesive type of binding that use a hot glue, similar to a the kind in a glue gun, to bind the pages together, form a spine and attach a wrap around cover. Even a fair proportion of hard backs use the same method.

That being said, binding these 500-600 page volumes together is something of a pain and it's pretty labor intensive. Fortunately the 1889 4th Edition of The Book of the Farm was published in 6 smaller volumes. What they did was split each of the existing volumes in half and called them Division 1 through Division 6. So Div 1 and 2 are Volume 1, Div 2 and 3 are Volume 2 and so on. Div 1 ends the content pages with page 256 and Div 2 (after the TOC and title pages) starts with page 257.

So between now and when the new binding machine arrives I'm going to be building the print sets for the 6 Division 1889 4th Edition. They will be much quicker and easier to print and bind and actually easier to handle and read since they will not be so heavy and bulky. The current 3 volumes each weight about 3 lbs per volume and are about 1.5 inches thick. Volume 3 is slightly thicker. 


The Librarian

MONDAY 01/11/2021


I don't care if you're Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Socialist, Pastafarian or utterly non-political. The country is in the early stages of major national unrest. Some cities are still enduring continuing riots, demonstrations, attacks on people and buildings, blocking of streets and other sorts of Civil unrest.

Regardless of your political or ideological affiliation you're likely to be affected. Blocked traffic does not have special lanes for various political affiliations. Burning buildings don't ask what Party you belong to. Looting of stores does not check to see the how the owner voted. And if you are unfortunate enough to still be a member of Law Enforcement you are a target every time you go to work. I thank God every day that I'm no longer in that job.

Social media and banks and credit card companies are acting swiftly to nullify particular political groups or cut off service to organizations, businesses and individuals who hold unapproved political or ideological beliefs. Doesn't matter which group you favor or whether you support such actions or not. Actions have consequences and the consequences of such actions can and will affect everyone.

So now is a good time to check your planning and stay aware of the civil situation in your immediate and surrounding areas. Maybe do some additional preparations suited towards the short term. Be thinking about the long term significance of civil unrest and how it will affect you and your family today, next week and next month. As fast as events are occurring that evaluation needs to be redone almost daily.  

If you live in a rural area then you are less likely to be affected directly by the civil unrest but could be affected by the actions of various businesses and groups towards people with incorrect political views. In the cities of course the direct affects of civil unrest are likely to be more direct. 

Regardless please take care and take a few extra minutes now and then to consider your safety and adapt your emergency plans as necessary to quickly changes conditions.

Based on historical events in many other countries throughout history it's going to get worse before it gets better.

The Librarian

MONDAY 01/04/2021


Some recently asked me about the Solar Flare called the Carrington Event. I had to start off by explaining that it wasn't a Solar Flare but a CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) which of course led to a discussion about those terms. 

We often use the terms interchangeably in casual conversation or discussions even when we know the difference. I know I do it myself because virtually everyone has some concept of what a "solar flare" is but if you use the term CME you almost always have to stop and explain what that is an how it's different from a solar flare. 

So I thought I'd throw that out here just to clarify. Here's a good explanation from NASA on the difference.

One of the fundamental differences for those of us concerned with the consequences of a Solar Event (CME) destroying the power grid is one that you often see described totally incorrectly in novels. 

A Solar Flare travels at the speed of light so takes less than ten minutes to get to Earth from the Sun. There is no warning. By the time you see it, it's already here.

CMEs however travel significantly slower and take some time to arrive. If you look at you'll see a report of a couple CMEs that occurred on Jan 2. They are travelling at different speeds but both will arrive about Jan 6. So a 4 day warning between the event and it's arrival here. (For those interested SpaceWeather has an alert system that will notify you of any significant solar events.)

In many EMP novels the grid collapses and electronics are fried with no warning leaving the protagonists stranded and being required to travel cross country, always on foot and with no supplies. In the case of a Solar Flare that would be acceptable scenario except that a Solar Flare would not have an effect comparable to a CME. The worst case in a Solar Flare would be radio wave reception becoming really terrible, perhaps even affecting cell phones but ONLY for the duration of the event.

In the case of CMEs however NASA has a good number of solar observation satellites which are also accessible to many civilian organizations like SpaceWeather. In the event of a really significant CME comparable to or larger than the Carrington Event we would have at least a couple days warning that it was coming just as with the two CMEs on Jan 2 which won't arrive for 20 more days.

For the nation or the world a few days notice would do little good. The changes to the grid and other parts of the infrastructure that would be required to survive such an event could not even be started in the time remaining.

The best that could be done is some minor mitigation of the effects by perhaps shutting down the grid and physically isolating some components such as the ultralarge transformers. Shutting down the entire grid without warning and without the ability to explain since the grid would be down is somewhat problematical however.

The consequences of the collapse of the grid worldwide would be of such a magnitude however that a government's last minute efforts but be essentially meaningless.

The good news is that those of us who have taken the effects of a CME into account in our emergency planning will have a couple days warning and for us personally that warning could be of major benefit. The last minute preparations could be topping up our food supplies, stocking batteries and other technological disposables and many other last minute preparations that could improve our prospects for survival.

I have even seen suggestions that if a Carrington Event Level CME is on it's way you might as well max out every credit card you have, buy whatever you need and "finance" it anyplace that offers immediate financing. Since after all in the aftermath of a Carrington Event level CME there wouldn't be any financial records left to worry about. Of course neither I nor anyone else could actually recommend such a thing since that would clearly be Fraud and you might have to deal with State or Federal law Enforcement at some point in the future.

So Solar Flares and CMEs... not the same thing at all. The first makes for lousy shortwave reception. The second... well as in many things in life size DOES matter. But at least for the latter we will have some warning. 


The Librarian 

MONDAY 12/28/2020


I've been getting the 1891 3 volume set of Stephens The Book of the Farm ready for publication on the site as a printed and bound version. In that process I've been reading many pages of it while checking layouts and such. 

One of the things that struck me is how so much of the modern "sustainability" and "organic" farming movement is little more than a regression to mid 1800s farming technology. It's not some dramatic, new, complex technology that sophisticated scientists developed. It's not some profound wisdom revealed to the loyal acolytes of environmentalism. It's not a new profound understanding of the universe which will save us all and bring peace and harmony to the world. 

It's actually just the basic farming technology of the 1800s. The farmers of that time did not have a lot of engineered materials with which to enrich the soil and dramatically increase crop yields. They didn't have pesticides with which to save their crops from being decimated by pests. They didn't have machine technology to plant seeds more consistently and perform many functions with far less labor. They didn't have hybrid seeds that produced better yields while being more resistant to diseases and pests. They didn't have herbicides which suppressed weeds so crops could be grown with far less manual labor. And perhaps the biggest factor they did not have machinery which could plow and till and harvest more fields in a day than manual labor could do in several weeks.

What they had was lime for the fields made from limestone to modify the ph of the soil. They had animal manure kept in manure/compost piles to fertilize the crops. They had crop rotation to help maintain the nutrient levels of their fields and what's called "green manure" which meant planting crops that were simply tilled back into the soil rather than being harvested.

They carefully "recycled" the materials, crops, waste and other farm by products which they reused year after year to maintain their farm and it's productivity. They also had a lot more manual labor available (by necessity) in the form of farm hands and large families. Communities often organized to assist in harvests of each other's farms since in many cases even a large family could not provide enough labor for a large harvest and only community effort could harvest all of the crops.

What is overlooked is the fact that yields per acre were far lower than modern farming. The labor requirements per bushel were much higher not to mention the loss of yields from pests and diseases. The modern movements to try to impose those methods of farming on the modern world ignore the fact that the result would be massive starvation in the parts of the world dependent on Western agriculture due to such methods being unable to match modern farm productivity.

What is important for our concerns is that these methods can produce yields sufficient to not only provide subsistence levels farming but generate surpluses large enough to barter and trade for other needed goods and services. Even in the modern world they could produce self sufficient production for a family and likely a decent surplus as well.

Just as importantly these methods require little or no technology that would not be available to individuals or small communities. What strikes me frequently while working through these books is the understanding by the author that the reader probably knows little or nothing about farming and that he needs to provide every single piece of information the reader needs to know.

It reinforces my conviction that anyone who believes the day may possibly come when we are on our own and totally self reliant with no power grid or infrastructure upon which to depend should have a copy of The Book of the Farm on their shelf right along side their extra food, weapons and ammunition.

I certainly do.

The Librarian 

(I've decided to archive last years postings to a separate page available below. )