Month: March 2022

Thur. Mar. 31, 2022 – tired, busy. Situation normal. Suck it up boy.

Cooler, maybe some rain, as we’re on the edge of a system.   East of us should be getting slammed.

Yesterday was nice, after the rain.

I ended up taking the pickup after all, and had clear skies and sun for the rest of the day.  Finished my pickups, hit the reStore and got stuff I needed, and filled a cart at Goodwill outlet.  Nice clean high value items.

Today I have a couple of things to get, some shopping to do, some organizing, and I need to get the list of stuff I’m taking with me to the BOL together.  Some will be coming from home, some from storage, some from Lowes, and some from a last pickup on Friday.  Hopefully that last can happen as I drive up.

Might be a good idea to pick it up early and load around it though.   It’s pretty big (a bathroom vanity).

Busier than a one armed paper hanger today.

Stacking, prepping, building.   Get to it.


Read the comments: 55 Comments

Wed. Mar. 30, 2022 – whistling past the graveyard…

Cool but damp morning, turning into rain later.  Or something like that.   We never did get the rain yesterday although we had a lot of gusty wind, and broken clouds.

Took almost 200 pounds of scrap steel fencing from the BOL to the scrap yard.   Got 16USD for it.  That’s 4 gallons of gas.  Had to be removed and disposed of anyway, so why not recover some value from it?

Did a pickup and hit the Habitat for Humanity reStore on the north side of town.   They had a couple of doors I can use, some cabinets that might work (although it’s a bit early to be looking at cabinets), and some other stuff the would end up at the BOL.   I also grabbed  a vintage turntable, a Garrard Lab 80, to part out.  I should be able to use the proceeds to buy some other stuff for the house.  It is case-less and lid-less so it makes more sense to part it than fix it.  Plus, I don’t need any projects.   Running, it would be a $500 turntable.  The parts will easily make back the $10 cost and put me squarely in profit.   You never know what you’ll find.

Didn’t get to costco or the grocery store, that has slipped to this morning.

This afternoon, I’ve got some more pickups, mostly stuff for the BOL, some stuff for here, and a couple of general preps.

WRT the water dripping from my ceiling, my wife is talking with yet another HVAC contractor about doing the update.  And she called an electrician about getting the hot water heater permanently set up.   So much stuff to do.  All of it takes time, money, and attention.

If you’ve got a list of things to do, or fix, or upgrade, you should probably start that process.   The wait times for parts or product are getting very long, even for commodity items.

And if you haven’t started stacking, you should.   Anything you already use is a good starting point.  Build from there.



and if I failed to mention it, or you missed it, Barbara is home and doing well, getting ready for the next step on the road to recovery.



Read the comments: 53 Comments

Tues. Mar. 29, 2022 – my how time flies…

Another cool and clear day, warming later.  Maybe.   It did get a bit overcast yesterday but it certainly stayed warmer.   Never did rain,  so I’m calling that  a ‘nice day’.   Hopefully today will be too.

It would  be nice to have the weather station set up at the BOL and have a full time internet link to it.   And monitor stuff like freezer temps and if there is water in some place it’s not supposed to be.   Like dripping from the attic ladder…. for instance.

Overflow tray overflowed.   Water was dripping from my ceiling here again.  Joy.  We still haven’t gotten a contractor to replace the HVAC.   And I haven’t fixed the ceiling from last time either.

At least D1 noticed and I could remedy the situation.   It wouldn’t have been a flood, but it would have damaged the floor.

I tell you, it’s always something.

Today should be a bunch of home stuff, shopping, and maybe a pickup or three.   I should also get over to my storage unit and move more stuff around.

Oh, and I need to get the dead thing (probably a rat) out of the garage.   So much joy.

You need to think about rodent and pest control.   I’ve got 18 bait stations and two buckets of bait blocks.  I really hope that’s enough, but they seem to be like the cicada, coming back when you thought they were finally gone for good.

Stack some more stuff.  Broken record here (to use some boomerspeak ™ ) I know.  But it’s still good advice.


Read the comments: 93 Comments

Mon. Mar. 28, 2022 – let’s start another week, ‘cuz we got nothing else to do…

Cool but clear, sunny and warmer later.   I hope, because yesterday up north was like that and I want more.   Spring is here, and it’s too short.

Slept in to 8am yesterday, after going to bed early.   Unfortunately, I’m awake at the 5 hour mark out of habit, and had only fitful dozing after that.   Still, dozing in bed is not bad…

Got up and did some cleaning and more cleaning, and a bit of auction stuff online.   Met three new neighbors while out in the yard and garden.   I didn’t want to start any big projects or do anything that could go wrong.  And anyway, an early boss once told me “if you have nothing else to do, clean.”  Working in a kitchen, that was good advice.   I had a later boss, while working as a carpenter in a shop, tell me he never wanted to see me cleaning.  ( I was the highest paid guy in the shop.) He wanted me doing tool maintenance or shop improvements, ie ‘extras’ outside my normal work.  Either bit of advice is good advice depending on the situation.  Yesterday I cleaned.

Another drive home and some catching up online, and I was good to go for the coming week.

I have to do some focusing on basics this week.  NEED to get to the store and fill a couple more buckets.   I have also been running down my stocks of OTC supplements that I take daily, because there haven’t been any great sales.   I really need to build those supplies back up and pretty quickly.  I wasn’t paying attention.   I don’t have  a formal inventory system.  And I didn’t look closely for too long a period.

I’ve been neglecting my ebay stuff too.  Sold two items over the weekend, and they need to ship.  A whole bunch of new items need to list too.   And of course, I’ve got to get the next set of bins to my local auctioneers.   Getting the BOL together is more sexy fun than listing, or sorting, but it won’t pay the bills.

Normal life stuff happening right now includes- car repairs, dr visits, jury duty summons, and all the normal ‘domestic bliss’ stuff that piles up.

Add the ever increasing likelihood of expanding the conflict with Russia, rumbles of food and diesel shortages here at home, and all the falling skies, and it’s all we can do do keep running in place.  Can’t stop for  a minute without falling behind.


Keep improving your position.  Keep stacking.  Don’t lose sight of the goal.




(and shout out to Harold Combs, who DID unplug, at least so far, and for a while…)

Read the comments: 61 Comments

Sun. Mar. 27, 2022 – starting at the lake, ending at home

Another beautiful day at the lake.

Got here late afternoon yesterday after a day of driving around picking up things.  Unloaded the truck and put stuff away.

Then, without a permit or anything, I burned a pile of leaves.  F me we’ve fallen so far when that feels extreme.  Nice smell and cleaned up the pile.

I’ll probably do a few small things before heading home.  Maybe cut and stack some tree limbs. Maybe wash some windows.  Maybe install a light fixture. I don’t want to start anything that can go badly wrong, like changing out a toilet.

That would just be tempting fate.

Do not poke the happy fun ball.

Do stack some stuff.  Doesn’t matter what, you’ll need it.   Most stations out here have diesel fuel prices a dollar or more higher than gasoline.  A dollar.   Every thing moves by truck.  Moving it is getting crazy expensive.


Stack it up.



Read the comments: 52 Comments

Sat. Mar. 26, 2022 – home, briefly, then out again, probably

Cool and sunny, clear and nice.   I hope.  Yesterday was exactly what you want from a lakehouse wrt weather.   And it wasn’t bad at home in Houston either.   Spring is great here for the couple of days it lasts.

It doesn’t feel like prepping when I’m not in the store buying rice and canned goods.   Getting the BOL ready to occupy is a major prep, but it doesn’t feel like it.  The 5 hour round trip is a time killer too.

But, after picking up stuff today, I’ll probably head up there to drop it all off.   I can’t leave it here, and it can’t stay in the back of my truck.  It’s almost all destined for the BOL anyway.    There is a natural duplication of stuff when you have more than one location to stock.  I don’t want to be bringing brooms and mops back and forth, nor yard and garden tools.  Some specialized stuff will go back and forth for the nonce.   Stuff like power tools, tree trimming stuff, and construction tools are too expensive at the moment to just duplicate.   EVENTUALLY I’ll have a full set of tools up there, but not just yet.

I may even buy a new gasoline chainsaw for up there.   A gas blower and string trimmer would be useful too.

I spent the night up there spinning the dial on my shortwave radio and there were soooo many signals.  I can’t wait to get a proper radio and antenna set up.   I was surprised to see that there were 5 local repeaters too.  1 for digital voice and 4 traditional ham repeaters.   I didn’t hear any traffic on them, but I’ll  dedicate an analog scanner to those freqs and keep an ear open.   It would be nice to have some ham community up there.  It would help give me an ‘in’ with the locals.   I swear it’s like Peyton Place.   Everyone knows everyone, and everyone knows everyone’s business.   It’s a bit more intense meatspace than I’m used too…

But, most of your help, and most of your trouble is going to come from close to home.  It’s worth it to find our place in the community to get that support and avoid what trouble we can.   Everyone has been very nice so far, but it could just be ‘southern’ nice.   We’re definitely in our trial period.  Hope we have long enough to get to the “us” instead of “them.”

So, stack some cans, but stack some community too.  It takes time, and like a garden, you need to get started early.


Read the comments: 37 Comments

Thur. Mar. 24, 2022 – off the the BOL today, and possibly tomorrow

Cool here in Houston, tornado recovery mode in the city near my new BOL.  Our local weather has been crazy variable this past week, so I’ve no idea what today will be like.  USUALLY, I’d say cool and clear, warming later in the day.  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.   50F when I went to bed.

Spent the day at home doing not as much as I’d like to have done.    Even fell asleep, despite getting a whole 5 hours of sleep at night.  I’m beginning to suspect I need more sleep than I’m getting 😉

Today I’m driving up to the BOL to check on things, meet with the septic service, and possibly meet with the slab repair guy.   I want to meet the slab guy, but he hasn’t committed to a time yet.  Hence my waffling on staying up there overnight.   If I have to I will, so that I can meet the guy on Friday.  I’m sure I’ll find plenty to do to fill my time.   Painting,  tree trimming, measuring and drawing, or yard work all come to mind for diversion and fun…

On the way up, I’ll stop and do two auction pickups.   One is a huge trove of scanners and some related parts, the other is just a light fixture for the new place.   I’m saving only $20 on the fixture, but I’ll be going right by the pickup anyway, and every bit helps.

I went to Home Depot and Lowes last night and was blown away by the increase in prices.   I was specifically looking for fencing, an antenna support pole (more fencing), and gutters.   OMFG.    Fencing and plumbing parts are priced through the roof.  And 8 ft 2×4 lumber was over $8 a stick.    I don’t know how anyone is doing building or remodeling with prices like that.  I guess with all the free money, if you’re financing anyway, a couple extra hundred on your monthly payment is doable… until it isn’t.  I’ll be checking out a couple of the secondary building material stores around me looking for bargains for the new place.   More secondary economy.  And I’ll be hitting the old faithfuls- habitat for humanity reStores.

I think you’ll need to be a bit of a scrounger to keep moving forward in the coming downturn.   Knowing how to do it yourself, or fix it yourself will be important too, and knowing someone ELSE who could do those things won’t hurt.  Being that someone else might be a good place to be…

Stack up some skills.  Stack up what you need to practice those skills. Stack up nodes in your network.



Read the comments: 62 Comments

Wed. Mar. 23, 2022 – 03232022 – yeah silly, but it does amuse me

Cool and clear after the crashing rain and hail that started off yesterday.  It even got into the high 70s and was sunny and blue sky by noon…   and I feel like I could use some more of that.

Did my errands.   Got lucky at a Goodwill on the east side of town, and got 3 shirts and a pair of pants, all like new, and priced like rags.  One of the peculiarities of shopping thrifts is that they don’t usually differentiate between brands when pricing.   So UnderArmor, Nike, Mammut, North Face, etc are all priced the same as Old Navy, or Abercrombie and Fitch, or the chain store ‘house brands’.  So why buy the cheap clothes when you can buy the expensive well made clothes for the same money?

Had a chat with one of my auctioneers about the secondary economy and buying at outlets, resellers, and auctions.   He sells $1200 sheet sets (yes bedsheets) at auction for 30-100$.   Who has money to spend at Macy’s on a $1200 set of sheets?  And how many of those people will there be when things go pear shaped?  (just an example)   He sees the number of people logging into his auctions dramatically increasing every week lately (which I hate because his prices won’t be so low anymore).  It tells me that people are finding the lower cost ways to get what they want and need.   Eventually, there won’t be a surplus of expensive stuff to sell cheaply, but those days are in the future yet.

If you haven’t checked out alternative ways to buy what you need, like ‘casual sales’ at yard or garage sales, ‘person to person sales’ either mediated by an app, or in a more traditional venue like a swap meet, or things like estate sales and thrift shops,  or the online versions of any of the above, you need to.  It takes a bit more time, and what you need or want may not be immediately available (but it may not be in traditional retail either), but prices are better.   Remember the quality triangle, good, fast, or cheap, – pick any two…   It applies to retail too.

However you do it, stack it up.  The worse it gets, the harder it will be to catch up.  And it sure looks like it’s getting worse.


Read the comments: 41 Comments

Tues. Mar. 22, 2022 – 0322022 – think about infrastructure…

Rainy and wet, with an unknown number of bad things happening overnight.   Unknown because I was asleep, and if I don’t directly experience it, it must not have happened, right?  Oh, yeah, that’s not how my team thinks.

Spent the day doing auction stuff, while waiting for septic service guys and foundation repair guys to call back.   The good news is I have an appointment to meet the septic guy on site – Thursday.   I can even sleep in my own bed, and drive up there for the meeting.   And if the toilets flush and the shower drains flow, I might stay up there and work.  If I can get the foundation guy there during that time, I’ll feel like king of the world.

Today is pickups and a lot of driving around.   Lots of stuff for the new house, some ham/radio stuff to use and to resell, and various bits and pieces.    I have an item that I sold 16 days ago, shipped USPS Priority Mail, and it still hasn’t been delivered.    It showed as “unknown” until today when it popped back up in the system in St. Louis.   Hopefully it will be delivered in a day or two.    The buyer has been very patient.    He didn’t even let me know it wasn’t there yet until a couple of days ago.   I was going to ship replacements today, but since it popped up, he said to hold off on that.   Mail is getting weirder, and not just for me.


Breakdowns in previously reliable services are just one of the signs of a slow collapse.   If it’s really happening, you’ll be responsible for more and more of what USED to be provided by others, or you’ll have to be content with whatever you get, whenever you get it.  Think about the systems and what you can do to replace them or smooth the ups and downs.   I’ll look at this in a bit more detail later but my mind is foggy today.

Stack stuff you will need for infrastructure or services, even if you don’t put it into use today.  Stack it high.


Read the comments: 56 Comments
// ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- // end of file archive.php // -------------------------------------------------------------------------------