Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Homeless Tobacco

 I saw this on Twitter the other day and it gives you a video of exactly what I see when I drive through much of LA. I lived there in the 1970s and it was nothing like this.

The conversation, as usual, devolved into political finger pointing. Reds justly called out blues for having utterly wrecked the city, which they did. My favorite reply was, "Well, what's the Republican plan for dealing with the homeless?" That's where the reds fall apart.

There is no plan. There can't be a plan. The homeless are almost all addicts. There's no "plan" to deal with addiction, if by "plan" you mean you can vote red or blue and then go back to your normal life, problem solved. 

Once someone is addicted to the point where they've lost everything and fallen into the situation shown above, pulling them out of it is nearly impossible. In my own family, my parents brought both of my addict brothers home to live with them, dry out and get on their feet multiple times. It never worked. If you think that voting blue and spending eleventy zillion dollars on social workers, treatment centers and methadone is going to make a dent in that population, then you're probably on drugs, too.

By the way, that's one of my favorite press release nuggets for these things. "Today, Congress passed a thirty billion dollar spending bill to deal with (homelessness, the border, education, stork leg measurement) ..." as if the number meant something to us and there was some kind of exchange market where you could turn dollars into rescued addicts. There isn't.

My Plan

Wanna know my plan? Here it is.

  1. Warehouse the homeless. Get them off the streets and into cheap, severe, mass incarceration. No screwing around, either. No visits, no packages, nothing. Some will dry out and recover enough to get back to a normal life, but most will live the rest of their lives like that.
  2. Close the border. Period. Whatever it takes. Walls, tunnel detection, shoot on sight, do anything necessary to stop the flow of drugs into the country. No more amnesty or sanctuary for "refugees."
  3. Prosecute drug crimes ruthlessly. Reduce the number of appeals, reduce restrictions on cops, build more courts, build more jails, whatever it takes to clear the backlog of cases quickly. Put huge cash bail requirements on the drug dealers, too. No more catch and release.
  4. Make drugs illegal again in all quantities. A tiny bit of heroin is all you need to get you through the day or the hour when you're an addict. You're not helping anyone by making that legal.

Yeah, I know, unintended consequences and civil rights and all that jazz. Before you criticize that plan too harshly, spend a month or so sitting across the dinner table from an addict whom you love. We can talk after that. In the meantime, I don't want to hear a peep about "compassion."

Another Tobacco Fail

Well, some of the Virginians in the fermenter box molded. I had to cull about a quarter of them yesterday. Another fourth of them had crisped as well.

The inside of the bin. Left to right, we've got the thermostat, a 40W bulb, the temperature and humidity sensor and a glass of water. The leaves are resting on a wood lattice to give them air on their undersides.

My next try will be to ferment some of my Tennessee tobacco in jars as described here. It requires a kiln, but I already have a kiln. That's what my fermentation chamber is. Fermenting in jars will simplify all kinds of things. For one, I won't need water or the wood lattice. The jars will be sealed and simply sit in the kiln. I can also ferment the leaves as they ripen in my garage instead of waiting to have enough of them to form into a pile. The early-ripers always dry out as they wait for their compadres.

As for the mold, that thread informs me that mold doesn't grow at temperatures over 122. If I swap out my 40W for a 60W bulb, I won't have any problem keeping my kiln at 122+. As for burping the jars from time to time, exposing the fermenting tobacco to air to get the ammonia out, here's what one guy said.

I think the airing thing is unnecessary. Most oxidation in tobacco afaik is via hydrolysis, which is why you need moisture. Otherwise we could just stick tobacco in low case in a hyperbaric chamber. Perique* on the other hand matters because of organisms and stuff. But then again, I don't know how some <insert some physical gas law> plays into it, but, it's not like there isn't tons of air anyway. Buildup of ammonia, CO2? Air it out after.

So that's the next phase of the experimentation. Mason jars of tobacco in the kiln at 122+, filled as the leaves ripen and labeled by date. As I put the leaves in the jars, I'll also play around with a spray of water or two as I seal them. Some will get none, some one, some two spritzes.

I have to say that for the first time in my fermentation career, I'm optimistic. I had figured this batch would mold and dry, so I wasn't surprised or disappointed when it did.

* - Perique: In St. James Parish, between the levee and the cane fields, a special tobacco with a rich history grows deep. The tobacco, known as perique, can only be found in St. James Parish, and is one of the rarest commercially grown tobaccos in the world.


tim eisele said...

While homelessness is a problem to varying degrees in a lot of cities, Californian cities seem to be doing an almost uniquely terrible job of dealing with it. California contains only 12% of the US population, but has almost 28% of the homeless people in the country.

This isn't just higher than everyone else, it is much higher than everyone else. Whatever is being done wrong, California is the wrongest by a big margin.

Ohioan@Heart said...

Two comments: That video of LA could have shot in several places here in San Diego. The mess has gotten way worse of late, but sky rocketing costs of housing and food (and pretty much everything else) coupled with the crazy CoViD job killing shut downs couldn’t have any other effect.

As far as the water thing is concerned, I suspect your best approach would be to just measure it out…. Air at 122F can hold 0.083 kg/m^3. So all you need to do is figure the volume of you container, then add 83gms (83ml) per cubic meter to get 100% humidity. Since you have mentioned 60% humidity, just use 50 ml/m^3. (Yes, you should correct for the ambient humidity so each time you open the ‘box’ change the air then assuming typical San Diego 30% humidity at 70F, you only need to add 45 ml/m^3.)

Mostly Nothing said...

I think I've mentioned this before. KOMO put out a documentary on an approach that works at least on a small scale in dealing with the addiction problem.

It is available on youtube. Search "Seattle is Dying".

As to the debate of red vs blue.

For 50 plus years the blues have pretty much ruled the big cities. LA, NY, SF, Seattle, Detroit, Baltimore, Washington DC, Chicago, Minneapolis/St Paul. They are in various states of destruction.

The stupidity of the blues have failed us completely. It's time we put up with the idiocy of the reds for a good long time. The cities and country are not going to be fixed in 2, 4, 6, 8, pick a number, years.

Politics have abandoned the middle completely. So that's not an option.

K T Cat said...

MN, I saw that and it had a deep impact on me. For those that haven't seen it, it's here:

Until I saw that, I had only guessed at the correlation between drug addiction and homelessness. After seeing it, I can see the symptoms in the street people I pass.

As for politics, my current question is: Can I carry out the Great Commission? I don't see how I can do that under the blues until they regain sanity. Hopefully this election will pound some sense into them.

Ohioan@Heart said...

Tim - “Californian cities seem to be doing an almost uniquely terrible job of dealing with” [the homeless problem]. I agree. Mrs Ohioan and I both think that that is because you can be homeless in the winter and not die here. The same can not be said for Minnesota or Michigan (for example). It is possible to survive the winter in NY because of the subway tunnels and they have a large number of homeless.

When you couple that with ridiculous housing costs in CA, it should not be surprising that California is full of Bidenvilles.

Mostly Nothing said...

There is a story here in the Twin Cities of a horrific murder of a toddler by the Mother's (18yo) live in boy friend.

The scumbag beat, abused, and burned with boiling water this innocent little girl.

He is the poster child for progressive soft on crime policies. Progressives have this girls blood on their hands. This sub-human is not reform-able. He needs to be thrown away. I want him off my planet.

Garage Logic spends the first 15 minutes on it for today 10/21.