Sun. Jan. 6, 2019 – First week gone

46F and sunny. Yesterday warmed up a bit, and was sunny with a clear blue sky for most of the day. Really nice.

Well, the first week of 2019 is gone. I got no prepping done. No garden, nothing. I did do some stuff around the house.

I re-aimed one of the security cams to get more coverage of the street and the approach to my house. On our “Neighbors Night Out” the Constable’s Deputies who patrol our subdivision asked that we provide more coverage of the street if possible. While I don’t want .gov surveilling my street, I don’t mind if my neighbors do. If it comes to the new stazi, well, some of them disappeared in the middle of the night too. Listening to the scanner the last two days, the police are able to use citizen video to track down and apprehend serious offenders. It takes a lot of effort, and it should. It should not be used trivially. Even just a Ring or equivalent doorbell cam catches the approach to your door, people passing by, and vehicles on the street.

I did a bit of maintenance around the house, cutting back some tree branches, and re-leveling some flagstones in a walkway. I’d like to pick up some of the branches and logs my neighbors have set out for heavy trash, but don’t know if I’ll get the chance to drive around before they finally pick up. Pickup was supposed to be the weekend before Christmas, but they are delayed. There is a lot of debris out that still looks like Harvey flood damage. The volume of debris and heavy trash is probably higher than normal. It sure looks like it.

Sweden got an Ebola scare, just a bit earlier than predictions. Thankfully it was not ebola, but it should be an eye opener. Africa’s problems won’t stay in Africa. I’d suggest being ready to spend 45 days in your house under self quarantine as a minimum goal for pandemic preparedness. That means being ready to earn money and care for your kids too. Probably not a bad idea to look at your PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) situation. Use any bleach that is more than a year old to wash the deck, sidewalk, and driveway, and refresh your stores. If you can’t smell the ‘bleach’ smell, it’s lost its potency. The closest I expect to get to real zombies is some sort of pandemic like ebola breaking out in the first world.

With the incoming House democrats and extremists look for prices on guns and ammo to rise. You did take advantage of the lull to stock up didn’t you? If not, you might want to consider it. If you’ve been thinking about getting your state’s version of a CHL, get off your duff and do it. Get some additional training, and then actually carry. Get comfortable with carrying.

Work on personal fitness too. My goal for the year is to lose some of what accreted around my waist over the last two years, and to work on flexibility, balance, and a bit of strength. Nothing drastic, but I need to stop jamming sugar into my pie hole every night. I need to do a bit of stretching and something for balance, like Tai Chi Chuan, or yoga. It would be nice to swim and rock climb with the kids this year. I’ll start with some stretching at home, and maybe a bit of form, while I wait for all the other New Year’s Resolution goobers to get out of the gyms…..

Hard times are coming. They always are. Sometimes they actually get here. I look at the situation in Venezuela as an example of how quickly (and yet without a specific incident or tipping point) things can change. Five years or less was all it took. Most of their issues were brought on by their ruling class and destructive politics. Do you think ours will do any better?

Robert thought we were headed for a slow decline. I’m arguing that we’re already well into it. I look around and see scavengers everywhere. Ordinary middle class people are dumpster diving, and doing youtube channels about it. Scrap buyers are springing up everywhere to service all the people out picking thru garbage for scrap. Lots of people are becoming ‘resellers’ (like me) and scouring the used marketplace for something they can resell. And the kicker is- they ARE reselling which means other people are buying. They are looking to that secondary market because they can’t or don’t want to spend the money for ‘new’ from a traditional source. Think about what that means in a consumption driven economy.

[aside- first it was the Cash for Gold and Payday Loans storefronts. Then the check cashers, and Car Title Loan places. Now it’s the scrap metal buyers. In other words, people have already sold their gold, leveraged their second biggest asset, no longer have checks to cash, and now are picking up scrap…]

We tolerate a degree of violence, filth, homelessness, public disease, and drug use that is simply astonishing when you take a step back. San Diego and LA wash the streets with bleach in an attempt to stop the spread of serious diseases. San Francisco has needles and feces littering their streets, and NOT just in a Bowery area, but everywhere. Houston has giant tent cities downtown under the freeways. Cali has mile after mile of tent city. MS13 is literally CHOPPING OFF HEADS in NYFC! Long Island for Pete’s sake! But NYC is more concerned with bodegas selling loose untaxed cigarettes and oversized sodas than the serious crimes and gang violence.

The decline has started. Compare five years ago with today, then extrapolate five years hence. What do you need to do today to make that survivable?

n

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35 Responses to Sun. Jan. 6, 2019 – First week gone

  1. Greg Norton says:

    I look around and see scavengers everywhere. Ordinary middle class people are dumpster diving, and doing youtube channels about it. Scrap buyers are springing up everywhere to service all the people out picking thru garbage for scrap. Lots of people are becoming ‘resellers’ (like me) and scouring the used marketplace for something they can resell.

    Texas picker culture is fairly unique from what I’ve seen living in three metros in the last 10 years. The strong economy means more things are simply thrown out, but there are also factors such as demographics of transplants, real estate costs, and waste handling regulations (or lack thereof).

    There are downsides, and, sooner or later, the mobs will get involved. I think the Asian and Indian criminal element are already involved around Austin. The local school system had to stop the surplus sales of anything electronic after one sale got ugly when the management tried to limit items to one per person.

  2. JimL says:

    My Brother-in-Law has been picking all his life – calls it “junkin'”. I join him on occasion. It’s interesting to see what others throw out. I’ve never purchased a PVC chair. I have painted, them, though. BIL has computers, televisions, lawnmowers, and other items from scavenging. And people won’t spend the time or money to fix these perfectly good items.

    37º and sunny right now. #1 son and I are scheduled for an afternoon together. Such is the way of life in a small town. #1 daughter went to the mall with Nana yesterday, so the others are all clamoring for such time. I’m glad to be able to indulge them.

  3. Nick Flandrey says:

    “My Brother-in-Law has been picking all his life – calls it “junkin’”. I join him on occasion.”

    I’m not saying that it’s a bad thing, I’m noting that based on youtube vids alone, a much larger number of people are doing it than used to. Also there was a front page article on DailyMail a few days ago that I linked.

    I’ve mentioned vanlife and tiny home movement in the same context before.

    I’m seeing ‘decluttering’ and ‘simplifying’ you life gaining traction too, because you know who doesn’t have any stuff cluttering up their lives? Poor people.

    n

  4. Greg Norton says:

    BIL has computers, televisions, lawnmowers, and other items from scavenging. And people won’t spend the time or money to fix these perfectly good items.

    I was meticulous about annual maintenance with our lawn mowers in FL, but the drive units on the self-propelled models would die after about five years cutting St. Augustine grass every week. Parts cost alone made the mowers throwaways.

    As long as I’ve owned a house, the mower purchase has always been from Sears, the largest HP engine I could buy, Craftsman, self propelled, for ~ $300. Dunno where the next mower will be purchased if Sears goes under. The one time we tried (brand shall remain nameless), the engine leaked oil within a month.

  5. dkreck says:

    Why own a mower? I don’t know about Texas but California is crawling with Mexican gardening crews.

  6. CowboySlim says:

    Why own a mower? I don’t know about Texas but California is crawling with Mexican gardening crews.

    10-4, but it must be unconstitutional because I can’t hire any other. OTOH, all the local swimming pool service, cleaner guys are white.

  7. Greg Norton says:

    10-4, but it must be unconstitutional because I can’t hire any other. OTOH, all the local swimming pool service, cleaner guys are white.

    Pool maintenance done right requires thinking on a level which could be applied to earn a middle class lifestyle while staying in Mexico.

  8. Greg Norton says:

    Why own a mower? I don’t know about Texas but California is crawling with Mexican gardening crews.

    Florida was a little tougher to get an affordable service. In WA State, yard work required more thought to deal with insect/disease issues and compliance with environmental laws so the crews were “pool care” skill level, typically native born.

    In Texas, I have a small yard, and pushing the mower around gets me out of the house, away from my career work.

  9. Nick Flandrey says:

    During a couple of summer months, I cut the grass every other week, and let the service get it the other weeks. They edge, blow, and pickup. I don’t do any of those things.

    They aren’t particularly conscientious but they do 95% of it. I let the other 5% go.

    n

  10. JimB says:

    I have been lawn free for 40+ years. We have beautiful natural desert landscaping on our five acres. I love it, but some folks don’t. They spend a lot trying to make the desert something it isn’t.

  11. Ray Thompson says:

    I came close to being scammed. Me, who is so careful about everything.

    I got an email which appeared to be from Apple acknowledging my purchase of some games for $35.00. There was a link in the PDF attached to the email to cancel the purchase if I had not made the purchase. Should have realized that Apple does not allow cancellations in an email. I followed the link (dumb) in the PDF. The site asked for my Apple credentials which I provided. The red light went off when the two factor authentication did not appear on my phone.

    That is when I got suspicious. I checked the URL in the email and did a slap to the head. I also checked the email headers and did a kick in the butt. Neither belong to Apple. I then checked my credit card site and did not find any transactions. Thus this was a bogus email in an attempt to get my Apple credentials.

    I quickly logged onto iTunes and changed my password. I use a password generator (LastPass) and used a complicated password. That along with two factor authentication will keep people out of the account.

    Then out of curiosity I followed the link to cancel the purchase. It took me to a site that wanted a lot of information including the credit card used to make the purchase. Not only were they trying to harvest my Apple ID, the site was going to harvest my credit card information.

    Yeh, I feel a little stupid. I know better. I failed to follow my own rules caught up in the anger that Apple had said I purchased something when I had not. I caught the scam in time. I can see where others would not have been aware that it was a scam. Damn, those cretins are clever.

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    @ray, at least you caught it.
    n

  13. lynn says:

    Robert thought we were headed for a slow decline. I’m arguing that we’re already well into it. I look around and see scavengers everywhere. Ordinary middle class people are dumpster diving, and doing youtube channels about it. Scrap buyers are springing up everywhere to service all the people out picking thru garbage for scrap. Lots of people are becoming ‘resellers’ (like me) and scouring the used marketplace for something they can resell. And the kicker is- they ARE reselling which means other people are buying. They are looking to that secondary market because they can’t or don’t want to spend the money for ‘new’ from a traditional source. Think about what that means in a consumption driven economy.

    My youngest brother started dumpster diving 20 years ago. He used to sell the “stuff” at a flea market off 290 and then moved to ebay. He now sells mostly on Big River (Amazon). He dumpster dives for a particular material and now has to compete with others for the “stuff”. He has told me that the discussions can get quite intense over who “owns” the dumpsters now.

    The slow decline will arrive when AOC becomes President. Since she has six years before she is eligible, we still have breathing space. Coincidentally, that will be after Trump’s second term.

    Wait, maybe we are in the slow decline and AOC will cause the transition from slow to fast decline.

  14. lynn says:

    Why own a mower? I don’t know about Texas but California is crawling with Mexican gardening crews.

    10-4, but it must be unconstitutional because I can’t hire any other. OTOH, all the local swimming pool service, cleaner guys are white.

    The pool service guys here are transitioning to Indian. The guy who cleans my pool claims to have an MBA from Princeton. I ain’t buying it.

  15. hcombs says:

    Prepping this week.
    I have been recharging all ENLOOP batteries in get-home and bug-out bags. I have replaced the misc fire starter items with fire kits I put together. Added more trash bags and zip ties. I removed the 15 amp folding solar panels from the get-home bags as I don’t expect a long trek in my urban AO. Trying to keep the weight down. My theory has been to pack for every contengency and then dispose of items that don’t make sense given the actual SHTF scenario.

  16. Greg Norton says:

    The pool service guys here are transitioning to Indian. The guy who cleans my pool claims to have an MBA from Princeton. I ain’t buying it.

    Could be a professional development MBA. Those are essentially bought and paid for diplomas, and the practice is increasingly common even at big schools.

    My wife’s cousin has an MBA the family bought from UW. Upon “graduation” he landed a job with a Seattle startup … who promptly walked him to the door before lunch time once they realized what they had hired.

    Maybe your pool boy had a similar employment experience after his family wrote a six figure check to Princeton for his “diploma”.

  17. Greg Norton says:

    The slow decline will arrive when AOC becomes President. Since she has six years before she is eligible, we still have breathing space. Coincidentally, that will be after Trump’s second term.

    Ocasio-Cortez (I will not buy into the initials meme) will not see a second term. The New York interests who controlled that seat got caught by surprise and will want their influence and earmarks back.

    Even if she did survive to run for President, could you picture the cocktail waitress facing Pence in a debate … or Rubio … or Ivanka? That might be fun to watch but bad for the Republic.

    David Brock is already laying out the 2020 party line for the Bernie Bros and Ocasio-Cortez faithful.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/think/amp/ncna953976

  18. Greg Norton says:

    I guess this would have made a bigger impact if it hadn’t come so soon after Anderson Cooper got liquored up on tequila and discredited himself on national TV Tuesday night. CNN is probably wondering what Kathy Griffin has scheduled for next New Year’s Eve.

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/alexandria-ocasio-cortez-the-rookie-congresswoman-challenging-the-democratic-establishment-60-minutes-interview-full-transcript-2019-01-06/

    One term.

  19. Nick Flandrey says:

    Oh no, far more than one term. TPTB will slide right in, co-opt the crazy, and run her like a sock puppet.

    “Anderson Cooper got liquored up on tequila and discredited himself on national TV ”
    –um, since when did Gloria Vanderbilt’s son have any credit with anyone to lose? He’s a partisan b!tch of the globalist elites…

    n

  20. Nick Flandrey says:

    And right on time….

    “California is hit by the weather gods once more as powerful storm triggers mudslides across wildfire territory, trapping motorists in their submerged cars”

    n

  21. lynn says:

    Oh no, far more than one term. TPTB will slide right in, co-opt the crazy, and run her like a sock puppet.

    They already co-opted her. Why do you think that the old congressman gave up his seat so easily ?

    BTW, Scott Adams says that AOC is playing the press brilliantly. On the same level as Trump.
    https://blog.dilbert.com/2019/01/05/episode-362-scott-adams-aoc-derangement-syndrome-shutdown-persuasion-wall-funding-and-karate/

  22. Greg Norton says:

    Oh, SNAP! 🙂

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/government-shutdown-affect-snap-food-stamps-wic-millions-could-face-severe-cuts-in-2019-funding-usda/

    The stories about SNAP funding concerns are starting to appear in mainstream “journalism”. Now might be a good time to unload FRSH shares.

  23. Nick Flandrey says:

    so I’m watching youtube, and the recommended engine coughs up some river treasure hunter videos. They’re typically a subset of the metal detector guys, and I’ve watched more than a few.

    This particular guy just floats down the river grabbing whatever he sees. What he sees mostly is cheap sunglasses, car keys, and Iphones. Yep, lots and lots of phones. Iphones especially. A surprising number of them still work, and he gives them back if he can. The one I just watched had over 13 MILLION views. It’s his full time job.

    My question is, who the h3ll takes a $1000 phone river floating? Is there something particular about Iphone owners that they decide to bring them along, and then lose them???? He rarely finds cheap cr@ppy phones, but finds high end phones all the time, pretty much every week.

    Does every young brah and hottie in AZ have a brand new phone and lack the sense God gave baby ducks? Really?

    n

  24. dkreck says:

    My question is, who the h3ll takes a $1000 phone river floating? Is there something particular about Iphone owners that they decide to bring them along, and then lose them????

    Insurance on top tier iPhones gets the replacement down to$150 deductible. Chump change for trust fund kids.

  25. mediumwave says:

    On the one hand, this guy may have been ticketed improperly–only the radar gun records, if any, will tell the tale. Additionally, he is within his rights.

    OTOH, wotta d!ckhead!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XW6MpM0LTI0

  26. Nick Flandrey says:

    Clearly that guy has been in that position before… “back to court” … and the printed references to the applicable laws.

    The comments are interesting. On other sites the word ‘copsucker’ would be applied to most of them. You just know that when the supervisor got there he told the cop to drop it, since the guy was right.

    Don’t count on the cops not kicking in your door if gun confiscation happens. Don’t wait for the Oathkeepers to save you. Any agency that practices civil asset forfeiture is already rotten from the foundation up, and there are very few that don’t.

    Love that the cop turned his lights and siren on when he followed the guy across county lines too. Without that, he doesn’t have jurisdiction, and he’d have had to get the other county to swear the ticket… (in IL and IN anyway, no idea if it’s the same there.) (so he’s been well enough trained to do that, but not enough to know the limits of his actual authority, I’m surprised he didn’t claim he couldn’t be filmed, or the old standby “you’re interfering with an investigation.”)

    n

    added- what that guy alluded to is that cops now are trained to ask you questions that can later be used to incriminate you and to ask for things they wouldn’t be allowed to demand– “do me a favor and step out of the vehicle”, “can I search your vehicle?”, “got anything in there you don’t want me to find?” sidestepping your hard fought for and hard won rights in what is a situation with a serious imbalance of power. Their willingness to ‘cheat’ and stretch that way is a sign that they are rotten from the ground up.

  27. Nick Flandrey says:

    Anytime I need to document the stupidity of people, the comments on youtube don’t let me down…


    Spills51
    4 hours ago (edited)
    Lets be honest. Humans are the worst species for the planet and possibly the universe. Not one good thing has come from us.
    Destroy/consume…Save or slow those two and pat ourselves on the back -_-
    A virus cant hit soon enough…We just shit on everything that isn’t us.
    Hate my species and would gladly sacrifice myself if it would remove at least half our population also.
    The planet, animals, and anything else with the displeasure of knowing us would thank me :)
    2
    2800boy
    2800boy
    1 day ago
    Humans are like parasites to the world. Leaching on to the planet, sucking it dry of everything. ”

    James Klaus Cosentino
    56 minutes ago
    After watching this it reaffirms my belief that mankind truly is a plague upon this earth. We have been given so much we got spoiled and forgot to treat Mother Earth the way the native Americans use to with respect and dignity. God we really need to get a handle on this or we will no longer have what’s left of our beautiful earth. Saddest part is the only way to fix anything in nature is to remove humans entirely. Smh

    –‘course they mean OTHER people, since they’re still breathing my air…

    n

  28. lynn says:

    “Stranger Things”: season one
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stranger_Things
    and
    https://www.netflix.com/title/80057281
    and
    https://www.rottentomatoes.com/tv/stranger_things/

    I just binge watched season one of “Stranger Things” on Netflix. Freaking awesome. Scared the you know what out of me. Great story and very well acted.

    Wow, the 1984 setting was well done also. The music, cars and clothing were excellent.

    I hope that season two is as good.

    My rating: 5 out of 5 stars
    Rotten Tomatoes: 95% and 95%

  29. brad says:

    @Ray: Don’t feel bad. I nearly got bitten the other day as well. While most scam emails are really obvious (intentionally?), a few are incredibly believable. And if they hit you just right, well…

    Re Dumpster diving: I don’t think we even need to go that far. Just buying used stuff would make so much sense. This has really been driven home to us recently: we’ve been cleaning out the house, in preparation for putting it on the market in the Spring. Decades of accumulated “junk” in the attic – we’ve sold a few things, but most has just been taken to a local charity shop. Kitchen equipment, furniture, games, dishes, lamps – all perfectly fine, which is why we had kept it. But if we haven’t needed it for 20+ years – and the kids don’t want it – out it goes.

    And looking around the charity shop, it’s filled with “perfectly fine stuff”, because people always want “new”. Certainly, the next time we think about buying furniture, we’ll start there. Should have learned this lesson earlier, but better late than never.

    Except for things mechanical or electronic: It’s a sad comment on our economy that repairs are expensive or even impossible. Our example: we have a Kitchen Aid, with various attachments. Some of these attachments are driven by a nylon gear on the top of the machine. This nylon gear has stripped, and the service center tells us that the only way to replace it is to replace the entire motor, which would cost as much as a new machine. Stupid design decision, but presumably a deliberate one.

  30. Greg Norton says:

    Don’t count on the cops not kicking in your door if gun confiscation happens. Don’t wait for the Oathkeepers to save you. Any agency that practices civil asset forfeiture is already rotten from the foundation up, and there are very few that don’t.

    Also, don’t make any assumptions about the local cops will or won’t do in their own neighborhoods. Pensions are at stake, and even cities like Houston and Dallas are technically insolvent due to those obligations.

    And if things get really tight, do you think New York cops would turn down moonlighting on raids in Florida or Texas in January.

    I have no doubt that gun confiscation will go along with a Roosevelt-style order grabbing gold. The raids will pay for themselves.

  31. Greg Norton says:

    My question is, who the h3ll takes a $1000 phone river floating? Is there something particular about Iphone owners that they decide to bring them along, and then lose them???? He rarely finds cheap cr@ppy phones, but finds high end phones all the time, pretty much every week.

    Status symbol, like a pricey handbag.

    And the young’n’s seem to have a constant need for that communication link.

    My wife’s 20-something former assistant came to visit from WA State, and she walked around Schlitterbahn with her high end phone in a waterproof case hanging from a lanyard around her neck. She wasn’t alone.

  32. Greg Norton says:

    Wow, the 1984 setting was well done also. The music, cars and clothing were excellent.

    Playing with MP3s for my car USB drive last week, I found my old stash of “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” in-game radio station audio rips. Pure 1987 Clear Channel, including a few real DJs, real licensed 80s music, and hilarious fake commercials.

    Even “NPR” and a “talk” channel. The attention to detail was impressive.

    I lived the rise of Jacor and then Clear Channel in Tampa in the late 80s/early 90s. The game nails the formats, and the audio totals over eight hours.

  33. Greg Norton says:

    My question is, who the h3ll takes a $1000 phone river floating?

    When I worked in Seattle, the female status symbols of choice that winter were a $350 North Face parka and high gloss Hunter boots.

    The finish on the boots typically started to wear off in the Seattle weather within a few weeks so in order to have the high gloss appearance, new $200 pairs had to enter rotation constantly.

  34. Nick Flandrey says:

    Even if we had the money, and I’m not saying we don’t, we wouldn’t do something like that.

    While neither of us grew up poor, both my wife and I grew up solidly middle class. You just didn’t do stuff like that.

    I blame single parents and hippies trying to buy the love they couldn’t give or replace the time with stuff. Then that generation (the latchkey kids were the start) doubled down.

    n

  35. ech says:

    @Lynn. Season 2 of Stranger Things is also really, really good. I’m looking forward to Season 3, July 4, 2019!

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