Fri. Feb. 12, 2021 – what do you really need?

Cold.   Damp.  Dreary.   Like yesterday.

Cold all day.  Wet, with intermittent rain.  So I didn’t do much outside.  Everyone from my wife (who follows all the online weather guys for us) to the national forecast said the same thing- we’re not getting freezing temps in Houston until the weekend.  So I didn’t cover the trees as I’d have to do it in the rain.   It was 36F and falling when I went to bed.  Not freezing but way too close.

I spent the day dry and warm working on ebay stuff.  I had a bunch of speakers and vintage amps/receivers piled up that all needed to be tested, photographed, measured and weighed, etc.   I also needed to re-cover one grill.  So I did that.  Now that stuff can be listed, and the items themselves can go out of the house to storage.  Unfortunately some of it will be listed ‘for repair or parts’ that I was hoping would be in working condition.

A bunch of auctions closed yesterday and I was watching prices.  There was a lot of stuff that went cheap.   I am afraid that people might be done buying.  At some point, they will have other concerns than buying stuff they don’t really need.  I am hoping to get rid of a bunch more stuff before that happens.  I’m getting nervous about timing.

Which brings us to the question, “what do you really need?”

I could talk about Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.   I could do the usual prepper list of categories -water, food, shelter, defense, health, welfare, hygiene, communication.  Instead I’m going to ask the question, What do YOU need for YOUR threats, in YOUR location, given YOUR resources?  And as a refinement, What do you STILL need?

The current world and US situation complicates the answers a bit.  We are in fact living through a disaster, the global pandemic.  The disaster has many different features and facets in different places and so like the blind men and the elephant, it looks different to different people in different places.

Further, in the US we have the unsettled political situation, with many people believing the current President is a usurper, and illegitimate; but even if he isn’t, his policies and party are anathema to half the population.   The continued polarization of the populous makes it far more of an issue in this time than in previous times.  This has many people considering the likelihood of a Civil War, or insurrection, or a massive increase in the police state and persecution of conservatives.

Pandemic and civil war are not normally high on the typical American prepper’s list of threats, but we’re currently in one, and facing the real possibility of the other.

On top of those, there is the very real threat of an economic collapse or prolonged depression, brought about or exacerbated by the pandemic, and the shift in US politics.  Again, not normally an urgent threat in the US, but here we are, MUCH closer than 4 years ago, or even 6 months ago.

Three really big, massive even, threats that were barely on the radar 2 years ago, and they are suddenly top of mind for preppers.   Add in the normal issues caused by human stupidity and Mother Nature, and it’s really hard to answer, What do I NEED?

Start with which of the threats do you think are most likely?  How will each affect you?  What do you want?  Those questions will lead you to answers to what you need.

I think some version of all three threats will be active at the same time.  I don’t know the sequence of cause and effect, but I do believe we’ll be engaged in some level of street fighting/terror attacks/low intensity conflict.   Whether because of it, or the cause of it, there is no way our economy, mostly built on gambling with other people’s money and constant buying, will survive a de facto Civil War.  Economic disruptions, with violence and civil unrest, coupled with restrictions on movement, speech, assembly, supply chain breaks, and a general breakdown in the social and civic structures we take for granted, will not be pretty.

What do I want?   I want to continue living my current lifestyle with as few changes as possible.  I want to shield my family from the worst aspects of the new abnormal.  I want to survive to get to the recovery and rebuilding phase.

Ask, What do I need to accomplish my goals?  And that will tell you what you need.

I need a safe and secure base (my home).   For some people, that will mean moving, now or later when it becomes a life or death issue.  Sectarian violence drives out the ‘other’.  You will not want to be the last of the “whatevers” to be in your area.  You can move while conserving as much of your assets as possible, or you can leave as a refugee, with nothing but the clothes on your back.   Lots of people have faced choosing one or the other throughout history, and some even face it today in other parts of the US and the world.  Don’t wait too long, and if you choose to stay, build your plan around that.

I need to accumulate  the resources now that will be unavailable or VERY expensive later.  That might mean food, a good education, medical supplies and Doctor friends, or a skill that will be hard to come by.  It might mean having the tools needed for an income stream.   If you weld, do you have wire, gas, and spare parts for your machines?  If you sew, do you have fabric, thread, buttons, zippers, patterns, etc?   Money is always good, as long as your “money” is something that will hold value in the future you see for yourself.  Bolivars didn’t do so well.   The dollar has already lost ~98% of its purchasing power since the institution of the Federal Reserve.  It’s not impossible that it will lose the rest.  No one is taking Confederate Dollars at the grocery store…

I need the support of other people.  I need people to feed me work, to buy anything I have on offer.  I need people to teach my kids.   I need people with the skills I don’t have, whether that’s medical, technical, or political.

I may need to change my politics, or my public persona.   That might mean going grey, it might mean running for the School Board.  The goal is to survive.  -To be here for my kids.  -To rebuild if it’s possible.  -To remind if it’s not.

Every one of those needs can be further unpacked into specific things to have, specific actions to take, skills to learn, or people to meet.  And each one of those things can be further unpacked, and once more, and again, recursively and fractally, forever.  But don’t let that dissuade you or dishearten you.  You are likely to be further along than you think.

Take a mental or physical inventory of what you already have.  What stuff have you been accumulating?  What skills do you have?   Who do you know?  What processes have you already begun?   Because BEGINNING is key.  Start work on filling those needs once you start identifying them.  Don’t wait until you have all of them documented in your 3 ring binder, start filling in where you know you are short WHILE assessing where you need to be.   Start extending and building on what you have.

Every project has tasks and milestones that need to happen serially and in order.  Every project has tasks that can happen in parallel.  Every project has tasks that can happen in any order.   Prepping is no different.  Identify which of your needs can be met by which sort of task, and proceed accordingly.  And when in doubt, the prepper basics are basics for a reason.  Get started with them, then keep building on what you have.   Always be working to improve your position.

And of course, keep stacking.

 

nick

Mon. Feb. 8, 2021 – Monday morning quarterback… there’s a phrase from the past

Cool and windy, clear with sun.   Like yesterday.

Although it wasn’t dry.   I had water on the driveway that never dried.  I’m not sure what the humidity level was, but it was high.

I spent the afternoon cleaning up stuff and scrapping out stuff in the driveway.   I’ve got about half a pickup truck load of mostly aluminum and wire, so I need to run that to the scrap yard today.  I’ve also got to return the RugDoctor cleaner that my wife put to good use yesterday.

We only have carpet in the room we call the toy room/library/kid’s room, but was originally the formal living room.  We’ve got no need for formals, but we left the carpet in that room as a place for the babies to play.  White carpet.  More than 13 year old white carpet.  With two kids and a dog.

I cleaned it a couple of years ago but it was LONG overdue.   Looks much better now, but it’s still 13 year old white carpet.   We had planned to eventually put the same glue-down engineered hardwood in there as the rest of the house.  We even have the flooring already.  But.  Moving the bookcases out would be a BIG job, and there’s no reason to create more projects at this point.

I didn’t do any garden work, possibly today I’ll get the beds ready and move stuff around.   I’m home in the afternoon to pick up child two anyway.  I’ve got plenty to do around the house and I was making progress yesterday that I’d like to build on today.

Part of the work in the driveway is getting the shelves I put up moved into the garage (or some others).  I’d like to get the stored food out of the driveway under tarps and into the garage.  It will be a lot cooler in the garage this summer, with the A/C unit running, than under a tarp.  I made progress by scrapping out stuff that was on one shelf, and moving some of the canned soup to the other shelves and the can rack on the patio.   I’ve still got to reorg the patio shelves to add the two new can racks.  It was all a bit hurried when I shifted from stacking food to getting ready to USE the stored food. It needs to be tweaked a bit.

I really need to do a bunch of ebay listings too.  I’ve got stuff that is best sold to a worldwide market, and it isn’t going to list itself.

As long as people are still buying, I need to be selling.


The political and economic insanity continues.   Looks like the dems will try the former President of the United States in absentia for stuff he clearly didn’t do.  If you think otherwise, go to the primary source and watch the video in question.  I’ve linked to it before.

The stock market looks more rigged and more casino-like every day.

The left is screeching for blood from the right.  The deplatforming continues, and shows no sign of slowing.  People who have been plainspoken in expressing their views are taking steps and spending money to preserve their ability to use their public voice.  There’s no way to scrub your online persona, so you might as well own it, and continue speaking your mind.

You may want to take some steps to cushion any blowback you get if you come to the wrong sort of attention.  Other people are.

And I’ll say plainly, as long as we are ONE NATION, we have ONE National Anthem, and anyone promoting anything else is an agent of subversion.  You want apartheid, you’ll get it.  I don’t think you’ll like it much.

It will get worse.  Keep stacking.

nick

Fri. Feb. 5, 2021 – now the weeks are flying by

Cool and on the edge of a weather system, so we might be getting some rain.  I think the grass could use some, but my list would benefit from another day of dry.   We did get just a spritz in the late evening yesterday.  It was a bit of overcast and low clouds, mixed with sun throughout the day.  Shorts and T shirt weather.

I did mostly homebody stuff yesterday.  Laundry.  Leaf blower on the dustbunnies.  Kitchen clean up.  Vac seal and freeze over 20 pounds of sirloin…. that sort of thing.  It was very quiet in the house, alone.

Today I will keep plugging away at the list, depending on weather.  I won’t have to be home to pick up kid #2 from school in the middle of the day so that expands my options.

I’ve really got to make some progress on my secondary location.  I played  catch up on the home front, so if the weather allows, I’ll probably head out today.

Time feels like it’s getting short.


There is a feeling of acceleration in the changes going on.   There was a comment from Harold here yesterday- “I spent some time in the good old USSR and know firsthand where we are headed. I wouldn’t have believed it a year ago. ” -emphasis added.   The old joke is that it goes slowly, then very quickly.

That is what I’m seeing.   They are working very quickly to shore up their gains and lock in changes as a fait accompli.   The crazy sounding stuff they are proposing sounds perfectly reasonable to them.  They have been working toward the goal for a long time, either knowingly or as a willing pawn.   They are willing to lie, cheat, and steal.  They are certainly willing to have some deaths occur if it furthers their goals.  Gotta break a few eggs, don’tcha know…

You may want to accelerate your own preparations.  I’m not saying you should do anything that looks like panicking, or anything that is irrevocable, but your bank is ratting you out to the FBI regarding your perfectly legal activities.  The three letter agencies have been compromised, and are being weaponized against conservatives.  FBI, ATF, SEC, DOJ, are all aggressively coming after conservatives (and ordinary people who are not lefty enough)  after conspicuously NOT going after the new brown shirts shirts of color.

The pattern is for everything to degrade now.  Stuff will work, but not as well.   That includes social systems.  Eventually things will degrade to the point they don’t work at all.  Violence will increase.  Sectarianism will increase.   Things have ALREADY degraded from a year ago, and they have been degrading slowly for a long time.   But the pebble is rolling down the hill now, and gathering momentum.

I know, doom and gloom.  Show me the rays of sunshine though.  Show me where things are getting better consistently.  The barbarians are not at the gates, they are among us.   We are eating the seed corn of our culture and society.  When it runs out, things will get REALLY bad.  Who knows how long that will last?   Maybe the recovery will be as rapid as the decline, but I don’t think so.  I think it’s going to be a long haul.  Get yourself ready.

Keep stacking it up.

nick

Wed. Feb. 3, 2021 – just not feeling it.

Cold to start, continuing the nice clear days.  Warming up later.

Yesterday was another beautiful day starting with an absolute light show of a sunrise.   I get to see the sun come up while I stand on the corner with daughter 1 waiting for her bus.   In the old days I’d have said that sunrise should come at the END of a good long day…

12 years and 24 days since I quit drinking.    Missed the anniversary, but realized it yesterday.  It’s not normally a big deal for me, I figure the running total out when I think of it- I’m not actually counting the days any more.  Without any judgement either way, I can say definitively that it saved me a LOT of money be spent on other things.  And probably saved my life and my relationships….

I made my drop off at the ‘industrial’ auction, so that’s another pickup load gone.  Still lots more to go.   Funny how the auctions and estate sales sometimes go in ‘waves’.    No O gauge trains for a long time, then trains in every auction.  Or loose wrenches and sockets.   Or coleman lanterns.   None for a while, then they’re everywhere.

Since yesterday was an ‘office’ day for my wife, I picked up youngest from school.  2:30 in the afternoon is not a convenient time.  For anyone.  And having the kids start at 7:15 makes little sense for most people.   What it does do is let the district reuse the busses to pick up the high school kids for their later start time.  One more example of the district running things for their own convenience and not the parents’ or students’.  And the mid afternoon ending time created a whole industry of “after care” babysitter organizations.  All of which cost money by the way, and almost none of which are running due to covid.  Anyway, it puts a limit on what I can do in the afternoon.

Today I’m picking up auction stuff for my ongoing home remodeling and maintenance projects.  Then I’ll see what else I can get done either on my list for home, or for my secondary location.  Gnu g-noes there is plenty on the lists…

Meanwhile, our would be rulers are continuing to show their true nature.  Some are now calling for the creation of a ‘ministry of truth’, while others want to purge the ranks of the military along political lines.  I can’t see the leadership allowing that, but I don’t see them staging a coup either.  It will probably just get slow rolled with everyone hoping someone else will deal with it.  Everywhere I look I see the breakdown of the institutions and cultures that led to our great success.   It’s much easier to destroy than build.

I’m focusing on Yoda’s advice for the nonce… “Save you what can.”

Stack it high.

 

nick

 

Wed. Jan. 13, 2021 – Friday the 13th comes on a Wednesday this month

Cold,but warming up, clear and dry.

Yesterday stayed cool after a very cold start.  It was dry but so cool, stuff didn’t really dry out.   Today it’s coming down no matter what.  Time to get the yard decor in.

Spent most of yesterday afternoon driving around for pickups.  Got a couple of gub accessories, a major piece of our ongoing bathroom project, and gallons of hand sanitizer.  Some other cleaning and plumbing stuff too.

My dog is looking a bit better.   We’ve been jamming food into him whenever he’ll eat.  He was pretty perky when the chicken breast came out for his dinner tonight, but he is spending most of his time sleeping or just lying down.  His two repaired knee joints can’t be feeling great with the cold and damp, mine certainly don’t.  Pain killers seem to be in order, but my wife isn’t seeing outward signs of pain and she’s worried about drug interactions so today I hope she’ll get the reassurance she needs from the vet.

I wish there was someone I could call and get some assurance the country will even make it to the inauguration.  They are moving VERY fast to tie up their ‘win’ and shut down opposition before it can really get going.   They definitely don’t want Trump around as a rallying point or gadfly for the next four years.   They want him tied up, locked up, or buried.  The absolute perfect setup for a false flag attack is coming up and I’m very concerned.  They are already laying the groundwork.

The tech companies are lining up to serve their new masters.  Go Daddy should be treated like a landlord, along with all the other registrars and hosts.  It should be illegal for them to discriminate, if it’s not already.  AR15.com was just the first, they won’t be the last.   Go Daddy is my personal registrar and host, and I need some advice on someone solid to use instead.  I’ve got stuff renewing soon that I would like to move.  It sucks because I’ve been a fan of theirs since they started outside of Tempe AZ all those years ago, and a customer for over a decade.  I have several inactive domains, one work domain with email, one family domain with hosted WP site (that could go away if the domain stayed.)    The business domain and email are the most important things to me.  I would like to hang on to all the domains, but I’m getting tired of paying for privacy.  Most are .com, with a couple variations to protect my name and business name.  I just registered the flandrey domains as backup, and now I need to move them.  FFS.

I see a real lack of contingency planning around a Trump loss on the right.  Doesn’t inspire confidence.  The Republican party reaction doesn’t surprise me at all though.  Trump was never a party Republican.  They never wanted him and can’t wait to get rid of him.  He threatened a lot of rice bowls (hah, see what I did to amuse you, china! FTW!)  Just how many of our congressmen and business  leaders are married or shacked up with chinese women anyway?

If people do push back, and someone will, it’s going to get REALLY ugly real quick.  Too many 3 letters are already corrupted and working against conservatives (remember the IRS and charitable status?).   The rest will jump on the bandwagon if it gets going.  That won’t be fun.

Priorities should be having the basics to cover an extended period of disruptions.  In EVERY account I’ve read of war or prolonged conflict, the people end up eating grass because they’ve eaten everything else.  After food, water, meds, and defense, comms are going to be an issue.  Samizdat is going to be making a comeback, albeit in new forms.  Beyond that, I can’t really say.  Everything technological is subject to eavesdropping, well poisoning, and the equivalent of direction finding.   There are a lot of clever people out there and something will rise to the surface.   If you think I’m nuts, I’ve got literally a page of headlines from this week alone that suggest otherwise, so you’ll have to do more than make assertions.  I was listening to NPR on the radio while driving around and even THEY can see that a civil war is imminent.

I’m continuing with my life as normal, kids’ school, house remodel, ebay sales, because going dark is just as telling as going active.  I’ve always done my prepping alongside my normal life anyway.  And there is no point in shutting down-the internet archives, and the three lette r s have been hoovering up data the whole time.

We’re barely two weeks into 2021 and it’s already insane.  Avoid crowds.  Don’t get on the bus.   Stack it high and deep, and in more than one place.

nick

 

~800 words, right on schedule.

Fri. Jan. 8, 2021 – the disaster is headed our way now for certain, just a question of how long and how bad

Cold.  Hopefully clear though.

Yesterday stayed cool all day.  It was clear and dry but never really warmed up.  It was 40F when I went to bed.

Didn’t really get much done yesterday.  Watched my local auctions throughout the day, and watched the news stories roll in.

Didn’t do super well in the auctions.  One was a disaster.  I had lots of items sell for a couple of bucks that should have sold well.  I even bought one of my own items the price was so low and I’d actually spent money on buying it originally.   I won’t be using that auctioneer again.   The lego sold well.  The k’nex sold badly, some bulk even going unsold.   40 year old concert T shirts brought $30-$50 EACH.  Crazy.  Hot Wheels and train stuff brought what I was hoping for.  Kitchen stuff- corel and pyrex sold ok, not super, but not bad.  Purses sold poorly.  The photos were really bad.  When a genuine Coach handbag, in simple black leather goes for $3 something is terribly wrong.

The stuff I dropped off Wednesday should list for next week in the better auction.   I’m supposed to take a load to my ‘industrial’ auctioneer today.  That’s why I’m hoping for clear weather.   It will get more stuff out of my storage and that’s a good thing.

I want to accelerate getting stuff sold.  I think the economy will not survive Biden and his plans.  Not at the ‘man on the street’ level, not in the financial markets.

It’s possible we might be going to look at a couple lake properties on Saturday.  I really want to accelerate that plan now too.

Lots to do, little time.  Hurricane in the Gulf time… gotta get ready.   Well, more ready.

Stack all the things.

nick

Wed. Jan. 6, 2021 – some stuff happening. Some stuff not happening.

Moderate temps, decent weather.   Well, yesterday and tomorrow, but the national map was calling for rain in Houston.   I will wait and see.

Spent part of the day yesterday doing auction stuff.  Went to my industrial auctioneer and got him to take some more stuff.  I’ll be delivering a pickup or two Thursday or Friday.  I went and made a mental list of what would fit, and I’ve got enough stuff for two loads, easy.

Today I’m supposed to take a few more bins to my other local auctioneer.  I have NO TROUBLE AT ALL filling those bins.  I’m going to add some of the Mr Buddy heaters I picked up last year that didn’t sell.  They should do a lot better now than in June.

Spoke to my troublesome neighbor last night.  They’re moving out.  He has a conflict with the landlord.   I get the feeling he has conflicts with people all the time.   The landlord is a nice guy, but hates the house for emotional reasons, and really doesn’t want to be a landlord.  He should sell it and be free, but he won’t.   FWIW, if you remember the weird incident with the ‘contractor’ in the front yard and then climbing up onto the roof?  The landlord says it wasn’t his guy.  So some stranger was just hanging out in the yard, and then got up on the roof?  Yeah, the camera pointed that way just moved to the top of my ‘do this next time you are at home long enough’ list.  The license plate camera and bluetooth logger are moving up the list too.


 

I don’t have anything at all to say about the DC ‘meetup’ from a philosophical point of view.   I’m going to be busy but will try to check the sites to see what’s going on throughout the day.  I don’t think there is anything good that can come from this.  A whole bunch of people are about to get entries in their files, and a bunch will be getting files for the first time.  Some others are probably going to need stitches and dental work before this is done.  Avoid crowds.

Camo and group maneuvers in the field aren’t going to be the way forward.  Grey men, snipers, arsonists, and most of all partisans are probably the way to go if you are inclined toward action.    Paris or Ireland, not Red Dawn.  And it won’t be long before someone moving around without a cell phone will get highlighted automatically, and moving around WITH a cell phone will be just stupid.   It’s wouldn’t be impossible, but I’m thinking Bracken’s idea of one person, one action, and then never again is the only way to do it.  I’m not advocating it, just making an observation.  You will need to stay aware of what’s going on around you so you don’t get stuck in the middle.  One way or another, we’re past the point where this can  end without bloodshed.

Interestingly, in a  sort of ‘meta’ way, SUDDENLY the alt-right blogosphere seems to have woken up to the idea that the cops are probably not going to be on the side of light in what comes.    Hmm.  Coulda told ’em that.  “Remember that the people hiding Anne Frank were breaking the law, and the people who turned her in were upholding it.”

And isn’t that a cheery way to start the day?

Keep stacking.  Really.

nick

Mon. Jan. 4, 2021 – ah, love the smell of fresh new year…

Probably quite nice out today.  Low 50s when I went to bed, and forecast is for sun and moderate temps.

Sunday was very nice out after late morning.  I ended up doing inside stuff, and not much of that before I headed out to my secondary location.   Once there, I went through some stuff and made some plans for today.   Kids are still home from school until tomorrow, but my wife’s office went back to everyone working from home due to the upswing expected in wuflu cases.  They can work from home so why take the chance?  She’ll be watching the flock from home today while I’m out.

Anyway, I’ll be headed over to clear out some more stuff.  So much stuff.  A lot piles up over 17 years.  This is going to be the longest I’ve ever lived in one place, including my childhood if we make it another year.  If you  move every few years, you get a chance to go through all your stuff and cull.  I’ve been too busy/lazy/preoccupied to do the culling on my own, so now it’s a daunting task.   The reward is there at the end.  If I can  make enough room to run my own online auction sales, I get to keep 40% more of the money.   I’ll be doing 80% more of the work, but them’s the breaks.  TANSTAAFL after all.


 

With the new year, it’s traditional to make some goals.  I’m not big on Resolutions ™ but  I do have things I want to work toward, if the universe is headed in the same direction.  If it’s not, no amount of work on my part will overcome that.  So, what goals?

Broadly, improve our living situation.  Improve our physical and  mental condition.   Improve our future.

I’m starting by getting all the superfluous stuff out of here.  That is number one.   Congruent with that is turning a bunch of it back into cash.    Then get somewhere to go, if it becomes wise to go somewhere else.  That goal has a large input from my wife, so compromise is the name of the game.  It will be an escape hatch, not a primary residence.  We are tied to this area for the foreseeable future with work.  If that changes, then other possibilities open up.

We’ll also continue improving what we already have here.   That means secondary power system up and running, and maybe a tertiary system as well.   It means doing upgrades to the house and grounds like finishing some remodel stuff, possibly doing some security upgrades, and doing some other projects that improve our current lifestyle and harden us against future problems.   We’ll be proactively doing some maintenance and upgrades to infrastructure too.  And I’ll be working on the gardens in the spring because hope springs eternal…

It also means working on myself and the family.  My wife is anxious to do more physical activities with the kids.  I’m realizing that I have to WORK at maintaining my physical self, or I will lose abilities.   I can’t afford to lose much 🙂  A bit more biking, hiking, boating, and certainly STRETCHING is in my future.   It means staying healthy.  It means working on new skills.  This is a good year to introduce the kids to firearms and to other defensive pursuits.  Both have expressed the interest, it’s just a matter of doing it now.  I’m no spec ops ninja but I can get them started with the basics.  If we can get some bushcraft/camping/fishing/hunting in, that will be even better.

All of those things can be applied to ‘working for the future’ too.   My planning horizon expanded dramatically once we had the kids.  I went from being a guy who wouldn’t commit to a multi-year magazine subscription to being a homeowner with college savings plans for the kids.  11 years has gone by in an eye blink.

GET STARTED by the way.  Whatever it is, in 5 years you’ll be well along the way if you just GET STARTED.  Continuing to accumulate stuff, skills, friends, and options is what I believe will give us the best chance of getting through what’s coming.  YMMV.

Seriously.  If you’re single, turning everything into cash (or equivalent) and becoming a modern nomad might be a better choice than digging in harder.  Or the two of you buy a boat and start the endless cruise…or RV…  or get into politics and join the parasite class.   If the rise of islam is inevitable, converting early and wholeheartedly makes the most sense- so there are other approaches than mine.

Whatever is coming it won’t be the end of THE world.  It might be the end of my world or your world, but there will be someone on the other side of it, just like the Civil War, WWI & II, the rise of the Soviet Union, and whatever happens here next.  Stick it out.  Get through.  Look for opportunities to thrive.  And keep stacking.

 

nick

 

Thur. Dec. 31, 2020 – New Year’s Eve

Cool and wet again, maybe.

Certainly rained most of yesterday.  The ground is saturated.  I have standing water in my yard.

I got some very small things done, but had a very late start.  Felt good to sleep though, after staying up way too late.

Today I’m supposed to be able to take some stuff to one of my local auctions.    I’ll do that on the way to my rent house, where my tenants have managed to twist the handles off the new shower valves.  I think they are just cranking the everloving heck out of them.  The knobs and the valve stems were new.  If they normally fail in a couple of weeks, I think Home Depot might complain to the vendor about the returns.  Therefore, I think it’s operator error.  If the stems aren’t ruined, I’ll replace the knobs again, and epoxy the freaking things in place.  I know you only need finger tight to shut the valves off, I checked when I installed the new ones.  An uncomfortable conversation with the tenants is in my future.

The year is finally nearly over.  It’s NOT that I expect 2021 to be better, in fact I expect it to be worse in almost every way.   It’s that I would like to see the clean break of the year change.  It’s POSSIBLE that will have a positive effect on at least some people.  A lot of the baggage of the year will be behind us too with the date change.  It’s superstitious, and somewhat silly, but that describes most people too.  FWIW, this will be the first year I’m not anxious about a terror attack on Times Square.  That’s gotta be a blessing.

No matter what happens with the presidential election, I expect politics in 2021 to be INSANE.  Half the people will feel cheated and disenfranchised.  Violence is almost certain to increase.  It’s much easier to destroy than to create, and some things once damaged, can’t be fixed.   Yeah, it’s possible we’ll end up replacing stuff with totally new ideas, execution, or tech, but I’m rating that lower than a meteor strike or aliens revealing themselves.  You need optimism and prosperity for those sorts of changes.  What you get from anger and desperation is a whole lot uglier.  Add that we have historically gotten ourselves out of similar fixes with massive wars, well, the future I’m preparing for isn’t bright.

It is possible to get through it though.  There are still Jews in Germany.  There are Romans in Rome.  There are good ol’ boys in the South.  Norway and Finland survived WWII as did the UK.  Almost everyone BUT the US was impoverished by it and disheartened for a couple of generations though.

In any case, I want to get myself and my loved ones through the trouble I think is coming.  Skills, connections, and stuff should all help with that.  So I’m stacking.  You should too.

nick

Fri. Dec. 25, 2020 – Christmas Day

Cold.  Low 40s to start.  Clear and sunny in the forecast, so it should warm up later.  No snow this year.

Whether you celebrate this day as the Feast of Our Savior’s Birth, or as a secular version with Santa Claus and all the mythology that has built up around that, or as a pagan whose symbology and practice got subsumed into Christian beliefs, or if you’ve just finished celebrating Hanukkah, I greet you and hope you share the blessings of the season.

We’ll be busy giving gifts, preparing our shared meal, and renewing familial bonds (albeit by facetime).  I hope this season is a bit of a respite from the concerns of the rest of this dumpster fire of a year.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

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Spent yesterday messing around.  Sold something on ebay that I had to go get out of storage, then pack better for shipping, then run to the UPS store-  which was closed early for the holiday.  So was the storefront shipping store.  I spent about 2 hours messing around and still didn’t get the danged thing shipped.  It’ll go out Monday.

After that it was a scramble to finish wrapping presents, deciding which ones went to which child, and which get shifted to spring birthdays.  Got it all done, and the opening of the gifts commenced!

Oh to be nine years old again.  What a special day for her.    She’s been VIBRATING with anticipation and her waiting paid off.   SO MUCH squealing.

The 11yo has been playing it cool, practicing her ‘teen’ vibe.  Last night was clear she missed it, so today she’ll hopefully get the joy of the season.

Speaking of which, I know that for some of you out there there is no joy in the season.  If that’s the case, please talk to someone, get out into the woods, or go for a drive somewhere or do whatever helps you get through.  But GET THROUGH.  Be here for whatever comes next.  Who knows, could be aliens after all and how cool would that be to finally know for sure?

Whatever comes, we’ll deal with it.  There are still people in Rome and have been since before our system of dates started those 2020 years ago.   Stacks of needful things will help…

 

Wishing you all the joy and blessings of the season, Merry Christmas!

nick