Fri. April 30, 2021 – might have the family home this weekend after all

Warm and humid, possibility of rain, and flooding. Yesterday was part sun, part overcast, no real rain but some spatters. Today could be bad, depending on where you are.

Which is why my wife might cancel her Girl Scout camping weekend. We have one kid sick with sore throat, cough, and sniffles (but no covid), and the counties between here an camp are under flash flood warnings, with a weekend of rain in the forecast. I don’t think any one of those things would be enough, but all of them might make for a no fun, higher risk, weekend. They are supposed to be doing canoeing, and stargazing, and night hiking. Not likely during thunderstorms.

So I might be home, I might be working, I might be nursemaid. I’ll just be flexible and see.

Electrician is supposed to come by Saturday, and I’ve got some prep work to do, but not if it’s pouring down rain.

Yesterday I ran a couple of errands, and refilled some 1 pound propane bottles. That was interesting. I got much better results than the first time I tried it. We had a dozen empties after the big freeze, and my wife wanted to take a couple camping, so I got out the hose and got to work. I’ve got a hose/regulator/valve from amazon, which I’ve linked before. The chinese ones come and go, and brands are kinda ‘fluid’ so it’s hard to make a recommendation. There are lots of videos on youtube with techniques. I found that turning the BBQ bottle up side down, and holding the 1 pound bottle upside down worked the best. I could hear and feel when the propane stopped flowing. You just make the connection, turn on the valve, and after the flow stops, close the valve and remove the hose. Move on to the next bottle. Then, you need to release gas pressure from the bottles (you could use a propane torch with a valve, DON’T LIGHT IT, or just use a chopstick or other device to open the valve in the bottle. I let out a bit of gas, and then when you reconnect, more propane will flow into the bottle. I used a kitchen scale to weigh the bottles and monitor both how much I release, and how much got added. Starting with an empty bottle at 14 oz, I got about 3 oz fill each time, while letting off gas pressure reduced the weight 1/8 to 1/2 an oz. Do this a few times and the bottle will be at 1 pound 10 oz or more. That’s where I stopped, because a bit of that spattering rain started.

Now, messing about with propane is dangerous. I’m not suggesting anyone do it, and all my comments are for ‘entertainment’ and not instruction. Do whatever you do at your own risk. It’s NOT recommended to refill those 1 pound bottles. I definitely do recommend adding the brass screw caps to any bottle you’ve refilled or to any bottle that is partially used and removed from a device. Check them for leaks with soapy water (bubbles or foam mean it’s leaking.) Don’t store them inside or in enclosed spaces.

It’s also undeniable that refilling the bottles seems a whole lot less wasteful than just disposing of them, and cheaper too. Do what YOU are comfortable doing. I will refill the bottles at least one time, and more if the valve seal continues to close reliably. Keep in mind you’re venting propane gas as part of the process. Do it outside on a mildly breezy day, away from any potential ignition sources. Don’t breath the propane. Having watched the big bottle refill process many times, and seeing how much propane is released by that process, I’m not worried about what little gets released when you mount and dismount the little bottles.

I’ve got a bunch of the BBQ bottles. For a while I was buying them at estate sales whenever I saw them. They store indefinitely, as long as the valves are good. I’ve got conversion hoses and fuel filters for my Mr Heaters, the refill setup, and I think I’ll get a propane conversion kit for my Honda eu3000i gennie too, as that would give me another option for fuel. In addition to the BBQ bottles, the little bottles are very handy for stoves and lanterns and heaters (and hoses are available to adapt the BBQ bottles to Coleman stoves and lanterns if desired). Whether you refill them or just buy new, they are very handy to have around, and even handier if you can refill them. Add them to your stack!

One of the beauties of “camping” is that it lets you ‘stealth’ prep. I’ve got a bunch of camping supplies, and a family of Scouts, what’s suspicious about that? And because camping gear is all designed to sustain life away from your home, it’s great preps…( and it has deniability if needed – “oh that? We used to camp but we haven’t used it in ages…”) Like the old CB radio and the fishing gear on the shelf, it just looks like typical garage stuff at first glance. And that might become more important as time goes by.

So keep stacking, or you’ll find yourself lacking…

nick

Thur. April 29, 2021 – ah, a breather, not…

Warm and moist again, possible rain. I had to water the potted plants yesterday, we haven’t gotten any real rain in days despite the spatterings and grumbles.

I spent yesterday mostly driving around, and buying a truck. Details are in the comments yesterday, but basically, I got lucky and something new came on the market after I backed away from another deal. In general, the car buying experience is very different than even just 5 or 6 years ago. Being able to get Carfax reports for pretty much any potential vehicle, and see the original window sticker for most, really helps to even the playing field for the buyer. The new style sellers like Carmax and Carvana offer significant ‘peace of mind’ benefits, and well done search tools, with out of market transfers as well. They are disruptors and will probably change used car sales for all the traditional dealers too. My experience was also a classic example of being flexible, and ready to move when the opportunity presented itself. Unless this truck is a lemon, I got a great deal and it’s because I knew what a great deal looked like, and I was very lucky with timing. I’ll be very glad to get this whole thing behind me and to stop spending time and energy on it.

Between the two trucks, birthdays, wedding anniversaries, and the other stuff this and last month, I’m feeling very behind where I’d like to be. I’ve got to start making some progress.

To that end, I think the electrician is coming to do my transfer switch install today, or possibly tomorrow. My wife scheduled it, and I can’t remember. I’m hoping for tomorrow. I’ve also got piled up groceries to put away, additions to my FIFO can organizer to get set up and stocked, and auction stuff to stack for delivery.

I note that Biden’s DOJ is going after his political opponents. I guess the gentleman’s agreement is null and void. When will we see raids and indictments for the Clintons? Oh right.

The end is nigh-er. Stack it high-er.

nick

Wed. April 28, 2021 – busy day, and another on the way

Warm and moist, after a mostly ugly day on Tuesday. It was overcast and humid all day but got really uncomfortable late in the afternoon. One little spritz of rain was no help either. Today we’re on the edge of t-storms, which means we probably won’t get them. We could use a gully washer.

Did a bunch of errands yesterday but didn’t really advance toward the goals other than some grocery shopping. Oh, and trying to raise good kids. That one is kinda important.

Today I’m working on fixing one truck and possibly replacing the other. I’ve got to get them sorted and stop spending time on them.

The news was pretty quiet yesterday, what little I saw, and there wasn’t much link posting here. No idea if that is significant or not, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, right? It’s probably not the calm before the storm….

Whatever’s coming, it’ll be better with bacon. So stack some more bacon. And water. And meds. And guns and ammo. All the things.

nick

Tues. April 27, 2021 – lots to do today, all about the kid’s birthday

Cooler and sunny, should be nice. Hot and humid by late afternoon yesterday, although it started cool and ended cool.

I got mom to the airport and then on home successfully. Got my auction purchase American Girl doll wardrobe touched up and ready for today (for the daughter’s birthday, not for me.) AG is crazy expensive new and has a very active resale market, btw. A couple of nicks filled with paint and a good cleaning and about $225 savings later it looks pretty good and I think she’ll squeal well up into the ultrasonic…

And I’ve got to get the dinner together– grilled chicken hearts, baby back ribs, peach or mango cobbler for dessert. I’ve got everything in the freezer but it might just be easier to buy fresh. Kid’s got eclectic tastes, but she loves my cooking 🙂

So I’m going to get started. in 3, 2, 1, …

nick

(you keep stacking)

Mon. April 26, 2021 – another week closer to whatever is coming

Sunny and clear, probably, and warm. Three days without precip according to the national high level map. Yesterday was nice, even hot in the sun, but cool in the shade. Just on the edge of too much humidity.

I took a break from grandma and the kids and finished cleaning and reloading my Ranger. Since I had everything out, I figured I’d vacuum and sort. I put the more ‘survival’ stuff in a tub, and re-org’d the rest. At some point I want to build some plywood organizers but that will have to wait. I got everything back in that I wanted to, so far. Then another project jumped up and down demanding attention too.

My extended cab Ranger has “suicide” doors. A few years ago they failed, like all of them do. The cables that go from the handle to the latch have a plastic end and that end gets soft and crumbly. Once that happens, you can’t get the doors open without a pliers. I bought some milled aluminum replacements from a guy on ebay who has a little mini-business making and selling them. But, the instructions said it took 2 hours and I just never got around to it.

So yesterday I finally did. I was able to work around a step that involved drilling out rivets and save a bunch of time and effort. I spent about two hours on the first door and 45 minutes on the second. It would have been even less time, but I broke a part and misaligned another, and that took 15 minutes to work around. I’ve finally got that project off my list, and I’ve got 4 working doors on my truck again. I also found a bunch of stuff that should go on ebay.

Once again, circumstances dictated that I do projects that I otherwise just wouldn’t do yet. And with the time and hassle of getting the truck repaired, I will lose some other time I’d have been working the list. I tells ya, it’s always somethin’.

Today I have to get mom to the airport, make my repair appointment, arrange some sort of rental, as I can’t be without a car for a week, AND do all the normal things. Tuesday is a child’s birthday, and we’re having a sleepover for one, with dinner and treats, and cake, so I’ve got that to organize too. It’s a great life if you don’t weaken, right?

The wide world continues to be violent, unpredictable, and full of hazards. So keep stacking.

nick

Sun. April 25, 2021 – nothing but quality content here

Cooler and still nice, I hope. Yesterday was nice. It got to 90F in the sun, but was much more comfortable in the shade. Gentle breezes and low humidity made it very pleasant outside.

Spent the morning hanging out with mom, the afternoon doing my insurance filing, and the late afternoon cleaning out my truck. I took three bins of stuff out of the extended cab. A bunch of it will not be going back in, and some that will will be far better organized. Over the last year or two I got in the habit of just adding stuff to the stack, like I found 5 first aid kits. No spare flashlights though. Several tarps and rolls of big trash bags. Rolls of tape. Water bottles and civilian versions of MREs. 4 fire extinguishers and 4 smaller aerosol extinguisher cans. I lost track of the number of plastic rain coats and ponchos… and I’d stashed some LBE vests there and forgotten about them. 12 vests. 12.

While I had the stuff out, I decided to vacuum too. Might as well give it it’s tri-annual cleaning. I’ll be finishing the job today if the weather stays clear. It’s probably a good idea to go through your vehicle kit at least once a year. Jeez.

Family stuff today too, maybe a dinner out with mom. I haven’t done that in a long time now. Supposed to be time to reenter the world.

Didn’t get a Costco order in, won’t do it on a Sunday either. It’ll have to wait for Monday.

All the rest of you should be stacking it up though…

nick

Sat. April 24, 2021 – I wonder if there is a universe where unused batteries are sad that they never lived up to their potential…

Not so cool, still damp, possibly raining. Yesterday I was dodging raindrops all over town. No real storms though, that I was aware of. The most rain I saw was a hard drizzle and was very brief.

The rain I did see was while driving around the city doing pickups/dropoffs/meetings with my various local auctioneers, and then doing the airport run. Good news is that I have another auction house willing to take a bunch of stuff that I didn’t know where I was going to be able to sell it. Bad news is that I currently don’t have anywhere to stage 6-10 pallets of stuff. They will do the auction with the stuff in place so I don’t have to deliver it to them, and charge less if I do some of the work. Sounds like a deal to me.

And then I got rear ended in my Ranger. Slippery, light misty drizzle, and as I came over the hill and was forced to slow because of merging traffic slowing the whole lane, the guy behind me couldn’t stop in time. He tried to get around on the right and off to the shoulder but didn’t make it. I might have had less damage if he bumped me straight on, instead of just hitting the right corner of the bumper. The Ranger is a framed vehicle and the bumper is steel. The bumper got bent, pushing the right rear side of the bed forward, which crumpled at the wheel well. The Tail light is popped out of place but works. His little Kia lost the left headlight assembly, part of the bumper and likely the hood and quarter panel, as well as structural components in the front end. MASS wins every time.

I wasn’t even sure we were hit, because I didn’t see him behind me (he was on the shoulder I was in the lane) after the noise and movement. I bounced around a bit, not much as the speed was low. Mom got whipped around a bit more. I handed her a cold pack from the trauma bag, but she’ll be stiff and sore today. She was just feeling good after a previous back and neck injury so she’s not happy at all. The other driver had no license, insurance or english. I’ll be dealing with my insurance today. Cop said they can do most of the work needed before the official report gets through channels, in a week. That should be interesting. Slightly less damage, and alone in the car, and I might have opted to do it informally, but I need for mom to get whatever care she needs.

Hotwash, bonus points for having the ice pack and bag, minus for being caught off guard by the slowing traffic. Bonus for being insured, minus for realizing that my registration was out of date. And while it’s great that the Ranger is drive-able, and insured, it was my backup vehicle, with my primary STILL not having been replaced. I need to get it back to ‘spare’ status ASAP. Bonus, having and showing the city credential finally stopped the other driver from trying to convince me not to call the police, I told him that I was a volunteer, worked with them, and HAD to report it. Never claimed anything that I’m not, but with his limited english it surely seemed to be more than it was.

Second time in two days I had the credential out. Day before was when I gave some gear to the officers that were outside my secondary location dealing with some street guy. Since I had the stuff out (having just picked it up cheap) I thought I’d hand it out and get some karma. PD is much more likely to accept a gift, be it a set of yellow rain gear, or Girl Scout cookies, from someone that is ‘part of the family’ even if just a distant cousin… I still support the idea of Rule of Law, and the guys on the street. And if there are any benefits to be had, I’m cynical enough to want them.

Plan for today is spend time with mom and the kids, do stuff around the house. Work the list. All depending on if I hurt or not. And deal with the paperwork. Maybe I should get my registration up to date too…

Oh, and Costco has a bunch of my normal purchases on sale this week which means I should do an Instacart order so I can…………………. keep stacking!

nick

Fri. April 23, 2021 – Blank page, so much potential, but…

Cool again, an supposedly rain with nasty stuff mixed in. Yesterday was nice, most of the day was clear, with some occasional overcast. Not to hot, but a little sweaty. Very light rain started around 11pm.

I didn’t get as much done as I’d have liked because I felt just a bit weird all day. My back was kind of on edge, with my neck doing strange feeling things, and I felt a bit dizzy at times. Not a day for a lot of driving, or hard lifting. (I mention it mainly so I have a record of it, not because I am looking for anything, part of this is a daily journal for me too. I was surprised when looking at old posts that it’s been 2 months since I thought about doing an article on buckets for example. Time flies lately.)

I did get some stuff moved out of the house and into storage. Some food got stored and organized, and some pantry stuff got restocked. Some small cleanup happened. A couple of auction items were picked up. I’ve got some tools and radio stuff still waiting for pickup today. House looks a bit better but there is still a lot of stuff here. I’m meeting with one of my local auctioneers today, and hopefully I can talk him into taking another big delivery. The auctioneer I was supposed to drop off the last of my next auction with yesterday begged off, she wasn’t feeling good after her second moderna shot. I hope she’s doing better today, I’d like to get the 450 pokemon cards I’m selling into her next toy and collectible auction.

Out in the wider world, I’m hoping that we get a little pause, a little chance to draw breath and rearrange our worldview before the next step down the slope. Heck, it would be nice to not take the next step down, but I don’t think that is likely at all.

I’d really like some more ‘normal’ time to get stuff in order. Lots of projects to do, lots of preps to stack, lots of stuff to sell, all dependent on things holding together for a while longer.

We’ve got a little time, use it wisely. Plenty of things that need stacking.

nick

Thur. April 22, 2021- the rules changed.

Cool and wet, possible rain. Yesterday was so nice though. So very nice and clear, moderate temps, and sunny… I don’t know how many more we’ll get like that.

I packed my day full of errands, and I did them this time. Two pickups, very near to each other, then on the way back, stops at my secondary (to unload some stuff), my rent house (to install the fridge), another auctioneer (to drop off sale items and pick up a check), and finally back home to get kid2 from school on time.

After that, I hit the grocery store for $330 worth of food security.

I don’t have quite as much on the schedule for today, nor are the times as tight, but I do hope to get a few things done.

I am getting the feeling that I might need to take some more drastic steps to clear out ‘stuff’ around the house. The plan was to start doing my own auctions, but it’s taking a long time and time is feeling short. I need to think on this a bit.

Time feels short because I think the rules have changed for how the world works. The interwebs are full of people saying that the difference between how antifa/blm and MAGA day in DC are treated, the outcome of the Chauvin trial, and a wide variety of other events show that Rule of Law or ROL is dead in the US. The corpse is still twitching, but it’s dead. People are saying that, but I don’t think they are following through and thinking about the rest of what that means. What you do and how you react to a country WROL* is going to be THE critical thing going forward.

Someone in the comments over at Sarah Hoyt’s place had this to say (minor edits for clarity)…

The rules changed.

All over the ‘net people are saying and saying and re-saying that ROL is dead in the US. Surprise! It’s been dead for a while now, and every case like this just exposes that to more Normies. So stop and think about what that means. Rule of Law is DEAD. Internalize that. REALLY internalize that. You (general ‘you’) have to start dealing with that idea. They can and will do whatever they want to us at any point that we come to their attention. No one will come to save us. No one will blow the ceiling and fast rope down to rescue us at the last minute.

What does history teach us about times like this? You must be ready to denounce the people that come to ‘their’ attention. You must expect your friends and relations to denounce YOU when they come for you. Why would you want them dragged to the gulag (real or virtual) along with you? If you want to have a chance at changing anything you have to remain free and effective. Your friends LIKEWISE have to remain free to act.

There won’t be any gofundme to replace a conservative’s burned out house. No gofundme to heal his daughter after she’s raped at school because her father is a ‘bad’ man and she deserves it. No gofundme to replace the lost job that feeds that daughter (and buys the guns and ammo and armor and radios and medical and every other needful thing.) There is no underground to move your family to safety after the mob catches you alone. There is no established safe haven for you to flee to. There is no way to start over in a new place with a new name once panopticon focuses on YOU and your family (seriously, look at any kid moved to a new school because of bullying or any other issue, the kids have the new kid doxed eight ways to Sunday within hours.)

The other thing that history teaches us is that This Too Shall Pass. You (Sarah) have even written about it here. They can’t hold it together. The Third Reich fell. The Soviet Union fell. Communist Cuba is going to fall. People SURVIVED those times and those places. They may have even acted to hasten the fall if they were able. There were lots who didn’t survive, and some of them included the principled, the committed, and ultimately the futile sacrifice.

[I don’t intend to sacrifice myself for an ideal, especially given the current legal environment.]

My daughter wants her Daddy. I want to be here to guide and protect her thru what’s coming. I can’t do that if I’m dead or destitute. It’d be cold comfort for her to know that her father loved an ideal more than her. I’d love to think she’d rally around my banner, but the more likely outcome is hating me for leaving her alone in the Brave New World, or only marginally less worse, raised by her lefty Kennedy worshiping [east coast] grandparents to hate me for leaving her alone.

The rules have changed. If we don’t survive, there won’t be anyone left to rebuild what was lost.

I intend to survive this.

Something to think about. While you’re stacking needful things.

nick

*this in no way means “without consequences”. The consequences of your actions are potentially more severe than ever.

Wed. April 21, 2021 – and here we go! not in a good way though…

Cool and pleasant ending in downright cold is the forecast, but what do they know? It was beautiful all day on Tuesday. Chamber of Commerce weather. Some of you older guys will recognize that phrase. (Means it was nice out young’uns.)

So naturally I spent the day inside. I thought, “Gee, I better get busy on finding a truck, everything I read says the price is going up and the supply is going down.” And so I resigned myself to paying a little more and figured I’d have some candidates by noon. Not so much. I actually called on 4 or 5 vehicles and they were all in the process of being sold, or had already sold. New strategy will be scan the listings every day and jump if something is right for me. Or I’ll have to pay a lot more, or accept a lot less than I would like. It’s interesting that with the Expeditions I’m looking at, they really don’t sort out consistently. Every other mass market thing I’ve looked at there seemed to be “bins” or clusters of attributes around certain prices. That isn’t so true with the Expedition, it seems that the single most important thing is mileage, and particularly total miles, not necessarily miles per year. I’m going to assume, based on the years I owned my old truck and my experiences with it, that what drives that is limited longevity of the motor. At some point it will cost you a bunch of money, so you want as many miles of use as you can get before that point. A low miles 2017 is worth more than a high miles 2019 for example. Crazy, but now I know better what to look for.

And I want something pretty soon. Things are getting bad quicker than I thought, and getting a newer reliable truck that will hold a bunch of stuff and my whole family is moving to the top of the list, right behind a place out in the country to get away to… And on that front, there is a real fixer upper priced right, on one of the lakes my wife likes, but the agent has been very lax getting back to us. That tells me it’s probably effectively sold already. What I really hope is that in a year I won’t be hating that we passed on the self-sufficient 11 acre property because we’re in real trouble. That would suck mightily.

Regarding MN and jury intimidation, well, that’s what it looks like from here. I didn’t see the evidence presented in the courtroom, but I would have thought that the official coroner’s report listing the cause of death as pretty much anything BUT the officer’s actions, would have mooted the whole murder charge, and probably the manslaughter as well. If the coroner is so incompetent or politically compromised that his report can’t be trusted, then he needs to be removed immediately. And if it can be trusted, “reasonable doubt” should have taken care of the rest. Since he’s not being removed, and since I saw witness intimidation, and jury intimidation reported widely and in fact GLEEFULLY, that’s what I’m going with. Nothing good will come of this.

Whites will not allow themselves to become second class citizens in the country their ancestors built. I don’t care how much cuckold and BBC pron you shove at them, they just aren’t gonna take it forever. The worst case for what happens is a decimation* of the black population of the US. I don’t think that’s likely btw. I’m not sure when or where the sniping and street fighting will start, or where the old monsters will come out to play, but it will happen now. It’s only a question of how widespread it becomes, and how long it lasts. How it ends, I’ve got no idea. The knock on effects- martial law, oppressive destruction of freedoms, local massacres, roundups- are going to bring the rest down too. Fundamental change, it’s coming alright.

I’m pretty sure that all over America there are people who marked the verdict as just one more step on the countdown. People who are making plans, thinking about contingencies, wondering if it’s too late, or not soon enough. Someone, if there are enough of them, someone will do the math and decide it’s time.

For us, I think it’s certainly time to consider your lifestyle, your public persona, your exposure to the wider world, and to decide how you want to proceed. On the one hand, you can pull in, go ‘grey man’, order your affairs so that you fit in, and arrange to get through the bad stuff as best you can. On the other hand, if you’ve been assuming you had freedom of speech and freedom to act, well, there are people who made a note of that, and no matter what you do, they’ll be ready to denounce you when the time is right. Whether for their own benefit, or because they truly believe they are ‘helping’ you, they’ll do it. History tells us that pretty clearly. Pulling in won’t save you. Going balls out won’t save you either. So what can you do?

On the gripping hand, maybe I’m just feeling hysterical today. Although I’m quite sure there were Germans who felt like it couldn’t get that bad. And Poles. And Russians. And Venezuelans. And Cubans. And Argentinians. And South Africans. And Frenchmen. And even Loyalists in 1776. And they were ALL WRONG at some point in history.

Stack it up.

nick

*decimation in the literal sense won’t be enough. Decimate that data set several times in a row though, and you might get to a point where no one has the will to continue.