Wed. June 30, 2021 – summer is flying by

Hot and humid, chance of rain. We did get rain yesterday, and sun, and heat (but not terrible heat). Today should be more of the same.

Spent the day mostly indoors, doing a bunch of stuff I’ve put off too long. Paid my toll invoices for driving around without toll tags in my new truck. Put the toll tag in the truck. Did a bunch of other paperwork stuff. Played with the puppy.

Today should be a bit more active. I have to do an auction pickup, and take both kids for their Girl Scout Camp physicals. I’ve got other auction stuff to do too. I was sorting through some stuff to sell in one of the local auctions last night. She’s got a guy who buys all of one particular item that she lists, and I’ve got a bunch of them. She’s waved me off on general items since she has a huge listing backlog, but maybe I can squeeze a dozen of these in. While going through that box of stuff, I might also have found a really good score. I’ll share with the guy who gave me the box though, I’d feel bad taking it all, it’s that good a score, and there were other things in the box that should bring good money on their own.

Part of the fun of thrifting/estate/garage/yard sale hunting is the treasure hunt aspect. You literally don’t know what you will find, and sometimes you do find the treasure.

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Got my FCC license for GMRS about 10 hours after I applied. It’s a “pay the fee and get the license” application, and the license covers your whole family. The FCC isn’t issuing actual hard copies anymore, they just send a link to a pdf. I guess there is very little intrinsic value in the paper, that would make it worth forging. In any case, I’m current for GMRS again. FWIW, I got a new license rather than renew my lapsed one. There were two additional hoops to jump through and a huge fee ($210) to bring my old one current, so I just got a new one ($70 for 5 years) instead.

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There are a lot of people that would make arguments against paying for the GMRS license, working from at least 3 different points of view. Don’t care. I don’t want to give them (.gov) that handle to use against me.

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There are a lot of lists out there. My radio stuff puts me on one or more. My CERT training put me on another. My previous work clients put me on yet more lists. I’m a blogger, which probably puts me on a list. I am on lists with HPD and our Constable’s office, and the associated alumni groups. Purchasing certain items with background checks put me on a list. Visa and Mastercard probably maintain lists based on my purchase history. Amazon certainly does, and likely collaborates with .gov by compiling and selling lists. My school district has me on at least 4 lists. I’ve been to China twice so I’m on lists there, and I’m certain the US State Dept. has me on lists because of my travel to the middle east and the middle kingdom. I’m on a list in Canada, I had a work permit there for several years. I was working on a project subject to ITAR and had to go through that paperwork – that’s another list. At one point in my miss-spent youth, I’m sure I was on some other agencies’ lists as a “known associate”. There may even be criminal enterprises that have me on a list, if they do that sort of thing.

Don’t let the fact that you’ll end up on a list keep you from doing something. There are lots of us on lists, and the more there are, the more noise there is to get lost in. Use the lists to your advantage. I have access to more training activities now that I’m on a vetted list with HPD and the Constable’s Office. The CERT training is very broad based, and definitely worth trading for a spot on a list. So is ham radio. Medical training likewise.

If everyone’s the ‘biggest risk to the US’ then no one is.

Of course, be aware of when you really DON’T want to be on the list, and try to conduct at least part of your life so you don’t get on lists. Especially when it comes to stacking, you don’t want to be on the list of resources to be plundered. And since local is the new hotness, be very careful about getting on your neighbors’ lists… and consider making a few of your own.

You can think of the lists while you’re stacking.

nick

Tues. June 29, 2021 – reduce, re-use, recycle…

Hot and humid, with rain in the forecast for the next few days, possibly followed by a hurricane. Hooray. Rained all day yesterday, off and on, but mostly on. Grass did not get cut.

Did office and auction things all day.

Grabbed the younger child to help with dinner, and we made pork roast, smashed cauliflower baked with cheese, and baked carrots with brown sugar and marshmallows. And crescent rolls from a tube. Along the way we talked about cookbooks, measuring, spent time with proper knife handling, and worked the math so that everything was ready at the same time. And it was all delicious. She was very proud of herself, and I was too.

I mentioned that I would have some observations about traveling last week, but that would be original content, and this post is recycling what I wrote in a comment at Bayou Renaissance Man. It was half about wuflu, and half about what comes next. That’s the part I’m recycling because, I needed to get to bed.

I asked the commentors there —

If you* haven’t made changes in your life because of the last 15 months, WHY NOT? What does your pantry look like? Your medicine chest? What about your gun cabinet? Have you evaluated the sources of information you expose yourself to and then made conscious choices about which are reliable? What about the people you share your precious and fleeting life with?

If you believe the lockdowns were political and coercive in nature with no medical benefits, how has that changed YOUR LIFE? What are you doing with that information?

If nothing has changed for you, if your estimation of what the next couple of years hold for all of us hasn’t changed, you are going to be just grist for the mill. If all you’ve done is mutter and wear your mask under your nose in protest, you are so far behind the curve you might not be able to catch up, but I think you should try.

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Prep so that the restrictions, shortages, and price fluctuations have less effect on you. Order your life so that you aren’t dependent on .gov, or your single source of income. Reduce your dependence on outside income period. Build relationships that will sustain you and limit the ones that will drain you. Reduce the number of ‘handles’ your enemies or just those who would manipulate you, have to pull on. Stop wasting time and energy on things that don’t improve your ability to get thru the hard times that are already here, and will continue to get worse.

Looking backwards, past the point where it provides you with guidance to move forward (ie. learning from mistakes), is not a survival trait. Focus on getting thru what’s coming.

* general ‘you’
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And that’s it boys and girls, moms and dads, children of all ages. Learn some lessons from this past year, and ACT. Even if it doesn’t get worse, but only stays exactly the same, you should be doing some stuff differently than you were. Hopefully, you have some stacks of stuff, some skills, and some friends. If not, get going. If so, keep going. Stack it high.

nick

Mon. June 28, 2021 – if you don’t practice it, you will never learn

Hot and humid, possible rain, and surely some sun. Or some variation on the theme. If you guys are getting tired of the repetition, imagine me living with it 🙂

Yesterday was mixed rain and sun, with plenty of humidity and heat. I did get a bit of work done outside anyway, namely most of the grass cutting.

A quick look at the garden had more tomatoes ripening, lots of green still on the vines. The potted lime has 5 nice fruits on it. The blueberries are still ripening, with at least another half cup of berries ready soon. I harvested the one tennis ball sized onion out of what I planted last year. The grape vines died back almost to the root stock, but one is sending out new growth. It’s about 3-4 feet so far. I need to prune out all the dead grapevine sometime in the future. The herbs are flourishing.

It didn’t take too long to harvest the few things, and pull a couple of weeds.

Really I spent most of the day catching up on my online reading. There is plenty going on in the world and little good in the news. There is continued progress in the new race to space, and that is good, but it’s not something I follow. Of course the news is rarely full of ‘good’ news. Even accounting for that bias, there is a lot of stuff going on. For example, someone in south Chicago shooting up a car in traffic with a full auto rifle and a 100 round Beta magazine, in broad daylight. That is an escalation in the security situation in the city. Likewise, there was yet another daytime shooting in NYFC Times Square.

Nationally, we’ve now got the sitting President telling us rifles aren’t enough to keep the FedGov from killing us, we’ll need F-15s and nukes. It was bad enough when some nobody jerkoff from Cali said almost the exact thing, but now it’s the President? The president who seems more bizarre every day? Who does some sort of scary whisper voice during press conferences and talks about getting in trouble if he doesn’t do what ‘they’ say? THAT president? The same president who’s own party doesn’t trust him with nuclear launch codes?

Nationally, in big cities, and locally we have bad things getting worse. Yeah, doom and gloom. The end is nigh-er… but. Can you make the case it’s not?

And if not, then I hope you’re stacking it high.

nick

Sun. June 27, 2021 – home, sweet home.

Should be hot, should be humid. Might rain. Did all that yesterday, except the rain avoided my house. Grass is getting a bit crunchy and the sprinklers must not be running. One more thing to check.

I’ve got some things to say about travel, and my trip, but they’ll have to wait. I’m too tired when I’m writing this, and I’ll be sleeping in.

I’ll also say, buildings collapsing is some third world shite, that isn’t supposed to happen here.

Like sham elections.

And runaway inflation.

Or political prisoners held without bail and in solitary confinement.

Using the army against the citizens isn’t too far down the list.

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Kinda makes you want to have some deep reserves, doesn’t it?

Keep stacking friends, and keep stacking, friends.

n

Sat. June 26, 2021 – home again home again jiggity jig

Hot and humid, both sides of the Gulf. Hopefully clear for our flight. Yesterday was clear until late afternoon then we got some thunder, wind gusts, and a spattering of rain. Other places got slammed.

Spent the day doing odd jobs around the house we’re staying in. I touched lighting, doors, camera, cabinets, and network so it was a pretty long day. Felt good to get a bunch of stuff done.

I didn’t get a hurricane kit built to stash here. I only had my mom’s car for a very short while, and needed to get materials from Home Depot during that time. I never did make it to the grocery store either, my wife or my mom grabbed what we needed while they were out anyway. I might get a chance to run out this morning, but that will depend on the state of our cleaning and packing.

We have an afternoon flight, and there are still things I’d like to get done before leaving. We won’t be trying to fit another attraction in though. We need to leave this place cleaner than we found it, and that will take a bit of effort. Totally worth doing though, and doing well.

As nice as it is here, I’ll be glad to be home later today.

I’ve got a lot of selling and cleanup to do, and there is always more stacking, skill building, and relationship maintenance to do. Gotta get busy…

n

Fri. June 25, 2021 – you never know

Today should be hot and humid, with some sun. Yesterday was until it rained in the late afternoon. That dropped the temp to 74F but the humidity stayed at 90%RH. I forgot how humid Florida can be, even compared to Houston.

Spent most of yesterday on the water, looking at water creatures or eating them, details are in the comments if you’re interested. I’m continually amazed at what people could just DO in the 50s and 60s that can not be done now, and what a great benefit we get from what was done. Walt Disney World couldn’t be built today and it’s construction put central Florida on the map and brings in $100s of millions. Sarasota had little islands turned into big islands, with hundreds of multi-million dollar homes on them, and all the good things that having money like that nearby brings. What are we missing out on because of all the restriction and regulation? What massive benefit are we keeping from our kids?

You never know what you miss by NOT doing something.

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Not sure what my schedule will be today but morning will be spent paying the rent. I’ve got stuff to install, stuff to fix, and some stuff to look at for next time. I’m not sure what an airBNB or something similar to this house would cost and I really don’t even WANT to know, but it would be a lot more than what I’ll be doing to help out while I’m here. If it wasn’t all in the family, I’d be pointing out the importance of meatspace, and intrapersonal relationships. Heck, even WITH family those things are still important.

Some of what you should be stacking is good will.

And food, water, resources, skills, and relationships, keep stacking those too.

nick

Thur. June 24, 2021 – simpler is better

Today the weather should be the same as the last few days. Like yesterday was, until late. Around 10pm there was some distant lightning, and the temp dropped more than 10 degrees F. No rain before I went to bed though.

Went to the Bishop Museum in Bradenton today. Typical small local museum with a planetarium, and this one has two rescue manatee juveniles on display. Some nice displays about ancient Florida and the native people, flora and fauna through the ages. Some artifacts and stuff from the modern development of the area are also on display. We spent between 4 and 5 hours there, and actually I could have spent a bit more. I did go back to watch the manatees for a second time. I was alone with them for 20 minutes, which was pretty cool. Museum was requiring masks, and was handing them out if you didn’t have one. There were not a lot of other people there.

Ice cream and food rounded out the day.

Until I wanted to share my videos with my family by sending them from my Samsung phone to the Samsung smart tv. That USED to be easy and entirely local. Now it’s not. Now it’s all tied up with their grand scheme of one app to rule them all and harvest all the data. Their trust in automagic setup is both unwise and unfounded. NO manual setup exists, so even within the app, and within the restrictions, I STILL couldn’t get it set up to share some pix. Samsung, your Smartthings are DUMB, and your software and design people suck. You owe me 2 hours of my life back.

Simpler is better. Small tools that do one thing well beat out large tools that do LOTS of things poorly, or fail to do any of them at all. That was the whole POINT of apps in the beginning. People have forgotten that, or have been coerced to make changes to better harvest the digital effluvia of their users, so that it might be sold and resold, instead of doing the job the users want done. This is bad.

There are things that demand complexity, that are by their nature complex. Save complexity for those things, and in everything else, look for simplicity. Apply this to everything, from the systems and habits you build your life around, to the scenarios that drive your prepping. Solve the simple things, and you will probably have solved most of the complex along the way.

And stack. Because an empty belly makes everything worse.

nick

Wed. June 23, 2021 – more tourist-y stuff

Weather, more of the same. Still no rain.

Morning was warm and overcast with some breeze.

Which was nice as we kayaked in the bay and between islands. We saw manatee snouts and backs, touched sea urchins, and starfish, and some sort of crab too. Just as the sun started to break through the overcast, we got to the mangrove swamp part of the tour, and spent about an hour floating through dim tunnels of the swamp, with a nice cool breeze. Then back to the put in, and home for lunch.

I enjoyed the morning on the water very much.

After lunch we went to the “big” pool by the complex clubhouse, and I was feeling pretty hot. I got wet, and then sat in the shade, but despite that, started to get symptoms of heat stress (rapid shallow breathing, elevated heartrate,) which I recognized, so I went inside to cool off for a while. Came home shortly after and napped until my heartrate was back to normal. I guess I’m not as fully recovered from my previous heat injury as I thought. That was a very unwelcome revelation.

Dinner and a couple of games with my mom and the kids, and then catching up on some internet time…..

And another day has passed. Today we have another ‘science’ museum visit booked, and possibly some more manatee stuff at the same place.

The only masks I’ve seen are a couple of older ladies playing cards at the clubhouse. It feels very nice to be out in the world without masks again, although all the outdoor stuff I’d have done without a mask anyway. Not a big believer in outdoor mask use. I didn’t get to the grocery store yet, my wife did the “touch up” trip yesterday while I napped. Gas is around $3/gal for regular unleaded.

Might have to go to the amish (or possibly mennonite) buffet restaurant tonight. There are two in town and they both serve a nice variety of really good ordinary food. (actual amish or mennonites, lots of them here. Not so many of the others.)

Don’t know if we’ll make it to the Ringling Bros. museum. I haven’t been yet, and I’m p!ssed at the culture warriors that shut down the circus. The traditions that will be lost should be on some sort of UN Cultural Heritage list, instead of outcast to Sarasota. The kids probably won’t understand what’s been lost, and they’ve never been to a real circus. The museum for a dead circus holds very little interest for them. Still have some open spots on the schedule though so we might still swing by.

We’ve already lost a lot of our culture. /yoda voice/ “Save you what can…” /end yoda voice/

And stack what you need.

nick

Tues. June 22, 2021 – still hot in Florida…

Weather here is pretty much exactly the same forecast for the whole week, and so far, hot and humid is right, chance of rain is wrong. Probably today we’ll get some rain because I’m scheduled to do outdoors stuff.

As long as you aren’t in direct sun, and can get any air movement, it’s not bad. As long as…

Today we’re going for a mangrove swamp tour on kayaks. I will report back.

I have no opinion of the activity in question, yet. I’m really hoping it’s not in the sun.

I have my slow mini laptop here, and a relatively slow internet connection, so I haven’t been reading much news, or visiting my normal “heads up” sites, so feel free to link anything important here.

There is a whole lot of ongoing stuff that I’m just not seeing any reporting on and that makes me nervous. What is reported is bad enough.

Let’s all keep our eyes open and heads on a swivel, metaphorically and actually. Something’s brewing.

And with that cheering thought, I’m off to the swamp to look at the underside of trees, and water!

Keep stacking, ya know ya wanna…..

n

Mon. June 21, 2021 – might as well be in Houston…

Hot and humid with a chance of thunderstorms. Just like home. It was not so bad in the shade during the 90+F day and not bad at all lounging in the pool. Sun came out for most of the day too, and THAT was pretty hot… Today should be more of the same.

I spent the day relaxing, reading, and eating. It was a good day. Reports from our dog watcher are good so far with the little guy fitting in and doing well with the other dogs.

A quick look at the news shows increasing violence, with Chicago leading the way. Big cities are going to get worse. Some smaller cities too. I don’t think the current violence is because of the current events, it’s because previous violence has been met with indifference or encouragement. The behavior is self-reinforcing.

Today I will probably do some grocery shopping. I’d like to get a bin of long term storage food stashed here like I did in Michigan. The museum we were looking at close by isn’t open today, and the beach trip yesterday got all the girls a nice bit of sunburn. I think today will be low key as a result.

And still the world turns.

Make a plan. Work your plan. Keep stacking.

nick