Month: November 2021

Tues. Nov. 30, 2021 – and away we go!

Cool and clear, still damp though. Picture postcard blue skies yesterday, but so damp the puddles wouldn’t dry.

Took care of my pickups and got D2 in due course. Didn’t get to the grocery store. Not critical, as we have plenty of food, just no fresh milk. I’ve got strawberry and chocolate for the kids’ lunches in UHT boxes, and some whole milk UHT boxes for cooking use. I used it last night for the mac n cheese box that accompanied dinner. Dinner included some indian pouch food, spicy potatoes with chick peas and a sauce. Looked just like the picture on the pouch and tasted pretty good. Best by, 2015. The rest of the meal came from a box, the freezer, and a can. Yum, all the food groups.

Started putting up some Christmas decor, put away the Thanksgiving stuff.

Today is a busy day. Wife is headed to San Marcos for training, so I have D1 to orthodontist in the morning, and D2 to pick up from school in the evening. In between, one pickup, and then off to my client’s house to continue the install. My time is not my own today or tomorrow. Nothing will leave the house or get listed for sale. Christmas decorations will probably not progress either. It is what it is, I guess.

No rest for the wicked, or peace for the weary.

And I need to get to the store for this week’s groceries. Good thing I have stacks, and nothing is critical.

That’s why we do it. Stack it high.


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Mon. Nov. 29, 2021 – ah Monday, a fresh start…

And it’s cool and damp. Yup, again, although there isn’t any rain in the forecast. Yesterday got misty drizzle throughout the day, which kept me inside.

Spent the time doing clean up and organizing and ebay stuff. I ‘temporarily’ put some stuff in the toy room/library and it has to go to make room for the tree. It was easier to sort it than just load it out, and with the rain, I wasn’t eager to take anything to storage.

That will be the plan for today- finish getting my stuff out of the library.

Also it makes sense to just list some of it before letting it out of the house. I’m going to list a couple of high dollar items, and we’ll see if they sell. It would be nice to get some good sales before the end of the year. As I’ve mentioned before, the high dollar things take more time to list though, but they are worth it if they sell, especially if it’s quick. At this point, I don’t want to list Christmas things and risk the shipping not getting them there in time.

I didn’t get to the store for fresh food yesterday so that will push to today as well. AND I’ve got two pickups (Christmas items, preps, and household stuff), and a short day because I pick up D2 from school…

So I better not spend all day online.

Talk amongst yourselves,

and stack some more food.


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Sun. Nov. 28, 2021 – to sleep, perchance to dream

Another overcast day with misty light rain? We’ll see. That’s what Saturday ended up being. Kinda cool too. Never got more than a misty drizzle, barely got the concrete wet.

I ended up watering the citrus in pots. One of the trees had all the leaves curled and faded, just like it got too cold. I didn’t think we got that cold here while I was away. It’s HARD to keep citrus alive in Houston.

I am going to get 3 more grapefruits from the other tree in a pot. Hooray for me. The collards are growing again, and the tomatoes continue to fruit. The tomato thing is weird. No way should we be getting fruits at this point. My wife likes it though, so hooray again.

I might hit the small HEB grocery later today. I let fresh stuff run way down because we were out of town, and I’d overbought. Our usage patterns have changed. We aren’t drinking anywhere near the milk we were. No cereal for breakfast either. And we are drinking more other stuff like soda, and I don’t like sharing with the kids 🙂

Keep in mind that your use may change too. Part of “store what you use, use what you store” is adapting to those changes. Unfortunately, you may end up with more in storage than you will use. UNLESS the “event” comes. At that point, you’ll be glad to have it, no matter what “it” is.

But in normal times, yeah, it’ll be a bummer to have two extra cases of oatmeal (or 10) if you no longer want to eat oatmeal. There is some risk in stacking it high… On the other hand, you don’t know when you’ll need it until you need it. Better to have it than not.

Speaking of eating, while others may not be, RBT’s advice was to go to the food disto center anyway, so that no one wondered why you were able to skip it. Reading the Mandibles, wherein an economic collapse happens to the US and the titular family, I’m re-energized to top up my food stores. Most scenarios will have you still existing in the community, so it might be worth having some clothes that are a size or two too big. Why? So you can look thinner than you are at a glance. The baggy shirt I’m wearing as I write this catches my eye every time I walk past the mirror. It HANGS. I look terrible. Which could come in handy. There are other reasons to have clothing bigger than your normal size, like hiding weapons or armor under it. Or if things are bad, layering for warmth. The bigger clothes let you get an extra layer or two. There might end up being really good reasons why a female might want to wear very baggy clothes, or a child might want to bulk up a bit. I’m sure your imagination can fill in the blanks.

I hope it’s all just intellectual wanking, doom pron, but I look around and the trajectory doesn’t seem to be headed toward “better”. Sarah Hoyt thinks it will be short but really bad, and then we’ll prevail. I’m not so certain. I think we’ll drift ever worse for a long time, until change has to happen, then things will get better. There’s a lot of ruin in a country, and in society too. Alcoholics and addicts usually have to come pretty close to rock bottom to change. Societies too.

So stack it up. Plan your garden. Practice your skills. Teach your children well.


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Sat. Nov. 27, 2021- home again home again jiggity jig…

Cool and damp. Because it’s winter in Houston, but I haven’t looked at an actual forecast.

Yesterday’s travel was uneventful. Walked through security, although one of my boots got selected for additional scrutiny… and that did delay me slightly. The club was mostly empty, the airport was not crazy busy, and the plane was full.

I’ll do a longer post with some other observations that I didn’t want to write about on the phone, with swype doing its best to reduce my trenchant observations to gibberish… but here’s a hot wash…

MIL- starting to feel sorry for her. She drives everyone away with her insistence on forcing reality to match the picture in her head, and ends up with nothing. And she’s a kook. The special all day pie baking (with the grandkids) resulted in a burned pumpkin, a kinda tasteless pecan (she halved the sugar and doubled the pecans- because she thinks pecan pie is too sweet), and a delicious apple. She did the apple first and her fussiness drove the kids out of the kitchen afterwards. So she ended up baking pies no one ate, without the grandkids involved. (And fwiw, she’s normally a good cook, if she avoids all the fake low fat crap).

Travel- mine was ok. I was borrowing trouble apparently by thinking it would be hard. I GUESS the days we traveled made all the difference, although I’ve not seen any of the normal T-giving stories about cancelled flights and stranded passengers, in massively crowded airports. Were the airport numbers down? Several articles that did mention numbers conflated driving with flying, so I didn’t see anything real definitive.

COVID and hospitals- one of my wife’s relatives runs ‘stuff’ at [a big hospital that saw a lot of chinaflu patients] she had lots of interesting stuff to talk about. They’ve had 0 wuflu patient days, although the trend is up. They have only a few corona-chan patients at the moment. Like my client’s hospital, they are seeing sick people for the first time who are MUCH further along in the course of their disease than “normal” because those people delayed seeking treatment due to winnietheflu. This is bad. Their treatment is more invasive, more costly, and more often has a bad outcome.

Economy- looking through the supermarket ads in the local paper, the prices weren’t THAT much higher than here, although they were higher, what was missing was meat on sale. They had only one variety in the one store circular, petite sirloin tips, which I never see around here, and it was as much as top sirloin at my local grocery. The other store circular mentions a few cuts of meat, not on sale, just priced, and zero mention of grade. Could be ‘value’, could be prime, you couldn’t tell from the ad. Based on price I’m gonna say they were all probably ‘value’ grade. Also missing were any special deals, like ‘get a free ham with xxx dollars of groceries’, or ‘buy a turkey get a ham’. I saw both of those promos in previous years here in Houston. Very little seafood in the ads, and nothing premium or “high end”. Considering the area, that is particularly weird.

The cousins (younger than me and my wife ) are all gainfully employed (or in school) and agreed that some stuff was crazy high, like used cars, rental cars, and food. One’s in home health care, one is in mental health in schools, a couple were teachers or worked in a school district. None of them see any shortage of work in the future for their fields, especially when it comes to the special needs industry or diabetes.

One uncle had the coof a month ago, and “thank god I was vaccinated or it might have killed me.” I’m pretty sure everyone there was vaxxed, although some that I KNOW were, were reluctant.

The few places we went all had signs saying masks weren’t required if you were vaxxed. No one was checking anything or even asking though.

Gas was $3.44/gallon +- 10c


It’s good to be home. I’m sleeping late in my own bed. Maybe I’ll make waffles later.

And I’m definitely going to be stacking more food.

(you should too)


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Fri. Nov. 26, 2021 – Black Friday, if they’re lucky.

Sunny and clear, some chance of rain. No bomb cyclone.

Yesterday went fine.

We leave for the airport around noon, and if everything goes to plan, I’ll be sleeping in my own bed tonight.

I wonder how the retailers will do today, if they’ll end in the black. Either way I’m sure it will be seen as a portent of things to come.

Some stuff is just going to have to play itself out.

Meanwhile, you know what to do….


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Thurs. Nov. 25, 2021 – Happy Thanksgiving Day. ( US )

Chilly and clear, should warm up and get sunny later.

Spent yesterday hanging out and eating with one branch of my wife’s family, and we’ll spend today with the other.

And we’ll be ” giving thanks”. Scare quotes because who exactly are we giving them to? If a benevolent deity, why? Why would He need to receive them? OFD could probably lay it out for me. In the absence of that, I’m thankful anyway. It gives us a chance to pause, a chance to evaluate, and a chance to appreciate what we’ve got, who we know, what we’ve done.

I’m thankful for the people who come by and share a bit of my life here, those who comment, and those who just stop in and read a little. I’m thankful for the opportunity and the privilege to continue doing so.

I’m thankful for the time and ability to prepare for whatever is coming, whether the ordinary trials of life, or something extraordinary.

I’m thankful for my family and for my continued existence on this mortal plane.

I’m thankful for the good times, and also for the bad as they shaped me into who I am.

Take a few moments today, and think about what you have to be thankful for.

Find joy wherever you can.

And stack it high.


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Wed. Nov.24, 2021 – Turkey day looms… baking has commenced

Another clear and chilly day here near the Eastern Seaboard. There are still some vivid red leaves on some few trees, but most of the leaves have turned and fallen. It’s as grey and depressing as I remember.

Spent most of yesterday asleep in a recliner. Sugar overload and sore back conspired against me. Did get out for a while to the bookstore. D2 wanted the whole place but only conned grandpa into buying a few things. She spent $28 of her own money too. Kid is like me, likes to own books. I just like to buy them cheaply. She likes them crisp and unread.

Lots of baking on the agenda for today, followed by a visit to relatives. Cousins for the childers to spend some time with. Family. Well, relatives in any case.

Local newspaper is interesting. So many half truths, appeals to authority, and all the rhetorical tricks for any story outside of this little town. Editorial imported from the Chicago Tribune, that flat out lies about the Rittenhouse case. One letter to the editor mocking a pro- Bidn piece. Small town news. Newspapers aren’t dead everywhere but they are headed that way. This one seems to have taken the advice to focus on the hyper local to heart, and it worked so far. They are still around.

We’ll see if I can avoid politics for the next two days. Seems unlikely. Funny that FIL who is a Kennedy lefty, anti Bush, anti Trump, has Fox News saved to a preset on his car radio. I don’t know anyone on the right who listens or watches much anymore, but the left does…

Speaking of FIL, they’ve got a small chest freezer now and have a few more things stocked… not anywhere near enough for even small interuptions though. JIT at work in the home.

Makes me nervous as heII. Stack some stuff. Seriously.


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Tues. Nov. 23, 2021 – Alive in MA

Cool and clear is the forecast here south of Boston.

Flight was a bit bumpy, but otherwise uneventful. As usual, security is much easier with a small child in tow, not even a suggestion that you should go through the naked scanner.

Plan for the day includes a bookstore visit and possibly cooking. And relatives visiting. It’s what we are here for. Stacking up good memories.

Stack something every day,


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Mon. Nov. 22, 2021 – travel day. We’ll see how it goes.

Cool and damp, some clouds in Houston. Somewhere outside of Boston, it’s supposed to be chilly and raining.

Spent most of yesterday cleaning up and getting some of the flip top bins of stuff out of the house. Finally there was another storage unit available down the street from me, and I grabbed it. I’ll close out the one near my secondary location when I get back from this trip.

Then I packed. Decided that with the possibility of travel issues, we should all carry on and not check any bags. It’s as light as I’ve traveled in a long time. I’m sure I’ll spend the whole week reaching for a pocket knife that isn’t there. If I’d planned ahead, I’d have sent one to my in-laws but by the time I considered it, it was too late. I might have to buy something cheap while I’m there just to keep from constantly touching where it isn’t…

No hardware with me either. World better hold together for another week.

I’ll update when I get there and settled, hopefully it won’t be an interesting story.

Talk amongst yourselves, and keep stacking.


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Sun. Nov. 21, 2021 – some of my neighbors have Christmas lights out already

Cool and damp again. It’s been pretty nice for the last week, so I guess I’ll spend next week in the path of a big storm. ‘Cuz why not?

Especially considering I’m flying on Monday and Black Friday during the shakedown for wuflu mandates with TSA and other airport/airline workers. What could possibly go wrong?

Yesterday I spent the morning learning about the Ubiquiti gear I have to support, and the afternoon poking at it. In the middle I caught my 10yo hiding what she was reading online from me. Mostly fanfic webcomics, but they do have comment sections and she was commenting. That is going to bear some additional scrutiny before she gets the lappy back and the sites unblocked. The titles of the comics look objectionable but the content might not be that bad. My wife will do the looking. I knew the little sneak was bosskey-ing me.

Did make some very small progress with the ubiquiti switch. It took nuking my side, and reinstalling the controller software, and a lot of factory restoring on the box side. I eventually got one switch and one access point enrolled in the cloud management tool and configured. I cobbled the theater together so they can at least watch movies in there for the next week. I hate half assing stuff but some is better than none in this case.

Today will be getting ready for travel and family visit. Joy.

Keep your head on a swivel and your awareness up, and keep stacking while you can.


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