Wed. Mar. 30, 2022 – whistling past the graveyard…

Cool but damp morning, turning into rain later.  Or something like that.   We never did get the rain yesterday although we had a lot of gusty wind, and broken clouds.

Took almost 200 pounds of scrap steel fencing from the BOL to the scrap yard.   Got 16USD for it.  That’s 4 gallons of gas.  Had to be removed and disposed of anyway, so why not recover some value from it?

Did a pickup and hit the Habitat for Humanity reStore on the north side of town.   They had a couple of doors I can use, some cabinets that might work (although it’s a bit early to be looking at cabinets), and some other stuff the would end up at the BOL.   I also grabbed  a vintage turntable, a Garrard Lab 80, to part out.  I should be able to use the proceeds to buy some other stuff for the house.  It is case-less and lid-less so it makes more sense to part it than fix it.  Plus, I don’t need any projects.   Running, it would be a $500 turntable.  The parts will easily make back the $10 cost and put me squarely in profit.   You never know what you’ll find.

Didn’t get to costco or the grocery store, that has slipped to this morning.

This afternoon, I’ve got some more pickups, mostly stuff for the BOL, some stuff for here, and a couple of general preps.

WRT the water dripping from my ceiling, my wife is talking with yet another HVAC contractor about doing the update.  And she called an electrician about getting the hot water heater permanently set up.   So much stuff to do.  All of it takes time, money, and attention.

If you’ve got a list of things to do, or fix, or upgrade, you should probably start that process.   The wait times for parts or product are getting very long, even for commodity items.

And if you haven’t started stacking, you should.   Anything you already use is a good starting point.  Build from there.

nick

 

and if I failed to mention it, or you missed it, Barbara is home and doing well, getting ready for the next step on the road to recovery.

n

 

Tues. Mar. 15, 2022 – The Ides of March. Beware! If you’re Caesar.

The rest of us can probably not worry much.

Cool and wet in Houston.   Last I heard from up north a storm was rolling in at the lake…  but because of the complete lack of comms there, I’ll find out when I get back up there later today.

 

Regarding Barbara… I put up a post on her site and did an update comment late yesterday.  Long story short, her knee got infected (some MRSA variant) the knee replacement implant was removed, and she’s at a facility where they are both managing the infection and doing PT to get her strong enough to return home.  She is doing ok, better than the last time this happened, almost exactly 2 years ago.   She expects to be at home in a couple of weeks, and will probably not post until then.  If I have any news I’ll post here and at her site.

 

Regarding my adventures in BOL land… no comms.   My older cell booster couldn’t see anything.  The neighbor says his booster works ok, but only with verizon.  I’ll try my newer booster, but even if it works, someone in the family will be getting a verizon phone plan.   The neighbor is amenable to sharing his starlink service if it ever arrives, so that should ease things a great deal.

My wife spent the day painting out 70s plywood paneling.   I was messing with the antenna and booster most of the afternoon.   We got a late start, and wanted to take the first full day there a bit easy.   Kids were inflating stand up paddle boards, and kayaks.  Maybe we’ll get out on the lake today, if the weather opens up.   It was cool in the morning but got uncomfortable in the sun by afternoon.

I came home to reload the trailer and make a second run.   I also brought a bunch of scrap home to dispose of here.  No trash service up there.   I spent the evening loading up, and will load a bunch more stuff before leaving this morning.  I’ll unload and head back to Houston in the afternoon.  I have to return the trailer before 6pm.  I will probably spend tonight in Houston like last night, and head back up Wednesday morning.   I’ll load some more in the pickup, if it’s not raining.

It’s very unnerving to be completely without news up at the BOL.  No AM radio during the day, only a few FM stations, mostly church stations, and a country station.  No news breaks that I heard all morning.  I’m taking a shortwave with me today.  Funny if that works better than local.   I can also take my XM radio.   I will be putting up a tower at some point, for TV, cell, and ham radio.    We don’t have to watch or listen, but that’s a bit different than not being able to.    At some point I might try my DirecTV “camping” system.  It’s a dish on a ground supported tripod with 50ft of cable.   I’ve got plenty of DirecTV gear, but no active subscription.   It didn’t occur to me yesterday morning to try the XM in the car.  In any case, the world survived another day.  Gnu willing that will continue.

 

Busy days, lots of driving, and WWIII rumbling in the distance…  interesting times.

Stack something new today.

n

Tues. July 21, 2020 – another day…

Hot, but maybe a bit less.

Yesterday never got as hot as the weekend.  The overcast and rain kept it a bit cooler.  Miserable humidity, but cooler.

After running around all day, getting and fixing a flat, picking up and dropping off, just when I was really getting started in the garage the rain shut me down.

So the plan for today is start back in with that.  Meet the guy from ebay for his pickup, then do some errands.  Easy peasy.

Much easier than helping my 9yo deal with not seeing her friends for months at a time.  She was really upset last night.  It’s not just us, the other kids’ parents don’t want to get together for a virus swapfest either.  Things aren’t ever going back to “normal”.  We’ll adapt to the way things are.  I better figure out how to get the kids started on that.

And myself too.

Keep stacking,  and drop Barbara a note…. AT HOME!  She’s headed home today.   HOOORRRAAAY.

email me if you need the address.

nick

Tues. July 7, 2020 – ay, que loco

Hot and humid, but maybe less so.

Yesterday was cooler in the evening than last week.  Hot during the day though.

I didn’t get much done.  Had to go to my storage unit to get an ebay sale item, then pack and ship that.  Grabbed some useful stuff from the unit while I was there.  On the way home, I cruised the heavy trash piles and easily could have filled the pickup with free firewood.  As it was I grabbed mostly 6-8 inch diameter limbs, all oak, and about 4 feet long.  I’ll get them cut and stacked soon enough now that I have the racks in place.  Having the pickup truck makes it easy to do some things that would be much harder without it.  Scavenging, and transporting building supplies are two that leap to mind.

Today I need to drop off a projector for service, hit the Habitat reStore to see if they have a door that will replace my patio door, and do a quick site visit for my client.  He lost about half his wifi in the house.  I think I probably messed up the PoE or net connection when I was over there last week.  I think I’ll mask up, or at least be back to wearing gloves on site, as I didn’t want to be there for a couple of weeks while the covid cooties died off.

Hopefully I can also find time to drop off some auction stuff too.  Most of my errands are in the Northwest metro area today.   I try to “clump” errands to save driving and time.  Can’t always, but I do try.

Thanks to whoever recommended the Alex Verus magic books, both my wife and I enjoyed them a lot, and are looking forward to the next one.   Harry Dresden and Alex Verus both have new books in the series out this Fall.  That seems a long time away at the moment.

Dinner was mostly leftovers.  A bit of ham steak rounded out the meal.   In times of hardship and privation, throwing out food is very undesirable.   Cooking portions that all get eaten is a learned skill.  Eating the leftovers just takes doing it.  So much easier, and yet I know people who don’t and won’t eat leftovers.  I hope they can continue to be so choosy.

In other news, I had a long conversation with Frances about Barbara’s condition and status.  Good news.  They are transferring her to a rehab facility.  That means that outside of the picc line, she’s off of IV meds, and the infections are taken care of.  The exception being the one in her spine that is causing the pain and disability.  She’s looking at 6-8 weeks of treatment for that, hopefully with prompt and continued improvement.  They are not setting a schedule for when or under what conditions she can return home, she needs to get more mobile, get daily living chores under control, and get the pain under control before then.  However, she’s making progress, and getting out of the actual hospital.   Once she’s settled into the new facility, I’ll pass along contact info for cards or treats.  She’s aware of and grateful for the concern and support from our community.  I should have another update in a day or two.  (and Colin is doing fine with Al as his personal body servant)

And that’s it for this morning.   Keep stacking.

 

nick

Thur. June 25, 2020 – here I sit…

Hmm, warmer?  Humid.  Really humid.  Wet even.

Yesterday did warm up but didn’t get scorching hot.  The sun never really came out for most of town.  Parts got hammered by rain- I could see the cell dumping on the north side when I was out running errands.  Only spatters here at home though.

——————————————

Turns out I won’t be buying a new Lexus for the Orthodontist this fall.  The doc said to wait for a while longer before Daughter 1 needs braces on her teeth.  That is a relief for us all.  My wife took her and was impressed with the lengths the orthodontics office went to to prevent infection.

Speaking of, we won’t be going to swim team practice today.  We’ve decided to pull back a bit.  One kid with headache and sore throat, the other with ‘itching’ throat, and everyone seems to have forgotten to even try to distance themselves.   We’re going to be prudent, cautious, and considerate.  I think having a family we know all come down with wuflu has ratcheted up my wife’s concern level dramatically.  She’s quoting local hospitalization rates and available ICU beds to ME….

I have other stuff to do.  With the 4th of July coming, my client wants all his stuff working, and the new stuff all installed.  He’s even got my conduit trenched in.  I thought waiting for that to happen would buy me a lot of time.  So today I have to get up in the attic and pull some cables.  I’m hoping for rain and lower temps out in the country.  Then tomorrow I’ll finish up the install and commissioning of the new stuff.  That’s the plan anyway.  It does mean I’ll be entering the Costco to buy a new TV for him.  He’s tired of waiting for the service guy to make a decision and proceed with the replacement.  When Concierge services does get around to it, we’ll have a hot spare for the next dead tv.

I’m debating whether to do my Costco shopping or not since I’m in the store.  Big difference in my mind between entering, grabbing a TV and exiting, and spending an hour shopping.   I’m leaning toward instacart.  Costco is back to discounts on a bunch of my normal purchases this month, so I’m definitely either ordering or shopping.   I was also thinking about hitting the HEB in person.  There are some items I buy that aren’t listed on the Instacart app, that I’d like to restock.  But again, if we’re pulling back, this is not the time to be returning to the stores.

Am I being consistent or stubborn?  Consistent or unwilling to adapt to changing conditions?  I know which I think is true.

Dinner was mostly leftovers with a bit of rice added, and cookies from mix for dessert.  Mix was BB 2020, so right on time, half a decade early by my usually standards.


I got a brief update from Frances regarding Barbara.  She’s doing better, sitting up, talking, had some of the medical stuff removed, she’s even being funny, but no timeline for her return home has yet been discussed.  They are continuing to test and check for other issues, but it sounds like she’s responding well to the current treatment plan.  Let’s hope that continues.


It’s important to remember that the people driving the BLM movement, Antifa, and the other grab bag of protesters and rioters are still out there doing their thing, or getting ready for their next thing.  Even in Madison WI, one of the most progressive places I’ve ever been, and also a tiny little place on the edge of nowhere, they’re pulling down statues and pummeling state senators.

If anyone here has a credible scenario for how we get back to “normal” by Christmas, feel free to share in comments.  I can not think of what would need to happen for that to work out.   I can think of LOTS of ways things are worse then than now.  So, unless you can do the math, and show your work for how this all ends before the end of the year, it behooves you to make some preparations.

This stuff has a life of its own now, and it won’t want to die.

Keep thinking.  Keep prepping.  Keep stacking.

nick

Sun. June 21, 2020 – Fathers’ Day

Hot and humid.  Possibly rainy.

Happy Fathers’ Day to all the dads.  Becoming a dad and raising my kids has been the best thing that ever happened to me.  It definitely changed my planning horizon  🙂

Yesterday did finally cool off a bit late in the day, but otherwise was hot and oppressively humid.  I was north of the city running my errands, and could see the storm cells south of me.  I did finally move south and got hammered by rain at my secondary location.  As I moved away from there, only a mile west, it was dry as a bone.

I stopped at an estate sale, with a seller that I like whose prices are always good, and LO! the upright freezer they had listed was still there.  Second day, discounted to $200.  It’s older but a good brand and was plugged in and very cold, so I grabbed it.  I’ll have to move even more stuff around in the garage to accommodate it…  Funny thing was, as I was chatting with one of the helpers (who I see and talk to fairly often at sales, and is a friend of a friend) he looked at me and said “how you gonna fill it with meat? Cuz prices are crazy and you can’t get a lot.”   It’s funny because I’ve been wondering the very same thing.  If nothing else I’ve got some redundancy and excess space for a while.  I am going to try to fill it though.

Dinner was beer brats on the grill, with cookies and cupcakes for dessert.

Followed dinner with family game night.  One easy quick game of Sequence, and one long three way battle that ended in a draw.  It’s a fun board game that uses playing cards, and even younger kids can play effectively with adults.  Definitely recommended, and best played with two teams of two.

Sequence is one of my favorites, and I also really like Ticket To Ride.  I’m always up for one or the other.

Later I got an email update from Frances.  They have decide that Barbara has a staph infection and they are going to treat that with antibiotics.  It will be a couple of months if everything goes well until she’s finally done, but hopefully she’ll see some improvement right away.   We’re still holding off on cards and flowers.   I’ll let you know if that changes.

——————————————————

Out in the wider world, we’ve moved to full on third world behaviour.  Mobs are pulling down statues of our country’s founders and military heroes.   Armed insurgents have captured and barricaded off an area inside one of our cities.  They’ve held it, and plan to continue holding it.  Make and adjust your plans accordingly.

Keep stacking.

 

nick

Sat. June 20, 2020 – another week gone

Slightly cooler, humid, might be some rain.

Yesterday we got rain almost everywhere I wasn’t.    I could see the cell moving across the north side of town as I drove around, but I never had any significant rain hit the truck.  It did rain here at the house according to my  wife,  so I won’t have to water the gardens.  Streets were dry by the time I got home though.

Juneteenth was a nothing burger.  I’ve lived here since ’03 and never was aware of any particular celebration even though it’s supposed to be a Houston thing.  I certainly never heard anything about it in all the years I’ve lived elsewhere.  The scanner had the cops following and keeping an eye on various groups throughout the day, but I didn’t hear about any violence.  I guess it could have gone a different way, and it did bring home the value of the scanner for at least a heads up, since I was completely unaware until I heard the first discussion about the gathering crowd.  I chose a different route for my errand and avoided any potential threats.

Today I’ve got a couple more things to pick up, and then I’m battening down the hatches again.   Too many stories of people who just HAD to go out and break the distancing rules, who are now getting sick.   I don’t feel super anyway, so I’m not risking it.  YMMV.  I am ADVOCATING that you all continue to isolate as much as possible.  I could be wrong and often am, but the downside risk is huge for this one.

Kids are at swim team practice with the wife this morning, and then (possibly) staying for some free swim.  I’m not the boss of her and I know she’ll TRY  to stay separated.  It will also let her take the tenor of the (female half of the) tribes.  Perhaps she’ll get home with renewed commitment to isolating.

It could happen.

Dinner was stewed chicken thighs, in the slow cooker with a sauce packet and veg.  I didn’t have what I usually put in, so I went with onion, turnip, beets, carrots, and apple.  It tasted great.  Just a bit of extra sweet to go with the savory of the spice packet.  Dessert was a cupcake.  Daughter baked cupcakes for our friends with covid, and another family we haven’t seen in  a while.  They dropped them off as a drive by act of kindness.

Some of you know from yesterday’s comments that Barbara is sick in the hospital, which is why she hasn’t posted this week.  Please see my post over at her site for what details we have.  I’ll be passing along whatever she or her sister Frances would like me to.  Please keep  her and those who love her in your prayers.

The one scenario/ contingency I can’t remember Bob ever discussing planning for was his absence.  Give it some consideration in your own situation and planning.

Keep planning, and stacking.

 

nick

 

Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do

Warmish and wet. [not so much, front moved in, 50F and dripping this am]

Had overcast all day but didn’t get any rain until after 9pm, and it didn’t last long.

Spent the afternoon running around doing pickups and drop offs. So much stuff to do normally, and I’m also trying to step up my preps.

I’m going to try to fit in a Costco run today with all the other stuff going on.

I’ve been a bit casual checking my email lately. I’ve got my reader open to my sales addy, hoping to see orders coming in… so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a note from Barbara.

It was in regard to our discussion of Bob’s works in progress. She didn’t want to pursue the fiction book, and had this to say–

The best prepping insights from Bob are what he posted on the site.

All of his previous science and computer books are now pretty much out of date. Those that are still in print can be found on the O’Reilly site.

I want to thank you, Rick, and all of the readers on Daynotes for keeping his ideas and memories alive.

Barbara

I’m sure I speak for all of us saying “Thank You” to Barbara for supporting our continued efforts here. It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.

nick

Tues, Jan 9th, Nick posting- placeholder- with update from Barbara

Update 13:42. Bob is still waiting to go to a rehab facility. Yesterday morning the place we had lined up decided not to take him because of the trach which they knew about Friday when they offered the bed. Oh well. I ended up staying in Winston yesterday hoping we could get something else worked out. Also, there was inclement weather up here and supposedly heading to Winston so Al and I decided we would stay in our respective locations until today. I spent the morning at the hospital working with the case worker and visiting with Bob. He is doing well BTW. He had a good
PT session and when he speaks slowly and loudly I can understand him even with the trach tube. There are not a lot of choices in our vicinity that will take trach patients but fortunately the hospital is being patient until we can find a place.
===================================================================
Hopefully this is just a placeholder for Barbara’s update, but if she’s busy (and that’s pretty likely!) I’ll open the day.

I’m out and about most of today, nothing like the waste of time involved in a 12 hour appointment window for the gas company. It’s cold today too, 46F, and the house has no heat (‘cuz no gas) so I’m gonna LOVE sitting around there waiting.

nick

Sunday, 29 October 2017

10:20 – It was 41.1F (5C) when I took Colin out at 0730, heavily overcast and with a stiff breeze. We’d had 2.4 inches (6.1 cm) of rain since yesterday. I’d have to check my records to be sure, but I think we’re around 10 inches (25 cm) for the month to date. Overnight and tomorrow, we’re to have our first hard freeze of the season and our first snow accumulation.

Barbara called yesterday afternoon to say she’d changed her mind about staying in Winston last night and heading home this morning. Instead, she just stopped long enough in Winston to transfer her personal stuff and things she’d bought in New York to her own car, after which she drove back here to Sparta, arriving at about 19:10.

Colin and I were both delighted. Barbara thought I looked so bad that she wanted to haul me over to the emergency room. I convinced her that wasn’t necessary. She agreed but only if I started doing what she told me. Right now, that’s mainly drinking lots of fluids (even though the doctor said I wasn’t at all dehydrated) and breathing deeply to draw in lots of air (even though my pulse ox this morning was 98, two points better than Barbara’s). I think the problem is that I’m still gradually recovering from pneumonia and still have some congestion in my lower lungs. And I will admit that I’m not drinking anywhere my normal 3 to 4 liters per day. For the last couple of weeks, it’s been more like one liter per day, and sometimes less.