Sat. Oct. 23, 2021 – so much shorter when I’m tired…

Cool and damp until it’s hot and damp. Some chance of rain. Like yesterday only moreso.

Did my stuff on Friday. Even hit Micheals and JoAnnes to get just the right gold rope for D2’s costume. Of course, she didn’t want it when I got home. joy.

Had a fun evening at elementary school, see comments last night if you’re interested. Most of the people were un-masked, as we were outdoors. Two school district police officers assigned to us over the course of the evening. That’s down from similar events in the past.

Today, well, I’ll tell you about today later. Then I don’t have a bunch of predictions that are wrong… 😉

Get out into your community this weekend and participate in the secondary economy. Buy something from a street vendor/yard sale/flea market for cash. Start making regular withdrawals of cash for “pocket money” to build up what you’ve got on hand in order to loosen the surveillance net around you. You can use the money to buy your spouse a gift s/he doesn’t know about from a card purchase, for example. Yeah. That’s the ticket.

Most of all, figure out where your gaps are and fill them. I’ve never been much of a “put it aside for barter” prepper, but think about that. Small durable items that people would value far beyond their cost today. Something most people would run out to get at the last minute. Share your thoughts…

Stack it high.

nick

Fri. Oct. 22, 2021 – no particular insights

Cooler, overcast, some chance of rain. Houston is in a very small “thunderstorms possible” area on the national map today and tomorrow, so someone will probably get rained on. I covered the stuff in the bed of my pickup overnight in case we got some showers.

Spent most of yesterday driving around and picking stuff up. One auction I got some radio stuff. One I got some more hand sanitizer. Two cases for $5/. It’s alcohol and water with a bit of hydrogen peroxide in a spritz bottle. Very light and clean, no sticky. I use it to clean all kinds of things. It’s my favorite for cleaning my hands when I get back in the truck. Does great on my desk and other surfaces, and it’s cheap because people are ‘over it’.

That’s why fugitives get caught, it’s why people leave school without a degree, it’s why they quit going to the gym by February… I’m not good at following through with some things, but there are others where I can “just keep swimming, just keep swimming…” for as long as needed. Whatever is coming is likely to be long and you’ll need to keep doing the right thing for a long time. It gets repetitive to keep hammering away at prepping, but – I think the need is great, and it bears repeating.

There are a lot of similar voices out there in the blogosphere all of a sudden. I even sometimes see my own words coming around, and I wonder if they are mine or the person got there the same way I did, and it just took a bit longer. No matter, as long as the message gets out. It’s frustrating when I can’t remember where I wrote something, only that I did.

Was it Cliff Stoltz that envisioned your computer keeping track of everything you did in a ‘lifestream’ that you could later move back and forth in? That would be handy for some stuff, that’s for sure. It would allow me to collect some of the stuff I’ve scattered around in various places recently and put it together into some sweet recycled ‘content’ with minimal additional effort 🙂 Maybe I need a keylogger. If there was one smart enough to group and stamp stuff that 99% of the time I don’t ever look at again, but could highlight it when I eventually search for it, I might be tempted. Or I guess I could ask the NSA.

If I could find it all, I’d collect what I’ve written about living in the secondary market, practicing for it, and how that’s all relevant to the coming unpleasantness. I’d collect what I’ve written recently about shortages and logistics too. Lot’s of people having those discussions in different places and my [meager] contributions are scattered around. IP is best when you can re-use it 🙂

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Anyway, today is a couple more pickups, radio stuff and household buys, then school activities until late. I’ve realized that I buy very little outside of food in traditional retail settings anymore. It gives one a very different perspective on what stuff ‘should’ cost when you see it selling for 1/3 or 1/2 of retail all the time. Now if I could do that with food too…

Then I could REALLY stack it high 😉

nick

Wed. Oct. 20, 2021 – so much to do

Another cool and not rainy day. I was going to write “dry” but it’s humid enough that the word ‘dry’ just doesn’t fit. Although with the cooler temps, the humidity is less of an issue. And it still got scalp-scorchingly hot in the mid afternoon when the sun came out.

I actually did a lot of stuff yesterday, but because it was bracketed by chauffeuring daughter 1 around, it felt like an unproductive day. Orthodontist, vet, client, pickup, drop off, school, home, cooking something new, relax, crash, wake…

After all the worrisome behaviour, by bed time puppy Zeus was back to his normal activity level. Still not as eager to eat as usual though, and will be getting extra observation.

Solved my client’s immediate maintenance issue, but further confirmed that we’re not ready for his ‘rip and replace’ upgrade. That is going to have to move up my priority list.

And I need to kick out some more work on my industrial ‘pallet’ auction. I can’t wait too long or I’ll be in the dip between Thanksgiving and February when sales dry up for everything not Christmas related. I missed my window and it sucks because now I’m trying to fit it along side everything else.

Time management skills, I’m lacking them this month.

But what else can you do but keep on plugging away? That’s the secret ingredient for success in most things- keep showing up, keep doing the work.

It’s true for disaster preparedness too. Steady consistent progress, or equally valid, periodic repeated surges of activity, either one will advance you toward your goals.

So keep stacking. Friends, skills, stuff. You’ll need all three and more when the revolution comes.

nick

Mon. Oct. 18, 2021 – another week, let’s go!

Cool and drier today than the past few weeks. Yesterday was very nice, starting at 50F but getting to 80F in the sun. It got cool enough in the evening that my wife and kids turned on the heat. Today should be the same.

Even though I got up at 830 I still got a slow start to the day. Did some auction stuff, did some internet time wasting (reading several people about the shipping situation, shortages, etc) I mean “intelligence gathering”, and did a bit of house cleaning. Went up in the attic and started moving stuff around and getting the Halloween decor down. The main reason to go up there was to look for the rat in the trap that was banging around last night, but since I couldn’t find him, I did stuff I’ve been putting off.

Hooked up an antenna, put some of the luggage from our trip away, swapped out a monitor for my wife since she was WFH last week, etc. Small stuff, but helps on the homefront.

I did get a little bit of decor up outdoors, but then had to head to a meeting of the Board of our Rec Association, ie. pool. Meatspace. Neighbors. Community. I avoided getting drafted onto the new Board, and cast my vote for the slate of suckers that volunteered. If you’ve never served on a Board for something like that, or for a volunteer group, or some hobby association, you’ve got no idea of the mess and work involved. I’ll do far more than my part to keep the place running, but I don’t want to be on the Board…

And then home. Made dinner from Costco heat and eat (some sort of curry and chicken) and put the kids to bed. A totally normal weekend.

Which is completely NOT normal for me. Nice break though, and I am doing stuff to connect to my local community.

And that community is waking up to the stuff going on in the world. I passed NINE Help Wanted signs that I noticed on small businesses along 1 mile of main street on my way to the meeting. About half were for food service. We’re totally open here, and people are even starting NEW restaurants in the neighborhood. There are a lot of unfilled jobs and I don’t really think it’s people staying home and collecting benefits. I personally don’t know anyone doing that. It might just be the circles we move in, as, for example, we really don’t know anyone who smokes dope on a regular basis anymore and I can’t recall the last time anyone asked me if I ‘party’. Could just be selection bias is what I’m saying.

One of the guys at the meeting had some choice comments about the benefits of living in a red state vs blue when we spoke after the meeting. It was not a guy I’ve ever had that conversation with. Then there was the lady I wrote about at the Costco, putting away canned goods even though she doesn’t eat canned food. Everyone I bump into seems to see the writing on the wall and is getting ready. There are a few exceptions. And this is a hurricane/flood/freeze-flood/disaster area so that probably skews the curve a bit too. But in general, people seem to be noticing that we are not in ‘usual’ times.

So I get thrown for a bit of a loop when I come across something as ordinary as Disney continuing to make movies and shows, with a public calendar that stretches out for years. Or when I read a trade mag that has articles about the bright future of one technology or another. I teased that I’d write a bit more science-y something, so here it is.

There are some VERY WEIRD things going on in life sciences and quantum mechanics. https://www.photonics.com/Articles/How_Quantum_Effects_Influence_the_Building_Blocks/a66318

The article looks at some new research aimed at explaining things like ‘why anesthesia works’ and ‘how does consciousness happen’. And particularly whether those are the result of quantum effects from the shape and composition of various molecules. They are just getting started because they are just developing the tools. Along the way, the article also covers some other things they’ve been doing in the quantum realm and it’s more than I thought.

Worth a read, not too long, and certainly accessible to anyone here. Some folks are just barrelling along into the future, assuming it will be there and will welcome them. I am surprised that I find the behavior a bit shocking. Good to look up once in a while.

And then get back to stacking all the things.
nick

Thur. Oct. 14, 2021 – falling behind, ever farther behind….

Hot and humid, but maybe a bit less so today than last week. Or even yesterday. I would like the rain to hold off though so I can use my pickup truck to move some things.

Did my errands yesterday. Flipped one auction item to the auctioneer for cash while doing the pickup… didn’t make what I hoped to make but did keep the auctioneer thinking favorably of me. And I’ll eventually get more stuff in his auctions. Meatspace baby. Relationships. Trust. Mutual self interest. These things need building up as much as your stacks of buckets and cans do.

Daughter had a little mishap after dinner that I’ve described in yesterday’s comments. It brings up some interesting discussion points regarding medical preps. Do you keep stuff that you don’t actually know how to use? Or do you fear ‘getting yourself into trouble’ with it? I’m firmly on the side that stacks material that is far outside your competence to use, especially with medical preps. Having a Doctor in your group, or just access to a doctor, maybe by radio or cell phone will do you no good if you don’t also have the stuff that he can direct you to use. Worst case is me using the stuff to ‘wing it’ if it all goes pear shaped. Slightly less worst case is me learning from the reference material how to do better than just winging it. Having the stuff and learning how to use it, or being advised on its use, or even trading it later to someone else is all better than not having it when it is needed.

Don’t be afraid to stack something you aren’t able to use. You might learn, someone else might use it on your behalf, or you might just exchange it for something you need more later on.

Stack ALL the things*

nick

*start with the basics, then get more advanced in every area. Don’t skip something that becomes available out of order though. You might not get a second time.

Wed. Oct. 13, 2021 – getting back to normal

Hot and humid later, but a cool and humid morning. I expect several days or more of this, drifting cooler each day. Eventually it will be winter. Until then, I’m enjoying the cooler temps while they are here. BTW, it was 95F in the sun yesterday afternoon, so I’m not sure some of you would recognize this as “Fall” quite yet.

Spent most of yesterday getting caught up with stuff. I’ve got an ebay shipment lost somewhere. The post office didn’t scan it in when I dropped it off, so it will either arrive or not. At this point it’s fairly late, even by USPO standards but there was a holiday in there. I told the guy to give it one more day and I’ll refund him. Since it wasn’t scanned in, the PO can’t track it or find it. The best I can do is file for money back on the shipping label postage. The buyer has been very cool about it so far. Looks like I have to go back to getting receipts for every package.

I’ve got to get some more listing done and try to counteract the hit my sales take when I shut down my ebay store. It sucks to be dependent on them for sales, but that is where I’ve spent my effort for these last few years. I still haven’t checked out FB Marketplace, and I’m reluctant to do so because it’s Facebook. I should be able to take more to my local guy, and get the pallets listed this week since my wife is WFH and can get the kids managed in the afternoon. Both of those things will help too.

It sure feels like time is getting short before something big breaks loose. Biddn and Kamel faking videos. Pilots and ATC both possibly staging walkouts. Hospital staff and teachers sure went from heroes to zeros quickly didn’t they? .Mil and the police forces are going to start shedding people too. Someone pointed out that much of the historical unrest surrounding the Depression was fueled by having a whole bunch of p!ssed off veterans at home. Hmm. History sure does rhyme.

Or it could be that we just simmer along like Venezuela did. No sharp changes, but after two years they were in ruin. Maybe TPTB continue to lie and we continue to pretend to believe them, all the while, everything gets worse. One of the things that amazes me is the number of online commentors that profess to recognize that this or that bad thing is here/coming/or just a heartbeat away, but who don’t seem to have processed that reality. They seem to think they can just continue talking sh!t on the internet while the world burns, without having made any plans or preparations. They are USED to moaning and complaining, and they think that will go on forever.

If you think CWII is only a spark away, WHAT DOES THAT REALLY MEAN? No trucks, or severely reduced, even from today’s levels. No food, no stuff, starvation, and desperation. Bank holidays and insolvencies. Street violence, and street justice. Killings. Seizures of people and assets. Texas rebels and all Texans’ out of state accounts get frozen…. no money for you! Maybe the big red switch gets pulled and all of the internet goes dark for a while, and when it comes back up the Great Firewall of China looks like a toddler’s attempt. No more alt-news. No more high speed. Packet shaping and speed limiting for all! If you claim this might happen and you aren’t prepping for it, I will not take you seriously.

Ditto for the other scenarios for what might be coming.

If you think some bad thing is coming, get ready. If you are sure it won’t, get ready for good times. Doing nothing won’t help or save you.

Stack it up while you can.

nick

(more Disney report later)

Tues. Oct. 12, 2021 – 10122021 – hmm. Well, home safe, more later

Hot and humid, but probably not the scalp searing sun of Central Florida today in Houston. Or maybe it will be. I’ll find out.

Made it home safe. Uneventful travel day, which is the best kind.

Went to be early because today is a school day and it starts early.

Goals for today- unpack, do laundry, do some ebay stuff, do some auction stuff.

And get back to stackin’…

n

Mon. Oct. 11, 2021 – flying home, probably.

More great weather in the forecast for Orlando. Yesterday was all I hoped for. Today should be too. Hot in the sun, cool in the shade.

Ended the day yesterday at EPCOT, eating around the world. Then the fireworks/video/water show. Great show.

Today we will go back to HS and catch a couple of rides on fast passes they gave us for messing up our tickets. Then off to the airport and the joys of travel during covid. That is, if I can get our tickets fixed.

Stack up the good times to help get through the bad.

Nick

Sun. Oct. 10 – late night, early start

Weather was fantastic Saturday and I’m hoping for more of the same today. Evening and nighttime couldn’t have been nicer.

We had a good day yesterday. The new and me to me attractions, and updates to old attractions, have all been good and policy changes have been ok to great.

The parks are in great condition. A lot of shiny new things, fresh paint, etc.

Today we start at the Magic Kingdom. I’m a bit tired and foot sore but determined to have fun.

The difference between the 10 yo and the 12yo is dramatic. I’m hating that I missed this with D1 two years ago because of China flu. It’s a small thing viewed against all the other losses, but I still hate it.

This is a nice break, but I still think worse is headed our way. Stack it up.

( including the good times and memories,)

N

Sat. Oct. 9, 2021 – tired and sore, but having fun

Well the weather was as predicted, and will be today, most likely.

Still posting from my phone so not much desire for introspection or observation.

They do have a new security protocol at the parks. No bag check unless you trigger the metal detector, then you empty your pockets. Everyone passes through the detector. The detectors are state of the art. Open top. Two pillars. Indication by lights on the pillars where the detection is. And they are twice the width of regular detectors.

Much quicker, and the whole process is more friendly, for lack of a better word. Lots of security officers in the park too.

Today is Animal Kingdom and the avatar attraction, then hop to somewhere else TBD.

Interesting to see the changes, and watch the people.

Keep improving your position, and keep stacking.

Nick