Category: march to war

Mon. Jan. 23, 2023 – 01232023 – or 7051 in decimal or really nothing at all…

Cold.  Not as damp as normal.   39F when I went to bed.   That’s pretty chilly by our standards.   I expect it to be  clear and cold all day.

As it was yesterday, when I looked out the windows.  That was about the extent of my activity.  Once D1 got home, we all pretty much sat in the living room and watched ‘Alone’.  Second season, just as compelling as the first.   About half the participants were involved in survival training, bushcraft, or primitive living skills, and they all went home early, with one exception.   Classroom skills, and hobby activities do not translate into survival in the bush, alone, for weeks or months.   Mental toughness, flexibility, stubbornness, and spiritual and mental depth seem to be far more important than specific skills.

There are lessons there for anyone, but especially for anyone who thinks that if SHTF they’ll live off the land, or bug out to a national forest and bushcraft a new life.  Nope, chances are really good that those people will be cannibal, criminal, or dead within two weeks.

Other than the time sink, I recommend streaming the Alone series.  You will learn something.

Today it’s back to reality, back to life.  Lots to do, especially after spending a couple days on vacation.

So I better get busy this morning.

Keep stacking, and keep the faith.   Food makes all the difference in the world.

n

Wed. Jan. 18, 2023 – well, that could have gone better.

Warmish, and certainly damp.   Although the national forecast shows clear for a while, I expect some minor precip at some point today or tomorrow, if only because it feels like it.  It was not bad at all yesterday, with highs in the sun in the low 80s.   Felt like spring.

I did get out of the house and made my trash run.   Went by my storage unit too.   Didn’t get half what I wanted to get done, done.  {wow, that’s an awkward construction}

It’s much easier to not do things than to do them.  Especially when you are tired, or bored, or melancholic… or you have unbalanced humours and too much black bile in your spleen.   Or it could be the siren song of teh intarwebs.  Whatever.   Slacked off again and got too little done.   The bill for that WILL come due, and be higher because of it.

It’s hard to maintain momentum and forward progress.  My whole working life was very project oriented, and the nature of the work was very ‘bursty’.   Work hard for a while, then have time off.   Even working full time for BigCorp I was traveling to customer sites where I’d work, or the office in Canadia, or fighting to get my expense and travel report in on time…. all of which took bursts of hard work, focus, and sometimes dogged determination to just get through it.  But then there would be some time where nothing was required of me or the level was so low I could phone it in.   Sprints rather than marathons (although the sprints could last as long as a marathon), quick anaerobic strength moves, not aerobic workouts.

Lately though, and coming after 3 years of not normal, it’s been a never ending slog.   Anyone else noticed we don’t do the ‘what have you done to prep this week’ topic any more?  Because we’ve been living the disaster for the last three years.   But this one is really fading to black, despite the spasms and paroxysms of the powers that be.   Problem is, no formal end.   No closure.   No doing the expense report, AAR, “lessons learned” meeting.  No putting the files away and cleaning up the workspace… and moving on.

But there is another disaster coming.  There is ALWAYS going to be another disaster coming.  To riff off of JimB, the end will be ‘nearerer’ again sooner or later.  Flooding and mudslides in Cali, and an earthquake, barely ping our awareness.   Tornadoes and freak storms in the mid-South hardly register.  Maybe we’re all fatigued, disaster fatigued.   That would be bad by the way, because we wouldn’t be thinking straight, we’d be mentally pliable and subject to manipulation.   We’d be looking for someone to make it end.  And that ain’t good.

I’m not sure what the answer is.   Kinda making this up as I go along today, but I think some of us (me) need to reset our baseline expectations.  Accept that what we’ve got now IS normal, and move on to living in it, and getting ready for whatever comes next.  Just about everything is harder now, takes longer, and costs more than 3 years ago.   But humans are nothing if not adaptable, and adept at telling ourselves stories that justify or excuse or motivate.   In a sense we will our personal reality into shape around us.   We enter and leave relationships, surround ourselves with people and things, spend our lives doing stuff, and shape our experience of the world.

The world goes on doing its thing regardless of what we’re doing.   The elephants will dance while we mice hope we can avoid being stepped on.  And one day we realize that the dancing changed the shape of the world around us.   There are still mice in the world though even after the elephants have trampled everything flat.

And mice gotta eat, so stack some food.   Stack the means to get more.    Stack dancing shoes, if you think that will help.   Stack books on living with elephants while avoiding their big stompy feet.   And get ready to get through the NEXT disaster.

nick

 

Mon. Jan. 16, 2023 – at the BOL, working…

Cool and damp, but not cold.   Hoping the wind blew yesterday’s patchy clouds out of the area.   Some sun and warming would be nice.

I spent more time getting out of the house yesterday than I’d hoped, so I got up here a bit late.   Did some small things, basically decided not to start anything big I couldn’t finish on time.   Broke up and moved some concrete.  Literally chipping away at that task… move three wheelbarrows full before I lost the light.

Did some more planning for how to reshape the grades around the house to better deal with water  and drainage.   It must have rained up here because there was evidence that my channels from last visit drained a bunch of water.   That gives me some good contour lines for how the grades need to be.

Lake is up some more toward normal levels, but still a bit low, maybe 6″.   The waves make a lot more noise when the level is up.  I must have forgotten that.

One of the things I listened to on the shortwave last night was two western journalists living in Peking talking about their bouts with chinkyflu and the changes in the city since the restrictions were lifted.   They both had mild cases, in bed for a couple of days despite being fully vaxxed and boosted  (so- worse than most recent cases here).  They were excited to ‘just get on a train and travel’ without having to register, get tested, show vaccine passports, plan ahead, quarantine, etc.   That is for domestic travel this week.   I almost never even think about restrictions or getting wuflu any more.  What a difference.   And an interesting ‘slice of life’ I wouldn’t have come across if not for shortwave listening.

Maybe having been burned so badly, now china will be a bit more cautious?  Naw.  It’s not in their nature.

I’m sure there will be another plague that spreads around the world.  It’ll likely be worse too.   Don’t get complacent with preps.  45 days without leaving the house would be a nice level to have…anything really nasty should burn itself out in that time.  And if it’s less nasty, that level of preparation will stretch and be supplemented with whatever you can get, just like the past three years.

It’s funny, youtube put a gardening video from 2 years ago in my recommended list, and I watched it day before yesterday.   It was a guy in the UK, who decided to start a garden, since he (and everyone else) was essentially locked in his house due to wuflu response.  [he was pretty successful, but that wasn’t what caught me.]   We were never confined to quarters.   I had enough exemptions that I was able to go out if I wanted to, being a landlord, among other things.   Most people had no problem moving around if they wanted to.  I can’t imagine what it was like in places where they heavily restricted movement, and I have trouble believing that people COMPLIED the way they did.   But they did.  And they will again.  Except in the US.  Unless people are dropping in the streets with their eyes bleeding and skin sloughing off, I don’t think we’ll comply.

Stack your stuff high.  Ordinary stuff.   Extraordinary stuff.  Stuff that would be ‘nice to have’ and the stuff you need every day.  ‘Cuz I’ve got a feeling we’ll need it.

 

nick

 

 

 

Sun. Jan. 1, 2023 – Happy New Year!

Cool and damp to start the new year.  It stayed pretty nice yesterday, and was 59F near midnight.  Not super cold, and certainly not ‘warm’.


 

So.   Happy New Year!  I am sincerely grateful to everyone who comes by,whether you just read or comment and participate in the discussion; whether you come by every day or just once in a while.  Thank you to Barbara for her continued support, and to Rick for his.   It’s been an interesting and challenging year, personally, generally, and here at the Daynotes Journal.

I’m not much for navel gazing, but I do think it’s important to reflect on what you’ve done and what’s been done to you.   It’s important to learn lessons from that, change what needs to be changed, do more of what needs doing, and to keep making progress toward your goals.   I think it’s important to have goals, and this time of year is a traditional time to set goals, evaluate progress toward them, and to focus on changes.

This past year, I finally started making progress toward one of my major prepping goals- getting somewhere to GO when it’s time to go.  Call it a BOL, a retreat, a ‘country place’, or a lakehouse… it’s somewhere to go when the time comes.  It’s also a lot of work  and a new dimension to my prepping journey.  It has eaten a lot of my ‘excess’ energy and time, which has resulted in much shorter daily posts that previously.   There should be some good blog fodder coming up though.  I’ve got big ideas and goals.

To wit, I want to look hard at water treatment, starting with storing more at the BOL, and getting set up to treat more.  I want some off grid back up energy generation.  Start with a fueled generator, add solar and possibly wind, and include battery storage.  I want to get some wood burning heating set up.  I’ve got two wood burning stoves, I’d like to get at least one of them installed.  THEN I’ll need lots more stored wood… I want to get my radio shack and antennas set up for backup comms.  I want to make more progress learning about harvesting food from the environment, to include fish and other creatures from the lake, deer and pig hunting and processing, and getting a productive garden set up.  I want to get a workshop set up and a full set of tools up there so I can be productive and make or repair what needs to be made or fixed.

On a more day to day level, I need to continue making progress on the repair and remodel of the BOL and all  the grounds and outbuildings.   I also need to get some of the neglected projects here at home finished.  I need to focus on selling stuff and having my business make money this year to pay for all the other stuff that needs doing. I also need to be involved in my kids’ lives and education.   That might mean a lot of volunteering at school, which takes more time.   My other volunteering for the Constables and HPD needs to be increased too.  I made those contacts and started building relationships, but let it go for too long.   Time to re-engage in that community.   Time to start meeting with my fellow hams again too.

Oh, and a little physical fitness, maybe some martial arts or other self defense classes, particularly with the kids, and more shooting are all “wants” for the new year.   Yep.   Lots to do.  Much of it is just expansion of what I am doing or resumption of what I was doing, but some of it is new, and all of it will be taking place in the context of work and time spent at the BOL.

Nothing like setting some goals 🙂

My outlook for the coming year is the same as it was.   Dumpster fires to continue and worsen.   I expect more economic woes, more political shenanigans as the existing order falls apart.   I am more convinced than ever that we’re already sliding down the slope into what Bob called the long slow economic collapse.   I’m also convinced we’re currently entering one of those times in world history where everything changes.   The world will look very different in a few years.  I can’t even begin to pick a likely scenario, but I’m going to do my best to get through it, and come out the other side.  If bare survival is all I can manage, I’ll take that as a win, but I’m shooting for positioning myself and my family to thrive in whatever comes next.

Part of that positioning is having somewhere to go if we have to leave here.   Part is increasing the stacks NOW while the stuff is available.   IDK what the next ‘toilet paper’ or ‘N95 mask’ will be, but something that is common and cheap now will certainly be in short supply or even unobtainable later this year, and in the coming years.  Part is getting out and networking, meeting and making myself useful to other people.  Who you know is always important, but when things go really pear shaped, who you know and who knows you can make the difference between working or not, getting help or not, being safe or not… Part of it is building skills.   A vague plan to ‘live off the land’ won’t help if you don’t know how to do it, and haven’t the stuff needed to make it possible.  Fishing is turning out to be harder than gardening, and I’ve positively sucked at gardening…

Prepping is a journey.   It’s also fractal in nature, so there is always more to do, learn, or stack.  I’d love it if you all keep hanging around, sharing my journey and taking one of your own.

Here’s to a safe, healthy, and prosperous New Year for us all!

nick

 

Fri. Dec. 16, 2022 – c’mon, ya know ya wanna….

Cold in the morning, warming gradually through the day.   Like yesterday.  And hopefully without any rain.  It was 43F when I went to bed.  And only 38F when I got up yesterday.   That’s pretty cold for Houston.

Did some stuff in the morning, then went to my client’s house.   Got some things done over there, see last night’s comments if you are interested.

One weird thing that happened, on my way home from my client’s google had me exit the freeway, then re-enter, without any traffic backup to avoid.   The rest of the route was utter carp  too.   This seems to be happening more frequently to me.   Anyone else see a dropoff in the quality of google maps routing?  I did switch my preference from “fuel savings” to “fastest route”).  IDK if that gets me the Waze algo for routing, or if it’s all a coincidence. I don’t like it when it happens to me in a part of town I am not familiar with.

I don’t think I’ll be headed up tonight.   I’ve got too much to do, and some home stuff that needs to be addressed now.   I will think about Sat, or next week.   Gotta get up there and do plumbing…

 

Don’t forget about birthdays, holidays, etc when you are making your preps.   It will be heart warming when you pull out the present that you set aside all that time ago.   Stack some nice things.

nick

Mon. Dec. 5, 2022 – ho ho ho, who wouldn’t go…

Sunny and cool, warming later.  I hope.  That describes Sunday pretty well, with highs in the 70s.  To bad I was inside all day.

I did get a bunch done.  Had the water off for 8 hours.  Never could have done that if the kids were here.   I summarized what I got done in comments yesterday.  Despite the late start, and late finish, I feel good about it.

Today should get me that much further along, and maybe I’ll have time to do some cleanup so the bride doesn’t walk into a mess with her folks next weekend.   Working kitchen and bath, oh my.  I’ll give it the old school try…

The sense of urgency hasn’t left me.   I noticed that I haven’t been posting much in the way of prepping.   I think it’s because we’ve been living in the slow motion disaster that was chinkyflu for the last (almost) 3 years.  We were prepping for that, and prepping for it to get worse.   Then we got into a sort of holding pattern where we were just glad it was getting better.  With no clear end, it wasn’t like a storm that passed and now we can cleanly move on.   So it drags.

Meanwhile, I’ve been focused on my personal life, getting the BOL up to speed mainly.   This year flew by.  It’s pretty clear though that we are in an economic downturn (at best) or the beginning stages of an economic collapse, (bad), or the early part of a world changing war (worst).   There is plenty of prepping still to be done for any of those scenarios or all of them.   It just looks different than prepping for a specific event.

Conserve your money and resources.   Accumulate everything you think might be in short supply, including friends.  Plan for a long period of badness, with varying intensity.   Think about WWII on the homefront, the Great Depression, the Carter malaise… all those things were survivable, and most people did.  Some didn’t.  Some people did very well.   Some lives were changed completely.  The WORLD changed, and it will again.

Will some new place become ascendant as the US did after WWII?   We survived with our manufacturing intact, greatly expanded in fact.   And we absolutely killed it in a time when making stuff was the basis of prosperity.   I don’t know what comes next, but I’m pretty sure it will be different, and very few people will see it coming.

Plan to get through what is coming.  Vow to not just survive, but to THRIVE in what comes next.   To my mind, that’s a lot more inspiring than just enduring.   But.  If all you can do is endure, then do that.  Do it better than most, and make it through.   That is key.  Be here for the boom that follows.

Stacks will help.

nick

 

Fri. Dec. 2, 2022 – just when I’m getting used to typing 2022 …

Cool and damp again, hopefully the clear will hold for another day or two.  We are in the rain zone in the national forecast today and tomorrow, but that will suck for driving to the BOL with a loaded truck. It was clear most of the day yesterday but a front came in very dramatically and it got dark early… no rain but SOLID cloud bank.

I did my errands, and a few other things.  Like starting to put out some decorations.  I got some more of the Halloween stuff put back in the attic too.   Didn’t make sense to put it away in front of the Christmas stuff.

Then in the evening I had a prepper fail.   Wife and kids will be at Girl Scout camp this weekend so she told me to fill up a couple of 1 pound propane bottles.  No problem.   Except that I have one full BBQ tank and 4 empties at the moment.   I’ve been moving tanks to the BOL, and only taking a couple at a time to get refilled.  And I got behind.   Compounding the issue, the full tank leaks when I put the transfer hose on it.  So that was a no-go.   The tank in the grill was almost out and didn’t have enough left to fill even one small bottle.  10 empty small bottles, two part full, no way to refill.   Yeah, I moved about a dozen to the BOL, but I should  have seen that I was leaving home short.

So I need to fill the BBQ bottles I have here.  Then determine if the refill hose is faulty.   Then fill or replace a bunch of 1 pound bottles so we can fuel the stoves and Mr Heater Lil Buddy heaters if needed.   And all in a hurry because I lost track of it.   In my defense, it seems that my wife used the hose to refill some small bottles at some point in the past, without letting me know.  I don’t know if the hose leaked at that point or if something  failed or is missing as a result of it being used.  I’m not happy about the whole mess.  I should probably bite the bullet and buy a case of 1 pounders just to be sure we have some.

Cut my hair and trimmed the beard.   That wahl trimmer kit has paid for itself in money, time, and convenience many times over.   It helps that I wear a crew cut and am comfortable with that.  It’s a straightforward clipper cut.  My barber is asking $20 per cut now.  He was $12 when I started with him in ’03.

All my running around is complicated by the freezer and dishwasher in the back of my  truck.  I might have to just run around town with them loaded to get everything done before heading up.

It’s always something.  Need to get some groceries too.  On the plus side, Costco had gas for $2.49/gal.  Filled the Expedition.  THAT ain’t cheap.

And since we’re on the topic of fuel, I need to start rotating my stored gasoline and cleaning up any that has gotten contaminated with water over the summer.   More joy.  I did pick up a new 5 gallon jug for storage.   The 5 gal. plastic Blitz cans have a definite lifespan.  The welded seam at the top of the handle always seems to fail eventually, so I need to start replacing cans too.  Commander Zero likes the nato style metal cans, but they are a bit spendy for my taste.  I’ll make due with plastic, and just replace them when they  fail.

I better get the kids out the door and get started on something.

Stack what you need.   Check your stacks.   Replace what has failed.

 

nick

Wed. Nov. 30, 2022 – where did the year go?

Cool and damp, maybe even wet.   Had some heavy  condensation last night, with the ground wet but no visible rain.  It did rain yesterday, and in typical Houston fashion, what you got and when depended on where you were.  I was everywhere from the west side up to Conroe, and down to Friendswood, then back, and never got more than occasional light drizzle.  There was plenty of evidence of places that got dumped on, and places that didn’t see a drop.  I’m hoping for dry today… I sure hope I can get some stuff done this week, and not get rained on.   It was 73F when I went to bed, and the air conditioner was running.  Fall in Houston.

Kids are back in school, and all the contaminated water in the pipes somehow got transmuted to clean drinkable water overnight.  Assuming there was any contamination in the first place.  Nothing changed for me.

Did my pickups.   Hit the reStore and the old Sears scratch and dent outlet too.   Ended up with some spray paint (industrial grey, Cat yellow, John Deere green, OSHA blue) for my workshop, and a new dishwasher for the BOL.   Happy wife, etc.  She moved it up my list and I obliged.

Today I’ve got to get the kids out the door for school, the water having been certified non-deadly.  Then my usual round of errands and tasks.

I’ve neglected some preps and I am feeling behind on some stuff.  Water purification at the BOL.   Storage of drinking water at the BOL.   Rotating hurricane supplies here.    Small engine repair day, and gas storage rotation… it’s not all about freezers and food, but that is what I’ve been focused on.   DEFINITELY need to get the defensive tool situation at the BOL sorted out, and stocked.   And the long term medical supplies, etc.

Christmas is coming too, and the prepper in me says, shop early and get it done.  I usually have at least a couple things put by for most of the people in my life by now, but I’ve been focused on other things, namely the BOL, and not on gifts.   I’ll need to look for stuff for that this week and next too.  Oh, Christmas decor needs to get set up here too.   Time is flying by.

So, what does YOUR end of year look like?   Mad dash, or slow fade?   And how’s your stacking going?

I hope you are stacking all the things!

nick

Tues. Nov. 29, 2022 – still not in school

Cool and damp, but hopefully clear… like yesterday.  It got up into the 80s in the sun.   Not so much in the shade, but nice ‘shirtsleeves’ weather.

Didn’t get much done on the list.  Gotta admit, with the kids home I don’t get a whole lot of outside stuff done.  Did get a bunch of auction stuff caught up.  Bought another freezer.  Used one this time, but $70 out the door.  That’s one of my pickups today.  The other might be some sort of defensive tool.  There are a LOT of them in auctions this month.   Might be people are trying to raise cash.   Ammo too, but mostly single boxes of all different brands and sizes.  The ammo isn’t going cheap, but there isn’t a delivery charge and it won’t show up on the CC bill as what it is.  Tools, well they haven’t been cheap either but the prices are more reasonable than they were.   I was shocked to get what I got, about $100 under retail.  There were a lot of oddball pieces.   Rossi revolvers, no name .25 semiautos… stuff from the 50s…

One whole auction is new gubs.  Like a store went out of business or something.  Starting bids are low, but we’ll see where they end up.  NOT paying $650 for a DelTon that sold for $325 a couple of years ago… but I will keep watching to see where stuff ends up.

I’m seeing a lot of cards and sports memorabilia, and a lot of silver coins.   That definitely feels like selling to raise money.  I’ve expected it long before now, but people like their stuff and will try to keep it.

I don’t know who’s buying, but the silver at least is bringing good prices.   Too rich for my blood.

Canned food is what you’d be buying with that junk silver anyway, so why not skip the middle man?

Stack it up folks.

nick

Tues. Nov. 22, 2022 – 11222022 – maybe today…

Cold again, and damp.  Hopefully not wet.   It was dreary and wet most of yesterday and although the total wasn’t 1 inch it wasn’t 0 either.  I really need a clear day to drive up to the BOL with an open pickup bed full of stuff.

I made 2 of my three pickups yesterday with 2 to do today.  The two today are on my way out of town, so that’s a plus.  I was chatting with one of the auctioneers, an owner in the company, and he is very much a Like Minded Individual.   He’s been prepping for years.  He’s got HUGE stacks of stuff, industrial quantities, due to where he is in the supply chain.  He has been stacking the good stuff for years.   I had a suspicion he was right of center, because of all the Tr ump stuff that is in his auctions, as well as the posted signs about guns being welcome in their facility.   Didn’t expect to see the stacks he quickly showed me… he’s better set up at work than most people are at home or their BOL.  More than that, he’s got TRIBE.  Large family, all on board, pretty much a compound to retreat to.  I’m impressed and a bit envious.

He commented that he thinks everything in the world will be different in 18 months.  I agreed.

We are not alone.   There are a LOT of people out there doing what we’re doing- getting ready to take care of ourselves and our friends.   We will get through whatever is coming.

Being prepped up and having stacks of needful things will help enormously.

And having somewhere to go if things get out of hand locally will help you too.   Which is why I’m dumping huge sums into a place in the country.  You don’t have to go my route, but it wouldn’t be a bad idea to figure out where you can go.  There is a lot of property around the small towns that is for sale cheap, and there are sheds, campers, storage buildings, truck trailers, conex boxes, single wides, and even tents to live in cheaply if things fall in the pot.   Better to have something than nothing…

So get to stacking, and find somewhere to go if you have to.

nick

 

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