Mon. June 29, 2020 – another week, Let’s get started!

Hot, humid, but perhaps not so hot as last week.  And in theory, we’re on the edge of a system with T storms and heavy rain.

Yesterday stayed mostly overcast, which helped with the temps.  It still got over 100F in the driveway.

After cutting the grass, blowing the debris, and weeding the gardens, I got some small things done.  I finished changing out the sprinkler heads that were sticking up too far.   I’d gotten 70% of the way done and stopped, so today I finished.  I did a couple of other small tasks too.

Then I thoroughly cleaned the new freezer inside and out.  I’ve got a bit more to do on the door.  The outside is streaky where the clorox bleach cleaner lifted some 28 year old dirt but left the rest.  I’d really like to go over that when I refill my spray bottle.  The inside was in great shape.  It’s been wet in the heat, so anything that WOULD grow in it DID grow in it.  And that was very little.  I plugged it in to start it getting cold again, and to keep it clean inside.

I’ve figured out how I want to change my garage layout to accommodate the new freezer.  I’m taking out an old workbench that did nothing but catch piles of junk.    I’ll slide the old fridge and new freezer to the end of the wall, and move the chest freezer over too.  I’ll have a chance to put a file cabinet and some shelves where the chest freezer used to live.   It will open stuff up a bit.  Hopefully it will be a better use of the space, with less opportunity to just pile stuff on horizontal surfaces.

I need a dry, cooler day, to pull everything out of that side of the garage and move stuff around.   Hope I get one soon.

The gardens are what they are… something has eaten almost every onion I planted.  There are only a couple left.  The broccoli is struggling.  One plant died off this week.  The others might or might not produce another stalk for my dinner.  Probably not.  The grape vine that lived is going gangbusters and has taken over the whole trellis.  I don’t know if that means grapes or no grapes though.  I haven’t seen any yet.  The vine that died back to within a foot of the ground has put out new leaves and grown a bit.  Maybe next year it will be back up the trellis.

Tomato plants are still alive, still setting flowers, and have a couple more tomatoes growing.  I took two last week.  Tomatoes have never grown well for me.  One potato tower is empty of living plants, the other is down to one remaining plant.  No idea if they died or were eaten.  I can’t keep up with the sweet peppers.  I had several rot on the bush.  They are really tasty but I’m the only one who eats them.  The brusselsprouts are finally thriving but haven’t put up the sprout stalk yet.  Cabbages are about tennis ball sized through to slow pitch softball sized and looking good.  Corn is about 2 1/2 to 3 feet high and has tassels.   It LOOKS like it is growing well.  I guess we’ll see later in the year.   The melons/squash are still alive, with flowers, so I’m hopeful they’ll continue to grow.

I harvested 6 more blueberries today- go me!   I was pleasantly surprised to realize I had more green fruits on the orange and grapefruit trees than I thought.  I hope they ripen into good fruit.  The container lime has a fruit or two left.  The Meyer lemon is heavy with fruit.  I had some garlic cloves sprout in the cabinet, so I stuck them in the window box today.  No idea if they’ll root and grow, but the box was empty, and I’m not eating the sprouted cloves.  I’ve got a couple of small cilantro plants started.  I love cilantro and will eat and cook with it if I have it.  It will be nice if the heat doesn’t kill them.  Now if only I had 10 to 20 times the stuff planted, I might get more than the occasional taste… Growing food has a long learning curve, better get started.

Because the world isn’t getting better.  “Protests” and rioting are continuing.  Wuflu is continuing, although as the people getting sick are younger this time around, maybe it won’t kill so many of them.  I’m nervous about it.  My neighbor at my secondary location told me one of his coworkers and his whole family have it.  Several of his other coworkers all have strong exposures now, as they drove around in the truck with the sick guy.  My neighbor said he was outdoors (construction) and wearing a mask, but he’s still been told to stay home until he’s clear.   I spent a few hours chatting with him in the parking lot.   I’m hoping like he11 that 6 feet and a steady cross breeze is enough to keep me well.  My next door neighbor at the house went to the Doctor in a big hurry this evening.  I haven’t had a chance to find out why, but I really hope it wasn’t for a covid test.

Today I’ll be headed out to my client’s house to try to get him buttoned up before the Fourth.  I’ve got auction pickups too (for my wife and her projects mainly, now that she’s discovered how handy and economical it is to have me on the lookout for stuff.)  Since I was going anyway, I got some web gear, gub accessories, and a couple of things for me as well.

The scanner last night had someone in town running a drug surveillance op.   Last I heard, they were watching a group of about 30 people hanging out, having a bonfire in the middle of the street around midnight.  “That’s a really big fire!” says one cop.  Just another weekend night in the ‘hood, I guess.   Not something you’d know about from the news.

I hope everyone is healthy this week.  And working on preps for the future.  It’s comin’ like a freight train….

Keep stacking,



Mon. June 15, 2020 – just another manic Monday

Hot and humid.  We’re on the edge of a system so we could get rain or not.

Yesterday was certainly hot.  I was very uncomfortable, even with a hat and my evap cooler vest.

I did mostly stuff around the house.  Cut the grass, cleaned the pond filter, watered the gardens.  Weeded.

Citrus is still all growing.  Cabbages are doing well.  I’ve got some cilantro coming in.  Mint is going nuts.    Grapevine is taking over the whole trellis.  Harvested more peppers and then I traded some sweet peppers for some tomatoes with one of the other swim team families.  MEATSPACE!!  We’ve got the Thunderdome, we need a Bartertown too.  Practice.  The family also raises chickens and sells eggs, and they live near us.  Probably good folks to know if things get thin.

It looks like all my potatoes have died.  I’ve got one plant left in one ‘tower’.   No idea what went wrong, just one by one the plants died.  Acorn squash and watermelon are growing, well protected by the wire mesh.  Corn stalks are getting taller.

My trash smells like death.  10 pounds of raw chicken and two gallons of milk.  100F heat.  OMG.  I dumped about a cup of bleach on the contents today and that helped.    Holy hell what a stench, and the flies are THICK.  The bleach did help quite a bit, but we’ve still got 4 days until trash pickup.  I’m really glad we’ve got trash pickup…

I’m really glad we still have civilization, and I don’t understand the people who want to tear it down.  I think they just don’t have any experience, knowledge, or imagination.   I do.

I’ll try to keep my personal world at a first world level as long as I can, no matter what else is going on.  Unfortunately, parts of this country and parts of too many cities have already fallen to third world levels.  It’s tempting to blame the third worlders that live there, but they came once it got cheap enough.  Of course they didn’t raise it up after they got there, either.

Today, I’m doing auction pickups.  I was feeling better about the world and our situation, so I started back into my old life.  Over the last week or so, it’s becoming clear that cases are rising, and the economic issues continue.  I’m switching back to hunker down/isolation mode.  I’m also going to be continuing to increase my stocks, rather than running down what I have.  I don’t see  things getting better for a long time. Trying to save money will have to take a back seat to resupplying.  I don’t feel comfortable running down stocks, and hoping to replace them more cheaply later.  I am still applying my number one rule, that prepping can’t negatively or irrevocably change our lives, ie. we’re not selling everything and moving to Idaho and buying a bunker.  I’m not going to run up the credit cards buying pallets of Mountain House.

We will continue to look for opportunities during this time.  There are always opportunities to prosper, but you need the resources available and the willingness and ability to act.  You also need to recognize the opportunity.  That’s the hard part.

So, look for opportunities to meet helpful people.  Work on your skills and knowledge so YOU can be a helpful person.  Keep your eyes and mind open to opportunities. And keep stacking.


Fri. June 12, 2020 – another week under restrictions, but apparently not enough

Hot and humid, although it should be less so than the rest of the week.

Yesterday was a bit cooler and drier than the earlier part of the week.  It was still 90F in the shade in the late afternoon, because it’s summer in Houston after all.  It was practically chilly getting in the pool after dinner.

Unfortunately it looks like Houston is about to validate a whole lot of stuff regarding wuflu.

Houston “On The Precipice Of Disaster” As Officials Weigh Reimposing Stay At Home Order Amid Spike In Cases

I’ve been saying ‘wait and see’ and ‘let the other guy see if the flame is still hot’ and it looks like it is.   I’ll give it a little bit more time to develop further, but it seems to be right on schedule and just as predicted.   That isn’t good, as it means we’ll be seeing a bunch more cases and all over the place as the Memorial Day celebrants and then the protesters get sick, right on schedule.

It’s not going to make much difference in my life or plans, but it’s gonna be a kick in the teeth for some people.  I’m in this for the long haul.  I hope you all are too.

With that in mind, I was trying to buy another freezer today in an auction.  I stopped bidding at 1.5x the freezer’s original price.  Still half of new CURRENT price on amazon, but jeez.  It wasn’t a good fit for the space I have, or as big as I wanted.  There will be more as estates keep settling.  I could just order one, and wait for fall delivery, but I want to start stocking it.

Speaking of coolers, my garage fridge wasn’t cold when I went out there last night.  The freezer was still frozen, but the air passages feeding cold to the fridge compartment were blocked with ice.   I might have lost 20 pounds of chicken and 10 pounds of lamb.    The milk is cheap and I can get more, and the eggs will be fine.  All the cheese will be ok.  Losing the meat would suck.  I’ll be looking closely at that today, and possibly just cooking it.  It wasn’t warm, and the tubes of biscuits hadn’t exploded, but it’s been warmer than 36F for at least a couple of days.  I brought the meat into the house, and unblocked the passages.  With as hot and humid as it’s been, I should have been paying more attention.  It’s a known issue for me with this fridge, but I forgot.  Little things, ignored, can have bigger consequences.  Fortunately, we’re not on the ragged edge at the moment.

I’ve got a bunch of stuff to do today, after swim team.  Swim team is looking like a bad idea in light of the rise in cases.  I guess we’ll make a decision soon.

Yesterday number one daughter used cake mix, frosting mix, and other stuff from the preps and pantry to bake cupcakes for her friend’s birthday.  Hooray baking club.  She did it all herself, with me in the kitchen, but not helping.  She even did a pastry bag with a decorator tip to apply the frosting.  #proudpapa !  They looked great, like store bought, and tasted delicious.

Dinner was grilled lamb chops, leftover french fries, and broccoli- two stems from the garden and half a head from the store.   The garden broccoli tasted and looked good, but there wasn’t much.  I cut it off the plants and expect they’ll grow more, like the last time I harvested.

It’s pretty clear to me that bad times are here, and more are coming.

Now more than ever, don’t let your guard down.  Keep stacking.





Wed. June 10, 2020 – Supposed to be cooler…

But probably hot and humid.

Yesterday stayed hot all day.  Wife and kids got in the pool after dinner, but I watered the gardens.   Cabbage is doing well.  I got about 7 blueberries but they were sweet and delicious.  Peppers going crazy, broccoli still alive.  Out of the six mounds I planted, I’ve got three that sprouted and seem to be growing.  Watermelon or hard acorn squash, I don’t remember which, maybe a couple of each…  Corn is still growing.  Fewer onions than before, damn squirrels dig them up.   Maybe I’ve got some cilantro popping up, something is anyway.

I did get out to pick up my new benchtop power supply and did some cleaning/ organizing at my secondary location.

Today I’m taking some stuff to a local auction house.  We’ll see how it does.  Saves me the shipping hassle, and moves stuff out of the house.  Speaking of, I took 3 boxes of stuff out of my office, mainly old manuals and catalogs.  I like catalogs the same way I like trade magazines.  It’s easier to find stuff you never knew about in a catalog or ads in an appropriate magazine.  Now I’ve got some more room on the shelf in the closet for the good stuff.

So I got some stuff done, but not as much as I’d like.

Dinner was frozen steak on the grill.  For sides, I thought I’d fry some potatoes and maybe do some onion rings.  Six potatoes and 2 onions, half a pack of shrimp fry batter, cast iron fryer, and some peanut oil, and PURE HEAVEN!   Called the kids in and we ate the home made kettle chips and onion rings while they were hot and fresh.  Ate the steak by itself after all the rest was fried and eaten.   So tasty and a nice treat.  I just sliced the potatoes with a mandolin right into the pot of oil.  Wife seasoned the chips with a variety of stuff, but we liked the dusting of Lawry’s best.  Onion rings just needed a bit of salt.  When you’ve got potatoes and onions getting close to their sell by, make meals with potatoes and onions!

Meanwhile, the insanity is continuing.   Part of Seattle is now barricaded off as the “Capital Hill Freezone”, in Cali someone is burning homeowner’s flags that they don’t like (homeowners are next), MN is committed to getting rid of their police, and authorities are debasing themselves in public.  What a mess.  Spicy times are coming.

Keep getting ready, restock, add to your stocks, add to your knowledge and skills.

Keep stacking.



Fri. June 5, 2020 – Busy day

Hot and humid.  Maybe more rain?

It was certainly hot and humid yesterday.  Stifling when there was no breeze.  It did rain like crazy late in the day, which cooled things down a lot, but that was pretty late…

I got a few things done.  I moved some stuff and cleared some stuff at my secondary location, in preparation for throwing a lot of stuff into the dumpster.  I’ve got a literal truckload (53ft trailer) of stuff to sort, save, recycle, and trash.  That is just the trade show booth, but it will make a lot of room for other stuff.  No one is buying any tradeshow stuff in the next year or two.  Certainly not a booth that has been reworked a couple of times already.   About half of the volume is trash now, with some saveable pieces, and some of the shipping containers for reuse.  I could scrap out the rest, keeping just the containers to sell at some point, but I might keep some stuff like generic walls and towers.  All the lighting is too old and doesn’t meet current requirements, the chairs were more stylish than comfortable, all the messaging and signage is for a company that hasn’t existed for years…  I had hoped to rework it one more time and resell it again, but, I don’t see tradeshows being a thing again for a long time, and I need the space.

That is part of what I hope to do today, start moving that cr@p toward the dumpster.

I’ve also got some auction pickups to do.  I intend to put shelves in the space I open up so I scored some Metro racks on wheels.  This is taking priority because I need somewhere to put the racks… and some of it has to happen today, some tomorrow.  When you are buying in the ‘secondary’ market, you get it when you see it, not when it’s convenient.

All this will certainly make my homelife better, should make my selling of stuff easier, will make it possible for me to do some of the stuff I like doing, and has needed to be done for a long time.  Not really how I expected to be spending a worldwide pandemic.  Damn strange zombie apocalypse.  Although now we have our roaming bands…. can’t shoot them in the head yet though.

Toured the garden yesterday.  Some more blueberries are ready, must be at least 5  🙂  The citrus is doing well.  One of the cabbages has formed a firm center to the head.  It’s the one in the best sunlight, go figure.  Sunlight is important for success at gardening.  Who knew?  Broccoli is still growing.  Asparagus went leggy right away and looks like ferns now.  I’ve gotten one stalk off it in how many years?  I am just keeping it alive until I can transplant it somewhere new  at this point.  Corn and melons continue to grow.  Potato plants continue to die.  No idea what that is, the soil is clean bagged potting soil, so shouldn’t have any grubs or root destroyers in it.  It started out so well too.  Apple and peach trees have leaves, and look like trees, but no flowers and no fruit.  Peppers are still good though.  All in all, likely to be a disappointment.  Good learning though.

In the world and locally, covid is increasing in places that had people getting together.  That bodes ill for the rioters and protesters.  We said a couple of weeks ago that we’d know if easing restrictions led to more cases, and it looks like it did.  We’re starting to see some of the earliest cases, and should see more soon.  3-5 days from exposure to symptoms for most people, one to two weeks of sickness before either getting better, or worse.  So about 2-3 weeks from exposure to hospital admittance…on average.  I’m no fan of NY pols, but whichever one said that all the protesters should consider themselves potentially infected and self isolate got it right this time.  Chances of the public actually doing that??? Zero.

So keep working, keep your awareness up, and keep stacking.



Mon. June 1, 2020 – still locked down, but you wouldn’t know it

Hot, humid, and we’re on the edge of a storm system, so maybe rainy.

Yesterday was all those things and sometimes cool as well.

I got some stuff done, mostly moving and organizing in the driveway.  So much still to do.  I guess that’s where I’ll start today.

Dinner was steak from the freezer, cauliflower done like twice baked potatoes.  My motivation to cook was low, my wife did the cauliflower.

Kids spent as much time as possible in the pool, and I hope they never get tired of it.

I did look around the gardens a bit.  Potatoes are dying.  No idea why.  Corn is coming in, about a foot high now.  I only planted a few stalks to see if it would grow and if the squirrels would get it all.   Harvested more sweet peppers.  Tomatoes have flowers but I’m told it isn’t cold enough for them to actually get any more fruit this year.  We’ll see.  Broccoli is doing ok, cabbage looks like it’s coming along.  Got 4 blueberries today.   Citrus is about the same as it was.  Nothing on the peach or apple.  Squash and/or watermelon are still growing, I’ve lost track of which mound was which.  I really should have made notes.   Grapevine is flourishing, I hope that means I’ll get some grapes this year.  The other grapevine didn’t die, but it didn’t grow much, maybe it will recover next year.  Obviously, my garden barely gives me any food at all.  The learning curve is steep in this part of the country, and in my yard especially.  Get started NOW.  If you can’t plant, build beds and start work on fertilizer or compost.

Summer’s here and so is the rioting.  Didn’t get enough out of the shutdown and isolation so now we’re mixing in public and burning what businesses made it through.  You’d almost think someone was pushing this along.  I’m pretty sure OFD would have had some things to say about it.  And while you’re thinking about the dead guy and the riots, ask yourself what’s different this time, from when the diversity hire shot an Australian housewife in her bathrobe.  And, why does anyone outside of Houston or MN care this time?

If you’re out and about, keep your awareness and know a couple of alternatives to your travel routes.  Arm up.  Review the law in your state.  Clean up your social media NOW, in case you have a problem later.  This all goes double if your home or business is in the line of fire.

And don’t forget that COVID is still out there, still spreading, and still sickening and killing people.  We’ve got a brief pause before we start seeing cases related to all this public nonsense.  Restock, refresh, restore.

Keep stacking,



Sun. May 10, 2020 – Mother’s Day

Cooler. Overcast opening to nice later.

There- that almost guarantees that we’ll get rain.

Yesterday was overcast, cool, and windy most of the day. Not unpleasant. Just unusual.

Ventured over to my secondary location to move some things, and collect a couple of small items for projects here at the house. Sold a piece or two to a friend while I was at it. Then hit two other friends just to touch base. Meatspace. Still important.

Today, here, we’re having a special meal to celebrate Mother’s Day. I’ve got half that elk roast defrosting, and I’ll figure out how to cook it. I guess the sides will be similar to either lamb or beef, but I’ll know better after reviewing a couple of books. Paper books, just as an exercise.

Dinner last night was grilled over a small fire in the back yard. We used the firepit/grill I’ve mentioned before and it worked great again. Nice bed of hardwood coals from backyard tree waste. Kids had hotdogs, my wife and I had homemade sausage, half deer, half wild pig, that the neighbor gave us at our Neighbors’ Night Out a year and a half ago. It’s been vac sealed and in the freezer. I also made sliced red potatoes with butter and seasoning in foil tucked in the ashes and coals. A bed of saute’d onions went under our sausages. S’mores for dessert, natch.

WRT the coming unpleasantness, my gun store buddy told me to ‘make a list’ of anything I might want. “Lots of guys in the oil patch” are starting to consign their guns for sale. So it’s already starting. Fancy guns and hunting guns, musical instruments, “man” toys- stuff with motors, boats, etc should be first. RV’s, trucks, and tools will probably be last. You can live in an RV, you need a truck for work, and tools (especially if you use them to make your living) are always useful.

Garden is… continuing. Potato towers are going gangbusters. The bag o dirt is about 2ft high now, and I’m running out of dirt. That might be as high as I go this year. The other stuff I planted as seed is coming up, wherever the squirrels didn’t eat the seeds, and where I have metal mesh to keep it safe… I don’t have enough metal mesh, that’s clear. Either that or the seeds just didn’t germinate. My ‘window boxes’ are a big disappointment. No sprouts, and the onion starts have been disappearing at the rate of one a day. Did I mention I need more mesh?

Blueberry ‘bushes’ have fruit ripening. I planted different varieties for pollenization, and because with different maturities, we should be getting berries for a longer season. So far, 4 berries have been harvested and eaten. They are very tasty, if not exactly going to fill buckets…

Last year’s pepper plants continue to provide a bounty. Delicious sweet peppers, without a hint of heat. Cabbages look sturdy, but are all leaf and no head at this point. Broccoli is a bit spindly, but the other dark green leafy (either brusselsprouts or collards, can’t remember) are starting to grow. They stayed the same size while something eats holes in the leaves for the last couple of weeks but are finally getting bigger. The grape vine looks caterpillar free at the moment, so I think I got that in time this year. The other grape vine is staying short, having died back to within a foot of the ground. I’m not hopeful for that vine coming back. It’s just not and never was, as vigorous.

Citrus is doing well, where the tree rats leave it alone. Something stole the oranges off my potted orange tree, and can’t even eat them as they are only golf ball sized. Damn spoilers. The lime does still have one or two fruits developing. The Meyer Lemon is set to produce well, but then they do very well here in Houston. And the other orange still has at least one fruit on it, and the grapefruit tree has a bunch. Still hopeful for that one. No flowers on the peach tree, but it’s fully leafed in. Not a garden that would feed the family, that’s for sure, but it will hopefully provide at least a bit of variety and tasty nutrition.

We are in this for the long haul, here at Casa de Nick. I hope you are too.

Keep stacking, keep building skills and knowledge, and do what you can to maintain your meatspace relationships. Call your mom if you can…


Mon. May 4, 2020 – May the fourth be with you, alwathe….

Sunny and warm.

It got pretty toasty yesterday.  It was 90+ in the shade and there was sun.  I mostly stayed under cover and in the house and garage.  I did get stuff done.  Could have been more, but progress is getting made.

Garden is starting to get shoots.   Corn, and watermelon or zukes are poking through.   The potatoes continue to grow.  I’m up to about 18-24″ of tower bag now.  I started with 3″.  I’ve only got two bags of dirt left, so that will limit me on my total height.  Unless I can get some bags delivered…

I harvested 2 skinny stalks of broccoli and we ate it for dinner tonight.  I got some nice sweet peppers too, off the old and new plants.  That was the first edible broccoli in years of trying to grow the stuff.

Something, rain or animal or insect, knocked all the beginning limes off my tree.  They got to be marble sized, then they were laying on the ground.  Dang it, I really like limes.

Broke down the 9 pound pork loin from Costco.  Made two ~3 pound roasts, and cut the rest into thick center cut  chops.   Vac sealed and froze it.  Until yesterday I didn’t have room in the freezer.

Dinner tonight was one of the roasts, the two skinny stalks of broccoli, a couple of baked potatoes, apples diced and baked with bacon crumbles and maple syrup, and half a loaf of the Costco heat and eat shelf stable bread.

Speaking of Costco, they start their new policies today.  Everyone wears a mask, limited number of people in the store, etc.  This is new though-

“Fresh meat purchases are temporarily limited to a total of 3 items per member among the beef, pork and poultry products.”

That sounds like 3 packages of meat protein per visit.  Funny that lamb isn’t listed, nor are prepared products like sausage, or spiral sliced ham.  I wonder how extensive the limits are?  I’d buy beef if I could get a deal and had freezer space.

This is far from over.  Some areas are reporting increases in cases and deaths after slight decreases.  Everywhere they stayed open, they have 15-20% cases.  Expect to see more in 2 weeks…   The economic impact is really just starting too.  Buffett sold out of all airline stocks.  That seems like a no brainer, but it takes actually doing it, and at a loss, to drive the point home.  Market disruption barely begins to describe our current situation.  There will be opportunities, but I think it’s probably WAY to early to be making new investments.

Keep your eyes open and stay centered so that you can more easily move in any direction.  Keep stacking where you can, including knowledge and skills.  And stay in to stay safe.   Let the other guys figure out if it’s dangerous to get back in the pool…



Mon. April 27, 2020 – daughter’s birthday, busy day!

Beautiful and warm, sunny and blue sky.  I hope. [very nice, getting into the 80s with clear skies and cool breezes]

Yesterday was very nice.  68F at 9am, 82 with a cool breeze in the shade in the afternoon.

I spent the afternoon outside.  I got the electric chainsaw back out, and took the time to sharpen it.  Made a HUGE difference even though it was my first time sharpening and kinda haphazard…  Cut up the remaining branches, and took another of the multiple trunks off one of the chinese cherries.   That wood is certainly dense.

Then I moved to the oak in the front yard and got out the “High Limb Saw” or chain saw in the middle of a long rope.  I took down about half a dozen limbs that were either dead or too far over the neighbor’s yard.    By the end of the afternoon, I was getting pretty good at throwing the sandbag over the high limbs to get the rope over.  It is a workout.

Cut up the branches with the electric chainsaw (very handy, fairly quiet, not intimidating, recommended.)  Threw the debris on the heavy trash pile.

Today if it’s still nice, I’ll get up on the roof and trim back those branches, and start in on the sprinklers.  We’ve removed bushes and some beds in the front of the house and have a whole zone or two of sprinklers that should be capped off.   They were originally installed poorly, with 12″ pop ups completely above the earth.  In other words, a dozen sprinkler heads like cans of tennis balls, sticking up where we don’t need them.  I keep tripping over them, breaking them off, and catching the hose on them.   I could leave a couple of risers for drip irrigation in the future, I guess.

Number two daughter turns 9 today and she’s bouncing off the walls.  Fortunately, I’d bought a bunch of stuff prior to lockdown, and amazon is still open to deliver stuff that my wife ordered.   Even without a get together with her friends, she should have  a good day.  I thought about sending cupcakes to all her school friends, and having them do a zoom vtc while they ate them and got a goodie bag, but we couldn’t get it organized in time.

The new version of my NVR software eats hard drive like crazy.  By default it records a constant stream from each camera.  That’s a lot of data…  Even setting up ‘record on motion’ for all the 3mpx cams didn’t save enough disk space with the three 8mpx cams streaming constantly.  I LIKE them capturing everything, but I don’t have the space.   So I ordered an 8 TB surveillance drive from amazon.  Only $220, which is astounding to me.  The surveillance drives are built to handle the 24/7 writing and constant use, and they cost a bit more.  Interesting to me to see the different drives being built to different specs for specific uses.  I’d say that was a sign of a mature market.

Oh, and I threw out a couple dozen shelf stable entre’s from Dinty Moore, completes, and a couple from an indian company.  They were  bb 2014 1nd 2015.  While still sealed and under vacuum, the egg dishes had turned uniformly brown, and the meat dishes looked pretty gross.   The indian dishes actually looked the best.  They all smelled ok, and probably wouldn’t kill you, but I’ve got food that isn’t nasty looking.  They were WAY in the back on the shelves in the garage.  High heat is probably to blame for the changes in appearance, oh, and the extra 5 years….

Dinner was late and needed to be quick and easy, so frozen cheeseburgers, cottage cheese, tomato, onion, and a pasta side dish.  Flavored pasta dish was bb 2016 in a foil lined paper pouch.  Tasted just like it should.

Stay in, Stay safe.



Sun. April 26, 2020 – another day going by at light speed

Forecast says clear, my gut says- intermittent rain, with cooler temps.

Yesterday we got spotty rain off and on all day.  I didn’t let that stop me from working in the gardens and yard.   Cut up some branches for the woodpile.  Took down a branch to let more light into the back yard, in the late afternoon.  Two of my beds don’t get much direct sun before noon, so I need as late in the day as I can get.

I reseeded where something had dug up my seeds.  And this time, I put metal mesh (hardware cloth) over the top of where the seeds are.  That should keep the squirrels out of it until the plants have a chance to sprout.  I also reseeded the radishes and turnips in the ‘window boxes’ on the fence, and I went ahead and planted a few corn kernels.   I’ll see how they do and if the squirrels eat them.

If the weather’s good today, I’ll try to do some work on the sprinklers, and maybe get the rope saw out and do some pruning on the live oak in the front yard.  Maybe.

I did get some small cleanup done in the driveway, which the wife took as an anniversary gift 🙂  I sold and delivered a pallet jack to my buddy, and put some stuff out for heavy trash.

I feel like I got a bunch done, even with a fairly late start to the day.  I hope today goes as well.

Dinner was live Maine lobsters, flown in as a gift from my  in-laws.  I had to cook it, but it was a nice dinner.  I used the pot from my propane turkey fryer, and I should have used the gas ring too.  It took forever to heat the water on my electric range, and my timing was thrown off by the time it took to get it back to a boil after the lobsters went in.  Tasted good, but they were a tiny bit overcooked.  A bit of steak from the freezer made the ‘turf’ part of our ‘surf n turf’.   Boiled potatoes and steamed asparagus rounded out the meal.  Damn strange slow motion disaster.

I broke my own isolation twice this week, both times for money.  Not JUST money, but money was involved.  I hope it doesn’t bite me in the @ss.

Stay in, stay safe.