Wed. Aug. 21, 2019 – more busy, more work

Hot and humid again.  Yesterday had scattered thunderstorms and localized heavy rain.  The north side of town got a bunch and the rivers/creeks/bayous were all high on their banks.

I did pickups and some work cleaning up stuff in storage.  Not anywhere near as much as I needed to get done though.

A couple of days ago my wife had a contractor come and look at finishing our master bath.  This is the one I got half done, as our emergency shelter.  Even leaving off all materials and the extra labor to do the FEMA wall structure, the estimate was over $30K.  Wow.  That is about double what I’d have expected for a normal bath update, complete.  I think my wife might have reassessed my value as a DIYer.  So we’re NOT getting someone in to finish.  I’ve got to suck it up and prioritize getting the room done.  It’s a truism that the longer these projects linger, the more it sets back NEW projects.

Speaking of, I’m not making much progress on the driveway, patio, and garage cleanup.  I’m just not getting stuff out of here quickly enough.  Not sure what I’m going to end up doing about that, but if I can get my other space ready, I can possibly do auctions of much of the stuff that was destined for ebay.  I wouldn’t get as much for it, but it would be gone and I wouldn’t have to ship it.  That is my medium term plan at the moment.

Ham radio lunch today, I’m going to try to make it.  It’s at a location that attracts a few extra guys, and I missed it last time it was there.  Next week it’s down the street from my house, so that one is a no brainer.  Conditions for listening to shortwave or HF have been uniformly bad here at home, and I need to compare with the others to see if it’s just me, or a wider issue.    I think there is some new noise source here, and bad conditions- nice double whammy.

I better get back to it.



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Tues. Aug. 20, 2019 – some small preps

Hot and humid, I’m sure. Yesterday had T-storms scattered around town. Nothing at home or where I was, but I could see them. Hot as blazes too.

I spent part of the day doing auction pickups. I scored some good preps to go along with the fishing poles and reels I got at the yard sale.

At one auction, I got 3 Mr Buddy propane heaters, 3 camelbak backpacks (two minis and one small), a small “tactical” back pack, a big box of fishing tackle, a cast (fishing) net, a really cheap weapon laser (<$50 retail), and some other odds and ends. I now have enough camelbaks for everyone in the family, in an appropriately sized backpack for a day hike, and ‘baks for more serious bags too. I’ve got one just for my Expedition now too, and I should have one just for the ranger as well.

One of the odds was a GunVault Micro. I use one for my Shield when traveling and thought it would be good to have another. I prefer the Mini for everything else. I’ve had the micro not open with the code if there was pressure against the clasp. It always opens with the key though. It’s a good size and shape to fit in a laptop sleeve which obscures it from the kids.

Another odd was a pool pump and filter- the kind for a small wading pool. I’ll test it, then put it up with the vinyl pool that I have “just in case” I need to harvest rainwater. It won’t purify water, but it will do a decent job of filtering out the big stuff. It was less than $16 and falls into the “unlikely but just in case” category. I can always use the pump by itself.

I picked up some stuff to help out my gun store buddy, which is always good, and a few more odds and sods for me. Not much to resell, but good cheap preps.

This particular online auction is mostly store returns and open box merch with some estate stuff mixed in. Go to and drill down to your town to see if you have any similar local online sales. Also try They have more local online stuff. If you treat it like a yardsale, and don’t pay too much, or buy cr@p you don’t recognize the quality and brand, there are bargains to be had. In general I paid 1/3 or less of retail, and so far, it’s been better than I expected.

I also had a chance to pick up some really inexpensive stuff one of my neighbors needs. It can’t hurt to be though well of by your neighbors. Help them out when you can, establish a relationship. Meatspace!

In closer to home news, today at after school care, one daughter got a (baby) tooth knocked out in the gym, and the other snipped off a piece of her knuckle with scissors during an art project. Second day of school. The YMCA that runs the after care didn’t have a first aid kit in the gym, and had to move all the kids together to where the kit was to treat my daughter. Lesson learned for the YMCA counselors I hope. You have two kits, one stays in the gym, one in the cafeteria, FFS.

On the other hand, for some reason, I’m out of knuckle and finger tip bandaids too. I’ll be fixing that later today. I think I threw out the ones I had as they were not Bandaid ™ and had lost their ‘sticky’. If I did, I completely forgot to replace them. Prepper and dad fail. From now on, I’m sticking with the brand name. And I need to go through ALL the kits and check adhesiveness and replace as needed.

Some ebay stuff to do today, and a couple of items to pick up, so I better get tuit…


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Mon. Aug. 19, 2019 – no news is good news

Probably just as warm and wet as usual. I’m writing this last night, so I can be sure and get everyone out the door with a good breakfast this morning. It’s been tight doing it the way I did it last school year.

I’m hoping to get some more work done this week to get another couple of loads to auction. I have some volunteer work wrt my non-prepping hobby on Thur and Fri, and my ham radio lunch on Wed, so it’s gonna be a busy week in any case.

One of the things I’ve been looking at is what food and tools people took with them when they came to the US or emigrated west. I’ve got some lists from the cattle drives, and from Plimoth Colony. If I can get a couple more, I think there is a good article in it.

To be honest, I’m thinking of how I could enter the article contest at Those prizes look sweet, and some of the articles are not great. I could do better, I think. It couldn’t be anything I’ve previously written for here. I feel like I’m cheating a bit whenever I consider it though.

Well, it’s something to think about anyway.

I better get some sleep so I can get up and start this day…


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Sun. Aug. 18, 2019 – saw my shadow

81F and humid this morning.

Back and bladder woke me up. Dreams were unpleasant so I got out of bed much earlier than needed today.

News is all the same as yesterday.

I’m going back to bed.


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Sat. Aug. 17, 2019 – half way through August…

81F and 98%RH at 8am. HOT humid and wet in various places and degrees yesterday. Because the rain was from T-storm cells, it was pretty localized. There were a lot of cells, and they were spread across most of Houston, so you could have rain on the south side of a bridge, and dry on the north. In several places I got pounded so hard you couldn’t see 20 ft, but it didn’t last long.

The news lately is full of stories about individual people. The stories about movements, trends, and actions by state agents are a bit lacking. Watch the other hand…

Lots of errands to run today, kids are doing some activities with friends, and I’ll be able to get out of the house. We’ll see how I do on the list.

Keep stacking, keep working to improve your capabilities and resilience.\


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Fri. Aug. 16, 2019 – another week gone

78F and saturated. All my windows are covered in condensation. That’s never a good sign.

This week blazed by. I got very little done on any front other than starting school.

A few more things were added to the grocery shelves (not literally, the shelves are empty, stuff is going into bins stacked under a tarp until I’m sure the rat problem is over. This makes it much harder to know what I’ve got.)

I did rotate 3 cans of gas and discover that some had evaporated, so that’s something.

Garden is still failing in slow motion.

World is still here, but the rate of change seems to be accelerating. Lawlessness among certain parts of the population seems to be increasing dramatically. The cops are learning a hard lesson at the moment. We’ll be living with the aftermath of that lesson for a while. (Us vs. them only works until ‘they’ realize you can’t be everywhere, or see everything, and depends on the largest parts of society thinking they are more “us” than “them”. ) 800,000 sworn officers of all types in the whole USA. 1.2 million CHL holders in TX alone. Someone get me a number for ex-cons in the USA…

With that cheery thought, what have you done to get ready?


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Thur. Aug. 15, 2019 – first day of school

76F and 99%RH. Rain didn’t continue much past the initial downpour, but the cooler temps did.

First day of school. So exciting, so terrifying!

Most of their immediate classmates will be very familiar to them. The school does move kids between two homerooms to break up cliques and try to keep down the drama. They had 4 kids not return this year, and they have a few new kids in the ‘mainstream’ class. I’ll have to wait a bit to see what the actual enrollment numbers look like, but my guess is fewer than expected overall, especially among the migrants.

Oh, and the bus drivers are all over the scanner today. First day for them too.

Meanwhile, we’re watching to see if commies do what commies usually do in Hong Kong, what the markets will do today, and waiting to see if today is the day it all goes pear shaped. I certainly hope not, I’ve got more stacking to do.

Stay frosty today.


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Wed. Aug. 14, 2019 – meet the teacher

81F and 96%RH this am. Early this am. Did I really get up this early every day for school? Yes I did. I sure don’t feel like it today though.

Today we’ll be meeting the kids teachers and tomorrow is first day of school. Yikes. Fall is fast approaching. I used to consider Fall to be start of school, but we haven’t even had Labor Day yet, and there is plenty of hot sun left in the year.

Our school district added a Chief of Security and Safety. Unfortunately they promoted from within, and although the guy is a 28 year veteran of the District, they didn’t list a single credential related to his new job. They also promised campus based advisor teams, maybe I can get on ours. I guess we’ll see. I think it’s a step, hopefully in the right direction.

The world continues on its way. Perhaps the mess in Hong Kong will keep China’s attention focused inward for a while. Hmm, funny how that might work. How very convenient…

And Epstein’s guards might have been asleep on the job, literally. Funny that a guy so connected, so important as a potential informer, so much the focus of attention, could succeed with a suicide while in custody. No matter which way you look at it, from what starting or ending point, it’s Banana Republic time when it can happen in a federal lockup.

Keep stacking. We are further along than we realize.


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Tues. Aug. 13, 2019 – up early

80F and 95%RH early this morning. Sunny and hot yesterday. Sunny and hot forecast for today.

I’m getting up earlier and earlier this week and waking the kids in a vain attempt to ease into the school year schedule. Heck, I want to be back in bed, they’re practically catatonic.

The world is continuing to change. India and Pakistan are rumbling. Iran, Brexit, Italy….Hong Kong, France….

Financials are starting to show the cracks I’ve seen in the economy too. Gold is up pretty dramatically. Silver too on a percentage basis. Stocks are all over the place but the indexes are generally down. Hedge funds are losing money and closing, with famous guys admitting fundamentals don’t matter anymore, only twitter and headlines and programmed trading. Oh, and Argentina had its stock market lose half its value in one day on political news. Does that sound like a robust economy or a fragile house of cards? In what way is ours fundamentally different?

The “pig ebola” is still wiping out pork in China, and the flooding in the midwest will have an effect on pricing and availability of staples here and abroad.

Real ebola is still spreading. The vaccine has slowed the spread, but if it jumps outside the ring in someplace like Goma, then it’s “game on”.

Lots of doom and gloom.

But, people lived through the collapse of Rome. They lived through the collapse of the British Empire. They lived through the Argentinian collapse, and they’re living through Venezuela’s collapse. Economic collapses don’t kill millions, as Sarah Hoyt points out on her blog. They DO cause severe disruptions in peoples’ lives though. Venezuelans who have taken up prostitution to live are probably not happy about it. Venezuelans who have fled their country by the millions are not happy about it. The ones left behind facing violence, starvation, and lack of medical care aren’t happy, although many will “live through it”.

How we live through it, what we have to do to get through it, those we have some influence over. It may not kill you, but wouldn’t it be nice not to have to eat your pets or sell your daughter to slavers?


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Mon. Aug. 12, 2019 – easy to criticize…

80F and 95%RH this morning.

H/T to CommanderZero for the article link. Someone in his comments points out issues with the study and the authors. Nothing that invalidates my points.

I’m taking a bit of time to fisk this article, ‘cuz preaching to the choir is more fun than whatever I’m supposed to be doing today…

Study Finds Rise In ‘Doomsday Prepping’ Due To Mainstream American ‘Culture Of Fear’
by John Anderer

CANTERBURY, England — “Doomsday prepping” or stockpiling food, medicine, weapons and other supplies in case of an apocalyptic scenario has long been considered peculiar behavior only exhibited by conspiracy theorists and other extremists in the United States.

–really? says who?

However, such prepping has actually been steadily on the rise in the U.S. over the past decade. So, what’s causing this surge in stockpiled rice packets and underground bunkers? One group of researchers say it is an ever growing sense of impending doom in American culture.

–or maybe people are waking up?

Many have speculated that this surge in doomsday preppers over the last 10 years was linked to an extreme political reaction among many conservatives to Barack Obama’s initial election in 2008, but a new study out of the United Kingdom finds that neither the Obama presidency nor extreme right-wing conspiracy theories in general are the main cause of this growing phenomenon.

— hmm, so maybe your per-conceived notions didn’t survive contact with actual fact??

Researchers interviewed preppers from 18 U.S. states and asked about their motivations for stockpiling food and supplies.

–imagine that, actually talking to people and ASKING!

The results indicated that, although most did seem to be conservative and fear liberal policies, the main reason behind their motivations was the overall sense of fear currently dominating U.S. culture across a variety of media channels. Most Americans can’t seem to log online or turn on the television without being hit by a grim view of the future being reported or speculated on.

–so what about the ’70s? Talk about grim futures in media…The Omega Man, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, nuclear winter, Silent Spring, Andromeda Strain, Rollerball, Serpico, Taxi Driver. Ok baby duck, might want to look past the day you were born.

Potential occurrences commonly worried about by preppers include possible economic depressions, terrorist attacks, cyber-attacks, pandemics, or environmental disasters.

–and we know that those are UNPOSSIBLE, because they’ve NEVER happened before, and even if the did, humans are so much better now (despite that pervasive grim future mentioned above.)

Furthermore, researchers say that frequent recommendations from the U.S. government on how to prepare for potential disasters, such as when residents of certain communities are advised to stockpile water in preparation for a hurricane or blackout, have also contributed to the rising number of doomsday preppers in the United States.

–yup, because you’d never want to be prepared when a hurricane is bearing down on you, or the power goes out. And notice the conflating of having some WATER with ‘doomsday prepping.’

The study’s authors say their findings paint a more nuanced picture of doomsday preppers and their motivations, especially since up until now most were simply considered crazy or delusional.

–your editorial comment says more about you than them, baby duck.

According to their results, most preppers don’t believe the world will end tomorrow or a giant meteor will hit the earth at any moment, they simply want to be prepared for anything “just in case” something terrible happens.

–but that can’t be right, because papa gov would never let anything bad happen to them….

Researchers note that while extreme right-wing ideologies don’t seem to be the main cause of these fears and preparations, the general idea among many conservatives that if a Democrat regains control of the White House it will inevitably lead to chaos remains very much connected to the phenomenon of doomsday preppers. At the end of the day, though, that is just another possible event for conservative preppers to fear, and not the main cause.

–seems pretty reasonable fear when mobs are marching in the street calling for conservatives to be exterminated…

“Fear is now deeply entrenched in modern American culture and is the principal reason that so many citizens are engaging in ‘prepping’,” explains lead author Dr. Michael Mills in a release.

According to Mills, these preppers believe that if the worse were to happen, the government’s response simply wouldn’t be adequate and many people would be left to fend for themselves.

–or in other words, they’ve looked at what happened in the previous bad things, and saw the truth.

“Rather than seeing prepping as an exception within America’s right-wing political culture, we ought to see it as being reflective of increasingly established and popular outlooks,” Mills comments.

–and finally a bit of rational thought and honesty, notably from the actual study’s author and not the article’s author.


The mindset of the article’s author sorta stuns me. That willful blindness to reality, and the arrogant assumption that everyone else shares his/her/zer’s worldview is really quite extraordinary for someone who looks around with open eyes and lives in the REAL world.

I’d be willing to bet money that when SHTF, the author cries, pouts, stamps feet, and DEMANDS that anyone better prepared than s/he/zer be forced to share their preps too.

Sorry snowflake, ain’t gonna happen.


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