Sat. Apr. 30, 2022 – may go north today…

Forecast for another nice day.  Yesterday certainly was nice, although humid.   Evening was very nice.  It’s nice when it is nice out.  So nice.

Did some errands.  Picked up some stuff. Took the smaller kid to swim practice.   Talked to a septic contractor.

Today I’ll take the smaller kid to swim, then either head to the lake, or work around the house.  I really need to get up there, but there is a ton of stuff to do here too.  Having my wife and one kid out of the house makes it easier to do stuff here so I should take advantage of that, right?  Oh, and the HVAC contractor wants to look around again and get a contract signed and I’d have to be here for that.

On the other hand, not having D1 here to manage the dog means I have to do it.  That complicates going to the BOL, as he can’t be trusted not to bolt.  I did not and do not want to be one of those people who are bullied by a pet, arranging everything around that pet.  Him climbing onto the kitchen table is pretty close to the last straw.  No good solutions to this problem.

I guess we’ll just have to play it by ear.

There is always something you can be stacking, always something that will improve your position.  Find that thing, and stack it, find that thing and do it.

nick

Mon. Apr. 25, 2022 – birthday and anniversary this week

National forecast says we might be getting some rain today and tomorrow… which I’m hoping against.  I’ve got stuff to do that needs dry weather.   It was 76F and 91%RH when I went to bed.

I did some stuff Sunday.  Mostly fled the house and the squealing of tiny proto females.   Did two pickups, both mainly for my non-prepping hobby.   Did daddy daughter stuff, then wasted time on the internet with my friends. Oh, and during that time the dog ate an unknown quantity of Easter chocolate and caused some concern and an attempt at making him vomit it up.  The little poop factory eats aluminum soda cans, a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide didn’t phase him.  He’s still alive so I guess he didn’t eat too much of the chocolate.

Today’s plan is to figure out what’s gone wrong with my pickup truck, get some bins of stuff ready for auction, and do a pickup or two of BOL stuff.  Rain complicates all of that tremendously so I’m hoping it misses us.

I’ve got so much going on this week, swim team practices start, D2 has a birthday, I have a wedding anniversary, and all the normal things too.  It’s crazy.


Some comments at the end of the day yesterday regarding supply chain, food, and corn.  If you haven’t caught up, take a minute and read them and consider how they’ll affect you if it happens that way.

Beyond local and national farm issues, the brutal lockdown in China is backing up shipping and supply chain like crazy.  The effects will start showing up in a couple of weeks and it will take months to un-flock this clustered mess.  Expect anything coming from or through China, and particularly Shanghai to be delayed or unavailable, possibly for months.

The situation is worsening folks, in just about any way you look at it.  I know, I know.   Sky is falling yet again.  Yep.  Look at the material and make your own conclusions.  If you decide it’s overblown, then at least you’ve considered it, and didn’t just keep running forward with your eyes closed.

If like me and others, you see all the signs pointing to things getting worse, not better, ACT on that.  Take actions that work for you and your family and for your financial situation.  I’m still in “don’t do anything irrevocable” mode, but we did turn a whole pile of cash into a whole pile of bricks and dirt because my wife agrees that inflation is eating our savings like a fat man at a buffet.

Interest rates are rising.  They’ve already risen.   If you are selling a house, do the deal.  If rates rise too much the housing bubble will pop again.  If you are buying a place to live, and it’s within your means, know that you might end up underwater on your loan for a while, and that might limit you for a few years or longer.  I wouldn’t be buying any place as an “investment” and I wouldn’t be entering into an adjustable rate mortgage at the moment either… nor would I ‘stretch’ to make a purchase that is outside what I can safely afford.  If I was renting, I’d be looking at long term leases to lock in monthly payments.  If I was the owner, I’d be looking at short term leases as much as possible.

Also consider what these changes and trends mean for fixed incomes and government assistance programs and the people dependent on them.   Food shortages almost always lead to riots.     In other words, I expect violence and lawlessness to increase.  It will be variable by area, but everyone will be affected.   And people will be fleeing to your safe semi-rural area when the cities get worse.  They’ve already started.

Time to really get busy getting ready.   Suck it up and stack it up.

n

Thur. Feb. 24, 2022 – war, violence, pestilence, plague–all coming soon to a city near you!

Cold again, mid to high 30s Fahrenheit early then slightly warmer and plenty damp.   Yesterday started warmer but cooled all day long.

Spent most of the day doing pickups.  After taking the dog to the vet for vax that he needed to continue going to his training class.   Then I was feeling poorly so I laid down for a bit.   Phone didn’t stop ringing during that hour.  Didn’t ring before or after.  The b@stards know.  All in all, not super efficient use of time.

Picked up D1 and spent the late afternoon thrifting.  She needed some stuff for the theater, so we looked while I picked up a bunch of media, and some resale items.   B&W speakers, for example.  Even with the scuffs they should sell for $175-200 the pair.  They were in the bins at the Goodwill outlet.  There were several other “good score” items as well.  D1 was impressed.   We didn’t get her props.

Took the dog to his last ‘training’ class.   The woman teaching is incredible with the dogs.   They WANT to do what she tells them.  All the dogs made good progress, and their owners learned a bunch of stuff too.

Today I’ll be headed out to my client’s house.(assuming nothing bad happens to my back while I sleep)

My back finally ‘popped’ while stretching in a parking lot, and the worst of the pain abated when everything was properly aligned once again.  Took an extra day  because I didn’t want to use the pain reliever.  Lesson learned. On the plus side, the yoga roller and the inversion table worked to get me back on track without chiropractic visits.  One of my goals was to have the stuff and the knowledge to deal with the situation without recourse to pro help.  Now to get started on prophylaxis.

I like western civilization.  I know a lot of people that wouldn’t be around if not for our high level of civilization.   But.   It is under threat from within and without.  Make your plans for doing without.  Without rule of law.  Without enough food.  Without solid and dependable utilities.  Without civilization in fact.

Stack the stuff you can’t create or replace or do without.  Stack it high.

n

Thur. Dec. 30, 2021 – stuff to do, stuff to do.

Possible heavy rain, but maybe not. Most likely not. Hot and humid for certain. Possible cold weather headed this way, but hard to believe at the moment. It was beautiful last night.

Spent the day yesterday messing around, doing little things around the house and in between other things. On “days off” I like to prioritize tasks I wouldn’t do during my “normal workday”. Usually those are small and low priority tasks, but they do make a difference. I have been sorting and cleaning more than usual, with an eye toward adding some furniture for better storage and organization in a couple of places. I might have to buy it new, unless I get really lucky in one of the auctions.

I did get lucky in the auction I was monitoring all day. D2 wants to exchange her bunk bed for a loft bed so she can get more usable space in her room. Yesterday’s auction had 3 lots, NIB wooden loft beds. I did get one for a quarter of new retail and I’ll be picking it up today. I also won a couple of go carts that you attach to “hoverboards”. We’ve got two of the hoverboards and I thought it would be fun to race them in the street, if there was no risk of falling down and breaking a wrist or noggin. They were $5 each, so cheap enough to be fun.

I’ll definitely need to hit the grocery store today too, I’m tired of being out of soda.

In puppy news, I am not happy with the kid’s commitment to taking care of him, nor of her training of him. He is “her” dog. She lets him break the rules, lets him bark incessantly, forgets to feed him, and never picks up after him. Puppy is still ‘excitement piddling’ AND he’s marking furniture in the house. I am not willing to be a hostage in my own home, nor am I willing to live in filth. I’ve watched others, particularly my sibling, have their lives ruled by un-ruly pets. Sounds sh!tty and cold, but I’m not willing. D1 needs to step up, or either I will take over, or Zeus will find a new home. I like him, but I haven’t bonded with him like I did with the previous dog. I’ll miss his antics, but I won’t miss coming home to a house that smells like dog p!ss. I’ll let them try a couple more things, but I need to see some changes. Advice from experience is welcome, but keep in mind, 12 yo girl who so far has only looked for excuses. (and yes, this is ‘all about me’ as the others seem willing to just keep on with the way it’s going.)

So add that to my stress level and bad mood.

My prepping and stacking has been sidelined by domestic issues. Doesn’t mean yours should be… keep stacking up the good stuff.

nick

Sun. Dec. 12, 2021 – 12122021 – the return of the wanderers

Cold and damp, no rain though. That’s my best guess for today. It really got colder last night. Daytime temps were cool, but it dropped below 50F before I went to bed. My knees and hands hurt when it gets cold and damp.

Had a great time at my non-prepping hobby Christmas party. The food was awesome. Club provided meats, members brought dishes. I brought peach cobbler and sweet corn bread wedges. The corn bread didn’t rise, so fail there, but the cobbler got complements. Both from long term stores. For desserts there was a whole table of sweets, including two different pecan pies– both were deliciously sweet, the way they should be. I had two different sliced hams, smoked turkey, bbq meatballs, and some other pork. Then we did a ‘white elephant’ gift exchange. The ‘white elephant’ part is that the gift is silly, something you didn’t really want, and ideally humorous. It was also supposed to relate to the hobby. 43 people participated and for added fun, you could choose to ‘steal’ someone else’s gift instead of opening one. Then the deprived person gets to pick a new wrapped gift. Items could only be ‘stolen’ twice. Lots of fun and good-natured ribbing involved. Very normal feeling and great to see so many members.

Plan for the day is get stuff out of the house. Then finish outdoor decor. The kids and my wife should be home before I’m done with either of those. Puppy Zeus is supposed to get his incision looked at in the late afternoon, and maybe we’ll have time to get a tree. IF I get all the stuff cleared out.

Just another day in the life really. Stack up the good times as well as the good stuff.

nick

Thur. Dec. 2, 2021 – snip!

Cool and clear, warming with sun. Like yesterday, and possibly tomorrow.

Really nice day yesterday, so I was too busy to enjoy it.

My storage unit was in fact broken into. A tenant cut the lock on several units and poked around inside. That was my industrial stuff unit, so nothing was missing that I noticed. Met the manager and had an interesting chat. He got red-pilled by the Trump campaign and presidency, moved here from NYFC because he felt like ‘all my freedoms were being taken away.’ Yup.

Eventually made it out to my client’s house and did a couple of hours work there. Wife eventually returned from her training. Got home, made dinner…. normal domestic bliss. These are the good old days.

Today, my wife is taking the dog to be neutered. He’ll be wearing the cone of shame for a few days. I’ll be back out at my client’s house, trying to make a bunch of progress.

————————————————————————————–

I’m definitely getting the feeling that I’m barely keeping the lights on here lately. It’s hard though, as I don’t want to keep repeating myself. We’ve beaten the beginning prepping to death, we can’t do anything about 95% of the B.S. we’re constantly being bombarded with, and just talking about it increasingly feels like ‘bread and circuses’. It’s a distraction from the ongoing collapse. On the flip side, we also have to continue living our lives as if there will be a tomorrow, because that is the smart way to bet, for all of recorded history. SOMETIMES it ends up being snake eyes, but most of the time, the future is like the past only moreso.

On the gripping hand, we know that ‘what can’t continue, won’t’ and that the center can not hold. So we prep.

The holy-days are coming, or if you are like me, and you just practice the secular aspects, the Holidays! Make plans to enjoy them in whatever way best suits you. Find your joy where you can.

Stack it high, especially the joy.

n

Thur. Oct. 28, 2021 – …and be just like the other men, I’m tired of monkeying around…

Well, I think it will be cool to start, warming through the day, then hot, humid throughout, and partly sunny. And if it is like yesterday, we’ll get a little downpour with high winds right in the middle. 62F when I went to bed.

I didn’t get much of anything done yesterday. I fell asleep for a while in the morning, got rained out of some of my plans, and then the day was gone. Somewhere in there I talked with my auctioneer, arranged a trailer for my ‘parts truck’ pickup, played with the dog, and did some ebay listings. Once again, I’m seeing a strong correlation between listing, and selling, to the tune of “if you don’t list every day, you won’t sell.” I went a couple of days without listing anything, and had no sales. Did just a couple of listings yesterday and sold an item last night. Other resellers on youtube have noticed as well. Doesn’t even have to be a good listing, one dvd a day is fine, but there has to be something. I share because I care. Sell some cr@p. Buy some preps.

Speaking of, I ordered new frying pans, some coffee, and a book from amazon. My pans need to be replaced. Nonstick pans are an expendable, and not something I see in the auctions very often. If there were never any more, I’ve got good stainless, but the nonstick are so much easier for some things… the pans will be here in a few days, but the coffee is “in stock soon” showing a December 12 delivery estimate. Um, it’s the manufacturer’s store on amazon. I’m going to have to pay about $6 more per 48oz bag to order direct from the manufacturer’s website if I want any next month. I’ve GOT some on the shelf, probably enough to get through ’til then, but jeez. There have been mentions in the press of coffee shortages, but until this order I haven’t had any problem. The brand is in stock at Costco even, but they changed varieties to something light and fruity, instead of the classic dark I prefer. I’ve got depth of backup for coffee, but I’d like to stay with fresh for as long as possible. Issues somewhere in the chain. One more indication you need to stock up when you see something you need.

In other news, the dog seems to be fine again. Daughter’s cut on her leg had the stitches out and looks fine. She’s completely over the procedure she had done for an ingrown toenail. Neighbor had a crew knocking down his chimney today, in the most slipshod way possible, and I think they still left the part between the roof and the ceiling. From the noise of brick chunks hitting the ground, I suspect a chunk fell inside the house. It felt like it fell in MY house. They have cut a bunch of holes in the new roof, near where the giant beam sticks through. I don’t see a plan in effect, but it’s not my house so my curiosity is high but my GAF is low. Neighbors across the street had 6 big trees trimmed pretty dramatically in one afternoon, which only confirms that the monkeys that took 3 days to cut down two trees at the next door neighbor’s were monkeys. I don’t think I’ve seen one company name painted or even stickered on the vehicles for the guys working on the house. That’s some fly by night trunk slammers right there.

I have a goal for today, we’ll see if I hit it. I better, or the boss’s patience might be exhausted.

So I’m off to work, so I can clear the way for better stuff to stack. Stack it high, before you can’t.

nick

Wed. Oct. 20, 2021 – so much to do

Another cool and not rainy day. I was going to write “dry” but it’s humid enough that the word ‘dry’ just doesn’t fit. Although with the cooler temps, the humidity is less of an issue. And it still got scalp-scorchingly hot in the mid afternoon when the sun came out.

I actually did a lot of stuff yesterday, but because it was bracketed by chauffeuring daughter 1 around, it felt like an unproductive day. Orthodontist, vet, client, pickup, drop off, school, home, cooking something new, relax, crash, wake…

After all the worrisome behaviour, by bed time puppy Zeus was back to his normal activity level. Still not as eager to eat as usual though, and will be getting extra observation.

Solved my client’s immediate maintenance issue, but further confirmed that we’re not ready for his ‘rip and replace’ upgrade. That is going to have to move up my priority list.

And I need to kick out some more work on my industrial ‘pallet’ auction. I can’t wait too long or I’ll be in the dip between Thanksgiving and February when sales dry up for everything not Christmas related. I missed my window and it sucks because now I’m trying to fit it along side everything else.

Time management skills, I’m lacking them this month.

But what else can you do but keep on plugging away? That’s the secret ingredient for success in most things- keep showing up, keep doing the work.

It’s true for disaster preparedness too. Steady consistent progress, or equally valid, periodic repeated surges of activity, either one will advance you toward your goals.

So keep stacking. Friends, skills, stuff. You’ll need all three and more when the revolution comes.

nick

Tues. Oct. 19, 2021 – gaps in shelves, gaps in preps

Cool, dry, sunny and nice. Like Monday was. This is the great Fall weather we look forward to. I hope we get a bunch more of it.

Spent the day yesterday messing around. My productivity is poor. I did get one sold item packed and shipped. Got a few items listed. Picked up D2 for our afternoon together, and hoped to get just a couple things at the store on the way home, and then work on our shelf painting project.

The store turned into a full grocery run. I went to the “big” HEB in the area. I haven’t been there in a while, and I figured they’d have more choices and stock, and they have some items our “little” store doesn’t carry that I needed. I was wrong.

They did have more choices for some stuff. They carry a large selection of non-alcohol beers and it got even larger. The whole display is 6ft x 6ft, but they cram a lot of choice, if not a lot of actual bottles, into that area. I stocked up on beer that I haven’t had in months. I was also able to get the diet ginger beer I love, and they had 4 six packs on the shelf (in the ‘mixer’ section). It’s imported and always low stock. So that was good and accomplished about 80% of what I went in for.

The other stuff was either targets of opportunity, or “while I’m here I might as well grab another gallon of milk” stuff, except for soda for the kids (and me, diet Dr Pepper is a vice.) Thinking that the big store would have more stock, I was very surprised by the limited choice in the soda aisle. Soup was the same. Few varieties of Campbells, a few varieties of HEB brand, and that was it. The little store had more choices, more brands, and more stock for soda and soup.

There were empty shelves all over the store. Most aisles had at least one section with a couple of empty shelves, about 6ft at a time. I had the noisy and inquisitive child with me so I didn’t deep dive into it, but it was more than normal daily restocking issues. That store is some sort of test bed for corporate. They are always messing with the layout and moving things around. There are always groups of corporate weinies standing in clumps in the aisle armwaving and ‘directing’ something. I was still surprised that they rearranged most of the store, outside of the edges and freezers. The location of 70% of the SKUs must have changed. It was therefore hard to compare with previous trips whether aisles were wider, or number of ‘faces’ for each type of item had changed.

I guess the moral of the story is, we are still seeing shortages of food. There was a store full of food to eat, but there were missing items, and missing categories of items. I can see that expanding very easily. My freezers are full. My wife thinks we have too much food. She doesn’t think the US will ever be generally short of food, SOME kind of food will be available, but she does expect that you might not be able to get exactly what you want when you want it. When I pressed her for WHY she thinks that, she didn’t have a good reason, except essentially, “Murika Yea!” I’ve got LOTS of reasons and arguments to support my point of view on the subject. She just can’t imagine America short of food. My feeling is, it’s happened before, it can happen again. It’s happened elsewhere, it can happen here. I hope I’m wrong. Honestly, I do.

But I’m still gonna stack…

nick

Mon. Sept. 6, 2021 – Labor Day, or Punch a commie in the salami day

Hot and humid. Still. And all day yesterday as well. So I hid inside and did office stuff.

I spent some time getting stuff moved around, pulling the old UPSs out, and putting the new UPS in place. Then had to move the computers and NAS drive to the UPS. Since I had the NVR off, I figured I’d upgrade the fans and clean it. Well, I got some dust blown out. See yesterday’s comments for the rest of the details if you want to know why you should buy from Dell’s small business division and not Costco.

Started copying stuff to the NAS until a poorly behaved uninstall routine shut down ALL instances of file mangler, including the copy window. It was taking ridiculously long anyway. I’ll try connecting the NAS directly as a USB drive for the copy next time. The newest firmware for the box is from 2008. I’m not recommending Buffalo as there is not long term support (and the company is probably gone anyway, right?) There isn’t any reason for a box o drives to go out of support.

Did some cleaning and organizing.

Put the dog and D1 to bed but the dog just wouldn’t settle. Lots of yipping. Then I heard it too. Noise from the attic. Yup. Caught a rat on a gel trap. No idea where he got stuck, because the trap wasn’t anywhere near where they were set. Have I mentioned I don’t really like the live traps? I got my gloves, and a bag, and the rat plus the trap took a trip to 2×4 land and then into the trash. Dog settled right down and everyone went to sleep. Vermin. Only gonna increase as the troubles affect services. Stack some traps and poisons now.

In fact assume that you’ll be providing at least a portion of every service you receive now. Think about any way to leverage that to your advantage too. There are surely services that people will want. Maybe old school laptops with linux and no tracking built in? Maybe Faraday cage lined purses? Hardwired networking instead of wifi? Cameras? There will be something. There are always opportunities.

Stay centered and ready to move in any direction, mentally and physically. Provide for yourself so you can help others (if that’s your thing, but if not, you miss out on some opportunities you only get if you are out there in it.)

Stack it high.

nick