Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 – What did you do to prep this week?

Friday again.  If time was passing any faster, it would be going backwards….

I’ve added an OFD Project page.  It’s link is in the black bar at the top of this page.  I’ll copy relevant comments or updates there as a record of what’s going on with that.  (Edited by RickH: that page now has comments enabled, so you can post comments here to be moved, or on that page to be shown on that page. All comments, no matter what page posted, are shown in the Recent Comments list over on the right [or below this post on smaller screens].)

And I’m bringing back Bob’s “What did you do to prep this week.”   It’s always the “quiet before the storm”, well, when the storm isn’t  “on the horizon”.  With that as a given, I’ll just say, “what can’t continue, won’t.”   We’ve seen examples elsewhere, and historically even here of how quickly things can change and how bad things can get.  This is a good time to take inventory, rotate some stuff, try some stuff out, get some more stuff, connect with new people, and learn a new skill.

No one knows the future, but in the last couple of years talking about it, we’ve seen Venezuela go from “man they have trouble coming” to “mmmm, tasty zebra.”

We’ve already GOT ‘Hoovervilles’ only with more drugs and crime.  We’ve already got social influencers touting “tiny homes” and normalizing reduced expectations.  Youtube “van life” to get a window to a whole culture of nomadic homelessness and reduced expectations. We’ve got a whole generation conditioned to socialism, envy, selfishness/narcissism, casual sex and violence, and most of them have really poor prospects.  They are gonna be REALLY ANGRY and ready to lash out when they figure it all out.

So what did I get done this week?   I got the first coat of cold galvanizing on my new HF antenna mast.  The rain came back so getting that done and the antenna back up is on hold.

I cleaned up my raised beds.  I need to add manure and soil, and get my spring garden planted.   I did move some onion starts to a window box, but I don’t know if they’ll prosper.  They are pretty lame looking.   I planted some herb seeds along with the onion, but it looks like I was just feeding the squirrels.  I’ll be doing more garden stuff this week.

I bought a used metal gate from Habitat and will adapt it to close off my driveway.  Another project that needs some dry days.  For now, I’m just mounting it simply.  Eventually I’ll add a better post and an electric opener for convenience.  It will control access to my driveway and garage, and visually hide all that stuff from the street.

My work on my ‘hurricane room’ continues slowly, but progress gets made.

I’ve got a rental house as a retirement plan and income stream, and I’ve got repairs and painting to do there after the last tenants moved out.  I made some progress on cleaning and paint prep.  Wife hired a painter, which just leaves the repairs for me.  Still more fair weather tasks though.

My battle with the rats continues.  I’ll have a whole ‘lessons learned’ but the short version is- they are extremely destructive and will literally eat you out of house and home.  Jump on them hard and quickly at the first sign.   Stock up on the supplies NOW.  If, like me, you have an environmental change that ends with a rat infestation, your neighbors are likely to have one too.  Rat traps and poisons are in short supply in local stores at the moment.  Rats are smart, social, and seem to pass on their learning.  They are not trapped more than once or twice with the same technique.  They will avoid peanut butter like death itself once they know it is bait.

Ebay selling is slow for big items and ok for smaller stuff.  I’ve sold a mix of industrial controls, collectibles, housewares, and public safety gear this month.  I’ve sold old crap and new old stock to police and fire departments and to individual cops.  They are looking for bargains on ebay, so I know budgets must be tight.  Even though my sales are slow, I’m encouraging everyone to get selling on ebay or amazon.  You’ve got crap you can get rid of as a starter, and it is a decent part time income from part time work.  You WILL need the income stream at some point.

 

With that, I’ve got another day of paying work today, so will be away from the pc for a while.

What did YOU do to prep this week?

 

nick

 

30 thoughts on “Fri. Feb. 23, 2018 – What did you do to prep this week?”

  1. Two questions re the OFD Project: First, while I’m too far away to do anything physical, I’d be happy to send some $ to apply towards expenses. If that would be of use, someone tell me where/how to best send the money. I still have a US bank account, so I can transfer (or write a check) from there.

    Second, I’m hoping Liz or someone is taking the time to read OFD some stuff, to keep him from being utterly bored. If I were to send him a missive, would it be better by physical post, or by email to Liz, or…???

    Question 3 of 2: What about audio books? If he has an account, and a way to listen to them, audible.com apparently makes it pretty easy to send book as gifts.

  2. On prepping:

    I’ve been watching the Hidden Secrets of Money series on YouTube. I forget who recommended it here, but it is really good. It expains why our current monetary system can’t be sustained and how the goobermint (The Fed in particular) has robbed us blind. Beans, bullets and bandages need to be supplemented with trading items when the big one gets us, Wheezy.

  3. Our Granddaughter spent a week in Puerto Rico as a guest of a friend in the Power Restoration Unit working there. She reported that it’s a beautiful island with many amazing and unique sights, but is completely ungoverned. She described a form of orderly anarchy where traffic signs and rules are completely ignored but accidents are uncommon. Police cars race from point to point with flashing lights on at all times but never seem to be doing any police work. Power is working (mostly) in the cities and towns but outlying communities will take another couple of months to recover. They are having to completely build generating plants and distribution grid from scratch because lack of maintenance and shoddy workmanship rendered the originals not worth repairing. The American taxpayer is footing the bill to rebuild all this while at the same time being accused of not doing “enough”. She found the locals friendly and completely aware of the government corruption that got them into this mess but they say “It’s always been this way, what can we do?”. Even without a working police force crime is pretty low and issues are dealt with directly by the community.

  4. All good questions Brad. And thanks in advance.

    I’m extremely reluctant to set up any financial scheme, like a gofundme, but I realize there may be a need at some point.

    A way around it might be an amazon gift card to purchase a specific item, if needed, or a paypal gift or an audible gift card (although I have no personal experience at all with audible.)

    WRT audible, etc. I have no idea. Liz was/is the breadwinner and the facility isn’t right next door so I don’t know how much time she has to be there. In any case, she can’t possibly be there full time for the next several years, which is one of the drivers for getting him some control and communication ability.

    Liz thanked people for cards, etc so they must be getting there. She’s said that she only checks OFD’s email periodically, and I have her personal email, but hesitate giving it out without explicit permission. I think that physical cards are probably best right now, because the local nursing staff can bring them to him, and Liz doesn’t have to be there. Harder for you guys overseas though.

    I’ll send her email asking specifically about audible.

    I can’t imagine any reason not to pass along Dave’s email at this point. He’s sidelined for the next conceivable while, and any plans or concerns he had are mooted by that. I THINK. If anyone has an opinion on this from their own perspective please share it. I’m a bit uncomfortable “outing” him, although he’s shared his real name, and we know his physical location, I’m still grimacing a little at making that decision for him. Using Dave’s email would still provide a little ‘buffer’ for Liz, but will introduce unknown delay….

    nick

  5. An observation about cards – they provide physical ongoing evidence to the nursing staff that multiple people give a shit about OFD.
    In my experience with hospitals and extended care facilities that influences the harried staff to up their game.

    E-mail is convenient but it’s invisible. No subtle subconscious influence on the staff.

  6. Jenny, that’s an excellent point. It also follows that it would be best to send the mail directly to wherever OFD currently is. Sending to Liz means she’ll just bring it down “in bulk” when she has time.

    @Nick: Do you have OFD’s address at the facility? If you don’t feel comfortable posting it, I’ve logged in, and you can click on my name and get my email address.

  7. @Brad,

    Liz put in her post that Nick quoted, so I am assuming it is OK to repost.

    Dave Hardy
    Baird 494
    UVM Medical Center
    111 Colchester Avenue
    Burlington, VT 05401

  8. No one knows the future, but in the last couple of years talking about it, we’ve seen Venezuela go from “man they have trouble coming” to “mmmm, tasty zebra.”

    Working at GTE 20 years ago, we knew where Venezuela was headed.

    Someone voted for Chavez.

  9. Dilbert: Talking to a millennial

    Add “unlimited vacation” to the job description. That’s the latest gimmick among the startups around Austin.

  10. Last day at Conseillers en Gestion et Informatique (let the flaming commence — I’m wearing my asbestos undies)

    Some of the projects in the building are cool and managed well, but I wasn’t involved with one of those.

    My direct management lied about a lateral move being difficult so I ended up with another job on the resume that lasted less than a year. Sigh. At least Catbert will make life hard for that manager on Monday.

  11. I knew that there was going to be an IBM prediction.

    IBM is Cringely’s “Mr. Happy”.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see my last group of corporate masters attempt to buy Global Services with Lenovo taking any leftover hardware. The Conseillers certainly know Indian outsourcing.

    Apple could own corporate laptops if they put out a machine which wasn’t disposable and supported it with OS upgrades for 10 years.

    A simple update of the 2012 “101” 13 inch MacBook Pro would sell. Those still fetch $600 refurbed, and Apple hasn’t yet dared to cut it off from OS upgrades.

  12. No one knows the future, but in the last couple of years talking about it, we’ve seen Venezuela go from “man they have trouble coming” to “mmmm, tasty zebra.”

    Working at GTE 20 years ago, we knew where Venezuela was headed.

    Yup, the USA is about 10 to 20 years out from being bankrupt. The 2017 tax cut accelerated that by a year or two.

    We are all Venezuela now.

  13. No automatic car washes for your self-driving car:
    http://money.cnn.com/2018/02/22/technology/self-driving-car-wash/index.html

    Is it me or are all these predictions of widespread usage “real soon now” just hype by the companies with billions tied up in R&D hoping for some cash flow?

    Some of those same prognosticators talk about nuclear fusion power plants being just 20 years away also.

    My guess is that we will get to the point that someone has to sit in the driver’s seat before the vehicle will move forward. But they can nap, read a book, or watch a movie.

    Go watch the “Logan” movie to see a possible downside of self driving unattended vehicles. For example, don’t be on the road that they are driving down.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Logan_(film)

  14. Is it me or are all these predictions of widespread usage “real soon now” just hype by the companies with billions tied up in R&D hoping for some cash flow?

    Lots of private equity in The Valley has money tied up in automotive technologies. The worker bees hold stock options and pray that they cash out before the balloon payments on their $1 million mortgaged San Jose cr*pshacks come due.

    As for the rest of the country, everyone seems to be gadget obsessed, and, say, what’s the problem with 84 month car loans, anyway? Next stop — 96!

  15. There is not enough electrical generating capacity in place or actually in progress to charge all the projected electric vehicles. And it’s not just a capacity problem but also a delivery infrastructure problem, particularly in states like CA.

  16. There is not enough electrical generating capacity in place or actually in progress to charge all the projected electric vehicles. And it’s not just a capacity problem but also a delivery infrastructure problem, particularly in states like CA.

    Shoot, we cannot even get all of the wind electricity from west Texas to central Texas on windy days. The operators have to idle several of the wind turbines at times.

  17. Someone voted for Chavez.

    Two points:
    1. Everyone votes for Uncle Santa Claus
    2. Stalin once said it did not matter who voted for who, it mattered who the vote counters were

  18. What did YOU do to prep this week?

    I replaced our electric cooktop with a natural gas cooktop this week. Works very well and looks cool with those oh so fashionable two inch tall grills. Just in time for hurricane season.

    I have a serious problem that I am still trying to figure out. I am convinced that my neighborhood would have been catastrophically flooded if Harvey had gone north of Houston. I am talking about the Brazos river coming over our 12 ft tall levee and putting 12 ft of water in the street and 8 ft of water in my house. I now have flood insurance to cover the damage but that will not help us get out.

    I talked with a friend of mine last Sunday at church who lives about 300 ft behind us. He got out when they announced that the Brazos river was predicted to crest one ft below the top of our levee. His wife was gone on a trip so he did not have to worry about her. His 80 year old mother lives about a 1/4 mile away from him (same subdivision) so he grabbed his mom and they went to a high neighborhood with no levee and stayed with friends for the duration. So he missed the interior flooding of 3 ft of water in our streets.

    One of the prepper rules is “don’t be there”. So, bug out early because our subdivision is going to flood from the rain. We can only pump out 7 to 8 inches of rain per day with our eight pumps (5,000 gpm each). If we can gravity drain to the river then we are ok since that is an infinite flowrate. But when the river comes up, oh my !

    But if we wait to long to bug out, I have to assume that we cannot get out with vehicles. Three ft of water is just too much water for most vehicles. So, I think that I need to purchase a pair of Yamaha Waverunners. They can handle up to three people and have a jet drive that will not get fouled by water trash. I figure that the old prepper maxim “one is none and two is one” applies in this case.
    https://www.yamahawaverunners.com/vx-series/vx-cruiser/

    I figure that getting a regular boat is useless because if the water comes up unexpectedly, getting the boat out of the garage will be difficult. And I cannot get a boat into my backyard without some major modifications to the garage. And the boat would need a jet drive also, I’ve been fishing twice with Dad when we got our prop knocked off hitting tree trunks in the water.

    I am agonizing over this. I really should not but we have had four major floods in the last three years. I figure that the flooding is becoming the new normal. But I really do not want to buy and maintain two waverunners. My son already told me that I need to let him borrow them in July for a week.

  19. So, I think that I need to purchase a pair of Yamaha Waverunners

    Consider a small flat bottom boat with a jet drive system. Does not need to be big or powerful as you will not be dealing with rushing water. A boat will carry several people and some supplies that people want to carry.

    This a small jet outboard that will easily move a small flat bottom boat.

    I can tell from experience putting two or more people on waverunner, and being stable at slow speed is difficult. Put three people on the machine and it will be a disaster. Balance is a big issue. Wave runners are most stable at a speed above idle. Expect to get dumped off. For that reason alone I consider a waverunner a bad idea.

    if the water comes up unexpectedly, getting the boat out of the garage will be difficult

    I don’t think water would rise so fast you could not get a boat out of a garage. You are talking 6 feet of water in a matter of minutes. If that happens you have bigger problems. Keep the small boat on the side of the house in a horizontal position. Keep the motor and fuel in an exterior building.

    You won’t need speed, just basic locomotion. A small boat and small outboard would be markedly cheaper, transport more people, and be infinitely more stable.

  20. Consider a small flat bottom boat with a jet drive system. Does not need to be big or powerful as you will not be dealing with rushing water. A boat will carry several people and some supplies that people want to carry.

    This a small jet outboard that will easily move a small flat bottom boat.
    https://www.ebay.com/i/282706651339?chn=ps

    Huh, maybe a pair of those motors. 300+ kg of people, a dog, and a cat. I wonder how easy that two cycle is to start when it is pouring down rain and the water is rising.

    My dad had a 15 ft bass boat with a 50 hp Mercury outboard back in the 1960s and 70s. He had no fear and would take that boat anywhere, we dragged a net in the Houston ship channel one fine day in 1968 ? Was great until somebody threw a bad gasoline load of several thousand gallons into the ship channel and we could barely breathe. I wonder if I need a small boat like that ? I cannot remember how wide it was, maybe 4 ft.

    I can tell from experience putting two or more people on waverunner, and being stable at slow speed is difficult. Put three people on the machine and it will be a disaster. Balance is a big issue. Wave runners are most stable at a speed above idle. Expect to get dumped off. For that reason alone I consider a waverunner a bad idea.

    I did not know that they were that unstable. I have not been on a jetski in decades. That does change things up. I figure that the motor has to be a jet though.

    You won’t need speed, just basic locomotion. A small boat and small outboard would be markedly cheaper, transport more people, and be infinitely more stable.

    I need it to go two to four miles with a potential current of up to 8 miles/hr. If my subdivision becomes part of the Brazos river then all kinds of bad things will happen. I figure if the river is over the levee by a foot or two then the 8 miles/hour river current will be in the subdivision also. Might have to dodge houses headed downstream. All three of the bridges to our bugout place will have three to five ft of water on them. If the bugout place is flooded (you’ve been there) then we are dead because there will be water for at least ten miles away from the river.

    During Harvey, we got three ft of water in the streets from rain alone in about two hours. It came up quick. I just figure that there is a 50% chance that the over the levee will happen at 2 am in the morning and we will be woken by water in the bed.

  21. I did not know that they were that unstable

    Yes, they are. You have a high center of gravity with people sitting on them and a narrow hull. The result is quite unstable. You have to get above idling speed to have any stability with more than one person. Three person would be difficult maintaining balance unless they are used to using a waverunner.

    Big enough for three people are expensive, require regular use, maintenance, oil changes (no one makes a 2 cycle waverunner anymore), difficult to move unless on a trailer, require registration, must meet Coast Guard regulations. A simple boat under 10 HP requires none of that stuff. Although, in an emergency who is going to check the stuff? Just some a-hole officer or other idiot.

    Huh, maybe a pair of those motors. 300+ kg of people, a dog, and a cat

    A small motor of that size will move quite a bit of mass in the water. Easily 10 mph.

    I wonder how easy that two cycle is to start when it is pouring down rain and the water is rising

    Easier than trying to hand start a 40HP outboard that you are using a rope because the starting battery was not properly maintained and can not provide enough power to start the engine.

    Plus you have fewer moving parts, fewer complications, no electrical issues, no need to change oil, etc. Simple is good.

    I just figure that there is a 50% chance that the over the levee will happen at 2 am in the morning and we will be woken by water in the bed.

    You would still have enough time to get the boat out, people in, and on your way. Easier to move a small flat bottom boat with a lightweight motor as opposed to a 220 pounds of a 40HP motor.

    we got three ft of water in the streets from rain alone in about two hours

    Two hours would still give you plenty of time to get to the boat, get the motor mounted, fuel on board, people on board, animals on board, and get out. You would not want to spend time packing or thinking about what to take. Get the people out, the rest is just stuff.

    You do not want to go fast in that water. Being able to beat the current by three or four miles an hour is all you need. Faster than that and you run the risk of collision either with the boat or with the engine. Bad things can happen when you bust the impeller housing and are now adrift with no power.

    I figure that the motor has to be a jet though

    That would be the best option to avoid hitting items with the propeller of a regular motor. In standing water an electric trolling motor can move a boat at 5MPH. Zero maintenance, just need a couple of batteries. Props are very resistant to damage. Easy to adjust the height.

  22. I was going to recommend an inflatable, but like Mr. Ray says, get a cheap synthetic flat bottom boat and hang it on the back of the garage until Noah comes a callin’.

  23. I’m thinking flat bottom jon boat or an inflatable. You can get it ready, move it to the driveway when the storm starts.

    If you really want a waverunner, then get a jon boat or inflatable and tow it with the folks and stuff in it.

    you can always paddle or pole a jon boat if the motor quits.

    (says the guy who’s never done it…..)

    nick

  24. I’m thinking flat bottom jon boat or an inflatable.

    I’ve sunk an inflatable before. Don’t ask. Ok, lets just say that oyster beds and inflatables are incompatible. And in a subdivision with 12 ft of water in it, you will be boating over metal fences, etc, etc, etc. There is no inflatable tough enough in the world for any kind of extreme duty. Plus, I don’t want to have to inflate the inflatable. I want to bug out when I need to, no prep time whatsoever.

    I need a very tough bottomed jon boat with a 5 ft beam at most so I can park it between my garage and the side fence. Maybe something like this:
    https://www.trackerboats.com/boat/?boat=4267

    you can always paddle or pole a jon boat if the motor quits.

    Not if you are in the Brazos river with the current at 8 miles/hour.

    If the Brazos river comes over our levee, it is going to be a tough environment to survive in. The best thing is to bug out early. Like now, sell our house and move to a house on high ground. Which, the wife does not want to do.

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