Category: personal

Fri. Jan. 27, 2023 – busy day, lot’s to do…

Cold and clear, but damp.  Was cold Thursday morning, and cool most of the day.  I did take my jacket off in the afternoon.  It was 38F when I went to bed.   It’ll probably be around that to start today.

Got very little done on my list yesterday.   Did have a lovely  lunch with a reader.  Long chat took up most of my afternoon, and that was an excellent way to spend the day.   It does mean I have a few more things to do today though.

Like a whole bunch of pickups scattered all over the place.   I’m going to delay one to Monday for sure, ask about delaying another that is way down south, and hopefully just get one in the neighborhood, and two that are on the west side.  I’ve got a list of stuff I need to get at lowes too, which I probably should have gotten yesterday.

Plan is to head up to the BOL later today, catching a pickup in Conroe on the way.   That’s gonna take actually leaving the house, and running around all day.  Wife and kids will follow after school/work.

Then the work begins!   I still have plumbing to do to get the laundry machine drain and supply connected, and as long as the wall is open, I need to get the gas line in too for the dryer.  Even if I don’t connect it to the manifold yet, getting it into the wall is important.   Wife and kids will be painting.  And if I run out of plumbing, I can hang doors, or change out light fixtures, or any of the other things on the list…

The day starts with getting the wife and kids out the door.  So that’s first.  Then I’ll start my running around.

I’m stacking things.   Mostly at the BOL, but I am stacking… you should too.


Thur. Jan. 26, 2023 – another day, another dollar

Cold, and damp.   37F when I went to bed, and probably starting the day from there too.   It did clear up yesterday although it stayed chilly.  And once the sun went down, it got pretty dang cold.

I did get a couple of pickups done.   Went by my secondary and moved some stuff around to make room for some other stuff.   Just a quick stop, as I couldn’t shut off my truck and be sure I could get it started again.    Rust never sleeps, and neither do other forms of corrosion.   A vise grip pliers from my mini car toolkit saved the day later on.  Details in yesterday’s comments.

Mini toolkit- 6″ vise grip, phillips screwdriver.  Flat screwdriver, medium sized.  6 in one screwdriver.  Slip joint pliers.  Diagonal cutters or wire stripper- minimalist.  6″ adjustable wrench.   Roll them up in a shop towel to keep them quiet, or put them in an old snack mix can…   That little kit helps me all the time, although it mostly helps me disassemble stuff for transport and not to repair my truck.  The ‘snack mix can’ is a heavy duty steel can for japanese bar mix that I happen to have saved a dozen of.   You could use soup cans, especially if you could find a set that slightly nest… and wrap a couple of feet of duct tape around the can.  If you don’t carry a knife (and why not?) add a thin stanley knife or a wallpaper knife with break off blade tips.  The idea is it all fits in a can to keep it neat.

Admittedly, if I’d looked under the hood sometime in the last few months, I might have seen and headed off the whole problem.   Stitch in time, and all that.  But I didn’t.  I do have replacement terminal clamps in the stacks, which should save a trip to the store.  Might try putting the treated felt washer on it this time.

It’s always something.  In this case, having an understanding of the systems involved, having done the previous repair, and having a tool with me that could be pressed into service,  all helped turn a potential issue into a non-issue.  I wasn’t prepared for this exact problem but I was prepared for some sort of problem.

And that is the best you can hope for, that your preps help solve the problem.

Knowledge, and stuff, stack them up.



Sun. Jan. 22, 2023 – 01222023 – meaningless fun with numbers!

Cold and damp again.   Never really got any warmer yesterday, and stayed overcast.   Got a bit cooler when night fell, and was 50F when I went to bed.  Clear would be nice even if it was chilly today.

Spent the day with the wife and kids watching tv.   Had fun.

Didn’t do anything else.   Had fun.

I’ll probably pay for it later, but had fun.

We’ll see what happens today, but I’m betting on NOT a full day and night of TV viewing, at least not for me.  Too much stuff to do.  Still, had fun.

Sometimes that what needs stacking.


Sat. Jan. 21, 2023 – sleeping in- it’s not just for teens

Cool and damp.   It was 54F when I got up yesterday, it was 54F when I ate lunch, and 54F when I went to bed.  I’ve got a feeling it might be 54F today…    National forecast says ‘clear’.   Yesterday had Houston on the edge of a system and we did get clouds and some rain.  Not much, but enough to get the cars dirty and the streets wet.

Lots of accidents on the roads too, far more than I’m used to seeing.   Oh, and a full on ladder in the number 2 lane of the toll road.   People, secure your freaking ladders in your truck beds.   They’re not free, and the life you save might be worth a whole lot more to society than your ignorant self.  No one ever died because someone put an extra strap on a load.

Did my pickups.   More antennas.   Hamfest is coming up in March, so I’m starting to look at what I have and what I want to sell this year.   “Most of it” is the answer I’m getting.  Also got some first aid supplies, and some cleaning stuff, and  a finger brake or pan brake.  That’s a tool for folding metal.  I have always wanted a small one, and now I have one.

Bought a couple of things in the auction too.   Nice looking hunting tool in 30-06. ‘nuther kayak.  Must be off season for kayaks, several have come up and sold for reasonable prices.   Hard to say no to $90 for what was originally a $1k boat.  I managed to though.  Couldn’t say no to $80 for a $650 boat.   We still can’t all kayak at the same time, but we’ll get there.   I should use my vinyl cutter to make labels for the kayaks with our name on them.   Hmm, another project.  Maybe later.

Chatted with another buyer while waiting for my stuff.   Real nice guy, we had a lot in common.  We are bidding on the same type of stuff though, which isn’t awesome.  He was headed to his next pickup at an auctioneer that was my third pickup of the day.   Small world, but perhaps not too unlikely given that we both bid on auction stuff.   There is definitely a culture for those of us who have been doing it for a long time.

I can’t emphasis enough that I think everyone should be out there looking for alternative markets, be it thrifts, estate sales, in person or online auctions, flea markets, swapmeets, or whatever is going on in your area.   Maybe it’s a farmer’s market, or a monthly craft show, but there is bound to be something going on.   The money you save is well worth the time invested, as is access to stuff that might not be in stores, or might be of better quality that what is currently available.   A whole lot of commerce is moving into the secondary economy (as I’ve taken to calling it) or ‘p2p sales’ or the ‘informal’ economy.   It’s a sign of a failing state, but it’s a fact of life too, and the only way for people to get what they need when the official marketplaces are dried up, or inaccessible.  It takes practice and awareness to be successful in it, just like all things, so get started.

It’s the weekend.   I’m sleeping in as it’s the first one in a while with no extra things on my plate.  Then I’ll start working the list again.   And going to the grocery store- because I didn’t get there yesterday.  It’s not like we’re out of anything, but we don’t have the next carton of eggs in the fridge or the next jug of milk and that makes me nervous.   Plus, I’m out of beef jerky and soda.

Stack some stuff.   Stack it high, then find something you missed and stack that.   And go to a garage sale this weekend.   Never know what you will find.



Thur. Jan. 19, 2023 – time to continue making progress…

Cold and damp.   50F late last night and I’m thinking that will continue into this morning.  It is supposed to be clear for a couple of days, so probably a front moving in, dropping the temps and moving out the clouds.   I’m no weather liar, but that’s the story I’m running with today.

I did make a bit of progress yesterday.   I installed a new faucet and drain in the bathroom.  I’ve got another to do, and then I need to diagnose what is  wrong with the shower mixer.  Oh, and re-tape and spackle the ceiling where water leaking caused damage.  Wife can paint the ceiling at that point, whenever she gets around to it.

I also got a couple of things listed on Craigslist.   It’s still around, and good for selling some stuff.   I never did get motivated to do FB marketplace.   If I have something to sell very locally, I’ll ask my wife to ping her sell/swap groups in the neighborhood.   I might try to move a freezer that way if I can’t come up with a buyer myself.  I got a couple of things listed on ebay too while I was at it.  Also sorted some stuff.

All in all, progress was made.

Which is good.   Now for a whole metric buttload more….


Stack progress and successes one atop the other, as well as food…


Sun. Jan. 15, 2023 – ok, this time for realz…

Cold and damp again, although possibly just “cool” and not “cold.”   It did warm up a bit during the day, and I ended up in long pants and a T shirt to get the lights down.   It was 52F when I went to bed.

I spent Saturday morning at my non-prepping hobby meeting.   Lots of good conversations in one of the best (largest) groups we’ve had in a while.  Next month is our quarterly ‘swap meet’ meeting.  I’ll have some stuff to sell by then, and the stuff I didn’t sell last time.

After my meeting I was supposed to quickly take down the Christmas stuff and head to the BOL.   Of course that didn’t happen because reality smacked me around.   I did get the lights down, and the lit up figures put away.   Got some more stuff cleaned up and sorted for the local auction, and did some planning for the coming week with my wife.   Girl Scout cookie season is only a month away.  Our house will be a cookie depot for a while and needs to be cleaned with a place for all the cookies.  That is mostly me getting my stuff out of the way…

The upshot was delaying my run to the BOL to today.   If everything goes to plan, I’ll have a good night sleep, early start, and head out.  My plan is to tackle some more plumbing and convert either the hall bath, or the laundry to pex.  I should have most of what I need to do either, but the laundry is the least critical if I don’t get it finished.  It’s also got some of the most corroded looking pipes.   I’m going to just play it by ear.  Maybe I’ll do work on the deck or yard.  Hard to tell, but I should at least open the walls and make sure I have what I need.  Which reminds me, I’m out of straight join pex connectors.  Gotta get some on my way up…  It’s always something.

The one critical thing is to deliver the freezer to my neighbor up there.   Weaving my way into the community is a priority.  Meatspace baby.

Also, figuring out what I need to keep the septic system running grid down.   That’s a priority too.  Batteries, solar, and inverters should do it but which ones, and how, and when and where do I get them….

Stack up the stuff you need.  Infrastructure, money, and friends being three of the things!



Thur. Jan. 12, 2023 – hey there short stuff

Warm and damp today, probably clear, but no guarantees.   It did get to be a beautiful spring day yesterday, in the depth of winter.   Had that warm, moist smell and was sunny.   TOO EARLY!  Don’t want to trick the plants.

Did run some errands and do a pickup yesterday.   Decided to pick up my new freezers at the last minute on Friday.   Then I do my non-prepping hobby on Saturday, and head to the BOL afterwards.   We’re supposed to be clear until then, but I’ll put a tarp on the load overnight anyway.   Picked up around the house and did some other home stuff.  Christmas tree is stripped and all the indoor decorations are put away.

Today I’ve got stuff to pick up.  Clothes for D1.  Stuff for the BOL.   Parts for metro shelves for my storage unit.   Funny, but the cheapest place to get them was a couple of miles from my house.  Cheaper than amazon, and much cheaper than ebay.   And they had them for same day in store pickup.   Of course, they only had two shelves worth, but that’s all I needed anyway right now.

Had some more spoiled milk in an unopened container.   Should have still been good for a couple of more days, but was chunky.  There is definitely something going on with milk longevity.

Ordered chinese delivery for dinner and the owner thanked me for being a good and loyal customer.  I told her we decided that if we ever wanted to have local restaurants available, we needed to patronize them now (throughout the pandemic).   It’s good food, but not cheap.   I can buy a lot of on sale meat for what we spent, but we will get another couple of servings out of the leftovers, and we consider it an investment in our community.   That’s also one of the reasons we don’t use an online or mail order pharmacy.  We want one in our community.  We want it to be profitable and successful, and employ our neighbors.

It’s meatspace.   I can ask her how business is, if she’s having supply issues, or other problems.  I can get intel locally that I can use.  You might be surprised what you can learn from just talking to people, especially if they have a bit of time, and you are not a stranger.  I’ve talked about it before, but you really need to get out and about in your community.   You need to talk to store owners, neighbors, craftsmen, service providers, and other random people.  Start building relationships, even if it’s just on the level of being the guy who always says ‘hi’ and asks about something.   Tip well.   Be friendly.  Buy from them.  Don’t rant.  Control your urge to talk, listen more…   Because meatspace counts and it will count for a whole lot more if things get worse.

Stack up some relationships.  And stuff.


Wed. Jan. 11, 2023 – can’t think of a single funny thing to say…

Cool, but not too cool.  Damp.  Maybe still clear later, but also maybe some ‘early morning low clouds’ as they put it in Cali when I lived there.  In any case, I’ll be out in it until the bus gets here.  It did get to be very nice yesterday.   We had a bit of rumble and overcast around dusk, but no actual rain.

I spent the afternoon at one of my storage units, the biggest, organizing, sorting, and assembling more shelves.   I really need to get at least one of the other units into this one, and get more stuff out of the house.    I should have about 6-8 bins of stuff going to my auctioneer this week, if he’s in.  Getting some of the stuff out of storage and up to the BOL will help too.

Since I took advantage of the nice weather to work at the storage unit, I didn’t get the Christmas decorations down.   They were a bit damper than I’d have liked after the fog, so maybe if it’s not so wet I can take an hour and get them put away.   The fact is I’m not being as productive as I’d like.   I’ve got to work on that.  Cold and damp weather provides an excuse with all the aches and pains it brings, but that isn’t all of the issue.  I’m tired and looking for excuses.

Identifying the problem is the first step to fixing it, right?   So I better get to it.

Stack some stuff.  Don’t put off to tomorrow what should be done today.  Tomorrow has its own work waiting.


Tues. Jan. 10, 2023 – All the news that’s fit to print.

Cool and damp.   That time of year.  Winter, I think you call it up north.  60F when I went to bed so ‘cool’ not ‘cold.’  It turned into a very nice day yesterday and I’m hoping for the same today.

Got my trailer rental returned.   They had the wrong trailer assigned to me, and that one got returned on time, which left me with a completed reservation, and nothing to turn in.    They got it straightened out.  Didn’t take long.

Hit  the Goodwill on my way home and witnessed a full on scrum over some comic books.   They ended up wrinkling and ripping them as they fought to grab as many as they could.   Savages.   What value there might have been was lost in the fighting.   The one I spot checked was only 99c plus shipping, and after witnessing the fight, the cashiers were not inclined to discounts, so the comics would have been 3/99c.   Not much profit at that rate.   There might have been some valuable books in there, but I didn’t join in.    I did swoop in afterward and pick up a board game that is selling for $65 – 75 and a SCSI adapter in the box that should sell for about the same, maybe a bit less.   I’ll let them fight over pennies.

Came home and did some ‘domestic bliss’ stuff around the house.   More of that today and maybe some plumbing…  or head to my storage unit to take advantage of the clear weather.

Sold one of the freezers to my fisherman buddy.    That leaves the two with more damage to be sold.  Maybe I’ll pick those up today.  Or maybe I’ll do vehicle maintenance.   Or not.   We’ll see.  I’ve got to do a Costco run too.  A whole bunch of stuff I buy is on sale this month so it’s time to add to the stacks.

Had a good conversation with D1 about how the media lies, how they have been lying, and how to look at an article and a picture critically.     She also expressed some concern that with all the illegal invaders, maybe white people (us in particular) would get forced out, or made into the slaves this time around.   I told her that even if we had to die surrounded by piles of spent brass we’d never be slaves.  And to watch for them seizing the guns, because they take the guns when they want to do something to you that you would shoot them for trying…

Conversations are getting interesting.

Stack it high, sporty times will be very difficult to avoid.


Wed. Jan. 4, 2023 – grumble grumble, not feeling great

Supposed to be clear and moderate today and tomorrow… it did clear up yesterday.   Temps were in the 80s according to the weather station, and I believe it.

Did a couple of pickups in the afternoon.   Felt punky all day.   Caught a nap before going out.   I usually try to push through, but didn’t want to drive feeling that out of sorts.  My guts were already churning from WAY too much sugar on Monday.  All told an unpleasant morning, and only marginally better afternoon.  Other than the GI distress, it feels like a cold coming on.  Probably the ‘rona.  Hope not.

Today will likely be more of the same, despite my ever lengthening list.   Just can’t be helped.

Plans.  I’ve got ’em.  And they don’t matter much.

Other than stacking.   That is always appropriate.


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