Sun. July 25, 2021 – hooray, pack is back together…

Hot and humid again. No rain in the forecast for today, although the edge of the zone isn’t that far away. Yesterday was over 100F in the sun and the humidity was high enough stuff didn’t dry outside. So of course I needed to be working in the heat. It was a little bit cooler at my secondary location, mainly because the sun was mostly hidden, and there was a bit of a breeze.

I just kept hammering away (or sawing and carrying) pulling a trade show exhibit out of its shipping containers and piling the pieces up for trash or recycle. Carry, cut, carry, cut, plod…. The end goal is worth the drudgery. The drudgery should have been done years ago, btw. Real Life ™ got in the way though. Danged Real Life ™, always making demands…

Before I could go do that work, I needed to be home to greet the kids on their return from camp. Lots of fun was had, some things were learned. Oldest didn’t quite make her ‘Mariner’ certificate. They try to fit a longer course into the week and it didn’t quite make it. Still, she now officially knows more about sailing small boats than I do.

I had two vehicle issues. My Ranger battery appears to have died. I’ll look at replacing that today or tomorrow. The heat here kills batteries and it’s been hot. I’m pretty sure I looked at the battery not too very long ago and decide it was near EOL. Poor timing, but not a tragedy as I have the other truck to backup the Ranger.

Took the backup truck to work, and on the way home the Expedition got a flat tire. There is some more detail in yesterday’s comments, but the 10,000 foot look is one of potential fail. I was all set to swap in the spare, which I had a high degree of confidence in, because I actually look at it fairly often, and thump it once in a while, and I’d done that when I bought the truck. It was fine, and I knew how to get it out from under the truck. I’d also checked that the jack and tools were there when I bought, and I added a couple of things to that compartment when I moved into the truck. I recognized that I’d run over something and was able to get to a safe and flat area- all set to be all self sufficient…

And then the lug wrench didn’t fit the lug nuts. Seriously? Upgraded ‘fancy’ wheels. They must use bigger nuts than stock and no one ever realized. Or whatever they did to compensate didn’t get transferred to me when the sale went through.

Here’s the prep part. I considered using the can of Slime Fix a Flat to just repair the tire and get home. Then I thought about the mess when actually fixing it and decide the situation didn’t call for it. I could have used my plug kit and 12v compressor to effect a repair, but it would have to be redone for ‘realz’ by my tire guy, and really, grid up. Only 6 miles from home. So I called AAA for help. I figured the tire tech would have the right sized lug wrench and it would only take a few minutes to change the tire. I was right, and was back on my way after about 45 minutes total.

Having a roadside service company is a prep. All the stuff in bins in the back of the truck is prepping. Prepping is really about having options. Prepping CREATES options. Absolute worst case I could have abandoned the vehicle and walked home. I’ve got a dozen different routes I’m familiar with between that point and home. I’ve got two cases of mountain house and water in the truck. I was wearing sturdy shoes, and armed sufficiently for most encounters. I had a wide continuum of choices because of my preps.

In the end, I didn’t use the stacks, I used the credit card… and my connections to society, because we’re still grid up, and it was the least disruptive choice as well as the second fastest. It also points out the importance of practicing and USING your preps. The spare tire is the prep for a flat, and as a system it failed when I needed it because I hadn’t tested it. New vehicle, should have been tested.

While I didn’t use the stacks this time, they were there if I had needed them. Stack some for yourselves…

n

Sat. July 24, 2021 – the pack will be reunited…

Hot and humid, but maybe no rain. Forecast says we’re dry today. We were dry yesterday although it did get stinking hot. 103F in the sun is hot.

Spent the morning keeping the puppy calm while the cleaners were here, and doing some auction stuff.

Spent the afternoon cutting stuff up and pulling it out of the stacks at my secondary location. I got another 3ft x 5ft x 4ft tall cubic volume opened up. Only about 10 like that left to go. I am using the sawzall to good effect though.

Today I’m headed back over to work on more of that. First thing though, my wife will be collecting the girls from camp. I think I better be home to greet them after being gone for 8 days. The whole pack will be together for the first time in over a week. Doggy will lose his little mind to have his girl back home.

Even with clearing out space, I think I’m still going to explore having my first pallet load auction at their warehouse. If I clear enough space for 6 pallets, and then fill it with pallets, that will stop me working further for a month while the auction process runs its course. If I get those pallets OUT of the way, then I can continue setting up the next six for the auctions after that. Then I should have enough space to get more stuff set up. I’ll lose time and money by doing it that way, but it will move the process along, and I’m already months behind.

While that is going on, hopefully I’ll have a bunch of stuff in another local auction too. Maybe several, although I’ve given up on my ‘industrial’ guy. The stuff I sent him last time made up the last few lots of the auction, wasn’t well described, and brought no money. It was very disappointing.

Other than adding some meat to the freezers and some other food to the shelves, it was a slow week for prepping. I did have one ebay sale this week, after a couple of months of no sales at all, and on an item I’ve been selling occasionally for a couple of years. I’ve got a few left, and it was a surprisingly good score for me. It’s only $10 profit on each sale, but I’ve sold a pallet load of them over the years.

All the usual admonitions and observations are in place, you know what you need to do….

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

Thur. July 22, 2021 – vet appointment, then work

Sunny and hot, humid, followed by overcast and rain. Yesterday certainly did that, with the rain more of a deluge. We got over 2 inches in about half an hour. That caused a lot of localized flooding, but it quickly drained away. The national map has us in the T storm area for the next few days, so I’m going with a repeat of yesterday. Although, probably not as much rain.

Spent most of yesterday doing domestic bliss chores. Ran 3 loads of laundry, including some floor mats and towels. With the puppy learning where to do his business, I’ve got some extra soiled items…

He’s doing better, but still needs a lot of eyes-on supervision, which was lacking yesterday. So, more floor mats for the laundry.

Neighbor’s roofers finished just in time for the rain to stress test their work. I might or might not hear from him if there were issues. He’ll probably want evidence if there were, so I’ve got some more backup to do. Not that tough or time consuming, and I’m gonna watch something like that anyway. I try to take any opportunity to learn what I can from other people’s mistakes.

After all the rain, I did get one of my tasks done- I got to Costco. Dropped two visits worth of cash but got a bunch of meat. And very uncharacteristically, I got it all portioned out and vac sealed, and tucked away in cold sleep. I’m very glad to have the extra small chest freezer. If I had room I’d add another.

Today I’ve got a vet appointment for the little pooper. More shots I think. He’s grown quite a bit but he’s still a cutie. After the vet, I’m going to try to head over to my secondary and do some more clean out. It’s gotta happen, and the kids are away… which just leaves the dog to manage. Frankly the kids are easier…

I’m glad I was able to replace some food items I’d used up. I’m pretty sure I’ll be adding more.

Stack all the things.

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

Mon. July 19, 2021 – do it for a good purpose, not just for the sake of doing it

Hot and humid. Rainy later. Just like yesterday. Yes, that is what yesterday was like. Sunny and hot, but then rain later. A downpour actually, in the late afternoon. There was about one inch of water in the buckets.

I had another day of low productivity. I felt better, but still had some lightheadedness so I wasn’t eager to work on hard stuff, plus it was hot as Hades outside. I did some cleanup before my wife got home, and I spent a couple of hours doing photos, measurements, and weight of stuff for ebay.

I also took the opportunity to concentrate on the puppy and help him succeed with his housebreaking… and had some good success. He is yipping when he wants to go out and pee. He gives a deeper bark when he wants out to poop. And I have started to figure out his timing. We didn’t have any accidents in the house today. First day! I caught him squatting after breakfast and shouted “no” and “outside” while throwing the door open, and out he went. Hooray! It helps that he’s very motivated by treats.

So that’s that. Little progress on some fronts, but good progress on another.

Today I’ll either continue with projects here at home, or get out and do some more work at my secondary. Maybe both. It will depend on how I feel. I don’t like being hostage to my body, I’m not used to letting it dictate to me, but I’m finding it more and more often of late. It’s trite, but I’m not in the shape I used to be in. I really need to spend the time and effort to try and get some of that back.

I think I also need to work a bit on getting rid of ‘monkey brain.’ I think that’s what one of my teachers called it. It’s when you jump from thing to thing, easily distracted. It keeps you from doing what you really need and want to do. Doing things because you can rather than should.

Gotta work on myself as well as the stacks.

Stackin’ won’t hurt though…

n

Mon. July 12, 2021 – day camp, work, more work

More rain in the forecast, but we’re sorta on the edge of the zone, so I’m hoping for more sun. Like yesterday. We did have overcast for a lot of the day, but the sun came out for most of the afternoon and evening. Temps got into the low 90s and while the humidity was lower, the air can hold a lot of moisture at 92F…

So I decided to do some outdoor work. I ended up soaked to the skin with sweat, but I got the back yard mowed, some weeds pulled up in the garden, and some cleanup and reorg in the stored stuff on the patio. I’m not done yet, but I did make a start. I even got the shop vac out and cleaned up some more of the glass chunks from when I broke the back door. That was what, two years ago? I don’t know where all those chunks were hiding, but they have started to appear in earnest in the last week or so. Strange.

Also spent some time sorting through 5 pounds of costume jewelry I picked up at Goodwill. There was some nice stuff in there, and one name brand piece. There are a couple of pieces that I’ll have to test but that sure look like silver. I’ll put about half of it back in auctions, keep a few broken pieces for the GS jewelry making craft session, and let the kids have a couple of other pieces. I really don’t understand why the T shirt people don’t grab any jewelry that’s in the bins. It’s $1.19/ pound. There pretty much HAS to be $2 worth of jewelry in a pound… I’ve found James Avery silver, nice vintage necklaces, bakelite bracelets, and even a few watches that brought ~$5 – 10 each. I’m glad they leave it for me I guess.

Today I’m taking small child to a week long day camp at the local nature center. Surly proto-teen will be home this week, skulking around the house and shirking her chores. At least she’ll be watching the puppy so I can do stuff.

There’s lots of stuff needs doing too, and since my wife’s away, I’m stuck home, and anything I do that reduces the piles here will have an outsized impact. The days will be start and stop, what with dropping off and picking up younger child, but I hope to get something done in between.

It feels like time is getting short. I’m not sure what comes next but I want to be ready. Or at least try. That means stacking stuff, and for me that means getting rid of unneeded stuff, to provide space and funds for needed stuff.

Keep stacking.
nick

Sat. July 10, 2021 – non prepping hobby day

Cooler, rainier, and more of a mess than yesterday? Maybe. Yesterday ended up being in the low 70s with rain off and on all day. It was cooler for the stuff I needed to do, but the 100% humidity made it just as miserable as if it was hot.

Yesterday, I parked the child and the dog so I could do several hours of continuous and uninterrupted work. I was able to get some done, but it’s grains of sand on a beach…

Small steps are still steps, right??

Today I’ve got my monthly non-prepping hobby meeting. I’m probably taking child two with, as she doesn’t want to ride with mom to get child one from GS camp. Oh, what a *joyous* noise there will be in the house again, as the two sisters pick up where they left off. Child two will sit quietly and read during the meeting, she’s accompanied me before. She even sometimes takes an interest in the meeting. Of course the old guys are all charmed by the power of ‘teh cute.’ It’s a potent force to unleash on what is basically a room full of grandfathers.

Maybe I’ll get some more work done in the afternoon, if only around the house. That will depend mostly on the weather.

Doggie continues to grow. He’s noticeably longer than he was. He’s got the power of the cute too. Grown women collapse in spasms of baby talk and scoop him up to snuzzle with him. Men too. Perhaps it’s because he’s a bit of pure joy and love in this crazy sour world? Don’t know, don’t care, as long as he’s licking my nose.

Don’t forget to stack some stuff for your four legged friends. And if you already are, keep stacking!

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.

———————————————————————

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

Fri. July 2, 2021 – getting close to Independence Day…

Hot and humid. No prediction about rain, because I was as wrong as the pros yesterday… Hurricane shaping up and aimed at south Florida with additional impacts in the Gulf, maybe next week. Weather is getting spicy.

Well, mostly I moved people and animals around yesterday. Puppy is doing fine, gained a pound in 3 weeks. He’s still so cute you can’t help yourself… Child is fine too. Second child is hopefully having a good time with her friends, I’ll get her back later today. My wife has a busy schedule of meetings and site visits at work, so I’ve been 100% stay at home dad this week.

And that’s fine. Except that I’m also supposed to be getting large piles of stuff out and to the auction, and I can’t. It’s very frustrating.

Add the hurricane prep, rotating gas cans, checking the generators, and all that, and I’m extra full again. Really couldn’t afford the week off in Florida wrt doing all the things, but couldn’t afford to miss the time with mom and family either. Balance, and priorities. I got ’em, but they don’t do me any good.

Just piling it up is easy. Making it all work is hard. I better get more practice.

Keep stacking, and practicing….

n