Month: August 2022

Wed. Aug. 31, 2022 – ain’t nothing but a thing…

Maybe not hot.  Maybe only pretty warm with some moisture from the sky…  supposedly rain for the next 7 days, but given that it’s Houston, some people will be getting rain, and some won’t.  It’s a bit harder to guess what the weather will be like a few hours north at the BOL, which is where I’ll actually be.  Since we’ll be digging trenches, it would be nice if the forecast of light rain was REALLY light.   The lake needs rain, but I’m selfish.   The following week we’re digging a big hole for the septic, so NO rain next week would be ideal.

We certainly got some rain here yesterday.   It hammered down and we got more than an inch at the house.  We didn’t have any flooding on our street so it wasn’t long enough.   The yard is a squishy mess though.  Everything will probably grow crazy amounts, and split open like a fat tick.  Gah.   Dry, then too wet.

Did more cleaning and organizing, since I was confined to the house.   Poked around in the garage, and didn’t find any dead critter.  I did find some chocolate milk boxes scattered around.  I think that is what was dripping, not body fluids.   It certainly stinks like rotten something, but I think the something is milk.   I sprayed it with clorox cleaner, and I’m letting that work over night.

Today’s agenda is – work.   Get some stuff done around the house, load up, head to the BOL in the afternoon.   Plan is to stay  there while the electricians are working, then have the family join me for the long weekend late Friday night.

I’ll be doing stuff while up there, mostly plumbing I think.   I think I won’t want to do much outdoors if it’s raining, even a little.  LOTS of plumbing, including the replacement gas lines and the bathrooms.

We’ll see how it shakes out.

Stack some stuff.   Stack some skills.   Worst comes to worst, stack your enemies like cordwood.



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Tues. Aug. 30, 2022 – ‘tell me somethin’ good….’

Very damp and a bit cooler today.   Rained like crazy yesterday, depending on where you were, and when you were there.  Similar forecast for today.

Did 4 pickups, making a big loop.  Not many items at each place, so not super efficient, but even with gas and tolls it still nets out to a savings over retail, and these were mostly for the BOL.

I’ve got a couple of pickups today, maybe an auction drop off if I can get my stuff together, and getting ready to head up to the house Wednesday night.   Electricians are still supposed to be working Thursday and Friday, and then we’ll be spending the weekend up there. Well, fingers crossed anyway.

Out in the wider world, gas prices continue to slowly come down.   We dodged a bullet with diesel prices as they follow gas down.   One of the guys I chatted with at my show told me that Texas cattle auctions were running round the clock to sell off herds.   They don’t have the water to keep them.  He sold his just before the drought got going.  The current glut is driving beef prices down.   That won’t last.   Fill the freezer is my advice.   I’m doing it myself.  Of course you might look at the situation and make other choices.   Take  that look though, decide, and ACT.

Stack it up.


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Mon. Aug. 29, 2022 – ‘back to reality, back to life…’

Back to heat and humidity.   81F at 11 pm when I went to bed.   That’s a bit hotter than the previous week.  Some parts of town got more rain yesterday, so that’s good.  I didn’t see any but there was a lot of very localized weather yesterday.

My show wrapped up, I put the stuff back in storage, and went by one of my favorite auctioneers.   She’s open to trying an auction with a bunch of my ‘show’ non-prepping hobby stuff.   I am going to do some sorting, and see what I end up with.  I’ll certainly get some stuff together for her.   My other local auctions aren’t taking my stuff this week.

I need to get it all arranged one way or another so I can head up to the BOL and stay for a week if needed.   We were planning on being up there for the holiday weekend.  I’ll just get an early start, and stay a bit later.  Maybe.  We’ll see.

Today though, I have a couple of small things to pick up.  And some storage unit organizing, and some office cleaning…

So I should get to it.   Gotta re-stack the stuff…


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Sun. Aug. 28, 2022 – Meatspace baby. Get out and do something with people…

In the heat and humidity if necessary, but get out in the world around you.   In Houston, of course, we got both kinds of weather, hot AND humid…  Some parts of town got downpours yesterday including where I was.  I didn’t notice from the hotel ballroom, but some of the other attendees mentioned it.   Biblical was a word used…  Couldn’t tell a few hours later when I left for home.   At home the only evidence was that the koi pond was full to the brim.    It was 77F in the morning, and barely 80F when I went to bed.  Fall is definitely here.

Time to start thinking about the fall garden.   The summer one hasn’t really done much, although I have a couple of squash plants still alive, they’ve only just set flowers.   The collards are ok, but nothing else really grew.  Oh well, I’ve said it before, I stack cans because my thumbs are not green.

Had another fun, but long day on the show floor.   Chatted with lots of people.   I’m not selling the big pieces I wanted to sell, and the smalls aren’t gonna send the kids to college, but I’m grossing a couple of bucks, and might make a little money.   It’s more about being with fellow enthusiasts though.   The selling is just a framework for the get together.   It’s more than a little bit like the joke about the two antique dealers stranded on a desert island— one is having a “going out of business” sale, and the other is buying inventory…..  but it’s a great way to see people from all over.

And it’s a nice break from normal routine.

So I’m back there today, really hoping to move a couple of items, with a couple of bins of new smalls, because even though it’s the last day, I just got them un-buried from the stack, and I’d like to set an example of continuing to sell to the last minute.

Even in my hobbies I’ve stacked it up!

Better though to stack up some necessities.   And vital to have some links to humans and a community.



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Sat. Aug. 27, 2022 – day two out of the house…

Hot and muggy, with a side of damp.   It was noticeably cooler yesterday than last week, and it’s been getting below 80F at night.   I’m gonna say that Fall is coming.   But it ain’t here yet.   Still hot and humid.

Did my show yesterday.  Loaded in and set up in the morning, actually sold some stuff right away, and hope to sell some more.   The big stuff that I really wanted to move hasn’t moved yet.   Several interested parties for one item, but I’m having trouble finding a fair price.  Very few comps online.

Today I’m bringing another bin of stuff I pulled out of my office last night.   Could pull more besides but it got late.  Maybe for Sunday morning I’ll have time to pull some more.

Meatspace.  It’s important, even if it goes against your basic nature.   I am not outgoing by nature.  I’ve worked hard over the years to develop the persona that can just chat with random strangers, and initiate contact with them.   It’s a skill that can be learned and improved.   I think it’s worth spending time doing so, as in person  interaction is very important and probably will become even more so in the next few years.  Being likable, open, and friendly has  helped me tremendously personally and professionally.   It’s hard work, but it pays off.

Stack some skills.   And some network.  They’ll help.


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Fri. Aug. 26, 2022 – loading in, busy all day

Hot and humid, again.   Hopefully no rain though.  I’ve got a bunch of people that will be unloading at the hotel ballroom, and rain will bork that right up.

Speaking of which, I spent most of yesterday getting stuff together and loaded.  I still haven’t found some things I’m looking for.  No idea where they may be.

Today I’ll be heading out shortly after getting the kids out the door.   I’ve got a few things left to load, and a couple of coolers of ice water and gatoraid to get together.  Then it’s off to work.

It’ll be hot until we get the loading door closed.   But many hands should make light work.

Meatspace.   Get you some.



(and stack something, like friends)

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Thur. Aug. 25, 2025 – looking for stuff, loading it up, getting ready

And using the pickup truck so naturally there is possible rain in the forecast… along with heat and humidity.   Although I have to say, much less heat than last week.   We also got local light and heavy rain.  At my storage unit I got soaked.  At my barber, we didn’t get any rain at all, and they are less than a mile apart.  Weird Houston weather.

Drove around and did pickups, then stopped at my barber for a cut before my show.  It’s been a while, and I got used to cutting my own hair.   I’ve been going to the same guy for about 18 years so we usually have a good chat.  Over that time, his price for  a clipper cut went from $12 to $15 to $20.  As the neighborhood has gentrified, his rent has increased dramatically too.

Everyone I talked with yesterday had high prices and increased violent crime on their mind.   One lady wants Trump to win re-election and do something about it, with the comment “our current president sure isn’t.”  As a side note, almost all of the people I talked to were Hispanic, none were reactionary old white men.

Something else that I’ve been noticing and has been bugging me…   the current world is DRAB, and becoming drabber.   I think it’s a reflection of the zeitgeist.  One whole parking lot, no brightly colored cars.  Only black, silver, white, grey, the occasional older dark red, or champagne color.   Driving on the expressway, ONE colored car, a blue Extera that was an obvious repaint.   The pickup line for elementary school, not one bright color.    The natural colored brick houses in my neighborhood are being painted white, grey, and black when they are flipped.    There is a whole development across from my daughter’s old school that is black and dark green.   Other new housing all over town is almost universally white, grey, black, or a combination.   Once you see it, you see it everywhere.     If the colors people are buying reflect the mood, we’re in a world of hurt.

Don’t get caught short.  Stack it high.


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Wed. Aug. 24, 2022 – moar stuff needs doin’

Hot hot hot, and humid, like a hot sweaty thing…  Houston in summer.

Went to do some of my pickups.   Hit the goodwill  outlet on the way home.  Bins were mostly full of clothes, which don’t usually interest me.  One vintage  made in USA work boot, but no pair.  Some vintage electronics but nothing worth enough to grab.   I did grab a FoodSaver unit as backup to the ones I use all the time.   I’ll test it and if it’s working, just clean it.  If not, it’ll go in the parts bin.  Most of the FoodSavers have very similar parts with cosmetic changes.  It’s a  recent, higher end unit.

I grabbed a nice sturdy folding keyboard stand for D2, like new, with tags.  I’m working on setting up a music workstation for her.  She’s been writing lyrics with a friend from school, and wants to play around with making music and recording.  I’ve got almost all the pieces of a decent workstation, just need to find the time to get it all together.

Not much lego, only a couple of hot wheels, and a handful of Pokemon cards….  really a very slow day at the bins.

Dinner was an experiment.   I have leftover chicken breast from a whole Costco chicken, and none of us really like the white meat, so while I was grocery shopping I picked up a “skillet meal” pouch of sauce.   I’ve had good luck with the other HEB sauces, so I thought I’d give cilantro and lime chicken over rice a go.   Meh.  Glad I only bought one pouch.  If we’d liked it, I’d  use it with the Costco canned chicken too.   I’m always looking for ways to use the canned chicken, it’s my primary long term protein.   I was careful to add enough rice to the pot this time and it came out as expected.   I can learn…

My trip to the grocery store earlier in the day had only one surprise, chicken gizzards are $2.68 a pound.   Freaking breasts don’t cost that much, legs are $1.o9 and thighs are $1.39.  Chicken was limit 2.  Why would the dang offal be more than the breast?  No hearts either, but plenty of feet.   (Oddly, they are usually labeled chicken “paws” on the package.)   There were bare spots throughout the store.  Everyone was complaining about high prices.   A bag of chips was $5, that I used to buy for $2.50 on sale.  A pleasant surprise was prime top sirloin steaks for only $5.99/pound.   I bought the limit.   Temporary decrease in beef prices due to culling herds, or just my local store shedding excess inventory as usual?   Don’t know, wish I could have bought more.

Good hamburger, 93/7 % was over $5, while cheap 70/30 was about $3.49.  False economy though, you pour the 30% fat in the trash, even though you’ve paid for it.  And for a dollar a pound more, I’d rather eat steak.   Granted that hamburger is more versatile…   The bacon I buy was unchanged, that’s going on months now without a price fluctuation.  Weird that.  Bought some.

There were a lot of unfamiliar brands filling out the shelves.  The cookie aisle was very noticeable.   Given that we’re in Texas, a lot of  the brands were mexican with spanish names, and might just be catering to the buyers.   HEB has their own spanish label house brand, and that is gaining prominence on the shelves too.  I think that it’s more about supply issues than stocking for a demographic though.   If it continues, I’ll notice.

Today I’ve got another pickup, and I need to start pulling stuff together for my show/swapmeet.   I have bins full of stuff, scattered across 3 or 4 locations.   And load in is Friday morning.   I better get busy.

Stack all the things!  Learn all the things!   Know all the beings!


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Tues. Aug. 23, 2022 – like sands through an hourglass….

Hot and humid, seriously.  Why would I lie?   It was certainly humid yesterday.  Even just sitting outside while working on my gennie I was soaked to the skin.  Today should be the same, with the BOL due to get T storms and heavy rain, but Houston just sweltering…

Did some inside desk stuff to start the day, but finally decide it was time to get the gennie running.   The kit went in and the directions were pretty clear and straightforward.   The longest time was taken up putting stuff back together before I could take it apart and add the propane conversion.

There is one thing that doesn’t make sense, so I’m going to take the advice in the instructions and call them today.  If it needs fixing, a simple drilled hole should solve the issue.   It took more adjustment than I expected to get it running and the idle circuit seems to have an issue.   Since the missing hole is part of the idle, it all makes sense… sorta.  It does run, and I can run with it how it is.   Still, I think it can be better.   I still have to figure out a good mounting solution for the regulator and drill a big hole to pass the hose through.   My drill and step bit are at the BOL though, so that detail will have to wait.  With a couple of minor tweaks it should be great.

I also cut the grass and did some weeding.   Ants.  Freaking ants.  Raised bed is full of them.  I hate ant bites, I’ve got 3 new ones  on my hands from the BOL, and another from my garden here.   I’m going to have to look at the poison to see if I can use it in the raised bed and still plant veggies later this fall.

In other pest news, whatever has been moving around in my garage and knocking stuff off my shelves found the rat trap bait yesterday.  Stupid thing ate its way into the box and snacked on the bait.   I’m hoping it doesn’t die in the garage walls or soffits, but I’m hoping it does die.   Drought is causing stress for the wildlife and vermin too.  One of my buddies reports coyotes moving around his property, eyeballing his chickens.  His dogs aren’t up to fighting coyotes, and he has reasons why he can’t be armed properly.   I think he’s gonna be feeding coyotes.

Pickups and driving around today.   And maybe some prepping for my sale/show this weekend.   But certainly lots of stuff to do.   (ha, fragments, and style violations! I’m feeling saucy.)   I was still pretty sore and stiff yesterday from the sledgehammering and breaking rocks in the hot sun, I’m hoping to be back to normal today.   Say it with me — “we’ll see.”

Time to stack some things.



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Mon. Aug. 22, 2022 – Might get some weather this week

Hot and humid is so boooorrrrrriiiiiinnnngggg.   Why not some hail?  Or a hurricane? Or the way things have been going, a rain of frogs?  Just kidding, boring is great, and time marches on.   We’ll be in Fall soon enough.  Heck, August is almost gone already.  It was butt-sweaty-hot at the BOL despite the occasional overcast and nice breeze.

I did manage to get some stuff done, despite the power outage.   Just a little over 2 hours, and even the upright freezer in the kitchen fridge barely warmed at all.    I will move the big UPS for the comms support up the list… can’t go online to report the outage if the cell booster is dark.  I did drive to the county road at the entrance to the subdivision, and got good signal there.  The electrical co-op has an interactive outage map and it lied.  It showed no outages at all, but I was down, and so were a bunch of my neighbors, and for over an hour at that point.  Some of them had already called it in.  Interesting thing to learn was that my neighbor to the north had power, but my neighbors to the south were dark.  Everyone thought the last two on the road were on the same circuit as me.   Guess not.   I’m going to have to spend a little time looking at the local infrastructure at some point, like I’ve done at home.

Today will be a couple of pickups, then a bunch of home stuff to do.  That stuff won’t stack itself…

Get busy…


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