Wed. July 28, 2021 – ti i iii ime is (not) on my si i ide…

No it ain’t.

Another hot humid sunny day with a chance of rain. Which is what I had at home yesterday, but not what all of central Houston (inside the Loop) got. They got overcast with rain. Micro climates, we haz them. And that makes it really hard to get forecasts for Houston and the surrounding area right. That and they’re just guessing anyway. Even looking out the window won’t work.

Spent the day on things, somehow it passed anyway. I did get 4 of the big black bins out of the foyer and over to my storage unit. I figure they can sit there while waiting for an auctioneer to take them instead of where my wife sees them every day. In return I brought a rolling metro rack home to stack more things on. Or to take to my other storage unit, and to stack things on it there, until the auctioneer takes them for sale.

I’m looking at getting over to both units today too. And I need to start piling stuff I want to try to sell at my non-prepping hobby regional meet and swap fest. That is specialist stuff that could go on ebay but might sell quicker in person. I’ll trade some sale price for not having to ship or list. That’s coming up in about 3-4 weeks and I need to start on it.

Pickups today too, if I can find the time. Some preps, some household, some gifts for later. Gub accessories. Needful things without a sales receipt attached.

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I’ve mentioned before that I think everyone should take advantage of all the training they can get, whatever it might be for. Collecting IDs and privileges can’t hurt. You are ALREADY on their lists, you might as well be in the ‘good guy’ column. CERT, any police/public interaction program, active shooter response through your church, ham radio, Red Cross, Stop the Bleed, even locksmithing can get you the ability to carry certain tools in your vehicle without it being a crime. CERT got me an official first responder ID from the County. The CPA programs got me ID with the city and the Constable’s office as a volunteer. Being a ‘known quantity’ can also open up more training opportunities, and more chances to learn about how your local guys do what they do.

CERT was very well supported in our area with high level attention from the city, county, and emergency agencies. Had the chance to meet and learn from some interesting people. You can sign up and take a whole bunch of FEMA online courses associated with that too. You will learn a lot. The police interaction programs gave me a whole lot better understanding of their procedures, challenges, resources, and mindset. After passing through those programs, I could take further classes with them, and volunteer to help them with training, both of which gave me further insights.

Last night’s class was also both interesting and informative. I have a clearer picture of the operational tempo of two of the specialist units in our police department, how they interact with other local and federal agencies and teams, where some of their funding comes from and the capabilities that funding bought (and the strings attached.) I got some public but not widely disseminated information about some of the stuff they’ve done recently, and some of the stuff they do daily. And, based on their joking and ‘aside’ comments, have a feeling about where they stand on some current issues of governance and public behaviour. All good things to know.

Meatspace baby. You need to be in it. You need to go to the neighborhood meetings. You need to know some of your local government. You need to know some of their enforcers. And yeah, being known to them, at least on some level, isn’t a bad thing either. It gives you access, and opportunities and might get you the benefit of the doubt at a time when that’s crucial. Being in the ‘provisional good guy’ column beats being in the ‘presumed bad guy’ column.

Goodwill and knowing people, you can stack them too. Get busy.

nick

Mon. July 26, 2021 – another week, counting down to school start…

Hot, humid, but no rain. That’s the forecast. My weather station said 107F at the hottest part of the day yesterday, granted that it’s in the sun and probably too near the roof. Still, it was 100F in the shade next to the single pane window on the other side of the house. In any case, it was hot.

I slept very late. I was worn out from moving all the stuff I moved at my secondary, and pretty stiff and sore. Not very motivated. Knowing that I had to fix the trucks first left me even less motivated. So, after I couldn’t procrastinate any longer, I headed out. Stopped by my tire guy, but he was so busy he pushed me off to today. Went to Costco for the Ranger battery, and the lot was full. Much more full than a normal weekday, but IDK about Sunday. I avoid the place on Sunday. The tire and battery center wasn’t too bad, only two guys in front of me. The old battery made it 6 months past the warranty period. Pretty good in Houston. The new one was only $68 but after the state disposal fee and taxes, $78? I gave up the old battery so I didn’t get charged the $15 core fee.

Hit up a thrift store on my way home, got some gun stuff to resell. Then did the battery install, checked fluids, and started the truck right up. My tire guy being busy with repairs reminded me that when I was chatting with the tire technician from AAA, I asked him if he’d noticed that the city and county don’t seem to be keeping the roads as clean as they used to. He said his company is doing land office business with damaged tires and towing and he does think there is more debris on the road. Government services tend to slip when the economy is bad. Even before wuflu I was commenting that there seemed to be an increase in illegal dumping, and a decrease in road cleaning. That hasn’t gotten better. Just another data point.

There are some businesses that do better when the economy is down. Auto parts stores do better as people choose to fix their own vehicles rather than pay someone, or buy up… Repair places too as people choose repair over the upgrade. Used or second hand stores probably do well too, as people look to save money. Some things to think about. And plan for and around.

Me, I’ll keep stacking, while increasing my repair and maker skills. I better have something, since I’m not a gardener…

Stack something.

nick

Fri. July 23, 2021 – week flew by…

Hot and humid, chance of rain. We only got a few spatters in the late afternoon yesterday, but it was certainly hot and humid.

I left the house late in the day to do my errands, but came back shortly. Puppy was a bit lethargic after his shots and I didn’t want to leave him alone too long. When I got home, he was out of the crate and bopping around so that was a relief.

Since I was home, and heavy trash/ green waste pickup is today, I took down some of the trees and branches along the back fence. In the 13 years we’ve been here, the small ornamental trees have gotten pretty big, and I’ve been thinning them out over time. I took one out, and one double trunk on another, plus a double trunk on a third. That opened up room for the remaining trees to grow more symmetrically and to impinge on the power and phone lines less.

Then I had to drag all that stuff out to the street. I was pretty well soaked in sweat, but since I had the electric chainsaw out, I cut down the orange and grapefruit trees too. They were not coming back, even as zombies. I’ll have to pull the stumps later.

Got that cleaned up, cleaned myself up and the my wife and I actually went out to dinner. We ended up on the patio of a neighborhood “brewhouse” place, the kind of place with 40 beers on tap and a limited menu of ‘bar food’. It’s modern versions of bar food, but basically tacos, burgers, and fries, with a couple of salads and apps. Had a nice burger and a mediocre beer. Non-alcohol beer so, yeah, mediocre. Several menu items were ‘out of stock’. There were people out and eating, but it wasn’t crowded by any stretch. Seemed completely normal, and not one mask.

That’s quite a contrast to the Goodwill Outlet, where the cashier asked me if I thought they’d close the city down again for the new covid. Houston raised the ‘covid threat level’ back to orange. I wasn’t aware they’d lowered it, the electronic billboards on the toll road still had ‘red’ messages playing. FWIW, I don’t think they CAN close the city down again. The commie Emergency Manager Judge can stomp her feet and ‘demand’ whatever, people aren’t going to do it.

That doesn’t mean that WE shouldn’t do some prudent planning and prepping though. Anything can happen and the more TPTB feel their grip slipping, the more they’ll double down and squeeze harder. The monkey wrench gang might come out to play, or ham fisted .gov might start messing with stuff. Or outside factors might take their turn, who knows? I know I’ll feel better with stacks of stuff.

So keep stacking, we’re only getting started….
nick

Tues. July 20, 2021 – “Next time, there’ll be no next time, you go to jail right now.”

Hot and humid, rain later, part sun. Heavy rain somewhere in Houston. Like yesterday.

Started out sunny and hot, later got rainy and cooled off a bit. Rained in patches all over town. I managed to find it in several places.

Did a pickup, and went by my secondary, but didn’t get anything done. Spent over an hour in traffic beyond what it should have been and that ate the free time. I was able to go by the place I buy propane and refill 5 bottles. It’s been a while. $10/ BBQ tank. I feel better with the stockpile refreshed. I’m reminded that I want to buy a propane conversion for my Honda 3000i. Forgot about that.

Took surface streets home from my secondary and was frankly shocked by the increase in homeless encampments… Every overpass had a few tents or improvised squats under it. Most corners had at least one beggar, and many had 2 or 3. More women too. It’s only been a couple of weeks since my last trip through the area and the change is dramatic. My route took me through areas that are predominantly lower income and subsidized housing, mostly for blacks. I can see the demographics shifting to hispanic though. Like so many places, all the illegals are displacing the blacks.

There is some good news in my neighborhood too. There is a bunch of new residential and commercial building going on. It’s right in areas that I predicted it would be in, but I once again didn’t buy property in the right place or time and I missed out.

Spent some time looking at my neighbor’s roofing contractor and how he works. It’s pretty low quality work, and there are a whole bunch of sketchy things going on. I definitely don’t want to be the one this guy or his crew blames if the owner ends up dissatisfied, but I also don’t want a bunch of cr@ppy work done right next door. It’s gonna depend on what the owner does now, and how he does it. For all I know, the crew is family and he’s on board with the cr@p work. Might need more cams.

I did get some of the sketchy behaviour on camera, and while reviewing that I saw that my lawn guys finally got here. I had just cut the grass hours before though. They did edge and blow and it does look better than before they were here. I guess I’ll be paying them, even though I did the bulk of the work. If I was here I might have waved them off, but I wasn’t and they did do work. Frustrating.

I felt better during the day than I had the day before, so whatever it was seems to be passing. I think I’d still like to see an ENT specialist to make sure nothing is wrong with my ears or sinuses. Either can lead to dizziness.

Puppy had a good day with no serious accidents and only one puddle on the tile floor after dinner. He’s been really good about getting to the door and getting our attention, but Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m glad for the progress we’ve made.

The post title is from a funny little song by Louis Prima and Sam Butera, but the application is maddening. TPTB, when they’re not bragging about what cowards they are, are making examples of the Jan 6 protesters- to discourage the others. I think they are going to get some unintended consequences, at about 1200 fps if they keep this nonsense up. When you kill rule of law, and dance on it’s corpse, you shouldn’t be surprised when people act as if there is no law. They are creating the monster they most fear, and SHOULD fear. Equal treatment under the law is dead.

Things are NOT calming down. Take that under advisement.

And keep stacking.

nick

Sun. July 11, 2021 – family all together, briefly…

I’ll have a go… sunny and warm, possibly hot, with high humidity, possibly up to 100%RH. I can be just as wrong as the weather liars, and saves the hassle of looking it up and making fancy maps. Saturday was actually pretty nice, sunny but not boiling hot, RH below 60%, mild breeze.

I took youngest child with me to my hobby meeting, where she charmed the whole group, while mostly sitting in a corner reading. I learned some things about my hobby, and had a great time talking with some other members of the group that I don’t always get a chance to chat with.

My wife retrieved the oldest child from Girl Scout camp. Child had a good time, met some new girls and made friends. One big difference between my childhood and kids today, we seemed to be a lot more willing to make ‘friends of the moment’ with kids we just happened to be together with for some reason. What I see in today’s kids is less of that, and a more inward focus. I’m glad she went and met some new kids. Wife is leaving later today for the funeral and related stuff back east. I’ll be kid wrangling by myself for a couple of days.

On the way home from my meeting, I swung by one of my local auctioneers and picked up a check. Turned out I was owed a bit more than I thought. About $350 more, so I’m a happy boy. He’s still pushing me off for the next round of sales though. His current facility is full, and he hasn’t closed the deal for more space yet. My other, industrial auction doubled his space, and has a couple of storage containers. One of my other surplus (old school traditional) auctioneers reorganized after the death of the patriarch, and split into several independent houses, and started doing franchise deals with several more new startups. The auction business is booming. SOMEONE has to dispose of all the cheap chinese cr@p that gets returned to the online retailers when it becomes obvious just how cheap and sh!tty it is… and someone has to try to get some value out of all the returns fraud. If I was feeling uncharitable, I’d say that someone has to pick over the bones of our society too.

I also did a pickup at another new seller and we had a chat. He got burned buying bulq.com and liquidation.com pallets of returns. He mentioned whole pallets without anything but garbage in the boxes. I bought a Dell 30″ curved monitor for $35 from him. I’m pretty sure he was looking for more. Many of his items didn’t sell either, because they were just cheap junk. I’ll fire up the monitor today and see if I got a deal or got punked. He didn’t test any of the electrical items, and I’m pretty sure it’s because he’s working out of a storage unit with no power available. I guess $400/ month for the unit is cheaper than office/warehouse, but it’s not cheap enough, if you can’t sell the items.

A guy I used to read, the Head Druid for North America, writing as The Archdruid Report (iirc) talked a lot about ‘catabolic collapse’- when during the decline of society, we eat our seed corn so to speak. The auction business, selling bankruptcy assets, surplus, etc. performs a vital function in a healthy society that gets those assets back into circulation, and at a low price that helps the next round of businesses succeed. John Michael Greer was describing something else though. He was describing selling off the assets that made our culture and society possible, and the collapse inevitable. I think I’m seeing it happen in real time with some of my sellers.

It can be an opportunity to stack some things at reduced cost, assuming we’ll be able to use them later. The key will be deciding which things are just magpie things, shiny and useless, and which are a little bit of our civilization to hold onto just a bit longer.

Choose wisely, and stack it high.

nick

Thur. July 8, 2021 – flyin’ by…

Hot and humid, chance of rain. Might be sunny. Yadda yadda. Well, yesterday started cool, got hotter, got sunnier, and then ended hot and sticky. Lots of mosquitos in the yard too.

We are working on housebreaking the new puppy, which means sitting outside while he sniffs the entire yard looking for the perfect spot to NOT do his business, until we give up and let him back in the house. Then within a minute, he’ll have soiled something… so I’m getting reacquainted with sitting in the sun in the yard, swatting bugs. Joy.

Spent the day mostly not getting stuff done. I did get pickups done at two different auctions. One was half household stuff, the other half stuff for my non-prepping hobby, the other was all household. Got a tiny little dog life jacket for the new little guy. Fits him, and is even a bit big. He doesn’t like it at all, but if we ever find some lake property, we’ll need it. Got some pink safety glasses for the girls in my wife’s troops. If they’re gonna do woodworking with saws, hammers, and screwguns, they need safety gear. Got some small sized gloves for them too.

I did not get daughter two signed up for a day at the rock climbing gym today, but will get her in for tomorrow. She likes the gym and they had lots of day camps there the summer before wuflu. I will try to send the puppy to day care too. That should break me loose to actually do some work. And I REALLY need to get some auction stuff ready.

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Meanwhile, I think I’m starting to see the shape of the rest of the summer. The Dems in DC are establishing offices in other states for the DC police. Federal police force expansion cued up in 3, 2, 1 …

Chicago will ask for fedgov police or troops as the murders and lawlessness continue to get worse. They already have gangbangers trying to kill each other in the street with ARs firing 3 rnd bursts from 100 rnd Beta mags in broad daylight. I watched the video with my own eyes. Cops are saying “F this noise” and leaving or retiring on the job.

If Chicago falls, NYFC will be the next to ask for help. Cops in NYC are doing the same thing as cops in Chicago and elsewhere. Ie, leaving.

Whoever DC sends will just be more targets for the ‘bangers and revolutionaries who are already targeting cops (at least 3 that I can think of off the top of my head before the triple shooting in Chicago this week.)

NYC and Chicago are already blaming legal gun owners, and the gun manufacturers for the “gun” violence. The word they should be using starts with a “g” but rhymes with “bang”, and not “fun”. They’ll try to crack down even harder on the people who traditionally have just shut up and taken it. Only I don’t think they will this time.

Which should lead to even more sportiness, which the pro agitators will be sure to take advantage of. Their cadre has been blooded now, cycled away from the ‘front’ to share their experiences, and to gear up for the next wave. They haven’t gone home to tend their gardens and make war no more. They’re waiting, organizing, and equipping for the next skirmish.

Then there is the question of outside interference. Some people are concerned that China has used the foreign exchange student programs to pre-position tens of thousands of troops here already. We have a failed narco state to our south, that can move drugs, people, and guns over our border with impunity. THEIR fifth columnists are fully emplaced, dispersed to every city and town in the US, ready to provide an organized force either directly or as harassers. They are savage and have an ideological framework based on the Reconquista, and La Raza movements. If and when they are unleashed, the streets will run with blood and cities will burn.

There are many forces at work, they sense the weakness. Some of them have worked to create the weakness for decades. They’re looking at the fat, bloated, drug- addled Elvis, and they’re ready to kill the King and divide up the kingdom. My only hope is that we’ve been getting ready too, and no matter how much family fights, they all turn on the outsider.

The economy isn’t going to survive something like that. Personal violence is going to go through the roof. The economic engine of the world will stop, and then the whole world is in a world of hurt.

The elephants are dancing. I hope all the mice have a nice little bolt hole ready to hide in. If they don’t, what’s stopping you? Get to stacking.

nick

Sun. July 4, 2021 – Independence Day…

Surprise! Hot and humid, possibility of rain… kinda like yesterday. So more of the same, and then possibly some tropical storm stuff coming. Joy.

Spent the rainy day indoors mostly doing auction stuff. I watched two auctions with good stuff that had very poor sales. One failed to sell anything on my watchlist, the other sold only 1/3 of the items. Both had higher starting bids. The prices were still discounted, and probably where the items would have sold, but buyers don’t like high opening bids. They want to feel like they’re getting a real deal, and they won’t if they are the only bidder. They will feel like they paid too much if no one bids against them. Turns out there is a lot of psychology to sales. (That should be obvious, but the sellers continue to bang their heads against it) I ended up buying stuff at two other auctions, mostly $1 and $2 lots of industrial stuff, or household stuff. There was a lot of stuff that went very cheaply.

The specialty tool I bought from amazon arrived, and it was clearly an open box item. Not sold that way, of course. It was cheap, and in fine condition, but I’d have expected to pay even less for it, if I’d known. I will likely only use it once or twice a year, just like whoever used it once and returned it.

In between the rain drops, I harvested another 1/3 cup of blueberries. I’m very pleased with the harvest from the skinny little twig ‘bushes’ this year. Goes to show that the best time to plant fruit trees was 5 years ago… so get something planted. It takes a while to develop.

Later today we’ll be taking child 1 to GS camp for the week. That should make it easier for me to do stuff, with just one child at home to keep occupied. I really hope I can do some of the stuff that needs doing.

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On this Independence Day, take some time to reflect on how far we’ve come away from personal independence, and think about any areas that you can improve your own independence, in whatever area you think you can. And teach your children well.

Of course, having a pile of resources helps maintain independence in a number of areas, so keep stacking too.

Celebrate what we had, and what we still have more of than almost anyone else on earth. If it turns out that these are ‘the good old days’, let’s make them as good as we can.

nick

Tues. June 29, 2021 – reduce, re-use, recycle…

Hot and humid, with rain in the forecast for the next few days, possibly followed by a hurricane. Hooray. Rained all day yesterday, off and on, but mostly on. Grass did not get cut.

Did office and auction things all day.

Grabbed the younger child to help with dinner, and we made pork roast, smashed cauliflower baked with cheese, and baked carrots with brown sugar and marshmallows. And crescent rolls from a tube. Along the way we talked about cookbooks, measuring, spent time with proper knife handling, and worked the math so that everything was ready at the same time. And it was all delicious. She was very proud of herself, and I was too.

I mentioned that I would have some observations about traveling last week, but that would be original content, and this post is recycling what I wrote in a comment at Bayou Renaissance Man. It was half about wuflu, and half about what comes next. That’s the part I’m recycling because, I needed to get to bed.

I asked the commentors there —

If you* haven’t made changes in your life because of the last 15 months, WHY NOT? What does your pantry look like? Your medicine chest? What about your gun cabinet? Have you evaluated the sources of information you expose yourself to and then made conscious choices about which are reliable? What about the people you share your precious and fleeting life with?

If you believe the lockdowns were political and coercive in nature with no medical benefits, how has that changed YOUR LIFE? What are you doing with that information?

If nothing has changed for you, if your estimation of what the next couple of years hold for all of us hasn’t changed, you are going to be just grist for the mill. If all you’ve done is mutter and wear your mask under your nose in protest, you are so far behind the curve you might not be able to catch up, but I think you should try.

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Prep so that the restrictions, shortages, and price fluctuations have less effect on you. Order your life so that you aren’t dependent on .gov, or your single source of income. Reduce your dependence on outside income period. Build relationships that will sustain you and limit the ones that will drain you. Reduce the number of ‘handles’ your enemies or just those who would manipulate you, have to pull on. Stop wasting time and energy on things that don’t improve your ability to get thru the hard times that are already here, and will continue to get worse.

Looking backwards, past the point where it provides you with guidance to move forward (ie. learning from mistakes), is not a survival trait. Focus on getting thru what’s coming.

* general ‘you’
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And that’s it boys and girls, moms and dads, children of all ages. Learn some lessons from this past year, and ACT. Even if it doesn’t get worse, but only stays exactly the same, you should be doing some stuff differently than you were. Hopefully, you have some stacks of stuff, some skills, and some friends. If not, get going. If so, keep going. Stack it high.

nick

Fri. June 25, 2021 – you never know

Today should be hot and humid, with some sun. Yesterday was until it rained in the late afternoon. That dropped the temp to 74F but the humidity stayed at 90%RH. I forgot how humid Florida can be, even compared to Houston.

Spent most of yesterday on the water, looking at water creatures or eating them, details are in the comments if you’re interested. I’m continually amazed at what people could just DO in the 50s and 60s that can not be done now, and what a great benefit we get from what was done. Walt Disney World couldn’t be built today and it’s construction put central Florida on the map and brings in $100s of millions. Sarasota had little islands turned into big islands, with hundreds of multi-million dollar homes on them, and all the good things that having money like that nearby brings. What are we missing out on because of all the restriction and regulation? What massive benefit are we keeping from our kids?

You never know what you miss by NOT doing something.

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Not sure what my schedule will be today but morning will be spent paying the rent. I’ve got stuff to install, stuff to fix, and some stuff to look at for next time. I’m not sure what an airBNB or something similar to this house would cost and I really don’t even WANT to know, but it would be a lot more than what I’ll be doing to help out while I’m here. If it wasn’t all in the family, I’d be pointing out the importance of meatspace, and intrapersonal relationships. Heck, even WITH family those things are still important.

Some of what you should be stacking is good will.

And food, water, resources, skills, and relationships, keep stacking those too.

nick

Wed. June 23, 2021 – more tourist-y stuff

Weather, more of the same. Still no rain.

Morning was warm and overcast with some breeze.

Which was nice as we kayaked in the bay and between islands. We saw manatee snouts and backs, touched sea urchins, and starfish, and some sort of crab too. Just as the sun started to break through the overcast, we got to the mangrove swamp part of the tour, and spent about an hour floating through dim tunnels of the swamp, with a nice cool breeze. Then back to the put in, and home for lunch.

I enjoyed the morning on the water very much.

After lunch we went to the “big” pool by the complex clubhouse, and I was feeling pretty hot. I got wet, and then sat in the shade, but despite that, started to get symptoms of heat stress (rapid shallow breathing, elevated heartrate,) which I recognized, so I went inside to cool off for a while. Came home shortly after and napped until my heartrate was back to normal. I guess I’m not as fully recovered from my previous heat injury as I thought. That was a very unwelcome revelation.

Dinner and a couple of games with my mom and the kids, and then catching up on some internet time…..

And another day has passed. Today we have another ‘science’ museum visit booked, and possibly some more manatee stuff at the same place.

The only masks I’ve seen are a couple of older ladies playing cards at the clubhouse. It feels very nice to be out in the world without masks again, although all the outdoor stuff I’d have done without a mask anyway. Not a big believer in outdoor mask use. I didn’t get to the grocery store yet, my wife did the “touch up” trip yesterday while I napped. Gas is around $3/gal for regular unleaded.

Might have to go to the amish (or possibly mennonite) buffet restaurant tonight. There are two in town and they both serve a nice variety of really good ordinary food. (actual amish or mennonites, lots of them here. Not so many of the others.)

Don’t know if we’ll make it to the Ringling Bros. museum. I haven’t been yet, and I’m p!ssed at the culture warriors that shut down the circus. The traditions that will be lost should be on some sort of UN Cultural Heritage list, instead of outcast to Sarasota. The kids probably won’t understand what’s been lost, and they’ve never been to a real circus. The museum for a dead circus holds very little interest for them. Still have some open spots on the schedule though so we might still swing by.

We’ve already lost a lot of our culture. /yoda voice/ “Save you what can…” /end yoda voice/

And stack what you need.

nick