Category: computing

Thur. Nov. 3, 2022 – amateur dramatics, family fun night!

Cool and wet again, or maybe better described as ‘very damp’.  Hopefully staying dry all day.  I’ve got things to do.   Which didn’t get done yesterday.

I mostly ended up cleaning house and doing some auction stuff.  Which is really nothing to write home about.  But I do anyway!

And more of that is on the agenda for today too.  I’ll take down a few more decorations.   I’ll move a few more things around in the stacks.  And I’ll bait the danged possum trap again.  SOMETHING knocked a bunch of stuff off my shelves again.  I don’t know if it is the same possum, or if I’m on the Grand Tour somehow.   At least they are greedy or dumb enough to keep going into the trap.  Rats wouldn’t be fooled twice.  Rats are too smart.

It is time to re-bait the poison boxes for the rats though.  And to spray the outside of the house with bug spray.  It’s always time for something.

I’ve got bait and extra bait boxes.   Ordered them from amazon, and won some in an auction.  That’s a prep, for sure.  The collapse of the economy will be accompanied by a rise in vermin.  2, 4, 6 and 8 legged vermin.   Get some stuff stacked to deal with them.  Otherwise, when you need it, it might not be there.

That is the nature of prepping in a nutshell, to have what you need when you need it, no matter what is going on around you.

Stack it up, so you have it when you need it.



(D1 and D2 have their school play tonight, so that will occupy my evening.   I won’t forget my earplugs this time.)

Sun. Oct. 2, 2022 – 10022022 – really just more of the same…

Cool and crisp.  Warming later.   Sun.   Beautiful weather.

I didn’t get to the BOL on Saturday.   Too many things to do, some of which went long, and some of which just popped up…   Sold my forklift.   Lost about $400, after having it for 3+ years.   Like boats, unless it is earning you money, rent, don’t buy.  Getting it started after a couple months sitting, after 3 years not moving, took a bit longer than I had budgeted, and the guy was an hour later than I hoped.   Still, not only did he come by, he bought it. A  Craigslist transaction that didn’t suck, yahoo!

But the delays started to pressure my schedule to do a pickup on the way to the lake.   Heading home, I chanced upon a yard sale… and really scored.  Not preps, but stuff for my workshop.  20 large, heavy duty, mostly made in USA C clamps for $50 was like STEALING.  A live animal trap, some extension cords, hitch stuff, stapler and staples, and some long reach welding visegrips, brought the total to $100.   Score.  But, that ate some time too.   When I finally looked at the google map, my drive time was one hour, not 45 minutes!   And all my slack was gone.   The straw the broke the dromedary’s hump was an ebay sale just as I was getting ready to leave.   No way I could pack the sale, get my food and clothes together, and make the hard deadline for the pickup (two roll around AC units and some romex.)    I just jumped in the truck and sped on my way.  I made the pickup with less than a minute to spare.  The guy was pulling through the gate to lock it and leave.   He was not thrilled, but I was there before 6…

So today I’ll pack and head out at a more leisurely pace.  There was stuff I could have done Sunday morning, but it will wait until Sunday afternoon, or during the week while the foundation guys work.

There is always more to be done.  Like stacking, you just have to keep after it.


Thur. Sept. 8, 2022 – “I got the rockin’ pneumonia and the boogie woogie flu..”

Day starts nice and cool, but still gets up near 100F in the afternoon.   Maybe some spotty rain.  Maybe not.  We did get a few drops yesterday and the sky turned black for a couple minutes but it blew right past us.

We got a lot done yesterday.   Tanks are placed, inspected, and wiring and plumbing are underway.  Hopefully today we’ll get the stuff that was never properly connected to the system plumbed in, and the electrical done.   If we get lucky, drip line will go in too.   This guy is good, conscientious, but he works alone, so it does take a bit longer.   To be fair, the additional plumbing was a surprise, as was the giant root ball, and the crazy thickness of the concrete.   Just getting the hole dug, and the lines trenched in was more difficult than it should have been.  Still, progress is being made.   The pace has slowed a bit as we are both getting worn out by the additional effort required.

I did not get gas lines in, because I was prepping for the additional plumbing.   Lots of poor choices were made decades ago, and I’m paying for them now.

Spent some time spinning the dial on the shortwave, which is where today’s title came from.   WTWW on 5.085mhz plays a lot of good music at night, and it’s  a WIDE variety.   Lots of stuff I haven’t heard in years.  If you are looking to get familiar with shortwave listening, that’s one freq to check along with the national time signals.

Prepping involves testing gear and assumptions.  Get your radio out and see what you can hear, and if you can actually tune to anything.   Shortwave is an entertaining way to get a feel for propagation, without firing up your ham rig.

And as always, stack some things.


Tues. Sept. 6, 2022 – more digging, more work

Cool to start but warming up later.    Humid of course.  It was 89F when I knocked off working yesterday, and still 80F when I went to bed.  Even though it started cool, it ended pretty warm.

Spent the day breaking rocks in the hot sun.   Didn’t fight the law.  Details in yesterday’s comments.

Today should be more work by the septic guy, and I should do a lot less to help.   If it’s reasonably cool, I’ll be in the attic running gas pipe.  If not, I’ll do something else.   There is always something else to do.

Wife and kids made it home safe.  I had a nice fire, and the shortwave bands were pretty wide open up to about 9 mhz.   Nothing much after that.   Ham bands, 40m especially, were crowded.   Didn’t hear much, too many pileups.

Early to bed, because today will be early to rise.  Don’t think it’s gonna make me wealthy, or wise, but I’m sure to learn more about septic.

Stacking up the knowledge.

Stack something, ‘cuz you never know what you’ll need.


Mon. Apr. 25, 2022 – birthday and anniversary this week

National forecast says we might be getting some rain today and tomorrow… which I’m hoping against.  I’ve got stuff to do that needs dry weather.   It was 76F and 91%RH when I went to bed.

I did some stuff Sunday.  Mostly fled the house and the squealing of tiny proto females.   Did two pickups, both mainly for my non-prepping hobby.   Did daddy daughter stuff, then wasted time on the internet with my friends. Oh, and during that time the dog ate an unknown quantity of Easter chocolate and caused some concern and an attempt at making him vomit it up.  The little poop factory eats aluminum soda cans, a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide didn’t phase him.  He’s still alive so I guess he didn’t eat too much of the chocolate.

Today’s plan is to figure out what’s gone wrong with my pickup truck, get some bins of stuff ready for auction, and do a pickup or two of BOL stuff.  Rain complicates all of that tremendously so I’m hoping it misses us.

I’ve got so much going on this week, swim team practices start, D2 has a birthday, I have a wedding anniversary, and all the normal things too.  It’s crazy.

Some comments at the end of the day yesterday regarding supply chain, food, and corn.  If you haven’t caught up, take a minute and read them and consider how they’ll affect you if it happens that way.

Beyond local and national farm issues, the brutal lockdown in China is backing up shipping and supply chain like crazy.  The effects will start showing up in a couple of weeks and it will take months to un-flock this clustered mess.  Expect anything coming from or through China, and particularly Shanghai to be delayed or unavailable, possibly for months.

The situation is worsening folks, in just about any way you look at it.  I know, I know.   Sky is falling yet again.  Yep.  Look at the material and make your own conclusions.  If you decide it’s overblown, then at least you’ve considered it, and didn’t just keep running forward with your eyes closed.

If like me and others, you see all the signs pointing to things getting worse, not better, ACT on that.  Take actions that work for you and your family and for your financial situation.  I’m still in “don’t do anything irrevocable” mode, but we did turn a whole pile of cash into a whole pile of bricks and dirt because my wife agrees that inflation is eating our savings like a fat man at a buffet.

Interest rates are rising.  They’ve already risen.   If you are selling a house, do the deal.  If rates rise too much the housing bubble will pop again.  If you are buying a place to live, and it’s within your means, know that you might end up underwater on your loan for a while, and that might limit you for a few years or longer.  I wouldn’t be buying any place as an “investment” and I wouldn’t be entering into an adjustable rate mortgage at the moment either… nor would I ‘stretch’ to make a purchase that is outside what I can safely afford.  If I was renting, I’d be looking at long term leases to lock in monthly payments.  If I was the owner, I’d be looking at short term leases as much as possible.

Also consider what these changes and trends mean for fixed incomes and government assistance programs and the people dependent on them.   Food shortages almost always lead to riots.     In other words, I expect violence and lawlessness to increase.  It will be variable by area, but everyone will be affected.   And people will be fleeing to your safe semi-rural area when the cities get worse.  They’ve already started.

Time to really get busy getting ready.   Suck it up and stack it up.


Sun. Apr. 24, 2022 – sometimes, I just throw up my hands…

Possibility of rain today, with moderately warm temps.  Yesterday was fairly nice.   Sun, moderate temps, and not too humid.  Not many of those days left before summer really hits.

Slept in, didn’t get a whole lot done before I had to put my chef’s hat on.   Dinner was a success with the birthday girl, her friends were a  lot less enthusiastic about the lamb.  Which is a shame because it was pretty good.  I tried something different with the bread, and it worked out.  When I was in college, we’d sometimes eat at a steak restaurant attached to a wholesale butcher.  It was great food and cheap, and the meal came with “Roman Bread”.   I’ve been thinking of that bread for a while, and finally decided to try finding a recipe and making it.   The actual recipe from the restaurant was online, and it was straightforward.

It was as good as I remember, a hit with my wife, and the kids liked it.  The yeast I used wasn’t very vigorous (the packet was one year past best by date) but it’s a pretty flat bread anyway, and it rose enough.  The onions make it sweet, the rosemary makes it savory, and it has a great texture.  It’s not as simple as true flatbread or tortilla, and uses more energy and ingredients, but it’s about half way there between a loaf and flat…   I’ll be making it again, that’s for sure.   Variations might be great too, like grated cheese instead of onion, or chopped chives, or any number of other things.

The Roman Bread is a lot like fruit cobbler, in that little can go wrong, you can do variations, and prep time is minimal.


Someone mentioned it in comments, but I’ll repeat that the Texas preparedness tax holiday continues until Monday midnight.  As long as you order and pay before then, you get the tax back, or don’t pay it.   The list and limits are here.


The problem with my truck not starting may not have been the battery failing.   There was no juice, and the battery read 12.8v while connected, but a new battery failed to solve the problem.   Still no start, still not enough juice to run any accessories.   I will be troubleshooting that further today, I didn’t have time to look at it before, once I knew there was still an issue I just closed the hood and walked away.  Very weird though.

The rest of today will be me working the list.   And it gets bigger every day.

I encourage you, in the strongest possible way, to build up your food supplies.  Stack it high.


Sun. Apr. 17, 2022 – Happy Feast of the Resurrection

Cool and damp this morning in Houston.   Dew is heavy on the ground.  I’m hoping for sunlight and warm soon.


To the readers who are believers and who follow this calendar, I wish you a glorious Feast of the Resurrection.   If you have to wait a bit, please remind me when the day comes so I can offer you good wishes as well.


If you are a believer of an older tradition… and celebrate Passover, I wish you well.


And if a believer of a still older tradition, Happy Feast of Hestia/Esther.


Whatever your faith or lack of faith, or even if you reject the idea of faith, I think we can all celebrate being alive, which is not guaranteed nor mandated, especially in these unsettled times.


If you are so inclined, don’t forget to prep you spirit, as well as mind and body.



Sat. Mar. 5, 2022 – time keeps on slippin’ into the future….

Cool, overcast, damp, but not actually raining… except the forecast says possible rain.  I hope for some more clear time to move stuff around.

I did some of that yesterday.  Picked up stuff, and moved stuff.  Back was sore last night, and is sore again today.   I’ve been wearing some lightweight tactical boots and they have both good support and good cushioning.  It seems to be making a difference in how bad I feel after lifting and toting.

D2 has a function for her school club this morning.  Mom is going to take her.  I hope to sleep in a bit.  Not too much, I’ve got too much to do.

And some of it will get done.  Some of it will not.

I didn’t get to Costco on Friday, and I’m loathe to go on the weekend but needs must, if I can find the time.

I can use the extra stacks.   It’s feeling like that sort of a decade.

Stack something this weekend.  Or go all Scrooge McDuck on your piles, and check them over.   But do something.



Sun. Jan. 23, 2022 – 01232022 – silly, I know.

Cold and clear.  Was 34F when I went to bed.  Didn’t get very warm during the day, probably won’t today either. Pretty sure we froze at some point, but I’ve got the citrus indoors, and I’m hoping nothing is negatively affected.

Did some more cleanup on the old family pc.  I’d previously upgraded it with an SSD and it breathed new life, along with making the RAM and adding a second drive for data… but the main reason for retiring it (technically anyway, the real reason was the newer $8 pc I picked up) was that the SSD was full and it’s a pain to manage where stuff goes on it.

Well.  I killed more than half the drive’s capacity which was taken up with LOG FILES from failed updates.  150GB of pure crap was filling the drive.  And windows ‘drive cleanup’ tool doesn’t even look for the files.  WinDirStat identified the biggest files, and where they were, and I deleted them.  Just like that the PC is usable again.   I went looking because windows update was failing with useless error messages.  It sure looked to me like the updates were failing when they tried to make a restore point, because the drive was full.

After making space, update found 23 more updates to apply under ‘safety and security’, so I did those and it updated without an issue.  Freaking windows storing cr@p and failing with useless errors.

Now I’ve got to look for the same sorts of things on this, my primary desktop.  I bet it’s full of cruft too.

— spent the evening watching Bukaroo Bonsai with D1.  She laughed and enjoyed it.

The at bedtime we had a long philosophical discussion.   Kid’s smart but since we’re not religious, she doesn’t  have a framework she can fit the more mystical workings of the universe into…  And old movies give us plenty to discuss regarding PC language, wokeness, and changing times.  She’s anti-wokeness.  The kids are starting to back lash against it.  They’re tired of saying the opposite of what their eyes tell them.  Interesting times.

Took some stuff to my secondary, and spent some time stacking stuff on a pallet for auction.   Monday I’ll be talking to another auction company about consigning a truck full of stuff with them.  They definitely do ‘estate sale’ type stuff, and it sells, if not always for highest dollar.   They just moved to a bigger, and empty warehouse space so the time to strike is now.

Ordered some powdered cream for the stacks.   It was finally back in stock.   The powdered cream, butter, and cheese all do age out.  They get hard and lumpy, and get an ‘old’ flavor, so I need to rotate them, even if it means wasting them.  I won a ‘seed display’ in one auction too.  It looks like it’s about half flowers, half veg.  We’ll see if it was worth the money when I pick it up.  Seeds aren’t cheap.

Don’t forget to stack up  the little things that make all the other things better, like butter and cream.   Stack the things.



Fri. Jan. 21, 2022 – or 01212022 – another week slid by, yet this month is really long…

Cold, but I don’t know yet how cold it will get, or how cold it got.  It was 35F when I went to bed.  It is supposed to be clear today anyway, and tomorrow as well.

Mostly spent yesterday poking at things.  I did get to the grocery store, and noted in comments that  there were big gaps in the shelves in several areas.   Cat food and cold and flu OTC meds being the most prominent.

Today should be more auction and ebay stuff. If the weather stays clear I’ll go to my storage unit and clean and sort.  If not, I’ll do some more ebay stuff here at the house.  I’ve got stuff to test and clean and list.   Last night I had stuff sell in the auction by the guy who changed his mind about taking all of my stuff.   I think I did well with LPs and with books, of all things.  There were a couple of collectibles that didn’t do badly, and there was some stuff that sold for $1, but  at least it’s gone.

I hope he’ll be happy and take another load right away.

This afternoon and evening, my wife and D2 will be joined by the rest of her troop and they’ll be off to GS camp for a Gymkana, whatever that is.   The hope is sports on horseback, and related to horses.  Hard to be sure from the GS description.  Friday and Saturday night away, home Sunday afternoon.  That leaves me with D1 and a bunch of work to do.  We’ll see how that goes.  Cookie season is in a week or two, so the last bits have to be out of the house to make way.  Of course that was supposed to have already happened, but …  plans vs reality.

While I was at the grocery, I did add a flat of canned peas to the stacks,  6 pounds of bacon, and some pork chops and loin.  Beef was in short supply and none was on sale.  A little voice keeps poking me to add alternatives to fresh milk.  I have a bunch of Lido powdered full fat, and we don’t use as  much as we did a year ago, but I think I’ll add more.   It keeps fairly well.   I should open an old can and see how it’s doing.  For science or something.   But seriously, when I get little pokes from the universe like I’ve been getting about the milk, I ignore it at my peril.   YMMV but I’ll be checking the old and adding some new.

Anyone else getting weird vibes or feel short of something?

If you do, stack it up.



BTW, I’ve now been doing this officially for 4 years ( a bit longer if you count the days I was just filling in for Bob while he was sick), without missing a day that I can remember.  Some days the end product was pretty weak, but at least the lights were on and the door unlocked.  All y’all are the reason I do it, to keep this unique thing that Bob built alive.  Thanks for sticking around and making this place somewhere I enjoy spending my time.  And thank you Barbara for letting us, and Rick for making it all work.  We’ve got a rocky road ahead, but we’re all better prepared for it than we were, and we will get through it.



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