Month: November 2017

Saturday November 11, 2017

Update from Barbara,
It was 23 degrees when I took Colin out at 6:30.

It’s been a week since Bob first went to the hospital. He had a balloon put in yesterday and will have a pump put in Sunday to help his heart while they do the bypass.

Colin still goes out to the garage to look for Bob when I come home. Even though I see Bob at the hospital I miss having him at home. On days when he does not have procedures I stay in Sparta to take care of the home front.

Thanks to his readers for all the great support.

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Fri, Nov 10, Nick still….

Today started a bit on the cool side, high 40s, low 50s and you could see your breath.

Nice clear sky.


As this is “the end of the week” I expect our host is currently under the knife, or will be soon. Barbara and Bob, please accept what spiritual support we can offer, and give us an update when you are able.


Perhaps more later.


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Thur, Nov 9, Nick posting….

Today dawned cool and dreary, low 50s and overcast, after a night of misty drizzle. I scratched my dog’s ears and belly, which always makes me feel better.

I hope everything is proceeding normally for our host, Barbara, and OFD. Once again, our prayers and best wishes to you.


On another note entirely, I’m pretty sure hell has another inmate today, as Florida State Prison has one less.

“Double-murderer is cursed by victim’s relative who waves ‘bye, bye’ as he is executed after a last meal”

I have a personal connection to this crime and this murdering scumbag and his accomplices. For 26 years the ripples from his crime have affected loved ones, who I hope can get some peace now.

I don’t understand the DM’s love affair with last meals, and I can only hope that everything they gave this scumbag was off in some way- burned, undercooked, salty, cold, whatever. No way should he get anything that he asked for. He already got 26 years more life than his victims, and the one thing their families want the most can’t be given to THEM.


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Wed, Nov 8, Nick here….

Let’s start today with our continued hopes and prayers for RBT and OFD… to make a speedy recovery and to know you have people rooting for you.


FEMA’s brief from PR and the USVI shows continued improvement. In PR, more people are covered by cell service, clean water, sewage systems, and hospitals. One hospital that was running on gennie has closed.

The constant movement of hospitals on and off grid says that the story is more complex than the PPT briefing suggests.

Also, St Thomas is still only ~34% under grid power, St Croix less than 11% and trending DOWN, and St John at 30%. Note the amount of time that has passed. Most of us don’t live on what are essentially remote islands under 2nd or 3rd world conditions, but are you prepared to be THAT LONG without power, hospital, and water? There are still 3 shelters operating in the USVI with 66 occupants. PR of course has more, but the number and occupants are steadily declining.

It’s interesting to me that Houston and parts south have completely vanished from any disaster reporting. Funny how quickly that happens. In areas with heavy flooding, you can still clearly see the damage, but recovery is well underway.

PR and USVI have also fallen to the wayside in news coverage. Perhaps the rest of the nation is as tired of hearing about the lazy wastrels whining as the Gulf Coast and Florida are…

Speaking of Florida, when I was there last week there was little sign of the hurricane. A few trees down was about it. I drove from Tampa Int’l Airport to the Sarasota area. Pretty far up the coast, and out of the bad storm… did have one relative down there who lost some window screens on her “Florida room.” And that’s about it…

Here in Houston, we’ve had a cool front move in and should be cooler for a couple of days. I’ll take the reprieve and do some work in the attic, garage, and driveway, which work depends on if we get the forecast rain or not.

Which brings up another thing I’ve been meaning to mention. I find it very convenient to have a bunch of projects to work on in rotation. I’ve found that I can’t just ‘bust ass’ on one thing anymore, but I can move from indoor to outdoor, hard lifting to sitting down, doing bits and pieces. This is a completely different style of working for me and has taken some getting used to. The main difference is how long everything takes (measured by calendar.) It helps tremendously to gather all the stuff you need, and have it handy for the smaller segments of effort you can direct at it. I can get a surprising amount of stuff done this way. If you’ve stagnated or let a bunch of stuff pile up, you might find this ‘little bit at a time’ ‘chipping away at it’ approach useful to get moving again.

Speaking of moving, I better get a couple of tasks started….


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Tues, Nov 7, Nick again…..

Once again, let me offer my best wishes for a quick and uneventful procedure and a speedy and full recovery.

Let me further offer to Barbara whatever help I can provide.  If you have some issue your local support can’t deal with, please just ask here.  Bob has built up a large network of very resourceful and capable people here.  I’m certain that some of us could help, no matter the issue.



Today in Houston dawned with a bright colorful sky, comfortable temps in the mid 70s and 99%RH.   99%!  I guess I won’t be putting away the Halloween decor today until much later if and when it finally dries.

WRT illnesses… from reading the comments for a year at another prepper blog, I think that the most common use of preps, especially stored food, is the sudden or prolonged illness of a family member.  This is followed closely by loss of income, and a death in the family.  In the worst cases, all three of these calamities happen one after another.

When my wife made a (somewhat snarky) comment about me storing food and why are we storing enough for a zombie apocalypse, I replied that I was storing it for six months of breast cancer treatment, or a year of heart attack recovery….   [well, I said it quietly, inside my head- because I’m not stupid]

I know telling her this would have been a kick in the teeth, and I’m not actually mean either- IRL.  But other than short term hurricane recovery, those are the most likely uses for storage food and also the most likely uses for stored cash.


I try to recount the simple things, the mundane things, that prepping has helped me with, so that people can understand the value.  It’s not just for some mythical and far off/probably never gonna happen/doom porn scenario.  Your prepping should help you in your every day life.

Being prepared means calmly and competently dealing with the sort of things that happen to people, all the time and every day.

And that’s called living.

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Monday, 6 November 2017

17:48 – I just got back from the cardiac catheterization. Long story short, I’m having a triple or quadruple bypass done, probably at the end of this week.

Barbara is holding down the fort at home, with the help of friends who are housesitting when she needs to be with me.

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Monday, Nov 6 2017, Nick Posting…

I was hoping to be greeted by a post from Barbara or even RBT himself, but we’ll have to content ourselves with passing on our prayers and hopes for a speedy recovery.

The world is rapidly getting weirder, and you don’t want to miss it 🙂


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In the absence of our host, I’ll open Sunday

I’ll begin with continued hope and prayers that both our host and OFD make speedy and complete recoveries.

I hope that everyone got an extra hour’s rest this AM?

I have no real insights from my trip, but will note that the instructions to travelers have changed, at least at Tampa Int’l Airport outbound. Now passengers are required to remove “any electronics larger than cell phones” from their carryon bags for xray scanning. This was different from IAH on my outbound leg, where the same old rules applied so I don’t know when the change was made or how widespread it is.

Also of some interest, I got email from United that Premier status members won’t be getting Pre-check as a routine matter any more, because TSA reduced the number of Pre-check statuses they were distributing to partners. United suggested enrolling in Pre-check and paying the fee as an alternative. Lots of food for thought in that one email….

One prepper note, I finally used the Gerber multi-tool I’ve been carrying in my Dopp kit for years. I had an aluminum door sweep to install that was a tiny bit too long. My Gerber has a metal file on it that worked admirably well (albeit slowly) to saw thru and clean up the end of the sweep.

And of course I once again got good use out of my medical kit, as dad has very thin skin and a variety of minor skin injuries that needed tending.

If anyone is keeping track, (and in the modern ‘me too/ look at ME!!!’ culture), I have not passed my stone out of my body that I’m aware of. Since I’ve been told, with shudders, that I’ll be very aware of its passing, this is a tiny bit worrisome. I guess I’ll be talking to the Dr myself soon.

And that’s enough to start the day, I think.


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Saturday November 4, 2017

Message from Barbara:

Bob had a follow up appointment with the doctor Friday afternoon. After reviewing his latest chest x-ray and doing a physical evaluation he sent Bob to the ER to be admitted to the Sparta hospital for more tests.
After they did blood work, another chest x-ray and a CT they wanted to do an echo cardiogram.The echo could not be done at Sparta. While the doctor worked on getting him transported to another hospital they started IV drip antibiotics. He stayed in the ER in Sparta until early this morning when they finally had transport available to move him to a hospital in Winston.
I came home last night to take care of the dog since there was nothing I could do sitting in the ER.

Hopefully he will be home soon and back here at his post.

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Friday, 3 November 2017

10:12 – I had a follow-up appointment yesterday to get more x-rays done. This lung congestion thing has been going on for about a month, and isn’t getting better. It’s also affected my vertigo. This morning, I almost fell on my face getting out of bed, even though I was using the four-footed cane. Barbara got out the folding walker for me.

I told Barbara I think I’m going to ask for a prescription for an oxygen concentrator. If the doctor won’t write it, I’ll buy one on eBay or something. My normal pulse oximeter reading is between 97 and 99. Yesterday afternoon when I did a random check, it was down to 92. I spent a minute or so huffing and puffing and then rechecked. It was back up to 99. This morning, after I staggered, it was down to 89. Again a minute of puffing got it back up to 97.

We’d both of us like this thing to be over.

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