Category: personal

Sat. Oct. 1, 2022 – headed up? Maybe, probably, sure, why not?

Cool and humid, but getting warmer later in the day.  Perfect weather in other words.   REALLY nice.

 

Did my stuff yesterday.   It involved driving across Houston to Baytown, or an hour drive with no traffic.   Houston metro is big.   Stopped by my favorite gub store.   Business isn’t booming.   You’d think it would be, but people don’t have a lot of extra money at the moment.  I’m hearing that from every direction.   And coincidentally, the guy I picked up from in Baytown said the same thing one of my hobby guys said about Texans selling off their cattle- they’re doing it as fast as they can.   Buy beef while it’s here, ‘cuz there is going to be a shortage later.   That is getting baked into the cake as we speak.

Today I’ve got stuff to do before heading out for a couple of weeks.  Mainly I have to get my storage organized and get some shelves set up.  I don’t think I can leave stuff in the foyer for 2 weeks while I’m not here…  Then I’m meeting a guy about selling my forklift.  After that, I’m doing a pickup on the way to the lake.

I should be at the lake all week.  I might come home mid week if the work pauses for a day.   There are reasons it might.   Otherwise, I’ll be there.  I’m taking my laptop, and doing normal (if somewhat thin) posts, but my access to news and commentary will be limited.

I’ll be working on getting stuff ready up there, y’all need to be working on getting your own stuff ready too.

Like stacking up the food.  And the friends.

n

Fri. Sept. 30, 2022 – not headed up tonight, things to do

Cool and humid, but nice.  It was beautiful yesterday.   Didn’t see a thermometer, but it was very pleasant in shirtsleeves even in the late afternoon.  Hoping for more of the same today.

Did a couple of pickups.  Got an ebay item from storage and mailed that.   Guy will pick it up in Georgia, while visiting from Germany.   Crazy world.

I’ve got a couple of pickups today.   I have the 7cuft freezer I bought to flip to my neighbors at the lake,  and a knaak box I’ll use as a secure storage for tools up there.  Knaak box was only $40 which was stealing it.   I was planning to get the auction stuff and head out of town, but my wife and kids want to stay home this weekend, and I’ve got a guy coming to my secondary to look at a big item I’ve been trying to sell.   I really need it gone, and I could use the money back in my  pocket too.  He’s available on Saturday.  I hope to sell it.   I’ll head up to the BOL on Sunday or possibly Saturday later.   I may win some stuff to pick up on the way, which will mean heading up Sat.  Flexibility is key to success, right?

Work on the foundation starts Monday, so I need to be up there and ready to go.  I’ll be there most of the coming week, home for the weekend, then back up.   “Life of a repo man’s always intense…”

Mine too, at the moment.

Stack something.

nick

Thur. Sept. 29, 2022 – Hurricane Ian…

Cool and less humid today, and yesterday for that matter.   NOW Fall is here.  It got warm in the afternoon, but morning was glorious.  I hope for the same today.

I did some auction stuff earlier in the day, then did a couple of pickups in the afternoon.   In hindsight, I shouldn’t even have bid in the one auction, but I forgot how far away it is.  And that they misrepresented the condition of a bike I bought from them (which I still haven’t fixed.)  I won’t make that mistake again.

The rest of the day got eaten by ducks.

Today should be a pickup or two, some ebay stuff, and getting ready to head to the BOL for two weeks of foundation work.

Of course for south Florida, and central Florida too, today is the beginning of cleanup following Ian.   Looks like they got hit pretty hard.   Several of my ‘daily read’ bloggers are in affected areas, and my mom is a bit north.   She should be ok, but hasn’t checked in yet.   My best wishes to all affected.   Hopefully your damage is minimal, and your preps were good.   Anyone who is a regular here, who is affected and has unmet needs, please let the group know.   And if you’ve got some AAR or lessons learned, please share those as well, as you move into the Recovery Phase.   There are always lessons to be learned.

One that I learned after Ike, here in Houston, you will need more water than you have.    That’s when I got serious about water storage.   The old standby  of one gallon per person per day is WOEFULLY inadequate for anything other than bare survival.   You will want  a LOT more than that for cleaning, hygiene, cooking, cleaning, and cleaning….  It doesn’t have to all be potable- flushing, washing, cleaning can all use clean but not treated water or minimally treated, in any case.   You will want lots of potable water for drinking, cooking, and kitchen cleanup too.

Don’t forget to stack the things that will allow you to get and treat more water.   Filters, bleach, containers, buckets, laundry tubs, pots, turkey fryers, propane, and transfer pumps, hoses, siphons,  along with tanks of some kind, will all help you replace what you use.   Hot water on demand is one of the signs of civilization.   The propane fueled instant hot water heater I’ve been using to shower at the BOL has been an incredible convenience.  It’s relatively inexpensive, leverages the propane infrastructure I’ve been building out, and has been incredibly useful.  A camping shower, or something improvised with a coil of hose and sunlight will work too.   As long as you have what you need to make it work…

So stack some stuff.   Water (and the means to collect, store, and treat it), food (and the means to collect, store, preserve, and cook it), shelter, medical, etc……   Get busy.  Sooner or later, you’ll need something from the stacks.

nick

Tues. Sept. 27, 2022 – 4 years ago today…

…friend of the blog and prolific commentor OFD,   Dave Hardy, went to his reward.  Church-y language, because he believed in the power of The Church, as it was, and should be.   I hope he’s watching with a bowl of pretzels and a bottle of Moxie.   And if it turns out to be more than a spectator sport, we could all use a little help buddy… Prayers for those he left behind.    Raise a glass to Absent Friends.


 

Cooler but warming later here in Houston.

Didn’t get a lot done yesterday.  Did get some stuff sorted and put away.   Cut the grass.   Broke down and vac sealed the remaining meat from the shopping run (just the vac sealed pork tenderloin.)    Got three nice roasts out of it, and decided not to do any chops.   Cooked one roast for dinner with collard greens from the garden as a side.   Collards are on their second or possibly third year, and still produce.   Had a loaf of the shelf stable sourdough bread too, since I was already running the oven.

Felt kinda ‘off’ all day.   Too much sun on Sunday maybe.

Today I’ve got stuff to do.  Pickups, drop offs, and moving stuff around.   I need to do some more tax paperwork, and some office work too.  There is always something more to do.

Like stacking all the things, you need to do more of that.

n

 

(have I mentioned that D2 is taking up the trombone? And that beginning trombone sounds like moose in heat?  LOUDLY in heat.)

Mon. Sept. 26, 2022 – home, stuff to do here as well as there…

Hot.   Humid.  But cooler to start.  Still saturated in the morning though.  The lake was a nice break from the Houston heat.   Somehow the heat there is different, maybe because I’m out working in it.  (Kidding!  Hot is hot.  I just don’t have a lake to float on with a cold beer at the end of the day in Houston.)

Spent the day breaking rocks in the hot sun.  Shoveling dirt and rocks.   Shoveling sand.   Moving rocks.  There was a whole lot of activity involving rocks.   And shovels.  And no beer at the end of the day as I needed to get in the truck and drive home.  No floating either.

I did get a bunch of broken concrete moved and put to good use filling behind my bulkhead.  It (not coincidentally) also cleaned up the work area for the foundation guys.    To get better access to where I was hiding stashing USING the broken concrete, I pulled up two of the dock’s deck boards.   And I do think that I’ll just flip all the boards over.  That will be a lot cheaper than replacing them (most of them are very damaged by the sun and water) and the undersides look almost like new…  a little pressure washing, and they’ll look new.  If I was doing it to sell the place, it would be super shady and scam-y, but since I’m doing it to myself, it’s nearly genius!   Dock repair and beautification are pretty far down the list, so it won’t be happening soon, in any case.

I also met another neighbor.   He spends most nights fishing off the HOA pier in the fall and winter.   Says he’s got a freezer full of deer (from his deer lease nearby) and a freezer full of catfish from the lake.  Didn’t have any piggy.   Interesting that most of the people up there are well used to feeding themselves off the land.

I need to get ready for a fall garden up there, even if the first try was a complete failure.   Time for some soil additives and maybe some different seeds.  And rototilling in the dried grass.  Maybe I’ll have time while the foundation guys are working.

There’s always more to do.   Always be working to improve your situation.

And stack the things!

n

 

Sun. Sept. 25, 2022 – at the lake, working, working, working…

Cool to start but hot later.  And probably sunny.   And hot.  I’m reasonably sure there will be humidity too.    That’s about how yesterday went.

Did my pickups.   Nice score for my non-prepping hobby.  And the Encyclopedia.   It is in great shape, smells right…

Gas prices seem to be going back up.   Almost everywhere outside of Houston was $2.96 or even higher.  I paid $3.09 and it was E15 so my mileage will suck.   That was a Loves, where they had biodiesel at the pump and a CNG pump too.   There was a big sticker on the E15 pump listing all the things you can’t use it in.   It says to do so is a Federal offense.  WTF?  We need a Federal law about putting the wrong gas in  vehicles?  That right there is a good example of what’s wrong with .fedgov

Part of today will be getting ready for the foundation guys.   We need to clear out the 1/3 of the house that will get foam injected through the slab to lift it and fill the void.   Anything to keep moving forward.   I’m sure I’ll find stuff to do to fill any remaining time…

Keep stacking while you can.  Work that meatspace too.

nick

 

Sat. Sept. 24, 2022 – gettin’ outta dodge…

Hot later.  Nice now.  Too bad it only lasts until about 10am.   ‘Course the humidity is there all day.   The hot part of the day is getting shorter though.  By yesterday evening it felt cool again.  Still over 80F, but cool compared to 104F in the sun.

Did a couple of pickups.  Lot of driving, but I got a steel cabinet (double door office supplies type cabinet) for less than $20.  It’s in good shape, no rust or dents, and hasn’t been painted.  I like to think I learn from my mistakes, so I’m going to use cabinets and not open shelves to store food at the BOL, when I can.  The plastic tubs have been working great to keep the cans and boxes and pouches clean and un-eaten, but they make it harder to see what I’ve got, and harder to just grab something.   My storage conditions suck.   Cool, dry, and dark they ain’t.  Hopefully at the BOL, I can get enough cabinets for the garage to keep everything out of sight, and rat pee free.

Speaking of the BOL, wife and kids took the dog and headed up last night.   I’ve got a couple of pickups today, so I stayed home until later.  I’ll head up as soon as I can.   I may try to get a couple more plumbing parts before I leave.  I’m thinking that I will have to run both my new pex and the old copper at the same time for a while.   The easiest way to do that is T into the hot water heater, both the cold line, and the hot.  They are the newest, are accessible, and are both the same 3/4″ size.  I won’t have to cut and splice anything either to get supply into the pex if I do that.  Every time I touch the existing copper, I cringe, just hoping it doesn’t break loose or spring a leak.

I’m sure I’ll be breaking some more concrete too.  Joy.

But hey, I’m building out our BOL.  That counts for a lot.  And it gives me a whole new place to stack all the things.

Stack some of your own.

 

nick

Fri. Sept. 23, 2022 – Another Friday, another week gone by.

And still the weather is hot and humid.   Freaking sun.  Burns like the blazes.   108F in the sun at my house yesterday, and it was only partly sunny!

So I stayed inside and did paperwork for our tax accountant.   I didn’t get to the storage unit to reorganize and make more room.  I did get some stuff sorted for later auctions, and did get some cleaning done.   I also spent time watching and bidding on the dozen auctions that closed last night.

And I won a few things that will be helpful here and at the BOL.  Another freezer (to sell to a neighbor at the BOL), a metal cabinet for food storage up there, a couple other small things.    I also got a bunch of stuff related to my non-prepping hobby.   I should flip most of it in November at our local swapfest.

One of the things I’ve wanted for a long time finally came my way.   The 1968 Encyclopedia Britannica.   It’s the one I grew up with and I consider it to be about the perfect age.  New enough the science isn’t laughable, but pre-dating all the eco-warrior ’70s bullspit, and all the PC multi-culti nonsense.   My dad read through it twice.   He was very hard to beat at Trivial Pursuit  🙂   I’ve managed to buy a couple other lesser sets from around the same period, but the EB is the best.  Crazy to want it, I know.   The scenarios where it’s useful are so ‘out there’ it should  make me blush.  I don’t care.   I’ve just expanded my ‘rebuild society library’ by a factor of ten.   I’ll pass it off as nostalgia if I have to.   It was pretty close to the sum of all human knowledge at the time it was produced, at least from the ’10 Thousand foot level.’  It’s like having the internet in 24 volumes.  Well, without all the pron and cat pix.  Ever since my siblings gave mom and dad’s set away at a garage sale, I’ve wanted to replace it.  I just didn’t want it enough to pay the price it brings.  This week I got lucky and got a set for under $20.  Hooray.

FWIW, I consider hard cover books and a good library to be essential preps.   Western Civ doesn’t HAVE to die.   The whole Renaissance came about because of books.  Electronic storage and ebooks are malleable and fallible (doesn’t quite rhyme) and while paper books have their failure modes too, at least they can’t be ‘stealth edited’ or rendered unreadable by a change in file format, or hardware obsolescence.  Good collected works volumes are available for a dollar or less.   There’s no reason not to own most of the western canon.  Own them electronically too, but own them.

Stack up knowledge and learning, history and art.  Stack those deep too.

 

nick

 

Thur. Sept. 22, 2022 – 09222022 – eh not that interesting…

Another hot humid day here in the swamp.   Bayou City USA.   Houston, TX.  Jeez.  Fall was nice while it lasted.  Not.  It was 102F in the sun yesterday and it felt like it too.

So I mostly stayed in.   I didn’t feel well.  I’ve got a sore throat and felt a bit off all day, so I napped a little, and puttered.  My wuflu test was negative, so I think it’s just a cold or could be seasonal allergies.  Post nasal drip.   Bah, don’t feel like myself and I don’t like it.

Caught another possum last night.  Took him to the same spot I released the last one.   This one was bigger.   I’ll say that the Hav-a-heart traps are bigger than they look, and more finicky to set than they should be.  Very awkward to bait properly.  Not very good at triggering.   I saw the beastie in the cage on my cam, and went out with a broom to activate the trap door.  Took him a couple of miles away, and released him.  (and not like the krazy komandant in Schindler’s List)

Vermin.   Have a plan.  Get the stuff.   Get more than you think you’ll need.

There is still time to stock up.  It’s costing more every day and getting harder to find bargains.   Still worth doing, in my book.

Today I’ll be doing some auction stuff- shipping an ebay sale, picking up some stuff.  Cleaning the house.  Normal stuff.  Boring stuff. Life stuff.  These are the good old days.

Stack it up, food, tools, friends, and all the things you’ll need.

n

Wed. Sept. 21, 2022 – hard at work or hardly working?

Hot as summer yesterday.  Probably hot again today.  Humid too.   The sun was searing my brain.  REALLY hoped Fall was here.   Oh well, guess we’ll wait a bit longer.

Did pickups in the afternoon, and some family stuff in the evening.   Hit the Costco for a few things in between.  It was eerie.   530pm and the place was a ghost town.   Hamburger was more than HEB, as was chicken.  I bought chicken anyway because I like the packaging.   Bought some steaks too, as they were reasonable, looked good, and I hadn’t seen any ribeye in a while.  They had the shelf stable bread back in stock.   Coffee prices were low, or on sale, which is odd considering some of the things going on in the world.  Maybe coffee isn’t a ‘core’ expenditure and its price will fall as people cut back.  Most people I know would describe it as ‘core’ but maybe they move down scale to cheaper brands.

There were only 3 pallets of rice.   There used to be 6.   Pancake mix is up from $6 to $6.89.  But canadian maple syrup is cheaper than last year.  That has to be an exchange rate thing.  The store removed another set of cold cases.  This was a smaller open front, for organic drinks and salads, near the meat section.  Guess they are still remodeling and cutting back.  Something else caught my eye and I just figured out why.   They moved the bottled and sparkling water from next to the frozen fish, to an interior aisle.   They put beer in the aisle where the water used to be.   What caught my eye was the space.  The beer was all under the warehouse rack, and so was the water.   In the old days, the water was stocked on 6 foot high pallets in front of the pallet racking.   There is a whole lot less water on display, maybe half as much.

All this adds up to reduced SKUs, reduced inventory, and a much more open store.

Supply issues are just getting started friends.

Buy it while you can, and stack it high.

n

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