Thur. Jun. 30, 2022 – gotta get busy

Hot and humid, but a bit less thanks to the rain… which came late yesterday afternoon.  It was 79F when I went to bed, so not exactly cool…

Spent yesterday doing auctions and email.  Felt pretty much back to normal, if a bit fatigued.   Turns out D1 had a Dr appointment, right smack in the middle of my normal day, so that kinda kept me home anyway.   I did get some grocery shopping done, and picked up a few cans and other things for the BOL.  One consideration is, do I stock the BOL with all new stuff, so it lasts the longest, or transfer existing stuff, most of which is aging with some small chance I will use it soon?  I will probably end up doing some of both, but it is a consideration.

There is a fair amount of wildlife at the  BOL.  So far, besides fish and turtles, I’ve seen deer, a beaver, a momma raccoon, and the kids saw a possum.   Snakes too, and birds of course.  Supposedly there are armadillos being pests and digging under foundations in the neighborhood but I’ve never seen one.  The neighbors have also taken wild pigs, so I know they are around in the nearby woods.   The longer I’m up there, and the more I look, the more I see.  Oddly, very few squirrels, although one neighbor is supposed to be death on squirrels so maybe that’s why.  Lots of free range tucker if needed…

But the stories I’ve read have the local animal and vegetable population quickly reduced to nothing, in the event that people start eating them in earnest.  So I am not counting on “living off the land” or even the small part of the land I have as a garden.   I’m stacking food in cans for that.

Definitely, learn about the food that currently surrounds you wherever you are.   And it may provide variety and a supplement to whatever you’ve got stored or can buy.  But don’t think it will be enough to sustain you and yours if push comes to shove.

Stack food.  And friends.  You’ll need both.

nick

 

Wed. Jun. 29, 2022 – sweet home, or sweat home?

Hot and humid.   Natch.  Being Houston TX and all…   still, unseasonably reasonable would be nice once in a while.   Probably get to over 100F here in the swamp.

I’ll be doing things to get ready for not being here for a few days.   In a few days.   And I’ll be doing the pickups I delayed due to the koof.

And yes, I will be looking at some upgrades to surveillance here…  and a gate latch for the driveway.

This local crime spree (see yesterday’s comments, late) was one kid.   I’m sure we’ll see more going forward though.   Time to review your physical security and cams to prosecute.  Or to know better what happened so you can work on it not happening again.

The easiest thing, and free to boot, is LOCK YOUR LOCKS.   If it has a lock on it, use it.   If it has a place for a lock, put a lock on it.   Your zip code won’t protect you.   It will determine likelihood, but not possibility.

Even if you can’t do the physical hardening now, buy the stuff to do it.    There are several discussions here about hardening your home, the search tool should find them, with specific products listed.  Your  local PD might even offer free review of you security situation, or your insurance might offer the same service.  If you don’t have a good idea what to look for, take advantage of the help.

I’ll note that this kid, and every other one I’ve looked at committing crimes on video, was not at all concerned about lighting.   The motion activated light just helped him search for something to steal.   The lights do make for better recordings, and help YOU to see the perp…  but don’t expect them to keep away bad guys or make them flee.

People are going to get desperate.  They are going to be emboldened.   Harden your home, and harden your heart.

n

and stack some stuff

Tues. Jun. 28, 2022 – headed home later

Hot and humid, but less of both than Houston proper.  It got plenty hot yesterday but I did a bunch of work anyway.

Weeded the garden.  Not seeing any veg plants.  Could be a total failure.   Well, I’ll learn something in any case.

Cut the grass, did extra string trimming for the big holiday weekend, and poisoned the ant mounds I felt comfortable using the poison on.

Cut the grass in the adjacent community lot and boatramp too.   I was on the mower, had enough gas, and was feeling pretty good.   It coincidentally let me explore an unimproved version of my lot.   I’m pretty sure it was deeded to the HOA because of the little creeks running through it.   There would be some challenges building on it.   Nothing you couldn’t overcome for lakefront land, but not as simple as throwing up a house.  Anyway, we missed the community cleanup event so I felt like it would be a good deed in advance of the busiest weekend of the year.

You might guess I was feeling pretty good.   I’m headed home today because I think I’ve finished with this cold.  Cough may stick around for a while, but I felt pretty much normal all day.

I’ll get a couple more things done, after sleeping as long as I can, and then I’ll head home to reload and head back, in a couple of days.

My buddy is giving me more contractor names, so maybe we can get moving.  Or maybe it will be more of the same, but at least it MIGHT move.

FWIW, this is apparently a great time to be a contractor.   More work than you can do, and people are resigned to paying high prices.   If you can get the stuff to do the job, Robert is your father’s brother…

If you think you might need work done, you better stack up the stuff you will need.   Because it might not be there later.

So stack it up.   And start collecting names of contractors and tradesmen.  You will need them eventually, and it can’t hurt to be known to them.  Meatspace.

Oh, turns out there was some petty crime drama at home while I was up here.   More on that later.

Stack it up!

nick

Mon. Jun. 27, 2022 – rain last night

After a quiet and hot  day, it rained late last night.  Temps dropped, moisture fell from the sky.   NO idea what effect it will have on today’s weather, but I’m guessing it’ll still be hot and humid.

Did some small thing yesterday but mostly hid from the heat and continued my convalescence.  No point in taking a step back because I pushed too hard.

There were a bunch of piddle around things to do, so I did some of them after dinner.   Unboxed and set up the new string trimmer, a couple of small ottomen, brought the tv in from the garage and set it up.

The TV powers on, has internal menues but no channels, and can’t see the external blueray player, so more to do there.    I have an amplified antenna, but may not set it up.  TV isn’t a priority for us, and especially not here but having the ability to watch a movie would be nice.  As to no picture, the TV could have a blown input card, the blueray player might be NFG or, most likely, the HDMI cable is bad.  Everything came out of my junk box, and I didn’t bring spares.   I guess I could try the wii console later, if I get motivated.

Today’s plan will depend on how I feel, and the weather.   I would like to cut the grass before it gets too hot.  And I can do more sprinkler work if I go slow.  Or there is plumbing inside that needs attention… we’ll see how it goes.

Seems like summer riot season started a bit late this year, but I suppose it’s getting in full swing.   Keep your awareness up, and avoid trouble.

You should be able to stay away from trouble, if you’re prepped up….

More than one reason to stack all the things!

Seriously though, stay safe out there.

nick

Sun. Jun. 26, 2022 – isolated, sorta

By on June 26th, 2022 in Random Stuff

Here a few hours north of Houston, it will be hot, and maybe even humid, but LESS of both and that is oh so nice.

I’m here at the BOL by myself so the kids and my wife don’t get the ‘rona.   Which I’m still not sure I actually have.  I’m sick, and the chinese booger test was positive, but I only have cold symptoms and mild ones at that.   It would be unfair to people who really got sick with the chinkyflu to claim I’ve got it.  Floating on the water last night, I felt completely and perfectly fine.

I’m still a bit sick, head isn’t back to full engagement, and I’m still coughing occasionally.  So I’ll take it super easy for the next couple of days.  I’ve got plenty of simple tasks that shouldn’t be too tasking.  Hah!

I did bring up more long term storage food, and some other stuff to improve the readiness here.

I’ll take a good look and weed the garden later today too.   I can see what looks like bean plants.  Don’t see anything in the squash mounds, and don’t see any carrot greens either, so those might be a bust.   I’ll know better when I cut the grass, and remove the hardware cloth screens.

One of the other things I need to do is figure out where some fruit trees can go, and where the berries should be planted.  I’m thinking the fruit will have to be in the front, near the road.   Less than ideal, but it needs light and space.   The good spots in the back (lake side) are too shaded.   The septic drip field will use most of the available space that gets sun.  No planting trees there.

I spent some time yesterday working on the existing sprinklers.  I don’t want to spend too much effort as they will need to be ripped out and redone after the septic field goes in, but it would be nice to have grass until then.   I got the pump running, found a bunch of broken sprinkler heads, and started fixing stuff.  I think the whole half of the yard with no sprinklers must be the existing leach field.  Either that, or I haven’t found the buried heads yet.  Grass isn’t growing there anyway, but the weeds are getting ‘crunchy’.

Dang fire ants about ate me alive while I was working on the sprinklers.   They are a real issue as most if not all the good poisons are deadly to aquatic life and not allowed near the lake.  I’m going to be spot applying the granules instead of broadcasting them, but I’ll kill the dang things.   Can’t even use the yard with them there.  If anyone knows a  good way to kill them without poisoning the lake, please let me know.   A cursory search of the shelves at Lowe’s didn’t turn up a product.

See, plenty to do.  So I better do something.  Besides stacking.  But stack some stuff too.

nick

Sat. Jun. 25, 2022 – as I flee before the onslaught, err, the return, err, the kinder..

By on June 25th, 2022 in Random Stuff

Hot and humid again.   Bet it’s cooler by the lake.

It was 96F at 8pm yesterday, and that was when it finally started to cool off.

I spent the day online, and asleep.

Coughing continues to get a little worse, and I felt kinda light headed most of the day.  Took another test, same maker, and was positive within seconds…

so I’m off to the lake for a couple of days.   D1 and D2 arrive home from camp today, and D2 will be headed back out tomorrow, but only if she doesn’t have a wuflu exposure.   So I’m outta here for a couple of days.  Wife tested again and is still negative.

I don’t think I’ll get much if anything done at the lake.  I’m not really feeling up to power tool usage.  Don’t even want to drive really, but I also don’t want to spoil D2’s plans.   So I’ll sleep, read, and putter for a day or two.   Then home in time to pack up for returning for the Fourth.  It’d be cheaper and less hassle to get a hotel room but then I’d be exposing those folks.  Assuming I’m not just sick with a cold.

In any case I’ll get another truck load of stuff up there.

So that’s me, load the truck and be gone before the kids get home.

I’ll be stacking some more up there, so let that be an example for you too.  Stack, stack, stack it up…

n

Fri. Jun. 24, 2022 – still sick with the ‘rona, if that’s what it is…

Hot and humid.  83F when I went to bed, and only hotter after getting up and facing this day.   (unless something very strange happened after I went to bed.)  And it will probably be well over 100F today.

Spent yesterday asleep and online.  Did some auction stuff but mostly just hung out and went back to bed.

Plan to do mostly the same today.

Cough is worse.  Sounds worse anyway.   More stuff coming up too.   I still feel like it’s just a bad cold, with a bit of goofiness around the edges.  I am not flying to Chicago next Wednesday.  Pretty sure about that now.  And I’m not going to be out and about, because even if it is just a cold, no one wants me coughing around them.

OF COURSE, when I’ve got both kids out of the house, and big plans to get a bunch of work done…   I don’t.  And I’m not going to the store.  Or doing a whole bunch of stuff that will then push into next week, or the week after.  Gah.   Getting sick sucks.   Although it’s hard to b!tch if this is wuflu, as it’s been pretty mild.

Just ‘cuz I’m sidelined though, doesn’t mean YOU can’t keep stacking… so get to it!

n

Thur. Jun. 23, 2022 – faux xi flu update, and general nonsense

By on June 23rd, 2022 in open thread, personal, WuFlu

Hot and humid, not really much relief due to yesterday’s small rain.  It did rain at my house, so that was nice.  It was still 80F when I went to bed for the night.

Spent the day alternately online and sleeping.   Felt only slightly worse when I went to bed.  Coughing is slightly more frequent, and is productive.  Aches continue.   Brain feels a bit fuzzy.   Still just self medicating and sleeping.

Still have weird patches of sore skin, that move and change with time.  Only hurt with contact.   Weirdness.

Can taste and smell.

Don’t really feel up to real work or even reading, but if I had to, I could.   Really just like a cold so far.

Hope I’m done by the time the kids get home, and that the wife avoids getting it.

Hope the rest of you are still stacking…

 

n

Wed. Jun. 22, 2022 – chinese bioweapon update, and stuff

By on June 22nd, 2022 in open thread, personal, WuFlu

Hot, because Houston.  Humid, because Houston.

Over 100F yesterday and some parts of town did get rain.   The freeway was wet in the downtown area as I did my pickups.  The sun was like a laser burning my scalp too.  Blue sky and fluffy clouds LOOK nice, but whooo boy it was hot.

Posting the Tuesday night so I can get to bed and sleep in.

Went to bed Monday with a vague headache, but then had really bad chills.  No fever, just felt cold.  Double blanket solved that.  Woke up feeling like I had a mild hangover, some body aches, like I needed to stretch after sitting too long, and the barest suggestion of  a headache.  No fever.

Started my day, but my wife suggested I do the covid test just to be sure, and WHADDA YA KNOW.    Chinese “certificate” in the box didn’t exactly inspire confidence.  It did inspire anger that they are STILL profiting from this mess.

Kids had a test Sunday before camp and were negative.   Wife did her test when she got home from work yesterday and was negative.  I hope that continues to be the case.

Me?  I’m off to bed again.  I’ll check in during the day.  Sleep is usually my best medicine.

And I’ve got stuff stacked if I don’t feel better today.

Stack some stuff,

nick

Tues. Jun. 21, 2022 – not for the weak

Hot, “but of course”… and humid, ‘cuz we “can’t have one without the other” in Houston.  Temps are creeping up as summer continues.  No end in sight, just gotta let the calendar run.

No rain in sight either, despite being on a little spur of “thunderstorms and rain possible” on the national forecast.

Did some things yesterday.  Less than I’d hoped despite the early start to my day.   Today will have to be long and have a lot of driving as a consequence.    I may head to the BOL with a truck load late in the day.  I’ll have to see how it shapes up.  Not that I can afford to not do things around the house.  I cut the grass yesterday and had to take half width passes or the mower would stall.  The grass was LONG.  There is a lot of stuff I’ve been putting off or haven’t gotten to and it’s all stacked up.

We’ll see how it goes.

Spent some time chatting with a friend.  He’s really p!ssed about what’s going on in the country.   His family has some medical setbacks, and some financial hardships and neither is getting better as the economy craters.  He’s not the only one I talked to this past week that lamented that his kids aren’t going to have a world like he did to grow up into.   If we get the depression that seems to be coming he’s absolutely right.   Growing up during that will mark our kids forever.   I had a great aunt who was young during the “Great Depression” of the 30s.   Even long afterwards, when she was well off, she’d STILL buy canned goods with no labels that had been marked down so she could save money, and get more food.

If there’s anyone here who has never wondered what they were going to eat, not “which of these things should I eat” but “what can I find to eat”, I’ll tell you it changes you.   Doesn’t matter if that situation is long or short term, although how you change and the magnitude of the change are different, you CHANGE.    If you’ve never had a meal ONLY because someone saw what was going on and gave you food to eat, or if you’ve never eaten an onion sandwich because that’s all that was in the house, or if you’ve never stolen food to eat, well, you are in for some new experiences coming soon to a place near you.  UNLESS YOU PREP.

I know it’s doom and gloom and it seems really hard to believe it could happen here.   It DID happen here.   We are NOT in a better place if it happens again.   We aren’t a cohesive nation with a common society, and a history of toughness and individuality, coupled with a strong civic sense of community and responsibility anymore.  There are pockets of that, but even outside the cities, illegal immigration and drugs like meth and cannabis have splintered and destroyed communities.   The people growing weed in the national forest in Oklahoma are not stand up citizens.   The people cooking meth in no tell motels are not going to support  their neighbors in a time of trial.  That stash house on the county lane with 22 illegals locked inside isn’t going to lend a helping hand if you need one.

Hard times are coming and if you don’t believe that and do something about it you will not get through it to the other side.   Whatever Russia and Ukraine would have exported to feed other countries isn’t there.  It won’t be there NEXT year either, no matter what happens with Vlad and the Ukrainian money laundry this year.   Those crops are not in the ground.   The tractors are not in the equipment sheds.  We are looking at crop issues ourselves, and our reserves have been tapped for the last few years due to floods and poor harvests and the wuflu nonsense.  Those people in far off lands will DEMAND food.   Governments will provide it or fall.   Ours is likely to starve us so that they can play their games overseas, because that is what they do.   They send $40B to Ukraine, but cut benefits to seniors and vets (if not already then coming soon.)  You can be sure that there will be USAID food “relief” provided for all the starving kids in africa, and we’ll have our own starving kids.

Don’t put yourself and your loved ones in that position.   Stack some food now.  You can always eat it later if I’m wrong, you are just pulling the spending and the stacking forward in time.   And it’s still cheap compared to what it will cost when it goes pear shaped.   Remember when we were watching Venezuela?  There was never one point where you could say “OK, that’s it, I’m outta here” based on one change or one condition.   People just woke up two years later and there was no food to eat, no meds at the hospital, and their savings were worthless.  It happened incrementally.   WE ARE GOING THROUGH THE SAME THING.   Inflation is robbing us of purchasing power.  Our money buys less every day.   If the deflation sets in, the prices (for some things) will crash, but there won’t be anything left to buy or anyone who can buy it.

The decline in the stock market in 2008 worked the same way.   Look at the charts, small ups and downs but the overall trend was down.

Our stores are short on goods.  Our pharmacies are short on meds.   Civic services are deteriorating, or taking longer to get the same service as the past.  Those are all signs it is already underway.  Does anyone thing it will all be back to “normal” in 3 months?  Or 6?  If so, why?  And if not, then DO SOMETHING.

Like stacking all the things…

nick