Sat. Sept. 14, 2019 – where did the week go?

Cool and wet.  Yesterday started out cooler, stayed cooler longer, but by late afternoon was PLENTY HOT.   It did cool off pretty quickly once the sun started down.

I’ve got my monthly get together for my non-prepping hobby this morning, so I’ll be radio silence for a while.  Then I will be trying to cram as many of my week’s goals into a couple of hours as possible 🙂

I don’t know where the week went.  I had plans.  I had good intentions.  Shopping and auction pickups ate a bunch of daylight, that’s certain, but there still should have been more time to work the list…

Now that the gloves have come off, and Burrito Beto (white on the outside, full of brown stuff inside) declared his position on gun confiscation and the Bill of Rights, I wonder if sales will pick up?  If they don’t, it’ll be a pretty good indicator of how the public sees his chances of winning…  and that the other Dems didn’t come out with ‘clarification’ statements, means that they’re fully on board too, they just don’t want to say it out loud yet. Fully socialist, and gun grabby- does no one see the path they are following and where it leads? [Solzhenitsyn quote left as an exercise for the reader.]

Anyone here still think we’re not headed into a major schism in our country and in the world?  If not, how would we avoid one?  Because just continuing as we are will lead there and no one is suggesting alternate paths, or putting on the brakes.

Which is why I prep (and hurricanes.  Can’t forget about the hurricanes.  Especially with one headed toward us again.)

What have you done to improve your skills? Stockpile? sources? community?   I hope it’s something, even if little tiny steps….




Fri. July 20, 2018 – busy week

Another hot one, 80F at 6am. Forecast for record heat.

Whether we’re swirling around the edge of the toilet bowl, or at the dawn of a new age, it’s pretty clear that big changes are happening in the world. The march to war might be delayed a bit, or we might be getting played while our enemies align themselves and get ready. We might be headed toward civil war, as people on both sides seem almost to yearn for it. Who knows?

Or we might be headed into a general collapse. I think it’s well underway and we just don’t see the signs. Today is pretty much like yesterday, and so it’s been throughout history. Certainly our star is not ascending.

We have MASSIVE homelessness. We have a stunning number of people on welfare and other forms of .gov aid. We have lost control of our borders to the point that somewhere around 10% of the population is currently foreign invaders. They have spread throughout the nation, and are suddenly visible, like when a geometric progression doubles to the point you see it, then doubles again… just consider the number of machete attacks.

If people defecating in the streets, gangs pulling people out of buildings and hacking them to death, and record low workforce participation rates aren’t enough, consider the rise of socialism in our political realm. This is an idea that is opposite to our national character, but the long march has been so effective that openly socialist candidates can win party primaries. Our elites get wealthier, while our ‘normals’ get poorer, and civic institutions degrade. [consider than when I was young, it was entirely normal that a man in a skilled trade, as the sole breadwinner, would be able to afford a cabin on a lake, a pontoon boat, snowmobiles, a camper, etc. Contrast that to today.]

The very things we establish government to provide are no longer working. Clean water. Education. Safety and rule of law. Public works infrastructure.

Consider just thirty years ago. What was the relationship of the public to cops? Bottled water? Aid organizations? Refugees? What did inner cities look like? Gangs? Public infrastructure? What was public morality like? What was cultural sexuality like? Cultural violence?

Consider 40 years. 50.

I think we don’t see it because we are too close to the problem. Convince me otherwise. Or what have you done to prep this week??


Wednesday, 16 August 2017

08:37 – It was 65.3F (18.5C) when I took Colin out at 0650, clear and sunny.

Barbara is heading for the gym this morning and then making a quick run down to Winston to have lunch with her friend Bonnie and then making a stop at Home Depot to pick up another platform ladder for downstairs and a gallon of VM&P naphtha for me. She’ll be back late this afternoon. Tomorrow and through the weekend, we’ll be doing kit stuff.

The recent events in Charlottesville remind me of a similar incident that occurred back in November, 1979. My parents had moved to Winston-Salem a couple of years previously, and I was visiting them when the incident occurred. It was the shootout in Greensboro between the KKK/Nazis and the Communists. I remember thinking at the time that it couldn’t have happened to more deserving people, and that it was a shame they hadn’t all shot each other.

Although one wouldn’t know it from reading the news reports, it seems that in Charlottesville the KKK/Nazis did everything by the book. They applied for a permit, which was duly granted, and then began a peaceful protest. Then the radical racist black vice-mayor withdrew the permit and ordered the white protesters out of town. They dispersed as ordered, individually and in small groups, and were set upon by roving bands of BLM/Antifa protesters, who had not even applied for a permit. Apparently, the young man who drove the car into a crowd of commie protesters had already been assaulted and battered more than once by groups of BLM/Antifa terrorists.

So it appears to me that the only way the KKK/Neo-Nazi group contributed to the violence was by being there. The actual violence was instigated and committed by the BLM/Antifa side, with the active support of the city government and the passive support of law enforcement, who stood by and did nothing to stop it. In other words, that woman’s death was entirely attributable to actions taken by the left, supported by city government and law enforcement.

Thursday, 8 June 2017

09:01 – It was 53.5F (12C) when I took Colin out around 0645 this morning, overcast with about 9/10 cloud cover.

Herschel from Shaw Brothers showed up early yesterday morning and got all the plumbing stuff finished and checked out. While he was here, the drop-ceiling installers showed up. They finished the drop ceiling by mid-afternoon. Barbara is happy with it, so I’m happy with it.

At some point, the electrician is supposed to show up to install the overhead lighting, followed by the painters. The last step will be the floor installers. Unfortunately, they’re backed up, and it’ll be early next month before they can get here to install the floor. Still, we’re making progress.

We finished watching season four of the Australian series The Doctor Blake Mysteries last night, and continued with Outlander (UK title; my US title is Lots of Cuties with Really Good Dresses).

The auction sign went up yesterday in front of Bonnie’s house. The auction of the house, contents, and land takes place on Saturday, 15 July. Frances and Al plan to come up for the auction. They said they might buy the place, but I don’t think they were serious.

With the downstairs all torn up and stuff piled all over the place, it’s been hard to build science kits. We got things reorganized the other day to the point where we have an open flat work surface to bin subassemblies and can at least get to the shelving that holds the thousands of chemical bottles. We’re getting low-stock on all of the kits, and need to get more batches built.

There was an article in the paper this morning about a new concealed-carry initiative that would allow conceal carry with no permit anywhere that open carry is now allowed, which is to say most places. Unfortunately, our Republican governor lost last November to a prog Democrat, who will probably veto the bill. Given that some of our republican legislators opposed the bill, it’s likely they won’t be able to override a veto. We’ll see. Constitutional Carry is spreading across the US, and with every muslim outrage it gains more support, sometimes even among Democrats. I do wish that Trump would simply render state laws that restrict CC moot by announcing that the federal government will, upon request by any citizen at any US Post Office, issue a federal concealed + open carry permit that is valid for any location in the US, including local, state, and federal government buildings and property.

The dominoes are starting to topple. Puerto Rico is now effectively bankrupt, although they can’t use that word, and Illinois is about to follow. At this point, there’s simply no alternative. Holders of Illinois government bonds are likely to take a 100% haircut, and pension funds are almost certain to be controlled by receivers. If I were expecting an Illinois government pension, I’d expect to see a small fraction of what I’d been promised, if that. My guess is that Illinois pensioners will see a ceiling put on pension payments. Everyone will get at most $1,000/month or whatever, regardless of what they’d been promised. Illinois government and pensioners and unions will be screaming for a federal bailout, of course, but with Trump and a Republican congress, they’re unlikely to get much, if any, federal money. And Illinois is just the first of many mismanaged states that will end up standing in line at the federal trough. I have no sympathy for any of them.



Sunday, 7 May 2017

09:48 – It was 39.3F (4C) when I took Colin out at 0645 this morning, sunny and with a stiff breeze. We have the air conditioning on, so the house temperature overnight had fallen to 67F (19.5C), which is a bit cool for me. We won’t bother to turn the heat on, since the house will warm up during the day. With spring temperatures as they are, we won’t bother running heat or air until things warm up enough to make it worth running AC.

We got a bunch of chemical bottles filled yesterday, with a bunch more to do today and the rest of this coming week. For now, we’re building stock of shelf-stable chemicals in preparation for the busy time in late summer and early fall. For example, Barbara just finished filling 240 bottles of ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) tablets, which are shelf-stable for years. We keep much smaller quantities of the less stable chemicals on hand, making them up only as need to build kits on the fly.

We also have a fair amount of bulk food that needs to be repackaged. Last week, Barbara brought home 50-pound (22.7 kilo) bags of white rice, white sugar, and white bread flour from Costco. Until now, we’ve been repackaging that kind of stuff in PET bottles with oxygen absorbers, but I think we’ll do this batch in one-gallon 7-mil LDS foil-laminate Mylar bags, again with oxygen absorbers. Packed that way, the rice and sugar will remain good indefinitely, and the white bread flour for at least 10 years and probably 20.

I’m kind of following the French election. AP would be amusing if they weren’t so evil. They consistently describe Macron, who’s ultra-left, as a mainstream “centrist” candidate, and Le Pen, who’s moderate left, as “hard right”. They wouldn’t know a right-winger if he bit them in the ass, which may very well happen, and a lot sooner than they’d believe possible.


Thursday, 4 May 2017

09:09 – It was 48.2F (9C) when I took Colin out at 0645 this morning, cloudy and breezy. After a beautiful day yesterday, cooler weather, rain, and possible thunderstorms are to move in today and persist through Sunday.

When I sat down to work yesterday after lunch, I found a dead mouse on my desk. I picked it up by the tail and took it to show to Barbara. She screamed and levitated onto the dining room table*. Fortunately, I had a spare USB mouse on the shelf, so I plugged it into the hub. I coiled up the dead one’s tail, secured it with a twist-tie, and stuck it in the dishwasher to see if that’d revive it. I should probably stick my keyboard in as well.

Ever since the election, Kurt Schlichter has been taunting lefties about their massive fail and claiming that Trump has been winning at every turn. In his column this morning, he finally admits that Trump not only isn’t winning, he’s losing big-time. His only real success to date has been the confirmation of his SCOTUS candidate. Otherwise, he’s backed off or reversed himself on nearly all of his promises. He’s done nothing about his wall, expelling illegal immigrants, or even refusing to accept more of them. He promised to repeal ObamaCare as a top priority, and has done nothing. Sanctuary cities continue to mock him. We’re not withdrawing from NATO, nor even forcing other NATO countries to pay the costs of their own defense. We’re apparently not withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord. In short, as I expected, Trump is just more of the same-old-same-old. The deep state is still running things, and will continue doing so until this country undergoes a complete reboot.

* Not really. She doesn’t much like real mice, live or dead, but USB mice don’t scare her.


Sunday, 23 April 2017

08:54 – It was 45F (7C) when I took Colin out at 0715 this morning, gray and drizzling. We’re to have heavy rains today and tomorrow, with a flood watch in effect through tomorrow evening. Our property is high enough that we don’t have to worry about floods. It’d have to rain for forty days and forty nights for us to be under any real threat.

We had fudge as an evening snack yesterday. I’ll give this effort a C. It tasted fine, but it didn’t actually set up into a dry fudge. Instead, it was goopy. The next time I make it, I’ll cut down on the liquid significantly.

I was just reading an article about ISIS slavers. If this article can be believed, and I see no obvious reason why it shouldn’t be, ISIS actually publishes a printed price list for Christian and Yazidi girls and women. Prices range from $43 for a woman aged 40 to 50 up to $172 for a girl aged 1 to 9. If you’re a resident of Turkey, Syria, or the Gulf States, you can buy as many as you like. Residents of other countries are limited to a maximum of three slaves per order.

This obviously isn’t our problem, but it’s still more evidence (if any is needed) of why no sane citizen of Western countries should treat muslims as anything other than the scum that they are. Of course, what can we expect from any so-called “religion” and “culture” whose founder took a nine-year-old girl as a wife?

islam has been at war with Western civilization for a thousand years. It’s time we recognized that we’re at war with them. Not with “muslim terrorists” or “muslim radicals”. We’re at war with islam itself.


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Tuesday, 18 April 2017

09:16 – It was 53.7F (12C) when I took Colin out at 0645 this morning, gray and drizzling. Barbara is out today, at a volunteer meeting this morning and then the bookstore this afternoon.

We had chicken fried rice for dinner yesterday, all from LTS food. In the normal course of things, we don’t have rice that often, maybe three times a month. But we do like it and it’s extremely flexible, so I keep a metric boatload in our LTS food pantry. A pound of rice, a small can of chicken or other meat, a few dehydrated vegetables, soy sauce, and other incidentals, and you have enough fried rice to feed a full meal to four people. It can also be added to soups to bulk them up, used as the basis of a casserole or a rice pudding, and so on. And it’s cheap and stores forever. If your LTS food storage goal is a one-year supply, you should probably have at least 100 pounds of rice per person stored.

Speaking of LTS food and cooking, I called Blue Ridge Co-op yesterday to arrange to have our propane tank topped off. When they delivered and installed the tank last December, they were out of the 250-gallon tanks so they installed a 325-gallon tank instead. They fill propane tanks to 80% of nominal capacity and they deliver the tank already filled. Our 325-gallon tank holds 260 gallons, but instead of filling it to 260 gallons they filled it to the 200-gallon level appropriate for a 250-gallon tank because their computer wouldn’t let them transfer any more than 200 gallons into what it thought was a 250-gallon tank. So we’re currently at 200 gallons less however much we’ve used for the propane cooktop since December. I’m guessing that’s maybe 20 gallons, so topping it off should be maybe 80 gallons worth. Running the largest burner in our cooktop for an hour or so per day should consume about one gallon per week, which means a full tank of 260 gallons is about five years’ worth. Even in a long-term emergency we should be good for at least a full year, and probably two, assuming we’re cooking for more than just the two of us plus Colin. And, of course, in that situation, we’d also be using solar ovens heavily to minimize propane use.

I see that Japan has about 70,000 citizens currently in South Korea and the government is taking steps to evacuate them back to Japan. And the Hawaii state legislature is concerned about North Korean launching a nuclear attack on the islands. Hawaii formerly maintained a strong shelter and civil-defense program, but allowed it to lapse from lack of funding. The last time shelters were inspected, food stocks replaced, and so on was in 1985. A legislative committee has unanimously recommended that the shelters be updated and emergency supplies replaced.

Even assuming funding is made available, doing what needs to be done will take months. My take is that doing so is a good idea, although I think the probability of the Norks launching a nuclear attack is nearly zero. Not that they wouldn’t do so if they could, but just as military leaders must act on an enemy’s capabilities rather than his perceived intentions, there are times when action should be taken on perceived enemy intentions rather than perceived capabilities. In other words, if we think the enemy intends to attack OR is capable of attacking, we should take steps accordingly. Hawaii is particularly vulnerable because it imports most of its food.

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Sunday, 16 April 2017

09:41 – It was 53.7F (12C) when I took Colin out at 0715 this morning, sunny and with a slight breeze. It’s now up to about 72F (22C).

FedEx showed up yesterday with a bunch of boxes from an order I placed Thursday afternoon. As the guy was unloading the boxes, I told him I was glad they’d shipped FedEx instead of UPS. Maybe 50% of the boxes we receive via UPS appear undamaged, but the other half are invariably bashed up, ripped, crushed, and so on, sometimes so badly that items have actually leaked out through the gaps that UPS reseals. That isn’t unique to where we are now, either. It was the same in Winston. Basically, USPS almost never damages shipments, FedEx damages maybe 10% of them, and UPS damages them as often as not.

At any rate, we now have several hundred each of beakers, 10 mL and 100 mL graduated cylinders, red and black alligator clip leads, etc. etc. to get checked in, inventoried, and packed away. We’ll do that this afternoon, because there are three more even larger shipments due to arrive over the next few days.

And I see that things continue to heat up on the Korean peninsula. The Norks had yet another failed test missile launch yesterday, but if the world continues to allow them to test ballistic missiles, they’ll eventually get it right. The Chinese have already threatened to use force to bring NK back into line, with some rumors saying the Chinese are even considering using nukes. One way or another, the Kim regime needs to be toppled, even if that means China annexing NK. At least there’d be adults in charge if that happened. As things stand, the Norks are basically rabid dogs, and there’s ultimately only one solution for rabid dogs. You kill them before they attack someone. But this isn’t our problem. The Chinese, Sorks, and Japanese need to deal with it before it gets even further out of hand.


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Thursday, 30 March 2017

09:54 – It was 53.3F (12C) when I took Colin out around 0715 this morning, foggy and drizzling. Barbara’s mulch showed up yesterday around lunchtime, so while Barbara watched, I* spent the afternoon hauling and spreading 80 or so wheelbarrow loads of mulch along the edges of the driveway to cover up the bare red clay fill we’d spread after we had the driveway laid. Here’s the house, looking southwest, with most of the mulch already in place and Colin supervising.

We’ll work indoors today. We have chemicals to make up, bottles to fill and label, and subassemblies for kits to make up. At the moment, this March is running about 15% ahead of last March in revenues, not including any orders that arrive today and tomorrow.

Speaking of kit sales, I shipped an order to Ontario, Canada on the 21st. I got email yesterday evening from the customer, who’d been following the USPS tracking information and wondered why his package was now sitting in Paris, France. Good question. I checked the detailed tracking information and found that it had arrived in Canada, been processed and passed by Canadian customs, who then handed it over to Canada Post, who apparently for some reason sent it to France.

Things with Trump are working out pretty much as I expected. The only difference between him and the powers-that-be in DC is that Trump is a moderate leftie with proggish tendencies, versus the rest of them, who are hard left and committed progs.

I could have told John Adams and the rest of his damned Federalist buddies that this was going to happen. Too bad they didn’t listen to Sam Adams, Tom Jefferson, and the rest of the Anti-Federalists. In fact, it’s too bad they adopted the Constitution at all. We should have known what was good for us and stuck with the Articles of Confederation. Then Lincoln came along and killed the Constitution completely, leaving us with a federal system that rapidly became intolerable. I say we need a complete reboot. Unfortunately, if/when that happens it ain’t gonna be pretty.

* Well, I spent about half an hour hauling about 10 loads of mulch, while Barbara spread it. She hauled and spread the rest while I did other stuff indoors.

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