Month: March 2018

Sat. Mar. 31, 2018 – stayed up late, slept in

Woke to the sound of the lawn guys….

60F with 99%RH but not raining. Either my weather station is wrong, or it is cool and damp like crazy out there….

Started reading Lynn’s recommendation of Locker 9. So far so good. The writing style is a bit direct and relentless, but competent. The ‘gear whore’ prepper manual stuff is less obvious than some PA novels.

I’m liking it so far. The villain is certainly believable.


added- weather station was right. Dew on everything. Air is saturated. RH is dropping as the day warms…..

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Fri. Mar. 30, 2018 – Friday, already.

60F with 83%RH here in Houston. I think it will be a good day for working outside. Pity that I’ll be inside all day.

Kids are home from school, so in order to get anything done, they will be at Science Camp. The rise of private educational and “edutainment” options is a bit like bottled water. People now find themselves paying to get what they should be getting from .gov as part of their basic services.

In other news, this is the day that a large chunk of the civilized world remembers when local religious and community leaders used the power of an oppressive state to condemn and murder one of their own. They didn’t like him or the disruption he was causing in their community, so they dimed him to the .gov for political beliefs. Thousands stood by, while the leader of their movement was tortured and killed. There is a lesson there that might not be the one you were taught in Sunday School.


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Thur. Mar. 29, 2018 – well, this week is gone…

60F with a bit of misty drizzle left, although skies seem to be clearing. Got over 2 inches last night with some thunder and lightning. You’d have thought it was the Deluge by some of the overreaction in media. The Mayor’s office tweeted out reassurances that this was just normal weather in Houston and pointed the anxious to the crisis hotline. Jeez, we have a mental health crisis hotline for weather anxiety?

Most of Tx, and probably the South will be off tomorrow, or working as little as possible. Three day holiday weekend, so this week is pretty much done.

People in the markets seem to be waking up to the clothesless emperor. Looking at the charts from the last collapse, it took a year to fully take effect. There were short rallies within the overall decline too. Could be this is finally the long predicted “correction.” Note that a big drop in value is called a “correction.” I think that is telling on a deep level, ie. the lower level is the ‘correct’ one. Denninger has more but basically, the biggest drivers of the increase in value of the stock indexes don’t make money. Most of them also don’t have much room to grow, and a couple are embroiled in scandal. That doesn’t bode well for their long term stock prices. Financial engineering and a general desire to stay in and make every last dime have propped up the markets. That can’t continue forever either.

Along those lines, I see price deflation in my shopping cart too. Maple syrup, smoked salmon, hams- all lower in price than last year.

BTW, even if you personally don’t hold any stocks, and don’t have any retirement money, there are millions of other Americans who do. Insurance, pensions, IRAs, 401ks, and money market savings accounts will all be affected by a market “correction.” If it’s bad enough, the institutions have to sell into the market, making it even worse. Banks and insurers can fail, putting depositor’s money at risk and wiping out shareholders. Nothing about now is better than it was in 2008…

and with that,

time to start the day.


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Wed. Mar. 28th, 2018 – state of the site…

70F and 96%RH this morning. Pretty much the same as yesterday. It did finally rain a bit, mostly sprinkles late in the afternoon. The humidity makes it all so unpleasant as soon as you start doing some work. But that’s Houston, it’s a swamp.

Some interesting statistics about this place.

Last 7 Days (Week):------4,177------15,530
Last 30 Days (Month):---17,488------65,376
Last 365 Days (Year):--114,054-----588,394

Most days we see around 700 “unique” visitors, who come back multiple times. This has stayed pretty consistent for some time. Even on “slow” days we rarely see fewer than 500. There are about 300 people registered to comment (which is free and I encourage you to join the conversation!)

Thanks to you all for sticking around.


added- sorry the numbers format-the site strips out whitespace

added- and also changes dash to emdash at random lengths.

Added by RickH

For those of you that like pictures…here’s the last 10 days. The last data point is  today, as of 1030am PDT. Click to embiggen.  (Also put a ‘code’ tag around the numbers to line things up.)

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Tues. Mar.27, 2018 – don’t be distracted!

72F with 89%RH this morning. Yuck.

Spring has sprung in Houston. We are DEEP into tree pollen season. It irritates eyes and throats, and I’m finding a lot of people like me who get sleepy and lethargic as symptoms too. Everything is covered in fine yellow dust. Yuck.

Back to the title of the post.

Don’t be distracted. There is a lot going on right now that seems to be designed to distract and engage your spare attention. Don’t let it. Personal relationships. Personal finances. Personal health and fitness. Personal learning and skills. Focus locally on the things you can impact.

If you have spare cycles, go to civic meetings. Meet your neighbors, city council, school board, mayor, local reps. They will help or hinder you more than any of the 574 in DC. Your HOA has more to say about your rainwater barrels, fence, antenna, or security door than DC.

Get a garden in this year. Put some plants in pots. Test a couple of locations in the yard, and a couple of varieties. Fresh really DOES taste great. Doesn’t have to feed your household YET, and doesn’t need a lot of time or effort, (but you might trade money to save those things.)

Walk or bike around the neighborhood. Walking the dog gives an excellent excuse to check out the lay of the land. You will see stuff that you just don’t see by car.

Drive a different route. Don’t be in a rut. If you have a few extra minutes on the grocery run, take a different turn. (Visit a different store!) Even taking a familiar street from the opposite direction will show you things you didn’t notice.

If things get sporty or go downhill, local will be most important. Get a feel for what is ‘normal’ in your surrounding area. TALK TO PEOPLE. How many bums are panhandling? Where do they spend their days? Nights? Are there people just ‘hanging around’? How many day laborers are in the park or by Home Depot? You don’t need to do a census, but it’s easy to not see them entirely. LOOK. Get a feel for normal.

Stop at a garage sale this weekend. Chat. “Hi” “How have sales been? Been busy?” “Just cleaning up or getting ready to move?” People will share surprising amounts of info. You can get a better feel for the local economy talking to people and looking around than by reading national news.

There are big shifts in the world political scene and the world economy. Sure they happen all the time, but usually they happen in one place or another, and one thing at a time. Right now feels a lot like reading a history book about the changes before a major shift or realignment. Everyone is MORE of what they are, old ideas are resurfacing, resentments are building, reactions are more emotional and just generally ‘bigger’ than normal.

Do like the big fish, and position yourself before the start….


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Mon. Mar. 26, 2018 – another week gone by

69F with 98%RH this am. Cool and damp. My hands are stiff and previous nerve damage is flaring up. Weather or work, either way it’s a pain.

I look at the news and I think, “Leviathan is moving in the deep.” We see ripples, a glimpse of top fin, the occasional missing seal, the flash of movement, shadow swelling beneath the surface. The drums of war are beating, someone is chumming the water.

Or it’s just our human desire for pattern that projects all that onto the normal cycle of civilization.

Either way, it sure feels like change is in the air, and not in a good way.


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Sun. Mar. 25, 2018 – mmmmmm, sleep, mmmmm

Good morning, kinder let me sleep in so she could watch tv this am. Tricksy hobbitses.

77F and 83%RH. It sounds cool, and feels cool, but you sweat in an instant when you start working. And the sweat runs off your nose…

Still, better than 96F with the same RH.

Now I better feed her and spruce the place up before the return of the other two fems from GS camp……


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Fri. Mar. 23, 2018 – finally

60F with 90%RH and clear in Houston. NOAA weather map had the whole US basically clear for the next day. Been windy here though, which usually means weather coming in. I guess we’ll see.

One child at Girl Scout camp this weekend, the other with 3 outdoor events scheduled, so I certainly am hoping for clear…

Have to build a first aid/medicine bag for my wife to take to camp. Interesting mix. No trauma, but added “comfort” meds. I can’t quite just grab an existing bag.

I’m hoping to get the eye tracker installed on OFDs lappy today. I went thru another round of updates, 6 reboots, including another firmware/bios update. If win7 doesn’t work, and I have to go thru this all again, I’ll be using the offline update tool for sure. What a PITA.


OH, and What did you do to prep this week??

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Thur. Mar. 22, 2018 – I may have issues

Hey all, don’t know if my issues have resolved but here’s today’s open.

Got a bunch of stuff to do out in the real world today too, so don’t know if I can troubleshoot.

Page visits were down yesterday, so I know that at least some of you were still having trouble.

If you still have trouble connecting to the site, please email me at and let me know. I may be a while responding. Please include browser and any addons you have installed.

Many thanks to Rick who has been chasing this.


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