Sun. Jan. 26, 2020 – did I mention I had two extra 10yo girls last night?

Cool and rainy. [63F and 99%RH]

Rain started late last night, around 11pm. It wasn’t bad during the day with mostly overcast skies and shirtsleeve temps.

Last night was sleepover night for two of my daughter’s school friends. They were up late, scaring themselves. There is a self reinforcing behavior spiral that they get started on. Not just convincing themselves that there is a monster outside, but for other things too, like guilt. Not fun to short circuit that.

And the Girl Scout cookies arrived by the van load during the day.

I was out, doing deals and stocking up. I’ve got a craigslist sale later today. Finally.


I’ve said before, I’m treating this coronavirus as an incoming Cat5 hurricane. It FEELS a lot like the start of the zombie apocalypse in the John Ringo novels. My biggest concern is that the actions the chinese are taking do not match the numbers or the reported threat levels.

Aesop, who was a voice for MAX RESPONSE during the first Ebola epidemic is the voice of moderation in this one. He’s got training, experience, and is on the front line,so I’m not discounting his opinion. I’m considering that he’s basing it on info out of china, though, and if that info is bad, so can the conclusions be…

My personal red line for this will be the start of person to person transmission in the US. Right now, it seems that every foreign infection started in China. Once we have it in the wild in the US all bets are off.

So, touch up those preps people. And stay tuned.


Sat. Jan. 25, 2020 – oh, little china girl, oh oh oh oooh….

Cool and damp. [51F and 92%RH at 9am]

Yesterday was clear and beautiful. Today the national forecast is for rain in Houston. We’ll see, I hope not.

I may grab the kids and go buy more masks. Amazon is sold out of some brands and styles already. China is panicking. I might be able to make a bit of money, and provide a public service. . .

I’m not panicked yet, and don’t want anyone to do so, BUT if this takes off it will do so very quickly. It will appear as if it is suddenly everywhere at once. Act now, beat the rush. For me, when it starts to spread from a “returner” to people here by person to person contact, I will look hard at pulling up the drawbridge. Until then, I’m upping my readiness as much as I can. If we start to see cases that don’t involve a “returner” at all, then it’s crunch time.

Think about child care, work situation, food, etc if this gets bad and congregating gets banned and the schools close. Make any preparations you can that won’t commit you to something irrevocable if it doesn’t go to hell. Start your ‘battle space preparation’ with any significant others.

Pray it’s a non-event.


Fri. Jan. 24, 2020 – another week gone bye bye bye

Cool and damp. [39F and 99%RH] Of course.

It stayed a bit coolish and dampish all day yesterday, although the rain mostly stayed away. I’m hoping for no rain today. Temps were 44F when I went to bed.

Busy week for me, and it didn’t leave much time for preps. I am feeling caught off guard by the sudden change in the china virus status. Fortunately the extreme case has the same preps as our old friend ebola, without the blood. Unfortunately, I think people won’t be as freaked out without the whole ‘sh!tting yourself to death while your eyes bleed’ aspects and won’t isolate themselves appropriately.

I don’t have anywhere near enough PPEs to interact with people in a mostly normal way if that is what’s needed. I intended to severely limit any contact at all, not don a mask and go shopping….

I guess we’ll see how things progress, but we should have at least a couple of days before any panic starts here. Think hard about stocking up on some stuff, like any masks, tyvek, bleach, wipes and hand sanitizer, and snivel gear for dealing with flu symptoms. I haven’t seen much about actually treatment/care for patients, but you can be sure that it won’t take long if there is an outbreak to saturate available care facilities. I don’t even know if we ever got restocked on IV fluids after the shortage. Puerto Rico has had their own issues and that’s where most of it came from.

I know our Habitat ReStore has shelves full of 3M surgical style face masks and they are cheap. I’ve already bought what I thought was a good amount, but now I want more. I don’t think there will be a run on them at the ReStore. (or anywhere in the US, yet). That said, I’m headed there today and I am going to stock up if they’re still on the shelf.

I’m going to treat this as if there was a hurricane headed straight toward us. I REALLY don’t like the way the numbers are quickly ratcheting up, or the revelations about the spread. I’m aiming for ‘better safe than sorry.’

I know, it’s always something, and the sky doesn’t usually fall, but this feels weirder than normal.

Lots of driving around today, so I’ll be out of the loop on news, and updates. Keep an eye on it….


Thur. Jan. 23, 2020 – second volunteer day

Wet and cool.

Rained most of last night. We had just over an inch total for the day at 11pm and it was still coming down fairly hard.

I’ll be at school doing the Fifth grade classes. We’re going to do the same thing again as the Fifth graders haven’t seen this activity before. Saved me coming up with something new yesterday evening too.

I got a funny email the other day. It was from Basecamp, the online project management and collaboration site that was all “web 2.0”. It let me know that my account was going to be deleted for inactivity. So I logged in. It has been 10 1/2 YEARS since I used their site. That’s a long time to carry an inactive account 🙂 they are still there though, and still look about the same as they did. Their emphasis was on simplicity and limited features.

It made me feel old. I’ve been using AOL longer than some of the teachers at the kids’ school have been alive.


Speaking of being alive, the chinese coronavirus is here in the US, and spreading throughout the world. No way they get this genie back in the bottle. This bears close watching. It’s pretty lethal and they say it already mutated. If you haven’t made preps to stay home and wait for it to burn out, you might want to stack some food and necessities. If it takes off, you will NOT want to be around people. I figure we’ve got a week, if it’s bad and takes off, before the panic starts. Maybe two weeks or a bit longer if it takes a while for the deaths to start. Not kidding, and not fun.

Go out and buy some food. And face masks are gonna disappear from the shelves pretty dang quick.


Wed. Jan. 22, 2020 – volunteer day today so short shrift

Cold and wet.

42F when I got up yesterday by the kitchen thermometer. It did get nicer as the day wore on, and it was clear and sunny, but it cooled back down by evening.

I’ve got my Hands On science day today, so I’ll be out all morning. We’re going to erode some dirt with water and wind… and talk about our ever changing planet. My last slide says “Despite all this, we live in a golden age where more people have more food, health, and wealth than ever before.” and I’ll wrap by saying that it’s all because of…. SCIENCE!


Tues. Jan. 21, 2020 – back at it

Cold and wet.

It stayed pretty cool yesterday. Clear and sunny though, which was nice.

The Virginia buffalo jump turned out ok after all. Thank God. And some of the coverage at least was fairer than I expected. The contrast to antifa and BLM rallies was striking. Physical fitness is also clearly not a priority for either the demonstrators or the cops standing by. I hope they have beans as well as bullets stacked up.

Spent some time talking to my dentist yesterday about liberty issues, and hobby gardening. Meatspace!

I’ve got some auction pickups today. I know I said I was gonna cut back, but I also believe you have to buy it when you see it. All useful and needful things.

My science class is tomorrow and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be covering. I need to get that sorted out today too.

And all the usual things need doing this week, including grocery shopping… The week seems two days shorter whenever I lose a Monday. So sad.

So I’m off to get started.


Mon. Jan. 20, 2020 – unhappy anniversary

Cool and damp.

Today is the two year anniversary of the passing of Robert Bruce Thompson. It seems incredible to me that two years have passed both because it doesn’t seem that long, and because that means I’ve done more than 700 blog posts (wordpress says 756 of 3157).

When some men die, it’s as if a library burned, and that is certainly true for Bob. I thought to ask him a chemistry question just a couple of days ago. His books and kits go a way toward filling the gap, but the gap remains.

I’m enormously grateful for all the people who visit and comment here and help keep the place a living legacy. My sincere thanks for hanging around. It is the commentors and exchanges in the comments that make this place what it is. And I couldn’t do it without Rick’s help and support.

So please, take a moment, raise a glass to absent friends. Remember those who have gone before us, and those left behind.


Sun. Jan. 19, 2020 – family home later

Cooler and damp.

Yesterday the sun eventually came out, leading to a fairly nice early evening. I got my Jack in the Box dinner, and then fell asleep in my office chair. Wild women and parties, indeed.

From the news–

-I hope this isn’t a surprise to anyone here:

EXCLUSIVE: Secret document that PROVES Iran was building a nuclear weapon as far back as 2002 – even while they claimed the technology was only for peaceful purposes

The document was seized as part of a raid by Israeli intelligence agents on a compound in Tehran in 2018
It is from an Iranian official requesting the parameters of a warhead fitted on a missile in November 2002
Scribbled in the top left corner is a note from regime’s nuclear chief Moshen Fakhrizadeh, who signs off plans
Document forms the centrepiece of an as-yet unreleased report highlighting Iran’s ‘clandestine’ nuclear

–you know, or it could be a brilliant forgery designed to lead us by the nose. Since it’s opposite what BHO pushed, I’m inclined to go with “truth”.

-OR this, again, no one paying attention here should be surprised:

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies are using a new facial recognition app that can reveal names and addresses of unknown individuals by comparing them to THREE BILLION images scraped from the internet

More than 600 police departments are said to be using the Clearview AI app
The app reportedly uses facial recognition AI to match uploaded photos to the three billion images it has in its database
The database contains images gathered from all over the internet and can include identifying details, such as names and addresses
Police have said that they were able to solve cases by using Clearview AI

–the ability to remain anonymous is going to become the new status symbol of the truly powerful.

–I’m pretty sure that NO ONE at the Virginia demonstration will remain anonymous. Someone has to do it, but I’m not going.


I better get the house cleaned up before everyone gets home!


Sat. Dec. 18, 2020 – girls are away and the mouse will play!

Cooler and wet.

Got mist and rain throughout the area and the day yesterday, with the sun peeking through in the afternoon. I’m hoping my wife and girls don’t get wet for their Girl Scout camp weekend.

Speaking of which, the dog and I are gearing up for our wild women and parties weekend…. anyone know any? I thought I might watch an R rated movie or something last night, but instead I messed around on the internet. Like every night. My big splurge was supposed to be an Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger, fries, and a vanilla shake, but I forgot on the way home. So I had leftovers. Wahhhhh.

Almost all of my auction pickups were items for the household. Only one lot is at all prepping, and only if it comes to war. Not the most productive week. I do have an excuse- I’ve got the same crud clogging up my head and lungs that the rest of the area does. I’m better, but still not 100%.

After sleeping in a bit, I’ve got more pickups and the same old stuff to do. Maybe my potential ebay buyer will commit. He’s in Puerto Rico, using auto translate. He made an offer on an item, but the “free” shipping will be high. I can’t judge his offer until I get a shipping quote, and UPS won’t give me one without a street address. The potential buyer can’t give me his (ebay policy) and UPS claims that ever address I get from the google maps is invalid. I don’t think I’ll be able to accept the guy’s offer. This is one of the pitfalls of offering “free shipping” like ebay encourages you to do. In reality the shipping cost comes out of the sale price, and I can’t control the cost, so my profit depends on where someone lives…. (on this item, which is 30 pounds)

Jeez I’m whiny today.

Well, I better get something done.


Fri. Jan. 17, 2020 – finally Friday

Warm and wet. [61F and drizzle/heavy mist]

This week took it’s own time to end. Despite that, I’m farther behind than when I started.

In terms of preps, I’m still mainly buying things. With the rain, I haven’t been able to do some of the organization and cleanup I need to do.

On the other hand, I’m working the meatspace thing. I am gratified to learn that our school district has finally begun implementing some of the things I’ve been agitating for- stop the bleed training, and bleeding control kits. On the gripping hand, getting involved in School Board and school stuff takes a lot of time, and has a steep learning curve. The amount of insular, clannish nonsense is astounding. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this clusterflock.

One of my EMS/Fireservice newsletters has links to new policy and direction from FEMA this week.

FEMA releases updated Community Lifelines resources

Lifelines are critical services that enable communities to function. Examples
include communications, energy and security. When these Community Lifelines
are disrupted by an emergency or disaster it is crucial to stabilize them as quickly
as possible to support the needs of the community during response and recovery.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the updated
“Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0” and the “Incident Stabilization
Guide.” These documents provide updated information and resources so the
emergency management community can better understand and implement
Community Lifelines.

Since its creation, the lifelines concept has been widely accepted throughout the
emergency management community, because the simplicity and plain language
used for lifelines eases coordination and communication among partners at
multiple levels.

This is a different way of looking at disasters, and framing the question of “What has happened, what needs doing, and who should do it?” FEMA and other EMgmt agencies will be using this framework during your next disaster. Like getting Incident Management training, CERT training, etc, I think it’s important to understand where .gov is coming from and what you can expect them to do.

Further, their list of lifelines makes a pretty good starting list for personal preps, organized by criticality and grouped logically.

I’ll be out and about doing pickups and running errands most of the day, once I leave the house. I’ll be home in the late afternoon to send the girls off to camp though. Then it’s wild women and parties for the weekend……