Mon. May 10, 2021 – another week, plenty of stuff to do…

Warm and humid, with a chance of thunderstorms.  Joy.  Yesterday got pretty hot and humid by late afternoon and stayed hot.  It was 80F at midnight with 80%RH.

Spent the day playing games with my wife and kids.   Cooked dinner.  Lamb was delicious, potatoes got raves from the whole family, and even the chocolate dipped (store bought) strawberry dessert was just right.

Catan is an interesting game.  I think that there is a whole bunch of stuff to discover about the seemingly simple gameplay if everyone knows what they’re doing.   It’s a smaller game than Ticket to Ride, and I didn’t enjoy the first game as much (I compare them because the game mechanics are very similar, except for the trading part.)  I really like Ticket to Ride so the bar is set pretty high.  I know that Catan is a phenomenon, but I don’t understand why yet.  I’ll give it a couple more plays to see if it really appeals to us.  Board games and card games can be important preps, depending on your disaster, and they are great for other more traditional reasons too.  My family played a ton of games when we were kids, and even through college, whenever we were home together.  We still play games when we get together.

This week I have auction stuff to get together, truck repairs to get organized, all the normal household stuff to do, and surely some work getting ready for the rip and replace at my client’s house.  Add a sore back and a stiff neck, and I’m gonna have some fun.

In the category of ‘do as I say, not as I do’, address little things when they are still little.   Clean up all those niggling little details.  Stop procrastinating if the job is at all important.  Get all the ducks in a row.  You’ll feel better, and you’ll be in a better place for whatever comes.

Now I better go address some of those little things that are stacking up, so that I can get back to stacking up the stuff I think we’ll need.

 

nick

Sun. May 9, 2021 – tired and sore. Still plugging away.

Forecast says we’re in a potential rain area. I hope for continued nice weather. Saturday was nice, cool with the wind blowing, a bit humid and certainly warm in the sun, when it came out. It would be nice to have that again today.

I went to my non-prepping hobby meeting and had a great time talking with people. Almost no masks, fwiw. We had a good turnout and we’re planning our annual convention and swapmeet for September or August. We would normally draw attendees from all of Texas, Louisiana and points east, and some of the other states that share a border with Texas too. Given pent up demand, we’re hoping for a big show.

A couple of the guys in this group overlap with the ham lunch group, and they are talking about meeting in person for lunch next week, for the first time in a year. I am really looking forward to that. It was very nice to get out of the house on Wednesdays for lunch. Working from home can be very isolating. And MEATSPACE is important too.

Hit the HEB for some Mother’s Day flowers and some weekly groceries last night. Even considering it was Saturday evening, there were a lot of empty spaces on the shelves. Clearly they are having trouble stocking, still. Just one more thing to factor into your assessment of the state o the state.

And in the wider world, consider the number of analysts that got the unemployment numbers wrong. Not just wrong, but so F’ing wrong you gotta wonder what they were smoking. If something like 78 of 80 of the sharpest analysts were off by 4x or 8x what does that say about any of their analysis?

Look around and make up your own mind, but I’m pretty sure that bad things are coming (and before good things.) Get ready. Stack it high.

nick

Tues. May 4, 2021 – May the Fourth be with you….

We’re right on the edge of a predicted rain and thunderstorm area, so I’m hoping we don’t get it. We usually don’t. Yesterday was HOT in the sun and very humid feeling. I stayed in most of the day, because my outdoor work involves lifting and carrying, and my back is right on the edge of something bad, again. I’m really going to have to do more stretching.

I did a bunch of moving and sorting in my office. Improving my daily workspace seems both useful and wasteful at the same time. I feel like there are more impactful things to do around the house, but then I think about how nice it will be to get my desk cleaned up.* Work avoidance mode. So much easier than working.

Today will be something different, although I do need to continue the office clean out. First things first, I’ll be picking up my new truck. I will then be able to pick up a couple of things, and move some stuff back into the truck and out of the foyer. That will make room to strip everything out of the Ranger and get it in to the repair place. I want all this messing around with vehicles to be done.

Only way through is through.

And I’ll say the same for whatever bad thing is on the way. No avoiding it now, only dealing with it. Do your best to mitigate what’s been brewing for more than 6 years. Stacking will probably help.

nick

*5 monitors, 4 computers, 8 radios, vinyl cutter and laser printer, as well as storage and a couple of disk drive enclosures all visible at my main desk area.

Wed. April 21, 2021 – and here we go! not in a good way though…

Cool and pleasant ending in downright cold is the forecast, but what do they know? It was beautiful all day on Tuesday. Chamber of Commerce weather. Some of you older guys will recognize that phrase. (Means it was nice out young’uns.)

So naturally I spent the day inside. I thought, “Gee, I better get busy on finding a truck, everything I read says the price is going up and the supply is going down.” And so I resigned myself to paying a little more and figured I’d have some candidates by noon. Not so much. I actually called on 4 or 5 vehicles and they were all in the process of being sold, or had already sold. New strategy will be scan the listings every day and jump if something is right for me. Or I’ll have to pay a lot more, or accept a lot less than I would like. It’s interesting that with the Expeditions I’m looking at, they really don’t sort out consistently. Every other mass market thing I’ve looked at there seemed to be “bins” or clusters of attributes around certain prices. That isn’t so true with the Expedition, it seems that the single most important thing is mileage, and particularly total miles, not necessarily miles per year. I’m going to assume, based on the years I owned my old truck and my experiences with it, that what drives that is limited longevity of the motor. At some point it will cost you a bunch of money, so you want as many miles of use as you can get before that point. A low miles 2017 is worth more than a high miles 2019 for example. Crazy, but now I know better what to look for.

And I want something pretty soon. Things are getting bad quicker than I thought, and getting a newer reliable truck that will hold a bunch of stuff and my whole family is moving to the top of the list, right behind a place out in the country to get away to… And on that front, there is a real fixer upper priced right, on one of the lakes my wife likes, but the agent has been very lax getting back to us. That tells me it’s probably effectively sold already. What I really hope is that in a year I won’t be hating that we passed on the self-sufficient 11 acre property because we’re in real trouble. That would suck mightily.

Regarding MN and jury intimidation, well, that’s what it looks like from here. I didn’t see the evidence presented in the courtroom, but I would have thought that the official coroner’s report listing the cause of death as pretty much anything BUT the officer’s actions, would have mooted the whole murder charge, and probably the manslaughter as well. If the coroner is so incompetent or politically compromised that his report can’t be trusted, then he needs to be removed immediately. And if it can be trusted, “reasonable doubt” should have taken care of the rest. Since he’s not being removed, and since I saw witness intimidation, and jury intimidation reported widely and in fact GLEEFULLY, that’s what I’m going with. Nothing good will come of this.

Whites will not allow themselves to become second class citizens in the country their ancestors built. I don’t care how much cuckold and BBC pron you shove at them, they just aren’t gonna take it forever. The worst case for what happens is a decimation* of the black population of the US. I don’t think that’s likely btw. I’m not sure when or where the sniping and street fighting will start, or where the old monsters will come out to play, but it will happen now. It’s only a question of how widespread it becomes, and how long it lasts. How it ends, I’ve got no idea. The knock on effects- martial law, oppressive destruction of freedoms, local massacres, roundups- are going to bring the rest down too. Fundamental change, it’s coming alright.

I’m pretty sure that all over America there are people who marked the verdict as just one more step on the countdown. People who are making plans, thinking about contingencies, wondering if it’s too late, or not soon enough. Someone, if there are enough of them, someone will do the math and decide it’s time.

For us, I think it’s certainly time to consider your lifestyle, your public persona, your exposure to the wider world, and to decide how you want to proceed. On the one hand, you can pull in, go ‘grey man’, order your affairs so that you fit in, and arrange to get through the bad stuff as best you can. On the other hand, if you’ve been assuming you had freedom of speech and freedom to act, well, there are people who made a note of that, and no matter what you do, they’ll be ready to denounce you when the time is right. Whether for their own benefit, or because they truly believe they are ‘helping’ you, they’ll do it. History tells us that pretty clearly. Pulling in won’t save you. Going balls out won’t save you either. So what can you do?

On the gripping hand, maybe I’m just feeling hysterical today. Although I’m quite sure there were Germans who felt like it couldn’t get that bad. And Poles. And Russians. And Venezuelans. And Cubans. And Argentinians. And South Africans. And Frenchmen. And even Loyalists in 1776. And they were ALL WRONG at some point in history.

Stack it up.

nick

*decimation in the literal sense won’t be enough. Decimate that data set several times in a row though, and you might get to a point where no one has the will to continue.

Sun. April 18, 2021 – keep plugging away…

Cool and damp, but precip should be limited. Yesterday was nice, cool, but damp, with periods of blue sky and sunshine. At least at my house. We did get a bit of rain but very little.

I got a bunch of little things done after a slow start, mostly outside in the yard, because it was a really nice day when it wasn’t raining or grey.

Still, not super productive.

Today I’m hoping to get to my secondary and load up a bunch of auction stuff. Forecast shows no rain for two or three days, so I can load the truck and make a delivery. If I can’t load up, I’ll stage it by the door and work on throwing stuff out. Or I’ll stay home and work on the garage and driveway. Either thing is a good thing, and I’ve got plenty to load up here as well.

I feel the need to do some inventory, at least by getting stuff in the same place so I can see how big the stack is. Then I can add to the stacks as needed. On the plus side, a lot of what I bought in March a year ago is stuff I’d be buying now, so other than being a year older, I’ve already got that base level of new stuff.

More is better when things start feeling this weird. I read through the last couple of weeks of my posts and I’m using the word ‘weird’ a lot. It’s appropriate though, and you’ll probably hear it a lot more in the coming weeks.

Someone used to say “When the going get’s weird, the weird turn pro.” I’ve been thinking that phrase often, although I can’t bend it to apply, it feels like it’s about 80% of a truth. We’re getting to pro level weird, or will be soon.

So stack it up. Learn about it. Think of two ways to do all the things. Make sure you have the stuff for alternatives. Get out and take a good look around, note the changes from the last time you really looked. Do it again later. Rinse and repeat. Keep your grocery receipts and compare them from month to month, week to week. Note what you see and act on it. There will be national and international events but the most important are going to be local, and it’s your local response that will have the biggest impact on you and your family. Consider that the conflict has already started, sides are already chosen, people already have mental plans. Act accordingly.

Head on a swivel…

n

Sat. April 17, 2021 – Rain? could be, or not, work to do regardless.

Possibility of rain, and moderate temperatures. Like yesterday. For some values of Houston. I heard on the radio that areas got hammered with hail Thursday night, while we got nothing. That’s why, despite looking at it every day, I don’t put much stock in the forecast. I don’t think anyone was predicting hail…

Spent a lot of time yesterday driving around. Between wasting time on the internet with my friends, and driving, I do come up short on actual work time, some days at least.

Cut my hair, did some laundry.

Bought some shirts a couple of sizes too big. Just in case I might find myself in a situation where I was wearing something that I wanted to put a shirt over, but it was thicker than my cool vest. I don’t know where that thicker vest or vest like garment might fall on your preparedness spectrum or threat continuum, or just contingency planning, but if you own or think you might have cause to wear something like that, you might want jackets and shirts that you could wear over it. So much of what we do to prep can be thought of as systems- a collection of parts that work together in a way that is more useful that just the parts themselves. The more complete your system is, the more effective it will be. I think being stealthy and unobtrusive is going to be the uniform of the day for a long time.

I’ll be working the list today, depending on weather.

I’m going to link Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for today’s political/observational/situational update. https://bayourenaissanceman.blogspot.com/2021/04/the-consequences-of-stolen-election.html

“If you’re stuck in a conflict zone, or a city likely to become one, I can only recommend that you prepare as best you can. This article and this one offer many helpful suggestions. Prepare today, so you aren’t caught unawares and unprepared tomorrow.”

Saves me a bunch of typing.

Keep stacking.

n

Fri. April 16, 2021 – half way through the month already

Warm and rainy, or not. Yesterday we were supposed to get rain, but we got very little to none anywhere I went. It was mostly overcast and occasionally the light was a funny color, but we only got occasional spatters.

My morning was eaten up with orthodontia, my afternoon with school pickups. In between I got a little bit of auction and ebay stuff done, but not much. I’m starting to sound like a broken record, even to me…

I did get out the soldering iron and repair a couple things last night. Somewhere I picked up some LED strip lighting, but the connectors had popped loose from the solder pads. I put them back on, and I’ll use the strips in my office somewhere. I also did some soldering on the battery pack for my mini-pool vac. Something else is going on with it, as the leads aren’t putting out voltage, even though the pack is. One successful repair, one partial repair with ongoing attention needed. In the mean time, I put the pack on the ground in the center of the driveway. If there is an issue, I want it to happen where it won’t burn my house down.

In the wider world things are getting even weirder. Reparations? You never picked cotton and I never owned slaves. So F YOU, NO! White supremacy was “weaved” in to our founding? Maybe that’s because it was done by white men. Almost exclusively white men. Until Kennedy opened immigration to third worlders, the US was OVERWHELMINGLY white. And the dominant culture in the US was Western European, and Christian in nature. So yeah, it was “weaved” in. (and I can’t find the article to link, english is apparently not her native language).

Shootings WAY up, and during a push for gun control. Hmm. Name calling and shouting in Congress, two superpowers flexing, I almost want to go back to simple muslim terrorism.

Shortages, outages, collapses in public order… systems breaking down…. we are well along the predicted path and it happened pretty freaking fast. Get your stuff in order. Build some networks to get you the stuff you inevitably will miss. Learn and practice something useful. And stack what you think you’ll need.

nick

Thur. April 15, 2021 – normally tax day but not this year

Warm and wet. Like yesterday. Only with more wet. Yesterday was classic Houston weather, in that many areas got no rain, but some got a lot. The clouds and rain seemed to chase me from south east, through downtown, and out to the west. That’s the opposite of our normal weather pattern, but that is actually what the weatherunderground.com map showed- rain blowing in from the Gulf.

Anyway, ran errands. Checked out Habitat ReStore and what used to be called the Sears Outlet looking for scratch and dent fridges. They both had some, but not what I wanted, and for too much money. Sears had some upright freezers in stock too, which was a BIG change from 6 months ago. I did pick up a Leatherman Crunch, new in package, for $2 at Habitat. Score!

My industrial auctioneer pushed me off until Monday for my drop off. They were still too full of other stuff.

I got my payment links sorted out at ebay (they changed the way they handle money, getting in the middle of everything and requiring a linked bank account) so I can receive money from ebay again. The couldn’t make the deposit to my business account work. What a charlie foxtrot. I really dislike their new scheme. Unfortunately I have a ton of stuff that is probably best listed there for a national and international customer pool. Otherwise, I’m over their nonsense and have considered just not selling with them over this change in policy. On top of everything else on my list, I have to move the Facebook Marketplace test exploration up the priority list.

Today should be rainy so I’ll do inside stuff. Lots of that to do.

And then I need to get back to stacking, because it looks like the devolution of our society and standing in the world is accelerating. Russia and China are openly sneering at us and poking us in the chest while saying ‘what are you gonna do about it?’… The leftists in our own government have removed the mask and are pushing their destructive agenda HARD. Certain violent and ignorant sections of our society are feeling their oats and looking to seize the moment. I think there will be a backlash and atrocities that will make South African Apartied look like a kid’s birthday party. I’m quite sure there will be people who decide to proactively start addressing the crime and lawlessness, and it won’t be by marching in the street and ‘demanding’ anything. The only limiting factor will be the high cost of ammo.

And that sort of thing will be disruptive as heII. So get to stacking.

n

Tues. April 13, 2021 – baby steps, time to get moving again

Warm and rainy. Or warm and sunny. But the forecast is for rain. Beautiful day yesterday and I spent it all inside.

I was making progress in my office, moving stuff around, cleaning, and finding stuff for ebay or the auctions, so I kept at it. It needs a lot more work too, but I have to get out of the house today. Unless it’s pouring down rain, then I’ll be happy indoors.

I took some time out to fix a couple of things as I came across them too. I’m really stuck in this weird malaise, and I’m having trouble shaking it. The best cure is actually making progress on the list, and I am making progress, but it’s very slow going. The most positive light I can put it in would be to compare it to ‘operational tempo’ and thinking that I can’t stay at that high level for a long time without a period of reduced effectiveness after. Sounds a bit like whining though.

One of the things I found behind my desk was an aphorism I had printed out. “Change is not death, fear of change is death.” It struck me at the time, but now I feel like it doesn’t quite get to profound. Change is our normal condition and leads to growth, stagnation leads to death. We’ve all been stagnant to some degree for the last year. Waking up, moving around, an end to the Groundhog Day we’ve been living- it’s harder than I thought it would be.

Do something from before the past year. Do something new. Start to get the blood flowing again. We’ll need to be fully awake and vigorous for what’s coming. Get started. And stack something. That will certainly help.

nick

Thur. April 8, 2021 – things are coming to another head

Wet and cooler, or possibly wet and warm. But probably wet.

Wednesday was mostly overcast with bits of sun poking through every now and then. The light rain started late, 10pm or later, and was really just a heavy mist. And it was still 68F so pretty dank.

Mostly did housework, then got the youngest from school. Did my auction pickup with her riding along. She was not amused. I got some fishing gear, and another propane camp stove, and a bunch of ebay stuff that sells well, but only in spurts. Been a bit slow lately but it won’t spoil and doesn’t take too much space. It will sell later.

Got a quote back from the electrician. He’ll install the transfer switch for $450 but doesn’t want anything to do with the gennie. That’s fine, I’ll get a plumber to do the gas, and I’ll do the hookup once the switch is in place. I won’t have to do anything live, or inside my panelboard that way. Just need to find the time and schedule him.

Today should be more of the same, especially if it’s raining. Plenty to do indoors.

And I’m getting anxious again. Biden is going to try his luck with Executive Orders that infringe the right to keep and bear arms. Weird stuff is going on in world finance. It’s possible that the MN cop won’t get railroaded, but there will certainly be riots either way. People are starting to talk about inflation the same way they have started to talk about Civil War- both seem increasingly inevitable. The chinaflu lockdown only suppressed and delayed those things, while also exacerbating them. When the tinder lights, it’s going to get really ugly, really fast. People will surely say “It happened so suddenly, it came out of nowhere” and for them, it will have. For the rest of us though, it’s been coming for a long time.

Thoughts like these make me want to stack all the things.

n

(I had a thought today- if you were watching this, and prepping through it for the last year, and LIVING actively and consciously, you probably lost weight or stayed even for the last year. If you were just sitting idle, waiting for the all clear, pissed that your tinder matches are all disappointments, you probably gained weight. I’d be interested to see the ant vs grasshopper distribution on gaining or losing weight….)