Fri. Sept. 20, 2019 – so I learned some things…

77F and wet.  Probably.

Boy did we get some rain yesterday.  And I got stuck at the kids’ school, where I was able to help out, and everything worked out ok, but…

Turns out there are some holes in my vehicular preps, and in aspects of my current habits and lifestyle.  NB-I don’t typically carry a BOB or GHB or any other specific bag in my truck.  I’ve got a couple of totes in the back with extra stuff, and my EDC.  I thought that was pretty good, and it is.

I usually have some additional supplements like energy bars tucked away, but I ate them.  Day before yesterday and I didn’t replace them.  I usually refill my gas tank whenever there is a storm coming, and whenever it gets low.  I didn’t notice the level on Wednesday, and it beeped at me on the way to school- 50 miles to empty.  No problem, I’ll fill up on the way home.  Except what if I get stuck in the water on the way and need to wait out the flooding?  Not enough gas to do that.  My friend took 3 hours to get home with his kids.   I certainly didn’t have 3 hours worth of gas, to go less than 5 miles.

I have shirts, sweatshirts, pullover windbreakers, and long pants in the truck.  I’ve got hat and mittens when it’s cold.  I’ve got yellow plastic rain gear, ponchos, and even a set of FroggToggs.  No socks.  No dry shoes.  That’s a big oversight.

I don’t carry my ‘daddy bag’ anymore, so I don’t have a change of clothes for the kids.  It’s been a long time since one had an ‘accident’.

A couple of days ago, I had a case of Mountain House in the truck.  Yesterday I had only two expired MREs (the date doesn’t bother me) and USCG approved lifeboat survival bars.  Plenty of water, soda, and cans of flavored water… and I’d even added instant iced tea to put in the plain water.  I did so and drank that during the afternoon.  Had we been stranded at school overnight (and we have school friends in walking distance, so that was EXTREMELY unlikely) the kids and I would have eaten MREs in the truck while everyone else dined on microwave popcorn.  I did share a big Costco bag of candy that I was taking to my gunstore buddy.  Daughter used it to earn points with her friends.

The biggest problem is that there are only two real driveable ways into the school’s neighborhood, and BOTH are subject to flooding.  If we were desperate, I would have taken the chance on the deeper intersection.   I could see vehicles making it through and had a good idea of depth, but I also couldn’t get good info about the next step in my route.  I retreated to safety and comfort, deciding that the unknown and risk was not worth it to sit at home for the afternoon.

The situation might have been different if I was trying to GET to school and pick them up in an emergency.  This was not an emergency.  No one should have wrecked a car in an attempt to pick up the kids from a fully functional school, in the middle of the day.

It’s amazing the speed and reckless regard with which some people entered the high water.  They didn’t even wait to see how the guy in front of them made out.  Some pulled out around me, while I was watching the other guy go, and sped on ahead.  No way could they have seen the other guys success or failure before entering.  Dumb doesn’t even begin to cover it.

This being Houston, one of the items in my tote is a professional personal flotation device, designed for people who work on the water.  It will auto inflate, but most of the time stays out of your way.  It’s the first item in the tote.  If there ever came a day when I felt compelled to enter high water, I can at least gear up first.  I have a short rescue rope on top too.

My Expy is currently full of cr@p to the point I couldn’t have taken 2 extra kids with me, only one.  I’ve got a lot of auction stuff piled in the back and on the back seat.  That stuff needs to get out of my truck.

I need to add some Mountain House, durable snacks, and kid clothes to the tote.  I need to move a pair of sturdy shoes and a good pair of socks to the tote.   I may even set up a 3 gallon bucket as a toilet for the truck, and leave it in there.   (the 5 gallon with the seat only goes with us when I think or know we’ll want it.  Like 4 hours in a parking lot, watching fireworks,  It’s too big to live in my truck 24/7.)

The kids have grown, and I haven’t changed my truck pack much.

Meanwhile, my wife was stuck at her work.  I reminded her that there were at least a couple of powerbars in the ‘resource kit’ in her minivan.  She decided to stay at work, where they had food, light, AC, and work to do, rather than move through flooded streets.  Maybe I’ll be able to stash a bit more in her vehicle, ‘for the children’ now.  (FWIW, the thing we’ve used most often from her kit is fire starter and matches.)  She waited for clear streets and drove home without incident.

We’re supposed to get more rain.  I hope not, but I guess we’ll see.  This was a good opportunity to find holes in my preps without any resulting drama…and I’m going to use the gift to get better.

nick

Fri. April 26, 2019 – driving all day, so some links

Supposed to be clear and nice today and tomorrow. I’ll update that before I leave the house.   [59F and not quite saturated]

I’ve got a pickup in San Marcos, so I’ll probably swing by Austin as well and hit the surplus store. Depends on the time and how long everything takes. Minimum, I’m on the road for 5 hours, with an hour or so between cities at the far end. That means I won’t be here.

Some hard core prepper links (that I haven’t read yet) to keep you occupied. From one of my EMgmt newsletters.

Preppers and doomers always talk about how quickly our Just In Time based world will fall apart and how fragile it is. Here are a couple of links that address that very thing.

Aligning Public and Private Supply Chains Following Disasters

PrepTalks GraphicDr. Jarrod Goentzel’s PrepTalk, “Aligning Public and Private Supply Chains for Disaster Response”, demonstrates how the private sector has far more capacity to respond than the public sector, explains the role of emergency managers in supporting private sector supply chain restoration, and shows how analysis of supply chains can help with strategic and tactical preparedness and operational collaboration during a crisis.”

Private Sector Resilience: It is All in the Supply Chain

PrepTalks GraphicDr. Yossi Sheffi’s PrepTalk, “Private Sector Resilience: It is All in the Supply Chain”, explains the modes of failure in supply chain networks, explores new ways to think about disruptions, and showcases a General Motors case study on the complexities of supply chain management.”

So what can you do before disaster strikes???

These taxpayer funded FEMA resources exist to answer that question. And might provide the basis for some PA novel, if you were inclined that way…

Strategic and Operational Planning

The purpose of this page is to provide information on strategic and operational planning. The National Incident Management System is intended to be used by the whole community. The intended audience for this page is individuals, families, communities, the private and nonprofit sectors, faith-based organizations, and Federal, state, local, tribal, and territorial governments.

—-
And for the really detail oriented…

CPG 101, Developing and Maintaining Emergency Operations Plans, Version 2

How to Use This Guide CPG 101 is designed to help both novice and experienced planners navigate the planning process. Used in its entirety, this Guide provides information and instruction on the fundamentals of planning and their application. Chapters 1 and 2 lay the foundation for planning efforts by providing information on the basics of planning (Chapter 1) and the environment within which planners function (Chapter 2). With an understanding of these fundamentals, the Guide then transitions from theory to practice by discussing the different plan formats and functions (Chapter 3) and moving into an explanation of the planning process (Chapter 4). A detailed checklist, building upon Chapters 3 and 4, is provided in Appendix C. Because Appendix C provides a set of detailed questions to consider throughout the planning process, users are encouraged to copy or remove this checklist and employ it as they work through the planning process in Chapter 4.”

There are a BUNCH of interesting looking PREPtalks in the left hand sidebar on the pages linked above. This is going to be a time suck soon…

Until then, I’m on the road and will only be checking in periodically.

Tell me what you did this week to plan, or prep.

n

Wed. Sept. 12, 2018 – big storm coming

75F and damp in Houston

It’s about to get very windy and wet in a day or two.

In all seriousness, there is a truly massive storm headed for a good percentage of our population. A population that hasn’t had a big storm in a while. A population that is much more accessible to the NYC based news orgs than the hicks and racists along the Gulf Coast….(-endsarc) so expect to see more coverage. Which is a good thing, because it is likely to be very bad.

If you are anywhere to the left of where Florence is expected to come ashore, or anywhere north or south of it, you ARE going to be affected, if only because your neighbors are.

Remember that the effects of the storm have a much wider area of impact than the ‘cone of uncertainty’ shown on TV. The cone shows where it might land, not how wide the storm’s area is, nor does it show WHEN the first effects will get there. That will be much earlier than landfall itself.

Let us all hope that it gets pushed out to sea, and that it grazes the coast rather than hits it straight on.

Knock-on effects will be widespread too. Air travel is likely to be messed up for days. What joy that I’m traveling with my family on Thur, and Sunday. EVERYTHING is going to be disrupted- gasoline delivery, food delivery, air travel, shipping…

Make what arrangements you can at this late date. Hopefully everyone reading this is well prepared.

n

Sat. Aug. 18, 2018 – transitions

70F, overcast, clammy here in the not so secret location.

This is a transitional time for the world, for the USA, for my family, and for me personally.

Clearly the world’s geopolitical landscape is shifting- Russia, China, the UK and Europe- old relationships are changing, new relationships are being forged, and the (relatively) stable world order is shifting.

The relationship between the US and the world is shifting too. Internally, the relationship of the people to the government is, in some aspects, already the mirror of what it was. See the militarized police, and the rise of a paternalistic and socialist government as examples.

My family is undergoing a transition as we have lost our patriarch, father, husband, brother, cousin, uncle, and friend. It wasn’t completely unexpected, it’s been coming for years. But it was still sudden. One minute your life is continuing, pretty much the same as always, then, suddenly, it’s different.

That’s the transition. Fraught with danger and opportunity. With things starting to move, the smallest pressure can make a big change.

In the past, the death of one man has changed the order of the world, the fate of kingdoms. In the present, the death of one man also changes the lives of all those he touched, some in the most minor ways, some in the most profound.

I’m writing here because of the death of one man. I’m writing this because of the death of another.

We’re in a time of transition. Choose where you apply your pressure very carefully.

Nick

Fri. Aug. 10, 2018 – prepper fail!

Back in the swamp, I mean Tree City USA, I mean Bayou City, I mean… Houston. 80F at 8am.

So. Prepper fail.

Yep. I left my carry on bag at the house we were staying at. My airline ‘bug out bag’. My ‘get home bag’. I left it. Sitting on the bedroom floor. Didn’t realize until returning the rental car, and that was too late. I’ll get it UPS’d to me next week, but I was NAKED for my flight.

What didn’t I have?

No change of shirts and underwear
No ‘one day’ of meds
No reading glasses
No blow out kit
No boo boo kit
No first responder IDs (CERT, ham radio, Constable’s program)
No snacks or water bottle
No electronics- 2 kindles and a tablet
No chargers or batteries
No noise cancelling headphones
No shortwave radio or dual band ham radio
No backup money, $1000 in cash, 1 oz gold in coins, extra clean credit card
No loyalty cards
No toys for the kids (2x nintendo DS)
No rain jacket

Like I said, NAKED.

And I made it home fine. I was almost caught by irony as there was a hail storm in Houston that could have messed up my travel, exactly the sort of thing my bag is meant to make more tolerable. Imagine that I needed all that crap for once and didn’t have it because I’m an idiot. Fortunately it didn’t.

Home safe, but VERY weird to be on an airplane without the comfort and convenience stuff I’ve become accustom to.

Because I AM a prepper, I did have my ID, money, phone, and FLASHLIGHT. I always carry that on my person. Especially on a plane, you need that base level of stuff on you. DON’T put it in your bag. If you have to get off the plane in a hurry, you won’t be allowed to bring your bag. Then you’ll be sitting in a shelter area without your id, money, or phone.

LEARN from my stupidity! Double check. Even a seasoned traveler can have a lapse.

n

Sun. July 1, 2018 – open

Whew, slept in. Kids are now fed, the dad is fed, the wife is fed, and the kids are squabbling so the dad is also fed up! (now there is crying)

Only 96F at 11am, so not quite following Nick’s rule of tens for a hot day in Houston…. 70 at 7am, 80 at 8am, 90 at 9am, 100 by 10am…

Got a lot of work done at the rental but ran out of material and still have to go back today. Wife got all the remaining cleaning done. We should have it back on the rental market in a week. Pure laziness on my part to have let it go this long. We’ve lost 10k in rental revenue while dragging our feet. That was super stupid. I have a line on a management company with a very affordable rate. If they are taking customers, I think we’ll sign up. This was super stupid. (did I mention this was stupid?)

Drank half a gallon of gatoraid while working, and another half gallon of water and tea before and after. Then drank some more. Peed once and woke thirsty. No headache or hangover today though.

WRT the previous discussion on revenue and wages being down, my ebay sales continue to limp along. I have never had sales this low since starting to take it seriously. I do have a bunch of high value inventory to list, but almost nothing is selling, my views have dropped way off, and my watchers are mostly at zero. I don’t know if it is the economy in general, my vacation hiatus killing my search results placement, or the move to an ebay ‘store’. I think I’ll be calling ebay’s business ‘consultant’ next week to ask about my store move, since that seems most likely to be the culprit.

Garden is growing. The bush and pole beans are growing like crazy, with neat little purple flowers, but no beans yet. Zukes are still hanging in there, with flowers but no fruit yet. The grape vine that didn’t fruit yet has suddenly started growing like crazy. One was red, the other purple, both table varieties. I think this one is the purple. Maybe it has later fruit? Got a shot glass full of blueberries, and was happy to save that much. No peaches again this year. Beets are doing well. Onions seem to be getting bigger, so I’m letting them grow. Would be starving if I needed the garden to eat. Something to keep in mind.

Finished reading the Oregon Trail cookbook. You can make a lot of different things from flour, corn meal, bacon, fat, sugar, and salt. You can make a cake with almost no ingredients. Not sure that any of it was much more than ‘iron rations’, but the breads and pastries sounded pretty good when they had the spices. Bear fat in a lot of dishes. Bears must have been a staple of their hunting and foraging. The main idea is that you can vary your diet, and survive with almost no veg or fruit. LOTS of fat for flavor and energy in EVERYTHING. One of the PA novels has a group slowly starving despite plentiful deer and fish, because they aren’t eating enough fat. Pigs used to be more valuable on the homestead for their fat content than their meat, and the heirloom varieties are all MUCH fatter than current. Something to keep in mind if our situation were to devolve.

Hit one sale this weekend on my way to the gas station. Grabbed a new camelback bladder and sippy hose for $2. Still had the plastic on it. Got a couple other useful things for no money last week. I’m getting more selective as I get my ‘stuff’ topped up.

And that’s the week that was….

n

Fri. May 11, 2018 – again?

72F and humid, but clear skies. Should be another hot sweaty day here in Houston.

Friday again. More school activities. More stuff to do around the house. More, more, more…

This week I ordered (and received some) parts to rebuild the Portacool cooler I pulled from the trash. It should help me work outside in the heat, so I’m calling that a prep. It’s the reciprocal of making sure you have heat in the winter for those of us in a warm climate.

I think I won this round with the caterpillars that would eat my grape vines. I’ll keep an eye on them. Not sure what to do if you don’t have the right pest control. Soapy water and picking them off by hand seem to be the recommendation. Growing food takes a lot of time and effort if you don’t have access to modern tools. There’s a reason farm employment is down to like 1% of the population here.

The rats continue to make their presence known. I’m VERY reluctant to re-establish my shelves of food while I know there are some around. So the food sits in big black bins in stacks in the driveway. Even though it’s not as much food as I’d like, it still takes up more space than you’d think, stacked in the driveway. It’s also more difficult to USE the food when it’s in random stacked bins.

What have I learned from the rats? For canned food, a simple sheet of cardboard on top of the flat of cans would have kept the rat ‘debris’ off the can tops.

For boxed food, I’m not buying any more unless the contents are in plastic bags. The packaging can get ‘wet’ or otherwise damaged, and the food stays usable. Cheap pasta seems to be the biggest issue, with the pasta just in the treated cardboard.

For cases of plastic containers, like fruit cups, rotation is key. The damnable rats ate into the case from the rear, ate out the contents, and I never saw an indication… but when I went to pick up the case, it was nothing but an empty box, filled with empty cups and ‘debris’.

Rats are smart, adaptable, and seem to communicate. You probably won’t be able to get them with the same trick twice. This means lots of different control strategies.

Be aggressive in your response. I was tepid, let them get established, and they ate some very expensive food (and a ton of cheap food too). I’m still fighting them. They will eat your cooking oil, flavor packets, sauce mixes, shelf stable, pouch meals, boxed food, and anything else they can get their teeth through. They will ruin you cans if it goes on too long, even if they can’t eat them. Man up and KILL the little thieves.

So, what have you done or learned this week?

n

Sat. April 28, 2018 – GDPR Compliance

I’m getting an early start today. I’ve got one daughter at a special Girls run downtown, and the other has her normal softball game early this am. Currently 59F and damp, but due to get warm and dry later.

RickH, our site admin and all around go to guy has prepared the following about the changes driven by the European privacy act. Much like the ROHS directives, no force of law in the US, but companies are complying anyway as a way to sell into the EU, and because it’s easier to do one version of a product. No one wants to be the test case, so we surrender a bit more of our sovereignty one regulation at a time. Privacy is a good thing, but like most regulations, I expect the unexpected consequences of this rule will be very different from what was desired. In any case, here is Rick’s take on the subject and what it means for us here…. nick

==========================================================================

It’s sunny/cloudy/rainy this morning in my little corner of the Olympic Peninsula across from “Mutiny Bay”. (It depends on when Nick publishes this post. I just wanted to start, as per custom, by a weather report).

I’ve put this in a comment Thursday evening (25 Apr 2018), but thought I would put it here so it is visible to all…and to allow comments.

There is a new ‘data privacy’ law from the ‘nice’ folks in EU, called GDPR, that will apply to everyone on this site. It requires web sites to notify you if any potentially personal information (like your name/email in comments, or for analytics, or cookies) are stored on the site. Compliance is required by 28 May 2018, and has hefty fines that can be levied.

GDPR applies to any site that collects info, even if hosted in non-EU countries. Since this site uses analytics, and collects your name/email if you comment, the site has to comply with the policy. And we do have visitors (and commenters) from EU countries.

So, you might see some changes come up as I try various ways to comply with the policy. There may be a ‘ok’ box before you see (any) content, and the comment and contact forms will have an additional checkbox to acknowledge that it is OK to store your personal information. You’ve probably seen them on other sites; the ‘we use cookies, okie dokie?’ messages.

In addition, there must be a way to allow people to ‘un-allow’ their personal information. Still figuring this out – there’s all sorts of advice on the googles, and some of it is wrong. I think there will be a process to allow you to remove your user profile, and then that will delete your personal information. But you will still need to consent to the use of cookies, since we use those for analytics. And you will have to re-enter user/email on comment forms.

So, changes afoot here. But we have to comply, even though we are not EU-based. We have EU commenters here. And I suspect that there will be “GDPR Trolls’ that will be looking for (and suing) sites that are not compliant.

I’m testing the tools on one of my test sites, but will also be installing the tools here….and on all the other sites I manage. Enabling all required aspects of GDPR compliance will protect the owners (Barbara) – and admins (Nick and me) – of this site  from massive fines and legal issues.

This needs to be done if you have any web site, especially if you allow comments, or gather ‘analytics’ data, or send visitor data to a third party (like Google Analytics). Even if your site and hosting is US-based. Any visit by a EU

You are welcome to add your comments below, as always. But thought I would alert you to why the changes are being done.

I wrote something on my “SecurityDawg” blog about it here, including how I will be implementing it in a way that will be easy to install on all the sites I own/manage/admin.

Tues. April 24, 2018 – another day another dollar….

56F, cool and sunny. Looks like it’s gonna be an awesome day to be outside.

[RBT always started with a weather report, and so I do, for continuity and as a measure of the passage of the seasons]

I’m committed to doing some work at our rec association today so I may/will be AFK most of the day.

[RBT usually updated what he was working on]

” Swedish Activist: “Everyone’s Afraid To Be Branded A Racist”

“I always say to my Christian friends, ‘What do you think, what will happen to you if Islam becomes dominant here?'” — Mona Walter.”

https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2018-04-23/swedish-activist-everyones-afraid-be-branded-racist

[RBT often commented about a headline that caught his eye, esp. on prepping, decline of the west, muslim invasion, or terrorism.]

I could go on in this format, but I hope I’ve made a point. If not, here’s where I get out the whip and poor dead Trigger gets a beating…

====

Yesterday late in the thread bgrigg made a comment that I think opens up a couple of interesting points.

The first is ‘tone’. When I read it, I thought it was so over the top that it must be sarcasm and regretted that the internet hasn’t produced a widespread \\sarc tag or font. Upon re-reading I think it was sincere. Still seems out of proportion to me, but people are affected by things we don’t know about and in ways that don’t look rational from outside. I admit that I had to scroll back up to see what the joke was. I’m still not certain if it was the ‘ban white vans’ comment or my South Park ‘aaannnnd it’s Muslims’ meme.

If it was the van, well, after the mooslim mass murders in Europe, there were serious calls to ban white vans. Which is idiotic on its face, but our culture has been so degraded that people WILL NOT blame the actor (when it’s certain actors ie. muslims, blacks, illegal alien invaders) and so must blame the THING. For some of us in the gun rights blogosphere this is old hat, and we mock it reflexively. If it was the “rayciss” part of the comment, well, that triggers reflexive mocking now too. Far too many people have been screeching about racism in this country WHEN WE’D ELECTED A HALF BLACK BASTARD (literally- born to an unwed mother) TO THE MOST POWERFUL POSITION IN THE COUNTRY AND POSSIBLY THE WORLD. Pretty hard to cry about your lack of opportunity when someone who shares the supposed cause of your misfortune proves out the aphorism that anyone in this country can grow up to be President.

More likely that bgrigg was objecting to my South Park based meme though. All I can say about that is — it sure looks like sudden jhihadi syndrome from where I’m sitting. Attacks like this are nearly ALWAYS mooslim murder. To deny this is to deny reality. Even the Basque separatist ETA terrorists are apologizing these days. I mean, srsly, WHITE RENTAL VAN! Sidewalk in busy downtown! The only thing missing is him screaming Aloha Snackbar as the cops slam him to the pavement. Watching the video, I think he expected to be shot and killed by the cops, but forgot that he’s in Canada, not the US.

FWIW, there are plenty of examples of EXACTLY how RBT felt about pisslamic murderers to be found here, and I was hoping to make a point without the vitriol. Because frankly, I’m worn out. No, I don’t care much about the people in Toronto beyond the general loss of my fellow human beings who just wanted to live their lives. I feel anger at the murderer, and it is un-leavened by any sort of sympathy or understanding, especially if it turns out to be SJS. I am SADDENED but not SURPRISED that almost the first thing the Mayor of Toronto said was to reassure those listening that the city values its DIVERSITY. As noted above, there are certain people that you can NEVER blame for their actions, and the mayor is getting ready for the (inevitable) #Not all muslims statement…

====

And so we circle around back to ‘tone’. bgriggs says “This place has gone downhill fast.” THIS bothers and worries me.

JimL observes:

“I believe I have noticed a shift here. RBT set the tone and steadied the site. We followed Bob’s interests with his daily posts.

Nick sets a different tone. More prepping, more of what Nick does daily. There is also an almost daily summary of what’s going on in the world that supports the proposition that we should prep. Definitely more TEOTWAWKI than RBT’s posts. “

…which gave me pause…

because I don’t really want to change the tone! I re-read old RBT posts at random as a ‘gut check’ and I’ve tried to stay within the framework he established over the years. Of course, I read his posts and comments thru MY filters, and you all have different filters, so we probably do remember different things.

What I remember (and shapes my efforts here) is during the run up to the move to Sparta and after, Bob started focusing much more on prepping. Part of that was his work on the book, part was his planning for a different future after the move. Prepping is part of my life and provides a framework for much of what I do, and most of my previous contributions here were prepping related, so I’ve continued to emphasize prepping.

Bob would also comment almost daily on his work on the science kits, shipping, writing effort, or how sales were doing for the month/year. Since I also work from home, I’ve continued posting about my work, but of course I’m selling on ebay (and the bit of other work I do) and not making science kits so the content is different. I think it’s important that everyone have some alternative stream of income, and a ‘home based business’ provides that. Hence the ongoing coverage of my efforts, provided as encouragement toward everyone doing something to take control of their work life.

As I remember it, Bob was less likely to pull more than one ‘current event’ per day, or link to headlines. OFD was much more likely to do so in a comment. Since OFD is recovering (and I owe an update on Project OFD), and not commenting here, I’ve been more likely to put links in the actual post, although I am aware of it, and USUALLY will save the linkfest and political commentary for the comments (I think). And yeah, I know that I’m linking to a tabloid and doom pron. Over the last several years I’ve distilled my ‘daily reads’ down quite a bit. I’ve found that between the Daily Mail, zerohedge, and gateway pundit, almost everything will come up there. Each has its own editorial slant and obsessions, but together they provide a better ‘heads up’ to what is going on in the world than a dozen other sources. If I’ve double checked or looked for an alternative point of view, I try to link that so it’s not Daily Mail and “peachy posteriors” or “ample assets” all day long…………….

And then there is ‘home life’ for lack of a better term. I don’t have a [hyper]active border collie to provide ‘blog fodder’ so you guys are going to get more ‘family’ stuff from me. I DO have 2 young kids, who are very active and that probably gives my posts and comments a different ‘feel’ than pet anecdotes. WRT other interests, I only post here about a subset of my life. I DO have at least one other hobby that I don’t post about at all. I’m trying to not overshare (and perhaps ironically) or inject TOO much of my own personality!

So thank you bgriggs for giving me a chance to look at this. I don’t want the ‘tone’ to change much. I liked coming here before, and am trying mightily to keep this a place where everyone who wants to continue coming by will find something worth coming for.

===

ok, some ‘meta’ stuff….

I remember what seemed like years of Bob posting that ‘there probably won’t be much posting’ and then continuing to post at pretty much the same rate and level 🙂 At one point, I was even going to do a search and poke at him about it. I also remember all those long months when he and Barbara were dealing with aging parents. I kept coming back, despite the pain, because I know I’ll have to go thru that eventually, and having someone else scout the territory ahead is a great help.

Daily blogging is HARD. Doesn’t seem like it would be, but it is surprisingly difficult some days. On those days, just flipping on the lights, unlocking the door, and setting out a bowl of snacks is about all you can do. Grabbing a quick headline or a garden/prep update is the easy path. And some days it’s just “here’s an open thread” which is the equivalent of tossing the keys to the door to the first patron to show up as you head the other way.

It is probably inevitable that there is a change in ‘tone’ as more of me comes out. It feels very different now (to me, internally) than it did when I was just a ‘caretaker’ while Bob was sick. There is a stronger sense of responsibility with the ‘legacy’ than there was when Bob could come back and ‘set me straight.’ YOU guys will have to set me straight when needed.

Even more meta- watching the numbers, attendance here has stayed pretty constant. The graph of number of visitors is a pretty straight line, with the visits varying a bit. This is gratifying, and I take it as indication that I’m doing my job, and that people are still coming by and hanging out. Incidentally, it’s roughly 2x visitors to number of registered commenters, so we still get some lurkers (HI!) The top ten posts are separated by only a couple of hundred views, and span from 2013 to just a bit ago, with about half being since Bob got sick.

And even more meta- I’ve noticed a bit of a change in my ‘style’ with more word play, and even the occasional pun (which is NOT AT ALL like me!) Bob would be poking me for my fondness for commas, which is much in evidence in the post above.

And lastly, finally, and just a tiny bit defensively, I’ll give the last word to Bob. In June of 2016 he asked OFD and me if we would be interested in guest posting. I was flattered and a bit intimidated. He was very encouraging, and had this to say:

“Post away. Anything you wish: personal observations, links to news
sites, prepping information, ham radio stuff, advice about how to get
started scavenging at yard/estate sales, etc. In fact, you may want to
go back and pull out some of your earlier comments and turn them into
posts. It’s a lot easier to do that with admin access.

Looking forward to your and OFD’s first posts.”

nick

(yeah I miss him too)

Mon. April 9, 2018 – the future of work?

55F and drizzle today, grey and dreary.

Some discussion late yesterday about the future, education, and work.

My wife still thinks college is a good idea, and we’re funding appropriately to allow both kids to go if they want to. I am pretty sure it’s a waste of time and money outside of a few narrow fields, mainly STEM and the Arts. (Not gonna use the trendy “STEAM” moniker, as what is left?) Further, it’s a lefty PC hellhole on most campuses, where political indoctrination dominates every aspect of life.

The one thing I do like about going away to college is the break with your old life, and starting an independent life on your own. However, I think that it no longer works that way for the majority of students.

Several folks here have expressed the idea that they wouldn’t encourage a young person to enter their field (computer programming, management, support). My engineering trade mags say that most engineers WOULD encourage someone to enter, but that field takes a mindset (and mind) that most people don’t have. Many pundits suggest training in work that requires physical presence at a specific place (the traditional trades) as a way to future proof yourself. Others suggest caring fields (which pay like cr@p, and you have to deal with literal cr@p) but again, to do well in those fields requires a particular mindset.

I’ve subscribed to a “portfolio” approach since I first heard about it, mainly that work should be like an investment portfolio. Some high demand (risk) but high reward, some high satisfaction, but low reward (volunteer work). The key idea is that you move between different types of work in your portfolio at different points in your life. thus, I’ve had work that paid very well but required constant travel. I’ve had work that paid poorly but was very satisfying. I’ve moved thru each without a lot of angst mainly because I see them as different types of work in my ‘portfolio’ and recognize that none of them are permanent.

So, what does the hive mind think? Keeping in mind that the pendulum swings, the wheel turns, etc, and in 10 years the college situation might be different (neo-Victorian?) Also remember there are smaller colleges now that are not so lefty, although they tend to be religious.

Where will the work be and where will it not be? What will be required to get that work?

nick