Month: March 2024

Sun. Mar. 31, 2024 – Easter Sunday, Feast of the Resurrection

Cool and overcast, some chance of rain. Never got any rain yesterday, but never got any sun either. It would be nice to get a few hours of sun today.

Slept late, and woke feeling better. I feel like I’ve got a day or two left of this cold instead of feeling like it’s just starting. Of course, typically they last 5-7 days, so it could just be in my head. I’m managing the snotty head with Airborne and Kleenex…

Did some more cleanup around the yard. Trimmed and mowed. Mowed the HOA lot too. Had a bonfire to burn some of the less desirable wood from the tree I took down. Met some folks from the adjacent neighborhood that I haven’t met before. Spent about a half hour chatting about working on 50 yo houses up here.

Had dinner, colored eggs, and went to bed.


Today is the most holy feast day for most mainstream Christians, and I wish you all Happy Easter. If there is any doubt that the trad religions are under attack, look no further than the White House. I know which sort of culture and society I want to live in, and it isn’t one that tries to co-opt such an important day for millions of people with the Trans agenda…

On past Easters I reframed the Bible story in political and activist/socialist language for a bit of fun. In the face of the rise of islam, and the secular religions of trans worship and climate change, I’m no longer inclined to poke even gentle fun of people who seek to uphold their traditional beliefs. Celebrate your faith while you can.

Stack some stout allies. And the provisions you need.


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Sat. Mar. 30, 2024 – coloring eggs today, and work, more work…

Cool and clear today, with moderate temps later. I’m hoping for a lot less wind. It was very nice yesterday, apart from the howling wind.

Slept late, got a slow start after that. Piddled around unloading the truck, putting some stuff away. I even put a lure on a new pole (that I fished out of the lake) and tried fishing for about a half hour. LOTS of work avoidance going on. Eventually, I got the pole saw and chainsaw out and dropped a dead tree. I took off a branch by standing on my truck to reach it with the pole saw, and that let me drop the rest through a gap between an oak and the persimmon…

Took a while to cut it up and stack it, but I got that done too. Buddy came by and we went to look at the garden. The potatoes are a foot high now. Radishes and turnips aren’t blowing up yet, but I’m still hoping they start growing at some point. That’s gardening though, once it’s in the ground, it’s largely out of your hands.

Stack canned goods.

And labor saving devices like chainsaws- with all their supporting infrastructure.



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Fri. Mar. 29,2024 – Good Friday

Cool and “crisp” here at the BOL. I’m hoping for clear today, but we’ll see. Supposed to be clear. It was another gorgeous day in Houston before I left yesterday. Sunny, cool, not much wind. Spring is awesome.

Did my pickups and errands. Loaded the truck, and headed to the BOL around 10pm. And that simple statement belies the hours spent driving around and the traffic, which was epic even by Houston rush hour standards. I did pick up some veg and some blueberry bushes to plant in the garden. The bushes are for up here for sure, but I haven’t decided on the peppers, zukes and cukes, or some of the extra seeds. I did get some herbs and mint for here.

I’ll check on how our group garden is doing today too. The potatoes are thriving, the rest is a mixed bag according to my buddy. I brought some onion sets for here as well. I think I’ll add them to the group effort, rather than my little patch. I may just cover my patch in black plastic and try to sterilize the soil this summer, and plant in the fall. It won’t really be sterile, but it’s supposed to knock the nut grass down. I think it will depend on if I get some irrigation working for the garden.

I also got some lumber and trim to do maintenance on the dock and the dock house. 16ft pressure treated 2×6 is pretty freaking heavy when it’s wet. I will be struggling to handle them unless I put the job off ’til they dry out a bit.

I need to get some insulation and plywood to cover the walls in the garage, but I figure those are good things to get locally. I think I need to start spending money in the local economy. It’s a small place, and it can’t hurt to be a known entity. I’ll have to look for opportunities that won’t cost much more and that are actually available here.

Meatspace baby.

Stack some relationships. And stuff. Plant your garden.


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Thur. Mar. 28, 2024 – stuff to do, stuff to do

Cool, damp, and hopefully clear. Warming later with some sun would be nice. That has been the pattern for the last week, so all I really want is some continuity, right? Actually, I’d take a little rain today and tomorrow if it left the weekend clear.

Did my errands Wednesday. Picked up the needful thing. The forms have changed yet again. I need to hit another store and get some “food” to “feed” it… Stopped by my auctioneer and chatted for about 40 minutes. I’m slowing my sales through them for a week or two while they concentrate on other estates. They make more money on an estate than on consignment, and they need the cash. I really need to get back to listing and sell some of the high value items I’ve been holding back. This lull would be a good time to finally do that.

I didn’t win anything in the ham radio estate auction, so I could go to the BOL tonight with the family. I might delay until tomorrow anyway to do some shopping. We’ll see what I get done today. I’d like to have a bunch of stuff for projects so I can maybe knock one or 6 off the list, if I get motivated. Plus, I hate to make the trip without being fully loaded up. I’ve got a bunch of stuff from the auctions this week, but I need some actual building supplies too.

Today is all about getting ready for the long weekend out of town. Groceries, Home Depot, dig through the stacks and move some stuff… The usual.


Peter over at BayouRenaissanceMan touched on one of my preparedness points this week when he mentions not putting all your preps in the same place. I’ve been talking about that for a long time, going back to Cali’s recommendation that earthquake preps be kept in sealed bins outdoors or in a lightweight shed structure. Been a while since I talked about earthquakes, so I know I’ve been talking about it for a while. More recently I’ve been talking about using a storage unit on your way out of town, and the balance of what to keep where if you have a BOL. (Keeping stuff with trusted friends or family is another option, but one I haven’t mentioned since the last trip to sibling’s place in Michigan.)

There were some devastating hurricanes in OK that really prompted me to start an offsite “secondary” location with preps stored there. If you lose your house, you will likely lose your preps in the disaster too. It’s IMPORTANT to have some stuff elsewhere.

The BOL serves that function well, but it adds the question of balance. In a world with limited resources, what do you put where? I have lots of stacks here in Houston. Since we got the BOL, I’ve been moving stuff there too, but — what if we can’t get there? I don’t want to strip our primary residence, the place we are most likely to be when (certain flavors of) S hits the Fan… I also don’t want to bail out to the BOL and leave all my resources behind. Taking them with me might not be an option.

In an ideal world both would be equally well equipped, but that is VERY unlikely and essentially “wastes” half your preps.

So, what to do? “Waste” the preps and stock both as well as possible is my compromise solution. I’ve already acknowledged that given the poor storage conditions, I will have higher than average “breakage” or losses. So I just have to acknowledge that if both locations are well equipped, in most scenarios I’m going to “waste” one, by using the other. In reality, there is nothing that says the other location won’t be used at another time, or that someone else won’t benefit from it. If I can’t get to the BOL and the world as we know it really does “end”, I’m happy to think my neighbors up there might be able to survive a bit longer with access to my stuff. Same for the ones left here, if we get out of Dodge, and leave it behind for good.

What I am not interested in is having it confiscated to be given to the wastrels who should have been making their own plans. This is a bit tougher if you are an advocate for prepping. If you are known to have taken an extra step or two, people will remember, they will say something, or they’ll come themselves. Peter is likely F’d. I’m not well known IRL, but I’m not quiet about telling people about “hurricane preparation” either. IRL far too many people know I prep, at some level, although there are plenty who dismiss me because of the somewhat “goofy stay at home dad” persona. When you pull stuff off the stacks to help people, they hopefully learn a lesson so they don’t need help next time, but they CERTAINLY learn a lesson that you are someone with resources…

So I have stuff here, I have the secondary location, and I have the BOL. I have my online persona, my “goofy” grey man persona, and my actual IRL serious persona, and mostly they are separated…but still. There is leakage. Which could come around to bite me on my hairy white a…

I think I’ll probably have a lot of preps I never use, no matter how everything plays out, and that’s ok. I can afford it. I don’t feel like I can afford NOT to have it. I’ll keep reassessing the state of the world, and my response to it, and I’ll adjust my plan and resource allocation accordingly. There may come a time when we are at the BOL more than here. Or I may give up the secondary location, moving that stuff to the BOL, or a different place. It’s not exactly in the right direction to grab from if we were headed out of town. On the gripping hand, if we had to head in that direction, there is some stuff along the way… it’s not cached in the traditional sense, but it’s “stashed”…

Think hard about how to protect and keep what is yours in an environment that allows others to come looking for it. There are lots of strategies and techniques that can help.

Stacks and stacks, and some other stacks to distract them with, can help. Stack!


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Wed. Mar. 27, 2024 – I’ll sleep when I’m dead. Or when I eat sugar, or carbs…

Cool and clear, warming later. It got to be very nice yesterday after a chilly start. Sunny, clear, and windows down temps… I’d like another day or two of that.

I did my pickups yesterday. The spent far to much time to-ing and fro-ing with D1 and her school stuff. Communication doesn’t happen unless understanding is exchanged. Kid needs work on communicating.

Today I might have another pickup or two but will mostly be working on other things. I’ve got a list you know…

I did stack a bunch of stuff for the BOL. One of the things was the lithium ion battery pack I hope to use with a solar system. I’ll be looking at that today in addition to so many other things. And I’ll be looking at the various inverters and charge controllers to see if I can match one with the battery pack. I know the lead acid batteries I have will work with any of the controllers, as that is the base level default. Not so sure about the Li-ion. It sure would be easier to just buy a packaged system, but that isn’t my style at all.

Gotta learn about some things to understand them, and later to fix or maintain them. Like nuking the site from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure– To be sure you CAN fix them when they go wrong. And they will go wrong since the perversity of the universe tends toward maximum.

Guess I should get busy doing something…



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Tues. Mar. 26, 2024 – lots of driving around today…

Warm and moist, but should be clear. In fact, should be clear for the next couple of days. There was enough heavy mist yesterday that the concrete got wet for a while. There might have even been some actual drops at some point. It was nice by late afternoon though.

I did inside stuff, auction stuff, and domestic bliss all day. Had a bit of back pain, so took it easy, even laid back down for about an hour. Wife was working from home as she is sniffly and feeling poorly. Spent some of my online time researching and ordering parts for stuff that needs to be fixed, or needs something for a project to continue. I have a bad habit of looking up the parts, but not buying them right away, and then the project falls further down the list as time goes by. I’m trying to not do that, hence the parts ordering…

I need to hit the HEB too, but today is mostly going to be auction pickups. I’ve got a big list at the first place, and a longish drive to the second. Kid wants me home to get her after practice, so I have to watch the time and the traffic.

I’m sitting here and one phrase is going through my head as I contemplate the wider world. I’ve been debating even mentioning it, but in the end, this is what I’m thinking.

Sh!t’s gettin’ weird, yo!

Yeah I’m thinking in memes. But it IS getting weirder. It’s a frenzy building, which usually leads to some sort of explosive release. I’m not looking forward to seeing how weird it can get before it breaks. When it breaks it will be broken for a while.

48 hours isn’t gonna cut it. 48 days probably won’t. We’re resilient and creative, so 48 months might be enough, depends how far down things go before they head back up. Could be 4 to 8 years…

Zeitgeist is saying “world war”, “massive terror attack”, “civil war” — no voices predicting peace and good times. Internalize that and prep for it.



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Mon. Mar. 25, 2024 – manly men doing manly things – eh, not so much.

Cool, overcast, damp, and maybe some rain. In Houston. At the BOL yesterday, it started grey but cleared in the late afternoon, and ended up with a beautiful sunset. Nice.

I spent the afternoon doing small jobs. Worked on the lawn tractor that my neighbor gave me. The mower deck is shot, but the rest is nice. Only 154 hours on it. No maintenance, ever, except oil and filter, but I’ll get it caught up. Then I’ll have one mower to mow with and one without a deck to pull the trailers and other accessories. And if my mower blows up (it’s been ridden hard and put away wet) I’ll rebuild the mower deck on this one.

It’s funny to realize that my buddy up here doesn’t fix stuff, or even take great care of it. I though I was casual about cleaning and maintaining but I’m obsessive compared to him. I’m starting to see it as a pattern up here that counterbalances some of the other stuff, like living a prepared life because that’s how you were always raised to live. I might let something go too long, but then I fix what broke. There are a lot of folks up here who would just park it in the yard and move on to the next one. Taking me some time to get a good handle on what I think I’m seeing.

Helped plant replacement peas in the garden. Potatoes are doing great, turnips, radishes, not as well, but they are growing. Pepper plants are budding. I’m debating what to do in my raised beds in Houston, and if I should do some sort of scatter garden at the BOL. Just throw some seeds out and see what happens. I’ve got a lot of old seeds and they aren’t getting younger. I’ll have to see if there is time to till.

Did more cleaning up and putting away too.

Today I’ve got some stuff to do around the house. I don’t think I can do auction pickups until tomorrow, so maybe I’ll work on my hobby website, or do some work for my client. Hmm. Domestic bliss is stacking up too.

I’ll fill the day, that’s for sure. And some of it will be productive.

Stack some stuff, ya know ya wanna…


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Sun. Mar. 24, 2024 – 03242024 – odd jobs and some gardening

Cool, but hopefully clear. Certainly damp. The BOL got over an inch of rain this past week and the lake is up about 6 inches. It’s murky too. Usually it’s pretty clear.

Did some auction stuff, then loaded the truck yesterday to head up. Didn’t have a full load, so I finally included some low priority stuff like oak tree saplings. If I’m taking down trees, I need to be planting some too.

The current mount for the starlink antenna is on the corner of the housed, mounted on a short pole attached to the soffit. The app says I’ve got an unobstructed view of the sky, but as the trees leaf in, I expect that might change around one edge. I’ll monitor it. Eventually I’ll get my ham tower set up, but that is WAY down the list.

I will try to get some wire antennas up though so I can try out my FT-817 some day soon. Eventually, I’d like to get one or both kids licensed so I can have a link between Houston and here. The Houston end will be the most challenging with the high noise floor and not the best antenna situation.

So many projects.

Today I’ll be doing small jobs that won’t be an issue if they don’t get finished. In the afternoon I’m helping my buddy do garden stuff. He’s decided to disc the peas that haven’t really grown and try his ‘go to’ variety instead. He’s got a disc harrow? for his atv (quad) so he can do that part pretty easily. The weeding and thinning part for the other veg is the part he finds difficult. Getting old and worn out is tough.

The whole population of farmers is seeing the same thing on a bigger scale. Keeping kids on the farm has always been tough, and it’s not an easy life, or a way to get rich, but someone has to grow the food.

The time to plant a garden is before you are hungry. It bears repeating. And the learning curve is steep.

Stack cans to give yourself some margin.

Stack the other stuff to give yourself options.


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Sat. Mar. 23, 2024 -03232024 – probably headed to the BOL to work…

Sunny and clear. Temperate. Nice. If I’m lying, I’m crying… Yesterday ended up being a gorgeous day. Shirt sleeves, with a nice breeze, and mostly clear sky. Very nice by afternoon. I’d like more of that today please.

Did my auction pickups. Couple of kerosene heaters, solar panel, some smalls for the BOL… desk chair for my wife to use up there… Spent some time chatting with a couple of my auctioneers. Always good to touch base and talk.

Didn’t feel like driving up to the BOL at the end of the day though, and I was watching my bids in a big auction with a lot of stuff I wanted. So I will likely head up today. WHEN is an open question, but not “if”. Unless something changes.

I’ve got chores to do up there before we all go back for the Easter holiday. It would be nice to get ready to do a bunch of attic work too, and knock most of it out next trip, before it gets really hot.

I don’t have any good observations for today, brain was pretty empty by the end of the day. It’s springtime, and that’s a time for looking to the future. Do your cleaning, repairing, and planting (actual and metaphorical.) Get ready for the rest of the year. It’s bound to be a rough ride.

Stacks of stuff, and a deep bench of people you can count on, will help.


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Fri. Mar. 22, 2024 – …the corn is as high as an elephant’s eye, and it looks like it’s climbin’ right up to the sky…

Cool, overcast, dreary, and a chance of rain. Yesterday was a mixed bag depending mostly on where you were. The morning at home was mostly light drizzle, but in the afternoon northwest of Houston, it stormed. Hail the size of grapes, and pouring rain. It chased me home and then petered out.

I spent the morning doing auction stuff, and the afternoon taking care of my client. That meant buying a replacement TV, and swapping it and another for two bad ones. The TCL 55 inch 4k TVs we decide to take a chance on have not held up well. They develop vertical and horizontal lines in the image and need to be replaced. Takes a couple of years, but all but one have failed, and I’m sure it will fail too. They were exceptionally cheap, and we bought the extended warranty from costco. It used to be provided by SquareTrade, but this newest one is provided by Allstate. The warranty process isn’t odious, and we’ve gotten a Costco gift card for the purchase price on the ones we’ve done so far.

Given that my time costs money, and the customer has to live with a failing TV for some period of time, I ended up buying Sony this time. We’ve shifted from the cheapest TVs to Sony Bravia, at more than double what a Roku or Hisense TV would cost, and about a third more than the Samsung or LG equivalents. The Bravia does have an exceptionally nice picture, and we’re hoping that because it’s not so cheap, it’ll do less spying than the Hisense or Roku TVs. It’s powered by google so still potential to spy. I don’t put them on the network, but someone in the household might at a later date. I also decline about 6 pages of stuff when I set them up. Of course I’m hoping that the Sony name still means something and that they haven’t been built to quite such a ‘value engineered’ standard as the Hisense… it would be nice to get a few more years of life out of them without issues than we’ve gotten from the TCL models.

If you don’t mind paying for the extended warranty, and replacing the TV after a couple of years, or that the TVs want to spy on you to subsidize the cost, there are some great looking TVs at crazy cheap prices. A 55″ Roku 4K TV was $289 at costco, and it wasn’t the cheapest on the shelf. For anything with a good brand name, or newer (bigger) sizes, inflation has been in full effect, with a roughly 30% increase in cost over the last time I priced TVs, which was about a year ago, iirc.

All you need to do is trade away a little piece of your privacy, and you can save some money while self medicating with the boob tube…

Today I’ll be doing some auction pickups, and maybe some other stuff like visiting my buddy at his gub store. We’ll see how the day goes, what the weather ends up being like, and if I hurt or not. This weather makes everything ache.

I’m thinking about heading to the BOL this weekend to do some of the stuff I didn’t do last week, and to weed the garden. We’ve got 18 potato mounds sprouted, the radishes and turnips might be ready to thin, and we’ll have to see how the peas are doing. My buddy says if they don’t start growing better, he’ll replant with a different variety. I could start another couple of rows of radishes, turnips, or beets, as you can keep planting them for a staggered harvest.

The grass probably needs cutting too.

D1 has GS camp, and D2 has a thing with friends, so I think I’d be alone at the BOL. Or I could stay home and work the list here. It’s a big list and needs to be started. Choices. Priorities. Gah.

Easier (but less effective) to just keep stacking. Don’t do what I’ve done, and just stack. Stay on top of the other things too. AND stack.


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