Month: January 2022

Mon. Jan. 31, 2022 – this month is finally on it’s last day…

Cool and kinda damp today, with the possibility of some real hard rain according to openweathermap.org.  I guess we’ll see….    Sunday was nice, cool but sunny and decently warm in the sun.

This January took forever to pass by.  Usually I feel like the days are flying by, but with 5 weekends, this month dragged.  I don’t know why I want it to be past, but I do.    I don’t think great things will be happening in February, but at least it won’t be January.

Spent yesterday watching auctions for stuff for the new place, while also doing other stuff around the house, and I blew it.  I let something go that I really wanted and would save both time and money at the new place.  Got distracted…

Then made dinner.  Which brought me this thought.  I can talk briefly about one of my storage options, the freezer.

I freeze bread.  I find that bread products keep really well for me in the upright freezer. I don’t do anything special, just put them in the way they come from the store. I freeze regular loaves of Sara Lee white sandwich bread, with at least 2 and usually 3 in the freezer at a time.  We use about 2 loaves in three weeks, so  they do turn over regularly.  I like the Sara Lee because it holds up to spreading peanut butter.  A lot of the white breads don’t.

I freeze naan bread.  (indian flat bread) It’s pre-baked, and just needs to be warmed up, so it’s a quick and easy way to get a bit of bread with a meal.  It does come in a sealed plastic bag.  It lasts for a year or more in the freezer, doesn’t take up much space, and is a solid “go to” for me.  Very easy to warm for use too, spritz with water and throw on the grill or in the oven (whichever you already have hot) for a few minutes each side.  I think if things get really shirty, flat breads will be the way to go vs leaven breads.  Much less time and energy to cook than baking.

I freeze english muffins.  Thomas’ to be precise.  Again, I just chuck them into the freezer in their store packaging.   They store well for a long time.

I freezer a 300 pack of wheat tortillas too, but also have a 300 open in the fridge for normal day to day use.  They last in the fridge for months.

I thaw the white bread, and the english muffins all at once for the week before use, but the naan I heat from frozen.

Hamburger buns and hotdog buns do well too, but do get ‘freezer burned’ if left too long.

It is very convenient to have bread in the stacks and to not have to head to the store every week.

One other option deserves mention, my Costco has 3 packs of shelf stable bread.  They are loaves of sourdough and are vac packed with some sort of absorber packet.  They just need to be heated to ‘crunchy’ and they are great when you are looking for a crusty hearty loaf in a hurry.  They are still good after the best by date, but the absorber starts to stain the crust black.  I just cut that part of the crust off and ate the rest.


Of course, you can bake from scratch, kit, or with a bread machine.  I’ve done the machine and still do for holiday breads.  It’s very easy and a great way to get good bread on demand, and save money while cycling through your stored bulk.  I’ve found the loaf doesn’t last long once made though, and if we don’t work hard at it, we don’t eat it before it gets hard.  So the store bought breads are a better value as they last long enough to get eaten.


There it is.  Compelling content!  Exciting discussion!  Friendly folks!  Random factoids!  Red Lectroids!

If you haven’t been stacking bread or bread-like food items, I hope you can throw some in the freezer now.  They’ll probably be good later too.

Stack all the things!  Including bread.

n

Sun. Jan. 30, 2022 – sleeping again, or more, or something

Cool and dry?  Or cold and damp… yesterday was nice.  Dry and just slightly too cool.

Didn’t get anything of substance done yesterday.  Slept late, watched and bid on auction lots for the lake house, and avoided my TODO list.

I’m taking today as it comes, not making any predictions about what work I won’t actually do, and maybe some will get done.  Because the world has turned into opposite land, maybe that will let me be productive.

Reading posts from March of 2019, and a bunch was going on.  Interesting to look back.  Also something to do instead of going to bed.

Do as I say, not as I do, and get some stuff done off your list.  Time is short, it ALWAYS is.  Stack stuff.

n

Sat. Jan. 29, 2022 – Life is but a dream, shiboom shiboom…

Chilly willy today.  Supposed to be clear and breezy.  It was pretty chilly all day on Friday, and was 38F when I went to bed.

Did my pickups, did some messing around.  Auctioneer did not set a time when I could bring down some more stuff.  I did get the breakdown for my sales with his last auction.  Stuff did better than I thought and there was a lot of it that I didn’t realize was mine when I looked at the listings.   I’ll get a check next week.  The big surprise was books with a local theme.  I grabbed several last week so I’ll try to get them into an auction too.

Purchase of the lakehouse is proceeding.  The title guarantee is the next delay as they do the search.  They aren’t in any hurry.

Today’s plan, sleep in.  I’m definitely running on empty sleep wise. Then I need to get to work.

I have lost track of what’s going on in Ukraine, so if anyone can summarize below, that would be cool…

Divemedic has been posting about some radio traffic and flight tracking that makes me think that the words are just words as they pick their moment.  When that kicks off, it’s going to make some really big waves.

So stack some things.  Chances are you’ll need them.

n

Fri. Jan. 28, 2022 – madness is….. one step beyond

Cool and damp again.  Yeah, whoddathunkit?  Got into the low 60s yesterday.  There was part sun in various places in town but predominately overcast.

Spent the morning watching various auction lots for beds and mattresses for the lakehouse.  Didn’t win any.  Then I got my pickup done.  Dropped some stuff off at my secondary, and swung by Goodwill’s Outlet store.

There are things we will need for the lakehouse.  And because of the way my life works, in one of the bins was a box for a cell phone booster.   There were actually two different ones in the bin, so I scooped up all those pieces.  I’ll know later today if all the pieces are there, and if they will work now that 3G sunsetted.  I also picked up two pieces that will pay for the rest of my full cart.  They are the rarest of vintage audio gear– black face components that are worth something on ebay.  Kenwood GE-76 and the tuner from the same line.  No power amp though I did find the instruction book for it.  You never know what you’ll  find.

Today will be a meeting with one of my auctioneers, and pickup of some medical stuff.  I’ll have to go spend some time at my storage unit, and at my secondary.   I got another two pallets ready for the pallet lot auction, but I’ve got to get at least a couple more with some more valuable stuff to fill out this first auction with them.

The purchase of the lakehouse is proceeding.   The seller kept having ‘trouble’ with her email, claiming she didn’t get our signed contract, and we thought she might be entertaining other offers without telling us.  I now think she was actually having net issues, because she’s told us that she finally has the doc and is proceeding with the escrow company, etc.  Or maybe the offers weren’t sweet enough to overcome us being first through the door…  we’re still set to close on the 21st.   The first quote for insurance was pretty freaking expensive.  I’ll have to take a few minutes and talk to them about changes and maybe we can get it down into the reasonable range.

I’m really looking forward to finally having a Bug Out Location.  It was a pretty big gap in our preps to not have anywhere specific to go if we needed to leave town.   Fixing it up, stocking it, and actually using it for weekends is going to be a ton of work, but will be satisfying too.

Should generate some blogfodder too.

Now I can stack even more things.  And you can too!

nick

Thur. Jan. 27, 2022 – making progress, and yet falling behind…

Cold again, with more damp.  Maybe getting to the low 60s like yesterday.  We had occasional sun, but mostly overcast, and I expect the same today.

Spent the morning doing email and phone calls.  Actual talking to people.  I know, how strange.  Had to call the insurance people and get a quote for the new house.  NOT cheap as it turns out.  Also spoke with them about the work on my Ranger (I can still get it done if I can find the time) and the burglary at my storage unit.    Then I spent some time on the phone with the county clerk in Houston County.  She was able to pull the deed history for my new properties, and the boundary descriptions.   It’s pretty cool to go back  to the original land grant, Ramon De La Garza in this case.  Only took a couple of steps.  And I confirmed that the mineral rights were separated from the land rights before it became a subdivision.  Most of the area was in timber production prior to the ’70s, and there is still a lot of timber in the area.  She printed old scans to a pdf, emailed them to me, and I was good to go.  She was apologetic that it cost $1/page.  The $5 is the smallest bill I’ll pay in this process, I’m pretty sure.

So I made some progress on something.   We completed the sales contract and got it back to the seller, and hope to close on the 21st of Feb.

Didn’t make any progress on getting more stuff to auction.  I’ll have to email the newest auctioneer and try to get some stuff placed with him.  I need to get some bins filled from the burgled unit too.   Today I’ll do something, so I don’t fall farther behind.

Girl Scout cookies arrive next week and the house needs to be clear for that.

I did get some needful things and some good stuff for the house and the new place too.

The seed display had a LOT of good veggies and tons of flowers in it.  I think I’ll scatter a bunch of the flowers at the new place.  Most of the veg were varieties I haven’t tried and failed with yet, so I’ll give them a try too.   The seeds sold 4 packets for a dollar.  I never saw any that cheap before, and the label says they have the same number of seeds as the other guys… wonder if they’ll germinate and what the rate will be.  It’ll be ‘science-y’ content for sure 🙂

That’s that for today, I better actually get some stuff done.

So I can stack some other things that will help more.

n

 

Wed. Jan. 26, 2022 – brain is empty, todo list is full…

Cool and wet. And yes, I’m getting tired of that.  I think it got up into the low 60s yesterday, it sure was damp and threatened rain all day.

Did my pickups.  Got stuff for my non-prep hobby.  Got stuff for the kids.  Got household stuff like cleaning supplies.  (that stuff adds up, saving half or more on each bottle or spray can can really save some money)

Today I’ll be doing a couple more pickups (the gub accessories, some other stuff) and maybe making some arrangements for dropping off sale stuff.    I’ve got the quarterly swap meet for my non-prep hobby coming up in Feb, and I’ve been finding stuff to add to the ‘sale’ pile for that.

It’s time for another Costco run too, but IDK if I’ll find the time this week.  Got kid stuff most nights (basketball or dog training) and my sibling is in town and wants to get together for dinner.

I need to take over driving the repairs here at this house too.  My wife is very frustrated with contractors who don’t return calls.  I’ve been letting her try to arrange the HVAC and plumbing upgrades/installs.   She’s been very “see, it isn’t hard, you just call them, meet with them, and it will get done, no problem.”  Yeah.   Except.   Then they never call back.  They don’t answer emails either.   Welcome to MY world, where it isn’t as easy as you think.   Now she’s shepherding the lake house purchase, so it’s my job to get the other stuff done all of a sudden.  Ah life, so full of chances to do stuff wrong.

So I better get busy clearing my decks, so I can do the other stuff.   I need to get back to being as productive as I was when I was working.  I’ve somehow moved so far away from that that I hardly recognize where I am.

I’m stacking up….. tasks.  And the pile gets bigger.

I prefer to stack STUFF.

n

Tues. Jan. 25, 2022 – knowing when to pull the trigger…

Cool and wet.  Damp at a minimum.  Misty rain most of yesterday with occasional downpours depending on where you were.  Where I was it rained pretty much non-stop, just slacking for short periods.

Spent the day getting ready then driving north to look at a property.   It’s pretty much what we expected, and we’re making an offer on it.  It’ll be another house that sold “before it was ever listed.”   We only learned about it through a friend.  Meatspace and tribe came through.

I expect there will be a LOT of things to share about the process and the work.  This is intended to be a ‘weekend’ or vacation home, but will also function as a retreat if we need it.  I hate to think ‘bug out location’ because you don’t get much use from a bug out place if things go well.   It does give us somewhere to go if we need to go, and that has been a major prep that was missing from our capabilities.

It’s also supposed to be a financial move to get something real instead of a rapidly inflating currency.  Our timeline is long.  If the world somehow manages to not go to helI in the next year or two, it will be a fun place to go on summer weekends and lakefront property always finds buyers, if there are any buyers at all.

Which brings me around to the title of the post (which most of the time is an opportunity to sneak in a joke or quick hit commentary,  or is totally unrelated to the post, which is a tiny little joke in itself) and relates to CommanderZero’s post today.   How do you know when it’s time to pull the cord and bail?  ESPECIALLY when that moment hasn’t come despite looking like it was imminent any number of times, and when the consequences for NOT going can be dire.  I’ve mentioned in other contexts that ‘if you think it’s time to leave, it’s probably too late…”  And I’ve mentioned that it helps to set trigger points so that you don’t have to second guess yourself.

But specifically, how the heck can I be willing to spend the money on this place after a day, and seeing it for only a couple of hours?  Weeeeelllllll……  because we’ve done lots of thinking about it before hand.   We have been looking at lake properties for three years.   We feel like we’ve got a pretty good understanding of the current pricing and current demand.  We’ve been looking at houses for a lot longer than that, and have a lot of confidence we can evaluate the condition and potential of the property.  We had the money in place, and although we had to revisit that, another year of putting money aside for the purpose made the pot big enough, as it turned out.   It’s still a stretch, but my wife agrees that time is getting short, the money we had saved was losing value every day, and we’re not getting younger, and the kids aren’t either.

I had a similar situation with my replacement truck.  By the time this one came up, I’d looked at a lot of trucks, knew a good price when I saw it, and knew I needed to act swiftly.  The house we live in took only a few minutes to convince us this was the house for us, mainly because we’d looked at more than 60 and rejected them.

And in the case of my truck, along with our previous ALMOST purchase of the prepper retreat, we were ready to change our minds if the information or our needs changed.  The first truck I almost bought, I didn’t understand the warranty situation.  Once I did, we bailed on the deal.   With the great looking property with all the animal protein, and smokehouse, and artesian well… once we understood where the flood line was, and that the property was unbuildable for the most part, and that we wouldn’t ever be able to sit on a dock watching the sunset, we bailed.

Be ready to move when the opportunity presents itself.  But be ready to stop moving if things change, or you change.

Finally, in answer to CommanderZero’s question, when do you head for the hills and burn the bridges and boats behind you?  I’ve got a rule that none of my prepping can be irrevocable. Even if I decide to head for the hills I’m going to do my best to not burn the bridges behind me.  Because I make mistakes.  Lots of them and all the time.  And I believe that “there is ALWAYS another way.”  Searching for and finding that way made my career.    Those two things make me strongly biased against the dramatic exit…  and so far it’s worked for me.

 

The other thing that works for me is stacking up the preps, because it gives me choices.  Give yourself some, and stack up your own preps.  You know you wanna….

 

nick

Mon. Jan. 24, 2022 – busy day today, and a lot of driving.

Cold and clear, but maybe not as cold as it has been the last few days.  Cold enough Sunday that I wore a coat while grilling dinner…

Cleaned the house, welcomed the pack members home, poked at computers and moved some stuff around.  Not particularly productive weekend.

Today I’ll do some pickups of household stuff, or I might push it off til tomorrow.  I’ve got pickups in opposite directions so it would be nice to do some today, some tomorrow.  But.  We are driving up to look at a house on a lake in the afternoon, leaving around noon.  I don’t want to be late for that departure.

I’m hoping to add some redundancy to my living situation,  to get somewhere to ‘bug out’ to if needed.  It will be a big stretch, but it looks like that is the ante at this point.  While the “covid rush” to get somewhere outside of cities seems to be slowing, if things go further downhill, there will be an even wider rush to get out of cities, and prices (and inflation) will move up even more.  That’s my current thinking anyway.

So you will be left to your own devices this afternoon, and possibly this morning as well.  Enjoy!

Don’t burn the place down, use that manic energy to stack some things 🙂

n

Sun. Jan. 23, 2022 – 01232022 – silly, I know.

Cold and clear.  Was 34F when I went to bed.  Didn’t get very warm during the day, probably won’t today either. Pretty sure we froze at some point, but I’ve got the citrus indoors, and I’m hoping nothing is negatively affected.

Did some more cleanup on the old family pc.  I’d previously upgraded it with an SSD and it breathed new life, along with making the RAM and adding a second drive for data… but the main reason for retiring it (technically anyway, the real reason was the newer $8 pc I picked up) was that the SSD was full and it’s a pain to manage where stuff goes on it.

Well.  I killed more than half the drive’s capacity which was taken up with LOG FILES from failed updates.  150GB of pure crap was filling the drive.  And windows ‘drive cleanup’ tool doesn’t even look for the files.  WinDirStat identified the biggest files, and where they were, and I deleted them.  Just like that the PC is usable again.   I went looking because windows update was failing with useless error messages.  It sure looked to me like the updates were failing when they tried to make a restore point, because the drive was full.

After making space, update found 23 more updates to apply under ‘safety and security’, so I did those and it updated without an issue.  Freaking windows storing cr@p and failing with useless errors.

Now I’ve got to look for the same sorts of things on this, my primary desktop.  I bet it’s full of cruft too.

— spent the evening watching Bukaroo Bonsai with D1.  She laughed and enjoyed it.

The at bedtime we had a long philosophical discussion.   Kid’s smart but since we’re not religious, she doesn’t  have a framework she can fit the more mystical workings of the universe into…  And old movies give us plenty to discuss regarding PC language, wokeness, and changing times.  She’s anti-wokeness.  The kids are starting to back lash against it.  They’re tired of saying the opposite of what their eyes tell them.  Interesting times.

Took some stuff to my secondary, and spent some time stacking stuff on a pallet for auction.   Monday I’ll be talking to another auction company about consigning a truck full of stuff with them.  They definitely do ‘estate sale’ type stuff, and it sells, if not always for highest dollar.   They just moved to a bigger, and empty warehouse space so the time to strike is now.

Ordered some powdered cream for the stacks.   It was finally back in stock.   The powdered cream, butter, and cheese all do age out.  They get hard and lumpy, and get an ‘old’ flavor, so I need to rotate them, even if it means wasting them.  I won a ‘seed display’ in one auction too.  It looks like it’s about half flowers, half veg.  We’ll see if it was worth the money when I pick it up.  Seeds aren’t cheap.

Don’t forget to stack up  the little things that make all the other things better, like butter and cream.   Stack the things.

 

nick

Sat. Jan. 22, 2022, or 01222022 or fun with completely meaningless numbers

Why yes, on this cold winter’s night I am easily amused.   And it was cold, 33F at 1:30am.   Don’t know what today will bring, but I’m gonna go out on a limb and say “cold and damp, with clear sky”.

Did some indoor stuff yesterday morning, and early afternoon.  I was watching an auction for household stuff including a desk for D2 to go under her new lofted bed.   Won it, and some other stuff.   I was alternating that with stripping stuff off the family All In One PC, preparatory to either selling it or repurposing it as my “radio” pc.  Not sure yet what I’ll do but I have to get it depersonalized and ready to sell, so I can get it out of the house.   Didn’t get much else done.  Did test some audio gear for resale, so there is that.

Today should be occupied with pickups and cleanup.   Unless I drive 2 hours north to look at a property one of our friends clued us into last night.  Sounds nice and it’s on the lake we want to be on.  In fact it’s near our friend’s lake house.  Nice to have friends…  It’s not the rural retreat that first one we looked at was, but it’s better than most and near people we know, and on a good sized lot.   Given the way inflation has been going, I would like to get some cash turned into real estate.  The asking price seems pretty good too.

We’ll see how quickly we need to jump.

If this is the one, I’ll have a whole new place to stack stuff…..

Stack some of your own!

n

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