Month: June 2021

Thur. June 10, 2021 – wouldn’t it be nice to get something done?

Hot and humid. Yep, we’re in that part of the year. This opening paragraph will be an almost unbroken litany of hot and humid that will occasionally be broken by severe weather. Somewhere in the low to mid 90s yesterday, and somewhere in the low to mid 90s today. Humidity in the same range, 75 – 90 %RH. We didn’t get rain yesterday, and there isn’t supposed to be any today, which is a nice change.

Can I just say that I don’t like people in my house, or in my kitchen? I don’t like them moving my stuff around. And if they want to cook, they should frakking cook, not just make a mess and then hand ME stuff to cook. It was tasty, but it took 3 times as long as it should have, and wasn’t what I’d have chosen, given that we ate the same dish just a few days ago. Of course that was a prepared meal from costco and I just had to heat it in the microwave and make some rice to go with it.

I suppose it’s all a matter of perspective. Daughter one did get to spend the day in the kitchen with grandma. Of course because g-ma likes the idea of doing these things more than the actuality of doing them, there was more frustration and yelling than I would have liked. The kicker for me though, this was a recipe from a magazine she’s made once before, not some family treasure. There are family treasures, but I guess we won’t get to learn them…

Puppy was very entertaining. He is learning to play with toys and it’s as cute as it sounds. Got outside in time more than once, so progress is being made with housebreaking too. He goes in for shots and initial checkup this morning.

After that, I have things to pick up. I’ve got the one item from last week, and some hobby and household stuff from this week. There were a lot of things I didn’t bid on this week and a couple I’m still watching. There is a 300w Jackery “generator” and a similar setup at 600w from another company. I’ll never consider a battery and inverter to be a “generator” no matter how it’s packaged. Handy, no doubt about that, but it’s not generating energy. It does look like a good solution for someone that doesn’t want to or can’t ‘roll their own’, and it’s cheaper than the GoalZero. If it goes cheap enough, maybe I’ll win the bid. If not, the inverter and batteries in the garage will have to do.

I will suggest that you get something to turn battery power into 120v, even if it’s just a relatively cheap inverter with alligator clips to attach to your car battery. I’ve got a small one in each vehicle, and several in the stacks. There might come a day when being able to plug in some device becomes critical. And if nothing else, it’s another tool in your box.

With that, I’ve got kids to feed, and doggies to take to the vet, and I better get started with my day.

Stack something!


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Wed. June 9, 2021 – hope to get out of the house today

Hot. Humid. Hot. Hot enough yesterday that the air conditioner couldn’t keep up. At 12 midnight, it was still 4F hotter in the house than the setpoint. Cutting down the tree that shaded the house made a HUGE difference. We used to have a few days when it was hot enough to do that, but not when it was just in the 90s. Today should be even hotter.

I was hoping to leave the house early and get some work done at my secondary, but now my wife has scheduled the A/C guy to come by. It’s possible the system might need freon, but the coil isn’t iced… and the neighbor is having the same issue. I KNEW I wouldn’t get a week to work on my stuff. This is what we get from not doing the A/C rip and replace earlier in the year, like we talked about doing. It’s always something.

Didn’t really get much done yesterday. I ended up waiting most of the day for a guy to get back to me, and he didn’t. The thing I was going to pick up showed up in the mail though, so I’m glad I didn’t just drive down there without hearing from him first. I did work on domestic bliss. Two loads of laundry, trim and cut the backyard, cut my hair and shaved, put some groceries away, and got dinner together for the family…as well as doing two craigslist listings. I guess I did get some stuff done.

I still have to pick up the one useful tool I won, but I can do that as late as Thursday afternoon.

Thursday at 11 I’m taking the pup in for his first check up and shots. That wipes out my whole day anyway, so making a pickup in the afternoon won’t make it worse. We weighed the little guy yesterday and he was 3 pounds 1 3/8 oz. I wouldn’t have guessed that much. He did a good job doing his business outside, when taken there. Plenty of playing and sleeping throughout the day to keep him and us busy. He’s at least 10 pounds of personality.

It’s gonna be interesting with the inlaws. Trump is still living in their heads rent free. And they just toss out stuff like “making ghost guns” or “probably an Oathkeeper”. I’m treating it as anthropology to keep my sanity. They have no idea WHY they believe or say what they do. When I ask directly they start yammering and shifting around. It’s like trying to grab a fist full of jello. She’s upset that his security costs money, thinks he should be paying for all of it himself, and that he wants to live at Mar el Largo… no problem paying for Obamma et filles or the Clinton grifters’ security though. A constant diet of tv and print news has mal-educated them very thoroughly.

It makes me want to stack even more, and to buy more guns. Well meaning, generally nice, and sure that people I align with would be better off dead or in prison. They are exactly the kind of people who would turn someone in “for their own good” fully believing that they were HELPING that person. It’s terrifying seeing it up close.

You need more LIKE MINDED friends. You need more stuff. I need to pick up my pace.

Stack it high. Bad stuff IS coming.


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Tues. June 8, 2021 – busy week, of course.

Supposed to be a bit more clear than previously, and about as hot. Didn’t get any rain yesterday. Did get heat and humidity. Still 82 F and 82%RH at midnight. Under those conditions, water won’t dry out in the buckets on the driveway.

Spent the morning yesterday getting fangs polished. No cavities anywhere in the brood.

Spent the afternoon cleaning, and hitting the grocery store for fresh veg. Picked up some meat too. Prime chuck at $5/pound seemed reasonable and so we’ll be having pot roast once this week, and the rest will go into the freezer. Everything else was more than I wanted to pay. Still managed to top off a couple other things, and spend over $300. Soda aisle was still half empty. The major brands and flavors were there but a whole lot was missing. No non-alcohol beer in the cooler either.

Picked another 16 blueberries. I have three varieties that mature at different times because they need to be different to pollinate or something, so some of the ripe berries are a bit more tart than the others. So far it’s been a bumper crop (and given the count in individual berries, that is pretty sad.) I am seeing improvement every year.

Oh, and the puppy got love and attention.

Grandparents arrived, were fetched and welcomed. Dinner was eaten, and another day passed by.

Today I’ve got auction stuff to set up. I’ve got to get out to my client’s house this week to check a few things before we can finalize the design for the rip and replace. Also, I’ve been scheduled to take the puppy for checkup and shots in the middle of the day on Thursday. Suddenly, the week that looked like a great time to get a bunch of auction sale stuff done, isn’t. C’est la vie, and especially my vie….

So I should probably start on something……..

After all, it ain’t no step for a stepper.

Keep stacking, and read John Wilder’s latest Civil War update. Time is flying by. These are the good old days.


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Mon. June 7, 2021 – puppies are fun! and cute! and needy…

National forecast changed a bit yesterday to have us on the edge of the storm system today. We’re supposed to be gradually getting farther from the edge over the next two days too. That will be nice, as I’m tired of rain. Yesterday was mostly sunny and got HOT. I think summer is finally here. It felt like a sauna outside and was still 80F when I went to bed.

Spent Sunday mostly cleaning and organizing. Nothing major got done, but some small projects advanced. The biggest thing to advance was getting a new puppy. He’s 6 weeks old, a good size, super active, and cute as a button. The girls are getting the idea that a puppy is not all snuggles and fluff. He is meant to be primarily my older daughter’s dog, but I’m the pack leader so there is that. It’s been a while since we had a puppy in the house.

To add to the disorder, inlaws are arriving for a week long stay this evening. That will free me up during the day, but it will also be a whole bunch of disruption to what little routine we have. We’ll see if I can get through another visit without accidentally making MIL cry. I spend a lot of time chewing my tongue…

First order of business, get my pallet auction set up and start stacking stuff to sell on pallets.

I really need the world to hold together for a while yet….

I need more time to stack, and so do most of you.


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Sun. June 6, 2021 – more rain? yeah, probably.

We did have most of the day without rain yesterday, then in the late afternoon, something blew in. 30-40 MPH gusts, heavy rain squalls, temperature drop, the whole deal. And it passed just as quickly. Today the national forecast looks a lot like yesterday’s did, so I expect similar. We’ll see 😉

Did my errands. Didn’t do much around the house. Got a bunch of stuff for the household. I guess the canning jars qualify as preps, although I currently have more than I’m using. If things got bad, that wouldn’t be true. They were in very short supply after the lockdown started. It’s a traditional prepping item (along with the infrastructure and the rings/lids) and I’ve got more than I need. Right now the only thing I’m canning is bacon fat, and I just put it in the jar, seal it, and freeze the whole thing. I’m generating more than I use, and it seems very wasteful to just throw it out. It’s about $7 a pound in the store, and I’m recovering part of the cost of the bacon, so it’s a win-win.

Some of the old recipes start out “melt 5 pounds of fat…” so I may use it yet.

I like collecting and reading old recipe books. My “go to” book is an older Joy of Cooking, and I’ve talked about recipe books several times, so I won’t repeat that part. I’ll just add that I’ve picked up a couple more old books, and I am a sucker for the ‘Church Lady’ books, or the ‘Woman’s Service Organization’ books*. If there is anything at all special about them, I’ll grab it and read through it. Lately I’ve picked up some from very rural Texas in the mid ’50s, and New Orleans, and other parts of Louisiana, from the same time frame. I really like the recipes because they tend to use canned ingredients (good for preppers), are often fairly simple, and they don’t require a lot of specialized equipment or a lot of time. The service organization books are often very funny too, as a ‘slice of life’ from the time and place. One I remember in particular called a punch that was essentially 100 proof rum with a bit of fruit juice, “a great punch for the ladies”. One book has a section of “men’s” recipes and they are VERY loose compared to the ladies’ directions. Several are on the order of “do some general thing, and when done, do something else” which the lady editors gently mock in the commentary and introductions…good fun!

I find it interesting to see that the older books use a lot of different flavors compared to modern cooking, use a lot of gelatin (which led me to consider that I don’t have a single gelatin mold, and my mom had several), and use canned ingredients. They also have recipes for local favorites, using local veg and fruit in season, and wild game in the area. If you want to cook squirrel, the book from the First Church of Bugtussel Ladies Auxiliary probably has a couple of recipes to choose from. If you need five different ways to make a cake without xxx or yyy or zzz, times were tough, and there is probably a good recipe for each. If you need to make anything for 25-50 people for a church social (or a disaster kitchen) some of the books are right there with (presumably) tasty choices.

Right now, we can go to or some other site, and get several choices, some even based on what food you have available for a dish, but that might not always be true. I also find the constant nagging about health and lifestyle to be tedious in any modern book or recipe site (add salt if you wish, substitute real butter if you want a richer flavor, etc….) and I LIKE the personality of the old books. Those books are filled with the recipes that were the best that Momma Jones knew, the ones all the other ladies asked for, and they were proven crowd pleasers. They are also a window into the past, and a link to the land and the area. Pick one up next time you see one, or get out the one from your church or civic association, (or your parent’s anyway.) Read through it. Try a recipe.

Add it to the pile of knowledge, and stuff. Keep stacking.


* the absolute BEST ones have little slips of paper sticking out to mark someone’s favorites, and food stains on the pages. Those books got USED, and someone LOVED those recipes.

(and just for completeness, I’ll add RBT’s wisdom, ALWAYS use the newest canning guide, the same way and for the same reasons you’d use a newer First Aid book.)

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Sat. June 5, 2021 – putting them to work…

Warm and partly sunny, some chance of rain. Friday it rained off and on all day. There were periods of sun, and some times when it wasn’t raining, but in general, rain.

Spent the day indoors, doing cleaning, some computer stuff, and organizing.

Managed to harvest 6 more blueberries. There should be a bunch ready today, or possibly tomorrow. One of the bushes has a nice load of fruit, and they are mostly in the same stage of ripeness.

House is freshly cleaned.

Talking with my cleaner, she had several close family get sick, and some in her extended circle died. The hispanic community really was hit much worse than the white and black communities, at least here in Houston. She said she’s finally hearing from her old clients, and they are bringing her back, just like we did. If that’s indicative of the economy in general, things are looking better.

Today I’ve got more cleaning and organizing to do, in the driveway and patio in particular if the weather will let me. I’ve also got a couple of pickups, more household stuff. We’ll see how it goes.

All this cleaning is taking a bunch of time, but it’s worth doing. We’ve let things go a bit during the last year, and it’s time to catch back up.

I’m seeing that as kind of a general feeling too. Time to get back to it and start moving into whatever comes next.

Given all the stuff happening on the world stage, I hope we don’t end up looking back and thinking about the golden year we spent at home with only getting sick to worry about.

Thoughts like that make me want to stack some more. Stack something. If you can’t, get something out and practice with it. Test it. Learn more about it. Or meet some people, and see how they feel about things. Stack it, or do something, or both, but always be working…


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Fri. June 4, 2021 – first week of summer drawing to a close

Well it ended up raining most of yesterday, at times VERY hard. Several places recorded over an inch in 15 minutes. It’s a good thing it didn’t keep to that rate, or there would be real flooding going on. Today might be more of the same, if the national forecast is correct. Hard to get it right for our little corner of the city though, so I’m hoping for at least some sun.

I did get one pickup done before the skies opened. The main items were a hitch assembly and led spot lights for my truck. More projects to add to the list, but I’ll have the stuff if I ever get the time. I got a couple of things cleaned up and put away, and some more stuff organized and put in the ebay/auction bins.

Today will be the first time since last March that we had our cleaning service in. While we won’t get back to where we were, we are at least getting some elements of that time back. My wife is very happy.

I’ll be doing office stuff, finishing up my part of the taxes, and maybe doing some more organizing. The cleaners don’t come into my office. This mess is all on me.

I’ll have to make an appointment to pick up the item I won that I couldn’t pick up yesterday. Maybe I can wait a couple of days and combine trips. I would like to pick it up and inspect it and make sure it functions well, but I also don’t want to do that with kids in tow. I would also like to put a few items through it and that will need a bit more organizing than I can get done in the next day or two.

Finally got a contract from the “pallet load” auction house, so I’m going through that today and looking at the calendar. I’ve got to move that forward.

So OF COURSE, we have houseguests next week (in laws) and a trip to Florida a couple of weeks later. The grandparents will at least let me get out of the house and get some work done at my secondary location by babysitting for the girls. If I get the auction set up though, I will have to move the pickup day around until after I get back from the trip.

It’s a good life if you don’t weaken, right?

Work on some skills, test out some preps, and stack some stuff.


———-PING————— Miles Teg —————PING—————– haven’t seen you in a long time, please check in…

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Thur. June 3, 2021 – these short weeks confuse my sense of time

Wednesday stayed nice all day. We were on the edge of the forecast storm area and once again missed it. Even had us getting rain around 4pm… and they were both right and wrong. Right on time I got about 4 drops on my windshield, and that was it. We got a spatter at 7pm, but never really got any significant rain. I’m hoping for similar results today.

I have a pickup or two to do, and it would be easier to drop the kids at the pool than listen to them in the car for an hour. Unfortunately my pickups are near the airports, one each, so not a short drive. Worth it though for the stuff. One estate sale netted me an item at below market, even after tax and transfer fees. Unless I missed something in the pictures, I got a good deal on something that is in high demand and somewhat short supply.

I didn’t get any ammo in the auctions this week though, as the prices are still at retail or higher, for old and mismatched rounds.

Speaking of mismatched, I have enough accessories that I can’t sell on ebay (or use myself) that I’m considering selling on gunbroker. Anyone have experience with the actual process? I mostly use them for price checking.

I’d put some of the stuff in local auctions but my “household stuff” guy shut me down for a while. I WON’T be dropping off this load until they clear out some room in their warehouse. And THAT sucks dead bunnies. I’m getting a bit desperate to move some of this stuff.

In other news, I got another dozen blueberries off the bushes yesterday. I think I’ve passed last year’s total harvest now… The tomatoes are taking over the plots and the kitchen. Now my wife is looking at taking a half bushel to the local food bank today. They supposedly take garden produce.

Speaking of food banks, the state wants to give us another SNAP card for the school lunches we won’t be getting – because school is out for the summer. I ended up using the last one to buy food and donate it to the food bank for Thanksgiving meals. I think I will do the same with this one. We qualify (regardless of income) because our kids attend schools that offer free breakfasts and lunches to every student (because we have so many kids that qualify, they give them to everyone). Bread and circuses. F the world.

And WRT the world, I don’t know WHY we’re seeing all the china flu revelations, or why FauxXi is suddenly not receiving cover from the press, but I like it. I do want to know what they are distracting us from seeing though. They’ll be reporting on it, just not emphasizing it, or featuring it. It will be there though, so they can point back to it later. Crypto and debt currently not featured… hm.

Stack what you can. Lots of people are late coming to the party but there are still seats at the table and canapes’ being passed… we’re definitely in the ‘new normal’ though. Increased prices, increased violence, increased awareness, and increased shortages. The trend lines don’t look great to me. Anyone who can offer a counter narrative, I’m willing to hear it, indeed, I WANT to hear it, but there has to be some factual basis for the narrative. I may object to the facts, or to the interpretation, but I would like to hear it, if ya got one.

In the absence of other instruction, keep stacking.


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Wed. June 2, 2021 – ah, the sweet smell of __________

Tuesday was a pretty nice day weather-wise after all. Never rained again after the early morning showers, and eventually got nice and clear, with a beautiful sunset. It stayed reasonably cool in the shade too. Even though the long term national forecast shows us in the rain zone for the next three days, I’m hoping today is nice too. I really want to take the kids to the pool and run some errands.

I spent yesterday continuing to chip away at the pile and the list. I’m making slow progress. I need a few hours to take stuff to the auctioneer though and to get it out of the house.

There is a massive bowl of tomatoes on the counter, despite my wife turning into one of those people who push fresh veg on everyone they see in the day. Even if I liked tomatoes, we have too many, but ironically, not enough to make sauce. This is why I only plant a couple of tomato plants every year. Oh well, it is making her happy as she loves them. They are super tasty, but I think a slice a week is the appropriate amount…

Because I was home with the kids, I did instacart for the groceries. Lots of stuff out of stock, but that could be because we’re coming off the long weekend. Meat prices are high and likely to go higher if we get a real shortage from the cyber attack on a big processor. If you’ve got a freezer full, you are looking like a hero. If you are still filling your freezer, think hard about grabbing some meat right the heck now, in case this attack turns into a longer disruption. Any upset in the just in time system takes a while to recover from, and I think we’re about to get a lesson in that. One of the reasons to prep is to have enough food put by that you can ride out temporary shortages and price fluctuations. The difficulty then comes if it’s not temporary and you haven’t restocked at all, then you have a big hit or you do without when prices are still high. There are trade offs to every approach. Find a strategy you are comfortable with.

This also goes to knowing what stuff costs. It’s hard to know if beef is cheap or dear this week, if you don’t pay attention to normal variation, and the cost of routine items. Even with big purchases like my truck, it was much smarter to shop for a few weeks, and recognize a great deal when it came my way, than my initial urge to buy the first suitable truck I saw at a reasonable price.

When it comes to things I think I will want later, or that I know I’d like to have, I start watching prices as soon as I can. Then, if and when that thing becomes available, I can jump on a deal, or let it go to the next guy. One thing that I learned now that I’m mostly shopping in the secondary market- it will distort what you are willing to pay. I’m finding that there are items that I would have gone to a thrift store to get (most of them have the same sorts of things most of the time) but now I will wait until I see them for even less in the outlet store. I think the price at the thrift store is too high 🙂

The opposite can happen too. When I was traveling for work, and living in hotels, if I bought a drink in the bar that was less than $12 I was a happy boy. Whooo hooo, cheap cocktails! Of course they weren’t cheap by any objective standard, but they were a lot cheaper than most nice hotel bars or ‘date night’ restaurants. I just got used to paying the high price. I’m sure California works that way for everything… and the people who move here certainly think that housing is insanely cheap compared to there. I know I did back in the day.

There are a lot of economic factors that can enter into your decisions about what to stack and how much. Commander Zero has been looking at gold, guns, and greenbacks and has a different idea than far too many of the commentors seem to have, and it’s one I share. Better to have spent the money and have the stuff, than not to have spent it, and not have the stuff. Better to have saved some money for needs or opportunities later on, than spend every penny today.

Finding the balance between spending and saving, between stacking against a possible need, and saving for a possible opportunity, will come down to your personality, your goals, and your view of the future. I think it’s better if you make those decisions after some thought, but don’t let that keep you from acting.

Whatever comes, having some stuff to give you time and options, and having some resources to take advantage of opportunities or sudden needs will serve you well. Keep stacking.


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Tues. June 1, 2021 – Summer. Is this the summer of our discontent?

According to the national forecast we are right on the edge of a system, in two directions, and there is a front lined up on Houston too. Which all means that any small variation in any direction and we are outside the predicted rainstorm area. Or we could be deeper inside of it. I’m betting on being outside of the storm area though as that’s what usually happens when we’re close to the edge. Yesterday stayed nice all day. Cooler and part sun, nice in the shade, a great day to be outside. I was the only one in my family to take advantage of it.

Stayed home for the holy day. I am increasingly uncomfortable with the festive atmosphere, even though I know that after the remembrance comes the celebration…which I suppose is why the flags are at half staff until noon, then return to full for the rest of the day. I say return, because half staff is where you end up after first raising the flag to the top. For most people it doesn’t matter at all, but for those who care, it matters a lot. It doesn’t take much to do it properly. In any case, I’m not in a big hurry to go out partying on Memorial Day.

My wife spent the day cleaning the house. I kept chipping away at cleaning, organizing, and doing auction stuff. I did go out and made my morning pickup. The ladies running the sale seemed embarrassed to be working, and insisted that the national auction site set the pickup rules. Someone’s an idiot, and someone should have put their foot down. Traffic was very light. It felt more like 6am than 10am although the donut store was doing a brisk business.

Today I’m starting my summer routine. I’m home with the kids while my wife goes into the office. I am going to try to be a bit more structured this summer than last. One thing I’d really like is dedicated time with each child to do something physical, or at least with physical stuff. I’m thinking craft and handiwork mainly, but also stuff like flying the drones and launching the model rockets, or just flying the kites. I guess we’ll play it by ear and see how we all like it.

Dropping them at the pool in the afternoon should give me the free time I need to do auction stuff, but I don’t know when I’ll find time to get over to my secondary location to continue cleaning it out. So much to do, and very little progress in the last month.

Speaking of much to do, I need to do a grocery order today. I like being back in the store to see what’s there and what’s on sale, but I can make better use of the time ordering for delivery, and I don’t have to drag the kids along. My fresh grocery inventory has fallen lower than I’m comfortable with, and I’d have restocked on Friday if the stores weren’t crowded with people shopping for the weekend. Three days delay, and I’m getting anxious. That’s despite having more food in stock than some small Quik-E-Marts.*

Some people have more guns and ammo than the local National Guard Armory, I like to have food stacked.

Which brings this to a close, with my customary admonition… find what you need, and keep stacking it.


*only a small exaggeration for effect, in reality I have more than most people, but not as much as I’d like.

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