Thur. Oct. 31, 2019 – Happy Halloween!

Probably cool and wet. [WOW, my weather station says 39F and 87%RH] Hopefully warmer and dry later.

I like Halloween. Don’t care about any of the overt meanings or undertones. I like decorating and it gives me a chance to use some of my theater fag skills. Last year was rainy, and this year is rainy, so I’m a lot behind on decorating, from where I’d like to be. I had ideas for 3 new additions to my display this year, and I don’t think I’ll get any of them done. One of my rules is that it can’t take time away from other things, so they have to be pretty down and dirty, and quick. With all the other things I’ve had going on, I just didn’t find the time. Oh well, there is next year. Part of me is already planning the changes to my Christmas display…

Of course, with the rain and cold comes the aches and pains. It’s been about 13 years since I had the cartilage in my knees cleaned up, and they are starting to ache again. Joy. Hands hurt, knees hurt, neck hurts, hips hurt, oh my it’s a total whine fest this morning… still, a burden shared, and all that…

I better get my grumpy kids and sick wife out of the house. I do hope the weather gets nice for the trick or treaters.

n

Wed. Oct. 30, 2019 – the days keep flying by…

68F and wet. At a guess. [66F and drizzling at 6am, 0.07in of rain since midnight]

Yesterday started at 68F and got a bit warmer. It got a whole lot wetter. It was still misty and occasional drizzle when I went to bed.

I didn’t get much of my list done yesterday, what with several hours of phone and remote pc support for my mom in Florida smack in the middle of the day. The one saving grace was how easy it is to use Teamviewer (despite my frustrations with the constant updating). Installing that should be a no brainer for anyone doing remote support for friends or family. I’ve used gotomypc, and various versions of VNC, but Teamviewer is the easiest I’ve used. (I still install VNC on all machines when I set them up, but I realized a week or so ago that I haven’t used it in years. At least TightVNC doesn’t nag you for updates, it just sits there waiting….

One of my issues with supporting mom’s pc is that I set it up for dad, and his use was very limited. I used one of the little ‘appliance’ win10 machines that cost about $120 and that includes the windows license. The little thing only has 32G of ramdisk for C: (which I figured would be plenty for windows and a couple of games- wrong!), and I added a 64G SD card for everything else. The little thing would play 4 simultaneous youtube streams before choking, so it is actually pretty powerful, for what it is. But, limited. I had to talk her through adding a USB hub so that she could use a thumbdrive. The new printer connects with wifi. Any new software has to be installed on the D: drive, which is a complication for someone who is “not a computer person”.

The biggest frustration for an older person attempting to use a pc for anything is the constant updating. Every time she tries to do something, it forces updates to the program. The OS nags you to update (seems that win OSs now expire and have to be updated, even though the major release version will remain the same? WTF?) She just wants to do x, and can’t because 3 other things must happen first. AND the OS coughs up scary warnings about making changes when she does click on OK. Sometimes the update window doesn’t come to the foreground and the pc looks like it’s locked up. All in all, not a good experience for the casual or inexperienced user.

To finish up, I’ll need to find space on C:, probably by cleaning up WinSxS, update, and then work with my wife and mom to get her iPad and iPhone printing to the new printer. (My wife is the apple person in our family.)

By the time this is done, MS will owe me for about 5 hours of support. I don’t think I’ll get it.

Meanwhile, Halloween approaches! Mr Lynn needs to stock up on Kandy Korn while he can, 30 or 40 pounds should be enough, no? Think of the children!

I need to get the rest of my decor set up, and get the candy and toys ready. I always threaten to hand out cigarettes, and my sweet wife always talks me out of it. Probably better that way. Cheaper too. Dang cigarettes are expensive. Lawyers too.

n

Tues. Oct. 29, 2019 – trying again, got stuff to do

High 50s? Damp for certain. [68F at 6am, I didn’t want to believe my weather station.]

Didn’t get as much done yesterday as I should have. Computers, procrastination, and the need to go to the bank for a deposit all messed up my plans.

This time for sure.

On the bright side, I’m not fleeing from the most powerful armed forces on earth…

I’m just fleeing from my own list of ToDo’s…

n

Mon. Oct. 28, 2019 – finally a completely open day

Low 50s and damp. [actually, 60F and 99%RH]

Beautiful day yesterday. Started cool and overcast but turned into a picture postcard day. Chamber of Commerce weather.

My calendar for today is completely clear. All the things I need to do are MY things. I better get some done. No excuses today. Groceries are in. Kids are at school. No pickups or sales. Just fix stuff to list, fix stuff to use, list stuff, and maybe take a load to auction.

Hopefully the news cycle will leave me alone so I can work on stuff.

Late last night in yesterday’s comments I posted a link to a zerohedge article about the fedgov takeover of broadcasting. 1934. Funny how that year crops up in other places that seriously curtail another amendment to the constitution. Almost as if there was a change in the character of our government…. Anyway, if even half the stuff he writes about is accurate, and his interpretation is correct, it explains a lot about how we got to here.

Some other things to think about are real ebola and pig ebola. One is still going on in africa, the other in China. I should have a list of things I’ve gotten wrong. Price movements for food would appear several times on the list… almonds got a couple of bucks more, then went back down. Ham got expensive, then went back down. Maple syrup is down almost 3 or 4 dollars from its high. Stock market didn’t crash (yet). Oil came down from $100/bbl. So maybe I’m not the best predictor of market prices, but if china has killed or lost almost twice the number of pigs in the whole US, and this pig ebola is now spreading outside of China, it might be time to stack some bacon and chops in the freezer. Just sayin’. You can always eat them later, and they are inexplicably cheap atm (unless it’s because of impending feed shortages, and farmers are selling off herds before they get sick, especially with high demand). In any case, if it’s cheap, and might get dear, putting some away makes sense.

If you thought you might like to raise some chickens, this would be the time to start climbing that learning curve.

The same goes for shooting supplies.

80% lowers are no good without at LEAST having barrels (same for stripped lowers). And complete uppers can be had cheaply ATM. Heck, PSA has complete AR kits, minus the lower receiver, for very good prices. (I’ve posted links previously.) My gun store buddy can’t compete and doesn’t see how they can do it for long. Ammo, mags, and parts kits, as well as web gear, could all become very dear literally overnight. Personal armor could vanish with the stroke of a pen, just like bump stocks.

When things get bad, they usually do it very quickly and it catches people by surprise. SOME people though see it coming. Do you see any path at all that has things getting better before they get worse? If not, what are you doing to get ready?

nick

Sat. Oct. 26, 2019 – getting closer to Halloween…

Cold and damp. [51F and 91%RH at 8am, with gusty wind]

Turned the t-stat to “heat” last night for the first time of the season. Temp in the house was a chilly 71F. At that point my hands get cold and hurt, and my nose gets cold. If my nose stays cold for any length of time, I get sick. I hate being sick. So I turned on the furnace. It was 53F and damp with gusting winds. The wind comes in through the 50 year old windows like they aren’t even there. (the ones I haven’t sealed with heat shrink window film anyway.) A window upgrade has been on my list for years, but the money never works out. And who knows, I might be moving next year.

Yup. Wife informed me that depending on how our middle school lottery goes, we might be moving to get to one of the schools she prefers. Le sigh. We both like this house and want to stay, but we bought it knowing it was not a ‘forever’ home. We figured it would last as long as our kids were in elementary school.

I may defer to her on issues like this, but I did take the opportunity to suggest moving OUT from the city if we were going to move… and I mentioned the article that said 8 of 10 people surveyed believed the US was heading for a Civil War. Her response was “who did they survey”? which is a good response, but irrelevant. It was front page news. Compare and contrast with ANYONE talking about civil war a year ago. When I pointed that out, her next sentence was “we’re not in a good place if there is a Civil War.” She may not be as ‘out’ as me, but she clearly has been thinking about some of the issues. Maybe I’ll be able to move further outside the metro area after all. I sure don’t want to move into the more restrictive areas that feed the “good” schools in our district. (She also doesn’t want to move because she wants to buy a ‘lake house’. Current focus is a log cabin style, on a one acre lakefront lot, in rural TX north of here. I want somewhere that isn’t Houston to retreat to if needed. I’d prefer west of here, but north works too.)

You don’t actually have to get too far out of Houston proper before it starts to get pretty rural, pretty quickly. I’ve thought for a long time that a town that is or was a county seat would be a good choice. Some downtown antique shops, a couple of B&Bs, more churches than bars…

Well, that’s all in the future anyway. Enough stuff to do to fill the present, without spending too much energy on that.

So, what if anything got done here prep-wise?

I bought some vegetable plants but didn’t get them in the ground yet. Bought a ‘garden weasel’ tool for the raised bed prep too. I guess I’ll see if it’s a gimmick or a tool. I’m going to try some ‘shake on’ fertilizer to.

Did some minor repair stuff around the house, have a long list of stuff waiting.

Wasted a bunch of time driving around, but saved a bunch of money on solid prep items in the auctions this week. Short week for doing anything, due to my volunteering at school, but hey, that’s the third short week in a row. It’s getting to be the new normal around here. (which isn’t good)

Picked up a bunch of parts and web gear. Ordered some other stuff that was cheap on sale. It hasn’t arrived yet, but I’m sure I’ll feel better with it here.

My work on the rental house seems to have held up, touch wood…

But I didn’t really get much done to reduce the pile here this week. Still need to do some more of that. At least 2 or three pallets worth need to leave the driveway so my wife knows I’m making progress.

Piling up stuff is a prepper risk. Many of the commentors I’d read at another blog (since sold out) seemed like borderline hoarding. I consider it, and worry about it myself. I am not there, but I could be if I lowered my standards. Organizing the pile and USING it goes a long way to dispelling the hoarding image.

And with that, I’ve got stuff to do. So I better get to it.

n

Fri. Oct. 25, 2019 – Finally Friday…

Cool. Damp. [53F and 99%RH is pretty cool and damp!]

Well, maybe not “finally” as this week went by very quickly. Tons of stuff to do still, so I’ll be avoiding work all day….

Wife and kids will be at Girl Scout camp this weekend, so I’ll be home alone with the dog. Wild women and parties, I guess.

Or maybe more work.

Either way, good times, amirite?

n

Thur. Oct. 24, 2019 – another school day

Cooler and dryer. For sure.

At school learning the secrets of the Fifth Grade science classes. Electricity and motors this week. This lab is not the guy’s strong suit according to the PTA coordinator. And he doesn’t take kindly to suggestions, or planning.

Fun times.

And so I’m off, to get some edumakation beat into some kids…

n

Wed. Oct. 23, 2019 – busy day

Cooler and somewhat dryer. Yesterday was very nice outside, as long as I avoided the sun. The sun was scorching my brain…

Today I’ve got my volunteer science class for the Fourth graders, followed by my ham radio lunch. That should keep me busy and out of comms until after 2pm…

I hope the world can watch after itself for a couple of hours, ‘cuz I can’t.

n

Tues. Oct. 22, 2019 – work, work, work…

Hot and wet? Could be, but it was beautiful by the end of the daylight hours yesterday. Sun came out, temps were held down, and the clear blue sky was great. Even had some pretty pinks and reds at dusk.

Picked up some of my auction items. Lots of parts for various build projects are piling up in the garage.

I’ll probably never get to them. Oh well, I’ll have them there if I need them.

Hit the Costco run yesterday and spent a bunch more than usual. Didn’t get bulk, but did pile a bunch of stuff in the cart. Sometimes my self-discipline sucks. I hope I do better at the grocery store today.

Rain delayed and shifted some of my plans so there is a cascade effect. Running around doing pickups added to that.

I’ve got my school volunteer days on Wed. and Thur. so I really need to get ahead of the curve.

Lots of yard decor to do too, but that falls down the list with each day.

nick