Sun. Oct. 3, 2021 – maybe today will be a busy day

Humid. Very humid. Slightly less hot than summer, but humid. I don’t think it got above 80F yesterday but it was so humid I was dripping sweat just standing in the garage.

I slept late. I actually got up early but my back hurt, and I’d been up way too late, so I thought I’d lie down for another hour. Two hours later, I got up again. Back pain is weird, it’s more spread out than normal, is closer to the skin in some way, and sharper. Usually it’s very much down in the bones, and the tissues close to them. Weird.

Fed the kids breakfast (hash browns fried in bacon fat) and spent the day doing things that needed doing, but not getting out or to my secondary to work there. I’ll try again today. The auction pickups that would normally get me out the door didn’t happen because the auction host company has been down for 2 days so far as victim of a ransomware attack. All of their auction customers nationwide are affected, and so are THEIR customers. Lots of disruption to what are usually small, local businesses.

Cut the grass, restocked the house, did some ebay and auction stuff. Poked at the computer and kibitzed about the changes here as our unsung hero Rick bangs on the machinery trying to bend it to his will. He’s had some successes. The goal is increased reliability, which is worth some disruption. Chasing the internal server 500 errors was getting to be a big frustration for him and all of the commentors alike. We will likely continue seeing tweaks and changes for a while. Be kind. Assume positive intent. Remember it’s an unpaid and unloved job that he’s doing, and it’s not one I’m competent to do, nor do I have any desire to do it. It would be nice to have some backup for Rick so if you have the skills or interest, leave a note.

It would be nice to have some backup for ME, so if you have a comment that is going to be long and self contained, consider emailing it to me for use as a guest post. No promises, guarantees, warranties, or predictions, at my sole discretion. If I don’t want to use it as a separate post, you can still post the comment… and if you have something to say or contribute but would rather not say it yourself, email me and I’ll use it like Bob did when one of the prepper couples would email him. I’d love an update from anyone Bob featured that way too. Email is my first name at aol dot com.

Comms, networks, information, all important, and all bear some additional thought. Might be that dial up BBSs come back in vogue. Takes more legally to mess with actual phone lines… but of course WROL that’s not much of a consideration. Might be worth looking at data over ham radio to mailing lists or BBSs… possibly some combination with the ip based linking and conference repeaters…hmm. Shortwave with a data stream embedded? Weather fax single sheets like the broadsheets of old? SSTV on ham freqs? Time, probably past time, to start thinking about long term and worst cases, at least as thought experiments. Alex Jones is certainly glad he has his show on shortwave radio, after being shut out of all other media. Just saying.

In the absence of orders, keep stacking.

nick

Wed. June 30, 2021 – summer is flying by

Hot and humid, chance of rain. We did get rain yesterday, and sun, and heat (but not terrible heat). Today should be more of the same.

Spent the day mostly indoors, doing a bunch of stuff I’ve put off too long. Paid my toll invoices for driving around without toll tags in my new truck. Put the toll tag in the truck. Did a bunch of other paperwork stuff. Played with the puppy.

Today should be a bit more active. I have to do an auction pickup, and take both kids for their Girl Scout Camp physicals. I’ve got other auction stuff to do too. I was sorting through some stuff to sell in one of the local auctions last night. She’s got a guy who buys all of one particular item that she lists, and I’ve got a bunch of them. She’s waved me off on general items since she has a huge listing backlog, but maybe I can squeeze a dozen of these in. While going through that box of stuff, I might also have found a really good score. I’ll share with the guy who gave me the box though, I’d feel bad taking it all, it’s that good a score, and there were other things in the box that should bring good money on their own.

Part of the fun of thrifting/estate/garage/yard sale hunting is the treasure hunt aspect. You literally don’t know what you will find, and sometimes you do find the treasure.

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Got my FCC license for GMRS about 10 hours after I applied. It’s a “pay the fee and get the license” application, and the license covers your whole family. The FCC isn’t issuing actual hard copies anymore, they just send a link to a pdf. I guess there is very little intrinsic value in the paper, that would make it worth forging. In any case, I’m current for GMRS again. FWIW, I got a new license rather than renew my lapsed one. There were two additional hoops to jump through and a huge fee ($210) to bring my old one current, so I just got a new one ($70 for 5 years) instead.

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There are a lot of people that would make arguments against paying for the GMRS license, working from at least 3 different points of view. Don’t care. I don’t want to give them (.gov) that handle to use against me.

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There are a lot of lists out there. My radio stuff puts me on one or more. My CERT training put me on another. My previous work clients put me on yet more lists. I’m a blogger, which probably puts me on a list. I am on lists with HPD and our Constable’s office, and the associated alumni groups. Purchasing certain items with background checks put me on a list. Visa and Mastercard probably maintain lists based on my purchase history. Amazon certainly does, and likely collaborates with .gov by compiling and selling lists. My school district has me on at least 4 lists. I’ve been to China twice so I’m on lists there, and I’m certain the US State Dept. has me on lists because of my travel to the middle east and the middle kingdom. I’m on a list in Canada, I had a work permit there for several years. I was working on a project subject to ITAR and had to go through that paperwork – that’s another list. At one point in my miss-spent youth, I’m sure I was on some other agencies’ lists as a “known associate”. There may even be criminal enterprises that have me on a list, if they do that sort of thing.

Don’t let the fact that you’ll end up on a list keep you from doing something. There are lots of us on lists, and the more there are, the more noise there is to get lost in. Use the lists to your advantage. I have access to more training activities now that I’m on a vetted list with HPD and the Constable’s Office. The CERT training is very broad based, and definitely worth trading for a spot on a list. So is ham radio. Medical training likewise.

If everyone’s the ‘biggest risk to the US’ then no one is.

Of course, be aware of when you really DON’T want to be on the list, and try to conduct at least part of your life so you don’t get on lists. Especially when it comes to stacking, you don’t want to be on the list of resources to be plundered. And since local is the new hotness, be very careful about getting on your neighbors’ lists… and consider making a few of your own.

You can think of the lists while you’re stacking.

nick

Mon. June 14, 2021 – a fresh new week!

Hot and humid. Possibility of rain. Yada yada, Houston, mumble… Yeah well it got to 107F in the sun at my house yesterday so that’s pretty stinking hot. And I mean stinking, especially after working outside… Today should be similar, with rain possible in the national forecast. It was still high 80s when I went to bed, so if the front moves in and brings some cooling with the rain, I guess I’ll live with rain.

Spent yesterday doing stuff around the house, and not much of it. Other than cutting the grass in the hottest part of the day, I mostly hid in my office. I did get two of my radios finally connected back up to their antennas and power supply, so that was something off the list. They might still have some cabling clean up in their future, but for now, I can at least listen again.

My auction pickup was vintage camping gear. There was a vintage sleeping bag (Comfy, Seattle Quilt Co) that might be worth some money, and a brand new lantern that I have to take a good look at. Styled like a coleman, but all shiny chrome, some research is in order. With the vintage pair of Filson boots I picked up at Goodwill, all I need is a red flannel shirt and I’m all set to hit the woods, 60s style.

While I was in and out of my office, I ripped another 20 or 30 CDs and 15 or 20 DVDs. Haven’t figured out why the Bluray disks won’t rip, but I haven’t looked too hard given all the other stuff on my list.

I updated my NVR linux install. It hasn’t been stable at all, but it’s the MS dotnet stuff that keeps crashing. At least once a day I get a seg fault or some other error, so I decided to try running update. I de-selected all the “move to the next version of dotnet (5)” stuff because it broke the NVR last time. That left the linux stuff and the fixes to dotnet 3. If it hasn’t crashed by later this morning, there has been an improvement.

In-laws were safely delivered to the airport and JetBlue’s tender mercies, so I have my house to myself again. Didn’t make MIL cry this visit, so that’s a win. Didn’t really talk to her at all about anything though. Didn’t say much to FIL either. My wife and I both love our families but there are reasons we live 2000 miles away. I wish it were different but if wishes were horses, we’d all be eating steak.* I try very hard to not get between them and the grandkids, except when my kids need protecting from their bizarre ideas. Fun to eavesdrop when oldest supports Trump in conversations with them. They dodge and bail on the subject pretty quickly. When a 12yo sees the truth, it’s pretty obvious and only the willfully blind refuse to see.

Today I’m stuck at home with the kids so I’ll be doing office and PC stuff. There is plenty of it to do. And when I get stressed, I’ll play with the puppy.

Keep stacking.

nick

*or living on a spaceship

Sun, June 13, 2021 – ah rest. Feels so good, I would like to try it.

Hot and humid, small chance of rain. Yesterday was 97F in the sun, and there was lots of sun. Was still 82F at midnight. Today should be more of the same, except for being on the edge of the predicted rain might see us get wet.

Went to my non-prepping hobby and it was great. Good meeting. Nice to be out and see people again. I didn’t end up even starting with the mask on, and no one else did either.

Later in the day we went to dinner at the same restaurant we tried when my mom was out here. This time there wasn’t even a sign on the door. All the staff was still masked, but none of the sitting patrons were. Most of the entering patrons still expected masks, including my family, but took them off and left them off after moving to a table. The place is a bit on the expensive side, date night or expense account not “let’s grab dinner out”, but it wasn’t exactly jumping on a Saturday evening. More patrons than our last visit though. Not as tasty as our last visit either.

Driving to my meeting at 8:30am felt like 6:30 in terms of traffic and people out and about. Things are not “normal” in any way yet.

Nothing stacked today, but I got a lead on a ham radio estate. We’ll see if it pans out, but it’s always fun to think about the hunt, and it was good to meet a new guy with shared interests.

Today I have one auction pickup, and in the late afternoon my inlaws need a ride to the airport. In between, yard work, gardening, cleanup, and the last of the tax prep? Maybe? Please Gnu yes.

And what stacking I can do, I will do, and so should you do!

nick

Thur. May 6, 2021 – the revenge of the sixth…

Cool and nice, like yesterday. Granted it did get warmer by late afternoon, and in the abundant sun,but it started cool and was cool in the shade. Not exactly dry, but nice.

Yesterday was a mixed bag of getting stuff done. I did get my two pickups done, one by IAH one by HOU, so not exactly efficient for gas or time, but many useful household things were acquired at bargain prices. It was a ‘pick the child up from school’ afternoon, so that limited my ability to get things done.

I did start loading stuff back into the Expedition. I still have to go through my work tools and supplies and cut back where I can and organize the rest, but I could throw all the bins into the truck and go to work tomorrow if needed. I have insurance coverage on the new truck, and the sirius/xm radio should be activated. Still need to pair my phone, do any updates to the OS and apps, and mess with the Sync functions of the ‘info-tainment’ system.

I really need to get the pickup truck in to the repair place. The problem is, it’s my ‘work’ truck and I generally load a bunch of stuff into the back at least once a week if not more often. Everything I have on my list at my secondary location requires the pickup. I’m going to have to suck it up and just get the repairs done.

One big difference between my old Expy and the new one, the old one had the shifter on the steering column, and a HUGE center console. The new one has the shifter in the center, and a tiny little console, with part of the space taken up by a power point and two usb ports. I don’t think I can even get a locking container into the tiny little thing. Aside from the storage issue, there isn’t any room for a ham radio or scanner. There was tons of room in the old truck. I’m trying to find room behind the dash or behind other panels in the new Expy. I can remote mount the control head for my dual band radio and bury the main body wherever it fit, but it’s just that much more work. If I don’t do it as part of ‘moving in’ to the new truck, it probably won’t get done though. Lists, I’ve got ’em.

Speaking of radios, the scanner was chock full of encrypted traffic for the last couple of days. HPD on their ‘tactical’ channels, and on their ‘homeland security’ channels, squawking all day. I can’t understand the traffic, but I can note the increase… and Baytown has been running disaster training scenarios on the radio all week too. Good to know they’re working on rescues and multi-victim structure fires. That SCBA gear sure makes it difficult to understand the firefighters on the radio but that’s a small price to pay for the lives it saves. Someone is also running surveillance on drug dealers, with a big buy op yesterday evening. If you’re not listening in to your local action, you should be.

You all know the drill, get to stackin’.

nick

Mon. Jan. 25, 2021 – I think Covid 19 will be here until Social Security is solvent…

Cool and damp again, some chance of showers.

Sunday was cool and saturated.  Light mist at various points in the day.  Some light spatter of rain in the late afternoon.  Overcast all day.

I got some stuff organized.   I set up a shelf in my storage unit and took a bunch of stuff to my secondary.   As long as I have space there, there is no reason to be stacking stuff long term in the storage unit.

My wife started the carpentry badge with her Girl Scouts.  I supplied a bunch of small hammers and some other manual tools.  None of the kids, and even the other mom, had ever used a handsaw.  They had fun, and there are at least one and maybe two more sessions to get the badge requirements finished.  That’s despite the badge requirements being both simple and baffling.

GS cookie season will be starting soon.  Support your local girls.  It helps the girls and their troops.  If you don’t eat cookies, they have a program to donate the boxes you buy to first responders, and you can usually just give them cash.

I’m still slowly relocating my radios and cleaning my desk.  I’ve got the 2 all band all mode radios moved to the file cabinet drawer, and the mobile quad bander fits too.  Now that I know the concept is good, I’ll get the power and antenna lines moved so they enter the drawer.   I had the radios on a little 6U rack shelf system, and that worked, but I decided I needed them off the desktop so I had room for some organizers for my other hobby stuff.

To say my workspace is cluttered is a MASSIVE understatement.

One of the drivers for the cleanup is the amount of dust that I can’t clean because of too much stuff everywhere.   If I sit here all day, I start coughing.  Not good.  Spring is coming anyway so it’s a good time for it.

Today I have to head over to my client’s house.  He’s having some networking issues with his control system.  Stuff is dying by degrees due to the lightning strikes and pure age in some cases.  Hopefully I can get him back up quickly.

Then it’s all the normal things that need doing.

Use this relatively quiet time to get your stuff in one bag…

Keep improving your position, and keep stacking.

 

n

 

(nope, no more to be said about the post title.)

Sat. Jan. 23, 2021 – busy day, making progress though

Cool and clear, I hope.   National map has us on the edge of a rainy area.  Usually the edge misses us.  I would like to get stuff done without getting rained on.

I spent some more time at my secondary  location doing clean up and throwing out stuff.   One of the things I un-buried was a shelving unit for my nearby storage unit.  I’ll be setting that up today if the rain holds off.  That will get some of my ebay stuff out of the house, without it being very far away.  Farther than I’d prefer, but keeping it here is not an option at this time.  Room needs to be made for GS cookies.

Yep, cookie season is almost here.  We thought it would be fully online this year, but I guess not.  Soon I’ll have hundreds of boxes of cookies in my foyer and living room.  Few of them for me, though.

My auction pickup yesterday was two ham radios.  Early 80s, solid units.   One was bringing crazy money on ebay.   I’ve got some work to do cleaning them up a bit and hopefully doing a little bit of testing.  Even as just a ‘parts’ machine, it should bring >$1100, which is nuts.  I am selling it, and not keeping it.   Need the money, have radios…   In fact, I’m toying with the idea of doing an auction in March of all the stuff I’d normally take to the hamfest.  I’ll talk to my local auctioneer and see what he thinks.

I’ve got a pickup in Conroe today, it’s stuff for building antennas.  I’m hoping to leverage some collapsible flagpoles into decent antennas.   They are always in that particular auction and go relatively cheaply.

There has been some discussion in various places regarding alternate comms and news sources.   Alex Jones led the way by having his show on shortwave for years.  Say what you will about him, a few of his darts have hit the board, and he was deplatformed before it was even a word.   He’s still around though.  I’m sure his shortwave show contributes to that.   In general, I thought the standard prepper recommendation to own a shortwave radio was not particularly useful.   The main broadcasters are religious based or state propaganda organs.  That said, many of the church people do news and talk too, and it’s possible to learn stuff from propaganda.   Given the crackdown on free speech in the US, I’m moving shortwave radio up the list a couple of notches.  Lots of good info about shortwave radios and listening on youtube.  (yes, evil youtube.  support the content creators that are making a living or living their dream on the platform.   Use patreon or whatever the creators like, and run adblockers to starve the beast.)

Compromise (or at least the appearance of ‘going along to get along’) is going to be the word-o-the day for a long time.  We need to maintain our ability to act, to support those that need support, and we need to get THROUGH this and out the other side, to wherever that may be.  There are times when that is not going to look very pretty.  I’m sure my tolerance for the necessary levels of compromise will vary and there may come a point where I can’t do it.  But given what that would cost  me, the current plan is pull back, pull in, and abide.    You may evaluate the situation and come to a different conclusion.   I may come to a different conclusion at some point too.  But I intend to survive this as intact as possible, and I’m PLANNING and provisioning to do that.

Stack it high.  Stack it in a bunch of small piles scattered all over.  Stack it wherever you can.  But STACK up some resources, friends, and knowledge.

nick

 

Mon. Jan. 11, 2021 – so much happening so fast, where to start?

Cold.  Wet.  Wet.  Cold.

Yesterday was low 40s and mid 30s with non-stop drizzle or worse.  It was 35F when I went to sleep.

Didn’t get anything at all done yesterday.  Really somewhat overwhelmed by the pace of things happening in the world.  Still, gotta keep moving forward.  So.

We’re 11 days into the New Year, and consider how much things have changed, just since Christmas.  Holy cr@p sandwich Batman…  what can a person do?

Well, it’s not too late to do something but by starting late everything will be harder and cost more.   If, that is, you think time is getting short.   If everything is fine, then why do you feel like you might want a gun, or some extra food in the house “just in case?”  Those sorts of feelings are your brain trying to tell you something is wrong with the world around you.  People who pay attention and do something about it are called “preppers” nowadays, but used to be called other things including “prudent”.

Most of the folks here at Daynotes have been preppers or at least have been prepping for a while now, or I hope they have been to SOME extent.   This post is more along the lines of something you can point the ‘new kid’ toward when they ask about what they should do.

First off, prepping is NOT a fringe activity.  Millions of people in the US and elsewhere prep to varying degrees.   It is the official policy of the US Government, promulgated by FEMA, that the citizens should prepare themselves for dealing with emergencies on their own.  There is a lot of information available from ‘official’ sources, but most of it is watered down, ‘lowest common denominator’ stuff.  Officially, FEMA says that in the event of an emergency, you should have enough stuff to take care of your needs for 72 hours, that being their minimum response time to a major incident.  Note the word ‘minimum’.   After several recent drills, for some people in some places, the recommended time was increased to 2 weeks.   Most people who consider themselves to be preppers can easily meet the 72 hours goal, and rapidly move on to the next level goal, and when they’ve reached that, move to the next.   That assumes they actually START, and that there is time for that approach to work.   There are other approaches we’ll talk about later.

There are as many approaches to prepping as there are preppers and there is an overwhelming amount of data online.   Somehow it became fashionable to put up prepping guides a couple of years ago, that were little more than fluff and had very little actual information in them and often had really bad advice to boot.  Because the internet is forever, a whole lot of those clickbait articles will show up when you start looking into prepping.

Before letting yourself be overwhelmed though, it’s important to realize a couple of things.   Prepping is a journey, not a destination.  Everyone’s journey is different, and as the Chinese and other’s have noted, the journey of 1000 miles starts with a single step.   So take that first step.

The first step is a question.  What are you prepping FOR?  The answer to that will shape your journey, but doesn’t necessarily define it.  The beauty of prepping is that each step builds upon the next and by prepping for the big things, you should automatically have the littler things covered along the way.  In normal times the answers range from a localized or regional “ordinary” disaster, like a flood, hurricane, winter storm, train derailment, or some other thing that is a likely and real hazard in your area; to a big thing, like global societal and economic collapse, a worldwide pandemic, or the fictional combination of the two- the zombie apocalypse.  A quick side note, for people new to prepping the idea of zombies and a zombie apocalypse can seem crazy, foolish, bizarre, or off-putting, but it’s really just a sort of shorthand for ‘everything goes nuts, nothing works like it should, and you are on your own.’    If you prep towards surviving that, you should have everything else covered.

So what are you prepping for?  If you are just starting,  you are likely concerned by the recent riots and destruction in our cities.  You have of course been affected by the current worldwide pandemic, and the restrictions related to covid-19 to some degree or another.  You might have been caught short in the beginning and wish to avoid that happening again if the wuflu does get worse.*  Or it might just be the REACTION to wuflu that concerns you.   You might be concerned by the political polarization in America.  Believe me, people on both sides are fully convinced that people on the other side are just a hair’s breadth away from exploding into violence.   That tells me that it’s coming for sure.   I don’t care which side you are on, and my politics are evident in other posts, but shouldn’t put you off.  I’ll try to be non-partisan in the body of these posts about prepping.  Maybe you see an economic collapse in the future.  Or you just see hurricane season starting up in a few months and you just want to get a jump on it…   I’ll tell you a secret.  Unless you live in a hazard zone, the most common disasters to befall people are much more personal – the loss of a job followed by long term unemployment, or serious illness/death of a loved one.  Prepping will help tremendously with those too.

One last thing before getting started.   This is going to be based on my approach, and my beliefs.    This website was Robert Bruce Thompson’s and he spent a lot of time talking about prepping issues, and his ideas shaped my own prepping journey.    He was a published author, a scientist, and a really smart guy who was very detail oriented and thorough.  I encourage anyone at any stage of their prepping journey to use the keywords at the right and read what Bob (RBT) said in his own words, as well as the discussion it engendered.  I’ll talk about his approach and link where appropriate.   I am not Bob, I’m not writing a book to serve as a reference manual, and I don’t think there is a lot of time to get YOU up to speed and taking the first step.   My approach is very quick and dirty compared to Bob’s well researched approach.  I usually go with the first thing that mostly works, rather than search for the perfect or complete solution.  I feel VERY STRONGLY that you should DO SOMETHING.  Preferably with guidance, and consideration, but I’d choose action over inaction in most cases.  Paralysis by analysis, or ‘overthinking’ is a real risk in prepping as in most complex endeavors.   The imperfect preps you actually have are infinitely better than the ‘perfect’ preps you DON’T have.

Ok, one more last thing.  I’m just a guy on the internet.  If something I suggest or advocate doesn’t seem right to you, do some more research.  There are as many different approaches and attitudes as there are people.  There are a LOT of good people out there writing about prepping and related subjects.   I’ll refer to them where I can.  I won’t generally be linking or footnoting everything.  You are sitting at a computer, connected to the internet- use that to your advantage if you need to see a reference or a link.  Consider too that my approach might not be a good fit for you, but you can hopefully still benefit from what I write, even if just by the negative example.   There are lots of people here to help me and to help you too, by keeping a sharp eye on me and what I’m writing.

So, today’s question.  What are you prepping for?  That will determine the extent of your preps, and your timeline, but mostly under my approach, it will determine when you STOP.  If you don’t know what you’re prepping for, just do what preppers do and say “zombie apocalypse.”

Today’s lesson, to get started, just do a little bit more than you usually do.  Buy more food that you normally buy.  Buy an extra of whatever home repair item you are buying.  Do a bit more cleaning.  A bit more exercise.  Fill your gas tank sooner than you might normally.  Get something fixed before it breaks more.  Along with that, go through your home and look at what resources you already have.   Look for things that aren’t going to help, that you no longer use/need/want.  Look for stuff that could be sold or traded or given to someone so that you can improve your situation, or theirs.

Figure out where you are starting from, so you know what you can build on.  Do you have tools?  A garden?  Generator?  Food in the pantry?  Camping equipment?  Medical knowledge but no supplies?  Any reference library?  What skills do you have?  If it helps you, make a list.

My approach is modular, builds off the previous level, and is a bit opportunistic.   Be open to things happening out of sequence.  Be prepared to take advantage of any opportunities that present themselves.

First goal- be able to stay in your home completely isolated, without changing your lifestyle or routine significantly, for 72 hours- 3 days.  And at the end of those days, you are not desperate or in need of aid, but you can continue your normal life, and replace what got used up.

We’ll talk about how to get there, and the next step later.


*I’ve been calling it wuflu from the beginning.  I know it’s not a ‘flu’ but it rolls off the tongue and is intended to remind the reader that this virus originated in Wuhan China.


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What do you guys think?  Is it worthwhile for me to continue with this idea for a while?  Not every day, but at least a couple of times a week?  Maybe on a separate page?  Too chatty?  Too presumptuous?  Too general?  Already been done?  Too ambitious?  Unnecessary?

Let me know what you think, and in your own lives, keep stacking.

 

nick

Fri. Oct. 16, 2020 -busy day

Hot and humid?  Or the cold front gets here and it’s cool and humid.  Either way, humid.

 

edit–  cold.  61F and misty drizzle at 7am.

Thursday was mostly nice, with some nasty moments of humidity.   I got all of my antennas back up, which meant I was up on the roof.   Even in the shade, with dead calm the humidity had me dripping sweat off my nose.

I cleared some shelves and moved several bins of auction stuff out of the house and onto the shelves.  I can’t have it just sit there while waiting to go to auction.  I’ll take the cleaning supplies and paper goods back to my secondary location.    It helped.   There are 4 bins that aren’t sitting in the foyer…

I did some small things in the garage.  Had to make some adjustments to the roll up door.  Somehow the cables got off their guide grooves on one side and the door wasn’t closing parallel to the ground.  It only took a half hour, but it’s always nerve wracking working around that spring.  Slow and steady, carefully considered- that’s the way to do it.

One advantage of working on stuff is getting a much clearer idea how it really works.  The first time working on the door had a bunch of discovery.  This time, I saw what was wrong very quickly and just fixed it.

I had to do a bit of repair on my discone scanner antenna.  Somehow during handling it I broke off two of the ‘cone’ elements.  They are hollow tubes with a threaded stud inserted into one end.  The stud pulled out of the tube.  I couldn’t re-crimp the tube, so I silver soldered them back together.  Worked well, and that’s another thing I bought far in advance of need.  I have no idea where or when I got the silver solder and flux, but I knew it was exactly what would be needed to fix something.  The antenna probably would still be 90% without the two elements, but it didn’t take long to fix them, and I had the stuff ready.  I’ll screw them back into the antenna today or tomorrow.  I’m listening to the scanner now, so some degradation didn’t make too much difference.

I finally got the feed line attached for my UHF antenna that I intend to use to D/L weather maps from the satellites.  (That’s the plan anyway.)  All the talk of using the SDR dongle for other things motivated me (since I was up on the roof anyway) to complete that antenna install.  Now I just have to get a PC set up with the software and get the dongle running again.

I got my Instacart grocery deliveries today too.  I found some cuts of beef on sale, although not the killer deal of the last couple of times.  More food in the freezer makes me feel better.  I added frozen fruit and vegetable mix as well as more bread.   My wife is making smoothies for breakfast and likes the frozen fruit for that.  Now that I have the additional freezer space, I can accommodate her.  (frozen fruit is a definite  luxury in prepping terms, if push comes to shove, I’ll reclaim the freezer space for meat or other protein.)

Today I’ll be doing some auction pickups.  I got a bunch of household stuff, and what I believe to be an RV sized battery charger/inverter.  It was $3 so worth the gamble.  I also got a small Dometic camping toilet, suitable for in vehicle use and at least part of a Dakota Alert driveway monitor.  There was a lot of camping stuff in the auctions this week, but I’m full up.  I’m actually looking to sell several coleman lanterns and maybe a stove or two.  I’m a whole lot less interested in keeping them in my “here you go, here’s a disaster kitchen” boxes than I was.  My teats are running dry of the milk of human kindness at the moment.

I’ll leave you with that unfortunate image burning in your brain, and suggest that you take what time and resources you have, and keep improving your position.  The easiest way is to keep stacking!

 

nick

Sun. Oct.11, 2020 – 2020 11 10 10 11 2020 11 10 10 11 2020

Maybe a bit cooler?  It would be nice.

Despite the overcast, yesterday stayed hot and stuffy all day.

I got a laundry list of small things done, and I’m going to take the ‘baby steps’ are still steps award.

Other than taking down my 40m dipole wire antenna, very little involved preps.  Oh, I had a can of mango explode, and another bulging.  I cleaned up that mess, and washed out the bin, and the cans.  Used another can to make cobbler for dessert.  I like mango cobbler better than peach so I stock mango.

While cleaning up that mess, I found some mouse droppings and a 2/3’s empty peanut butter jar.  Another jar was gnawed and open.  F me.   Set some glue traps in the shelves.  Cleaned up the mess.  Putting the cans (everything really) in shallow lidded bins payed off.  The mold from the exploding can only affected the one bin.   All the other food was untouched by mice except the aging peanut butter that wasn’t in a bin.  Given enough time, the peanut oil seems to migrate through the plastic jar, and I’m sure that was an attractant. The cans that failed were the ‘pop top’ style and the top did indeed POP.  It couldn’t be rats because my colony of rats learned that peanut butter = death, and they wouldn’t touch the stuff.  Time to refresh the poison bait boxes too.

I did manage to go through a couple of boxes in the garage that I haven’t opened in a while.  Moved some of the contents to the trash, some to the ebay pile, some to the local auction pile, and some to the ‘hamfest’ pile.  I really hope we can have our hamfest in March.  My non-prepping hobby club is planning a meeting next Saturday in a much larger space than we used to use.  I intend to attend.    I’ve got no problem masking and staying masked, most of the guys are older than me.  Funny, my ham radio meetings are that way too.  My part of the hamfest is the swapmeet and that is all outside anyway.

My plan for today is the same as always.  We’ll see how the plan does against reality.   Keep stacking.

nick