Month: February 2020

Wed. Feb. 19, 2020 – volunteer day, and ham lunch

Cooler and rainy.

The rain held off all day yesterday, but I still didn’t get anything done outside. I did get some prep stuff, shipping, and some ebay stuff done during the day.

Today I have my 4th grade volunteer day. We’ll be doing centripetal and centrifugal forces, why the moon doesn’t crash to earth or fly away, and why the earth isn’t round…. I hope my activities work out. We’ll see.

My weekly ham radio lunch is local to me today so I’ll be able to get there even with my morning class. Meatspace baby.

Then afternoon stuff, auction pickups mainly. I know I wasn’t going to buy more, but they had a bunch of PPEs. Tyvek, gloves, booties, AB soaps and cleaners, all good and welcome stuff. Some masks but I passed when the prices got too high.

I fully expect to see lots of new infections in Japan since they’ve started to disperse the plague ship passengers even though some tested positive just yesterday. I expect them wherever home is for those poor folks too. And hey, way to go State, now we’ve got double the patients, and we’re putting the BL-4 treatment center to use. Good show.

Stack it high. Meet some locals. Start planning to pull in your shell.


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Tues. Feb. 18, 2020 – time’s flyin’ by…

Warmish and damp. Probably. [71F and 99%RH with moisture condensing on the ground]

I did get some things done yesterday but no work outside. Didn’t think I could leave the sisters un-supervised. Especially after the slapping each other nonsense… School’s back today, so Hurrah!

This is a crazy week for me though, short because of the holiday, then two mornings of volunteer work, and then it’s basically over again. Jeez.

But enough of that. I’ve got stuff to do before the plague gets here. One case in Beaumont confirmed. 7 transited through on their way to BL-4 in Omaha… Anyone else notice that the one single cruise ship now has more cases than the whole rest of the world ex-china? Wait for Africa and India to start checking in with what MUST already be there. Then central and south america- there’s no shortage of chinese there either.

Lots to do, but only if the rain holds off. If we get rain today and tomorrow, I’ll have to shift gears.

Keep stacking folks.


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Mon. Feb. 17, 2020 – Presidents Day, I guess

Cool and a bit drier. [got that wrong, 63F and saturated, with haze and low fog]

Yesterday stayed damp and overcast. It was ok for work in the yard and driveway though.

I did make some small progress on stuff in the driveway and on general clean up. Some yard (pond fountain) stuff too.

I’m digging out some powered respirators I bought after Ebola 1, but never sold or got running. Big pile o stuff. That’s me. Smaug. Without the temper, and stuff- not gold. So I guess not really at all…

I’ve been busy in the comments over at Aesop’s for the last couple of days. Same stuff as here, mostly. But then we got us a troll. Actually the troll showed up previously but wasn’t so obvious. Man, what a difference this place is. And what a treasure. One troll p!ssing all over everything just has an outsized impact on use and enjoyment. Any time I think about “driving more traffic” here, I think about guys like that troll and stop that nonsense.

Oh, one other thing I did today was pull a piece of test gear out of my “shack” and install the two other pieces of gear that have been sitting on the floor in my office. The piece I pulled is 60 pounds if it’s an ounce. I’m hoping to sell it at next month’s Hamfest, and with the decent weather, it made sense. I have to pull it through my window, from outside to get it out. And to power everything up, I have to stand out there and reach in through the windows… My test gear is all stacked on a sort of bumped out window thing, like a bay window, with my desk in front of it. No way I could clear the desk enough to move 60 pounds into the room. So out the window it went. Tomorrow, if it’s still dry, I’ll be doing something similar through the other window, putting an AV receiver behind my monitor and setting up some decent speakers. It will get it off my floor, which is a plus, and I’m listening to more music lately at higher volumes when no one is home.

All that will take place in between working in the garage on food and medical storage, in the driveway, and working on ebay stuff–all while watching the kinder. Because they’ll be home from school all day, but my wife will be working.

Maybe I’ll get the grapevines trimmed somewhere in there too.

And try to keep tabs on the KungFlu.

Keep stacking.


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Sun. Feb. 16, 2020 – got a few things done, SO MUCH more to do

Cool and slightly drier than most days.

Nice day yesterday, although it did get cloudy and overcast in the afternoon. Wife got some yard work done. I got some yard work done. I did a little ebay and storage reorganizing, and packed an item for shipment. I met with a buyer for a hand delivery on some speakers. Saved me the effort of packing them well. He was on time too, which was nice.

I’ve got ONE thin little stalk of asparagus poking up. The broccoli I planted ran directly to flower. The limes are heavy with flower buds. Peach still hasn’t quite budded. I’m still getting some peppers from the two year old plants but will get some new ones in the ground soon. I cleaned out (well, started) some of my fence “window boxes” and will get some root veg in there ASAP. Turnips, radishes, and beets are all on the calendar this week and next as a good time to plant.

I spent some time cleaning leaves out of the area around the garage and fence, and the driveway. I’ve been working on it for a week or more. It should help get rid of some of the damp, and maybe help with the critters too.

I bought a couple of rat trap poison feeders, and put one in the driveway, and one in the attic. I re-baited another. Something has been eating the bait in the attic, mice probably, and the dead rat on the lawn says that there are still rats here somewhere. Even if they’re not eating my preps, I don’t want them around.

Rats, garbage, and sanitation issues are problems in quarantined china. Pics show people throwing trash and worse out their windows into shared courtyards. If you haven’t already learned from my saga, get some traps and poison so you’ll have it on hand when needed.

The virus is spreading and turning up in new places. The chinese continue to crack down harder- as that’s what oppressive governments do. Gotta stop the trucks from moving, even if it means dumping food on the ground while people go hungry. Gotta keep people from gathering, even if it means wrestling with them hand to hand.

Prepare for the virus to get loose here, and celebrate when it doesn’t. Prepare for the economy to tank due to the loss of China and chinese goods. Maybe we’ll dodge the effects, but I don’t think so.

I know what I’m doing. I hope you guys do too.


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Sat. Feb. 15, 2020 – family, work, stuff, more and more

Cold and clear, but damp. [50F and 80%RH at 9am]

Yesterday stayed cold but did get a clear blue sky for most of the day. I spent the afternoon running around.

Today, I’ve got a basketball game, housework, yard work, and I’m meeting a guy to finish an ebay sale.

So, busy like normal.

Meanwhile, the virus never sleeps. CDC is prepping the battlespace with their assurances that more WuFlu is coming to America. They have started national surveillance using the existing flu network (to find it when it breaks out), and they are reviewing existing plans for pandemic. They talked about shifting from containment to mitigation (when it gets out into the community)… and the economic effects are starting to be felt around the world.

China is going full totalitarian in their response. Lots of video getting out as people start getting desperate and seem to be saying “F it, I’m telling the world.” And still, where are all the people? Also, Don’t give up your guns.

There may be Sweet and Sour Sicken in the wild in Hawaii. There is a report that a japanese man is confirmed to have it, but never went to China, only Hawaii. Lots of asians vacation in Hawaii. Sort of tellingly, none of the new CDC surveillance efforts are in Hawaii….

And there was no further info about the planes that were intercepted in Heathrow…

Take this seriously folks. You might find you REALLY need to stay home for a month or two. We’ll have some more time, and there will be more to confirm it’s heading in that direction, but if you wait too long, all the good stuff will be gone. Like masks. Get your prescriptions filled. Get some OTC remedies for the ordinary stuff you WON”T be going to the ER or Urgent Care for when it’s full of sick people. Go through your medicine cabinet and see what you might actually have left over… build off that.

Yeah I know, zerohedge is doomer pron… I’ve lived here XX years and never evacuated before… the weather liars always get it wrong… you’ve been in full on sky is falling before and nothing came of it………..

Doesn’t mean that this isn’t really bad.

Keep stacking.


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Fri. Feb. 14, 2020 – Happy Feast of St. Valentine

Cool and crisp, still wet. [39F and 99%RH, see your breath weather]

Yesterday stayed cool but got very clear. The drive to Austin and back was very windy too.

It was a lot of driving for one lot, even if it was a good lot, so I hit the Goodwill Outlet hoping for a big score. No sluch ruck…. no vintage audio, no single good piece. I still got 50 pounds of stuff, but it’ll be grinding to make the trip worthwhile.

I hope everyone with a sweetie takes a few moments to let them know you love them. None of us know how short our time is, and it makes a difference to say it out loud.

In bat soup crazy land, both SiG and Aesop spell out why it’s a bad idea to keep all the people on the cruise ship/plague boat, and why someone might be doing it will full malice aforethought… Fairly closed experiment and all that.

One takeaway from the quarantine reporting, and CDC’s non-working test, DON’T GET ON THE BUS. They are bumblers and they are getting people infected. Their goals are NOT your goals. No one is coming to help.

Xi laid the groundwork for the return to the fixed numbers when he said it would be a long grim war. Watch for him to do something similar again. This is not going away.

And I’ve got lots of stuff to do, including backstopping the wife on her travel arrangements for the next two trips I don’t particularly want to take. So I’m off….


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Thur. Feb. 13, 2020 – Friday the 13th comes on a Thursday this month…

Cooler and wet. [45F and 96%RH]

I spent yesterday scrambling most of the day. Meatspace. Takes a lot of time.

Did get some more food, and put up another “bread kit” bucket. And a bucket of pasta. And some more cans.

Ended up more frustrated with the ISD management the more I ask them questions and the more I learn. They are all politicians. Their first instinct is to pat themselves on the back and lie. Or simply obfuscate. Very frustrating.

NB, financial info takes a while to ponder, understand, and question. When someone just hammers you with charts, figures, and graphs, while skipping around, conflating, and making false equivalences, then you can be pretty sure they’re lying about something. Or if not outright lying, then omitting and mis-directing to shape the narrative.

NB the second, having kids in class does not “generate revenue”. That is my money, taken from me under threat of punishment, skimmed and filtered, and then returned to my community to provide me a service. At no point does that school “generate” anything. The fact that they think so and use those concepts tells me a lot about the system.


Today I’m headed to Austin. Quick pickup, short stop at the Goodwill outlet, and back home in time to get daughter to piano. I’ll try to post a comment if I have any free time while there. Everyone here should have my email by now…. I’ll try to remember to check it.

Now, time to start this day.


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Wed. Feb. 12, 2020 – school district class tonight, much to do before hand

Chilly. Wet. [57F and misty drizzle]

We did finally get some rain yesterday. Mostly it was light or misty, but there were localized showers that were heavier.

It may be that my ebay sales are finally recovering. Touch wood. Or maybe I’m finally listing stuff people want? I guess if the old listings sell then it wasn’t me.

I’ve got some travel arrangements to make for spring break. I think I’ll do something I haven’t done in a long time- buy the trip insurance. No telling what the world will look like in a couple of months.

My school district class tonight is covering School Finance. This should be interesting. I haven’t had my follow up meeting with the head of Safety and Security yet, so I’m trying to fit that in today too.

And the doggy is overdue for some meds so I’m off to the Vet this morning, on top of everything else.

DIDN’T get my costco run in either so that pushes to today or Friday….

No rest for the weary…but at least I’m not running a crematorium in Wuhan.


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Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do

Warmish and wet. [not so much, front moved in, 50F and dripping this am]

Had overcast all day but didn’t get any rain until after 9pm, and it didn’t last long.

Spent the afternoon running around doing pickups and drop offs. So much stuff to do normally, and I’m also trying to step up my preps.

I’m going to try to fit in a Costco run today with all the other stuff going on.

I’ve been a bit casual checking my email lately. I’ve got my reader open to my sales addy, hoping to see orders coming in… so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a note from Barbara.

It was in regard to our discussion of Bob’s works in progress. She didn’t want to pursue the fiction book, and had this to say–

The best prepping insights from Bob are what he posted on the site.

All of his previous science and computer books are now pretty much out of date. Those that are still in print can be found on the O’Reilly site.

I want to thank you, Rick, and all of the readers on Daynotes for keeping his ideas and memories alive.


I’m sure I speak for all of us saying “Thank You” to Barbara for supporting our continued efforts here. It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.


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Mon. Feb. 10, 2010 – and just like that, I’d forgotten to worry about a civil war…

Warmish and damp. [71F and wet]

Yesterday I got a couple of things done before the rain, and then again after it stopped.

I re-potted some trees. Did a little pruning. Picked up the yard.

Lime trees are budding out flowers. Apple trees are leafing or have the sap rising. Peach is getting leaf buds. Meyer lemon is past harvest time. I’ll have to get to that soon. Wife and kids were going to do it but well….

I rotated some small amount of food from the secondary to home, and took 40 pounds of rice and some canned chicken there for deep storage. I really need to get that organized and inventoried. The urgency increases with every new report out of China.

I moved a couple of things in the driveway, and started scrapping out a pallet. Global scrap prices will collapse, if they haven’t already, with Chinese industry on the rocks. If I’m going to do it, I need to do it now. I did enough yesterday to know if it is going to be worth it, considering all the other things I could be doing that all pay more money. I have to do a little prep before I can dump them as ‘shred’ for 4c/pound in any case. But, they’re mostly aluminum and stainless, which both pay about 35c/pound so it might be worth separating them. I’ve got to weigh up the parts and do the math today.

I was moving the pallet to get to my pallet of forced air breathing respirators. I need to dig them out and see what condition they’re in, and what they need to work. I have only 2 batteries and I’m not certain they are correct. It’s been a very low priority, but is moving up dramatically. If I can sell off the rest for good money that will help too.

I am seeing a nice increase in my ebay sales. I’ve got some nice stuff listed recently and it’s moving decently. I need it to continue and increase though. If the WuFlu continues, at some point nobody will be buying anything.

Speaking of WuFlu, Kung Flu, Sweet and sour sicken, or any of the other ‘whistling past the graveyard’ names… even ordinary people are starting to notice. No one believes the chinese numbers, and for all the reasons given here before. Have you ever known the chinese to play up a disaster? I’ve posted links to twitter feeds and ‘citizen journalists’ because I think that’s a great window into the situation on the ground. Yes, they are unknown and unvetted. Aesop in particular objects to one off videos from randos… they are filming the body bags SOMEWHERE. They are filming guys in tyvek welding doors shut SOMEWHERE. Ditto for grabbing people out of their homes and off the street. I’ve seen enough body bags to think that the dead count is off by one or two orders of magnitude. NO ONE ANYWHERE walks past someone who seizes and collapses on the ground, unless things are SERIOUSLY wrong. No one leaves dead people laying in the street like that. No city in China is ever that quiet and empty as the drone footage. Lastly, you aren’t thinking the people in the building will survive if you are LOCKING THEM INSIDE. That should terrify everyone who thinks about it.

We can’t trust their numbers, but we can judge them by their actions.

Also, I’m cynical enough to think that if China looks like they’re the only ones who will burn from this, they will try actively to infect the west, so they don’t burn alone.

Keep stacking.


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