Month: June 2020

Tues. June 30, 2020 – srsly, the world has lost it’s collective mind…

Hot and humid.  Rain?  [overcast, 82F and saturated]

No rain yesterday, but hot and humid all right.  Overcast until late in the day, so a bit cooler.  Still plenty damp though.

Spent part of the morning on auctions stuff, part on getting parts for my client, and part getting ready for what I needed to do in the afternoon.  Spent the afternoon and evening working over there.  Got stuff done, just not enough.  I’ll be headed back over today to pull stuff for service and to do network stuff.  Fortunately I only had to spend minutes rather than hours in the attic, and it was relatively cool.

Dinner when I finally got home was leftovers.  Turkey, yum.

Out in the wider world someone is increasingly desperate, and doesn’t understand roughly half the US population.  Riots didn’t help.  Tearing down statues is only hurting.  School’s out and not coming back for a while, so easy access to moldable footsoldiers is limited.   Attempts at controlling the population (for good or ill) are getting all kinds of pushback.  So what to do?  Use your house organ for one of the most improbable stories of the year, that Russia was paying bounties for US servicemen.  Because Trump’s a Russian agent, and is too friendly with Putin for the good of America, we can finally reveal that Putin is evil?  And contradictory?  Or it’s all part of Trump and Putin’s secret plan to destroy the US?  Because reasons?

I thought that was weird enough and a desperation move, but then they said “Hold my beer” and now purport to have committed high treason, and oathbreaking at a level that should result in firing squads or rock breaking for the next 100 years– by releasing the President of the United States’ private phone conversations.  No matter where you stand on the Trump continuum, that is OUTRAGEOUS.  As in should cause RAGE against the leakers and their mouthpieces.  Of course, the likelihood of it being genuine, and not wholly fabricated is minimal given that every single other thing they’ve tried has turned out to be fabricated.  But…

It doesn’t matter if every single word is accurate and true.  DOESN’T matter.  Boils down to “he’s mean” “he says mean things” ” he’s full of himself” “he doesn’t like or respect the people we do” ” he doesn’t play the game the right way”  and those are not reasons to betray your oath and country.

Nothing good will come of this, and we’re still months out from the election.

On top of everything else, we do not need political operatives destabilizing our government.

As for me, the mice get nervous when elephants dance.   Freezer.  Meat.  Shelf stable food.  Meds.  Weapons.  Armor.  Training.  Toiletries.  Utilities.  Garden.  Network.  Meatspace.*

Keep stacking.




*funny how suddenly it’s much harder to get together to talk, plan, train, move toward a common goal, etc.  unless you are part of the anointed class…

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Mon. June 29, 2020 – another week, Let’s get started!

Hot, humid, but perhaps not so hot as last week.  And in theory, we’re on the edge of a system with T storms and heavy rain.

Yesterday stayed mostly overcast, which helped with the temps.  It still got over 100F in the driveway.

After cutting the grass, blowing the debris, and weeding the gardens, I got some small things done.  I finished changing out the sprinkler heads that were sticking up too far.   I’d gotten 70% of the way done and stopped, so today I finished.  I did a couple of other small tasks too.

Then I thoroughly cleaned the new freezer inside and out.  I’ve got a bit more to do on the door.  The outside is streaky where the clorox bleach cleaner lifted some 28 year old dirt but left the rest.  I’d really like to go over that when I refill my spray bottle.  The inside was in great shape.  It’s been wet in the heat, so anything that WOULD grow in it DID grow in it.  And that was very little.  I plugged it in to start it getting cold again, and to keep it clean inside.

I’ve figured out how I want to change my garage layout to accommodate the new freezer.  I’m taking out an old workbench that did nothing but catch piles of junk.    I’ll slide the old fridge and new freezer to the end of the wall, and move the chest freezer over too.  I’ll have a chance to put a file cabinet and some shelves where the chest freezer used to live.   It will open stuff up a bit.  Hopefully it will be a better use of the space, with less opportunity to just pile stuff on horizontal surfaces.

I need a dry, cooler day, to pull everything out of that side of the garage and move stuff around.   Hope I get one soon.

The gardens are what they are… something has eaten almost every onion I planted.  There are only a couple left.  The broccoli is struggling.  One plant died off this week.  The others might or might not produce another stalk for my dinner.  Probably not.  The grape vine that lived is going gangbusters and has taken over the whole trellis.  I don’t know if that means grapes or no grapes though.  I haven’t seen any yet.  The vine that died back to within a foot of the ground has put out new leaves and grown a bit.  Maybe next year it will be back up the trellis.

Tomato plants are still alive, still setting flowers, and have a couple more tomatoes growing.  I took two last week.  Tomatoes have never grown well for me.  One potato tower is empty of living plants, the other is down to one remaining plant.  No idea if they died or were eaten.  I can’t keep up with the sweet peppers.  I had several rot on the bush.  They are really tasty but I’m the only one who eats them.  The brusselsprouts are finally thriving but haven’t put up the sprout stalk yet.  Cabbages are about tennis ball sized through to slow pitch softball sized and looking good.  Corn is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet high and has tassels.   It LOOKS like it is growing well.  I guess we’ll see later in the year.   The melons/squash are still alive, with flowers, so I’m hopeful they’ll continue to grow.

I harvested 6 more blueberries today- go me!   I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had more green fruits on the orange and grapefruit trees than I thought.  I hope they ripen into good fruit.  The container lime has a fruit or two left.  The Meyer lemon is heavy with fruit.  I had some garlic cloves sprout in the cabinet, so I stuck them in the window box today.  No idea if they’ll root and grow, but the box was empty, and I’m not eating the sprouted cloves.  I’ve got a couple of small cilantro plants started.  I love cilantro and will eat and cook with it if I have it.  It will be nice if the heat doesn’t kill them.  Now if only I had 10 to 20 times the stuff planted, I might get more than the occasional taste… Growing food has a long learning curve, better get started.

Because the world isn’t getting better.  “Protests” and rioting are continuing.  Wuflu is continuing, although as the people getting sick are younger this time around, maybe it won’t kill so many of them.  I’m nervous about it.  My neighbor at my secondary location told me one of his coworkers and his whole family have it.  Several of his other coworkers all have strong exposures now, as they drove around in the truck with the sick guy.  My neighbor said he was outdoors (construction) and wearing a mask, but he’s still been told to stay home until he’s clear.   I spent a few hours chatting with him in the parking lot.   I’m hoping like he11 that 6 feet and a steady cross breeze is enough to keep me well.  My next door neighbor at the house went to the Doctor in a big hurry this evening.  I haven’t had a chance to find out why, but I really hope it wasn’t for a covid test.

Today I’ll be headed out to my client’s house to try to get him buttoned up before the Fourth.  I’ve got auction pickups too (for my wife and her projects mainly, now that she’s discovered how handy and economical it is to have me on the lookout for stuff.)  Since I was going anyway, I got some web gear, gub accessories, and a couple of things for me as well.

The scanner last night had someone in town running a drug surveillance op.   Last I heard, they were watching a group of about 30 people hanging out, having a bonfire in the middle of the street around midnight.  “That’s a really big fire!” says one cop.  Just another weekend night in the ‘hood, I guess.   Not something you’d know about from the news.

I hope everyone is healthy this week.  And working on preps for the future.  It’s comin’ like a freight train….

Keep stacking,



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Sun. June 28, 2020 – another busy day planned

Hot, humid, really humid….

Yesterday was ok in the shade but smoking skin hot in the sun.  I felt my neck and scalp crinkling while I was cleaning the pool.

After doing the absolute minimum in house and yard work, I headed out.  Did an auction pickup that was about 20 minutes further away than I thought.  I’m not doing that again.  Then went to my secondary location with the best of intentions… and got completely sidetracked into a 6 hour conversation with my neighbors.  Suddenly it was dark out, and I was 3 hours overdue for dinner.  I think I might have had a reaction to being isolated.  Maybe it’s getting to me more than I think.

So today I plan to do a bit of work in the garage, cut the grass, and then head over to do the work that didn’t get done yesterday.  We’ll see how that goes.

Summer travel season and gas is ~$1.60/ gallon here.  Crazy low.

I see that third world style statue attacks are continuing, as are the marches.  We’re far from peak stupidity on this issue.  Plan for it to get worse.

Wuflu still is out there claiming victims.  Don’t volunteer for it.

Keep planning and keep improving your position.

And keep stacking.



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Sat. June 27, 2020 – tired, stuff to do at secondary

Hot and humid.

Yesterday stayed relatively cool, and overcast with occasional sprinkles.  It made working in the attic doable.

Spent most of the day either getting ready to go to my client’s house, or at his house.  Got  a bunch of work done, but no tasks done.  I’ll be back over there on Monday.

Came home to dinner of Costco ‘heat and eat’ lamb shanks from the fridge, broccoli, and pasta from the pantry.  Yum.

I’m tired an sore from crouching in attics and being in the heat, moderate though it was.

Today I have to get out and do some stuff.  Also have yardwork and pool cleaning.  And an auction pickup.  Won a hobby item with a bid that I thought wouldn’t hold up.  Gotta pick it up, or they ban you.  So much to do instead of spending the drive time to get it.

At this point, I’d prefer to not be going anywhere or seeing anyone.

But I gotta keep stacking… and you should too.



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Fri. June 26, 2020 – starting to get real…

Supposed to be cooler, but still humid today.  Mid 80s.

Yesterday stayed cool for a while but was still up in the high 90s in my driveway by early afternoon.  It was overcast until late in the day, which helped me by keeping temps in the attic down somewhat.  Still HOT, just less hot.  I didn’t have a thermometer with me, but last time I was up in this attic in summer it was 142F iirc. It started raining heavily around 2am, and added a couple of inches to the pool.  I’ll actually have to drain water out as soon as I get a chance.  We’ve gotten a ton of rain in the last few days.

I spent the morning messing around.  The afternoon and evening were spent at my customer’s house.  And I’ll be back there today.  I hope I get done.  He wants everything done before the 4th, and so do I.   They are having a ‘small gathering’ and I have no interest in being there after that, not for at least 3 weeks.

Dinner was two cornish game hens from the deep part of the freezer, at least a couple of years old.  Baked, stuffed with oranges, covered in jerk seasoning and garlic powder.  Delicious.  And so preciously tiny!  Sides were cheesy pasta from a pouch, BB 2018 and fine, and of course canned corn…  Dessert for me was more of the cookies from yesterday.

My buddy the hospital exec says he’s not worried.  They’ve got capacity, and the press and TMC hospitals are fearmongering.  Since TMC had to ‘clarify’ their earlier statements and reassure the audience for the 6pm news that “we’ve got plenty of resources to care for Houstonians, and there is too much panic in the community at the moment”, he is probably right, at least for now.  I’ll point out, it was panic which they helped whip up.

On the other hand, the Governor is getting briefed by someone, and he just pulled back on loosening restrictions.   Closer to home, my sometimes business partner thinks he’s caught a case of sweet and sour sicken.  He works in a hospital, and trusts their processes, but he’s definitely sick with flu like symptoms.  He’s running a fever and the symptoms have been getting worse.  I hope to know something from him in a day or two, and I hope he doesn’t have it.

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Thur. June 25, 2020 – here I sit…

Hmm, warmer?  Humid.  Really humid.  Wet even.

Yesterday did warm up but didn’t get scorching hot.  The sun never really came out for most of town.  Parts got hammered by rain- I could see the cell dumping on the north side when I was out running errands.  Only spatters here at home though.


Turns out I won’t be buying a new Lexus for the Orthodontist this fall.  The doc said to wait for a while longer before Daughter 1 needs braces on her teeth.  That is a relief for us all.  My wife took her and was impressed with the lengths the orthodontics office went to to prevent infection.

Speaking of, we won’t be going to swim team practice today.  We’ve decided to pull back a bit.  One kid with headache and sore throat, the other with ‘itching’ throat, and everyone seems to have forgotten to even try to distance themselves.   We’re going to be prudent, cautious, and considerate.  I think having a family we know all come down with wuflu has ratcheted up my wife’s concern level dramatically.  She’s quoting local hospitalization rates and available ICU beds to ME….

I have other stuff to do.  With the 4th of July coming, my client wants all his stuff working, and the new stuff all installed.  He’s even got my conduit trenched in.  I thought waiting for that to happen would buy me a lot of time.  So today I have to get up in the attic and pull some cables.  I’m hoping for rain and lower temps out in the country.  Then tomorrow I’ll finish up the install and commissioning of the new stuff.  That’s the plan anyway.  It does mean I’ll be entering the Costco to buy a new TV for him.  He’s tired of waiting for the service guy to make a decision and proceed with the replacement.  When Concierge services does get around to it, we’ll have a hot spare for the next dead tv.

I’m debating whether to do my Costco shopping or not since I’m in the store.  Big difference in my mind between entering, grabbing a TV and exiting, and spending an hour shopping.   I’m leaning toward instacart.  Costco is back to discounts on a bunch of my normal purchases this month, so I’m definitely either ordering or shopping.   I was also thinking about hitting the HEB in person.  There are some items I buy that aren’t listed on the Instacart app, that I’d like to restock.  But again, if we’re pulling back, this is not the time to be returning to the stores.

Am I being consistent or stubborn?  Consistent or unwilling to adapt to changing conditions?  I know which I think is true.

Dinner was mostly leftovers with a bit of rice added, and cookies from mix for dessert.  Mix was BB 2020, so right on time, half a decade early by my usually standards.

I got a brief update from Frances regarding Barbara.  She’s doing better, sitting up, talking, had some of the medical stuff removed, she’s even being funny, but no timeline for her return home has yet been discussed.  They are continuing to test and check for other issues, but it sounds like she’s responding well to the current treatment plan.  Let’s hope that continues.

It’s important to remember that the people driving the BLM movement, Antifa, and the other grab bag of protesters and rioters are still out there doing their thing, or getting ready for their next thing.  Even in Madison WI, one of the most progressive places I’ve ever been, and also a tiny little place on the edge of nowhere, they’re pulling down statues and pummeling state senators.

If anyone here has a credible scenario for how we get back to “normal” by Christmas, feel free to share in comments.  I can not think of what would need to happen for that to work out.   I can think of LOTS of ways things are worse then than now.  So, unless you can do the math, and show your work for how this all ends before the end of the year, it behooves you to make some preparations.

This stuff has a life of its own now, and it won’t want to die.

Keep thinking.  Keep prepping.  Keep stacking.


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Wed. June 24, 2020 – more of the same, sorta

Hot and humid.  [74F and dripping, overcast. I purely suck at weather forecasting]  It is Houston and summer….

Yesterday was hot and humid, although less of both than previous days this week.  Stuff was actually drying out once I dumped the standing water.  Sometimes we’ll go days with water in every nook and cranny because it just can’t evaporate.  And I was able to work outside for a while, without my vest or my head exploding.  Nice little break.

I took some time and did pool care.  Skimmed off the leaves, swept the bottom, and made a big siphon hose to suck out the debris.  My little siphon hose took too long and used too much water.  And it clogged easily on the half eaten pecans.  The damnable tree rats are chewing the still very undersized and unripe pecans in half.  That makes two marble sized pieces to drop in the pool, since they can’t eat them.  Bigger hose, stronger flow, less choking, and I had that cleaned up in a jiffy.

Then on to pulling some inventory to go to the local auction.  I’ve got two big black bins full, and more to go.  SO MUCH MORE.  The auction isn’t appropriate for all the sort of stuff I have to sell, more for the household/estate stuff than the industrial stuff, but I’ve got plenty of that too.  In the process, I was going through stuff in the house, on the patio, and in the garage.  Miles to go before I sleep, but every journey starts with a single step, right?

Dinner was Taco Tuesday.  Canned chicken, canned beans, tortillas and fixin’s from the fridge.

Daughter one has a visit with the orthodontist this morning.  We were doing a retainer to move some teeth around so they didn’t get damaged before we could do the braces.  She lost the retainer.  It’s been months, so it’s time for a reassessment.

Daughter two is complaining of a mild headache and feeling “pukey”.   No actual vomiting, but no appetite either.  I’m wondering where she picked up a bug, and the only answer is ‘swim practice’.   That is double plus ungood as it points out how easy it would be to get something else.  I’m not feeling great either, with occasional coughing, and some mild headache.  I’m blaming mine on allergies and doing too much reading with my cheap ‘cheater’ glasses.  We might stay home from swim today.  We’ll see.

As part of my cleaning up and moving stuff, I moved some rice from bags in the black bins to buckets with O2 absorbers.  I filled two buckets and could have filled a third and fourth with rice and another bucket with flour.  30 pounds per 5 gallon bucket, 2 cups a day, and each bucket is good for approximately 30 days.  That’s a nice tidy number and easy to see at a glance what inventory looks like in ‘days’.  I find it much easier to think in terms of ‘meals’ or ‘days’ when looking at my stored preps.  I absolutely never think in terms of ‘calories per day per person.’  Bob and I had some discussions about our different approaches to thinking about food, and I’m convinced that mine has fewer built in barriers to action, lower friction for the prepper, while his has the advantage of having math and science behind it.  Like a lot of prepping, it’s easy to go off into the weeds and to find reasons not to start.  “Oh, I have to figure out how many calories are in a bucket of flour before I start storing it.” “are mylar bags really necessary?  What about oxygen absorbers?  I don’t have any.”   Stuff like that.  My method feels a little more haphazard, but really, do you think in terms of making a pot of rice or of cooking 1700 calories of foodstuffs?

However you think of it, get started if you haven’t already.  I’m eating rice stored very haphazardly in 2014 and it is delicious.  (stored in a black bin, limited airflow, no vermin, constant comfortable temps.)  I didn’t use O2 absorbers, or repack into mylar, or any of the other things.  I saw a case of ebola in Dallas and panic bought a bunch of food.  I packed it tightly in bins at my secondary location, and ignored it until this year.  Because I moved it home, I’m repacking it into buckets as they are more air tight, and easier to move when full.

I’ve rotated the 2014 stuff to the front and put the 2019 and 2020 in the back.  If I move some back to my secondary storage, I’ll move the 2019 and 2020 food.  My point is, you don’t have to do it perfectly, or in any particular way at all.  You don’t NEED all the rest of the stuff or to spend a lot of time.   Rice is cheap.  Flour, sugar, salt, and even peanut oil (my stored fat) are cheap.  If you have some spoilage, it’s a small price to pay vs. NOT having any food.  To the staples, add canned food- meat, veg, and beans to start, fruit, pie filling, and ‘weirder’ stuff as you can.  The cans will do just fine for years if you keep them cool and dry without any other work on your part.

You can and should build off that food stockpile, but at least you won’t starve to death in the first 3 months of a disaster, whatever that might be (prolonged unemployment being the most common, sick spouse or kid being the second.)

So, get started, or keep going, but keep stacking.



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Tues. June 23, 2020 – Swim team and small projects

Another hot wet day.  Probably.

Yesterday was stormy all morning and into the early afternoon.  It looks like we got 2-3 inches of rain in a few hours based on what was in the buckets in the yard.  We lost power a couple of times and there was a ton of lightning and thunder, very close by.  Despite the storm it stayed hot most of the day until eventually the rain stopped and it got cooler.

I spent the morning doing lots of nothing on the computer.  Spent the early afternoon picking up some auction items.  Then finally the weather was cooler so I did a couple of other things around the house.  Fixed the toilet fill valve in the master.  It should have taken a minute, and involved just cleaning some surfaces in the valve, but I broke off a plastic nipple for the bowl fill hose.  That meant replacing the valve.  Since I just got a dual flush conversion and fill valve in an auction, I tried that.  Valve went in easy but the flapper replacement was too small.  The Toto has a massive hole from the tank to the bowl and needs a special flapper.  The replacement wouldn’t fill the opening. . . so I put the flapper back and will save the dual flush for something else.  It was still cheaper than just the valve.  I figure the plastic was brittle and the thing needed to be replaced eventually, so I just got ahead of the problem.  [Yeah, I meant to do that, I’m proactive.  Yeah.]  Also had to tighten the stem packing nut on the supply line.  It was dripping after turning the water on and off and on and off a few times.

Since it was cool enough to get into the attic where I keep all my plumbing parts, I also replaced the pump soap dispenser in the kitchen.   It has been limping along for a while.  We use Dawn dish soap in the dispenser for dishwashing and hand washing.   One, two quick pumps and you’re good to go.  The rinse will soap up any dishes in the sink too.

And finally, I got out a strap and pulled a fence post.  The post was for a chain link fence and gate that made a dog run behind the garage.  I pulled the fence fabric out long ago but couldn’t budge the post in the middle of the space.  I bought a high lift jack (old school, for lifting cars when they had steel bumpers and weighed 2 tons) a few months back with this project in mind.  I finally had soggy ground, lower temps, the jack, and time all at the same time and place.  The reason I couldn’t budge it by hand turned out to be 2 ft of concrete holding the post in the ground.   The jack made it slow but easy to pull it straight up.  I cut off and saved about 4ft of pipe, and put the concrete out for heavy trash.  A high lift jack is super handy, and you’ll find uses for it.  It also got used when we assembled the pool, to lift a couple of posts and put blocks under them to level the pool rail.  Mine is not an actual HiLift jack, it is just like this one.

What’s the point of all that trivia?  Prepping.  Having the tools and supplies on hand.  Working smarter as your body gets older.   I had a replacement for the soap dispenser.  I had a toilet fill valve in the attic (which I didn’t use, but it was there.)  I picked up a specialized tool to make a job easier, and found other uses for it too.  (And that I’m a clumsy, impatient dumb@ss sometimes, turning a one minute job into a half hour job by breaking something.)   I could have gone to HomeDepot but I’d already stocked up on things that I knew I’d eventually need.  I could have dug a hole to get that post out, but the jack made it almost zero effort, and using a hand truck to move the concrete to the curb was way smarter and easier than carrying it.

Two of those jobs had been nagging at me for months so it felt good to get them done, even if they weren’t life or death.  And I justified having spare parts on hand, and the purchase of a tool 🙂  Who doesn’t think THAT’S a win?

Now I need to crank through about 50 similar little projects…

Dinner was hamburgers on the grill from a frozen ‘chub’.*  Canned corn. Canned refried beans (wife’s choice), and Lay’s Potato Chips,  Classic style of course.

Hospitalizations continue to increase in number and pace in many areas, and some places are thinking about reinstating  restrictions or delaying their removal.  I know what I’m doing.  Time to pull back in.

Seattle says that now that people are getting killed in the ghetto, they’re going to work to dismantle it.  Good luck with that.

Gangbangers and the diversite’ are also emboldened and driving up the body count in our formerly great cities.  That’s not getting better anytime soon.  Judging from the number of videos of white people losing their *ahem* composure and screaming at random black people, yellow people, and brown people, some folks are getting fed up and have about had it with some other people.  Once that hits critical mass, there’ll be no putting the genie back in the bottle.  It isn’t going to be pretty.  Spicy time approacheth.

Elsewhere in the world, wuflu continues to rack up a body count and devastation on a large scale.  Korea thinks they’re seeing a second wave.  Many countries are still on their first wave, and some are really just taking off exponentially.

China and Russia are both flexing their military might and expansionist plans.   That has gotten worse, not better.  Could be it’s all distraction for the folks watching at home, or it could be they think they can get away with it at the moment.  Or embrace the power of ‘and’.  No reason it can’t be both.  In any case, another factor to watch, and consider in your medium and long term planning, and more evidence for me that we are in a period of big changes and global realignment.

So, what are you doing about it?  You can’t change those other people, but you can choose how you’ll react.  I’m stacking.  Hope you do too.



*’Chub’ in this context means a plastic tube o meat.  I’d never heard that term before, but that’s how it appeared on my receipt.  “Chub” of hamburger.  Learn something new every day.

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Mon. June 22, 2020 – I’d buy that for a dollar

Hot and humid, extra special humid, with a side of thunderstorm if the predictions are right.

It was hot and humid all day yesterday, with a real gully washer of a rain  in the middle of the day.  THAT didn’t help the humidity.  So I hid inside.

On Fathers’ Day I exercised my privilege and mostly sat around working on a puzzle and piddling around the house.   I had big plans, but mostly they involved stuff outdoors.  I’m still not feeling great and I took the day off.   Well, mostly off.

My wife discovered that I can get stuff cheap at auctions.  Who knew?  So she has me on a mission finding stuff for Daughter 1’s bedroom redo and other stuff too.   It actually takes quite a while to go through ~8 thousand + online auction lots, even if you’ve got practice.  I usually don’t do that in one sitting, but it was raining like he77 outside, and I didn’t feel like doing plumbing repairs or computer work.  And the puzzle was kicking my butt.

Other activities ate the rest of the day.  Kids did a scavenger hunt for me for my Dads’ Day gifts.  It was cute and a lot of fun.  Before bed we watched a movie, and before that we made brownies.  So I did actually do a bunch of stuff, just nothing to write a blog post about.  (*ahem*)

Special breakfast was waffles with bacon crumbles in them, and bacon on the side.

Dinner was baked turkey thighs.   They were on sale at HEB last week.  Sides were brusselsprouts and roasted potatoes.  All fresh.  My wife cooked it all with help from the girls.   Later Oldest and I made brownies from mix.  The mix was best by 2015.   It was delicious.  Half the pan is already gone.

Late last night I made a comment that I’m seeing way more trash on the street, more illegal dumping, more bums, and more encampments.  That is not a good sign.  That is social norms breaking down, economic impacts, and possibly a shift in attention from TPTB.   Areas that were near bad areas but doing ok, and areas that were marginal have definitely moved toward ‘bad’ in the last few months.  I’ve got a feeling it’s just the beginning.

So keep working on skills and knowledge, and keep stacking.




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Sun. June 21, 2020 – Fathers’ Day

Hot and humid.  Possibly rainy.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads.  Becoming a dad and raising my kids has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  It definitely changed my planning horizon  🙂

Yesterday did finally cool off a bit late in the day, but otherwise was hot and oppressively humid.  I was north of the city running my errands, and could see the storm cells south of me.  I did finally move south and got hammered by rain at my secondary location.  As I moved away from there, only a mile west, it was dry as a bone.

I stopped at an estate sale, with a seller that I like whose prices are always good, and LO! the upright freezer they had listed was still there.  Second day, discounted to $200.  It’s older but a good brand and was plugged in and very cold, so I grabbed it.  I’ll have to move even more stuff around in the garage to accommodate it…  Funny thing was, as I was chatting with one of the helpers (who I see and talk to fairly often at sales, and is a friend of a friend) he looked at me and said “how you gonna fill it with meat? Cuz prices are crazy and you can’t get a lot.”   It’s funny because I’ve been wondering the very same thing.  If nothing else I’ve got some redundancy and excess space for a while.  I am going to try to fill it though.

Dinner was beer brats on the grill, with cookies and cupcakes for dessert.

Followed dinner with family game night.  One easy quick game of Sequence, and one long three way battle that ended in a draw.  It’s a fun board game that uses playing cards, and even younger kids can play effectively with adults.  Definitely recommended, and best played with two teams of two.

Sequence is one of my favorites, and I also really like Ticket To Ride.  I’m always up for one or the other.

Later I got an email update from Frances.  They have decide that Barbara has a staph infection and they are going to treat that with antibiotics.  It will be a couple of months if everything goes well until she’s finally done, but hopefully she’ll see some improvement right away.   We’re still holding off on cards and flowers.   I’ll let you know if that changes.


Out in the wider world, we’ve moved to full on third world behaviour.  Mobs are pulling down statues of our country’s founders and military heroes.   Armed insurgents have captured and barricaded off an area inside one of our cities.  They’ve held it, and plan to continue holding it.  Make and adjust your plans accordingly.

Keep stacking.



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