Mon. Nov. 30, 2020 – really counting down the year now

Cool but hopefully no rain.

We could use the chance to dry out now that we got all that rain.  The ground is squishy.

Yesterday I spent way too long monkey punching my linux install to get my NVR software running again.   Linux does some dumb things.  So does my NVR software.  Still, it’s orders of magnitude more stable than the windows version, and I don’t have Gates and Co.  messing with my computer every month or whenever they feel like it.  Still not something I’d put on a customer site unless they had a wild mix of cams that were not supported by hardware NVR or VMS (video management system).  With the ONVIF standard for IP cams, it’s getting to be rare that a camera isn’t supported by newer hardware.

I do feel a lot better with the cams recording to my NVR as well as internally.

The new range hood project should be finished today.  I’ve got to get the exhaust duct connected and supported, and Bog’s my carbuncle.

Christmas break is now only 3 weeks away.  I should get some decor out if the weather holds.   It was CHILLY yesterday, as well as damp.  I’ve got citrus still ripening on the trees, so I hope we aren’t going to get a frost for a while yet.  No fall garden, that’s clear now.  Except… my broccoli is putting out florets.  I’ll be happy to eat them, and the other dark leafy veg might be collards.  In any case, the leaves are looking edible to me…   But new veg?  Not happening.

So that means stacking some more cans of veg.  Because I won’t be feeding us from the garden.

Other supplies, especially defensive stuff has been very limited availability, and high price relative to last year.  Cheap compared to January, I think.   If I had money, and access to the stock, I’d buy a pallet of ammo.  But neither of those things are true.    If you are short of what you’d like, sign up for palmetto state armory’s enewsletter.  They are rumored to have one of the big manufacturers as a partner or owner, and while they are (in)famous for their inexpensive ARs, they also have been getting stock of defensive handguns, shotguns, and parts.  They’ve had more inventory than most of the other places I check.  AR500 armor had a sale on, if you think some body armor might be a good idea.  It takes a while to get your order fulfilled by them, so you might want to look around.  Their product seems good though, and their prices were low.  Ammo is hit or miss.  Rocky Brasss newsletter, or GrabAGun’s, or one of the linker sites like ammoseek.com is probably your best bet.  Expect to pay $1/rnd for 556/223, and 50c to $1/rnd for common pistol calibers, much more for anything fancy.  Airsoft or BB guns will let you work common problems without breaking the bank…

Think about what you will do if some restrictive laws do get passed, and DON’T tell anyone that you’ve decided on anything other than selling all your stuff quick before the laws take effect.  Make sure you have a bill of sale… even if it’s just to A. Random Patriot.  When bad things happen they tend to happen all at once, and very rapidly.

Times are going to get tough, no matter what happens with the election, or the wuflu.  Too many cans have been kicked down the road.  Too many things have become un-tethered from reality.  Far too many people aren’t able to hold a contrary thought in their heads, and react violently to the suggestion that they should.

It’s not too late to shore up some weak spots, but it will be soon.  How soon is yet to be seen.  The longer you wait the more it will cost and the harder it will be.

So keep stacking,

nick

Fri. Nov. 27, 2020 – just another day to work

Cool, overcast, possible rain later.

Well, Thanksgiving Day has come and gone.  We here at Casa de Nick have enjoyed another feast, with most of the traditional foods we are used to having.  We missed having friends and family over, but it did make for a more calm and relaxing day.

I actually managed to get some other stuff done too.  I went through a bunch of stuff and filled a couple of bins for my local auction.  I have more to go through, and the ebay bin will need to be listed, but it looks like progress…  And I repaired an item that should sell for hundreds of bucks on ebay.

My wife continued painting in the kitchen in addition to preparing some really good food.  If I wasn’t going to my rent house to do plumbing repairs today, I’d be in the attic getting the range hood installed.   I guess that will wait until Saturday.

I’ve never been interested in “Friday of Color” sales.  I can often find better pricing, or similar pricing but on better versions of the items and avoid the stampedes.  I did look at a few of the cyber- offers.  An ammunition reseller had Pelican cases marked down.  That was it.  They didn’t even have any ammo for sale.  Some other places online had weirdo import guns, and small manufactures I’ve never seen before, but no big names.  A few, very few, had name brand models, at high prices.  Selection and quantity were very limited.

Fry’s offers were about where MicroCenter is normally.  MicroCenter was competitive with Costco.  Costco expanded the tech they have for sale dramatically.   As an aside, a decade after leaving the field of large format, high resolution CURVED displays, the new hotness is curved monitors on desks.  I guess once you’ve sold everyone two monitors, and with 3D still a bust, curved looks like a growth space.   After a decade of putting in curved displays, we determined that they are essentially single user devices.  They work poorly for large groups unless the display is HUGE and the intent is awe, rather than work.  Large curved TVs had the same issues we saw with our much larger systems and didn’t fly off the shelves.   Desktop users might be the actual sweet spot for wide curved displays.  As long as you don’t need two…or three.*

It will be interesting to see if the shoppers ignore social distancing and masks in the rush to get cheap crap, like the holiday travelers did.

I’m not one to panic, but I do take the wuflu seriously.  It didn’t kill us like it killed chinese, but I’ll put some of that down to unknown factors, and some down to masks and distancing.  It’s hard to catch something if you aren’t around anyone who has it.  The number of people traveling this week pretty much ensures that we will see a large spike in cases, on top of the current increases, just in time for Christmas travel, which will either not happen if things are REALLY bad, or will put the nail in the coffin of containment and mitigation.  You can argue severity, transmissibility, lethality, and the legality and effectiveness of the actions taken by political figures, but you can’t argue the ACTUALITY that the disease exists, is spread person to person, and makes some percentage very sick, and kills a smaller percentage of those.  With very large numbers exposed, we WILL see large numbers of sick, and larger numbers of both very sick, and lethally sick people than we have been seeing.

That will cause a number of responses, both social and political.  I can’t predict which way it will go.  I expect political ‘leaders’ to try more, harder.  If you are in an area with already repressive government – I think you ain’t seen nothin’ yet.  Those of us in less restrictive areas are going to see increasing restrictions.  Or despite everything we’ll lose control and it will sweep through like a wildfire, in which case you’ll stay isolated voluntarily.

Either case or anything in between can be made better on an individual level by avoiding people.  Get ready to increase your personal protective behaviors.  This isn’t going to be a time to be out shopping or ‘living your best life’.    Get that stuff out of the way NOW, right now, before the wave hits.  And stack it high, because a surging hospitalization rate is actually likely to be only ONE of our worries as the next month or two plays out.

I know it’s doom and gloom.  But we ARE living with social unrest (rioting/insurrection), a global pandemic, and an uncertain election and transfer of power, which could turn into full on fighting in the streets.  France fell in 2 weeks to the Germans.  Just last month, suddenly Armenia and Azerbaijan were lobbing mortars and bombs into each other’s cities.  Venezuela fell to failed state in less than two years.  It can happen very quickly.  Be ready to live with it and through it.

Keep stacking.  Be thankful for every day without those issues.

nick

 

Tues. Nov. 24, 2020 – a literal dumpster fire…

Cool and overcast, some chance of rain.

Like yesterday.  Only cooler.  Maybe.

Hid in the house all day.   Didn’t feel good.  Can’t go back to bed, as then my neck and back get messed up.  Did a tiny bit of work.  Cooked dinner and made bread.

The title is about what I passed on my way home the other day… the loony bin up the road had a fire in their dumpster.  I’ve never seen that before outside of a meme.  Yea me!  Now my 2020 is complete.

Nothing I’ve seen suggests that things are going to be better in 2021, except possibly we’ll have an effective and safe vaccine.  I’ll let the other guys go first on that one… and wait until we’ve seen what happens with pregnant women and kids before making up my mind.

I’m ready to stay home for a while if they start to mandate things like papers to move around.  Shortly after that the roundups starts, so I’ll be getting ready.  History might not repeat but it rhymes, and we’ve heard this tune before.  If old hoof in mouth Joe gets into the Whitehouse, which do you think will come first, the modern yellow star, movement passes, or midnight raids?  There will be calls for gun registration and confiscation too.  The AR pistols will be first.  “Shockwave” style shotguns too.

This time around, the populace is armed, but this time around, the panopticon sees all.

I think I’ll go long on road flares, soap flakes*, and bottles.

Keep stacking.  Figure out how to keep your head down, and what side you’ll take.  You may try to stay neutral, but I don’t think circumstances will let you.

nick

*I’ve heard styrofoam is good too.

 

Fri. Nov. 20, 2020 – or 11202020 – or TGIF

Another great fall day, I hope.  We are supposed to get rain, but only in a little ring around Houston, for the next couple of days.  Any change in weather patterns and that little spot will miss us.  I hope anyway.

It got up to 81F yesterday, but was back to 68F at night.  Other than being a bit too humid, basically great weather.  Clear sky, light breeze, warm sun.

Being that I didn’t feel fantastic, I was moving a bit slowly yesterday.  I did manage to get a few things done, and I did get a wuflu test.  Talked to my mom in Florida and she sound ok with us missing Thanksgiving with her.  Even thinking about the trip seems nuts to me, but I’m not always driving the bus.

The election stuff continues to evolve.  We’re learning some stuff about the process and the machines and the companies involved that is frankly incredible.  Lou Dobbs says we don’t even know the true ownership of the companies doing the counting…  FFS, I thought it was bad in the old days when one company provided the de facto results based on exit polls and really, whatever they wanted to say… and the count was kind of an afterthought.  No matter what comes out of this, it’s not going to be good.  Even if it’s all laid out and irrefutable, the damage done will be massive.  A total reset of voting processes will be needed to restore public confidence.  The chances of either of those things being true seem to be slim at this point.  We are truly at a crossroad.

I’ve said for some time that I think we are in one of those periods where everything changes, the shape of the whole world gets rearranged.   Last time we benefited enormously.  Who will benefit this time, as it seems unlikely to be us?

Periods of rapid change and realignment are rarely much fun for the ordinary people living through them.  Oh some people will rise like the robber barons, but most of us will be lucky to keep what we have-think europeans after WWII for example.  I don’t think I want to live as a DP wandering around Eastern Europe.

I want to live comfortably in the country I grew up in.  I’m gonna do what I can to make that happen.  And I’m going to keep stacking so I have some resources available.  Cuz seriously, what do YOU think will happen when Trump’s team lays out the evidence for the steal, but loses anyway?  Or if he somehow pulls it off, what do you think the radical left will do when his “coup” is successful?

Keep stacking.

nick

 

added- I scanned through 11 pages of those results and found only a couple that predated the election, and those were from unabashed socialist sources.

Preparations to respond are already under way. A manual titled Hold the Line lays out how to form local “election protection” committees and start organizing for coup resistance.[6] Numerous organizations and coalitions are actively preparing for responding if Trump and his supporters disrupt the election and attempt to nullify its results. They include Choose DemocracyNational Council On Election Integrity, Keep Our Republic , Stand Up America , and People’s Strike!. Others are keeping a low public profile unless and until open resistance is necessary. Protect the Results, a joint project of Indivisible and Stand Up America, has already organized actions in 233 locations for 5:00 p.m. local time on November 4.

 

Wed. Nov. 18, 2020 – my how time flies

Cooler.  Still damp.  Still sunny.    44F and 99%RH at 6am.

It was a very pleasant day yesterday, with some light wind, and not a drop of rain.  Humid, yes.  But with the help of the industrial floor dryer, I got the pool liner dried out and rolled up.

Did some minimal leaf blowing and raking then realized I’d have all day at home today to do that.  So I stopped.  Did an auction pickup.  Dropped off a few smalls for my other local auction.

Ate my orange from my very own tree for breakfast.  It was good.  Not as sweet yet as store bought, but still good. Did I already mention that?  Can’t remember.

Not feeling particularly well.  Coughing, stuffed up head, sore eyes, mild headache coming and going.  Feeling ‘half a bubble off’ all day.  Bumping into  things with my legs, stumbling.   Bit of sharpness in my upper lungs.  Sore throat.  No fever and I can still smell and taste.   So I tried to find a quick test place yesterday.  There used to be at least three in the area I was in.   Not any more.  Big upswing in cases, EVERYONE saying “get tested” and at least 3 local test sites are shut down.  Bugger me.  I need a rapid result too, because I’m supposed to leave for Florida on Friday.  And that’s a whole ‘nuther ball o wax…

I’ll try again today.   I might have to try researching first.

I’m definitely trying the “more sleep” approach, if even for just an extra hour.  So I’m going to hit “save” on this post and hit the hay.

The ‘prudent’ buying is sweeping the nation again.  Maybe ‘prudent’ isn’t quite right,  ‘understandable’ or ‘sensible’ might be better.  In any case, if you are going into a lock down of unknown length it makes perfect sense to buy a bit more than you normally do, when you can pop down to the store at any time.  Doesn’t take too many ‘bit more’ s to strip the shelves.  It’s not like they stack the stuff to the ceilings, and it’s still delivered ‘just in time’.  Or more likely, ‘too little too late’.

Which is why we prep -so we don’t have to worry about wiping our nethers with the cleaning paper of choice, or with some pages from Green Eggs and Ham…

TP isn’t the only thing that will be in short supply soon.  Stack it high.

 

nick

 

 

Tues. Nov. 17, 2020 – the wheel turns…

Cool, damp, but sunny and clear.  I hope.

Stayed cool and clear all day yesterday. It was 45F at midnight but 70s and maybe into the low 80s at some point during the day.  Cool in the shade though.

I got stuff done around the house.  Moved the rest of the insulation into the attic.  Broke down a whole bunch of scrap.  Messed with the pool liner so it will hopefully finally dry out.  Poked at a couple of other things.

It doesn’t sound like much but it was forward progress.

On the other hand, my cough and sore throat don’t seem to be getting better.  I’m going to try to get a test today or tomorrow.  I don’t have a fever, or any of the other serious and definitive symptoms, but I’m supposed to be driving to Florida to spend a week with my mom at the end of the week…  I’m still not comfortable with that, and especially so if I’m not feeling well.  Maybe I’ll try a rapid test this time, and pay for it.

I’ve been feeling tired and run down, but then I’m not sleeping enough either.  Being tired is a natural consequence of not sleeping.  Anyway.   Better to test if I can.  And if I can trust the results.  And if I can actually get a test.   To be honest, I stopped paying attention, and the pictures out of El Paso shocked me.  Daily Mail had this to say,

it has become a particularly heavy burden upon rural America.

Counties with fewer than 10,000 residents now have the highest rate of new daily coronavirus infections per capita of any size county, according to an Axios analysis of data from Johns Hopkins University.

These rural counties – referred to as ‘non-core’ by the National Center for Health Statistics and US Census Bureau are suffering an average of 60.4 new cases per every 100,000 people, whereas 35.4 out of every 100,000 people living in large central metro areas are being diagnosed a day.

As a result, the national rate of infections seemed to be climbing more slowly, but hospital systems are more likely to be imperiled now than they were during the first spring peak of the pandemic in the U.S.

Rural areas have fewer beds to begin with, meaning that they can quickly become overwhelmed, as El Paso, Texas, has. That means that even if the absolute numbers of new cases and hospitalizations remain low, facilities may run out of space and personnel to treat patients, and people may die faster than space an be made in small local morgues.

Aesop and others had mentioned this very scenario way back in the early days…  Other than total deaths, most of what was outlined before this became political has remained on target.  Waves.  Of decreasing size.   For years.  Rural areas with no resources quickly overwhelmed.

No one called the political aspects. Always there are second and third order effects.  Those are much harder to predict.


Violent rhetoric and  actual violence against conservatives are increasing.  The radical elements on the left are becoming emboldened (or the ones who are in the know are becoming desperate.)  If I was a conspiracy guy, I’d say we’re due for a major incident that will overwhelm the election stories.  Bonus if it kills Americans, bonus if it can be used to bludgeon Trump for not giving up and letting Biden in the door.  And if it looks like Trump might actually be successful in his challenge, expect someone to try for him.  It’s kinda amazing that he’s made it this long considering the forces aligned against him.  They’ve tried smears, they’ve tried legal action, they’re trying election fraud, what’s left?  And Harris is waiting in the wings to step in…   The flip side is some antifa/blm/black bloc kids get sacrificed to create a narrative that Trump’s nazzi white supremacist thugs are out of control and need more crackdowns…

Or dozens of other potential scenarios, most of which end in increased violence and lead toward civil ware…..

The good news is, if you are prepared for zombies, you’re prepared for most of the rest of the threats too.   Don’t get caught short this time.  Stack what you need.  Stack it high and deep.

nick

 

 

Sun. Nov. 15, 2020 – tomorrow is usually mostly like today. until it isn’t.

Warmer, damp.  Overcast.  But hopefully no rain.

Saturday was overcast and muggy all day.  I was out running around, and my wife was taking down the pool. . . she was running fans to try to dry it out but it wasn’t working.  It was MUGGY.  91%RH at 10am.  The RH did go down as the temperature went into the 80s.   I got a few light sprinkles in various parts of town.  Barely enough to use the wipers though.

I spent some time throwing stuff out at my secondary.  I’m making room for other stuff.  And I’m discovering that I saved a lot of empty boxes, just because I could.  I was using them back in the day, but haven’t in a long time.  B’bye…. can’t afford that now.

Gotta make more room for TP and paper towel stacks.

Today the plan is to head over there and put the forklift to work, attacking from the other end.  If it doesn’t rain that is.


I was reminded of Selco, and SHTFSchool.com by Peter Grant’s post at his site.  Selco is one of the legends of the preppersphere.  He’s also very no nonsense and willing to tell uncomfortable truths to people.  Read what he’s written on the blog, buy the books.   Peter’s post reminded me of how quickly things can deteriorate.  One thing I really don’t want to see in the US is fighting in the streets.  We have been seeing RIOTING in the streets.  Last night at the Million MAGA March in DC it came much closer to FIGHTING.

Real fighting- snipers, roadblocks, burning cars, raping and murder, arson (some parts of Chicago on any given weekend)- hasn’t started yet.  While the left has been running riot, the right has been standing around.  While the left has been working out tactics and support, the right has been mostly posturing.  While the left has been getting their financing in order, the right has been frozen out of crowdfunding, and doesn’t have a deep pockets patron.   I have a feeling the right is going to learn some very hard lessons when the fighting actually kicks off.

I read somewhere that no insurgency has ever  survived long without outside support.  The lefty insurgency has that in spades.  If the right is forced into becoming an insurgency, who do they have?  And what will it cost to get help?

What would victory look like?  What would defeat look like?  Neither looks as good as a week long vacation at Disneyland, but at the moment, one or the other looks more likely.

Keep stacking.

nick

Sat. Nov. 14, 2020 – tired. But stuff still needs doin’

Overcast, cool, but saturated.

Like yesterday.

I was all over town yesterday and even got a few sprinkles, but mostly it was just overcast.

I got a few things done.  Moved about half the insulation batts to the attic.  I’ll move the other half today.  Got a couple more things organized or moved around.  But really not much.

Harvested another orange.  I’ll eat that today and report.  Some of the ones on the tree are huge.  I don’t know if that is normal or an indication of an issue.  I have a couple of bean plants that survived after all.  We’ll see if they grow.  Nothing else seems to be.

The drama continues, with a “President Elect” that isn’t yet, and a disaster in the making.  I’m beginning to lose hope.  I think the fix is in.  TPTB can’t allow any fraud to be acknowledged at this point, there is too much water under that bridge…  so we’re going to get shafted.  And then the shooting starts.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m treating this as a disaster that is already here, and not obsessively ‘following the storm track’.  I’m ‘cutting up the downed branches’ and ‘raking up debris’, and checking the stock of blue tarps.

Stack it higher.  Work on skills.  Make some friends.  Build your team.

‘cuz it ain’t gonna be pretty, and we’ll need every advantage we can get.

nick

Fri. Nov. 13, 2020 – Friday the 13th falls on a Friday this month

Cool and damp.  Possibility of sunshine later.

I was sweating standing still in the shade yesterday.  Air is saturated.

The pool liner and cover are still wet.  I’ve got to get that stuff put away but I really don’t want it put away wet.  Really really don’t want that.

I did get a few things cleaned up yesterday.  Not as much as I’d hoped but that’s kinda par for the course this year.  Which is almost over.  Crazy.

Today I’ve got a few pickups, again, mostly stuff for the house.  Some for my non-prepping hobby, and some as Christmas presents for the kids.  Some PPEs are in there too.

The property search continues.  The 11 acres against a national forest works great as a bug out, but it turns out you don’t own all the way to the water.  The Corps of Engineers does, and that means you can’t make changes like cutting down trees to improve your view or your access to the water.  So as a nominal ‘lake house’ it’s not looking good.  I’m still interested, but my wife isn’t.    She continues the hunt though, and she hasn’t ruled it out.

I’m surprised that the expected violence from the left hasn’t been unleashed yet.  They think they’ve won, so I guess that’s holding them back.  The right is still playing “wait and see”.  I’m glad, I just don’t expect it to hold.

I’m going to keep stacking, and keep working the plan.

nick

Thur. Nov. 12, 2020 – ever closer to the end of the year

Coolish, but still damp.

Wednesday was sunny with a nice breeze, but still saturated.  I really need to have the pool cover and liner dry out so I can put them away for the season.

Several of the friends and neighbors I’ve offered the new freezer to mentioned that they just got one.   That’s good news that they are thinking ahead.  A bit worrisome that so many people are concerned enough to take steps, from the point of view that what society as a whole expects, we usually get.  Heartening though that they are acting.  I may just add it to the garage.

Since I was out today, I thought I’d stop at the grocery store and pick up my OTC allergy meds (have to do it in person, thanks meth heads.)  While I was there I might as well buy some fruit and veg, since I can pick it out myself, and I might as well walk the aisles and see what inventory looks like, maybe fill some gaps……   long story cut mercifully shorter, I spent $400 on groceries and an hour and a half.    They had prime sirloin for $5/pound.  Buy a spiral slice ham, get a free turkey.  Pasta in stock.  The soda I like on the shelf.  Milk, breads, eggs, cream, all the staples I’d be buying in a day or two anyway…..  and some canned veg varieties I hadn’t seen before.

Got my allergy meds too.

Home today so I’ll do stuff here.

Oh, and daughter one is ready for orthodontia.  Joy.  We’ll be writing some checks for that…

Thanks for the suggestions for monitoring her web traffic.  Time for me to do some learning.  I really thought I’d have a couple more years before issues like this arose.  That seems to be the story of 2020 though.

Spent some time at my buddy’s store.  Every ten minutes someone stuck their head in the door and asked about ammo.  Word up, the proprietor of your local is VERY TIRED of having people shout at him from the door about ammo.   If you are looking for some, driving from store to store, shouting in the door, and inevitably being told NO! isn’t going to get you any.  This is where those relationships you built in meatspace for the last couple of years pay off.  Oh, you didn’t do that?  ammoseek.com is your best bet, from what I hear online.  And sign up for everyone’s enewsletter and special mailings so if they do get stock in, you’ll hear about it.   All of my buddy’s suppliers are out of everything and they are not encouraging about stuff coming back into stock.   You may be going into what’s coming with what you already have.

This is why we prep.  This is why you put a couple back for friends who might need something later, if you have the chance and the means.  This is also why “Meatspace Baby!” got the traction it did last year.  The online discounter isn’t going to hold a box under the counter for you.  The mom and pop you’ve been buying from for the last couple of years might.  It applies to anything that might be in short supply, meds, seeds, chicks, you name it.  Jane down at the co-op who’s been helping you with gardening advice is much more likely to have what you need or know who does than some chinese reseller online.  Just saying.  On the other hand, it isn’t necessarily too late.  Work the network you already have.  It may turn out that we’re all preppers now, and the guys at the Rotary Club are more switched on than you expected.  Be circumspect though.  Hard times ARE coming, and there will be predators as well.

Stack what you can.  Go out and talk to someone.

nick