Fri. May 31, 2019 – Friday the thirte– oh, guess not

79F and 97%RH this am. Turns out that the NOAA forecast calling for T-storms and heavy rain was correct for some parts of Houston, and the openweathermap forecast calling for tenths of a mm was correct for me. While we got just a spatter of fat drops, my wife got inundated in a classic gully washer. Microclimates.

As we kick May to the curb (or kerb, but then you guys don’t use the expression do you?) and prepare for June, local norms for weather begin to reassert themselves. We had a long cooler spring and it was great, but summer is here. For the east and Gulf coasts, that means Hurricane Season. Get ready, we’ve already had one named storm in the Atlantic.

The world continues to see upheaval in the geopolitical balance. It looks like a lot more than normal tussling to me, and not good for civilization. Think about what the fall of Rome must have looked like to the average well to do Roman. Did goods from far away trade begin to be scarce? Did soldiers fail to come home? Were there an awful lot of unfamiliar faces in the marketplace? Was there a lot of foreign gabble heard everywhere you went? Did neighborhoods and enclaves spring up around you that were full of those same foreigners? Was the news full of former subject lands telling Rome to GTFO? Did those subject lands begin to have adventures of their own?  Did the familiar political process at home fall apart?

I think we’re well into the fall. How do you get through and how does your family? It’s a slow moving disaster, that lasts a long time. Your planning horizon needs to expand, outsiders probably won’t be a help, and you will have to accept that the change is permanent. I hope not. I hope the rise of movements can reclaim what we had, but I suspect it’s the last burst of energy before collapse.

Not a happy thought for today, but I had some disturbing dreams and woke early.

This should be the WDYDTPTW post, so what DID you do to prep this week??


Wed. May 29, 2019 – counting down May!

79F and humid.  Sunny with clouds yesterday, no rain for me.  Super hot in the sun with any exertion soaking me in sweat.  Summer is here.

Amazing how little I get done while minding the kids.  I was  a project managing high flier, priding myself on finishing jobs and driving through any issues.  Now I’m lucky to get minor tasks done the first time.  Good thing I’ve got a strong ego *cough*.

The news is already moving on, back to cute royal kids, girls in bikinis with big bottoms, and insult politics.   I do note for AOC, “Welcome to the big leagues kid, now quit your whining.”  Even with something like death threats, she exposes her hate for men and inbuilt prejudices.



Tues. May 28, 2019 – first week of summer

76F and 96%RH.  Forecast calls for clear to partly cloudy and hot.  Last night was gorgeous.  Gentle breeze, and nicely cool.  New water feature burbling away….

One of the things I got done yesterday was to add the pump and filter to the wife’s water feature in front of the house.   Very pleasant to sit there and listen to the sound of the moving water. Not so pleasant to hear the frog which has already taken up residence hammering away, calling to mates or rivals.

I got one of the chainsaws to start and run briefly.  I’ll be looking at the carb on that one first as I know now that it has a good fuel line, starter, and spark.  One very common failure is that the fuel pickup line rots and falls off in the tank.   That is a finicky fix but simple in concept.  Never thought I’d be doing small engine repair for fun.

Kids are home this week.  We thought a ‘chill’ week would be nice before starting the summer “camps” which babysit them for daylight hours.  With both parents working a whole industry has developed that provides “edutainment” options for daycare during the summer.  Home care to daycare to day camps to intensive supplemental school programs.  Decline of home time and decline of school systems combining to suck money out of parents pockets which makes them work harder and longer….  hmm, almost like it was planned.  Too many people making money off of it for any real change.

And swim team practice every morning for a couple of hours.  Last year they were in the same group.  This year I get to sit there for two groups…

And people need breakfast so I better get going.



Monday, May 27, 2019 – Memorial Day

84F and 75%RH with mostly sunny skies.

There is a price to be paid for our foreign adventures, regime change, nation building, what have you.

This day is for those who paid the price.

Enjoy the day with your family and friends, but remember those who can’t.




*ARLINGTON, VA – MAY 27: Mary McHugh mourns her dead fiance Sgt. James Regan at “Section 60” of the Arlington National Cemetery May 27, 2007. Regan, an American Special Forces soldier, was killed by an IED explosion in Iraq in February of this year, and this was the first time McHugh had visited the grave since the funeral. Section 60, the newest portion of the vast national cemetery on the outskirts of Washington D.C, contains hundreds of U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Family members of slain American soldiers have flown in from across the country for Memorial Day. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Mary McHugh

Sun. May 26, 2019 – more stuff to do

75F and 95%RH.  Yesterday was sunny, hot, and humid.  There was a very nice windy breeze most of the day that made it very tolerable in the shade.  Today should be similar.  Last night was beautiful, just like a Chicago summer night when I was growing up.

Paypal tells me I just sent my annual membership payment to TWiT.  It’s only $20 and I must have decided to continue last year, but I cancelled future payments.  Leo Laporte was doing good work, but it’s been years since I watched him or any of the spinoff shows.   I had previously cancelled my subscription to Jerry’s site, after one last one went through.

I made good progress on a number of small jobs yesterday and hope to continue making progress today.  I did figure out why you’d make your toilet seat bolt holder unique.   It seems that while I wasn’t paying attention, toilet seat makers decided that making a quick release attachment system would help them.  They call it “easy clean”.   All you have to do when the seat attachment area gets so nasty you need to remove it to clean it, is use your fingers and nails to pry up a flap and then pull the seat loose from the bolt holder.  Your fingers.  Nasty.  Anyway, I couldn’t find the part so I’ll fake it with washers which is what I should have done from the start.

The new IR emitter does a great job on the driveway.  What was a mostly black recording all night is now clearly visible.  I did notice that some of the individual LEDs are already failing.  Even mid range gear is made in China crap.  Hopefully I can find and install my big Bosch emitter for the back yard.  It’s gone missing in my office….

Well I better get moving.  Sitting here isn’t going to get anything done.



Sat. May 25, 2019 – “nuttin’ to do Abe…”

75F and saturated this am… yesterday was hot and so humid you could cut the air with a knife. All the weather I looked at shows clear for today with no precipitation.

The title comes from a video game, and is my silly reference to our family calendar which is completely blank today. I don’t recall a similar blank day in months. Of course, I have plenty to do that isn’t on the calendar.

If you don’t normally fly an American flag, take a few minutes to get one out (or purchase one) and show your support for the dead this weekend. The people who sent them into harms way may have been corrupt time serving freaks, or might have saved life as we know it, but the men and women who made the sacrifice deserve to be honored in their own right. You’ve got a couple of days, find the time. Ritual is important. Public displays of our values are important. For the survivors, seeing the support is important. For our enemies, seeing the support is important.

Take some time this long weekend to fix something. Fight back against the entropy of the universe by putting a little energy into some local re-ordering. Fix a relationship- make the phone call. Clean, organize, repair, paint, BUILD. Plant a seed, even just metaphorically.

Do not go gently into that dark night….


Fri. May 24, 2019 – finally Friday, or “Oh no, school’s out!”

75F with 97%RH this morning. Got a little overcast and smattering of drops yesterday, with a lot of gusty wind. Today should be similar. Hopefully the weather will hold through the long weekend.

I was dreaming that I had been stuck on the wrong side of town when the “event” came. Walking home. Small group of people, headed the same way, trying to beat the rush. Not really prepared. Somewhere we got camelbak bladders and were filling them when my alarm rang. I think I’m going to throw a camelbak into my car kit. Time to go through and refresh everything too.

For some reason, pistols are cheap right now. I recommend shopping for one if you have the funds… good stuff new for under $300 if you look around. Get some ammo too while you are at it.

AR500 Armor has been running various sales too, including discounts and BOGO on their popular entry level setup. If the trauma system isn’t working you need to avoid getting holes poked in your torso… not really a bad idea even if the system is up!

WIDTWIP [what I did this week in prepping, I think, as I couldn’t remember the exact words when I came back to the post.  No universal acronym for the idea…]   to follow in comments, after breakfast. Now I’ve got to get the kids off to school for the last time this spring. Summer is truly here.


Thur. May 23, 2019 – it’s getting weird out there

79F and 91%RH. Yesterday was partly cloudy with a smattering of drops. Another win for It seems to be good for my area at least.

There are so many things going on that it’s hard to even chronicle them.

People are getting weird though. According to my gun store friends, they are getting more ‘determined’ people, who they might not have seen before, who know what they want and are intent on getting it. Ammo seems very popular too, and they are ordering extra to cover the demand (in bulk packaging too.)

I’ve seen two guys in my neighborhood out walking or jogging (clearly exercising) while wearing extra gear. One guy was wearing his plate carrier (and was with his female companion) and the other was wearing a rucksack in OD green. They are clearly doing extra conditioning (as several online forums suggest.) Usually our joggers are wearing 3 ounces of lightweight fabric and a sheen of sweat…

Several new gun ranges have opened on my side of town.

Mountain House is back in the Costco here. New variety pack, marketed as “Adventure Food.” I buy the multipacks when I have space in the budget and the cart. I add instant drinks, desserts, and more instant oatmeal to each box, then stack them. It’s coming up on hurricane season so it makes sense to stock it to Costco.

Costco also has inverter gennies on big discounts here. Over $100 off.

I better get cooking breakfast, more later….