Month: July 2022

Sun. Jul. 31, 2022 – more plumbing, more work

Hot and humid, but less than Houston.  It got pretty hot yesterday, high 90s maybe even into the hundreds.   Nice strong breeze though that kept it tolerable.  Partial clouds all day helped too.


Got some plumbing done.  Fingers crossed and touch wood, it’ll hold.  More plumbing on the schedule for today.  Pull toilet and vanity in the master.  Hope it doesn’t break something.  I can always shut the water off and bring what I need back up with me when I come back to meet with the contractors.

I baited a couple of crawdad traps with cheap tins of dogfood.  I’ll be interested to see what I get.  The water is awfully hot though and the mud bugs like colder water so I might not get anything at all.  It’s all an experiment.

I looked at the garden and it is still just weeds.  I’m glad I decided to stop watering it.  I do wonder why nothing at all seemed to have sprouted.  Maybe I’ll have better luck with the fall garden.  I hope so.

I’m increasing my stacks of food here.  Other than freeze dried, we are probably at 30 plus days if we bake and eat rice with every meal.   The stacks are going to have to be bigger than that…

So join me in stacking it up!  (and yes, some chocolates and some hard candies would be nice.)


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Sat. Jul. 30, 2022 – nice day

Hot and humid of course, because it is still Texas… but less than Houston.  Still gonna get hot later.

I did some of my errands and made it to the BOL, with some minor drama, recounted in the comments late yesterday.


Spent some time last night with the shortwave and looking at the sky.  Only saw one shooting star, but it was a good one- bright and long across the sky.  Too soon to be Chinese space junk deorbiting, I think.  Dark sky with some low wispy clouds.  Very pretty night.

Shortwave had a lot of lightning noise.  Someone is getting some thunder, and maybe some rain, but it wasn’t us.  Band conditions weren’t great but were still so much better than in the urban area of Houston.  BBC news, Australian news (from Australia), and a mix of other programming.  Not much from Cuba though.  Sometimes it be that way.


Today I get to pick from the huge array of things that need doing, and hopefully I’ll get one or two of them done.  Started at least, surely….

Stacking up some skillz, plumbing work or electrical, or stone masonry…

Skills or stuff, stack it up.



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Fri. Jul. 29, 2022 – busy then headed out…

Hot, humid, but less of both if we are lucky.   Got some rain late in the day yesterday and it did clear the air and cool off a bit.  Not much mind you, but a bit.

And it was hot during the day.  I know because I cut the grass in it.  Yes I am that dumb.  Or motivated.  Or guilty.   But in any case the yard hadn’t been cut in a couple of weeks and it looked like it.  In furtherance of that, I also did a bit of work on the gas string trimmer.   I replaced the bump head, and tried it out.   The string I have on hand is too thin.   The thing still starves for gas and dies.   I have thicker string at the BOL and some will come home with me, and I think the issue with fuel is related to the filter stone I replaced to get the thing running in the first place.   Specifically, I think it is too small.   Looking at the package, it has a picture of a chainsaw and a hand held blower.  I’m thinking the trimmer engine needs a higher flow rate.   I’ll pick up a new kit at the store today.

I’m going to the store for more plumbing fittings.   I will be at the lake doing plumbing this weekend, and I’ve got a list.   Since it’s so hot, I think I’ll just get new ends on the pipes for the hall bath sink and wait to do the pex lines until it either leaks again, or gets cooler out.   With the hall bath working again, I can strip the master bath, and then that job can get started.

Or maybe I’ll do something completely different.  I might be using the camp toilet, but I’m staying all weekend, just me and the dog.  Everyone else is sailing.

Then I’m home for a day or two, then back out to meet with the engineer, and also the septic guy to see what we can move forward on.   Suddenly stuff might be breaking loose.   I  hope so, because stuff is breaking loose out there in the world too.   I need to keep working on the house as a BOL.

And I still need to build up stacks.

At the grocery today, some empty shelves.   Pork was up about 10%.  Chicken was the same as last week.  Beef was either nasty or too high.   I did buy two pot roasts that were onsale and looked ok.   The bread I like was in stock.  Limes are 32c each.   They used to be 10/$1.  Avocados were slightly cheaper but still $1 each for small.  Makes me wish I’d planted the tree 10 years ago.  (Thinking about it, I believe I did plant an avocado tree but it died.)  The best time  to have done a lot of things was 5 years ago (or 10), so do them NOW and be glad you did in 5 or 10 years.

Add to your stacks while you can.  Don’t be kicking yourself in a couple of years that you didn’t.


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Thur. Jul. 28, 2022 – whooosh. that’s the sound of this week flying by…

Hot, but maybe a little bit less so?    The front that moved through dropped temps a little around sunset.  Maybe today will be slightly cooler?  Certainly still humid.

Did a bunch of pickups.  It was a pretty big circle of driving.   The cost of the gas and tolls definitely needs to be figured against the cost savings in the auction.   Sometimes it’s cheaper to have them ship me something than to take the time and gas to drive and get it.   I try to combine trips, and the sellers tend to clump in certain areas, so I can often hit a couple pickups near each other.  Today I might be driving for single items though.

I really didn’t even bid on much in last nights auctions, and thousands of lots closed in a couple of hours.   I may be reaching saturation on a few categories.  That would be something.

Today we have more basketball camp, a pickup or two, close in, and maybe a visit to my gubstore buddy.  I haven’t gone by his place in weeks.  I need to touch base.

I also need to finish my BOL floorplan and 3D model so I can save the foundation guy from having to measure it all himself.  I got about three quarters done and ran out of time, and had to move on to something else.  Now I have to revisit it and finish.  My whole life is kinda like that.

Today my mind is blank, no value added thoughts.  All I can do is tell you to keep plugging away.

And stack.  Always stack.


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Wed. Jul. 27, 2022 – no love for the classics?

Humid, and hot.   Still and again.   Yesterday did get into the 100s, at least in the sun.   And we had sun here, all day, in between some threatening clouds, but we never did get rain.

I did my chauffeur duties.  And did some auction stuff.   Did some cleaning in my office too.   So much more to do…

Didn’t win the solar panels.   There will be others at some point, and these went for about double what I wanted to pay without seeing them in person.  There weren’t a lot of bidders, but it only takes two who want the lot to run up the price.

I spent some time on the phone and emailing to see if there was a way to move my septic install along, and I got lucky.   I might have found a company to do the foundation and retaining walls, and their technology doesn’t require a bunch of heavy machinery or digging.   That helps me sequence the work and maybe get the septic in first.  I’ll also probably be responsible for more of the site prep and demo but that is the breaks.  I wasn’t finding anyone else to do it anyway.

Speaking of infrastructure.  I do need to get at least a UPS up there for the freezers, and it would be nice to move a battery and the charge controller for the portable solar panels too.  I’ve got to get some networking and a cam or two running too, even without an internet connection.   I’ll only work on that if I hit roadblocks with the more important work though.

For today though, I’ve got kid duties, some auction pickups, and more work to do on my site plan and model of the house and lot.  I might have cleaned all of my office that will be cleaned this time… there just isn’t enough time.

So stack up some labor saving devices, and some skillz to use them.   And make the most of your time.



(and no one commented that I worked TWO classic poems into my post?  Uncouth.)

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Tues. Jul. 26, 2022 – Look on my works ye Mighty, and despair!

Humid and hot, with a small chance of rain.   So someone will be getting rain.   Yesterday, when I was coming home from my pickup down south, there was a huge storm cell west of me.   I outran it north and then cut across west, and only got a bit of very light drizzle.  A bunch of people got a good soaking though.  Nothing at my house at all.

I’ve been watering the grass and the raised beds.  Little to show for it in the garden but the grass is growing.

Did my errands, have more to do today.   Got some stuff for the house, for my non-prepping hobby, and for the BOL. Today will be a lot like yesterday, maybe with a bit less driving.   I did score another of the 7cuft chest freezers.   I’ll have to find a spot for it.  It may sit empty until I catch some meat on sale, or I may give it to a buddy.  $75, new in box, but probably scratch and dent under the foam.

I’m bidding on some solar panels.  They look like 200w panels.  Used of course, but 20 in a lot.  4 lots, but I only want one.   They were installed for some sort of traffic or camera control, and come with the big aluminum roadside enclosure boxes.  Last time I got one panel, and the box brought enough when I scrapped it to pay for the panel.   No batteries, inverters, or charge controllers though.  Wish me luck.  I’d love 4000w of solar at the BOL or here.

Infrastructure.   It’s critical, and is usually only noticed in its absence.  Plan to provide for your own needs.  And plan to reduce those needs to something that you can provide.

To smooth everything out, you should have some stuff stacked.  Lots of stuff 🙂




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Mon. Jul. 25, 2022 – another week begins…

Hot and humid.   It got into the low 100s here yesterday despite the overcast.   I had no interest in weed whacking the yard.

Pack is reunited.  D2 had a good weekend, passed her tests and only has one required drill (man overboard) to complete.    If anyone from the sailing program will be there, she might be a tag-a-long next weekend for the “open sailing” weekend and get her Mariner cert.  It’s normally a week long sleepover camp, but was canceled this year due to lack of staff.  The people involved in the sailing opted to do it anyway, but try to jam it all into two weekends.  Didn’t fit.

This week D2 has a daily basketball camp.  That wasn’t on my calendar, and will have me home at 2 every day to do kid pickup.  Plenty to do here I guess.

All life is change.

And the prepper life is stacking! Keep up the good work.


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Sun. Jul. 24, 2022 – in Houston, not amused

Hot and humid, will probably get to well over 100F today.  And why not?  Giant fusion fire in the sky bathes us in its baleful glow…

Yesterday did not quite go to plan.   And ended early with a full septic tank.  So I’m home, waiting for the pack to be reunited.

I’m sure there is something here I can do to keep me busy.

Keep stacking my friends.


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Sat. Jul. 23, 2022 – in the park, I think it was the ….

Hot eventually, but much cooler up here than in Houston.   Only 77F when I went to bed, and everything covered with dew.  Still gonna get hot later, I’m pretty sure.

Funny old weather liars, said no rain yesterday and yet I got soaked near Hobby Airport in the afternoon yesterday.   Nothing at home though.   P!ssing down in South Houston.   I made my pickup anyway, mostly building supplies.  Plumbing and electrical odds and ends with some romex and spools of wire.  And three spools of pex.  Now if I could just find some buckets of Sharkbite(tm) fittings and some liquidtight conduit….

I should have bid more for the sharkbite fittings in an auction last month.

Of course last month they were a “would be nice to have” and this month they are a “jeez those things are expensive but I have to fix this leak” thing.   If you think you might need it, buy it when you see it.

And I think that I’ve put off pulling the toilets about as long as I can, so that is on the list for today.  Find out what’s wrong with the flanges, solve it if possible, and see what’s needed to get a sink back in the hall bath.   I might have to venture into town later.

I don’t like doing plumbing.   I much prefer carpentry and electrical.  But ‘needs must’ and all that…

Stacking up the skillz…  hot skillz.



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Fri. Jul. 22, 2022 – finally Friday… or what the heck did I do this whole week?

Hot and humid again, without any rain in sight.  Like yesterday.  Like all week in fact.  So I’m gonna bug out.  Should be cooler at the lake.

That is the plan.  Do my pickups.  Do my shopping for stuff to do at the BOL.   Then head up there.

I’ll be there with D1 while mom and D2 finish out the Girl Scout sailing thing.   I will probably be buying a sail boat in the near future.   Just a tiny little Sunfish style boat, but with two daughters that can sail, and a place on a lake, it seems like a no brainer.  Especially when one  of my auction guys has one for sale cheap (couple hundred bucks cheap).  Networking.  Meatspace.  Secondary market.  It’s not what you know it’s who you know…. all that and more, and it’s the future in a collapsing economy.   Get some practice.

Didn’t get much done.  It’s really disruptive to my whole day to have to be home at 3, and stay home for the rest of the afternoon.  I spent far too much time learning about the scanner I picked up yesterday.   It’s a Uniden, similar to the Home Patrol, but not as intuitive.    Later I got to the grocery store.   LOTS of gaps in the shelves.  Checker said it was warehouse and staff issues.   I got the last heavy cream, the last of the soda I like, and there were several things I didn’t find.   I didn’t buy any meat, as it was all too nasty or too expensive.   Chicken legs finally broke the resistance at 99c/ pound.  They were on “super special, limit two” at $1.09 / pound and thighs were $1.39.   Oddly, the house brand frozen turkey was still the same price it’s been for years, without any fluctuation.   There weren’t many items on sale either.

Pharmacy was busier than I’ve ever seen it.  Don’t know why, but there was a line, and more techs working than I’ve seen in a while.

I don’t make the news, I just report it.

And I encourage you to stack it up.  Pork is still cheap.  Chicken, even with the price increases is cheap.   Beef might be cheap for a short period coming up.   Rice, flour, sugar, salt, peanut oil.  Don’t forget yeast.  Canned veg, some canned fruit, and a big bottle of multivitamin…

Stacks, lots of them.


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