Tues. Sept. 26, 2023 – Taco Tuesday! Just kidding. Thin gruel again.

Warm and wet. Fall in Houston. Soon enough it will be cold, but maybe we’ll get a bit of Fall in between. It was nice at the BOL until it got hot. And apparently there was a mini-storm at home yesterday evening, but I missed it. Weather. Bah.

I spent yesterday wrapping up some loose ends, and trying to knock off a few smaller projects. It got pretty dang hot in the afternoon, so I took a short breather. Sat in the shade on the dock and watched the hummingbirds for an hour. On of the things I like doing at the BOL is bird watching. I’m not “into” it, but I do think it’s fun to see who’s around and I’d like to encourage more feathered friends to come by. When I noticed the hummingbirds were back, I refilled the feeders. They were nosing around one of my kerosene lanterns (red, and hanging on the dock) which if you squint looks a lot like a feeder…

So I put a feeder down on the dock. They were chasing each other and running each other off of the feeder. The little bodies slamming into each other in flight makes more noise than you’d think, and they vocalize too. We have a little flock, at least 6, maybe more, all swarming that feeder on the dock. It was quite entertaining to sit there and have them just 5 feet away. I got a better look at them than I’ve ever had before, and I’ve never had a chance to watch them interact.

One lesson I learned years ago when I used to travel 100-250 days a year for work- you take your joy where you find it. It was a lot of fun watching the fierce little birds zipping around.

Today it’s “back to reality, back to life” at Casa De Nick. I’ve got to unload my truck, figure out what to do about the limb on my roof, load up more auction stuff, and generally do two days of stuff in one day, to get “caught up.” I should try to make some progress on getting the new “pantry” setup, setup. Or clean my office, or list some ebay stuff, or test some stuff for ebay, or any of the other 10000 things……. Something will get done, we’ll have to see what.


The invasion continues, the political shenanigans are just getting started, the war drums are beating, and the people are pulling back and making plans while looking for someone to blame. Stack what you need. Or go hungry.


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Mon. Sept. 25, 2023 – still working, still sweating…

By on September 25th, 2023 in decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

IDK yet if it rained, but it was still hot when I went to bed. The breeze had picked up and I had a nice night on the dock watching lightning on the horizon. Pretty light show. Supposed to be a little cooler today, but that is predicated on the idea it stormed. Dunno if it did.

I spent most of yesterday in the garage. It was motivated by needing to place the pool table, but you all have heard me talking about cleaning and organizing for several visits. This time, it got done in depth. And it took two days. But now it’s done for a while. There are still things to sort out, and a shed and ‘workshop’ to do the same thing to, which not coincidentally will get even more stuff out of the garage. What I didn’t get done was any exploration of why the irrigation pump stopped working.

So that will be today’s task, weather permitting. Cut the pipes, pull the pump, open it up and see if it’s nothing but GrapeNuts ™ sized pieces of metal, or if there is some other issue. The motor is spinning but the pump isn’t sucking. And that sucks. (ha, couldn’t resist.)

If it is raining I might just call it a day early and head toward home. Plenty to do there too.

There is always plenty to do.

And stacking. There is always stacking to do.


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Sun. Sept. 24, 2023 – a day that won’t live in infamy and probably won’t be special at all…

By on September 24th, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

But it is likely to be hot. We are on the edge of a system and supposed to get rain, which would cool things down a bit, but who knows what will actually happen. It was hot enough yesterday that I was moving slowly and trying to keep up my fluid intake.

Did some cleaning and organizing. LONG overdue but not a priority until now. Didn’t finish so I’ll be continuing that today.

Spent time with the family paying a game and watching a movie, then I spent some time on the dock remembering my absent friends.

The night was warm at 85F but the breeze picked up and it was pleasant over the water. The list of absent friends gets longer, but I suppose that’s how this part of life works. I realize most of them were older than me, 10-20 years, and mentor figures mostly, and I wonder who will sit on a dock remembering me. I left the business without ever being “one of the old guys” and developing relationships with the next generation coming up. I suppose it will be family, and maybe a few guys I’ve never met in real life…

Hopefully that will be decades in the future, and I’ve got some time to work on the next generation. None of us know the appointed hour and some of them had damn little warning, so make the most of what you’ve got.

Do what you can to thrive, not just survive. Stack some stuff, and spend some time on friends and family.


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Sat. Sept. 23, 2023 – 092323 – from dust we were made, and to dust we return

By on September 23rd, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

Cooler up here, but still muggy. No idea what the forecast calls for, except generally hot and humid. The edge of the T-storm zone in the national forecast moved and so Houston and the BOL are not near it anymore, at least for a day or two. Still summertime though and that means hot and humid.

Yesterday was eaten by ducks. I put some details in the comments. Fallen limbs, messed up lock cylinders, stuff to do that didn’t get done… and then finally driving to the BOL.

Today will be clearing a space for the pool table, unloading it from my truck, and looking at the irrigation pump. And any other small thing that pops up. There are lots of things to choose from.

Always be working to improve your position. That means in your social networks too, and I don’t mean social media. Get out and talk to some people today. Reinforce some of the shared bonds.

And stack. You’ll need both.


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Fri. Sept. 22, 2023 – SS, DD. Rinse and repeat…

Cool would be nice, even followed by warm, or hot. Since we’re gonna get the warm and hot, it would be nice to get some cool. It wasn’t cool yesterday morning. Oh, it was cooler, but no chill in the air, and it got H O T hot… It was 88F after dark. National forecast has us on the edges of potential T-storm activity. Now that I’ve got a pool table in my pickup, I REALLY don’t want rain. Usually the edge avoids getting any. Fingers crossed.

So I did get my new pool table picked up. It was heavy. IS heavy. But I managed with help from my wife. I won’t be happy until it’s safely unloaded.

Did my computer repairs too. There is detail in yesterday’s comments, but the short story is– PSU was bad. Got that swapped and I’m back to computing like it’s 2005. Ok, 2010. What can I say, I like what I’ve got and see no reason to change.

Sometimes that’s good. Sometimes it’s not. LED flashlights are an example, as are digital mode trunk tracking scanners. There has been a lot of improvement in some things. Sleep systems, tents, clothing too. Most of us prepping probably acquired stuff some time ago, and it was late in it’s life then. It might very well be completely out of date now, and superseded in almost every way.

Take a look at your preps, and even your daily use items, and look for stuff that has been significantly improved with time. Really consider upgrading anything you identify. Like LED flashlights, modern first aid gear, and food that will store well, we are surrounded by choice and increased function. Take advantage of that.

And stack like your life depends on it.


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Thur. Sept. 21, 2023 – Today we’ll see how clever I am…

By on September 21st, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse, march to war

Cool and damp. Slightly less so than last week. It’s been getting into the low 90s and higher in the sun by later in the day. That’s still pretty hot, and the sun is like a laser roasting the top of your head and back of your legs. Hot.

On Wednesday, I did mostly auction stuff. Two pickups and a drop off had me crossing town. And I had to dig through a storage unit for the drop offs. I did pick up what I hope will be a drop in replacement for my main PC, and some scaffold to use at the BOL. I’ve been trying to buy scaf for a year, but it always goes for too much money. This isn’t what I’d prefer, and it’s too short, but it will do for a start. Turns out that there are a ton of things that make life easier in the country. Scaffolding is one of them. Heavy equipment helps too.

Today will be eaten up with getting a pool table for my wife. Yup, that’s what she wants. So I got one in the auctions and it even comes with all the accessories. But I’ve got to disassemble and transport it. And at some point, someone will have to reassemble it… I really hope it’s a three piece slate. Because my ToDo list is fractal, I need to clean up and move a bunch of stuff to get my drywall cart out of storage, and ready for use. I’m sure there will be more things to do to get ready to do things…too.

While I’m messing around with totally unrelated things, go to the gun store and buy something. Then stack it up.


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Wed. Sept. 20, 2023 – no poking prodding or imaging today…

By on September 20th, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, march to war, personal

Cool and damp, warming later, low to mid 90s by afternoon. Hot in the sun, but cool in the shade. For values of cool, like 84F…

Did my doctors’ appointments yesterday. With one in the morning and one in the afternoon, I didn’t get much else done. Still using my NVR linux box to do all my daily computing since I can’t get my normal daily driver to boot. Hopefully I can sort that out later today.

One of my pickups is a PC that looks like about a 90-100% match for my daily driver. It’s local and I should have it by noon. With any luck I can just swap in my drives and be back in business. Since I don’t know if my issue is MB related or PSU related, that seems like the fastest and safest choice, if win7 will register on new (to me) hardware. I won some other stuff in the same auction (a going out of business auction) that should be handy too, mostly cleaners, paint, bug poison, and hardware. That stuff really adds up when you buy it separately.

After dealing with that, I need to load up and do another auction drop off. That should get one small storage unit to the half way clean point. Progress. Baby steps. Hopefully I’ll be able to pull some from another unit too.

Then I need to figure out how to disassemble and move a pool table. Wife wanted one for the BOL, and I got one… I’m supposed to pick it up on Thursday, but my normal helper buddy isn’t available. I’ll be scratching my head pretty hard today, trying to come up with help.

My imaging yesterday was normal. Barium, it’s what’s for breakfast! Yeah, not horrible, but not tasty either. Meeting with the GI specialist has me scheduled for a much more invasive procedure, in fact one from each end. All y’all were on my case to get that done, and now I will. Next month. But the looksee, snatch and grab fest is scheduled. Getting older isn’t for the weak. I realized that after a 3 year break without seeing doctors, all my new docs are younger than me. Kinda mind F-d me when I realized that. So far I like them all. My primary care doc called me yesterday to review the stuff he’s received from the specialists and the imaging. Never had a doctor initiate anything like that before. Kinda liked it. There was one thing in the CT scan that he wants a more detailed look at, so I’ll be making another appointment later today with yet another guy.

Keeping in mind that everything so far has been negative for issues, and that I’m mostly working a grab bag of things I’ve been putting off for years, it’s worth doing and getting a clean report- especially as things around us fall apart. It’ll be a reassurance to know that the corpus isn’t likely to become a corpse through something I neglected or overlooked. It’s a prep.

Yesterday was the anniversary of the passing of a great friend and mentor of mine. He went in with a complaint of swollen and sore belly, left with 6 weeks to live and a diagnosis of stomach cancer. He made it about 5 weeks. It’s been about two decades and I still miss him. RIP Butch.

Stack up the material goods,but don’t neglect the intangible. You’ll need to be health, and strong in mind body and spirit.


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Tues. Sept. 19, 2023 – running around like a headless chicken…

By on September 19th, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

Cool to start but warming rapidly. And humid. Meanwhile, a couple of hours north, it’s below 70F at night, and the leaves are turning…

Did several smaller things on The List ™ at the BOL yesterday. Then I spent a while chatting with my buddy and his wife while evening fell. Finally got all my stuff put away and headed home.

Power had been out in our neighborhood for 2 hours. Wife and kids were grumpy. So grumpy. Can’t put off the transfer switch and gennie work any longer. That is three times now in less than 2 month that we’ve had outages lasting more than 2 hours. Not encouraging.

PC needs work too. I’ll try a new PSU first. Didn’t want to dig it out from under the desk and fall down that rabbit hole again. Not now anyway, but it won’t start up. I miss the days of actual power switches. I REALLY hope the new PSU does the trick. I’m in no mood to rebuild my main PC.

Today though, I’m doing Dr. appointments. One in the morning, one in the afternoon. Y’all said “get checked out” so I am. Thoroughly. Rubber glove and invasive cameras thoroughly. So far, nothing wrong. There are still places they haven’t yet looked though. Those places are next. Joy. At least we still have a medical system, and it still works reasonably well.

If you’ve got any mystery issues, or anything that might need attention, this is as good a time as any to get them looked at. I’ve put it off as long as I could, but that was dumb. Our world could change tomorrow. It does that periodically. Don’t get caught wishing you’d had something fixed while you had the chance.

Stack up some health care… while you can.


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Mon. Sept. 18, 2023 – kid’s will have to get themselves ready for school…

By on September 18th, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse

Cool to start, warm later, and maybe even hot, before it cools off again. Yesterday followed that pattern. Fall is in the air at the BOL if not yet in Houston.

I didn’t do any big projects yesterday. I did a bunch of little things though. Main effort was cleaning up the dockhouse, as I’ve stashed bins full of electrical and plumbing supplies there while I was working. I’m done in that area, so I should clean up after myself. I don’t have a good place for that stuff to live long term, so I’ll probably end up stacking it in the garage and moving it several more times.

I also did a bit of prep for a post/column replacement project. It will take more time than I had this visit, but at least I’ve got some of it ready. They hold up a porch roof on the dock house, and they need to be replaced. Everything is there now, and ready to go.

Did some fishing. At one point I could see 4 or 5 big fish hunting in a pack. They were doing lazy circles in the cove, occasionally snatching a smaller bait fish. I tried 3 different baits, but didn’t get any hits. I watched them and tried for about 45 minutes. They had to be 18-24 inches long maybe longer.

I’d really like to start catching something…

And the fall garden probably needs to go in the ground if I’m going to try this year. Maybe I’ll get some work done on it next weekend.

There’s always a list of things that need doing.

And things that need stacking.

Get busy! Stack your own stuff.


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Sun. Sept. 17, 2023 – chores, then home…

By on September 17th, 2023 in culture, decline and fall, lakehouse, personal

Cool. Actually cool. 70F when I went to bed. Yesterday ended up being nice up here, cooler and relatively clear. I’m hoping for a cooler day today as I try to get some actual stuff done.

Saturday I got my CT scan then headed to the BOL. I did two pickups on the way. Another 100 gallon rain water collection barrel, and a metal cabinet. The barrel will stay up here, the cabinet too. I’ll bring a couple of cabinets home with me when I leave. It should make for better pantry storage than what I’ve been doing. I’m hoping that two of them are pretty much the same size, just for appearance’s sake.

I cut the grass when I got here, then spent some time fishing and talking with my buddy. He’s on a fixed income and the rise in inflation is putting a serious crimp on him and most of the people he knows. Things are trending downhill fast.

I also noticed three new “For Sale” signs on my way, closer to the BOL. I’ll have to do some looking around, but one was some land that had been in timber. They’ve harvested the trees, and it looks like they’re selling now. The others will take a bit of research. I see it as another indicator that people are trying to raise cash.

Hard times are here. The number of people noticing seems to be what’s increasing now.

Be alert for opportunities.
Stack what you need.


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