Fri. Dec. 3, 2021 – work work work. While the world burns…

Last day of cool and clear this week, maybe. ‘Cuz they lie. And they’re wrong. It’s been clear but really quite humid for as cool as it is. That isn’t a super comfortable state.

Spent the day at my client’s house working on his upgrade. Felt like I really made some progress, but there is a bunch more to do, and some of it involves more Ubiquiti UniFi stuff. I will get to that last, I think. And I’ll be back over there next week as well.

Puppy is doing fine. Eating, running around the back yard, sniffing frantically. There was some sort of stinky wildlife skulking around last night. Zeus was very excited, and he got to bark at a cat! Made the cone of shame more tolerable, I’m sure.

Home Depot had several green leafy vegetables in pots for planting when I stopped in two days ago. It must be still fall planting season down here. Not much dirt for the raised beds, but at least most of a pallet in bags of the kind I like. I think I’ll try to get a few more bags this weekend. I didn’t see ANY seeds and the whole display was missing. Could be they were cleaning up and changing out that area, or it could be that they sold out. If you want a garden this year, you might want to secure some seeds, bug killer, fertilizer, and whatever else you need. Stock up early and avoid the rush.

Might go look at a lake house this weekend. The house looks nice, the part of the lake is less developed, and it’s difficult to get to the property. All good things in my book. Septic, propane, city power, and water. There must be a reason that part of the lake is under developed though, and I think it’s because the lake is very shallow there. My wife will be checking the lake depth chart today. 5 ft is ok, 1 ft of depth is not. Inflation continues to eat away at our savings. Buying a white elephant property would too, but they call it “real” estate for a reason.

I am trying to get to Costco today, but I’ve got other things to do before heading to my client’s place. I got more of an item that is a steady seller for me. Not huge profit, but every sale counts. I also got some stuff for a future lake house in another auction. It’s either a great score, or there is something I couldn’t see in the photos. I’ll find out later today.

The doddering old fool in the Whitehouse continues to decline. He can’t help but make up stuff, and he’s as incoherent as ever. If it weren’t our country and our lives on the line, it would be funny. As it is, it’s just a harbinger of bad times ahead.

So get to stacking. Because they are coming.

nick

Sun. Nov. 28, 2021 – to sleep, perchance to dream

Another overcast day with misty light rain? We’ll see. That’s what Saturday ended up being. Kinda cool too. Never got more than a misty drizzle, barely got the concrete wet.

I ended up watering the citrus in pots. One of the trees had all the leaves curled and faded, just like it got too cold. I didn’t think we got that cold here while I was away. It’s HARD to keep citrus alive in Houston.

I am going to get 3 more grapefruits from the other tree in a pot. Hooray for me. The collards are growing again, and the tomatoes continue to fruit. The tomato thing is weird. No way should we be getting fruits at this point. My wife likes it though, so hooray again.

I might hit the small HEB grocery later today. I let fresh stuff run way down because we were out of town, and I’d overbought. Our usage patterns have changed. We aren’t drinking anywhere near the milk we were. No cereal for breakfast either. And we are drinking more other stuff like soda, and I don’t like sharing with the kids 🙂

Keep in mind that your use may change too. Part of “store what you use, use what you store” is adapting to those changes. Unfortunately, you may end up with more in storage than you will use. UNLESS the “event” comes. At that point, you’ll be glad to have it, no matter what “it” is.

But in normal times, yeah, it’ll be a bummer to have two extra cases of oatmeal (or 10) if you no longer want to eat oatmeal. There is some risk in stacking it high… On the other hand, you don’t know when you’ll need it until you need it. Better to have it than not.

Speaking of eating, while others may not be, RBT’s advice was to go to the food disto center anyway, so that no one wondered why you were able to skip it. Reading the Mandibles, wherein an economic collapse happens to the US and the titular family, I’m re-energized to top up my food stores. Most scenarios will have you still existing in the community, so it might be worth having some clothes that are a size or two too big. Why? So you can look thinner than you are at a glance. The baggy shirt I’m wearing as I write this catches my eye every time I walk past the mirror. It HANGS. I look terrible. Which could come in handy. There are other reasons to have clothing bigger than your normal size, like hiding weapons or armor under it. Or if things are bad, layering for warmth. The bigger clothes let you get an extra layer or two. There might end up being really good reasons why a female might want to wear very baggy clothes, or a child might want to bulk up a bit. I’m sure your imagination can fill in the blanks.

I hope it’s all just intellectual wanking, doom pron, but I look around and the trajectory doesn’t seem to be headed toward “better”. Sarah Hoyt thinks it will be short but really bad, and then we’ll prevail. I’m not so certain. I think we’ll drift ever worse for a long time, until change has to happen, then things will get better. There’s a lot of ruin in a country, and in society too. Alcoholics and addicts usually have to come pretty close to rock bottom to change. Societies too.

So stack it up. Plan your garden. Practice your skills. Teach your children well.

nick

Mon. Nov. 8, 2021 – joy… and pain, sunshine …. and rain

Cool but clear and sunny later. Basically gorgeous weather. And the forecast says the same for a couple more days too. Hooray! That was yesterday, started running the heat in the morning, and ran A/C in the late evening once the house had soaked up the sun. I’m certainly hoping for more of the same.

Yesterday was eaten by ducks. And pain. I was paying the price for my lifting, bending, and toting the day before. The inversion table and the foam roller both got a workout, and both helped, but I couldn’t walk, stand, or sit without pinching pain in my back until late in the afternoon, and after my second go ’round with the table and roller. That coupled with the family coming home meant not much got done. I did put away a few more Halloween decorations, got out the Thanksgiving decoration bin, and cleaned up some stuff in the garage and attic.

I added a couple of small bins to my upright freezer to better organize the meat. I had been just stacking it on shelves and it would cascade out if I bumped it wrong… I don’t know if the plastic bins will hold up in the cold, but they are better than having everything slide around. I need to find a few more that fit.

I ate my first grapefruit off my potted tree for breakfast yesterday. It was a bit on the smaller side, like a navel orange, but was delicious. Only three more on the tree, but that’s more than I got on the big tree in five years. And then the freeze killed it the year it produced a dozen fruits. I really like the idea of fruit and nut trees as a prep, but they are damnably hard to keep alive here in Houston. And I’ve still not seen a single fruit or flower on the peach tree.

Growing your own food is hard. Get started learning about your area and your garden.

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For the last couple of days, I’ve been thinking about doing some followup on stuff that worked for me, and that I still like. So here goes.

I really like the container I got to save cooking fat in the kitchen. It is stainless steel, has a flip up lid, a strainer, and the top 1/3 lifts off to reveal the saved fatty goodness in the bottom. Got it on amazon and it works well. Saving cooking fat has a long history and is a great way to save money and cook tasty meals. Use mason jars, airtight canisters, or something airtight and new, but start saving that bacon grease, and using it later.

Ditto for the little flip top trash can I got for the bathroom counter. It looks like a mini version of the old school round topped metal trash cans, with the ‘flap’ in the top. It’s a bit thin and the stainless isn’t really, but it does the job of catching all the little bits of paper from the breathe-rite strips and any other little bits of trash. Those bits would flutter and scatter all over the bathroom when I used to toss them toward the regular can.

The Toto Drake dual flush toilet works really well. Only one time since I put it in did it need a plunge, and that’s down from several times a day. Every Toto toilet I’ve put in has worked very well. This one has a very small amount of water in the bowl, and a lot of dry porcelain. It gets dirty quickly. If having a spotless bowl is important, get one with a bigger water puddle. Other than that, it’s a flushing CHAMP.

The can organizers I installed at the beginning of the lockdown work, but they have slightly distorted over time. They are plastic, and have sagged enough that cans don’t roll through as freely as when it was new. FIFO is important when using your preps, but the racks aren’t as efficient for storage as just stacking flats of cans. You won’t get as many cans in the same volume space, but they are MUCH easier to actually use daily for cooking when you can get to them. I added more despite knowing they aren’t perfect, so that I could have more varieties of cans in the dispenser. If you’re not just piling up cans against future need, get some kind of FIFO can racking.

And while I didn’t use them as much this year as last, both styles of cooling vest worked well for me. Techniche for the evap one, ergodyne for the gel pack.

The Uniden Home Patrol II scanner continues to work well, and I’ve heard a lot of stuff going on in my area on it. Pair it with a good discone antenna from MFJ and listen to it. There is a lot of stuff that is going on around you that never gets reported. Start paying attention to it, and you’ll be better off.

High tech ‘cool’ fabrics for shirts, and shorts, and wool blend socks. What a difference in hot weather comfort. Cotton is NOT for that first layer, or maybe even for the second. About the only good thing about cotton is cost and flame retardant properties. Even for my cold weather clothes, the high tech breathable wicking t shirts in long sleeve are more comfortable than anything else I’ve ever used as a first layer. Clothes have gone technical, and it makes a difference. If the cost is too much, look at Goodwill. A lot of stuff there is never worn. You can try the technical fabrics cheaply, and then spend the money in the store on a brand you like, if you must have new. These are not the stinky poly blend fabrics from decades ago.

Boots and shoes. I rotate through shoes, rarely wearing the same pair two days in a row. It helps the shoes last longer, and your feet will be more comfortable. And for gnu’s sake, get shoes that fit. All the different manufacturers use different ‘lasts’. The last is the shape they build the shoe on, and by trying different brands you can find shoes and boots that fit your weirdo feet. KEEN has a large ‘toe box’ but the soles are a bit slippery when wet. I wore through a couple of pairs and generally liked them. Asic and Columbia made the lightweight ‘sneakers’ I wear on normal days. They are available in wide widths if you need that, or have a high arch. They fit me perfectly in a EEE width. They aren’t “sturdy” but they are lightweight and have held up well. I wore the Columbia pair in Disneyworld and never had an issue. Get some shoes that FIT and don’t be afraid to try sports and active lifestyle brands that are smaller, they have to cater to their buyers, and seem to offer more options.

And for long term, leather boots with vibram soles. Any overmolded soft plastic in place of rubber will turn to goo with time and crumble to a sticky mess. Men should be able to buy all leather dress shoes from a quality maker, and with care they will outlast you. Cole Haan, and most of the J&M lines are not quality. They are better than Stacy Adams, or modern Florsheim, but not by much. Workboots are either disposable or will last a lifetime. There are US makers still, and they have quality reps. Find a solid pair you can maintain and they should last a long time. Chased by zombies while wearing sandals made from old tires or barefoot just isn’t the same as crunching through the detritus of a fallen city in good boots. If you do go for disposable (and I like my under armor technical boots) know that just storing an extra pair won’t help once the plastic ages out. Mil spec and milsurp are designed to be stored and still be usable so having at least one pair is a good prep. Bonus is that they fit me well and are very comfortable.

I’ll stop the list here for today. If you have something that has worked well for you put it in a comment. There are plenty of things I might add below as I think of them, this list was just ‘top of mind’ when I wrote the post. I’m already thinking of the Honda inverter gennies and DeWalt cordless tools….

Improve what you’ve got stacked, add to your stacks, organize your stacks, and KEEP stacking…

nick

Thur. Nov. 4, 2021 – still no revolution, still no hot war…

We’re on the edge of the thunderstorm area on the national forecast map, so today I’m going with cool, clear, still quite damp, but occasional sun. It would be nice if the rain only lasted one day.

I spent the day doing some small tasks. Pack and ship one item. Pickup from a household auction. Then I realized I was far from home and running low on gas so I paid $3.09 / gallon for 87 octane. I only bought 5 gallons. It was up by the airport at a station just off the freeway but DANG. I think Costco still has it for $2.69/gallon. That’s a big enough difference to make the effort. I was in the Ranger, not the Expy, but still, not filling the tank if I can save 40c/gallon.

Picked two ripe tomatoes off the leftover bushes. Both had been nibbled by something, but there are other tomatoes ripening. That is just crazy, considering that most years the bushes don’t last through the summer, and they certainly don’t fruit in the Fall. Collards look good too, other than the leaves being a little smaller than normal. I’ve got 4 grapefruits on the potted tree that survived the freeze that just started turning yellow from green. They’re a good size, and I’m hoping they are nice and tasty. Herb garden is mostly dead, although the rosemary bush looks like it might have survived the freeze after all. Only about half the plant is dead. I don’t know why but I can’t keep a rosemary bush alive more than a couple of years. I use it a lot in cooking, so I like having it in the garden. Heck, I can and do kill MINT, and it’s invasive, so I’m far from a successful gardener. All the more reason to stack cans.

Plan your garden now, and get what you need for seeds, fertilizer, and pest control early.

Stack some extra in case you’re like me and can’t seem to grow anything. Consider that it might continue to get colder for a decade, look at ways to extend your growing season. Some plastic sheeting and plastic pipe for a greenhouse tunnel won’t cost much or take up much storage space.

Today should be a repeat of yesterday but without having to do a parent teacher conference at dinner time. I do get to pick up D2 early and spend an extra couple of hours with her. Maybe we’ll get some sewing projects done. That was the plan for Monday, before it got changed. I’ve got a number of projects backed up that involve sewing, maybe, just maybe, I can get one or two off the list. They’ve been on the list a long time and aren’t high priority, but my wife got the machine out, and I can jump in before putting it away again. Sometimes I get – squirrel! What was I saying? Targets of opportunity, that must have been it. Tasks or tree rats.

Anyway, think about expanding your garden, and stack what you need.

nick

Sat. Sep. 4, 2021 – week flew by as fast as money leaves my wallet

Another day forecast to be hot and humid, and we’re still in the zone for thunderstorms. Yesterday was interesting. Started cool, stayed cool-ish until noon-ish. Sunny the whole time. Then when I finally committed to putting stuff that shouldn’t get wet in the back of my open pickup truck, the sky opened and the water fell… a whole lot of it in a short time.

I wasn’t the only one fooled. The flippers across the street chose yesterday to replace the roof. They got the old roof off, and then we got 2 1/2 inches of rain. They were working late to get the new roof on.

I managed to drop off 5 big black bins to the auctioneer and he’s still ok with getting more. He is the first one who really meant it when he said he’d take a bunch of stuff. And I’ve got a bunch more to give him.

Today I’m sleeping in as much as I can. Time to do a bit of catching up on sleep. This falling asleep during the day is stealing too much of my day.

Also time to be thinking about a fall garden planting. On top of everything else. My cabbage still hasn’t developed. One got a head that was tennis ball sized, but it has been shrinking. The other is still loose leaves. I thought I’d see how they did before committing to a whole patch. Last time I did that, I lost them all.

Lots of home stuff to do around the house, and I hope to get to my secondary for more clean up, and auction stuff. It’s always something.

Better get started.

Which is good advice if you haven’t been prepping. Stack it high!

nick

Mon. Aug. 23, 2021 – insert title here — ;-)

Hot. Sunny. Humid. Overcast. Rainy. Houston. Sunday was hot and humid, no rain, no overcast.

I did some small work in the garage, and I continue to be impressed with how well the exhaust fan keeps the temps down. Oh, it was still hot, but nothing like last year or the year before. Definitely worth doing.

I set two more traps for Sr. Raton. He walked past the traps I’d already set, so I baited these with peanut butter and bacon. I know he was there, because he knocked a package of Costco canned chicken off the shelf. However, someone‘s been nibbling on the poison block I screwed to the wall along a likely infiltration path…. so SOMEONE is not long for this world. I just hope he takes himself outside before expiring. I’m sure I’ll know it if he doesn’t.

I had a box of rat traps that I bought last year at auction, and I have been using the poison block refills for the bait stations. I have been baiting with Tomcat Attractant because all the previous rats learned that peanut butter equals death. It got one up in the attic, but my garage thief is not interested, hence the pb&b bait. If you don’t already have some pest control supplies stacked, I’d recommend getting some. If the slide continues, services like trash removal, junk pickup, etc. will be impacted. Your neighbors, floods, droughts, and new construction all influence the migration and presence of pests too. When the need arises, there might not be any available.

The same can be said for soil supplements, and garden pest controls. It will be critical if you are relying on a garden for food, even just supplemental food, that you get as much as you can. Can’t have pests eating or ruining food your kids need. We’ve already seen that gardening supplies can vanish if the demand goes up even a little. Having some reference books with alternative methods wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Of course the best case is you getting your garden up and productive long before you NEED it. In most places the learning curve is probably not as steep as here, but it can be hard to find the varieties that grow well for you in your location. Local knowledge helps a lot with that. And every farmer knows that luck plays its part, particularly bad luck. Start climbing that curve. (also, you probably don’t have enough seeds, or the right seeds. Work on that too.)

In other news, the Biddn administration has decided to punish Russia by blocking importation of guns and ammo. Give the popularity of the AK and SKS platforms, that is not good news. Cheap imported steel case 7,62×39 didn’t stay cheap during the recent drought, but it was cheaper than 5.56, and a bit more available. It made for a good argument to have both platforms available in your safe. Who knows, the UN peacekeepers and the chinese ‘advisors’ might become mobile resupply pods if things get super sporty, and in that case, 7.62 will be plentiful again. Until then, the supply chain just got broken.

If there’s something you want, or think you will need in the next 2-5 years, I’m suggesting you buy it when and if you see it. If you need fast computers, might want to accelerate your purchase schedule. Even I’m thinking about getting a new box for the house. Almost everything here is a decade or more old, except the NVR I built, and it’s not new. With all the chips that come from Taiwan, if things get a bit sporty on the global geopolitical front, and it seems likely that they will given our withdrawal from the world stage and increased focus on internal issues, it’s possible that the supply of new things of all sorts could be disrupted.

To put it bluntly, Chinese misunderstanding and foreign adventures could wreck Taiwan’s foundries. Chinese really don’t seem to understand that there are some things that actually must be done correctly and well to work, and not just have the appearance of quality. Chip foundries, like aircraft carrier battle groups and nuclear attack subs, are hideously complex and all the pieces have to genuinely work for the system to work. There is no ‘faking’ it and there is no commanding it to happen.

How long could you go if you had to start from what you have now? That’s the question to ask when considering what and how much to stack. It might not come to that. Sanity might prevail. Doesn’t seem like the smart bet though.

Stack it high and wide. Stack some in secret.

nick

Tues. Aug. 10, 2021 – stuff to do today, and kids at home

Hot and humid, chance of rain for parts of Houston. Yesterday didn’t get as hot as some days last week, but still crossed 100 in the sun. It wasn’t much cooler in the shade either. Stayed mostly sunny all day at my house. I’m thinking today will be pretty much the same. We do have a disturbance headed for Cuba, that might make it to the Gulf in a week, but it seems early to call that one.

Spent the day getting caught up on office and household stuff. Cut the back yard, restocked some of the cabinets. I need to do some shopping pretty soon too.

I’ve got a couple of pickups that need to be done, and no good route to combine them, small things for the house mainly. I like to combine trips for gas and time savings. Can’t always though.

Kids are at home this week so that limits me too.

I’m still pretty sore and stiff from swimming and jumping off the rope swing at the lake. My manboobs are aching. I’ll say it again, and maybe it will finally sink in that “I really need to start stretching again.” Before I can do any exercise, I need to get the planks of wood tenderized into bending again.

No way I will be doing any running or jogging, and especially no rucking, but it would be nice not to be so stiff. Just moving through my day isn’t enough any more. When to find the time though…

Garden is still producing tomatoes, although they are golf ball and racquetball sized. Caterpillars made their appearance and tried to eat what was left of my grape vine. I got them sprayed and might have saved something. No peaches again this year. Cabbage is still one plant with a baseball sized head, and two with just leaves. Collards are trying to grow, but not vigorously. At least the herbs are doing well, oh, except for the rosemary. I have killed another rosemary bush. We use a lot of rosemary too so I’ll be replacing that as soon as possible. Blueberries were done last week, and I’ll be able to take the bird netting down. Apple tree is still ok, no fruit, but the branches are thickening. I need to think about the fall garden soon, despite the 100F days.

There is always more to do and to be done. Somewhere near or in the back yard there is a dead rat. I can smell it, but can’t find it. Joy. I put poison in the garage after finding a box of Mountain House that had been nibbled on, so I’m looking forward to a dead rat in there too. Almond joy.

On top of all the daily normal stuff, and the backlogged stuff, I should know what my brakes and suspension work will cost later today. I’d like to have the Ranger back so I can get the body work done too. Or use it to move auction stuff around town. I need it done and back to work.

So much to do, so little actual desire to do it. I know I need to. I know I’ll feel better ticking the boxes off as the stuff gets done, but I’m weary of the grind. Worst possible time for that too. Oh well. Grinding away is something I’ve got plenty of experience with. It’s just not always the quickest way to get through the list.

Speaking of lists, besides knowing who would rat you out and who might help you, you might want to cast an eye around looking for resources too. If nothing else, it will help you see the area around you the same way the opportunists and criminals will. Start putting stuff away, and making your place less attractive to violence or bad actors.

And stack the stuff you like- buy it when you see it, and get out and look for it. Don’t count on anything being there at the same time you want it. Those days are probably gone for a while.

nick

Tues. July 27, 2021 – trying to get caught up, then some interesting learning…

Hot and hot. Sunny and hot. Hot. Yesterday was hot, over 100F in the shade. Today will be hot.

So I cut the grass. I’d started the back and the battery died, so I needed to finish today. Only took a few minutes in the sun, then I did the front, which is in the shade. Barely broke a sweat despite the heat.

Did a bit of weeding in the garden too. Tomatoes are showing some stress, and the fruits are very small now. No actual ripe tomatoes at the moment. One of the three cabbages is forming a head, the other 2 are just leaves. The collards are doing ok. One plus to the citrus trees dying in the freeze, I get more sun and can maybe do some more beds where the trees were. That will take a bit of thought to decide. I still have the lime and grapefruit trees in pots that I could plant.

Daughter 1 had her second shot Sunday. She wasn’t feeling 100% yesterday. By the end of the day she was kinda ache-y and a little nauseous. I’m trying not to be a d!ck about it. Wasn’t my decision. We’ll see how today goes.

I’ve got to get out of the house today and get some stuff done. I have a class through my Citizen’s Police Academy later this evening. Should be very interesting. More on that later.

In order to get out of the house, I’m going to see about dropping the kids off at the pool for the day. There is at least one friend that might be good for a day at the pool too, and then my wife can pick them all up at the end of the day. Plus, it gets them out of the house and exercising.

It will be nice to get back in school and have more time during the day. Which really bugs me one some levels, because I was looking forward to spending time with the kids. Didn’t do much of that though after all. So we’ve arranged after school care for daughter 2 four days a week and I’ll have to pick her up one day. I hope to use that time for some together time with her. If I don’t structure the time, it doesn’t happen, so I’m giving this a shot. Time is flying by.

It’s flying by for more than just family time. The changes and violence around us seems to be accelerating. Big changes usually come pretty suddenly and people say “no one saw it coming” when plenty of people did. Use your sight. Stack stuff.

nick

Sun. July 4, 2021 – Independence Day…

Surprise! Hot and humid, possibility of rain… kinda like yesterday. So more of the same, and then possibly some tropical storm stuff coming. Joy.

Spent the rainy day indoors mostly doing auction stuff. I watched two auctions with good stuff that had very poor sales. One failed to sell anything on my watchlist, the other sold only 1/3 of the items. Both had higher starting bids. The prices were still discounted, and probably where the items would have sold, but buyers don’t like high opening bids. They want to feel like they’re getting a real deal, and they won’t if they are the only bidder. They will feel like they paid too much if no one bids against them. Turns out there is a lot of psychology to sales. (That should be obvious, but the sellers continue to bang their heads against it) I ended up buying stuff at two other auctions, mostly $1 and $2 lots of industrial stuff, or household stuff. There was a lot of stuff that went very cheaply.

The specialty tool I bought from amazon arrived, and it was clearly an open box item. Not sold that way, of course. It was cheap, and in fine condition, but I’d have expected to pay even less for it, if I’d known. I will likely only use it once or twice a year, just like whoever used it once and returned it.

In between the rain drops, I harvested another 1/3 cup of blueberries. I’m very pleased with the harvest from the skinny little twig ‘bushes’ this year. Goes to show that the best time to plant fruit trees was 5 years ago… so get something planted. It takes a while to develop.

Later today we’ll be taking child 1 to GS camp for the week. That should make it easier for me to do stuff, with just one child at home to keep occupied. I really hope I can do some of the stuff that needs doing.

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On this Independence Day, take some time to reflect on how far we’ve come away from personal independence, and think about any areas that you can improve your own independence, in whatever area you think you can. And teach your children well.

Of course, having a pile of resources helps maintain independence in a number of areas, so keep stacking too.

Celebrate what we had, and what we still have more of than almost anyone else on earth. If it turns out that these are ‘the good old days’, let’s make them as good as we can.

nick

Mon. June 28, 2021 – if you don’t practice it, you will never learn

Hot and humid, possible rain, and surely some sun. Or some variation on the theme. If you guys are getting tired of the repetition, imagine me living with it 🙂

Yesterday was mixed rain and sun, with plenty of humidity and heat. I did get a bit of work done outside anyway, namely most of the grass cutting.

A quick look at the garden had more tomatoes ripening, lots of green still on the vines. The potted lime has 5 nice fruits on it. The blueberries are still ripening, with at least another half cup of berries ready soon. I harvested the one tennis ball sized onion out of what I planted last year. The grape vines died back almost to the root stock, but one is sending out new growth. It’s about 3-4 feet so far. I need to prune out all the dead grapevine sometime in the future. The herbs are flourishing.

It didn’t take too long to harvest the few things, and pull a couple of weeds.

Really I spent most of the day catching up on my online reading. There is plenty going on in the world and little good in the news. There is continued progress in the new race to space, and that is good, but it’s not something I follow. Of course the news is rarely full of ‘good’ news. Even accounting for that bias, there is a lot of stuff going on. For example, someone in south Chicago shooting up a car in traffic with a full auto rifle and a 100 round Beta magazine, in broad daylight. That is an escalation in the security situation in the city. Likewise, there was yet another daytime shooting in NYFC Times Square.

Nationally, we’ve now got the sitting President telling us rifles aren’t enough to keep the FedGov from killing us, we’ll need F-15s and nukes. It was bad enough when some nobody jerkoff from Cali said almost the exact thing, but now it’s the President? The president who seems more bizarre every day? Who does some sort of scary whisper voice during press conferences and talks about getting in trouble if he doesn’t do what ‘they’ say? THAT president? The same president who’s own party doesn’t trust him with nuclear launch codes?

Nationally, in big cities, and locally we have bad things getting worse. Yeah, doom and gloom. The end is nigh-er… but. Can you make the case it’s not?

And if not, then I hope you’re stacking it high.

nick