Month: August 2020

Fri. Aug. 21, 2020 – short shrift today

Hot again, no rain.  Humid

Nice relaxing day yesterday.  Got my sport kite to actually fly for a few seconds at a time.  Wind was a bit variable and I’ll get more practice eventually.  Didn’t want to continue crashing.

There were a few more people on the beach but still pretty empty.

We’re headed home today.  Weather coming in, and the landlord wanted more than my wanted to spend to extend our stay.  I’m fine with that.  Kids are ready to go home too.

I have a few observations, but this keyboard sucks so I’ll save them for after I get home.

There are some things I need to work on that I missed.   Changing nature of the threat and all that.  More on that later too.


In the mean time, keep improving your position, and stacking higher won’t hurt.


Read the comments: 57 Comments

Thur. Aug. 20, 2020 – chance of rain

Hot, humid, windy.  Chance of rain.

Wed. was hot.  Sunny.  But there was a breeze all day and the water was 87F in most places.   Hotter in the shallows.

Slept late, spent the rest of the day flying kites at the beach.

I could not get my new stunt kite up, I’m going to have to hit youtube for some guidance.   It’s the first one I’ve gotten.  I like kites.

The beach was pretty empty.  A bit north was the public beach you can drive on, and it was a little bit more busy, but certainly not “end of summer, last weekend before school” busy.   A couple of guys were in the surf fishing.  There were a LOT of fish near the surface, but they said they were mullet and not good to eat.  All they were getting was some sort of salt water catfish analog that they also tossed back.  One trout, barely big enough to keep and they put him back too.  Fishing is one of the things I’ve thought I should learn a bunch more about but I don’t have a mentor, and the time to bumble along is just to great.   Daughter 2 got to reel in one of the cats and had fun doing that.  And if you could eat hermit crabs, we’d have feasted.

All in all a good day.  I plan to repeat it today.

And while I’m on vacation, the forces of entropy are not.  Keep stacking.



Read the comments: 48 Comments

Wed. Aug. 19, 2020 -feels like Saturday

High of mid 90s for Galveston today.  No shade on the beach.  Hopefully the breeze will cool it down.  Hopefully.

The drive down was uneventful.  Light traffic.  I finally got the blutooth adapter working in my truck so I could listen to youtube on the trip.  I liked it a lot.  For some reason my xm isn’t working at the moment, and commercial radio sucks.  I’m tired of the CDs I have in the truck.  youtube to the rescue.

This place is giving me the covid cooties.  I can tell from the look of the dirt that they lied about their cleaning and disinfecting routine.  And I don’t have a lot of experience but does every beach house rental have a ton of poorly done or half done remodel projects?   Or is it just the ones I’ve been in?  Nothing in the house has escaped the half-azzed attentions of the blind drunken handyman.

Kids are loving it, so there is that.  Wife needed to get out of the house too.   Heck, maybe I did as well.  We’ll see how it goes.

I better get cracking.



(you get to stacking)

Read the comments: 79 Comments

Tues. Aug. 18, 2020 – headed out

Hot.  Still.  Humid.  Still.  One more month until fall.

Hot all day yesterday too.  Well into the 100s, and stifling humidity.  Did a pickup (some metalworking stuff, and my new batteries.   The ‘wire’ turned out to not be wire at all, so I’ll still have to find something to hook up the batts and the panels.  The auction did refund for the 3 spools.)

I was checking the temps in the new fridge/freezer all day.  I just couldn’t get the main compartment to stay above freezing, no matter how low I set it.  Time for a look at the manual.  OH.  I was wrong.  The main compartment is always a freezer.  The top compartment can be either.  So I changed the settings a bit, and I’ve been trying to get the top to fridge range while keeping the bottom frozen.   I think I’ve finally got it.   The top should actually be big enough for the main things we keep in the garage fridge, if I move stuff like the shredded cheese to the freezer.  The fridge really  just has milk, eggs, bread, cream, and cheese in it (and wine, but there are other solutions for that.)  So for a while at least, I’ve got WAY more freezer than I need.   On the plus side, the unit was specifically made for a garage environment, and is designed for an 80% or higher duty cycle.  It also has a heating element in it to keep the fridge from getting too cold if ambient drops too low.    I’m going to be watching for a real fridge, but making this work for a while at least.

So with the pool acting up, the fridge dying and a new one in place, and all the other things going on, we’ll be headed to a beach house for a couple of days.  Galveston here I come.  Joy.   At least we’re driving and I can carry everything I want.  The kids are ecstatic to be getting out of the house, so I’m on board.  Reluctant, but on board.

I’m taking my small lappy so shouldn’t have any difficulty posting, although comments will probably be lighter than if I was just sitting here, waiting, waiting, waiting….

I can’t help but watch the video coming out of Portland, and the news out of Chicago, and think that the armed insurrection has started in earnest.   Maybe it will die down, but that seems unlikely in this election year and with all the covid stuff adding ‘flavor’ to the mix.   Add the normal (or slightly more active) hurricane season, and we’re gonna have a heck of a year.  It’s challenging to have moved from “prepping” to “living with the ongoing disaster” to getting back into prepping for the NEXT disaster to roll down the pike.  But I have no doubt that there will BE a next one, on top of whatever ones we’re living with.  Civil unrest/insurrection, depression/economic collapse, global pandemic, hurricanes, job losses, and the normal personal crises will stack up*.  It’s gonna get rough.  Do what you can to make your passage through the trouble easier, now, before any more gets here.  In other words…………. keep stacking.




*I’ve thought for a couple of years that the increasing UFO coverage meant something big in that regard was coming.  I consider it to be such a long shot, and such a big unknown that it’s really not something I can prep for, although social and societal “issues” will abound, so prepping for that seems prudent.  And now we have some actual official statements and above board investigation.  I’m REALLY hoping my long shot doesn’t pay off.  But wouldn’t that beat all?  Confirmation of alien life?  Crazy talk.  And on top of the rest of the ‘next normal.’

Read the comments: 70 Comments

Mon. Aug. 17, 2020 – starting to recycle titles, can’t have that…

More hot and humid, for at least the next 30 days, probably 60.  So there’s that.

Was doing pretty much nothing outside yesterday, given the ‘boil your brains in saline’ temperatures outside and in the garage, but I did eventually go out and do some small things.

And while I was doing those small things I was keeping an eye on the fridge temps.   So I noticed when it got to 50F inside.  Which isn’t good.  Rolls of biscuits pop when they’re at 50 for any length of time.  It’s actually a pretty good warning that the fridge got hot…

Long story short, I replaced the fridge with the new (to me) one that can be a fridge or freezer that I picked up cheap a couple of weeks ago.  The little voice in my head told me not to sell it.  Since it wasn’t telling me to kill anyone or burn things, I listened.  That paid off.   There was still a lot of monkey+fornication+football to get the fridge unloaded into working fridges, doors off of both, and squeeze one out and on in…  A bit of lube wouldn’t have gone amiss for the narrowest spot in the path.  Then put it back together and watch the temps drop, while putting some stuff in the fridge that didn’t quite fit in anywhere else.  I’ll get stuff organized today at some point.  So, prepping success!  Go me!  And now I’ve got a probably broken fridge to get rid of.

We’ll see if the A/C in the garage caught up overnight, and if there’s anything I can do to help it (like install the powered ventilator I bought last year) or something similar.  Since that would involve roof work, I probably won’t.  Too danged hot.

Now, I’m not saying you should have a fridge sitting idle in case your’s fails, but it was very nice to avert a crisis once again through /start echo-y voice/ the power of preparednessssssssss….. /end voice/

Keep stacking, you know you want to…




Read the comments: 66 Comments

Sun. Aug. 16, 2020 – same old same old, but with better music

Hot hot hot.  Humid.  So humid.

Saturday was both kinds of miserable, hot and humid.  So of course I had outdoor work to do.  I picked up the pecans in the back yard- all waste from the squirrels eating them before they’re ready.  And the dog bombs.  Then cut the grass.   With breaks, that took a couple of hours.

I hung a new solar motion light on the back of the garage.  LED and lithium batteries are huge improvements over the one it replaces.  The old one will get a new battery and be redeployed somewhere else, even though it’s lead acid an incandescent light bulbs.  This will be the second battery replacement.

I also made ready a new motion LED light to replace my current incandescent floods in the back yard.  They’re about to fail, and I don’t see the benefit of putting two new incan lamps in them.  I did have to cut out the motion sensor, as I just want these lights to be switched.  Since I got them super cheap at auction, there’s just a bit more work to do.  It’s a simple matter of clipping 2 wires, and it’s done now.   Unless they aren’t bright enough, or cause flickering in the cams, or noise in the RF band, I’ll put them up soon.  Maybe today.  I’ll save the incans for a bit until I’m sure I like them.  They’ll be a bit cheaper to run at 40 watts total, instead of 200w, which was down from the 600w the fixtures came with.

Speaking of auctions, I won a couple of big batteries for my solar system last night.  They are 12v 65AH SLA batteries and I got 2.  They are supposed to be new, sitting on the shelf.  Before fees I paid $40 each.  They should be a good match for my big inverter, and will motivate me to get some panels up, and a charge controller for them.   I missed a bunch more because I was eating dinner and not watching the bids.  (4, NIB, at 12v and 55AH went for $35 each.  I was crying when I realized I didn’t get to raise my bids.)

I also got some really heavy wire that should be good for battery connections, and some other industrial stuff like a lifetime supply of wire wheels for the benchtop grinder.   I clean up a lot of rust, so I use up a lot of wheels.  I should be good for a long time now.

Today I’m hoping to get a few more things knocked out around the house and garage.  I’m sure it will be hot, so I’ll need breaks indoors to cool off.

The insurgents in Portland, Chicago, Atlanta, and elsewhere aren’t cooling off, in fact the conflicts are heating up with some people starting to push back.  CWII could be about to go hot.  What do you think the elections will look like if there is martial law in a dozen cities?

Keep stacking.  Keep training.  Keep your head on a swivel.


Read the comments: 51 Comments

Sat. Aug. 15, 2020 – hurray for the weekend, just 2 more days to work…

Yup, hot.  Real hot.  Sunny and humid too.

Friday was a bit of a bust.  I got done the stuff outside the house that I needed to do.  Did some organization at my secondary space.  Picked up some stuff.

Today I need to do some catching up here at the house.  I’ve been slack.

I don’t think I mentioned it on Wednesday, but I broke down and vac sealed a bunch of meat for the freezer.  9 pounds of pig roast, into 3 smaller roasts and 4 chops, 6 pounds of hamburger into 1 1/3 pound blocks, 6 pounds of bacon into 1 pound bags, and we ate the steaks I’d bought in the last order.  It’s great having <s>some</s> lots of freezer space.  I also vac sealed a couple pounds of coffee that I got from my auction guy, $1 / pound.  I’d have bought more if he had more in roasts that I like.  You get what you see, when you see it if you want it.  The vac seal and freezer let you keep it a long time.

Speaking of which, I can’t really imagine prepping without a vac sealer.  It lets you keep stuff fresh for a LOT longer than any other packaging technique I know of for the freezer.  I’m still using the same one I bought on sale at Costco 5 or six years ago (or maybe 10 years ago).  I do have a backup that I picked up at a yard sale (same model), and a couple of backups to that that are simpler and more in the original Seal-a-meal style.  I like backups.  They were all super cheap at yard sales or thrift stores.  Even new in the store, the vac sealer will earn it’s cost back when you can buy cheap bulk food and break it down or when you can buy lots of food when it’s on sale and keep it in good condition for years.

Of course, with a freezer full of food, you’ll want a gennie, or solar setup.  Or battery backup and inverters, or hamsters on a wheel…. but that’s prepping too, it’s fractal.   And some people have opted for pallets of freeze dried food, or shelves full of canning to avoid worrying about the freezer.  If you do that, you need canning supplies, ways to clean them, heat source, storage, etc, and if you go for freeze drieds, you’ll need deep pockets 🙂

Whichever way you go, get busy.  You will feel better with food in the pantry.  So keep stacking!



Read the comments: 58 Comments

Fri. Aug. 14, 2020 – what, where did the week go?

Hot and humid.  Nasty.

Yesterday was very nasty outside.  Really hot and really humid.  I sweated through my shirt just going into the garage to get dinner out of the freezer.

So I didn’t get any work done outside.

I did get to the chiropractor and get my wife’s honda’s battery replaced.  Now I need to find my windshield washer fluid and fill that up.  Wish she’d have mentioned that earlier.

I had some issues with windows 10 yesterday, and Marcelo asked about commenting to remind me that patch Tuesday was here again.  Um, Yes Please!   ANYONE who has something to share that fits with the spirit and history of this place, and the interests of the people hanging out here is welcome.  Especially if it’s in an area I don’t cover well or at all.

I realized I’ve transitioned from ‘playing with computers’ to ‘using software ON the computer to do other real life stuff.’  In other words, I don’t see ‘computers’ as a hobby anymore.   In fact I often see them as a hindrance to getting work done or an annoyance.  That’s likely equal parts me aging, and most of the stuff to do with ‘computers’ becoming “good enough”.   It’s not necessary to even be aware of most of the things we used to consider basic knowledge- startup files, boot files, config files, interrupts, comm ports, cables, drives, terminators, performance tweaks, regedit, command line, etc.    In the way NASA made spaceflight boring, MS made computer use dull.

That’s probably a good thing for most people and uses.  It is a bit sad when you realize that your powerful and esoteric knowledge does you no good anymore, except to leave you with the certainty that things used to be different and that stuff should be possible that isn’t any longer.  But the wheel keeps turning, and complaining about it is like trying to command the tide.

I’ve got a couple of things to do outside the house today, and the usual list of stuff to do in and around it.   Or I can waste time on the internet with my friends. . .   hmmmm.  What should I choose?




PS- keep stacking, the world isn’t going away!

Read the comments: 63 Comments

Thur. Aug. 13. 2020 – Friday the thirteenth comes on a Thursday this month

Hot again.  I know, whodda thunk it?

Really hot and miserable yesterday.  112F in my driveway.

So I avoided working outside.

My back was feeling better, and I missed going to the chiropractor on Monday, and on Wednesday.  Hurts today, so I’ll be headed that way if I can make the time.

I got my pickup done.  Stopped at my secondary, grabbed the battery and charger off the forklift and put them somewhere with power to recharge.  There isn’t any electricity where the fork truck is sitting, and that has complicated getting it running to move the stuff I need to move.  It occurred to me, belatedly, that I could move the battery and charger…  While I had them in my hand I thought about bringing them home, but why would I want to do that???

When I got home, my wife informed me that her minivan’s battery was deader than Mel Gibson’s career.  And indeed it was.  I COULD have tried the recovery mode on my fancy pants charger.  I could have swapped in my spare battery.  But I didn’t listen to the little voice in my head.  Did I mention that my wife has a site visit first thing in the morning?  She’ll be driving my truck while I get her battery sorted.  Costco Interstate, not  even 2 full years on it.  I’ll be swapping that one out at Costco.  I tried jumping it from my Ranger, and noticed that my Ranger has a 2 1/2 year old Costco Interstate battery.  That will probably die soon too.  I’ve got a good idea why the Honda killed its battery, all the daytime running lights, and the electric fan.   The fan runs a lot after shut off, and I’m sure that beats up the battery.  On modern cars, if you notice the battery is low, there is a whole bunch of stuff you can’t turn off to get a bit more juice for the starter.  Poor design in my view.  (oh and the little lithium ion jump pack?  No help.  Of course the jump from the Ranger was no help either, so maybe I can’t blame the jump pack.)

Hopefully they will have something suitable in stock.  Maybe I should be proactive on the Ranger battery, and keep the current one as a backup.

There’s always something more to do.

Take a look at your vehicles.  I’m betting you’re closer to replacement for your battery than you think.  Since there are no more lead mines here, I’m guessing it all comes from China…

Keep stacking.


Read the comments: 86 Comments

Wed. Aug. 12, 2020 – best laid plans and all that

Hot and humid.  Yup.  Really.

Tuesday was a bust for me.  Got very little done.   I did a bit of work on my client’s issues, but nothing got resolved or ready for the next step.  It was too hot to work in the yard/driveway/garage.  Even my wife said I should stay in the house.  I know.  Shocked me too.

I finally heard back from one of my auctions, and he wants me to hold off bringing in any more until after the 21st.  So that’s a couple of pickup loads that won’t get shifted this week.  Still haven’t heard from the other about the pickup load for him.

I’ve got a pick up today that I was hoping to combine into one of those other trips, but I can’t put it off any more.  And I’ve got another auction for some gubs that I’m actually having trouble getting invoiced for.  Can’t pay until I get an invoice, but there is a problem with the accounting in the system they use, and it won’t invoice me.  They have  a bunch of legacy code in their site, and some of it is buggered.  I know it’s their smart boys who effed it up, because all the links that don’t work are and the links that DO work don’t have the ‘classic’ prepend.  Someone borked their ongoing support big time.   Unfortunately for me, one of the workflow things is me clicking on an ‘agree’ button that no longer works.  Until that happens the workflow is stuck and I can’t pay for my items.  Their support people are at the “please try the ‘lost password’ tool…” stage.  Sent them screenshots, so maybe it will get resolved.  If you run an ecommerce site, you better make damn sure the payment workflow works.

So sleepy Joe finally picked a running mate.  Strange bedfellows.  No idea how it’s gonna play to the masses.  I hope they can’t overcome the BLM and rioting and the rampant socialism and that people are finally waking up to the consequences of the previous decades of supporting those policies.  No one likes to take ownership of their mistakes so if TPTB give them a way to avoid facing the fact that they voted for the clowns that created the problems they’ll take it, while still doing what they’ve always done.  THIS time for SURE!

It should be clear to anyone paying attention that things are going the wrong way.  It should also be clear that with as long as it took to get here, getting away from here won’t be quick either.  Rome fell but the people still lived there, and people STILL live there.  We’ll do the same.  Of course it won’t be recognizable to us when we do get to the other side.  It’s already not the country or world I grew up in.

I need to take some clear and decisive actions.  That will make me feel better.  Maybe FINISHING some of the ongoing projects and getting out of my chair will help.  I should try it and see.

There’s a long row to hoe ahead of us.  Think about what will make it easier for you and the ones you love, then start working on that.  Stacking won’t hurt…


Read the comments: 45 Comments
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- // end of file archive.php // -------------------------------------------------------------------------------