Category: polemic

Wed. Sept. 28, 2022 – step into my parlor, said the spider to the fly….

Cool and nice, getting hotter later.   But NOW it feels like fall is here.   Wouldn’t get 65F in summer…  it did get hot later in the day yesterday but oh my that morning was glorious.

Did stuff all day long but it doesn’t feel like I got much actual work done.  Sometimes that’s just the way it is.

Today I’ve got more stuff to do, pickups, shopping for stuff for the BOL, and organizing.   There are a couple of things I need to get done before going out of town for another week, and possibly two.

Meanwhile the pace and intensity of conflict in the world is picking up.   I know it’s sky falling all the time, I’ve been reading old posts from a year ago, and more.   Hard to time the markets, and hard to predict when things will go kinetic.  But we have an aggressor, who has stated plainly and repeatedly that nuclear weapons are an option.   We have an attack on his national assets, for no reason that seems to make a bit of sense, but which will certainly cause other actions and reactions.  This same aggressor has instituted some sort of draft, which is NOT the action of someone who thinks they’ll be done fighting in a month or two.   As a nation we are weaker than we’ve been in a lifetime.  We’ve given away and expended an awful lot of ordinance that is not easily replaced, weakened our military and its leaders, and don’t have a President who can even put on his own coat, let alone lead in a global conflict.  Our populace is divided, our economy is foundering.   We are on the verge of open conflict within and without.

The elephants are dancing and this mouse is going to hide…  It could be a day or a month or a year away, but we’re on a path to serious disruption.   Not sure what form it will take, but it will be big.  Everything is building toward SOMETHING happening.   Don’t try to time it.

Stack more stuff, while you can.

nick

Thur. May 12, 2022 – change, flexibility, and decisiveness

Hot and humid, another sunny day.  It got pretty dang hot yesterday.  I was sweating and pretty dehydrated after working at my storage unit for over an hour.  I had some water with me this time, and that helped.

I took a pickup truck load to the auctioneer, and picked up a lot to flip to my “non-prepping hobby” guys ( I hope) on Saturday.  I will be picking up a few things for the BOL today, and heading up there Saturday afternoon.   I was just too tired and had too much to do here to head up yesterday.

The post title is about what we are facing and what I think you need to get through it, besides massive stacks of course.  There was a shortage of used vehicles, and I bought a truck.   There is a shortage of rural properties, and I bought a nice one.   There are ongoing shortages of food, cleaning supplies, parts, construction materials, and skilled labor.   I’ve had a chance to buy some, and am still waiting for that chance for others.

What let me get what I wanted was knowing what a good deal looked like, having the resources available to act immediately, acting immediately, and a willingness to compromise on what I was getting.

We’re still in a period where you can get what you want, maybe even precisely what you want IF you can search for it, and wait for it to become available.  And if you can afford it… but that is rapidly becoming less common, and NOT being able to just walk in and get what you want, right here and right now, is becoming the norm.

We have a culture of abundance.   We are entering a phase where some things, many things, are no longer abundant.  That is a pretty big change and one that some people are going to have a hard time accepting.   It’s going to be critical for your own success at seeing this through to the other side to recognize the change in our reality, and to develop new ways to deal with that fact.

It may mean carrying more inventory than you are used to, either at work or in your domestic arrangements.  A full and deep pantry is going to ease a lot of misery around shortages of foods.   Adequate spares for your critical systems need to be on hand, and not in someone else’s control.  You may need to plan ahead, order early, and you may need to pay immediately, rather than on the terms you are used to.  That means having access to more cash or bigger credit lines than you might have had last year.  And it means accepting less than you would really like, because that’s what IS available.

That last point is going to be really hard for some people.   The personality that likes to research thoroughly before a purchase, that likes to mull over a decision, is going to suffer if they don’t change.  Do the research, make the decision, but then act decisively when the opportunity presents itself.  Be open to alternatives.

And be open to alternative sources.   The secondary economy is booming.  Resellers are making hay.  Used, damaged, fixable, or cleanable may be your best choice.  Traditional retail and traditional supply lines will not be able to supply all your needs.  Start exploring your other options now, while there is still time to climb the learning curve.

Finally consider the changes in culture.  Respect for the law and for law enforcement is crumbling.   Violence is increasing and occurring in areas that were formerly safe. Some people LIKE chaos and strife, it breaks down social norms and increases their freedom to do what they like doing.   Some of them like hurting other people, taking their stuff, and destroying whatever strikes their fancy.  Some people will go along to get along.  It won’t matter to you if they guys running the roadblock are doing it for love or to feed their family, you lose either way.

It’s going to get tough, but we can get through this.

Stacks of stuff will help.

nick

Mon. Apr. 25, 2022 – birthday and anniversary this week

National forecast says we might be getting some rain today and tomorrow… which I’m hoping against.  I’ve got stuff to do that needs dry weather.   It was 76F and 91%RH when I went to bed.

I did some stuff Sunday.  Mostly fled the house and the squealing of tiny proto females.   Did two pickups, both mainly for my non-prepping hobby.   Did daddy daughter stuff, then wasted time on the internet with my friends. Oh, and during that time the dog ate an unknown quantity of Easter chocolate and caused some concern and an attempt at making him vomit it up.  The little poop factory eats aluminum soda cans, a teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide didn’t phase him.  He’s still alive so I guess he didn’t eat too much of the chocolate.

Today’s plan is to figure out what’s gone wrong with my pickup truck, get some bins of stuff ready for auction, and do a pickup or two of BOL stuff.  Rain complicates all of that tremendously so I’m hoping it misses us.

I’ve got so much going on this week, swim team practices start, D2 has a birthday, I have a wedding anniversary, and all the normal things too.  It’s crazy.


Some comments at the end of the day yesterday regarding supply chain, food, and corn.  If you haven’t caught up, take a minute and read them and consider how they’ll affect you if it happens that way.

Beyond local and national farm issues, the brutal lockdown in China is backing up shipping and supply chain like crazy.  The effects will start showing up in a couple of weeks and it will take months to un-flock this clustered mess.  Expect anything coming from or through China, and particularly Shanghai to be delayed or unavailable, possibly for months.

The situation is worsening folks, in just about any way you look at it.  I know, I know.   Sky is falling yet again.  Yep.  Look at the material and make your own conclusions.  If you decide it’s overblown, then at least you’ve considered it, and didn’t just keep running forward with your eyes closed.

If like me and others, you see all the signs pointing to things getting worse, not better, ACT on that.  Take actions that work for you and your family and for your financial situation.  I’m still in “don’t do anything irrevocable” mode, but we did turn a whole pile of cash into a whole pile of bricks and dirt because my wife agrees that inflation is eating our savings like a fat man at a buffet.

Interest rates are rising.  They’ve already risen.   If you are selling a house, do the deal.  If rates rise too much the housing bubble will pop again.  If you are buying a place to live, and it’s within your means, know that you might end up underwater on your loan for a while, and that might limit you for a few years or longer.  I wouldn’t be buying any place as an “investment” and I wouldn’t be entering into an adjustable rate mortgage at the moment either… nor would I ‘stretch’ to make a purchase that is outside what I can safely afford.  If I was renting, I’d be looking at long term leases to lock in monthly payments.  If I was the owner, I’d be looking at short term leases as much as possible.

Also consider what these changes and trends mean for fixed incomes and government assistance programs and the people dependent on them.   Food shortages almost always lead to riots.     In other words, I expect violence and lawlessness to increase.  It will be variable by area, but everyone will be affected.   And people will be fleeing to your safe semi-rural area when the cities get worse.  They’ve already started.

Time to really get busy getting ready.   Suck it up and stack it up.

n

Fri. Apr. 8, 2022 – like a drunk lurching down a hallway…

Cool and clear?  Yesterday was, with a gusting blustery wind.   In the afternoon it was 81F in the sun, with only 19%RH.   Gorgeous.  I’d like some more of that please.

I did my one pickup, missed the others.   I’ll be getting those today.

I heard back from the septic engineer finally, and he can’t meet this weekend, so I will not have to dash up to the BOL.  It’s my non-prepping hobby meeting weekend so I’m really glad not to miss getting together with the guys.


 

It occurred to me that we move through time like a drunk lurching down a hallway.   The hallway is the constraints of what is possible.   Sometimes the hallway is wide and we don’t find the walls.  Sometimes the hallway is narrow and the drunk walks straight down the center.  Sometimes he slides down one wall or the other.  Sometimes, he bounces off the edge of what’s possible and moves backward for a short period before moving on down the hall.  Occasionally there is a doorway or an alcove and since the drunk is leaning on the wall as he moves, he gets stuck in the slight widening of the hall.  Often as not, he’ll spin around eventually and lurch down the main part of the hallway again.

Our hallway is very narrow at this moment.   We’re rushing down the hall, bouncing rapidly from wall to wall.   Some of us are spinning around with every bounce, trying to reorient on moving forward.  Some are holding a hand against one side to steady us as we go, but we are all becoming more and more constrained as we go along.

As a nation, a culture, a people, and as individuals, we are coming to a place where the hallway ends.  Is it a door that we can pass through and then continue down the same hallway?  Or is it a wall, and the door opens to our left or right and takes us in a different direction?  Do the walls just squeeze us down, like a cattle chute, until we can only go forward, in single file, pushed by the mass behind us?

I think I know where we are headed.   I don’t know how long the remaining hallway is, nor how we continue.   History says that “we” as a whole WILL continue, but not necessarily any specific one of the “we”.    The mass of people behind us in the hallway pushes us forward, even if we’d prefer to stop.  You can shelter in an alcove for a short while, but eventually the mass carries you on.   Just as I don’t know how long the hallway is, I don’t know how wide it still might be.

It feels pretty narrow, with very little room to lurch around.  It feels like we’re pretty close to the door, or the jog in the hall, or even the complete change of turning right or left.

My plan is to get me and mine through to what comes next.   I’ll move with the crowd down the hall, lurching a bit less, and focused on moving at my own pace, and not just getting carried by the force of the pushing masses, until we pass through and the door opens on a new hall, or the constraint of what is possible widens out again.

 

Stack the things you need, so that the crowd has fewer handles to grab as  they pull you along.

nick

Wed. Apr. 6, 2022 – people are starting to notice, and talk about it.

Warm and clear, might be a nice day.  Yesterday was mostly overcast and a bit on the warm side later in the day.

I’m still feeling a bit goofy which seems to happen when I take powerful antibiotics, but they are doing the job.  Finger is almost back to normal.  Missed one pickup yesterday but made two.  All stuff for the BOL.

Spoke with a septic system engineer about my issues, and he’s willing to come and design a new system.   He said I shouldn’t rule out an anaerobic system, he’ll do the tests and look at the site and see if it’s possible.  I ended up spending a couple of hours putting together a package for him that included annotated pics of the site, the original plat with dimensions, and our desires… I will probably have to go up and meet with him on Saturday.

It’s always something, and there are a couple of peculiarities to working out in the country.  One is that there may not be a lot of choice for who does the work.  It comes down to who is out there, or is willing to work out there, who has the crew, or the tools, or the reputation or the time.  The other is that people are busy.   There is a stereotype about country folk being relaxed and moving slow, but it just ain’t so… at least so far, and with the kind of people I’ve been meeting.

 


 

Title of the post refers to the change in our current state of affairs.  The sense that hard times are coming, that there may not be enough food, that something bad is just around the corner.   I hear it from people I interact with doing auction stuff, from people in stores, and in the online world.  There is not a sense of optimism, of fun, or of good times.     People are noticing gas prices.   They are noticing shortages and increased prices at the store.  They are noticing that violence and crime are up.  And I’m beginning to feel them start to withdraw their consent, as in “the consent of the governed”.   Whether that means politically, or by the polite rules of society, or by the conscious and unconscious rules of western civilization, they are withdrawing their consent.   Circles are shrinking.   Focus is more local.

Taken to extremes, it’s back to the clans and hamlets of the middle ages.  Whether that’s figurative or literal IDK yet, but there is certainly a balkanization going on.  The unifying idea of Americanism is broken.

And that is a really unfortunate state of affairs, as the American Experiment, American Exceptionalism, and American Imperialism brought unbelievable wealth and progress to the world.   I know people will have a reaction to that statement, some very vehemently opposed to it, but – for decades we fed the world.  Computers, the PC, the internet.  Space travel and satellites, GPS.  Medical procedures, drugs, MRI, CT scans, the modern EMS system.

There was a unique spirit, and I’m afraid it’s broken beyond recovery.

So stack it up.  To quote Yoda, “Save you what can.”    There are still people living in Rome.  There will still be people living in “America”.   But would they be recognizable by the originals?

n

Sun. Nov. 7, 2021 – fall back. In more ways than one.

Cold. Or at least chilly. Damp. Then less of both until it’s sunny and warm-ish. Because most days are like yesterday. Except when they’re not.

Did my running around. Spent a few hours at my storage unit going through stuff and loading bins. I’ve got some good stuff in there.

That will be my plan for today too, although I may start here. Family returns in the early afternoon. They’ve been having a blast so far.

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Last night you should have “fallen back” by turning your clock back one hour, in most places in the US anyway. I don’t mind it although I do have a bit of trouble with sleep. It was much worse traveling across time zones when I was working and I survived that. The 12 hour offset to the middle East was about the worst. I always had the most trouble when I came home by traveling west. East, not a problem. West, messed me up. I was usually in a location for long enough to adjust, and then had to adjust back. LIVING in Central time had lots of advantages while working with both coasts. I could work productively many extra hours in the day! Hooray!

——————————————————————

The other part of ‘falling back’ is about culture. Civilization. Mores, manners, trust. We’re falling back in those areas pretty quickly. Rule of law and a high trust society were essential for building the culture of Western Civilization. The more Rule by Law, and the less by Men, the more the west prospered and western people with it.

In the US, Rule of Law (ROL) has been under attack for some time. Recent events suggest that on a macro level, we’re already WROL, but still have Rule by Men. On a micro, or local, or day to day, level we still have some ROL, in most places. We still ape the traditions, mouth the words, for now. This won’t last. As the big picture, so too the small.

The left politically is doing everything they can to reduce ROL. They crave Rule of Man, because they think they will be the ones Ruling… they are puppets on a string. History shows us that once the revolution is complete, they’ll be on the chopping block just like those they led to it. The true Rulers will emerge to benefit from all their hard work.

For some ordinary folks, not much will change. If you live a life of dependence and meanness, it will probably continue. But if you don’t, you will be ‘falling back’. All of the progress you’ve made in your career, your financial life, your health, will be taken from you. Little by little or all at once, they will try to break you.

Plan for how you can fall back on your terms, gracefully if you can manage it. Everything around us will be falling back too. Healthcare. Available food. Jobs. Service. Culture. Performers celebrated for singing about their W.A.P. fete’d for bragging about choking on … something, and the rise of rap music is just one indicator. Rising crime, failing systems and infrastructure, fewer choices in the stores- more indicators. Weirder crimes, more explosive violence, and decreased tolerance of anything someone doesn’t like- more indicators. Extremism in all its forms- another indicator.

I don’t know how far back we’ll fall, but I know that once you damage something, it will never be the same, and it’s easier to break than repair… so give it some hard thought, and prep.

Stack some things.

nick

Sun. Oct. 24, 2021 – well, was it good for you?

Damp and cool-ish, some sun, if we’re lucky. Yesterday ended up that way, light misty drizzle. That stifled some of my plans. Teh intarwebs ate more of my day. Who knew my time in Hollywood would have relevance here?

I don’t want to spend any more time on it, unless someone has read through the relevant threads and comments at Aesop’s and the whole comment thread here yesterday and still has real questions. I’ll try again to state what I believe and why, and why you should believe me. It comes down to this being a workplace accident. Baldwin was not acting as a private citizen out in the world where one set of rules applies. He was working, in a [nominally] controlled environment, at the direction of others, under a different set of rules. They are different because the work aims to create the illusion of dangerous reality, while minimizing the actual danger. That the rules work when followed is attested to by the safety record of the industry. That the rules were not followed in this case seems pretty clear and the result is death, injury, and trauma, followed by massive economic losses. The economics are important because it was WORK undertaken by a business, and economic considerations probably contributed to the situation.

In the working environment, under the rules established, the actor IS NOT responsible for gun safety. Like it or not, he is not. The actor is not in any way shape or form a “competent person” under workplace safety laws. The actor is not a “responsible person” under workplace safety laws. They have only the general responsibility to be safe at work that every employee has. They are very fancy ‘temp’ workers. Actors, even principals (main characters) might only be on set for a couple of days total. They don’t necessarily know anything at all about movies, production, anyone’s job, or any other thing besides ‘stand here, look here, say this, do this.’ The job of keeping all these baby ducks safe and getting a usable work product out of them falls to the professionals in the production. They include people who DO meet the definition of “competent person” and “responsible person”. The crew is there for the duration, the actors come and go. The actors are literally shuttled and herded, coddled and ‘managed’. Everything is done for them that can possibly be done because they can’t be trusted to do it themselves.

If this sounds awful to you, again, it doesn’t matter. This is the way it works, and you are not an actor. FWIW, most ‘actors’ are not primarily actors either. Cliches are sometimes cliches for a reason. Sometimes they are not and there are actors who are sharp as razors. There are football players who are Rhodes Scholars too, but most of them are not. Even an incredibly sharp actor doesn’t necessarily have any interest in learning about something he’ll be using for 10 minutes out of two days, 3 times a year. And that’s how long and how often he might hold a gun in a movie shoot, if he’s a working character actor. An action star might get considerable screen time using weapons but actually shooting them is only a small part of the time on screen and a vanishingly small part of their yearly work hours. I mean, jeez, how many times do you hear gun people complaining about guns or techniques shown in the movies? Well, that actor might have spent a whole couple of hours over a week holding a gun. And then he did nothing for two years, before showing up on set for his three day shooting call for his next project. They are pretending to competence, and the vastly larger crew that shoots the film makes it possible for them to do so.

The actors are usually the least safe, and least competent people involved, which is why the competent crew people are the ones trusted to make decisions like “is this gun safe”. FFS, you wouldn’t trust an actor to make life or death decisions in an operating room, why would you let him make that decision with a gun? His whole life is pretending to competence he doesn’t have.

I get it that people are angry that this particular anti-gun douchebag isn’t going to be held responsible for a deadly accident involving a firearm that happened in his workplace. If it had happened at his home, or your home, or on the street I’d be making a different argument. I don’t go into mines and tell the miners that their work rules are stupid and criminally negligent when someone dies. I don’t go down to the fire station and tell the firefighters that they are doing it wrong because I wouldn’t do it the way they do. (I might lobby that their doctrine should be changed, but not at the station house.) I don’t tell pilots that they are full of sh!t for believing that their way is the safest way they can think of to do things, even when their way breaks down and kills people.

I once did enough rigging (hanging stuff in the air) in the theater and entertainment world that I was at least competent enough to spot bad rigging when I saw it. Then I helped set up a Cirque du Soleil show and realized I knew NOTHING about circus rigging. It was completely different from what I did know, and looked unsafe as HELL to me. But it wasn’t. They had CENTURIES of tradition and methods of work to draw on, and smart people adapting it to new materials.

This is all to say that a movie set is a workplace. The actors are employees, and temps at that. They have no expectation of competence outside of pretending to be something they are not. They are told what to do, guided and instructed at every step, the way is made clear for them, and they do their job, which is only to convince you of the lie, and the truth of the story. The crew is the responsible party, in every sense of the word. A shoot is not your workplace. It’s not a town square, or anywhere in real life. The rules are different because they have to be, because they are what keeps the workers safe, just like the rules in a mine are different from the rules in a restaurant, are different from the rules for a steeplejack, or a merchant marine vessel, or an aircraft carrier.

The movie business – Hollywood – is an industry with its own set of rules and regulations, its own set of laws in some places, and its own way of doing business. It’s not a mine. It’s not a daycare. It’s not a shooting range, or a gun club, or a school for actors. Compared to other industries it’s incredibly safe. Compared to other regular gun users it’s astoundingly safe.

As an actor, if the reports so far hold up, Baldwin was not responsible for the death and injury. As a manager/ maybe part owner of the company, he might have responsibility if his decisions as a manager/owner contributed to the accident. The armorer has the primary responsibility in fact, legally, and in practice. The AD who handed the gun to Baldwin and declared it ‘safe’ might be found to have more responsibility than the armorer, but that’s for lawyers and courts to decide, he certainly shares it with the armorer. That is my understanding under the work rules and practices prevailing in the industry. It’s the understanding of the knowledgeable lawyers I quoted in comments yesterday, of the crew actually working on the set, and of almost everyone working in the business who has commented.

It’s clear that in this case the industry rules were not followed, and actually competent people were not involved. People WILL pay for that. It just might not be the anti-gun hypocrite Baldwin.

And I hope that’s all I’ll have to say about that.

Now, don’t join the blood dancing howler monkeys who WILL use this for more attacks on our gun rights. And because I blog about prepping, consider that they might ram something through, and think about the effect on you and prep accordingly.

Don’t be distracted from the real threats we’re facing. Keep stacking.

nick

Sat. Oct. 2, 2021 – hoping for a busy day

Warm and wet. Possibly sunny. Probably not for the whole day. Friday we got rain on and off most of the day. Over an inch at my house, other parts of Houston got a whole lot more. The bayous were well up from their normal levels.

Did one pickup yesterday, mostly household items and some additional defensive gear. One well broken in pair of combat boots will be going into my truck with a heavy pair of socks. I often wear lightweight shoes or even sandals (granted that they are Teva brand and very sturdy and I’ve walked hundreds of miles in them over the years). However, if I had to walk a long way or over rough terrain, I’d prefer to do it in boots. Finally found a pair cheap enough, and sturdy enough, and slightly big, that I can just leave in the truck.

I unloaded and moved some stuff around at my secondary location. After my pickups today, I’ll be headed there to set up a couple more lots for my industrial auction.

Turns out, I’ve got less than a week before going out of town for a few days. Yup, making progress on my ebay and cleanup, so of course we’re going on vacation. WDW here I come. As much as it bugs me to keep interrupting my progress on other things, I do love the place and I love being there with the kids. Everything has a sort of “last run” feel to it right now too, so there is that consideration. Mom and one sibling will be joining us, and we’re staying in a resort I’ve never stayed at before. I’ll have a good time, but there are always tradeoffs.

It is interesting to see some other bloggers FINALLY getting it, and starting to seriously prep for bad times. Also a bit dumbfounding, as I’ve been doing it for so long now (even though I started fairly late) that it’s second nature and I thought the reasons were pretty self-evident. Well, better late than never, and there is still time. No one knows how much time, but using Venezuela as a model it could be another year or two. Or something could kick off tomorrow. If it did, it’s unlikely that things would be very bad for some time even then. Unless it’s something like 2008 only 3x as bad, or 9-11 only with a container nuke in a port city.

Even when China moves on Taiwan, I think it will have immediate negative impacts on us but we’ll dither… and there will be time for a ‘last run’ or two. We’ll probably even let them have it in a short sighted attempt to keep the chips flowing and the entire world economy from crashing. Then it will be up to China how fast they crack down, or start the extortion, and manage to kill the golden goose. And it WILL all crash down anyway, because China will be as heavy handed and brutal as always.

I’m not so worried about Russia in Ukraine, or Estonia, they don’t make the underpinnings of the entire world economy. Russia will move, we’ll let them, our oligarchs will maneuver to profit from it, and that will be that for us. It will suck for whoever the Russians move against, but it won’t make much difference to us. Taiwan on the other hand does make a difference. Since we’ve put chips into almost literally everything (my toaster brags that it is ‘microprocessor controlled’ on the front panel) we need to keep getting chips. No matter what China tries to do, there will be disruptions in the just in time flow of chips, and we’ve already seen some of the effects of disruptions in the chain… When NOBODY can get the chips they need, it WILL fall apart.

And that will be very ugly.

These are the Crazy Years. We celebrate madness, literal madness, when we celebrate the mental illness of trans people. We revel in debauchery that would have made the Romans blush as part of our public ‘culture’. We become more partisan, more divided as a people with every passing day. Our ‘leaders’ have become our rulers and the power relationship enshrined in our founding- that THEY work for US, that THEY are our SERVANTS- has been inverted. The barbarians aren’t at the gates anymore, they’re being bused and flown to cities well inside the empire. The gates have been flung open, and the flooding continues.

Most of us just want to be left alone to live our lives as we see fit, with as little contact with, and interference from our government as possible. I don’t think that is going to happen. They can’t let it happen, because as long as someone could point to us and say “well they’re doing ok without you” the whole lie falls apart. We must be brought into the fold, we must be forced to repent, and we must be punished for our sins.

Keeping our heads down and our profiles low might work. For some people, maybe most people, there will be an accommodation arrived at. But for some, it’s going to be violent, and destructive. People have argued that all we do when we bomb foreigners is create more people that hate us, and create the next generation of terrorists. WTF do those same people think will happen here to the children of THEIR political prisoners, or the people who will be killed by the state when this kicks off? What happened to the people who remember Waco, Ruby Ridge, Ashli Babbitt, LaVoy Finicum, and others killed by the state already?

Bad things. Bad times. Coming like a freight train. I keep asking for a reality check, asking if anyone sees a way to avoid it, and I keep getting no answer. It’s coming. People are gearing up in every sense of the word, and in every conceivable way. You can feel it. You can see it in their actions.

Stack it now, or wish you had later.

nick

Mon. Aug. 23, 2021 – insert title here — ;-)

Hot. Sunny. Humid. Overcast. Rainy. Houston. Sunday was hot and humid, no rain, no overcast.

I did some small work in the garage, and I continue to be impressed with how well the exhaust fan keeps the temps down. Oh, it was still hot, but nothing like last year or the year before. Definitely worth doing.

I set two more traps for Sr. Raton. He walked past the traps I’d already set, so I baited these with peanut butter and bacon. I know he was there, because he knocked a package of Costco canned chicken off the shelf. However, someone‘s been nibbling on the poison block I screwed to the wall along a likely infiltration path…. so SOMEONE is not long for this world. I just hope he takes himself outside before expiring. I’m sure I’ll know it if he doesn’t.

I had a box of rat traps that I bought last year at auction, and I have been using the poison block refills for the bait stations. I have been baiting with Tomcat Attractant because all the previous rats learned that peanut butter equals death. It got one up in the attic, but my garage thief is not interested, hence the pb&b bait. If you don’t already have some pest control supplies stacked, I’d recommend getting some. If the slide continues, services like trash removal, junk pickup, etc. will be impacted. Your neighbors, floods, droughts, and new construction all influence the migration and presence of pests too. When the need arises, there might not be any available.

The same can be said for soil supplements, and garden pest controls. It will be critical if you are relying on a garden for food, even just supplemental food, that you get as much as you can. Can’t have pests eating or ruining food your kids need. We’ve already seen that gardening supplies can vanish if the demand goes up even a little. Having some reference books with alternative methods wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

Of course the best case is you getting your garden up and productive long before you NEED it. In most places the learning curve is probably not as steep as here, but it can be hard to find the varieties that grow well for you in your location. Local knowledge helps a lot with that. And every farmer knows that luck plays its part, particularly bad luck. Start climbing that curve. (also, you probably don’t have enough seeds, or the right seeds. Work on that too.)

In other news, the Biddn administration has decided to punish Russia by blocking importation of guns and ammo. Give the popularity of the AK and SKS platforms, that is not good news. Cheap imported steel case 7,62×39 didn’t stay cheap during the recent drought, but it was cheaper than 5.56, and a bit more available. It made for a good argument to have both platforms available in your safe. Who knows, the UN peacekeepers and the chinese ‘advisors’ might become mobile resupply pods if things get super sporty, and in that case, 7.62 will be plentiful again. Until then, the supply chain just got broken.

If there’s something you want, or think you will need in the next 2-5 years, I’m suggesting you buy it when and if you see it. If you need fast computers, might want to accelerate your purchase schedule. Even I’m thinking about getting a new box for the house. Almost everything here is a decade or more old, except the NVR I built, and it’s not new. With all the chips that come from Taiwan, if things get a bit sporty on the global geopolitical front, and it seems likely that they will given our withdrawal from the world stage and increased focus on internal issues, it’s possible that the supply of new things of all sorts could be disrupted.

To put it bluntly, Chinese misunderstanding and foreign adventures could wreck Taiwan’s foundries. Chinese really don’t seem to understand that there are some things that actually must be done correctly and well to work, and not just have the appearance of quality. Chip foundries, like aircraft carrier battle groups and nuclear attack subs, are hideously complex and all the pieces have to genuinely work for the system to work. There is no ‘faking’ it and there is no commanding it to happen.

How long could you go if you had to start from what you have now? That’s the question to ask when considering what and how much to stack. It might not come to that. Sanity might prevail. Doesn’t seem like the smart bet though.

Stack it high and wide. Stack some in secret.

nick

Wed. Aug. 18, 2021 – Did something change?

Hot and humid again, although less so. Same prediction of rain in the afternoon or evening. Which is how yesterday went. We had sun and rain at the same time for part of the afternoon… so we didn’t get clobbered, but I think we’re 4 for 4 on rain in the afternoon now.

Spent the day moving stuff from one bin to another, getting ready to drop off some auction stuff today. Then I went to Costco to get TP and whatever else struck me as a good deal.

Hmm. Spent almost $800 and didn’t get much meat, and got no TP. The TP area was BARE except for one or two pallets of Scott. No paper towels either. The napkins I like were on sale so I got some of those. They were bringing out about 10 pallets of kirkland TP, but I don’t need to mess with that. If they haven’t restocked Charmin Blue, I’ll pull some from my secondary location. It’s not that I don’t have any, I just am getting low at the house.

What I did get was some of the stuff I haven’t bought in a year or more. 3 boxes of ziplok bags for example. Dishwasher pods. $40 in black bins for the auction. And lots of prepared meals. They are very convenient with the kids and with me being out of the house in the late afternoon. They’re not cheap, or a great value, but they are tasty and convenient. I also doubled up some purchases to get ‘caught up’ on some stuff I’d let run down. Butter. Cheese. Potstickers. Cereal. Our eating habits have changed and I’ve got stuff on the shelves that is just sitting there that would have turned over twice a year ago.

There were some gaps. No lamb rib chops, so I couldn’t compare today’s price with 2019. No lamb convenience meals either. Still no spiral sliced ham- I don’t think it’s coming back at this point. They marked down the pallet of Community brand coffee. They had switched flavors from what was selling well (and what I bought) to a lighter blend, and it looks like it didn’t sell at all. I hope they go back to the dark roast, and don’t drop the company completely. There was one Mountain House box on an otherwise empty pallet. People must have been buying today. The black bins were sold out on the floor, so I grabbed some from the second shelf. No flip top bins at all.

There was still rice in different sized bags and a couple of different varieties, but nothing like pre-wuflu. It was more like 70c/lb than 50c. That could be brand, or seasonal variation, or it could be inflation. Oh, and no Breathe Rite strips in the store… weird. Lots of indian food displacing the chinese and korean, lots of stuff I’ve never seen in the store before, but all in smaller quantities. All the canned veg was national brands, not kirkland.

There seemed to be a good assortment of cheap wine options, 8-12$ bottles. More selection at the low end than I remember them having pre-wuflu, and confirms what I saw last time. There were a lot of discounted items too, which almost seemed back to normal. It wasn’t crowded at 4:00-5:30pm while I was there, but they must have had a pretty busy day. Storms headed this way, and political storms brewing might do that.

It’s not just foreign actors that will be testing Bidden and the US. Our own politicians will be looking to exploit his weakness and mistakes too. That will give our enemies even more encouragement as we continue fighting amongst ourselves. Don’t look for peace, prosperity, and stability. It’s going to get a lot worse before we get back to those.

Prep as best you can for whatever threat you see coming. If you feel like you’ve got to lower your profile, don’t just drop off the air here. Let us know you’re going to be ‘spending more time with family’… so we don’t worry. Or change your nickname… although that won’t stop us from noticing your old nick isn’t coming around anymore. Thanks for the support for Ray and his wife, especially from those of you we don’t hear from that often. Glad to know you are still coming by.

There’s only so many ways I can say “get prepped” but despite all the time Bob spent saying it, and I spent saying it, some of you were still caught short last March. Don’t let that happen again. For REALZ this time, get prepped! Anyone with specific questions, ask them. It will give me something specific to write about, or it’ll let the other experts here chime in, like battery discussion does.

And let’s not forget that life does go on, even in the middle of a global pandemic, and the coming civil war, and the world wide rearrangement. Ordinary stuff needs doin’ too. I’m not the only one with kids (or grandkids) and we have an obligation to them too. They’ll be the ones that come out the other side of this, and they’ll need a good foundation to build off of. They sure aren’t getting that in school, they need to get it from us. Building the next generation is the biggest prep of all.

And of course, keep stacking. Piles of stuff, a head full of knowledge and hands full of work, and a few stout friends, and you’ll have what you need to get through, and even thrive.

At least, that’s what I am hoping, and building toward.

nick

-title question referred to mood, or zeitgeist. You tell me if you are seeing it.

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