Wed. Nov. 20, 2019 – not quite time to start baking

Cool again, and damp. With rain in the forecast.

Lots more messing around today, and I better start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner. Need to avoid the rush…

And on a personal note, my ‘cold’ or whatever is developing a cough. Most of the day it’s fine, but gets worse at night. Not getting much up, but the itchy feeling in the throat is unpleasant.

I’m trying to get a little extra sleep but that isn’t working out too well.

If it ain’t one thing, it’s another. Too much to do to be sick.


Tues. Nov. 19, 2019 – the wheel turns

cold-ish, and damp. [46F and 99%RH]

It was nice yesterday by the time the sun was up for a few hours. A bit chilly in shirtsleeves, but crystal clear blue sky and mild breezes.

I managed to get my new roof rack installed on my Expedition. Finally. Now I need to do a few little finishing touches. No idea why I needed a rack, but one came available that matched what I had in my mind, and now it’s installed. Sometimes I just follow my gut.

I had hoped that my small flurry of ebay sales was a harbinger of change. Not so much. The funny thing is, my craigslist items have not gotten so much as a spam response. My wife says I might have to set up a fb account and get into the local trading pages. I REALLY don’t want to do that. If I do, I’ll use a sanitized lappy just for that. F Zuckerpig.

I think I better start thinking about Thanksgiving dinner too. It’s coming soon. Turkeys are finally on sale at 68c/pound. I’m thinking of smoking one this year. It makes for a long day but a delicious result.

Life, keeps happening.


(and that’s a good thing)

Mon. Nov.18, 2019 – another week to go, then the rush to the end

Cold. Damp. [47F and 99%RH, possibly]

I did get some stuff done yesterday. Beautiful weather for outdoor work. Bright overcast, shirt sleeves temps, not dripping wet.

I cut the grass and leaves, blew the debris, cleaned up some corners of the yard. I refilled the fish pond. Then I washed my Expedition. That took a few hours. I ended up scraping every inch with a credit card to get the pine sap and road tar off. I started out to just get the sap off the roof before I install my rack, since it will eat the paint, and I won’t be able to easily get to it after the rack goes on.

Well…. that took a bit, and I ended up doing the same treatment to the whole vehicle when I saw how damaged the paint on the roof was getting. I only wash the vehicles a few times a year so I was due. Perfect light and temps to wash a vehicle, but DANG that thing is big.


Apparently some celebrities were in town at our local mega-church. I was listening to the scanner when the event ended. Nothing much to hear, but our Special Response Group was out there working, and LOTS of other cops too. Wonder who paid for all that?


In other news, the Secret Service Threat Assessment Center released a report about “Targeted School Violence” that is worth a read if the subject interests you, or you end up debating gun control would-be tyrants. At least read the Executive Summary. They admit that outside law enforcement really can’t respond and that it has to be addressed before it starts. Their recommendation is essentially closely evaluating kids and deciding if there are causes for concern, and then DOING SOMETHING to help the kid. That sounds awesome, except for all the surveillance, investigation, data gathering, and dossiers.

And then, you actually have to do something, and it has to be effective…

“Four attackers in this study (11%) were referred to their school’s threat assessment team prior to their attack. In each of these four cases, a student or teacher at the school reported to someone in a position of authority that the attacker had made a direct threat toward classmates or school staff”

In the first 4 cases, the teams either didn’t think the threat merited investigation, or thought the threat minimal. For the kid who was referred a second time, they took it seriously enough to expel him for 3 weeks, but let him BACK IN for the next semester. All 4 kids went on to attack their school within a year or two.

Bullying or being bullied is another indicator/precursor the just doesn’t get addressed….

“WHO KNEW ABOUT THE BULLYING: From case-to-case, there were differences among who was aware of the bullying
experienced by the attacker. In almost half of the cases (n = 16, 46%), at least one of the attacker’s parents was
aware that their child experienced bullying. In 16 cases (46%) a classmate was aware, and in 12 cases (34%) a school
official was aware. In five cases (14%), there was evidence that all three groups knew that bullying was taking place”

Go and read the whole thing if you’re interested. It’s a big bucket of fail.


With that cheery thought, I’m getting ready to send my kids out the door and start my day.


Sun. Nov. 17, 2019 – headed toward the end of the year…

Cold again. And damp. [[41jF and 99%RH at 8am]

Spent yesterday morning doing a couple of pickups. Then an hour of tech support for my mom (unsuccessful- anyone know why quicken2017 wouldn’t install on a D drive from a cd in a USB external drive labeled E?) followed by a trip to the theatre downtown for a modern adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Venue is posted 30.06 and 30.07, so no carry there. Felt naked but at least we parked in the adjacent structure. No pat down or wanding, but it was properly marked. Had an armed off=duty HPD officer in the lobby. Getting out of the venue in a hurry would be a nightmare.

Since I couldn’t carry I doubled up on med supplies, and added a TQ to my booboo kit. It all seems like crazy overkill until it doesn’t…

I’m going to try to get some stuff done today. The week of volunteering has put me behind in my normal shopping. I should have picked up dog food, and made a Costco run last week. I did add 24 cans of beans and 8 cans of greens… and learned that you can improve the texture and flavor of expired waffle mix by adding baking powder, but it still isn’t right. Tastes ok if you’re hungry but it isn’t the light and delicious normal result. Fortunately it is very cheap.

I’m definitely coming down with something. Scratchy throat, stuffy head, sore eyes… headache on Wed and Thur. Started in on the Airborne…

and now, stuff to do. No rest for the wicked.


Sat. Nov. 16, 2019 – another week sped by

cool, wet. [39F and 99%RH but sunny and bright]

Yesterday was nice once it warmed up a bit, but it got cold again in the afternoon. Clear sunny day though.

Well, I didn’t buy anything at the Needville estate. The laser pre-sold. The CNC router was lighter weight that I thought, and $1500. Most of the other tool and outdoor stuff was priced very reasonably, even crazy cheap… But still too rich for my blood. The indoor stuff was HIGH. The ham gear (vintage Heathkit) was immaculate, but priced like it was dipped in gold.

The only thing I saw inside that was reasonable was a pair of bose 301 series III speakers. They were $175 and they sell for about half again more on ebay. Not enough room for a reseller, but if you were looking for a pair, they were a nice discount. The guy collected trains, clocks, machine tools, hobby and craft stuff, and a bunch of collectibles, and all I could find was a couple of books for my post-apoc library. Even they were overpriced at $5, $3, and $3. There was one little slide rule I’m hoping to flip for my gas money. And that’s it.

I did pickup some auction items and previewed next week’s sale. A nice spam can of 7.62, and an ammo can of mystery rounds. I’ll be a bidder. Also got an Aquatainer at a thrift store I couldn’t resist shopping while I was driving by. Can’t have too much water storage.

Didn’t get the plants in the ground this week. Maybe Sunday. Harvested the one orange but haven’t eaten it yet. Still getting nice sweet peppers though. Lemons should be good in a week’s time, maybe sooner. This year I’ll do the fall pruning on the grapevines and see how that helps.

My pile of stuff is starting to get bids in the local auction, so that’s good. Just need to get another load or two over there.

So much to do. And I’ll be spending a few hours today watching musical theatre, with the wife and kids. “Free” tickets. All they cost is your life…. (cue maniacal laughter…..)

I’ve heard some good progress in comments this week. Keep stacking.


Fri. Nov. 15, 2019 – finally a break in volunteering….

Cold, and wet. [39F and 99%RH]

I know, I bring it on myself. Working with the kids is FUN. Seeing them ‘get’ a concept is great. Coming up with ideas that work, and that help their understanding is pretty cool too. Plus, being in the school gives me insight that I couldn’t get from outside.

I still have a full day. Two pickups on opposite sides of town, and a sale that is over an hour south. The sale has hobby machine tools, a CNC router, ham gear, and a ton of stuff that is related. The guy had money and toys. (the brand new epilog laser engraver, with every option, sold before the sale, so at least I won’t be trying to convince my wife that I need a $10K laser…) I suppose I really don’t need to be buying, but the time to buy is when you see it.

Lots of driving today, once I leave the house.


Thur. Nov. 14, 2019 – another volunteer day

Cold, but I don’t know how cold. Not even sure we got below freezing last night. My weather station is still locked up. Not enough sunshine to charge the batteries, I guess. Time for some new ones.

Speaking of batteries, I have been running eneloops in my EDC FLASHLIGHT, the Pelican 1920. I discovered that the eneloops have a much softer case than other disposables. The ends are particularly soft. When I dropped my FLASHLIGHT, the shock caused the tit of one battery to dimple the butt of the other, and they no longer made good contact. Now I’m careful to put the dimpled battery in last so it contacts the spring, and the tit presses firmly against the first battery’s flat butt. Anyone else notice this?

I opened 4 rusty cans from my LTS food last night. I needed the cans for a science experiment, and I don’t trust the ones with rust. Two were ‘pop top’ black beans, and two were normal cans of collards. In all cases the cans were still holding vacuum, despite the rusted edges. Looking inside the cans though, in one case you could see discoloration where the rust was almost through the can. They’d all still have been good to eat, but I’m not taking chances when I don’t have to.

Also, when cleaning some of the cans, I found a swollen can. It was pineapple and about 5 years old. I threw that away. Two pop top campbells soup cans were soft to the touch, ie. not holding vac. Those went into the trash too. Visible rust on the cans. Due to modern cost cutting, I don’t think we can count on cans lasting as long as they used too. Take that into consideration.

My storage area and conditions leave a LOT to be desired. Clearly not the proverbial cool, dry place. Still, I hate to see can failures. At one point I swore off cans because of the rust. But in order to get some variety, and save money, I just accept that I will lose cans. Heck, I’ve lost pouches and boxes too.

Make your conditions as good as you can. Cover your cans. Rotate and inspect your stock. Store what you eat, eat what you store.

And stack it high.


Tues. Nov. 12, 2019 – field trip day

Cold today! [36F with 80%RH at 6am]

Headed to the museum of natural history as a chaperone for my daughter’s gifted and talented class, I’ll be disarmed for several hours. Not liking that at all.

Meanwhile, in Hong Kong, they’re lighting people on fire….

In Bolivia, the ruler stepped down.

Anyone still think this isn’t one of those periods when everything changes?


Mon. Nov. 11, 2019 – Veteran’s Day in the US

Cold, damp, rain forecast. [wrong- 65F and 94%RH, practically balmy]

Yesterday was very nice by late afternoon. In fact, I was sweating while I used the GardenWeasel ™ on the raised beds. Added some soil, will try to get the plants in the ground today. Will also try getting more of my list done, but we’ll see.

Kids are in school. I thought we might have today off, since .gov is closed, but still not actually honoring vets I guess. I will and will make sure the kids know what today is about.

Daughter got home from her sleepover at about 830 last night, and went right to bed. Grumpy and tired is on the menu for today… and not just for her 🙂

And so another week begins, and we march closer to the end of the year.

Lots to do,