Thur. July 29, 2021 – kids at rock gym, me working…

Sunny and hot, chance of rain. We’re in the middle of the thunderstorm zone today and tomorrow so we might actually get it. We didn’t get any rain yesterday despite the possibility. I even drove across town, and didn’t get wet.

Did my pickup yesterday and have a couple to do today. Then I’m off to my secondary to do a bunch more clean up. It’s gonna be a long day of hot hard work if everything goes to plan.

And I need to keep an eye on some auctions. There is a vet clinic selling everything, not too far from my house. There are a number of things I’d like to have from that auction… if the zombies ever come.

There’s another fairly close auction with a bunch of air rifles and the current prices are low. In the auctions in general, there has been a lot of late bidding lately, so low prices 8 hours out might not mean what it would have last year, but I’d like to pick up a couple of nice ones for the stacks…

And there is another auction with a bunch of stuff for my non-prepping hobby. I didn’t win any of the stuff I was bidding on this week, so I’m keeping an eye on this sale.

But I can’t sit in front of the computer all day, the kids are out of my hair, and I’ve got stuff to get done.


But it will let me break this log jam and keep making forward progress. “Everything takes longer and costs more.” If I repeated that mantra at work, I should understand that it applies to me in my home life too, right? But I’m SPECIAL and I operate as if it wasn’t true. Well it is true, and not acknowledging that can lead to frustration and disappointment and discouragement. Time to deal with it and just keep pushing through.

The end goal is to have stacks of stuff that will help me, not hinder me. Anything that hinders has to go. And if it helps, it gets priority.

I’m picking up more shelves today… and while it costs time, they should help organize, condense, and ultimately improve my situation.

Keep working to improve your situation. By stacking, or by getting rid of some stuff. Sometimes getting rid of a stack is the best thing you can do.


Sun. June 20, 2021 – Fathers’ Day

Hot and humid here in Fla. High of 90, low of 70F, sure to be humid.

Flight was ok. Pretty bumpy for about half the trip, but because of hearing issues, PA issues, and a thick spanish accent, I don’t know which route the pilot chose. It must have been the one with the best flight characteristics, but it still knocked us around.

Mask usage was mandatory at the airport and on the flight. Silly to raise and lower a mask between bites of food and sips of drink, all that does is contaminate your mask and your food. I guess no one said this stuff was supposed to make sense or work.

I think we’re headed to the beach today. In any case, it will be short shrift from me on the keys….

y’all talk amongst yourselves.


keep stacking!

Sat. June 19, 2021 – travel day.

In theory, we’re getting stormed on by the thing in the Gulf. In practice, yesterday was nice and sunny all day, and HOT reaching 109F in the sun by my roof. I guess if there is weather in NOLA, my flight to the Tampa area will either go through it or around it. It makes more sense to go south of it, but then your plane needs to be rated for ‘over water’. What to do, what to do.

Spent yesterday tying up some loose ends around the house and around town.

Today we’re flying, after dropping the dog (and hamster) off with friends, the fish having become an ex-fish just a few weeks ago. This will be my first flight post-wuflu lockdown and frankly I’m not looking forward to it. I no longer like to fly anyway, but the additional nonsense is just that much more to hate.

I told the kids we will be practicing grace and flexibility on the trip, and I’ll have to remind myself.

Still lots to do before I’m ready to leave, so I better get busy.

I’m hoping, as I always do, the world holds together until I’m back home.

So I can get back to stacking.


Sat. April 17, 2021 – Rain? could be, or not, work to do regardless.

Possibility of rain, and moderate temperatures. Like yesterday. For some values of Houston. I heard on the radio that areas got hammered with hail Thursday night, while we got nothing. That’s why, despite looking at it every day, I don’t put much stock in the forecast. I don’t think anyone was predicting hail…

Spent a lot of time yesterday driving around. Between wasting time on the internet with my friends, and driving, I do come up short on actual work time, some days at least.

Cut my hair, did some laundry.

Bought some shirts a couple of sizes too big. Just in case I might find myself in a situation where I was wearing something that I wanted to put a shirt over, but it was thicker than my cool vest. I don’t know where that thicker vest or vest like garment might fall on your preparedness spectrum or threat continuum, or just contingency planning, but if you own or think you might have cause to wear something like that, you might want jackets and shirts that you could wear over it. So much of what we do to prep can be thought of as systems- a collection of parts that work together in a way that is more useful that just the parts themselves. The more complete your system is, the more effective it will be. I think being stealthy and unobtrusive is going to be the uniform of the day for a long time.

I’ll be working the list today, depending on weather.

I’m going to link Peter at Bayou Renaissance Man for today’s political/observational/situational update.

“If you’re stuck in a conflict zone, or a city likely to become one, I can only recommend that you prepare as best you can. This article and this one offer many helpful suggestions. Prepare today, so you aren’t caught unawares and unprepared tomorrow.”

Saves me a bunch of typing.

Keep stacking.


Sat. April 11, 2020 – gonna be Easter soon, hope the bunny is ‘essential’


Cool and clear, rain in the forecast.

Did not get as much done I hoped. Spent time reading fiction during the day. I don’t usually do that, because I’d get nothing done at all if it became a habit.

I did get a low voltage power line run through the attic to the back of the house. I got the IR emitter hung and thought everything was good to go. Unfortunately, I’m not seeing much IR in the camera image at night. There is a BIT of foliage, but not enough. Maybe the camera doesn’t have good IR capability. In any case, not the slam dunk I hoped for. (Looking at a different camera with good IR capability, it looks like a floodlight is on, so I think it’s the camera. Bummer. One more thing to look at changing.) In the process though, I found a setting that needed to be changed on the other camera that is looking at my front porch, so net-net it was a positive.

Started to get kinda warm up in the attic in the afternoon, despite the cooler outdoor temps. I managed to run another network line for new camera number two, if I can find a good way to mount it on my chimney. It’s the other new 8mpx camera to cover the other end of my street. With possibly sketchy neighbors on that side, I would like to have more coverage of the street. Camera’s not doing anyone any good sitting in a box, I might as well hang it.

Still have a lot of outdoor stuff to do, so I’m hoping the rain holds off again.

Dinner was leftovers. Wasting food is a lot more of an issue when you’re in a lifeboat…. which is the metaphor I’ve been using with the kids.

Take a bit of a break this weekend. Recharge mentally and physically. Do something nice with your other shut-ins….

Stay in, stay safe.



Tues. Feb. 11, 2020 – so much to do

Warmish and wet. [not so much, front moved in, 50F and dripping this am]

Had overcast all day but didn’t get any rain until after 9pm, and it didn’t last long.

Spent the afternoon running around doing pickups and drop offs. So much stuff to do normally, and I’m also trying to step up my preps.

I’m going to try to fit in a Costco run today with all the other stuff going on.

I’ve been a bit casual checking my email lately. I’ve got my reader open to my sales addy, hoping to see orders coming in… so I was very pleasantly surprised to see a note from Barbara.

It was in regard to our discussion of Bob’s works in progress. She didn’t want to pursue the fiction book, and had this to say–

The best prepping insights from Bob are what he posted on the site.

All of his previous science and computer books are now pretty much out of date. Those that are still in print can be found on the O’Reilly site.

I want to thank you, Rick, and all of the readers on Daynotes for keeping his ideas and memories alive.


I’m sure I speak for all of us saying “Thank You” to Barbara for supporting our continued efforts here. It’s a unique place on the web, due to Bob and the readers he attracted. It’s been a daily part of my life, and I’d miss it enormously.

Now, off to work. Go forth and prep, because it’s bad, and it will be getting worse.


Mon. June 17, 2019 – back to work

68F and 99%RH this morning .  Gauge said 1.85 inches of rain before midnight, and it’s only been misty since.  Forecast is for more light rain, and higher temps by late afternoon.  No idea yet if our swim meet will go on.  The pool gets in poor condition with inches of rain and the grounds turn to a muddy mess.

Aesop at RaconteurReport is busy laying in some ground truths about the Ebola outbreak (and I’ve contributed a little bit.)  Today’s report out of Africa is it MAY have made a big leap in Uganda.

TL:DR is – if they don’t get a handle on it there (and they won’t), it will get to the west.  It’s likely to get here at some point, and if it breaks out here, it’s SHTF time.  Best defense is self-quarantine to avoid infection.  That means stocking up.

I’m gonna bring together some of Bob’s posts on getting started prepping into one place.  A lot of good info has disappeared when some other good sites sold out.  A new page here with good links and Bob’s advice should be helpful.

Kids are sleeping in, but wife still needs breakfast, so I’m off…



Wednesday, 30 August 2017

09:11 – It was 60.7F (16C) when I took Colin out at 0630, partly cloudy. Barbara is off to the gym this morning, after which we’ll be doing more work on science kits. She’s spending the day down in Winston tomorrow, so I want to get the highest priority stuff done today.

Just to give you an idea of how seasonal our business is, August revenues through today total 33% of our revenues for the entire year to date, and next month’s revenues should be similar to this month’s. Things’ll slow down after that until about Thanksgiving, when we’ll have another heavy sales period that runs through mid-January.

Kim stopped by the house Monday afternoon to ask if we’d mind stopping over at Blue Ridge Electric Co-op and signing a permission document to allow them to come onto our property to do some work on the electric feed to their new house. They’re running the power feed underground and need to tie it to a distribution box that’s just over the property line into our field. We told them we’d be happy to do so, and Barbara stopped by Blue Ridge yesterday morning to sign the permission slip. It turned out she didn’t need to. As I thought, there’s a utility easement, and they don’t need our permission to access their distribution box.

Yesterday afternoon, I saw that a bunch of people were up at the house working on it, so I walked up to let Kim’s husband Ricky know that everything was clear for work to proceed. Grace was up there watching what was going on. I ended up standing there talking to her for the better part of an hour.

She’s originally from the Wilmington, NC area down on the coast, and went to college at UNC Wilmington. Her main concern about living up here is the winter weather. Living on the coast, she hasn’t seen much snow, and has no experience driving in ice and snow. I told her that, as a Northern boy, my advice was to avoid doing so as much as possible and if she had to drive to wait until the plows had run. Oh, and to keep a good stock of emergency food, bottled water, and so on in case we do get snowed in.

She seems like a sensible young woman, so I’m sure she’ll be fine. She really likes living up here in a rural/small-town environment with the laid-back mountain lifestyle. As she said, everyone is so friendly and so normal. And that the cost of living was so low here. I told her that that had been Barbara’s and my reaction as well when we moved up here in 2015.

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

09:17 – It was 69.8F (21C) when I took Colin out at 0700, partly cloudy. Barbara has some work to do in the garden this morning, and is volunteering at the Friends of the Library bookstore this afternoon. Our dinners the last couple of evenings have been mostly from the garden: potatoes, green beans, and yellow squash casserole. Knowing I like meat, Barbara grilled a couple of pork chops Sunday evening for me to have Sunday and yesterday along with the rabbit food.

We’ve been watching the 2008 BBC version of War & Peace. Lots of cuties, a good dress once in a while, so I’m happy. The plot has something to do with Russia and Napoleon, but I’m not really paying much attention to that part. We also have the Aussie series A Place to Call Home in progress, with the extraordinary Marta Dusseldorp, as well as Dalziel & Pascoe, with the extraordinary Susannah Corbett.

As I remarked to Barbara, I’d be pretty happy watching just historical costume dramas and documentaries, with no contemporary series other than Heartland and one or two others. I think she feels pretty much the same way.

We got a lot of chemical bottles filled yesterday. Today, I’ll be making up still more chemical solutions. While I’m at it, I need to order a few thousand more bottles. We’re down to only a few hundred of the 15 mL bottles left in stock, and we use a lot of them.

Kathy’s comment yesterday about how little the bulk food/calories cost them got me to thinking, so I calculated just how much they did spend on their dry bulk LTS stuff.

~ $100 – 400 pounds of white flour
~ $120 – 400 pounds of white rice
~ $360 – 400 pounds of assorted pasta
~ $140 – 300 pounds of white sugar
~ $100 – 120 pounds of oats
~ $ 50 – 80 pounds of cornmeal
~ $ 80 – 100 pounds of assorted dry beans
~ $ 18 – 48 pounds of iodized salt
~ $ 70 – 18 gallons of vegetable oil and shortening
~ $180 – 24 large jars of herbs and spices

or roughly $1,200 for enough food—literally a ton, at an average of about $0.60/pound—to feed four people for one year on iron rations. That’s about 500 pounds of food and $300 per year per person. The only additional cost, other than their time, was about $150 for LDS foil-laminate Mylar bags and oxygen absorbers.

Of course, they actually spent about five times that much, but most of that was on canned foods, particularly meats. (If not for the meat as supplemental protein, they’d have needed a lot more beans to provide complete protein, probably 250 pounds rather than 100.)

Monday, 7 November 2016

09:02 – With one day left until the election, we’re settled in here, awaiting developments. Federal authorities have said there’s a heightened likelihood of attacks by muslim scum in Texas, Virginia, and New York today, and there have been other calls by muslim scum leaders to attack tomorrow to disrupt the election. Authorities are also on heightened alert nationwide for attacks by BLM scum, progressive scum, and other scum. Just as an aside, I noticed a possible solution yesterday when I picked up a bottle of household cleaner. Right there on the label it says, “Removes Scum”.

There’s been a lot of talk about how this election has meant the death of the MSM. No one on either side believes them any more. They’re talking to themselves and precious few other people. But this election may also mean the death of political polling organizations, whose results have been all over the map. Many people, again on both sides of the divide, no longer believe anything polling organizations have to say. They perceive, correctly in most cases, that polling is now purely politically motivated and that, rather than accurately forecasting results, the goal of polling organizations is now to provide an advantage to one or the other side. Everything is now political.

Tomorrow is not really the election, as most people think. Tomorrow is the first day of an election that’s likely to be drawn out for weeks. Whichever side “loses” tomorrow is very unlikely to concede and get on with normal business. There are likely to be an ongoing series of appeals, court cases, and possibly violence before this thing is settled. Oh, well. We’re prepared for the aftermath, come what may. We’re living in an area that’s as safe as any, where we can just sit back and watch what happens. Unfortunately, at the end of it all, whatever happens, it’s going be Meet the New Boss, The Same as the Old Boss.

There’s a lot of bad information in prepping literature about long-term food storage, both in terms of methods (no, freezing will not reliably kill insect eggs) and in terms of nutrition. Much of the advice is simply a repetition of something someone read somewhere.

With regard to LTS nutrition, many sources claim that you need to store x amount of various categories, including honey/sugars, fruits, vegetables, and so on. All of that is wrong. One can survive quite comfortably without any of those items. A human requires exactly three macro-nutrients (foods consumed in relatively large quantities) and numerous micronutrients (vitamins and minerals, elements, salt, and other things consumed in relatively small quantities).

Calories are an umbrella measure of overall nutrition. A human needs a certain number of calories per day, which varies according to that person’s basal metabolic rate–how many calories you need for basic body functions, assuming you’re just lying around and not doing any work at all–sex, weight, age, amount of work being done, environmental temperature, and many other factors. A small older woman who is not doing any heavy labor, for example, may need 1,400 calories/day, while a young man who is engaged in heavy physical labor may need 4,000 calories/day or more.

All of the three macro-nutrients contribute to caloric intake. Fat contains about 9 calories/gram, while carbohydrates and protein both contain about 4 cal/g. The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences publishes a list of Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) that provides the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Ranges by age range. That information is summarized here:

Assume that you’re calculating nutrition needs for an adult who requires 2,000 cal/day. Fats should provide 20% to 35% of those calories (400 to 700 cal/day). Since fats average 9 cal/g, you’d need about 45 g to 78 g of fats per day for that person. Carbohydrates should provide 45% to 65% of those calories (900 to 1,300 cal/day). Since carbohydrates average 4 cal/g, you’d need about 225 g to 325 g of carbohydrates per day for that person. Protein should provide 10% to 35% of those calories (200 to 700 cal/day). Since protein averages 4 cal/g, you’d need about 50 g to 175 g of protein per day for that person.

Unfortunately, you can’t go to the store and buy a container of fats, carbohydrates, or protein. Well, you can, kind of. Vegetable oil, lard, shortening, and so on are essentially 100% fats, sugar is essentially 100% carbohydrates, and eggs or meat is mostly protein. But most of what you can actually buy is a mixture of two or all three, in varying proportions. Flour, for example, is mostly carbohydrates, but has a significant amount of protein and a tiny amount of fats. Most dairy products contain large amounts of fats and lesser amounts of proteins and carbohydrates.

And the amino acid balance of proteins is also important. Because different vegetable proteins have different balances of specific essential amino acids, one can starve to death eating only grains or only beans. Eating some of each provides complete protein. That’s why our ancestors for a million years have been eating a mix of vegetable proteins, such as rice and beans or wheat and beans or corn and beans. Animal proteins are inherently balanced, so if you can store lots of meat and eggs and dairy you needn’t worry about amino acid balance.

Of course, most people don’t want to deal with all these calculations. The simple way to balance things out is to store 30 pounds of grains (flour, rice, oats, pasta, etc.) per person per month, 5 pounds of beans per person per month, and one quart/liter of lipids (oils and fats) per person per month. Add half a pound of iodized salt and 30 multivitamin tablets per person per month to take care of micronutrient (vitamin/mineral/elements) needs, and you’re set for iron rations, at a cost of maybe $30/person-month.

Of course, that diet would get very old very fast, so assuming you have money left over, you can supplement it with things like a lot of canned meats, soups, vegetables, and fruits, a good stock of herbs and spices, cans of powdered eggs and butter and TVP bouillon, cans of powdered milk, and so on. It’s important to be able to continue eating whatever the situation.