Month: November 2022

Wed. Nov. 30, 2022 – where did the year go?

Cool and damp, maybe even wet.   Had some heavy  condensation last night, with the ground wet but no visible rain.  It did rain yesterday, and in typical Houston fashion, what you got and when depended on where you were.  I was everywhere from the west side up to Conroe, and down to Friendswood, then back, and never got more than occasional light drizzle.  There was plenty of evidence of places that got dumped on, and places that didn’t see a drop.  I’m hoping for dry today… I sure hope I can get some stuff done this week, and not get rained on.   It was 73F when I went to bed, and the air conditioner was running.  Fall in Houston.

Kids are back in school, and all the contaminated water in the pipes somehow got transmuted to clean drinkable water overnight.  Assuming there was any contamination in the first place.  Nothing changed for me.

Did my pickups.   Hit the reStore and the old Sears scratch and dent outlet too.   Ended up with some spray paint (industrial grey, Cat yellow, John Deere green, OSHA blue) for my workshop, and a new dishwasher for the BOL.   Happy wife, etc.  She moved it up my list and I obliged.

Today I’ve got to get the kids out the door for school, the water having been certified non-deadly.  Then my usual round of errands and tasks.

I’ve neglected some preps and I am feeling behind on some stuff.  Water purification at the BOL.   Storage of drinking water at the BOL.   Rotating hurricane supplies here.    Small engine repair day, and gas storage rotation… it’s not all about freezers and food, but that is what I’ve been focused on.   DEFINITELY need to get the defensive tool situation at the BOL sorted out, and stocked.   And the long term medical supplies, etc.

Christmas is coming too, and the prepper in me says, shop early and get it done.  I usually have at least a couple things put by for most of the people in my life by now, but I’ve been focused on other things, namely the BOL, and not on gifts.   I’ll need to look for stuff for that this week and next too.  Oh, Christmas decor needs to get set up here too.   Time is flying by.

So, what does YOUR end of year look like?   Mad dash, or slow fade?   And how’s your stacking going?

I hope you are stacking all the things!


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Tues. Nov. 29, 2022 – still not in school

Cool and damp, but hopefully clear… like yesterday.  It got up into the 80s in the sun.   Not so much in the shade, but nice ‘shirtsleeves’ weather.

Didn’t get much done on the list.  Gotta admit, with the kids home I don’t get a whole lot of outside stuff done.  Did get a bunch of auction stuff caught up.  Bought another freezer.  Used one this time, but $70 out the door.  That’s one of my pickups today.  The other might be some sort of defensive tool.  There are a LOT of them in auctions this month.   Might be people are trying to raise cash.   Ammo too, but mostly single boxes of all different brands and sizes.  The ammo isn’t going cheap, but there isn’t a delivery charge and it won’t show up on the CC bill as what it is.  Tools, well they haven’t been cheap either but the prices are more reasonable than they were.   I was shocked to get what I got, about $100 under retail.  There were a lot of oddball pieces.   Rossi revolvers, no name .25 semiautos… stuff from the 50s…

One whole auction is new gubs.  Like a store went out of business or something.  Starting bids are low, but we’ll see where they end up.  NOT paying $650 for a DelTon that sold for $325 a couple of years ago… but I will keep watching to see where stuff ends up.

I’m seeing a lot of cards and sports memorabilia, and a lot of silver coins.   That definitely feels like selling to raise money.  I’ve expected it long before now, but people like their stuff and will try to keep it.

I don’t know who’s buying, but the silver at least is bringing good prices.   Too rich for my blood.

Canned food is what you’d be buying with that junk silver anyway, so why not skip the middle man?

Stack it up folks.


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Mon. Nov. 28, 2022 – home and working the list

Cool and damp, but probably no precip.   Lovely day yesterday at the BOL.  Sun came out and dried up all the rain, and the itsy  bit-sy ……….

Anyway, enough of the silliness.   No one called me on my “insert clever remark” joke?  I’ll take it as  you guys hoping to spare my feelings for a dumb mistake, and not a failed joke.  (I don’t actually have a template for posts, despite the familiar (some might say ‘well worn’) shape.)*

There, you see?   It was a kindness, not a bad joke.   The power of an author knows no bounds.

Anyway, enough of this silliness.   I did get stuff done to advance the ‘livability’ of the BOL.   Still plenty to do, but the master bath has made progress, and  the master bedroom.  Having a Christmas tree up makes it more homey than you’d think.

Now to really get to stacking up there.   I’ve got piles (stacks!) of stuff to take up.   The difficulty will be in deciding where the balance should be between the amount of stuff here and the amount of stuff there.   That will be a temporary issue if everything holds together long enough for me to get to parity….

So stack some stuff at your place.  Then stack some more at wherever you’ll end up if things go sideways.  You won’t regret it.



*and here I would have dropped the close parenthesis and made a ‘failed to compile’ joke for the programmers in the audience.

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Sun. Nov. 27, 2022 – Put something clever here…

Cold but clear today, if last night’s weather holds.  It was 47F when I went to bed.   Of course it’s damp too, so it really feels cold.

Spent most of Saturday prepping and texturing the ceiling in the master bedroom and bath.   It looks ok.  Better than popcorn anyway, and certainly cleaner.  Considering that it’s been about 20 years since I ran the texture gun, and I didn’t do a whole lot o that even back then, I’m happy with the result.   My wife will be painting it today, primer (Kilz) then ceiling paint.

I’ll be buttoning up the property and knocking some more small jobs off the list.  We’ll probably stay here most of the day, then head home.

I’ve got a load of trash, some metal for recycling, and 2 LP gas bottles for refilling in the truck.  I’ll have to bring up some more bottles if I am going to be running the patio heaters, they go through gas like crazy.

I will have to ask the propane guy up here if there is a way to get set up for refilling BBQ bottles off the big tank.  My guess is “no, no, and HELL NO.”  Can’t hurt to ask though.

Lake is up quite a bit.   Supposedly we got more than two inches of rain the just the last two days.  With the area that feeds the lake, that made a large change in water level.   Guess I missed my chance to replace some of the dock posts without standing in water… oh well.  Gotta prioritize.

I’ll be moving some stacks up here, and some shelves to put them on the next trip up.   Time to stock the BOL a bit better.   Time to get a safe up here too.

Do some adding to your own stacks.   Don’t wait for the New Year’s Resolution.


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Sat. Nov. 26, 2022 – gettin’ stuff done

Cool and damp, but maybe not raining today.  That would be nice.  It stayed damp and misty all day yesterday.

So I only did a little bit outdoors.  I did break two more slabs of concrete from the front walk and move them to the pile of free concrete rubble.   Don’t know for sure, but I think some of the pile might have gone away.

Spent some time chatting with a neighbor 2 houses down, who I don’t see often.   And chatted for a bit with my fisherman friend.  I even got a few minutes to practice fishing between little jobs.   But mostly I was scraping ceilings.    [that should be enough sentence fragments for a while… maybe I’ll do a run-on for balance]

My wife found the telescope last night as we were putting away the movie night stuff, unfortunately it’s been cloudy so I didn’t reveal it to her on purpose, since there was nothing to see, but she was surprised.  “Now THAT’S a big telescope!”  Maybe we’ll get a break tonight and it will clear up.    It would be nice to at least look through it this weekend.

There were a few more boats on the lake yesterday and the level is up, so they could use the community launch ramp next door.  Otherwise I might not have noticed.  I expected more people to come up for the holiday weekend, but it’s anything but “busy”.   I’m happy enough with that, we weren’t looking for a busy lake or a lot of people.   So far none of the holidays have been particularly busy that I could see.   Maybe on the other side of the lake the experience was different.  In any case, I’m pleased.

Turkey and leftovers were tasty.   Today D2 declared it was the best turkey every, although she prefers the “normal” way I make ribs.   Hooray for that.  Now to learn about smoking as a preservation technique and not just for flavor.

Maybe I’ll try salting some pork too.  Hmm.  Always good to learn new skills.  Most of my chat with my fisherman friend was about making sausage.  Time to start stacking up some more skills…

And in case those skills don’t work out, stack some more food.  It’s pretty cheap now, and will likely be very dear later.




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Fri. Nov. 25, 2022 – it’s Black Friday y’all, time for a retail brawl…

Cool and wet again today.   At least to start. It rained here most of yesterday, going from storm to drizzle to storm to steady rain, back to misty drizzle throughout the day.  I’m hoping that it will dry out a bit later.

My smoked turkey was a success.   It was done earlier than expected, so we ate earlier.   I thought I’d be short on wood for the smoke but I had plenty.   Shredded pecan stump works great.   It’s been a few years so I am happy it went well, and I will do more smoking soon.   The stuff will stay up here and  I should be able to do little jobs while watching the fire.  Both the turkey and the pork ribs had beautiful ruby red flesh, a good half inch deep or deeper and tasted great.

I didn’t get much else done, but I did get some (very) small things off the list.   And importantly, my wife proved we can do a big meal from scratch up here despite the work zone conditions and very small oven.

And hey, we found a  couple of things we haven’t brought up yet, like a small food processor, or an immersion blender.  Or honey.   If we’re gonna keep making cornbread, we WILL need honey.

Today I’m hoping to get back in the groove and make some real progress on the master bath.   We’ll see what happens.

And the next trip up, I’ve got to move a bunch of stuff.

Everyone  should be stacking whatever they can.


(you can probably do without the ‘free’ big screen tv…)




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Thurs. Nov. 24, 2022 – Thanksgiving Day (US)

Thanksgiving Day.   I wish you all a wonderful and fulfilling day.

I’m thankful for the time we have.  Time to spend with friends and family, time to prep for what is surely coming.   I’m thankful for the good times that created the resources I’m using to get ready.

I’m thankful for family to share the burdens and the love.

I’m thankful for friends, here and in meatspace.   I’m thankful for the companionship and camaraderie I find here, as well as the help with a wide range of issues.

I’m thankful for the continued support of Barbara and Rick.

I’m thankful for the trust Bob showed me when he first asked me to contribute here.

And I’m thankful for everyone who comes here as a reader or commentor, regularly, or just occasionally.   You all make it what it is.

Enjoy the day.

Save me some pie!


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Wed. Nov. 23, 2022 – now we’re gettin’ somewhere…

Chilly and damp.   MAY get some rain, but I hope not.

Yesterday’s rain continued until about 10am, then it was part sun for the rest of the day.  Around dusk, I drove through some very light drizzle north of Houston, but it didn’t get the stuff in the bed wet.

Did my pickups.   Made it here and had a relaxing movie  night with the family.

I was listening to a couple more episodes of The New Adventures of Sherlock Holmes on the drive up.  These are recordings of the radio show from 1946 starring Basil Rathbone.  It’s surprising how good they sound, how BAD organ music sounds on the recording, and how different the world was.   The sponsor, Petri wine, has to basically teach the audience about wine, when to drink what, and even what “dry” means.  The only wine they are selling is port, sherry, and muscatel.  But ‘every Petri wine is a good wine.’   It was a simpler time.  But, it was also a time when the audience had a much better vocabulary and understanding of the spoken word.

Today, I think you’d be hard pressed to find 3 people in 100 who could listen to a half hour radio show and understand it.

Speaking of today, the turkey started defrosting last night and will go into some sort of brine today.  If I have to head to town and the grocery store for anything I’ll be looking for cheap whole chickens or cheap ribs to throw in the smoker with the turkey.  If I’m going to run it for a day, I should fill it.

While the turkey is thawing, I’ll be working on the master bath, plumbing first, then popcorn ceiling and more carpentry.  It would be nice to get it back together and working (albeit without floor covering) this week.   Some more plumbing in the kitchen would be nice too.  And a myriad of small things might get done, or not, as the spirit and time move me.

Stacking up the improvements.   And sand bags.  For some reason the universe is putting sand bags in front of me this month.   So I’m buying them.  I’ve learned not to ignore something like that.  I’ve picked them up at Goodwill, and at auction.   I’ve got plenty of sand here…

If you see something you don’t usually see, especially if it’s something out of the ordinary, take a good long look, and see if there is a message there.   Could be coming from your subconscious, or elsewhere, but it’s always worth paying attention,  especially if you notice it more than once.

Maybe it’s something you need to stack.  There are lots of things I’m sure.  Or maybe it’s just someone you need to call, or maybe something you need to avoid, or embrace.   Live in the moment, you can sleep when you’re dead.

Stack stuff.



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Tues. Nov. 22, 2022 – 11222022 – maybe today…

Cold again, and damp.  Hopefully not wet.   It was dreary and wet most of yesterday and although the total wasn’t 1 inch it wasn’t 0 either.  I really need a clear day to drive up to the BOL with an open pickup bed full of stuff.

I made 2 of my three pickups yesterday with 2 to do today.  The two today are on my way out of town, so that’s a plus.  I was chatting with one of the auctioneers, an owner in the company, and he is very much a Like Minded Individual.   He’s been prepping for years.  He’s got HUGE stacks of stuff, industrial quantities, due to where he is in the supply chain.  He has been stacking the good stuff for years.   I had a suspicion he was right of center, because of all the Tr ump stuff that is in his auctions, as well as the posted signs about guns being welcome in their facility.   Didn’t expect to see the stacks he quickly showed me… he’s better set up at work than most people are at home or their BOL.  More than that, he’s got TRIBE.  Large family, all on board, pretty much a compound to retreat to.  I’m impressed and a bit envious.

He commented that he thinks everything in the world will be different in 18 months.  I agreed.

We are not alone.   There are a LOT of people out there doing what we’re doing- getting ready to take care of ourselves and our friends.   We will get through whatever is coming.

Being prepped up and having stacks of needful things will help enormously.

And having somewhere to go if things get out of hand locally will help you too.   Which is why I’m dumping huge sums into a place in the country.  You don’t have to go my route, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to figure out where you can go.  There is a lot of property around the small towns that is for sale cheap, and there are sheds, campers, storage buildings, truck trailers, conex boxes, single wides, and even tents to live in cheaply if things fall in the pot.   Better to have something than nothing…

So get to stacking, and find somewhere to go if you have to.



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Mon. Nov. 21, 2022 – got more stuff to do before I can do the other stuff…

Cold and damp.  Maybe wet.  It was 47F and raining when I went to bed, and it will probably be the same  this A.M.   The rain started in the evening and continued past midnight.  It was a very slow, light drizzle.

I slept late yesterday and messed around the rest of the day.  I did get a little bit of stuff sorted, but mostly I wasted time on the internet with my friends.   Then I watched some repair and maker videos.  What a dreary day.

Today I’ve got stuff to do.  My wife is working, so her plan is to shop for Thanksgiving dinner later, and head up on Tuesday.  Since I’ve got the kids today, I’ll be running errands, doing a pickup, and then NOT heading up the the BOL.  I guess we’ll do that together on Tuesday.   We’ll see how it all shakes out.  She’s taking Tuesday off, but will work from home at the BOL on Wednesday.

I need more PEX, some other stuff, and to load up the truck.

But if it’s raining I am not sure what I’ll actually get to.   Ah well, flexibility.  Right?

Stack something, even if it’s only IOUs to yourself.


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