Fri. Jan. 15, 2021 – lots to say, brain running on empty

Cool and clear.  Sunny.  Should be nice.

My day today should involve pickups and drop offs that didn’t happen yesterday,  and some new ones.    I got some odd things and some good things this week.   In the odd but good overlap- packaged setup for a backup battery, charger/maintainer/ and sump pump…  I’ll just use the battery and maintainer.   Odd but useful, 50 pounds of Himalayan salt.   My wife prefers using it in the kitchen, and it was cheap.  Into a bucket you go!  I got a couple more battery chargers, and a nice big 13.8v power supply for my radios/ workbench, and another 12v tire inflater for the vehicles.   Since batteries and chargers are coming my way right now, I’ll keep stacking them.

I missed getting a load dropped off because I actually had an ebay sale that needed to pack and ship.   I took the opportunity to do some family pack and ship errands too.

I’ve got a lot of little things need doin’ today and this weekend too.  Putting together and stocking another two sections of FIFO can manager.  Putting stuff AWAY that’s been sitting out too long.  A grocery order would be prudent too.  No time for complete sentences!

My buddy tells me that most of the Home Depots should have their new garden seeds out and on the floor.   You might want to buy early this year.  Just sayin’.  Also any pesticides or treatments you need might end up in short supply, so you might want them too.  Rabbit wire/ hardware cloth was very hard to find locally this past year.  I’ve got a bunch now, but who would have thought that would run out?  Canning jars and lids are selling VERY well in the auctions, higher price than retail.  Hmm.  Maybe like ammo, people are laying in supplies wherever they find them?   Like guns and ammo if you shoot, if you can, you can never have enough jars…

I hope everyone is planning their garden, even if it is only salad greens in containers.  Get some practice.  And, some container gardening is good cover for much more extensive efforts in the back yard, where no one can see…

Short shrift today, because I’m really tired as I write this and my brain is slow.

Keep stacking.  You have holes in your preps.  Find them and fill them.

nick

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

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

 

Sun. Dec. 27, 2020 – even fewer days left in the year

Cold in the morning, warming throughout the day.  Sunny and clear.  We all hope.  52F and breezy at midnight.

Saturday was a bit of a mixed bag, wrt to getting stuff done.  I had a guy I was supposed to meet to sell a 3d printer, but he stood me up.  Flakes.  Had to reschedule for Tuesday.  So I did some other small stuff around the house.   I took the package I couldn’t ship on the 24th to UPS.  I took a small item I sold on ebay to the USPS and dropped it in the box at the station.  That’s two sales in 3 days.  I hope things are picking up.

I did a little bit more yard work.  Poked around in the garage a bit, trying to fix a couple of minor things.  Put one of the new batteries on the smart charger to top it up.

After dinner played “Pit” with the kids.  The new hearing protectors came in handy for that…

Took two bins of pool stuff to storage.  Still need to take the pool itself out of the house, but won’t have anywhere to put it until I get rid of more stuff.

That is the plan for today.   Head over to the secondary location and get rid of stuff.   More cutting and trashing is in order.   I have to make room for my forklift before January.  And get stuff out of the house to keep my promise to my wife.  So I will be AFK for most of the afternoon.


In the course of my travels, I drove past our local mall.  Not particularly busy.  No lines of cars waiting to turn into the parking lot.  Not much going on at the strip/cluster development around our ‘big’ HEB, or the Lowes/BestBuy/costco development across the street.    Traffic was light too.  I don’t think there was much ‘day after Christmas’ shopping going on.  That doesn’t bode well for the economy.

The explosion in Nashville is very strange.  Disgruntled employee?  Proof of concept?  Opening shot?  We may never know, but we did learn that some of the infrastructure is a lot more vulnerable than one might expect.  You can work that info from at least two different perspectives…..  Several people have taken first pass looks at the event with what’s currently known.   If you can’t find them on your own, I’ll post some links later in the comments.

And you need to think about second and third order effects.   You might want some ham radio.  You might want a sat phone.  You might want to join with some local hams and get a mesh network up in your area.  You might want a cell that uses a different carrier’s network than your primary phone.  (I carried sprint and att when I was traveling for work both before and after 9-11, and my Skytel satellite pager.  On 9-11 in NYMetro area only Skytel worked.  I don’t have that level of redundancy anymore.  Might need to order the sim for my satphone.   We’ll see if this happens again.)   You might want something like goTenna to keep your family cells working as more than flashlights.

Alternate  comms and a disaster comms contact list should already be part of your plan.  Time to check through the plan again.

Been a while since the muzzies attacked something too…

And winter is happening in the north and northeast.

Lots of reasons to keep stacking.

nick

 

Fri. Dec. 18, 2020 – one week ’til Christmas.

Cold and dry or maybe cold and damp.  But certainly cold.

Cold all day yesterday but above freezing by mid morning.

I spent the afternoon doing pickups that I was going to do today, so that I can go to my client’s house today instead.  And I would really like to drop off a couple of bins, and pickup some stuff, but that auction house has pickups for yesterday’s auction and they’ll be busy.

I’ll also try to get my expired ID exchanged for current for the Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association today.   The training officer will be close to somewhere I will be driving by, and is willing to make the exchange.

It will be a busy couple of days today and tomorrow.

On my way home yesterday I stopped in the Goodwill Outlet.  In the weird items category, I grabbed two new sealed tubs of Cascade dishwashing pods.  These are the very same ones I buy normally.  At ~$3 each, that was a pretty good deal compared to $19 each in the store.  I grabbed a dozen DVDs for me, and a dozen name brand ladies’ purses for the auction with the money I saved.  I should make good money on the purses, they’ve been selling really well.

The batteries I picked up will add to my future solar bank.  I now have 4 or 5 identical 65AH batteries, 3 or 4 identical 55AH batteries, and a mix of others mostly car or truck batteries.  I’ve got a 100w panel, and 70 panels at 10w.  I’ve got a couple of big inverters.  Still need charge controllers though, as the one that I have is NFG.  Once I have all the pieces, I’ll start on cobbling some sort of system together.  Or maybe 2 or 3 systems right next to each other.  Future project though.

If CWII breaks out and the Monkey Wrench Gang goes to work, solar and supplemental energy will be really important.  And if not, it will be an interesting project that I can use to run the air conditioner in my garage.

Cisterns for water, local solar and batteries, these are current tech and part of everyday life in places like Cancun Mexico.  I think we might see them here too, and too soon.  So I’ll keep stacking the stuff to make that work.

Keep stacking the stuff you think you’ll need.

nick

 

Mon. Dec. 14, 2020 – king for a day

Cool and wet.  Although the forecast doesn’t have any rain for our area, I’ll believe it when I see it.

Yesterday was rainy throughout.  Lots of thunder, lots of rain in the morning, with more rain and heavy wind gusts all through the day.

I did inside stuff.  Marginally productive inside stuff, testing a couple of things, organizing some stuff, but mostly not doing much despite all the movement.   I did find some meds in my travel kit, and that helped.  I’ll be chasing my prescription today, and taking more steps to stack it up.  I can not skip it if I need to.  Not if I want to be active and effective.

Kids spent the whole day by themselves.  My wife ran errands and made cookies.  Yummy PILES of cookies.  I made 2 pounds of bacon for breakfast.  It got eaten too.  Dinner was pulled pork from cans that our Costco carried for a while.  I drain them, heat them, and add BBQ sauce.  Served them on King’s Hawaiian rolls.  Some leftover carrots, baked beans, and fresh onion filled out the plate.   The pulled pork isn’t as versatile as the chicken but it makes a nice change of pace and was widely available and not expensive.

Today I’m at home, while my wife goes into the office, so I’ll be doing at home stuff.   I hope to be a bit more productive today.  Since I’m not going to be allowed to solve the country’s problems today, I’ll have to keep working on my own.

On the wuflu front, we should be seeing peaks from the Thanksgiving spread this week and next.  We’re up, but not storing the dead in freezer trucks, and I’m very glad for that.

On the national insurgency/coup/civil war, it’s just getting started.  Pretty sure lots more is coming.   Someone online pointed out that the dems are not confident.  They aren’t dancing in the street.  They and their propaganda arm are doing their best to gaslight, censor, restrict, and obfuscate, but if they were confident they’d be a whole lot more “in your face” about it.   I find that heartening, but ultimately, I think the deep state and a bunch of others had their Quisling ‘peace in our day’ moment.   The cheaters know they cheated.  The others know they cheated, and they decided NOT to kick off CWII this week.   I think they haven’t bought nearly as much time as they think they have.  I guess we’ll see.

We’ve got a bit more time to get our stuff straightened out.   I could load a box truck here at the house if I was serious and had somewhere to SEND all this stuff.  I might just have to.  I did make two ebay sales yesterday.  I think my net was $40.  That isn’t going to buy much in the way of preps… and it’s not clearing stuff out fast enough.  I usually move the equivalent of two pallets at the March hamfest swapmeet.  That isn’t happening this year either.  On the plus side I figured out how to get more stuff thrown away, even if I can’t get the forklift running right.  I’ll cut it up and move it piece by piece, instead of moving it then cutting it up at the dumpster.  There’ll be a lot more handling of the stuff, but I’ve got the equivalent of a 53 foot tractor trailer taking up space I need for other things.   I won’t get it all back, I’m keeping some of the shipping containers, but they’ll nest to a degree.  I just need to find 10 hours during the day when I can go do it, and when it’s not raining.

Where did I go wrong?  I kept buying stuff long after it stopped selling.  I’ve found myself doing the same with preps…   I get a bug that I should pick up item x, and keep doing so long after I should have recognized I’ve got enough x and moved to y.  So take stock of what you have, where you need to be, and how you hope to get there.   You might be surprised by the hills and the valleys in what you thought was level ground.

I’m sure there are valleys to be filled by more stacking.  And if not, it’s time to level up skills.  A good scanner for Christmas and leaving it on while you work so you can get an idea about what’s going on in your area might be a place to start, if you’ve got the rest taken care of… or start working on your HUMINT so you can get a feel for the restlessness of the natives.  Get out of the house and talk to some people, at a safe distance of course.

Figure out your needs and keep stacking them.

nick

 

Sat. Dec. 12, 2020 – getting close to Christmas….

Cool, wet, maybe rain.

Yesterday got pretty wet late in the afternoon.  The forecast called for about .2 inches, and I’m not sure what we ended up getting, but it was cats and dogs for a while.

A couple of things conspired against me and my list.  My wife had errands to run, which I didn’t expect.  That kept me home until 2pm.  I got one pickup and one drop off done.  Didn’t get my settlement from last week’s auction, the auctioneer was having a company meeting.  I should get a check in the mail from the industrial auction some time next week.  That’s good news.

The other thing was the rain.  Pouring rain meant no Christmas decor went up.  Stuff is slipping like Fox’s ratings.

While I was waiting for my wife to get back I wasn’t UN-productive.  I cut my hair.  Went through some more stuff and put it in the auction box.   I pulled two parts and shipped them for an ebay sale.  Tested some stuff with an eye toward listing it or sending it to auction.  Tried to test an XBox360 and discovered I was missing the IEC cordset.  M$ doesn’t use a normal cord, theirs has a ‘key’ at the bottom.  I went through a box of cords and didn’t find one.  But I just need to test it so I got out a gouge and made my own key slot.  FTW!  Didn’t get a chance to use it yet.  I’m sure it will need some additional “adjusting”.

Today is the monthly meeting of my non-prepping hobby.  I think I would like to go.   I’m feeling ok, it’s probably raining so I can’t work outside, and I miss the club.  Seems dumb to have waited until the numbers are all record high to finally break down and meet but that is the state of the state.  Nothing makes sense or feels right.

Later today I need to break down and vac seal and freeze all the meat I bought this week.  Costco was out of turkeys by the time my shopper got there.  They were showing stock when I ordered.  The price was good so I guess they ‘flew’ out of the store.  Instead, I got a lamb roast for Christmas dinner.  I think I’ll cook the whole 6 pounds instead of breaking it down to halves.  Then we’ll have yummy leftovers.  Normally I’d be thinking about a ham, or maybe a ribeye roast, but my wife suggested the lamb.  Since we all love it, it was a no-brainer.  I think there are some traditions that involve lamb at Christmas, just not in our families.   Lamb is a good choice for economy- you can get very good lamb for the same price as mediocre beef, or at least we can get it here.  If we were post-apocalyptic, lamb and sheep would be front and center on the farm, just as they were throughout history.  Very useful animal, your sheep.

Protein in the freezer.  Veg in cans.  Pasta, and the stuff to make bread in buckets.  Ammo in cans.  Gubs in the safe.  That all feels pretty good, but I’m still anxious.  I checked the ammo sales, and nobody had any.  PSA had almost nothing at all in stock.  What they had was really unusual calibers, big game rifle ammo, and blanks.  Some was $5/rnd, most was over $1/rnd.  They might have had one or two boxes of bastard stepchild pistol ammo- cowboy revolvers, and .32 cal.   It’s getting short out there.

And time is getting short too.  The holidays are keeping some stuff under control.  The election stuff hasn’t played out yet, but it’s looking more like Sleepy Joe and the town bike every day.  Legitimate election or not, his policies will not be good for you and I.  That should be terrifying everyone much more than ‘Orangeman bad’.  I can only hope that he’s stymied at every turn, but based on their RINO history and never Trump activism, I bet that ‘in the interest of healing our nation’ there is a flurry of cross aisle cooperation.  If you think “it won’t be that bad, we’ll survive it like everything else”, I’d like to point out that we didn’t ‘survive’ it.  Compare today to 20 years ago, 40, 60.  Culturally and politically we are not living in the same country we were born to. *

Maybe it’s because I’ve got young kids, but I’m appalled at what we’re building for them.   That deserves a whole long post of it’s own, and I’ve got other stuff higher on my list.

Check your list.  Check your assumptions.  Check your stack.  Check your gear.  Check your friends and acquaintances.  And keep stacking.

nick

 

*for a perfect example, consider the band 2livecrew and the massive outcry and censorship of their album and song, ‘Me so horny’.  Now consider the song WAP, for which Cardi B is widely lauded.  The official video on youtube has 300 million views, the audio released first has 181 million.  Dozens of other versions have 10s of millions of views.  The song is flat out obscenity.  There is a radio edit.  It gets airplay.  I’m not linking to the vids, it’s bad enough reading the lyrics.  People think it’s FUNNY.  If you feel compelled to listen to it, watch the vid of the girl signing it.  ‘wap cardi b sign language’ None of it is SFW.  Every aspect of our culture has been degraded.  Every one of our freedoms has been limited.  And it all happened a little bit at a time.

 

Thur. Dec. 9, 2020 – if I were a rich man, deedle deedle deedle diedle dum..

Cool and windy.  Getting warmer later.  Basically nice.

Wednesday was cool to start but got to 84F in the sun.  Still pretty damp, there was water in the buckets from days ago, and condensation on the concrete.

I started my day with a fresh from the tree grapefruit.  Ruby red and sweet.   Success at last!  There are about a dozen more.  There are a couple of oranges on the other tree that I’m giving a bit more time.  The lemons are ready, but I leave them in place as long as I can.  Broccoli is doing ok, and I might harvest some spears in a couple of days.

I spent a good part of the day going through ebay/auction stuff, moving it from bin to bin and getting some ready for the next auction.  They stood me up on meeting to get my check and do my dropoff so I’ll have to reschedule.  Next week I’ll have stuff in 3 of the local auctions, and it still won’t have made much of a dent.

I didn’t get much else on my list done, so that all slips into today.  If I’m away from the keyboard, I’m working my list.

Interesting thought experiment, what would 2021 look like if there are aliens here?  They have been here for a while, they haven’t dropped rocks on us, they are either in a lifeboat or have some business with us.  What might it be?  What would the confirmed announcement do to current social issues?  I bet they’d get the blame for wuflu…  What the heck would they want?  Botanicals?  Slaves?  Food?  Fuel?  Colonization has always been about resource extraction for us, or later new markets, and cheap labor.  What would prepping look like for benign aliens instead of zombies?

My suspicion is that people would lose their shirt and we’d want to stay quietly at home for a while, just like a lot of other scenarios.  Couldn’t hurt to be prepped up.

Which raises another issue.  If you didn’t have to worry about budget, beyond some reasonable amount (no buying Yard Moose Mountain) what would a serious prepper look like and be stacking?  Vs an ‘ordinary’ prepper, or a beginning prepper?  What do you start stacking when you realize that 2 weeks while waiting for FEMA and the outside aid to get there isn’t going to be enough?

What makes one serious?  Is it building a “Rebuild society” library?  Or stocking fish meds?  A suture kit?  Injectable drugs?  Having a stocked root cellar?  Livestock? A garden measured in fractions of an acre?  Bushcraft knowledge?  Foraging for food?  Hunting/fishing/trapping?  Butchering your own food?  A pantry measured in “person-years”?  More than one gun safe?  Off grid power?  Off grid property?

I consider myself pretty serious, but there are things in that list I don’t even have plans for.    Ok that’s a lie.  But there are things in that list I don’t have serious plans for 😉

Get to work.  Stack something today.  Even if it’s just knowledge.

nick

Tues. Dec. 8, 2020 – work, work, work. And more work.

Cool and sunny, lots of wind.

That was Monday to a ‘T’.  Still not drying outside even with only 35%RH.  I’ve still got standing water on my driveway from 2 days ago.

Well, I took 6 more bins of stuff to the auctioneer yesterday.  And I didn’t even get into the driveway, much into the garage, or at all in my secondary or my storage unit.   I’m going to continue pulling stuff today, and I’ll either get one last drop off today (if I can get away with my wife at work) or I’ll take some to my other auction tomorrow when I go to do my settlement with them.  It won’t be before Christmas, but it will be ready to go right after.  I’m finding stuff I forgot about which is nice but also horrifying.   I found some model train stuff, and some nice Hot Wheels cars from the mid and late 70s.  They should do well.  I wish I had a thousand of them though.

My industrial auctioneer is still listing a few items they didn’t get in the last one, but he’s already told me twice he doesn’t want more stuff from me until next year in January.  I’ve got a ton of stuff for him, but I can’t force people to take it.

On a personal level, I’m feeling very anxious while out driving around.  Everywhere I look I see new bums panhandling.  I see more new For Lease signs.  I saw workers taking down a big sign on a business today, and a whole strip development on what is a pretty busy street with ALL the businesses closed.  There were several- a chinese buffet, and ‘alkaline water’ boutique, some other salon, and a phone or tech repair place.  All gone this week.  Lots more trash in front of several stores too.  Goodwill is parking trailers full of stuff in front of the Outlet.  They can’t process the stuff fast enough to get rid of it.  Even the temporary ‘day’ labor provider across from the Goodwill closed down.

On the sorta prepping front, my wife did most of the jewelry badge with her Girl Scouts this weekend.  I was able to provide a dozen sets of pliers, wire, jump rings and clasps, different stones charms and bits from old costume jewelry, and some of reference material, even a ring sizing mandrel (one part of the badge is learning about the tools.)  I had accumulated the stuff with an eye toward craft projects with  my kids.  I had plenty to share…

And I went into Costco today.  I needed to pick up the Christmas cards, so I walked through the store too.  Not much Christmas merch left on the floor.  And they reorganized the whole place since I was last there!   It looks like they did a major upgrade to their cooling system, made dairy and eggs a big walk in cooler, and tied all their display coolers together- there were pipes linking them that weren’t there before.    They still had a guy wiping cooler door handles, and aisles seemed wider.  I could see marks on the floor that showed that the stuff HAD moved.   They had a whole corral set up for TP, mostly piles of Kirkland, but they had Charmin blue label, so I bought some.  $23 instead of $16 on sale, but it’s time to start building the stack up again.   The only other prices that jumped out at me were $1.87/lb for spiral sliced ham, and in the other direction, $6/lb for Kirkland organic ground beef.   It’s been on sale to match their normal ground beef in the past.  Normal hamburger was ~$3/lb which is a good price.

The TP was my only purchase.  I’ll do instacart for my normal stuff.

The lot was not full, nor were there lines for gas, but it was a Monday afternoon, which is normally a slower time anyway.  During my other dropoff I drove right past what should have been a busy shopping area, but it was not.  In person retail is in trouble if that’s any indication.

All this is to say, even here, in one of the strongest local economies in the country, with ‘sensible’ restrictions from COVID, I’m seeing evidence that the economy is in trouble at ground level.  Big trouble.   We’ve found our local charity for the season, the Stagehand’s local has an emergency fund and present collection for their members.  Yes, they are union pukes.  But they’re OUR pukes… (my wife was card carrying for years) and entertainment is in our blood as well as being part of my wife’s business.  I encourage you to find something local and direct that you can help with this year.  And if you need help, get it, there are resources out there.

Local local local, and Meatspace baby!

Keep stacking.  You can’t help others if you aren’t ok yourself.   And there will be others.

nick

Sat. Dec. 5, 2020 – it all depends on the weather

And it will probably be cold, and damp again today, but maybe the rain will hold off.

It was cold-ish yesterday and certainly damp.   I put on a fleece jacket and I was sweating inside buildings and cold outside.

Someone asked a while back if I was still hitting the Goodwill stores.  No, not really.  I haven’t hit a thrift store in months.  I AM still hitting the Goodwill outlet.  I mask up, N95, and glove up, and maintain a distance from people.  I am hyper aware of what I touch and change gloves as needed.  I use the clorox wipes before getting back in the car too.  I’ve grabbed some great stuff lately, and it will mostly be going to the auction on Monday.   You can’t really beat a men’s Kenneth Cole leather jacket for $3.  Especially one that’s in perfect condition.  Or a lady’s wool trenchcoat from the mid 80s that still brings $85 on ebay.  Or 70 pounds of vinyl LPs that have been averaging 8-12$ apiece on ebay.  I’ll send them to my local auction,  and get a whole lot less, but won’t have to deal with shipping or returns.

The outlet gets the weirdest things.  I’ve found a low power ham radio transceiver kit, arduinos, gun parts, glock 43 magazine extensions- NIB, and today I found a milsurp cold weather sleep system and a watch battery change tool kit.  Not expensive, but exactly what I needed.  I could have a complete set of the Harvard Classics of literature.  I’ve grabbed all the ones I thought I’d personally like.  Some of the editions bring $10+ per volume…  One day I found a gun guy’s library.  A bunch of Paladin Press sort of books, and coffee table gun history books too.  “Modifying your MAC-10” kinds of things….  The funniest thing for me, I can find great stuff AFTER the locusts have gone through the bins.  They’ll fight over 25c t shirts and leave an ORVIS jacket, new with tags (headed to ebay or the auction this week).

My best estate auction score this week was probably a Western Mountaineering down sleeping bag for $4.  Even counting the half bottle of down tech washing soap, that is a stunning value for what was a $400+ bag new.  The kids and my wife have used the heck out of the expensive USA made down bags I got at an estate sale 2? years ago for $5.  There are certain things that people just don’t seem to recognize the value.  That’s where I come in 🙂

And some people do weird things too.  I grabbed a couple of fishing poles yesterday, one complete, with the last loop missing, one just the lower half.  I didn’t find the top half so I put it back in a bin, and the other one, I’ll just clip 1 inch and the existing loop will be the end one now.  🙂   Later I noticed a couple of young ladies standing to the side with a dozen poles.   They were looking up the poles on their phones.  They spent a while doing it too.  Obviously not experienced resellers.  The poles weigh less than a pound.  So they will cost $1.20 each.  BUY EVERY ONE.  There isn’t a new fishing pole with a reel for less than $20 anywhere.   These poles were new, still in plastic.  Grab them and GO!

The other customers are all masked, some even wearing them correctly.  Staff wears masks correctly.  As a side benefit, no one out in public is sneezing or coughing.  No runny noses either.

Today I’ll be going through stuff getting more ready for the new auctioneer.  And if the weather is good, I’ll finally get some Christmas decor up.  But that will be after sleeping in.

And then I’ll do my grocery order, and stack some more.  Because everything is changing, and we don’t know who will come out the other side.  If we’re distracted and weakened by a civil war, declared or not, someone else will have a chance to rise.  It might take a generation to recover.  Maybe more.  Gonna be hard times if that happens.  Think about that for a while.

And keep stacking.

nick