Month: January 2020

Tues. Jan. 21, 2020 – back at it

Cold and wet.

It stayed pretty cool yesterday. Clear and sunny though, which was nice.

The Virginia buffalo jump turned out ok after all. Thank God. And some of the coverage at least was fairer than I expected. The contrast to antifa and BLM rallies was striking. Physical fitness is also clearly not a priority for either the demonstrators or the cops standing by. I hope they have beans as well as bullets stacked up.

Spent some time talking to my dentist yesterday about liberty issues, and hobby gardening. Meatspace!

I’ve got some auction pickups today. I know I said I was gonna cut back, but I also believe you have to buy it when you see it. All useful and needful things.

My science class is tomorrow and I’m not sure what I’m supposed to be covering. I need to get that sorted out today too.

And all the usual things need doing this week, including grocery shopping… The week seems two days shorter whenever I lose a Monday. So sad.

So I’m off to get started.


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Mon. Jan. 20, 2020 – unhappy anniversary

Cool and damp.

Today is the two year anniversary of the passing of Robert Bruce Thompson. It seems incredible to me that two years have passed both because it doesn’t seem that long, and because that means I’ve done more than 700 blog posts (wordpress says 756 of 3157).

When some men die, it’s as if a library burned, and that is certainly true for Bob. I thought to ask him a chemistry question just a couple of days ago. His books and kits go a way toward filling the gap, but the gap remains.

I’m enormously grateful for all the people who visit and comment here and help keep the place a living legacy. My sincere thanks for hanging around. It is the commentors and exchanges in the comments that make this place what it is. And I couldn’t do it without Rick’s help and support.

So please, take a moment, raise a glass to absent friends. Remember those who have gone before us, and those left behind.


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Sun. Jan. 19, 2020 – family home later

Cooler and damp.

Yesterday the sun eventually came out, leading to a fairly nice early evening. I got my Jack in the Box dinner, and then fell asleep in my office chair. Wild women and parties, indeed.

From the news–

-I hope this isn’t a surprise to anyone here:

EXCLUSIVE: Secret document that PROVES Iran was building a nuclear weapon as far back as 2002 – even while they claimed the technology was only for peaceful purposes

The document was seized as part of a raid by Israeli intelligence agents on a compound in Tehran in 2018
It is from an Iranian official requesting the parameters of a warhead fitted on a missile in November 2002
Scribbled in the top left corner is a note from regime’s nuclear chief Moshen Fakhrizadeh, who signs off plans
Document forms the centrepiece of an as-yet unreleased report highlighting Iran’s ‘clandestine’ nuclear

–you know, or it could be a brilliant forgery designed to lead us by the nose. Since it’s opposite what BHO pushed, I’m inclined to go with “truth”.

-OR this, again, no one paying attention here should be surprised:

Hundreds of law enforcement agencies are using a new facial recognition app that can reveal names and addresses of unknown individuals by comparing them to THREE BILLION images scraped from the internet

More than 600 police departments are said to be using the Clearview AI app
The app reportedly uses facial recognition AI to match uploaded photos to the three billion images it has in its database
The database contains images gathered from all over the internet and can include identifying details, such as names and addresses
Police have said that they were able to solve cases by using Clearview AI

–the ability to remain anonymous is going to become the new status symbol of the truly powerful.

–I’m pretty sure that NO ONE at the Virginia demonstration will remain anonymous. Someone has to do it, but I’m not going.


I better get the house cleaned up before everyone gets home!


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Sat. Dec. 18, 2020 – girls are away and the mouse will play!

Cooler and wet.

Got mist and rain throughout the area and the day yesterday, with the sun peeking through in the afternoon. I’m hoping my wife and girls don’t get wet for their Girl Scout camp weekend.

Speaking of which, the dog and I are gearing up for our wild women and parties weekend…. anyone know any? I thought I might watch an R rated movie or something last night, but instead I messed around on the internet. Like every night. My big splurge was supposed to be an Ultimate Bacon Cheeseburger, fries, and a vanilla shake, but I forgot on the way home. So I had leftovers. Wahhhhh.

Almost all of my auction pickups were items for the household. Only one lot is at all prepping, and only if it comes to war. Not the most productive week. I do have an excuse- I’ve got the same crud clogging up my head and lungs that the rest of the area does. I’m better, but still not 100%.

After sleeping in a bit, I’ve got more pickups and the same old stuff to do. Maybe my potential ebay buyer will commit. He’s in Puerto Rico, using auto translate. He made an offer on an item, but the “free” shipping will be high. I can’t judge his offer until I get a shipping quote, and UPS won’t give me one without a street address. The potential buyer can’t give me his (ebay policy) and UPS claims that ever address I get from the google maps is invalid. I don’t think I’ll be able to accept the guy’s offer. This is one of the pitfalls of offering “free shipping” like ebay encourages you to do. In reality the shipping cost comes out of the sale price, and I can’t control the cost, so my profit depends on where someone lives…. (on this item, which is 30 pounds)

Jeez I’m whiny today.

Well, I better get something done.


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Fri. Jan. 17, 2020 – finally Friday

Warm and wet. [61F and drizzle/heavy mist]

This week took it’s own time to end. Despite that, I’m farther behind than when I started.

In terms of preps, I’m still mainly buying things. With the rain, I haven’t been able to do some of the organization and cleanup I need to do.

On the other hand, I’m working the meatspace thing. I am gratified to learn that our school district has finally begun implementing some of the things I’ve been agitating for- stop the bleed training, and bleeding control kits. On the gripping hand, getting involved in School Board and school stuff takes a lot of time, and has a steep learning curve. The amount of insular, clannish nonsense is astounding. Hope you don’t mind me sharing this clusterflock.

One of my EMS/Fireservice newsletters has links to new policy and direction from FEMA this week.

FEMA releases updated Community Lifelines resources

Lifelines are critical services that enable communities to function. Examples
include communications, energy and security. When these Community Lifelines
are disrupted by an emergency or disaster it is crucial to stabilize them as quickly
as possible to support the needs of the community during response and recovery.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) released the updated
“Community Lifelines Implementation Toolkit 2.0” and the “Incident Stabilization
Guide.” These documents provide updated information and resources so the
emergency management community can better understand and implement
Community Lifelines.

Since its creation, the lifelines concept has been widely accepted throughout the
emergency management community, because the simplicity and plain language
used for lifelines eases coordination and communication among partners at
multiple levels.

This is a different way of looking at disasters, and framing the question of “What has happened, what needs doing, and who should do it?” FEMA and other EMgmt agencies will be using this framework during your next disaster. Like getting Incident Management training, CERT training, etc, I think it’s important to understand where .gov is coming from and what you can expect them to do.

Further, their list of lifelines makes a pretty good starting list for personal preps, organized by criticality and grouped logically.

I’ll be out and about doing pickups and running errands most of the day, once I leave the house. I’ll be home in the late afternoon to send the girls off to camp though. Then it’s wild women and parties for the weekend……


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Thur. Jan. 16, 2020 – civic engagement, I haz it

Warm and wet. [70F and 99%RH] You were thinking it would be something else?

Well, first meeting of our course in how our school district works is under the bridge. First half was about the Board, and what they do vs. the Administration. Second half was about safety and security.

Questions, I haz them. SO I asked, and asked, and challenged, and disputed. They were going to do a dog (really) and pony (not really) show. Look at us, we’re so experienced, trained, and [fat]. Oh, did I use an “a”? Yeah, meant it too. It was going to be a whitewash and a handwave. Notsofast….

I asked enough sharp questions they ganged up on my and promised they’d tell me all, if I’d come in and see them LATER. We ran out of time. So I stayed late and asked them questions. To their credit they seem to be moving on some of the things I want. They are doing ‘stopthebleed’ classes for staff. They are buying and distributing bleeding control kits. I pointed out that having them in the nurses office does NOTHING for the kid on the second floor bleeding out during an event. The Director even gave me two kits. I’ll put them in my classroom. I’ll be meeting with him later to get some of my technical questions asked. I’ll be going through the kits later today.

I met a couple of the other folks there and started some conversations. Meatspace!

Plenty to do today. Wife and girls will be doing a girl scout sleep away camp starting Friday night so I’m already planning the wild women and parties….. or I could sleep the whole time, and get over this snotty head and cough. Either way, stuff to do….


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Wed. Jan. 15, 2020 – I’m sure to learn something tonight

Wet, warmish. [70F and wet on the ground]

Drizzle most of yesterday with the sun finally coming out in the afternoon. Still have water everywhere it’s so damp.

Tonight I’ve got the first meeting for our ISD ‘community leadership development’ program. Since we’re the first cohort through the program, I’ve got no idea how or what exactly it will be, but based on the calendar, we’ll be getting a good idea of how the district works. Tonight’s topic is school security. I hope we don’t get bogged down in the shooting yesterday.


Cartel wars in Mexico seem to be heating up. I’d say to our border state residents – stay aware and stay awake, but it goes for everyone. The cartels and the illegals have thoroughly penetrated every corner of our nation.


Not cartel related, but another officer involved shooting/ defensive gun use-

I counted 14 shots. I’m beginning to think about a .40 or a .45. These guys aren’t stopping. Carry and practice your reload. Don’t let the SOB close with you.

Things are getting worse, and will continue to do so. Use the time to get ready.


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Tues. Dec. 14, 2020 – feeling even worse

Warm and damp. So damp. 69F and raining.

We had still air and fog when I went to bed last night. Everything was wet with dew. Drizzle all day too.

I’m feeling more under the weather every day. I might even go to the doctor. Nose is starting to run, and I’m sneezing as well as coughing now. Joy.

More of the same for me to do today. At least I am starting to sell some stuff on ebay again. I just have to keep listing… and I think their algorithm rewards sales with better ranking as a sort of self fulfilling prophesy.

The world continues on, flailing towards a great reset.

I have been watching gardening videos. I’m definitely trying some potatoes this year. The “Farmer Boy” Laura Ingalls Wilder book that I’m currently reading with the little one just went through their harvest. LOTS of apples, carrots, potatoes, and grains. Many mentions of watermelon rind pickles. They race to get the potatoes harvested before the ground freezes. All the harvest described has me thinking of my own garden… and how unsuccessful I’ve been and how inadequate my harvests. I’ve got to do better this year.

But first, get the kids and wife out the door.


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Mon. Jan. 13, 2020 – got a couple of things done

Cold and wet. Again. [51F and gentle drizzle]

Well, yesterday stayed chilly all day, although it technically got a bit warmer.

I stopped at a sale while out running errands, and picked up another accurite weather station for $20. Now I’ve got a spare, although I broke the anemometer getting it down from the garage soffit. I might just put the receiver display in the bedroom if it will hear my current station. It will be nice to see the temps when I get up. If I get a chance I’ll try it today.

I also moved my SIM card and SD card to my new phone. Contrary to my fear, it went without a hitch. I can happily say that for me, buying an “amazon refurbished” phone in “new” condition was exactly that and worked seamlessly, while saving me several hundred dollars. There is nothing about the phone to indicate it was anything less than new. I’ve ordered a protective sleeve for it so I don’t break it in the first week like I did my old phone.

To get the photos off my old phone’s built in storage, I signed up for google photos. It synced my old phone to my google account and moved all the pix. I haven’t yet found the vids though (they may not move, but they should be backed up elsewhere. If not, I’ll be microsoldering sometime soon.) The google photos page does some really cool things automagically. The coolest is “animations” where it takes any shots that are sequential and loops them into an animation. It really brings the pics to life. I tend to shoot candids in bursts, hoping to get a good one out of the group, so I have a bunch of unexpected and very satisfying animations. As a bonus, I can share the photo account with my wife so she can see them too. Some of the other things it did- it created panoramas out of a series of shots, it did something it calls “color pop” where only the main figure in the image is in color and all the background is in black and white (which is both very well done, and quite dramatic), and it built slide shows with music for related photos. All very cool, and all automated. The tech behind it is pretty impressive.


I’m hoping the rain holds off for a couple of days. It would be nice to have some moderate temps and have stuff dry out a bit. I’ve still got plenty to do outdoors.

Plenty indoors too for that matter.

So I better get to it.


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Sun. Jan. 12, 2020 – Chilly!

Chilly willy today.

It was 40F at midnight, and it isn’t much warmer [41F and 99%RH]. Damp too.

Plenty to do today, but I’m aiming for indoor stuff. I just hurt too bad in the cold and damp. Wife is planning and packing for a girl scout camping trip, and we’re discussing whether to take the Mr Heater Little Buddy or not. If it was today, it would be a sure thing. Given that this is Houston, it might be back to the 80s by next weekend.

I feel like I’m coming down with some sort of chest thing. I was coughing all day yesterday. I feel just a bit ‘not quite right’ in my head and throat. It’s the joy of the season, 40F degree fluctuations in temperature and dampness, combined with too little sleep and I get sick. Kids are back in school, so that vector may be at work too. Joy.

Well, I better get to doing something. I’ve got ebay shipping to do if nothing else.


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