Month: December 2021

Tues. Dec. 21, 2021 – 12-21-21 – closer, closer, closer….

Cool and clear again, and I’ll happily take more of that. Nice sunny day yesterday but not particularly warm. Same for today if I’m lucky.

Plans changed yesterday. I decided not to try wrangling the kids at my worksite, since my wife went into the office. Spent the day getting stuff out of the house. Took a pickup load to storage. Went through some of the stuff and identified some of it.

Took ebay’s suggestions and lowered prices on several listings, which must count as ‘active on ebay’ as the algorithm kicked me a sale shortly after. I haven’t listed in a week, because I didn’t want to try to meet Christmas shipping times. That meant no sales though. Changing prices of existing listings must be nearly as good as actual new listings. The item was only $11, but it’s a sale, it’s out of the bin, and it solves a problem for someone. Now to get back to the point where I’m doing higher margin items and more of them every day…

Today I’ll be picking up from my industrial auction. I bought a bunch of supplies. Cleaners, maintenance and repair stuff, and shop supplies mostly, but all things I use when working on stuff. The pickup is right down the street from the one I couldn’t do Saturday, so I’ll grab that stuff too. I’ll also be stopping at one of the auctioneers who will take some of my stuff, and I’ll try to pin him down to WHEN I can bring stuff by.

It’s all very tedious, trying to get rid of the stuff, and still make money. I was not particularly focused and it shows with the sorts of things I’ve got to sell. Most of them are very niche items and need to find the right buyer (so they need the ebay audience) to bring real money. That is of course why I could buy them cheaply in the general auctions or estate sales, most people do not need or want them. This is also why I’m trying to shift to more widely desirable stuff. The market for golf clubs is bigger than the market for tonometers, even if the tonometer has a HUGE margin, for example.

After that, I’ll head out to my client’s and wrap up some of the stuff I can before taking a break until next year.

And at some point soon, I need to get presents dug out of their hiding spots and wrapped.

I’ve spoken to several friends and acquaintances, and many of them are like me, behind the curve and not really ready for Christmas. Most of them in fact. No idea why but I’m not alone 🙂

Make sure you stack up a few presents for the people you love. Like any other prep, it takes the pressure off, knowing you have something you can pull off the stack when needed.


Mon. Dec. 20, 2021 – getting closer

Cool and clear, but of course there is a chance of rain. It stayed cool and breezy all day Sunday.

I was outside in the cool and breeze, in shorts, long sleeve t shirt, and a zippered jacket. I like the freedom of movement when climbing ladders and moving around that I get from shorts. I added a knit hat and was comfortable all afternoon. Without it, my nose was cold and I wasn’t comfortable. If you don’t normally wear hats, and it could be cold where you are, add some to your preps. One of the things I like about getting older and giving fewer *cough* flocks… is wearing hats for fashion, and ‘cuz I like them. They also keep my head warm and the sun out of my eyes, but really it’s about looking cool…

I got enough lighting up that I’m happy with the result. There are a couple of things I could add, but I’m out of time. The tree is up, lit, and decorated. It even has some presents under it! Since we’re only a couple of days away from Christmas, that is a good thing.

Plan for today is to take some stuff to storage, buy some groceries, and head out to my client’s later in the day, or possibly delay that until tomorrow. My wife is working at the office today, leaving the kids with me. I can park them in my client’s home theatre, but it would all be easier if I can wait for my wife to be at home on Tuesday.

Sometime soon, I need to sort and wrap my own presents too. Most of them were purchased so long ago I’ve kinda forgotten what I have. Some preppers make lists, I make piles.

I should also get a plan together for Christmas dinner. I’d like to have friends over, as we haven’t seen them in a while. I’ve got a nice ham, and some beef ribeye roasts in the freezer. And maybe, I could take the time to cook the elk that has been taking up space for these last few years…last time I tried to cook it in a hurry and it wasn’t the greatest. Hmm. Cookies need baking too. And maybe I should pick up some fresh veg.

Well, that’s my next few days sorted! Plans are easy, aren’t they?

Stack some stuff. Give yourself some choices.


Sun. Dec. 19, 2021 – whew, getting chilly

Cooler to cold, damp to wet. It’s all a matter of degrees. After the rain yesterday the temperature dropped 20F and the wind picked up. 52F, damp and windy, feels pretty darn cold here in Houston. Today should be pretty cool too.

I did some pickups, mainly to meet with the auctioneers. I got a squishy commitment to take some more of my stuff to the local auction where I did very well. Then I went by my secondary, moved a couple of things around, unloaded some stuff from my truck, and came home.

Dinner was leftover crock pot carnitas, but with bread and veg, instead of tortillas and rice and beans. Worked pretty well. Pork shoulder is cheap, $1.79/pound and even less when on sale. You can prep on a budget, even putting away protein, if you shop carefully, and eat the food poor people traditionally eat.

I guess I moved enough stuff out of the house because my wife put the tree in the stand, and set it up in the “play room”/ library. There is a truckload of stuff in the foyer now, but I’ll deal with some of that today if the weather is clear. It was too wet to decorate, so we’ll do that today. Some of the other inside decor went up, and the house smells like the tree. It’s beginning to feel like Christmas to me.

Peter over at BayouRenaissanceMan has been reminding people about inflation, food shortages, and the need to build up pantries. Some commentors sound like they’re in good shape. Peter suggests people get to 30 days of food. I think that’s a great start but you better have a whole bunch more, if only to supplement whatever you can find, if things go further pear shaped. And y’all know I think they will. If the situation with fertilizer shortages causes changes in plantings, and subsequently reduces the food available next season, prices will go up further. Scarcity will increase too and this comes on the heels of the floods and reduced harvests of a couple years ago. Stockpiles are reduced already. Everyone eats, so food insecurity is a very destabilizing thing. Make sure you have options and choices. I was thinking yesterday about the government cheese of my youth. I loved that stuff and would love to have a couple of those giant bricks in my stacks. I suspect that there are a lot fewer warehouses full of .gov stockpiles than there were in the 80s…

Desperate people do desperate things. Plan ahead and prep so you don’t have to.

Stack it up.


Sat. Dec. 18, 2021 – one week to go ’til a fat man reverse burgles you….

Warmish and damp. That’s about guaranteed for Houston anyway. Maybe damp turns to rain.

On Friday I headed out to my client’s house, did some things there and moved the project along. Some extra challenges on Friday… but got through them. I’m not done out there, but I see the path to being done. NOTHING is every as simple as it seems, especially when it’s new, and the person telling you how simple it is won’t be doing the work. and hasn’t done a bunch of work to make sure it’s simple for you. Thankfully the second tech support guy recognized the issue and figured out how to fix it.

Today, more house cleaning, and more decorating. I’ll be cutting my hair, and doing more domestic stuff besides.

Finished listening to the audio book of Orson Scott Card’s “Speaker for the Dead”, second book in the Ender Wiggins saga. It was well produced, although the audio was low, with three voice actors and occasional music. 12 CDs. I really don’t understand the voice casting, nor do I get the voice direction that gives voice to the piggies as vaguely Brooklyn accented cartoon kids. The female actor’s voice was so passive, dropping at the end of every sentence, that I thought she’d been drinking cough syrup on the rocks. Still better than the Jack Reacher POS. It kept me awake for the 40 minute drive each way to my client’s house so it did the job I wanted it to do.

Find the tools that work for you, for whatever job you’re doing.

And stack a few extra…


Fri. Dec. 17, 2021 – getting close to Christmas, dangerously close…

Another weird day, maybe sunny and humid, maybe rainy and humid, maybe just overcast and humid. Had all of those yesterday…

Got some real progress on my install yesterday and hope to get the bulk finished today. There are a couple of things I haven’t even considered getting started on with the other issues. Those can wait though for next year.

I feel the approaching holiday coming like a freight train. We still don’t have a tree up and we still don’t have all the lights I want to hang up. And like Epstein, those danged lights don’t hang themselves… I am in a very weird mental place as a result.

The kids are getting weirded out by it too. Not good.

I really like the Christmas season, and it’s strange to not be feeling it this year.

Maybe after this weekend…


{stack all the things}

Thur. Dec. 16, 2021 – more human than humans…

Warmish, or cool, but definitely some chance of rain. Damp too. Hands are like paddles in the cold and damp weather. So I’ve got that to look forward to.

Spent the first part of yesterday testing speakers for ebay. I was supposed to take a load to storage, but ended up running out of time. Then I got to spend the rest of the day wrestling with IP configs, and messing with hardware trying to get it to do something, anything, that it was supposed to. Kinda failed.

Today will be more of the same, and may include soldering. Joy. And the week is almost over.

I went to bed early for a change. My brain was not working at full capacity due to tiredness, so you’ll have to find something to talk about. Maybe the world economy collapsing under the weight of hyperinflation? Or another plague? On the other hand, Christmas is coming…

Stack something.

Wed. Dec. 15, 2021 – the dreams are pretty good

But I really need to stop falling asleep in my chair at my desk.

Warm and damp. Maybe rain. Blah all day.

More work at my client’s. His patience is wearing thin, but I am not getting the brunt of it. My cams work remotely. I can get in through the port forwarding. The problem has to be with his stuff.

So short shrift, both on this, and all day.

Decide what needs stacking, and do it.


Tues. Dec. 14, 2021 – Busy like a beaver, busy like a bee…

Warm again, and wet. Very light misty rain all day yesterday, depending on where I was, had me driving the Expedition on my errands, when the Ranger would have been a better choice. Forecast for today looks like even more likelihood of real rain. Well, we shall see.

Did my errands in the morning and early afternoon. Picked up D2, and spent some time making erasers out of some sort of clay like material… Little tiny erasers shaped like fruit, pie, and animals. It was fun to play with the clay and make stuff.

Today I’ll head out to my client’s house. Port forwarding is still not working correctly. Some of them are probably being blocked by ATT, but normally the non-standard control ports should get through. The cams’ app used to get through without issues. I hate chasing issues like this, where I’m just poking around in the dark.

And then home to more family stuff. There is so much end of year stuff at my wife’s work, and with the kids’ school semester wrapping up, that we’ve got multiple things happening every day, and worse from my point of view, every night. I already missed one of my favorite things, our visit to the school district’s FFA Christmas event. Photos with Santa, hay ride, baby animals, and show animals the kids have raised, and lots of people from school and the neighborhood. It’s a real community event and a fun way to spend a few hours. The kids in the culinary program at the alternative school sell food- cookies, frito pie, etc, and that is ALWAYS worth spending a few bucks. Local local local…

Stack up some local community. They’ll be the ones helping you, or turning you in, or shooting you for your preps. You need a good idea of what the people around you think and feel.

And of course, stack the preps.


Mon. Dec. 13, 2021 – work-life balance, I can haz it?

Still cool and clear for one more day, according to the national forecast. I’ll take it. It feels much more like the season at 50F than 80F. Sunday was bright and clear, with light breezes here.

I got some stuff done. Moved a whole pickup load to storage, and you can barely tell. Mostly because I moved other stuff back into the area I moved stuff out of. There is camping stuff all over too, after the return of the pack, and their packs. 😉

I got some lights up in the yard too, just before dusk. And really a bit after dusk too, because I spent some time chatting with my new neighbors across the street. Young couple, seem very nice. Very excited to be in their new home.

Plan for today is drop of TV at auctioneer, take some stuff to my secondary location, move more stuff out of the house, pickup daughter and do some more decorating outside and in. Probably won’t get to my client’s house today. The round trip time would eat too much of the day.


The devastation from the tornadoes in Kentucky, Illinois, etc. is dramatic. Disaster can hit anywhere and anytime. It was the tornadoes in Oklahoma a number of years ago that demonstrated to me the need to establish some preps off site. This disaster just further confirms it. Some hazards can really only be dealt with after the fact. If you are in a tornado or wild fire or mudslide area, or any other sudden but localized threat area, think about the difference a couple of bins with clean clothes, duplicate records, and some easy to prepare food and drink would make in the event your home was destroyed.

Sometimes it won’t be the stacks, but where you’ve stacked them.


Sun. Dec. 12, 2021 – 12122021 – the return of the wanderers

Cold and damp, no rain though. That’s my best guess for today. It really got colder last night. Daytime temps were cool, but it dropped below 50F before I went to bed. My knees and hands hurt when it gets cold and damp.

Had a great time at my non-prepping hobby Christmas party. The food was awesome. Club provided meats, members brought dishes. I brought peach cobbler and sweet corn bread wedges. The corn bread didn’t rise, so fail there, but the cobbler got complements. Both from long term stores. For desserts there was a whole table of sweets, including two different pecan pies– both were deliciously sweet, the way they should be. I had two different sliced hams, smoked turkey, bbq meatballs, and some other pork. Then we did a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange. The ‘white elephant’ part is that the gift is silly, something you didn’t really want, and ideally humorous. It was also supposed to relate to the hobby. 43 people participated and for added fun, you could choose to ‘steal’ someone else’s gift instead of opening one. Then the deprived person gets to pick a new wrapped gift. Items could only be ‘stolen’ twice. Lots of fun and good-natured ribbing involved. Very normal feeling and great to see so many members.

Plan for the day is get stuff out of the house. Then finish outdoor decor. The kids and my wife should be home before I’m done with either of those. Puppy Zeus is supposed to get his incision looked at in the late afternoon, and maybe we’ll have time to get a tree. IF I get all the stuff cleared out.

Just another day in the life really. Stack up the good times as well as the good stuff.


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