Sun. Jan. 3, 2021 – when I say ‘keep stacking’ I’m speaking literally…

Cold and clear today, with some sun and wind.  It was downright chilly when I went to bed, 37F, so I’m expecting the day to start near there, and warm to mid 70s.

Like it did on Saturday.

Which I spent entirely indoors, fixing minor household issues, moving stuff around, and doing some minor organizing.  Basically more time off after sleeping very late.

I was asked in a comment yesterday about my organization system, or lack of one, with a youtube of Fibber Mcgee’s closet as an example… that was more true to life than I’d like to admit.  So here it is, my very slapdash dis-organization methods.

Unlike Commander Zero (who everyone should be reading for prepping stuff anyway) I am not particularly organized. Or rather, not rigidly structured. I tend to organize in a very ‘macro’ way by keeping stuff in ‘clusters’ or areas for lack of a better word. The plumbing parts are all in one place. The electrical parts are in their area. Bike stuff is in one spot, etc.

Like goes with like.

I know what I have by going thru it every so often, usually while looking for something. That’s why it’s easy for me to have too much of something- I just keep stacking it with like stuff and don’t account for it very well until I realize “OH, I’ve got a LOT of coleman lanterns hanging from the rafters in that part of the garage.”   On the surface it looks very random, but it is actually pretty efficient most of the time, and it avoids two problems- getting caught up in the SYSTEM while losing sight of the goal, and spending time on admin rather than productive work.

One of my philosophical approaches it to ‘just get started’.

I’ve talked about it in terms of ham radio – don’t agonize over how to program your radios, which radio is best, which software or channel list is the best, BUY SOMETHING and START USING IT.  Start cheaply and figure out if it’s good enough, or if you want to get more involved.

With food storage, I don’t worry about calorie counts, or nutrition, or getting the perfect balance of stuff.  I started buying extra of my normal shopping and then added to that.  Food on the shelf is a whole lot better than the Mountain House pallet of freeze dried you never bought because you couldn’t commit to spending $5000…. and if you aren’t starving or wasting away on your current diet, it will keep you sufficiently fed and healthy during the hurricane and recovery.

I want to avoid ‘paralysis by analysis’ and also avoid spending time on building a perfect inventory system, instead of building up stocks of supplies.  I acknowledge that this is sometimes inefficient.  I’ll buy and have too much or too little of something.  But I have SOME of it, which is better than NONE of it.  And EVERYONE complains about keeping their inventory current, and the work involved.  One of the lessons I’ve learned from this pandemic is that my assumptions were wrong anyway.  My 6 months of peanut butter became 12 months worth, or even forevers worth, as my kids’ usage changed.  Ditto for breakfast cereal.  WAY too much on the shelf, because our eating patterns changed.  The inventory spreadsheet wouldn’t help me with that…

So what do I do?  First off, books are special.  They are actually organized.

My books are sorted and shelved by subject for non-fiction and reference. Fiction is all alphabetical by author. I never have enough shelves.

The rest of the stuff is literally in stacks. And yes, sometimes it’s like a jenga game to get the piece I want. Usually though, I just have to move a couple of things.   It helps that a lot of the stacks are made up of flip top crates.

Yesterday for example, I decided to replace the fill valve in the hall toilet. It’s not flushing right, and I think it’s because the fill isn’t happening right. There should be water at the bottom filling the tank while it’s still flushing, not just the tube filling the bowl. SO- I know I’ve got toilet fill assemblies. I did some replacement/repairs to the toilet in the master bath not too long ago and went through the boxes then. Out to the garage, up the steps into the attic, plumbing parts are in boxes just to the right, next to the irrigation parts, and the spare jars… Pull the plumbing boxes and go thru them to pull out the 3 fill assemblies. Take them back to the bath, pick the one that matches best, install it. Clean and put the old parts in a box so I have spare components for next time. (I did find that there was some blockage from a deteriorating plastic piece.) All the plumbing stuff goes back into the boxes and they go back into their spot in the attic.  Job done, not much more time than looking up where a piece might be, and then retrieving it but without any of the overhead of tracking what I have outside of my own head.

Electrical stuff is clustered in the same area.  There are a couple of boxes of electrical parts and supplies on the other side of the plumbing parts.  That is my ‘bulk construction type stuff’ area.    There are also more commonly needed repair and install parts in a drawer in a cabinet in the garage. And stuff I use for work has a box in the truck…  Those are three clusters by themselves- the drawer unit by the garage door has parts and pieces I need often, the attic has stuff that is more for construction and occasional repair, and the truck has stuff I need for work.

Camping stuff is in bins on the patio, next to the cabinet that has more camping stuff. Bike stuff is in another bin. The pool stuff is all going to storage for the season, but was stacked on the patio in a group.

There is an area of the garage that has a lot of bulk medical in bins, but there is also normal use med stuff in the hall bathroom. Most of the normal inventory is lined up on cabinet shelves, oldest in front, newest in the back, just like a store.  Medicines, first aid, and OTC stuff is clustered near point of use, the central bathroom.  A couple of steps away, in another closet, the grab and go med bags live with some other more “doctor” type stuff.  It’s a cluster, but more for emergency use than everyday, and thus it’s separated on purpose.

In fact most things have an area where the ‘normal use’ stuff is, with a deeper inventory somewhere else, less accessible.

Kid stuff, and most of what I talked about in yesterday’s post is clustered in two areas- the part of the kitchen we think of as the ‘craft’ area, and a hall closet that holds all the educational kits and the ‘presents’.   Everything in that closet is stuff that hasn’t been allocated to a kid or a project yet.  I have a couple of bins full of ‘maker’ stuff in the driveway under the tarp.  Another cluster (bits and pieces, leather, cardboard tubes, craft items, electronic scrap stuff.)

My office is a microcosm of the whole. I’ve got a desk area for electronics repair, and all my test gear.  There is another desk area that I sit at daily with my pc, main radios, some simple repair stuff, and stuff for my non-prepping hobby close to hand.  Behind me is the bulk of my reference library, on shelves above cabinets.  And…. several stacks of stuff, computers and electronics to be set up or fixed, non-prep hobby stuff, my laptop and work bag, some auction stuff, and lots of paper waiting to be filed.  Several stacked bins of stuff in fact.

Back in the day when I was a bachelor, and didn’t actually have all that much stuff because I moved frequently, I decorated with “a minimum of horizontal surfaces”. It was the only way to stay neat and organized, because my natural tendency is to pile stuff on horizontal surfaces. I’m one of those people who uses a second floor staircase as a filing system…

All this leads to me not necessarily knowing for SURE that I have an item, but if I do, I know where it will be.  Once I’m looking in the right spot, I can either put hands on it right away, or my memory is sufficiently prompted to know if I have it or not, and where it might be if not there.

I guess my guideline is “like goes with like” and DON’T REORGANIZE or you’ll never remember the new spot!

I will stipulate that this is SUB-OPTIMAL and very idiosyncratic but it works for me. I can go for literally years without accessing something, and when I need it, I know where to look (full face respirators and spare cartridges, at the beginning of the lockdown, for example, hadn’t touched that since the ebola scare).  More times than not, I can walk right up to what I need without too much fuss.  No one else could though.

I am working on this. Lifesaving preps need to be accessible to others in case something happens to me. I’ve started showing oldest daughter some of the system, because it drives my wife crazy. I’ve also started regularizing some of the stuff. Moving the food from storage to usage at the beginning helped tremendously. I was able to go thru it all, and while moving it, arrange it in a way that is much more organized. I even bought FIFO can organizers. In fact, I’ve got more on order, since daughter two wanted her soup organized.

I have been in acquisition mode for a long time.   My focus was on getting the stuff, not using it or organizing it.  I stacked it up with the idea I’d have a chance to better organize it later.  Um, not so much.  Then I had to move and organize the food for this lockdown, and that prompted putting up shelves, going through the stacks, getting them all in one place, and actually organizing the food.   I’ve been trying to make the space I need to organize the rest since then.  My progress has been – slow – and spotty.  But I am making progress.

The main thought to take away is, do what works for you.   If you can’t sleep at night without reviewing your spreadsheet and usage budgets, then do so.  If you are like me, and know were everything in your office is, but no one else could find a pen, that’s ok too, AS LONG AS YOU ARE THERE, BUT — you might not be…  part of really prepping is doing so so that your loved ones are still covered even if you aren’t there to help.  Take that into consideration for any system you use.

Any system is better than no system.  Any prepping is better than no prepping.  Don’t get hung up on designing or having the perfect system.   Perfect is very much the enemy of good enough.  Get started.  Build on what you have.  Always be improving your position.

And keep stacking.  😉

 

nick

Author: Nick Flandrey

Mid 50s, stay at home dad, with two elementary school age girls. Love my family and my life.

77 thoughts on “Sun. Jan. 3, 2021 – when I say ‘keep stacking’ I’m speaking literally…”


  1. The administration should have learned from the similar earlier PPE and testing debacles.

    You funny! No administration learns from their mistakes unless it involves there own re-election.

    Weren’t they paid millions to pre-produce the vaccine

    You are off by a factor of a thousand. The drug companies were paid billions.

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  2. @Nick, Good, GOOD, information. The “Get Started” part is so essential. I never used to think about stuff like toilet repair parts, but the last time I replaced the innerds, I remembered to buy two extra packs so they will be here. And, I was proud of myself for doing so. I have sewing needles for a thousand years, but tank flappers were not previously on my radar.

    Re the storage tubs and bins: About 15 years ago, I began putting EVERYTHING into plastic tubs with tight-fitting lids, and I am so glad I did. It keeps things clean, dry, and safe from rodents, reptiles, & bugs. My books and great grandmother’s quilts never got damaged from water or humidity or hurricane on the coast, nor from dust or mice in the desert. It works so well in the garage that now I even use them in the closets and shallow ones in the pantry. I think plastic tubs are essential regardless of other organizing system or even none.

    The only thing I am ruthless about with tubs is NO CARDBOARD BOXES! Cardboard will not protect against mice, spiders, snakes, silverfish, water, humidity, or dust. I’ve found snake skins in sealed cardboard boxes, and there was a baby copperhead on a high shelf in our garage once.

    Rubbermaid type are great but they buckle when stacked, so they need a lightweight board laid over the top of each to spread the weight. And the tubs I have bought recently, at Big Lots (using my 20% off coupons!) have hidden air holes in and under handles and rims, so I tape all those up. I use clear packing tape to label on top and on one or two ends so I can see the “subject” at a glance.

    Heinlein nailed the cell phone in a few words in 1951. The uncut version of Puppet Masters was published in 1990, and that was before cell phones attained the “pocket” form factor.

    Heinlein’s characters also used debit cards instead of carry money. His concept that I looked forward to most – which is farther from reality now than ever – was the Fair Witness. Unlike text, video and audio, they could not be edited, and they could convey nuance.

  3. @Nick, Good, GOOD, information. The “Get Started” part is so essential. I never used to think about stuff like toilet repair parts, but the last time I replaced the innerds, I remembered to buy two extra packs so they will be here. And, I was proud of myself for doing so. I have sewing needles for a thousand years, but tank flappers were not previously on my radar.

    The increasing amount of chlorine in a lot of city water supplies is hard on the flappers, but the “automatic” toilet cleaning tablets accelerate the deterioration.

    If you are using the tablets, stock a few more flappers.

  4. Heinlein nailed the cell phone in a few words in 1951. The uncut version of Puppet Masters was published in 1990, and that was before cell phones attained the “pocket” form factor. No public consciousness. Waterbed–definitely.

    Waterbeds are already history for the most part.

    Development of AMPS, the first real “cell” phone system started in the late 60s. AT&T and Motorola had a working system by 1983. Popular Science and other outlets regularly had articles about what was coming with wireless technology.

    What I don’t think anyone foresaw was how much printing press money would be burned over the last 25 years making the cell phone a fragile mass market replacement for landline service built across a century.


  5. The increasing amount of chlorine in a lot of city water supplies is hard on the flappers, but the “automatic” toilet cleaning tablets accelerate the deterioration.

    If you are using the tablets, stock a few more flappers.

    Good point. I noticed that the packaging said not to use any of those additives or it would cause them to fail, so I stopped using them and switched to the in the bowl type. We have a very high calcium & mineral content in the water, so the flappers fail every year anyway.

  6. My wife got the vaccine at the VA on Thursday without telling me.

    I found out last night. I think she got worried after spending all New Years Day wiped out on the couch, and the fatigue wasn’t markedly better yesterday.

    My guess is that she didn’t want me finding out about the shot in the ER. It wouldn’t be the first time something like that happened.

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  7. I was wrong about Jenny: She hadn’t tested positive, she was only suspected to have new variant CV-19. The test kit arrived (by Amazon courier) today, but since the courier wouldn’t wait while Jenny used the kit, so that he could take it away, Jane had to excurse to collect it and post it. Socially distanced, of course, masked equally of course.

    And since the used kit has been entrusted to Postie, there’s no way of knowing how long the results will take to come back.

    G.

  8. Vaccinations have started here in UK, with both the Pfizer and Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines. Despite political comments to the contrary, informed medical opinion is that vaccine mixing has no benefit.

    And the UK pols are sticking to their 3 months between doses, rather than the tested 21 days. I have no idea when I will get the offer, all I know is that, as a member of the “at higher risk” cohort, it’ll be sooner rather than later. How much sooner, deponent sayeth not.

    G.

  9. Regarding the mention of face shields in yesterday’s comments, I don’t understand the point of them. The first one I saw was worn without a mask, but every sighting since, the wearer had on a mask plus the shield. So, why the shield?

  10. Regarding the mention of face shields in yesterday’s comments, I don’t understand the point of them. The first one I saw was worn without a mask, but every sighting since, the wearer had on a mask plus the shield. So, why the shield?

    There were theories that the virus could spread by entering the body through the eyes. I’d love to see the real numbers on that, especially whatever the Progs running Costco saw that justify their allowing shields in lieu of masks to enter the store.

    That meme didn’t have traction like masks because, to be effective, a shield requires more complex fabrication processes than a Sham Wow, and the examples to date of what could be manufactured or even imported into this country in sufficient quantites have been so pathetic that the kabuki is obvious.

  11. Flappers. Our local water company started adding chlorine about ten years ago, and my 30 year old ones failed within a year or so. They looked like common rubber. I replaced them with ones made of a plastic-looking material claimed to be chlorine resistant, and these seem unaffected. The design is simple, and I could make my own using some 300 series stainless and a soft gasket if necessary.

    I still have the original float valves in all our toilets, and they still work fine after 42 years of use.

    Our water is excellent, although it does have some dissolved solids that leave deposits at the water line in the bowl.

  12. Regarding virus spread, I see our medical community working on treatment, which is fine, but there is little mention of prevention by strengthening the immune system, other than vaccines of course. It takes some digging for info, but taking certain vitamins and other supplements can be very helpful.

  13. But, Jim, there’s no money to be made in “eat a balanced diet and get some sun every day”. Priorities, man, priorities!

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  14. Flappers. Our local water company started adding chlorine about ten years ago, and my 30 year old ones failed within a year or so. They looked like common rubber. I replaced them with ones made of a plastic-looking material claimed to be chlorine resistant, and these seem unaffected. The design is simple, and I could make my own using some 300 series stainless and a soft gasket if necessary.

    The “Korky” line of flappers sold at Home Depot and Lowes are silicone. They are more chlorine resistant than rubber, but I still end up replacing ours every couple of years.

  15. Another of the “I didn’t notice for a few years after moving here” things was how one group of people think the president is royalty and can do whatever he/she wants, and will vote for someone who takes on that persona, and another group which believes that the president has limited powers.

    It was only after I read the constitution that the manipulation by the media towards the first group became clear.

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  16. Another of the “I didn’t notice for a few years after moving here” things was how one group of people think the president is royalty and can do whatever he/she wants, and will vote for someone who takes on that persona, and another group which believes that the president has limited powers.

    IMHO, the first group of people want, for lack of a better word, a Daddy to tell them what to do and how to live. All they ask in return is to not die like the subjects of a Michael Moore hit piece on the healthcare system. Otherwise, anything is fair game for surrender, including personal freedom.

    Personal freedom means making decisions and accepting the consequences. God forbid.

    The “Vote for Daddy” meme has been rolling in the media for nearly 30 years, ever since the Charleston debate in 1992. I give you Ponytail Guy, poster child for Late Boomer voters.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c8rp-tlgqa4

    Later in the debate was the infamous moment where Bush 41 checked his watch, and the election was over at that point.

    These days, instead of a ponytail, it would be a man bun, but the thinking hasn’t changed.

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  17. Ponytail: “neeeds”! Haven’t heard that insipid pronunciation in many years.

  18. These days, instead of a ponytail, it would be a man bun, but the thinking hasn’t changed.

    Yup. It isn’t what’s on the outside of the boots; it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

  19. Greg, nope, the first cellular was at Nordic countries, why? US didnt want, (more specifically ATT) why? I dont know

  20. Morning all!

    wrt face shields- the ones you see are disposable like to the masks are supposed to be. Originally the recommendation was for “droplet protocols” which include covering the eyes and face, and mouth. Lots of med pros use faceshields to avoid getting splashed with nasty stuff. The acceptance of face shields in lieu of masks is because the mask is to contain YOUR nasty stuff, and a face shield will kinda sorta do that. And they were part of the original guidance. If I was interacting with people up close, I’d wear glasses, and if I was a dentist, I’d wear a face shield. Someone in Goodwill Outlet store? at least they can’t sneeze directly on stuff.

    regarding plastic bins, I’ve got a significant amount of money in bins. I use the black with yellow lids for bulky storage, especially outdoors. They need a strip of tape over the locking holes, and to be covered with plastic. Even then, in a humid environment they will pump air and moisture in with heating and cooling cycles and eventually fill with water. ESPECIALLY if they are full of something metal with mass – like cans of food. Drill some drain holes in the bottom or lose the contents eventually. Indoors they are fine.

    I love the size of the flip top bins. Almost all my shelving is spaced for them. Two fit side by side on a 2ft by 3ft shelf. If they are light you can stack them. If they are packed FULL with something sturdy you can stack them higher. I have taken to putting a piece of 3/8″ plywood on top of the top when stacking them 4 or 5 high. They will embrittle in sunlight, and with age. They are not water resistant used outdoors. There is a difference in quality by brand. The made in USA ones at Costco do pretty well over time.

    I have moved all my shelved ‘medium term’ food storage into shallow bins with lids that lay on and are held in place by handles. I got them at lowes, and they have heavy and normal duty ratings. The heavy duty ones are grey with tall lids. The light ones are translucent with white lids. They have been working great as ‘drawers’ on the shelves near the kitchen. Even full of jars it’s possible to move a full one. The lids have kept the mice out. If you recall, I was using the cardboard trays from costco’s trash to organize flats of cans. The cans all got nasty from rat p!ss during that whole debacle, so now I keep them in the bins, and in can organizers.

    I was going to include a picture, but can’t find it. My computer is a lot less organized than my house.

    n


  21. I was asked in a comment yesterday about my organization system

    Thanks Nick, great post, page bookmarked and added to my bookmark…err…’filing system’ (have been toying with this Chrome extension – https://braintool.org/ – that I found through a ZDNet mention – I like that it stays away from the Chrome bookmark file – get nervous of that file getting corrupted).
    I have a large Lifetime storage shed with a mix of various shelving units around the perimeter and my storage goal (still 95% met) is no boxes on the floor and my small ‘look through a box’ counter space clear. As for organizing what’s in the boxes on the shelves, it’s basically a two-part system, like-with-like items (hardware, plumbing, electrical, etc.) along with mixed items that are more long-term storage (less frequently needed items such as automotive-specific tools) with the contents of each crate listed in a notebook with pictures in the cloud as backup.

    and lots of paper waiting to be filed.

    Have you given any thought to scanning then trashing the hardcopies? I’ve started to do some but haven’t got the discipline (yet) to do it more. Plus in a SHTF situation my filing cabinet doesn’t go ‘off-line’.

  22. Hey Nick (or Rick H)…right year, wrong month…

    Sun. Dec. 3, 2021 – when I say ‘keep stacking’ I’m speaking literally…

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  23. In the end it would probably be more efficient to just have all the testing centers give it to anyone who shows up for it.

    Heard the US Surgeon General this morning say that some of the delays in vaccinations is due to the current surge of new cases which has resulted in a surge in people trying to get tested which is causing a diversion of resources. “But, but, we had to travel, it was Thanksgiving after all.”


  24. Jerry P once said that Overlord was the biggest logistic operation of history, I doubt that distributing vaccine is worst, so I dont understand

    100% agreed. Perhaps with a leader with the fortitude of FDR we might have been able to go this route. Oh how times have changed in this country.

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  25. I noticed that the packaging said not to use any of those additives or it would cause them to fail, so I stopped using them and switched to the in the bowl type.

    From the American Standard toilet warranty:
    WARNING: This warranty DOES NOT COVER any damages
    caused by the use of in-tank cleaners. These products can
    seriously corrode the fittings in the tank. This damage can cause
    leakage and property damage. American Standard® will not be
    responsible or liable for any damage caused by the use of
    in-tank cleaners.

    Of course, they’re happy to sell you their ‘self-cleaning’ toilet that uses their “safe” cleaner that for the most part bypasses the tank. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QzvLbv2mbXA

  26. My fingers typed the wrong month and year, but my brain only caught the year…

    The logistics of vaccine delivery is a solvable problem and one with large pieces already in place. The stated intent is to eventually partner with CVS for shots, like they partnered with them for tests.

    What is messing up delivery is politics. Changing decisions about who should get it, how to determine and verify, etc. If everyone just lined up, they could go down the line sticking one after another at any place they already have people (assuming they have a resuscitation team available, for that small percentage that has a major problem with the vaccine.) I know that isn’t going to happen though.

    I had to call in, talk to an actual person, give loads of personal data, some of which I had to look up, schedule an appointment, make a sign with a number written on it accurately and legibly, SHOW UP the NEXT DAY in a special place, during a limited window of time, show more id, and finally then I could be coached thru swabbing my own nose. All that for a ‘free’ test, with no negative medical incident possible from the test.

    Just imagine how much worse it is when some people are the WRONG SORT to get the shot right now? What is acceptable proof of ‘front line’ status? What if you’re 63 today but will be 64 on Wednesday? The clerks will want VERY CLEAR guidance for every and all circumstances to avoid making personal decisions.

    The need for a second shot adds complications too, because some people can’t be trusted to carry some token for 3 weeks, so IDs must be tracked, databases organized, HIPPA rools followed at every step (for those in the UK, the Health insurance portability act set up very tight rules about who can see your medical info, and the clerks extended that to the point that some clinics don’t have sign in sheets, because someone might see another person’s name and make inferences about their health because of it. The irony is that the act lets almost anyone on their side see your info, while you have to jump thru hoops. Your spouse needs specific permissions, for example.)

    Push back is bad enough at the state level, imagine if FedGov used the army to line up citizens and administer the shot. It would have to be the army too, because FedGov doesn’t have anyone else to do something like that.

    n

    added- none of this is to say they shouldn’t have had a plan ready to go, and smart people empowered to change the plan when it became obvious that something wasn’t going to work.


  27. Perhaps with a leader with the fortitude of FDR we might have been able to go this route.

    Or perhaps if the China Flu were a real crisis, a crisis which endangered the existence of the United States, competent, honest men would be put on the job. As it is, the China Flu is a nothingburger which is used to justify any amount of government growth and overreach, so there’s no incentive for government to solve it.

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  28. Plans are useless. PLANNING is invaluable.
    n

    “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.” –General Dwight D. Eisenhower

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  29. especially whatever the Progs running Costco saw that justify their allowing shields in lieu of masks to enter the store.

    The face shields were I suppose (see, moved the “I” away from the start of the sentence) to be used by the shoppers that claimed they couldn’t wear a mask for health/medical reasons. It shouldn’t be a substitute for a regular mask for other conscientious people to use as an “easier” approach. Oh right, ‘conscientious’, never mind…


  30. Or perhaps if the China Flu were a real crisis, a crisis which endangered the existence of the United States, competent, honest men would be put on the job. As it is, the China Flu is a nothingburger which is used to justify any amount of government growth and overreach, so there’s no incentive for government to solve it.

    Tell this to someone in LA that suffers a heart attack and any necessary hospital treatment is delayed because all of their emergency resources are dealing with ‘fake’ Covid cases.
    https://news.yahoo.com/world-war-iii-says-l-140007837.html
    I know, I know, ‘fake’ MSM news…and all the horrifying video aired recently of conditions in CA hospitals was filmed at Hollywood sound stages.


  31. That meme didn’t have traction like masks because, to be effective, a shield requires more complex fabrication processes than a Sham Wow, and the examples to date of what could be manufactured or even imported into this country in sufficient quantites have been so pathetic that the kabuki is obvious.

    If the virus can enter via the eyes I would think a full face respirator would be more appropriate, or in a pinch, a pair of well-fitting swim goggles.

  32. What I don’t think anyone foresaw was how much printing press money would be burned over the last 25 years making the cell phone a fragile mass market replacement for landline service built across a century.

    If the cell phone tower owners would put in a generator and a weeks worth of fuel as the FCC has mandated, the cell phone system would be much more reliable. If, you are in range of a tower.

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  33. Tell this to someone in LA that suffers a heart attack and any necessary hospital treatment is delayed because all of their emergency resources are dealing with ‘fake’ Covid cases.

    This says nothing about the seriousness of the alleged crisis. The people calling the shots could declare a priority on using hospital resources to remove unwanted tattoos, meaning there’s nothing left to take care of heart attacks. By itself, that says nothing about the threat to life of the tattoos compared to the heart attacks.

  34. IIRC all the flu and corona viruses can enter thru the eyes. Usually by getting it on your fingers, then rubbing your eyes, but the direct route works too.

    I know that when I was flying commercial twice a week I used to get sick all the time. Then I stopped touching stuff, and particularly my face and eyes, and I wasn’t getting sick all the time.

    Keep your booger hooks out of your eyes and stay healthier.

    n

    A full face respirator is much more expensive, and uncomfortable. You do see pics of Drs wearing PAPR forced air type face shields if they have to wear them all day. Full face, and half face also require a fit test, and lung capacity test before use (per OSHA), which was why the molded non-woven ‘respirators’ were invented in the first place. OSHA saw people getting around their rule and classified the masks as ‘respirators’ and viola, you need a fit test and medical evaluation to use them at work.

    According to Aesop, the limit to using a half face or full face respirator is that rules dictate disinfecting the outside before entering another patient area. ‘member that they are supposed to strip off ALL their PPE between patients, which is why they burn thru so many masks, under normal conditions. The RULES must be followed, until exemptions are granted.

    n

  35. 100% agreed. Perhaps with a leader with the fortitude of FDR we might have been able to go this route. Oh how times have changed in this country.

    FDR is the template for the modern Dem politician. He’s been the beneficiary of a lot of revisionist history.

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  36. “What I don’t think anyone foresaw was how much printing press money would be burned over the last 25 years making the cell phone a fragile mass market replacement for landline service built across a century.”

    If the cell phone tower owners would put in a generator and a weeks worth of fuel as the FCC has mandated, the cell phone system would be much more reliable. If, you are in range of a tower.

    The co-dominium does an adequate job with contingency planning at the towers, but the system is not designed for everyone to attempt to stream Baby Yoda simultaneously as soon as the power goes out at their homes and the kids get bored.

    The Death Star has a portable tower staged down at the “bad” (my wife’s opinion) HCA-owned hospital near the house for most of the last year, but I doubt it was ever necessary. I’ve never seen the parking lot more than 20% full since the pandemic started in March.


  37. 100% agreed. Perhaps with a leader with the fortitude of FDR we might have been able to go this route. Oh how times have changed in this country.

    FDR is the template for the modern Dem politician. He’s been the beneficiary of a lot of revisionist history.

    Little known fact:After the Pearl Harbor attack, FDR told every state to deal with the problem. After all only 2,403 died that day.

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  38. I haven’t found anything better for stacking than Akro ALC’s (Attached Lid Containers).

    But for storage…

    A few years ago when Sears started closing up, I caught the fixtures sale in a medium-sized town. Walked around with the liquidator and put my number on just about every “light” duty (only 3000 lbs/shelf) pallet rack, but particularly every one I could find that was 2′ depth.

    Then we walked into the tool and hardware storage room. About 20×40 [size edited] and the perimeter was solid shelving to the 12′ ceiling. They called it “binney” shelving: 2’x4′ shelves are about 3/4″ plywood with a u-shaped metal edge crimped to the ends. Uprights are metal posts in the corners with a plywood web every four feet or so. Uprights have the clip side, the shelf ends have the pockets. Slide them in, press down to engage. Uprights have clips every 2″ on both sides, so the units are gangable.

    I bought the whole room.

    It took two of us to disassemble all the shelving and load a 26′ box truck. I rented a large storage unit with a 12′ ceiling and arranged everything neatly, then put up a section each of the pallet rack and binney shelving and took photos for Craigslist. The 2′ deep racking is perfect for large garages, and each set of two beams came with cross-supports and 3/4″ plywood for instant shelving.

    I could have sold 10x what I had, and a lot for guys bought binney shelving, too, after I showed them how easy the shelves were to adjust.

    As inventory sold and space freed up I lined the storage unit walls with shelves. Binney shelving in back, 2′ pallet racking down the sides, and 4′ pallet racking in the center between the overhead doors.
    Two binney sections in back have shelving 6″ on center, and each shelf holds two large Lewis System totes with removable lids–that’s nearly 100 totes worth.

    And no, I don’t have enough storage.

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  39. The co-dominium does an adequate job with contingency planning at the towers, but the system is not designed for everyone to attempt to stream Baby Yoda simultaneously as soon as the power goes out at their homes and the kids get bored.

    I imagine one could filter that sort of nonsense. Deep packet inspection, or even just plain block the IP addresses of Netflix/Hulu/Disney/…


  40. After the Pearl Harbor attack, FDR told every state to deal with the problem. After all only 2,403 died that day.

    December 1941 was an unmistakable attack on the United States by another nation, falling clearly within federal authority.

    2020 was a disease of questioned origin and vector. There was no clear Constitutional authority for federal action, though federal coordination and some funding was provided under the expanded view of Constitutional limits. Recall also that the limited, Constitutional steps that President Trump took, such as tightening down entry to the nation, was criticized as tyranny by the usual suspects.

    Let me know if you need me to explain it again using smaller words.

    Now, if you wish to argue that federal action is warranted for the China Flu “crisis” because it was a deliberate attack by a foreign nation, that’s a conversation I’m perfectly happy to have.

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  41. And no, I don’t have enough storage.

    Once again my tool shelves were raided, this time in the form of my wife taking the one remaining rubber mallet to pound some poorly-fitting metal pieces together. (She and her mother destroyed the other rubber mallet by pounding metal stakes into the ground.) Note that this comes after yet another solemn promise to leave my tools and supplies alone because it pisses me off when they destroy things, use up the last of something, give things away, or simply put them back dirty.

    Aside from building a locked storage area in the garage, storing my stuff off-site, divorce and taking my stuff with me, or getting my wife deported, I can’t think of a (legal) way to deal with this. It’s very annoying.


  42. So now twelve senators are going to object to the Electoral College certification for very reasons. They only need thirty-nine more to make anything happen. And nothing is going to happen.

    If they do this for more than the first state, it’s grandstanding. It won’t get a majority in the House, and not likely in the Senate. No smoking gun has been found. Georgia’s recounts and the sampling of the mail ballot envelopes show no problem there. Fine. Do one state. Have (R) members of the Congress get up and demand the commission. Then after 2 hours, it gets voted down. To repeat this for more states will only make them look bad.

    And someone needs to get Gohmert to STFU about violence in the streets and to stop filing stupid lawsuits.

    It’s over, concentrate on winning at least 1 seat in GA to hold the Senate. (And the President isn’t doing his party any favors by now sorta changing course and calling for a boycott of the GA senate runoff election.)

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  43. No smoking gun has been found.

    You keep saying that. As they (Dr Pournelle among others) say, you can prove almost anything if you can ignore evidence which you don’t like.

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  44. @steveF- decoy set out in front. Good tools obscured by paint or grease.

    n

  45. @SteveF
    Watch estate sales for chest/ roller cabinet combos. Anything less than the high-end mechanics brands is pretty reasonable around here. Some Craftsman is bad, but a lot of it is pretty good if not for daily use.

    If the keys aren’t there look for a number on the lock escutcheon. With a number you can get a key made for $6-7.

  46. @Alan
    ROTFL!
    Nice try buddy.
    How ’bout you give us the Cliff’s notes?
    (I still have 5 min left on trimmin’ the bills hooves)

  47. Nick, thanks for the suggestion. I’m not sure I can make it work but it’s an idea.

    drwilliams, I’ve been checking Craigslist and such for locking tool chests. Nothing at a reasonable price yet but I’ll check again momentarily. And I hadn’t thought about estate sales. (Though I should have, as Nick mentions them often enough.)

    EDIT: Nope, nothing on Craigslist or a similar regional site. That is, no tool cabinets being sold because someone needs the cash. There were several ads for exactly what I want, but they weren’t exactly at a bargain price.

  48. I love model railroads. When we were in Chicongo last Christmas I shot a LOT of their big layout. I was mourning that they probably didn’t even set it up this year.

    EverardJunction https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCpOcgNqc3JFMhR2L3hHd4ww

    Is the channel I keep coming back to. Consistently high quality content, minimum of nonsense. The owner restores cars for a living. He’s internet famous for his layout and channel though.

    n

  49. @stevef, I have my tools in old AV slide storage cabinets, and 3 drawer horizontal file cabinets. The file cabs have to be high quality, the drawers get HEAVY.

    n

  50. I need locking cabinets or a locking cage to put shelves and piles in. The problem is not organization, it’s my wife and her mother not respecting my request that they keep their hands off my tools.

  51. Along the lines of Nick’s suggestion, just make up a set of most-used tools and put them in a cheap toolbox or a 5-gallon pail with a bucket boss. Claw hammer, pliers, Channellocks, sidecutters, set of screwdrivers, utility knife, etc. Give them a prominent place and let it be known that it’s the “grab-n-go” for odd jobs.

    Cl tends to be pricey or beat-to-crap.


  52. make up a set of most-used tools and put them in a cheap toolbox or a 5-gallon pail with a bucket boss

    Yup. Did that some years ago. The tools didn’t last, or they weren’t good enough, or they got dirty, or (the leading contender, in my opinion) they weren’t my tools, meaning that my wife wasn’t showing that I can’t boss her around.

    Yah, I’m in a foul mood. As is usually the case, the specific annoyance isn’t the real problem. The real problem is the unending series of annoyances and insults and temper tantrums and “I forgot”s and “I thought you said”s.

    (Four years, five months, some days…)

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  53. 2020 was a disease of questioned origin and vector. There was no clear Constitutional authority for federal action, though federal coordination and some funding was provided under the expanded view of Constitutional limits. Recall also that the limited, Constitutional steps that President Trump took, such as tightening down entry to the nation, was criticized as tyranny by the usual suspects.

    Let me know if you need me to explain it again using smaller words.

    Now, if you wish to argue that federal action is warranted for the China Flu “crisis” because it was a deliberate attack by a foreign nation, that’s a conversation I’m perfectly happy to have.

    Interesting. So you think to do anything much was unconstitutional. What about “to provide for the common good”?

  54. That’s not merely a slippery slope, it’s a greased ramp to hell.

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  55. which led to…well, you get the idea

    I have been to Wunderland in Hamburg, twice. Spent 3 hours on each visit. The airport is amazing. Trucks, service vehicles, planes arriving and departing. Even the lights dim and brighten according to a normal day. I could have spent more time but the wife was bored.

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  56. @SteveF
    I sympathize with the mood.

    Nick’s repurposed some cabinets. I’ve done the same with filing cabinets, although the best ones I have are two 10 or 12 drawer cabinets (5-drawer file cabinet footprint) designed for cards, and one absolute gem that is 48 wide, 72 tall, 24 deep, and held microfilm.

    The other possibility is a standard 2-door metal storage cabinet, usually 84″ tall, 30-36″ wide, and 12-24″ deep. Trick is to find them with enough shelves, but there are lots of them out there from businesses selling fixtures.

    You need to run the CL searches a couple times a week. Bargains go pretty quick. Toward the middle of the month you start seeing “closing end of month, all sales must be removed by ____”

  57. @Lynn – Doing more rehab on my primary desktop today, I realized that Windows Update hadn’t worked in a while. I used the WSUS Offline Update utility to pull the most recent set of files, and I was shocked to find over 60 updates missing from Windows 7.

    If you are still planning a clean install on your home system, look into generating a update ISO/USB with the utility and keep it handy in case the online update doesn’t cooperate. Version 11.9.1 is the last revision that supported Windows 7.

    https://download.wsusoffline.net/

  58. Oh, I’d love to get a set of the hardware aisle drawers from an Ace hardware or Home Depot…

    Over the years I’ve snagged several of the media storage file drawer systems. VERY well built, short drawers, great slides. I’ve also got a couple of very beat up Lista/stanley tool room drawers. I drove to Corpus Christie to get two of them from a navy base. I got one in an estate sale. $50 and I couldn’t get my money out fast enough. The locks were punched out though, and I never got around to fixing them.

    I can lock some of my AV drawers, and I can lock one of the 3 drawer horizontals. I don’t have the issue Steve has.

    I like two drawer fire safe file cabinets for ammo (if I had any ammo.) They are cheap because they are heavy and difficult to move. The four drawer ones are almost free, but weigh more than a gun safe. I do have a 5 drawer horizontal file cabinet that is a fire safe. It weighs almost 900 pounds empty. It’s currently at my buddy’s gun store, but it will come home in the next few months. I can fight a two drawer around by myself, with a pallet jack and crow bar. They generally have good locks on them too, as anything worth protecting from fire was worth protecting from snoops too.

    n


  59. It weighs almost 900 pounds empty.

    !!! That’s more than my ex-wife!

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  60. More linux weirdness.

    I’m getting disk full errors, but I’ve deleted the giant log files again. There is a file in /dev called ‘core’ described as ‘link to program crash data’ and its size lists as 140.9 TB. It’s property listing says ‘size on disk 0bytes’. SOMETHING is convinced my disk is full. Can I just delete that file?

    n

    added- after a reboot, now the disk shows 400 GB free, although that file is still there….

    Something in the file system got screwed up and was reporting the disk was full even though it wasn’t. Reboot fixed it. That seems like a pretty fundamental bug to me.

  61. /dev/core is a representation of all the virtual memory the CPU can see. It’s not disk space.

  62. /dev/core is a representation of all the virtual memory the CPU can see. It’s not disk space. ”

    –thanks. One of the things I don’t like about the linux file system is the way stuff represented.

    n


  63. Trick is to find them with enough shelves, but there are lots of them out there from businesses selling fixtures.

    I use those steel cabinets for my pantry storage, as well as other storage. It is easy to add a plywood shelf on top of each steel shelf. I use 3/4″ plywood to make supports the full depth on each end and set the shelf on top of them. They don’t need to be nailed, glued, or otherwise attached. They will stay in place on their own.

  64. But can they do this?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WB3qTVg3hhs

    Bike Stunt: Viola Brand (Artistic Cycling European Champion & Vice World Champion)

    Location: Unibike Expo 2019 Istanbul – Bicycle and Equipment Fair

    @Nick: So that’s the Viola you keep mentioning in your posts and comments! 😀


  65. One of the things I don’t like about the linux file system is the way stuff represented.

    One of the design features of Unix/Linux is that everything is a file.

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  66. @JimM

    I use those steel cabinets for my pantry storage, as well as other storage. It is easy to add a plywood shelf on top of each steel shelf. I use 3/4″ plywood to make supports the full depth on each end and set the shelf on top of them. They don’t need to be nailed, glued, or otherwise attached. They will stay in place on their own.

    That’s an effective solution.

  67. For my outdoor cabinets, I got the rubbermaid two door snap together plastic ones. Their shelf system is horrible. So I did 4 posts in the corners of 2×4, put in a shelf (very odd shape), then 4 more posts, another shelf, etc…. I ended up with very sturdy shelves instead of shelves trying to push the walls apart and collapse. I did run a screw thru the shelf into the post because the cabinets aren’t level and the posts were able to move too much.

    n

    (bike girl Viola is certainly easy on the eyes- as one of my old bosses would have said.)

  68. wrt the piles of paper here waiting to be filed… yeah I have a couple of scanners, and even bought Neat Receipts which comes with some really good software.

    I don’t use it. It’s a system that takes regular attention and effort, and it’s not worth it for the stuff I have now. When I was running $90K a year in reimbursable expenses thru my cards on behalf of BigCorp??? YOU BETCHA. Every receipt was like cash money. Every billing statement had cash money attached to it. But those days are gone.

    I keep the paper statements as a low cost, low effort hedge against electronic problems bigger than our local network. Every so often I gather them up, sort them into piles, put the piles in a box, and put the box into storage offsite. Any IP or work product I generate gets saved too. I actually had to pull some out not too long ago in regards to a wrongful death lawsuit on a project I worked on in 2002… Went right to the box and pulled the paper too. Organization, it works for me 🙂

    Anything with more obvious legal or medical significance gets filed closer to hand. I’ve had an ongoing issue with a legal incident over 30 years ago. Having ONE PIECE of paper showing that outcome would have saved me a hundred hours and $1000+ dollars, as well as the ongoing hassle of explaining why the computer record is wrong every time it comes up. And it comes up with border crossings and background checks now, since it must have propagated out into some bigger system.

    For some things, hard copy originals are the best thing going.

    For the rest, it’s partly paranoia, partly prudence, partly curiosity. For the curiosity, I have all my Costco receipts. I can look back years and price check stuff to see if it really is getting pricier or not. Super easy to grab a receipt from the box and look at it. I think I’d like to scan that whole history, build the db and be able to do some more research and even produce some graphs (probably lacking bikinis)…. but I got other things to do. Costco has that db available to them, it would be neat to have it available to me. Neat, but not worth the time.

    n

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  69. For the rest, it’s partly paranoia, partly prudence, partly curiosity. For the curiosity, I have all my Costco receipts. I can look back years and price check stuff to see if it really is getting pricier or not. Super easy to grab a receipt from the box and look at it. I think I’d like to scan that whole history, build the db and be able to do some more research and even produce some graphs (probably lacking bikinis)…. but I got other things to do. Costco has that db available to them, it would be neat to have it available to me. Neat, but not worth the time.

    You would be surprised how many databases are made in Excel.


  70. Interesting. So you think to do anything much was unconstitutional. What about “to provide for the common good”?

    That bit is from the preamble, which gives the reasons for establishing a Constitution. It’s not one of the powers granted to the government by the Constitution, though, so it doesn’t affect what the government is allowed to do. That’s controlled by the rest of the articles in the Constitution.

  71. So you think to do anything much was unconstitutional.

    The feds don’t have “police power” except in some areas. The states do have it. That’s why mask mandates and the like have to be done at the state level.

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