Category: open thread

Sat. Aug. 27, 2022 – day two out of the house…

Hot and muggy, with a side of damp.   It was noticeably cooler yesterday than last week, and it’s been getting below 80F at night.   I’m gonna say that Fall is coming.   But it ain’t here yet.   Still hot and humid.

Did my show yesterday.  Loaded in and set up in the morning, actually sold some stuff right away, and hope to sell some more.   The big stuff that I really wanted to move hasn’t moved yet.   Several interested parties for one item, but I’m having trouble finding a fair price.  Very few comps online.

Today I’m bringing another bin of stuff I pulled out of my office last night.   Could pull more besides but it got late.  Maybe for Sunday morning I’ll have time to pull some more.

Meatspace.  It’s important, even if it goes against your basic nature.   I am not outgoing by nature.  I’ve worked hard over the years to develop the persona that can just chat with random strangers, and initiate contact with them.   It’s a skill that can be learned and improved.   I think it’s worth spending time doing so, as in person  interaction is very important and probably will become even more so in the next few years.  Being likable, open, and friendly has  helped me tremendously personally and professionally.   It’s hard work, but it pays off.

Stack some skills.   And some network.  They’ll help.


Fri. Aug. 26, 2022 – loading in, busy all day

Hot and humid, again.   Hopefully no rain though.  I’ve got a bunch of people that will be unloading at the hotel ballroom, and rain will bork that right up.

Speaking of which, I spent most of yesterday getting stuff together and loaded.  I still haven’t found some things I’m looking for.  No idea where they may be.

Today I’ll be heading out shortly after getting the kids out the door.   I’ve got a few things left to load, and a couple of coolers of ice water and gatoraid to get together.  Then it’s off to work.

It’ll be hot until we get the loading door closed.   But many hands should make light work.

Meatspace.   Get you some.



(and stack something, like friends)

Mon. Aug. 1, 2022 – busy as a one armed paper hanger

Hot and humid, back to Houston style… I’m sure it is hotter here than there.

Interesting view of the moon last night, horned moon, and against a clear electric blue sky.  Really blue, but only for a few moments.

Pack is all back together.   I’ve got the kids all day, so I’m probably home most of it.   Although I might get out to do a quick pickup or two.

I did get some real work done at the BOL.   We are currently down to one bathroom we can only use sparingly…  but I don’t see any show stoppers for getting the master bath back up and running.   The missing toilet flange looks like it will be straightforward to replace with a repair kit I already have up there.   The plumbing all needs to be redone.  Par for the course.  Even copper pipe needs to be replaced after nearly 50 years, especially if there are issues with the water, or you’ve mixed metals in the system.   The galvanized nipples are all completely shot where they join brass Ts.  And some of the brass Ts have pinholes too.  At least replacing it with pex is easy.  I don’t trust the longevity, especially of the sharkbite push on connections, but it’s easy.  And it will outlive me in all likelihood.

That is one thing I keep reminding myself, all the corners the old man cut, and all the decisions he made, all the dubious choices, lasted longer than HE needed them to.  They had a lifetime warranty 🙂

I hope my choices last for 50 years.

Wednesday’s meetings with the new contractors and the septic guy will set the tone for the next few months.   I hope we can get going on the big items.   It’s nice to drink coffee on the dock in the mornings, but not having septic  or solid power and water means it’s not ready for use, and that isn’t good.

Stack all the things.   You’ll need them and more…


Sun. Jul. 31, 2022 – more plumbing, more work

Hot and humid, but less than Houston.  It got pretty hot yesterday, high 90s maybe even into the hundreds.   Nice strong breeze though that kept it tolerable.  Partial clouds all day helped too.


Got some plumbing done.  Fingers crossed and touch wood, it’ll hold.  More plumbing on the schedule for today.  Pull toilet and vanity in the master.  Hope it doesn’t break something.  I can always shut the water off and bring what I need back up with me when I come back to meet with the contractors.

I baited a couple of crawdad traps with cheap tins of dogfood.  I’ll be interested to see what I get.  The water is awfully hot though and the mud bugs like colder water so I might not get anything at all.  It’s all an experiment.

I looked at the garden and it is still just weeds.  I’m glad I decided to stop watering it.  I do wonder why nothing at all seemed to have sprouted.  Maybe I’ll have better luck with the fall garden.  I hope so.

I’m increasing my stacks of food here.  Other than freeze dried, we are probably at 30 plus days if we bake and eat rice with every meal.   The stacks are going to have to be bigger than that…

So join me in stacking it up!  (and yes, some chocolates and some hard candies would be nice.)


Sat. Jul. 30, 2022 – nice day

Hot and humid of course, because it is still Texas… but less than Houston.  Still gonna get hot later.

I did some of my errands and made it to the BOL, with some minor drama, recounted in the comments late yesterday.


Spent some time last night with the shortwave and looking at the sky.  Only saw one shooting star, but it was a good one- bright and long across the sky.  Too soon to be Chinese space junk deorbiting, I think.  Dark sky with some low wispy clouds.  Very pretty night.

Shortwave had a lot of lightning noise.  Someone is getting some thunder, and maybe some rain, but it wasn’t us.  Band conditions weren’t great but were still so much better than in the urban area of Houston.  BBC news, Australian news (from Australia), and a mix of other programming.  Not much from Cuba though.  Sometimes it be that way.


Today I get to pick from the huge array of things that need doing, and hopefully I’ll get one or two of them done.  Started at least, surely….

Stacking up some skillz, plumbing work or electrical, or stone masonry…

Skills or stuff, stack it up.



Sun. Jul. 24, 2022 – in Houston, not amused

Hot and humid, will probably get to well over 100F today.  And why not?  Giant fusion fire in the sky bathes us in its baleful glow…

Yesterday did not quite go to plan.   And ended early with a full septic tank.  So I’m home, waiting for the pack to be reunited.

I’m sure there is something here I can do to keep me busy.

Keep stacking my friends.


Sun. Jul. 17, 2022 – still at lake, still beautiful

The water is warmer than the air… and the air got pretty hot.  I think we were well into the 90s, but I was working on the sprinklers during the hottest part of the day and didn’t check.  Nice breeze though.   Today should be the same.

I got some stuff done.  I found a bunch of sprinkler heads, a couple of valves, and some broken pipes.  I unloaded the truck and got both freezers going.  Both had very minor dents on a bottom corner, and both work fine so far.

Today I’ve got a couple of things I’d really like to get done.   I’ve got a handrail for the dock steps to install.   I’ve got a toilet tank flush valve to fit/alter/install as it runs for a few seconds every hour.  I’ve got to check my crawdad traps.  I checked them about 2 hours after putting them in, and one had a fish… no bugs though.

The lake mussels are edible if not super tasty.

Brats are better.

Some other small things to do, then head back to Houston in the evening.

Wife and D2 are having fun and getting a workout learning to sail.

Saw one shooting star last night.  Moon is coming up very late so we had a nice dark sky.  Shortwave wasn’t booming in, but there were a lot of stations on the air.

Had a nice chat with a neighbor.  Unfortunately a young adult broke his neck diving off the HOA dock next to my property the day after we were up here last time.   EMS response is two of the neighbors until the red bus can get here.   It took 25 minutes.   By then my neighbors had him out of the water, on a backboard, and stable.   Not a neighborhood kid.  Tresspassing in fact, as the dock and boat ramp are clearly marked for residents only.

It does demonstrate that we’re pretty far from help if you need more than our Volunteer Fire Department and one local nurse can do.  I told her that if I’m here there is an AED in my truck and a bleeding control kit.  I’ve got to build another trauma bag for up here though.  That just moved up the list.  We missed the accident by one day.

Stack some stuff.  Then stack some more stuff.  Then start making more stacks in different places.


Sat. Jul. 16, 2022 – at lake, plumbing on my mind

Cooler than Houston, but still gonna get hot.   They must have had some rain up here, there is water in the birdbath…  I found the one T storm cell in Houston yesterday.  It was over La Porte.   It hammered them just before I got there to do a pickup.   Lucky for me, it was leaving just as I got there.   I only got gentle rain after being pounded for 15 minutes.

I got home, finished loading up the truck, kicked kid into shape, and headed up, only 2 hours later than I’d hoped.

I’ve got stuff to do today, so we’ll see what actually gets done.   I think it will depend on the heat of the day.

One task, get the freezers installed and cooling down.  That means unloading the truck.   I better get to it.


Stack some things that you need to stack some other things.


Thur. Jul. 14, 2022 – another day, another dollar, or a whole lotta days, a whole lotta dollars…

Hot, humid, but maybe, just maybe a bit less than so far this week.  It would be nice to get a break.   We did get a bit of one yesterday in that it was overcast for much of the day and that helped keep the heat down, at least in my neighborhood.

I did some computer stuff, then went out and did some grocery shopping.  I put my observations about this Costco trip in yesterday’s comments, later in the day.   TL:DR is that things are still disrupted, and will be for some time, but there is a chance to get ready, as things are still available.

My auctions are full of preps.  This week there were chest freezers in one, a dozen generators in another, sometimes there is food, usually tools, or garden equipment, and lately there has been a lot of building material.  There are solar panels, batteries, shelving, can organizers, openers for #10 cans, kitchen equipment, fishing and hunting gear, gubs, ammo, radios, scanners, clothing, traps, and all kinds of good stuff.

If you can’t find it in the store, or you can’t afford the store prices, and you don’t mind a little work or compromise, check out the online auctions, estate sales, yard sales, and peer to peer selling platforms.

You need it, and someone is selling it.

Find it and stack it up.


Wed. Jul. 13, 2022 – Friday the 13th falls on a Wednesday this month…

F’ing freezing today!  Crazy cold, and blowing snow everywhere.   Just kidding.  Hot and humid today, like yesterday and tomorrow.   Well into the 100s even in the shade, and pretty dang hot in the sun.

So of course I ended up working outdoors and in the driveway.  Finished cutting the grass.  Part of that was clearing a path through the driveway for the mower, which led to some other cleaning and stacking.  And it was hot.  Really hot.

So I took some breaks and drank electrolyte stuff, and sat in the A/C to cool off.

Then I unloaded the wood planks I bought, and stacked them in the attic.   They will be floor up there eventually, but not today.   Too hot.

What I didn’t do is go to Costco or Lowes.   One more day of procrastination, or maybe two…  Sometimes I just go with the flow and it usually works out ok.

Getting cleaned up and to the restaurant for dinner took me into the evening, and it was late when I got home.

Just an ordinary day, without any dramatic actions or challenges, or for that matter triumphs.   But a good day nonetheless.  And a couple of things on the list got done.

Sometimes, that’s the best you can hope for.

More stacking later.


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