Sun. July 5, 2020 – more of yesterday, with fewer fireworks

Hot again, although we are supposed to be on the edge of a weather system, so that might mess things up.

Yesterday was hot.  Humid and hot.  Some relief in the shade when the breeze was blowing, but overall, hot.

I got several little things done, or moved along a bit.  Got a log storage rack built and in place.  Stacked all the logs and sticks that were already cut to length.  I’ve still got a couple of limbs to cut to length and stack but I didn’t want to get the chainsaw out yesterday.  I’ll probably do that today.

I worked on getting some of the garage cleaned so I can get the new freezer in, and that wall of the garage rearranged.  It’s gonna take some work, and it’s hot.  All the stuff has to come out into the driveway for a while.  Some of it wouldn’t do well in the sun, so I’ve dithered.  It’s hard to stay focused and productive when it’s so hot.

I did pull two more bins of stuff to go to the local auction.  So many more to go through.

The daughter’s new bedroom paint color is purple.  REALLY purple.  She likes it.  That’s the important bit.  I love that she’s growing up, but I miss the little kid too.  Change.  It keeps happening, no matter what the world is doing around you.

Businesses are adapting to the current conditions.  Sherwin Williams has you order online, then do curbside pickup.  Lowes and Home Depot have online ordering with curbside too.  I waited about 10 minutes for my load of pool salt at HD.   The only downside is when an item isn’t really in stock, or when you would normally browse to what you want/need.   We’re used to instant or very near instant availability to almost everything.  That seems to be changing too.  Our pizza place was very busy.   The only obvious change is that their newly renovated dine in area was empty.   Some businesses will adapt, some will die.  I’m sure some completely new businesses will arise too.

After all, change is the only constant…

And the certainty that some sort of bad thing WILL happen.  So keep working on skills.  Keep building relationships.  Keep stacking.



Sat. July 4th, 2020 – Independence Day.

Hot and humid.  Like yesterday.  Possibility of rain.

Yesterday it was very hot and very humid.  The sun, when it was out, was set to ‘crispy’.  Just putting a few bins of auction items in my truck had me soaked to the skin.

I took the bins to the auction house, and got my settlement check from the last time.  It was short by half, as some numbnuts didn’t pay or pickup, and he bought a bunch of my items.  The auction will have to relist them and we’ll see where the prices end up.

My wife spent the afternoon setting up the salt water chlorination system for our pool.  I told her if she wanted to get fancy with the chemicals it would be her job, and she’s stepped up.

Dinner was frozen fish, baked on the grill, canned beans, and boiled carrots from the kids’ school lunches.

I noticed that the corn in the garden has at least two small ears started.  Hooray me.  We’ll see if I get them or the squirrels.

Today, however, is Independence Day here in the States.   Traditionally an unabashed good time.  The freaking wokescolds have got their bony fingers pointed at everyone this year though, and the wuflu got the fireworks shows.

Take some time today and celebrate independence, both our original departure from Merry Olde, and your personal independence.  If, upon reflection, you don’t have all you’d like, then by all means make a plan to get to where you’d like to be…  make big picture plans, and small personal plans.  Start accumulating the resources.  Declare your independence.

And get ready for what may be coming.  Lots of opportunity in periods of great change.

Keep stacking, enjoy the 4th, and please don’t shoot your guns into the air.  Shoot them into the targets.


Fri. July 3, 2020 – another Friday, more to come

Hot and humid.

Less hot yesterday by the end of the day, but furnace hot for most of it.  Just standing outdoors was enough to soak my shirt with sweat.

We spent the morning at swim practice, hit the school for the free lunch for the kids (mini pizzas), and then I was free to work on stuff around the house.   Cleaned the pool.  Did some garden work.  Picked up the yard.  Cleaned and put a couple of things away.  Hid from the heat until I felt normal again, then back outside sorting inventory to take to this week’s auction.  Which is what I’ll be doing later today, dropping off several bins of stuff.    Ran some errands for my wife.

Boy howdy it was hot.

The news is full of idiots.  COVID parties.  FFS.

Meanwhile all the nation state stuff is still happening.  Players are still moving the pieces on the board.  What haven’t we heard anything about lately?*  I’m reasonably sure that the distraction is made to order for some of the players.   Elephants dancing.  Nervous mice.

One of the newsletters I get lists “Line of Duty” deaths for fire/police and it was a bit of a shock to see 2 of the 20 were in Houston.  One was an HPD helo pilot that went down (possibly to hostile fire) in north Houston, and the other was a deputy that got blue on blued during a call in Fort Bend.  They are counting COVID deaths as LOD, and they are roughly equal to the gunshot deaths for the last couple of months.    It’s been a heavier than normal couple of months too.

The celebration of Independence Day is coming up.  Bob used it as a convenient marker for his switch to Linux, which was never quite complete.  I don’t have any personal observances, but I think our founding fathers** would be horrified and angry beyond belief at what we’ve done with their new country.  This used to be the one purely enjoyable, unabashedly celebratory holiday of the summer.  But the taint of irony has cast a pall on even that day.

Take what joy you can.  We are currently living in the good old days.

Keep your eyes open.  Keep stacking.




*GWOT, scourge of islam, global financial crisis, etc

**not zers, or trans anything, nor co-parenting, but FATHERS.

Wed. July 1, 2020 – July here we come!

Hot and humid.  Tending toward more humid.

Yesterday was exceptionally nasty out.  Just standing outside would soak you to the skin in no time.  I’m hoping for a break as it was nicer late.

I went to my client’s house, got a bunch of stuff done. I let him know I’d be back 14 days after his 4th Party.  He thinks it’s unnecessary but he’s also understanding.

Kids have the last couple of days of swim team today and tomorrow and it would be nice for them to go back to say goodbye.  Of course, all the reasons we STOPPED last week are still there, and are even worse.   It’s sentimentalism like this that gets people sick.  LOTS of sick people right now that don’t know it yet.

The crazy continues to build.  Some things to be aware of– the ‘protestors’ shooting the SUV driver in Utah as he drives through the crowd.   If you can’t avoid the crowd, and you can’t go some other way, I can’t recommend anything other than DON’T STOP, keep moving, and keep your eyes open.  If it was an ambush, as some people are saying, that is a serious escalation. Best plan is “Don’t be there.”  Recognize that sometimes, “there” comes to you.

Maybe Waze will start routing around street ‘demonstrations’.

The funny thing is, with MSM attempting to control the narrative, alternative voices went online.  Now with the NewMedia attempting to control the narrative, alternative voices need to find new platforms.  If they don’t, and they can’t find a new outlet, and the need for them to express themselves continues to grow, they may end up out in the streets-where the footsoldiers for the left are already well represented, funded, and practiced.  And as is becoming obvious, the left has some guns too.  That won’t end well…

Think about what the irish troubles would look like played out here, where we’ve got hundreds of thousands of well armed veterans, some on each side, little geographic separation, and 10 times the population.

Start prepping for that- at least as a contingency.

And keep stacking.



Tues. June 30, 2020 – srsly, the world has lost it’s collective mind…

Hot and humid.  Rain?  [overcast, 82F and saturated]

No rain yesterday, but hot and humid all right.  Overcast until late in the day, so a bit cooler.  Still plenty damp though.

Spent part of the morning on auctions stuff, part on getting parts for my client, and part getting ready for what I needed to do in the afternoon.  Spent the afternoon and evening working over there.  Got stuff done, just not enough.  I’ll be headed back over today to pull stuff for service and to do network stuff.  Fortunately I only had to spend minutes rather than hours in the attic, and it was relatively cool.

Dinner when I finally got home was leftovers.  Turkey, yum.

Out in the wider world someone is increasingly desperate, and doesn’t understand roughly half the US population.  Riots didn’t help.  Tearing down statues is only hurting.  School’s out and not coming back for a while, so easy access to moldable footsoldiers is limited.   Attempts at controlling the population (for good or ill) are getting all kinds of pushback.  So what to do?  Use your house organ for one of the most improbable stories of the year, that Russia was paying bounties for US servicemen.  Because Trump’s a Russian agent, and is too friendly with Putin for the good of America, we can finally reveal that Putin is evil?  And contradictory?  Or it’s all part of Trump and Putin’s secret plan to destroy the US?  Because reasons?

I thought that was weird enough and a desperation move, but then they said “Hold my beer” and now purport to have committed high treason, and oathbreaking at a level that should result in firing squads or rock breaking for the next 100 years– by releasing the President of the United States’ private phone conversations.  No matter where you stand on the Trump continuum, that is OUTRAGEOUS.  As in should cause RAGE against the leakers and their mouthpieces.  Of course, the likelihood of it being genuine, and not wholly fabricated is minimal given that every single other thing they’ve tried has turned out to be fabricated.  But…

It doesn’t matter if every single word is accurate and true.  DOESN’T matter.  Boils down to “he’s mean” “he says mean things” ” he’s full of himself” “he doesn’t like or respect the people we do” ” he doesn’t play the game the right way”  and those are not reasons to betray your oath and country.

Nothing good will come of this, and we’re still months out from the election.

On top of everything else, we do not need political operatives destabilizing our government.

As for me, the mice get nervous when elephants dance.   Freezer.  Meat.  Shelf stable food.  Meds.  Weapons.  Armor.  Training.  Toiletries.  Utilities.  Garden.  Network.  Meatspace.*

Keep stacking.




*funny how suddenly it’s much harder to get together to talk, plan, train, move toward a common goal, etc.  unless you are part of the anointed class…

Tues. June 23, 2020 – Swim team and small projects

Another hot wet day.  Probably.

Yesterday was stormy all morning and into the early afternoon.  It looks like we got 2-3 inches of rain in a few hours based on what was in the buckets in the yard.  We lost power a couple of times and there was a ton of lightning and thunder, very close by.  Despite the storm it stayed hot most of the day until eventually the rain stopped and it got cooler.

I spent the morning doing lots of nothing on the computer.  Spent the early afternoon picking up some auction items.  Then finally the weather was cooler so I did a couple of other things around the house.  Fixed the toilet fill valve in the master.  It should have taken a minute, and involved just cleaning some surfaces in the valve, but I broke off a plastic nipple for the bowl fill hose.  That meant replacing the valve.  Since I just got a dual flush conversion and fill valve in an auction, I tried that.  Valve went in easy but the flapper replacement was too small.  The Toto has a massive hole from the tank to the bowl and needs a special flapper.  The replacement wouldn’t fill the opening. . . so I put the flapper back and will save the dual flush for something else.  It was still cheaper than just the valve.  I figure the plastic was brittle and the thing needed to be replaced eventually, so I just got ahead of the problem.  [Yeah, I meant to do that, I’m proactive.  Yeah.]  Also had to tighten the stem packing nut on the supply line.  It was dripping after turning the water on and off and on and off a few times.

Since it was cool enough to get into the attic where I keep all my plumbing parts, I also replaced the pump soap dispenser in the kitchen.   It has been limping along for a while.  We use Dawn dish soap in the dispenser for dishwashing and hand washing.   One, two quick pumps and you’re good to go.  The rinse will soap up any dishes in the sink too.

And finally, I got out a strap and pulled a fence post.  The post was for a chain link fence and gate that made a dog run behind the garage.  I pulled the fence fabric out long ago but couldn’t budge the post in the middle of the space.  I bought a high lift jack (old school, for lifting cars when they had steel bumpers and weighed 2 tons) a few months back with this project in mind.  I finally had soggy ground, lower temps, the jack, and time all at the same time and place.  The reason I couldn’t budge it by hand turned out to be 2 ft of concrete holding the post in the ground.   The jack made it slow but easy to pull it straight up.  I cut off and saved about 4ft of pipe, and put the concrete out for heavy trash.  A high lift jack is super handy, and you’ll find uses for it.  It also got used when we assembled the pool, to lift a couple of posts and put blocks under them to level the pool rail.  Mine is not an actual HiLift jack, it is just like this one.

What’s the point of all that trivia?  Prepping.  Having the tools and supplies on hand.  Working smarter as your body gets older.   I had a replacement for the soap dispenser.  I had a toilet fill valve in the attic (which I didn’t use, but it was there.)  I picked up a specialized tool to make a job easier, and found other uses for it too.  (And that I’m a clumsy, impatient dumb@ss sometimes, turning a one minute job into a half hour job by breaking something.)   I could have gone to HomeDepot but I’d already stocked up on things that I knew I’d eventually need.  I could have dug a hole to get that post out, but the jack made it almost zero effort, and using a hand truck to move the concrete to the curb was way smarter and easier than carrying it.

Two of those jobs had been nagging at me for months so it felt good to get them done, even if they weren’t life or death.  And I justified having spare parts on hand, and the purchase of a tool 🙂  Who doesn’t think THAT’S a win?

Now I need to crank through about 50 similar little projects…

Dinner was hamburgers on the grill from a frozen ‘chub’.*  Canned corn. Canned refried beans (wife’s choice), and Lay’s Potato Chips,  Classic style of course.

Hospitalizations continue to increase in number and pace in many areas, and some places are thinking about reinstating  restrictions or delaying their removal.  I know what I’m doing.  Time to pull back in.

Seattle says that now that people are getting killed in the ghetto, they’re going to work to dismantle it.  Good luck with that.

Gangbangers and the diversite’ are also emboldened and driving up the body count in our formerly great cities.  That’s not getting better anytime soon.  Judging from the number of videos of white people losing their *ahem* composure and screaming at random black people, yellow people, and brown people, some folks are getting fed up and have about had it with some other people.  Once that hits critical mass, there’ll be no putting the genie back in the bottle.  It isn’t going to be pretty.  Spicy time approacheth.

Elsewhere in the world, wuflu continues to rack up a body count and devastation on a large scale.  Korea thinks they’re seeing a second wave.  Many countries are still on their first wave, and some are really just taking off exponentially.

China and Russia are both flexing their military might and expansionist plans.   That has gotten worse, not better.  Could be it’s all distraction for the folks watching at home, or it could be they think they can get away with it at the moment.  Or embrace the power of ‘and’.  No reason it can’t be both.  In any case, another factor to watch, and consider in your medium and long term planning, and more evidence for me that we are in a period of big changes and global realignment.

So, what are you doing about it?  You can’t change those other people, but you can choose how you’ll react.  I’m stacking.  Hope you do too.



*’Chub’ in this context means a plastic tube o meat.  I’d never heard that term before, but that’s how it appeared on my receipt.  “Chub” of hamburger.  Learn something new every day.

Mon. June 22, 2020 – I’d buy that for a dollar

Hot and humid, extra special humid, with a side of thunderstorm if the predictions are right.

It was hot and humid all day yesterday, with a real gully washer of a rain  in the middle of the day.  THAT didn’t help the humidity.  So I hid inside.

On Fathers’ Day I exercised my privilege and mostly sat around working on a puzzle and piddling around the house.   I had big plans, but mostly they involved stuff outdoors.  I’m still not feeling great and I took the day off.   Well, mostly off.

My wife discovered that I can get stuff cheap at auctions.  Who knew?  So she has me on a mission finding stuff for Daughter 1’s bedroom redo and other stuff too.   It actually takes quite a while to go through ~8 thousand + online auction lots, even if you’ve got practice.  I usually don’t do that in one sitting, but it was raining like he77 outside, and I didn’t feel like doing plumbing repairs or computer work.  And the puzzle was kicking my butt.

Other activities ate the rest of the day.  Kids did a scavenger hunt for me for my Dads’ Day gifts.  It was cute and a lot of fun.  Before bed we watched a movie, and before that we made brownies.  So I did actually do a bunch of stuff, just nothing to write a blog post about.  (*ahem*)

Special breakfast was waffles with bacon crumbles in them, and bacon on the side.

Dinner was baked turkey thighs.   They were on sale at HEB last week.  Sides were brusselsprouts and roasted potatoes.  All fresh.  My wife cooked it all with help from the girls.   Later Oldest and I made brownies from mix.  The mix was best by 2015.   It was delicious.  Half the pan is already gone.

Late last night I made a comment that I’m seeing way more trash on the street, more illegal dumping, more bums, and more encampments.  That is not a good sign.  That is social norms breaking down, economic impacts, and possibly a shift in attention from TPTB.   Areas that were near bad areas but doing ok, and areas that were marginal have definitely moved toward ‘bad’ in the last few months.  I’ve got a feeling it’s just the beginning.

So keep working on skills and knowledge, and keep stacking.




Tues. June 16, 2020 – halfway through the month, already

Hot and humid.  Of course.

Yesterday was hot and humid too, but did get a bit cooler later in the day.   Cool enough that I started working on a string trimmer that wouldn’t start.  Standing in the garage with no breeze it was stifling, and sweat was dripping off my nose.   Outside was better.

Did half my pickups.  Got some tactical stuff, some stuff for the house and kids too.   Have more to do today.  But first, swim team practice.

For now, we’re still going.   Seeing the other kids and spending time at the pool is just too powerful a draw for my wife to say no, and I’m reluctant too.  I did wear my mask all day today and gloves when I had to go in and handle stuff.

Speaking of ‘handling’ stuff, wtf is up with all the busybodies in the news?  Mind your own business.   That these people can’t seem to suggests that the overall stress levels out there are WAY high.  And wtf is up with firing the busybody’s boyfriend?  That is going way too far.  What is going to happen when people have real grievances?

It’s just more fuel on the fire and another data point for my assertion that things will get worse.

And about ‘getting worse’… OMG the trash stinks.  I could smell it 30 ft away.  Half a cup of bleach and a bit of water after to spread the bleach around helped tremendously.  The neighbors are gonna call the cops on us if it gets worse.

Today should be another day full, where I really don’t make any progress on my lists.  Oh well, we’ll try anyway.

In the meantime, keep stacking.



Thur. May 14, 2020 – same same same, same old fools….

Damp, overcast, sunny, and hot. [somewhat sunny, somewhat damp, def hot]

Yesterday was nice for a while, overcast, then gentle light rain, then nice again. High 80s, possibly into the low 90s.

Possible depression forming off the East coast next week, first of the season if so…

Spent the morning online, and shopping. Spent the afternoon cleaning, organizing, and finding stuff I’d put away literal years ago in the garage. I’m getting to the bottom layers of the stacks. At some point I tweaked something in my neck and shoulders. I’m still sore today.

Kid 1 had a “science” unit today that was all about changes to the environment. And while they kept saying that not all changes were bad, the only examples given were in fact bad. Then they used Silent Spring to justify the banning of DDT, with NO discussion of malaria, or WHY we were spraying DDT, or what the effect was on countries that still have malaria… and a whole page on acid rain. Again, no indication where the acid rain came from or why. No indication of the current conditions. Freaking old hippies with the same old chants, Silent Spring, DDT, Acid rain, draining wetlands…. and a section about deer. How they became a nuisance species- without any note that the ban on hunting contributed, or that HUNTING is how we control the population currently. Add in the poor grammar, and I’m pretty sure the science is sloppy, the editorial slant is most of the way to horizontal, and the worksheets are BS. At least with the sheet in front of me, I could go through it with the kid and talk about the parts they left out. What does the rest of the curriculum look like, I wonder?

Eventually, even a drip of water will wear away stone. The left has been all wet for decades, but they’ve managed to ooze into every nook and cranny of the world.

Dinner was sirloin steak from the last Costco instacart delivery, with boxed scalloped potatoes, and a can of Butter Beans. Scalloped potatoes were almost in date, only a month over. Most of my older ones rotted in the black crate that got damp. Easter candy for dessert.

More of the same today as yesterday…

Keep working, stacking, improving, and prepping.


Fri. July 20, 2018 – busy week

Another hot one, 80F at 6am. Forecast for record heat.

Whether we’re swirling around the edge of the toilet bowl, or at the dawn of a new age, it’s pretty clear that big changes are happening in the world. The march to war might be delayed a bit, or we might be getting played while our enemies align themselves and get ready. We might be headed toward civil war, as people on both sides seem almost to yearn for it. Who knows?

Or we might be headed into a general collapse. I think it’s well underway and we just don’t see the signs. Today is pretty much like yesterday, and so it’s been throughout history. Certainly our star is not ascending.

We have MASSIVE homelessness. We have a stunning number of people on welfare and other forms of .gov aid. We have lost control of our borders to the point that somewhere around 10% of the population is currently foreign invaders. They have spread throughout the nation, and are suddenly visible, like when a geometric progression doubles to the point you see it, then doubles again… just consider the number of machete attacks.

If people defecating in the streets, gangs pulling people out of buildings and hacking them to death, and record low workforce participation rates aren’t enough, consider the rise of socialism in our political realm. This is an idea that is opposite to our national character, but the long march has been so effective that openly socialist candidates can win party primaries. Our elites get wealthier, while our ‘normals’ get poorer, and civic institutions degrade. [consider than when I was young, it was entirely normal that a man in a skilled trade, as the sole breadwinner, would be able to afford a cabin on a lake, a pontoon boat, snowmobiles, a camper, etc. Contrast that to today.]

The very things we establish government to provide are no longer working. Clean water. Education. Safety and rule of law. Public works infrastructure.

Consider just thirty years ago. What was the relationship of the public to cops? Bottled water? Aid organizations? Refugees? What did inner cities look like? Gangs? Public infrastructure? What was public morality like? What was cultural sexuality like? Cultural violence?

Consider 40 years. 50.

I think we don’t see it because we are too close to the problem. Convince me otherwise. Or what have you done to prep this week??