Tues. April 10, 2018 – doom, doom, more doom

51F and 96%RH cool and clear.

Well, the world certainly seems to want war. If I were reading a history book about the start of the Third World War, I don’t know what would be different than what we’re seeing in the news.

Convoluted proxy war in the middle East getting hotter every day. One mistake or provocation too many and you’ve got another Tonkin Gulf.

Economic war between superpowers, one of whom has been doing their level best to degrade their military forces, and one who has been relentlessly building theirs, seems to be heating up and possibly going physical….

A resurgence of nationalism world wide, coupled with the (perhaps just a bit premature) rising of the covertly inserted shock troops of islam, giving people distraction and focus at home, while the leviathans move in the deep.

Couple that all with a economic shenanigans that have been falling apart for half a decade, and all we’re waiting for is the spark.

Think about how YOU’D write the beginnings of WW3 for history, and see if you’d discount any of those things. I’m sure I missed something. The actual trigger will come from somewhere no one is looking….

So, what would that mean for us here in our island fortress? Well, if the flow of cheap consumer crap was cut off, and the flow of cheap imported food was cut off, and the flow of cheap building and industrial materials was cut off, and the flow of rare earth minerals was disrupted, and the flow of integrated circuits, ram, and other chips was cut off what sort of climate would we see domestically? Politically? Add in the islam insurgency and the BLM/antifa/commie left insurgency. Add in the right reaction to the sort of fascist .gov controls that always get imposed during a war…

Think about those things this fine day. What would it mean for you personally?

Got preps?


Mon. April 9, 2018 – the future of work?

55F and drizzle today, grey and dreary.

Some discussion late yesterday about the future, education, and work.

My wife still thinks college is a good idea, and we’re funding appropriately to allow both kids to go if they want to. I am pretty sure it’s a waste of time and money outside of a few narrow fields, mainly STEM and the Arts. (Not gonna use the trendy “STEAM” moniker, as what is left?) Further, it’s a lefty PC hellhole on most campuses, where political indoctrination dominates every aspect of life.

The one thing I do like about going away to college is the break with your old life, and starting an independent life on your own. However, I think that it no longer works that way for the majority of students.

Several folks here have expressed the idea that they wouldn’t encourage a young person to enter their field (computer programming, management, support). My engineering trade mags say that most engineers WOULD encourage someone to enter, but that field takes a mindset (and mind) that most people don’t have. Many pundits suggest training in work that requires physical presence at a specific place (the traditional trades) as a way to future proof yourself. Others suggest caring fields (which pay like cr@p, and you have to deal with literal cr@p) but again, to do well in those fields requires a particular mindset.

I’ve subscribed to a “portfolio” approach since I first heard about it, mainly that work should be like an investment portfolio. Some high demand (risk) but high reward, some high satisfaction, but low reward (volunteer work). The key idea is that you move between different types of work in your portfolio at different points in your life. thus, I’ve had work that paid very well but required constant travel. I’ve had work that paid poorly but was very satisfying. I’ve moved thru each without a lot of angst mainly because I see them as different types of work in my ‘portfolio’ and recognize that none of them are permanent.

So, what does the hive mind think? Keeping in mind that the pendulum swings, the wheel turns, etc, and in 10 years the college situation might be different (neo-Victorian?) Also remember there are smaller colleges now that are not so lefty, although they tend to be religious.

Where will the work be and where will it not be? What will be required to get that work?


Sun. April 8, 2018 – cold snap

Woke up fairly early this am, dreaming of criminals being released back into the neighborhood, and it being my job to take them out if they strayed from the path. Weird.

Currently 47F and 90RH. Grey and drizzle.

Decided to move 2 of my raised beds. I was trying to avoid it but one is where the gennie really has to be, and to move it means the other must move a bit as well.

Something has eaten the leaves off my brussel sprouts plantings in the other bed, but the grape vines are making fruit this year! The beds will be “in transition’ but hopefully the other fruits will be good….


Sat. April 7, 2018 – not much, you?

The word press template for a quick entry asks “What’s on your mind?”

Before coffee, and just after rising, the answer is “Not much.”

It’s 66F and light misty drizzle. I don’t think I’ll be doing yardwork, although, it might be nice and cool…..

A quick scan of headlines shows more of the same.

More of the march to war.
More march to bankruptcy.
(related as a war would allow ‘resetting’ the world of money like nothing else)
More perversion and depravity.
More lefty nonsense.
More anti-Constitutional nonsense.
More ordinary folks waking up… but is it too late?

Today, I think we’re headed for war, on a world wide scale. Money is the driver, particularly China and the USA, and our lack of it… this is one of those times OFD would have something relevant and it’s driving me nuts that Dave’s not here.


Fri. April 6, 2018 – another one gone….

Week that is. I really can’t believe how fast they are going by.

70F and light misty drizzle. We are on the edge of a big system according to NOAA so whether we get weather depends on where the edge is exactly. I’m not gonna strain myself trying to figure it out. If it rains, it rains.

Prepping this week included continuing work on my second income stream for retirement (rent house.) I pretty much have to do the work myself at this point, having waited so long that if I pay a contractor, I’ll be net zero for the year. Lack of motivation and lots of other stuff to do got the best of me.

Other preps- picked up a grundig Yacht Boy shortwave radio for $6. Estate sales have been few, and yard sale season is just getting started. My sales have been slow on ebay, and the surplus auctions have been slow and with fewer good items for me. Competition for items has increased too. I’ve got ‘inventory’ I need to list and sell stacked up everywhere, so I really don’t need to buy.

Garden is growing. Blueberries are coming in. Grapevines are green and growing, maybe I’ll get grapes this year. I guess I missed the lime trees when they were in the store… stuff is only in stock for a few days. Stores seem reluctant to stock much or keep it in the store for long. Hmm. Another sign of the real economy?

My thrift stores seem to be running down their inventory too. Could be hangover from Harvey, with everyone just throwing out stuff, could be fewer people are willing to donate. It would be interesting to hear from the rest of the country if thrifts are low on stock…

Found my first flashlight destroyed by leaking kirkland batteries. One of the costco $5 specials that I keep in the console of the truck leaked, and completely destroyed the 3-battery holder. Without the holder the flashlight is parts. It gets high heat and no use, but it’s still disappointing. Time to go thru all the stored and deployed battery stuff and check and update….

Ordered and received 3 tourniquets. Prepped and put them with my first aid kits. Better to have a real TQ, than to improvise one from a bungie cord (although, hooray for the guy who did.) I wonder how many fire extinguishers have been needed at yahoo hq vs. traumatic bleeding control in the last month… I know, the preceding months, and the following months will be different than this month, but– doesn’t it make sense to have some bleeding control handy?

March 31 was StopTheBleed day. If you didn’t follow the links I posted previously, do a quick search and learn something. You could be sitting at Carls Jr and suddenly need the skills.

What have y’all done this week?


Thur. April 5, 2018 – some progress

55F and 77%RH here this am, mostly clear. So, cool and damp.

Made some progress last night on the OFD project. I got the eye tracker actually tracking! Took a series of reboots, updates, cable swaps, card insertions and basically a lot of voodoo. The process is absolutely opaque. The error messages are less than useless. “Hmm, we had a problem, you should contact us.” is a typical one.

I did eventually get it to go thru it’s demo, and use it for a few minutes with Optikey. Lots of jitter, so I watched some instructional videos. After that, the eyetracker went into an endless loop “updating firmware.”

More work to do obviously. From the youtube demos, it’s a slick, working, proven solution. Just have to get it working with this lappy and card. I may try it on my desktop to make sure where the issue is later tonight.

I will be out and about most of the day, so talk amongst yourselves…..


Wed. April 4, 2018 – look! shiny thing! Shiny thing!!

Big window rattling storm blew thru last night. Not as much rain as I expected. It did cool things off and drop the humidity. 54F and 66%RH this morning. Mostly clear too.

Trade war with China (well, maybe we’re reversing our ‘retrograde maneuver’, deploy the ‘military’ (whatever that means) on the border, bring the troops home (again, we’re in about 100 countries at the moment, we probably don’t even have ROOM to bring them all home), and someone shot up youtube headquarters.


Collapse our stock market in a pointless dick measuring contest with china, illegally deny entry of 1500 desperately needed farm and construction workers while violating posse comitatus and civil rights protections, while abandoning our allies in Syria and moving thousands of jackbooted thugs and their war machines back to the US to oppress the people, and something happened at youtube, but it’s not important, nothing to see here. Move along.

Y’all can guess which one matches my reality.

Stack it high folks. Some of the leviathans are moving in for the kill, the world is shifting under our feet.

And in other news, OFD has made definite progress. Long row to hoe ahead still, but definite progress. See the update on the project page if you haven’t yet.


Tues. April 3, 2018 – life the universe and everything

72 and humid. A bit warmer this morning, with concrete damp from dew. Ugg. I better get my outside and attic work done soon. Chances are slim though.

Spent all day yesterday poking at stuff for OFD. Man what a racket. These vendors all seem intent on squeezing desperate people for every last penny. With healthcare out of reach of many, I wouldn’t be surprised if there developed an underground market for stuff that hasn’t jumped thru all the hoops. This stuff used to be expensive due to small market, arcane knowledge, and regulatory hurdles. I think it’s expensive now mainly due to regulatory hurdles and third party payers. Hopefully the culture of open source and desktop manufacturing will destroy open it up like other markets. So far, the established players have simply bought out and/or co-opted the promising projects.

In broader news, a 1500 strong army of young men is marching toward the US with a stated goal of crashing thru our border. This is not new, 100s of thousands have done so already. This time, they are being more “F you” about it, daring us to respond. The response or lack will set the tone for our ‘new sheriff in town.’ I’m thinking gunships, pour encourager les autres. Not likely though.

And the long warned of collapse in automobile sales may finally be here. Last year Ford took a big hit to their stock price for giving honest guidance that they saw the market contracting, and sales decreasing. This week we see stories about a collapse in used car sales, and sub-prime auto lending. GM is switching from reporting monthly to reporting by quarter. That should allow them at least a couple of months to hide their collapsing sales too.

Do not get complacent. Keep working on your preps, finances, personal skills, and relationships. None of us knows what the future will bring, but like Edison, we can invent it, one little bit at a time.


Mon. April 2, 2018 – some thoughts on preparedness, and life

70F and 97%RH, sure to dry up as the sun warms the day…..

I read this article and was struck by how many of the things match my own ideas (although not put the same way) and by how different it is from most “prepper” articles. I usually just skim his articles as they are long and have a different focus than I do. This one is worth the read, I think, particularly in light of RBT’s experience.

I too liked to read Greer’s Archdruid Report, with the same caveats. I think there is a middle ground that he ignores or misses entirely, but there are lots of things to think about in the article.

Craftsmanship in Preparedness

“…when it comes down to brass tacks, “survival” is an impossible task. The incontrovertible truth is, “no one here gets out alive.” It doesn’t matter how much food you have stored, how many guns you have, or rounds of ammunition, or how many Israeli Battle Dressings you have stockpiled. Stuff doesn’t have nearly the effect on fate that decisions and good decision making do.

My interest isn’t in magically prolonging my personal physical existence. My interest is in passing down the values that have made my life worth living and enjoying, to my children and grandchildren-to-be, so they can pass it down in their turn.

The PROCESS, the planning, the ‘thinking through’, is the important part.


Sun. April 1, 2018 – A Happy Easter to all!

Believers or not, this is a great day to celebrate the return of spring, new beginnings, and new starts…

60F, 98%RH and a beautiful clear day. Full moon (or close to) helped the Easter Bunny hide eggs this morning, I’m sure…..

Kids are going thru their score, parents are trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast that ISN’T chocolate or eggs.

Enjoy the day!