Month: April 2024

Tues. Apr. 30, 2024 – well, that didn’t really happen as planned…

Warmer, but still wet. Might be clear. The national forecast was weirdly specific about leaving a bit of clear on our part of the map. Yesterday turned into a fairly nice day by late afternoon. Still damp, but nice.

And I really didn’t get much done beyond catching up on auction stuff. I did look at what it’s going to take to block off the breezeway, and I’m really not looking forward to it. I’d much rather waste time on the internet with my friends. I did get to the HEB to pick up a few things. The extra kids ate a bunch and I needed to top up some lunch snacks and drinks for D2’s school lunch. Swung by the meat dept., but nothing I needed was on sale. They had chuck shoulder roast (select grade) for $3.50 which isn’t bad, but isn’t great and the individual cuts were not great. Eye round roast at $4 wasn’t tempting, and the brisket at $3.50 didn’t move me. I am FULL in the freezer department, so unless I buy another one, it’ll have to be a great bargain before I can buy…

Today I’m supposed to head to my client’s house to poke at some stuff. There is an intermittent issue with signal dropout, that I think is connector related. I’ll lube and clean with Deoxit Gold and see if that helps. If not, I’ve got some failing gear to replace. Depending on that work and any updates or networking stuff I do, I might or might not have time to do a pickup later in the day. I can push the pickup to Wednesday, but I’m already giving up days I promised to my buddy working on my stuff at his shop… Time. Ask me for anything but more time.

And yet, my prepping plan depends on having more time to get ready for whatever is coming. Looks like war to me. It’s a historical cure for a poor economy, and a proven political distraction. It’s also a great way to pass money and power to people. I don’t know the timeline, and we could be in full on economic collapse with all the difficulty that entails before the dogs of war are loosed… or we could just muddle on, with everything getting worse and worse by degrees… However it plays out, time to prepare, and resources to stack are both probably in limited supply.

Stack some for you, and I’ll stack some for me…


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Mon. Apr. 29, 2024 – home again, still got stuff to do…

Wet and warm. Whether it’s still raining, or just the soggy aftermath, it’s gonna be wet today. It was raining when I went to bed, and had been for hours. Not crazy hard, but steadily enough.

Spent Sunday wrapping up at the BOL. The forecast was for bad storms, so wife and kids bailed early to beat the rain. I stayed to do a few things I didn’t get done. After a brief light rain, it cleared up and was a nice day for most of the afternoon. I got several things done, and made progress on a couple more. Then the rain started again, and it was time to head home. LOTS of rain on the way home. Several tornado warnings, and local flooding… lots of people had a bad day, but I dodged most of it.

Today I need to make some progress on my lists here. First off, the rat problem didn’t solve itself. I am going to have to block some more access, mainly through the soffits and the breezeway that links the house attic to the garage attic. My neighbor paid a pest control company $1200 to do the same blocking I’m thinking about. It’s a huge pain in the butt, which is why I’ve put off doing it. But the rats aren’t going for the traps or poison, so I need to step up a bit. It won’t get done today, but maybe I can do some exploration.

I’ve got other paperwork stuff to do, and this week will be busy with stuff too. I should visit my client for a new issue and get him back up. And I’ve got a friend moving away that has been storing some tools for me, that I have to sort out. One of them is a laser sintering 3D printer, which is about 7ft x 5ft x 7ft, and includes a dozen barrels of powder, and a sifting and cleaning station that is 4ft x 4ft x 7ft. I don’t have anywhere to PUT the stuff, which is why it was at his place. Time to sell the powder and break down the printer. We should end up with parts for a 30w engraver. Getting the powder sinter machine to work ended up being too big a job, given where we had to do it. We couldn’t meet the power requirements, or the need for nitrogen gas to fill the build chamber. And neither of us had the time available that we thought we would.

All the normal stuff will be happening this week too, so it should be a busy and full week.

It’s a great life if you don’t falter, right?

So don’t falter. Stack.


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Sun. Apr. 28th, 2024 – so much more to do…

Warm and damp, maybe rain, maybe storms… low 80s yesterday with a lot of wind, but sunny enough to turn the kids pink.

Long day but the kids had fun. The one dad who came to take a kid home, was driving an EV. Had a charger scheduled in a nearby town, only 20 minutes out of his way, for 40 minutes, so he could get home.

The 120v charger is 3 miles of range per hour of charge, the 220v is 30 miles per hour.

I’ve been thinking about buying a charger for here just in case we had a visitor, since they are cheap in the auctions at the moment. Then I had such a visitor. I will look a bit closer this week.


The bottom blew out of my lawn tractor engine just as I finished the lawn… I hit something bad then the motor started clattering. Wasn’t too long until there was some energetic disassembly. Smoke and a lot of oil dumped out the bottom. Dang it. I do not need a project but I have to figure something out, I’ll need to mow next time I come up. I can rebuild the deck for the mower my buddy gave me, or try to fit the bigger one I just rebuilt to it. Or buy something new… at least I got most of the lawn cut first.


Kids swam and played in the water most of the day. They have a lot of energy and still like to just play. It was great to see.


Weeded our garden with a mini roto tiller attachment for the string trimmer motor. It worked pretty well, and while it takes some manhandling, I think it’s still easier than hoeing. The peas are doing well. I test dug around the potatoes and there were golf ball sized taters. I harvested two radishes and they were nice. The turnips are not thriving. Something is turning the leaves to lace, and the roots are only thumb sized, and are more like horseradish at this point. I also took about a dozen blueberries off one bush, and then covered them with bird netting. They were just a day or two short of perfectly sweet.

I think it’s time for round two of radishes and turnips. The pumpkin and squashes haven’t died yet, so that’s a plus. Peppers all have buds, and the tomatoes have both flowers and fruit.

All in all, I’m pleasantly surprised at how well the garden is doing. We have gotten a bunch of rain, so there is that.


Speaking of rain, the sprinkler pump work will happen today, if it’s not raining. There are various storms forecast for the area, but I’m not worried. It will storm or it won’t. The lake and local geography often keep us from getting the worst of any storms in the area.


Our home owners group met for our annual ‘clean up’ day. I chatted with several people and made an appearance at the meeting later. Community is important. You definitely want to be “in” the group if push comes to shove, and not part of the “them” group. I’m doing what I can to be a part of this group.

Climbing the curve to be “local”. Climbing the curve to grow food. Climbing the curve to harvest protein from the lake and surrounding area. They are all pretty steep so you need to get started…

And stack, because crops fail, and the people with food will have many more options.


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Sat. Apr. 27, 2024 – living the life of Reilly

Warm and damp with overcast and weather in the distance. Possibly weather up close later on. It was 73F with a breeze when I went to bed, and had been for hours.

I spent Friday getting ready to come up here for the weekend. I did a couple of pickups, and took care of some things around the house. I hit Costco for gas, and Home Depot for plumbing supplies. Then I loaded up the truck and headed to the country.

All that messing around meant a late start, so today I’ll be mowing and getting stuff ready for guests. D2 is having some friends up for her birthday. It’s going to be loud. And I’ll probably do more host stuff than working on the place. I know there are a lot of burgers to be cooked at some point, and corn on the cob too.

I will be taking another shot at the irrigation intake line. I got a couple of flexible fittings and intend to get the inlet up out of the muck, and hopefully keep it out this time. Best case would be some sort of floating contraption, but Home Depot was out of the hose I need to make that work. We’ve been getting a lot of rain, so it’s not critical to have the irrigation working yet, but every time I mess with it without solving the issue there is something else that doesn’t get done. I’d like to be done with it for a while.

Had a nice little fire last night, and WRMI was booming in from Miami, loud as broadcast, until it just stopped around 1 am. Conditions changed somewhere between here and there, and that was the end of my listening for the night. Radio is fickle, which is why it takes practice, even for just listening. Tomorrow I hope to do some side by side testing with my faithful Radio Shack radio, and the two new Eton radios. Hopefully they will sound good and pull in the stations.

It all takes practice, and practical knowledge. It takes redundancy in gear and technique. You have to actually DO stuff to know what you don’t know. So get out and do. It will show you places you need to improve.

And stack of course, don’t miss out on that.


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Fri. Apr. 26, 2024 – wow, this week blazed by…

Warm and humid, overcast, possibly clearing later, or possibly raining. No one knows. We did get a little dusting of moisture from the sky yesterday afternoon. Just an occasional spot hitting my face as I walked across the parking lot, or unloaded stuff at home. The national forecast has us possibly getting rain today and this weekend.

I’m really hoping for no rain at the BOL, as we’ll be there and so will 5 of D2’s friends. It’ll be pretty crowded and intense if we’re all in the house all weekend…The forecast looks like the BOL is right on the edge of the weather, and at home that almost always means we don’t get the bad stuff.

Yesterday I mostly did domestic bliss in the morning, and shopped and cooked in the afternoon and evening… which was fine as dinner was a success, with everything coming out as planned. Even got to use my cast iron to sear the seafood, and if my “winging it” sauce was a little bit salty, it still tasted nice and worked well with the scallops.

I ended up getting my wife an OLED nintendo Switch. I went for an “amazon renewed” version in white as I saved $60 which is a significant percentage… I hope I don’t live to regret that, but it looks great so far.

Now that the anniversary stuff is out of the way, I can do a couple of pickups today, then load up for the BOL. Me, D1, and the dog are headed up today to make sure everything is ready for D2 and her friends. We’ll do her birthday when we get back, with just family. I need to giftwrap her presents today, so they’re ready.

I should also hit Lowes while I’m out and get a few more plumbing things for the irrigation system, which might not be working again. This time I’m going to change the angle of the intake pipe, and try to make it float, so the end can’t get stuck down in the silty lakebed. Some McGivering might be in order.

All in all, my day looks pretty ordinary. You’d never know I was a subversive threat to the nation, just because I want honest government, and more self reliance, while opposing immigration, and decrying the increase in crime and criminality. Why I’ve even started a garden without registering it.

The world is getting crazier by the day, and the violence is already getting started for the summer. BLM had some good ol’ new fashioned whitey hate, and race rioting, this summer seems to be going with the old standby of Jew hatred, along with two-faced P-islam…shouting that they’re the religion of peace and if you don’t believe them, they’ll kill you. Coming soon to a city near you.

Get your stacks built. Learn some skills. Meet with likeminded people. It’ll be getting a lot worse before it starts getting better.


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Thur. Apr. 25, 2024 – 19 years. 15 of them sober. Ay carumba.

Cool and clear, warming later. It was basically a beautiful day yesterday and I’m expecting the same today.

Did my big loop of pickups yesterday. Went without issues. Got stuff for home, BOL, and everyday living. Some is deep backup, some is more “shallow”, like the solar panel. My feeling is that you can’t use something you don’t have, so better to have it.

Today will be mostly taken up with me shopping for and then cooking a special dinner for my wife, and the kids will benefit too. D2’s birthday, our weekend trip to the BOL, and other factors combined to make today the day, no matter if it actually matches the calendar or not. I’m thinking surf and turf, but we’ll see what we can find fresh. Of course there is plenty in the freezer, if it came to that, but I’d like to keep benefiting from western civilization as long as we can.

I spent a bit of time trying to come up with another paragraph about the fall, but I went to bed instead. It’s falling, locally and globally. Internalize that idea, and figure out how you’ll live with it.

And stack, for Pete’s sake, and your own…


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Wed. Apr. 24, 2024 – 04242024 – cue up UB40 song…

Cool and clear again, although some overcast might put a damper on the day. Like it did yesterday. Part of the day at least, was gloomy and grey. The rest was nice though, mid 70s most of the day and night.

I continued working on sorting, moving, and putting stuff away. Making some good progress, but not as much as needed. Then it was chauffeur time. I did get a chance to make a classic bucket trap for the rats. Ramp leading up to a pipe/roller that is smeared with food. Rat goes out on the pipe, it rolls, and the rat is dumped into the bucket. I also set a couple more snap traps. And a new camera. I watched Senor Raton move around the bucket for 10 minutes last night, and he even climbed the ramp to taste the delicious beef fat I smeared on the roller. But he bailed. He kept coming back and nosing around, so maybe he’s in the bucket by now. Emptying the bucket is the bad part of a bucket trap.

Today I’ll be doing my big loop of pickups. Some stuff for me, some for the BOL, and some for the family. Hopefully amazon will also come through with my wife’s anniversary present in time for me to wrap it. Not that today is my anniversary, but it’s coming like a freight train… as is D2’s birthday. I’ve been collecting stuff for her all year, and I’ve got to get it wrapped.

There’s always more to be done than I have time or drive to do. Compared to learning new skills, meeting people, or building a homestead, stacking is prepping on ‘easy’ mode. Still, it’s worth doing just because it’s so easy.

So do it!


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Tues. Apr. 23, 2024 – time to make the donuts..

Cool again, and probably clear. The national forecast has some stuff south of us, and we’re on the edge of it, which usually means we don’t get the bad stuff. Lots of stuff blows up from the Gulf though, so we might get some rain after all. Say it with me, “We’ll see…”

I spent yesterday mostly cleaning, sorting, and piling stuff for the auction, stuff from my office, and just stuff. I also cut my hair and shaved. Picked up the kid around 3 and got to the chiropractor and Costco for my paper towels. I am making progress cleaning out my office and bedroom. I’ve piled stuff everywhere and it’s time to move it. Long past time really. As part of that I sorted and put away receipts from auctions, and in the process found some I needed for other stuff. Also refreshed my mind regarding what I paid for a few things, especially things I though I’d sell. Time to do that.

The rat traps haven’t caught anything. My wife says she heard movement in the attic, but I guess I’ve raised a local colony that won’t touch peanut butter. Everyone says they can’t resist the peanut butter, but these rats do. You have to kill them quickly before they warn their compatriots. That is hard earned wisdom folks. Or something anyway.

I was going to do pickups today but it makes more sense to delay until tomorrow. That way I can combine the longest trip with a bunch of shorter ones, and get the most efficient route. The longest trip wasn’t available for pickup today.

I’ll continue with my house clean/organize/get ready to sell stuff plan. It’s not often that I get three days of consistent effort on one task when I’m at home. Even now, I’m tempted to mow the back yard, or switch to garage or driveway cleanup… but pushing through inside makes the most sense. I will need to do one dropoff and I’ll likely do one pickup too. Kids will need rides earlier rather than later, so I need to be home to do that, which limits my excursion time too.

It’s Spring, so Spring cleaning is appropriate. It’ll make more room for stacking!


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Mon. Apr. 22, 2024 – justanothermanicMonday…

Cool and damp again, but hopefully clear. It did clear up late in the day yesterday, and the sun felt really nice. Another day like that would be welcome before summer really kicks off. We’ll see…….

Spent most of the day indoors, doing sorting and cleaning. I’ve been moving stuff to and from the attic, poking at my office, and generally hoping to stack stuff for the auction. I’ve made some progress but it’s slow. That might be because I kept checking auctions all day too. I won something for the BOL that I’d tried for a couple of times so that was nice, but most of my auctions passed without me winning anything.

I did assemble a telescope I picked up at the goodwill outlet. It’s a 70’s Jason 323 “Comet Chaser” and is mostly complete and in pretty good shape. It’s incredibly well built with heavy duty materials, and lots of metal. It’s missing all but one eyepiece, but is usable as is. I’m debating whether to sell it for $50, clean the optics and use it as is, or use it as a spotting scope on one of the big scopes… I’m leaning toward list and sell as the easiest option. It’s a neat little scope.

Since I was in the attic, I installed a few new rat traps that I modified slightly. One of the rat trapping channels I watch on youtube features the guy’s own mods to the traditional snap trap. I didn’t 3d print a little cover like he does, but I did cut an arch from cardboard and staple that to the trap. It goes above the trigger mechanism, forcing the rats to approach from the end, and not lick the bait off the trigger from the side. I will see if they still avoid peanut butter, or if that acquired knowledge has vanished in several generations since they learned it. Nothing was in the live traps. I did find more ‘signs’ of where they travel and that they DO travel across the attic, but no further clues to how they’re getting in. FWIW I haven’t heard any skittering since I closed up the path I know about.

Today will probably be a continuation of the progress I’m making on cleaning and getting stuff organized and out of here. That’s the plan in any case. I might have a drop off and maybe one pickup, but I think most of the day is clear. I do have to hit Costco for paper towel… I forgot to grab a bale while I was at my secondary, and Costco is closer. No way was I going there on a Sunday.

I’ll point out that the world continues to slide toward war, and economic upheaval. Violence is definitely on the rise, domestically and internationally. Keep your awareness level elevated when out and about. Carry the means to defend yourself. Study and pay attention to what is ‘normal’ for your area, and what isn’t. Perhaps more importantly, get out of cities, start your victory garden, integrate with the local community by making yourself useful to them*, and stack- for your needs and the needs of those you love.


* you don’t want to be a carpetbagger or johnny come lately when SHTF. You don’t want to be in competition with them either, so figure out something to do that complements local businesses instead of competing with them. Start on the web of favors done and received, of mutual obligation, of test and counter test that establishes you as someone they WANT around. Like growing a garden, it takes time, and time might be short. Start.

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Sun. Apr. 21, 2024 – a day of rest? Naw, can’t happen.

Cool to start, maybe warming later. The sprinkles we finally got lowed temps by about 20 degrees, so this morning will be a bit chilly. I’m sure it will all go back to normal.

Did my pickups, dodging in and out of storm cells. Nice in between the cells, anything from misty to coming down in buckets inside a cell. You could almost watch a cell move by watching the freeway slow down in the traffic app. Almost.

Hit the goodwill bins store on the last leg of the big trip. As long as I was out that way, I might as well take advantage… it wasn’t my favorite store, as there is more junk and the employees don’t care about the shoppers or the stuff, but I found a couple of good things for me and to resell.

Got home, ordered chinese food and watched a movie with eldest br… child. Did some auction stuff after then went to bed.

A pretty good day. Wife had a short power outage, and a bunch of girls running around like crazy people. I definitely had the easier day.

Today I’ll be doing more cleanup, sorting, and domestic bliss. If it’s raining, that will all be indoors. If not, maybe it is time for the play structure to come down… (not my choice but there have been enough hints that it might be on the list…)

Not that there is any shortage of tasks on the list or any shortage of more important things to do, but sometimes, a big visible change is called for.

Stack. Stack. and Stack. but be sure to LIVE in between.

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